Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Open House

So, Tina came right on time and picked me up to go to Richard's. I got to ride in her mini cool! The seats are heated! What a treat!

Anyway...we drove through the slush to Central Village. We were not the first ones to arrive. We got to visit with Wayne, Lisa, Jim and Deb..and Richard, of course. And surprise surprise..Russ showed up early! We had a great time visiting and laughing...and then I started getting we headed home.

I got home and went up to bed....turned on the tv just in time to watch the Huskies play Gonzaga....I thought I would doze off during the game...but no was TOO EXCITING! The game ended up going into overtime on a AJ Price circus shot for three points...with 11 seconds left. The Huskies held on for the win in overtime. What a great game!

Now I'm downstairs because Sandy has to take her nap before she goes to work. We're getting more snow....I don't know if it's going to start tonight or tomorrow...but more snow is headed this way. We'll be cleaning house tomorrow, wrapping gifts and sending out more Christmas cards...I know I know...late. But that's the way it goes.

I keep forgetting to mention that I heard from my friend Craig's son last week. Craig is a friend of mine from the Army...I used to work with him and I lived with him and his wife, my friend Rita, for sometime when I was at Ft Jackson. Well..Rita died 10 years ago of a heart condition...I still think of her frequently and I miss her terribly. Craig is in the hospital (in Ohio) after having a bad heart attack. When Christopher called me (and it's so eery talking to him because he sounds JUST LIKE Craig)...Craig was on a "heart pump" and on a ventilator. They have now unhooked him from the pump and are trying to wean him off the ventilator.

I want to ask my buddies who read this to send good, healing thoughts Craig's way. He is a special friend of mine and is such a good guy....I can't stand the thought of losing him. He means so much to me. So, please send a good thought his way. Thanks!

As for me..I'm doing JUST GREAT! Feel free to stop worrying so much about me!

Don't forget the UConn women play tomorrow on CPTV at 4:30. And it would be nice if you made a little pledge to CPTV to thank them for carrying those games...we are so lucky to be able to see our favorite team play just about every game on tv. NO OTHER women's team...and lots of men's teams...have that much tv coverage!

Nighty night and stay warm!

Going out....

We got about nine and a half inches of snow last night...and more of a dusting coming down now. I got up and made breakfast for us...grits and eggs...haven't made that in AGES!!! Sandy was very happy!

After we ate Sandy got bundled up and headed out to use her new toy...the snowblower we bought in September. She (and I) were shocked to see Mark and Cliff at the head of our driveway...plowing out the heavy stuff that the plow had shoved up there. That was so nice of made me think of how Todd from across the street used to plow us out when we lived on Sunrise I immediately called Chris to tell her we were thinking of her and Todd. She told me that Todd was out plowing their driveway and she was looking our old driveway...thinking about how he used to plow us out! Amazing, isn't it?

Anyhow, Sandy was able to get the whole driveway, plus paths for the pups out back, done in about two hours and she says she isn't even tired! Love that snow blower!

Tina just called, she's on her way to come and get me. We're going to Richard's Annual Open House in Central Village. I haven't seen the Dempsey folks in ages, so it will be wonderful to be there. I know Russ can't get there until later, but I'm hoping to see Maureen, maybe Maureen Cedio and some other folks...and Uncle Dick, of course!

I better go upstairs and get ready! I'm feeling really good today. Just as Dr. Lachance says, "just when you start to feeling really good, it's time for another chemo and you start all over again!" I'm going to enjoy this feeling while it lasts...just hope I don't get too pooped going out.

Talk at ya later! I'll be sure to "dish the dirt" from the party!

Friday, December 19, 2008


It's's all off!

Sandy is so funny. I was bugging her about my hair...saying how I didn't like it like it was...I wanted it buzzed off. She said, "it wouldn't bother me...people are funny..they get hung up on their hair...if it was me I'd just have it buzzed off." HELLO! What the HELL????!!!! Isn't that what I just said?

Anyway, she dug out the old Toby clippers and they didn't work. So, she took the scissors and hacked away. Then we figured out how to get the clipper to work so she buzzed it off. The clipper quit almost immediately. So she took them apart and put them back together again...with difficulty.

She finally finished the job...and it looks GREAT!

I had her take pictures of the whole process...and will post them here, once I finish charging the camera battery.

