Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve 12.31.2009

I woke this morning about 8; Dan was already up. I wondered what the weather was. I hollered out to him to ask about going up north. If he didn't want to go, I was going back to sleep....

He thought the weather would hold, so I got up and we got on the road about 9:20. The highways had been salted and most of them plowed, so they were wet with a bit of stuff in the center. As the day went on, temperatures were 32/33 degrees, and it was the wet salty spray from the other vehicles that was most annoying.

We had a good drive up, thank you God, and found that even though there wasn't even a foot of snow on the ground there, our driveway was not accessible because of the snowplow piles at the end, and the drifts along the length of it. Evelyn and Bob have said in the past that if we're there in winter we may park in their driveway and walk over. And that's what we did. We got there about 12:40.

The new roof over the back porch looks awesome with the snow on it, and Dan said something approving. And a nice part of the roof is that we didn't have to shovel or move snow to open the back storm door.

All was well inside. No dead mice, or even evidence of live ones. Finally.

The radiant heater has the interior temp to 46 degrees or so, so it wasn't too bad in there. Dan got right to the furnace.

I am happy/sad to report that he couldn't get it to work either. He took things apart and put them back together. I went outdoors to walk around the perimeter. All looked good. There seemed to be a small area of open water out front of us, but it wasn't very big. I also saw one ice shanty out across the lake. I walked around the shed to see if there were prints from anything out there, and there were, from under the back side, by the rhubarb patch. Not rabbit tracks. A smaller clawed hand-type print, like maybe a skunk or raccoon. I've not smelled skunk, though.

I also started the van and let it run while I was looking at stuff. The garage looks good, too.

Back inside, he has decided that the thermocouple he replaced was bad, or it's something else, and he passed it over to me to "make the phone call". I appreciate that he took a day to drive up and look it over. We gathered our things and left about 2.

You know we had to go to Big Bob's and eat. Today was BBQ country ribs. Yummy. Huge pork ribs, real mashed potatoes, coleslaw. We were both hungry.

We had a good drive home, too, thanks again, and got back about 6:30.

I stretched and checked the computer; Dan had a snack and read.

Tomorrow is a workday for me, 3pm-11 pm. Dan is off, but has gone to bed.

Thank you for being a part of my 2009. May 2010 be good to us all.


Thursday 12.31.2009 End of Year Reflections


Beginning of Year--thought I'd be mostly recovered by now, ready to take on my previous life BC (before cancer)

--worried that my brain would not resolve, that I would be left with residual chemo brain.

--hot flashes that make me breathe to get through them. Will they ever end?

--hair; what to do with it now that it's back?

End of Year--physically, my energy has returned, mostly, though there are days that I could sleep (and have slept) for hours.

--I've been able to jog. Challenging for me to be physically active. I think I'm basically a slug, but I like being able to do moderately physical activities like water ski and cross country ski and roller skate and dance...

--but twirling--heck, even turning around a couple times in the kitchen--puts my brain off kilter. Feels like chemo fog. So not fun that I hesitate to even go to a dance. Waltz, maybe...?? Um, No. Thanks.

--thought processes/chemo brain. I noticed maybe near the end of summer that the fog had lifted somewhat, that I seemed to be thinking better. Every once in a while I still get foggy. I still lose words, train of thought, difficulty reading, difficulty comprehending. While reading or trying to follow a process, sometimes the brain just stops. I've learned to stop and change activities, to accept it and come back to it at another time. The frustration seems to delay the recovery time. Fatigue and stress aggravate it, as do multiple requests, like multi tasking more than 3 things (like at work. That can be a huge challenge.) And background noise is annoying.

--hot flashes. Yup. Still have them, not as frequently as 3 and 4 times an hour, and sometimes not as bad, but still there. My wardrobe has changed from turtlenecks under sweatshirts to wicking fabric camisole under comfortable short sleeved medium to light weight cotton knit shirts. Winter coat fastened up to neck/scarf/hat/gloves--used only when temps are 10 degrees or less and windy. When I go outdoors in below 32 degree weather I wonder if my head is steaming like the football players' when they take their helmets off...

--hair. It's back. It's a love/dislike relationship. Happy to have it, even though the cowlicks have moved from the left side of my head over to the right. I thought I might try letting the hair on my head get a little longer than to the tops of my ears. Ugh. Too hot, and styling didn't hold for the 14 hour work days. So it's still short. The rest of the body hair came back and looks familiar to me, except for the hair on my arms. Used to be a moderate amount; now, thin and not much of it.

--lymphedema. the left upper quadrant of my torso has been challenged to deal with the interruption of the lymphatic channel, with fluid that just doesn't know where to go. The physical therapist has very good technique that helps immensely, but I seem to have to "play the game" to get the treatment that I need. I also have an excellent massage therapist who is getting better with fluid movement with each appointment.

Cancer. Breast Cancer. CA. Breast Malignancy. Lymph Involvement. Breast Disease with Lymph Involvement.

Diagnosed November 2007. Surgeries #1=Lumpectomy and Lymph Node Dissection #2=Revision of Left Lumpectomy. Chemotherapy. Radiation ended June 5, 2008. Started Hormonal Therapy with Tamoxifen in August 2008 x 11 months, changed to Arimidex August 2009. Still having 6 month follow ups with oncologist.

Yes, I'm "out of treatment" and I look "normal". Life is different now. Just when I've forgotten about It, appointment time rolls around, or there's a sharp pain in a woundbed, or my arm is swollen. Or I notice that I don't have my wedding rings on. I haven't been able to wear them I don't remember.

Answering questionnaires and filling out forms for health stuff.

I may not have an active cancer now, but I will always have cancer brought to the surface. Sometimes that reality is quite sobering.

I have to thank and praise God for my wellness, for my amazing ability get through each day (with His help), and for the remarkable people who have surrounded me with their love, who continue to help me every day, whether they know it or not.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday 12.30.2009

Surprisingly, I slept pretty good. Dan says he was up frequently (oh? I heard him once...) He got up and went to work; I slept until 8:30.

I got up and started the day. Started laundry, breakfast, cleaned the guest bathroom, vacuumed, ran the dishwasher and emptied it when it was done, ended up doing 4 loads of laundry. Dan came home about 11 AM, sleeping until 2:30. His tummy is better, but not 100%.

Breon came over and Dan drove us to Kim and Bob's in Springport. She had a nice ham dinner. There are lots of kids there--6 total--and it was a lot of activity. We had a good time, anyway, and they all seemed to enjoy their gifts. We left about 7:30.

Breon went on home, Dan tried to stay up, but fell asleep in the chair, so he went on to bed. I'm having a lovely evening watching the snow fall.

Tomorrow we may take a drive to The Lake so that Dan can check the furnace. I haven't been able to get the pilot to stay on. He doesn't want to go if the weather is bad.

The axillary wound seems like it's filling--it's puffy appearing and feels kind of numb. It may be related to the bra that I had on today. Kind of tight around the bottom band. Maybe it will resolve some overnight.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday 12.29.2009

It seemed like I was awake most of the night, though when I slept it felt like a long time. I dozed, but didn't really sleep until after Dan left for work. Then I felt like I couldn't wake up.

