Saturday, 19 May 2012

The flashing red light

As anyone with a similar diagnosis will tell you, part of the stress of cancer treatment, is the waiting for phone calls and appointments. Everyday when I would come home on my lunch, and then on my return home at the end of the day, I would look at the phone to see if there was a flashing red light. The almighty message carrying information to take all my angst away. Giving me a sense of direction and moving forward, or that is what I tell myself. Actually its also a stark reminder of the tsunami that is my life currently. Thankfully tsunami's don't last long although they can cause great damage and change things forever.
For many many many ( I am going to use three many's to be dramatic) weeks I had waited for my call from the cancer clinic just for initial referral to them. I was told a couple of weeks, one to two to be exact. Let me tell you when you are dealing with a life threatening illness, early stage or not you are hanging on to these time frames. As I blogged earlier that appointment has occurred but that was a combination of flashing red lights and a red dot on my phone. This also was accompanied with "can you come in right now"!!
 I don't seem to ever get the actual phone calls, its always that red light giving me a sense of relief and a great big punch in the gut every time.
Upon leaving my appointment with the Oncologist, I was left with the information that I would start chemo in the next two weeks. They would call me. Here we go again.
Now some people would say I am stressing about things that I can't control and need to just let it happen. My life has been a series of " curve balls" most of which I did not see coming, some by choice. I almost feel like if I anticipate then I won't get smacked in the head with the ball. We all know we can't always avoid a good smack in the head especially if we are looking in the other direction. This time I want to be the team manager. Illusion is a great thing.
So here I am waiting for my chemo start date. I tried not to keep track of the red light but you just wanna know the date. See that date indicates of some life changing things. Humbling things like the loss of my hair and possible side effects that may or may not happen. I can try as hard as I might but there will be a lot of things we won't know until the drugs do there thing. The hair loss is a given, also possible bone pain from the Nuelasta shot to keep my white blood cells up.  I have already called the oncology pharmacist to tell him what I have learned about trying to control that side affect. He is going to have his work cut out for him with me I am sure. He seems patient with my jockeying for the management position. I wonder when they tell you if you got the job or do I have to job share.
Yesterday I got up all prepared to go and see the radio-oncologist. Then forty five minutes before I was to be there they called and cancelled. Geez louise did you have to? Lets see now what did they say, oh yes they are going to call me back with an appointment. Seriously another possible flashing red light. My friend had been here and was prepared to go with me. So we would have to wait. Now I don't have my chemo date or my radiologist appointment.
Frustrated I went Chemo shopping. This is my hand dandy list of things I purchased to go into battle:

  • Olive oil for my taste buds some lady says it will help retain my taste buds, 2 nasty tablespoons a day
  • Biotin mouthwash and toothpaste for the possible sore mouth and sores you can get ( yuck)
  • Claritin for the possible use to help with the pain of Nuelasta, too be discussed with the pharmacist
  • Tooth brushes to change often for possible bacteria and infection
  • Sugarless candy's for throat and mouth not sure about that one... just remember reading it
  • New bath pillow for the increased number of bath's to soak my aching body, loves me claw foot
  • Nail hardener and cuticle cream to protect nails, don't want those babies falling off
  • Bottle of red wine, okay a couple for courage, also heard organic wine can help with White blood cells a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

When I return home, only gone for a half hour and you guessed it, the flashing red light is blinking at me. Now I am assuming its the cancer clinic with my new appointment for the radiologist, but the message reveals that its my chemo start date. I call back right away. I don't hesitate but my stomach hurts. How could something you have wanted so much make you feel so heavy?
She tells me that my start date is May 30th be there at 9 am. So that is it. Its going to actually happen now cause I have a date, a time. I am sitting here alone in the house when I get that information. I wish I was not. I feel like I need to process it but there is nothing to really process anymore. I do have a moment where I realize that my husband will be back home by then. I think to myself that I will have him here which I am grateful for. Maybe that is why the universe picked that date. Actually it was a person paid to do it but my fantasy is better.
I  text my husband and tell him the date and how I will be glad he is here. He says he is happy as well.
I then say " put your helmet on" you are going to need it. He said "k".


  1. You are on a roller coaster sweetie, but handling it great! Enjoy the weather this long weekend, get your vitamins "d", dress warm and don't caught a cold! Plant some flowers and try to do some normal things. Take care, we are at the cottage, they announce 39C for Sunday! Golf a.m., while I sleep! Opening the water etc., takes the full 3 day weekend, SO WE WORK, REST AND THEN ENJOY THE COMPANY AROUND THE DOMAINE. Mass is at 11:00 am and I 'Ve asked it to be dedicated to you. Outside, under the trees looking at the lake we will be sending you love from the Quirion Domaine! Waves of energy & love.xoxo hugs ma soeur Geraldine

  2. Hey Sondria, I just joined the group....hope it works this time.