Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Life in the slow lane.

You should have seen me driving to radiation this morning. It was 17 degrees(f) outside, with just a few inches of snow on the ground. Nothing for Buffalo, really. And the plows had been out all night, so the roads were pretty much clear, for the most part. But me... to call it a white knuckle drive would be an understatement.

I don't know why I was so nervous, probably something to do with how people drive on the thruway here. I take the 990 to the 290 (that's what we call the roads here in Buffalo, just by their numbers, apparently people joke about us for it). It's not as bad as the 33, but it can get a bit hairy at times. Add in that it's pitch black at 630am when I leave, bad weather and brain tumors and you see my point.

Anyway, I nailed it. No worries.

So how is SRS?

In some ways it's more tiring, but that could be the cumulative effects of having so much radiation already. I get a bit of a headache in the treatment areas, but not bad enough for meds. My right hand was a bit shaky recently, but that's stopped now, which I'm hoping is a sign of good things happening.

I'm seriously thinking about giving myself a break after this treatment is done. I have to have scans...well... now (I cannot put myself through full scans with contrast at this point, I just can't face that). And then what? Good news? Bad news? More treatment? I sort of feel like taking a couple of weeks off and just enjoying what might be my last Christmas with my husband and children. If the scans are bad news then I'll deal with it in January when life just sucks anyway. Or maybe there will be good news... but you sort of can't allow yourself to expect it. Prepare for the worst and anything better will be easier to deal with.

I dunno, we'll see. I just really want a break. I'm torn. Dramatic, huh?

Anyway, it's one of those bright, sunny days and the snow is so pretty. I discovered something new too... when Jamie goes down for his afternoon nap, I always used to take a nap too. But what I discovered that makes me feel so much better in so many ways is to take the portable baby monitor and go for a walk out back in the woods.

I've been having problems with my legs, which the doctor feels is a result of the steroids, and the exercise really helps, my balance is much better now and the shakiness is less than it was. It got so that I couldn't carry Jamie up the stairs... Out of all this, I think the steroids are having the worst effect on me of all. I'm pretty worried about how they're affecting my immune function. The subcutaneous tumor on my butt has grown quite a bit. Scares me to think what else might be growing, I'm not ashamed to admit that.

ACK! What if? What if? What if? I am so bored of having cancer. I sound like a bloody broken record!

I'll see. I'll speak to the doctor this week and get his input, but I really want a break.


But maybe that's not realistic.


Blogger Carver said...

Dear Heather,

I am so glad that you are getting some walks in the woods while the baby naps. That sounds great. I also hope that you can take a break from melanoma until after Christmas. You have been through so much and I don't see how it could help but have a cumulative effect. I loved the quote you gave me about it not being what's in front or behind but what's whithin. Your support to others with all you go through is amazing. I hope you and your family have a wonderful christmas and that you can put melanoma on the back burner. I'm glad you have such a supportive doctor at this point, as you go through radiology, who you can discuss it with. Wishing you lots of peaceful walks and family time during the holiday season. I so hope you can get a true holiday away from MM treatments. Love, Carver

3:00 PM  
Blogger King (Kathie) said...


You know what - if you really want a break then my vote is "take it". When my liver tumor was diagnosed, I took a one month break - went on a roadtrip that we had planned while I was on Interferon. Some people supported that decision and others didn't but I knew that I needed it (and wanted it even if it made a difference in my long term survival).
You are a smart woman! You are so strong!
I thought of you last night as I took an Ambien CR. Here's to two hours of sleep - that's about all I get on it, too. Isn't it so funny that the commercials tell you to make certain that you have 8 hours to devote to sleep? Yeah, I wish I could sleep that long. :) I have the time.
Thinking of you.

Stay Strong

King (Kathie)

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you also can take a break during the Christmas season. You kids & hubby will want your attention and love.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You so deserve a break Heather. I'm no doctor, but if I get a vote, I say take a break over Christmas. Rejuvanate so you can get back in the ring in January.

You sound so tired of it all, and hell, who could blame ya? I've had nowhere near as much done to me as you have and I am already soooo bored of if.

Congratulations on making it to SRS in one piece, sounds like quite the feat! The weather here is nasty and cold too, Derek has his final drivers test tomorrow (nope never got his license) and now we have all this snow! But, it is pretty to look at thru the window, isn't it?

I admire you so much Heather. Keep listening to yourself and your needs. I know it is a tough decision to make about whether or not to have a break but I tend to think that that break would be good for your soul. What do I know though? I just want you to be free from all this torture.

Hugs from a few hours away. One day at a time.
xo Sarah

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll send out some prayers Heather, God bless and have a nice Christmas.


7:22 PM  
Anonymous Shelley said...


You sound like you've had enough and I don't blame you. It's been a long haul for you ~and driving yourself too~ I don't know how you managed it. But it's almost over! I ~so~ wish for you to get a break over the holidays, but only if it's safe and the right thing to do for you. I want Santa Claus to bring you NED, that's my Christmas wish.

I think about you all the time, you've made such a difference to me, that may sound weird, but I feel like I've known you forever.


9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, Heather, your honesty shines through. Of course you've had enough and if anyone deserves a break for a couple of weeks it's you. But I agree about asking your doctor. I think you should get Christmas off. And Santa had best be good to you. I've been naughty all year so you can have all the good I'd have got and I'll happily take my lump of coal!

I almost started a blog of my own the other day, inspired as I am by yours. But I didn't have the guts, wouldn't know what to say that could be as profound and inspirational as you. I'm not the hugging type noramlly, but after reading about how tired you are of treatment now, and how cheerful and strong youre still managing to remain makes me want to send you big bearhugs. I'm doing so in spirit as my arms aren't long enough and the computer is in the way.

Maybe by next Christmas we will have developed the cyberhug that works! We'll be rich!

Love A

6:35 AM  

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