Saturday, January 24, 2009


This is the time when I have to limit my contact with other human beings...due to my immune system. Tomorrow, however, I'm going to "chance it" by going to Ryan's birthday party at noon down in Waterford. It won't be a big crowd, just immediate I think my risk will be minimal.

Called Bob Miller tonight and had a nice conversation. He and Wini were disappointed because they were going to miss the Huskies game tonight...they were going to their friend's house to watch movies like they do every Saturday night. Why don't they tell the friend's to come over and watch the game? They are so polite, these older folks...if it was me, you know what I would be saying...."sorry Charlie, no can do tonight! Come watch the game with me or sit home alone!"

Let's just put it this way...I have never been known for my tact.

To compound the pain...neither one of them knows how to work the vcr to tape the show! And, their cable box probably has a DVR built in...which they don't know how to use. I'll have to get off my butt and go up there to give them an inservice.

It's half time now so I feel free to post here. The Huskies are killing as usual. Come to think of it, Bob and Wini aren't missing much. I think Cincinnati scored four points in the first half!

The big game is going to be on Monday night when they play Louisville. That should be a good one.

Sandy had to work last night and then go to her ACLS inservice and test this morning...she didn't get home until after 1pm! She isn't used to this and went right upstairs to bed. She got up to watch the game, but I don't know how much longer she will last.

I got a bill today from Precision Therapy...the company that examined my tissue samples after my surgery and determined what course of treatment and how much chemo
I should get. It was a bill for $5,000!!! WOW!!! The insurance company had sent me a check to cover $3800 of it...I'm sending them that amount and a copy of the insurance statement and hope that they call it even. If not, I'll be happy to cough up the other $1200 as that is a small price to pay for getting cured. I don't know how much their decision about my treatment has factored into my progress...but I don't want to upset the mojo I've got going here so far!

I overheard Sandy telling Jean about a guy in the hospital...young guy with a family, who is probably going to die of cancer and his wife just got a notice that his insurance has been canceled. That is so unfair! It makes me sick to think about it! I remember when my mother was sick with cancer and they dropped her insurance...what that did to my father (who never complained or showed it)...but my mother would tell me. It put him in a hole financially that we were lucky to survive only because he had a decent job and got support from the community.

I remember once when his old car died and the community GAVE him a car! Can you imagine?
I can...people are so generous and helpful. I see that happening with my illness...people jumped right up...and keep on help, to offer support, well-wishes, anything and everything I need.

Okay..I'm getting too serious. Check out the picture to the right of the blog...that's Taylor (singing), Ryan on drums and Sandy on was taken Christmas Eve when we were playing with the Wii Rock Band that Sandy got me for Christmas. The kids went out and bought themselves a Rock Band...maybe we can all play tomorrow when we are at the house for Ryan's birthday!

Now that's a great that will drive the adults CRAZY!!!! And I don't include myself in that adult category, of course!

Nighty night...gotta go...the second half is starting...I wonder if Cincinnati will break 10 points in this game?

Friday, January 23, 2009

CT scans and chalky stuff

Lynne came early this morning and took me to Providence in her brand new car. Very nice, leather seats (with seat warmers YEOW) individual heating controls; and a beautiful color!

En route I drank the first bottle of chalk crap.

Since Lynne has a lead foot, we got there way we parked in valet parking, I donned my mask and we went up to the unit to see Marcia and Brandi...who were there and happy to see us.

While we were upstairs I broke into the second bottle of chalk crap...and managed to gag down three quarters of it. Marcia had pity on me and told Lynne that three quarters was all I had to drink...when Lynne (some friend) was insisting it was supposed to be both bottles!

We went downstairs to CT scan. I told them that I had a power port...which means that they can give me the dye for the scan through the port, saving me from having to have another needle put in my arm. They told me that I had to go to Oncology to have them access the port, then come back for the CT scan, then go back to Oncology to have the port de-accessed (which includes flushing heparin through it)...I told them screw all that, just stick the needle in my arm! So they did.

Then, as if they didn't believe that I could have drank that chalk crap...they give me a cup of it to down! UGH!

It took no time at all for them to do the scan...they remembered me from the times I had to "visit them" when I was in the hospital and we had a good time joking around. I don't know if you have ever had a CT scan, but when they push that dye through, women feel heat in their vaginal's a different and not unpleasant sensation, which kind of makes up for the chalk crap! It doesn't last long though.

