Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Dropped My Oncologist

Well, I did it. It was so uncomfortable for me! OMG!!

My mom went with me for moral support (Andrew's in Europe) and, boy, was I glad she was there. We went in and I asked the receptionist how to switch oncologists. She said I could and that she'd find out how. My mom and I were just sitting there discussing with the receptionist why and a lady came in and started filling up her coffee cup. Little did we know it was the office manager. Well, actually, she was more important than the office manager but I can't remember what her official title was - kinda like a patient advocate.

Anyway, she asked what was happening and I told her and she asked if I would like her to/could she come into the meeting with the doctor. I said sure. The more support I had, the better. So, in we went. I had my regular appointment and then I started asking him more questions about the lymph node (which he swore had no issues) and the nodule. He kept saying that the nodule (that's the thing I had the biopsy on in October) and the lymph node issue were the same. I kept saying they weren't. He read the biopsy report over and over and I kept reiterating that there were two issues. He kept disagreeing and we kept going around and around again. My mom tried to help, too. It was just so frustrating. Finally, after about 15 minutes of doing this, he saw that, yes, there are two issues.

By this point I'm thinking "OMG! Is this a language barrier (he's Brazilian) or am I smarter than the oncologist who isn't reading the results properly?" In the end he admitted that I was right. Did this feel good? No. Not at all. I was relieved that he finally saw what I saw but it was really annoying and frustrating. Usually, when I'm right? I'm all proud and ha ha ha-ish. In yo' face sucka!! This time? I was just tired of the whole thing. I explained to him that I really felt we had a communication issue and that I felt he was dismissive to me and that I really need to switch doctors. This whole thing took about 1/2 hour. By the end of it I was shaking and just relieved that it was over.

I'm really glad that the office lady was there to see the entire thing unfold. My hope is not that she sees I'm right. That is so beside the point. My hope is that other women will not have to go through the frustration and doubt that I had to go through. I can, honestly, feel my blood pressure rising as I write about it. I have been asked why I didn't just switch doctors and not go through the whole "confrontation" with the doctor. My answer is that, first off, I wanted to give him a chance to rectify the situation. I also wanted him to know why I was leaving to go to someone else. I really, really hope that he'll try harder and do better with the next woman to walk in his office.

Anyway, I'm switching to a lady doctor in the same office. I've heard nice things about her and I hope with my entire heart that I will like her.

Last night, I had a huge asthma attack. I'm off the prednisone, now, and I woke up at midnight coughing and not able to breathe. It was so scary! I was all alone in the house. I grabbed my nebulizer (a breathing machine) and started that up. Thank goodness that helped but I'm sure breathless today and my chest hurts so much. It's like I have bruised lungs. Jeff & Chanel are coming home tonight so I'll feel much better having them in the house in case it happens again. I think it has to do with the stress of the whole "dropping the oncologist" thing, though. I do think stress contributes to asthma.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Jeff and Chanel coming home tonight. I'm looking forward to Andrew coming home on Saturday. I'm looking forward to Scott & Kevin coming home on Sunday. I'm looking forward to going to CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG on Sunday. It's a theatre production and he's taking me for my birthday!! Yeah!!! I'm also looking forward to a birthday party on Monday night! It's very last minute but I really, really wanted one so my mom and dad are throwing one for me. So fun!!!

That's all for now.

ps - Tuesday was Donny's birthday, just fyi!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Antibiotics Are Kicking In!!

Yay!!! I'm feeling quite a bit better today. Just a little coughing and no barking cough, either.

I have decided to drop my current oncologist. I've decided this because I am really dreading going in for my Herceptin on Wednesday. That's not at all like me. I enjoy going in and getting the Herceptin. Welcoming this cancer fighting drug into my body. I even cheer it on (in my head).

Go Herceptin Go, Fight Herceptin Fight, Win

Herceptin Win, Go Fight Win!!!

Over and over. But now that I have a shithead asshole oncologist I don't want to go so I'm switching. He switched offices and there's a lady oncologist who, I've been told, is nice. I only have three more Herceptins left so I'm doing it.

Then....if I like the lady I'll stay with her and if I don't I'll find a new one. There's got to be one around here I like, right? I'm just asking for someone who will listen and then talk to me in a non-dismissive fashion. I don't think that's too much to ask.

I feel good about this decision and I feel good that I'm feeling better.

Onward and upward, right?


Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Back and Sick....shit!

Well...It happened. My asthma reared it's Fuckerhead again. Ugh! I hate asthma.

We had a great trip, though.

We (Jeff, Andrew and I) flew in to Buffalo, got our rental car and headed to my sister, Kim's. It was very relaxing. We laughed a lot and loved a lot. I got to see sweet Tyler and Jeff got to go hunting for the first time. They didn't get anything but he loved it. I sure wouldn't be surprised to see Jeff move up north some day. I love Kim's family and they go to bed nice and early, like us, so it was wonderful that way, too.

Then, on Tuesday, we headed to Niagara Falls via the Buffalo airport. Scott and Kevin flew in from Orlando and we went across the border Tuesday night instead of Wednesday when we thought it might be more crowded. The boys got in at midnight(ish) so we stayed at a cheap hotel. It was actually pretty ok.

Then Wednesday we went to visit my brother, Steve and his daughter, Sam. We went to Swiss Chalet for lunch. Sam's such a hoot. Seriously! That kid makes me laugh so hard. She's got a very dry sense of humour. Sometimes it takes me a second or two to "get it" and then I laugh and then she laughs 'cause I didn't get it very quickly and it's all very funny. My brother told us all about his trip out west this past summer and I told him some "Donny" stories and he laughed at me and it was very fun.

From there we went to Jane (Andrew sister) and Craig's place for a night. They have three kids, Cameron (grade 8), Riley (grade 3 ish) and Abby (kindergarten). They couldn't be more different. Amazing how that happens, eh? Anyway, it was fun.

The next day (Thursday) we went and had lunch with Andrew's mom and then we went to Steve (Andrew's brother) and Monika's. We got there before them and checked out their new decor. Something's always changing in that house. They're renovators. They have three boys Michael, Daniel and Adam (ages 10, 8 & 6 respectively - I think). Scott, Kevin & I went and watched Daniel and Adam do their martial arts class. OMG! the corners of my mind.......oops, sorry. Got lost for a moment, there. It was fun/funny. Went back to their place for dinner and wine. Well, everyone else had wine. I will go back a moment...

Friday night, before we even started our trip? My tummy was very, very upset. So upset that I actually fell asleep on the toilet in the middle of the night. on a couple of planes the next day? Not good. First off, like many women? I do not poop in public. That's right, I said it. I do not poop in public. Well, with this? No choice. So, I was in the bathroom at the airport and I yelled out "Sorry!" and let it rip. LOL!!! I'm not kidding. Then I'd flush the toilet as I'm "doing it" in hopes that I won't smell up the joint. How's that for telling it like it is. It was awful!! So, when we got to Kim's? First thing I did was run to their bathroom, yell sorry and let it rip. ROFL!! This stayed like that all the way until Thursday. I missed some amazing wine through it all and that's where I remembered it because Steve and Monika had some good wine and Craig had bought my very favourite wine in the world and I missed it all 'cause of some stupid stomach bug.

OK, back to the trip. Friday we headed out to Niagara Falls for the 80th birthday festivities. We took Steve & Monika's three boys. Mum C had a beautiful suite overlooking the falls. I dubbed this "the party suite" and that's what it turned into. We were all on the same floor and it was so much fun! Unfortunately, I started to come down with a cough on Friday afternoon. My bark cough - which is never good. By Sunday, the big breakfast morning when all of us could be together and get a big family picture? I was sicker than sick. I stayed in bed until we had to leave. I had a fever and was coughing and sneezing and my nose ran so far away I had to find it before we got to the border. Crap! You know, I don't even remember coming home...much. I remember lying across a bunch of seats. I remember being wheeled around by some guy who wanted me to talk and I finally said "If you stop making me talk I'll give you a big tip at the end." I'm so not kidding. He started to say something again and I just put my finger to my lips and said "shhhhh". Bitch, eh? I don't actually remember much else. I slept a lot.

