Update 27

February 9 - Very sore, but from gardening!!!!!!!!!!! The Twins are still sore but it is getting a bit less. I can sleep on my side as long as I still give them time to "settle." That dratted port scar is the one that hurts still. Feels like I am being pinched hard. Hopefully it is the internal sutures and when they dissolve, I will be fine. I will be checking with Dr. J when I go to see him on the 20th.

February 10 - Just had a weeping episode. Under control now but was certainly unexpected. I was just looking up the phone number for the oncologist to verify my appointment tomorrow and when I touched the notebook I kept throughout the chemo treatments, I just burst into tears. It was like the contact with the cover channeled all that had happened directly to my brain like it was an electric current and I was in overload in a second!!!!!!! Good grief! Took me about an hour to calm down!

A really, really wonderful note from "M's" friend - she says that, "M is at work today, sore and tired, but she is wearing a very nice wig. It's the first one, before she just wore a knitted cap. It's very pretty!" Sooooooooooooooo glad to hear that. "M" knows that all of you are praying for her and look….it seems to be helping! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Another reader wrote me the following and I just love it. Peggy has had her mastectomies (just last October) and beginning reconstruction already and was talking to a friend of hers who will be having a mastectomy very soon. The friend was so very grateful that Peggy was willing to share her experience and Peggy told her she could do nothing less, that there was an unwritten pact between breast cancer women to "Accept all help graciously when you are the one in need, and then graciously help the next one in line - until the line ends and breast cancer is eradicated." What a statement!

A dear friend of mine came by today with nice, hot, homemade soup, a crusty loaf of bread and a box of Russell Stover chocolates! Is she an angel or what? She stayed for a while and we chatted. It as so very nice to see her. She was very concerned she was making me tired and I assured her I am feeling just fine. I get very tired around bedtime but that is a pretty normal time, the only difference is that sometimes I feel exhausted when a half hour before I was fine. Kind of like the afternoon "nap NOW" thing used to be. Can't remember the last time I needed a "nap NOW' to be truthful! Yea! No complaints, I can handle this bedtime exhaustion easily, just go to bed!

February 11 - Well, no doctor visit today after all. He was injured, got poked in the eye playing basketball and won't be in the office today so I have to make a new appointment. I will be jumping out of my skin by the time I go to see him this first post-chemo time!

Hair report! Filling in nicely, actually a little too nicely. Seems I also have "fur" growing down the sides of my face and down my neck on either side of my ears!!!!!!!!!! I always had peach fuzz but never "fur!" Luckily it is very light, you can only see it if the light is behind me but then………..well……….I am furry!!!!!!!!!!!! Stuff is about ¼" long!!!!!!!!! I can pinch it between my fingers for heaven's sake! And only on my face and neck - nice, highly visible areas!!!!!!! Harold mentioned yesterday as we were having breakfast on the patio that I seemed to have more hair on my face than I used to……that was an understatement! I definitely did not order fur!!!!!!!! My friend Lisa told me that when her hair grew back it came in, in some very odd places and she looks just fine now so I am going to assume for now, that it will rub off eventually like new baby hair. I will ask Dr. M (oncologist) when I see him but does anyone have any input on this phenomenon?

Got an interesting email this morning from a new friend via the journals. She, herself, suffers from clinical depression and after reading some of my entries of last week she cautioned me to be aware that I might be suffering from mild depression and under the circumstances that would be completely normal. She just wanted me to be aware of the symptoms so that I didn't let it get out of hand instead of getting help if it became worse. What good advice! I will certainly be on the lookout and will give her the job of monitoring my correspondence for any signs and alert me in case I miss it myself. Sometimes it takes someone outside your circle to notice things like that. Thinking on it, how could a person not have days of depression after going through all this? I think maybe that would be the abnormal situation!

Right now I as I am typing I am contemplating on just how lucky I am. I am at peace today, the dog is at my feet, the cat is in the chair behind me, both are napping, and Harold is asleep in our room having worked all night. I am surrounded by love in my own studio in my lovely house with my wonderful garden, I am full of energy, my hair is coming in, I have perky boobs and all is good in my little world. Sound a bit like Pollyanna, don't I! Certainly like her better than Weepy Wanda!

February 12 - Well, a new observation. Had to staple a bunch of stuff today and guess what? My right boob jumps every time I staple something! Never realized how much your chest muscle was used in stapling and since my muscle is now on the surface instead of buried under breast tissue it gets to show off! Same thing happens when using a three hole punch!!!!!!!! Who knows what other delights I have yet to discover! People who don't know me will wonder how I got such developed chest muscles when the rest of me is……well……how shall I put it …….a wee bit softer!!!!!!!!

