Sunday, December 22, 2013

This girl is on fire

It's true. I'm on fire! Literally. Burning and melting in hot flashes.

My myeloma treatments sent me into early menopause, which is typical for pretty much all women who go through chemo. And the hot flashes are intense and I hate them.

They seem to be ebbing significantly from the time I first started getting them about six months ago. Back then, I'd get them throughout the night. I'd wake up in the morning naked. During the day, I'd sometimes get them every few hours. It would be this feeling of intense heat, followed by an almost physical burning sensation, and sometimes I'd feel like I was going to pass out. One evening, William and I were sitting on the couch watching TV and I literally had to move over to the chair because the heat from my body was so intense, and adding the heat of an additional body next to mine, was pure misery. The only good news is that even in the midst of a hot flash, no one can tell by looking at me. I don't turning red and there sweat doesn't run down my face. This means I can suffer in silence.

I refuse any medications I'm not required to take so hormone replacements and the like are out of the question. I figure that if I can make it through tandem stem cell transplants without being hospitalized, I can handle the hot flashes. I suppose I can say I'm even grateful for the hot flashes. I'm alive to experience them.

Sad news: My good friend Emmy's brother died yesterday. He was just 44 years old. He was on a swim team and was doing laps, felt chest pain, got out of the pool and collapsed. He died of a massive heart attack. I'm so shocked and sad. I really liked Dennis. When I moved to Washington, DC and didn't know anyone, I stayed in his house for 10 days until my roommate, Becky, got back from Europe and we got our own apartment. He was stylish, fashionable, funny, and kind. He showed me how to navigate the extremely confusing Washington, DC highways, roads, and traffic. He took me to Trax to go dancing in Southeast DC. We had talks about religion. May he rest in peace. We never know when it's our time to depart this life and head to the next one. It's a powerful reminder to enjoy each day, treat others with love and respect, and be ready to meet our maker. Life is short.

I love Christmas. It's such a joyous time of year. Hectic and exhausting and expensive, true. On Thursday, William and I went to Abravenel Hall and saw Kurt Bestor perform with a symphony and vocalists. It was incredible. We ate dinner at my favorite Asian restaurant, Sapo. And then we stayed the night at our favorite place in Salt Lake, The Armstrong Mansion. It was snowing like crazy. 

The girls just started the Christmas break. To kick off the start of it, we went to the movies. William and Morgan went to see The Hobbit (which I wanted all of us to see together, but Siena just wouldn't do it). So I took Siena to see Frozen instead, which we loved. Very interesting. No boys rescued these two sisters-- they did it on their own.

...And then afterwards, Santa and his elf showed up at the house unexpectedly.

...And we baked cookies. Lots and lots and lots of cookies. Tomorrow, it's time to start taking them to neighbors and friends before I start eating them all.

Three more days 'til the real Santa is here. Merry Christmas!