Patty's Mammie Grams

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Oct 22 Sleeping is all messed up

Well, I slept exactly 1/2? or 1? hour(s) last night. I napped for about an hour this afternoon, and I've now taken two of those Sleep II pills that are like Benedryl, supposedly. I took them an hour ago and they might be working tonight. I need some sleep! I don't know what happened.
Last night I stayed on the couch all night, as I was worried about awakening Bob or disturbing him, and the wind was howling like it was Western Kansas! My nose hurts from blowing and my sneezy allergies are a mess. That is all I did, sneeze, blow and try to sleep, turn the light back on and read, and sneeze and blow and blow. All night long
My two very large wind chimes were banging and chiming and making lots of noise, I'm glad I don't hear them like that every night! I hope the neighbors weren't kept up all night! I think all the neighbor's bedrooms are not near enough to our back patio, and so they miss all the musicality of the chiming and dinging.
I did finish a book, or two, or three, however. I read The Year of Magical Thinking by
Joan Didion (very sad times for her, and very thought provoking for me), Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky (who also wrote Suite Francaise which I loved). I read What We Keep by another favorite author Elizabeth Berg (I highly recommend her books). I finally read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthus Golden. I now want to see the movie. I am in the middle of The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai and then finally the next one in the pile is The God of Small Things by Arundahati Roy. I really only read a couple or three of these in the last two days.
It looks as though I'm really being very cosmopolitan here - a French translation, Japanese Geisha culture, India (in the monsoon season so far) and another India one. Another one about India that I really liked several years ago was A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I just like to read lots of stuff and right now that is what is coming up for me. Several people have suggested Water for Elephants by
Sara Gruen (about the circus) so that also will be sometime soon. I'm so grateful that I get to read a lot right now. I'm truly loving, loving, loving it.
I must now get to and into the bed and see if I can now get some much needed shut eye. Night to you all, love you all, and I'll send this wind your way, if you want it. (Except if you live in Southern California! Poor folks) Love and Peace. Patty : )

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oct 18 Sleepy Sleepy

This chemo has kicked my sleepy butt-on. I've been sleeping and sleeping since Tuesday afternoon. I went to work for a little while, came home and have been in bed ever since. Now I am going back to bed. It is Thursday afternoon, and I go to work in the morning. Wish me luck. Love to all y'all. ; ) Patty : )

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oct 15 Incision Together & Chemo Went Fine

First, off to the Foot Doctor this morning - she took all of the bandage off, took her photos and then re-bandaged it with steri-strips top to bottom again. IT IS FINALLY ALL STUCK TOGETHER ALL THE WAY FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM AND FROM THE FRONT TO THE BACK AND FROM THE SIDE TO THE SIDE!!!! It has only been since July 30 - 11 weeks from the first surgery. What a goofy experience. She said to come back in two weeks for the next bandage change - I asked her when I could have a shower - she said not yet. I have had one (or two maybe, I can't remember) showers since July 30! My foot is yucky!!
I had washed it with facial washcloths when it just had a band aid on it, all around the band aid of course, and then one of my friends said baby wipes were awesome, also. Now since it's all covered up again - I guess I don't get to use either one of those solutions. Stinky foot.
Dr. Aung was running very late this morning because she was explaining surgery to someone and so I barely made it to my chemo on time. Then they were running very late. Appointment with Aung at 9:00, left and barely had the time to drive to the TMC Cancer Center only about 4 miles away for my 10:15 appointment. It was a little too close for comfort.
Then as I signed in, the receptionist said - "Almah needs to talk to you about your account. It shows a balance due." Almah came up and showed me what they think I owe them - over $150,000. ! Oh. My. Goodness. What if we didn't have insurance. I may owe some of this to cover a new deductible but that would be only $5,000 of that huge number. I don't even know what each of these costs are - it is too overwhelming to look at the EOBs and try to figure out what it means. We don't get a doctor bill to itemize everything.
Anyway, the drips took a long time today, because the Cytoxin gave me the beginnings of a migraine feeling in my forehead and sinus areas and so they gave me an additional bag of saline (or whatever it is) to help flush that out. I then took an Imitrex and they started the Taxotere, slowly. Even slowly, I began again to have a throat reaction, tightening up, and so I got another blast of Benedryl, they stopped the Taxotere for a bit, then started it again very slowly, and then that took forever - I think I left there at 3:45 or 4!
Somewhere in there when I went to the rest room dragging my I.V. pole behind me - I discovered, in my jeans pocket, the little box of my medications that I was supposed to take this morning at breakfast. I didn't get breakfast because I didn't plan far enough ahead of time to allow for the late appointments, and then the chemo went on so long I missed lunch, also. So, I ended up not taking the other half of the steroid prescription this morning. When I discovered it and of course told them, they said never mind - it's too late now, and at any rate, you got some in the first bag. So, forgetting the medication was probably partly the cause of my reactions. I think I'm going to start taking my ADD medications again, because that coupled with chemo brain doesn't do me much good.
One more chemo to go - November 5, 2007. Then an appointment with Dr. Roeder, the surgeon, on the 12th just to see how I am doing before the radiation begins. I begin radiation soon after the chemo is over. I haven't made that appointment, yet. I have a note to make the call tomorrow to Dr Crogan, the Rad Onc.
I am going in to work for only 2 clients tomorrow, then I'm coming home and staying till Friday morning. I'm learning. Slowly.
Peace and good thoughts and I love you all. Keep helping me with your good thoughts, as I need them a lot with this chemo brain/ADD thing. Patty : )

