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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Seeing Mom Through The Chemo Fog

       Two peanuts were walking down the was a salted! (hehehe)  
Well, tonight I am awakening from a thick chemo fog.  I barely have the energy to type on my keyboard.  My dad drove me Friday to get my Neulasta shot and we went out to eat afterwards.  That was the second time that I have ordered just a bowl of guacamole as dinner.  Why?  Because the linings of my mouth and throat are so raw that I have to be careful what I eat.  I have no taste buds left.  I realized that during my last chemo session I guess the nurse got so focused on trying to get a blood return, we both forgot to get ice for me to chew.  You see, you are supposed to chew on ice when the Red Devil is being administered.  It is getting very hard for me to even type the letters or think about the red stuff.  The ice in your mouth closes off the tiny blood vessels and hopefully keeps your taste buds from being destroyed as well as the linings of you throat and mouth.  Whoops!  Forgot about that this time!  And I can sure tell the difference.  Water tastes bad to me.  Everything seems to have the flavor of dry newspaper.  Yummy.   This could be a good thing.  Maybe I will lose a few pounds and counteract what all the steroids are doing to me.

I have been very weak and extremely nauseated.  My wonderful husband went to pick up some refills on my prescriptions.  He first made me my standard chicken noodle soup with crackers.  This is usually the only thing that sounds good when the nausea hits.  This time it had little taste at all.  I am so thirsty but anything I drink feels like it might come back up, and it really has no taste.  For some reason I am craving orange juice, so Kevin is bringing some back.  

So after my dad brought me home from getting the shot, I slept.  I slept until my sisters got to my house to get me.  They loaded me up and I slept in the car.  I got to Cindy's  house and I slept.  I slept in the car the next morning to pick my mother up from the nursing home.  We took her to eat brunch.....I slept on the way there.  I left the table early and went to lay down in the car....I slept some more.  I slept all the way home.  I went inside and went to bed. I have recently just woke up.  I have been feeding myself anti-nausea drugs and praying that this horrible taste in my mouth will go away.

Seeing my mother was good.  She has become very comical since she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.   She says the funniest things.  She loved my hat.  I took it off and she rubbed my bald head.  She exclaimed "Oh Penny, you are growing out your hair.....I like it!"  I looked over and saw tears in Cindy's eyes.  Tears that were flowing as if to say "she doesn't know the seriousness of the situation"....and there is no reason for her to know.  Then at brunch she told all of us three girls how beautiful we were and marveled over the color of our eyes.  She asked "now what kids do you have?"...speaking to any of us I think.   I knew years ago that my mother was not mentally well when she bought all three of us girls snow shovels for Christmas presents.  She waited until all the presents had been opened and brought them out with big read bows on them.  I remember thinking...."this is Texas...where in the heck did she find three snow shovels?"  If you only could have seen how proud she was of these snow shovels.  She always meant well, but life with her was never easy.  She is a totally different person now, and as much as I hate the Alzheimer' has made her a much more pleasant person to be around.  She is also much happier than she has ever been in her lifetime.  

Well I just downed a glass of orange juice.  I could taste it.  Not as strong as it usually would taste but I could still taste it.   I hate this toxic feeling and I hope it goes away soon.  I am reminded of the two pregnancies my sister, Cindy had.  She threw up everyday for nine months, two and three times a day.    She passed out in the grocery store twice standing in line.  I think she lost about 20-30 pounds being pregnant.  I am sure  this feeling I have pales in comparison to how she felt, but it still stinks!  

It was great to get together with my sisters and my mother.  I don't remember the last time that happened.  Karen, or "Susie" as I call her is my oldest sister, and is ten years older than me.  She got married the day before she turned 17 and is still married to the same wonderful man.  She later put herself through SMU and graduated.  My other sister, Cindy, is a teacher and met her husband while attending East Texas Baptist University.  She then went on to get her master's degree.  I graduated like I said from TCU in December of 1990 and then went on to cosmetology school.  All of us three girls put ourselves through school with little or no help. My mother dropped out of high school and my father barely finished the eighth grade.  For some reason, there was this strong sense of obligation that we all put on ourselves to get a college education.  So we did.

Well, I think the orange juice gave me a little pick-me-up.  I think I will have another glass!  But before I go I wanted to wish all mothers reading this a happy Mother's Day!    Thanks for helping me spread the word about Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  Thanks to all of you who are spreading the word and sharing this link through email or facebook.  I really appreciate it.   

Most of all, I want to tell all my followers out there who have been diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer that we can make a difference.  There is power in numbers.  Do you remember the time when you saw the first pink ribbon logo and you did not know what it meant or stood for?  Now do you know anyone who doesn't know what it stands for?  Triple Negative BC can be the same way....we can get its name out there.  So post this link and ask your friends to repost, and ask them to ask their friends to repost.....exposure and awareness make a huge difference in the direction of research and the obligations scientists and pharmaceutical companies have to the public.  So stay strong and stick together!

Until next time my friends....


AFWingMom said...

Happy Mother's Day to you too Penny! I'm glad you were able to spend some time with your mom and sisters today. ♥

Anonymous said...

Hi Penny, Happy Mother's Day! I hope you enjoy your day tomorrow with your loved ones! Love to hear that you were able to spend time with your sisters and your mother. Even more glad to hear that you were able to enjoy your visit with your mother. Glad it was a good day! Loved the snow shovel story, that's priceless! Rest well and again, Happy Mother's Day!! Cynthia

Tyler Brandley said...

Hey Penny! I'm glad you went to see your mom even though you were feeling lousy. I know how important it was for you to see her. I'm praying you feel much better so you can enjoy your Mother's Day. Love you. Tyler

elliebelfiglio said...

Sunday Morning,
To live in the mist of the world,
wishing its pleasures;
You're a member of all families,
Yet belonging to none,
You share all your suffering;
You Penetrate all your secrets;
To heal all yours wounds;
And the wounds of all that are affacted.
You are a woman going to God
To offer him your prayers'
You return from God to a woman;
To bring hope and solace.
You have a heart of gold and breeze
And a wisdom for teaching;
Console us with your breath,
From a mouth that is wounded.
You have a glorious life,
For being the special daughter, sister, mother, wife, and friend
A life that is only yours,
O, the daughter of Jesus Christ.
Happy mother's day

Penny said...

Thank you all!
Ellie, what a beautiful poem and a wonderful mother's day gift. I love you! I love the flowers you sent me, too!

sharon said...

It was good to see photos of your mom. I am so glad that you are doing well and are writing a blog to let us know of your day's. I do not get to get on and read them like I would love to do, but I do get on late and try to see what you have to say. I pray for you each day and I do tell others about how much you mean to me and what you are going through. I wish that we could go back and be kids playing on the streets until the street lights come on. I miss you and your family. I know that God is with you at this time and he will take care of you. You are in my prayers. Love ya always