Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Routines, Lovely Routines

It's 0600 hrs. A hash brown patty sizzles in some oil in a hot skillet. Soon it will be moved to a plate, and an egg will use the remaining hot oil to fry it to a "medium" state. A slice of bread is in the toaster; I'm listening for the sound of the toaster to release it all toasted and ready to be buttered.
Am I hungry for breakfast? No, I'm not. I'll be capable of eating this tidy little meal because I've discovered that having food in my stomach before taking the chemo drugs and my other medicines makes for an uneasy stomach.
I started off on the wrong foot initially. It was late afternoon when I took the first dose of medicines which initiated the queasiness and after that I couldn't eat. Another round of pills on an empty stomach, I continued this cycle. It had to turn around. I had to eat whether my stomach felt queasy or not and that finally turned the tables.
Now I make sure I have something in my stomach before pill time and I'm feeling much better.
This morning I will be at the oncologists office at 0800 for the labs but before that, I'm going to get dressed and drive to Carrie's house to escort her to her bus stop. This was our daily routines and I'm trying to reestablish some of them.
It's time to get dressed and ready for my day. I'll update this with my lab reports before publishing it today.

Labs were drawn and the counts are WNL (within normal limits).
I visited with the PA (physician's assistant) and we discussed my treatment. The charges for the Xelodo is 5000.00 a month. My insurance covers nothing on this. I've been obsessing over this since I was told the costs. Today I was told not to worry about money. Easy for them to say, I'm thinking.
The nurse there came in with a bottle of the medicine and handed it to me. 5000.00 worth of product didn't feel heavy in my hand.
Should we run out of the oral medicine, I was told we could switch to infusion form. I was much relieved at this information. I had visions of selling the house and auctioning off the grandkids to get through this. They assured me this wouldn't be necessary.
I'm making summer plans. I have to make plans for the future. They assure me I have one of those. I'm going to take their word on this or try to.
I'm publishing this as I think I'm done with any new information. Have a good day! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fighting Depression and Winning

I was up and out at 0500 this morning. I made my trip around the perimeter of Walmart while I picked up a few things for dinner. Enchiladas and brown beans and a salad is planned.

I haven't been cooking any of the meals here and right now it's on my list of "getting back to normal". I was hungry for a pot of brown beans (pinto) to some and some good spicy enchiladas smothered in onions and cheese.

I came home and unloaded the groceries and put them away and settled back onto the sofa with my blanket and pillow.

The next time I looked at the clock it was a little after 0900 hrs so I called my daughter. I really wasn't expecting her to answer the phone as she is usually asleep at this time  so I was pleasantly surprised when she did.
"Wanna go to the pet store with me?" I asked.

Again I was surprised when she agreed. She was watching a movie that would be ending in 15 minutes. I hurried through the shower, dressed and ran the blow dryer through my hair. A bit of lipstick and a bit of eyeliner and I was ready to go.

Bugsy needed some wood to chew on. She is nibbling her dwelling and I wanted to get her a mineral stone too. In and out of the pet store, my purchases totaled less then the gas cost to get us across town.

We circled the mall and decided to have lunch. We both enjoy the Olive Garden and their unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks. The Gnocci soup is a favorite of ours.

I've had a busy morning. I'm moving. I'm up and about and out.

Tomorrow a visit to the oncologist's office and then I have the remainder of the day to go somewhere. I don't care at this point "where" I go but that I just "do" go.

This is my response to the depression that was eating me alive. The weather is too wonderful to spend my time beneath a blanket on my sofa in a darkened living room.

My husband commented on yesterday  being my best day since I had started the chemo. It's time to give him a break too and relieve him of some of his worrying.

He keeps telling me this is "just a bump in the road", "we are going to be fine". I'm making this my mantra for now.

I can be found on the patio watching television. Here's hoping your day is as fine as mine was today!

A Touch of Normalcy

Yesterday I got astride my husband's Trek and took it for a spin. I was surprised when I asked him if I could ride his bike and that his answer was "yes". He is very picky about what he owns and he takes very good care of all his 'stuff'. That comes from growing up with very little and once you do obtain something new, you want to keep it that way.

I rode a couple of blocks and headed home. I hate the seat on his bike. My Trek has a nice comfy seat and I'm sure whoever stole it is enjoying it's comfort.

Besides staying off the sofa, I cooked a meal. Baked steak, gravy and rice, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole is one of my favorite meals. Though I couldn't eat a lot, a tablespoon of each food was acceptable. I have to eat very slowly and when the queasiness comes, I lay down my fork, shove my plate away and take some deep breaths.

I called April before serving dinner as I know this is one of her favorite meals. She and Carrie showed up to have dinner with us.

This morning I made a 0500 trip to Walmart. The aisles are empty of shoppers. The stockers are busy filling the shelves and the registers are empty. I cruised along through the store getting my exercise in while stopping to pick up a few things. Enchiladas and beans are on the menu for tonight.

I called April and told her I would be by to pick up Carrie and take her to the bus stop. Another thing I haven't done for months. After Carrie got dressed, we went outside to feed Bugsy. We refilled both of her water bottles and poured pellets in her bowl. Today April will come and get her "rabbit run" and set it up so she can get some exercise.

Another bit of normalcy. I'm dredging myself up from the pit I seem to have been in for the past few months. I'm determined to fight this lethargy. I'm due for another short bike ride this afternoon. Bit by bit, foot by foot, mile by's progress.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 30th....Tomorrow Another Doctor's Visit

I get queasy. That's the only way I can describe how my stomach feels. I get hungry. I  have an appetite. When food is presented, I can only tolerate a couple of bites before my stomach starts doing flips.
Last night the husband fixed tacos. I made it through one of them and then had to take a break. They were so tasty and after a few minutes I was able to eat another one. That was a big meal for me.
This morning the husband made some sausage gravy over biscuits. My mouth watered. 1/2 of a biscuit and a bit of gravy and that was enough. I finished the three days of Zofran and Reglan that was required yesterday. I can now take it PRN (as needed). I don't know if they help for nausea. My fingers still tingle when I touch something cold so I'm remaining cautious about handling food from the refrigerator. Most foods and liquids are still consumed at room temperature.
Tomorrow I see the Physician Assistant and get blood levels drawn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the levels are good. I dread the thought of having to have platelets or blood transfused. I haven't noticed any bleeding from the gums which would indicate a low platelet count. My energy level isn't the best it could be but I don't note any shortness of breath which might indicate low red blood cells. The white count has no definitive signs that I might detect without a blood count.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Out and About

I slept until 0300 this morning. That was in the bed and I added another 3 hrs from the sofa.

