Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good Morning!

I'm praying for all my friends and family that you will find many blessings to count today and to remind you to thank the Lord who provides everything for us. I'm thankful that my Lord is ever present and helping me walk this journey. I'm thankful for my family and for those who have come beside me during the trials I've faced this year and boosted my spirits and listened to me express my concerns. I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned this year and keep praying that it will soften my heart and create a new being that is ready, willing, and able to serve my Lord. I'm thankful for the many friends I've made this year and can only hope and pray that I'm as much a blessing to you as you are to me. I hope that you will find many blessings to be thankful for this day and throughout the coming year.

On a lighter note...

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious
May your pies take a prize
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs!
(Seen on a "Lawson" e-card)

May your day be filled with good friends, good food and good fun! *Hugs*

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More framing!

Hi folks! Did you miss me?

Sorry it's been so long since I posted, life as you know is unpredictable and busy this time of year. Are you busy thinking about Thanksgiving? Are you busy thinking about Christmas? I know I am, but I have to say, on my good days I'm out there shopping and I'm nearly done. I'm going to slowly clean and decorate this week (I'll have my trusty sidekick home all week so I'm counting on DS to give me a hand with things) and once that's done and the cards are sent, I'm going to kick back, relax, and enjoy these holidays like never before. It's amazing the wake up call you receive when you have a serious illness staring you in the face. There are so many things I want to do this year that I haven't been able to do in the past either because I'm working or under some kind of stress. So I say, with my last chemo on Dec 2nd...BRING IT ON!!

Ok, here are a couple more things I managed to get pinned and framed this past Friday. I'm so excited to be getting these things done! Now all I need to do is somehow get them attached in the frames and wires and I'm on my way to hanging them in a little collage that I have been planning. It's going to be so much fun. So without further ado, I give you the last of my remaining framed items!

Thanksgiving is going to be a quiet affair this year. Just DH, DS and myself will be here and we have our meal all planned out. The rest of the day we plan on having a game marathon, using the Wii, board games and the like. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top! Yes, I live with two testosterone fed men who like to win. But they use their brawn...and I use my brain...who do you think will win out? *evil grin* I'll let you know after the dust has settled!

DH, DS and I went to see a movie today (it was the only thing I was able to accomplish today besides a shower LOL) and I'm not sure if it was actually getting out of the house, or the movie that exhausted me. We went to see Unstoppable and it was non-stop action. I was on the edge of my seat and even allowed a rather loud gasp to cross my lips before I could pull it back. What a movie!! All of us left exhausted, because that movie pulled you in and made you sit up and will with all your might that everything turn out ok. If you don't want to see it in theaters, please rent it when it comes out. You'll thank me later...LOL

I'm not sure if I'll be able to post again before the holiday, so if I don't, I'll wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, and may you count your many blessings this year, no matter what has transpired. It's being thankful in all circumstances that will make you truly happy. *Hugs*

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seven down, one to go!

Just getting my last little "chores" done before I hibernate for a few days. It's strange how chemo days can be one of the "best" they give you anti-nausea medicine along with a steroid and so I feel a little like *bing, bing, bing* ... Ricochet Rabbit (does anyone remember that cartoon from about 45 years ago? LOL) I feel like I could conquer the world, and I know I won't sleep tonight, but tomorrow will be another story. So...if I go quiet, you'll know where I'll be...under my quilt with a bottle of Alieve and a bottle of water trying to keep hydrated pain free. See you in a few days....


Happy Veteran's Day!

If you enjoy your freedom in the United States of America, then today is your day to show your appreciation to those who served! Thank a vet!

I came from a long line of vets. My Dad served in the Navy, and so did my Husband's Dad. My Husband served as well. I have quite a few cousins and uncles who served, and many many cherished friends I met while DH was serving for over 20 years. So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your service and for keeping our country safe.

The picture above was taken of DH and I on his retirement. I just LOVE a man in uniform don't you? He still looks just as good as the day he retired too. Love you Honey!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What a day!!

