Update 63

January 12 – Thought I would start out with a Story People poem from Brain Andreas.  It reminded me of me and all my various personas!  It is called “Crowd” – “She always camouflaged herself as a crowd.  I’ve never been lonely, she said, but sometimes it’s hard to think above the noise.”  Fitting don’t you think!

Today is the day for quotes – I was going through “stuff” in my studio and came across a card form my daughter Jaime that reads – “I get up. I walk. I fall down……..Meanwhile I keep dancing.”  Isn’t that great!

I told you last time I was a ball of energy on the 11th.  Well after sending out that update, I worked all day and about three in the afternoon I went outside to play in the dirt and become Greta Gardener and then Construction Connie decided to join the group.  I need an outdoor project as well as an indoor project.  I decided to build a patio out of the leftover bricks from my first courtyard! There are not enough of them to do a whole area unless we can find a new source for them.  I am doing a 10’ x 12’ area. Began by raking up all the tons of mulch I put in that area and moving it all to another area of the yard.  Harold came home and helped me mark off the area and then it got dark so I had to come in.  Not bad for the day after chemo, especially when I have been so down about everything.  Am wondering if just talking about my feelings to both Therapist Debbie and Dr. M, helped to alleviate my fears and despair?  Maybe it is still the Decadron working!  Whatever it is, I feel great!  Maybe it is the wonder shot having its effect?  Maybe it is all three!  Will be keeping close watch on myself for the next few days to see how I am feeling emotionally as well as physically. 

January 16 – Well, I seem to be just fine!  Had a GREAT week, no down time at all so maybe the Aranesp really is a wonder shot! Feeling quite cheerful I am. My daily goals are to work in my studio all morning, do paperwork after lunch and then go outside at four o’clock to play.  Still working on my patio/courtyard (the concept has grown since the last entry!) and will include that as the photo of the week. 

I have a story to tell on myself today.  I told a friend of mine this morning and she says it shows that I still have my optimism.  Took my shower and a ton of hair came out.  Towel dried my hair and even more came out.  Now I don’t really have a ton of hair left so I really don’t know how that much came out and me not be bald but……I still had hair on my head but it is soooooooooo thin.  So I say to myself, “Maybe I should use some volumizing mousse today when I dry it with the hairdryer.”  Then I got a fit of the giggles when I realized what I had said.  Volumizing mousse!!!!!!  VOLUMIZING MOUSSE!!!!!  Who am I kidding!  Did I just not see how much hair came out and be amazed that I still had any?  Wasn’t that me with that observation????  I could use the whole bottle and not have any volume!  What was I thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I did try mega sports gel the other day and that was not so nice.  I really looked more like a porcupine!  Not exactly the look I was after! Took me a while to settle down after my giggle fit and I am smiling again just writing this!  Volumizing mousse……………………good grief!

January 17 – Chemo day.  Number 2 of Round 3. 

Today’s treatment was…………interesting.  I was actually fine, it was the info and what happened to a couple of other patients that was unsettling.  First off, you REALLY don’t want to be there getting the treatment and try to tell yourself that you are doing just fine.  So far, so good.  Then this poor woman, she was in her eighties, so very thin and fragile, and her doctor had not ordered anti-nausea drugs for whatever reason and she had to throw up in front of all of us.  And it lasted for a very long time.  Everyone felt so badly for her and tried to pretend you didn’t notice but your own stomach was rebelling knowing that the same drugs were going into you, too!  They got her settled (drugged) after awhile but your heart just went out to her.  Then another lady, again older (older than me anyway!), could not get her treatment because her port had “flipped!”  Not sure exactly what that means but I heard the nurses tell her that some surgeons did not tack it into place (mine is tacked in place this time and it was last time, too) and it could flip all the way down.  The nurses cannot flip it back into place, has to be done by the doctor, so they put in a call to his office and that poor woman was still there waiting when I left after three hours!  They must be able to manipulate it under the skin since it is all sewn up at this point.  She was getting upset, and again you feel so bad for her but are powerless to do anything about it. My point here is – make sure you speak up or be sure you have someone to speak up for you.  The first lady had her granddaughter with her but she was very young and I am sure not able to speak up to doctors and nurses. I can tell you I would not have ever allowed all those drugs given to me without the anti- nausea meds and certainly would not have sat there for three hours waiting on a doctor to call back! The poor woman also thought that the “bump” from the port surgery would go away and she had been putting ice packs on the area.  The bump IS the port!  She still had to go to his office to have it flipped and then return to get her treatment and I left at one o’clock!  Did anyone discuss with her what was happening when she had the port surgery?????????  I still have all my wits about me (more or less!)  and if I feel I am slipping I will drag Harold or Jennifer along with me to watch out for me!  You really have to be proactive in your health care – no matter what kind you are receiving.

