Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday 8.31.2008 Home

Isn't it wonderful to come home??

Daniel and I both woke about 0820 this morning. We got up and got ready for the day, gathering our belongings together. We went to the lobby for breakfast. There was a nice assortment of food--fresh apples and bananas, already peeled hard boiled eggs, cold cereals, milk, juices, packets of instant oatmeal, bagels, sweet rolls, cream cheese, peanut butter, breads for toast, jelly, coffees, teas, and a waffle station to make your waffle fresh. We ate, then went back to the room to zip our bags and leave.

It was 10:15 when we pulled out of the parking lot. It was a beautiful day in Knoxville, KY, with the sun shining and the mountains a bluish purple behind the humid haze of summer. As we traveled north and the day heated up, the haze went away, and I enjoyed the scenery.

At one point, we tried an alternate route, which was a 2 lane rural road. It was a very pretty, scenic drive, which took us through towns that, to me, were the heart of America. I thanked God for the beautiful day, and someone to share it with. It was a slower drive, and even though we didn't have a time frame, one of us didn't enjoy the hilly, curvy road as much as the other. So, when the opportunity came to jump back on the highway, we did.

We stopped as we needed to, and eventually crossed the Michigan line. Whew! When we were coming into the complex, I asked Dan to slow down when we turned down our street, so we could see how our flowers had fared. One of our daughters, Kim, had asked if we needed anything while we were gone, and we said, yes, the flowers needed watered. She said she could do that for us, but wasn't sure that it would be a daily thing. I had resigned that the flowers might not have survived, because they need lots of water every day, in the full sun and wind of their balcony location.

When we could see the building, they weren't brown and crispy. There was still some color that could be seen. Yippee!! I know that sounds silly, but I've really enjoyed looking at them and tending them. We parked the car and started unloading. Even though we were gone for 8 days, we only had 2 bags each, and we had a cooler, the laptops, dry food, and other miscellaneous things. We each did 3 trips up the stairs and we were unloaded. That wasn't too bad. It was 7:45 pm.

I put the remaining foodstuffs away, then went out on the balcony. Oh. Some of them, like the New Guinea Impatients, were very wilted, maybe crispy. The Dahlias were very droopy. Some of the marigolds were green and crispy, but the wax begonias were doing ok, as were the coleus and some of the others. I soaked them good, and will check them tomorrow to see what happens.

We both are unpacked, showered, and Daniel is off to bed. I wrote here.

It was a wonderful week away, with minimal worries. Thanks to the Lord and all the Angels, we were kept safe and all went well. I'm rested, and restless. Tired right now, but eager to get the laundry done tomorrow, as well as maybe some groceries.

It's great to be home. Hugs.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday 8.30.2008 Northbound

We woke shortly after 8 this morning, got cleaned up, and went downstairs.

Jennifer and Lilly were up; she was doing school stuff (as all teachers do in their "free" time). Jasmine and her friends were still sleeping.

We visited a bit, hugged our goodbyes, and headed out.

We stopped for breakfast after an hour or so. Back in the car, driving, driving. We went through the mountains, where the construction of the roads always fascinates me, and when we got into Kentucky, Daniel decided to call it a day.

We called ahead to a Comfort Inn on the north side of Knoxville, and that's where we're staying this evening. It's a very nice facility, fairly new. We walked to a restaurant and ate, came back and showered, and rested. You wouldn't think you'd be tired after sitting all day.

I got up and moved around, stretched a bit. Daniel ended up going to sleep about 9. It's now after 10, and I'm going to wind it up, too. I've had some pretty intense hot flashes these last several days. I don't know much about them, but I hope my body adjusts fairly soon. Maybe they'll last for the entire 5 years on the tamoxifen?? Questions for Dr. Bolmer in September or October, or whenever it is I see her next.

I hope we have a leisurely morning here before heading out. We'll be home Sunday night.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday 8.29.08

Daniel woke me this morning at 0630. I was sleeping good, and it was hard to get through the fog. He went out of the room to get his breakfast; we had decided that I would take him to the golf course, then come back to the hotel room. He was back in the room in just a few minutes--The Gazebo wasn't open yet, and wouldn't be open until 7. I was just about ready, and we left so that he could get some breakfast on the way.

We drove to the course, which was about 20 minutes north. He drove through somewhere--I don't remember--maybe McDonald's?--and got himself something.

At the course, we got in the vehicle line. When we got up to the check in place, Dan got out, someone with a clipboard asked his name, someone else reached in and got his bag, and I drove out and back to the hotel.

It was 87 degrees when I got back, and about 8:30. There was a luggage cart thing next to the elevator in the parking structure, and I took that back with me to our room so that I could get my things back over to the car. I decided to get my breakfast at The Gazebo, since I didn't know how long I was going to sleep. I enjoyed my breakfast, and the hostess and server that had taken care of me all week said warm good-byes. The woman I had met yesterday, Janet, and her man John, were finishing their meal, too. Janet hugged me and wished me well. I went back to the room and decided I was ready to nap, since I didn't sleep very well last night. So I climbed back in bed after turning the privacy lock on the room door. I didn't want to hear the housekeeper come in. I set the alarm for 10:40, so I could be out of the room by noon.

I dozed, not really sleeping sound, but did feel better when I woke up. I dressed, finished packing, loaded the luggage cart, and the housekeeper knocked on the door. I opened it, telling her that I was just finishing up. She started on the bathroom as I took a third look around, and she held the door for me to get the cart thing out.

The cart was a bit rickety, but functional. I got over to the structure and put things into the car. I put the cart back by the elevators where I found it.

Ok. Off to the golf course. I took my time, and when I came to the yacht club I had seen when Daniel was driving, I turned in. It didn't say private or anything, and thought I could pass some time wandering amongst "the big boats". I went up to the docks, but there were gates across, and didn't want to go somewhere I wasn't supposed to. So I enjoyed looking at the ones I could see. They were some awesome boats.

It was about 90 degrees outside, and I had to get back in the car to cool off. I drove the remaining 10 minutes or so to the course, parked, and went in to the clubhouse. It was just a little cooler in there, and it looked like some of the players were finished and coming in. There was a covered porch with rocking chairs, chairs, and tables, and I sat myself in a rocker to wait. The folks were coming in, talking about their games, condition of the course, blah blah. Daniel came in after 15 minutes or so. Talk about good timing!

He didn't want to wait around for standings and such; he said he would get that stuff in the mail. Ok. We shifted luggage around to get the golf bag in, then repacked the car. And we were off.

Next stop, Bluffton. Well, not really. Next stop, lunch.

We headed south, and stopped to eat, then back on our way. We went to Jennifer and Jeremy's new house in Bluffton. Jeremy is in Germany for his job, expecting to be home at the end of next week.

We arrived about 8:30 pm. Jennifer greeted us, and the little dog Lilly. They gave us a tour of their beautiful 3000 square foot home. They are busy putting their personal touches on it (a never ending project....). Jasmine had a couple girls spending the night, so they stayed pretty much in her room.

Jennifer, Daniel, and I visited for a bit, then Dan and I turned in. Even though there is internet there, I did not write last night. So I'm writing Saturday night, posting for Friday.

Saturday we're heading north, taking our time coming home.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday 8.28.2008

Daniel went off to his golf game, I went back to sleep, waking about 0845. I did look at the weather channel before he left; it was 79 degrees at 0700.

I got myself ready for the day and went for breakfast. There was another single woman seated at the table next to me. She made a "small talk" comment--it turns out her man was golfing, also. We chatted for a few minutes, then went our separate ways.

Back at the room, I went out on the balcony for a bit, listened to the end of a book on cd. I came back in to cool down. I looked at stuff online, just passing time.

After a while, I was restless, so I put on my bathing suit and shorts, hat and sunglasses, and went for a walk on the beach, letting the waves splash on my feet and legs. I don't know how far I went, but I was surprised when I got back to the room that I had been out for an hour. I took a cool shower to cool down, and to get the salt water and sand off of my legs.

I had some fruit, tylenol and motrin, and Daniel called, saying he was on his way back.

We decided to "eat in" tonight, having food that we had brought, and leftovers from the last couple of nights. That worked well. We decided to pack the things we weren't going to use, and load that stuff into the car. I'm going to take him to the golf course in the morning and come back to the room until noon, then go back to the course. I don't really want to hang out at the golf course for the several hours that he'll be doing whatever he's doing, and that's the solution we came up with.

