To Schedule or Not To Schedule, That is the Question

I’m not sure I still feel the need to document my schedule as specifically as I have been lately.

Clock

It felt important to me to share with those who (it’s been said to me numerous times) “had no idea” of the degree of chaos and intrusion into one’s normal life that cancer and its treatments cause.  The craziness that ensues from trying to work full-time through radiation (I didn’t quite make it, but didn’t realize until I was almost done with radiation how many people don’t even attempt it!) is really of the batshit-insane variety, and not only did I post for some sympathy (yeah, at some point – well lots of points – this Is actually about me!), but Also to let other people know when I say I don’t have time and energy to see them/do whatever . . .

. . . that there are some times in life when what gets accomplished gets whittled down to the serious bare necessities, and going through radiation therapy while working Is One of Those Times!

In fact, if it weren’t for Hubby, I may well have had to ask for help keeping food in my house.

Fairly quickly, my life became about 3 things and 3 things only:

three-fingers

– Cancer Stuff:

Radiation Therapy
Radiation Oncologist Appointments
Physical Therapy
Acupuncture
Support Group

– Work

As much as I still could, as I went through the 7 weeks

– Sleep/Rest

That was it.

Now that I’m through those 7 weeks, it will take me some time to transition out of that mindset . . .

And I already feel some better (though I don’t yet trust that feeling), not having those 5 additional deadlines in my schedule every week – and knowing the physical symptoms will take weeks to months to fully resolve (both skin issues and energy levels).

This morning was, well, just weird:

– being allowed to apply antiperspirant (at all) and body lotion (right after my shower)

– not having to leave the house until 8:00am

– not having to wear something I could pull down (if a dress) or a shirt I could take off, in other words Not having to wear something in which I could easily expose the girls without having to gown up (sorry, I’m just not a gown girl, for various reasons – this may or may not become a separate post).

You see, it seems to be part of conventional wisdom that it takes six weeks to make or break a habit.  Doesn’t sound right to you?  Okay, this is me Googling it.

My point is that the 7 weeks of my radiation therapy is just enough time for things like not applying antiperspirant, or not applying anything to my underarms and no lotion on my body directly after showering – to stop feeling weird and wrong, and something I have to think about (not doing).  And now I have to work at recreating those habits – recreating those parts of my normal life.  But that still won’t take up the time (and hopefully the energy either) that the radiation therapy took.

So, we’ll see whether I feel like continuing the schedule thing as I have been.  If I don’t, maybe I’ll have time to write some other blog posts, parts of which have been sitting hidden online as drafts for a while.

<shrug>

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Schedule: Week of December 10-14, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 29]:

7:00am-8:15am Drive from Home to RTher
8:15am-9:15am RTher, Appt with ROnc
9:15am-9:30am Drive from RTher to Work
9:30am-1:40pm Work
1:40pm-2:10pm Lunch

[Over the weekend, while Hubby and I were bringing some more things back in from the trailer to the garage, one of the things I discovered half-finished was this poncho:

peppermint poncho

The pattern calls for several lengths of circular needles, the longest of which is 40″, the needles it is currently on.  I recall, after knitting another half-round of it why I put it down before.  The stitches were so crowded on the needle (and I hadn’t done all the increases yet), that it took actual effort to move the stitches around as I knitted.  I decided to see if longer needles were made and thank the goddess, they make a 60″ set.  Now I just had to find some.

Headed over to Joann’s (while it’s still there and all) on the off-chance they had a pair.  They didn’t.  But it was something to do (and a tiny bit of walking) on my shortie lunch to make up the half hour I was late this morning.

I guess it’s Amazon (not Prime, unfortunately) to the rescue.]

2:10pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-?? Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 30]:

7:10am-12:30pm Drive from Home to RTher

[Hm, that seems a little out of the norm.  Is there a problem here?  Well, yes, yes there is, thanks so much for asking.

