Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting geared up to head off and have my post-chemo bloodwork done.  Certainly hope I score better than I did last time!  The oncologist ostensibly reduced my dose in the hope that it wouldn't crash my numbers this time around.  But as wiped out as I was this second go-round, I'm a tad skeptical.
 last time I felt pretty good and had surprisingly lousy numbers.  So maybe this time when I got knocked for a loop I'll have surprisingly good numbers?  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I continued vertical through most of the afternoon yesterday, and got a bunch more stuff done in the afternoon - it was very exciting!  In the late afternoon I did stretch out for a very brief nap, but WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT over the previous 3 days!!!

I was up for a couple of hours last night (let's face it - how much can a person sleep?!?!) but did a little reading, ate some of Estera's homemade tiramisu that she (and cutie Willie) dropped off around dinnertime, and then went back to sleep until a more decent hour this morning.  Of course I am not setting an alarm clock, but this did tickle my funny bone.
 The only thing on for today is watching Bella and her crew clean the house.  I think I can manage that!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

 A small bird lands on Josh's guitar at the Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival while he's singing.
Obviously this bird has good taste in music. <G>
Watch how the singer/guitar player Josh keeps his cool!

If that didn't make you smile, I'm worried about you!
So far, so good this morning.  I'm still out of bed (YAY!) and getting stuff done.  

Here's what I can report as of 9:15 this morning:
 (it may not seem like a lot, but it's a major improvement over the past 3 days!)
one load of laundry
breakfast (2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast, strawberries, milk)
thirsty plants on front porch now watered
lots of bills paid
talked with woman at insurance company

It looks like a lovely day outside, so I think I'll take a break and sit out by the pool for a few minutes, maybe read some of the newspapers that have been piling up. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

This made me smile!  
I meant to post it with the rest of tonight's entry, as in 
Tomorrow I will be carrying on! <G>
but now it gets its own post.


 While I was still horizontal all day today, at least part of it was spent out of bed, on the couch watching a Netflix.  Even better, I managed to stay awake virtually all day.   Then Patti stopped by after work and ended up staying for dinner.  (Tom left me plenty of leftovers!)  It was nice to have company, and I'm happy to report that I ate a good dinner: smoked chicken with mashers & gravy.  And Alex is bringing home Carrabba's bread and dipping spices for dessert later.

I plan to feel even better tomorrow, and who knows....
maybe even sit outside for a bit and read.  

I am currently out of bed after basically sleeping around the clock for the past 48 hours.  When I'm too tired to read, you know I'm wiped out!  Hopefully I'm over the hump on chemo #2.  Rumor has it that it was a beautiful day yesterday - too bad I missed it. <g>  Big plans for today?  A shower!!!

Here's a little excerpt from Bev's recent speech:

......If I have one key message to other cancer patients, it’s to stay positive. Once I learned that focusing on the joys of life instead of the what if’s, dealing with cancer became a whole lot easier. And, I wouldn’t let anyone take me to the dark side – I have control over me, and surprisingly, with an upbeat attitude, could control how others talked to me and treated me.  

I learned that life is not living and worrying from CT scan to CT scan. It’s about laughing with friends, spending quality time with family, celebrating simchas and stopping to smell the roses as often as possible.  ......And, for my friends and family, it’s OK to say, “How are you feeling? I’m there for you if you need me.” But mostly, I want to hear “Let’s do something fun.”
I'm looking forward to having the energy to do fun stuff again - like quilt!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Despite spending most of yesterday in bed I managed a great night's sleep - while I did open my eyes a couple of times to note the time I always fell right back to sleep.  Finally got up about 7:30 this morning when Nature called.  (She can be very annoying; one of the chemo drugs is hard on the bladder, so I'm having to drink lots of water.)
Obviously I have no plans for today.... but if anything exciting happens I'll be sure to let you know!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Today was pretty much a lost day.  Crawled back into bed and started watching gymnastics at Madison Square Garden - managed to keep my eyes open for a few routines (all pretty incredible)
 but then next thing I knew it was 3 hours later and golf was on.  

Stayed in bed the rest of the afternoon, ostensibly watching TV (not golf!) until Tom and Carlo put a delicious dinner on the table.  I wasn't really hungry (that glass of OJ this morning really filled me up....) but know I have to eat.  So I got out of bed and did manage small portions of smoked chicken, potatoes, broccoli, and 2 helpings of salad.  Trying to stay awake for a little while (it does sound inviting to crawl back into bed) so I did the dishes, even though Tom insisted he'd do them when he comes in from locking up the shop.

