Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catching Up

Wow. Days have passed, and turned into a week. Rather, this is day 9 since I've posted. And, in all sincerity to my faithful readers, Sorry. I love that you have continued to check in on me, and, yes, I was feeling guilty a couple of days ago. May I say -- I'm feeling better? Not quite 100% yet, but pretty close, maybe 90%. Which is better than last week, when I could say that I was 85%. And as a result of my increased energy and clearing head, I've been doing more and not making time for the blog. Uh Oh. My bad.

So, how do I catch up? Do I write individual days?? Probably, as summaries just aren't as fun. Ok. This is what I'll do. I'll post this one, and write the last many days as quickly as I can. I'll title the entries with the date, and the posting date will be for that date, also.

Off I go to write for Wednesday July 23, 2008.

Thank you, and big hugs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday 7.24.2008

This is it. My last day at the lake. It's a little breezy again this morning, but looks like it's going to be a great day. I stripped the bed, picked up my personal belongings, started repacking to go home.

I feel good, rested. My breast is a little sore, and when it bothers me I take a couple of motrin and a tylenol. It's enough to get my mind off of it.

Tuesday 7.22.2008

The rain stopped and started several times through the night, and this morning it’s still drying to drizzle. It will stop long enough to give hope that it’s done, then start again. The thermometer on the tree shows 70 degrees.

We have a leak in the underground gas line from the tank to the house, and the crew is scheduled to be here today. Dan said morning, but I think he said afternoon when he initially told me. No matter—I’ll be here.

I putzed around the house, ending up sorting the drawers and doors of the hutch thing in the kitchen. Treasures abound. Memories for the Jacque family of their mother, Germaine, who passed away in 2005, shortly after Dan and I met.

It was creeping up to noon, and I got ready to go into Hale to stop at the Amerigas office to check on the schedule. I also wanted a few groceries, and while in town, find an internet connection.

I dropped the mail into the box at the post office, and there was a large, mostly empty parking lot behind businesses, and the next lot over was the Plainfield Township office building, which contains the library. I got the computer out, and wa-la! Connected to Plainfield Township Library Hot Spot!! So I sat in my car in the rain, quickly checking email and other internet stuff I wanted to do. Done.

Over to Amerigas.

The nice lady at the desk came up and asked if she could help me. I told her that we were scheduled for an underground line replacement, Husband thought it was this morning, and could you tell me when that project might happen?? She went over to their project scheduling sheet that was posted on the wall. She said they had 2 tanks to set this morning, and that the crew would probably be there soon. She called the guy—they are on their way, and will be there in about 20 minutes. Oh. Thank you. I’d like to go next door and get a few items at the grocery. I’ll be there just as soon as I get done. And is there a number I can call to get into this office? Sure, she said, and wrote it on a sticky note for me. Thanks again. As I was leaving, she called the guys back to let them know that I’ll be there shortly.

I went into the grocery store, picked up the items that I wanted, and left. Sure enough, the guys were there. I introduced myself, and commented about hand-digging. They said that there would be lots of tree roots, and just as east to hand dig. I was surprised that the line is only about 10 inches below ground. I heard a boat—Tom was motoring over. I met him on the dock. He tied up and came up.

We stood and watched them a few minutes, then it started drizzling again. Tom helped carry the computer while I got the groceries out, and we went inside.

We visited a bit, and he left. I had a bite to eat.

The gas line guys had finished. The dirt has been raked back over, and looks real nice. The guy came in to light the pilot on the furnace, and I paid attention. It lit, he had me turn up the thermostat to make sure there was no air in the line. Poof, the pilot went out. He chuckled. Yep, there’s one. He relit it, and this time it ran seamlessly. Thank you, gas line guys.

Time to tackle that garage again.

I was very surprised how much dirt was in there. I cleaned off a couple of shelves, discarding empty packaging, grouping items together, trying to organize a little more. I finally finished up about 9:30. Good job done.

I washed up and fixed something to eat.

The rain has stopped, and the lake is mirror quiet. A beautiful night.

Thank you, Lord, for this gift of life.

Monday July 21, 2008

Wow. I love being at the lake. Even though it’s a little windy, and damp, it’s a great place to be.

I swept off the front deck, then went on the ground to get the webs off of the outside of the deck. There was sand splashed up onto the bottom boards of the deck—it must have really rained hard. I moved around to the house, sweeping the cobwebs off the siding, around the doors and windows, etc. And the garage, too.

Looking around in there, the garage needs to be swept out again. Maybe I can do that tomorrow. I still can’t go 100 mph, but I’m getting things done.

I went inside and rested.

I had my supper, read some, and that’s about it.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday 7.23.2008

The day dawned sunny and still, with birdsong welcoming the new day. Absolutely lovely at the lake. The breeze started, though, shortly after the sun started warming the air. I was hoping to be able to "play airplanes" with Tom--he had brought his RC (radio controlled) seaplane and was hoping to fly. The breeze was working up the water, though, and that plane needs fairly quiet water to land and take off without incident.

I got myself ready for the day, and walked over to the Goodwin Cottage. Tom was outside getting the plane assembled, and all the paraphernelia that goes with it. (And you thought scrapbooking or stamping took time to set up...) This particular plane took up most of the top of the picnic table. I was impressed.

I watched, asked questions, and watched the water. The more he told me about the aircraft, the more I understood about the surface of the water, how important it is that the water not be very much more than small ripples. My instincts were telling me that this was the kind of day that was only going to get more windy, not less.

After Tom got the plane all assembled, fueled, started, and gone through the pre-flight checks, one more look at the lake convinced him that it was not a fly-day. Bummer.

He un-fueled the plane, dis-assembled it, and we carried it back to the van to put away. Yes, I was allowed to not only touch it, but carry it. Like this.... hold on to it right here.... be careful, don't set it down, I'll take it. Whew. I knew I wasn't going to hurt it, but I followed directions...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday 7.20.2008 Ahhhh....

Sunday July 20, 2008

What a great Party yesterday!! Thanks again to all who have shared in this journey.

Daniel went off golfing, leaving me to sift the house back into order. A couple of lists helped keep me on track, so that I had what I wanted to take to the lake to work on Bre and Nick’s party on the 26th.

Laundry done, my bags mostly packed, items collected and set next to the car to go back to the storage unit, and Daniel was back already. Already?? It was after 3 pm.

He helped me load the cars, and we went over to the storage unit. Put those items away, and back home again. I realized I needed to eat before leaving, so I did.

I packed the cooler, and Dan carried it down for me and placed it in the trunk. One last trip to the bathroom, and I was off. Hugs and kisses…

It was a wonderful trip in that the only “events” were intermittent rain. From misting to raining to an outright downpour, the pavement alternated between deep puddles wet and dry. Scattered showers, indeed.

I met Jim Jr. at the agreed upon location and gave him wife Kris’ purse that got left behind yesterday. It was the perfect time to stop and stretch the legs, use the restroom, get hugs, and continue on.

I arrived at the Jacque Cabin about 9:45 pm. All was well here. It had been raining here, too, and was very humid, about 70 degrees. After I got the car unloaded, it started raining again. Thank you, God, for holding the umbrella.

