Patty's Mammie Grams

Webmistressed by her daughter, Sara. Read the DreamBook guestbook!
Sign the DreamBook!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31 I'm awake but not up, yet!

Foot surgery went well - didn't take long, and I seem to be doing OK. Dr. Shapiro called today to ask how I was doing, and that he would see me on
Thursday for a bandage change and check everything.
I'm staying off of it, with my foot up, taking pain medication (didn't even have to get a new script - using leftovers from the lumpectomy) and wrapping with ice packs, and so now it feels fine. The worst part that is visible right now, is my IV site. Pretty bruised! It doesn't hurt, just looks bad.
We are still waiting to hear from Bob's folks about his diagnosis - they still don't know. Weird. They know it is Stage 4 something. They just told us they are going to quit testing - they can't figure it out - they will just begin treating. They will be trying holistic methods for awhile to see if that will help.
Love to all of you - Please take care of yourselves. Patty : )

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Remember your daily clicks

First posted at the very beginning of
my blog - now just a friendly reminder.

This site helps fund mammograms
with just a click of a button. It
takes me about 30 seconds to click
on all the sites listed. You can pick
your own favorites or do what I do
and click on each one of the tabs!
I'm helping feed dogs, buy books,
save the rain forest, provide health
care to children - all painlessly and
with just one click a day. I have it
at the top of my favorites list and
start each computer session with
my clicks.
They don't care that I don't buy
anything - and furthermore - they
don't know.
I have been the recipient of 3 free
mammograms and then a follow
up sonogram and then a core
needle biopsy a few years ago
when there was no insurance and
little cash flow. I truly appreciated
Thanks for your help by putting it
on your favorites and clicking daily.
Love, Patty

Avemar -- Interesting

This is the link to the very interesting supplement invented in Hungary that is supposed to greatly enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy medications for several types of cancers: Lung, Breast, Colon, and they are discovering others very often.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 28 Loooong Saturday work day

Today was a long day - began work at 8 and got home at 10:45, I think! I believe everyone either got their appointment changed, or managed to get in to the salon yesterday or today! Now, it will be the same on the other end of these three weeks! I'll miss everyone and be very anxious to get back to the salon.
I love going to work and I love my wonderful, fun, and amazing clients! I sometimes can't believe I get paid to have such a great time making everyone happy and their hair pretty and their eyebrows great! Such a life. I also love my salon and the folks there. They also are so amazing! I told them the other day that I felt as though I had worked there forever. It is my home, now.
I am going to bed, now, though. All that fun today has worn me out, and I am having two friends come help me with some cleaning and sorting tomorrow! I just realized that Sunday is the last day I have on my feet before Sara gets home. So, I am on a mission. EEEEEEEK. Lots and lots of love. Patty : )

Friday, July 27, 2007

July 27 Long Work Friday

A long day today and another long day tomorrow, and then I'm off work for about 3 weeks for my foot surgery. I keep thinking maybe I really don't need this, it isn't too bad, I can wait, and then something happens like this afternoon. I began walking over to the hair dryers and all the way over and back I was wincing and saying ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch. Sometimes is it only numb, sometimes it feels as though it is asleep, and then, like today, it feels like I'm walking on a needle, or a thumb tack under that toe or under the base of the toe.
Which reminds me. I assume everyone knows what I am talking about when I say my 'roast beef' neuroma. Maybe if I said "the neuroma between the roast beef and the none"? Or, maybe, "this little piggie had roast beef and this little piggie had none". Get it? Get it? Hee hee. Sorry.
I'm going to bed - 'nother long day tomorrow. Nite nite. Patty : )

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26 Dr. Croghan the Rad Onc

We had the appointment with Dr. Croghan this morning. She seems like she will be a great addition to our team. We had a good meeting and she explained everything that will happen when we do start radiation.
Before the radiation begins, however, we have to go see Dr. Robert Brooks, (my friend Rita was treated by Dr. Donald Brooks - way up on the northwest side of Tucson.) (Having the same last name seemed like a good omen as we both really liked him so much.)
Dr. Brooks will be working with me with all my chemicals, and I will have to finish all of his treatment before I do start the radiation. Dr. Croghan tells me that she probably won't be seeing me for awhile, as Dr. Brooks will see me on the 8th, and then we will figure out a schedule for the chemotherapy. She said anywhere from weeks to 6 months before it is all over. Then the radiation will start.
Yep - Chemo. Apparently, my cancer is stage 1, however there are other factors which make it a borderline decision as to whether or not I would have to have chemo - and so - I choose not ever having to do this again! So -- let's kick some cancer butt!! ('scuse please)
Now, before the chemotherapy can start - I have to heal up from the neuroma surgery which I decided today couldn't wait for 'maybe 6 months' to be dealt with, and so dropped in on my Dr. Shapiro, and he is coming in on Monday, the first day of his vacation, and doing my surgery. I thanked him profusely, and he said - "But of course - you are family, here."
I've been seeing him for years and years, and his accounts person is, and his nurse was, a client of mine. I've been to a wedding and shared a table with him and his wife, so - yeah - I do feel as though I'm family. I really like him and his office! (Hi Susan, hi Maricela.)
So, roast beef neuroma surgery on Monday the 30th, dressing/bandage change on Wednesday the 2nd, check to see if stitches can come out on Wed. the 8th. I will have to be off work (SORRY, GUYS) for 3 weeks (or did he say 2 and 1/2 weeks?) ; ) with my feet elevated and resting.
On Wednesday the 8th, I also get to have my first appointment with Dr. Brooks. Looking forward to getting this thing on the road.
Aunt Dot - no, not all of that mass was cancerous, the surgeon just needs to get a clean margin all the way around, with no cancer cells - her margin is, I think she said, 1 cm. So I guess you take all those figures and subtract 1 cm. from each measurement and then figure it out? I don't think that will work, either, because I'm sure there was some overlapping of what she took out. She also said she was right up against the chest muscle, so there wasn't any more room to take more there! It certainly seemed like a goodly sized chunk, though.
I think we described the actual cancer size as about a large grape size. I think maybe she was also going for that other spot, near the cancer, that they found with that first MRI (like those two other spots that disappeared in Scottsdale). Better to be safe than sorry, yes?
I'm officially tired - I've had a very busy day. Yep, yep, yep. I've just realized that I work the next two days, have Sunday off, then have surgery on Monday, and will still be off my feet when Sara FINALLY comes home from her summer adventure. So - some 'things' have to be done - before Monday morning. New mattress, anyone? Sara's was toast - so we are shopping for a new one for her. Two friends are coming over on Sunday to help me with some serious rearranging.
So, I am going to go try out our mattress to see if that is the kind Sara needs to have on her bed. ; ) ; )
Nite, Love you, miss you, many hugs and kisses to you all. Patty : )

