A nice lazy day

August 4, 2017 Friday

I found out that yesterday was National Watermelon Day just before bedtime last night and I knew that I just HAD to celebrate such an awesome national holiday, so I ate lots of watermelon just before I went to bed.  Probably not my brightest idea ever!!!  I slept really well last night and every one of those five or six times I woke up and dashed to the bathroom, I was able to go right back to sleep!!  It really was a nice night of sleep even with all the bathroom trips.

I woke up rested and got up kind of late, about 9:00 or so.  I was in no rush to do anything, so that was a nice feeling.  After a nice breakfast, I started calling the oncologist’s insurance lady and after leaving only one message for her, she called me back.  Lucky.  She said the papers were faxed yesterday afternoon.  Okay!!!  So I called my lump sum cancer insurance company to see if they had them.  They must have been busy but after only being on hold for about 15 minutes, I got to a lady who checked and Lo! and Behold!, the papers were there.  She said they would be examined and a decision would be made next week and that I should call again next Friday if I had not heard from them before that.  Okay!!!  I thanked her and then thought about what she had said.  It was almost exactly the same thing they told me last week, except that I should call back on Tuesday!!!!!  So I did other things, piddling around the house.  I’ve just not felt particularly motivated to do much of anything, not even much sewing.

A couple of hours after my last phone call with the insurance company, I got a phone call from their head lady whose name I had seen on letters from them but never been allowed to speak to before.  She told me that the lump sum check would be mailed by them on Monday by certified mail.  She also told me that they are canceling my policy since I have received the total amount of the policy and they won’t pay me any more in the future.  So that’s about $50+ a month that I will no longer be paying.  It’s good news all around.  I knew that I had been working toward this goal for several weeks, but I just about had heart palpatations upon hearing the news.  I was stunned.  I’m still stunned.  I suppose that if I have to have cancer, at least some good has come out of it.  This payment will help my financial situation quite a bit.  That is a big relief.  I think I’ve said this before, but if you don’t have a cancer policy, I highly recommend getting at least one. I still have another cancer policy that pays me based on the bills I submit to them about the services I am receiving.

After I calmed down from all of that and planned how I will use the money, I still didn’t feel up to doing much of anything.  I did do a little exercising in the kitchen – leg swings and knee bends and such, but that’s all.  I went out to dinner with some friends, yes I do that fairly often and I always really enjoy it and tonight was no exception.  After dinner, I did some more of the almost nothing I did all day long.  I’m tired but not exhausted like I have been some days.  Tomorrow I will go back to visit in Roswell for a couple of days!!  Yay!!!

My tongue was a little tender today, but not nearly as bad as yesterday and I didn’t even need to use the magic mouthwash today.  I’ve had a little diarrhea but not much.  I’m feeling just fine.  Again, it makes me wonder if the chemo is really doing anything inside my body since I am not feeling terrible!!!  The literature says there is no correlation between how you feel and how the chemo is working, but I still stay a little concerned about that.

Morning weight – 213.2  My weight is neither going up much nor going down much, but that’s okay with me.

Another tiring day

August 2, 2017 Wednesday

I slept pretty well last night, but woke up pretty early and ready to go.  I had a calm morning, but I did move around and do some easy tasks – gotta keep moving, can’t just stop doing anything!!  By lunchtime, I was beginning to get tired again.  It seems that once I start getting tired, things go downhill pretty quickly.  So, I left Roswell for the drive home to Dalton and that drive went well.  I met some friends to visit while they had lunch.  Oh, I forgot to tell  you what I had for lunch – hold onto your hats!!  I had a Wendy’s homestyle chicken sandwich, fries, and a medium vanilla frosty!!  AND a coconut dunkin donut!!  Yep – I didn’t have any eggs for breakfast and that’s what happens when I don’t eat a good breakfast!!  So, lots of sugar – bet my arthritic knee will hurt tomorrow, and it has been feeling so good lately!!

