Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I do feel like I've been under for the past 9 days. Here's an update of what's happened:

Julie and I had a great trip to see the Pittsburgh Steelers DEFEAT the Saints. Wow, what an experience that was. The tailgate parties, the gear and the sheer number of people there was amazing. I felt underdressed.... I swear at least 95% of the people at the game had Steeler gear on... and all I had was my yellow towel and a ballcap. I felt the urge to go buy a jersey!

And on a funnier note...what do you get when you put two people who are directionally challenged in a car in a strange city? Pulled over by the cops - that's what! Who knew that "Buses Only" really meant buses only??? In our defense, Pittsburgh has some of the most detailed rules of the road I've ever seen..."no right turn on red on M-F 4:30 - 6:30", "no right turn on red Sundays 9:00 - 12:00", "no right turn on red when the moon is full and it's the third thursday of the month". Thankfully the cop had pity on us confused girls and let us go with a warning.

We returned home late Monday afternoon. The next morning Tom and I headed off to Toronto for my oncology appointment.

I didn't know if I would be receiving chemo or not as this appointment was to review the results of my recent CT scan. The CT scan was identical to the previous one. In this case, this was good news. Although I had said in previous posts that the CT scans showed no change, in each case there was a very slight amount of cancer growth. In this case, there was none - and that IS good news. It also meant I can undergo two more rounds of chemo (at which point we'll test again).

So I had chemo on Tuesday afternoon. My doctor gave me a new medication to try to help with the nausea and vomiting I experience. It is a powerful anti-anxiety drug and it knocked me out. I essentially slept from Tuesday afternoon until Monday morning. And I guess sleeping is better than being sick, but I don't know that it really did much in the nausea department as I still wasn't able to eat much during that week.

This chemo is the hardest I've ever been through - or maybe it's just that after 10 treatments over the past 9 months, I'm not able to recover as quickly as before. I've lost a lot of weight due to this chemo and that does worry me a bit. The one thing I've always been good at is maintaining my weight (mostly too well... but when you're going through chemo, maintaining weight is a GOOD thing) and now I'm not able to do that as much. And when I do feel like eating, it's not the healthy food I want... I want nachos and cheese, ice cream, cheese sandwiches, Thai food.... when I should be drinking my homemade vegetable juices, eating my kale soup and broccoli and carrots. I've got to work on increasing my nutrition (and as I'm writing this, I'm drinking a glass of lemonade and cooking a beef croquette for lunch).

I'm finding that grief is a funny creature. I expected to feel more upset at my Mom's visitation and funeral... but I wasn't. I expected to be crying more often... but I'm not. I did NOT expect to break down and start crying walking down the ramp when exiting the Steelers game... but I did. I was walking down the ramp, in the middle of thousands of people after witnessing a wonderful win by the home team. It popped in my mind that I'll have to call my Mom when I get home and tell her all about it as she would love to hear about my weekend... where we shopped, what we ate, what the game was like. And then it hit me that I couldn't call her and I started crying. I did not expect to think of her in the middle of doing some dishes and have it hit me.... but it does. Grief is not happening like I thought it would. And that's something I'm going to have to work through.

So... now it's Wednesday and I'm starting to feel functional again. Sorry for leaving y'all in the lurch for over a week. I'm really touched by the concern I received - people who worried about me when I didn't post for so long. Please, keep saying prayers for me and my family.


Michelle said...

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules on grief - except it always seems to get you when you least expect it.

I'm glad to hear the latest scan showed no growth at all - great news!

Glad you had such a blast at the game!

Chris said...

Annette- that was SUCH a great post! I laughed so hard about your driving adventures in the 'burgh- believe me, I know! And then I cried a momentary tear for you until it was replaced by an overwhelming feeling of hope since I just know you will win this long difficult war. Big hugs from Nana and I!!

Anonymous said...

I think grief is a very much uncontrollable reaction to thoughts.
Glad to hear the scan results. I hope and pray it is a sign of "as small as a man's hand" (as in 1 Kings 18:44) and amazing healing is coming.
John V.

Lisa Huckleberry said...

Annette - I am so happy you had such a great time at the game! Loved the story of you girls getting pulled over - that was hillarious!!!!

Great news on the CT scan - I keep praying for you and holding faith that you are beating cancer's butt!!!!

Grief - it hits everyone differently - it hits us at many times unexpectedly - just when you think your fine, it comes and grips you.... But, it is ok to grieve, it is ok that sometimes your body just decides it is too much and you need to cry - even if it is in front of hundreds of people! We cannot choose how we deal with grief completely and that is ok - somehow through grieving we heal and keep memories of our loved ones alive in our hearts!

Sending lots of hugs and kisses from Lily and me to you! And remember - keep eating!!!!



Anonymous said...

Dear Annette & Tom, thought of you so often, looked for the blog often.... and yep there was one, glad you had a great weekend, and good news re: scan, grieving is very good any time, any where.
We pray for patience, strength, healing and comfort. Love P&S

Julie said...

The Steelers road trip was fantastic!!!! We got to see a really great game. I think Annette is convert to football and to the Steelers!! It was definitely a road trip with adventure.... gave proof that getting there is at least half the fun! As for being directionally challenged... well, in my defence, I was just the driver!!!! Annette, I am glad you have managed to maintain your sense of humour... and remember..."couchet only, really means, couchet only!!!"

Kris said...

I am so glad to hear your good news - no growth. That is great. The chemo, wow, so many treatments. I cannot imagine it. My time in chemo was so brief and I can't imagine what it is like for you. On the food front, that is a tough one. Just try to eat the good stuff and push yourself a bit, but of course also enjoy the fun food too. On the antinausea front, I agree, less nausea is better even if it involves more sleep. Maybe this time you will sleep less as your body may be used to it?? Anyway. Yes springs up and bites you in the oddest of places. I get bit during the unusual times too. Love ya and take care my friend.