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25 Dr Roeder visit - if squeemish - skip

The visit with Dr Roeder went well this afternoon. She is extremely pleased with her handiwork - she worked hard to make it end up looking symmetrical when it finally heals, and for it to not have any 'divot-ee-ish (do you think that word will catch on?) areas when all is said and done. She was very pleased, as I said. I also have that almost nonexistent scar from about 12 years ago, and so I know that she does do beautiful stitchery. (sorry guys, close your eyes or something)
She then went over the pathology report with us to try to help us understand a few things.
For instance -- there were three 'chunks' (I think maybe they call them something else, like, oh, specimens, or even masses) taken from the left breast:
1. 4.5 x 4.0 x 3.0 cm.
2. 3.0 x 1.6 x 0.8 cm.
3. 1.0 x 1.0 x 0.5 cm.
I think that adds up to more than a golf ball but less than a racquet ball. Anyone have any ideas of how I can visualize that? Someone else will have to convert it into inches and then tell me what the diameter is of the 'mass' it would make. I can't think of any other size ball to compare it with. I am very visual and can't 'see' it unless I see it!
It is Estrogen positive 95% and Progesterone positive 50%. Those numbers mean something to the medical oncologist - which kind of medicine he will start me on later - for instance, Tamoxifin, or something in that vein. (Not in a vein, but in a pill. hee hee)
There are other letters and numbers and I'm not sure what they all mean, and I should have taken someone to take notes, but I forgot to ask. I tried to take as many notes as possible, but now I don't know what they mean. For instance -- my Her2/Neu is not amplified. ??! She is sending out for another test for the Med. Onc. (that's Doctor speak for Medical Oncologist) (Do I sound smart?) called the Oncotype DX which measures the oncogenes and "do they have over-expression?"
This is too much strange and new information, and I'm glad I don't have to go back to school to become a doctor and learn the whys and wherefores of all this. It sometimes does feel as though I am taking a crash course, though.
Must get to bed so I can get to the Rad Onc (get it everyone?) (Radiation Oncologist) first thing in the morning. The Dr. told me today I should be going to the Med Onc (Dr.Brooks) first, as He Is Now The Boss Of Me. She said the Rad Onc won't know what to do till the Med Onc knows what he is doing, and He gets to be first. Then Radiation. It's getting fun here, folks.
But, the Rad Onc peeps called me before the Med Onc peeps called - and those were the dates I was given to show up. They do not give you a choice. Period. Take the appointment and figure out something else for the other parts of your life.
And, so I do just have to change my life around the next appointment - and hope that at least some of my clients stay with me! ; ) Hey all youse guys -- I love you, and I mean it, and don't ever change, and write when you get there, and wish you were here (Oops, no I don't!), and don't forget me, and come on up and see me sometime, and I work late on Friday nights. : ) And I let you do crosswords with me if you want! : )
Nite. Love and kisses to all of you. A client gave me a little angel to put on my station today (thanks Margo), and it now represents ALL of you out there who are being my support network. I love you all - My Affection Collection Connection. Thanks a million billion times. Patty : )

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24 Tomorrow afternoon -- Dr. Roeder appt.

I think this appointment with Dr. Roeder is just the usual post-op check up, but I will take this opportunity to ask a few more questions about what is happening - with the other docs, and with my 'mammie' (Aunt Dot ;) ) and to explain to them 'Why Patty Has Called The Office So Many Gol Durned Times and Asked So Many Questions'.
I realized just a few days ago, that I had never gotten to talk to the doctor about what exactly to expect with a lumpectomy, as I had not made a decision as to what was going to happen when I last saw Dr Roeder. That decision was to be made after 'The biopsy in Scottsdale', which, as you remember, Never Did Happen. So, at any rate, I had all these questions that never were addressed by the doctor herself! So now, I forgive myself for being a impatient pest.
Bob's Aunt Dot suggested a new name for the blog - and I like it -- how about "Patty's Mammie Grams"
"as in "everyone be sure you get your mammies grammed this year"
Sara -are you able to change it for me? How does every one else like that name? Should we vote?
Sara , I also noticed I had a guest signature from Dawn L. which subsequently disappeared, David said he signed and I don't see it and Joyce's last one burped and it came up again. Do we know how to fix these things? Grandad is still waiting for his dreambook guest book to be set up. Can you do it from there?
All is well here - wet and cooler - thank goodness. It is a nasty 50% humidity in the house tonight, though. Glad I'm not living where it is really humid.
Love, Love, Love, Patty Lou

Monday, July 23, 2007

July 23 Three days till Radiation Oncologist appt

I'm trying to get information on what to do during the radiation treatments - I have vitamin E to keep the skin form becoming so sore, button up the front blouses so it is easier for off and on, long sleeves to keep me warm(?!) I'm trolling sites to help me - does anyone else have any ideas?

I finished reading Harry Potter last night except for the last bit - the epilogue - which took about 5 minutes this morning. Yes, it was great! Yay for Harry Potter!

Well, I found and have been reading a great and informative web site all afternoon. It is . It has a wealth of information - including all that I was wondering, and more.

It's bedtime here - we're waiting for news tomorrow of Bob's dad's lung biopsy. It is tense here.

