Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dr Visit Summary

I haven't seen the dr or been to the clinic for 3 weeks, what a nice break.
We're still trying to get my treatment procedure figured out.
 I've been taking an oral, after chemo, pill - Tykerb for months, without any bad side effects. I was also on IV - Paclitaxel. That one was 3 weeks on and 1 off. I could never make 3 weeks of treatment, my blood counts were always too low. I developed drop foot and nueropathy, so dr decided to try a different chemo, without those side effects. My drop foot is slowly improving. After about a month without any chemo I started an oral chemo - Xeloda. The schedule is 2 weeks on and one off. I've completed one round of treatment and I feel great (after a week without any chemo). Round 2 starts Thursday.
I lost more hair, am REALLY sensitive the sun, my stomach is wonky, it makes me drowsy....and I get to take it twice a day.
Yesterday I saw the dr again and had some lab work done. I used to have labs done once a week, but it's not needed that often. When I was off the chemo my numbers went in the wrong direction. My ALK phosphate  went up when off chemo, but now it's going down again. Since I have METS (metastasized cancer) dr now tracks tumor markers. I am still learning about that. One test showed my number went from 104 down to 30, which is in the normal range. The 2nd marker test was high but it had gone down quite a bit. All this tells me that chemo is helping. I feel so much better now than before the cancer was found (again). I'm comfortable with and like my new weight. 
BUT I prefer to know where the bathroom is at all times, I'm weak, I tire easily, I only drive a couple of miles around town.......
I don't know how fast the cancer will progress but I'm happy with what is happening now. The dr is pleased with how I am/look/feel today. I am just going with how I feel and the numbers agree with how I'm feeling!

shiny new birdhouse next to  my front door

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Book Break

I don't have many readers or comments on my book posts, but I know people read them, so here goes......
I've read many, many books these past few months....mostly thrillers and mysteries I have (free) on my Kindle.
This autobiography about Audrey Hepburn was written by her son. We read it for book club, One of our members said it seemed like an advertisement for UNICEF. She was very involved with UNICEF. I liked the book because it contained a lot of photos. Isn't she just a cute, little pixie? The reason she's so tiny is not because she starved herself...but because she grew up during WWII and did not get a lot to eat.

This 2nd book was given to me by a friend. It's at least $6 to buy, but she got it for $1 at the Dollar Tree. When I checked the ratings I found 4 - 5 stars. 
It was a pretty good book. The wife of the bishop of a prominent southern church dies young (of cancer). Before his wife passes she dictates several letters that will be sent to 3 women that she thinks will make a good wife for the bishop. Did her plan work or backfire? It's interesting and a switch from what I've been reading. It's not a heavy read, a good summer read. 

I feel pretty darn good today. I'm doing laundry and baked a cake for strawberry short cake. 
Soon I'll be off to my dr appointment. I need to ask him to explain dome of my test results. Then I'm having blood work done to be sure I can continue my new chemo pills. They aren't too bad, BUT I've lost most of my eyelashes now.
I'll report back later.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Happy Weekend!

I felt good yesterday, just lazy and blah.....so I picked myself a bouquet of flowers from my 'garden' to cheer me up.  I love flowers and think they are so pretty. They smell so sweet. The rose is from a friend, plant given to me years ago, it is an old fashioned plant and I am so glad it comes back every year. When Kevin dug up the area that we are going to 'landscape' this year (I hope) he left it. 

No big plans for the weekend here. Tonight is the car cruise for the TR classic car show tomorrow. We don't have a classic car, tho Kevin used to, but we do drive our convertible in the cruise between cities (7 miles). When we get back to town we'll get a bite to eat and walk around a bit. 
My stomach is weird, not nauseous, but it feels better with food in it. That means I eat often and have gained 3 #. Most people would frown but I am OK with it.
I dropped off my donations at St Vinnie's today....always purging....cleaning stuff out. Of course I had to shop and found a couple of new tops...I need to get another pair of capris...but I hate to try them on.
The weekend is supposed to be gorgeous!!!! and I am going to get outside and enjoy it now before we leave for the car cruise. I hope you have a great weekend!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

To Drive or Not To Drive?

