Saturday, December 29, 2007

Punctuality

Here I am writing about punctuality while I am procrastinating again. Why am I procrastinating? Because I am lazy. That is the honest answer. Walter has already gotten up and ridden his bike in the basement. I have played on the internet. He has taken a shower and gotten dressed. I am on my second cup of coffee. I said we would leave here at 10 ideally and definitely by 1030. I can still make it. I will be on time. He will be ready early and will be watching TV while he waits around for me.

Some people have a hard time being on time and make people wait around. I am not very good at that these days, especially. I get very tired if I am out too long. If I have to wait around for people, it cuts into my fun time. Last night, for example, we were supposed to meet at 5 pm for an early dinner. Well, dinner was delayed until 645 pm. We were ready for 5, no one else was. In fact, they were far, far away at the time. I ended up staying out too late and staying up too late. Crabbiness could appear. The people who made me late won't see my crabbiness. Walter will. He now informs me when I am crabby. (Gee, thanks. In case I missed it.)

The late people from yesterday said they text messaged my phone to tell us of their change in plans. That doesn't work if the phone in question is in a pocket down stairs. Text messaging is supposed to be so cool. My brother taught me how to text. So I sent him messages. He calls me back. Where is the logic here? He claims you can speak 180 words per minute and can text a lot fewer, hence the calls back.

Anyhow we are off to spend the weekend away just the two of us. Walter will spend lots of time waiting for me. He will be ready early. I will be ready on time. He doesn't get crabby and tired when he is out too long, I do. I am bribing him, we are stopping at the Gingerbread Construction Company for muffins for the drive up north. We have no idea of the nutritional content of these muffins and frankly we don't care. They are too yummy. Also, the B&B we are staying at features the home made muffin of the day and home made cookies in the afternoon. Like I said, we will diet next year.

Yes, I have a bigger suitcase today to put everything in.

PS My steri strips are starting to curl up on the ends and begin to peel off. This means they will start to ITCH!!!!!!!! Grrr!

PPS 957 am we are packing the car, closing the trunk, admiring all the space in the car... Whoops! Don't forget the snowshoes!!! DOH!!!! Now the car is full.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Packing panic

We are leaving tomorrow morning. I can't find all of my fun in the snow outdoor clothes. I have been digging around and they aren't where they are supposed to be. Well, its only been since last February that I used them!!! Perchance they are just stored in a safe place. I have found some but will need to sort through them and figure out if they are what I really need. I have piled a bunch of stuff on my open suitcase. I need a bigger one. They aren't going to fit. Why don't I just take my whole closet? That would solve my problems.

Yes, we are going away for three whole days. This is very exciting. Even if I feel crappy (being technical again) I can look out the window at something other than our back yard. I hope to go snow shoeing at least twice. I don't know how long I will last but at least I will be outside. Maybe it won't rain. That would be bad for snow shoeing. We will see.

Yesterday I did get rained on. I actually got rather wet walking in the rain. It was a cold yucky rain but I was talking on my cell phone for the duration of my walk (I was one of those rude people who talk on their cell phone on the bike path - but there was no one else on there - everyone else was inside warm and dry - and probably smarter than me) so I didn't really notice how wet I got until I was home. Then I wasn't very productive all day. Considering my morning walk didn't start until nearly noon that isn't surprising. I did watch a good movie - "Stand By Me" - which I had never seen before. River Phoenix as a little kid! I also managed my daily nap after dinner in front of the TV but did go to bed early. I do NOT have circles under or around my eyes today. Just to be clear. Lots of sleep - its the extra naps in front of the TV - that have cured those.

Today I will get over tired. My brother is visiting with his four children. I know they will tire me out. We are going to eat vast quantities of food and then probably go for a walk before eating more vast quantities of food. With small children around you have to eat lots of meals to prevent crankiness. (Crabbiness is what occurs in adults, crankiness is for kids. Creakiness in your muscles is what happens when you exercise to much and is very different. Crabbiness is caused general crappy feelings and stress.) Somehow I also need to finish packing and may need to do some laundry today. This sounds busy. Perhaps I should motivate and take a shower instead of procrastinating all day on the computer.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Not that I am keeping count or anything

But 53 doctor visits since my diagnosis. How's that! (I only know how many because I kept a spread sheet of doctor visits and medical expenses so we can deduct it on our taxes. Did you think I went through my calendar and counted them?) I think its a record. I think I should get a frequent visitor pass to the home of the OMWAHs - the Lahey parking garage. I start to have withdrawal when I haven't been there for a while. Its actually been ten days since I was last there - my surgery was at the hospital in Peabody which doesn't have a parking garage.

I've been thinking (scary idea isn't it?) Its been a while since I have been on my little cross country trip. At the last update, I was stuck in a lame-o gas station and trying to get to the beach. Well, now I have had surgery and am still recovering somewhat (a little sore, can't lift at the gym, etc) and feel like my beach vacation is no fun. Kind of like the awesome vacation you plan for a year at a really exotic location that takes two days, three planes and a really scary bus ride to get to and they lose your luggage on your arrival and then you get the stomach flu. By the time your luggage catches up and you recover, its time to pack up and head home. You got one day sitting by the hotel pool in the shade and that was it. Now I have to get ready to start the drive back home.

Next week (I already have three appointments for January 2), I go for a surgery follow up and then start planning radiation. That will be 5 weeks of daily full breast radiation followed by a boost for another 8 days to the area where the tumor was. (That would be basically 6 1/2 weeks of DAILY trips to Lahey.) I do still have to read up on radiation. I don't know much. I do know it can result in fatigue (now there's a change) and big burned patches of skin. I am so excited about this I can't wait - NOT! But that is next week (and next year) so I will worry about it then.

Actually I did already learn the most important thing about radiation. They have a separate parking lot for radiation patients. When you go in, you have to get your parking validated. This validation (unlike at chemo) does not give you free parking. It just saves you from a $10 surcharge if you didn't have a radiation appointment. Then you have to pay for parking. Then you leave. I didn't know this. I thought the validation paid for my parking. The nice security guard helped me. I caused a big line at the little parking lot. I have learned. Validation, pay for parking, then leave. Don't leave out step two. They make these things so confusing. Or is it my chemo brain can't comprehend this?

Today it rained and is supposed to rain/snow later. Just what we need, more snow to shovel. (Oh, but wait, I can't shovel snow this year. In the year of so far record snow, I can't shovel. Darn. I am so upset.) Anyhow, I am going to the gym to walk on the treadmill, unless I can dodge raindrops and walk outside. I will have to see. In addition, I have to think about packing for our trip, meaning where are my insulated boots? I think I am meeting a friend for lunch as well. Too exciting.

Yesterday we went for a big walk and tried to eat healthy. I had a salad for lunch. Dinner was mostly healthy and had lots of vegetables. Five jewelry stores later, I managed to get batteries for two of my five dead watches. Last night, apparently I didn't have big circles under my eyes. They were all black around them from being really tired. Hmmm... Maybe I will consider going to bed early tonight, instead of taking my evening nap in front of the TV.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today we resume normal eating and exercise habits

We are feeling flabby. We ate too much the past few days - that darn socializing promotes bad eating habits! Once it warms up enough we are going for a walk (another death march according to Walter). I think we have eaten enough crap the last few days to allow us to death march for three days straight. Let's see - cookies, brownies, chocolates, (really good) cheese and crackers, bagels, salmon, cream cheese, cookies again, wine, three kinds of home made soup, pieces of a gingerbread house, Chinese food, miniature cheese quiche thingies, etc. You get the point. Do you see any nutritional/low fat/low calorie items listed? No! Today we will have a healthy breakfast, a light lunch, and (un)fortunately a giant dinner. We had decided to make a special Christmas night dinner for the two of us. We ate too much yesterday afternoon to eat dinner last night so we will have it tonight. Salad - lots of it, part of a brisket from a Texas smokehouse (a Christmas gift), and oven fries. Then we have ice cream for dessert - from the ice cream fairy. We have to eat our ice cream. We got ice cream of the month club (no joke) for Christmas too. We need to make sure we have room in our freezer for it. 4 pints each month. I think we will be dieting for a long time as well. (This isn't to say that ice cream of the month is a bad thing but just that for the duration of the deliveries we will have to watch what we eat to allow for timely consumption of ice cream. And bacon. We can't forget the bacon of the month as well. Sigh. I just won't let them check my cholesterol anytime soon. I think that will happen in April.)

In the meantime, kitty is recovering from his Christmas stocking. I think he needs rehab. Too much catnip. And there are about 6 more new catnip toys waiting for him in the freezer. (The freezer is the only cat proof container in our house.) This was a recommended storage area and I am using it unless we run out of room for our ice cream delivery.

Another exciting day in my life. Walter is actually off for a few days which may reduce his crabbiness. He really needed a vacation. He gets crabby when he needs a vacation. I am the proud owner of five watches with dead batteries. My goal is to get at least two of these repaired today so I can tell time again. It has been pointed out that I could just carry my cell phone around with me to tell time. That assumes I remember to keep it charged. I seem to have a problem with that and with keeping my camera battery charged. (I do manage to keep my car battery charged. Now I have probably jinxed myself by saying that but I do have a new car battery so I feel okay about saying it.)

We also need to go to the library and get ready for our upcoming trip to Vermont. We are going snowshoeing this weekend. A weekend away. We haven't been away for a weekend since the end of July when we went to the beach. This will be a little different. Snow covered mountains in VT. Either way it will be fun. A little snow shoeing, followed by a little window shopping, and more bad eating habits. Well, just for New Years, but we are staying at a B&B which I am sure has non-healthy breakfasts - they advertise their home made muffin of the day along with hot entrees such as breakfast burritos. And an afternoon snack of home made cookies. Just what we need. More cookies. Hmmm... We will resume our diet on Jan. 2.

