Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Memory

Last year this time I was busy and excited getting ready for my Mother's 70th surprise birthday party. And we surprised her for sure. It would also turn out to be the last time I had both my sons together, and I knew even then it was a gift but of course I didn't know just how much of a gift it really was, for her and for Matthew and myself.
You just never knew about Jonathan when it came to family affairs. If he showed up, which was mostly not, he'd mostly find something to get upset about and no matter how much we wanted him to know how loved he was and how special he was, he found a way to make the occasion a little uncomfortable.
Last November he didn't do that. He was happy to be there, he enjoyed his time with his brother and he made his grandmother very happy by handing her his dozen roses and wrapping her up in his big bear hug way he had of hugging you.
I held my breath that he would show up, even though he had promised me, that didn't always mean anything. But he came and after the party, that night when we came back to my house, just my sons and me, we had the best time talking about the party, discussing the guests, and being very proud of ourselves at how we'd pulled iit off.
I will forever have that memory, and for that I am grateful.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not Much to Talk About

We're getting real winter in the next few days, which is a little early for us down here. Usually the poor kids are sweating in their Halloween costumes but not this year.
I'm feeling ok so far, I've lost my voice nearly again. That happened to me last time too and I stayed hoarse for a week or so. Just a side effect that is not too hard to deal with. Yesterday I stayed in all day and watched movies and slept.
On Wednesday I have an appointment with the surgeon who will take out the life port on Thursday if everything is ok. I'm ready to get that done with.
There's nothing much to write about when you just stay home and watch movies and sleep. I am so anxious to get back into life. And it feels good to know that the Chemo is over and I am closer to getting to do that.
And so that is about it for now. Hope you have a good Monday and a good week.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just me Jabbering

I woke up to the news of Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother having been shot to death and her little nephew is missing. You know her, American Idol, Dream Girls and she's in the Secret Lives of Bees Movie right now. My heart goes out to her, I just can't imagine. Sad, sad, sad.
This year has not been the best year. I will always remember 2008 for sure.
I have my first usual side effect, a sore throat, but other than that I am feeling really good this morning. I even slept all night, sort of. I went to bed early, woke up at two and then slept in the recliner from about three to seven. Not bad since I'm on the steroids. I have two more days of them and hope I never have to take those little suckers ever again. They are also the culprits of the high blood sugar. But they help me from being sick, sick like hanging on the toilet sick and thank goodness I've not had that to deal with.
Yesterday we had a nice slow rain all day. No more rain today but I think it is going to be kind of balmy looking, at least it looks that way out there now.
My thoughts are with Tammy today as this is the day for the ALS Walk. She is actually going to walk too and I'm so proud of her and she's raised so far almost two thousand dollars which is awesome. I wish I could be there right beside her walking away. She's in California and I'm way down here. But my heart is there.
And so, that's about all I know for today. I hope your weekend is a good one.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Got a Surprise

I had to go to get my shot this morning and when I got there my Angel Nurses had a surprise for me. They gave me a teddy bear and we had sparkling grape juice and a very sweet card with a very sweet note. It was so sweet. They both had their bracelets on too, so that was cool.
It is a cold rainy day and I'm home the rest of the day and since I've been wide awake since two this morning, I'm going to try and sleep. So far, so good with the way I feel. That shot will cause me pain and since I am on the blood thinner, I can't take Alieve anymore so I have a narcotic and it zonks me out but I am not taking it until I have pain. I hate them, hate the feeling they give me but they take care of the pain for sure.
I'll take a picture of my Teddy Bear later, I like him much better than the clown they gave me first.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Bracelets

I gave the nurses their bracelets yesterday and they were touched and proud of them. I meant to take pictures of the bookmarks I made to go along with them but I didn't. I bought foam bookmarks in the craft department and typed up my note on one side and what the colors meant on the other sides. They turned out really good. It felt good to give them something back for all the kindness they've shown me, the laughs we've had and even the tears. And I've watched them show each and every patient the same kindness. They are well loved in that little Oncology department. Anyway, wanted to share with you what I wrote. When I was trying to put my thoughts together my brain was a little off and my son Matthew sort of put it all together here for me, thank you Matthew. It said all I wanted it to. So here's what it said

