the one with my bad ass update
It's time for an update, folks. So many of you have reached out and contacted me. Made me feel wonderful. You've asked, texted, messaged me and even called me. Thank you!!! I love the support and energy and most of all the prayers!!! I love that most people are good and nice in this world. It makes up for all the ones that aren't.
I'm doing great!
I'm in treatment every other week. I go and get my "cancer juice" (chemo) on Monday and sit in the chair at the cancer center all day. It's an all day Monday thing. I hated Mondays before and now I have a really good reason to hate "every other Monday" now. When I leave the cancer center on Mondays, I'll have this
gorgeous, black fanny pack with more cancer juice in it. I'm on 5FU for those that are wondering. I won't go into much detail, but it's a pretty universal treatment for those of us with a bad ass. In other words, it's standard all over the country for colon cancer. I go home with the drugs in my fanny pack and a long chord that is hooked into my port. Oh, yes, my port! I opted to have a port installed before chemo so it would easier to take treatment instead of always poking me with needles. I come back on Wednesday to get it unhooked and then and only then, am I allowed to take a shower, swim or do anything with water. Just standard procedure for those of us with ports and tubes hooked up into our bodies and blood.
Now, here's the deal. The week I'm on chemo is hard. I get extremely tired and very yucky feeling. Food taste awful thanks to the metal taste in my mouth. I have this thing called "cold aversion" that starts the minute they hook me up. Anything cold is awful to touch. It's also awful to swallow. So, everything has to be room temp. Water, juice, everything. FOOD even. That means no ice cream or cold drinks or ice. Nope. None. It starts to wear off about a week after treatment, but the cold feeling in the hands continues. I have gloves that I can wear to get stuff out of the fridge, but I'm so thankful it summer time and I don't have to worry about breathing cold air. YES. Colon cancer folks up north in the winter have the pain when they breathe. AWFUL. See, I don't have it so bad, huh?
Another symptom of chemo is hair loss. Or in my case, thinning. Yes, I've clogged the sink and tangled a few combs and brushes. So I keep it short and sweet and you know, I was never too concerned about my looks so, it's not that big of deal. I think it would be if I totally lost it. HELLL! I had to have a hot body then. Because you know how it goes. Great hair, it's Ok if your body is not that banging. No hair? You better look like the female version of the Rock. Just sayin'. So, I'm thankful it's just thinning.
Fatigue. That's the worst. I'm not used to not having energy. I was sitting at my computer editing one day and seriously feel asleep while I was cloning some facial acne and oh, Lord! I'm glad for history tools and archives. I fell asleep sitting up! That's the worst. I just feel tired. And that makes it very difficult to work. I still have sessions to edit, weddings to edit and orders to get out the door. ALL ON ME. Yep. kristin + camera is just me. But I'm pushing through and making better progress everyday. Oh, I forgot about the main reason I feel tired. Cancer juice sucks your white blood count down. The WBC gets pretty low so you are supposed to stay out of public and not kiss a lot of boys. Thankfully, I'm married and don't have to worry too much about the kissing. And you know? As a photographer you are touching the camera way more than you are touching other people. So that's good. I don't go to movies or out to eat much. Take out is awesome. And I carry hand sanitizer in my purse to help with the "peace be with you" at mass.
Sick feeling. This is pretty bad the week of chemo, but goes away gradually. And I have some good meds that help. So, it's tolerable. But I do tend to drop 5-7 pounds the week of chemo because I just don't feel like eating and I'm tired. But HELLO! The week off chemo? No trouble gaining it back. Hello potatoes! Which is good because my doctor wants me to keep a steady weight.
I need to make one thing perfectly clear.
MY TREATMENT IS TOLERABLE. YES, IT SUCKS THAT I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS BUT COMPARED TO OTHER CANCER JUICING FOLKS, IT'S OK. OTHERS HAVE IT MUCH WORSE. I HAVE AN OPTION TO TAKE MEDS AND GET HEALTHY AGAIN. THIS IS MANAGEABLE. I WILL BE FINE. I WILL BE FINE.
I say those words for myself, for my clients, for others. Once I get through treatment, I'll still be here, happy and healthy and 30 pounds lighter (which I needed to lose) and life will go on. IT WILL GO ON. I'm lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it. I'm going to be OK.
It's just the treatment that sucks.
And the fact that Kalyn Marie is leaving for college on Sunday. This summer flew by! I'm going to miss her way more this year then I did last. I'm an emotional wreck and listening to sad music and staying in my pj's all day. I MUST STOP.