Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rugged Day

Most days are good and some just are not.  This was a rough.  I'll be okay.  I'm only going to the scheduled events; nothing extra   I thank God for letting me make this trip.

I'm taking  some time off from the blog.  Until I have the energy.  Don't worry.  Just know I'm doing my best to take care of me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RIP, Sweet Prissy!

Tom and Linda's precious Prissy passed away after  we left this afternoon. I got this pic of her two days ago.  We knew she was in her final hours, but it's still so hard of them.  Tom had dug her grave this morning and last week he built her a little casket.  She was their baby darling even if she was 16 years old..

We are settled in our condo in Nashville.  It's very nice.  I hope I can get rested before our crowd begins to gather.  I'm fine it's just that chemo is so fatiguing!

I'm headed to a hot bath and bed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fun, Relaxing, Fun, Relaxing . . .

Linda took this pic of Lee and I resting in Tom's big chair.  We've been wearing ourselves out playing cards, but it's been so much fun.  Women:  3, men:  3, so, we're tied.  We've got to leave in the morning, though, so we'll pick up where we left off when we meet in Branson in November. Fun, fun times!  I thank God for wonderful friends (more like family) and the opportunity to share good times.

It's late and we're all headed to bed.  The report from here is good.  I'm not swelling or having any problems.  i do get awfully tired, but it could be a lot worse; my lasts trip to Tennessee proved that! PTL!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

What a wonderful anniversary it's been.  We had a great visit with great food all day; even homemade peach ice cream.  We played 2 games of canasta and the guys won one and we won one.  It was way fun!

I'm exhausted, but I'm not swelling anywhere.  The burning in my hands and feet is very tolerable.  I feel blessed and thank God for this great trip.

Sorry to be so late posting; having too much fun to post!  Love you all!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Feeling SO much better today! PTL!

I have gotten steadily better today.  As the day wore on I was able to walk better and use my hands more.  Praise the Lord!  I have one more option for taking this Xeloda.  The next time (a week from tomorrow) I will take 2 pills each morning and 3 each night.  Just maybe my body can tolerate that better and the oncologist suggested it.

We had a wonderful visit with Lee's Aunt Leona today and I got this pic of them.  She is such a sweetheart and so glad to have a visit.  She's 92 and lives alone in a huge house.  Her daughter, Patty helps her so much and oversees her care.  She is diabetic and has COPD, so her problems are not small.

We made it on to Tom and Linda's house tonight and I could even play cards!  Linda and I won, so that made it even better.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Okay.  I've taken all of this cycle I can stand.  I'm not taking tonight's dose or either of tomorrow's doses.  So I was supposed to have 42 pills this week and I've taken 33.  These pix don't show the pain I have,  You can see the red on my hands and feet.  My feet also look like they have blisters on them; especially at the heal.  It all feels blistered.  I can barely walk and I can't do much of anything with my hands.  Zipping and buttoning are horribly painful and take forever.  I didn't even comb my hair this morning.  I took the pic of me in the parking lot while Lee went in to get me some Boost.  He was saving me the steps.  I'm fine except for the pain in my hands and feet.  It sure helped to have all our stuff in the bed of the truck so I could sit in the back seat and keep my feet up on the console.

We made it to where we had a hotel reservation, so I'm grateful for that.  We had no problems with anything except my pain.  I'm taking it as a clue that we need to either reduce the dose, again, or look for another drug.  God will direct us.  I thank Him that I'm not retaining any fluids.  That was absolutely horrible.

I'm getting a message that this post isn't going to post, so if it does, hallelujah!  I'm going to take as hot a bath as I can stand and go to bed.  Tomorrow is a new day!  It'll take a few days for these feet and hands to recover, I'm afraid, but we're going to get started on it!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Forgot to Wear my Red Shirt!

We're just about ready to start putting stuff into the truck.  My feet and hands are really hurting today, so it makes everything hard to do.  Only two more days on this cycle, though, so I can make it.  Then I get a week off and we'll be seeing friends and family, so that will help to distract me from my hurts.

