Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day after Chemo #8

Okay, I admit it...I think I'm getting some chemo in these new sessions. My blood pressure is still up, I still have the diarrhea (despite being on Lomotil); I'm very tired today and I just feel "different." Sandy is now sure I'm getting the Avastin. I'm getting to that point too.

I did well yesterday, once again I drove up and back. Lynne is a trooper, she shows up at 8am and comes with me. She helps me remember what I need to ask about when I'm there.

Oh, that's another symptom I had yesterday afternoon, I got all "fuzzy in the head," and I don't mean my hair...even though that is quite fuzzy! No, I mean I coudn't think straight. Sandy was asking me something and I couldn't remember, concentrate and respond appropriately...for awhile. She let me be for a bit and then we got the conversation started and finished later.

I'm nibbling on the matzos that Lynne brought for me...she says it will help with the diarrhea. I hope so.

Anyway, it was a short session yesterday. Met a nice 80-something year old who was getting one med like me. She has ovarian cancer but they can't operate because of her heart. So they are giving her chemo.

Jason (Dr. Lachance) came in to say goodbye. He felt bad about the way I had found out about his departure for Maine. He was going to tell me some time back, but because my treatment schedule got out of whack so much, he missed the opportunity. It's okay. I will miss him, but I think he came into my life for a reason--to do the surgery that would help me get rid of the cancer. He did that and now it's time for him to move on to do things to help other people. I'm not saying he didn't help anyone else, but I do believe things happen for a reason and there is some special reason why he needs to go now.

I brought my camera, hoping I would see him yesterday. Lynne took a picture of me with him and I took one of her with him. Then last night, neither picture would download to my computer! I'm going to take the picture card out and try to download it with Sandy's camera. It figures though, doesn't it?

I made Lynne a breakfast/lunch to thank her for going with me. She has done so much to help me and Sandy....I can tell another lobster dinner is in the future!

I'm waiting to hear back from my cousin Phyllis, I emailed her to see if we could meet at IKEA next week. I hope has been so wonderful meeting ALL my cousins thus far, the ones here and the ones in Sweden. I can't wait to meet her...and take her around IKEA. She lives in New Haven and hasn't been to IKEA!! Man, I'd be there every week!

Rocky had the pin removed from his femur and he is back home now "resting." He is so sweet, I had him on my lap and Bubbles came up and licked his wound, where the stitches are. He leaned over and kissed her! He's still dopey from the anaesthesia...poor thing. I guess he had a ball playing with Patty's dogs and a baby pug (8 weeks old) who was at the vet' belongs to one of the techs. Patty said he was good with the puppy.

Today is his birthday. Sandy says she thinks he would be a good therapy dog...I was telling her about the terrier mix they had at the Cancer Ctr. yesterday...going around with his hospital ID badge around his neck! I agree, Rocky is the type of little love who would be a great therapy dog.

He has to be "quiet" for two more weeks...and then he can run free in the back yard. I hope that Truman gets over himself and starts to play with Rocky. If Truman does, then Bubbles will too. If they don't, we will bring Rocky to other places so he can play with other dogs. He deserves to have that kind of fun activity.

Sandy slept for a couple of hours and then she took off for Wrentham with Truman. Bubbles was supposed to go too, but we agreed that since she was going alone on little sleep (I was going to drive her today) it was best that I keep the other ones at home today. Tomorrow Jean will go with her and all the dogs will go---I have to stay home for the Sun game at 4pm.

Did I say how I got Sandy to go to Russell's Ribs Thursday on the way home from my appointment? She got a HUGE beef short rib and I got a dinner item--spare ribs and a split chicken. She and I had it for leftovers yesterday and I'll be eating more today and tomorrow...a lot of food. If you go to Russell's, don't bother getting the potato salad--it says "egg base" but there was no egg in it...tasted like something they got at a store, not something they made. Their fries aren't that great either. I did like the onion rings that Sandy ordered. They are HUGE so you don't get that many...but the ones you do get are very good. Next time I'll try the barbecued baked beans and the sweet potato fries. The corn bread is very tasty.

