Saturday, September 25, 2010

Overcoming Shyness

I am actually a very shy person.  I work hard to overcome it but it is what it is.  It is very painful for me to talk to people...I remember when we used to go to family reunions when I was a child, I would always have a stomach ache because I didn't want to have to talk to people.

I have never really been a 'sharer' of rough times in my life (probably much to the frustration of many people) and this blog has been good for binding some better ties with my family.  When I am writing it I go into the mode of "Dance like no one is watching" in order to be as open and honest as I can for them.  I know they care and want to know but putting emotions out on a blog is like handing someone your heart and hoping they aren't laughing at what is going on inside of you (Or thinking of committing you to the loony  I didn't expect anyone to read it when I started the blog.  It was just an avenue for talking about all the things that were bottled up inside of me that were wiping me out mentally.  Don't get me wrong.  It is exciting to me that anyone would find anything I had to say 'interesting' enough to read. My family has been very kind with their responses and I appreciate that more than they know.  Their encouragement keeps me writing.  8-)

Even at work, I am not one to go to someone's desk and just chat with them.  They flock into my office all day long looking for conversation which I try to I keep pretty much to myself there also and just get my work done.  I don't like to stay late at work so the best thing to do there is just do the work so I can leave on time.

Well, nothing profound to say today...I am headed into the crash and this probably seems a little more maudlin than usual because of this.  But even crashing, I am ever so thankful for family and friends that are praying and getting me through this silliness.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday!  I am seriously considering going to Coldwater Creek today to take advantage of their 35% off sale.  8-)

Friday, September 24, 2010


Tetelestai!  As Christ said in John 19:30.  Translates to "It is finished". 

Of course then "...he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:30b)  I'm not quite ready to do that.  8-)  He was talking about the debt for our sins being paid in full.  I'm talking about something completely different.  lol  I heard "Tetelestai" (greek) in a sermon many many years ago and it stuck with me all these years for some reason.  When I accomplish something memorable, that word always pops in my head.

Taxotere chemo treatment two is complete and, other than being a little tired from the Benadryl, it isn't nearly as bad as it was the last time.  The Bendryl took care of my allergic reaction.  (BIG YEAH for my cancer team!!)  Tom and I went out and got lunch and then made a Walmart run.  I believe with all my heart that all your prayers are making a difference and I can't tell you how thankful I am for your continual uplifting to God of my trials and tribulations.

My blood work was stellar according to the doctor and we both agree that the human body's ability to heal is an amazing thing.  We talked about the bone pain and he said he understood that the bone pain from the Neulasta can be debilitating and that I did not have to do the Neulasta this time and we'd see if my white blood cells would stay high enough to not need it until we get to the AC chemo.  He said I would have no choice then.  I was mentally making row boat movements with my arms and jumping up and down inside (while externally nodding my head and smiling sweetly) because that really was the worst part of the whole treatment last time (other than the crying  He again talked about how difficult the AC Chemo will be.  Then the nurse that was giving me my chemo treatment says, "I don't want to scare you but the AC Chemo that you will be getting will be much worse than this Taxotere."  Bless their hearts, they are all trying to get me mentally prepared for it.  I probably will not be prepared for it until I've experienced it at least once.  I'm kinda like that...I mean...I hear them but I probably don't really get it yet.  I mean, how much worse could it get?

I got lots of compliments on my do rags that I bravely wore out into the 'real' world today and I am looking through the book from TLC again to see what else I can buy from them to cover my pitiful pate.  8-)  My confidence in meeting the outside world with my hairlessness has soared today and I feel much more comfortable about it all.  ( dictionary doesn't recognize 'hairlessness' as a word but I don't care...I am now declaring it a word!)  I still need to find something in red to go with a red shirt that I have and love to wear.  I found a sleep cap with an angel on it (too cute to pass up) to keep my widdle head warm at night and a soft ivory beret with a bow on it.  Tom likes the beret look and I think I will to.  Since I basically have a wardrobe of black, white, red, wine, gray, blue, and ivory that should cover anything I want to wear.  I may just find a hat to match my jeans that I wear with my red shirt instead of finding something red.  No need to BLARE red on top of my head now, is there?

Tom is in the living room taking a nap. (I think today wore him out more than it did me, bless his heart.)  I got lots of steroids today so I know I'll be pinging through tomorrow and then I'll go into crash mode.  That's when the emotions run rampant.  It's that I know what to expect, I believe that God and I can handle it. 

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crowning Glory?

They say that a woman's hair is her crowning glory.


