Sunday, June 29, 2008


On the back of one of my kitchen cabinet doors is a special written list. At the time, I didn't know it was called a bucket list. My husband encouraged me to write it out. I not only found it cathartic but hopeful. Even if I meet everything on my list, I will look back with satisfaction and wonderful memories.
I wrote a weird email today. To Ellen DeGeneres. My daughter told me about a trip that Ellen had given. It included a car and the winner was supposed to drive across country. That of course reminded me of my bucket list. So I sent an email making a wish that Ellen would grant me a trip across country sharing the beauty of the US and creating memories with my family.
Then I realized that while the list is posted on my cabinet door; I have not posted it here in my most public of forums. So here goes. My bucket list. (Now I will have to do all of this!)

Travel across country camping. A very long, multi week vacation driving to national parks, monuments and historic cities. Sharing every moment with my family.

Deliver a comedy monologue at an open mic night in a comedy club.

Travel to Egypt to see the pyramids then onto Greece to see the Parthenon.

Travel through Europe; especially Germany where my grandmother was from and visiting my distant cousins.

Zip line over and through the jungles of Costa Rica.

Whale watch off either the east or west coast. Perhaps we can do that on the trip out west.

White water rafting through the wilds of PA or WV.

Co host a radio show for just one day. Just like I did in college.

Snorkel off the Great Barrier in Australia. Then onto hiking in New Zealand. Or the Bahamas - I do want to see the Red Rock in Australia though. But Iwon't be picky.

So that's it. I know there is more in me. I have already crossed off climbing a rock wall and hiking Mammoth Cave. Slowly but surely I will fill those photo albums.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Down Five to Go

This will be a quick post. I am so tired that my eyes are crossing. I wanted to let everyone know that I made it through the first cycle. No codes were called. I am so relieved.
The nauseau is so far is manageable with the drugs. Except the drugs make you so sleepy. They gave me a white cell booster shot so I hope my I don't dip too far down.
All in all a positive trip.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hoping for the Best

Here I am at Hope Lodge Cleveland waiting for chemo tomorrow. This is such a nice facility. Very restful and peaceful before what could be a trying day.
I have waited a long time for tomorrow. I have always known that it was going to happen. I hoped later rather than sooner. So in order to celebrate my first dose of chemo, I have come up with the top five reasons chemo is a good thing - besides the killing cancer of course.

Reason Number Five -- Savings on shampoo, razors, conditioner, hair spray, hair cuts. Lots of money to save.

Reason Number Four -- Time savings in shaving, shampooing, combing and trips to the saloon. Not to mention the time saved in checking your reflection in the mirror. Those seconds add up!

Reason Number Three -- Trying out new wig hairstyles and taking it off if you don't like it.

Reason Number Two -- For those days, when a wig or scarf doesn't work, remember bald is beautiful. And don't you forget it!

Reason Number One -- Insurance paid weight loss plan.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Finally, An Easy Surgery

At dawn, we headed to the hospital for another surgery. I admit this one really had me worried. I wasn't worred about the open heart/lung. I did not have time to worry. Nor did I have a real choice in the surgery. I had to or move right into terminal status. This surgery was planned. An option. And I really didn't want to go under again.
We arrived on time. Taken back for preop on time. Surgery happened on time. And I woke up in the surgical suite. I was out of the hospital within the hour. We arrived at 7:45 am and left at 2pm. I was so happy that they did not keep me over.
To spend the night here at my own home the night of surgery is a real new experience for me.
My pain is also very bearable. Advil and Tylenol are keeping it in check. Another real bonus. I get to take Advil after a week off it. I am proud of myself for making it a whole week!
The port will be great for chemo next week. No more IV's and my veins will be saved from chemo. It sits under the skin allowing me to shower and swim.
All in all, a very good day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Funny Story

Almost every day, I have taken several walks. Some just around the driveway, up the street a block or recently, around the block. Granted I move at a snails pace and babies could crawl faster, I am still moving.
Today after dinner, I stated that I was going for a walk - by myself. My husband asked if I wanted company but I politely declined. I counter offered a 30 minute window. If I wasn't back by then, they could send out the troops.
Off I went. Hands in pockets and enjoying the evening. The sky was a bright blue and children were riding their bikes. And I was alone moseying along.
A neighbor stopped to chat. I admired her new puppy and we chatted about our children. The usual, how fast they were growing; latest accomplishments and school year gossip. I haven't seen her since last fall except to wave out the car window. I joked about my 30 minute window and she laughed.
Until I spotted my daughter strolling up the street.
There goes 30 minutes!

Oh, by the way, I wore a bra for the first time. Sounds weird to some but think about where the scar is and where a bra fits. You get the picture.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Next Step

I never thought about it before but blogging (at least in my format) is narcissistic. It's all about me as my son says.
I have schedule chemo to start in three weeks. I am fortunate that the onc is opting to separate the chemo agents so that I only take one form now. The next form of chemo we will save for next time. The toxicity of the combo outweighs the effectiveness. Especially in light of the fact that that I have no active tumors. So l agree that we can go with the easier regiment and save some for later.
The form he is recommending is doxorubicin (adriamyacin). It is common for sarcomas and breast cancer. I think there will only be four cycles -- a cycle is three to four weeks. And a single day transfusion. I hope that gives me time to bounce back each time.
I was afraid - and still am nervous. But everyday I get a little closer to accepting it.
What is so wrong with loosing your hair in the summer?

Get It Together

I got a call from sister today. She basically kicked me in the but. I know that she is right so I will try. Basically she said that my pattern has been after surgery, I slowly sink into a depression. Looking back over the last few weeks, I know she is right. I have struggled lately putting on a brave face or finding the humor. Especially with this one. It was just bigger than I anticipated.
I know that part of it is the let down of post surgery. You loose the adrenaline. You loose the purpose of a date and time that you are working toward. Now, you just sit and heal. While everyone worries about you.
I hate that they worry about me. I think I am just a little too independent for my own good.
So I will blog and try to deal with my feelings here. I know that someone may read them from my family. That's OK. They already know that I am just shy of crazy - ha ha. I do have an appointment with psychologist. That will help.
I am exercising. If you can small walks and ankle rolls exercise. I breath into the stupid, asinine tube. I cough despite that I am in pain. I am doing everything I can to heal.
I just want it happen a little sooner.