Friday, September 2, 2011
I do have to continue to take the Sprycel and I have to keep going to the lab every Wednesday until my follow up appointment with Dr. Cruz on September 20th. I am still a little anemic but the fatigue and shortness of breath should get better as this is resolved and I am also taking iron for the anemia. It is all good!
Prayer and faith ROCK! :)
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The hospital stay was for seven days. The chemo I was started on was for 2000 MG and increased to 3000 MG when the count would not go down. I did have to go through a bone marrow biopsy. Everything you have heard about how painful it is is absolutely TRUE! First, I did hype myself up for it. I was prepared for excruciating pain. First, they give you a lollipop with pain killer in it. It was sweet and tasted like grape. I was determined to suck every last drop from that lollipop! lol Once that is finished, they roll you over on your side. Nina was there with me for the biopsy. Thank goodness for her! Once I was rolled over on my side with my butt sticking out for the entire world to see, Dr. Bland proceeded to inject my hip with a local anesthetic to numb the area. Nina states she used several three inch nails to inject the area and I did fill the first prick but it wasn't much. Dr. Bland massaged the area I guess to spread the local about and numb the entire area. Nina then describes a much longer wide needle was inserted and I could actually feel something scraping inside of me. Dr. Bland had a hard time inserting the needle into the bone. Dr. Cruz had shown up at just that time to explain to Nina what was going on with my treatment. He made her cry! She wanted to know when I would get to go home and he assured her the best place for me was in the hospital for medical assistance in case I had a stroke because I was very likely to have one if the white blood count was not brought down. I had the same headache from Thursday so when he stated this I got freaked out and realized the urgency in getting the white cell count down! I could have stroked out at any moment. Also, because the blood was so thick I was having trouble getting oxygen into my body and that explained the shortness of breath. Anyway, Dr. Bland suggested radiology since she could not get the needle into my hip bone. Dr. Cruz had to assist and performed his first biopsy in five years! It was pointed out I was special! Didn't make it any less painful. He informed me when he was in with the needle and Nina described it as a six-inch tool. I did feel the bone marrow being pulled out and trust me on this one . . . . it was VERY PAINFUL. Not as painful as I had hyped myself up for but nonetheless painful. When it was all over, Dr. Cruz explained my bone mass was just so thick it made the retrieving the bone marrow difficult. So I was doubly special.
Then, because I had so much nausea and vomiting from the chemo and the constant blood being drawn, they decided to insert a PIC line. I think that is how it is abbreviated. It has three openings, one for the IV, second for blood to be drawn and the third one for medication. I was receiving two of the anti-nausea medications through injections . . . and yes . . . blood drawn every 8 hours! I am amazed they could get anything out the last time they attempted to draw blood! Lilly got to witness the PIC line being inserted. First they do an ultrasound on your arm to find a good strong vein. Then, they cover you up so you cannot see anything but they say it is to keep the area sterile. It also proved more difficult than usual because again, it is pointed out I have thick skin! Once again, I am special! Having the PIC inserted after the biopsy . . . was not painful at all! lol But it still hurt a little. It actually hurt more when it was removed on my last day of the hospital stay. Nina was there for the removal and she made a face that made me turn to look at what was being drawn and the PIC line was L - O - N - G! Once I saw it, my arm started to hurt! I hadn't had pain until I saw it. After the PIC line was inserted I couldn't understand why there was so much concern about it being too close to the heart. It was this little plug on my arm! Hindsight being 20/20 and all! :-\
There was this wonderful anti-nausea medication they gave me through the PIC line called Phernegren or something like that. That stuff KNOCKED ME OUT! I loved it! :) When they gave it to me at night, I didn't feel them when they came in to take my stats. We could have had a tornado during the night and I would not have awakened for it!
Hospital food was not too bad. Something about eating three regular meals that really helps the body because I normally am not a good eater! I mean I have breakfast because I am a breakfast person but the rest of the day I do not eat at a regular set time or even a solid meal!
At one point, I had a cocktail of seven meds. I forget what they were now but there was the chemo, anti-nausea medication, antibiotic because I had developed an infection as a side effect from one of the meds, a blood thinner, iron for the anemia . . . because on top of all that . . . I was also anemic and the anemia contributed to the shortness of breath and fatigue, Prevacid for stomach acids and something else they were giving me to keep . . . I forgot the name of the acid but it start with a U and if there is a build up of it can cause pain in the joints and I think it is called gout when that happens. I know people with gout and I DO NOT WANT IT either!