You see, because I so needed this today (after last week’s Wednesday – $1000 on new tires for the truck, the $600 repair estimate on our originally-$3,000-receiver that is Hubby and my holiday gift to us this year), just as I was exiting my first of two truck lanes my nav app takes me down on the way from home to RTher, I heard a rhythmic noise and smelled something burning, then immediately saw smoke coming from under the hood of my car.

Thankfully I was in the right-hand lane and pulled right on over, stopped the car, and (I know it’s not safe, but) got out just in case whatever was burning became the whole car – I was on the shoulder of the road (not in traffic lanes) and figured if my car was gonna be a car-be-que, I wasn’t gonna be in it.

Smoke stops pouring and I get back in.  Call AAA (which, of course means next March when my year’s up I cannot upgrade to Premier status because I’ve not gone a year without using it – don’t even get me started, that’s like 3 other Oprahs).

Spend the rest of the morning sitting in the dealership waiting room thinking “How bad?  How much?”   Turns out it was the A/C compressor seizing up – the rhythmic noise/burning was the belt attached to same.  Plus a busted motor mount.  Plus a blown shock.  All together, that’s only a measly $2k of repairs.  Sure, let me go home and shake out my couch.

It is now 12noon and I should have been at treatment at 8:00am this morning. I’ve been sitting here wondering if I’d even be able to make it today so I could finish on time on Friday (I wasn’t leaving until I knew what the hell my car was doing), and would I have to call someone to come take me to treatment or could I drive myself in my own car?

The (temporarily) good news is that although I wouldn’t have A/C, if we cut the A/C belt, the car was safe to drive (yes, even with the other 2 things wrong) and it would only cost 1 (discounted) hour of labor ($90).  So, that’s what I did (after a short teleconference with Hubby), and we’ll get the other stuff fixed as soon as we can.

12:30pm-12:40pm Look for someone to do my RTher

[Because, of course, at this time of day, most of the place – including almost all of the RThers – are at lunch.]

12:40pm-12:50pm RTher and Boob-gooping
12:55pm-1:40pm Lunch at Bob’s Big Boy

bobs_big_boy

[That’s a location hint, BTW.]

1:40pm Take Zofran for Nausea from Anxiety
1:40pm-2:30pm Drive from Lunch to Home

[With 1 stop at Vons for A) secret santa gift card for service advisor who was so kind to me today, and B) some food thing to bring to the Pot Luck Support Group Holiday Party tonight.]

2:30pm-5:00pm Rest

[It would have been napping, but, well, I couldn’t seem to fall asleep – surprise, surprise.]

5:00pm-6:00pm Drive from Home to Support Group Holiday Party
6:00pm-8:30pm Support Group Holiday Party
8:30pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group Holiday Party to Home

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 31]:

7:10am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:10am-8:20am RTher
8:20am-8:30am Post-RTher Ablutions
8:30am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work
9:00am-1:05pm Work
1:05pm-2:05pm Lunch

[I’m still looking for Ball freezer containers to make sure my homemade applesauce and cranberry sauce gets frozen for eating throughout the year – from now (for the applesauce) and the beginning of the year (for the cranberries) until the various raw ingredients are again fresh and available next year.

Of course, if I had just ordered them from Amazon when I first located them there, they’d be here and my freezer’d be bursting with saucy goodness (multiple entendres expressly permitted).  Yeah, well…

Thought I was headed to a big Ralphs (that I thought would have what I wanted), but it turned out to be a Vons, and they had what I wanted!  Yeah, plus I got a little of this and a little of that.

And, I still had a fair portion of my lunch hour left – was also still looking for that long knitting needle(s) (nope, those hadn’t been ordered from Amazon either).  Did a quickie Yelp search for knitting stores & found one within a couple miles that I hadn’t known was there.  Headed on up and “I carry 60″ needles because I use them.”  SCORE!

