Family … and Phase 2

Gerry and I are SO busy doing chemo. It’s crazy how much time it takes … pre-chemo doctor visits, blood tests, the occasional unplanned visit to the ER, picking up prescriptions, etc etc.

The week before we switched to Phase 2 of my chemo – I realized that we had a small window of opportunity between chemo appointments (and my feeling healthy enough) to run over to the Mainland to visit our family.

I wish I could have seen all my friends while we were there.. I even thought about having a “meet me at this pub and come give me a hug” get-together but I am SO exhausted that it’s tough to even have a conversation one-on-one right now. So we only saw my Dad and Ger’s parents. And Bif Naked … but I’ll tell you about that in a sec.ร‚ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

screen-capture-1We met my Dad for a quick lunch and a quick hello. Then Gerry and I headed to the hotel so I could nap. The drive over from Victoria to Vancouver zapped me of all my energy.

I live on Vancouver Island and in order to get from Victoria to Vancouver you have to drive 45 minutes to the ferry terminal. Then take the ferry across (1.5 hours) then drive into Vancouver (anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on traffic). It’s a haul!

So I had a good nap and then we went to meet my Dad again for dinner at Heirloom Vegetarian Restaurant.

The food was divine. The menu is a little pricey but luckily my Dad was paying.ร‚ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s a beautiful restaurant and the menu had a little something that everyone (including my carnivore Dad) enjoyed. My fave was the Vanilla Cloud Cake. Yum!ร‚ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Before we left the hotel I had tweeted where we were going for dinner at Heirloom and that if anyone saw me they should come over and say hi so my Dad would know what a big deal I was. ha ha. I was so happy when these lovely ladies came over to interrupt our dinner and say hi. They were so sweet.ร‚ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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I don’t know why … but I totally forgot to take a photo with my Dad. Dang it. We both look so cute with our matching bald heads. Oh well … next time.ร‚ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Gerry and I headed back to the hotel and I sent a text to my friend Bif and asked if she wanted to meet us at the hotel for quick visit. Bif has been so UNBELIEVABLY supportive/helpful/loving/wonderful through my entire cancer ordeal (she’s been through it herself) and I wanted to give her a real-time hug instead of sending her cyber hugs.

Unfortunately I didn’t give her much notice that I was in town and she was busy so we messaged each other for a few minutes and then I went to bed and fell asleep.

The next morning Gerry and I woke up early and decided to go for a walk with Fergus before we hit the highway to go visit Ger’s parents. We wandered up and down streets with no real purpose. In fact Gerry said “want to go this way?” and I said “Sure”. We had no destination other then walking.

screen-capture-7That’s when we heard someone yelling “IS THAT THE KRAMER FAMILY?”

I turned around and saw Bif running towards me with open arms. What?? ๐Ÿ™‚

She had been randomly driving down the street when she saw us randomly walking up the street.

We hugged. We talked. We bitched about chemo and then I gave her a big hug and she was on her way. I love how the universe works.

Then we drove to Abbotsford and had a great visit with Gerry’s parents. They haven’t been able to come visit us for various reasons and we haven’t been able to come visit them because of all my chemo – so spending the whole day with them was awesome.

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Before we knew it was time to head towards the ferry and get me home so I could rest up before Phase 2 of chemo starts…

I’m not gonna lie. I was really scared to start Phase 2 of my chemo.

Doctor B told me that the new chemo might be easier for me to handle then the previous Red Devil chemo but that Taxol comes with it’s own set of problems. One of them being an allergic reaction. As soon as she explained that to me – I started to panic. I feel like I’m crazy sensitive and if it’s going to happen … it’s going to happen to me.

screen-capture-3Note to self: Yikes. That’s a terrible way to think Sarah. Try to be more positive please and flip the script.

So to quell my nervous energy I put on my best drag-eyebrows. Dressed up with crazy earrings and my favourite Fluevog shoes and headed down to the Cancer Center ready to kick ass! If I’m going to have an allergic reaction – I’m going to look FABULOUS doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

We got to the Cancer Center and because it was the day after the long-weekend the chemo ward was PACKED with people. They were running an 1.5 hour behind and sitting in the waiting room is really hard on me when I’m feeling this run-down/exhausted so I asked the receptionist to call my cell when they were ready for me because I was going upstairs to the library to relax.

In the library they had a Fatboy. Oh my god they are so comfortable. I had no idea. I wish I could lay in one of these while I do my chemo. That would be amazing!!! HEY FATBOY!! Send over some beanbags for us to lay on!

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Then it was my turn for chemo. It went without a hitch … they give you IV benadryl prior to the Taxol just in case you have a reaction and the only reaction I had was falling asleep. Benadryl knocked me out cold.