Afterwards Lynne and I went to the cafeteria and had breakfast. I wore my mask when I was in the hospital, but I took it off when I ate, of course. Sandy was very upset with me that we ate in the hospital. "Health care workers go to work when they are sick," she says. She's worried that the cafeteria is filled with germs and something bad is going to happen to me.

When we got home I had to go up to bed and stayed there until 5:30! I still have the runs and am swilling imodium like I own stock in the company...which maybe I do..come to think of it.'s leaving me feeling weak..AND it seems that as soon as I leave the bathroom and lie down, I get the gas and have to run back in....I have no way of knowing if it's merely gas or the "real thing!"

Don't you just love reading all this shit????

Jean came up to stay with me tonight, which I thought was overkill when I heard about the plans earlier this week...but now I'm glad she's here. If I keep these runs going all night, I'll be crawling to the bathroom...I'll also weigh about 120 lbs! Good thing I pig out on the days when I can, and build up the weight!

The Huskies play tomorrow night, but you gotta watch the Geno Show just prior to the game...he's going to be talking about the "tripping incident" after last week's game with Syracuse. CPTV also has snippets from the game that show the "physical play" that got the Huskies upset.

Oh...I have to say, I love the Geico ads...especially the ones with the celebrities speaking for "real people"...but the one they have in the Chinese restaurant is my new favorite...when the waiter says "that's the money you could be saving with Geico" watch him closely after that...I love the look he gives when he says "Geico" and walks off. It's a small thing, but it really tickles me.

Maggie McD sent me this web site: Its a web site devoted to ovarian cancer and making people aware that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month...and teal is the awareness color. I don't put colored nail polish on my fingers, but I will be getting teal polish put on my toes! Maybe Taylor can do it for me....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uncas Revisited

Stayed in bed this AM...languishing. Then I got my ass up, showered, dressed and got ready to go to Uncas.

I decided to drive myself, even though I felt a bit shaky at first. As I went on...things got better. I was early, so I visited with Diana for awhile...which was cool.

The meeting was short...only one person to review. It was someone I knew too...having helped place him in a CTH many, many years ago. It was nice to hear that that CTH placement worked so well for him for so long.

After the meeting I went downstairs as usual to see Molli...and as usual, she wasn't there! Ellen, Sue Fiegel Rapp and I got to chat for awhile, which was great. Then Denise Lambert was nice enough to go out to my car to get the old files that I had brought to shred...and forgot in my car!

I took the scenic route home, it was so nice out there. Sandy called while I was en route....but I was doing fine...just enjoying the sun and the scenery.

Heard from someone I know who may have ovarian cancer. She is pretty upset about it...but I know she will be fine. She's going to have surgery next month...which would drive me nuts to have to wait that long. I'm glad they took me right in and got my "under the knife" time to think and worry! I hope the time passes fast for her and that everything goes as smoothly as it has for me! Well...I don't hope that she has the same lung problem I had!

She will be fine. I just know it!

Lynne has to get her butt out of bed early tomorrow to get up here by 8:00 to pick me up. She is taking me to the hospital to have a CT scan. This is what I hate more than chemo even! You have to drink this horrible chalky stuff, two bottles of it. So at 8 I will start drinking the first one and at 9 the second. I have the goal of finishing one and a half bottles, at least. The nurses were shocked that I drank both bottles when I was in the hospital, they said "NOBODY drinks both bottles!" I had to laugh at that one...I follow directions so well!

So, that's my day tomorrow...nothing by mouth after midnight tonight...and then the chalk. I think I'll make Lynne do the Wendy's drive thru on the way home, so I can eat! I shouldn't go into the restaurant...I'm in "nadir" tomorrow...have to avoid crowds, etc because my immunity will be at its lowest. I will wear my mask tomorrow in the be safe and to keep Lynne happy!

Nighty night all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today is a "down day"...not that I'm feeling down...but everything else is "down"...I feel icky, very, very tired and weak. I went to get my bloodwork done and had to have Sandy drive me.

We went over to Lazizah afterwards to see Iffat and Bassem...they were happy to see me and I got a big hug and high five from Iffat. I got the asparagus soup, with sun dried tomatoes and wonderful homemade croutons...I also got a tuna wrap...delish! I got a white bean salad and a slice of cheese bread for supper...but right now I can't eat it. I'm having a protein shake strength to eat.

