Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Tilt A Whirling through the Past 10 Days

In my last blog post I mentioned that Dave and I don’t like roller coasters. I have decided in the past week that I would actually greatly prefer a roller coaster to the “ride” that I have been given these past 2 weeks. You see, a roller coaster is scary but you can see what’s ahead of you (When does it rise? When does it fall?). Our ride seems to have no predictability.

I will have one “OK” day followed by one really difficult day. It reminds me of the Tilt-A-Whirl…the carnival ride where you are placed in a freely spinning car that goes at all different speeds and in all different directions.

I am writing from the hospital. I checked in to urgent care this past Sunday when I started to get increasingly nauseous and realized that my body no longer could handle taking all of the medications without a bit of a boost.

The major side effect I have experience from the new chemo we started this past Friday has been Thrush. Thrush is basically a fungal infection that grows in your esophagus and creates that “morning mouth”, stale, pasty, bad tasting coating on your tongue. It is very common with some types of chemo to get this. As a result you have bumps all over your throat, it’s very hard to swallow, nothing tastes good and you lose a lot of strength. I found myself not being able to eat or drink much the past 5 or so days, which was making me more and more dehydrated, and weak.

I am glad to say that we have gotten the condition under control with the help of some antibiotics and I am starting to be able to drink freely again (food is still hard for more than a few bites at a time). Unfortunately my body still isn’t sure of what to do with the fluid it is ingesting and my “stumps” of legs are very uncomfortable. Dave often has to help me put on my pants/socks and it is not a highlight of my day. 

One thing that has really helped me keep my energy up (hemoglobin) is getting blood transfusions about every 7-10 days. They may sound daunting but they are quite simply a pint of blood to help give your own system a little “pick me up”. Although I am really fortunate that I do not need blood specifically donated to me at this point, I am constantly grateful that when my Dr orders a transfusion (I’ve had at least 7 now), the blood is always available.

This happens because healthy people like you donate blood/platelets. I really urge you to give blood on a regular basis, anywhere near your home or at MSKCC here in NY. Here is the link so you have all of the info you need.

I was watching the ING Marathon on Sunday as I find it such an inspiring race. My very dear friend Kat ran in my honor and she finished in 3:32! I was so sad not to be able to watch her run but I did really feel like I was there with her in spirit. When she called me to tell me she had finished, I blubbered my thank you on the phone. I was so overwhelmed with love. I have been going through such a tough time these past few weeks and her love and support couldn’t have come at a better time.

We are headed into the last 10 days of my “chemo cycle” before we start this craziness all over again. We are all optimistic that things should become a little easier in the 10 days ahead as my blood counts start to settle back to “normal”. I still have a huge stomach that is constantly gurgling and providing discomfort but that is a given for now until the chemo can work its magic.

I am hoping to just spend time, sleeping and healing to the best of my abilities.