Friday, August 31, 2007

I just wrote the blog and then LOST it! That’s because I’m too tired, so I’m going to do it, again, and go to bed. Don is already in bed and everyone else is, too. Trish and Rob and the kids got here a little after 9. It’s been an awesome visit already. Raynie has grown so much! She looks so much like Sadie did. Gabe accuses Trish and Rob of cloning Sadie because Grace is so much like her, too! They are such a fun family!

The first picture is of me holding Don up this morning. We went to a garage sale and I found a sewing machine from heaven with two tables full of notions. I had to have it, and who can tell a cowgirl Grammy no? He thinks those guns are loaded; I have him so snowed. You can tell he keeps me giggling; he bought the sewing machine and tables!

We are so excited to have the house full of awesome people again. The part of the house where they are gets such rare use and this house loves people. Full is the way it should be.

The other two pictures are of Trish and Raynie. Raynie was on her way to sleep, but I had to get a couple of pictures of her for the blog. I’ll get lots more pictures of everyone this weekend, so get ready to get good shots of the Oglesby clan. They are a fun family!

We’re so counting our blessings since 8 of them are here for 3 nights. That adds up to lots of blessings! You all have a wonderful weekend: be safe, be happy, and be grateful!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chomo 7 behind me.

Today was fun, but we are both so tired! We met Celia at the IHOP for breakfast in Lawton. Celia is the only daughter of Janet, Don’s older sister who died 15 years ago with lung cancer. Celia lives just outside of Lawton, so we live fairly close and know that we can always call on each other, but we both have 5 children and gobs of grandchildren, so we chase our kids a lot. Celia and her brother Brent are just a few years younger than me, so we’ve always felt close. Don’s sister, Janet, was 10 when Don was born, so he was her live baby doll. They were very close and she was almost like a mother-in-law from heaven to me. Of course Don’s mother was the mother-in-law from heaven. It’s been a wonderful family to be blessed to join. There is nobody I miss more than Janet; she was incredibly wise and loving. Being with Celia is such a warm reminder of Janet and we can get on the same page talking about all our kids! Her kids and our kids spent many hours of fun in the basement of this house when we all came here for Thanksgiving when it belonged to Don’s mom and dad. Celia’s brother, Brent worked with us for years in Oklahoma City, so we got very close. We are really intertwined with this segment of the family. We have many treasured memories: lots of fantastic fun and lots of strength and love from these precious people. It was great to see Celia this morning.

The first picture on the blog is Celia and I at the IHOP. I meant to wear my hat today. I DID wear it, but I covered it up with my little black hat, so I don’t get credit for pushing Boise. Boise is a wonderful town that I really love. I think it’s one of our country’s best-kept secrets. If it weren’t so far away from all our family, I’d do my best to talk Don into moving there. Everyone should visit there. The place is awesome and the people are the best! So, the next picture is of me before I added the black hat. I woke up cold several times last night. When I woke up grinding my teeth I added two hats to the one I was wearing and then covered up my head with the covers and slept the rest of the night. So, this morning, I was so afraid of freezing, so I piled on the hats. I’ll do a better job for Boise another day. The second picture is me with only the sleep cap and the hat.

The last hat is the one we found today. I couldn’t resist it; a cowgirl hat. Oh, yeah! That’s me. Ha! NOT, but it’ll be fun to have it and wear it. I’ll have to have my picture made with David. He is the most handsome cowboy I know; I love his hat. I’ll get that picture soon. (Jim Bucey and Mike Buchanan, that gun I’m pointing is NOT real! I’ll explain that to the rest of you later.)

Oh, 3 of the four numbers they watch closely were in the low range today, but just a little low. They weren’t scary or near causing them to defer me. I can relax and enjoy the kids this weekend. God is so good! I’m so busy counting the blessings!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Introductions on the blog . . .

Okay, I’ve been in the basement hemming a pair of shorts and making knee bands to go with them. Plus I cut the neck out of a t-shirt and the tail off, so I could make a hat and a sleeve (to protect the PICC). That means I spent too much time down there and I’m late with the blog. The balance thing, again; I did get a little nap this afternoon, though, so maybe I’m okay. We’re getting up early to go to Lawton in the morning, so I’ve got to get to bed.

