Monday, April 28, 2008

More Health Problems....ugh!!!

I'm happy that radiation is done. Really, really happy. Also, Scotty's home for the summer so that's another thing to be happy about! Friday night Andrew and I, Scott, Kevin, My mom and dad and Mr & Mrs. Hall all went to The Tarpon Turtle so celebrate. It was fun and nice to all be together again before all my beloved "oldies" go back north. I get really sad this time of year when my parents leave for Canada. I love them so much and lean on them and it's really hard to see them leave.

Anyway, on to the title of this post. Remember I said that I was having pain in my hip and afraid it was cancer? Well the good news is that it's not cancer. The bad news is that I found out that I now have something wrong with my hips. It's not cancer but it's not good. I guess, because of all the prednisone I've been on in my life along with the chemo, I now have something called avascular necrosis in my hips. Here's a link to an explanation.

I'm trying to get an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon but, so far, the earliest appointment I can get is June 10. Anyway, according to other web sites I must be quite far along in the deterioration of the bone because I'm feeling pain. This just plainly sucks. In all honesty it fucking sucks. I am definitely doing the "why me" thing right now. First, when I'm a teen I get bronchitis a gazillion times, then I have three pregnancies with bedrest and c-sections, then I get asthma so bad I'm hospitalized then I get cancer and now this? This is just not fair. Ya know, when you track bad time and you go by which health problem you were dealing with at the time that it's not good.

So...I think I'll just spend a few days playing online games and reading e-mails and spending time with my parents and then I'll just have to hike up my big girl panties and deal with it. Another Ugh moment brought to you by Sandy. Ugh!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Kim's Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to my favourite Chick!!!


(Knowing you're 50, now, I wrote that in BIG letters so you could see the message. And....Knowing you're 50 you might not be hip and cool like me so 'cause I'm so much younger, I'll tell you that ROFLMAO means rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. What? You just told me to Fuck off. Well, that's not very nice!! You're a grandmother, now. Grandmothers don't swear - don't tell that to mom, though!! LOL!!)

A Birthday Letter:


You have been the best sister I could possibly have asked for. You have been my best friend, confidante (sorry! I know you know some things you wished you didn't know!), someone to laugh hysterically with, cry with and love. We have been through so much together but I will make a little list so you can remember with me. Here comes memory lane......

- remember when you were in the top bunk and I was in the bottom bunk and I used to be so skinny I could get between the bed and the wall and in the middle of the night I'd scare you? Oh!! remember when I was in the top bunk and you were in the bottom bunk and you were learning French and I wanted to know how to say all my friends names in French and we were going through their names and dad came in and told us to go to sleep and left and we kept going and he came back and told us to go to sleep and left and we kept going and he was furious and came in and tried to turn me over to spank me and I wouldn't let him and he just got madder and madder and finally mom came in and looked at what was happening and started laughing and then he saw that it was quite funny and started laughing and I never did get a spanking?

- remember when you taught me how to kiss a pillow so I'd be ready for a boy?
- remember that you, my dear, you were the one who took me to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang....on the bus!! OHHH!!! It was so exciting!!
- remember going to see the Queen and singing silly songs while we were waiting for her?
- Ewww remember sleeping over at the Reids and how Roxanne's eyes opened when she was asleep and it was so creepy?
- remember teaching me all your cheers for cheerleading?
- remember me tagging along on many of your dates? And going to the movies with you? and going to Dairy Queen? and Baseball Games? and anywhere else you might have been going?
- remember riding our bikes to Professor's Lake? Oh, and didn't a kid go missing so they made a line of people and you participated and the kid ended up being at the playground? Was that a dream or was that real? Crap! You shouldn't have done that! What if you'd found the kids dead body with your feet! Jeepers!
- Oh!! remember when you'd be standing at the front door waiting for the guy to kiss you goodnight and I wouldn't leave? And we'd stand there for, like, an hour and finally you'd get rid of me?
- remember when we were both pitchers and Karen was our catcher and Dad was our coach?
- ohhhh!! sad thing - remember when we were in the championship game and you had pitched all you could so it was my turn and I walked in their winning run?
- remember making up routines on the Croziers swings? Oh!! And swimming across the lake? That was all you. I freaked out and dad had to haul me into the canoe - but you did it! (And Karen, too - I don't remember if Steve did). And letting all the frogs go in the middle of the night and dad would have to use minnows for fishing? That was all Karen! Let's blame Karen!!
- remember when you'd go to the movies that were R rated and I was too young to go so you'd come home and tell me all about them. In detail.
- remember the year when it was right before Christmas and we were talking on the phone and even though you were coming home from University the next day we missed each other soooo much so you hopped in your car and came home just in time for the Osmond's Christmas special and we snuggled in under a blanket in the basement and watched it together?
- remember me coming to visit you in Hamilton?

