24 Aug

This morning, at 2:30 am, I didn’t think I was going to make it through the night without eating . . . I had stupidly missed dinner and then when I was really hungry it was too soon to eat as I was supposed to then be fasting for blood work to be done today.

Anyway, it worked out. I watched some tv (DVD actually, called The Wire . . . a family friend is in this series, so I am watching it and waiting for his character to appear . . . I think it isn’t for a season or two, so I have a few episodes to get through). Anyway, I was able to fall asleep eventually and avoid eating and so . . . YAY . . . I got my blood work done.

I saw my friends there . . . my friendly phlebotomists, that is. I know them all at this point. But, I have not been in there for a while and so we caught up a little bit. My veins didn’t cooperate very well, they had to go to a few different locations to get all of their little vials filled. I am always a hard stick . . . was even before chemo . . . but, now my veins are pretty fried and hard to get to. I contributed to the problem by not drinking enough water before hand. I forgot that water intake can make a big difference. Next time.

So, that got done. My next appointment with my oncologist is for September 9th, the same day that my surgery ended up getting scheduled for . . . which is now a bit up in the air. But, either way . . . whether I have surgery on the 9th as planned or have to have it earlier than planned . . . I will not be able to see my oncologist on the 9th. So, right now, I have a tentative appointment this Friday at 8:45 am in Santa Monica. It is tentative because Dr. Hurvitz has to approve it as it is not during her normal appointment hours.

That same day I have an appointment back up in Newport Beach at 2:50 pm. And, somewhere in between, I have lunch with a good friend of mine. That part I am looking forward to . . . and, all of this is of course, assuming that my surgeon doesn’t tell me on Thursday that we are going to surgery on Friday. This is all too funny to me.

I really feel in my gut that on Thursday she will say we are good for a few more days, see me in a few days and hopefully she will say the same thing and so on until the 9th. I sure hope so.

I am over the being in limbo thing though. Today I will pack a bag for the hospital to have that ready. I will pre-pay bills, just in case, to have that done and out of the way. I will get some laundry done, get linens ready for the guest room and try to tidy that room up a bit, but, that is it. Things will work out and I am simply not going to worry about it or borrow any trouble. If I have to go in early, then I have to go in early.

Friday night though is an important night because it is a very good friend of mine’s 40th birthday party and I really don’t want to miss it. I am sure, if I end up in surgery that day, that she will understand. But, what a drag, I don’t want to miss out on celebrating with her . . . she has been such an incredible help to me this past year and a half. So, I really want to make it to her party.

Oh, and look . . . here are my lovely vials of blood from today . . . 🙂 Count ’em, seven!

My blood work

Took two of my pitiful veins to get these filled. They had to do it in the back of my hand, that always makes phlebotomists uncomfortable . . . or, at least very apologetic . . . as if it is their fault that they can’t get blood from somewhere else. I am what I am. The veins that pop up as use-able are in my hand, so that is where they go.

I had all of my Herceptin treatments through the veins in the back of my hand . . . weekly for the first six months and then every three weeks for the next six months.

I must have looked a little pale or squeamish at some point during the blood draw today because the gal taking my blood asked me if I was okay. I said I was fine . . . just bad memories. That pain is unique, not horrific, just unique . . . and for me it is tied to those Herceptin treatments. It is also tied to the people who drove me to those treatments and sat with me for hours during those Herceptin days. So, not all of the memories are bad ones . . . 🙂

It was always such a struggle for the nurses to get a vein and to get a clear path for the drug infusions. I think it was far more stressful for them than it was for me. Most of the time it worked out. Only once did they have to send me home from treatment to come back on another day . . . that was after three different nurses tried a cumulative total of five times. SO glad THOSE days are past!

So, today’s two sticks were nothing compared to this time last year, or heck, even just last April. Things are good. But, it is amazing how close to the surface some of the past treatment and the pains remain . . . how that pain of a needle going into the same spot can take you right back to six months ago, to some far worse day. Thank goodness that is not where I am now. Still, it can just rise up and make my eyes burn and sting, fighting back tears. Tears that I didn’t even have on those toughest of days. I find that so odd, that I would feel emotional about it now . . . like some kind of delayed bereavement. And, I just want to tell myself to get over it, just #&%#ing get over it!

I find that sort of troubling, how it can just sort of well up on me. But, I think maybe it is just part of all of the nonsense of cancer and treatment. One day, maybe, I won’t have to have blood work. And, one day there will be fewer reminders of it all. Until then, I just need to navigate this next phase of things, getting ready for, getting through and recovering from the next surgery.

Love and peace,


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