Saturday, February 28, 2009

Other People's Challenges

Got email from Maria this morning, with some sad news. Her friend Larry, who I have NEVER met is dealing with a lot right now. His Dad has lung cancer and isn't doing well at all, it sounds like he will be going into hospice. AND, his Mom has breast cancer and is going to need a radical mastectomy!

I don't need the good thoughts and prayers any more people...but Larry Jones and his parents sure do...please redirect any good vibes and prayers you are sending my way, his way. He and his folks really need all the support they can get.

And, while you are at some good vibes for Jim Donovan...who will be going back to the doctor next week.

Your vibes, good thoughts and prayers are SO POWERFUL! I know, I am a beneficiary, one who will be forever grateful.


Friday, February 27, 2009

The Good News and the "Bad News"

Went to Providence today for my fifth chemo session....was surprised when the receptionist told me that my name had been crossed out! June, the nurse, came out and told me that my blood levels were too low (below 1,000) and Dr. Lachance wanted me to wait a week to give my body time to recuperate.

We IMMEDIATELY blamed Lynne, who had said she had a feeling that I wouldn't be having my chemo today! She ruined the karma we have going! It is all her fault!

We asked June if we could have a copy of my bloodwork and my latest CA-125 level...which we hadn't seen since my second chemo session. She made copies and that was the GOOD NEWS!!!

My CA-125 level dropped another two points...I'm down to FIVE now! Remember, anything under 30 is good, anything under ten is AWESOME!!

The other bloodwork was not such good news though, my red blood cell count was way down, which means I'm anemic, probably why I'm so cold all the time and why my ass is dragging.

My magnesium level is down and more of a concern, my platelet count is way down too. I have always been "lousy" with platelets--as the nurses at the Red Cross used to say. So, it's good that I have been actively avoiding people who are sick...and I appreciate those who stayed away to protect me.

Sandy says the fact that my platelets are down is proof positive that I AM getting the Avastin (the clinical trial drug) that is the only drug that causes that reaction. As if we needed more proof.

We stopped at the "Middle of Nowhere Diner" on the way home....good breakfast, but too much food! I brought home the homemade sausage and hash browns for another day.

When we got home I was exhausted..and freezing. So I got into bed and shivered (despite having the mattress warmer turned up high) and finally fell asleep--for two and a half hours!

I'm going to keep on napping and eating well....I go back next week for bloodwork and if it's good, I'll have my 5th chemo next Friday. So, I miss it by a week. Big Whup! I will finish up the last week in March, with my 6th one if all goes well....which I think it will. I'll have to have Lynne believing it too...or else I'll be having to wait another week!

My cousin Shirley sent me a card today that is great. This is what it says:

No one said it would be easy
to lose your hair.

But knowing you,
you'll find a way
to turn this situation around
and use it
as a badge of honor,

a sign to the world that
your treatments are working

And when this is all behind you
and your hair grows back,

You'll be able to say with assurance
that every day is a good hair day.

I love it! My sentiments exactly! One thing I have noticed....people don't want to touch my head. I ask people to touch it, to rub it (for luck) and they don't want to.

Yesterday I went to the Uncas office and saw a lot of folks. Two people rubbed my head spontaneously, Charlene and J. K. They were the first ones besides Sandy to do that. I dunno, maybe it's just me...but when people I know have lost their hair due to chemo, I instinctively rub their heads for luck. I guess people are different. I'm an intrusive kind of gal, I guess. I loved having them rub my felt great!

Well...I have to make good on my plan and get to bed early, so,

Nighty Night!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

4 AM Thursday

Here I am, shivering in the living room, typing in this blog at 4:17AM, Thursday! To bring you up to date.

Did NOT go to casino Tuesday night. I was too tired during the day and despite having a nap...didn't recuperate enough. I called Frank and told him Sandy would still go with him, but he wanted to wait until we could all go...which I preferred to do too. So it worked out all the way around.

