January 19, 2021

I’ve been up since 4 a.m. because I had a ton of stuff to do before leaving for chemo. I have so much to say! I’ve been Marie Kwandoing my life for the past ten days. When I moved in August, I donated or tossed tons of stuff (furniture, clothes, miscellaneous) because I wanted to live more simply and jettison things that I had been carrying around because I felt I had to but – really – did not. Out they went! I was so sick from my post-operation recovery and then the start of chemo but I didn’t care. Once I had collected everything and organized it, I hired a guy to take it out to the dump and Goodwill. He filled up his pickup truck – full load. It felt great. It was a psychic relief and release.

But I didn’t touch paper. PAPER!!! Oh my god, the bane of my existence. I generate more paper than anyone. I save more paper than anyone. I had paper going back decades. NOT ANYMORE!!! It is all gone now. Talk about a psychic load. The human mind is wonderful because it allows us to forget. Sometimes, forgetting is a good thing. It can be healthy. (And here I am documenting my life … on the Internet …!!!) But when you go through old things, you remember – good and bad – it’s all RIGHT THERE! I don’t want to live like that anymore – carrying around the past like that. And now I don’t.

There is a new book by a renown philosopher who writes about cats (I’m serious) and their attitude toward living. He writes that cats live in the moment. He writes (and it has been my experience with cats too) that as long as their needs are met (i.e., food, security, warmth), they know how to be happy because they are not searching, striving, looking for meaning which humans do. I want to live like THAT. I don’t know how much time I have (hopefully many, many years) but I do know how much I’ve wasted not living like THAT. I know what I like and don’t like and who I am and, at this point, that simply has to be enough.

So, I have a little more Marie Kwandoing to do and then I will be DONE. I can’t wait.

Now, two weeks ago my doctor had said he would present my case to the tumor board in two weeks (which was yesterday) but yesterday was a holiday so I don’t think it has been presented yet. I have given the possibility of surgery a lot of thought and have read up on my facts. If they have to remove my bladder and rectum (the cancer had spread from my colon to upper rectum) along with my uterus and ovaries (and possibly my ureter and kidney), my quality of life will be nonexistent. I have read that such a surgery (they have a name for it when the bladder and rectum are removed) is permanently debilitating with serious life-long negative health consequences. Further, such a radical surgery will not cure my cancer.

I do not want to be bedridden for the remainder of my days. I will not allow that. Right now, my body is strong and fighting the cancer. The tumor has responded to the chemo. I trust my body. The minute I disassemble myself (I know that is an odd use of the word but that’s what would happen), I will never be the same. I will not be me. My body will not know what to do. It will be forever changed and permanently weakened.

Today I’m going on chemo in pill form and am a little worried about it. Everyone seems to want to go off the pump (you get the chemo pump after an in-hospital infusion of chemo and wear it for two days at home). While I don’t like the pump either, it’s done within 46 hours. I take it off myself so I don’t have to go back to the hospital. Now, I’m going to have to take 4 chemo pills in the morning and 3 chemo pills at night EVERY DAY for TWO WEEKS (it’s 2 weeks on, 1 week off). I have to wear rubber gloves when I touch the pills because … it’s chemo. Am I going to be sick for two weeks? I was terribly sick for the 4-5 days after the in-hospital chemo. Plus, I still have to go to the hospital every time I start a chemo cycle for blood tests and an infusion of Avastan which stops the tumor’s blood supply.

Hopefully, the pill will work well. Maybe – just maybe – the tumor will continue to shrink enough that it separates from my organs and surgery will be possible without completely disemboweling me.

Last health thing – don’t know if it’s chemo related – but have terrible joint pain. Can barely turn my neck. Neck stiffness started back in the fall. Body stiffness started in Nov/Dec. All getting worse. Oh well! That’s the way it goes for now.

Onto the next big event – MY BIRTHDAY!!! This may sound strange but I like to make my own cupcakes for my birthday because it’s FUN!!! I’m making vanilla cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting sprinkled with brightly colored pareils. I already know my gifts. I’m getting a Moleskin journal (I love Moleskins – almost too much to write in them) and a box of assorted chocolates which I get to ransack because they will be all mine. When I was a child, I liked to turn the chocolates upside down and crack them open to see what was inside and then turn them back over (tops uncracked). Now I’ll get to do that again – and eat them! FUN!!!

So that brings me to my diet … I haven’t lost any weight (not good) and I haven’t gained any weight (good). I am eating fewer baked goods and more vegetables – still lots of protein. Did I tell you I’ve started drinking whole leaf tea again? I highly recommend it. Tea bags have plastic in them (yuck). I was introduced to drinking whole leaf years ago and then abandoned it and now I’m back to it. Really enjoying it.

Now I have to fix Sweet Pea up with fresh water and food because I’m going to be on the road and gone all day. Lots to do – have to leave in less than an hour. Got to go!

Have a great day!

Love, Molly

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