We went over to the Convention Center this evening for the closing of the competition. Daniel picked up the score sheet for his flight--he tied 80th out of the 94 in his group. Not so good, but not so bad, either. The point is that he had fun, and it's all a learning process. Tomorrow's game is a different event, with maybe 150 participants.

Back at the hotel, we settled in. He watched the golf channel (can you have too much golf??) and I wrote here.

Tomorrow we leave here, and head to Bluffton, SC to visit Jennifer and Jasmine. (Jeremy is in Germany on a job assignment.) We'll spend the night there, then head north on Saturday.

That's all for now. Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday 8.27.2008

This morning after Daniel left, I went back to sleep, waking about 0830. I got up and checked the weather channel--it's already 84 degrees and 88% humidity. Yuck. I went down the hall to The Gazebo for breakfast.

Back to the room. 10 o'clock I check the weather channel again. 88 degrees, 94% humidity, and heat index 100 degrees. I don't do heat well, so I'll be staying in.

I listened to a book on cd for a bit, and I'm restless. I walked around the hallways of this "resort". It's pretty big, and I was able to wander for almost 45 minutes. There seem to be a lot of guests, too. The elevators are busy, and people of all ages and health status' are in bathing suits and assorted beach wear. In my room, I went out on the balcony for a bit, listened to the story, and people watched. I was only able to stay out about 25 minutes. The sun is moving across the sky, and as a result, our balcony moves into shade. I sat with my legs in the sun and the rest of me in the shade.

A lot of people are at the pool, and on the beach. I enjoyed watching them. I got pretty hot, though, and had to come back inside. I wasn't feeling well--kind of nauseated and generally icky--so I rested. It was a couple of hours before I felt better. Yuck.

I was surprised that it was about 4. The balcony is completely shaded now, and I took a snack out there with my book. The wind seemed to be blowing--the surf was bigger than the last couple of days, and watching the waves breaking was kind of interesting.

Daniel got back about 5. He was hot and tired. He had a snack, showered. We visited a bit, then went to The Pub for dinner, here in the "resort".

We are winding down. Daniel plays again tomorrow. I will have another wonderful, laid back day.

My breast is full uncomfortable to the side near the axillary incision. That wound is also kind of red. From the pressure of the fluid?? I don't know. I hope it all goes away and I don't notice it any more. In time, huh.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday 8.26.2008

Daniel got up and left for Day 2 of his golf tournament. I went back to sleep. I was very surprised when I rolled over and saw that it was 9:30! I had to get up so I didn't miss breakfast! I got myself ready for the day and went to The Gazebo, just down the hall from our room. I enjoyed my breakfast, and went back to the room to see what I was going to do next.

The weather channel showed that it was 78 degrees with 96% humidity. Oh. I went out on the balcony. It was mostly sunny with an occasional cloud, and definitely hot. Maybe I won't go out for a walk. The heat index was shown as 83 degrees.

So, I putzed around the room, straightening things up. There were more clouds moving in, so I went out and sat on the balcony, listened to one of the books I had gotten from the library, and watched the people in the pool and on the beach.

Daniel called, saying that he had been rained out, and were waiting until 2 pm to "call the game". Here, the clouds were moving, but no rain, yet.

Then, just after he called, the lifeguards blew the whistles and got the swimmers out of the water. Hm. The Landmark Resort staff cleared the pools of swimmers, too. Hm. Interesting. I didn't see anything from my limited view of the sky.

(The view from our room)

Daniel came in shortly, saying there was a "water spout" sighted. He says that's a tornado at sea. Oh. So, it's a good thing to get people out of the water. It never did rain, though.

After a couple of hours, we went out. He wanted a product to keep the fog from developing on his range finder, so we went to a dive shop. Sure enough, they had a product.

That bought, we stopped at a restaurant. Neither of us had eaten since breakfast, and it was now 5 pm.

We ate, then headed back to the hotel. It was so humid, I was sticky again. I sat out on the balcony while Dan got his things together for tomorrow, then went in and showered. Dan showered too, after a bit, and that's been our afternoon.

Tomorrow is predicted rain, but we'll see.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday 8.25.2008

Believe it or not, I slept until 0730. I got up, got myself ready for the day, then went down to "The Gazebo" for a breakfast buffet. It was nice--real eggs, scrambled, bacon, sausages, pancakes, make-your-own waffles, fresh fruits, cold cereals, milk, juices, yogurt, sweet rolls, and probably some other things. I had what I wanted, and when presented with the check, I took it to the register with the breakfast ticket Daniel had the foresight to purchase with the room reservation. The buffet is usually $7.95, and he bought it for $3.00. It opens early enough that he can eat before he goes golfing, too. We're set for the week. And, it's pleasantly decorated.

After breakfast I went back to the room, intending to go for a walk. I got my things together, socks and shoes on, and headed out of my room. Ocean-side was blue sky, sunshine, with some clouds. I went to the opposite side, and went out. Uh Oh. The sky was dark blue-gray, thunderstormy, and it was starting to sprinkle. I won't be walking anytime soon.

Back to the room. I looked out over the ocean--still blue, but I could see the clouds coming overhead from behind, and the rain came. It was a light summer rain, and the temperature was high 70's/low 80's. People were still on the beach, in the water, in the pools. Strange. Even after a couple thunder claps, they were still out. And the lifeguard was there, too. I guess it's not as much of a danger??? I don't know. I turned on the weather channel to see what kind of storm it is--intermittent, smallish. Daniel called shortly after that. The organizers had pulled the participants off the course after hearing the thunder, and that's when he called me. He said it had been raining there for quite some time, and he was soaked. As he was on the phone, they announced that they were going back out...

I was able to sit out on the balcony and listen to a book while people watching. The tide was coming in, and some were shell-hunting. Others were sitting under umbrellas, reading, visiting, or just being there. Some were playing in the water.

After a while, I had lunch, cut up some fruit that we had brought, looked at the television, and decided I needed to go and do something. I had not heard any more thunder, and the weather channel radar did not show anything right then, so I decided to go out and play in the ocean in the rain, too. I put on a bathing suit and went out. I didn't know what to do with the room key, which is a credit-card like card, so I tucked it in the front of my bathing suit over my belly. Funny, huh. It worked...

The rain was light, and warm. Very odd to be doing this. I went down to the beach and left my flip flops up by the walkway into the hotel area. I walked along a little, then went into the water near the lifeguard stand, because I was by myself, and I was taught to never go swimming alone. I knew they would watch out for me.

The water was warm. The surf was pretty strong, I thought. I'm not well versed at all about ocean waves. The tide was coming in; maybe that's why. Anyway, as I walked along about knee deep, a larger wave came upon me. Whoa--I stood back up. A couple more steps, a few more waves, and these things were knocking me over. I can see how someone could get in trouble. A few more dunkings of salty water, and I was done. I walked along the edge of the wet sand for a couple of blocks (in the rain, along with everyone else) and back again. By now, I'm realizing that I have sand in my hair, and every place else. Eewww.

I went back to the hotel. I decided to float in the "Lazy River", a water feature that is a closed loop, and mostly inside of the building. I picked up a tube and got in. This water is warm. I went around the thing several times. Then I walked around and found an indoor pool, too. I got in the pool and swam a couple of laps. That pool was cooler. Ok, done with that. I got out and walked around some more, and discovered that there are several separate hot tubs, also. I went into one of those. The one I was in was about 103-104 degrees, pretty warm. The staff was also dipping each of the separate waters with a pH kit and recording it in a log book. That made me feel just a bit better about public areas.

Done with that, time to go in. Back in the room, I showered. First in my suit to get off the chlorine and sand, and I took that off in the shower. I still had sand under my suit...

I washed up, and rinsed my suit again in the water in the bottom of the tub. Oh my gosh, there's still more sand. I rinsed as much as I wanted to, and called it good.

Shortly after my shower Daniel called, saying he was in the parking structure. Ok. He came in, wet, tired, hot, hungry. I went out on the balcony while he did his thing with the clubs and paraphernalia, then showered.

We went to Olive Garden for dinner, which had a 30 minute wait. Daniel was given a pager, and we went over to K mart which was in the same parking lot. We picked up a few items, checked out, got back to the restaurant, and the pager went off. Excellent timing!!!

We had a great dinner, then went over to the Convention Center. We looked at the displays, the vendors, the people (over 4,000 participants, and guests....). We went into the area where the band was playing and listened to them for a bit. They were good--Tim Clark Band, a local favorite--and it was 9:30. We left.

