Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Monday, December 29, 2008

many lessons later...

Well, tomorrow is my 5th chemo session since starting treatment for this new cancer. Radiation every weekday morning, chemotherapy every Tuesday. We've settled into quite a schedule.

I've learned a lot since that 1st chemo on December 2nd. First of all, when your oncologist says, "Oh, this is a low dose of chemo, your side effects will be minimal"....DON'T BELIEVE HER! You will still feel like cr*p!!! Any visions of frolicking in fields of flowers, kicking up your heels, playing monkey in the middle with the kids.....foh-GET about it! I learned that lesson week 1.

Also, when your oncologist tells you not to bother taking the anti-nausea pills as a preventative.....IGNORE HER! Don't wait until you toss your cookies to take those pills. It's too late then. Take the pill the night before you know you'll feel yucky. I learned that week 2.

And, when both your oncologist and radiation oncologist urge you to keep eating even when you're down and out from the chemo...well, it's OK to listen to them on that one! Gotta keep your weight steady, no more losing several pounds a week! Have someone wake you every few hours and force-feed you soup or pudding or even some water, anything, just to keep hydrated. Then chow like crazy once you feel better. I learned all that, thanks to "John-Jacques", my personal chef (and wonderful hubby). His full-time job from Thursday through Saturday is to make sure I eat. We learned that lesson week 3.

My lesson week 4? Be thankful for the little things. On Christmas Day, a Thursday (when I would normally wake up feeling achy and then go back to sleep for the rest of the day), the chemo demons were merciful. They waited to set in until after the presents were opened. I was able to see the joy on my children's faces when they opened the gifts that, as 4-year-old Frances said many times that day, "I've wanted this my whole life!!!!" And I was able to spend some quality, painfree time with my family.

I've learned a lot so far, almost feel like I have this chemo thing down to a science. It's a whirlwind schedule, starting every Tuesday. I'm peppy until Wednesday night, take my anti-nausea pill, and then spend the next few days feeling like I have the flu....just the aches not the yakking, fortunately! Sleep and eat Thursday and Friday, lounge and eat on Saturday. Have a cup of tea Sunday afternoon and start to perk up for Monday. Catch up on errands, phone calls, etc... on Monday. Tuesday chemo. Rinse. Repeat.

It's a lot harder than the first time around, I will admit that. But I won't complain. I need to focus on getting through, because I want to beat this so very badly. And as long as I have my schedule, and my personal chef, I know I can do it!


  • At 1/2/09, 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Katie!

    I just asked my parents for your address the other day so I could send you a piece of snail mail and then my dad called today with your blog address! So now I can catch up on your courageous battle.

    You've always been a strong person, Katie, and I know you'll win this again. Happy New Year!

    Leslie (Horn) Trosset

  • At 1/2/09, 10:58 PM, Blogger lahdeedah said…

    Oh Katie, I am so praying for you, girl. You seem to have a lot of wisdom about your own body and what works for you. You also have such spunk and determination. I admire that deeply. Know that I'm here for you.




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