Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas! We are currently in Missouri visiting Tom's parents, sister and her family. It snowed on the way up Saturday so we had a semi-white Christmas. Most of the snow has melted, but there is more snow in the forecast this evening. Hopefully it will get it all out of it's system by tomorrow when we drive back to Baton Rouge.

How I'm doing: I went to see Dr. Abernathy (Oncologist) Friday before we left. She gave me a clean bill of health. I'm feeling great, albeit a little tired, but that doesn't have anything to do with the cancer, it has to do with life!

My hair is coming back very curly but at least it's not gray!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How I'm doing: I am doing great. My underarm is 99.9% healed. It's still slightly tender, but that is to be expected. It's tender like new skin, because it is! My strength is back as well. I am pronouncing myself well.

Hair: So many of you have asked for a picture, so here it is. I took it myself, so forgive the bad photography.
Doctors: Went to see Dr. Boyer, the radiation oncologist, Monday. She said I am doing very well.
Future posts: Since things are going so well for me, I don't anticipate posting very frequently. I'll probably post something after each doctor visit. So check back in December!
Thanks again for all you've done for me. This journey has shown that I have THE BEST family and friends. I could not have made it through these last eight months without you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday 9/23/07

How am I? What a difference a couple of weeks make! I feel much better. My underarm area is almost completely healed. There is an area the size of a penny that is like a mild sunburn. There is a slight discomfort, like a you'd have with a sunburn. I no longer take any pain meds. I pronounce myself well.

Work: I finished my last radiation on Monday 9/10 and went to New Orleans (the city is my client) on 9/11. I am back on my travel schedule of Monday - Thursday. It's tiring, but it's normal. I'm glad to get back in the swing of things.

Doctors: I went to see Dr. Christian (surgeon) on Friday. She said I was doing very well. She said I need to see either her or Dr. Abernathy (oncologist) every three months. I have an appointment with Dr. Boyer (radiation) in about a month. Dr. Christian said that Dr. Abernathy would order any additional scans. Apparently one has to wait 6 - 8 weeks after radiation is done before doing additional testing.

Hair: Coming in strong now. I've quit wearing a hair cover - hat/scarf. Although if it doesn't start to lay down soon, I may go back to wearing them! There is an area where the right side is crashing into the left side creating a kewpie effect.

LSU: How about them Tigers! I went to the Middle Tennessee game last week and the So. Carolina game yesterday. I was not amused when sitting in the rain, but it didn't last too long. The important thing is the Tigers won!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday, 9/8/07

Radiation: All together now! One more treatment! My last radiation is scheduled for Monday, 9/10. I can't wait. My underarm area is the color (and texture) of burnt toast. It hurts pretty bad. I am using RadiaGel for the burn. It's like aloe with an analgesic in it and I take Tylenol during the day and Oxycodone at night.

Because my skin is broken, I decided to forgo the LSU/VA Tech game tonight. I figured sweating and possible rain would not be a good idea for my skin. I'll be watching on TV however.

Hair: My hair is continuing to grow. I now have enough that I don't need to wear a hat or scarf, but not enough to comb! I now know why I had so much trouble styling my hair (when I had some.) I have cow licks all over my head! I fear I'll look like a troll doll at some point!

Bathroom: Things are coming to completion. The shades were put up this week. The only thing left is a cover for the outlets.

Kitchen: They finished the backsplash and grouted this week. It looks great!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Katrina: Well, today is the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. So much has changed since 8/29/05. Some for the better, some for the worse.

Radiation: Twenty-eight down and 8 to go. The area under my arm is starting to bother me. It hurts worse at night than during the day. The other day, my doctor asked if I wanted a script for some pain pills, just in case. I responded in the affirmative. She then asked what I wanted. I told her I was doing some remodeling, so something with a high street value would be appreciated.

Hair: Still growing! It's about 1/2 long - where there is hair. However, about 1/4 of the follicles haven't started growing yet. It looks like it'll be salt and pepper. More salt than pepper however.

Other bathrooms: The downstairs bath is finished. It looks good! We replaced the floor. The floor was the same lovely blue tile that was upstairs.
The upstairs bathroom - before. Note the lovely blue tile.
The floor after. MUCH better! Also replaced the tub and cultured marble.
Labor Day weekend: I'm heading to Chicago for the weekend. Going to EGA National Seminar! Looking forward to it. I'm leaving Friday and coming back on Sunday.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday, August 27,2007

Radiation: Let's see, 25 down, 10 to go. Things are going fine. Still a little irritation, but the fatigue is getting better and better.

Nothing is ever easy at the Miller house: We got our counter tops put in. They look great. Still some odds and ends to be done. The back splash needs to be finished and other minor details to tend to, like fix the dishwasher! Yes, you read right, now our dishwasher doesn't work. The counter guys came today and spent several hours trying to fix it to no avail. So, the plumber is going to look at it when he comes tomorrow to finish the upstairs bathroom. And the cherry on the sundae is the check engine light on my car came on.
After (Phase I)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Radiation: Twenty-two down and 14 to go. Over half way! Woo-who! My strength and stamina is getting better and better. I'd estimate I'm about 95% pre-chemo. Radiation is starting to be a bother however. The skin under my breast is getting irritated. They said it'd be like a sunburn, but they lie. Imagine you wore a wet bathing suit for a week. You know how your skin would be chapped? It's like that. I am using Aloe gel, Vaseline and other lotions on it in an attempt to get it to heal. Also, the hair follicles in the area near my underarm are getting irritated. I'm told that is normal as well. All in all, I'd rather some irritation than fatigue from chemo.