Tonight Gretta wrote that she thought Terri and Dot DID know each other. I’m sure it’s confusing who people are and what they mean by some things they say, so I’ll introduce people better, beginning tonight.

Terri is my baby sister in our dreams. She was at Itazuke after I left, so we never were even there together. We met several years ago on the Internet as we were planning to go to our Itazuke reunion in Orlando. Since then our relationship has grown and grown. We feel like sisters and she calls me Sissy and I call her Sis (I have a half sister, who we call Sissy, so Terri can’t be my Sissy.) Terri lives in Texas, but we see each other whenever we can, which is never enough. She is a couple of years younger than me, so she gets to be the baby. She has nicknamed Don Honeyman because she loves him and sees all sweet things about him.

Dot is a precious lady who lives near my sister, Ruthie. She is married to Frazier, who has the biggest smile in the entire world. Dot and Frazier go to church where we went to church when we lived in Springville, where my sister lives, so their encouraging smiles go back 15 or so years. They are wonderful support.

Gretta is our baby daughter, but her middle name is Jill and we often call her Jilly. The kids all call her Aunt Jilly. So, if you see those names, know that they are all the same person. Gretta is the mom to Garrett (magazine boy or cake) and Elena (icing).

The pictures on the blog tonight are my ‘Sis,’ Terri; then Gretta with Garrett a couple of years ago; then our waitress and friend, here in town, Janet, who reminds us of Terri. It must be their personalities that remind us of Terri, because I look at these pictures and don’t see that they look alike. Maybe in their eyes and their coloring; Terri is blonder than that picture shows. Anyway, Janet is one of the sweetest, most positive people in town and that personality reminds us of sweet Sis.

So, now you know some of the people who love me enough to post on the blog. I’ll introduce you to more in the future. These are some of the blessings I count every day! God is so great to us!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Flexible; the name of the game. Balance the rule!

Flexible. That’s a key to making life work. Yesterday we were planning to go to Oklahoma City today and then decided not to when Trish and Rob decided to come here for this weekend. That’s great because it saved us making the trip today. I was so happy to sleep late this morning! We got up at 5:30 a.m. and looked at the eclipse and then went right back to bed. I slept until 8:20 and didn’t even know when Don got up to go walking or when he came home. I was so enjoying that sleep! Then I never took a nap today, but I never got that tired, so I think it’s okay if I go to bed early. Balance; hard to keep it!

We put the basement back in order today because the kids will want to play pool down there. We had all kinds of stuff piled on the pool table from when we had water down there and we didn’t want it to get wet. It only took a few minutes to do, but it was a project. I’d been sewing down there, but the rest was out of order. Also, the sewing machine I have been using wasn’t working right, so I went through two other machines hunting one that would work. I think those three must have bad belts. Maybe Trish can help me figure out their problem. I finally found one that works, but it doesn’t zigzag; I need to zigzag, so I’ve got to fix one of those machines. That’s another project.

The one machine that works helped me finish a hat that I’ve worked on for the last week. I’m done with it, now. It was just a wrestling match to get it to fit. It’s pictured on the blog today. There is nothing great about it, but it keeps my head warm around the house. The other hat today was the hat I wore out to eat breakfast.

I pulled together my calendar of all the treatments I’ve had today. The insurance papers are coming in the mail and I need to be able to match it all to be sure we aren’t charged for a treatment we don’t get. I thank God that we have insurance and that the treatment is available. I thank Him, too, for friends and family to help us get through all this. Judy and Aki and Doris and Jerry make it so much better to be in Houston instead of just being in a huge city full of strangers! I thank God that we can do many of the treatments in Lawton, too. It’s a blessing to be able to be at home for a lot of this. I continue to thank God that I’m doing so well with these treatments. I have no complaints and I am so grateful! I'm looking forward to this weekend when the house will fill with Oglesby kids! I'll be so counting the blessings!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday is rest day.