PS The crabbiness level is significantly reduced by 10 hours of sleep. (Well so far it is.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas and all that

Yesterday, we went out to dinner. Yes, I went out in the evening. This was my first evening excursion since September. We got home and Walter insisted I go to bed. (I think I might have been cranky and had big circles under my eyes.) He was very insistent. 'Go to sleep.' 'Yes, dear.' Anyhow, I was tired. I did go to bed and fall asleep. Then I slept late this morning. I think he tried to wake me up a few times. He was sick of looking at the presents under the Christmas tree! We also went for a little walk yesterday morning. It was good for us! That might have contributed to being tired, as well as going Christmas caroling in the afternoon and then out to dinner.

Today, will be less energetic. I am still tired. The cat has lots of new toys to play with. (He will be intoxicated.) I have new pajamas and a new sweater, among other things. Walter has lots of new things (but he isn't spoiled, the cat is). We are going to my parents house which isn't far away. We will probably eat way too much food.

We are having a white Christmas. I am not sure when the last time was there was snow on Christmas around here. Its been a few years since we have had so much snow on Christmas and a lot melted in the last few days. It does add to the holiday feeling. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Recovering from socializing

We went to a party yesterday afternoon. Then once again I fell asleep in front of the TV in the living room for about an hour. I think I was tired from too many yummy appetizers. Then I couldn't fall asleep again until 1am. Smarty pants (a/k/a Walter) suggested that when I get tired, I should just go to bed instead of staying in the living room. Well, if I wasn't so comfortable watching TV and realized I was about to fall asleep, I just might. (He could also wake me up when I am falling asleep so I go up to bed, but that's another story.) Anyhow, I was up late last night. Crabbiness and big circles around my eyes may reappear.

Yesterday, I was looking over the cool stuff we got at the party on Saturday with the Yankee swap and a few other well appreciated gifts we received. The best item is what Walter got in the Yankee swap. I don't think he appreciates it very much. He wasn't inclined to take it to his office even though we said it was kind of military green. However I think it is pretty cool and one of a kind. A frog tape dispenser. Who else has one? It will add a bit of cheer to my office - which can use a hell of a lot of something... I will use it. I just have to find the refill rolls of tape - might take a special trip to Staples or someplace.

In addition, yesterday I went out for a walk. It was quite enjoyable. I also saw four little dogs (punting size/smaller than a cat) out being walked by different people, all wearing their cute little sweaters. I don't think we can get a sweater on our cat. He just sleeps under the blankets. Unfortunately, I realized I am unable to dress myself properly. I can blame chemo brain for this and I think I will. It can be said that I have a matching pair at home as well.

This morning we are going out for a walk. Walter calls these death marches. I dont think he understands that a walk in the brisk fresh air is good for him. Then we have one last Christmas present to wrap, it just was delivered this morning. Later today we have Christmas caroling and out to dinner. More socializing. Again tomorrow as well. It gives us bad eating habits. We ate lots of yummy appetizers yesterday and never had dinner. Saturday, we had popcorn for dinner. Today we will have some of our Bacon of the Month for breakfast and then skip lunch so we can eat cookies and then go out to dinner. We will diet next year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I am consistent

I fell asleep in front of the TV three nights in a row now - that cat likes this part. Well, last night was just a little nap - just enough to miss the beginning of Ocean's Twelve so it didn't make as much sense as it probably does. However, I didn't like the rest of it enough to want to watch it again. I did like the scene where Julia Robert's character played Julia Roberts.

Anyhow, after my walk yesterday, we went to a party and socialized, ate way too much really good food, and came home. I didn't even have to stay up late as it was an afternoon event. We did a Yankee swap - which Walter called the New England way of stealing from your friends at the holidays. As a result, I got a really good gift box with something for each of us in it (which was swapped with me, and I stole back) that had catnip mice, an iTunes gift card and pink socks - guess who gets which item?). I also gave out all the cookies I had made this week. I really did make cookies about every day this week. At the last minute I decided not to make Maple Syrup cookies as I just didn't have time and they were the ones that were requested!! Okay, I'll make them next year. I promise.

Today, I am going for a walk again. The bike path was relatively clear - some packed snow - so it was very walkable, then laundry, and another party but not until late this afternoon. Maybe we'll get to the bookstore on the way as well. I may try to fit in a Netflix this afternoon - I have the Outsiders - full of all the 1980's young hunks of Hollywood. Maybe I can stay up and watch TV tonight or shall I still be consistent and fall asleep in the living room?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I keep forgetting

So I have chemo brain still, that is my excuse for the next twenty years. But anyhow, I digress. I keep forgetting I only had surgery on Tuesday and that perhaps is why I feel tired, fall asleep in front of the TV (two nights in a row), and feel crappy (technical term) a lot. It has been four whole days. No wonder I am exhausted. My goal today is to get some fresh air. I haven't breathed any of that good clean air since Monday. Perhaps it is time to go outside and go for a walk. It has snowed so much recently but they plow the bike path. (Don't get me started on that one. They have allocated money to plow the bike path as a test this winter but individuals and businesses are responsible for clearing the side walks in front of their properties. Also, the town is supposed to clear up the walkways at schools. The easiest place in town to walk is the bike path.) Needless to say I will not walk on sidewalks but will walk on the bike path.

My other big plan for the day is we have a party to go to this afternoon. I made tiramisu yesterday for the party. (If you on the guest list you get some, otherwise find an Italian restaurant.) Walter thinks I should take it easy for the morning so I am well rested for the party. I want to go for a walk. He is going to work this morning and won't know if I go for a walk or not. Hah! (But then he gets to say 'I told you so'.) The joys of married life. Someone else tries to tell you what to do.

Otherwise, not much of an exciting life to lead. My little friend nausea returned for a while - perhaps it was because I was tired yesterday. I ran lots of errands in the morning. Heartburn reappeared as well. Maybe I can fit in another Netflix this morning too. I definitely get our money's worth out of it these days!

By the way, of all the side effects, chemo brain is one of the ones that may never go away so I can use this for a very long time. Unfortunately the numbness and tingling in my hands and feet may not depart for a long time as well.

Friday, December 21, 2007

You know, sometimes the doctors are right and sometimes they are wrong

So the doctor said to me, it really can't be cancer, blah, blah, blah, you just had all that chemo, blah, blah, blah, but we need to be sure, blah, blah, blah, so I had more surgery, blah, blah, blah. And then they said WAIT TEN DAYS FOR THE RESULTS!

Okay, so they were right and they were wrong. It was benign and they only made me wait two days for the results. Yippee! They called at 5 pm last night, which is 49 hours from when I woke up in recovery! How's that for the shortest ten days on record?

All I know is one was a fibroid adenoma (fancy name for a benign tumor). The other they didn't say so it was probably just a vascular abnormality (fancy name for a bunch of blood vessels in a big blob). I will clarify all of this when I go back for a follow up after New Year's. Needless to say the crabbiness factor is much lower today than yesterday. However I still have to finish recovering from the surgery.

I had the best of intentions to go for a walk yesterday with a friend, but it was snowing so we opted for coffee instead. Then I was going to go to the gym but really decided I felt too crappy (technical term!) to do so. So I sat like a blob and watched TV (being part of the problem again). I did make cookies and try to go to the library. I never remember until I am turning in to the parking lot that the library is closed until 1 pm on Thursdays. Why can't I remember this? Why, why, why? Its not too complicated a concept for my chemo brain but I guess it does require the use of short term memory.... Grrr... I will go back today.

Now I did take a shower yesterday (you really needed to know that I am sure - and brushed my teeth as well) and under the giant bandage from surgery, are four little bitty steri strips. They haven't started itching yet but I am waiting.

Unfortunately I did report yesterday that the chemo side effects are going away. Well I forgot about one - heart burn - which resurfaced for quite a while yesterday. Tums are my friend. Grrr!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I have been attempting to have some holiday spirit

I wrote Christmas cards and sent them (if you didn't get yours yet, I am sure it is in the mail), shopped (mostly online), we got a tree and decorated it. Now it's the 'now what'? Its time to show off our tree (before the cat knocks it over or something). Due to my highly refined photography skills, after six attempts I managed this photo of our tree. You will note the finely focused picture and lack of interference from outside lighting. (I can't close the curtains because the draw cord is behind the tree.) So just squint a little and enjoy.

Otherwise, I am feeling okay. Lived on Tylenol most of yesterday but I will see how today goes. I was very productive yesterday. I made cookies. I watched TV. The cat napped. I watched more TV. I talked on the telephone. I did not really leave the house. I do not lead an exciting life. (If you have been reading my blog this far you might have figured that out by now. I could make up a secret twin who does exciting things but then I would have to think up exciting things for them to do.)

Now that I am one week post chemo I have started to notice a few things. The general crappy (to use that well known technical term) feeling has mostly gone away. It might have really gone away except for Tuesday's little adventure. However, the nausea, my personal favorite, seems to be fading away. How will I live my life with out its continual presence? The hair and fingernails are going to take longer to recover but there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

The big question is what am I going to do with my time? I have a whole extra day in the week to make use of? Not having to go to Lahey for chemo will force me to come up with more activities. Should this include housework? I DON'T THINK SO! I am sure there are other things I can do with my time. Mind you I just need to stop going to Lahey so often to free up a bit more of my time. For those of you keeping track, I had 9 (count them NINE) trips to Lahey over a 14 day period.

Today I am going for a walk, to the library, and making cookies. But the big excitement is I get to take a shower and take off my bandage. I don't expect to find anything icky there. Just more damn steri strips. How soon until they begin to itch and 'fall off'? Bets anyone?

PS Maybe I'll take photography classes with all my spare time!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ice cream fairy fesses up


I asked the potential ice cream fairy if they could possibly be the one and this is the reply I got! Many, many thanks! Is it possible to lose weight on the ice cream diet?

Yes Virginia, there is an ice cream fairy!

When we got home last night, the ice cream fairy had visited and left us two quarts in the snow bank by the front door! How thoughtful (and sneaky)! I have some suspicions on their true identity as well. As a result I had a very nutritional post surgery meal of pizza, cookies, and ice cream. Today I shall be a bit healthier.

