Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Throw Your Hands In The Air And Laugh

There are days and then there are days, agree???
For instance when my GP's office called me to remind me that it's time for my annual physical. I started laughing.....for the past 11 months I have seen more doctors than I care to think about. I told the caller about my situation and called my doctors nurse the next day. I don't need a pap so don't need that appointment. Once less.

I've completed day 5 of radiation, so far, so good. I have a cold. Yesterday was windy, snowy, and cold....I just wanted to stay home and in my jammies all day...but I went out. Lately I haven't been sleeping very good so I laid down and tried to nap yesterday afternoon.
After radiation is over and I am getting dressed I put my life vest defibrillator back on and the sensors go nuts...the monitor keeps telling me they are not touching my body. After fiddling around with them on 2 different occasions I decided it must have something to do with the treatment. The past 2 days I did not put the battery in right away and everything was OK. Another problem solved.

Today, as I was getting dressed after raddiation, I picked up my glasses only to notice the temple on one side was broken off. Without my glasses I couldn't tell what the problem was, I couldn't see it. I was in the same building where I purchased them (about 3 years ago) so I went upstairs to see if they were covered under warranty. They weren't, no surprise. The gal who was working put the lens back in, I didn't know it was out, and she taped the temple back onto the front piece with scotch tape. What can I do? My granddaughter who has all the fancy duct tape lives 100 miles away. BUT.... I have fancy Washi tape! If I am going to look like a nerd I might as well use fancy tape instead of black electrical tape. 



I wasn't planning on getting new glasses but I do have an appointment for tomorrow.

The woman I rode down with in the elevator had on beautiful blue glasses. They looked great with her white hair, and I told her so! She's quite happy with them.

What kind of fancy, colorful, new glass frames do I want???


Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Adventures

Don't get too excited, I wasn't very adventurous. 
Friday I started with radiation, 3 treatments under my belt so far and it's going OK, it is starting to feel a bit like sunburn though.
After running some errands I met an old friend, from out of town, for lunch. 
Later she came along with me to watch my grandson perform in a play his class presented.


It was a play about Martin Luther King's dream and the way life was during that era.
The students were dressed so nice in black or white shirts.
Everyone enunciated clearly and most read their lines slowly so they were understandable. 
They were serious, their lines were straight, and the square corners were well executed.


 When school got out grandson J called and asked if he could come over and stay the remainder of the weekend....you know I said yes. 
All 3 boys came over for a while. 

playing catch with grandpa

Saturday afternoon I went to my bff's Stampin' Up party.
Here is one of the cards we made, I love it!

How did I manage to glue the piece on so crookedly?

This weekend grandson J was in a incredibly good mood. 
He doesn't like going to church because he doesn't understand, and I can't explain because then neither of us will hear the sermon. He knew he had to go on Sunday so he was ready and willing.  A couple of times I had to sit down when I started to feel light headed. That has been happening more of late (low blood pressure). J is always concerned about my health.

Today, after radiation, I stopped at a thrift store and picked up some lettuce and tomatoes.......I was out and I eat a lot of salads. On mondays they have breads and produce that are out of date. Once in a while I get there on a monday.
I also picked up a small, red, crossbody purse for my upcoming Red Hat trip. Now that I have an iphone I don't need to carry my Nook and camera with me. I think the purse was $1, but it was even less b/c when I looked inside I found .31. What a deal, huh? BUT I have to get rid of my big red bag...no problem, it's already in the donate bag.

After dinner tonight I got a call from grandson J....again...
Tomorrow the school is celebrating Dr Seuss' birthday and everyone dressing like one of his characters. Oh dear, I have Halloween costumes but not Dr Seuss costumes! He said he didn't know about it until today....it would have been so much easier if I had more time to think about it.
We finally decided upon Thing 1.
I found an old wig and literally PAINTED it blue.
I hope he can, at least, wear it for part of the day.


I found a red shirt and pinned on THING 1  that I had printed off the computer. Thank Goodness for Google images. 
This is my contribution to his costume, he has red pants but could not find them. I dropped the shirt and wig off at his other grandparents (where they live).
Unfortunately I didn't have anything for his older brother to wear.