Today I attempted to get a better handle on resting. I never managed to get a nap yesterday and it whipped me. So, I got up early this morning and did a little cleaning and then after breakfast went back to bed. Then I got up before lunch and cleaned some fruit and veggies before lunch. After lunch I did some hand sewing (still working on hats) and did some research on the computer. We had supper early. I’m going to do some jiggling and go to bed early. Tomorrow we’re going to OKC. I want to take a rocker to Trish and I want to see the kids while my numbers are good (I hope!). We go to Lawton on Thursday, so tomorrow is the best day to go to OKC so we can rest on Wednesday. Resting is something I have a hard time doing. My style is more to go until I crash. I think that’s not a good plan while I’m in recover mode, so I’ve got to make a concentrated effort at it.

The pictures on the blog today are:

1) Elena; those eyes capture me!
2) The hat of the day taken beside Gabe’s OK state fair winning painting of irises; he won that ribbon at the fair several years ago and gave it to me for Christmas. Ruthie was so impressed with it when they were here; she insisted that I should feature it on the blog. I’m so proud of it, so I’m happy to feature it here. Don informed me that the hat today was the wrong color. It's okay; it kept me warm and it really did match some turquoise flowers that are on the pockets of the outfit; he confronted me about color??? People ask how is he doing; he's doing just fine. He's turning into a photographer and a color pro!
3) Diana Clark and Floyd Johnston watching between games Saturday night, as we took pictures of the cake and party animals.
4) David Rule watching as we take pictures on Saturday night. You can tell by the smiles that we were all having a ball. We always do!

We’re getting up early in the morning to watch the eclipse of the moon, but we’ll go back to bed before we get up and go to OKC, I think. Anyway, we’ll be counting blessings as we start the day. What a cool thing . . . unless I sleep through it and that’s a cool thing, too! It’s all worthy of thanks. We are so blessed!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Full Sunday.

Today has been very exhausting. Sunday’s are full. After church I went to the nursing home to help with a devotional, then stopped by on the way home to visit with a friend. All that was good. (I want to do this while my numbers are good, and I hope it’s okay to be around people.) Then the little league finals were on TV, so I had to see them. That meant there was no nap today. No nap a bad description; I need the rest. So, I’m getting the blog done, so I can get my bath, get my bandage changed and be ready for bed early.

That’s a good plan. So, if I owe you email, I’ll catch up tomorrow.

The pictures on the blog today are:

1) Me in the same hat you’ve seen before with shorts.
2) Elena in some recent pictures. Gretta and Elena have been playing dress up and photo shoot. Elena thinks her mother is crazy; I’m so happy to have the pictures since we’re missing so much of this little angel, so I think her mother is wonderful!

God bless us all; we are so richly blessed!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Celebration and cards!

Tonight we played cards at our house and celebrated birthdays of 4 of us who have birthdays this month. We were also celebrating Jo Ann and Frank’s 45th wedding anniversary. Tillie brought a cake for the anniversary and we stuck 4 candles in it representing the 4 birthdays. Dorothy and David brought homemade ice cream, so it was quite a celebration! We played two tables of 6.

The pictures on the blog:

1) Me with the hat of the day. It’s a little black one I decorated with the necklace Grace
made for me when she stayed a few days with us a few weeks ago.

2) The Bobsey/Josey twins. Bob cut his hair so we’d be bald together; we may never look this much alike again! Then again, we may look alike for several months; until this chemo is done.

3) The celebrating group; me, Dorothy, Jo Ann, Frank, Tillie, and Bob.

4) Jack (Doesn’t he look like Jonathan Winters? He’s as funny as Jonathan Winters, too! He’s married to Tillie and we call them Silly and Tillie.), who was the best man at Frank and Jo Ann’s wedding, then Jo Ann and Frank. How many people can celebrate their 45th anniversary and their best man is still handy to celebrate with them?