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oct 14 Third Chemo Tomorrow

Tomorrow I go back to Dr. Aung for another bandage change. Last Monday I came home with just a band aid on my foot. I went to work on Tuesday, came home and when I took off my sock, the band aid came with it. I saw the incision, which looked white as though water-logged, and it seemed to be just as large as before I had the second surgery, and I freaked out.
I called Dr. Aung, and went in Wednesday afternoon, and she assured me that it was healing on schedule. However, to placate me, I think mostly, she put steri-strips over the entire incision and then re-bandaged it with the usual gauze and windings and exhortations to not touch it. I hadn't been messing with it - I promise. I looked, of course when the band aid came off, and tried to put another one on. That one didn't stay on, another try with a butterfly over it first. That also came off, and I just had to quit and just put a couple of really sticky ones on it till the Dr. appointment.
I've still been trying to stay off it as much as I possibly can - coming home early, not working the entire day on Fridays, lying down and putting the foot up high as often as possible. I hope it continues its healing progression and heals together quickly.
Tomorrow is also my third chemo. I will be working a little bit on Tuesday morning, taking Wednesday off as that is the sore-day-after-the-shot-day
and then Thursday is my day off for when I'm still a little bit sore, so I'm planning on being back to work on Friday morning for a little bit, then go home for a few hours, then do my Friday night gig. I haven't been staying as late on Friday nights as I used to - I'm wearing out sooner! Getting old I guess!
The computer is up and running again after a little glitch this week - sorry you've all had to wait for an update. Much love to you all, and thanks again as always for the thoughts and wishes. Patty : )

Monday, October 8, 2007

Oct 8 Only a band-aid today

Dr. Aung peeled off all of the Appligraft today, and I got to go home with only a band-aid on my foot. It still is not healed completely - has a bit to fill in and she says it will probably always have a depression or divot in it. It may fill in completely, but will definitely be a much wider scar. I thought this was going to close all that up, but apparently not. Oh, well. It is healing.
I've been working - part time of my already part time hours. I've been pretty tired even so, and so have also been pretty 'lazy' here at home. Just keeping up with the laundry is a big job. But, I have always liked doing the laundry - except at laundromats! There is a beginning, middle, and then a distinct end to the job, and that is very satisfying to me. A job that can be completely done, and there is nothing more hanging over your head. Especially since I don't iron anything anymore. That took a load off my back.
I have to tell you a story about my hair. My friend Charli called and wanted to bring her daughters Chloe and Katie over to visit. Chloe has known me since before birth. (Charli worked with us at Great Lengths) They came to the door, 5' 10" Sara answered the door, and knowing all the great stories I tell her about Chloe and the pictures and videos she sees, she says "Chloe! I'm so glad to see you! You've grown so big!" To which Chloe grins kind of
, says, "Hi", turns to her Mom and says "I thought we were going to go to Aunt Patty's house" "This is Aunt Patty's house." I am looking around the corner from my chair with my foot up, forgetting I don't have any hair (well, it is very short, anyway) and say "Chloe, come here, I'm so glad to see you, it has been so long, come and give me a hug!" All the while she is cautiously walking farther into the living room. She comes on over and lets me pull her up on my lap as I say "Clo-Clo, I've missed you so much, give me a hug and can I have a kiss?!" She does hug me and lets me kiss her on the cheek and then leans back and looks around and says "Where's Aunt Patty?"
Charli and I laughed and laughed, after I had explained, "I am Aunt Patty, Chloe - I just got my hair cut off really, really short." I thought it was such an act of trust for her to come on over and give this strange lady a hug, even though she didn't look a bit like her Aunt Patty!
She was fine about it in no time, after I had her feel how awesome it felt to rub her hand across the top of my head. We had a great day, and I got to teach her how to sew a button onto a felt picture frame. She is a cutie-pie.
At any rate, I'm just plugging along, trying to heal and doing strange things due to "chemo brain" they tell me. I wonder. Saturday morning I got up very early to go in and have my blood drawn for my Monday morning chemo, and after I was at work awhile, realized that I had done it a week early! Now I have to do it all over again! Then, when I went out to get into my car, the remote wouldn't open the door, and wouldn't open the door, even when I got very close. I tried again right at the car, then tried to open it with the combination lock on the door, and that wouldn't work, and some bird had poohed on it since I had gotten in the last time. I was sorting out the actual key to use in the door, when I looked into the car, finally, and saw beige leather seats, and not my black cloth and leather. WHOOOPSY! Wrong car. My car was parked on another side of the building, and I had forgotten where I had parked it! Man! You thought it was bad before.
I do feel well. I have been sleeping more, although I am tired and sleepy most of the time. No aches, pains, or nausea or anything. That's good.
I am, however, going to go to bed early tonight, and get 10 or 11 hours of sleep
again, like I did last night.
So -- love and hugs and thanks to you all out there. Patty : )