- remember ice skating and roller skating?
- remember going to Ontario Place to see Dan Hill and getting "shit on"?
- remember going to Ontario Place to Dr. Hook?
- remember going to Toronto Island so I could meet that cute boy from Toronto? That kissing lesson really came in handy!! Thanks!
- remember going out to clubs and dancing all night? OMG!! Remember that night when my friend Karen and I got really drunk (I think we went to see The Kings at Stars that night) and we were in that restaurant saying, really loudly "I ain't neva delivered babies before!" and Andrew left and we got kicked out? OMG! And what about the time we went to Belleville and that weird guy from next door on Janlyn Cres. worked in the restaurant! What was his name? Ohhh! he was creepy!
- remember Lamaze classes? I'm pretty sure some of them thought we were the gay couple!! ROFL!!! We could be just without the sex. Oh!! Was that weird to say? sorry!!!
- remember Lindsey's birth? OMG that cone head!
- remember when I was on bedrest with Scott and I'd go outside and put my feet in cool water and have a fan and you'd bring me stuff?
- remember all the weekends we've visited. Times when we had all the kids together and it was crazy! Lindsey is, what? 4 years older than Jeff, then Scott came 15 months later, then Thomas 9 months later, then Kevin came 9 months after that! We had a lot of kids! It was so fun! We'd play with the kids and we ate and drank and talked for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and then shopped for hours and hours and hours and hours and then talked some more? More of that to come, I'm sure!!
Wow! I could go on and on. Really! I guess what I'm saying is that I love you and I'm glad you're my sister and I wouldn't trade you and the memories we've built for anything!!!

Have a great birthday!

Love, Sandy

1 year 3 months till Karen turns 50
2 years 6 months till Steve turns 50
4 years 8 months till I turn 50
2 months 28 days till I see Donny!

Monday, April 21, 2008

MRI Results are In!!

I went for an MRI on Thursday. It was a follow-up to the bone scan for my painful hip. The MRI does not show any cancer! Yeah!!! That's a big relief and the doctor said it's perfectly normal to think everything is cancer for the first couple of years. What I do have is decreased blood flow in my hips. I got the results from my radiation oncologist. He just had the results and doesn't know whether this is a result of the chemo so when I go for Herceptin on Friday I'll have to ask my other oncologist.

Then on Friday I had another MUGA test. It's that heart test that I have to have every couple of months to make sure my heart isn't being affected by the Herceptin. The results are that my heart is actually doing better. I think my last on was about 65% and I'm now at 69%. How's that for a great number, eh? LOL!! It's probably from all the walking I've been doing.

Anyway, I'm thrilled with both these results!!

We had a great weekend. We went down to St. Pete on Saturday for a craft festival and then on Sunday we went to Honeymoon Island (one of the top 10 beaches in America) to another festival. I signed up to be a volunteer with the Sea Turtles. It is my understanding that the volunteers go out and mark the turtle nests and monitor them and watch the babies go out to sea. Should be great!

