Sunday, October 5, 2008


So...been there, done that, bought the tee shirt, didn't fit...but made it through the first week of chemo. All I can say, is thank God it's not a chemo week. TGINACW. I know it doesn't roll off the tongue like TGIF, nor, is it entirely clever since TGIF was already taken to the point of being an accepted idiom, bordering on the cliche. It even has a movie named after it, and I haven't exactly checked my references on this, but I think the restaurant Fridays is very closely related to said cliche. All that to say, I blame my lack of creativity in re: this title post, on the chemo.

It was a very rough week. But it's over. Monday I had my first chemo treatment. It was mostly a blur like everything else has been so far, since everything has happened as fast and as furious as the hurricane that blew through Cincinnati a few weeks ago. Up until Monday this has really been rather surreal from my view. It's almost as if I've been watching from a very strange seat. Things have happened so quickly that I really haven't had time to think through everything that has happened. This is probably a good thing. I feel like I've just barely been keeping up with the flow of things, and hanging on by the proverbial thread that has been, in my case, doubling as a bungie cord, just to get to the other side of it where I could maybe sneak a peek from my rear view mirror. I think this is the same principle as to why I get carsick. Sometimes in a car I will ride backwards and that sorta helps. In this case, anit-nausea meds helped keep me from tossing my cookies. Not that I was able to eat any cookies. It's just a saying. But, so far so good in the anti-vomiting campaign I am waging. I don't think we have the mix exactly right, but at least I'm past the first round and hopefully we'll get it right next time and hopefully it will go better or at least not as bad.

They give me 30 hours of anti-nausea meds after the treatment, which sort of left me in a stupor, for which I think I am grateful although it's really pretty fuzzy. Not to mention carsick. With a headache from hell, which we think is due to coffee withdrawal, since I'm only allowed one freaking cup a day. And I won't even go into my whining about no red wine for dinner. We'll just leave it at, I'm just having an early lent this year. That pretty much describes Tuesday, except, somewhere in there, somehow a friend drove me back downtown to the oncologist's office to get a white blood cell shot. And I think I tried to watch the Heroes premiere we had TiVoed with the fam, but am not sure if that was real or not, or if I recommend it while on anit-nausea meds.

Wednesday I was less loopy and getting antsy to feel better, and in a desperate move, I talked Matt into taking me to spend $40 on a haircut that might not see me through this week but that I felt was very necessary since my bangs were in my eyes and it seemed to be something I had some control over. With Matt's help. My boys have been amazing this week. They have been taking such good care of me. I am so grateful that we homeschool because it is a gift that they are here with me. I know this has been a blessing and relief to Dave as well, as they have been shouldering things I wish they didn't have to.

The boys come by it honestly. Dave has somehow, so far kept all the plates, and there are many, spinning. I don't think a guy could try harder to take care of his wife and family. In such overwhelming circumstances that I can't even let myself think about. But he does. Probably too much. But that's how he plays Scrabble, too, which can get on my nerves since it takes so long for him to take his turn, but that's really not the point. The point, is closer to the story of Lucie Manette's love for her hub, Charles Darnay, in A Tale of Two Cities, where it is said of her that "She was truest to them in the season of trial." He was imprisoned in a tower in Paris, and she would go and stand in a certain spot for two hours every day, where she could not see him, but that he might be able to catch a glimpse of her, just so he would know she is still there. This is pretty much my life right now.

Amanda is doing her own plate spinning act. She has UC on M/W/F; beauty school on T/R/S; and has been working too many hours for her own good at Noodles and Co, which we are going to have cut down. It has been the most brilliant thing to watch her grasping her goals and then gracefully grabbing them, one by one. Mostly she is the sweet part of my whirlwind and I just love it when she breezes by.

By Thursday and Friday I was trying very hard to be able to tell everyone who kept asking that I was turning the chemo corner and feeling better. I was able to eat a bit more, and take a very short walk down the cul-de-sac, so I was trying very hard to turn said corner. But the headache wore me down till Friday, when it lifted a bit after day 5 of only one freaking cup of coffee. And then Friday night my mini broke down on Dave on his way home from work. I didn't have a mini break down, but I thought about it.

Saturday was a better day, but I think I finally turned the corner today. Today was a pretty good day. We went to church. I had a very light massage by a therapist who works with mastectomy patients. I went with Dave to pick out his new bifocals. I took a nap. We took a walk. I feel good enough to spend the evening blogging and getting ready for my Brit Lit class tomorrow.

I made it. And I'm grateful. Especially that it's not a chemo week. Woo Hoo! A whole week of not chemo!

Cheers, and thanks for praying,


Angela said...

Hi Julie,
Hang in there! Easy for me to say I know, but the only advice I have to offer so I offer it with the upmost optimism! :0) Dave and the kids sound like beacons of light in a dark harbor. But remember that the harbor won't always be dark and gloomy and the beacons will always be there. (Sorry for the corny metaphor but I did just get back from Maine! So few days, so many harbors!) ;0]

Carol said...

Hey girl

Hopefully this will be a much better week for you. I know that God will not give you more then you can handle even though at times you may think differently.

Hope you have a good week and build strength for the next round.

Love you

Anonymous said...

Dear Julie,
Thank you for using some of your little strength and energy to keep us updated. Appreciate it! I surely wish you did not have to endure this cancer treatment. Life is definitely not fair...but then that is the beauty of grace! (Matt emailed us that quote!)
Becky and Chuck

Anonymous said...

iii see how it is
so on the blog i'm the sweet whirlwind
at home i'm the disastrous tornado!
make up your mind woman!

Anonymous said...

Joules, I know it's been a rough couple of weeks and I wish I could be your Simon of Cyrene and help you bear the burden, if only for a little bit. :( :)

Tim says to "Hang in there, kiddo." He'd bear your cross, too, if he could, cause he's a stand-up guy (though probably not as awesome as your Dave), plus you remind him of his whippersnapper of a mother who waged her own battle with cancer. (And let's not kid ourselves - it would also be a most excellent workout!)

Keep your chin up and eat while you're feeling up to it. Your body needs the fat to fight. Your next PF Changs meal is on me. With egg rolls. AND crab rangoons!! Eat! Eat!

I'm glad it's not a chemo week, too.

Lisa R.