Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Month Post Chemo

Wow! I decided I wanted to post something to my blog since it's been way too long since I've done that and here I noticed that it's been one month since I was hooked up to the chemo bag.

Other than having a head cold/sinus congestion/sore throat, etc. I feel like a million bajillion dollars! Yay!

Had a wonderful Christmas holiday. Christmas Eve we went to Phil's mom's house and had a terrific dinner and then we opened gifts. Christmas Day we celebrated and then went to Phil's brother and sister in law's home for Open House. Great time had by all! Day after Christmas my sons and their wives (plus grandchildren) came over. My parents came up. My brother and his two kids came up. So wonderful to see them!

Mom Urban and I cooked a fantastic meal. The turkey was so moist! We had so many leftovers that I sent some home with Ralph and Jessica. Joe and Chrystal had too much to carry home to take leftovers.

Yesterday, Joe and Chrystal came over to borrow a ladder and I fed them leftover lasagna, then I invited them over for dinner and made a large pan of lasagna and sent the fresh leftovers home with them. :) We watched the movie Golden Compass. It reminded me of the Harry Potter movies. You have to read the books to understand the movies.

I spent all morning tracking down winter tires for our Jeep. Sears had them for $83.56 each but only had two in stock. Pep Boys has four in stock at $111.99 each but it's buy three get the fourth one free. You have to wait for a rebate to arrive in the mail. It would be much better if they gave you the discount right off the invoice.

Phil has the next two days off. I know he's going grouse hunting tomorrow morning but not sure what Friday's plans are.

My mom's surgery is next Tuesday. We found out on December 15 that she has uterine cancer but the surgeon is quite sure it's only Stage 1. He will do a full hysterectomy and biopsies of organs and lymph nodes. She may not need radiation which would be absolutely wonderful! Keep her in your prayers.

Oh, I can't believe I forgot to post this bit of info! I got the most amazing gift for Christmas! My sister contacted Kathy Zimmerman who designed the "Carol's Stitch Bits" scarf in my honor. Kim purchased the original scarf from Kathy and also bought another one for my mom! The scarves are absolutely frikkin beautiful and I can't say enough about Kathy or Kim! Wow! If you happen to be in Ligonier, PA and drive past Kathy's Kreations on Main Street, stop in. You will fall in love as I have. Yarn crafts are addictive. Yarn is addictive. If you find a shop you love, visit it often.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two weeks past chemo

I'm feeling great even though it's only been two weeks since my last chemo treatment. The beginning of this week was not good. I was very dizzy and so tired with no strength to do anything. I tried to feed my animals and had to lean up against a tree as I was feeding my goats. I almost passed out.

We've had the woodstove going day and night since before Thanksgiving. I've been very thankful for the supply of wood that my son Joe brought us. It has kept the house very warm. With the weather being so extremely cold, and the wind and ice storms plus snow we've had the past week, it's been imperative we keep the stove going. The electricity has gone out two or three times a day but then came right back on. No major power outages so far. If we keep the stove going we won't have to worry if the power goes out. We will need to haul water to flush toilets but that's about it. I can fire up the wood cookstove in the basement and can cook on that.

I couldn't sleep. Too much weighing on my mind tonight. My DAR meeting is tomorrow. I don't think I've been to a meeting since October.

Tomorrow evening we're going over to Jessica's parents house for Hanukkah dinner. I've never attended Hanukkah so I'm looking forward to finding out what happens.

I'm hoping to just get through the holidays without reliving the nightmare of two Christmases past. Every so often I wake up screaming in the middle of the night after having a nightmare about being in the hospital. Hopefully I will never have to experience that again.

Have I mentioned that I'm finally allowed to blurt out to everyone that my daughter in law Jessica and my son Ralph are expecting their first child, whom they choose to call Lima Bean, in July 2010? We are SO excited!! I'm hoping it's a boy. hehe Grandma's little secret. Don't tell! :) I love all of the names they've picked out.

I have a few more presents to buy for Christmas and then I'm done. We haven't gotten our tree yet; probably next week some time.

Our annual Christmas dinner at our house will be the day after Christmas so the boys can spend Christmas day with their in-laws. Mom and dad will be up. Not sure if my brother and his kids will be here but my sister can't make it this year. Joe and Chrystal and the kids, along with Ralph and Jessica will be here. I've asked Phil's mom to help me cook so she will definitely be here! I have a 22 lb turkey to cook. I have to figure out how long that bird will take to thaw out! I'm figuring mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, stuffing, and sweet potatoes to round off the meal. Then my mom's applesauce cakes for dessert. Wonder if we should pick up a few pies?

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Last Chemo Treatment

You have no idea how much I tried to get out of today's chemo treatment! I wanted to blow it off and head anywhere that is nice and warm and where I wouldn't be getting poked and prodded by anyone wearing a white coat! :)

I had a year where I was cancer free. I'm hoping that this time it's forever!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving

Phil got up yesterday morning and went bird hunting. He took Reno. They got two pheasants. Reno retrieved both to hand. Phil was very happy with him!

After Phil came home we left for our Thanksgiving Day feast with my sister and her partner, my nephew and his girlfriend, and mom and dad.

Kim and Jill had their basement finished and it is exceptionally beautiful! The contractor did an excellent job but more than that, Kim and Jill picked out fabulous amenities with which to furnish their basement, complete with a workout room, a full size billiards table, a full size bathroom, a tv room with a Vermont Castings woodstove, and a bedroom! Magnificent! What tops it off is a little mud room for the dogs to let themselves in and out of the house during the day. The mudroom has little doggie beds and a wall heater to keep them warm. Amazing! Phil and I oooh'd and ahhh'd for the longest time. OH, and there is even a small bar area which a microwave and a wine cooler/refrigerator. I wanted to move right in.

As we were setting up the table for dinner and dad was slicing the turkey, a car drove up. We all figured they mistakenly drove into the wrong driveway as the neighbors had a full driveway. Maybe they told the driver to park in Kim and Jill's driveway? People started getting out of the car and Kim went out the door to check on them. At least we thought that because lo and behold, it was cousin Margaret with her daughter Michelle and Michelle's two sons Dakota and Colby! How exciting! They brought along their little dog Miko who had the best time chasing Kim and Jill's three dogs around. So there we were watching four little white fluffy dogs running around. It was so funny!

Dinner was fantastic. Phil and I brought the wines for dinner. We know nothing about wine. We picked out an Australian wine called Little Boomey. It was a dry white and I didn't care for it although everyone else said it was very good. Go figure the odd person would be ME! LOL!

Too many desserts to choose from. Some of us sat around the dining room table talking while Phil, Dakota and Colby watched some football game on tv while Jeff and his girlfriend Nic fell asleep on the large, very comfortable, leather sofa.

We had to leave around 6 p.m. Phil didn't have today off and he gets up at 5 a.m. for work. It rained from Hagerstown to Somerset but from there on it was dry, thankfully. Today it has snowed the entire day. Phil had a half day today and got home a little after 1 p.m. He left around 2:45 to go bird hunting.

Yesterday would have been even more fab had my brother and his two kids been able to come over. Still, I can't complain. It was a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Hair Cut

Instead of still whining about my hair and fretting over the amount that has fallen out, I decided to do something about it! I had it cut. Very short. I'm happy with it and my hair grows very quickly. About one inch a month. Hopefully what has fallen out due to chemo will come in within a couple of months.

So, I was on my way to work and decided to take a detour to Super Cuts. I waited half an hour for a stylist and the one I got asked about my hair and I proceeded to tell her about cancer and chemo, etc. Big mistake! The woman decided that I needed to hear her views that chemo is bad and that cancer research is just a big business to make money, not to help cancer patients. Man, did I get an ear full!

The woman was depressing me by the minute and I kept telling her I am very happy that I did chemo because it has extended my life by two years. My initial prognosis was very grim. I am so happy for these two years. Getting to spend this time with my family and knowing that both of my sons are happily married makes me extremely happy and content. It's been two additional years with a man who has loved me and taken care of me in spite of my illness. There are so many things that I am thankful for. I try to keep a positive outlook on life. I try to do things which will make other people happy. I am not a complainer.

I was very happy to walk out of there with my new hair cut and brush all the negativity off my shoulders!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not feeling great

I didn't feel all that spiffy during chemo last week and last Friday was no different even after getting the chemo bag off. Saturday the diahooties started and I've now run out of Imodium. I have been in bed since then. Phil calls it cocooning because I wrap up in blankets with just my head sticking out. Either I'm on the laptop, watching tv or just sleeping. I don't have much energy to do anything else. It feels like my white blood count is low again. I know I'm drinking enough fluids even though Phil tells me I should go in for a fill up. I have red rings around my eyes which I'm trying to cover with my MaryKay makeup. I don't know what that is from but it's probably chemo related. Randy called today to check up on me since I haven't been in to work this week. I really don't want to do another chemo treatment. I know Phil will fight me on this. I feel so wiped. No strength or energy at all. He'll tell me I have to do it and I will. I want it to be over. I want to get back to feeling like a normal person again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

7th Chemo Treatment Done

I'm now on the downhill slide to finishing up the chemo treatments. I have one more scheduled for Monday, November 30 at 8:30 a.m. I am really hoping and praying this is IT and no more down the road, over the hill or any time in the future.

I worked Monday and Tuesday. It was great to be able to work. I hadn't been in in over a month because Randy had been really sick.

Wednesday was chemo day. I was part way through the Camptosar and Leucovorin when the nurse gave me a shot of Ativan and away I went to sleep. I woke up an hour later and we were finished and ready to go home.

The Decadron keeps me awake all night so I didn't sleep. I did manage to fall asleep around 5 a.m. as Phil was leaving for work. I slept on and off for the rest of the day.