Last night was my night to have the Ladies Night Out group over for supper. Lynne was wonderful-she came over early to set things up for me, so I didn't have to get tired. Sandy cleaned the house earlier in the day. I made my chili, put it in the crockpot and took a nap for about an hour and a half.

Sandy went shopping and picked up some of those "5 Hour Energy" drinks...she had me try one before folks arrived for dinner. It kicked in a little before everyone left to go home! I had a hard time falling asleep...finally did and then woke up at 2:30 and lay there for an hour before I was smart enough to just get up. I don't know if this is from the drink or if it's my "night before chemo insomnia"--hitting me a day early!

The party was great--Judy Crawford, Joanie, Harriet, Margie Spinnato, Deb Silva, Dori, Charmine and Pat, Fran and Pat Bourne came. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. Diane stayed home with the sniffles, Robin with the flu and Marge Daly with a cold. I appreciate them keeping their distance, as I don't want to get ill when I'm having my chemo! Someday I won't have to worry as much about germs...I look forward to that day!

Fran brought the quilt that she made, that so many people were involved with, collecting signatures, delivering quilt squares, etc. She read a list of "Little Known Facts" about the quilt--including the fact that there are over 220 signatures on it! WOW!!! The squares were sent to several different regions of DDS, and Central Office addition to my family and friends outside of DDS. If anyone hasn't had the chance to sign it and wants to...they can see me!

The quilt is beautiful...the backing is all UConn Huskies....the front is the quilt squares in gorgeous colors. We took pictures and I'll be posting them in an album about last night on my Facebook page.

Another surprise, Joanie bought me a wonderful, soft pillow with a blue casing on it and the Red Sox Logo sewn in the middle! I LOVE IT!!

Looking around the room last night at the folks who were there, I was thinking I have known some of these folks for almost 30 years doesn't seem possible. Next month is my 30th anniversary of my start date with the state--working at Seaside. I don't FEEL that old!

Today---in a few hours, I have to go for my blood work, meet again with the financial advisor about transferring my tax sheltered annuities from ING and then go over to the Uncas Office for Mortality Review. I'm hoping Mary is working at Uncas so I can see's been awhile. I heard that she got snowed in up in Vermont though...I wonder how hard she's working to get "dug out" so she can go back to work! I know I wouldn't be knocking myself out, if it were me!

Friday I have my 5th (and next last) "big chemo".....and then it's "one and done!" YAY!!

Oh, I recorded the Sox exhibition game last night---thanks to Judy for giving me the "head's up" that it was on...I completely missed that. If I can't go back to sleep soon...I may put that on the tv and watch it.....and watch the sun come up. Sunrise with the Sox...that's not to hard to take.

Really though, I had some animal crackers, will have a glass of milk, and I bet I'll be off to the "Land of Nod" soon enough.

Nighty night!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Taylor's nose

We went down to Jean's to visit Taylor today...she was staying home from school and went there to stay. I don't think it was the best thing for her. I think she should have stayed home, in bed. The poor kid is so pale and uncomfortable. Her nose looks great though and there is no swelling to speak of, but I know how she feels, the whole framework of her face aches!

I was jealous, she managed to do the sinus lavage herself....I still haven't managed to do one properly! Everytime I do the Neti Pot, the stuff goes into the wrong places and burns, burns, burns!

Oh well...Tay gave me some hints about what I might be doing wrong. I'll try, try again!

I didn't feel very good, all day. I probably shouldn't have gone down to Jean's. I ended up sleeping on the couch (well, dozing and waking when the dogs would jump on me, or bark or whatever)....the whole time. When I got home I went right to bed and slept for two hours.

Tomorrow we take Frank to the casino for dinner and our usual "donation" to the Mohegans. I'm going to sleep alot to be in good shape to go out.

