Life Is Just So Daily

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quite a break....

Okay, I've taken quite a little break from blogging.
I've been busy with this whole "workin' full time" thing.
Laptop's getting repaired.
Shut down the home internet while the laptop's out of commission, so that I can sign back up with the same company but get current promotions since I was no longer under contract. Man, it feels good to save money! Same service for 1/2 my previous monthly rate? Yes please.
Internet reconnection will take place tonight at 8pm. Good times.
Laptop will hopefully be home soon. (How do I miss thee? Let me count the ways!)

Mom update: ugh. Frustrating. Chemo 3? Maybe this week. Not sure yet. That genetic marker test: came back showing that Mom has a very very rare hypersensitivity to one of her chemo drugs. What does that mean? Well, it means that she can handle that drug at 1/7th the normal dose. So now, she's had two chemo rounds at SEVEN TIMES the dose suggested for her. Liver labs are now indicative of toxicity from the chemo that was too strong for her. Hair? Totally gone. Blood clot: been on blood thinners. Had to back off of those because the blood got too thin. But, blood thinners are tricky, and it's common to just flood a patient with blood thinners to treat the clot & then have to back off of those. The blood clot was a rare but not completely uncommon complication from her medi-port. Friday had a gyn appt. for a cyst on her ovary. Today: bloodwork with the oncologist, and sono for the ovary. What's the chemo plan? We don't really know just yet. Dr.W (oncologist) held off for last week to let her blood thicken & her liver rest. He was going to take the week to consult with others about a plan. Are we going to continue with the same drugs at a lower dose? Don't know yet. Are we going to move on to 2nd line chemo drugs specific for colon cancer? Don't know yet. Mom goes back to Dr.W for more bloodwork on Wednesday. So, bloodwork today, bloodwork Wednesday, appt. with Dr.W on Wednesday to talk about the new plan of attack, and POSSIBLY chemo 3 this coming Wednesday based on the recommendations from the team that Dr.W consults with this week.

But---just to keep it real, I proposed this idea (and yes, I know that it's not really how things work, but wouldn't it be nice???): The original plan was for 12 rounds of chemo. She's done 2. BUT---they were SEVEN times too strong. Maybe---that'll equate to 14 chemo treatments & they'll say she's done! Maybe, it's like shocking a pool. You go outside, the pool is green with algae, and you throw in TONS of chlorine. The next day---it's blue as blue can be. It might melt your skin off, but by God there's no more algae! Maybe THAT's what we've done. If there was any cancer let, maybe we've fried & dried it all up.
{Wishful thinking perhaps, but a gal can wish, can't she???}

In other news, we had a VERY busy weekend with 2 kiddie birthday parties, Gage had a play-date with M (his super-cute girlfriend), playing with friends, and a trip out on the boat! Yes, it was wavy & cold & nobody dared to get in the water. Still fun.

That's my quick update. I have TONS of pics to post & updates to compose....but until the laptop returns I'll just have to cope with my withdrawal symptoms....


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This whole "job thing" is really cutting into my blogging time.

Ok, so I have been terrible about blogging lately. This whole "working full time" situation....don't get me wrong, I love going in at 9, I love getting paid for 40 hours a week, and I love the fact that I no longer have such a long distance commute. But seriously---I go to work, come home, try to do some housework each night, then it's the night routine with Gage, clothes for us to wear the next day, his lunch and bag to pack, dinner, then a TINY bit of down time before bed! ....only to repeat itself 4 more times in a week!!!! I honestly didn't know how good I had it working part time.... And let's not even mention the fact that if you stop ANYWHERE after work to pick up this or that, everybody and their dog is there. At 6pm, there is no dashing into a store for anything. I miss grocery shopping on like a Tuesday in the middle of the day. I'm just sayin'.....