The weatherman is predicting 3-4" of snow for us.....and I HAVE to go out....that's life.
Remember spring is getting closer!!!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nope, I Just Can't Do It and A Good Book

A few days ago I went through all of my jeans to find something that fit....I found one pair of pants. I cleaned out 2 drawers of jeans....and had them sitting on the bedroom floor. I got sick of looking at them, So I pulled out all of my bins that are in the small closet in the hall. I sorted my purses and bags, donated 3 or 4, but I still have a bin that is overflowing. Next I went through my Red Hat clothes....they got rearranged and left for a 'try on day' later on....but I did pick out 6 tops for a 3 day trip I am going on in May.....will have to pare those down too. I won't do anything with my capris and tank tops until it warms up and I can try things on. But I just can not get rid of my jeans...
...what if I gain weight and need them in a year???



I am such a hoarder, I just can't do it,  if our closets weren't so tiny it would not be such a problem.
The same goes for my capris....
last year I donated all of my too small pairs....and now I need them. It's a good thing I like to peruse thrift stores. I do know one thing, I will not be buying so many clothes. Since I am retired I don't feel the need to have so much.
This past spring I did clean out my sweaters, hopefully I can get rid of some more this spring.

My first radiation treatment was yesterday, the worst part was keeping my arms above my head while they took 'pictures'. My left hand actually fell asleep and I was able to put it down for a few minutes. That was a long visit b/c of the x-rays and a visit with the nurse (she explained skin care to me b/c it had not been done earlier). She also gave me lotion to put on the treated area. So far, so good....but that was only number 1....32 more to go. *sad face*

Last night was book club, we went out to eat (as usual). I had a ribeye steak sandwich and it was excellant! Everyone gave their dinner a thumbs up. We really discussed the book, sometimes we are kind of lax in that area, but this book led to a lot of talk. 


At first I didn't think I'd like the book, but I did. Kitty marries an older man who loves her but she doesn't love him. When Walter finds out about her affair he forces her to move to China with him. The cholera epidemic is running rampant, but she really doesn't have any other choice. She makes a lot of 'interesting' choices. I accidently came across the movie a few weeks ago on TV, but it was the middle of it and I didn't want to watch it before I read the book. I was hoping to find it on again...but after I searched my TV listings I couldn't find it. MAYBE I will get it from the library.

I have a busy day ahead, starting with radiation.....so it's time to think about getting dressed. The weekend (no radiation) is fast approaching!  SMILE
Have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunset Photos



These are some photos I took on my way home the other afternoon (with my iphone). I have my email set up so now I can email photos to myself and then download to snapfish.




The one below is my favorite....but I really like the color in the above photo too.






Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to look.

I'm feeling a wee bit anxious about radiation on thursday....

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Quest For Jeans Continues

Yesterday, after my doctor appointment (they are abundant on my calendar), I continued my search for some jeans that fit. This time I went to Younkers (another gift certificate). I tried on about 6 pairs...in various sizes....not the most fun activity when you wear a battery pack around you waist. I didn't like any of them. BUT......I did determine what size I think I wear. After a veggie sub (no wonder I am loosing weight) and grocery shopping I stopped at the thrift store and found a pair of jeans that I hoped would fit, I was not about to get undressed again so I just bought them home. They fit perfectly and I am sooo excited....I have 2 pairs of jeans now! That pair was $3, can't go wrong with that price. My total expenditure was $5 (for my jeans, pants and a shirt for grandson J) so I was able to use my $1 coupon. SCORE!!!

Last night I gave in and went to a Stampin' Up party a former member of our Red Hat group was having. It was fun to see some friends I haven't seen in a while and make some new cards.



This saturday I am going to another Stampin' Up up party.....more fun!

Hubby is home sick today....just laying on the couch.....he's good at it...but he does look sick. I will avoid him, don't wanna get sick too.

My fingernails have been slowly growing, but now they are thin and peeling off. :-(

I start radiation treatments on thursday.....have I told you that I'm a bit nervous about it???