Now just trying to stay awake for a little while -

Spent yesterday afternoon napping, and then didn't have much of an appetite for dinner.  All that sounded the least bit appealing was a salad, so Tom whipped up up a delicious one for me.  Managed a little TV in the evening, but before long it was bedtime.  So my lethargy kicked in sooner this second go-round.  Still, as Tom says, if this is as bad as it gets I'll muddle through.

Still no appetite to speak of, but think I can manage a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ for breakfast.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's windy and chilly out today, so I had to wear a hat to keep my head warm.  But everything is blooming (not good for all the allergy sufferers, or if we get a cold snap this month) and this guy looks happy!

I consider myself quarantined for the next week until I get my blood drawn and find out how happy my white blood cells are.  So poor Alex had to head to Target to do my shopping for me.   Could be worse - if he were using his own debit card instead of mine!

Took my anti-nausea pills this morning and feeling fine.  In a little bit Alex will be home from class to take me for my Neulasta shot.  Hopefully with the lowered chemo doses this time around that'll do the trick and I won't need additional Neupogen shots (like last time) to kick-start my bone marrow.

Tom and Carlo are off fishing today for striped bass with some other knappers who are in town.  
 It's pretty windy out today, and it may not be so pleasant out on Lake Pleasant.  Plan A for dinner is fish.  Plan B is leftover elk roast!

I expect to be taking my afternoon naps for the next week or two, but remember what I told you earlier?
Now I can prove it!  In this video we see a killer T cell of the immune system attacking a cancer cell.
Professor Gillian Griffiths:
"Cells of the immune system protect the body against pathogens. If cells in our bodies are infected by viruses, or become cancerous, then killer cells of the immune system identify and destroy the affected cells. Cytotoxic T cells are very precise and efficient killers. They are able to destroy infected or cancerous cells, without destroying healthy cells surrounding them. The Wellcome Trust funded laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths, at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, investigates just how this is accomplished. By understanding how this works, we can develop ways to control killer cells. This will allow us to find ways to improve cancer therapies, and ameliorate autoimmune diseases caused when killer cells run amok and attack healthy cells in our bodies."

Cytotoxic T cells are just 10 microns in length: approximately one-tenth the width of a human hair. These movies are 92 times real time.

The original footage shown was made by Alex Ritter, a PhD student on the NIH-OxCam programme, in the laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the Department of Medicine of the Clinical School of the University of Cambridge. The images were acquired using an Andor Revolution spinning disk system with an Olympus microscope. Professor Griffiths is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow.
 Uploaded by on Feb 3, 2012 - Under the Microscope is a collection of videos that show glimpses of the natural and man-made world in stunning close-up. They are released every Monday and Thursday for the next few weeks and you can see them here:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

As soon as I finished lunch (lentil soup) I decided to lie down on the couch and 'rest' for a few minutes.  Guess what happened?  <G>  Did wake up in time for the second half of Jeopardy.  Ate a yummy dinner the guys whipped up: big salad, some mashers, and thirds of some elk roast (from Idaho?) that hunter Carlo had brought with him.  That 'gave me the strength' to do the dishes. <g>  (I'd much rather do the dishes than cook, right Cindy?)
And now it's a little past 8:00 and time to crawl back into bed. 

My lab numbers were excellent - my blood is nice and happy - so chemo proceeded on schedule this morning.  I had a different chemo nurse this time - Tonya, who is much friendlier than Susan was.  So I'll hope to see Tonya when I go 'party' again on March 22.

The oncologist was very happy to hear how great I've been feeling, and said since I'm doing so well tolerating the adriamycin and cytoxin (the cancer drugs mostly likely to knock folks on their butt) 
 I should have absolutely no trouble with the taxol and herceptin (that'll be during the second 12-weeks.) That's encouraging news!

Now I'm home, and ready for lunch.  So far, so good!
Last night Tom and I watched the movie 50/50, which I enjoyed.  I could definitely relate to much of it, although happily my prognosis is much better than his was, and I certainly laughed out loud more than once (although of course there were also a few misty-eye scenes.)  It's worth watching, although there really aren't many surprises in the plot.  My favorite scene? Finding the book - that says it all!

Off in a bit for my 2nd round of chemo.  I am doing well, and most of my friends are staying in that upbeat mode with me.  Did, however, get a phone message from a friend that I haven't yet answered - need to figure out how to (tactfully) deal with what sound like pity calls.  I'm not feeling sorry for myself, and I don't need anyone else to either!