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)
*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. 

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!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014


A few days ago a friend asked me what kinds of goodies I've been finding at the thrift store. 
To be honest I haven't been that interested in thrifting........I have been soooo tired. I just can not sleep at night, I sleep for a few hours and then am awake for a few more hours. Usually I only have have trouble sleeping the first few days after chemo. I don't know what's going on. I think tonight I'll take a Tylenol PM, it's the only thing I have.

I picked this up for .50 and hung it by the back door.

I'll fill up these treat bags for the grands. I probably paid about .25.

This Red Hat shirt was $2. I would never pay full price for a shirt so sassy, that's not my style. It's is kinda cute, and I can wear in on my May trip, right????

This picture reminds me of a Thomas Kinkade print, but it's not.
It's a nice size and for $5 it will be perfect for winter. 

What else is new? Oh, I have this fantastic cold sore. They can be a side effect of chemo. Previously I've had a small sore that was gone the next day.....but this is a honkin' big sore.....so no selfies for me!

Have a great weekend!
Let's hope I can sleep tonight and  that the weather is good tomorrow so I can attend Ethnic Fest.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thoughts On Thursday

1.)  I don't watch a lot of reality TV, mostly I watch HGTV or true crime programs. But I have gotten sucked into Married At First Sight on fyi. Does anyone else watch it? Four experts weeded through all the applicants and found 3 couples they deemed compatible and that agreed to marry the person chosen for them, sight unseen. I think they have 4 weeks to live as a married couple before they decide if they want to stay married or divorce. The idea was so see if commitment can made a marriage work, as opposed to falling in love and then marrying. It's hard work to make a marriage work between 2 strangers. Two of the 3 couples opted to stay married and 6 months later they are still together and happy. It's so cool to see how they have grown. This program reminds me of something our pastor told my many years ago. He said "Love is not a feeling, it's a commitment."
It will be interesting to see if these couples are married at 5 years........

2.)  I guess I am just too stubborn. I see a recipe that looks good and I make it. I prefer to bake. I eat a only a couple pieces, because it doesn't taste as good at it looks, hubby may eat a bit. Then I throw it out, I hate to waste food, but why force myself to eat sweets (unnecessary calories)??? I want to give up my desire for sweets so I don't overdo it again. I want to keep my weight down. I need to get it through my head that I'm satisfied with a small piece, not 2 servings like I used to crave.

Enuf thinking for today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TBT on Wednesday

I found this picture on facebook. I think I am the angel in the upper right, the very solemn one. 
I do recognize some of the students. This was found at our church.
Facebook is so cool.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lucky Day and a Few Other Things

Cards and notes still trickle in....it's nice. The other day I was shocked to find, tucked into a card, the gift of a massage and recommendation for the movie The Hundred Foot Journey. Fifteen minutes later I had an appointment for a massage. I had been wanting one since May but just kept putting it off. The bad news is that I can't get in until next month.....let's all pray for a cancellation before then. I am going to see the movie tomorrow. Yes, that was a lucky day!!!

A couple of weeks ago I got my first passport :-) I was going to get it 5 years ago, before the cost increased....but I kept putting that off also. Next year I am ready to go on a trip, I don't know where or with whom, but I'll be ready for it! Since I'm retired I am able to go on short notice.

The way God puts the items I'm looking for, at the thrift store, right in front of me is so amazing. Our 9 year old grandson is here almost every weekend and is growing like a weed. Ever since he was born I've always had everything here for him, his parents were struggling and it was one way I could help. I keep extra clothing here for him so they never have to bring a thing. School has started and it's gotten chilly and I didn't have one pair of decent pants here for him. He goes to church and Sunday school so I try to have him dress in good clothes. One day I went to 2 thrift stores and found 4 pairs of pants for him, now we're set! Nice, eh???

Thanks for stopping by, hope your week is off to a good start!
I't cool and gloomy here, but the weatherman is predicting sun and warmer temps by week's end.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Contrasts and Choices

Yesterday afternoon, after sleeping Thursday, Thursday night, friday, friday night, and saturday morning, I forced myself to get dressed and attend an informal gathering celebrating my nephew and  niece's wedding and new home. I wanted to post on facebook about what a nice young (20 or so) couple they are but was sure that some other people would take it as a put down to them. It all has to do with the choices we make. The young man joined the National Guard (and served overseas), they got  married young, got pregnant, and purchased a starter home. They have a reliable vehicle. They both work full time. Maybe those weren't the best choices.......some would say furthering your education would have been a better choice for one or both. They seem to be on the right path. I pray it continues.

