Knocking down the bowling pins

We visited with the oncologist today. He seemed genuinely surprised that my mother is pain-free with no pain medicine. She also has virtually no nausea, except a little queasiness the day after chemo, which is managed with ativan.

Now the primary issue is getting her weight up. She’s down to 95 pounds, very small even for her. She’s starting on megase, which is the hormone that makes pregnant women hungry. And we’re going back on high calorie foods, even though we’re trying to stay pretty much “low fiber” to make sure we don’t have a repeat of her previous gut issues.

She’s getting a blood transfusion tomorrow to help with her red blood cell count, which may be contributing to her extreme fatigue. Then Thursday it’s back to chemo and Friday in for a shot of neulasta, to help her immune system.

So every day this week there is some medical visit or procedure. Hopefully, she’ll have all next week off.

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A few months ago I started visiting an online support group for patients with bladder cancer and their caregivers. It’s an interesting message board, with adults of all ages and situations. Many have had their bladders removed since the cancer was localized, and they’ve gone on to live productive and active lives.

I did stop visiting the site because of my tendency to start comparing our experience — why is my mom so nauseous from chemo when many of these people have only mild reactions? why do they recover from surgery so quickly, when it throws my mom for a loop?The last straw came in reading a recent post of a guy complaining of feeling “so tired” after 18 rounds of golf.

Beside the “one day at a time” philosophy that is forced upon us by the circumstances, there is also the notion of just “being” with whatever is happening. It’s easier said than done, and takes real concentration. But I’m finding it’s more helpful for me to put my blinders on and stop reading these online boards. It’s more helpful to stop thinking how things “should be” and just accepting how they are.

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