Oh! On Friday night we went out for dinner at The Outback. There was this woman who just couldn't take her eyes off me. I thought I was over people staring at me but this was too much. I was sitting facing her but I had Scotty trade places with me so I couldn't see her anymore. Kevin wanted to go confront her but I wouldn't let him. People like that just aren't worth it and, besides, she was old. I guess you never know why they're staring but, still. It's rude.
After dinner we went and played pool and us "oldies" beat the "youngies". yippee!!

I think that's all. Have a great week everyone! Only 4 more radiations to go!!

ps - my sister, Kim's, birthday is on Wednesday!! Woohoo!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Seven more to Go!

Only seven more radiations to go. That makes me so happy. Although, I had a major meltdown on the Radiation table today. Sometimes it just hits me that I have cancer and am going through this shit. I just couldn't stop crying. I went into the change room afterwards and thought I had my act together. I came out and my doctor was standing at the front desk as I was walking out. He waved me over just to say hi and I just ended up crying and slobbering all over the place. I just love this man. He pulled me in and gave me a huge hug. Just held me. Another angel, I swear. And...he was sent to me by another angel, Kit, my oncology nurse. Amazing.

Some exciting news came to me yesterday. My friend, Christy, is walking in the Relay for Life. Her mom had breast cancer a few years ago and is now cancer-free (Yeah!! Mrs. Young!!!). Anyway, she e-mailed me and told me that she's walking in honour of her mom and me. Just typing that gives me goose bumps. Anyway, I've joined her team and I will be walking in honour of my grandmother, Vera Irvine. If you would like to donate please go to the following link. My goal is to raise $250.00 so if 25 of you donate $10.00 I will meet that goal. Thank you in advance!

You Canadians can donate 'cause they take mastercard/visa/american express - all those. Anyway, I'll be out there walking on her team on May 16 along with Kevin and, hopefully, Jeff and Scott. I'm going to ask them this weekend when they're home but now they'll read it here so - Hey! Jeff & Scott - will you walk with us? It's Friday May 16 at 6:00 pm until Saturday May 17 at 10 am - oh! I know how to get you there. It's at the track and they're having special poker tables. Besides, Christy's walking in honour of me and her mom and I'd like you to be there.

Two funny stories and then I'm done:

A few posts ago I was talking about my itchy nipple. Laurie, a girl I met at radiation, sent me an e-mail about the whole itchy nipple thing. You see, she had a mastectomy. This is the note she sent. I laughed so hard I cried (in a good way, this time) when I read it:

"I am sorry you are having problems with those rads...they can suck! So to answer your question about your "itchy nipple" least you have one ROTFLMAO....and honey when it itches...scratch it ! You are intitled to that nipple ! LOL "

ahhh....Cancer humour!! And for those of you who don't know ROTFLMAO stands for Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

Another story I heard at radiation today. A young girl had had a double mastectomy (this is a true story). She was on the table getting "mapped" (that's when they figure out how to do the radiation) and it was taking a long time. She said "Hey doc, can you hurry up with this? It's cold in here and my nipples are getting hard."

Too funny!

Have a great day, all!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Pageant, A Tiara & Donny and Marie!!!

OK!!! I was in heaven yesterday! The Miss USA pageant was on Friday night. I taped it and watched it yesterday afternoon. I was in heaven.

Guess who hosted!!!!???? That's right! My Donny and Marie. And...they were pretty funny, too. They didn't sing, which was a bit of a disappointment. But...they really were funny and Marie looked fricking fabulous! I may just take up Ballroom Dancing just to get a body like that! Not!!! most of you probably don't know, I am a very serious pageant watcher. I watch very closely and pick my favourites right at the beginning. Well. I am so good, if I do say so myself. I picked the winner AND the third place winner as my favs! Am I good or what?

