Sunday, July 12, 2009

The State of Me

So people have been asking how I am and while I strongly feel that I don't want to turn my blog into an ongoing "state of my health" blog, (because, let's be honest, that would be extremely boring-this is an ART blog!) I do want to acknowledge those that have expressed concern about how I am doing.

Here's the scoop:

I have completed 3 rounds of chemo and have my 4th in August. Thankfully, the way my treatment is being run, I have July off so I can relax just a little. It's stressful bracing myself for being poisoned, (I'm calling a spade, a spade here) knowing that I am going to be really sick with side effects. Chemo is hell and having been through it myself, I now feel deeply sorry for anyone who has had to go through it. I now get why people call themselves "survivors"-it's that bad.

Some people were wondering why I am having chemo if I have MS. The idea is that the chemo beats down your immune system. With MS, your immune system is running in high gear all the time, as if there is a reason to attack like it would if you had, say an infection. The immune system doesn't know to shut down and it damages the protective coating on the nerves, the myelin. Like I explained before, it's like a rat chewing a telephone wire. The more damage it does, the less the signals can get through to the nerves to run your body.

I am having chemo to try and get my immune system tamped down enough so that the MS meds I take (which are not a cure, but are suppose to help lessen the frequency and duration of attacks) will have a chance to work. I have been having an attack for 23 months now (not good) and the goal is to try and get into remission. So far, it doesn't seem to be working.

I cut my hair in late May, as it was longish and had started falling out, which I was prepared for. It got looking like someone had singed it with a flat iron though and I was not prepared for that. Also, I've lost all my curl. So, I took the no-nonsense approach and headed to the salon. I have a new hairdresser who knows all about chemo hair and she gave me a short, sassy 'do. Cutting it short meant healthier hair so it's stopped falling out. While I am not pleased with the effect the chemo has had on my hair, it's just hair. Eventually I will be done treatment and it will grow back. (I am hoping the curl comes back too!)

In the meantime, the headache condition I have thanks to my MS, still continues to be the bane of my existence. I am still going for freezing shots in the base of my skull (yes, it's as painful as it sounds) while I wait to see the neuro surgeon. I am also scheduled for not one but two MRIs in the fall. We may have universal health care in Canada, but it means our wait lists for test and specialists is outrageously long. Anyway, it's time we had a look see at what's going on and figure out where things stand.

So..that's all the news that's fit to print. Thanks for checking in on me. I should mentioned that the flowers shown above came from my son's girlfriend's mother. She grew them in her garden and sent a bouquet, via her daughter to cheer me up. It's always the little things that matter the most.

...and now, back to ART...


sherry lee said...

I'm glad to know that you are staying strong throughout this. Chemo is hell (and back) but it is's all about pacing yourself and knowing what to expect.

Love the sound of the sassy short may well get your curls back when the hair grows in. Mine was stick straight and everyone said "oh you'll get lovely curly hair when it comes back." Nope. My hair came in exactly the way it was before. So with fingers crossed, you may not go opposite but stay with what you've always had.

Sending you wishes of hugs and pain free days.

Kris Henderson said...

Love and Light to you, Lelainia.
You are courageous and inspirational.

Diva Kreszl said...

Thank you for sharing your courageous battle with us...I will hold you in my prayers and hope that your condition improves and just in case I'll send some healing Reiki your way as well!!!

bettyann said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life..maybe that is why I was so attracted to your art and teaching..take care..

Jamie said...

I am so sorry your are having to go through this Sweet Lelainia. Your attitude is awesome though and I hope so much the chemo can give you some relief. Thinking of you often. Love, Jamie