When I look at another young couple (10 years older) I think the first couple has made decent choices. The 2nd couple has 3 children, the father does not have a full time job, diploma, or drivers license, they don't have insurance, mom works several nights a week, they have had struggles all through their 5 year marriage. Mom and the boys are living with her parents (and have lived there on and off several times). They have always rented apartments/houses and purchased items from a rent to own place. They have nothing.....material possessions are not the end all, but at their ages one would think they'd have something. They chose a different lifestyle and I think it makes all the difference. As an adult who has 'been there' we try to give advice based on what we have learned.....but to the younger generation it's just words. It makes me so sad to see this 2nd couple struggle and to see the children hurting so much. I can't fix it, I can only pray for healing, guidance, and knowledge.

The Bible does not say "the Lord helps those who help themselves".....but I do. I believe we must look at our choices, think them through, and do something to make our lives better.  Where do you want to be 10 years from now? If money is a problem we need to spend less than we make. I also think we are who we hang out with......(I need to find friends with an income of over $180,000/year - applications are being accepted now). If you want to change something and need help, ask for it, find a support group. I know it is easy for me to tell you what to do......my life hasn't been filled with many difficult choices, addictions, or hard times. (Well, some, but I overcame those). For the most part I have always walked the straight and narrow. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to see into the future so we'd know what path to take???

I will step down from my soapbox now and let you on....if you want.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Blog

Why isn't my blog updating? Nothing shows up in the feed. My posts are there.....just that nobody knows it. I slept almost all day Thursday and all night last night........let's see what today brings. It's cold here, yesterday I turned on the furnace, I can't today b/c hubby is home. It is supposed to warm up this weekend. Have a good one, I'll write a proper post soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thoughts on Thursday

I am so thankful for all my friends (blogging and personal) who have prayed, left comments, and supported me during this journey. It's not over, but it will be.

  • Now that I only have 6 eyelashes (not an exaggeration) I am happy to hide my eyes behind my glasses.
  • What will my hair look like when it grows back in this fall? Right now I have white peach fuzz.
  • My heart is hurting for several family members who are experiencing troubled times right now. If you care to add them to your prayers it would be appreciated: my sister Sandy, my stepson, and my grandson.
  • After my good news on Monday hubby told me some not so good news. He will be out of a job at the end of this year or early next year. The company he works for offered him a job in FL for 6 weeks there and 1 week home, he refused it. I don't understand him and am not sure what he plans to do. So that's another worry for me.
  • Just before I was time to leave the clinic on Monday the nurse noticed I had an irregular pulse...should I be worried? the Dr said he wasn't.......
  • Just call me Lumpy Linda.....I discovered a big lump behind my right knee (supposedly my good knee). It doesn't hurt and I am guessing it is another Bakers Cyst. sheese
That should be enough to keep me up at night....but no, there's 1 more thought. I have always walked alone, felt like I didn't fit it....and I guess that's how it will be.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

North Platte , Nebraska

No, I haven't been to North Platte, NE. Nor am I planning a visit, but I do think it is a small town, (pop. 24,000+)  we should know about. It's located in the middle of the state and middle of the country. It's a railroad town and was a hub for passengers trains in the 40's and earlier (until freight trains took over because there was more money to be made that way). It is still a railroad town, 
 Union Pacific Railroad's large Bailey Yard is located within the city.

A friend gave me this book to read and I highly recommend it!
On Christmas day in 1941 a troop train containing service men rolled in to town to refill the water tender for the steam tanks and to lubricate the wheels, about a 10 minute task. This was a normal stop for  about 32 trains every day during WWII. On that day the men were met with smiles and welcoming words from women carrying baskets of food and treats for them. The city mothers were expecting Nebraska soldiers but these were men from all over the country. Never mind, they wanted to thank all the men and women who were serving our country so that act of kindness kept up all through the war years. Once word got out this town of about 12,000 residents had volunteers coming in from cities near and far to help. The women dressed in in their Sunday best so they could give their sincere heartfelt wishes and thanks to the young men and women who passed through. A canteen was opened and free fried chicken, meat sandwiches, real boiled eggs, angel food birthday cakes, real coffee, magazines, and other treats were available to all who entered. They only had about 10 minutes so the service men ran to the canteen and back to the train. The first timers at that stop were flabbergasted that they were treated with such love and respect. The town kept it up until after the war ended, the last day of service was April 1, 1946.
The canteen was funded only by donations. President Roosevelt donated $5 to the canteen. The ordinary citizens donated their time, food, sugar rations, even drove from other states to help.
The author interviewed as many servicemen and volunteers as he was able to. I was afraid it would to be the  same ol' same ol' but it was not. Several were from WI so this book hit home for me....maybe my dad was on one of those trains and was shown such kindness. I will keep this book next to my family tree book....just in case.
The soldiers Mr Green interviewed remembered the canteen, many times the memories brought tears to their eyes. Even when they were overseas the men talked about the canteen. Letters were often exchanged and even a few married girls from North Platte.