Bathrooms: The tile is finished in the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. The cultured marble is scheduled to be put in on Friday upstairs and the plumber is coming on Tuesday. This will finish the bathroom remodels. Yea!

Kitchen: I think I mentioned that we are getting granite counter tops put in the kitchen. That is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday). Never knew that getting cancer would be the impetus for remodeling!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, August 13,2007

Radiation: Fifteen down and 21 to go. Overall, I'm feeling better and better each day. I'm almost back to pre-chemo strength. My skin is starting to feel the effects of the radiation however. Using lots of lotion to try to stop the drying out. BUT I'd rather have dry, irritated skin than be tired all of the time!

In-Laws: Tom's parents, brother and grandfather left this morning after an eight day visit. It was too bad they picked the week where we have 100+ degree weather! The heat index is in the 110+ mark. It's brutal. Other than the weather, we had a very nice visit.

Bedroom: We have now moved back into our bedroom and bathroom. Things are about 95% complete. We're still waiting on some odds & ends like the mirror covers for the plugs. Nothing major. We got the bedspread and drapes put up. Looks great!

The Bedspread and drapes

Monogram on the bedspread


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Radiation: Ten down and 25 to go. Still no ill effects. Feeling better and better each day. Guess I'm finally getting over the tiredness.

Master Bathroom: The bathroom is FINALLY done and we are moved back into our bedroom - sort of. Most everything is put up, but there are some odds and ends still to be put up.

Upstairs bath: We're "on the list" for the cultured marble to be put in. Once that gets done, the faucet and shower head can be put on and we're done up there too.

Culverts: The culverts are done too. All that needs to be done there is some clean up work and sodding.

Kitchen: Ever the glutton for punishment, we decided to get granite counter tops put in our kitchen. So we are starting that project this week.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Things are never dull around the Miller household! We are almost done! The carpet and wallpaper was put in earlier in the week.

The carpet.

The wallpaper.

The electrician and contractor are here now finishing up! Things are looking good.

Culverts: We are also getting culverts put in the front yard. Yesterday the guy dug up the water line. Which wouldn't have been so bad, but the wallpaper lady and my maid were here. Can't hang wallpaper or clean a bathroom without water! So we took a bucket across the street and got water for the wallpaper lady. My poor maid carried water from the pool to the bathrooms to clean them. We felt like we were in a third world country having to get water from "down the hill"! Fortunately the water company came and had the break fixed in a couple of hours. In the process, they dug up a TV cable. Fortunately, it was a dead line.

Radiation: Seven down and 29 to go. Still no ill effects. Apparently the "sunburn" starts sometime after the second week, which is now. So they gave me some lotion to put on to keep the skin moist.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Radiation: Three down and 32 to go. Still no ill effects! Compared to chemo, this is a cake walk.

Lots of good stuff happened today! The glass man came today. We now have a shower enclosure and a mirror. The rest is scheduled to be completed next week.

The Shower

The Mirror. The circles are where the lights will be and the squares are where the electrical outlets will be.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Radiation: Had my first treatment today. It only took 20 minutes - curb to curb. It took longer to get the gown on than the treatment did! It's just like getting an x-ray. The machine makes lots of clicking noises then the techs come in, move the machine and change the "wedge". (The wedge is to direct the beam in an arc. ) I guess that's a good thing so it'll miss vital organs, ribs and things. Someone said she didn't mind radiation because her techs were all buff men. Me? I get two ditsy blond that are this big and a frumpy effeminate guy. Just my luck. One down and 34 to go!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Radiation: Went today for my final "tats". I just thought I was a kindergarten project before! I don't think there is a spot on my chest that doesn't have paint or sharpie on it!! Today they did a lot of x-rays to make sure my marks are correct. My first treatment is actually tomorrow. (I thought it was going to be today.)

Hair: My hair continues to grow. Yea! It is getting darker and darker. Double yea!

Trey: Trey drove to Dallas on Saturday to visit his friend Cristian for a week.

Bathroom/Bedroom: The painter finished painting our bedroom. It's more golden than the photo shows.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hair: Well, the hair is starting to grow back. It's like a five o'clock shadow on a 15 year old. However, it seems to be dark, so I guess it won't be ALL gray!

Bathroom: Things are moving along. The painter stained all of the woodwork, painted the bedroom ceiling, and patched the holes in the sheet rock.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Phew! What a week. As you know, I went to visit my friend Audrey in Oregon. I've now been to every state in the lower 48! We had a very nice visit. Sunday, we went to see the volcano fields in central Oregon. We went into a lava tube. Apparently these tubes are formed when the lava on the outside cools and the lava on the inside keeps flowing. What's left is a tube large enough for a person to walk through. In some places it was 30 feet high and 50 feet wide! Way cool.

Monday, Audrey went to work, so I rested. Tuesday we went to see the waterfalls around Portland. Again, very nice.

Wednesday, I went to Denver for a work meeting. The meeting was very productive with presentations by senior Microsoft management. Friday night we went to Corteo Cirque du Soleil. The show was fantastic. If you ever get a change to go to a Cirque, do it!! For a preview, kick it here:

Radiation: Went to the Radiation Oncologist today. Got my CT scan and all the requisite markings. My first treatment is scheduled for Monday, July 23.