So, all in all it was a good trip. Missed seeing my sister, Karen again. She lives a couple of hours outside Toronto and it's just too far for us to go on such a short trip and too far for her to come on a weeknight. Next time, I hope.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday. Got antibiotics, prednisone, medicine for my nebulizer and a note to be off work for a week. From here? The antibiotic will give me a yeast infection (that's cunt itch for all you men out there. ROFL!!!), the prednisone will make me mean, hungry and have a moon face. It's already coming. I hate prednisone but it's saved my life in the past so I have to take it, don't I. The nebulizer's fine. I'm trying a new medicine that's ok. whatever.

I guess that's all for me. I'm tired. It took me all day to write this (write, go to bed, write, go to bed etc until 7:08 at night) and I don't feel like spellchecking so just bear with me on that.

TTFN peeps

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Off to Canada!

Canada And scared shitless that it's so cold Tongue up there that I'll end up having an asthma attack and have to come home early.

I gotta tell ya, cancer's one thing. I mean it scares you and you think you'll die and the treatment sucks and the chemo brain is horrible but, mostly, it's over. Asthma? I always have to be aware. Is there a breeze? Is it going to dip below 60 degrees? Is anyone smoking in the near vicinity Cigar ? Is there a fan on Snowstorm ? Is there someone close by with perfume on? All these things set me off and more. I'm always watchful.

The worst thing is leaving a building. There's no smoking in the building so people smoke right outside the building. I have to hold my breath but I have asthma so holding my breath for any length of time is near impossible. It's a daily thing.

In my job I go on home visits. I have to ask if they smoke prior to going. If they do, I have to meet them somewhere or give the sale away to someone else. They always say "well, I won't smoke when you get here" or "we only smoke outside" but that never works. The house is full of smoke "debris" if they smoke inside and if they smoke outside, invariably it does end up inside. At least a little bit. Ugh! What a pain in the ass. I have several friends who smoke and I can't even go to their houses. So, what I'm trying to say is that I'm not actually scared of smoke for this trip but I am scared of the cold. Snowstorm I don't think I said that clearly but that's what I'm trying to say. LOL!!

I'm also not looking forward to driving in snow. Snowplow We haven't done that for seven years and when we did we had a big 'ol Suburban to plow us through. We're renting a smallish car that, I'm pretty sure, won't "plow" through the snow.

I also had to try to find clothes to wear. I had to buy a bunch. Shoot, truthfully, Kevin never wears long pants. He's a shorts and flip flops kinda guy. He had to rummage up some pants that would fit. And boots Snow Boots ? We don't have any. Mitts Mittens ? Nope. Hats Hat 4 ? Nope. OMG!! Do you think I could whine any louder?!! ROFL!!!

Anyway, I don't think we'll do this again....but we just had to go for Andrew's mom's 80th birthday. Birthday Fireworks Just had to. And...I am looking forward to seeing everyone up there! Yay!!!!

Everyone have a great Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner and I'll post in December.

(could you guess that I found a smiley place? LOL!!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Year Ago & What I've Learned

It was one year ago yesterday that I had my first chemo. It was one year ago today that I was waiting for the side effects to kick in. I read my post from one year ago and it didn't seem so bad. I was in pretty good spirits for a girl who was about to lose her hair, had already partially lost a breast and didn't know if she'd live for another year or not. Yep. Pretty good spirits.

What I'm going to address today is the fallout of cancer. The after effects - both physical and mental. It's not pretty so pull up your big girl/boy panties and go ahead and read it...or not. I'm just puttin' it out there. This is my blog. It's about me. About my feelings and "stuff". If your feelings are hurt by this entry? Hmmm.....maybe you should think about your choices. You've been warned.

OK, physically, I haven't been totally upfront. Yes, I lost my hair. Yes, I gained back all the weight I had so diligently lost...and then some. Yes, I will need a double hip replacement in a couple of years and yes, my brain has turned into mush. My hair is now wavy and I haven't got a clue how to style it since I've had stick straight hair all my life.

What I haven't said is how devastating it is to have a huge dent in my breast. It's huge, people. I know I'm lucky to have a breast. I get that. But the truth is I am deformed. It's not something anyone other than my mom, Kim and Andrew have seen but I live with it every day. Every day I take off my bra. Every day I put on my bra. Every other day I shower. Every day I see my deformity not once but at least twice.

I went to my family doctor and asked him for the name of a good plastic surgeon. I told him how I felt and then I joked that "at least I have a nipple". Then, when I got to thinking about it? It's no different. Yes, I have my own breast but it's not pretty. I don't let Andrew touch it and I rarely let him see it. If he sees it it's by accident on my part. I almost think I'd rather have a "fake" breast. At least it would be pretty. Nippleless but pretty, with a matching one, to boot.

Also, just so you all know? Here's were it gets personal so you may want to skip this if you want. Menopause sucks. The hot flashes? All consuming. It happens and you forget what you're even doing or talking about because you're so hot and all you can think about is getting your clothes off. Ironically, while you're sopping wet on the outside on the inside? Exactly opposite. Dry as a bone. (See? I warned you!!) My skin is dry. Inside my nose is dry. Inside my va jay jay? dry too. It's gotten much better as time has progressed past the chemo but it really sucked for a while there. Anyway, I'm really glad that that part has fixed itself but there was a few months there when it was not good and nothing worked to help.

That's all for the physical part. Here's the "other" part.

I've mentioned before that some people dropped me. I just never heard from them again. It may have just been a "course of time" thing. Kevin stopped playing hockey (because of the broken leg) so that let's some people out of our lives just because the only time we saw them was at hockey. I also changed jobs so others fell by the wayside that way. But, there are some who I really expected to hang in there that just didn't. But, I've mentioned that before. What I haven't mentioned is

#1 I picked up some friends that I really really cherish, now. Holly and Susan P. They're friends of my cousin, Judy. Both have sent me e-mails and followed my blogs. I, in turn, have followed their blogs and feel like I have some new friends in Kitchener. Mrs Young follows my blog and a fellow cheerleader from high school who I didn't even think would remember me. Susan from the UK and many more.

#2 People who didn't pay any attention to me before suddenly started commenting on my blog and calling me and e-mailing me. It was really weird. Like, they didn't like me/didn't give me the time of day prior to me having cancer but, suddenly, they love me and give me encouragement. I must say. I was very wary of these people. It turned out that, now that I'm "over" the cancer? They've fallen by the wayside, too. I just don't hear from them. I think that's really weird.

#3 I thought relationships would change. I really did. I cherish people more, now. I reach out and call them. Do I get anything back? Not usually. I was really home sick this summer. Really home sick. I had gone through hell and back and just wanted to see people who love me. I ran around like a loony person trying to fit everyone in. Then I realized. It's just the same as always. I run around trying to see everyone and what do I get back? Not a lot. I don't get e-mails or phone calls. I don't get visits.

What I do get is excuses. On the phone calls "I was so busy". On the visits it's that old "we can't afford it" thing. Funny how I can afford it but others can't. Just for the record? I have three kids in college, I have done no landscaping and no fix-ups on my house because I tend to spend my money on travel. Now, yes. Some is for me alone. That Vegas trip? For me and me alone. Andrew got some "extras" (nudge nudge, wink wink) out of it but it was for me. I'm so glad I did it because knowing I'd see Donny at the end of chemo and radiation really did get me through it. The travel to Europe is more of a business thing. Andrew loves me to go to keep him company. It's very lonely traveling from country to country and very tiring. Don't get me wrong...he loves it and the people and the work. But, it's nice to have a loving wife along every so often.

Anyway, I just really did think things would change. I thought people would cherish me the same way I cherish them. It didn't happen and it's making me a little bitter. I don't think that's good for me so I may, actually, start some sort of counseling. I'm betting there's something offered for post-cancer people. Survivors as they call us.

Anyway, my point is that I really truly thought relationships would change but everything's stayed the same.

#4 This is really morbid. I was in the shower this morning thinking about death. I wonder who will come to my funeral. Oh, c'mon! You must have thought of this at some point! If you didn't then I may just be weird. Anyway, I was thinking....I wonder where my funeral would be. Florida? Canada? Both? Who would come. Lots of people who don't see me or keep in touch with me, I bet. Saying how they loved my sense of humour and the way I saw things in a positive way. Bet they didn't read this post, then, eh? LOL!! I just think it's interesting that people will take time and spend money to travel to a funeral when they don't do that when the person's living. It's just an interesting view point.

