Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Okay, so nobody ever said this wasn't going to suck.

I feel like, if I don't start writing something, I'll never be able to write again. As the days go by, I just feel more and more... numb. I have scans soon, so it's the usual scanxiety, along with not feeling well. I know... call the whaaaambulance. But I don't ... feel well, that is.

Last week I had what seemed like a stomach flu. But it's hanging on. And on. And on... And having melanoma, when we don't feel well, we get a little... antsy.

Trying to keep a grip here and failing miserably to the point where I'm not making the phone calls I need to make to get my scans set up. Part of me just doesn't want to know.

I think what happened to Kim, how quickly she passed has scared me more than I'll ever admit. You can get a bit tired of being brave, you know...? Sometimes... I can't believe I'm about to say this... sometimes you just want it to be over. You want to not have to worry any more. You want the fear and uncertainty to just... stop.

Apparently I'm not in a good place right now.


I'll drag myself out of it tomorrow and make those calls, I promise. I know enough to let myself have a bad day if I feel like it lately. Pretending to feel all right can sometimes add to your general crappiness, in my experience.

Okay... whiny rant over.

In other news, we're being forecast with snow tomorrow (to be honest, that's probably not helping). So I'm here trying to get the place winterised waaay too early.

On a positive note though, we finally bought another car, a minivan, and plan on going on a short-ish road trip this weekend to see the fall colors while they're still with us. Something to look forward to indeed.

We're pretty intrepid, the weather doesn't really bother us much. One of my all-time favorite trips was driving down to Pa in a snowstorm to go to a Christmas store. The drive through the Allegheny mountains in the snow was heavenly. We plan on doing it again this year... there's no time to be wasted, carpe diem, or was that hakuna matata...?

Anyway in the spirit of such, this fall and winter are going to be about us going and doing things that I want to go and do. Sounds fantastic to me. I guess I'm pretty lucky.

Okay, back to whining for a sec, because I've thought of something else to whine about. My lack of patience lately. I mean with my kids, I seem to be taking a lot of very deep breaths. I mean, God knows I love them, more than anything, but sometimes it just feels like there isn't enough of me to go around recently. Not to mention I have a headache that just won't go away.

I don't know if I'm still recovering from radiation, or if I'm really sick (I mean REALLY as opposed to just terminally. Ha.), or if I'm depressed, or what. But I'm feeling just a little bit worn out.

Anyway, I'm on it, if it doesn't pass soon, I'll go to the doctor and get some happy pills. Hell, they'll have the added effect of helping me blend in with all the housewives in this area... why not?

By the way and speaking of such, I'm writing this with my 9 y/o daughter right next to me chatting on the phone and making squeaking whirly sounds. That has a lot to do with the fact that this blog is crap.

Coming soon, back by popular demand... My sense of humor!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It was one of those weeks, huh?

Too much bad news over the past week, just too damn much.

It seems like we lost a lot of melanoma warriors, more than usual. That's hard to deal with because you know that one day it will be you. Even harder to deal with is when it happens suddenly to somebody you know and really like, somebody who seemed to be doing quite well... it's almost too much to deal with sometimes.

Godspeed, Kim. Rest In Peace.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Not so scary...

Some pictures of me being radiated - well about to be radiated. What they did was allow Jim to take some pics before they got me positioned properly. In reality I was much closer to the gantry while having treatment. If I looked up into the window above me, I could see the collimator and the shape/size of my tumor. It was pretty interesting.

After the last treatment!!

It wasn't so scary. And if it worked (which I have to assume that it did), it was well worth it!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I guess you just never know

A lady went missing very close to here on Friday. She sent her kids to school and went for a run. The first time people realised she was gone was when she didn't pick up her 2 year old from pre-school. Now there are four children without a mother... I can't tell you how sad this has made me.

The thing is, she didn't know when she put the kids on the bus and took the baby to pre-school that she wouldn't ever see them again. She was just out there living her life and some asshole took it away from her.

It's a shock, because it's the sort of community where people don't always feel like they need to lock their doors at night, etc... I guess nowhere is safe nowadays.

We used to live very close to the bike path she was running on, it always gave me the heebie-jeebies because it's so isolated. I've often wanted to take the baby for a walk along there, but wouldn't do it without a pistol, in the end, I just never did.

As far as I know right now, they haven't found her yet.

What this did to/for me was this; it made me realise just how finite life is anyway.

As you (my two readers) know, my greatest fear is that of leaving my children. Cancer forces me to live with that fear every single day. But I have this TIME. That lady never got this. She was just taken.

Me? I have time to make everything right for my kids. To put things in place that will - hopefully - lessen their devastation when I do leave.


I have the time to let everyone know how much I love them every second of every day. It's really not to be dismissed.

On TV, I once heard someone say that if they were going to die, they'd rather die from cancer than suddenly because it would mean that they had TIME to put things right. (I think it was CSI) I remember watching that and thinking that it must have been written by someone who had lost someone to cancer. I could relate, but was still terrified of leaving my kids.

The terror is lessening now.

I have a long way to go yet, with melanoma, but this is something that's never far from my thoughts - nor should it be. Because if I forget about it, I'm not using my TIME to the fullest capacity. Am I?

The trick here, I think, is to be aware of this and use my TIME for everything positive that I can. Then, if I don't die too soon, we'll have had nothing but lovely positive moments with more to come. But if I do die, my family will know - really KNOW - how much I loved them.

Treatment-wise, I'm sort of stuck right now. I haven't started IL-2 yet, I wanted to recover from the radiation first. Now I'm thinking that I'll get my usual scans very soon and see what's going on in there. If there's anything new, or if I'm stable, etc.

If everything is more or less stable, what I want to do is this; I want to resect the spleen (if there's anything left in there) and the three subcutaneous tumors (I think at least two of them are dead anyway, they seem to be shrinking away and the one that isn't dead isn't growing). Then, wait for the three-month scan of my liver to see what the radiation did. If we have stability or shrinkage, then I'm going to push for SRS of the remaining three small liver mets.

If there's anything new, then I'll do IL-2.

I'm also going to get a brain scan to rule out brain mets. Because that changes everything.

One thing I DO notice since the liver radiation is that the breathless feeling I would get (which we assumed was the tumor compressing the inferior vena cava), has gone.

So... hope and pray for nothing new and that I can find my way through this by doing it MY WAY. If not, then I take that next step. The thing about melanoma is that it's all a crap shoot anyway. If I do chemo, there's a fair chance that something would still come up, so it makes sense to me not to rush into anything at this point until I see what the rads did to my liver.