We are going to buy a new clipper set though...the old one is too unreliable...and I'm going to need to be shaved again I'm sure.

So, I'm a baldy and Bern (my old hairdresser) was right...the back of my head is flat! My mother always was afraid of crib death and she made us lie on our backs in the crib...flattening the back of the head. It gives me a Germanic look...or the typical Swedish "square head!"

I like it.

Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow

Okay..I've just about had it with the hair! It kept coming out last night in the bed, getting in my mouth, my eyes, etc. So, when I took my shower this morning I just knew that it was the last time I'd be shampooing my hair for awhile!

Sure enough, in the shower, the hair rained down almost as hard as the water. It was sticking to my arms, legs, bunching up in huge clumps on the thing we have over the drain to catch hair...oddly enough! I couldn't clean it all up from the floor of the shower, Sandy said she would take care of it.

So, I'm sure that tonight I'll send Sandy to look for the clippers I used to use on Toby..many years ago, when Toby was still alive. If it's good enough for a's good enough for me.

In the meantime I have my head wrapped up in a pink bandanna. I had it wrapped "babushka style"...which Sandy apparently didn't she rewrapped it for me to make it more stylish.

Janet and Jess are going to try to plow their way here through the snow. It hasn't started snowing yet, so they just might make it! It is really supposed to snow heavily between 3-8 they say. Should be interesting. Oh's not like we don't have room for them if they get snowed in! That would be fun...a pajama party! But they won't have pajamas....

I was able to hike up to the mailbox problem. When I was coming back into the yard this car comes flying down the driveway with two women who I don't recognize in it...and they are all smiling at me! They jump out of the car and I'm like, "who are you?" They say their names...they are the Relay for Life chairpersons and they came to bring me a thank you card for being a team captain.

So I tell them that something new I'm trying this year is ovarian cancer as a motivator for people to donate money for the relay. They are SO EXCITED to hear this! LOL! I tell them that I'm getting ready to jump start my team...which I am...but I want to wait until after Christmas and all the distractions. I think we will get a lot more walkers this year and will hopefully raise a lot more money.

Last year I think our team was the top "small team" in fund raising for the Relay. We compete favorably with some of the bigger teams and every year we raise more money.

It was very nice of those two to drop off the little gift and card. I think there is candy in the little package they dropped off...I'll dig into that after lunch!

Ta ta...time to go and watch the snow fall!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bad Hair Day

Took a nap this afternoon with the pooches, slept for 2 a half hours...felt a bit better. Not so achy and exhausted.

Tonight I'm sitting here, pulling big hunks of hair out of my head. Sandy is going to get a shaver this weekend and I think if the hair doesn't just all come out...we're going to buzz cut my head! I don't want it to come out all clumpy and scattered...leaving my head looking all weird and patchy! I wanna look SMOOTH BABY!!! LOL!!

Vacillating back and forth between freezing and roasting...gotta love those hot flashes!

Tomorrow we get a lot of snow. Janet and Jess and Jeremy were going to come I'm bummed because I think it may be too snowy for them to visit. And we were going to do Chinese too...I was looking forward to having pork egg fu young! Oh well...maybe I'll still send Sandy out to get it for me...that Highlander has snow mode, four wheeled drive, etc. She should be able to travel to downtown Jewett City with no problem!

Nighty night!


Big day yesterday. Jean came up Tuesday afternoon to stay over and get the dogs fed in the AM so I didn't have to do it. Sandy got off work, drove right up to the garage and I got into the car and we went right off to Backus Hospital to get my bloodwork done. Right off the bat I couldn't stand up very long at the counter waiting for them to enter all my info. YIKES! I had to sit down. Not a good sign.

I had my blood drawn...very good job...didn't even feel the needle going in.

Then we were off to L&M to see Dr. Lachance. We thought our appointment was for 9am...when we got in there we found out it was still 11am! Another YIKES! But, they took us in right away and we were out of there before we knew it! Dr. Lachance breaks the news to me that I have to have a damned pelvic exam every third visit! He conveniently forgot to tell me that information before! If I had known that going into this thing, I would have said forget the whole thing! Or, I would have negotiated to get paid for it like I get paid at work!

After we were finished with the medical stuff..we went to the coffee shop for breakfast. As I was walking there I knew it was a mistake, as I could feel myself "sinking" more and more. I was pooped by the time I finished off my bacon and egg and some toast and home fries. It took all of my strength to sit in the darn lobby, waiting for Sandy to bring the car around!

