Saturday, May 2, 2009


I have been having problems with started a few days ago. I had it a little bit after the chemo before this last one...the fifth chemo. This trouble started almost three weeks after the sixth chemo.

Thursday night was the worst feet were tingling all the way up to my knees...the left one worse than the right. And, in the morning two fingers on each hand were numb. This concerned me as I really DON'T want neuropathy as a lingering side effect of the chemo.

For those of you who have neuropathy, you know what I mean....and I'm sure my situation is mild compared to some folks I know. My feet feel like they do just before or just after they "go to sleep" tingles and feels slightly numb. I know friends of mine who have the complete numbness...and I don't want to go there!

I asked "Little Ann-Marie", who was my nurse Friday--and she said that it can last up to a year. If the symptoms come on later in the chemo, the odds are that they will go away faster.

I think they are going away already! Am I the LUCKY ONE or what! This AM I felt only mild tingling and now it's happening only intermittently.....LUCKY DUCK!

Tomorrow I hope Lynne and David will come over....and I think Carol and Mark will come too. We'll fool around and I have exactly five steaks I can grill for us. I have some asparagus I can pick...but not enough for all of us. I may pick some up from the store. I'm going to chance leaving Lily for a short time so I can run to the store to pick up what I need--once I confirm that I will be having company!

I sent an email to Toni and Barb today asking them if they have any work for me. I could do physicals, but until my hair comes back, that's about all I can do. The hair (or lack of it) gives me away and the students could be thrown off the correct diagnosis.

My hair is growing so fast...I'll probably be able to fool the students by mid-June. Some of them are so unobservant---they won't notice the lack of eyebrows and eyelashes.

In some ways, I'm sorry to see my hair come back. I'm enjoying this baldness, the feeling of the sun and breeze on my bare head and I have to admit---as several people have said--my head does have a nice shape!

In a few minutes I'm calling Jack to reserve a hotel room at the MeadowMere in Ogunquit--where he works. We're taking Jean up there for her birthday later this month. Jack comes on duty at 11....and then I'm going to bed.

This AM Lily let me sleep until I wanted to get up---at 10:30. If Bubbles had been here I would have been up at 5:30 and again at 8:00 at the latest! I miss her, but is it nice to sleep without a 11 pound heat-producing, squirmy puppy in the bed every once in awhile!

Tonight Lil and I sleep peacefully again. Tomorrow they return. Oh and Truman qualified in Chances more Q in Chances and he wins his NATCH!! National Agility Champion Title! This is something he and Sandy have been working towards for about 8 years! I hope they do it tomorrow---Sandy isn't feeling well...she's hoping it's only allergies, but she has a horrible sore throat and sounds terrible! She's afraid that it's something worse and that she may have passed it on to me. Let's hope not....time will tell.

Nighty night!

Friday, May 1, 2009

No Go Friday

Well...we DID go...but we didn't stay. Lynne got up to the house at 8:45 and off we went to Providence, with me at the wheel. Got my blood work and urine spec done and sat and waited for the good word from "Little Ann Marie" who was my nurse for the day.

The Social Worker for the Dream Study I'm participating in came up to chat with us. We had a nice talk, which helped me from becoming antsy while awaiting the word.

Finally Ann Marie came in and told me that my counts were too low. My ANC (the test results that show my vulnerability to infection) was down from last week! It was 750 last week, 650 today! BUT, YESTERDAY it was 400...and Ann Marie said when it's that low I shouldn't be out near people....but, of course I had to go get my blood work done...and then there was that part where I went into KFC for a couple of minutes...but I slathered on the hand sanitizer right afterwards (before I handled my food).

Ann Marie seems to think that next week I will be fine. I'm sure she is right. I was disappointed but not devastated. I felt bad for Lynne, who had to drag herself out of bed way early to get to Griswold to come with me. So I drove her back to our house and made her a nice breakfast, which she really appreciated. I would have taken her to a restaurant, but I'm not supposed to go out and Sandy would have killed me....and Lynne wouldn't have let me anyway!

I was talking with a woman who was awaiting her chemo. I asked her if she had a hard time getting a response when she called the cancer center....she was very negative about the whole place! I was surprised...the only problems I've had were with the lady at the reception desk (she needs a different job) and the fact that it is very hard to get a response when I call. They don't call back, I have to make multiple calls to get them to fax the lab slips, etc.

This woman and her friend-sister? didn't have a good attitude. I feel badly for her. She needs to look beyond the problems and realize that her life is being saved at the center. She's bitching because she has to wait a bit for her app't? And then the way she says "I have to sit there for FIVE HOURS for a chemo session" such a disgusting tone---HELLO!!! We ALL have to do that! It's an inconvenience for her? She needs to hurry up and get her priorities right!