No appointments, no errands to run today so I can stay inside and do housework or play??? Probably some of each. 

Hope YOU are having a good day and are safe and warm!!! 



Monday, February 23, 2015

Yes, The Weekend Went Fast

Time sure flies, doesn't it?
Here it is, Monday evening already.
Saturday, after dinner, Grandson J wanted to do a 'craft'. He decided on the shaving cream swirl papers. He got the cake pans out, then we needed shaving cream (I had some from the dollar store and decided a craft project would be a good use for it), and paint. I was going to use food coloring, but he said we use paints. I forget and he remembers everything!
Here's the beginning of our mess.....I forgot to take pictures of our papers....we'll probably use them in next weekend's craft project.

Sunday J did his homework and then we went to his older brother's BD party at the Roller skating rink.
Skylar is 11 now!!!
He's a good skater. Jalen has his own roller blades too. He is not very athletically inclined (does not take after his dad) but he was skating too.  Their 4 year old brother just 'ran' with his skates, he loves it and is not afraid of anything. It's so nice that they have the special walker type thingies for the little ones to use. 



two brothers enjoying cake

After the party I decided to go shopping for some new jeans. First I went to Kohl's, even though I had a gift certificate I could NOT find anything I liked. Then I went to Goodwill and found 2 pair of jeans. One pair I wore today and decided they are too big. Can't take 'em back now....so they will go on top of my huge pile of other too big pants. I'm between sizes so have to take both sizes into the fitting room. And I found a pair of pants in the closet that fit. Now I have 2 pair of pants that fit good. If you 'hate' me because of the fact my pants are too big, don't forget my 'weight loss' journey was not a planned event. I might as well take advantage of it though. I am not going to buy too many jeans, I just don't need or desire many. I am not working so can wear the same ones as much as I want. I might need to buy smaller workout pants (I don't work out, they are just comfy) and some capris too. As usual I will haunt the thrift stores. I do need to buy some dress pants with my gift certificates soon!

My friend Jill, from the hospital, called me later yesterday and we had a nice visit. Her cancer surgery was only 14 months ago and she gives me tips and we share stories. We have more than that in common too.

That was my weekend, hope you had a good one!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Artistic Adventures and Even More Useless Stuff

Last night two of my friends and I attended our first Art Night, it won't be our last. We had so much fun. Carolee and Carla had wine (one glass is included) and I had a root beer. 
Amy is such a good teacher. She has art in 42 stores all over the US. 
She lets us use the 'good stuff', not cheap ol' products.
The background is 3 layers of paint.
The flower petals are old book pages. Mine contains my grandma's signature that I got out of her old books, some pages from her books, some sheet music paper (she sang and played the guitar), and a note I found on the internet about grandma's (that I tweaked).
I put a light green wash on the stem and leaves....I could have done the same to the petals.
The stamen (center of the flower) is made with 1-1/2 to 2 inch squares of lightly painted book page scraps. Each one gets wrapped around a pencil and glued onto the flower. 



My artistic friends and me:

Carla, me, Carolee
There was another woman with VERY short hair at the event so I went to talk to her. She's not a cancer patient, but shaved her head on a dare to raise money for her nephew who does have an incurable cancer, he's in his late 20's. Ann said she loves it! She took a selfie of us, but I didn't get one.

This week Kev brought home (new to us) iphones. It's his first cell phone and my first smart phone. Previously I carried a prepaid phone, which is a real pain when I am out of my area because I have to dial the phone number a 2nd time when making a call. Not only do I have to have the number in my contacts but I have to actually KNOW it so I can dial it again. I am still trying to figure my iphone out. I've been using the camera, it takes pretty decent photos. I can easily post to facebook but I need to figure out how to email them and how to prevent all my facebook messages from showing up on my home screen.
He plans to drop our landline.....I disagree and want to check into other options. Does anyone have Magic Jack or something else to recommend?