"For all you do, the love you give, and the care you provide. With this gift I want to let you know how much you mean to me and all the people to whom you are a champion. In our fight for life you are strong, caring, and constant and there can be no question how much you truly care for us.
The colors of this bracelet represent awareness for the
different types of cancers that you face everyday.
The charm & teal beads represents my personal fight with Uterine Cancer, which I could not imagine facing without you. I hope that you wear this bracelet as a badge of courage for all to see. When you look at it, I hope you think about the love and the appreciation that so many feel for you. You are truly my hero, and my family and I could not have gotten through this part of the battle without you.
For everyone you have held, laughed with, cried with, loved, and lost I thank you from the bottom of my heart.



They were surprised and yep, we had tears. They both put them on right away and they looked so pretty. Those crystals make up so pretty and when the light catches them they are just beautiful. I hope they will enjoy them and know that I meant every word their bookmarks say.

You know, I think nurses are like teachers. They have to have a special calling and I was lucky enough to have two that I have no doubt found their calling in life.

Dear Body,

I just want you to know that there will be no more poison pumped in you and together you and I can start to heal. We are done! We still may have to face a few more things, but I know now how strong you are and we'll do it together. But no more poison! Now, lets grow some hair and get our sugar levels and iron levels regulated and let's get on with life! Together let's try to eat healthy and get exercise and take better care of ourselves. I know we can do it.

Today's the Day

Almost everyone has decorated their blogs in beautiful fall colors but I'm leaving my blue skies. Mostly because I've not been able to go out and take any pictures and it has been so dry here, we don't have many colors, the leaves just fell off and we have some naked trees.

But then I figured I still needed the blue sky for a while. Blue sky is a priority for me right now, so I'm staying blue for now.

Today is the day. One more. And then my body can start to heal and perhaps I'll get a little hair pretty soon, and nose hairs would be nice too. Here's the plan. This treatment will be nice to me. Nothing odd will happen, the side effects will be mild and I can start to get a little exercise. My legs are weak, the muscles don't want to work so well. I got to work on that.

Today I get a drug called Taxol. It is one he added starting the second treatment and they serve a sedative and benadryl with it. So it knocks me out. I usually sleep through it and then come home and sleep through the rest of it and sometimes I sleep the next day through it. I'm not sure why they do that but they do. So, in a few hours I'll be sitting in the recliner and getting my last hook up. So hold on body, we're going to get through this yet!

To all of you, have a good day and know how much I appreciate you all. You all follow me around like the Verizon commercial, carrying me through it all and I can always hear you now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In Memory of George

Today because I was early to treatment, I got my choice of recliners. It was probably the only one I'd not tried out before. A new location to people watch better. Some times I chose the one in the very back corner where you couldn't see anyone and they couldn't see you. But today I chose a middle one where I saw people coming and going. I heard people complaining and worrying. I saw people who were scared to death to begin Chemo and people who have been doing it for 6 years off and on. I saw lovely women come in whose hair was beginning to grow back, curly and seemed to be growing straight up and so beautifully white was one. Snow white. I thought she was beautiful.

And then I spent a lot of time remembering George. I have not a clue who he was so I had to imagine him. There is a very nice fish aquarium in the office and I sat a few feet from it. It is full of beautiful fish, happy fish, all sizes. On the bottom there is a plaque that simply states, "In Memory of George." I imagine George to have been a little on the elderly side, I imagine him a fighter. And I remembered him every time I look at the aquarium, even though I've not a clue if he was tall or short, thin or heavy, suffered a long time or not. All I know as I tried to imagine him was that he and I shared something. He left on to his next journey but not before leaving a beautiful aquarium with happy living fish. And I think that was pretty cool of him. Because I do remember you George, my fellow warrior, who may even at one time sat for hours in the very chair I sat in today. And I wish for you now all the peace you deserve , pain free and maybe, just maybe those happy fish hear you talk to them and it makes you smile to see them and I just know even though your family misses you, as they watched you slip away, they are proud to have left something in your memory to help cheer a place that can be pretty depressing sometimes. Yes, I will remember you George. I know you in my heart. And thanks for leaving behind a memory of yourself.