Bathroom: The painter is scheduled to come tomorrow. He is supposed to prep the walls for the wallpaper, stain the woodwork, and paint the bedroom and closet. Things are finally moving ahead!

Happy Birthday Mark! Today is my brother-in-law Mark's birthday. He is 39.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

4th of July: We went to my parents house for burgers, hot dogs and beer. We had a wonderful time. Hope everyone had an equally wonderful day.

Week of July 7 - 14: I will be in Oregon visiting my friend Audrey and in Denver at a work meeting. So I won't be posting anything until after the 14th.

Tamoxifen: Started taking it yesterday. No side effects as of yet!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Short Story: Feeling better day by day. My port site is healing nicely, although I still can't sleep on my right side or my stomach. A few more weeks and I should be healed enough to vary my sleep positions. Got a fairly nice bruise around my port incision and it's starting to itch. But that means it's healing, so I can handle it.

Nails: Got my acrylic nails put on this weekend. Another step towards "normal".

Next steps: Went to see Dr. Abernathy (Medical Oncologist) today. She wanted to start me on tamoxifen after my radiation, but the study protocol that I am in calls for concurrent use. So, I'll start taking tamoxifen this week and my six weeks of radiation will start mid-July. For more information on tamoxifen, kick it here:

Travel schedule: I'm going to New Orleans for the day tomorrow. It'll be the first time I've been since I started my treatments. Then I'll go visit my childhood friend, Audrey, in Eugene, Oregon July 7 - 10. On July 11, I go to Denver for a business meeting, returning home on Saturday, July 14. It's the first overnight business trip I've taken since February. It'll be very strange!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Port: Got my port out yesterday. It was done at the Doctor's office with just a local! I was not amused. The only part that really hurt was when she put the local in. It hurt like a SOB! Then I could hear everything she was doing - the tugging, pulling and the sounds of the port coming out. Got a little lightheaded, but I survived. Feels ok today. There is some bruising, which I'm sure will become more colorful as the days progress. The stitches are inside, so it doesn't look bad. It is not painful - Tylenol is sufficient.

Why didn't I post yesterday?: Our internet was down yesterday afternoon and last night. There was an intense thunderstorm here about 5 pm. A house down the street was hit by lightening and caught on fire! There were about six fire trucks, ambulances, and many support personnel fighting the fire. It took about three hours to get it finally out. The woman who lived there was home at the time. She got out safely, but her home is a total loss. We had lightening strike a tree about 10 feet from our house last summer. We are very fortunate that it didn't hit the house!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday, June 27,2007

Short Story: Getting better every day. My head itches, so I guess my hair is growing back!

Port: I get my port out tomorrow at 11am. It is done in the doctor's office! I don't even get put to sleep. Not real sure how I feel about that, but I'm sure it'll be OK.

Bathroom: Things are progressing. The drawers and laundry chute are now in. Also, the backsplash is complete.

Everything is ready for the next step - the painter to prep the walls for the wallpaper and to stain the new wood.

The backsplash and new drawers. (The notes are on the faucets because the drains are not hooked up.)

The laundry chute.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday, 6/24/07

Biloxi: We are back from our weekend in Biloxi. Had a wonderful time. Spent time at the casino tables, ate at Mary Mahoney's (it has reopened since the storm), and drove around a bit. Most of the businesses and homes along Hwy. 90 are still gone, but a few souls have rebuilt the stately homes that used to line the road. New businesses are also springing up.

How am I feeling? Still doing well, however I need 10 hours of sleep a night. Like I've said before, it's the new normal. Looking forward to getting my port out on Thursday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things are never dull around here: We discovered the upstairs tub is leaking into the library. The people who built the house, put a shower in a jacuzzi tub. Why is this an issue you ask? I'm told that "real tubs" have a flange on them to keep the water where it belongs, inside the tub. This tub does not have a flange on it. When one stands in the tub, the caulk gives slightly allowing the water to seep under the shower wall to the floor/ceiling below. We had the caulk replaced, but it didn't help. We can't afford to have the library ruined, SO, we get to put a new tub in our upstairs bath. Of course this means one needs a new floor and who knows what else. Hopefully the contractor we are using for the downstairs bath can also do the upstairs. He's on vacation this week, so we have to wait until Monday to talk to him. We are now using the downstairs bath. Fortunately, we have four full baths!

Master bath: Things are moving, albeit slowly. The glass people came Monday to do their final measurements. I'm told it'll be ready three weeks after it is ordered. Who knows when it'll get ordered! I'm guessing it'll be the end of July before we can move back into our room. Trey says the sooner the better!

Anniversary: Tom and I are celebrating our 22nd anniversary Friday, June 22. We are planning to go to Beau Rivage, a casino hotel in Biloxi, for the weekend. Should be fun.

How am I feeling: Doing better every day.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers out there! We celebrated Father's Day and June birthdays last night at my Mom and Dad's house. My brothers Bob and Tom grilled steaks and we had a wonderful dinner.

Still Tired: Feeling OK, but still tired. I'm having trouble falling asleep the last couple of days. I think it's because of "withdrawal" from Ativan, one of the nausea drugs. (It makes you sleepy.) That symptom usually lasts a couple of days so hopefully tonight I'll be able to get to sleep sooner.

