Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yellow Tomatoes and Yellow Eyes

My eyes are looking pretty creepy lately. A few days ago, I noticed that I had a couple of dark red spots on the whites of my eyes. I have seen red spots like that before, on someone else. They are usually caused by a blood vessel bursting in the eye. Then, today, Deb looked into my eyes and said that the whites of my eyes are turning yellow. I did have blood drawn at chemo today, but I don't know if part of the bloodwork included liver functions and enzymes or not. I see the chemo doc on Thursday and I will talk to him about it then. Hopefully, I'm not having liver problems due to the chemicals.

My eyes are also feeling pretty weird lately. My eyes feel tired. I'm not sure how else to explain it, except that they feel strained and like they want to rest. Closing my eyes doesn't help this feeling. My vision is almost as if I am looking through slightly imperfect glass, not enough to impare my vision, but enough to let me know that my eyes are tired.

A few hours ago, after my last entry (Eggplant, Tomatoes and Basil...Oh My), I went out to the garden to commune with the bugs, weeds and intentional plants. In early spring, a cilantro plant had voluntarily sprung up in one of the raised beds. I intentionally let it go to seed so that I could could harvest the seed to use as corriander (which I rarely use), but especially so that I could plant it again later to use the yummy leaves in homemade salsa and other tasty treats. (Deb and I found that Cilantro freezes very well and can be used in the dead of winter as a lovely addition to chicken enchilada casserole and other goodies.) I stripped about 2/3 of the seeds from the plant, intentionally sprinkled some in an unused area of one of the veggie beds, and accidentally dropped about 1/4 of the seeds from the plant onto the ground below it. The rest of the seed couldn't fit into the small 2" peat pot that I had grabbed as a containter. Just for kicks, I decided to count the number of seeds that I harvested. I've gotten a little ways into the counting process, but the tiredness of my eyes dictated that I stop for now. I'll let you know later what the results were and why I am so fascinated by them.

I was very tired today after chemo, so I came home, watched tv, then took a nap for about 3 hours. And felt better.

For dinner, I had cottage cheese topped with the most unique tomato I have ever tasted. Our friends, Dolores and Walt, had given us a few plants of an heirloom tomato called "Peach", or something like that. It is a yellow tomato, that when fully ripe, is colored like a peach, with salmon/peach colored streaks running through it. The taste was full and rich and ... sweet. Wow, I've never tasted anything quite like it. It was great. I saved some of the seeds from it and hope to grow some more next year. I think the sweet, low acid taste would be great in spaghetti sauce or other similar dish. It may be a little too sweet for soup, but combined with Brandywines or Jubilees, would probably make a lovely soup or yellow marinara sauce.

Eggplant, Tomatoes and Basil..Oh My!

As I look out of the kitchen window at my beautiful garden, I can see at least one ripe eggplant despite being half my yard away. I just made babah ganoush out of the two I had in the fridge. (It turned out very smooth, but very bitter. I think I'm going to have to try it again. Anyone got any ideas on how to keep the bitter out? I've read to remove the seeds and juice of the eggplant, and I've read to keep them in for the sweetness. What is it?? What is the secret?) I have a lot of eggplant plants out there. I'm not sure what I'll do with them all. Even if you don't like eggplant, the plants are gorgeous to look at. The leaves are a grey-ish green with purple (eggplant purple) veins down the middle, and the fruit (vegetable) of the plant itself is one of the most beautiful colors ever painted (in my humble opinion). I am looking forward to eating eggplant parmesan (Deb's name for it, I call it Eggplant Lasagna) sometime in the next couple of days. Yum. (Can't taste the bitterness that so many people equate with eggplant in this dish, even with the seeds in. What is it about Baba?)

My tomatoes are starting to finally ripen. After relying on friends for my favorite summertime treat for the past few weeks, my garden is finally starting to give up the delicious ripe tomato flesh. Mostly Jubilees (more yellow, less orange than usual-what is with that?) and Brandywines. Most of the others are still languishing in small pots from when I planted them from seeds and got lazy and depressed and didn't finish planting them in their intended permanent homes. I may plant some of them into large pots to see if I can grow them inside later to have fresh tomatoes later in the year than normal for Michigan. I can't bear to buy tomatoes in the winter. They taste bad to me. No flavor, texture like water-soaked balsa wood and no personality to speak of. As "my kids" would say about someone who is only pretending to be a decent human being, but not really, "they are fake". Even though that isn't always an accurate portrayal of a person, I can pretty much unequivocally say that it is true about a winter tomato in the grocery store. (I will add a small bow here to select types of small, bite-sized tomatoes such as grape tomatoes and santa sweets, which in desperation, can almost pass for having a limited amount of tomato flavor, but really at that time of year, I hate to say it, but canned, frozen or dried are preferable most of the time and never as a big thick slice on a turkey sandwich.) Anyway, for now, until a hard frost hits, I get to enjoy my favorite summer treat and delight as the fresh tomato juice runs down my face, and up my arms to my elbows.

