Friday, October 19, 2012

Round 4: Eye on the Prize

When the girls were little we were infamous at their doctors office for the piercing screams and thrashing when it was time for shots. Despite their protests the outcome was always the same... 1-2 nurses plus me pinning them down, while another nurse gave them their shots. Clearly not fun for anyone involved. The girls are very stubborn, strong willed and loud (I don't know where they get any of those traits from).  We started asking friends what they did to make shots not so bad. I am sure to some extent the girls grew into this technique, but what we still do is to focus on what they get after the shot. It started with lollipops. They sit in my lap and I have arms across them holding them tight (and usually a leg for good measure) then they close their eyes and say "lollipop, lollipop, lollipop."

I am not myself a huge fan of lollipops but have been trying to keep my eye on what comes next as well both big and small.  I am looking forward to getting back to walking our dog with Katherine and helping Margaret learn to do a back walk over. I want to travel with my family and explore the US like we did Asia. I'd also like to finish unpacking the house from the move!

I have also been trying to keep in mind that my time in the hospital is limited and just helps me get to my goal. When I ran track in high school, I had a similar approach. I mostly ran the 4x800 meter relay. I was the coachable member of our relay (which means usually the slowest runner). I would tell myself it was less than two and a half minutes of my life, that was it. before each race. I could go all out for that period of time to get the fastest possible time for my relay partners.  It has always helped me to set goals to focus on and then reel them in.

As I hit the halfway mark on chemo, my goal is full remission of leukemia which I keep reminding myself. Yesterday was a rough afternoon/evening. The anti-nausea med they put me on gave me a raging migraine, that lead to a head CT scan (which was normal) and some morphine. I have never had a migraine before and I hope to never have one again. I know so many people that do and I cannot believe how excruciatingly painful they are. I fancy myself as someone with a rather high pain tolerance who actually enjoys things like running up Baiyun mountain in Guangzhou early in the morning. Yesterday, any light, sound, movement, everything made the pain worse. The med that caused the migraine has been discontinued and it has the honor of being the only medication I have ever had an allergic reaction to. Then later in the night (or really early this am) post the headache I took a shower when my chemo bag was changed and had nausea hit like I have never felt it before (apparently not uncommon for hot water to trigger nausea with chemo). I got a different, but very effective med and felt much better. So not a lot of sleep in the night but made up for it this morning.

The update from the doctors today was everything is still looking good. My counts are all down again but now low enough yet for transfusions...They are right on the line vs below it and since they have been here under their watchful eyes I have to wait another day. I got a different kind of boost today in the form of getting to hang out with one of my sister's this afternoon. It was great to see her. She was surprised by how "normal" I look which I am taking as a good sign :). My nieces made some beautiful cards to add to my wall.

So today feeling good and really glad to be more than halfway through with this chemo treatment.

3.5 bags of chemo done, and 3.5 bags to go.

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