Trey: Trey's party was a great success. Lasted from 1 pm to 1 am on Friday. I'd estimate about 30 kids were in and out with about 15 - 20 here at any one time. Tom grilled hamburgers and hot dogs which were enjoyed by all. Apparently the last hamburger was eaten at midnight thirty. Three young ladies showed up at 11 pm as I was going upstairs to bed. Oh to be young again, when one STARTED going out at 10 pm instead of heading to bed!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday, 6/14/07

Feeling better: Feeling better today. The Neulasta seems to have kicked in so my energy levels are higher.

Bathroom: The plumbers are here today. Why is it that nothing is easy?? Apparently the lavatories were put in backward on the granite. So one more workman has to come. At this point, what's one more!

The faucets are in and the shower head is on. Apparently I need something called a wall 90 hand shower in polished brass. Once I get that, then the hand held shower can be installed.
Trey: Is having his birthday party here tomorrow afternoon. He has invited 40 of his closest friends. Should be interesting!
Port: I've scheduled to get my port out on June 28 at 11 am. Can't wait. While it's not uncomfortable per se, it bothers me when I sleep on my stomach.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sleeping: How can one person sleep so much? I am tired of it! I slept for 12 hours last night, got up for about 2 hours then down for 2 hours. Did that all day long. I hate it. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Other side effects: The other side effects, dry mouth, shakes, nausea, etc are not as bad as they were the first go round of chemo. Which is good, but the sleepiness is much worse.

Guess I can't complain about getting my beauty rest!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, 6/11/07

Short story: Still feeling good. Sleeping a lot however, but that too will pass.

It is true! I won an Opportunity Knocks basket! My friend Jann brought it to me this morning. Following is what is in it!

The List:

The Stuff!

The Tree with origami bills $200 dollars worth!!

Summer has arrived: Forcast for today is 97 with a heat index of 108. So glad I can stay inside!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Short Story: Still feeling pretty good. A little tired, but not bad. Took a couple of naps today.

Trey: Went to the Times (a hamburger place) for lunch with Trey and some of his friends for Trey's birthday. They are now over at the house watching the NBA finals.

Bowling: Trey, Stef (Trey's girlfriend) and I also went to watch Tom bowl singles and doubles in State Tournament. Unfortunately, he is not in the money. But he had fun!

EGA: At region seminar, one can purchase tickets for opportunity baskets. The baskets are supplied by various chapters as fundraisers for the chapter. The tickets cost $1 apiece and you place the tickets in buckets next to the baskets. I purchased $20 of tickets and I won a basket! At least my friends tell me I won it - the drawing was Saturday at lunch. Allegedly it is on it's way to me. I know it has bills in various denominations totaling $200 made into origami cranes plus other stitching related items. I can't wait to see what else is in it. I've been to 12 Seminars and never one a basket before. I'm very excited!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Saturday, June 9, 2007 noon

Short story: Been up since 8 am. Still feeling pretty good. Although I'm about ready to take a nap.

What I'm up to: I've unpacked my stuff from the weekend and loaded the dishwasher. Tom and Trey are very good at rinsing the dishes, but they haven't quite mastered the art of going to the right (where the dishwasher is). But at least the dishes are rinsed! Guess I shouldn't complain.

I've finished editing the pictures from my parent's 50th anniversary party. Be on the look out for an email from me or my mom. If you don't get an email and want to see the pictures, send me a request and I'll get it right out to you!

Bowling: Tom is bowling in State Tournament this weekend. Wish him luck!

Trey's birthday: Trey will be 19 tomorrow, June 10, 2007. I find it hard to believe that I am the parent of a 19 year old. Why is it that when you see your friend's children they seem so old, but your children don't seem to get older?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday, 6/8/07

Short Story: Well, my counts were good on Tuesday, so I had my LAST treatment today! Tom came and picked me up in Houston. He arrived around 10:30 Thursday night and we left around 8:30 Friday morning. We arrived at the doctor's office at 1:30, 15 minutes early.

EGA: I had a wonderful time at my seminar. We spent our time shopping, eating and stitching. What better time could be had than that???

Treatment plan: Had my last treatment today. Yeah!! I'm very happy about that. Getting a bit tired, but that is to be expected. I am planning on going to Oregon to visit my friend Audrey in July then on to a company meeting in Denver the rest of the week. My radiation should start when I return the week of 7/16. That will last for 6 1/2 weeks. I'm hoping to be able to squeeze in getting my port out before radiation starts.

Bathroom: Everyone put your hands together now! The tile is DONE!! I am so excited to have that phase completed, I can't begin to tell you. Phase "next" should start next week. Not sure what that phase is, but I'm sure I'll hear what it is next week.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday, 6/4/07

Short Story: Still feeling like the "new normal". I will be heading to Houston tomorrow for the EGA (Embroiderers' Guild of America) Region Seminar. Therefore, I'll be off line until Friday or Sunday.

I stop by the doctor's office on my way out on Tuesday for blood work. If my counts are low, my Friday treatment will be postponed, so I'll stay in Houston for the rest of the Seminar and return Saturday night. If my counts are OK, I'll be back for my final treatment on Friday.

Bathroom: FINALLY got the shelf for the bathroom. The tile guy will be here on Thursday and Friday, so hopefully the shower will be done by the time I get home!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Short Story: Still feeling good. Been sleeping alot however. Slept about 12 hours last night and took a 2 hour nap today.

Alaska: Trey's girlfriend, Stefanie, got back from Alaska today. Her family went on the cruise/tour that we were supposed to go on. We postponed until next year while they decided to go. We should be able to find out all of the do's and don'ts from them.

