Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Chemo's Got Teeth...

Gosh life has really turned tough the last few days I have to admit. I sort of went from someone who was feeling a little bit on top of things (Ha, I should have known) to - ah, the whole world turned on it's axis! I don't even know which it is, no, that's not quite correct, I do know it's the chemo, but what I am not certain of is how much the pain medications are playing a part in making me feel like I've been tipped upside down and shaken. I woke up the other morning with the glands in my neck hugely swollen, ulcers throughout my mouth that were so tender I couldn't speak clearly through them. My body felt so battled and bruised and careworn, honestly, I was a mess. I had been coming to a place with the pain medications where I thought everything was going to work out ok. I seemed to be tolerating the high doses, the pain was being held at bay most of the time, I was on the up and up, or so I thought. Anyway, I woke up like I just explained and was rather taken aback to say the least, still I thought to myself "well, a bit of chemo side effect stuff going on, you can handle that, hell , you expected that!" So I tried to get on with my day. Trouble was I felt really light headed and actually dizzy. I felt as though the floor was undulating beneath me, not all the time but a lot of it. Anyway the further the day went on the more tired I got until the stage where I started falling asleep whilst on the computer, or whilst sitting talking to Jack, or really anytime. I thought it was falling asleep and I have had it happen before a couple of times, I think I wrote about the time I lunged forward into my computer and woke up to find myself there hours later. Well, I actually think it is more like blacking out because I was doing it standing up, just anywhere really and I can't remember things. I know I was here alone with Jack and I know I was really trying to stay focused and stay awake but I can't remember things. I can remember bits of things like him yelling at me to wake up, or him saying things like "You're doing it again", or nudging me, pushing and shoving at me. Anyway to cut a long story short, I woke up in the early hours of the morning feeling a little more like myself, I wandered up into the hallway, into the lounge and their was Jack, sprawled out across the couch, with a sheet tangled around him, the full, bright lights shining down on him, the DVD player still on. Oh I felt sick, I couldn't remember enough about last night to be sure about what had happened. It was like I had been drinking heavily or something and had no idea of what I was doing. Such a horrid and scary feeling. Anyway, I turned the lights off, covered him properly, turned off the DVD player, kissed him and walked out into the messy kitchen. It looked like I'd thrown together some sort of concoction for a meal and just left every dish in the place out on show. Oh this was so bad, I was really in a bad way. As I was looking around at everything I was remembering more and more bits of me blacking out, trying to stay focused and losing the battle. I was now too afraid to take my morning pain medications in case that was what was doing it, or was it the chemo, or was it the combination of all of them? Curiously I was not in agony, I could feel the familiar dull ache as if it was far away and trying to come home, so I was nervous and wary that it could show up soon if I didn't do something. So I phoned my Mother, told her the story and took some of my pain medications, took all of my chemo and my other medications as well and felt just a bit better that someone else knew how I was feeling!

Finally, Jack woke up, way to late for school, which I kind of thought he would and as I had no idea what time he went to sleep, I wasn't about to take him to school and make him work hard in this heat all day. I greeted him and then surreptitiously started questioning him. Yes, I had kept 'falling asleep when Jack was trying to talk to me', 'yes, it was annoying', 'no he wasn't scared but cross'. It seems no permanent damage was done, he was a little annoyed but he said to me "I know it's because you're on the chemo again mum." Anyway by now I was starting to put a plan into action, I also phoned Jamie who I had given the weekend off as I really felt alright, I phoned him and asked him to come back home which he promptly did. I already said I phoned Mum, I just let her know where I was at and what had happened. You see my sister had popped in yesterday afternoon and I had been feeling quite woozy then and a bit dizzy which I made known to her mainly because I couldn't hide it. Anyway she stayed about an hour and then had to go so apparently she was going home when Mum phoned her and happened to be in the area shopping so could she pop in and visit with Caz, yes, yes that's fine so they got together and Caz did tell Mum that I hadn't seemed to good and that I was dizzy and a bit strange etc. Anyway, I just phoned this morning in case Mum had been concerned about me and to let her know that I wasn't in a good way. Jamie got home late this afternoon so I felt a little more secure, I still had to take my pain medication but I sat down a lot more and tried to rest when I needed too which seems to have helped. I think a lot of the trouble for me has been this heat wave we've been having here in my area. It is soooooo hot. My air con has been running non-stop and I still feel hot, the nights are just so sticky, Jack has trouble sleeping. We have just had to many hot days in a row so nothing gets a chance to cool down. Yuk, not good when you're on chemo. I definitely qualify for the worst mother in the world trophythough, as I said I couldn't get Jack to school today, I won't get him there tomorrow as he can't sleep tonight and it's already1am, he's in bed but just laying there awake. I can't wake him at 8am and make him go to school in this heat, I just can't, maybe I'm a wuss but that's me. Anyway it's end of second term this Thursday so they have two weeks off for Easter break and then back to start 3rd term (where is the year going). So today, was a bit better, I didn't blackout, but I did rest a bit more which is what I will have to do I guess. I don't mind doing that but a bit of warning would be nice.