I am so grateful to God for getting me through that last swelling crisis and pray that I won't swell up, again, on this trip. At least I know how to better cope with it if I do!

Off we go with our new bed cover on the truck, so we'll have a spacious cab.  I'm grateful for that, too! Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bags are Getting too Full!

It's so fun to be able to fit into anything I have.  I've read about ascites (the fluid that collects in the abdomen) today and learned that they eventually return.  Ugh.  I'm going to hate when that happens.  I didn't have any 'tents' packed, but I just went and stuck in one in case I have to go someplace and buy another tent in the event that they come back while we're gone. This pic was taken the day before I turned 66 and I've felt good ever since.  That was the last day of my last cycle of Xeloda and I could hardly walk because my feet hurt so badly.  This cycle my feet are no worse than they were when I started this cycle, but my fingers and hands are really sore.  That's okay; I don't have to walk on my hands.  We're leaving town, so I won't be cooking until we get to the condo. It's amazing that I'm able to type, but I'm glad I can.  This Xeloda is a weird thing.  I guess it's different for everyone and it's even different each time for me.  As long as it's working on the cancer, I can cope with it.

Lee washed the truck today and it's all ready to pack tomorrow.  I'm excited to have the bed cover on it, so that I can have the back seat if I want to lay down or if I want to sit back there and prop my feet up on the console.  We're excited about this trip.  We'll be seeing friends and family along the way as well as enjoying my Itazuke High School reunion. I thank God that I'm so much better and can make this trip.  We serve an awesome God!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Ready to Travel, Again.

I got this pic yesterday; what a difference from 6 weeks ago when I was carrying 30 pounds of water around my waist and on my legs.  Praise God that we seem to have found the right mix of drugs and nutrition to keep those fluids off me!

We're getting ready to make our trip back to Tennessee for my reunion with school from Japan.  It's nice for me that it's in my hometown, so that we can visit family and old sentimental places to me.  I'm so grateful that I'm able to make this trip!  Whatever went awry with my body in June, has completely corrected.  I feel great.  I don't have much energy or stamina for very long, but as long as I can get rest, I'm okay.  Fatigue is a common side effect of chemo, so it's just something I have to learn how to tolerate since it looks like I'll be taking chemo for the rest of my life.

We're blessed to have great folks here who will look after the house and yard for us!  That's a big relief!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Today's Report is Good!

I got this pic tonight after we got home from a long day to OKC.  We got up at 5 so we could get to the City in time for my 8:30 labs.  After the labs I had the follow up with my oncologist and then an infusion to strengthen my bones.  The doc was very pleased with all my lab work.  He said everything was better than when I was there 2 weeks ago and at that time those were better than they were the last time I was in Houston.  He's pleased that we're making a trip to Tennessee and doesn't want to see me for a month! We're very pleased with the report!  You can tell by these smiles!  I thank God for so many reasons to smile!

After my appointments I went with Sadie to her appointment with the oral surgeon.  Her wisdom teeth have to be cut out before they push her other teeth out of alignment.  While I did that Lee took the truck to have the cover put on the bed, so we can travel and put all our stuff in the bed rather than in the cab with us.  Yay! I'm so glad to have that bed cover!

Thanks to God for so many blessings and a safe trip!  I wear a jacket all the time anymore because I freeze everywhere.  It's plenty hot here, but people use their AC and I'm so grateful to get outside into the warm sun!  Hospitals and doctors offices seem to be the coldest!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Dorothy!

I had lots of paper work to do today and had to hang close to the phone to wait on various calls, so I didn't get to get out and see Dorothy.  She's had a great day, though.  I did visit with her on the phone and she sounded awesome!  I got this pic of us on June 1 and 23 had dressed in the same colors without realizing it. She is always so much fun to be with and we've missed her this last week that she was in the City visiting family.  It feels better to have her home even if we didn't see her; just knowing she's here makes life sweeter. I always stand in awe of her.  She doesn't look or act 91 at all, but today was her 91st birthday.  She's one of the best treasures of my life!