And this, my friends, is what the winner gets to wear for an entire year!!! Oh my goodness! Just thinking about it gets my heart going. A tiara and a sash that says she is Miss USA. What's better than that?
Anyway, I just thought I'd share my passion with y'all. I know, I know, some of you think I'm nuts, crazy, weird. Whatever! It was just an amazing tv moment to have a pageant, a tiara and Donny and Marie all on tv at the same time! Heaven, I tell you! Heaven.
See? Now I never have to die 'cause I've already been to heaven!! ROFL!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I hate migraines. I got one on Tuesday morning. It was a really bad one that lasted until Wednesday night. It's now Thursday afternoon and it's downgraded to a headache. Really pissed me off to get it because I was supposed to go to a "young women's cancer support group" on Tuesday night. I was looking forward to it. But, even leaving my dark bedroom is out of the question when I have a migraine so I only left the house to go to radiation. I wore my hat and sunglasses. I looked pretty funny, really. Then, during radiation, I had them put a towel over my eyes 'cause between the loud whine of the machine and the lights I woulda just cried. The first day, she put the towel over my whole face. This was ok until.....I had a hot flash!! So there I am under this towel, not allowed to move having a huge hot flash and my head was killing me. Ugh! Whatever - only 11 more to go.

I'm not sure if I'll fit in with this support group but we'll see. It's for women under 50. I'm in that category but, since I had the kids so young, I'm usually at a different point in life than people my own age. I don't have the worry of not seeing my kids graduate from high school - well unless a truck runs me over before June 4th, anyway! LOL!! My thoughts are more like this:

1) Now that the kids are all going off to college, Andrew and I are free. Free for so many things! Free to eat what we want and not worry about one kid not liking this and the other kid not liking that. Also, if we go out to dinner it's just two people. Much cheaper than a family of five! Free to do "other" things, too. Things I won't mention 'cause their unmentionable but with no kids in the house they could be really fun. teehee (sorry Jeff, Scott and Kevin!!) I don't want to miss that.

2) Jeff has a girlfriend and the others are sure to get one or two soon. That means, at some point engagements will happen and then marriage and then granddaughters - oh! I mean grandchildren (really, I'll love the boys as much as the girls but it'll be way more fun to dress the girls!). I don't want to miss that.

3) Travel. Oh!! I have sooo many places I want to go. There's Greece and Hawaii and Italy and Paris time and time again and Slovakia and Scotland and Costa Rica....well, obviously, I could go on and on. I'm also thinking that, when Andrew goes to Europe, I can travel with him some of the time. Not in the winter (I don't breathe well in the cold) but in the spring and fall I could go with him and visit all the wonderful people he works with over there. They are really nice people (I'm not just saying that 'cause they read my blog, either!). Fun!! I don't want to miss that.

4) Visiting. I won't have kids at home so, when Andrew goes to Europe, if I don't want to go with him I could just go north and visit my friends and family. I could wander around by myself during the day or read a book/magazine or watch tv and then spend evenings with them. I would so love that! Flights to Elmira are getting cheaper by the month (Ohh!! Randy would just love that, eh, Kim? Waahaahaahaahaa!!) and for the Toronto folks, I could fly into Buffalo. Then someone would just have to come pick me up (shopping in Buffalo!! YAH!!!). I don't want to miss that.

5) I still want to become a boater. We live in Florida so I want to try it. I also want to try jet skiiing. I don't want to miss that.

6) I want to write a book, volunteer with the manatees and sea turtles, so many things!! I don't want to miss a thing! (Cue Aerosmith!)

So, you see? I have a lot to live for! A lot I don't want to miss.

That's all for today. I meant to finally write a small post but I needed to remind myself of all the excitement coming up. It gets a little lonely on that radiation table, sometimes, so I just needed a little boost.

Thanks for listening!
3 months & 10 days till Donny!!
13 days till "someone" turns 50!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Our Weekend

First off - I have to say to my Aunt Ardyth. No. Not you, you silly lady!! And...I am very, very impressed that you made a comment!! And...I realize how hard this must be on both you and my dad. It must be very scary knowing that your mom died of breast cancer and then for me to have it must be very scary for both of you. Don't worry! I'm fighting it. It picked the wrong girl to mess with! LOL!!

Ok now for our weekend. We had a fantastic weekend!!

