CDC Symptom Diary Card

Thursday, January 28, 2010

coping with more pain

I am still having abdominal pain from my surgery in July of 2009. Today is a bad day. I have been battling nausea all weak, along with fatigue. I am the queen of couch potatoes. I just don't want to do anything.

I go again for chemo tomorrow, scheduled to receive Taxol. I have to admit I am weary of the chemo and pain. I am tired of micro-managing my diet and not being able to eat certain foods. The thing is though that my mom suffers more. Her diabetes is so fragile, yesterday all she could eat was a bowl of soup because her blood sugar levels stayed high. This is despite her giving herself more insulin. I feel like she is starving sometimes and it pains me to see her suffer.

It doesn't help that seemingly every TV show, commercial and event is centered around food. Food is an obsession in this country. In Haiti, people are becoming so weak from lack of food that they are not able to carry their own bags of rice and beans. Juxtaposed against the horrific scenes unfolding on the island are fast food bargains, restaurant commercials, and grocery advertisements. Pizza commercials reign.

I pray every day for the people in Haiti, I pray for my mom to be able to just eat like a normal person and have a meal. I pray my sister can do the same. I just want my pain to go away. I am tired.

My chemo will start wrapping up towards the end of February, and that will make a grand total of about 6 months of self poisoning to rid myself of any traces of ovarian cancer. I am still searching for my calling and praying for those that I love to be safe, healthy and happy. We all deserve a life fulfilled. We need to contribute. We need to be needed, that is our nature.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inspired by the people of Haiti

Today I am thinking about the horrific plight of the survivors in Haiti. Consumed with their struggle and the struggle of their saviors. Frustrated by the inherent beaurocracy that comes along with large organizations spending too much time planning and assessing and not enough time doing. I know that they are doing as best they can, but when I heard yesterday that yet two more planes from Doctors Without Borders had been diverted or refused access to the airport in Port-au-Prince, I felt so so sad. Reporters are stepping in to hold officials accountable, but there really is no responsible body of government. The Haitian government is incapable and needs help to operate. I pray all day that the supply lines are freed and that effective distribution and delivery of aid and medical help becomes a reality to help the people of Haiti. We have a long way to go.

So as I get up and manage each day, dealing with the anxiety of my upcoming hospitalization, I am inspired to be better, do better, live better and cope. The people of Haiti are only surviving because of their sheer will and faith in God. We hear them singing prayer songs in the background as newscasters try to somehow paint a picture of the horror on the ground. Their songs give me hope. May we all continue to pray for the people of Haiti. They are going to need our prayers for a long time to come. To the people of Haiti, I love you.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More on Haiti

Today we finally see trickles of support in the form of food and water being sparsely distributed to the poor souls of Haiti. The people of Haiti have been their own rescue workers and heroes. It was tragic to see a group of doctors pull away from their newly established tent to leave CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta hatted with servicing the medical needs of almost 30 severly wounded Haitians. Why do these atrocities happen? The desire to "organize" has almost crippled the most essential needs to get immediate help to the people. But, I am not there. I am here. All of the world is watching, praying for a path to open up for the flood of international humanitarian aid. I must restate my praise to God for granting me life and for the lives and safety of all my loved ones and friends. Each day I pray. May we all continue to pray for the safety and well being of our beloved Haitians and for the speedy distribution and execution of international aid efforts. God Bless the people of Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We cry for Haiti

A few days ago I had planned on filling you in on my progress, then the devastating quake hit Haiti. If you are like me, you have been glued to the internet or television, praying for relief to the poor people of Haiti. It is surreal, heartbreaking, overwehlming, tragic. We are helpless save for a small donation to the red cross or other charitable organization.

What is more tragic is the realization for our saviors that the harbor is damaged, and the airport can only manage minimal air traffic. We need thousands of small boats to rush to shore with doctors, rescue teams, food, water, medicine and shelter supplies now. Distributing aid is a logistical nightmare and our best seems incapacitated to do anything. Haiti's President is homeless, has no post from which to command and the United Nations building is collapsed. Nobody is really in charge. The people are crying, screaming, suffering, bleeding and dying as I write. All nations need access to help the Haitian people, this is no time for politics or restrictions.

I saw on CNN how one doctor flew small plane to Haiti, rescued several people, provided immediate medical aid and flew them back to Miami. One doctor! Amazing. I know that some rescue efforts have started, supplies are arriving, and possibly hundreds or thousands of people are "on deck" to go to Haiti, but are being tangled in the beaucracy of managing the damaged points of entry created by the quake. Is there a way to launch hundreds or thousands of smaller boats that encroach upon the beaches to deliver the doctors, rescuers and much needed supplies now?

I am already probably clinically depressed and simply watching the coverage of the quake is probably not good for me but this is what is actually happening with me. I see the horror and feel eternally grateful for my loved ones, my meals, my shower, my clothers, my bed, my toothbrush, my medication, my doctors, my friends, my shelter, my drink. I feel so grateful and yet again am so so challenged to find a way to be a positive value to the world.

I struggle with manipulative insurance agents, criminal ex-landlords, fatigue beyond measure, depression, fighting with the psychiatric intern and all of these struggles are so so trivial in comparison to the plight of the people in Haiti.

Today I vow to be a little happier and more appreciative and pray that I can find my calling so that my life will not be useless to others. In the mean time, like you, I will be anxiously watching the news as the tragedy unfolds and praying somehow we are able to provide real relief literally in minutes, hours and days. There is no more time. They are dying. God Help Us All and reach down to the Haitians and their rescuers to lift them on your wings to safety.