I am so proud of myself, I kept this planter ALL winter! The winter before it did not make it. I love all the little 'babies' that are hanging over the edge....I had no part in that.
It has finally warmed up and it is so nice to watch the kids play outside, to go for a drive in the convertible, or to just sit on the deck and read. 

Today we are off to Bay Beach (small, inexpensive amusement park) with my girlfriend, step-daughter, and some of the grandkids. Fortunately Deb is driving....I drive a little it in town but will not drive long distances or out of town.
That reminds me......saturday I drove 3 or 4 miles in the country to a farm market to get some produce.....Kev found out about it and he was not too happy. He is worried about my meds affecting my mind. Granted I do take a lot but none of them say that I shouldn't drive. I admit that sometimes I do struggle to think of the correct word, but that doesn't affect my driving. I was more concerned about my neuropathy  and drop foot.  Next week I am going to ask the doctor about it, I am hoping Kevin will be there to hear what he has to say. No one wants to take me to every single place I want to go. Since I'm purging clothes and stuff I have bags to drop off at the thrift store every couple of weeks....with Kev or without him works for me. 
Last week Deb took me thrifting...it was fun and I got a couple of new tops. Of course we had to go for lunch too. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's Painted and I Don't Like it

Our spare bedroom is painted, at last, and I don't like the color. I know Kevin will not  repaint it so I better learn to like it. The walls are light gray, looks white if you just glance at it. The ceiling is white. I have to make up the bed, put up the new curtains, hang up art work, etc. I'll post after photos later. 

Happy Father's Day!
We had a really nice afternoon, Kevin's 2 kids came over for a cookout......of course the grands were over too. The kids have fun....for the most part....they started with a water fight. I don't mind....I have dry clothes for the boys...the girl didn't get that wet. Unfortunately there was too much yelling....the two youngest brothers don't get along. 

It was a beautiful day and nice to visit with the kids and enjoy a good meal. Tomorrow it is back to the real world. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A New Normal?

Is there such a thing as normal?
I checked my dryer... and it is not a setting....not on my mixer...and not on my iron either. So I am not sure what normal is.
Last year I thought I found my 'normal' ....but it was short lived. 

I haven't been searching very long this year....about 4-1/2 months.....but I still want to be 'normal'.
I want to walk normally.
I want to drive normally.
In the past I would often be the person who'd find a place to visit and many times I'd be the driver. I used to want to go places and do things, Now I don't know if I want to leave the house.....how tired will I be? what is my stomach going to feel like? I can't blame people if they don't ask me. Could I be the passenger for a change? I want to get in my car and run to the grocery store for an item I forgot.
I want to dress normally....hair would be nice.
I'm fortunate because my body has not been disfigured, I don't have any pain, my mind still works. 
I don't think any cancer patient ever feels 'normal'. The question "Will my cancer come back? when? where?" always looms in the back of a person's mind.
If  my new 'normal' is what it is today I can handle it.....I can live with some tiredness, my nausea happens at a specific time and doesn't last long, if I walk a little funny - deal with it (I do). Many people wear hats and wigs. If you tell me "Hurry up Grandma", that reflects on your poor upbringing/lack of manners not upon me.
I am blessed with loving, healthy grandchildren; with a nice house to live in; a caring husband who is doing the best he can; with medical insurance; money for food; family that loves me; a working body (for the most part); good friends. I have everything I need! God is good! I'm asking for a few years with my grands and a body that I can get around with.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What A Weekend..................

 and it's not over yet.
I got a couple of cute cards.....hope you can see them.

 The dog one is about being down in the dumps.
And I just love how Joyce decorates the inside of her cards.

I'm still adjusting to my new meds......it's a teensy bit better.

My driving foot is improving.

