Archive for the ‘{13} February Updates’ Category

Show & Tell Friday

February 27, 2009

I thought I’d post a little something fun for Friday!

First is (a photo of) my framed painting that I will be showing off at my first artist exhibit at the Sonoma Community Center in March.  Ok, so maybe I should clarify… it’s not just my work at the exhibit, but the work of all of the student artists.  None the less, it’s still exciting!

Second are my cute dish towels that I crafted into pillows.  My sister Amanda gave me these fantastically adorable Anthropologie towels for my birthday, and I’m sorry but I cannot wipe my hands on something so beautiful, so I took the towels and stitched them onto a pillow form; this way I can enjoy them free of grunge for years and years.

My last show & tell should come with a warning.  Moo products are incredibly addicting!  So with that said, here’s my newest acquisition, my cute-as-a-button mini Moo cards which have my BC blog info on them!  The images on the cards are my photos, all 100 of them.  When designing Moo cards, you can upload as little as one image and have it repeat, or do as I did and choose 100 images so each card is different.   The cards are surprisingly inexpensive ($20/100), easy to order, and as a bonus just to make you feel a bit worldly, they are made in London.

{“The Mermaid’s Dress”}

project-12

{The Pillows}

project-21

{My Moo Cards}

project-31

Good Riddance to Day 4 & 5

February 26, 2009

My body is slowly ramping back up with energy each day; So far this week I’ve gone to my BC group, painting class and today I have all kinds of fun stuffed planned.

And let’s just say that I’m happy to have day 4 and 5 behind me. Many ask what it’s like on my “bad days”.  It’s difficult to describe because there’s nothing to compare it to, but here goes. In the morning I shuffle into the shower and then get dressed. I putter around a bit until the call of the couch becomes too strong. I lay out a blanket, get my pillows just so, and then I lay there in a poisoned haze. I’m not even granted sleep, just haze. My lack of focus doesn’t allow for any reading, puzzles or catching up on the phone. My attention span doesn’t even grant me the desire to watch a movie, I just burn through all of my tivo recordings within a few hours and then I spend the remaining 10 hours clicking through the tv channels like Rainman. Nothing looks interesting.

And then there’s food. Have you ever noticed the “movie” you play through your mind when you’re searching for what sounds good to eat or drink? Mexican? Pasta? Soup & Sandwich? Pizza? And then when you find something that sounds good, you hit the ‘stop’ button and say to yourself, ‘Yea pizza sounds good tonight’! My movie just keeps looping and looping. As soon as I roll over an option and I notice the movie slowing I quickly hit pause and put in my request to Chef Mike. If I take too long to act, it won’t sound good in about 5 seconds and then my movie will keep playing so it’s important that I act quickly. And then of course the cruelty is that my taste buds have been blasted so when it’s actually in front of me it only kind of sort of satisfies.

And the same goes for liquids. All of my options just swirl around in my head and finally I have to just pick one because it’s important that I stay hydrated. Even water becomes the enemy. A cool refreshing glass of water turns into this soft warm liquid that I’m convinced was scooped out of the toilet bowl. It’s just miserable.

And when nothing in life sounds good, it’s inevitable that the despair sets in. I cry about my body, the weeds, my faded shower curtain and the ugly paint color on the wall. It’s really depressing. So now it’s about 9:30pm. I roll off the couch and I shuffle into bed for sleep, as if 12 hours on the couch wasn’t enough recuperating time. That was Day 4. Day 5 is generally a repeat.

Ok, so that had to be depressing to read! So, here’s the good news. I’ve learned that this is a short window and I just have to get through it. Last time I literally cried into Mike’s shoulder acknowledging I just have a little more time to endure and then the sky will stop falling, and sure enough the next day I woke up with a smile and purpose again. I had made it!

