Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Week So Far

Saturday I invited my step-daughter and step-son and their families for dinner. Mistake? I had been feeling pretty tired of late. Too late, the day must go on. saturday morning Kev was up early and did some cleaning and I completed my grocery shopping in slow motion. Jessica, Chuck, and Kev helped get my simple meal cooked and on the table.  SS and his 3 boys did not show up but 2 other friends did. We had a nice visit and I felt good that day. Michele helped me clean up afterward. I could not have done even a simple dinner without everyone's help.
one of the kids usually pulls out Twister
Sunday I did not feel so good and almost feel asleep right before I had to pick J up from Sunday school. 
Monday I had a doctor appointment,chemical stress test and another test that I can't think of now. I spent most of the day at the hospital so when I got home it was time for a nap. Whatever they injected me with made me so nauseous that I got up twice during the night to take my anti-nausea pills.
Tuesday I had more tests, one was done right away....the other.....was over booked and I waited for over an hour. A LONG time when you don't feel good. Since I can not walk very far I've had to ask for a wheel chair, if you know me you know that I do not like asking people to do things for me. I also met with the radiology oncologist. After another LONG day at the hospital I came home and took a nap. 
Today I had a breathing test. I'm breathing, does that mean I passed??? At one point I coughed and that stopped the test. The technician gave me an albuterol inhaler and I did that part over. The inhaler did make me feel better for a while. I do have some housework to do today......before nap-time? or after?
Tomorrow I have 2 doctor appointments. I can't wait to see what the cardiologist has to say about my heart and to find out if it is safe to have surgery on Monday.
I also can't wait until I have more to write about other than doctors and such stuff. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Doctors, Nurses, and Tests, Oh My!

Well, I said I was worried...........
I have started a round of doctor visits and tests. Yesterday morning I took my SS to the dentist, in the afternoon I had a dr appointment (with more blood-work), and after dinner I had a CT scan. Have you ever had one of those? It's quick and easy, dye is injected into a vein.....but......it has a warm feeling and you feel like you peed your pants. The dr asked me to wait for the results (she was looking for a blood clot). I waited over an hour. They had a really busy day and were working late. Sadly, because of that, I had to back out of a school function that I promised my grandsons I'd attend. The scan showed fluid around my heart so we have a new concern. It was most likely caused by the Herceptin. 
Thank goodness I have good veins....I got needle pokes in both arms.
The only good news I can think of is that I will not have a Herceptin treatment on Monday.....or is that good news? I'll have more blood work and see my oncologist Monday. I have a lot of questions for him. Later I'll have a stress test. Since I am unable to walk on the treadmill it will be chemical test.  I can't wait. NOT!!!
Tuesday I'll have an ECHO and a resting scan of my heart. I also have an appt with the radiologist. 
Wednesday I have a breathing test scheduled.
Thursday I see the cardiologist. 
Will I be able to do nothing on friday???? Let's hope so!!!
Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Art Of Tablesetting

Once again I made my annual trek to see the table settings at the Rahr West Museum. There is always quite a variety of displays. 

the one above is ORB, the 2013 winner of the Kentucky Derby.


Japanese dining for all ages depicts several different styles of Japanese dining.

Angels among us.....hope the feather don't get in MY food.


Nutcracker Memories. This mom took her 4 year old daughter to see the Nutcracker for the first time and it has been a tradition ever since.
The Sound of Music

This display is inspired by her son's leukemia diagnoses. Around the edge of the table you see the different colored cancer pins. I am sure you're asking "what is that orange person?" She is Zach's superhero, she's born from a friend of Zach at Halloween and she goes to all of the Zeal (Zach's effort against leukemia) events. I think ZEALIA is awesome!
Winter friends
Dinner with Dracula
Look under the table - you'll see some rats.....eeewww
Glamping
I just love the one........so warm.......I want to go to Italy and eat here.
Playtime tea party
Manitowoc and Kamogawa (Japan) are sister cities and this is a collaboration between them.



