Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Return to camp

(I love my long hair Ajah! xox Hope it looks like this someday!)

As a past summer camper, I can tell you how much you look forward to returning to your second season at camp. You already know the kids, you know the activities, and above all, you know you're going to have FUN! Well, it was kind of sort of like that, but you can get the "fun" part right out of your head. Even I (the eternal half glass full gal) could never, in any stretch of the imagination, refer to chemotherapy as fun. (If there's someone out there that can refute this claim...step forward tin man!) The best parts of yesterday were exactly the same as a return to summer camp. I knew all of the campers (nurses and office staff) and they did greet me with big hugs, words of encouragement (always welcome), and smiles on their faces. They told me in no uncertain terms, "We've done this once, and we're just going to do it again!" "OK" I thought. Let's get this show on the road.

For support, Rachel and Steve went with me. You are technically allowed only one support member in the chemo room with you, but as I was one of the first "guests" of the day, there were empty seats. Eventually as the room filled up (sadly, there are a lot of sick people) Steve moved to the office waiting room. Usually a chemo patient has a port placed under their skin and the infusion lines are just attached to the port. Ports allow easy access to draw blood as well as infuse medicine. But I don't have one! Remember, I was supposed to be finished with all of this and they took it out when I had my surgery one year ago. Ah well, we're going to improvise and see how long it works. I may or may not have to have to port replaced. For now, I will just get the 'ol needle in the arm trick each time I go. This is what it looks like.

Yes, that's can tell by the trio of bracelets that ARE surgically attached to my body. I
will admit, they kind of "soften" the look. Chemo with STYLE! lolol (it's ok to laugh!)

After they've attached everything, the tubes are run to the infusion stand, where your special little cocktail is waiting to be sent directly to you! (No, this is not like when my school staff has special meetings after school, and special little cocktails are sent directly to our table) Then you sit patiently and wait. Tick Tick Tick You wait. Tick Tick Tick. Still waiting. (Students in room 106...remember how I teach you EVERY day that WAITING IS A SKILL THAT YOU NEED IN LIFE? Well, I wasn't kidding!!!) While you are waiting, you can chat with loved ones (thanks Rach and Steve) then you can watch TV. I was watching my favorite show, "ELLEN" and I also chose to be wear my ELLEN shirt, because anything to do with ELLEN puts a smile on my face.
And if one has to go to chemo (for the second time), then one REALLY wants to have something to make them smile., and Ellen is guaranteed to make that happen. Three hours passed by like that (clicking my fingers but you can't hear) OK not really, but it sounded good! My visit this time lasted from 9:00-12:00.


We left for home, but not without a quick stop at COSTCO! Hey, a girl's gotta keep her strength up, and it really was quick, I just needed my Costco bread! Then it was home to my chair, where I spent the rest of the day dozing on and off. I was really tired, but due to the fact that I haven't been sleeping very well lately. I have had a slight swelling issue (slight being an understatement)
with my left arm the last few weeks due to lymphedema (feel free to google..too much info to post here) and it has been painful and keeps sleep away! My doctors feel that my new chemo is going to help with this swelling, and I am happy to say that last night I slept uninterrupted for TEN HOURS!!! I feel soooo much better today! Only difficulties I had during the day were stomach aches that came and went, but one can expect that when one has toxic crap running through their system, right?!

Today I ate some toast with my meds (don't take on an empty stomach... ok I won't, thank you very much for telling me) and now I talking with all of you (which always makes me feel better) and later today I'm going to bake (NOOOO! me? bake? you know I must be feeling alright!) some desserts for Thanksgiving...which is TOMORROW! oh my goodness...time to go...all of you must have some shopping, or turkey cleaning, or chestnuts to roast (do people still do that?)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF YOU!! I am thankful that I have all of YOU in my life.


Thought I'd share some amazing cards made by my class. I love you Room 106! As well as cards that I've received from all of you! Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.

Each student made a square for me and the card was pieced together like a quilt. They obviously know me
well! (I also have NO idea why this is underlined and
couldn't figure out how to get rid of it...if YOU know me well you will be chuckling right now)

Cards sent to me (?what no underline? lol) as well
as a VERY cute PINK bucket sent from Carly and
"Aunt" ELLEN (lol)


  1. Hi Mrs.Sheiman,this is Bethany (Marsh).I miss you so much i'll see you soon good luck!

  2. I'm so glad you are surrounded by loving family and friends and medical staff. It sounds like you are in very good hands... something to be thankful about every day :)
    Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Mrs.Sheiman its bethany.(marsh)

  4. Thanks for leaving me a comment Beth! :) I miss you too, and I hope you and your family had a GREAT Turkey Day yesterday!

    CeRae, Hope yesterday brought your warm thoughts, full tummies, and time spent with friends and family!

  5. I hope this comment makes your chemo a little more WON the beautiful red KitchenAid stand mixer from Bake at 350.

    I wish you all the best in the world. You kick that cancer's butt for me, ok?

    When you get a minute, send me an email with your shipping info.

  6. Oh, Joanne ... I have had a sinking feeling ever since I saw you at the polls. I didn't stop by because I never saw your car. I didn't realize it wasn't there to be seen!

    You have always handled whatever life has thrown your way, and this is no exception. You have such an amazing support system, which is truly a blessing.

    PLEASE, PLEASE call me if you need anything (from something at the store to someone to share a cup of tea). You know you can always stop by - anytime.