Off To Market

Markets So today is day 10 post chemo.  In chemo terms, I am past the worst of this round.  I slept okay again, got up and walked again.  I feel sore but I’m telling myself it’s a good sore.

It’s funny, after you’ve been through so much, had so much surgery, treatment, poking, prodding, poisoning, cutting, burning, slicing, the word sore takes on a whole new meaning.  That’s why something as small as telling myself it’s a good sore is so important.

Today I met my good friend Chris at the markets; we had a really fun day.  I’m exhausted after walking around for a couple of hours.

I bought some beautiful new earrings and a hat to hide my scone head.

It was lovely being out and about in society again.  It’s amazing how you hide yourself away when you go through chronic illness.  My bedroom has become my haven, my safety zone, my escape.  Nothing can hurt me there, no one can laugh and there is no judgment, only rest and comfort.

For anyone else this would have been a small day, but it was a big day for me.  Tonight I’ll have a quiet night at home with my pain and fatigue as my companions.

 

Just Walking the Dog

DogWalkingI slept okay and Marc left early this morning. I have decided to try some light exercise today after school drop-off. I walked our pup down to the chemist and back, my new best friend. This was her first walk an important milestone. There’s a long way from both of us to go yet but it was great.

I am committing to walking my pup  every second day and then building up to daily.  I need to do this for both hers and my benefit.  She has so much energy, and needs to use it.  I have none but know walking will help me feel better and also help get all of the toxins out of my system.  Besides what could be better than walking in the sunshine, puppy bouncing by my side???

I met two people on the way to chat to; it’s amazing how interesting puppy makes you. When I got home I stretched and then did some errands, these things never seem to end.

I slept for two hours this afternoon and tonight I see Peter Walsh with my sister-in-law.  You know Oprah’s go to de-clutter guy? if you don’t know who he is check him out here.  Don’t know how late this will go but we’ll see, I’m excited to be going out and doing something fun. I’m quite sore after my walk but it’s a start.

I feel I’m ripe for a de clutter moment.  It’s funny how when your life is put on “hold” how much crap builds up, then it just seems to grow and take on a life of its own…..  Maybe I should adopt Peter?

So, tonight we actually met Peter Walsh, what an awesome guy! We were in the upstairs lobby and he walked straight up to us like he knew us and said “hi” to my sister in law. Now she’s in love with him, with de cluttering and all things organisational so she nearly fainted. He said a name that was not hers. She politely said her name was Alison and he said, “wow you are the spitting image of one of my best friends”

Totally made her night, and why not!

How bizarre…. her doppelgänger is her decluttering idols bestie.

It was a great night out. It felt good to do something normal like go out. So simple but it has not been a part of my life for months now.  I need to try and do some more of this when I feel up to it.  I am sure it will help me get better and back to the land of the normal, whatever that is….

Still circling the woods

dark-forest

I slept!!! Yay! Marc and my step daughter are off to school early. I am feeling ok but still have this pure acid diarrhoea and fatigue. After I do the school drop off, I have a small rest then am off to the psychologist.

I have been finding this really helpful just to make sure I am supporting my self along this journey. People have told me that I should be feeling lost of grieving or, hopeless etc. I have not really felt any of these things that intensely, so I am just checking in and ensuring I am giving myself whatever I need.

I am craving the quick fix sugar again, this has to stop, I know how bad it is for me and how it makes me feel. I still think this is because I am so freaking tired all the time.

After my appointment I rested, did my errands and appointments and needed to return to bed. This frustrates me a little but I cannot argue. I am sure this fatigue will continue at least until chemotherapy finishes which is still 6 weeks and then goodness knows how long recovery from that and further surgery will be??

I have eaten so much sugary crap today it is awful. I’m like an addict looking for a hit, but nothing works. This needs to stop; I know I am not helping myself. I feel so bad physically regardless so I know it is not helping.

I have decided that tomorrow I m going to have 2 green whole veg and fruit smoothies each day, breakfast and lunch. I am also aiming to stop sugar completely.  I was sugar free before chemo, not any more :(

I may have leaped too far, raised my expectations too much. Welcome to my black and white world. Just the other day I was giving myself a leave pass, now I have circled back the other way. Wowser, are you as confused as I am. I suppose this is what happens when you openly share your thoughts on a daily basis.

