Today was interesting. I feel it went very well. It started way too early with a scheduled 6:30 a.m. blood draw for lab work. We however had a hard time getting out of the house by 5:00 a.m. as get up time was o-dark-thirty, ugh. So blood draw was at 7:00, and results needed to come back before they started chemo. They weren’t ready until 8:30 a.m. There were pre-meds that were administered to make sure my body didn’t respond badly to the actual chemo. One of these was Benedryl so I got all loopy and had restless legs. After this, the actual chemo drugs started and I didn’t have any reaction to them, and haven’t yet. They explained it likely would be Wednesday and the days that follow where I might have reactions, most notably nausea. I have many meds to prevent nausea. We’ll see how I do.
I am continuing to be impressed by the general company culture at UCHealth. Whatever they are doing there, they seem to be doing it right. Good customer service, good bedside manners, things explained well, thoroughly, and respectfully. Today during the process a volunteer came by to do energy work, in this case Healing Touch, which I gratefully accepted. I did my own work on the inside while she attended to my body. Such a gift.
The actual infusions took from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. probably. A long time. And I had good company. My beloved, Grant, took me down and stayed until he had to leave to make another appointment. This was made possible by the fact that one of my oldest and dearest friends Kelley (Marlatt) Abbott made the offer to take the day off work, meet us there, spend the day, bring me home (a 3 hour round trip for her!), and stay with me until Grant arrived home. She was the perfect mother hen, and was on top of all sorts of care-taking, entertaining, and listening to and questioning of staff. Her mom-gene kicked in on my behalf, and I told her my mom, rest her soul, would approve. To which she responded, “aww.” We both did a little “aww” about that.
The best news I got today was one of the blood test results. The CA-125 maker was 3500 on 3/13/18 or so. Today it was 2349. That is a descent of 1/3. And this was BEFORE chemo. So that means that all the work that I have been doing, and that Grant has been helping me do, seems to be already paying off. In no particular order, here are some of the things we’ve changed up:
- Diet: more water and clear liquids, more fruits and vegetables, less processed food, lower intake of animal protein, little to no caffeine, and WAY less sugar.
- More sunshine.
- More exercise for me (doesn’t take much, I know, for it to count as “more.”)
- More and better sleep.
- Less stress for me in the form of not working. Thank you NRBH, FMLA, & AFLAC.
- Emotional care-taking and expression in the form of seeking counseling for each of us to help us process.
- A lot of community support via this blog and my/our larger Facebook communities — Thank you to our family and friends who have been awesome! Positive vibes, thoughts, and prayers are welcome. Studies have shown the efficacy of these positive mental states on behalf of others.
- Our pet community of animal therapists: Sammy, Lacy, Rigby and Pico.
- Learning a lot more about how this can work, what works, what doesn’t, etc., via many books, videos, and conversations with people who know what they’re talking about. This all translates into Hope.
- Spiritual perspective on the largeness and oneness of LIFE, and the inherent temporariness of human bodies, and remembering that that is okay.
- Telling the cancer cells the above as they are not doing apoptosis and should be.
- Alternative and complementary treatments including Jin Shin, Body Scan & Homeopathy, and Anthroposophic Medicine.
- Many supplements for boosting my immune system, as well as healing my intestinal system which has been shown to need some help.
- A variety of seemingly small things that add up: frankincense essential oil topically, CBD oil both internally and topically, light and infrared therapy on painful and swollen parts of post-surgery abdomen, guided visualizations and positive affirmations about surgery and fighting cancer, candle light and relaxing music and nature sounds, the occasional relaxing bath.
- Mentally allowing and expecting “cure” and “heal.”
We are grateful and encouraged. And now it is time to catch up on some of that missing sleep from this morning. 💤