Am applying the cream around noon because my work starts getting demanding about 7:00 a.m. and I just can't seem to squeeze the application session in any sooner. The process is fairly straightforward. I wash my face first, then wait 10 minutes as told, presumably to let the water totally leave my skin. I am using Dove bar soap to wash with because that is what my sensitive and picky skin is used to. I also have some Eucerin sensitive wash that I was going to try until I read on the CSL forum that brand has ingredients that actually encourage skin tumor growth. So, no bueno, at least until I get desperate enough for that kind of relief. (The whole arsenal is in the picture).
The chemo cream itself rubs right into the skin, so I am finding that I have to pay close attention and even make a game plan about how to apply it so that I don't get too much in one spot, or miss other spots. I read where somebody used petroleum jelly to cover and protect eye corners, lips corners, nostrils, and sides of the nose, so I apply that first with a modified q-tip. This system seems to be working okay so far. I can see the spots on my cheeks, nose, and chin where I am going to have trouble, but I'm also applying right to the hair line and down a little under my chin because if I am here and doing this now, I am going to get it right.
After the application my skin feels very dry, like I need lotion on my face after a long day at the beach. There is no real redness yet. I wait the required 2 hours and then apply Steven's Softening Cream, and then apply again a couple more times until bedtime. So far so good there, 2 thumbs up. I am happy that 2 of my 28 days went well and my mindset is 1/14th down, 13/14th's to go.
I had diarrhea both days within 3 hours of application. This doesn't surprise me as this is always how my stomach reacts to emotional upset or invasion of something new. I napped a few hours today as well, and just general feel more tired than usual. Nothing too terrible so far.
The worst part of this has been what this has done to my girls. Throwing a monkey wrench into their lives hardly describes it. Sara is trying to rearrange her schedule so she can come to Utah for a few days. Liz works a crushing workload of three jobs and is trying to get ready for a major showing at the SLC library, so she is completely bogged down. I would rather have them with me through this but accept that I must do this mostly on my own this time.
I was thinking today that when the three of us are together, I would give them some instructions on some things that I want done at the end of my life, as well as tell them some things about their mama that they don't know. The last time I tried the "end of my life" instructions it was soundly rejected by them. I finally just wrote them an instructive note and put it before the first page of my trust so they would know what to do when the time comes. There is nothing like the feeling that the end is nearer than not, but not being able to talk about it with anybody because all they want to do is poo poo it away. It's lonely and I have asked my angels for somebody to talk to about end of life issues and decisions that I have a gut feeling need to be made. It is not a scary feeling knowing this needs to be done now, but what is scary is trying to get everything in order before you can no longer do it. I will definitely look out for counsel on that point.
It was a better day emotionally. I met a wonderful couple this morning at a listing appointment. I appreciated staying busy before "chemo time" and thanked my angels for my new friendship there. Working is how I deal with stress, and I believe all of my clients to be heaven sent for keeping me engaged and for believing in me. I remember last time, some very special people to me who live in Colorado but occasionally come to Utah in search for a ranch at which to retire, called me the week of my mastectomy. They wanted spend a day looking at ranches and the only day available was the day before my surgery. I explained what was going on to them and he said, "Good! We'll get you out working hard for 8 hours because that is exactly what you need that day!" I am eternally grateful for their no-nonsense attitude and for keeping me busy and laughing on that day. Sometimes it's just the little things that matter so much.
Well I really blabbered on this time. It's nice to post somewhere where no one reads what I say. I can really say what I am thinking without fear of reprimand because it's not always pretty.