It has been wonderful to be home for the week – not surprising – time went by too quickly.
Tomorrow is July 20th and I will be in Portland to receive my second chemo treatment. I anticipate being at OHSU until Friday – providing my labs are within the appropriate guidelines. I have taken my Kindle loaded with books to read, color books, puzzle books and I will be taking my laptop. I am not really good with Excel and thought I may practice while I am there.
I have started to receive some medical bills and quickly threw together a spreadsheet to keep track of things (typical of me). So far, the most shocking thing has been the cost difference between an MRI at Bay Area Hospital and an MRI at OHSU …certainly there must be something missing and/or wrong. I’ll look into it a little further while I am at OHSU this week.
Interesting I have done some reading on my anti-seizure medication. Common side effects include neurosis, abnormal behaviors, aggression, agitation, anxiety, depersonalization, hostility, personality disorders, emotional lability, irritability, and mood changes. Sounds like a really great medication – huh????
I have been getting myself ready for the upcoming second treatment…. And part of that process is working on taking care of stuff here at home.
My sister, Ann, has been very helpful while I have been home. She has visited and maintains contact via phone. I realized that we had not sat down and had a conversation about my diagnosis and potential outcomes. Let me reassure everyone, this thought/discussion is not meant to be negative and/or a sign of giving up…but…there are realistic aspects of this disease that can not be overlooked. As a “planner” type person…. I like to be as prepared as possible.
As our parent’s aged, there became a time for us to sit down and discuss Advanced Directives and their wishes and expectations. Although none of us really wanted to have the conversation, we did sit down and have the discussion. We heard our parents verbalize their wishes. At a later date, when decisions needed to be made, we all knew what mom and dad wanted. Instead of being a divided family, we were able to be a family that stayed together.
During this stay at home, my sister Ann (who is my family member who lives locally and is the matriarch of our family) and I were able to sit down and converse about the disease process, expectations, and potential outcomes. Ann put it well when she said “My heart says one thing and my head says something else” – which adds to the complexity of the conversation. We discussed that the mass may not decrease, we discussed that the cancer could metastasis and we discussed the impact of “chemo brain” and/or the location of the mass and how that may impact me mentally. We also discussed that the mass could be eliminated and never return…and I would have no side effects and life would return to normal. Although hard, it was a good conversation. I feel secure that, if something were to happen to me, my sister has plans and she will be okay. It’s certainly not that I doubted her ability to take care of herself…. but being part of a family…is looking after each other. Hopefully she felt some relief from being able to discuss her fears, concerns and hopes!!
So…I have read and been told that having cancer and going through treatment changes a person and teaches you things… At this time, if I can pass anything on to whoever may be reading this…. life can change in a split second. Take the time now, while you can, to secure your “business affairs” and, especially if you have children or are providing care for a loved one, make sure that their future is provided for and needs will be met. Don’t assume that “_______” will take care of them or “it won’t happen to me”.
I continue to be so very thankful for the thoughts and prayers. My heart is full of the care and concern given to me. You are all a blessing!! THANK YOU!!! No words can really express my appreciation!!
My hope is that I can become a better me….
Sent from Mail for Windows 10