Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nurse Dropped the $4000 Syringe!

Every Friday, after Super Chemo Day, I have been getting a regular Neulasta injection. This injection boosts white blood cell production. It is pretty great and I guess it is helping me feel better. I do not know how much I am being charged for this, but my pharmacist at Rite Aid said the injection "retails" for almost $4000.

In 2007, they used to send me home with the syringe so I could give myself the injection the day after Super Chemo. I used to shoot myself in my upper thigh because it was easy to reach. There is a lot of liquid in the syringe, it stings a little, and you have to inject it slowly. It is amazing what you can do when you have to.

But now, I just drive back to Duke the day after Super Chemo, and a nurse gives me the injection in my upper arm. So nice! The nurses tend to either tickle or pinch right next to the injection site to distract during the injection (I guess it confuses the nerves and disrupts their ability to send OUCH signals to your brain). Tickling works for me -- I cannot feel a thing except for the tickling! The pinching does not do anything for me. (The pinchers don't want to believe that, however.)

So this past Friday, a very nice pregnant nurse is about to give me the injection when she drops the syringe on the floor!

We both gasp and stare at each other.

"I dropped it!" she says.

"That's like $4000!" I exclaim, "We can't use it?"

She laughs. I guess that's a silly question. No five second rule in the injection room.

She jokes that they won't charge me, and they can take it out of her paycheck...

Then she orders another one. When it arrives, she is nervous. Another nurse comes over to offer moral support, and I lean over in the chair so that if the syringe does fall, it will fall into the chair and onto me and we can save it. But the injection goes without a hitch!

Except of course that she is a pincher, not a tickler.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Third Super Chemo Day Report

I was pretty motivated to get to Duke and get my chemo and kill some cancer, because this was my last chance to make some progress before Scan Day on September 3.

So I hit the road right on time armed with my LIST OF QUESTIONS and handheld Tetris game and novel and small bag of used books to abandon there for other patients. Oh, and wearing a awesome pink Boston Red Sox baseball cap from Patsy and Omer (instead of my wig) because if I cannot show up all bald at the clinic then that is just wrong.

But the traffic! 40 was a mess and I eventually had to call over to Duke to let them know I would be 30 minutes late. They were very nice about it on the phone.

My list of questions:

  • Report that I had completely forgotten to tell them that the tumor in my psoas muscle had started sending out twinges in the last week of July. (There had been no feeling at all from that tumor since the second day of fabulous Cyber Knife raditiation surgery at the start of June.) The twinges were mild but frequent for a few days and now are extremely infrequent but do occur. Nothing so bad that requires an Advil, just a reminder that it exists.

  • Wonder if it is reasonable to think that the twinges are a sign that the chemo is messing with that tumor and making it unhappy. That theory fills me with joy.

  • Report that I have had mild headaches almost every day right behind my eyes for the last two weeks (separate from the migraines). The underlying question here is of course, do I now have a brain tumor?!

Dr Reidel smiled and said that it is totally okay to have my theory that the twinges mean the tumor is shrinking, but that we will find out on Scan Day what is going on. He did explain that there is a phenomenon called Radiation Recall, where a patient who has had radiation followed by chemotherapy experiences a sort of "repeat" of the radiation-induced inflammation and side effects in the irradiated area. Interesting.

We talked about my mild headaches for quite awhile. They sit right behind my eyes, which reminded me that a month ago my software at work was "upgraded" and is now in a smaller font and very hard for me to read and cannot be adjusted, gosh darn it. I now have to tilt my head to read the screen using the lowest band in my fancy progressive eyeglasses. That sounds like a recipe for eye strain, eh? So Dr Reidel suggested that I go to the eye doctor first to rule that out before we start worrying that the cancer has moved into my head.

The rest of my Super Chemo Day was pleasant and uneventful, so I want to jump right ahead to Friday and my visit to the eye doctor! There was a flyer on the bulletin board at work for a specialists in dealing with computer vision trouble. Plus they offer big discounts to SAS employees! So I called at lunchtime and they got me right in. I had a pretty thorough eye exam.