If anyone would like to go with us next year, let me know!

Alpha Phis: Went to dinner last night with my seven of my sorority sisters and two guests. We had a lot of fun. After dinner, we went to Erin's son Timmy's house. He is looking to start a business selling alcoholic ice cream. He had several flavors for us to taste test. Each scoop has the same amount of alcohol as a martini. I'm not sure I'm in the target market for this product. I'm thinking I'd rather drink my alcohol and eat my ice cream, although some of the flavors were quite tasty.

Bathroom: We are still waiting on the shelf to be ready. Allegedly it will be ready tomorrow. Since I'll be gone next week, the tile man is coming on Thursday and Friday when Trey is home. Hopefully, the tile will be finished by the time I get home!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday, 5/31/07

Short Story: Still feeling like the "new normal".

Bathroom: We are beginning to see the end of the tile! Ken has most of the decorative tiles up. We are now waiting on our shelf (to put shampoo and soap on) to be finished. It's supposed to be done tomorrow. Since I've heard this song before, I'll believe it when I have it in my hands! After we get the shelf, it should take two more days of work, then the tile is DONE!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday, 5/29/07

Short story: Still feeling good. Getting back into the swing of things again.

Memorial Day: Had a wonderful time this weekend. Tom had a Texas Hold 'em tournament here on Sunday night. Ten players showed up, plus three "fans". Todd was the big winner, but Tom was "in the money" twice. Trey held his own by coming in second one game.

Monday we spent doing some yard work - there is ALWAYS something to do - then grilled sausage and burgers. Trey got out his BB gun and we shot at some cans in the back yard. He said, "What can be more southern than this? We got guns, beer and BBQ!" It was fun and tasty!

EGA Regional Seminar: Turns out I'll be able to go for some of it. Tom has agreed to come pick me up in Houston Friday (6/8). So I'll be able to go to the Region meeting and one day of classes and get back in time for my FINAL (yeah!) treatment. What a nice guy he is to drive 250 miles (one way) to get me!

Tuesday night stitch in and my birthday tablecloth: I went to the Tuesday night stitch in at a local shop, the Cross Stitch Corner tonight. I finished my birthday tablecloth! What is a birthday tablecloth?? Every year since I was four, if you come to my party, you sign your name and year in pencil. Then I embroider it with white thread - well my mom used to do it until I was a teenager. Last year, Tom and I estimated there were approximately 1,500 names on the tablecloth. I usually start frantically embroidering it in December for my January birthday. This year I vowed to start right after my party in January. I had 69 names to embroider for 2007 and each name averages about 45 minutes to do. I FINISHED it tonight! I am so proud of myself.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday, May 26,2007

Short Story: Still feeling good. Tired of sleeping all of the time though. I slept for 12 hours last night. I've discovered that having hair helps your head slide around on the pillow! Being in bed so much is making my head hurt!!

Crawfish Boil: Went to a crawfish boil at a friends house today. I found out how much I use my acrylic nails when peeling. It was a real pain to peel the crawfish and shrimp without any nails. (Mine are still very short because of how thin the fake nails made them.)

Hair: My hair is starting to grow back. Which makes no sense to me - how can hair grow when chemo makes it fall out??? But it is not growing back everywhere so I have bits of stubble all over my head. Fortunately my eyebrows and eyelashes did not fall out completely. They just thinned a little.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday, 5/25/07

Short Story: Had a good day today. Feeling much better.

Rest of the Story: Laid down for about 20 minutes today. Much better than Wednesday when I spent all day in bed. Ended up canceling therapy yesterday. I didn't want to spend my energy that way!

Danielle: Happy Birthday to my niece, Danielle who is 6 today. We celebrated last night with the family. It was very nice.

Jann: Condolences to my friend Jann D. who lost her father on Tuesday after a long illness. The funeral was today.

Stitch in: I had the stitch in at my house today. Several people came and stitched, then we went to eat at the Broken Egg, a new restaurant nearby. I had fun.

Bathroom: We now have a shower floor! The tile is also being put on the walls! Progress is being made!! (The orange stuff is the "Schulter" system that makes the walls waterproof.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday, 5/23/07

Very tired today. Spent just about all day in bed. I'm up now however. (6 pm) We'll see how long it lasts. I'm supposed to go to therapy tomorrow, but am thinking of canceling. I'd rather celebrate my niece, Danielle's 6th birthday than go to therapy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday, May22, 2007

Short Story: Went to therapy today. I was really tired when I got there, but I think it did me some good as I did not take a nap today. I also went to Cancer Fit/Yoga.

Bathroom: Got the vanity today! Looks great. The spots are on the wall and are reflecting on the granite. It looks better in person than in the picture!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday 5/21/07

Short story: Kinda tired today, but that is to be expected. Took a nap and am feeling better.

Bathroom: Almost got a vanity today. As the guys were installing it, they discovered the end was not polished. So off it went, back on the truck.

The tile man had a "family emergency" and won't be back until at least Thursday. No wonder projects take so long to finish!

Yard Work: Trey and his friends did a great job on the front of the house. All of the azaleas have been trimmed. Didn't get to the camellias however. That is for another day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday 5/20/07 9 am

Short story
Feeling pretty good. Some cotton/metallic mouth and a slight headache. Took a two hour nap yesterday before going to dinner at Clint and Kathleen's. She made a fabulous Shrimp and pasta dish.

