Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ogunquit...Day 1

We went to "Bessies" for breakfast. I brought my new UConn gnome and told folks that we had to come up with a name for him. I had the thought that whatever our waiter's name was is what we would name him. Anne-Marie said we better hope that our waiter's name wasn't Sally! We all laughed.

Well..we did have a waiter and he started out being kind of snipppy with we knew he was a character. We asked him what his name was and he got all suspicious...but he told us it was "Mustafa"...later I told him why we were asking and he got all excited! He told us that Mustafa means "the Chosen One"...which we thought was appropriate. We got a picture of him holding the gnome...he was so pleased.

After breakfast we maintained tradition by immediately heading to Renny's to shop. We got some great bargains and all gathered at the checkout at the same time. It was Charmine (driving); Maria; Anne-Marie, her daughter Kellie (who is JUST LIKE Anne-Marie) and me. As we were going out...Kellie noticed that one of the cashiers names was Sallee! So, we took her picture with the gnome...holding it up by her nametag. Can you believe it? She said her yard was full of gnomes.

We took his picture in all kinds of places this weekend, in the Renny's cart; in a lobster trap; at the restaurant; etc. It was fun...and he's keeping the name Mustafa.

After shopping we went to Perkins Cove to eat. We had chowder and I order fish and chips...pretty good meal.

Then we came back to the hotel, got into our bathing suits and bathrobes and went into the Roman Spa. Maria and I hiked across the snow to the outside hot tub....when we got out of that I was shocked when I toweled myself off...there were ice cubes on my towel! And when I put my bathrobe back cubes in that too!

We took a nap for a couple of hours and then it was off to Maxwell's for dinner and karaoke. We video taped the performances this year. Anne-Marie's daughter Kellie is a "ringer"...she was FANTASTIC! The karaoke guy told her she should be singing professionally and should try out for American Idol..which it turns out that she already did...and was rejected. What a voice!

I sang "Goodbye Earl" (badly) and Anne-Marie and Maria did a good job backing me up. Charmine, Maria, Anne-Marie and I also sang "Sweet Caroline," we had a great time.

We left around 11 and now Maria is asleep....and I'm writing this. Have to get to bed. We meet tomorrow at 9am for breakfast again...and it should be snowing then. It hasn't started yet. We were a bit concerned about driving home tomorrow...but it sounds like the snow isn't going to be as bad as they first thought. Charmine has four wheeled drive, so it shouldn't be a problem. Just have to watch out for the other drivers!

Time for some shut eye...nighty night!

Friday, January 9, 2009

We made it to Maine in one piece and are settling into our beautiful hotel rooms. We stopped along the way in Saugus to eat at Applebee's...another gauche choice according to Ms. Audrey's standards. We caught up with Annie, Harvey and Diane, Jack and Anne-Marie in the pub when we arrived and I splurged by having a coffee with Bailey's in it. Now my face is flaming and I'll sleep like a rock!

Tomorrow we are up early to go to breakfast together and then the serious shopping begins.

Marie and Don can't make it this year, but Don expects us to sing "New York New York" for him...I tell you, it ain't happening! AND...we have ALREADY started engaging in serious talk about Marie and Don and all the others who aren't along on this Camp Husky weekend!!!

More on this later, I'm sure.

Nighty night....


In the wee hours of the morning we both heard Murphy make that same "little cry" at the bedroom door. Then he came in through the kitty door and jumped up on my nightstand...then took off running. We didn't hear him again all night.

This AM when I got up to let Bubbles out to go potty, Murphy was in the upstairs hallway...waiting for me to admire the "little package" he had dropped off by the got it!! A mangled mouse. I picked it up with kleenex and Murphy went flying into the spare room...all full of himself!!!

What a guy! I told Sandy that the mousetraps her mother sent up are not doing us any good sitting in the plastic bag in the dining room! Maybe she'll put them out while I'm away.