I'd like to say I really did something today. Well, I did. I slept on and off, on the sofa. Dan called to say he was coming home a little early; I thought I'd better at least get dressed. Then, he was home. Hm. Must have fallen asleep again...

He wasn't home long before he decided to "go hit some golf balls" at the golf dome. I got up and got dressed.

When he got back he played with the virus on his computer. I don't know if he got it taken care of. We went to the clubhouse and got into the whirlpool tub.

I used the opportunity to do some of the water aerobics moves I've been doing in class.

Back at home, it wasn't long before Dan went to bed. I finally felt like eating, so I did. Then wrote here.

Tomorrow is housework, and going over to daughter Kim's for our Christmas with them, after Dan gets out of work.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday 12.28.2009

Dan had been up several times for a "biology call"--unsure of questionable food or some kind of virus. I was, therefore, interrupted in my interrupted sleep anyway. No matter. I got up and ready for work. He did, too.

There had been a little snow during the night, and the highway had been salted but not plowed. I was able to travel about 55-60 and arrived safely to the hospital, thank you God. The shuttle was waiting in the parking lot when I arrived.

We had a good day, busy, but with a good group it went well. And it finally got time to go home. The shuttle was outside the hospital when I went out (smile) and I rode over to my car.

A safe drive home, thanks again, although the wind was gusty. The roads were mostly dry in the right lane.

Dan was home when I got there. He happily announced that he was much better, and that others at his location had experienced the same "callings". They surmised it must have been food related, and people in the appropriate positions have been notified.

His daughter Kris has left our place, on to her next destination in Canada before returning home to Colorado.

We spent a quiet evening before turning in.

Dan works tomorrow; I'm off and looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday 12.27.2009

Dan got up and went to work; I went back to sleep, waking about 9:30. I listened to the radio a bit before getting up and having breakfast.

Just as I was going to get in the shower, Kris had gotten up and was in the other bathroom/shower. I chose to wait.

I put some Christmas things away and straightened up a little, then enjoyed my shower a little later.

She and I visited before she left to visit a friend.

Dan got home from work and we watched the Lions lose yet again. Geesh.

He's gone to bed, she's not back yet, and I'm going to bed soon, too.

Tomorrow Dan and I both work and Kris leaves to go on her way. It's been nice to have her here.

I'm feeling much better sinus-wise today, only taking the claritin. The arm feels like it's filling again, kind of itchy and prickly on the inside. Strange.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday 12.26.2009

Dan got up and went to work; I got up a little later and took more antihistamine and went back to bed. I got up around 9, feeling punky. I decided to be good to myself, just have a quiet morning.

A warm shower helped some, and breakfast. I sat and looked at the computer a bit before cutting veggies and fruits. I received a phone call saying KS' mom was again in the hospital, that Tom and she would not be coming down today for our family gathering. Bummer. Many prayers for Mary and those who love her.

Kris got up and ready for her day. Frank got here about noon. We all visited before Kris went on to her event, and Frank and I loaded up and went up to the clubhouse.

Since we weren't moving furniture like we did before it didn't take very long to unpack the boxes and put the fruit and vegetable trays together. We were ready.

Jim, Polly, Bruce, Dave, Catherine, Michael, Frank, and myself. Dan joined us after work. We had a nice afternoon talking, playing pool and shuffleboard, sharing a nice meal. Thank you to all for your contributions. A nice surprise was when I went into the office to pay for the rental--no charge for small groups. Yippee!!

The party broke up about 5, I think. It was dark by the time we got everything picked up and loaded into the car, so it might have been six.

Frank came back to the house, and Dan, Frank and I had our gift exchange. (can you believe we almost forgot about presents?) That was fun--we each got some kind of lighting device. Dan got a sunlight device, Frank's was a set of lighted tools, and I received a "rainproof" walking light. It has a forward light to see ahead, a down light to see where you're stepping, and a red flashing light on the back, with a combination of settings of the three.

As Frank left, Kris came in, and Dan went to bed. She is in her room, and I'm writing here. I am happy to say I'm feeling better this evening.

Tomorrow is no plans. I hope to rest and continue to feel better. Maybe I'll go up to the clubhouse and sit in the whirlpool...

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday 12.25.2009 Christmas

It seemed I woke at frequent intervals. I woke again before the alarm was due to come on, so I just got up. After looking at the clock, I didn't think I had even turned the alarm on. I was surprised to hear it a few minutes later.

I got up and ready for work. The temp was 34 degrees and wet. The drive down varied from the misty precipitation to a light rain.

The units were busy, and the 8 hour shift was welcome. I was sure ready to leave when the next shift came in.

A safe drive home, thank you God. Dan was home, having enjoyed his day. He told me the girls were coming over after a short time.

I changed clothes and had a brief rest before making a new recipe for tomorrow--Cream Cheese Rhubarb Pie, which looks more like a cheesecake in a pie crust.

It went together easily and was in the oven when Bre and Nick arrived. We enjoyed the company and exchanged gifts, as Kris indicated that it would be a while before she arrived.

Kris did arrive. She looks good. We had a nice visit before Nick and Bre left. Dan drifted off to bed, I wrote here, Kris is watching something on tv.

My arm is somewhat better again this evening, though is still a little swollen. Tomorrow I will get the veggies ready for the party. I'm looking forward to seeing my family.

Thank you for reading, and remember: Jesus is the reason for the season. Hugs.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday 12.24.2009 Christmas Eve

I slept last night!! And did that feel good. When I asked Dan if I had been snoring, he smiled, then said yes, you know, just softly snoring. Ooohhh, yeahhh. That was a good sleep.

We had a nice morning. I breakfasted, showered. My arm is still swollen, with a tender area where the lumps are.

I had to go out for last minute things. I made the list of stops and items at each. I took my "device" to listen to while standing in line. The pharmacy was busy, but no line. Gordon's Foods was out of a couple things I wanted, but I got the other items. Again, the store was busy, but I didn't have to wait in line there, either. On to Meijer.

Busy. Oh My Gosh. Most people were hurrying and pleasant, some were frazzled, kids were anxious. I was able to find what GFS didn't have, as well as the other things on my list. Then, I. waited. in. line. Another OMG. I listened to my story until my phone rang. It was Jeremy.

He had asked for, and I had sent him, the recipes for Molasses Cookies and Holiday Salad. He was making the cookies when he called, waiting to take the first batch out of the oven. He said they smelled right, looked right, and when the first ones cooled off, they tasted right, too. WooHoo!! He's also going to put the salad together for a party tomorrow. I'm glad he's got good friends around him.

After putting things away, I sat down and rested my feet. Ahh. Then I realized I was hungry, so I got up to fix us something to eat.

With dinner prepared, consumed, and cleaned up, I figured since it was Christmas Eve, I should probably put the stockings up. I did that, filled them, wrapped gifts and put them under the tree. It now looks like Christmas.

