Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today is the Last Day of the First Cycle

We head back to NIH this afternoon for my last day of chemo treatment for this first cycle (out of six). It's going to be another long day, but not as long as last Friday. They'll wait for my current bag of chemo to finish and then hook me up to another drug that I don't remember the name of right now. After that, they'll "clean out" my system with saline and then unhook me.

I'm most nervous about them removing my semi-permanent IJ line. The nurses say they don't sedate patients at all for this procedure and "even children" can handle it just fine without medication. Unfortunately, telling me that kids don't have a problem doesn't really make me feel any better. I will eagerly admit that I'm squeamish about this stuff and telling me that I'm a "big girl" doesn't make me feel any more grown-up! But I said I'd trust her, especially after my mom confirmed that it's not that bad. I plan to take my glasses off and look away so I don't see anything. My dad's offered to come with me today, but he may pass out on the floor since he's about as bad as I am!

I finally caught up with my hairdresser and I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow night. I am a little sad about cutting my hair because I like my curls and I don't know if I'll see them again. However, I'm trying to mitigate the drama of seeing a whole bunch of hair hit the floor after washing it one day. I'd much rather do this first. My friend Robert says that his mom cut her hair really short because it was the last thing she had absolute control over before she started her chemo and I'm going to try to be as brave as she was when she went through this nine years ago.

Mike took me to JcPenney yesterday for a photo shoot of me "before" and I hope to document my story over the next six or so months so that years from now I can look back and really see that I fought this and won. I am an avid scrapbooker and while I may not feel up to it now, I know I will want to scrapbook this journey someday.

Everyone keeps asking what they can do for me and today I can't answer that question. Steve and Sue brought lasagna, Nancy and Ron brought brownies and a casserole, Sophie and Frank brought up some soup, and I have lots of munchies that people have sent or brought over. We thank you so much for all the food and please feel free to keep that coming in the months ahead. I won't be able to eat any raw fruits or vegetables and I can't honestly tell you what my appetite will be from one day to the next, but Mike appreciates a good meal too. I've stocked up on applesauce, pudding, and Boost supplement drinks for those bad days when I can't eat anything.

Mike has a very difficult job of being my primary caretaker and as much fun as he has giving me my daily injection, he needs to get out of the house and do normal stuff or have a conversation not about me. Please feel free to golf with him or ask him to take you out on his boat. He needs you guys as much as I do, so please kidnap him and make him get out of the house. Our dog Riley could also use a little attention, so feel free to take him out for walks. He really enjoyed his time with Blair and his dog Wiley at "Camp Barkalot" while we were in the hospital.

Keep the good thoughts coming!


PJones said...

Angela, It is so gracious of you to share this journey with us. Someone at DI is always asking about you, and while I am not that familiar with the process you are undergoing, the one thing I can consistently tell them is that your attitude is amazing.

You are going to look fabulous no matter which hair style you sport, but the part about you and Mike taking the picture together really is touching.

patricia.steever said...

Angela, Pat J got the news to me and I am so sorry to hear that you have to go through this. Having said that, you are such a cheerleader for your whole community that those around you must feel more pride than sadness. Your consistently positive approach to life and history of doing for others has undoubtedly left you with a great wealth of friends and supporters who are now ready to give back through prayers, good wishes, and happy thoughts. Please give my best to Mike and let me know if I can do anything. If Mike gets sick of treating you like a queen, I will be glad to come stay for a few days. You don't even have to put me up as I have family quite close to you and can work from anywhere. I mean it!

I am working on the Rally for the Cure golf tournament up here and although your diagnosis is different, I will be thinking of you throughout the coming weeks as we prepare. Thanks for being a hero to those around you and letting us know how to get through hard times with class.

tsnethen said...

Ron sent me the link to your blog. You are showing amazing courage through all this and I know this can't be easy for you (especially the needles). You have always supported everyone around you; it is time for all of us to return the favor. Please let me know if you need anything. I'm only 20-30 minutes away when at work so keep that in mind. My prayers are with you and Mike!

Anonymous said...

Went to Deep Water Running this evening and everyone there wants me to let you know that there thoughts are with you.

Your swimming buddy

Blair said...


I'm nothing less than impressed by how well you're doing with this entire ordeal. You've mentioned the fear of needles - and even made a few jokes about it. I'm not sure how well I'd do if I were faced with the possibility of the same thing. But now I have you as example to look up to.

Wylie's spent the past three days trying to figure out where his buddy Riley is hiding. We'll have to get them back together soon.