I haven’t been on here…trouble with my email account. Got ahold of tech support and problem solved.
Boy it’s been a warm week. What has been really nice – is being outside. Although I am now at a higher risk of getting a sunburn so sunscreen has now become my best friend 😊 Remember when you could get SPF 20 and that was “heavy duty” stuff….well now, I get SPF 100…
It’s been a nice week at home. Been sitting outside. When I am at the hospital, I am not allowed to leave the unit – let alone go outside. So I appreciate being outside a lot more now!!
I return to Portland on Monday for another week of fun. I find myself being quite apprehensive – wondering if the problems I had last week will repeat themselves again. Probably the more significant more significant point to this visit – I am getting a repeat MRI of my brain. Point is to look and see if the mass is decreasing in size and thus – the treatment is working. Send positive thoughts and prayers my way…THANK YOU!!!
You know, I have tired to come up with something positive out of this experience. While home this week, I pondered some of my past experiences such as dealing with a husband, whose wife had passed, and he did not know anything about their bills/banks accounts “I don’t know. My wife always took care of all that”. Working with a husband who did not know what bills were paid online and did not know any of the passwords to get into those accounts. Think about the challenges when you forget your login or password….then think about someone who has no idea where to even begin to get things worked out. From those thoughts and talking with a couple other people, I worked on a questionnaire that a person can complete to leave their loved ones an easy-to-understand, caring and complete way to have things in order. Even with a Will and POA/Advance Directive in place – it is amazing the amount of information that a loved one needs to have….especially that family member coming from out of the area – who has no idea where you bank at? Who is your insurance company? Who holds the mortgage to your home? The questionnaire guides you through the process of gathering in one place your finances, legal documents, online account information, medical information, etc. This is to help alleviate some of the stress your loved one is already experiencing. If any of you are interested in receiving a copy, I will be more than happy to send it to you. I would send it via email – but it is important that you print it and have a hard copy available – so no one needs to worry about accessing your computer.
Anyway – that is what I have worked on this week. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, we were told in the doctor’s office and then the doctor left the room. We just sat there very unsure of what to do next. Our follow up appointment, we were told that mom would have chemo once a week and radiation treatments every day Monday-Friday. Now my mom was in her 70’s and the last time she drove a car was when I was in high school. I found it interesting that no one ever asked us “How are you going to get to your appointments?” or “do you need some help getting to your appointments?” We were never given any information/resources. Now – times have changed and hopefully now newly diagnosed patients have time spent with a social worker and/or at least are given a notebook of information and encouragement. But if this is not a current practice, or maybe needs some improvements, I have already spoken with another wonderful person in our community, whose husband had cancer, and she has agreed to help me work with our cancer center to make sure that patients/families have the resources they need.
As an FYI….I have a cousin who is currently receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments in Portland. I have another cousin who is pending a biopsy for masses close to the spine. I guess you really just never know. You are going about life…day-to-day…the everything changes….
Research has shown that emotional support from family and friends can make a big difference to the quality of life of someone with cancer. I want to make sure that all of you know how much your support means to me. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
I probably won’t make another entry until after my next treatment (Monday)…. Let’s cross our fingers and toes that post-treatment goes well
Take good care of yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!