jenny's belly

Friday, August 25, 2006

blood shots

Holy crap. I haven't signed on in so long I almost forgot my id and password...

So, I learned this earlier in the week: "The actual cause of stomach cancer is unknown. However, people with blood type A and a history of pernicious anemia are at a greater risk of developing this cancer."

Guess who's type A with anemia! Okay, I looked up pernicious and didn't retain what I learned, but still. interesting.

Here's what I want cancer patients to understand more than anything else: (1) don't listen to your doctors when they tell you you can go back to work. Because they really don't know. My oncologist and nurse both thought I was going to stay out of work until the fall. Even though my oncologist cleared me to go back to work, he was surprised I'm full time. D'oh! (2) don't let your doctors ignore you just because you're done with treatment. (3) just because you're done with treatment doesn't mean you're all set.

I'm still anemic, and now I'm getting weekly red blood boosters for the next 6 weeks. I was on a liquid iron supplement which made me sick and therefore dehydrated so I had to get fluids yesterday. Joy. It's taken a bit of fighting to get them to fix my blood. I'm anemic which makes you tired anyway, and then I have chemo/radiation fatigue which makes it hard to do anything. GOD I'm tired.

And the 15th was my 1 year surgery date. A year ago I was in some serious pain. I was home, but not sleeping.

Aside from the blood/fatigue thing I'm doing well though. The chemobrain seems to be really cleared up now. I can count on my memory again, though I don't push it. And I'm taking it easy at work. Lots of aimless internet breaks to keep my stress level really low.

Thanks for checking in on me! :)

Monday, August 07, 2006


I had a CT scan last week and the results came back today-- everything okay. Nothing changed, not even Fabian (the annoying enlarged lymph node). I am amemic, though. And worse, dehydrated.
I've been making really bad decisions lately, and been EXHAUSTED which should have been obvious things, but they weren't. I've had awful cramping and reflux and NEVER using the bathroom... I went to my gastroenterologist on friday and she said "think of your body like the big dig: one thing shuts down and the whole thing follows." LOVELY.
Anyway, so she said it was dehydtration- I went to my oncologist today and asked for fluids- I got 2 bags, which takes about an hour each, though they spread it out today, and I have no desire to use the restroom. I was even drinking while I was there. Yup. Dehydrated.
Oh, you want to hear about my bad decisions, don't you. FINE. So today, I got on the shuttle bus to the wrong hospital. And last week, I got on the wrong train. Easy mistake, maybe. But it goes like this.
You're waiting for the Stoughton train.
The conductor says "Needham!" and your brain says, "That's your train!"
I was on the train about 5 minute and would have ended up in Needham had the conductor not said "This is not the Stoughton train."
Slowly my brain says, "Wait, that's the train we want to be on. This must not be our train..."
Stupid brain!
My oncologist, who cleared me to go back to work full time--in writing--was genuinely surprised that I'm back to work full time. "So, you worked 3 months part time, right?" "Ah, no, it was a month." I told him I'm really, really tired, and he said "Well, yes, you're working full time." ARRGHGHGH.
I saw my chemotherapy nurse, who has been out on maternity leave though, and it was great to talk to her. She said the effects of chemo hit your body six months to a year after the last treatment. A-HA! So that definitely explains some of my mistakes. I'm better and better all the time, but still expect myself to be 100% (I know, I've been saying this for months!)
Anyway, I think I'm conducting myself well at work. I seem to save my big mistakes for non-work things, which I suppose is a good thing. But if you get a random call from New Jersey from me asking for a ride, you'll know something went haywire again. :)