I took a look around. The Visitors we’ve had have left the place neat, clean, and tidy, and it was a pleasure to come in. Thank you to all for the “extra” cleaning and scrubbing.

I got myself settled in. I’ll be settling into the bed soon—it’s after midnight.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday 7.19.2008 Splash Down!!

Party Day

I slept pretty good, only waking a few times. This morning I woke about 6:45, listened to the radio and dozed, but got up about 0730. I had a lot of things on my mind, and wanted to get the rest of the party prep done. Daniel was still snoring.

He got up after a while and joined me. It was hot and hazy and humid outdoors. At least it's not raining. I baked several dozen cookies, and after the last tray was out of the oven, we went over to the storage unit to pick up the rest of the chairs and another table. The table fit just fine in the convertible with the top down, and Daniel put the chairs in his car. (Bre and Nick are to take the table and matching chairs with them...)

Back home, we started setting up the garages. Chairs, tables, tv trays, coolers with bottled water. Daniel had cleared off the top of his work bench, and I put a bedsheet over it. I also put a sheet over the shelving. Daniel asked why I was doing that. I told him "to make it look better." He said, "It's a garage". I told him that's why I was covering the stuff, because "now it's Party Central." I think he thinks I'm nuts. I hung a silk plant in a hanging basket from the garage door rail, hung wind chimes on the other side by the opening, in case there was a breeze. In the other garage directly across, we had chairs. I wasn't sure just how we were going to place people in case of rain, and it was looking ominous. It's not raining yet, though. He went off to get ice.

I swept the pavement between the buildings. It took me a bit, and it started sprinkling just before I finished. The last few minutes I was out, I was sweeping wet sand. Ok, I'm done.

I went in the garage and sat there and watched it rain. Ok. What now. It's 11:00. I had a talk with the Lord, and decided that He had heard me and taken care of me so far. I'll trust that it will all work out. (Ok, but can the rain stop...?)

I went about placing the tables and chairs, looking to see how the traffic flow would be. I had the workbench, that had an outlet nearby for the crockpot of sloppy joes, and lots more room up there. I'll put Mr. Snowman Head beverage dispenser on the corner, filled with punch. And the carafe with coffee and fixings next to that. I also had 3 tables along the long side of the garage. I put tablecloths on each of them. Ok. I think that will work. It's still drizzling. It's time for me to shower.

So I did. I was drying off, and heard voices. I thought Daniel had the tv on. The I hear "KJ, KJ, I'm Here!!" It was Kathy Sue. They were here!! I looked at the clock, 1:40. I had planned to be ready by 2, and I will be. I stayed on track. Kind of. Well, mostly. And I was ready by 2. And the rain had stopped.

Jim and Polly came in, too. Not too long after, The Newlyweds, Breon and Nick Berry, and their friend Mike, came in. They needed to pack and load some of Breon's belongings. We visited a bit--they look great, and said they enjoyed their honeymoon in New Orleans.

Frank and Keesha arrived, Bruce came in, and it was time to start moving food out to the garage and setting up. Others arrived, too. It was wonderful to see all of you, and the hugs. We were placing the tables around outdoors when the drizzle started again. Back into the garages went the furniture. Ok. So we stay under cover. It's not storming, blowing, thunder, lightening...

We ate, enjoyed the fellowship and camaraderie and good food. I had forgotten that I had wanted to say a blessing, but most people were done now, and I asked if they would come over and join us. We all held hands, and I told them how frightened I was, and how the energies we share as we're all touching strengthened me, helped me to walk through The Door to receive treatments, and to surround me throughout the process. And I say to You, Dear Reader, as I said to those who were there--Thank You. From the bottom of my heart. The power that we have to support each other is a gift the Lord has given us, so that we can give and learn and love from each other. I am truly honored, humbled, and blessed to have been able to share this journey with each and every one of you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday 7.18.08

Finally. I got through the day today. I wasn't done sleeping when it was time to get up, but, get up I did.

It was so warm out this morning, and the top was down on the car from yesterday, so I left it down until I got to the expressway. Then I put it up--the air was very damp, and it was uncomfortable sticky.

We had a good workday, even though we were very busy. I love my co-workers.

It was finally time to leave. An uneventful drive home (thank you, God). Daniel had completed the list of prep things for him to do. It was starting to look like a party was happening!

We visited for a bit, I checked email, and wrote here.

Hot flashes today seemed to have more intense "auras" than the previous weeks, though not as intense as without the Effexor all together, and not with each episode/event, either. Still unnerving, though. And the itch is still there.

I've got to go to bed. There's a party tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it. Hugs.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday 7.17.2008

I had a good day today--I woke up to the landscape people mowing about 7:30 (good that someone else mows, not good that they mow our area first thing in the morning). I put the earbud in with the radio on low, and went back to sleep. 0900 I woke to the sound of water--Daniel was in the shower. Oh. Time to get up....

He went off to his golf outing. I got myself ready for the day. I had breakfast, got into the cupboards to see what I had and what I needed, checked the list, added to it, and headed out.

I went to the bread store first. The same bread that's on the grocery store shelves, same expiration dates, for way less. I almost couldn't believe it. I bought buns for the sloppy joes for Saturday, and asked the nice lady, Debbie, about larger quantities. We talked about what I needed (for Bre and Nick's party on the 26th), and she said today would be good. Ok. I ordered the breads for that party, too, at less-than-Sam's prices. Cool.

Over to Meijer. First stop, gas pump. Geesh. Sure hope these gas prices come down...

Then into the store. I spent a bit of time looking for a couple of things I wanted, found some, not others, then went on the get the groceries. At the meat counter, the "good" ground beef (lower fat) was priced really good. I asked the girl for 10 pounds. "I can only give you 5 pounds when it's on sale." Oh. I didn't know it was on sale. There's not a "sale" sign, just the price. She chatted a bit. I asked her how long I had to wait before I could come back and get another 5 pounds. "Another hour," she said. Oh. I told her I was making sloppy joes for a party, and needed to cook it today. "What kind of party?" she asked. I told her we were having a Celebration for the End of Cancer Treatment and my Recovery. "Wow," she said. She reached back in the case and pulled out the tray again, and, looking around to see where her co-worker went, she packaged up another 5 pounds. "That's worth another 5 pounds. Congratulations!"

"Thank you," I told her, "You made my day." She smiled. "Have a good party!" I waved to her, as the store was busy, and I was leaving the counter.

I got most of the items on the list. I really have to focus to stay on task. It seemed I had been there a while, though it was maybe an hour. Including waiting in line to check out.

Next, over to Gordon's Foods. I got the items I needed there, then on back home.

I had only been gone 2 hours.

Several trips up the stairs, unpacked and put away the groceries. I fixed and ate lunch, and sat for a brief rest before doing food prep.

I made the sloppy joes, then a marinated vegetable salad. Daniel came in just as I was finishing cleaning up the kitchen.

He was in good spirits--seems he and his partner took second place, and Dan came home with prizes--gift certificates, pens, etc. He was happy boy.

He showered, and after that we moved the towel bar in the guest bathroom. I let him sit the rest of the evening. He's had an active day, being outside all day in the heat.

