Tomorrow I go to the Dana. I go every Wednesday and I never look forward to it but tomorrow, tomorrow I’m excited. Weird to say that I’m excited to head to the hospital but I’m hoping that tomorrow is the start of a long stretch of pain coming to a close. I meet with my pancreatologist and hopefully get the all-clear to begin eating again. Now I know it won’t be an “eat whatever you want” conversation but even being able to have a fruit smoothie or grilled chicken breast will be such a big deal. Like I’ve said over and over, I’m so hungry. Hungry and beyond crazy with cravings. All I can think about is food…sandwiches, pizza, angel hair pasta, sushi. I’m a ways away from all that but a girl can dream. I also start on steroids tomorrow for five days which make me absolutely insane when it comes to eating. They make me so hungry and able to eat like a growing football player. So tomorrow as I meet with my doctor, I will be putting on my persuasive pants and begging him to allow me to start my journey back to the real world of food. Wish me luck.
Tomorrow also marks the restart of my chemo regimen. I’ve been paused for two months because of the pancreatitis but tomorrow I start it up again. It will feel good to restart as I have been worried to be off my planned track for this long…for obvious reasons. Chemo’s no fun but progress is. The start of this next round of chemo means I’m one step closer to getting my life back, one step closer to being cured. And those things are something to be excited about, really excited about.
My first pancreatitis attack happened on August 13th. It’s now November 14th. That’s three hospital stays in the books, about 100 pounds in fluctuated weight, an incredible amount of pain medication down, a stent placed into my pancreas, two months behind on my chemo regimen and three months in the past of simply not eating or not eating the foods I want to eat. In fact, right now, I’m unable to eat anything but “clears” for the next two weeks (clears = broth, apple juice, jello, water). It sounds unenjoyable but not the end of the world, right? I would have guessed that too but not being able to eat is more than that. I’m having such a hard time with it because it’s something that I enjoy doing so much. I enjoy cooking it, I enjoy snacking on it, I enjoy going out to restaurants with my boyfriend and friends, and I enjoy eating it! Food was one of the last things that not much had changed since my diagnosis. And I so revelled in that. So the fact that it got taken away from me just seems unfair. Now, instead of eating, I have a feeding tube that I attach to every night for 14 hours. Not exactly a pasta dinner.
In general, these past few months have left me really down. I’ve been in the hospital 45 days of the three months which is nothing short of miserable. Being in the hospital is a mind game. It’s draining and sad. You become like a hamster. For the majority of the time you’re kept in your little cage where people are constantly coming in and out to either visit, poke you with something or give you medication to take. The latter is my favorite as it hopefully will make me sleepy and I can dose off to kill an hour or two. If I’m being honest, sleeping has become one of my favorite things to do in these past few months because it takes me away from everything. I know that doesn’t sound very inspirational but it’s the truth. Trying to stay positive and keep my spirits up has proven to be harder recently than it had been in the past. I think it’s a combination of this big bump in the road I’ve had (aka pancreatitis) and also the sense that I’ve been at this for almost 9 months now and I still have so much further to go. Today, however, my mom and I are staying in our pajamas all day since it might snow and making Christmas crafts for the holidays. It should be fun and I’m grateful to be out of the hospital and doing something I enjoy… crafts! Now, if I can just get to eating by Thanksgiving, I’ll be making positivity strides all over the place.
Much love for listening to me vent… I had to get this one out.
I’m so hungry. Literally, all I can think about is food. And that’s because I can barely have any.
Tomorrow will be two weeks since I got pancreatitis and one thing I learned is that it’s no joke and it’s no fun. I’ve been home from the hospital for 3 days now and my stomach is no better than it was a week ago. There’s a constant feeling of uncomfortableness that hums throughout the day and then after I eat I get sharp stabbing pains. This type of suffering would maybe be worth it if I was eating delicious food… pizza, nachos, mac n cheese…. things of that nature. But instead I’m only allowed to have low fat, fat free and dairy free. Things in the realm of low-fat soups, saltines, fresh fruit, steamed broccoli, grilled chicken.. none of the above are worth a painful aftermath. I’m still not sure how long that regimen will last but I was told that it could be up to a year until I’m fully able to eat everything I once was. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take that long. I’m a buff chix nachos type of girl and having that taken away really bites the big one.
Although my thoughts are being consumed with “I wish I could eat this” and “Ughhh my stomach hurts so bad,” I also am thinking about what tomorrow will bring. Tomorrow is another big day as I meet with my doctors about where we go from here. Since one of the main chemotherapy drugs that I have been on is what caused the pancreatitis, the risk is too great to continue on with that specific drug. I was scheduled to get ten doses and I had only gotten four so far meaning I won’t get 6 of the scheduled treatments sessions. And not finishing up a session of my treatment plan, well that’s scary. Scary because if that’s what my doctors knew to be the best chance of beating this, what does it mean now that I won’t be getting them all? Hopefully there are alternative drugs and avenues we can take but it definitely makes me nervous to think we’re not going with the strongest option. So tomorrow I’ll once again be at the hands of my doctors.
On a positive note, I’ve been working on a homemade chicken noodle soup all day that I will be having for dinner tonight. The chicken is shredded, the veggies look soft and I used whole wheat egg noodles that look delicious. So cheers to it turning out good and me getting a yummy meal in my tummy.
p.s. in honor of being unable to crush food, here’s a pic of me mowing two breakfasts before treatment a few months ago!