In a previous post I mentioned that I will be starting radiation next week, for 33 sessions. I asked the radiation dr about doing fewer sessions with boosts. He told me that it has never been done that way for women who have had lymph nodes removed. sigh
As soon as I finish radiation I will be off to Texas with Kev. He's bowling in the national tournament. Last year we went to Reno and had a good time. It'll be warm there....so I'll be ready!

This was a rather laid back week. I straightened up around here, finally got the extra bedroom put back together after the grands 'cleaned it up'. One afternoon I did some scrapbooking at the senior center. One day I didn't even get dressed.....not that I didn't feel good, I just didn't feel the need to get dressed, I played and worked inside all day. On the coldest day we had I decided to run errands, I did find some bargains at the thrift store and used some gift certificates to stock the freezer with meat. I made meatloaf, baked potatoes, and veggies that day for dinner and I liked it! I have a hard time cooking low sodium meals that I like.

Today I have to get dressed and find something to do.....the laundry and dirty bathrooms await me. Darn!!!

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Doctors Galore Again

.....well, did it ever end?
No, I guess not.
Yesterday I saw my oncologist and he prescribed anastrozole for me, it's kind of  a last resort for me. At our first meeting he was excited because my her 2+ cancer is quite receptive to Herceptin, but I can't take that. My ER receptors were negative on the biopsy, but on the pathology report (after surgery) it states that my progesterone receptor is a low positive (20%) so he wants to try that drug.  As I looked at the side effects I see it says 'increased risk for heart attack or stroke'. I mentioned this to Kev and he suggested I speak to my cardiologist. I have not taken the pill and have a call in to the cardiologist. I am much more leery of side effects since I developed so many from the chemo.
What to do? What to do?

my view today
Today I saw the radiation doctor, for the 2nd time. We had a consultation in October, but that never worked out. It looks like I'll start treatments next week, for 33 sessions (sad face). Thank goodness I will be finished by mid April. I am going with Kev to a bowling tournament in Texas. I am not looking forward to radiation. It's unknown so I am a little scared.
I was fortunate enough to get a CT scan and 4 lovely, tiny tattoos. Everyone seems pretty nice, so I am sure I will survive.

This afternoon I made most of my phone calls.....have my list almost completed, waiting for call backs now.
I am attempting to make a decent dinner tonight: Spaghetti and homemade garlic rolls (low sodium). The rolls are big and they smell good. I plan to try one when I get them out of the oven. I don't cook every day, I wouldn't mind it as much if I didn't have to make special food for myself.

Tomorrow is 'hump day' and craft day on HSN.
I plan to watch, hope I don't buy anything!

Monday, February 16, 2015

January Project Life Page

Last January I started a Project Life type monthly scrapbook page. It seemed like it might be a good way to keep an account of what we did all year, and it would make writing my annual Christmas letter a breeze. It was really fun and quite easy to do. The pages have four 4 X 6 pockets and four 3 X 4 pockets, so all that has to be done is to slip the items in the pocket. I keep a calendar with all my appointments and activities written down.....I don't have the best memory. When I'm in the mood I type the month's highlights in a 4 X 6 size and I print it at the end of the month. A few photos/mementos are added and I call it a scrapbook page. Yes, I actually did finish 2014. I did an 8-1/2 X 11 page write up about my breast cancer and I will do another one about the surgery and radiation.


As you can see January was pretty ordinary. 
It feels good to work on my scrapbooks again. 

This afternoon I went to the local senior center to scrapbook for a while. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go because it's scheduled from 1 -3.....two hours isn't much time when you're scrapbooking. BUT I found a scrapbook that I was working on in January and was incomplete, everything was organized and ready to go....so I packed up a few things and went to the senior center. I finished four pages so I did accomplish something. They have the 'class' twice a month and hopefully I can make all of the dates.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek at my page.
I'll be back soon!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekend Activities

