Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It Might be Time

I've suspected all along that things were getting a bit thinner around here. It's not the hips nor the waist. It's nothing below the neckline that is getting scarce.

I see more scalp as time passes. More hair in the tub after a shower and a sprinkling of it on the bathroom counter and finally the hair brush that needs cleaned more often.

It might be time to make a visit to the salon and get the buzz cut. I'm tearful.

"Oh, losing your hair is nothing. It will grow back."

I've heard this and worse yet, I've said this. Never again.

It's not the fact that I'll be hairless that upsets me. It's just another "in your face" reminder of your health status. I try to move along in my life and shove my diagnosis to the back of my mind. I don't want to think about it all the time. I want to laugh, go places and do normal routine things. It slams back into me every three weeks when I have to go into the clinic to have the chemo run. The night before that chemo run is emotional for me. It's dragged from the back of my mind to the forefront. I'm frightened and alone or at least that's the way I feel.

I'll spend a lot of time on Skype with my friend. From South Carolina, she sits in her apartment and keeps me company through the evening when there is no one around. A lifesaver for me, we watch television together or sometimes watch different shows; it doesn't matter. It's comforting to know she is there.

I'm ready for a cup of coffee and some toast. It's almost medicine time and I don't like to drop medicines into an empty stomach.

I'm gone!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cisplatin and his buddy Taxtera

It's been over a week since the new chemo was started. Soon afterwards, my tongue felt as though I had drank a scalding cup of coffee. My tongue feels raw. Eating hasn't been a pleasure. Not only was the tongue sensitive, but the metal taste was another turn off. Add that to the spells of nausea, and this week following chemo has had it's moments. I am taking this in stride. I've seen much worse reactions to the chemo.

When I made a visit to see the PA and the subject of the sore tongue came up, an order for Magic Mouthwash was started.  I visited my family doctor later the same day and Nexium was ordered to go along with the Carafate for the stomach ulcer. My pill case is now an embarrassment. I would love to not take some of them  but I can't drop any of them right now. I'm hoping the stomach clears up which might give me the opportunity to rid myself of two of them.
I am a food tester now. I get to eat two bites of a meal. If my stomach doesn't do flips, then I get to eat. If the stomach rebels, I just shove the plate away and try again in a few hours. My appetite is fine. I get hungry and just hope my stomach cooperates.

I'm a long way from being emaciated. I do  eat when the stomach cooperates in hopes of staving off too much weight loss as I progress through this process.

Restarted: I think I started this post about three days ago. My blogging has headed south and for what reason I'm clueless. For one thing, I think I have been helping Pat a lot. She is setting up a mobile home for her son when he returns from the "big house". This house will be smaller but with oh so much more privacy  then what was afforded from the last place he lived. We have been replacing door knobs, hanging curtains and sheers, patching nail holes in the walls and moving furniture. I hang out with her for a few hours then head home for an afternoon nap which never comes to fruition. I doze for a few minutes then I'm alert and engaged with some television show.

The rain poured this afternoon. I watched as it sheeted off this gutterless house. Gutters have been removed, while fascia board is replaced.

The husband is still on a rig in west Texas. Last night was a big storm event there. His rig was evacuated as nobody is allowed on them when there is a big storm in the area. Three rigs were not evacuated and were struck by lightening. Five people were hospitalized. Hail bounced off his new pickup. I could hear him whimpering in the phone. Satellite outages left him without Internet and television. I wanted to watch Bill Maher with him last night but instead we spent time texting each other.

His inspection of his truck after the lightening storm failed to show any hail damage. He just called to report the rig was running once again and after over a million dollars to get it up and running. He has been sitting around for over 106 hours waiting on rig repairs.

I'm boring myself silly with this post. It's time to call a halt and post. G'night..


Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22 and an Update

It has been six days since I started the new chemo. I was warned of bone pain that might appear from the injection of neupoblastin that was given on Wednesday right after the Tuesday chemo run.

I waited for Wednesday morning and the pain. I had taken the Claritin as ordered and apparently it worked or else this was one side effect that was going to be spared me. I am grateful.