Thank you all for being here and there for me. Lots of love, Patty

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 21 Long, Long Saturday

I got home way too late for a 'school night' after the movie last night, and so I didn't get as much sleep as I really wanted to (or needed to) for my Saturday at work.
Unfortunately, ever since I've changed salons to my new one very close to the house, I cannot seem to be on time in the morning! (I've started telling people that I live 7 minutes away, but I only allow 5 minutes to get to work.) It is a problem.
This morning, however - something else was in the air. I set my alarm(s) and heard them all. I fell back asleep, but then Bob thankfully called me from his hike, and got me fully awake. I still had lots of time according to the clocks I saw -- up until I put my watch on as the last thing before leaving the bedroom. The electricity had burped enough times that the clocks were all in different time zones. My watch time was correct, thankfully, but according to the bathroom clock, which I had been watching up to then, I had mucho tiempo left before I needed to leave. But oh, no, this was the day the battery in the bathroom clock started to fail. It ended up funny, thankfully, but Good Grief!
Maybe I should begin leaving earlier for work, you say? Maybe you are right, I say. I wish I would.
I had only two clients today, but they were both long services, and so I think after cleaning up and taking out recycling, I got home at 5:00 (?) or so. I'm bushed. My stand up all day muscles and bones forgot a little what it feels like. I am a little more sore than I thought I would be - the lymph node type place and the chest type place. Hm-m-m-m. Must. Rest. Now.
But then Harry Potter was waiting for me when I got home. : ) : ) We called Sara a little later to make sure she wasn't trying to buy it in Washington, but not to worry, my girl after my own heart had already finished Matt's copy. (Thanks Matt.) Kaylene finally did have to tell her that it was rude to stay in the car and continue reading after they had arrived at Uncle Dr. John's house! So she did go inside to finish the book.
I'm not quite there yet. (chapter 3 or 4?) But I hope I can get it all read this weekend (that includes Monday for me). Wish me luck!
So now bedtime is calling my name. All my love to youse guys. (that's Baltimore talk) (see above re: HAIRSPRAY) : ) : )
Love to all of you. Patty : )

Friday, July 20, 2007

July 20 First day back at work

Today was my first day back at work, and I was only scheduled for a few hours this evening. I usually work late on Friday nights, and so I had 3 regular clients to take care of. Should have been a piece of cake!
And so it was.
I went in early to get my hair cut, as it was about down to my shoulders (not really, guys), then had to set up shop again -- get out all my equipment that I had stored in case anyone needed to use my station, etc.
My first client didn't come in when I expected someone to show up, so I went up to check, and that is when I saw, and then realized - the e-mail my third client had sent was about this Friday night. Oops. So, I had my one client, and then got some cleaning done. Then the fun began.
My friend Helen had called to see if I would be interested in going with a couple other friends to see HAIRSPRAY. Yee Haw that was fun. Lots of dancing and singing of course, and John Travolta as Tracy Turnblad's mother stole the show. It was fun. Hugs and kisses - Patty : )

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19 Healing away

Hey - by the way - I'm healing quite nicely. The lymph node incision has been the bugaboo for me, and I'm hearing from others that it is the sorest spot. My friend Chris said - Patty - all those other nodes right there in the same area are working very hard at cleaning up all the junk the doctor created from the surgery. (I paraphrased a little there, Chris.)
My next door neighbor
also told me it really was OK if I still hurt, to continue to take the pain medication. I had quit, thinking the hurt wasn't too terrible, but I was having a desperate time trying to go to sleep, and then stay asleep at night.
When I would lie on my left side, my entire body weight would then be right on the incision site and it hurt very much. I then tried lying on my right side, with my body pillow trying to keep the arm kind of 'up in the air', but that left arm weighed about 100 pounds and so that hurt just about as badly. I ended up waking up often - and almost always on my back. That was not good on the sore back, either.
The pain has finally settled down, and it is pretty much just plain tender and lumpy at the node site scar, and it all isn't nearly as hurtful as it had been. Healing away, as I said.
Thanks again for all the wonderful messages, and thoughts and prayers and hopes. Patty : )

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

July 18 BRACA1 and BRACA2 --- NOT ! ! ! !

I think this is good news. Our family does not have to worry about this gene being passed down - the BRACA 1 and 2 gene, anyway. So - I do know that this means that no one else in the family needs to pay for that test. YAY!!!
The genetic counselor said again, though, that she thinks there is a risk from some gene that is being passed down on the paternal Gerard side. Soooo???? I need to call her to talk about the findings, and so I can comment more knowledgeably and clearly, here. But I am taking this as good news. I think. You all still need to be checking and paying attention to ovaries and breasts and colons especially. I'm serious. As Katie Couric says - Get your butt to the doctor!
While you are at it - check your skin again and apply and reapply your sunscreen. A deep tan is a sign of ignorance down here - you are just asking for trouble - and to have another chunk of your body to be cut off. Check your moles and skin and be a good do-bee. As they say in Australia, whose skin cancer rate is second only to ours - SLOP, SLIP, SLAP. Slop on the sunscreen, Slip on a long sleeved shirt, and Slap on a wide brimmed hat. It'll save on your dermatologist bills. We need more down here - a girlfriend said it took 6 months to get her first appointment with a new doctor, and she will never give up her 6 month checkup time, as the queue only gets longer.
OK, once again, carefully stepping of the box. It's been getting a good workout here! Sorry! (Not really) ; ) Love ya, love ya, love ya, Patty (Who is WITHOUT the BRACA1 and the BRACA2 gene!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 17 The 'Roast Beef' Neuroma