Anyway, all this has been swirling in my mind. I am really looking forward to going up north for Thanksgiving. My doctor is not very happy about it at all. In fact the words "I forbid you" came out of his mouth and then he laughed at himself and remembered who he's talking to. LOL!! So, we are going but I'm going to have to stay inside the whole time. I'm also going shopping for clothes this afternoon. I have never, ever been this big and can't fit into any of my old cold-weather clothes. Ugh!! The problem I buy long sleeves? With all my hot flashes, I may just rip all my clothes off if I have long sleeves on!! I better wear really pretty bras, eh?

So, I hope I didn't hurt too many feelings. That wasn't the intention of this post. It was supposed to be more of a "what goes through this cancer patient's mind when it's all over and done with" and what has surprised and/or bothered me in the aftermath.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


I was tagged to do a meme. I think that's what they're called. Anyway, I'm feeling quite negative about many, many things right now so, instead of posting a mean rant I'm doing this:

THE FAVOURITE MEME. Fill in your favourite for each of the following:

1. Political show: Bill Mayer

2. Picnic food: I don't really picnic. When I go to the beach, though, I like grapes. Dark red, seedless grapes (and beer LOL!!)

3. Mixed drink: Green Apple Martinis. OMG I love these things. I could become an alcoholic on these so I'm not keeping the ingredients in the house. Sadly, I'm so not kidding.

4. U.S. President: I have no idea. But, I do know who our next one will be!!

5. Kind of student to teach: I'm thinking this must have started with a teacher group? Anyway, when I was a Substitute teacher I always liked the boys better. I think it's because I have boys but the girls just seemed to be too full of drama.

6. Hobby you do or wish you still did: I wish I still did Jazz and I wish I still felt like scrapbooking. It's a great idea, that scrapbooking, but I think it's for organized people and I am definitely the opposite of that
7. Sports commentator: Don Cherry!!!

8. Sport to watch on TV: Hockey

9. Animal to have as a pet: I like my dog, a Scottie named McDuff

10. Halloween costume you have worn: Please know that I hate Halloween. I don't have a creative bone in my body. I'm crafty but only if you show me what to do. I can follow instructions. Anyway, I guess the best one was when I went as Nicole Brown Simpson. Andrew went as OJ and it was tasteless and funny.

11. Kind of dessert : My carrot cake and my mom's trifle and my sister's nanaimo bars and my sister in law's chocolate chip cookies.

12. Comic strip: I don't read the comics. If I were going to, though, I still like Calvin and Hobbs

13. Style or make of footwear : OMG!! They're these shoes called One Sole. They're totally cool and wonderful for someone who travels so much. They have a sole with snaps. Then you snap on whichever "top" you want. I'm not explaining it very well. Here's a link:

14. Ice cream flavor: Pralines and Cream
15. College or university president What?!
16. Internet news source AOL front page and Perez Hilton. (I stole that from Holly! LOL!!)

17. Vacation spot: Aruba but I'm going to Hawaii next September so I have a feeling that could change.

18. Wine: Pheonix by Penley Estates

19. Way to waste time instead of working: So many!! Playing Pogo games, watching tv, reading books and magazines, reading other people's blogs and chatting on the phone

20. Student excuse for late work: ???

21. Reality show: American Idol

22. Jewelry on a man: Cool watch

23. Pizza topping: This is gross but - extra cheese, black olives and anchovies

24. Children’s movie: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang of course

25. Celebrity you wish would retire: Bill O'Reilly

Ok, that's it on that. I'm supposed to tag people to do this so I'm tagging Candace and Judy (I know you're not writing anymore but you could do this one, couldn't you? please?) & Susan P

I'll write a real update tomorrow.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Have I told you?

Have I told you.......

That I don't like my oncologist. I really, really don't like this guy. He's very dismissive and doesn't listen. Here's what happened. I went to him last Tuesday to get my Herceptin. I wasn't even scheduled to see him but he wanted to see me because we go the results of all the tests. Well, frankly, I'd already discussed the results with my radiation oncologist (who I love, love, love!!!) and didn't see the point. He was running late. and later. and finally I went up and said that we needed to get moving on this because I was seeing my surgeon in an hour and a half. Turns out, I didn't get to see the doctor for another half hour. So...there wasn't enough time for the Herceptin. I had to go see my surgeon and then come back later in the afternoon for the Herceptin. This pissed me off right there, k? Really fucking pissed me off. I don't have time for that kind of shit.

Anyway, I finally get in to see the oncologist and he goes over the results and I ask him about the lymph node. I really want to know why my lymph node is enlarged if it's not cancer. He says in his stupid Brazilian accent "There's no enlarged lymph node." I say "yes there was" He says "no there wasn't" I say "Well you must not have all the results because there was an enlarged lymph node". He keeps insisting there wasn't and now, every time, I begin to talk all he keeps saying is that it doesn't matter what there was because it's not cancer. He's talking to me like I'm an idiot! ARRRRRGH!!!!

So, I think I'm crazy, now. Maybe there was no enlarged lymph node. Maybe I made it up in my head. Maybe I've gone fucking mad!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I have that Munchhausen's disease where you want attention so you make up diseases. Well, I did love getting the cards and the flowers but I can't imagine wanting to be sick for those things, you know? But, well, I'm thinkin' I'm nuckin futs, ok? So, I leave there and go over to the surgeon's office. I get in right away to see him. No waiting. He does the exam and I'm fine. I have a hematoma in my boob (it hurts) but it'll go away. It was caused by bruising on the inside when I got my biopsy. The bad thing is that it hurts. The good thing is that it's rounding out my indented boob. I kinda like it, ya know? Makes me look more "normal", ya know? Anyway, he finishes the exam and I ask with much trepidation "I did have an enlarged lymph node, didn't I?" He says, " yes, it didn't show anything...It was probably enlarged because of the trauma of the lumpectomy and we will now watch it. Always. It will probably stay enlarged but we have to watch it for any changes." OK, now. That's a good doctor, right?

So, I tell him that # 1 - I hate my oncologist and #2 why and #3 I want a new one. He asked if there was any way I could stay with this guy until my Herceptin's done because it's better to stay with the same doctor until the treatment ends. So....I'm going to try to stay with the stupid Brazilian guy but I am going to tell him how I feel next time I see him and if I don't get a satisfactory answer I'm going to a different oncologist.


Have I told you.....

That my dog's doing chemo? He's actually doing really well with it. I love him.

Have I told you....

That we're coming to Canada for our Thanksgiving? It's the last Thursday in November. Andrew, Jeff and I are coming on the 22nd flying from Tampa and Scott & Kevin are coming on the 25th from Orlando. It's Andrew's mom's 80th birthday!!! 80!! I so want to make it to 80! Oh, hell, who am I kidding, I'll be happy to make it to 50, to tell you the truth. Oh!! that brings me to another one....

Have I told you.....

When I was getting my Herceptin treatment a lady there did a palm reading on me? I'm gonna outlive you all!!!!! Yay!!!!! Andrew is my true love. I am strong and caring. Cool, eh?

Have I told you....

that I think I'm having allergic reactions to the Herceptin? OMG!! I am so frickin' itchy!!!!!! It's mostly in my hands and feet but it does go up my calves and arms later in the day. Isn't that weird? Oh, I did tell you that before 'cause I remember telling you about using the hemerroid cream on the itchy parts. Now that's weird!

Have I told you...

That my port moved. When I was having my PET scan they had me put my arms above my head and I could feel a stitch come out from my port. It didn't hurt or anything I just knew something had happened. So, after the scan I felt my port and sure enough it moved onto it's side. It's ok, I guess. The surgeon said as long as it's accessible, it's fine. Phew! I have a love/hate relationship with my port but it keeps me from having to get an IV every time I have a Herceptin treatment so I mostly love it. But, it is ugly.

Have I told you...

That Scott and Kevin are doing Air Force ROTC and I thought they would hate it but they love it? They've never really liked anyone telling them what to do so I don't understand what they love so much but they love it, nevertheless.

Have I told you......

That I think the Air Force ROTC is a cult? That's right. I said it. A frickin' cult. They love it. They call them "family" (WTF!!!!) and they don't come home because they're doing "stuff" with their flights. That's just fuckin' pissing me off. I am their family. I cleaned their butts, wiped their noses and put up with their stinky feet and smelly farts and took them to hockey and soccer and karate and every other frickin' thing they did and.... surprise, surprise, boys! I didn't always enjoy it either. Andrew, too of course. And their brothers. We all supported each other. These people that they just met in September are not their family. OK, rant over. I really am happy for them that they're so happy but if they don't come home soon I'm going to hire one of those cult people to de-brainwash them! ROFL!!!!!!!

Have I told you....

that I'm done.

