Author Archives: LK Griffie

Feb. 12.

Cycle 4, Day 2 – Chemo

My Status: Rested and hubs brought ice cream
Mood: Good

We had a little hiccough in getting started with today’s chemo … two hiccoughs. The first bump occurred with my port. When prepping the port for use, the nurse will first draw blood (and put it back in) to make sure there are no clogs or clots happening. One of the nurses is training to work with the ports because not everyone can work with them. She tried and no blood return. She had the line a little too taut, and the teaching nurse showed her how to do it correctly, but still no blood return. So they shot a little heparin in there and gave me a few minutes and voila, blood return. All in all, no big deal. We’ll see how things go tomorrow.

Interestingly, there was another patient who came in after me, and had the same issue with her port. Her daughter was with her and in her concern kept asking more and more questions about the “blockage”. She was worried, but she was also not allowing her mother to relax, so I quipped that it must be the day for it and explained that my port had the same issue. The daughter laughed and was able to relax after that and her mother finally relaxed as well. Maybe the purpose of my port not behaving was so I could provide perspective for another patient and her family. I was fine and laughing about the little problem so they could relax and gain confidence that the chemo would happen … which it did.

The other hiccough? Dr. Doogie was delayed in his arrival. Why does this matter? Because they cannot start chemo, even the pre-chemo cocktail unless a qualified doctor is there to sign off on it. So I had a couple packets of water going through the line, which gave the nurse a chance to ensure the port was working properly, and we got started a little later than anticipated. But all in all, no big deal on either issue.

Denny was my chauffeur for the day, and since I have chemo at the secondary facility on Wednesday’s under the backup doctor’s overview, there are very few other patients, so he came to the chemo room with me and stayed the full time because the other port-problem patient was the ONLY other patient. This has both good points and bad points. The good? Denny has a chance to feel more involved in the process and that he is there for me. He sees what I’m going through and when I’m calm about things like the blood drawback not working, he doesn’t get all het up and have the questions the other patient’s daughter was expressing—which he would have, had he not been present at the time.

The bad? Oy. I take things with me to do during chemo … otherwise I’d be bored silly, since I can’t seem to sleep, which is what most patients do. Today, I was focused on working on my secret project and making some good headway with it. Before starting on the secret project, I did spend the first hour or so chatting with Denny and the nurses. So I didn’t completely neglect him. When I was ready to work, I put in my headphones, announced I was putting in my headphones, and Denny told the nurse what that meant … I was not to be disturbed. Or as he puts it “I can’t talk to her then.” Here’s the problem … it didn’t stop him from flashing magazines at me and sharing car pictures, etc. For me and interruption to the work is an interruption—whether verbal or non. I was good … I didn’t huff or get angry, I just nodded and went back to work. I would have preferred not to have the interruption.

He is my chauffeur tomorrow as well, but there will likely not be any extra chairs, but I also have covered myself by telling him I’ll bring the Kindle so he can read a book he’s been wanting to read for a while. Any little bit helps.

The picture of the dandelion is two-fold for today. I thought the symbolism of the flower sprouting through decaying wood a metaphor for taking the bad port situation and turning it around for the other patient and her family. The other reason the dandelion is significant is that since not being able to have chemo on my appointed week because my liver enzymes were high, I have been drinking dandelion root tea to help my liver function … and (knock on wood) it is working. Since then, my liver levels have been very good. Dandelions and dandelion root tea is beneficial for more than just the liver as well. Shortly after drinking the tea with positive results, I had a discussion on Facebook with several folks about the benefits, and will link to this article on 11 Health Benefits for additional reading if you’re interested. Briefly, the eleven benefits mentioned are:

    • Digestive Aid
    • Kidney
    • Liver
    • Antioxidants
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Cholesterol
    • Gallbladder
    • Inflammation
    • Immune System

Ultimately, the tea is good for me to help with my digestive system, liver values, cancer, inflammation, and my immune system (and I’m drinking some while writing this post). I actually notice a difference in my body, water retention/inflammation in particular, especially on chemo days, when I forget, or don’t get around to having a cup. It has been added to my daily routine and I think may continue past the chemo life cycle.

And once again, my friends have proved their worth. Last night, after my marathon day of chemo, I was a little more than fuzzy-headed and question whether I should work or watch a movie. In every single response the result was movie. You guys ROCK!!! And Practical Magic was just the ticket for me. Tonight the muzziness is not too bad, but I came home and took a nap after having some lunch. And now… on to the ice cream Denny brought home tonight after picking up my meds for me. πŸ˜€ (Oh and sorry about the screen shot below, I wanted to embed the FB status, but FB says it no longer exists… funny how I can take a screen shot of something that doesn’t exist, eh?


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb. 11.

Cycle 4, Day 1 – Chemo

My Status: A little fuzzy around the edges
Mood: Good

I feel like there should be a warning at the beginning of this post …

****WARNING**** Mind explosion in progress.

In a nation focused on the freezing weather, the nice market boost based on the words of new Fed chief, Yellin, and the controversy surrounding whether Blake Griffin actually smacked Justin Bieber in Starbucks, or (more seriously) the death of Shirley Temple Black, my update about how chemo went is small potatoes. But I’m going to give it anyway. πŸ˜‰

Tuesday’s are my loooooong day, but at least I was able to start my day earlier than normal so we weren’t making our way home at six o’clock. There is just something psychologically daunting about having been sitting in a chair all day and to not be finished by five. Last time I found myself staring at the drip and timing the next one. Not really a healthy mental place to be when I could have been focusing on getting something done. Anyway, starting early helped tremendously because there was still daylight on the drive home. However, first thing sitting in the chair, I was antsy. Could not get comfortable and couldn’t sit still. My fault, entirely. Last night, for some silly reason I can’t even remember, I decided not to use my bed of nails, even though I knew my lower back was having problems. I paid the price for that decision today. Since I couldn’t concentrate on what I had intended to do, I started a movie and things settled down.

Today became a reminder for how truly blessed I am in my journey. I have people who care, people who are willing to drive me to and/or from the treatments, people who are praying for me and my recovery. And I’m blessed in some aspects with my particular diagnosis and resulting treatments because while there have been one or two bumps along the way, my journey so far has been relatively smooth (and I’d really like it to stay that way).