It turns out I have a perfect storm of eye trouble going on that is probably causing the headaches:

  • My eyes are extremely dry! I have already talked about how my mouth is really dry from the Tax chemo. So it makes sense that my eyes are dry too. The doctor gave me a couple of boxes of preservative free single usage moisture drops and told me to use them often. Already my eyes feel much better, and I did not wake up with a mild headache like I have every morning.

  • My sinuses are still percolating with something, and that always gives me a headache too.

  • I am 44 which is a time when my prescription is potentially changing for the worst. I definitely could use a special pair of glasses that will give me the perfect focus for looking at my two computer monitors (which sit 24 inches from my eyes).

  • The software upgrade has probably been causing eye strain for the entire month and having a cumulative effect. For the last two weeks, it has been just ridiculous squinting at the text on the screen.

So I ordered a new pair of glasses just to wear at the computer, and they'll be in next Friday. I was shameless in searching for a cheap frame! Why spend $275 for this lovely Coach frame with PINK accents for a pair of glasses I am supposed to wear only while sitting in front of my computer! I actually found a nice looking, sturdy frame for $120.

It will be strange to have two pairs of glasses to swap back and forth between. Since like the first grade when I got my first glasses that showed me the miracle of what you all could see, I basically put them on in the morning and take them off at night. Although, once I hit 40, I had to spend a lot of time lifting them out of the way to read any small print (till I got the progressive lenses).

Okay, Lou needs breakfast!

Burping Episode Averted

Voluminous and yet neutral tasting burps woke me up around 4:00AM on either Wednesday or Thursday morning. What a strange way to wake up!

(Almost as strange as when you wake up and your throat hurts and you realize that you have just screamed your lungs out because of some nightmare that you cannot even remember and your poor husband is about to have a heart attack in bed next to you. But that's another story. And more proof that marriage to me has been such an adventure.)

I was all cuddled under the covers and so sleepy and it took me a awhile to realize that this had to be the start of the evil diesel truck burping (worst side effect ever). It didn't taste terrible yet, but soon it would start to nauseate me and anyone in my immediate vicinity.

So I went out to the kitchen, took my regular morning OTC Prilosec, drank an entire can of Fresca, and went back to sleep for two hours till my alarm woke me up. The burps were gone, thank God and thank the unknown oncology resident on call who gave me this rememdy over the phone in 2007.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Forgot to Come Home From Work


I work at the best company in the world. I have great health insurance and about as much job security as could be expected. Everyone has been supportive and kind and yet just pile on the work in a wonderful way to keep me busy.

I also work with the best people in the world, the fricking smartest and fun people!

Plus I love what I do, which is write software documentation, and talk to software engineers, and learn new stuff all the time.

There are some days when I am totally enjoying myself at work trying to figure out the best way to describe something, and I lose all track of time and just keep writing and thinking and rewriting... then Lou calls because it's late and I exclaim, "Oh no, I forgot to come home!"

Now, I also totally love Lou and my home and Samantha the Golden Retriever, so don't think for a minute I'm staying late at work to avoid coming home. Not the case.

I guess I am just telling you how awesomely lucky I have been as a person. I have a wonderful family, have a likeable personality, loved school, got directed to a fabulous career in technical writing, met an amazing guy, been married for 17 years, went on many fabulous vacations, and made a lot of wonderful friends...

My life has been blessed!

But a lot of that is attitude, because there is also a bunch of bad stuff that I have to either deal with or just accept as appropropriate. Like, I have had a bunch of personal struggles that we don't need to go into here. I wish I weren't overweight. Loved ones have died, and other loved ones are very ill right now. My best friend Tinalynne lives 2000+ miles away. I strongly dislike the document processing tool I use every day at work. I wish more than anything we could sell our other house instead of trying to rent it. I have cancer again. And on bad days I worry that I won't be here in the future for Lou and my parents and Tinalynne. But everybody could come up with a list like that! And nobody has a guarantee that they will be here in the future for their loved ones; anybody could have a soda machine fall on them tomorrow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

A friend at work, Jonathan Whittington, recently went to Africa on vacation and brought back about a million photos. I was looking at them at work (gosh I love my job) and found three that totally spoke to me about this whole cancer experience.

