Monday, August 30, 2004

The weirdest thing just happened

We sold the Ranger. YAY!!

But the really odd part. I posted it on craigslist last night b/c the HOA threatened to tow it for lack of registration. I said it was a 1991 Ford Ranger, 2WD with 150k miles on it. According to Edmunds.com, the private party sale value is $959. But, we needed to get rid of it before it got towed. I clearly stated the inspection, both safety and emissions, were expired.

So a nice couple for Capitol Hill showed up to look at it tonight. They took it on a 45 minute test drive (we were joking that we hoped it hadn't broken down on them while they were out). They were interested and asked how much we wanted. Kyle said $500.

They said they wouldn't be fair to us, and handed him $1000 in CASH.

ummmm, did that really just happen? Yes, yes it did.

Granted, *if* the truck had been through inspection and passed, he would have wanted about $1000 for it. But, given a) it was a desperation sale and b) we can't guarantee it will pass inspection - he was going to let it go cheap just to get rid of it.

Nice folks, and we sure weren't going to argue with them.

But who DOUBLES the offer the seller makes?

I told Dad, he had me call up Jay, the banker, to verify that the money wasn't counterfiet. LOL

P.S. For the real reason you are reading this - this treatment was bad, really bad. I'm not completely back on my feet yet, although I perked up when Kyle made $1000, I better get a commision :) But I expierenced nasuea for the first time today (no puking though), and the horrible cranky blahs have lastest much longer than perviously. Its just generally been the worst one yet. Figures, since the pervious one was the best one yet.

Friday, August 27, 2004

5 down, 1, 3, or 7 to go

For the record: Here is my bald head

Story time!!

Story #1
*******************************************************
I was sent to the hospital after chemo yesterday.

But don't worry, it wasn't for anything serious.

It wasn't that bad though. I had my port inserted in the cadiovascular surgery dept of the hospital. One of the stiches still hadn't disolved 2 months later, and then, Wednesday this spot on the insision scar started swelling up and looking puss-y. In fact, it looked like a big ol' zit. So, the chemo nurse looked at it and said that the surgeon who did it should probably take a look at it, and since they don't deal with surgeries there, they really couldn't tell me if it was something to worry about. So she sent me over to the hospital to have it looked at. They had me changed into a gown and sit on a gurney thing. I even got to take a ride on the gurney b/c they didn't like the first place I was place. All in all, I was there about 45 minutes (not bad at all). But you know what the diagnosis was...


A ZIT!!!

Ok, technically not a zit, but it was just a little tiny skin infection, nothing to worry about, and not any sort of sign the port itself is getting infected (thats a bad thing).

God I felt like an idiot.

*******************************************************
Story #2
*******************************************************
So I go in to the doc for my shot. On the way out, I'm in the elevator with some old dude. He made a comment (don't remember what) and I just sighed and said I'm really tired and haven't fully woken up yet.

Dumbass said "You young people need to sleep more. You stay up all night partying and then complain when you are yawning at 9am."

He is lucky I didn't have the energy to smack him with my folder, or even the energy to verbally smack him.

Dude - your in a doctors office building. Every thing in here is dctors. Did it occur to you that the people you meet in the elevator might actually, *gasp* be sick!

(oh yeah, I'm not sick But I'll play sick the couple days after chemo)

*******************************************************
Story #3
*******************************************************
I got a statement from the doctors office. They charged my $8800 for Rituxan. Rituxan is a drug for NON-Hogdkin's lymphoma. Its right there on a chemo day: Decedron, Anzemet, Adrimycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, DTIC, Rituxan. Idiots!! And I need to figure out why the doc claims I owe them $950 and the insurance says I don't own them more than $100.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Random musings

White counts were up above 22 today. "Normal" is 4.5 to 10-ish. The Nuelasta shots are what is making it so high. This is "good." They don't give chemo when its below 2, so I have that way covered. Chemo #5 is on for Thursday. I tried to tell the nurse I wasn't coming, but she wouldn't have any of that.