My appetite remains good. The problem is my tongue feels as though I have drank a cup of scalding hot coffee.
I conjure up food that appeals to me and as soon as I sit down at the table and take a forkful to my mouth, I realize once again that the taste I was expecting is absent. This chemo has affected my taste.

Hair? I expected it to be gone by now or at least huge chunks of it to be found in the tub after my showers. I think I've bolstered myself up and am ready to be chromed out.

I have an appointment tomorrow with the Physician's assistant to check my blood levels. We will be mostly concerned about the platelets and the WBC's (white blood cells). I might become immunosuppressed which becomes dangerous should an infection appear.

That's my update..very clinical and very dry.
I'm done here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What a Surprise! Chemo Day and Changes

It's now time to visit Miles Perrett Center. It's only one street away from me. Nothing inconvenient about getting there. It's just another hurdle to leap that confirms my status as a cancer patient.
They support, a free wig that they help you select, snoods, head wraps and people that are eager to answer any questions you might have. 

 I remember sitting in my primary doctors office when he got back the results of the ultrasound and the needle biopsy report from the pathologist.

I sat there beside April waiting for him to come into the room. When he finally appeared, unbeknownst to him, his staff and met me in the hall to tell me about all the scans they had scheduled for me. The doctor didnt' have to tell me the diagnosis; his staff had jumped the gun. This is NOT proper procedure for the office staff anywhere.

I remember in that fog him mentioning he had made an appointment with an oncologist. I wasn't ready to hear those words. It was the nail in the coffin. ME? I need an oncologist?  Those words were the ones where I lost it. It was final. The results were in and once I made that appointment my path was set. I wasn't ready to go. My brain was screaming at me. I don't want an oncologist. Shaken and tearful, I just wanted out of his office. Whatever he said after that, I depended on the daughter to retain. She collected appointment cards and wrote down what was being said. My brain had locked up and as far as I could tell, that doctor was speaking Russian. I was closed down and not able to digest anything more.

We as Registered Nurses would get back the results on the tests the doctors ordered. We weren't allowed to tell the patient anything. "You doctor will be in to discuss the results of your test." was our reply if they asked if we had results. Nuff said. After the doctor delivered the results, we began education and support with them. Some just wanted to talk while others weren't ready. We waited. We quietly entered the rooms to hang our fluids and dispense meds and question them on side effects, offer ice creams or any food they might be able to tolerate and then quietly slipped out of the room. Eventually questions would begin. A few at a time. After interacting with their nurse for a while they became comfortable with us and more conversation would follow. Questions, questions and more questions. If I didnt' have the answer, I was up front with them. I would tell them I don't know the answer to that but I will find out and get back to you.

Touch: some patients like to be touched while others don't. Usually they reach out the first time to grasp your hand. Sometimes I would stand by the head of the bed when the doctor visited and I was making rounds with him. Sometimes the news he was delivering was harsh. I would feel the patient move her/his hand to mine and grasp it. Human contact can be very soothing. When a patient was having an MRI, I usually laid my hand on their foot just to let them know they weren't alone in that enclosed tunnel. Human contact.

After chemo I'm very emotional. Few phone calls are accepted. I talk to the husband and daughter that always check on me and one other person. I have known this person since the third grade. We Skype. She sees my tears and fright and I can allow her to. I've known her since the third grade. She is like a "sweet sister" to me. Sisters come in all grades and for that I say, "you don't get to pick your family" and I let that go on by. Kathy, my sister by another mother, is always there on chemo day. Just watching television together after my "I'm scared and I feel sorry for me" episodes, she lets them roll on, she listens quietly and then we eventually end up watching television together. Some of her dorky shows of course.

Kathy and I have tried to figure how just why we have been able to maintain such a long relationship. She watches very few of the television shows I watch, has never flown in a plane, never ate shrimp or any seafood for that matter, she is an excellent joke teller/story teller. She doesn't mind being goofy, her vanity is low on the scale of "I give a sh*t."

We are both hard headed, love to travel, she is kind to everyone and usually is looking for a way to make people feel better about themselves and their situations.