Made it back to work on time too.  :-)]

2:05pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

[See “Hubby Really Knows and Loves His Woman”]

Thursday [Radiation Therapy – Day 32]:

7:15am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:20am Post-RTher Ablutions
8:20am-8:30am Chat with “Georgia” at the front desk of the facility
8:30am-8:40am Visit with Lorri, another new friend from radiation
8:40am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car]

9:00am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch

[Ate my lunch at my desk today ‘cuz I’m too damn tired to get up and do anything, so I just played with my blog some – yep, right out in public, in front of God and everyone.  I’m just trying to survive until tomorrow afternoon after my company holiday lunch and an early release to home.]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday [Radiation Therapy – Day 33 – LAST!]:

7:00am-8:10am Drive from Home to RTher

[With a quick stop at Starbucks for my regular Friday “treat” – wouldn’t have been late if I hadn’t stopped for this, but I’m no longer able to stress every morning about being there perfectly on time.  They take whoever’s there in order of appointment time, and they slot me in when I do arrive – this is Exactly why I took the 8am spot rather than cutting things razor-thin timewise by taking the 8:30 spot.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any Starbucks iTunes Freebies this morning so my work folks are outta luck on that this week.  Again, I can’t stress about that.

Uh-oh, I think that just became Rule #4: I Can’t Stress About That.]

8:15am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:30am Post-RTher Ablutions
8:30am-8:45am Visit with “Georgia”
8:45am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work
9:00am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-3:30pm Firm Holiday Lunch

[Wasn’t it nice of them to have a party to celebrate my Graduation from Radiation Therapy?  Okay, so it was scheduled without consulting me, and always happens two Fridays before Christmas.

And – they decided to pay me a week’s salary just for having survived it too!  (Or, our contractual bonus is always distributed on the 2nd to last payday of the year).

Coincidence?  You may well think so, but please remember (nobody at all, of any flavor, kind, or species was harmed in the bending/warping of this reality) – this is My World to Create – Mwahahahaha!]

3:30pm-4:15pm Drive from Lunch to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– managed to buy & package $10 gift for wrapped gift exchange at company holiday lunch
– packaged and gave to work colleague a holiday gift for her granddaughter

[Nobody but Hubby and maybe Mom & Dad are getting holiday gifts this year – I’ve been just a touch busy lately, hm? – but my new baby cousin is getting something, so I just got the same thing for my work colleague’s granddaughter: Velveteen Rabbit Book & Stuffed Animal.]

– semi-secret-santa’d someone who was kind to me this week with a $100 Visa gift card (by mail)

[I have something he doesn’t have this month – and his family and mine share a life experience, so I felt moved to help.  Nope, not sharing anything else – it’s his business, not mine to share.]

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of December 3-7, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 24]:

7:00am-8:45am Drive from Home to RTher

storm track

[Yes, it took me one hour and 45 minutes to get to RTher this morning.  Yes, the streets were wet.  Three accidents happened along my route After I left my house.  No, this is not reasonable.  Yes, this is the worst traffic has been in this recent series of 3 storms coming through Southern Cali.

And no, that image above isn’t from this past weekend’s storms, but it is of a storm track in the right part of the country, so I’m using it.  You must know by now how much I like my graphics and reference treasure hunts, no?]

8:45am-10:15am RTher, Appt with ROnc

[Yes, those two things took me an hour and a half today, but since I was late I did not feel like I could hurry anybody else up – I may sometimes be a bitch, but I try not to be unreasonable (they are Not the same thing).  I had PTher scheduled for 9:00am-10:00am this morning, but when I figured out I wouldn’t be getting to my first appt of the morning Anywhere near on time, I called and cancelled my PTher, asking them to change it to Wednesday.  Thankfully, they were willing and able to move another patient (thank you for your flexibility, whoever you are) and get me in on Wed at 9:00am.  I haven’t seen my PTher in two weeks now, and if I couldn’t see her this week, my next appt  with her is Wednesday December 19th – two weeks from now – which would have been four weeks between visits with her.  Now, I would have figured something out, or made alternate plans for treatment somehow, but since I am having swelling issues, it’s nice that I Don’t Have to figure my way around that.  :)]

10:15am-10:30am Drive to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car]

10:30am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:15pm Lunch

[I’m back to shorties to make up that 1-1/2 hrs work time I’m down on “first thing” Monday morning.

