Saturday, May 31, 2008

Its my cancerversary!

So what is that? Cancerversary = cancer anniversary. It was one year today that I was diagnosed. Everyone counts it differently - some people use the day of the first bad mammogram, others their surgery date. For me, its the day I got confirmation that I was headed down the roller coaster from hell. Originally, when I started my blog and thought maybe I'll keep writing for a year. By then it should be over and I will have to do something else. Well that is all changed now.

What do I get as a present for my cancerversary? Another bad mammogram. Yep! You read it right. Yesterday I had a follow up mammogram and appointment with my surgeon. I thought I had felt a lump a few weeks ago at around 10 o'clock (That's how they position them like the numbers on a clock. It makes sense when you are facing a clock but when you are looking down at your own body its kind of confusing.) So when I went to the mammogram, I told the technician I thought I felt a lump and she asked me to put a marker on it. After the mammogram, she told me I would have to wait for up to half an hour for a radiologist to read the scans. They have a nice waiting room in the mammogram, excuse me, 'breast imaging' area, with comfy chairs, a TV and lots of magazines. About 40 minutes later, they came and got me again but instead of going back for more scans, they started taking me in another direction. When I asked, they said we are going to ultrasound, we always go to ultrasound when there is a lump. That was news to me.

So in ultrasound, the technician wasn't too concerned with the area where I thought I felt something but with the far side, over at 5 o'clock... Apparently the mammogram picked up something suspicious. But they couldn't find anything where I thought I had felt something. They then told me to wait again. They talked about some weird kind of mammogram with dye injections and five minute scans but my surgeon said no so I went up to see him. After waiting around for a bit, I met with him. He said he needs a biopsy of the suspicious area from the mammogram. So welcome to biopsy hell. My biopsy is Wednesday. I have had some rib pain so I get to have a bone scan Tuesday. (This is different than the bone density scan just a few weeks ago.) Then I go back to the surgeon a week from Monday to find out what this is all about.

In case you were wondering biopsy hell is when you know you might have something and are stuck in stress filled hell waiting for the results. Don't expect me to be sunny and cheerful this week. I think crabby and whiney might be better. I think stress can be relieved by ice cream and pinot grigio and possibly some prescription medications I have for instances like this. Damn, I can't have ice cream. Well I can have ice cream but my gall stone won't like it. Grrr, grrr, grrr.

I really do not feel like talking about this. So after reading this if you feel an urge to pick up the phone to call me, please do not. If you do, I will talk to you about the weather, Red Sox, Celtics, the cat, life in general, politics (well but not the Florida and Michigan chaos), summer vacation plans, food, tv shows, and many other topics. My current medical state is not a topic for discussion at this time. Thanks.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I am still learning

I spent my whole life with straight hair, and most of that time it was long. It was easy. Wash it, dry it, and stick it in a pony tail. Now all of a sudden, I have this short curly crap that if I don't do something with, looks like a sheep's butt. More recently I have noticed that sometimes it looks like a sheep's butt on one side, and is flattened on the other. In other words, it looks like bed head even if I did get up and wash it and brush it. Grrr... I will have to work on this. I am getting another cut next week. Perhaps that will help. (Or I could just shave it off and stick my wig back on... No, that would be a really BAD idea.)

Well, today I get to spend the morning at Lahey. First I have to pack my little bag of stuff. I will take with me a water bottle, a book, the puzzles from today's paper, the phone number of my friend who works there, a sweater for the over air conditioned areas, and my list of questions to ask the doctor. This is in addition to the list of allergies to medications and other upcoming appointments that I always bring. I also need to wear 'crushable' clothes - the ones you can take off, put in a locker while wearing the charming little gown, put back on, and then take off to put on another fashionable little gown. The idea is that at the end of my visit, I am not wearing a ton of wrinkles.

I am also getting mentally prepared for lots of waiting around. First for the mammogram, its check in at the desk and be seated. Then your name is called and you are given a fashionable gown to wear and a clip board with a form to fill out. Then you fill out your form and wait. Then you go for the mammogram and then go back to the waiting room and wait. Then they finally let you go get dressed again. then I hope to see my friend but will eventually end up at the surgeon's office upstairs where I check in and wait. Then the nurse calls your name and has you get changed and wait in a tiny little room. Then finally I will see the doctor. And then come home. I have to leave here about 820 am and hope to be home by noon but am not counting on it. This is why I am bringing so many things with me. The mammogram department is actually one of the best places to find magazines that I have seen in Lahey. The chemo area is actually pretty good as well. The surgeon's waiting area usually has about 2 golf magazines and 2 parenting magazines. I think I go there too much if I know where the best magazines are stashed.

After all those fun and games I will come home and work from home before going for a walk with a friend. Damn, I have to figure out how to fit in some weeding as well.

An interlude into the world of the brainless taken from my life this morning:

Walter: "Is tomorrow trash day?"
Me: "Yes", thinking it is Thursday, even though I have known my doctor appointments are on Friday.
Walter leaves for work.
I realize its Friday and say "Damn. Why did I tell him that? Now I have to put the trash out." Then I check the calendar and remember that Monday was a holiday so trash day is tomorrow. Where is my brain???? If you happen to see it anywhere, please send it home. Thank you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today I get to have a life

Well sort of. I get to go for a walk, do work from home, and go to work (mental note, pick up boss on the way to work!). I need to enjoy this while it lasts. Its a very nice day. I might even manage to do a little weeding. Well, maybe. I am sure the weeds will be waiting for me when I get to them next.

Yesterday was a VERY busy day. I went to a breakfast meeting, then came home and worked for a while. Then I rushed off to a work shop that was somewhat disappointing. I have been to several of their other workshops which have always been very good quality but this one just wasn't as good and I felt some of the information was wrong. Anyhow, then I rushed to work and got there at the exact wrong time - I work at a high school and I was pulling into my parking space just as the last bell rang and the giant explosion of students leaving for the day started so I had to fight my way upstream to get to the office.

After work, I rushed home and met a friend who got some lilies of the valley. Then another friend came over and we went for a walk. Finally, I started cooking dinner at 8 - which meant soup for me.... I felt like I was running all day.

Now is the weekly time to find out if I am still a technowienie - did I manage to tape Top Chef last night or am I still the idiot that I often am? I really need to find out if I can wat However it is thatch it on line - that would solve my weekly stress.

Tomorrow, I don't get to do anything but get sucked into the giant Lahey time suck. Actually, the Lahey time suck should be over in the morning so I can meet a friend for a walk. Perhaps we will get to the library tonight so I can have a nice big fat book to read while sitting around. I have already read their 25 year old copies of National Geographic!