After visiting with the girls, I went to Kroger to get food for the next few days and to get the Magic Mouthwash the oncologist prescribed last week.  With all the mouth problems I have had lately, I decided that I would probably use it as directed and so it would be worth the $50. The pharmacist said it might make me nauseous and it will make my mouth numb, but that I should use it just before meals – that sounds strange to me.  He also said I should swallow it, usually, after I had swished it for as long as I can – up to five minutes.  I feel certain I will not be able to swish it for five minutes. I’m not at all sure about this mouthwash, but I’ll let you know how it goes.  My mouth sore is back and I don’t like that so I’ll use it tonight before bed.

After getting back from Kroger and bringing in the groceries and the mail, I refused to stop working or to sit down until I had a pot of pork chops cooking in turnip greens and another pot of pork chops cooking in black eyed peas – I was determined that those would cook for several hours and then be in the fridge so that I can heat them back up during the upcoming days.  They are now cooling on the stove and will soon be in the fridge – I love them.  However, from what I’ve tasted, I may have added a little (or WAY) too much hot pepper to them as they cooked.  Maybe I just tasted them while they were too hot – time will tell.  I suppose I can rinse off the chops and use new black eyed peas if needed.  After getting them cooking, I did sit down and drink a Sprite – I felt maybe that would help me recover from the extreme exhaustion I was experiencing.  I will not be eating or drinking any more sugar for awhile – I do not want to get addicted to that stuff again.  NO WAY!!!

It’s not yet 8:00 in the evening but I expect to head toward bed fairly soon.  I really am tired.  However, I am going to try a couple of methods to remove the rest of my hair.  My friends, who can see my scalp better than I can, say that I have lost a good bit of hair, but that what is left seems to be growing quite well!!!   I’m ready for it to ALL go away so I have a couple of ideas of what I can do to help it along.  I’ll tell you tomorrow what I did and how it worked!!  Might be interesting!!

The only other side effect I’ve had today is that the front half of my tongue and my bottom lip were numb pretty much all day. (Shame it wasn’t numb when I tried those black eyed peas!) And the mouth sore on the corner of my mouth is back.  Otherwise, I’m doing well – except for the tiredness.  I really think I should make a strong effort to move – exercise a little and keep moving – but I don’t want to cause more fatigue.  But if I stop moving, I know that I will lose the muscle tone I do have and I certainly don’t want to do that.  I know of at least a couple of my friends and relatives who continued exercising at the gym or on the treadmill the entire time they were going through chemo and I think those are the examples I should be following – they are my inspirations!!  So I’ll keep moving as much as I think I should.

I have lab tomorrow so that will be interesting.  My throat has been a little sore but I’m choosing to believe it’s not related to the chemo but I’ll ask about that tomorrow.  Wonder if it’s time to put on one of those masks when I go to the store!!!!   Yikes, but I’ll do it if needed.

 

 

 

Chemo treatment #2

July 27, 2017 Thursday

I forgot to mention yesterday that the hot flashes have begun again.  They are brutal and fairly frequent both yesterday and today. I was so hyped up last night that I had to make myself turn the light and the iPad off at 5:00 this morning.  I was still watching the clock at 5:45 but then I fell asleep.  Then I just woke up at 7:30 ready to get up.

So I got up, cooked myself a nice steak and piddled around til Sue picked me up at 9:25.  We got to the oncologist’s office a little early but ending up kinda wasting a lot of time.  I think they were quite busy.  I first went into an examination room and they took blood (the results were very good), started the infusion of steroids and nausea meds, and then I met with the doctor.  She took lots of notes about my side effects since the first treatment and asked lots of questions. She said I should pay lots of attention to foot pain and numb and tingling hands and feet and to let them know about them on my weekly lab visits.  If they continue a lot, we may have to change the chemo meds because those side effects could become permanent and we don’t want that.  No, we do not want that.  I’ve decided to list the side effects of each day on a note on my phone in order to print it out and be more prepared to discuss them at the next chemo treatment.