We made it home...with me whining the whole time. No kidding. I was so tired and aching. I crawled upstairs and got into bed....freezing cold! I slept from around 11am to 2pm and then woke up feeling sick. I decided I was hungry so I went downstairs and got lunch. That helped me feel better, but still very achy and tired.

I didn't see how the hell I was going to be able to make it to Lynne's house for our holiday party! I put the car seat back and laid back all the way down to Jean's house. We picked her up and then went to Lynne's. I immediately set myself up in a nice cozy chair in the corner, covered up with my throw and my slippers on my feet.

It was so good being there, listening to everyone talk and laugh. Chatting with folks and closing my eyes from time to time. I ate some great appetizers...very tasty and almost finished off the plate of food Sandy got me! I will say that our gang really knows how to cook! Then we had dessert (I had one of Jean's oatmeal lace cookies) and coffee. Then we had our gift exchange...wonderful gifts this year!

I was wide awake about half way through the party and didn't feel bad at all! All those folks give me such good energy!

We came home and went right up to bed. I watched tv for awhile and then had a very restless night. At 3:45 in the AM I'm in the bathroom having a BM! Unbelievable! After that I was able to sleep better, but I'm still achy, despite taking my tylenol extra strength. I also sneezed a couple of times last night and can't help but wonder if I've caught Sandy's cold.

I had a great great time last so glad I went! Lynne is such a wonderful hostess...their house is made for entertaining and we all agree that we feel so comfortable when we are there. Great time, great folks, great food...what a combo!

Today I'm feeling like I have the flu. Going to be lying low, keeping quiet and sleeping a bit. Sandy is going out this afternoon to meet with the retirement lady at the hospital and then she is going to Ryan's basketball i will nap and then feed the dogs for the first time in ages...they'll be getting kibble. We'll see if I go down the cellar stairs to feed Murphy....I think he can wait until Sandy comes home.

Going to sign off and rest now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I just "came to" today and realized I need to get on the stick and start ordering Christmas presents for Sandy! Thank God for shopping on the internet! I have done little store shopping over the past three years....I'm totally into skipping the store experience!

So, I got some shopping done today...that, coupled with the shopping that Jean took care of for me...should pretty much finish off the big stuff for Sandy.

I don't worry one whit about Sandy reading this...she NEVER reads my blog! I dunno why...maybe it's the same reason we don't go into each others purses without permission...or read each other's mail/email without permission.

My mother used to snoop through everything...when we were kids, we had NO PRIVACY! Not even in the bathroom were you safe...she would bust through that door while we were in the tub...sit her butt down on the toilet and strike up a conversation with us...I miss those days! But, it left me with a profound respect for personal privacy regarding mail...etc. Not about the bathroom Homer Simpson says.."I'm whizzing with the door open!"

But I digress....I don't worry about Sandy reading this...I could even post what I got her...she would be clueless...but all of Backus Hospital would know...because apparently people there are reading this blog...and chatting about it! HI BACKUS FOLKS!

Tomorrow I have a big day...first I will have to feed the doggies for the first time in about a month and a half. Then Sandy will come home from work, pick me up and off we go to Backus to get my bloodwork done...Carol reminded Sandy of a little-known collection station at the hospital that is quick and easy to use...and they do "stat" the results will be faxed to my doctor quickly. Then we go down to L&M to see Dr. Lachance at 9am. After that, she has to run some errands and then we will both take a nap when we get home. She, because she will have worked all night and me, because that's what I do every day and I'm sure I'll be worn out from all the activity.

Tomorrow night I get to see all my retiree buddies at Lynne's house. We're having our annual holiday get-together. I've been looking forward to this for a month now and I can't believe it's finally here! It will be so good to see everyone.

A little disconcering development is the fact that when I eat a normal meal now, my stomach has problems with it. I am afraid that scar tissue from the surgery is causing some mini blockages. I've had to deal with this before and I know what to do when it gets bad (get in a tub of hot water)..but I would prefer to NOT have to deal with this after every meal! Here's hoping I'm wrong.

What weather we are having! I had two windows open last was so warm. Today we have sleet on the deck. Crazy New England weather! At least we don't have ice storms as they had up north.