Remember just a simple act of kindness can affect a person very deeply.

When the canteen closed the treasury had over $3000 and the monies were used for the soldiers, none given back to volunteers, those who donated, or the city. This kind city and residents should not be forgotten.

Here are some pictures:

Let me know if you've read or heard of this book.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Some Thoughtful Cards & Good News

 I have received many wonderful cards these past several months.
This is one that my grandson made last week when Ava was here.
 I am not sure if she collaborated or not....I am sure she most likely helped with survivor and the hyphenating. Yes, I'm working on the misuse of YOUR. How can I not deeply love the young man who made this card?

Pretty cards from more mature friends.

Another beautiful card. 

More cards from grandson J.......when I was putting these back I noticed 2 more cards with Washi tape that I didn't photograph. The big red & green card had the Washi tape wrapped around on the inside also. Told ya the Washi tape was POPULAR. I try to spoil the grands when they come and let them use my supplies....after all it is just stuff and I hope the memories they make will be forever.

Tears of happiness are running down my face this morning.
I am at the clinic having chemo now. Blood work was good, blood pressure was perfect (it never is), and I've lost a total of 12# (even though the dr said I'd probably gain weight), my lump has SHRUNK. The good news is that my dr told me I have ONLY ONE more chemo treatment left!!!!! I thought I had 3 more remaining. I actually gave him a little hug.
I will talk to my surgeon next month and then the time will fly by. 
Thank you EVERYONE for your prayers and love.....I have to stop or I will start crying again.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Hate Cancer, I Hate Chemo.....

....and want it all to be over, be gone, outta my life!!! Finally, these past 2 days I feel good and then what? Tomorrow I get to have another round of chemo. I am thankful, only 3 more after that. I hate being so tired all the time that I don't feel like going anywhere or doing anything. I lay in bed but can't sleep.....guess I should be use to that. There are more side effects I experience but I'm not going to elaborate. I'm happy to say that I am taking the chemo very well and can deal with the side effects.

When I was first diagnosed I purchased a pink ribbon key chain, pink ribbon earrings, pink jewelry, baseball cap, and sported my pink hoodie. Right now most of it is safely put away, I don't need that stuff. For Christmas I said I wanted a 'breast cancer survivor' t-shirt or sweatshirt. I planned to get involved with breast cancer survivors somehow, now I am not so sure what I will do.

I just want to get it over with, put it all behind me, get on with my life. It has only been a few months and in a few more months this part of it should be over. I know it's something that will ALWAYS be with me. What I am saying is that I don't want it staring me in the face, I don't want breast cancer to be who I am, I am anxious to get over it (I'm always in a hurry, so that makes sense to me.) I don't need to be constantly reminded of this stage in my life. I am a scrapbooker and was gifted some pink ribbon paper and will scrapbook this part of my life, because it is a PART of me....just like ex-husbands. (I have pics but am not scrapbooking him.)

We are not our illnesses. They are a part of us, but we are so much more!

So NO! I  will not walk around with a cardboard sign around my neck!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Week With My Granddaughter

Ava wanted to make cards and scrapbook while she was here. She got her scrapbook all caught up.

We enjoyed root beer floats.

The boys came over one afternoon. Dress up seems to be one of their favorite activities. 

Grandson J made a scrapbook and lots of cards. The Washi tape was the most popular item I had.

These are just some of the 53 cards A made. 

 She glued smooth stones onto a board. Yes, I actually bought the stones (at the thrift store,of course). It could be used inside or outside.

Everyone is making cards.

On Sunday we went to Kites Over Lake Michigan. Kiters from all over the US come here for this event. 

The day was overcast and we had on light sweatshirts, but it was not cold. I was glad it was not sunny, I need to stay out of the sun. I had a chair with a canopy but my feet and legs were in the open.
Ava's kite is flying high so they decided to relax and have something to each and watch the kites. 

A few of the many kites we saw. 

Ava's favorite scrapbook page.

Another one of her favorite pages.

I ordered some photos of the week she spent here and will make up a couple of pages for her. She does a good job and I enjoy working with her. I wish she lived closer, I know we'd get some serious crafting done.