Night Night!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Can't Take the Smile Off My Face!!

I just can't take the smile off my face! I'm so happy.

You know, here's what I do. I suppress my feelings. I was really really scared to even think about having cancer again. It terrified me. If I did have cancer, it really wouldn't be good. It would have meant that the cancer lived through chemo and radiation. Which would mean it's one bad-ass cancer. So...I was terrified. I, literally, envisioned my kids graduating college without me there. Getting married without me there. Worse yet? I envisioned Andrew at their wedding with some pretty skinny bitch instead of me. Yep, I said it. I'm just being honest. I also envisioned this skinny bitch with my grandchildren. Oh! Don't get me wrong here...I would want Andrew to find someone after me. would be ok if she's a skinny bitch. I would just prefer not to die, OK? LOL!!

Anyway, it always surprises me, after something is over, how stressed/tired I was when I was going through it. Like, after radiation. I was exhausted. Mentally and physically. But, I don't think I really realized how exhausted I was until I started feeling better. And. Just last week. I was so scared but I ignored it. I try to be a optimist. I look at things realistically but like to "look at the bright side", too. Now that it's over, though, I can admit how scared I was.

Here's an example. About the cancer.

"Oh shit! I'll have to have another operation. And maybe chemo. But...I'll get cards in the mail again, Kim might come and visit again, I would get to quit my job, I can buy cool hats again, maybe get to see Donny Osmond again, and can be really lazy and have an excuse."

Does that make sense? Anyway, I just thought I'd let you all know how I was/am feeling. People always wonder what they'd do in a similar situation so I thought I'd share what it's like.

Oh, the dog. I should talk about the dog. OMG!! I love that dog! He's so cute. Anyway, his official name is McDuff. We call him Duffy. Unless he's being an idiot (like, we're on a walk, and he digs his little paws in and won't move until he's sniffed and peed on whatever it is he has to sniff and pee on - then I call him McDuff). He's a Scottish Terrier. I grew up with Scotties and they are such a wonderful dog that I wanted one for my kids. Anyway, he had his first Chemo last Friday and his second one is today. Surprisingly enough? He's fine with it. I think he slept more than usual but that's about it. I wish chemo had been that easy for me!! Lucky little doggie.

Andrew's out of town. Again. Europe. We got a security system so I wouldn't be freaking out and could get some sleep. I live in a fortress, now. But....I still put "stuff" in front of my bedroom door and lock it, but I did sleep soundly last night (with the help of some antihistamine's LOL!!). Oh the antihistamines. I seem to have some sort of allergic reaction to the Herceptin. It makes me so itchy. Mostly on the hands and feet but also on my arms and shins. It drives me crazy! I itch until I bleed. That's not good, eh? So I've been taking antihistamine's to take away the itch. I've tried all sorts of things on the itchy areas. I've tried benadryl gel, aloe. I even tried Preparation H. Well? If it takes away the itchiness of hemorrhoids it should work on my feet, right? It doesn't. Anyway, the good thing (see? there I go again - looking for that silver lining!) is that the antihistamine's put me to sleep. Yeah!! Even the hot flashes don't wake me up. Bonus!!

OK, I feel like I'm rambling now so I'll say goodbye.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I DON'T HAVE CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I DON'T HAVE CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got all the test results back and I do not have cancer. Not in the lymph nodes and not in the biopsy specimen!!



Thanks to all who prayed for me and sent me their best wishes and thoughts!!

ttfn peeps!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What A Strange Day.....

OMG!! This has been the single most rollercoaster day of my entire life. Here's how it's gone so far:

Woke up early this morning to go to my biopsy. To tell you the truth, I didn't think it was going to be a big deal. The results are a big deal but the biopsy? No biggy. After all, when I went for my first biopsy, it was an ultrasound biopsy. They had an opening at 7:00 in the evening so off we went. No fasting. No getting ready. Just throw on a gown and do it.

This one? Very different. I went into the hospital. Had to fast. Did a shitload of paperwork and then into the pre-op area. Did you get that? The pre-op area. WTF!! (what the fuck) I get a gown on, they do my vitals, tell me I can't work that day. What? I have things to do!! Not really, but I have things to pretend to do!! LOL!! Then I get an IV (my third in as many weeks) which pisses me off yet again 'cause I have a port which only seems to be used for the Herceptin. Again. WTF!! I thought the whole idea of a port was so I don't have to get "stuck" a gazillion times. Ugh. My blood pressure's too high so they do it again. It's ok that time so they proceed. I get valium. Yay!!! I love valium! The procedure was fine. I get on a table on my tummy. It has two cutouts for my boobies. They clamp my boob so it won't move (didn't hurt) and into the MRI machine I go. Three minutes later I come out. They inject the "stuff" in and back into the MRI machine I go. Three minutes later I come out. I get more valium!! Yay, valium!! The doctor freezes my boob. That was a little painful but not that bad. The rest I didn't feel. I did hear him using a vacuum-like machine to get the sample but other than that, no big deal. Came home at 10 am and slept till 2:30. Yay valium!!

OK, so I'll explain the rollercoaster:

Get up realize that the coffee's brewing and I can't have any and I have to have a biopsy - down
Get to the hospital and have to have an IV - more down
Doctor comes in and tells me that the results from the PET scan came in and I DON'T HAVE CANCER IN MY LYMPH NODES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - way up. way the fuck up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go in for biopsy - a little down
Come home to sleep - a little up
Talk to my mommy and Kim and Scott and Jeff (Kevin was in class) - way up
Duffy's vet calls and tells me my dog has cancer of the lymph nodes and chemo will cost $1,000. If we don't do chemo he will die in 12 weeks!! - way, way down!!
Talk to Andrew and just tell him we're doing the chemo for the dog. - more down

I never, ever, just tell Andrew that we're doing something. That's not the way we've ever worked. We always run things by each other. Talk about things. Discuss them. Sometimes argue about them. I think that's why our marriage has worked so well for all these years. It's out of respect that we do these things. So, this was very, very unusual that I would just tell Andrew something. Especially something that costs $1000. But, (I'm crying now) I just can't have my dog die of cancer. I just can't. He was so there for me during my cancer stuff. And he doesn't even like me that much. But, I really think dogs can tell when there's something wrong and he'd just hang around me. Lie at the bottom of the bed. Lie in my doorway. Cry with me when I needed it (he thought we were singing, to be honest, but, still - he was there for me). Anyway, there is just no other option. We're doing the chemo.

Now, tonight, I'm going to The Melting Pot with some of my favourite ladies in the world. It's a fondue restaurant and they're having a Breast Cancer Awareness night so we're going to partay!! So, I'll end the night on an up.

There you have it, my roller coaster day.

I get the results of my biopsy tomorrow so I'll post then.

Aunt Ardyth - thanks for the phone call. I love you and your support means the world to me. I smiled so wide when I got your message. Thanks!

Syrene - thank you so much for the presents. You are just the sweetest thing!!

Karen - thank you for posting on my blog and for your ongoing support. I love you!!

That's all peeps!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Waiting and Weird.....

The waiting is obviously for test results. I had the PET scan yesterday. Here's the weird. Get this. When I was finished I had to sign a form saying I wouldn't go near small children or pregnant women for 48 hours following the test. That's how much radioactive material is running through me. How weird is that?

OK, here's another weird. I took Duffy to the vets today. He has little lumps under his chin. The vet is now testing him for cancer of the lymph nodes. Duffy and me. Two peas in a pod. And he doesn't even like me much! ROFL!!! So, obviously, we're waiting for test results on him, too (Monday afternoon).

I have my biopsy on Tuesday morning. Apparently it's quite painful so I'm going to ask for some good drugs to get me through. LOL!!

Oh, and just for more weirdness? It was Andrew and my 30th anniversary of our first date on Tuesday. That means I must have dated him when I was a baby!! ROFL!!! Nah....I'm proud of my age. That's one thing that cancer changes. Anyone who laments about being a year older can suck it. You should be glad you're a year older. I can hardly wait till 46 and then 47 and on and on till I'm 90!! Ok, you may not think the 30th anniversary thing is weird but my comments after it more than make up for it, right? Did that make sense. I have a cold and a headache and I'm going to bed now - 5 pm!!

g'nite everybody!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Uh Oh.....