It was so good to go to the center to get unplugged today. I'm starting to get impatient and want someone to attend to me as soon as I walk in. Please disconnect me. I have things to do. I don't want to sit in this chair any longer than I have to. Wah, wah, wah and a whole bunch of other thoughts.

Phil thinks I've caught someone's cold but it could be another side effect from the chemo. The back of my throat hurts at the base of my tongue. The inside of my mouth hurts and my lips and tongue feel somewhat numb. Pray this goes away soon.

After disconnect, Mom Urban and I went to Giant Eagle to grocery shop then I dropped her off at her home and drove myself home. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed.

I stopped long enough to answer the phone to talk to Randy and then out to feed my animals. I fed the chickens and goats then noticed that Jenny had managed to squeeze through the fence in the goat pen. I threw in some hay and she came over to me so she could go back in the pen. After that I was tired and came inside. I forgot to feed the ducks.

I went to bed around 2 and woke up a little after 5.

Phil got home about 6:45 and we had pheasant soup for dinner. It was very good. Enough of it leftover for lunch tomorrow. No plans for me for the weekend. Phil is hunting at Hecla tomorrow. He invited Randy who called to tell me he couldn't go.

That's about it. Phil is out feeding dogs. When he comes in we'll get a bath and then I'll go back to sleep. I am pretty sure he has shows he wants to watch. I don't think I can keep my eyes open for that.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Love the smell of a wood fire

When I drove Jassmine home on Thursday afternoon it was 39 degrees out. I thought we'd have snow overnight. Yesterday it rained for about five minutes but it really looked like it was going to snow so I went into the yard picking up sticks for kindling to make a fire.

I spent the entire day and part of the evening sitting in front of the fire watching tv. It was 75 in the great room (which is the coldest room in the house unless you count the basement).

I was so warm and toasty. Yum. Phil filled up the stove before he left this morning for hunting at Warriorsmark.

I know you're thinking, okay, you said fire and now stove, what gives? We have a zero clearance woodstove which is flush with the log walls and looks like a regular fireplace. It even has fire bricks inside which really makes it look like the interior of a fireplace. With a blower on the outside it forces hot air into the room and heats the great room area plus the master bedroom upstairs. I'm trying to remember the manufacturer. I think it's Fireplace Extraordinaire.

I decided to cook a beef roast yesterday. Too late in the day to put it in the crock pot for a long, slow cook so I browned it in my electric skillet and then transferred it to a pot and put in the oven. I only added onions and potatoes with rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper plus beef stock. It smelled so good cooking all day. I was literally in heaven sitting in my nice, warm room smelling yummy food cooking. Every time I brought up a bucket of firewood I smelled the aroma of the beef roast. Phil came home and said, "Wow! Something smells good!" It tasted even better than it smelled.

Reminder to call Randy and ask when he is taking steers to be butchered. Time to place our order for another side of beef. It is great to have meat with no antibiotics or hormones and I know our meat was raised on grass and hay.

My pcp's office called yesterday to remind me of an office visit for today. I know it's a repeat visit to check my blood pressure which goes up while on chemo. I didn't think about this yesterday but I need to call and cancel this appointment. It's flu and cold season. I don't have the immunities built up yet to fight an infection. I don't need to be around sick people. I still have two more chemo treatments to do and my bp is fine while I'm taking Lisinopril during chemo.

Thinking inside my head right now as there's no one to talk to in the house and I'm sure all the people inside my head would wonder if I started talking out loud. Anyhoo, I was thinking it's good I have my health and then bam! thinking, wait, even though the oncologist said the cancer appears to be gone, I'm still a cancer patient or should I say cancer survivor for the second time? After a year of being cancer free and then having a bad PET scan and doing chemo again I want to be able to move past talking about cancer and living with cancer. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and not think about cancer. I hope that comes soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PET scan results

No evidence of disease! That is the phrase that every cancer patient wants to hear from their doctor and today I heard it from mine.

Two more chemo treatments, which total out to eight this time and then see the doctor on December 15. Repeat PET scan sometime after the holidays; January or February. I couldn't have asked for better news today.

Thank you God!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween

Mom and dad left for home today. It will be quiet here. We had a really good week in spite of having to do chemo.

It was really warm here today. About 70 degrees but it started raining. Kind of strange weather.

Phil went hunting at Hecla this morning. He took Opal and Reno.

I haven't felt too bad this week on chemo. This morning I woke up with a sore throat but that could just be a cold coming on. I really hope it's not the flu (any type). I am not looking forward to seeing Dr. V on Tuesday. Phil is going with me. I'm afraid we may get bad news again. I know, that's not the positive way of thinking that I usually have going on. :(

My nephew Grant has H1N1. Really worried about him and his family! Please keep him in your prayers!

Watching cooking shows tonight. Just relaxing. Had a nice dinner from Foggy Mountain Lodge tonight. I had chicken marsala with rice and vegetables. Phil had a delmonico steak with baked potato and veggies.

No plans for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PET Scan Day


Had an absolutely wonderful day on Sunday at our DAR tea fundraiser. We raised $1300 for our state regent's project (PSSDAR scholarship fund). Amazing! Loads of fun.

Today was a repeat of my PET scan from July. Hopefully this one turns out better. Praying for no spots and nothing at all lit up on the scan!

Tomorrow is chemo day so I probably won't post again for a few days depending on how this one goes. Last time, not so good. But I have to say in the last week I have felt SO much better than the weeks between chemo while on Oxaliplatin so maybe changing to Camptosar was a good thing even if I do have severe nausea the first day or two.

On Sunday Phil and dad went to Warriorsmark so Phil could compete in a bird shoot with Bella. Usually he hits 9 out of 12 shots but not so good this time. They have gone grouse hunting in Clearfield County yesterday and today. They brought back lots of ticks with them yesterday but none today. Yay.

Gave away one of the beagles tonight. A good friend of Joe and Chrystal's took Sukey. She will make a nice hunting dog. She's just a little faster than we can use for brace field trials but no lickety split gun dog. David will need to work her to get where she needs to be but she's a nice dog and he will enjoy her.

Had a terrific evening last night. Mom and I fixed a huge pot of spaghetti sauce and two pots of noodles and Joe and Chrystal and the kids came over. We had an ice cream cake from DQ for dessert. So yummy. It's great to be able to eat and drink cold things again!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

6:38 a.m. on Wednesday morning and all's well!

The last few blog notes have sounded pretty daRn depressing. Sorry about that. Need to get an attitude adjustment as my parents used to say to me. Right about then the Hechinger paint stick would come out.

Funny thing about that paint stick and, wondering if my parents still have it, it had mine, my sister's and my brother's names written on it. Like who else would my parents have whipped? Hmmm? Well, I do remember my mom whipping my cousin's bum once but he was a hateful little thing and deserved it copiously.

After watching many reruns of Supernanny, I realize I could have used JoJo to teach me parenting skills. I didn't have a paint stick but I did have wooden spoons. They broke too easily.

I woke up at 2:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. Phil got up at 4:30 and I stayed up. Just checking blogs I follow (knitting, cancer related, funny ones, etc.). Planning to go in to the chapter house today. It's been over a month since I was in and I need to let them know I'm still alive and kicking.

Mom and dad are coming up this weekend. Dad and Phil have plans to drive back and forth to grouse hunt. Sunday mom and I have our DAR tea. Monday is open, maybe a lunch out and some shopping? Tuesday is the dreaded PET scan and Wednesday, gag me, is chemo day then I get disconnected on Friday. Let's hope this chemo treatment goes better than the last one. This will be number six. Hopefully we'll find out on Nov 3 how many more I'll need.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday of another week

Yes, I'm still in bed 24/7. This staying in bed all the time is exhausting but getting up and trying to actually DO something is more exhausting! I was so looking forward to not having chemo the rest of the month and am really disappointed that I'll be getting chemo during the week my parents are coming to visit.

I feel very discouraged because I haven't any idea of how well the chemo and my body are fighting my cancer. I know my PET scan is scheduled but I'd like to have some inclination of how I'm doing. I see myself from the outside and don't like what I see so I worry about how the inside is doing.

Really looking forward to my DAR tea this weekend! Two of us have worked on this since May or June, I forget. I will be excited to see all the ladies and take photos for the local papers. This tea fundraiser is to help with our state regent's project which is to increase the amount of money we're able to give to scholarship applicants and/or increase the amount of scholarships we can give. I love DAR. I love to feel like something I'm helping with is a worthwhile cause and see the benefits.

Yesterday was Phil's birthday. My hubby turned 49. I was 25 and he was 27 when we met. Wow, the memories! It wasn't the birthday I envisioned for him. We had a beagle club meeting last night and we should have just stayed home. I promised I would make him spaghetti for dinner tonight. I also thought I might be able to feed animals for him but I really don't think I'll be able to manage that. Spaghetti I can do.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Weekend Report

The weekend went by too quickly, as usual. Phil went to Chestnut Ridge Sporting Clays on Saturday morning while I slept in. When I woke up I got on the computer and also turned on the tv to watching the Food Network. Giada and Ina were cooking up yummy looking eats. Love their shows!

Ralph's 26th birthday was Friday. Let's see, 26 years ago what was I doing? I'll save that for another blog entry.

Phil called at 12:30 to say he was stopping at Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch and what would I like? Jess texted to say they were stopping by so I called Phil back to say buy a bucket of chicken and some fixings cause the kids are coming over.

Phil and the kids got here at the same time. giggle Funny how that happens. We had a nice lunch and exchanged birthday cards with the kids and Phil. Ralph's was the 16th, Jess and Phil's birthday's are the 19th (today). They stayed until about 2:30 then left to enjoy the rest of their birthday weekend together. Newlyweds! Ah! Love it.

