Archive for June, 2012
Well.. technically gone yesterday..!!! So I took the big step into my becoming a cancer patient, I chopped off my hair.
Couple of reasons why I did it : too messy when it falls off on its own. And the bigger one, is to have some semblance of having some control over my life and all the changes. So I go bald when I want to go bald and not when chemo says I should…! Ok Then!
I was planning on just going with a scarf or bandanna, but i realized that wearing this makes me look like a patient. . So I went a got a wig. OMG, I love LOVE my new wig… <delighted squeaks>
It’s the same cut as my usual hair, but silky and shiny and NOT the mess my actual hair is 🙂 People who know me will realize its a wig, just cause my hair CANNOT shine that much. But I don’t care … 🙂
So Tuesday was the last of the pre chemo tests. For my heart and some more blood work. Now as you know I was seeing Dr M at Mt Elizabeth. The nurses his clinic are rather bimbo- ish. I hate using that word , but its really true.
Now I have difficult veins, but its not impossible to do it right. I can only use my right arm to draw blood due to the recent surgery on the left. After spending about 7 mins to explain this to the nurse, and she checked with the doc, we started drawing blood on the right arm. She ties the strip , makes me flex it etc, and pokes the needle and starts looking for the vein. Thats right, she pokes the needle , and THEN looks for the vein.
And then she tries to move the needle arond to get to the vein or any thing, cause not enough blood is coming out at this point. I dont know if you have had anyone stick a needle in your arm and rotate it , but I can assure you it is very very painful. After 3 minutes of this unsuccessfully rotating it arond, I told her to take it out and try again.
So this time she tries the hand, instead of my arm. She tries one with the same actions as above. Yes, the same. This time she hits two different veins , and blood starts trickling out. By this time a couple more nurses are there, and are taking turns with this swiveling about. They poke one, and then another, and then back to the first one.. and so on. I bit my lip and bore it mostly to get it over with. I am not a medical person, But I am certain as hell that THAT is NOT the way blood should be drawn.
I now have a big swelling on my right hand. The worst part is that when the results came they were abnormal, so I need to redo this. And then clinic wanted to charge me for this, like it was my mistake!!!! WTF!!!!
So I asked them to stuff it, and have to find a diffrent onco. Its not just about the money, but the fact that these “nurses” will be administering the chemo. They cant even draw blood right, which I believe is the first thing they teach you in nurse school.
So this means I have to delay my chemo by a week, while I find a different onco. Oh well , could be worse.
So its one month… one month since my diagnosis.
I slept a very troubled sleep last night and I had a dream. In the dream, I had a choice to choose between a life with no cancer , but also no K, or my current life with both. The decision is a no brainer for me, for having K around and in my life, for some the happiest moments have been with him, I feel I can beat cancer a thousand times over.
Thank you for that , Dream God.
I am back into good spirits and health. We visited the second onco today, a Dr Lopez., at the Johns Hopkins Cancer center at Tan Tock Seng Hosp. In the waiting room, K and I were giggling about nonsense like a couple of 6 yr olds. (My mom actually decided to sit a couple of seats away from us). I feel so much happier , just cause of all that laughing. Laughter is after all the cheapest medicine… too bad it doesn’t kill cancer though.
Dr Lopez was beyond awesome. Not that he said anything different from what Dr Mow. had said, or that Dr Mow. was in anyway uncomfortable, but just that Dr Lopez, has a way about him. I am seriously considering getting treated here. By Dr Lopez. But on the other hand , Mt Elizabeth is so much closer to home, and Dr Mow, knows my surgeon. Argh!.
I have about a week more before chemo should start for my healing to be complete. I need to have the root canal and port install done then.
So today we met Dr Mow , the oncologist. This was an “education” meeting , mostly on line to convince us why chemo is recommended for me. He showed us how much the recurrence rates would improve if I did the chemo. Well, I guess there was never any question if I would do the chemo.
He has recommended a 8 cycles regimen , once every two weeks. So that’s 4 doses of Anthracycline, forllowed by 4 doeses of taxanes. He says that research shows benefits if the dose is every other week , instead of once in three weeks. He thinks I am healthy enough to take it.
I will take a second independent opinion on this, but should be ok.
He also sent us to a gyno, to talk about the procedures for storing eggs or embryos. I wish I hadn’t gone. The gyno was practically pushing us to save eggs, save embryos , cut out one of my ovaries , cut it up and freeze it and re-put it back when all this is over, take injections to shut down my ovaries, and god knows what else.
He also made me me do some tests, which i think are totally pointless, to check my womb and ovaries and what not. ( These tests are like pap smear ,NOT fun!!) God, my head is aching and I feel sick, and exhausted.I don’t want any more surgeries.
And in the having babies versus staying alive argument , who in their senses would pick babies?
So if chemo kills my lady parts, so be it.
So this weekend I managed to get up and out of the house for a bit. K and I met up with an old college friend of mine, who was in Singapore for some work. It was great. Nothing feels better than catching up with old friends, and talking about what idiots we used to be. I think there were moments this weekend, when things felt “normal” , almost like the cancer had never happened.
My arm is getting better everyday. I have some painful swellings around the sites of the surgery. but Dr Google tells me this is to be expected. So not worried.
For the last couple of days I have this anger simmering inside of me. Usually I am good at knowing what I am upset about, but I had no idea why I was angry.
I think I finally have it now. When I met the surgeon on Thurs she kept saying things like “if you choose to not have chemo”, “if you choose to have babies in two years” blah blah…
But , I don’t have a choice, do I? How could I possibly choose to get pregnant in two years knowing it would increase my risk of the cancer coming back? Isn’t that supremely irresponsible , not just to me but for the baby that I would be taking this risk for? I don’t have the shred of a choice, no matter what the surgeon says.
K and I had a pretty heated argument. He said absolutely no babies, our own or adopted, until we have gone a few years with no traces of cancer. I got upset, not because I want babies. But just cause I hate that so much of MY life and MY decisions are not in my control anymore. When I can work, whether I can move to a different country, what I eat, drink, and even wear. I hate that ALL my other grand life plans have to be adjusted around this now.
K being K, was just amazing about it all. He says to think of it like a gift. A gift of a couple of years where we don’t have to be tied down. Where we can travel as we like, spend money as we like, and feel bad for our friends who had babies too soon.
Gift, my ass! Cliched nonsense! K really needs some better lines….