Thursday, December 29, 2005

Day 189

where does time fly when you're having fun eh? ;-)

christmas is over .. in my head i know its over but i can't figure out why they're still showing christmas commercials on TV and why they're still selling aisle after aisle of christmas decorations in the stores .. its like somebody is wanting to pretend it isn't quite over yet .. i suppose you can't start paying the bills for christmas until its over eh lol

my radiation treatment has changed .. its been so long since i've written i had to go back and read my journal, just to refresh my memory .. they are calling this "boost treatment" .. they're not radiating my entire chest area, but they're directing it only to the tumor in my right lung and the infected lymph node on the right side of my neck .. and i think i'm getting a total of 10 or 12 of these

the area marked in red at my collar bone, is where they are radiating my lymph node and the area marked in black is where they aim the radiation through at an angle to the middle of my chest to "get" the tumor

for those new to my journal, i do not have breast cancer, i have lung cancer .. the incisions you see are from the biopsies and inserting the mediport for the chemotherapy .. i am simply trying to hold my breasts so that anyone interested can see where they are applying the radiation without having to get an unnecessary view of my breasteses :)

i'm relieved because there are a couple of places on my neck and chest that are really burned and have been driving me crazy with the itching .. i think i'm supposed to have 10 - 13 boost treatments .. if i get to vote, i'd like to vote that the treatment end now please .. i have grown extremely weary of playing hide and seek with my lung cancer ..

the change over in my pain medication did NOT go smoothly .. the doc finally decided on low dosage morphine patches and a slightly higher dosage liquid morphine for the more intense pain .. the liquid morphine the doc prescribed wouldn't be in stock until wednesday (yea, that was yesterday), somebody at the drug store decided that my insurance company wasn't going to cover any more morphine patches .. so basically i endured the entire weekend without pain meds .. which of course made it impossible for me to eat or drink .. every single office was closed until tuesday and when i finally got to see my doc tuesday, he decided to try to hold me over with 20/mg morphine cause the 10/mg hasn't arrived at the pharmacy .. all in all, with all the side effects, i've decided i don't like morphine .. the lit bitty baby patches are ok .. i can tolerate those .. but anything higher than that scares me .. i want a medication that relieves my pain and discomfort .. i DON'T want a drug that makes me feel like i'm under the influence .. i ended up having nightmares about the plague .. and when i woke up at 8:30 am yesterday morning, i was so confused and weak from not being able to eat ..

(sorry .. i had to take a break from crying ... err, i mean writing) in my current state of mind, there is nothing scarier than having a nightmare and not being able to tell if its real or a nightmare .. i just get so confused at times .. not knowing which medication i just took because i forgot to write it down .. not even knowing what today is because i moved the calendar and now i can't find it .. so yesterday all i could do was wait until 9 am when i could call my mom so she could un-confuse me and tell me what is real and what isn't .. and mom reminds me to drink my after with my soy shake .. and she reminds me to remember to take it one day at a time .. and she keeps reminding me that she loves me .. and she knew right away that my nightmare about me having the plague wasn't real .. and she reminds me to eat something (which sounds silly, but i don't want to eat cause it hurts)

so at 10 am yesterday, i went to my radiation appointment and called my mom when i got back home .. and she tells me my lil sis Nancy and my brother-in-law Keith are bringing my mom here, to my house in california, from where they live in las vegas maybe as early as this weekend .. so she can hold my hand and tell me what things are real and what things are just in my head .. and she can hold me when i cry and she will tell me its going to be ok when i get scared from coughing up blood .. and mom will remind me to make my lists of which medications i'm supposed to be taking and i'll help by reminding her to check her blood and to take insulin ..

and my mom tells me not to worry about having to act all grown up around her .. that its ok for me to cry and be scared .. after all, i was crying the first time she ever laid eyes on me :)

(thank you Nancy and Keith and YOU too mom !! i love you all so much and i see you soon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

i'm back hehe

not that i actually "went" anywhere mind you .. except back and forth to radiation .. i've completed my 17th radiation treatment (of 33 scheduled treatments) as of today .. and of course chemotherapy .. i just finished my 3rd on friday (out of 6 scheduled)

now, the reason i've been hiding is because of the tests yesterday .. my third brain scan and my 3rd CT scan of my neck and chest .. to see if the treatments are making any progress on the tumor and my lymph nodes and also to check and try to confirm the brain cancer .. the question mark in my brain, which started out on the right side; moved to the left side; has now moved back over to the right side .. not exactly behavior that allows them to confirm anything (that would be NOT bad news) .. we've always kinda known from the get-go that i have a very stubborn tumor .. so that wasn't really any surprise to me that it hasn't changed .. but it hasn't gotten bigger

they're changing my combination of pain killers again .. the last combo worked really good since i was in the hospital on the 6th and i've actually been able to get rid of the pain in my esophagus enough to gain weight .. but the last 2 days i've been feeling that stinging pain in my chest and neck again so the doc is switching up meds to see if any other combo works better .. i'm on double the morphine patches and double the liquid vicodin .. if this doesn't work, he's eliminating the patches and vicodin and putting me on liquid morphine .. anything is ok with me as long as i can eat and drink :)

my son came home from college in hawaii last night .. i had to wait up till 12:30 this morning and when i finally laid eyes on him i felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest .. he looks like a 20 year old hawaiian hippy lol .. a cute one at that :)  right now he's sleeping in his sisters room .. from what i understand they had a going away party for him and he partied it up pretty good before he came out here .. i imagine its going to take a few days for it to wear off .. poor baby lol

my friend Rover has disappeared .. he took off to go pick up a "check" and we haven't seen him since .. his friend, Julie, that he had left here to stay with me went out looking for him, but they ended up arguing and not knowing what to do, she came back here to stay .. no matter which way i look at this, our mutual friend has basically abandoned her at my house .. assuming i suppose that i'd take care of her .. word dude .. i've got enough on my plate and i don't appreciate you treating me like this .. i can't believe i was so excited about seeing my long lost friend .. guess he lost more along the way than i ever imagined

i'm not sure whats going to happen, but i do know i don't have the heart to kick anyone out on the street .. especially not during the winter .. especially not at christmas .. mostly i'm just disappointed over how Rover treated 2 of his "friends" .. bad bad dog

i have some pictures to show y'all of the hats that Rhonda had Dee crochet for me .. they are absolutely beautiful and i've already given one away to another lady who had lost all her hair because of chemo .. thank you both for being a part of something that makes other people smile :)

i'll make sure and post pics of these beautiful chemo caps as soon as i'm strong enough

on that note ~ i think its time for me to lay down and relax for a bit .. i hope y'all are enjoying the wonderful winter weather we're having !!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Day 175 12:08 pm california time

i just had a comment left in my guestbook by Bobby, wanting to know if i still smoke cigarettes .. and the answer is a resounding NO .. cancer seemed to be the motivation i needed to quit and i haven't even come close to having an urge to smoke again in 174 days

here are my "stats" by quitnet . com, on online service that has been extremely useful to me especially in the early days of becoming smoke free

