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


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!