My time

Pink ink…

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Week 70 of Life in the Cancer Lane

Act 1:B” is 8 days into her heart health challenge! She is exercising 30 minutes a day for 28 days as a way to promote heart month and also to get back into working out.  She feels great, though it is a challenge.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday she attends a cocktail party, a Valentine’s party, and a birthday brunch. By the end of the weekend she is starting to look a little worn out. Monday she spends the day at the hospital getting transfusions because her platelets and hemoglobin counts are low.  But she still manages to get in a workout! Fade to black…

Act 2: “B” is back up the day after the transfusion, working out, and running errands. Wednesday, “B” goes in for her CT scan to see if her cancer is shrinking or if it has spread. She is hoping that she will also get a break from the chemo. While at the hospital, the nurses can’t access her port. “B” argues with the nurses because they want to use veins in her arm…that are very damaged.  One nurse says, “I’ve been doing this all my life!”  Eye roll. “B” struggles not to cuss her all the way out! So they access her arm, do the scan and send her on her way. Fast-forward 30 minutes, “B” looks down at her arm, and sees blood soaking thru her sweater! In a panic, she calls the doctor. An appointment is scheduled for the next day. “B” continues her day by having lunch with a friend visiting from out of town, and ends the day by going to a Pink concert.  You learn later, that all day “B” has been fighting nausea and the feeling that she was about to faint. Fade to black…

Act 3: It’s Valentine’s Day. “B” is back at Mayo for a blood draw, to check her blood counts, and more important, to learn her CT results. Hoping for a quick visit so she can head off to a Valentine’s Day lunch with her hubby. “B’s” day takes a drastic turn when her counts show her platelets are at a critically low point. (3,000. Normal is over 250k) So she is headed straight to the hospital because Docs are worried she could bleed out.  But she can’t go before learning that despite the chemo continuing to shrink the cancer, she will continue with chemo INDEFINTELY until they are gone.  “B’s” head drops, and silent tears fall onto her lap.

Fade to black…

My week in a nutshell.  Again, you cannot script this. In a matter of days I have gone from actually feeling pretty good to feeling pretty bad.  I love working out again.  I actually thought I might not have to have a transfusion, this past Monday because I was feeling good.  I was sore, but I thought that was from “getting back in the game”.  Turns out, it was from having blood issues! Ha! My body is fighting…itself.  What does a lack of platelets do, or look like?  I’m tired. The red dots I mentioned were just the beginning.  This week I woke up with blood blisters on my tongue (really gross) and inside of my lip.  My ears were bleeding.  My cuticles bleed.  The blood pressure cuff they used to find a vein in my arm left a bruise that looks like I got punched…Chris Breezy style! (the pic doesn’t do it justice)  I also have headaches that I must watch, to make sure I am not bleeding in my brain.

blood pressure cuff did this!

blood pressure cuff did this!

One of my close friends keeps teasing me about not staying in my bubble.  But it’s hard.  Weeks like this remind me that I must still live, while making sure not to put my life at risk!  Was it smart to go to see Pink? Eh?! 50 50.  Her body is fabulous, so she inspired me to keep working out! Her show was great! And I’m a true concert lover!  By the end of the show, as my vision started to get blurry, I knew it was time to go! So rest assured MH, I’m being careful!

The hardest part of this week was learning that I would not get a break from chemo.  While chemo is not as bad as it was a year ago, it still sucks.  I think I am finally tired of being at a hospital/clinic.  I had accepted that I would be in and out of chemo forever.  But I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be OUT of chemo until the dots actually go away.  Only then, will I get a break.  Or if B and I decide that my body can’t take it anymore.  That was tough to hear.  Yes, there is the blessing that the chemo is working.  Yes, there is the blessing that it is still not in my kidneys or liver.  But despite what you see on the outside, chemo is still affecting me…us.

Ironically, the best part of my Valentine’s Day was when I was at the hospital getting my transfusion.  I was really crying, and nothing could stop my tears. Big B took my face in his hands and said, “ I know you are disappointed.  But chemo gives us TIME.  I want more time.  I need more time with you!  It gives us TIME.  When you truly can’t take it anymore, we will stop.  But now is not that time.  Baby, the chemo gives us time.”

As I sit here writing, the tears are steadily falling on the keys.  He is a gift that keeps on giving.  No chocolates or flowers or purse could have affected me like his words. His love was the reality check,  the gift that I needed.

So today I am slowly getting myself together. I am going to try and workout.  I am going to watch a couple of my celeb “keep fighting” videos, and I’m going to keep going.

I’m going to enjoy…my time.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robin bass
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 19:43:23

    Hang in there and continue to be strong! I am planning in be in AZ in June.

    Reply

  2. CH
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 20:11:46

    What a week!
    You continually pack more activities – from social to visits to the doggone hospital – into a week than a whole team of Wonder Women. Watching you go and do in the name of all things you hold dear – love, family, friendship, women, people of color, heart and breast health – is amazing. And you do it with style? Bravo. Your passion, purpose and sheer ability not to be “moved” keeps me:
    – inspired and motivated to use my powers for good (and not evil) ;-}
    – listening intently to truly hear what you are feeling (along with the good, the bad and the ugly)
    – from cussin folks out on your behalf (though I admit that WOULD really bring me great pleasure and peace…I mean what about MY $@#>$ needs?!!!) :-0
    – prayerful for mercy and grace for you and yours (yep we pray after cussing folks out)
    – in your corner

    Keep shifting and lifting us.
    Love you, girl
    CH

    Reply

  3. Jennifer B
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 23:11:20

    Thank you for sharing, it is both awful and beautiful.

    Reply

  4. LHA
    Feb 16, 2013 @ 12:30:54

    Wow. This is so real that it was almost like watching it on tv. How much do I love Big B? Love! You guys are amazing and continue to be the most amazing couple we’ve ever met. The chemo gives us all time and everyday I thank God for that. Keep fighting! Love you dearly.

    Reply

  5. Stacy
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 19:55:39

    You are a constant reminder that taking care of ourselves is a gift, not a chore. Thanks for taking the time. We’ll keep praying.

    Reply

  6. Dani K
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 15:33:29

    You know the bubble thing sounds perfect even for a few nano seconds, but that’s not you! Your journey provides continuous hope.

    Reply

  7. JC Ellis
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 12:21:15

    Big B’s quote that the “Chemo gives us more time. I need more time with you” is hands down the best Valentine card that I’ve ever read. Crying with you and praying for you! And I love how through all of the roadblocks, you have maintained your wit and humor. Little B chick has an amazing mother chick!

    Reply

  8. Victoria Brooks
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 21:11:22

    There is a new treatment released today call Kadcyla by Roche. It was released today and combats the cancer cells while sparing the healthy ones. It sounds promising! Great article in USA today. CH was point on!

    Reply

  9. Yasmin
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 05:17:57

    Love you so much, Mama

    Reply

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