All posts tagged: cancer attitude

Caring Hearts Support Group starts this week

Caring Hearts Support Group             Thursday                Nov 6                    at 2:30 pm (lunch arrives at 2pm).                     Place Aggies Conference Room, Presbyterian Medical Group Building                                           2nd floor, by Oncology waiting room This is a longstanding group facilitated by Eve Concoran, Chaplain. Call Eric Mehringer  559-8761 Dates:  Nov 6, 13, 20    December 4, 11 All cancer patients and loved ones are welcome I started attending this group in February. It has helped me in so many ways. A big one is that it has helped my process. I was hit with severe RA and two cancers within 11 months of each other.  Tough to assimilate surgeries, radiations, tons of meds. Total life change.  This group is amazing. It also offers resources and friendships. Kindred spirits. Come join us.

The Infusion Room

For the last two days I have taken a friend for her chemotherapy at Presbyterian Kaseman Cancer Center.  This is the fifth month of a six month round of therapy. My friend is resilient, independent and self-sufficient.  She has no choice.  She has no one at home to care for her. Her cancer is stage four. We check in and go into the center. There is no wait. One of her favorite nurses comes to get her. He brings her into a two recliner room  and inserts her IV catheter. Blood is drawn for the labs. Expertly done. Next is the weigh in and the doctor’s visit. We have the same doctor. Pleasant man. Today he takes all the time she needs and helps her solve the at home nausea problem and he reviews the labs taken 10 minutes ago. On to the infusion room. It is a squarish room.  Large windows, mountain view.  Lining the walls are recliners each having an IV pole on a stand with a controller. The nurse for the day …

What happens at a CT scan

T-Day I have to admit I was afraid.  I had set it aside while on my trip. But today was the day. No more ignoring the possibility of more ca.  Today was CT scan day.  I start my day with my normal routine. Thyroid pill.  Load the Starbucks beans. Enjoy as the grinding releases the unmistakable aroma.  Coffee brewing in the dependable Cuisinart.  Check the blood sugar.  Say hello to Max and give him breakfast.  He is busy, but he definitely is not a morning person. Settle into the first coffee of the day.  Comfy chair.  TJ bouquet is Fall colors. Nice.  Journal out. Start writing.  Write about yesterday. Tough as my RA was flaring again.  Probably because of the 25% cut in prednisone. Light breakfast.  Need three hours of fasting for this test.  Just make it. Front Desk Procedure I arrive at KM Hospital x ray department.  Take a number from the automated ticket dispenser. Sit in a room full of unhappy looking people.  Waiting.  Number called.  Electronic signature times two.  One for permission …

Cancer Club Thought of the day: how about no choice in the matter

Cathy, my very dear sister-in-law, and I were having one of our long conversations.  She is in New York.  I am here.  If we were in the same place, we would spend a lot of time together.  She was saying we have no choice but to carry on.  We were discussing difficult times and when someone says, “How’s it going?”,  she says what choice do we have but to say fine because we have to carry on. Her husband, my brother, died of metastatic colon(appendix) cancer about two and a half years ago.  She’s had a hard time.  They were married over 40 years. They were a good fit.  Being alone has been hard for her. I am always missing my brother so it has been hard for me too. I have two cancers.  I had to be tested, to have surgery, to have radiation treatments, to have new pills and then more doctors’ visits.  New news is shocking, life changing.  There is the adjustment period. Then  adaptation and just keep going.  With the nature …

Cancer Club thoughts-zoo music

Shaggy bleached blond at 9 years old.  He was on the heavy side but solidly built.  Beat up old sports shirt. He stood solid in his shoes. He knew who he was and where he stood in the world and was fine with it.  He had a sureness about him many adults wished they possessed. He followed the rules. He did ask his mom if it would be okay if he walked around. Off he went with his cousin, a boy who also had a devilish glint. We are at zoo music. Paula Cole is the entertainment. Lounging in lawn chairs after a picnic of summer delights. Feeling good. Under the trees. On the grass. Surrounded by an amazing supply of people just right for people watching. Good to be with friends. I just finished my 6th week of Cancer Rehab at the Healthplex. I am stronger. I have better balance. The program is doing what I had hoped. I am rebuilding. I will be healthier or I will have more stamina for the next …

Cancer Club thoughts-helping

Cancer victims have concrete problems.  Cancer makes a person face his mortality.  Suddenly life is no longer taken for granted.  Survival becomes an issue.  Add to that the  scary thought of the big C spreading throughout the body.  There is a feeling of loss of control. Unnerving!  Life becomes uncertain forever. Still, many cancer worries are  about everyday issues. Am I going to be able to function independently during treatment?  Where do I turn for help? How do I get to the pharmacy for prescriptions?  How to I make meals when I feel so sick?  What if I become very sick during the night, will I die alone?  How will I pay for my treatment?  Are my friends avoiding me because I have cancer? Cancer can be fatal. Some cancers can be cured. Cancer can also be a chronic condition. There are many cancers that cannot be cured but can be managed. These cancers require careful monitoring and intermittent treatment.  Cancer can recur. It can recur any time after treatment. It can recur after years of …

Little Indulgences

Little Pick Me Ups-Flowers

A $3.99 weekly bouquet from Trader Joe is one of my little pleasures. I love strong vibrant color, textures, fragrances. My bouquet shares its beauty from a unique table in front of my morning journaling chair. Being strongly visual I easily take pleasure in my bouquet as I sip my morning coffee. I started to go to Trader Joe on a regular basis when I was having daily radiation treatments. I continued my new stop after attending a support group nearby. Although my last radiation treatment was in March, I am still reeling from the whirlwind surgeries, radiation and medications. I don’t have the energy I would like to have. Progress is slow. However, little things in life are great pick me ups. What are yours?

Cancer Club Thoughts for the day: MOJO

I am working a plan to get my mojo back. Still recovering from two radiation treatments with more treatments on the horizon, I’m still a woman of little energy. The Health Plex associated with Presbyterian Hospital Systems here in ABQ offers a 10 week cancer rehabilitation program called Thrive. I decided that it was just what I needed. On my last visit to my endocrinologist, I did persuade her to sign off on the program. I paid my $90 and submitted my paperwork. Fairly quickly I had an appointment with an exercise specialist for an evaluation.  Vitals, O2 sat, balance, body fat, weight(ugh!) and all those important numbers to see where my fitness level stood. The next day I was started on a plan with several exercise machines. The routine is to check in and have my blood pressure, O2 sat and well being checked. On Tuesday and Thursday I work the machines supervised. Pulse rate is checked between machines. BP and sat are checked  when I am done. Monday I go to a special …

Cancer Club thoughts for the day

It’s your fault that you have cancer. Wow! I started listening to a meditation tape on cancer given by a dear friend. The first thing this woman says on tape is it that it’s your fault you have cancer. I was shocked. Fortunately, I don’t believe it. It was still unnerving. Cancer starts with the change of one single cell in your body. If you caused cancer by being stressed, by being too fat, by not eating the right things, by not exercising enough, we would all have cancer, most of us anyway. It makes the assumption that we have more control than we do. Some people we encounter would love to think we did something wrong to get cancer. Then, the theory goes,  if they avoid that something, they will not get cancer. The randomness of cancer is all too scary. Cancer happens. The question is not what we did wrong. The question is how do we deal with it.