Update 59

November 27 – Just finished up at Jen’s house and I must say it all looks great!  We color washed her dining room walls and Harold put up light fixtures, ran cable, fixed drywall, etc. Had to go back today as yesterday I had to nap instead in the afternoon.  Didn’t feel bad, just very tired and cold.  Had a good night’s sleep and I am fine once again.  I was buzzing around her place “helping her” and I think at one point she was wishing I would get tired again!

I am sure everyone will be happy to know I think I have found the laxative protocol solution.  Will try it next week to see if I am right.  Looks like I must take the Senokot twice a day for the day of the treatment and the two days after and then can just take two before bed. When I take them after breakfast my tummy “speaks to me” all day long!  Glad to know I am not going to have to fight with that particular problem!  Please get your loved one to talk about either constipation or diarrhea as both of them, if left unchecked, can land you in the hospital!  Not usually a subject people wish to discuss but it is important none the less.  The more you talk about it the less embarrassing it gets!  Just look at me!

Found out yesterday that Jaime will be coming to visit from Texas.  How fun to have her here for a few days.  I think she wants to see with her own eyes that I am doing okay.  Be nice for her and Jen to get to visit, too.  They can do plenty of that on my “sleep day!”

Hair report - Still there at this point.  Jen, me, Romantic Rose, Joan Jett and Dramatic Drucilla all go on Tuesday to the hairdresser. Sassy Simone is fine just like she is and I gave away the platinum one a year ago so am down to just four wigs now.  Last Wednesday I asked the nurse if she had any idea just when I would experience hair loss and she said that both of the drugs I am taking, Carboplatin and Taxol, cause hair thinning and that some people (like the non-stop talker) just lost a big patch (hers being right in the front) and some just experienced a general overall thinning.  What a choice!  I guess if I just lost a big patch I could buy some of that hair that is colored green or blue and glue it to the bald spot and work it into my regular red hair.  Whatcha’ think?

November 28 – Good day.  No problems of any sort.  Feeling a little down today but not because of me.  I spoke to a man last night whose wife’s recurrence after five years of remission resulted in Stage IV Advance Metastic Breast Cancer and it has spread all through her body. Unless a miracle occurs they have given her two years to live.  That is pretty sobering, I can tell you. They have a thirteen year old son and the man did not seem to be beyond his late thirties. He was very depressed and in talking to him I expressed dark fears of my own that I have not spoken aloud to anyone save Therapist Debbie.  I am “uneasy” feeling today.  This disease is so erratic.  I would ask that all of you say a prayer for this family, please pray for a miracle for them.  He said they would keep fighting but that the treatment is really taking a toll on her and she has been in the hospital twice since they discovered the recurrence in July.  We both agreed that tomorrow could be the day they discover the cure so you must fight to be here when it occurs. I almost felt guilty that I feel so well and have a great prognosis.  I believe in miracles and I hope one occurs for them.

Started putting up my Christmas decorations.  First time ever I have started in November but I feel a sense of urgency this year as I don’t know how I am going to feel as treatment progresses. I want the house decorated for Jaime’s arrival next week so we have a festive atmosphere here for her visit. Jennifer is going to Chicago on business and they will both arrive at the Orlando airport within a couple of hours of each other!  It is my treatment day so I know I will feel okay that night.  That is one of the days where I have my annual eye appointment in the morning and chemo in the afternoon.  Did I tell you I have a plastic lens in one eye?  (Soon I shall be able to qualify for bionic woman status!) Have had it for about seven years now. Had a cataract begin to form when we lived in Italy and finally I couldn’t see out of that eye at all.  The whole lens was replaced with the plastic one and then three years ago I had to go back and they poked holes in the back of the lens with a laser to let light in! (Piece of cake surgery by the way.  Jen took me and we went out to breakfast afterwards!) In the original surgery they had to leave the back of the real lens to hold the plastic lens and told me at the time that since I was so young to have the procedure done, eventually the real lens tissue would cloud and they would have to correct it with the laser surgery within en years.  Long story to say that I have to see a specialist for my eyes because of the plastic lens.  I think finally, this time I am gong to have to break down and get glasses!  My left eye sees up close and my right eye sees far away but there seems to be an area in between that now the right one sees as a bit blurry.  The left one only sees close up, had it positioned so it was set to my painting preference for distance. Modern medicine really is quite amazing! Remember my exclusive membership to the Elite Five Percent Club?  Well when I had the original eye surgery they gave me drops for my eyes and I had a reaction to the medication.  Had to hunt all over town for a pharmacy that could fill the alternate prescription!  Only one person in a thousand has that problem!  What a surprise! 