Such a pretty spring time table
Legacies of our grandmothers
Heirloom items made by the grandmothers
A beautiful, simple, traditional table setting. 
Thanks for taking the time to visit.
I have to admit to being a bit disappointed this year, there were several open spots and nothing really wowed me. Guess I shouldn't complain - I certainly don't have the imagination to make at table setting. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Always Something

I had a different post in mind for today but a phone call I received this morning changed my mind. My surgeon's nurse called this morning to give me the results of my EKG. I have an irregular heartbeat, I knew that but my on oncologist wasn't concerned so neither was I. Last week I took my BP on one of those machines at the drug store and my pulse was 103. I don't really feel my heart racing....maybe I don't want to? I do know that I get out of breath very easily....I am even more out of shape than normal. Now I am afraid to even start walking.

But that's not all folks.....I have an enlarged heart too. Now you might understand why I had another crying spell this morning. The nurse who called me didn't seem too concerned, but that's her job. I am seeing my regular Dr to get a release for surgery, so maybe it is nothing to worry about. In my weakened state I just can't help but to worry. I wasn't referred to a cardiologist .....so I guess that's good.

This is the 2nd serious health issue I've had. When I was in my 30's I was involved in an auto accident and broke my femur. Somehow I ended up with a blood clot and in ICU taking morphine. I was hospitalized for 5 weeks. This is no lie: the nurses at the hospital I was in told my mother that often red heads can be/have unusual things happen. They kind of equated red heads with a full moon......you never know what's going to happen. Is that what's going to happen now?

I guess I better get my questions in order.
Thanks for your support!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Just Thinkin'

Today, as I was waiting for my car, I was thinking. That's about all my body is capable of lately. We'll get to that in a minute.


Autumn is a beautiful time of year to go for a drive in WI.

God gives us all this beauty to distract us from the cold, harsh winter that is coming. 

It's even more beautiful if you drive past the lake (Lake Michigan).



I've come to realize that people with chronic pain do not walk around with a smile on their faces. They just do not have the energy to do so. I am not in pain but I feel sick to my stomach all of the time, it lessens, but  it is there. So I walk around with my lips pursed, teeth clenched, and I am not smiling either. I see sad when I look in the mirror but maybe others see crabby.
I remember when I sold Avon (didn't everyone?) that we were told (when making calls) that people on the other end of the telephone can hear your smile. I believe it! I tried to smile when I answered the phone at work. My co-worker was told that she sounded cranky on the telephone, I don't think she was, but she sounded that way. I don't think she smiled when she said "hello". I wonder if I sound differently now.......probably.......sorry.
I just don't have the energy any more.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Week Full of Plan 'B's

It seems like nothing I had planned this week went the way I planned it. Nothing really bad happened, just not what I thought would. The chemo is wearing me down and I am not popping back up as quickly as I had been. I haven't read or commented on your blogs. My emotions are all over the place too.
I continue to be very tired, last week I ran with it. This week I have appointments. Sometimes I have to force myself to get out and then I feel better.......still tired, but I have to get out of the house!
My girlfriend  brought me lunch on Sunday and we had a nice visit, so why was I so sad and did I cry when I went to bed?
On two different days I took my SS to the clinic. One afternoon SS and I took his son to the park.....we walked along the beach and on the way back we walked up an incline and I didn't know if I was going to make it. I am so out of shape and worry about my heart. Herceptin is not easy on one's heart. I know they monitor my heart but I still worry.
One morning another friend came over for coffee, so my plans to do some housework were foiled. 
Today Kev and I went to talk to the surgeon and schedule my surgery.We were disappointed to see that the lump had only shrunk 25%. I am having a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy) on the 27th. He doesn't know how many lymph node(s) will be removed. Before the surgery they'll inject radioactive material into my breast and then watch which lymph nodes it travels into. I thought today would just be a short appointment, I was wrong. The fall colors were beautiful on the way to the surgeons office so I enjoyed the sights. We talked, he examined me, and I had and EKG, chest x-ray, and some lab work done. He also set up an appointment with the radiology Dr. After all the discussion about the surgery I am getting worried and scared. I started to cry when the nurse hugged me, I cried when I laid down this afternoon for a nap. No sobbing, no bawling.....just the tears rolling down my face. I really haven't done any crying since this whole thing started. Crying is not my thing.
I wonder if the chemo will be the worst part for me?
I have seen other breast cancer survivors and they seem healthy and happy.....but that is only what I see on the outside.