(If you click on the little pictures in blogs they open up much bigger so you can see them



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I don't think my brain is turned on

It may be permanently stuck in the off position. I continually can't make it work correctly - turn on the stove when trying to cook dinner, remember after 3 tries that I meant to do something and what it was, do everything right at work (on the first try), and, then my husband's pet peeve, remember to turn off the stove when done with dinner. You think these would not be rocket science but apparently they are beyond my abilities. Included in my great mental capacity is the fact that last night I made lunches for both of us to take to work today. Too bad, I am eating at home today.

Yesterday we had some really strong thunderstorms come through which means I don't have to go water everything today. One less thing to do. But I do have lots to do. A breakfast meeting, run some errands, work from home, go to work, meet a friend for a walk. I think that's it. If its not written down, its not going to happen. Okay, a quick check of my calendar shows that is all that is written down except a short workshop I was considering. I will have to see if I can fit it in my schedule. It is about writing cover letters. Perhaps that would help me get a job. 'Please hire me. I have no brain but I promise to try to work hard. Just pay me lots of money too.' Maybe I don't need the workshop...

The question of the day is how long does it take to defrost a frozen chicken in the refrigerator? We are having it for dinner Friday night. Should I take it out of the freezer this morning or tomorrow morning. I am leaning towards taking it out today to make sure it is defrosted... I tried googling this and didn't really get a good answer. Maybe I should go look in one of my billion cookbooks!

However, this morning I do need to motivate as a breakfast meeting means I need to be some place at 8 am. This is very early for me these days. At 8 am now a days I am usually either on my computer in my pj's or possibly out for a walk, not showered and dressed and out in public. But this is why they invented caffeine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How often do you do it?

How often do you vacuum your car? I have been threatening to do this for a long time. I rarely do because I am lazy at times, my chemo brain allows me to forget how dirty my car is by the time I get back inside where the vacuum is, and every time I go for an oil change at the dealer, they vacuum it. Well, technically they vacuum your car but do they take out the floor mats, and really vacuum under and on the seats? No, they just sort of vacuum the visible areas so you think your car is cleaner than it is. Also, I stopped going to the dealer because the local gas station is closer.

Anyhow, yesterday, in a fit of tidiness (doesn't happen often so I took advantage of it), I decided to clean my car. I learned why there is a pen shortage in our house - because I had about 15 extra in my car. I also now know why there is a penny shortage in this country - because I had a few handfuls of them in my car. I will get them to the bank at some point to end the shortage. In addition to going through everything in my car and taking out the floor mats, I really vacuumed it. I even went to the local car wash where they have the high powered vacuum to really get it clean.

I also vacuumed the trunk. Now this is the area that the dealership does not vacuum and is hidden from view so you don't always remember to clean it. Well I did. I took everything out and found a visitors guide to New Hampshire from 2001. I could have sworn I have vacuumed it since then but possibly not. I did find about 8 years worth of Christmas tree needles so it is possible it has been that long. I do remember vacuuming the trunk after the 'christening incident' but that happened in the fall of 1999 right after I bought it. (The 'christening incident' occurred when a bottle of white wine rolled around my trunk and smashed... My car smelled like wine for weeks even though I pulled the carpet out and washed it.) I thought I had vacuumed more recently but now its done.

After that hard work, I went for my daily destressing and pretending I will get thinner walk. I went by a 'character'. Okay, picture a stocky guy about 60, wearing a tee shirt and shorts... With a multicolor beanie with a propeller... riding a razor scooter... with a little basket on it... for his miniature white poodle. They were having a nice time and enjoying the spring weather.

Now I do need to add that apparently we have the best behaved cat in the world. Why else would he insist on napping on the dining room table?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Do I have a life?

Evidently not. Yesterday I was feeling quite proud of myself that we actually went out and socialized and saw some friends at their house on the beach with another couple. We played with their 3 year old daughter and ate some yummy food. Then I got tired and we came home. This is a picture of the view from the beach. I am not sure what the two white things are but you can faintly see the Pilgrim Monument across Cape Cod bay in the middle. It is 252 feet tall and about 20 miles away as the crow (or seagull in this case) flies.

This morning I open my email. I have a message from one friend who is spending the weekend in Paris. Just around the corner. Not a bad place to be! I wouldn't mind a trip back there myself. Then another friend sends an email from the resort she is staying at on the coast in Ghana (yes, that country in Africa). Just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Evidently, both of them are having fun in exotic places. We drove 1 1/2 hours to the beach. No comparison.

Well maybe its a good thing I am not travelling to exotic places until I get my photography skills in hand. Yesterday I managed to take many pictures - using the Shade exposure setting while in the bright sun on the beach. Needless to say, they came out in shades of white.

Apparently in the eyes of Lahey clinic I still have a life as well. It is a little known fact that you never receive more than two sheets of appointment listings at one time. That is a total of 10 appointments. If you have more than that scheduled, you just wont know until you get closer. I still have two full sheets - ten appointments - between now and mid-August that I know of. Actually, I think I have 11 scheduled, and the last one is on the invisible third page.

Lucky me, I only have two appointments this coming week. On Friday I get to have a mammogram (gee, can't wait) and a follow up with the surgeon (what fun). At least he can't biopsy my rash which has basically gone away and been passed off to my dermatologist. I also think I have too many different doctors now. I have a primary care, a surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a dermatologist, a gastroenterologist, and a psychiatrist. I think that's it. I think that's plenty. I get to see them all in the next three months too. (Maybe they'll get lonely if I don't go see them??)

Anyhow, today's big plan was to try to go for a bike ride. That has been put on hold as I am very tired and someone who shall be nameless got a sunburn on the top of his feet sitting on the beach yesterday. Instead, I guess I will have to breakdown and do some weeding.

Before I forget, there was a great article in today's Boston Globe on Ted Kennedy and cancer. Basically, we don't fight it in the sense of 'Rah team'. We live our lives with it. Once you get it, your life is never going to be the same.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Things to do

Here is my list of things I want to do. No its not a bucket list, its just a regular list. I figure if I actually write them down, I might do them.

1. Learn to ride my bike with no hands. I never did this as a kid - maybe I was a chicken but its never too late to learn something new.

2. Switch to organic only gardening products. No more fertilizer and chemicals. I will use up what I have and replace with all organic. I do reserve the right to use chemicals on the burrowing wasps we occasionally get in the patio, the giant ant colonies, and Japanese knotweed.