The weekend is over and what did I do?
Nothing spectacular, as usual. I don't mind.
Friday morning I had my alarm set for 5:45AM.....when it went off I wondered "How did I ever get up this early during all the years I worked?" It's just the life you lead when you are working. 
I picked my friend up an hour later and we talked all the way to my doctor appointments (over 90 miles away). We seldom have time to really talk, we just see each other at stamping events or meetings. We had lunch...and then we noticed some better places we could have eaten.....those are tucked away in my mind. At my request we stopped at Michael's to look at scrapbooking supplies. Being the thrifty person I am I only bought a few things, only sale items. That was the only shopping we did. 
Saturday morning I was feeling lazy but in the mood to clean my scrapbooking area in the basement. I actually got two tables cleaned off downstairs....and they remain clean a day later!
That afternoon I went to the mass where my good friend and her husband of 50 years were to be blessed. Afterward we attended a dinner for them. It was a really nice dinner (I know b/c I gained 2 pounds - too much salt is my guess) and a wonderful celebration for them. 
This is the card I made for Carolee, the gold bling looks like ball and chain but it is made of 'sparkly gems.' I even put some gold hearts inside. 
Everyone who was invited was asked to bring a 4 X 6 photo of themselves and write a memory on both of the 3 X 4 blank cards they were provided. The 3 items were slipped into the pockets of the scrapbook on the table. Viola! the scrapbook was complete....great idea, great keepsake!


My friend Carolee, me, and my friend Debbie.

This is Carolee's first selfie.....hope we didn't create a monster.

After dinner we picked up grandson Jalen and called it a night.
Sunday afternoon Jalen, Deb, and I ventured out in the cold to play Bingo at church. We have a small church and they are trying to get some social gatherings going. The prizes were desserts. Between the Bingos Jalen got the desserts he was given he made a haul. He was happy! We had fun, we were sitting at the table as our Pastor was ....he and Jalen seemed to take turns grumbling about how bad their cards were. I think it's good to see your Pastor as a regular person and not just the man wearing a robe and preaching in the front of the church.
When Jalen and I got home he got his homework done and his mom picked him up a bit later.

More doctor appointments are ahead for me this week - my oncologist tomorrow and the radiation doctor on tuesday.
Looks like I'll have time this week to straighten up our spare bedroom....the one the grands were playing in last weekend. They said they put everything away...well, their putting things away is different than mine...and then I have my own mess to clean up.

I'll be busy....but I'll be back soon.
Try to stay warm.....I'd love to stay inside and in my jammies....but I can't.


Friday, February 13, 2015

It's Valentine's Day! and A Few Serious Thoughts

Is it a special day for you? How do you celebrate?
We don't do anything, guess I am used to it. 
We are going to dinner tomorrow....well, it's a 50th anniversary party for a good friend of mine....does that count? It will be nice to help Carolee and Jon celebrate their special day.


Today I had 2 doctor appointments and one with occupational therapy. I have some exercises to do to loosen up any tightness in the underarm area. I'm doing pretty good but wasn't sure how much to force my arm, now I know what to do. I'll make an appointment to see the therapist here and see if I need more. I saw the surgeon and she said everything is healing fine and to see her in 6 months. It felt good to hear that!
I also saw one of my cardiologists today, I feel good and my blood work is good so there isn't much he could say until he sees another ECHO. I am seeing him an a month and getting an ECHO. I'm sure I'll be nervous to get the results from that.
Next month I have an appointment with my other cardiologist and will decide what we are going to do regarding my life-vest defibrillator, well...., I mean..... what's the plan for my heart???
The past week I have been feeling like I don't deserve to call myself a breast cancer survivor, after all I still have my breasts, my incision is only a few inches long. (I am not sure, did not look at it that closely.)  There are so many women who have gone through so much more than I have. Then I remember the chemo (how did I do that? one day I was there all day.) Next week I start radiation...not looking forward to that either....but I am told it's a piece of cake compared to chemo.
I have been feeling really good and doing the things that I want to this week. I found some bargains at the thrift store, ran everyday errands, went to lunch at school with 2 of my grandsons, went to the band concert for one of them....and just normal household duties. I almost feel guilty that I feel so good...but then I look down and see the battery pack hanging around my waist and think 'a normal person doesn't walk around wearing a life-vest defibrillator '.
Yes, I am through with part of my breast cancer journey but it's far from over, my oncologist wants to put me on some kind of drug, I forgot the name. I looked up some of the most popular ones and they all have very undesirable side effects. Originally I was to be on herceptin for a year, but that is what caused my CHF so that is out of the question. 
Why can't I just stay like I am? I feel like a normal person.

