Friday, February 28, 2014

Two More!

I'm waiting on the time to arrive where I will leave here to collect Carrie from her school. I get to sit in the car line and patiently wait until the signal arrives to move forward. About 15 cars move into the circle in front of the school where your child awaits guarded by a staff member of the school. We wait our turn. Some of us do. Then you have those that sneak around the corner and enter the line from one of the driveways that connect to the row of waiting cars. They think they are clever? I've grown increasingly tired of this behavior lately. I've decided to shame them. I now open my car door and make it a point of flipping up my thumb and motioning to the back of the line as if to say "you! you belong at the back of this line." My hand gestures must be easily read. The next day this same driver tried entering at a different area but luck was against her and she ended up behind me again. I did the whole thumb signal "shame on you" rigamarole. The third day, I haven't seen her at all. She may have been so shamed she pulled her child out of school or better yet, had the child ride the bus. Either way, this person won't be sneaking into the car line.

I'm now on the end of my radiation treatments. I don't glow in the dark and I have only two treatments left. I'm not at the end of the cancer treatment but only at the end of the radiation treatments. I'm sure I'll be going through some scans to check for any new places of cell involvement.
Hopefully, another 4 months will see the end of all treatments for a while.

A small entry here on the radiation affects on my skin. I have areas that are reddened and raw with the first layer of skin peeling off. The area near my neck is sore and red and raw. I'm putting Aquaphor on it as recommended by the staff. I have to be very careful of any lotions applied to my skin as most lotions contain metals and this would cause severe burns while getting radiated. The daughter becomes very emotional about my skin and the pain. I reassure her that it's only as bad as the worst sunburn I have ever had. In a few weeks the skin will be healed and in the past.

I'm ready to be off this short leash I have been on for the past year. I'll still be closely monitored but maybe treatment won't again be necessary for a while. I'm off to get Carrie! I would much rather be taking a nap.
I'm gone!

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Nose Itches, I Fell Down

Well, hello there! I've apparently stepped away from the keyboard longer then I realized. I've been busy. As I lay here in bed with the laptop splayed across my lap, I'm trying to remember exactly what has kept me too busy to type.

House guests were here for three days which kept me enjoyably busy. The husband left for Oklahoma which should have freed up some time. My daily routine plods along beginning with Carrie's taxi to school and then directly to radiation therapy speaking of which, I'm now toast.
I was warned about the discomfort. The possible skin being "sunburned". My right chest wall and axillary area is now a bright cherry red and tender. The huge black "X" decorates the upper chest area. This allows the technician to line up the machine to the exact spot for radiation. So I'm crisp.

I'm crisp and my nose itches. My nose itches because I fell down. Falling down instigated pain to which I answered with a Lortab. That Lortab starts a side effect. That side effect is itching.
Yesterday I decided the tile floors needed a good cleaning. It was a rainy overcast day; a good day to clean. My tile floors are not of the textured kind and become very slick when wet. I'm well aware of this as I always warn everybody that the floor is wet and to be careful.  When my right leg skewed to the right, I fell face forward so quickly I had no time to protect myself with my arms. My upper body smacked full force onto those wet tiles. I thought I had jarred a lung loose. Very carefully, I crawled to my feet and headed for the ibuprofen. You can't take a spill like that without expecting some major soreness in a few hours and I did. A few hours and I was swallowing a Lortab. Not often but a few more times in the hours that followed, more Lortab and more itching. Now at 2200 hours, I am miserably  tolerating the itchy nose and a sleepless night. That Lortab will wear off and I'll be catching some 'z's" but for now I scrub my nose with my hand as I toss and turn and angrily curse the fall that caused my discomfort.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oh, Where Have I Been For so llong?

Busy. I've just been a bit busy around here. My house guests have come and gone. For three days we stayed on the move. Jeanie, who arrived with my friend Teresa had her own agenda for this vacation and we were more then happy to watch her accomplish it. Dance! Zydeco dance to be more precise. She wanted to enjoy the zydeco bands here and that we did.
We even had breakfast at a place that has dancing and food on Saturday mornings. This got the husband and me out of the house for a while. We had been hibernating from the cold and staying in so having a reason to get out and about was something we needed to do.
By Sunday he was on his way to his job in Oklahoma so we spend the afternoon in the park searching for a few rays of sunshine.
By Monday morning my friends were heading back to New Orleans to catch their flights out of here. Since Teresa has a 5hr. wait, I surprised her by showing up at the airport shortly after they arrived. We sat around talking and having some beignets and coffee while waiting for her flight.

Since then, I have been back to my old routine of hibernating from the latest blast of cold air from the north. Will this ever end?

Well, yes. It will because today we are supposed to see temperatures in the 70's. Yesterday I spent the day doing laundry and hanging it on the line, something I haven't done for months now.

I'm watching the news report on all the traffic accidents and the flights cancelled and I'm grateful we live this far south. We have received some uncommon cold temperatures but for the most part, our roads are dry except for the one icy day we had.