Red blood count was 4.3. "Normal" is 4.2 to 5.9. I've been in the 4.6 to 4.8 range up until today. Red blood cells lives about 120 days, I've been on chemo for 53 days, so I might be starting to see some effect. I was actually expecting it to be lower today because I have been so tired lately. If it drops too low they will put me on Procrit, but I'm not there yet. I almost wish I was because I would like some energy.

Hemocrit (a measure of hemoglobin) is also dropping, but still normal. Mine was 37.5%. Normal for women is 37-48%.

If you haven't figured out by now, no postings is a good thing. :) Means there is nothing to update. And overall, this is a very good thing. When I was first diagnosed, I ran across a web log from a girl who called it "cancer lite." Sometimes it feels that way. As I keep telling folks (and I stole this from someone on the Hodgkin's mailing list): I have cancer, but I'm not sick! I see, read, and hear about all these other folks who have, for lack of a better word, real cancers. The type that make you feel sick, the type that keep you from working, the type that spread, the type that kill you. And then I realize I have it pretty darn easy. I hosted a baby shower on Sunday, and I don't think anyone who didn't already know had any clue. They weren't there when I fell asleep at 8:15pm and slept clear through til morning - LOL. But I still have my down days sometimes, and today has been one. I slept for 10 hours last night, and still almost fell asleep in my cube today. And I'm about to go to bed now - at 8pm.

Lastly, I'd like to post a recipe. I've actually had several requests for this, so I'm posting it for those of you too embarassed to ask. I figure if that many people emailed me and asked, there are probably more intrested.

Kyle's Poo Tea:
1 to 2 bag(s) of Senna Tea (available at most health food store)
2 "family size" bags of decafe Lousianne Ice Tea
3/8 cup sugar
1) Brew 2 quarts of ice tea using a Ice Tea Pot.
2) Add sugar, stir, fill pitcher up to "ice" line with water (we don't use ice like you are supposed to).

I drink the full 2 quarts a day when I am at home. I prefer to drink the watered down version over the course of a day. You can also brew a cup of the Senna tea (I recommend honey) and drink it straight. This works. This works very well. This works in about 4 to 6 hours. In a way that I don't really like. Go with the mixed ice tea version :)



Saturday, August 21, 2004

I'm a slacker!

Sorry for the lack of updates. The home computer has been down. I hate fixing computers! After 5, yes FIVE, reinstalls of windows, I finally have the computer up and running fully again. Its been hovering on its last legs for a few weeks now, only running in safe mode, things like that. It appears to be functioning now. Yay!

Over all, its been a good week. Better than previous ones. YAY!! Nothing really to update, everything is progressing as planned. I feel pretty good. I'm starting to look bald though. I told Jay the other day that I was going bald. He laughed and said he was too. Then I had the good end of the stick - Mine's going to come back! :)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Another almost tolerable day

Today is a pretty good day too. Tired, as always, but mostly tolerable. Working from home definitely helps (thanks boss man!), cause I'm not worn out from the commute and such.

You know, I never mentioned the mouth sores. Why? Because when I heard the words "mouth sores" I thought "red, nasty, canker sores." So, it took me til the 4th treatment to mention to the nurse that I kept getting a really, really sore, tender tongue a couple days after. It only lasted about 24 hours, but was annoying. Since it was red or sore-looking, I didn't think about it. but the nurse said "yup, those are mouth sores." So she said to pick up Biotene mouthwash. I picked it up are Target on my way home Thursday and have been using it. It helps! I didn't have any sore tongue this time at all. woo hoo!!

Kyle's patented "Poo tea" concotion (Lousianne & Senna ice tea) seems to be working for the second treatment. This is good, because that was the most annoying, most long term side effet. But I seem to have that under control.

Before I go, I'd like to put in a fundraising plug. Two of my online buddies, Sahar and Beth, are participating the the Luekiemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training fundraising thingy. They are running a marathon on October to raise funds for Leukiemia and Lymphoma, including Hodgkin's. I've got links on this page. Over to the right, now down a little, scroll down a little more, yeah - right there, that white and purple logo! I would like to encourage you to donate to one (or both!) of them :) even $5 will help meet their fundraising goals. Its a great cause, and they both have me mentioned on their page. *blush* They rock!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

I hate to curse myself

I would gander to guess that this has been my "best" chemo cycle yet. I actually felt almost human today. To quote Rick, I'm doing "almost tolerable." I actually went out and had some social time today too. WOO HOO!! I hope this means its all downhill. Now granted, I wouldn't say I'm back to normal or anything. But, I'm not nearly as puny and cranky as usual. Not going to push myself or anything, just enjoy the good days, because I know there are bound to be more bad days.