I peeked my head out the French doors to the patio where my husband sat having his morning coffee and smoke.

 "Hey, I'm headed to Walmart. Do you need anything?"

I had just spoke with Pat and I was on my way to pick her up and make the trip with me. Half way around the store it was time for me to sit down for a breather. I made my way to the pharmacy area where I grabbed a seat on the bench and sat for a few minutes. Pat grabbed a pair of nail clippers for me and together with a few other things in my cart, we were ready to check out.

I made this trip to get out of the house and walk a little. Tomorrow morning I will again make another trip to the store and walk the perimeter. I want to build up some stamina and this is a start.

April and Carrie just stopped by to get dressed for the festival. Festival Internationale is in full swing this weekend. Musicians come from all over the world to participate and there is only a fee for parking. Listening to all the music is free. There will be gumbo, jambalaya, red beans, rice, sausage and funnel cakes.

I'm sitting this one out, literally. Walking from the parking area to the bandstands through the crowds will not be something I'll be doing this year.

Fresh out of a shower, I'm ready to park in front of the television for the evening.

That's my Saturday..a walk through Walmart and a shower....

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This is  a post that won't be shared on Facebook by a link to it.
If you get here to read this, then you are a follower of this blog.

I can't stop the tears. They come when I try to talk to someone that calls to check on me. They come when I'm watching TV.

I try to reason this out. Is it because I'm an RN and do not believe what the doctors tell me about my prognosis? I watch as the victims of the horrific Boston Marathon face the loss of their legs and I'm ashamed and embarrassed about my tears.

A telephone call from my friend Denise in Wyoming, her voice laced with worry, she softly mentioned depression. It's not that I haven't thought about this too. I kept telling myself that this wasn't depression. I think I might be wrong.

She urged me to find a support group. I think I'll have to take her advice. My daughter and husband and friends and neighbors have been very supportive. I might need more.

I seem to have given up on living. That strong person everybody thought they knew has vanished. I don't want to fight. I want to curl up and sleep. Sounds like depression doesn't it?  Lately, I have been avoiding conversations on the telephone. It's the tears that come and I don't want Wanda and Denise to hear them in my voice. What must they think? I don't know what to think about this and I think they soon they will be tired of hearing it too.

Tomorrow I will call Matilda and ask about the support group she mentioned to me on Tuesday when I was getting the infusion.

Just getting out of the house and going somewhere will be a plus.

I'm through here for now.

A Clinical Observation on a Thursday

The Ambien kept me asleep until 0230 hrs and I had to get out of bed and head for the sofa. I was too restless to stay in bed and I knew I wouldn't be going back to sleep immediately.  As my usual routine, it was on the sofa with the television switched on and all the lights out. I must have dozed on and off a little. Around 0500 I thought I would fry a potato and scramble an egg over it.

I slipped the leather gloves over my hands and opened the refrigerator door standing well to the side to avoid the cold air. Tearing open a side of the plastic bag to get to a potato was going to defeat me. I kept tugging at the bag but since I had the leather gloves on, my nails weren't available to rip the bag. Finally, a potato was in my grip.

I carried it to the counter and took off my gloves so I could peel it and immediately dropped it when the tingles started shooting through my fingers from the chill. I switched on the water faucet and waited until the water got warm and then held the potato under the running warm water. Now I could peel it and get it into a skillet. All this for some eggs and potatoes?

I eventually had eggs and potatoes and a slice of bread with some room temperature milk that was passed through the microwave to take the chill off of it. It wasn't until a few minutes later that I realized my mistake. The cooking food had left odors in the air and I was getting nauseated. A little air freshener sprayed around killed the food odors.

Lunch today is a room temperature orange.

I slept for a while after my meal and then dressed and went to the clinic to talk to the nurse about my medications.

The insurance company doesn't want to pay for the chemo tablets. The cost is 5000.00 a month. She refilled my medicine case with samples and said they would work on a way to get the costs reduced. I'll take that.

Right now I'm working on trying to keep the medicines down. I feel queasy and I think that is from the infusion chemo that was done on Tuesday. Zofran and Reglan are still being taken for the three days post infusion. Tomorrow will be the last day for these until the next infusion. I'm hoping the stomach settles down then.

Cool foods might be on my diet for a while. No odors.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday, a King Size Bed and The Hobbit

The husband had to go to a safety class toay and will be gone all day. The daughter arrived to help me clear up a closet or two and help rearrange all the stuff my husband thought he would be helpful  by putting things away for me. Translated, he just opened the closet door and pitched everything willy nilly onto the rods. I like to color arrange my clothes, and there is certain things that go in the drawers and not on hangers. I appreciate him wanting to be helpful during my time of illness but when you have to keep wearing the same things over and over, it's time to get organized.

We ordered a pizza and popped the movie into the DVD player in the master bedroom, propped up pillows along the headboard and settled in for a long movie. I'm so lost watching this so I just concentrated on the scenery. It would have helped if I would not have kept dozing off.

Clinical update. The parotid glands still spasm when I eat or drink anything. Sometimes my stomach feels queasy but that might be because I need to put some food in it. Done.

Carrie and April are now here and we are going to pick up my car after we drop Carrie off for a play time with a friend.

It's just a lazy day here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chemo, Day 1

April 23, Tuesday:

First day of chemo infusion; I know now what to expect.
 We arrived at the infusion center and waited a few minutes for the center to swing their doors open.

I presented the doctor's orders to the receptionist and was escorted to a pod. This center is broken up into sections that are seperated by 1/2 walls.  The pod has chairs that recline and line the walls. Six chairs to each pod with IV stands beside each one. I'm sitting by the wall with windows that come down to chair level. I can watch the traffic flow by, and the activity in this pod.

Another hour should see me out of here. I just checked the fluids hanging and there is about 1/2 remaining TBI (to be infused).