About 2:30 Sunday morning we were awakened by some horrible animal sounds coming from near the chicken coop and goat pens. It didn't sound like a fox or a coyote. It sounded like the rabbits were getting eaten. That is a horrible squealing sound. Whatever it was stayed out there making those sounds for a long time. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and Phil went outside to check on the animals. He didn't take a gun or anything to defend himself, course I didn't know that at the time. Bella, Reno and Opal started barking and scared whatever it was away.

All the chickens and goats were accounted for including the ducks. Phil said the baby goats just looked at him like, "stop shining that light on us, we're sleeping." I don't know what it was making those awful sounds but we think it could have been one of the mountain panthers that are around here. Ralph's friend Bill took pictures of one in his backyard with a trail camera. He lives outside of Indian Head almost in Somerset. Lots of rocks and places for those kind of animals to live.

Finally we got back to sleep. I think I slept in until 9:30 or 10. Phil's mom was fixing a birthday dinner for him at her house at 1. He was up since 7:30 to do testing for work. He didn't get off the phone with work until 1:10. I called to let her know we'd be late.

The one thing I've been feeling with this new chemo is extreme exhaustion. I had to really push myself to get my bath then I had to lay down for half an hour. My eyes are watering so much I don't even try to do makeup anymore. I try not to look in the mirror because I feel like I look terrible. My hair looks so thin and I look so pale. Of course I haven't lost any weight because Phil's mom is such a good cook. haha

So, I managed to finally get dressed and out the door we went. Dinner was lovely but I ate too much. Fried pork chops, rice, beets, green beans, pumpkin squares and fresh raspberry jello desserts. I had one serving of each but that was a lot of food.

Phil received two nice dress shirts and Dockers pants from his mom. His brother Dave and wife MaryAnn gave him some really cool gifts. He received a headlamp and also a tripod flashlight/lamp which we could have used in the middle of the night to see what the heck was scaring me half to death outside my bedroom window! Can't wait to try these gadgets out!

Beautiful sunny day here today. Almost all of the leaves in the backyard have fallen but the ones out front are still beautifully painted on the trees. God is good with the things he does to keep me positive and cheerful.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Started new chemo this week

We went into the cancer center on Tuesday morning and my nurse tells me my white blood count is lower than it was last week so she's not certain she can give me chemo! She said she would talk to Dr. V and I said please tell him this is ruining my month. I want to do the chemo and get it over with. I don't want to postpone it any further. She came back a while later and said he agreed to give me the chemo at a reduced dose of 75%.

I was doing pretty well right up until I got the Camptosar and my face got flushed and I felt hot all over. Some mild nausea but no diarrhea. Fell asleep and was woken up when the meds were finished and it was time to put the fanny pack with chemo pump on (filled with 5-FU).

I managed to last all the way home without throwing up. As soon as I got up to my room I threw up and then threw up every couple of hours throughout the night and into the next day. I couldn't eat because nothing would stay down.

At noon on Wednesday Mom Urban asked me to call the center to see if there was something they could do for me. We ended up just driving in and stayed there four hours while they gave me fluids, disconnected the chemo bag and gave me Ativan and Tagamet. My bp had gone up to 151/99 and temp 99.3. Then they sent us to the ER to get bloodwork and cultures done so off we went. We were there until 10 p.m. when my temp went down to 98.3 and the bp, too. So they sent me home.

It will be a couple of days until we hear back about the blood work and cultures. They were thinking I could possibly have an infection in my port. Who knows?

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I felt really normal. Today has not been a good day. I've been weak and tired all day with mild nausea but no throwing up and only a slight bit of diarrhea.

Ralph's 26th birthday is today. I have cards for him and Jessica but I haven't seen them to hand them out. I had to take Mom home today and that just wore me out even worse so I know I won't be going anywhere tonight. Maybe they will stop over tomorrow.

Joe stopped over yesterday by himself. It was so nice to see him. Chrystal and the kids are sick so he came by himself.

Mom and Dad are in WV for their class reunions this weekend. That is so exciting to make it to 50 and 52 years past your graduation. I hope I live that long.

Hospital called to say my next PET scan is Oct 27 and next chemo is Oct 28. Dreading both of them but I know I can get through this. I'm a strong person.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sick People Stay Away

I keep reading about all these people who have the flu. Just stay home and take sick leave until it passes. None of the rest of us want to get what you have so just stay home and keep your germs to yourself!

People think it's just a cold or maybe they don't think about what they could be passing on to the next person. Being on chemo, I don't know what amount of immunities I have to fight infections, and I really don't want to find out. I especially don't want to end up in the hospital. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again.

Phil and I had a late lunch/early dinner at Eat n Park in Latrobe yesterday. I absolutely hate it when people talk on the phone in public areas; restaurants, bathrooms, etc. This young woman answered the phone and proceeded to have a conversation, not with the people who were with her at the table, but with someone on the phone, for maybe 20 minutes explaining to the person how she had just gotten out of the hospital because her iron level was too low. I thought she was extremely rude not just to the people who were with her but to everyone in the surrounding area of the restaurant who had to endure her conversation and listen to her whine about why the doctor didn't order the right tests, etc. Whine, whine, whine. People, stop whining. Whatever is going on with you isn't as bad as what's going on with someone else. And, puh-leeze stop answering that phone when it's not an emergency.

Okay, down off the soap box for now but I reserve the right to get right back up on it whenever I choose. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spending time with my Granddaughter

I was so unbelievably excited today to be spending time with my granddaughter Jassmine!

I got over to Joe and Chrystal's a little after 11 a.m. Jassie and I headed out to Burger King's play yard but first stopped for gas at Get Go. She thought she was allowed to get out of her carseat at the gas station and almost started crying when I told her no but I put the windows down in the back so she could see me pumping gas.

We got to Burger King a little after 12:00 noon and there must have been 20 people standing in line waiting to place an order. Amazing! We ordered our meals and headed out to the play yard. Jassie wanted to play but I told her we had to eat our meals first. She sat there eating her apple fries while looking at the equipment. She really wanted to go!

The batteries in my camera didn't last. I was able to take six pictures and that was it. A lady there with her kids took a pic of me and Jassie but the batteries died before it saved the picture. Drat!

Jassie was so much bolder than she was back in February when I took her and Chucky to the play yard. She climbed all the way up and all the way back down and then said, "Grandma come play." So I climbed up inside and went down the slide with her. Wow, I screamed the whole way down. I remember my boys telling me to stop screaming on the log jammer at Kennywood when they were little. I guess I embarrassed them!

All the little kids in the play yard were yelling for Grandma to come play with them. I am such a kid at heart. I had a good time.

After playing Jassie and I went to Sears where we spent all of Pappy's money on clothes for her. :) GIGGLE

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is today Wednesday already?

Wow, time sure seems to fly or I'm just forgetful.

The cancer center called today to let me know next Tuesday, October 13, will be my last chemo until I see Dr. Viverette on Tuesday, November 3. They are scheduling my PET scan for sometime at the end of October. No having to drive down to Magee this time. The imaging center next door to the cancer center at Mountain View can do it there. Well shut my mouth! Why didn't someone tell me that before? I wouldn't have had to drive all the way into Pittsburgh all those times! Sheesh!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Disappointment

Today Mom Urban and I had to be at the cancer center at 8:45. We got in to the treatment area around 9:10. I set up my laptop, got my snacks out and then had my bloodwork taken by my nurse Kim. Then the urine test. She told me Dr. Viverette had spoken with the pharmacist at UPMC and they decided to switch out one of my chemo drugs. I won't be getting Oxaliplatin anymore. They are going to start me out on Camptosar. The major side effect is severe diarrhea and stomach cramping. To combat that I will be getting oral charcoal. Sounds nasty. A while later she came back to tell me my white blood count was too low to get chemo today. I was so disappointed. Today was to be chemo round #5.

We left there and went to Eat N Park in Latrobe for an early lunch. Food is always good there and our service was also very good. We did a little grocery shopping at Aldi's and then headed home to drop off the groceries and take Mom Urban back to her house. My next round of chemo is scheduled for October 13.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday!

Phil took today off to spend with me. ha! He woke me up at 7 a.m. to let me know he had made an appt at Murray Electric in Latrobe for my truck. Someone put their big foot through the wiring harness on the tow-braking system. Hmm? Not my little size 6 1/2! Methinks it was the man of the house and those big size 12-13 feet.

Have the family vacation/50th anniversary celebration planned. We're going to the Bahamas in the spring to celebrate mom and dad's anniversary. Sis and bro say they're in. I chose a three story, three bedroom, three and a half bath villa which, hopefully, is on the ocean. The photos are fantastic! Now to get passports. I noticed that both mine and Phil's birth certificates aren't good enough for the passport application. They need to be certified BC that list our parents names plus all of our birth information and birth location. So, I will be applying for those this week.

The garage called to say the truck was ready and they shrunk wrapped the wiring harness so it can't be disturbed again. Yay!


We're taking the kids out to dinner tonight to Cracker Barrel. Since Joe and Chrystal got married on Monday I thought it would be really nice to take them plus the children and Ralph and Jessica out to dinner to celebrate both marriages! I am so excited to see them tonight!




Mom and dad are out west this week with their bestest friends. She sent a text yesterday telling me they were at the Grand Canyon. They went on one of the Pink Jeep tours which sounded really exciting. Cellphones are not reliable out there so I have to wait for her to call me.

I worked yesterday. Got a lot done. Got really tired and left at 3 p.m. Had to stop by Office Max for new inkjet cartridges and then went home for a nap.

Doing much better with taking Imodium more than once a day. It really helps. Starting to not be able to finish meals so I will start losing weight in the coming weeks. This isn't a bad thing. I can afford to lose. :) Just trying to drink enough fluids which is very hard because even room temp drinks are too cold and nuked drinks really don't taste right, or it's just my taste buds. We had a nice dinner at Chilis on Monday. We went out for their Chilis-Saint Judes Children's Research donation day. We donated $20. That's twice we've eaten there for this event. It's bad enough that adults get cancer, me included, but even more heartbreaking when a child has it. That I just can't understand.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Slacking Off

The last week or two I've been slacking off with my blog.