Dan has been reading most of the evening. We (I) have been watching the flight status of Dan's daughter Kris' flight in from Denver via Minneapolis/St. Paul. It shows that they'll be at least an hour and a half late arriving. We pray for safe travel, for all who are traveling.

I've had sinus pressure today, like it's trying to develop into something. I've had a claritin and a sudafed, and still dripping from one side. Yuck.

I have to work in the morning, just 8 hours. I hope the prediction of ice glaze is incorrect. Time will tell.

Merry Christmas to you, my friends. Hugs.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday 12.23.2009

Another workday with a safe drive there and back, thank you God. We had a great group and were very busy with both elective surgeries and births. Geesh.

About halfway through my day the alien on my arm (swollen lump) started itching again, though not as badly as the other day. I had taken the sleeve with me so I put it on, along with the gauntlet. The challenge is keeping it clean when doing patient care. I wore it for maybe 5 hours and chose to take it off to finish the shift. Definite lines on my arm/wrist from the seams that are still somewhat visible at 10:30 pm. Yuck.

Daniel was home when I got home. He was about falling asleep in his chair, but he managed to stay awake for an hour or so before going to bed.

Tomorrow I'm going out for groceries (produce) for the next couple of days. Dan's daughter Kris is coming in from Colorado, arriving late tomorrow night, and may be staying with us again. We'll see. I've also got wrapping to do...

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday 12.22.2009

I woke early, maybe 6:30 ish, hoping that Ike would call me when she got in to the therapy place. I dozed/slept off and on and was surprised when I woke a little before 8 that Dan was not in bed. I heard him snoring out in "his" chair. Hmm. I dozed back off and woke again about 9:20. I guess Ike isn't going to call. I'm not real sure what to think about that. When I got up, Dan heard me up and came in, saying he'd been awake since 0500. Right. And you snore while you're awake??

Anyway, my arm is not any worse this morning. Definitely tender/sore where it was so swollen yesterday. And the lumps are still there near the crease of the elbow. And the joints in my hand feel tight. *sigh*

We got ready for the day, and Dan helped my put on the compression sleeve. I put the gauntlet on, too, which is a partial fingerless glove. Not the most comfortable thing, but neither is the swollen arm.

We enjoyed our morning, then went out Christmas shopping. It really turned out to be an enjoyable afternoon. And I don't much like to shop. We were able to obtain most everything on our list, within budget, and make solid decisions on them all. Way cool!

After several stores and a break for a nice meal we got back home just before dark. We looked on the internet for a couple things we didn't find, learning where we needed to go to pick them up. Almost done except for the wrapping.

The rest of the evening we didn't do much. Dan had the tv on while I was on the computer.

I work tomorrow; he gets to enjoy being home. Maybe he'll wrap some gifts...

This evening, after taking the sleeve off, my arm still has the firm fullness at the elbow with a few lumps, the tenderness is just a bit less, and my fingers feel tight. Ah, the hazards of having the lymph nodes removed. Life!! The benefits of having cancer removed! I am thankful, and praise God for the gifts He gives me.

And for the gift of you.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday 12.21.2009

I got up when the radio came on and got ready to go to work. Dan, too, a half hour later.

I had a safe drive down, thank you God, and the shuttle came in to pick us up.

We had a good day, with a great group of co-workers, even though the census was increasing and staffing was challenging with a couple of night people calling in sick.

I had my own scare today. My left arm started itching at the inside fold of the elbow. Annoyingly so. I looked down at it and it was warm, reddened and swollen. Huh?? Over the period of maybe a couple hours it was swollen like a softball was under the skin pushing up. I could feel the lumps in the tissue. Lymph?? I don't know, but I was scared. I rubbed it and rubbed it, then called the therapy place. Ike was not in. I left a message for her to please call me first thing in the morning. I would have put on the compression sleeve if it were with me.

After a couple of hours the "attack" seemed to be easing--the hot redness was turning to pink, the swelling had stopped increasing, and the aching/itching was not as annoying.

We finally finished the day. There was a group of staff that had planned a get together to exchange a small gift; I and another girl went over and joined them, mainly to give my gift. I stayed about a half hour, making sure to hug everyone. That was good.

I got home without difficulty, thank You again. Daniel was able to leave work early today, beginning a four day stretch off. I hope he rested today.

I told him about my arm and showed him; the redness is just a faint pink now, but the swollen area is firm, sore, and maybe 3-4 inches in diameter, just below the crook of the elbow. Not on the bottom where you might rest your arms on the table, but on the top of the lower arm. I don't know what to think. My hand seems to be feeling "tighter", too. The shoulder is achy, too.

I don't know what I want from Ike--reassurance, maybe??

Dan has gone to bed, and I have dozed off while writing. So, I'm going to get myself to bed.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday 12.20.2009

I slept pretty good, finally. I woke about 0930. When I was dressed and ready for the day, Frank was up, too. I had heard Dan's alarm go off and knew that he had gotten up, but that's about it.

We had breakfast and visited, and went out for a drive, heading southeast, as Frank works in Chelsea. As we drove we looked for For Sale signs, finding what seemed to be pockets--areas where there were several properties with signs out front. We stopped at several and Frank wrote down the information to look up later. We got as far as Stockbridge. We drove around the village and found several there, sometimes pulling into the driveway to gather the information.

We found one that when he got out to read the listing page that was posted on the front window, he came back to get me. "Mom," he said, "there's a flowing creek in the back. Want to go look??" Of course I did.

We walked around the place, which might be livable but needs a lot of attention, and he was excited. Lots of possibilities. His fire having been lit, every for sale sign sparked his imagination and we dreamed about the potentials and some of the realities.

Back home we started looking them up for pricing after I put together something for us to eat. The one with the creek was only 29,900. It may not meet the criteria he has for his loan. One other we saw, and was the number two on his favorites list, was also in his price range, but had a michigan basement. That doesn't work with his asthma. He crossed that one off.

Dan had gotten home from work shortly after we had. The three of us were talking about the "what-ifs" when Frank's phone rang. Oddly enough, it was a realtor that he had spoken to many weeks ago, checking in with him. She had a list of properties to review with him, and they are going to get together Tuesday morning. How fun!

After a while, Dan went to bed (he almost made it to 7 o'clock), Frank left, and I went out for gasoline and groceries.

Tomorrow is a work day for both of us.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday 12.19.2009 Fa la la la la...

Dan had been up about 20 minutes before I heard him. I like it when I'm able to sleep. I dozed back off and didn't hear him leave.

I woke just before 8, and then it was 9:30. Must get up...

I got ready and went to Jackson to get my hair cut. There was a couple inches of snow on the ground, but the highway was mostly wet with a little slush. After my beauty-ating I went over to Frank's house. John was there (remember the motorcycle accident 2 years ago??) and he looked good. He had to have another surgery a couple weeks ago because of infection and a "collection of fluid" over the break on his shin. The area looks real good to me, with just a faint hint of pink. He says he will probably have another surgery in January. He's got a long road, and I'm impressed with how well he's doing.