Yesterday the oncologist read the new ultrasound. No tumors in the mid line of the breast just as the rad tech predicted. My chemo was changed. I am now on Cytoplastin and Taxotera which is a sister to Taxol. When I hung Taxol at the hospital, we had to keep keen watches on the patient of them having myocardial infarction. Scary. I hated running it.

For the next 4 months the new chemo will be run. Another ultrasound and an MRI of the breast will be done. If the lymph nodes have shrunk enough to have surgery. We want the lymph nodes to shrink so the surgery won't require a large area of the axillary to have to be removed. Removing large areas there could cause lypmhodema. Lymphodema  would case the right arm to fill with fluid to the point that it would be very swollen and unusable and painful. It would have to be pumped to remove fluids..frequently. So we wait on shrinkage.

I'll be going back on Thursday (chemo was on Tuesday) to get an injection of Numoblastin. This injection will prevent my WBC's (white blood cells) from falling. Should they get too low, I could get ill very quickly. I'll get the injection then in two weeks, I'll be back for blood work to make sure my WBC's are WNL. (with in normal limits).

Now for some more wonderful news. That injection may cause bone pain. The bone pain usually lasts for 3 days. I know soon ..real soon if I will be having this. On the Oxilplatin and Decadon for now. I can drink cold fluids, eat ice cream and not have to wear gloves to get something out of the fridge. My bare feet can patter over the tile floors without feeling on fire.

I'm having my daughter make me a big pitcher of iced tea. She makes the best..and I'm sipping on it until that pitcher is empty!
Of course each time we visit the oncologist, she leaves us with a little more information that we have to digest and adjust to.
This time she bombed us with

"you do know this could return?"

She had mentioned early on about there being no guarantees. I wanted to ask if I got a refund on the 100,000.00 spent on this. Of course I didn't.

My first visit, she said she could fix this. I bought this up to her. I then asked...

"are we just buying time?"

She was quick to say
"No, we are going for a cure. But again it could come back and we will deal with that when  AND if it happens."
THEN she said "We will leave some of this in God's hands."

Wrong thing to say to me.
I quipped back "What the hell was he doing when I got this? Out playing Golf? If he can fix it, then why did he afflict me with it and why is he doing it to all those babies that are dying every day."

Peoples beliefs have never made sense to me. Please explain the inconsistencies. That's all I want. Have it make some sort of sense. Don't gather up all the good "outcomes" and attribute them to your God and then ignore all the crappy things that happen that he/she could have stopped. I just shake my head and try to keep my mouth shut. I didn't do so well yesterday.

My question is "WHERE?" Where will it come back to?
Note to readers: This is where the tears came from. I had to swallow this and realize when this treatment is completed, they will always be watching for more. For 5 years I will be taking the 5FU meaning that every three weeks I will have to have that pump hung around my waist and accessed into my medi port. There goes that 21 day vacation in Europe. I no longer am in control of my life for that one week of each month and it sucks. I guess you could say "I should be grateful for the treatment. Remember, there are no guarantees. It all depends on when they caught it and I know mine was caught at a late stage. Not the LATEST stage but close. ...too close for me to be comfortable.

The husband continues to assure me this is just a bump in the road and we will be fine. He always says "we" when he talks about it. He is in and wants me to know it.

Regarding the two tumors that weren't there in the midline of the breast, we can only surmise that the surgeon pulled an OLD film from years ago when I had those two tumors and he removed them. I guess he didn't bother to read the rad report that was done.

At least the oncologist was receptive to my conversation on it and didn't'- try to slide it under the rug. (Hospitals don't have rugs. too unsanitary..but you get my meaning.

I have a pot of vegetable soup on the stove. My friend Pat isn't feeling well and isn't consuming any food. I'll take her a large bowl of this soup and sit with her while she has lunch.

I plan on being busy bone pain until after that injection so I'm going to make this a busy day for me!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

0500 and it's Time to get Plugged In

The messaging sound on my iPhone woke me. I texted back and finally it rang. The husband was trying to call and since he is living on the edge of civilization, telephone connections are more then a bit sketchy.

