November 5 – Colored my hair last night – Ruby Fusion! Very Rich Auburn according to the box. Figured since I was going to lose my hair again, this time it would go out in a blaze of glory!
November 7 – Ranting Rita is back! Here is another thing to add to the list of things not to say to someone who has just found out their cancer has returned and will be undergoing treatment for months! Yesterday someone told me that this was just a bump in the road. A bump in the road? A BUMP IN THE ROAD!!!!!!!!!! The whole freaking highway is crumbling and she calls it a bump in the road! Calm down Rita, calm down. My face just froze in place so I am not sure she even noticed the lull in the conversation.
I think Harold might be okay after all. He just told me he was going to Home Depot to get rebar and mortar and how was he going to pay for it? Use the Home Depot credit card? I said, “No, their interest is too high, we will save that for a dreaded emergency.” After a moment he said, “And just what qualifies as a dreaded emergency?” in an amused voice. I ran to him and hugged him and said I was so happy to hear him making a joke and getting his sense of humor back. (You really cannot live with me without a sense of humor!) All the block work is done, trusses will be delivered in three weeks and he will be calling for an inspection later this week. Onward! I am so glad he has this huge project to help him cope with this latest “bump in the road.” Okay, maybe I am not so calm after all!
A poignant story here. The boy next door is one of my Halloween groupies and when his mom told him about me she said he got very upset and said, “Not Margot! She is too nice!” and was visibly upset. I saw him yesterday and told him I appreciated his concern and that I was sure I would be fine and that we still have a date for Halloween Horror Night next year and when he finished the book I lent him to come over so we could discuss it. I was out working in my yard and I saw him coming and it looked like he was going to go out in the street o avoid me so I walked out to meet him in the street. He is fifteen. What could he possibly think of to say to me? I could see he was a bit teary but of course (being fifteen and a boy), was not about to acknowledge that! We talked for a bit and then he went on down to the other groupies house and pretty soon they all came back to see if I had gotten in the Halloween mask I had ordered. I did and we all took turns trying it on and we all decided it did not fit me very well since I have no neck at all and I look like the hunchback of Notre Dame instead of being scary so it will be added to the mask box for them to choose from next year. Jeff obviously told them about our conversation and they know they can act normal around me. I will be very careful to let them see that cancer doesn’t ruin my life. I was not all sad and weepy, wringing my hands in a state of woe, instead I was all dirty and sweaty like I usually am when working outside and willing to take a break to discuss our joint Halloween venture.
Still on Halloween I have a couple of funny stories to tell you. First, Jeff and his mom were talking after our night out last Saturday and the conversation got onto keeping up with the fourteen month old grandson and Jeff said, “Ha, you should try and keep up with a fifty year old!” Sweet boy, he gave me a few extra years there! She said she just had to tell me that and I did get a kick out of it. Then my granddaughter, Chloe, made this assessment as only children can do. She and Jaime were discussing Peeps and Halloween. You know what Peeps are, the marshmallow shapes with colored sugar on them that come out at all holidays. Every holiday I send them some Peeps along with other crazy grandmotherly stuff and have taught them the proper way to eat them. In case you don’t know that information it is that you have to open the package and let them air dry for at least a week so they become chewy because right out of the package they are too squishy. Then they are wonderful! Jaime thinks they are disgusting as do most adults (not Daughter Jennifer, though) and Chloe told her, “The reason Gramma likes Peeps and Halloween is because she is just a kid in an adult’s body.” Lordy – out of the mouths of babes! Then a friend of mine told me, did I realize there was something odd about the Saturday night venture, that usually when adults and kids go to party stores it is the kids who are buying the stuff with the adults help, not the other way around! Hmmmmm…..her point was???????????
Well, I guess Ranting Rita has calmed down after all. Bump in the road my you know what!
Today will be drinking tons of liquid, at least forty-eight ounces of plain water and squeezing the red rubber ball every hour to try and get my veins pumped up for the dreaded IV. Both Brenda Braveheart and Kerrie Kickass will be in attendance when that is happening! Not nervous at all, at least right now, I just want it to all get going! I think (and really hope) that once things are moving along on a weekly schedule it will become a routine and not so traumatic as having one every three weeks and all the building up to it. We will revisit this statement at a later date!
Oooooooo – another story. My friend Kit wrote to me last time with Support 101 emails. She was going to start again (maybe Support 102 this time?) and after hearing about Kerrie she decided this time it would be called Support KAS2. Love it!
One more story – I promise this is the last one for now! Webmaster Marian just wrote and told me this one. “I shared your KK paragraph with a friend who's never been able to read your updates (some people are just like that) She loved it and went and read the whole update! Now that's progress.” I tell you, humor will get them every time! If I can laugh then maybe it is not quite so bad after all. Marian actually writes to me now as KK!
Marian is working her magic once again. She says the time has come to add a mailing list to the BC Journals. My update list is always growing and this way people who don’t know about it can get updates right in their email if they go to the BC Journals Home Page and sign up. If you receive this you will be automatically added to my mailing list unless you tell me otherwise. The list is my own personal property and no one has access to it but me, so do not worry that it will get out somewhere. She is also adding a Blog to my regular website and I will be posting all the Halloween photos and addition/studio photos there in case someone wants to see them. We started the Blog, but it is not ready yet, I am still learning how to operate it and it gives me something to do, too. I will let you know when it is ready.