Matilda has been my nurse today. She is an RN that I used to work with at the hospital. As we talked about my condition, I apologized for being so emotional. She bent down and give me a hug and a kiss and  said "we are going to make it through this."

I like it that a nurse can give hugs and kisses. I used to do that to with my patients. The first time I did that when in nursing school it was automatic and I looked around to make sure the instructor  had not seen me.  They will fail you on the least excuse and I didn't know if kissing the patient  was allowed.

I miss patient care. I liked working the bedside but I don't know if I could  do it again. I don't want to deal with all the stress.

I think I'll just recline back and wait for the infusion to be finished. I'm on the home stretch now. I don't feel anything from what has been run and that's a good thing.

April is hanging in there with me. She is sitting to the right of me in one of the recliners with her laptop open.  I'm glad she is here.

Addendum: 1100 hrs.
I thought we were headed home. Chemo run completed and the mediport was flushed and the Huber needle was pulled. I wanted to make a bathroom break before we left the building. We walked down the short hall and we both entered the bathroom. I couldn't breathe. The longer I was in there the worse it got. April walked me out and I kept telling her to take me to the car.  She refused and said we are going back to the infusion center. A call was sent out overhead to the doctors and soon she was sitting in front of me. The staff gathered around with an oxygen tank, the nurse reaccessed the mediport and normal saline was hung to give access for emergency meds. A warm blanket was wrapped around me and I was instructed to pull it over my mouth and breath through it to get the warmth into my airway.
 I had been warned about a side effect of this chemo and cold temperatures triggering a response that felt as if the throat was closing off. The doctor warned that the chemo might have to be changed but the staff told her I had went to the bathroom and they thought the temperatures had triggered this. My sats were at 99 percent but the blood pressure was high caused by the anxiety. I spent another hour being observed. The doctor visited again and okayed me to be released with instructions to call her immediately with any problems.

I seem to be experiencing a few more of the side effects. The vision that becomes blurred if I move my head quickly from side to side. The feeling of my jaws locking when I put food into my mouth. This feeling only lasts for a few seconds and then the release comes. I'm leaving this information here as a memory for myself and something that might help others. It's just an inventory of what is going on with me.

When we got home April moved from room to room turning off the overhead fans. I'm banned from opening the refrigerator or freezer, all drinks at room tempeature, no direct a/c while riding in a car. Basically, anything cold is not my friend. When I was in that bathroom, I flipped on the water to wash my hands which was something I should not have done unless I was going to wait for the water to warm up.  This is only for 3 to 5 days after each chemo run.

I'm home now and ready to take a nap.  I won't be doing the lazy thing as they want me up and active even if I feel tired. A daily nap is ok but laying around all day is NOT. April and I might do some early morning or late night walking. We'll play it by ear and I will update here as time goes on.

It's nap time!
and here is a link to the daughter's blog on today's adventure:

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Visit

It's Monday, April 22. The doctors visit was long and involved. The treatment was reviewed and reviewed and discussed. It's rather involved because of my unusual condition, mainly the fact that she has to treat two individual cancers.
I will be taking an oral medication for cancer of the breast and the colon. Three large tablets (Xeloda) totaling 1500 Mg's each morning and each evening.  This will be taken for 14 days then I'll be off it for 7 days and it will then be repeated again for 14 days.
The chemo taken by infusion will be done every three weeks but only if my "counts" stay up. This is the chemo to target the breast cancer only.
 Three days after the infusion chemo is done, I'll be taking Zofran and another anti emetic to combat nausea.
We were going to do the infusion chemo today but instead decided to wait on the first round for tomorrow morning. I'll start the oral chemo tonight.
Depending on how my body tolerates the medications will determine what I will be taking. I cannot drink anything cold for 5 days post chemo because of reactions from the medicine. I am looking at 9 months of this treatment if I can stay with the meds ordered.

Ultrasounds will be done to watch the progress of the medicines. This will determine when surgery will be needed on the breast. Should shrinkage happen quickly, the surgery will be moved up so the surgeon can find the area that needs attention. 
Surgery and radiation will take up the remainder of the year for me.
I'm hoping this is the process I get to stay with. Going in for infusion chemo once every three weeks is what I'm looking at right now. That sounds much better then what I expected. Sitting in the outpatient infusion room for 2 to 3 hours seems to be an "easy" out for me and I'm hoping this works.

I'm digesting all the information and keeping a calendar with all the dates that have to be remembered. I'll be charting to keep up.

This post may be updated with the names of the medications but for right now, I'm taking a break.

Monday and April is slipping by so fast

What a beautiful morning. The husband and I are sitting on the patio. The sun is scattering rays over the back yard. The cypress trees are beginning to feather their branches with their delicate greenery. Cypress trees don't have leafs. Their foliage is more like a  fern, soft and wispy looking. These trees line the back fence and are on the neighbor's property. We get the "knees' in our yard though. Mowing over them before they get huge keeps them at ground level.

The bird bath sits beneath the River Birch and to the side of the Indian Hawthorne bush in a corner of the yard. A big blue bird sits on the edge and dips it's head a few times for a drink then flies away. Two squirrels chase each other through the Cypress Trees, one stops and pats the other one, strokes his back and then they both leap to another limb to continue their play.

The temperatures should climb to 80 degrees today. The summer is on it's way. It will be mandatory to get an early start on the day by getting to the patio early before the temperatures climb. I will be hiding beneath the air conditioning when it gets hot. By August I will be wishing I were in the mountains of Colorado.

It's before noon and I'm out of the sweat pants and T shirt. I've showered and dressed in a pair of denim Capri's and a bright red geometric patterned shirt. The top has been lowered on the roadster and I made a trip to April's house. She had taken my advice and got an early start on her yard work. The lawn was neatly mowed. I visited with Bugsy for a while. I want to take her pen down to her so she can get some exercise.

As usual, I could go back to bed and to sleep. I don't know if it's all the meds they use to put me under for surgery that still lingers or if it's this awful cold that has me needing so much sleep. I plan on staying on the patio and staying awake as long as possible today. I may start a walking program and do a few blocks every morning to build up some stamina.

