Tag Archives: chemo

Sunshine Returns

When I say sunshine, I mean my normal sunny demeanor. Gone are the ultra-grouchy cranky pants I was so unfortunate to have awoken to yesterday. Yippee! I hate being grouchy. Rat bred anti-bodies (aka rituximab) apparently agree with me, or maybe it was the nearly 18 hours of sleep I got yesterday. I don’t know, and I don’t care; I feel great today.

I woke up on the total right side of the bed this morning, then as on omen of what a great day it was going to be, I made a perfect three egg omelette for breakfast, and I mean perfect. The texture was beautiful and soft, the fold was dead on and it tasted great. I was so excited about it because I’ve been working on perfecting my three egg omelette for awhile now, about three months in total, not that I have practiced it often, I’ve only made four in the whole three months because I have to be in the mood for eggs to make them, and I usually prefer scrambled. I was working during the same period on pefecting my scrambling technique as well.

It all started when I bought a book called Eggs by Michel Roux, a Michelin three star chef I admire; before that I thought I knew how to cook scrambled eggs and omelettes fairly well, but after reading the book I realized there was more to learn. The scrambled eggs came along fairly quickly, and I’ve experimented with techniques from other chefs who are known for their eggs, but I really find the texture I get with Michel Roux’s technique is the best, and for me, where eggs are concerned texture is really important. So now, I’m onto the perfection of my egg poaching technique. I currently suck at that. The first egg I drop into the water is always good, it’s the second that smites me everytime, either sticking to the other egg or worse the bottom of the pan. I’m sure I’ll work it out with enough practice though.

I also bought some chicken wings the other day and today I started a really lovely chicken stock that I’m looking forward to turning into something tomorrow, maybe a soup or maybe I’ll use it in a risotto; who knows. I’m using a recipe from another chef I admire, Shannon Bennett, from his book, My Vue: Modern French Cookery. He’s the owner and head chef at a restaurant in Melbourne called Vue de monde; he’s of the kind of newer breed of chef who offers a dining experience instead of a menu to choose from per se. I’ve read a lot about him, and his recipes are great; one day I hope to have an opportunity to dine in his restaurant. Anyway he prefers using chicken wings to using a whole chicken for his stock, and since I’ve always only used a whole chicken; I’m very interested in trying out my new stock. I did have to quarter his recipe though. He recommends making a massive amount and storing it, but I don’t have that much storage.

I wish I could be this productive and have this much fun everyday. Even work was awesome; I had to make up a bunch of queries for a group looking to get some reports against their database, and all the queries were right on first run. I should’ve played the lotto today.

My Last Day 7 After… I hope

Throughout my chemo treatments, the seventh day after I receive the CHOP portion of my treatment has been the toughest for me. I know my body’s immune system hits its low point this day, and maybe that’s part of it; I don’t really know, but again it’s like my body is trying to purge itself of the toxins in it. It’s just so distressing that everything I try to eat just goes through me, even when I try things like cheese and white bread. I’m so glad this should be over soon though. I just sat around and cried a lot today because my stomach kept churning, and everything I thought of eating made it churn worse. I actually cooked myself some eggs for breakfast, and the smell of them just put me off for hours. Thank heavens my hubby was hungry.

I keep reminding myself how very lucky I am though. This is nearly over for me. I just need to relax through this last bit of treatment, and I’ll be well on my way to a total physical recovery. It’s just hard to focus sometimes when you feel really horrible. All I really wanted to do today was lay around in bed, wrapped in my blankets. I didn’t, I actually got out of bed and tried to work, but I don’t know how successful that effort was. If the past is any indicator though, I should feel better tomorrow, the next day at the latest, and this time I won’t have to think about how long until the next round. Thank Heavens.

Bone Pain

For the first time since all this treatment started I’m starting to get some serious pain my pelvic bones. Yesterday I was just standing and felt an intense sharp pain in the muscles in my inner rear thigh and then the muscle just gave way. Luckily I was supported, but it really put a scare into me. I’ll have to mention this to my doctor, as I haven’t really had any pain in my leg or pelvis since about two weeks into treatment. Now I’m feeling a lot of aching and pain in my pelvic and hip bones on the right side. I’m also finding that my back hurts right at the top of my pelvis. I hope it’s just some side effect of the tumor dying and the bone not yet being able to repair itself because of the chemo. Anyway now I’m back to crutching in the house as well as outside it. I guess it’ll be like this until sometime in August.

They’d given me trammal for the pain before; I don’t think I need any kind of pain killer as of yet, but if it gets worse I may resort to them. I just find it’s keeping me up at night because it’s uncomfortable to lay on my right side or lay on my back with any weight shifted to the right. Hopefully this will all correct itself soon; in any case my leg still seems generally strong, and I don’t limp without the crutches, but I’m still afraid I may collapse my pelvis; I thought I was beyond that, but I’m not so sure now, so I’ll just have to exercise more caution.

I do feel like such a faker on the crutches though. I was at the grocery and saw another person on crutches and just felt like such a phoney, but he looked to have a broken foot, not cancer in his pelvic bones so I’d have traded him, but I doubt he’d have traded me :). Ah well I’m still so close to being done; it’s very exciting. This week is my last full chemo treatment… YIPPEEE!!! I can’t wait until I never see cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin and all their other playmates again. Thursday is the end day for all that! Though I’ll see cyclophosphamide one more time after next Thursday. I don’t know when I’ll start physical rehab for my pelvis; soon I hope.

Hermitage

It’s funny, it’s winter here, not that it’s all that cold, but it’s chilly in the mornings and late evenings. Nothing could cool down the sun that beats down on Queensland, but when the sun goes into hiding the chill takes over this time of year. I’ve essentially been cooped up in my house now since March; that’s three full months, and I’m tired of my routine. I don’t want to take a chance of collapsing my pelvis, but I’m starting to go a little stir crazy.

Examples of my insanity… I sing to the cat, a lot; he doesn’t appreciate it, but I keep expecting one day he won’t run out of the room when I hit a high note. I offer advice to Dr. Phil and his guests. I yell at Oprah for never asking anyone anything difficult. I frequently tell myself to “make it work” in my best Tim Gunn (Project Runway) voice. I try to dance on my good leg only; essentially wiggling and hopping around on one leg in my living room when no one is around. I get excited planning my weekly television watchings, and I resent the lack of interesting programming (though the History, Lifestyle and Food Channels do give me hours of entertainment).

I want out of my cage. Somedays August seems a really long way away. By the time August gets here I’ll have been stuck inside for five full months. I sometimes walk around in my side yard clipping fresh herbs for lunch or dinner, or pruning herbs to encourage some growth, but that’s the extent of my activities. I can’t really even have visitors very often because I’m so immuno-supressed I get a sore throat everytime I see another human being.

One of the drugs my oncologist has given me to take is Nexxium, which I usually only take on prednisolone days, but I’ve been out of for a bit, and I’ve really regretted being out of it. I know it’s just another side effect of the chemo, but I’m not sure what that means. Is the chemo actually causing more acid in my stomach, or is my stomach lining raw from the cells being killed off & that’s making the tissue more sensitve to the acid that’s naturally occurring there? Wish I knew. In any case, I’ll be glad when my last treatment is well and truly behind me. My tummy definitely hates chemo.