An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Side Effects

It’s been a long, hard week, and it’s only Wednesday morning! I’m sitting in the chemo room at the cancer center, getting Herceptin dripped into my veins. Herceptin doesn’t really have immediate side effects. Just a small headache.

It’s been 3 weeks since my last chemo treatment and I’m feeling ok in the mornings, but by afternoon I’m exhausted and sick to my stomach. I was really hoping that I’d be feeling better than this. I’m a little impatient. In fact, I’ve been wondering why my hair hasn’t grown back by now. :-)

Monday night, I had kind of a break down. At least it was only in front of Rick – not the kids. I was feeling overwhelmed because of my schedule for Tuesday. I was feeling like a loser mom because it was my baby’s 12th birthday (Matthew – my youngest) and I hadn’t even shopped for gifts yet. He was going to wake up in the morning and not have presents to open. I’d just been too tired to go out. Then, I realized that I had a stupid para thyroid scan on Tuesday that would take half the day, and then district science fair, where Matthew’s project needed to be set up (the same time as the dr apt), and the art show at the junior high for Alex. There would be no time at all to do anything for Matthew’s birthday. Plus, just looking at the schedule made me tired. As soon as Rick walked in, I started crying. I’m such a baby! He asked me what was wrong and I couldn’t even find my voice. I just whispered that I’m so tired of being sick and I’m so tired of being tired. I’ve had it. Then I told him about the schedule for the next day and he said “Well, you just can’t do it all. Take something off the schedule.” Ok, what would you take off? The dr. appointment? The science fair? The art show? MATTHEW’S BIRTHDAY?! Geez! Not to mention, I still had shopping for gifts and making a cake. I finally decided to ask for help from my friend Lori (she set up the science fair project – actually Steve and Jeff did – thanks you guys), and to keep Matthew home from school and take him with me – we had a great time, shopping for presents and going to lunch in between scans at the doctor’s. Everything worked out ok – Rick came home early to help with the last part of the science fair and the art show turned out to be tonight instead of last night. I even made the cake and ordered pizza before I completely collapsed from fatigue.

Fatigue is one of the lovely side effects you have from chemo. You know, I’ve just about had it with side effects. When you meet with your oncologist the first time, he’ll tell you about the side effects. I’m pretty sure he told me about not only the immediate side effects, but also about the long term side effects. I just don’t remember much about those long term ones – probably because one of those is what they call “chemo brain” – where your brain basically becomes mush and you forget everything. I’ve been suffering from this particular one almost since I started chemo. I forget everything. I’m amazed that I even remembered that it was Matthew’s birthday yesterday! Other long term side effects – a weakened heart (from the Herceptin), wrinkles, early menopause (which includes hot flashes!). I know there’s more, but I’ve FORGOTTEN what they are! I just know that there will be constant reminders of the beast.

I was watching a short video the other day that my son, Grant, sent home from Japan (where he’s serving a mission). The camera was pointed at a store window and inside was a huge dragon head (one of those that are made from paper), that was moving from side to side while the eyes lit up. All Grant said was “Holy crap – it’s a dragon!” That’s kind of how I feel about the cancer: holy crap – it’s a dragon! And the side effects are the fire that spews forth from it’s mouth.

Here’s where I say that I’m really grateful that there is even a thing called chemo – it’s saving my life. And I know I’m a big whiner, but sometimes, in order to fight the beast, I’ve got to let some feelings out. I’ve got to get things off my chest (literally).

1 comment:

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    Blogger Marcindra LaPriel said...

    You ARE supermom.