So ends my latest restaurant review. If I ran the place, I'd have better potato recipes....I'd have fresh cut fries--like you get at Ray's at the Woodstock Fair; and I would have great potato salad. No store bought stuff.

I've been watching "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" too much....and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares--I insist on fresh, homemade and local!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCKET aka ROCKY!!! You are a little LOVE! Been with us for only a short time, but I'm already crazy about you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Busy week. Tuesday I went to Meriden and met cousin Barbara and her husband Harvey. Interestingly, we pulled into the parking lot beside each other at the same time. We went out to have lunch and Barbara brought lots of pictures of the family, including pictures of my great grandparents in Sweden, pictures of the island where they lived, their house, and all of my grandfather's sisters! It was so cool, seeing those pictures.

It was especially cool seeing the pictures of the family home, which we visited when I went to Sweden, but the house itself wasn't there any more. We had our picture taken (Lilian, Birgitta and I) standing next to the where the well was...and I saw the well in one of the pictures Barbara had!

We went to the convalescent home to visit Jerry and Ruth, Barbara's brother and sister. We took Ruth out for dinner and then they dropped me back at the hotel to get my car, I was starting to fade.

I stayed up too late (excited I guess) and I was absolutely ill when I finally went to bed around midnight. But it was all worth it to meet Barbara, Harvey, Ruth and Jerry....what a day! They are wonderful people and it felt so comfortable being with them, just as I felt comfortable when I was with Birgitta and Mats and Lilian.

Yesterday we slept late...YAY! Got up, had breakfast around 11:30 and then it was off to pick up Pixie and take her to the airport. Dropped her off and took a nap when I got home...everything was catching up to me. Got up and went to the SNEAK meeting at the barn with Sandy. We brought Rocky, who had a great time socializing with everyone and their dogs. He was soooooo happy to see Patty and Todd, I thought he would wiggle right out of his skin!

Today we went to Providence to see Dr. there and found out that he wasn't there! They had messed up in scheduling me for the appt. So, I saw Wendy the nurse practitioner who has been working with him. She did a pelvic exam on me and said she can't feel anything that would be a concern. I asked her about my last CT came out clean as a whistle! YAY!

Then I asked about the value of having another surgery to have the rest of my "works" removed, prophalactically (Sp?) She called Dr. DiSilvestro in and he explained to us that studies have found no redeeming value in doing further surgery. If, down the road, there is some reason for concern, then, yes, it may be good to do the surgery, but it is not necessary now.

Before he came in the room Wendy said something to the effect "you will get this again" meaning the cancer, "and when you do, it will be treatable, we know what you respond to". I know the odds are very high that I will get it again, but it's still a shock for me to hear that. I have to continue to remind myself that I am not "home free" yet. I can never say that I am cured completely...unless in the coming years they find a sure-proof cure.

I know that I will have to go for frequent checks and this doesn't bother me at all. But each time I will have to prepare myself that the news may not be good. I do feel confident though, due to how I responded to chemo, that if I do get it again, I will be able to 'beat it" again.

Then, Dr. DiSilvestro says something about Dr. Lachance "flying the coop" and first I think he means he's going on vacation, but I slowly realize he means for good! Yep, Jason is leaving tomorrow to go work in Portland Maine! I can't believe it...the last surgeon I had who was fabulous, Dr. Hemholtz, also "left me" to go to Maine...and Sandy thinks he went to Portland too! This is the second wonderful surgeon I have lost to Portland...I'm thinking there is a conspiracy here!

So, hopefully I will see Jason tomorrow and get to say good-bye and thank him once again for saving my life. I'm going to bring my camera so we can get another picture taken of him and with my new hair.

I will really miss him, but I like Dr. DiSilvestro too and I trust him as I trust Jason. I am so lucky that things worked out the way they did and I got Jason as my doctor when I needed him most.

Tomorrow Lynne reports here at 8am and we head off to Providence...the fourth time since Saturday that I have been to Providence! Chemo and then we come home.

Sandy is at agility class now and she brought Rocky. He will be going home with Patty tonight, getting x-rayed tomorrow and if all looks good, she will take the pins out of his leg tomorrow when she has free time between calls. I'll go get him if he's done by midnight, after that, Sandy will pick him up on her way home from work.