It's almost noon now and soon it will be time to visit the doctor. I'm ready to go.
I'll continue this later today.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Night

We spent most of the morning at the house. I wanted to go to Sam's Club yesterday but couldn't bring myself to getting dressed and going. Today was another try.

I'm stocked up on toilet paper, paper towels and butter. Strange, my shopping list but that's a once a month trip and of course there is always those other things I pick up while there. 106.00 later we left the store and headed home.

I wanted to see Carrie. She has been gone all weekend so I slid into the roadster and went to her house. They had saved some crawfish for her and while she and Ted feasted on mudbugs, I had a ear of corn that was boiled with the crawfish. I had to drink a glass of milk to stop the burn from the spices on that corn. I hugged and loved on Carrie for a bit then headed home.

On the way home I stopped at Pat's house. Her daughter was visiting. I think everyone I know knows someone that has breast cancer. Talking to Porche, she told me about her friend. Her friend is in her late thirties with two young children. She has followed this path I am currently on and finished all the followups.
 We proceeded to talk about the reconstruction part of this trip. Dr. Deslatte is apparently the plastic surgeon to see. I'll make an appointment when it gets close to surgery time.

Tomorrow I should find out how many treatments and how many times a week I will be going in to the clinic. I have my moments of fear and anxiety. The thought of those chemicals infusing through me makes me a bit nauseous.
I'm not looking forward to anything about tomorrow but at the same time I know it has to be done and I want this to be over with.

It's time for my Ambien. I'll face tomorrow when tomorrow gets here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bandages Away

Saturday and it's shower time. This is not to say that I wait until every Saturday to shower but the surgeon says the bandage can come off today and I can shower. I'm ready.

It's chilly this morning so I'll grab a pair of jeans and a sweater. I want to do a little shopping.

I also want an omelet with yellow squash. Lately nothing sounds better then some scrambled eggs with sauteed yellow squash and a slice of toast.

That's exactly where I am headed now. To the kitchen to get some breakfast.
I have slept most of the day. After breakfast I felt nauseated and sleepy. I didn't fight it. I think it's this cold I have been struggling with for the past week. My lungs are congested   and I'm sure that is causing my oxygen levels to be low which in turn causes the sleepiness.

April is having a crawfish boil. I thought about driving down to her house for some corn on the cob and potatoes boiled with the crawfish. That's usually what I eat from the crawfish boils but I haven't managed to even get dressed so I think I'll just pass on the food.

The husband is grilling and soon a steak will be available along with a baked potato, a favorite meal of mine.

I'm headed to the patio to hang out with the husband while he grills that steak.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Post Nine Eleven

The rain was forecast for yesterday afternoon. It was late in coming but it did arrive and dragging behind it was cold temperatures that inspired sweat pants and a long sleeved pajama top for sleepwear.

Today was another day of escaping pain. The incision site is more of a nuisance then horribly painful. I eat a Lortab and sleep for a while. By tomorrow more of the soreness should be gone.

It remains chilly here but I'm not complaining. I want every bit of the cold weather and for as long as we can manage to keep it before we are tagged in full summer heat. You must have realized by now that I'm not a big fan of the summers here.

The television has been full of the hunt for the bombers of the Boston Marathon. Right now they have the younger of the two brothers cornered. The older brother was shot and killed yesterday. Capturing this one is the goal so they can question him about their actions.

Stopping someone intent on violence, I fear, is an impossibility. The people responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings were from Boston. Granted they were born in another country but they caused their damage where they were living. When it first happened, I wondered why it wasn't a Super Bowl, or a major holiday gathering. Why the Marathon?

It was convenient. These guys lived right there in Boston. No travel and very little preparation to accomplish what they wanted.

Our country lost it's difference with other nations experiencing this kind of violence on Nine Eleven. That was our introduction to terror. Terror isn't something you can battle. It's not a thing; it's a feeling and we are now stuck with it.

I'm off to take another Lortab which usually leads to a nap.
I'm done here for now.

I Hate Body Scribbling

My little holding room yesterday was visited by professional medical staff all morning long. I was impressed by the female staff of young doctors, the female nurse monitoring sedation (I really must learn to spell the word I wanted to use here) , the Physician Assistants and the higher levels of professional personnel that were women. I remember the days when there were very few women doctors.

As we were introduced to each one entering the room, the lack of one thing was very noticeable. These women wearing their short sleeved tunics were ink free. Not one of them was inked up or at least in an area that could be seen.

My husband commented on this. "These are professional people. They are busy getting degrees, not sitting around thinking how KEWL it would be to have some big gaudy patch of ink tatted onto their skin."

I find it very refreshing not to have to look at body scribbling. It also is very reassuring for me to know that my caretaker had better things to do then get inked up. I'm waiting for the day when a nurse walks into my room with ink from elbows to finger tips. My reaction will not be positive. Even restaurants demand their help cover their tattoos with long sleeved shirts regardless the hot temperatures of the summer months.

I might have a problem with commitments. I can't imagine selecting a picture and having it needled into my skin. I have to change the color on my living room walls every 5 yrs. Curtains get changed to give the room a fresh look and lamps get moved from room to room.

The closets get raided. That shirt I loved a few months ago is now something I can't tolerate and those jeans? Too faded, too tight, too loose or too blue, they need to go.

I can't imagine looking at my skin and seeing some skull or some rose or even worse some initial that can't be scrubbed off. Telling me you got a tattoo to declare your "difference"  I nod as I glance around the room at all your buddies sporting the same tattoo or one close to it. Yes dear, you are so different.

I'm hoping this craze of debasing one's skin fades away; I'm still waiting for rap music to crash and burn. This might take a while!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Evening

The years move along and soon you have more years behind you then in front. Both parents are gone now and the sadness this brings leaves a hollow part in your heart. This you must learn to live with.

Some one calls and delivers a message that "so and so" has passed away. Soon you realize that you have reached an age where you are watching those around your age develop illness and become debilitated. The people you have worked with for years are now retiring.

A wake up call is issued and it's for you. Time has passed that can never be recalled. A different stage of life you have eased into with barely a nod of recognition. All the clues were there but it still comes as a shock.

I have an appointment with the oncologist on Monday. I"m assuming the chemo will be started at this time. I have mixed feelings but as the husband says "this is the cards you have been dealt. You must play them."