I haven't been very truthful in my writing in that past week or two. I've been hiding results from my testing. Mostly because we were trying to "protect" our boys. They're away at college and I didn't want to scare them with "maybe" information. Then, I decided that, firstly, I think they wouldn't like that I was keeping things from them. That's never been something our family has done and I don't want to start now. And, secondly, if the cancer is back/still there, how would they feel getting a phone call with that news but no build-up.

Here's the news. Remember, we don't know anything yet.

I went for my MRI a couple of weeks ago. The found a small 5 mm spot where my scar is. They also found an enlarged lymph node. I went in for my mammogram this past Wednesday, fully prepared for a biopsy. Once again, the mammogram didn't show anything. This doesn't surprise me. I had quite a large tumor the first go round and it didn't show up in the mammogram . After the mammogram they did an ultrasound. They didn't see the "spot" on the mammogram but they did see and showed me the enlarged lymph node.

The follow-up to this is a full body scan and then to biopsy the spot with the help of an MRI. I don't really know how they do this so it'll be interesting at the very least. So, the body scan is on Wednesday. I have the appointment for the biopsy the following Tuesday but they're hoping to squeeze me in this Thursday.

They are very concerned with both the enlarged lymph node and the spot. Needless to say, I am losing sleep over this. I know I complain about work but I really really want to work this selling season. It's going to be a big money making season and I just want to work and make a shitload of money. I also don't want to lose my boob or go through chemo again or lose my hair or have cancer ever again. Period. So this really does suck. Then again, if it is cancer? Remember what my reward was the last time? Donny!! Well, they're still in Vegas so I'm thinking that could happen again, right? ROFL!!!

I'll keep everyone informed as the results come back. We'll probably do the phone chain thing for immediate family and Aunt Ardyth and Judy and everyone else can keep informed via this blog.

Pray for me, peeps!


Thursday, October 2, 2008


I remember last year. I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and then breast cancer awareness month started. It was everywhere. I couldn't get away from it.

Same thing this year. There are specials and ads and more ads and articles. As a person battling cancer I don't want to think about it all the time. It's distressing. But there it is. I'm happy that there's a month dedicated to breast cancer but it's hard. Ya know?

Oh! and my poor boobies. Squished yesterday. It's really not a pleasant thing to go through, those mammograms. I said to the technician: "and men think getting a finger up the butt to check for prostate cancer is bad! They should have their testicles squished in a machine!" She laughed. I don't mean it, though. I don't wish the squishing on them. Well....maybe a little! ROTFL!!!!


Monday, September 29, 2008

One Year

Yesterday marked one year (at exactly 5:30) since I found out I had breast cancer. What an anniversary to remember, eh?

It started the end of one existence and the beginning of another. A new norm, I'm told. I'm now part of a club no one wants to be a part of.

I went for my follow-up MRI a week ago and go for my mammogram/ultrasound on Wednesday. To say I'm on pins and needles waiting for the results would be the ultimate understatement. I'm terrified. And no one can say - oh don't worry, it'll be fine. If you do, I'll come through the computer and strangle you. It's just time I'm going to have to pass waiting for the results.

Just pray for me and send your angels my way.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Boys

The boys came home this weekend and I was very very happy so I think my tiredness and lack of oomph might actually be Empty Nest Doldrums. How much does that suck? I can't even do anything about it. Well, I could break their kneecaps and tie them to the beds but I don't think they'd be as enjoyable like that, you know? LOL!!

The gray sky isn't helping any and the damn dog wanting to be let in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out isn't helping either. Anyone want a dog? ROFL!! I'm kidding!! I love him he's just bugging me, ya know?

Oh, I forgot to mention that I coloured my hair again. I am now back to blonde and loving it.



This is not a political blog. I came across this video and I find it interesting. See for yourself...

Click on the link and watch the video titled WR. Very interesting.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Stepping Into The Ring

My friend, Laurie, who I met at Radiation sent me this. It made me cry in sadness and in victory.

I haven't written lately. I'm not feeling very energetic. I think I'm tired from and of my fight. I don't think I'm depressed I just don't feel like interacting with people, much. I think it's a combination of the realization that I really am fighting for my life and the fact the my kids have all gone to college. I'm not sad they've gone to college. Au contraire. I miss them but I'm not sad. I'm just in a very quiet mood. I know, I know. It takes a lot to make me go quiet. I guess this is it.

I also miss my family and Debbie. It's, actually, worse since I got back from Scott and my trip to Canada. It was a really great trip and I got to spend lots of time with some of my favourite people in the world. Lots of laughing till I almost peed my pants! Maybe it'll get better when my parents get here at the beginning of November. Maybe it'll get better next week when I start my new job. Maybe it'll get better tomorrow when all my boys are home for the weekend.

I dunno. Anyway, watch this video. It's a good one.

ttfn peeps

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Up until seven years ago, September 11 was just my brother-in-law, Randy's birthday. It was the day after my mom's birthday. It was, probably, a day where we had to go to a few soccer practices and get the kids to do their homework. Then, there was that fateful day.

We were living in Connecticut at the time. I took Scott to the dentist or doctor. I don't remember which. It was a beautiful September day. Still warm but not humid. The kind of day you wish could happen every day. I was taking Scott back to school when I heard, on the radio, what was happening. Andrew went into NYC to attend meetings quite often at that time. I didn't really pay attention to when he was going. Just, at the end of the day, in our chat about what we'd done that day, he would mention that he'd gone "into the city". I didn't want to worry Scott (he was in grade 7 at the time, I think) so I didn't mention my concern that his dad might be in NYC and dropped him off at school and drove home - a little faster than I should have. I immediately turned on the tv to see. I then called Andrew on his cell phone. I often wonder why I waited. Why didn't I call him on my cell phone after I dropped Scott off? I know the answer to that now.

When I was waiting for my results from my biopsy, I almost didn't want the call to come. I knew that once I got the phone call confirming it? Life would change. Cancer's one thing. The death of a spouse completely different. And, of course, that's where my mind had gone. So, when I called Andrew and he answer that phone I was so relieved to hear his voice. I asked where he was and he answered that he was in his office, why? He didn't know what was happening. I told him and told him he needs to find a tv and get to it. Just then, the second plane hit the second tower. I yelled out. Shocked. I was relieved that Andrew was ok but knew that many others were not.

The next months living in Connecticut were so sad. Life went on but so much was different. There were so many funerals. Every day for a week or two there were funerals in our little town and the surrounding towns. Everyone knew someone or the relative of someone who had died. We only lived an hour and a half away from NYC so people did commute in and out of the city all the time. It was so awful. I'd go into town on an errand and there was another funeral. I'd take the kids to a school event or soccer practice or hockey practice and someone would know someone who had found out that someone had died. It wasn't all immediate. There was hope for weeks later. People hoping that the person who was in the towers was just in a hospital somewhere with no ID. When the person wasn't found, the funerals were then arranged.

I remember going into my "card shop" about three weeks after 9/11. You have to remember, this was a very small town. I went into this shop every week to buy a card or browse or just to visit the girl who ran the shop (I can't remember her name, now). She was closing the shop and it was only about 11 am and it was unusual for her to close the shop. I asked her, jokingly, if she was playing hooky that day and could I come play hooky, too. She informed me that her brother had perished in the twin towers an she had to attend his memorial service that afternoon. OMG! I didn't even know. I had been in the shop several times since 9/11. I had even chatted with her at soccer while she was watching her nephew play and I was watching my kids. She explained that they had been holding on to hope. Hoping he was alive. Somewhere. Somehow. I went home and cried. Cried for her loss. For Robert's loss of an uncle. And cried with relief that no one I knew had died.

Seven years later, it is still my brother-in-law's birthday. Happy birthday, Randy. It's still the day after my mom's birthday and it's another beautiful day. In fact, every single September 11 has been a beautiful day.

I, for one, will be counting my blessings today. How 'bout you?

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm Home :(

I came home early - Sunday. I looked at what the weather would be bringing and it seemed to be more of the same. Cold (for me) and wet. That would mean staying in the hotel room all day. In countries whose English TV shows are either the BBC or CNN - neither of which interest me. In very, very small hotel rooms with no room service.

I did have some fun in Paris, however, thanks to Sandra and Herve. Herve works with Andrew and Sandra (pronounced Sondra) is his Swedish girlfriend. Can you say cute? Both of them! Cute as buttons. There's Herve with his French accent and very good looking. And there's Sandra with her Swedish good looks and an English accent. If they weren't so nice I would hate them!! ROFL!!

