Saturday, November 22, 2008

Had a pretty decent nights's sleep in my own bed again last night. This morning I was even able to lower the pillows a bit so I wasn't sitting up so much in the bed. I could do this and not have problems breathing...that's a good thing!

Maria, Karin and Cathy and I don't know who else are coming Massachusetts this afternoon for a visit. Karin and Cathy haven't seen the house yet, so Marieps can give them the five cent tour. Haven't seen Maria since Columbus Day weekend when she stayed over, so it will be good to see her!

Caught up on phone calls this AM...talked to Bob Miller, who is doing well. He was a little confused about what exactly was wrong with me. I told him, "It's my ovary." He said, "ulcers! I never knew you to have ulcers!" Which made me laugh so hard I hurt my suture line! So, I cleared that up with him. I wish to GOD I had ulcers! I'd take that anyday. It was my father's way of wishing me well.

Talked to MAFO on the phone, emailed with Birgitta, who is in Sweden, worried about me having to go through chemo; and catching up on my email.

Now I eat my lunch, take a shower and prepare myself for the arrival of THE HORDE from Massachusetts!

Huskies play today at 1pm...maybe I'll get to see the whole game before the goils get here.

CONGRATS to Hartford for beating Duke last night! Could we have another possible NCAA championship team in this state??? With Ratso Rizzo...anything is possible!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

You know, I learned many years ago to appreciate my own bed. Sleeping in a stupid foxhole in the rain at Stone's Ranch, or Germany or sleeping on top of a pile of duffel bags in the back of a stupid five ton dump truck....or even camping in Nova Scotia for three weeks when the first night we were on our journey we got a pin hole in our air mattress. The rest of the time we spent pumping the mattress up all through the night.

Oh yes, I appreciate sleeping in my own bed. I revel in it in the winter, especially, when the wind is blowing and it's freezing out there...and yet, here I am, snug and warm in my cozy beddy by.

But, I have to admit....the feeling I had last night, of lying in my own bed and being able to stay there the night was the best "I'm-in-my-own-bed-feeling" I've had in a long, long time.

I slept for a few hours at a time. Still had to get up about three-four matter...I was able to go back to my own bed to go to sleep. It was delicious.

I look forward to doing it again tonight!

Last night Jean came to stay over with me. Before dinner, she and Sandy went down to Gorin's and picked out new recliners for the living room. They got identical Lazy Boys, in an almond leather. Jean is now afraid that the color isn't going to go with the living room. It's a neutral color...can't go wrong. Anyway, the recliners get delivered Tuesday and I can't wait to see them. At least now if I have to sleep in the recliner again..I will have my choice of location and it will be leather!

Jean is so good to us....she got up with my dopey dog twice last night in the middle of the night to let her out to pee and her reward? Bubbles peed on the floor upstairs! That little crud!

And this morning she's upstairs in the bedroom whining to get out. So I laboriously climb the stairs to let her out. Then she comes in and wants back into the bedroom. I beg her to stay downstairs...she ignores me, (won't even turn her head to look at me) and whines louder and louder to be let back into the bedroom. So I laboriously climb those damned stairs and let her back in. Then I come and collapse on the recliner and fall asleep. About an hour later, when the whining starts again...I ignore it. She's like a damned two year old!

Robin is feeling under the weather and is staying home tonight. She told me I can download the cd she brought that has the visualization techniques for chemo unto my
new Sony Walkman. I'm getting so much new loot out of this situation!

You know what they say..."When the going gets tough...the tough go shopping." Thank goodness I have my little elves going out there doing the shopping for me.

Now I rest.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Every day...things are getting better....

I slept in the recliner again last night...put together longer blocks of hours of sleep. Sandy got up with the dogs at 5:30AM to let them out to pee...when they all went back up to bed, I went with them. I was able to stay in MY OWN BED until 7am! I bet I could have stayed longer, but I was overdue on my pain meds (was supposed to take them at six) and I had left them downstairs.

So, I went downstairs, took the pills and slept in the recliner for a hour or so more. I felt GREAT!

Called Lynne and asked if she and Linda could come later today or wait until Monday. I'll be home alone with the dogs while Sandy takes her car to Toyota to get checked. There's no way I can "wrangle" the Russell's into their kennels if Lynne and Linda (or just about anyone else, for that matter) were to come. About the only person who could handle it would be Janet...and that's only because she doesn't cry and put up a fuss when Bubbles nips her on the ankle! That's not right!

So, Lynne will come on Monday and Linda MIGHT come later when Sandy is home.

I'm feeling kind of grubby...hope I don't get company...I need to take a shower, these huge sweat pants have dog fur all over them and I just look slobbish. I'm sure Linda would never say a word about my appearance...she's so polite (the opposite of me, actually) but still. And if I take a shower before she comes I'm going to want to crawl into my bed and no shower at this time!