This is life before finding out that the cancer had come back. Nothing but adventure and good times ahead.

But life seemed to come to a complete screeching halt with the diagnosis that the cancer had come back. I think it took eight weeks to get through all the tests and false starts for lung surgery before we nailed down how bad it was and what we were going to do about it.

And this is where I am now, getting chemo, making progress, but not quite feeling safe yet.

I am hoping that after the CT scan on September 3, the sun will come up and I'll find that the lions are further away from the jeep!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Should Always Bring a List

Experts always advise you to bring a list of questions to your doctor's office. I usually do, but yesterday I forgot. I was able to report most of my symptoms and ask most of my questions -- but I totally forgot to report the twinges from the tumor in my psoas muscle and forgot to ask if he thinks that means the chemo is helping kill it. Darn!

[But on Tuesday I did mention my theory to my primary care physician about how the twinges might be the chemo pestering the tumor. He agree and suggested strongly that I continue all positive visualizations like that, where the chemo droplets are zooming around inside me beating up all the cancer cells they find.]

Next Thursday, I'm bringing a list.

What threw me off was our discussion of my feet. I have some numbness and some pain in my feet right now. Does not keep me awake at night. Does not cause me to fall down. To me, it is no big deal, not worth $60 for Neuragen at this point. (But the Neuragen looks awesome and I would buy it if I felt I needed it.)

But the doctor is concerned because it is early to be having these side effects and we can expect them to get worse. He says that we could try Lyrica (prescription drug) if it gets to the point where it is bothering me. He also says there could eventually come a point when I get a rock in my shoe and I can't feel it and it tears up my foot which would be nasty if my platelets were low and could not clot... or when the foot numbness makes it so that my brain doesn't get accurate info about the terrain I am walking on and so I trip. If that stuff starts to happen, he would want to reduce the dose of Tax or take me off completely and replace it with something else.

Inside my head, at this point, I am thinking "Not going to report these any more neuropathy symptoms. Better keep my mouth shut. Want to keep taking the Gem/Tax, the gold standard for leiomyosarcoma! Want to be in that 40% group that gets significant shrinkage!"

I wonder if any of that showed on my face. Lou says I am like an open book, very easy to read, like a baby!

Finally, we also talked about the cluster of migraines I have been having, and whether they are connected to the chemo. The other doctor who was sitting in (a "fellow" in an advanced cancer program) suggested that the migraines could be connected to being dehydrated. I did get dehydrated last week and did have two migraines last week. So I am drinking more and carrying around my sample of Trexmet.

The Plan for the Scan:

On my next Good Chemo day, I will have labs as usual, have a CT Scan with contrast from neck to pelvis, meet with the doctor, get the results, and decide whether to go ahead with GEM/TAX regimen or switch to some other chemo.

That will be a LONG DAY, Dr Reidel warns.

It will also be an emotional day, Karen warns:

  • If we see shrinkage: Joy and Dancing and Relief!
  • If we see stay-the-same-sizeage: Happiness and Relief!
  • If we see growth: Fear and Regret followed quickly by Renewed Determination and Eagerness to hear about the new plan, the new chemo. New chemo could be like a new adventure. There haven't been many big surprises with Gem/Tax; been there, done that.

But we have weeks to go before SCAN DAY.

Oh gosh, the actual date for SCAN DAT is September 3, which is my mother's birthday. Do ya think maybe the universe could give us some shrinkage for Patsy's birthday?! (The universe usually just ponies up a gift card to Barnes and Noble.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Antibiotics for My Head

I saw my excellent primary care physician yesterday to get a prescription for migraines. Over-the-counter Excedrin Migraine works pretty well, but I do have to rush home and go to sleep for a few hours, cannot read, cannot watch TV. That's fine when I am having one migraine per quarter, but lately I have had them a lot more frequently. (I did have a cluster of 6 migraines in 2007 near the start of the chemo so if history repeats itself I have 3 more to go.)

So I got a sample of Treximet to try. Of course, maybe this is like the time I bought an umbrella and it didn't rain for weeks. It would be totally fine with me if carrying the Treximet around in my pocket wards off all migraines!

