Monday, April 30, 2007

Yeah, it didn't stay...

So, I think the better breathing lasted for about a week or so--again nothing substantial, but it was a slight improvement. Then, Lister cut the steroids a little (now I'm at 20 or 15 mg daily, alternating days), and it seems like it's getting bad again. Argh. It's just so annoying.

Also, that day when I had my appointment with him, I asked about being put on oxygen--at least while I'm putzing around at home. So, they tested my levels, submitted a report and later that day a man came by with tanks and tubes and such. At first, I was really uncomfortable with the whole thing--mentally it made me feel like things were worse, but a funny thing happens with desperation. If you can breathe better but look silly, you'd be surprised how quickly pride gets tossed out he window.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thank you, GOD!

Today it seems that I've had better breathing. I'm not sure why exactly, but I'm VERY happy that it's here. Usually the last days right before a chemo are the most difficult for breathing, and since I'm due for my next chemo on Friday, it would normally be pretty prohibitive by now. HOWEVER, today, I managed to do quite a few things around the house and EVEN got out to the art store on my own. I've been doing some floor exercises (in addition to my normal treadmill sessions) to build up the muscles in my arms and torso, so maybe that is helping to strengthen the muscles that can pull open my lungs. Or maybe, I have enough prayers into God that he finally took mercy on me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Meet my donor!

Her name is Jackie and she and I met this past weekend at my mom's place in Maryland. We had dinner and chatted up each other on what we had both done for the process as well as other events in our lives. She came with her husband, Andrew, who had an amazing magnetism for my mom's cat, Stanley. Within moments of sitting down, Stanley was all about getting as close to Andrew as possible. It was absolutely adorable! I also created a painting for her--my first floral. Here's a picture of it as well as an image of Jackie and I together!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pushing it

So, the breathing is closing up again (as usual when I'm about a week after chemo). However, in some way, it seems not quite as bad as it was in the days before this last chemo. It's still pretty terrible, but I at least wasn't completely discouraged in my efforts to get out of the house today. I swung by the art store to pick up some more canvases, because it's the last few days of a sale that they are having. Inspired by spring and taking a little break from figurative work, I'm working on some florals and other objects real up close. I finished the first flower painting today and I'll be giving it to Lady X this weekend when we meet for the first time. I hope she likes it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I have had a better breathing day today. I had my 11th chemo yesterday, and it has given me a bit of my breath back--at least for a few days. It's amazing how much better and like myself I feel with just a little bit more air in my lungs. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a breathing pretty heavily, but everything is just a little bit easier. I actually had a conversation with an old friend on the phone today for almost an hour and a half and I didn't get winded nor tired afterwards!! I even had enough energy to do the fastest and longest treadmill session than I have for months! Oh, please God, let me keep this air!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Alive but not living

I've had a little bit of a lower period lately (mentally). I'm just getting really frustrated with these breathing issues. I know I sound like a broken record, but it's just that it doesn't go away. It's amazing how limiting it is and how much it's cramping my ability to get better. It's hard for me to build up strength in my muscles, because exercising is near impossible. And as far as other activities, well, those are pretty impossible too. Actually, I can try to do them, but it starts to get a little scary when I can't get enough air into me. I actually start to get dizzy sometimes when I'm just walking out to the car. Not good.

The thing is, I wouldn't mind it nearly half as much if I knew that I had to endure it for "x" [time period] more. Even if it were a full year or two. Then, I would at least have something to look forward to. I could tell myself, "Just 10 more months until I can breathe normally again." BUT, I don't have that guarantee. I don't have any guarantee that it will ever go away. It could clear up in a matter of weeks (not likely) or stay as a permanent condition. It's completely unknown. That's probably what's most difficult right now--not knowing if all this suffering is going to be worth it in the end.