I was reminded about the differences in diagnosis when I learned this morning of a very good friend who went to the ER because of a cough and has been diagnosed with lung cancer. And a reminder from my chemo nurse when she shared that she had to take her father for a lung biopsy tomorrow—and her father is not listening to the doctors, but dismissing them as being over zealous in their testing. And the reminder of how my journey have been relatively good came from a patient who I’d had chemo with before … she arrived to find out she may not be able to have chemo today, but would definitely be checking into the hospital for the next 4-5 days because of some negative test results.

In some ways the reminder of the journey itself hit harder because I watched her face and saw the reaction to learning she had a serious issue going on that had to be dealt with in the immediate future. I remembered my reaction to being told to go home, chemo wasn’t happening that week. How much worse to be told you’d be going directly to the hospital next door? Fortunately, she was able to have chemo prior to going next door to the hospital, but it was definitely a blow to her.

At the end of the day it was me, the other patient, and the chemo nurse chatting. And the other patient said something that made me count another blessing—the worst part of her journey was the exhaustion and she wished she could have my energy. I’ve been tired, I have worked through exhaustion, but I have been fortunate enough to have more energy on a regular basis than most of the chemo patients I’ve come into contact with. Okay, for starters, I really don’t sit still well and never have, so she was seeing me at the end of a day where I’d been in the chair for eight hours already. But the truth is that I have not had many of the exhausted days where the act of opening your eyelids should be greeted with trumpets blaring and confetti falling. I am more tired than normal for me, and my ability to focus on things has been severely depleted (like starting this post thinking I need to make tea, reminded myself 3 times before I realized I had half a cup at my elbow ready to drink—okay, that may just be chemo muzziness settling in). But I also know things could be a LOT worse. I’m thankful they aren’t.

Now I need to grab my HOT tea (finally made a fresh mug) and see what I can get done before getting up and doing the chemo thing all over again. I loved the picture for this post because today I felt a little like a kitten in a pot … not really happy with being confined, but not able to run away either. Besides, the kitten is too stinkin’ cute not to post.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb. 04.

My Feeble Update

Niederaichbach, Bavaria

Niederaichbach, Bavaria

There’s something you should know about me—I’m a terrible blogger. When I have something to say, I sometimes manage to get it blogged, but more often than not, I’m working on other things and those great pearls of wisdom I was going to impart will have to wait. But when I have been nudged by multiple friends all asking how I’m doing, and the ENTIRE purpose of this blog is to keep everyone updated, then it’s time to sit down and focus on letting you know.

I’m doing well. No complaints. Blood work is good. And cycle 4 is looming on the horizon.

Why haven’t I shared those earth-shattering tidbits with you??? Because I’ve been busy. I have managed to finish the edits on the 4th book in the Misfit McCabe series. I’m researching my next book. It’s a book that excites me in many ways and I’ve been trying to clear the decks to get to it for the past 4 years, so my focus is on getting the research done so I can FINALLY get to the writing on this one. I also have a few other projects in the works … none of which I can talk about.

As you can see, since there is nothing ruffling my calm on the health front, and being so focused on things I’d rather be spending my time and energy on, remembering to do these updates has taken a back seat. When I am focused on writing projects, everything else tends to fade away. πŸ™‚

The picture was perfect for this post because it has sunshine and blue skies reflected in calm waters… and that is where I’m at right now.

PS—When I have something important to let you know or my condition changes, the first thing I think about is blogging it to keep you all up to date. xoxoxo

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 20.

Halfway to the Unknown

My Status: A little more tired than I’d like to admit
Mood: Good

Just a quick update… I saw my doctor today to review my blood work, as I do every Monday after chemo treatments, and had a chance to ask her how I was doing overall since we had hit the halfway mark. Are you ready for her response????

We don’t know.

She agreed that it was a good time to make an assessment of progress and was ready to send me for some tests—but then she looked at my chart. Here’s the problem … the tests she thought about running as a gauge to see how the chemo was working didn’t show the evil abnormalities the first time around, so re-running them wouldn’t give us any better idea about how I’m responding to the treatment than I know right now. The test which gave us the information about the abnormalities in the leukemia and the lymphoma was the bone marrow biopsy, and because of the potential for infection, the doctor will not conduct that test again until AFTER I have completed all six treatment cycles.

So it means we’ll have to wait until after my April treatment with probably a little bit of time for me to recover from the treatment itself, then have the biopsy done and wait a week or two for the results. In all likelihood, I won’t know how I’m doing against the cancer in me until the end of May.

Does my body really need to keep everything a secret??? I get the whole mysterious woman thing, but seriously, I’m not supposed to be mysterious to myself.

Other than the whole not really knowing how I’m doing overall against cancer, my blood values are good and the doc is quite pleased with how healthy I look, and how well I’ve been managing the treatments so far. So we’ll just keep moving forward one step at a time.

PS—I did ask the doc about using the port for taking blood, but she prefers not because not everyone knows how to handle the port, and it is more prone to infection than a normal stick for blood. *sigh* It took two tries to get me today… this is becoming a trend.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 17.

The Aftermath

My Status: Headache-y
Mood: Cranky

Today what my body has been through in the last week caught up with me. Tired, headache I can’t seem to get rid of, and I’m retaining water like a camel. So I took it slow and easy this morning. I had an appointment with the surgeon for the port recheck today at 11:30, so I geared my morning toward prepping for that. My only problem with the recheck was finding the doctor’s office.

Once again, I didn’t get a confirmation call… and if I had, things might have gone a lot smoother because I might have questioned them when they told me to go to an office I’d never heard of. Not even thinking twice about it, I hopped in the car and went to the office I know… to be told when I walked in the door that I was at the wrong location. The receptionist handed me a card with the address, a place MUCH closer to my house, and off I went. Good thing I was early for the appointment at the wrong place, eh? I arrived at the “new” location and couldn’t find the suite on the card, so popped into the Urgent Care facility on the ground floor and asked. The receptionist there looked at me like I had two heads. So I asked for the doctor… OHHHH despite having 101 as the suite number on the card, he was upstairs… they didn’t tell me what suite, but gave me lousy directions “just up the stairs”.

By this time, my temper was frayed. The headache I had been trying to outrun came on full force, and I was NOT a happy camper. This is one of those times where I know my anger was disproportionate to the situation, but I also couldn’t change things. (Don’t worry, I didn’t behead anyone… I just kept stating over and over that I was NOT happy.) Fortunately, everything is good with the port, and I don’t have to go back unless there is a problem with it. And the drive home was short after having driven half the county earlier.