Frank and I went to Bob Evans to have a bite to eat and a good visit. He was real talkative and I enjoyed our time together. He's going to ride with us to the Sanders' Christmas Sing this evening in Flint.

At home, I was going to rest for a few minutes before taking a shower, but Dan had called saying he got out early and was on his way home. I was still reading some of my email when he came in. I was surprised that that much time had passed. I missed my opportunity for a nap, but I did have a nice shower.

Frank arrived about 4:45. We left for Flint about 5:30.

Yuck. The weather was hovering about 32 degrees, light precipitation--a misty snow that wasn't a sleet or ice rain--funny small light snowflakes with a mist almost like tire spray. The whole thing was almost glazing the road surface. I love the new tires on the car. I was able to go about 50 mph; some vehicles still passed us. One vehicle was real squirrelly--I slowed way down and let it get ahead of me. I thought sure we were going to watch it spin out in front of us. Both Dan and Frank were encouraging me to hurry up and pass it, but I was afraid it was going to slide into me as I was passing. We came into a straight section of the road and I passed it. In my mirror I could see others passing it too, and that it was still having a hard time maintaining traction/control. Angels to that driver.

We were approaching Flint in the left lane when we saw a line of taillights up ahead, and the flashing lights of law enforcement. We were also rapidly approaching an exit. I put the turn signal on, slowed down for the one car behind me on the right to pass, and scooted over and exited. It was a good move. When we crossed the highway a few miles up, they were still stopped up.

It was good to see my family members. This is my Dad's side of the family; we share the loss of my cousin who died recently of brain cancer. I was happy to hug everyone. I think it was hugely important for all of us to be there within that circle of unity, to renew, to "circle the wagons" and gain strength from each other.

We sang carols for a couple of hours and had refreshments, finally leaving about 10:30. Daniel was extremely tired and fell asleep as soon as he saw the roads were somewhat better. Frank talked all the way home.

Dan went right to bed, while Frank and I got on the computers. I wrote here; he has gone to bed, too.

Dan works tomorrow, and Frank and I would like take a drive and start looking at different areas where he might like to buy a house.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday 12.18.2009

I felt pretty good, overall, when the alarm came on. I got up and got ready for work. Dan was up a half hour later.

The whole time I was getting ready--dressing, grooming, etc.--I was ok temperature wise. I got chilled just as I was finishing. I fixed breakfast, freezing. I put my coat on (yes, I did) while I ate. Dan and I were chatting, and oooohhhhhh boyyyyy, it's a big one. I got soooo warm. We were ready to go, and I left my coat open Ugh.

I had cooled off after getting into the cold car, and it wasn't long before I was warm again. Then hot. I love that I can move the center/dashboard area vents to blow directionally. Hot, then warm my legs, then when I feel "it" starting to happen, I change the temperature to cool, open a window a few inches, and let it blow. Aaahhhhh. Sometimes it's brief, other times it's many minutes.

I arrived safely, thank you God, and the shuttle came in shortly after.

We were busy again today, and the students we had were extremely helpful. They will be good nurses.

It was finally time to go home. The shuttle was out front and took me over to my car. I had a safe drive back, thanks again. Dan was up doing computer stuff. We visited a bit before he went to bed, and I think I've dozed a couple of times while I've been writing this.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday 12.17.2009

The radio came on to let me know it was time to get up for work. Even though I didn't sleep much, I felt pretty good this morning. Dan was up a little while later.
We breakfasted and went on our separate ways.

An uneventful drive, thank you God, and the shuttle came by to scoop us up. There were four of us women riding over--three of us have had breast cancer. And, I heard, another one of the women who works on our unit is about halfway through her radiation treatments. I didn't know she had even been diagnosed...


I was orienting one of the new girls today. Nice girl; smart, too. I think she'll fit in and be a good addition to our staff. Unfortunately, though, we were very busy today. I felt that I was unable to teach her as much as I wanted to, but she said tonight before leaving that she learned a lot and looks forward to coming back tomorrow. Good for her, making it work.

I had an uneventful drive home, thank You again, and Dan was waiting for me. We visited some, and since I didn't get home until 8:30 ish, he went to bed about an hour later.

I'm tired, too. My feet are sore, heck most of my joints are sore. I'm off to bed soon, too.

Tomorrow is a workday for both of us.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday 12.16.2009 Auto Repair

I got up this morning about 8:30--the sun was shining in a clear blue sky. Beautiful. Must be cold out. Yup, 16 degrees. I showered and got ready for the day.

After breakfast I took the G6 over to Team One GM dealer, where we got it. I talked to the nice man, Gerald, who wrote up my work order. Diagnose and repair humming noise from front end, remove front license plate frame, detail car. No problem, he said, we'll get this done this afternoon. Do you need a ride anywhere?? Yes, thank you, I said. I'd be happy to test drive a vehicle for the afternoon... He laughed and directed me to the customer lounge to wait for Bob, who will take me.

Bob was a nice guy, over 62 years old (as he mentioned when he was telling his stories), and we had a very pleasant drive. He asked if it would be ok to pick up a woman first and take her back to the shop. Sure--I was enjoying someone else driving, and did I mention it was a beautiful blue sky day??

I had never been in that area of Charlotte. We went about 5 miles out to a salon in someone's home and picked up the woman, who had obviously just had her hair done. We took her back to the dealership and continued on our way to Holt.

He was very talkative. I heard about his dogs and kids and his days as football and soccer coach and how he had started the programs in Charlotte. He pulled up in front of the building, and I thanked him and we bid each other good day.

The remainder of the afternoon I picked at cleaning, decorating, putting things away. I had lunch, a brief nap, and then the sun was setting. Daniel called to say he was on his way and had I heard about the car, and the other line was ringing and it was the dealership. The car would be ready for us to pick up after 6 pm. Ok, thanks.

Dan went on to get his eye exam. When he got back we went over to pick up the car. Beaaaauutifuullll!!! The glass could have been polished a little better, but it still looks great. Oh, and the noise?? A wheel hub had gone bad. Wheel hubs used to be called wheel bearings. The best part was that it was done as warranty work. WooHoo!!

Dan was kind of antsy this evening. He walked around the house kind of restless before showering and going to bed.

I did some reading and wrote here.

Tomorrow is a workday for both of us.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday 12.15.2009

I woke up for the day about 8:30 after a typical night of interrupted sleep. I got ready for the day and had breakfast.

First appointment was a lymphedema treatment with Ike. She looked at my arms and torso very carefully; I think she was trying to say I didn't need a treatment without coming right out and saying so. As she was feeling my upper arm, I pointed out the lumps under the skin (lymph nodes?) and how they itch then ache and then other symptoms make themselves known elsewhere. I think she was skeptical about my descriptors, but she treated me anyway, focusing on my arm and back. When done, she took measurements again. She had taken measurements last week, and I wondered why she was doing them again. She surprised herself--the upper arm reduced by another 2 centimeters! I wanted to say Aha!! See, I do need treatments...

But I didn't. She commented that she was surprised that she didn't see that kind of fullness just by looking at me. I'm thankful that she is good at what she does.