I see what they mean when they say attitude is everything. I complained today about the lab slip problem, but I wasn't nasty about it. I made some suggestions of what I might be able to do to make it easier for them....and I'm going to do it if I ever have to get them to fax a slip to the hospital. What the hell's the sense of just bitching and moaning if you aren't going to get involved in trying to make the situation better?

Sandy is off to Greenfield with the Russells. She just called and said it didn't look like it had rained there. She is camping and I hope it doesn't get too cold. I am trying to get some folks over here to visit, while I'm home alone with just Lily...who is SO EASY on guests...she just licks them to Lynne discovered today.

So, if you are reading this...feel free to come on over!

Nighty night!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

If I'm at the Backus Lab...this must be Thursday....

Up early to shower and get down to get my blood work done. I called the Cancer Ctr. before I got in the shower, to have them fax the lab slip to Backus. Got down to the hospital around 9:30. They hadn't recieved the fax. We called Providence...they got put on hold...I took over the phone while they took care of other patients. Talked to someone who told me that "they were all busy in clinic with patients"....they would fax it in a few minutes. Waited 45 minutes and then called again. "The nurses are really swamped." I said, "last week a Tech sent the request, can you find SOMEONE who can send the request?"

Finally, after 11:00, and after I had been exposed to two sneezing, coughing toddlers and one nurse who brought down a specimen from a woman who is suspected to have Swine are reading that right (I only hope they were WRONG)....finally my fax comes through...they do the test and I'm flying out the door before anything bad can happen to me.

I did wear my mask while I was in there, and one of the kids put a mask on too...but as Maria writes....those masks don't stop the Swine flu virus particulate. You need a TB mask for that. Sandy is going to get one for me.

And good thing I just got the call from my pal white cell count is still too low, but they aren't canceling me for tomorrow--they want me to be redrawn. So, Lynne and i will drive out there tomorrow and think lots of positive thoughts...hoping I get my chemo!

On my way home from Backus I went to KFC and had one of their new grilled chicken meals...I got a breast and wing. The meal is REALLY good. The chicken is moist and tasty and not heavy. I would definitely get it again....and I'm not a huge KFC fan.

When I got home, Jean was in the side yard, raking. She is a sick woman...she loves to come to our house and rake leaves. She is keeping count of the number of big leaf bags she fills (Sandy dumps them in the compost out back...and she uses the bags again)...and it has got to be over 20 by now....easily! She even got poison ivy and is on Prednisone for it and she STILL COMES! I told's sick.

Sandy had left to go grocery shopping, Jean's in the I busied myself cleaning the house. I did the whole damned thing, dusting; vacuuming; washing the floors....everything! I even moved the bed and the dressers and vacuumed behind them...something Miss Sandy doesn't do when she cleans. I even lifted out the A/C floor grates in the living room and breakfast nook and vacuumed down into the ductwork. I will do the other rooms the next time I clean...probably next week.

I did take breaks in between doing the first and second floors. I thought that if I sat down I might not get up and get going upstairs, but I was wrong. I rejuvenated myself and got going again.

I even made supper tonight and have already eaten. Sandy took the Russells to agility. She wasn't going to take Bubbles because she was sounding raspy earlier this week and the vet said to keep her home from class and from the agility trial this weekend. But tonight Bub went out to the car, wanting to go...something she NEVER does! We talked about it...decided that she should go and she should go to the trial. She hasn't sounded wheezy, raspy or at all sick...only that one night and that day she had been doing a lot of snuffling in the ground--she probably had dirt up her nose.

That means Lily and I will be home alone this weekend. Which will be good for us. Sandy is all worried about me being home alone...but for crying out tears...if I can clean the house, drive around town and do all sorts of other things, I think I can be home alone! She has Carol and Mark on stand-by in case I need help. I'll show her. I think I'll put up that Martin House I bought this week. Won't she be surprised!

I just realized...she's camping this weekend...she's going to need both of those dogs sleeping with her to keep warm! Good thing Miss Bub is going with...she gives off a LOT of heat!

Oh...another thing...the guy from Overhead Door came to check on our garage has been making a weird cracking sound. Sure enough, he recommends a new door. This is the original and it's not that good quality to start we are having a new door and new door opener put in to be on the safe side. Another expense.

Now I will go watch the Sox....they are playing their nemesis from last year---the Rays. And now the Rays are winning 3-0. But, as I said, so prophetically last ain't over till it's over. We'll see how that works out tonight.