3. Do something about the lovely wall paper in the kitchen. Currently it is a 'beautiful' (and I use the word very loosely) harbor scene with boats. One friend suggested taking pictures of friends and putting them in all the boats to help disguise it. (Its not as ugly as the bordello wall paper that was on the basement stairs when we first moved in but is a close second. I will never understand some people's sense of taste.)

4. Clean my car. I have been considering this for some time. I periodically go out and clean out debris but I want to really clean it. Maybe do some serious upholstery cleaning as well. I could pay someone to have it detailed but I am cheap and they use lots of nasty chemicals.

5. Learn how to make real Chinese food from scratch. Not just stir fry in a wok but egg rolls, hot and sour soup, and other things.

6. Go on a real vacation where we go on an airplane to someplace exotic and do some very interesting things. I am planning on Iceland for my 50th birthday but I wouldn't mind going some place else a little sooner.

Well that's a good start. I am sure there are other things I should do but a list of 6 items will get me going. (If you don't know what a bucket list is, go watch The Bucket List... I haven't seen it yet but I plan to.)

Yesterday we were very productive. Walter finished the brick borders, sanded and painted the iron railing by the side door, sanded and painted the metal patio furniture, and sanded and stained the teak patio table. Then he wonders why he is sore today? I only planted plants, did a little weeding, set up the window boxes, and started parsley and dill from seed and went for a walk. I feel lazy compared to him.

Today, we will go for a walk on the bike path (not a death march but a nice walk) before going to the beach in the afternoon. Its a beautiful day and should be around 70 which will be great for the beach and a barbecue. I did realize the sad fact that chemo brain no longer allows me to get organized at the last minute. I have to write down lists of what to bring and then check to make sure I have everything. Right now the only thing I have in the bag is the printed out directions...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Speeding through Lahey Clinic

Yesterday I went for my bone density scan. From the time I entered the parking garage, parked, walked into the main building, took the stairs down two flights, checked in, waited, was given instructions, changed, used the bathroom, waited another couple of minutes in the other waiting room, was called, had the scan, changed back, took the elevator up two flights, and paid for my parking was a paltry 29 minutes. I think this sets some kind of record.

Anyhow, it was painless, did not involve needles, and was over quickly. Who can argue with medical tests like that? I do however have an issue with their drawstring pants. The woman asked me if I was wearing any metal and I had pants with a metal zipper on them. She said I had to put on their drawstring pants, like pajama bottoms, to wear instead but could keep on the rest of my clothes - including my t-shirt and sweater. Well the draw string could be tied, but the gap was hard to keep closed. I ended up pulling my t-shirt down so that I would avoid any ill-timed displays. It would have been easier if I was given a robe as well. But I believe I managed to keep my dignity intact. (Or at least no one brought it to my attention that my undies were on display.)

The rest of my day was quite busy. I worked hard but not as hard as Walter. Once again he took the day off thinking it would be restful. He mowed the lawn, put in two brick borders, cleaned his office, pruned the hedges, and trimmed tree branches. Then he helped me pot all the vegetables I bought to start my vegetable container garden for the summer. I only put up the strings for the morning glories to climb and to contain the cosmos, planted the plants I bought earlier in the week, went for a walk with a friend, and did a little weeding. Unfortunately I have a lot more weeding to do. Why can't I grow plants and flowers without the weeds??? Wouldn't that be nice.

Today we have to get more dirt to finish the window boxes - 12 pots to be filled and carried around to the front of the house. He isn't getting much rest. Tomorrow we get to rest at the beach. After he carries all our stuff down to it. This not being able to carry stuff is a royal pain in the butt!

Friday, May 23, 2008

More trials from the life of a technoweinie

Once again, technology is leaving me in the dust. This week I tried to record a program we like to watch that was on Tuesday, when we were at our class. Having failed to check the TV guide, we learned after watching the first hour and five minutes of it on Wednesday night, that it was a two hour season finale with a cliffhanger... Now we are dangling down that cliff. I have since learned we can watch it on demand on line so that is what we will do this weekend. I do feel I get a gold star for at least taping the normal one hour time slot of the show. I also successfully taped and watched my weekly Top Chef addiction. Another gold star for me!

However, my cell phone is proving to be beyond me. (Face it, I think we all have a love/hate relationship with our cell phones. The convenience is great but it would be nice to have our own little IT specialist to help us resolve issues.) I have learned that it doesn't work, if you don't charge it periodically. Also, you don't get calls if you don't turn it on and give out the number. The other day I was stuck in traffic and made a call. I then managed to proceed 50 feet further down the hill and voila, no bars, dropped call.... Grrr... Then I felt very proud of myself as said traffic was making me late for meeting my friend and I successfully texted her about this. She texted back, we were both late.

Later when we were leaving, there was a rainbow, actually it was a double rainbow. It was very cool. I took a picture, well several pictures, that are stuck in my cell phone. How do I get the pictures from my cell phone to my computer? I have no idea. I actually knew how to take pictures with my phone. My friend had problems figuring it out. We stood there in the rain for five minutes trying to decipher her phone. Finally we were successful. Now she has rainbow pictures stuck in her cell phone as well. If I could, I would post them here.

Once again today I get to go back to Lahey. I am SOOOOO excited! I even get to go to the big parking garage! I can't wait (NOT!). Actually I am going for a bone density scan to see get a baseline for osteoporosis issues. I have heard this test is simple, painless, and quick. This means I will spend more time driving there, parking, walking all the way in to the clinic and going down two flights, checking in, getting changed, waiting, and then getting changed back, walking all the way back to OMWAH land (parking garage), and driving home, than it will take for the actual test. Probably 1 or more for the entire trip for a 2 minute test. What a productive use of time. Actually, I originally had scheduled this to coincide with another doctor's appointment that was since canceled. But next Friday, I will probably be there for a good 3 or more hours.... Maybe I can even have lunch at the cafeteria while I am there. I will try to visit a friend who works there too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A hairy tale

So I started this adventure with long hair. I was lazy. With long hair you can go get a trim every so often - 2 or 3 times per year - and its just fine. For years, I was lazy. I used to have short hair back in college and then as I got older (and busier) I got lazy and grew my hair out. It was light brown and it had a few strands of gray. I did not color it. It was easy to take care of. It was down to the middle of my back and I wore it in a ponytail. Think of the song Hair from the musical.

Then with chemo coming, I donated my hair to Locks of Love. I really didn't want to get my hair cut but chemo kind of required it. Long hair falling out would be pretty yucky. Short hair was bad enough. So then the chemo hair cut, produced the bald look. That lasted for entirely too long but could be camoflauged with my wig and lots of hats.