I’ve had a MUCH better time with this new chemo. My nausea was a 2 out of 10 instead of 11. The hardest part so far has been the fatigue. It’s hard for me to get my body to move. I feel like I’m stuck in a vat of Molasses.

Plus some bone pain. My hips and my ankle joints ache but some Acetaminophen helped chase that away and doing yoga helps too.

Fergus likes to help me by coming over and putting the FULL WEIGHT of his chest on my forehead and then he snuggles/licks my face until I can’t breath.

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So Phase 2? So far so good but I don’t want to jinx it by being to cocky about it (I am such a weirdo). I’m cautiously optimistic that things will continue to be ok.

Next Sunday my bestie-best friend Sho is coming to stay with us for a few days. I’ve known her for over 40 years … Pretty amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

I can’t wait to see her … Although I fear she may not recognize me with all this Chemo Induced Alopecia and I’m pretty sure I’m going to burst into tears as soon as I see her.

God. I’ve been crying SO MUCH lately … It’s becoming ridiculous. Gerry rubbed my feet the other day I exploded into tears because I was so moved by his sweetness. I pretty much have a cry-jag/melt-down every night. It’s pretty funny.

Is it the steroids? Or the chemo-induced menopause? Whatever it is … I’ve never cried so much in my life.

And with each tear falls another eyelash. I’m almost eye-bald AND I have no nose hair left so my nose runs 24-7. It’s a comedy of errors over here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

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10 Responses to Family … and Phase 2

  1. Steph Ford says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I can’t admit to knowing what you’re going through, but have been by the side of friends who have had to go through chemo and a mother who passed from the complications of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Opening yourself up is extremely brave and the fact that you seem to keep such optimism is amazing to me. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE your Fergus. Animals seem to understand our pain in a way others can’t. Take care of your soul and body. There are so many of us who love you, even without meeting you. Peace and hugs to you dear lady. : )

  2. I love the double-randomness and that you got to run into your good friend that way!

    And from what I see online, you always, always look fabulous.

  3. Brian Lam says:

    Sending hugs from your family at Arsenal Pulp Press!

  4. Steph Ford says:

    Oh, and looking back to one of your earlier posts, I can identify with the mother/daughter connection. I just turned 38 a couple of weeks ago which is the age my Mom was when she passed. I went on a “find myself” road trip last week and the self realization that although daughters can be like their mothers, they are unique and beautiful in their own way. There are still so many things to do and see. Fate can sometimes play a heavy hand on us and let the cycle continue, but the advances in the medical field have been amazing and you will get through this. The hurdle of moving beyond the age your mother was, is just one mile marker in this life of yours. You were meant to get beyond this, if just to tell your story. : )

  5. Rebecca says:

    Glad to hear you had a great visit with folks and that it worked out with your friend.
    I am also happy to hear that the “new” chemo is working much better for you. The tiredness will go away with time once the chemo is over yeah I know a long time to wait for that to happen. It will take time as always for your energy to get back.
    As for the melt downs heck you are not only entitled but, also going through a lot right now fighting cancer is hard work. Dont feel bad yesterday I had my own melt down all because I have not been sleeping very well.
    Take care!
    xxxxxxx

  6. Nancy von Euw says:

    thank you for having enough energy to share your journey-
    you are strong
    you are amazing
    you are strong
    you are amazing
    i send you Karma in the form of strength, calm and clean energy…
    cry those cleansing tears and feel yourself become stronger…
    xoxo
    (and my daughter loves her tattoo that Gerry just did for her-BE HERE NOW)

  7. Jaime says:

    Every time I read one if your blog posts I have an overwhelming desire to fly to the west coast and hug you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s not just that you’re “Sarah Keamer, superstar”, you’re “one of us”. What’s happening to you, could happen to me. Funny how being vegan sometimes makes us feel like we’re cancer-proof when clearly no one is.

    I’ve admired your chutzpah for years and now seeing how you’re dealing with this cancer has increased that admiration a hundred fold.

    Chin up, ma belle; if anyone can beat this, it’s Sarah Kramer SUPERSTAR!

    Much love,

    Jaime xxx

  8. Sue says:

    Sarah, dear Sarah, I’m sending hugs to you! (And hey, if you gotz Fluevogs on your feetz, that’z gonna go a long way to make you invincible!)

  9. Naomi says:

    Oh-my-dog Sarah. You are simply amazing. You are so strong… even with telling it how it is you show so much strength and grace! You are a force to be reckoned with and this cancer is going down. Big huge cyber-hugs from New West!

  10. Pingback: Vancouver | GoVegan.net

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