My Quit My Stats:
Your Quit Date is:  6/24/2005 6:30:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 173 days, 20 hours, 32 minutes and 24 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 3477
Lifetime Saved 26 days, 13 hours
Money Saved: $609.00

well, this appears to be the last shot of our accidental garden i'm going to be able to get for this year !!  its gotten colder here the past couple of weeks and i haven't seen any new growth so i figured it was time to "harvest" the first crop of corn lol

does this qualify as "accidental corn?" hehe

obviously i'm a city girl, born and bred, so i'm really not too sure what to do with the corn stalks that remain after i harvested the corn .. am i supposed to leave the stalks?  am i supposed to rip the corn out of the ground?  is there anybody that reads my journal that knows a thing or two about corn crops? HELP !!  i don't know what to do now !!!

i tossed the corn "cobs" into the squirrel food basket .. i'll check back in a couple of days to see if they've been hauled off for safe keeping during the winter :)

i have to confess that i've had a blast with the garden this year .. from its earliest beginnings to the actual harvest of almost a dozen ears of really strange looking corn .. i just hope mother nature is good to us next year and blesses us again with another accidental garden :)

::shuffling off singing "you've picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille ... four hundred children and a crop in the field .... "::

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Day 173 - 8:51 am california time

this is just going to be a quick entry before i call my mom this morning .. i slept in till 7:30 this morning so i don't have much time .. i am normally up and working by 5 at the latest so i really feel like i'm catching up on my sleep the past few days :)

i have company !!

a couple of weeks ago i decided to take a chance and send an old friend an IM on yahoo .. i lost touch with him around 3 years ago and i've really been missing him .. (on yahoo if the person isn't online, it will actually save the message until the next time the person logs on) i was really surprised when i checked the very next day and found a message from him asking for my phone number !!  turns out he hadn't been online in months and just happened to log on that very day to find a message from me

i sent him my phone number and got a phone call from him the next day .. i explained my health situation to him and told him that i would really understand if it was too difficult to be friends with me right now .. he said not to worry .. i told him i'd call him back on sunday (he was staying with friends in the area) and maybe we'd be able to hook up if i was healthy enough to drive

i called and left several messages and never heard back from him .. until this last weekend .. he called and explained that he had lost his place to stay and was headed up to san francisco to hook up with another friend .. he asked if i'd get online for him, check his email and get the phone number of his friend .. i scolded him for not thinking of me when he needed a place to stay .. he said he didn't want to inconvenience me

sunday night, i was a bit surprised (pleasantly) when my friend (i've called him Rover since i've known him) and his friend, Julie showed up at my door at 10:30 at night, needing a place to stay

and its working out great !!!  i never even go into the living room and i've got a huge couch in there that they can share .. i love having the company .. i even tried eating solid food yesterday, a bit braver cause someone was here in case i choked again, he could save me lol

Rover and i did go out for a few months some 7 or 8 years ago, but quickly realized that although we loved each other, IN love was just something we could never do .. but he's always been such a great person to just hang out with and i knew that if he took Julie under his wing,that she was good people too

i love that i can just walk into the living room and have a conversation with either of them .. if they're awake .. they've both been sleeping a lot the past few days, Rover says living on the streets does that to you .. wears you out down to the bones i guess

i told them both yesterday how grateful i was that they decided to stay with me and my home was open to them until my son arrived on the 19th and only then because i only have one bathroom and it would be a bit crowded in our tiny cottage .. Rover said that would be great cause he'd have "a check" by then and he could get a place to stay

i was in such good spirits last night .. we ran out and i got us some chinese food .. i told them both it was great having company for dinner .. Julie replies, "yea!! and its great HAVING dinner too!!" lol

i love that i have somebody to put the aloe vera on my back after my radiation lol

on that note, its time to call my mom :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Day 170 7:51 AM my time

i decided it was about time to get that ugly picture off the first entry in my journal lol

ick !!  why did you guys let me put that up there?  i can only claim insanity caused by 3 days in the hospital hehe

i'm at about 95% recovered .. i'm still on mostly a liquid diet but had my first scrambled eggs for dinner last night .. i'm craving something crunchy so i'm hoping my esophagus will heal completely quickly .. i want crunchy food !!!  the liquid vicodin helps me eat and drink until i'm completely recovered .. unfortunately, the vicodin also makes my skin itch .. i can't tell if i'm getting sunburned from that radiation and it itches or if its from the reaction to the vicodin

my oncologist let me skip chemo yesterday .. he said i'd had a hard enough week and deserved a break .. so i came home, did a little bit of work for the office and then actually slept .. my first honest to goodness "nap" in months .. i don't know if my doc is going to have me make up the missed chemo at the end .. i'm really hoping to be done with all this treatment stuff on January 3rd .. ::keeping my fingers crossed::

while i was digging through our old family pictures looking for the picture of my lil sis Nancy, i ran across a couple of pictures of me with my Grandpa Joe .. i miss him a lot :)

Thursday, December 8, 2005

home from the hospital

i'm home and i have a very ugly picture from the hospital to prove it hehe

obviously i'm feeling 1000% better .. no more morphine, no more all the other drugs they kept pushing into me trying to make it more comfortable

i'm home and i'm comfortable (i also have the help of my liquid vicodin lol)

i hurt my esophagus and its getting better .. my doc promised me a rush discharge this morning so i made it to radiation in time .. tomorrow is my 12th radiation and my 3rd chemo .. i can't believe tomorrow is friday ..

my ex brought my daughter by the hospital last night .. we laid on the bed and i asked her just to hold on to me for a few minute so i could cry .. then i'd be all better and strong again .. i cried for a few minutes, she held on tight .. then she rubbed my feet .. a sure fire way to get me to smile :)  then i got a quick call from my son making sure i was doing OK .. he said he could hear in my voice that i was doing a lot better .. he asked if it was ok if i held off getting our Christmas tree until he got home on the 19th .. we made a deal :)

i so appreciate my ex coming out of his way so i could spend time with our daughter .. i know he was uncomfortable because of his injury yet he still brought her over .. he even gave us a few minutes alone in the room so we could snuggle :)

i got absolutely nothing done on the list of office duties this week, so it looks like i'll be working well into the weekend .. lucky me eh :)

thank you for sticking by my side, for the support, prayers and encouragement .. i hope you all realize how good you are for my heart .. i don't know if i could do all this without you