Why do I need more poison in my body?
If I were 20 years older I'd just take my chances without the drugs.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day (with a little crabbiness to spice things up a bit)

 I actually made and hung up a Valentine banner last week.
Between that and my Valentine napkins I feel that I am all set for the holiday.
We (hubby doesn't)  do holidays....in fact he'd skip all of them....well, maybe not the summer ones cuz then he gets the day off work and he can golf.


Sunday my daughter and her family came to visit. It was nice, Kev brought home broasted chicken and potatoes for us.....they were not expecting to be fed. I really need to start cooking again. Wish me luck because I want to  make low sodium foods that Kev will like too.
We had grandson J here and Amy & Mark have 3 children, they all get along good and aren't obnoxious or anything, so the house was not too noisy. Jalen likes to be the head honcho so he had activities planned.....some sort of dress up thing upstairs (I haven't seen the upstairs yet, but they said they put everything back) and then a treasure hunt. 
Amy & Mark stayed about 2 hours and then headed back home, they have 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive and the roads were a bit slippery as they got 1/2 way here. It was good to see them!

Today I had a DR appointment and I was sure the drain I have in (from the lymph node removal - I was unaware that 18 were removed) would be out later in the morning. I drove myself b/c: 1) I am sick of asking friends and 2) I'd be 'legal' to drive for the rest of the day. BUT.....the drain is sutured in.....and no one wanted to remove it.....so my oncologist decided that a surgeon needed to do it. It's one of those "I didn't do it so I am not taking it out" things. So I have an appt tomorrow with the surgeon. WELL.....I remembered that the visiting nurse is seeing me and she can take it out tomorrow, no need to see a surgeon. .....cancel that appt!!! I vented to my DR's nurse and she understood. The surgeon who took care of me put the visiting nurse plan in place. At least my clotting time is slowly moving in the right direction.
When I got home hubby asked why I was driving when I am not suppose to, I tried to explain to him....but Linda usually does as Linda wants. My drain should have been out days ago and I am feeling good, DR said it was healing nicely....that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!! Oh yeah, he never said anything when he saw me washing the dishes....huh????
I found some bargains at the thrift store: Pretty blue sweater (so tired of my dark, dreary colors), pants for my grandson, brand new dress shirt for him also, book with some low sodium recipes, and that might be it....all for $5.25,
I also stopped at Shopko, Hobby Lobby, and Subway (the only fast food place I can eat). In the afternoon I stopped at my friends Stamp-a-long and made some cards? Yup, I skipped grocery shopping....now I have to do that tomorrow.
I think it's time for me to relax.
More DR appointments and even some fun stuff coming up later this week....stay tuned.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Pretty Card And A Little News

Brrrr......I'm so cold. When Kev is not home I can turn the thermostat up to 77, but he's home today so I have to freeze with it at 73. I was like this in November too and it went away so I can live with it for a bit. Of course it's 29 and cloudy outside, so that doesn't help.