The week of the 16th was very busy for us. Our 20th wedding anniversary, the beagle club's 4-day license trial plus Phil's trip to Ohio to the NAVHDA Invitational with Bella.

Our anniversary was very nice. We had a quiet dinner together at Red Lobster. Phil gave me a boquet of mixed roses. Very lovely.

The NAVHDA Invitational was very exciting. Phil's training partner, Mike Groman, and his dog MoJo, passed for his versatile championship. Bella had a snag with her shackled duck and did not pass that leg of the test. Very disappointing but we will try again next year!

My 4th round of chemo wasn't too bad this time. Well, I did have another reaction to the Oxaliplatin. My face turned beet red and got blotchy. My bp went up and my throat again felt like it was closing. The nurses gave me Allegra and then two shots of 100cc Solucortisol. I went home and slept all night.

I got disconnected from the chemo bag on Thursday. No really bad side effects. A little nausea but Friday was pretty bad. Lots of nausea and diarrhea. I hate that. My feet and hands are really hurting. Tingly sensations and itching. I'm afraid they are going to peel.

I've spent the day watching cooking shows on the Food Network. Yummy. Giada and Ina make me so hungry.

It's rained all day here. Phil had a hunt test outside of Butler with Bella this morning. As soon as he got home he and Mike went back out to train.

That's about it here. Praying for a mild week with no problems. Ooops, forgot to mention when I saw Dr. V on the 22nd he said it may be another 6-8 months of chemo. My face hit the floor. I can't imagine and am really not ready for that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yesterday and Today

have not been good for me. I felt pretty good yesterday morning. I got up and took Phil's mom back home then went over to Rosalind's to drop off some paperwork for today's DAR meeting. I started feeling really bad then drove home and went back to bed. Today I've only gotten up to hit the bathroom. Not good. Hoping for more energy tomorrow. My fingers are all tingly and the bottoms of my feet feel like they're burned and will peel. I really hate Oxaliplatin. I can't believe this is only my third cycle of chemo. Hoping for a really great week this coming week since it's my off-chemo week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today is Thursday

I slept until 7:51 this morning. We didn't need to be at the center until 11 but got there at 10:30. We were seated in the treatment area next to a couple from Syria. What a beautiful language they spoke. They did speak English and the woman asked questions about my knitting project and where we were from. :)

I got another bag of Decadron and one or two other antinausea meds which caused me to fall asleep. I had a bout of diarrhea this morning which is certainly wearing on the system. A lot of nausea this morning before we left and driving on the way there.

After I was done we went to Giant Eagle for a few groceries and came home. I fixed a peanut butter sandwich and went to bed. Slept from 3-6. Had a wonderful bowl of my mother in law's homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner. Phil headed out to train Bella. Only a week and a half until the NAVHDA Invitational in Ohio. I'm going to check out FB for a while and probably fall back to sleep. Here's praying tomorrow is a better day. I feel so exhausted.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hump Day

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 aka "hump day." I have slept most of today which isn't good but have been happy with no nausea today. Hooray for Ativan my antinausea med! I did have muscle cramps in my calves this morning. I hope my potassium level isn't down. I'd rather eat bananas than have to take potassium pills. Gag. Even cut in half and put in applesauce or applebutter I still have a hard time swallowing them.

We go to the center tomorrow at 11:00 to get disconnected but plan to stay for fluids which takes another two hours. I'll take my knitting along with me. I'm halfway through a pair of socks for Jassmine. I started them on Saturday night.

I just had my bath and Phil is still in the tub. I have to make sure I don't get my port dressing wet. It'll be great to get a shower tomorrow after I'm disconnected!

Tonight was a nice spaghetti dinner made by Phil's mom. I asked if she wanted to stay and go back home on Monday but she said Friday would be better. I know she's totally bored here. I just sleep all day. She's so good to us. Makes me really appreciate my mom staying here all those months.

I forgot to mention that we got past the two year mark of my colon cancer diagnosis. That was September 5, 2007 and thankfully I am still here. It was a good day and I'm thankful for each and every one I get. :) Thank you Jesus.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Please excuse any typos. I have hand neuropathy from the chemo today and it's pretty bad. My hands are real cramped up. It was a very tiring day.

Our weekend was wonderful. We didn't get out the door until 11:00 a.m. and made it to Bluestone State Park around 5:00 p.m. My sister rented us a cabin. It was nice. She fixed dinner Saturday night. Nice meal of stuffed shells. Sunday morning we got up and went over to cousin Laura's house for breakfast. Mike and Kaye, Tony and Kim and two of their sons, Brandon and Tyler, were there including Laura's daughter Erin. My brother and his daughter also came over for breakfast. It was a good time.

From there we went to one of the family cemeteries (Lilly-Crews in Nimitz). I photographed all of the Pack headstones that were there. I ran out of batteries before I could do all the Lillys. Very disappointing.

We made it back to the cabin by noon and left for the Neely reunion in Pipestem. It's been at the Ruritan club for 20+ years. It was great to see my aunts, uncles and cousins. We were there until about 6:00 and headed over to uncle Gary's house on River Ridge. Uncle Edmund and aunt Barb were there plus Gary and Joann's two daughters Vicki and Tasha. Vicki and David have seven children. The youngest was born in February. They are all beautiful.

Today was a very exhausting day. We got up at 6:00 to gt to the center by 8:45 and didn't get in to be seated in the treatment ara until 9:30. I know it was abut 10:00 before my blood was drawn and things started moving. We got out of thre abut 2:00. I was sick to my stomach the whole way home. We got home and I went upstairs to lay down. My throat closed up on me but I didn't panic this time. I layed back down and fell aslep knowing this side efffect would pass. Mom Urban is making dinner now and Phil should be home soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Enjoyed this week

It's my second week off chemo and it's been absolutely great!

I met with the genetics counselor at Hillman on Tuesday. She didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I had three out of four of the genes for being a carrier for colon cancer but only met two out of three of the criteria for HNPCC so even though two members of my family have had colon cancer (me and my aunt Wanda) seems they think it was more of a fluke for me getting it than really being familial (hereditary).

It was a long drive into Pittsburgh on a very beautiful day. I had a nice chef salad in the cafeteria then drove back home. I stopped at the gift shop on my way out the door. Bought some pretties.

Worked yesterday and today. Managed to get the desk cleaned off for the most part. I had not been in to work in a long time, maybe two or three weeks? Left birthday cards for Randy and Kristina since we will be away this weekend and won't see them.

Phil is taking half a day tomorrow so he can put Opal and Reno in the kennel over the weekend. We can manage Bella on the trip but the other two are too much of a handful.

There is one yellow and black peep. None of the other eggs were any good so I threw them out. Hopefully this chick will make it. The last group of 15 were eaten. I think a hawk got them. I have lost most of my hens. I only have four left. I may need to order some through Stromberg's catalog next spring.

Looking forward to this weekend. Have not been home to WV in ages!

Monday, August 31, 2009

101st Blog Entry

Wow! I made it past 100. So cool!

I have an appt with a genetics counselor at Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh tomorrow. They were so good to give me a rush appt. Not looking forward to dealing with yet another doctor but this will give insight into our family genetics and see if we carry the colon cancer gene (hereditary) or whether my colon cancer was just a sporadic thing.

Such a beautiful day here today. Sun is shining and the air is a bit chilly. Fall may be just around the corner but hoping for a few more warm days here to come.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday

Yesterday didn't start off on a positive note. I had my alarm clock set for 6:30 a.m. and when it went off Phil shut it off. He forgot I had a meeting I was attending. So, I woke up at 7:47 and got my bath, dried my hair, put on makeup, got dressed, bought biscuits at McD's and got to the Sheraton in Greensburg by 9:05! Amazing!

Had an absolutely wonderful time seeing the ladies at our district meeting. We had a pre-meeting (if that is a correct word) and then had workshops. Lunch at noon followed by a post-meeting. Very good. Saw regents from other chapters and had six members from my own chapter attend the meeting. I am so proud that five of them were chapter officers! My chapter is amazing!

Yesterday

Yesterday was such a physically exhausting day for me.

I picked up Chucky to take him back to school shopping and Jassmine started crying so I had to take her with us. Joe and Chrystal both talked to Chucky about behaving well for grandma (me) and he promised ever so nicely to be good. Well, that lasted only as soon as he got inside the car. By the time we made it 10 minutes up the road to Kmart I was feeling undone.

After an hour of chasing and fighting with him about clothes, shoes, socks, etc. I wanted to just get the heck out of the store, drop the kids off and go home and lay down for a nap. Thankfully, Chrystal showed up while I was in the check out line. I was never so thankful to see someone!

From there we went to Wendy's for something to eat and then up to the shoe store to find Chucky a pair of shoes that fit. After that I dropped the kids off with Jessica and headed over to get the Jeep inspected (annual required inspection and emissions testing). I made it home by 4:00 and went right to bed and woke up at 6:45 when Phil walked in the door. I didn't plan anything for dinner but threw together tuna noodle casserole. It was hot and edible and that's all I cared about. I went back to bed at 8:45.

Prior to bed I checked the blogs I follow. One in particular I've paid close attention to over the past six months and that was Kim Miller's; a stage 4 colon cancer patient. Sadly, she passed away yesterday at the age of 29. Such a vibrant young woman, full of life and love, with a husband and two young children at home and also a teenage stepdaughter.