We stopped at Arremony's on the way home and I got a loaf of pumpernickle and some treats. We dropped off two Whoopie Pies for Carol and Mark..and found out today is Mark's birthday...he called tonight to thank us and to tell me our timing is impecable.

I took a nap when we got home...seemed like I just made it up the wiped me out. I haven't felt this wiped since just after my surgery...I hope Brandi is right and there is something about the third chemo that kicks your ass...I still have the diarrhea. Sandy picked up two HUGE bottles of Imodium for me today...I've already gone through one of the smaller ones she bought just last week!

Imodium is not an addiction I was seeking.....

I'm going to log off and go back upstairs to bed. The UConn men are playing tonight and I can watch them on the flat screen Sandy got for me up in the bedroom. I am really enjoying that tv...I never watched much tv in the bedroom before, but I've been getting good use out of this one lately! I roll over in bed and put the news on first thing just about every morning.

Anyway, I'm too tired and weak to stay up downstairs...I'll be better off in my nice warm bed, watching the Huskies and petting my little doggy who will be lying right next to me I'm sure.

I'm hoping I have more pep tomorrow, I have to go to Uncas in the afternoon for Mortality Review. It will be a short meeting, one one case to review. If I need her to Sandy will take me over and wait for me. I do want to go, I want to see the folks over there...I haven't been there since October!

So, here's hoping that this chemo reaction ends tonight and I get rid of this feeling of exhaustion...and weakness.

Nighty night!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I watched the Inauguration today...first one I've seen since Jimmy Carter I think. It was fabulous...I actually turned it on at 6:30 and there were so many people out there already!

Obama's speech wasn't super rousing...but it got the point across. We all have to pitch in and do our part...that's the best way to get out of this mess. Aretha was great, the poet was okay...Yo Yo Ma and the guys were fabulous!

They were running late...I dunno but Obama may be the first President who wasn't sworn in on time...he automatically became President at noon, even though he hadn't been sworn in! That was different.

I'm still feeling very weak and I had a spell of dizziness this morning that concerned me. I figured out that if I sleep with my legs drawn up to my chest (like the fetal position) I don't hurt as much and I can sleep better. The hot flashes wake me up instead of the aches and pains! Damn hot flashes!

My new atomic wristwatch arrived today. I've been wanting one for quite some time...ever since I saw Lynne and David's atomic wall clock. I have been pricing them and of course, was attracted to the most expensive ones. Well...I found one for a great price...and I celebrated my health status by purchasing it. It's kind of big for my new wrist....but it works and I really like it.

That said, I won't get to enjoy it for long...Sandy is going to kill me. I made the mistake of answering a phone call from Backus and BAD NEWS...they want her to work tonight! OH WHY DON'T I LISTEN TO HER and NEVER ANSWER the phone when it's from BACKUS??? WHY OH WHY!

Oh and as long as she's going to kill me anyway...this morning Sandy was talking about the Vice President-Elect and she called him "Ben Lidden"....and INSISTED that was his name! I was laughing so hard and when she saw me write it down, she started yelling...knowing that I would be putting it in this blog. She is so funny sometimes...and she really knows her political figures!
So, this will be my last blog's been real.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Game Day Addendum

I was really feeling sick this afternoon, took a nap and that helped a bit. I was almost considering calling Sharon and taking a pass on tonight, but I'm glad I didn't!

Sandy took Lily to Rally-O class tonight, leaving the Russells home with me. Sharon arrived, I put the dogs in Sandy's den and we had supper...while Truman and Bub whined and barked.

Sharon brought a "trinket" (as she put it) from Debbie Black, who used to be a professional point guard in the ABL and played for the Sun for a couple of years, too. Deb and Dawn Staley are my two favorite "non Husky" point guards.

Anyway, Sharon is a friend of Debbie and went out to see her over Christmas vacation. She told Deb about my "little situation" and Deb wanted to give me something. The "little trinket" turned out to be a jersey that Deb wore in an ABL All-Star game....this is HUGE!!!! She added to it by writing a message to me on the jersey and signing it! I couldn't believe it...this is SO AWESOME!

Later, during the game, Deb called Sharon on her cell and I got to thank her for the jersey...another thrill for me. Deb was so fierce out on the court, but she is so sweet off the court. It really made my night to get that jersey and to talk with her.

Sharon and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Huskies decimate the Tarheels....we never expected it would be a blowout! I have no idea what team can beat the Huskies....and I hope this continues right through to the National Championship!

