Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dogs & Goddesses

I'm feeling better. I should start with that. Seems that many of you worry about me when I don't post--and since I missed both Friday night and Sunday night, this was apparently cause for concern. That's very kind of you. I was mostly just too tired and perhaps feeling too boring to have much to say. So I thought I'd spare you. You won't be so lucky this time.

Today I believe I had my first incident of the phenomenon known as "chemo-brain." It's pretty much what it sounds like--a temporary Alzheimer's brought on by chemotherapy (or the stress of chemo, I'm betting). I've read about it and heard from other cancer folks that it's real. You forget the stupidest things or can't remember a really basic word. A sort of brain-freeze. Luckily, the brain returns to fully functional status post-chemo. Another thing to look forward to. So, here's what happened. Since my energy is down and chemo #2 didn't go anywhere as nicely as chemo #1, I want to be sure to replicate the chemo #1 prep-time experience. Chris has pointed out that we were like first time parents with chemo #1--we read everything, I took vitamins, exercised, did everything "they" tell you to do and chemo/child 1 was "perfect." By chemo/child number 2 I was drinking wine and forgetting the kid. (I'm a middle child. Have I mentioned that?) So we'll try to learn from what may have been mistakes before chemo kid #3 comes along. Starting with the vitamins/ anti-oxidants my dad had given me and I dutifully took initially. I kinda fell off that wagon with the crash day, and it's confusing because you have to stop the anti-oxidants 2 days before and after the chemo. Who can chart all this stuff?? So I probably didn't drink as much of it as I did before chemo 1.

Yesterday and again this morning, I got up, got my coffee and a yogurt and then mixed up a Gatorade with antioxidant powder (Mega-reds one day, mega-greens the next). This morning it was green. I drank about one-third of the bottle as I carried it around with me during the morning. Then I grabbed my lunch and a snack and left for work. I realized as I was driving that I left the Gatorade mix at home, so I called Chris to bring it with him when he came to the office. He searched the house but couldn't find it. I looked in the car but couldn't find it. No green anti-oxidant Gatorade machine to be found anywhere. Chris mixed a new one and brought it to me, but of course it sat on my desk and I forgot to drink it (it's really not that appealing, so it's not terribly surprising). Then later I got in my car to go home...and there was the bottle from the morning. Just sitting in the cup-holder. You know, exactly where you would put a bottle as you got in your car in the morning. It was like the concept of a cup-holder in a car was entirely foreign to me. How I didn't see that or even think to look in the cup holder can only be explained one way...chemo brain. This is going to be fun. And you just know Chris is looking forward to more of this as well.

All was not lost today though. I made it through three client meetings --one with a favorite client who is 86 and just exactly what one wants to be at 86 (healthy, happy, independent and so adorably well put together--my hair and make-up should look so good. Well, you know, when I had hair). And a new client meeting but client's daughter is a blog reader (Hi Judy!!) and thus, no explanations were necessary (I think they liked my blonde with the hot-pink Coach scarf look anyway). Plus, Judy G brought me the Turning Heads book I mentioned before and she even brought Chris a bottle of Orin Swift's The Prisoner Cab blend wine (I don't think she meant anything by the label choice! It's just a really good Napa wine; and that's a link where you can order some yourself from Napacabs.com). But after three client meetings and pre-margarita get together a nap was definitely required.

And then it was time for Dogs & Goddesses! Yes, that does happen to be the title of the book BECKY WHATLEY brought me (and I'm excited to read) when she met us at Caliente Bar & Grill, but it also fits the evening. Caliente Bar & Grill donated 25% of the food sales proceeds to the Riverside Humane Society Pet Adoption Center tonight. So, many goddesses joined me in ever-changing shifts for two good causes (RHSPAC and margaritas!): DENISE PERRY, BECKY WHATLEY, CHRIS CARLSON, KRISTIN TILLQUIST, ZEE BEARD, VALERIE ZUCKER and BARBARA MARAMOUR. And then a few "gods" showed up too: ROD PERRY, MIKE EASLEY and, of course CHRIS KERN. The dogs and I thank you all. It's possible that more money would have been raised if they donated 25% of the margarita proceeds, but we still made a good showing. And it was good for me to be among friends and enjoying a night out. Mexican food remains tasty and tequila can cut through the metallic taste of chemo, so this was a good good thing. Let's hope I've turned a little corner here. And that I'm not horribly confused and lost around that corner....

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