Notes From Supergirl

My Diary from the Trenches

Day 30


I attempted to run today and my legs felt like two solid cement columns. I’ve been working on building up my walks around the neighborhood and on our walk this morning, Ty wanted to race. I was feeling pretty good so I thought I would give it a try. I couldn’t believe how little my legs could do. It’s amazing how quickly you can lose muscle that you’ve built up over a lifetime. Later in the day, I hit the elliptical trainer for a slow, easy 20 minutes. I’m obviously going to have to build my strength up slowly.

I also ventured back into cooking today and made both lunch and dinner with greens from the garden. It feels so good to eat healthy food again. I’ve worked my way back to vegetables and beans and all that roughage I had to stay away from for the last week or so in the hospital. Eating well now makes me feel like I’m healing my body.

Food was actually a big subject for me today. I think I mentioned previously that I’m reading a book called “Crazy, Sexy, Cancer.” In this book, based on the author’s extensive research and work with dietitians who specialize in cancer, her recommendation is to eat an entirely vegan diet or mostly raw vegetables. I can follow the science and the logic behind her reasoning, but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. For comparison sake, I started reading another book that I grabbed called “Anti-Cancer.” This book is amazing – I’ve read half of it in one day. This book promotes a more balanced diet approach with recommendations for certain foods that should be plentiful in a cancer patient’s diet. Interestingly enough, the prescribed “diet” is very similar to how I already eat and ate before my diagnosis. But things I was doing already, such as drinking green tea, I apparently wasn’t doing enough of. The book recommends 3 cups a day. I usually just have one. This research is fascinating to me. Dr. Oz even did a show about cancer foods today. What has been shown is that diet can have an enormous impact on cancer treatment, recovery and remission.

I’m off for my bone marrow test tomorrow and eager to speak with the doctor about what comes next. With fewer fevers, my emotional state has improved greatly over the last two days. I am feeling revitalized, savoring the time with the family and reading as much as I can about how to battle cancer for life. I’m not ready to go back to treatment yet, but my inner strength is back up where it needs to be. I’m kicking this thing’s ass no matter what I have to do and I will be looking back over this experience with a smile on my face in a few short months.

Day 29


I made it through the day without a fever!!!! Because of this I also took a couple of little strolls around the neighborhood to finally get some exercise and I went with Amanda, Lucia and Ty to see Toy Story 3. That was my first big “outing” since coming home. It felt so great to do something normal.

I’m hoping I’ll be feeling even better tomorrow now that the medication seems to have kicked in. I look forward to eating, exercising and hanging out with the kids. I may also go check out some new wigs.

I also want to thank Julie for dropping off a baked ziti and Robyn for coordinating an incredible shipment of ready-to-cook food from Let’s Dish. Our freezer is well stocked! I have lots I’ve been thinking about blogging about but for tonight I am just going to relax and watch TV.

Day 28


The home nurse just came to visit and I told her what my fevers have been running and she suggested I call the doctor. I’m guessing there is a good chance I will going back to the hospital tonight. It’s funny because I’ve spent the day trying to relax, meditate and not worry about anything, but somehow I felt this was coming. In a way I’m eager to get back in there so that they can figure out why I am still running these fevers. I want time to heal and rebuild before the next round of chemo and I certainly can’t do it feeling this way. I’m just not sure what else is wrong with me that these things won’t go away.

Emotionally I am feeling pretty good. I’ve definitely gone through some ups and downs after coming home. I suddenly see myself as different from everyone else. With my new chicken legs, I feel like I stick out like a sore chemo thumb. But, I know that on day 14 there was no cancer in my body and that is the only thing that matters. On Thursday I will have another bone marrow test and we just keep our fingers-crossed for the same results.

Having my children curled up beside me is also amazing medicine. Their laughter and silliness is highly motivational. A hug from Brian also does wonders.

I’ve been readingĀ  a book called “Crazy, Sexy, Cancer” that is providing a lot of inspiration. It shows that women my age have made it through this (and far worse) and made it out just fine on the other side, embracing and living life. If I could just make the fevers go away I will confident that I can beat anything!

Day 27


I’m still here, though my bags are packed and ready to go at any time. I’m still running fevers and they just plain suck. Last night I woke up with 104. I’m able to get them down quickly but it’s this constant cycle of anxiety waiting for the fever to come on, waiting until it’s high enough to take something and then breaking out in cold sweats as it comes down. I decided to give myself through the end of today and I will call the doctor tomorrow morning to confirm that these are all still par for the course with the infection. I realize she may admit me for a day or so, but at this point, if it would get rid of the fevers, I would be happy to do anything.

For the most part I am trying to ignore them. I’m spending as much time with the boys as possible. Kieran has changed so much in 3 short weeks and I’m soaking up all of his new language skills. I also wrapped my picc line up in plastic wrap today and made my way into the pool with Ty and Brian. It was good to float around and get some exercise.

One of the hardest things for me has been the fact that I lost so much weight at the hospital – mostly muscle tone I think. But I look frail and I hate that. I’m an athlete and I feel like I look like a sick person now, nevermind the shaved head. I’ve been trying to eat as much as my stomach will allow and hoping the fevers subside soon enough for me to get some exercise. I did a little yoga last night but the picc line hanging from my arm poses interesting challenges.

My mother-in-law has been here to help with the boys and clean and I so grateful for that. My father brought dinner last night. I’m feeling well taken care of.

I also need to thank my Aunt Martha for sending me the most awesome Supergirl baseball cap. I will snap a picture in the next few days for sure.

Day 26


I’m home now and starting to settle in. My first day back didn’t exactly go as expected. When I got home on Thursday evening I was running a fever of 102. I called the doctor and she wanted me to come in the next day for another CT scan with injection dye this time. She said there was a type of infection that she had been worried about in the back of her mind but they hadn’t tested for. So I spent all day Friday back at the hospital and the scan confirmed that I do have this infection. It is nothing terrible, just something that takes a long time to clear up and, unfortunately, my body is running fevers as a way of fighting it. I assumed that she would re-admit me since I was running the fevers but she said I was fine to go home, take the medication and the fevers will eventually pass.

Coming home with fevers was not what I had in mind. I’m hot, then cold, I’m sweating in the middle of the night, then freezing. I’m also used to being in the hospital where nurses check my vital signs every couple of hours and give me medicine whenever I need it. I have to say that being home, alone, to take care of myself, has been a little scary.

All of that aside, being home and seeing my boys has been amazing. When I walked in the door on Thursday to surprise them, they were both so excited to see me. Ty just kept rubbing my head (because he likes the way the buzz cut feels) and Kieran didn’t even notice. I’ve been smothering them and savoring every minute.

Of course, some of the first things I noticed were how dirty things were, how much weeding needed to be done or wondering how long it had been since sheets were changed, etc. Brian has done an incredible job keeping everything together but it’s nice to see I’m needed for a few things. Although I know I should be relaxing, I have actually found it very therapeutic to weed the garden and clean the house.

I think that having the fevers over the last few weeks have thrown some of my confidence and “supergirl” spirit and I am hoping that this brief time I have at home will recharge and renew me for the next phase of this battle.

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