December 31, 2011
As 2011 comes to a close, we reflect on the achievements and accomplishments of this past year as well as setting our sights on the wonderful possibilities that life has in store for us in 2012! I am so very happy. I have had a great 2011 and I expect the same of 2012. I wish Health, Wealth and Happiness for all of us in 2012!!
December 30, 2011
I had chemo again today…. this is the second time for my 4th go around with Ovarian Cancer (actually I have PPC Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma). My CA 125 (a test to measure for Ovarian Cancer) was 669 one month ago. Yesterday it was 226! Good News! This means that the drug I am getting ~ Carboplatin ~ is working. Also the larger than golf ball sized tumors are not as large as they were a month ago! Yea! Now I am off to ‘recline’, ‘hydrate’ and rest! Tomorrow, I’ll make myself go for a walk!
December 29, 2011
Well, my cute little ball of fluff likes to sleep a lot. Usually when I am working at the computer, she will beg to sit on my lap and other times she just wants to curl up in her extra bed in the office and take a nap. When she naps, Mercedes tucks her head down so the light doesn’t bother her eyes!
So today, there she is napping away. I have heard her make little sounds and little barks and growls while sleeping so I know that she is dreaming. But today she did something I have never heard or seen. Picture this…. my little white ball of fluff is all curled up in her little bed sound asleep and there is no sound but the sound of her tail wagging as it hits the floor repeatedly! Then the wagging gets faster, then slows, then gets faster again! She is such a happy little doggie! She even has happy dreams!
December 27, 2011
Ah, yes. The day after Christmas…. The day to return those presents that don’t fit…. I bought my son some shirts for christmas gifts; two of them didn’t fit and the clerk forgot to remove the security tag off of another one. So back to the store I had to go.
But not without planning!!! The night before I mapped out my route for the stores that I wanted to go to on Monday. I then checked their store hours on-line. Luckily for me, one store opened at 8:00 am and the other one opened at 9:00. They were about 20 minutes away from each other, both near different major shopping malls.
With my plan in mind I went to sleep ~ clothes all ready to jump into early the day after Christmas. My plan was to arrive at the first store as close to 8:00 am as I could possibly manage. I wasn’t going to be unrealistic –I just wanted to get in and get out before the crowds and traffic started.
I woke up a little before 8:00 am… plan still in place, I quickly dressed, applied minimal makeup (I wasn’t going to see anyone I knew, right?) and put my tea in a togo cup and grabbed some yogurt to eat in the car. At the first long light, I just enjoyed my yogurt and tea…. This is going well, I thought! With almost no traffic, I arrived at the first store about 8:25. Not bad. There was no one in the returns line. Yeah! I returned one coat and headed out the door.
Instead of backtracking the way I came, I headed out to get on the freeway from the other direction… and there was the other store I needed to go to! I was going to drive another 20 minutes to make the returns to that store because I didn’t realize that there was another one RIGHT HERE!
Returns made and other shirts purchased, out the door to head on home. And I even arrived home before the traffic started! I was tired… time for a time for a little nap before attending my dinner party.
December 26, 2011
This question “So, how are you really feeling?” is asked of me often. So here goes…. Are you REALLY ready for the answer?
I am feeling well. Not good, not fine, not great, but well. I am not well, but I am feeling well. I get tired easily, but… I have been able to do most of the things that I wanted to do this holiday season. And enjoy them while doing them.
I did not get everything done that I wanted to do… but who does?
I started my fourth go-around for chemo on Nov 30th. I am in my 3rd recurrence after my initial diagnosis on March 20, 2009. Since I did not want to lose my hair again, I opted for just having the carboplatin along with its supporting drugs administered at chemo. No taxol this time. At least not right now. If I respond well to just the carboplatin, then I’ll continue with it for 4- 6 months.
My color was very bad when I re-started chemo on Nov 30. It has been very slow to come back around to a little more pink from the ashy-grey-yellow it was the end of November. Actually it isn’t exactly pink right now, just a lot less grey-yellow; and more of a pale color. I do have almost constant reflux, nausea, nightly night sweats and some leg pain. But these do not preclude me from doing what I want to do on a daily basis.
I try to pace myself for my activities and I just sit down when I need to! So, I have a few more days to get things done before the next dose of chemo!
December 24, 2011
Portland Firefly wishes a very Merry Christmas to all of her readers. I hope you have a very meaningful and lovely time with your loving family. This is a special Christmas for Firefly this year… more so then usual.