Marie has already banged out one of those chemo caps and is about ready to pop it in the mail to me! I told her I saw them advertised for sale at the cancer clinic yesterday and I felt smug, knowing that I had someone HANDMAKING them for me! Such a snob I am!

Huskies play tonight...should be a decent test for them. We need McClaren to get off the stick and produce in the middle...Tina Charles can't do it all. It's great that the season has started up again...a great diversion for me and for many people....for a variety of reasons.

Got an email from my childhood chum, Deb Mercik. Now I have her email...I had been trying to get it for awhile. I'm hoping she can help me set up a get-together of some of our old pals, Betsy, Christine and Paula..I want them to come to see the house and spend some time together. They don't know Sandy either and I'd love for them to get to know her a bit. To know her is to love her. That's the tune I'm whistling today, anyway! You know me!

So, I'm signing off for the day...unless something huge happens...taking a break from the blog. Wish me luck on sleeping in my bed tonight. I'll start out there and see how long I can last. It felt so darned good to be lying there this AM..with the familiar covers pulled up around my chin.....IT'S COLD!

Stay warm everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In which the staples are removed

After the "highs" of last night, we have the lows of today...this is the way it's going to be for awhile I guess.

I woke up all "bright eyed and bushy tailed" looking forward to getting out of the house for the first time since I got home from the hospital. Sandy helped me wash up and dress and then we were off!

The ride to L&M was somewhat jarring...guess my old Camry isn't as smooth a ride as it used to be. Anyway, glad I had the "splint pillow" to hold against my abdomen....keeping my guts in! LOL!

The walk from the parking garage to the clinic shocked me. I was left feeling pretty breathless and weak. Damn good thing I joined the gym awhile ago and had been going and working out! I shudder to think of what my strength would be right now if I hadn't been working out.

Anyway, we got the paperwork done and settled in to wait to see the doctor. We waited...and waited....and waited...and I had increasing pain in the small of my back, despite having taken the pain meds just before we left the house. I was pretty surprised actually at how much pain I was having. I walked up and down in the waiting room and then the hall. Then Robin came out to see me! She said that she would.

I told Robin I needed her healing touch on my back and she obliged me immediately. I could feel the difference and what a relief it was. Then she got me set up in a recliner in the waiting room...which provided relief to my feet and legs..which swell very quickly. I dozed in the chair, still waiting for the doctor.

The nurse came out and apologized for the lateness...Dr. Lachance had two new patients this AM and had to go to the Tumor Board that meets only once a he was woefully behind. He had reassured her that I was very nice and wouldn't give her a hassle about being delayed. He was right. I understand that people need reassurance from the doctor and if that means that he spends more time with be it. The nurse told us the secret is to ask for the first appointment of the day! Which we did time we go it's at 8:30!

Then they took me in, weighed me...still over 200lbs! 204.3 I told the nurse, "to think I weighed 165 two weeks ago!" She asked Sandy, "Is she kidding?" Nope...not kidding. That's a BIG WEIGHT SHIFT! That's why the fluid shifting that has been going on since the surgery is so critical...and why they were watching it so carefully.

Dr. Lachance took the staples out...37 of them...I had Sandy count them last night. A couple of they were particular OWIES!!!! But the rest went the way staples do...which is weird feeling..if you've never had staples removed. You can feel them jiggling as they come out and sometimes a little something catches in there, before it pops out. It's like having a series of little bee stings. Not quite as bad as a bee sting and it doesn't last as long..but, you get the picture. At least that's my experience with staples.

He gave me my options for chemo. Well...he has to research one of them to see if it even IS an option. They are doing a clinical trial of a drug that has been successful with ovarian cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. It is not a documented use for ovarian cancer yet and they are trying to get it documented. I may not be eligible for the trial because I had gastric bypass and they generally try to reduce the variables.

That trial is only available to me if I go to Women's and Infants in Providence for chemo.

If I go the "regular route" of chemo I can have it at Backus, which I prefer...and after a few sessions of chemo they would check my CA125 level and if they were looking good, they would bring me back into the OR to remove my other ovary, uterus and spots of cancer that they didn't get the first time. If I was in the trial...I wouldn't have the option of having that surgery. So, another variable.

Lots of things to think about. It may all be moot though, (note I said MOOT...not MUTE) as I may not even be eligible for the trial, as I said. So, we'll wait to see what he learns about this.

We had a good laugh at the hospital...the lady in the office referred to me as "your mother" when talking to Sandy. Sandy wasn't sure she heard what she heard, so when it happened again, Sandy set her straight that I'm not her mother! The woman was mortified!