I cleaned and cut up the vegetables and fruits, and put my lunch together for tomorrow. Then it was time to eat again, so I did.

Finally, most of the tasks are done. I got on the computer, checked email, took a couple of phone calls, and wrote here.

I am so excited to see all of you! Pray for good weather...

My breast has been itchy today, both outside and inside. And sore on the inside, too. Don't know why--part of the process? More activity?? I don't know. Doesn't matter, I just deal with it. A couple of motrin and a tylenol, I'm good, usually for 4 or 5 hours, or long enough to do what I need to do without much energy going to discomfort.

I'm going to bed. Tomorrow is a workday. Saturday is Splashdown!! Woo Hoo!! Hugs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday 7.16.2008

Whew! I finally got to sleep this morning! I slept pretty good, awake for an hour or so (I listen to the radio with an earbud, and doze), then went back to sleep. I woke up this morning about 9 o'clock. Wonderful! Daniel said I slept well, that I was snoring pretty good. Yep, that's what I do when I'm tired.

I got up and wandered around. Daniel and I visited a bit while I had my breakfast. He had gotten up before me and had already eaten. I checked the computer then went in and showered. While I was drying off, another layer of that nipple and areola sloughed off. Surprised me! I know that it's been annoyingly itchy, but I didn't know that it was still "shedding". Hm. I wonder if that will happen again...

I got myself ready for the day, and went to the Secretary of State to do the license plate renewals, also the driver's license, and transferred the aluminum-boat-with-motor title and got a new sticker for that. I was happy to wait only about 20 minutes for my turn.

On the way back home, I stopped at the storage unit (our basement) to pick up things for the party on Saturday--chairs, tv trays, cups, silverware, etc., and the shower curtain I wanted to put in the guest bathroom. I was able to get all that in my trunk and in the back seat--with the top down, of course.

I put the items in the garage and went upstairs.

I was hungry, and Daniel was still becoming familiar with a new phone he had gotten that had come in the mail. I made us each a plate of nachos. Mine was really yummy. His was gone, too. The plants were wilting outside, so I went out and watered them good. They perked up after an hour.

It was time to finish the bathroom "project". I went in and finished cleaning it, washing out the vanity, the floor, scrubbed the sink, tub, and toilet. It's much better. I put up a different shower curtain, and am pleased that the bathroom looks good and smells good, too.

It was snack time. Daniel drifted off to bed--he has a golf outing tomorrow--and I caught up on the computer and wrote here. Tomorrow I'll get groceries and prepare the sloppy joes for the party, as Friday is a work day.

I hope you all are able to get comfortable in the weather we're having. Thank Goodness for central air...Hugs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday 7.15.2008

The phone rang, and just as I answered it, the radio came on. Good timing! Carol was calling to put me "on call". I thought someone had request it, Carol found where it was written, and said "see you soon". So I got up and got ready for work.

I was a bit slow this morning, but got out on time and clocked in. We were busy today, and the afternoon got busier. I was glad to clock out and get off the Unit.

I stopped over to Countryside Care Center, the nursing home where mom was, to post an invitation to The Party on Saturday. I didn't know if there were still familiar faces, so I stood there looking at the schedule, checking names. Wendy the housekeeper was down the hall. She looked at me. "I thought I recognized you!!!" Big hugs. Chit chat. Cheryl. Hugs. Judy. Struggling with the loss of her sister. Amanda C. Big hugs. Brad. Big Hug. Cameron. Big handshake. (He said he was "dirty"...ok, I get it. We air hugged.) I chatted a minute with each of them. I could have searched out a few more, but I had to go. I put the invite on the bulletin board near the time clock, as suggested by them. Maybe someone will be able to come up. They were with me when I had a lump, then a biopsy and diagnosis, surgeries and chemo, loss of hair, and loss of Elaine. I appreciate each one of them.

An uneventful drive home, Thank You God. Daniel was home. holding a hot pack to his right eye. He's been complaining that it felt scratchy the last several days, and went to the eye doctor today. Seems he has a stye growing. Treatment is to hold a hot pack to it 4 times a day. There were other changes to his eyes, but Doctor will follow up with his next appointment in October.

We visited a bit. I checked the computer, and wrote here.

I had a better day today, fatigue-wise. Even though sleep-wise I'm tired, I took enough food with me. Or maybe I should say I'm figuring out what kind of food works better as far as ease of preparation/eating and staying power.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to sleep into the morning, lay low if I need to rest more, then maybe get in the guest bathroom (Breon's bathroom) and get that finished cleaning. I'd like to go to Nick and Bre's house, too, with Luann (Nick's mom) and maybe clean a little over there. Both Luann and Bre said it needed help. I really have to play it by ear.

Ok. I'm going to bed now. Hugs.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday 7.14.2008

I slept fairly well, had a hard time waking up at 0430. I did, though, and got myself ready to go. An uneventful trip, Thank you, God, and I started my workday.

Yes, we were busy. I did my best to keep up. I think I did pretty good, even though I got pretty tired about 4 o'clock.

I was surprised to see the night shift come in. They were ready to hit the floor at 7 pm, and I clocked out and hit the road. Home by 8, I put my things away, did a load of laundry, Daniel came in and we visited.

He has gone off to bed, and I'm on my way, too.

Nick and Bre have called their respective parents to let us know they've arrived.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday 7.13.2008 Home

Early this morning, I heard the floor creaking on the stairs. Soon there was a knock on the door. We were awake, as our alarm had gone off several minutes earlier. We were talking, and waking up, but no lights were on. "Yes," we answered. "Are you guys up?" Bre asked. We both said yes, and she giggled. "Ok," she said, and went back downstairs.

Dan and I got up, washed hands and face and brushed teeth, put the remaining items in our bags and zipped them up. Off we go.

Bre and Nick were both in the sitting room at the bottom of the stairs, ready to go. Ok, everybody got everything??? Let's go...

We all went down to the car. Daniel loaded the bags, and we got in the car. The sky was clear and dark, speckled with stars as only a dark sky can be. It was beautiful. As we drove down the driveway, I looked back at the House. "Bye, Hexagon House," I said. "Thank you." Bre said, "Bye, Hexagon House." And we turned onto the road.

An hour and a half we alternately chatted and were quiet. We pulled up to the terminal at the airport in Grand Rapids, and we all got out. Bre and Nick each took their bags, and hugged us big hugs. They turned around and went on their way, their first journey as a married couple.

Dan and I continued on our way home. We stopped for fuel somewhere, finally getting home about 0710. We unloaded the few things we had in the car. It was good to be home.

I was hungry. We each had breakfast, and checked our email. Daniel drifted off to bed, and I did, too, about 8:30. He got up about 11, and it was close to noon when I woke up. We both felt better.

We chatted, and Daniel got his things together to go to Long Lake. The gas company is changing out the propane tank tomorrow and wants someone there. He left about 2:30.

I uploaded The Wedding Photos to Picassa--there's a link on the top left of this blog's homepage--and called Luann to tell her they were available online. She gave me her email address, so I could send her the link, too. They were out dropping off tuxedos.