Back at the hotel, I helped Daniel carry in the inversion table. He took his golf bag back out to the car, got his things ready for the morning, turned upside down for a couple of minutes,and turned in. I wrote here.

Tomorrow's weather is predicted to be more of the same. I'll have to wait in line for the treadmill, I guess, or just walk through the interior hallways of the hotel to get some exercise. Sitting's ok for a bit, but I'm about done with that.

I'm very surprised that my breast is feeling so full again, and the annoying sensitive sensation I have near the axillary wound has returned.

It's after midnight again, and I'm ready for sleep. Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday 8.24.2008 Myrtle Beach

Dan and I had a great drive today. We woke about 0900, took our time , and left the room about 10:45 with the idea that we would have breakfast and be on our way. Well. We drove by promising-looking restaurants, only to find a "front porch" seating area with customers waiting. We decided to continue south, keeping our eyes open for somewhere to eat.

We did, and ended up about an hour down the road and a small town local spot. It was busy, but they knew how to turn out food. Even though it seemed to take forever for our order, we were stopped for only an hour. And it was yummy.

On our way.

We arrived in Myrtle Beach at the Convention center just after 3 pm, like Daniel had wanted. We went in, he checked in, got his "bag of goodies", we walked around, he bought a new hat, (I'll try to get a pic), and we left.

Outside the building was a motor home for Prostate Screening. Dan was reluctant, but when I said "what if I'd never had a mammogram?" he consented. We filled out the paperwork, he went inside for the exam and blood test (all free), and we were on our way. While I was waiting, I read the bus. University of Michigan!! It is part of a screening/study being done nationwide. Cool.

We drove the remaining 10 minutes to the Landmark Hotel. I was immediately happy that we are at this facility. Clean, amenities, and cool (as in air conditioning). The downside was that since we arrived at the beginning of check-in time, there were no cart things available for us to unload the car. (Their system is to pull up, unload the vehicle, take belongings to the room, then move your vehicle to the parking ramp across the road, which is connected by an overhead covered walkway. Kind of odd, but that's how they do it. And it would have been helpful if there were scads more carts...) Dan and I unloaded, two trips worth. But that's how I pack. If I can't carry it, I change it.

We decided that since we have to move the car, we would go out for supper, so we did. We ended up somewhere , I don't remember the name of it, and had another yummy meal. So, after sitting for two days, I, going to have to find someway to do something, to be active.

Back at the room, we settled in. It's a standard room, yellow walls, dark brown furniture, yellows/blues printed bedspreads. We have 2 full size beds, a decent sized counter-top, sink, good-size mini-fridge, and small microwave, along with all the dishes, utensils, dish soap, cutting board, dish towels, and coffee pot. A nice size table with 2 chairs, and a side chair with reading lamp, too. 2 closets-one with shelves and a curtain over it, and the other a hanging rod with an ironing board and iron stored on the wall. Of course, tv, bedside table, and 6-drawer chest of drawers. We are ocean front, with a balcony the length of the room, where we overlook one of the pools, and beyond, the ocean. There are sheers at the sliding door and windows, for privacy, and also the heavy room darkening curtains. I'm not sure exactly how clean the carpet is, but I don't feel that I can't even put my feet on it. That itself is ant improvement from last year's room. And it smells clean, too. I looked at the photos on the link--that's the decor of our room, ocean-front view, and the same pictures above the beds....

The bathroom is smallish, but standard. The wide door swings into the bathroom. When the door is open, the tub/shower is behind it, the stool directly in front of it (like you either have to open it all the way or close it some to make room for your legs), and to the right is the sink/vanity. A mirror goes all the way along that wall. And our bathroom fan does not work. And the toilet is not anchored securely, so when you sit, it rocks on the tile floor. Oh well. It's clean, and not leaking.

Also, our room is directly across from the elevators, which can be noisy, but hope it will not bother us too much.

I asked Daniel to go out on the beach, as it was about 7:45 pm, and cooling off (down to low 80"s). We did, and had a nice walk in the sand along the edge of the water. It amazed us both how the moving water as the waves come and go affect our spatial senses. I would get woozy sometimes watching the water around my feet. Kind of like standing on the dock with the water moving, feeling like you're moving, too. We were holding hands because we like each other, but also because that sense of motion would, every once in a while, cause one of us to weave. Funny.
There doesn't seem to be much residual from the hurricane, Fay, that hit Florida, other than a moderate riptide warning.

We got back to the room and settled down. Whew. Next thing I knew I had dozed off. It was 8:30. I felt really tired, so I put on my jammies and turned in, at 8:40 pm. !!!! I rarely go to sleep that early. I had the idea that I would be awake in the night, and I would get up and create this posting, but I ended up sleeping (with the usual frequent periods of hot-wakes) until Daniel got up Monday morning. So, I'm writing this Monday morning.

Yep, another long post. Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday 8.23.2008 Southbound

0530, my radio came on. I was sleeping good, but got through the fog to get out of bed. I got myself ready for the day, and as I was dressing, Daniel got up, too. He has had his bags packed and zipped since Monday--I had yet to put mine together this morning. So he was flitting around me like a moth to a bug light. I had a hard time keeping my train of thought and stay on task, because it seemed every time I turned around, he was trying to "help". *smile*

I finally got my things together, zipped my bags, and he carried them downstairs and loaded the car. We also filled a cooler with fresh fruits and vegetables and other things. AIS time was 0700--(Butt In Seat)--and at 0702 we were pulling out.

We had a great trip today, stopping about every 2 hours for biologic breaks, and filled the gas tank a couple of times, too. We ended up in Charlotte, North Carolina about 6:45 pm at a Sun Suite, which is rather nice for a room. I had to walk around the parking lot a couple of times--that's too much sitting for me--while Daniel showered and wound down after driving all day. We ate dinner somewhere near that was very good. I had grilled trout and he had a steak. Yum.

Free wireless internet, so I've checked email and written here. It's almost 10, and we're about ready for sleep. Mybreast is really sore today, like almost bothersome. I'm thinking it's leftover stuff from being so full and having therapy.

Tomorrow we'll sleep in, check out, have breakfast, and head to Myrtle Beach. We're going to stop at the Convention Center first, so Dan can check in for his golf tournament. Then we'll go over to the hotel and check in there. At least, that's the plan.

It's low 80's high 70's here in Charlotte, NC. The air conditioning works well in this room.

So, Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday 8.22.08

I got up this morning about 8:30 after sleeping fair, even though I was pretty tired. Dreams, hot flashes, blah, blah; a typical night for me.

I had a list--physical therapy with Ike, the Centennial Wireless store to change/update my phone plan, Meijers, and the CVS pharmacy to pick up a refill. I finished loading the dishwasher, started it, and I headed out.

Ike came out to get me shortly after 10. In room 2, she looked at my breast, arm, and the side of my ribs. She commented that I looked really full. (Yes, that's why I wanted an appointment...) She started doing what she does, and I was surprised that it hurt as much as it did. She worked on me for over an hour, and when she was done, my breast was much smaller and the sensitivity that had developed down the inside of my forarm was mostly gone. She then addressed my shoulder. She had me move my arms every which way to evaluate my range of motion, then we went out in the common therapy area where she demonstrated some exercises that she thought would help. I did the return demo, and showed her where it hurt in my shoulder as I went through the movements. She was surprised at this, and took me back into room 2 to re-evaluate. After moving the shoulder around, she said for me to keep using my arm, to do the exercises as I can, and we'll do more stuff next appointment. Ok, thanks. She hugged me, and I went on my way.

Over to Centennial. I wanted to change the coverage area on the plan that I had, so that I would not incur costs while Dan and I are in South Carolina next week. The nice Blue Shirt guy, maybe his name was Paul, was very patient in explaining the options, as things have changed. You see, last year, and in previous years, I have changed the coverage areas for just the dates that I would need them, and it was less than $10.00. Now, that option is No Longer Available. Hm. As I said, he was very patient, and it seems that he considered all the options, looking for ways to give me what I need without incurring an increase in cost, or other unnecessary fees. In the end, I ended up with nationwide coverage, more options than what I needed (because they are "bundled" together), and only $2 more per month. Ok. We'll see how that works. Thank you very much, Mr. Blue Shirt guy, for your patience and guidance.

