Thursday, August 31, 2006

Poisoned. At least somewhat. I did gain weight again, up to 137! Unfortunately, my platelet count fell. The doctor decided to go ahead with the chemotherapy, but at a lesser dosage, so I had a 50% round this time. Tomorrow I go for a Neulasta shot. I hope I don't have to get another platelet transfusion. Afterward, I had dinner with Mom and Dad, pork roast, mashed potatos, cauliflower, creamed cucumbers, and choclate pudding. Delicious! Now it's nap time.
It's the morning of treatment #3. I am apprehensive. Why, not sure. Maybe because earlier I went to the bank, deposited my pay check, then decided to get milk and yogurt. Of course I inconvenienced the check out woman who would rather have been conversing with her friends. They put everything into a plastic bag.. When I got home, I went to pull the milk out of the bag, it got tangled up and I lost my grip, it fell to the floor and burst open, milk splattered everywhere. It was inside the refrigerator, all over the outside of the refrigerator, the walls, the floor, me. It seems to be one of those days. Unlike yesterday, which was nice and easy, had dinner by Mom and Dad's, played a game of scrabble.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today I am getting the carpet cleaned. I went to the bank this morning and then to my Mom and Dad's for lunch. My mom made chow mein casserole. I was in the middle of eating when I inhaled and started choking on a chunk of something. I started rasping and my mom came over and attempted to help me. In the process, the chunk became unlodged and I could breathe again. Mom made me scrambled eggs to eat. I had yogurt and ice cream too. Feeling good today. I plan on resting the next few days in preparation of my chemotherapy on Thursday. I want to thank Julie for the birthday card and good thoughts and the Target card! Thanks to Beth for the encouragement and the laughs, I look forward to getting my mail now, it's not always filled with junk and bills!

Monday, August 28, 2006

It has been a dreary day. Overcast, raining, cool. Reminds me of Fall. Sad to see Summer dwindling. I like the warmth, the sunshine, wearing shorts and sandals. I'm sure there'll be a few more days of Summer left. I feel all right, pretty much just fatigued and achy at times. Thursday, I will be getting my next chemotherapy treatment. Yesterday, I went to Brian and Ellen's for Sunday Dinner, Lasagna, which was delicious. Mom and Dad were there and brought a tossed salad with sunflower seeds. To complete the meal there was garlic bread and for dessert, Pistachio torte. YUMMY!!!! Heidi, Thomas and Margaret joined us for dinner, it was nice spending time with the family.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Slept in this morning, got up a little after 10:00am. Actually got a good amount of sleep. Must have been the warm/cool damp night air at the high school stadium. I loved the performance! Not sure on the accuracy of the name "Band of Spies" with music from Mission Impossible, James Bond, and Pink Panther. Margaret played the Pink Panther and got to slink around the playing field. It was a good performance and I was entertained. It was nice to spend time with Brian and Ellen, Mom and Dad, Thomas and Margaret. I felt alive. Then I came home, took my medicine, curled up on the couch and fell asleep. Today, Dad is stopping by to get my wash, I am going to go through my clothes and down-size a bit. Too many clothes. I don't need three pairs of gray cargo shorts. I would like to go to the book store today, but will see. Feeling good currently, so I'm going to head to the bedroom and start sorting clothes.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today I am going to a Fish Fry with my Mom and Dad for lunch. I slept until 8:30am this morning, got up, ate breakfast, did the dishes, showered, and now watching some TV. I feel pretty good today. Last night, Brian and Ellen picked me up and we went to Culver's for ice cream. I got a burger and a chocolate malt. I enjoyed spending the time with them. I again am at a loss how to say Thank you to them for their love, support and caring. Each day I am reminded just how amazing my family is. If it is not storming out tonight, I am going to go with Brian and Ellen to see my niece Margaret in the South Milwaukee High School Band. She is part of the Color Guard. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to go back to the couch and watch some more TV, rest until it's time to go to the fish fry.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I just spoke with Casey from the clinic and I have verified that chemotherapy will be every two weeks. my next scheduled treatment is for August 31st at 11:30am. I'm glad I got that all cleared up. It's interesting how different people decipher the same information.
I GAINED WEIGHT!!! I weighed in at 135.5 officially, up from 133 my last office visit. I am a week out from my last chemotherapy and I didn't lose weight and my cell counts are good. That is definitely good news. I am not sure about the treatment schedule, since Casey stated my next treatment would not be until September, being on a day 1, day 15, day 28 cycle. Her interpretation is I will now get treatment every 28 days. My interpretation was every two weeks. The doctor is being consulted and I will be getting the schedule defined. Basically this past week has been fatigue and body aches, all common effects of chemotherapy. My fingers are always tingling and go numb when in contact with anything cold. I am also now having hot and cold flashes throughout the day and night, always putting clothes on or taking them off to stay comfortable. Yesterday Tim came over, I wanted to do some grocery shopping, Tim wanted to go grab something to eat. On the way out the door, Mom called to invite me to lunch, so Tim and I decided we would go there. Dad came and picked us up from my apartment and go shopping. I didn't bring a list so it was impulse shopping, juices, breakfast food, snacks, water, ice cream. I got cold while in the refrigerated section and couldn't shake it. After checking out, we got to the parking lot, which felt like an oven to me. Within seconds I became weakened, and lost all strength and my body collapsed onto the shopping cart. Dad and Tim had to carry me into the car. I became a wreck, crying and upset over my condition. They got my groceries home, took care of everything, and took me back to Mom and Dads, carried me inside to let me regain my strength. I ended up staying there for the day, having dinner with Mom, Dad, Tim and Julia. They really took care of me. At the office today, Casey explained everything I am going through is very common. As reassuring as that is, I still get frustrated by my limitations.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

