Saturday, September 18, 2010

For All Those Who Love Dearly

I don't have any big post today but I did want to share with you a 'vimeo' that totally touched my heart.   Tom and I have this kind of marriage and I know there are those of you who do also.   Just click on the link below and relax and enjoy it from their hearts to yours.

Danny and Annie

Friday, September 17, 2010

SURELY, I Can Be Good for Four Days

I had my two week follow-up from the surgery to implant the port for my chemo treatments yesterday.  Let me start by saying that I am not (normally) a complainer to the doctors but this port has given me nothing but pain.  I can handle a lot of pain, I mean, after all, when I gave birth to my son, BJ, I didn't make a sound.  I had no pain shots or anything.  The woman next to me was screaming bloody murder though.  She was always one centimeter ahead of me and I kept asking the nurse if I was going to be screaming when I got there?  She assured me that everyone was different during childbirth.  (I do remember after about 23 hours telling my husband that I had had about enough and was ready to stop the process but I never screamed or cried in pain.)

You get the idea...

This pain in my shoulder started as soon as I woke up from surgery.  They didn't give me a pain shot or anything with this surgery and I thought, "I'm tough, I can handle this" but I do remember telling the doctor when he came in to check on me that this surgery hurt worse than the removal of the tumor and the 4 cysts.  He looked surprised and patted me on the shoulder but still didn't give me anything for pain.  We proceeded to go home and I had to work that afternoon because I was/am being greedy with my sick time.  I want to have enough to get through this whole process without having to eat into my vacation time.  (We deserve a nice vacation after all this, I'm thinkin'.)

I worked all afternoon and by 3:30 I am sitting there with tears streaming down my face and sobs coming out of my mouth.  My husband is sitting on the other end of the couch looking helpless and wondering what he can do for me.  He tells me to call the doctor and see if this is normal.  I call the Doctor's office and she says she'll have the nurse call me.  He (husband) is so disturbed by my pain and tears, he goes and gets THE PAIN MEDICINE.   I don't do pain meds.  I hate the side affects.  Finally, he all but shoved one in my mouth.  An hour later, I'm feeling MUCH less pain.  I'm pretty much giddy with relief.  When the nurse calls an hour and a half later, I'm apologizing for even bothering them.  She tells me I won't get addicted for just taking the pills for a few days and to please take them. 

FINE...whatever. we're up to the visit to the doctor yesterday.

I started by talking to the nurse at the surgeon's office and she said (ever so sweetly) "How are you doing today?" and I answered (ever so sweetly back) "I'm in a lot of pain."  She asks, "On a scale of one to ten, where is your pain?"  I'm thinking..."What a stupid question...I hate this do I figure out what her scale means?  It's a LOT of pain or I wouldn't tell her at all."  BUT what I say is, "Hmmm, maybe a seven."  She writes that down.  She takes my BP which is through the roof and she tsks and writes that down (I'm in pain...hello...of course it is high).

She takes me back to the doctor's office.  He is immediately in the room.  I'm thinking "Wow...that was fast."  He asks me about the pain.  I tell him ALL about it.  He says that there are instances of the tip of the port separating and ending up in the heart and then you have to have surgery to remove it.  (I'm thinking..."nice..." with a heavy dose of sarcasm going on in my head)  He says, if the pain is too much, he'll just remove the port.  I tell him that I like the concept because they won't have to stick my veins every time and I want to use the port.  Then he asks me how much rest to the arm I got after surgery.  I'm thinking, "UH OH...he's not gonna like this answer."  "Uh...none" I tell him.  I explained that there is a lot going on at work and that I was being greedy with my sick time plus there are things to do around the house that are impossible to do without that arm in motion...blah blah blah...I can see the blank look coming over his face.  He waits patiently for me to finish. Then he says IT.

"Do not do ANY work of any kind for at least four days but a week would be best."

WHAT?  Is he kidding?  He REALLY doesn't know me.

At this point, my brain is scrambling to figure out how I'm going to accomplish what he wants.  Well, I knew I had the rest of the afternoon off because I had already worked my 8 hours that day. So that took care of one day.  I can't stop typing...but I can quit 'reaching' for the keyboards.  (I say keyboards because I have my work computer and my personal computer sitting here on my desk and both are laptops so I have to reach up to get to the keyboards which is a strain on my shoulder.)  I have two separate keyboards (now) that are in the pullout shelf that keep me from reaching.  Tom took care of the cooking last night and I just sat like a little vegetable on the couch.  By the end of the night I really could tell a difference in the pain level.

Maybe this doctor really does know his stuff.  (whatever)

Today I am still guarding the shoulder and Tom is doing the laundry and I'm just sitting here at my computer like a vegetable moving between the two keyboards but not stressing the shoulder.  The doctor says if 'resting' works then he won't take it out.

Sigh...SURELY, I can be good for four days...(in my own way)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Life When You Least Expect It

I have made no attempt to hide the fact that I kill plants. It isn't intentional murder...(unless you count the fact that I buy the plants at all...hmmm...I may have to ponder that one separately.) it is the fact that after I buy them they suffer slow and torturous deaths. I always read the directions for care and follow it as religiously as my memory permits.

