Aardvark Art Glass

Tra la la
November 2, 2010, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

Well, I made more Neutrophils this week. I’m at 978 now. It’s still low but I feel somewhat less afraid that I ‘m going to accidentally come into contact with some germ that is going to kill me. I don’t know at what point in life I began considering my own mortality but, whenever that was, I’ve long believed that my death would be of an accidental nature–either by some stupid thing I do or a failure to understand and follow simple instructions. Or simply being distracted and not getting out of the way in time. Chemo feeds into that fear of the accidental 1000 percent by compromising your immune system which is the one thing that has your back throughout life. My immune system was so mighty. Together we used spoons that dropped on the floor of a Dairy Queen and ate things without getting a second opinion on how they smelled. Want a drink of my beer? Sure! You don’t appear to have any open sores or anything. How carefree those times were.

So , last week’s advice from the nurse about avoiding raw fruit (because of bacteria that’s in uncooked things) went heeded for the most part. Except for bananas. I have this chip in my brain about bananas. I know it isn’t true but no one is going to talk me out of it. I think that with the thick peel and all bananas are sterile. Plus, once it’s peeled, you’re the only one who breathes on or even looks at it before it’s eaten. Cathy’s raw fruit rule is if you can carry the fruit in your purse for a day and the skin is tough enough that the hull does not get breeched and also you can peel it and eat the fruit without your germy fingers touching it or anyone else looking at it, then it’s ok to eat it when your Neotrophils are low. Suck on that.

What other advice do I have for you, as I’m such a font of useful information today? Oh yeah-I finally got my sinus condition under control and my life has improved immeasurably. Taxotare, one of the chemo drugs is extremely irritating to your sinuses–possibly because of the nose hair thing and possibly because it’s poison. Anyway, I got some saline spray and some Benadryl and the irritation went away. Should have done that two weeks ago but it felt so weird I didn’t think anything OTC would help. I’m going to try to make beads today, even, now that I’m not sneezing. I need to make red and white blood cells for a project.


6 Comments so far
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Good news.
If this helps any: the cancer is beatable. My mother-in-law went through lymphoma over 20 years ago and is doing fine in her 80s. I think you’ll get through this.
And I agree about bananas. It’s a main part of my lunch, mostly because of the thick skin. The toxins and other crap in the lab don’t get to the flesh.
Cells. Have a look at Microangela:
Friend of ours who runs the microscopy lab at U. Hawaii. Cells are at the bottom of the first page.

Comment by phil

Hey Phil
It’s good to hear about your mum in law. Her chemo must have been really shitty to go through 20 years ago. I need to reiterate that my cancer is probably all gone and wasn’t as serious as lymphoma, at all. My chemo is standard treatment for an HER2 positive tumor to prevent recurrence, in case anything is still swimming around, which it may or may not be. There’s no test to tell you what’s going on. I feel a lot safer doing it than not. I’m just glad I have health insurance.

All the cancer nutritionists are like “Eat fruits and vegetables!” But I’m not supposed to eat anything raw? I can’t just start cooking, you know? I’m trying to maintain a sense of normalcy through this. So I’m glad you’re pro-banana. I thought that was the right decision.

Comment by cathylybarger

Hi Cathy,
I agree about bananas–eat ’em!
Since I don’t cook (I heat stuff), I eat a lot of raw stuff and the enzymes in raw foods are very good for you. The doctors generally don’t know anything about nutrition anyway.
I truly hope you feel as well as you can and that all of this will be over soon.
SO many people appreciate you. I’m sorry if I sound gushy, but it’s the truth.
When I was preparing to leave Madison, I did not consider anybody else when I needed to find Iggy a home. I knew you would be an uber mom for her.
And as the person below wrote: be good to yourself.
Now that I’ve found your blog…duh…I’ll check in to see how you are doing. I only have two brain cells left, you know.

Comment by Suzy Hoff

Hi Suzy!
Nice to hear from you. Iggy was a rockstar lizard. Never a bit of trouble. I will think of you when I have “fruit time” with ig2 Lucy. We both like bananas. We don’t trade bites or anything…at least not anymore. Each has her own fruit.
In the land of the one-brain celled people, the two-brain celled are kings. That’s the truth, Ruth.

Comment by cathylybarger


Haven’t checked your blog in awhile. Life got crazy (the bad kind of crazy) and I finally had time to squeeze in a minor nervous breakdown. Literally. But, several months and lots of meds later, I’m feeling much better. Still not sleeping well, though, which is why I’m up at this hour checking your blog after all this time.

My mom had breast cancer when I was nine years old (EONS ago!). She was in her 40s when diagnosed. She had a radical mastectomy (nodes were clean), chemo and radiation. She lived a very long life and passed away in July 2000 at the age of 87.

My aunt (her sister) also had breast cancer at around the same age, and later had a recurrence on the same site. She was 93 years old when she passed away.

I’m at high risk for this disease and have had my hooters MRI’d, ultrasounded, mammogrammed, biopsied and palpated more than most women for the past umpteen years.

Keep in mind that if you had to get this disease, now is a better time to have gotten it than even 5 years ago. New treatments are becoming available all the time. Herceptin, Taxol and the like were not available to my mom and my aunt, and they both beat it. You have access to an arsenal of high-tech equipment, meds and the newest research. You’ll get through this, Cathy. I know chemo is a pain in the ass. Stay positive and be good to yourself.

Just wanted to give you some positive perspective to counteract the scary.

Comment by Idel Revilla

Having had both, I think I’d rather have chemo than a breakdown. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I went on Zoloft in July and I feel like a million bucks compared to how I felt earlier in the year.
That Herceptin- some day people with small HER2 will just be getting it, I am sure. That’s what my oncologist said. There’s a brand new targeted drug (like Herceptin) for metastatic cancer as well. Supposed to be fewer side effects yet. So just hang on and don’t get any cancer for another ten years or so. Things should be a piece of cake by then.

Comment by cathylybarger

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