Then came the chia pet days... Where I had a short covering of hair, that was gray (well at least it wasn't green...) That took forever to grow out. I had to continue the wig and hats for quite a while. Finally that grew long enough so I could get a hair cut. At that point, I was told by my hairdresser (see now I have to have a hair dresser to get my hair styled and everything) that as you get better, your hair starts to grow faster. She assured me that it would return to a normal growth rate of about 1/2" per month.

Now my hair is getting longer but is curly and still gray. I think it resembles a sheep's butt. You can mess it up and it goes right back to the way it was. It is getting time for a hair cut (or a shearing). Now I am going to be stuck in that short hair cut loop where you have to go get your hair cut regularly so you don't look like a sheep's butt...

Do you see the resemblance?

Well I guess we can call it progress. It also means that I now have to replace my hair dryer. It broke just before chemo kicked in last summer... I didn't buy one before because I haven't needed one! I also have to start buying shampoo regularly as well as some kind of styling crap to keep the sheep's butt under control... Its better than the bald/wig thing! But I am not going to start coloring it. I have high hopes that the gray stuff will grow out and go away.

Anyhow time to get moving. I have lots to do today - a walk, work from home, make turkey meatloaf, go to work, plant the plants I bought yesterday, and something else that my little chemo brain can't remember. A friend asked me the other day, can I tell if its chemo brain making me be a space shot or just getting older? I said I can't tell but at least I have an excuse!

(sheep photo from freefoto.com)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Call me a moron

I meant to post this picture yesterday. I even mentioned it. I guess you could call me a moron. Or I can just blame chemo brain and get over it. That sounds easier. Anyhow, I love this picture. There was a downed tree with all the roots sticking up on the side of the trail. Walter said 'do you want me to go around to the other side so you can take my picture?' Voila! Its even in focus.

Well, I survived my long day yesterday. I walked, worked, job interviewed, support group, and class. Today, I am tired. Now there is a surprise! (Not!). However today I have another long day: walk, plant sale, work, therapist, work from home, and meet some friends for a drink. Yes, I am attempting to have a social life and interact with normal human beings (although being my friends, does that make them abnormal?). Actually it is nice to return to a sense of normal life, even if I do get tired out. The class last night was great. We got basically a yummy barbecue dinner and then learned how to make real barbecue. The funniest part was when the instructor would kneel on a chair and say 'pretend I am a quadroped' to show us where different cuts of meat were from...

Today will probably be 'bring your plants to work day' as well. I hope they don't mind but if I go to the plant sale on the way to work, I don't want to leave anything too fragile in my car all day. What's a little greenery in the office. It will also prevent me from buying too much if I have to carry into work and back out again.

As I sit here typing this, Walter is watching Becker on tv and laughing out loud. Its an older series, featuring Ted Danson, as a cynical, chain smoking doctor. Sometimes I wish some of my doctors were like that. Anyhow, today I get to return to Lahey. I haven't been there in weeks. Do I miss the place??? NO! And I get to deal with the stupid )*^&#$*&()* parking lot!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The long version

Now I have time to write the long version. If you don't feel like reading it after reading the short version, well just look at the pictures or something. If you click on the pictures, they will open up in a new window.

We drove up on Friday and stopped at a variety of places - including six mini-golf courses that are closed on weekdays until the season starts. Instead we went to a giant arcade which featured historical video games and I played PacMan, PacMan Junior, PacMan Plus, Super PacMan and Ms. PacMan. I think I liked PacMan Junior best. After that we climbed a little mountain and had great views of Squam Lake. Friday night we treated ourselves to quite a yummy dinner but unfortunately my gall bladder did not like it and spoke up quite loudly. Needless to say, I am back in fat free land as much as possible.

Saturday started with a yummy breakfast and then a hike into Franconia Falls. Originally our plans included hiking some smaller mountains. We learned that I am not back in shape and anything involving elevation gain is pretty much more than I can handle these days. This was a long flat climb in which was okay. We also learned that due to all the record snow this winter that there are still 3-5 feet of snow up at fairly low elevations and that gaits, Traks, and ice axes are suggested. Another reason for staying at low elevations. (I also learned with my strong photographic skills that I can take little tiny pictures with my camera as well as movies. This means that some of my pictures are too small to print out at nice quality. Grr...)

After that we opened our mini-golf season - with a TIE! We are both pouting over this. We have decided on a rematch next weekend. To recover from all this arduous exercise, I needed a two hour nap before dinner and then went to bed early after dinner.

Sunday, we walked through the Flume in Franconia Notch. I hadn't been there in many years and it was very nice - full of waterfalls - which are at their peak. We then went to the Basin and up to Kinsman falls. Which was a short hike. There was this neat downed tree where I took a picture of Walter. Then I was exhausted. So maybe, possibly, there is a tiny chance, I over did it this weekend. I was informed I get whiney when I over do things...

We then stopped at the outlets on the way home

Yesterday, I went to jury duty. My plan was when the time was right to tell the judge that I am not physically able to sit at a trial. After sitting around for 3 1/2 hours, I got my moment to speak and was sent home for the day. Unfortunately the judge didn't let me off my obligation for three years, he said in six months they would call me again. (Mental note to self to get a doctor's note if I am still feeling crappy.)

Tuesday's big adventure after going to work and before my support group is a job interview. Well, I hope its a job interview. It has been rescheduled and I didn't get a confirmation back but I am assuming there will be a job interview and am going. However the really big excitement is tonight Walter and I are going to a class. What else is it on? Eating of course. Actually its a barbecue class. We like to cook on the grill. I always feel clueless when buying meat to an extent. Also, what cuts are best? How to marinate or dry rub first. What to look for, what to do? From Walter's point of view, how best to prepare the coals (no gas grill for us) and to cook it. Not only will we learn about this, but the instructor is a bbq chef at a local restaurant and he is bringing samples. Yummy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The short version

We did go away for the weekend but I do have jury duty this morning so I will only provide a short version. Tomorrow I will post more with pictures when I have a little more time. We drove up on Friday through the Lakes region. We went through some 'interesting' areas. (I have never before seen a pregnancy clinic with a giant sign - Walk Ins Welcome. I guess that's in case you weren't sure.) We did stop for lunch at Hart's Turkey Farm for lunch. I haven't been there in at least 20 years. Anyhow as soon as we sat down and opened our menus, all I could think of was the spam skit from Monty Python - just substitute the word turkey and you will understand what I mean.