Another outing today, to the podiatrist. I've developed another neuroma on my left foot - between the 'Roast Beef' and the this little piggie had 'None' toes. I had a MRI on it before all this began to happen, and they said it looked like another neuroma, but I guess it felt enough different from the other two, that I didn't recognize it. Anyway 2 months ago I had an injection of steroids - prednisone or whatever it is. The toe again began being unbearable to walk on again, and I called Dr. Shapiro yesterday and they had me in today for another injection. I hope this one works. If it doesn't "hold", I'll get to have another neuroma removed. What Joy.
I ran another quick errand on down that street, and then I was only a block away from my old salon. I went in to say Hi and to see if my friend Tanya had any time soon for a pedicure. Someone had canceled and I got my toesies worked on about 15 minutes later!! Good thing - the lidocaine hadn't worn off yet, so she could work away on my feet, without hurting that spot. Now I have bee - u - tee - full bright red toenails and I feel so good. Yay!! Then I went home to rest.
Sara called and told us about her stay in the yurt with Kaylene and Owen, and is just having the time of her life. Less than one month left before school starts. She'll be with Kaylene the rest of this week, then it's off to Uncle Dr. John and scooping poop at the clinic.
She is sooo excited about this summer. Hi there my darling daughter! Miss you. Love love love to all of you. Patty : )

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 16 Pathology Report

I had my first outing today - put real clothes on and everything. I went to Dr. Roeder's office this morning to pick up the pathology report. My plan was to ask if I could call the next doctors to make the appointments, (you know - to hurry things along a little bit faster) and the nurse, Mary, told me I had to chill and wait until after my appointment with Dr. Roeder. I said - "I don't have an appointment with Dr. Roeder." Well, yes, I did, but they had forgotten to tell me about it or when it was. It is next Wednesday, the 25th. So, after being released from her, I'll finally get to go see the the two new doctors - Dr. Brooks, the medical oncologist, and Dr. Croghan, the radiation oncologist. (I will be getting tattoos, I hear.) I'll have to wait to tell you more about the pathology report - I can't understand much more that the node negative and margins negative stuff that she told me earlier. We again are still awaiting the results of the estrogen receptor question.
Now it's bedtime - we've been staying up late talking to Bob's folks, but they didn't call tonight. George was to go to the Dr. in Seattle, today, and we haven't heard anything all day. I'm hoping no news is good news. They were very wiped out by the time they made it to Seattle. They shaved 2 weeks off of the planned schedule by the time Sara got added, then the Dr. in Washington was needed ASAP, so they had been doing some hard driving. They are both very tired, and need a good rest.
Hope all is well with all of you all, With love to everyone. Patty : )

Sunday, July 15, 2007

July 15 More sloth and fruit and friends

We've been watching movies some more, and eating on the fruit basket and just generally being lazy couch potatoes. I'm going to go get the pathology report from the Dr. tomorrow.
Our friends Connie and Charlie came over with burritos and chips and salsa for lunch for us (and enough for another lunch or two!) and sat and ate with us, which was a very nice intermission for us.
Nice lazy day - it's very very hot here, and it is beginning the moisture buildup to the humidity that starts the 'monsoons' here. I know they are not truly monsoons, but that is what we here in Tucson call them. It is when the hard rain fills those dry riverbeds with the bridges over the top, and floods the dry washes that have the signs that say "Do Not Enter When Flooded". Out-of-towners think it is a joke, but it is always some idiot that lives here that does the stupid thing and tries to drive through it and then gets stranded and/or washed away. We now have a 'Stupid Motorist Law' so we can charge those idiots for some of the cost of the rescue. I think the fine is $2000.00 now. Plus the humiliation of having your picture on TV or in the paper as the moron who thought that sign didn't mean HIM!
(Quietly stepping down now from box, now.)
The fruit is going away - and so I'm going to have some more of it. We'll see what manana brings. (That's an en-yay for that first 'n' there.) Ya'll know what I mean. Mucho amor and muchas gracias, amigos! Patty. ; )

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 14 Flowers and fruit

A huge bouquet of beautiful flowers from my salon - Scissor Talk was delivered yesterday, Friday. Today, Saturday, a huge bouquet of fruit was delivered from that same great place - Scissor Talk. They are so wonderful there. I love my new salon. I love my new co-workers! What a bunch of sweeties they are!
This fruit bouquet is the neatest thing you have ever seen - if you don't know what it is, check it out at I think I got the 'Delicious Fruit Design'. We once had a huge huge one delivered to the entire salon for one of the owner's birthdays. This thing is sooo cool. Bob and I ate all day on this one, then, as I knew there was no putting it in the fridge in the basket that it came in, and fruit sticking out all over in that condition, I had to deflower and defruit it and put the remaining fruit into a (large) Tupperware/Rubbermaid container.
The fruit was all cut very nicely, and then placed on a skewer, then poked into the 'Poking and then Holding' medium, which I found out, after many, many skewers later (50?), and after I had pulled out the many stalks of curly leafed kale? that made it into a pretty bouquet with leaves, turned out to be an entire full head of lettuce! Stuffed into the basket and mashed down into it so it wouldn't fall out. Whoever thought this one up was a wizard! How ingenious!
There were pineapple slices cut into a scalloped flower shape with a cantaloupe ball center, and wands of four or so grapes on skewers standing upright and tall and out away from the main fruit, for a little added interest. Then the cantaloupe and honeydew were cut into wedges with a 'wavy' knife, and those and the pineapple 'daisies', were interspersed with huge strawberries (green stem in) and still more grapes. It was the most amazing sight. Delicious, too, and we're still eating on it.
Can you tell that I loved it!? I'm going to go have some of it now.
Bye. Love to you all. I'm having a weekend off watching lots of movies with my hubby. : ) : ) Love, Patty : d <----that is me licking my chops!

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 13 Negative Node and Final Margins ! !

Dr. Roeder just called to tell me: "It was node negative, all the final margins of the tumor were negative, and the final measurement ended up being about a 2 cm. (or 7/8")" Great news all around!
I forgot in the excitement to ask her about 'estrogen receptor positive or negative' information. Oh well, I'll learn soon enough.

She is sending all the information over to the next two doctors - a medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist, and they will be calling me to make appointments.

I was too out of it to ask why the medical oncologist - I had thought I wouldn't be needing chemotherapy. Oh yes, for the tamoxofin or whatever it will be. I'll have to take something!