I'm busy packing my stuff to go to Maine. I have to take my little blender to make my protein shakes...but I hope to be able to get enough protein through my food. I also have to pack a lot more medications and "potions" than last year! I'm bringing my camcorder for karaoke...maybe we can post some videos on U-Tube; my digital camera and my bathrobe...which makes packing tough. I am also bringing my new UConn Husky we can put him in compromising positions and take pictures...also I want to start a collection of pictures of him situated in places we travel to...I think I'll even take him on the cruise next fall! I go to pack! And awaaaaaaaaaayyyyy we go!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Busy day at home. I washed the sheets, cleaned the bathrooms (all of them); dusted upstairs and down; shredded the pile of old bills, checks, etc that had accumulated since November; went through the box of stuff Sandy had put aside for me while I was in the hospital; and made phone calls to JuJu, Trudy, my Dad and got a nice call from Jan Gothers-one of my co-workers at UConn.

Sandy took Lily for a walk around the neighborhood while Truman and Bubbles clung about the windowsills in the dining room, screaming, because Lil was going for a walk and not them.

Then Sandy took the two of them up to Pachaug worries about dead bodies today. They went for a nice walk and made it through the snow squall that blew up suddenly.

Now I'm vegging in the recliner...watching Sandy play Zelda on the Wii. She loves that game...even though she got it for me, obstensibly.

Last night Sandy and I played Rock Band...she worked the drums and I sang. She is really getting better on the drums (and the guitar)...we were able to unlock another set of songs...they get harder with each set. I don't do bad singing, even the songs that I never heard before!

I couldn't sleep last night...I had trouble falling asleep and got up at 11:30, came downstairs to have a protein shake...I was hungry. Then I sat up, watching old episodes of The Office while I waited for the shake to digest a bit before I laid down again. I did fall asleep, but woke up a few times and each time would have trouble falling asleep. I think I was too excited about my news to sleep.

Jan tells me that my levels could go up and down and to not get discouraged. I was wondering about this and Sandy is going to research it for me. I will prepare myself for the number being a bit higher next time, just in case.

I am really looking forward to hitting the road with Charmine tomorrow. She'll come get me at 2pm and then we head up to Maria's. She won't get home from work until after 5:00, so Charmine and I may roam around S. Boston..I can show her the sights as Maria has shown me, Goodwill being the highlight, of course! Then the three of us will head north, stopping for supper along the way...probably something guache like The 99 Restaurant...which I wouldn't mind at all..I've been thinking alot about fish tacos!

This weekend we'll be in the Meadowmere Resort. Jack got us all rooms on the first floor, to accomodate me. We are near the Roman Spa...and I plan to be in there a couple of times this weekend! I also hope I make it into the hot tub out in the snow. I will be bringing the camera to take pics and will post them here, hopefully...or on my Facebook page. I can post more pics there.

Saturday it will be breakfast and dinner with the whole crew and shopping at Renny's with Maria, Charmine and I'm sure Anne-Marie and her daughter. I hope to pick up some more small size clothes there...I have established a goal of staying close to this size!

Interesting...this group of Husky fans are going to be missing the game on Saturday....we'll be too busy singing karaoke!

I will be bringing the laptop with me to Maine, and they have wi-fi in the if anything wild happens, I'll be sure to blog about it! I'm so happy to have something other than my bowels, chemo, etc to report on!

Nighty night!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Big Day!

Today was Dr. Lachance day. I went for my bloodwork at Backus and then we toodled down to Waterford, to pick up Lynne, who was waiting in the Target parking lot for us. We went over to L&M and who is making himself a cup of coffee in the waiting room? Dr. Lachance. I introduced him to Lynne and they proceded to have a long conversation about coffee makers, like they had known each other for ages.

The nurse talked to me about glutamine...something that some say helps eliminate the possible side effect of neuropathy...something I would like to avoid. Dr. Lachance came in and they discussed this...he isn't opposed to me taking it, but takes the positions that it hasn't been proven that it helps. The nurse snuck me a bottle of it on our way out..Dr. Lachance is going to have the dietician come talk to me about the plusses and minuses of it next week when I'm at my next chemo treatment.