Anyway, after we're done talking about migraines, my doctor asks, "So what is going on with your head?"

My scalp is covered with this nasty painful leaky acne rash. It looks just awful. (I had taken off my hat in the examination room.) So he put me on antibiotics, yahoo! Let's hope it clears up soon as I can go back to being a redhead. I have not been able to put the wig on since Friday. Instead, I have been wearing a hat.

Being bald with a hat draws a lot more attention than having hair, even fake hair. I find that I prefer not getting that attention. That sort of surprised me because I'll admit I kind of enjoyed the chemo pity in 2007; clerks in stores sure were nice to me.

Don't want no chemo pity this time!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Remedies for Gem/Tax Side Effects

Here is the list of what I am doing to deal with Gemcitabine (Gemzar) and Taxotere (Docetaxel) side effects. If you know about more side effects and/or solutions, send me email or add a comment so maybe this will become a helpful and complete list over time...

I tried to arrange the symptoms by grossness -- so if you get grossed out, do not go on to the next item in the list!

Fingernails and Toenails

In 2007, the nurses told me that there is a chance that your nails turn black and fall off on this chemo. And I met a woman in teh treatment room to whom that actually happened! The solution was to paint my nails with Tea Tree Oil every day. It worked in 2007 -- my nails developed ridges but never turned black.

Well, I have to admit that this second time around I got complacent and stopped being rigorous about using the tea tree oil. Around the fourth or fifth cycle, a couple of my fingernails started to detact from my nail bed! It looked like the white part of the nail (the tip) was getting larger and deeper. The nails did not turn black or smell funny, but there was a lot of white grit under them.

I surfed the web and found that it is probably a common fungal infection. I sent away for "Elon Dual Defense Anti-Fungal Formula" because it was recommended on the fungus website. Well, that stuff works great! I saw improvement after just a couple of days; the white part of the nails are shrinking back to normal. The nails that have shown the most improvement are the ones that had just started to detach. The one nail that had been detaching for weeks has improved too but at a slower rate. The medicine is stinky stuff, but who cares. 1-800-414-ELON


I am taking a B6 pill every morning, but it does not seem to be helping. The bottoms of my feet are numb -- and they actually hurt as though I am walking on sandpaper. Maybe I am not taking enough B6?

Doane suggested Neuragen which is an over-the-counter topical medicine for nerve pain, but I tried two local drug stores and have not found it yet. Costs like $60 but I got a $5 coupon online from http://www.neuragen.com/. I will probably start calling around to see who carries it, when the pain gets a little worse.

My medical oncologist said that he would write me a prescription for Lyrica as soon as I tell him that the pain is really bothering me. It might work; it is a good starting point.

Dry Mouth

My mouth really dried up (no saliva) after I got the Gem/Tax together. (This did not happen to me in 2007, but it is happening this time.)

This is a side effect of the Tax. The first time, I did not realize that it was going to get so bad. What happened is that my entire mouth got really dry and uncomfortable. My snoring increased a lot too. My ability to taste certain flavors was impacted. My tongue turned a completely freakish WHITE color (although it was not thrush) and I panicked and brushed really hard trying to scrub away the white and caused a lot more pain and discomfort, so do not brush hard. Be very gentle.

The doctor gave me prescription Magic Mouthwash which helped to numb my mouth and keep thrush from forming.

The best solution is that now for the hour that I get to Tax, I try to keep a mouth full of ice chips. The ice chips constrict the blood vessels so while the chemo is circulating, I reduce the amount of chemo circulating in my mouth tissues.

I wish they had popsiscles in the treatment room! Or a freezer where I could keep a couple of popsicles that I bring from home.


The worst thing I remember from taking Gem/Tax in 2007 was burping what tasted and smelled like truck exhaust. It happened only a couple of times. The burping would start first thing in the morning and last all day, making me completely nauseated -- nothing could make that nausea go away.

Plus, I stunk up the room! Even Lou was grossed out.

Some oncology resident on call suggested that I get on Prilosec and that the next time when the burping started, I drink an entire can of Sprite or ginger ale with the Prilosec and then go back to bed. It worked! The burping stopped right there and never came back! So this time, I went on the Prilosec the day before I started Gem/Tax.