I was at Lahey north yesterday from 930 am - 445 pm. After changing into a Dr Seymour Butz gown, first I got taken to ultra sound where they stuck wires in me so the surgeon knew where to operate. Then after a relaxing three hours, they did the surgery. It went fine. I am in very little pain - make that minor discomfort. However, I have steri strips. I am not sure how long until they begin to itch but just can't wait! Hah!

Anyhow, during that lovely three hour interval (no I am not complaining as the surgeon managed to fit me in at the last minute), I got to read my medical chart on my previous surgeries going back to 1981. It was actually fairly interesting reading as I never knew somethings in there before - or they told me and I simply forgot (I have chemo brain and therefore have a good excuse). At any rate, it was more interesting than reading 1978 National Geographics. Again, the surgeon said I don't think its cancer, blah, blah, blah, but we have to be sure, blah, blah, blah, and it will be about ten days before we have the results, blah, blah, blah, he will be on vacation next week so his office should call me with them, blah, blah, blah.

Now we are back in the wait and see mode. This is the unstressful part. Don't worry about anything! No stress involved! Maybe another nasty diagnosis for you. But don't stress! Grrr! I hate this part.

The most painful part of yesterday was when they put the IV in the back of my hand. The second most painful part was when they stuck needles in me during the ultrasound. I did ask if they would use my port and they said no they don't for surgery. I will have to have a little talk with the oncologist at my appointment in January. One of the advantages of the port is they can use it for IV's, blood tests, and other treatments. Well, none of the other departments in the hospital seem to know that part. Further reasons to have it taken out asap.

Today's plans include being lazy, watching TV, making cookies, and being lazy again. I am not supposed to lift anything over 5 lbs and can't shower until tomorrow (and of course I really feel like I want to take a shower). So I guess I'll just be lazy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm getting ready

Well I am procrastinating. I have to leave in 45 minutes. My parents are coming to pick me up. They will probably be early. I have to get moving. I haven't taken a shower yet. Or brushed my teeth. Its funny they give you a little list of things for before surgery - wear comfy clothes, no food after midnight, etc - and they specifically tell you to brush your teeth before surgery. Do people need to be told this? I mean it is a little basic.

After surgery I am not supposed to be in substantial amounts of pain but they say take Tylenol/Advil and use ice to reduce bruising. The last time I had surgery and used ice, it was July. It is different when it is 90 degrees out than when it is snow covered December on using ice packs.

Now would you procrastinate? Going for surgery I mean? Isn't it a lot of fun - no! At least I only put on the little (see more butts) gown once. Yesterday, I put on a gown to be examined by the doctor, got dressed, put on a gown for a chest x-ray, got dressed, put on a gown for the EKG, and got dressed. I felt that all I did was change clothes the entire time I was there... I should motivate. Its a tropical 11 degrees outside too. I think I would rather stay home and make Christmas cookies.

PS I have informed Walter that the correct dinner after surgery is chocolate ice cream. I think he is working on this.

PPS I thought I should report it is 8:13 am and I have showered and brushed my teeth and put my turtleneck on right side out!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Today I spent over 4 hours at Lahey clinic. Tomorrow I get to spend even more time. I called the surgeon's office this morning and they fit me in. Apparently the MRI and ultra sound show these two areas that need to be checked. No, the surgeon doesn't think they are more cancer either but he has to check. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The surgeon first said I can't do the surgery for three weeks and then he said he could fit me in tomorrow if I wanted. (Who's he kidding? Wait around and stress for three more weeks? Oh, I love that waiting! Not!) Then he realized that I only had chemo last week so he had to consult with the medical oncologist and send me off for blood tests, a chest x-ray, and an EKG to make sure I am okay to have surgery. Then I waited for another hour and a half (I think he forgot about me) and finally got the okay to have surgery tomorrow. In the exciting interim, I unearthed an artifact - a 1978 copy of National Geographic. (It had an article on the Grand Canyon. I don't think its changed much since.)

To make a long story short (I bet you thought I was going to ramble forever) is I am having another basic lumpectomy tomorrow, maybe even in two spots. I get to have steri strips again - just in case I didn't have enough of them so far. I will be home for dinner. My stress level should go down. I should hear back from the surgeon's office in a week or so.

Today's drive to Lahey and back was made more exciting by all the people who lost their ability to drive when the see snow banks near by. What could those big white things be? I'll sit here and look at them for a few minutes before turning... Grrr.

Technical difficulties

I had a few technical difficulties this morning. Its different when you are in an office and you can call the IT department but when you are home and can see your wireless network but not connect to it, grrrrr!!!!! Its definitely Monday. And a cold one at that. The advantage I have over all you gainfully employed people is that I am in my pajamas drinking coffee and not going outside until it warms up. I have plenty to keep me busy inside.

Yesterday was also an inside day as we had another tiny snowstorm. 8" of snow followed by a nice rain storm which gave everything and nice shiny glaze of ice. Potential problem, we have been filling the bird feeder which is good for the birds and greatly entertains the cat. Now it is across the yard full of snow. The cat is bored and the birds are hungry.

We also watched the end of the everlasting third Pirates of the Caribbean movie yesterday. We definitely decided it had an overly complicated plot and really started to drag. Well its on its merry way back to Netflix so we can watch more exciting movies instead.

This is what the cat did yesterday. I think he plans on more of it today. I think he is developing a dependency (When does it become an addiction? When do we need to stage an intervention?)

I will call the surgeon's office a little later and see what I can get scheduled. Grrr... No I'm not stressed! Hah!

In the meantime, I am waiting for all my chemo side effects to go away. Nausea, weird fingernails, hair, possible mouth sores, are all hanging around. The nurses said two weeks before the chemo drugs get out of my system but I am hoping without the weekly dose this week things will start to improve.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I missed the whole end of my trip across country

For a while I was stuck in Kansas, then going through the Rockies. Now with this whole biopsy thing I feel like I am stuck twenty miles from the beach at a lame-o gas station in the middle of the desert waiting for major engine repair to my car. Grrrr!

We are now 'cultured'

We enjoyed the play yesterday but then I was very tired. At Walter's oh so subtle suggestion, I took a nap at 530. I woke up at 9 and put on pajamas and went back to bed. So I got lots of sleep. I didn't sleep late this morning - funny how after 12 hours of sleep your body just doesn't want to sleep any more. I feel better today. Rested in fact. But not rested enough to shovel snow, because its snowing again. I definitely don't feel well enough to shovel snow.

I do feel rested enough to go out to lunch but since the roads aren't plowed, I don't think that's happening. Grrr...

Otherwise, today will be a day for cleaning the house and wrapping some presents. It might stop precipitating later today so I can go to the gym. Then we move on to plan B - Netflix.

PS The alleged big circles under my eyes are gone as well.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today we actually are going to get some CULTURE!

We are going to see the local production of "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". We haven't done anything interesting like this in months. In fact I have lived in the same town as this theater group for 14 years and never been to any one of their plays even though I have heard good things about them. We are going out on a limb here and see what we think. A little culture won't be bad for us either. Maybe we will get barbecue and chocolate ice cream on the way home. The chocolate ice cream craving is returning.

Nothing exciting happened yesterday at Lahey. They found two areas to biopsy but some pesky blood vessels are in the way so they need a surgeon to do the biopsy. Normally a radiologist does these biopsies and works around blood vessels but in this case, she said there are too many in the way and a surgeon will need to tie them off and then take the samples for biopsy. They all say it shouldn't be more cancer because of the chemo I had but because of my diagnosis, they need to biopsy it to be sure... blah, blah, blah... This means more delays. No I am not happy about it. I will call the surgeon's office on Monday and see what we can get for a schedule. In the meantime, my stressed, crabby, evil twin will probably be around. The chocolate ice cream mentioned above is meant to relieve the stress and crabbiness.

Otherwise, today I am going for a walk. We got a little bitty snow storm the other day. I went out and took some pictures in it. I also took some movies with my camera. I am not sure how. I probably should read the manual to figure out what I did and then try to take some more. The town as an experiment is plowing the bike path, so it is cleaner than the side walks, and I can go for a walk outside. Tomorrow will be a day for indoor activities as we are due for yet another storm. I think my lunch plans for tomorrow are also canceled.

Meanwhile the cat has developed a new skill. He now, we aren't sure if this is a result of the catnip influence or not, has decided he likes to walk around rooms and not walk on the floor. He walks from piece of furniture to piece of furniture. Most odd. He will run on the floor at anytime toward his food dish in hopes it might be filled.

PS There were no OMWAHs at Lahey yesterday. I think they were hiding from the snow. There were however some morons in the grocery store parking lot.

Friday, December 14, 2007

OMWAHs again!

So we are attempting to leave Lahey's parking garage yesterday. There are three lanes, one on the left to pay as you exit and two on the right for prepaid people. There was a big pick up truck who was in the right lane but needed to get in to the left lane so he could pay as he left. Then a second pick up truck tried to do the same thing and asked if he could cut in front of us. We really wanted to leave and asked if he could wait and he would have more room once we pulled through. Well the lady in the middle lane was sick of waiting and made him go in front of us. He was nice enough to pay for our parking. But our parking was validated so we didn't need his contribution. I will use it to pay for today's parking. So an OMWAH who was polite with a conscience! And he wasn't on his cell phone. He just couldn't read all the signs in the parking garage.

I never did nap yesterday but it seems my crabbiness level has evened out. We shall see how that goes. At least no more chemo! The nurses say it should take about 2 weeks for most of the drugs to get out of my system and I start to feel normal - will the stupid side effects go away by then too???? They wouldn't confirm. The numbness and tingling in my hands and feet could take a long time or never go away but thats fairly minor. I really am more concerned about fingernails, nausea, hair, heart burn, mouth sores, etc.

Well today's Lahey mystery is I have two procedures scheduled. Don't really know what they are - I think one is an ultrasound guided biopsy but not sure on the other - probably something similar. Well, I will know soon enough this afternoon. I know I will have a most exciting time while I am there. Those lovely little gowns they give you never quite seem to cover enough body parts and then they want to examine you so you might as well be naked half the time. I think more doctors and technicians have seen my surgically scarred body at this point....

