Showing posts with label Cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cancer. Show all posts

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Good Byes and Hellos and a Scrabble Cruise

Hello, September and hello virtual friends.  

We have sold our house and bought another, all within ten days' time.  Good bye house and garden views. Will surely miss seeing this from my patio chair.  Good-bye to cosmos, marigolds, mint, hollyhocks, grape vines, Jupiter's Beard, columbines, and field of grasses.  

Hello to xeriscaped yard and outside plants in pots next year; hello to never needing to mow.

Below is a picture of the house we bought on Waite Avenue, just one half mile west, and where we will move the last of September.

Zillow said this about our new house:
This one is Parade of Homes nice! Upgrades everywhere you look. The Larkspur model is the most popular model home in Copper Creek Subdivision. This is the only Larkspur plan built with a 3 car garage! With nearly 1650 square feet, 3 beds, 2 baths and a 3 car garage! Hardwood floors, granite counter tops, custom cabinets, oversized stamped concrete back patio with stamped concrete sidewalk surrounding the home. Stamped concrete drive way, garage attic storage with pull down ladder and much more! Split bedroom design with luxury 5 pc master bath and walk in closet. Great room concept with vaulted ceilings. All windows have high end custom blinds and there is a security system included.

That printed, please don't feign to feel sorry for us in our new and smaller digs.  With no grass to mow.  We have given away furniture and thrown away things that no one could possible want.  I was a little sorry to have my good china exit the house, along with the Howard Miller grandfather clock, but there is absolutely no time to mourn.

On the cancer side, side effects now are loss of eyebrows, a little hair lost on the left side where I part my hair, and gut woes. The blood work shows expected neutropenia so hand washing is a must. I follow a neutropenic diet as much as possible. Yup, I have lost weight.  Maybe I will gain it back on an upcoming vacation with Scrabblers.

Those diet, fatigue and tummy issues might present a few glitches when I go off on an 18 day jaunt with Scrabble cruisers when we leave from Southampton, England and go north to France and on to Ireland before heading across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia and on to Canada.  Yea!  This WILL be a great trip, and if fatigue gets to me, there is always a place to rest on the Azamara cruise ship.  I leave on September 7 and return on the 24th from Montreal.  Again, how could you possibly feel sorry for my lot? I am Blessed!
On the Julie front: she is doing fine, with her birthday coming up the day before Labor Day.  The manor is buying her a fast food lunch, a special treat, and we are having a "do" for her at our house when she makes her weekly, now Tuesday, trip over to love on the dogs and watch tv with us.  It will be her last visit to the old homestead on September 6.  Future visits with Julie await us on Waite Avenue, thanks to front door wheel chair accessibility.

Will blog pictures of London, maybe Paris and at the least, the coast of France and Cherbourg, and perhaps more over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for Adventures on the High Seas and wish me great luck playing Scrabble with 16 other tournament entrants as we play 24 tournament games!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Spiders and Shorter Days

Note: Spiders are not attractive to potential house buyers.  Don't get caught with them in the tub.  Here is one I found this morning, trying to ward off looky lookers.  (Six walk-throughs with realtors, with one offer on the house thus far.)
Tomatoes are ripening on the vine, neighbors have been too kind with their squash, and days are getting shorter with kiddos out early in the mornings making their way to school.

Yesterday proved an interesting day with the oncologist in that I learned I qualify for a clinical trial.  At first my altruistic thoughts were quite positive, until I read through the 23 pages of the abstract and learned I would have to make at least fifteen overnight visits to Denver, in winter months, over the continental divide, and at my own expense.  So now the inclination is to let some other "lucky" lady take my place in the trial.  In this double blind study, I had a 33.3 percent chance of receiving the placebo instead of targeted radiation, and even though it would be do-able, it would also be very taxing.  I am continuing on with the Ibrance and letrozole, targeted therapies to slow down tumor growth.  Dr. L offered steroids and analgesics for back and hip aches, but I am holding off for now and trying other avenues for pain relief. There will be time later to bring in the big guns to control pain.  And actually, the pain, dare we say discomfort, is mostly under control, in case you were to worry.

On the Julie front: she is doing pretty well, better than I would have imagined a year ago.  Her new social avenue is playing a card game, Phase 10, with one of her and my best friends at the manor, Ms. Louise.  Louise just passed her 91st birthday last week with much hoopla.  Julie gave her sweet presents and flowers, and Louise had two birthday lunches that she very much enjoyed.  These days, all three of us are playing Phase 10 together in the mornings after Julie gets to the garden room around half past ten. This is sweet Louise with Julie.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Yahweh in Him Met the God in Me

Newly referred oncologist Mark Levandovsky, MD, is a smart cookie in more dimensions that I will ever know.  He certainly read me well on our initial visit, handed me tissues without fanfare, kept direct eye contact, was kind in his manner while being straightforward, and did not overload me with information. 

When I told him I would not fight the metastasis to the bone via tooth and nail, just wanted to be kept comfortable and keep the cancer at arm's length as long as possible, his response was exactly what I wanted and needed to hear. His yarmulka stayed pinned on his head while my silver cross was caught in my reconstructed cleavage. He listened, he heard.

His reply to my questions as to how we would treat this without going overboard in loading up the system with toxic drugs (this cancer will never be eradicated, hence cured), Dr. Levandovsky said he would treat it with "this and that" and if this and that did not provide relief or slow down of growth of tumors, he said he would treat it "with the other."  He sensed I did not  need to know specific effects of seven syllable oncologic drugs, nor would I remember their specific names even five minutes later.  He just knew that I was leaving the specifics in his hands. The analogy is that he and God are taking care of all the details.

This morning I go in for patient education on oral daily drugs.

My anxiety is under control with drugs and I have slept much better the last couple of nights.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  As for me, it is good to be near God.  Psalms 73:26
All those chemo hats I have been crocheting will go to the oncology unit.  Here are two finished last week.

and another Bellatina...