Thursday, July 31, 2014

Round 2 Chemo/More Blessings

Yesterday I went to a local museum with a friend and as I struck a silly pose she snapped this photo.....turned out great if I don't say so myself. 

I don't look nor feel that good today......I am just beat and can't wait to go to bed.....I am sure tomorrow will be better.

Monday, at 10AM, I started round 2 with 4 new chemo drugs:
Docetaxel, Carboplatin, Trastuzumab, and Pertuzumab.
You walk into the clinic stressed because, even though you've done it before, it's a whole new regime. Blood has to be drawn, the doctor has to be seen, and you're not really sure what's going to happen. After learning (3 weeks ago) that a 3rd drug has been added you find out that on this day a 4th drug is now going to be given you sit in the chemo chair and wait for the insurance company's approval and to be sure your blood tests are good. You anxiously wait; you're nervous, nauseous, and want to be anywhere but in that chair with an IV tube sticking out of your chest. You worry....what if I have a bad reaction to one of the drugs? How is this round of chemo going to affect me? You really don't want all the poison in your body, but what other choice do you have???? You wonder about the long term affects. 
You, you,, it's really me who is thinking all those thoughts. 
Yes, I was blessed on Monday with a good day, no reactions to any of the new meds. I thank everyone who is praying for me!!!
It was a loooooooooong day, I was in the chemo chair until almost 6PM. My next appointments are at 8AM and instead of the original once a week treatments for 12 weeks my schedule is every 3 weeks for 6 treatments.  I'll finish the chemo in mid November. The nurses in the cancer center are so nice! I even got a DQ Buster bar to make me feel did for a bit. :-)
I felt really good on Tuesday and Wednesday, but today I am beat. I think tomorrow will be better because the dexamethasone will be out of my system.
And the blessings continue:
When I got home on Monday I had a check from a class action suit, not a big check, but it will help.
I had a yummy chocolate, caramel & sea salt candy bar from daughter waiting for me at home.
I found a $20 bill in my little wallet.
The nurse said the cut on my toe is not infected (after walking in the sand and Lake Michigan).
I had a nice surprise visit from the sister of a friend.
I felt good and looked good yesterday when my friend and I went to the museum.
I had a nice phone chat with my step-son tonight.
Tomorrow morning I am going in to work to help with the once a year insurance audit. That will be a little extra money. After work I am shopping for a gift for my soon to be 6 year old granddaughter....yes, we have 2 that are 6.
Next week I have some fun things to do and I expect to be feeling good!

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'm On A Roll/Blessings

Yes, I am so blessed.
I am not necessarily happy about having breast cancer but I am receiving many blessings from God. He has it all under control and it's all good and being taken care of.
Last week I was so busy with 4 grandchildren here. I loved every minute of it, even though my house was a mess and the grocery bill was sky high. Everyone had a good time. 
One day we went to the Maribel caves in Manitowoc county. I had never been there before and thought it would be something different for us to see. 

 We did some hiking.
The kids crawled in some of the caves. 
One cave required a climb up about 16' of rocks...I made it about 1/2 and let them go the rest of the way up. The cave had 'gold' on the ceiling and grandson J wanted my camera to take photos. I started climbing up and he said "Stay there grandma, don't risk your safety, I'll come down."
A couple of years ago a big storm came through the area and did a lot of damage to the park...we saw trees uprooted and lots of damage remains to be cleaned up.

Of course we had to go to the beach.

 We went to the aquatic center and I forgot my camera. 
We went mini golfing.
We went to our favorite museum for ice cream. 
They set up the tent in the backyard and decided to sleep in it....'cept the 2 older children came inside as soon as the 9 & 6 year olds were asleep. Shame on them.....:-)
They played war and had squirt gun fights in the back yard. 
They played dress up, watched movies, played with the 'babies', and even found some time to read.
I think we were all pooped out by Sunday and were glad to get back to our quiet, 'normal' lives. We met mom at the Fox River Mall in Appleton (the 1/2 point between our homes) so they could be returned home. Granddaughter A (11) is coming back at the end of August so we can have our girl time. She's an introvert like me and wants to scrapbook and make we will!!! 

I was too busy to blog or even read blogs all week....sorry. It's tough on a 63 year old woman to suddenly have 4 energetic children to have fun with. But I survived!!! and am so blessed to have such wonderful, healthy grandchildren.

One evening  my spirited 6 year old granddaughter came into my bedroom where I was folding laundry. She asked why I always wore those 'funny things' on my head.  I told her my meds make my hair fall out and she asked if I was bald. I said yes and she said "I thought so."  After I told her it would grow back she said she hoped it wouldn't grow back black...I had to agree. The following day she asked if I was still bald. A day or 2 later I wore my wig and she asked if my hair grew back. She's adorable!