I think I'll invite Lynne to come watch a game with me...maybe she will become a fan. Hey, maybe I should take her to a game!

Oh, Brandi (one of my nurses at the hospital) emailed me today and told me that for some reason the third and sixth chemo sessions really kick you in the ass...NOW SHE TELLS ME!! HA HA! It is bad, but not THAT bad....I have said it before and I'll say it again...I am very lucky. When I hear what other people are going through after their chemo...I have NOTHING to complain about!

Speaking of which, just want to send a big hug to Jimmy Donovan....I hope that everything calms down for you Jim....and you get feeling better fast!

Now it's time for me to climb the stairs and crawl into bed. Big day tomorrow...I'm going to bundle up, lie in Sandy's recliner and watch the Inauguration. IT'S HISTORY, PEOPLE!!! America's Big Day!

Nighty night!

Game Day

Had a restless night...all my bragging about how the symptoms get less and less...up in smoke! The leg aches were back...although it's hard to determine if my knees ache from the chemo or from the snow! Saturday night I was cold all night...last night I was hot all night...and you know that it was in the low fifties in my room!

I just feel kind of icky...and tired. Very tired. The diarrhea is back, I'm taking the ordered!

Jean stayed last night, good thing, I didn't have the energy to get up to let the dogs out this AM. I stayed in bed later this morning and will be going up for a nap after I have a bowl of oatmeal. I have been watching the MLK Day festivities on CNN....learning a lot!

Tonight is the big game and I can't wait...Sharon is coming over...I hope-we may be getting more snow. I hope she braves it to come north to Griswold! Sharon...I'm defrosting Hamburger Soup for you!

The game should be very exciting, given the style of play that both teams employ...up and down...a lot of scoring. I was at the game when these two played last year...and it was the most exciting game I've attended in a long time.

Hopefully the Huskies will be able to rebound from the loss of Caroline and can find another scoring option. I know I'm boring Lynne with this talk...but so be it.'s time to eat my bland lunch of oatmeal...and head back up to bed. I think that with a couple hours of sleep, I'll be good as new...just in time for supper and the ball game!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mixed day

Had a good day, went to Groton this afternoon for our SNEAK Board meeting...I had to chair that and the club meeting immediately after, as Lindsay is in Florida and didn't want to come back up to chair the meeting!

It was great seeing all my agility pals again...we got a lot of good work done today. We're planning for our trial which is coming up in April, at the Chester Fairgrounds. I'm hoping that I will be at full strength by then so I can be a contributor to the work effort!

On our way home, I got a call from Chris Whitley...he broke the news to me that Craig passed away a week ago Friday. In the end, Chris had to make the decision to let his Dad go. I can't fathom what that must be like, but I was able to tell Chris that I can recall having conversations with his Dad and his Mom, when we were in the Army together, about what we considered "quality of life" and what decisions we would want made for us if it ever came to that. Well, it did come to that, and Chris did exactly what his Dad had wanted for himself.

The loss of Craig is a big blow to me...although Sandy is probably right, we all lost Craig years ago, when Rita (his wife) died. Craig hasn't been right since and never got over it. There was nothing we could do to help him...and that hurt too.

I will never forget Craig and Rita and all that we did together. They will always have a special place in my heart.

Christopher told me that he would like to remain in contact with me....which really touched me, as he was a baby when I got out of the Army and I've only seen him one time since...when he was about 10 or younger....I told him that he would always have a place to stay in our home. And I mean it...I hope someday he does come to visit...I'd love to get to know him better and I'd love to show him around.

When I got home, everything crashed around me at supper. I was tired, the news about Craig hit me hard...I had to leave the table and go upstairs to lie down for awhile. Now I'm back downstairs, catching up on the news and writing this.

Tomorrow Sharon is coming to the house, for the first watch the UConn North Carolina game with me. I'm psyched about her visit, I've been wanting her to meet Sandy and Bubbles for some time now. Sharon and I met at the Sun games, we sit together at the media table and we hit it off immediately....I can't think of watching a Sun game without her! We have such a good time.

So, I'll go to bed early tonight, or maybe stay up to watch "The L Word" premiere...I'll rest up tomorrow so I'll be ready for the big game. With Caroline Doty out with a torn ACL, the outcome in favor of UConn isn't as guaranteed as it seemed yesterday.....should be a good game....a real test for the Huskies.

Nighty night, hug your loved ones extra tight....