Saturday, January 17, 2009

Had a lot of energy this up and fed the pets; swept the floor; cleaned out the fireplace; got the newspaper; took Lily out to poop and scooped the poop out back! I had to chip the poop out of the snow.

I wanted to let Sandy sleep as she was exhausted from working on Thursday night and then driving us up to Providence and back and spending the day there. She went to bed around 7pm...I don't blame her a bit!

After all that work, I just ran out of steam. Went upstairs and took an hour nap and then watched the "Geno Show" on the tv upstairs...and then it was time for the game. It was the Caroline Doty/Maya Moore Show! Caroline got hurt at the end of the first half and it was deja vu all over again! Hopefully it isn't an ACL...they are now saying a "sprain"....I hope this is true!

Maya Moore broke the UConn record for getting to 1,000 points...she had an unbelieveable performance!

At the end of the game there was almost a tussle between Geno and one of the Syracuse players.
UConn humiliated the Orange who were bragging that they were as good as the Huskies...and that "anyone could guard Maya Moore." Geno kept Maya in the game to humiliate the Orange.
I'm not sure, but she may have outscored the entire Syracuse team.

Jean is here, she's staying with me tonight. I was thinking that I didn't need her to stay when I had all the energy this morning, but I have to agree with Sandy that a good deal of that "energy" was from the drugs they give me...the same one that causes the insomnia..which I had a bit last night. So, Jean will be here to get up with the dogs if they get up in the night.

Oh, I met with the dietician yesterday, who agreed with the nurse at L&M that I should be taking glutamine. Dr. Lachance had told me that the studies were inconclusive about whether or not glutamine helped reduce the risk of getting neuropathy. The nurse (and now the dietician) said that it ABSOLUTELY helps....there is a study that showed that it prevented neuropathy for people taking Taxol...which is one of the drugs I'm getting. So, now I have to mix this powder into my food, three times a day. The dietician said that it can also help with leg pain...which is a good my legs started aching while I was still in the chair at chemo yesterday.

I notice a positive change in my stomach doesn't seem to be as upset as with the previous chemo sessions. I did have bad diarrhea last night, but I took the Imodium and it seems to have cleared it up right away.

Every time I have chemo the dose gets lower. I think I can feel the difference now. My appetite isn't as low as it was the first two times. Of course, it could all kick in tomorrow, who knows?

I'm thinking that my CA 125 is going to stay in the normal range, my chemo sessions will get shorter and shorter and easier and easier. My hair will come back, kind of white and maybe curlier. I found a tiny bald spot in the back..maybe where my head rubs on the pillow? Or maybe, as Sandy says, I'm going to keep on losing some hair and then it will grow back. It is a lot fuzzier on top than it was two weeks ago. My hair does grow we'll see.

I will have the energy to do a lot more things, including going back to work, working out and getting ready for the Spring.

This blog will be filled with mundane crap, like I used to write in my old blog. Readers will complain that it isn't interesting...they will drift away. When I miss a whole week without making an entry, there will be nary a whimper from anyone.

That's what I'm thinking the future will look like...

I'm looking forward to that day! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

YES Chemo...And MORE!

So we schlep up to Providence. I turn in my big bucket of urine....collected over 24 hours...and they tell me they don't need a 24 hour urine! NOW YOU TELL ME! After I collect my pee, pour it in the big jug and put it in the cooler with ice!

They drew my bloodwork and then I sit and await the verdict on the chemo. Good news! (Lynne is going to be mad)...I can have the chemo!

AND.....AND.....we ask the results of the CA 1245....Anne Marie (the 2nd) says, "seven." We say WUH???? She repeats, "seven!" UNBELIEVABLE!!! From 53 to seven! From 2750 to seven!

I told Sandy that it was because I asked my "blog buddies" to send the good vibes my came through again, folks!

We had decided that if I had chemo today, the "warriors" would be from a Native American tribe...Sioux if the CA 125 count was high....Mohegans if it was low. I don't need the Sioux this time around...I need the soothing personalities of the Mohegans...who will use diplomacy to get the remaining cancer cells to leave peacefully. I trust that job to the Mohegans.

So, I'm here with my new friend Cynthia, who is here to get two blood transfusions. She'll be here for a few we are gabbing away. My friend Patricia, who I met last time, is here, but in a different room.

Lynne, I'm sorry you "missed out" on this time! I am happy though that I'm banging out another chemo session...

Oh...and MORE good's an embarassment of riches really....the chemo protocal calls for only SIX sessions of chemo, not the eight that I thought! So, with today's session, I'm halfway there!

Actually, I have MORE sessions than that...but only three more of the "big sessions," the ones that take all day. The remainder (22 in all) will be short sessions, with only one drug and only once a month.