I'll do my usual thing of dealing with this. I project myself forward to a year from now and know that this will put me in a place where all these processes will be complete. This, for some reason, pacifies me and gets me "by".

The mediport placed today has left me with much tenderness. A Lortab every 4 hours causes me to sleep through the discomfort.

The husband is still home and with me. He is not in a hurry to go back to work. There has been some changes in his work enviroment. He has been offered a position that would require us moving to Houston.

I have no desire to move to Houston. My daughter and grandchildren are here and I don't want to be far from them.

The husband suggested renting an apartment in Houston and keeping the house here in Lafayette. I'm avoiding the situation right now.

One of the brothers called this afternoon to check on me and how I felt after my procedure. I assured him I was fine but under the effects of the surgery meds. He will call back tomorrow. He has some official business to attend to and said he would call to let me know the outcome. Wishing him luck, I swallowed more pain meds and went to sleep.

It's time for a Lortab again and my nap. I'm done here for now.

Thursday and the Mediport Is In

My Ambien was taken last night at 1900 hrs. I had to be up and showering at 0400 so I took my evening meds early.

0200 hrs found me wide awake. The husband was watching something on TV and after waking to what he was watching, I knew there was no point in staying in bed. I dragged myself to the sofa, flipped on the TV and climbed upon the sofa. It took a while but I did drift off to sleep. I would wake up occasionally and on one of these awake moments I watched as the town of West, in Texas reported the explosion of the ferterlizer plant.

One day apart from the bombing of the Boston Marathon, more lives lost in this explosion in Texas. I think of all the lost lives and how terribly devastating for the families involved. I drifted back to sleep for another hour and soon it was time to get up and get to the hospital.

0500 found us in the outpatient surgery area of the hospital. The RN came in and did a history and physical, hooked me up to a blood pressure cuff, a pulse ox and compression hose. Another nurse appeared to start an IV and hang a bag of Lactated Ringers. The anetheislogist stopped in to educate on what she would be using to sedate. The list of people in and out of the small holding room where the husband and I waited continued throughout the morning. 0700 found us still waiting. 

The circulating nurse appeared and that was our clue that the time was at hand to go to surgery. Versed was pushed down the line. I was still conscious as they moved me onto the operating table, adjusted the lights and strapped my arms and legs. I try to stay awake to watch all that is going on in this part of the procedure. Everyone has their job in the surgery suite. I like to observe as much as possible but soon I was on my way to la la land.

I woke to find myself back in the little room where my husband waited for me to come back to consciousness. The surgeon had already made his visit to report on the surgery and my condition. 

I was ready to leave. I rang for the nurse and asked if we could leave. We disconnected everything, a wheelchair was provided and we were on our way.

As soon as I got home, I popped a Lortab for the pain from the new incision site. My nose has been itching. A sure sign for me that the Lortab is working.
The husband is on his way to the store to get a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs. I want an omelet but right now I want a nap worse. It must be the pain medication.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

0500 hrs and The Hospital

The phone just rang with the my time to be at the hospital tomorrow morning.  0500 which means I'm probably the first case to surgery.  This will be a quick little procedure.

I'm still nursing this cold. I'll be glad when it's gone.

The Grand Marquis got escorted to the shop today for the electrical problem. I won't need it for a  while anyway and the roadster will be my ride until I get the Marquis back. I'm just thankful my abdomen is healed up so I can get in and  out of that little car.

Brother Joe just called. He was very profuse in his support  and well wishes. He had just been to Charleston to see his children and was full of chat about them.

Here's hoping every one's life goes as gently as possible. Life is too short to put up with a lot of strife.

I'm off to get a shower  and into some pajamas. Tomorrow will come quickly for me.

Closer We Get

Tomorrow the mediport will be placed which means the chemo will soon be started. Darn this cold. I seem to have picked up a bad cold, complete with sneezes, cough and runny nose.

I have mixed feelings on this chemo. I dislike the thought of those chemicals in my body. Do I have a choice?

I spoke with Louise yesterday about it. I said "Would you take the chemo?"

She said "Well, sure I would. If you don't, you'll be throwing in the towel!"

Louise works on the oncology unit and has been there for 20 yrs. She sees the effects of the chemo and when we both worked there we both knew the effects of it.

Maybe it's only because it's another step in the process that has me in the mood I'm in. 

My abdomen is just a bit tender from the colon surgery. It appear that part of this journey is behind me now and soon the next part will be in the past.

I'm moody and not in the mood to be doing much of anything. 

On another note, the Grand Marquis seems to be having a wiring problem. The lights flicker on and off without any direction from a human. Today she will be taken to the shop and dropped off for inspection.

The husband isn't scheduled for a job until the 26th of this month. I might be in the market for a new automobile after  I'm finished with all this treatment stuff.

I'm off to do some time on the other sofa.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Should Have Known

4 days ago a fever blister appeared midline on my upper lip. I have a 'fish pout' lip. 4 days later a cough tickle appeared. Not a real cough but one that indicated lower lobe involvement.

I woke this morning to a burning chest and a nose that needs a spigot. I'm coughing so hard it shakes my body, sneezing and this is it. I'm in the midst of a big summer cold and I have a doctor's appointment this morning.

I started this post days ago...had the dr's appoint. yesterday and posted on it and I was going to trash this post but's still revelant.
My cold is now one long series of sneezes, coughs and a runny nose that has left it raw from the many swipes it has taken.

I'm sitting here this morning watching the news reports on the Boston Marathon bombing. I'm without words on this. I was hoping it was a case of ruptured gas pipes beneath the streets. I just didn't want to think about this being done on purpose by fellow humans.

Right now more then 25 people with lost limbs. It hurts my heart to think about this.

I'm done for today.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Visiting the Surgeon

The wait was short. The doctors weren't overbooked apparently.

We sat with the P.A. for most of this visit. I got to ask the questions that had been bothering me about the tumor and if they had actually found it. It was the description of it's location from the colonoscopy done that had me worrying.

He explained that describing the exact location of a tumor in the colon was difficult as the colon was constantly contracting and expanding. To locate it, it is tattooed with india ink. When the surgeon goes in with his laproscope, he uses it to find the tattooed site. Amazing huh? Have I told you more then you wished you knew?