In other news: I'm blogging from my phone b/c I think my laptop is screwed up. I thought it was just the charger, but now I'm not so sure. I got a new charger for it, but there is usually a light that comes on at the site where you plug the charger into the computer. Well, even though the two are adequately connected, no such light is illuminating. UGH! So, I'll have to get Hubby to look at it. He's been trying to convince me to upgrade to a new laptop for some time now, but....well, change is difficult! ...& expensive! Whatever happens, someone MUST retrieve the pics I have stored on there but hadn't yet uploaded to snapfish. I will just DIE if my pics are lost forever!!!

Ok.... That's about all for now. I'm tired of typing on this itty bitty touch screen.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Update on Mom....

Well, Mom got to go home from the hospital yesterday. Her blood pressure came up from its concerning low rate, her ANC was up higher than its starting value at 44, and so---chemo 3 is set for Wednesday. Except---this one will be modified chemo until her genetic marker test comes back in about a week. Blood clot: she's been on Lovenox, so that's been helpful there. Blood's thinner now---just like they want it.

That's a quick update on her....


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chemo 3: Cancelled.

Not good news today.
Mom's in the hospital.
Doppler shows a blood clot in her carotid.
ANC (neutrophil) is only 44, which is too low for chemo and means her immune system is just WIPED out. Her ANC pre-chemo was 8200. So for now, no chemo, and they are treating her for the blood clot. Also, they are doing a genetic test on her to see if perhaps she is predisposed to having an adverse reaction to one of the chemo drugs, which they suspect may be going on. If that's the case, they will have to alter her chemo drugs....

Continue to keep my mamasita in your prayers!!!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

"You Aint Got No Hair!"

Dammit-Arlene is AMAZING Arlene.
Mom's hair was falling out. It was BAD. It made her sick. It was just awful. And so Arlene, mom's neighbor & hair stylist got the call. It was time.
So, she came over, and they did it.
They shaved her head.
They sat in the laundry room, bawled, & shaved her head.
And then what did they do?
PawPaw, Arlene, & my Aunt Wanda sat around drinking wine {or some such spirit} while they tried on 18 million styles of scarves that Arlene brought over.

My silly mom....

Arlene is an AMAZING friend with an AMAZING heart.
In going through all of this, my mom is just so blessed.
PawPaw is wonderful to her.
My aunts are wonderful.
My mom's friends are wonderful.
My friends are wonderful, and continue to check on her & pray for her.
Every single day someone sends her a card, or flowers, or calls to check on her. She truly is so very blessed.

Mom, on her first day to work with no hair...
I think she looks fabulous!

The reality is that in a 2 week span, Mom gets about 3 good days when she can go into work for a little bit. Maybe this will get better over time...we just don't know yet.

...Now there are many that would likely shave their heads in solidarity & support for something like this. My mom is one of those who would say, "What a waste! I don't have hair right now & it's not my choice! You could have hair & you give it up to match me?! Idiot." So, to answer the question that people have ACTUALLY asked me---no, I will not be shaving my head.
.....although....getting up each morning & throwing on a wig instead of washing hair, conditioning hair, blowdrying hair, & styling hair...well, that sounds pretty freakin' appealing, doesn't it!? Until the 100+ temperatures of Summer come along & you've got a kind-of-itchy-keep-the-heat-&-sweat-in-wig on your head...
{And by that, Mom, I mean---Summer's going to be great. Don't you worry about it!}

I saw Mom without hair for the first time today. I didn't expect to have a freak out melt down. But I did. It was just...unexpected. I expected to be stoic & brave & just roll with it. I didn't. It was kind of like when they wheeled her back into her room at the hospital after surgery. I didn't expect to feel so scared and sad, but suddenly I did. I work in a hospital. I see sick people every day. I see cancer patients every day. I see bald people every day. It's just different when it's suddenly so real, and right there, and it's YOUR mom...not just some patient going through something with some diagnosis that makes you feel for them, but it doesn't really make you ache for them...
And so, I just have to get used to it. And I will.

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What Happens When You Buy In Bulk..., I love that child.


1/15/11, GNO: Girls Night Out

About a month ago, some of us gals of Wisteria Lane decided to leave the men-folk at home & head out on our own. Oh, and we left the men in charge of the kids too. Ahhhh....a girls night out!