Change of Plans Again

As I've said before, if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. This life port wanted to be ugly yesterday so off they send me to x-ray to do a study on it. This has happened every single time, so I am used to it and most of the time, it is ok except that one time it had a blood clot and they put me in the hospital. Anyway, yesterday again it wouldn't work. All of that took so much time that by the time I saw my Dr., it would have been really really late to get through with the treatment, (which they will put in through an IV in my arm this last time.) My Dr. wants the Life Port out as soon as possible so I'm scheduled to have that done next week. That means I can get off these dang blood thinners which they've never gotten the dosage right , my blood is either too thin or too thick. AND so, I just came home and will go in early today and get started.
In a few weeks I will have another scan, to see where we are and we'll go from there. I hate those scans because you worry and worry what they are going to see or tell you. But this time I'm not worrying. What ever happens, I can deal with it and I since the one he did midway showed great progress, I think it will be all clean. We'll see.
So, for sure I'm getting the treatments today and tomorrow and then I'll be done with chemo.
Thanks for your prayers and thoughts yesterday. Have a good day yourselves!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At Last the Last

I can hardly believe today will be the 6th treatment. In many ways it seems like the time has passed so slowly and it has been 18 weeks, which is a pretty long time I guess. Of course I have to have one tomorrow too, so officially my last one won't be until then.

It would be nice if this one would be easy on me. Wouldn't that be nice? I'm praying hard.

If all goes well I should be able to go back to work around the middle of November. I am ready to go back to work. I am ready to get back in the world.

My appointment is not until 12:15 today and the first thing is I have to see the Dr. Usually he is late and then this life port of mine doesn't act right and they send me to xray to check it out and then by then they give me the choice of having the treatment today or waiting until tomorrow. Because I hate that the nurses would have to stay so late with me, I usually just say we'll do it tomorrow but after talking to my friend Tammy, and my Mom, I've decided since this is the last one, I want the treatment today! No matter how long I have to stay. Let's get this over with! Today I'm being selfish!

And so that's my story for today. I've learned through all of this that Chemo sucks! If it has destroyed cancer cells I am glad but it makes you wonder and wonder if it is worth it. At this point in time it is all we have and so we have to go with it. I heard Melissa Ethridge say that she believes years from now we'll look back on Chemo therapy and think how barbaric is was. It is for sure. But we are tough, us human beings and we fight to live and most of us survive Chemo, whereas we don't always survive cancer.

I'm surviving, and I'm going on to live the rest of my life for me. I've tried so hard my whole life to please everyone else and it has gotten me so far from what I want. So if Cancer has taught me anything, it has taught me to follow my heart to my own happiness. And that is what I'm going to do, no matter how much time I have left, none of us know how much time we have left on this earth. And I know I can face whatever I have to face now and get through it. With faith, with people who support me, and with my own spirit I am going to survive and go from there.

"There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do."
Freya Madeline Stark

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Ready

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
Soren Kierkegaard

After a few days of just letting myself feel a little defeated with life in general, I'm back to understanding that I must keep fighting to be where I want to be. I'm so close to being done with the Chemo and at least that will be behind me. If they say radiation, I can handle that too. I'm not fond of the radiation doctor but he is one of the best in this area and getting another Dr. at this point makes little sense to me. Plus I'm getting ahead of things here, there is still the chance that they don't recommend radiation. Another Pet Scan will let us know where we stand.
So, this week, the last Chemo and then we'll go from there. I'm ready for whatever happens. Fighting Cancer, or any disease can be a lonely thing. No matter how much support you have, no matter how many people really care, you are basically alone in it, alone with your thoughts, alone with your fear. You put on a brave face for the people who want so badly to help you but what really helps is when you accept it yourself and face it head on. During the Chemo I've been able to just sort of not think about much but getting through whatever it brought but the time is coming to move forward and I'm ready.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Bad Mood Post, Read at your own Risk!