So - this I know and know full well (Sara - Curious Savage?) and nothing else - next week will bring something else new! So - on with the waiting.

Love and hugs to you all - Patty XOXOXO : )

July 13 Bandage Off!

YEEEOOOWWWW!!! That was sticky tape. It had started itching under the bandage tape and I was afraid that the same swelling, pulling, blister inducing thing that had happened before was going on. They were very careful about washing off the betedine this time, so evidently it was the tape on top of the betedine that caused the allergic reaction 12 or so years ago.
I got my first shower today and boy did that feel good. I'm still waiting for the phone call from the doc with the pathology results. I hope that we hear today, but it was only a "probably get the results back by Friday". I'm actually not too worried, as it sounded very good on Tuesday, but it will be nice to hear the actual results. P : )

Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12 Sore & achy but great! (Plus other stuff)

This morning in an e-mail I told my neice Dynette that I had a sore 'leftit' - who knows that joke? ............ One surveyor asking the other in sign language across the long stretch - "Where is the hammer?" "Eye (pointing to each body part) left tit behind (or in the rear)." Hee hee, sorry for the bad humor but I had to since it is. the left. it. ; )

Last night Bob and I both slept the sleep of the dead or the righteous or something - Bob was asleep before I even made it back into the bedroom after telling a very wide awake and chatty Sara (Hi Sara!) we just had to go to bed. I awakened at 8:30, giving me about 10 hours of sleep. My right eye was so swollen - almost shut - from lying on my right side for so long - I thought something was wrong and I was going blind! Bizarre.
Bob was long gone to work, had made my breakfast shake and put it into the fridge, and the house is quiet.
(Yesterday, 'Benny and the Jets' came to do the yard work [blowing the leaves and raking the grave] and they were pretty noisy out there with their gas powered blowers.) The wonderful landscaping guy is named Benito, and called Benny, and Sara and I began calling him and his crew - Benny and the Jets. It makes me smile.

Just got off the phone with Mary Jane and it was a surprise to her that Sara would very soon be arriving in Olympia. The last we've heard, Bob's folks will be dropping her off at Uncle Dr. John's house on Saturday (time - TBA and unknown to me).
All the summer plans for Sara with her grandparents to travel leisurely from the family reunion in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and wend their way up to Seattle to drop Sara off at 'Uncle Dr. John's Camp Vet', have been thrown into turmoil by the need for Bob's dad to get to Seattle as soon as possible. They found a problem while still in Colorado - just a couple days out from the reunion, and have been on a sped up time line ever since. They need a doctor to do a lung biopsy in Seattle - and first he needs to be referred by a primary, which they don't have there. He can't get to point B without point A, and no way will they let him get to point C without point B. He needs to get to point C as soon as possible. Anyone out there with ideas - I think they are open for some suggestions for good doctors. A nephew in Seattle and a sister-in-law have given suggestions, but even more input may be helpful and greatly appreciated.

Sara is very anxious to see everyone in Seattle. She LOVES seeing her cousins and aunts and uncles. Kaylene heard about what we've been calling 'Camp Vet' and that Sara was finally going to come for it, and asked Sara if she could come for 'Stay at Home Mom Camp' for awhile, too. Of course, Sara will be there in a heartbeat!
She has been excited about this happening for about 3 years, now. It is finally here! I hope she likes it. She thinks she wants to be a veterinarian and so this is the summer she gets to see some of what it is about. She knows she will only get to clean cages and play (exercise) with the dogs and cats, and other grunt work (maybe she doesn't know all that!?) but she is hoping she also gets to at least see some more exciting stuff. I don't know if she will be allowed to watch a surgery or not - but I think that she would like that, too.
Make her work for her keep, guys! Aunt Lori says she has an office to move at school, if they ever get it finished. Uncle Dr. John sounds as though he needs some help with a door or more - she loves helping her dad with new projects - 'need more input'. I know she will have a blast. Maybe this is the start of her "Summers with Grandpa Smith" that Ron had for so long. No, I'm not threatening, John and Lori - I just hope she has such a good time up there that she really does continue to want to do Vet School. She knows also all about the buckling down and getting only A's in high school, and college as there is sooo much competition for the few spots there are in the few Vet Med Schools there are.
She has talked about wanting to go to Kansas State University, as it is my Alma Mater, and it is also where Uncle Dr. John got his DVM degree, but Colorado and Grand dad L. thinks that Washington both have reciprocity with Arizona, which would help a huge amount when it comes to paying to tuition bills!
Anyway "we three" are very excited about this opportunity. I think it is probably a good thing for her to be gone from my 'stuff' right now, and she misses us. Here she is right in the middle of Grand dad's 'stuff'. I think we will all be happy to have this summer over.
Love to you all - stay well and do those checks, everyone. Patty : )

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 10, 10:55 a.m. waiting and writing in pre-op

Here I am, waiting in pre-op and just thought of trying to write a post, but we’re not on line. So I’m trying a word document and someone will have to help me transfer it over.
OK, first, guys – I had it all wrong. We went to the Mammogram place where they were to place the wire. They had me lie stomach down on the famous table with the hole in the middle for the aforementioned booby to drop/hang/fall through. Then they did the mammo squeeze and betadine smeared, then lidocane injected so THEN a very thin wire could be inserted in to the spot where Dr. R. will be excising. Just before the inserting of the wire, the radiologist injected the ‘blue dye’ just into the area of the cancer. That was the dye that I thought was going to be inserted through a milk duct. This dye will show Dr. Roeder where the cancer is, in case the wire gets dislodged from that spot.
We then drove over to the out patient surgery site and left the car, then they drove us on the golf cart over to Nuc Med. They injected more lidocane into a different spot and injected the radioactive isotopes just under the skin “into the fatty tissue” so it could begin percolating into the lymph system. The technician said there were small particles (I said "Dirt?" And she said with a grin – "particles".) in the injection so it/they would activate the system to know that there was an invader and it needed to get to work and begin pulling the radiation into the nodes. The Dr. will then later use a ‘Geiger counter’ type thing to see which node to begin excising. The one that clicks the most gets to be the first one cut out. gotta go - Drs. coming at me.