my days seem to blend into on another, is it tuesday? monday? I pretty much feel like I have been beaten head to toe, little or no strength, and always worn out. I spend much of my time napping, otherwise I am laying on the couch, watching some bad tv, and thinking. Today I was thinking of going to the store for some juice and snacks, but when I went to get the mail, determined I had better stay home. I don't mind the lounging, but it makes for long days.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I had a really nice visit with Pat and Toni yesterday. For the first time I found myself talking about having cancer. They knew when to talk and when to listen. I love them so much. Two more people I can not thank enough for all they have done. Today, Tim and Julia picked me up and we went to the Zoo Ala Carte. Tim and Julia wouldn't let me pay for anything. I had plenty to eat and drink thanks to them. Char's band was playing so I got to see my soulmate, my muse, and hold her and look at her for a while. I love her unconditionally. The best part of the day, Julia bought me a stuffed giraffe, named "yogurt". Yogurt is the softest, cutest stuffed animal! I like holding yogurt, keeps my hands busy. All in all, it has been a really great day. I am now going to take a nap!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fatigue has definitely set in. I have been sleeping most of the day. I never did get off the couch and out the door to go shopping. Dad stopped by with food for dinner. Originally I was going to go there for lunch, but couldn't keep awake. Pat and Toni are coming to visit shortly, so I'm trying to stay up a bit.
Yesterday was indeed a good day. Heather did stop by for an entertaining visit, my parents and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Fred dropped by with a fish fry and homemade zucchini bread. Delicious! My random sporatic hiccups have turned into the persistent every six second hiccup. Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated. I have held my breath, tried sugar, drink water fast with a butter knife touching my forehead, breathe slowly. It is an inconvenience. I wonder if I hiccup in my sleep. Slept well, in my bed last night. Comfy. Going to take a shower, then eat breakfast, then head out to the store, need toilet paper and drink coasters and snacks to munch on. It is Saturday right?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Good Morning. It is a good morning so far. Got up around 8:00am, fixed breakfast, oatmeal, yogurt, milk. Did dishes, showered, dressed and ready to face the day. I still have the random sporatic hiccups, more annoying than anything, but not a major issue. Right now things are quiet. I noticed that my joints are tired and achy, so I try to flex a lot through out the day. Going to take out the garbage and recyclables. My friend Heather is up from Missouri and planning on stopping in today for a bit, looking forward to it. I talked to Mom on the phone, she mentioned going to a fish fry. Yum! Seems like I got a good day ahead of me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The plaster fell off the wall over the front windows and onto the couch. Luckily I was at lunch with Dad at the time. He picked me up at Noon to go to the clinic for a neulasta shot, a white blood cell booster. It is good for two weeks, no more daily injections! I am feeling fine, except I have the random, sporatic hiccups that have lasted all day long, stopping and starting and nothing makes them go away. annoying. I tried the teaspoon of sugar, which is tasty, but not successful. After the clinic visit, Dad and I went to the Old Country Buffet for lunch. I had, Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatos, Cowboy Potatos (fried potato slices and sauteed onions), Crab salad (which was disappointing), Lettuce salad with cheese, sunflower seeds, Thousand Island dressing, macaroni and cheese, country fried steak, green beans and carrots. I stuffed myself between hiccups, so I didn't grab dessert. Then I came home to nap and found plaster. The guys from Katz properties were here within 30 minutes and cleaned the place up, scraped the wall. They are going to stop in tomorrow to check to see if the ceiling is leaking, it is raining out. Then they shall repair. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. I did nap some after they left. Now I'm off to take tonights round of medicines and lounge on the couch some and drift off to sleep. Hiccup.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I am a molotov cocktail. I had chemo this morning. The whole thing took about 3 hours from lab work to check my blood, to sitting with the Nurse Practioner, to receiving treatment. Dad spent his time doing crossword after crossword and talking with me. It is nice to have someone there with me, makes the time go by. I read the August 2006 National Geographic and did a crossword myself. They did adjust the medications to a 75%-100% ratio. Not sure which of the four chemos were adjusted. Afterward, Dad and I stopped at his home, picked up my things, and came home to my apartment. HOME. My parents, worked incredibly hard to clean the place up, Jody and Kim helped clean the kitchen. There is nothing I could do to let them know how grateful I am for all they have done, all their love and support. I am feeling fine, tonight is about resting and relaxing. Take things one step at a time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lots I want to talk about today. Flashback to Thursday August 3rd. I went to the clinic for bloodwork to see if I could have chemotherapy the next day. Not good news, my white cell count fell, my platelete count fell, my red cell count was down, and I was running a 101.3 fever. I was being admitted into the hospital for transfusions. That night I received plateletes. On Friday, I received two pints of blood. every day I was receiving shots to boost my white cell count. I was hospitalized until Tuesday August 8th. I missed my niece Heidi's wedding on the fourth. I woke up from a nap about 4:25pm that day, the wedding was in progress, and I cried. I have improved each day since, been able to eat more and more, have less and less mouth sores, normal bowel movements. I still tire easily, but am working on increasining my stamina. Sometimes I push myself too hard. On Monday the 14th, I went and had lab work done, all my levels had increased dramatically. Originally I was going to be monitored this week to see how I level off on my counts. Then Casey, the nurse practioner called and said we could schedule chemotherapy for this week instead of waiting until next week. I will be getting my next round of chemo tomorrow, Wednesday, August 16th. Another step in the right direction. The doctor has adjusted my medications so hopefully I will not be body slammed by the side effects this time around. I want to thank everyone who sent me cards, letters, and birthday wishes this past week, Aunt Sandy, Uncle Fred, Aunt Gail, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Sharla, Uncle Boots, Mike and Wayne from Texas, Katherine, Mary Beth, Doyle, Mark. I have been hanging all the cards and notes and letters on my door at home as inspiration. Went shopping today at Target with Dad, bought a messenger bag to carry all my things to chemo, notebooks, reading materials, dvd player and dvds, etc. When we were checking out, there was a guy in line behind us with the robot voice. Why am I so fascinated by that? More words when I am so inclined.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Today, I got some good news. My white cell count is on the rise. I didn't receive a booster shot today, first time in 15 days. No chemo yet. Need higher numbers. Will be going to the lab again on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully then I will get back to treatment. The Nurse Practioner Casy called and informed me I do not have to continue taking the augmentin antibiotics in the mean time. More good news.

