meltdown

Yep, you read that right, I’m finally having a full-blown meltdown.

I just found out that I AM HER2 positive. It means that the HER2 protein has been overactive in causing cell growth – cancer growth. It also increases my likelihood for reoccurence.

So, pardon me while I meltdown.

It’s the second piece of bad news I’ve had (cancer being the first). But I do love my oncologist for being positive about beating this too. He’s confident the drug herceptin is going to help me.

namaste

oops

I had this entry ready for posting last Saturday but hit “save draft” instead of “publish” – sorry!!


what round four was like…. 

Well, I suppose you could say it was better this time. I didn’t get nauseous. I did get constipated, but stool softeners aided that body function. And here I sit, Saturday, recovering still. So, the recovery time is longer and I’m SO TIRED. That cumulation thing the experts talk about? It’s all true.

So, how did I do better this time? WATER. My friend Tracy warned me, advised me and reminds me at every turn, but this time I listened. The only problem is that by day 3, water tasted like metal. The trick? Flavour it.

The good news? FOUR down.

Later!

____________

namaste

celebrate….good times…c’mon

Four down. I’m halfway there. Whu-hoo!!!

Apparently the first four was the regiment the worst for nausea. Yippee.

Oh, this wasn’t a complete cake walk. No siree, I had two failed attempts at inserting the needle, with the third time being the lucky charm.  A few tears and then I settled down.

I’ll let you know how well I do by week’s end.

________

namaste

treatment timetable

My meeting with the oncologist on Thursday got a few things straight(er) in my head about the course of treatment for me.
 
  1. Chemo – 8 treatments, 3 weeks apart
  2. Radiation – length to be determined, but usual case is 5 days a week for about 1 hour per day for up to 5 weeks
  3. Surgery
  4. Evaluation if more chemo/radiation required
 
If I continue to be good on chemo and have it as scheduled, my last chemo is January 8th. There is a 3 to 4 week period before radiation starts….5 weeks later, that puts me in March for surgery and about 6 weeks off after that.
 
Huh. That means that I will be ending this ordeal about the same time I discovered the change in my breast. Talking about coming full circle.
 
namaste

feeling good

Just a quick note to say that I continue to rebound well after chemo treatments.

I still tire a little more easily than before chemo/cancer, but the fatigue levels seem to drop the further away I get from the treatment.

And it’s amazing how much better I feel than during “chemo week”, as I’ve taken to calling that week after a treatment.

Two funnies for you:

Last Friday I went to try and use an old expression to describe my frustration level at some of the bureaucratic BULLSHIT I’ve dealt with at work…the expression? “I’m pulling my hair out.” Kinda hard to use the expression if you have no hair to pull out.

And this morning I had an alarm clock malfunction. The alarm light was lit, the music level tested and the wake up time confirmed. Unfortunately, no alarm went off. I got up at 8 a.m. (a full 30 – 45 min later than usual). I made it out the door in 20 minutes. There’s something to be said for having no hair – I didn’t have to worry about washing, drying and styling!! Whu-hoo.

namaste

thanksgiving weekend

After photographing what had to be the most fun-filled wedding of our 2006 season (lawn bowling anyone?), Vince and I drove up island and parked ourselves in Campbell River (Salmon Capital of the World). It’s about 3.5 hours drive from Victoria if you stick to the Inland Highway. We meandered a bit.

We chose a run-down motel on coast of the Discovery Passage. The mattress was acceptable, the room clean, and the view the best – overlooking Quadra Island and in the background the Coastal Mountains on the mainland (and oh, wow, on the mountains – made Vancouver Island’s Mt. Washington look like an anthill)! We actually had an older tree from 30 to 50 ft away from our balcony that bald eagles like to perch on and trust me, there was no lack of an eagle to watch. At one point a Stellar jay made its presence known (if you ever hear one, you’ll never forget its call), great blue herons hunted along the shoreline and an otter made a brief appearance.

We hiked a little in Elk Falls Provincial Park, mostly just to see the falls (pictures to be posted later) and then walked along the shore of Campbell river (the actual river from which the town gets its name) watching the men (no women seen) fishing for salmon. No catches that we saw, but lots of people trying. ‘Tis the season, you know. We also visited the local outdoor shop and watched a regular stream of men coming in for their fishing licences. Explored the Discovery Pier where the fishing trawlers dock and did a bit of shopping at the mall. We considered an adventure tour (torn between just whale watching or trying for a grizzly bear tour), but ultimately elected to wait till next year (Thanksgiving weekend often marks the end of a lot of the tours).

Woke up Monday morning to fog horns. The fog rolled in during the early morning hours and it was great. Haven’t seen fog like this since we left Ontario! Vince escaped for about an hour to try and get some good fog pictures while I tried to sleep some more.

Our trip back home was a little longer so that we could take the Oceanside Route Highway and then skip across a small highway to Coombs, BC (famous for its “Old Country Market” store with “Goats on the Roof” – no joke, goats live on the roof of the building). The goal was really to visit the World Parrot Refuge – http://worldparrotrefuge.org/ - truly a spectacular place to visit. Wendy and Andy have established a true sanctuary for parrots – and if you visit the website you’ll learn more about the sick, injured and traumatized birds they take in. I was fortunate to be given the permission to hold Rudy (ahem, that was given permission BY Rudy) AND get a kiss from her, an African Grey Parrot – Rudy, apparently, is VERY selective about giving kisses!!! I met Joey and a few of the other special needs birds – just loved every single one of them. Wendy and Andy are doing an amazing thing with this sanctuary – I would encourage any support you wish to make to them.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! 

namaste

something sweet

As most of you know, I have birds as pets – 4 cockatiels (Indy, Kiki, Juliet and Perry) and 2 lovebirds (Aja and Jasper). Usually once a week Vince and I will let one set or the other out for a flutter around the room and the ability to drive us crazy in person.

One day when I was off in the past 10 days, I let the cockatiels out of the cage. And then promptly laid down on the loveseat for a nap. Of the cockatiels, Perry is my baby. I spent a lot of time with him when he first joined the flock in November 2000 and he bonded with me. So saying he’s my baby is a lot like saying I’m his (as in belongs to him). Yes, he can be territorial about me.

So, here I am almost completely asleep when a flutter hits my face and Perry lands, startling me awake. He moves to my chest and does a little preening before he settled down. We both fell asleep and he was still there on my chest, asleep too, when I woke up a couple hours later.

I imagine it would have made a great picture, but Vince was at work and any movement on my part would have disturbed the scene.

The smallest things can bring the biggest smiles.

namaste