By basil is also flourishing. I need to buckle down and make some pesto this year. Every year I say I am going to do that and I don't and much of my favorite herb goes to waste. I may also just try cutting and freezing it this year. Anyone have any ideas on this? Dry basil tastes good, but there is something about the taste of fresh basil that completely livens and wakes up the taste of a dish.

I need to go out to the garden now, before the sun goes down and peek at my peppers to see how they are doing, and check on my young sage plants that hopefully will last for a few years. And I need to talk and sing to the other plants that are so generous in their beauty and their bounty.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I was on the phone last night with a friend who has recently been reading my blog. She asked me if the cauterization had happened yet. I said no, that it will start the day after Labor Day.

When I woke up this morning, I realized that I probably need to clarify some of my terminology since much of my language is colored with my fears and neurosis about this whole process...

What I so flippantly refer to as cauterization is actually internal radiation treatments which will be conducted through the stint in my cervix that was surgically implanted on Friday. The actual term for this is "brachytherapy". The reason why I call it being cauterized is that from what I have read about the side effects, they are very much like being burned from the inside out. There will likely be major scarring, with probably some long-term or permanent side affects from this. So, technically, the term is brachytherapy or internal radiation rather than cauterization. My fear speaks out of turn sometimes.

Friday, after the implant I was in a lot of pain. I slept most of the day, thanks to pain pills which didn't really take care of the pain (like mega-serious menstral cramps) but which allowed me to sleep through the worst of the pain. There was still a lot of pain at times on Saturday, but not nearly as much.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during the times that I was awake, I was struggling to not throw up. Even though my chemo was on Wednesday and I felt okay Wednesday and Thursday, the nausea seems to be a delayed effect on me much of the time. Today, so far, the nausea is very minimal.

I am still lucky in that even though I struggle with nausea much of the time, the only time I have actually thrown up was when I was running 102 fever with my PICC line infection.

My Medport site still is sore and starting to itch. I'm assuming that is a good thing because it means that it is starting to heal. The bruising is starting to lighten up a little. It's kind of weird when I touch the spot, I can feel a hard foreign object under my wiggly skin and the small indent where the chemo needle goes. It pulls some when I sleep on my right side or reach over my head, and that makes me a little nervous about whether or not the stitches will hold it in place, but I know I will get over it. One of my friends told me that it only hurts about a week, then it is like it is a part of your body. It kind of reminds me of some weird science fiction movie where people have secret micro chips imbedded under their skin by aliens or by the government or by the alien influenced government.

I think I'm watching too much tv in these lazy days of not going to work. Going a little stir crazy. Working on trying to get the office ready to paint.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Perspectives as I Peek around the Corner

Last night, I didn't sleep much at all. I was nervous about this morning's surgery to put a mediport in so that I could resume chemotherapy.

A mediport is a thing implanted under the skin in the chest with a tube running into a large vein in the chest. So, the chemo nurses can access it with a needle that is shaped into a 90 degree angle by just poking through the skin. No tubes hanging out of my arm for access and no IVs needing to be started regularly. They should be able to use my port when I get my hysterectamy as well.

When I got to the radiology place this morning, I made sure that they knew that I had a lot of anxiety about the procedure. They made sure I had Morphine and Versaid. I still felt the lidocaine shot, but once that was done, it went fairly well. The first site didn't work, but the second site worked. Now it looks like I have a really bad hickie on my neck where the first attempt was made. I am sore inside and out in that area, where it is swollen from the trauma of the procedure. But, now that the port is in, that is one less area of anxiety.

That is the main source of my anxiety with this whole thing. Just not knowing what the next step is going to be like. Each new thing is scary, but then as it happens, the anxiety eases up.

My anxiety about the internal radiation is still there. But, I know that other women have gone through it. Some have permanent side affects, some only have temporary side effects. So, keeping that in perspective, I'm trying to keep my fear in perspective.

