December 18, 2007

“Chemo-brain, chemo-brain, chemo makes one say
Oh what fun it is to ride that brain-dead chemo sleigh!”

Poor Brian – he doesn’t really seem to understand that chemo makes me more funny. We were listening to a popular Christmas song, and I started singing the lyrics as they were meant to be written:

“You know Dasher, and Rambler, and Pacer, and Gremlin,
Comet, and Pinto, and Nissan, and Datsun,
But do you recall the most scary model of all?
Rudolph the Red-nosed Yugo, had a very shiny hood…”

OK, maybe in light of the fact that I also thought that it was funny that I heard “Prancer and Vixen” as “Nixon and Dixon” (a famous line down in the early southern USA?), maybe *I’m* the one who doesn’t really understand just how funny I am on chemo…

The fog slowly lifts, although not fast enough for me – and true to what others who have had chemo told me, it does seem to have a cumulative effect. Yesterday I had my first real bad nausea (OK, more than nausea, but you don’t need all the details!) day, after a night when I didn’t get much sleep. I woke up twice last night, and each time I got up to eat something, because I think that was part of the nausea problem yesterday – having an empty stomach when I woke up put the lovely medication behind the 8-ball, as it were. So far today I’m doing OK – we’ll see how it goes.

The worst part is not being able to focus – I’m back to not being able to read (and remember what I’ve read). I know this will pass, but it’s frustrating. Even focusing on a movie or TV show is difficult – anything that requires a sense of continuity pretty much passes me by. Mornings do seem to have a little more clarity to them, although it is deceptive, and doesn’t last too long.

There are some good things about chemo, though! The first is that I’ve done 3 out of 4 – one more to go – woo-hoo!

Also, my skin, which has always been oily, has now become (as one sweet person put it very kindly) “like porcelain”. Probably not quite so fragile, but it certainly has cleared up, and I don’t smudge my glasses as regularly as I used to, either.

The paleness can be attributed to anemia, which I’m starting to experience again – last night I was craving spinach. With my bald head, I do sort of resemble a 90-pound-weakling version of Popeye – I’m trying to do my stretches and core-strength exercises, but find, as the physical therapist suggested, that some days just being able to do them while I’m laying in bed is quite an accomplishment.

Let’s see – I have now officially had my henna tattoo for 10 days – I love i! I’m going to post pictures once either Brian helps me upload them (by far the quickest method) or my brain comes back enough that I can do it myself. Cathy excelled herself not only with the design, but with putting it on my head – when the transfer of the design didn’t work as expected, she did it free-hand. I, as well as everyone who has seen the tattoo, are in awe at how incredibly talented she is!

Robin developed a hot-spot on his belly last week, and has had to wear an Elizabethan collar to keep it dry – we feel as if we doomed him to wearing the collar by naming him after a character in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. . . Because Robin was having trouble figuring out how to avoid hitting the furniture, Brian solved the problem by putting some black electrical tape around the clear edge of the collar so that Robin could see where the edge was – that worked almost immediately. Robin is being his usual cheerful, happy self in spite of being confined to the collar – he even comes right over to us to have it put back on when he’s done with meals, instead of running away (I would run away!). We did have to come up with a new way for him to drink water, however, involving a cookie sheet and a mason jar, and regularly filling up the jar. Funny – the cats both prefer to drink out of the mason jar, too.

We are taking it very easy this Christmas – no tree, just some lights twined on the banister and a wreath out on the porch (where the smell won’t get to me), and we’re planning on spending Christmas Day with our good friends Sharon & Gary and their family. Robin should be back to normal by then, and will definitely be ready to play. Brian will be visiting his mother for a couple nights this week – just a quick fly down-and-back – because of my compromised immune system, I’m staying home. We hope to start visiting more distant family and friends this spring, once I’m officially declared “over” the chemo.

“Just hear that chemo jingle, and ring-ting-ting-a-ling too,
“Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you”


1 Response to “December 18, 2007”

  1. 1 David S.
    December 28, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    “Chemo-brain” sounds like a band name. Oh, I know why: There’s a rock band called My Chemical Romance. Lyrical eh? I’ll keep this comment brief – no continuity required… Hang in, your getting there!

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