still around

March 20, 2013 · 3 comments

Sorry I haven’t been around here lately – most of my time is being spent over at Defying Melanoma. I’m home from the hospital and am resting at home.

Just wanted to update here so y’all knew I was still around!



February 17, 2013 · 6 comments


I’ve been doing pretty well with the relaxing and being calm and trying to stay down.

Until today, when I decided, hey, I can go to Target! I’ll just take it slow and no big deal.


Let’s just make it simple and say that

a) People don’t seem to be bothered by someone sitting on a display thing next to a cart full of stuff.

b) Laying down on the bench outside out of the pharmacy doesn’t garner any extra looks.

c) When you get to the check outs and need to sit down, people come out of the woodwork to help. Ice chips make all the difference.

In summation: 3 days out from first chemo treatment, not a good time to think I could go to Target. Alone.



Round One DONE

February 14, 2013 · 1 comment

Round One of Chemo DONE!!!!



(click to flail)

Day three (yesterday) was an early start. Gave some of my blood away, this time extra so that they could cross type and match (or something) just in case my hemoglobin was still too low and I needed a transfusion.

We finished up and went to the infusion center, ready to wait. And wait we did. And wait. We finally got in the room and were put back in a corner, between a quiet guy and a guy who would NOT shut up talking to his 90 year old mother, for whom he wanted to plan a party.  He kept yelling out random names and WHO ELSE? WHO ELSE? What’s your Nephew’s NAME? And everything he yelled, he repeated at least twice. Mike and I were very close to smothering him with a pillow. The day went fine. I was the patient used as a re-certifier (again) for giving a specific drug/dose method, so that made things take a bit longer. The nurses, while nice and fine, were certainly not nearly as (a) concerned or (b) forthcoming about my blood, potential transfusions or anything else going on.  We were happy to head home.

Day Four (Today):

Much later start today, as blood draw wasn’t scheduled until 12 and infusion at 1. That meant we could get the boys up and to school without too much drama, which made things much better for everyone.

This time we were put in the back corner of the infusion room. My first nurse was…well, she was fine.  Nothing wrong, just doing her job. She got me started with only a couple of hiccups and we were on our way. Not once did anyone mention my potential transfusions. Not once was anyone concerned with my bright red face, bruises or lab results.

So I did what any smart, aware woman would do – I called my doctor (one floor up, btw) and asked for the answers I needed.  I know nurses are overworked and that they do the work of many. I wasn’t looking to get anyone in trouble, so I just called. Besides, they would have had to call up there anyway.

  • Turns out, NO, I don’t need to go in for blood work OR a transfusion tomorrow morning (that would have been a very annoying drive out for nothing!).
  • I need to get my blood tested on Tuesday and Thursday of next week.
  • I need to be sure to rest, eat many small meals of whatever sounds good to me and my appetite allows.
  • have to be sure to stay on top of my meds for nausea and pain.
  • I need to call if I have any issues or problems, especially with shortness of breath or extreme fatigue.

And I need to keep moving when I can, rest when I can’t.

In three(ish) weeks, we’ll do it again.


Just for the record – I honestly have no idea what to expect.

know I’ll be tired and fatigued – not only because of the chemo in my body and my body working so hard, but also because every med I’m on has dizziness, fatigue and lack of appetite as side effects.

My taste buds have already changed a little bit. I have the distinct feeling that there will be absolutely nothing normal about what I can and cannot eat for quite some time. Just as long as I can find something(s) good to drink and eat, I’ll be alright.

I have no clue when I’ll lose my hair. I’m fairly certain I will, so I have a couple new hats on order. The boys have requested no wigs, which is fine by me.

The only thing I know 100% for sure is that there is probably no such thing as normal in cancer or any other illness / disease. And that’s just how it is.

{cross posted because I’m lazy…or tired…}

{ 1 comment }

cancer center stories

February 12, 2013

Being in the hospital lately allows lots of people watching and listening. I admit it. I’m nosy. But also, people tend to talk to me. So I’ll share some stories of people I’ve encountered now and then. First, the Texas-haired girl in MRI that told me she really should stop tanning at the salon because […]

2 comments

Day 2 – Odd but not bad

February 12, 2013

Today was slightly strange in the world of Dawn and her Great Chemo Adventure. First, we misjudged the time it would truly take to get the boys up and to school (early) so we could get to U of M on time. Actually, it wasn’t so much the time at school, though that could’ve gone […]

18 comments