Ellen update 10/3/06


It’s the beginning of my second chemo cycle today, and also the beginning of our thirteenth year of marriage! One makes me queasy…one makes me incredibly grateful. Though I am reminded that I should be connecting with feeling grateful for the chemo as well.

Chemo, as I have decided to think of it, stands for Chemicals Helping Eliminate Microscopic Oncology. Not very personal, but accurate (and me being me, it would have to be accurate).

Last cycle I was queasy for the week after chemo, and I’m hoping to minimize that this time around, but if not, I can deal with it–I could still live my life, I just didn’t feel good. I also had a flu-like headache, mild but constant, for the week afterwards (ditto). I’ve asked to have my anti-emetics switched around to see if we can get rid of the queasiness, so I have a new regimen of drugs to take, I’m having acupuncture twice instead of once, and I’m NOT going on a business trip this weekend.

The past few days have been wonderful, despite my hair starting to come out, gradually. Luckily, we really do have thousands and thousands of hairs on our heads. It doesn’t look like it’s thin yet (except to me). I think having it very short has kept it from coming out so fast–I was bald by now in 1995. The longer hairs in front of my ears have all come out already.

I attended a great birth on Friday, a day when I had lots of energy and no plans I had to cancel. Our friends had a whoppin’ baby after only two hours of hard work–and a lot of fun labor time before that–and my niece and I (she was doula’ing too) got home by midnight. Everyone is happy. I am very happy not to have had to miss that one because of chemo or something else…triumph!

And yesterday I finished teaching my three-night childbirth class to a couple who are due in two or three weeks. So all is clear to settle in for chemo, hope the sun shines, work on studying for the Lamaze exam (10/27), and do my various new health regimes…nettle and clover infusion (strong tea) every day (liver support, anti-cancer), flax seed oil and ground flax seeds (anti-cancer), milk thistle seed extract (liver support), mushroom extract (immune booster, anti-cancer), meditation time, extra vitamin E (immune system) and vitamin B6 (anti-nausea), and putting tea-tree oil on my nails to prevent nail fungus (side effect of chemo for some people…better safe than sorry). Whew! It’s a wonder I have time for living any bits of my regular life. And I try to make time for bibliotherapy every day–reading interesting, informative, inspiring books related to what I’m going through. Or just reading for fun.

I hope fall is giving you the gift of those bright crisp days and the amazing clear, clear light that we see sometimes when it’s not raining or threatening…it’s been wet. The other day we saw a huge rainbow, so tall that the top was not visible but the two ends were very bright.