We go to OKC tomorrow to follow up with my oncologist.  Then I have an infusion of Zometa, which is to strengthen my bones.  I'm taking Sadie to see her oral surgeon while Lee goes to have the top put on the bed of the truck.  I'll be so glad to have that so we can travel more freely!

When I went to bed last night my feet were swollen and it really shook me; I thought, "Oh, no; it's happening, again!"  When I got up this morning my skinny feet were back.  I guess I sat too long last night sewing and letting my feet hang.  Anyway, when I woke up this morning I felt all bloated and thought, "Uh oh, the swelling is starting!"  I guess I'm paranoid.  I went right back to bed with my feet propped up higher than my heart.  At 1:00 I woke up feeling fine.  I'm sure I'm just paranoid.  I never want to go through all that swelling, again!  I felt like a lazy bum going back to bed, but Lee insisted I should lay down; he said, "You're not lazy, you're sick."  Most of the time I feel so good that I don't consider myself to be sick, but I guess if I have stage 4 breast cancer that makes me sick.  I'm sure glad I've got him to keep me on the straight and narrow!  God is so good to give us who and what we need in our lives!  Have you counted your blessings lately; be careful, if you're writing them down, you'll need a lot of paper!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tomato Vines are Producing!

Just when I thought I'd only have vines, I found more tomatoes than I can count.  You can see a couple in this pic.  Joan will take good care of them while we're gone and they should be ready to eat when we get back or not too long after.  That blue that you see is one of the many tourniquets they've used in getting my IVs started.  They're great for tying up tomatoes, opening bottles, jars, etc.  I have quite a collection of them.

Dorothy made it home from the City.  She had a great week visiting with her sister and her nieces, but it's sure good to have her at home!  Thank God for safe travels for her!

We go to the City for my infusion on Tuesday and also my visit with the oncologist.  I hope he'll have a clue from my lab work as to whether the Xeloda is working.  I think it is because I feel no head pains.  Usually when whatever I'm taking isn't working my head gets sore spots from the cancer in the bones (skull).  I'm taking that as a good sign.  We're supposed to get the bed cover for the truck bed on Tuesday, too.  I'll be so glad to have that because that will free up space in the cab for us.  As much as we travel, I think it will mean a lot to us.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Iris Thinning Report.

This is the iris patch in the back yard bed.  The first pic is one taken in April.  I took the other one yesterday. I really need to thin out the irises on this side of the bricks; maybe I'll get to it one day next week.  All those on the right of the bricks are blue and white and I've got them spread all over the place, now.  I sure hope they come up good next year!  They look kind of naked right now, but it's like a haircut; they'll look good before long.  I thinned irises out front and in the back, so the beds look a little barren now, but they needed to be thinned or they would choke each other out and not bloom well.

I've had a good day today.  I got some paperwork and details done.  Took some time to visit my good neighbor, Hazel tonight, too.  I'm going to give Lee a haircut and then we're off to shower/bath and bed. Tomorrow is our fellowship meal after church and I'm ready for that, too.  I made tabouli yesterday for it and I'm making a corn casserole in the morning.

Dorothy is in the City this week, visiting with her sister and her niece.  I have not been able to contact her because her phone goes right to voice mail and she can't check that.  I just miss her, but I'm glad she's having a good time with her family.  I'm sure she'll be home soon but I hate for her to miss the fellowship dinner tomorrow.  It's wonderful that she's healthy and spry enough to go visit!  I thank God for the gift of our friendship.

This is the same spot when the irises were blooming.  Those green things on the left are larkspur.  I put irises in there, so I'm not sure how they will work together; we'll see.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Lot Can Happen in Two Months!

