The BIG Five-Oh! and Uh-oh!

 I'm turning 50 next week. Can you believe it? It's hard for me to believe. Five years ago, with the odds totally against me, I said if I'm still alive for my 50th birthday, I'd throw a giant party and hire Tesla to play at the event.

 Well, my birthday is next week and I officially have nothing more than a small outdoor lunch at a local restaurant planned for the weekend after my birthday.

Because of COVID 19, I'm at a standstill, just frozen in my tracks, not knowing what to do and what is safe to plan.  Not only am I facing COVID19, I'm facing it with lung cancer, that puts me at higher risk for complications if I catch the virus and a super compromised immune system while my lung cancer treatments include iv chemotherapy. 

Travel is out of the question. Oh, what would I do for a tropical destination and a beach with the sound of the surf and a big fruity drink in my hand while soaking up the sun!!!?!!!  A huge party or get-together is not an option. I don't need to expose myself to too many people. 

I'm now in the pre-planning stages of an October 2021 beach birthday party with a 5150 theme. Get it? It will be my 51st birthday and my 50th do-over.  We better be able to travel safely by then.

No gag gifts please.

We have all seen the Over The Hill party favors and gag gifts.  I don't need those.  For my August cancerversary, I put out a serious request for stool softeners and laxatives. My friends came through. And I especially appreciated when one wished me a shitty day.  I will say that chemo constipation is no longer an issue.

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!

No need to get me the fake Life Alert necklace.  I got the real deal after a scary couple of weeks and a traumatic experience.

My body was not tolerating the three chemo cocktail. I would end up sleeping for days on end without eating or drinking anything. Sleep and a few bathroom breaks was all I could muster up.  I recognized this behavior and discussed adding fluids infusions a day after my chemo infusions and then a couple days after that.

One day, while home alone, and getting ready to go to a fluids infusion, I passed out a couple times.  The second time I was moving from my hall bathroom to my bed to lay down.  I woke up in my hallway in the doorframe of the room across from my bedroom.  I was confused weak and scared.  My last memory was collapsing on my bed. In reality, I had collapsed in the hall thinking the floor was my bed.

I've always worried about Laynie trying to wake me up in an emergency situation and accidentally scratching and hurting me in the process.  Well, I put her to the test.  And she was the perfect nurse.  When I woke up in the hall, Laynie was right by my side, calm as can be, watching over me.  She kept calm and watched as I jokingly told her to go fetch my cell phone so I could call 911. We've never practiced that and she doesn't know the words/command cell phone.  I may have thrown in a joke about Timmy being in the well and she needed to go find help. I was too weak to even go down the stairs one by one on my butt. I was upstairs in the hall and my cell phone was down a floor in my livingroom.

I eventually got up enough strength to move to the bed. Laynie followed and stuck by my side as I slept more.  I later made it downstairs to call the on call oncologist.  At one point, I got violently ill. 

Looking back, I should have called 911 at that time. The oncologist didn't get the severity of my condition. He advised me to drink some clear liquids, eat dinner and get a good night's sleep. I told him I could only sip Sprite and the thought of eating made me feel more sick. I was so weak and not thinking clearly at all. If I was, I would have caught on that he thought I was experiencing common chemo nausea and didn't understand if I sat up or stood up I felt lightheaded and/or like I was going to pass out again. 

I ended up sleeping for three more days while Laynie kept watch over me.

I'm sure if I would have gone to the hospital, I would have been given fluids and quite possibly a blood transfusion and/or antibiotics.  It took me two weeks to semi recover from this incident. And even then, my red and white bblood cell counts were too low for my chemo infusion. My chemo was postponed for a week to give me time to gain strength.

My biggest present

I've put off getting a port for my chemo infusions as long as possible. With my brain disease and history of stroke, any procedure with twilight or general anesthesia is risky. But I have problem tiny veins in my arms. And I'm done getting poked multiple times for each chemo and fluids infusion.

I will have a port in my chest installed (placed) the day after my birthday. I'm officially over the hill. I'm looking forward to a medical procedure as a birthday gift to myself.

My birthday weekend tradition
One thing that has been a constant for me since October 2015 is the Run the Rocks 5k.  I've celebrated my birthday weekend every year since my lung cancer diagnosis by participating in the event. Not this year. There just wasn't a 100% safe way for them to hold the event in-person. It would have been my 6th year in a row to climb those ramps and steps to the finish line.

I signed up as soon as registration was opened many months ago. At the time, I figured coronavirus would be behind us by now and a socially distanced outdoor event at Red Rocks Park would be possible.

Although, it's not the same as being there, I'll I'll be wearing my Run the Rocks shirt and medal and remembering the last six years of happy reunions and finishes this weekend. 

You can register for the Virtual Run the Rocks and join my Peace Lungs & Happiness team. Click HERE or the photo below and scroll down to join my team. 

1 comment:

  1. Happy early birthday to you Lisa! This will truly be a milestone and I CANNOT wait for the 5150 party �� Love you!


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