joanns-fabric

Headed over to my nearest Joann’s (found out this store is closing January 24, 2013 – I’m not so happy about this – it was, well still is, but not for very much longer, a close stop for lunch-time craft supplies shopping) to pick up some materials for decorating my teeny tiny punkins (two of them, ‘cuz one got taken home with the intention of being decorated and never made it back to my ledge at work, but magically another one showed up there to take its place!) to help them transition from Halloween, when they first appeared, to the end-of-the-year Holidays.  I may publish a separate post about that with pics and I’ll update this one with the title if I do that.  Or maybe not.]

2:15pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
5:55pm-7:00pm Acupuncture

[This is my last visit with Mo, who I really like!  😦  She has finished her internship now and is headed on to study for her licensing exam at the end of February.  It takes a month or so for results to come back and then a couple weeks for licenses to arrive, so the earliest I could have her again would be sometime next April.  She did say she likes her supervising doctor at our facility and might explore working with him when she gets her license so she may be back where it’s very convenient to me.  She has my email and says she’ll keep me updated on that plan, and I have her email so I can bug her about it if she doesn’t!  And I’m sure whoever else I get for my last Acupuncture treatment of the year in two weeks will be good too.]

7:00pm-8:05pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

[With 2 stops: 1 at the pharmacy to drop off my new Rx for pain meds (babe-seems-to-think-I-am-an-addict – otherwise known as my ROnc – actually refilled my pain meds today.  Maybe she realized I’m still taking the same amount as I have been the last two weeks to manage my pain and not more, and maybe this was part of her conversation with my RSurg last week.  In any case, she gave me twice as much this time as last time, so I don’t have to have this conversation again with her next week or the week after.  Thank the Goddess for small favors.) and 1 stop to pick up dinner for me & Hubby (no officer, that wasn’t me texting while driving – thank you Siri): two patty melts and an order of fries to share from Everest!]

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 25]:

7:10am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:10am-8:25am RTher, Post-RTher ablutions (otherwise known in my world as boob-gooping)
8:25am-8:35am Drive from RTher to Work
8:35am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch

200px-Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg

[One of the things that has (temporarily) gone by the wayside is bringing breffast & lunch to work with me – are you reading this post, have you seen my life lately? – but the clothes are getting a tad snug (‘course that could be the monthly tide business – things crested this past Sunday) and it’s just good practice to eat clean, so headed off to Whole Foods for a salad bar lunch, with some organic (WA state, but you can’t have everything; where would you put it?) Ambrosia apples (didn’t get any in Oak Glen this year, so picked up a couple), and organic Bartlett pears (just because they were there and I could), plus 4 more bags of cranberries for more cranberry sauce before I can’t find them anymore.]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:45pm Drive from Work to Home

[With 1 stop to pick up pain meds]

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 26]:

7:00am-8:15am Drive from Home to RTher
8:15am-8:30am RTher
8:30am-9:00am Killing time between RTher and PTher

[Walked down to the end of the block to the Local 80 of a major entertainment union – there’s a locational bread crumb if it makes any sense to you – to get myself a coffee since traffic this morning wouldn’t nearly let me stop on the way in to get one, and discovered that a one long block walk decided to make my legs tired.  Not liking that at all!  Struggling between trying to get some exercise to limit how much this all takes out of me before it’s over, and saving what energy I do have to do what needs doing.]

9:00am-10:00am PTher
10:00am-10:45am Drive from PTher to Egg Plantation

egg plantation

[Because, goddamn it, I was finally going to have my pancakes!  Of course there was plenty of protein first.  The eggs I had were so fresh and the yolks such a beautiful rich orangey color I had to ask my server where the place got their eggs from.  They looked so much like the eggs I get two canyons over from my house, I just knew they had to be some local, non-industrial place and sure enough the restaurant gets their eggs from a cage-free farm about 8 miles away (a different place than I get them, but same situation).

