Posted in Family, Health

Second Round of Chemo

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with the second round of chemo under my belt. I was a little anxious because I’ve been told that the side effects grow worse each time you have a treatment.

I spoke with the nurse about this and she told me that the only side effect that gets worse is the fatigue. Well, fatigue I can handle, it’s the nausea that gets to me and since there’s the wonderful anti-nausea medication, I feel like I’m good to go.

Since I’ve had one treatment, I know what to expect. For example, in my concoction of chemo drugs there’s a steroid that makes sleeping difficult. Now that I know this, I’ve been able to prepare for that and take something that’ll help me sleep.

The biggest difference between the first and second chemo is the loss of hair. I was hoping that I could bypass this side effect somehow, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I started noticing my hair coming out in tiny clumps when I was in the shower a day before my second treatment.

After my second treatment, it came out in huge clumps. When I brushed it, there were even bigger clumps stuck in my brush. I’m not bald yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I expected it and prepared for it, but it’s not a happy moment to say the least.

There are some positive effects to this event in my life. I know what you’re thinking, how can this be? Well, first and foremost I’ll have my life back in just four months.  According to my oncologist, I’ll be cured. The cancer won’t come back. That’s a big positive in my book.

However, there’s more to it than that. It’s brought my family closer. Hubby and the boys are more attentive and we appreciate each other’s company more than we did before. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a tenderness there that wasn’t present before.

I also have a  lot of support. I have a long line of strong women in my family, both on my mom and dad’s side. So it’s nice to have these women rally around me and offer their support.

Speaking of support, I have to mention my friend from Gilda’s club. Her name is Ginger, and she has been a constant source of positive energy for me. She calmed my nerves when I found out I had to have chemo. She took the same drugs that I’m taking and she was very helpful because she shared her reaction to them. It really set my mind at ease.

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Posted in reviews

My Thoughts on “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn

Hello everyone, I’m back today with another book review. I had the opportunity to read “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. The blurb and the cover are below.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer

My Thoughts:

This story was well-written and very dark, which you’d probably discern from the title. 🙂 However, it was darker than I expected so if you don’t like that type of book, then you won’t like this one. It was an incredibly sad story.

The main character is Libby who, like all the children, suffers from the side effects of parents with a bad marriage. They finally divorce and Libby’s mother is unable to run the farm and raise four children. She neglects the children and can’t provide for them and neither can their father.

This family is like a covered pot that’s about to boil over. Big brother Ben falls in with the wrong crowd and takes up with a mentally unstable girl. This is when things spiral out of control. She ends up pregnant and literally ruins Ben’s life.

She doesn’t want her father to find out she’s pregnant and when Ben and Libby’s sister, Michelle, learns of the pregnancy, she threatens to tell everyone else in the family.

I won’t go into more detail than that because I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but even though this is a tragic story, it does have a happy ending.

So if you don’t mind a major dose of darkness in your reading this is a book for you. If you do mind the darkness, you’ll probably want to skip this one. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this book or have a book recommendation for me, if you do, leave a comment. I’d love to read it! J

Posted in Family, Health

First Round of Chemo Under my Belt

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with  you. I’m back today with my first chemo treatment under my belt and I’ve officially started the count down. I have seven more to go.

My mother went with me and we chatted while I received the drugs through a port in my chest. I appreciated her support because this was the scariest part of the journey for me.

My husband appeared after a little while and I was happy to see him. It gave my mom a break and she was able to grab some lunch. While she was at lunch, my mentor from Gilda’s club showed up and gave me an awesome bracelet and lots of hugs and advice.

I have lots of support and I’m grateful for it. When the chips are down, I know who I can turn to.

The experience for me wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. They give you anti-nausea medication before they give you your chemo and this helps tremendously. I did have a little bit of a headache when I returned home and I did take some anti-nausea medication in the early evening.

I slept a lot on Friday and Saturday and continued with the anti-nausea medication. This first round wasn’t bad, but I hear the symptoms will get progressively worse each time I go. Thankfully, I only have four rounds of the first cycle and four rounds of the second cycle. Then I’m done. Cured according to my oncologist. I can live with that. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comment section, I’ll get back to you!

Posted in Family

Success! We made it through the first Week of School!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. The first week of the new school year is under our belt at the Orchard household. It seemed to go smoothly and there were no tears the first day.