I had never met her but corresponded with her via her blog. I felt I knew her and since we shared this disease called colon cancer also felt I had a kindred sister. I feel just devastated by the loss of this young woman. I prayed every day for her and wanted God to heal her. I know I shouldn't question WHY this had to happen but I think is so unfair.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great Day

Today was a really good day. I got a lot accomplished at work and the desk is "almost" clean. Well, as clean as I can get Randy to keep it.

Sandy was working day shift this week and I was still there when she got in at 3:15. It was so nice to see her. I hadn't seen her much since she started working night shifts.

Haven't felt exhausted today like I did yesterday. It was a really nice day.

I forgot to mention

that we took my shotgun out to the beagle club on Tuesday evening and I shot it for the first time! Wowee! That was fun and I actually hit my target both times I shot at it! Phil and Tony (another club member) were there to cheer me on. Wow, good shootin girl. There I stood in bare feet with my white skirt and my lace sweater on. Not exactly the sight you'd expect of a future hunter. giggle Then Tony asks me if I'm going pheasant hunting with Phil. Uh, I may be able to shoot a stationary water bottle from 25 yards but a flying object? I seriously doubt I would be able to hit that. :)

I worked yesterday. I almost turned around and left as soon as I saw the desk in the office. It took me over an hour to sort through the papers. I was able to get some things accomplished but I definitely have to go back today to get things cleaned up and filed.

I was so tired out yesterday. I had a hard time driving home and still had to stop and buy dog food at Tractor Supply. As soon as I came in the door I put Bella out and went up to bed. Phil came in the door at 7 p.m. and woke me up. I cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen up and went back to bed.

Hoping for a much better and less tiring day today. Thank God there was no diarrhea and nausea yesterday. That was absolutely wonderful.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday

Yesterday was such a bad day for me and Phil got so worried that he took today off and made me go to the cancer center for fluids and bloodwork. He asked them to test my potassium and magnesium levels. I will probably have to go back on potassium pills. Blech! Horse pills. They make me gag. Even if I cut them in half they get stuck in my throat so I have to put them in applesauce or apple butter.

I lost six pounds since I was weighed last Thursday at the center. Too much vomiting and diarrhea will do that. It's how I lost 30 pounds the first time around.

My blood pressure was also up from last Thursday. It was 119/73 last time and today was 143/93 so I will need to put in my scrip for Lisinopril(sp?). When I'm off chemo I have no problems but as soon as I get on it the chemo drugs just make my body go haywire. :)

God sent me a gift at the cancer center today. Her name was Bobbie. She happens to be a customer of Randy's so we talked almost the whole time we were there. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast sarcoma (hoping I got that right) 22 years ago. Her husband left as soon as she was diagnosed. Weasel!

She has been on and off chemo for the past six years. She said you've got to decide what you want. Do you want to be walking on the grass or under it? Wow. Smacked some sense into me. She said honey, you're a fighter, you can do this. You have to just keep doing it. She really made me think. My God, dear Lord, if she has been doing this battle with cancer for 22 years then I can do it, too.

After we left the center I had a hunger for Cracker Barrel but it was a long drive from the center and Phil still had to feed animals. It was after 3 p.m. when we left. I suggested Red Lobster and we had a fantastic waiter named Samuel. My lunch was wonderful. Phil had the Admiral's Platter and brought half of it home for his dinner. I skipped dinner. Forgot to take the Prilosec at breakfast and ended up with indigestion. That's another thing I don't have when not on chemo.

I used to laugh to myself when I was a kid and I saw the amount of meds my grandpa and his wife were on. I thought what the heck do they need all that crap for? Then it was my parents and then it was me. You live and learn. I hate being on drugs. Never smoked a cigarette in my life (the smell gives me migraines), never smoked weed or drank. Never saw why other people did or do.

If you could see the cancer patients who have had their tongues or throat boxes removed or any of the other things I've seen you would STOP smoking. One thing that truly pisses me off is to see the cancer patients in the parking lot hardly waiting to get to their cars before they light up another cancer stick! What the heck? Just say NO! Stop today! Cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco; give it up now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not Feeling Well

Friday I felt pretty good. I dropped Phil's mom off at her house and then headed over to my appt with the chiropractor. Called Randy while still at Mom's to let him know the fan wasn't running on the a/c unit. He went out to take a look at it. Said two connections were dirty so he cleaned them off for her. I waited for him to show up to load the hay into my truck. I didn't want to try loading them on my own. Phil says I scratch the truck up.

Saturday I noticed my hair starting to fall out. Looks like 20-30 strands at a time but maybe more. I started having diarrhea in the morning and felt sick to my stomach. Felt better when Phil came home and we drove to Ligonier to look at the Antiques on the Diamond. The only store we walked into was Kathy Zimmerman's yarn store. I believe you can never have enough yarn. After I bought my newest stash we went to Latrobe to Denny's for a late brunch.

Sunday Phil went to Warriorsmark to train dogs with Mike Groman, Dave Shirey, Rich Nesbitt and Bob Jenkner. They must have had a great time because he wasn't back until about 3 p.m. :) But that was because I called and asked him to bring me home a crispy chicken salad from Dairy Queen in Donegal.

Diarrhea and nausea was still bad on Sunday but I felt wonderful by the evening and we sat and watched tv together. Well, I watched Gordon Ramsay and then the Food Network and Phil tolerated my tv choices. He is so good to me. Randy says I am spoiled.

I was up a couple times in the night with diarrhea. When I finally got out of bed around 8:30 this morning my diarrhea was severe. I ended up having to throw up and then passed out in the bathroom. Thankfully I was able to make it back to bed and slept for the next couple of hours.

My sister called at 11:30 and I decided to get up and take some Imodium tabs. I got a bath and Ralph called to check on me. My mom called him to let him know I was sick. I told him I would be okay, I'd had my bath and was going to lay down until Phil came home from work.

At 2:00 the phone rang but I didn't check to see who it was. At 2:30 the basement door opened and Mom Urban came upstairs to the bedroom to check on me. My mom called her, too. She fixed something for me to eat and stayed until 6:00. Phil should be home soon.

6:40 p.m. and I hear Phil pulling up in the driveway.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Disconnect Day

You have no idea how much I look forward to getting disconnected from the chemo bag. I loathe having to do chemo.

I got my schedule of upcoming chemo treatments. The next one is September 1 and the following one is September 15. That takes me through four treatment sessions.

Really looking forward to the Neely family reunion in Pipestem. So glad it will be during my week off chemo. My sister has rented us a cabin at the Bluestone. I'm anticipating an amazing weekend with the family.

Woke up with dry heaves this morning. Got my bath and went downstairs for breakfast. Was so tired afterwards that I went back up to bed. Mom woke me up around 11:30 that it was time for lunch. I'm supposed to eat small meals every couple of hours.

We drove to the cancer center and I was unhooked and out of there by 2:30. We went to Eat N Park and I had a bowl of Italian wedding soup and half a club sandwich. Yummy but I couldn't finish either. We left there and went to get a few things at the grocery store then get gas for the truck and headed home. I went straight to bed once we got home. Phil woke me up when he got in at 6:15 and Mom had fixed chicken noodle soup for dinner. Super yummy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tomorrow is Chemo Day Round 2

I had a really great day today! Got a lot of laundry done today. Cleaned up the dishes from yesterday and put clean sheets on the bed where Mom Urban is going to be staying.

I forgot my chiropractor appt was at 11 a.m. today and they called to reschedule me. I went in at 2:45 p.m. My next appt is on Friday at 1:45 p.m. Let's hope I remember it.

Went home and fed animals, got a shower and headed out to meet Phil and Mom Urban at China Buffet in Mount Pleasant. Dinner was awesome. Our server was great. I don't know his name but he is so funny.

Round 2 chemo starts tomorrow. Really not looking forward to it but am hoping that I feel as good during the in-between week as I did this past week.

My appt is at 9 a.m. tomorrow. We meet with Dr. Viverette prior to the chemo appt.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mom and Dad

came up on Thursday and are going back tomorrow. We have had a great time. At least, I did.

I have cooked the entire time they have been here and have gained three pounds! Not good! I had an appointment on Friday with Dr. Weisel and, for once, he didn't say a thing about my weight! giggle

Ralph and Jess, along with Chucky and Jassmine, were over for dinner last night and today. Joe and Chrystal stopped over today. He works all the time and was getting ready to head out to work but wanted to stop over to see us. They were hoping to see Gram and Pop but my dad was out fishing with Ralph at Somerset Lake. I'm sure Joe would rather have been out fishing on the lake than heading to work!

Went to our DAR chapter's yard sale and gold party today. We ended up driving back home so I could scrounge through the safe and my jewelry box for unwanted and scrap gold jewelry. Went back and sold it and came home $110 richer! Makes up for the $130 I spent at the Salvation Army yesterday. Monica, you will be psyched to know I found a "mint" Oscar Schmidt autoharp complete with booklets, tuning wrench, picks, etc. and the strings all look brand new. No rust at all. Gorgeous.

I am so unbelievably tired but have had a great few days since they got here. Haven't felt sick once and haven't had to take a nap except for today. I think the heat really got to me today. That and I got up at 5:30 this morning to make lunch for Phil to take to the hunt test with him and also for dad and Ralph to take with them on the fishing trip.

Planning to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning to go with Phil to another hunt test. Hoping I bring him luck. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Today is Thursday

and I haven't slept a wink all night so I got out of bed and struggled to find a nightgown to put on just to go downstairs. Why, I don't know. There's only the two of us here.

Couldn't sleep. Upset stomach. Had a migraine yesterday. Took a Maxalt XT and it finally went away. Phil brought me home a McDonald's grilled chicken and bacon ranch salad for dinner. Yum. Couldn't finish it all. Hmmm, hungry now. Wonder how it would taste this early in the morning?

Phil and I discussed getting up early to view the Perseid meteor showers. He couldn't see them in the sky last night around 11 p.m. so we thought we'd get up early to watch. I'm up. He's still asleep. Maybe I should venture onto the back porch to see if anything's happening. Maybe I should wake him up just in case a bear is venturing out onto my back porch as well.