Anyway, Thursday nite we went out for dinner with them. It was a lot of fun. Sandra and I definitely "bonded". She's only 23 but it was one of those rare times when you feel like you've met a kindred spirit. We decided we would spend Friday afternoon together people watching and shopping and drinking Kir Royale. Turned out to be a sucky day weather wise and I decided I'd better not go. It was raining and shitty. I went next door to a patiseree to pick up some lunch and I go the best Quiche I've ever, ever, ever had and an amazing, amazing, amazing chocolate eclair. OMG!! To fricking die for!!

That evening we went to Moulin Rouge. Everyone enjoyed it. The men liked the boobs. I loved the dancing. I think Sandra liked it all. We smiled all the way through. Then we went out to an Irish Pub and drank and danced the night away. Literally. I think we got in at 4am. It was so fun!

Saturday afternoon Andrew & I went to Notre Dame Church and then L'Arc de Triomphe and then we wandered down Champs L'Esee (spelling?) for a while. It was nice. We went out for dinner later. Quiet dinner. We were a bit melancholy knowing I was leaving the next morning and wouldn't get to see Amsterdam and meet Mike and Ania.

So...I'm home. Had some great flights. On time and not crowded. I got three seats all to myself for the 8 hour flight so I layed down and slept and watched two movies. Nice. Jeff & Chanel picked me up at the airport. So nice to come home to such warm and loving hugs. I love those two!!

I don't really know how staying home alone is going to be. Last night I was very nervous about being in the house all alone so I put a chair against the bedroom door. I was still a little nervous so Andrew said I should lock the bedroom door and put a chair against it tonight. I think that will work. That and some Tylenol PM to knock me out. LOL!!

Well gotta go. Need some food in this house and to restart the mail and get money to pay my dog sitter.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Wanna Come Home!

Well, I've been in Europe for a week and I want to come home. Not because I'm homesick, just because I'm sick.

It's chilly over here and my asthma has kicked in. It started with a cold and now I'm coughing like crazy and my chest feels a little heavy and has a slight burn. I think it's the cooler temperatures. It's not actually that cold out but for my lungs, which are used to 100 degree weather, I guess 70 is cold. I dunno.

Anyway, I'm looking into changing my ticket to coming home on Monday. I don't know if it's even do-able because we used skymiles to get here. I guess we'll see.

I have been having fun, though. Dusseldorf was good. We got there on Thursday. I slept all day to get rid of the jet lag and we went out for dinner that night. I ordered dessert and looked over at Andrew and the poor guy was falling asleep! I felt so bad. He had worked all day while I slept!

Friday I shopped and found a cute leather jacket for a great price. It was on sale because it's a "summer" leather jacket - perfect for the cooler weather in Florida! Friday night we went out to the "old town". Had way too much to drink and a lot of fun. Saturday we slept in till 2:30! As I said way too much to drink! LOL!!

Saturday afternoon we went on a boat trip down the Reine. What a huge river! Huge barges go up and down. I wanted to see them crash into each other but they didn't. Sick, eh? We went to see a "broken" castle and then went back to old town for more drinking and food. Again stayed out way too late! Can you say Party Animals?!! ROFL!!!

Sunday we went to some sort of palace. We took a train to get there, toured around and came back. It was forgetable. Then, we went to Guido's house for dinner with his wife, Simona, and three tiny daughters. OMG!! They are sooo cute! Twins who are 2 and a baby who's almost 1. All three with that beautiful white hair and really sweet. Andrew got into the sandbox and played with them. They loved him! All little kids love Andrew. Dinner was wonderful. Lots of different types of meat, various salads and cheeses and bread with all sorts of pestos. Really different from anything we would have here. I loved it!

Then....I started feeling like crap. By the time we got home from Guido's I had a huge cold coming on. I went to bed with the kleenex beside the bed and woke up feeling like crap. I went to the pharmacy and got some pills. I took them and they made me feel well enough to go out for dinner that night. We went to a restaurant at the top of a tower - similar to the CN tower but smaller. That dinner was with Guido, Sabina and The Cute Boy. OMG!!! I'm sorry! I don't remember his name but, man! Was he cute! I told Sabina he was "eye candy". She'd never heard that before but he really is.

Monday night after we came home I took the cold pills I had bought and then took my Tylenol PM. Partway through the night I woke up and thought "Holy Shit, the cold pills are probably the same as the Tylenol PM and I've probably overdosed". I looked it up the next day in a German/English dictionary online and sure enough, I'd double dosed. Oops! Won't do that again!!

Tuesday I stayed in all day. Wasn't feeling well. We went out for a quiet dinner. It sucked.

Wednesday morning at 4 am we got up and headed for Paris. My favourite city in the world! I really do love it. I napped until about noon and headed out. It was chilly, though. We're within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, which is cool. Andrew and I went for a great dinner last night (escargot, duck l'orange and creme brullee!) and then walked over to the Eiffel Tower for the lights show. Took lots of pictures which I'll put up later. Then...I spent the entire night coughing and coughing and coughing. Not a regular cough but that shitty barking cough that I get when bronchitis is coming on. Crap!!

So, it's Thursday afternoon right now. I slept in till noon. I'm staying in the hotel all day. I really think the cold air is bugging my lungs so I'm just staying in. I am in my favourite city and I'm staying in my fucking room! Crap!!

There you have it. An update on our travels and my health. I know it was boring without pictures but I don't have the cords to download the pictures so those will come later. I'm gonna call my momma, now, and whine. That'll make me feel better!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Present

This is what Andrew sent me for our Anniversary!!



Oh!! PS, We're going to Europe for 3 weeks starting on Wednesday!! Dusseldorf, Amsterdam and Paris!! WOOHOO!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Craig's List Rant

One of my fellow "survivors" sent this to me. Someone posted it on Craig's List. I don't love the part at the end of each paragraph saying "when you get it" but it really, clearly describes the road I've taken. The constipation part really hit home and the other part about some friends just not staying in contact.

Anyway, here's the link.

ttfn peeps

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

You know you've been married a long time when you forget it's your anniversary. We celebrated our 26th anniversary yesterday!

The huge thing was that Andrew came home early from work! He also brought me flowers but, truthfully, time with him is the best anniversary present a girl could get. It's funny 'cause every time an anniversary comes you think "It seems like yesterday that we got married." And then you start thinking about all the things we've done/accomplished/gone through and it does seem like a long time. For example, I remember everything about my wedding day. Dancing to "Stars on 45" and who was there and how the bartender thought I was drunk 'cause I kept losing my wine glass and coming up for more. He must have given me 20 glasses of wine! LOL!! And going pee in a wedding dress. Now that's an interesting thing. Needed help with that one! LOL!! Then, I think of this last year and all we've endured and the year seems so long. Weird.

I went for a job interview yesterday. I'm going to take the position. It's working in the Medicare Advantage field again. I don't love working with that demographic but the money's too good to pass up.

We move Kevin and Scott to Orlando this weekend. They're sharing a beautiful house with a brother and sister who they've known since high school. Their mom went through breast cancer five years ago. She had her big five year body scan about a month ago and they found a tumor in her ovary area, I think. Anyway, she had surgery on Monday and....IT'S NOT CANCER!!! yeah!!! I'm so happy for her and her kids and husband. It would really suck for her to have to go through chemo all over again. Chemo really does suck.

Anyway, I'm off to recover those chairs. Yes, I'm a procrastinator and I didn't do it the other day so, here I am, the day before they move, recovering chairs. Ugh! I wish I was an A-type personality sometimes! ROFL!!!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Hair

As you can see, I changed the picture of Andrew and I. Do I look gay? I mean, seriously, do I look gay? Apparently I do because if one more girl "approaches" me I'm going to go for it!

Andrew & I went out about a month ago and, when he went to the bathroom, a couple of gay girls came over and started flirting with me. It happened a few times in Vegas, too. No. This was not in my head. I did not make it up. Since then? I've been wearing long dangly earrings trying to make sure this doesn't happen again.

And...just for the record. I have nothing against lesbians. I just don't want to be one, ya know? (Although, I do admit, it's a bit of an ego boost!)

Gotta go reupholster some kitchen chairs. Having three kids in college will make you do horrible things - like pick up your neighbours old kitchen table and chairs out of their garbage! Oh yes! I did that and I'm proud of it. It's a perfectly good table, for pete's sake! ROFL!!

ttfn, peeps!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm Better Today!

I'm in a much better mood today.

