27 July 2015

Update from the War on Cancer

First, let me say that everything you've heard about chemotherapy is true.  It's horrible.  It's not the same for everyone, but it's horrible for anyone who has to suffer through it.  Interestingly (if anyone is interested in such a topic), the main side effect, nausea, is now very well controlled.  But, trust me, there are many other side effects that are not controlled at all.

We are 2/3 of the way through chemo.  I'm relieved that the end is closer, but we're not there yet.  I say 'we' because while I am not suffering the physical effects of the chemo, I am living through the wretchedness of it with my partner.  And, it is wretched.

I'm not going to give you a run down of T's symptoms.  I'll spare you the graphic details.  Suffice it to say, it ain't pretty.  Physical symptoms aside, there are also emotional side effects.  These are harder.  Well, you know that.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster around here - except that the coaster rarely goes up.  Just down.  And then further down.

Last week we got into a minor spat over her treatment.  She wanted to stop chemo and wanted me to agree with her and back her up with the oncologist.  I said no.  Of course I said no.  The doctor said no.  Her friends who have gone through this said no.  She was mad that I didn't take her side.  I said, I am taking your side!  This is in your best interest!  I don't know that we persuaded her, but she will not be quitting chemo until it is done.

Cancer has taken over our summer.  Probably autumn as well.  It's hard to plan anything when your partner doesn't know if she can leave the house or not.  Do I sound bitter?  Oh, a tad.  Sorry.  I'm trying to remain positive, but it's a challenge.

So, let's go to the highlight reel.  What are the noteworthy good times we've had since May?

1. Went camping.  Ok, it's not camping the way 8thDay camps, but it's what we like.  :-) We took our vintage trailer out for a 4 day weekend.  Our favorite neighbors came too.  It was so nice to get out of the city and into the forest!  Very restorative, and so worth the effort.

2. T got to drive her show truck in an informal car show.  We didn't stay long - energy levels and bathroom issues prevent a long stay anywhere.  And germs.  Can't be around a lot of people.

3. Got out of several tedious family get togethers because of the suppressed immune system.  Ha!  Making cancer work for us, for once!

4. Canned a big batch of dill pickles.  Something we enjoy doing and will enjoy eating for the rest of the year.

5. Had a friend over.   Once.  For a couple of hours to play cards.  We were in the habit of getting together with this friend every couple of weeks, but this is all we've been able to manage.

6.  Went to a dog's birthday party.  Yes, we are that kind of lesbian and so are our friends!  Interestingly and ominously, half of the women at the party had or have had breast cancer.  That makes me sad and mad.

In some ways, this list makes me happy - look, I say to myself, we've done some fun stuff.  In other ways, it makes me sad.  I know how many more entries there should be on this list.  Oh well, my job as a Pollyanna is to highlight the positive.  It's been a difficult job of late!

So, that's the update.  We're still here, slogging through the awfulness.  We've still got surgery to look forward to, and then the lesser chemo that will go through to May.  Whoopee.

That's what I've got...  how about you?  I could use some good news here people!  Who's got some?


Middle Girl said...

Yay for being. Double yay for seeing the good in a challenging situation. Triple yay for finding, making the time for fun, relaxation, restoration.

Me? Iost 8 pounds, found 3, lostt 2 of those and now fostering 1.5--soon to find a new host. ;-)

8thday said...

Having been on both sides of illness it is definitely my opinion that caregivers have it worse than the patient. It is exhausting and frustrating and often, no matter what you do, you are doing it wrong. You know you have my heartfelt sympathy for what you are both going through.

Still, I am so happy to read that you have managed some fun activities. It is so important to find ways to enjoy life, even with its limitations.

The summer is speeding by for us and we seem to always be busy yet not really doing anything. Next week however, we will be on the beach for a week. All together. No boyfriends. No house guests. Bliss.

PS - Backpacking and camping are two totally different things. You really can't compare the two. But anytime you spend outside in nature in a definite plus.

e said...

'Fostering'... lol. I have definitely gained some poundage this summer. Dammit!

e said...

'...no matter what you do, you are doing it wrong.' That's sure what it feels like. Gotta keep trying, though.
So happy to hear about your beach trip! Definitely a highlight of the summer!

illustr8d said...

For some reason, Blogger wasn't allowing me to comment when this first came up. But I am glad that you have had some good stuff in there!

I have gained poundage over the last two years. Soon, I will get serious about it. Not yet, though. ;)

I've been thinking lots about you! And, er, I'm going to be getting a dog and then she will have birthday parties. Because I'm that kind of lesbian too. Yeah.