Friday, February 6, 2009

Chemo....Round Four Finit!

Had a tough night of restlessness last night. I don't know if it's a "night before chemo thing" or if it was the two ginseng I took with supper, or the fact that Sandy snored and snorted and had her "apnea breathing" all night...but I could NOT sleep. And, then just as I would start to doze, some damned dog would get up and want to be let out...or my bowels would scream at me to get into the bathroom! Figures. I did sleep about 45 minutes after Sandy got up to feed the dogs in the morning.

I wasn't so sure this AM that I would pass the blood test. I was sneezing, nose dripping and I was pooped. But, surprise, surprise! I passed! I told the nurse that from now on when I get the bloodwork for the chemo done I wouldn't do it on Wednesday any more...I'd do it on Thursday. One day does make a big difference. Sandy thinks it's the drop in the chemo level in my body from the last session. The nurse thought it was a good idea, so next time that's what I will do.

I didn't have any company in the little room with me today. So, I had CNN on all day and I let myself get sleepy with the benadryl and I dozed off and on all day. The benadryl makes me feel sick and woozy, dizzy. I don't like it to be honest. Sandy and Jean went over to the hospital and got me fish and chips, which tasted great...but the benadryl made me so sleepy and woozy, I couldn't eat very much of it.

The chemo didn't take as long this time. Sandy explained it to me. I thought that with each session I was getting less and less of the chemicals. It isn't's that as they see how I tolerate the drugs, they can "push them" faster to me. So that's what's happening, I get the same amount, only faster. I was out of there by 2:30 (as opposed to 4:30 the last time) and we were home by 3:30! Some diff!

I went right upstairs and napped for awhile then came down and had that fabulous shepherd's pie I had been fantasizing about all day. It was delish!

I don't think I'll take the ginseng tonight....maybe I'll get some sleep! I did have some today--Sandy bought me one of those "power drinks"...Rock Star or something like that. It had pomegranate in it, Vit Bs and ginseng. No bad stuff. I drank only half of it because it had 28 grams of sugar in it! It was pretty good stuff and it did help me get over the wooziness of the benadryl.

Huskies (both teams) play tomorrow...a good sports day for me! Jean is staying with me tonight as Sandy has to work and I am still a bit dizzy. This happens for a day or so after chemo. The knee pain has already started, but the ibuprofen helps...and I remember to use the heating pad...that really helps!

So, I'm over the hump and on the downhill side of chemo. It feels great!

Hopefully it will be warm tomorrow like they are predicting and I can sit outside on the chaise again...catch some rays.

Oh, I ordered a new Tilley hat this week and got it too small...I'm bummed, have to return it. It is a great hat's lightweight, has a wide brim, green underneath to cut the glare and it has a nice vent all the way around the keep my head cool. I am definitely returning this for the right size! I'll post a picture of me looking goofy in this hat...and not caring one whit about it!

Nighty night!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I overdid it yesterday...was ABSOLUTELY ILL by the time I shut off the lights last 9:36!!! As soon as I closed my eyes I started to feel's weird how that happens lately.

I got up at 10am...YES...stayed in bed over 12 hours! Got up...took a shower, got dressed and went down to have breakfast. Checked my email and then it was time to hit the road to UConn Med Ctr. to have lunch with the gang. I felt tired as I was putting on my shoes and thought, " I going to be able to do this?"

When I got out of the car in Farmington I felt exhausted. Went in, got lunch and drank a Pepsi Max and almost immediately felt better. Pepsi Max has ginseng in there's my answer!

Sandy picked up ginseng capsules for me at the grocery store today. I'll start taking them tonight.

It was great seeing Jen, Dan, Toni and Anna. We had a nice, long lunch, during which I dominated the conversation, of course. Then it was time to head home. I did stop at the gift shop on my way out and bought a UConn Women's Basketball hat and a pink Breast Cancer UConn shirt ($2 from each shirt goes to Kay Yow Breast Cancer Fund). I figured I'd wear it when I go to the game on the 22nd.

I get home and find out the shirt is an XL!!! I thought it said MEDIUM....the writing on the label is so small...I showed it to Sandy and asked her what she thought it said...she couldn't even see the writing! So, I'll have to drive all the way back someday, soon...and exchange it. BUMMER!

I wore the hat on the way home. I probably look like a guy, but I look better in a baseball cap now with no hair than I did when I had hair! Maybe I'll keep the no hair look for awhile. Yuk Yuk.

Tomorrow I have chemo...well...I HOPE I have chemo (that sounds odd, doesn't it?)....but, they called tonight and once again, my blood count was "a little low." So, I have to go in early and have the blood work done again...and then wait for the results and then if it's all right wait while they make up the chemo and send it it will be sit and wait, sit and wait. It's all right, I'm used to it now. As I say..."may that be the worst that happens!"