I wandered around the house, then remembered that Breon had said that she had cleaned out the bathroom. I went in there--sure enough, her stuff was out. Boxed up and in her room, but out of the bathroom. I picked up the rug set and put them in the washer, along with the shower curtains.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon/evening, I've been to Meijer for fresh veggies, prepared and ate food, shop-vac'd that bathroom, and washed two of the doors and half of the floor. The closet is clean and ready for our use. I've done another load of laundry, then remembered I needed to write here. That's why half the floor is done--there's quite a buildup of hairspray on the floor, and I cleaned that area of the floor so I can go over it again.

I'm tired. It's 11:30 again. I am scheduled to work Monday and Tuesday.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday 7.12.2008 The Wedding

Saturday July 12, 2008 The Wedding

I didn’t sleep well last night. Comfortable bed, different surroundings. And for the first time since January, I was cold. Yes, cold. I could not get warm. I had a little “warm up” about 5:00 and was able to snooze a little, but I knew breakfast was at 0800, and Daniel was going to go with the guys at 0730, so I didn’t sleep much, watching the clock. At 10 after 7, I asked him if he was going with the guys. He said he had planned to, and realized he needed to get up. I did, too, and showered and got dressed for the day.

We girls (there were 9 of us) had a wonderful breakfast of Stuffed French Toast with Warmed Apple Syrup, Sausage, and Fresh Fruit Parfait, and orange juice. It was very yummy.

Miguel, the Chef, arrived at 0900. Enticing aromas of garlic began wafting in the kitchen as he blended several batches of stuff. I don’t know what he used it in. I don’t remember eating anything with garlic in it…

Breon and the other girls went their ways, doing whatever. It had stormed about 4 AM, drizzled during breakfast and finally stopped. Kim and Bob and their kids went to the beach for a while. The rest of us laid low, and after a bit I went outside to look things over. I moved (slid) a couple tables around, and someone had moved the chairs to the upper porch. Well, I could unpack the centerpieces and get those ready to set.

Breon came out to help me. We unwrapped them, I straightened them out, and she added the yellow pieces to them. They looked really good, and she was pleased.

Nick and the rest of the guys came back about 11. The flowers arrived. Kris and Steve came in about 12:30. Bre reminded me of the grease on the crinoline. I got a cleaning cloth from Miguel with some dish soap on it. I was able to remove enough of the grease so that it wasn’t rubbing off any more, but it was still black. Just a small area, about the size of a nickel. I showed Bre, and she was ok with that. The photographer showed up about 1, and the house started buzzing with energy. I was trying to get away to get something for lunch before I couldn’t. I was putting the tablecloths on the tables, when I heard that the photographer wanted to take pictures of the guys at 2, then the girls at 3. What?? Dan, we’ve got to go now to get lunch. I asked Amy the Innkeeper where we could get a sandwich. She offered a couple of suggestions, and off we went. One of the guests finished dressing the tables.

We came back from the Italian grocery/deli with a very good turkey and cheese sub that the guy cut in half, (one half bigger than the other, please) warmed and toasted, a banana, soda for Dan, and a pint of milk for me. As we were eating, I realized Breon needed something to eat. I looked at what was left of my smaller half of the sandwich. Daniel’s was all but gone. I told him I was going to offer this to Bre, and the banana. I took the items into her suite; sure enough, she took the sandwich, had part of the banana, and took the water over the milk. There were 4 girls in the bathroom mirror trying to get their hair and makeup done. One of them asked me to help with the curling iron, so I did.

Then someone couldn’t get Kristen’s dress fastened. The hair thing was done; I went over to help her. Oh. She had different undergarments on when she tried on the dress. This wasn’t going to work. Off with the bra. Uh oh. It took four hands to hold the dress together to zip up. Whew. She said she was ok with no bra, but is was gaping at the top, and very low, and uncomfortably exposed. Hm. Well, we could take a tuck here and here—I asked if someone could pass me a couple of safety pins. I put the tucks in with the pins, and that fixed that problem (they still needed to be sewn. I had a small sewing kit in my purse), but the cleavage thing…. Hm. How about a lacy camisole? Nobody had one. Time’s a ticking. Hm. I went to find Amy and told her about the situation. She came into the room with a few red items, and a couple of small handkerchiefs in shades of off white and ivory. A red napkin was extremely close in color. I folded it in half, and after telling Kris my idea, asked her if I could place it in the very low cut bodice of her dress. Ok… Well, after some awkward fabric positioning, she saw what I was doing. It would work. How about putting a little fold here, like a horizontal pleat….She liked that ok, and Bre said it was ok with her, too. The iron was on and hot. As I was pressing the pleat into the napkin-now-bodice-insert, Amy came back in with an armload of things. A small sewing kit, for one, and a bag full of various assorted lacy doilies, hankies, table runners, placemats, and a worn red jacket that she had outgrown and said we could cut if we needed to. As I was still pressing, she and Kris were experimenting with other things. They found an off-white placemat or something of that size that had a cutwork inset on one end. Tucked into the dress, it looked very nice. So, I gave up on the napkin pleat, and pressed that end of the fabric.

After it cooled, I had to go under Kris’ skirt and pull the “placemat” down, adjusting and positioning “the girls” and the new bodice inset. Between Amy and me, we got it so it wasn’t gaping and would stay in place.

One of the younger girls threaded the needle, and Amy started sewing the pleat on one side. I had to go dress myself. And do my face.

I went upstairs to the Homestead Room. Biological processes taken care of, I washed my hands, brushed my teeth, and slipped into my dress. Shoot. I can’t fasten my own dress. I did what I could, listening for someone out in the hallway. Quiet. I had to breathe, and quiet myself. I found that my hands were shaking a little. That surprised me. I put my makeup on, slipped on my shoes, and called out is anyone was upstairs. Amy was walking by the bottom of the stairs, and I asked her to finish fastening me. Thank you, Amy.

Myself done, I drank more water before on the way to the suite. Amy had sewn one of the tucks on Kristen’s dress and asked me to take over on the other one. Ok. Just then, we heard an “Oh, No!!”

In another part of the room, Kim had been getting into her dress. They had been having a hard time with her zipper, too. Two other girls were working on that one. The zipper seemed stuck about 5 inches from the top. Someone else had come into the room. They got the zipper down, and the dress off. Closer examination revealed that the zipper teeth looked deformed. Kim wondered if it happened at the dry cleaners. Anyway, with the dress off, they worked at the zipper. I was in sewing Kristen’s dress when we heard the exclamation from the other area. “The zipper split!!” Oh, Great. Now what.

Ok, We have lots of red thread, so we’ll have to sew you into your dress, too. The message had come into the room that the photographer was ready for the girls to be photographed a while ago, and Breon and Nikki had gone out. I finished with Kris’ dress. Someone helped her with her makeup, and sent me out for the photo-op, too. There were still a couple of women sewing on Kim’s dress.

I joined the group, explained to Daniel what was happening. Oh, he said. Nobody’s told us anything. “I’m telling you now,” I said, “I just got done with Kris’ dress. She’ll be out in a minute.” I don’t know what time it was, but it was definitely after 3 o’clock.