We have the greatest fun with this bunch of people! We take every opportunity to celebrate, and if we don’t have any excuse to celebrate, we celebrate anyway. There is never a dull moment. We can’t always get all these folks together, but it’s sure fun when we do.

We count all these folks among our many blessings. We count you among them, too. God bless!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Elena Update!

Today I’m not so full of news. Today has been just full of errands and cleaning house. We hadn’t cleaned house since before we went to Houston, so even though it was fairly neat it needed the dust gathered from the floors and furniture. I did the hard floors and Don did the carpets. I’ll do the furniture tomorrow. I should have done it first, but I got busy working on the web site and some issues that needed tweaking, so the dusting will get done tomorrow.

We’ve got 10 people coming to play canasta tomorrow night. We figured we’d better have fun with folks while my numbers are good. When they are down I have to be careful being around folks, so I’ll let my hair down tomorrow. That’s a pun; no hair! Probably I’ll let my hat down and show them all my bald head!

The picture of me today is in one of my favorite hats. Nobody would notice me in this one. HA! I need to wear bigger earrings; these were little flags, but I need bigger ones with no makeup and no hair. I need to balance with the hat. I’m working on it.

The other pictures are the Elena update. She’s a big girl who can sit up in her chair now. She loves that chair! She’s 6 months old now and weighs almost 13 pounds; she’s still tiny, but she’s the boss. Who could deny those eyes?

God does such an awesome job on everything, especially these babies! God bless and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Great MRI news!

Today was a great day! We were concerned that my numbers would be down more than last week and they wouldn’t let me have the chemo treatment. I asked the girl who was taking my blood what would happen if my numbers were down and she explained that they would have to defer me. I’m sure I looked like a balloon that had just popped and she went on to explain that they would try their best to keep me on schedule. They would reschedule my chemo, but they have some shots they can give me to boost my blood. I also know that they will give me a transfusion if they have to. Anyway, I was relieved to know that they will try to keep me on schedule and that they have some ‘tricks’ up their sleeves. I know you all wonder about that too, because many of you have emailed to ask about it. Then the lab tech came out and gave me a print out of my numbers, and said, “Girl, you’re good!” There was only one number on the whole thing that was only a little low. It was the Red Blood Cells one and it wasn’t low enough to hurt. Last week all 4 of the main ones they watch were low and one was way low, but they let me do it because I was feeling good and having no problems.

I’m still feeling good and having no problems, but today I’m so happy that my numbers are up! It also felt good to go places and have so many people comment about my hat. Now, I realize that they see the leg bands and wonder what’s happening. Then they see the hat, and THAT they can figure out, so they say what is nice to say: “I like your hat!” I mean who is going to look at someone with cancer and not say something nice? Nobody in Oklahoma! Actually, they’re probably going off wondering if I really have cancer or if I’m just a loon dressing up like that. Anyway, I’m having fun. The knee bands keep me pretty much on my feet and the hat is keeping my head warm. I’m having fun.

Today I wore the navy hat and in the picture I’m doing Grace’s favorite camera pose the best I can. I figured out today that I like it better with the back brim turned up. It’s a great hat! We had BIG wind today and it never threatened to leave my head. I wore my little white hat that I made under it, so it was great for wallowing around in the chemo treatment without the navy hat, plus it helped to hold the hat firm.

The other picture is in my ‘pony tail’ hat. It’s one of 3 denim one’s I’ve made to wear around with cut offs and denim jumpers and skirts that I wear a lot.

The greatest news of the day is the results of the MRI on my brain: “NO EVIDENCE OF METASTATIC DISEASE.” Breast cancer tends to spread to lungs, bone, liver, and brain. They’ve looked at all of those places and find no evidence of it, so that’s good news. We’re working on where it is and it helps the prognosis a lot to know this is all we have to handle. I can hardly feel the mass anymore, so I’m very encouraged.

I’m way over my ability to count blessings. I have to start over every day and then the day isn’t long enough to count all there are. I’m so glad our God is awesome and can read between the lines and doesn’t give a grade on getting the numbers right! I know I am richly blessed; thank you for being on my list of blessings and thanksgiving.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hats are fun!