Also helping me to keep my fear in perspective, is a conversation that I had with my sister, Mig, the other day. She reminded me that all these treatments and cancer scary stuff is only temporary. She reminded me that as long as I keep my faith and look past the present that I'll be able to get through all of this.

I also keep reminding myself that what I'm going through is minor compared to what so many of the other people that I'm meeting in waiting rooms and chemo rooms are going through. I know that I can't compare my pain to another's, but I can be grateful for the fact that I have an incredible support system. I can be grateful for the fact that my cancer is most likely in the very early stages. And, ultimately, I can be grateful that I am not going through some of the major complications and multiple battles with cancer.

So, as I peek around the corner toward Friday, I try to keep perspective about what I've already gone through and try to keep my fear to a managable level.

Thank you to all of you who have been so great about showing your support to me through this journey I am on.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Human For Now

My infection has now officially been cleared up (at least, that is what the docs are assuming because they hit me with such heavy duty antibiotics and my blood didn't grow any critters to tell them exactly what we were dealing with). So, Wednesday, I'll go to get a mediport installed. I only have a few more chemo treatments left, so my chemo doc was reluctant to get a port put in instead of another PICC. I told him that my anxiety about that is so bad that I'll need to be knocked out for that. He said that he can't guarentee that that could happen except with a port. I told him that's what I want anyway. Since it is a surgical procedure, I will at least have a twilight-type of anesthesia. Then, I will resume my chemo. The chemo doc was upseat that I missed this week and last week. He told me that I shouldn't have missed it this week. I told him that when I was in the hospital, he told me I couldn't have chemo again until my infection was totally cleared and that I just finished my antibiotic that morning (Friday). He acted annoyed and said that the infection would have been cleared before I was done with the antibiotics and that I should have called him. That annoyed me because he knew I was in the hospital with an infection. He even saw me in the hospital. He didn't say anything about starting chemo before the antibiotics are done, only once I was cleared of infection. How was I supposed to know that they were not one in the same? Anyway, I'll resume chemo probably Thursday.

Then, Friday, I go to the hospital to have a stint inserted into my cervix so that the internal radiation can start. The stint will be a tube shaped piece that will keep my cervix open so that the radiation can get inside (I think a wire is inserted for the treatments). I will get 6 internal treatments. The radiation doc said that the first time, they will give me morphine. Gee, that made me feel better (NOT). I'm guessing that it will be even worse than I imagined if they have to give me morphine. These 6 treatments will probably take about 2 weeks to complete. The radiation doc said that the first one is the worst and that the second one isn't as bad, the third and fourth are less painful and by the time I'm done, the last ones are "a piece of cake". Yeah, like I believe that. It's easy for him to say, he isn't the one getting cauterized from the inside out.

But for now, I don't have any nausea because I'm off of the antibiotics and chemo. I don't have any wires or tubes sticking out from my arm, so essentially I'm free for the next few days to live an almost normal life. Tomorrow, Deb and I are going to Grand Rapids to visit a friend. Monday, I'm going to another friend's to drum. So, for now, I feel like a regular human being, but I miss work (surprise). I'm having to find ways to entertain myself for now. The dogs and cats are helpful in that regard.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Should Have Turned Right at Albequerqie

Didn't Bugs Bunny used to say "I should have turned right at Albequercy" (I know, I spelled it wrong both times, I just can't figure out the right way).

So, Tuesday morning, Deb and I went out for breakfast, went to vote then went to my chemo appointment. I'm glad we went out for breakfast because it was past 6pm before I got to eat again.

My PICC line was infected. When they flushed it at the chemo office, they waited to see what was going to happen. Sure enough, about 45 minutes later I began to shake uncontrollable. Oddly enough, I hadn't spiked a fever yet, it was still normal at that moment, as was my blood pressure and blood sugar. They started an IV in my right hand (because the PICC was infected, they couldn't put anyghtin into it and they couldn't even draw blood out of it because my body was being uncooperative). They administered Demerol through the IV. After about 3 minutes, I stopped shaking, so I didn't feel as bad, but Deb looked at my arm and saw bright red welts following the path of that vein up my arm. Evidently, I'm allergic to Demerol. They gave me Benedryl through the IV and the reaction stopped almost immediately. It's pretty cool how that works. So, they pulled the PICC line right then and there. I knew that the nurse was checking it out carefully. I didn't realize that she was actually pulling it out until she said that it was out. I was busy looing at my IV and freaking out. Probably good that I wasn't looking considering the amount of anxiety I've been having lately. Of course, I was pretty stoned at that point, so it may not have freaked me out.

