Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back among the living

Hooray! I feel like myself today. Well, I feel like the "myself" of the last four months...but I'll take it! :-) I'm just glad that these spells of not feeling well have been few and far between. Let's keep it that way. I'll keep it short and sweet today... just thought I'd let you know that I'm up and around again. Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You can't win them all

I consider myself lucky that lately there really hasn't been any adverse reactions to my second round of chemo. As a matter of fact, after all these weeks of taking Taxol (round 2 drug) I figured my body had "accepted" it. Yesterday I started to feel bad, and by the end of the day I knew that I was not going to be my normal happy self. I can honestly say that I was experiencing the worst possible headache in the history of my life (and that's a long time!) and my stomach wasn't feeling that great either (so no food for me) I spent the entire afternoon and early evening lying on the couch listening to the tv (volume turned way down) and by 7:00 pm I had enough and went upstairs to lie on the bed. I lay quietly for quite awhile and who knows when, I thankfully fell asleep. This morning my headache is still lingering but not nearly as bad (yes, I've been taking something for the pain) but I still really don't feel like myself. I did put in a call to the nurses at camp chemo this morning and since I have no fever they felt safe to say it wansn't the flu (thank goodness) but if I'm not feeling better later today they wanted me to call back.

I'm just going to lay low the rest of the day and wait for my head to stop throbbing. Thanks to everyone that continues to check in on me. This too shall pass.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hair today....gone tomorrow

Happy Wednesday everyone! Chemo this past Friday went well. It felt strange at first arriving by myself, but all in all it was a positive experience. I brought a book with me and had the pleasure of just sitting and reading uninterrupted for a couple of hours. (what could be better!) Since I'm no longer getting my benadryl, I'm staying awake the whole time and it's nice to just sit are relax with a good book. (I'm currently reading "Little Dorrit" by Charles Dickens. It is a mini series on PBS, but I didn't know it would take WEEKS to finish and I got impatient to find out what happened, so I'm reading "ahead!" Shhh don't tell)

I've been feeling alright, no major side effects to write home about, except one. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly lose any more hair (I'm bald already so what else is there?) it seems that I'm destined to be eyebrowless. (OK I made that word up...but you know what I mean) I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my eyebrows seemed to be thinning out (and I wasn't even plucking them! lol) so I've been keeping a wary watch on them. Lo and behold in the last few days they have all but disappeared. There are a few stray hairs clinging for dear life, but it kind of reminds me of a man with a "comb over," and since I refuse to draw on scary eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil it is what it is. Even though it's scary to's what I'm talking about.

WARNING: Seeing a close up of my dry skin can be hazardous to your health. Proceed with caution!

See what I mean?! The ones remaining seem to be clinging on for dear life! Well, even though they are few and far between I'm hoping the remaining hairs decided to stick around. If not, anyone have a stick on mustache that I can trim? (Yes, I'm getting the moisturizer right NOW!)

Joanne (Happy to report that I've taken my coffee maker back out and I had a cup of coffee this morning.Life is good with caffeine again...eyebrows or no eyebrows)

Friday, April 17, 2009


Lori (aka SugarBakerz) SOOOO SORRY I left you off :-( Thanks so much for keeping me in your thoughts. I couldn't do this without my friends and you are one of them! (I will plead chemo brain!)
I just wanted to let my CC friends know how much it means to me to have all of you still checking in on me. ALL of the support I receive helps me keep the positive attitude that I have. You are all very special to me. xox

Cookie friends :-)

Hi CeRae,Tracy, and Jodi (aka SweetDreams, TrachLH, and Yankeegal!) Thanks so much for the sweet comments that you continue to leave me. It means the WORLD to me that my "cookie friends" are still thinking of me and checking on my progress. All of you put a huge smile on my face each and every time I read something from one of you. You guys are the best!! cousin has invited me to her summer home in Maine in August. I'm shooting for enough of a recovery that I'll be able to go. I know Maine is a big place, and I'm not sure exactly where she is (I'll find out) or where you are...but I'm hoping I'll be able to make a side trip to a friend ;-) to say hello!

Lots of love to my CC friends

Is it aleady Friday? (again)

Hi Gang :-)

It seems these posts get further and further apart. It's not because I don't want to talk with all of you, quite the opposite. Nothing much to say. The past week since camp chemo has gone fairly well. I had a day or two with some stomach problems and I just dealt with it until it passed. I'm wondering though if the stomach aches had something to do with not having the benadryl last Friday? I will ask them about that today while I'm there. (Yes, it's Friday again already! My how time flies!) Today will be Round Two, Visit 5. After today I have 7 treatments to go. (Yes, I AM counting) Today marks a milestone for me...I'm going to chemo ALONE. I figure it's about time.
Lots of people at "camp" are there by themselves and I decided that I'd give it a try. I'm sure all will go well. (I'll be sure to tell you if it doesn't lol)

On a non cancer note (which is always a good thing) the weather here in Michigan has FINALLY turned nice. I'm not holding my breath though because I'm sure it won't last. I have been enjoying it while it's here though. I've been walking my dogs every day. We went to the vet last week for routine shots and Cubby is 9 pounds over weight! (who's ever heard of a fat Australian Shepherd?!) We have changed her name to Chubby! Even little Frankie who only weighs 9 lbs could lose a few ounces the vet said! So walking we will go. It's not like the walking won't do me good as well! ;-)

Well, time to get ready for "camp." Have a great day, get out and enjoy the sunshine where you live!