Anyhow, off to the gym this morning to relieve some stress. Yesterday I never made it for my walk but supervised Walter's use of the snow blower and used the shovel a little bit. I just need to move a little snow around my car so it will melt today. I can handle that. We probably have 10" out there (will take a ruler out later) but Walter shoveled once in the middle of the storm and again just as it was ending after the plow went by so we are in pretty good shape.

Silly me, I also have to go to the grocery store today. Yesterday was a snow storm and another storm is due tomorrow night so I am sure it will be mobbed as people really do panic they might run out of food. Don't these people keep cans of soup around to eat when they can't get to the store?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am procrastinating

I hope for the last time. Today should be my last chemo. Yippee! All done. However tomorrow I get to go back to Lahey again. The fourth time this week. The 7th time in the last two weeks I think.

The MRI I had on Saturday again showed a suspicious area. My surgeon called but before I could reach him back on the phone I met with the radiation oncologist who told me the results. Basically it is the same thing as the MRI I had last summer so they have to try to biopsy it again. The doctor said to me she doesn't think its cancer based on all the chemo that I have had but they have to check. Also, it is the same place I had a lumpectomy in 1986 so she thinks it is probably scar tissue or something related to that surgery. Last summer, they couldn't even find what was picked up on the MRI when they used an ultrasound so they gave up and said check back in six months. And now we have the exact same things to go through again. The result is I have to go back and have the biopsy tomorrow. But I will worry about that then. Sort of. Maybe a little bit now. Also, until this is resolved, I can get my radiation scheduled. So that is all on hold.

Actually, the real result is I am very crabby. Ask Walter. He says he wasn't crabby yesterday until he got home and ran into my crabbiness. Stress is such a wonderful thing.

Now speaking of chemo, I am running late. We are supposed to leave in 9 minutes. I have not gotten dressed yet or brushed my teeth. (It does not take long to do my hair so I am safe there.) I should get motivated but why ruin my consistency? I have procrastinated on going to the last 15 chemo treatments so why change now????? Shortly Walter will call up from down stairs to remind me of the time and point out we are running late. I will reply by telling him I am almost ready and then start getting dressed. I have found if you run from the parking garage to the chemo wing at Lahey, your blood pressure can be a little high when they check it when you first get there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So the cat's spoiled

I bought him four more cat toys for Christmas. Three will go in his stocking. They are currently residing safely in the freezer. One he already has. We discovered that when he over indulges in catnip, the inside of his ears turns pink. Not like people get red eyes when under the influence, his ears turn red. Now we can tell when he is over indulging. He was actually pretty funny. He wouldn't be separated from his new toy. Then he slept. Alot. And snored.

Yesterday wasn't too exciting. Went to the gym , a volunteer meeting, Christmas shopping, and work. Nothing much. Today, is another exciting day in my life. I get to go back to Lahey for an appointment with the radiation oncologist to plan radiation. Then maybe a walk outside and work. How exciting is that? Not very I admit.

Actually today's dilemma is I meet with the radiation oncologist to plan radiation as I said. However I know nothing about radiation. I was supposed to read up on it in advance. Oops! Too late now! I have a 9 am apt. I'll read afterwards. Sort of like reading the book after finals.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yesterday at Lahey

All the OMWAHs were hiding. I think they were scared of the ice. Anyhow, it was a miracle day: I was in and out of Lahey in less than one hour. This doesn't happen very often. My mammogram was fine but no MRI results yet, they will call in a few days.

I went to the mall for the first time in about six months. I figured it was a good time as the roads were supposedly icy (but really weren't - driveways were icy so no one left their houses. I saw one lady who managed to get her SUV wedged diagonally across here driveway between a stone wall and a pile of snow. ) Otherwise, nothing exciting. I went to the gym, went to work, started to decorate the Christmas tree. That cat wanted to help decorate the tree. He is not very helpful. Is it a toy or an ornament? Why does he check out EVERY one? If he's not careful, all his presents will be returned for a lump of coal that he won't like! (Yes, he even has his own stocking. It is very sad. But he's not really spoiled. Walter is more spoiled.) Again, yesterday I got very tired and ended up spending several productive hours in front of the TV and went to be early. I have been told going to bed early is the best crabbiness prevention available.

Today, I have a meeting, going to the gym, work, and support group. Must do more work on Christmas cards. Must buy stamps. More boring life. I think some day I will again lead an exciting life and have something to write about but apparently not these days. But then I won't get to watch as much TV.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How could I forgot? MAJOR OMWAH sighting

As we left the Lahey parking garage on Saturday afternoon, we were preceded by a large conversion van who took a left turn on to the access road that goes around the garage. Evidently, they are from another country as they stayed to the LEFT of the sign that says stop for pedestrians, driving on the wrong side of the road. Then, while they did get over to the RIGHT side of the road, they sped up and hit the second set of speed bumps at about 20 mph. We let them get far ahead. When we caught up with them at the light at the entrance to Lahey, we saw that they were the worst kind of OMWAH - talking on their cell phone while driving! Eeek! I am headed off to Lahey again this morning. I will look very carefully to make sure they are still not lurking around!

Yesterday we finally got our Christmas tree after eating way too much Chinese food. This was a weekend for lots of eating. Then I did lots of nothing. I am getting very good at doing lots of nothing. What else did I do yesterday? I went for a walk in the morning. I didn't send Christmas cards, wrap presents, clean the house, or anything productive. Its amazing how much time can be spent doing nothing. Someday I know I will have to go back to the real world and start being productive again, but definitely not this week. Walter again insisted I go to bed early as a crabbiness preventive. I am not sure how well it works but I did get a lot of sleep last night and so far I haven't been crabby. Walter suggested I ask the doctor this morning about crabbiness. I am not sure it has a medical diagnosis.

Today's big plans are Lahey - I get to go out in an ice storm, followed by the gym, and work. No idea what to make for dinner, probably left overs. Again, the boring, unproductive life takes over.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The impact of socializing

So we went to a friend's annual holiday party yesterday. It was nice to get out and see people. However I had forgotten about one key issue: I saw people I hadn't seen since my diagnosis and they didn't know. Hmmm... How to handle this in a public situation? 'Hi, nice to see you. I have short hair because I am in chemotherapy and its really a wig.' Ooops! I forgot about that part. It does make things a bit awkward... I think I did okay. Anyhow the food was yummy. We ate way too much (lasagna, meatballs, calzones, brownies, chips, dip, etc.) and are going for a walk this morning to recover before going out for Chinese food brunch.

On the crabbiness issue, I was informed yesterday when I asked Walter on a scale of 1-10 what my crabbiness level was, that I was at the Spinal Tap level of 11. (If you don't know, rent the movie, its a mockumentary about a 1970's fictitious rock band.) I went for a walk yesterday and then took a nap before going to Lahey and the party. When we got home, Walter insisted I go to bed to prevent further crabbiness today. I will try very hard to prevent crabbiness but his cat just made me a present on the rug in my office. Grrr...

The MRI went fine yesterday. Other than when they put the IV in and it really hurt. However I survived.

After our walk and brunch today, we are going to get our Christmas tree. I decided I needed to sleep yesterday instead of go run more errands so it got delayed until today. I might even get a start on Christmas cards as well!

PS We tried our first installment from the Bacon of the Month club yesterday for breakfast. It was yummy. We are not sharing. Don't even try to stop by for breakfast to get some.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It is possible that crabbiness has passed

I did get lots of sleep last night which can significantly reduce the crabbiness level. However I think Walter will defer his opinion until later in the day. Yesterday I was significantly crabby. I did go for a walk which always helps. I also went to the grocery store. Actually I went to a store I never go to because I always thought it was dirty, yucky, over priced, under stocked, and poorly staffed. Well, I had heard that I could purchase environmentally correct wax paper sandwich bags there and my regular grocery store with the bad self checkouts let me down earlier in the week, I decided to take a chance on the other store. I was pleasantly surprised. I found some good prices, a nice selection, not the widest selection but ample variety, and a clean store. I will probably return. Sometimes assumptions need to be proved wrong.

Like today's assumption that I will have another MRI with false positives causing undue stress. I can keep my assumption and stress about it (and hence be crabby). Or I can assume it will be fine. I am not sure I can lose my assumption (or crabbiness) yet but I am trying.

Anyhow, today I am off for a walk, then we will buy a Christmas tree, and then a trip to Lahey. Well its been 48 hours since I have been there last so it must be time for another visit. They are on a 48 hour interval this week. Something to look forward to - NOT! But then after that we are going to a party. Yes, we will briefly experience a social life. Don't get too excited. I probably will end up staying up too late and being crabby again tomorrow. But we will get out and see people for the first time in months. I do plan on being home by 9pm if possible to preclude as much crabbiness as possible.

On a more positive note, 90% of my Christmas shopping is done. Our Christmas cards are in the works and will be mailed in the next few days. Some decorations are up and the tree will probably be decorated also by early in the week.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Crabbiness alert

I went to chemo yesterday but didn't take my normal nap. I was very crabby. Ask Walter. He got crabby because I was crabby. I slept okay last night but there is no confirmation crabbiness may not return. You can ask the customer service person at Toys R Us who screwed up my order about my crabbiness level. Consider yourselves warned!

Yesterday went okay. We were there a long time but I did meet with my medical oncologist and talked about lots of follow up issues. The answer to the big question is no I don't get my port out right away but we will talk about it at my next appointment with him in January. I can live with that for now but in January, I will be less patient. Otherwise, the big topic of conversation is hormone therapy. Basically hormone therapy has shown to reduce the risk of recurrence more than chemotherapy does - by another 1/3 or more. After all this chemo and hormone therapy my recurrence risk will be down around 10%. Now it would be nice that it would be lower but there is not much we can do with this. Also, as been pointed out that these numbers are based on patients from 1996-2002 or so and there have been vast improvements in treatment since then and there continue to be more. Anyhow, 10% risk of recurrence, translates to 90% risk of no recurrence. People play the lottery for lots lower odds.