We climbed a little mountain on Saturday afternoon, and then went hiking again both Saturday and Sunday. We stayed at the Woodstock Inn in NH, which was pretty nice. We could walk to restaurants and the food was good. Then we had to come home. Oh, well. The cat did miss us. We left him two bowls of dried food, a full can of wet food and a big bowl of water. He only ate all his canned for and one bowl of dried food, and left us two more hairballs as a memento.

Well off to jury duty. I have to be in down town Boston at 8:15 am!!! They definitely start early.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My day can only go up from here

The cat has started my day off on the wrong foot. He has left us, not one, not two, but three little hairball gifties around the house. Including one on my back pack in my closet that I am trying to take with me for the weekend. How thoughtful of him!!! NOT! Now he is just sitting pathetically next to me waiting for me to go downstairs and stir up the food in his dish! He will have to be VERY patient.

I also have a big list of things to do before we leave including calling back the dermatologist to see if they have anything sooner than two and 1/2 weeks from now. I was supposed to go back next week about my lovely rash and they called yesterday to post pone it. In addition, I have to do some work, finish packing, put away laundry, water plants, go to the bank, and I can't remember the rest because I have chemo brain and I haven't had enough coffee yet.

Do you think I overuse the chemo brain excuse? I certainly don't so you are just going to have to get over it.

Anyway, we are off for the weekend. We are going to a place that does not have internet access or reliable cell phone coverage. In other words, we will be out of touch. (Not that you couldn't say that sometimes we are mentally out of touch but this weekend we will physically be out of touch as well.) We hope to go hiking. In other words, I will carry a little bitty pack with water and granola bars. Walter will carry everything else for me. I guess I can struggle through that. We also plan to resume our mini-golf battles. He claims I am crabby when I lose! Ha! I now have to whip his butt at mini-golf to show him! Ha!

The real hope is that I don't have jury duty Monday so we can stay up north an extra day. I am on call for jury duty at the federal court house and have to call after 5 pm today to find out for sure. It actually would be kind of neat to go to the federal court house and see how that works. I have been called for jury duty before but only at the county court house. However, they do make it complicated - two forms of photo ID and no cell phones. They would probably confiscate my miniature swiss army knife on my key chain. Well that's Monday so I am not going to worry about it until then.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

To some extent, I have been enjoying my time by myself. The cat is hanging out with me all the time, looking for Walter. I have been doing what I want. First of all, when Walter left I shut off the alarm clock. I mean why should it go off for his work schedule when he isn't here? I get to wake up whenever I want. Its not that I sleep really late but I do work from home in the morning and take my morning walk. As long as I am up by 730 or so I am fine. So no alarm clock.

Next I have been making all the foods he would never touch with a ten foot pole. Eggplant is my favorite vegetable. He hates it. I never get to make it. I made myself a little eggplant parmesan the other day. Today I get the second half of it for lunch. It is quite yummy and I don't have to share it. I also made a beet salad Tuesday. He hates beets. Well, the more for me. It was very good as well.

I have also been training the cat to sleep on Walter's side of the bed. This is more difficult than you think. When was the last time anyone could train a cat to do much of anything? (These engineers attempted to use their cats for to test certain theories but the cats didn't really cooperate. http://www.komando.com/videos/4-16.asp If you have a few minutes to waste, I recommend watching it.)

I have also been gardening and taking more garden pictures. When Walter is around, I get a hard time about this. 'Do you have to stop and look at your plants every day?' The answer is yes I do. I also took the opportunity to plant more seeds and to eradicate some plants from my garden for an upcoming plant swap. An unwanted plant is a weed. I have some that are relics from the previous owner's lame gardening attempts. They keep returning and are not what I want where I want it to be. Hence the weed status.

On the downside to not having a spouse around, there is no one to carry all the laundry up from the basement. This is something I really shouldn't do and I guess it will have to sit there until he comes home tonight. (I did solve the flooding problem by removing the lint trap altogether. We may have lint in the drains but we don't have a wet basement floor.) There is also no one to whine to about my ongoing medical complaints. I can whine to the cat about my rash and my gallstone but he doesn't really care.

Now he is due back tonight so I need to do all the things I said I would do before he left. Like pack to go away for the weekend. Organize what we need to take with us. That's okay. I have all day. Since I can't whine to the cat, I will say my rash is mostly gone but still there. My gallstone seems to be relatively happy with my current eating status so I have no plans to change back to a fat freer existence at this time. Less than a week till my next doctor appointment - my how time flies! (I did successfully tape my show last night - one gold star for me!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Time for the weekly technology challenge

Can you guess how many tries it will take me to tape Top Chef this week? Last week, I believe it took four tries. It is on at 10pm tonight so it is very doubtful I will stay up that late. But am I capable of using the VCR? I am feeling very technically advanced today as yesterday I used the oven and remembered to turn it off when done. This is another chronic problem I have where I usually get reminded by Walter that I need to turn it off when done. I think he checks it for me every night.

I also successfully made coffee this morning (although I think we need new milk - it has that 'borderline' taste). I make coffee about once a year now. Walter makes it every night before we go to bed and the timer is set to go off with the alarm clock. Then he brings me a cup of coffee to drink in bed while he showers and gets ready. My life is so tough some times.

The real question is will my brain put in an appearance for the day or just flit in and out sporadically? I do need to do some work at home and then go to work for a few hours. I also need to continue doing laundry. Once again, we had a little flood. Its time to get more drastic and solve the problem - clean the lint trap.... Would it be very bad of me to take the lint trap off and just leave it to be cleaned by someone else???? Maybe I will, maybe I wont. Maybe I can train the cat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Message to my little chemo brain:

WAKE UP!!! Yesterday, in an uncontrollable desire to be a nice person and a good wife, I drove Walter to the airport. On the way, there was a traffic report that the Sumner tunnel was down to one lane. Well, that's so useful to know if you can't remember which tunnel goes in which direction to and from the airport. (Sort of like remembering is it standard time now or day lights savings time? Who knows? As far as I am concerned, there is only current time and the other time which makes me change lots of clocks and watches, except for the ones I leave that are only correct for half each year.) Anyway, then there was a very educational overhead sign that informed us that we were about to take the Callahan tunnel to the airport. That meant in leaving I would need to take the somewhat clogged up Sumner tunnel. Unless I went the more deviant route home through the new Ted Williams tunnel which puts you on a different highway.

So I dropped Walter off and started off on my adventure. Because my little chemo brain couldn't handle driving and reading overhead signs, I missed the exit for the Sumner tunnel anyway and ended up at the Ted Williams Tunnel - where the toll was $3.50!!! Which puts you on the turnpike where they charged me another toll to get off. If I had read the signs at the airport, I might have actually made a real decision instead of just following the road....

