Chemo today. Had my oncologist check-up yesterday, and she gave me some more drugs for the excruciating joint pain that I get with this chemo. I told her I'd been eating some magic brownies, and she was fine with that. She said that we live in BC, after all. Hey, whatever works. Last time I had chemo, I had an immediate allergic reaction to the Docetaxel drip--I got really hot right away and had chest pains. So they stopped the drip and pumped me full of steroids and Benedryl via IV. Then they started the drip again. So this time, I'll get premedicated with the stuff to prevent the same reaction.
I gather from my nurse and doc that what I experienced with the last chemo is only going to get worse, as the effects are cumulative. But the good news is that after this chemo, I only have 2 more! I should be finished with chemo in the second week of January.
Then comes the radiation. We met with the radiation oncologist on Monday, and it was explained to us that the benefits of radiation are good and proven, that the chances of secondary cancer is less than 1%. So starting at the end of January, I will go in every day for five and a half weeks to get my radiation. I was told that it's like going out in the sun, that I will tan on the radiated area. Folks, I don't tan--I burn, like within ten minutes of being in the sun--with 50 SPF sunscreen. But if I get bad skin irritations, they will, of course, give me yet another prescription.
This morning, before I go in for my chemo this afternoon, I'm going to do the whole home spa thing. Long hot bath, good reading (I'm reading Inventing Victor, which is a collection of short stories by my friend Lisa's friend, Jennifer--and it's great!), sitting in my new massage cushion (DH bought me a new wonderful massage cushion yesterday at Costco, which has a rolling function, a shiatsu function, and a heat option!). I'm hoping that after chemo, I won't be too wiped out to go to the end of the term Creative Writing party on campus. I haven't seen a lot of my creative writing cohort in a while.
I want to write about all the fun stuff that's been happening in the past two weeks and try to forget all the crappiness (since that will be soon revisited anyway). Lisa and Vicki's visit was a godsend, if only a little too short for my taste! It was so wonderful to hang out with my best friend from home and her mom, and take them to all my favorite restaurants and places in Vancouver. Luckily, the weather wasn't shitty the entire time, as we were blessed with some wonderful sun. I think they really enjoyed it, and I hope they come back soon. When I'm not a lazy ass, I will download some of the pictures and post them.
Then we had two wonderful events for the book I edited that came out of the workshop that I taught back in February and March. The book is called Eating Stories: A Chinese and Aboriginal Potluck. I went on CBC on Friday morning to talk about it, then three of the authors went on CBC on Sunday morning for an interview, and other authors and folks are going to appear on radio, tv, and in print about it. People seem really excited about it! So I celebrated my birthday at our launch on Sunday, with song and cake and flowers (thanks, everyone!). And then we had dinner with DH's folks and sister and her family (before the launch we went out to brunch with DH's parents at Cafe Pacifica in the Pan Pacific Hotel). Then DH and I went to see Beowulf on 3D Imax (which would have totally blown chunks if not for the impressive 3D effects). It was a great day!
Last night, our pals Michael, Anne, Debora, and Lynda brought over a fantastic dinner (sushi from Hiroshi's, noodles that Michael made, and salted cod that Debora made), and frozen soups. We had great conversations, enjoyed the food, and it was just so great to see my pals.
But the best thing that happened in the last few weeks was when we were at our family doctor last week, getting our flu shots. While we were waiting for her to come into the exam room, Chloe grabbed my head and pulled it to her ear and said, "Mama, I can hear the ocean. I can hear whales." Granted, it's like she's saying I'm empty-headed, but it was wonderfully poetic to me.