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Day 166 - 'bout 7:17 am my time

today i undergo my 10th radiation treatment .. 10 down, 20 to go .. i'll be 1/3rd of the way through !!!  ::breathing a huge sigh of relief::

i was dreading the treatment yesterday, that one tech that absolutely refuses to crack a smile really bothers me .. in case you haven't noticed, i really am making an effort to remain cheerful and positive throughout this ordeal .. i simply do no have room in my life (or in my heart) for negative people .. thankfully she was gone yesterday and was replaced with a very sweet, good natured technician who kept trying her best to keep my breasts covered during the treatment .. her concern for my comfort really made me smile and i made sure that i let her know :)

i've had so much going on .. so many things happening that i wish i had time to write about .. i have been blessed with having so many wonderful caring and concerned people in my life who take time out of their busy days to bring a smile into my day .. i have been surprised with a gift of 3 new chemo caps (since i can't seem to stop giving them away lol thank you Dee and Rhonda !!!), i have a beautiful poinsettia sitting on my living room table (thank you Jeff !!), i have my two wonderful chemo angels Sandy and Erika (thank you both so much for all your attention !!) .. and i know i'm forgetting somebody important .. at least i think i am .. but then again i apologized to my sister Nancy for never thanking her for buying the sweater for my daughter and Nancy swears i've thanked her three times now lol

healthwise .. i'm exhausted .. i think its the radiation that has been irritating my brochial tube .. swallowing is difficult and i seem to be coughing a lot lately .. i guess its just part of the process of getting better .. i get up early in the day to get office work done, call my mom at 9 am and then off to radiation at 10 .. i know i should do grocery shopping or cleaning the house afterwards but i just don't have the energy

today i have the eye appointment for Laser Vision Correction to see if it is something that could help me .. i figure even if i chicken out or i'm not a candidate for surgery, i can get a new prescription for glasses :)  i would love to be able to see well enough to drive at night !!

i got a phone call from my son sunday afternoon .. he's coming home on the 19th !!  i'm crying just thinking about finally being able to see him again .. he says he's ok with taking me to radiation every day .. i'm relieved that if i get so tired i can't drive myself, i won't have to worry about that for a few weeks

i am kinda nervous about being around someone (my son) while i'm struggling through these treatments .. its one thing to have someone visit for a few minutes and another thing to have someone witness how sick i actually get after the chemo and radiation together .. kinda takes away all the glamour of being a cancer patient .. i know alot of you may not understand what i'm trying to explain .. its just that my children have never really seen me suffering .. and it breaks my heart that this is something that we have to go through .. i just wish i wasn't sick .. i just wish this wasn't something that i have to go through with them

when my son called sunday, i could tell he had just woken up .. he sounds so young when he's sleepy :)  he asked me if i knew how to download music .. i said of course .. he gave me the name of the artist and a song that he wanted me to listen to .. i didn't think much of it until the next day when i actually found the mp3 and the lyrics .. i hadn't realized my son was giving me a message .. not just recommending a good song

i'm not a rap person by any stretch of the imagination, but (thankfully) it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what my son was telling me

(i hope its ok to copy lyrics in my journal .. i left a few of the words out since they really aren't appropriate)

the song is Hey Mama by Kanye West

(Hey Mama), I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I'm so proud of you
Let me tell you what I'm about to do, (Hey Mama)
I know I act a fool but, I promise you I'm goin back to school
I appreciate what you allowed for me
I just want you to be proud of me (Hey Mama)

[Verse 1]
I wanna tell the whole world about a friend of mine
This little light of mine and I'm finna let it shine
I'm finna take yall back to them better times
I'm finna talk about my mama if yall don't mind
I was three years old, when you and I moved to the Chi
Late December, harsh winter gave me a cold
You fixed me up something that was good for my soul
Famous homemade chicken soup, can I have another bowl?
You work late nights just to keep on the lights
Mommy got me training wheels so I could keep on my bike
And you would give anything in this world
Michael Jackson leather and a glove, but didn't give me a curl
And you never put no man over me
And I love you for that mommy cant you see?
Seven years old, caught you with tears in your eyes
Cuz a guy cheatin, telling you lies, then I started to cry
As we knelt on the kitchen floor
I said mommy Imma love you till you don't hurt no more
And when I'm older, you aint gotta work no more
And Imma get you that mansion that we couldn't afford
See you're, unbreakable, unmistakable
Highly capable, lady that's makin loot
A livin legend too, just look at what heaven do
Send us an angel, and I thank you (Hey Mama)


[Verse 2]
Forrest Gump mama said, life is like a box of chocolates
My mama told me go to school, get your doctorate
Somethin to fall back on, you could profit with
But still supported me when I did the opposite
Now I feel like it's things I gotta get
Things I gotta do, just to prove to you
You was getting through, can the choir please
Give me a verse of "You, Are So Beautiful To Me"
Can't you see, you're like a book of poetry
Maya Angelou, Nicky Giovanni, turn one page and there's my mommy
Come on mommy just dance wit me, let the whole world see your dancing feet
Now when I say Hey, yall say Mama, now everybody answer me (Hey Mama)


I guess it also depends tho, if my ends low
Second they get up you gon get that Benzo
Tint the windows, ride around the city and let ya friends know (Hey Mama)

[Verse 3]
Tell your job you gotta fake em out
Since you brought me in this world, let me take you out
To a restaurant, upper echelon
Imma get you a jag, whatever else you want
Just tell me what kind of S-Type Donda West like?
Tell me the perfect color so I make it just right
It don't gotta be Mother's Day, or your birthday
For me to just call and say (Hey Mama)

Monday, December 5, 2005

Day 165 - 6:20 AM my time

a very very long time ago in my home economics sewing class, i sewed a golden corderoy outfit for my baby sister Nancy .. i was so proud of the outfit, of the way it looked on her and how she modeled it during the annual fashion show that my school held to show off their students handiwork

Nancy and i have been discussing this memory for ages now and this weekend i actually found a picture of her wearing that outfit

talk about memories that bring a smile to my face !!  so of course i have to share the picture here, in my journal .. sorry the quality is so poor but at least you can still make out the beautiful smile of this beautiful little girl

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Day 164 - about 6:11 AM my time

since i started my journal way back on July 20, 2003, its purpose has become varied .. mostly i've felt it was my place to get my head noise out of my head and down on "paper" .. an exercise, if you will, that has always seemed to help me figure things out .. sometimes i just wanted to share good or happy stuff that happens in my life .. a lot of it dealing with my experiences volunteering at the humane society .. then i was diagnosed with cancer .. and this has become my cancer journal .. i still have other stuff happen on occasion, but mostly this journal seems to revolve around the fact that i have cancer .. kinda like my life now seems to revolve around my cancer

my social life has basically been reduced to healthy people who have volunteered to help me out with a chore or two .. i used to have weekend long visits with my sister Susie, when i was receiving full dose chemo, she'd pick me up on friday mornings, sit with me through chemo and then spend the entire weekend with me .. but those visits stopped when the full dose chemo stopped .. when i had my restaging appointment on Nov 4th, Aunt Susie volunteered to go with me to hold my hand ..