I am in a bad mood. Not really a snap someone's head off, evil eyed, all negative bad mood, but a bad mood just the same. I don't like it and times like this it is probably a good thing I live alone.

Physically I am feeling much better. Thank goodness for that, so I shouldn't complain and yet I do. Shame on me!

Feeling guilty makes my mood worse! These past few months are such a blur to me. My world is just so weird at the moment. My future is unclear to me on so many levels.

So I'm in a bad mood!

Hunting Season started this morning. I've heard several shots, I hope they missed my deer that live around here. I hope they are bad shooters.

My fingernails are almost all the way dark now, just the tips left. The skin on my hands look so old, like I'm 90. I feel 90.

What if my hair doesn't grow back?

Jonathan's death still doesn't feel real to me. Somewhere in the back of my mind I keep thinking he'll call me and I'll say, "I knew it wasn't true!"

I'm on long term disability now and I'm not sure how much longer I am going to have to miss work and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my job.

I don't want to have radiation after all this and I'm afraid I will have to.

I can't seem to "feel" anything about anything. That's not like me. Usually it doesn't take much to excite me.

All food taste like crap!

I told you I'm in a bad mood.

But this too shall pass. But in the meantime it is no fun!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Blood

Alrighty then, let's see if this person whose blood is now happily melting with my own poor blood was fond of liver and turnip greens and all iron rich foods because I need all the iron I can get! I never knew before what type blood I have so it was interesting to learn I'm O positive.
The first thing that happened by the time I dragged myself to the Oncology Department was of course they take my temp and blood pressure. AH.....new development. Low Blood pressure reading. Or maybe I should say what blood pressure?? I hardly had a blood pressure. She brushed it off at first, and put the cuff on the other arm. Still too low. They call my Doctor. He says, "Give her the first bag of blood (I was to get two) and if her blood pressure is not up, give her a bag a fluids in between. I think the nurses found it hard I was even conscious. So, we start the first bag of blood. In between, my blood pressure slowly was surely rose. And finally, although it never got normal, it did rise. By the time I had the second bag it was lots better. So they decided no fluids. All I cared about was that they didn't decide I had to go to the hospital.
I have my own blood pressure checker and this morning it is still a little low but not bottomed out and for the first time in quite sometime, I can walk from room to room in my house without feeling like I've just climbed a mountain. Those little red blood cells are merging quite well, (thank you Mr. or Ms. Blood Donor) Please go give blood if you can. And I am so happy. Too bad we didn't discover this a week ago!
So, we shall see how today goes. I've got to finish my bracelet projects which were put on hold, and I need to do some household chores which have gone undone for a long time, and I will also take it easy in between. My appetite is still off but I can eat and so I eat what I want when I want when I can. It is working for now.
I hope for all of you a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"I Vant to Drink Your Blood!"

I'm going to a Halloween Party today as a Vampire. Ok, so I won't be drinking blood, it will come pre-packaged in a little bag and it will be put inside my veins, which is ok by me, I didn't really want to bite anyone. And it won't really be much of a party, everyone there will be hooked up to something going into their veins and I don't think the party snacks will be that great.
As it turns out my hemoglobin is down, down, down, which explains why I've had so much trouble recovering this time. As I understand it, it is not uncommon for Chemo patients to have to get blood, most of the time earlier than I have. We've fought my iron levels for a while now, they've given me a special shot every treatment, put pure iron from an IV bag in me, and I'm on some pretty powerful iron pills but alas my body is not absorbing much of it and this week it really went way down.
The good thing is I can do it right there in Oncology and have to be put in the hospital. And I have to have two bags, so it will take about 4 hours. For Cancer patients they have to use a special blood that they've done something to, so yesterday I had to go give them some of mine to match and it was ordered and it will not come until today sometime. I'm just waiting for a call that it is there and I'll go get it.
I have to admit I am so ready to feel better that I am looking forward to getting it. AND so, there you go, thank goodness for people who give blood. GO now, give blood. It is a good thing, it saves lives for sure.
In the mean time, I've got to pick out my best Vampire Dress to wear today, I'm going in style!
Only thing is, I'm going to be a bald headed Vampire, darn it! Sort of spoils the look!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Still Here

