Thursday, October 31, 2013

Today was the Day

After watching my hair thin more and more, day by day, and seeing the part get wider....... and seeing the bald spots in the back, i finally took control today, walked into a great clips hair cutting place, explained the situation, and had them buzz off what was left of my hair... it's now 1/4" long, and feels like a beanie baby.

now, to figure out how one ties these scarves!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Well Crap!

Son's car is totalled. the repairs are more than the car is worth.

seriously, i need a break. a winning lottery ticket. someone to put together a fund raiser for us - we're already in lean times, financially... this may push me right over the edge.

dear powers that be - could you cut us a break, please? we need to find a car for my son that we can afford, or magically have the repairs be about 400 cheaper, so that the car isn't totalled. pretty please?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halfway Through!

Friday was chemo #13 - if we assume the 6 months that my doctor said, then I'm halfway through.

another 2 chemos, and another scan - I'm still not on the tamoxifen, but we'll have that conversation after the next scan, again.

i took a look in a mirror this morning, at the back of my head... the balding is starting to get noticeable, says my daughter - and up till now, she's insisted it wasn't really noticeable... so i guess we're getting ever closer to the shaving. at this point, i'd be ok with it - mostly because i'm so aware of how thin my hair has gotten... i could tell in the shower yesterday, it feels like i have so little hair left. so... so i have pink scalp showing through, but still have hair, or do i pull the plug and finally just shave it off? i'm leaning towards shaving it off

it's getting colder and gloomier outside, but here inside, it still feels warm. we've received some additional assistance from some new areas, and that's one of those heartwarming things.... interestingly enough, i've called to ask for an intake appointment for TANF twice now, and they STILL haven't called me back. guess i'll call them again today, and if i need to, i'll go there in person - it's only down the road.

in the "it's always something" category, my son had a minor car accident last week. he's fine, no injuries... but his car had to be towed, and will need to be repaired. so daughter and i went up there and left him HER car... so he can get to his job up at college, she and i can share my car, and i just hope the damage isn't too bad.... we'll see.

it's always something, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear Prince Charming

When a doctor's office neglected to update the patient's address, and sent you the bill by mistake?

the appropriate response is NOT to call your lawyer, and have him send a nasty-gram to the doctor's office.

seriously. at a minimum, you ran up a legal bill for $75. the doctor's bill was only $35.

why didn't you just drop it into an envelope and send it to me, with a note that it got sent to the wrong address? that would have cost you........... less than a dollar.

this is almost as brilliant as the time you fought me in court, and ended up paying $450 in legal fees, in order to NOT pay a doctor's bill of........... $62.

did you pawn your brains?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Post Chemo 11, day 1

yesterday was chemo #1`1 - and up till now, i've been doing really well. all the counts are staying high enough, and reasonably stable.

yesterday, they changed the amount of carboplatin - apparently some count that indicates how the kidneys are doing is a little off. not really sure what's up yet, since i didn't meet with the doctor or nurse practitioner. i DO know that my doctor is really on top of things, though - when my potassium was a little low (3.2 when it should be 3.4 at the low end), they immediately gave me a list of high potassium foods, and said if it didn't come back up, they would add potassium supplements to my rx list. ok, i'm good with that - and the next week, it was up to 3.7 and has stayed there 2 weeks in a row (don't know yesterday's counts yet) - so that one is fine.

i know that i've been slacking on drinking the half-gallon of liquids a day lately.... so my goal this week is to make sure i do at least 64 ounces of non-caffeine liquids for at least friday, saturday and sunday (the critical time) - to flush as much of the chemo past the kidneys as quickly as possible. if i didn't get ALL the liquids yesterday, i know i came darned close - 16 oz of spiced cider, 32 oz 0f gatorade, and most of a 1/2 liter of water.

so today, we start again. hey, if nothing else, drinking all that water means i'll be full all the time, which means i won't be snacking, right?

so that's today. it's early, everyone else is still sleeping, so i'm in my room watching tv and knitting.

and today would have been my mother's 83rd birthday - she passed on nearly 3 years ago.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Keeping Hope Alive

For anyone who doesn't know it, I'm a knitter. I knit most of my free time. I have so much yarn, i don't think anyone could live long enough to knit it all.

i'm also on ravelry, a website for crazy knitter people like me.

on ravelry, on a forum for cancer type people, there's a young lady who was diagnosed 2 years ago with stage 4 lung cancer (the same kind i have) - she was only 30 at the time.

hers was more spread than mine is, even as of the last scans i had - she has tumors in her brain, and bones. so far, my liver, bones and brain are all clear.

her story gives me hope. when you hear stage 4, that's terminal. no, no, don't cringe at the word. living is a terminal condition. no one makes it out alive. but when they say stage 4, you know, with that bone chilling certainty, that it's out there. it's just a matter of when, how long. those are the questions we ask our doctors.

so reading her story, i have hope. while i'm stage 4, it isn't in those other areas, and that's a good thing. as of the last scan, there was enough improvement that i was not put on tamoxifen (yet).

and that gives me hope. after all, i'm not done with my knitting!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

10 down - that's about 40%?

so Friday was chemo #10. so far, still hanging in there. i think i feel worse from the side-effects from the chemo than from the cancer. i guess that's actually a good thing.. means the chemo is keeping things stable at worst case, and still improving at best case.

my hair continues to thin, but not enough to shave it. so i've called the local (supposed to be really good) hair salon, and have an appointment to see if they can come up with a cut that helps... right now, it's SO thing, and just lays there. it's sort of depressing. but please... do not tell me to use all this product and stuff, because it isn't going to happen - i'm losing my hair, why on earth would i put a bunch of stuff on it?

aside from that, life goes on. have found some more sources for assistance, so continue to apply, and email, and call... we'll see how it goes.

i've been off work for nearly 2 months now... time flies when you're trying to sleep through the side effects, right?

and my kids seem to be doing reasonably well. daughter is doing well in her studies, and in her job. she seems happy, which is what we've fought for, for 15 years. my son is also doing well in his studies, and is looking into the air guard (like national guard, reserves) - for him, i think it would be a good thing, and the financial aspects (money for tuition, health care) are a big deal.

so that's life from the chemo cafe... hope you're all doing well, doing what makes you happy, and enjoying the day!