Monday, August 27, 2012

Working at Chill, when it's so flippin' hot!

Sunday August 26th.
Man it's so hot and sticky outside.   I am feeling restless but haven't the energy to do much and lack the focus to do much.   Even staring off into nowhere needs focus!
John was going to put up the hammock for me but upon stepping out onto the barely used deck out back, realize just how much cooler it is there and the scenery is rather nice as well.
He proceeds to bring the lounger with it's cushion up to the deck for me.

Carting my water bottle, drawing book, pen/pencil, sunscreen and my very large hat, I set up to find 'Chill', relaxation, perhaps even a small amount of focus, despite the yuck of the heat.

Once settled I can't help but just take it all in.   It's quite lovely and I wonder why I don't sit back here more often!?

The slightest breeze emits the most quiet but relaxing rustling through the trees which fill the scene in the ravine directly behind our house.   I then notice a gentle trickling of water, arising from our little fish pond, as the water rises up through a little fountain piece and cascades back down again.   The fish like me are hiding beneath shade, afforded them by the overhang of the Virgina Creeper vine; Engleman's Ivy.

The deck itself is in dire need of a rebuild, but even in it's state of dilapidation it grants me time for chill in a more comfortable setting and my thoughts to scribe without the distraction of such heat and humidity.

While considering my good fortune found on the ol' deck I can't help too but look to the rapidly growing White Pine tree; one of three.  I instantly imagine I can hear it's soothing soft whisper as winter winds blow through it, standing over a layer of shimmering fresh snow.

Woops, I hadn't meant to go there!   That's a state of 'Chill'!

xo




Saturday, August 18, 2012

To Peel n' Strip or to Layer...Round 2 with Interferon-the 'c' word Day 184

Another Friday morning; all morning, spent at LRH!   It was quite a morning yesterday, not really anything more than we might have anticipated, except for the "you already have your prescription and know we're doing the first injection this morning?"!
I guess a little miscommunication happening here!  It all worked out and thankfully will not need to return to the hospital Monday.
The injection itself really is very easy.  I will admit that at the moment she asked me to go ahead and inject I was for a millisecond thinking, "NO WAY!", and then without further thought simply and very quickly with conviction 'stabbed' my belly!  I didn't actually even feel anything, until of course the needle was in and then there was a noticeable sting.   Hold and push down the depressor then a few seconds more, and all done!   I can do this.   With anything like this you will of course do what you have to do!
Not so bad at all.    It's the side effects that cause a greater sense of fear than the needle itself!!

We feel good as we leave the hospital and are happy to be meeting up with my friend Nancy and her little boy.  We will pack a picnic next time though in making sure I have something to eat before the drive home.   I do have some rice cakes with me and water and that gets me through until I am home.  We had a visit for about a half hour then walked together toward the car and she lives very close by to where we are parked.
We were to have stopped for lunch at the Mandarin today but now that we have our "Drug package" with us and it needs to stay cool we will have to do that another day.   The hospital did provide us with an ice pack to keep it chill while we enjoyed our visit with Nancy, but beyond that it's too warm out and especially in the car, to be much longer.

I am found approximately two hours later-by the effects of the Interferon.   The side effects of the  injection; half the dose of the I.V I had received for a month, catch up with me as we arrive home.   I lie down for approximately 1 1/2 hours and on waking it starts.   The oncologist said there are likely to be MORE; MORE!?, fever and chills than before but the hope is I will sleep through the majority of it!   It's like clock work or right from a text book.  The remainder of the night sends me into fever; low grade @ 38.4, chills/shakes, sweats and very lethargic.   I'm either pulling on an extra blanket; can't get warm enough, or at one point peeling off layers of clothing; too hot!
Just something John might have dreamed up...my randomly stripping off in the living room in the middle of his television viewing pleasure!  LOL!   Sadly for him the pleasure stops after the stripping!   He couldn't have gotten any closure if he tried, I'd have fought hard to keep anyone from touching my hot then cold and then hot body!   Poor fellow.

Having headed to bed before long I worked again at getting warm and every trip to the washroom throughout the night induced further chills and shaking.   It was a long ol' night and I'm sure if I had any accurate measure of how much sleep I actually benefitted from it would be quite minimal. Upon waking this morning the 'standard' headache wakens with me!   This appears to be my new "norm"!