Yesterday I had had all I could take of finding my hair everywhere.  I mean...good grief...I looked down in my salad during lunch and there were hairs in it.  (so much for lunch)  That was the final straw (or hair if you will).  I sent Tom an email and asked him if he would do the honors of shaving it off when he got home.  As always, he was right there with me in agreement. 

So...when he got home, after he completed his Farmville duties, (lol) we proceeded to use the electric clippers to get it really short (that is the Royal WE...meaning him...I use that form quite often when I am referring to work he needs to do.  i.e. WE need to start the laundry, etc.)  and then he used his electric razor to shave it completely off.  All I had to do was sit there and cry as he did it.  LOL

If you are ever wondering what color your skin really is....shave your hair off.  My skin is REALLY white.  I haven't been out in the sun all summer but my face has a pretty brown complexion compared to the top of my head.  And I can see that hairline so nicely...HA.

Thanks to my mom putting me to sleep on my stomach as a baby, I have a perfectly round head also.  I never knew a head could be so round.  WOW. 

So, yeah, it was kind of shocking the first time I looked in the mirror but I feel released from hair care right now.  I have naturally curly  hair and, until I cut it short a few weeks ago, it has always been a lot of work to take care of.  30-45 minutes of care every morning.  Now I get in the shower, wash myself, dry myself, slather on some lotion, and I'm done.  10 minutes max...Cool huh? 

I got some cute cotton caps with braided bands to put around them that I like way better than the wigs.  The caps are in solid colors to match my clothes and the bands are two tone colors (to also match the cap and my clothes).  For example, if I wear my black leggings with the white no iron shirt and the gray riding jacket then I wear the black cap with the black and white braided band.  Anyway, you get the idea...I think I can pull it off. 

Of course, I haven't left the house yet...we'll see how I feel about it tomorrow when I actually step outside of the house.  I'm doing a test run to the mailbox today.  (big grin)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Amazing Butterfly

Yesterday morning I saw the most beautiful butterfly perched on our patio wall.  I didn't want to scare it off so I just looked at it through our living room window. 

Later in the day, the Terminex guy came to spray for bugs outside.  (Yeah, sad little story coming up)

After supper, I looked out the living room window and saw that beautiful butterfly resting on the patio floor.  I thought, "Hmmm...wonder why it is perching on the floor?"  So, I called Tom over and we carefully opened the back door and peeked out.  It didn't move, so we got closer...still didn't move.  It was as perfect in death as it was alive.  I had to get a picture.

We did some research and it turns out it is a female black swallowtail butterfly.  (It is actually much blacker than this picture shows.  It looks brown here but it is really black.) We figured out it was a female because of the colors.  This is a very good picture but it is still more beautiful in person.

I think when the butterfly died, he moved into my stomach.  Today, every time I think about the chemo on Friday, it flutters around.  I can already tell it is going to be amazingly hard to make myself let them give it to me when I know what follows. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Musing

I really wish everything would just slow down.  This age that we live in is so fast paced.  I literally have three computers that I do things on.  My work computer, my personal laptop, and my IPAD.  Sometimes there are four if I am helping my husband with his Farmville game.  8-)

Sometimes I think that if I could just throw a couple of them in the trash that my life would be so much better (I'm sure my husband had a heart attack at that statement) but then I think...what would I do with my time?  I play all kinds of games on my laptop and IPAD and of course now there is this BLOG that I feel compelled to write in on a daily basis.  I am convinced that it may actually be my sanity during this time in my life.

I don't know how to slow down.  My body stops but my mind still goes 90 to nothing.  (And who invented that silly phrase?  90 to nothing...hmmm...mind buzzing off in yet another direction.)  Even if I sit here and try to do nothing I find my hand going through my hair and I look to see how many hairs I come away with just for brushing it through.  Amazing amount of hair coming out.  How can anyone lose this much hair and not already be completely bald?

It all boils down to the fact that I can't stand to be bored.  I remember boredom as a child.  I remember I was so excited to go to school and DO things.  I loved vacation bible school because we DID things.  (We also got cookies and koolaid...BIG plus.)  I loved going swimming in the summer because it was something to DO.

I feel like I'm supposed to be in this big hurry to get somewhere and each day flies by and I feel like I'm left behind somewhere else.  Maybe it isn't so much that I can't slow down, it is that I'm being forced to and nothing else has slowed down with me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Stable Part of My Life

Anyone who really knows me, KNOWS that I hate change.  When change hits, such as a change in job (3 years ago we moved from Florida to Alabama because of a better job offer), or something as simple as having to work longer hours to get through some deadline; then I pretty much go into stress mode.  I hate change...have always hated change.  I don't even like the change that traveling on vacations brings.  I always enjoy the trip the most when it is over. (This may all stem back to the controller, fixer issues I have...not really sure.)  All I know is that all things unknown make me uncomfortable.  I'll probably get to the pearly gates and not be happy because I don't really know what is inside.  (I'm sure they wrote "Who Moved My Cheese" with me totally in mind.)