Tomorrow I have to take my car in for some recall work...............and..............in the afternoon I  have a massage!!! woo hoo!!!
I hope this hodge-podge makes sense. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wanna Ride On My Roller Coaster?

You probably don't.....neither do I.
Monday was my last chemo and I've gotten a idea of how the week will progress. I figured Tuesday would be good so I ran some errands. Before I even got dressed I called a radio contest and won 2 fish dinners. My girlfriend is picking them up so I am giving her one dinner. Monday and Tuesday I was surprised with some gifts. Thanks for thinking of me!
At the thrift store I found a white lab coat for my grandson's Halloween costume. 
I picked up $40 from the consignment store (that was a pleasant shock). The mailman brought me some goodies. I even got some stuff accomplished at home, yes, it was a good day. 

Then Wednesday came along......I had a tired, bad, cranky, emotional day. Glad it is over. 

I guess I slept good last night. Anyway I got up late today and decided to work on my project life scrapbook....to h*** with the dishes (for now). But......I couldn't print the photos I needed, I'm out of ink. I am NOT getting dressed and going out today, maybe tomorrow.  On to plan B. Yup, it's up and down. 

My stomach is telling me to eat, but nothing appeals to me....gotta eat tho. The metallic taste in my mouth is returning :-(  .....let's hope my nasty canker sore does't get worse.

Yes, it will get better!!! Next week I'll start to feel better.....at least I hope so, I have lots of appointments, including a consultation with the surgeon. In the meantime I will try to listen to my body and take it easy.......and fighting with everything I have. 

I have been dragging some of my friends along on this roller coaster ride with me.....and I know 'it ain't fun'.

I sure hope my wall-eye dinner is tasty tonight!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday/Fall Photos

 Yesterday I had a good day.

Had to run some errands.


So I took my camera and took some fall photos.






And I got a few other things done too.
Happy fall!!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chapter 1: Bye Bye Chemo and An Apology

Woo Hoo!
Yes, the chemo is over.....at least for now, unless I need a 'booster' in the future.
My blood work has been 'gorgeous' every time (to quote my dr) and the nurse who explains it to me says it is frame-able! Thanks to all of your prayers and the probiotics I take.

Chapter 2: Next I move on to only the Herceptin. It's not a chemo drug but is still given through my port and I have been getting it already so there are no new side effects to look for. That drip will last 30 minutes......so no more lunch at the clinic, I can deal with that. I forgot to ask the dr how long I'll get that but I know it is  longer term. One of the nurses guesstimated for about a year. I gotta do what I gotta do. I am waiting for the surgeon's call this week to schedule a consultation and surgery. Since I am pretty sure I am having a lumpectomy I am not worried......the lymph nodes removal concerns me a bit.

Radiation: Now this chapter scares me, I have heard too many horror stories.  Since I am having a smaller surgery I am hoping it won't be so bad....hoping!!!!   Painful burns :-(   Extreme fatigue.....I am tired of being tired. I don't have any specifics on the radiation yet, but you can bet I'll be updating you.