Knowing I wasn’t fit for any interactions with people, when I got home, I took a nap, hoping the headache would go away. No such luck. Of course, I’m way behind on getting fluids into me because I haven’t figured out how to sleep and drink at the same time. Pushing the fluids will ultimately help the head situation. I did ice it, so the edge has been dimmed, but still suffering with it. I am now drinking tea, and will try a little food before nausea kicks in, but I do have to say today has not been one of my favorites. I really could have done without the extra driving and the headache can leave any time.

The picture shows how I feel… being beaten by the forces of nature at the moment.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 16.

Cycle 3, Day 3 – Hydration


My Status: Rested
Mood: Good

This will be a short post. Things went well today. I managed to have my first ever hydration day of less than 4 hours. YAY!!! I arrived early and got started about 15 minutes early, so finished in 3.5 hours. Lovin’ the new port for the speed if nothing else. But also loving that they don’t have to stick me to get the IV in. But the BIGGEST thing about today is I am OFFICIALLY 50% of the way through the treatment cycle.

**Sets off sparkly confetti cannon**

The road ahead is getting shorter and hopefully everything is working as it should with the treatments, and I will have a relatively clean bill of health at the end. It is very mentally and emotionally satisfying to hit the half way mark. I am surviving and doing it quite well, all things considered. Today really was a good day—the treatment was shorter, I got to spend time with my mom, and I took a two-hour nap. AND I managed to get some editing done while sitting in the chair. I feel blessed.

The picture today is a combination of butterflies (I see them as dancing) and a serene fairy because I need the fantasy touch at the moment.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 15.

Cycle 3, Day 2 – Chemo

My Status: Rested
Mood: Good

Normally I talk about the picture for the post at the end, but I’m going to switch things up today and talk about this one now. πŸ™‚ This picture spoke to me because it is how I feel right now. My body has a few cracks, and I may be a bit mossy around the edges, but I’m rested and merging with what I need to make me whole. (Besides… I can totally do that hairstyle right now.) My journey so far through Leukemia and Lymphoma has had relatively few bumps and for that I am eternally grateful. Resting is what my body needs… and sometimes is the most difficult thing for me to do.

Today went very smooth. Arrived on time, the chemo nurse put a new needle in, hooked me up, and away we dripped. At a normal pace. She slowed it down during the middle because she didn’t want to give it to me too fast, and as a consequence I am much clearer-headed than yesterday. 3 hours and we were ready to leave. SUCCESS!!!! The only issue I had was starting to get antsy from sitting near the end. And after yesterday’s marathon, can you blame me?

HalsaMatAt night, I usually use my spike mat, aka my modern bed of nails, to help relax my back and work out some of the back issues I have, but last night I didn’t use it. Primarily because I was so foggy and had taken a sleeping pill, and didn’t want to stay on it for too long or I might have permadents in my back. But since I DIDN’T use it… my back was not happy with more hours in the chair. Those who know me well, know I swear by my spike mat. It has allowed me to keep my back from completely giving up on me and helps me get a much better night sleep. And the pillow is the best part. LOVE my pillow. Anyway, today after being antsy during chemo, I came home, got out the mat and took a nap—despite the drug in the pre-chemo cocktail designed to hype me up. THAT is the power of the spike mat. I feel refreshed, my brain isn’t hazy, and I’m ready to attack more edits. Huzzah!!!

Now I should probably think about something to eat… oh yeah, before my nap, the tum was rumbling a bit, but now is solid. More fluid flushing and a bit of something to eat in my future. πŸ˜‰ All for now. Looking forward to closing out this cycle tomorrow and I will be 50% of the way through my chemo sessions.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 14.

Cycle 3, Day 1 – Chemo

Tyrol, Austrian Alps

Tyrol, Austrian Alps

My Status: Mush-Brained
Mood: Good

My brain is mush… seriously, it feels numb. So please forgive any typos or nonsense sentences in the following. Today’s chemo went well, although it was a slow process. I arrived at 0900 to start my first bag—the one I had an allergic reaction to during Cycle 2. Six-and-a-half hours later, we finally managed to make it to bag 2. Looking at the time, a collective sigh went up because I’ve never managed bag 2 in under 3.5 hours. But this time it was different. This time we were using the Power PAC … In slightly less than 2 hours bag 2 was history. THAT is the power of the Power PAC.

Take a moment to imagine me sitting there watching the bag deflate, fist pumping, and singing “I got the Power”.

What makes the difference? When using the veins in my arms, they are big enough to handle the IV full flow, so even when not having to run the drip slow because of the potential for allergic reaction, they had to run me slower than most because of my veins. But the Power PAC is installed in my jugular… and if the jugular can’t handle it, then I’m giving up. Not really, but still…. Due to the larger vein size, it can handle the chemo at an improved rate, so likely my day 2 and day 3 times will decrease. Excuse me while I happy dance for a bit. Oh and the increased rate is probably responsible for the brain haze/numbness I’m experiencing at the moment because before I had more time to combat it. Definitely a good thing I have drivers taking me home.

When I went for my labs yesterday, I had the nurse re-bandage my port area because it was ridiculous. I had tape from the outside of my right arm to the middle of my sternum. And gauze… oh my goodness, the gauze. Over the weekend, I thought about offering my services to a football team for the play-offs. I’m sure they would have bounced off my gauze. And one of the most important (to me) aspects is that tomorrow I will be able to shower normally because THERE IS NO NEEDLE IN ME. The chemo nurse took the needle out because there is a limit to the number of days it should be left in… and I was at the max. So tomorrow a new needle for Wednesday and Thursday, and not another one for a month. YA!!!!

I like the picture for this post because it shows a beautiful, gorgeous, really, sky with only a few fluffy white clouds on the horizon. It sums up my day. Hard to be confined for that long day, and the brain numbness takes some getting used to, but overall—Terrific.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 09.

Surgery Day

Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia, Argentina

My Status: Feeling pretty good
Mood: Determined

Surgery day started dark and early … the alarm woke us at 04:30. The dogs ignored the alarm going off because they are used to their Papa getting up at odd hours for work. They did a double take when I rousted myself to shower. The surgery itself went very smooth. As a bit of irony, the only trouble they had with the entire process to put in a port because IV’s were getting difficult, was getting the IV for the surgery in. πŸ˜€ My poor hand had to put up with two tries because the first ballooned. Nothing new, right?

Surgery complete, recovery went well, except my nurse asked whether Denny was angry because he was so solemn, so I explained he gets worried about me, and I’m the one making jokes throughout the whole process. FORTUNATELY, everything is covered up so I can’t see the needle… YAY!!! This makes me happy because what I don’t see doesn’t bother me. The bandage is a little extreme though. I feel like I have a combination of half a football pad and half a neck brace on.

