Friday, July 16, 2010

A whole lotta shakin' goin' on!!

Well, I had a RUDE awakening this morning! I was lying in my bed, minding my own business, when I felt the bed begin to vibrate just after 5 AM this morning. I've heard people say it felt like a dump truck driving by, but I don't EVER remember a dump truck making that kind of vibration. I've been through a few earthquakes in my day, and immediately knew that's what it was. I have to say, it's kind of a neat feeling. It wasn't a rhythmic shake, it was not that even. And even though it wasn't violent shaking, it still got my heart pumping a bit harder than normal. I guess it's the uncertainty that it MIGHT start shaking harder. It lasted about 10 seconds or so. Not long, but long enough to make your brain say.... Now THAT was weird! I immediately turned on the TV...and it was interesting to have breaking news that hadn't reached the airwaves yet! There were a couple of news casters looking into the screen saying they had felt the shaking and were waiting to hear confirmation. It came about 20 minutes later. A 3.6 earthquake, somewhere between Germantown and Laurel, Maryland. That's not that far as the crow flies from my humble abode! Other than a few shampoo bottles hitting the deck and a couple of rumpled nerves, I survived the whole incident. DH and DS (of course) slept through the whole thing. When I'm reincarnated, I want to come back as a guy who falls asleep at the drop of a hat and can sleep through anything! It should be fair payback for the lack of sleep I'm getting this go round! LOL

I know you haven't heard from me in a while. Well, chemo is an interesting treatment. I wouldn't recommend it unless your life depended on it! I have heard that some people breeze through without much of a fuss. I'm happy for them!! I'll try to keep my comments to a few low moans LOL. I'm not good with nausea. I'm especially not good with it when it lasts an entire week...accompanied by a headache that makes your teeth hurt they are so severe. So rather than moan to you guys, I'll just stay quiet until the feeling passes. We'll focus on the funny bits (and I'll post as many as I can) and we'll get through this. As my PCP tells me...this is temporary. A necessary evil. And one day it will be over.

So...what are the funny bits you ask? Hm....let's see. Oh, maybe there aren't any funny bits this week. I do have a few tales to tell!! They started filling the expanders! Wahoo! My "girls" are beginning to take shape. I can't begin to tell you how this feels. I've never experienced anything like this, it's totally foreign!! I have no idea how long this is going to take, but (now that I'm having chemo they slowed it down a bit) I'll be getting 50 cc injections of saline in each expander every other week. Now 100 cc of water doesn't sound like much, but when you walk in and see these two honking syringes filled with fluid waiting to be injected, it's a bit daunting!! I've learned to ignore the tray of instruments. LOL If you held the amount in your hand, it would appear to weigh almost nothing, but it throws my balance off for a day or two until my body adjusts. It's a little like wearing a tight garment for a day or two until your body adjusts to the expansion. It feels a little like invasion of the body snatchers! LOL I'm beginning to feel a little like Frakenstein's monster LOL Slowly but surely they are putting all the pieces back together. *shaking head* What a process! I've always been a shy person, but after having everybody and their brother want to check incisions and feel tissues, measuring and taking pictures, checking range of motion and such, I'm slowly becoming an exhibitionist. I'm beginning to wonder why they leave the room when they ask you to disrobe and put on a gown, as they are only going to take the "gown" off 5 seconds after they return. And WHY do they call it a gown? I'm NOT wearing a tiara...I'm NOT going to a ball, it's either a flimsy fragile paper cover, or an ugly white/blue see-through cotton that is neither warm nor soft and lets face it, they are not long and flowing, they barely cover the essentials if you know what I mean!! *wink* I don't feel particularly "pretty" wearing these lovely garments that others have worn having who knows what diseases. AND why do they keep their examination rooms so cold? I think it's a conspiracy! Anything to make your experience as UNfun as possible! LOL

Getting to the plastic surgeon's yesterday was a challenge. They had changed my appointment from the day before, and then changed the facility where I was supposed to be seen. I was going to get driving instructions from map quest, but DH (my hero?) printed out the directions before I had a chance. Glancing through them, I could picture in my mind a little of the way there, but the final destination was in a place I'd never been before. I ALWAYS print out the over-all map of the route, because I'm a visual person. I love having a map to follow. It's my comfort blanket. Well...DH wanted to conserve ink. *heavy sigh* That should have been a huge red flag!!! Halfway there yesterday, the directions suddenly took a complicated turn. Map quest left off one of the roads. Unusual, but without an over-all map, I couldn't follow where we were supposed to go. DH is ALWAYS running either just on time, or a couple of minutes late. So here we are, a little late, completely lost and without a map. Can I just say, my blood pressure was a bit high when we reached the doctors office? LOL I called the doctor's office and they directed me where to go. We weren't far. We MIGHT have made it on time even, if only the building that we reached was completely like a Chinese puzzle box!! We met a lady and her two children walking around the outside of the building asking if we knew the way inside. LOL Well the good news is....they were late too, so we didn't have to go inside with our shame hanging out totally alone! The last direction to get to this place is...."It's behind the Irish pub". I was sorely tempted to stop inside the pub for some liquid fortification before I headed up to the plastic surgeon's office. Oh, did I mention? I'm not allowed to drink alcohol...what an unfair bit of injustice since it might afford a bit of liquid courage! LOL

The rest of my day didn't get any better! I had an afternoon appointment in Annapolis with the physical therapist. It was my first visit there. I knew I would be sore from the expansion. I knew they were going to do an evaluation and would be poking and prodding and I was afraid I would be too sore to drive home. So I called my my good buddy, the lovely Miss M. Miss M and I always seem to find ourselves in funny situations. She makes me laugh like no one I know. Well she graciously changed her plans so that she could give me a ride yesterday. As I was leaving the plastic surgeons office she called and said she was at my door at home. Where was I? Poor Miss M was an hour early! She had rushed around getting ready, given up a chore she was supposed to do for her daughter, rushed two European calls off the phone so that she could meet me at my house in time, and she was an hour early. I still feel so bad!!! I rushed home and took her out to lunch before we had to leave for the appointment to try and make up for it.