I miss the little guy already...he is such a sweetheart. It will be interesting to see how Bubbles acts with Rocky gone and how she will react when he comes back.

Gotta check the Sox game....

Nighty night!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Got my flags flying out front.

Yesterday started out slow and ended with a bang. Went back to bed after breakfast..didn't feel well at all. Had a weird thing happen the night before and I still haven't figured it out. Sandy thinks I may have passed out in the recliner...not sleeping passed out, but passed out-passed out.

Whatever it was, I slowly came to...and realized I didn't know what had happened to me. I was soaked with sweat from head to toe and was a huge hot flash. I was VERY confused about everything. I was also very weak. I didn't think I was going to be able to get up from the chair, let alone shut the house down for the night and get upstairs to bed. Sandy had left for work and it was almost midnight! The last I knew it was around 11:15 and I was going to get up from the chair and go to bed.

Anyway, I got upstairs and stripped my clothes off...although it seemed to take all my strength to do so. I got a facecloth, wet it and put it on my head...that cooled me off. Then I collapsed in bed and fell asleep.

So, yesterday I didn't feel well and went back to bed. Got up around noon and got busy cleaning the house for our guests who were coming for dinner. Took plenty of breaks and didn't clean everything...realized this AM that I didn't wipe Murphy's paw prints off the window sills in the living room!

Linda, Ted, David and Lynne arrived at 5pm. Lynne lead the guys on the tour of the yard and house for me so I could get the mussells cooked. We finished off the last of the stuffed Lynne says, "poor planning" on my we have no mussells left for the summer months! I'll have to get Carol to bring her's over.

We had a nice meal, nice conversation and then we all tried our hand at "Rock Band"....even Ted gamely tried the drums. David is a rebel and wouldn't stop banging on the drums....which was a riot---everytime he banged he set something in the program and when we would try to undo it he would bang on them again, making something else happen! It was like dealing with a two year old...made us laugh and yell at the same time.

Lynne acquitted herself well on the bass....showing that she never wants to repeat her famous "One Percent" performance of before. Linda did well on the drums, saving our butts at least once when we were crashing.

Then we put the toys away and chatted about dogs, life and other things. It was a nice night...the only thing that would make it nicer is if we had be able to eat outside and then have a fire in the chiminea. Maybe soon we can do it again.

After everyone left we went right up to bed, we were both exhausted. Sandy read for awhile and I fell asleep immediately, waking up about forty five minutes later.

Then I couldn't get back to sleep....maybe it was the caffeine in the coffee I had with dessert, or maybe it was the combo of wine, steak, cheesecake, etc., but my stomach was very upset. I ended up getting out of bed, going downstairs to get a glass of milk and later, my anti-nausea medications. I came back to bed and sat up for quite a while, before I dared lay flat. Then I slept fitfully the rest of the night.

I have to clean out the pond a bit...especially the water fall pump and the filter...not looking forward to that dirty task.

I have to admit that I have been having some "symptoms" lately that are a bit of a concern to me: some abdominal pains--shooting pains--like I had before; some bloating; and frequent trips to the bathroom to pee. All signs I need to be wary of. Good thing I'm going to see Dr. Lachance this week. I may just have a URI...I'll ask to be tested. I'm hoping, of course, that it's not the tumors coming back again. We'll see.

Sandy thinks maybe I am getting the Avastin and it made my blood pressure drop and that's what made me have that "incident" the other night, whatever it was. I think she may be right...I may have passed didn't feel like when I fall asleep in the recliner---it was different. I'm not used to passing out so I don't know how to recognize when it's happened...not like Sandy. She's almost a professional at passing out! LOL!

Tonight Jean, Pixie, Carol and Mark are coming over for dinner. Mark will eat and go escape "the women"...that's okay. We'd love to have him...he's such a great guy. But we understand. Sandy is making her famous swordfish. YUM!

Now I have to get outdoors in the beautiful weather and get myself absolutely FILTHY cleaning out that pump and filter. Think I'll wear my apron.