Tuesday, June 10, 2008

home for a rest

When I was much younger and more energetic, the song home for a rest meant a chance to go and jump around on the dance floor of a bar. Today it means that my body has had it after 2 years of treatments and I am literally at home for a rest. After my exciting Banff hospital visit, I rested up and enjoyed an amazing showing of Sex & the City with Tricia and her mom. For those of you wondering, we viewed it at Eau Claire and it wasn't that busy.

Monday was another day of rest and then my oncologist said that I could restart my chemo drugs that night as long as I felt up to it. My competitive nature of course told me that I was up to it and I started again that night. After just two doses, the next morning I experienced another "episode" but this time I was at work. The people there were great, but I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

No matter what is going on, there is just something comforting about being with your family and near home and I didn't have either of these then. The same type of symptoms cropped up and Ryan quickly arrived to take me to the cancer center to chek it all out. When we arrived, we found out that my oncologist and nurse were offsite for the day and instead they told us to go directly to emergency. For you Calgarians you know that means a minimum of an 8 hour wait with really sick people and that was not something this girl was going to do. So, I asked Ryan to take me home and I spent the day in bed.

The next days continued with new side effects as my body continued to tell me that it was struggling. I went to see my oncologist on Friday and he agreed that my body needed a rest and we were officially ending my chemotherapy. The plan had initially been to get me through at least 4 rounds and hopefullly 6. I got through 5 and again my competitive nature wasn't loving that, but I wasn't willing to risk more of these "episodes" so I gave in.

I have been spending the past week at home and will do the same this week. They have moved up my radiation to begin on July 3rd and then I will go daily until August 1st. I then plan to really go home for a rest...to my parents cottage for a couple of weeks (aka 24/7 babysitting service)!

Sitting still and resting is really not my thing. And the feeling that I'm letting people down because of it comes as a close second. I have struggled with this my whole life and this cancer thing really tests me! I know it will be a good lesson to learn and I will continue to practice.

Tricia has been responding well to the treatments she has had so far. So much so that she has continued to update her blog daily. So go ahead and visit it for the full update if you wish http://www.triciaantonini.blogspot.com/. I have had the chance to visit her a couple of times and will be going up again shortly. Although I am still bracing myself for whatever might come, so far we have all been pleasantly surprised.

What I continue to learn is that no matter how well you plan, life can continue to surprise you. Sometimes the things you learn aren't positive at first, but it's all in what you take out of them.


  1. Dear Tasha,
    From the sound of things, you definitely need to be "home for a rest" right now. While you would have preferred to do the maximum number of chemotherapy rounds, you have become an expert at listening to your body, and it has told you loud and clear that it needs a break.

    You have also learned to trust your oncologist and you are wise to follow his advice. Five out of six rounds is a terrific accomplishment. (The teacher in me makes that an A!) Now it is time for you to prepare yourself for a month of radiation treatments. When August rolls around, you will certainly be ready for beach life and your parents' 24/7 TLC.

    I am sorry that rest-time for yourself makes you feel that you are letting others down. Of course, you KNOW that's not the case, but that does not change the way you FEEL. You need every ounce of your energy for beating the cancer that has stolen so much from you in the past two years. It is a harsh teacher and you have done everything in your power to stay at the top of the class. Take it easy and be good to yourself without guilt or regret.

    Yesterday David and I were in Aberdeen where we dropped into the Cathedral Church of St. Mary. There we lit votive candles for you, Tricia and Brandon. You are always in our thoughts and prayers, Tasha.

    Like you, we are following Tricia's day-by-day progress with a mixture of thanks for today and expectation for tomorrow. We are hanging on every word Tricia writes and every picture she posts.

    You and Tricia seem able take courage and inspiration from one another in fighting your separate battles with cancer. We are especially grateful that you can visit her in the hospital and share from your own personal experience, Tricia's desire to live life at all costs. Yours is a wonderful friendship!

    Thanks again for this latest posting, Tasha and for the energy it must have taken for you to update us at this point in your tough journey. Coast a bit, if you can.

    Sincere well-wishes,
    Louise and David

  2. Tasha, I also felt guilty when I was on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy with my first child - I felt like I should be doing more. A sweet priest counselled me and told me that I was doing the most important thing of all - taking care of my baby. The most important thing that you are doing for your family and friends is taking care of yourself through a much-needed rest - it is as much of an accomplishment and just as important as all the many many other things you have succeeded at! We are praying for you continuously.

    Holly Gustafson and family