Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Am My Mother and Other Nonsense

Actually I think my sister has more of our mothers attributes than I do, but I have some.
*I like my bread. When I was in the hospital I figured out that if I ordered a pat of butter when offered  (and stashed it) by the time I got a dinner roll I'd have 2 butters (real salted butter) for my roll. Ahhhh .....2 is much better than one.
*Sometimes I'd order an extra cookie and save it for later when a snack was needed.
*I saved the seasoning packet if not used. My first meal didn't have about bland.
*I'm fine with being by myself, spending too much time with people is stressful. Sometimes I go a whole day w/o talking to anyone.
(All things my mom would do)

I am happy to report that for 2 days I disregarded my sodium restrictions and both days my weight was good. I had to eat Thanksgiving leftovers....right? No, it doesn't mean that I'm 100% and am saying to heck with low sodium. Today I am going to get back on track, I don't wanna go backwards and end up in the hospital again.

Yesterday I ventured out on  my own, the first time in weeks. I did stop at the big thrift store in town (the only one open) and the 'manager' asked how I was. We've become friendly b/c we share the same first name. I explained everything that has been going on with me and she offered to say a prayer for me. That was really nice :-) I get tired easily and always take a shopping cart to lean on.....yeah, I look like and old lady leaning on her cart.

I'm cleaning my pantry and giving away canned goods. I am keeping a few things that I can make to share but if it's something  only I'd eat it's gone  :-(  Now I need to find low sodium products to fill it up again. :-(  Thanksgiving dinner tasted REALLY good.....but the low sodium group I joined on facebook says I will get used to it. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Cards

Thanksgiving is past. We had a very quiet day here. My friend cooked dinner and sent plenty of it over for us. I savored every bite of my tasty turkey, candied yams, and especially the stuffing. I hope your day was what you desired it to be.
I have been feeling really good the past couple of days and decided I wanted to 'play' on Wednesday. I had my container of Christmas embellishments, scraps, and even some partially finished cards. I worked most of the day just using scraps to make these cards. Some need some finishing touches and most need a greeting on the inside.

Can you tell I like paper and layering?

I have other Christmas cards that were made at Stamp a longs, so I probably have enough cards for this year. I haven't even been thinking about Christmas cards.....but if I have them already made I might as well mail them out. Do you mail out many cards?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Today I had a follow up visit with the cardiology department from St Luke's, actually I saw the nurse practitioner. She was happy with my blood work, it had improved since my release from the hospital. Christina explained the meds I didn't completely understand and increased one. They plan to do another ECHO in 3 months to see if my heart has improved, it does in 85%  of patients......let's hope I am in that group. If that doesn't work we'll talk about a defibrillator or pacemaker. I have an appointment in 3 weeks to see the doctor. 
She also told me it was OK to cheat and eat Thanksgiving dinner. I was soooo happy! I am not going to go overboard or add salt to anything. My appetite has been smaller the past few months, so hopefully I won't eat like a pig.
Last night we got about 3" of snow. The roads were cleared by the time we left. It was really a pretty drive, for the  most part the sun was shining. The trees were covered with a layer of beautiful. This is not my picture, I did not have my camera.

Wanna hear somethin' funny?
Kev and I do not share the same taste in music. I would have preferred to listen to my talk show on the radio (on the way to Milwaukee) but he likes country our family the diver chooses the radio station. As the station faded Kev searched for something else......we listened to Christmas songs part of the way there and all the way home. It was kinda neat.
Before we came home we stopped at my former employer to pick up a gift certificate from them for Thanksgiving. I haven't talked to them in a long time so I explained my situation to them. We came home and I found some leftovers to eat! Hash brown squares are not that good w/o salt.....not much is. 

Time for me to read YOUR blogs! Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate ALL comments.

