Sunday, March 11, 2018

Losing my best friend

I haven't been myself lately.  Well, since October.  That's when my best friend was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  I think I've been depressed this whole time.

Frank is my dog.  We've been together for 8 years.  He is approximately 10 years old.  I adopted him from a shelter.  Sure, I have my boyfriend.  He isn't Frank, though.  Frank and I shared a second floor flat for years.  We walked twice a day, every day up until October when he developed a weird honking cough.  Frank went to work with me.  Frank nursed me when I had cancer.  Missing Frank when I was in the hospital was my motivation to get well.  This little 22 pound of muscle, attitude and fur has been a part of me for so long I am just not coping with it well.

I feel guilty for so many reasons.  I love him so much, and I hate to see him with this diagnosis.  I hate that I have to deal with this diagnosis.  I don't want him to suffer, but I don't want to let him go.
I wish he would pass peacefully in his sleep.  I feel guilty and horrible for getting tired of taking him potty every two hours.  I wonder if I will feel relief after he dies--and that makes me feel awful and like such an evil person for having those thoughts and being so selfish.  I am scared of losing him.  I'm scared of what happens when we die.  I'm scared I will never again feel the love and the bond I have with this amazing little creature. 

Let me be clear:  I have devoted my time to being at home with Frank as much as possible.  I work about 10 hours/week, and I am always tired.  Frank is on lots of medications and takes about 11 pills/day (on good days) right now.  He is not suffering and has a great quality of life.  He does not have the energy he had a year ago.  He coughs when he gets excited.  He pees every two hours.  He wants me to take him for rides.  He wants to go to his favorite places, but he gets too excited in the car--to the point I'm nervous he will pass out or overwork himself.  I don't allow him to run up and down the stairs, so I carry him a lot now.  We found out the hard way if he hurts his back the muscle relaxers cause him to collect more liquid in his chest cavity.  With all of that, I am trying to be the best me and the best nurse I can be.  It is a privilege to be able to take care of him, however long it takes and to help him transition to heaven.  I must believe there is a heaven to handle this.  I believe in God, but I must believe there is a place for Frank to go where I might be lucky enough to see him again when I leave this world.

I've stopped walking--- I feel guilty without my best friend with me- He loves it so much.
I've become lazier than I already am.  AB caught me today eating chocolate chips out of a bag as a snack.  AB also has done more dishes than his fare share lately. Almost all my money is going to work or Frank (meds, checkups, food).

I'm at a loss.  We have had some scary times since October, but Frank is still here, and he is happy to be here.  I made him a new batch of treats today, and I am happy to see him eat them.  I bake or boil chicken breast for him every few days, and I noticed he is starting to get bored of that delicious meal.  I might switch to boiled ground beef for a couple days to just give him a bit of you see how I think about him and his needs constantly?  He's laying a few feet away from me right now, and I just want to soak it all up.  I don't sleep well, I don't give my boyfriend the attention he needs right now, I just focus on the little one.  My mind is scattered, and I just needed to get that out.

He is a blessing to my life, and I am trying to soak up each day with him, because I don't know how many days we have left.  Its hard to live for me, but making memories with him is most important right now.

Monday, January 16, 2017

My cancer anniversary is coming in February.

That will be my four year anniversary from my diagnosis.  The day I found out I was dying and had cancer.
Its very scary to think of that.  At the beginning of the year, I had a cut on my tongue.  It was like a paper cut on my tongue, with a nasty flap of skin that hurt like a mother.
It hurt for about a week, and I went to see the doctor.  She had no idea what it was, at that point the flappy part was wrinkly and white, because it was kinda dying and drying out.

She wanted me to see a specialist and mentioned the word "biopsy".

I couldn't sleep that night.

I had the fear in me that I was sick again...this was the beginning of it all...again.

I honestly couldn't sleep or think for about 24 hours, but then, the salt water rinses started to help.  The pain got less.  The bump got smaller.  I could talk without pain.
I felt like an idiot.
A complete and utter idiot.

Try telling someone this story that hasn't had a crazy illness or fought for their life.  Try telling a story of how a bump and cut on your tongue led you to think you were going to die and think they believe you.  They won't.  They won't get it.  People won't even validate your feelings.  You are over-reacting. You are silly.
Am I?  Am I?  What happened to me is sheer luck. I am alive today.  But, the feeling of being deathly afraid of getting sick again...its real and its dark.  It is a mindgame.  I know that, but I can't shake it.

I can't seem to get over it.

I am utterly grateful to be alive and I sincerely try to give it my all each day, albeit I am still tired a lot.  I try to savor moments and I sometimes take it for granted, still, but I feel that's living.

When it comes right down to it, though, I am still scared out of my wits to get a new car, have a car payment, buy things, or even work too hard...because if it happens again...then what?

My head is a scary place.

How do you deal with it?  What advice can you give?  This is the time of year when every hot flash and night sweat has me nervous.  A cut on my tongue put me in a mind meld last week--- I didn't talk to anyone about it, made me think awful thoughts.  I even thought I shouldn't put BD through this again.

I need a vacation from my head at this time of year.  Its too much.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I'm living- Dental issues after cancer- reposted from my Leukemia blog

Yep.  It can happen.
It is happening to me.