Ok, well, maybe all those sweet pictures did it, or maybe I forgot the dance steps of this Chemo thing. Sometimes, one step forward, two steps back, but yesterday was a bad day. I forget that you can't say "OH, I feel pretty good today, tomorrow will be even better!" Nope, not the way it works for me. But I got through it, I made it, that day is behind me and this morning, so far so good. I am very shaky, ready to jump out of my skin, but Xanax helps that. My head is a little clearer, but still I don't really feel like I'm living in the moment. It is hard to explain, just weird. I'm plagued with other things not so pleasant to talk about so I won't and my appetite just doesn't seem to exist, not even for brownies!
But I got through yesterday and the day before that and that's saying something!
I had to got get a blood test this morning for the blood thinner thing. My mom took me and I actually am not worn out, (ok, a little tired) but I'm thankful I didn't have to do it yesterday.
MY next and last treatment is this coming Tuesday. I think they have it figured out just how much they can give you until they kill you.
And so that's all I got today. I'll be glad for the day when I can post and not mention Cancer or Chemo, or feeling bad. And I thank all of you for always checking in on me and for offering your prayers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally as I Come out of my Chemo Coma........

I am hungry! So hungry. I've hardly ate, had to force myself to drink and wouldn't you know what I crave to eat is not at all what I really need. So, instead of eating any of it and killing myself, I decided to just look at pictures. The funny thing is, I'm not much of a sweet eater under normal circumstances and I sure don't need to be one since the steroids have given me the gift of diabetes and since cancer cells seem to love sugar! SO...I'm dreamin' of this,
and a little of this,
And some of this,
Just a bite of this,
And a taste of this,


That Brownie looks divine. I think Brownies are my favorite. But that pie, that's a banana cream pie. And I love cupcakes.....ah. Anyway, I'm feeling a little stronger every day. This treatment has been a bad one but I'm coming out on the other side. Slowly but surely and HUNGRY!

In reality and for tonight I had this. No sugar added.

J E L L O , umm.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I usually try to answer each of your comments but because each of you in the last few days have been so alert to the fact that I'm having a hard time, I wanted to sent a special post to all of you.
It has been rough, and each message you've left me has filled my heart with such joy and thankfulness. Just to know that you'd take the time from your busy lives to leave me notes of encouragement and love, overwhelms me so much.
I think I'm a little better today but if I still can't eat or drink too much, I have the option of going in and getting some fluids and as the day goes by, we'll see if I do that. I was able to eat a tiny bit of real food yesterday and I'm drinking some but for the first time during all this I've experienced nausea. I've been able so far not to actually throw up, but the feeling is there at times and so far I have a pill that helps instantly. I've had those pills since the beginning but have hardly had to take them until the last few days. The real danger is of course, is getting dehydrated.
Anyway, treatment number five will go down so far as being my worse but I am hanging in there and feel a new strength today that I've not had in the last few days. Thank you again for being here for me. Your understanding of my feelings when I don't even really tell you is uncanny to me and all I can say is what wonderful friends I have all over this country.
So, keep the prayers and good thoughts and candle lighting and all you got for me, it does so help. You will never know how much.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Seaching for Some Light

I have to go back for another blood test this morning. They can't get the blood thickkness right, it is now too thin. Wearing on my nerves a little. And this is the week the chemo works on my emotions. It's hard to look past it, even though I know I only have one more treatment, I don't know what will happen after that. I don't know so much and it plagues me.

