Thursday, May 29, 2008
1) First, I'm gonna brag: when I told him what I've been doing the last few weeks since chemo was over (building a greenhouse, playing whiffle ball with my kid, aerobics classes, etc.) he grinned and said he was going to tell all his other patients about me to give them hope. Never been more flattered in my life.
2) Told him my eyes are still horked up. Sometimes I can read okay, sometimes I can't. He said in all his long medical practice he can't remember anyone whose eyesight did not go back to normal within 6 months. Good, but it'll be a looooong 6 months. Eye strain headaches are no party, I can tell you.
3) He said I should see pigmented hair in a month or two. (ARGH!) But I should expect a full head of hair in the Fall some time. That means wigs and ballcaps and scarves all summer but...well, what can I do?
4) Radiation will be every day for six weeks and I can't bring Livi. It will make me tired, but only towards the end of the six weeks and will snap back fast.
5) Alright, if you're a guy and squeamish about girl stuff, stop reading. Gals, read on.
Still there? Okay, here's the thing. I'm one of those people who LOVE to be chilly at night; if the fan is pointed directly at me, I'm thrilled. Well recently, on a fairly mild night, I wore long underwear, flannel jammies, warm socks, a polar fleece hat and GLOVES to bed, under four blankets with my electric blanket set on HIGH and I was still freezing to death. Yes, girls, he says it's THE CHANGE. Thanks to chemo, my ovaries are giving up the ghost. There's some possibility that they'll "snap back" in a few months, but I hope not. I mean geez! if I have to go through all this crap now, why would I want them back, only to go through the same thing again in a few years?
Okay, so that's the news. Hope this finds all of you well and happy. Weather here is gorgeous. I'm taking my kid to the park.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
El Jeffe is growing hair! And guitars, apparently...
This man is evil and must be destroyed. Not only does he live in a fabulous climate where he golfs (very well) year-round, he has a cush job working from home. If I didn't love him so much, I'd save up my pennies to put a hit out on him.
On the other hand, I lost another bunch of eyelashes yesterday on one of our multiple trips to the hardware store. (Yeah, it's not a home project unless there are at least three trips to Lowe's. It's a law; you could look it up.)
As you can see from the Pat-A-Cake vid, my hair is almost colorless; it's mostly fuzz. Suffice it to say that I HATE THAT. I would like some frikkin hair now, dammit. And to quit losing eyelashes. Geez. I'm done with chemo. You'd think I could quit dropping parts of myself like a GD leper. Grrr...
But, again, I'm stronger and I'm eating. Enormously bloated like the frikkin' Goodyear Blimp, but since vanity is taking a backseat for the foreseeable future, a vast improvement.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Up this morning and off to Six Flags.
Surprise! I'm beyond exhausted. Ah, yes. I'm the heart and soul of self-restraint and good judgment.
The first pic is me and Liv with Wonder Woman. I'm wearing the only blonde wig I bought. Not crazy about blonde, but it is the most like my old hair cut (thanks to my savaging it with a pair of sewing scissors), so I wear it occasionally. It's kind of alarming to me how pale I am in this pic. If you live somewhere near me, you know I've usually been outside accruing freckles by this time of the season. This year I've barely set foot outside since January. Argh!!
The middle pic is where Livi instantly made a friend on the carousel.
And finally, the cutest pic in the whole world-- Fred with our little Scooby Doo fan! El Freddo is wearing a Livi original design-- a portrait of our family done in Sharpie markers. It's a treasured birthday present.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I do not give a flying flip what Giada deLaurentis thinks I should put prosciutto on today. That's what I have the Food Network for. Nor do I want advice from Anne Currie as to how to manage my pocketbook, raise my child or, as she's advising this morning, ask my husband for a divorce. Are you kidding me? Just tell me what the h3ll is happening in the world. My marriage is wonderful thankyouverymuch. Mind your own business.
I cannot believe I saw Matt Lauer this week in clown makeup to try his hand as a rodeo clown. And who cares if Meredith Vieira can drive a big rig, Ann Currie rappel down a national monument, or Al Roker wear a fire suit? I have Mike Rowe for those Dirty Jobs, if I'm so inclined.
So I tivo'd The Jim Lehrer News Hour yesterday. Yeah, it's a little like eating your spinach-- good for you but not wildly entertaining. But here's the thing. In the 5 minute news summary before they did any in depth discussion I learned something about what's happening outside of Studio 1-A. Did you know there's some nasty business in South Africa this week? I didn't either. And the Today show wasn't about to tell me. They're more interested in replaying cute shots of Matt in a barrel.
