It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just my white cells are low.

Quarantine me – not just for world travelers anymore – If your white cells are low, quarantine yourself. This is another one of those things you can control and get an A++ at. Running to Walmart isn’t worth the serious virus or infection you could come home with. Go with me on this one.
Pretend you are on a Staycation. Watch all those #Netflix series you promised yourself you would watch. Try some new recipes. Start needlepointing a Christmas stocking (I did 2 of them). Stay away from hotels, stores, restaurants, schools period!
If people ask to come over, be honest, tell them you are at risk of infection. Who wants to be “that guy who made you sick”? After your numbers are up, let them come over. Just remember this does not mean partay! Any illness you get is more serious and complicated because it’s you and you don’t have much ammo to fight it with, so be careful!
So what can you do? I played tennis! I realized that I could be on one side of the net and the nearest human was over 100 feet from me! Score!!! Since I could not fly in an airplane or stay at a hotel, my husband and I drove to a friend’s condo and stayed there for a week together. We cooked, hiked, read and drove back home. All of those friends who have condos and lake houses, or friends of theirs who have condos and lake houses, or dear family members (distant or not) who have condos or lake houses, take them up on their offer to “do anything they can to help you”. As little of a trip as this sounds like, it gives you something to look forward to, prepare for and remember as your “happy place” when the tough days come.Slippers

Cancer cells are cellfish


Cancer cells are cellfish! Are these selfish cells cramping your Style? If it would work better for your calendar to come every 3 weeks instead of every 2, just say so. Sorry dear, it doesn’t work that way. There is a cycle to the growth of cancer cells and this is what determines how regularly you must show up for your dose of chemo.
Simply put, chemo attacks cancer cells when they are most receptive to the poison. Say a cell divides, it must grow a little bit, maybe 2 weeks, maybe 3 weeks, when it is ripe for chemo. Then ZAP, we give them a shot of chemo and they stop dividing. Mission accomplished. Wait, more are growing, wait 2 weeks and then Zap them again and so on.

Here’s where it gets complicated, you may be getting 2 types of chemo in your chemo cocktail, and one is on a 2 week zapping schedule and one on a 3 week zapping schedule. Lucky you, you get to go hang out and watch TV at the infusion center even more. Sure wish there was a punch card with a free gift at the end!

Face it, we are on cancer’s schedule. Our job is to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves strong enough to stay on schedule and annihilate as many cells as possible.

Happy shooting!

Spiral up or Spiral down

….you pick. You have a choice. Cancer is fighting against you and what type of cancer patient you become is up to you. You can either spiral up or spiral down. If you push yourself to eat good sized meals, you have energy. If you have energy, you feel like being active. If you are active, you get hungry. If you get hungry, you eat! This is the upward spiral.
What’s the other option look like? Don’t eat much, and don’t have much energy. Don’t have much energy, and don’t have much activity. Don’t have much activity, and you are not hungry. This is the downward spiral.
Is it easy? No. Are there tricks? Yes. Wear a fitness tracker and see your daily step count. After treatment, when you still have steroids in your system, be active! Play golf, play tennis, walk, clean a closet, go shopping for something to do when your low-energy days hit. Eat! Make some fattening brownies, add chocolate chips. Make cinnamon rolls and eat the whole pan. Put a pecan on top of each bite.
Do what you can do. Be conscious of what you could easily do and what you would call pushing yourself. If you can push yourself to eat more or be more active, do it and spiral UP!

It’s not the fair, it’s the Cancer rollercoaster.

Get strapped in and let’s go for the ride. The day you get your diagnosis, you are at the bottom of the incline. There is no describing this day to anyone and there is nothing, not even a new puppy, that can make you feel any better. Come on Bright Side, I’m ready for you. Then it comes, you learn about the success rate with a particular treatment and you get temporary comfort from your team. Then you begin treatment or have surgery, or both…weeeeee and we are back down again. Surgery is over, treatment is starting and it’s tolerable. Up, down, up, down, then you finish treatment. Yay, back up again! Three months later, you walk back into the hospital for your scans and your stomach has that queasy feeling as you drop straight down from your temporary high. Scans come back clear! Yessss! We are up again! Then you feel something odd…oh no, could it be back? Great, it was just a temporary feeling. Time for scans again…oh no, this might be something. Yes, it is. You try to ease your mind, no treatment is necessary now, but what if….. Scan again in 3 more months, and yes, it is something. More treatment. Yay, you are clear again! Not so fast, someone calls you about a friend who was just diagnosed and they need to know how to start the battle. Yup, there it is again. You get off the phone and feel great because someone could benefit from all this knowledge you have stored. So, right, it’s not useless information after all.
And the ride goes on. The best advice is not to let yourself experience deep lows or extreme highs. Try to stay as neutral as possible. Let the others around you carry the burden of the emotional lows and highs for you. They asked you “what can I do for you”, right?