Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ruminating....

This is something I've been doing a lot of lately and by the looks of things, will be doing a whole lot more of it too in days to come.

Ruminating.

According to the Thesaurus, there are a couple different meanings behind this word. One is that it is chewing, gnawing or other variations along those lines and others say it means to think, to contemplate, study, brood and lots of other explanations like that.

For me, it the thinking, the contemplation aspect that I'm utilizing. I'm trying to avoid the brooding parts.

And just what is it I'm contemplating anyway.

Well, suffice it to say -as an old adage goes -it's not about the price of tea in China. Well, not exactly anyway.

My life, my schedule -if you will (and if I have anything even remotely resembling a "Schedule" in my life) of late has suddenly become filled, to the brim at that, with appointments and appointments and sheesh, more appointments!

What kind of appointments? Mainly all medical at this stage although today, I do have an appointment at noon for a meeting at our church of the Social Ministry Committee of which I am supposed to be the chairperson. I'm a bit -okay, more than a bit -discombobulated today, don't have much in the way of notes as to what direction our committee is going, what is on our coming agenda or what should be there, so folks -if you are part of this committee with me at our church, please come with lots of ideas in your minds to bring up today and hopefully, I can begin to get my mind on track then a bit to try to get things going for this important part of the ministry of our church to the parishioners as well as in outreach to the community. Suggestions are definitely most welcome and especially so today as my mind is kind of in a pretty stagnant state right now.

Last week, was a zoo for me -a total unmitigated zoo! From the early morning appointment last Wednesday at the Cancer Clinic for blood work, followed by a sit-down chat with the oncologist there about the upcoming chemo treatments to the paperwork I had to fill out and the preliminary stuff before they finally -around noon -got around to putting in the iv and beginning the first chemo treatment -which, by the way, ended abruptly after about 15 minutes when my system had a tremendous reaction to the chemo and I was eventually rushed out of the clinic and taken up the hill -by ambulance -to the emergency room at the hospital where they pumped more benadryl into me to ward of more reaction to the small amount of chemo I had received. (Seems the problem was something they mix that stuff with and it was -or so they tell me -"that stuff" they mix it with that caused the reaction, not the chemo itself. So anyway, my first actual chemo treatment now has been backed down to take place in two more weeks on the 28th of this month.

But considering the fact that the day after this failed chemo treatment I came down with a pretty ferocious head cold, I'd like to think that was a power much higher than mine or my doctors too, telling me I really didn't need, didn't want to have to contend with the after effects of chemo AND a head cold, simultaneously!

And since then, head cold and all, I've been busy fielding phone calls from family -good calls they were though, with some darned good advice and information pertaining to some of the things ahead of me in my upcoming months of medical adventures.

The latter part of last week, I got a call from the nurse at the cancer clinic telling me the doctor there wants me to see about having a port put in for ease of treatment since my veins are what the nurses (and doctors) refer to as being "bad stick." This means they often have difficulty finding a vein they can access easily to either remove blood for the many weekly blood tests I have to have and also, it means it is really difficult to find a good vein then too through which to run the chemo treatments -which in this case, this go-round -apparently is a really strong variety of chemo and is pretty harsh for those people like myself then for our veins to cope with this stuff.

Always something, isn't there though?

And my dear cousin who is also going through a lot of the same stuff right now as I am phoned me on Sunday to alert me to issues one can have too with the insertion of ports that are supposed to make our lives just a tad easier over time too. Because of things that happened to her with her port, she advised me to make darned sure that whatever surgeon I have insert the port they say I should have put in is someone who has a really good track record of doing a good job with that procedure!

And since talking to her on Sunday, I now have an appointment set up for this coming Friday afternoon to "meet and greet" one of the surgeons in this area -one that the nurses all recommended resoundingly to me too as being the best in this area for putting in ports!

That appointment on Friday will follow directly on the heels of a needle biopsy I am scheduled to have done at the imaging department of our local hospital a mere two hours earlier in the day!

This past Monday, my older daughter had the day off from work so she came up here to take me to the appointment to meet with the ear/nose/throat dude at the hospital so he could review the initial scan/test done of my thyroid about 2 weeks ago and the upshot of that visit then is the upcoming needle biopsy this coming Friday.