Then I got back to work and got all kinds of things mixed up as the result of my stressful drive. Chemo brain in action. I probably should not try walking and chewing gum at the same time yet. I don't think I am ready for it.

After work I was so tired, I had to sit around for half an hour. A friend was coming over for a walk after work. She was concerned she was late. I was concerned I was too tired to walk. However we did walk (wearing many layers of clothes as it was 46 degress with at 20 mph wind and its the middle of May). And we ate out. I had a Greek salad with half a sandwich. I ate salad dressing, feta cheese and olives for the first time in about three weeks. I survived. My gallstone doesn't appear to hate me. Then I talked on the phone to another friend who is going to Ghana for two weeks. I am very jealous. Our vacation was canceled and she gets to go to Ghana. Some things just aren't fair. This year I will go to Minnesota.

Today's big project is to water all the plants and seeds I planted this weekend. The weather forecasted all day rain Monday into Tuesday. So when I planted everything, I watered it a little and assumed that the rain would take care of real watering. So much for that idea. When I grow up I want to be a weather person so I can be wrong all the time and still get paid for it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay!

I get it! I can't carry heavy things with my left hand. This includes full watering cans, heavy potted plants, bricks, big bags of dirt and fertilizer, and patio furniture. I GET IT! Now my arm is sore. This is not a good thing. It may mean lymphedema which is a permanent problem. I think I get to call the doctor on this one. WAH!!!! I do have an appointment to see him next week so I may wait and see what happens but grrrr!!!!

As you can guess, I did get to garden again yesterday. We went to another gardening center and I got some more annuals to plant, and a couple of perennials, and a big bag of potting soil to mix with compost for the containers. We also went and picked up some bricks to make borders for the gardens. I carried a single brick in each hand. Walter carried big bins of bricks. He isn't sore. I am. (Not fair.) I also ended up getting completely tired out. By 3 pm I was ready for a nap so I lay down in bed and guess what was on TV - the same episode of the same show I had tried to tape four times in a row. Because of my wonderful chemo brain, I could watch it a second time and enjoy it.

Today I have to get my act together early. I have a 9 am phone call, followed by work at home, then off to work, then back home to drive Walter to the subway to get to the airport, then back to work, and then back home to meet a friend to go for a walk and have dinner. I think I am tired just thinking about all that. But being tired does make me sleep well.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Technology can be beyond me

Now I don't consider myself a geek, nor do I consider myself a technoweinie, but somewhere in the middle. However I have had considerable technical issues this week with the VCR. I wanted to tape a show that was on at 10pm on Wednesday night. It didn't work. I taped nothing. I then tried again Thursday night. When I went to watch it, I found I had taped ALL BUT THE LAST 5 MINUTES! So I tried taping again yesterday afternoon and found that I had read the tv listings wrong and was taping the wrong show AGAIN. Finally, I taped it last evening but managed to actually watch the last ten minutes when it was one to find out the ending. If this is what chemo brain does to my technical abilities I am doomed.

Today I am attempting to use the Belgian waffle maker. The point is not to burn them. I should be able to handle that. I hope. Its early still.

Also today I have a big list of stuff I need to do. Yesterday I planted all my annuals but today want to get some more and plant them. Its supposed to be rainy for the next few days so I want to get a jump on them and take advantage of the rain.

I am happy to report that after all my numerous surgeries and 'treatments' I can still garden. I was concerned because I can't carry heavy things with my left hand. Which also means no digging big holes with big shovels that take two hands. However, I could dig lots of little holes and water them. I had a nice time.

I have decided I can't continue to live a fat free existence. Fat free is boring. Sure my gallstone treats me better but where is the quality of life. Why can't I have little bits of fat? So I am. Yesterday I made chicken parmigiana but did not put mozzarella in it. I only put some Romano/Parmesan in the bread crumbs on the chicken. I also had a brownie. It was approximately 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1". It was not large but it was yummy. I feel okay and my gallstone isn't protesting but I also feel like I got to enjoy a meal for the first time in a while. Belgian waffles this morning contained two eggs but instead of oil I used applesauce (you can usually substitute this in baking). However I wont jump on the ice cream and cheese bandwagon again anytime soon. I'll see what happens in the next few weeks and go from there.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We must ask why sometimes

We really must ask why sometimes. Why do some people feel the need to veer to the right before making a left turn or veering to the left before making a right turn? I admit that sometimes this is necessary. But not on big, wide American streets. I used to travel to the UK a lot on business and there was a little pub in West Wycombe, the George and Dragon to be precise. The entrance to their carpark (parking lot) was through an early 18th century stone entry which was designed for horses and not cars. There you have to pull over to the right (when driving on the left side of the road) to make the turn into the entry. I did it successfully (no scratches on the rental) but that is the only place I know of where it is really necessary to veer right to turn left. Anyway, we must ask why the morons of the world insist on doing so on a regular basis.

Why won't my stupid rash go away even though I have been putting this stupid prescription strength steroidal cream on it for weeks????? Its very annoying.

Why also won't I lose weight while I am on this fat free diet. My weight is holding steady even though I am depriving myself of all the things I like to eat!!! Grr!

Another thing we must ask why, is why does the cat insist on being psycho kitty every day, while I am in the shower? I will hear him thundering up and down the stairs and sliding along the halls. Why does he do this when I am showering? It seems that is the only time of day now that he shows his little psycho side.

We also must ask why is what were these people thinking when they filmed their video and how did they get their cats to cooperate? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVjzd320gew&feature=email I showed it to Walter and also stated that we cannot get a treadmill just so he can annoy the cat.

Okay, enough inquiring minds for the day. But sometimes it is important to stop and ask questions about life. Like why do some of us get gallstones that annoy us and others dont!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Today I want to be whiney...

No, crabby. No, wait, whiney. Crabby. Whiney. Crabby. Whiney. Crabby. Whiney. Forget it, I will be both whiney and crabby. Why be decisive too early in the day? I am entitled anyway. Why? Well, let's see, my side and stomach hurt, my incision hurts, my rash won't leave, my tattoo faded away, I didn't get a good night's sleep, and as soon as the cat saw I was awake, he walked on top of my and kneaded his claws into my shoulder. (We are trimming his claws this weekend.) Maybe he was getting even for the picture I took of him. Maybe his food dish was empty. Needless to say, I am crabby and whiney. Walter just read this and left for work. Hmmm... I wonder why?