Next stop, Meijer. I went in and got what I wanted, paid, and got out. Back in the car, to CVS pharmacy. I went in, picked up the prescription, paid, and left. Back home, (Dan's) daughter, Kim, her daughter Amanda, and Amanda's young'un Skyler were there. Our complex is having a Community Garage Sale this weekend, and Kim brought a garage full of stuff over. She doesn't get much traffic where she lives, and she and Amanda had things set up pretty good, and were finishing up. After hugs, I went on in to take care my groceries and have lunch, as I've been gone for quite a while.

I was just finishing when Kim and Manda and Skyler came in for a few minutes before they left. I walked them down to the car, and after they had left, started food prep, cutting up some veggies to take on the trip. I picked away at several things the rest of the afternoon, gathering, ironing, packing some stuff. I was hungry again and was surprised that it was 6:45 pm already. So I fixed myself something to eat. Dan said he didn't want any, but I prepared more than I wanted. He ended up eating "the rest" of what I didn't want. *smile*

I checked email and wrote here. I'm up at 0530 to finish packing my things, and Dan wants to be on the road by 0700. Ok.

I'm going to finish the kitchen and go to bed. I'll write tomorrow night from I-don't-know-where-we're-stopping.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday 8.21.2008

Oh, boy, another short night. I almost dozed back off instead of getting up....

I got myself ready for work, and got on my way. I arrived safely, parked, walked the block and a half, and got to my unit. It looked to be a busy day.

We had enough staff, and great co-workers, and had a great day. Ike had called, and had a cancellation for tomorrow, and wondered if I wanted to move from 2 pm to 10:30 am. "Yes," I said, "Thank you." That works out better for me. We had even sent enough patients home that one of the nurses was able to leave. (In other words, we "staffed down".)

Eventually the night shift came in, information exchanged, and we left. I went over to the Centennial Cellular office to change my cell phone plan coverage while traveling next week. Dan and I are leaving Saturday morning, driving to Myrtle Beach so that he can participate in the PGA Tour Superstore World Amateur Handicap Tournament. It's a four day event, and he also plans of playing Friday. We are also planning to continue on down to visit Jeremy, Jennifer, and Jasmine in Bluffton. Anyway, there was only one employee there, and he was busy with another client. I waited my turn, and after 20 minutes or so, I was next. I told him what I wanted to do, and he told me that the plan I have is no longer offered to new customers, and the person who could authorize something for me left at 7 pm. The nice man did say that he was sure "something could be done" for me to keep me happy. Ok, thanks. Can the Lansing store help me? Yes, he said, and I thanked him again and went on my way. Shoot. I was hoping to get that taken care of tonight. Oh well, on the list for tomorrow.

I drove home, it's now a half hour later than necessary, and I got home about 8:15. Daniel was up putzing around. We visited, caught up on the day, and some travel plans.

I wrote here, and realize that I'm pretty tired. So, I'm going to wind it up and get to bed.

My breast is very full and sore, and the left shoulder is achy/uncomfortable. I'm anxious to have Ike do what she does.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday 8.20.2008

0430 came quick. Up and off to Jackson, I had an uneventful drive in the dark. I parked about a block and a half away and walked in.

We had a good day, with great staff. It was kind of busy, and manageable. Eventually it was time to clock out.

I got home, visited with Daniel, wrote here, and I need to shower and get to bed to be able to do it again tomorrow.

My shoulder has been achy today, as has my breast. I've taken a couple of doses of tylenol and motrin. I see Ike again Friday--I'm hoping she'll facilitate relief.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday 8.19.2008

I woke this morning looking at the tonal colors of the sunrise on the horizon, over the treeline on the far side of the lake. Mostly cloudy, windy, and maybe 50 degrees. I watched the sky for a bit, and when I looked again, it was full daylight, still windy, and 9:30!! Whoa!! I didn't realize I had slept that long. I watched the lake some more until biology intervened.

I got up, got myself ready for the day. It wasn't looking real good out there, wind-wise. The thermometer on the tree showed 60 degrees. Hm.

I putzed around, sorting out some items in the bathroom/linen closet. Made the bed, collected my things in the bedroom (I was leaving later this afternoon). Still windy. Hm. I'm hungry. It's now about 11:15. I'd better eat.

I got my breakfast ready, and my phone rang. My brother Tom, asking why I didn't answer the back door. Now, mind you, the kitchen is in the back of the house, and I had the back door open (the wind was from the front of the house, so it was nice in the back), and then I heard them giggling. Good grief. Tom and Bruce were walking up to the house.

They came in, laughing like kids. It was fun, just us sibs. We bantered and visited while I ate my breakfast. They left a little before noon, as Allison and family were expected to arrive soon.

After they left, I looked out the window. I saw people over at the Goodwin Cottage. They're Heeerrrre!!! Cool.

I finished up, gathered the camera, water bottle, and pan of rhubarb pinwheels and headed out. Hey, that sun is warm. I went back in and put my shorts in the bag with the other items. I walked over the the Goodwin's.

Woo Hoo!! I was excited to see Allison, meet her husband Tim. I've met their 13 year old daughter Milana several years ago, and have never met the other dauther Sophia, 6 years old. They also had Kim's daughter Jasmine with them. Milana and Jasmine are like velcro, like twins across the universe, like maternal twins from different mothers. They finish each other's sentences, say the same things/words at the same time, and are amazingly beautiful young women. Sophia is just as beautiful; cheerful and intelligent.

We hugged and laughed and visited. They were soon ready for lunch, so we enjoyed ourselves around the picnic table. After lunch, Tom and I walked over to get his fishing boat at his in-laws, then motored over to the Jacque Cabin to get the paddle boat. I paddled back over to the Goodwin Cottage. The girls were just getting in the lake, swimming, as the clouds had blown away. There was still a cool wind, though. Tom took some people out in his boat while Bruce "stepped the mast" on the sunfish sailboat. He gave rides to Sophia, Milana, and then to me. The two teenagers went out in the paddleboat after a bit--the wind was finally slowing some--Sophia ended up sleeping on the couch the remainder of the afternoon. We adults enjoyed just being at the lake. The photos are here, and also on the left hand column.

After a while, it was time to wind things up. Tim waved the girls in from the lake, we gathered our belongings. Sophia woke up. We lingered over good-byes. Hugs and smiles.

I paddled the paddleboat back, and Tom was going to take his boat back over to the in-laws, then bring the rest of my things over in the van and help me get the paddleboat out of the water and turned over.

I finished packing, loaded the car, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom sink, stool, and floor, and waited. Tom and Bruce finally pulled up about 7. They jumped out, put my things where they belonged, went down and pulled the paddleboat the rest of the way up and turned it over, and they were on their way. Thanks guys.

One more walk around, checking locks and windows, and I was on my way. 7:30 pm.

An uneventful drive home, Thank You God, and I got home about 10:15. Daniel was waiting for me, helped me unload, we visited, and before long, it was midnight. Off to bed. I work in the morning.

I really enjoyed my day. I've seen people I love, met people I love, and am so full of the awareness of life. Thank you, God, for letting us share this time together.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday 8.18.2008

Dan got up at 0530 to golf. I went back to sleep, and didn’t know he had left. I was to get up at 0800, but woke at 0740, so I got up and got ready for the day. Today is my appointment with Ike.

I had showered, breakfasted, and a load of laundry done and the second one in the washer before going to my 10:00 appointment.

I checked in at The Window, and the nice lady (whose name is Brandy) told me that Penny would get my paperwork together. (Huh? Oh—since Ike closed my chart after my last visit, I’ll bet they need to open a new one. Yup, that’s what she’s doing…) Oh, Penny says, you’ve been here before. She opened the old chart, gathered the papers she needed, and basically said I was all set. Ok, thanks.

I waited about 10 minutes for Ike to come and get me. She smiled and hugged me, and apologized for not making it to the Splashdown Party. We went into room 2.

She was quite chatty, and I was anxious to get started, because after all, I only have an hour, and we’re already behind. She had to do an evaluation first. Ok. Much to my surprise, I’m worse off than what I thought. She found that the “cording” is back! When she pressed on it, then I could tell. Great. At least I’m in the right place to get it taken care of.

She did what she does, and I also discovered that the breast tissue is more tender than what I thought is was. And around the side, and around to the back, by the shoulder blade. There were pockets of fluid in those areas that she worked on. She had gone out of the room before starting the treatment to make arrangements to set up her next client, so she actually worked on me until about 11:10. Then we went out to the computer to schedule more visits.

I have another appointment for Friday, and she says I need an hour and a half. !!! Ok. We also scheduled 2 more appointments for the first week of September. We’ll reevaluate at that time and see what needs to happen.