Last night, my mom asked if it was from the cancer, chemo, or just from my genes/oral hygiene.  I have a feeling its a combo of all of that.
But, can I express that I had daily chemo and lots of it...both IV and orally.  During that time, I used a sponge or a baby toothbrush (no joke) and could not floss or use listerine.  I only used Biotene when I could tolerate the taste (let's make that another topic for another day).  The chemo's main goal was to kill off my blood production so my bone marrow would reset, so to speak.  I would stop making platelets, hemoglobins, and especially we wanted my ANC to drop to as close to zero as possible.  I really feel this played a big part in my dental issues today.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I'm expanding to a new blog this year.

Tomorrow, I turn 40.  Ha, I almost wrote 30.
Today is the last day of my thirties, and the timing couldn't be better.
I've decided to expand to another blog where I promise to write daily the next 365 days (or at least try to).  I want to document 40 for my siblings and to look back on down the road.

Stay tuned, the good posts will also come here, to my general catch-all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

From my Cancer Blog-- Shannen Doherty has Breast Cancer that spread. Personal thoughts-- hang in there girl!

The article popped in my feed on Facebook and Yahoo! the last few days.  Shannen Doherty has breast cancer, and the pictures of her losing her hair, looking fragile and thin, and the worst news for anyone...the cancer has spread.

Its all over ET (Entertainment News), Yahoo! Bing, MSN,, facebook, twitter, and GMA (Good Morning America).  The sad thing is I was in high school when Beverly Hills, 90210 made its way into pop culture.  I was a freshman, with long dark brown straight hair and blunt bangs.  I had big plump lips and big eyebrows.  I felt like Brenda a new world...high school in Northwest Indiana in 1990.  Life was good and everything was new.  The digital age was coming, and nintendo and Sega Genesis were all the rage.  MTV still showed music videos (well, now we will have Classic MTV soon, right?).
I grew up with Brenda Walsh and then I became an adult while Shannen played on Charmed.  People my age can relate.  I fought leukemia, so I can relate on another level.

My heart goes out to not just Shannen, but her family as well. My heart goes to everyone who has been affected by cancer.  Family, friends, patients, caregivers...

In fact, today, I talked to my good friend, Sonda.  She is wonderful, we met when we both worked for the same real estate company, practically ten years years ago.  Today, Sonda has her own daycare she runs.  She is passionate about life, God, and her family...and I feel the same, so today was a great day, because I got to talk to my friend, whom I adore.
She reminded me to trust God, he got me this far.  He blessed me so many times, why would he have me go through all I went through with my leukemia, just to let me get trapped up in my own fears...the fears of relapse, the unknown, other health issues, more name it...why would that be?  She is right.  I hold a fear of the unknown very strongly...and it keeps me from doing even greater things in my life.

That has to stop today.  I need to put that fear aside and become fearless.

Suck it up, buttercup!  

Shannen: If you read this, hang in there!  It's not fun, regardless of what type of cancer you have--- chemo every day like me or once every week or two sucks and we are not ourselves, but we are in warrior training through it.  I feel its like a conscious coma, we are going through the actions, we know what's going on, but its surreal and when its done, you won't think it was that bad.  What happens to our bodies makes us think we are experiments--- that we pay for.  Insurance companies are headaches and nightmares that we think about daily.  We miss a lot and we feel like a dish in the china cabinet everyone is afraid to touch----like we might break.  People you love will be scared to come near you or even touch you....why, for various reasons.  Don't let that break you--- be strong, be you.  You are not alone, and you will get through it.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Breaking the Facebook Habit

Lately, I've been glued to fb.  I don't know why, I just have. 
I'm not as busy as I would like to be at work, and my mind loses focus and I am always catching myself checking my facebook.
Now, I know it can be a great marketing tool in my profession, so I try to post things on my public page a few times a week.  I also try to make comments on my friends pages to keep me 'top of mind'.

Today, though, I decided to put it down and leave it be until Tuesday.

Today, I saw pictures from one of my closest friends recent wedding.  She was one of my dear friends in high school, albeit it a super long time ago.  She never really would post anything on facebook...until this past week...including her fabulous wedding photos.  She looked great, everything looked perfect (maybe that's just it...everything looks too fun and perfect with other's posts).

It was depressing.  Depressing for me, as I saw other people we went to high school with that she obviously stayed in touch with...and I wasn't one of them.  More and more, I notice that the people I went to high school with really don't care about me and never did.  I was never someone's good friend that they wanted to keep touch with.  I need to hold on and pause:  There are 2 people that I have kept in good contact with.  I love them with all my heart, and I am super happy for them always.  They are the best.  The 60 or so others from high school that didn't care I had cancer or just don't make any comments on my posts...screw them. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rainy Sunday

My list of things to do is growing.  Its rainy out, Frank is not happy about it one bit, and I haven't blogged or wrote anything for quite some time.

That is all ending today.  I have a ton of stuff to do, and I need to get my butt in gear!  No fooling, this time, either.

This past summer (yes, summer is almost over) has taught me a few things about life, including a need to work, a need to be healthy, and a serious want for a vacation back to vegas.  Hoping BD can make it happen for this fall, we really need it.
I also am on a quest to lose 20 more pounds by then.  Think I can do it?  I'm trying.  Here's to a great attempt-- lets see if I can make it work!  Runkeeper and My Fitness Pal apps are my best friend...and walking Frank is good for it, too.

Now, on to other things like cleaning and organizing my desk today.  Tomorrow is Monday-- a day I plan to be busy.  I am going to make this week a great work week, take my career seriously and make it great.