I left there without another appointment. I'll have to call the oncologist again when I'm ready for another set of treatments. Maybe February??

I went home long enough to get supper in the crockpot and headed to Jackson for the meeting. I felt it was productive, but some things got chewed on way too long. That's how meetings go...

Back home, Dan was home. He has spoken to the guy at the Dealership where we got the Pontiac, and I called to arrange for them to have the car tomorrow to check out the hum that sounds like high profile tires. But it's not tire noise. I'll take it over tomorrow for them to diagnose and repair.

I had supper, chatted with Daniel, then went over to the pool for the aqua aerobics. It still amazes me how much differently exercise is in the water.

Dan was still up when I got home; in fact, he didn't go to bed until 10 o'clock. I'll be on my way soon.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday 12.14.2009

I woke up when Dan got up for work this morning, but went back to sleep until 0830 when my radio came on again. Ugh. I wasn't quite done sleeping, but I have a massage this morning. I showered and breakfasted, and gathered the flannel sheets that I'm giving to her. We had a few sets taking up room in the closet, and no one here likes them. So, Leah said she'd take them.

She did a mighty fine job today. In fact, I think that after today's massage, I am feeling the best I have since BC--Before Cancer. Really. I'm sure it's not just the massage, but probably every thing is "just right" right now. (other than the increased body weight) I am so fortunate to be alive, and I thank and praise God for it.

I came home and did a little light housekeeping before getting in the shower. Ahhh. I had lunch then went out to get groceries.

Poor timing, there. Lots of people in the store after picking up children from school, and after work. Grumpy, short tempered. And of course not enough lanes open. Ugh. I finished up and got out of there.

Back home I put that stuff away. Dan called saying he would be late home. Ok. I finally sat down at the computer and caught up with stuff. He came in a while later. We spent the rest of the evening catching up with each other.

He works tomorrow; I see Ike then have a meeting in Jackson.

Thank you for reading. Holiday Hugs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday 12.13.2009

Throughout the night I heard the sounds of ice rain hitting the windows. The radio came on--I got up to look out. Maybe it's too icy for me to travel. We had approximately 1/4 inch ice drips on our balcony railing, and the street was gray and glossy. There were recent tire tracks, though, so maybe it wasn't as slippery as it could be. I called work anyway, to check the staffing situation.

Someone would be on call, but another person wanted it. Ok, I'll come in.

I took my time and arrived without difficulty. The roads were kind of slick, and the new tires definitely helped with the traction.

We had a good group of staff again, and the students were back, too. We had a nice morning. The discharges started leaving before noon, and by 12 o'clock pm I was done. I did a few more odds and ends and clocked out.

I had forgotten my phone this morning at home, so I called Dan before I left the hospital to tell him I was on my way. (it's nice to have someone worry about you)

I had a better drive home; this time I could see the tire tracks of at least 3 vehicles that had gone into the median. Angels, keep them safe....

Daniel was up, reading. We went to the clubhouse and got into the hot tub. Unfortunately something is malfunctioning with it. There is a large amount of sand in the bottom and the pumps aren't pushing the water around very much. Dan talked to the manager while I was showering, who said that it will be on Monday's list.

We came home, both of us tired. I toughed it out, Daniel napped on the bed.

He was hungry before I, so he ate while I rested. I had a grilled cheese sandwich, myself a little while later.

The rest of the evening I was really tired. I hope to sleep tonight. Tomorrow is a workday for Dan, and he's gone to bed. I have a massage and maybe a couple other errands to chase.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday 12.12.2009

Boy, am I tired tonight. I thought I slept pretty good, getting up at 0420 and going to work.

We had a good day with a good group. After work I changed into the clothes I had taken to go to a party given by one of my physician friends. Daniel was going to pick me up at the front door.

I was able to change and be ready to clock out and leave at 7. I went down to the lobby--no new white car. Hm. He's usually punctual. I called him.

I woke him up. He was extremely apologetic, saying he had laid down at 4:30 for a rest. I went to the party anyway.

It was wonderful. The house had been seasonally decorated on the outside by a company, and all the lights were beautiful. She had about 70 guests in her house. Amazing. The food was wonderful. We ate and visited, and those of us who had to work tomorrow left.

I had a safe drive home, thank you God, and Dan was up when I arrived. He's bothered that he slept through. We talked a bit while I picked through the email. He's gone to bed and I'm on my way.

It's precipitating now, sounding like frozen rain. Great. If it's yucky in the morning I'll not be driving south.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday 12.11.2009

Dan left for work this morning; I went back to sleep. I got up a little after 8 and got ready for the day.

I had an appointment with Ike this morning. After a short wait, she came to "the door" to get me.

Ike did a good job, as usual, and at the end of the visit she took measurements again. The circumference at each of the points she measures was less than when she measured at the first of these sessions. Some points were not much less, and others were significantly less. I didn't write down the numbers but I did see them on her paper. I see her again next week for the last treatment of this session.

On the way home I had to stop at Meijer for a couple of things I forgot yesterday. And I stopped at the storage unit to take some stuff back and pick up the rest of the Christmas stuff. I put up and decorated our small Christmas tree.

I had a snack, and Daniel called to say he was on his way home. He said he had a horrible drive this morning with vehicles going off the road not too far ahead of him. Thank you God for keeping Daniel safe both there and back today.

We went out to Los Tres Amigos for our supper, yummy, as always.

The rest of the evening we visited, catching up with each other.

Tomorrow is a workday for me with a holiday party after. It will be a long day.

My arm and shoulder feel better tonight. Smelly urine and a little nauseated, too. Better out than in, huh?

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday 12.10.2009

It seemed that I was awake a lot during the night, and I was awake when Daniel got up. It was sometime after 5 when my phone rang--"can you help...?" Sorry, I have appointments today. I went back to sleep after Dan left for work.

I woke again 8:30 or so. I got up and ready for the day, checking my list and gathering what I needed. First stop, Discount Tire.

Dan had made an appointment on the internet to have the tires rotated. I get there in plenty of time, wait in line, and the nice guy Dan and I go out in the zero windchill to look at the tires. Surprisingly, the tread is just about gone. I need 4 new tires. (large audible exhale here) He pulled up the choices of tires for the size, and of the several listed, there were only 2 models with 4 or more in stock. He was patient with me as I read the descriptors and asked questions, and made a selection. And I asked him if he could do better on the price. ($143 each, plus, plus... total about $780 something) Um, can't do that. What are the other options?? He looked at me, changed some numbers and got it down to $670 something. Better. I asked him could he make it 650? He did something else, bringing the total to $663. Ok, thanks. I made myself comfortable in the waiting area.

Surprisingly, they were quite busy this morning. Even with it being so cold. The car thermometer showed 13 degrees when I went in, and windy. I hunkered down in the chair with my coat on and scarf half over my head (it was very chilly in there with the door opened so frequently), closed my eyes and listened to my story. For a long time. After an hour or so, I got up to see what was happening. Not much. The car was in and the tires off. Progress. Back to the chair.