at both "little" chemos that i've gone to since, somebody asks "where is your sister?"

ya see, i have this little issue .. i have a hard time asking people for help .. instead i let them know i have a "need" if you will, and wait to see if they volunteer .. i told my immediate family and friends that the docs expect me to be flat on my back after week 4 of radiation .. thats from dec 12th forward

i expect that i will need rides to chemo and radiation after Dec 12th .. thankfully thats about the same time that both my kids will be home from school and i've asked them both to help out and take care of me .. my son "warned" me that 2 weekends he'll be going snowboarding .. when Aunt Susie asked me if there was any place she could fill in, i told her about the 2 weekends my son would be gone

i thought that was what she came over yesterday to talk about .. i wasn't quite sure what we were going to do after we discussed my chemo schedule so i had made lists of things we could do .. shopping, errands .. chores .. just stuff .. cause i wasn't sure exactly how long the discussion was going to last and didn't want her to get bored lol

but she lied about her intentions ...

don't get me wrong, this is NOT gonna be a "pick on my little sister day" .. i've just got a lot of one rolling around in my head and for the life of me can't figure out what the three happened to my life .. what happened to the relationship i THOUGHT i had with my sister .. how can one person be convinced they have such a wonderful relationship with someone only to find out the other person feels crapped on?

especially when i thought i was treating her with respect, appreciation, concern .. i never wanted her to feel like i was taking advantage of her giving nature or didn't appreciate the effort she made in my life .. i couldn't have gone through the chemo without her help .. i tried as many ways as i could to let her know .. and i failed .. big time according to her

THAT is why she wanted to come over yesterday .. jeez .. if i ever stop crying i'll write this down .. i still am shocked .. and my heart is breaking .. seriously .. that my little sister could end up feeling so crapped on by me .. that i could make her feel "disrespected, unintelligent, controlled and manipulated" makes ME wonder what kind of person i am that i could make anybody, let alone somebody i love and respect so much, feel that way .. is there a monster hiding under my cancer?  why don't i feel like a monster?

when she started explaining how it annoys her when she drives me someplace and i tell her where to park, i almost laughed out loud with relief .. ok .. i'm a backseat driver .. EVERYBODY hates those !!  i can't fault her there .. even i hate backseat drivers .. but then when she threw in that she felt i do this in an attempt to control her because i don't respect her driving abilities .. my jaw dropped

she went on to explain that when i interrupt her i am being rude .. but she's not allowed to interrupt me because then i lose my train of thought .. so i'm rude and controlling and not respecting her right to finish a sentence

and when she tries to leave or hang up the phone, i never let her go, so i am attempting to manipulate her into staying longer

my jaw stayed dropped the entire conversation .. i think there was a comment or two in there about how i make her feel like "the hired help" and i make her feel "stupid"

i sat there, quite honestly, feeling like i'd been hit by sniper fire .. i can't remember the number of times i had talks with my sister .. to let her know that if i was doing ANYTHING wrong to please let me know so i could change it .. because i wanted her to feel good about helping me .. and i knew how hard it is to take care of someone, especially someone difficult .. and i knew how frustrating it could be to try to have a conversation with me especially with the chemo brain and being confused all the time

i was so afraid that i'd do something wrong and i'd lose her .. and i think it was her that told me "don't worry .. we're in this fight together, until the end" .. but maybe now i think i got her confused with someone else

cause yesterday, before she left, she told me to think about what she's told me and i needed to figure out if i am willing to change so she can stay in my life because she refuses to stay in my life if i can't treat her like she deserves to be treated

and she could arrange her schedule to take me home from 2 chemos but she wouldn't be able to stay .. i told her not to worry, i'd take a taxi

and then she got her stuff together to leave

and i had more stuff to tell her (i even wanted to show her my bruised toe) but i was afraid she'd think i was trying to manipulate her into staying longer so i kept my mouth shut

and she drove away .. and i think i feel like i lost my best friend ..

and i don't understand how i can make her feel disrespected when i RESPECT HER .. or how i can make her feel STUPID when i don't think she's stupid .. i still give her credit for hating a back seat driver .. but i swear i only try to keep her on the phone cause i like talking to her .. but i'm going to stop trying to keep her on the phone cause i know she hates it

and i won't try to keep her from leaving when she comes to visit .. cause i know she hates that too

but mostly i have a feeling i won't need to worry about most of this for awhile .. because i don't want to see her or talk to her .. i ended up hurting somebody without intending to .. and i hate when that happens .. ya see, i gone and screwed up the relationship with the one person who helped me through all of this .. and i ain't feeling too good about myself

i don't know if it helped, but i told her i was sorry .. really really sorry

good people .. hero's .. kind people .. they don't "lose" their little sisters

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Day # ?? - but i know its saturday 7:34 am - my time

why does it feel like its been days since i updated my journal?  i updated on thursday, today is only saturday .. it really hasn't been that long right?  from where i'm sitting, the past few days translate into probably over 100 cigarettes that i didn't smoke

i ended up talking to my daughter on thursday instead of driving over to visit briefly for her birthday .. i had dropped her gift off on their porch earlier that morning then scurried off to the safety of my bed to soak in the multitude of prescriptions that i have coming out of my ears .. odd .. my ears are probably the only thing i don't have a prescription for (did i just end a sentence grammatically incorrectly? ::shrugging::)

oh well .. welcome to my head noise :)

and i think i've discovered that i'm slightly allergic to vicodin .. i don't seem to react the same with liquid vicodin though .. WHY am i taking vicodin you ask?  well .. let me try to remember .. ok, a variety of reasons .. it started, if i recall correctly, with needing some relief from some incisions in my chest for the odd assortment of surgeries, biopsies .. etc .. then it developed into needing relief from the pain in my neck and back, the result of laying still for hours on hard cold flat surfaces while they scanned every conceivable place that cancer could be hiding (a very uncomfortable and expensive version of "Hide & Go Seek ~ Come Out, Come Out, wherever you are !!!")

and now, after 8 treatments with radiation from the middle of my neck,  to below my breastses, the cells previously lining in my esophagus are dying off and leaving the scene of what was once a wild party in my throat .. and trust that their leaving is painful .. emotionally as well as physically .. i had kinda grown attached to those cells lol .. oh, should i have said "they had grown attached to ME?!?!?!"