Today has been really fun. I’m getting the hang of hats. A friend sent one in the mail, so I tried it on and it prompted the picture with the black hat. The floppy hat I bought in Hawaii when I was losing hair and needed to be prepared, so I’m glad to get to wear it. The pink one is the first had, that my friend Jo brought to me in Hawaii. She is also a breast cancer survivor, so she’s been my coach from since before I even had breast cancer. So, this is the beginning of the hat show. You’ll see that, as time goes on I’ll get better with the hats.

I copied the sleep hat that they gave me at MD Anderson and made a white one that fits me better. Then I rummaged through my button jar and found buttons to decorate my hats. I also found some hair decorations that the girls had when they were little and I’ll use them to decorate my hats. This is so fun.

Beside that I gained a new respect for the electric razor today! I always loved to keep my legs slippery smooth, but with that came lots of nicks. Nicks are out of the question, now, because of danger of infection, so the ‘safety razor’ is also out of the question. Don’s mom had an electric razor and we’ve got a couple of extra bathrooms or I would have tossed it a long time ago. I plugged it in and found that it’s a cool little job! It won’t get my legs as smooth as a safety razor, but it won’t cut me, either! Wouldn’t you think the hair on my legs would fall out? No such luck, yet! (Those whiskers on my chin aren’t back, though!) Anyway, I used the razor on my head and I love how it smoothed out my head! I’ve been rubbing my head all day and I’m getting so hooked on it. This is way cool. I may freeze in the winter, but it’s a great summer ‘do!’

Don has been calling me Baby Grammy all day. I may have a new nickname.

Today was bandage-changing day, so I got up early and walked with Don this morning. It was nice and cool, so I didn’t sweat too much. Even if I did sweat it would have been okay because we were changing the bandage anyway. It felt good to walk and then to get cleaned up, including the bandage. Every other day I have to wrap my arm in plastic and tape it up before I bathe. That’s a real claustrophobic operation for me, so it feels really good to get the bandage changed, even though it’s a real uncomfortable maneuver. Punching around and rubbing alcohol and iodine on the stitches and where the PICC goes into my arm are no fun. Checking to see that all is well in there is encouraging, though.

So today I’m giving thanks for hats, fun decorations, a great old electric razor from a dear mother-in-law, a good walk, and a clean, new bandage, as well as wonderful family and friends! God bless!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hats may be the choice; I'm working on them.

You know how when you shop and shop and think about buying a new car? Then you finally make the plunge and buy the car and a whole new set of needs appear. Like you have to have a tag, then insurance, but besides that you have to have a deal that fits over the visor to keep all the junk you need handy, and something to keep all the other stuff handy, even if it’s just tissues. There seems to always be something more even after you thought you had what you really wanted or needed. That’s how it is with going bald. I thought if I could just get rid of that shedding hair, then I’d be happy. Not. Now, I’m freezing and have to have hats.

I saw lots of people with hats and turbans underneath the hats. I thought they were trying to cover up the bald, which I thought was silly. So, I have plenty of hats, but the part of me that isn’t covered by the hat gets cold. I must be such a wimp. Now, don’t be sending hats and turbans, though. I’ve been in the basement all day working on hats that cover my head. Don wants me to put on all the hats (one at a time) and take pictures for the blog. I’m sure we’ll do pictures along the way. We took one today and it looks pretty goofy. I think goofy may be the mode where I’ll be operating for the next few months. Anyway, this was the hat I was wearing around the house today. It’s itchy; that’s another reason people wear turbans and scarves under the hats, I’ve discovered. Live and learn. God is so good to teach us whatever it is that we need to know. Remember, I'm just around the house; forgot the ear rings, necklace and lipstick. I've got to remember that stuff before God has to teach me another lesson!!!

I’ve got to tell you the thing that’s made me smile all day. I talked to Gabe yesterday right after I’d buzzed off my hair and he said to send pictures, so I sent them more pictures than were on the blog. When Trish showed the pictures to Mason, she said, ‘Grammy looks like a baby grammy, doesn’t she?’ Mason said, ‘Yeah, a wrinkled one.’ Kids are the best; you’ve just got to love them, and thank God for them!!! So, I’m enjoying being a ‘baby grammy, even if I am a wrinkled one.’

