Friday, November 26, 2010

More Random Musings is a funny thing.  I am going through my old  posts and I see one that was just a draft and it was titled, "I Get So Easily Distracted" and there was nothing in the body of the posting.  Wow...was that an apt title, or what?  LOL  (Yeah, I deleted that well as several others I started but didn't finish.)

A lot of this cancer business is just waiting around for stuff.  Today I am waiting to go get my neulasta shot.  That is the shot that helps the bones produce more white blood cells.  I really dread this shot because it causes such severe bone pain.  I got out of it for the last three rounds of Taxotere, but the doctor says I have to have it for the AC chemo.  Nothing I could say could convince him otherwise.  Hmmph.  I can usually talk my way out of anything...very disappointing that I lost this battle.

The AC chemo definitely hits harder than the taxotere because I've already had the bloody noses and broken blood vessels in my hands that I usually don't get for about a week after Taxotere.  Small fever this morning which I have to watch and some slight nausea.  All of this is manageable though.

I guess I forgot to tell how the MRI of my head came out.  The good news is there are no tumors in my brain.  YEAH!  He didn't say whether I had a brain or not so I am just believing that it is  The bad news is that the cyst that they removed from my nose last November has grown back and is probably what is causing my headaches.  He felt the Taxotere was causing the blurred and double vision and since that has cleared up now, I would guess he was right.  He said when the chemo is over, he'll send me over to ENT to get the cyst removed.  Maybe I'll get a better ENT doctor than I had last time.  He wasn't bad, but I went to him for an earache that wouldn't go away and he just focused on the cyst he found in my nose. The earache never has gone away but I've learned to live with it.  There have obviously been more important things than a silly earache to take care of this year.  HA.

We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.  The meal plan came out perfect.  I warmed up the turkey in the oven while the rolls were cooking, made the velveeta cheese potatoes at the same time and 5 minutes from completion put some steamer veggies in the microwave.  After we ate all that, we had blueberries in lite cool whip.  We were definitely stuffed Turkeys when it was over.  My favorite was the Mrs. Shubert's rolls.  I LOVE bread.  The blueberries came in second but was all yummy.  It was a good day all around.  8-)  God is so amazing to us.  I don't care what the rest of the week brings as long as Tom had a good Thanksgiving.  It would have been nice to have been with more family but it was great to at least share the holiday with my honey.   8-)

I hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving also.  You were all in my prayers for safe travel and a great day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chemo Update and Talents

As I lay (absolutely not sleeping) last night, I thought I should make a sign to hang down from the office doorway that said "Beware the tired and irritable chemo woman within this room.  Enter at your own risk."  Then Tom would have a warning for my mood for today.  Unfortunately, he got out of bed when I did so I just warned him verbally.  8-)

The AC Chemos and steroids do a lot more 'body bloating' than Taxotere.  I was up 5 lbs on the scales this morning and I feel like the goodyear blimp.  My face has the steroid round to it.  Ugh.  Well, all this will pass...the good news is that I haven't thrown up once.  I haven't even felt nauseous so the anti-emetic medicine is working just fine.  Extremely tired would be the basic feeling for the day...lead weights all over my body making moving undesirable.  Other than doing laundry, making beds and cooking lunch and supper, I don't plan on moving around a whole lot.

So, Carol, here's something for hot flashes and blood pressure.  (Other readers, feel free to skip this boring paragraph)  Last week I checked my BP without hot flashes and it would run around 97/69.  I would have a hot flash and the systolic (top) number would rise to 139 but the diastolic (bottom) remained in the high 60's and low seventies.  Not sure if yours are just systolic jumps or both systolic and diastolic rises.  There would be a very slight increase in pulse rate.  I have been having hot flashes every hour since I started this new chemo (hence the lack of sleep last night) and was doing BP checks during that. While not flashing, it is my normal 97/69 but during a hot flash, my BP is dropping really low (89/50 range) but my pulse is racing like crazy (Jumping up to the 80s).  From what I read of the anti-emetic, it causes a lower BP and dizziness.  That may be the reason it is dropping.    Who knows since they dumped so many different medicines (aka poisons) in me yesterday.

Max Lucado's inspirational message for today says:

"Concerning Talents

You made me and formed me with your hands.  Give me understanding so I can learn your commands.  Psalm 119:73
God has gifted you with talents.  He has done the same to your neighbor.  If you concern yourself with your neighbor’s talents, you will neglect yours.  But if you concern yourself with yours, you could inspire both."