July 11 Home again home again jiggity jig

Added this at about 12:45 p.m. - I realized I needed to get to the meat of the matter and let you all know the important stuff! (Pun intended) They only had to take one lymph node out and it was 'clean', and after they did "touch slides" of all edges of the excised portion, Dr. R. had to go back in and take a little more off one side. The final pathology report she thought she might have by Friday, and will just call us with that report. Then we'll make the next appointment - either to take more out if needed, or just a post-op visit to plan what is next and to find a radiation oncologist.

It is 9:00 a.m. or so and I'm up and mostly kind of awake. And alert? Probably not. But I'll try to fill in the blanks. I asked Bob to call Sara first, yesterday when we were done, and let her know, then she could put a quick post on the blog, but they weren't quite to the RV park yet and then were going out to see 'Arsenic and Old Lace' later, and so she tried to talk Bob into posting. He said he didn't know how and she would have to do it. I think we (I) need to teach him, yes, Sara? She did get a quick post in, I'm sorry that you all waited for something more. Thank you very much Sara. I love you sweetie pie. I could sure use a hug and a snuggle from you right now. (She heard that and just this minute called me! Thanks again, Sara.

Everything went well - or so I heard. I came home and tried to make a couple of calls with no answer, (they were talking to each other) and got one more call in, lost the signal, and went immediately kerplop asleep. Period. Bob is such a good nurse - he got my medications, water, book, snacks, breakfast this morning, and kept getting up in the night to change the ice pack and to give me more medication (and a snack to go with it). My next door neighbor is now at my beck and call (she just went through this about a year ago), and is giving me lots of good advice about skin help through the radiation. Thanks, Anthea.

Here is where I need to post what I wrote in pre-op while I waited for the next person. I only hope I can retrieve it from the word document file to copy it to this page. SARA????

See next post titled pre-op.

That hospital and the folks working there (Tucson Medical Center) were great! Other than the fact that I had to go to 5 different spots. Each place knew where we needed to be next, and the first place (where they inserted the wire) REALLY told us exactly each place we were going to need to be.
We valet parked our car as per instructions, went into the Outpatient Surgery Center, and there was a shuttle (golf cart) waiting. They drove us across the hospital to Nuclear Medicine for my shot of radioactive isotopes, and then took us back to the Outpatient surgery check in area where we began that trip. I then got to ride in a wheelchair and Bob and my friend Helen had to walk all that way, to the room where I got ready to go into pre-op. (Changed into hospital gown, answered lots of questions, filled out their Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will papers, and also had more blood drawn.) Then again with the wheelchair -- on down to the Women's Surgery center. (I think - could have been the other way round?) At that point they would only let one person come in with me, so Helen got to sit and cool her heels, and hopefully read or something, for about 45 minutes or so till they kicked Bob out of the pre-op area. I had a very nice nurse named CINDY to be Dr. Roeder's surgical nurse, my anesthesiologist (I did not have to spell check that word!!!) who was from Thailand with the most beautiful name that I can't spell at all. I'll try to look it up so you can enjoy it, also. And of course my wonderful Dr. Roeder! The Anesthesiologist said - you look a little nervous - I'm going to give you something to calm you down. I said I'm not nervous - I just didn't get to take my ADD medication this morning, and I just have to keep looking around to see what all is going on. She just played a trick on me, and it was knock out drops - or else that good stuff that gives you amnesia - cuz I don't remember anything after that. Till I kept trying to wake up in recovery. The next wonderful nurse JILL was there to give me ice chips and did I need anything more - I told her - sleep. She said go right ahead. She gave me ice chips when I wanted and took very good care of me. (12:30 p.m. Wed. afternoon JILL just called me to see how I am doing - what a sweetheart!) I don't know exactly how long I was in there, but all of a sudden I was finally awake. Jill helped me dress, Bob was getting the car, and then Jill wheeled me on out to the car, opened the door and helped me in and then even helped with my seatbelt!
What service! We took Helen back to her car, and Bob took me home to bed. He went to get the prescription, and I think somewhere in there I fell asleep, and finally woke completely up this morning at 7 or so. Bob just kept getting up for the ice and the meds and I just slept. I feel very very pampered!
And LUCKY! I need to get this on the site - I've written on it off and on all day long. It's old news by now. And time for bed. Bob is pooped - he didn't get enough sleep last night! Love to you all and to all of you who called - I hope I have been coherent! My friend Helen came over this evening after work for a visit and caught me up on work. Nice to hear about everyone.
More later - sleep calls. Mr. Sandman - you know. Love, Patty : )

July 11 first draft removed and replaced

I had added a lot after I posted this, so I erased the post but not the comments - hope it's not too confusing. Love, Patty : )

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

*Sigh of Relief* (A post from the Webmistress)

My mom's surgery is completed and sucessesful. She's in recovery. I don't know much else, we'll all have to rely on my father for further information.

Monday, July 9, 2007

July 9 Tomorrow It Is

It is here! The DAY has arrived!
"Tomorrow, tomorrow, you're always a day away". They called me again, this morning, to tell me to come 15 minutes earlier, so now I have to be there at 7:15 a.m.

While finishing up at the salon Saturday afternoon, late, one of the nail techs called me over to meet the woman who is just before me in line for the needle loc, and then she is having a lumpectomy also. (Same Doc, same day, same place, just before me at the Mammogram clinic). She was teasing me that I would be able to check on her and fix her hair in case it was mussed, as we'll be seeing each other there and probably in the recovery room, too. Maybe not, though, as I have that other stop between for the Nuc Med. She doesn't have that stop, so maybe her surgery is way before mine. That must be why they keep changing everything - they are simply fine tuning a well oiled machine!?

......."If Patty comes fifteen minutes earlier, I can get that other one done and do another ____ before Patty is ready for her surgery"..........