Joanne (my only beverages these days are water and Earl Grey Green tea)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sleeping Beauty did not sleep

Greetings everyone! :-) Round 4 yesterday went well except for the VERY long wait to actually get into camp chemo. I signed in at the office and had to wait at least 25 minutes to be called inside. The office was FULL of people waiting for their loved ones, but nothing compared to the actual chemo room. EVERY chair was filled but one, and that one would be mine. (this is a very sad reflection that so many people are in need of the services of this room) The nurses all seemed a bit flustered and were working even harder than usual. Lisa, my nurse, got things going for me, and I had Carly, the budding documentary maker, with me inside filming my every move. I can't wait to see this documentary that she is making with her friend Karen for a school project. She filmed IV tubes, blood being drawn, chemo chemicals dripping from the bag, you name it, she filmed it! It should be great. I will be posting her finished film here on the blog next month. (it will run a whopping five minutes after all of her editing) I'm sure we will all be waiting anxiously! :-) The best part of camp chemo yesterday was that I didn't fall into my benadryl coma because....I DIDN'T GET ANY! Hooray! When Lisa came by with the "sleeping potion" I rolled my eyes and made a noise under my breath. She very astutely said, "I don't have to give you the benadryl if you don't want it." WHAT!? Of course I don't want it, but I asked her why I'm given it in the first place. She told me it was to prevent reactions. (I have no idea WHAT kind of reactions) She then said that since I've had three rounds already, I would know if I had reactions and since I haven't had any at all, she felt it was safe for me not to take it. I said, "No thanks then!" and happily stayed awake talking to Jessica who had also come home with Carly for the weekend. Everything was finished by 1:30 (I get there at 10:30) and we left happily and for once I was not in a "fog" walking outside! Happy days, 4 down 8 to go! :-)

Joanne (back to drinking Earl Grey Green Tea)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I love electricity

Hard to believe it's Thursday already. I'm sorry I've been away for quite a few days but in reality, haven't had much to say! If you can believe this, we had a big snow storm, yes, I said SNOW storm here in Michigan this past Sunday evening. (wee hours of the morning) When I woke up Monday morning there were over 7 inches of snow and we had NO power in the house. UGH it was probably 50 degrees inside the house. For those of you that never experience these problems let me first say that it is NOT fun to be without power for any length of time. We have a well for our water (not the wishing well kind!) which is pumped into the house through pipes that run got it...electricity. No power means no water! And that means no toilet flush either! Get the picture? No telephone (thank goodness for cell phones...but the battery lasts only so long...and then
NO charging your cell either) Let's just say that I sat around praying for the power to return. I wish that I had taken a picture of myself to show all of you how I was keeping warm. Hat on head, Hoodie over shirt with HOOD ON and tied! Scarf around outside of hoodie wrapped around my neck and pulled up to my nose, which was COLD. Sweat pants, socks, and my fur lined Crocs on my feet. Sitting under two thick blankets. Quite the sight. The good news is I spent the morning reading (what else was there to do) and I finished an entire book :-) The power eventually came back on at 2:00 P.M. It had shut off at 3:00 A.M. the previous night. Twelve hours without power. At least it wasn't as bad as last summer when the tornado blew through town (I'm not joking either) and we went DAYS without power. Is it better to lose power in the winter and FREEZE (at least you can bundle up and you don't have to empty your refrigerator into the garbage) OR is it better to lose power in the summer and know that you won't be cold
(but you WILL sweat to death in your sleep without the A.C.) and live out of an ice chest? I'll let you decide. I for one just feel lucky that right now I can flip a light switch and the lights turn on.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

3 down 9 to go

Treatment number three went well yesterday. In fact it was rather empty inside camp chemo (for a change) when I arrived. My blood was drawn and the report was back in record time. I arrived at 10:30 and the whole treatment was over at 12:45. That's a record! I'm usually there at least 3 hours. And since the benadryl continues to put me into a coma lol I was in and out in no time. When I arrived I noticed a woman with her husband sitting in the corner lazy boy (seems like EVERYONE wants to sit there. lol it's kind of like getting your favorite chair in the teacher's lounge at lunch. Hey...who's been sitting in MY seat next to Marcia :-) ??) Anyway, I could tell that the woman had been crying. Turns out it was her very first treatment and she was upset. One of the nurses, Lisa, asked if I wouldn't mind sitting next to her and talk with her a bit. I was only to happy to help. She actually recognized me as being at the "Feel Good Look Great" workshop a few weeks back with her. I gave her a big hug, and told her everything would be ok. We talked for awhile as she was getting her infusions and just maybe I helped her feel a little less nervous. I remember my first treatment and I was plenty nervous myself. The good news for her is that her B.C. was caught early and she only needs 4 treatments. I told her she'd be done in no time! :-) After we talked I told her about my benadryl comma and then Lisa came by and said, "Watch, I can make Joanne fall asleep in less than three minutes!" And she did! LOLOL I woke up to the beeping of the infusion machine an hour later letting me know I was done. At least time goes by quickly when your drugged! :-)

Tonight is the BIG game here in Detroit and even though I'm not a huge basketball fan I will be watching the game. And for all of my friends at school that went to State (are you listening
Jan H. ?) all I can say is, "GO GREEN GO WHITE!"

Have a great weekend everyone.
Joanne (only drinking water these days)