Monday, November 24, 2014

All Caught Up

I was blessed with visitors on saturday, Sunday, and Monday. If you're feeling 1/2 decent a stay in the hospital is pretty boring. I don't watch daytime TV, the computer bored me, and I didn't feel like reading. There were no more tests, just a lot of pokes to check my blood. Once I reached my goal weight and it was deemed the water pills were working the Dr gave me the OK to go home on Wednesday afternoon. Of course, I had to prove that I could take care of myself (for the most part) at home.....including walking up and down stairs. It is wonderful to be able to walk up or down the steps and not be totally out of breath. This afternoon I went into the basement to get something and walked back up again. Yes, I walk slowly and still get tired but I am so much better. 
We're living pretty quiet here.
Kevin is taking good care of me.
Sunday my son and his family came to visit. I want to be honest about my condition but at the same time don't want people to think I am looking for sympathy. Later in the afternoon our grandson came over to see how I was doing. We took him grocery shopping with us......he's learning about serving sizes and sodium. He's 9 and was a big help to us. Walking through the store tired me out so Kev got the car and I waited there while they checked out. 
Today I just needed to have my blood checked for clotting time so my bff took me. I also talked to my oncologist, he's still trying to figure out how I can have my surgery......while awake w/o a general anesthetic????? hmmmm
This afternoon I was hungry for anything that had a lot of sodium in it. Kev ate his leftover ham steak.....I was tempted to grab it off his plate......but I knew I'd only be hurting myself and I was having such a good day. I attempted to make potato soup..........YUK!!! Low sodium broth is going on my shopping list.... I don't want to....but I have to use it.
I felt really good this afternoon: I cooked for the first time in over a month, I washed all of the dishes,  and made 3 Christmas cards. I haven't felt this good in weeks! I am almost afraid to go to bed and get up will I feel? My weight was down this morning, always a good thing.
Tomorrow afternoon I have a follow up visit at St Luke's. A snowstorm is on the way, I hope it's over and the roads are clear by the time we leave. I think that is all I have on my calender for the week.

  • take your own bathrobe and personal care items for your hospital stay
  • don't forget cell phone charger, etc

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Trying to Catch Up - part 2

About 3PM I got settled into my room and was given IV worked :-) I was hungry so they gave me a sandwich. Supper was about 6:30 so everything worked out fine. Kev stuck around so he could hear what the Dr had to say, we really didn't know what was going on with me. We found out that I have severe congestive heart failure and my heart is pumping at 19%, it had been at 33%. When an Echo was done before the Herceptin was given I was at 55%........anything over 50% is the infraction rate they want to see. Now we are trying to get it up to 35% with drugs. We are hoping to be able to strengthen the muscle and that too much hasn't died, otherwise mechanical devices will be discussed. One year ago I was stressing about Thanksgiving and today I just want to be alive. You never know what is going to come your way.
You may be wondering what caused these heart problems...........two of my chemo drugs.....
doxorubicin (Adriamycin) & trastuzumab (Herceptin)
and of course the latter one I still need to be on and that one is said to be a Godsend for my her2+ cancer. I feel like I am dammed if I do and dammed if I don't. This does happen to people but not on the scale which it has hit me.
Right now my cancer surgery is on hold.
Everything was going so smoothly.......blood work was great. Then WHAM!!! it seemed like if something unusual was going to happen it would happen to me: heart failure, pink eye, blood clots,  rashes, cyst pops up.
Friday I had a chest x-ray and MRI. The MRI was hard b/c I had to hold my breath. I was gone from my room for over 2 hours. My Dr was looking at the 'pictures' as they were being taken so he'd be sure he got what he wanted. Yes, he told me that he and my original Dr were very concerned about me. Fortunately I did not need any invasive tests done and the rest of my stay was rather boring. I will finish up tomorrow.

  • I am blessed with so many good friends and family members!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Trying To Catch Up - part 1

I am sorry I haven't posted, some of you are aware of what's been going on via Nana Diana or Deb. I was in St Lukes hospital in Milwaukee (cardiology and heart surgery) for nearly a week and came home Wednesday evening. I DID NOT HAVE SURGERY, that is just the type of hospital it is.

I had been so tired out and terribly out of breath and gained weight, even though I wasn't eating a lot. I didn't go anywhere, except for doctor appointments that friends would take me to. I was always in a wheel chair at my appointments. I could barely walk around in my own house. Getting dressed was a chore.
Nov 12 I had another ECHO.
I had been retaining water and the lasix was NOT helping. I told my cardiologist this and he doubled the dose, checked my blood-work and then changed it back. I was not feeling any better.......I know my body. I googled my situation and learned that intravenous would be the way to go. Another friend, an MA for 1 year, also mentioned IV administration of lasix. I should have asked my Dr about it. This went on for 3 weeks. I actually wanted to be admitted to the hospital. On many occasions my lips were blue and the Dr did not seem to care. 
Thursday, Nov 13, I was told to go to the hospital b/c the ECHO showed that my heart function had declined, kind of scary. I called Kev and work and he came home and we left for the nearly 2 drive to Milwaukee. I was relieved to be settled into the hospital.