Okay, soon they will be pumping the benadryl into me and I'll be getting I'll sign off now. I might have more to report as the day goes I reserve the right to come back later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No chemo?

Got a call today from Ann-Marie, the nurse at the Oncology clinic...she told me my white cell count is too low for me to have chemo tomorrow. She suggested I go to Backus real early tomorrow and have the bloodwork repeated, but I told her I have to come up to Providence tomorrow anyway to return the urine jug (with urine deposit) that they gave me to fill yesterday.

She said I can have the bloodwork repeated there and they will read it right away to see if my level has gone up enough for me to have my chemo tomorrow as planned. I'm not holding my breath on this...although my level wasn't THAT far off...I think it was 1050 and they want it to be 1500.

Sandy says that it is common for the white cell count to be's actually a sign that the chemo is working...(I edited this comment in because Cindy Vasko emailed after she read the above-concerned about my blood count). I have to remember to note when things may be positive when they APPEAR to be negative!

I'm not too concerned about happens.

So, we'll see what happens. In a way I want to get it over with tomorrow...because if I have to wait a week, it throws off my whole schedule and maybe things I THOUGHT I would be able to do (like go to the Husky game) I might not be able to do. I would also like to have any trips to Providence in bel0w zero windchill weather to be as PRODUCTIVE as they can be. It would be pretty much a waste if all I get done tomorrow is deliver that pee bottle!

Oh well...may that be the worst thing that happens to me, right??

It is so cold! No windows open last night and the temp in the room went to 52 degrees...which is okay.

I got up and made myself french toast and bacon...this is the week when I eat like a pig! I had my leftover pizza for lunch and Sandy made chicken, the smiley potatoes and string beans for supper.

Christmas Eve Virginia had told Sandy about the "smiley potatoes" and she picked some up for me, for something different. We both liked them so I suggested we polish off the rest of the bag tonight.
They are made by OreIda and they look like smiley faces (they do make me smile when I look at them)....on the outside they are crispy like a french fry...on the inside they are soft, almost like mashed potatoes. They are a fun food!

Sandy and I are cursed with the desire to watch "The Real Housewives" series. Now we are watching "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Last night's episode got me so upset that I wrote a response to one of the women's on-line blogs...something I've never done before! I can't believe how horrible these women are! I know sometimes when a bunch of us are out we get to talking about someone from the group who isn't there and we can be a bit "catty"...but these women are downright CRUEL! They have all this money and material things and are morally bankrupt. I'd rather be poor than be like them.

Will that keep us from watching next time? nope! Can't wait until the next episode.

I'm going to sign off and watch UConn play St. John''s not looking good for the boys in blue right now....they need my undivided attention.

Nighty night....stay warm....and wish me luck tomorrow...I guess.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Someone who needs strength

I came across this article and it really touched me. I wrote to Mr. Martinez, the author of the article and shared with him what has happened to me lately. I told him that I would ask all of you to send some of your powerful good vibes and prayers towards his daughter. I told him how much you have helped me...and I know if you can spare his daughter a good thought, she'll draw strength from you, just as I have!,0,2244482.column

I'm sending my good thoughts now.

Tuesday AND Wednesday

I had a great time in Putnam, had lunch with Maureen, Russ, Richard, Holly, Keith, Sue and Lars. It was wonderful being back there with those folks...I miss them so.

When I got home I took a little nap...and then it was time for Scott to arrive.

I ran down and got pizza and antipasto for supper for the two of us. Scott was already at the house when I got back. We ate supper and then watched the Husky game, although truth be told, we yakked more than watched the game! He and I hadn't seen each other in ages.

I was very touched, Scott got me a very generous gift certificate to the Norwich Inn and Spa. I have always wanted to go there...and now I will get the chance to!

Sandy took our picture before Scott left, to add to the collection we have of "Scott and Ann kissing"...we have a series of those shots, taken over the years...and in most, if not all, I'm a BIG WOMAN...this time I'm a little woman...a little bald-headed woman.

Last night I had the hardest time sleeping. Bubbles was all over the bed, mostly in my way, making me very hot under the covers. We didn't have the window open, I told Sandy it was going to get too cold. Well, at 3:30 in the morning Bub wanted to go out...I got up with her, went downstairs and she decided she wanted to lie in Lily's bed with Murphy, who has taken to sleeping in that huge bed. I had to force Bub to go outside.

She went out, finally, and peed and then she starts sniffing around...for so long that I had to go outside and holler at her to go poop or come into the house. She finally pooped.

When I got back up I told Sandy I couldn't sleep because I was hot and I opened the window...and went back to bed.