Perhaps I took on a bit too much over the long weekend. I did send Jamie off to do his own thing, he had some nice things he could do this weekend and although he was so very willing to spend it with me, I didn't want him to have to. I really was feeling quite good when I said he could go do his own thing. Also, I didn't see my Mum all weekend or anyone else for that matter, oh actually Lee did pop in Friday night, bless her and she stayed with me for quite a long time and gave Jack heaps of attention. Caz (my sister) popped in on Sunday for an hour, she brought me some tomatoes out of her garden, so that was nice and that was it. The rest of the time it was just Jack and I and I was trying to make it a nice weekend for Jack too so I probably overdid it in the heat. Also the chemo would be building up in my system so that wouldn't have helped matters either. Anyway, I am sick of whining, just needed to vent as I was feeling a bit scared and a bit alone. All is well again though, Jamie is back in the nest and has already made a huge difference to me, thank goodness for that boy, I tell you he is just wonderful to me and I love him so much. Hopefully, I'll have something nice and positive to post about soon, I have to have my bloods done on Thursday for chemo on Tuesday so we'll make sure everything is alright there which it should be. I know my oncologist put my chemo up to a much stronger level as I was handling it quite well so perhaps that was what did it too. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent, I know it's not an interesting or exciting post but just needed to talk and I know you're all there for me which just makes me feel so special, as I type these words it's as though I am talking to you. Take care, Love Jen xxxx


  1. Dear Jen,

    I hope you are feeling better and heal soon. I am thinking about you and your sons constantly.

    Take care!

  2. Jenn,

    Here for you to vent, praise, cry, or anything else you want and need to do. I have read your beautiful blog for several weeks and I think you are amazing.
    I think that (all those things mentioned above) is the reason blogging has become so popular. If people choose to be "real", really real, they will find they are not alone and that there is much support out there for them. There are people that don't get the support they need where they are, Oh, who knows why...perhaps because we have a history with those people and we have hurts and annoyances, and all those things that can sometimes get in the way with people you know and see on a regular basis, and sometimes no matter how much we would like that to change when a situation like yours rears its head....it doesn't always change. And that is why I can see how this blogging community is such a blessing to people and how it can help in the situation with those we are physically around, too, because through blogging, the need to be "real" is met and can therefore, allow us to give grace and forgiveness more readily to those in our immediate vicinity (family, etc.) when we can't have that need met with them. Sometimes because of the dynamic with close family and friends who walk this road with you, they are truely going through their own grieving proccess, too, and perhaps may not be sharing that with you, either....

    Anyway, I have no idea if I have made any sense, but I want you to know that it is good and holistic for you to be truthful and "real" here on your blog. It is a safe haven!


  3. jen - i've been where you are, and my heart aches for you. you are in my prayers. keep looking up. if there's one thing life's taught me, it's that we are all beautiful and so much stronger than we could ever imagine. :) xoxo

  4. Jen darling-
    Keep it real sweetie. We are hear to listen and empathize. Yes...I know...me too. For different reasons so many of us have been in that awful place where it all falls apart. But know that the moment will pass and the next one will be new and different.
    Love you dearly

  5. Dear Jen, I have been reading your blog for a month or so now. My prayers and thoughts are with you everyday, helping to carry your hopes and fears. Blogging makes the world so much smaller, as here I am, in Virginia, reading your words, caring, loving, crying, smiling as if we were next door friends. This is some journey that you are on. . . thank you for sharing, venting All of your feelings. For those of us out here who can't be right there to help you physically, we do feel we can help by listening. Anne

  6. Vent as much as you like Jen, I'm all for venting, it helps us stay sane amongst the chaos. and hello!!that's what friends are for.

    thinking of you always


    Leeanne x

  7. You know what...even on a good day I can get in the venting mode....so Jen, you just go ahead and vent all you want....you deserve to vent more than anyone else I know. We are here to listen and offer our support to you !

