Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Diets, Chemo and Bermuda

I went shopping with my mom on Saturday...I was looking for some clothes for this work thing I have to go to mid-May. So, we go to the mall - first stop, Coldwater Creek. I find some appropriate things, Mom finds some stuff that I'm not crazy about but promise to try on. Now, I am a little worried because I've noticed that most of my clothes have become uncomfortably tight. So, I take my "normal" size and a size above into the dressing room. And NOTHING fits. NOTHING! A few tops, but no pants, skirts or dresses fit. I should have just stopped there. Because seriously, if nothing fits in Coldwater Creek - where the sizes are generous - I'm a LOT heavier than I think I am. And, I am not buying stuff three sizes bigger than what I think is my "real" size. (Because, I really liked a pair of pants that I tried on so I went two sizes bigger. Still too tight.)

But, do we stop? NO! Stupidly, we go in to Banana Republic. I tried on a pair of pants that I loved, I asked my mom to go and get me that pair that was three sizes larger. I would have bought them too - if they fit. Now, I'm almost in tears and my mom is trying to be a good cheerleader, but she can't cheer the uncheerable. Now, I'm ready to go home. But, I figure we'll try Macy's. I find a few tops and a decent dress. And buy a pair of pants that are a little small...stupid. I know.

So, now my mom and I are talking diets. And, I'm hating - absolutely hating - everything she's saying to me. And, she convinces me to join a gym. The next day, she forces me on the scale. (Only my mom and my Dr. can get me on a scale.) And, while I don't think I'm fat, I am definitely overweight. I need to lose 20 pounds. My mom seems to think I can lose 10 in 3 weeks (for my work thing).

So, here it is. Just about 41 and I am now on my first diet ever. Three days into it - and crap, I have no idea how I'm going to last. I'm hungry all the time. I live for my english muffin that I have every morning for breakfast. I don't think I ever really knew how much I love carbs until now when I have practically none.

I think every woman I know has been on a diet at least once in their life. So, I get that I've been lucky for most of my life. Doesn't make me hate this diet any less. Because, three days into it - I'm sick of salad and I miss croutons. And cheese. How I love and miss cheese.

My mom has struggled with her weight for most of her adult life. She and her friend used to joke that it took cancer to get them thin. Mom's upset that she's gained most of the weight back that she lost last year before she knew she had cancer (we tell her it's a GOOD thing).

Mom just finished her third round of chemo...except now there's a complication. She has developed an allergy to cisplatin. Last week, about halfway through the cisplatin, she started getting all blotchy and her tongue started swelling. She was red from her forehead to her knees. Tongue started swelling up. They stopped the IV and eventually reversed the effects with some high doses of a steroid. Doc doesn't want to stop the cisplatin because he is convinced that is what is working so well on the cancer. So, this week, he makes her take a bunch of steroids in the 12 hours before the chemo, in addition to extra steroids that they give her when she goes for chemo. And, she's able to take most of the cisplatin this week. They did have to stop it towards the end because she started to have another allergic reaction, but they got most of it in. And, so it goes - the docs trying to balance trying not to kill you with the "cure."

Next week is an off week and also the week she goes for her CT and MRI. Again, I ask you - think good strong thoughts about Pac Man, Asteroids, and anything else that kills rogue cancer cells. Send all your prayers or good thoughts out there for my mom.

Last thing, Dad surprised Mom with a trip to Bermuda to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They're staying at the same hotel they spent their honeymoon at. Sweet, right? Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. The fact that you love (and like) each other more today than you did 45 years ago is an inspiration to us all.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I was speaking to a friend today and told her that I thought my life was falling apart around me. I complained about my total and complete inertia on the weekends that I stayed home.

For example...I have such a large pile of clothing that needs to go to the dry cleaners that I needed to scramble every day this week for something to wear to work. I had to "save" a suit to wear for a client meeting today. My apartment is a total mess - the worst it has EVER been. And, that's saying something. I adore the friend that said I'm not a slob, this is just evidence of my "passionate living." I don't think that is at all true (especially now), but I give her huge points for positive spin.

So, I was trying to work out why I am plagued by this I like the anorexic who doesn't feel in control over other parts of her life, so controls what she puts (or doesn't put) in her mouth? Do I feel so out of control because of my mom's cancer that I'm controlling this environment that I live in? My friend cut me off right there...she said that while that could be the case, she thought that maybe I'm just tired. And, I am making a choice not to do things that I "should" do because when I'm home I need down time. And, if down time is reading, messing around on FB, or doing nothing at all, then that's ok. And, I should stop feeling so damn guilty.

So, rather than thinking about the 500 things I "should" do this weekend, I am going to focus on the thing that I absolutely have to do - get to the dry cleaners. I may need to take out another mortgage to pay for it, but hey you gotta do what you gotta do.

Last thing - I noticed that my last post was on April 1 and I was so happy about the joys of spring and all it my question is - has anyone seen Spring? Been missing around here for a few weeks.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It's been spring for a few weeks now...but today is the first day in NYC that it really feels it.

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and regrowth (except for cancer! Spring is cancer's kryptonite. No scientific proof of this, just a belief that I'm going with.). I felt all the promise that spring brings on the way to work today. Flowers blooming, trees budding, rain (finally) stopping. Forecast for an awesome Easter weekend. It's such a hopeful season!

Today, I received even more news to be hopeful. A friend on the EC listserv received wonderful news today. Towards the end of this holiest week, she received news that her husband is in remission! No tests, no chemo for 4 months. What a wonderful gift for the spring and start of the summer. I am so happy for them!

This gentleman was diagnosed a few short months before my mother - and I have felt a special kinship with them because of the brain mets (this is so rare in EC - they're the only other ones on the listserv with brain mets). While Mom's cancer is more advanced than his was, this news gave me another burst of hope.

Happy Spring! Happy April!