11 down, 1 to go. (YEAH!!!!)

PS we just got a delivery of a Christmas gift from Hammacher Schlemmer that looks to be defective. Their customer service person is about to find out about my crabbiness level too!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Procrastination!

Once again, I am procrastinating on going to Lahey. Need to be there in 1 hour. Need to allow 35 minutes or so to drive, park, and walk to get there on time. I am showered. I am not dressed, not eaten anything, or brushed my teeth. I did make the bed and check my email. Does that count? Walter will start 'reminding me' that it is time to go shortly. That is when I will start getting dressed. He is always on time and tries to make me stop procrastinating.

Today is the big appointment with the medical oncologist to find out about 'what is next' after chemo. We get to talk about things like follow up tests, hormone therapy for five years, and, most importantly of all, when I can get my port out. My personal preference would be in about 10 days, just after my last chemo. I have heard they like patients to keep their port in for about three months after chemo, just in case. While you have a port, if not going for regular infusions, you still have to go monthly to get it flushed, which is a pain in the neck. I really want it out soon. I will see what he has to say. Maybe I can persuade him. He has shown some flexibility in these things in the past.

Did you see the latest news story? Fit or fat? Which one? Apparently, it is okay to be a little bit fat if you are fit. They define fit as walking briskly for 30 minutes five times a week. Does this mean I can keep my flabbiness if I keep walking most days? That is how I interpret it. Not that I wouldn't mind being a size 8 again but be real, its a little harder as you get older.

Yesterday was a poor nutrition day. Ignore what I said. I had licorice and rice chips for breakfast, soup for lunch, and Chinese take out for dinner. I will attempt to do better today but no promises as there is left over Chinese food in the fridge. In an effort to counteract the Chinese food, I will go for a walk this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I think I was an OMWAH

I lost my car in the parking garage, went to the wrong level (walked up two flights of stairs mind you), looked around and realized I was down a level. Does that make me an OMWAH? I think so.

Also, I had licorice and rice chips for breakfast - they are now all gone. I will try to eat healthier later.

Mammogram went fine. No excitement there.

Days of doctors appointments

In the next 8 days I have 6 doctors appointments: mammogram today, chemo and medical oncologist tomorrow, MRI Saturday, surgeon follow up Monday, radiation oncologist Wednesday, and chemo Thursday. I think that is plenty of appointments (and opportunities to see OMWAHS) thank you. Unfortunately the two oncologists will probably have more appointments for me to go to in the future. I think I will be very busy the next few weeks.

Now that I am almost at the end of chemo, it is time to plan any follow up tests (and when I can get my damn port taken out) with the medical oncologist. I will also find out hormone therapy which I will be on for the next five years. Also, radiation begins so I need to have an initial consultation with the radiation oncologist followed by a planning session with the technicians, then six or seven weeks of radiation five days a week beginning in January. Now that will be a fun time! (NOT!)

Well I will keep you all informed of any and all OMWAHs seen. Maybe I should take my camera along and take pictures....

Anyhow, I did finally break into the ice cream last night. Too bad I bought a kind Walter doesn't like - it has marshmallow in it and he hates marshmallow (I forgot, I always forget about the damn marshmallow thing). Now guilt sets in and I think I should go buy the flavor he likes. That would be the 'right' thing to do but lets see if my chemo brain allows me to remember ice cream while in the grocery store.

Well off for a morning of fun at Lahey. I have to figure out when I can fit in a trip to the gym today as well before I go to work. I think its too cold to walk outside.The news said its 14 degrees and there is a lot of ice around.

In response to some feedback I have received: Yes, I have ugly toes. You saw them with the really yucky toe nails - just be glad its not YOUR feet. I hope it didn't ruin your day. I do eat nutritional food. I am not living on junk food alone. I will have some pears for breakfast and soup for lunch. Dinner will probably be chicken and salad (with ice cream for dessert).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Frustrations

Why do I always choose to go through the self check out line at the same grocery store? Every time I have a problem and have to wait for an employee with an attitude to come help. Why, why, why? I need to learn to either avoid that store or use the regular check outs. Sorry, its just me being stupid.

I got up yesterday and wrote a small grocery list. Then I lost the list so I rewrote it. Then I organized my coupons and left them at home. Then I got to work and realized the one thing I really needed was not on the list so I wrote it in. Then I got to the grocery story and thought I had lost my list and couldn't remember anything else on it but the one important thing. Then the store didn't have two items I needed - baking chocolate and hair ball cat treats (he is making 'the cough' that heralds impending messes). Grrrr....

Anyhow, yesterday's real frustration is communicating with the surgeon's office on my follow up appointment that is supposed to occur in December. I saw the surgeon in early October and he wanted me to have a mammogram and MRI and see him again in December. Its December and the appointment still isn't scheduled. I called last Wednesday, the woman I needed to speak with was out so they said she would call me Thursday. I called Friday, she said she would schedule these and someone would call me back on Friday afternoon. I called yesterday and she said they had to put the order in again and someone would call me back. Someone finally called back with an appointment for the MRI - (in)conveniently scheduled for 415pm on Saturday (we have a party to go to Saturday at 4) - but I still don't have a mammogram or appointment to meet with the doctor. I will call again this morning. Perhaps it is time to be a bit less nice to these people.

Otherwise I went to the gym yesterday, my support group, and work. I made a yummy chicken, black bean and green chilis soup for dinner. It was quite good, if I do say so myself. I am trying to motivate myself to go to the gym again this morning. I have less motivation. It is 19 degrees out which is very demotivating. However I may need to destress after being 'less nice' to the doctor's office. Another way to make us all less patient patients! At least I know when my appointments are this week!

However there is always the chocolate ice cream cure for stress. I now have some waiting for the right time in the freezer.

Monday, December 3, 2007

More junk food

Yesterday we opened the candy bar that came with our bacon of the month club delivery. I showed it to Walter and he made that 'face' that says 'No way am I going to try this'. It was very yummy. Who would have thought that dark chocolate with sea salt and bacon would be good but it was! Go figure. I just want to find the person who dreamed that combination up. Walter did save me yesterday. He found the can of cashews that I bought and eaten most of and ate the rest. We have no cashews left. I am happy. I will not buy them again for months.

Yesterday, I went to brunch with friends I hadn't seen in quite a while. I had bacon, it was really good bacon this time. (I am developing a bacon fixation similar to my fancy coffee from Starbucks fixation.) I also had smoked trout with capers, a yummy little pastry, and a goat cheese strada. I got home just in time for the teenager I hired to rake the lawn. He did a very good job and we no longer have leaves everywhere. Walter had drill this weekend and I couldn't rake them myself! I did contemplate this but decided there are times when it is best to hire a professional for chores (in this case a 1oth grader who needed money). I also did make it to the gym to walk off the fattening food.

It snowed last night so I can't go for my walk outside. I am waiting for it to warm up (so car scraping gets easier) and I can go to the gym and watch Ellen DeGeneres while I am on the treadmill. I am turning into a connoisseur of day time TV. Yes to GMA and Ellen DeGeneres. Forget about Martha (I will lie because I am greedy and I can design outfits to work with my monitoring anklet) Stewart. There's always the Food Network to learn how to make more yummy food. If you can't sleep, I recommend the Weather Channel. The WE seems to show an unending mixture of bridal shows - Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, Rich Bride/Poor Bride, etc all of which give me reasons for being glad we did not do some things at our wedding.

Back on track. After the gym, I have the last meeting of my new support group and will go to work and then the grocery store on the way home. How exciting but I can finally buy some ice cream if I want. It will really depend on my mood when I get there, chocolate craving or no chocolate craving.

I did read a good book yesterday, my first graphic novel (for the uninformed graphic novels are not pornographic but cartoons, i.e., graphic arts). Its called Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person. I was intrigued by the title. Unfortunately I have to be a bit more selective in choosing these books. I should have know by the front cover where it says a memoir. Another book about a breast cancer patient who dies. Much better than Nordies at Noon. Walter tells me to stop reading books. There are plenty of trashy novels at the library with happy endings. I am now back to trashy novels.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bacon of the month club

Walter's sister sent us Bacon of the month club for a Christmas gift. I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow! This is more healthy eating for me! It is something to look forward to. Like finishing chemo and radiation.

Not like the state of my finger and toe nails. They look disgusting and might fall off. This is a fun filled side effect of chemo. Again, fast growing cells, like toe and finger nails, are affected by chemo. Sometimes they fall off. I have heard from people who's nails have fallen off that there is not a new nail growing underneath, like when you smash your toe and the nail turns black and falls off. There is nothing underneath and they take a long time to grow back. My nails are yellow and some have big purple blotches on them. That doesn't look promising. Yucky to say the least. See my toes???? (Face it, in some obscure way you wanted to see yucky toe nails. Its sort of like watching a train wreck, it is fixating in some weird, sick way. Maybe I'll show a picture of my port next.) Why don't I just get a manicure and pedicure and hide these from the world? Well, I can't until I am done with chemo. Its back to the same thing, blood counts are low so susceptible to infection, etc. I hope my nails survive so that I have something to get manicured and pedicured at some point!

In addition the ever present nausea is just that - ever present. It seems manageable without taking drugs. The drugs give me blurry vision and make me tired. I dont have a pill to fix blurry vision. Caffeine solves the tired issues. Why can't there be a pill to fix my nails?

Let's see yesterday I continued my quest for a boring life. I met a friend for a walk, bought Christmas cards, went to the bank, and did laundry. I also watched many hours of TV, with the cat. He seems to think my purpose in life these days is to sleep on my lap while I sit there for many hours. Today I am meeting some friends I haven't seen in a while for brunch and then will probably need a nap but I have hired someone to come over and finish raking our yard. This is the last week for leaf pickup and the oak tree finally decided to drop its leaves. How exciting is my life???