Lucy the Wig

February 21, 2009

Here’s my second wig Lucy!  I feel the need to add a disclaimer…  it’s actually very cute and it’s kind of swishy with movement, yet the photo does not do it justice!!  Mike patiently snapped photo after photo trying to appease my vain comments, “That isn’t how the wig looks, it looks much cuter than that!  Please take another photo.”  But finally I had to settle for what I felt was a ho-hum photo (with no fault to the photographer).

short-wig

Second Infusion

February 20, 2009

Well, just as I noted yesterday, chemo can sneak up with some sucker punches and I had just that yesterday.  All was going as usual and then wham!  I was returning from the bathroom and all of a sudden I had an instant wave of heartburn, nausea and a flushed face.  I quickly sat down, Mike got me a cold, wet paper towel and called in the nurse.  Apparently it was the beginnings of an allergic reaction to the chemo drug.

Two nurses got to work quickly and that was scary in of itself because I could sense their calm urgency.  The privacy curtain was pulled to shield me from the other infusion patient in the room, they quickly stopped my chemo drip, on went the blood pressure cuff, the pulse finger thingy, they reclined me in my chair and then drew up a big dose of Benadryl.  Taking Benadryl in an IV hits you like a truck and within 30 seconds I was practically seeing stars and felt completely zombie-fied.  Then they stood there staring at me for a minute.  Still not completely satisfied, they drew up a dose of some steroid to counteract anything else going on.  After a few minutes my flushed face settled back to it’s normal color, my pulse and blood pressure settled down and I was feeling better.

To help me stay calm, they reassured me that it’s a common occurrence even though my first round went smooth, and they knew exactly what to do.  But then the nurse went on to explain that my pestering tickle in my throat was the beginning of my throat swelling shut – ok, so that’s not reassuring!!!

The next half hour was spent reclined in my chair feeling shell shocked with nurses & doctors checking on me every few minutes repeating the same questions and instructions, “How are you feeling?  Take a deep breath for me.”  Poor Mike aged about 5 years in that short window.  It was very scary for both of us.

So with all of that fanfare my day was very long!  They had stopped the infusion and when the coast was finally clear they slowly ramped up the chemo again, which meant my usual hour and a half for this particular IV bag took much longer.  All in all, we were at the hospital from 1:30-6:00 which made for a long day!

To find the silver lining in all of this, it’s now noted on my chart to take preventative measures at my final two infusions, so they’ll take precaution at the get-go so this won’t happen again.

Ding, Ding, Ding — Round 2!

February 19, 2009

Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome to Round 2!!  It’s going to be a good fight today, I can promise you that!

In this corner we have the two-faced, dreaded drug “Comanchee Chemo”!  He’s very sneaky, with a big reputation on pulverizing cancer cells with one swoop which is awesome, but watch out because he likes to take cheep shots on his opponent when the refs aren’t looking.  But despite his good & evil ways, his opponent in the other corner is even stronger so this should be a monumental fight!  “MonaVie Megan” might be new to the circuit but she’s one tough broad and she’s brought in the BIG guns to fight back!  For starters, she has a strong team beside her with her ring coach Mike by her side every moment.  And we have a sold-out arena here today with an unprecedented crowd who all appear to be rooting for Megan.  It’s just nuts here today!  The energy is intense and the cheering is deafening!  Local friends and family have flooded in early to get good seats, and I’ve even heard that she has fans who drove in from Oregon and Washington and some who flew in as far as Utah, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida & even Vermont!  It’s just unprecedented folks!!

And let me state that we can hardly call this a fair fight, because I’ve heard she’s been Jacked on the Juice for over a year; she’s such a fan that her license plate even says “Juic Grl”!!  We’ve checked with our judges and they confirmed that the powerful antioxidant juice MonaVie might seem like an unfair advantage but the ingredients meet all the rules.