I had to sleep in a bed where the mattress rolled and massaged my body and was very noisy. The bed was to prevent bed sores because one of the things they didn't want me doing was walking around on my own because of the meds. Any one of them made me dizzy and lightheaded! More so than I normally am! lol ;) At night I had to strap on these boots that massaged my legs to keep blood clots from forming in my legs. It was all just a thrill . . . . really!
I am home now . . . taking 1500 MGs of the chemo. I had my first lab today. Haven't heard anything from the lab and so I figure no news is good news! :) I didn't get to get a date for going back to work. I hope soon cause I am going stir crazy! The peach of a supervisor . . . . let me tell you what he had to say when I called him to tell him I was in the hospital. First, I started with reminding him how I had missed work of late and he immediately goes into a tirade that I had not told him I would be out of the office on Friday but someone had informed him. I interrupted him to tell him that was not what I was referring to but instead to the days of absence due to headaches, fatigue and upset stomach. He points out yes, you have missed a lot of work since the new year. :-\ I told him we now had a reason for my absences and I informed him I had chronic leukemia. He proceeds to say good now we know why and keep me informed. I have written he is a PEACH! :-\ When I called him to inform him I was being dismissed from the hospital, he barked back I was not to come to the office until I had a FULL MEDICAL RELEASE and this had been sent to me already. Hadn't I received it? I reminded him I had been in the hospital and did not have access to email. He barks NO, IT WAS MAILED! So, again, I point out I have been in the hospital and had not been home to check my mail. :-\ I cannot wait to get back to the office! The only thing I know is he will not be allowed to fire me because it is against the law to do so but I am thinking I will have to be very careful to dot my i's and cross my t's. :-\ Boy howdy! I am also taking iron for the anemia and Prilosec for the stomach acids. I was also given two prescriptions for anti-nausea but haven't really had reason to use these yet. I am saving them . . . . just in case! :( I have good days and bad days. Sunday was a bad day physically. I woke with fatigue and had shortness of breath all day. Yesterday, I was quite emotional . . . really, . . . almost to the point of hysteria at times! :( But aside from that, it has been almost if all last week was just a nightmare . . . I keep thinking I should have pain or feel sick but I don't . . . . not really . . . . I am reminded many years ago I had a nurse tell me cancer does not hurt . . . but something about the idea you have cancer in your body makes you think you should be in pain . . . . IDK . . . . maybe it is just me. Anyway, I am following MD's orders because I want to get well! I have lots of things to do . . . . I have a great deal of faith that in 10 to 20 years someone would have discovered something new for treatment . . . . I am strong . . . . I am woman . . . . I am invincible! I know this because Nina tells me so! lol ;)
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I was instructed to go straight to the hospital. I was not to take a detour home first but straight to the hospital. It was hard to comprehend what Dr. Lear had said. Leukemia? No one in our family has had cancer. It obviously is a huge mistake. As I walked to my truck, I wondered if I should tell anyone. What if it WAS a huge mistake? On the other hand . . . what if it wasn't? I didn't want to be alone for this. Who to call? I naturally called my favorite person in the world. Nina. I wasn't sure how to break it to her other than to first start with "Let's not panic and it is probably a mistake but do you think you could meet me at the ER?" Yes, I thought that was a fine way to approach it. Once she agreed to meet me at the ER, I drove out of the parking lot to drive the 3 or so blocks to Covenant Medical Center. As I was pulling out of the parking lot, I was struck with the most absurd thought . . . "The house is a mess. I haven't had a chance to clean this week." Too be perfectly honest, I had been given the opportunity to clean the house but most days since the playoffs last year and the Cowboys didn't make it . . . since the peach of a supervisor was allowing the sh*t to roll down hill . . . . since my heart was broken yet again by the same man for the upteenth time . . . . I hadn't much energy to do much . . . . I was blaming the lack of energy on depression and stress.
I got to the hospital and was quickly whisked away to an examining room. Someone in a lab coat calling himself Dr. something or other walks in and asks why I was there. I tell him my story. He responds more bloodwork is required before making that determination. I am somewhat relieved at this point. I have always seen life as you get what you make of it, the glass is always half full, there is a silver lining around every cloud, nothing really bad ever happens to me . . . . so it IS all a mistake.
