Monday, January 11, 2010

Going to California

The Santa Monica Pier yesterday

Me and Ranger hanging out with Uncle David. Such a cute dog.

Well, my platelets were in fact REALLY low. The next day I got a transfusion of two units of platelets. I had to go to the hospital. It took almost 7 whole hours to get done. It took forever. After my transfusion I went home and booked my flight out to California to stay with my Uncle David and his girlfriend Melissa. I got bloodwork done before I left. I was given the okay except I developed a upper respiratory infection and had a 103.3 fever the day before I left. I left on this past Wednesday in a hurry to get in some warm weather and to fit in the trip before my next chemo treatment (antibiotics and pain meds in my carry on).
The first day I pretty much just chilled around their house. I opened every window in the sunroom, layed in the sun on the huge comfy bean bag and smelled the freshly cut grass as the lawn crew did all there work. There was a perfect Breeze to cool me off when I needed and it would also bring the grass smell rushing back in the room. After the
yard crew was done I got in little shorts and a tank top, grabbed a
lawn chair, a book and some shades relaxed and worked on my tan. Some
would say I did nothing that day, but for me it was awesome. Plus I got
to hang out with a really cool, smart, carrot loving dog of my uncle's, Ranger.
I might have overdid it in the sun because my skin was burning up all
night and I was completely drained, but oh well. I usually feel like
that all the time anyways, so what's the difference.

Day 2 I woke up with a mission. I was going to the beach. Now, it
might seem like everything is a-ok with my body, but nothing could be
further from the truth. When I left I was dealing with horrible bone
pain and 103.3 fever. Well, the infection picked up and my throat is
pretty raw. I still have fevers but lower grade. My bone pain was
replaced with some muscle pain that was very intense. I think my
muscle might be pinching a nerve. Then, the bone pain also came back.
On top of all that I have a headache that will not go away. I am so
sick of taking pain medicine, but I can't function without it the pain
is so bad. Moral of the story is, I can change my environment and love
it, but I can't change what is going on with my body.

Honestly though, just changing my environment is proving so refreshing
to me. Not being in my bedroom where I sweat all the time and have
sleepless nights. Not being on my couch where I resort to when I have
no more chance of going back to sleep. Not looking outside at the same
yard covered in snow and seeing the usually grey skies. Out here
everything is alive. There are flowers in bloom. It smells different.
I'm in a different bed without any negative stigma that I created like I have with my bed at home.

The beach was great. I went to Malibu first and watched the surfers.
There were some big waves. Then I drove down to the Santa Monica Pier
to have lunch. Afterwards I sat on the beach again. It was so nice and
relaxing. I love the smell of the ocean. My sense of smell has been
like a dogs since I started chemo. I can smell things from so far away
and everything smells so strong. Bad thing is, most of the smells make
me feel sick. All colognes and perfumes, anything scented, laundry
detergent etc etc.... But this day I could smell the ocean from inside
the resturant I was in and it was wonderful. I wish I could trap that
smell and somehow tape it over my nose.

My uncle's girlfriend Melissa and I watched Julie and Julia at night
and ordered Chinese. It was very nice and relaxing.
Today is day 3 and I have the worst bone pain ever. I was stuck in my seat and couldn't move because it hurt me so bad. I had the same thing a couple days before I left for California. I have to take Oxycodone and Oxycotin together. Those two combined make me pretty sick. I was throwing up a lot. I can't handle those two medicines combined. Actually I threw up here in California on just the 4-6 hour Oxy, so I just cannot tolerate that stuff. Anyway, just because I was in pain didn't stop me from getting a lawn chair and sitting out in the sun until I finished my book. I'm getting by though. I'll let you know how the rest of the trip goes. I am very happy I came out here. Still having a great time despite what is going on with my body.
Sending sun and warmth to everyone


  1. Shannon- Sunshine is the best medicine, isn't it?! I hate that you are in pain... but am so glad you made the trip and your body is able to soak up some rays and LIFE! It's healthy to see green grass and plants... seasons happen for a reason, but Michigan snow gets old quick :-). Hope you are able to finish many good books and just chill... goodness knows you deserve it!
    -Shannon S

  2. Shannon I'm so sad to hear your in so much pain. I do believe the sun is the best medicine and expecially for the bones so soak it up. I read somewhere that there is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that could hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul and didn't quite get it but now I think of you and I do. Have a great time and we'll see u when u get back. Sandy & Mark

  3. Hoping that your time in the sun and by the ocean is healing. Sometimes a change of scenery is the best medicine. Enjoy your vacation, I'm thinking of you back here in the midwest.
    Shannon Distel Scanlan (Chicago)

  4. Shannon,
    I am glad you were able to make the trip inspite of what your body is doing. The ole saying mind over body your are clearly showing. So keep it positve! I am glad you are having a realaxing time. You could use the relaxation. The ocean looks spectacular and sounds like you are in very good company. A carrot loving dog.....hmmmm must be a true Calif. pup.:) Thanks for sharing your experience and hope you feel better. AMY JONES


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