I went home feeling somewhat better. Better that I’m getting the care that I need, but sore. I put the wet clothes into the dryer, folded the dry ones, and decided to make a batch of the Rhubarb Pinwheels to take to the Lake. I got those going, making a pretty good mess, got them in the oven, the mess cleaned up, and decided to prepare my dinner for tonight so all I had to do is heat it up. The pinwheels were almost done when Daniel got back.

We visited a bit while I finished up in the kitchen. I put an overnight bag together and took it, and the other things I was taking, in the car. I made a sandwich, ate that, then I was on my way.

I had a sunshiny, though windy, drive. It rained briefly but heavily just south of Hale, and the road was steaming the rest of the way to the lake. I pulled into the garage about 6:10 pm. Ahhh, nothing like being at the lake.

It was so nice to come into the cabin. Everything was clean and neat and tidy. Thank you to Diane and Sue and their guests for your efforts.

I unpacked the car, put things away, swept the front deck, put the cushions on the swing, heated my dinner, and enjoyed it while watching the lake. It was going to rain again, and the wind was dying down as the sky darkened to that blue-gray of a thunderstorm. It lighteninged and thundered just a couple of times, then rained. It turned into a gentle rain, then stopped.

I made the bed, and wanted to walk over to the Goodwin Cottage to see who was there, if anyone. Well, I put on a hooded sweatshirt and long pants, (the temperature had dropped), found a working flashlight (it would be dark on the way back, and it’s scary out there without a flashlight), and headed out.

Partway over, the rain started up again. Oh well. I put up the hood and continued on.

At the Goodwin Cottage, Bruce greeted me at the back door. He was just walking through to turn on a light when he saw me coming into the yard. We grinned and hugged, and went on through to the front porch, where we sat in the rockers and visited. Nothing like being at the lake.

I left about 9:20, and made it back to the Jacque Cabin without spooky incidents. I’m winding down, about ready for bed.

Tomorrow, Kim and Allison and kids and Tom and I don’t know who else will be here for the day. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday 8.17.2008

I went to bed about 10 last night, even though I was interested in watching more of the Olympic competitions. I think I slept pretty good inbetween wake times, and 0430 came around just as I was returning to sleep. Well, that's how it works. I have a job and I'm happy to have it.

I got up and got myself ready for the day. Breakfast, brew, and I'm on my way.

The days are definitely shorter--it's dark now when I leave, and the gray dawn to walk across the road. I noticed a sense of dismay when I realized that, what seems like all too soon, the leaves will be dry and rustling, and the dawn's grays struggle to illuminate the browns of the late fall. For now, though, I made a point to enjoy the beautiful blooms of summer, with the full greens and strong reds. Thank you God, for my awarenesses, that I may appreciate the beauty of Your world. What can I do for you today?

A pleasant surprise--low census and enough staff. The mom's doctors came in and rounded, discharging most of them. The patients were eager to get home, and after the pediatricians came in and rounded, the new families trickled out. Some left before lunch, some left after lunch, the staff was able to eat lunch, and by dinnertime we had 3 moms and 2 babies left on the floor. The fluctuation in census is amazing--in a couple of days we can be bursting again, wondering why we ever even thought that drinking something was a good idea when there's not a chance for a bathroom break, let alone eat something. Yep--I have a job, and I'm happy to have it.

We had staffed down, leaving myself and another nurse to finish the shift. And since report was short, we left at 7 pm.

As I got on 94 to head home, I got into "race traffic"--fans leaving to go home from MIS and the weekend race. Both westbound lanes were full at 10 mph. Uh Oh. I was let in, and took about 20 minutes to go 1 mile to the 127 northbound ramp. After merging onto 127, traffic thinned some, and I got home uneventfully.

Daniel was not home yet--he was in Flint at a planning meeting for a St. John Vianney All School Reunion. When he did get home, we chatted for a few minutes, then he created a blogsite for their !

I facilitated very little, but he asked a lot of questions, so it took me a while to get my own blog written. He's gone off to bed, so now I can finish up.

My breast has been annoyingly bothersome today, and my shoulder and upper arm are achy. I so hope that Ike does not call and cancel my appointment for tomorrow, and also that she will do a lymph treatment without a bunch of preliminary stuff. We'll see...

I'm off to bed. Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday 8.16.2008

Wow. Last night was short. I was up until after 3, and woke at 0645. Dan woke up, too, and he decided to get up and keep his tentative golf date. I dozed a little, but I was hungry, so I got up and had a bowl of "cereal deluxe", as I add raisins, nuts, bananas, and whatever else to make the flake cereals more healthy.

I went back to bed about 8:30, and woke again a couple hours later. I got up and stayed up this time.

I got myself ready for the day, and caught up with a bunch of email that came in. I putzed around, and went out to run errands. Daniel came in just as I was getting ready to leave. He was pretty tired, and he laid down to rest.

To the post office, then to the library to pick up reading and listening materials for vacation next week to Myrtle Beach. (Tom and KS have planned to go, too, but she's had a flare of back pain that may not allow her to travel. Bummer.) The library is in a building that sits in front of the Veterans Memorial Park. The grounds are maintained by the local Master Gardener, I think, because the flower beds are beautiful, and a lot of the plants are labeled. The sun was hot, the sky was blue, and the bees and butterflies were feeding on the many flowers. The 4 foot tall zinnias were spectacular with their bold colors. I took that time to enjoy God's world and thank Him for all of it.

I stopped at CVS to pick up a higher SPF lip balm for Daniel. He thinks his lips are getting sunburned while golfing. Can't have that....

Back home, he was sound asleep. I was hungry, and I fixed us some nachos, leaving Daniel's in the assembly stage for when he woke up.

I was surprised at how long he slept. Shortly after 5 he got up. He was hungry, and put his nachos together his way. Cool.

Breon called and stopped over to pick up a few more things. She's almost done moving. She looked good, though tired. She was gone as fast as she came in.

The rest of the evening passed.

I have had pretty good hot flashes this afternoon, and the perspiration thing happens--not with every hot flash, but not predictable, either. My breast and underarm are full, and I hope that Ike will agree to see me Monday.

Tomorrow is a work day, and I'm off to get some sleep, I hope.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday 8.15.08

Daniel got up and left for a golf event, I dozed back off to sleep. I was surprised when I woke up and it was after 9 o'clock again! I got up and breakfasted, then showered and got ready for the day. We had a wedding to attend at 3:30 in Holland if he got back soon enough.

1:30 and he's still not home. He finally came in about 3. The reception started at 6, in Spring Lake, so we didn't have to leave until 4:30. He laid down, I had lunch.

We went to this beautiful reception at the Spring Lake Country Club for my cousin's son, Jeff, and new bride Jill. Dan and I met some very nice people and enjoyed ourselves. It was nice to get out, be dressed up, and feel good. It's definitely a new chapter in my book. Heck, it's a whole new volume...

We got home about 0100; Daniel went right to bed. I wrote here. And now I'm off to bed, too.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday 8.14.2008

What a lovely day! I got up and got ready for work, then headed south. Looked at the gas gauge--shoot! I forgot to refuel yesterday. So, I stopped at Kipp Road Meijer and gassed up. Of course, the price had jumped 9 cents since yesterday, too. Oh well.

I got to Jackson, found a space in the lot 2 blocks away, and the shuttle was there. I hopped aboard and was driven over to the building. Clocked in, report, day under way.

Good patients, good staff. Good administration--the powers that be had a 90th anniversary party for the facility (Foote) and had put together a very nice "bbq party" for the staff. There was a huge tent, 3-piece jazzy blues band, and catered food! A very nice change--chicken, ribs, beautiful fresh fruit, yeast rolls, corn, baked beans, assorted high fat/high sugar/high calorie cookies, punch, and we were handed a large black tote bag with a lanyard inside of it. (with the new logo on them, of course) None-the-less, it was nice to have something other than hospital food. And it was free. (You have to understand that the freebies have all but vanished...)

So, after a good lunch, we discharged a lot of the patients, and the rest of the day was, well, swell. Other than the hot flashes which are overpowering me sometimes. The intensity seem to be increasing. I can feel them coming on, and before long, now I'm perspiring across the top of my forehead, the sides of my neck, and sometimes even drip down my back. EWWWW!!!!