I thought I had to have a pelvic exam today...I was wrong! YAY!

I have now been having the same sensation in my right lung as I have been having in my left lung. Dr. Lachance thinks it's more muscular than fluid in my lung. He told me that with the way I'm going it would be bizarre that fluid was building in my lungs..and then he laid the news on CA125 test that they gave me the last time I had chemo showed that my level was 53!!!!

Can you believe it? Normal is I am already 18 points away from NORMAL!!!
I am SO LUCKY! Of course, I have to continue with the chemo right through the end...and will have to continue to be monitored..probably for the rest of my life....but it seems like I just started this journey and to already be experiencing this type of success is unbelievable!

Dr. Lachance said he and Wendy, the nurse who works with the clinical trials were so excited. They couldn't believe it either.

So, we went to Olive Garden to celebrate (Maria thinks that is so gauche)...I paid. I ate salad for the first time in like FOR-EVER and I even had a half a glass of soda. I also had a great shrimp and pasta dinner...three quarters of which is in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch or supper.

Afterwards we dropped Lynne off at her car and ran some errands. I was starting to fade a bit...but was so surprised that I had so much energy. We ended up buying great pastry at Arremony's Bakery...and dropping some off to Carol and Mark--to thank them for the apple crisp and icecream they dropped off last night. I also wanted to see their new furniture...they got the great blue and white striped easy chairs I love at IKEA.

Then we came home and I made a fire and now we are just relaxing with our feet up, our bellies full of Olive Garden and Arremony's....

I told Sandy that maybe there is something to crying over a diagnosis for all of less than five seconds and then getting on with it....Sandy agreed. I think what we are doing is the right thing and the right way to approach everything....

We're going to keep on keeping on.....

It's a VERY GOOD DAY! The best of this young year!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This morning I languished in bed until about 10:30...I know how those of you who aren't retired LOVE to hear that kind of dirty talk!

Sandy took Lily for a long walk around the neighborhood and then took Truman and Bubbles up to Hopeville Pond to walk there. She was going to walk them at their favorite place, in Pachaug Forest, but the area they usually go to is where they found the dead body yesterday (and let's face it, EVERYONE knows it has to be the body of the mother of that guy they arrested!) Sandy didn't want to have to deal with police tape, etc. The Russells would probably try to attack anyway.

Poop Patrol Update: Now the diarrhea is gone and guess what? You got's time to start taking the Miralax again! Is there no rest for my weary bowels???

I called Velma Hair today...she was our secretary at the clinic where I worked in the Army in South Carolina. I "found" her again last year. Then I lost her address when we moved. I finally remembered that I had her phone number saved on my upstairs I looked it up and called her....had to leave a message. She called back tonight and we had a nice chat...getting caught up on all the news. Velma turns 88 next week and she hasn't changed one bit since the last time we saw each other...about thirty years ago. She says I haven't changed either. She's probably right.

I tried calling Diana of my old roommates from the Army. No answer, so I'll try again tomorrow.

I have to call my cousin Frannie too. Boy, for someone who hates talking on the phone, I'm certainly being phoney lately.

Speaking of phone calls, last night I called Grace. She tells me that she heard that Maggie G. died while having a seizure. I went nuts, because no one had told me this. I emailed Judi and also Meghan and Pam...Judi got back to me first, assuring me that she had called Maggie and the rumors of her departure were not true. Now Grace isn't answering her phone so I can tell her that she was wrong...thank God!

I'm watching the Huskies PASTE USF on CPTV now. Maya Moore had something like 20 points and 9 rebounds in the first half alone! I love her...she is one of those special players that most teams only get once in a lifetime...UConn has been fortunate to have a few of those kind of players...she is the latest one.

Tomorrow we go to get my bloodwork, then we are going to schlep thru the snow/sleet/rain/whatever to pick up Lynne. She is coming along with us to go to see Dr. Lachance at L&M...although I did have to break the news to Lynne that it may not be Dr. Lachance, but his partner, Dr. DiSilvestre instead. I love Dr. DiSilvestre so it doesn't bother me.

