How to get ready for chemotherapy

First, spend a LOT of time getting anxious.  Worry about feeling bad, being nauseated, hurting, getting blurry vision and having a hard time concentrating.

Then, decide that so much anxiety is bad, so try to think of something happy.  Like George and his ribbons:

lots-of-ribbons

Cute, but I’m still anxious.  I”m also worried about getting everything done today that I need to get done.  Like preparing the worksheets for Faith Formation on Sunday.  I can’t go teach, but it’s still important to me to do the work that doesn’t involve potential germ exposure.  And if I don’t do it today, it’s going to be really much harder to do after tomorrow’s chemotherapy.

faith-formation

And I can’t forget about the drugs.  This time they’re starting steroids ahead of time to try to reduce the swelling and toxicity from the Taxotere.  So I’ll take those today and organize my many other medications to start tomorrow. 

steroids

Speaking of Taxotere, that’s the drug that can cause nerve damage in your hands and feet.  So during the whole time it’s being pumped through my port into my veins, we have my hands and feet iced.  I’m always sad for the ladies getting chemotherapy at the same time as I do who try it once, last less than ten minutes, decide it’s not worth it, and will end up with permanent painful neuropathy.   I certainly need to remember my shawl and my new quilt, though.

newquilt

My mom brought it down yesterday from Michigan for me.  She considered mailing it but it’s far too valuable to me to risk being lost by the post office.

The other thing I need to bring is something to do while I’m waiting to get started.  Did I tell you I’m anxious?  Just sitting still without something for my hands to do makes it worse.  But my fingers are still swollen and I can’t concentrate on anything complicated or that I need a pattern for.  So I’ve got to bring a sock in progress.

sock

This one is perfect.  Dark yarn so mistakes don’t show.  Plain knitting, around in a circle.  I don’t need to watch what I’m doing, I don’t need to think, just knit.  And try not to be so anxious.

I know!  I can share the anxiety.  I can tell my children I’m going to wear my new hat to chemotherapy!  I wore it to the grocery store last night and one check out person called me “Sir”!!!  Emily says I need to wear something under it because you can see from the back that I have less hair than George:

michigan-hat1

In my opinion, baldness should be perfectly acceptable at an oncology office.  It’s not like I’m the only one.  I’m probably not the only anxious one, either.

5 thoughts on “How to get ready for chemotherapy

  1. Hi! I am one of Emily friends. I have been really busy at MPHS. I got board doing homework. I went to this website. This is a awesome blog. George is really cute. The cookies all have really good designs

  2. Dear Elizabeth,

    I’m praying for God’s peace to flood your heart as you anticipate your treatment and that the anxiety would drain away. Enjoy your mom’s company and your new quilt. I had a small part in making it. And it goes without saying that George is just too cute for words.

  3. Elizabeth,

    We were doing inventory at the shop today and we all thought about you during lunch and hoped that you liked the quilt. Also, we hope that having your family around will help you get through this treatment. We all will be thinking of you tomorrow too. May the angel quilt cover you with prayers, warmth, hope and all the love that went into making it for you from all of us at the Bernina Sewing Center that you don’t even know. It was a surprise for your Mom too.

    I hope we will see photos from Sam’s birthday too, even if his halo is missing…..tee hee!

  4. You may not be up for reading this for awhile, dear Elizabeth, but when you do, we hope this voice from your past will bring memories of a happy childhood– Our families had many good times together when you and Jane were little in Minnesota. Your blog looks like a happy, holy family in your midst in spite of the many challenges you face.
    We are praying that the new year will be peace-filled for all of you.

    CRY. SMILE. PONDER. LAUGH. HOPE.
    And know that we are thinking of you-
    Kathy and Gib

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