Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Am I Said

Oh what a beautiful day! Did you EVER think you would hear those words come out of my mouth or show up on this blog?

We went to breakfast. I worked at the office for a few hours. Then watched the Washington State University Cougars beat the University of Washington Huskies in the Apple Cup. Go Cougs!!!

As you can tell by the previous blog entry, this journey gets old. It's a trip I never asked to go on nor would I wish on my worst enemy. I never would have thought breast cancer for me. Lung cancer, maybe, given that cigarettes were my friends for 25 years. Thankfully, I have been smoke-free for 12 years!

The first chemo was hell and the lowest of lows. This past week has been a different kind of hell, but I still came out alive. Everything in this picture was affected this time by the chemo drugs. The chemo fog has increased and the ability to multi-task is decreasing as well as the ability to find the right words.

I strongly believe in taking Glutamine and other supplements to boost my system and repair the damage done by the chemo drugs. After the first chemo hell, I did a lot of research and brought this "plan" to the Oncologist for her blessing.

What is frustrating is that no one in the medical field offered any education on supplements and vitamins! Why not? When I brought the suggested list and the reasons why I wanted to use the supplements/vitamins to the oncologist, she agreed with my reasoning.

It is possible that I was not taking enough glutamine and thus the gastrointestinal attack. Before the 2nd chemo, I started taking 20-30 grams 3-5 days before and continued until I felt better. I don't believe I did this for the third chemo. Definitely will do it for the 4th! Here's more information about glutamine.

It was so nice to do something normal - going out for breakfast on the weekend. I didn't give a thought if the cooking smells were going to affect me. In fact, I sort of forgot about them! Doesn't mean I was able to taste all of the food, but I ate and the gut didn't revolt.

The restaurant is right across the street from my work. I felt good, the brain was pretty clear, so I worked a few hours on a project. My fellow breast cancer coworker arrived and it was good to see her. She has an 8 hour reconstruction surgery this Monday and it was great to give her a hug and wish her well. We've talked before about which one of us has it worse on the cancer journey and we each feel the other does. :-) I had a lumpectomy, chemo and will do radiation. She had a mastectomy, no chemo or radiation, and now reconstruction.

Cancer is a wake up call to take a look at your life. It's like any other major catastrophic life event, you promise yourself that you'll make changes. How many of us keep those changes - make them a habit?

I guess I'm a little reflective right now as we head into another "unknown" situation with Vic. Almost deja vu. What did I tell myself I would change in my life during Vic's adrenal gland tumor/cancer this summer, but haven't? What can I do to make these changes a habit? Or is this something to keep as a goal once treatment (chemo and radiation) is over?

Whatever the answers are, I need to remember this: I am Renee. I am not Cancer.

Peace and blessings to you!



  1. Okay, I have to know. Was that Neil Diamond, on YouTube? I recognize the song, and I always remembered that you loved Neil Diamond. Am I right? I love that song? Although, what were his last words, where he winced up his face? I can't figure out what he sang there.

    Also, I wrote something on your last post, in case you didn't see it yet.

    Love you much! Praying for you!

    Cuz Kim

  2. Yep, I still love Neil Diamond. Of course, the Neil Diamond of the 1970s. Saw him about 12 years ago in Spokane.

    Here's the ending.

    "I am," said I
    And I am lost, and I can't even say why
    Leavin' me lonely still

  3. How funny that I remembered you loved Neil Diamond! Wow! I can't believe I can remember that. When you put the quotes around "I am", did you mean instead to put the last quote after "still?" The last word you have there? Figured that's what you meant.

    So that was Neil Diamond in the 70's on the YouTube? How was that concert 12 years ago when you saw him in Spokane? Was he a lot different?

    See, I remember "our good 'ole days!!!" Lots of great memories!!

    Love you!

  4. Good song, one that tries to explain how a person feels when they're going through something. And he was pretty good looking back then, huh! I didn't remember you liked him, but saw you have him as a friend on myspace, yet the older pic of him.
    I'm glad you're taking that supplement and I hope you do any others that might help. You Know how I feel about it, since writing you. If they can help, that's what it's all about, but wish the doctor's, etc. would mention them, huh?
    Do you know what's up with Vic yet? Hope to find out soon. Am really praying for you two and love you very much Renee! Hope to meet your Vic soon too.
    Like Kim said, we had a lot of good times, didn't we? Oh, wish us 3 could be closer, would be neat.
    Well take care kiddo. Till later, love, Dawn

  5. Hi Renee,
    I'm now eight months out of chemo, and as you know, still trying to get back some semblance of life and routine. Like you, at the same time I seek routine, I don't ever want to lose the specialness that has been learned along this journey.