I interpreted this as a good sign, although I’ve found something very interesting. Boys don’t seem to like school as much as girls do. I remember when I was younger I loved school, getting back together with friends and buying new school clothes. Unfortunately, my boys don’t have the same attitude.

Therefore, I tried to find out why and this is what I’ve found:

My boys don’t like the structure of school. They love being able to choose what they want to do with their time and when they want to do it.

I’ve also found that they think school is boring. They’re not interested in what the teacher is teaching them. This is unfortunate because these are the years where they learn the building blocks they’ll need for future endeavors when they will be interested in learning.

These are the two main issues that we’re facing right now. To combat this I’ve tried to find books the boys enjoy reading. I was fairly successful in getting them to read every day for at least ten to twenty minutes over the summer (minus vacation time). The books they enjoyed were “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, “The George Brown Class Clown” series, and  “The Michigan Chillers” series.

 

I know some of the books at school are outdated and the topics don’t interest my boys. You know how boys are they want to hear about burping, farting, and anything funny. 🙂

I wish the school day could be a little more flexible for my kids. I’ve always given them choices and I feel that if kids were able to choose when they did math as opposed to being told to do math, we might see some happier boys at school. I know this is hard to do with thirty students in a classroom, but it’d be interesting to see if it worked.

I’ve also heard of schools that are geared more toward boys. One school near me takes the kids on walks to view nature and discuss science. They also spend a tremendous amount of time outside, which I find beneficial for boys.

These are just a couple of ideas I had. What do you do when your child doesn’t want to go to school? Do you have any tricks that work for you? I’d love to read them so leave a comment!

 

 

Posted in reviews

My thoughts on “Gone Girl!”

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with a book review. The book I’m talking about is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. The cover and blurb are below.

 

 

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

MY THOUGHTS

I was expecting a story about a woman who disappears and her husband’s desperate attempts to find her. This does happen, but there’s a twist that I did not see coming that made this story darker and much more intriguing.

This is a story of a husband and wife who slowly fall out of love with each other. Gillian Flynn flawlessly develops the characters and shows how sacrifices in a marriage create resentment and build walls between the husband and wife.

The characters in this story are human with strengths and flaws. Nick convinces Amy his wife to move back to his hometown after they both lose their jobs. She agrees and they end up buying a bar. Nick runs it with his sister while Amy stays at home.

Nick becomes involved with another woman and Amy finds out. I won’t say any more than that because I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I will say this was a much darker story than I expected and I certainly got lost in it.

If you enjoy dark, intriguing tales this is a must read!

Posted in Family, Health

Thank Goodness for Gilda’s Club!

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with a Gratitude Post. Yes. I’m so grateful for Gilda’s Club right now. I called them after I received my diagnosis and I found out what an incredible organization it is. Here’s their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gildasclubgr

First of all, they told me they serve free meals Monday through Thursday. This amazed me. What an awesome organization and it’s not just for the cancer patient it’s for the whole family. This is for everyone not just those families who don’t have the greatest insurance or no insurance at all. This just warmed my heart that someone thought about this.

They also have support groups for not only the cancer patient, but also a group for the spouses as well as a group for the children. I’m definitely going to try to get my hubby and kids to go. I think it would be good for them.

However, that’s not the main reason I’m grateful. They put me in touch with someone who has gone through the same exact thing I’m going through now. When we spoke, it was after I had received the “education” portion from the nurse about the drugs I’m going to have to take. Now the education was important, but it created a lot of anxiety for me.

I grew anxious because someone close to me had passed away from Ovarian cancer after fighting it for ten years. So, the image that came to my mind was her and how she was toward the end. She was very weak and wasn’t able to walk on her own.

This scared me. Therefore, when I spoke with the person from Gilda’s Club she calmed my fears and I will be forever grateful to her for that. (Thanks Ginger!) She told me that she was nauseated but able to work although I should expect fatigue. I won’t be able to do as much as I used to.

She also told me the side effects of some of the drugs she took. This was very helpful because they were the same drugs that I’m going to have to take and the debilitating effect that I was expecting is not the reality. So that eased my mind.

In closing, I’d like to say if you ever find yourself stricken with this disease please look for a Gilda’s Club in your area. It will help you. I guarantee it.