I've never felt I had any real talent.  I've always seen myself as a medium person.  I can do just about anything set in front of me but I don't particularly stand out as having talent for it.  I had to work hard in college to get all A's.  But there was no talent to that learning.  No gift there.  At work, I have been recognized as a scheduling Subject Matter Expert (SME) and am the only one of my kind in the Huntsville Boeing Facility but I have to work hard to stay on top of all the changes in the scheduling arena.  Usually, people send me an email question and I have to research to see what the latest ruling on it is.  Something that they could have done themselves, but I am there to utilize, so they do.  It's easier for them to do this because I can give them the answer in a nutshell after I've deciphered it.  Anyway, the medium thing goes for any facet of my life but I'm ok with being medium.  I have never seen being medium as having talents so I guess I'm still looking for the 'talents' that God has given me.  8-) I'm sure they are there if He promised them.  8-)  I just need to stop and listen for a while...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AC Chemo #1

Today I learned what AC stands for. The 'A' is for Adriamycin' and I am not allergic to that one. It is red chemical that they give directly from a syringe into my port. The 'C' is for Cytoxan. I AM allergic to that one. I actually thought I was going to get through this one without the allergic reactions. I was very hopeful when we got through the adriamycin with no reaction. O is what it is.

Both of these chemicals fight a lot of other cancers also. Too many to list in this blog while typing on my iPad. Ha!  However, of interest to my sister, they are also used to fight Multiple Myeloma.   Did Daryl take these?

I am in the same chair I had last time. Number six. The nurse first directed me to number four which kind of excited me because it is next to the window and because that number is closer to number one which psychologically makes me feel 'more special'.  BUT there was someone in number four when I went to it. Then I was in a quandary...should I tell the guy that he is in my seat or should I go back and tell the nurse that someone else was in MY chair.  Hmmmm...

Ok, I opted to tell the nurse and she was like, "WHO took my number four chair?" (Imagine the story going like Goldilocks and the Three Bears...WHOSE been sitting in MY CHAIR?)  and I got to see the two nurses duke it out. My nurse lost but I really was ok with not getting a window seat.  So, here I am in chair number six again. 

When the allergy kicked in, it was different than the last time. My allergic reaction to the Taxotere was itching on my back and a beet red face that acted like sunburn.  I hated the flushing face.  It lasted for about three days and then the skin on my face peeled just like with sunburn.  This time, just my chest itches with no face involvement. 

We are home now after doing a quick Walmart run to find some new movies to watch and some cat treats. (Must have cat treats...must keep cat calm and happy...)  I am very tired (I'm not getting my usual steroid high like I usually do...bummer.) but the nausea medicine seems to be working because I was able to eat a sandwich for lunch with no repercussions.  Tom picked up my prescription for the nausea medicine that I have to take tomorrow and Friday so we are good to go with those.   (YEAH TOM!)

The nurse told me that the Adriamycin is a vesicant and, if put directly on the skin, will cause your skin to die and they have had patients that had to have surgery to remove the dead skin after it leaked out of the IV.  I asked her about the veins and arteries and she said that the walls of the veins and arteries are stronger and can take the medicine fine.  I find that amazing.  Veins and arteries are apparently built to take a lot of poison before collapsing...well, that is good for me, huh?  LOL

Well, I believe I've probably bored you guys enough with chemo talk.   I'm going to call it a day and go vegetate in front of the TV with some movies. 

Hope everyone is having a great day...mine really hasn't been all that bad for a chemo day.   8-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ready for Turkey Day!!

My son called me last night.

I LOVED hearing his voice.  I laughed so much my sides hurt.  He has my sense of humor and when we get together, the jokes go on and on. 

He is doing well and surviving the winter weather in North Dakota.  They had snow before Halloween up there.  That's just wrong.  I know he will be glad to leave that weather when his time to move comes around.

He told me my granddaughter (his daughter) Alyssa has juvenile diabetes.  From everything I've ever read about juvenile diabetes, this means that she will have to take insulin for the rest of her life because juvenile diabetes is type 1.  Keep her in your prayers as she and her family adjust to this disease.

Talking to him is like opening up my heart and getting it filled to the brim.  He says he might come down this summer.  I think he wanted to come home for Christmas but he understands that this isn't a good time to introduce new germs into the house. 