I'm sure most people wouldn't have required this much information but considering my background in the medical field, I am uncomfortable with too little information.

I felt much better after our conversation.

I'm scheduled for the mediport placement on Thursday. It should be a quick little procedure after which I'll be napping the rest of the day.

And that's my day. How was yours?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Picture Day, Picture Day

The photographer arrived around 1800 hrs. There was plenty of daylight left. Part of the group was dressed in yellow and white, some were in purple and black.

A scenic spot was selected and the session began. One of the first groupings were just the daughter and I. As we stood hip to hip, and arms encircling waists to the back, we both suddenly teared up at the same time. I knew what she was thinking and why there was such an urgency for some family pictures. We didn't discuss this prior to the shoot but I knew she was thinking of what the future might hold.

We had to wait for the tears to clear; the photographer didn't comment but waited a few beats.

Tomorrow is an appointment with the surgeon. I'm expecting them to set an appointment for a minor surgery of the mediport placement. The oncologist I will see on the 22 of this month and I'm anticipating the chemo will begin.

We all had hair today for the family pictures. Next month that might not be an option. Loosing hair is the least of my cares. The chemo might zap a lot of energy and activity from me so having a picture day today was the wisest thing to do.

I"m so ready to move forward. I can't get to the finish line by standing still.

Sunday and Sofa Surfing

Awake at 0230 hrs, I could see the lightening flashing around the room, illuminating the furniture briefly. The sound of thunder rumbles and roils and the wind whips the branches on the trees causing their shadows to dance across the walls.

Collecting my cell phone from the bedside table, I slip into a robe and head for the bedroom door. The husband hasn't stirred, oblivious to the storm.

Moving into the living room, I claimed a sofa, the remote control and a blanket. I drifted in and out of sleep until 0700. Into the shower for a few minutes, shampooing my hair and into a fresh gown, I was back on the sofa. This time I moved to the sofa facing the television. I can lay on my right side and watch TV from this sofa.

The flowers that are blooming were waiting on this rain. We didn't water anything yesterday as the husband knew that this storm was predicted. The lawn is now an emerald green with patches of white clover. The bunny would love that clover.

I may go visit the bunny today. She moved out and to the daughter's yard so I don't get to see her often but I do check on her. The daughter has her on her list of "things to feed" and makes sure she gets water and pellets daily. Carrie takes her out of her hutch and holds her often. I've been told that the bunny needs human contact if she is to stay friendly with humans. Yes, I think it's time for me to visit.

Tomorrow I make a visit to the surgeon's office. I'll talk to him about the problem I'm having and see what he suggests I do.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a little container of Tapioca. Maybe a soft diet will help?

It's time to get dressed and out of here or back to a sofa for a nap!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Planting my HIsbiscus

It's 1006 hrs. The husband just made it down the hallway and into the kitchen for his first cup of coffee. He slept in this morning. For the past week he has had to be up and on the rig by 0400 hrs. It was time for him to have a rest break. He will spend part of the day reading his clothes and his truck for the next job.

I want to make a trip to a garden center to pick up a nice large pot for the hibiscus that was gifted to me by Louise yesterday. I love anything yellow in a garden so I chose that color for my gifted plant.

I've had my daily phone conversations with family from afar. No disasters and little drama reported and that's the best one can hope for. Here's a little wish that their days remain pleasant and joyful.

It looks as though it is going to be a wonderful day, perfect in temperature for us to be outside together. I might even clean my car's interior. It sorely needs it.
I'm off to get dressed. We are getting a late start as it is...
Have a good and all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Keepin Your Cool, Clearer as Time Marches On

An appointment is scheduled for Monday and thinking it was the oncologist who wanted blood work done, I hauled myself to the clinic and had it done only to find the appointment on Monday is with the surgeon who is probably just going to do a followup check up on his work.

As soon as I left the clinic the phone was ringing and Louise was calling. I headed for her house. We planned on having lunch and then doing some flower shopping. Louise is addicted to blooming flowers. Her house and pool is surrounded in foliage, Pots of hibiscus sits on roll around metal stands around the pool, palm trees, and lantana growing in mounds of light purple make for a colorful backyard.

Louise's family is a musical one. Louise plays the drums along with her son, her sister plays the guitar and her twin does vocals. A room in Louise's house is dedicated to music. In one corner sits a piano that belonged to her husbands' mother, the walls have guitars handed down through the family that have been refurbished.  Microphones on stands in one corner of the room waits for the vocalists while a sound mixer across the room completes the stage. Louise's husband is playing Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival this weekend so all his equipment has been packed and shipped off to Madison Square Garden. The family get togethers at Louise's house are a raucous affair.

We went to Picdadilly's Cafeteria for lunch. I was in the mood for vegetables. Kale, brocolli and lima beans filled my plate, a glass of iced tea on the side. We chatted through lunch and then headed off to the outdoor plant stands.

Wandering around the flowers, inspecting the hisbicus, Louise was in her element. There is now a strain of hisbicus called Cajun Hisbicus. We chose a yellow one which the husband will transplant into a pot for the patio this weekend.

Another stop and more wandering through the plant eye candy, it was time for me to head home and find my place on the sofa. I'm tired but I'm glad I was forced to get up and get out of the house. This resting I've been doing might be doing more harm then good.

I arrived home and spent a few minutes on the phone with my brother. Apparently he is having a problem with a social security check for Leslie and is attempting to get it cleared up. I wished him luck and advised him to keep his cool. Everything would become clear in time. He agrees and I was off the phone to snuggle down on the sofa for a while.

Strange Sleeping Pattern

I slept until 0230 hrs. My Ambien was swallowed at 2100 hrs. I think the pain from the incision site caused me to wake. It's been CSI and hour long sales talk on tightening your butt and thighs. I finally uncapped the Lortab and had one. A fruit cup and a glass of milk topped off my early morning activity.
A clinical insertion here: I'm going to have to talk to my surgeon about a little problem I'm having. Usually with a colon resect, diaherra is a problem. It appears that my problem is going to be just the opposite. Yesterday is not a day I want to repeat. I'll add stool softeners to my daily intake of medications.