It's time for me to say g'night......I'm tired .....I hope to be back to post tomorrow.
Can you believe July is almost over???? Where did it go?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This Is Going To Be A Busy Week

My daughter and her husband are going on their first ever vacation ALONE! I am watching their children. They are flying out to Washington on separate flights....the tickets were gifted to them so they are not complaining. Three grandkids arrived this morning and are staying until Sunday afternoon. Our 9 year old  grandson has been here since Saturday afternoon and he wants to stay until Sunday also. He's a good kid and does what I ask him to (95% of the time).
 We made a welcome sign and hung it by the back door.

They're off to play at the school playground across the street from our house. It's sooooooooo nice that they are old enough to send there by themselves. My oldest grandson is 14, his 2 sisters are 11 & 6, and grandson J is 9.

My daughter made me this 'oh so cute' framed succulent arrangement. It is hanging by the back door. The frame it's planted in is at least 2" deep. I love it, don't you?

Wish me luck!!!!! It will be a tiring, but fun week!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thoughts On Thursday

That's what I do when I can't sleep....I think.
This summer hasn't been much of a summer, it's 1/2 over and doesn't even feel like it arrived yet. But I am not complaining. I just enjoy seeing the sun, oh, I suppose I could say I haven't seen much of that either, but why complain???? It 'ain't gonna' change a thing. I am glad that it hasn't been hot and humid.....that would make it unbearable for me to wear a hat or turban. I can barely stand my fine, thin hair when it's sticky out. Sunny and mid 60's - 70's is perfect for me. I don't have any fun plans for the remainder of the summer so what will be, will be.

I have a perpetual runny nose (grandson J says it's better than a stuffy nose - he could be right), my eyes water a lot and are often stuck together when I wake up in the morning, and I have a sore on my tongue; all possibly from the chemo. These are minor problems that I can easily deal with. My stomach feels pretty good in the morning, but as the day goes on the 'ickyness' sets in. I don't quite understand that, but it seems that I eat when I don't feel quite wonder I eat so much. 

I am happy that when I am feeling better I can do many of the things that I want to.....a lot slower, but it makes me feel good when I accomplish something. I am always tired. Ideally I'd take an afternoon nap but I am not good at that, instead I go to bed early......I didn't say I go to sleep...just to bed.

I dreamt about my mom last night.....and I never do otherwise. I was out of town and had called mom, she was crying but wouldn't admit anything was wrong (she'd do that) so I had to tell my sister to call her b/c she lived nearby. End of dream. Hmmm...

Thanks for stopping's almost the weekend...not that has any special meaning for me....but you might have plans. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

She Ain't What She Use To Be

Remember the libraries of our childhood?
This is the library I went to when I was a kid. Well, this postcard is a bit before my time but that's pretty much how I remember it looking.
The children's section was in the lower level. I believe we walked through the adult part and then downstairs to the kids area. There might have been an outdoor entrance also but I am not sure. 

I was always in awe and wondered when I'd be allowed in the adult library. We had to be quiet and could only whisper. The library was a serious, important place. I think there were tables where you could read silently. 
Then there was the card catalog (sure would like one of those now!) where, if you knew how to use it, you could find just about any book you wanted. I am sure the mysterious librarian would help if asked. I don't remember her at all...but I am sure she was there to tell us to be quiet.

Fifty plus years later the old library building is still there, but it's a real estate office. The outside hasn't changed much. I'd like to walk around inside, but I am sure it would be quite different. 

Libraries certainly are not the same anymore. They have changed radically to keep up with the times. As Martha would say "It's a good thing".
About 20-25 years ago our library started lending art as an attempt to gain interest. I wonder how that went..... I know I borrowed a few pieces. 

Our small town has a great library; the children's section has a play area for preschool kids, tables and chairs for playing board games, computers, a large room for story time and LOT of other activities; children can borrow movies, books, magazines, puppets. I started taking grandson J to the baby activities before he was a year old, and, at 9 he still loves going to the library. During the summer the library offers many drop in activities for the kids. I wasn't able to take the grands to many this summer, but 2 weeks ago they experimented with cornstarch and water. Every tried that? My mom showed us that combo's weird attributes many years ago. The library tossed in some food coloring and pop was so cool. My grandsons played for a long time before they were ready to leave. Friday we're going to another fun event. In the summer they have one free, outdoor movie...which we plan to attend. At the end of the summer reading program there's a carnival, we attend that also. There's something fun to do (for kids) at the library nearly every day. Too bad more people don't take advantage of it. 
There are many adult activities too!
Yesterday I had grandson J all day and I wanted to make some cards at the Stampin' up Stamp a long (held at the library). He just came along with me and hung out in the kids section while I stamped cards for over an hour. When I was finished I went to look for him....he wasn't on the computer, or in the movie aisle, nor could I see him browsing for books or playing with the 15 or so other kids with legos in a corner set aside for school age children. Hmmmm.....I took one more walk and found him standing in line to check out his many books & movies. But wait, he had already checked out some. All books/movies are kept at my house so I don't have a problem with that. I'm so happy that he's growing up to be a confident, independent, library patron.  He did play with the legos earlier and found his own books and movies and was going to read while he waited for me.
When we got home I made sure we did some reading.