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Junk food during chemo

I seem to have developed a taste for junk food. This week I purchased the aforementioned coconut sorbet, a can of cashews, a container of soft licorice twists, and sea salt rice chips (healthy potato chips). (The really bad thing is Walter doesn't like licorice or coconut sorbet and doesn't know about the rice chips or cashews.) In addition, we split a bag of Cape Cod potato chips at work one day. I also have a chocolate ice cream craving. So much for being healthy. Next week I shall try to improve my nutritional levels but these days I am not too concerned with nutrition.

I was thinking. Tomorrow is six months since I started my blog. I actually got my big news on May 31 (it took me a few days to figure out how to communicate), but there aren't 30 days in November so today is sort of the six month anniversary of my diagnosis. It has been quite a roller coaster ride. LOTS of trips to Lahey Clinic, doctor's appointments, needles, tests, treatments, many OMWAH sightings and not much fun. In the next three months, I should finish my treatments - now won't THAT be nice!

Now, I have not reported much on OMWAHs recently but there have been several sightings. The Lahey parking garage I am convinced is where they converge in the universe. I have been told it is ageist and sexist to describe OMWAHs but I should clarify that anyone of either sex or any age can have OMWAH status, it is really a reflection of driving ability, or lack of. I did see an OMWAH in the parking lot of Christmas Tree Shops yesterday. To the person in the black SUV on the phone, backing out of parking space without looking, you are an OMWAH! And just be glad the little white car managed to get out of your way before you hit them!

Anyhow, thank you to all who have been reading along on my wonderful little roller coaster ride. I hope I keep you all entertained at the very least and don't bore you too much.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Nutrition during chemo

So I went to a presentation on Monday about good nutrition during chemo. Well, too bad I heard it nearly at the end of my treatment. Here are things that I am not supposed to eat during chemo: rare meat, sushi, salad bars, and restaurant buffets. Also, I am not supposed to lose weight during chemo. And I am supposed to wash all vegetables and fruits and peel as many as possible before eating. This includes washing the 'prewashed' bags of lettuce. Okay, I broke all those rules. No one told me! How was I supposed to know?

Here's another good one. Did you know you are supposed to get 9 (yes, nine) servings of fruits and vegetables in one day? Do you get that many? Most people don't. Including a lot of nutritionists and other supposed healthy eaters. If you get six, that is supposed to be enough. How about all those servings of grains? Not getting enough of those either. Apparently I am like most Americans who get plenty of protein (we eat too much meat) and too much sodium (in prepared food) and I need more of all the other categories. I'm trying. That's all I can say.

Anyhow, yesterday I got very tired in the afternoon and came home to veg out. I did go out for a walk and a little Christmas shopping earlier. Today I am going to the library, for a walk, Christmas Tree Shops, and that's it. A fun filled day. I think I will have to watch a movie or something as well. The cat is feeling deprived. I haven't spent enough time sitting around so he can sleep on my lap. Maybe I can blame my lack of sleep at night on him. The little weasel thinks nothing of hogging half the bed!!!

Today I think I will have to get some ice cream. Yesterday in Trader Joe's they had Ben & Jerry's but only Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Cookie Dough. I don't like either of those so I got a coconut sorbet that looked good. Well it is the consistency of dried spackle and tastes somewhat like it as well. It could be improved by some chocolate sauce so perhaps I will try that route at some point. However today I think I will have to find a pint of some type of chocolate ice cream with nuts in it... The nutritionist mentioned that during chemo it is perfectly acceptable to eat unhealthy things instead of skipping meals!

PS I did pick up the dry cleaning yesterday. Gold star for me!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I napped too long yesterday

Chemo went fine but I was definitely tired from not sleeping enough. I came home and napped for three hours. Then of course I didn't sleep that well last night again, even though I took a pill as the nurse recommended. Maybe tonight I'll sleep.

Anyhow, I definitely feel like I am getting closer to the end. Up over the Rockies and headed down towards the Pacific. Where will I end up? I don't know but it will be on the beach somewhere...

I have been thinking really hard: what are the benefits to chemo??? I know I tried to do this a few months ago. First of all it kills all the nasty little cancer cells but it also:
  • lets me save on hair care products and getting out of the house in the morning, due to having no hair.
  • allows all the callouses on my feet peel off, along with the rest of the outer layer of skin.
  • is a weight loss tool - nausea, constipation, bad taste in mouth, mouth sores, heart burn, intolerance of some food smells, loss of appreciation for favorite foods - all are conducive to dieting.
  • lets me get to know the oncology nurses very well.
  • find the shortest and fastest routes to the hospital from home.
I'm thinking really hard but this might be about it. Chemo sucks is what it boils down to. However it is almost done. I can do two more weeks. Then the nurse said it will take about 2 more weeks for most of the drugs to get out of my system so by the end of December I should start to feel more like myself. However it takes 6 months or 1 year (depending on who you talk to) to finally feel like a human being again. Also, after chemo comes radiation and hormone therapy but before radiation can start comes a whole bunch of medical tests, just to make sure there isn't a molecule of my body left uninspected.

Today's big plans are walk, work, pick up dry cleaning (very important, uniform needed for drill this weekend, must not forget, write big note to self), and thats about it. I do lead such a boring life.

10 down, 2 to go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Up way too early

Once again, its chemo day and it is (in)conveniently scheduled for 8 am. Walter is very busy at work so he is taking me on his way in. He thinks we should leave at 7 am, which is VERY early. It is 6:54 am. I am in my bathrobe, procrastinating. He is downstairs (im)patiently waiting. I probably should get off my computer and get motivated but I DON'T WANT TO GO! I am having breakfast when I get there but still, its really early.

Anyhow, yesterday I felt pretty good. The last night I couldn't fall asleep. I was up until 11, then up at 3 and 4 am. Then I didn't want to get up this morning. Its going to be a wonderful day. I am tired and running late!!!!! Grr, grr, grr. I'll write more later, I hope.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Global warming is here

It was 57 degrees out this morning and its November 27. I am going to throw on a pair of shorts and go for a walk before the normal temperatures return, later today. Yesterday we ended up getting rained on while walking. It didn't start raining until we were at the furthest point in our walk of course, and rained steadily all the way home. (At least I don't have to worry about ruining my hair!)

To continue my boring life, after my walk, I will go to work for a while and my other support group. I think I will have tuna fish for lunch. I also have to pay bills. How boring is that? (I think you can tell when I start to feel better as my sarcastic side slips through.)

I do feel better today. Another night of 8 hours of sleep. (But the cat hogged the middle of the bed again.) The real thing with fatigue is managing it so it doesn't get out of control. This weekend I just got too tired and it took a few days to recover. I have found that I really need a few days each week where I don't do much (most people call this a 'weekend') to recover from the week. Not that my weeks are so stressful these days but I do need down time more than in the past. Yesterday I was out from 1130 - 530 but I was sitting down most of the time. If I was up and moving around, I would have been more tired. I did come home and veg in front of the TV (but watched the news so I at least broadened my mind) for more than an hour, to recover.

Okay, enough writing about my boring life. Time to go for a walk before I procrastinate any more.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mystery solved!

I thought about yesterday's big mystery of the mysterious appointment. Then after lots of thinking, and finding an old appointment list from Lahey, I now believe that Thursday at 10:15 am refers to November 15th. I simply haven't looked at the white board in the kitchen for a few weeks and it is an old note. Well, at least this is my theory, it is fairly plausible, so I am sticking with it. Again, I have chemo brain, what's your excuse?

Anyhow, yesterday I went for a walk and then spent probably 7 quality hours in front of the TV. I watched several hours of cooking shows and we tried to watch a really bad movie (just because a movie is featured on pay per view and has a good cast, doesn't mean it is any good. I put it in our Netflix queue based on its description in the TV guide a few weeks back. Basically, Camp Nowhere is not worth it! We shut it off after about 45 minutes.) Sitting in front of the TV isn't just being brain dead, I was resting and the cat was napping. I couldn't get up and disturb him! He was recovering from the small child invasion (Favorite quote: When I told my 3 year old nephew the kitty had gone to take a nap so he should leave him alone, his response was "He's not napping, his eyes are open, and he's hiding under the bed. Do you want to see him?" Poor kitty. I am also finding cat toys everywhere in the house.)

Today I finally feel a little better. I hope to go for a walk this morning with a friend, if its not raining. It is supposed to be raining but the radar map shows a large break so perhaps we can fit it in. How did we plan our lives with out the radar map showing precipitation and storm movement to guide us? Did we just get wet in the rain??? How did we survive? Eeek! Perish the thought. I also have a support group to go to and go to work this afternoon. Dinner will be steak, leeks, salad, and squash. Does that sound yummy? It is supposed to be nutritional as well.

My big project for the week is I must get an inspection sticker for my car. There is a school of thought that believes an inspection sticker should be good for a minimum of 13 months. I have often done that in the past. However since I am not working full time, I actually have time available to get the sticker in a timely manner. That would be called 'being a law abiding citizen'. I do attempt to obey the rules sometimes. Not all the time. If everyone obeyed all the rules, life would be BORING! I don't mean the big rules - like don't hurt people, etc, but the little rules, no chocolate before dinner, etc. Boring is boring. Life should be fun. I am looking forward to having more fun in three and 1/2 weeks once chemo is over.

We plan on going to VT to play in the snow for a weekend soon. I wasn't sure how well this will work but I am going to give it a try. Worst case, I spend three days in a B&B in VT looking at new scenery and playing with a different cat. (The B&B has a resident cat.) Best case, I get to go snow shoeing and cross country skiing for two afternoons. I don't think I am ready for whole days but at least an afternoon or two. That's not for another month so I have to be patient (something I am not very good at.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ten hours of sleep is a good thing

Yes, I went to bed at 9 pm on a Saturday night and slept until almost 7 am. I feel better today and plan on actually going for a walk. Yesterday I went to the grocery store, out for pizza with my family, and then to my parents for dessert. That was plenty. Today I might actually be lazy again once I finish the laundry. (How is that for an exciting life? Grocery, laundry, and sleeping all in one weekend. I tell you, cancer patients lead boring lives. You just need to pretend you find them interesting.) Actually I still feel a little blah around the edges kind of thing. I am not sure how I will do today. Hmmmm.... Another good day to kill watching too much TV. I've also got some Netflix movies waiting for me.