::cough cough:: ::swallow swallow:: .. just checking to make sure its all working .. and its ok as long as i don't try to swallow anything .. add one little ingredient like water and it changes things .. so i take liquid vicodin now .. cause i like to eat and drink :)

that sure was a very long answer to a very simple question

again, welcome to my head noise .. its crazy up here .. get used to it or you'll go insane from the sheer volume, trust me

i think i've got chemo brain again.. yesterday i received my 2nd of 6th chemotherapy (what is the plural for chemotherapy?) and life doesn't feel the same .. or i don't think i feel the same .. i am having a lot of issues trying to remember what i feel or think for that matter .. the task of trying to remember what i am doing, need to do or want to do is another entirely separate and confusing matter

i briefly got to visit with my MIA neighbor .. the wonderful hummingbird lady .. its a long story i've told before in my journal .. she came home for thanksgiving .. we met briefly in my driveway, then i think she went home to get something cause i remember sitting on the couch waiting for her to return .. i gave up after 2 hours and went to bed wondering if i'd said something or done something to offend her .. then i realized i could have just been really confused .. and was sitting and waiting for nothing .. sheesh .. i need to remember to email her to make sure she didn't drop off the face of the planet since thanksgiving eh

i know some very important things have happened in my life and i'm going to forget them .. or forget to mention them .. i keep thinking i should write some of this stuff down so i don't forget .. so here i am and i can't remember what i wanted to write

for the life of me all that comes to mind is wanting to share that i spent my entire evening last night watching That 70's Show reruns (a TV show i've never seen before so its all new to me lol) .. it was some kinda marathon .. and today i had to look up George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words so i could start using the numbers in place of the actual words .. come to find out, i'll only be using 2 numbers .. number 1 and number 3 .. the rest are useless to me .. of course i can't say the words, you have to look them up or perhaps you're a child from the 70's that actually has some fragment of memory of those times lol

oh, and i had a rotten day yesterday .. i woke in the middle of the night, in a drug induced haze and ended up kicking my bed ouching my little toe .. which really wasn't much of an ouch until the liquid vicodin wore off at 2 am and THEN my toe really hurt .. i ended up splinting it right after i got of out of bed and jammed my toe into the dining room chair .. thankfully its not broken .. just bruised .. i really didn't need a broken toe on top of all this ya know !

and my Sister Susie is coming over in half an hour .. and i can't remember why .. she just called to let me know she was on her way .. i sounded confused i guess so she asked if i was expecting her .. i answered yes, i knew she was coming over i just wasn't expecting her to call ..

and when i hung up i started crying cause i hate being confused .. i have so much to do .. stuff that i can't put off .. my life is kinda depending on me taking care of myself and i can't think straight .. i don't know if i've eaten .. i don't know if i'm hungry .. i know my house is a mess and the christmas presents i ordered for my kids are arriving .. and i know i'm supposed to call my mom at 9 but i need to call her and tell her i can't talk cause i have company .. cause my sister is coming over but i can't remember why

so i just sit and cry .. i don't think i have a pill for tears

sorry y'all .. i tried to warned ya about the head noise :)

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Day 161

and no Paul .. i haven't given up counting days .. did i ever tell you that when all this is said and done and i publish my book, the title is going to be the number of days we endured all of this .. besides, sometimes its easier to figure out a number than an actual subject line ;-)

today they have me on some liquid painkillers (ewwww .. they don't need to worry about me overdosing on THAT stuff) and a mouthwash called "Stanford mouthwash" ..  * Stanford's Mouthwash: Tetracycline, Nystatin, Hydrocortisone, Chlorpheniramine     (antibiotic, antifungal, steroid, antihistamine)

the pharmacist read the label on the bottle for me .. "gargle 20 minutes" .. eyes wide, i grabbed the bottle and continued reading "before meals" .. sheesh .. i almost saved me $14.10

the past few treatments, i've had a new radiology technician .. she's not rude, she's not grouchy .. she's just not .. well .. pleasant, let alone happy .. she is the epitome of technicians that i detest .. the kind that refuse to laugh at my expense

today while each technician was at my side peering onto my naked breasts (my breasts really WERE there, they were just kinda hiding under my arms .. they hate these procedures) .. when suddenly my cute funny male technician stands up headfirst into the radiation machine .. i could feel his pain and i think i saw one of two of his stars .. the female hitler said nothing .. i consoled him .. "now i know its not my lucky day .. had it been my lucky day, you would have fallen unconscious on top of me so i could have my way with you" .. he blushed .. the female hitler remained rigidly firm in her lifelong goal of never cracking a smile 

tomorrow i'm making an announcement .. i am at an unfair advantage .. i get to lay topless while people stroll around nonplused and as casual as if i were receiving manicure .. tomorrow this ends

tomorrow i level the playing field

tomorrow i announce that ANY technician not willing to endure the procedure with me ALSO being topless will have to find something else to do for 15 minutes .. in order for them to fully appreciate the level of humiliation and embarassment patients endure, i will ONLY allow topless technicians to work on me .. and i'll smile and i'm sure they're going to think i'm joking ..

and today is my daughters 15th birthday .. i had plans to drive to her dads house to drop of a little something-something but decided instead staying safely in bed, sipping liquid painkillers would probably be a safer bet .. so i dropped the package off at her dads house earlier this morning .. i would have loved to be able to see her, but i would have cried .. today is a very emotional day for me .. 15 years ago i gave birth to an 8 week premature baby, born at 4 lbs 3 oz, dropping to 3 lbs 10 oz .. we weren't even convinced she was going to live until she was 5 days old .. she's actually already died once .. i've actually threatened to complete the job on several occasions .. when she was 3 days old i refused to go to the hospital .. i had convinced myself that i was falling in love with her and if i stopped going to see her it wouldn't hurt as much if we lost her .. and she's been a fighter since she was born .. thats my baby :) 



why did i think that when the side effects from the radiation hit me it would be this gradual, ease into it kind of thing?

after my radiation treatment yesterday i drove to my office thinking my throat felt strange .. within 20 minutes i couldn't stop trying to clear my throat .. its not sore, more like there is something stuck about half way down my chest .. dinner was no problem but around 10 pm last night i decided to take a sleeping pill and almost couldn't get it down, my throat was so tender

yesterday i asked the technologist exactly how much of my chest is being radiated .. for some reason, i came away from all those pre-meetings believing the area around my breasts was receiving the majority of the radiation.  He corrected me .. its from the top of my neck, to just below my breasts (i receive radiation from both the front and the back) i haven't even gone that far with the aloe vera gel on the front and can't even get my hands close to my back

this morning i woke up with red itchy bumps on my neck and upper back .. the beginnings of a sunburn .. even though i'm sure in some book somewhere it says "DO NOT SCRATCH SUNBURNS", i don't care .. it itches .. it really itches .. and my throat is starting to feel a little less uncomfortable and a lot more like discomfort

can i go back to bed now? lol

on the "good news" front, i talked to my boss yesterday about borrowing money to have my eyes checked out and possibly go in for lasik (or laser) eye surgery .. it was something that i had started saving money for last year and now my eyesight has gotten so bad most days i struggle trying to read the leases they put on my desk .. he agreed to lend me the money and tuesday i have an appointment with one of the leading Ophthalmologists in the Bay Area !!!!  ::insert happy dance::

on that note, its time for me to get ready to call my mom .. not that i'm actually going to be able to TALK .. but i can at least listen lol