We had summer yesterday. We went for a convertible ride later in the afternoon and the thermometer said 90! Today it is 63 and breezy. That's life in Two Rivers, Wi. It was a nice, long drive in the country (except for the liquid manure) odor. Of course we stopped for ice cream.
I wasn't too sure of how the day would end.....you see, Kevin golfed in the morning and he said he'd be home about 2 and paint the bedroom.............that has been a MESS since January. It's a small room and there is no place to go with the furniture. Some times his plans change....but he was right on yesterday. He got his supplies ready.....and I heard some ......swear words from upstairs.....that can't be good. A few minutes later I said: "Don't tell me that was a can of paint falling onto the floor". Yes, that's what it was. I did not go to take a picture or check on him. He's best when left alone...so that is what I did. He scrubbed and scrubbed the carpet and it really isn't too bad.
A couple of hours later he came downstairs, calmly, and said the ceiling is painted and that he used the remainder of the paint as primer for the unpainted walls. He suggested that we go for a ride, so I got dressed and off we went. It was a good ending to what could have been a disastrous day.
He is golfing again this morning.....I can not take that away from him. He has several projects to do this summer and I can't nag too much. Painting the bedroom was my priority. If I hadn't gotten sick I could have done it.
This afternoon we have a graduation party to attend and then some shopping to do.

Have a great Sunday....what's left of it. 
I am never sure of how my morning is going to go so I didn't go to church or the picnic today.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Ginger Ale and Cracker Type of Day

Yup, it's a Ginger ale, crackers, and type of day today??? I haven't had chemo for almost a month so you' think I'd feel pretty good, well I was until about a week ago, then I started feeling nauseous in the morning. Some days I'd just feel sick...others I'd actually  be sick, enough said. Chemo patients also often, have other stomach issues, like feeling sick isn't enough????
Yesterday I got my new, oral chemo - capecitabine (Xeloda). My other one is 'only' 5 pills a day, this one is 4 pills twice a day. I started yesterday afternoon and immediately dozed on the couch. This morning I was so tired when it was time to get up. I was sick before I even ate or drank anything but made myself a smoothie anyway, it was OK. I'm glad I don't have the nurse or meals coming today, as I am not dressed, nor do I plan to get dressed. I have plans for friday afternoon but I'm not sure if I will feel like it.
I am hoping I will be able to walk and drive again...soon. I really, really miss being able to get into my car and run errands, etc. 
I'm not exactly sure why, but I just don't feel like doing anything.
Wish me luck and that I can hold off cancer and hang on!!!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Macaroni is Macaroni

And Noodles are noodles................unless  you are my husband....and then you might think they are all spaghetti??? I never even had spaghetti on my list!

 I had written noodles on my list...........................you know like you might use for chicken noodle soup???? I wanted to go to the grocery store with Kevin but my son and daughter were on the way over so I stayed here.
The following day I found a box of macaroni  in the pantry.................husbands???
Yes, I often find things that I don't want in my cupboard. Hubby doesn't watch the sodium levels, and if I liked it 6 months ago he thinks I still like it and will continue to buy it......... He is trying but I guess I need to write more specific grocery lists. 
Sunday started out cool and cloudy but by late afternoon it was warm and sunny outside. I took my Kindle and found my comfy chair. Later a friend came over with shrimp salad for supper :-)
A couple of hours later the sky got dark, it started to rain, and the wind picked up. About 20 minutes later, the lawn was filled with branches, and the power was out so we settled down for a quiet evening. 
The 'natives' are getting restless.......The last day of school is later this week and the students and teachers are 'killing time'. My grandson wants to attend summer school...last year I took him but this year I can't drive. I guess it is just too hard for mom to take him,....dad doesn't live with them. He is in the gifted and talented program, but............I hate to see his enthusiasm and talent wasted.
I have a dr appointment this afternoon. I am being switched to another oral chemo pill, wish me luck! I can't wait to see what the new side effects are............(she says sarcastically).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I Love It When My Kids Come To Visit

I got lucky today.....My daughter called yesterday and said she'd like to visit on saturday after Cole finished his 5K . He beat his personal best....17+ minutes. I'm happy with that.

His little sister has great form.....2 first places and one 2nd. I think her dance practice and big brother help a lot too.

She likes the doll house.

  My two fancy girls sitting at the bar.

 Mom and brother joined in.

Pretty as a picture!

My son called this morning and asked if we were going to be home .....we were.....so he came over also. A couple of friends stopped over too. .....busy afternoon. We chit chatted for a bit and then went off to the museum and the kids got ice cream.
It was just a nice afternoon!
No plans for tomorrow................If if doesn't rain I hope to plant more flowers.