October 17, 2020

Today was a good day.

I took a break from work.

Lifted weights (I’ve been lifting since I was 26 and have always loved it. I stopped going to the gym in 2010 and bought 15 lb dumbbells, 10 lb ankle weights and a mat for stretching. The weights have kept me strong for the past ten years). Took a walk – perfect autumn day – cool breeze, blue skies. Splurged and cooked up salmon, rice, green beans, and a salad with beets for dinner.

Thought about how I want to live my life and spend my time. My choices are circumscribed by current circumstance (as are most everyone’s) but there are still choices to be made and I intend to make the best ones for me – the ones that make me happy.

Looked at my new seed collection – Forget-Me-Nots & Poppies – waiting for Spring planting. Finished reading a book about women gardeners who have contributed to the field of horticulture in meaningful and different ways. Took care of Sweet Pea. Watched a movie.

I have chemo on Tuesday (in 3 days). They’re going to give me a new drug due to my allergic reaction to the one that had been working so, so well. I’m anxious to speak with my doctor. Losing that drug has had a big impact on me – I had been feeling hopeful because the treatment was going well. Now – who knows? Will the next drug work? If so, for how long? Will I run out of treatments?

I was supposed to get 12 treatments and became allergic after 5. I had read that treatment depends on how well the patient “tolerates” chemo. I had thought that meant how well the patient tolerates the side effects. It never occurred to me that one’s body might simply reject the drug altogether. There’s so much that doctors never tell you. You learn the little things as you go along.

Here’s another one: the size of your stoma. This is pure vanity – I’m lucky to be alive – but I’m still a girl and I want to look pretty. My stoma is big. It sticks out. Stomas come in all sizes. I’m small. Why wasn’t I given a small (or smaller) stoma? The size of the “appliance” as they’re called (the bag you attach to your belly – I’m still trying samples to pick the one that works best me – might have found it) matches the size of the stoma. So my appliance is huge for my body – covers my belly button – I have to cut it down on multiple sides. If I had known about this issue, I would have asked my doctor – “What kind of a stoma are you going to give me? How big will it be? Why will it be that size? How far will it protrude?” Who knew?!

I’m glad my stoma works – that is THE most important thing – but I have to look in the mirror every day. Actually, I don’t – I avert my eyes. It’s just too awful. When a family member saw it for the first time, she blurted out, “It looks like a penis!” I had never seen it that way – but now I do. She was right. It does. Yuck.

When I was in my 20’s, I had open surgery for an ovarian cyst (benign). 14 years later, I had open surgery on the other ovary for another ovarian cyst (benign). When the second doctor saw my first doctor’s work, he was disgusted by the way I had been closed up (staples with resulting big scar) and said that he would “clean it up” – kind of talking to himself. He gave me a nice, clean scar. If I had to have a stoma, I would have liked a cute one. Sounds stupid but you haven’t seen mine.

Looking ahead, forward on.

Love, Molly

2 thoughts on “October 17, 2020

  1. Some thoughts for you. Do some research on desensitizing chemo/giving it over a longer period of time. Some people don’t have issues if it’s given over a longer period of time. Some people also do fine if they’re given benedryl (or similar) before chemo. Some things to ask your doctor about this week.

    I’m glad you’ve been able to do some of the things you used to do.


    1. Yes, I read about the desensitization and wanted to do it. I thought I was going to do it. When the nurse told me I was being taken off the drug it really threw me. There are some cases where staying on the drug is not advised based on the severity of the allergic reaction. Maybe I was one of them … I’m going to talk to the doctor but I have a feeling that drug is history and it really helped me. I didn’t care about the side effects. I couldn’t even swallow normally anymore and I didn’t care.


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