Seriously, there is Nothing on this earth like eating an egg you know was still in the hen no more than 2 days ago.  Just for contrast and information – most of the eggs we all find in our supermarkets are already at least 3 weeks old before we lift that carton out of the cooler – yes, it makes a big different in appearance and taste.]

10:45am-11:30am Brunch
11:30am-12:30pm Drive from Brunch to Home

[With 1 stop at Food for Less to pick up the apples for that 2nd tub of applesauce.  Ya know, at 10 lbs of apples per tub of applesauce, things aren’t cheap here, so I figured 98c per lb of apples was doable.  And I think the non-Oak-Glen applesauce will be the one going to work – let’s see if anybody notices.]

Afternoon:
– nap
– took call from RSurg

[Really needed to talk to her before agreeing to radiation boost.  Emailed her physician’s assistant last Monday asking for a call last week about this.  Didn’t get one.  Called PA again while at brunch this morning saying “um, running out of time here.”  Got a call from RSurg this afternoon.

Doctor’s really don’t get it with patients, or maybe I’m just that different from most other people.  RSurg told me that yes, this radiation therapy Could create a situation where I may not be able to have implants later if I decide I want them.  She told me something I did not want to hear, but she gave me an unequivocal straight answer when I asked her a direct question, trusting that I can understand it and handle it.

Then she told me what else we Can do about my appearance (using other methods) to get me to, or at least closer to what I (may) want to look like when this is all said and done, or later on in the future (since a history of breast cancer is sort of a get-insurance-to-pay-for-boob-surgery-forever card).

I wish more doctors would understand the “if you want me to listen to you, then you have to really listen to me first, and answer my damn questions” thing.

My RSurg actually made me a little more scared than I was before our talk about the damage this treatment that I need can do to my body, and at the same time reinforced my belief that she’ll be there to work with me to get me over/through/past it, and still be the me I want to be when I do.]

– called ROnc to tell her I would be doing the boost radiation next week
– called Mom to tell her RSurg had finally called me back (PA had passed on my request for a call to RSurg, but had not followed up to make sure the call had been made, and took responsibility for the delay in the call happening – she’s pretty damn awesome actually, so they get a pass on this one)
– waited downstairs for Hubby to get home from work

[Turns out Hubby had this kinda crazy idea – that we go out to dinner.  You see, he got home around 4:30ish (yeah, I know, blue-hair territory, but remember, I’m going to bed at blue-hair time these days, so what the hell, huh?) and figured though we sometimes go out on weekends, it’s usually brunch (okay, if you haven’t figured out I’ve got a serious thing about breakfast food, please stop reading here and don’t come back, you’re too stupid to be here, thank you) and maybe today it could be dinner for a change.

So we could sit for a few minutes for him to shift his thoughts from work to evening, and we could go out, have a mellow sit-down dinner (not necessarily fancy or expensive, just someplace we get dinner on a plate instead of in a paper bag), and be home by like 7pm, plenty of time for me to call the parents, do evening boob-gooping, take my evening pharma-cocktail and still make my blue-hair bedtime…cool!

We ended up at this place we’d never been to in 8 years of living in this valley: Margaritas.  Damn, why’d we wait so long to try this place?!  Just the highlights – very nice Tequila selection for a restaurant in a strip-mall (but that happens a lot in my valley – strip malls and restaurants therein) – custom-made margaritas by bartender/owner (we figured out the bartender had to be the owner about halfway through dinner) – wonderful delicate flavors in Every dish (nothing heavy or overpowering) – someone in the kitchen Really Loves shrimp (they were, and I don’t use this term lightly, seasoned and grilled to perfection).  Plus, I think we were the only people in the place who didn’t know everybody else in the place, but that will change.  We’ll be back, so eventually we’ll know everybody else too.]

– talked to “Dana” (my friend from radiation) on the phone for over an hour!

[It was Really nice to get more than a few minutes with her.  We could share a bit about our particular situations, which we hadn’t actually done at the treatment center – that’s kinda not something you really get into in the few minutes of gooping, or the “you’re finished for the day and now it’s my turn to lay down on the table” passing in the hallway that happens.

