Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Remember when washing your face didn't cause nosebleeds?  Sigh.  Those were the days...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

To Be or Not To Be...Stoned

I have been contemplating medication.  Like I said in my last post, I don't like to medicate, but I spent the last day and half laying in bed trying not to move too much and hoping to just sleep off the pain.  I've discovered the last couple of rounds of chemo that days 4-6 seem to be the worst for my most painful symptoms.  I have been getting this weird muscle/nerve pain all over my upper torso.  It hurts to move and it hurts to be touched.  I couldn't even stand to hold my daughter yesterday.  Once it hit, all I could do was lay there helpless.  This made me think... I'm useless anyway, I might as well be stoned.  Maybe that way the pain would at least be somewhat tolerable?  I guess the question is, what type of medication do you take for this?  I don't know.  I've had several people suggest marijuana for various reasons including appetite and nausea aids, but I feel like I can handle those problems without needing to feel the uselessness of being stoned.  I hate feeling useless.  I guess the good thing about being stoned is that you don't care if you're useful or not! Haha.  At least that's what the morphine did to me...  It also made me nauseous and constipated though, so NO WAY do I want that right now.  Methinks it is time to visit my lovely doctors... I think I need professional advice on this one :)  Wish me luck and many days free from pain- whatever way I get there...

Good Friday

Ask anyone who knows me well.  I do not like to medicate.  I would rather live with a headache than take tylenol.  I like to keep my body free from substances... other than the odd beer or martini.  (I am Albertan after all... ) I believe that I've always eaten fairly well compared to the majority of North Americans.  I do my best to keep the majority of the processed yucky food out of my system.  I just don't like to stray too far from the natural.  This is why I am a little miffed with the fact that I am the recipient of colon cancer.  There are SO MANY people out there with worse habits than me, with more risk factors, with ALL the risk factors, and yet, they are healthy as can be (well, cancer free at least).  Sigh.  But this mindset does nothing for me.  I know deep down that me getting cancer is for a bigger purpose.  I don't know what it is yet, but I know that it is.  That being said, why can't it be a little easier? I mean, REALLY!  The symptoms and the pain just keep coming!  It makes me laugh really.

 I sat in a Good Friday service yesterday and while the Pastor spoke of being afraid of needles I couldn't help but shake my head.  If he was afraid of the pain of needles, then God spare him any major illness!  He went on to speak of the pain and suffering that Jesus had to endure to free us from our sins.  By his stripes we are healed.  This confuses me at times because I don't feel very healed.  In fact, the discomfort and pain seem to be worsening.  I believe that I am healed.  That is not at issue here.  I guess I just wonder why I have to endure the pain and suffering.  I know there is a reason.  I'm just not clear on it.  I think though, that what I am experiencing is nothing compared to what Jesus had to endure on the cross.  Whether you believe him to be the Son of God or not, the history books have recorded the agony that this man experienced.  I would not want to switch places.  The worst part of his experience though was at the end when God separated Himself from Jesus.  Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?".  It was at that time that Jesus experienced the worst pain, the separation from Love itself, the disappearance of his father.  This is what Jesus spared us from.  He took it all so that we could forever be loved by God.  My faith has never been stronger than now.  I know that God has not forsaken me and He never will.  I am leaning on Him so much right now that I am incredibly grateful that He has such large shoulders.  When the physical pain is most agonizing, I reach out, I cry out, I whimper to Him who holds me close.  I can feel His presence.  And nothing can take that away from me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

5 done, 7 to go!

This blog finds me coming off the high of going down to L.A. for the weekend to see my film on human trafficking premiere at the 168 Film Festival.  I had 3 full days where I could (almost) forget that I was in the middle of chemo.  It was a whirlwind trip, but well worth it.  We made many connections, met some amazing people, and really enjoyed the artistic community.  It was especially great to connect with other Christian film makers who have the same heart and similar giftings.  Also, we won an award for Best Supporting Actress- Goldie Hoffman, so there was that added bonus and excitement.  Yay Goldie!!  We stayed in the lovely home of my colorectal surgeon, who has the most AMAZING bed.  We looked forward to going to sleep every night.  Only problem was that it made it very hard to get up in the mornings.  The trip as a whole was fantastic and I felt beautiful the whole time.  I love L.A.  I've always felt that I belonged there, ever since I first stepped foot on the soil when I was 11 years old.  I belong in the sunshine and warm weather.  It makes me feel whole.

We met some pretty amazing film makers and saw some incredible films, but the time finally arrived for us to return to Canada.  We flew in late last night to the welcome of my Step-Sister, Lauren.  She flew in from Calgary to spend some time with me this week.  I had to be up this morning very early to get my blood tests done to confirm that I would actually be able to do chemo today.  They must have been fine because I got my full regiment while Lauren and I gabbed it up.  It was the shortest feeling hospital visit yet!  I guess time flies when you're having a good conversation.  It is so nice to catch up with Lauren and to connect with her.  I've always had a soft spot for her and it's really nice for her to be here right now.  It's especially comforting because she's a nurse and deals with chemotherapy all the time.  It's like having my own built chemo information booklet.  I love it!

Today was the first day that I really chatted with some of the other chemo patients.  I've been doing Friday day for my hospital visits until now (they pushed the chemo rounds back so that I could go to L.A. and live a little).  I'm thinking that all the young people must come on Mondays, because I never really saw any when I was there on Fridays.  I chatted with a couple of young women who were both fighting breast cancer.  I don't think I'll find any colon cancer patients of my age and gender.  Oh well!  One of the ladies was completing her last round of chemo, so I was able to celebrate it with her.  She was so positive and inspiring.  She told me that I can make it through this.  She knew about the ups and downs.  She knew that it can be tough.  And she knew that I am strong enough to do this.  The second woman I met was close to the end of her rounds and still had a beautiful smile on her face.  We had a good chat about our fertility treatments, being that she is only 26 and I believe has no children.  I was very pleased to discover that she had planned for her future.  It's nice to see other women who do not give up and refuse to lay down and die to this disease.  They are strong and beautiful and inspiring.

I've joined an online support group so that I can connect with people about cancer.  There are so many things that we cancer patients and survivors go through that people just can't comprehend unless you've been through it yourself.  I've been feeling the need to chat and connect with other patients so that I can truly empathize with them and have them empathize with me.  These treatments can be very isolating and it's nice to know that others are going through it too.  I can't wait to develop some new friendships and have some people that I can talk to who really understand what I'm going through.  I do have some friends currently fighting and/or surviving cancer who I have talked to, but it seems we are all at different  stages of the fight.  I am really excited about connecting with people at the same stage.  I think that's why it was so nice to chat with those ladies today.  Our drug regimes may be different, but our experiences were pretty similar thus far.  I will forever remember the smiles of these two women and know that they touched my heart and inspired me to keep trucking through these treatments.  Thanks ladies :)