A few minutes later, Kristen came out and joined us. She looked beautiful. That’s all I saw of them, as I went walking around the lower porch to check the tables and everything else. Beautiful. Looks like a wedding. At some point, the cake had arrived, too.

I went up to the second floor porch. Guests had been arriving. I passed the door to the room where the guys were. Casual, pacing, laughing. Around on the other side, I heard the girls. Laughing, giggling. I looked in. Bre was in there. I went in to have a “before ceremony” moment. I waited my turn. She was absolutely beautiful. I got a hug and excused myself, as I heard the announcement to please take our seats. All the girls looked amazing.

The ceremony started, and went as rehearsed. Tears, laughter. Married. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas and Breon Berry.

A lovely buffet style dinner starting with chips, fresh pico de gallo and guacamole while scads more photos were taken. Moms, Dads, Wedding Party, etc. And then I shut down.

I was saturated. I went into the living room and sat down a few minutes in relative quiet. Whew. It’s like I shut down. I don’t know how long I was in there. Daniel came in, looking for me maybe? He asked if I was ok, I told him I was saturated. Enough stimulation.

We went back outdoors after several minutes. The guests mingled, some drifted home. The wedding party, and anyone else who wanted to, went over to the beach for more pictures. The house quieted, except for the sounds of kitchen clean up.

I went around folding up chairs, collecting the tablecloths, repacked the centerpieces to come home. Daniel put those boxes near Breon’s car to come home.

Finally, it seemed that It Was Over. Then They came back. Laughing, happy people. They all couldn’t wait to get out of their formal wear, and scattered to do that. Bre repacked her gown, as that was going in her car, too, and the couple bringing it back home was leaving.

Everyone now in casual clothing, myself included, they regrouped outside in various areas. After nightfall, the kitchen was finally back together, and those that were left had formed a group, enjoying the leftover sangria. Daniel and I joined them as Bre and Nick opened the few cards and gifts they had received.

After that, Dan and I excused ourselves and went off to bed. It was after 10, and we were planning to leave about 0430 to get them to the Grand Rapids airport for their 0710 flight.

I packed and got my things organized. Daniel took something else to the car. I finally got to bed about 11.

What a day!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday 7.11.2008 At the Hexagon House

Friday June 11, 2008 Hexagon House

I finally got to bed about 1:30 this morning after finishing on the computer. I feel like I slept pretty well.

We got up and got ready for the day. After I showered and breakfasted, I looked at the items I had selected to wear and take for the weekend in Pentwater. Daniel fluttered around, and I had difficulty staying on task.

Bre and Nick had gotten up, still giggling. They were able to load what we were going to take up for them into their car, and we had room for one of Daniel’s grandchildren to ride with us. I finished packing; we had about an hour. I checked my toenails, then went out to water the flowers good before leaving.

We loaded the car, and Daniel went up to get The Gown. He handed it in through the back, while I reached in through the back door and pulled it forward. The same with the crinoline. Between the two, the car was full. We were off.

We stopped at the bank for cash, then over to pick up the grandchild, Kayla, at the other grandparent’s home. Daughter Kim and family were there, and I took the opportunity to use the restroom before getting on the highway. Kim’s mother-in-law, Mary, asked how I was doing, and I told her “excellent”. She stood up and gave me a big hug, saying she had been praying for me. Wow. Thank you, Mary.

Kim had her dress to put in our car. Oh. When I came out of the house, Daniel had the back of the car open, looking like there was a problem. There was. When he closed the hatch earlier, the crinoline had slipped down, and the edge of the bag it was in had gotten caught in the latch. Black grease was on the outer bag, and also gone through onto the slip itself. Uh Oh. We’ll have to evaluate and treat after getting there. At least it’s on the slip and not The Gown itself.

Kim and Bob and family were ready to go; we hit the highway. 2 ½ hours later we arrived in beautiful Pentwater, MI, at the Hexagon House.

What a beautiful Inn. We had the whole house for the weekend. 4 bedrooms upstairs, and a suite downstairs. A wrap-around porch on both floors.

We were greeted by Tom, the Innkeeper. Bre and Nick had arrived earlier (they had bridesmaid Nicki and friend Dan with them also.) Tom helped get things out of the car. Daniel carried the crinoline and gown in, and told Bre “there’s a problem with The Gown”… I told him I’d tell her, and took the bag from him. Bre took The Gown, and I followed her into the suite. She hung up her gown, and turned to take the slip from me. I told her, “really, there’s a problem with the crinoline. It got caught in the latch, and there’s grease on it.” She searched my eyes. “You’re not kidding.” Nope. We looked for it on the bottom of the bag. “Oh,” she said, “that’s not bad. No big deal.” And that was it. She turned and walked out. Hm. Cool.
Tom introduced us to his wife, Amy. Amy showed us through the main floor, then took us upstairs and showed us the rooms there. We had our pick, since we were first ones there. We chose the Homestead Room, done in ivory and dark blues. Very nice.

Kim and Bob arrived shortly, and chose their room. Nick’s parents George and Luann arrived and chose their room, and Nick’s brother Brad, wife Jessica, and their children arrived and settled into their room.

Bre and Nick and Nikki and others were on the upstairs deck. We all milled about, checking out our surroundings. Lovely.

We moved the rental tables and chairs to the porch. The pastor arrived and met with the bride and groom, and after looking at the setting and discussing options, they chose to set up the ceremony on the upper deck. We moved chairs up, and the rehearsal began.

Laughter, and tears, during the run-throughs.

Afterwards, we had a pizza party on the first floor porch with the tables and chairs we had set up earlier. Daniel’s youngest daughter, Kristen, and her friend Steve, arrived from Colorado.

Most of the group went to the beach, while Daniel, Kris, Steve, and I visited. They were pretty tired after their day of travel, and went back to their hotel in Ludington. Daniel went up to our room to watch a golf video. (I think he needed to rest). I went outdoors, walked the premises, then went across the road where there was a river or canal or inlet or something. I went back to the Inn, and asked Dan if he was done with his video. He graciously turned it off, and we went to a public beach, walked along the water’s edge, catching the tail end of the sunset. Very nice.

Back at the Inn, the others had returned. A group gathered in the family room watching 27 Dresses. Others were doing whatever they were doing. I took the computer to the family room to socialize while I wrote this.

Again, it’s after midnight. The movie is finishing, this is done, and once again, it’s way too long.

I’m feeling pretty good today, and glad of it.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday 4.10.2008

I was sleeping good when the radio came on. Shoot. I drug myself out of bed and got ready for the day. An uneventful drive, and a one block walk into the building.

We left the night shift last night with "stuff", and they had been busy all night, and had added to the "stuff", for us. Another day.

We did quite well, had enough staff, a great group again. I was surprised when I looked up the hall and saw the night shift coming in. Already? and Yippee!

Daniel was home when I got home. We chatted about The Wedding--he had met with Nick's parents, and Bre and Nick, to discuss the travel logistics, and transporting all the stuff. He came home with a list. We looked it over again. Should be do-able. He had gotten the groceries, too. What a guy!

