Margot Update 19

December 13 - Still with the swollen eye! Better, but I look dreadful. To just add to the wonderful look I have noticed my eyebrows have gone all wacky! They normally are quite smooth and lie down in a very normal growth pattern. They have become very bristly and dry, cross over one another and I have to paste them down (what few of them there are!) with lotion! I thought I was all done with surprises! They also itch! A few hairs have begun to grow on my little bald head but they are crimped and fuzzy so I certainly hope that is not what I have to look forward to - I ordered red and curly, not bent and fuzzy! My boobs are lop-sided and sore - I am not in the best mood, can you tell? Feeling very cranky and out-of-sorts - I don't want to play this game any more!

December 14 - Had a snit fit last night. I really was in a bad mood! Went to bed before Harold and went around the bedroom throwing things and muttering to myself. Slamming things is a better word! Of course, they were all soft things so I wouldn't hurt anything! Mostly clothes and pillows!

Eye better today, still a bit swollen but now the other eye is irritated so they are at least even! Today they just feel really dry. Carrying around a bottle of artificial tears with me! I put make-up on and got all gussied up because today was "date day" at the Grand Floridian Hotel. Sassy Simone won out as it was raining - actually, I thought we were having a monsoon (had it rained like this during my restriction? Of course not!) and if she got wet - she would just perk up instead of flatten out - one good thing about industrial strength hair! The hotel was just gorgeous. Beautifully decorated trees everywhere and the main tree in the lobby was two stories high! The gingerbread house was awesome! It was large enough that a person worked inside selling - gingerbread! Jen bought a "roof shingle" and sure enough - it tasted just like a gingerbread flavored Styrofoam roof shingle! Every single thing, including the smallest flower was created from sugar, flour, chocolate, honey, egg whites, apricot preserves????, I think that was it and the amounts used were staggering. The whole lobby smelled like gingerbread, as that was where it was located. We had lunch at the Grand Floridian Café, courtesy of my very kind mother-in-law, Johnnie Roberts! She decided we all needed a very nice treat for all we had been through these past months. Food was excellent. We then just wandered around looking at all the beauty that Disney always manages to create and as we were leaving there was a man roasting chestnuts - over an open fire (grill) of course! He handed then out to everyone who walked by - they are quite tasty and it was a lovely way to end the day. Slept all the way home but it was a nice comfy feeling.

Before I forget, if you want to send someone directly to the BC Journals use this new link - The old link was for the construction site.

December 15 - Such an odd feeling this year to have Christmas just be around me but not be an active participant. I am making ornaments as gifts but still no tree and no plans to go shopping. Actually am afraid of going shopping this year even though I always enjoy the decorations. This dreadful flu that is going around is a bit scary and even though I am off restriction, my immune system still is not at 100% and I just don't want to chance it. I made it this far with out anything too major happening and want to keep it that way! Eyes much better - just dry and itchy. This must be a combination of dry eyes from both chemo, weather and not enough eyelashes to filter out junk. Will increase my fluid intake and see if that helps. Feel just fine otherwise.

December 16 - Nice day, busy with ordinary things. Lunch with Jen, printing at Office Max, to the post office, to get photos developed and to the grocery store. Tired, but oh so normal! Ended up the day with Jen and I making ornaments until about midnight!

December 17 - Nothing could make this a bad day! This would normally be my chemo day but instead I went to get Leaky Louise filled! Chest muscles feeling tight and he said I might be sore but at least I am even for the time being. He said I am sore (remember I said my boobs hurt) because the expanders are filled to the max and are large and they are hard.

All during the day I would look at the clock and compare what I would have been doing and what I did do! At three o'clock I was on my way to get a fill instead of being hooked up to chemo drugs! Still got poked by a needle but the difference is sooooooooooooooo great! Harold was off work so he went with me and we went out to early dinner.

A very fun thing happened while at the doctor's - I took ornaments and fudge with me for the office staff and Dr. J. as they are all really great. Dr.J opened his after my visit while I was giving out the other gifts and caught me before I left. I was the last patient of the day so we all were in the hallway inside the offices. He was asking how I made the ornament and I was answering sort of vaguely because usually if I go into the whole explanation of dried clay, embossing, firing, etc., people tend to get a glazed look in their eye and you can tell they are sorry they asked me! Well, he kept asking so I got more detailed and lo and behold he knew just what I was talking about because he has kilns of his own and does clay work! Even more surprising, he also does glass fusing so then we got to talking about the hot glass that I do (now the office staff has that glazed look in their eyes but were too polite to interrupt us!) and I got to impress him because I write about hot glass for a stained glass magazine, Glass Patterns Quarterly. I have never impressed a doctor before - or only maybe because I healed quickly or something like that! I am bringing in some fired enamel products for him to try out on his own glass fusing projects on my next visit! How cool is that! It was certainly a lot more fun to talk about art than cancer or surgery!