After another forever I got up. I was getting restless. I didn't see any activity around my car, but the wheels were still off. The nice guy Dan came up to me, saying there has been a slight problem. (not liking where this is going...) It seems that the type of rims on this car doesn't have the lip or edge for the weights to attach to, so there is an adhesive that is used. But with it being so cold, the weights aren't sticking. So they use a heat gun to bring it to temperature. Seems the heat gun stopped working. ("broke" was his word) And someone went out to purchase another. So that was the delay. They were balancing the tires now, so it's almost done. I thanked him and continued to watch the process. Another guy came up to me and apologized, too, for the delay. As we were talking, the car was finished and was brought out for me. Finally. It was 1:15.

Next stop, Meijer. I picked up what I wanted and had to stand in line again. I really dislike that there are not many cashiers any more. And the self check lines often need the person to "do" something to continue checking out, so they get backed up, too. Anyway, it was after 2 when I got back in the car. I ate part of a sandwich I had bought before going to Rite Aid.

In Rite Aid, I asked the nice lady where the items were that I was looking for, and she helped find them for me. Better than me wandering around forever. Back to pick up prescriptions, pay for the stuff, and on to the library to return material.

I finally got home about 3:30. Whew. Dan called saying he was on his way home.

When he got here, he had a snack and went out to a First Aid class for his job. I went to aqua aerobics. I was surprised to see his car when I got back at 8:45. He was in bed, of course.

He said he was able to do what was asked of him and write the test. And pass. Cool--that was scheduled to be a four hour course.

The rest of the evening I caught up on some email and wrote here.

The water aerobics was good. It surprises me how different it is to exercise in water. I got my heart rate up and was still a little warm after I got home.

Tomorrow I see Ike.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday 12.09.2009

I slept fair, waking when Daniel got up for work. We chatted a little as he dressed, and I must have dozed off, because I didn't hear him leave. It was almost 9:30 when I woke for the day.

I got up and showered, put a load of laundry in, had breakfast. The weather was interesting: blowing and gusting, snowy, 30-34 degrees. The roads were white when Dan had gotten up, but now were melting, slushy, and mostly just wet. I went out to pick up my glasses.

The traveled roads were wet and some overpasses were questionably frozen. Most traffic was cautious. I arrived and walked in the blustery wind to the building.

Bob was great, as usual, fitting my glasses. He checks how the lenses are ground, like where the transitions are for the bifocals, on a machine, then checks them while on my face to see if the markings match with my pupils. They kind of did. He did the fine tuning of the nose pieces and bows and such, and to my pleasant surprise, looking through the lenses were like sliding your feet into familiar slippers. Ahhh. The "personal fit" is why I don't get eyewear from

Back home, the wind was changing directions and I noticed the railing on the balcony was icing up. Uh oh. I was glad when Dan called and said he was on his way home. And that he arrived about an hour later, safely, thank you God.

I fixed dinner after a bit and we ate. Dan showered after dinner, and you know that it wasn't too much longer than he was sleeping in the chair. When he snorted himself awake, I encouraged him to go on to bed and sleep comfortably. He did.

The rest of the evening I've tried to organize a couple of photo files and read a little. It's still snowing and white outside.

Tomorrow Dan works and I've got errands again. Maybe the storm will have passed....

An odd thing that I've finally correlated--after I have the pain in the woundbeds the shoulder aches. Maybe the lymph fluid?? I see Ike Friday.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday 12.08.2009

So I got up this morning after a short night of interrupted sleep and went to work.  Dan, too.  The shuttle pulled into the parking lot as I was looking around the car to make sure I had what I wanted. I did.

We were very busy today--I was on the overflow unit; all but one of the patients were new.  My two co-workers and I made it through.  With the most awesome group of students helping us!  I was surprised that while I was hot all morning, most of the others were saying how cold it was on "our side".   Hmm.

The snow had started by the time we left.  The pavement was wet but not slippery, and the overpasses looked questionable.  I didn't test it out to see.

I was surprised that Dan was in bed when I got in.  I put my things away and changed clothes, and he slept right through it.  He got up about 9 and stayed up until 10:30 or so.   The snow has started accumulating, and I saw a person "fishtail" around the corner here in the complex.  Dan is concerned about his drive in the morning.  Time will tell....

Tomorrow I pick up my new glasses.  I hope they work better than this current pair. 

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday 12.07.2009

My radio came on this morning.  I reached over, turned it off, and got out of bed without grumbling.  As I stood at the bedside--ow, my feet still hurt.  And--ick, I'm a little nauseated.  I didn't sleep real well in the 4 and 1/2 hours I was in bed.  Maybe I can take "on call" if someone is going to be off....  I called the floor.

Kim answered and was in charge.  Yep, someone's going to be on call, but will probably have to come in sometime during the day.  I told her I'd like to "take" the on call, and with that settled, I took myself to the bathroom then snuggled back into bed.  Dan got up a short while later and got off to work. 

I had heard Breon up and leave for her early shift at Starbucks, then Dan left, and I went back to sleep.  I woke a couple of brief times after that, finally waking just before 9.  I got up.  My feet felt just a little better, my tummy much better.  I took a shower, wondering if Nick was up and what time Frank had left.

I heard noises out in the house, and when I went out into the living room, Frank was sitting there.  He stayed the night after all.  He said Nick had left a while ago.  So it was just Frank and myself. 

I made breakfast for us--'cakes and eggs--and we had a nice morning together.  He left about noon to get done what he needed to before going to his place of employment. 

I cleaned the kitchen again, started the dishwasher, put the hand washed dishes away.  Sorted and repackaged and put away more of the items that I had gotten out for the party.  It's almost all filtered down now. 

After a nice phone call, I called the hospital to see if I was going to be needed.  No, it doesn't look like it right now.  Wow.  That really surprised me. 

I got some things together and went out--stopping at FedEx to return the karaoke stuff, which was real simple, then I went into Meijer for a few groceries.  The last stop before going home was the library, where I returned materials. 

Back home, I realized that I needed to eat.  And since it was 3:30-ish, I called Dan to find out if he was on his way.  I left a message.

So I had a snack, unloaded the dishwasher, put some more things away.  Dan called, saying he was on his way to his "golf lesson" and would be home after and that dinner would be good.  So, he called again after a while saying he was on the way home.  I had started dinner, and it worked out that I was just finishing putting it together when he came in.

We ate and visited, he went in to shower, and it wasn't much longer before he was in bed.  I've caught up on all but a couple of my emails, and wrote here.

Tomorrow is a workday for both of us.

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday 12.06.2009 Party Day

Dan and I had a quiet morning--he got up before I did while I dozed a little longer.  And since I had done most of the party preparations yesterday, I didn't feel rushed.

I had breakfast, then showered, and had time to look at the computer.  Frank arrived about 12:30.  By this time I had started organizing what needed to go up to the clubhouse and getting it in boxes.  Frank and I carried things downstairs, loaded into our cars, and went over.  And carried them into the clubhouse.