The other picture on the blog today is the last of my hair. The pile on the right is what I combed out the day before I buzzed it. The pile on the left is what I buzzed and the last of my hair. Those green patches are weeds that I’m going to Round Up if the wind will ever let me. I’m still thanking God for the clippers and the fun it was using them on myself. Today I’m thanking Him for a dry basement where I can sew and for a daughter and a grandson with fun senses of humor. I’m thanking Him for all 5 kids and all 15 grandkids, too. They are all awesome and make me smile everyday. God is great!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ruthie and Phil left; so did the hair.

Today has been a fun day even if Ruthie and Phil did leave. They left at 7:50 a.m. so that they could get home before dark, we hope. It was nice outside, so Don and I stayed outside and did some yard work. I had to quit at 9 because I was starting to sweat and I can’t sweat on my PICC bandage. Stopping a project because of sweat was a first for me! Sweating is my real comfort zone. I thought I might be about to be a lady, but I re-thought it before the day was over!

I came inside and changed the sheets in the guest room and our room and started some laundry while I took my bath. Don stayed outside and did a really thorough job on the yard. I still have lots of weeds to get, but I can do it one hour at a time in the early mornings, I guess. The wind was blowing today so I couldn’t use Round Up, but maybe another day. They are huge enough that they’re easy to get since the ground is wet, too.

After my bath, my hair was so gone. It was pathetic. I had Don take pictures and thought I would keep it and wear a hat. We went to the Kozy Diner for lunch and I did that. But I had to hold the hat to keep it from blowing off and that was a pit. So, I came home and buzzed it. I was so done with it. Ruthie shouldn’t have left me in the house with the clippers. I was so done with that wispy hair. I gave thanks for the hair; now, I’m giving thanks for the clippers! My head feels so relieved! It’s still sore, and you can see the sores in the pictures, but it’s better! I’m not chasing hairs and I can rub it if I want!

I tried on some scarves and all the hats. I think I’ll like either better than the wigs. We’ll see. Right now I’m enjoying the freedom. Don said I should try them all and take pictures and let you all vote. No way. You’ll just have to accept whatever I like; I get to pick and be in control of this. It’s all I can control anymore, so I’m going to relax, enjoy and control it!

The pictures on the blog are the before and after shots of the pathetic and the gone hair today. Thanks for caring. I thank God for your support and all His abundant gifts. Our basement dried itself, by the way. How cool is that?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

All good things must come to an end . . .

Today has been bittersweet. It’s a great day except it’s the last day that Ruthie and Phil will be here. Ugh. I hate that they will leave tomorrow. I understand that life goes on and we can’t play forever, but it’s hard to give up the fun it’s been.

I went to church with no hat. I think I’m getting used to looking like this. Ha! I’ve been out on the deck and combed through my hair twice and lost lots out there, but there is still some on my head. Maybe tomorrow will be the last day. We’ll see. I nearly froze in bed last night; I think it’s because my head is cold. They gave me a sleep hat at MD Anderson because they said my head would get cold and I’d lose body heat through my head. If I wear the hat, I know it will pull out more hair. That’s okay; I think I’m so ready for it to be gone. I didn’t like freezing. Here I thought all these bald guys were having it easy; little did I know they have to be TOUGH to wear no hair! I’m learning!

“Don’s Tours” took Ruthie and Phil to the square to see the Kiowa County mosaic and the carving of chief Lone Wolf today. Those are the pictures on the blog. It was a great day. We still only have one little puddle in the basement, so we feel blessed to not be hit as hard as much of the state has been hit. God is taking care of us. I pray that He will take care of those who have been hit so hard.

Today is our brother, Jim’s 67th birthday, so we enjoyed calling him to help him celebrate. He and Phil and Don are the same age, now; he’s the youngest of the three of them, and he’s caught up with the ‘old guys,’ now. We have all shared lots of good memories from over the years during this last week that Ruthie and Phil have been here. Good times and lots of blessings to count; it’s been a great week and we give thanks!