The physical therapist exam was lengthy, and uncomfortable, and in the end....was the cause of MORE PAPERWORK. Can I just inject a primordial scream here? *AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH* Thank you, I feel much better! LOL Not only did I break my neck to get a referral to visit the office in the first place...but they only authorized 6 visits. After the initial evaluation, she determined I would need at least 6 more be made before I left the facility...because they were so booked up that it's impossible to get appointments and you should get them as soon as possible. BUT I only had 5 more visits allowed me after the initial consultation. AND I need a compression sleeve for the lymph edema that it was determined that I already have beginning to accumulate in my tissues...before my next Tuesday. I learned today that they have to take measurements and make a sleeve specifically for me, and that takes at least 10 days...not to mention the time it takes for pre-authorization from insurance. . And the same for a wig. You know what that means right? Yep...back to my primary clinic to bug my buddies there for more referrals and paperwork. *sigh* Can I cry now? I hate the looks of terror and disgust whenever I enter the clinic. They see me coming and scurry in a multitude of different directions like cockroaches in the light. LOL Now, not only do I look and feel like a freak of nature, but I'm being treated like one too. Ah...the humiliation of this horrible disease.

After running over to our church to pick up DS from vacation Bible school today, (a process that took 2 hours!!), I found a message on my answering machine. Finally...a ray of hope in my otherwise boring mundane day. It was a message from a clinic where I now have an appointment Monday for a fitting for a compression sleeve, a wig, and other "prosthesis". This is news to me, that I will be getting special "garments" and "prosthesis" to make me look like I used to until the final process of reconstruction is complete. Hm....and if the lady had been within arms length I would have given her a huge hug!!! She told me, don't worry about pre-authorization or doctors orders, they work closely with my breast doctor and that clinic there to get all the paperwork I needed, I wouldn't have to be involved in any of that stressful "nonsense". Where has she been from the beginning? Or maybe I'm just traveling in the wrong parallel universe? And can I seriously trust what she says? *shaking head* Maybe if I pinch really hard I'll wake up. *PINCH* Hm.....nope, still here thinking the same thoughts. I hope she's for real!

I had a few things I've been working on, so I'll share a few pictures. The first few are some Mill Hills kits Christmas Ornaments that are in various stages of progress. The two mittens are finished, the sled is almost finished, and the last blobby looking thing will be a nativity scene when it's finished. And last but not least is the progress I'm having on my Rose Quaker. I worked on this during chemo and it's coming along pretty well. I LOVE this pattern!

And for the brightest part of my I was sitting here typing earlier, the phone rang and you'll never guess who it was... Gillie!!!! Gillie, if you're reading this, I want to say THANK YOU!!! If you've been praying, God is listening! My day turned around from the moment you said hello! It was so good to hear your voice and share a giggle, you made my day! I'm also sitting here waiting for some dear friends who live in Pennsylvania (I've known for 20 years now) who should be arriving soon. I'm blessed with wonderful people in my life who always seem to pick me up when I need it. So thanks, Gillie, Bob and Peggy! I guess God knew I needed your shoulders at this particular point in time and you were willing participants. Thanks for being there, my friends!

I'm off to get started on my weekend. I hope yours turns out as well as mine promises to! *Hugs*


nutmegg said...

Hi DJ,I was going to leave you a mushy comment but thought better of it, lets just say, I'm still saying a prayer for you but now it's for the Chemo to be a little kinder to you.....take care dear friend....xoxoxoxo

Babs said...

I echo what nutmegg says...please do take care. One thing I've learned with dh is just stop and rest when you feel like it. I don't think chemo cares if you move around a lot or not. It just does what it does no matter what you do or don't do. I have fun at the center trying to spot anyone that would remind me of far there's been no one. Only one DJ I'm thinking. Love the ornies & the rose!
hugs & prayers,

Mouse said...

well I hope I cheer up up a bit too as a letter is winging its way across the pond as we squeak :). sorry to hear you have dreaded nauseitis hopefully something will help soon ... peppermint tea perhaps ??? and ooo you shall look very sexy in your fetching bits and pieces heheheh glad to hear that things are beginning to look "normal" are they going to be a wee bit smaller or the same size ???? oooo ain't I nosey take care still sending healing thoughts and prayers in your direction :)
love mouse xxxxxx

Edy said...

Also sending good wishes from Indiana. You Rose Quaker is beautiful -- I should put that one in my to-do basket.
Try to feel better and don't worry about the paper-work -- that too shall work out in the end.

(((((((dj)))))) -- that's me hugging you!