  • You are your best advocate - speak up for yourself.
  • Pay attention to your body.
  • Know your numbers: BP. weight, pulse, temp, whatever they take, and note any changes.
I'll be back in a day or 2 with more.

Friday, November 7, 2014

This And That, Ups And Downs

Keepin' it real, I didn't fall off a ladder, but that would probably be an easier route. 
November blew in with cold winds and rain. Northern WI has snow and it's predicted for our area several days from now. It's too early for winter!!!!  It helps that my DR told me to elevate my leg and use a heating pad.
Today was a down day for me......lack of sleep? complications? stamina is wearing down. I wanted to break down and cry, but didn't.....but I felt down. I have a lot of moles on my body and one on my side is hurting (that's new). looks like a cyst or mole has appeared under the skin. ***sigh*** what next??? Please, no more new, weird side effects!!! About a month ago I noticed a lump on the edge of my breast/chest. I showed it to 2 of my DRs and they didn't think anything of it. That one doesn't hurt though.
I am just getting rid of pink eye.
I am happy to report that my clotting time is right where the DR wants it to be.
My face, abdomen, leg, and foot are still swollen.
I still can not do anything without huffing and puffing.
I have a cold or sinus drainage and coughing keeps me up at night. 
The DR thinks I am improving, but I do not see it. 
He did compliment me on keeping up my good attitude.
I know a lot of people are praying for me....but sometimes I forget that God's timing is not mine....I am so impatient, and I am not a good patient.

I continue to be blessed with friends who take me to DR appointments, who send cards and letters encouraging me, and yesterday I received a package from another blogger. Oh, such wonderful people love me :-)

It was so windy yesterday that when my friend brought me home from my DR appointment my favorite hat blew away. Darn!!! It blew off earlier in the day, but I caught it that time.
Hubby has been a big help, but I feel so guilty not doing a thing. I AM going to put my clothing away.....I AM!

Next week I am having another ECHO on heart and I see the cardiologist a few days after that. The way things are going my surgery could very possibly  be in Dec. What will be will be......but why is God changing this? Is there more here than we know about now?

Thanks for visiting and your comments. Sorry I haven't been reading your blogs.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letting Go

OK,  I am going to admit it...
I am a control freak.
I like to be in charge and like things done my way.
I can't be in control anymore.....
it just dawned on me.
Guess I can be kinda slow sometimes.
Winter is on the way and it's time to rake and clean up my plants. I always bring some inside and the remainder get dumped in my compost pile. I wash out the pots and put them away for next year. There is always some 'artistic junque' I want to save. Not this year, all the cleaning up was left up to Kevin and I will just have to let it go and go with the flow in the spring. After all it's just 'stuff'.....spring will be a new start.
I allowed my SIL to do our laundry.....that was difficult also. We all have our own way of taking care of our clothes, mine are clean so I'm happy....who cares HOW they are folded or if they are not hung up. Now Kev does the laundry, he doesn't do it the same way I do either....but we have clean clothes. Today I could not find the sweatshirt that goes with my pants....someday it will show up.....I hope. 
I am SLOWLY learning to let go and let God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5 NIV

Today I had a protime for my blood thinner.....results were good. No more Lovenex shots in my stomach. I saw the dr for my red, teary, crusty, sore eyes. When I woke up they were crusted shut and so sore. DR gave me drops and after 1 drop I feel better. The cardiologist doesn't want to change anything and mess up my electrolytes so things will stay the same. He says I am slowly improving so I'll trust him. 

I am not in control of any of this. I need to remember to trust in the Lord. 
I thank everyone for your prayers!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween Photos

Three of my grandsons: the zombie, mad scientist, and paw patrol.
The mad scientist spent the night and is here again on saturday night.

'Anna', my youngest granddaughter. Isn't she cute?

This is my oldest granddaughter (almost 14) dressed up for her dance.

One more 'dead' grandson.

Yesterday it was soooo windy and cold here. We were surprised to see as many trick or treaters out as we did. Hubby gives out good candy, miniature candy bars and big bars to the grands.

We had a nice visit with my sister and her boyfriend today. We don't see much of each other, she has disabilities and lives further away so Jack has to drive her when he's off. He drives a lot for work so does not look forward to driving on his day off.

Ever since he found out that his sister did our laundry he had been much more helpful around here. He's been doing all of the dishes, put laundry away, and washed some clothes today. I feel guilty but when I feel better I'll be back at it.