I literally have to turn my body when looking to the left, down is easy, but up pulls. This is caused by the tape on my neck. I figure tonight while I sleep, the tape will pop and in the morning I’ll adjust it to be more comfortable for the next few days. I had to laugh because the first thing I did was pop the tape while getting dressed. That’s when they went tape crazy… trying to keep it from popping when I lifted my arms, they added gauze and tape.

Normally, I’d take a little more time to explain my day, but I came home and went straight to work for the day job because my colleague was having a surgery this afternoon and someone needed to be there. And I am so close to the end of my first round edits, nothing, not even surgery, takes precedence. I will be finished (tonight if I can last)

Oh, I now have a little key chain do-dad explaining the port to carry with me at all times. I have the Power Pack—a fitting name. The picture at the top was chosen because it is gorgeous, dramatic clouds with sunshine bursting through. A perfect picture for the day.

Off to finish my edits. πŸ˜€

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan. 06.

Next Step Surgery

Novgorod Kremlin

Novgorod Kremlin

My Status: Tired
Mood: Cheery

I haven’t posted for a while because of the holidays, but now that they are past, it’s time to give you the latest updates. I saw my doc on the 30th and she gave me a prescription for the port catheter so we won’t be hunting for a “good” vein anymore to use for chemo. I saw the surgeon today and the surgery is set for Thursday morning, bright and early. The doc had requested the port be put in on Monday, the 13th, but the surgeon overrode her decision because he felt I’d be too prone to infection if we attempted to use the port on the 14th.

I’m actually pretty good with all of it, except one phrase skeeves me out. It is even on the prescription … “leave the needle in.” To someone who is mildly needle phobic, this phrase turns my stomach. So now I have to wrap my mind around the fact that I will have a needle in me from Thursday through at least Tuesday. It’s going to take ALL of my skills in NOT thinking about it to get me through.

But, just in case, someone better have several choruses of Soft Kitty ready to talk me off the ledge. I’ll be fine if I don’t think about it … so I’d better stop now, or total freak out will ensue. Believe it or not, I have always been very good about receiving shots and giving blood, but horrible with seeing the actual needle. Oh well. *conjures up visions of rainbows and unicorns*

Over the holidays, I managed to find my writing mojo again, and have finished the draft of One-Way Ticket, the fourth book in the Misfit McCabe series. I’m so excited about finishing up this book, words fail me. I can’t wait until you have a chance to meet the characters between the covers. Although I don’t normally jump right into edits, there was enough time between writing the bulk of the book and finishing it, so I’m in the middle of first round edits and things are going very well. And I’m busting to get back to the edits so I can get some feedback and polish it up and make it even shinier than it was before.

The picture at the top of this post was chosen for two reasons … a nod to the weather some of my friends across the country are experiencing while we are baking in Southern California during the day. And the Kremlin a nod to my friend, Jane Kindred and her love of Russia, and the release of her latest book, Prince of Tricks. Jane is having a book launch party tomorrow (1/7/14), so stop by and party virtually for a chance to win some swag.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 21.

Life Beyond Normal


My Status: Headache ascendant
Mood: Philosophical

I love the holiday season and all of the festive atmosphere, the twinkling lights, the songs, decorating, and most importantly cherishing time spent with family and friends—there is a magic for all to experience. I have even been known to thrive on the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Normally. But sometimes life throws a curve and you end up living it beyond normal.

Beyond normal can include things that are fabulous or things that are not so great. It is an extreme, and when it happens things are different—you have to learn to adjust or it can be a bumpy ride, whether on the up or down swing. Beyond normal is where I’m living right now, and it can be difficult to keep your footing out here. Things I wouldn’t have even thought about doing twice last year can wipe me out this year … and do.

This week has been a particularly tough one, with the allergic reaction on Tuesday during chemo and the aftermath as well as the length of time the chemo took because of the reaction. It has depleted the few resources I had built up, and left a dishrag doll in its place. This season that I love is passing me by, and I’m missing most of it. I want to embrace it, but cannot lift my arms high enough to do so. Normally, I’m a fighter, and would push myself, but here in beyond normal I simply can’t. So I’ll just have to make up for it next year. πŸ˜‰

Beyond normal impacts everything in your life. Even the simple day-to-day tasks, or maybe most especially the day-to-day tasks. This morning, I had a plan for things I wanted to accomplish. A small list, one which had been modified (or so I thought) to the beyond normal standards. First off, it took me about an hour to convince myself to move. I’ve had a nasty headache since Thursday night, so that was something additional to battle. Nausea was trying to take hold this morning, so it had to be kicked down. And standing made me a little light-headed.

I persevered. I took the tasks slowly, one at a time, and kept moving forward—with breaks along the way. At one point, I passed the mirror and noticed my face was flushed. Which for me is actually fairly normal, although, usually there is more reason for it than what I had been doing. A little while later I passed the same mirror and one look told me I was done for the day. Instead of being flushed, I had paled a shade or three … in other words, it could have been Caspar staring back at me from the mirror, which is not a good sign. And I was shaking. Time to stop or pass out.

On top of the rest of it, because of the leukemia, throughout the day I will periodically sweat profusely, with no effort expended whatsoever. Such a pleasant thing. HA. I didn’t get everything I wanted to accomplished, but in beyond normal, I’ll accept what was done and won’t worry about what wasn’t—because I can’t. I’m doing the best I can, and my focus MUST be on getting well. And part of getting well is knowing when to stop (and no, I don’t yet have it mastered). All the focus must be on positive and not the negative.

In thinking about living life beyond normal, I know I am not the only one out here on the fringe this year (or any year). So when you see someone who is having to count to 3 before taking the next step, give them an extra smile to encourage them along their way, or a helping hand. It’s not easy out here, and we all end up here at one point or another.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 19.

Cycle 2, Day 3 – Hydration

My Status: Feeling okay
Mood: Good mood in progress

Today was pretty smooth, only 4 hours (supposedly 3 hours per my scheduled times, but we’ve had to throw the general time frames out with me). Nothing but hydration and the injection to boost my white cell counts. The injection is to help boost my immune system and hopefully keep me from getting sick after the treatments. But I have to watch for any sort of reaction, especially after this round of chemo, because it could cause difficulty breathing, flu-like symptoms, etc. So for the next couple days, I have to monitor my temperature and call in if it goes above 99F. And since some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction are the same as what I’m already experiencing from the reaction on Tuesday—puffy face and eyes, mild shortness of breath, etc.—it may be a bit difficult to distinguish whether the reaction is still residual or coming on for a bit. I’ll get it figured out. And I did do well with the injection the last cycle.