Addition – Trusses arrived today!  The truss company worked on them over the weekend to get them here. The cells are scheduled to be poured (full of concrete) on Wednesday and if all goes well the framer will be here this coming weekend and we will have the trusses up, the decking on the roof and the walls framed in!  That will be so very exciting!

November 29 – What a fun day! Felt just fine.  Jen and I and all my “girls” got our hair done.  I am now very short – still spiky and red though!  Hairdresser Mary said I have an “artichoke” haircut, popular back in the fifties!  Artichoke!!!!!!!  Fifties!!!!!!!!!!!   Hmmmmmmnnnn. Very short at the crown with hair getting longer as it moves down towards my face. If I get patchy – off it goes – if I just start to thin this may look okay.  Had a ball with the wigs.  Do you remember Romantic Rose?  Well………..she is still there, Mary wouldn’t let me bring her home!  She said, “You cannot wear that one this time like it is!”  I must say I did look a bit like Vicki Lawrence on “Mama.”  Not exactly the look I was after!  I don’t remember looking like that before! I have lost weight, maybe that made a difference???  She has kept Rose and says she will dye her “chocolate” at least that is what she was muttering as I left!  She said she will call me when Rose is presentable and then we will trim her but………….if she still looks like “Mama” she will have to go!  We were all laughing, even the other customers!  One poor woman….she came to talk to Mary and was standing in the doorway.  I had on Joan Jett and when Mary was done she pulled it right off to make way for Dramatic Drucilla!  The poor woman in the doorway almost had a heart attack!  The look on her face was just priceless!  You should have seen the floor around me when we were done.  Looked like she had been clipping a variety of dogs with all the various colors of hair – red, black, brown - some real some synthetic!  And, listen to this – guess how I wash my wigs?  With the fancy shampoo and conditioners I bought with them?  Nope.  They are all synthetic and Mary said to put them in the tub with lukewarm water and Downy fabric softener!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Leave them there for about a half an hour, rinse them out and for the ones I want spiky to dry them with the blow dryer on low setting starting with the underneath webbing then place the wig on my head or on the wig stand and use the blow dryer to dry and style!  Jen got a new “do” too, so we were “The Gorgeous Girls” when we left, “all” of us!

Preparing for tomorrow, chemo #3.  My stomach gets nervous just thinking of it.  Guess it is not quite a part of my “routine” just yet.  You can bet I will be making sure that Kerrie Kickass is with me tomorrow!  The other personas seem to be off visiting someone else at the moment.  Good, they can be a pain when they hang about!

November 30 – Whew!  That marks the end of chemo round #1!  Five more to go if I have to do six rounds and seven more to go if I have to do eight.  Either way, something is over and done!  Slept again through the treatment but was really groggy at the end because they gave me the Herceptin first while waiting for my blood counts (which are just fine!) so the pre-meds for the other drugs got started later.  Found out more info on one of the pre-meds, the Aloxi for anti-nausea.  It stays in your body for five days!  That’s quite nice, no wonder I don’t feel nauseous at all. Was kind of down today while I was there, I really did not want to be there and to have to be there once a week for the next **^&%$^* year!  However, I will do it and get it over with and keep on with my life in the process.  I can do this, especially as it does not put me down and out like the last time I had chemo. I pretty much slept the evening away, too, and am tired enough still, to go to bed on time! 

Sarcastic Sally wanted me to tell you that “motor mouth” was not there today but Refined Renee stepped in front of her and said that it would be much more polite to say that the “talker” was not present today.  What a relief!  There is another annoying lady though, who insists upon waking you up as she is leaving to see if you want a piece of candy before she goes!  Geesh!

By the time I got home all the big trucks were gone and we have poured cells! Progress!  Hopefully, this weekend the framer will be here and by Monday we will have a roof of sorts!  Yea! Yippee! Hooray!