Shoot. It's either Jim Lehrer or eat my breakfast in front of the radio before the Diane Rehm Show starts on NPR.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Nope. I'm not addicted. I could quit any time I wanted.
(Ooops. Gotta go check the Tivo. I think Albert beaned San Diego's pitcher. G'night!)
Can I just say Fred is probably even more relieved than I am? He's got to be tired of me flipping around in bed trying to maneuver my book into focus. I am fairly surly about such things and probably a lousy bedfellow as a result. Maybe the poor, patient guy will get a decent night's sleep now.
Oh and I'm BACK in aerobics class! It felt like heaven to actually get some exercise. L-Mac accused me of getting all "zen" on her. She's probably right. I'm sure I had a sappy grin on my face.
Anyway, I wonder what it takes to get the Y to hire you to substitute teach one of these classes? Anyone know? A little pocket change wouldn't kill me and it'd keep me out of trouble for at least 45 minutes, right?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Does this look like trouble waiting to happen? It does to me and I should know; I went to high school with these folks.
Pretty cool when folks just sort of pop back into your life, eh wot?
But just to be on the safe side, stay out of Michigan for a while.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Well, heck. To keep my newly bald buddy El Jeffe happy, I'm posting a picture of the fuzz. It looks just like peach fuzz to me-- essentially colorless fluff.
I'm not complaining too much since, now that chemo is over, I can actually eat whatever I want without yakking. HUGE improvement. But it wouldn't suck to be able to see some progress, hair-wise. Still, it's kind of fun to let people rub my head. I'm thinking maybe it's like a scalp massage, right?
Stay tuned for more hair.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
So I'm mousing around trying to find another celebrity book tour victim. I'd seen Masaharu Morimoto on the Today show shilling his next book, so I went to his website and found, well, beer.
The logo is nifty as h3ll, but....beer? Morimoto? Really??
Oh and did you know that Morimoto actually had a shot at professional baseball in Japan until he injured his shoulder? Gotta love him for that-- two of my favorites, baseball and food.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
This guy has seen me play golf and actually refrained from giving himself a laughing-induced hernia out of friendship. (Okay, friendship and more than a few cocktails on the course.)
El Jeffe, you KNOW I love you! Let's see what color YOUR hair comes in. (I'm betting he'll go "lager blonde.") By the way, read the shirt.
All those who are suprised that "mouse ears" featured prominently in our tiles raise your hands.
Didn't think so.
Anyway, they are using the tiles to decorate the pillars around the facility. And, apparently, the images will go into a catalog and you can order cards with the tiles printed out to benefit their charitable works. However, if they print out ours, I'm fairly certain the Disney Corp would issue a Cease and Desist letter. Nonetheless, we are, and always will be, Disneyholics, world without end, amen. Can't no cancer change that.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Best wishes to you,
Best wishes to you,
Best wishes dear Stacey
Your chemo is through!
Best. Song. Ever.
Two: I'm still sick as a dog. (okay, not a dog in our house-- they're pampered beyond the point of ever getting sick) So...I went in, per doc's orders to get saline and anti-nausea meds IV'd in this morning.
Now my left arm looks like I stuffed it in the insinkerator and turned it on for a while. Bruised to bits. So I told them I'd deal with the nausea, I'm not coming back.
Bad veins, you ask? Nope. Great veins, when you can get to them. Contrary to the belief of some, I actually have very thick skin with LOTS of, as Alton Brown would say, connective tissue.
Nurse says that'll stand me in good stead when facial muscles, etc. are wanting to sag. Strong connective tissue might delay the inevitable a bit.
On the other hand, another nurse said my hair's going to come in partly grey, so what do those nurses know, anyway? ha!
So, no doc visits for me for eighteen glorious days! Then rads.
Friday, May 9, 2008
They also presented me with no less than FOUR excruciating needle jab-type vein hunting expeditions. My right arm is bound up in gauze as we speak. And yet. Still done.
Stick a fork in it, buddy. We're done here.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Today we met Bobby Flay!
El Freddo kindly took off work to help me get Liv to the pediatrician (I'm forbidden to go into the Germ Zone so close to chemo) and to get a bunch of errands done in preparation for my last chemo tomorrow.
As a pick-me-up, my kind-hearted husbie took me to Sur la Table to meet Bobby. You know what is remarkable about him? His hair is WAY more red than it looks on TV. Anyway, here we are with our second celebrity chef in one month.
We asked Bobby about the "planning phase" during Iron Chef. He said that after the secret ingredient is announced, the grips have to move all the cameras and so forth so the chefs sit around for like five minutes and figure out what dishes they're going to make. Cool.