Rest of the Story
Yard work: Trey and couple of his friends are here to help whip the yard in shape. That is if I can find the dynamite to get them out of bed. I woke them up at 8:30 and they still haven't wandered downstairs. At least I know they are here since they spent the night. We will be trimming the azaleas and camellias that have gotten way overgrown.

Nothing much else to report - life goes on!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday 5/18/07

Finally! A post!! Yes Ann and Jane, I have FINALLY posted something. Now your day is complete.

Short Story: Had my third treatment today. Got hooked up at 1:00 was out of there by 3:30. I slept the whole time. Could it be because I got up at 6:30 to go to therapy??? We then went out to eat with our friends, Mary and Ken. Mary is also a breast cancer survivor. We celebrated the end of her chemo. Still feeling OK at 10:24 pm.

The Details
Therapy: Still feeling good. I'm calling it "the new normal". I'm at about 90 - 95% of pre-chemo strength. I really think the therapy is helping. Upon reflection, the second treatment was easier than the first. I started therapy the week of my second treatment. On Wednesday, Debbie, the therapist, had me do an exercise for my hips where I turn my feet out and push against a bar. If I remember my ballet correctly, it's "second position". As some of you know, I dislocated my knee cap four times when I was younger. My knee decided it DOES NOT like this position. So today, I cheated and turned only my right heel out, not my left.

My Last scheduled treatment and SCR Seminar: My last treatment is scheduled for 6/8/07. That is right in the middle of the South Central Region EGA Seminar. (EGA is the Embroiderers' Guild of America). The Seminar is being held in Houston 6/6-9. I was hoping my doctor would consent to moving my treatment to the Monday after 6/11. She allowed how that was not advisable. So I'm going to have to forgo going. I'm really bummed.

Bathroom: A whole lot of nothing happened this week. Ken, the tile man, went to get the goopy goop to put on the wall behind the tile - yes goopy goop is a technical term. In this case it is a rubber like substance you paint on the sheet rock so as not to leak in the future - and his supplier was all out. Apparently someone came in right before Ken and bought it all. No more will come in until today - allegedly. BUT, our loss is our friends Philip and Laura's gain. They are also using Ken for THEIR bathroom remodels. He was able to go to their house and get their tile done while we are on hold.

Trey: Trey has almost settled in. His dorm refrigerator is still outside, and his wastebasket is still floating around the kitchen, but all in all, he has put his stuff away. He "forgot" to tell us when he got home last night from Stefanie's. I suppose it is difficult to have to report in when you are so used to not reporting. He can't wait for the bathroom to get done so we get out of "his" space. On the plus side, we have to run only one A/C at night now. He said he got all A's and one B in English. We are very happy with those grades!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday 5/12/07

Short Story: Still feeling good.

Long Story
Mothers Day: Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers out there! We went to my mom's house last night. Had a wonderful steak dinner with the entire family.

Wigs: Wore my blond wig to dinner with my sorority sisters Friday. No one recognized me! You tell me, blond or brunette??

Trey: Trey moved home yesterday. His exams are finally over. He thinks he did well on his exams - possibly all A's!! He can't wait to have the bathroom finished so we will get out of "his" bathroom.
Bathroom: The floor has been grouted and the floor of the shower has been prepped for the tile. It's looking good!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday 5/11/07

Short Story: Just heard from the doctor. Apparently the $3,500 shot finally decided to work. My white count is 6,000, which is well above the low end of normal at 4,000. Guess I'll need another shot next Saturday! Several of you have volunteered to "stick" me. Not sure how I feel about that!

Long Story: My next treatment is a week from today. So I'll have another week of feeling good.

Wigs: I bought a blond and a brunette wig. I told Tom that way he can get two wives for the price of one. He's not so sure it'll be cheaper!! The bangs are a little long, so I go this afternoon to get them cut. Sounds weird, getting a wig cut! I'll post a picture after they are styled.

Bathroom: Tile continues to progress. He is here putting in the floor of the shower today. Things go slowly when work starts at 10 and ends at 3 with an hour lunch! Where can I find a job like that??

Mother's Day: Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mother's out there. We are celebrating tomorrow at my mother's house here in Baton Rouge.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday 5/7/07

Short Story: Nothing much new to report. Still feeling ok. A little tired, but that's it.

Long Story:
Still on the antibiotics. I'll go for another blood test Thursday.

Stitching weekend: Had a wonderful time this weekend. About 12 ladies were in and out over the three days. I got alot of stitching done and lots of wonderful ideas for my current project, my niece, Danielle's stocking. (see picture below)

Insects: Figured out it was not a borer bee, but a horsefly that bit me - which makes much more sense! I figured it out when he attacked me again today. Apparently he thought someone had appointed him a guard horsefly. But I had the last laugh. I got a can of wasp spray and staked out the front door. I GOT HIM! He died a slow painful death. My arm itches like crazy - like all horsefly bites - but the swelling has gone down.

Bathroom: The tile is on the floor and the tub surround is done. It's looking great!

The floor

The tub surround

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunday 5/6/07

Short Story: Been having a blast with all of my girlfriends this weekend. My white counts are very low. Apparently the shot has not kicked in yet. The nurse called me and asked, "Did you get that shot?" I replied, "Yes, why?" She said, "Because your counts are very low." Apparently my count is 1000 something and the low of normal is 4000 something. There is another number that shows the ratio between the old and new white cells. The number should be 2000 something and mine is in the 200's. SO they put me on an antibiotic, Levaquin. This is the same antibiotic I took last time that seemed to work.