I am just so desperate to feel better I don’t know what else to do. So I go from extreme to extreme. Balance is the key, how do I find it?? Kindness and self-compassion is also the key, am I doing this?? The extreme guilt I feel tells me “No.”

So starting tomorrow I will aim to have 2 smoothies each day and I will share a recipe.

Kylie’s Green Healing Smoothie

Handful of kale,

Handful of baby spinach

2 tsp Vital greens

30g Protein powder  (I usually use chocolate flavour)

¼ cup blueberries

ice

1 tbsp cacao powder

Wizz away in the nutribullet (or a strong blender) and enjoy.  Lets see how I go hey? Wish me luck.

I’m not through the woods yet

valley of the shadowI woke early with really bad diarrhea, sorry to be blunt but it feels like pure acid it’s so painful. However, I did sleep through, which is a blessing.

I am so flat again today; flatter than a flat thing. I have acupuncture today, I am wondering how on earth I will get there when I am graced with a cancellation by my therapist. Small mercies……..

So back in my bed I am, it is humid, sticky and pouring with rain. I don’t know if you have, like me, prayed for those days when you can stay in bed in the rain instead of working.

Well here I lay, in bed, with it pouring with rain, not working, and it is not such a party guys L Funny how you wish for things, sometimes long for things but they are rarely in reality how they appear in our minds.

Apparently, there is a case review of my insurance claim in Melbourne today. I am tense about it; we really need the financial help. It is so expensive even with private health insurance; every single procedure has a big gap. The only exception is the hospital stays and chemo. The advantage of Private health is being able to access treatment faster with the Doctor of my choice.

The other addition is because I am doing medical and complimentary it is really expensive. For example, I pay $110 for acupuncture each time and get $19 back from my fund (and only for 6 sessions). I need this treatment to cope with the chemotherapy, it has made such a difference for me so far, so we are paying for it.

I feel deeply for those who aren’t able to have this choice. Although we are doing it we are going backwards financially. I still need to keep the business running even though I am not working, so there are ongoing monthly expenses with no income. It is such a hard choice, health or finances?

I am angry that I am forced into this space or deciding what is the priority. But I realise this happens to people every single day……

We fall into that typical gap, we have private insurance, we have a mortgage, our kids are in private school, we pay maximum tax. We fall into that category that does not receive help and also pays the most tax.

Yes it is our choice to send our kids to a good school and to have a mortgage. I don’t know how other families do it when they earn less, don’t have insurance and are at the mercy of government help.

This is all too much for my poor toxic brain to comprehend; I need sleep. Puppy school first. It’s hard but helpful. We have a puppy that is a handful, that was not in the brochure. Lucky for her she is too cute. Now I fall into bed, I am praying for sleep.

Facing exhaustion head on

arguing BC I slept better, excellent start! Although I feel so empty, the tank is not only empty but there is both dust and cobwebs in there. I have nothing in my calendar or diary today so bed seems like an awesome option. I am really fighting with myself.  I am craving carbs, I have noticed I do this whenever I feel so low in energy, it is such a hard thing to fight. I have no fight in me for a start so pasta, bread, sugar all of those wicked quick surge, bad for me foods are all I want :( I have decided to just go with the flow during chemo, it is hard enough getting through each day without placing some unrealistic expectation on myself to eat things my body is repelling. I am eating well when I can and supplementing each day so I will get through it.  Funny it took me 3 months to work out I should just go with the flow. So as you can imagine, today is not a great food day. I am self-medicating so to speak but not in a good way. The pain I have in my knees and hips is simply ridiculous. I don’t know what to do with myself.  I am craving comfort food like a puppy craves a warm hug. I’m battling those horrid thoughts of metastases in my bones with the aching. I know it’s a head game, but gosh it’s hard.  Watching my Mum go through bone cancer, knowing I have the same disease, having such aching in my bones and joints, it really does mess with me. I got a lovely heart lifting surprise today with a soft knock at the door waking me from a deep toxic sleep.  When I open my front door, there is a beautiful bunch of flowers from my 4N family. These guys are the best. 4N is a small business networking group I have been a member of for 12 months.  If you have never heard of them before check them out here. I remember when I was first diagnosed I was called and asked what could they do? They offered to make phone calls, any paperwork, client calls. I was blown away. Apart from a few very close friends, no one else offered this and it meant so much to me. In my efforts to be somewhat productive, I made a list of jobs I needed to get done. Funny, when I say needed, it is to fill this weird sense of showing my value.  I have already confessed to how bad I feel and that I am going wight he flow yet I am cleaning things????  Don’t worry if you are confused too join the club with me. So today I cleaned the plastics / storage container cupboard and also the pots and pans cupboard.  Such a small job really, but so exhausting for me. I do feel better consciously for doing so but physically I am back on the mattress, nothing to give. So after a rest, making dinner for the family, I am back in bed, exhausted needing sleep. I pray that I can sleep tonight and I am thankful, so thankful that tomorrow is a new day.