Yesterday I was productive. I worked at home and went to work. I also got my nails done (which is VERY important). Today, I am going for a walk before the rain starts (even if I walk in the rain a little that's okay because I'll take a shower as soon as I get home). Then I have a phone interview and have to do some work from home. I might also have an in person interview this afternoon.

I need to watch this week's episode of Top Chef (another not so secret addiction). It is the highlight of my week. Its on every Wednesday night at 10 pm which is way past my bed time so I usually tape it. Due to my highly skilled use of the VCR, the tape did not come out this week so I tried to tape it again last night. Anyhow, I need to watch it before I accidentally find out who lost. I hate it when that happens. That might make me even crabbier.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Doctor and patient confusion

The other day I was trying to clear up my mysteriously multiplying doctor appointments. At first I was told, just go to the first one and then ask about canceling the others but then they sent me a letter saying one would be cancelled and replaced by another one. so I called. They were just as confused as I was. Now I only have one appointment with that doctor. And I feel better knowing I was not the only one confused.

We finally broke down and canceled our vacation plans completely. We will go for a long weekend next weekend after Walter's trip next week. He'll be gone for three days! WAH!

In the meantime, I supposed I can do things like work, look for a job, fold laundry, and clean the house. I actually have lots of laundry to fold. I thought we had a big plumbing leak in the basement somehow related to the laundry machine and its draining into the basement sink which has a pump on it to push the water up to street level.

I did a load of laundry on Monday and went back down stairs to a big flood. This had happened a couple of times recently but when you are doing laundry and its raining really hard outside, you have to figure out is it the roof or the plumbing? Anyway, I called the plumber who was going to come yesterday morning. Before he arrived, I thought I should recreate this so he could see what happens. It turned out that we had put a lint trap on the end of the hose that comes out of the washer and drains into the sink. It lets the water spray into the sink, and over the side of the sink onto the basement floor. Well I fixed that and canceled the plumber. I am very happy we don't need a new pump or expensive pipes! (I was informed by my very intelligent husband that I probably should have tried to run the washer and wait to see the leak before calling the plumber in the first place.) Now I have six loads of laundry to fold. Grrr.

Yesterday I also worked a lot at home, did some gardening (which are baby weeds and which are baby plants - that is the question). Then I went to work for a few hours. I also made us quite a yummy dinner. Relatively fat free but not completely. I made veal and prosciutto rolled up with sage and butternut squash and brown rice pilaf. Tonight I am disguising (a/k/a marinating) boneless skinless chicken (again) in garlic, capers, and lemon juice. This fat free thing is really boring. I keep on having to disguise boneless skinless chicken as it is relatively fat free. And not make it fattening which means no oils, cheeses, or nuts with it.

Today I am working from home after I go for a walk after the rain showers stop. Then I am going to work. No wait, first I am going to pick up my co-worker on the way to work. I can't forget that part! Then after work I get to go get a very important pedicure and manicure. What colors to get? Very important for a pedicure as it sticks around for quite a while.

Now this is the time of year where every time we leave the house, I have to stop and look at the garden. For some reason, Walter gives me a hard time about this. Anyway, I wanted to share what I have blooming out there which is kind of a lot which is why there are all these pictures.

Now, this is what 'sick' cancer patients due with their spare time when they are feeling better and growing out there hair.














Yes, he has forgiven me for this. I gave him some kitty treats!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So how am I doing these days anyway?

Well, lets see. I am mostly getting back to normal. My energy is returning but not completely. I am wiped out at the end of the day usually. Still. Blah! I want to get my energy back.

On the other hand, my surgical incisions (3 including the one they cut into TWICE just to make sure I really have a scar there) are all healed up. But the one where the original tumor was and they crisped up so well, still hurts from time to time. I mean its not bad but then it feels like someone is grabbing it and pinching. What fun!

The chemo side effects are going away. I had some tingling in my hands and feet that is mostly gone but not quite completely. My fingernails have recovered completely but my big toe nails are still growing out. My chemo brain has memory lapses but they are better. I now have a good excuse for being a spaceshot. Here's a weird chemo side effect. I used to love capers and put them on everything. During chemo, I couldn't eat them. Now I don't want to eat them. Bummer. They used to be yummy.

My skin has recovered from radiation but I have been outside more in the sun recently and noticed that even though I am covered up, the radiated area turns red, like a mild sunburn. Something to ask the doctor about. (I keep a running list of questions to ask doctors because I am incapable of remembering anything.)

Where my port was is healing up. There are two little parallel scars but a big lump of scar tissue under the skin that is slowly going away. The scar on my neck where they put in the catheter into the artery doesn't look like it will ever fade away.

I still am concerned about potential lymphedema in my arm (remember that's when your lymph system is compromised due to the node removal surgery and I can develop and problem with drainage in my arm at any time for the rest of my life???). Anyhow, I slept on my arm funny last week or maybe I carried something I shouldn't have, and my arm felt weird and bloated for a few days but it went away. I also have this on my list to ask the doctor.

Otherwise my rash has returned and is worse than it ever was. My gallstone keeps making me eat right and causes moderate pain. I now get regular heartburn from my hiatal hernia - even though I take Prilosec every day. Is there anything else? I can't remember at this point (see chemo brain in action). I am sure you all wanted o be filled in on such great detail as to how I am doing.

Then I am taking Tamoxifen, which I will take for another 4 years and 8 months (but who is counting). This seems to be okay but I have developed some achy joints - not much just my shoulders, right knee, ankles sometimes, and other places that seem to move around - which is kind of a standard side effect from it. After all the other side effects from the other medication I had, this seems to be reasonable.

It has almost been a year. Actually, the mammogram that went bad and started this whole thing I think was on May 10 of last year. What a fun year its been (NOT)! Am I going to have a big party and celebrate a year? I don't think so. I really just want the rolllercoaster ride to stop so I can get on with my life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm running out of topics

Perhaps it is because I am feeling better that I am running out of topics. Well, I am mostly feeling better. I don't have ANY surgery planned, or significant tests. Well, some tests. I am having a bone density test to check for osteoporosis issues and then a mammogram to find out if they 'missed' anything in all the other ones I have had. However I only have a paltry five doctor appointments scheduled in the next three months, and any one of these could lead to more 'adventures' (read that as fun with needles and yucky preparation tests). I shall have to just be patient.

Speaking of doctor appointments, I called yesterday to cancel some of my multiple surgeon follow up appointments that seem to be growing spontaneously. I was advised not to cancel them and to go to the first one and ask if I am supposed to have additional ones. Then in the mail, I received a notice stating that the doctor is unavailable for my scheduled appointment so it has been rescheduled for another date. Unfortunately, they did not say which of the appointments was cancelled. Very interesting. Today I will make another attempt to clarify the situation. The art of perfecting patient confusion!

