A recipe for living with cancer.

Posts tagged ‘cold’

What a Fabulous Day!

What a Fabulous Day Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened vanilla organic almond milk

1 cup organic frozen strawberries

2 T organic agave

1/2 banana

1 cup assorted leftover fruit in frig, berries, pineapple etc

1 cup fresh organic kale

Blend and enjoy.

The sun is shining and I am alive, what a fabulous day!  My kids and grandkids are healthy and my hubby loves his job, what a fabulous day!  My niece made it through 12 hours of surgery, is out of the ICU and doing well, what a fabulous day!  I have radiation and major surgery to finish this cancer therapy, but I don’t care, what a fabulous day!

I was brightened this morning with a phone call from Josh.  He calls almost everyday either on the way to work or on the way home from work.  Today was a “bluebird sky” day in Jackson, WY and while we chatted he saw two otters having a high old-time slipping and sliding and diving in the defrosted stream.  In my mind’s eye I could see them just having a blast and reveling in the spring thaw and cool or COLD water rushing over their dense fir.  Then he saw a swarm of snow buntings (birds) -20 or so -dashing and diving, swerving and banking back and forth in front of him on the road.  He mumbled about loving his job, loving it there, and loving his life, what a fabulous day.

He told me about a group he is helping lead this week, 30 ethnically diverse high school students from all over, many from inner cities, brought out to learn about jobs in the national park service.  The national park service is not diverse and they are trying to change that, kudos to them.  These kids flew in last night to cold temps in the single digits, huddled deep in their coats, hands shoved deep in their pockets and darkness so complete you could barely see your hand in front of your face.  They were probably freaking out thinking what have I gotten myself into… After Josh and I marveled at what he’d seen, the blue sky, the mountains starting to  explode against the crystal clear backdrop, he said; “these kids are waking up after being cloaked in darkness and trepidation last night and looking out the windows and seeing this, how amazing is that!”

I would love to have been there, a fly on the wall, as these young kids got their first view of the day, their surroundings, the excitement and the wonder, you can’t help it out there, its transformational.

I live vicariously through Josh on these phone calls when he sees something, hears something, or is stopped by a bison(s) crossing the road.  I feel as if I am there and can’t wait to get back to experience it myself.

Buoyed by my Jackson fix I did a bunch of stuff around the house and sat and had my organic, vegan fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast.  I filled out a questionnaire from UPMC Cancer Center about the care I have received thus far from the cancer center.   I thought about the last 10 months and what I’ve gone through, what my niece is going through and like the view of the Tetons rising from the ground to meet the sky, suddenly realized, I feel great today, what a fabulous day.  I am done with chemo, that was awful, but I am done, I am done with three surgeries and have one more, almost done and I have radiation, but I feel great today, even with the discomfort of the surgery, the skin expander, I feel great.

I am so lucky, I am so lucky, and Reviva can now say Ghee…what a fabulous day!

Scratch my Itch.

Itching is one of the most insidious ailments an individual can have at any time.  A mosquito bite -one small tiny spot- can send us into traumatic contortions trying to scratch or better yet, not to scratch a spot the size of a pea.  We all know what happens once you start scratching you cannot stop, you itch more, you scratch more, a never ending vicious cycle some of us feel will only be stopped once blood is drawn.  My nephew just does not start scratching thereby not even starting the cycle and getting past the itch much faster. I wish I had such self control.

This chemo treatment has given new meaning to the words itch and scratch. Starting out with a rash on the back of both hands, I have been trying desperately not to scratch.  Did you know you can scratch in your sleep?  Apparently I did causing a red raw patch on the back of one hand.  Tom scared the crap out of me when he saw the patch and admonished me and mentioned scratching like that is a guaranteed trip to the hospital for cellulitis.  Whoa, trip to hospital no thanks, cellulitis please no, so began my inner mantra to try and control the scratch itch cycle. Don’t scratch, don’t scratch, it doesn’t itch, it feels fine.  The h-ll it does!!!

I lost control and found myself one night scratching parts of my body where I didn’t realize I itched.  The more I scratched, the more I itched and there I was caught in the cycle with no way out.  In desperation I jumped into the shower and turned the water on as hot as possible.  As the hot water hit each itchy spot the pain was almost unbearable, yet at the same time it was as if I were scratching the itch without actually touching the spot.  I couldn’t figure this out but did not care, it gave me momentary relief and after I got out of the shower relief for a few hours.

I keep putting off calling the oncologists office because I keep thinking it is getting better, yet it seems to be getting worse.  I take benedryl every day but it doesn’t seem to do the trick, so tomorrow I will call and find out what else I can do.  Actually my bigger concern is this is a huge allergic reaction to the Taxotere and it will somehow knock me off track for my last three infusions.  The end is in sight don’t stop me now.

I did not know how to compare this itch /scratch issue to anything else I’ve ever experienced until tonight when I was talking with Mimi at break fast.  When I told her how the hot water hurt terribly but somehow relieved it she said, sure I know exactly what you are talking about.

She reminded me of what happens in the cold, when you’ve been outside and whatever you are wearing doesn’t keep your thighs and butt warm enough.  You come inside and as your freezing skins meets the warmth of the house you begin to tingle and ITCH, uncontrollably.  Then to warm up you take either a warm shower or bath.  You hit the water and the pain is unbearable for a minute or two and then the whole thing calms down, you stop itching and you start to warm up.  I am sure there is a perfectly logical physiological reaction/reason for this but for the moment, this is what I feel like without the numbing cold portion.

I hope this stops, I hope this doesn’t interfere with my therapy and most of all I hope never to itch like this, ever again.

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