We're getting kind of excited around here. We might get a hurricane coming through! I know that sounds crazy to get excited about it but it will only be a category 1 so we don't have to evacuate or put the boards on our windows. We just get to sit and watch it. It's really cool. The sky "swirls". One hour the wind is going one way the next hour it's going a different way.

So, don't worry about us down here in Florida. A category 1 hurricane is just a big storm. We might lose power, which would totally suck because it's hot a hell down here, but other than that? It should be really interesting and totally cool.


Friday, August 15, 2008


I'm so mad at cancer today. I just can't explain it. I'm just in a foul mood and mad at cancer.

How dare it take my grandmother away from me! How dare it attack my sweet father-in-law! How dare it take Mr Laws' life and Jake at 15! How dare it put Mrs. Young through such a battle! How dare it attack my father and me! How dare it take Briana's life and Jeff's mom! How dare it attack Helga and Laurie and Vanessa and Brandy and Brandy's friend Betty! The fucking bastard!!


I know that having hatred in my heart isn't good. I must replace it with love but, today? I'm frustrated. My hips hurt and my spirit is low. It may have something to do with the fact that all my kids are going to college in the next week. I think it's more than that, though. I met so many amazing people while going through this. They sat next to me in chemo or across from me in chemo or while waiting for radiation. They were all so nice and we were all going through this shitty battle. We put on brave faces and laughed at our deformed selves (remember, Laurie, the day you came in "lopsided"?) but some days it just really really sucks and I hate it.

I hate that I had to go through this. It's made my kids face things that no one wants their kids to face. It made my parents so sad and scared. It made my sister cry over and over. It made my nieces and nephews have to know that there's a disease that can kill their cousin's mother. It takes the innocent and makes them not-so-innocent and that sucks.

Now I have to face a double hip replacement and that sucks, too. And Vanessa has to go into surgery on Monday, scared and having to think about doing chemo all over again and her children and husband have to be scared and brave all over again.


HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vegas and more

Well, I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and write about Vegas and Donny!!!

Vegas was great! We didn't lose too much money and had tons of fun. We stayed at Planet Hollywood for the first three nights and then at Treasure Island. Planet Hollywood's way better.

Thursday - got there and got our bearings.
Friday - booked a trip on the Colorado River and went to see Kathy Griffin in the evening. She was so funny! At one point she made reference to the fact that Donny and Marie were in town. And then she fell on the floor - a la Marie's fainting experience on Dancing With The Stars. That was funny. Then she went on to say she thinks Marie's dolls are creepy (I agree) and that she thinks Marie beats Donny and he has to wear a lot of makeup to cover up his black eyes and then she said "They have that song I'm a Little Bit Country I'm a Little Bit Rock and Roll. Well, Marie might be a little bit country but Donny? He's never been even a little bit rock and roll!" It was funny. I think Andrew thought I'd stand up and yell something. I didn't. Phew! I know y'all were thinking I would, too, weren't you? I was on my best behaviour!
Saturday we went on our Colorado River Trip. It was really cool. We got to see the "backside of the Hoover Dam. We went on a raft for about three hours. We stopped for lunch along the way (a boxed lunch) and they said we could swim. The water was 54 degrees so you can imagine not many people went in. Only the brave......

I'm thinking about it...... (so's the Europeon guy in the teeny tiny bathing suit)

I'm Brave!!! I got all the way in. Not once. Not twice. But three times!!!

I'm so proud at this moment...

Now? All I want is out! This was my first venture in. The third time I actually stayed in for quite a while. The water burned it was so cold but I figured when else will I ever get a chance to do something like this? I'm also proud to say that only one other woman went in (another Florida chick) and about three other guys out of the 30 or so on the tour. Who woulda thunk, eh?

My honey and me. She how he's dry and I'm not? He ended up getting soaking wet from the spray on the boat.

Here's some pictures of the sights we saw:

Andrew right before the rafting tour. He thought he'd have a chance to change into his bathing suit but there was no chance so he ended up getting really wet in his clothes.

On the river

A mountain goat

A girl on the tour's foot. Her mother had breast cancer (she is now at the five year remission mark - yay her!!) and this girl had a tattoo done as an ode to her mom. I loved it and it got me thinking that I'd like something, too. I haven't done it yet. I know which tattoo guy will do it I just have to get him to design it and find some money for it. Three kids in college is expensive!!

Andrew and I in front of the Hoover Dam. He has now changed into his bathing suit because his clothes were all wet. He's a little bit backwards, eh?

We stopped at Dick's Saloon for a drink after the Kathy Griffin show and I sat on this bar stool. I didn't realize it was legs for a few minutes but once I did I needed a picture! LOL!!
Andrew and "his car" outside Planet Hollywood. In his dreams, people!! In his dreams!! I just thought it was funny that it was an orange car. Remember his first car? The orange Capri?
OK, so zip forward to Monday night. The Donny night. First off we got to go to the sound check. We waited in line because it wasn't reserved seating for that part. While in line we met these people from Orlando. She was a little bit scary. Shoot. There were scary people everywhere. You think I'm a Donny freak? You ain't seen nothin' till you've seen some of these people! Anyway, she was one of the lucky people who got to go to a meet and greet after the sound check. We got to talking and I ended up telling them all about chemo and how I had looked forward to this all through chemo and how it helped me get through. That whole light at the end of the tunnel thing. So....we go in for the sound check. It ended up being a question and answer thing. What I should have done is put up my hand and told them how this got me through chemo however....I just sat there. Some woman right behind me stood up and started blubbering that she'd loved Donny since she was a kid. Well, hello! We all have! But...he came right into the audience and gave her a hug and stood there talking to her for a couple of minutes. He was within an armlength of me. Did I do anything? Well, yes. I cryed. I sat there fucking crying!!! Did I stand up? no. Say anything? no. Just sat there fucking crying!! My big chance and I sit there crying.
Ugh! So then....those people we met in line went up for their meet and greet. It was in the audience but over to the side and up. These people were first in line and the man told Donny about me. Donny turned around and said "Where is she, I'd like to meet her." Where was I? gone. I was already out of the hall. another Ugh!!! So...I missed it. Again. Anyway, the concert was amazingly good. Even Andrew said it was good. Great, even. They are amazing performers and entertainers. I found out after I got home that after all the concerts they come out and meet their fans. Once again, I was gone. But? I got to see my dreamboat and he really is dreamy. I love him even more, now. Sigh!!!!!
So. That's our trip to Vegas. It was really fantastic. Wonderful to spend so much time with my honey. Usually when we go away, Andrew's on business and is gone all day and we only get to see each other in the evenings. This time, we got to spend lots of time together. We got to wake up together, eat together, play together. It was so nice. I love that man with all my heart ( well, not all my heart - some of my heart. My kids get some and my parents and other relatives and Debbie and her kids - ok, revision.....) I love that man with lots of my heart!! teehee!!
Other things:
- Kevin and Scott have found a house to live in in the fall. A nicer house than my house, I might add. I've been busy buying them furniture.
- We all went to Panama City Beach for a few days this past week. We stayed in a three bedroom condo. We had tons of fun. There's a jet skiing story to be told but not today.
- I went to see my orthopedic surgeon. Andrew went with me. We got to see my MRI from a few months ago and what, exactly, is happening. We saw exactly where the bone is dying and have a much better understanding of what's happening. The doctor and I have agreed that hip replacement surgery is imminent. I'm in quite a bit of pain on a daily basis. I really want to wait until April to get it done. I lost last selling season to Cancer (my selling season is Nov 15 - April 1) and I want to make some money this year. Also, it's better to wait until I'm finished the Herceptin. It is considered a chemo drug and it's better not to have surgery while I'm on it - although not impossible. I finish that in late January. Anyway, I'm on a wait and see, right now. If the pain isn't too bad I'll wait until April. If it gets too bad then I'll do it earlier. We're also talking about doing both hips at the same time. I'm feeling lots of pain in the right hip (actually groin area) and some in the left. I'd hate to get my right one done and then, a few months later, need the other done. The doctor said he was willing to do both at the same time. Once again, that's a wait and see thing, too. I'll keep you posted.
Well, that's all for now. Long post, eh? Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cancer Talk

I've decided to put off writing about Vegas to talk about cancer.