The worst of it should be joint and bone pain, and here’s hoping the knee doesn’t blow up again. I don’t want that to look forward to each time I go through a chemo cycle. Especially since the way to control the knee pain causes issues with my liver. Speaking of the liver, as soon as I can get some, I’m going to try drinking at least a cup of dandelion tea each day. Dandelion tea is supposed to help increase liver function, and I have okay’d its use with my doc. I certainly don’t want to do anything that will hinder this process, so everything, down to herbal remedies will be confirmed before consumed.

As with the last cycle, by the time I hit this morning, I was carrying approximately 7 extra pounds of water weight. The water retention because of the steroids is going to be an ongoing battle. I am doing my part by drinking as much fluids as I can … alternating tea and water. Each day during the chemo, I drank a huge thermos full of tea and at least one 17 oz. bottle of water. The longer I was in the chair, the more water I drank.

This cycle I have noticed a definite difference in my energy levels. I’ll be going along fine, and then I’ll hit the wall, and when the wall is hit there is NO keeping my eyes open. I have to lay down before I fall down. Part of that is likely due to the reaction to the drug on Tuesday, at least I’m hoping so. I normally am the sort of person to want to power through dips in energy, but I am listening (as if I had a choice this time) and getting the rest when I need it. Fortunately, an hour does the trick to rejuvenate and I’m ready to roll again for a few hours.

I don’t have my schedule yet for January, so we’ll have to sit tight for another week or so to know when that’s happening, and I’ll have to go in right before hand to have the port to put in to make things a little easier for everyone with my small, deep, slippery veins. One woman in with me today had similar issues with her veins, and the port was suggested, but she declined. She’s on her (hopefully) last chemo cycle and didn’t want to go through it. But for me, with still two-thirds of the way to go, it simply makes sense.

The picture at the top was a seasonal snowflake in honor of hydration day, plus I thought the color was fabulous.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 18.

Cycle 2, Day 2 – Chemo

Christmas Candles

Christmas Candles

My Status: Tired
Mood: Doing better

Another long one today, although we did manage to skip the whole allergic reaction thing. That is a huge positive. But because of the allergic reaction yesterday, the decision was made to run today’s chemo at a much slower pace to ensure there were no difficulties. End result was the chemo that should have taken approximately 3 hours took nearly 6. Another day eaten by chemo.

By the time I returned home, I was tired. Unable to keep my eyes open tired. I had a small bite to eat to keep the nausea at bay, and then crawled between the sheets. I dozed, but did not fall into a deep sleep. So guess who will be taking a sleeping pill again tonight??? If I can’t sleep when I’m that exhausted, then it is a necessity to get enough rest to handle the next day. The plan at the moment is to finish this post, have some tea, and hopefully zonk out for the night.

The after effects of the allergic reaction so far have been the headache last night, which was coming back on earlier this evening, but I’ve got it back under control, a bit of a sore throat, water retention, puffy eyes, congestion, and getting winded climbing the stairs. With the severity of the reaction, I count myself lucky. And strangely, this morning it was difficult to raise my left arm above my head. The chemo was in the right arm yesterday, so this seems a bit strange to me. Anyway, overall, doing well.

The candles at the top of the post are my symbol for hope. They are burning bright, keeping vigil, and signify tomorrow will be an even brighter day. Hydration should go well. One additional hurdle is that we are already having difficulty in getting good veins to put the drips in. So before the next chemo cycle I will go have a port put in, and the stress on my arms will be reduced for the remainder of my treatments. Easier for the chemo nurses, and easier for me. Win-win at its best.

And that’s it for today. Nothing much to say because everything went well, albeit slow.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 17.

Cycle 2, Day 1 Chemo

My Status: Head-achy & slightly nauseous
Mood: Hanging in there

Today was long. Reeeeaaaallllly long. For a lot of reasons. Where do I start?

I’m going to start at the beginning of the day with the arrival of my in-laws half an hour early. Which I did anticipate them being a little early, just not half an hour. Okay, no problem, all I had to do was finish making my tea to take with for my chemo session—except my stress level is difficult to keep under control with them. They are the best-hearted people, and immediately insisted on being able to help once they knew I had to have chemo. I appreciate their willingness to drive me so much—I need someone to drive me. What I don’t need is my stress levels increasing, especially on a day when I was already a little stressed. I won’t go into the gritty details of the additional stress, suffice it to say I went from a slightly elevated stress level to through the roof. The reason my stress levels were elevated to begin with was that I didn’t know whether chemo would be a go today or not. Yesterday I went for my labs, but the test for the liver was done too late in the day to have the results same day and we wouldn’t know whether I’d even be able to have chemo until I arrived this morning.

We arrived early, and they took me back early, which ended up being a very good thing. Got the results. YAY!!! Chemotherapy was a go. I got myself settled, the pre-chemo cocktail all hooked in, and we were off. One the prep cocktail was done, we started the first chemo bag. I had brought movies, so was watching a movie and didn’t pay attention to when the bags were switched. But sometime between 10:30 and 10:45 I noticed labored breathing. I paused the movie and took a couple of deep breaths to see whether it would ease like it had the time before. My heart raced and it felt like something was pressing against my chest—hard. Not quite the elephant on the chest thing of a heart attack, but heavier than a two-year-old.

I knew this wasn’t right and it was getting worse quickly, so I told the chemo nurse I was having trouble breathing. She immediately turned off the drip and went for the doctor. They gave me a shot of something (not Benadryl—because I’m allergic to it) and the heaviness of the chest decreased, and after a few minutes the heart rate lessened. Apparently I was very flushed as well—even when I felt much more normal.

The decision was made to continue, but to give me chemo bag number 2 first, and then after I had gone through that one, we’d try chemo bag number 1 at a slower pace because I had handled it okay during Cycle 1. Normally Day 1 chemo of the cycle should last approximately 6 hours. We started this morning somewhere around 9:15 and it was after 6 PM by the time I was done. And THAT is a long time to be sitting in a chair with chemicals dripping into you.