His voice wavered in and out, mostly out. I could hear him screaming "can you hear me?" and clearly I could hear the eardrum vibrating screams. He couldn't hear me so he screamed. During the clear times I would emphasis that his voice was coming through loud and clear. He could whisper and I'm sure I could hear him. We terminated that phone call quickly. The trailer he is in will have an Internet connection today. The rig is having problems, behind in where they should be related to depth so he will have a few lazy days to hang around and do nothing. It's called "easy money days".

I'm off to the showers and to get dressed. It's chemo day.
It's not one of my favorite days. If you don't hear from me for a few days, hang in there and I will get back to you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Again...Number 5 of 6

Tomorrow is another chemo day. When that day looms large in my horizon, I get moody. Maybe it's depression but whatever it is, I feel myself plunging downward. I have to put on the brakes and get a grip. I've analyzed this feeling. I believe for the three weeks post chemo, I make myself not think about my condition. I move along with my life ignoring that next chemo date. When it arrives, it all slams home again and I begin to get teary, frightened and depressed.

I can't help but think about all the chemicals being poured into my body and what it is affecting. The older one gets, the more protective of their body they become. I lived through the chemical age of the sixties and early seventies. Smoking cigarettes and things that weren't tobacco, my healthy body was assaulted. I think cigarettes were the worst thing I could have been doing to my body at that time. Thankfully those are in the past.

I'm, of course, watching the development of the legalization of pot. Though it may be legalized, it doesn't stop the employer from drug testing and refusing employment for a positive drug test. That's the best reason for not being a pot head. Is having a good job reason enough to give it up? We thought so and that's what we did.

I'm up early and I have the sprinkler on the flower beds. I'm getting it done before the sun rises and the humidity makes breathing a chore. The most positive thing is we are midway through July and facing August. By the time August arrives, I've had enough of our lovely summer. I'm more then ready to dive into fall but that won't happen until December.

Today I will drink lots of iced drinks, eat some ice cream and run through some water fountains for tomorrow will be the beginning of seven days of abstaining from all of the above.

Maybe I'll make that movie matinee today. I'm off to finish the watering of the flowers. I must not forget the garden needs a drink also. I'm much better this year at remembering to water the garden. It's the wonderful tomatoes that I have enjoyed from it. I want to keep those plants producing. It's almost time to pick the eggplants. I'm going to find a recipe for preparing eggplant.

It's time to move the sprinkler. I'm gone!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

0430 or Why Am I up so Early?

Saturday and a hot one is predicted. What do I plan on doing this weekend? Why should I be expected to do anything with temperatures pushing the heat index to 107 degrees. Staying in my air conditioned house. Why waste all the cool air?

This is a good time to water the flowers and shrubs in the front of the house. I set a timer on my phone for 8 minutes at which time I moved the sprinkler. This keeps me entertained for about an hour. I have to set an alarm. In the past I have not only blown up eggs that were on to boil but I've also wasted truckloads of water that gushed down the street before I noticed I had not stopped the watering. I now set an alarm...always!

I shy away from waste and bad odors. The boiled eggs that exploded all over the stove took days to get that odor out of the house. I just paid the water bill and trained myself on setting that timer.

The husband leaves this morning (in a few more minutes) for his long drive to west Texas. I hesitate to capitalize the word "west" as there is a town in west Texas that is named "West".

Haboobs. My new word for today. It's a dust storm and the word originated from the Middle Eastern countries. A Haboob just rolled through Phoenix. I've had the pleasure of being caught in one in that area. It's never a good thing when sand lines the inner part of your mouth. Roll the windows up you might say? You realize in a sand storm how many air leaks there are in an auto and that sand finds it's way into everyone of those spaces. Add that to zero visibility on the highway and it's much like being caught in a ground blizzard in Wyoming or Colorado; none of which are my favorite things to experience.

I am off to water the garden and check on the eggplants.
I might need a nap around 1000 hrs.

The husband just pulled away from the driveway. He will be on the road all day today unless the coordinator calls him and turns him back to the house.

The garden..that's where I will be for the next half hour.
I'm beating the sun.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sometimes knowing too much is NOT a good thing.

The husband and the daughter and I climbed into the Dodge and headed out for the 4 minute trip to the hospital where the ultrasound was scheduled.