    Prayers to you my dear !!! Beth

  8. Dear Jen - I check your blog quite often to see how you are doing. I agree with Ruthie's post. I will gladly read whatever you feel like writing. Thinking of you often, Sheila from Michigan

  9. By writing and venting you are acknowledging your feelings - not hiding or bottling them up - and that is healthy. Chemo is hard enough as it is without this dreadful, continuous heat. I am constantly exhausted - and I am well. Just don't try to do too much. We are here and listening
    K xx

  10. Hugs to you, Jen! I'm praying for your continued strength even as I type this.
    Wishing you all the best from Michigan!

  11. Make no mistake, Jen... you're a rock star! I wish I could ship over some of the snow we have here!!!

    Praying peace over your head :)

  12. I understand wanting to do, but sometimes you just have to let being be enough.
    Tender hugs.

  13. your honesty is what it is all about. Keeping it real, speaking your truth, letting what is happening to be real and be fully felt and to know that we are here to listen, to hold the space.
    You know what I think is truly inspiring? Authenticity. That is what you are offering here; it is who you are.
    I am honored to call you my friend.
    I love you.

  14. Jenn,keep right on venting. Plus, we all feel like lousy Mom's once in a while. I can assure you - you won't be getting the "worst mom of the year trophy"

  15. You're such a wonderful mother, A wonderful human being...

    You're facing all of this with incredible grace and courage..

    Its inspiring to us all.

    Thanks once again for sharing your story with the world...

    We need your voice...

    Sending you tender love, deep healing, and the power and softness of light,


  16. You never have to apologize for being open and honest. Sending healing thoughts, hopeful prayers, and cooler temperatures to you.

  17. Always willing to listen sweetie. It sounds like you might need a little more help than you're getting. Can you family help out more? Your sister, or sisters? I can't remember if you have more than one. Your mum? Could friends take turns staying with you? Maybe somebody arrange to take help Jack in the mornings and take him to school, although I'm kinda with you on this one. It's really not the end of the world if he misses some school.

    Wish I was closer so I could help. Please take care.

  18. Hi Jen,
    Hey, you know that's what we're all here for, right?? The good, the bad, the ugly and all the stuff in between.

    Along the same lines, I was reading an article about "mom bloggers" in a parenting mag and they said that the most responses to articles were the ones that weren't pretty at all but honest and messy, just like real life. Everyone can blow sunshine ;-) but it takes a hearty soul to open up and share their feelings! You do that so very well and I think it's a big key to healing, too.

    I'm sorry to hear things are topsy turvy and maybe the doc will make an adjustment based on your b/work? On a fabulous note, I'm so happy Jamie is back for you - and that your family is around to support you. Wishing you the best as always and hoping this chemo does the trick!
    Good thoughts your way,
    Cate in Cal.

  19. Jen - It's cold in Vermont!

    I am thinking of you with great love.

    xo Jena

  20. Jen,

    I'll listen anytime. Your words are so real and gut-level honest and just plain sincere.



  21. Try not to over do it. It sounds like you have some amazing supports in place.

    We are always here to listen if you have a bad day. Vent anytime you need and know that we are all here thinking of you and your family, and praying for you.

  22. I think when you take it to your blog so honestly it makes the rest of us feel like we're doing something, even if it's just listening. That helpless feeling abates just a bit.

    Wish I knew what to say. Not just to bring you comfort, but to adequately express how your words make me feel.

    I just ache for you.

  23. It's not just venting. You're sharing with us and giving us a peek into your life. You don't have to be exciting for us. Really. Let us be here for you.
    Sending positive thoughts & energy your way.