Sadly, for me, my hair has started to thin.  Nothing drastic, I am just shedding lightly so far!  Glad I got the “girls” ready.  I also have a ton of hair so maybe, just maybe, it won’t be noticeable????????????  I solemnly promise though, if it starts to come out rapidly I will shave it all off and not complain about it for a week!  No “bag o’ hair” ritual this time around! Aren’t you glad!

December 1 – Feeling just fine today!  Putting up my tree and all my indoor decorations.  Last time it was just too much effort so am soooooooooooooooooo glad to be feeling better this time. 

December 2 – Feeling okay this morning except for the dreaded constipation problem!  Thought I had that all under control. I don’t have chemo now for two weeks, I get a week off after every three treatments although I still have to go in next Wednesday for the Herceptin to be injected.  I will probably be functioning just fine on my own about the time I have to begin chemo round #2!  In the meantime……………..

Whew!  Weepy Wanda followed me around all day today!  I was okay until I saw I had received a package that had a handmade gift in it from a very dear friend.  Well, I was on my way out to do errands and I had to go back in the house and have a good cry.  I was just so overcome by her kindness and that led to me to think of all the other great kindness’ people have shown me and I was overwhelmed by that and then ole’ Feelingverysorryformyself Francine came along and stuck her two cents in about why I needed such kindness’ and well….to make a long story short (or shorter anyway!) I then had to fix my eye makeup before I could leave!  So in the space of about fifteen minutes I ran the complete gamut of emotions. I did run my errands and when I returned there were a couple of wonderful cards in the mail so I went in the house, wrapped myself in the beautiful crocheted throw that my friend made for Freezing Frieda, curled up in my favorite chair and had a good soft cry of gratefulness for knowing so many wonderful people! Not all crying is bad, it can be such a release for the soul.  I must admit that I have never cried much in my life, always saw it as a sign of weakness.  Therapist Debbie taught me about the value of crying and I must say, she was right.  I don’t feel weak at all, just relieved and it feels quite nice not to try and force it away like I used to in the past.  Let’s hear it for ole’ Weepy Wanda!

December 3 – Well……………what a day was today!  Action non-stop!  All the trusses are up and tomorrow they will return and do the roof decking and we will have a building!  Cooked all morning to provide lunch to all the workers and to friends who came over that have been helping Harold with the block work.  Had to keep coffee brewing and act like Restaurateur Raquel!  Harold was running out and about all day picking up stuff the framers needed as he is the General Contactor!  He is as proud as a peacock, he is!  They framing crew kept commenting on what a great job whoever it was that had done the block work and marked out the straps and bolts for the trusses!  I finally made him go and tell them that he did it and they told him they needed him to come and work on the million dollar homes they are doing so it would be easier on them! The man had a swelled head all day long!  He does deserve it though!  Had company all day, neighbors stopping in to see the progress – great fun!  But…………I am exhausted now.  I did not rest yesterday afternoon like I should have, too busy and today was impossible.  I am going to bed at 9 p.m. tonight!  I must remember to make myself rest on the second day afternoon so I don’t get so tired, although sometimes that is easier said than done!  However, if all I am is tired I am so very grateful!  Tired I can live with and that is the key word here, to live!

Hair is mostly coming out when I wash it and I found hairs stuck in the wax I use for my side wisps!  Doesn’t seem to be shedding on my clothing or on my pillow and yesterday I opened all my car windows and the sun roof as I was driving to see if any hairs dislodged but it was only dirt that got stirred up.  Whew! What if all my hair had blown off! Now that is a picture in itself!  Just thinning presents a problem of its own.  I realized that if it just thins I am pretty sure I am not supposed to color it while on chemo.  Now picture that if you will…..gray and brown hair tipped with flaming red!  How attractive!  I wonder if it actually grows at all on chemo?  I wouldn’t think so.  Maybe it will just stay like it is now.  Hmmmmmnnn, I must ask about this. Enquiring minds want to know!

Until next time,

Margot,   a.k.a., Keeper of the Perky Twins, Kerrie Kickass, Romantic Rose (maybe),
Joan Jett, Dramatic Drucilla, Sassy Simone, Sarcastic Sally, Refined Renee, Weepy Wanda, Freezing Frieda and Restaurateur Raquel.

After reading through the updates,
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