 I received this lovely 3-D card from a good friend the other day. She spent 2 days on it, I can believe it. The flower and bird are 3-D, the words are layered, so nothing is flat. If you have any questions as to how it is made I'll tell you to the best of my knowledge.
Since I've been home I've received flowers, chocolate, scrapbook paper, cash, gift cards, and many cards.....Christmas again. I expect this will be it tho....as I am on the road to recovery.....I don't think radiation treatments warrant gifts....just sayin'. I will be happy to get back to my somewhat normal life....but then there's my heart. I'll take it one day at a time.
Friday I had an appointment with my surgeon (in Milwaukee) so a friend drove me there. It was an afternoon appt so we did my grocery shopping first. We stopped at the Fresh Market to get dill pickles. They are not briney dills, but as close as I can get to them. I actually like them so I picked up 3 jars. Next we stopped at Trader Joe's where I picked up a few more things. I don't buy a lot at these stores but it cuts down on what I'd have to order online. Low sodium foods are hard to find. In case I haven't mentioned it I am on a low sodium diet and have been doing good.....SLOWLY getting used to bland food. 
Finally we went the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I have never been there and it was good!...but pricey. I thought we might eat there so I researched what foods I would be able to have. I had the Herb Crusted Salmon with garlic potatoes and asparagus. I think I should not have had the mashed potatoes, but I forgot to ask about that. My weight was good this morning so I was OK anyway. The best lunch I've had in a long time. No we did not get cheese cake, looking back I think I should have taken a piece home for later.
My DR appt went well, everything is healing good and the drain should be able to come out Sunday (if the visiting nurse can do it) or on Monday when I see the oncologist. Then I can drive again!!! I'm getting cabin fever.....and thrift store withdrawal. 
Well, the weekend is here and so is our (hungry) grandson.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Few Details You MIGHT Find Interesting

My oh my! Thanks for your encouraging comments, but I am far from the only person who is fighting cancer, pain, or disease....I just write about it.
My mail box was full of cards today...woo hoo....I love cards.
....and these pretty flowers :-)


Only my sister and I are left in my immediate family (not counting our children) and I have always been 'the healthy one', now it's a toss up. Two hospital stays in the last 4 months....I am almost (ALMOST) getting used to having my meals delivered to my bed. I do prefer to be home and wander around. I can't drive yet, but that will come soon.
Of course I had an IV in my arm.....why they put it on top of my forearm I am not sure. It wasn't being used anymore but the nurses flushed it every 8 hours. One day I wasn't paying attention to her but felt 'fire' in my thumb for a second.... "OW" She said she was flushing the IV and I said no one else ever did that. The next day someone came in to do the same thing.....this time there was 'fire' in my thumb and forefinger for 2 seconds. I told the nurse what happened....... That night I needed magnesium....and I had a bad feeling about that leftover from my last hospital stay. I remember it hurting then also. She set it up and all was ok....but when it was almost over I had to call her back....that darn thing hurt!!! The IV was bad and out it came and a young man came in to put a new one in (when I was trying to sleep, as usual). I guess he is specialized in some way, he used an ultra sound and held it on the vein and watched as he stuck the needle in. That took a little longer than the standard poke. She then called so see if she could get some oral magnesium if I needed more, so in the wee hours of the morning I took some pills. That's the IV the anesthesiologist used to give me the 'happy juice', the only one I had left :-)
Before I went home I needed an IV with Lassix..........that hurt right away, so she slowed it down....still hurt.....and that was a new IV. That plan changed. You can bet your boots I'll speak up if anything like that happens again.
One day I had a nurse who does not work in that department and as she was reading my notes she read that I wear a life-vest every day....she asked one of other nurses if I lived on a boat. She told me that story and both laughed, we enjoyed each other. I was the odd patient in CICU.....a breast cancer patient who was alert and not hooked up to too many machines.
It made me feel good when a couple of the nurses popped their heads in my room to wish me luck and say good-bye.
I wanted to call Jill (the woman I met in December, at St Luke's, who is a breast cancer survivor).....I looked all over and could not find her number. :-(   I asked around at the hospital, it's a big hospital, but to my delight, one of my nurses knew her and got a message to her. She came to see me twice and we had such nice visits. I wrote her number down in 3 places and even emailed it to myself. I was going to call her tonight but Grandson J is here and we are going to get at his homework now. I believe God put her in my life and then had to do it again......for this silly human.
My surgeon's nurse and the dr, herself, called me yesterday to let me know that the latest pathology report showed NO cancer cells. 
I have an appointment with her on Friday and am hoping the drain can come out then.....but I have my doubts. If not, my wonderful home care nurse can take it out next week.
Thanks again for your prayers and for visiting my blog. I hope to get caught up soon. This afternoon I felt the need for a short nap.....aahhhhhhhhhh



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Honey, I'm Home! (you might not like the gross details if you are under 16)

from my bff, she said she still thinks of me as a redhead (so do I)