No rest, time is money, make hay while the sun shines, move it or milk it (does that fit here?), time is of the essence, waste not want not, don't cry over spilt milk, don't put all your eggs in one basket, and a rolling stone gathers no moss. I can't think of any others that make a lick of sense right now. Not that many of these do, either.

I am excited about tomorrow - S-Day (Surgery Day) has finally arrived! Bob will call Sara when it is over, who will try to put a post on the blog, however, they may not be in a WiFi area, so have patience. We will get something posted as quickly as we/they can. My friend Helen will also be there, and will call work to tell them all the details.

I want to go to the IR Swim Team Party that night. Bob says "HA" This is the awards ceremony, the Breakfast of Champions party (where I usually grill about 5 or 6 dozen cinnamon/sugar tortillas spread with butter), and then they are having the 2nd Family Movie Night with free popcorn and $.50 food.
Oh, yeah, I seem to remember telling you all this before, I think. I'm leaving it here, just in case someone didn't get to read it before, or forgot, just as I did. (Cool Running is the movie - the last one was Happy Feet - the tap dancing penguin movie. Anyway everyone seems to think I will NOT feel like going up to the pool and sitting in the hot and on a plastic chair for all that time. Oh well, I'll have to have Bob rent the movie so we can watch it here at the house.

I'm very excited and hyper to get this thing going and over with. It has been only 3 months, but it seems like it has been forever, sometimes. There must be something wrong with me - that I'm not nervous. Yet. ; )

Love to you all. Patty
See/talk to you soon. : ) OXOXOXOX to you all.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I always knew I had the best friends in the world, and the absolutely most awesome family in the world, and this blog has proven it! You all are the BEST!!! Thanks for all the good wishes, thoughts, prayers and kind words and deeds! I love you all. Patty

July 6 It's All Downhill From Here!

It is only 4 more days until the surgery, and when I get up in the morning, it will be only 3 more days. I am very excited - I want to see exactly what it is they are going to do to me. Is the 'needle' just one needle, and the lump is at the end of the needle, or in the middle of the needle, or will there be two needles, making an "X marks the spot" place? How exactly do they get the blue dye and radioactive isotopes in to the ductwork? (Sounds like the air conditioning and heating repairmen.) Why do I have to visit three different sites, before going to the fourth and final spot, for the surgery? (Actually I know the answer to that one.) (They just don't have enough room, and an inefficient layout of the hospital, and there are several things that have to be done, first.) (See above)
There are entirely too many parenthetical sentences up there, I think I must leave off here for now. Soon, folks. Love you all -- Patty : )

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July 5 Only Five More Shopping Days Left

That about says it all! Just five more days till the 10th.
I need all those days, too. To clean the house, to do laundry again, even though it feels as though I just did about 29 loads just last week. It never stops, does it?
But - that means I have lots of clothes to wear, since I have dirty ones to wash, and I have a washing machine right in my house with which to wash them! Boy, I remember all those days/years when I didn't!
Happy Birthday Cindy! Love, Patty : )

July 5 Independence Day Fun in the Sun

Nothing going on here except that it is VERY hot. One of my friends came to work this morning and asked - "So, what I want to know is - when is ever going to get hot here?" It was only up to 110 or 111 degrees today. The air conditioning at the salon went kablooey - I left before it was fixed - don't know if it was a compressor or if it just froze up. If there is too much humidity with the high heat, the compressor has to work too long and too hard, and ices up and quits. Just seems wrong, doesn't it? It was up to 80 degrees in there before we realized what was happening, and we were very glad to see the repairman and that the end of the day was coming.

We had such a great Fourth party here in the Ridge. This year was the 50
th anniversary of the Indian Ridge Swim Team, and we had some pretty special happenings at the parade. I forgot to ask anyone if we were in the paper this morning, as there was a photographer and a reporter there for the festivities.
We had a lot of prizes donated and then awarded to parade participants, for best float, best car entry, best bicycle, best stroller, probably about 10 categories in all. The Swim Team donned their t-shirts and marched, led by the coach and assistant coach. (Some of the swim team, I should say.) There was the Star Spangled Banner sung by one of our older residents, a small amount of 'speechifying' and lots of swimming and cooling off of very hot bodies in the pool, along with lots of watermelon and our very own Tucson's
eegee's -- a sort of Italian ice kind of thing that we all know and love.