I'm not liking the way this blog posts pictures. I posted an album of "hospital pictures" on my Facebook page. Here is the link to see them...feel free to list me as your friend if you are on Facebook...or if you join!

I don't know if I'll be posting another entry for even though it's just noontime...I'll still say...

Nighty night!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pictures from 1st hospitalization...starting from bottom

Big Day

Big day today. I got up early and took my own shower, standing up in the shower this time. More hair coming out...but still no bald spots. Got my clothes out and got myself dressed. I was even able to put my foot up on the bathroom counter top to dry my legs off!

Then I had breakfast and Sandy drove us over to Lindsay and Jim's to see their new motorhome before they leave for Florida this week. It was such a treat to be riding in the car and not be heading to the hospital, doctor's appointment or bloodwork!

The motorhome is BEAUTIFUL! We just fell in love with it...with it's four slideouts, custom cabinetry, kitchen island, the whole thing is gorgeous!

Lindsay had some "books on tape" for me...some more stuff to do while sitting for the eight hours at chemo appointments.

I started fading a bit after about an hour, so we headed home. When we got home I realized Deanna had called and I had missed her call. I tried to call her on her cell..she wasn't answering. I took a chance and called Lazizah...sure enough! They were there and Iffat was just telling them that I loved the falafel sandwich and she was adding a bowl of chicken corn chowder!

It was great talking with Iffat for a minute or so...I miss going down there...that's one of my next drive myself to Lazizah for a falafel sandwich.

Deanna and Lorraine showed up bearing the gifts of good food. We all ate in the dining room and got caught up on the latest. We haven't seen them since September I think it was! Then they got on the internet and showed us the house that they are is beautiful! Love the grounds...the details in the house...the tub and shower, the kitchen...everything.

After they left I went upstairs and took a three hour felt good. I guess I got rundown a bit from all the travel and visiting.

Oh...Ellen O'Donoghue emails me and tells me that she can't wait to write on my bald head! I love that idea! I'm going to have people sign my bald head like you have people sign your cast when you break an arm! Isn't that the best idea? Thanks Ellie Belle!

Keep those good ideas coming. You know, some time ago I posted a concern of what I would do if I had to call 911 in the middle of the night...what would I do with the dogs? Well..Lindsay came up with the idea of putting them in soft-sided kennels in our bedroom. Sandy went out and bought two kennels cheap and they are all set up in the bedroom. I don't have that concern any more! If I hadn't posted that in this blog, Lindsay wouldn't have come up with the idea!

I have such resourceful and creative friends...keep those ideas coming!

I'm actually looking forward to being bald now.

Going to watch the Huskies (guys) play tonight...I want to see Stanley Robinson back in a UConn uniform...I love him!

Nighty night!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I forgot to note that yesterday, when I woke up, I couldn't help but notice that my scalp was very sensitive in a big spot in the back of my head. This persisted as I shampooed my hair and then I noticed some clumps of hair coming out of my head...and when I looked in the mirror, other clumps sticking out weirdly from the side of my head!

I told Sandy about this...and she, who has been doing ALL the research on this illness and the progression of chemo, etc...informed me that this signals the start of my hair starting to come out! A bit early perhaps, but it's beginning! This means that as I suspected...I will be bald by January sometime. Good thing I have those hats from Marie and Linda! Thanks Gals!

So...that was the other big news from yesterday. Big Whup!

Today I had to climb those damned stairs twice to get the dogs out to pee in the AM...that damned Truman, wouldn't get out of bed! I had to traipse back upstairs and flip the covers back, and he looks at me like..."what? you want me to get up??" As if I wasn't yelling for him for five minutes downstairs...trying to avoid having to go upstairs again. That little crud!

I called Sandy at work and asked her to pick up waffles for me on her way home...she was going to the store anyway. She did and I made myself two of them for breakfast. Yum!

Today I'll be watching the Huskies on CPTV at 2:30...then the Patriots at 4:15...oh, and I'll be recording the Lady Vols playing Texas at I can watch that one later. Big day!

I am so cold...that loss of muscle really reduces the insulation! I'm wearing my new sweats that Jean got for me...they hang on me and I wear my Sox sweatshirt with hood up...I look like a monk! All bundled up in the throw that MaryAnne Bouthillier brought for me...I love it!

Now I have to nap, so I can enjoy the games.