So...who's up for meeting Mario Batali?
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Okay, you guys. General apology to absolutely everyone that I have forgotten to call, write or email. Here's the thing, although I am trying like the dickens to remember stuff, this chemo brain is no joke.
Example: that speech I gave yesterday? I had to post notes ALL OVER the house so I wouldn't forget to go. Still, I forgot until like 10 pm the night before that I'd have to find a clean suit that fits to wear to the event.
It's funny since I'm kind of ditzy, anyway, pre-chemo. But in a way I totally understand how people succumbing to Alzheimer's must feel. I feel a little out of control because I realize that there's usually something kind of important that I'm forgetting and I just don't know what it is. Thus far, I've not set fire to the house or forgotten my daughter or anything horrid like that, and I'm hoping my streak continues. But, I do forget a LOT of stuff.
So. There it is. If I forget to call, write or email you, that's probably why. Either that, or you've been a complete a$$hat and I'm mad at you-- but that's really not likely! (If you had, I'd probably have forgotten already...)
Monday, May 5, 2008
Anyway, it felt great speaking to a large group again-- it's been FOREVER since I've seen a venire panel or anything like it. AND, even better, I TOTALLY outshone the guy from Yale, that slacker! hahahahhah!
But here's the part that I wasn't going to mention and my husband insisted, gawd love him. Well, you all know that I've been feeling like poop on a stick for weeks and weeks now, right? Well, when I got up on the stage in my little lawyer suit, wig, makeup and pearls, I got....are you ready?....a wolf whistle! The woman who introduced me just gave me a big grin and a "look at you go" look.
BEST THING TO HAPPEN SINCE I GOT DIAGNOSED! I swear to gawd if I knew which high school boy did that, I'd have taken him out in the parking lot and deflowered him on the spot, I was so grateful!
Ah. I swear I'm going to live on that until my hair grows back...
Sunday, May 4, 2008
If you like this sort of movie RUN, do not walk, to your local cinema. If I could have, I would have stayed in my seat for the next showing.
Oh, and sit through all the credits. There is a clip at the very, very end when absolutely every last one of the credits has run. We were practically alone in the theater and everyone else missed it. Be the first on your block!
I keep having to run to Target to get higher and higher magnification of reading glasses. It's like accelerated old age with a side order of Alzheimer's. It sucks.
On the other hand, the other day I felt so well that I did some HEAVY gardening. I dug a hole for a new fountain, moved the old one, replaced my big ol' rhododendrons which, sadly, didn't winter well this year and planted some bamboo to camouflage something ugly in my neighbor's yard. Of COURSE I was beyond exhausted when I was done. Probably not the smartest move on my part, but I SO wanted to feel normal for a day. It was GREAT!
Then, NATURALLY, my girl L-Mac offered me a tic to the Cards-Cubs game that night and...*GADS!*...I had to decline. Me. Turn down Cards tix. On a PERFECT night-- beautiful, clear skies, a light breeze. Heaven. And then, of course, hell when I had to say no.
On the other hand, I knew that if I overdid it, I'd have just stuck my friend and her mom with the care of a very, very nauseous and suddenly feeble person with, in all probability a really bad attitude. (I'm never a lot of fun on those "bad days.")
Turned out I was right to do it-- had a bit of a bad moment or two later in the evening. But it was utter MISERY watching my boys play on TV. And, yes, of course, they went into extra innings. I'd have been home about midnight.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Like me, she had a horrible gastrointestinal reaction to the chemo. But, due, probably, to her age and health, she couldn't get past it as I did. It prevented her from continuing chemo. As it turns out, the cancer was discovered so late, it's probably a mercy. She only lasted 10 days after they stopped the chemo.
What's more, she never smoked. Life really just isn't fair sometimes. She was 71.
Mind you, not one of those things could I bear the smell of, say, yesterday.
I think I've never been hungrier in my life than right when el Freddo called me on the way home from work. I told him I had to have a hamburger or die in the attempt.
And what's more impressive (to me, at least) is that I am not the slightest bit queasy. I can't believe my good luck! Of course, I'm going to be up for a while having had sweets right before bed, but I don't care one bit.
Let's just hope I don't keep eating like that for very long after I'm done with chemo. I don't want to become Jabba the Hut'enberger.
Oh, and for future reference, d. Dooley's 026 Grill in Fenton has a rockin' burger. And, they have these adorable round french fries for the kiddos that are shaped like a smiley face. That and some corn dog nuggets and my Livi was over the moon. (Yes, my daughter with an unusually cosmopolitan pallet has a big jones for corn dogs. Go figure.)
Overall, a really TERRIFIC evening!