After the talk with the doctor, we were escorted into the chemo room and it was busy.  There were only two chairs left.  It seems that the machines were having conversations with each other as there were almost always one or two of them beeping.  The nurses did a very good job of getting to them quickly so those conversations were quite short, thank goodness.  The room was full of people talking to each other and carrying the basket of goodies around to see if anyone wanted something, and handing out cups of coffee, and machines beeping and nurses bustling, but I had a very nice, calm, peaceful several hours there.  I dozed, not napped, for less than one hour in my four hour visit and otherwise either talked to people or read my iPad.  I don’t think Sue got to read much of her book, but I think she enjoyed the visit too.  It’s not a bad place to visit at all, but I’m glad that I’m now halfway through with those visits, hopefully.  The doctor did say that at the end of the four treatments, they will evaluate the cancer and if it is not dead, they will add more treatments with different chemo meds.  Hope this course kills them dead, that’s for sure.  I’m very hopeful.

We stopped at Curt’s Restaurant and got take away meat and vegetables and enjoyed our meals on the back patio.  The weather was cool, very cloudy and thundery so it was wonderful.  It never did rain at my house so that was not so good.  Later, I did some sewing and then took about an hour nap – that was very nice.  I have had several more hot flashes (I don’t like them, in case you haven’t noticed!) and expect to have several more days of them due to the steroids!  I did more sewing, cooked and ate supper and have generally had a nice evening.  Only thing is that I am very tired so I will be going to bed soon.

My hair is definitely coming out.  I can pinch my hair with my fingers and get about 15 or so hairs with no pain at all.  I do not plan to do that any more, unless I’m really bored, but I hope it goes away quickly so I can stop worrying about it.  I think there will be a large difference having a shaved head and a bald head.  Wonder if I will need to use some wax on it to keep it nice and shiny???????  hahahaha  My eyebrows are also coming out but not nearly as quickly.  The sad thing is that I do need to shave my legs tonight – wish that hair would go away quickly!!

My ankles and feet are swollen, probably from all the liquid they put in me today.  I expect that will go away in a few days – hope so.  I have to get my Neulasta shot tomorrow so that will be more fun.  I wonder how my weekend will go?!?  I expect to see side effects, probably the same ones as last time but probably more severe episodes of them, but I don’t know when to expect them to start.  I will keep my nausea meds and tyenol close.  Better keep a thermometer close too.  She did say I should wear a hat anytime I am in the sun – even going to the store – but I’ll have to see if I need one before I start wearing one.  She did not mention wearing the masks to the store so I’m not starting that yet.  I do have to go to Kroger tomorrow to pick up some special mouthwash they called in to help with my tender mouth feeling and I hope to go to the pool tomorrow (if the weather man is wrong and we don’t have a full day of thunderstorms) and I plan to go out to dinner tomorrow night.  A full day of fun – something good to look forward to enjoying!!

Morning weight – 215 Bet it’ll be more tomorrow for several days.

Had an adventure today

July 16, 2017 Sunday

Remember I told you about pulling weeds off the fence the other day??   Today, I really paid the price for that activity. I woke up knowing that I was having a severe reaction to some plant I had pulled. Yesterday I used anti-itch cream on it but I knew that was not going to help today. I could feel the bumps under the skin on my hands, arms, neck, chin and face. Even worse was that the left side of my face was pretty red and swollen. My bottom lip had seemed numb yesterday but this morning both of my lips and part of my tongue was numb!!  I could seem to feel that numbness advancing up my face – that may have been imagination but it seemed real to me!!

After considering my options, I felt I needed a steroid shot but didn’t know if that would interfere with the chemo treatment, so I called my oncologist’s office.  The answering service lady, since its Sunday, listened to everything I said, took my name and phone number then told me to hold the line.  She soon came back with the PA who was on duty today.  I had figured I’d have to wait a long time before I got to speak to someone so I was very pleasantly surprised.  She listened and in a while said she agreed that I needed a steroid shot and to call her at the office on Tuesday to tell her how I was doing!!  I thought that sounded really good so that’s what I plan to do.