On Saturday, Jeff and Chanel and I went shopping for a dress for Chanel. It was really fun. It's like dressing a model. The funny thing is...I consider myself a "normal" woman. I always try on a size and end up getting a bigger size. I like to think I'm a size smaller than I am, I guess. OK, so we're shopping and Chanel says she's a size 5/6. Now, I must tell you I never thought she was a size 5. How could someone so tiny think that she's a size 5?!! So, she tries on the first dress and it's just swimming on her. Second dress? Well, it wasn't her (I made her try it on!) and again it was swimming on her. I go back to look for something in her size - so now I'm looking for a size 3/4. There aren't any. Not a single dress in this size!! So, we move on to other stores. Guess what? It's really hard to find very small sizes. I didn't know this....obviously. Anyway, we found two that were very nice but expensive so she's going to have her mom ship a dress she wore to high school prom down here (she's from Massachusetts).

Anyway, all day I had been getting text messages from Andrew. His flight was delayed but he'd been upgraded to business class. Another one says they're just sitting in the plane - they sat for 2 hours!! Good thing he was sitting in business class - boy did they take care of him! His text mentioned something about having another champagne and orange juice. Nice!! Anyway, if this flight is late, guess what? He's missing his connector in Atlanta. So, when he got to Atlanta he called me, I got on the internet and told him what flights he might be able to catch and he got to Tampa by 7:40. Only 2 & 1/2 hours late. Not bad, really.

So, after Scott & I picked him up we all went to Olive Garden. Again, I took off my hat. We had a wonderful time. Then, I wasn't finished having fun so I suggested we go shoot pool. Kevin didn't want to come with us so we dropped him at home. I had been sitting in the back seat and had taken off my hat and put it in my lap. I wanted to switch to the front seat so I got out and dropped my hat on the front lawn. I picked it up and off we went. Scott was driving and we started off down the street. Luckily? I hadn't put on the hat 'cause as we started driving down the street we realized there was a horrible smell in the car. "What the hell is that smell?" Turns out? I had dropped my hat in dog poop. Ewwww!!!!! So back home we go. I wash my hands and freak out a little. "OMG! OMG!! I have dog poop on my hands!!". But, I was hell bent on going to play pool so I washed up and grabbed another hat and off we went. We had so much fun and....I ended up taking my hat off for the whole time. I kept having hot flashes (drinking makes them come more often...stop drinking you say? Hell no!! I say. ROFL!!) and the hat just made it worse. I don't think anyone stared. I didn't see it if they did, anyway.

Sunday was quiet. We finished off the boys laundry and took Scotty back to school at around 4:30 (Jeff & Chanel were still in their PJ's when we left - that's how laid back our day had been up till this point!!). It rained - no poured - the entire way there and back. Sucked.

Anyway, with all this eating out I gained five pounds this weekend and I had weird dreams last night so my face is all puffy from crying in my sleep. Must eat better today. Lots of fruits and veggies.

It's 12:30 in the afternoon so I must go get dressed and get to radiation. And so....another week of radiation starts. My poor booby is getting burned and....this is just a question .....Ladies ....What do you do when you nipple gets itchy in public? Really!! I've got three more weeks of this and it's only going to get worse. I'm putting 100% aloe on the burn and then I follow it up with some after-sun stuff that has aloe and lidocaine in it. That works for a while but then the itching comes back. Any suggestions?

I will end this by saying....Karen, I need some more pool lessons. I sucked!! ROFL!!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Bone Scan

I had my bone scan yesterday (Thursday). It was another really easy test (why wasn't high school this easy?). I went in at 8am. They injected some radioactive "stuff" into my veins and I went home until 11am. They then ran a scan which took about 20 minutes. The guy asked me if I'd broken my ribs before. No. Had I dislocated my ribs? No. I asked him if he found anything in my hips. No. I asked him why he's asking me about my ribs. He said he found "a couple of spots" and had to retake them.

Well, you can imagine that I was on pins and needles. Turns out? It's nothing. My bone scan was "completely normal". Phew!!!