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

my new guestbook

i've been having problems with spammers in my guestbook for several months now .. hundreds upon hundreds of spam messages .. so today i got myself another guestbook where you have to type in the confirmation code before you can send a message

sorry its such a pain, i just got too tired of trying to remember how to delete unwanted messages from my guestbook

on the brightside, we have a whole new guestbook to fill up now lol

just check out the links in my All About Me Section over there to the left where the links will remain or just use these :)

[Sign My Guestbook] [View My Guestbook]
Powered by E-Guestbooks Server.

whoops i did it again

10:15 am rain or shine (holidays excepted) you'll find me in the radiology department patiently waiting my turn .. in case you miss me during radiation, on wednesdays, you can run upstairs where i'll be partaking in my 4 hour chemo once a week .. (just so y'all know where to drop my christmas presents off .. i wouldn't want ya running around town getting lost ya know hehe)

most days the patients sit chatting quietly with each another .. yesterday morning there was a woman and her husband there i had seen on several occasions .. she was always quiet, never making a fuss .. just sitting there in those sexy hospital gowns in a hat on that reminded me of Gilligan's Island

i pulled my chair closer to hers and inquired, polietly, about her condition .. although her husband tried to interject on several occasions (to save his wife the effort of breathing i suppose) i really DID want to talk to her, to her hear side of her story .. pretty soon her gracious husband "got it" and was content to sit back and listen .. then i asked if her Gilligans hat held any sentimemtal significance .. she shook her head no

i pulled my hand crocheted chemo cap from my head (i was wearing my black and green one) and then i asked her if she'd noticed my chemo cap that was crocheted by a friend of mine .. she ran her hand over the cap, exclaimed how soft it was .. i encouraged her to put it on so we could see what it looked like .. and she looked like a queen .. a chemo cap fit for a queen .. just about that time my technician came to fetch me and i told her to keep the cap, it looks like it was made just for her and she looks beautiful

 and tomorrow i know when i see my new friend, she'll have a smile on her face and a beautiful new chemo cap on her head .. its amazing, even when you're at your sickest, just doing a little something to make you feel pretty sure does do a long way

here's a pic of the cap that Dee crocheted

and Dee? ummm .. i'm running out of caps .. i only have my blue one left lol

we're going to need to work something out .. a payment plan perhaps .. well, at least until my eyes are better and i can see to learn to crochet myself
  i can't believe how such a seemingly small gift as a chemo cap can make a lady feel so happy   i need to order to more caps please .. one in black and one in orange :) is that possible?

i swear, if ANYONE knows of a chemo patient, these would be the perfect gifts .. they are soft and NOT scratchy at all .. they're warm, yet loose enough weave not to be stifiling hot .. and the colors are beautiful .. i must have received 2 or 3 dozen compliments so far (which reminds me i promised a few ladies to get business cards of Dee's so I can pass them out during next chemo)

Monday, November 28, 2005

sharing pictures from Thanksgiving

a quick picture of my daughter cooking Thanksgiving Dinner (me .. i watched and took pictures hehe)

from left to right .. my daughter, my niece Susan, my niece Jennifer and my big brother Jimmy

another picture of my brother Jimmy and my little sister, Charlene

thats me in the middle .. with the twins, Charlene and Susan .. my daughter spent the morning putting my makeup on for me .. i still can't believe how good that girl can made me look with the right amount of makup !!

my sis Charlene .. its hard to get her to hold still for pictures

My sister Charlenes daughters, Sue-Sue and Jenny

the cousins and my daughter in the middle



I had to throw this in cause she's such a beauty :)

the pic of my sis is kinda goofy but i thought my living room looked kind of pretty with the sun shining in :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Day 157

i have a feeling when my niece writes me an email reminding me i haven't updated my journal in a few days, its time to get writing eh !

~waving to my niece, Amy Janelle~

its been a busy few days and its looking like its going to get busier, so this is going to be a short entry, just to let y'all know how i'm doing :)

my teenage daughter actually did most of the cooking Thanksgiving Day .. i was flattered by her offer to come over and cook dinner for us, i was just a little unsure if she had any idea how much work she had agreed to lol

my sisters Susie and Charlene, my big brother Jimmy, and my 2 nieces Jenny and Sue-Sue all joined us for Thanksgiving Dinner .. i hope next year i'm well enough to be able to invite the entire family

i am feeling the effects from the chemo since thursday afternoon .. the digestion problems are probably the ONE side effect that hit me harder than any of the rest .. and of course, its the one side effect they have no pill for .. the best i can do is a pain pill for the cramps and a sleeping pill so i can sleep through the worst of it ..

yesterday it turned out to be a wonderfully warm day .. i took my little bald head out to the back yard where i just sat and cried wishing i wasn't in so much pain .. and when the cramps would ease up, i'd raise my face to the sun and enjoy every drop of sunshine .. i wasn't expecting my daughter to find me .. i figured she was glued to MTV for awhile .. she tried to get me to come back inside and get into bed .. i finally convinced her to stay outside with me and enjoy the sunshine between my tears :)

my daughter and i played monopoly wednesday night .. we took tons of pictures with the digital camera while we danced around and completely made fools out of ourselves (in the privacy of our own home of course) which i'll gladly share in my journal with complete strangers and my best journaling buddys just as soon as i find time to edit them :)

i got a phone call from my son who is colleging in hawaii .. his momma must have raised him good if he remembers to call all her on the holidays eh ?!? hehe .. i can't wait for him to come home next month

last night my daughter called her dad for him to come pick her up to go back home at 5 pm .. she hadn't said a word to me about when she was going home, i just noticed little things of hers weren't strewn about the house .. "are you going to cry mom?".. "no i'm not" .. "are you lying mom?" .. "yes i am" ..

i've only had 3 radiation treatments so far .. for a grand total of about 60 seconds of radiation .. i wasn't expecting to actually feel any benefits so quickly .. i can take deeper breaths without it catching or causing pain in the middle of my chest .. the coughing is a lot less and i'm hardly coughing up any blood anymore (sorry to ick you guys out) .. i'm thinking since i feel so much better, this would be a good time to stop the chemo and rad's before i get really sick .. right? lol .. i mean if i can feel the effects of the radiation killing off cells this quickly, i can only imagine what its going to feel like after 27 more treatments

and my daughters 15th birthday is Thursday .. my baby is growing up :(  i'm not quite sure what she has planned so i've already given her birthday gifts to her .. i am hoping i feel well enough on Thursday to drive by her dads house and give her a card and flowers or something ..