Sometime later, TRUMAN wanted to go out. When Sandy got up she told me she was "roasting" and she wanted to put the FAN in the window...I got up and checked the temp in the was 59 (we turn the heat off upstairs at night)...which was a bit warmer than I said okay to the fan. She put the fan in the cooled off, I pulled all the covers over me (usually I flip the thick comforter off of me and sleep with just the sheet and the down blanket)...and went to sleep.

When we woke up it was VERY COLD in the bedroom...Sandy got up to let the dogs out and announced that it was 38 degrees! I told her she could take the fan out of the window, close it and turn the heat on! I stayed in bed until the temp came up to a much balmier 62 degrees.

Jessica came up at 9:30 and we headed off to Providence. We went to the Blackstone lab to have my bloodwork done....they did the next CA 125 test today, so I'll have my latest results on Friday when I go for my chemo. They also set me up with a BIG jug so I can collect 24 hours worth of urine for some tests they want to run. They didn't have a "hat" for the toilet so they told me to go to the main lab to get one.

We then headed over to the hospital to go to the CT scan area to collect the horrible drink that I have to consume next week prior to my CT scan. They got me all the things I will need and then we went upstairs to see Marcia and the gang.

Marcia got me two "hats" for the toilet, one for upstairs and one for downstairs...she is so smart...I didn't even think of asking for two of them! It was great seeing Marcia...who was so happy to hear about my CA 125 level...she couldn't believe it. She took me to meet the head nurse, then we chatted with Janet who was working. The two of them couldn't get over how much weight I had lost, they both "knew me" as a much bigger woman...which I was when I was in the hospital...about 60lbs bigger! They admired how I look in my skinny jeans.

Then we went to the dog food place where we get the special food for the Russells. The boxer that hangs out there growled at me...something she hasn't done before...we figured it out that she didn't like my hat...when I took the hat off she was fine.

On the way home we stopped at the Middle of Nowhere Diner in Exeter...we have been wanting to stop there for a long time. I had the fish and chips, which looked greasy...but it really wasn't. I focused on the fish part of the meal. Sandy had a hamburg which she said was good. Jess enjoyed her meal too. I think we'll go back there again...they give you a LOT of food and it's reasonably priced.

Tonight it is window open, no fan tonight! I don't care if Bubbles roasts me slowly all night...I'll find a way to cope.

Tomorrow I will just stay home...and pee into the big jug. It's one of the prices I have to pay to be in the clinical study.

Friday I go back for my third chemo session. I'm going to have an entourage...Lynne, Sandy and Jean will be coming with. Jean and Sandy are going to hang out in the waiting room with their laptops...Sandy will be tutoring Jean on how to use her laptop...Lynne will be keeping me company...watching me sleep, meeting the other women who parade through the room with me...and snacking on all the treats they have there for patients and family members.

Sunday I have to go out to chair the SNEAK BOD and club will be the first time I've gone out so soon after chemo...I'm hoping I have the energy to do it all. I may fall asleep in the middle of the meeting, but maybe no one will notice.

Nighty night and STAY WARM...make sure your pets are indoors!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm heading up to Putnam this morning, going to have lunch with the gang at Dempsey.

Haven't been up there in ages...probably since September. Maureen and Russ will be there, at least...and I'll roam around for awhile, visiting.

Tonight Scott and Diana (I think) are coming over for supper (we'll order pizza to keep it simple) and to watch the Huskies play Cincinnati. This will be the first time either one of them has been to the house, so I'll have to straighten up when I get back from Putnam. I'm sure they will want the tour!

It is so damned cold and this isn't even the worst of it! Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the teens...and Friday it will be even worse! It figures...the two days I have to go to Providence it should be the coldest days.

Yesterday I went with Sandy to the vets...I stayed in the car while she shuttled the three of them in and out of the office. Lily and Bub were just going to have their nails trimmed...but Truman had to have his eye and his leg checked.

It turns out he has conjunctivitis AND he has injured one of his front legs...his shoulder most likely, which is exactly what we suspected. He's on meds for both and hopefully all will clear up before agility season starts in March.

After we left the vets we headed to the Ninety Nine Restaurant for a cup of chowder and a Cesar Salad...that is a very tasty, cheap and filling meal! We couldn't finish our salads.

Then we headed home. We used the new Garmin Nuvi I got for Sandy for took us PAST the restaurant...good thing I spotted the restaurant and we were able to swing would have had us heading on a wild goose chase down Long Hill Road! There are still glitches in these systems...just as there are glitches in MapQuest directions at times.

I want to welcome Carol to this blog. I don't know Carol, but she is the girlfriend of Jimmy Donovan, who I knew in my youth. He and Steve are good pals. Jim is fighting his own battle with cancer and is doing well. Carol and Jim live in Tennessee...but we won't hold that against them! Even if they are Lady Vol fans...we will be nice!