Looking forward to: *Having hair for the winter (what will it look like? now I'll have to figure out what to do with it again)
*Eyelashes
*Mascara and eye make up (I am very fair with blond eyelashes and brows, it will be nice to have eyes again)
*No more 'interesting' side effects from chemo
*No more constant watery eyes & runny nose
*Will I be able to wake up, well rested, at 5:30 and keep going all day until I sit down at 8???
*Today is my last day of Dexamethason  :-)

Thankful for: *Your prayers and friendship and comments
*The visits Carla blessed me with during my treatments
*The many calls, cards, and small gifts given to me out of love
*The doctors that I like
*The HER2 + cancer. Otherwise I'd be dealing with triple negative cancer, the most difficult kind, it often kills women. Herceptin is a game changer and targets the cancer cells.
*Great health insurance
*Good books and that I like to read
*Donating my head coverings back to the cancer center
I know the list will get longer....but I have to get dressed and take advantage of the day.....I'll be tired the rest of the week.

I feel I should apologize for my last depressing post. I guess I was having a 'poor me, nobody loves me' day. I woke up about 12:30 at night and was going to delete it but I read such a nice, caring comment that I just couldn't do it. Most of the time I am content and happy with my life and know that the cancer is just a temporary detour. I know I can not undo the mistakes I've made in the past and will have to accept that who I have as friends/family now are my friends/family. 

Thanks for visiting!
It IS fall.......time to put on my long pants now :-(


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sometimes I Get Depressed Too

Generally I try not to write when I am upset or depressed. I usually keep to myself, which isn't hard because I lead a really quiet life. I am not one to impose upon others.
1) No one really wants to hear it.
2) It doesn't do a darn bit of good.
3) It's not what I want my blog to be about. 

Yes, I do cry myself to sleep sometimes and feel ALL ALONE and like I just don't want to be here. I think back and have serious regrets about parts of my life. I know, what's done is done.

Sometimes (actually my whole life) I just want to be loved, to the the favorite, the first, the best, the most fun....... but no, I am the 2nd wife to a man who is NOT demonstrative at all. In school I was never the tallest or had the best score. I am never the first choice for a partner. I'm always # 2, 3, 4......

Yes, I do have some good friends....but I am not about to pour my heart out. And I am not begging for sympathy here either. I just want everyone to know that I am human and my feelings get hurt too.

It may be harder now, with the cancer, because I am unable to do the things I'd like to. I just don't have the energy.....so I say I don't care. 
Sometimes I do things alone. Sometimes I feel like I'm dammed if I do and dammed if I don't.

I'm human and bleed just like the rest of you.
Thanks for reading. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Road Trip Tp Bookworm Gardens

This past week we've been enjoying GORGEOUS weather and Thursday did not disappoint, temps were in the 70's.
My good friend and I decided to take a drive to Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, near the UW. It is a BEAUTIFUL place to visit with or without children. There is no cost to enjoy it. We picked up subs and ate them in the amphitheater and enjoyed the sunshine, some good company, and the view.


It's a 2 acre garden with vignettes of story books...and there are books all over the gardens to read. 
Here's the Three Little Pigs. 
Everything is designed for children to interact with. 


I don't remember what this story is.....dinosaur reading a book, but in the sandy area in front of him children can locate dinosaur skeletons.

 Carolee and I both want this fence in our backyards......but neither one of us is hopeful. 

Yes, you can go inside and see McGregor's gardening supplies. 
Everything here is designed to be used, played with, enjoyed. You can make a fairy garden, try the various music makers, sit in the chairs, enter the small buildings, smell the flowers, and take advantage of the many photo ops. 


Oh the fish pond........so peaceful. Hundreds of fish.....from just a couple of inches to over a foot long. The preschool children got to feed them, but we avoided that scenario. 

Pretty, mosaic table at which to sit and enjoy the pond. Wouldn't that look good in my back yard???


I don't care for gazing balls.....but I love this one. There are 2 other dragonfly's around the perimeter of it. This would look fantastic in my yard too. 

Celebrate!
We did, I haven't been able to talk to or spend time with Carolee for quite a while and we really enjoyed the day.

He's still scary, even though he's just a sculpture. 


The Three Bears


They weren't scary at all, I even made a friend out of one of them. 

Told ya I lost weight. 


There's fun for young and older at the gardens.....if you get to this area be sure to stop in. A couple of years ago I took my granddaughter and I still enjoyed it this visit. 