If I don't post again you'll know the bear got me. HAHA

Shoot! Nothing! Rain is falling from off the trees. The sky is very cloudy and the only thing I could see was a half moon (in the sky). Looks like people in western PA were bummed out all over not getting to view the meteor showers. What a let down.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No major side effects

and not a lot of nausea to complain about. Just tiredness and a little dizziness but some would say that is because I'm blonde. giggle Taking a bath, washing my hair and just a general scrub with the washcloth wears me out. I'm not even talking drying my hair anymore. I just can't do it. If I have to go somewhere I'll put on makeup but the hair goes as is.

Enjoying this week off without chemo. Mom and dad come in on Thursday to visit. I have an appt with the pcp on Friday morning and have to remember a chiropractor appt at noon.

Ralph and Jess stopped over with Chucky and Jassmine on Sunday. Jess said Jassie had been sick all night throwing up. Now Jess is saying that she feels really sick and then Chrystal, Chucky and Jassie's mommy, is also sick so I'm wondering what Jassie had and really hoping that I don't come down with it. Even though I just started chemo I don't know what my blood counts are and don't know if my immunities have been compromised yet. I hope they are going to be well soon!

Had a nice dinner tonight. I fried up steaks in the electric skillet and also made lasagna rollups filled with spinach and ricotta cheese. The one thing I forgot to put in them was mozzarella cheese. Duh!

Opal got loose from her cage tonight and Phil had to chase after her. He finally cornered her down by the quail pen. Dumb dog! It was pouring the rain and he got soaked! At two and a half years old she still acts like such a puppy at times! She was chasing after the rabbits in the yard. They are wild. She'd never be able to catch one.

That's it, Fort Pitt. Time for bed.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Unplugged

Yesterday I was unplugged from the chemo bag. That is always such a relief for me. An entire week off with no chemo and no bag to drag around!

I had a slight bit of nausea on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday I had to stop and eat a sandwich before we left for the cancer center. If I don't eat I get to feeling sick and I'd rather not get into that. The Zofran gives me headaches so I'm taking the Ativan. They only gave me 30 pills which is not enough if I'm supposed to take one pill every 10 hours.

Last night I told Phil if it comes down to the doctors telling me I need to do a 3rd year of treatment I am going to tell them no. I expected my cancer to have been gone last year after I had such a good reaction to the chemo drugs. Now a year later my cancer is back and another six months or however long to do chemo. There will not be a third time. If this doesn't work that is it. Phil was very upset and angry at me. He thinks I should keep fighting and doing chemo for the remainder of my life. I can't accept a quality of life like that. I'm going to take what I'm given and that's it. I thank God for every single day I've been given but I'm not going to keep doing this in order to get a few more months out of it. I really hope people can understand what I'm saying.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It went well

Mom Urban got to the house around 9:30 and we left sometime around 10 for the cancer center. We got there around 10:20 and didn't get into the oncology area until 11:30. Pre-meds Decadron and Aloxi were started at noon and I started the Avastin around 12:30. Oxaliplatin and Leucovorin were started at 2 p.m. and I got the 5-FU pump in fanny pack at 4 and we were out the door by 4:15. Go back on Thursday at 2 p.m. to get disconnected then I am unhooked and free from chemo for an entire week. Next chemo treatment is August 18. I see Dr. Viverette at 9 a.m.

My oncology nurse called in scrips for Zofran and Ativan. We picked them up from the pharmacy and also picked up some groceries. Got home around 5:15. I took a Zofran and laid down.

Phil got home from work around 6:30 and Mom fed him dinner. He had reheated meatloaf from the other night and she also fried potatoes for him and made a cucumber salad. Smelled so good but I didn't dare! She reheated mac & cheese with kielbasi chunks from the other night for me. I had a little bit. It tasted good and hit the spot. She put together the ingredients for chicken noodle soup for tomorrow and left for home. She may stay overnight tomorrow night depending on how I'm feeling.

She is going to spoil Phil if she continue to feed the dogs while she is here. LOL! He's her favorite middle son. giggle

Zofran gives me headaches. I've got a slight one. If it gets worse I'll take one of my Maxalt XT pills for migraines. They work for me within five minutes. Absolutely wonderful. I hate to pop pills but I know what works and what doesn't and I don't want to get so bad I end up in the ER getting a shot of Dilaudid to alleviate the pain from a migraine. Been there done that don't want to do it again.

I am really feeling pretty good and hope I continue to feel this good. I know all about the diarrhea from chemo so I am giving up my pride and bought a package of Depends for when things get really bad.

Last time I was on chemo I lost almost 30 pounds and expect to lose near the same. It's okay. I can stand to lose a little weight. :) The port was able to be accessed today and is working well. My oncology nurses know I'm allergic to plastic tape so I have fabric tape covering the port this time. Sink baths until after the pump comes off on Thursday. It will be great to get a shower that afternoon!

Phil is up at the pond at Foggy Mountain training Bella. He took some ducks with him to train with. She retrieves them without hurting them. She has such a gentle mouth.

That's about it. Am going to take my makeup off and get ready for bed. Will post again tomorrow. It was a good day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tomorrow is Chemo Day

I couldn't sleep last night/early this morning so I got up at midnight and worked on the invitation list for the DAR luncheon I'm helping to organize. I went back to bed at 2:30 a.m.

I had very good intentions when I woke up this morning. I expected to finish all my errands. HA! That did not happen.

I went to the post office to pick up mail then on to the bank to cash a check. Phil had my ATM card. Then I went to McDonald's for my last time through the drive-thru for a while. Then off to Office Max and down to Monro to get the guys to look at my truck. Three hours and $1253 later I was outta there and on my way to see Dr. Tony my chiropractor.

After getting therapy on my back and then adjusted I drove over to Friday's and met Phil for dinner.

It was a very long day but I'm not done yet. There are dishes in the sink from last night's pork roast dinner and then I need to put clean sheets on our bed and also on the one Mom Urban will be sleeping in if she decides to stay with us.

I spoke to the radiology dept at Westmoreland Hosp this morning asking what the name of the wound covering was called that they used to cover up the port site. I have to make a note of it because I'm allergic to it, too.

I'm just hoping the oncology nurse can access my port tomorrow. Mom Urban is taking me in the morning and plans to stay the whole time. The first chemo treatment will be at least five hours long. What takes the longest is the Avastin.

Gotta get moving now. Will write tomorrow.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cancer

My son and his new bride are finally home from their honeymoon so I can post about the return of my cancer.

We met with Dr. Moser, my surgical oncologist, the day after my birthday, July 22. It was very discouraging to hear him say my PET scan showed numerous lymph node activity which looked like my cancer is back. At first he wanted to do a biopsy of what is in the chest but after talking with Dr. Viverette, my medical oncologist, they decided against it and to just proceed with chemo.

I saw Dr. V this past Tuesday. I got my port placed at Westmoreland Hospital on Friday. The radiology department did it. I had 2cc Dilaudid and was awake through the entire thing but no pain whatsoever. I did get claustrophobic when they put the drape over my head and I started crying like a baby. :) They took the drape back off.

My chest and right breast was completely covered in plastic tape which everyone knows I am allergic to. I even had a red bracelet on which says ALLERGY. I itched right after surgery and the rest of the day on Friday. I took the bandages and tape off today to find the entire area is red and blistered. I doubt the oncology department will be able to access my port because of this. Doesn't anyone read? I am not happy at all. It will take weeks for this to go away.

Chemo will be the same chemo regimen I was on before. It is Folfox with Avastin. I would rather do without the Avastin as it doesn't add any benefits at all from what I read of clinical study materials.

Oh, wow! I just re-read the post I did on June 23 titled, "Bad Dreams." I had dreamt that Dr. Moser told me my CEA levels were rising and there were spots on my lungs and in my brain. Well it was a partially accurate prediction that dream. My CEA level is rising slightly. It was 0.7 which is still WELL below normal but there were spots in the chest although not in the lungs and nothing in the brain but hey, we knew that all along. giggle

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Saturday

The week started off good with my birthday and all. LOL! Wednesday not good. The rest of the week just trying to get by. Now enjoying the weekend.

To those of you who have visited our house; yes, we do own a lawnmower and yes, Phil is out there putting it to good use! And much needed use, I might add.

Phil woke me up at 8 a.m. bringing in a bag of McDonald's biscuits and a Diet Coke. Yum! I called my uncle Edmund to wish him a happy belated birthday.

Trying to think of all the things I need to keep on top of during the next couple of months and hoping I don't fall behind. Another worry is Festival of Lights. Rosalind will not be able to be there to oversee FOL this year. Rick is now Vice President General of Midatlantic States for the SAR. They have many commitments and balls to attend during the holiday season. I don't envy them at all what with all that curtsying and such. :) That would get mighty tiresome.

My brother is supposed to come up soon with his two children. We would like to go white water rafting. I have never been before. I'm not a good swimmer. I know you have to wear a PFD. I think I'll be okay. I know Phil will love it! I wonder if Mom Urban would like to go? Hmmm. Will have to ask her. In addition to a PFD we would need to string a rope around her belly to keep her from flying out the boat in a gust of wind. She's such a tiny thing. I love her dearly.

Wonder what other dangerous activities we can plan in the next couple of weeks? giggle I think I'm too heavy for rock climbing. I doubt I could pull my own weight. Rollercoasters are out. Just going over a small bump with the truck makes my tummy jump. Can't handle it. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Relaxing at Home

Tuesday was my birthday and Wednesday was the visit with my surgical oncologist. A few new things to report. Will need more tests. Have already scheduled an appointment with my medical oncologist for next week for blood work. Not looking forward to my repeat mammogram next Monday morning. Yuck. Not worried about it. Just not looking forward to having these babies smashed to smithereens!