Yesterday I slept most of the day except for the short drive to Walmart to get the refill of  Lortabs.
Louise called and wanted to know if I wanted to hang out. Louise worries about me and my emotional state. She understands what a shock this has been for me and my family. Though she has a full time high stress job, she would take part of her days off to spend it with me. I cannot begin to tell you what her friendship has been to me.  She wanted to know if I wanted to do lunch. I declined an opted for a nap telling her maybe a dinner date later. "Later' and I was full of prune juice and suppositories so we decided to reschedule for today.

I know I need to get up and get moving. It's easier to crawl between the blankets and sleep. The surgery takes a lot of strength out of  you. I did sweep and mop and clean the kitchen yesterday and do a load of laundry.
This morning I must see if the lab is open. A CBC and a SMAC has been ordered by Dr. Johnson for our Monday appointment.
The bills have started to roll in on all the tests. 8000.00 for a PET the dr's fees to read it.
4000.00 for  a CT scan.....This will not be year of savings for us. I'm grateful we have the money to take care of this. In one more year, I will be on Medicare.
That will help.

I'm off here to get a few more hours of sleep.

Yesterday I spoke with two brothers. The two brothers are rebuilding a friendship and for that I'm, grateful. Mom would be smiling.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pouring The Rain

It's a cold and wet day. I opened the  patio door to temperatures that caused me to step back quickly into the house, slam the door and head for the thermostat. The thermostat was set on a/c. I quickly switched it over to heat status and set a temperature to combat what was going on outside.

I'll get dressed and out of the house today. I've contacted the surgeon about a refill on the Lortab.

April finally answered her phone. I asked her what she was doing. I should have known better then to ask. "Sleepin" was her answer and no..she didn't want to go to Walmart with me.

Brother Joe called last night to check on me. We talked for a while, mostly I listened but that's alright. I let him vent about all that is going on in his life. 
Sometimes that's all one needs...a safe place to vent.

 I'm off to get the meds..then I'll be back to the house and taking a nap.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Clinically Speaking,,,Three Weeks Post Op

Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks since I had the surgery for the colon resection.
The abdomen remains tender. A burning sensation continues at the 3 inch incision site. Bowel movements remain as pre surgery with no signs of diarrhea.  Gas moving through the gut is painful. I attribute this to the incision and the resect site. Hopefully as the skin heals, the pain will also be alleviated. I'm down to 2  Lortabs. I usually take one in the morning and one at bedtime to arrest the burn. Tomorrow I will call the physician's office to get a refill. I thought the ibuprofen or the Tylenol would be enough to take care of the pain so I didn't request a refill.

Going "off clinical":
April catered lunch to me today via Wendy's. She bought a variety of things to tempt. The little burger was tasty. I'll finish the rest of it later. For dinner I had 1/2 of the chili. My appetite is not lacking but the amount I take in has been cut to 1/3 of my usual intake.

April spent much of the afternoon in the kitchen making her chocolate treats. Strawberries dipped in chocolate and assorted fruits also dipped in chocolate. She made a chocolate bar thing....all to celebrate her friend's birthday. They have decided to celebrate her birthday this year by not doing a pub crawl. She wants to do the Art Walk downtown. I was invited along but I don't know if I"m up to a 3 hour walk. I would love to see the art work on exhibit. The streets will be filled as the crowds walk from exhibit to exhibit. Of course everyone will be drinking their favorite beverages.

As the time neared for the school bus to arrive, April turned off the stove and headed out to get Carrie. Carrie is usually such an easy going child but this afternoon she was cranky. I gathered her up to cuddle with me and asked if she would like a nice warm bath.

She crawled in the tub saying she wanted to lay down and that is exactly what she did. I went in later to check on her and she was sound asleep. The water came to her jaw line, bubbles gathered around her outline. She rested.

Tonight Ted knocked on my door. I was so surprised. He bought with him The Life of Pi. The daughter said that since it got so many awards, she guessed she would have to watch it. I apparently get the first crack at it.

Thankfully I had went online and read the plot and story line. I don't know if I would have been able to follow it without that help.

 Ted stretched out on one sofa, while I took up space on the other one. I never get to spend time with Ted so I was thrilled that he was here with me.

I'm off to watch this movie. I'll be back later with my review.

Home Alone

As soon as I got Carrie off to school this morning, I returned to the house thinking I would get a few things done like dust mopping and then wet mopping the floors, dusting off some of the furniture and tidying up the kitchen.

What I really did was arrange my pillow on the sofa, get beneath my soft warm blanket and go to sleep for another 3 hours.

April called to tell me she was on her way. She Windex ed the coffee table and vacuumed the living room, visited for a while and offered to get me anything my heart desires. I mentioned the red Porsche featured in today's paper. She smiled, flipped a wave over her shoulder as she moved to the patio door and freedom.

I settled back down onto the sofa with my blanket. I'll do something soon but right now I think I'll just get another little nap.

Oh, the husband calls frequently to check on me. He warns me that the temperatures there have dropped 20 degrees since 0700 this morning and that cold front is headed this way. When the a/c unit doesn't kick on, I'll know it has arrived.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday and On the Road Again

His cell phone rang and from the ring tone set I knew it was the coordinator calling. This usually initiates a road trip and today was no exception. Apparently whoever was lined up for this job can't get out of Denver due to all the snow. This leaves the husband as the only answer for this part of the country. He is off to College Station for a few days.

This is the first time he has left town since Feb.7th. He hesitated on going but I assured him I would be fine. Carrie is going to spend the night with me and I'll be thankful for her company. I'm much more stable emotionally then I was even a week ago.
Poor Carrie. She had a sinus headache so she swallowed a couple of ibuprofens and is now napping on the other sofa. I hate to wake her. She has a little homework to do and I might just let her sleep and she can get up a little early tomorrow morining to get it done.

I have a thing about not waking people. I feel if they are sleeping it is because they need the sleep unless it's the daughter. She sleeps all the time whether she needs it or not.
I'm going to strech out on the sofa opposite Carrie and if I fall asleep, I'll be close by should she wake.
Time out...and I'm gone.

Joe is Back

Sometimes ya just gotta consider the source, develop a new plan or in this case, a new outlook and move on.

