Update 18

December 5 - Do you just want to be eaten up with jealousy??????? Of course you do so listen to this. I just got a call from my Primary Care Provider Doctor, another Dr. M, I had written him a fax with some info for him and had mentioned how much I appreciated him and his staff through all this. It is his office after all that gets the ball rolling on referrals and such. He called personally, to say thank you for the nice words about him and his staff and to see how I was! Do I have great doctors or what!

Off to Wings tonight before I go on restriction for the very last time! Feel I must be especially careful this time as it so close to Christmas that people will be out and about even if they are sick! Also, my immune system has taken four direct hits and will be at it's lowest point, too, so that does not make for a good combination. Nothing major to report, just tired as expected.

December 6 - Remember I said Christmas would have to go on without me this year? I am sticking to that. I usually spend a great deal of time decorating the inside and Harold does the outside but both of us this year just feel drained of any excess energy. I love all the hustle and bustle of the holidays but am giving myself permission this year to just sit back and pull my life back together instead. Everything happened so fast after the initial diagnosis, then surgery and treatment became the all encompassing force in our lives that a ton of stuff just got pushed to the side. I did put out my Nativity set, though, as that did seem so very appropriate this year and a couple of small decorated trees that were within easy reach. Am going to put some bright red poinsettias outdoors and that is it for this year.

December 7 - My boobs are sore! Nothing dreadful, just sore at the sides. Wonder if the implants will be more comfortable? These expanders are very dense rubber and very round (remember the flattened orange comparison?) and the implants are essentially plastic bags that will be filled with saline. No matter what - I will be glad to see the Perky Twins arrive!

Good news is that I feel stronger each day! Walked for 1 ½ miles this morning with Jen and was really tired when we got back but not falling down exhausted. We worked on Christmas ornaments all day, no nap needed today, and felt quite normal except for knowing I had to take it easy. Nice!

A touching story here - I mentioned to Harold last night that I really wanted a new washer and dryer. Not for Christmas, mind you, for the house. He said fine with him, when did I want to go shopping? Well, restriction lasts until the 13th so I said anytime after that. Early this morning he got the paper and by the time I got up, he had all the flyers with washers and dryers on them for me to see! I picked out a set and off he went! I believe he finally feels he has something he can do for me to make me happy besides getting me dinner or a glass of water! He is even building stands for them with drawers underneath, as they are front loaders. What a guy!

December 8 - another 1 ½ miles this morning and not as tired upon my return as yesterday. I tell you, our bodies are so amazing! I am quite encouraged by my progress. I really want to be as strong as possible (under the circumstances) for the implant surgery in January. Want to be able to bounce back from that like any "normal" person would! Did crash after dinner tonight, though. Sat down in the recliner and that was it for about three hours! Drifted in and out of my coma sleep then I was okay until midnight when I went to bed.

December 9 - General feeling of lethargy today. Got a few things that need taking care of and then I just might spend the day reading and napping and you know what - it sounds good! It is a gray day anyway and suits my mood! It is amazing the feeling you get when you actually give yourself permission to do - nothing! I shall try to remember this when I do feel 100% again - I think it is good for your soul!

December 10 - Actually slept all afternoon yesterday! Five hours is indeed, a marathon nap! Ready for bed at 10:30! How is that possible? I figure that my body needed all its resources yesterday to heal and needed to shut off programs that were not needed - that would be my conscious self, it seems! Up all day today, taking it easy but did not need a nap. There does not seem to be a way to gauge how I will feel on any given day. A bit frustrating but manageable.

I must share this with you - I got a very moving and emotional email today. Remember I had written about the lady in Canada who sent the BC Journals link to her friend in the United Arab Emirates and she sent it on to a friend??????? I received the following email today:

"I suspect that you don't get many emails from men and even fewer from the United Arab Emirates but I'm the husband of the friend of a friend of a friend (I think I have enough degrees of separation in that phrase) that you refer to in your journal:

I wanted to let you know that we appreciate the opportunity you have given us to share your experience. It is great that you have created a community of people who will feel less isolated during their ordeal, especially for those, like us, who are away from their home countries."

Go ahead, ask me if I cried! Good crying though. Good grief, I am crying again just reading it!

December 11 - Well today I have a good story for you. Graphic but funny - at least I think so. You know I don't have nose hairs anymore so if your nose runs - it just runs and you have to be equipped with a huge box of tissue. Well, I have been working a bit with dried clay and underglazes, which are liquid clay with color added. The clay is very drying to your skin. The chemo robs your body of moisture so keeping hydrated is important. It has gotten quite chilly here so we have had the heat on at times - again dries out your skin. Apparently I rubbed my eye with clay dust on my hand and got some under my eyelid. Normally this would not be a problem but with my eyes dry it felt like a big rock, so of course, I rubbed it without thinking and that made the irritation worse. So what happens when your eye is irritated? Your nose runs! By the afternoon my nose was very sore from all the tissues I had gone through so I had to start using the AYR nose gel to help sooth it. Of course, I have no make-up on because that would make it all worse so I am about as plain as I can possible be! On to the story - all that was background material. I started to feel sorry for myself - here I am with my bald head, only half my eyelashes and eyebrows and now my eye is red and swollen and itching from all the rubbing, my nose hurts and is also a bit red from all the tissues and then Nurse Martha calls. I tell her all my woes and she, being very practical, says to roll up some tissue and stick it up my nose so I don't have to keep wiping it all the time. Are you getting a mental picture here?????? I started to laugh and said, "Like a nose tampon?" She laughed too and then I went thorough my whole bald head, red eyes and nose explanation and said," Now you want me to stick tissue up my nose so I will look like a walrus with tusks?!" I mean, the mental picture was hilarious. We both were laughing like crazy! Poor Harold, I can just imagine what he would think if he walked into a room and saw me like that!