Two cycles down, most likely 1 or 2 (2 or 4 treatments) left. Yay! Well, then radiation. But, thats supposed to be a bit easier. Its an everyday thing, but around a month total, as opposed to 3 or 4 months.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Chemo #4

So I had chemo #4 on Thursday. Went just about like the others. I did get that to run the DTIC over an hour instead of two because I wanted to get out before rush hour and the rain. It worked. I was feeling the DTIC upset my tummy a bit because it was going in faster than normal, but it wasn't too bad.

So anyway, its just a typical post-chemo Saturday. I feel like crap, been sleeping and laying on the couch all day. Yuck!

My hair is getting a little patchy. I'm starting to see a bald spot or two. So I went and had my passport picure taken after chemo on Thursday. Its not too terrible for a passport picture. Now I just have to get around to applying for the passport.

On the vacation front, we canceled Alaska, but I found very cheap tickets to Florida, so we are going down there for a long weekend mid-September. First we were going to Key West, but it turns out the weekend we are going is bike weekend. Joy. So then maybe Key Largo? Or I was also thinking Sanibel Island, then Charley made a direct hit on Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach. So I dunno where we are going, other than South Florida. We'll figure it out. Right now I have reservations in Key West and Key Largo, but I could always cancel.

Ok.. enough babbling. More nappy time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Doctor checkup

I'm working on my computer, but it only runs in safe mode, so my eyes are going crazy from the large fonts. Yuck!

Anyway, I had my checkup today. Overall, good news. I got in a mock argument with the doctor as to if I still had a lump or not. Long story short, he told me I was crazy, and the lump that I feel is in no way a lymph node. We seriously went back and forth a couple times, with me going "Right here! Feel it!" and him saying "Where? Thats not a lymph node." So, I'm going to believe him, he is costing me a ton of money, so he better know what he is talking about. The lump I'm feeling is likely scar tissue or *blush* a tendon. He said he couldn't find a single lymph node on me. So that is good news. WOO HOO!! Means chemo is working. So, the plan is to have another PET scan after I finish my 3rd cycle (Sept 9th), and go from there. If there is no sign of evil on the PET, then I'll switch to radiation. If there is evil, then we'll go a full 6 cycles of chemo. Remember in early Sept to wish for no whammies!!!

Now the bad news. Kyle and I have almost completely decided not to go to Alaska this year. Its not the trip itself thats the problem, I could go on the plane and stuff. Its the fact that we wanted to do all this outdoors stuff, hiking, biking, backpacking, etc. Its questionable if I could do the 1/4 mile hike to exit glacier and back, let alone the 5 miles to the Harding Ice Fields, and the 15 miles Lost Lake Trail is right out. So, if we are going to spend so much money, we don't want to have to cancel everything. I'm really ticked off, but such is life. I'm hoping I can change my tickets to next Sept. I'm also hoping I can tell my sob story to someone and get the change fee waved. We are still hoping to go somewhere, for maybe a long weekend or something. I was thinking we could cruise b/c thats low-key, until the doc said "stay on land in the US." DOH!!! *grumble*

So thats my update today. Must get off this computer before I go blind.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Updates may be sparce for awhile

Our home computer rolled over & sputtered. Its legs were sticking up in the air shaking. It was quivering and coughing. I finally just turned it off to put it out of its misery. I'll have it up and running when I get a new XP disk and can wipe the whole thing, but until then, I only have internet access at work and Kyle has none. So, there may not be many updates this week.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Wonderful weather!

Its BEAUTIFUL here. Mid-70s, no humidity, sunny, no rain. You would think it was fall if the calender didn't say August 6th. Yay!

