Thursday, November 10, 2011

purple hands and feet and chemo brain

Between the hand-foot syndrome and the fact that Paul had a bad case of dehydration when he couldn't eat, the oncologist has reduced his Xeloda from 3,000mg (6 pills a day) down to 2,500 mg (5 pills a day)to see if this helps ease the symptoms. Paul wasn't too happy about the reduction since he wants to do the most to try and kill all of the cancer and sees this as a setback but given all of the weight loss that he has had over the last 2 months, a reduction was in order anyways as the dose is based on your height and weight. It doesn't help that when you are on chemo, you also develop what is known as "chemo brain." Basically, you forget things often and quickly which is not helping matters since Paul has to be applying lotion 4-6 times a day every day to help with his hands and feet. I've lectured him. The oncologist has lectured him. The nurse practioner has lectured him. The chemo nurse has lectured him. Yet, he forgets to do this on a daily basis and, of course, blames chemo brain. As I always tease him, I don't know which is worse - the pre-chemo Hornby brain or the new Hornby chemo brain. Time will tell.

how's the barnett

When people ask me how Paul is doing, my usual response is, "Still alive and still a full head of hair." Hence, the most popular question that Paul has been asked since he was diagnosed with the "big c" is "How's the hair?" There are at least three people, who call, text or email every other week or so, to inquire about how his hair is doing. When you are an old rocker, the fact that you still have a full head of hair after years of dying, crimping, teasing, straightening and hairspray abuse, is paramount enough, thus, when he started on chemo, we were all worried, most of all, about his precious hair. It is bad enough that most of it is gray these days because he can't dye it due to the chemo, but to actually lose it all, that's a whole other kind of nightmare. Yes, we know that there are special dyes made for chemo patients but when you have already endured months of chemo and you still have all of your hair, the idea of taking a chance by dying it, is cause for much deliberation. And, yes, if it should ultimately all fall out once he starts the next lines of treatment, he's declared already that he will deal with it (not like he will have much of a choice anyways) but at least we will all know that it went because of chemo and not because he just went bald, like the rest of the men in his family. In the meantime, he can still proudly proclaim, "Thick on hair, thin on talent."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

can we just get a break please

As I stated months ago, I am currently a contractor for one of the best companies in the country. Paul and I have been counting down the days until the day I would be converted into a full time employee (keep in mind that I work full time but us, contractors, are considered part-time for whatever reason).So today was the day that I was to finally start the conversion process or so I thought. Turns out that the company I work for was putting a hold on all conversions for the next quarter. To say I was distraught is a major understatement but I pulled up my big girl panties and accepted that my conversion would just have to wait until the holding time expires sometime during the spring of next year and that I would need to resort to the last trick up my sleeve, which is to cash out my paltry 401K to give us a little padding until that glorious day when I become a full fledged employee.  See one of the many great perks at the company I work for is that they cover my insurance 100% and cover 75% of Paul's portion, which means the cost will go down to about $50 a  paycheck pre-tax which is unheard of in this economy. So it's back to creative financing to cover the $900 a month health insurance payment along with all of the other bills and medical expenses. I've become a pro at this now and the first lesson you learn when you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer is that your mantra soon becomes "It is what it is," and you continue living life the best you can. Have I said lately that I hate f*cking cancer!