Rash or Acne on the Scalp

My entire head was being engulfed by an awful rash or acne that is very painful and characterized by pustules. Regular acne medicine had no effect, but tea tree oil helped a little.

My primary care physician put me on a sulfa antibiotic, and that is FINALLY clearing up the mess. On the second day, I saw SIGNIFICANT reduction in pustules and pain. On the fourth day, I am wearing my wig again!

The same thing happened in 2007 but I just suffered with it and did not ask for help. I remember showing it to the oncology nurse who expressed sympathy but did not suggest that there was anything they could do for me.

Loose Stools Leading to Diarrhea

I has loose stools for almost a week, and I was trying to solve it be eating BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce and white toast) based on one handout I had, but that just did not help and I ended up with serious diarrhea and dizziness and dehydration and missing work!

Then I found a more technical handout in my binder from Duke which said BRAT is okay but really you must take an over-the-counter diarrhea medicine because it is the only way to make it go away. (I took Immodium, and it worked.)

The thing I was not understanding is that no amount of BRAT will help because it is the chemo killing the cells that line the GI tract that is causing the problem.

You know I would rather have diarrhea than be barfing. I am so glad I am not nauseated at all or barfing at all. Knock on wood!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Does a Tumor Hurt Before it Shrinks?

Remember the tumor in my psoas muscle? I have not mentioned it here for so long, we might all have forgotten about it.

Anyway, when I went for that checkup with Dr Morris, I was soooo pleased to report that there had been nary a twinge from that tumor since after the second day of fabulous CyberKnife treatment. I took a lot of comfort from that. I love the idea of the radiation kicking that tumor's behind.

Well, in the last couple of days, there have been a few twinges from my psoas muscle. It's not anything like I felt before (which was a burning, intense pain in my hip and lower back). What I have now are little twinges of discomfort, more like an awareness or a rumor of bad news.

So I surfed the web looking for anyone who says that a tumor might start hurting again just before the chemo makes it shrink. I found three little references to such a phenomenon! But those three references were buried amongst 170,000 general references about tumor pain; not exactly the overwhelming validation of my theory that I was hoping for.

I plan to ask Dr Reidel next week, when I see him, if the twinges could be an indication that the chemo is working.

I would love to think that the chemo is making trouble for that tumor.

I figure, that is a sort of lovely thing to think. Reassuring. Since it is such a lovely thing to think, I am just going to keep thinking it till Dr Reidel answers my question next week. Chances are, there is no answer to a question like that. The real answer will come when we do the next scan. Did the tumor shrink? Then by golly that discomfort might have been a precursor symptom to the shrinkage!

The next scan will occur after the next cycle of chemo is complete.

Hang in there; four weeks to go.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ricky and Lucy

Here I am in my new red wig!

Why invoke the spirits of Ricky and Lucy? I am married to the most wonderful guy in the world. But there are times when Lou lets loose a stream of Spanish at me in a very Ricky Ricardo style. After 17 years I know what some of those words mean! But I say, "Yes Ricky!" and we laugh.

Official Handout on Healing Touch

[Here is the text of a handout that Amelia gave me on Healing Touch in case you are interested.]

What is Healing Touch?

Healing Touch (HT) is an energy-based therapeutic approach to healing.

HT uses touch and compassionate intentionality to influence and harmonize the energy system of a person, thus affecting physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual health and healing. HT therapies support the person's immune system and self-healing process and enhance the healing effort of other therapies.

The HT program consists of four levels, teaching several energy modalities and developing the participant from beginner to advanced practitioner with a Healing Touch Practitioner certification and the opportunity to become trained as an instructor. HT modalities are taught and researched in many universities and hospitals worldwide.

These effective methods can:

  • Reduce pain and anxiety
  • Lower stress and tension
  • Accelerate wound healing and the general healing process
  • Prevent illness and support the immune system
  • Activate mental clarity

Western science and Eastern medicines acknowledge the existence of energy fields that surround and permeate all physical bodies. Research studies in the field of psycho-neuro-immunology show that our thoughts and feelings affect our physical being and vice versa.