Yesterday's big adventure was that I went to do a load of laundry and ended up with a big puddle on the basement floor. I believe we have a drainage problem relating to our basement sink into which the washer drains... A plumber is due tomorrow morning. Just how expensive our plumbers? Well, I think they all live in nice houses. Hopefully, it wont be too bad and he can fix it asap.

One little battle I keep losing is the cat and my pillow. This weekend I took my favorite pillow away with me (I like it, its very comfy). On Sunday night, I left it in my car because I was lazy (there is no other reason) and suffered greatly with an extra pillow to go with my paltry little pile of three pillows (okay, I like lots of pillows). Last night my special favorite pillow was returned to our bed and I was very comfy when I went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night sleeping on a little teeny corner of it because the CAT had hogged the whole thing! Most unfair! Is it possible to educate a cat?

Today, I am doing some work and then a volunteer meeting and then finally my support group. I also have reschedule our vacation. Walter has to go on a business trip next week so we can't go to the Shenandoah valley as planned. Instead, we will go for a long weekend in NH some place. Grrr..... Yes, I am being crabby about this.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It was a fun weekend

I went away for the weekend. I stayed up too late, ate lots of bad food, got a tattoo, watched the Kentucky Derby, didn't get enough sleep, but otherwise had a fun time. That was the first time I went away for a weekend in over a year so it was well deserved. (That was a test to see if you were awake. Yes, we all got temporary tattoos. It has already started to fade. No needles for us!)

Walter stayed home and had drill. He had to get a shot in preparation for his trip (that has since been canceled) to Honduras. If you were a nurse who had contracted out to the army to provide inoculations for soldiers, can you think of anything more appropriate than Hello Kitty and Sponge Bob band aids? I mean, what is more coordinated with a uniform than kids bandaids?

Last night I went to bed early to recover from my fun filled weekend. today I feel somewhat more human. I have lots of work to do and then have to go to work. I also have to figure out my mysteriously multiplying appointments. I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon at the end of May. Then another appointment showed up for June 16 and then another for June 30. I have to call and find out if there is something going on here that I don't know about. More patient confusion. They are getting very good about it.

Also, yesterday when I got home, I got to deal with another rocket scientist at Symantec. A few weeks ago, I switched to Walter's three computer subscription for antivirus after dealing with a rocket scientist in online chat for an hour and 45 minutes. Yesterday I got an email from Symantec that my original subscription had been automatically renewed and I was charged $52.49. This was something the original rocket scientist was supposed to prevent so I picked up the phone and called and after several press 1 for this program, press 3 for this issue, I got a life form (and I use the term loosely). We shall just say that English was clearly a second language, she was reading from a script, and didn't have a clue. After two tries to communicate, where she asked 'what is the issue you are calling about?' and I responded 'an issue with automated renewal that wasn't supposed to happen' and then she asked the same question again because she either lost her place in her script or didn't understand what I said, I asked to be transferred to her supervisor to handle the transaction. It took her 10 minutes to transfer me because she had to 'document the issue' (which was now escalated to a problem with automated renewal and issues with telephone staff), I was transferred to her supervisor. His English was better and
the transaction was resolved in about 2 minutes. So 10 minutes of waiting to get a 2 minute resolution.

What I find interesting is that after I posted previously about my issues with Symantec, I received a message from someone who said they worked at Symantec and would be happy to help resolve any outstanding issues. I chose not to respond to them as they only provided a gmail email address. I think a real employee would be able to provide a Symantec email address. I put this in the phishing category. Its interesting what is on the internet and where it ends up.

Okay, no more typing. Off to do some work! (Eek!)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fred Flinstone would have been proud

We went out to a fancy restaurant for dinner. Walter got his normal choice of prime rib. (He is very consistent. If its not prime rib, its filet. A definite carnivore. Always ceasar salad too.) There it was served on the bone. It looked like a Fred Flinstone meal. He exercised great restraint and brought home half of it. I, on the other hand, ate my entire meal. But it wasn't very big. I had politically incorrect veal madeira topped with shrimp and lobster. It was very yummy. They made the sauce lighter for me. However my gall bladder today is saying 'why did you do that?' Because it was our anniversary and I am sick of boring food!

I enjoyed the second day of the conference yesterday but by 3 pm I felt I was running out of steam and came home. I did learn a lot. The newest things on line in marketing are all about blogs, microblogs, social media, and changing around your traditional mind set. You are very luck it is too early in the day for a marketing lecture as I am on my first cup of coffee.

Today's big plans include packing for the weekend - I am going away to a friends cabin up north. Walter has drill so he gets to stay home with the cat. This is a girls weekend. We will do all sorts of incredibly lazy things like get in our pajamas early, stay up late, go shopping, and just sit around eating lots of different kinds of food. Somehow I will use restraint and not eat fattening food but we do have a dilemma. Normally we eat lots of fattening and yummy things. Not this time. I will be good. 45 minutes from the nearest hospital, which is down the mountain, is not a good place to start playing gall bladder games. I am driving up this afternoon with a friend and it will be nice to have company for the drive.

Before I go, I need to do all kinds of things. Some work, cancel the GI doctor, call my primary care and see if she can refer me to a different GI doctor, pack, laundry, feed the cat, etc. The cat has been eating amazing amounts of food this week. We aren't sure why. (We know he's not eating for two!) All of a sudden, its like there is a vacuum cleaner inhaling his entire bowl of food that used to take him a day or two to eat the whole thing. The only problem with this is when his food dish gets too low, he comes and sits on me in the middle of the night so I will get up and feed him (fat chance).

Otherwise my garden has more tulips in bloom as well as an early primrose. The dogwood and lilac are about to bloom and my peonies finally have buds!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

On being tired

Okay, I admit it. I am tired. I left the conference yesterday and thought I was okay but when I got to my car and sat down I realized I was exhausted. So perhaps I overdid it a tiny bit. But today I need to be there from about 730 am - at least 4pm and maybe later. Hmmm... We shall see how it goes. However it was very interesting. I saw people I hadn't seen in quite a while and I met a bunch of new people too. Today I get to attend sessions as well which will be educational.

Today is our anniversary too so we are going out to a fancy dinner where I will rip apart the menu and find something low fat to eat. How boring. I can be a challenge to the chef.

On a more positive note, the rain recently has helped blend the compost into my garden and now more things are starting to flower. I have more tulips and the dogwood and lilac are full of buds. I have a little field of lilies of the valley which are about to bloom as well.