Saturday, April 28, 2007

So, how are you doing?

How many times have I been asked that question lately? Maybe as often as, "So, you are still working?" Having a breast cancer diagnosis seems to go with a lot of fear, not only for me but my family, friends, and just the general public. I did learn at the Susan Koman walk presentation that a history of prostrate cancer in your family (my dad) can indicate breast cancer later. Humm, I wonder if that will pass from me to my son as a genedic disposition for breast cancer or prostrate? Another worry floating around in my head.

But my answer to the topic? I'm doing well. A lot of fatigue, but really doing well as much as I could expect or even better. I was a little weepy at my doctor's visit this week before Chemo and he had the heart to heart about how this is the hardest thing I have ever done and it's not an easy journey. And that is what it is, a journey. I've always seen life as terms of destination. When I ever get promoted and we have more money, life will be good. When my lazy ex husband decides to be better and get a job, life will be good. When I graduate from high school and move out of my crazy home provided by my mom and step father and Black Daniels, life will be good. But even with all the counseling and self help books and living through grief with the loss of a baby and the loss of a dream of a marriage, I don't think I've ever really just relaxed and enjoyed the journey.

I have lived a dream life for so long, in my dreams, not in my real life, am I ever going to be able to bring those dreams out into the waking world and focus into being happy now? And if I just worry about now, am I giving up future dreams? My sister was so focused on what she wanted to be when she grew up and she did it. She's my role model. First finding the job, then the associates, the bachelors and finally reaching what I've been striving for yet putting off for the men in my life for years, a masters degree. Hers is in nursing but I still haven't narrowed my focus down enough to describe it, let alone find it. I want to be in organizational design. Team building, mentoring, coaching, advising, training and writing.

Eyes bigger than my stomach? I don't know. I just know that Enterprise has been wonderful to me during this phase of my journey. I don't think I'm using my talents in the most productive way but I don't have a lot of work pressures or demands on me right now so a day off for Chemo won't hurt someone or damage my position.

Reading: Not much but I finished a Tami Hoag CD Bad Acts that was excellent. Very detailed lots of red herrings, lots of gore. Started a Susan Grafton CD yesterday. Last night I had mystery nightmares, being killed, abducted, etc. Maybe I should lighten my reading a bit!

I did read the first book in the Debutante Dropout Mystery series Blue Blood by Susan McBride, a St. Louis writer. Actually very good. A fun, fast read. 4 hours (I needed a magazine to finish my Chemo tuesday and I had just started it that morning.)

Well, later. Jeani, I'll answer your question off line.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The last week...

Well, its been quite a week. I thought I was going to have that feel good week in between chemos but it wasn't to be. I started getting sick on Monday and they had me calling in and taking my temp at home. Tuesday we started taking blood and I stayed home from work and worried. Tuesday night I noticed a raised spot on my back that iched like heck. When I called in, they put me on a medicine for shingles (also genital herpes according to the label :) ). When I went in for my shots on Wednesday, they took more blood, looked at my sore, and called it all into the doctor who had been threatening to put me in the hospital for IV antibiotics if my fever continued.
Well, everything started to calm down and by yesterday, I was feeling a lot better and my nurse told me that my wednesday blood counts were already going up from Tuesdays. I guess they look at giving you transfusions when they get too low. More news to me. My nurse coordinator thinks my counts will be back up to normal by Tuesday when I'm scheduled for Chemo. If not, they will put it off a week, which will really suck since I have things scheduled based on my Tuesday chemo days.

We threw darts Wednesday and I just wore my hat. People were so nice but I felt like a dork. How come guys can have no hair and we still think they look good, but girls need that hair to even come close?

What have I been reading? Sliver of Truth, Lisa Unger. Wow, this was a ride from the first moment I opened the book. I guess its a continuation from her first, Beautiful Lies which now I have to read. Her protaganist is funny and accessable, yet not predictable. She does a lot of the dumb naive things I could see myself doing if I was even close to being in a situation like hers. And, like my family, secrets abound and people disappoint you.

I just started Staying Home is a Killer by Sara Rosett. Fun read. Easy to pick up before doctor appointments and while I'm waiting without losing my place in the story.