We unloaded at the front door while the husband went to park the truck. Signing in at the front desk, we took a seat in the waiting room. The outpatient clerk would call us in to be preadmitted to outpatient status. Mere minutes passed and my name was called. After fulfilling paperwork requirements and getting my wristband attached it was back to the waiting room to sit with the husband who had now arrived and the daughter. Another 5 minutes and my name was being called by the rad tech (radiology technician who does the actual scanning).

I was ushered into the ultrasound room, handed a gown and instructed on removing my shirt and bra in the bathroom.

Back to the tech where she immediately started the scan. I had questions as usual. I wanted to know about the two big tumors that the surgeon mentioned and the oncologist kept checking for shrinkage.

She said "what tumors?" I said "the ones mid center of my right breast."

She looked at me and said "There isn't any tumors there. We are checking the axillary area."

I told her about the surgeon's comment and the oncologists check to see if the tumors were shrinking from the chemo and she said once again "There isn't any tumors there. The first ultrasound you had showed nothing."

I will inform my oncologist on the 16th of this month when I have a visit with her that she can quit checking the mid line of my  right breast. My trust in the medical personnel just took a huge nose dive today.

When I shared this with the daughter, she said "Well, maybe the medicine you are taking did what it was supposed to do and shrank the tumors."

"No", I said. The FIRST ultrasound showed NO tumors there so there was nothing to shrink." It all goes back to comparison. That's why I took my records in. The radiologist would have had to call St. Mary's Imaging where I had the first ultrasound so he could  do comparisons on tumor size. I had my own copy of those scans so I took them with me this morning.

The tech read the report from the first ultrasound and said "There isn't any mention of tumors in the mid line and nothing on film shows anything."

I'm convinced. I'll have a conversation next Tuesday. I'll update this blog at that time!

I'm off to shampoo the roadster. She needs a bath. The husband leaves town tomorrow so he is busy getting all his stuff packed and his truck ready for this job. I'll have the weekend to myself. Carrie will be with her dad. I might have to spend the weekend in movie theatres hid away from the heat! I'm excited.

Ultrasound at LGMC this Morning

Strange title you might think but it's how I reference back to what was happening on this date when the bills start coming in. Hospital bills arrive with the doctors name on it and some of these doctors you never see nor do you know they are doing anything with your records until the bill arrives. The bill never notes what the procedure was; we are told to check the date on the bill and then remember what we had done on that date.

The radiologist will read this ultrasound. I will never meet him or her but a bill will arrive with their name on it and the date of service. I have a system now. This blog is part of that system. I can reference the date back to this blog and what was being done.

Today with this ultrasound, as with the chemo day, it brings to the forefront my condition. I think "condition" sounds so less severe then using the "c" word. Usually once a month on chemo day, I have to embrace this condition. Most of the time I move along in my life maintaining a "pre-diagnosis" activity level.

April and the husband will  accompany me. I have one more week until another round of chemo is started then I'll be down to one more run. It won't be over; it will just be time to move to the second chemo for the following six months. 
I'm ploughing along.

It's time to get a soothing bath. I've noticed my hair on my head getting a bit thinner; the hair on my legs now look thicker then what is on my head. It might be time to find some soap and a razor.

Time to move along. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July Hot in Southwest Louisiana

The cooler was loaded with drinks, and all the sandwich fixins'. We had our beach towels and a change of clothes, our bathing suits were worn for ease of entrance into the water park.

Carrie, Ted, April and I headed for Blue Bayou water park yesterday. Our plan was to make a lunch break trip to the car for sandwiches and drinks. A lot of people enjoy a tail gate lunch at these parks. Things have changed a lot since the last time we made this trip.
We never made it back to the car for lunch. It was over a mile from the car to where we were inside the water park. Two stories of stairs had to be navigated to get into the park. A walkway spanned the interstate from the parking lot. It was too long a walk to get back to the car. This park doesn't allow coolers into the park and they do not have even water fountains to get a drink. This is not our favorite place to go but it's much closer then going to Galveston.