Today is a new day and the last of the side effects seemed to wear off late this morning, so we're hoping the remainder of the day will all be good.   It's our 28th Wedding Anniversary today too so even greater reason to hope for a little "feel good" to celebrate!   I do hope I am afforded an appetite today but appetite or not the Rib fest is on and for John's sake we WILL go!
He's been such a great support through all of this and deserves at the least a really good feed of pulled pork and maybe some onion blossoms or corn on the cob! Had I the funds, of course there are many other wonderful things I would love to surprise him with, but this is good for now!  : ]
Appetite Please!!!!!   xo


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Perfect Prescription- I Escaped!!!

Ah, some days are just like this, ...picture perfect!!!
We made a quick run to Lakeridge Hospital today to pick up paper work, just in case I should need it before Friday, when we have a morning appointment for blood work and to see the oncologist.
Having missed all of the previous "BBQ lunch" days held out in front of the hospital due to my Chemo/Appt. times, today I joined John in a "combo" lunch in affording me sustenance even when my body doesn't know enough to ask for it and helping with funds for the hospital!

I haven't been anywhere this summer or done much of anything and that can really bring me down at times.   It's that financially we're missing my pay and paired with that, I only seem to have so many really "feel good" days!   The last two have been pretty good and with John on holiday this week; minus the Monday he had to work, I am hoping the next couple of days will feel close to that good again!!!    Friday may be the start of the injections which could; will likely, change things once again!   While everything is very different this summer, CHANGE, the one thing one can count on is very consistent!   You have to be happy for the things you can count on.

On our way home we meandered away from Oshawa on Taunton, down to county rd. # 9, through
Kendal, Elizabethville and finally sitting high above Garden Hill stopped in to Richardson's Lookout.  Growing up I think we knew it better as Dean's Hill Lookout.
I had taken the camera and tripod with me today in anticipation of a photo shoot, with nature and John!   Hmmm, that could almost sound kind of kinky!   Even out there we ran into a Ward 2 Town employee John knew, so no "kinky" allowed!   We're not exhibitionists by any stretch of the imagination!   I won't say we haven't been there before!  LOL!
It's a beautiful spot for a picnic...which we didn't have with us today!   Years ago I do recall a big family picnic with all of my cousins.
Today it was very evident the amount of area that used to be cut back is no longer.   A narrow strip leading up to the deck of the lookout is all that is cut now.    The many saplings and new trees I recall around the perimeter of the hill have grown immensely and impede some of the view but you are still most certainly afforded a great view.   It's an especially rewarding trek in the fall!   I've never been in the winter but I think I should make note to do that.



Shortly after arriving we set up the tripod and proceeded to do a few photos and then were greeted by two lovely labs; a golden and a chocolate lab.   In a few more minutes their "human" came to find them and we talked for a few minutes.   Are you thinking what I'm thinking...we couldn't help but think he sent the dogs up to be sure no-one was up to any "shenanigans" on the hill; or the lookout deck, or under...!  The gentleman lives just next door from there.

Can you tell I really enjoyed my "escape" today, and am perhaps full of "sillies", or as my Father-in-Law might say, "Piss and vinegar"!   My apology if that offends.   He is a lovely person and I have to admit to having come to appreciate and enjoy; when needed, some of his phrases.

We did some photos; some with lots of laughs, and I'll leave it to you to recognize the 'scene' if you will.   John is 'silly' too today and as we went through the photos once home had a few comments of his own!
It was a much needed outing for us both.

Following the pictures of ourselves I went about photographing the panoramic view, the vegetation, some butterflies, etc.!   Next time we will have to do a picnic.
It was such a simple outing but with Hubby and camera by my side, I'm sure it's just what the doctor himself might have ordered!
xo

Saturday, August 11, 2012

An LP fabulous start to the weekend!...REALLY music to my ears!

It's amazing how listening to old LP's can make you feel better!   Our son had told us we should bring the turn table upstairs from the basement.   He left for Korea May 11th to teach for one year and we have just brought the turn table up this morning!  

How wonderful it is to know there are many new albums being made, when upon the production of cd's some said LP's would disappear!   Not so much at all!!!!!  