The picture at the top of the post is because I feel as if I had a Christmas Angel sitting on my shoulder today. We were too close to making a hospital visit, and I am blessed to have a chemo nurse who reacted quickly and got things turned around as fast as she did. This also means I can count on the remainder of my Day 1 cycles being longer than the expected 6 hours. Hopefully not in the neighborhood of 9 hours, like today, but we will always need to start chemo bag 1 slowly and gradually increase to mitigate potential for the allergic reaction. Post chemo I have a blistering headache as a gift from the allergic reaction, I’m retaining water like a camel to the point where I can feel the swelling, and I have the after day 1 slight case of nausea. Tylenol has been taken for the headache, anti-nausea medication has been taken (and by the end of this post I’m feeling much better), and I have taken a sleeping pill to help counteract one of the prep cocktail drugs which causes me to not sleep well. I will have some tea and shortly (with any luck) sleep.

Oh, and the reason I need a driver? One of the drugs can cause confusion, as evidenced tonight when I reached into the back of the car we’ve had for 8 years and scrabbled around trying to find the door handle so I could put my things in the back seat. We only have two-door cars.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 13.

Working Through Exhaustion

My Status: Sweating, but good
Mood: Jubilant

Today was one of those days where the simple act of crawling out of bed was a major triumph. (My apologies in advance for all the bleary-eyed typos that may creep into this post.) I don’t get it. Night before last I had a horrible night of sleep. I was restless, tossed and turned, woke up every half hour to hour, not a good night. You’d expect that I’d be tired, right? Wrong. Yesterday I had energy, got things done for the day job, got a couple things accomplished last night, and when I finally started to yawn, I went to bed. At a reasonable hour. I slept really well last night, but morning came and crawling really is the best description for how I was moving.

You know the feeling… the one where the Mac truck left tire tracks on your back as it drove on through. Not that I was achy, just overwhelmingly tired. If I would have had to drive to work, I don’t think I’d have made it, but when all I have to do is cross the landing, it took me approximately half an hour, but I convinced myself to make the trek.

Day job went the smoothest it has all week, which is not to say smooth, but the past two weeks have been ugly as far as things needing attention. I actually accomplished something new. Not as much as I wanted, but I’ll take accomplishment where I can get it. And the accomplishment is something I’ve been pushing for for several years, so to finally get it implemented was HUGE.

Tim LawrencePhoto: Alptraum

Tim Lawrence
Photo: Alptraum

But when the day job was done, I was drained. Completely wrung out. I was ready for bed at 6 o’clock, but knew better than to give into the urge, and didn’t want to take a nap for the same reason. If I went to bed at 6, I’d be up at 2 or 3 AM staring at the ceiling in the dark. And then my sleep pattern would get all messed up… and it is a delicate little beast, so I don’t like to mess it up more than I can help. There remained the question of what to do with myself for the evening. But then Tim (the guy in the picture is my vision of Katie’s best friend, Tim) showed up and flooded me with a scene. I had to write. I didn’t know whether I’d be putting gibberish on the page or not because I was so bleary-eyed and exhausted I wanted to face-plant on the desk. But I had to trust the instinct driving me.

I am soooooo glad I did. Tim kept talking, I plugged in some Christmas tunes, which were a little at odds with the scene we were going through, but it somehow worked. Funnily enough, the more I wrote, the less tired I became. A little over 1,500 words later, I stopped. The characters were still talking, but I needed to take a moment because one was trying to take the spotlight, and my gut said that was the wrong direction. And I wasn’t ready to work with the next character—who is frankly a pain and I knew I wouldn’t do him justice tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Poor Tim is having such a rough time, and I’m so proud of him. He usually bottles up his feelings, but this time let me hear them loud and clear. When I realized we had completed a few necessary scenes (and even one unexpected one) I was ready to break into the Hallelujah chorus. This was the most I’ve been able to accomplish word-wise, story-wise since finding out I needed chemo. FINALLY!! I don’t have the words to say how good this feels. I was trying not to despair that I wasn’t writing… but it is probably the most difficult thing for me to battle. I’m missing part of me without the writing.

So tonight, I feel whole. And other than the CLL sweats when it’s 45 degrees, I feel pretty normal, too. And tired, but not the sheer exhaustion that plagued me all day. Good tired. Accomplished tired. Ready for sleep.

Good Night. May your dreams be sweet or if they’re not at least a good plot for a novel.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 11.

A Difference in Perspective

My Status: Improving
Mood: Appeased

Yesterday I was a bit down. Discouraged because I wasn’t able to go through with the chemo treatment as planned. I had actually thought I might not be able to do so because my allergies had flared because we have had some winds and I had been coughing. I still am. Post-nasal-drip coughs, but I woke up this morning wheezing. It’s the reason I am trying to view the non-chemo this week as a blessing. I do believe it is probably best that I did not undergo the treatments.

So why am I rehashing what I said yesterday? Because I figured out why I took the lack of treatment so hard. If I hadn’t been able to have the treatments because of the condition of my lungs, that is a long-known issue, and one I have lived with my entire life. The potential for something to go wrong with my lungs this time of year is pretty great, and therefore somewhat anticipated. But to be told to go home because of my blood results was something different.

Here’s how I heard it: You’re too sick for chemo. It’s hard enough for me to grasp the fact that I’m sick. Most days. But now I’m too sick for the treatment??? It made me feel like the picture above … climbing a treacherous path, not able to see clearly ahead. Just looking at that picture I feel claustrophobic. Conditions icy and dark, meaning I will slip and fall. And I did fall … mood-wise. Yesterday and part of this morning were a little rough. Not to the point of despair, but trying to focus on the positive was out of reach.

I am doing better mood-wise now. And part of that is due to seeing my regular doc for the Blepharitis recheck. The eye infection has cleared—YAY!!!—but that isn’t what caused my mood to lift. I mentioned the elevated liver enzymes to my doc and he agreed that the issue was the anti-inflammatories I took due to the knee pain. And having him confirm my gut instinct helped me. I can now focus on the fact that there is a cause which is no longer in effect. And he recommended Icy Hot for any future flare ups while I’m going through the chemo.

And he was a tad cranky because the oncologist did not advise him of the blood results. He had called her with the Blepharitis diagnosis and likes to be kept in the loop about what is going on with my treatments. I expect another phone call will be made. And I’m a little cranky that they didn’t call me on Monday to let me know the results. As they SHOULD have.

Tonight I have gained a little perspective about the road ahead. It’s still just as treacherous. It’s icy and dark, and the trek won’t be easy, but I can once again see the light. A beacon to guide me through my journey. Amazing how different the same road looks with different perspective, right?

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 10.