Every year I go in search of window box flowers for my gazebo. Last year I had some flowers that, while the instructions said they could handle full sun, apparently the full sun they were talking about and the full sun that hits my gazebo are two completely different things. I followed directions on watering (Mostly...ahem) and proceeded to watch them wither so I brought them up to the patio where they got some shade during the day and they were looking better BUT there was the watering thing. Even though they were right outside my back door on the patio I could not seem to remember to water them. Needless to say, I am always glad when fall arrives and everything is dead and I can quit pretending to be some kind of gardener.  (You cannot imagine the stress I feel while things are trying to survive on my watch.)

I have to admit though...I am very jealous of my neighbor two doors down who has two year old twins and a 7 year old and still manages to plant the entire front of her house with all these wonderful colors of flowers.  Her yard is very pretty and I often wonder if I paid her if she would plant and care for some in my yard....(odds are against that one...other neighbor stories to follow).

Anyway, back to the original thought I had (I know I had one...mental scrambling here).  Oh yeah, this year I planted some yellow and burgundy Celosia.  (I only know their name because I always save the little tags that stick in the dirt so I can refer to them later (like now) when I don't have a clue what they are...just in case someone visits and asks (yeah, that's another story altogether too).  I mixed it up quite perfectly in my OCD fashion.  (Burgundy, yellow, burgundy, get the idea)  I put them in the window boxes around the gazebo and back behind the Sky Shed Pod (yet another story for another time) to pretty it up back there since our poor neighbor looks at the back of the Sky Shed Pod all the time (Hey...we gave him a gazebo to look at too...). 

Nothing in my life changed...they died.

However, what I didn't count on was that the seeds from the burgundy ones (and only the burgundy ones) dropped little seeds which begot other little burgundy flower babies.  I really never go outside so how was I to know when I was cutting down the tomato plant yesterday (dead also) that I would find these beautiful flowers (the gazebo is far far away from the house so it is hard to see what is going on out there) just growing and thriving on their own and I didn't have to water or care for them ONCE.  What a wonderful surprise.  I was so excited I decided that today I would take pictures to prove that as long as I don't TOUCH the plants they survive quite nicely.

See what God did?  You hear me plants?   I had nothing to do with your just keep on surviving because I promise not to touch you.

So you can briefly see our line of trees in this picture which I also do not touch and then there is one more shrub in front of the Sky Shed Pod that I don't touch.  I lost the little tag for that one...not sure what it is but I'm sure my mother could tell you.  HA.

There are lots of shrubs at the front of the house that I ALSO DO NOT TOUCH and are surviving quite nicely.  8-)

Anyway...there you have life when you least expect it...especially anywhere near me...8-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today Is A New Day

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2 – 4 (NIV)

OK, so I was bit whiny yesterday.  Today...not so much.  Today is a new day.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I woke up this morning with the song "Joy, Joy, Joy" in my heart.  I actually woke up off and on last night thinking how wonderful my life is.  Many many things to be thankful for.  Obviously the chemo is getting out of my system and my body is healing and preparing for the next dose.  I am more like my old self than I have been since the first treatment.  It's GOOD to be back.

I have a car that I just bought towards the end of May that is a Camry Hybrid.  The engine partially runs on a special battery system which saves fuel.  It works really well, but every so often, if it sits without being driven, (like now) I have to start the engine and refill the battery.  If you drive it to work during the week, this isn't an issue.  Yeah, I don't know all the intricacies but I love the car and I love being able to help the 'green' idea.  Anyway, today I realized that I hadn't even started it up in a couple of weeks.  (My  husband takes great joy in driving me around right now and I am thankful he is there to do it.)  so I sent an email to my two bosses (yeah, it takes two of them to corral and said I was stepping away from the desk for a few minutes and would be right back.  The car started up just fine with no issues and I drove around until the battery picture filled up (about 10 minutes) and have parked it again to rest until I go for the surgical follow up tomorrow.  (I wanted to make sure it would start BEFORE  I'm such a worry wart.)  YEAH TOYOTA.  8-)  Anyway, my body is like that Camry...they threw some poison in it and I needed time to drive it around and start the battery going again.  8-)  YEAH GOD for making my body rechargeable!

So I started today's blogging (is that a word?) with a scripture I ran across yesterday that seemed fitting for my life right now.  It would seem that we spend all our time on earth going through tribulations to make us mature (I can only assume this maturity would make us more 'Christ like'.  Since I am SOOOOOOOOO removed from being 'Christ like' then I totally understand why I get such fun  My life has been pretty much one tribulation after another and as I talk to other people, they have pretty much the same kind of life.  I'm not so unique.  So...this scripture gave me an attitude adjustment to be joyous when the trials hit.   Yeah, I can try that.  8-)

Today is a new day!  8-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

I went to bed sniffling last night but since I have some serious heavy duty allergies anyway, I didn't worry too much about it. the middle of the night I wake up sneezing with this "it's only in one nostril, yup, I've got a cold" feeling. I woke up this morning feeling scratchy throated and drippy and thought to God. "A COLD? Are you kidding me? Cancer wasn't enough?"  (Yeah, I need a little anger management, I guess.)  I went out for one hour to eat a fun meal on Saturday and three days later, what do I get for it?  A COLD.  Fine.  Whatever.  I swear I washed my hands when I got home and cleaned off my IPAD with alcohol but I still got a cold.  Yeah...I'm a little whiny about it.  Shoot me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Optimist or Pessimist?