Flood report.

There’s water all around us and we got 4.4 inches, but we’re okay. I-40 is closed. Places nearby got 8-12 inches, so we’re giving thanks that we got so 'little!' Water is seeping into the basement, but Don can handle it. I thought some of you might be worried if you saw the news, so I’d better put this report on the blog.

Trish and Rob named their baby the perfect name: Summer Rayne! We thought the big rains were over for the year, but what do we know??? Only that Summer Rayne is the perfect name! God is great!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

When it goes, it goes fast!

Well, I’m saying this is nearly it! I washed my hair this morning and it felt like I was washing a baby’s head. I barely felt any hair at all except what was coming off into my hands. There was quite a pile on the side of the tub and I shudder to think what went down the drain that I couldn’t catch. After it dried it fluffed up some, and Ruthie and Don convinced me that I should give thanks for having hair at all and keep it. Man, I’m sure tempted to just rub it all off. That’s all it would take. My head is really sore, and you can see from the pictures the pink sore spots. I’m hoping they will go away soon. Anyway, when the hair is gone I can at least rub my head. If I rub it, now, more hair falls out, and I keep aiming to save it.

Today Don and I went to the 80th birthday party of a precious friend, so I appeared in public one more time without a hat. I had the hat out and was prepared, but went with just what was left of the hair. Our card playing friends, Jo Ann and Frank were at the party, so we talked them into coming home with us to play cards. Then we all went out to eat and called Joan and Floyd to come join us for more cards after dinner. It’s been a great day of cards, so Ruthie and Phil have got a good idea of how much fun we have playing cards.

I have a hat ready to wear to church tomorrow. I think I’ll do that. The pictures on the blog tonight are shots of me with absolutely thin hair. I thought a week ago that this was surely the end, but I made it a week without a hat. I really think I’ll have to break tomorrow. A wonderful friend gave me two wigs and MD Anderson volunteers gave me another, but they all look really goofy on me. I’m thinking bald will look really goofy, too, so I may really love the wigs when it’s either them or bald. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll enjoy wearing hats or nothing. My head is really sore, so it’ll feel good to simply rub it.

Ruthie talked to me really good today and assured me that I should be thanking God for hair. I do. I thank Him that I’ve always had an abundance of hair. He has given me everything that matters (and then some) in abundance, and I thank Him. He has given me family, friends, love and health; all in great abundance. I don’t mean to be complaining about the hair falling out. I’m only sharing it because this is what is really happening. It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s how it is. It is SUCH A MINOR side effect! I am not sick. I don’t have mouth sores. I’m doing so well, and this hair thing is more humorous than anything. Importantly, the tumor is shrinking and that’s what the chemo is supposed to do. I pray that it is also killing any other cancer cells that may have escaped into my body. God is GREAT, and I believe He is seeing me through this battle. He gave me the best friend in the world and Don’s sister and brother-in-law to hold my hand in Houston and He sent my sister and brother-in-law to hold my hand at home. He gave me Don to keep through it all, and all of you to support me online, as well as a wonderful community right here at home. I give Him the glory and praise, and promise to smile all the way. (With new pink lipstick!)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rest day; fun day!

Today we slept in! It was great! Then we did laundry and took it easy all day. We played cards this afternoon and then put together a quick card game with a couple of couples at the last minute. Ruthie and Phil see why we play cards all the time, now; it was a blast, as always.

Many questions have come to me about my numbers being low and what can we do about that. I think all we can do is a transfusion when it gets low enough that they can’t do the chemo. My understanding is as long as I feel okay, we can keep on with the treatments. We’ll learn more as we go. It’s just that this is what happens with chemo. It kills the cancer, but it is also hard on me. I feel fine, so maybe the numbers look worse than it is. I’m learning as I go and I’ll report all I know on this blog. I have no secrets and I hope all who read will also learn in case you or someone you love ever has this to face. One out of every 8 women will face breast cancer, and, of course there are lots of other cancers out there. AVOID SUGAR; cancer loves it.