You have all heard about our nightgown relay we have every year, and so many people were bugging out because of the heat, I didn't think we would have even one whole relay team. We scrounged and I begged and we ended up with 3 teams of 4. We had a new team of winners this year - 4 young Indian Ridge Swim team members! They really beat the last two or three (which is it Rob?) or maybe four year's winning team, led and plotted and masterminded by Rob, who loved and took very good care of the trophy for the entire year.
I made two dolls with a boy swimmer wearing a little swim cap with sequins and flowers and removing his nightgown, head to head with a girl swimmer ready to take on the nightgown. I personally think it is an amazing piece of artwork! (
hee hee hee)
So, this is how it works: the first swimmer dons the (dry
this time only) nightgown, steps up to the block and I start the race. They dive in, swim to the the other end of the pool, get out, trade the (now wet and very hard to get out of and put back on) nightgown to the next swimmer, who dives in and repeats at the other end, then again.
Last year I made swim caps to add to the changing part of the race, and that is now my very favorite addition to the craziness. These caps are so cute - they are the
lycra 'stretchy-clothish' kind of swimcap. I sewed a Mohawk of flowers on one, a little round top knot of flowers on another, red and white striped strips of cloth tied in a knot so they hang all floppy-like with red sequins sewn in tasteful and artful arrangements on the third, and the last cap (we only have 4 lanes, so need only 4 caps) is solidly covered with quite beautiful silver paillettes. I love them. The caps come off when they dive in or while they are swimming, the nightgowns are very hard to change out of and into when they are wet and there is much competitiveness. I have to take the nightgowns home for repairs every year. It is too, too funny to watch.
I swam one year only, and I misjudged where the end of the pool was when I went to grab the edge, and snorted a lot of water. I think the next year I was in funny blue shoes from the podiatrist after bunion surgery, so I got out of swimming, and now I have way too much fun being the starter and telling the "Swimmers, take your mark" then I always tell them "Swimmers, step down" just cause it sounds so important and cool, and then they all holler at me, and then they finally get the real "Swimmers, take your mark.......Go!"
After the big kids finish and the new trophy I made last year gets awarded, then the
littles get to have their watermelon relay, and they have fun, fun, fun. They just have to get the watermelon to the other end for the next swimmer to swim back to the other end with it etc. and if they don't watch where they are going we have a crash like we did this year - one coming and one going and they each were very little littles and each had a swim helper/partner so they wouldn't get lost. No one was injured or watermelons broken, so everything worked out great, except that I was watching that and forgot to watch to see who came in first!
We all have a ball, and the Rural Metro Fire Department comes to help us out - they drove a big rig (ladder truck only this year) in the parade. Sometimes we get an ambulance or two, or an additional fire truck -- we had 3 or 4 vehicles I think, one year.
The Firefighters used to be allowed to swim in our nightgown relay, until one of them dislocated a shoulder swimming the the last leg of the relay. Yes, that team did win, but after the other firefighters took him to the hospital, and then workman's comp got to take care of his injury, they were instructed to stay out of the swimming pool. Darn!
Anyway, we all go home and shower and then lie down for a nap, to get over the heat. This year we were invited over to friends for dinner, and to sit in their driveway to watch the Country Club fireworks show in the next neighborhood over. They had the best ever fireworks this year - they seemed to go on and on and the grand finale was spectacular! Our whole neighborhood gets on the rooftops or in the street or in the driveways to watch- we have better than front row seats! We don't get the stinky smoke and the boom-a-
lahs aren't quite as loud as they would be at the club.
Ahhhhh, ain't life grand!
The only thing that would have made it better, is if Sara had been here, too.
I miss her. She is on her way (traveling with her grandparents
LeCompte) to Olympia for her Camp Vet Experience with Uncle Dr. John and she is very anxiously awaiting it and very excited about it.
She has really helped me out with this blog, then figuring out how to put a guest sign-in with it. Thank you very much, Sara!
I liked my 4
th of July - How about youse guys? Love, Patty : )

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A post from the Webmistress....

Hey everyone, it's Sara, just letting you all know that I have set up a Dreambook Guestbook for my mom. I've linked to it in the blog description at the top, right under the title, but I'll post the links here as well for good measure. Everybody sign it for my mom!

Read the DreamBook guestbook!

Sign the DreamBook!

Monday, July 2, 2007

July 2 Pre-op tests

Today is the day I get to go over to Tucson Medical Center Admissions and give them all my insurance information, some of my blood, have an EKG and then have a chest X-ray. The X-ray is to ascertain whether or not I have pneumonia. Now, I ask you, what is going to happen if I catch pneumonia in the next week! What will happen then? Why do the patients always have to think of the things that the doctor didn't! Sheesh!
Bob is
coming with me to listen to the questions I have and the answers they have for me about the procedure. Anyone have any ideas of things to ask?
How soon can I eat will be one of my first requests, I know. I'm not to eat anything or drink anything after midnight, and the surgery is now set for 11:15 or so, I think. They have changed it a couple of times, moving it earlier and earlier. It started out at 1:15, so I'm very happy it is earlier.

On the 10th of July I start out at 7:00 a.m. with a 'Needle Loc'. I think that stands for locater or location or something. That happens over at my favorite Mammogram place at TMC, and so I will get to see some of my favorite people again. They will deaden the area, then insert a wire/needle(?) into the cancerous 'blob' (you know those special words that only hairdressers can use - this is a word for use only by the doctors), so the surgeon can later find it more easily. (My friend tells me it is exceptionally hard to tell any difference between normal breast tissue and cancerous tissue.)They then take me to 'Nuke Med' (Nuclear Medicine) so they can insert a tiny, tiny tube into the ductwork and send radioactive isotopes and blue dye on into the system. Then a few (couple? more?) hours later, will be the surgery.

The Dr. will cut out the cancer, with an extra centimeter all around it, then after closing that incision, start on the lymph nodes, some of which by this time have hopefully turned blue. There is a pathologist standing by to do a check of each node as it is cut out, then I get closed up and cleaned up and 'woked' up and get to go home, I think.

I really want to go to an Indian Ridge Swim Team Awards Banquet, Party and Family Movie Night at the pool that night. Everyone is intimating that I may not feel like it. HUMPH!! They are showing 'Cool Running' as a motivational type fun movie, and then all the concession stand goodies will be $.50 in honor of the 50th anniversary of our Indian Ridge Swim Team. I needs me some $.50 hot dogs, man. Ha ha ha. : )

Get a ripsaw. Get a buzz saw. Get a ripsaw buzz saw boom boom boom. Get a ripsaw bigger than a buzz saw, boom, get a buzz saw bigger than a ripsaw. Keegoom Kiigoom, sheesh koom bah, Indian Ridge, Rah Rah Rah.
Well, ahem. Excuse please. I miss all that since Sara isn't here this year.

I will be so glad to get this part of the procedure over with, then we begin the waiting again! For the pathology report. Then for the next appointment with the surgeon, then depending on the results of the pathology reports, after that, an appointment with another doctor - a radiation oncologist, I am assuming, at this point. They said this all might happen within 'a month'. But don't quote anyone.

So you all can just wait with me. 'Ya'all waitin' for the bus? Anybody know what time it is? Anybody got a watch? We could ask him what time it is. And look at him. ('The Talking Candy Bar Blues' by Peter Paul and Mary) I digress. (And, yes Chandra, I saw a squirrel!)

Lots of love to you all, and thanks for reading my blog. Someone out there please help me figure out how to make a guest book for visitors to sign, or something, so I can at least tell if anyone ; ) is reading. If you want to tell me hello, just click on the word 'comment' at the bottom of each entry, and then you can tell me "hi" or something, please, so I at least know you are out there - that will make me happy. er.
Love, Patty : )