Here are pix of the flower box out front.  The top one was taken on June 10th and I took the bottom one today.  I love the sweet potato vine!  And the live forever will bloom this fall.  I'll get another pic then.  The live forever is the dark green one; it all came from one plant in the back flower bed:

The 'mother' live forever is behind the bird bath and the rabbits.  It just keeps being that size even after I take parts to plant elsewhere.  I love it!

Another day I'll put on pix of the irises and how they've changed as we've thinned and replanted.  We had a bumper crop year, but they had to be thinned to keep up that kind of blooming.

My tomato vines are finally producing.  I've had 4 tomatoes off of two vines so far, but there are more green tomatoes on there than I can count, now.  I'm so grateful for them because tomatoes are my favorite thing  to eat in the summer!  I thank God for giving me the strength to keep this yard going.  I've had some good help with Nate and Lee; I could not have done it by myself!  I sprayed all the weeds above, but I just did it yesterday; it'll take about a week or 10 days for them to die.  Then it'll be time to spray again because they will have sent for reinforcements by then.  Ugh.  Weeds make me tired!

I'm enjoying my off week from chemo, but I'll have to be on it again next week.  I really pray that this kind of cycling (one week on and one week off) will do the job and that my body can continue to accept it.)  Time will tell.  I see the oncologist in OKC next Tuesday, so maybe he'll be able to tell by the numbers from my lab work how it's working.  My body is tolerating it pretty well.  My feet and hands burn and hurt, but I can live with that as long as they don't start swelling, again!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Celebrating Every Day!

This is a pic I took yesterday with my birthday flowers, a magnolia bloom and a basket full of tomatoes and bell peppers that my awesome neighbor sent from their garden.  I am in heaven when I have home grown tomatoes and flowers.  Who could ask for more?  Throw in bell peppers and I'm so, so happy!

Today I spent a couple of hours outside replanting irises I'd thinned out in the back flower bed last week.  I thank God for the ability to do that!  It was wonderful to be outside and I love it that I've got everything planted.

I'm plenty tired, though.  There's nothing wrong with tired; it assures me of a good night of sleep!  I also had a good nap.  It's been a great day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Family is so Precious!

This is the best pic I got of Bryce yesterday.  He was constantly on the move, but here he was pretty much mesmerized by Peyton's new doll house.  He's such a fun little guy.  He chatters all the time, now.  It's amazing how fast they grow.  Note his height relative to the cabinet doors.  I don't know how Krissy keeps up with him.  He can reach the door handles on the doors in the house, too.  He goes wherever he wants, so she's got her hands full!  Two big sisters help a lot.  Maddy wasn't there yesterday (she has a nannying job for the summer) so we missed seeing her.

Today was our water rationing day to get to water flowers, so Lee watered all  the irises I've replanted.  I followed him with the weed killer.  This had better work!  I used 6 gallons!  Lots of flower beds!  Oh, I need to get pix of the flower beds to post, too.  Maybe I'll remember to do that tomorrow.

I sure thank God for the ability to work in the yard.  Even more I thank him for precious family; we are richly blessed!  When we left, Krissy was holding Bryce and we were waving goodbye to him.  He waved and said, "Bye, Papa."  Then he said, "Bye Mawmaw" and melted my heart.  That was so sweet; he'd never called us by any name, so we were tickled.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A House for Peyton.

Peyton had asked Papa Lee if he could build her a house.  We found one at a sale and bought it for her and she was really tickled to get it today.  They had fun putting the furniture in it.  It was great to see Peyton and Bryce and their mother, Krissy today.  We hadn't seen them since Christmas so it seemed like forever. Bryce has really grown a bunch and really started talking.  I'll post a pic of him tomorrow.  His all have red eyes that I can't always fix so it's hard to get a good one of him.  He's always on the move, too, but I'll post what I can.

We had a good trip to the dentist and Lee's in good shape, again, until he has another tooth give out on him. This aging is a whole new trip, but I thank God that we are repairable.  I thank Him for another safe trip for us, too.  It was a good test trip for me.  I did fine; no swelling anywhere!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Wonderful Birthday. Thank You for Your Contribution to it!

