Monday, June 25, 2012
Preparing for chemo...
I start chemo tomorrow. Ugh! Not looking forward to it, but at the same time I just want to start so I can get it over with. I've been trying to prepare for the unknown. I cut my fingernails down and will be putting nail strengthener on them to try to save my nails. I've read that the chemo I'm doing (cytoxan and taxotere) can sometimes cause your nails to fall off if they get bruised or brittle. So, I'm trying to prevent that from happening. I'll let you know if it helps.
Also, I readied my water bottle with the hours in each day so I can make sure I'm drinking enough water each day. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. I have to refill it 4 times, but each time I just turn it and can see if I'm where I should be for the day. I don't like to drink water, but I love a good game or goal...so hopefully, my overachieving self will be pushed to compete against the big pink water bottle. lol! Kevan and I own a Berkey water filtering system so we have good tasting and clean water. See pic of my hourly water bottle below. It isn't a great picture, but it was the best one. I just used a sharpie to write the hours. If I drink as scheduled I will have consumed one gallon of water in a day. :o) I will be making many trips to the "little girl's room". Also, a friend gave me some great advice. She advised me to set an alarm to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom as well so I don't let the chemo sit too long in my bladder. This can cause other issues down the road. So, I will be doing that as well. Although, if I'm drinking a gallon of water during the day...I may not need to set an alarm. ;o)
After my mastectomy/reconstruction surgery one of Kevan's family members made us several lasagna in different sizes that we could freeze and use as needed. It was wonderful. It was such a great idea I asked her for the recipe so I could make more and she was so gracious to give it to me! I also decided to make a bunch of my favorite chicken and broccoli casseroles to freeze as well. I want to make sure that Kevan has dinner on the nights that I don't want to eat or when I'm too sick to cook for him. Also, if I'm up to it I can eat too. On Saturday I spent a few hours making homemade sauce, cooking meat, etc to make up several casseroles. I started at about 11am and was finished by 5pm. In total I made 10 casseroles. While the sauce was cooking I was able to clean the house a little so even though I had started the cooking I still had the opportunity to do other chores. This is a good idea for working moms and new mommies too. Here is a picture of the sauce. Yum!
I cooked 6 chicken breasts in my crockpot while I waited for the sauce to be ready. Then, shredded the chicken, seasoned it and then put together 4 chicken/broccoli casseroles for Kevan and I. Since we do not need a 9x13 for just the two of us I split them in 1/2 so we would have 4 dinners instead of 2. I was going to make 6, but I did not end up with enough chicken to make 6.
Then, once the sauce was finished and cooled....I put 6 lasagna(s) together (only 4 are pictured here).
I wrapped each one with plastic wrap, then foil and labeled them. To use later I just thaw them throughout the day (or overnight in the fridge) and then cook them as normal. Here is what they looked like before I put them in the freezer.
This should get us through at least 5 weeks of dinners twice a week. One day a week is usually taken up with doctor's appointments in the "city", we usually eat out once or twice...and hopefully I will be up to cooking the remaining days. We live way too far from town for pizza delivery, but maybe Kevan can drive to town and pick up a pizza sometimes. Unfortunately, I love Pizza Hut way too much...my thighs don't love it, but my taste buds sure do.
I also froze some vanilla yogurt in 1/2 cup measurements, added them to bags of various frozen fruit to use for smoothies. I may not be up to eating, but Kevan can easily make me a smoothie and it will at least provide me with some good nutrients. BTW...I love Stonyfield's French Vanilla yogurt and I searched all over online for a good homemade recipe. I never found one so I came up with one myself. I believe my homemade vanilla yogurt recipe is as good as theirs. Mine has honey instead of sugar too so it is better for us. I'm very excited that mine turned out so good.
I even had time to make some good 'ol potato salad for a church get together while I was waiting on the chicken and sauce to finish. I cooked the potatoes and eggs (separately) in my pressure cooker. It took about 20 minutes total. Then, assembled it and had it in the fridge in no time. I love my handy dandy electric pressure cooker! The shell falls right off of the hard boiled eggs.
I think I had a very successful Saturday.
If you have time please say a prayer for me. Pray that my chemo side effects are limited to just hair loss (or weight loss). That I won't experience bad nausea or low blood counts. I'm pretty worried about the emotional and hormone aspect of the treatments so please pray for our marriage during this time. Lastly, pray that I will continue to rely on the Lord for my strength and healing.
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13