One reason I love my husband so much is because he is a constant.  I know what he is going to do all the time. 

I know that in the morning he is going to run quickly to Starbuck's and get me my favorite coffee drink before he heads to work.  (This is only because I am working from home and he wants me to get all the sleep I can before I start my day.  Is that a generous loving spirit or what?)

I know that he is going to send me an 'I love you' email to my work email address to let me know he got to work OK and that he is thinking about me.  (He also expects a response from me and when I used to drive in to work, it worried him if he didn't get a reply first thing in the morning.  I would find text messages on my phone asking me if I was OK.)

I know that he will be home at almost exactly 4:28 every afternoon because he leaves at 4:00 on the dot and drives the same way home every day.   (This might vary by a few minutes depending on the traffic but I could almost set my clock by him.) 

I know that when we are done watching TV at night that he will Queue (sp?) up the DVD player to the next episode in whatever series we are watching and turn off the fireplace (yes...I love a fireplace even in the summer especially when my red count is down and I am so cold.), then he will turn off the fan and his light, head to the bathroom and then get under the covers with them pulled  up to his chin and wait for the spring in my posterior to quit ejecting me out of bed for whatever last things I keep forgetting to do.  (There are many ejections from the bed before I finally settle down.  I'd like to blame that on chemo brain but I've always been this way....sigh.)

So, he is the stable part of my life.  I am thankful for his stability and consistency (even though I tease him about it constantly.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Really Not Ready Yet

I am a planner, an organizer, a controller and a fixer.  I'm am going down a road that doesn't really allow for the mental aspects of cancer treatments.  When I learned I had cancer, the first thing I did was research (planner in action).  I researched the specific type of cancer and all the possible treatments.  When I found out that I had to have surgery to remove the tumor and some lymph nodes, I prepared myself.  Prayed a lot...laughed and cried about it.  Looked for ways to mentally prepare myself. 

I got there quite easily.  I went into surgery calm and ready.

The surgeon said the margins were clean around the tumor and he didn't think I would have to have chemo.  I quit preparing myself for that and just focused on having to go through radiation.  (The surgeon assured me there was no way I could get out of that.)  When I saw the Oncologist, he stated that I needed chemo as well for the small cancer cells that may have traveled throughout my body because I had 'Invasive' ductal carcinoma which means that the cancer cells were able travel throughout the blood stream because they had broken through the duct walls.  (It just figures that my cancer cells would be aggressive fighters.  HA!)


I started mentally preparing myself for all the side affects.  Not for just one chemo but for the two types that he felt I needed.  Taxotere and AC.

Who was I fooling?  You really can't control or mentally prepare for any of this.

Yesterday, I started seriously losing my hair.  Just over the two week mark after my first dose of Taxotere.  I had prepared my hair for the loss.  I cut off my hair to a short 'sassy' hair-do about three weeks ago (Organizer, Controller and Fixer in action).  I had never in my life worn it short and, actually, I've grown to love it.  I'll probably keep it short even after I grow it  all back in.

Yesterday I got it cut again (since it is still growing) and Nancy (my beautician) and I discussed getting her to trim up my wigs that I had bought.  (I totally love my visits with Nancy.  She always lightens my spirit and makes me laugh.  I can see that my visits with her are going to be the best times I have over the next few months.  She has no idea what her caring spirit does for me.)  I am sure she could see the hair falling out so easily which is probably why she brought up the wigs. 

Today I was in the shower and it was coming out so much that bunches of it were sticking to my neck and shoulders as I washed it.  (Tom graciously cleaned up the shower after I was through so I wouldn't have to aggravate my shoulder.)  The sink was full of hair when I got done brushing it after my shower.  (I really do have a LOT of  I still have quite a bit still on my head but it all really hit me hard when I saw it in the shower and sink.  I realized that I am NEVER going to be ready to be bald.  I just stood there sobbing.  My husband comes over and hugs me and explains that he didn't marry me for my hair and that he still loves just the same as always.

Of course, I never doubted this.  He is going to be my rock through this entire situation.  God definitely knew what he was doing when He sent him to me. 

So, here we are at the next stage of the chemo and I'm really not ready yet but ... here we go anyway.  It really is only hair, Silly Girl...You can't control or fix this one.  (Controller and fixer stepping down and leaving it all in God's hands.)