45 minutes away, it's a quick drive that doesn't require an overnight motel stay. We much prefer Galveston and the Schlitterbahn Water Park. We can take a cooler in and enjoy sandwiches and drinks through out the day.

I have an ultrasound scheduled this week hence the decision to go to Blue Bayou for the day.

Carrie had a blast. She is old enough now to ride the "big" rides. At first she was hesitant, forgetting the previous year when she rode them. After  that first ride, she was hooked. Ted is very good about taking her with him on the rides and watching over her, offering encouragement and taking the time to let her get comfortable before launching themselves down the runs.

We spent a large part of our time in the wave pool. The young girls were in "barely there" bikinis, their youth proudly displayed. As I people watched, I took note of the lack of tattooes. The majority of the young people there were ink free. I was impressed and relieved.

When I see the gaudy ink from ankle to hip or wound from waist to chest, I cringe. I watched one tattooed couple, he was without front teeth, but proudly sported his inked body along with hers. Priorities. Ink versus teeth? Ink apparently won out.

One young lady had "Buy a ticket and take the ride" tatted across her lower belly just above her  bikini bottom she was wearing. She got a lot of second looks. Another 10 years and her belly roll will neatly hide her tattoo. The angel wings will be drooping, the lettering will be smudged from aging skin. Is it obvious that I'm not a fan of defacing one's skin?

We were all nicely toasted at the end of the day. I hate getting a sunburn. We had cream to use and made sure Carrie was covered. We neglected our own selves.

 We hit rush hour traffic in Baton Rouge and crept down the interstate counting the cracks in the pavement.

We observed 2 accidents, ambulance lights flashing, as they rushed off with their patients. Patience and air conditioning made it tolerable.

Today I plan on nursing this sunburn and staying indoors under the air conditioning. I might even try getting dressed; depends on how uncomfortable that will be.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 4th

I shopped a little yesterday. I found a lime green cotton pullover with a scooped neckline that looks the best on me and I bought earrings to match. I haven't done that 4evah. I remember those days though. A new something to wear, a bracelet and earrings to go with it, a pair of shoes to compliment.....but oh my..when did  I quit?

It must have been around the time I decided I had worked enough, had enough of the job related stress, and finally feeling I actually deserved it. Sometimes I miss having a job; then I think about tearing myself away from my leisurely days and I put it in reverse and get back in the house.

I do keep up with my grooming. I try to do hair and makeup every day. I feel I owe it to the husband. He didn't meet and marry a slob. He doesn't deserve to look at one everyday either. Besides that, I do it for myself. I always feel much better with a little eyeliner and some lipstick. I've always been a fragrance addict and a little spritz of my favorite perfume finishes off my morning routine.

I'm going shopping for earrings and bracelets to go with the other clothes I have bought recently. Just a few baubles, nothing expensive.

Carrie, the all girlie granddaughter, appreciates and mentions the accessories. She loves to shop and considers herself  a fashionnista.

Spell check just give me a warning on the "fashionnista" but offered no corrections for it. It stays and I don't obsess over it.

I'm outta here for the day. Have a Happy 4th. we are having a barbeque today; baby back ribs, pork chops, corn on the cob, cole slaw, butter/lima beans and French bread. Yum. I'm looking forward to dinner!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013

Tick, tock, tick, tock. The summer is spending itself in a blistering rage. I have my eye on October. I sigh in relief when August is once again out of sight for another year.

I tend to whine a lot when I get hot.

The husband decided to replace the soffits and fascia board that surround  this house and I'm the designated "gopher" on his project.
 "Hey, can you come help me hold this up?" he queries.

Occasionally a text arrives on my phone from him, "Where are you?"  "I need you."

It's hot and he is working directly in the sun. I question him "Why didn't you start this in May?"
"Let's hire someone."
"We'll finish this one side and shut down until the fall."

To all of this he says "Hey, I'm the one doing most of the work. What are you complaining about?"

I suppose it's better then him just sitting around here with nothing to do. It's certainly cheaper then finding a carpenter to do it. I should be grateful he doesn't mind doing this. I should have had a son. He could be here helping "dad" and I could be lounging under the a/c. "shoulda, coulda, woulda" and hindsight is 20/20.