I was sad to hear her details (not going to share what they are, they’re not mine to share) – they scare me more than my own details.  All I can do is love her (yes, we just met, we’ve had essentially a couple of hours of actual time together and I love this woman – sometimes in life you meet someone you just click with automagically and instantly – she is one of those people for me and I think she feels the same about me) and keep her company on her journey as she will walk with me on mine, wherever those journeys go.]

– 11:00pm bedtime (I know, not precisely blue-hair territory)

[When we got home from dinner, I had that pleasant slight-food-coma thing going, figuring I’d slide right into a decent bedtime.  But after talking to “Dana,” I was wired.  From excitement about sharing with someone who Really Gets It, worry about her details?  Not sure why, but it took 2 Benadryls tonight (usually only takes 1) to get me to dreamland – that’s gonna make for a rough morning.]

Thursday (Radiation Therapy – Day 27):

7:15am-8:30am Drive from Home to RTher
8:30am-8:50am Wait for RTher

[Yeah, when I’m late, I lose my right to bitch at them about the time, so I was a good girl.]

8:50am-9:00am RTher
9:00am-9:15am Drive from RTher to Work
9:15am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch

[This shorty catches me up on work time this week (not including my Wed off) so I can have an hour lunch tomorrow, what Will I Do with all that time?]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday (Radiation Therapy – Day 28):

7:00am-8:10am Drive from Home to RTher

[With a quick stop at Starbucks for my regular Friday “treat” – wouldn’t have been late if I hadn’t stopped for this, but I’m no longer able to stress every morning about being there perfectly on time.  They take whoever’s there in order of appointment time, and they slot me in when I do arrive – this is Exactly why I took the 8am spot rather than cutting things razor-thin timewise by taking the 8:30 spot.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any Starbucks iTunes Freebies this morning so my work folks are outta luck on that this week.  Again, I can’t stress about that.

Uh-oh, I think that just became Rule #4: I Can’t Stress About That.]

8:15am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:30am Post-RTher Ablutions
8:30am-8:45am Visit with “Georgia”
8:45am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work
9:00am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– put gas in the car
– laid in partial supplies for more cranberry sauce (still need fresh oranges, more nutmeg and I may be low on maple sugar)
– bought more apples for a second batch of applesauce – seriously, my work colleagues can go through near an entire tub with latkes, leaving not nearly enough to be used in other recipes, eaten over yogurt and cottage cheese, etc. – so another tub is in order
– uh, yep, looks like I’ll be cooking again this weekend, hm?

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of November 26-30, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 19]:

7:10am-7:55am Drive from Home to RTher
8:00am-810am RTher
8:15am-9:00am Appointment with ROnc
9:00am-9:30am Waiting for requested med records to be printed
9:30am-9:45am Making additional acupuncture appointments

[Going from only on non-support-group weeks to weekly, for now, at least while I’m still in radiation therapy, and while Mo is in her clinical rotation (before she graduates and the next class comes in).]

9:45am-10:00am Walked over to lab building across the street (Please see “Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again“) to get my lab results that should have been faxed to me last week.  Yep.
10:00am-10:15am Drive from Disney Family Cancer Center to Work

[With a drive through McDonalds

for junk 740 calorie breakfast (eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, biscuit) – really, there’s only so much one can shoehorn into a morning and still get anywhere near a full-day’s work done.]

10:15am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pmpm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
6:00pm-7:00pm Acupuncture
7:00pm-7:55pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 20]:

7:15am-8:00am Drive from Home to RTher
8:00am-8:20am Wait for RTher
8:20am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:35am Slather boob goop/visit with “Dana”

[I had invited “Dana” to join me at Support Group, which is tonight, and then go to breffast tomorrow before going home to rest after we do our crazy crack-of-dawn cancer business, but…

… it seems her blood work yesterday is such that they didn’t do her chemo, and she’s been feeling like something’s going in her body just now, so she’s not really supposed to be around people until her blood counts recover – this all means that her immune system is compromised to a point where she needs to be Extra-Careful ’til things turn back around.