  24. As a homeschooling mom whose 14 year old daughter has never gone to traditional school and an 11 year old son who has spent less than one year doing school away from home, let me encourage you: every moment that you keep your son at home with you, talking, eating, even elbowing you and trying to keep you awake is time well spent. He is learning all the time, in ways you cannot imagine. No one on the planet loves that boy as much as you do, so keep him near you as often as necessary and let your love ooze all over him. Sound asleep in his presence, you are still a loving mother. He needs you and loves you and understands that these are difficult days for you. Please try to count these days at home as excellent days of homeschooling, of life-schooling. Your sons are so much better for having these times with you.

    Rock on. Vent on. Sleep on.
    Peace and sleep and pain relief be yours, dear Jen.

  25. That had to be so scary for you. I have to believe that writing and getting your frustrations out will help you.

  26. Hello Jen,
    Hope you are doing as well as possible. I think of you everyday and pray everyday. Love you and are here for you girl~Hugs, Rosemary

  27. I’m sitting beside you, listening and admiring your honestly. Love to you Jen.

  28. Thinking about you and hoping today was easier. xo

  29. love to you jen. strength and peace as well...

  30. Jen honey,
    look and listen to the wonderful circle of friends you have acquired. We are ALL here for you to rant and rave and hell,.... just talk, and we will hear you. Thats what friends do!


  31. Hey Jen,
    Just popping back in to check on you. Hope you're doing okay - sending you lots of prayers and love.
    Be well!

  32. Hi Jenn,
    Praying for you today and sending comforting thoughts you way.


  33. Just stopped by to say hi and remind you that you that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  34. Hope you are feeling better today and know that you have many who care about you ~
    Hugs ~

  35. I am here via Bella's blog.
    You are a brave, brave woman.
    I hope you know that whatever minimal crisis I suffer today will be put into perspective now that I have read this.
    I cannot imagine what you must be going through.
    I am glad you have the love of your sons to see you through this.
    God be with you always.

  36. It is good to vent, venting is so good for the heart and soul! That is what we are here for. You are not alone. Wishing you peace and comfort.

  37. Hi Jen,
    just stopped in to see how you are doing and to let you know that you are being thought of.
    Hope you and the boys are enjoying the blessing of being together.
    you are loved...
    love julia

  38. You will always be in my prayers. Take care.

  39. Hey Jen, Just checking in to see how you are doing, and letting you know you are thought of......

  40. dear jen,

    vent and be you, be and say what you need to, this is the journey and the process. i listen and with each word i try to send you love, and a cook breeze, super immunities and full-time helper around the house.

    i just began reading your words. i am humbled by beging part of the same species you are.

    shine when you can, curl in a ball and scream when you need, write your soul. this is all for you.


  41. Hello Jen, I'm Jeannie, I heard about you... I hope you feel better tomorrow:) Take care and God bless, will visit again soon.


  42. Jen, i read this and one word keeps circling my brain.


  43. Jen,

    I found you through JenLemen.

    Just know that one more person is praying for you and offers a hug.

  44. A lot of time has passed since you asked the question about "What would you do...?" It's stayed with me. I've posted about it today, if you feel up to reading. Bless you. I'm hoping all is well right now.

  45. Jen ... My Darling ... you don't know me inasmuch as I was just guided over to you by Jeannie .

    But you captured my attention with your confident statement, "I definitely qualify for the worst mother in the world trophy." Well, I checked with the committee that awards the trophy in question. And it seems that (I am sorry to disappoint you) you are so very far down the list ... that you do not even qualify for consideration. Oh well! Looks like you just have to go with your strengths ... you know .. being the loving, caring, giving, sensitive Person that you are. And remember "envy is a sin", so be gracious and kind to the winner of that trophy.

    You have my heart in your corner!

  46. J, just sending tons of love from ithaca, new york...and from my heart to yours....xxxxxxxo!!!

  47. Hi Jen,
    Nice to meet you.
    You are a champion. Bumps and bruises come in our battles in life, just keep pressing on. Your spirit is wonderful and we are all here, listening, learning. Thank you for inspiring us and touching our lives in a lovely way!

  48. oh, it hurts my heart. thank you for sharing, jen. again, we will take it for you so you can go on. sending love and light from california, megan