The Big Epic

Connect with Nature - One Adventure at a Time

Mostly Good Days

I add a mini-update every few days to the landing page to access health-adventures on my website. Every few weeks, I gather the recent updates and turn them into an archive post. If you are a subscriber to my website, you will receive an email each time I post one of these summaries and each time I post other stories or information from along this journey.

Each “cycle” of Chemotherapy consists of: Week 1-Infusion of Med#1, Week 2-Infusions of Med#1 & Med#2, Week 3-rest with NO chemo. We are beginning to see a pattern to how my body responds to the infusions of poison. I’m exhausted when I get home on Tuesdays. There tends to be a bad crash later that night. Wednesdays and Thursdays are down days—emotionally and physically. By the weekend, I’m slowly feeling better and better. And Mondays are mostly good days! And then… it’s Tuesday again and time for more “torture.” (It sure was good news that this chemotherapy regimen is slowing down cancer growth. As we continue on this path, we hope for actual shrinkage of the tumors.)

Here is a month’s worth of mini-updates. And looking back, they were mostly good days, or at least take a nap days. And many were get-outside for at least a few moments days!
Nature therapy strengthens immune function

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 — Yes, today is Chemo Day again — just Med #1. But instead of a first thing in the morning schedule, we leave at lunch time for labs, doctor appt, and finally the chemo infusion late afternoon. I have always prided myself in having fun learning new things and trying new experiences… but in the midst of life feeling out of my control with this cancer recurrence, I have currently lost my equanimity in the face of unexpected and different. I LOVE the idea of no more repeated needle sticks/digs until they finally find a vein each time I go in. And I am confident that i will love how much easier all this is with a port… but I’ve been a basket-case yesterday and today, teary and anxious because I don’t know how things work and what to expect with this port. Sheesh! I’m looking forward to this afternoon being over so it will be another new thing mastered!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 — As I’ve said before, I’m usually Susie Sunshine, looking for and celebrating the positive things. But, I’m struggling this morning. I was exhausted when we got home last night and fell asleep mid-conversation, I think! But this morning **shhhh, whisper this… I feel fine, I feel human, I feel good*** But here is the silly picture I have in my head—a huge Mack truck slinking around corners, trying to keep me from seeing him, waiting for the perfect moment to surprise me, and run me over… SPLAT! I will let you know what really happens! (this day at least remained a mostly good day…)

Monday pm, May 24, 2019 — Super quick summary here then I will make a longer stream-of-consciousness post on the blog itself. I would apologize for not sticking to plan A… or plan Z… or even plot-twist plan S. But I’m very slowly learning to stop trying to make schedules and plans and to-do-lists. When in the middle of chemo, those things are helpful as guides, but I absolutely cannot control how my body reacts to this poison and thus cannot actually commit to fulfilling plans. I will apologize to anyone who is worried that not hearing from me means bad news. In this particular week, it simply means I’ve been napping, sleeping, dozing, dreaming, snoozing, resting, relaxing, pausing, nodding off, taking a siesta, and more… often in the middle of a word or sentence while talking or texting!

Tomorrow morning bright and early I go back for the double med, doozy of an infusion day. It might completely knock me out… or I may be pumped up with energy from the steroid I take to counteract chemo effects. I’ll let you know (sometime– A, B, Z, or S!!) how I’m doing.

Thursday, May 27, 2021 — Happy Birthday to me! And happy birthday to James, our son who graduated to heaven in 2008! 

As I’ve said before, it’s hard to make plans with no clue of how I’ll be feeling. I had the double meds infusion on Tuesday so if like last cycle Thursday and Friday will be crash days… so we tentatively plan to do a bit of bday sometime this weekend… I did feel well enough to go get some Indian food at a local restaurant.

Stuffed Sloth, happy bday

SASSEM helps celebrate the combined birthdays for me and son James. He was born in my 30th birthday but died when he was 15. So each year I celebrate being 45 in James years!