My good friend, Joan, who house sits for us, brought over these flowers yesterday.  The zinnias are all from her garden.  I mixed them in with some artemisia and daisies from my garden and made this arrangement. She also brought me 3 tomatoes from her yard!  We used to live across the street from her and we made these arrangements and took them to everyone we could think of.  It was fun.  Now, we enjoy them, ourselves and enjoy recalling our old days of adventures.

My feet have been so much better today!  Last night I could hardly walk on them, but they are way better than I thought they could get in one day.  I sure thank God for the quick relief.  It's a fun week to get to take 7 days off from the Xeloda!

It's been a sweet day started by a beautiful card from Lee and then lots of cards and facebook messages and phone calls to wish me a happy birthday.  Before we make our next trip we're going to get a cover for the bed of the pickup, so we don't have to cram everything into the back seat.  That's going to be my birthday present!

The bad thing about today is that Lee chipped one of his very front teeth.  The good thing is that he can get in to see a dentist to fix it tomorrow.  So, off we go to OKC, again, tomorrow.  Hopefully we'll get to see one of his daughters and her family who we haven't seen since Christmas.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Last Day of this Chemo Cycle.

Note to self:  Xeloda is TOUGH on the feet.  Don't plan to be on them much until the off Xeloda weeks. My feet already peeled completely clean in earlier cycles, but my baby soft feet feel blistered.  It feels like I've been walking on hot coals.  But, I give thanks that I HAVE two feet and I CAN walk on them.  (Barely)  If today wasn't my last day of the ON week, I'd have to quit or at least give in to the wheel chair.  It's hard to believe they hurt so bad.  The great thing is they are NOT swelling.  This is a side effect I can live with. More good news is that Ibuprofen helps.

We had lunch with Dorothy at the Mexican restaurant after church today, so she and I are already celebrating our birthdays.  Hers is the 11th and she'll be 91!  Now, that's worth a celebration.  Mine is tomorrow and I'll be 66, but considering that I've had breast cancer since 2006, I think it's pretty worthy of celebration, too!  I thank God for giving us both life and a friendship to treasure!

I take one more dose of Xeloda tonight and then I get a week of rest from it.  Yahoo!  Now, THAT is a great birthday present (to take off Xeloda for a week!).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Happy August!

This is another pic from yesterday.  Today I have slept most of the day.  I think I'm sleeping off the drugs they gave me yesterday.  Otherwise, I feel good.

My feet are on fire from the chemo; I'm sure glad there is only one more day of it.  Then I'll have a week to rest and recover from it.  My feet are not swelling or cracking or peeling.  All the bottom of my feet  have already peeled off with previous treatments.  They look like a baby's feet.  So, nothing is peeling or cracking, it just feels like I've been walking on a bed of hot coals.   It makes it hard to walk, so it was a good day to sleep.  I'm hoping the feet won't do this every time, but if they do, I can take it.  I keep reminding myself that lots of people don't have 2 feet and can't walk at all for some reason.  I'm so grateful the swelling is not tormenting me!  I praise God for that and thank Him for the use of my feet.

Friday, August 1, 2014

More Good News; PTL!

We got up at 5 to be in OKC in time for my angiogram at 10 today.  They delayed it until 1:00, then. Typical hurry up and wait kind of deal.  But the angiogram went smoothly. They found no blockages, and they determined that my heart is strong. The doc said to go home and take a couple of off days and then have some fun.  For a couple of days I'm not supposed to bend over to pick up anything, nor push, pull, or pick up anything that weighs more that 5 pounds.  That means I get to spend a couple of days at real rest.  I'm getting pretty good at it.

The chaplain of the hospital came by my room before surgery and said as he left, "You're in good hands; God's"  I so love that and appreciate God for taking good care of me!  Thanks for all your support, too!  Life is good!