I started to put things together for my own bag, but that wasn't working, so I had a chicken sandwich. Then I went to the garage and wrapped and packed the centerpieces for travel. Just as I was finishing, Nick came in, with laundry to do before he could pack. It was after 10.

He got that started and we visited a bit. I got on the computer to get this posting started, and Bre came in. She is giddy, going in every direction and talking so fast that even Nick has a hard time understanding what she's saying. They are both giggly happy. We talk about the odds and ends of things, and she realizes she doesn't have a card box. So--- we look around, find a box, get out the small collection of gift wrap (my wrapping stuff is over at the storage unit), and decide what to do. She found a shoe box which we covered in white tissue paper using a glue stick. The top she covered in pink tissue paper. I had a small piece of white tissue paper that had a heart pattern on it. I cut the similar patterns out and put it around the outside of the box, then cut out the hearts from the waste of the rest of it. Bre stuck the single hearts around the inside of the box. On the lid, she painted a tree like is on the wedding invitations that she made. Too cool. And we have a card box.

We picked up our things, I looked at the list we made previously, and it appears that everything is taken care of. I turned the lights out to go to bed, then remembered I had just gotten on the computer when Nick came in, and I wanted to post tonight.

I'm tired. I think we're leaving about 12:30 tomorrow for Pentwater. Pray for good weather.

Thank you for reading. It's 1:25 AM. Hugs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday 7.9.2008

The alarm came on this morning as I was trying to sleep. I had been awake often, it seemed, and now it's time to get up. I did, and got ready for my day.

Daniel had not slept well, either. I heard him yawning a few times.

One of the things I had thought about while I was awake in the middle of the night is how long my hair has gotten. There's an area where the hair lays flat; it's part of a swirl or cowlick. As I was touching it, I was thinking it was about long enough to use the curling iron. Hm. Maybe....

So, I got it out and plugged it in. After it got hot, I tried it. Yep. I've done this before... WHOA--that's hot!!! My scalp is pretty sensitive. I tried several times to grasp the 1/4 inch that almost got into the clip thing. Hah! All I was able to do was to make it look worse. Ok. Turn it off. I rewet my head so that hair would lay down again.

I had a pretty good workday. We have new physicians in our department, and today another new one was there. She was very nice and we worked well together.

The afternoon went on, and somewhere around 5 o'clock I started feeling not-so-well. Hm. I had a snack. Didn't help much. I couldn't put my finger on what wasn't right. Maybe I just ran out of steam. And then we got busy that last couple of hours, and I had a hard time staying on task. I muddled through, and was glad to be able to clock out.

Ruth had finished the centerpieces for The Wedding, and we transferred them into my car. They are beautiful, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for the time she put into them.
I had an apple on the way home, thinking maybe I needed to eat something more. That might have helped a little. When I got home, Bre was just heading out to go exercise, and I showed her the one centerpiece I had carried in. "Whoa," she said. "That's awesome!" We went down to the car and I showed her the other 6. She exclaimed over each one of them. Good Job, Ruth!

I was unpacking my work bag, putting things away, and I went in to change my clothes. There was something on the bed. Hey--that's the skorts we were looking at yesterday. He had been to a different Wal-Mart and found the fabric we both liked in my size, and bought it for me. I tell you, he is the man. Thank you, Dan. Even though I wasn't feeling so hot, I was smiling. He tried on the rental tux to make sure it was correct. It was. The shoes, too.

When Breon came back in, we talked Wedding. The logistics of transporting things and people is what Dan and Nick's parents LuAnn and George and Nick and Bre are going to talk about during a 2:30 meeting tomorrow. Breon's gown, alone, takes up half a vehicle...I'm working, so I hope Dan pays attention.

I have yet to pack. Dan is going to get the sale items from the grocery store tomorrow, so I can try to get organized tomorrow night after work. We need to leave about 10 AM Friday morning.

I'm still not feeling as good as I did earlier today. I'm going to turn in.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday 7.8.2008

How wonderful to sleep until rested!! I got out of bed about 8:45. Daniel was watching the weather radar, as the skies were ominous for storms, and he had a golf game planned. He finally left a little after 10. I breakfasted, got things ready for the "turn-around" when I get back from the massage, and started ironing my dress for the Wedding.

Well. That took longer than I expected it would, and I had to turn the iron off and leave.

Leah did a great job, as always. She did a little more with that pocket of fluid that accumulates under my arm, above the axillary incision. I can only reach so far, and it's really not effective to do it myself. I could tell as soon as I put my arm down that it was better. I appreciate that she is willing to do what she does.

I came home, showered, ate, and got in the car for the drive to Jackson for a meeting. I stopped at the credit union first, then over to the hospital. We had some interesting discussions, solved a problem or two, and we were done. (2 1/2 hours) On the way home I stopped in Mason to refuel and pick up bottled water for both Bre's reception on the 26th, and our party on the 19th. It's on sale this week, don't cha know. That done, I headed home.

Breon had just gotten home. She had her second interview this morning, and it went well. So well that she starts tomorrow!! Yippee!! It's only part-time, but it's in her field, and she can continue at Starbucks, too, to get the hours she needs.

We ate, and as we were eating, Daniel came in. He went in and showered, then he got his plate.

I went outside in the outer garage and started cleaning out there. I did as much as I could by myself, then went in to ask Daniel for his assistance. He came out and helped me move a few things so that I could shop-vac there, and then he got the 3 cases of water out of the trunk of my car for me and put them in the space we created. There. A quick sweep before the party, and we can set up chairs and tables.

I came in and showered again. Bre was working on the programs for the wedding. It looks like the loose ends are getting finished up. I finished ironing my dress, then checked email and wrote here.

I work the next couple days, then we leave Friday mid morning for Pentwater and The Wedding. I think I'm about ready. My energy levels are better, maybe 85%. As long as I pace myself and eat right. I'm not scratching at that breast as often, either. Finally.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday 7.7.2008

I didn't sleep very well this morning. I woke with the early morning birdsong with my sinuses full and trying to drain and mouth breathing. Great. I laid on my back and dozed.

When I did get up, I took a sudafed and had breakfast, then got in the shower after the medicine started to work. I had dried off when the phone rang--it was Leah, calling to ask if I had remembered my massage today. OH NO!! I forgot!! I didn't transfer the appointment to the big calendar, and didn't look in my planner. Fortunately, though, she had a cancellation for Tuesday, and it fit right in my schedule. Whew.

I dressed, and Daniel and I went out to pick up Breon's wedding rings that had been dropped off to be soldered together. (There's a saga surrounding this that I won't go into here.) The rings are very pretty and ready for Saturday.

Daniel wanted to stop at Wal-Mart to check for golf balls. He left me in the clothing department and went off. I browsed around, and found a few things to try on. I didn't know which size would fit, so I took a couple into the fitting room with me. Surprise--too big. Daniel was a good sport and looked for the things I liked in different sizes. I had gotten dressed to be finished when he approached me with the elusive item we had been looking for. I went back in and tried it on. Yay!! Now I needed tops to match. He found several, and we picked 3. We completed our purchase and came home.

Lunch, and the rain moved in. Daniel watched the radar for the next hour or so, as his golf league played tonight. His phone started ringing as the guys were wondering if they were going to play. He predicted that the rain would end by tee time; he was right. He left to go play.