Today's mystery is why did Walter write down 1015 am Thursday on the message board in the kitchen. One of us has to be somewhere on Thursday at 1015. We aren't sure who or where. Its not Lahey because they called and said 745 am Wednesday. We will have to chalk this up to one life's little mysteries I think.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Today I just feel crappy

I am tired, feel crappy, and generally don't want to do anything again today. Yesterday my brother, sister in law, and kids came over and we played scrabble. (This was major trauma for the cat. My 3 year old nephew and 5 year old niece wanted to play with kitty. He is scared of small, loud children and they 'followed' him 'very quietly' all around the house.) I went for a short walk too and tried to rescue Walter when his car wouldn't start (he needed a new battery). Otherwise I did nothing. Today I have a very short list of things to do but if I don't feel better, I may not do any of them. A good day to watch TV in bed perhaps.

Its too cold out anyway - 19 tropical degrees this morning and the cat snuck into the middle of the bed last night. Nothing like waking up to a cat sleeping on the pillows! Sorry kitty, I get the middle not you!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yes I over did it

Today I am very tired. I completely over did it yesterday some how. I was home and in my pajamas by 730pm. Today I am out of bed but in sweats and not going anywhere except for a walk. I am too tired. I did eat way too much yesterday but that is to be expected.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy thanksgiving and adventures in pie making!

No I am not over doing it. I got up early and decided to make my apple pie. The pecan and pumpkin pies are all done and sitting in the fridge. Walter had cut up the apples and they were soaking in lemon water over night. the pie crusts were defrosted so all I had to do was throw the pie together. Well, I didn't want to wait for 15 minutes to bring the pie crusts to room temperature so, per the instructions on the box, I microwaved them for 20 seconds each. DO NOT TRY THIS! It makes them gooey and they stick together. The bottom crust I simply gave up on and mushed it into a lump and rolled it out again. The top crust I put back in the fridge for a few minutes and got it half unrolled before it stuck together. So I rolled it out the rest of the way into a squarish shape and decided it was time to make a lattice top pie instead of struggling to roll the crust into a perfect circle. Now I have a interesting (read that as barely woven together, uneven strips, lots of little pieces strung together) lattice weave on the top of my yummy apple pie in the oven. All before 8am. Grrr...

Now on to happier things. Walter is sleeping late. I am going for a walk and then promise to take it easy for several hours so I can interact with other family members like the normal (yes I really am normal some of the time) person that I am. I will probably be exhausted later but I will not cook or clean (and definitely not wash dishes). If I do get exhausted my mother reminded me that she has a new hospital type bed at home that I could try out. Its the kind where you can make your feet and head go up and down. Its good for her arthritis. At least I will need to take it for a test drive.

Anyhow, yesterday went okay. They were running behind schedule so we didn't get out until after 11, which was to be expected. then I came home and had lunch - soup and cheese and crackers. I can always eat like a pig after chemo. They give me a steroid which makes me hungry (could come in handy today). Then I made the pecan pie and went for a walk while my sous-chef (Walter) supervised it and reduced the oven temperature as needed. After that I made my pumpkin pie. Part A of pie making was stress free.

We watched the animated version of the Jungle Book, courtesy of Netflix. Walter says he had never seen it before and I don't think I have seen it since I was little. I think I prefer the 1994 version better, which is not out on DVD yet per Netflix so this could be a very long wait. We had oh so nutritional Chinese food delivered for dinner. Yes, I know Chinese food can be nutritional but then you have to order the things that aren't deep fried. Needless to say we tried the Great Wok here in town and it was quite yummy. They advertise healthy MSG free cooking and they brought it to us. We will probably order from them again.

9 down 3 to go. (I forgot to update my little count last week so was all confused when I went yesterday. The nurse looked it up and reminded me it was number 9.) Now I think I am going through the Rockies and getting ready for the trip down hill to the Pacific...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh, crap

Now I have to rush around. We need to leave in 20 minutes. I have fed the cat, showered and put numbing lotion on my port. I have not gotten dressed, eaten breakfast, read the paper, made the bed, or had enough coffee. Crap, crap, crap. Now I have to rush. Perhaps I procrastinated a tiny bit and now I am running late. Well, would you procrastinate before going to chemo? Yes you would. You wouldn't be looking forward to seeing the scale first thing in the morning showing how fat you are, then they take your blood pressure (and if you are running really late and basically RUN from your car down to the cancer center, your blood pressure will be high), and then they start sticking needles and drugs in you for about 3 hours. Yes you would procrastinate. Don't deny it, I know you would.

Otherwise, after my morning is shot (I mean, I am home from chemo), I will take my drug induced nap, make pies, take a walk, and get a little organized for tomorrow. I don't know much about what we are eating tomorrow. I usually make lots of the food. I am only making pies. I know there will be a turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with marshmallows (all the nutritional benefits of the sweet potatoes are probably negated by the presence of an entire bag of marshmallows but its a tradition), and then several other mystery vegetables my sister is cooking. I will wait and see.

I am under instructions to arrive at Thanksgiving and not do any cooking. That will take will power. I will sit and talk to relatives and play with my nieces and nephews and otherwise do nothing. Everyone keeps telling me not to over do it. I guess this means I don't need to wash any dishes! Hah! I knew there was a silver lining here.

Damn, now I am really late. 7:06am and still not dressed etc. Eeeekkk! Gotta run!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I have to rush again today

I want to go for a walk before it starts to snow/rain... Yes, winter is here. Sigh. A winter without skiing and snowshoeing??? That will be very difficult. I will have to see about fitting those in. I can't imagine not getting to go play in the snow. Just something else to pout about. (I was informed last night that I am a world class pouter and whiner. If there were Olympics in pouting and whining I would be in medal contention. Hey, where is the sympathy? I deserve sympathy here! I think he's pretty immune to me by now.)

Well Lahey is doing their best to confuse me again. There was a new person doing the scheduling and she scheduled my chemo appointments but not the necessary blood tests. She also did not schedule the third chemo visit. Now I have to call them and find out what time they really want me there tomorrow. 8 am for chemo or 715 am (a most convenient time to be there) for blood. I will call them once they open up.

Also, on the plans for today are working, going to support group, Trader Joe's for the last few things for pie making (I think we use that place as a convenience store), and the rest of the stuff that is on my list that I just made and already can't remember. I did take the pie crusts out of the freezer and put in the refrigerator to defrost. Aaaaaaggggghhhhh!!!! MY BRAIN IS GONE! I just wrote everything down and can't remember any of it. Now I have to remember where I put the damn note. What a way to start the day!

PS (Anytime I write a PS means I forgot to put it in the first time and had to go back and add it on). There is just a tiny bit of Halloween candy left that we are ignoring. My nausea is still here. The cat is fine and is actually helping me type by sitting on my lap right now.

PPS Notes only work if you read them. I needed garlic at TJ's. I didn't read it on my list. It was there. I forgot it. Damn.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Warning

Crabby, evil twin is not here. But smart ass, sarcastic twin is here! I woke up in a smart ass mood. (Did this cause Walter to leave for work early? I am not sure. He claims he had to get there early.) Anyhow, I am sick of being a patient patient. I want to run away to a Carribean island where I have no medical appointments, no side effects, can have a pedicure, and eat what I want, stay up late (what a concept), and do interesting things - walk on the beach, go to a concert, eat dinner (not just lunch) in a restaurant, have a drink with an umbrella in it, and have none of the calories count.

Today is my day of no medical appointments - does a support group at the hospital count? Probably. Sigh. Tomorrow I have a support group elsewhere. Wednesday is chemo damn day. Damn, this never ends. Next week I optimistically will plan a day where side effects do not interfere. No nausea, bad fingernails, wig, etc are allowed.

Anyhow I am in the process of planning two vacations, not to the Carribean, that will be sometime in the future. One for April/May time frame where we will probably go down to the Shenandoah Valley. Never been. Lots of Civil War stuff, but also lots of BEARS. That's okay, we will stay in a bear proof bunker with Walter there to protect me. (He has pointed out that if we go in the spring, the bears will be CRABBY! That's okay. He will protect me!)

Then I am planning a trip out to Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, in June. Walter has to go to Central America for a few weeks for Army stuff so I am going to visit a friend and we are trying to find a lakeside resort to stay in for a few days where we have no responsibilities whatsoever. (Well the responsibilities we want are only decisions on where to go out to dinner, whether we really can just sit around all day and do nothing, are there any outlet stores we can stop at on the way home, and whether going swimming is a good or bad idea right after lunch.) We have found a nice one but it is 7 hours from her place and as I am already driving three days to get there, that is lots of car time. We are early in the planning stages. But planning is fun.

Then we have to plan a real trip for next September. Walter turns 50 (and gets to join AARP. Maybe we won't celebrate his birthday, just his eligibility to join AARP. Hmmm... I will think on that). Anyhow, we want a big trip. Some place exotic. Scotland, Switzerland, Denali, Iceland, lots of choices. More on that later. Lots of planning to do.

Anyhow, yesterday had its good and bad points. A friend came over and we went for a walk and to the diner for brunch. I had an omelette and a side of bacon. The omelette had bacon in too. I think I have satisfied my bacon craving for now. Then we went to Penzey's (the spice store for the uninitiated) and I used my ever so organized list to get what I needed to make pies, cookies and fill in the gaps in my spice cabinet. On the down side, I managed to lose my clip on sunglasses yesterday - what I thought was a pocket, was really just where the pocket was tacked on to the inside of my coat so they fell out. Probably they are at the diner or Penzeys. I will go back today again and see if they survived. Otherwise, I will have to see about ordering new ones. They are expensive and may not be available even special ordered. Grrr... Finally, I tried to plan my social life without looking at my calendar and double booked myself for one day in December. Note to self: USE THE CALENDAR TO PLAN!!!