However, as I have just stated all that about taking care of yourself in the last sentence I have to admit that I forgot – FORGOT!!! – to take the Amaryl before getting the Decadron!  I remembered as I was testing before my lunch!  Lordy!  That was stupid.  Readings were higher than before but not out of sight, thank heavens. I will probably never forget again, I was horrified!  All that worrying about having to inject myself with insulin and I FORGET to take the **^$^%&* pill!  I certainly hope that a new persona, Forgetful Flossie, has not come to live with me!  I can really do without her! 

The last thing that happened was something I overheard.  Now, it is impossible not to overhear as you are all in the same room in recliners that are right next to one another so unless you wear earplugs you will hear stuff.  This woman was talking to another woman and telling her that she had breast cancer in the early nineties and now had pancreatic cancer.  You can imagine how I took that bit of news.  You get all cold feeling inside, you just can’t help it.

Had to get another shot of Aranesp and I have new info on that situation.  Wish I could get all the info at the same time!  I will probably have to have one every week from now on until chemo treatment is over.  I told the nurse I was hoping for an over 12 reading and she did look at me oddly.  She came back with my readout and it was still 11.2, same as last week.  I said I was disappointed and she told me that as long as I am still having treatments it would be very unlikely that my reading would go up over 12 since every week I was getting more drugs to knock it down. She said after treatment ended I would still get them until it came up and stayed there.  Well, poop!  I got the impression that it could happen during treatments. I told you that last week it hurt A LOT!  The first time it hurt but not as much as last time and I was standing up for the first one and sitting down for the second one. I asked her to let me stand up, she said she didn’t know what difference that would make but whatever I wanted was okay, so I stood up and put my hands in my packets and braced myself and it didn’t hurt nearly as much so standing it is  from now on!  The nurse said to do whatever worked!

Ran some errands, came home and lay down.  Did not physically feel bad, just the tiredness you experience after very stressful situations. 

Harold has most of the window buck up so we can get an inspection soon and get some windows and doors up.  The skylights and blinds are here and the shingles should be here in a week or so.  Moving right along.

My little bathroom remodel is on hold while the weather is so great.  I have my supplies but will do that in the days it is cold outside.

January 20 – Okay, enough with the visitors!  Leg and Foot Cramps Lucinda Faye and Constipation Cora have got to go!  I thought I had these things all worked out but it seems that the more drugs I get the more I will have to adjust.  Wednesday night I leaped out of bed from a sound sleep a couple of times to just catch the cramps before they attacked!  Last night I raised my legs up and used a heating pad all night to keep my legs warm.  Worked okay.  I am also going to have to add two Senna-S tablets in the morning to my daily regimen of four before bed on the two days after chemo to try and keep Constipation Cora happy. 

Yesterday was a blah day.  Didn’t feel bad and didn’t feel good.  Sort of dragged around and napped.  Far cry from last week when I was zipping all over.  I am sure the difference is that last week I had just come off my week of resting between rounds of chemo.
Eyelashes and eyebrows are now getting thin.  Drats!  I was hoping to hang onto them this time around.  Sigh……….

I did order a new wig though.  I got a catalog from the treatment room called Chemo Savvy – www.chemosavvy.com – and it looks good in the book so we will see how it looks on my little head when it arrives.  It has a removable nape extension so you can wear it two ways.  It is medium auburn, golden brown and gold and it is a messy style – what a surprise!  Got some new head covers, too, for under the wigs.  Since I still have some hair the ones for no hair do not stay in place.   My hair is so thin that without anything in between I can feel the wig and it itches!  The new ones will cover more of my head and look to be more comfortable. I won’t name this new wig until I see if she can stay with me first!

In that catalog they had some camisoles for women who had just undergone mastectomies.  There was even a version that had a little pouch to hold the drainage “grenades!”  I would have liked them after my mastectomy surgery.  Some really cute hats, too, but I really look dorky in a hat.  I may go back to where I bought all my other wigs to see if they have one I like, but am not so keen on taking off my wig to try others on with my thin hair.  Jen said she would go with me and run interference!  We’ll see.

It just occurred to me that I don’t believe Soapbox Sue has gone on and on about monthly breast self exams!  I mention mammograms often I know, but if I hadn’t been checking myself I would not have found this last lump!  And I was just really poking around the implant wondering what was sore, not really doing a “real” exam as I thought (mistakenly as it turns out) that I could not get another lump in my breast. So…………..pick a date and on that date, each month, promise me that you will check all around your own breasts, this goes for the guys, too – remember that men can also get breast cancer – and have any lump checked out right away.  The earlier it is detected the easier treatment is.  Okay, I will get down off my soapbox now!

Here is the photo of the week.  My new patio in progress.  Are you impressed?????????  Not too bad for a Chemo Babe!

Until next time,

Margot a.k.a. Perky Polly Keeper of the Perky Twins, Greta Gardener, Construction Connie, Leg and Foot Cramp Lucinda Faye, Forgetful Flossie, Constipation Cora, Soapbox Sue and Chemo Babe!

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