I don't want to get run down for Wednesday, which is when I'm having a house full of company--my old work pals are coming for "Ladies Night Out." Lynne is coming up early to help set things up for me. I have to make chili in the AM and put it in the crock pot to simmer. I really appreciate Lynne would tire me out to have to do all the work that it's going to take to get ready.

Boy, do I hate that! I feel helpless a lot lately. I know it's going to pass soon, when I stop the "big chemo sessions" but in the meantime, I keep getting blind-sided by this fatigue. It's hard to admit that I can't do the things I used to be able to handle, no sweat. It's hard to watch other people doing things for me and to have to rely on them to take care of me.

It's hard, but may that be the worst thing that happens! Fatigue is a piece of cake to deal with, compared with other problems I could be having. The other side effects are minimal and not very difficult to deal with.

Looking forward to tomorrow night and Wednesday night. It's a great week!

Nighty night.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Husky Sunday

I honestly can't remember what I did yesterday...oh well, perhaps Alzheimer's setting least you, my poor reader, are spared all the boring details!

Anne-Marie and her pals picked me up in the mini-van at 11 this morning and we were off to Hartford! I rode with four nurses, so I felt very much at home.

OHMYGOD!!! I just remembered what I did yesterday! Roxie and Virginia came to visit. We got Chinese food to go and chowed down and then had a nice visit. I showed them the Wii Fit and Roxie tried her hand at doing some of the things....she has some work to do....but it isn't hopeless! (I only say the latter because I know she reads this blog from time to time)

We had a great time and I was so happy they came to visit...I wish they lived closer so we could see each other more. I think Roxie will come over when it's kayaking season again....we had a great time kayaking the last time she visited.

Audge, you were wrong, V loved the dogs, and Bubbles even sat on her lap! She loved Bubbies fur.

So, back to today. We went to City Steam and had to wait outside for the place to open. Saw Wendy Evans (sorry I can never remember her married name) there out in the rain, she told me that SHE reads my blog too! I was surprised...she said that Peggy gave her the web address...which I don't mind at all. It just surprises me how many people read this drivel. Every time I turn around there's someone else and their brother who check this place out.

We had to wait over an hour for our meals at City Steam! WOW!! There were 13 of us and a lot of us had faxed our orders in to speed up the process....good thing. We just made it over to the XL Center and into our seats just as they were lining up for the National Anthem. The food was pretty good...I had an appetizer sampler, plus an order of sweet potato fries that Cori and I shared. The sampler had calamari, wings and veggie dumplings--very good!

The game was great....close contest. I had to hike the stairs twice...up to Row P (for Penis--Jack says...when I said "are you saying B for Bravo or D for Delta?") One hike was to get to our seats at the start of the game and the second was after we went down to the concourse at half time to visit with Marie, Don and Cori. The second time really wiped me I was happy to have the chance to sit through the half, but of course, the Huskies mounted their big comeback in the half and we had to keep jumping to our feet to cheer. Oh, and I did the dance during the "I Like to Move It, Move It" intermission...that quickly became The Twist when the timeout was extended. That really left me pooped!

The Huskies won. Good game, Geno will have lots to work on in practice after this game!

Jean and Frank came up today. Jean and Sandy cleaned up the cellar, clearing the way for us to plant seeds and set them up under the plant light system down there. It looks so great!

Frank brought up the carpet cleaner and did the carpet in the looks so good now. I really don't like carpeting in the bath....but right now in winter it is so nice and warm. Down the road we'll put a heating system in the floor (like Birgitta and Mats did in Sweden....but we won't get the same guys working on it!) and have tile put in...or I'll put the tile in myself. I also want to redo the faucets and towel bars/rings in the bathroom AND take that wallpaper off!

But I digress....again. Don't get me started!

Now I will sign off and go up to bed early, lie there and watch the Oscars. I don't usually watch the Oscars, but this year I'm curious. I dunno why, I just am.

Oh, we welcome home Lynne and David who just returned from Mexico....and had a great time!

Nighty night!