on that note, i have a ton of office work to finish up .. and i'm hoping the sun will be shining again today so i can get a little sun on my head :)

i hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday !!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

1 down .. 29 to go

(1 radiation treatment down and 29 to go, that is)

i got my first radiation treatment complete .. i arrived at the radiation oncology office at 10:05 and walked out at 10:38 .. sheesh .. almost wasn't worth bothering to put makeup on for lol

yea .. i was nervous .. its just so difficult to imagine that this radiation thing, xrays i've been getting since i was a child, is killing off my cells .. that something that i've perceived as harmless for so long is what is quite possibly going to save my life

they radiated me 11 second from the front, flipped the machine over and zapped me 11 second from the back .. treatment complete

somebody get out the calculator please .. 11 seconds per side; 2 sides per day; once per day for 5 days, and continuing for 6 weeks .. is what?  11 minutes of radiation?  i'm still wrapping my brain around that one

but i survived .. it hurt as much as any ordinary xray :)

then i worked on budgets for the office for around 5 hours then slipped in a quick little nap before the office called .. i need to remember to turn off my phone .. i really really needed a nap .. i haven't been sleeping too good lately ya know !!!

anyway, i just wanted y'all to know i survived my first radiation treatment lol

oh .. and i had a little time this morning to do a little before and after with the camera .. one picture is me before makeup, the other after makeup  and i'm taking votes .. which one would you least object to if it showed up on your doorstep? ROFL (now be nice!!!)

#1 NO Makeup

#2 Makeup & BALD

#3 Makeup & Cap

now don't forget to vote on your way out LOL .. ((waving to my adorable niece Amy who dropped by yesterday and left a comment in my UK Journal xoxoxoxoxo)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Day 150

My Quit
My Stats:
Your Quit Date is:  6/24/2005 6:30:00 PM Time 
148 days, 15 hours, 1 minute and 49 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 2973
Lifetime Saved 22 days, 17 hours
Money Saved: $521.50

pardon my showing off just a bit .. 149 days of being a nonsmoker .. it seems like a lifetime

these stats are from www . quitnet . com .. they really helped me during the hardest first few weeks when i quit smoking, but even now i can't wait to see my current stats .. especially how much lifetime i've saved by not smoking

i'm seeing more and more people who really do want to quit smoking .. i see that as more lives being saved .. a few weeks ago there was a brief discussion in one journal (forgive me for forgetting which one lol) about how outraged one journaler was when a city decided to ban outdoor smoking at public places .. a few months ago i would have stood on her soapbox, right along with her, in an attempt to voice my displeasure with the government telling people what they have the right to do in public

i have such a different perspective now .. why do people think they have the RIGHT to smoke in public?  with all the proof on the damages of second hand smoke, why would any reasonable smoker want to risk hurting another person with their own bad habit?  with all the proof that smoking kills .. how can anybody feel proud about killing themselves, let alone in public?

i can remember when it was COOL to smoke .. we had cigarette ads everywhere .. we had the marlboro man .. plus a handful of other cigarette icons .. smoking was glorified in the movies and on TV .. everybody smoked and it was acceptable .. slowly my daughters generation is realizing how dangerous and NOT cool smoking is .. one of the T-shirts being sold now is a cigarette with the circle and slash through it and beneath says "there are much cooler ways to kill yourself"

on top of all this, i was watching a show a few days ago .. about problems with littering in public places .. i had NO idea that almost 30% of littering is done by cigarette smokers .. tsk tsk tsk

just because you are killing yourself, doesn't give smokers the right to be rude too eh !!!

being a person who is a beginner nonsmoker, i'll be the first to admit that having to walk through a group of people standing on the sidewalk, smoking, really IS difficult for me to do .. i guess i'm just getting to the place where i'm starting to resent having to breathe other peoples cigarette smoke ::shrugging::

i'm all for banning smoking in public places .. lets stop exposing our children to cigarettes .. stop smoking in public for the children .. our children .. and keep our fingers crossed that they remain smarter and wiser than my own generation

::stepping off my soapbox::  sorry, i just had to get that out of my system :)

i've realized that the last week have been a transition period for me .. in changing from the massive chemo treatment to the radiation and chemo treatment really has been a transition period

i don't know any of the people .. the employees, the patients .. i don't know anything about the procedures, the side effects .. i'm having to learn so many new things .. i have always taken comfort in routines .. i kinda get shaken up when somebody screws with my routines :)

what is shaking me up the most are the change i'm noticing in the patients .. up on the second floor, in oncology .. we all sat around dressed in street clothes .. some of the females donning various head covers, hats, caps, wigs .. our faces a little drawn and tired but mostly in good spirits .. except for the fact that we were all hooked up to IV's, a pretty normal looking group

downstairs in the radiation oncology waiting room, we are actually a pretty sorry looking group of patients sitting around in hospital gowns that don't come close to fitting us .. each and every patient i've met so far has an exhausted look on their face .. walking slower, needing assistance in standing up .. some still smile, some still laugh .. but they're different .. tired .. one female patient decided to drop her gown and show me her scars from her double mastectomy and the results of radiation .. her raw red skin that was peeling off in chunks .. i'm not sure why she thought i wanted to see her scars .. i didn't .. like i wasn't scared enough

anyway .. i've got piles and piles of budgets to get working on for the office .. not like i'm in ANY frame of mind to be concentrating on details like this but i kinda don't have an option .. i hope the rest of y'all enjoy what is left of your weekend :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Day 149

i just have a moment this morning .. my daughter came over last night and this morning i'm taking her to her aunt's hair salon where she works a couple saturdays a month

it feels like i spent the week topless, in physically uncomfortable positions while strangers drew all over me with felt tip pens in order to get me set up for my radiation therapy starting on monday (in addition to the stickers, 3 tattooed dots, a couple of "x marks the spot", i now have a drawing looking remarkably like florida between my breasts) .. i have to confess that its probably been the most stressed i've been since this entire mess was discovered back in june

what i've discovered (much to my chagrin) is that the tattoos they've placed under my arms and in the middle of my chest are aligned with the red laser lights from the radiation machine so that the radiation is directed towards my tumor and lymph nodes .. and it is necessary that i  be NUDE from the waist up in order to complete the alignment .. tuesday i walked out of radiation oncology noticing (hey, i may be old but i'm still a woman!!) the two very young, good looking male radiation technicians, thinking to myself "well, i'm glad i have female technicians" only to arrive friday to realize they've changed my technicians to guess who?

i must have been blushing all shades of red having these two young attractive men remove the sheet from my chest, peering closely at my chest, moving closer until their eyes are mere inches away from my chest, close enough i can feel their warm breath .. and i manage to whisper "ok guys, this is so embarrassing" .. to which one replies .. "don't worry, this is all medical to us" .. like THAT was supposed to make me feel better !?!?!?