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oct 2 I Lived Through It!

I thought I had a very light day at the salon, but it was only a 'lightish' day. It was fine - I sat about 3/4 of the hairdressing time, but this was supposed to be the last week before chemo, and therefore I would be feeling great! Bernard and I planned so hard!
All our best laid plans were for naught! The chemo got kicked a week out, this was the first week after chemo, and had already been booked for quite a while. I tell you all that to tell you this - it was a tiring day but very satisfying to be back among my wonderful friends and clients.
Everyone was wonderful and loved my new 'haircut' and the butterfly temporary tattoo on the back of my head. It took extra time to do each person's hair, because I had lots of folks coming over and talking to me to say hello and welcome back (do I love that?or what?) and a couple of co-workers telling me they thought I had quit work.
All in all it was a very satisfying day, especially the way it ended.
Tonight was the first rehearsal for our Seasons Choir.
YEA!!!! (I sat down and had my foot up the entire time!) We need more ladies, ladies, and so bring yourselves to the Rincon Congregational Church just north of Mervyn's on Broadway and Craycroft Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30.
We are singing Stopping by a Snowy Wood by Robert Frost, and White Christmas and Sisters both from the movie White Christmas. (We'll find out the rest of the titles as we go along.) I have no recollection of the Sisters song, but it is a cute song. Mrs. Kersey said she just thought of all of us as sisters, as we just gelled and got along and had such fun with this choir, and wanted us to sing the song, even though it isn't really a holiday song. So ---- I loves my Seasons Choir.
The kids choirs are beginning their rehearsals on Thursday, but Sara won't be there this year. She chose to not re-up, as her Honors Pre-Calculus-Trigonometry class teacher said there would be at least two hours of homework each night for that class alone. She was afraid she wouldn't have enough time for both. Good decision I think. I'm disappointed because I won't be seeing some of those kids for the first time in 9 years! I'll see them at the Concert, though.
Must get ready to get ready for work again tomorrow - I have only two clients, but one will take a very long time, and then I get to go home early.
Thanks for all the well wishes and love, and I'm doing great - just only a little tired this evening. Love, Patty : )

Monday, October 1, 2007

Oct 1 Part II Yes I'll be good!

You all know me too well, don't you! ; ) : P : )
Yes - I'll sit as much as humanly possible. I can cut hair while sitting, I can apply color while sitting, I have to wax eyebrows while sitting. I have to walk to the shampoo bowl but I can shampoo standing on one foot, believe it or not!
I'm good and I'll be good, I promise! Love to all you alls! (How do you say that, Aunt Dot?) Patty : )

Oct 1 Foot Dr. Says Back to Work, Lightly?

Yea, team, I get to go back to work tomorrow on a 'light' schedule. (Hello, Karen) She says the graft looks good, next week's visit will be "picking off the excess of the AppliGraft (I made up that spelling) and since there are no outward stitches, those didn't have to be removed today. Or next week for that matter.
I can drive, just not far, and not much walking. She is eking out only such a little information at a time.
But - I can go back to work -- Tomorrow. It's only a day away.
Gotta go rest up now, and find some clothes that will fit me after being off my feet for ? weeks and chemo eating! Love to everyone - Patty : )