Do you have any library stories to share?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Good Mornin' Sunshine !!!

The sun is shining this morning.
I am up before my grandson, he spend the night again last night.
Seven fifty-two in the morning and I feel pretty good.
It appears to be a great start to a new week, right???
Yes, last week was tough. Even yesterday I was queasy and lacked strength and energy. Each day will get better now!
Saturday evening Kevin's brother and new wife had a wedding reception at their house. At first I thought I could go for an hour....then I decided it would just take too much energy on my part. I thought Kev would go alone, but he stayed home and did yard work. What is wrong with him??? He HATES yard work.
I have great friends....they don't call me when they know I feel like crap. But they do call to see how I am.
One friend brought me homemade soup and bread.
One made me a fairy garden at the library program that I was not up to attend. 
Yesterday grandson J and had a quiet day although we did get outside and try to pump up some playground balls (unsuccessfully) for next week and I spray painted a couple of items for my craft room.
I made some brownies.
We played Monopoly....I HATE monopoly.
He made perfect scrambled eggs for breakfast.
He stayed over again last night.
His parents have a very troubled marriage and his mom left with the boys. I feel so bad for them...but they just can't seem to make it work.
Hubby gave me a nice hug before bed....after I asked for one.
Today I have errands to run....he'll be happy to come along.
Next Monday I have to have some test....EKG? on my heart before I start the taxol. I know where and what time, just can't remember what test I am having.  I am kind of worried about the new chemo treatment, even though the nurses say it isn't so hard on you  I can't help but think of how my chemo treatments have been. Also, the first treatment takes longer because they keep an eye on you for any reaction. Please pray that I am OK with it.

Ok, pick up your coffee mug or whatever else you are drinking and let's make a toast......PROST....
Have a good week my friends!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Bed, The Recliner, And The Long Nap

Monday I had  my last 'heavy duty' chemo and no dexamethasone.
Monday I was ok.
Tuesday I went in for hydration and a Neulasta injection, I was ok.
Wednesday I got up, ate a good breakfast, took a bath, started to get ready for a 'date' with a friend when I decided that I needed a nap................and so............
I napped.............
for 2 days. 
I just couldn't stay awake.
I felt sick to my stomach and couldn't drink anything....just wanted to sleep, so I did. 
I had to cancel my commitment for Thursday also. 
Thursday afternoon I managed to watch some TV in between dozing off on the recliner. 
 I alternated between the bed and recliner. 
Both of those days I slept, all day and all night. I did wake up a few times to go the bathroom and I tried to eat a little.
Wednesday, after golfing, Kev brought me a hamburger.....I think he is trying to kill me. The smell of it nearly made me puke. I MIGHT be able to eat some red meat in 2 weeks, but definitely NOT NOW!!!
Thursday night he took a bath and, once again, I had to cover my nose. Who purchased that 'stinky' soap??? 
Oh, I do all the shopping. 
This morning I woke up and made some toast and tea for breakfast......I need to drink!
.....but nothing sounds good.
My stomach is still 'off' and has been for months, usually I can eat tho. I am sure it will get better. 
I had to get up today because my back hurt. From what the radio said I missed 2 nice, sunny days. 
I do have lunch plans today.........not sure if I'll be able to make it. 
It's going to be better and better....
Although I may still need those short naps. 

Thanks for visiting, for your prayers, and kind words.
Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jaws And More Of My Plants

This is my Tiger Jaws succulent that I bought earlier this summer, can you see why it's called Jaws? After a couple of years she'll get yellow flowers.
This is another new succulent that I got, forgot what it is called. It's different. I'd post photos of the whole container, but after being indoors they don't look as good as they should. 
Sorry, this one is kinda blurry.

My miniature rose finally looks healthy!

My tomato and potato are peacefully co-cohabiting......hope it lasts. 

Wouldn't it be nice if people could cohabitate as well????
Guess that is my question of the day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Yay! Chapter One Is Over!