Long Story
Stitching Marathon Weekend
Ladies have been in and out all weekend. A total of about 15 different people so far. We've been stitching and eating and eating and eating.

Damn insects!
Friday, I went to get the mail. It was raining, so I used an umbrella. Apparently a borer bee (or something similiar) got caught up in the umbrella. When I closed it, the bee was not a happy camper. I got stung on the underside of my left forarm near my elbow. It has swelled up a little and is hot to the touch. (Yes, mom, I called the doctor.) They said there is nothing much they can do. Trey looked at it (he has young eyes) and did not see the stinger.

Naturally, all this happened right after the therapist gave me a huge lecture on lymphedema and not drawing blood, taking blood pressure or wearing tight jewelry on my left (affected) side.

Tom is due back this afternoon. He had fun bowling, but apparently is "not in the money". He did do well in the poker room however. Maybe he'll win enough to pay for the bathroom!

Speaking of the bathroom, the tile has been laid on the floor. Supposed to be grouted on Monday.

The doorbell is ringing. More stitchers coming to visit! I'll sign off for now!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Wednesday, 5/2/07

Short Story
Still feeling pretty good. A little tired and sore, but that's about it.

Long Story
Bone Marrow: As you know, I had a shot to stimulate the production of white blood cells. It must have just kicked in as my back is all of a sudden very sore! I'll feel better tomorrow since my white count will be on the way up!

Therapy: Therapy went well, even though I was tired. Debbie (the therapist) said I did everything she expected me to do. My arms are a little sore, which is not surprising. I go again Thursday morning.

Bowling: Tom is getting ready to go to Reno for the National Bowling Tournament. He bowls Friday and Saturday. While he is away, I am having 20 or so of my girlfriends over for a stitching/movie marathon. Should be fun for all.

Bathroom: Ken, the tile guy, came today. It feels like things are finally starting to happen, since the "pretty" stuff is being put in! I can't walk on the tile, so I can't take a good picture. I'll post one when I can!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Short Story: Feeling pretty good. A little tired, but that's it. The metallic taste is going away. I think it's the Decadron that makes that taste. I only take it for for 3 days after treatment, so yesterday was the last day. Still no side effects from the shot.

Long Story:
Therapy: I go to my first therapy session today. I hope I have the strength to get through it! I plan on taking it easy, so I don't get too tired out.

Chemo Brain: Is alive and well. It's like you have permanent dyslexia. It's awful. So if I post or say something that doesn't make sense, please let me know!

Bathroom Remodel: Still going forward. The tile man came yesterday to prep the site. He is supposed to come back Wednesday to begin laying the floor. I think it'll feel like progress is being made when the "pretty" stuff starts happening, and not just electrical wires and studs being put up!

Happy Birthday to my Father-in-Law, Tom Miller, Sr. Today is his birthday!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday 4/28/2007

Short Story: Feeling pretty good. A little dry mouth, and some queasiness, but other than that OK. Took a 3 hour nap this afternoon, mainly because I went to a lecture on Chinese Embroidery and then to lunch with my chapter members so I got a little tired, but it was worth it!

Long Story
How I'm feeling: Have a slight dry mouth, and I'm "aware" of my stomach, but the nausea drugs are working well. Took a three hour nap today, so I'm not tired.

Hair: Tom shaved my head last night. I was so tired of having hair down my neck! He left a "fringe" around my face and my sideburns. He thinks it looks funny - and it does - when I'm around the house "naked", but when I wear a hat or a scarf, I don't look totally bald. In beard speak, it's a "chin strap", so I guess I have a "head strap"! For those of you are familiar with Gus Weill, a Louisiana political advisor, he sports a "chin strap". Not that I relish the idea of being compared to Gus Weill, but he is the most famous person I know that has a chin strap. An interesting visual, I think. Link to a photo of Gus for those who don't know who he is.

Any-who, not having hair does has it's advantages, it takes much less time in the shower, it also saves on shampoo and conditioner. However, it makes blending makeup at the hairline an interesting exercise.
Shawn with a "head strap".

Embroiderers' Guild: Our Region Director, Linda Ferguson, came to today's meeting. She gave us a lecture about Chinese Embroidery. Everything from two sided embroidery to chain stitch, to techniques involving horse tail hair! She went to China in 2006 and brought many samples of her work. It was very interesting.

First Row (left to right): Jann, Dawn, Pat, South Central Region Director EGA Linda Ferguson, Mary, and Judy.
Back Row: Jeanne, Ann (partially hidden), Jane, Dee, and Shawn
On Table: Samples of Traditional Chinese Embroidery.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday, 4/27/07

Executive Summary: Got my second round of chemo this afternoon. I finished around 4:15. Still feeling pretty good, at 8:45 pm.

The Nitty Gritty Details: Chemo went fine. Still peed red. Actually more of an apricot color. They gave me a prescription for a shot of Neulasta it is to be administered 24 hours after chemo. It is supposed to stimulate the growth of white blood cells. So the "second week slump" that I experienced last time should be prevented. My friend Dawn is going to give me the shot as she frequently gives herself allergy shots. Tom volunteered, but since he's never given anyone a shot before, I declined. Besides, I'd rather be angry at Dawn for a botched job than at Tom! I can send Dawn home, Tom I have to live with!! :-) Our normal pharmacy, the Sav-On in Albertsons, did not have the drug, so they called around to find it for us. Fortunately, it was found nearby at the Walgreen's at Coursey and Sherwood. Sav-On told us that since it costs $3,500 PER SHOT, they don't stock it on a regular basis. But they can order it for me for next time. Oh? My cost??? $0.00. Sweet huh???