I have asked myself in the past whether I am an optimist or a pessimist.  Is that glass half full or half empty?  I will answer it quite differently given the each individual situation.  If you hand me a plant and ask me to take care of it and never kill it, then I am very much a pessimist.  At my Dad's funeral, my  Mom, in her very giving nature asked me if I wanted to take home one of the plants from the funeral.  In my heart I am screaming...NO NO...don't give me that kind of responsibility.  I'll kill it.  Actually, being the open and totally honest person that I am, I might have even said it out loud.  Obviously a pessimist under these conditions... 

But...when asked to do an impossible job for work, I think to myself...Ugh (yeah, I actually use that word in my head), that's gonna be hard but I think I can do it....I love a challenge.  Obviously an optimist in those moments.

Now the truth of the matter is that it depends on whether I believe it is worth the time invested.

Here is the plant that I took home from the funeral...

 As you can see, my pessimism didn't totally come true.  (there were some long shoots of some type of plant in it that I totally killed but I've kept the rest of it alive since the 31st of there's a minor miracle.)  As you can see, the cat is having her fun eating away at it also (another reason why I don't keep indoor plants.)   She hasn't died either so I'm two for two. HA.

Here are my favorite types of indoor plants.  They require neither optimism or pessimism on my part:

Some may say I'm a 'cheater' when it comes to plants but I like to just say I am very optimistic that these types of plants will live because (normally) I live a very busy life and don't have time to keep 'real' plants alive.  This one from the funeral has been lucky. 8-)  I've been working from home.

So, back to my therapy...when I was diagnosed with cancer did I feel optimistic or pessimistic?  Numb would probably be the correct after I settled down (funny how the 'C' word gets you all shaken up) I realized that my life was worth fighting for.  I had stated to my boss that if the results came back positive from the tests that I wasn't going to go through the chemotherapy or radiation.  I just felt so tired all the time and it seemed like it would be easier to just let it win.  He kept saying that I needed to rethink that.  Well, after I got the results then I realized that I couldn't give up that easily...not so much for me...I'm ready for heaven but I don't think the people that love me are ready for me to be a pessimist and just give up.  I praise God that that is true.  8-)

 So, yeah, when it's something worth fighting for, I'm definitely an optimist.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We went out to eat last night for the first time in a while. We hadn't been out in a while because of having two different surgeries, chemo, and my fear of being in public places with all the germs.  Now, this could be classified as one of three things (Mysophobia which is the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs, Spermatophobia (Fear of germs...interesting name...not going there), or Verminophobia (also fear of germs but looks more like fear of Vermin germs to  Probably closer to the first one and only because my white count is suspect and I don't want to pick up anyone's diseases.  I didn't used to have this fear but certainly do now.  I'm sure I'll get over it after this is all over but for now I am super duper cautious.  ANYWAY...back to the food.  8-)

We went to O'Bryan's Steak House which is fairly close to where we live.  We usually get a Filet Mignon or their Grilled Catfish.  Both are yummy.  But last night all I wanted was something completely evil for my body.  To back up a little...last October I started feeling kind of run down and so in my 'fix it' fashion I talked to Tom and said "Honey, we should really change our eating habits.  It wouldn't hurt us to lose a few pounds and I think I would feel better for it."  He is usually agreeable to my change in directions in our lives but I could see the pessimistic look in his face because now I was changing a big part of the fun in his life.  So we headed into a 'No junk food diet but eat more fruit and vegetables except on Friday when we get Thai to keep Tom happy' diet.  All else stayed the same.  By Christmas we had lost close to 20 pounds and were feeling much better for it.  Now, in this 'junk food' category fell the wonderful food called HAMBURGERS.  OH MY, but I love hamburgers.  So last night I said, "I'm going to have a big old homemade style hamburger and some steak fries tonight."  He kind of looked at me with his sideways look and said that I should eat whatever I wanted.  So we both got one.  8-)  My hamburger was just as delicious as if my Aunt Margaret had cooked it.  We used to have hamburger nights on Friday nights (I seem to remember this being the day of the week for hamburgers but I could be wrong) and there was always lots of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions to go on the hamburgers.  They had a garden that they would get the vegetables out of.  There is nothing like fresh from the garden vegetables on a hamburger.  Anyway, suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Hamburger and Fries at O'Bryan's.  8-)

Yeah...I know that's not a very exciting blog topic, but when you've been cooped up in the house for about 9 days, it was like a little bit of heaven to get all dressed up and feeling pretty and join the rest of humanity out there having fun.  8-)