Today I went in for my Herceptin. Scotty and my parents came with me. It was fun. I know that sounds weird but it was. There was another lady who looked to be about 50 and she was obviously from up north somewhere, too, 'cause when we started to talk about hockey she was right in there with us. Ohhhhh!!!! Speaking of hockey? Look what someone sent me today....

Oh Yah! Funny, Funny. Ha Ha. Boy! It's hard being a Leafs fan, isn't it?

I think that's all for now. Scott's home already. Jeff & Chanel are coming home tonight. Chanel needs a dress for a formal so we're going shopping tomorrow. Did you hear me? I'm going dress shopping!! WooHoo!!! I've been waiting for this all my life and she's such a sweetie and tiny? She's like size 0. I'll post some pictures from Orlando when I get a chance. I actually find myself staring at her she's so tiny - I can tell you this - we do not grow them like that in our family. We're a bunch of Amazons (well except little Karen. teehee. All 5'4" of her!! ROFL!!) with big feet and long arms. Anyway, can you tell I'm excited?!!

Kevin's been busy working at the Humane Society this week. He's in love. Her name is Olive. She's a younger woman - a five month old Pit Bull to be exact. ROFL!!!

Andrew comes home tomorrow at 5pm. Yippee!! All in all, an exciting weekend!

Thank you to all who responded to my question "Who the heck's reading my blog". Some of you responded on the blog and others sent me lovely e-mails. I was just really curious. I started the blog so that people could know what's happening with me. How I'm feeling and what tests I'm going through. Andrew and I both have big familys and a lot of friends all around the world so a blog was the easiest way of keeping everyone informed. We also didn't want to convey the information one by one. You forget who you told what and, in the end, some people get all the information, some get a little and some get none. This way? Everyone gets the same information and the opportunity to comment.

You know, it's interesting what cancer does to some relationships. Some people have gotten much closer and have showed me so much love and support. I've met some new people who I never knew before. Then there are those who you thought would support you but have somehow pulled away. People from hockey and a couple of friends and a few relatives. It's interesting and I try really hard not to take it personally. Some people are simply too busy with their own lives and others are simply scared of cancer. I don't blame them. I am too. But...thanks to those of you who are supporting me!! It truly means the world to me and I appreciate it more than words can say!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!
3 months, 2 weeks and 3 days till I see Donny!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pity Party....

I've done so well thus far but today I got quite sad. Andrew's away for two weeks which does not help. I thought the timing would be ok but it's not. Going through radiation might be a little harder than I thought.

Today, I said to the nurse at radiation that it's almost harder than chemo. With chemo you go and feel like crap for 4 or 5 days but then you can almost forget about cancer until the next treatment. With radiation, you go every single day. Every day I am a cancer patient. She looked at me as though I had three heads and said radiation isn't nearly as bad as chemo. She totally missed the point.

Anyway, I'm just sad today. Sometimes it just hits me - I have Cancer. Did you hear me? I have Cancer!! Holy Shit!! Fuck!! Damn It!! GRRRRR!!!!!!

Also, I looked at my feet and suddenly noticed that I have "dark areas" on the sides of both feet (nope, it's not dirt - I tried to scrub it this morning in the shower), I'm sick of being bald "down there". I know, I know, some women pay a lot of money for a brazilian but it would be different if I chose it, you know? I'm also sick of not having eye brows or eye lashes. Used to be when I went out I always made sure I had blush and mascara. Now? blush and penciled in eye brows. Ugh. My leg hair's growing in, my mustache never did get the memo that it was supposed to go away, and I'm getting sick of wearing hats. I've gained 30 lbs. Hot flashes are killing me. My finger nails are doing that weird thing.

Ok, that feels better. On the upside, because of the weight gain my wrinkles have gone away and someone thought I was Kevin's (my 18 yo son's) girlfriend the other day and three other times people guessed my age at 25 - 27. I'm 45 so that's a good thing. Maybe I should stay bald, eh? LOL!!

Also, I've met Holly and Susan, my cousin Judy's friends. They have blogs so we check out and comment on each others blogs. I like it.

There, my pity party is done. Onward and Upward.