False Start

Christmas ball by fotoman228

Christmas ball by fotoman228

My Status: Tired and Congested
Mood: Disappointed

Yesterday was Chemo Eve, or so I thought. I went yesterday for my labs, the machine they use to assess the blood values was not working correctly, so they told me they’d call with the results. In the afternoon, I did receive a call from the doctor’s office—to confirm my chemo appointment. I mentioned that I had not yet heard my results and wanted to make sure everything was okay. The gal was on the phone and I was told someone would call. That call never came. And one presumes no news, is good news because they would have called if something wasn’t right … right?

I woke up early this morning, packed up all my stuff, and exited just as my driver pulled up. I was totally prepared. A bag of snacks and water, a thermos of tea, my blanket for if I get cold (and slippers because my feet do get cold), and my laptop along with some movies. A veritable pack-mule ready for her trek. We arrived timely and they took me back. I kicked back in my chair, changed into my slippers, had the first movie loaded and laptop all plugged in when the chemo nurse came back and told me they were sending me home.

Um, What??? Honestly, I thought she was joking because I had already set up all my stuff and was ready to roll. But apparently my liver enzymes were high. One of the chemo drugs I could have had, but the other—the one I have two days in a row—cannot be given when the liver levels are out of whack. So they sent me home to drink lots of fluids and we’ll try again next week.

Why are the liver enzymes high? My guess is the antiinflammatories I had to take to get the pain in my knee under control. And that I’ve had to take Tylenol for pain management. Not in doses which would normally elevate the liver functions, but since my body is definitely not handling things well these days, the liver decided it was going to whine along with the rest of the body.

By the time I got home, the day was half gone and I needed to rest. I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to drink more throughout the day… I already drink more than a gallon a day. Next thing you know my bladder will throw up picket lines and go on strike.

On one hand, I am disappointed we had to postpone the chemo until next week. I’m not a patient person, and I want to get on with things. But on the other hand, one thought that crossed my mind this morning as we were headed to my supposed chemo treatment—we’d had a lot of winds yesterday and I am congested and coughing, would that have made it more difficult to get through the chemo? Since the one drug is known for respiratory issues, my guess is yes. So maybe, just maybe, postponing things a week is a blessing in disguise.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 09.

Chemo Eve

Christmas by Lyanne85

Christmas by Lyanne85

My Status: Tired
Mood: Content

That’s right, it’s Chemo Eve. I will NOT be breaking out the champagne for this one. Somehow the thought of going tomorrow to sit in a chair for six hours while various drugs are dripped into my system just doesn’t fill me with the party attitude. But that’s okay. Not everything in life is a party, nor should it be. I appreciate the journey I’ve had so far with the chemo because overall the reactions have been light. Will they continue to be?

*shrugs* Tomorrow will tell.

Tomorrow is my 6 hour day, and I have my snacks ready, thermos waiting to be filled with tea, so I have something warm to drink throughout the day, slippers, movies to play on my laptop, a big red, fleece blanket, and a driver who will most likely be on time. I feel like I’m off to camp. Camp Chemo—the camp where everyone has their own drip bag, and the games are lame, but the grand prize for camp completion is the coveted remission.

So while I’m not necessarily looking forward to the next three days, by the end of the week I will have notched the second cycle of six on the chemo tree, and will be one-third of the way through my treatment … which sounds a heckuva lot better than 16% of the way there. It’s the equivalent of eating liver when I was a kid. I would never have requested that we have liver for dinner, it was not, and remains not one of my favorites, but when it was served, we had to eat it. I learned the trick early on of making sure I had a mountain of mashed potatoes to bury it with, and I’d take a heaping portion of the grilled onions, too. Every bite had to have mashed potato and onion with it, and ultimately I’d finish the liver first, and then enjoy my last few bites of mashed potatoes as my reward. So while chemo was definitely not on my list of things to start in 2013, better health and being well will be my reward for persevering.

While I did rest a lot over the weekend, today I was tired for most of the day. I blame the weather. We had nice sunshine, but winds caused my allergies to flare up and my sinuses to go haywire, so I’m not as rested feeling as I had hoped to be. And the leukemia has been kicking up, because even though the temps were at 46F, I was sweating while sitting still. I did manage to accomplish what I needed to for the day job today so that was a positive. I don’t like going off with things left undone to fester while waiting for me to return. And tonight, I’m a little less tired because I had a great conversation with a fellow writer, and that always energizes me.

Until tomorrow. Good night.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 06.

Crankiness and Hope

Christmas by Ironii

Christmas by Ironii

My Status: Feeling Better
Mood: Irritated

Warning—what follows may be a bit of a ramble
I ain’t gonna lie—this week has been a rough one. Starting off with the touch of depression which was ripped apart by knee pain, which then morphed into overall body pain, followed up with an eye infection… and that was just the physical part. Even worse was the work week where each day had another bomb to deliver. Fire-fighting all week leaves me feeling unaccomplished and wrung out. But today was Friday and I woke up with my pain levels well under control. I should be glad, right?

Wrong. I had one of those rare mornings where every little thing irritated me. Things that I normally take in my stride caused my inner Oscar-the-Grouch to start throwing slimy banana peels all over the place. Fortunately, being alone with the pups allowed me to vent without hurting anyone’s feelings. The girls are used to my talking to myself all the time anyway, so they just let me grumble without comment. And the most irritating thing?? Knowing I was being cranky about things—picky, itty-bitty, not really all that important things—things that weren’t worth the upset.

So you’d think the work week would want to lighten up on Friday … not a chance. Things kept going along the same tail-spin they’d been in all week. Which means I didn’t get to something I need to have done before Tuesday. Hopefully Monday will be a kinder day. The deadline is because I start my next chemo cycle on Tuesday and I need to put together instructions for someone who is not familiar with the things I’ve built on what to do if they don’t function properly because my colleague who would normally be holding down the fort has been summoned for jury duty. I’m actually hoping everything decided to blow a gasket this week, so next week will be smooth—but I know better.

Then early afternoon, I received a message from a friend sending good thoughts and virtual hugs and it helped turn my sour day right-side up again. Work finally finished for the week, I still felt wiped out, but no longer cranky. Putting in my headphones, I listened to some music to help me unwind, and finally feel a bit more centered. Music is my creative fuel.

So while listening, unwinding, and trying to decide whether it is more reading or whether words on the page were finally going to happen, I saw a link to the below video on Facebook. I am so glad I took out my headphones long enough to listen to what this 13-year-old boy has to say. Kids like this give me so much hope for the future. What he has to say applies not only to kids and education, but to life and we can all learn from it.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 03.