Then my friend, the pervasive nausea, decided to return. I think this is the side effect of the week. Last two weeks have been mouth sores, this week is nausea. Kills the appetite, helps the scale's downward slide, makes me cranky. So maybe I'll be the cranky, smart ass, sarcastic twin today. Before I forget, today's plans include a walk, support group, and work this afternoon. Nothing exciting but will keep me busy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I did it!

I vacuumed the bedroom. (What? Did you think I did something significant like climbed a mountain or solved the mysteries of the time/space continuum? My life isn't that exciting these days.) The dust bunnies will not take us away while we are sleeping. I actually sat down at my computer for my daily update and re-read my 'creativity' from yesterday (You will note the use of the word 'creativity'. I am not sure how creative it really is in the first place. Also, my chemo brain does not permit me to remember today what I wrote yesterday so I constantly have to reread what I wrote. Sometimes I don't remember later on what I wrote earlier in the same day but I do have a valid excuse.)

Anyhow, not to digress, I reread what I wrote and realized I had not vacuumed the bedroom. So I got up off my lazy butt and did my daily/weekly/monthly/yearly housecleaning and vacuumed the bedroom. It is done. One more item crossed off the weekend to do list. Yes, I have a to do list every day now. If I don't I wouldn't remember to do things (I probably wouldn't remember that I had done them unless I looked at the list I saw that I had crossed them off. Walter is a big fan of me doing the things on the list and him just crossing them off.)

I am feeling okay today. I don't think I overdid it yesterday but I did go for a walk, run errands, do laundry, have very healthy nachos for lunch (they have grain - corn chips, vegetables - lettuce, tomato and salsa, meat - chicken, dairy - cheese and sour cream; that was a balanced diet last time I checked), and watched Ocean's Eleven. Very productive. I also made an even more healthy dinner of chicken curry and cauliflower with artichokes and salad for dinner.

Today will not be as healthy. We are going for a walk with a friend who is coming over and then we will have diner brunch. Maybe an omelette, maybe a Belgian Waffle topped with a mound of fruit and whipped cream. Either way, I will have bacon too. This is the same bacon craving from last weekend. One week is enough waiting. Then off to Penzey's to buy just a couple of spices (well maybe a few) that I need... I always need more spices. Walter says if I buy more spices I will need a bigger kitchen. So what's the problem? A bigger kitchen wouldn't be bad either.

When we get home Walter will want to finish the to do list. Somehow I think I will end up doing work. I can always supervise him. I do have supervisory privileges these days. There are still some things that need to be done outside - put away all the stuff we didn't do last weekend. Planters, statues, rain gauge, etc. Work just never ends!!!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Maybe I am being overly ambitious

But Walter again is off to work today (and not here to tell me not to over do things) but today I am going to do laundry, go for a walk, go shopping, meet a friend for lunch (a very healthy meal of chicken nachos, hold the jalapenos, that is a tradition for us) and vacuum the bedroom. I have to vacuum the bedroom. I am concerned the dust bunnies might gang up on us and carry us away while we are sleeping. I have been meaning to vacuum the bedroom for a couple of months so it REALLY needs it.

I actually got a reasonably good night's sleep and feel somewhat normal today (yes, even I can be normal sometimes). Yesterday after lunch with a friend we went to a consignment store in town and I scored big time (a Barneys silk/linen twin set and a Talbots wool blazer for less than $35 for the two if you must know). I did then take it easy and watched Dreamgirls courtesy of Netflix (a lifeline for anyone who is not healthy - they send you movies you pick and you can watch a new one every day. Today I am going to watch Oceans Eleven - never saw it and George Clooney is pretty hunky).

Actually I think my life must bore the crap out of all of you people who read my blog regularly. Sorry. Do you want me to make up exciting lies about big adventures??? I will if you want. Off to sort laundry now - blech!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I have chemo brain, what's your excuse?

Chemo brain is a known side effect of chemo. Also, known as being a space shot. It is a limited short term memory but also you can't remember the words for things etc. Examples are:
  • walking into a room to get something three times before you remember what it was.
  • leaving the stove on for two hours after dinner is cooking.
  • leaving the water boiling on the stove for tea for over an hour.
  • remembering one additional item to get at the store on the way there, being asked by spouse did you buy it, and realizing you didn't after you have been home for three hours.
  • meaning for about three weeks to take your car into the garage for an oil change and just forgetting to do it.
Now I have an excuse for this. I am such a space shot these days. However now I have an excuse that I can blame it on. A good benefit of chemo (aside from killing off all those nasty cancer cells.)

Anyhow, yesterday went fine. I had a nice nap during chemo. I talked to the doctor about managing fatigue. He said I am doing the right things by just going out less but also by getting exercise regularly (and you thought I was a fool for going for my daily walks during chemo!) The end is coming into sight. He did mention they will now get me lined up with the radiologist to start the prep for radiation so that it can begin promptly in January. Also, on my next visit, we will discuss my hormone treatment. Radiation will last for 6-7 weeks. Hormone treatment lasts for five years. Otherwise, all my side effects are in the normal range. Side effects are getting worse and getting to be more of them. Do you really want to know? Mouth sores, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, heart burn, chemo brain, icky fingernails, dry skin, tingling/numbness in my hands and feet... I know there are more but just can't remember them. Every time they give me something to take to fix one it causes more side effects - anti nausea meds cause blurred vision, mouth sore rinse causes constipation, etc. Did you really want to know????

I think I am out of Kansas and getting near the foothills of the Rockies... but still have to go up over them before cruising down to the Pacific.

8 down, 4 to go.

PS Chemo next week is scheduled promptly (but not necessarily conveniently) at 8 am on Wednesday - I will even have to get up early!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Random thoughts

Well when are blog postings not random thoughts? Blogs are meant to be just random thoughts most of the time. (Maybe today I am just calling them random.) But anyway:

I noted yesterday that my chemo next week is inconveniently scheduled the day before Thanksgiving. I am not sure it would ever be conveniently scheduled.

I really like the new self checkouts at grocery stores in theory only. The idea is you don't have to deal with an underpaid, unskilled cashier to pay for groceries and get out of the store quicker. That is the theory only. They always mess up and you have to wait for someone to help you which means any gain in time is lost waiting for assistance from an underpaid, unskilled cashier. Yesterday I went to the grocery and used the self check out. I had to request assistance twice. They didn't have anyone assigned to the registers so the person who ended up helping had been stocking shelves and kind of had an attitude. I was very aggravated by the time I left.

I am very tired today. I didn't sleep well. This may turn into crabbiness. Walter is going to work and I am getting a ride to and from chemo. It may be better that I am left alone with my crabbiness.

I have to rush around this morning so I can take a walk, take my car to the garage for an oil change and brakes, and get in the shower early. I have to put a numbing lotion on my port so that it doesn't hurt when they stab me with the giant needle at chemo. It should be on for about 2 hours before my appointment so it actually works. I think I can do this. Out to walk at 730 am since its already nearly 60 degrees. I can drop my car off then. Home by 830 and then take a quick shower. Maybe it won't rain until I get home.

Then when I go to Lahey I will get to sit around. That will certainly not help my crabbiness. I actually meet with the doctor today (only every three weeks) and have a written list of questions for him that I will go put in my purse RIGHT NOW. I am supposed to be there at 1015 am. I think I will be home about 230 pm.

I have some very stubborn mouth sores that will be good for the diet. I spoke to the doctor's office yesterday and they prescribed a different mouth rinse. It tastes awful and makes all food taste like crap as well. Also a contributor to general crabbiness. Nothing tastes good so I don't want to eat anything, and when I get hungry, I get crabbier.

I am such a space shot. I came home yesterday afternoon with my bags of groceries, noticed a box in the front entry way that was delivered (insulated curtains maybe?), opened the door, got the mail, the cat pestered me for food, and I forgot about the box. I remembered it at 3am. It is still waiting for me downstairs. I mentioned this to Walter and he thought I had just put the box out to be sent...

Well that's it for today. Time to go rush around after I open my box.

PS Its 844am. I am back from my walk. It is 61 degrees. I wore shorts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Positive things

- The Halloween candy is almost gone. Any that is left will be pawned off on visiting family members next week.
- The scale continues in the right direction.
- I slept for 8 solid hours last night.
- The udder cream is making my skin feel better.
- My mouth sores are sort of going away.
- I am finally organized to make pies for Thanksgiving.

Otherwise I have no life. For those interested, I am making three pies for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin, pecan, and apple. Walter is highly skilled at apple peeling which will minimize my involvement. Pumpkin is easy but even easier when assistance is supplied by young visiting family members. Pecan is almost as easy as pumpkin as you add sugar, butter, and eggs to nuts. (Just think sugar and fat added to more fat. It tastes yummy but is not on any diet I have every seen.) Pie crust is thawed and unrolled. Not very complicated.

The only problem is time. When to make the pies. I have chemo most inconveniently the day before Thanksgiving. I hope it will be late enough in the day so I can make two of the pies before going and leave the apple to make Thursday morning. I will have to see how convenient Lahey wants to be when these are scheduled.

Otherwise, today I am okay. A little tired but I did sleep well. I am off for my daily walk once it warms up. They promise us 60 degrees today but right now its 32 on our thermometer. I will wait for 45 I think. Then I will go to work for the afternoon.

Yesterday I got very tired and didn't go to my support group. I came home and watched TV with the cat. (Yes, I know, part of the problem, not the solution.) However the cat really didn't want to watch TV, it was his dinner time he thought. I went out and came home when it was dark. Therefore, it must be his dinner time. Nope, dinner time is 530pm. I made him suffer until 520 and then took pity on him and fed him. He is not patient. He walks back and forth and looks very anxious - like I might be starving him to death - and never mind that there is a whole bowl of dry food waiting for him. No, he wants his tiny little bit of canned food. If he paces back and forth, I will notice he is waiting and take pity on him! However I have the opposable thumbs and can open the can at the appropriate time. If I listened to him, I would give him canned food at 8 am after about 3 days of begging.