They had Deb take me to the hospital, go directly to the hospital do not pass go do not collect $200 do not go home for clean underwear.

By the time I got to the hospital, my temp was up to 101 or 102, not sure since I was high and they gave me the numbers in celsius.

I stayed in the hospital until Friday afternoon. I was on two IV antibiotics. Vancomyacin twice a day and Rocefitin (not sure how to spell this one) three times a day. The Vanco is really hard on veins and blows IV sites pretty regularly. I panicked and teared up when the site in my hand finally gave out on Wednesday. Then on Thursday when the next site went, I was much more reasonable about it. Part of the reason I was better is that when the Wednesday site was put in, the nurse, CK, got it on the first try. The one on Thursday did, too. The other reason that I was more reasonable is that it hurt like crazy when that site gave out.

The Vancomyacin pretty much always hurt a little for the first couple of minutes of the infusion, but would be fine after that. When the site in my left arm began to give out, that couple of minutes kept going and getting worse. Then it started to turn red and swell. Deb had already told me what to watch for, so I knew that it was going bad.

Once that site came out and before the new site in my right arm was put in, I was able to take a REAL SHOWER. No saran wrap, plastic bag or tape on my arm. No soap on a washcoloth standing at a sink. An honest to goodness hot shower, totally under the water running over me. Ahhhhhh.

The nurse who put in the last site, Rick, said that it wouldn't last long because it was a really small vein and not a good site. He got it on the first try and it didn't even hurt very much. Then, onced they started running the Vancomyacin, it didn't hurt at all. Not even the first few minutes like usual. It was the best site yet. That one lasted through Thursday night and Friday morning's infusions of both antibiotics and Friday afternoon's Rosefitin infusion. It was removed when I got sprung.

Wednesday and Thursday, I rode in ambulances to go and get my radiation treatments. I missed Tuesday's and my radiation Doc flagged Deb down in the hospital parking lot to let her know to make sure that I didn't miss anymore treatments while in the hospital. So, because I was in their custody (in their care), Deb couldn't take me because insurance company's won't allow people to have passes from the hospital. So, anyway, I had to go in ambulances for 5 minute radiation treatments. It was kind of embarassing. I got out just in time on Friday to make my radiation appointment on my own two feet instead of on a gurney for no reason.

The blood cultures that they drew in the emergency room hadn't grown anything by Friday. When the chemo clinic pulled my PICC line, they didn't keep the tip for a culture. So, I was sent home on two heavy duty oral antibiotics.

One of my friends pointed out that some of my postings have been rather graphic. I apologize if it grossed or freaked anyone out. That was not my intention. Part of that graphicness came from my the fact that my brain on steroids was not very good at censoring my words. Part of it also is that by writing those feelings and experiences out, I was able to set them aside easier than if I related them orally to people over and over, or played it out in my brain over and over. Having it in black and white helps me to let it go. I haven't been journaling in my regular journal since the radiation treatments started, so unfortunately, sometimes more shows up on here than I intended when I started the blog.

While in the hospital, I caught up on a lot of my journaling. Not all, but enough to help deal with some of the weirdness in my head. Also, I didn't have chemo on Tuesday and since I only take the steroids for the 3 days following chemo, by Thursday, I was finally starting to feel like myself again. It's amazing how much they affected my personality. I have a little better perspective now on what Deb went through when she was on them. My dose is very small. She was on a much higher dose when she first had her adverse reactions to it.

On Saturday, our friends Delores and Walt came over to help us get our house and yard in order. Walt mowed our lawn while Deb worked on the basement and laundry and I gave all three dogs baths. (I couldn't do that with a PICC line in.) Then we had lunch and Delores helped me work on the main part of the house (she did most of it, I kept running to the bathroom with the runs.) while Deb continued working on the basement and the entryway. I am so grateful to both of them because that is a lot of work and Deb and I are both exhausted from this week's events. Then, our friend Connie made us all dinner. I am so lucky to have such an incredible group of friends and support surrounding me.