I’ve still got some steroid jiggly energy but can feel fatigue lurking. (I take steroids for 3 days around the 2nd med infusion to help counteract worst of fatigue and other side effects—but then I have to be careful not to overdraw my limited true physical energy by buzzing around on false meds energy…)

Saturday pm, June 5, 2021 — I am very happy to let you know that today was a mostly good day. I had some energy and no fatigue. I did a few bites of “chores” spread throughout the day (some dishes, wiping a counter, 1 small laundry load). And before you get all preachy and remind me that my family can do b those things and I should sit back down and rest… these were token tasks, reminding me that being a family means helping as we can… and today these were things I COULD do!

Hubby and I took a drive in the country. We wandered through a quirky antiques shop spread through 2 outbuildings and a barn. (And I’ve got some ideas for Christmas gifties. Yep, I’m one of “those people” with Christmas in my mind all the time!) They didn’t have the furniture we still want… which means future wandering. Yay!

 When we got home, I did plenty of resting—my body reminded me I haven’t walked this much in weeks. But I was physically tired, not exhausted. Win!

Hopefully, tomorrow is another mostly good day as well!

Monday pm, June 7, 2021 — Two decent days (Thurs & Fri) and three good days (Sat -Mon). One more reason I’m praying that when we find out results of scans tomorrow afternoon that we will hear this current chemo mix is effectively killing cancer cells and I can stay on this plan through the summer. It would be so encouraging to look forward to 5+ good days in a row out of every 3-week cycle!

 Today I swept the kitchen floor, finished an Art Journal page about the challenges of “Toddler Tumors,” I cooked supper for us, and hubby and I took a walk around the barns. That might not sound like much but it’s far more activity than I’ve managed for weeks!

Tuesday late afternoon, June 8, 2021 — Good news! CT scans show very limited tumors growth and some shrinkage over the past 6 weeks (2 cycles of treatments). So I’m currently in the infusion center, receiving Cycle 3, Week 1 infusion. If things are like the first two cycles, I will crash when we get home tonight, be pretty fatigued for a few days, but not achy because we finally have a good pain control plan. I might get more posted in the next few days, otherwise I will reappear this weekend. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021 — yesterday was generally more positive than expected for the day after an infusion. (And after a bad reaction middle of the night with high fever, disorientation and vomiting.) By daytime, I still had a strong appetite. I had enough energy to do a few “chores” including one load of laundry. (It’s amazing how this work becomes a privilege to get excited about when I haven’t been able to do it for months!)

I woke up a number of times during the night but went right back to sleep. I notice less energy this morning, less appetite, and a few aches and pains similar to previous cycles. My bed is humming lullabies so I suspect naps will be part of my day!

And On & On It Goes – hopefully with many more mostly good days to balance out the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad days! Bright and early tomorrow morning (Tuesday) we will be at the cancer center again for my weekly appointment, week 2 so infusions of both meds.

Since I am an active cancer patient yet again, I decided to add a “health adventures” tab to my website. You can follow my current cancer journey in a couple of ways:

  • click HERE to see frequent mini updates plus links to the pages below.
  • click HERE to see a compilation of all the mini updates archived in one place: and
  • click HERE to see photos and read blog stories about the ups and downs of this stressful journey plus posts from past health challenges.
  • Feel free to poke around the site and check out other Big Epic Adventures I have documented in the past—backpacking and other outdoor fun, becoming a certified Nature and Forest Guide, trip reports, and other daily activities.

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If you hate to miss the latest reports from my Cancer Journey, you can bookmark this intro page to read frequent mini-updates OR you can scroll to the bottom of any page and sign up to receive an email notification whenever I make a new full-length blog post (not just an update to the intro page) which will include stories, photos, explanations, and a weekly summary of mini updates.

(THANK YOU for following with me on this cancer journey! I appreciate every comment, encouragement, prayer, good wishes, little gifties and other types of support. I can’t imagine doing this alone…)

2 Comments

  1. Wishing you a good day, Jill!
    Much love,
    Pam

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