I also want to say hi to Darlene, who is married to my cousin, JP. John was just named chairman of the Day Kimball Hospital Board...a very important position in the community. He is just the man for the job...and with Darlene standing beside him...he has NEVER gone wrong! The two of them are just what the Day Kimball community needs!

Okay, now that I have spent that bandwidth talking about other's time to get back to me...and me has to get me ready to head up to Putnam for my big adventure of the day.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Competition is good....

I just have to brag a bit...I did Wii Fit for the first time today since October something...and I came up with a Wii Fit Age of 48!!! Unbelievable! I did all the Balance games and the only one I didn't satisfactorily complete was the "girl in a bubble" one...and I almost made it to the end on that one!

And, on top of that...I did the best I have ever done on the "snowboard" game.

It's my competitive nature I guess...I am really competitive.

The other great thing is that the Wii thinks I have lost all that weight to get to my goal by "working hard"...that's what it said...I "worked hard." It told me I should be proud of myself and then suggested a new weight lower my BMI another point! I said, "sure, why the hell not???"

Maybe I'll drop some more weight after my next chemo...I'll just have to remember to weigh in on the Wii when the weight is way done...The Wii will be SUPER PROUD of me for dropping those BMI points SO DAMNED FAST!!!

I really am on a roll here. I'm proud of me, Sandy is proud of me and now even the Wii is proud of me!

It doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home again, home again

Well, we made it home, safe and sound. It snowed from midnight on last night and we got about six inches of snow in Maine. Charmine got up and cleaned off the car....brave soul that she is.

We went to Bessies again for breakfast, but I couldn't eat that much...I had made a protein shake in the hotel room before we went for breakfast! That was a mistake I guess.

After breakfast, we just packed up our stuff and headed home. The roads were pretty clear and once we hit the Massachusetts line, they were bare. We dropped Maria off at home and then headed to CT. We got home around 2pm...Sandy made me a cup of hamburger soup and then I went up and rested.

It was a great, great weekend. I had a wonderful time...and it was so great to go away and do something that wasn't associated with going to the hospital or the doctor's office! YAY!!! Normal life...that's what it is...and I love it!

Jack surprised me last night by telling me that he had purchased a ticket for me for the Notre Dame game next month! I was shocked...I had told them that I wasn't going to get a ticket because I'm not sure about the timing of it, considering my chemo sessions. When I told Sandy about it, she said that the timing should be perfect...I should be in a "good week" when I am bouncing back from the chemo effects...just as I was this weekend. Anne-Marie said she would swing by and pick me up so I don't have to drive to it's all set! I'm going to the Notre Dame game with the whole gang! We're going to go out to eat too!

There was another mouse episode last night while I was away...Bubbles ended up catching it sometime after midnight...Sandy said she had a tough time falling back to sleep after all the excitement. We MUST figure out where they are coming in...we know it's that coat closet on the first floor, but we have to figure out how they get to the closet!

Sandy set the traps so between the traps, Murphy and Bubbles the mice don't live long...but they might roam a bit before their demise...particularly if Murph insists on bringing them upstairs to us! I told Sandy that if I hear him make that sound again, I'm putting the light on IMMEDIATELY!! She thinks that's a good idea.

Well...I'm pooped from all my excitement.

Nighty night!


I see that in my entry last night I failed to note that I had been drinking! I did have one drink...a sombrero...(how old fashioned) after dinner. It was VERY I only had one. I had to be able to get up on the stage and sing after all. But after I made my blog entry I climbed into bed and drank one of those little Bailey's "nip bottles" that Phil and Renee had put in my Christmas basket....and I drank half of it in the dark....while Maria slept. I think I may becoming an alcoholic!

We'll worry about that later...for now we are enjoying the "Winter Wonderland" outside our hotel room. The guy just came to plow and it started snowing again. It looks like there is about six inches of snow out there, maybe less.

I put "Mustafa" in the snow drift outside our room and took his picture. I a voice yell from the second floor balcony, "What are you doing to that little gnome??" It was Anne-Marie, who just happened to come out on her balcony and spotted his little blue head in the snow! Very funny!

We are rousting ourselves out of bed. Have to meet the gang at 9 to head for breakfast. Charmine's car should be able to handle the snow drift in the parking lot. I am having a protein shake before I start the day off right.

I'm in that phase now, after chemo...where my appetite comes back...big time. Sandy says I have to eat a lot and pack on the pounds, because after the chemo they come off again, big time. So...yesterday I ate just about all day and will do so again today. I just hope my new pants aren't too tight for the ride home!

I think we are going to be watching the "Geno Roast" when we get back and then we will be hitting the road to home. It's been so much fun and already I'm looking forward to coming back next year!

I'm going to post my pictures from this trip on my Facebook you'll have to join Facebook and become my friend to check them out!

Enjoy the snow!