Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm Doing Well, Thank You

It's interesting . . . several people asked me today how I was doing in reference to the meds and other treatments for metastatic cancer. My therapist mentioned that I haven't really talked much about it in the last few weeks.

My answer: I'm doing okay. I am getting some good sleep every night - taking away the night light and adding melatonin to my night meds, augmented by peppermint tea and massaging my feet with lavender before bed seem to be working fairly well. I think I've averaged at least 7 hours a night. I had good energy the past few days - and yesterday, I was busy from about 7am to 9pm, without much resting in between. I ran errands, worked on an article, graded papers in Eddie's class, worked on the article some more, and then paid bills.

It was nice. It struck me last night that yesterday was the first day in MONTHS in which I didn't get the late afternoon fatigue and wanting to just collapse and relax. Of course, I just gave a big yawn and am feeling tired today - maybe it's my body telling it I overdid it yesterday.

It seems with more sleep, I am tolerating the side effects better, too. I have had to alter my diet some - no spicy foods for me - and by using aloe vera juice to swish in my mouth and drinking peppermint tea, I haven't had bad mouth sores. I've been keeping my hands and feet fairly moist. My hands are sensitive to heat, so I am starting to take cooler showers and to use cooler water when washing dishes. I've had no nausea or diarrhea. I'm keeping the open wound, where the skin mets were, clean.

I'm even contemplating going back to a 3 Xeloda in the am and 2 at night schedule, in the hopes that more of the stuff will hasten the disappearance of the red skin rash.

In fact, my therapy session this morning had more to do with normal, everyday stressors and not cancer. And, that's a good thing!

I don't think I'm in denial. Cancer is always there in the back of my mind. It is nice, however, to go back to a relatively normal life again, spending time with my son, hanging out with friends and family, talking about playing volleyball and softball, writing those academic articles and enjoying it! I've been working on the props for Eddie's Price Is Right birthday party, too. Fun stuff.

It bodes well, I think, as I have a pretty full plate at work for the next few months - a couple of obligations for the National Science Foundation (reviewing proposals and then working on the committee for the Government Performance Reporting Act, and our meeting is in June), a symposium I will participate in at Univ Oregon in Eugene next month, a possible meeting with my colleague at Portland State with the Alaska Native corp leaders also in May, and a revision of an article I submitted to Etudes/Inuit/Studies. And, I'm organizing a visit by Jeanne Sather the third week of May; Jeanne will stay with me and do a blogging workshop, a presentation to the general public at OSU, and a talk in our Anthro department. And, then in August, my plan is to go to the International Arctic Social Science meeting in Nuuk, Greenland. Also, for the June trip to DC, I plan to visit Carver in Raleigh . . . I've never been to North Carolina. It'll be a short trip, but it'll be good to hang out with her for awhile.

So, yeah, I'm doing well, thank you. I appreciate your prayers and blessings and all around positive energy. I'm sure that it's helping! And, if you hear of a good boob joke . . . I'm still collecting them!


Jeanne said...

Dee--I'm really happy to read that you are getting more sleep. The post reminded me that I'm trying to wean myself from my night light.

I am so jealous of your trip to Greenland! Have you ever been there? That's what you get for choosing such a great field of study--I think my second career choice as a child was to be an anthropologist (first was an artist), but I took a turn somewhere and ended up a writer and part-time teacher.

Haven't been on your blog for awhile--it looks good.


Dee said...

Hi Jeanne,
Thanks for checking out the blog! I have never been to Greenland, so I am really looking forward to going. I'm happy that I now think I will have energy to do it.

I wondered if you had a bit of anthropologist in you since you'd lived in Japan . . .

Hope you're rested up from your recent trip as well. I'll be in touch soon about your May trip here.

Carver said...

Hi Dee,

I'm glad that you're getting more sleep. That can make a huge difference. Your trip to Greenland sound great. Looking forward to seeing you in June! Take care, Carver