We moved all the furniture around and got set up.  Dan came a while later.  Just before 5 Jim and Polly arrived, then Paula and her daughter Ericka, then Tom and Kathy. And not too many people showed up until closer to 6.  Then everybody did.  We had maybe 30 or so, and I think we had a good time.  Lots of good food and fun.  Frank "ran" the karaoke menu/machine.  We sang a lot.  I think the one people sang the loudest was "I want a hippopotomus for Christmas" from Annie.  Lots of fun. 

The party started breaking up about 8 o'clock or so, and several of us got the area picked up, cleaned up, furniture put back in place, loaded up, and back to the house and carried upstairs.  Bre and Nick are staying the night while their bathroom is being remodeled, Frank stayed a while, too.  I unpacked the boxes, washed the dishes, put food away.  The bottoms of my feet are really sore--I forget that the clubhouse is tile floor, cold and hard. 

We all visited.  Dan went to bed, Bre has gone to bed, Nick is working on the computer, Frank is still here, and I'm going to bed, too.  I hope to get the party photos posted with a link within the next few days.

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday 12.05.2009

I was awake a lot when I wasn't sleeping.  (oh, yeah?)  What I mean is that my mind was going a hundred miles an hour, thinking about this party. During the night I thought of several different things that needed to be done and how to do them, so, in essence, I'm ready.

I got up about 8:30.  I had breakfast and a shower, and Daniel vacuumed while I washed the kitchen floor.  I got the ingredients out for cookies, finding that I was lacking one; we were going to the store anyway, so we shopped first. 

Daniel went with me to Meijer and then to Gordons.  Since I had made my lists it was just a matter of going in and collecting the items.  I think we were back home in less than an hour and a half.  

The rest of the day I did food prep and utensil collecting and running around like a crazy woman.  But by 8 pm all is done.  Other than decorating the house.  Maybe tomorrow.

Dan's in bed, I'm enjoying the evening with some soft mellow music playing. 

I'm excited about this party tomorrow.  Hope to see you.

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday 12.04.2009

So excited--I got to sleep in this morning!!  Seems like a little thing, but I needed that extra rest.  No, 0800 is NOT sleeping in.  I woke today at 0900.  Just as I was wondering about the weather, if I would be able to go out and jog, the phone rang.  Kathy, we'll need you to come in at 12:30, we've opened West.... (our overflow unit).  Ok, no problem.  I was happy to sleep in.

I got up and ready.  Breakfasted, shuffled some lists for the party, looking at what I had yet to do, took with me what I might be able to do at work if I had a little "down time".  Before long it was time to leave.

It was just a little snow-flurry-ing outdoors.  30 degrees, windy, dry pavement.  I had a safe drive down, thank you God.  I found a parking spot, and just as I had gotten bundled up to walk over to the hospital, the shuttle arrived.  Woo Hoo!!  Another good thing today. 

In the hospital, we only had 1 couplet on the floor, but the rest of the afternoon I got 3 surgicals back, which entail being in their rooms every 15 minutes for the first hour, then hourly for another couple hours, then getting them out of bed the 4th hour.  I was busy, especially when all 3 of them were still on "frequent vital signs".  I had gotten the first one out of bed before I left, with the second one to be done not too long into the next shift.  I don't mind all the surgicals, and it was even better that I was rested and not working the entire 12 hour shift.

The night shift had arrived and we were able to clock out.  Ahhh.  Another safe drive home in the dark, thank You again.  I did see deer parts in the road, though.  So yucky.

Dan was dozing in his chair when I came in.  He did wake up a bit though, to have a little conversation.   In fact he made it all the way to 10:15 tonight!!  He has traded some days with someone, so he'll be off this weekend.  Which is good--I had planned to get this party set up pretty much by myself, with Frank's help, but Daniel will be able to help, too.  Wa-La.

Tomorrow is cookie baking and shopping and food prep and list checking and supply gathering, so that Sunday is just a matter of loading the car/s and getting it to the clubhouse and set up.  I'm excited.  Maybe I'll have an opportunity to decorate the house a little, too....

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday 12.03.2009

I kind of heard Daniel get up, but didn't hear him again until he was ready to leave.  I called out to him to have a safe drive and a good work day and went back to sleep.

The radio came on--I had to get up to go see Leah for a reflexology treatment.  Ahhh.  She does such a nice job. I do feel better when she's done.  But before I left, I had mixed up and baked a batch of brownies for our potluck this afternoon.  They were out of the oven and cooling, ready to be cut when I get back.

As I pulled into the garage, I noticed a package at the front door.  It was a small, shirt-sized box.  For me.  I opened it--the karaoke "machine"!  Which isn't  a machine at all.  Two  microphones, one with an SD card slot and long cords.  The cords plug into the TV, and of course a power supply, and the other microphone.  Hm.  Interesting.  I figured out how to hook it to our television and turned it on.  Hey, it works!!

I played around with it for a few minutes, finding it clunky and difficult to move around in.  I suppose it's just a matter of figuring it out.  And the directions make it seem sooo easy...

I looked at the clock. It was time for me to get ready to go to Jackson for the potluck and meeting.  I cut the brownies and packaged them, got myself dressed, and left again.

I had a good drive down, thank you God.  We had a good meeting and a learning presentation, and I went over to the potluck.  We had lots of food, most of which was yummy.  I ate and visited, and came home.  In the dark.

In Holt I saw two different groups of deer beside the road--one group of three, and another group of two, both with their eyes glowing as they watched the vehicles pass by.  Stay out of the road, you guys.  I got home safely, thanks again.

Dan was waiting for me.  He had been running virus scans on my computer, finding and eliminating several of the naughty things.  He has since gone to bed. 

I'm about ready, too.  Tomorrow is a workday for both of us.  It's been snowing enough here that the pavements are wet and the grass is white!!  We'll see what we have to drive in come morning.

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday 12.02.2009 Another 6 Month Check Up

I slept pretty good when I wasn't awake.  I had a frontal headache that got worse, so I took the tylenol/motrin and a claritin in case it really was sinus pressure.  When I woke again and dozed to the radio, I remembered that the radio had come on for a reason.  I got up.

I did feel a bit better.  I had breakfast and a nice shower and left for my appointment with Dr. Williams, the oncologist, after putting a load of clothes into the washing machine.

Lakeeya, or whatever her name is, called me back shortly after I arrived.  First stop, scales.  160.0 pounds.  Up from 156.6 in June.  Ick.  She led me back to room 2 where she took the blood pressure and temperature, which were both good, and reviewed the medication list with me.  She left saying Dr. would be right in.

About 10 minutes later. 

He came barging right in, without knocking, sat down and asked me how I was doing.  I looked him right in the eye and told him it wasn't right to just barge right in without knocking.  In fact it was rude.  Then he said that this is the room that most people startle in, that he usually runs his hand on the door to make a little noise before entering.  I told him he should knock.  Through all of this he was smiling and not being offended at all.  I hope he at least opens the door a little more slowly in the future...

I was surprised at how conversational he was today.  He talked quite a bit, asking questions unrelated to my health status.  I wondered if that was an "interview technique", getting patients to talk about their lives and schedules so that he gets an insight as to how they're doing.  All the while, flipping pages in my chart, writing notes on some pages and just initializing others.