Every night this past week we have gone out to eat. It was a necessity since we were so busy every day. Tonight I'm planning to make meatloaf which is something I have not made in a very long time. Just hoping I can get every little bit of grease drained off the meat. I can't digest it.

Phil was home sick from work yesterday. It must have been from something he ate at the restaurant on Wednesday afternoon. I barely got to see him yesterday. I had a meeting at 1 p.m. and a DAR board meeting at 3. I didn't get home until 5.

It's been quiet here today. I'm waiting for my doctor's office to call back to schedule tests. Hopefully we can get those done next week and over with.

Nothing planned for the weekend which is really strange. Usually Phil is off training with Joe McDonald at Poor Man's Kennel or his friend Mike Groman from the Shenango chapter. I don't have anything going on. :)

Mom and dad went home to WV for aunt Dot's 70th birthday party. Ralph and Jessica are still on their honeymoon. I don't know what Joe and Chrystal have planned for the weekend. Joe probably has to work.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

HAHAHA I am laughing because I am still alive two years past my stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis at which Dr. P said I wouldn't live very long. I AM STILL HERE! Yes, ma'am, I am. Still alive and kicking. Well, I can't get my leg up too far but I can kick your shin if I try. giggle

Was woken up at 8 a.m. by Randy calling to wish me a happy birthday. Actually singing Happy Birthday which is something special because he does not sing. I haven't heard from Phil yet. He is probably thinking that I'm still asleep.

I didn't get past Chrystal and Joe's yesterday. Forgot they were at Idlewild Park with the kids. I will go over there today to give her the birthday gifts I bought. Her birthday was yesterday. Ooops! Just remembered that I forgot to call my uncle Edmund to wish him a happy birthday. His was also yesterday. Bad niece!

Dr. Bompiani had me on the torture device yesterday. The one that stretches the spine. He said something about axial compression or decompression. What? I know it pulled my pelvic area really bad. Today doesn't hurt quite so much.

My big visit with Dr. Moser is tomorrow. I look forward to seeing him every six months just wish it wasn't a doctor visit. He's such a good, kind person and has such a bright, smiling face that you can't help but be happy in his presence. I hope he walks through the door with a smile on his face. Anything less would mean bad news.

Phil is taking me to dinner tonight. I can't think of where to pick for dinner. We went to Texas Roadhouse on Saturday. That was nice. I still love Fridays maybe I will pick there. I can get Bruschetta Chicken. Yum. Better not have dessert. I already know Dr. M is going to complain about my weight gain! I can hear it now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mammogram

Westmoreland Hospital Imaging Dept called this morning. Seems the radiologist found things on my right breast. The radiologist thought they were calcifications which weren't there before but there was also something very small and since my breasts are very dense I need another mammogram. This next mammogram will be done with magnification and the radiologist will tell me at the hospital whether or not there's a problem.

It seems like when you get health problems they develop into more health problems or bigger problems. Last year during chemo I had a bad pap smear with abnormal cells so the gyn's office was upset and made me upset and I freaked out. My oncologist said it would have been caused from the chemo. I had a re-pap done six months later and it was fine.

I get PET scans every six months if there was a problem I am sure my oncologist's office would have called to see me right away. It's been a week since the scan.

Anyway, I'm wondering why the heck I can't be left alone? Don't go finding problems which aren't there. I have enough of that already. I don't need more.

I'm 47. My breasts have seen their share of action and they just aren't necessary anymore. No more breast feeding in my future. If I was to lose them I'd still be me minus the breasts. I lost most of my colon to cancer and everything still works just fine without a colostomy, thank God! I'm more worried about colon cancer coming back than finding a secondary cancer somewhere in my body.

I just wonder why doctors have to get all excited and upset me?? As Phil's friend Mira says, "Pusti May," which means leave me be. I think that's Croatian.

Anxiety

Does anyone else have social anxiety? Mine pops up when I’m in situations with a group of people I’m not familiar with.

Tonight we were invited over to my bosses house to watch the neighborhood fireworks. He didn’t tell me there would be a group of people. In the past there were only a few couples.

When we got there I counted about five couples or more, and all were his neighbors. No one that my husband and I knew personally only acquaintances.

I felt uncomfortable right away. I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t outgoing and talkative. I was very quiet and reserved and I hate it when I feel like this. Phil didn’t notice my discomfort. He can sit and talk with anyone. I envy that. I know it’s not up to him to fix me.

After an hour I asked if we could leave. I made my excuses to Sandy and scooted out the door. I didn’t even say goodbye to Randy. I just wanted to get away.

Phil said that I should probably talk to a therapist to find out why I feel like this since it’s not all the time. My stomach goes into knots where I almost feel I could throw up. I know it's insecurity. I was extremely shy growing up. Really, at 47 I thought I had outgrown this. Guess not.

I am also very anxious about the PET scan results. Worried about what may be in store come Wednesday's visit with Dr. Moser. I keep thinking "what if" my cancer is back? "What if" I have to start chemo again? Phil says no news is good news. Still I worry and am trying to keep up a positive outlook.

I don't want to go through that again. It was difficult enough the first time. Unless you've gone through it yourself you can't possibly understand what I'm saying.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's been a while since I wrote

The last five days are a blur now. Mom and dad came in on Thursday afternoon. We had dinner at home. Friday morning we picked up dad's tux then ran errands. The rehearsal was at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. We had 26 attend the rehearsal dinner. Very nice meal.



Saturday morning mom and I went to have our hair done. My MaryKay rep came out to do our makeup.



Ralph's groomsmen came over around noon to get ready. Phil got home around 12:30 and we went to Foggy Mountain to meet the photographer at 1 p.m.



It rained for a short while prior to the wedding but did not rain while the wedding was taking place. It would have been a nightmare because the kids had an outdoor wedding. It was very beautiful. Instead of being rained on I got sunburned.



My uncle Gary and wife Joann Pack from WV came in. Uncle Edmund and wife Barbara Pack attended. Ralph and Ruth plus granddaughter Lindseigh came in from VA. My brother, his daughter Haley and her friend Cassie came in from MD.



Phil's mom, his brother Dave and wife MaryAnn, brother Brian and wife Michaelene and their children Alex and Victoria attended, as did Phil's uncle John and wife Lola Urban from Ligonier. Our friends Joe and Patsy Harbulak from the beagle club also attended.




Jessica was a beautiful bride. Ralph was a good looking groom. I was the proud momma.



Joe and Chrystal along with Chucky and Jassmine arrived in time to attend the wedding and reception. It was good to see them!



I think just about all of Jessica's family came to the wedding. It would have been nice if all of my family had attended. I am still hurt about that.



Sunday morning I made pancakes at home and invited Ralph and Ruth for breakfast. We had dinner at Mom Urban's and sandwiches later in the evening. Monday morning I got up early to drive into Pittsburgh for my six month PET scan. I had a mammogram on Tuesday. Everything is fine with them. My birthday is next Tuesday and my follow up with Dr. Moser (my surgical oncologist) is on Wednesday. Keep praying all is good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cleaning Lady

Wonder when that cleaning lady is ever going to show up? Sheesh!

I've spent all day cleaning. Me and Roomba. He was a big help but gosh daRn it his battery ran out too quick! We still have rooms to do. I managed to clean my parent's bedroom which used to be Ralph's room when he lived here. The office used to be Joe's room and it's one heck of a catch-all room. I know I can't get that room cleaned so I just shut the door. Hopefully no one will open the door.

I have to get something out for dinner. My parents will be here around 6. I still have to feed animals and I'm tired already. Thank goodness my back doesn't hurt today! Yipee!

I had my hair cut yesterday. I liked what Angie did with it. I bought a set of electric rollers and tried to get it to look like what she did but that didn't happen. Still, I like it.

I'm looking forward to the rehearsal dinner and meeting most of Jessica's family. My brother won't get here in time and my sister isn't coming to the wedding. My ex and his wife will be here. I need to call to make sure they know what time dinner is.

Phil's brother Brian and family won't be in until Saturday morning. Dave and MaryAnn live nearby and so does Phil's mom. I can't believe we will have all the Urbans together this weekend! Wow! My uncle Edmund and aunt Barbara will be over and my uncle Gary and aunt Joanne are coming up from WV. I don't think any of mom's family are coming in. So disappointing. Everyone had made plans.

Then again Joe and Chrystal won't be at the wedding. So disappointing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Hay

I made it in to work at noon yesterday and stayed until 2 p.m. Randy was sick at home so I didn't ask him to get me hay.

I stopped to see Jess on my way home. I stayed until 3:30 and got home after 4 p.m. I brought Salt and Pepper out onto the driveway and tied them up so they could eat the brush. They stayed out until about 6:30 when Phil got home. They are getting much better about being led around.

I am down to four peeps now and a young banty chick. I would sure like to know what's eating them so I can kill it.

I finished the Dora outfit for Jassie and also did another one, too. The second one was pink fabric with butterflies on it that I thought was real cute when I bought it at Walmart.

I don't think Joe and Chrystal will be at Ralph and Jessica's wedding on Saturday. They left on a camping trip to WV and might not be back in time. Disappointed is an understatement! We'll see.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunbathing

Yesterday was such a beautiful day with nice warm weather (75 degrees) with no wind blowing. Decided to sunbathe in the backyard. Hey, we have no neighbors so no one can see me. After about an hour Phil tells me I am sunburned and to go inside. I was just beginning to enjoy the warmth and fall asleep which could have turned out lobster red disastrous especially with lots and lots of fabulous wedding pictures this coming weekend. Would not have been a good thing.

