Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Archive for October, 2014

Cat Naps

RustyOne thing about cats, they sure do know how to nap! They sleep fifteen to twenty hours a day, sometimes just dozing for about fifteen minutes at at a time. Rusty here looks pretty relaxed doesn’t he? So during “rest week” I am trying to learn form the cats and taking little naps during the day.

Since it is “rest week”, I feel way better than “chemo week” so between naps am making slow progress on the Black Crowned Night Heron.BCNH6

Friday we meet with the surgeon, so will probably have news on next week’s blog as to the schedule. Since it is a first appointment, I am not really sure what to expect, so this journey continues, as I take one step at a time.

With the big “C” diagnosis, some changes in perspective happen. I have been reflecting a little on them and have realized I have to pare life down to the bare essentials and decide what is really important. First of all of course are my relationships. Next is my sense of identity. Realizing that I have put a lot of energy into being an artist, but not just an artist…. a “successful artist” in the eyes of the world. I realized that I have been spending a lot of that energy in trying to market and sell my art to be  the world’s version of artist. That puts a lot of stress on me and eats up time and energy. With depleted reserves, I am choosing to do the art and stop the marketing and selling, so will be shutting down my Etsy site, and may make changes to the website, so that I can concentrate on the battle in front of me and keep the art as a therapy/fun part of my life. There have been a lot more changes in my perspective, but for now it is time to take a little nap.

Thanks again for all of the prayers, good wishes and positive thoughts, you all are awesome!


Chemo week or Rip Van Winkle?


Here is the new chemo hair! Claudine was kind enough to come over and cut it for me. For some reason during the treatments, I sweat a lot, and would wake up with a sweat soaked, smelly ponytail. The fatigue was making it hard to keep up with it so decided it needed to go! It has been many years since wearing it short, so I keep wondering who that person in the mirror is! LOL.

This week’s chemo was merciful! Monday after the three hour treatment, I came home with my pump, knew from experience that the first day is good because of the steroids they add. So I did not go home and pig out, LOL. Ate moderately, took nausea medication and went to sleep. Only had one little bout with nausea on Tues am, started the meds for the cramps, and went back to sleep. Pretty well slept through Friday morning with short breaks for food and meds. SO here I am the week is over, and I am feeling like Rip Van Winkle, LOL.

BCNHgThe rest has helped a lot, I actually worked on the Black Crowned Night Heron today, here is the update. Do not panic, I am just sketching in where water and grasses will be, it is pretty messy right now…but hey! I am feeling like doing art again!!!!! Whooooo Hooooo! Thanks for all those prayers, good wished and positive thoughts!

Week to rest….

I can see why they give you a week off after chemo. Even though they have come far with management of side effects, it is still not for the faint of heart, nor is it fun. It is challenging and it is a battle. The “C” word is scary from the start. My husband says I am brave, but it is not bravery – it is putting one foot in front of the other foot – keeping on going because it is the only way I know how to live. It is a battle to keep a positive attitude. A battle to overcome each side effect as it rears its ugly head. A battle against fatigue. A challenge to be a human being instead of a human doing as you forgive yourself for all of the stuff you didn’t get done and have to watch your loved ones work extra hard to pick up the slack. Each battle is important and victory is not ensured. It is WAR. So I do not mean to trivialize the battles in this war that many of us are fighting. But this is my way of fighting……keeping a positive attitude and overcoming the challenges. And once again with all of your good wishes, prayers and positive thoughts, and with my family and therapy critters –  I do feel lifted up and I do feel like victory is the only outcome.

It is cooling off here in AZ and I have a new addition to the therapy team, the backyard birds. Have been spending time in the mornings and evenings sitting on the patio watching all the little dramas going on in the back yard. This subject deserves it’s own blog, so stay tuned for photos and stories…..

The pet scan results came back, they now know the location of the colon tumor and I have an appointment with the surgeon in late October. SO the war wages on, and this week I get to rest!

The war with cancer continues….First chemo session.

Hubby takes me to the Palo Verde Cancer Center Monday at 1PM to start chemo. Neither one of us quite know what to expect, even though we have been given reams of information, TMI. So I pick a recliner, get hooked up to my port and meds are administered for three hours, I am given shots to help with the worst side effects, steroids to help swelling and healing, anti nausea medication good for 48 hours and a medicine to stop cramping, and fluids. 20140930_122647Then at the end of the session I am hooked up to a portable unit, which will still keep pumping meds for 48 hours. We come back Wed to have the unit removed then have a 90 minute session, and I am free for a whole week.

So Monday on coming home, I felt better then I have in ages. That must have been some steroid! Had a nice dinner sleep all night, then woke up to cramping and dry heaving. NOT fun. Luckily I had some meds to address this, started taking them, and much better day…..Just tired. Wed after having portable pump out, came home napped a little and actually felt like eating dinner! It is Thursday, and I feel better than I have since the diagnosis! At this rate, I will be back to drawing and painting soon! Thanks again for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, and good wishes! I am so Thankful for the advances in cancer treatment.

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