What is it about L&M...this is the third time at that place that people thought I was Sandy's mom! Including one memorable incident in the ER years ago when I had brought Sandy in for breathing problems...I was waiting in line to get her registered when they came out of the back...where they were working on Sandy...looking for "the mother." I studiously ignored them as I wanted to make a point...finally this hispanic woman who was sitting next to me waiting to register turns to me, points right at me and shouts to them. THE MADRE THE MADRE! Sue Johnston was with me and we just bout fell on the floor laughing!

Anyway, at Backus Hospital, they never have made that assumption.

They took urine spec on the chance that my back pain is from a UTI. We dropped off my prescriptions at the store and then I was finally home.

I ate a big lunch...a bowl of Mary Anne Bouthillier's soup and two slices of that wonderful bread. Then I collapsed in the recliner and slept for a couple of hours.

I'm home alone and feeling all grown up. Sandy went to see the Lippanzer stallions at Mohegan Sun with Janet, her mother and Dorothy. I'm here with the pooches....keeping warm as the temperature drops.

I am so lucky...I have a wonderful family, friends, support system, doggies and a kitty who love me and a wonderful home. I am recuperating in a beautiful setting.

Now I will be resting, resting, resting. I'm going to try to sleep in my bed tonight. With the stitches out I can move a bit better now and maybe I'll be able to spend some significant time in the bed. That would be the heights of decadence right sleep in my own bed.

Looking forward to my sister and her pals coming from Massachussetts for a visit this weekend.

Everyone keep warm...don't be foolish...WEAR A HAT! It looks GREAT on you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


SUCCESS!!!! I think it was a combo of Lynne coming up today and then later, my nice conversation with Jan from work. The last thing I said to her was, "I have to "go" now...that suppository which has been percolating away the last hour and a half is going to produce!"


I celebrated briefly...then collapsed in the full recline position with my feet over my head, which was a good idea, because my blood pressure dropped like crazy after that session on the throne.

You should hear no more talk from me about BMs and lack thereof.


I ate the best meal I've had in about two weeks, not overdoing it. Sandy is running down to the store to get ice cream to go with the apple crisp that Carol made for us. I'm going to have a little dollop of both and then RELAX in my recliner/bed.


Last night I had a little break-thru...wasn't feeling well all day. It turned out that it was from Sandy making the suggestion that I cut my pain pills in try to help with the bowel situation. So I did that...which led to a lot of pain, discomfort and fatigue. As soon as I went back to the dose I was supposed to be on I perked up...actually felt a bit of an appetite!

So much for Sandy's diabolical experiments on me!

Of course, she does have a point. I haven't had a BM in almost two weeks now...the longest I've gone in my entire life without crapping! It's a wonder my eyes aren't brown!

It isn't that bad really...I haven't been eating enough to produce much material if you know what I mean. I think if I eat more and still have the problem..then it's serious. I'll discuss it with Dr. LaChance tomorrow. I hope to get my staples removed tomorrow. I took a shower today and Sandy was drying me off, checking my suture line and found a spot that is pussy...THAT MEANS IT HAS PUS...just to make it clear what I'm talking about. Anyway...the sooner they come out the better as far as I'm concerned.

I wish I could take a picture to show you what I look like now. I told Sandy I look like one of those Appalachian women, with the spindly arms and swollen belly. That doesn't even capture the look however. It is so weird looking at myself. But we have that huge mirror in the bathroom, so I can't help but look. With the suture lining running up and up and up.

Mary Anne came last night and brought some fabulous homemade soup with orzo, great chunks of hamburg, tomatoes, mushrooms, all kinds of veggies. She brought my favorite, ciabatta bread to go with it. It was great visiting with her for awhile and then whoosh...she was off to Putnam.

Jean came and spent the night with me last night. Sandy had to work and didn't want to leave me alone to manage the dogs. I slept on the recliner, of course and Jean FINALLY slept in the spare room. I've been wanting her to stay over since we moved in!

Anyway...she was set up there with a gate across the top of the stairs to keep the dogs up with her. They did really good, Bubbie of course, had to come crying at 3:30to go out. She got up again at 5:30...of course. The second time, I came out of the bathroom and I thought they (Jean and dogs) were still downstairs. It was PITCH BLACK! Something told me to flip the bathroom lite on...glad I did...there was a huge stuffed parrot that Bubbie had deposited outside the door to let me know she had been there. So sweet...but so potentially deadly! I kicked the parrot to the curb and went back to my recliner...but it did make me laugh.

Lynne Miner came up for lunch...we had some of Mary Annes soup...delish but I couldn't eat much. Lynne brought "Jewish" soup that she wanted to cook up right then and there, but Jean and I finally got her to see that we have soup coming out of our ears right now! Carol had brought soup, Mary Anne's soup and Jean brought soup...the fridge and freezer are stuffed with wonderful soup. We can't take another spoonful.

