January 4, 2009

As one might come to expect of taking a vacation after a stress-filled few months, I have been sick all week.

We got together with some friends for dinner and cards last Saturday evening, and I went to the bead store and for a late lunch with another friend on Sunday, then Monday morning it came crashing down.

My head has been like a trash compactor that is squeezing tighter and tighter, and even using decongestants has had little effect. I pretty much spent Monday either in bed or sitting in the recliner trying to read. I was nauseous, and I don’t know if that was related to the pain (although it wasn’t as bad as a migraine), or if there was something else going on. The rest of the week, I’ve had some sneezing, no fever, a little bit of a sore throat, and having to clear my throat regularly – but the worst part has been the congestion and headache. Even now, I’m still feeling congested and headachy, although it is definitely better than earlier in the week.

So that was how I spent my vacation week – enforced idleness. We did make a few excursions, one to breakfast with a girlfriend, one to see Bolt, and last night, we went to Marley and Me, and then on to dinner at Pho Van.

Other than that, I mostly read, played games, cleaned up my office (at least partly – I cleaned off the part where I actually work when I work from home, since I may be doing more of that during my chemo).

In preparation for chemo, I have stopped taking all my vitamins and supplements except for the Vitamin D and the calcium – a recent study showed that Vitamin C not only protected the good cells, but that it protected cancer cells, making them more resistant to chemotherapy drugs. It’s just easier to not take any of them, and hopefully that will help. I need the D and the calcium because of the bone-loss associated with being post-menopausal, and also associated with the aromatase inhibitor that I have been taking. That also is discontinued for the duration – although it’s not known to cause problems with the chemo, it’s normally started afterwards, so the oncologist wants to work it the same way in this case.

So I have my first chemo this coming Friday – they’ll start the Taxol slowly in case I have an allergic reaction. I need to take some steroids the night before and the morning of, to help keep any reaction to a minimum; and I believe they’ll also be giving me an antihistimine, which they did for the Adriamyacin as well.

I’ve been thinking about what to do with my hair (or coming lack thereof), and thought it would be kind of fun to have people sign my bald head like one would sign a cast. The only problem is that I need to come up with something to sign with that will last through washing, but isn’t permanent; and is non-toxic, as well. Brian suggested that I could wrap my head in Saran Wrap when I shower to keep the signatures dry – he pointed out that people who have casts on don’t get the casts wet. I gave him “the look” – eyebrows raised, looking at him over the top of my glasses – ’nuff said ;-}

We’ve had evening and overnight snow the last few days, and this evening, it started snowing again. At a guess, we’ve had more than an inch-and-a-quarter over three days, but although it did start to accumulate each time, it has melted quickly. This evening, Robin and I took a run/slog around the block (he ran, I slogged), and played in the front yard when we got home. He just loves the snow – he does nose-plants and flips snow around with his nose, so I started lofting clumps at him with my toes and he went nuts! And he loves to lie down in it – guess all that hair insulates him pretty well.

Back to work tomorrow, so I need to go get some rest.

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