Merry Christmas and may you all have all of the Blessings and Joys of this Holy time of year.
December 21, 2011
Tonight is the longest night of the year. Winter officially begins shortly after 10:00 pm tonight! Now the days will begin to get longer…..
December 19, 2011
Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 20, 2011 I will be interviewed by radio talk show host Georgene Rice . You can hear the live interview (which is scheduled to begin) at 4:15 pm on 93.9 KPDQ FM / TRUE TALK 800 AM.
Oh my goodness, what shall I wear for my interview?!!!!
December 17, 2011
I went to see my doctor last Monday morning — She thinks that I had a virus of some sort. Now that it is almost a week later…I have to agree with her.
The only symptoms that I am having are the same ones that I have had for a few months…
My color was not so good – sort of ashy grey yellow, but I have ‘pinked up’ a little bit. My energy level is such that I really have to space out my errands and rest when needed. No shopping marathons for Firefly this Christmas Season! I do love online shopping right now!
December 11, 2011
Friday afternoon at 5:00pm, I started in with a horrible headache. Friday after the doctors have all gone home!!!! Just my luck! I was so foggy brained that I couldn’t think straight when my Doctor returned my call (via the answering service). I could hardly answer her questions coherently.
I also ‘thought’ that I noticed ~ thought is the operative word here ~ that my urine was getting slightly darker during the afternoon, but I hadn’t watched it long enough to tell for sure. I was too foggy brained to mention it to her! DUH!
Well by Saturday morning …. I was sure. Back ache, night sweats all night long, headache (gone thanks to pain meds) darker urine, feeling disoriented. So I called back. this time I got the Physician Assistant — but she didn’t want to give me an antibiotic. And she wanted me to got the ER ‘so I could be evaluated’. By a strange doctor! I refused to go to the ER with my blood count low ~actually at it lowest in the treatment cycle ~ and sitting for 6 hours with people coughing, sneezing, puking, and being exposesd to lots of unnecessary germs so I said that I’ll just have to wait it out.
Fever got worse… urine got darker — I called back. The PA said she would call the doctor on call. NOT MY REAL DOCTOR who knows me and knows that I know about my body– but some doctor on call who doesn’t even know who I am. The PA called back and said that I needed to go the ER. I refused for the 6th time and said something like — I’ll just die at home, but I’m not going to sit in the ER for 6 hours with all those germy people and then wait another 5 hours to get admitted and another 6 hours after that for someone to decide what to do with me. I just was not going to do it!
That is what happened to me when I went to the ER when I was first diagnosed with Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma.
I refused again and she said, we will call in a RX. Hallelujah!!!
I had already found a drive through pharmacy so all I had to do was put doggie in the car and drive there in my jammies and robe and slippers and pick up my Rx. On the way home we drove through Taco Bell and I got a salad— I can’t remember the last time I went to Taco Bell . Maybe 1996???? I hadn’t gotten dressed for several days due to not feeling well!
Within two hours of the first pill, I felt better.
But I’m off to the doctors first thing Monday morning to see what tests MY DOCTOR wants to run!
December 10, 2011
I have had trouble logging into this account so I could give you all an update.
But now it is so late and I am so tired… I’m going to bed. See you tomorrow!!!
December 6, 2011
Well, Puppy and I were sound asleep this morning when my subconscious started hearing a faint beep….beeep….beeep….beeep…. It went on until it woke me up. I groaned. I really wanted to sleep. Puppy did too; she jumped off the warm bed and went to her private place under the bed to get away from the annoying sound. I tried to put it out of my hearing. No luck. It would not go away. I knew what it was; but hoped the stupid dead battery would make the sound go away sooner rather than later. No luck. It is designed to be annoying so you get up out of bed from a sound sleep and get out of the house in the event of a fire. Well I had been wondering if it was working since I haven’t changed the battery in years… Guess it was working… Good to know.
But now it demanded my attention. Still sleepy, I got the foot stool (had to find it first!) and climbed up and opened the battery door of the smoke detector. The battery crashed to the floor. Good thing Puppy was still hiding under the bed, it would have knocked her out! Now it will be silent, I thought, and I can go back to bed. NO! It keeps beeping until a well-charged battery is replaced. Try doing that in the dark , half asleep. Not fun. Maybe I should call the fire department and have them come and replace it? No … I can do this… it will just take me some time…
And I did eventually – 2 batteries later – get the smoke detector working properly. But by then, I was so wide awake that I didn’t want to go back to bed. I just laid down for few minutes and tried to coax Pup from her bed-cave. Now that the ear hurting sound was gone, she was happy to jump up on the bed and give my tasty hand a few licks!
