July 13, 2012

Coming up for air :)

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Coming up for air, clearing my head, feeling blessed, licking my wounds, clearing my desk, packing boxes, preping for surgery and doing a little wishful thinking.

WHERE THE RAVENS FLY FREE            Simone J. Ewing

I long to be

where the cool clear waters flow

where the willow and penny royal lap at the waters edge

where the angelica grows taller than me.

I long to be

where the golden needles of the larch trees make giant yellow clouds in the fall sky

where the elk bugle a symphony in the night

where you can hear the snow fall.

I long to be

where there are millions of stars almost within my reach

where you can meet a gray wolf in the early morning light

where the world is still.

I long to be

where an old cedar tree stands alone in a grassy meadow

where Mt Henry’s top peeks over the ridge

where the ravens fly free.


March 17, 2012

Not a good time to commit a crime

Boy what a week, three trips to UCSF for progress tests and Chemo in addition to Sherman being  home on spring break.  He is doing great and it’s nice to have  home. This was our first visit since all the cancer stuff went down. He sure wanted to be here for me , kept assuring him I am good hands is so many unbelievable ways and to get on with his new life. He went to two of the appointments with me. Twas very nice.

Feeling a mix of assorted symptoms , some constant, some come and go but nothing more than slowing me down and causing me to put much more thought into everything I do, if I can remember to do it.  Chemo brain is quite present and I am finding my way as to how not to be so affected by it. I keep a note pad close by and hope I remember what to write down.  It’s actually quite disturbing. A few examples of fuzzy brain:

I was dishing up dinner plates and put the salad dressing on the plates before the salad

I get a thought I rush to grab the note pad and before I can get out the note pad the thought is gone

I was putting away dishes and had my frying pan in hand and I just stood there stareing at it for the longest time  trying so hard to remember where it goes in my kitchen

Sent Miranda to a doctors appointment which I logged into my calender on the wrong day

Went to Safeway to pick up a prescription, got home and thought “Shoot I forgot to pick up my prescription” but then remembered I did. The next day waiting in the doctors office ‘Shoot I forgot to pick up my prescription”  but then remembered I did.

My typing skills are severely diminished

There are many more but I can’t remember what they are.

Shaved my head, couldn’t take shedding more than my dogs that I have to vacuum up after daily. It was so yucky having hair everywhere and I mean everywhere. Not a good time to commit a crime as your hair samples would surely be left behind. I went to a salon owned by a dear sweet lady, filled with such caring and loving women who took extra good care of me.  When I checked in at the front desk there were three ladies behind the counter, I told them my name and they gave the “You’ve got cancer look on their faces” but quickly swaddled me in love and laughter. They shaved, washed conditioned and massaged my head. Sent me off with promises to pray for me.

I have one friend who volunteered to shave her head is solidarity and one who volunteered to shave hers legs, such good friends. Just too much to ask though.

Today I planned an impromptu “check out my bald head” get together at a friends, made an awesome baked goat cheese appetizer, we sipped wine and tried on my wig, hats and scarves and had fun, so nice to have sisters and girlfriends. Two hours of  fun was more than enough fun for me, came home took a hot bath and went to bed.Think I’m getting a virus.

Eeeeee gads, I’m bald! Not nearly as bad as I thought. I bought a very cute wig, I have hats, I have scarves, but for now bald feels best.

So many loving hearts with me and for this I am sooo grateful.  What would I do without all of you. See that smile on my face in that bald photo, It’s because I am loved and cared for by you.   XO S

March 12, 2012

Here a hair, there a hair, everywhere a hair…

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Ol Simoney is going bald…

The process I had hoped I would somehow would avoid has begun.  It started with a very sensitive, itchy scalp and a hair here, a hair there, everywhere a hair.  Head is itchy but too sensitive to touch, hurts to lay on the pillow, mostly at the crown.  Planning my shave the head day (Wednesday I think) to avoid the mass exodus of hair that happens.  First I will get a Mohawk and take a picture for my goofy family to laugh at and put in the family video and then off with the rest of it.  It’s nine months ish of no hair, seems longer than 5 months of chemo, how vain is that? Started wearing hats yesterday to practice.

 LOL  How cute is this, This would be comforting to little girls with cancer.
Side effects~ Foggy brained,  headache, loose stool, scalp hurts, throat hurts, sinuses hurt,  ears hurt, back hurts, fingers hurt,  port hurts , nauseous, burpy, my vagina and rectum burn (I think that was the chemo drug exiting my body) Hot and chilled. Not dead though 🙂
To all of you who send your love so freely with calls, texts, posts, cards, emails, checks, pink baskets filled with pink goodies, risotto, taking me to my appts, hounding me to take care, etc …Thank you, Thank you!  It means so very much!

March 4, 2012

Because people keep asking…

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Thursday Chemo day~Tried & achey and seems so long ago at this point.
Friday ~Stayed in bed until one, hot all over! Numb left toes(Think this is for the duration) blue toes at night, weird but went away. Headache!!!!!
Saturday~Felt good, misc stuff is just part of the norm. Another headache,Hot!
Sunday~ Feel good. Hot! Achy joints, loose stool,minor headache. Rash on arms.
All in all at this point I just feel slowed down but nothing horrible except for that watermelon issue.

What’s up with all this attention? It’s like I have breast cancer or something.

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So much love and caring from the many wonderful people I have been blessed to know in this life (and even some I do not know, go figure) I have always felt joy in knowing and loving all, now it is rushing back like a tidal wave. I feel awkward and overjoyed. My normal self tells me stand strong, stand tall, don’t let them see your weaknesses, I can see that God has other plans for me.