I'll bet you thought you wouldn't hear from me so soon! Surprise!! It was an SOSDD kinda day. What is SOSDD? Same Old Stuff, Different Day. LOL

This is chemo week...and usually a very busy week. I was discharged from physical therapy otherwise I would have had more appointments this week, but thankfully that has ended. I had my last "fill up" at the plastic surgeons yesterday and though he thinks I'll need bigger implants than what he's "expanded" he seems to think he can work with what we've done. The next appointment won't be until March! YAY...MORE breathing room! I'm glad because I want to spend less time in Annapolis. I can't explain how I'm feeling, but I'm fed up with everything and maybe I'll have more time to do the things I want to do. We'll see. And today was my oncology appointment, with blood work to be done beforehand. It was early this morning, and oh how I HATE rush hour traffic! It was a day to ask"Why have I been getting nosebleeds when I've never had one before in my life?"....and "Why am I having gallbladder pain when I don't have one anymore?"...and "What do you think about my not having radiation?" (Always good to get a second opinion...and lo and behold...he agreed with DH and myself and the radiation oncologist that the risks far outweigh the benefits and that I'm probably doing myself a favor by not having it at this time!!)...and "Why is my pulse rate extremely high even when I'm resting? And could that be what is making me so extremely tired?"...and "Is it common to feel like I've been hit by a truck every time I have chemo?"... and "When can my cat get his rabies shot?" (Yes I had to ask, because rabies is a live vaccine and I can't be around anyone who has had a live vaccine...the answer is 3 weeks after I've finished chemo). Some questions were answered with..."I don't know, let's get you tested and find out." Just when I thought I was done with appointments, I have to make more. *huge sigh* It seems never ending. BUT... tomorrow is chemo, and I will have just about a week to recover before I HAVE to do something. Hopefully by the time I have to go for the ultrasound I'll be feeling a little better. AND...I will only have one more chemo treatment after that! YAY!!

I had to stop by medical records and pick up some paperwork after that appointment. DH and I had lunch, then home. I called the insurance company to see if I needed a referral for the ultrasound...and of course they said another call to my primary care physician to get the referral, and of course they said I don't need it. AARRRRRRRGH!! I am SO tired of this silly game!! So, I picked up the paperwork that I had received this morning and marched my tail over to the clinic to talk to them face to face. Other than giving them the paperwork THEY needed, I didn't get very far with my referral. Well, all I can say is...if I get a bill...heaven help them!

Back home I realized I had a message on my cell phone. It was a sister warrior in California calling. We met here, but she moved there to be closer to her family while she went through treatment. It seems we never have time to talk, or we miss each others calls or something, but today we had time, and we talked at length. I can't describe the bond we share with sister warriors. I guess because we are having such similar experiences, and life changing moments and it's good to share what helps in certain circumstances and to share similar thoughts and feelings. I've gotten close to quite a few sister warriors. They are incredible women!

While I was talking I got a call on my home phone, but waited to call back when I was done talking with my friend. It was the framing materials I had ordered, they were ready and my friend offered to bring them to me! After all the running around today, I was exhausted and was thankful that Sonya offered to bring them. So I spent the better part of the evening stretching and framing some cross stitch pieces. Here are the ones I finished...

This is only a few of the items I have stretched so far. I have a few more, but they will have to wait until later. I plan on decorating for Christmas the week of Thanksgiving, and am hoping to get everything together before then. I'm excited to get things done...and I hope I'll feel well enough after chemo to finish stretching and framing those items in the next few days. Wish me luck! Thanks again, Sonya, for dropping them by! I really appreciate it more than I can say!

Well, tomorrow's appointment is really early, so I should head off to bed. Wish me luck with chemo...I think I'm going to need it. Tomorrow will be number seven with only one more to go! YAY!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thought for the day...

I just wanted to share with you a gift I received for my birthday. Here is a picture of the front.
Not only do I love the design, but the back has an engraved saying. "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a beautiful butterfly." I have marveled at the timing of this gift, and the wording couldn't have been more appropriate. I honestly feel like a metamorphosis is taking place. Hopefully I'll be a beautiful butterfly when this is over. I just had to share this thought. So the next time life hands you some extreme trials, remember, you may become a beautiful butterfly when it's over.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I just thought I'd give you a heads up...just in case you were wondering where I've been. I haven't been online much lately, because things have just been a wee bit too busy. Hopefully things will calm down soon.