She told me she was disappointed and I am too.  Of course, timing may not have worked out tomorrow anyway with my new CT films, but I hadn’t had a chance to tell her about that.  She said she’d call and I reminded her that we both have the rest of our lives to get to know each other if we want, and we’d keep trying to just find some quiet time for us to hang together some.

Throw up a little prayer for my new friend, if ya feel like it?  Thanks.]

8:35am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car and buy lottery tickets.  Damn, if there was any time I could go for winning a lottery that would allow me to quit my job, if even just for a while, it’s now!]

9:00am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch

[Seems I’m back to shorties to make up work time missed for medical appts.]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Support Group
7:00pm-8:30pm Support Group
8:30pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group to Home

[Yeah, sorry, you only get two days of this week.  Even with taking Wed off – this week was my first of 4 consecutive Wednesdays off – I’m getting  pretty tired.

It’s weird, the treatment really doesn’t feel like much – you can’t see it, smell it, or taste it – and yet it can lay you low.]

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– wrote check for housecleaner who came the Monday after Thanksgiving instead of her regularly-scheduled day which landed on the day after Thanksgiving last week
– made it working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
– bought lottery tickets for the first time in weeks (months?)

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

I Don’t Always Have to Say It Myself

Observations from the Kitchen Sink of Life posted on the value and catharsis of storytelling.  I’ve tried to explain this to people, but this post did it so beautifully – explaining for me why I’m here, on WordPress, and at large on the internet.

My favorite parts:

. . . Then there are events that grab you by the shoulders and shake you violently, or even pull the ground away from beneath your feet. The landscape changes rapidly and dramatically, as if by an earthquake. The flow changes course so rapidly and so fundamentally, that it transforms you all the way down to the fiber of your being. When you regain consciousness, when you reconnect with the Earth beneath your feet, you see a vastly different landscape. Familiar in some ways, but different nonetheless. You just buried a parent or close friend, you just heard a devastating diagnosis or somebody you trusted shattered that sacred bond. . . .

Some events shake harder than others.

. . . Some friends, people who have always loved you for your essence, will be able to keep walking with you in your changed landscape. Other friends will evaporate and become echoes, pictures in that scrap book. . . .

I’ve heard this about a cancer diagnosis, and although I’m deliberately holding off on making permanent decisions until at least after the ‘magic year’ is over, I can already see this in play in my life.

. . . Story telling is a powerful way of processing experiences, of transforming karma. . . .

. . . We tell our stories to process, to celebrate, to educate, to discover, to reach out. Because we choose to, because we have to. . .

Yes, that’s why I’m here, on WordPress, because I have to tell my story to survive it.

And the ending paragraph:

. . . Telling your story is a way of saying “this is who I am”, “this is the journey I traveled, this is how I got here”. Naming that journey and the most significant events on that journey opens up space, liberates and is an essential part of processing those events. The most beautiful and powerful gift somebody could give you for telling your story is saying “I see you” (in one of many ways you can say this). But even if you don’t get any feedback, just the mere act of telling your story is  healing.

All of it, but particularly the last line, yes, please, yes.

Read the rest of this great post at The Importance of Telling Your Story.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of October 22-26, 2012

Monday:

7:00am-8:00am Drive from Home to ROnc
8:20am-9:10am CT Simulation for Radiation Therapy, including getting tattoos
9:10am-915am Drive from ROnc to Starbucks to get coffee
9:25am-9:40am Drive from Starbucks to Work
9:40am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by medical appointments]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday:

8:05am-9:15am Drive from Home to Work [With 1 stop to get gas for the car]
9:15am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch [Shopping at H&M – got a few good lightweight t-shirts for winter layering & 1 scarf] [Oh, and the first time I’ve taken an hour for lunch maybe since I came back to work after my surgeries on September 10, 2012.]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:50pm Drive from Work to Support Group [Jack in the Box dinner & Starbucks coffee in the car on the way]
7:00pm-8:30pm Attend Support Group
8:30pm-9:10pm Drive from Support Group to Home

