Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here I go again, but for the last time. I had the IV Taxol today without a problem and had an appointment with my oncologist. We asked about maintenance therapy, something relatively new that my surgeon told us about. She'll be looking in to it. "It" would involve monthly IV taxol for a year, at doses much lower than what I am getting now.

John is excited about this being day one of the last chemo cycle, and I should be excited. Right now I am more relieved than anything else. I'll head to the hospital tomorrow for the first of two rotisserie treatments.

John has had the project of scraping, then treating and painting the rusty bottom of our utility trailer. It looks better and is all ready for Fall gardening projects. I've worked outside a few days this week, still trying to get rid of unwanted grass and bishop's weed. It felt good to do something useful.
I'll need all of your support for this next 3 weeks so I've planned to blog daily. Just knowing all of you care and are reading the blog is all I'll need. Thank you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It has been an eventful week. Yesterday we drove to Spokane to see my surgeon. She examined me and found nothing of concern, a great relief to me. She also made some suggestions in regard to treating my neuropathy with glutamine. It makes up into a grainy slurry so I don't know how long I can drink it.

After the appointment we drove to Coeur d'Alene to have lunch with friends. I ate so much that I never did get hungry for dinner!

Today the wind is blowing and the temperature falling. I wish it would go ahead ant rain so as to settle all the dust that has been stirred up and allow me not to do any hand watering tonight. It was 103 degrees when we got back from C. d'A. yesterday.

Just finished an excellent book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Though humorous and entertaining it also reviewed the history of the German occupation of the Channel Islands during WWII, something I knew nothing about. It gave me a better understanding than anything I have seen or read of the privation of British civilians during that war.

With my poor concentration and lack of energy, I struggle against boredom. The support of my family and friends means so much at these times. Thank you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm getting a little extra fluid today is as usual on day eleven. I thought I was keeping up pretty well yesterday, but then I woke up dizzy and weak. Tomorrow should be better.

I'm longing for Fall weather; browns and oranges and golds are increasingly appealing. We are planning a trip to the Columbia Gorge for the last week of September. Jim and Patty, John's brother and sister-in-law, will meet us in Hood River after a little preliminary tour of Portland. That will be AT or After Treatment. Needless to say I am looking forward to the break.

Wednesday we will drive to Spokane to see Dr. Grosen, my Gyn oncologist. I'm a bit worried that she will find something not quite right. This is just superstition as I have no reason to be concerned. We're planning lunch in Coeur d'Alene with friends afterwards and a leisurely return to Lewiston.

These are my most difficult days for some reason. Luckily tomorrow (day 12) will be better, or at least it always has been so far.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back in the hospital, finishing the fifth round of therapy. Back in the Pediatrics corner room with a great view of the sunset.

This second week of the cycle has become a bit trying. I went into the ER last night for iv fluids and then back this am for the chemotherapy.

Something new today. My phosphorous was quite low so some of that is running in now. My toes feel as though there are tight bands around the bases of my big toes. Surprisingly this is not painful, just odd. After some correction and the rotisserie routine, I actually feel pretty well. Had chicken and corn for dinner.

The other new thing involves a low blood count. Normally by now it would be near normal; not today. So I will get a white cell stimulating shot tomorrow, promised to give me bone pain. At least I will get to go home. Dietary limitations are in order to avoid unusual infection. This will make my menu much more boring.

Sigi, our 15 year old daschund, is not moving very well. Maybe there is something the vet can do.

John helped.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm in the hospital preparing for rotisserie again. They have put me in a pediatrics room. The advantages include a full wall of windows facing west and the trees across the street as well as more spaciousness. John gets a recliner in this room. Unfortunately, due to yesterday's taxol, lunch tasted like straw. All I can taste is the lemonade; even the mustard was tasteless! It leaves me wondering what to request for dinner.

My red cell blood count is not as good as it seemed so I'll be getting a blood transfusion today. That should help with some of my fatigue. And I won't need as much blush.

Despite all, I am pleased to be getting close to the end of treatment and will be counting the days.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boise was hot and dry. The heat-resistant plants we put in survived! We bought some iris at the Boise Saturday market, put them in and then watered them all well. As we left Monday the weather man was threatening thunderstorms. Maybe August won't be completely dry.

Outside the condo is a small park with tall trees. Near the top of one two raptors have built a nest. Birds of Prey thinks it may be a pair of peregrine falcons. They screech in the morning, fly wildly through the complex and perch on some of the surrounding dead trees. Good air show.

We celebrated Caitlin's 25th birthday early by taking her and Valerie to Locavore, a restaurant that tries to serve only locally available food.The beet and barley risotto was our favorite. We also discovered purslane, a delicious salad ingredient also known as pig weed. Imagine our surprise to find that it is growing between the bricks of our front patio here in Lewiston.

Today I am sitting in the Cancer Center preparing to receive IV Taxol. The beginning of the 5th and next to last cycle. I feel I can see the end of the treatments now. I can be optimistic even though the nausea and fatigue last longer with every cycle. Dr. Popham is pleased with my blood counts and the electrolytes are normal. Onward.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just passed a wonderful weekend in the company of Joe and Joanne, John's brother and sister-in-law. Being from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, they enjoyed our summer weather ("It's dry heat"). We also got a chance to show off local peaches, highway 12 between here and Orofino, an art show at Dahmen Barn and Michelle's home made bread pudding. We learned how one can calculate the temperature by counting the number of cricket chirps in a minute: (x-40/4) +50. There may be an additional adjustment needed as this is based on the snowy white cricket. They also did yard work and helped John move a couch from down stairs to his office upstairs. Pretty good for 4 days.

Today I received a party hat with instructions (see below, and thank you Lynn , Jan and Dan), shirts from Relay for Life declaring "Cancer Sucks" and two of the original Gothic novels for book club. Getting the mail is never boring. And I feel well loved.

We are heading to Boise later this week, taking advantage of my good week to visit Caitlin and do some politics. Getting close to the end of treatment when I should have more that 10 good days in a row.