I want to apologize to people for not sending out thank you cards yet, for not sending out the contest winners their prizes (though I haven't heard back from Connie yet...if I don't hear from her soon I will chose another name from the hat, so keep checking back!), and for not commenting in the groups lately. Life is just on overload at the moment and I feel like I'm beginning to drown! My release is stitching, and I've been doing a lot of it lately, I guess trying to escape the madness.

I did graduate from physical therapy yesterday and that will free up some of my time. Thank heavens, I was beginning to dread each session, because I felt like I was wasting everyone's time and money!! I will continue exercising, but when I choose, not at someone else's schedule. I know what to do now when my arm begins to swell, and I have a coupon at a gym in Annapolis to get some help from professionals who are trained in lymph edema, I will get over there when I get a chance. My expanders should be "full" by the next appointment next week, and that will eliminate another appointment for the time being. Now all I have to do is wait for my muscles and tissues to be expanded, and the next operation will be in the wings in about 6 months. Chemo ends on December 2nd, so things are beginning to wind down.

I wanted to write about where my head is at right now, but it's hard to put into words. I'm not sure if it's because the people around me are dealing with some tough issues and my heart is torn by their heartache, or if it's the decrease in sunshine, or if it's the letdown after my birthday, or the increase in cold weather, or the rainy days we've been having, or the fact that exhaustion is setting in, or that chemo is making me achy and forgetful, or a combination of everything, BUT I'm having a tough time right now. I haven't felt sorry for myself since this whole thing began, and I'm really not feeling sorry for myself now. I'm just tired, tired of running to appointments, tired of struggling with forgetfulness, tired of struggling to try to explain my choice of treatments to my mother (who has made her disagreement painfully known), tired of doing extracurricular things...that even though I've thoroughly enjoyed, have made me extremely tired, tired of trying to console folks who are having a tough time, tired of trying to defend my decision not to return to work right now even though I caused some of my coworkers to miss a few things they wanted to do. I just want to crawl in a shell and hide for a while.

I will ask for prayers for a few fellow warriors who are dealing with some tough issues... Beth who is having surgery today, Gail who recently lost her Mom and is having a very tough time, Jackie who had surgery two weeks ago and is having troubles dealing with it all, Terry who's cousin is slowly losing her fight with cancer which has invaded her entire body now, and Denise who moved her entire family from the east coast to the west coast to be near her own family and who is struggling through chemo that is making her very sick....she has five year old twins that she is caring for during this whole thing. My heart goes out to these ladies who are so brave in their fight against breast cancer themselves. The disease is hard enough to deal with without all these added stresses in their lives.

I attended the monthly support group meeting last night. A new "sister warrior" was there for the first time last night. She confessed to the group that she is suicidal. I can't begin to express how I felt when I heard those words. I guess I admire her for her bravery for expressing what some of us might have felt at one point or another. Part of me wanted to leave at that point. It was hard to hear, it was discouraging. I think this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not suicidal, but I have reached a place where I feel boxed in and overwhelmed, so though I would never hurt myself, I know where she's coming from. I have felt from the beginning that others are taking their cues from me, and that I've had to put on a brave face from the beginning and had to fight hard. Maybe that's why I'm so tired. I don't know unless you've been sitting in my position if you can truly understand the fight that we face each day. A fight to decide what treatment is our best option, a fight to explain ourselves to others, a fight to defend our decisions, our fight to keep our spirits up and those of the ones nearest us, a fight not to give in to the pain and fear we are feeling, a fight to get past the fatigue and illness we feel from the drugs, a fight to get up each day and deal with more issues as they come along. When they call us warriors, I don't know if they really know how true that description is. And this warrior is tired. I know I shouldn't be, because so many of you have worked so hard to encourage me, and I really do appreciate your kindness. I guess today is a day I'm going to indulge myself and rest. I promise it won't last long.

Anyway, that's why you haven't heard from me. I tried to read all the posts in the groups I belong to, but it became too overwhelming, so I deleted most of them. I feel terrible doing that, but it was another added pressure I couldn't deal with right now. I'm going to grab my quilt the ladies made for me, wrap myself in their love and encouragement and rest, and when I'm feeling refreshed and have more energy, I'll begin to participate again. There is no need to worry, I am and will be fine, I just need to rest. I'll see you when I get back.