Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chemo Appointment & Support Group

On a Pole in Westfield Mall
My new round of chemo starts a week from today: Friday, June 22, 8:45am. It will take 4 or 5 hours. I have to take Zyrtec (Cetirizine) an hour beforehand to reduce chances of an allergic reaction. Padmatara and I will leave the retreat early which is sad for me. Viveka was encouraging us to come back. (The retreat ends Sunday.) I don't know. I'd like to come back for the finish of the retreat, but Jikoji is at least an hour's drive from a doctor...I'll go see Misha after the chemo...

Did many things (by my standards) today. Drove out to the Excelsior with Padmatara to go for a walk in McLaren Park with Karen Z. Then met Bill at Que Tal, and went to the monthly Kaiser support group which I haven't been to in a few months. Saw Tong briefly there. Then came back to Bartlett and met Viveka, then drove down to Julie's.

The support group was really good. Other than the emotional level of things, it's great to get advice and tips...from people who actually say useful things. Here are some highlights, or anyway what I remember:
  • There were these really tasty-looking cookies. Shortbread with chocolate. I asked myself, This is San Francisco, don't these people know they shouldn't eat sugar? (I thought I might go mad with craving them, but I didn't.) I asked who in the group did not eat refined sugar, and almost everyone raised their hands, including the two social workers. And I noticed that no one had eaten the cookies. 
  • McLaren Park
    Two women told me about the Women's Resource Center and also UCSF where you get free wigs and they help you pick one and they style it for you, etc....I might check it out, though I can't imagine wearing a wig, I am so hot all the time. 
  • A new book by Rebecca Katz who wrote The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. The new one is One Bite At A Time.
  • Chemotherapy with Carbo and Taxol: After you first get it, you're sort of drugged up so you feel OK. Then the crash of the white blood cells and you feel bad. Then the last week is sort of OK. So this seems to be the cycle. 
  • Eileen, who I remembered liking from last time, is leaving the group soon to go to UCSF (hence the cookies). She has some kind of dire lymphoma and does a lot of traveling, said she likes traveling and wants to enjoy the time she has left. She suggested that one can plan travel especially during during the last week of chemo (though you may have to cancel it), especially if it's to Hawaii where there is a Kaiser. Several people had gone to Hawaii on vacation because Kaiser is there. 
Did I write this already? I'm starting to wonder about repeating myself here. I know that I have explained the 'incurable' bone thing more than once. I'm so aware today of how much the word chemotherapy packs of punch, just as a word. Will the reality hit as hard as the word suggests? I doubt it. Maybe I will check in on that later. 

Ordinarily I would edit this more. But I need to go to sleep. 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, that word carries a lot of baggage. So much in our lives ends up a TBA-thing; may this leg of the journey be easier than you think. Say hi to the bluejays for me--I'll be thinking of you especially on Friday AM! Hugs.