Saturday, July 11, 2015

Need input: chemo rewards program

So, I was thinking about how four months seems like a long time to endure chemo. But then I realized, that's 16 weeks and I get treatments every two weeks, which is only eight treatments. Eight isn't so many, right? then I thought, what if I do something, like get some kind of treat for Michael and me to enjoy together, to commemorate each one and count down to the last? And we talked about when we were kids and made those paper chains to count down to Christmas.

So here's what we're going to do: we'll make a paper chain and write a treat on each one, randomize them, and tear one off after each treatment. We do whatever it is during that two weeks, whenever I feel up to it. Fun, huh?

So here's where I need your input: what suggestions do you have? It could be going somewhere, eating something special, buying something...use your imagination and let's have some fun with this. We have to come up with this fast because chemo starts first thing Wednesday morning. Make your suggestion in the comments (or on facebook because I know some of you have issues getting your comments to go through...sorry) and I'll add them to this post. Then we'll either pick the eight we like the best or maybe random ones if I like too many.

Remember, I might be nauseous the first week after treatment and will be highly susceptible to infection the second week so I'll need to avoid crowded places, touching strangers, etc. No sushi, rare steak, alcohol, or tobacco (thereby cutting out many of my great joys in life). I'll start with one I think will work (please note: if I missed yours, it's because I'm getting deluge of suggestions and I missed it. Feel free to just send me a message or post it again. Or it was naughty and I didn't want my mom to see it!):

Yes, I will clear questionable items with my doctor.

Also, there are a lot of great ideas for general coping, nice ways to spend time together, etc. I may capture those in another post, but they're more every day type things than what I'm looking for here. This is for things that are more celebratory. Things you save for a special occasion.

  • Get ice cream at my favorite ice cream parlor (Leatherby's) (yes, I've heard the whole thing about how you should avoid sugar. I will be cutting way back on it so a treat once in a while is fine)
  • We each give/get foot massages (could make it a whole romantic evening with candles and stuff...)
  • Buy some kind of accessory that is special and will be a reminder
  • Hire someone to do a thorough house cleaning
  • Go to a spa for a couples massage
  • Go out for a movie date and eat ridiculous amount of popcorn. Maybe the drive-in.
  • Rent or borrow a pickup truck, fill the bed with blankets, pillows, an air mattress, whatever...and have him drive you someplace out of the way to go stargazing. Bonus points are snacks, hot chocolate in a mug, etc.
  • You love to dance, you each pick a song and dance, like no one is watching! (could be part of the whole romantic evening thing)
  • Buy comfort things- like the plush blanket, robe, or slippers you normally wouldn't splurge on.
  • A couples bubble bath with some brown sugar vanilla bubbles and soft lighting with only candles and some Nora Jones playing in the background
  • Start a charm or Pandora bracelet. Every treatment you can add one. Then when this curse is beaten you can add the most beautiful charm of all.
  • A weekend away in nature - where you can both be active and relax depending on your energy level 
  • a day at a Spa with Sauna & massage 
  • a playful photo shoot because chemo might temporarily transform but you can still be sexy 
  • nice smelling nourishing creams for your skin 
  • a day trip to a secluded beach (With all the appropriate sunblock gear and a fancy umbrella and chair)
  • Buy a new game and have friends over to play it

OK, go!


  1. Was going to suggest going for froyo but you got that with the icecream, ;). Maybe treat yourself to an accessorie like a bracelet/ring that is inexpensive but a reminder.

  2. A weekend away in nature - where you can both be active and relax depending on your energy level - a day at a Spa with Sauna & massage - a playful photo shoot because chemo might temporarily transform but you can still be sexy - nice smelling nourishing creams for your skin

  3. I really like the "Hire someone to do a thorough house cleaning" suggestion.

  4. 1.Write each other a poem or letter that shows how you feel about the other.
    2.Do a weekly video.
    3.Buy a really pretty journal to write down you personal feelings in.

  5. I love your idea! No idea about chemo, but planning rewards is always awesome. :)

    I had a pretty green moleskin book that I tracked all my medical crap in. It was slightly larger than the standard (smallish) one. I could keep in my purse, so I could note any symptoms whenever they happened; but I also tracked what doc appointments, and what was said, and my questions. It was good to have it all in one place. (but I'm not inclined to use my phone for that sort of thing. Talk-to-text can be very helpful for noting important stuff - and may be easier than writing if you're tired)

  6. Cleaning for a Reason will help you clean during chemo. :) Volunteers.

  7. Maybe not for your chain...but a couple days before a treatment, when i felt good, i went on a mission for a new head covering...scarf, funky hat, crazy print bandana. During infusion, I always did a silly selfie with a "treatment # brought to you by "name of funky headgear". Had a friend who made me a soft purple hat with a big water shooting flower on it. Having "fun" with the treatment made it much easier.

  8. A new board game for the two of you to play together or with friends! (That was kind of obvious right !?!)

    1. And a date with friends to come over and play it!