Here I am, cozying up in a blanket that my friend, Margo's, daughter, Hayley (sp?) made for me:
I'm so used to seeing these people at the clinic. When I walked in, I was like, "'Sup, homies?'" I stopped and chatted with an older couple inside the chemo area. Three weeks ago, the man receiving treatment was dithering on whether to get his own Precious Portia. I told him how great it's been for me. I'm not sure what his cancer is, but he has to get like half an hour of treatment once a week for the rest of his LIFE. And I was like, "Brother, if they have to poke you that many times, you have GOTS to get a Portia." And he went and did it! I asked how it was going for him, and he was like, "I'm not sure yet." I assured him that he would grow very attached to his and maybe name it Porter Rockwell or something. The nurse and I talked about the best places to buy clogging shoes. We talked about how both of us hate Halloween. When I left the clinic 5 hours later, I was like, "See ya on the flip side, girls!"
I lost 13 pounds this last spring, which I had worked really hard for, and I've been watching the poundage go up and up to where I've gained 8 since my diagnosis, which makes me so dang MAD. I'm supposed to maintain my body weight, so, in the rebellious phase I'm in lately, I've taken that to mean I can make my body weight go back down to what it was when I was diagnosed. I won't go under that. But there is no way in hell I'm going to let it slip back up. I worked too hard for those pounds! So I've been pretty good for the past week or so - no Cokes, unless I'm nauseated. No midnight snacks. Substituting healthy foods for what I really crave all the time - carbs and sweets. And the scale showed me three pounds lower this time. I was so excited that I did a little moonwalk there in the room at the doctor's office.
I found out my BRCA results - negative for both BRCA tests. I sent out the good news to my sisters. But I'm still making Sadie do self-exams starting when she's 12, and I'm still going to encourage her to start getting mammos when she's 30. Apparently there are a couple of other gene tests that can be indicators of inherited breast cancer. I need to find out more about those. I just don't want to take any chances for my little doo.
The bad news: I'm not allowed to get surgery on my foot until four weeks after my last chemo treatment. Which will put me into January. Which means I'll actually have to pay for it. But the doc pointed out that I'll blast through my deductible and out-of-pocket within the first two months I'm there because of radiation (ticket price $5,000), so then I could just wait until then to get my foot surgery. Either way, I'm getting it, dudes. Oh, and did you know that the herceptin treatment I have to get every three weeks for a year is $10,000 per IV? No, that's not a typo.
Cancer is expensive. And it's a jerk.
There's a small chance that I'll be eligible for Medicaid in Oregon, so we'll check it out. We can't sign me up until Nov. 15th. If I get on for Medicaid, I just hope they don't put me on a ridiculous waiting list to get in for services. If that happens, I'm going to have to whip out Old 8th Grade Teacher Kar and kick some butt and take names. It's not a persona that comes naturally to me, but I can do it if necessary to get stuff done. Ben and the kids are on Medicaid right now. He has to go into the doc so he can get a refill on some really important medication he has to take, and he can't get in to see the doctor that he was assigned - no, we weren't even given a list; he was assigned a doctor, and that's it - until, like, January 4th!!!
This brings back memories of being on Medicaid in California. What a pain in the BUTT. I appreciated that it was free, but dang, we had to jump through a lot of hoops. I spent hours and hours getting signed up, waiting in waiting areas for hours with my two teeny kids driving me nuts just to make sure we were all covered... And our assigned doctor was a piece of crap. When I told her I had all of these symptoms indicative of thyroid disease, her response to me was, "No, I think you're just getting fat."
Nonplussed, I stammered out, "Um, okay, but nevertheless, I'd like to take the blood test, please. My best friend has had this her whole life, and I'm very aware of the symptoms."
And guess who was right? Me, that's 'oo.
Back to my chemo story from yesterday. My darling friend, Megs, came with me. We had so much fun chit-chatting that we didn't do ANY of the projects we brought for ourselves to do. We literally talked for six hours. That's cray. And AWESOME! I love that about us.
So, um, gosh, I'm feeling well enough to sit at a computer this time, which is really good!!! But we'll see how it goes from here on out. I was really feeling the exhaustion and other side effects for longer than usual after my 3rd. I'm going to try to use the Power of Postive Thinking to make this one different. I'm going to try to power my way through it. I mean, obvi, I'll honor my body and do a ton of resting. But I'm going to try not to let my physical limitations get me so down emotionally. But I give myself free reign to cry myself to sleep from time to time on my huuuge pilla. (What movie?)
Peace out, homies.