Teddy the Therapy Dog
Fave trick: Shake
Fave toy: Anything that squeaks
Fave Food: Sour cream coffee cake
Well, I suppose I am long overdue for a medical/life update. Normally around this time I would be taking a nap, but there’s currently a technician in my house doing technical things, so I can’t go have a nap until after he’s done. Honestly, I should probably try and stay awake until this evening anyway since I managed to sleep about 14.5 hours after radiation yesterday.
Speaking of radiation, I am on week three of this round, and so far I seem to be handling it well. I have radiation M-F each week around 11:30am, and usually it makes me slightly nauseous and sleepy, so when I get home I tend to sleep a few hours. It’s amazing to me that my body gets to worn out from something that in reality doesn’t take very long. I only spend about 15 minutes bolted to the table under my fitted mesh-mask per day, but it’s a higher concentration of radiation being aimed at Lyle, so I suppose it makes sense that my head gets all hazy, and I get fatigued. My last day of radiation will be on 01/30, then I’ll have a bunch of tests and we will see what the future treatment is at that time.
At the moment I am up to three injections of Hydromorphone a day, along with Vicodin 3x a day and Methocarbamol as needed for breakthrough pains. Besides that, I’m on various other meds to treat my wide array of symptoms — vertigo, nausea, headaches, etc. I’m looking forward to the day that I don’t need all these pills and shots. That’ll be a sweet, sweet day. 🌈
Today I added a prayer for my fellow warriors onto the prayer wall. Fight on. ✊🏽
The reality of brain cancer. This custom-fitted mesh mask is used to bolt me down on the table while radiation beams are pinpointed at Lyle. This happens 5 times a week for 4 weeks straight.
Cancer hurts those who fight from the sidelines, but it cannot cripple love. Thank you @monabeille @brittyzombiehunter @finchstacey for campaigning for me.
When you are faced with terminal cancer, one of the things that you inevitably end up doing is evaluating the things you want to do before you die. I was fortunate enough that my family accommodated one of my last wishes by planning a family trip to Disney this last May, where I was able to meet some of my friends from all over the world whom I met playing FFXIV. Since that trip, I managed to find my small notebook filled with various other bucket list items, and there is one item that wish to start/complete, but it requires help from those I care about.
People know that I am a giant book nerd, and I feel that books are telling of the people who read them. I’m always open to reading new genres and recommended books, and a while back I decided that I want to start a collection of books that is reflective of the people in my life. Here is where you come in.
I would like to have a copy of your favorite book, with a handwritten message inside from you. Your message can be why you enjoy the book or your favorite quote, or whatever you feel you’d like to say. I have no expectations when it comes to genre or quality. It can be whatever you choose, a children’s book, the Bible, a used copy, etc. I would just like to get started collecting these books that are pieces of the people who I’ve met along this journey of life. And yes, I will read them. After all, between treatments and my inability to work at the moment, I have oodles of time.
So, if you feel so inclined to add to my collection, feel free to give/mail me your book. Don’t forget to inscribe the book with something from you! ❤
Thank you in advance,
Holly Marie Anderson
4240 N. 100th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85037
I stood in the store aisle
Pondering which holiday tablecloth piqued my interest the most–
Red with white snowflakes,
White with silver trees,
Or the rustic reindeer.
My hands fumbled,
Attempting to match fabric napkins
With each design.
People came and went,
Bumping into my cart,
As I still contemplated.
On one such occasion,
I managed to drop some of the tablecloths,
And bending down–
a little too quickly perhaps
My body protested the sudden movement
And pain seared throughout
Leaving me teary-eyed,
When your reality turns out to be fantasy, mind tricks if you will, it can be an earth-shattering, scary thing.
I suspected that the fleeting shadows were figments of my imagination. Sometimes you look from the left to the right too quickly and you think you see something that in reality isn’t there at all. So I ignored them. But today, there was no ignoring you.
I heard the dishes first, early this morning. I knew Mosha wasn’t home, and it piqued my interest enough that I roused from bed and headed to the kitchen–the very empty kitchen. It’s damning because I know what I heard, but I also know what I saw, and they were two very contradicting things. I blamed lack of sleep and new medications as I meandered back to my bed.
I spent time messaging B, and in the midst of that, you appeared, walking alongside my bed, bringing me soup, chastising me for not taking care of myself. Who are you? I had never seen you before today. I didn’t have any sense of familiarity. Just as I began to sit up, you were gone, as quickly as you appeared. Yet you were so very real.
The next logical step would have been to get ahold of my oncologist, to raise the alarm to my medical team, but instead I retreated because of fear and unfamiliarity. I forced myself to sleep, a sleep from which I didn’t wake up from until late evening. Since I woke up, I’ve had a tingling sensation across my head (this is not new, but it has been a while since I’ve experienced it). I ate, plopped on the couch until now, desperately trying to distract myself from today’s happenings. Were they imagined? All evidence points to yes.
After a little prying, Mosha got it out of me, and we decided that first thing, I need to call my medical team. I’m not fearful in the sense that I feel there is a demonic presence in our home, and I don’t believe in ghosts, so that’s not it either. No, I am fairly certain that this is directly related to Lyle or the medications somehow. Best to deal with it sooner rather than later because I can’t imagine living life the way I had to live it today. It isn’t living at all.
Sometimes unexpected complications arise, but that’s when you draw closer to one another and God, and hold on tight till you make it through.
Well after having numerous emotional breakdowns over the past few weeks, we (My medical team, Mosha and my parents) have decided that its best for me to try to regain some independence. Relying on other people for every little thing has taken a toll on me in many ways, and while I cannot control other things, such as how I may feel physically, I can control how much help I receive from others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on an ego trip nor do I plan on being unwise when it comes to asking for help; I know my limits and when I need to reach out. However, constantly having someone who needs to sacrifice aspects of their life to be my caretaker has never sat well with me. In the end, it ultimately adds more stress to my life, which makes me sicker than I already am.
I had a long overdue visit from Finchy today. She was off work, so she offered to take me to my radiotherapy appointment in the morning, then we spent the rest of the day hanging out at my place.
After yesterday’s emotional ups and downs, my mom and dad suggested that each day I do something positive each day, like crafting, drawing, writing, reading, etc. Today, I did just that, and decided to start getting my garden ready for planting season. I also decided that I wanted to move my hanging planters from the backyard to the front yard, where they would get more sun and add to the overall look of the house that I’m trying to achieve with all the vines and plants. Continue reading
Today was emotional for me.
I don’t really have a reason for being emotional today, other than the fact that I just woke up feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and anxious without cause.
Today was day one of radiotherapy. For those of you who don’t know, radiotherapy uses radiation, such as x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams or protons, to kill or damage cancer cells and stop them from growing/multiplying. It’s a localized treatment, so it only affects the area where they direct the radiation. Unfortunately for me, the leukemia is so widespread and near so many of my vital organs that directing the rays can get difficult. You definitely don’t want the rays to hit your kidneys or liver or other important organs.
I had a really good day today.