Now for some sad news, my daughter, Jaime had her tonsils out today. Hopefully, she will be better now as she has been having a lot of bouts with strep throat and other things to which they feel the tonsils contributed. She teaches at Southern Methodist University in Dallas so her voice is very important! This is her down time between classes so is the best for surgery but with two little kids right before Christmas, it is a hard time of year. Luckily, her husband, Thad, is great and she will have the time to get better. Worst of all is that I cannot go and be there with her. That is a frustrating part of this whole thing, the need to be so very careful is constantly on my mind.

December 18 - Pretty tired today but not so much that I had to sleep! Of course, I didn't get up until 9:30 so maybe that's why! Love it, love it, love it! Made fudge and wrapped gifts. Best of all I will not be sick today or tomorrow or the next day!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yea! No dreadful constipation! Double yea!!!!!!! Leaky Louise is a bit sore but not unbearable, more like twinges of pain now and then than a steady soreness.

I know I am a long way from being done with all this, as a matter of fact, you really are never done once you have had cancer, but the worst parts are in the past now. I must say, though, that I tend to resent it a bit when someone assumes that because chemo is over I am all done. It's like - okay now you should be back to normal. If I say I am just tired now, I sometimes get, "Yes, well we are all tired this time of year." That is most definitely true, but I bet they are not so weary that even their fingernails are tired! I am still bald with a very weakened immune system and every cell in my body is strained to try and keep up with light daily activity. My brain still seems sluggish but seems better each day. Not asking for sympathy here, just stating that because chemo is over it doesn't mean you are instantly all better. Please remember that for your family and friends. I think maybe people just want you to be all better so if they say it - it will be so. It is just a bit startling when that happens as it seems that they feel since my chemo is over and it has been three whole weeks now since the last one that I should be fine!!!!!!!!!!! That is sooooo not true!

Okay, enough of the complaining. Jaime is doing very well. I spoke to her tonight! I was amazed that she was able to talk. She is still pretty drugged up but she was coherent! Surgery went well, I had sent her the anesthesia "recipe" they used for me when I had surgery and she passed it on to her doctor and she wasn't nauseated after the anesthetic -she is usually feeling like dying would be preferable! Me too, before this new recipe. It is "You were given to prevent nausea: (1) Zofran, Decadron, Reglan (2) plenty of IV fluids and nistavil IM (sp) in PACU (3) Narcotic used - Dilavdid." This is exactly how the nurse wrote it down for me and I keep it very handy and always give it to the anesthesiologist when they come in to talk to me. So far, so good and I have normally in the past been very, very sick from the anesthetic.

December 19 - Full day planned. Going with Jen this morning to deliver her gifts to her team where she works. She made ornaments for everyone and they are gorgeous! Everyone there is aware of me and my situation as she was off for all my chemo days and the two days after. Jen thinks it would be good for everyone to see I look just fine. It does make people feel good to see that someone that has had cancer and has been through chemo still looks fine. We are then going out to lunch. After that, on to the post office to send my packages and deliver fudge. They are all very kind there and take good care of me throughout the year. Next fudge delivery, Office Max where they take care to make me wonderful color copies for my classes and packets, then on to Eckerd's where they do all my 35mm photos. By then it will be time to get ready to go to Wings - it is Friday after all! Have to have a big batch of fudge and assorted goodies for everyone there, they are like extended family! Been going there for fifteen years! Our waitress and friend, Sandy, just brings our food when she sees us!

Okay, I did say I would share everything with you so…………….you have all seen me in my various wig personas, now I want to share one more persona with you. I am sure you remember all my anguish about losing my hair. I am still not all the way comfortable with it, go around the house and out in my yard for a bit but so wear my wigs out in public. I took the following photo for myself originally but decided to share it with all of you this week and I am not exactly sure why - just that I feel I should as I have already bared my soul and my heart in these journals. So, this is what I look like most of the time. I must do this quickly before I lose my nerve, I feel a bit weepy at the moment.

On that note I shall wish you all Happy Holidays.

Love to all,

Margot - a.k.a., Lop-sided Louise, Hard Rock Hannah, Happy Holly, Tired Tina - Brenda Braveheart Warrior Queen has gone to take a well deserved rest. She worked very hard for me, won my battle and is available for anyone who needs her. Just ask and she will come.

Introducing Bald-headed Beatrice.

After reading through the updates,
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