By the way, I discovered that my brother, John, was right about me when we were kids. I AM a big whiney baby. I complained and whined almost every time they had to try to draw blood or start a new IV. I complained about being stuck in the hospital, and I protested needing to take an ambulance to my radiation. Whaaaaaaa.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Shakes and Quakes from Fever and Fear

I just read three new comments from people and I want to say how grateful that I am for everyone's support. Knowing that people love and are thinking of me is some of the best medicine that I can have, along with prayers and healing thoughts.

Yesterday was a good day, I went to pick up a friend who came home for a break from training as a trucker. We piled into the car and drove to Indiana to pick her up. That was fun, I haven't done an impulsive road trip like that for a while.

Once we got home last night though, I was very tired. I figured that it was due to the late hour. Well, once Deb flushed my PICC line and I crawled into bed, within an hour or so, I started shaking uncontrollably. I felt like I had no control over my muscles. It started with small tremors, then just kept getting stronger. Then, of course, my muscles tightened up to try to get control of myself, which made it worse. The more I tried to control it, the worse it got.

Then, I started having trouble breathing. I knew totally that it was an anxiety reaction to the being out of control in my body. Using my inhaler didn't help at all, because I couldn't get myself to slow my breathing enough to get a deep breath of it.

It's really weird, feeling all of these things happening, knowing that they are happening, yet having no control over it. Even though I was completely concious of the fact that the breathing had to do with panic, I couldn't stop it. I even told Deb that I knew that was what was happening. I tried to slow my breathing. Deb had me breathe into a paper bag, which just made me more anxious because I felt clausterphobic. I pushed her away while at the same time asking her for help. Some part of my head knew that I wasn't being rational or reasonable, but I couldn't stop my reactions. (Of course, I was still shaking uncontrollably, feeling cold during this whole rational/irrational conversation in my brain.)

Deb kept trying to take my temperature in my armpit, but the thermometer fell out of place several times because of the shaking. To me, my skin didn't feel hot, but to Deb it did. Evidentally, the thermometer finally agreed wtih her when the reading came back 102.2 once I was able to hold it in my mouth for long enough (the shaking even threatened this method of measurement). Deb wanted to take me to the hospital to get checked out, but I wouldn't let her.

Finally, she got me tucked in enough to keep me covered and slightly calmer, breathing still not normal, but better. After a few minutes, I jumped up again and ran to the bathroom. I threw up three times in a row, then seemed to feel better. I moved out to the couch for an hour or so, until the shaking totally stopped, then went back to bed.

I only slept for short amounts of time per attempt to sleep. I got up around 7:30 to call someone that I had agreed to do a worm composting presentation for today so that I could cancel since I didn't know what was wrong and hadn't slept. Luckily, she had contingency plans, knowing that I was going through chemo and had made sure to have something else lined up during that time.

I went back to sleep on and off until around 11:30 ish, then got up and lazed around until radiation in the afternoon.

My temp was 99.3 at 4pm. When I called the Dr. office, they said to not flush the PICC line today and that they would check it out in the morning when I get there for chemo. Deb had warned me that the fever may be due to an infection in the PICC line, since the fever spiked right after flushing it last night. The nurse at the Dr. office said the same thing, and that they may need to pull the PICC line.

I can't go through that again. I am still getting flashbacks about how painful and invasive it was when they put the first one in. I keep going over and over in my mind how it felt when they kept trying to feed the guide wire into my right arm and how the lidocane that they shot ito those areas didn't seem to numb it up at all. (The IV team nurse a)hadn't given it any time at all to work and b) had only put it straight into two subcue points instead of spreading it under the tissue layer the way it should have been done and was eventually done by the radiology team.) When I think about it, the anxiety starts up all over again and the thought of them having to start all over again terrifies me. (Almost 3 weeks later and I still have some of the bruising to show for it.)

The PICC line that they finally did get in didn't hurt so much, but the trauma of the first several tries makes my muscles clench and my fear jump into full view. When I got off the phone with the nurse at the doctor's office, I started crying and told Deb that I can't go through that again. She let me cry a minute and said that we would make sure that they put a port in next time instead of a PICC line because of all the trauma. My guess is that the insurance company will have something to say on that score. (I found out this week, that even though ports are sugrically installed, that insurance company's won't pay for them to be removed in the hospital, only as an in-office procedure. I hate it that our medical system is dictated almost solely on money instead of quality of care. Of course, those of you who know me know that I could wax on and on about that subject, but I won't here. I AM very grateful, that I do have health insurance to take care of most of these expenses for me and that my insurance is good enough that I shouldn't get stuck wtih thousands of dollars in copays, just maybe in the low hundreds because of the frequency of doctor visit copays that I have to pay. Not that big of a deal in the long run.)