The pictures on the blog today are a couple of me holding Raynie when we went to visit the other day. The second one is her wearing a little outfit that Ruthie bought about 8 years ago when her daughter was pregnant and they thought she might have a girl. They are two boys later, so she gave up and gave it to Gretta for Elena. It’s a size 24 months, so I took it up so the girls could at least try it on this summer just for fun. So, we have pictures of Elena in it and now this one with Raynie in it. Some of us little girls never really get tired of playing dress up with our dollies. The other is of Grace; she loves to pose for pictures; what an entertainer she is!

We give thanks for our safe travels, our rest day, our play day, our healthy family and our own health and for all of you who read this. God is GREAT!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First treatment in Lawton is done!

Today worked very well, but it was a long day. We got up before 6 to get ready and leave to be in Lawton by 8. Since this was our first day to do chemo there we had paperwork to complete everywhere. First we have to go to the doctor’s office to do lab work and then he okay’s the orders for us to go on over to Comanche County Memorial Hospital to do the chemo treatments in their outpatient area.

My infection fighter numbers were low. The bottom of the good range is 2 and the lowest they will usually let have the treatment is 1.5. Mine was 1.43. Since I’m not having any problems they made an exception and let me have the treatment. It would have been a bummer to have to turn around and come home without it! They let Ruthie and Phil and Don all come into the treatment room while I had my treatment. I was the lucky one: I got 3 blankets and went to sleep. They all sat there and grew icicles. Everything went really well. After the chemo treatment we went right over to have the MRI on my brain done. I slept through that, too, so I got my naps today!

We finally got to eat a meal at Golden Coral around 4, so that was lunch and supper. (They had given me a tray and I had a veggie sandwich during the chemo treatment.) Since we ate so late, we only ate ice cream at home tonight, so we didn’t have to fool with another meal. Today we were up and on the road for 12 hours; what a day! I’m glad Ruthie and Phil could go with us so that they have a better clue of what is happening and the kind of care we’re getting. Everyone was very, very nice.

I still have enough hair to go in public. Gretta fussed at me for not putting my picture on from yesterday, so I’ll put one on tonight. I’ll also put one on of Ruthie combing my hair tonight. I’m putting another on of my mom, who we call Mamasan. It was taken when she was 67 (She died at 69 with pneumonia, not breast cancer.) I look at this picture of Mom and this picture of Ruthie and I and I think I agree with Trish; if Ruthie had Mom’s hair, she’d be the one who looks the most like her. You see what you think for fun. We are blessed to have had a wonderful mom and we are both pleased and proud to be anything like her. As ever, we are counting our blessings! Thank you for your prayers for our safe travels today and a good treatment day. I guess I will learn the results of the MRI next week when we go to the doctor’s office. Please pray that my numbers won’t go so low that they won’t let me have treatments. I really want to keep this ‘show on the road,’ as my dad would say!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A visit with Trish and kids.

We are such tired but happy people tonight. We went to OKC and had a visit with Tricia and all the kids today. That was really delightful for us. God blessed us with a safe trip. Pictures on the blog today are from that visit. The first one is Ruthie holding Raynie with Phil in the background; the second one is Mason feeding Raynie; the third one is Nate, the oldest of Tricia’s kids. (He doesn’t get much camera time with all the little siblings, so I was glad to catch him!)

It was a wonderful visit, but it was a two-hour drive there and another two hours back. That’s enough to wear us out, so we’re all pretty tired. Tomorrow we’ll all go to Lawton for my fifth chemotherapy treatment and an MRI on my head. It’ll be our first experience with this in Lawton, so it’ll be another big day.

We all have too much fun together. Phil and Don clown around all the time and Ruthie and I are so easy we keep laughing at them and encouraging them! It’s a hoot! If laughter is good medicine, then none of us could be sick!
We thank God for a safe trip and for precious families and friends! Thank you for being a part of that blessing to us.