Yesterday was my Birthday, 42 for those who inquire. All of my family helped me celebrate with pizza, sundaes, and malts. I love them all!!!!

When I got back from the doctors office today, I was surprised to find cookies had been delivered from people at work to wish me well and Happy Birthday. Christine of course picked out Disney ones! Thanks to all of you at work for thinking of me, Christine, Michele, Judy, Jan, Barb, Ellen, Dianne, and Kathy.

I had my first real meal in weeks, chicken cordon bleu, baked potato, potato pancakes, beets and apple sauce. It was delicious!

My dad has been working incessantly on cleaning my apartment. Soon I will have a safe, sterile environment to recoup in besides my mom and dad's house. I can not thank him enough for all that he has done for me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spent most of the day resting. Feeling all right, just tire easily. I have to work on endurance. Every day finds my hair receding more and more. Soon I shall look just like my Father, Handsome :) Speaking of my father, he has been the most incredibly supportive person this whole entire journey. Has been there for me at every turn. Mom has been equally there for me as well. I truly would be at a complete loss without them. I love them to no end.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

just a brief update for today, will have more details soon. I have been in the hospital since last week Thursday, August 3rd. Low cell counts, platelets. Had a platelet transfusion, blood transfusion and the old abdominal pains. I am out of the hosptial now, resting comfortably at my parents.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wednesday: Fentanyl, the pain patch I wear has one major side effect. Drowsiness. supposedly gets better with time, I get sleepier. My temperature is inching up throughout the day. edging out at 100.9 101 I'd be calling the Doctor. Tim stopped by with a present from him and Julia. It's a 68 piece Art Kit, watercolors, oil pastels, color pencils, markers, crayons. Julia calls it Art Therapy. Thursday: took a shower and am now losing my hair. Where's that Art Kit? I have a lab appointment later today to check my cell counts and fluidity. If everything goes okay, I'll have chemo tomorrow as planned.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am feeling pretty much the same, trying to get more rest, having difficulty with fluids and food. Feeling this way is bad enough, but then add 90+ temperatures and it can be terrible. I have interstinal ulceration, a side effect from the chemo. One day soon, I hope I write some upbeat news.