Heeeey, Blepharitis

My Status: Are you kidding me???
Mood: Cheerful πŸ˜€

I couldn’t help but title the post this way… and if you don’t hear the Macarena playing in the background, then I don’t know what’s wrong. So let’s recap—knee is miraculously better, scudding along at 0 on the pain scale (may it stay there forever), back and arms are improving and will probably be pretty much back to normal tomorrow. So what else could go wrong?

I’m really going to have to stop asking that question.

Blepharitis—that’s what else could go wrong. When I awoke this morning, my left eye was bloodshot, rims were red, and it felt like I had little rocks in the corner near the tear-duct. My eyelids were both puffy as well, which they have been because my allergies have been elevated, but this felt different than allergies for the eyes. *sigh* A phone call to my regular doc later and I had a lunch time appointment for him to look at my infected eye.

Any other time, I’d have been tempted to use my allergy eye drops, warm compresses and wait a few days to see whether it cleared. But both my regular doc and my oncologist have made it perfectly clear, even to a stubborn-headed mule like me, that ANY infection was to be treated immediately. That I cannot afford to have any infection take hold in my system. Especially now since I had to have steroids for the knee issue, which further weakens my immune system. So the call to the doc was made.


Here’s what the informational sheet my doc provided has to say about it:

Blepharitis is a common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids. … Bacteria reside on the surface of everyone’s skin, but in certain individuals they thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. The resulting irritation causes dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.

So now I will need to use antibiotic eye drops 4 times daily, warm compresses to help descale my eyes, and wash them ever so gently with a solution of baby shampoo (Baby Magic is the best—no petroleum products in it). Or, potentially, I could lose my eyelashes. I know I’ve talked a bit about hair loss and how it’s not likely to happen from chemo, but now I have something that could potentially rob my eyes of their lashes? Good grief. I wonder whether I could have permanent eyelashes grafted on that are hot pink????

HolidayHairWhat do you do when life keeps raining on your physical well-being? *shrugs* I bought a purple holiday hat with bling on the brim and took a goofy picture of myself and posted it to Facebook. Why??? Because I can and it helps me to focus on things OTHER than my ridiculous health. Don’t get me wrong, I am taking the health thing seriously, and unless I tell them otherwise, I do follow doctor’s orders, but I also have to laugh because we have reached the point of if it’s not one thing, it’s another. By posting my pic on Facebook, I got to take a couple trips down memory lane with the folks who have known me for donkey’s years. I was able to reminisce about writing an epic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas revision with my friend Nancy when we both worked at K-Mart. And I think there is a unanimous opinion that my curls peeping out from the cap bear a striking resemblance to Herbie, the Dentist elf in the Christmas Classic, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. So for the season, I shall be LK, the writer elf.

Oh and if you haven’t twigged it yet, I do love the holiday season, and will probably be decorating the posts with Christmassy stuff through the month.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 02.

What a Difference a Day Makes…


My Status: MUCH better
Mood: Ebullient

My title of the post today may be a bit clichΓ©, but it is the truth. Or maybe more appropriately, what a difference a good night sleep makes. Yesterday, by the time I had posted about the whole knee incident, I was feeling a bit better. Today when I awoke, my knee was a bit stiff… that’s it. Right now it feels like nothing ever happened. Okay, so my arms and back are still telling me that my right knee refused to cooperate and they had to pick up the slack, but other than that??? Not a sign in my knee that it has been anything other than right as rain. And my arms are better. They no longer shake when trying to lift them more than three inches and I can actually raise them above my head without more than a minor protest. They feel like I went to the gym and was over aggressive about working out. Which is close to the truth.

Yesterday morning, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the commute to work … across the upstairs landing to my office. And the thought of getting up and sitting down in my chair, and making the trek back to the bedroom overwhelmed me. But I put in a full day’s work, made it up and down the stairs several times, and drove myself to the doctor’s office and had my labs done—all without one ounce of pain and I didn’t even wear the knee stabilizer.

The fateful meeting between Doogie and me took place today. Since I had called in and spoken to him, he had to see me when I was in to have my blood drawn. Yes, he still has all of his own teeth—I restrained myself from kicking them down his throat. Probably because I felt so good. Sunday might have been touch and go, especially before the drugs finally kicked in. I did manage to make the points that all I needed were some drugs that were stronger than Tylenol. He was thorough enough to pull up the records from my trip to the ER, and since they had forgotten to post the Doppler results, he had them sent right over as well. His conclusion was about the same as the ER doc—no one has a clue about why the knee responded in the way that it did. Doogie does agree that calling the oncologist vs. my regular doc was the best course of action. Now comes the big question … do I still have to go to my regular doc since I saw a doc today? Ask my doc and he’ll tell you yes, I do need to see him. But he’ll agree the strangeness surrounding the knee issue would be more indicative of a possible chemo reaction. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

Anyway, if you can’t tell, I’m just so happy to be out of the pain that I was in … and that’s all that matters today. Well, that and as I posted on Facebook, I may have just had my first Christmas miracle of 2013. Denny decided to make himself dinner tonight, and it did not require reheating of something purchased from a fast food establishment, or simply heating up in the microwave. He was ambitious and actually made his very own salmon burger. He did ask me how, brought me the package and I told him only to make up one patty and to use olive oil in our cute little fry pan (and to use the lid from the pot so it didn’t splatter all over). He was quite proud of how he put everything together and told me it was quite delicious. And when I checked the kitchen later … it was STILL STANDING. No scorches, and the stove top was in decent shape. A TREMENDOUS milestone has been crossed.

The picture at the top of this post has special significance. Yesterday as we were both crashing—Denny from exhaustion, me from drugs and actively seeking oblivion—Denny said, I guess we won’t be changing the bed today. Sunday is the day I like to wash and change the bedding, a process he thinks is far too frequent, by the way. I think he said monthly is sufficient. I disagree—we do it my way. But to be honest, another day that comment might have irritated me, but the thought of having to move enough to even strip the bed wore me out, so as much as I love clean sheets, they’d be fine for another day (and at that point I was thinking or seven). By the time he made it home from work, I had stripped the bed, washed the blanket and the sheets were in the dryer, and the fitted sheets were in place. So he helped me with the blanket and Christmas comforter. I may not get much decorating done this year. I’ll live. But at least the bed has been decorated and was my triumph over the latest bump in the road.

PS Elsa couldn’t figure out why I was taking a picture of the bed … she was just happy the flash wasn’t going off in her eyes.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,