I've been a long distance observer in the lives of my siblings. 18hr drives will get me into the midst of "the family". I don't think I've made this drive for 5 years now. Brother Joe's S.O. was pregnant and that child is now 5 yrs old. I've always lived a distance from family and there have been times in sickness or holidays when it's been tough to be so far away.

My daughter didn't get to have a close relationship with her cousins but when I look back, her cousins that lived there didn't spend much time together and as their parents scattered further away from their origins of birth, they lost any sense of closeness. I suppose it's just the times. People are more mobile then when my parents grew up close to all their relatives.

My daughter has created her own family and is quite happy with them. She has her own circle of friends and she says "You don't miss what you never had."

Holding a grudge is just not in my nature. I usually let it go and move on. Just cut ties and fade away is my usual M.O. Sometimes ignoring someone causes them more anger. It's not done on purpose. I don't like confrontations nor drama. Too much negative energy expended.

I'm not above jerking your chain if you continue to poke at the tiger; me being the tiger. Just go about your business as though I don't exist and I'll do the same for you. I'll even take quite a few nasty pokes before I retaliate.

Brother Joe has has a rough couple of months, most of it his own doing. He will admit that. His decision making skills are wont. He can see clearly the problem but it's only after some disastrous choice he has made.

Joe has called. He called after he was released. He called after he heard about my diagnosis. He called to offer emotional support and whatever else he could do for me.

Just having him offer his support and well wishes was enough. He listens to the person closest to him and that's how Joe got sideways of me. Instead of calling to question what he heard, he decided to ignore me. That was over 2 1/2 years ago. I just waited. I did mention  I will stay out of your way?

Joe feels bad for me and is worried. He talks about how he could get here to be with me should things in my life take a dire turn. I told him we weren't there yet and to keep a low profile and get his family business righted. He has much to do. Joe is a survivor. Fly below the radar...stay legal in all you do and stay close to home.

My mother's one wish was that her children "stay together". She would have been appalled to see the animosity that has been stirred by viscous rumors and jealousy. Sorry Mom, there is only so much one can do. I try to keep my head down and keep 18hrs between us. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.

Welcome home Joe. Best wishes for a new start. I truly wish you the best. I hope whatever ripples are coming toward you across that pond can be handled without strife and animosity. Mom would have wanted her children to get along.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday and Almost Pain Free

My lolly gaggin days appear to be drawing to an end. Just today the husband said  "You need to be up and moving more..taking walks around the yard. A little exercise would do you good." The next thing you know, he'll be asking "what's for dinner?"

So I showered and put on some clothes, eyeliner and lipstick. Maybe if I look healthy, he will let me lolly gag a while longer.
I seem to be sleepy a lot and I'm thinking it's the antidepressant the doctor put me on. Today will be my last day of taking it. I'm not depressed. I was in shock stoked by fear but that's not the same as depression.
 We are back to watching the Arias trial. The prosecutor is back on the floor questioning the expert witness for the defense. When WILL this trial end? I suppose the attention and expense for this trial goes to the fact that this is a death penalty trial.

Clinically, the soreness is almost totally gone. I feel almost prehospital visit perfect. The colon appears to be in working order without any medical intervention to help things along.

I might have a doctors' visit scheduled this week. I'll check that out in my mound of paperwork in a few minutes.

Right now I'm shutting down to watch the trial for a while.

(just popped back in to correct the spelling of "trial"....and I thought I proofed this before posting!)

and back once again. Just spoke with April. She is on her way to the store and will stop in with Carrie for a little visit.
Broasted chicken breast, brussel spouts, cottage cheese with peach slices and a slice of buttered bread was dinner.
The husband presents a nice plate. It is always colorful and artfully arranged. He should have been a chef.

I'm very appreciative of the effort and the time he takes to make my meal enjoyable.

I think I'm done now. I'm signing off and I just hope no typos appear.

Readers by State and Country

My little journal audience has grown in the three or four years since I have started it. Many of the readers are from the state where I spent the first part of my life. I'm happy to have you aboard. I have readers from different parts of the world, places I would love to visit someday. England, Ireland and Italy and across to the globe  both north and south.

Welcome one and all. Leave a comment with a few stats. It would be interesting to know how you got here.

Clinically Speaking,

It has now been 14 days since I had the colon resect. As surgeries go, this has been a blast. Don't get me wrong; I've been to much better parties in my lifetime but sans the party, the procedure and the "after surgery" party has went well.

The drugs while in the hospital were al la carte. I was attached to a pump with LR and my pain pump hanging and a Foley hung from my lap. After all those were discontinued
 I would wander around the hospital floor.
Getting to come home, Lortabs for the burning sensation at the incision sites breezed me to where I am today. Very little soreness now.

I plan on finding a sun dress, no waist band to rub my incision and find my way to the patio. It's time to get outside before it becomes so hot that I sweat.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tomorrow I Will...................

The days have exploded into sunshine, clear skies and bright green grass!
I think I'll spend the day on the patio and get out of this house for a while. I have internet access, a tv and a recliner.
It's very quiet around here. The daughter picked Carrie up from Lydia and stopped by for a short visit. Our together time has become immensely shortened to a few hours a few days a week.
I would love to go on a lunch date but I know it would be a waste of a meal. My portions consist of tablespoons so I'm not going to pay 20plus dollars for a meal I can't enjoy.

I'm ready to take my Ambien.  Maybe I'll check to see if we have some tomato soup. A cup of hot soup sounds yummy.

It's Really A Simple Thing

To post something and watch the route it takes to make a complete circle. You, unfortunately are
ignorant of all the ways the internet have of tracking what is posted, who sees it first and the path it takes. The internet is a wonderful place. Ask any law enforcement  officer that attaches someone's computer so they can click through it and find all the information they need on what you have been doing. I've been messing with computers for about thirty years now...much longer then the average user  and during this time I have learned a great many tricks.
Today I posted and then not only did I get to see via my computer where it went but I got a telephone call questioning the material on it. Of course the caller wasn't the one to whom the blog referred to, but it definitely stuck a chord with this person who began making her phone calls.

Oh and to the carrier of the message...I just want you to aren't THAT slick.. I know. The computer records everything.