So, now I'm sitting in bed, watching tv, writing this entry in the blog and waiting to see if my temperature is going to skyrocket again. Deb said that if this happens again, she is not giving me an option. She is taking me to the hospital so that they can do cultures to see if I am growing some kind of infection. I hate hospitals. I'm determined not to spike a temp again. We'll see.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Don't Know Where This Path Leads

Okay, so my equilibrium of the last entry is totally blown now. I will preface this post with the disclaimer that I currently have pretty much no emotional filters in my brain at this time. I suspect it may be the steroids. So, if I rant or sound off, negative or otherwise not myself. I'm not.

It is not unusual for me to get nose bleeds or headaches, but yesterday was a particularly bad day for both. My blood work is great, so I know that my counts are good, and that the nosebleeds aren't anything to do with anything. Despite my good counts, instead of two or three nosebleeds over the course of my period, I had 5 or 6 heavy ones in one day yesterday.

Then, last night when I layed down to try to sleep, I had trouble getting comfortable. It started with my lower back, around my tailbone. I chaulked that up to possible radiation side effects combined with a very slow digestive system. Then, the pain jumped up to my head. It was all through the front and top of my head, running down the back of my head, through my neck and into a couple of inches of the top of my spine below the neck.

Now, as I said before, really bad headaches are a regular occurance with me. Normally, I at least get some sort of hint that they are coming. Normally, they are also accompanied by light and sound sensitivity and the tightening of all the muscles in my neck, shoulders and upper back. This, however, was totally different. There was absolutely no warning. The only thing I can think of that happened before it was that I yelled at Deb and stomped into the other room to sleep for something pretty petty. As soon as I layed down, the pain in my tailbone started. Within about 3 minutes, it had gotten so bad that I couldn't bear it. It was too late to take anything, and I didn't trust my stomach to hold anything down anyway. So I stumbled back into the room with Deb and she tried to do a mind clearing on me (a Healing Touch technique). Usually, that will put my headaches in abeyance long enough for me to take something or to fall asleep to heal. The Mind Clearing didn't even begin to take the edge off of the pain as I felt it shooting out of the top, front and back of my head. (Did I mention that it also felt like the top of the inside of my mouth was connected into the pain as if the roof of my mouth was being pushed down by my brain?)

Deb checked my blood pressure, which was elevated, but not dangerously so. She checked the dialation of my eyes with a flashlight, my eyes were responsive. Even before she packed me in ice and elevated the head of my bed, I began to shiver uncontrollably. It got worse within moments of the ice packs being placed on my neck, head and eyes. By this time, I was also freaking out and having toruble breathing for the panic of the pain. (Did I mention that despite the pain, I started laughing hysterically that I was seeing spots before my eyes after Deb looked at my pupils with a flashlight?) By this time, my hips were also hurting because I couldn't get comfortable. (Again, maybe radiation, maybe just normal joint pain.)

Of course, by this time, I was really starting to freak out because I know that one of the side effects of cisplantin is brain swelling and I know that I am taking the steroids and Zofran to help keep that in control. (Of course, I think that part of why my emotions have been all over the place for the past few days is because of the steroids.)

Finally, after about an hour, the pain subsided enough for me to be able to relax a little. Still couldn't sleep, but I was able to relax. Little Bit was curled up, glued to my side throughout this whole shivering, whimpering episode as if she was trying to protect me from the pain. I love that dog. Then, once Little Bit moved, and the pain subsided a little, Cindy, the tortishell cat, curled up against my upper back exactly where I felt cold and in pain. She seems to know just the right spot where I need her.

So, this afternoon, I had an appointment with the chemo doctor for my two-week visit. He just asked me a couple of questions, checked my mouth, breathing and heartbeat. He didn't seem concerned about the headache at all. He said that the Zofran may cause that. He also agreed that the steroids may be affecting my emotional state and he said that I can try to cut down the dosage. He said that the only thing that should be affected by the reduction should be that I may have more nausea. I can handle that, I think. It's pretty well constant, but I haven't actually thrown up yet. The reduction in steroids should also help me to get my blood sugar back under control better. I am still concerned about the headache from last night though. I guess I'll see if it happens again and try to remain aware of the process and type of pain to see if I need to do something else.