i am not so old, nor so sick that i can't remember a time that i would lay topless in front of a male and it had AN AFFECT !!!  this really was humiliating .. and they've got me signed up 5 days a week for the next 6 weeks .. sheesh

since i decided to do the last week on my own .. i didn't get the benefit of the anti-anxiety pills or pain pills (until AFTER the appointments) and then, depending on how much office work i had to get done in the few hours left of the day where i felt i could function properly

a couple of times last week, i'd arrive home, stiff and sore from laying on the xray table for 2 hours, pop a pain pill, get comfy in my bed, only to have my phone ringing off the hook for the entire afternoon, employees needing assistance or direction on a few issues that have come up at the office .. they apologize for "bothering me" and i apologize for being out of it and doped up and not thinking clearly

the wonderful part of the week was my long awaited appointment with my chiropractor of 25 years .. i have to admit that after knowing her this long, she really does feel more like a friend than a mere doctor .. and i gotta tell you, Dr Nancy knows her stuff .. within minutes i could actually breathe easier and it felt like i could take deeper breaths, stand taller and the tension in my neck was relieved .. i'm going to be making another appointment for next week, hopefully to tune up the rest of my back .. its amazing when a doctor can do something and you can feel the effects immediately .. i walked out of her office feeling more energized than i've felt in weeks

the best part i think, after i thanked Dr Nancy for arranging for me to make payments, she handed me an invoice that says "balance due ZERO" .. and then i got a pretty terrific Dr Nancy hug :)

and in response to Kathy's question "will you still have your chemo angels?" .. the answer is YES .. because (lucky me) in addition to the daily radiation, i get weekly chemotherapy on wednesdays .. but instead of being the 8 hour chemo, every 3 weeks, it will be 2 or 3 hours, at a much lower dosage than before

i am so hoping that i'm going to be feeling normal on thanksgiving this thursday .. i've got my daughter promising to cook dinner and i've invited my niece, nephew and sister to spend the day with us .. i'm not sure yet if they can make it over the hill, but i have a feeling my daughter is not going to be able to pull off cooking the entire meal by herself, regardless of her priceless intentions lol

i've got a couple of pictures here to show the markings necessary to get me hooked up for my radiation therapy .. not pretty by any means .. not exactly the kind of pictures i ever believed would be posted of me on the internet hehe .. but here i am during different stages of the preparation for the radiation simulation last friday

Thursday, November 17, 2005

hilarious sheet guy

this is perfect !!! to find a way to laugh at a time that has us all so frustrated .. Jimmy, aka Stupidsheetguy found a way

To Ad or Not To Ad...

you have to check this out .. it is hilarious !!!

thanks Jimmy :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

cheating? more radiation oncology

is this cheating? merely moving my journal to where the install to add advertising banners to personal journals hasn't occured yet?

so spank me .. when i was interviewed by The Washington Post it was because i was one person who "blogged for therapy" .. and i've been needing some therapy lately

moving from chemotherapy to radiation therapy has taken its toll on me emotionally as well as physically .. it was discovered during the bone scan done on July 7th, that i have arthritis in my neck, which would explain why i've been in so much pain/discomfort since i stopped going to my chiropractor over a year ago .. when she doubled her fee, even with insurance, i was no longer able to afford the two visits a year that kept me free from headaches

since the 4 mm mass was recently discovered on the left side of my brain, the question "are you suffering from recent headaches" suddenly takes on new significance

i decided it was time to spend my hard earned money, scrimping wherever i could, but it was time to visit my chiropractor .. but prior to making an appointment, i wanted to find out if she would consider accepting payments from me .. she's been my chiropractor for almost 25 years and never before have i not been able to afford her services .. and no, she had NO idea i'd been recently diagnosed with cancer .. so when she replied "pay me whatever you can afford, even $5 when you can, don't worry about it" really eased some of the stress i'd been feeling .. so tomorrow afternoon i have a MUCH needed appointment to see my chiropractor :)

tuesday was my first hands on appointment with radiation oncology .. i was so nervous .. nauseous, light headed, shaky .. my blood pressure was so high i had a very hard time hearing anybody speaking to me (when one of the technicians called out "i like your hat", i thought he said, "i like your TAT" and i was confused wondering how he knew i HAD a tattoo (if you're reading this Dee, i've gotten dozens of compliments on my chemo caps !!!)

after making me wait 30 minutes past my appointed time, the nurse went through a dozen documents, reading each one to me (heads up folks, i'm a visual person, NOT auditory in the least, so 99% of what she read to me went in one ear andout the other) all i remember from spending 30 minutes with her was that for the next 2 months i am not to use soap on my chest and i needed to buy aloe vera gel for when my skin starts reacting to the radiation

then two technicians led me to an xray room, stripped me naked from the waist up, laying on a hard glass table, arms above my head, proceeded to draw on me with a felt tipped pen, verified their markings with xrays, had the xrays verified by a physician and then made their felt tip marks permanent with 3 "tattoos" located in the middle of my chest and under both arms .. the tattoos were so tame compared to what i've endured with my real tatts .. mostly it was the discomfort, the muscle spasms from laying on the hard surface for almost an hour .. having muscle spasms, my arms going numb and not being able to move isn't my idea of a good time (hahaha) .. but mostly i think it was facing the unknown, alone ..

so far, thankfully, during each change in direction of my treatment, i've had somebody to hold my hand .. this one, except for the first appointment last friday, the radiation therapy, i'm beginning alone .. i think when i go with someone, have someone at my side, i'm stronger .. i think i hold it together for THEM .. cause i fell apart on tuesday, during my appointment, something i am not inclined to do

today i had the CT (or CAT) scan done .. it was done by the same technician as yesterday but with 5 assistants this time instead of one .. i even had a registered nurse (a tech can inject the contrast into my arm, but only a registered nurse can access my medi-port) at least this scan went quickly .. it was getting all my little marks lined up with the laser and then sticking the bb's onto the other stickers they'd placed on my chest to give the radiation techs landmarks in the xrays that took most of the time .. but thankfully, between the chiropractor visit tomorrow and the pain pills, i should be able to endure laying on hard flat surfaces for the next 6 weeks

we have a stimulation radiation therapy session set up for friday morning .. they say it takes about 20 minutes and again, its done for verification of the marks and also the stuff generated from the computer that was compiled from all my scans, reports and xrays

then, i believe, sometime next week, i start my daily radiation therapy

i have a lot more going through my head but my head is also killing me, my hands and arms are numb and my shoulders feel like a ton of bricks has been sitting on them .. time for a pain pill and some rest and relaxation .. it sounds like just what the doctor ordered :)


OK, so no spell check feature but so far, no banner either.  knowing aol, the banners will eventually find their way over to UK and the other international journals, but so far, the coast is clear