Update 15

November 15 - First day of house arrest and I feel just fine, naturally! Since I have nothing to report I shall tell you about two more deodorant products that don't work! To refresh your memory, I am only using anti-perspirant when I go out and about. At home, I am trying to find a deodorant without aluminum chlorohydrate so as not to clog my underarm pores on the side I had the lymph nodes removed. So far, Tom's of Maine is the best and that is not saying a lot. I tried Kiss My Face (I swear to you that is the name of the deodorant!) and Jason Clearly Fresh and Natural. They smell okay on their own but do nothing for me when I sweat I can tell you!

An observation - I was surprised at some of the emails I received after the last update telling me how relieved people were that I looked just fine. Hadn't occurred to me that would be so reassuring to people. I was just showing off Sassy Simone! So, pass on the info that friends and family would appreciate a photo of the person going through chemo if they can't be with them. I guess your imagination paints a picture of a sickly looking person. I will say, however, that I haven't gotten pale like I have seen happen with some people. I haven't noticed anyone else looking exceptionally pale either when I go for treatment although I did see a young boy at the grocery store the other day and he was very white. Maybe it depends on what your coloring was to begin with?

November 16 - Only one big conk out yesterday afternoon. Jen and I were going over plans for Thanksgiving dinner - she's in charge this year - and I just had to go lie down, get comfy and have a little nap. We did get in a walk though. My rear end was dragging by the time I got back home but it felt good to be out for a bit and hey, at least I can still walk around the neighborhood! We are having Thanksgiving on the Tuesday before because my LAST chemo is the day before Thanksgiving so I will be only allowed sick people's food on Thursday. We have much to be thankful for this year so we will celebrate! Did I mention that would be my LAST chemo treatment??????

I have just read a book that some of you might like to read. It is titled, "Thanks for the Mammogram" by Laura Jensen Walker published by Revell. It says on the cover "Fighting cancer with faith, hope and a healthy dose of laughter." I enjoyed it but she still did not go into enough detail about what was happening to her (at least in my opinion) and her chemo reaction was much more severe than mine but there were some really funny stories in there. Glad to see someone else is writing with humor!

November 17 - Lovely normal day! Went for a mile and a quarter walk and even ran the big old heavy steam carpet cleaner in one room! Whoo-hoo!

November 18 - Another normal day, a bit tired this afternoon but it felt like normal tired after working at a computer all day, not chemo tired!

I forgot to tell you after my last chemo that my blood counts were still doing very well. Above low normal for some and just barely under for others. Not too shabby! My body is dropping down very low - a good thing Dr. M tells me, means the chemo is working and then it is rebounding nicely. A strange thing, at least to me, is that my platelets are higher than they were before I got any chemo! To recap what platelets do - they are the cells that stop bleeding. I asked Dr. M about it and he told me that sometimes when they get zapped with the chemo they go into overdrive. Not a good or bad thing - just is. No worries about them dropping too low!

My skin and cuticles are dry but my nails are continuing to grow although slower than before chemo. They are beginning to darken at the beginning of the nail bed but nothing anyone else would notice. I saw one lady, and hers had turned blue at the nail bed after her fourth chemo treatment. She was black so don't know if that made a difference, will let you know if mine turn blue. Still have my eyebrows and eyelashes. Just making observations here.

Trying not to dwell on next week. Mixed feelings. It is the LAST one (have I mentioned that yet???????) but I am going to be feeling bad yet again and probably for longer this time. Have some new things to try this time. Will be drinking out of a straw to keep liquids going in - I remember reading in a diet article that drinking out of a straw allows you to drink more liquid. They were saying to drink your drinks when you eat out without the straw so you don't consume so much soda (that would be soda pop or just pop depending on where you live!). I am also going to buy some BOOST energy drinks so I can get liquid down and not worry for those two days about trying to find something to eat. A friend told me to get some sugar free candies that say on the package not to eat too many because they have a laxative effect!!!!!!!!!!! That certainly sounds better than what I have been doing. Will look for hard candies because they would be better on my tummy than chocolate. I'll probably get this all figured out since it is the last one!