So much for sleeping in late today!!!!
December 5, 2011
Hey, don’t get mad at me… it’s a fact of life. And nobody knows my tastes better than myself. If my ashes are going to be in something ‘forever’ then it better be something that I love! Can you imagine wearing a dress you hate for the rest of forever??!!! Anyway, since I am feeling good, I decided to do some online ‘urn shopping’. It sort of takes the fear out of it; besides I don’t want my children to have to make a decision about what I’d like to be in forever. Call me a control freak if you want…that’s Ok with me… but it’s going to be something that I really, really like!!!!!
So far the winners are all white with silver/pewter or maybe with a brass base and some white cloisonné. My absolute favorite isn’t big enough for me— only for someone 50 lbs. so now I have something to look for… And at least I have eliminated a whole bunch of urn styles that I do not like! And when I find ‘just the right one’ I might even buy it!
At lease no one will be ‘shopping under duress’.
Now for those of you that love me, I want you to understand something. I am not ready for the grave yet. I am just trying to get certain things in order as they approach me. I am feeling very well, I am doing very well and I expect to make that 6 year mark when my grandson walks into his first day of kindergarten! That means several more years of birthday parties for Grandbabies and Children and everyone!!!
December 4, 2011
OK, I know, it’s more than one day later. Give me a break! I just had chemo… I’m doing very well to get out of bed and take little Mercedes outside several times a day. The sun has been shinning here in Portland for the last few days and it is to continue for the next several days! Yeah, sunshine ! A few hours ago, the ‘brain fog’ started to lift slightly. I am still being very proactive against nausea, and I am eating little bits of food several times a day… and I get up and walk around every now and then. No nap today, but I bet that I climb into my nice warm bed pretty soon…. I think I hear my pillows calling to me……
My CT Scan was done last Monday. It showed two golf ball sized fluid filled cysts and several smaller ones. It seems that my small intestine ( and something else — too lazy to look it up) is ‘glued’ to the back of my abdominal wall.. so it doesn’t ‘move freely’ like it is supposed to. No I didn’t even bother to ask what that meant. I am just hoping that everything resolves itself with the chemo.
All in all I am feeling pretty good.. had some fatigue last week and a lot of weirdness – light-headedness some minor nausea contained with drugs. So I need to finish getting things done!!! Like that’s really going to happen!!!!
December 2, 2011
Today is Thursday and I the sun is shining so I went for two nice walks. Then I remembered that I needed to go to the Doctors for a shot of Neupogen… since this chemo destroys red & white blood cells as well as platelets.
I felt sort of ‘weird’ while waiting to be taken back to the chemo room for the chemo nurse to administer my shot, but just figured it was a while since I took this drug and I did take a Zofran to keep me from throwing up all afternoon…. so I figured it was just the drug cocktail in my system.
Well, Patty, the oncology nurse was very observant and asked if I had been drinking water today. My inappropriate reply was “I just had a hot chocolate with peppermint tea in it, yummy.” That was when she looked me right in the eyes and repeated the question, using my name. Hummm. Where was I. My blood pressure was very low –86/56 so she hooked me up to an IV and gave me some fluids, covered me with a warm blankie, and I fell fast asleep for over an hour. She gave me my Neupogen and made sure I was OK to drive home and gave me a special hug before I left. Boy, did I need that hug. And I had to promise to drink lots of water!
Now that I’m home, I am feeling sort of weird. Kind of light-headed, but I am hydrating and I did eat a little bit of pizza. Maybe I go get a ‘cuties’ clementine. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the CT scan results.
December 1, 2011
Upon Physical Examination on Monday, My Doctor needed to order a CT Scan before I had my Chemo. So… Monday ( I lefet the drs office) and off I went to the Hospital for yet another CT Scan.
Back to the Drs early Tuesday morning for Chemo. No Doxil, so I went back on Carboplatin with supporting drugs. 5 hours of infusion made more tolerable with a nice visit from a sweet friend and naps on either end of the visit!
Wednesday I felt good…