Saturday, October 31, 2009


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


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


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.