I tried my pretty plum dress on and it still fits which on one hand is a good thing and on the other a not so good thing because it means I haven't lost any weight. Definitely need a new foundation undergarment for this dress because my regular stuff shows. Phil suggested a camisole but that would not look right because the dress is not casual enough for that. It's not overly formal but it is pretty and it fits and I'm happy with that. It's also a good color for me. Now to figure out what to do with my hair. Ugg.

Phil called at 8 and woke me up. I am supposed to be getting ready for work. I even ran the bath water about half an hour ago. I'll go in for a couple of hours, pick up some hay for the goats and head home. Not working the rest of the week. I really do have to clean the house at some point. Thank goodness Roomba has a new battery and can work his little heart out. Just wish he could put clean sheets on the beds, put away clothes and hide the rest of the junk sitting around.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mobile posting

I thought I was going to learn something new this evening but I couldn't get it right. giggle I tried to "mobile" post to my blog via my cell phone. I think I sent the text to BLOGGR because it didn't go through.

I saw a medium sized black bear this morning in Stahlstown as I was leaving the post office. That was about 10:43 a.m. It was running through a field on it's way to a stand of trees about two miles from my house. When I told Phil about him he said the bear was probably on it's way over to our house. I've lost a few chicks and hens in the last two weeks. Something's killing them. Not sure what it is. Of course it could be a durned old cat or a hawk.

I worked today. Didn't get in until about 11:15 and stayed until 3:30. Had to stop and get bags of dog food and a bag of corn for the goats. I pulled my back picking up the bags. The dog food weighs 44 lbs while the corn is 50 lbs. I came home and fed animals and Phil was pulling up in the driveway as I was finishing up. I quickly got ready and we went to Eat N Park for a nice dinner. We stopped by Gander Mountain on the way home. Because of detours, it was almost 9:00 when we got home. Phil suggested I get a hot bath to loosen my back up. I also took a Tylenol 3. I still have a few of those from my port removal surgery in January. They work well; take away the pain but don't leave me loopy. I only need to take one.

I hear fireworks going off nearby. Probably at Foggy Mountain Lodge or over at the people who live on Aleo Lake Road. We can watch them out the bedroom windows.

That's about it. Happy 233rd birthday America! Thank you Samuel Pack, Francis Farley, 2nd Lieut. Daniel Shumate, Rev. Josiah Meador and Martha Farris Gatliff (my ancestors) who helped fight for the Revolution or supplied aid to the cause.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Newest webpage

I wanted to post a link to my newest webpage here. I'm hoping the link works and you can view the page. It's available through the ColoRectal Cancer Alliance.

Monday, June 29, 2009

So Excited!

Got a call this afternoon about my embroidery machine. It's working just fine. The service technician cleaned it up, oiled it and put in the "correct" size bobbin. Hmmm, guess that's what was wrong with it! I am so excited to be getting it back and look forward to making my first embroidered whatever! :) The only embroidery cartridge I have is of the rodeo. I bought it off of ebay. It has buck broncking boys and barrel racing girls. Cool!

I thought it would be fun to put something embroidered with girl barrel racers onto Kristina's quilt but I never was able to do that. The quilt is still a work in progress. I could really use a queen size quilting frame. The one I have which was my Granny Pack's isn't wide enough to accommodate a quilt this size. If anyone has a used quilting frame you want to part with please give me a heads up!

I could really use a few extra hands to help with the quilting. If someone has a quilting machine let me know the cost to finish a quilt for me. Thanks!

Weekend!

What a nice weekend! I spent all Saturday working on a dress and panties set for Jassmine. I finished the dress and have everything almost finished on the panties, I need her waist and upper thigh measurements for the elastic. That's it and it's done. I think I did a really nice job.

Phil bought me the new sewing machine three years ago for my birthday. With going through cancer, surgeries and treatment it didn't get much use. Hopefully, that has changed and I make the time to create lots of gorgeous things!

I also worked on a ladies beret in pink acrylic yarn that I plan to donate as a chemo hat. Right now I'm really hating the pattern I picked out. I'm going to rip out the last 15 rows and do over. Note to self: chemo patients don't have much hair so the hat doesn't need to be quite so large. Think skull cap instead. I came across some fabulous skull cap designs on Friday by Kody May. Here's one that I like real well. And this one!

I decided I'm going to frog the hat and start over using the same yarn but attempting one of Kody May's gorgeous hat patterns instead!!! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah

It was very sad today to read that Farrah Fawcett lost her battle with anal cancer. The news report I read said she was first diagnosed in 2006 and had traveled to Germany and the U.K. in search of various forms of treatment.

It was very brave of her to put herself out there for public viewing when she aired a documentary on her cancer treatment this past May. I did not watch the show but I know a lot of people who did and they were impressed with what she had to say and the strength she showed and the incredible courage it took to do it.

When all is said and done we are all just people struggling to survive and make it from one day to the next. I am thankful that she is no longer suffering with cancer and that God has granted her a place in Heaven. God grant us grace and dignity in our final hours. Amen.

Yesterday, All My Memories Seem

So Far Away .....

I got to the chapter house around 10 after 9 yesterday morning. Roz came in a few minutes later and we went upstairs to work on the program book for next year. Many changes and corrections.

Got to Jessica's around 5 after 1. All the babies were down for naps so I watched CSI reruns. I got snookered by Maddy. She yelled, "I woke up!" So I got her out of bed and then got even more snookered (I must not remember being a child at all!) by her brother Brandon who said, "Can we have an ice pop? Miss Jessica says it's okay." So I gave them each an ice pop. I mean, big deal, it's a popsicle in a plastic tube. Maddy couldn't get the ice to move up the tube. So I had to keep moving it up for her. When Jess got home she said, "Maddy, why aren't you in bed?" Ah, so busted! All of us. Jess and I talked for about half an hour then the babies woke up. Alex cries all the time but baby Audrey is so pleasant. She just smiles and does her thing while he wants to be held the whole day.

I left around 3:10 and went over to the Gloria Horn sewing studio to drop off my embroidery machine. First thing they say to me is that I have the embroidery thread on backwards! Heavens, maybe that's why the thread breaks! The bobbin is plastic and had small nicks in it. Another reason for thread breakage. I looked at all the new models. Does anyone want to know the cost on them? Upwards of thousands of dollars. It was a beautiful store, and even better, I got to talk to my ex-oncology nurse who is part owner. That was great! I left there at 4 p.m. and with all the detours around Greensburg and Latrobe I didn't get home until almost 5 p.m.!

Today I plan to lay out on my new chaise lounge in the back yard. What a fabulous day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seagram's presents Escapes ...

the Orange, Pineapple Bahama Mama Escape. Ah, to drink a 12 ounce bottle is to escape to a distantly warm place, sink my feet in the sand and lean back and relax to the sounds of waves crashing on the beach and seagulls calling. Hmmm, paradise. I am so there. Yum.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bad Dreams

I must be really worried about the upcoming PET scan because Phil said I woke him up screaming, "Oh, dear Jesus!" sometime during the night/early morning hours on Sunday. He thought I was channeling his grandma for a minute. He rubbed my shoulder until I fell back to sleep.

I remember having a bad dream early Monday morning, as well. I dreamt that Dr. Moser told me my CEA levels were steadily rising and that my PET scan revealed spots on the lungs and brain. Is this what it's going to be like for the next five years? I feel so stressed thinking "what if......"

This is difficult. Is every cancer patient/survivor going through this?

I feel good. I don't think God would allow me to suffer with cancer a second time.

The clock went off at 7 a.m. this morning. I kept thinking why doesn't someone turn that music down? :) I finally woke up and got myself out the door to meet another DAR member in Somerset to discuss our fundraiser for the State Regent's Project. Such a sweet young woman. It was a pleasure to meet her.

I left there about 11:30 and headed over to Tractor Supply and then next door to Salvation Army thrift store. Love that place! I was looking for Barbies and toys for Jassmine to play with when she comes over. I bought some Barbie furniture. She should have fun with that. Would like to find a Barbie dreamhouse. I found a pair of size 7 jean shorts for Chucky. Also, picked up a PFD for Jassie to wear if the kids take her out in the boat.

Yesterday I had a bunch of errands to do and with detours around Greensburg I ended up at the Gloria Horn sewing shop. I stopped in to find out how much it would cost to take a look at my Brother PE150 embroidery machine. I bought it a couple years ago at the thrift store for $49. I thought it would be fun to play around with it and at $49 if I couldn't get the thing to work I wasn't out a ton of dough. The only thing I can find wrong with it is the tension is set too high and I can't adjust that. I have no idea where the adjuster is.

When I start the machine it breaks thread. Anyway, they charge $79.95 to take a look at it. I'm hoping if anything is wrong with it the cost won't be major to have it repaired. One of my nurses from the cancer center is a part owner in the business. She is supposed to be in there tomorrow afternoon so I want to stop by to see her and drop off the machine.

I'm going to the chapter house tomorrow morning to work on our program book with the girls. Jess asked me to stop over to watch the kids for her in the afternoon. I think she has a doctors appointment. Last time I watched the kids I put my back out bending over to pick one of the babies up out of the swings. They are low rider swings. {Think Low-Ri-der by ZZ Top!}

I came home from my meeting in Somerset, made phone calls regarding the fundraiser and got a call from Randy. He needed me to check on a part for a furnace. The furnace is not one that we carry parts for but I was able to locate the part and called him back to let him know how much it cost. Afterwards I took a short nap.

I've got to get out and feed animals, and then start dinner for me and Phil. Last night was Cracker Barrel and we can't do that every night. I was up past midnight downloading our banking transactions into Quicken. Can't eat out every night or we won't have any $$. Phil gently reminded me that he gets up at 4 a.m. and to shut the light out. giggle I said, "Yes, daddy."

Oh, my parents will be up this Friday! They are coming in for Aunt Barb and Uncle Edmund's party on Sunday for their granddaughter Francesca. She is graduating from high school.