I have 12 more radiation treatments left and I'll be grateful when that is done. Having them is not a big deal. I spend about 15 minutes each morning Monday through Friday after I take Carrie to school. The remainder of the day is mine and I have weekends off. Are these treatments effective? Do they really do any good? I have my doubts but I have to follow the regiment set forth. If nothing good comes of it, I will at least be able to say "I tried" for my family's comfort and mine.
I'm off to find some breakfast, another cup of coffee and some warm weather clothes!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rad on a Saturday

Hello! We have warmth. I have a freshly washed car and the frozen ferns have been trimmed.

I looked up as my husband entered the living room. He had just showered and dressed. Nothing strange there unless you notice he was wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Yes ma'm, it's that warm here. I,myself, am wearing a bright orange t-shirt, having shed my sweat shirt around noon today.
When I woke this morning, I quickly brewed a pot of coffee and got dressed while it was brewing. Though the clinic is usally closed on Saturday, the crew there had called me yesterday and wanted to know if I wanted to make up one of the days I missed during the closure from the ice storm.

At 0730 I was wearing that lovely blue gown while walking down the hall to the small waiting room. The machine had to have a fresh start which takes a bit more time. Eventually I was led back to the scanner and zapped. Today was the first day to use my Medicare card. I hope it goes as it should. If not, I'm going to have one ginormous bill at the end of February. I cancelled my insurance with Blue Cross/Blue Shield effective today, February 1. I'm a bit nervous now until I get confirmation or at least NO bills from the visits starting Feb. 1.

Next week the house guests will arrive. Wednesday is the day I'm expecting them in.

Another "shorts" day today and then a big drop in temps tomorrow and our crazy winter continues! I'm dressed and ready to take Ms. Carrie to school and then on to my radiation treatment. An oncologist appointment is also scheduled for today and I'm sure she will be ordering more treatments too. Ah, the fun never stops here or at least it hasn't for the past year. It will be one year on February 27th that I was diagnosed and started on this merry go round of surgeries and treatments. I got my confirmation yesterday morning that my medicare was in effect. HURRAY! What a relief. Now I have to see if the "supplemental" part of this insurance is going to kick in to pay the 20 percent that medicare doesn't cover. I bought the policy that pays for all doctor visits, all deductibles and any other charges applicable from the medical community. The supplementals have in very tiny print, a disclaimer on "pre existing" but also it states "if you have comparable insurance" when signing up for this supplemental, the pre existing will be discarded" and I'm hoping this is the case. The "pre existing" requires you wait 6 months before it kicks in and pays the 20 per cent over what medicare pays.

Always something huh? This "pre existing" is not a denial of coverage but a "waiting period". I don't think one will ever win over the insurance game. They have all bases covered.
I have to say, Blue Cross did pay much of my medical care this year with hardly a blink of the eye for which I'm very grateful although we did also pay 18,000.00 for the care for the past year.
I'm off to get the chicken nuggets warmed up and some milk poured for Carrie. I always take her some "breakfast" for her to consume on the way to school.
I'm watching the weather reports to see if my friend from Missouri is going to be able to fly out of St. Louis on Wednesday!
l'm outta here!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

If You Really Want to Know

Family! Those people that grew up in the same house with you, those cousins seen on the weekends; the family, those folks that interjected themselves into your life without consent agreed upon.

Hopefully that family is not a toxic situation. To really know how they truly feel about you, make one of them angry. Recently I posted about a lad that I had observed while visiting a family member. Watching this child and his mother's parenting (or lack of) the post was anonymous. No names were used; no reference to it being a family member. The mother, unable to face reality, became quite incensed when another family member recognized the subject   and informed this mother. Mom is in denial. My question to this is, "how did that family member reading that post recognize the child/parent". Mom doesn't believe that her child is the big topic of conversation related to his behavior.
Mom sent massive mailings. Acid filled mailings detailing how the family really felt about me. This information gleaned from one sibling who relishes any moment she can insert knife and twist. Mom repeats all those accusations she has learned from this sibling.
I left this family 43 years ago. I haven't lived around them since I was about 22 yrs. old. I am now 65. I'm totally amazed that any family member knew much about me as I made infrequent trips back except to visit my mother.
I've been accused of hitting my mother; sleeping with everybody through the alphabet, being cruel, hating my daughter and grandchildren and being hated by everybody in this family.
I can only say, "I'm glad I moved away when I did and put 2000 miles between myself and "the family". Can you imagine what I would have been tagged with had I lived in the same town all these years?

Nothing aggravates me more then someone lying to me. You can lie and then become incensed when someone calls you on it? That's when I jump ship and swim away from you. I have a cousin who posts unsubstantiated political stuff on Facebook and then becomes very angry when research shows the post to be propaganda. Do some investigating before you post silly stuff and if, failing that, don't become all irate when bullshit is called on you.

I watch from afar the behavior of family members and realize that I would never have selected many of them to be friends nor spent any time with them even if I lived closer. Selfishness plagues many of them. Their parents are left alone, deserted by their children they have devoted their whole lives to making sure these little precious offspring have everything they need or want. When the time comes for role reversal, the tides have marched out to sea, not a child to be found to assist or care for them.

I observe and rarely interact. These are the same people that are busily noting my life and creating tales while living 2000 miles from me. These people, the mom, says she has been told stories about me all her life and she believes them. Huh? I don't recall visits from any of these people except for an occasional two or three days from a select few.