Saturday, February 18, 2012

Round 2 - Ups and Downs

The journey continues.  Round 2 started yesterday.  I am currently at my in-law's house relaxing in bed.  It's a pretty sweet set up really.  Speaking of sweet set-ups... You should have seen my little chemo booth yesterday at the hospital.  Mike and I came totally prepared.  Just our second go at this and we've already got it figured out!  We had my computer with season 2 of "Chuck", double earphone jack, snacks, specialty coffee, lunch- it was great!  I was in at 1pm and didn't get out until 4:30pm.  It was 45 mins less than last time, but I still saw most people who came in after me leave before me.  It makes me kind of jealous.  Why do I have to sit there for so long?  Aren't there any other colon cancer patients doing the same type of chemo as me?  What's with that?!  I guess it doesn't make much of a difference if I'm in the hospital or not though.  I felt pretty tired and yucky yesterday, so it's not like I would have been doing anything different than sitting in a chair or laying in bed.  Last night was especially bad.  Pretty nauseous and shaky.  Felt like I had a really bad flu; the type that makes you want to curl up in a ball and cry.  I took my breakthrough nausea drugs, which didn't help much, so I ended up taking gravol, which not only took away the nausea but knocked me out for the rest of the night too!  I'm taking 4 different nausea drugs (thank the Lord that they exist because this would REALLY suck if I was vomiting constantly).  They work in different parts of the brain.  Who knew that a bunch of different parts of your brain could make you nauseous?

My last post was quite a while ago.  The last thing I wrote was that I wasn't doing too well emotionally.  It's been a couple weeks of ups and downs.  I spent so much time preparing mentally for my first chemo session that I didn't take the time to actually FEEL my emotions during the process.  I believe that is what came out on days 4, 5, and 6 of the last round.  I mean, I wasn't feeling great and perky physically during those days either.  Funny though, by day 7 my energy and positive mind set had pretty much returned.  I became tired a bit more easily than normal, but it wasn't too bad.  My energy returned just in time to help out the day before we started shooting our film "Coerced".  It was a wonderful thing to look forward to after my first round.  Nothing better to pull you out of an emotional slump than living your passion.

We shot the film Friday and Saturday.  All went relatively smoothly.  There's always hiccups, but we had such an amazing team that any problems were dealt with swiftly.  It's pretty incredible working with a core group that you can totally trust and that work so well together lending their own specific strengths.  Where one person may falter, another can step in and use their talents and abilities.  It makes me proud to call these people my colleagues and friends.  One of the best parts of the whole shoot is that my Mom was on set!  Mom graciously stepped into the role of 'caterer', taking on the giant task of feeding a group of 30-40 people 3 meals a day, plus snacks, for 2 days.  It was really special having my Mom there in the mix of my own set.  She got to see me in action as an actor and producer.  She got to see what my work is and the people I work with.  It was really exciting for me to be able to share that with her.  Not to mention, she now gets a credit on the film!  That's always the best part; watching your name pass by on the screen ;)

This past week was spent in post production (editing, musical score, etc...), which was headed up by Katherine, who also directed and wrote the film.  Most of my time this week was spent preparing for round 2 of chemo.  My Mom went home on Tuesday morning (just in time for a nice Valentine's dinner with her hubby!), so I've returned to my Mommy duties.  It was scary, but I'm able to lift Gwen now and my port-a-cath seems like it has healed up finally, so I'm not uber paranoid that Gwen will hurt me.  I put Gwen to bed by myself on Thursday evening!  I'm very proud of myself.  lol.  It's so nice to return to the everyday activities and find that I can actually do them.

I feel like my mind set in preparation for round 2 has been that of a boxer, a fighter.  I had to visualize what was about to happen.  I had to steel myself for the next few days.  Chemo isn't a good time.  I don't look forward to it.  In fact, I don't even want to do this again, but.... I have to.  10 more times.  This takes some great mental strength to step into something that every fibre of your being wants to never experience again.  I will be so thankful when this is all done.  God willing, I will never have to do this chemo thing again.  So, a lot of energy was spent preparing myself for this round, both internally and externally.  Thus, the sweet set-up in the chemo room.  If I'm going to do this, I'm going to make it as comfortable as possible.  Mike and I also scored some more Skylanders (a video game with tiny creatures that are transported into the game), so that we can play when I don't have the energy to do anything else.  I have books, movies, TV series (all graciously donated by friends) to keep me busy and occupied over the next few days.  I didn't even have the energy to watch TV last night though, so I just laid there listening to relaxing music until I felt like I could sleep.  If it weren't for the fact that I felt so bad, it would have been a very nice time.  Like I said, all I can do is make it more comfortable for myself.  So, I will continue to do that.  I will continue, I'm sure, to have my ups and downs, but I can be confident in the fact that my eternal positivity will prevail.  Don't feel too bad for me.  I can get through this and will...with a smile on my face :)

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