This is just not good. I've not done anything different as far as meds go, and of course I can't take hormones, or even the "natural" products like soy or black cohosh, because my tumor was hormone receptor positive. So, it's me and the hots. I do my best to breathe and not let it bother me, but geesh. Many times a day, like maybe twice an hour, and I've not noticed any triggers. Even being "dry", sometimes I'm so cold I'm shivering, sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes. Then I usually have a pretty long episode of being hot. And not always perspiring. Just hot. Today I had an episode of being queasy hot. Yuck. These temperature fluctuations are really something.

The shift finally ended, and I changed my shoes and walked the two blocks over to my car. An uneventful drive home Thank You God where Daniel was waiting for me.

He had a good day, too, practicing golf stuff. Tomorrow he's playing in some qualifier for something.

We visited a bit, we looked at some of the Olympic events, he drifted off to bed, and I wrote here. I've gotten tired in the last hour or so, and it was a trick to write tonight.

Thank you for reading, Hugs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday 8.13.2008

I slept pretty good again. I woke up about 8:10. Daniel was up at 7. I knew he was up, but didn't hear him leave.

I got up and got ready for the day. After breakfast, I checked email and looked around on the computer. Then I decided to make some cookies.

I checked that I had ingredients, and mixed up some oatmeal cookies. Daniel came in when about half of them were baked. We chatted a bit while I finished up. He went upstairs to use the desktop computer to do whatever he was doing. (I found out later that he was listing some items on ebay.) I had cleaned up my cookie mess and went over on the sofa. It wasn't long before I was laying down, and the next thing I knew it was almost 4 o'clock!

Whoa! I'm surprised I'm sleeping so much. I suppose it's good, seeing as how I haven't been for quite some time.

I took the steaks outside to the grill while Daniel did the inside cooking--mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. Yum. We both cleaned the kitchen, and I went outside for a short walk.

Back in, the Olympics are on TV. I wrote here, and I'm about ready for bed again.

I've had a couple of "really hot" hot flashes today. This evening was almost queasy hot. And it lasted for what seemed forever--maybe 20-25 minutes or so. It eventually passes, and then I'm a little cool. Sometimes downright chilled. I'll be glad when my temperature finally stabilizes.

Tomorrow is a workday. And I'm feeling tired again. I'll get my things ready for the morning.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday 8.12.2008

Wow. Last night I woke up a couple of times, listened to the radio between 0530 and 6, Daniel got up at 7. I did not hear him leave at 0830, and woke up at 0853!! He said I was snoring when he left...

I got up, kind of in a fog, and wandered around the house, finally landing on the sofa. Didn't do much, really; checked email, flipped through the channels, turned the tv back off. Eventually I had breakfast, then showered. I was surprised (kind of) that my nipple sloughed off again today. It does feel a little tender for a few hours. Of course, everything is swollen on the left side. I also did a couple loads of laundry.

I went out to Target and Office Max, picked up the sale items from those places, and Daniel had called saying his daughter Kim would be over at 4:30. That cuts my shopping time--I was going to stop over to Meijer and get fresh fruits and other sale items there, too. But I wanted to see Kim, so I went home.

Daniel was home from his golf game. Kim arrived shortly after I got home. We had a brief visit, then she left.

Dan and I went out for dinner, then stopped at K-Mart and Meijer, picking up sale items. (gotta make the money stretch, you know) We got home and basically enjoyed each other's company.

The evening went on, and we're watching Olympics.

Tomorrow I don't have much planned. Dan golfs in the morning again.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday 8.11.2008

Last night I went to bed about 10, and I think I went to sleep pretty fast. I woke a few times being hot (which is not different), but I'm having episodes of being cold, too. Strange.

I woke at 0530-ish, and dozed back off. I was sleeping good when the phone rang at 0720. The hospital. I had to go in, and float off to a med/surg unit. "Ok", I struggled to say. "It'll take me a little bit, I'm not up yet." I drug myself out of bed. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I didn't feel quite right. In the mud, is what it felt like. My breast feels swollen and is tender, my shoulder aches, the upper arm itches, and yes, my fingers are full this morning. I pushed through, got ready to go, took motrin and tylenol, and headed out.

I did the naughty thing--made phone calls while driving. I called Dr. Bolmer's office to request a prescription for physical therapy. I listened to the options, spoke to a person, who connected me to a recording instructing me to leave a message. So I did. Then I called Rehab to make an appointment with Ike.

The nice lady who answered the phone had an accent that I was unfamiliar with, and I didn't understand her name, but I could kind of tell by the tone of her voice that she was asking me how could she help me. Sheesh. Ok, God, help me listen and hear what she's saying. I told her my name, that I had seen Ike previously, that I have called to have a prescription faxed over to evaluate and treat, and could she check Ike's schedule and fit me in? She put me on hold. After a minute or so, she came back. And, I could understand her. She said Ike is on vacation this week, and she has time open Monday and Tuesday. Monday at 10:00. I'll take it. I'm kind of glad she's on vacation this week, only because I wouldn't have been able to see her if I would have called last week. I thanked the nice lady, relieved to have an appointment.

In Jackson, I found a place to park, pleasantly surprised that it was a block away. I went in, and up to my floor, found Tishia as instructed. She told me that med/surg hadn't gotten back with her yet to know where we were going. (We? Yep-the other 2 girls on-call had to come in, too) She told me to go ahead and clock in, and she'll let us know when she finds out. Ok.

Our census is really low, as we have a couple of OB docs on vacation. I went over to West, that we closed yesterday, and generally tidied up the unit. Stray equipment, supplies, etc. I was almost done when Tish called me. "Med/surg decided they didn't need anyone. You can all go home." Hm. "Thanks for coming in. And I won't be calling you back to come in for them today. You are still on call for us, though." Ok. I finished up my project, clocked out, and remembered I needed to print out a copy of my hospital-based learning stuff for the annual eval, so I looked that up and printed it out. I was in the locker room changing my shoes and getting my purse when the phone rang. It was someone from the Doctor's office clarifying my request for therapy. She told me one of the nurses would call me back. Ok, thanks. I finally made it back home about noon.

I still wasn't feeling just right. I was hungry, and my shoulder and breast are achy. I ate a pb&j sandwich, took more meds (it was time), and talked with Daniel a bit. My phone rang again, Doctor's office again. It was Rose (she was one of my chemo nurses) asking just exactly what I needed. She had read the chart, so she followed what I was saying, and knew what to send over to the rehab place. No problem, she said. Thank you, Rose. About 1:30, I went in and took a nap.

I slept for 2 hours, waking up feeling mostly better. The mud was gone, anyway. My shoulder and breast are still achy. I had some fruit, a bunch of water, Daniel went to his golf league, and I didn't do much at all. Sat out on the deck, read the newspaper, came in, checked the computer, basically not much. And then Dan came back.

We watched some Olympics, and he has drifted off to bed. I'm writing here. Still uncomfortable, and my hand is still tight, even though it doesn't look as puffy tonight.

I hope I feel better tomorrow. I'm surprised at how tired I've been the last couple of days, and how I've been sleeping. I have been alternating between chilled cold and hot, with the chills happening first, then a good warm up. I am also having the "aura" of the sensation that I need to take a big breath, and I often find myself deep breathing, and that's how I know I'm about to be warm. And I've started perspiring, too, with the hot flashes. Across my forehead, the back of my neck, down the middle of my back, and the inside creases of my elbows. Very weird. What a ride, huh? But I'm cancer free, and that's what counts.

I guess I should find a light bite before going to bed. I don't like waking up hungry at 0200...

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday 8.10.2008

The radio came on this morning, it was on for a couple of minutes before I heard it. I got up and got myself ready for work.

An uneventful drive--the days are getting shorter--the sky was that dark cerulean blue with the lighter tone on the eastern horizon, and the morning stars brightly holding their places in the sky. I parked about a block away and walked over to the hospital.

We had a good day, with good co-workers, and both units open. The patients went home, and by the end of the shift we had 3 moms, 3 babies, and 2 nurses left. I opted to stay so I could possibly be on-call tomorrow. The night staff came in; I told them to call me in the morning if they need me. We'll see how that goes....

On the way home, I got really tired again. Dan and I visited a little, I checked the computer and wrote here.

My breast is really full--so full that my "regular" bras that I've been wearing are not comfortable. I wore a sports bra today. My shoulder is achy and the underarm is full. I'll call Dr. Bolmer's office for a prescription for lymph treatment again with Ike. I hope Ike will accept the prescription and schedule me for a visit or two.

