13 March 2010
My dear mother took me to UAMS early this morning, while my dear Father stayed at the house in the event that Anna-Lee would wake up before I returned.
The bottom line was this – the chemotherapy drug I am taking can cause the membranes that line your mouth, throat and digestive tracts to become irritated and sensitive; in my case, red and inflamed with ulcer-like sores. So, I was prescribed this wonderful potion called “Magic Mouthwash.” Yes, I’m serious. It is compound syrup that usually includes a numbing agent such as Lidocaine, an analgesic, something to control fungus (YUCK - I know!) and an antibiotic to prevent secondary infections. Let me tell you, when I woke up this morning I definitely could not eat, was having trouble even speaking. Right now, the Lidocaine has me feeling as if I could eat a T-bone steak! So, Tim is now in the kitchen cooking a delicious rack of lamb and snow peas. I keep reading that I should eat proteins and loads of fruits and vegetables. Later we’re going to eat banana popsicles that my “sister” Kim brought by.
As always, the good folks at UAMS also did a complete blood workup. Unfortunately for me, my doctor called me later in the morning to tell me that my white blood cell count is very, very low – meaning, I was not able to go through my plans to attend tonight’s Arkansas Symphony performance of Porgy ‘n Bess. Yes, I’ve been grounded, not outside play for me. In fact, he was very specific about no restaurants, no shopping, nothing that will mean a large crowd of people. This also includes my home. Limited visitors, and no children. I’ve also been told that if I leave the house, I must wear a mask. So, I now have medical facemasks.
There is some wrong with these masks as they absolutely look like “cancer masks.” What’s up about that? Do any of you remember seeing photos during the swine flu outbreak of some of the world’s most creative renditions of facemasks?
I’m thinking there is a business opportunity here for high fashion masks, or as my friend Rebecca said, at least some monograms.
I was able to visit with my friend Jeff Christenson today by telephone. Jeff & Jane have been friends for over 20 years, former publishers of the newspaper in Harrison, AR. Jeff has been a patient at another hospital in town for SIXTY-SEVEN DAYS as a result of a very severe brain hemorrhage. Jeff sounded great and I so enjoyed our chat by phone, out first visit since the Christmas holidays. Jeff is still taking medication and evidently shared with a mutual friend today, “Have you heard about Stacy. She’s pregnant.” HA! I only wish – or maybe not. So if you hear rumors about my current state of pregnancy, please disregard.
Jane and Jeff Christenson, with their daughter Jennifer and her husband Lucien
Other news today: Birdman of Little Rock (a.k.a. Skip) quietly stopped by again today and filled all my bird feeders. The birds are in love with this man!!!
This blog is probably not for the faint at heart. As I have discovered this past week, the story of cancer is about many things; it’s about struggle and pain, anger and sadness, fear and insecurity. But it’s also about loving hearts and caring friends, strength and hope. I hope that by my telling this story, as honestly as I can, that others might benefit or have a better understanding about the everyday journey of the cancer patient.
By posting this blog, it was my intent to never be intrusive or assume who might want to know my updates, by sending out frequent emails. Besides, I’ve become rather taken with the discipline of daily writing. If you like these rambling missives, that’s terrific. If not, no pressure here for you to read.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 8:37 PM