Thursday, May 9, 2013

Not Happy Feet

Steve Martin has happy feet. (25 seconds)

This cute penguin has happy feet. (1:15)


 I do not have happy feet.

One of the possible side effects of the chemo I'm taking is something called Hand-Food Syndrome (not the same as hand and mouth disease). It causes the capillaries in the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet to kick into overdrive.  They get hot, red, possibly swollen and can cause your skin to peel.  Not comfortable.  Well, after two months on my chemo, it has kicked in on my feet.

I took the dog for a walk yesterday morning and when I got back my feet hurt.  Sensitive, like walking on a sunburn.  I ended up spending most of the day sitting with my feet up, putting frozen vegetables on them to cool them down.  I found that one of Rory's aprons was very useful for tying the veggies in place!


This did mean, however, that I got to go buy new shoes.  I needed shoes with really soft, comfy insides.  Like my new kickers?  Dr. Scholl's, baby!


Limiting my time on my feet is not fun, but I'm adding in strategies to keep them cool and comfortable and hopefully we'll get this to go away.  I have a lot of yard and garden plans, but I'm pacing myself.  Work in the yard, then watch some West Wing and put up my feet.  Yesterday I told Jason via IM that I wanted a muffin while I propped up my feet.  I told him that if this trouble with my feet continues, I'm buying an Easy Bake Oven so I can sit in the living room, watch West Wing on Netflix and churn out little chocolate cakes without leaving the couch.  His response, "I'm so proud of that image."  :)

Half Asleep

I JUST FOUND THIS POST IN MY DRAFTS FILE FROM FEBRUARY. I THOUGHT IT WAS TOO FUNNY NOT TO SHARE.  I HAVE TO SAY, THOUGH, THAT MY SLEEPING HAS IMPROVED SINCE THEN.  I STILL WAKE UP A LOT, BUT I'M NOT UP FOR TWO HOURS ANYMORE.


My sleep patterns have changed, and I'm thinking many people might be able to identify with me for a number of reasons.

I remember being able to sleep soundly.  I remember being able to sleep through the night.  Back then, on the rare occasion I did wake up to go to the bathroom, I walked back and forth in a bit of a sleep coma, a fog of being half asleep.  This may sound strange, but I miss being half asleep.

I would fall back into bed and fall back to sleep after one deep breath.  In the morning, I had hardly any memory of getting up.

No more.

Now I lay awake for roughly two hours every time I get up, which is most nights.  I lay in bed arguing with my own brain, which seems at that hour to have a case of ADD.

"Focus on your breathing. It will help you relax."
"Why does the dog snore like that?
"I need to remember to organize my medicine in the morning."
"Did I start the dishwasher? Should I go check?"
"Stop thinking about things to do.  Breathe. That's the only way you'll get back to sleep."
"Seriously, does the dog have a sinus problem? I might have to take her to the vet."
"Breathe. Why can I only focus on one breath before my brain starts running again?"
"I need to start meditating."
"Should I get up and read a book?"

This entire conversation takes about 15 seconds in my head.  Two hours of that.  I have no idea how I finally get back to sleep.  CRAZY!!!


My Liver Is Not MIA

An update from the last post about my liver biopsy.  Sorry it has taken so long for me to post it.

On our scheduled day, Jason and I showed up at the hospital to have the biopsy.  They are incredibly specific about where they will stick the needle and they use ultrasound to guide them.  They first use the ultrasound to scout out their location, looking for the best place to get a sample without causing a lot of bleeding, etc. Well, we were very patient while they scouted and scouted.  Finally the radiologist came in and said that he was "having trouble finding a target".  He was quite a serious guy so I had to guess at what that meant.

Me:  "Um... isn't that good news for me?  Doesn't that mean you are having trouble finding a tumor?  That would seem to be good news for me and bad news for you, since your job is to find it. Am I right?"

He agreed it was.  So, as I eloquently texted some people, "The doc can't biopsy what he can't find.  Good news!"  And of course the question "Your liver is missing?" came back from a couple people.  :)

I was able to leave biopsy-less and let my husband take me out for breakfast!

I've seen my oncologist since then and he said that everything is looking good.  My liver enzymes are completely normal. My tumor markers are getting lower every time we check them.  I'm feeling great.   I'm still taking my chemo orally every two weeks (daily pills I take one week on, one week off).  I'm not due for another CT scan for a while yet, so for now, we are staying the course.