We had great food, drinks & laughs at Gloria's, and then headed across the walkway to another place for the non-knock-you-down-margaritas. {OMG, the margaritas at Gloria's are just SO strong. Too strong. So strong that I couldn't even enjoy my drink kind of strong. The sad part: I ordered mine as WEAK. I took a sip of the regular strength margarita & it was just WAY.TOO.STRONG.}

Anyway...the point is that we had a good time & it was great to get out & about just us girls!

It was a fun time!

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Wig-Mania....& Stuff....

Chemo Round One:

Here's Darnin, pre-chemo...the first time....

Here's to hopin' it works! {got her fingers crossed! ...but then you have to wonder: with regard to superstitions, do fingers crossed on two hands cancel each other out? Well, we were covered, because even if they do, her legs were crossed, so that makes 3 official crossings. That's gotta be good, right?}

Now, these pics are a few weeks...well, about a month behind. She's had two rounds of chemo so far. What we've learned so far: there are chemo weeks & down weeks or in-between weeks because she has chemo every other week. We've learned that 'Chemo Wednesday' is actually a pretty good day for her. She gets infused, and then goes home with a pump. The pump is removed on Fridays. Fridays suck! And it just kind of goes from there. The nausea, the vomiting, the cold sensation, the general is-this-sh*t-really-worth-it-?-feelings seem to take over.

The hair falling out? Somewhat expected, but not really. We were told that she most likely would NOT lose her hair with this chemo-cocktail, but no such luck. The hair? It's gone.

But----these pics are from Chemo Day 1 of Chemo Round 1. She was tired but feeling pretty good, considering. So, we went to a wig shop & just tried things on....
It was sad, but it was good. And now---we are sooooo glad that we did.

So here we go. Some wig pics.
Wig #1, and our favorite...

Wig #2: Now, imagine it in a very, very dark brown.

There were lots of others that we tried on....but I'm not necessarily going to post all the pics of the 'no' wigs....Man, I tell you though...we had PLENTY of laughs that day. Granted, they were at mom's expense...but she's just the best sport ever!

...and now that the hair is officially gone, we are SO GLAD that we hit the wig shop early.

And I need to mention someone here: Holly at 'A Woman's Touch' wig shop. Holly is an ANGEL. She is just so wonderful at her job. She was helpful, and joking with us...and when the tears came or we just needed a moment, she was sensitive to that and let us take our time. She brought us stuff that we didn't know we'd like. She was wonderful. But, here's the part of the story that makes her even better. When things got so bad on the hair front, I told PawPaw that he should just call the wig shop & order the ones that Holly had on file as Mom's preferences. Well, wouldn't you know it---when PawPaw called, Holly just knew that Mom was hesitant about ordering the two wigs, but knew that Mom would need them. So what did she do? Well, she had already ordered one of the wigs that Mom liked so that it would be in the store when Mom called. She was afraid that Mom would be at crisis point & have to wait for the wig to come in once ordered. So, she ordered it ahead of time so that it would be ready & in stock for Mom when she was ready. WHAT A BLESSING it was for us. Holly is just an ANGEL.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Things...happenings & such.

Ok, there are lots of things I've failed to post about. I really have been neglecting the blog lately. With all of these snow days, you'd think I would have made more of an effort. But...I've been busy. New job and what not. So I have now completed orientation at the new job (ice cruncher sat next to me) and two days of orientation. The plan is for two weeks of orientation here and then I am to be on my own.
What else???
Mom's hair is falling out. Between that and the nausea, she's not doing so hot.
The weather here has been just horrible.
We hosted a Super Bowl Party.

That's about it.
Busy, but too busy to blog about it all!


Friday, February 04, 2011

Quote of the day...

Perfect conversation from a marriage, & classic us....

Lainey-Paney: "I didn't know you could get Corona in a can."
Hubby: "sweetie, you can get anything in a can; cheese, corona, sardines...anything really."