A friend suggested a cancer diary to help me through this illness. I think cancer diaries have been done by hundreds of cancer patients (or thousands) and I didn't want to be that cliche. But when you have cancer it kind of becomes your life so today that's what I'm writing about.
I mentioned fear in an earlier blog post. My fear is more under control though even when I don't think I'm all that anxious my mind and body show symptoms that I am still quite fearful of the unknown. I guess that's normal. But I see other patients at the chemo lab that are so positive and happy (perky, almost). I am not that kind of person. I have wondered if I should become more like that though I don't think it would work for me. However, I do think I need to have more love,faith, hope, grace, gratitude, strength, patience, positivity, belief, etc which are all better than perkiness aren't they? I think a lot about religion and spirituality but we won't go there today. I don't want to offend any religious people. But I pray and try to believe...
After one month of chemo I developed a severe infection in one of my ports. I was unable to continue chemo treatments as we worked to clear this infection. I had two ports. One was the usual IV port that most have and the second was called an intraperitoneal port that delivered chemotherapy poisons directly to the peritoneal lining. But because of the infection it was removed. I was trying to be aggressive as possible against this cancer. Unfortunately I will not continue with the second port because they don't want to take a chance of another infection by putting it back in. I ended up in the hospital for more surgery (some without anesthesia because there wasn't time due to the severity of the problem) Because of all that I now have two open wounds on my stomach that must be left open until they heal. We change the dressing three times a day and watch carefully for healing or signs of returning infection. Paul is kind, generous and patient as he has the onerous job of changing the dressings and answering my daily questions about the progress of the healing. My sister visited last month and let me squeeze her hand when the process was much more painful. She, in her generous, kind way has helped us in so many ways. My friend Agnes takes me places, rubs my feet and multitude of other gifts to calm and support me. Wallace has come to sit with me for hours to help me keep my mind away from the fear. My daughter and granddaughter visit and help and bring joy to my life. I have friends who send thoughts and prayers and food and love. I am grateful for all of them.
I, however, am not grateful for the disease. Some have suggested to be grateful for everything because of the lessons and/or blessings it can bring to your life. I'm not there yet. But next week I return to chemo and we will hope it goes smoothly. I would like to avoid any more life threatening complications. I want to work toward getting my life back. Or even a different life than I had before...just not the one I have now.