Happy birthday to me!!

bday photoSo today is my birthday, happy birthday to me. I had a broken sleep, the nausea is better, to the point where I can get to church, Yay!

We came home and I fell into bed, nausea is worse. One thing I have noticed is that when I get tired all of the symptoms get worse too. A fellow warrior taught me this. She said rest often because when you are tired everything is worse. She is right.

We went to movies this afternoon, it was the best compromise of doing something but not too exhausting. I am sooo sick. Someone offered me a malteser and it tasted so bad. Love the chemo metallic taste over all you eat. Serve me right shouldn’t be eating sugar anyways.

We came home and had dinner, Risotto and a gelato cake from Messina ( if you have not heard of this place check it out here ). The most amazing cakes I have ever tried, truly inspiring. I recommend them when not on chemo, for maximum benefit.  I got the magic mushroom cake – it was amazing.  Gentle on the way back up too.  I look at this picture now and think I look pretty ok, this is just before I lost dinner and my cake.

Unfortunately for me, they both went straight through. Lost it from both ends so double whammy for me, happy birthday bonus!

I do think however that my idea of having no expectations was much better for me. It is so tricky I know. How can anyone live up to the expectations of a mother who is no longer with me but is forever immortalised in my memories.  I do my birthday with the ghost of birthdays past both great ad awful :(

I missed my pain meds today to so my pain is at an all time high. My bones and joints aching beyond description. I have a headache, that is fuzzy and buzzing. It is as though the toxins are raging through every cell, which I suppose they are.

I have this tremendous ache in my lower back, kidney area, my hips and knees are so sore, it’s almost unbearable. I dose up and head to bed, sleep please, I pray for unconsciousness. Birthday Smirthday, bah humbug.

 

 

Get to know your ABC’s

ABC nutri blast

Hi Y’all,

This is what is called an ABC – It is Apple Beetroot and Carrot, all raw and blended whole with filtered water and some fresh squeezed lime juice.  This is my lunch on fasting days.  I am fasting 2 days each week to promote healing in my body.  If you’d like to know why this is such a powerhouse drink check out more info here.

Because of my awesome “nutria bullet” (unpaid plug)  I blast one of each, if you are juicing you will need to juice as many as your juice volume requires.  My version is really filling, I also add some ice to make it extra refreshing.  Make sure you give the fruit and veg a really good wash!

To your health and happiness :)

Descending into the depths

sadnessI woke at 2am, then was wide awake until 430am. It’s the weekend so no school run, yay! Thanks you for small miracles and gifts each day. So I slept in, or rather stayed in bed. I feel quite nauseous, sore, slow, everything is buzzing, hot, swollen just yuck!

An old friend from my high school and Uni days called and we spoke for a while, that was really nice. I continued in bed, it just seemed too hard to do anything else. I am finding the nausea is much worse this round.

It’s my 42nd birthday tomorrow. I pray it’s a nice day and I can do something with the family. I have a long history of struggling with my birthday. First of all my Mum was so great at making us all feel like princesses for the day.  She went over the top and made it really difficult for anyone to compare to the big effort she made.

It wasn’t about spending money rather being thought of.  I have so many wonderful memories. Then I got married and my ex Husband was pretty hopeless. He was ok initially but as his world spiralled out of control I was last on the list and I am pretty sure he forgot the last 4 or 5 of my birthdays.  To add to this I left him on the last birthday we were together which happened to be my 30th.