November 9 – Surgery is over and once again I am getting by with just Tylenol. Far cry from last time when I had the bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction and port surgery and chemo. Worst thing this time was getting that *&^^$^%^* IV put in! Took the nurse two tries to get blood drawn and I knew that did not bode well for the IV and sure enough, even though I requested the anesthesiologist to put in the IV, he took five tries but I was numbed so it was just stressful and only hurt when he gave me the numbing shots. Tried my hand three times but apparently the vein rolls so he nicked it three times before giving up on it. That is where they put it last time and that Dr. got it in the first try. So I guess even having the anesthesiologist doing it is not a guarantee of success. I even drank a gallon of water on Monday and squeezed that red rubber ball all day, even right up to getting the blood drawn. Drats. Spent the whole live long day there though! Arrived at 7:30 didn’t get in for surgery until after 11:00, that took about 1 ½ hours I think since he put the chemo port in the right shoulder and then went back into the lumpectomy site and took about 3” in diameter more tissue. He told Harold that he felt he got it all but actually we are not sure yet where “all” is! Didn’t get out of post-op until around 4:00 and then finally left Rapid In and Out around 5:00 – just in time for that traffic! No nausea again from anesthesia – yea! Stopped at Starbuck’s for a coffee – I had nothing all the live long day from 5:00 a.m. until 4:00 when I finally got some water and unsalted soda crackers! YUM! Came home, took some Tylenol, Harold fixed me a sandwich and I was asleep within an hour or so in my recliner! Got up this morning and I am just fine. Sore and still a bit sleepy but other than that I am A-okay! I do fine with surgery – it is the prep stuff that gets me! Don’t know what anything looks like as I am still all bandaged up. I hope it looks as good as the lumpectomy surgery scar as that was only about an inch long and would have just about completely disappeared after awhile.
I want to clarify about having a bilateral mastectomy and then a lumpectomy since usually it is the other way around. No matter how much tissue they take in a mastectomy you still have tissue left there and in your whole body so when the lump appeared and was removed it was a lumpectomy. Does that help? I have had several people be very confused by that so hopefully that clears it up.
PET scan is rescheduled for Monday. Couldn’t do it any sooner because my muscles have to relax after surgery so all the “stuff” doesn’t go directly there and give a false reading. Just called the oncologist to see if the “stuff” on Monday would affect the chemo on Tuesday. What fun to try and get all this sorted out! At least I don’t feel stressed.
November 10 – Feeling pretty chipper this morning. Shoulder hurts a bit, biopsy site is just sore. Took off the large dressings and there are steri-strips over the incision for the chemo port placement, different direction than the last port scar but placement of the port itself seems the same, and it look as if he went in to the old mastectomy scar to do the larger tissue removal but I really can’t tell that for sure just yet. Pretty much slept or laid around yesterday afternoon, not much energy. I suspect part of that is stress relief! Just to finally have things moving along even if I don’t like the “things” is better than waiting around for them to happen!
By the way – there will be no “seeing how long it takes my hair to completely fall out” this time! Once it starts – off it goes! I do learn from experience! It will be interesting to see how it affects me this time as it was one of the worst things I experienced the last time. I ma not looking forward to it but the girls are ready to resume their positions on my little bald head when the time comes!
I have begun my preparations for chemo. Have my Biotene mouthwash and toothpaste ready to help prevent mouth sores, AYR gel for when my nose hairs fall out so my nose won’t be so irritated. Have a supply of Immodium and Dulcolax laid in for whichever way the chemo affects me this time! Printed off my own Helpful Hints page from the BC Journals website for reference. Who knew I would need then again! Now I am glad I wrote all this stuff down!
Once again, my bubble of love and prayers is forming around me due to all the wonderful people I know and those I actually don’t know but have taken the time to write to me when they heard the news. I do love being the center of attention but I really must find a better way to do it! This way kind of stinks!
November 11 – Sort of drifted through yesterday. Was okay in the morning but faded in the afternoon, needed a nap. Got out my pretty blanket from before and curled up on the couch. I am feeling battered, both mentally and physically. Can’t imagine why!
Worked outside today, have more energy today thank heavens! Planted something in the ground and fed my courtyard plants. Swept off the addition slab – all 1521 square feet of it! Oooooo……I love to say that! Actually my shoulder is very sore, not where he placed the port but on top of my shoulder and behind. They must have had my arm propped in an odd position or something or maybe my muscles are just reacting to surgery. Whatever, it is sore and the sweeping motion helps to loosen stuff up in that area. I also have a new product to recommend. Biofreeze. I get it from my massage therapist but it is available at drug stores and health stores. It really does get down in there and help to heal those aching muscles. This one is a roll-on like deodorant and is not greasy or too smelly. I also like Tiger Balm, massage therapist has used that too and it works great but is oily and very strong smelling. May go back outside later on today as being in my garden renews my spirit. I can work outside tomorrow and then I have to be very inactive on Sunday to prepare for the PET scan on Monday. Have a friend coming over that afternoon, then chemo on Tuesday (I also find out the results of this last biopsy – keep your fingers crossed for some good news for a change!), Therapist Debbie on Wednesday (need her right now I do!), post-op appointment with the surgeon on Thursday morning and deep tissue massage in the afternoon and a friend over on Friday. Busy week!
I have a huge list of questions for Dr. M so should be just full of info after that visit and treatment. Am going in by myself this time around for each chemo treatment, think it will just be easier on everyone since there will be so many more of them this time. Harold and Jen will be going to the first one and will wait it out at Starbuck’s with their cell phones handy. Modern technology – ya’ gotta love it! I will get to know people having treatment as we will all be there every week at the same time. Got out my crochet stuff and will start to crochet a lamp shade cover while I am having treatments. Forget that tablecloth from last time – still in a very long strip after all this time! I may just be able to complete a lampshade cover!
Anybody got any questions you would like me to ask the oncologist? The surgeon?
Okay, for the photo of the week I am introducing Kerrie Kickass. Jen liked one and I liked the other so I am including both of them!
Does she look like she can get the job done!
Margot a.k.a Kerrie Kickass, Ranting Rita, Brenda Braveheart
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