I'm going to take some motrin and tylenol, look at some Olympic stuff while it gets "on board", and go to bed.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday 8.9.2008

I got up this morning after a good sleep. Finally.

A lovely shower, nourishing breakfast, and leisurely rest of the morning. Daniel went for his golf game.

I putzed around the house, picking away at chores. Then I went to Meijer to take advantage of their "2 Day Supersale". I ended up being in the store a couple of hours, trying on shoes and looking at different things. I did end up with a pair of shoes that was on clearance, plus the 15% discount offered on general merchandise. Sweet!

I came home and ate, and Daniel came home about 5 ish. He fixed himself something to eat (I thought he would eat with the other golfer/s), and we visited and watched some Olympic events. I wrote here, and I'm off to bed soon.

Tomorrow I work, and Monday, too.

Enjoy your day. Hugs.

Friday 08.08.08

Well--Sorry I didn't post last night. I worked Friday, so that means I was up early.

I slept pretty good, though half a night. We had a pretty good workday with a good group of co-workers. I got tired about 6 o'clock, though, and decided to go straight home instead of stopping to pick up milk. Isn't that silly--it doesn't take much to stop and get milk...

I didn't though, and got home about 7:45 pm. I talked with Dan a little, changed clothes, had a pb&j sandwich, and oh-my-gosh I was tired.

We watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (pretty neat, mind boggling to me, just the logistics of using so many humans...). I got really tired, and at 9:25 I went to bed. Daniel asked if I was going to write on my blog, I told him no, I was going to bed.

And I did.

I slept pretty good. I didn't hear Dan come to bed, and he asked if I heard the neighbors outdoors about 0200. Nope. Wow. I really did sleep.

So, that was Friday. Hugs.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday 8.7.2008

I slept well again last night, and today I finally feel rested. Daniel had gone out about 8. I got up about 9. I didn't have breakfast right away--it was probably closer to 10:30 or 11. Daniel was home by then. I had a couple loads of laundry done.

We took care of some household things, like...bills and finances, then decided to go to Meijer for groceries. That went well, and we stood in line at the check-out. It was our turn. Dan puts the items on the belt, I watch the screen to ensure the prices ring up correctly, and he puts the bags in the cart. There was a young woman, maybe early 20's, behind us, who had begun to put her items on the belt. I don't know why I was watching her, but I was, and she had come up to the front of her cart. She stood there, then bent forward and rested her forearms and head on the belt. She stood up, bent over again. She stood again, and I recognized the pale skin and lips and glazed look of someone going to faint. And she did.

She was on my left, and I reached out with my left arm to catch her, but my strength is not all there. I was able to catch her head as her face bopped the chrome edge of the belt and help her to the floor. Daniel was paying and finishing up with the bags and didn't see what had happened. I looked up to see the cashier, caught her eye, and told her to call for help. She already had the phone in her hand. Dan helped me get her legs straightened out, and as we were positioning her, she came to. I talked to her and tried to keep her seated. She got herself leaned up against the counter, and someone brought a cup of water. I talked to her, reassuring her that she was ok. I asked her if she was pregnant. She said yes. And she had passed out before. It was several minutes before she could get up. The employees brought a wheelchair for her, and I helped her stand and get into it. She still didn't look real good. The manager had come over by that time and started doing what managers do. She was by herself, so I unloaded the rest of her half full cart onto the belt to get that part done, anyway. After I was done, I looked at her again. She was still a little gray, but others were taking care of her. I mentioned that she needed a snack, asked her when her next appointment was, and she told me she was 15-16 weeks along, and sees the doctor again Monday. I encouraged her to tell doctor that she has been fainting, encouraged her to eat more frequently (like every 2-3 hours), and to drink lots of water. Then I gave her a hug and told her she'd be ok. She thanked me, and so did the employees. Dan and I left. He said he was surprised to turn around and see her on the floor with me crouching beside her.

We got on our way, stopped at CVS to pick up prescriptions, and got back home. We unloaded and put away groceries, then I went back out to the Holt Farmer's Market, which opens at 4 pm on Thursdays. I found some lovely produce, bought green peppers, tomatoes, yellow zucchini (!), and sweet corn.

At home, I started dinner. We had sauteed mushrooms, onions, and garlic; Daniel grilled the steaks while I did the rest. Fresh garden tomato, sweet corn that tasted like sunshine. Yum. After getting the kitchen cleaned up, I cut up cauliflower, celery, green peppers, cucumber, and peaches. I made a kind of compote with peaches, blueberries, and red raspberries, putting them in a small saucepan with a smidgen of water and sugar and heating it. After it cooled some, I added bananas, and poured it over organic vanilla ice cream. Daniel was a happy man. (I was happy, too)

Friday is the last day of my jury duty commitment. I called, and heard the happy words "No Jurors Needed". So, I'm done. I'll go to work tomorrow as scheduled.

That's my day. My breast is full and a little achy tonight, as is my shoulder. I don't think I hurt myself with that girl. I think it's just full and uncomfortable. I'm going to take tylenol and motrin and go to bed.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday 8.6.2008

I went to bed last night at 10:30. I settled in, and Daniel came in about 11. I think I went into a deep sleep right after that. Dan said he was up several times through the night; I could only tell you of once. He got up about 8, and I got up about 8:45. He left to golf at 9:30.

I had a laid back day today, not doing much. I ran the dishwasher, did a load of laundry, made a grocery list, a couple of phone calls, caught up on reading emails, ate a couple of times, watered the plants...

Hm. That kind of looks like I did something.

Dan came home, and it wasn't long before he went in to lay down. He was sleeping when Breon came in. She looked good; we visited for a few minutes, then I went in to wake up Dan.

We had a nice visit and helped her load her car with more of her belongings. The rest of the items got put in the closets, other than the furniture. They'll be back to get the remainder of her things when they can. They are both working two jobs, and Nick is also doing a remodel on the rental unit. She said they were doing well, and look forward to being able to spend more time together when the project is completed.

She left, and Dan and I continued our low-key evening.

I wrote here, he drifted off to bed.

My breast is full, and the area around to the side and under the arm feel full, too. And my nipple sloughed off again today, too. I wonder how many times that skin is going to shed?? I guess we'll find out....

Thanks for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday 8.5.2008

I slept pretty good, waking up when the radio came on. I got myself ready for the day while Daniel snored on.

Uneventful drive and on into the hospital.

Work was busy, but a somewhat better day overall. I was a bit "spacey" at intervals throughout the day, and never felt like I "had it all together". I don't know if that's from chemo, or fatigue, or what, but I hope it resolves. Unnerving at times.

We finally clocked out, and I headed home. Daniel was home, having rested most of the day, doing little things. We visited, I wrote here, and I'm ready for bed.

No plans for tomorrow, as my new favorite words were heard shortly after 5 pm. "No Jurors Needed". I hope I can sleep and feel rested.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday 8.4.2008

The best words someone can hear when instructed to call after 5 pm: "No Jurors Needed"

So I had to get up and go to work instead. I was sleeping when the alarm went off (really, the radio comes on), and I awakened and looked at the clock. It had been on for 10 minutes already. Out of bed, dressed and ready, breakfasted, lunch gathered, out the door and down the highway. I stopped at Kipp Road Meijer to refuel. $43.00 later (hey, gas went down. It's been $48 for a tank) and I continue on my way.

It's dark in the morning now, with the morning stars shining brightly, then insistingly struggling to be seen as the daylight oozes steadily from the eastern horizon. This morning was a beautiful stripe of oranges and deep blues as I traveled south. The corn and soybean fields lend to this view, then trees, then buildings, and the highway curves away and I need to pay attention to my driving. I thanked God for this beautiful morning, with a heart full of gratitude and humbleness for my well-being and for the people in my life.

I arrive at the j.o.b., park, and make sure to listen to the birdsong on my way into the building. The workday was challenging for me, in that we had a full unit with lots of visitors. I got pretty tired about 4:30 or so, but kept on keeping on. The last couple hours went pretty fast, and I thought one of the night shift people was really early. Not!! Cool. Almost done.

Clocked out, back to the car. Home.

I'm thankful the deer and other critters were not "underfoot", so to speak.

Daniel wasn't home yet, finishing the Special Olympics outing event. I fixed myself a bite to eat and ate it. He got home around 8:50. We visited a bit, I wrote here, and I'm off to bed.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday 8.3.2008 72nd Gushen Family Reunion

After being awake about half the night, awake, asleep, awake, asleep, Daniel got up and left this morning for the golf outing for the Special Olympics. I slept another hour, getting up about 9:30.