One advantage of losing your hair is that you lose ALL of your hair. I haven't shaved in over a month and yet there is no stubble on my legs and nothing in my pits! And the carpet is just about matching the drapes, if you know-what-I-mean. I'm finally in style!

I'll end on that note.

Nighty night....stay warm everyone!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The last time Sandy was on vacation, she spent it running back and forth to visit me in the hospital. Today she spent it taking me to see the nurse and then to the hospital for x-rays.

I called the nurse in Rhode Island (again) this AM...they called right back because I threw in there the info about my lung. She told me to go to the ER...which I said I would do...but later thought about it and decided it was overkill. She also told me that I wasn't taking enough I have to increase that.

Instead of going to the ER (in Providence), I called my nurse practitioner at Dr. Galan's and asked if I could come in there. They called me right back and gave me a mid afternoon appointment.

It turns out that Kathleen (my nurse) used to work in ocology before she came to Dr. Galan' she really knows what she's talking about. She told Sandy that from now on, if we have questions and think we should go to the her first.

She listened to my lung and definitely heard the "catch" at the bottom. She checked my abdomen. I critiqued her exam...and she told me I knew too much for my own good.

She sent me to the hospital for a stat chest x-ray and told me she would call me. We went over to Backus and got that done...then went to Stop and Shop to get hand sanitizer and more Immodium. Then we went to Pagoda and picked up supper, including egg drop soup and plain white rice for me.

Oh...when I went to the doctor's and to the hospital...I was good and wore a face protect myself as today is one of the days when I am most vulnerable. We were really trying to avoid any outside contact, but it couldn't be avoided.

So...I was quite the sight, with my mask and my hat covering my bald-headedness. But I was safe! I even used hand sanitizer after the x-ray people had me sign their papers with one of their community pens. I couldn't help but notice that the countertop there was filthy! I'm sure they clean it every night..but by later afternoon, it's grey with dirt. So, I used the sanitizer. I'm trying to get into these new habits!

Speaking of my bald-headedness...I can spot white fuzz sprouting on the top of my head. Either my hair is coming back in white/blond like it was when I was a child...or I'm going white like my Nana Miller and Grandma Leavestrom...which is something I have always hoped for!

One can always hope....

Oh....Kathleen just called back...just as I was sure she wouldn't...she says I have made "tremendous progress" in reducing the amount of fluid in my left lung. There is still some way at the bottom. I told her that this was a new sensation...but maybe the fluid is starting to swirl around the drain like the sink does as the water is running low....she agreed that maybe it is..and that is what I am feeling. Nothing to worry about...just the news I wanted to get!

To coin a phrase....Life is Good. I am cleared to go to Maine on Friday..unless Dr. Lachance says otherwise.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Quiet day. Sandy took the dogs to her Mom's to run around, while Sandy taught Jean how to use her new laptop that we got her for Christmas. I stayed home and put away the Santa collection we have. Then I got tired, went back to bed and just laid there, watching a great show about Marines being taught survival skills.

Linda Blake called from Florida and we had a nice chat. They are hoping to get out on the water soon, are waiting to have a new enclosure installed on the boat.

Sandy made me leftover turkey, gravy and stuffing from Thanksgiving, along with a sweet potato. I ate just about the whole thing! For dessert, snickerdoodles that Jean sent up. She spoils me so!

After dinner Sandy finished putting away all the decorations and the tree. She just has to take down the outside lights.

Then we played nine holes of the new Tiger Woods video game Sandy got me for Christmas. I was Jon Daly and she was Tiger...we played even.

That effort got me a little tired...shows you how much I have to go when I get back on my feet!

So that brings me to here...where I'm typing away and then I will shut this thing down and go up to bed. I might see if Sandy wants to watch that show I recorded up there about the Scandinavian coastline...I want her to see some of the places I saw when I went to Sweden.

Tomorrow I call the doctor about the runs and the lung.

Nighty night!