I got some groceries this morning.  (Yeah ME!)  I finally figured out what we're doing for Thanksgiving.  I got some boars-head maple cured turkey breast meat (already cooked and sliced so all I have to do is heat it up), some Sister Shubert's rolls, some mixed veggies, and I'm going to make some Velveeta cheese potatoes.  This way, it is all easy and if I'm not up to it eating it, at least Tom will get a nice turkey meal.  I've been worrying over what I was going to do for Turkey day for him.  I feel much better about going into the next chemo round now that I have that planned. 

Hope everyone is having a great day! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Something Usable?

All I can think about today is that I only have two more good days left before the AC Chemo starts.  Ugh.

Panic mode...I hate this.  I go into a fight or flight mode every time.  (Flight is looking pretty good right about now.)

Shadow doesn't look concerned...OH for a cat's life...8-)  Of course they don't live that many years, so I guess I'll continue to feel blessed in that regard.  8-)

Yesterday's Max Lucado Daily Devotion was based on Romans 8:28.  "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to His purpose."

Max's part went like this:

"Everything?  Everything.  Chicken-hearted disciples.  A two-timing Judas.  A pierced side.  Spineless Pharisees.  A hard-hearted High Priest.  In everything God worked.  I dare you to find one element of the cross that he did not manage for good or recycle for symbolism.  Give it a go.  I think you'll find what I found - every dark detail was actually a golden moment in the cause of Christ.

Can't he do the same for you?"

And I wonder...can he?  Can he take this dark time in my life and turn it into something usable for the good of Christ?  Is it possible that I can come out on the other side of this being more and not less than I was before?  I don't care about the external scars left behind.  Can I get past the internal scars that say I am susceptible to something that could kill me? 

I believe I can and will.  I believe I have what it takes no matter how hard the road gets.  I have felt God holding me in His arms, caring for me, and loving me through this so far and I know he isn't going to stop now.  (That doesn't mean I won't whine and moan along the way...I have to vent or go crazy.)

My thanks to everyone supporting me out there because you are just an extension of God's arms around me.  Don't stop now...we're heading into the hardest part.  Please keep those prayers going up...they are the most important part of this fight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Shopping Day

Well, we had quite a day yesterday.

This is the last weekend that I'll be able to get out for the next ten weeks so we were trying to get all the Christmas shopping done.  Didn't quite make it so I guess I'll be doing some online shopping.

We did get my car oil changed and tires rotated which was a big accomplishment.  Since they gave us a free package for all the maintenance when I bought the car, I had to take it to the dealership.  That shouldn't have been a big deal except I bought the car in Fayettesville, TN.  Yeah, about 45 miles away but we chose this particular dealership because they gave me 120% of the blue book value on my Solara when I traded it in.  Anyway, you have to make an appointment and ours was for 9 am.  We got there about 8:30 because I wasn't sure how long it would take us to drive it.  They took it right in and had us out by 9:20.

Then we headed on to shopping.  We hit one store in Fayettesville and got a couple of presents but then we decided that it was time to eat.  We headed back to Huntsville and ate at Cheddars.  We hadn't eaten at Cheddars before (It just came to town about a year ago and we've been meaning to try it out but it always looked too busy.) so this was a new adventure.  We didn't have to wait for a seat so that was a plus (of course, it was only 11:15 so not many people were eating lunch yet.) and we got a really nice waiter.  We decided on the the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and fries.  The Philly Cheese Steak sandwich is supposed to have thinly sliced rib eye steak on it and I was a little disappointed in the amount they put on it...there was more cheese than meat so I probably wouldn't get that sandwich again if we go back.  Tom's had more meat on it but it was because he asked for no mushrooms.  We were definitely FULL by the time we left though...if you are looking for a lot of food for a really low price, Cheddars is the place.  The taste was good just wasn't made the way I wanted it.

We took my car home after that, got the truck, and headed to the base because they have some really good unique items that I wanted to look at for Mom and Carol.  I found those as soon as I walked in so that was two off my list.  I found Daryl's in several different stores.  8-)  I found one of Tom's while we were out but would have to order online because they didn't carry the exact one he wanted.  When we got home, we realized that one thing we bought wasn't what we thought it was so we headed back to Walmart to return it.  By the time we got home, we'd been going for about 9 hours.  Suffice it to say, I was one beat puppy when we got home. 

Christmas shopping is a lot of work but also a lot of fun.  Always trying to decide if what you see if the 'right' gift and if they'll see it the way you do when they get it.  Wondering if it will just be something else that gets shoved in a closet and never looked at again.  I think the main purpose is just to let them know you are thinking about them during the holidays. 

Hope everyone is having a great day today.  I am going to recover from yesterday and mostly relax today.  8-)