So I have a history of sad days and unmet expectations. The last birthday with him I remember finding out he had spent more at the pub the day before. The forgot my birthday with an “oh f@#k its your birthday” at 12pm, then handing me a broken photo frame.  Special times…..

Looking back he was such a mess how could he do anything else. They were certainly hard times though. So my new outlook is to not have expectations and to spend time with the people I love.  My Husband Marc is wonderful and really makes and effort, there is just so much sensitive scar tissue there.

It almost like each year I compete with the ghost of birthdays past each year and enough is enough. Time for a new way, out with the old in with new healthier ways.  Easier said than done, but at least I am aware and working toward a better way.

So I stayed in bed, lamenting on how much I miss my Mum, particularly when I feel so sick and my birthday is looming. Wondering how she would be feeling knowing her baby girl is on the same journey with breast cancer as she was.

I’m glad she is not here really as she would have been racked with guilt, even though it is not her fault at all. I love you Mum xxxx.

Ding Ding! Day 1 Round 3

day 1 r 3I am awake again from 2am but did not go back to sleep. Man I am tired, how can I not be exhausted. I haven’t slept well since mid November 2013 and I was exhausted before this all began.

Big day today, I will over the “hump” so to speak. Got my “Brave” t shirt on, acupuncture this morning to help with side effects. I shaved down for battle too as I had a light covering if hair that has tried to grow back only to fall out again soon after this next round.

At acupuncture, Amanda asked me about how I have been. I explained that I haven’t been resting out of guilt for not pulling my weight. She explained that guilt comes from a feeling of doing wrong, the only wrong I have been doing is not putting my health first. Ahhh, got it! A nice new way for me to approach things.   Certainly a more kind approach than my default.

Chemo goes ok today, my veins are not co-operating, they have sunk deep into my flesh, in an attempt to avoid the toxic assault. It does not work for long as they are coaxed out with a warm wrap.

My white cell count is too high so again less injections afterwards – Yay! As I sit there the toxic cloud descends, I am reminded of this familiar foe. As the headache begins and my stomach begins to protest and twist I decide to think of the fact that I am making progress, I have one more to go before the next stage, surgery. I am making it.

Only, 7 days to go of this pain and illness before the sun begins to shine again.   I can do it. Thank goodness for the journal which has really helped me map out how I respond to chemo. Such a blessing; please if you know anyone going through treatment like this encourage them to journal.

Tonight I sleep with the help of my new besties, “Endone and Valium.”  Bring on the rest, after being up for close to 20 hours, goodness knows I need it.

Look Good, Feel Better

Beauty mythI am awake from 2am, so I am washed out this morning when it is time to get moving for the day. I have the “look good feel better” workshop today. It’s a workshop sponsored by the beauty industry to help women facing cancer to feel better about their appearance.

Great idea, it has a realty good reputation around the traps. My friend Tammy booked me in months ago. Just as well, I may not have gotten around to it myself.  Tip – If you are supporting someone and you find out about groups like this, do it for them. They can always say “no” closer to the day, but at least if its “yes” it will happen.

I am to take a support person so I asked Al, my sister in law. It was a great day, I learned so much. Came away with free make up and skin care, a few new friends and ideas on how I can make myself feel just a little better when I’m having a bad day.

No rest again today, workshop finished, by the time I did some errands, helped kids after school and had dinner prepped it was time for puppy school. My calendar needs some more gaps – seriously.

I realise I am going to need to say “No” to some things and prioritise my rest but it is so hard. I am so tired by the time sleep is possible but I have pushed too far and am wired. Besides it’s chemo day again tomorrow and if I could put my head in the sand I would. I don’t want it. I don’t want to feel like crap again.

It’s such a cycle of teasing as you get through the worst of the toxicity, you fight to regain some resemblance of feeling human and just as you arrive, it’s time again. It really messes with your head.

ON a slightly different note, I have been watching the “Under the Red Dress” campaign. What and inspiring campaign the woman behind it, Beth is.  I am going to contact them to share my story if they are open.  At the very least it supports their cause.  A cause I find myself very close to.