I'm sure I'll be getting chemo tomorrow. It will just take a bit longer, that's all. Tomorrow will be my fourth session...which means I'll be "over the hump" and will have just two sessions of the "big chemo" left.

I should explain: the big chemo is the cocktail I'm getting now of carboplatin, taxol and MAYBE (I think I am getting it) Avastin...the clinical trial drug. After six sessions of this cocktail...the computer whirls again and spits out the decision about whether or not I get Avastin every three weeks for the next 12 months (which would take me to about April of 2010). I will either get the Avastin or a placebo. Believe me, at this point, I wouldn't mind at all if I have to travel all the way to Providence and back once every three weeks to get a placebo!

Hold on....Jeez...I just watched that footage of Sullenberger putting the plane down in the Hudson again, complete with the recording of the communications between the plane and the control tower....thrilling stuff.

Anyway, I don't know for sure that I'm getting the third drug Avastin. I don't know if I will get it after the other drugs are finished. It's all a big secret.

I do know that I still have some fluids in my abdomen (ascites---cancer fluid) and probably still have that "frosting" of cancer that they couldn't remove in the surgery. The CT scan I had last time showed the fluid...and they just imagine that the frosting is still there. The remainder of the chemo treatments will go after that stuff.

I have to think of what warriors I'm going to send to fight these things...maybe I'll see what the results are of the last CA 125 test before I decide. If it's still low, I'll send the Mohegans in again, to diplomatically usher the bad guys out. I don't want to be violent if I don't have to.

For now, I will look forward to the shepherd's pie Jean is making for dinner tomorrow night.

Enough on this....time to kick back and relax.

Nighty night!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Check up Day!

Figured I'd write an entry as I sit and wait for Carol and Mark to arrive...we are going to play Rock Band tonight! Wonder if we should warn the neighborhood?

We were going to get pizza for them, but Carol is making pizza and will be the "delivery girl!" YUM! Can't wait! She is a great cook.

Went to get my blood work done this AM...Sandy drove me down there. I thought it was odd that the tech only took one tube and said I was done...even when I questioned her about it. Today was the day when I have my Oncology profile done...I KNOW it takes more than one tube of blood. But, as it was early AM...and my brain was not fully engaged, I left.

When I got out to the car I told Sandy about the only one tube of blood. Former phlebotomist that she is, she starts rattling off the tubes that should have been drawn for the tests she knew were requested. We turned around and went back. The tech looked at the paperwork and realized her error...four MORE tubes of blood were drawn!

This put us behind getting to Waterford to meet Lynne. We met her at Target, I jumped into her car and Sandy headed home to sleep. Lynne and I went over to L & M to see Dr. Lachance.

My check-up went fine...very good. We asked our questions, which we had written up previously and Lynne kept notes on what he told us. The weird thing I found in my abdomen is an internal stitch...and the knot on it. It's a good sign that it is still there, the longer it lasts, the stronger my suture line is!

After my check-up we went over to Jean's to "use the facilities" and then over to Coldwater Creek. I had a few gift cards to spend. Well...I'm used to going to Coldwater when things are on sale....WOW! What a wake-up! I did find some jeans on sale and that's what I bought. I'll save the other coupons for the online sales...which is how I usually shop Coldwater!

Then we went across the street to Olive Garden for lunch. It was delish!

Lynne then schlepped me all the way home to Griswold...what a great pal she is!

When I got home...I crawled into bed and took a two hour nap! Good thing too...I had forgotten about Mark and Carol coming over tonight.

It's been a busy week...yesterday we went to the Sun to the WNBA press conference. Afterwards we went to Geno's for lunch. Didn't go to Barb and Mary's to listen to the game...the roads weren't very good....stayed home and ended up watching it online. GO HUSKIES!!!

Tomorrow I'm going up to UConn for lunch with the work gang. Well...all except Sheila apparently. I guess she must be in Paris or somewhere mundane like that. I can't wait to see the's been like FOREVER! Well...since October anyway. I will sign off...and become a ROCK STAR!! YAY!!

Nighty night!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Monday

I can't believe I said that Super Bowl game was boring! I kept flipping back and forth and it was quite exciting...that 100 yard interception for the touchdown was something!

I did the Wii Fit this Fit Age was only 51...not as good as my last performance, but still below my actual age! My goal is to get it into the low 40s and stay there.

I didn't feel good all day. My stomach gets upset after I eat...which you would think would be a good deterrent to me eating and gaining weight, but I manage to forget this ickiness before every meal! Sandy and I discussed this and decided that I will take Pepcid before every meal to see if that helps. Today I ate LOTS of ginger to settle my stomach down. I love ginger, but.....