We have a weekend of home improvement projects. Well, just one project. Way back around Memorial Day I decided to buy the laminate floors for our great room. Long story short, it didn't get done that weekend. And pretty much every weekend in June I was laid up with some sort of something (freaking out worry, surgery recovery, etc). July rolls around and I start chemo - so that killed two weekend. My folks were up one weekend, and the other we just decided to have fun b/c it was my first normal weekend in over a month. So, this is a good weekend for me, the weather is beautiful, etc. So - we are redoing our floors. Hopefully I'll be of some help :)

Anyway, our home computer is still acting up. Turns out, I have viruses!! This sucks. I've been on the internet for 12 years now, and this is the first time EVER my computer has been infected. So right now, internet access at home is very, very limited. Hopefully I'll have some time to finish cleaning it up. I think I have everything quareneteened right now, but I still have a couple hours of cleanup to do, and I don't feel like doing it tonight.

On the "how ya doing?" front - I'm really tired. I've been having trouble sleeping again. Haven't fallen alseep until after midnight all week, and been getting up at 6 to be at work by 7. I am hoping to catch up and sleep in tommorow. When I see the doc on Tuesday I'm going to break down and ask for some Ambien. I've always have trouble falling asleep, but usually I just took melatonin. Only melatonin and chemo are bad together. So I was cheating and taking some of the anti-puke meds that knock you out. Only they aren't knocking me out anymore.

And I have horrible heartburn! Oh its killing me. It started about 10 minutes after I left the office (and my stash of tums) today, and I had to do the entire drive home (55 mins) without any relief. Then I chewed about 5 tums, took some Zantec, and its simmering down.

But you know, in the grand scheme of things, heartburn ain't that bad. Some folks have many more of the side effects. Mine are all relitively managable, and aside from the 4-5 days of complete feeling like shit, the other 10 days of each treatment cycle is relitively ok. I can work & be social. I still have my hair (I'm going to try to post a pic this weekend for you all who don't see me regularally). Its just heartburn, fatigue, and other intestinal problems *blush*

Man I talk a lot!! Gotta run!

P.S. Hiccup - can you give me a new clue?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Computer upgrade!

I just installed a new memory chip and video card in the computer. It is lightening fast now. I hesitate to tell Kyle its fixed.. he'll be gaming all night. I'm still letting out the occasional loud curse and banging just so he thinks I'm still working on it.

Today seems to be a good day. I've had a strange pain in my chest, just under my sternum for a few days. Its either mild heartburn or lung reaction to the bleomycim. Ug.. lung reactions mean steriods, and I don't want steriods. But, its really mild, just annoying, nothing more. So I'm going to try Zantex, and if its sticks around, I'll mention it when I see the doc next Tuesday. And, next Tuesday, or soon thereafter, I should know for sure if I'm in for 3, 4, or 6 cycles. Don't worry, I will let you all know as SOON as I know. Also, I'm going to discuss Alaska with the doc on Tuesday too.

Alrighty then... I'm off. I've going to surrender the computer to Kyle. He has been jonesing for computer games since we really busted the computer last weekend in an attempt to fix it. Poor guy hasn't even checked his email in 5 days. Wow... I could NOT handle that. I would be going CRAZY!!! I can bearly go the 8 hours I sleep without checking email.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Monday Update

"They" say the effects of chemo are cummalative. I can really see what they mean. This one seems to be going away slower. I've been cranky for 4 days. Poor Kyle. But tonight I got motivated and did some yoga, even though I was tired and cranky. I guess some of the crankies was cabin fever, because I felt better afterward. Its all raining here this afternoon, so that doesn't help the mood. I wanted to go for a walk, but its all raining. The yoga seemed to work.

Just when I was getting frustrated that maybe the chemo wasn't working because my lump wasn't going away, it shrank some this weekend. WOO HOO!! I am so happy! I was getting paranoid that I wasn't responding the chemo and all the worst case scenarios were running through my head (6 full cycles of ABVD, switching to Stanford V, stem cell transplants). So I am moderatly happy right now. Happy & cranky. Thats a fun combo. LOL

On the bathroom news, its all done! Correction - the fixtures are installed. One can now use the restroom on the main level of the house. Yay!! There is still some drywall sanding to be done, and painting, and it probably needs a nicer light than the bare bulb in there now. But at least I have a handy dandy electrician buddy who can fix that party up pretty quick. I just need to pick a nice night.