jenny's belly

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Magnesium Citrate

I'm drinking delicious (yeah right) Magnesium Citrate in order to prepare for tomorrow's endoscopy/colonoscopy. This stuff is somehow more lemony than a lemon. And its a little effervesent, which I could do without.
I had the pre-op appointment this morning, which was no big deal. I probably had five of them last year, so I knew exactly what they were going to ask me (full medical history). I have the procedure tomorrow at 1pm, and it should be no big deal since I'll be KNOCKED OUT. I won't have results for two more weeks, but I suppose if they REALLY find something, they'll call.
I'm preparing myself mentally to go back to work a week from friday. I still have a bit of chemobrain and one doctor explained to me that it may last about a year (!!!). I improve by leaps and bounds each month, but I can tell I'm just not 100% yet.
I'm tired as can be after the appointment and mowing the lawn, then I had to go buy this citrate stuff. Maybe its not such a great idea to drink it right before a nap, but that's the plan! I'm on all clear liquids today too. I should have been yesterday but I goofed at every meal. I had chicken noodle soup for lunch today, which I probably shouldn't have had-- plain broth would have been more appropriate. But I'm ready with jello for dinner and I'm trying to drink a lot so hopefully everything will be fine.
I went swimming this weekend while in Wisconsin for a wedding-- it really hurt my stomach. That or my bathingsuit hurt (it's new). One of the two made me feel pretty ill. I hope this doesn't mean I can't swim, you know. I didn't really SWIM either, I just kind of bobbed around in the water. But the water pressure seemed to get to me.
Oh, I always make fun of Wis. TV news, and I saw this on sunday night: "The Emergency Agencies have announced an AMBER alert for monday morning from 7:20 to 7:33 for the following counties..." Just exactly how do you predict an Amber alert for the following morning? Sounds like someone is fixin' to do a kidnapping....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I had my final personal training appointment yesterday. It seems I'm doing pretty well, since he increased the weight on everything (oh god, 12 pound free weights!!). Anyway, I can tell I'm getting stronger just by doing everyday things. Unloading the dishwasher isn't the incredible feat of strength it used to be, and I can open most jars without parental assistance.

I still can't get over needing naps. I really tried not to take one today but fell asleep anyway. Same thing yesterday. At least I don't think I LOOK tired like I did a few months ago. I mean, if I don't take my nap I look tired, but there was a time when I was tired 24/7 and always looked like hell.

I really don't have any huge updates because my days are pretty much the same: wake up, have bowl of cereal, go to the gym, return from gym, have lunch, take nap, have dinner, watch tv, go to bed.

I've got an endoscopy (tube down throat) and a colonoscopy (obvious) next week. It should be lovely. :) They're going to take a billion biopsies to see if things are healing well and to make sure there's nothing a'brewin'. The following week I see my doctor and should be cleared to return to work June 9.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sleepy Again

I was completely exhausted last week. I did almost nothing and managed to go to the gym only once. I was discouraged until my friend Ellen at the cross stitch store told me that the chemo is still in my body and will occasionally do weird things to me. I didn't realize it could still affect me, but apparently so. I was in a class with her tuesday evening and was holding the cloth a few inches from my face, "I'm going blind, why can't I see this?" Again, she told me it was the chemo. I hate to use it as an excuse, but it makes things make sense. Without the chemo factor, there's no reason for me to have a three-day period when I can't seem to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time.
I mean, one day I woke up at 9 and was back in bed by 10. Really.

I took a nap today too. I can't break myself of them for very long. A day or two and I start crashing at 2:00. I was doing errands this morning and started just counting down the minutes to when I'd be home and could lie down. Once back to work I have to make sure I don't crash THERE because it takes over an hour to get home via walking, train and car.

My beloved Aunt Betty died of lung cancer last week. Its been so hard on her family. She was a wonderful lady and nothing but kind and considerate of me, sending me little gifts even as she herself was getting sick. While my parents were visiting her in the hospital, she kept telling them how great *I* am and how unfair it is that I should have cancer at my young age. I was terrified that she would go through chemotherapy and though I'm incredibly sad she is gone, I'm relieved she was spared the poison. Its just overwhelming.

Monday, May 08, 2006

checking in

I saw Dan at the gym over the weekend. Finally, someone who can validate that I'm really going to the gym and I'm moving incredibly woosie weights around. I'm up to 10 lb on the hand-weights though. Whoo! Dan and I were both in the free weight room at one point pushing ourselves to a song that has been inspiring athletes for generations: Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain." Ugh. I think they had their radio tuned to the LAMEST station possible. Just dreadful.

I had a focus group at Dana Farber this morning. I was really surprised to find there were only three of us there (more of a focus interview, really) but that I was the only one who found most info about cancer via the internet. One woman wouldn't look up or read anything, she left it to her youngest daughter. I guess I just always wanted to know that X symptom was "normal" and in order to find out in between doctors visits, the old internet was available.

After I got back from the group I took a three-hour nap. I think this was only the second time I have ever driven into Dana Farber by myself. I remember going once in the fall for fluids. And with a few exceptions, every other time my poor mom was with me. And 99% of the time she drove too. Its such a crappy, stressful drive.

I've been trying to psych myself up for work, but I just can't help imagining what people will say to me. I know most won't know WHAT to say, so they'll avoid me until they have to deal with me. Maybe its not fair to say "most". I try to imagine what I would do in their shoes, and I would be one of the people who would ignore the white elephant in the room for as long as possible for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.

Anyway, I have to go make some phone calls so I'd better log off. Thanks so much for checking in on me! :)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nothing Much

I'm getting better all the time... This morning I had my second of 3 appointments with a personal trainer and I feel that I did quite well. I'm definitely able to push myself, which is a good thing. Oh, and I did something I've always wanted to do but never been able to do... I ate lunch by myself in a restaurant. I know it seems stupid, but its always made me really nervous and though I wanted to be like the other brave people who do it, I just couldn't. Well, I did. Yay! Another barrier down.

I have a focus group meeting at Dana Farber on monday, which should be interesting. I don't even know what its for, except that its clearly cancer-related. I should re-read the letter they sent me so I at least know what I'll be going in for. I think it has to do with how we get information on cancer. A little boring for a 2-hour meeting, but I'm willing to help them out however I can.

I'm starting to get a little nervous about returning to work. I plan to start up next month, but I guess being away for so long... well, I can't help but be a bit frazzled when I think about it. I have no idea what kind of expectations people have for me, or even what I have for myself. I guess I have a few more weeks to get used to the idea, and keep going to the gym so I can at least handle my commute in. Wouldn't it be great to arrive exhausted? "Good morning!... Well, I'm heading home." :)