I took a nap this afternoon, a long one. I was so exhausted after doing the Wii...particularly the hula hoop event. I was huffing and puffing...shows you how much I am out of shape!

I'll continue to plug away at getting back in shape. I'll use the Wii, the gym and when it gets nicer out, walks around the neighborhood with Bubbles and Lily.

I'm watching UConn play Louisville now...I am so hoping UConn wins and gets to stay at #1...if only because it makes the Lady Vol fans nuts when both UConn teams are #1 and they call Storrs the "Basketball Capitol of the World!"

Tomorrow we were supposed to go shopping with Mary Anne--to Coldwater Creek and then to lunch at Olive Garden. Mary Ann called today to let us know that she has a cold and can't go...she doesn't want me to get it. That is nice of her...very considerate.

We were thinking maybe we wouldn't go anyway, due to the snow that's headed this way. It still remains to be seen how much we will get...if it drifts further east, we could get blizzard like conditions.

So, I get a notice from the Sun that Donna Orender, the WNBA league president, is making a big announcement at the Sun tomorrow....I'm going to get over there to find out what it is and take pictures for Sportspage. I hope it isn't snowing really hard!

Lynne and I will go shopping at Coldwater on Wednesday and then to Olive Garden...after my bloodwork and Dr's I get that "fantasy" fulfilled! I've been dreaming about Coldwater AND the Olive Garden for a week now! I'm so spoiled!

I heard today that Jim Donovan's brother John was found dead this weekend. He died of an apparent heart attack. Here's Jim, going through hell with his chemo...dealing with all of the side effects and the uncertainty about future chemo sessions....and this happens on top of it! Life is so unfair sometimes.... Here I am, with my little side effects and my cancer level dropping....and he has to go through hell. It isn't fair.

I remember Jim and John...but my memory of them is frozen in time...they will always be around 22 years old...which is the age they were when I last saw them. That was 30 years or so ago!

Let's send good thoughts Jim's way. He's hoping that this last session of chemo was his last....and he can start the radiation portion of his treatment. He deserves a break folks...he has so much on his plate.

It was 65 today out and I went and laid out on the chaise on the deck for a few minutes. It felt SO NICE!! I even took my hat off and let my head get some rays...not too much though, I have to make sure my head doesn't burn. The groundhogs saw their shadows today...too bad. I was hoping for an early spring.

Hope we don't get too much snow tomorrow.....

In the meantime...nighty night!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I'm bored with it already. I switched mid-half to watch "My husband Has Three Wives" on TLC. I watch that show "Big Love" and have taken an interest in polygamy. It's a fascinating way of life. Tonight they have a couple of shows on the subject.

Quiet day. Carol called this AM and we had a nice long chat. I didn't even mind talking on the phone and if you know me...then you know how much I HATE talking on the phone!

I dusted downstairs and washed the floors. Sandy had vacuumed yesterday, but she doesn't do a thorough cleaning job...she doesn't dust (and I am VERY allergic to dust) and she doesn't always wash the floors. She vacuums...and she only vacuums the "open areas"...she doesn't move furniture to vacuum I do. I wrote to Birgitta today and told her I can't complain about Sandy's cleaning job...she has to do all the work nowadays. Wait until I am capable of doing heavy cleaning...this house is getting a "Spring Cleaning" from top to bottom! I am so looking forward to that day!

I have turned the heat up to 70 in this house. Sandy wants to keep it at 64-68. I'm sorry, but two degrees makes a big difference! I'm sick of being cold in my own home. It's staying at far she hasn't noticed.

Jean and Frank came up this afternoon and stayed for supper. It's Frank's birthday, so we gave him a card with a promise to take him out to the casino for dinner and playing the slots. He enjoys that and we always have a good time.

Sandy made her special Philly Steak sandwiches and I had half of one...boy did that sit heavy in my stomach! It tasted very good, but it was heavy! I had to eat ginger afterwards, to settle my stomach down.

Speaking of you may know...I LOVE ginger. I eat candied ginger, ginger mints, ginger anything.... I got an email from Real Health that says that ginger is good for achy arthritic knees; as an anti-nausea--which I knew; AND has an anti-cancer component! I guess I will continue to eat ginger!

Well...I think I'll hit the hay early tonight...I'm pooped for some reason. I was going to go to the gym again tomorrow, think I'll skip it and do the Wii Fit instead. And my strength exercises with my stretchy bands. Tuesday we're supposed to do lunch at Olive Garden and shop at Coldwater Creek, if the weather isn't bad. They can't make up their minds about what it's going to do Tuesday...we might get nothing...or we might be DUMPED ON!

Nighty night!