Today I completed my last round of cytoxin and adriamycin. In 3 weeks I start another round with different drugs that will be less hard on my body and the HER 2 + will be targeted specifically. I'll have a treatment once a week for 12 weeks. 
BUT.......the good news is...........
I talked to my doctor today 
and asked him about
he said......
I don't have to take it.
It's for nausea and I am given something at the time of my treatments. He thinks I'll be fine without it. I do have something else for nausea also. 
I'm so happy!
Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Saturday Drive

Saturday my friend and I took a drive to meet an 'old' pen pal of mine for lunch. Colleen and I used to exchange hand written letters MANY years ago. During those years we've become grandmothers, Colleen  was widowed, both of us have retired, one (possibly both) of us has cancer. Colleen lives in Ohio and has family living about 45 miles away from here. A couple of years ago she and her daughter drove to WI and we managed to meet them for lunch. We had a repeat performance again on saturday. Before our lunch date Deb and I managed to check out the large St Vincent de Paul store in Appleton and a couple of other places. 
We ate, we chatted, we took some photos. 

me, Deana, Deb, Colleen

I had hoped to drive to Ohio to visit Colleen in the fall, but that's not happening this year. 

Our grandson spend the night last night, again. It was chilly here actually felt 'fallish' started out with a bit of sun and some warmth, but that didn't last. I didn't sleep good last night and was tired so we just had a lazy, inside day today. I'm going to bed early tonight! I was hoping to do some cleaning today because I don't think I'll get much done this week....oh well...... Tomorrow is my last 'big chemo'. Then it's once a week for 12 weeks. ***sigh***
I have lots of questions for my doctor tomorrow. Wonder if he'll have answers that I'll like????
Wish me luck!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wanna flyover?

Earlier this week my friend and I went to visit my sister who lives 75 miles away. We each live in small towns with a larger city in the middle of the drive. 
Green Bay is the home of the Green Bay Packer's (football team) so it does get some traffic. 
For the past 5 years there's been road construction on the route I take, and there still is. One big thing is complete though. 
Wednesday I got to drive on my first flyover ramp......good thing I am not afraid of heights. The flyover ramp is 75' in the air and slick, it works great! Wonder what  driving on it in winter will be like. 

We had a nice visit with Sandy, stopped at a couple of thrift stores (nothing worth buying), and had  lunch. 

Yesterday and today I got some things done around here that I wanted to do. I am finding it hard to get through the day without a nap in the afternoon. Since I had a productive morning today I decided to take the afternoon off and read. It was a beautiful afternoon, warm, with a clear blue sky. .....a perfect afternoon to sit on the deck and read. I will never understand people that can not enjoy their own company. 
After hubby got home from golfing we went out for a fish fry....not easy to find someplace open on the 4th of July. It was a great night for a drive in the convertible.
No, we are not going to watch the fireworks this year......That's too late for me to stay up.

Tomorrow I am meeting a friend, from out of state, for lunch. It's another road trip for me, only about 45 miles and maybe I'll do some shopping while I'm in Appleton. 

I hope you were able to enjoy some fireworks!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Just Can't Commit

I can't commit myself to the things I want to do, to the places I want to go.......
especially during the next year. I can't make any plans... I'm not sure what my life will be like in  the next several months. I have to take it day by day, week by week, month by month. 
This (unwanted) journey that I am on has me sucked me in like quicksand.
I just have to wait it out and play the game. 
Take some time off.
I had so many plans for this summer, my first summer of retirement.
I'm in good heath, the grandkids are young and want to do things with me, I have friends to travel with, to accompany me to events....but...
God steps in and says....not your plans but MY plan. 
I am trusting HIM and know I'll get though this and next year will be better.
(Our weather has been lousy anyway.....trying to console myself.)
Today, as with any day, if I feel good I try to get as much done as I want. 
One of my friends told me that the worst part is being so tired at the end. 
Usually, this week before my treatment I feel great, but I've had 3 chemos so far and it seems to be catching up with me. I get tired early in the evening/late afternoons, so I watch TV after supper. There's no harm in going to bed early, is there?
So what if my projects get pushed off for another year??? They've  been waiting years already.
Feeling tired, but good today......
Errands to run, things to do, strawberry shortcake to make.....


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Such A Pretty Card

Yesterday I received this beautiful, hand painted card in the mail. 
I love the colors and the encouraging words for life.

Sarah is a 94 year old artist with many talents. 
Stop over and check out her blog, it will be an inspiration to you, I am sure. 

It's a sunny far..........
Today I MIGHT take the boys to the library, I have more things to cross of my 'to-do list', and Red Hats tonight. :-)  I should be a great day!