I did a couple things in the house, then went into the garage to get that cleaned for the party on the 19th. Pray for good weather--we'll be outdoors (there's shade)--and if it storms, we may have to converge on the clubhouse. We'll see how it goes...

I worked out there until 8:30, then stopped to make a prescription pick-up at the pharmacy. Just as I was putting the top down, Daniel drove up. I asked him if he would do that for me; he did, and I got back to finishing up my project.

I did finish, and I came in and showered. Between the high humidity, the hot flashes, and the activity, I was drenched. The tepid shower felt good.

Dan and I visited a bit, I ate, then got on the computer. He drifted off to bed while I finished here.

It feels real good to have energy, and to have time to do a project in the afternoon. I only had to stop a few times to scratch that itchy breast. Sheesh.

Tomorrow is massage, then a meeting in Jackson from 3-6. I also need to get to Meijer to pick up sale items. I work Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday we leave for Pentwater for Bre and Nick's wedding on Saturday. We'll be taking them to the airport Sunday morning for their flight to New Orleans.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday 7.6.2008

Another workday. I was sleeping good when the radio came on. Shoot.

I got myself ready and off to work. An uneventful drive, thank you, God. The deer raise their heads and turn the other way.

I arrived, parked a block away, and went in. Another good group today. We were somewhat busy, in flurries; we sent a couple of staff home as the afternoon went on. Those of us left greeted the night shift, clocked out, and left.

A nice drive home. Dan wasn't home yet from his golf date. I started unwinding, putting my work things away, changing clothes, washing up, etc. Dan called to say he was on his way.

He got home about 8:30 or so. I got a plate of food together for him while he showered.

He ate, I had an apple. Checked the computer, and wrote here.

I did a little better energy-wise today--I'm not sure what the difference was, other than the pace was a little slower. I'm tired again tonight, though.

I've had a couple of small "episodes" that I can only describe as being similar to a dizzy spell. But I have to wonder if they're related to the hot flashes. The last couple of days I've actually had a few times that I was "cold", maybe for 20 minutes or so. Today I noticed that I would feel like I needed to take a big breath, and as I tried to focus on what was going on with the body, Here comes the hot flash. I'm aware of my breathing and try to breathe evenly to help with whatever weird physiological event is going on in there. Sometimes I'm hot for 5 minutes, most times longer, maybe 10 or 15 minutes. I know that I've been doing whatever it is that I need to do, and I realize that "I'm still hot". Hm. I also think that as cold as I get, is as hot or intense or severe or prolonged as the warm-up will be. Not always, but I wonder. The body in balance, out of balance, trying to regain balance. Messed up with drugs. The few small dizzy spells I think are also related to the hormones being shocked out of balance. I hope I "tune in" pretty soon. I'm still taking the Effexor XR 75 mg, and the Tamoxifen, every day. We'll see what happens.

Thank you for tuning in. I appreciate your reading. Hugs.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saturday 7.5.2008

I thought I was just starting to sleep good when the radio came on. Time to get up.

I did, and got myself ready for the day. Breon got up while I was having breakfast, grabbed some fruit and left for work herself. Oh--that was quick. I kind of chuckled to myself--I must be "getting old". I like an hour in the morning...

A couple areas of fog this morning, but an uneventful drive. We had a busy workday, and a great group to work with. I got tired about 5 o'clock. I think I might have been hungry--I had eaten everything I had brought, and had an apple for the ride home. I had a couple of graham crackers for a snack. The night shift started arriving as we were plodding through the new patients being brought to their rooms. Then the babies were transitioning out. Sheesh. I finally clocked out shortly after 7.

Back at my car, I settled in, put the top down, put on my "all that" sunglasses, and I was on my way home. It's nice to be "outside" after being indoors all day with the sun shining.

Daniel got home shortly after I did. We visited a bit, I got my things ready for work tomorrow, checked email, and wrote here. I'll be off to bed soon.

Thank you for reading, for your hugs, phone calls, and positive words. I'll write tomorrow.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday 7.4.2008 Freedom!

As the day has gone on, Independence Day is growing into an underlying meaning for me. Yes, I appreciate and value the country that we live in. Most importantly, is that this country values women, and I have had the proper care for a disease that kills women who do not have, or are not allowed, access to health care.

Not only am I disease-free (as I was after the first surgery), but I am free of daily appointments, treatments, and one less doctor to follow-up with. I am feeling much better, though not 100%, maybe 80%. My breast is healing, and free of raw, open areas on my skin. (It still itches like crazy.) I have fulfilled a commitment to my mother, and my mind is free of any regrets, which leaves me free to discover another lifestyle with my new husband.

The radio came on this morning and the phone rang a second later. For a moment I was confused by the noises. Oh yeah, the phone. I answered. It was the hospital, telling me I could stay home on call today. Yippee!! Free to sleep in!!

I settled back into bed, and had the best sleep of the night. I woke about 8:30. Dan was already up. I listened to the radio for a bit before getting up.

I had a quiet morning, checking the internet, creating the party invite for those who haven't been by the blog, and sending that out. I had breakfast and eventually showered.

Daniel went out to hit golf balls. I putzed around the house, trying to straighten and organize things that have been set aside for the last many months. I made progress.

After he got home, I went out for a walk. I went out "back" in the undeveloped part, and discovered polliwogs/tadpoles in a very small pond. Around to a larger pond, a blue heron was on the opposite shore, and warily walked ahead of me until it reached the end of the pond, then it flew back to where it was when we first saw each other. Interesting.

I came back in after almost an hour. I cooled off and washed up, and Dan and I went to Los Tres Amigos. Yummy.

Back at home, I posted the pictures I took of my breast this morning over on the other site. It's healing quite well, other than itching like crazy. From the inside.

I work Saturday and Sunday. I'll be off to bed soon.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday 7.3.2008 Radiation Follow-Up

This morning we got up and went over to the Radiation Center for our 0945 appointment. We went into the building and approached the desk. The Nice Lady behind the window smiled and greeted me with recognition. I expected to be told to go on back through The Door and wait back there, but she told us to have a seat in the waiting area in front.

Dan and I chatted while we waited, and soon someone called "Katherine". Dan and I got up and went over to the other Door, where you exit from after seeing the doctor. The woman who called me was a new girl who I had only seen a few times, and never really met. On the way back, we stopped at the scales. 141 1/2!!!! I was so happy to be less than the last time. In fact, the first weight at that office in ?December was 144. She showed us into Room 1.

She didn't introduce herself, and I don't think she had a badge on, either. She came into the room with us and took my blood pressure. 100/40. She was very pleasant, asking how I was feeling, saying how good I looked. She was done with the vitals, and she went out.