The really kind nurse in the weekend cancer clinic at Barnes Jewish gave me the Susan McBride books in the Deutante Dropout Series. Susan is a St. Louis writer, my new home, and we were talking about the different writers who live in the area. Miss nurse, sorry, I don't know her name, said she met her at a book fair and was given the first book, so she had to go buy the other two. Marketing did work in this case. I'm probably going to start Blue Blood next.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bad Hair Day

Ok, that's an understatement! It is coming out. By the handfuls. And I know its normal, but still it is driving me crazy. Two days ago at work, everyone thought I had gotten a hair cut it was so short, but no, just falling out. I will have to wear the wig on Monday so I'm glad I went and got it last week.

On other cancer news, the chemo seems to be not as bad this time for my stomach, but I'm a lot more tired and worn out. I'm still doing shots at the hospital but I got my grant approved and I should do them at home next round.


To finish my post, I took a few hours (ok, days) off in between. But SEE ABOVE! Today is the first day I'm trying out my wig at work so I'm like going to high school for the first time. Its trying on all those clothes you thought looked sharp in the mall and now having nothing to wear on THE-MOST-IMPORTANT-DAY-OF-YOUR-LIFE feeling. ( I learned that technique in Non fiction class over at BSU, impressed, huh!)

Alex called yesterday (my son) and I just cried. Not because of anything, I just miss him so much. I'm not 7 hours away now, I'm two days away from him if I got a wide hair and started driving.

As far as writing, I went on a four day roll at the first of the month and haven't touched a word since. I know, I have a few things on my mind, but you would think this would be the time to get writing, about those fears, the tests, the other people? I met a man at my last shot who said he went to shave, put the shaving cream on, and half his beard came off with the cream. Sad huh.

Well, if anyone has any hats they want to send my way, I'd love to get some. I have a skull cap thing and a baseball cap and my wig. I'm going to have to go shopping this weekend for some turbans.

Here's to good hair days for the rest of you.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Well, I know I haven't posted but I have a couple good excuses. Mostly, my computer has been down and it seems like we are sharing an internet connection rather than it working like it is suppose to where we both can get on. So I've been borrowing computer time from Jim and then checking email, etc at work. It's funny how much you have stored in your own computer and how much of a pain it is to change up.

So where was I when I last posted. March 14th. I probably was still in the throws of the metatisis scare. The bump on my shoulder blade that looked like it was neck rather than in the breast cancer line of fire. Well, I re did a CT scan, thinking NO CANCER. NO CANCER. all the time. And it has come back that it is still localized. Thank God, big sigh of relief.

Its funny, I was waiting for my first oncology appointment looking at hats and wigs catalog feeling sorry for myself that I was going to lose my hair but when I thought I was going to lose my life, my hair didn't seem to be that big of thing. Now that I've had my first Chemo and second is the upcoming Tuesday, I'm worried about my hair again. I ordered a wig but now I'm concerned that the insurance will not cover it even though the care coordinator I talked to said they would.

Chemo makes me nauseous (but no vomiting this round) and very tired for days after. Then I get shots that make my back hurt, nauseous, and have diarrea. As far as eating, I now know the definition and execution of emotional eating. I eat to feel better, to feel normal, because I can, and lastly, because I need to. But mostly I eat. Cookies, candy, soda, anything that "comforts" me, especially mashed potatos. I am an Idaho girl! But one round of eight is done and only 7 more to go.

I am still fighting for co pay assistance to allow me to get the shots delivered at home so I give them myself rather than go to the hospital every day for seven days after the Chemo. My co pay for the drug is $514 up to $1500 max out of pocket. This is why you are told to save for a rainy day cuz its pouring around here. I guess there is no good time to get cancer, but this is probably the worst time financially for us. I did work full time this week for the first time since I got back, but next week, I know I'll lose at least a day due to the Chemo. I should be counting my blessings that I am able to work and that my insurance is as good as it is, which I am thankful for. I am doing some mystery shops on Monday to try to bring a little more funds into the household, but I wonder if I'm just setting myself up to fail again. I 'd like to find a little publication here like at home where I could write a monthly article for and get paid for it. Need to do some more research.

Speaking of writing which is what this blog is suppose to be about, I wrote in my novel twice this week. So, I need to get off here and make it three days which is amazing. I haven't written this much since I was taking classes.

Be good to each other and live happy.