Saturday, December 29, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.