A few minutes later, Melissa came in. (she's the one who's picture is on here) We chatted a little, I asked her if she's got hair (she does, about 1/4 inch, sticking straight up) and asked if I could feel it. (It's soft, but different than mine.) She asked me the questions on the list, and we talked about how I was feeling. We also talked about how she was doing; she's into the last phase of her radiation, and her skin that was showing in the v-neck of the scrub top was the dark glowing red that I know hurts. She then had me undress to check my breast. She thinks it's looking real good. I told her that the areola had just finished peeling yesterday, showed her where the nipple is still going to peel, and told her how it itches from the inside out. I then put on a gown to wait for the doctor to come in. I invited Melissa to the Celebration Party, and she immediately accepted! We finished up, she hugged me, then hugged me again, and left.

A few minutes later, Dr. DeBiose came in. He shook my hand, then Daniel's. We chatted a couple minutes, then he had me get onto the exam table. He listened to my heart and lungs, felt my neck, clavicles, and armpits (I'm pretty sure he was checking lymph nodes), then had me lay back. He checked my breast, wounds, and skin, helped me sit up, and declared me good. We talked about having follow-up mammograms: that I will have bilateral mamms done in November, they will probably want extra films of the affected breast, and will want to do the affected breast at 6 month intervals. (I don't think he said if that will be forever or just for a period of time) I told him that I will be doing those mamms here at the Breast Care Center, and he nodded like that was a good thing. He also asked when I see the medical oncologist, Dr. Bolmer--I told him September. He nodded again. Then he said I can have my regular physicals with my regular physician (Dr. Taylor), and that I have all the right doctors in place, and from here he can discharge me. Woo Hoo!!!! One doctor done with!!!! And no more follow-ups with him. He shook our hands again, I thanked him, and I invited him to our Party. He mumbled something about checking the calendar, and left the room. Dan and I both kind of chuckled about how he left the room, and we know that he is not likely to show up. That's ok. I extended the invitation.

I put my clothes back on, and Daniel and I left. I turned and said good-bye to the room, and in the hallway, I waved good-bye to the other waiting area that I glimpsed. As we went through the Exit Door I looked back again and waved, and the lady who had brought us back in the first place was there. She waved back. We went through the outer waiting area and to the door, and I turned and waved again. I know, I was feeling--let's see, elated? free? giddy? I thanked God for putting me in the right places for the right people to take care of me.

It seems that to be "discharged" from the treatment process means that my life's schedule can begin to return to normal. But, that will be re-defined, as my life now is different than when this process started, going to Jackson every day to get Elaine tucked in. And with Breon getting married and moving out, Daniel and I will continue to grow our own relationship. Smile.

At home, we each had a bite to eat. I made a grocery list, and while Daniel was on the computer, I went out on the balcony. It was finally clearing up. He came out and asked if we should go to the store--yep--so off we went.

We had a successful shopping trip and returned home. We got the groceries put away, and I started dinner. I checked email while it was cooking, and sat outside again for a bit, but it was cooling off, so I came in. Dinner was ready anyway.

After dinner, I got the kitchen cleaned up, and wrote here.

Tomorrow is my holiday to work. It's an 8 hour shift, so that's not so bad. But it's also my weekend to work, so I get Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have a hard time that 3rd morning, and throughout the day. We'll just see how it goes.

I hope you all have great weekend plans. Thank you for taking the time to read. Hugs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday 7.2.2008 Hair Pics

Dan got up and left before I got out of bed this morning. I got ready for the day, and headed out to Discount Tires for a set of 4. I had looked at their site on the internet, so I had an idea of the prices and what was available. I'm glad I did--the cost surprised me. Anyway, I got 4 new tires, some kind of Goodyear, and I'm good to go.

I got home and had a bite to eat before going to Jackson to meet my friend and coworker Ruth at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts. Breon had purchased some glass globes, that turned out to be candleholders, that she wanted to use for centerpieces for the wedding. Bre doesn't have time to create whatever it is she wanted to do with them, so I offered to take care of that. And Ruth graciously offered to help me. So we browsed through JoAnn's, picked up several items, went to Michael's and did the same, then went back to her house to see what we could do with it all. Between the two of us, I think we came up with a very pretty design. She is going to create the creations for us.

I came back home just as the storms were moving in. I got a chance to use the new tires in the rain that started just south of my exit home. It was raining pretty hard by the time I pulled into the garage. (that's when I was thankful that I have a "direct entry" or attached garage.)

Daniel was home, resting. We visited for a bit, and I was hungry. He had already eaten. So I made myself something to eat.

I checked email, and wrote here. Here are the new hair picture taken 06.30.2008, after my second haircut.

Daniel has gone off to bed, and I'll be going soon.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday 7.1.2008 The Next Phase

What a lovely day! I didn't sleep too well, and woke with that sinus pressure that seems to happen with a change in barometric pressure. I took the tylenol/motrin and a sudafed (the real one, that you have to sign for now). After a few hours I started feeling better. I showered, and that helped, too.

Daniel had gone out to pick up Breon's rings, which he had taken to the jeweler's last week to be soldered. Breon had gone out for a Job Interview (pray she gets it). As I was getting myself ready, Daniel came home, without the rings. They weren't ready yet. Hm. I listened to his story, and he decided he'd go to the range and "hit some golf balls". Ok. A short while later, Bre came in, feeling confident about The Interview. She also said that Nick had taken care of The Ring Situation and all was OK. She got herself something to eat, and I left to go the the therapy place to pick up my MRI disc.

I put the top down and enjoyed the drive. I only waited a few minutes, and Ike came out. She exclaimed over my hair, poked at my fluid, told me it was chronic, and that she's bound by the insurance guidelines. But if I have a flare up, just bring a prescription and she'll treat me again. (It seems that prescriptions for physical therapy are only good for 30 days, according to Blue Cross guidelines. Maybe other insurances too...) She gave me a big hug and told me she'd try to join us on the 19th, then turned and went back through The Door.

The receptionist chatted for a few minutes while getting my billing statement for me. She explained the insurance stuff in a little more detail. Thank you, Brandy.

A lovely drive home. Dan was back. I had a quick snack and took my "hot flash pill" (effexor xr) and the first tablet of Tamoxifen. One tablet, every day, for 5 years. This drug blocks the body's absorption of estrogen. And since my tumor was Estrogen Receptor positive, the research shows that the tamoxifen reduces the recurrence of breast cancer.

Bre and I went to Gordon's Foods to get a "wish list" of what she wants for the reception on the 26th. We went through the store writing down items, sizes, and prices. We'll tune the list another day, and create a final shopping list with expected cost. She's so excited, and trying hard to stay on track to get things done. I think she's doing a great job.

At home, she went into her room and did what she does, I fixed my supper. Dan said he had eaten. Ok. I ate and looked at the Meijer sale paper. I saw there was a cooler on sale--36.99 for 24.99. A coupon on the front for $5 off merchandise, and we had a $10 coupon we had gotten in the mail. I looked at the $5 coupon again--good for 3 days, ends July 1. Hm. I talked to Dan, then headed out to Meijer. I found said cooler, went over to the grocery section and picked up a pint of blueberries, and paid $13-something for my $37 cooler. Woo Hoo!!

I'm feeling pretty good this evening. My head pressure is mostly gone, and I was mostly able to concentrate while in the stores. Sure will be a relief when my brain function returns. I guess I didn't realize just how much I was affected until I'm on the other side of it. It sure has been a journey. And thank you for sharing it with me.