Nina arrives and I tell her what the Dr. Labcoat said. We agree that must be what it is. So blood is drawn, I am taken away for X-rays and Nina and I proceed to wait it out. At some point the decision is made blood must be taken from an artery and the first technician turns out to be someone who doesn't know what he is doing. Pricks me twice and gets nothing. In case you do not know this, having blood drawn from an artery can only be described as PAINFUL! He finally accepts he is unable to do this and calls someone else in. Thankfully, the second technician was able to get the blood drawn after his first and only prick and again . . . . in case I have left any doubt in your mind . . . . it is PAINFUL! Nina has to leave at 9:30 because of her work schedule. Once she leaves a good looking man in a suit walks in and introduces himself as Dr. Cruz. He proceeds to explain that there are two kinds of leukemia. There is acute leukemia which must be treated aggressively with chemo for four to six weeks and is very serious. Then there is chronic leukemia and he suspects this is what I have but additional tests have to be conducted before knowing for sure. He explains a bone marrow biopsy would help determine this along with some of the lab work being conducted as we speak by Dr. Bland. As he is explaining the treatment for chronic leukemia his phone rings and it is Dr. Bland. As he speaks to her, he smiles at me and nods. I suppose this is good news! Once he terminates that phone call he proceeds to tell me I will be admitted for seven to ten days to treat the chronic leukemia and did I have any questions. My only question after receiving so much information was "so in the morning, after all these tests, we will have a clearer picture?" No he explained, the picture was clear, I had chronic leukemia but it is treatable, people have an 80% remission rate and go on to live 10 to 20 years with treatment. With that he left and I was left with thoughts of all the things I had to get done over the next 10 to 20 years.
As I lay there on the uncomfortable hospital bed contemplating this, my next thought was how to tell Jay. I was not sure he would understand all of this but I thought it best to tell him exactly what was going on. When I called him, my first question to him was did he know what leukemia was. He responded yes, it is what John's mother died of in Terminator II. So I thought he understood and I explained to him this is what I had and I would be in the hospital for the next seven to ten days for treatment. We spoke about changes to our routine for the weekend and he seemed to take it all in stride considering.
I then had sense enough to call Lilly and let her know what was going on. We agreed mom was not to be told yet. I didn't want to call Eva yet because of her condition and also it was late.
I was then transported to Lakeside ICU. I knew that was a bad sign. While the nurses were prepping me for the night, I couldn't help but cry. One of the nurses asked if I was in pain. I answered, no, I just couldn't help but feel sorry for myself. She agreed it was perfectly natural and OK to do so because I had been through a lot that night. Despite all the thoughts running through my head, I finally fell asleep about 1 AM. But before I did I was given 2,000 mg of a pill that was pink and purple and hooked up to an IV. Oh, and more blood was taken. I was also hooked up to a blood pressure cuff and oxygen. I am sure I made quite a sight! :)
Monday, August 29, 2011
On August 18th, 2011, I left my office to go to Grace Clinic to be . . . what I thought it would be anyway . . . diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP).
It starts way before then though . . . .
On August 11th, I had gone to Sonic and decided to treat myself to a foot long coney with an order of tater tots. I normally do not eat like this but I had been good (in my book) and under a lot of stress at work so decided what the heck! Tater tots were a little salty but I ate them anyway. After finishing my lunch, I developed a dull headache and felt a little nauseated. HBP runs in my family and I remembered my sister, Eva, once telling me these were symptoms of HBP. I remember thinking . . . crap . . . . but the headache and nausea passed and by Friday I felt better. Saturday afternoon I once again developed a dull headache and nausea. I also developed a little bit of a tickling cough. Nothing I thought I needed to freak out about. The headache and nausea also passed and quickly this time but I thought Monday I should schedule me an appointment with the MD. Monday came and I remembered my supervisor was on vacation and he is rather a peach about my being absent when he is not in the office so I decided to wait until he came back. Mondays are always super busy for me at work and I didn't get a chance to call and set up an appointment. Tuesday I woke with a little chest pain along with the cough and it was rather a nuisance. Wednesday, I still had the cough and I felt a little short of breath and noticed it was difficult to answer the phone at the office because of the shortness of breath. Eva texted me and told me she was going to the ER because she was having chest pains. Lilly later called me to tell me Eva was having a pacemaker put in! WILD! Yes, completely caught us by surprise. Scared me a little so I decided I would have the cough checked out. Went to Grace Clinic before going to work on Thursday and at the time I only had the cough and shortness of breath so I was X-rayed and diagnosed with walking pneumonia. I have had this before and knew what to expect. I was informed I should be hospitalized but I had lots of work back at the office and, again, peach of a supervisor on vacation would not be happy to come back and learn I had been out of the office at the same time. I thought I could rest when I got home from work. I refused medical advise and signed the waiver and left for the office. After arriving at the office I developed a wicked headache and now when I coughed there was SEVERE chest pain . . . no longer just a nuisance. It started in the middle of my chest and traveled to the back between the shoulder blades. I had read years ago women have severe headaches and upper back pain when they have heart attacks so I thought maybe I should go back to Grace Clinic just to make sure all was OK. At 2 PM I notified my production counterpart I was going to leave early to go back to the Grace Clinic. I left the office at 3 PM and headed to Grace Clinic again and I really believed deep in my heart I would be diagnosed with HBP and given some meds and directions on how to take care of this. I arrived at Grace Clinic and this time they took a whole bunch of blood and in addition to more x-rays, I got an EKG that proved normal. I remember thinking when the physician's assistant (PA) came to give me my results, if I had HBP, I would go to McDonald's and get a side salad and fruit and yogurt parfait . . . and if not . . . . a Big Mac . . . cause I was starving! I had not eaten since breakfast and that was coffee and a Texas cinnamon bun from the vending machine at the office. At approximately 5 PM, Dr. Lear . . . not the PA and I knew then something was wrong . . . came into the examining room holding my lab results and announced my white cell blood count was 183,000 and normally it should be 10,000. I asked him what this meant . . . and he spoke the three little words that changed my life forever . . . . "You have leukemia."