Oh, this is not the end of the day.
We're on the interstate on the way home when Carolee says "Do they have a St Vinnie's store here?" We both thought so, so I pulled over and called Onstar. Next I made an illegal U-turn (do you ever do that? please tell me I am not the only one!) so we'd be headed in the right direction. We found the thrift store on our own, right where we both thought it was. I didn't find anything but Carolee found what she was looking for. After all of our walking at the gardens and thrift store browsing we (I) decided we needed ice cream cones .....lo and behold Culvers was next door, what luck!

Yes, I am finally feeling better...........so you know what's coming up.....my last treatment. I have errands to run today and things around home to get caught up on. 
Happy weekend to you!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday Thrifting

Part of my Monday errands is stopping at the thrift store. Why wouldn't I? It's just across the street from the grocery store. 

So how do ya like my 'new' footie pj's? Actually they look like they've only been worn once. I have been looking for some for a while. I don't plan to actually wear them...to bed.....If our local Red Hat groups have a Halloween party I am going to try to convince our group to wear pj's. I'm not sure if they'd go for it though.  For $3 I'm ready!
BTW I am not quite that fat......I didn't wanna take my hoodie off for the photo shoot. My cameraman (hubby) wasn't very enthusiastic about our session. :-(   I don't think he sees the humor in footie pjs.


Here's my new $3 sweatshirt for when I go up north or just have an 'up north' attitude. Now that I am retired sweatshirts will be regular attire.



I paid .75 for this BRAND NEW 6 X 6 scrapbook.
I like to keep things like this handy for the grands. 


Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thrifting to you!


Monday, September 22, 2014

My Weekend

One day it was summerish and then all of a sudden it was FALL and our furnaces were running!
Saturday was the annual Ethnic Fest in Two Rivers, people come from all over to attend. The main street is closed off for several blocks for vendors and food.
After some 'iffy' weather and lack of ambition on my part I decided to attend. I usually go every year with my BFF, I love it. So we went. Our 9 year old grandson came over shortly before we left so he joined us. 
I glanced at the booths but didn't really want to buy anything. I saw so many beautiful fall arrangements.


This cheese carver was the first thing we saw, of course he had samples to share.


I loved this booth.


Deb decided grandson J (her godson) should try this.....he loved it!



We watched some dancers for a bit, very interesting. 
I may have watched longer but 1) grandson was ready to go and 2) sitting on the curb is not the most comfortable seat. 


The Hmong always have a booth with wall hangings that portray their story.


The main reason we go to Ethnic Fest is for the food......but I just couldn't eat. I did have 1 egg roll and some french fries .... and I could have easily skipped that. Maybe it was the fried food, but I felt more nauseous later in the day.
After we had been home for a while another friend calls me and asks if she and her 10 year old could come over for a while. It's a long story but she is having a very difficult time with her son. He apologized for something he said to her earlier and wanted to play with J. I said for a little while. Finally her son came inside to play and Michele and I were able to talk without interruptions. The boys used to fight something terrible when they were younger, it is slowly getting better. I was so happy when Michele told me that the rest of saturday night and Sunday morning were much better with her son. He has many issues and most stem from the fact that his dad IGNORES him.
I think I slept all night on saturday because I was exhausted. 
Sunday Kev went golfing and J and I had a relaxing day at home. We got most of his homework done.
Today I have my Monday errands to run. Usually the week before chemo I am feeling pretty darn good, but I think it's catching up with me. I am so tired all the time. I have to force myself to get dressed and get out, usually I feel better after I've gotten out though. Food doesn't appeal to me.....I don't know what to eat, but do force myself to eat protein and veggies. This morning I am going to call and see what I can do for my mouth sores......oh the joys of chemo!
I really shouldn't complain.....so many people have it much worse than me, even children.....how can they understand????
Looks like we are going to have a BEAUTIFUL week! I better get outside and enjoy it. 
You have a good week too!!!