Breakfast, and got things ready to go. Frank, and maybe Keesha, was to be here around 11:30. He called about 10 after saying he was on the way. Ok. I decided to put together a fruit salad real quick, and finished putting the deviled eggs together. Frank arrived before I was done, but we were on the road by 11:50.

We had a nice drive, and arrived at Imerman Park about 1:45. Somehow, I had it in my head that we were to gather at 1, eat at 2. Really, we gathered at 12 and they had started eating at 1. So, we were late. Another 2 vehicles came in when we did. Misery loves company?? There was plenty of food, though, and with the new stuff that we had brought there was even more. Yum.

Lots of hugs and smiles; people I hadn't seen since last year, some for several years, and maybe some I won't see again. I value these annual gatherings, the fellowship and camaraderie.

After the reunion was over, Frank and I went over to Tom and Kathy Sue's house, as it is literally around the corner and across the river. We had a nice visit there before heading on back to Holt.

Daniel was home when we got there about 9. He had a good day, too. Frank came in for a few minutes, then went on his way. I had a bite to eat, then wrote here.

I had called the courthouse this morning--no jurors needed for Monday, so I called the girl who was going to cover for me and told her I would be available to work tomorrow. (I got called for Jury Duty for Ingham County for this coming week....)

So, Daniel is up tomorrow for the final day of the Special Olympics outing, and I am up early, too. He's off to bed, and so am I.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday 8.2.2008

What a lovely day today!! Even though I didn't sleep as well as I thought I would after working the last two days, I dozed off again this morning after Daniel left for golf. I had a slow morning, enjoying breakfast, listening to the birds, watering the plants. Soon it was time to get showered to go for my massage appointment.

I went to see Leah, Mason Massage. She had my "client sheet", and asked how I was doing. "Good," I told her. "The base of my neck across the shoulders feels really tight." She asked about the fullness in my arm/shoulder/breast, and, while she doesn't do the breast thing, she did do a little bit on the arm, armpit, and on the backside of the armpit/shoulder area. She said she could see where it was full, and she spent a little time on it.

That was after she worked on the right side of the neck. Holy Tight Muscles, Batman! Sheesh. She worked on that until it softened somewhat. Of course she does both sides, and as part of the process, I was lying face down.

With my arms alongside me, she tried to bend the left arm and bring it up to the small of my back. Now, you know I've had issues with a frozen shoulder, and also a torn supraspinatous ligament or tendon, and had treatment in January of 2007. My arm has not gone behind my back for almost 2 years. My arm went behind my back. Hey!!! Wow, she said. Does that hurt?? "No, not really," I replied. I was so surprised. She put it down alongside me, then picked it up and moved it again, watching the range of motion. My hand was resting in the small of my back. Wow! Yes, it felt more like a stretch in the shoulder joint than pulling, tugging or hurting. We talked about the healing, and think that maybe the "frozen shoulder" has "thawed". After all, I was told that a frozen shoulder is self-limiting; meaning that it will resolve itself in 1-3 years. The tear in the rotator cuff won't heal itself, though, and I'm not sure when or even if I am going to pursue having it repaired.

About 10 minutes more, and I was done. I paid her, confirmed appointments through October, and will schedule into November and December with a phone call. (Yes, she is that booked.) I went on my way back home.

Wow. A couple motrin and a tylenol, I drank water for a couple hours after, and flushed out. I showered, and my nipple sloughed off again. The whole breast has been achy, and the itchy-ness moves around, but mostly seems to be where the tumor and tissue were removed. I guess that makes sense, huh?

Dan came home about 5. We visited, I putzed around with laundry and other household tidbits. I made a grocery list; Dan was tired, so I went out by myself. I got what I needed, came home. Dan helped put things away, then went to bed.

I did food prep for the Gushen Family Reunion tomorrow at Imerman Park. It's a nice gathering of a great group of people I'm proud to say I'm related to.

I'm a little tired tonight, with a sore shoulder complex and achy breast. Not complaining, happy to be here. And feeling better.

Thank you for reading, for continuing to check in. Hugs.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday 8.1.2008 Relay For Life, Jackson, MI

Happy Birthday, Daniel!! 58!! Woo Hoo!!

I was up this morning, ready to put on makeup, when the phone rang. Uh-Oh. It was my turn to be on-call. I was surprised, but sometimes that's how it goes. So, I took my clothes off, put my pj's back on, climbed back into bed, and was just dozing off again when---

The phone rang. Man. "We need you to come in...." Ok. Now, I don't mind being on call, and I don't mind being called in. However, being called in right away like that is a bit annoying. Because now, I'm going to be late, and miss report, and maybe the worst part, the challenge of a parking place. I got ready and headed out.

And as I thought, I had to park in the back of the lot. No shuttle, and walked the 2 blocks to the hospital. We had a good day. Busy in an odd way.

Tonight is the start of the Relay For Life, a 24 hour fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. My friend Lisa from the hospital invited me out to Cascades Park to walk the Survivor's Lap, or the Victory Lap. I was honored, and told her I was scheduled to work, so I wouldn't be able to come out for that 6 pm event. She also told me she had gotten a luminaria in my honor. Whoa. That's awesome. I'm humbled. Lisa asked if I'd like to light it. Wow. I took a breath. Yes, I answered. I would.

So, I tried to be finished with the j.o.b., and just at 7:05, a doctor comes on the floor for a consult, and would like someone to go to the patient's room with him. Ok, that's me. And off we went.

He did his thing, we chatted business, he left, and so did I. I clocked out, went back to the change room, changing into one of the pink shirts I had received as a gift (with a pink ribbon on it), white shorts, pink ribbon socks, my "friends" necklace from one of the night shift girls, the pink ribbon stretch bracelet, the silver charm bracelet from the party, and carried it in the small pink backpack/shoulder bag . The good luck pink ribbon stone in my pocket and pink ribbon visor if I needed it. Dan picked me up at the front door.

We went out to the park, found a place to park, and wandered around. We found the Survivor's Tent, where I signed in, and was given a purple survivor's shirt, a booklet with names of the participants, survivors, and honorees (memoriams), another stretchy bracelet thing, and we were both offered a box lunch. Wow, that's nice. No thanks, we'll just be on our way...

We had missed the opening ceremonies and the survivors lap, and now the participants were just walking around the track building their lap totals. It was about 8 o'clock, and the luminaria lighting was scheduled for 9. We looked at all the team tents; there were 105 teams or so this year, making Jackson's Relay one of the largest in Michigan. And there were a lot of purple shirts. Neither Daniel nor I had been to an event, so this was new for both of us. I saw a lot of familiar faces, and chatted with a few people. Soon the announcer directed us to return to our team site for the luminaria lighting.

It was well into dusk, and 9 o'clock. If I remember, I think she (the announcer) read something, told us to light our luminaria, and maintain as much silence as possible for the solemnity of the ceremony. A bagpiper played. Daniel was next to me while we waited for a lighter. When it was passed to me, I stepped forward and lit mine. Very humbling. I'm glad it's "in honor of" and not "in memory of". Though we all know, cancer can happen to anyone, and it can be our demise. Lisa and I both lit the luminaria for our co-worker Evelyn, whose cancer snuck up on her and took her to the Lord while I was early in treatment. I knew she wasn't feeling well, then heard she was gone. Just like that. And we've had a couple other co-workers that have been treated and survived within the last few years. We lit their candles, too. When they were all lit, it was pretty dark out, and the hundreds of luminaria around the track were a very impressive site. The announcer said the walkers could resume walking, and it was life started up again. Lisa hugged me, and I thanked her for inviting me out, for the honor of a luminary, and being able to light it.


Lisa and Me, in front of their team's site, Cromley's Little Angels.

Dan and I left then, and we walked about half-way around the track to get to where we parked. Pretty awesome. Daniel was moved, as was I.

We got to the car and on our way. We were almost to the expressway to go home, when he remembered "Your car!!" We had to go over to the hospital to pick up my vehicle! We had both been so caught up, we forgot. Fortunately, we were only a few miles away, and went back over to the hospital. I showed him the parking situation. "Unbelievable," he said. (I think that's his new favorite word.) I got into my car, and we both headed home.

We got in, I had a bite to eat, and we went to bed. Dan has a golf thing tomorrow morning. I'm planning to rest, with a massage at 2 pm, and groceries sometime.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.