I went down the street to an urgent care place I had been to once before and was soon with a doctor.  They gave me the shot and a prescription at a nearby cvs.  I’ll have six pills to take tomorrow but I’ll do my best to take them at the correct times!! Then lots more for the following days. About a hour after I got home, Rachel asked if I could tell a difference and after thinking about it, I realized I could tell a little difference.  My top lip was definitely less numb and as the day progressed, that numbness stopped completely.  My bottom lip is still sort of numb and my face is still tingling but it’s much better this morning.  At that time, I felt like I had a full beard of tingles!!  The bumps are starting to come through the skin on my hands and face so I may look funny (funnier?) for a few days but I know I made the right decision to be proactive about this.

I’ve had this happen many times before but this is definitely the fastest and most severe reaction I’ve ever had.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the chemo??  Maybe the chemo has lowered my resistance to the plant oils or something??  Also, I expect that at least some other people get “wild chin hairs” like I do – I have not had any in at least a week and that is very unusual for me.  I expect the chemo is having a reaction with my hair growing cells.  I’ll take that as a nice side effect for now.  That makes me wonder how long til my hair falls out.  I have not yet shaved it again but I may tomorrow.  Or I may not!!  I guess the chemo really is doing something inside me.  That’s good to know.

The doctor had said I might get more sensitive to the sun but I plan to test that out. I have scheduled swim lessons for the kids on Monday and Tuesday. I will wear suncreen but I’ll stay in the sun as much as possible until I do have a real reactiion to the sun.

I don’t feel real wakeful right now but I don’t feel sleepy either. I hope the steroid shot and pills won’t cause me to stay awake the next few night.  I will still be glad to have the steroids even if I don’t sleep, but I sure do like my sleep.

By the way, I just have to say I have THE sweetest grandkids ever!!

 

A great day today

July 14, 2017 Friday

I slept pretty good last night despite some foot pain and some almost leg cramps.  I had breakfast with Sue at Waffle House then left for Roswell. After a nice drive, I got to watch Zoë in her soccer class – she looked so grown up in cleats and shin protector socks!!  I don’t think Coen really recognized me because he took him some time to warm up to me, but he finally did. After soccer, we went home and dressed for swim lessons and then hurried to the pool. It was a very active day in the ‘kiddie and Bobo’ pool but we all had a good time. We were there about 1 1/2 hours and were ready to get home. I was worn out so I decided to take a nap while Coen napped. He did NOT want to stay in his room for a nap, so I just climbed into his bed with him and we both fell asleep quickly. I guess I should not do that again cause he wanted the same thing tonight!!  Sure was a nice nap Tho!!

Later we all went to Kroger cause I really wanted my nightly watermelon among other things. We came home and the entire family, including the dogs and cat, were right in the thick of things cooking sausages and pasta – it sure was good. I ran out of steam after supper and now I’ve had my shower and am in bed. Since I’m in Roswell, I’ll have to post using my iPad or laptop, which is not cooperating with me at the moment, and I don’t know how well that is going to work. I will not be posting my morning weight in case you’ve been watching that because my bathroom here does not have scales.

Ive had a wonderful day with no chemo side effects except that my mouth feels much more sensitive, if that makes any sense. I’m not even having foot pains so far tonight but that may change.  We will just have to see what happens with that.

Morning weight – 212.6

Only a little sleep, then a wonderful day!

July 9, 2017 Sunday

Again last night, I got only a little sleep.  I was tired and went to sleep about 10 pm. Then my phone evidently decided to upgrade itself and I woke up to see the light on the phone.  I kept fooling with it from about midnight til two when the light finally went off.  I slept off and on after that until about 6:30 but then I got on up and got dressed.  I’m hopeful this was the last night of disturbed sleep from steroids.  Maybe!!  It’s really strange to be dressed and have breakfast and then look at the clock to see that it’s not even 8 am yet!!  You can tell I enjoy sleeping late.  Luckily there was a run of Sherlock on television that kept me interested.