Today, I was at the physiotherapists. I did my whole program and went over to the front desk. I made sure I had my appointment for next week and then the receptionist, Kathy, introduced me to two of her friends who were standing there. She said they had come to talk to me and did I have time to chat. I said sure. I thought maybe they wanted advice on insurance. We went into a private room and they shut the door. Turns out that all three of these ladies (ages 42, 43 & 45) have found lumps in their breasts and all three were told by their doctors that it was probably hormonal and nothing to worry about. All three were told that because there is no dimpling in the breast and that the nipple isn't "inverted" that it's nothing. Well, I gotta tell you, I didn't have either of those things. I ended up actually feeling two of their "lumps". I'd say that one is definitely suspect. It's the size and feel of a frozen pea. I told her that if it was me I'd be getting a mammogram. I also told them that my particular cancer didn't even show up on the mammogram so they should ask for an ultrasound, too.

This got me to thinking. How many women out there wait for a long period of time to get checked because their doctor said it's nothing? I have to tell you that we all have to be our own advocates. We have to say "I want........." and follow up with it. Stick up for yourself as though it's life or death because it just may be.

I also have an issue with my Herceptin treatments. As I've explained before I will be on Herceptin until January 2009. It is a chemo drug that specifically targets HER2 cells. My tumor was positive for that so I get Herceptin to target any lingering cells. That, in itself, makes me nervous. What lingering cells? Didn't they get it all? I have to calm that part of my brain and just go with it.

Anyway, my doctor told me that I needed to do Herceptin every 3 weeks for a year. There were no other time periods mentioned. So for the past six months I've been doing as I was told. Now, that doctor has left and I have a new doctor. The new doctor says that I'm supposed to do Herceptin every week and asked me why I had chosen to do it every 3 weeks. I explained that I wasn't given an option. This is how it was prescribed for me. He explained that all his patients do it every week because that's what the American Medical Association says to do. He said there weren't enough studies to warrant doing it every three weeks. He also said that I can continue to do it every three weeks if I want to because, as my doctor he can only give me facts and then it is up to me to make the decision as to my treatment. I am so confused by this. So I started looking up and asking around. How often do other people do Herceptin? I sure as hell don't want to risk my life by doing it every three weeks. Of course I'll do it every week if I have to. So I asked the chemo nurses. They said every three weeks is fine. That, yes, all his patients do it every week but most other doctors prescribe it every three weeks. Then, my friend, Shelley found out that at Princess Margaret in Toronto do Herceptin every three weeks. Other people online (Cancer patient message boards) seem to do both. Some do every week others do every three weeks. I just don't know what to do and my doctor wants an answer next time I see him - which is Tuesday. Anyone got a suggestion?

I also want to talk about what it's like to have had cancer. First off, it's scary. You're always thinking about whether they got it all. When I tell people I had cancer and went through chemo they always ask "Did they get it all?". I'm never sure how to answer that. I always say "They think they did. I hope they did." Only time will tell, right?

I have to tell you that I don't think about it as soon as I wake up in the morning. I'm not sure when this happened but it used to be that I'd wake up and think "Oh shit, I have cancer." I don't do that any more. Sometimes I don't even think about it until noon or later. That's such a good thing and a big relief. I was told that this thinking about it every minute of every day would eventually go away. It took some time but I seem to be getting there.

I should also update everyone on my hips. I seem to be having quite a bit of pain in the right groin area, which is a sign that the hip is deteriorating. I'm going to go to my orthopedic doctor and see whether this is happing a little quicker than I had hoped. The frustrating thing with it is that there is no timeline. You know, like when you break an arm or something they tell you that you'll be ok in 8 weeks. With this, I could end up with hip replacement in a year or in 15 years it just depends on how quickly the bones deteriorate. They also don't really know when this started. I took a lot of prednisone for a lot of years and that could be why I have this. Of course it could be the chemo. Then again it could be the combo. They don't really know why this has happened. So there's a lot of things that are just up in the air. It's a little hard to mentally accept that. I'm a planner. If they could say "You will need a hip replacement in 5 years and 7 weeks and 5 days and 8 hours" I would be much happier. This "not knowing" is hard for me to deal with.

I think that's all I have to say, right now. I just thought people would be interested to know where my brain is right now.


Monday, July 28, 2008

What a Great Summer!!

Welcome to the longest post in the history of man!
I've just had quite the traveling summer.

First there was Canada. Scott & I started off at Debbie's (my best friend) in Barrie. We got to see the Rathmann family while we were there. I babysat Stef and Scott Michael about 17 years ago and we still keep in touch.

Our luggage didn't make it to Toronto with us (long story) so the first thing we did when we got to Barrie was go to Walmart. We picked up toothbrushes, undies and I needed some decent clothes because Deb and I were supposed to go out that night. I went out in Walmart clothes!! I kept calling myself the Walmart girl. LOL!! Scott went out with Deb's kids that night. The rest of the time we sat around and chatted and ate and chillaxed.
Then we went to my parents for a few days where Scotty played golf with my dad and brother, Steve. On Friday we all headed down to Sam's (my brother's daughter) house and helped her paint her room. Then on Saturday we headed off to Sue (Andrew's sister) & Gerard's in Orangeville for a night. From there we went to a family BBQ on Sunday afternoon at Andrew's brother Steve's and his wife Monika's house with all of Andrew's family. That evening we went to watch Cameron win a baseball game and then we stayed with Jane (Andrew's sister) and Craig's for a couple of nights. Scott & Cameron headed to Wonderland on Monday. I went to watch Abby play t-ball on Monday night and on Tuesday we spent the day with my brother, Steve. We went and played mini golf (Steve won, as usual. When we were kids he beat me all the time and I just wanted to beat him but it didn't happen. Darn!) and went to the Chinguacousy petting park. There's actually no petting allowed but it was fun to watch all the animals. They were all fighting with each other. Weird. Later we went out for dinner with Steve and Sam and her boyfriend, Travis. Thank you so much for dinner! It was so good and I'm so sorry I dipped my bread in your food and made you sick! Then, they took us to Steve and Monika's (thanks, Steve!) so we could stay there a couple of nights. Here are some pictures from Wednesday at their place:


The muscle bound boys!

Daniel jumping in

Michael "shooting" me


Scott throwing Adam - who, I might add, is the bravest child in the history of man!!

Scott threw Daniel and he gave me the "thumbs up"

Scott throwing Adam - look how high he went!


Scott and his shadow, Adam

Four gorgeous boys!

Aren't those amazing pictures? New digital camera!
OK, from there my sister, Kim, came and picked us up in Burlington and took us back to her place in Horseheads, NY. I must say. This was an amazing thing, that sister of mine, did! She drove 4 hours to come get us and then four more hours home. So, that was Thursday. That night Scott and Thomas (Kim's son) went to a bar and Kim and I went, too. It's not what it sounds. We didn't go to a bar with our kids! They went outside and we stayed inside. Lindsey (Kim's daughter) was bartending inside so we went to visit. We did venture outside for a couple of minutes to see what the music was like but we felt like it was "inappropriate" so we went up on this deck that looks down so we could hear the music (70's!) but not look like cougars. Then Friday we went to wine country. Lindsey was our DD and her son, Tyler, came along. Well, I just love this kid. He melts my heart! He is so smart (smarter than even Jeff was at that age!) and so cute and when he'd say my name? OMG!! I just kept saying "I want one!". ROFL!! A grandbaby, I mean. But, I don't really. All in good time. But he really was a cutie. Oh, and he just loves his grandpa and vice versa. He calls Randy "Pa" and when he says it? You can just hear the love in his voice. Oh! And he kept thinking Scott was Thomas. They don't actually look alike but their mannerisms are so much alike! He just kept calling Scott, Tom. So funny! Here's some pics from their house.

Kim and my cat, Stella. Kim & Randy took Stella when we moved from Connecticut to Florida. We couldn't take a cat and dog so Kim agreed to take Stella. She's definitely Kim's cat, now. She actually comes in behind Kim like this
and then starts chewing on her hair. It's love!!


Look at those eyes!!!
Can you tell I'm in love? I just kept taking picture after picture. I think he's looking at Randy in this one - that's the look he gets when Randy's around.
Scott and Tom. See? They don't really look anything alike but their mannerisms are so similar that they look like twins. Funny!
I must say that Scott was a wonderful travel partner. He really just went with the flow and was fine doing something or nothing. I love you Scotty and I'm so glad we had that time together. Just to have a laugh or sing a song....oh! sorry, that's the song from Carol Burnett. ROFL!! I kill myself!!
So, I'm tired of typing and you're probably tired of reading so I'm going to write about Vegas tomorrow or the next day.
As Donny and Marie said...G'night everybody!!