I go see the oncologist next Wednesday so I will still get to see him before I leave for Vegas. They first made the new appointment for March 9 and I was thinking that was a whole extra month! Geez, am I ever satisfied? First, I am apprehensive that I have to go see him so soon and then I am apprehensive that I can't! Okay, I am now glad to be seeing him next week!

Hair report - Looks like it should be easy to have a messy hairstyle when it grows in as the growth pattern seems to have quite the swirl pattern going on. I can catch enough between my fingers to actually twist a bit! Feels more like hair now when you brush it backwards. Looks the same though. Had to pluck my eyebrows again under the arch. Be nice when it grows in the eyebrow line instead of where it is not wanted!

A fun thing has happened. My retail website was just posted on a website devoted to my old high school in Michigan. Waterford Kettering, Class of 1965. As a result I am now corresponding with the exchange student we had from Finland that year and a woman who now lives in Vegas and had breast cancer two years ago and we are meeting for lunch at my hotel when I get there!

So much work to do but am trying to teach myself to take it in small doses and to not overdo! I must watch my health from now on - can't waste my second chance at life! If I could just get the diet thing under control! Perky boobs and thin???????? No one would ever speak to me again! I'll settle for being less pleasingly plump, thank you very much! Never been thin, don't expect to be now at this stage of the game. As I am moving around more and becoming much more active I feel things will begin to improve in that department, too. Been fairly sedentary these last seven months!

I know I do go on about my garden but was walking around this morning, looking at all the flower buds that will be opening soon. Makes me realize, once again, how gardens reinforce the idea of the circle of life. No matter what, gardens renew themselves as does all life. I have vowed to spend more time out there now. I love it, it makes me feel good to be out there and it is a known fact that gardeners live longer! Jennifer just told me that fact and I know it has to be true. Gardeners are never done - they have to live longer!

February 13 - You can now call me Cat Woman! Now the fur is half way across my face! I was putting on my make-up this morning and dusted on the loose powder and….Horrors!…..there it was! The powder just showed it up nicely! Needless to say I got all that powder off in a hurry! Again, it only shows up when the light is just right but………….Cat Woman I am! Now, I do remember asking for more hair but I guess I should have more specific. I really did mean just on my head!

I swear, that port scar is going to drive me crazy. It now feels, again, like the inner sutures are trying to work their way up and out like they did last time. It just plain hurts. Not major pain, just enough to be uncomfortable and very annoying. I see the general surgeon on Tuesday and Dr. J on Friday so someone will be able to tell me when this will calm down. The soreness is still there from the liposuction but really is finally beginning to lessen. I find I am sleeping more on my back now than I used to because nothing gets squashed! The implant scars do not hurt at all, as a matter of fact there is no feeling there on the outside, only when they get smushed do I feel anything.

Had company today and they haven't seen me since before all this happened. They said I looked no different at all except that I had red hair that wasn't mine! She is a retired nurse and agreed that it is twofold when someone sees me for the first time since finding out I was ill (you know I don't like that word since the cancer never made me ill, I had surgery and chemo which did make me ill for a while but I was never ill from cancer, so, what was I???????? Maybe attacked by cancer is a better word!!!!!!!!) that I really do look and feel just fine. They are glad I am okay but very glad, too, to see you can come out of this attack (yes, I like that word), not be devastated and able to get on with your life.

Next week will be a whirlwind week. See my accountant on Monday for Taxes, general surgeon on Tuesday to check the mastectomy scars for any sign of returning cancer (it usually happens during the first year if it is going to), the oncologist on Wednesday to see how my blood looks as far as cancer cells are concerned, am free on Thursday, see Dr. J on Friday to check implants and scarring and leave for Vegas on Saturday! I still have to get stuff ready for Vegas but not a ton left to do, thank heavens. I can do stuff in my room at the hotel if I have to. I will get enough rest during next week to stay energized for my Vegas work week. Also getting ready to go to teach in Knoxville in March and have begun write magazine articles again (not crazy deadlines though!) so feel I am getting back on the road to full recovery! I will enjoy life more this second time around!

One more week of writing and you all will get a break while I am in Vegas! I would imagine after I report on how I got through that week and how I felt, that I will cut down on my journal entries. I know I said that before and didn't do it but I really think I will after Vegas.

Photo of the week is C.A.T. in a pile of leaves. She really is a pretty cat but looks a bit possessed in the photo. She was in "attack mode" with that leaf pile. Her really gorgeous feature is her tail which you cannot see. It is as big and full as a raccoon's tail! She is very soft (real cat fur!) and she doesn't shed!!!!!!!!! What a lovely cat!

As always, good health and happiness to you all!

Margot a.k.a. Cat Woman, Perky Polly, Keeper of the Perky Twins and Thankful Thelma!


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