Workshop participants will develop energy field sensitivity and learn practical methods to discern and harmonize blockages in the field. HT is a viable preventive method to maintain physical, mental, and spiritual harmony and health.

Who May attend Healing Touch Courses?

The Healing Touch courses are open to all physicians, registered nurses, chiropractors, body therapists, counselors, psychotherapists, other health professionals, and individuals desiring an in-depth understanding and practice of healing work using energy-based concepts.

For More Information


If you are interested in a Healing Touch session or in taking the Level 1 class, contact Amelia at

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Monday 8-31-09: Woke up feeling great! I have been rifing Lou's recumbent bike and simultaneously praying the rosary. I hope Jesus and Mary like multi-tasking Catholics! The antibiotics have worn off, and my complexion is a little blotchy, darn it!

Sunday 8-30-09: Stayed up late, had a lot of fun at the party! Thanks so much to Jane, Darlene, and Meredyth for doing all the hostess work and cleanup during the party for me! I feel great today. It is 2PM and I am still in my pjs. This morning Lou and I watched For a Few Dollars More with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. My parents sent me totally cute Virgin Mary earrings (from http://www.signals.com/) which I plan to wear till it is time to get loaded into the machine for the scan on Thursday.

Saturday 8-29-09: Platelets must still be low because I blew my nose pink. Not going to blow my nose again today if I can help it! Pink is my favorite color (but not in my Kleenex). Small party tonight. Going to take a nap now so I have energy later. Since it has been so long since I had a migraine, I am thinking it is time to delete the count (below). No migraines for the Last TWELVE days!

Thursday 8-27-09: AIR CHEMO DAY My platelets must be low because when I blew my nose this morning, I saw blood. Yuck. Felt fatigued but not confused yesterday, so that is an improvement. No Migraines For the Last TEN Days!

Wednesday 8-26-09: Feel good this morning, but decided to work from home today in case I get all exhausted and confused again. Probably not fair to my coworkers for them to have to deal with me and tell me to GO HOME! Took Advil for the burning on the bottoms of my feet. Mouth is a little dry. Eye drops are such a relief! No Migraines For the Last NINE Days!

Tuesday 8-25-09 Evening: Bad Day! I was fine for a couple of hours this morning, and then I could not think or write. Total chemo brain. I stayed long enough at work to make some urgent changes to a document, to make sure some people had the info that they needed, to bail out of all my meetings, and to come home at lunchtime to GO TO SLEEP. Plus, the bottoms of my feet are on fire. No Migraines For the Last EIGHT Days!

Tuesday 8-25-09: Alarm went off at 5:30AM so I could ride the vanpool today -- but I forgot I have a Healing Touch appointment after work with Amelia. So no vanpool. My right foot is killing me right now. Yesterday I struggled with an inability to think after 3:00PM. No Migraines For the Last EIGHT Days!

Monday 8-24-09: Power napped in complete exhaustion on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, but then was fine all evening; maybe that is my new pattern for the Super Chemo Weekend. Feel good this morning, maybe a little tired and my feet are burning but gosh I wouldn't trade these side effects for some other ones I have heard about! ;^) I have a busy week at work which looming deadlines. I like the rush! No doubt, I am a sick woman. No Migraines For the Last SEVEN Days!

Sunday 8-23-09: Woke up power burping again at 4:00AM! Took Prilosec with a whole can of ginger ale, and it stopped. Otherwise feel good. Spent an hour on the Barnes and Noble website searching for a new book I heard about on the radio but did not catch the author or title... Found it! Jonathan Rabb's Shadow and Light. Also bought Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science to improve my mind ;^) No Migraines For the Last SIX Days!

Saturday 8-22-09: Yesterday was crazy good and I never got to blog! Woke up today feeling very good, finally no headache. Today we are taking advantage of my Decadron energy and putting fresh water in the hot tub. My job is to clean the interior surface between the old water and new water. Lou's job is luckily to perform every other task!