March 2, 2012

The Zebra wants to run

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Bed sweet bed, I’m in it and loving it!  9 hour turn around but another one is done!  Had an amazing doctors check that showed that the fixed/attached tumor is now much more moveable.  This is GREAT progress and the doctors were elated at this.

Today’s side effects slowly creeping in including numbness in the finger tips and this weird blue patch (3 1/2″ by 6″)  under my chin and down my neck ,. Almost like a bruise but all blue with jagged edges. The only reason I bring it up is because it is shaped like Lake Pend Oreille the lake in Idaho that has my heart. I confirmed with Miranda and she agreed big time.  The doctors told me to mark the edges with a sharpie and check it for change in the AM.  So now I have the lake, 8 black marks and 2 gauze bandages, can you say “hot mamma”?

FYI Shape of Lake Pend Oreille below

The day was long.  Lots of traffic to and fro, total time at the hospital was about 6 hours.  God sent the perfect person to assist me, my dear friend Terry (Being my driver made her day 1 1/2 hours longer than mine)  She had the stamina and calm and experience and stories and so much more.

My neighbor/friend, Bob, brought me Yellow roses and homemade Chicken Parmesan. Such a sweet wonderful thing to do as I was unable to make my dinner last night due to the watermelon.

Hows that going you ask…Well after 4 stool softner tablets, 2 doses of Miralax, I called my nurse sister, Elizabeth and told be to drink a concoction they call the Zebra (4oz Prune Juice 30cc Milk of Magnasia warmed up), “never fails” she said .  Miranda rushed to Safeway and I gulped it down with glee.  At 4:00 am that Zebra wanted to run!  Thank God! Thank God!  I was told to never ever ever be constipated again. I was to take as much stuff as needed to keep things moving along.

Lips are starting to tingle.

Blessed by so much love, call, posts, texts today Thank you from my heart all the way down to my numb left toes.

March 1, 2012

Chemo Eve.

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It’s Chemo Eve, and my gift was a watermelon where the sun don’t shine. Gross I know but it is awful and oh so consuming. I didn’t even make dinner let alone eat dinner.  After several extremely painful trips to the restroom I vowed never ever to eat again!  Guess I better add that to the list for tomorrow’s doctor visit prior to Chemo where I list my current symptoms, flushes (Hot flash like but on the skin), joint pain in the left knee and shin bone, numbs left toes, tumor soreness and CONSTIPATION!

The week has flown by, I had planned to get so many more things accomplished before tomorrow, what the hell happened. The fear of what in the heck will happen and how bad will it be kept me close to home (Along with mild flu like symptoms).  Monday I ventured out for lunch with a dear friend and it was great to be a regular person!  She and her honey offered to help in a way that has left me at a loss for words.  It lightens a heavy load on my shoulders and wraps me in a blanket of love that is so beautiful, incredible and I don’t even know what to say.  At least I can check that off the big long list of stuff  to worry about on this journey.

Journey to where I keep asking my self…well not exactly asking,  trying not to get bogged  down with things there are no answers to, but I keep focusing on that fact that I can’t hurry this or change this and instead I feel like I should lay on the ground and say ok I give, I accept, thy will be done. It’s not in my nature to not organize plan perfect control…and this feels like if I don’t give I will have a major battle on my hands.

Charlie the bad dog got carrot cake cupcakes off the island while I was out on Monday.  I would be mad at him but he makes me laugh.   Today when I was having my watermelon episode he would not leave my side, every (uneventful painful) trip to restroom he laid on the floor and waited.  God I wanted him out!  But I was so glad he was there.  Guess I should make him some carrot cake cupcakes.

Thank you all for your love and support, and prayers, and calls and texts and posts.

February 26, 2012

And the day is done.

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Feeling kind of loopy, kind of tired and kind of achy. Watched two chick flicks, ate healty food, took my meds,took hot bathes and puttered around home, slowly.  Alone can be good and alone can be bad. It is what it is and I am gratful for pets. Thank you for call,texts, emails and posts. They lift me up.

The Blue folder (Avoid it if you can)

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“You will be given a blue folder by the nurse”  ”Be sure to pick up your blue folder on your way out” “Did they give you a blue folder” I knew I was in trouble when I did not see anyone else leaving the women’s health center with a blue folder. Thus began the wild ride to Breast cancer land.  I felt like I was being sucked into a vortex where all that mattered was healing this alien that had moved into my body, every other other care I had had dissolved into the panicked dreamy state.  Though God, family, friends, neighbors, and pets I have managed to remain calm, have some laughs and educate myself on this journey I am embarking on.  Chemo, surgery, radiation, one year they say.

First Chemo session is over, thank goodness.  It’s stuck me that I didn’t know what I needed until it was presented to me. Two loving friends got up early and drive me into the city for treatment. The two of them were so calm, loving and cute they put me at ease. It was a long day when you threw in the surprise minor surgery to install the port and the various delays of the Chemo. I was exchausted to say the least. Thank goodness they were there.  Came home to a dear neighbor standing curbside with a bouquet of flowers and a wonderful hug.  As I presided towards my home another friend had lit the walkway with votive candles, flowers floating in water, the entire inside of the house looked like a scene from The Bachelor with flowers and candles in every room. I received calls, texts, posts and prayers. A day I could have managed alone instead became a beautiful spot on my heart.

Side effects were minimal, I followed my to-do list to the “T”.  Felt a little odd and really wanted to poop, went to bed very early. Today I just feel slow and kinda groggy but not bad.

Thank you all so much for lifting me up, S

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