Yesterday -that would be Tuesday -it was yet another doctor visit for me. This time it was with the doctor in charge of radiology at the cancer clinic. Because I had radiation treatments seven years ago when I was initially diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer, there's some question about how much more radiation I can have done -safely. But that visit was nice in that this doctor sat down and talked to me about the radiation issues facing me and what I might need vs what I can actually have. He also discussed a bit more in depth about the cancer itself too -explaining a little more to me than I previously had been privvy to getting.

Based on a booklet he gave me, I gather the cancer I am dealing with now is uterine cancer. Apparently too, when I had the surgery done the end of July and they did a hysterectomy -through which they discovered there was cancer in the uterus they had removed -they were unable during that surgery to remove other things they would normally take out in that type of surgery -like lymph glands in/around the uterus -by which they would have been better able then to determine the extent, breadth, width, length, etc., of which this cancer had traveled at that time within my system. If I understand our conversation properly then this means the doctors are kind of guessing now then what stage the cancer is in -stage 2 or stage 3? Well, at least so far anyway, no one has dropped the "stage 4" words on me and I take that as a somewhat positive sign.

The doctor yesterday also wants to set up an appointment for me -for sometime this week he said -for me to have a ct scan now too so he can, hopefully, ascertain that there's nothing else going on in my abdomen or anywhere else within my old body right now that will add a few more clinkers into the already near-to-being-full trashcan of medical issues ongoing at this point in time! If they are gonna schedule this test, considering they didn't get one set up for this morning, I guess that means they'll call today and tell me to come into the imaging department either Thursday morning for the ct scan or maybe, Friday a.m. and if it comes about on Friday, I can then count on spending the entire day kind of chained to the imaging department or visiting the office of the surgeon to get his take on inserting a port into me!

Ah loverly, loverly, wonnerful, wonnerful, ain't it though?

So right now, my thoughts are to the possible complications that could muck up my life a bit more if I have the suggested radiation procedures. How quickly my hair will begin to fall out after I get the first chemo in two weeks. How much the chemo is going to have an effect on my appetite, my strength, my energy levels over the coming four-to-five months when I will be getting the chemo treatments every three weeks.

And how much time too will all of this actually buy me too?

Yes, that is also in the back of my mind and keeps popping up for me to mull over as well.

Let's face facts folks -I'm willing to go forward and try to fight all this and then some, certainly I am. But at the same time, I do wonder too if these treatments that ravage -or can do that -to a person's body, will -at my age now -leave me able to pick up and enjoy life again too?

Sure we all have to eventually face the facts of life than none of us is here forever and we have no idea when that time will come when we will be called home. Like everyone else, I do have a certain amount of trepidation in that respect. I would really like to be around a lot longer to watch my grandkids grow up a bit more. Next to having had my own three children, the grandkids have been I think probably the biggest and best blessing ever to my life and I'd like to see as much more of how they appear to be turning out anyway as is possible. And yes, that is I suppose a very selfish desire on my part too, isn't it when I think about so many people I've known over the years -family, friends, acquaintances -whose lives were cut much, much shorter than mine by accident or disease and they never had near the opportunity as I've had so far to at least know my three grandkids.

I know -life as we think of it often isn't fair, is it but I think I can cope with that -a bit grudgingly maybe, but still, I will work on that on a daily basis and try to find as many ways as is possible to enjoy every thing I can in whatever time I have left -whether it be an hour, a week, months or hopefully, years -who knows!

The key as I see it in the frame of mind I am in this morning is simply to find the good in everything I can that I may encounter. This opportunity may -after all -never present itself to me in this manner, ever again and finding something good or hopefully even funny in some of the junk that likes to clutter my path these days -well, let's just say it is a challenge at times but having a challenge available still beats the hell out of the alternative doesn't it?

Peace.

4 comments:

Maggie May said...

I really feel for you.
I think that so far, I have always found that life is worth living and worth fighting for.
Chemo isn't pleasant but I still found contentment and enjoyed two out of the three weeks every month!
It helps to live in the here & now. It helps to appreciate what you have now. its not easy to not dwell on tomorrow but it can be done with practice.
I am sure you will come through this!
You are a strong lady.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Good luck with the committee meeting. My mother was considered a "bad stick" as well. They had the hardest time inserting IV's in her. I felt so bad.

Marguerite said...

You have a great attitude and that is so important when faced with difficult situations in life. Keep on thinking positive and you'll get through this! Love and prayers, Marguerite

TechnoBabe said...

Of course you are ruminating. Good thing too. It is your body and you are the one to decide what takes place with your body. Hugs to you.