GO SOX....GO CELTS...GO BRUINS (I don't watch hockey...but it's only fair I throw them in there)

Nighty night---wish me luck for tomorrow's chemo...I have missed a complete cycle now--this must STOP!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seems I have a lot of energy in the I take advantage of it. Today I stripped the bedding, removed the mattress warmer and put on the "Spring/Summer" mattress pad, changed the sheets and then washed all of the above.

I was going to work out on the Wii...but after eating my breakfast of reduced sugar oatmeal and a cup of coffee out on the deck, I was too "lazed by the sun" to do anything but sit in the recliner and play on the computer.

A weird thing happened on Facebook. I got this message that Mary McKay's sister, Susan "accepted me as a friend"....well, I had never requested that she be my friend! I'm sure she's a nice person...she is Mary's sister after all...but I don't even know her! I wrote to h er and told her it had to be some kind of computer glitch....I hope it's not something more sinister. We'll see.

We were going to go to Russell's Ribs tonight for dinner--FINALLY! But then Sandy and Mark went off to get a truck load of cow manure---for the princely sum of $8.00, from the farm up the street and then Sandy and Carol got to talking on the phone and next thing you know we're deciding to stay home. We'll go next week and Carol and Mark will join us. That will be fun.

We were watching the news tonight....all about the Swine Flu. Since my immunity levels are way down, we decided it's best for me to avoid places like restaurants, stores and the casino for awhile longer. I may have beaten cancer, but right now something stupid like the swine flu would kill me. And believe me, that would really piss me off!

I go tomorrow to have the damned blood work done again....let's hope third time's the charm! I really want to have that chemo session on we'll hope the blood levels are up high enough to meet their requirements. I will wear the mask when I go to the lab...I'm not taking any chances. You never know what people there for blood work might have...they are all SICK!

Sox lost last night with a stupid play at first to end the game for them. Now they are losing again tonight, but it ain't over 'till it's over.

I can almost make out some hint of color in my hair. I'm confused about what color it's going to be. It looked white when it was stubble...but now I see some darker tones in there. It seems that every day it grows noticeably more and more. My hair always did grow fast. It's fun to watch it come in. Soon I'll have to trim some of the wild hairs that are "going rogue" on me. I can't stop running my hands across the feels so cool.

Celts won last night...I didn't even realize they were on. Sounds like it was one helluva game. I have to check the papers to see when they are on next so I don't miss it again. it's 5-1...Bay just scored...that may start something for the Sox.

Well...I should watch this now.

Nighty night!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday the 28th

What a ways I have to go to get in shape! After lamenting my saggy knees (like an elephant) and my saggy bat-wing upper arms--and the fact that I can't find clothing to cover them-the arms that is...I did buy bermuda shorts and capris, I knew it was time to get moving to rebuild muscle. That's what I need to hold all the sagging parts up!

I have lost a lot of muscle mass to the cancer and the chemo. It's no secret. The port they installed in my chest sat there so nice and tight when it was first put in...the muscles held it nicely in place. Now I can move that damned thing all over my upper body!

So, with all this in mind, I got on the Wii Fit yesterday. Yikes! I hadn't been on it in 63 days it says. Also, after testing me, it says my "Wii Fit age" is ..........69! OUCH!!!! Last time it was 37! WOW! Like I said, I have some work ahead of me.

So, I worked out on the Wii...doing mostly balance and aerobic stuff, for 30 minutes. Then I ate lunch, took a shower (must get that Tresemme in my hair every day now--it's working so well!) and went out and about in the car. I dropped off the big clothes at the thrift shop and then went over to Agway for bird seed (they were out of thistle--as is everyone else around here!) and picked up the big box of biscuits we had ordered for Lily. Then I went to Stop and Shop, where I ran into Mannie...who is in the Senior Center Chorus....we chatted for awhile...sounds like the old group is down to almost nothing...due to various health concerns--which is what happens with seniors, I guess.

Then I dropped in at Ocean State to get the grape jelly Pam told me would attract the Baltimore Orioles (Northern Orioles for you purists).

After that I went over to Tractor Supply to see if I could get a purple martin they are all over this neighborhood and Carol has them nesting in a blue bird box! I parked next to a red Jeep Cherokee and noticed a beautiful Dobie in the front seat...panting. The windows were cracked open about an inch on the passenger side and a half inch on the driver's side.

Now I had heard this dog when I was going into Ocean I knew it hadn't just arrived! I tried to see if he was in immediate distress...and he hopped into the back another NO NO---he wasn't secured in the car!

I went into the store and with help, found the bird houses and a pole for it. I inquired as I ran into people in the store, if it was their dog. No one said yes.

I told the lady at the register that I would be back in to have her page the owners if it was still there when I went back out....but fortunately the car was gone.

These are two of my pet peeves about dog owners: Leaving animals in hot cars--stupid idiots! The car heats up to well over 100 degrees in a very short period of time when it is sitting in the sun--even when the outside temp is in the 70's.