Friday, July 15, 2011
There is a short list of things I want to get done. I will be 50 soon and realized . . . OMGee . . . I am running out of time! I best get to gettin'!
I lost 85 pounds between November 2008 and April 2010. 30 of those managed to find me again! :( But I am on the road to shedding something again. I am not going to fixate on a number . . . . I just want to feel better and LIVE LONGER! I still have so much to do!
I keep toying with the idea of being a home owner. The idea frightens me. Being a single female, I WANT to call a landlord to come fix things . . . but alas . . . this landlord I am straddled with . . . . makes the skin crawl. I am paying rent for . . . . a house with issues. I am torn between finding something nice and maybe more expensive . . . . or staying put and accepting what I have to put up with . . . . IDK? Then there is the whole moving thing. I don't want to move again; however, if I rent an apartment . . . the rent can and probably will increase over time. If I rent a house and heaven forbid the landlord passes before I do, the house could be sold and there I go again. :( I love this house. I want to ask the landlord if he will owner finance; however, the house needs a LOT of repairs. IDK? Things to ponder about.
There are less life altering things I want to do as well . . . golf better . . . I have the clubs but no one to play with! :( I want to try clay shooting but that is only to prepare myself for trying duck hunting someday! :) I would really love to go to Paris! I think it is a romantic idea and I am a hopeless romantic. Suffice to say, it would be a trip I have to take alone, but just to get to do it!
Sometimes I think about growing old alone and cannot help wonder is it really what I want to do? I have been single the majority of my life. I am very set in my ways. Can I change these things for the right man? Are there any right men left out there? I thought I had found one January 2009. He broke my heart for the absolutely last time in February 2011. YES! I finally learned my lesson! lol I suppose as all else in my life . . . I will leave it in God's hands. I believe it is the best place to leave most things. I prod along and certainly give God the opportunity to show me and maybe He has shown me I am best left to my own devices. :} lol
I should know by mid-week about my latest attempt. I will be sure to come back on here and let you know what it is and if it is happening! So far so good! It is looking better and better and more possible! :)
Saturday, July 2, 2011
to make this itty, bitty card . . . .
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
The box . . .
a close up of the veggies on top . . .
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
She gave me old shoe boxes to work with. She liked the size of them. This one had taken a beating and I had to reinforce it with cardboard along the inside edges. I am rather pleased with myself for thinking to do that!
Paperspectives Heirloom Collection printed paper, Daily D's stamps (?), cardstock and General's watercolor pencils. First time I had worked with water color pencils and I liked it!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
chocolate . . .
day job . . .
3 BR home I live in all alone . . .
bathroom I don't have to share . . .
pinks and reds in all my rooms . . .
no one to take the remote away . . .
everything right where I left it . . . .
only have to cook for myself . . .
hearing "I love you" after so many years . . .
shoes . . . .
purses . . . .
costume jewelry . . . .
full-size bed all to myself . . . .
Stack of things I wish were different . . . .
someone to share my space with . . .
someone to cook for . . . .
someone to reach for across the bed . . .
someone to hug me at the end of a bad day . . .
someone to say "I love you" every day . . .
Small list of mixed blessings in my life for today. Tomorrow is another day!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I like them so much . . . I had to get them in burnished brass . . . .