Oh my… what…no way… Ok, sorry for that interruption, but you aren’t going to believe this!!!  This news just came in!  It’s been a tad hush and only rumored until now, but we have officially confirmed that Megan brought in her long-time friend and now Manager, the very best in the world, the Trinity of Might, the Holy Spirit Himself… God!!!   Well, folks, as a commentator I’m supposed to be partial, but I can already tell you that this 130 pound, bald headed, one nippled gal is gonna do some ass-whooping today and I suspect the chemo-beating is gonna last a good 7 days!!!  We’ll keep you posted round by round…

fight-like-girl

Bzzzzz

February 15, 2009

“For better or for worse” has had so many meanings lately.  Sitting on the kitchen stool having my hair buzzed by Mike isn’t what I envisioned “worse” would be when I said my vows 9/12 years ago.  Actually “worse” isn’t the best descriptive word.  Actually “worse” was yesterday when my cold was still beating me up and I sat in front of the fire sipping tea and crying as clumps of hair came out every time I touched my head.  All of my sadness was compounded by the cloud of Valentine’s Day hanging over my head; the day for love &  romance and I felt so defeated.  So, having my head shaved this morning was actually a better day than yesterday.

And all of a sudden I have the urge to watch Alien 3 or maybe G.I. Jane…

alien III 1moviebody-gijane

{the back of my new scrubby head as I type this blog post}

shave-11

Norma the Wig

February 13, 2009

I bought a wig.

Well, those are words I never thought would come out of my mouth!   I’ve heard from many gals that purchased wigs and never used them, but frankly the $300 in wigs is a small price to pay for some peace of mind as my hair sheds more each day.  And honestly, I was surprised with my experience on trying them on.  I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too; wigs seem icky and creepy!  Trust me it is weird at first, but after a few minutes with the wig on it really starts to look natural and the mind forgets what the head used to look like.  I was pleasantly surprised!

But with all of that said, Mike and I have still had many laughs over the wig.  First of all, I had it on a wire wig stand in the bedroom and every time we walked into the room  it startled us; hence the name Norma.  Paying homage to Norman from Psycho; that is exactly what it felt like seeing it on the stand.  That had to change right away, so I found a little nook to keep it stashed away from our view.

Norma is mostly my “hat wig”.  This way I can wear my hair like I used to with hats, wool caps, pony tail, etc.  And then there is Lucy.  She’s still on order.  She’s my more everyday wig which is styled as a cute bob which I really like alot.   I’ll share pics in a week or so.

I’m not sure how much I’ll wear them but it really gives me peace of mind to know it’s an option, because I don’t want to look like I had cancer!!  Actually I’m still holding onto a glimmer of hope that I’ll defy the chemo drugs and the doctor’s words and my MonaVie soaked body will miraculously keep my hair in tact.  But if it doesn’t, I have abundant choices with my wigs, my beautiful hand-dyed scarves from India (thank you Aunty Deb), my warm and cozy hand-knit caps (thank you Colleen) and many, many more hats.

Blog readers meet Norma, Norma meet the blog readers.

wig

wig-on1

wig-hat

Quick Update

February 12, 2009

I realized that I haven’t given you a “chemo” update for a few days…

Well, the day I felt the chemo had kind of worn off (Saturday) was the day that I realized that I had caught a cold.  It kind of scared me because my defenses are low and I was concerned it could take a quick turn for the worse, so I have been diligent in staying home (mostly), working on easy house projects and sitting in front of the fire with the remote control in one hand and hot tea in the other. And now (Wednesday) the cold is on its way out and I’m feeling well.

So, I have about 10 days of good health before my next treatment and my to-do-list is packed full of projects which I’m really looking forward to tackling!

My New Email Signature

February 9, 2009

With the invention of email came the cute keyboard characters;

=)

{the sideways smiley face}


(\_/)
( ‘.’ )    {the bunny}
()_()


and then there’s mine…

(  )(o)

This is probably too much information, but it’s real life and and I think it’s kind of funny…I have a nice new fake boob but the nipple area had to go, so now I have a permanent wink!

Haircut Part 2

February 7, 2009

Here are some more photos from last weeks haircut party.

hair-06611hair-0703hair-0738hair-0749hair-07541hair-0786hair-0825hair-0873hair-0885hair-09091