Thursday 8-20-09 Evening: The Super Chemo went really well today. Got a bunch of new info I'll probably post tomorrow (or maybe in the middle of the night tonight ;^) You are all too kind to me, reading this blog and leaving such wonderful messages! It brings me so much surprise and joy. Thanks so much! No Migraines For the Last Four Days!

Thursday 8-20-09 Morning: Super Chemo Today! Let's kill some cancer cells today. No Migraines For the Last Four Days!

Wednesday 8-19-09: Talkative Decadron day, so watch out! I had decaf at breakfast and will avoid caffeine for the next three days. Feeling good except I woke up with a headache that a cup of decaf just cannot dispel. Yesterday I got a Get Well Soon card from everyone in my vanpool! Awesome! Super Chemo Tomorrow. No Migraines For the Last THREE Days!

Tuesday 8-18-09: Yesterday was not good. I had a mild headache and felt sad. (Underneath it all, I was worrying about the upcoming scan.) I held it together all day, then burst into tears when I got home. Lou knows just how long to let me cry and then cheer me up again. I guess I just needed a good cry because today I feel emotionally solidly back on my feet again. No Migraines For the Last TWO Days!

Sunday 8-16-09: I felt wonderful till 3:19PM when I started seeing sparkly lights: MIGRAINE! Darn! Took a Treximet, went to bed and slept for 2 hours. No Migraines For the Last ZERO Days!

Saturday 8-15-09: Happy Anniversary to Lou and Karen! Seventeen fabulous years, every year better than the last. I felt wonderful all day yesterday and woke up feeling mighty fine today as well. No Migraines For the Last EIGHT Days!

Friday 8-14-09: Slept great because the Ambien trumped the Decadron. There are three nights in each 18-day cycle where I take the Ambien or stay up all night. That's not too bad. My scalp is so vastly improved, I'll be a redhead today! No Migraines For the Last SEVEN Days!

Thursday 8-13-09: Good Chemo Day! Plus, the antibiotics have already made a big difference clearing up the rash on my scalp. No Migraines For the Last SIX Days!

Wednesday 8-12-09: I have been sleeping through the night for the last couple of nights. It is awesome! I feel great.

Yikes forgot to copy a few days in here! (Progress not perfection!)

Sunday 8-9-09: Slept great, lazy Sunday planned.

Saturday 8-8-09: WIDE AWAKE at 3:50AM probably because I slept all afternoon on Friday with the migraine. Got a lot of ironing done in the wee hours. Lou went to the gun show. I'm going to Barnes and Noble. My face and scalp are very irritated!

Friday 8-6-09 afternoon: Rats! Migraine AGAIN. Twice in one week.

Friday 8-6-09 morning: TGIF! Slept LATE -- till 7:15AM! Really felt great yesterday and put in a full day and didn't get to bed till 10PM and read for awhile. This morning I feel good except my mouth is dry and the bottoms of my feet are numb -- wish my mouth was numb and my feet were dry.

Thursday 8-6-09: Vacation Day! Air Chemo Day! I planned to sleep as late as I wanted, but I woke up pretty chipper at 6:45 this morning. Some foods taste funny right now. I am planning to go out to lunch for sushi with my friend Nancy. So far, sushi has always tasted good.

Wednesday 8-5-09 evening: Had a great day but hit the wall at 4:15 and decided to come home. Lots of Nutrisystem food got delivered yesterday so no idea what I am having for dinner tonight.
Wednesday 8-5-09 morning: Feeling much better than yesterday. So far all I have is a little bone pain. Planning to actually go into the office today!


I talk to my mother, Patsy, practically every morning as I drive to work, or once I get to work if I am in the vanpool that day. This morning, Patsy said that my Aunt Frankie was looking for a way to read through all the old Quick Updates. Till now, there has been no way to do that. Every time I make a new update, I just delete the last one.

The Quick Updates are so trivial, there didn't seem to be a reason to keep them. Who really cares if I slept eight hours last night or just two? If I am hoping for sushi? (When am I not hoping for sushi?!)

But if Frankie and Patsy want something, then by golly, I have to give it a shot. So here is a new blog topic where I will try to remember to dump all the Quick Updates instead of deleting them. We'll call it an experiment and see if:

1) anyone likes it

2) I can maintain it without too much trouble