CDC Symptom Diary Card

Sunday, July 31, 2011

training day gone bad

I am finally able to take a few minutes to say hello to everyone and provide an update on venturing back into the work world.  I'm exhausted and feeling pressure from everywhere.  I had no idea that working with my new employer would be so hard.  I applied for a work from home customer service job.

Imagine standing in a swamp and just off into the distance is a heavenly garden, with little bunnies and deer, puppies, kitties and children laughing and playing.  Everyone and all things are beautiful and peaceful, happy.  But  you are standing in a swampland and the only way to get there is venture through the gators and cling to vines.

If I am able to survive training and keep this job with all it's restrictions, I will have a golden job.  My actual job is only part time, but the training has been full time and it's been very intense.

I woke up on Saturday morning and my knuckles on my right hand were all swollen from all the typing, which  I hope will  NOT be the case if I get a modified keyboard, and will be on part time hours.

I can't remember all the stuff I need to for training and need more time.  I may have a hard time keeping up with their attendance requirements because of my disability.  It's so so so strict, and for them, there is a good reason, it just sucks for me.  All I can do is ask for accommodations and hope they accept.

My gut says this company loves it's employees.  I just have to keep the faith that I am here for a reason and that whatever happens is intended to happen, even if the result is job loss and looking for new work.

I just had no idea what I was walking in to.  I thought it was going to be easy going.  Boy was I wrong.  I just wish I'd have know about all these restrictions before I applied, I would have probably never applied.

So I am going to continue to give it all I can.  I remember when I was in college and I was learning neuro-anatomy, that was easier than this new learning.  I have never worked for a company that did not provide written training, ever in my life.  I hope I make it and I don't drown.

On another note, my mom has started hemo-dialysis.  Her life is upside down and she needs prayers.  Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for her.  I love her so much!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disclosure of a Dsability

As many of you know, I have been fiercely seeking a job, no easy task in this economy, add cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, a two year gap in the resume, and well................I was surprised and am excited to say that I have found a part-time job.  Yay.

I do not plan to ever name my employer, for obvious reasons.  I love the company and hope everything works great.  I get to work from home, which is needed.  Our training is full time and on the first day of training I was sent to the ER from the office because I got dehydrated, sicker than ever.  Not a good way to start off a new job.

I'm having some challenges keeping up with the training, and hope some requests made for easy accommodations work.

I hope that the company uses me to better their ability to hire others with disabilities, and let me be a positive resource.

I'm really tired, just wanted to share the good news.  I pray I am able to keep it.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

He invites, it's up to us to respond

I met with my priest yesterday to talk about my shortcomings and how I feel that I am failing God.  I won't give details, except my worries were about my pains and my new boyfriend.  I had promised God that I would serve him in whatever capacity presented of His choosing, because He has left me here for a bit longer.

I was blessed in so many ways with great cancer care day of diagnosis and chemo.  My follow-up is wonderful and I have confidence in my medical team. My family is the ultimate blessing, in ways that cannot be measured. My sister and mom have made ongoing sacrifices, an aunt lends a tender ear.  My brother there to step in on a moment's notice.  My uncle, aunt and cousin calling every week while in chemo.  My dad calling every week. And countless other family and friends.  I feel undeserving.  All Catholics understand this. Yesterday I received a new perspective, the gift of a new light to shine on my life. Taking away that ongoing guilt that hangs and lingers.

It has been presented before by another friend blogger of mine, and here is what the Father said to me.  Cancer being brought by our Lord is a gift.  Not as in "oh lucky me, look what I have".  It is a gift that should be shared with others, to help others with the same fear find comfort in my strength and healing.  And to share how my faith in God, relentless prayer and constant search for His presence kept me always hoping and believing that I would be alright.  He suggested that I become even more active in helping others with cancer.  I have always felt this to be my calling, but exactly how remains the question.

I currently help women who are members of an online ovarian cancer community, but know I can do more.

Now that God has blessed me with a part-time job (not official until the paperwork is signed), I will have the ability to base my energies around that focal point, church and my dear mom. (Mom starting dialysis and it's been an awful struggle, sigh.  Please send prayers).

I believe that once the job training is complete and I have a sort of "routine", I can create more energy to be on God's purpose line.  I have creative ideas, and plan that this will be valuable and beneficial for women with ovarian cancer.  

So we are all invited to join with God, respond to His call and make a better world, but not all do.  I am not to judge who does and does not, for judgement is up to God.  We are all mere mortals doing the best we can, but if we reach out to God and ask for help, we can get what we need.  Sometimes what we need is not what we want or think we want....................always a frustration.

Please have faith.  Trust in God.  I do.  I love my family and friends so much.  Please pray for mom that her doctors guide her intelligently, treat her with great care and that she begins to heal and feel better as she travels the road of dialysis.

Peace and Blessings to you all.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

More on brain drain

I can't disclose the source of results for further cognitive testing, but I do have some real problems with my memory.  I had another battery of tests a few weeks ago, and the results are interesting to me.  It's very difficult to explain the gravity of the consequences of this "chemo brain" stuff, but let's just say that I have a whole new appreciation for what once was my persona.