I kept working on that quilt I’m trying to organize and I actually started cutting some on the 60 stripes for it.  Those stripes finally got done during the day. I went to Paula’s pool at 11:30 and we had a wonderful time in the pool.  The water was even not cold!!  The sun was great – it had some strange circles around it during our time out there but it was  beautiful.  Paula made me wear a waterproof bandage and I even made her put it over my port incision.  Then I decided that I would not even get that far down into the water so now I am sure that I have not infected that incision.  It is still covered in the ‘human superglue’ the surgeon used – it is well sealed.  It may never all go away!!  My legs are a little sore cause I basically stood and moved my legs for two hours in the water but it’s a good kind of sore.  I did use sunscreen but I do have some definite sun on my shoulders and neck.  I don’t think my scalp got too much – I did take and use a hat for a while – and my incision is fine, so it was just a great pool experience.  I just love being in a pool.

After the pool, I went home and fixed a nice chicken pot pie, microwaved of course, but it tasted really yummy.  I had changed back into nice dry clothes and sat in my favorite leather chair and had the first nap I’d taken in a long time.  It was fantastic.  I was nicely rested and relaxed afterwards.  Great afternoon.  I did more quilt organizing, identifying and organizing the 58 blocks I will need to make but now the next step is to actually start sewing those blocks.   I’m going to delete about 10 blocks in the pattern and will substitute a lot of churn dash blocks for some other blocks.  I think it will look nice.

Then I fixed a steak for dinner and now I’m watching Barnwood Builders as I love to do on a Sunday evening.  I have been wondering if the oncologist gave me the correct meds on Thursday.  I’ve felt a little strange sometimes, but never really bad.  I know the effects will only get worse and worse, but I’m just so surprised that I have felt so good all weekend long.  I am very thankful for this respite, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just like waiting for a hammer that you know is going to fall, to start coming down.  I have kind of changed my attitude this weekend – just taking it very easy and doing just what I want to do.  It’s been great.

I hope to go sew with the Dudettes tomorrow and see the quilt lady on Tuesday, get lab work done on Thursday, then hopefully head to Roswell to see the kids and grandkids on Friday for a few days.  The Roswell visit is kind of uncertain since if the kids have runny noses, I probably shouldn’t but I expect I may not should visit for sure after the second treatment.  I’ll just play it by ear and do what feels best.  I do plan to try to take good care of myself all during this process.  I do hope I don’t get too sensitive to the sun because I plan to get into the pool again this summer, hopefully several times.

Morning weight – 219.  Sure wish I could lose a little weight at some point, just a little in a gentle downward glide to normal.  We shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not the day I expected

July 8, Saturday

I guess the three days of steroids plus the steroid shot were still in my system last night because I did not sleep at all well and finally gave up at 6:45.  I felt fine during the day and did a lot of thinking work in redesigning a quilt I want to make but alter the directions.  Then I went and had a two hour lunch and long talk with some friends – that was a really nice time.  Then I came home and mowed my yard.  I finished just before the storm hit so my timing was perfect.  I’m really glad that’s done.

Then I rested a while and watched it rain.  I then went and bought waterproof bandaids so I can cover my incision tomorrow so I can go to the pool for a while.  The weather should be great and I have given the surgeon the week he requested before I go swimming, sort of.  May be a little short on his requirements but I think it is about healed anyway.

Now it’s after 9:15 and I am feeling a bit tired so I’ll shower soon and get to bed.  I certainly hope I sleep lots more tonight than I did last night.  I think I will since I had no steroids today at all.  Course, I may miss that boost of energy tomorrow.  I expect that if I will have an negative side effects from this first round of treatments and Neulasta, that tomorrow may be not as good as today has been.  I expect that I may run on less energy than I’ve been having, but only time will tell.

I’ve had a nice day today, though I did go by Bruster’s today and got ice cream.  Think that one visit will hold me for a long while though.

Morning weight was 218.  Not really going anywhere at all.  Maybe that’s not so bad.