I received these as a Christmas gift and I love the bling of them all!
I collect pins as well . . . and I say I collect them because I very rarely wear these . . . . not that I don't like them . . . because I DO! I just don't dress up for the office or church like I use to . . . I might have to start doing so even if it means being overdressed . . .
These are a few favorites . . . I liked the size of this one . . . well . . . because I am a Texas girl . . . and in Texas bigger is always better . . . trust me on that one . . . in Texas . . . size DOES matter . . . lol
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Should it be this . . . .
or this one . . . .
Once that is out of the way . . . it is on to another decision . . . . these . . . .
or these . . .
or maybe these . . . .
As I go along . . . it gets easier . . . less choices are always easier . . . this one . . . .
or this one . . .
Now choices are made for me . . . . some of the bling is missing . . . but you still get the picture . . . I am hoping after my birthday I will have to make another choice but that is still a ways off . . . .
Finally . . . the decision is out of my hands . . . . . . .
Friday, January 14, 2011
Let there be no doubt . . . I love my job most times . . . I work with some great guys that make me laugh every day . . . they sometimes feed me . . . . they buy me chocolates . . . . they gift me things . . . . oh . . . and I also work with Amber . . . but that is a story best shared another time.
This is my castle . . .
This is my throne . . . .
Thursday, January 13, 2011
November 2008 I made the choice to take care of myself and as I did I shed 85 pounds. 2010 proved to be much more than I bargained for and slowly added 35 of those lost pounds. Not sure how they found me but they did. None the less, I did change from one person . . . .
to another . . .
Both from the outside to the inside. Along the ways I gained and lost much more than pounds as well. I lost my beloved Pontiac Sunfire in the July 4th flooding . . . I lost two adult children from the home . . . OK . . . I didn't say all I lost was bad! :) I gained insight into who I am . . . what I want from life . . . more importantly . . . who I might want to share this life with.
I met men along the way that helped me arrive to this decision . . . . quite a few of them. There were some who I cannot remember their names and then there are some I can . . . . Michael . . . Joel . . . Robert Z. . . . . Ruben . . . Larry . . . . Adam . . . . Joe . . . Jesse . . . . Ray . . . Rumaldo . . . Harvey . . . Alfred . . . Robby . . . Robert R. . . . . . . . some were nice . . . .
and some were not . . .
and some were somewhere inbetween . . .
All together I was able to arrive at a decision about my life and for that I am grateful for each man. They all had good and bad in them and they all taught me what it is I am willing to tolerate and what it is I am not . . . what I must have in a relationship and what I must not have . . .
Along the way I have moved twice and each move was more than I bargained for but I arrived in a place I can call home. I love the space I have landed in . . . the landlord is not quite what I had hoped for but then nothing in life is ever perfect. If it were all perfect how would we know what to be truly grateful for. I like my home . . . the space . . . my neighbors who leave me alone . . . the privacy . . . my dressing room . . . laundry room . . . the neighborhood . . . close to family . . . . fabulous kitchen layout . . . great water pressure . . . the space . . . . my neighbors who leave me alone . . . . the privacy . . . lol . . . OK . . . I think I made my point! There are some things I do not like . . . the pest problem . . . the drafty windows during the winter . . . window units for air conditioning . . . . but over all it is all good.
I traveled to NH alone to retrieve our belongings from storage. 2,075 miles all by myself! I am woman . . . I am strong . . . I am brave . . . I absolutely CAN do it all alone if I must . . . hear me roar! This only taught me I do not have to wait until I have someone to do anything I want to do. I can play golf by myself . . . I may have to cheat until I can get better at it otherwise it WILL take me all day . . . I can travel to Riodosa and try horse racing all by myself . . . . I have always been OK with dining alone, catching a movie alone, bowling by myself . . . I CAN DO ALL! Who else? Besides, I so much enjoy my own companionship! I will as the saying goes fake it until I make it!
I discovered many new things as well . . . Zumba . . . P90X . . . FaceBook . . . texting . . . OK . . . I didn't say they were all good things!
I allowed many things to cause me to lose focus of what is important but I shall regain that focus . . . I will continue with what I love . . . Zumba . . . dating because when it is with a new man it can be so much fun . . . working at my present place of employment . . . loving the Dallas Cowboys . . . cultivating my relationships which are important to me . . . continue to blossom into the social butterfly I have always been meant to be . . . . laughing . . . . caring for myself . . . . eventually . . . . my life will come all together and I want to be in my best condition I should be and be able to recognize when I am ready for it.