And, riding around with your dog unsecured in the car is another one of my pet peeves (don't even get me started on people who put their dogs in the back of an open pickup truck!) I don't care if people want to break the law by not wearing seat belts (unless they are driving with me)...if you are that stupid and ignore all the evidence of seat belts saving your life, etc. You reap what you sow. BUT, babies, children and pets don't have the ability to make an informed decision.....we need to PROTECT them.

It kills me when I see people riding with their little dog on their laps. I ask them, "do you love your dog?" "How horrified are you going to be when you get in an accident and your little dog goes SPLAT in your face when the air bag deploys?" Or, your little dog will be the "flying missile that strikes you in the head, snapping your neck and killing you...and him/her" NICE!!!

We have the Russells in kennels or secured with seat belts in their little seats. Lily wears a harness type seat belt that connects to the car's belt. I don't want any flying dogs and I don't want any dogs roaming in the car to distract me as I drive.

I'm going to get those flyers that the vets put out about the warning about the next time I see a dog in a car in the heat, I can at least leave the flyer on their windshield to educate them. Leave the doggies at home in the heat people! They don't need to go for a ride on a warm day!

Poor dogs, having to put up with such idiot owners. I'll bet that dog vomitted last night after he/she ate...and they are wondering "what's wrong with the dog?"

Enough of my rants.

I'm off to warm up on the Wii and then do some work in the yard. OH OH OH!!! I forgot...last night I took the two Russells for a half hour walk while Sandy took Lily to class. I was pooped when we got back, but it felt so darned good.

Okay, now I'm off to do stuff....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Sandy tells me this AM that Carol says my little herb plants will wilt and die in the sun...they aren't strong enough to take it yet. So, I covered them up with a shade panel that we have for the dogs when they are in their kennels in the sun...I just checked on them after being out all day in the sun and the little plants are perked back up! Guess I have found an answer!

I got up late--took a shower and used that Tresemme again...I don't know if it's the shampoo...or if my hair was just coming back faster on it's own...but it is growing very fast now. When I was out riding around today with the windows open, I could feel the wind in my "hair"....what a different feeling!

I went shopping at Kohl's today--to get capris and shorts. I found some nice stuff...and even threw in a couple of small purses--one red and one pink. They had HELLA sales at Kohl's and unbeknownst to me....they then threw in an extra 15% off! I got some great deals. Got about six pairs of capris and four pairs of shorts. I have to get bermuda length shorts as I hate how my skin hangs around my knees now, from losing weight. So, I was pretty limited in my choices, but I did manage to find some nice madras shorts in my size. I love madras and am so happy it's back in style!

On my way home I went for a ride--went by Jim Coney's house--to spy on him for his Mother. The yard looks very neat and nice...the daffodils are all in bloom around the well head. No sign of Jimbo though....a beautiful day and he's probably in the house, playing video games! Ha ha...or maybe he was having a late lunch.

I dropped over to Carol and Mark's to see the new furniture---very nice. I love their sun room--it was so nice and breezy and cool there---when it was torrid outside!

Mark, the guy who lives across the street from us (in the Eddie Bauer house as we call it) came by with his four month old yellow lab named Bentley--who was coming to meet and play with Porter, Carol and Mark's HUGE two year old black lab. Well...the two of them hit it off great! They were chasing each other all over the yard...and when they got too hot, they jumped into the wading was the first time Bentley had been in a pool....and he loved it! Carol tooks lots of pictures and I hope she sends them to me...they were so cute!

I wish our dogs would get along with other dogs like that. Lily likes little dogs, but is afraid of big dogs. She doesn't like big, female dogs. I wonder if she would play with Porter--in his year...but Landry (their female lab) would have to stay in the house.

Truman ignores most other dogs and would go after anyone of them who wanted to play--and I don't really blame him, if they hit his teeth inadvertently--it wouldn't be good.

Bubbles is afraid of everything and everyone, until she gets to know them. She would launch herself at Bentley to make him go away...not welcome him with joy as Porter did.

It's sad really. I don't know if we are going to get that Rocky dog....if we do, hopefully he will play with Bubbles and she will play with him.

Sandy put the air conditioning on upstairs to sleep today. It got really hot. I shut down the windows and blinds downstairs and it stayed nice and cool.

When I got back from shopping and visiting, Sandy was already up and I was famished. She managed to whip up a great steak dinner with potatoes; spinach and squash...yum!

Now I'm killing time until it's Sox time--8pm. Watching some of the "Hotel Inspector" shows I've got recorded. Need to clear out some space so we can record other shows! What a problem to have.

Nighty night! AND GO SOX!!!