Category: Cancer

100 Day Project, Day 23

Well I did it. I made very ugly untraditional Onigiri today. I didn’t have any Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums) but I did have mushrooms and fake chick’un from a local company. I used short grain brown rice too which has always been sticky enough for sushi and it worked fine for this. They don’t look pretty but there were no leftovers and Oonagh declared it the best lunch ever.

Now that the days are nice I’m trying to spend as much time sitting outside as I can. That still doesn’t amount to much time but there is something satisfying about taking my tea outside for a while. It would probably be even more satisfying if I left my phone inside instead of feeling the need to take photos of everything but it’s a hard habit to break.

Tonight the Mister took me for a drive so I could play PokemonGo for a while. I hadn’t been away from the house since Friday. He gets out every day for a run or a walk and we get the girls out most days (they all go for a walk or a bike ride around the neighbourhood) but my life had already shrunk before this isolation happened and I have to remind myself that there is a world out there beyond my walls and my phone.

We even had a dumpling fairy in the form of my friend Jocelyn show up for a chat (and dumplings from Hearts Choices vegan cafe) today. She has been spending a lot of time running errands/getting groceries for people who cannot and added us to her list today even though I told her we didn’t need dumplings (although we always want them). Visits have been far and few between and I’m usually okay with that (especially these days when there are children around all the time and half the day is spent in lessons) but seeing a good friend made a nice change.

I don’t know if it is the dexamethasone that has given me so much energy this week. It’s an anti inflammatory steroid that I used to take with my IV chemo. It makes my face red and keeps me awake all night (or would if I didn’t have sleeping pills to help) but seems to be making me able to do more this week. Not sure I want to be on it long term though – steroids can be tricky. Plus it gives me heartburn so I’m trading one thing for the other. And I’m still in pain most of the time but obviously less pain (or in a different location than last week) or I wouldn’t be able to get as much done. I guess one good week is a decent trade off for all the crappy weeks I have had leading up to this week.

We made more Sunshine Sauerkraut today too. Moira and I are addicted. It doesn’t help my heartburn at all to eat it but it is just soooooo good. This is currently my favourite breakfast. I need to go to bed now so I can get up and eat it again.

(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)

100 Day Project, Day 15

The good news of the day is that I caught two shiny Feebases (Feebasi?) and one shiny Wobbuffet which only means something to people who play PokemonGo. Plus I head that there is a new Fraggle Rock coming out – or at least a series of short Fraggle Rock episodes about the Fraggles isolating in their own caves but still having fun to show all us sad sacks how it is done.

This helps block out some of the negative like the fact that radiation is kicking my butt and made me puke up my lunch after I got home. Only two more sessions left for now. In the long run it is supposed to help but it is one of those “it is going to get worse before it gets better” situations. I feel like I am constantly on the edge of a panic attack and the only time I’m not is when I’m in the middle of a panic attack. I should actually be laying down right now but the Mister just made popcorn so instead I am typing here and jamming handfuls of popcorn in my mouth as though it is a competition to see how fast I can eat it.

But now the popcorn is done and it is indeed time for me to go and lay down on my heat pad on one side of me and an ice pack on the other and read until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I wish you all a restful sleep tonight.

100 Day Project, Day 13

I spent most of the day laying flat on my back in bed. The times I wasn’t I was trying to sit outside to enjoy our belated spring weather. I think laying flat is the best thing for me right now though. Too much upright time is hard on my fractured sternum and if I’m laying flat I can breathe properly. I decided that I am going to try and keep working on my sock while laying flat. I figure if Frida Khalo can create glorious works of art while laying down and in constant pain I can knit a sock. I didn’t get a good photo of this sock today and it is too late now. I’m a natural light photographer – which means I’ve never been able to figure out how to work a flash properly.

Oonagh got over her fear of riding her bike today. If nothing else that makes today a good day.

Tomorrow starts a week of radiation. The hospital is trying so hard to follow all the Covid-19 guidelines I feel like I should write a post about that. I heard one of the girls talking on Friday about how every day the guidelines change: one week they were giving every one gloves to wear, but last week it had been decided that gloves were not as effective as washing your hands repeatedly. I wonder what new guidelines this week will bring.

100 Day Project, Day 12

It was a good day until the pain got the better of me. Sometimes things are just too much. I came to the realization today that death, no matter how many people are around to support you, is a lonely business. No matter what you are going on alone and there is so much that can’t be said to protect the living. So many people rely on the image of the happy cancer patient living their life to the fullest so they don’t have to be reminded of their own mortality. I totally get this because even I don’t want to be reminded. Today we went for a drive and I wanted to get out of the car and just run but all I could do was sit there trapped inside this body that doesn’t seem to want me any more than I want it right now. Writing is helping though even if my words are carefully measured. At least I have that.

(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)

100 Day Project, Days 10 & 11

Sitting outside the hospital today

This has been a hard week. Pain-wise it’s probably been one of the worst I’ve ever had. It is pretty much official that I have broken a bone in my sternum (not my collarbone) so plans for this weekend include a lot of laying down and not moving much (and reading, and hopefully knitting, and, of course play PokemonGo – which is more like PokemonSitAndStay these days). Today I was at the hospital twice – once to meet with my radiologist and get scans and blood work done, and then again in the afternoon to have radiation done to my hip and sternum. Hopefully this radiation will help lessen the pain in my chest… eventually. I’m no stranger to broken ribs but this is a new location for me and it is definitely worse and more complicated.

Also today I had bad news from two cancer friends. One to inform me that her disease has progressed drastically and another to tell me that her disease has become metastatic. I remember being that person four and a half years ago too – and how terrifying it was (is). But I was also reminded, as I wrote to her, that it isn’t an immediate death sentence and it made me think of all the amazing things I have been able to do since that day I sat with my head in a bucket in the cancer centre and they told me I had Stage IV cancer.

  • Got to see Oonagh go from a two-year old to a child in grade 2.
  • (Most likely) get to see Moira enter junior high.
  • Been around to watch all my girls grow up and know that they will have some memories of me.
  • Joined a choir for a while and rekindled my love of singing.
  • Learned many more knitting skills and made all of my girls sweaters.
  • Started playing the piano again – even if only once in a while.
  • Pulled our girls out of school twice and went on wonderful road trips to the ocean (and learned along the way that elementary school isn’t as important as family time with no interruptions).
  • Became a part of the best book club ever.
  • Went to Iceland (and a writer’s retreat) with my mum.
  • Wrote a novel that no one will read.
  • Got to have a holiday with just the Mister to Newfoundland.
  • Took my family to Ireland.
  • Went on a road trip with my sister.

And those are just the big things I can think of and don’t take into account all the day-to-day miracles that are a part of not being dead yet. Sometimes it is hard – especially when pain clouds everything – to not remember all the good that is going on in one’s life. But I’m trying guys. I’m trying.

Who wore it better?