On a more serious note, Martha has been to her doctor and since I am her sister she can no longer take hormones so must take a very low dosage of an anti-depressant to control hot flashes. That is the real kicker in all this - it just doesn't affect me, but all my family in one way or another.

I also have a couple of websites for you to visit.

http://www.lifetimetv.com/health/breast_mastectomy_pledge.html - This one is about insurance companies sending women home too early after a mastectomy. I believe I have already posted this earlier but a gentle reminder never hurts. I signed the pledge even though I was not tossed out but they would have released me after one day had I not been insistent about staying longer.

thebreastcancersite.com - this one is like the Hunger Site but helps to pay for mammograms for women who are unable to afford them.

Back to humor - Marian, my webmaster wrote to me that someone had used "my boobs jump" on a search string. Got my attention but had no idea what she was talking about. What does search string mean??? I could recall my story about my jumping boobs (remember when I discovered I could make my chest muscles jump??) - I was quite fascinated and asked for more info! She wrote: "That's what someone punched into a search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc) and found your site.…" Well…………..do you really think that person was looking for info on breast cancer?????????? Wonder what they thought when my site came up?????????

Switch back to serious - Another reader wrote to me about Chemo brain - "The other thing you may want to watch for is the mental rebuilding. Apparently this doesn't effect everyone, but I definitely had a case of 'Chemo-brain' just as new mothers experience 'Mommy-brain'. I couldn't focus and had a terrible time concentrating and remembering things. Words would come out of my mouth from no thought pattern what so ever. I found that I was exhausted each day just trying to stay engaged. It has gotten better with time, but that was something that no one warned me of and it was quite frightening." I'm glad she told me that as I will know if that starts to happen that it is normal and will go away with time. The long term stuff may turn out to be more frustrating than being right in the thick of things as I will be expecting to be on the road to normalcy and not be expecting things like this to rear their ugly heads!

December 12 - Feeling fine - only one day more of restriction! I have a date on Sunday! Harold is taking Jennifer and me to see the Gingerbread houses display at the Grand Floridian Hotel at Disney World and treating us to lunch there afterwards! The hotel is in a Victorian style and they have people walking about in period costumes. Disney World is only about forty-five minutes away from us so it won't be a long trip. Who shall I be that day? Romantic Rose with lace and flowers or Sassy Simone in dramatic black??????

I will end this week with a most wonderful email I received from my very dear friend, Lillian Davids. I have her permission to share this with you although she kept telling me she wrote it just for me. I know that but really want to share it with the whole world, as it is very, very special! Lillian is also an artist and we have painted together. We hit it off from the moment we met.

Dear Margot,

For some reason you have always inspired Poetic Peggy to write you in prose. Do you remember my "Ode to the Ornaments"? (A note here - she also collects my Margot's Heirloom Ornaments and wrote a great Ode to them last year). Well, all of a sudden rhymed sentences filled my head and I decided to pay you homage with a little ode from my heart to yours. Here it goes:


There was once a fair lady, that pranced through the land,
she had visions of beauty, and a brush in her hand.

Her strokes were golden, her lines were divine,
the enjoyment she gave others, prompted angels to chant.

She gave of herself, not a selfish thought in mind,
she wanted her art, to fill everyone's heart.

She taught in the North, she lived in the South,
her brush reached the East, the West, all around.

Her life was content, her future was bright,
her work recognized, from near and afar.

But bliss does not last, on this land of ours,
and misfortune fell upon, this damsel, like fire.

Cancer stroked with a blow, that threw her to the ground,
but nothing would deter her, for the fight of her life.

She valiantly faced, the enemy at hand,
there would be no regrets, and never looking back.

The knife descended, like a sword from the sky,
and surgery claimed, both her breasts, not her mind.

She wanted to help others, to fully understand,
what was in store for her, once the treatments began.

She started to keep notes, of everything she felt,
nothing would be sacred, nothing left unsaid.

Her most inner thoughts, fell subjects to her pen,
and she decided to email, family and friends.

So every Friday evening, the updates came without fail,
and we all joined in feeling, her progress and her pain.

She wrote with such a flair, with candor and finesse,
she made us laugh one moment, and cry the very next.

She assumed personalities, that fit her changing moods,
Brenda Braveheart was the strong one,
Weepy Wanda sang the blues.

The chemo has now ended, she has weathered it just fine,
her ordeals are in the journals, that will help many in time.

She looks forward to the future, with her family beside,
her friends are all around, encircling her with love.

There is a fair lady, that prances through the land
she has visions of beauty, and a brush in her hand.

She is a cancer survivor, she is as brave as they come,
her head is held on high, this battle she has won!!!

Okay, now ask me if I am not just weeping again after reading it once more!!!!!!!!!! Very powerful………………..

Last but not least, Magnificent Monique makes her appearance this week. I don't wear her often as the hair gets in my face. Not sure you can tell but it has a layer of micro braids on the top. This one actually belongs to Nurse Martha and is on loan to me for the duration. I must say, however, that someone told me I looked like Roseanne Barr in it and that sort of spoiled it for me! Racquel Welsh, Sophia Loren maybe, but Roseanne??????????? Hmmmmmmmmmpf!

As always, love to you all and Happy Holidays wherever you are!

Margot - a.k.a. Brenda Braveheart (I need her to continue the fight with me until after Christmas and then she can hang up her gear, hopefully forever!), Happy Holly, Lop-sided Louise, Hard Rock Hannah, Weepy Wanda and last but not least, my newest persona, Tired Tina.

After reading through the updates,
if you have any questions please email me


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