Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 18 - Poppies will make them sleep . . .

Poppies... Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they'll sleep!
The Wicked Witch of the West

When they said I would get tired with the radiation - they weren't kidding. I finally "hit the wall" a few days ago and now need that nap I've been avoiding. My eyes just won't stay open and my head falls down to my chest. A couple hours though and I've right as rain thus far.

I have a brain cancer buddy after me
now at radiation. He takes the same treatment drugs, has seizures, arm paralysis - the whole bit. Kinda cool. I didn't feel the need for a support group since the whole brain tumor thing wasn't new to me. Maybe I will later, who knows. I knit with a group on Wednesdays at The Claudia Mayer Resource Center (where I ordered the bangs) and know I can avail myself of their services if I want to. The girls already fill some of that camaraderie I guess. There are other friends and a family member who deal with cancer that I draw from too.

I'm good for now.

The sinuses are on the mend. Just stuffed up big time. I didn't take my nasty germs over to the cancer center on Wednesday so I didn't get to pick up my bangs yet. I really am aware of those immune-suppression issues. Tuesday I wore a mask while in the waiting room to see my Medical Oncology RN. I was coughing because of the draining crap and it makes everyone worried naturally. Someday that could be me.

Now then, lemme explain something.

Radiation to my brain causes swelling(or fluid) to collect in my skull. This puts extra pressure on my healthy brain (no joking please - I do have some). That pressure(intracranial pressure) affects how I walk/balance, use my right arm, and think/speak. Here's how it goes:

  • More weakness on the right side - the steroid dose goes up - three days to adjust - my body improves
  • The steroid gives me side effects - they back it down - three days to adjust - I get weakness on the right side
It's a real Catch 22. It is also something I am just going to have to get used to for probably a good long time I think. Nobody has any answers for me when I've asked things like "how long will I be on steroids" or "will I get the function back eventually" or "when the tumor dies, does it make room for the healthy brain to expand again". They just don't know. I remember from my days in the OR. There was a line in the OR permit that read, "Medicine is not an exact science . . . How true. In other words

They don't know.

Ooooo! Ooooo! Today's funny thing. This morning I had an "I can moment" and announced to Bobby that I can wiggle all my toes. He says to me, "Can you braid hair?"

Get it?

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