Coming out of the fog a little, I search for some sunshine. And I know it is there, somewhere, but just hiding from me a bit for the moment.
Hope your day is a good one.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Just Another Day

Just got back from town to get a blood test. This one is to keep track of the thickness of the blood since I'm on the blood thinner. They'll call me this afternoon and I'll adjust the pills I take, or I won't. Whichever. Since I'm still in a bit of a fog, my mother took me this morning. I was quite, which worried her, and although I don't feel really bad, I'm just sort of in that fog, there's no other way to describe it. The fatigue not so bad yet, nor the bone pain. Maybe I'll skip all that this time but I keep reminding myself it has only been four days since the treatment and sometimes these things come on later. But hey, I can hope they don't come.
And so, here I am back home, sitting in my recliner, with my computer. Every once in a while I get a jolt of energy and I think I can jump up and do a little house work, but I never get much done. SO back I sit. BUT hopefully not too much longer of this. I can't believe I only have one more treatment. And I am so grateful I've not had nearly as hard of a time with Chemo as I could have.
And that's about all there is with my boring life today. One day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time. But I'm making it and that's what counts!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

THis is MY Brain on Chemo

Just checking in to let you know I'm doing pretty good so far this time. The different thing this time is I'm so foggy headed so this post is going to be very short as I'm not able to hardly concentrate to type. It's a weird feeling for sure and has been my constant companion, really since I left the Cancer Center on Thursday. But I can handle being a little out there I guess, as long as I don't try to do anything too important.
Other than that, all is well.
Hoping you all have a good weekend.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What Happens During the Treatment

My friend Shirley asked me in the comment section some questions about what goes on while I'm getting treatment and it occurred to me if anyone was searching for the info, it might help them know too if they are curious before starting treatment so I decided to answer her questions in a post.

You've probably heard me speak of the life port. It is what caused me to stay in the hospital a few days as it had a blood clot in it. My surgeon that put it in says it can happen about 20% of the time. I was put on the blood thinner and it dissolved so I can still use it. The purpose of it is so that they can put the drugs in through it instead of having to stick you each time in your veins. So when it works right, it is a wonderful thing. It is a little gadget inserted right under your skin, in your upper chest. IT has wires that are wired into veins. This frees your arms up and so you can have freedom to move your arms whereas you couldn't so much with the IV inserted straight in your veins.

In the room there are big soft recliner chairs and you can sit or lay back. Their are TV's and you the room is open with little partitions, and you usually share your little space with another patient. Most people sleep because of the drugs. When you have to go potty, you just tell the Nurses and they help you push your IV stand to the bathroom, so no big deal there.

They have juice and other drinks they offer you and if you are there at lunch time or supper, they bring you a sandwich tray.

So, Shirley, even though you are confined to the chair, you certainly can move around a little and you don't have to lie down all the time, so it isn't too bad. You can read, play cards with a friend, sleep, watch TV, listen to your ipod or books on on CD.

And so that's pretty much it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I love nature and trees and mushrooms. This tree in my yard has mushrooms growing right into it. I'm not sure how healthy this might be for this tree but I thought it looked interesting.
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One Day down, One to Go

Just a little quickie post this morning to let you know my life port was clear, no blood clot, (thank you God) and my day was very long but not unpleasant. I met a cute little lady and her very sweet grown granddaughter which I will blog about later. I'm up early and my mind is a little scattered this morning so if I tried a detailed post this morning, it probably wouldn't make much since.
Today's treatment will be a shorter one and I'm hoping to be home by three if all goes well. Yesterday was from nine until about five thirty.
So for now, I'm feeling fine and anxious to get today over with.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Thursday full of love and light and happiness.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Ok, I got one finished. This is the one I'm giving to my two nurses. It represents different cancers with the ribbon being my own. So, I got to make one more, make the cards I want to go with them explaining how important they've been to me and others, and explaining the colors. I hope they like them.
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