A group our son had introduced us to is producing albums, Cuff the Duke and they are among many who never gave any thought to excluding LP's in their offerings!

It's a good morning...another of those "just what I didn't know I needed" kind of mornings!
Progress is good but recognizing what already works well is awesomesauce!   : ]

Have a fab weekend!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Laughter IS the very best medicine! : )

My eyes sting so much and I am up much much later than the "norm" lately, but so happy for both!
Stinging eyes from so many tears but very happily from tears of several bouts of great laughs!
While I did not attend this weekends Homecoming I did have a couple of lovely ladies come hang out for a while and we shared so many laughs.
I also had the privelege of meeting my friends two daughters who are beautiful young women and just as lovely in their personalities as their Mom!
It's been just the afternoon/evening I know I needed!

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Count Down to Celebrating another milestone!

You may wonder why I post the "Day #" every so often.   It is anything but to dwell on the number of days since diagnosis but to represent my fight and determination to see this through to the last day of Interferon treatment.  
While I have finished the "induction" phase, I will in two weeks begin the "maintenance" phase of the treatment.   I will do self injections for the next eleven months barring any problems arising with my liver or kidney's as a result of the Interferon.
Now THAT will be a celebration!!!   Here's "counting" on it!!!

Every Time a Bell Rings... The "c" Word -Day 169...

It's a very emotional day today but I certainly hadn't planned on feeling quite so emotional, emotions just took over!
Yes, today was my last "Induction" treatment for Chemo at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa and a very long morning it was.  For the last four weeks 5 days a week I have been going for treatment for Malignant Melanoma.   In the beginning of course you have no idea what to expect really, regardless of what you may have heard, read or imagined for yourself.   You read plenty in advance, but from only legitimate sources knowing anything less will only completely freak you out!
I've had a number of friends attend the appointments with me as well as my husband and both my Mother and my Mother-in-Law.  It is preferred that you bring company just in case you are not feeling well as you leave.   Most times the "ill feeling" didn't really settle in until at least part way home in the car.   I almost always felt a little "sickly" and very very tired!
From day one of treatment I knew I shouldn't expect to feel very good following treatments and quickly thought of the nurse who on the first day had told me, "You're going to feel really crappy tonight!".   I was disappointed to realize she was so very right!   Feverish, chills, body aches, headaches and some light nausea!   While it sounds terrible and was certainly very unpleasant, I tried to imagine how much worse it could be!!   I have been incredibly thankful NOT to have vomiting included in my side effects!

When I was having blood done in the Chemo Suite this morning and talking with Nurse Lisa, she was excited to realize this was my last day of treatment.   She then pointed out to me to be sure and ring the bell as I was leaving to announce my completion with Chemo!    I said o.k, I would do that.
My Mom attended with me today and Nurse Ida was attending my care this morning.   She's a lovely lady and I shared with my Mom that she reminds me of the character Georgette; Georgia Engel, from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Today I also had my Picc line removed, so much to rejoice.
Not long before my treatment and was done this morning, the bell was rung and everyone clapped.    I immediately choked up and the tears flowed.   I surprised myself; or perhaps not really.
It just seemed so  poignant and it took me a few minutes to collect myself.   I couldn't help but notice my Mom tearing up too and I couldn't even speak.
Ida asked if I was o.k and I said yes, the bell ringing just really affected me.   I didn't see who had rang the bell but it only mattered that someone had finished treatment and you could understand what that meant to them,  a very personal achievement, a great hopefulness and carrying on with their lives.

On our way out today I stopped at the desk and left a card that I had made with every one of the nurses names inside and including thanks to the volunteers as well.   I wanted to go round and hug every one of them but of course they are quite busy with the many patients at any one time.   I picked up the bell; like an old school bell, and I rang it!   I choked up as everyone clapped.  Lisa was working near the door and we said goodbye and she asked that I stop in when I come for appointments and I promised I would.   I would like to bring in some flowers, the ones on their desk are near done!

It's been quite a day and I won't forget any of them in the Chemo Suite and while I won't miss the "high dose" treatments, I will miss those ladies and gents who made an awful adventure much more bearable!

Funny too when I rang the bell it reminded me of my work in the OEYC, we ring the bell for Circle Time and sing a song to gather everyone, maybe I should have sang a song!?  LOL!



























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