Soup is perfect for me though..with the good veggies and nutrition and it's easy to get down...don't have to chew, chew chew.

Lynne and I had a wonderful visit. I showed some pics we took in the hospital...but I can't upload them here for some strange reason. I'll have to try one at a time. I've tried several times, several methods...but still no soap.

I'll keep trying.

Lindsay just canceled out on visiting tonight...she has a scratchy throat and doesn't want to give me anything. That's good, because I don't want to get anything! I've got enough right now, thank you!

Tomorrow morning I get to go out on the L:&M to see my surgeon for follow-up...he comes down there once a month I guess and I was lucky it was this week. I'm hoping he takes the staples...ALL OF THEM...out and gives me a date for starting chemo. I'd like to have at least one round done before Christmas. I don't think that's too much to ask!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a disappointment! I can't sleep in my bed. When I lie flat, my chest hurts, I get short of breath and it just gets steadily worse. I got a little panicky last night because of it...woke Sandy up and had her check my lungs, I was afraid I was getting pneumonia...but they were clear...thank goodness.

I went back downstairs and proceded to spend the night on the recliner...which should be no surprise since after my gastric bypass I had to sleep like that at least three nights.

I also managed some Vesuvian type farts, one of them while I was in the recliner! OH, Happy Day! I celebrated big time I'll tell you. It was a pretty good night after all.

This morning Dr. Lachance called me at home to tell me that he was sorry he didn't get to see me over the weekend before I left the hospital! WHAT A GUY! He explained that it's is the ascites (fluid from the tumor) that is starting to build again in my abdomen. They drew it off during surgery...lots of it...but it is coming back and that won't stop until I get the chemo going.

I see him on Wednesday, so hopefully we can get the ball rolling fast. I called Joyce today at Backus and told her I want to go to Backus for the chemo...she will set me up with Dr. Kapur. YAY!

Everything is rolling along now...we're staying on top, if not ahead of it. The ladies from Backus are making soup...Lindsay made me a is good.

Jean will be staying with me tonight. She was going to sleep in the other recliner! Sandy told her, sleep upstairs with the door closed which is what she did last night. We have our cell phones to use if I need her.

The swelling is going down in my feet, calves and thighs...and good thing! They were like sausages stuffed into my once roomy sweat pants. Sandy got me some 2x stretchy pants to wear around the house...actually I'll probably have to wear them to med appointments too! YUCK! I have an old Patriots xlarge sweatshirt I can swim in up top...but it will be tight around the tummy I'm sure. I'm really looking like a know they wobble, but they don't fall down. And that's a good thing.

Okay, I nap now. Nap and agenda for the day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Sandy came and got me this AM. Janet came up and sat with me at home so Sandy could run to Stop and Shop for my meds, supplies, etc. Then she ran to Waterford and "shopped for disability supplies" at Jean's...who has lots of leftover goodies from her hip replacement recuperation.

By the time Sandy got back, I was REALLY glad to see her...being with Janet was TORTUOUS! Just kidding...the pain was racheting up...hence my relief to see her come through the door with the prescriptions.

I have eaten more today than I have in a long time. Some great american chop suey from Jean for lunch (two helpings) and a bowl of WONDERFUL chicken/ vegetable soup homemade by Carol.

Sandy got me all set up nicely at home. She had it planned from the beginning. She brought the dogs wih her which helped to get them calmed down by the time we got home. Lily, of course, licked me most of the way home. It felt good, for the most part....the rest of the time it felt intrusive! But, that's my Lily!

Katie called today and all the kids were with her, so I got to hear all their voices. Sweet.

Carol came over in the afternoon to check on us. Good to have people in the house, but it wore me out. Sandy blew up the Aerobed in the den and I laid down as she and Carol said thier goodbyes and I took a little nap. Verdict? The aerobed is more comfy than the hospital bed was! Too bad I can adjust the aerobed head and foot would be the perfect bed.

Good thing Sandy isn't under the influence of drugs....someone has to keep track of what I'm supposed to be taking and when. I would be in a world of hurt without her head right now.

Speaking of being under the influence...I see that my spelling has taken a huge nosedive while taking drugs. I misspelled so many things last night alone! I remember typing creatinine and wondering if it was spelled right. Today I note I spelled it cratinine...I guess my vision was off too.

I'm going to download some pictures...most seem to have the same theme--me with someone else, waving at the camera. Very imaginative.

So, now I'm off to make my first climb up the stairs, get into a warm shower and then into my own sweet bed! I'm betting that I get more than four hours sleep tonight.

It is SO GOOD to be home.