Wednesday:

8:25am-9:25am Drive from Home to Work [I actually made a conscious decision this morning to accept being late to work so I could clean up my bedroom (clothes needed putting away, my bag needed to be fully unpacked from my overnight stay at Mom’s last week) – to take some time all for myself to do something I wanted to do, even if I could only steal a few minutes.]
9:00am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by a few minutes of ‘me time’ this morning]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Thursday:

7:10am-8:20am Drive from Home to Physical Therapy [Why can I not get my ass out of the house on time to make it to physical therapy on time?]
8:20am-9:00am Physical Therapy
9:00am-9:20am Drive from Physical Therapy to Work [Driving through Jack in the Box on the way to pick up a Platter for breakfast – OK, I’m aware I’ve now gotten fast food twice already this week, and it’s only midday Thursday.  Apparently, I’m wearing down a bit this week (well, no wonder, see “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Office Visit – October 22, 2012“) and putting healthy food in my face is something that is suffering for it.  Hopefully, I can find some energy somewhere to fix that.]
9:20am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by medical appointments]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday:

8:10am-9:15am Drive from Work to Home [With 1 stop @ Starbucks for the weekly coffee treat – don’t tell anybody it’s my third Starbucks this week!]
9:15am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by medical appointments]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Costco
6:30pm-7:15pm Shopping at Costco [Including a 2nd phone call from Dr. Rex Hoffman which, after starting to feel better after posting last night and therefore looking forward to an actually relaxing weekend unlike the last one, ruined this one too, See “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Phone Call – October 26, 2012”]
7:15pm-7:30pm Drive from Costco to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– walked at least 20 minutes each day
– blogged
– managed to carve out a whole hour for lunch at least one day
– used my hasn’t-happened-in-several-months one-hour lunch to practice some minor retail therapy
– cleaned up the bedroom
– wrote a scathingly honest email to Dr. Raul Mena, Medical Director of Cancer Services at Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank [Hm, after going anonymously under the radar and promising pseudonyms, I’m blatantly and completely naming names all of a sudden – Please See Rule -1 and Rule 0 and “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Office Visit – October 22, 2012“]
– remembered to write & leave a check for our every-other-week housecleaners

Schedule: Week of October 8-12, 2012

Monday:

8:00am-9:00am Drive from Home to ROnc
9:00am-11:00am Consultation with ROnc
11:00am-11:15am Drive from Dr. to Work
11:15am-1:35pm Work
1:35pm-2:05pm Lunch
2:05pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday:

7:45am-8:45am Drive from Home to Work [With 1 stop to get gas]
8:45am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:45pm Drive from Work to Support Group
7:00pm-8:30pm Attend Support Group
8:30pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group to Home

Wednesday:

8:10am-9:10am Drive from Home to Work
9:10am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:35pm Drive from Work to Home [With 1 stop to get meds]

– awake for two hours in the middle of the night

Thursday:

7:10am-8:10am Drive from Home to Physical Therapy
8:10am-9:10am Physical Therapy
9:10am-9:25am Drive from Physical Therapy to Work
9:25am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work [See “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”]
5:30pm-7:00pm Drive from Work to Home [With 1 short stop – thanks to fucked up traffic from rain]

Friday:

7:45am-8:45am Drive from Home to Work [With 1 stop at Starbucks for my weekly coffee treat and to pick up Starbucks iTunes Freebie cards for myself and those with iDevices in my office – something I’ve been doing for a long time and something that helps me keep the barest amount of ‘normal’ in my life right now]
8:45am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-8:00pm Drive from Work to Home [With 1 stop at an errand the opposite direction from work as home]

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– walked at least 20 minutes each day
– blogged
– scheduled all radiation therapy appointments [See “Upcoming Appts – as of October 11, 2012 (and Probable Holiday Impact)“]
– reconfigured physical therapy appointments going forward to mesh with radiation therapy appointments
– notified husband, parents, work about reconfigured appointments