I'm home, at last. What was supposed to be an overnight stay turned into 5 days in  CICU. In typical Linda style, what was supposed to be one surgery turned into 2. The reason I stayed so long was not complications but the cardiac team wanted to get me back on my regular meds and make sure my heart was OK.
My heart is far from OK (I may need a defibrillator implant later this spring) but it just did its 'normal' goofy things during surgery and in ICU.
The pre-surgery prep went pretty well.....that is except for the wipes you have to use.....it made me itch so terribly. I imagine I looked pretty odd in the hallways rubbing my breasts....but they really, really itched. I refused to use the wipes after that.
I was not looking forward to nuclear medicine, where I was to get 4 shots around my nipple so they could track the cancer to my lymph nodes. They weren't as bad as I was anticipating, except #3, that one was the worst.
Then I was off to ultra sound to get wires inserted into the the breast tumor and cancerous lymph node. I asked why they thought the ultra sound would work today when it didn't a week ago. Hmmmm.....it was decided to use mammography instead. I sat in a chair and they squeezed and located the mass, then they needed a different view. Having a mammogram while seated is different. A DR sticks me again in the breast, not sure if he left the needle in or put another one in, but then he inserted a wire. After that one he did it again for the lymph node. Yes, I am still squeezed in the mammogram machine. Now we need another view......oh no, one is not right....take it out....re-stick me and put in another wire...take another mammogram view.....this one is good. Were you counting? I got 7 pokes in my breast! Now for the funny part.....the tech tapes a Styrofoam water cup on my chest area over the wires that are sticking out. When I got back to the pre-surgery room the nurse says "usually they use a coffee cup", I said she had one but switched it out. 
I went down a little late for the surgery. The operating room was all set up for open heart surgery as well (in case anything went wrong). I had an excellent surgeon and cardiac anesthesiologist. I remember leaving the room I was in and being asked if I wanted anything to relax me and the next thing I remember is waking up in CICU and hearing a bunch of people calling my name. I remember being told that surgery went good and I remember Kevin leaving. I remember getting a dinner tray about 6 and eating about 1/2 of it. The bbq chicken was dry but the whipped potatoes and gravy were not bad. I had a sore throat from the breathing tube. I may have dozed off a bit but I did not sleep for any extended period of time that night. At midnight I was up and sitting in the recliner in my room. The DR wanted me to get up and I was NOT sleepy....so why not get up. The remainder of the nights I was there they closed my door and curtain and I used an eye mask. I had several IVs and a swan catheter hooked up to me, all which came off day by day until I was only hooked up to a monitor for my heart.
My surgery consisted of removing a cancerous tumor from my upper breast and 4 lymph nodes. The lymph node that was biopsied last April and found to be cancerous was not any more, the chemo took care of it. I resumed the warfarin and Lovenox 2 days later, but then the output in my lymph node drain turned more bloody...so....the surgeon was called. ......she found swelling at the surgery site and also pathology reported that cancer was found on the edge of the tissue she removed. That morning she OK'd me to go home, but things changed quickly. She decided to 'take me back' into surgery on Saturday (her day off) to remove the hematoma and take more tissue from the posterior area. I was bummed, but once again I repeated to myself:

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
 This time the surgery was done under sedation and not general anesthesia and we were given a time slot from noon to 3PM. So we waited.....hubby, his sister, and my Pastor came up to see me. I was finally taken down sometime after 1, joked a bit with the nurses, dr, and anesthesiologist. I scooted onto the operating table and was cold so the surgeon put warm towels on my arm and I was given some "happy juice". That was it for me, I woke up in my room and asked what time it was and what my hubby and his sister had to eat. I forced myself to stay awake. I had dinner that night and slept as much as one can when in the hospital. I was so relieved not to find any more IVs attached to me. A snowstorm started Saturday night and continued into Sunday, that area received about 18" of snow. My Dr braved the drive in (her day off) to change my dressing and thought I'd be able to go home on Monday. I did, here I am!!!  :-)
I really feel great.
Read more about some fun adventures in CICU in my next post.


The inside of the cute card. Love it!