It's now 0530 and I'm on my way to water the flowers before the sun rises. I encourage the husband to get up early and do his carpentry work before the sun attacks.

He gets up around 0900, grabs a cup of coffee and his cigarettes and cell phone and heads to the patio for a leisurely hour of vices and TV news. The sun is edging upward bringing heat and humidity. I have finished all my outdoor chores by then. The weed trimming has been done, flowers watered and patio floors cleaned. I'm ready to retire for the day.

Speaking of cigarettes, the daughter just made the two week mark smoke free. She has never made it this far in a quit. I know it's still not a safe zone for her yet but I offer gentle encouragement each time we talk. I also offer a little bit of Klonopin. She is past the need for it now and seldom has to take it to keep level. The want is still there but the cravings have ceased. The habit remains where she grabs her lighter before leaving the house only to realize after picking it up, there is nothing to do with it.

I so want this to work for her. She is busy cleaning all signs of nicotine out of her house. She can finally smell the odor that I used to complain so loudly about. If you must smoke, do it outside. Of course I didn't when I smoked but I washed down everything in my house monthly. I have become so lazy since I quit. The curtains, rugs and walls do not have to be washed monthly and I can't help but think about all the work I used to do to be a "clean smoker". Of course the house still had a "smokers' odor but it was a mild one due to all the cleaning I did each month.

I'm so done with all that. I don't crave a smoke nor do I think about it. It took about a year before I was to the point where the thought would cross my mind and then evaporate quickly and now at 4 years, I don't think about them at all. It can be done. If I can do it, there is hope for everyone.

I cringe now to see a young person light up. It's gonna be tough when they decide to put them down someday. That addiction is a tough one to kick.

I'm off to water those flowers.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Clean Sweep

I remember watching my grandmother use a broom. I liked to watch her sweep. It's not the fact that she was working but I watched as the straw broom cleared a path as it went along powered by her hands. I thought about this while I was sweeping off the front porch. I thought "who sweeps anymore?"

The husband was using the 100ft extension cord in his house renovation. I had to use the broom.
 I have an electric blower and he has a gas powered one that I can never get started or if I do, I'm so exhausted from all that effort, so I don't use his. I went out and bought myself an electric one that I keep on the front porch with a long extension cord, the same one he is using now. 

During one of his intermissions, he had trimmed the gardenia bushes along the front of the porch and pulled some weeds from the walk way leading to the porch. The cuttings, dirt and weeds littered the porch and the walk. 

I found the broom. A nice heavy duty industrial type that is quite  heavy and quite unused. I remember the old broom which was worn down to the nubs. That broom must have been around here for 20 years. Maybe it was used before the blower era. 

 I went on a broom buying binge and ended up with a push broom, a straw broom and a tapered synthetic broom, none of which have seen much use. The push broom is in the shed. It never gets used either. The air compressor has an attachment that works wonderfully to blow out all the debris from the wood shavings and grass clippings that the mower drops off when parked in the shed.

Who sweeps? Though it bought back memories of watching my grandmother use a broom, I'll take the easy way and find another extension cord for that blower. It was much more entertaining watching my grandmother then it was pushing that broom myself. I've matured into the age of "quick and easy". The era where we have to sign a gym membership to keep those unused muscles from turning to flab. My grandmother never had "bat wings" nor a gym membership. She did squats while pulling weeds and gathering vegetables from her garden. She loaded that wringer washer and lifted those water soaked clean clothes to run them  through the wringer and into the rinse water then repeated the same to wring the water out and load them into the clothes basket. She carried those wet clothes to the clothes line and hung them out to dry. I don't remember her ever complaining of back pain.
Her arms were toned by that broom, and the rest of her body by the  vegetable garden and laundry chores. 
Who has time for this workout? She was a "stay at home" mom as most women were then. I might need to find a gym membership. I'm not in good enough shape to push a broom for any length of time and I haven't done a squat to pick up anything in years. My laundry is done by an automatic machine though I do use my clothes line occasionally which doesn't qualify me for any credits to being in shape.

I'm off to watch the husband finish up the soffits and the fascia. I'm good at watching.