The tests showed that I have fairly good concentration now, but new information kind of disappears into nowhere land.  Not ALL new information of course, but generally new information is hard to recall.  So important events, appointments, recalling things I did last week or even a few days ago, just kind of get all gelled together or lost.

I have started keeping a journal of what I do each day, in terms of activity.  Except I forgot to write in it for the last two days...............HA!

The other thing is that I do have trouble verbalizing my thoughts sometimes, can't generate the "right" word when I'm talking with someone.  It takes me more time to process information, and I can see that for other people this is frustrating.  Sometimes I stutter.  I never stuttered before cancer.

I have had emotional upsets and conflicts with other people at times because I've said the wrong thing, or used poor judgement in a social situation.  I'm poorly understood.  I feel like hiding now, but I won't.  I can't do anything right and still feel like a failure sometimes.

But I am much more hopeful than ever before......I just have to keep on moving, keep going forward.  We all do, for what choice do we have.  Yesterday is gone.

These refined results are good for me to know because I can do more specific things to compensate for my problems.  I get overwhelmed with too many things to do at once..........................blah.

Like today I have a pile of folders that contain "to do" and "job search" etc.  The process of looking for a job, keeping track of my applications, resume submissions, follow-up letters, doing Excel training, looking online for jobs, etc is just a LOT.  I'm finding it takes FOREVER to look around on the net, create my little tickler system, respond to questions etc.  Wow, I can't wait til I actually find work.

I have had four requests for interviews!  Yay.  I don't want to jinx anything, but I'm praying one turns out to be a winner.  I will feel blessed with whatever comes my way.

I have decided to fully disclose my cancer and rheumatoid arthritis to all potential employers.  I have no other way to explain the gap in my resume and my scattered work history.  I'm tired of hiding my disability.

I want to work for someone who actually accepts me in total, no resentment. 

Some of the inquiries are with companies that allow people to work from home.  Fantastic!!!!

I just hope I'l be able to keep up.  I am going on an interview next week for a full time job, in the hopes that maybe they would consider part time.  Not likely, but the job itself would be rewarding. 

One of the other options requires 40 hours week of training for three weeks, for a part time job.   I would really love that job too..............but I am worried that I won't handle the training well.  I mean, that will be really difficult for me to do.  Ugh.....but I have to do it.  I need to push through.

Mom starts dialysis next week, and we have training classes.  I pray deeply that her energy improves with dialysis.  We are going to have some fun tonight, to get her mind off the upcoming change in her life.  This is a big deal, a complete change in lifestyle...........please keep her in your prayers.

My sister has a birthday tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yay.  Happy birthday Mandy.  I love you.

Peace and Blessings

Saturday, July 02, 2011


At the end of July it will be two years since diagnosis.  In March 2012 it will be two years since treatment completion.  Milestones in terms of recovery.

Today, July 2, 2011, is my birthday.  This is the first birthday in Seattle that I felt totally engaged in and part of the celebration.  I know that sounds untrue, but it is totally honest.  I have so much more energy than last year and my body is recovering.  I've decided that the remaining pains and problems will probably be life-long.  For to have a life that is long with this pain is my blessing.......

I had the best time with my MOM, Sister, her husband and their two lovely girls.  We went to a Greek restaurant in Phinney Ridge called Yanni's.  It was delightful.  they cook all meals made to order, fresh food and comfortable, friendly atmosphere.  Beautiful venue, soft blues, nice artwork, clean, Greek music in the background.  I definitely want to go back.

The best part was that everyone enjoyed their meals, laughed and seemed to have a good time.  

The sun was so bright today, it was nice for a change not to worry about a coat. 
 Everything just came together,

My brother called me, my dad, my aunt and uncle, an old boyfriend sent flowers ( don't tell "J")...just kidding.  He is a friend and lives on the other side of the country.

Speaking of "J", things seem to be going well.  We walked around a green lake last week in the evening and had a late bite. Casual but so much fun.  He's so sweet.  Sigh....

My labs are good, 9 of 35 for the CA125.  I have some twinges in lower pelvis and that pesky ongoing abdominal pain that has taken up residence since surgery.  I was told that in that area are surgical clips.  Supposedly surgical clips can become surrounded with scar tissue, and get "inflamed".  Great....sigh  

So my pain is an ongoing issue, plus I get nausea with every single hot flash.........drag to the max.

I have a CT scan next week to rule out recurrence.  If nothing shows, they may refer me for an endoscopy.  I hope we have more conversations as to how to manage the clips.

I don't thing the clips can be removed as they were inserted to block the ovarian arteries. Now that I have no ovaries, there's no need for their blood supply.  But it makes complete sense that these darn clips are causing me pain.  Not sure if anything could ever be done about that........the battle continues always.

Ha...wanna hear a funny.  I got rejected to work in a call center.  How pathetic is that.  I guess I'm not quite the shark they need. Probably all for the better, I'd pry end up hating it, too much stress and rejection.

So the job hunt continues...........................................

I'll send an update on the CT scan.  The main energies in our family are directed to supporting my dear mom right now.  She has surgery in a few weeks and will start dialysis.  It's scary for me, not sure about anyone else.  I want her to do well and pray that she adapts easily to the treatments.  Most of all I pray she feels better and regains her sense of "life" and vigor.  I love you mom!!!!!

Peace and Blessings to all.  Thanks for stopping by!