November 19 - Feeling good - wish I could go out and play! Well, still have eyebrows and eyelashes but they are thinning! Had to put mascara on my eyelashes this morning to be sure they were still there because I thought they were all gone they were so thin! Don't feel badly about losing them if they go altogether - I have heard they grow back in fuller! I'd like that, eyelashes that is, not the eyebrows! Pushed that big ole' carpet cleaner around again! Normally I would do the whole house in one day but I do get tired easily so am doing one room a day. Hey, I'm just glad I have enough energy to do that!

November 20 - Boobs are sore! Was wondering - now what? - and it occurred to me that I have been pushing that steam cleaner all over the place and it uses your chest muscles and well DUH! - what are my boobs made of now - chest muscles!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder they are a bit sore! Another observation, if I am lying on my tummy and go to push up with my arms, my boobs disappear! The chest muscle thingee again! Your muscles contract as you push up so………….. Remember I can also make my boobs jump by flexing my chest muscles!!!!!!!! Doesn't take much to amuse me!

A funny story for you - the names have been changed to protect the innocent!!!!!!!!! [You were a topic of conversation at a painting seminar this past week-end and I just have to share this very funny story with you. Now here's what happened ---
This past weekend we had a painting seminar with a well known teacher. She asked us to put a "nickel" size amount of paint on our palettes. I, of course, did so. My friend (who shall remain nameless) was sitting next to me and I noticed that not only wasn't she putting the paint on her palette, but she was looking very confused. Finally, she tapped me on my shoulder and whispered "How big is a 'nipple' size? - nipples are all different sizes." Well, I started to laugh hysterically and everyone was wondering what was going on. When I told them what she had said, they all started to laugh. It was the joke of the weekend - every time the teacher wanted to ask us to put out a small amount of paint, she'd say "put out a nipple sized amount". My friend's explanation for her misunderstanding was that she's been reading your e-mails with their frequent reference to "boobies", so she had nipples on her mind.] I can't wait to see this teacher at Vegas and go over the story again with her!!!!!!! Too funny!

November 21 - Going to have to start swishing my mouth out during the day with saltwater. Despite my best efforts with the Biotene toothpaste and mouthwash, my gums have begun to bleed a bit when brushing my teeth. Have to be very careful with the dental floss, too. Nothing major, but I don't want it to get out of control since I still have one more chemo treatment left (have I mentioned yet that it is the LAST one!)

The BC Journals website is going great guns! As of this morning the count is 440 and that is not too shabby for only being up a couple of weeks. In case you haven't been there yet here is the link, Margot Clark - The BC Journals (remember to share the link with others, too, please) I have a couple of email excerpts to share with all of you from people who have gone to the website:

"I just wanted to say that I read all of your updates and was "astounded" for lack of a more appropriate word. I did laugh and I did cry and I just found it amazing how you are documenting the entire journey through breast cancer. I'm 40, so at that age for my first mammogram. I don't go to the doctor unless absolutely necessary and considered bypassing the annual mammogram since I am not having any problems. I will make an appointment, no matter how much I don't want to. I am going to pass the link to your breast cancer journal along to my many women relatives and friends. Everyone of us should read it, because like you, most of us associate breast cancer with something that happens to someone else."

"I just found your site and have only read Update #1 so far. I'm already very emotional with what you have written. Thank you for this. I have talked to so many women who have questions and don't know where to turn. I will direct them to your site from now on."

These comments just made my day!

Okay, off to sneak out of my restriction for an hour or so to run errands. Midnight tomorrow I am free once again for a few days!

And……………..ta da………..last but not least!Here is Sophisticated Sophia! By the way, many of you have written telling me I don't look sick and that if they didn't know what I had been going through and that my hair was not like that they would never have even thought there was anything wrong with me. Does this mean I don't get my doses of sympathy anymore?????????? If so, I will take another photo and make myself look ghastly so I get my sympathy back!

Until next week!


Margot (a.k.a. Leaky Louise, Brenda Braveheart Warrior Queen is beginning to gear up for next Wednesday, too, then she can take a rest for a while!

After reading through the updates,
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