I told him about the hot flashes--still there, but dare I say, a bit less frequent??  (as I sit here flashing while I'm writing this)  He nodded his head, saying that it's been a couple years, and that's kind of how it goes.  (Oh, ok)  He wrote something in the chart.

I mentioned that my cognition (thinking ability and such) seems to have gotten maybe the smallest bit better.  Not good, not all the time, but maybe a little clearer.  He nodded his head again, flipped some pages again and wrote in the chart.

I told him about my joint pains, and especially the left wrist where the tendon feels like it's on fire.  He looked up at me then, and he asked a series of questions about when it's better or worse (morning or night), what helps it feel better (tylenol/motrin).  I told him about a study I had read on Medscape--he nodded his head, saying he's familiar with that site--about the aromatase inhibitors (AI) and joint/tendon pain.  He started talking research and articles and journals and went on.  Hm, I thought.  I got his attention with that.  He rolled over to me on his rolly stool. 

He checked my wrists over, pushing over the inflamed tendon.  He saw it right away and seemed fascinated by it.  And said the tylenol/motrin is ok.  (ok, good)

He flipped pages, wrote stuff down, flipped pages again, and asked me what I thought about the new recommendations about mammograms.  My response is that my cancer was found by me--it made itself known with soreness, redness, and inflammation.  I don't know how many tumors are initially discovered by mammogram alone.  A high percentage, he said.  And I went on, saying "and talking about mammograms....I haven't had one.  I was supposed to schedule for sometime after November 10, but they hurt me.  I mean really hurt.  Hurt enough that I didn't schedule one.  "So there," I said, "I owned it."  He flipped through the pages again.  I told him that "I have dense breast tissue, and when they compress it and I say 'ok' the technician says it's not enough and compresses more.  It feels like something's getting crushed or torn in there.  And my woundbeds are still sore, sore enough that I don't want them mashed again.  At least right now."  He was flipping pages and asked if I'd had an MRI.  I told him yes, in November of 2007, as part of my initial diagnostics. 

He was very kind in saying that the mammograms are difficult with dense tissue, and an MRI can be used as a diagnostic tool, and offered that option to me.  I accepted that option, pleasantly surprised at his response.

We (he) talked a bit more--that Amy (Bolmer--the initial oncologist who saw me through chemo and left to take care of her parents) was doing well, and updated me a little about her.  He went on with some other things--as I said, he was quite chatty today--finally saying that when I check out I can make an appointment for 6 months.  Oh, I said, I haven't graduated to a one year interval yet??  He was flipping through the pages again, and I reminded him that initial surgery was November 2007, he got real serious.  "No, not yet.  6 months."  Oh.  Ok.  "We'll review the MRI, and before that visit we'll do another CT Scan and Bone Scan, too, as well as another blood workup."  Oh. Ok. 

I stood and gathered my things, and then he really surprised me.  He hugged me. 

Hm.  I don't know what that was about, but I hugged him back, and thanked him for his time.  We stepped into the hallway, and he swooshed into another room.

I went to the check out desk, where Anna took my paper.  We talked about the MRI and the next appointment in six months while she called to schedule the test.  Between the three of us--me, her, and the person on the phone--we came up with January 4 at 0915.  And she'll call me at another time to schedule the next 6 month appointment, and someone else will call from Ingham to schedule the CT and Bone scans.  I wrote a check for the co-pay, added the appointment in my planner, thanked Anna, and left. 

Whew.  Overall, a good visit. 

On the way to the car, Phyllis, one of my chemo nurses, was going out to lunch, and we walked together a couple of rows.  She said I looked good, "robust", and it was good to see me better.  I thanked her, smiling.  "It's good to feel better."  We went on our way.

Next stop, Meijer, which was just down the road.

Not the store I usually go to, it's laid out a little differently.  I ended up being in the store over an hour.  But I got the things on my list and headed home.

I unloaded the car, put groceries away, and had lunch. It was close to 3:30 by now; Daniel will be coming home soon.  I wanted to get to the storage unit before dinner, so I went over there.

I found the items I wanted and started loading them into the car.  Another woman came in and pulled up behind me.  We made a couple trips together, and I was just about finished when she started talking to me. 

I think my "talk to me" light was on today.  This woman talked to me like a long lost friend.  I had even said a couple of times that I had to get back.  I did ask her if she had heard of the location of the collection for the "gently used" coat donations.  I was ready to have someone else have Mom's fluffy blue-gray winter coat.  Charmond (that was her name) said that she didn't know right here, but her mom does something with the Community Closet or whatever she called it with her church, and she'd be glad to take it.  Um, Ok.  Great.  So, she took Elaine's winter coat to help keep someone else warm this winter.  And because I was trying to leave, I closed my unit door, asked if I could help her for a couple minutes, and to  my surprise she said yes.  So I did. 

She was almost done.  I made a couple trips to her vehicle and I left.

Dan was home when I got there, kind of snoozing.  He came down and took up a load, but some things needed to stay downstairs (for the PARTY), so I thanked him and brought the things in, and brought upstairs from that what I wanted upstairs.

Then I fixed supper.  We ate, yummy, and I tried to stay organized and on track for this weekend.  I think I'm doing good so far.  Dan has gone off to bed.

I wrote here, pausing every now and then to jot a note on my list.

Tomorrow I see Leah in the morning, then in the afternoon I have another meeting in Jackson.

The FedEx Tracking system shows that the karaoke machine is on the way.  Almost as fun as watching Santa's sleigh on the radar on Christmas Eve...

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday 12.01.2009

I woke a couple of times but dozed off again.  At 0330 I was awake and called the hospital to see if I was needed.  Yes--they've had 4 babies so far.  I was able to go back to sleep for that last hour.

I got up, then Dan got up a half hour later.  We got ourselves ready and went to our J.O.B.S.  I had an uneventful drive, thank you God, and the shuttle arrived to take us over to the hospital.

We had a good day with good co-workers.  Students, too.  I was able to do most of the things I had needed to do, like check hospital email and such.  It was finally time to go home, but someone needed a breathing treatment and was anxious, so I stayed with her until the respiratory therapist had her medicated. The patient was greatful that I had waited with her.  Next, someone wanted pain medicine, so I took some down to her.  She ended up telling me about her "challenges", and we came up with some ideas as to dealing with them.  She, too, was appreciative.  I had to go, it was now a half hour after quittin' time. 

I clocked out and was pleasantly surprised that the shuttle was out front.  I rode over to the parking lot.

Another uneventful drive, thank you again.  Dan was up, though sleeping, in his chair.  He went to bed within 15 minutes or so of me being home.

I put my things away, changed clothes, and wrote here. 

Tomorrow is an appointment with Dr. Williams, the oncologist.  Not looking forward to it too much, but I've got a couple of things to talk with him about.

I also have several things to do to get ready for the party Sunday night.  Having other things to do certainly gets in the way....

I'm really tired, too, tonight, so I'm off to bed.

Thank you for reading.  Hugs.