Thoughts on Hair: My hair is shedding worse than a hairy dog or cat. It is EVERYWHERE! When I finish this post, I'm going to get Tom to shave it for me. I had to wear a turban so I could cook dinner and eat! I was afraid little hairs would be falling in.

The Bathroom Remodel: The shower has been framed in and the holes in the sheetrock have been fixed. We are now ready for the tile man to come. He is supposed to show up Monday morning.

The ceiling of the shower has been created.

The hole where the old medicine cabinet was has been fixed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday, 4/25/07

Short Story: Still feeling pretty good. A little tired however. My hair is falling out all over the place. I'd estimate it's about half gone. I went for my physical therapy evaluation Tuesday and more blood work today.

More details for those of you who have to know everything!

Hair: You know how when you get a hair cut there are these little hairs all over you? That's what's happening to me. I can't wait for it to finish falling out. This is a real pain!

Cancer Fit and Physical Therapy: Yesterday, I went to my second Cancer Fit session. The topic was Exercising for Life, then we did 45 minutes of yoga. That same day, I went for my evaluation for physical therapy. They measured my arms for lymphoedema, and had me do a bunch of baseline exercises. One of the exercises was to see how many times I could stand and sit in a chair in 30 seconds. I probably could have done more if my knees weren't creaking so much! I'll go twice a week for therapy.

Dreams: My friend Ann L. sent me the following email. It's a hoot!

"I dreamed about us last night. We were at a party and you had on a hat! Someone said something about your hat and you said "Well, if you don't likethis, how about this?" and with that you pulled off your hat and there was long blond shiny hair. Then you said "Well, if you don't like this, how about this?"and you pulled off the blond hair and there was red hair. Then you said "Well, if you don't like this, how about this?" and you pulled off the red hair and there was brown hair slightly askew on your head! I woke myself up laughing, but went right back to sleep."

Tom: Tom is feeling alot better. He was able to bowl last night.

Next treatment: My next treatment is this Friday afternoon. Hopefully, I'll feel like I did last time - not too bad.

The bathroom remodel: Things are progressing. The plumbing is in on the shower and the electric lines have been run. The contractor is supposed to come tomorrow to put up the sheetrock in the shower in preparation for the tile guy to come next week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Friday, 4/20/07

Short Story: Got my hair cut today. See pictures below. A little tired, but other than that, fine. My white blood counts are low, so they've prescribed an antibiotic and I'll need a shot after my next treatment. Tom got his staples out yesterday.

The TMI section
Hair: As you can see, I got my hair cut today. It was starting to fall out. When I put gel on this morning there was several strands of hair wrapped around my fingers. Also, there was quit a bit in the shower drain. Which I'm glad about. I wouldn't want to get it shaved if it would stay for a longer period of time! The cut is more of a Sinead O'Connor than a Britney. Wendy used a "1" on the clippers. Tom played the part of paparazzi.

This is me and Wendy, my stylist, before the cut.
Wendy in action. It's almost done.
Me with my hat. It has a scarf tied around it, but you can't see it from this angle....

It feels funny when I'm outside and the wind blows. Like my hair is moving, but there is no hair to move!

Blood work: My white count is low. Maybe that is why I'm tired... It also means I am more susceptible to infections. I need to wash my hands before eating, etc. Which I do anyway, I'll just be more vigilant. Because of this, they have prescribed an antibiotic and I'll need to get a shot to stimulate the production of white blood cells the day after my treatment. I am scheduled to have my treatment on Friday 4/27. They say I can have the shot at home. Any volunteers???

Tom: Tom got his staples out yesterday. His incision is about 3 inches long. We were both surprised at how long it was. He continues to use the ace bandage as a "reminder" that he has had the surgery. The doctor said he can do anything he wants to do (bowling and golf is Tom's main concern) as long as it doesn't hurt.

The Bathroom remodel: Things are going well. The shower is framed out, the electrician has run all of the wiring and the plumber is supposed to finish on Monday. The tile guy is on vacation next week, so he will come the week after. The cabinetry has been put in. Like many remodels, they did exactly what we asked for, but it's not what we wanted. We filled in the knee hole in the cabinet with drawers. I wanted two more, but they added three more. Thus, they were not deep enough for what I wanted. So it's our first, and I'm sure not last, do-over.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Short Story: Still feeling good. I've had enough energy to take my morning walks. Tom is also doing well. His wrist itches, which is a sign of healing, so that is good. He is having problems writing with his left hand, but is making do.
The Details:
Blood Work: My blood work came back "fine". I'm not sure what the numbers are however. Go back for more blood Thursday.
Hair: I made an appointment to get my hair shaved Friday 4/20. Wendy has been my stylist for about 15 years. She always asks me what style I want. I just tell her to keep it out of my eyes. She gets frustrated with me because I never give her any direction. Well, I made my appointment, I told her I had seen a style in a magazine that I wanted.... A Britney Spears! She was very excited to FINALLY get some direction!!
Cancer Fit: Baton Rouge Physical Therapy and Our Lady of the Lake Hospital here in Baton Rouge sponsors a program called Cancer Fit. It is an eight week series of lectures on cancer/fitness and yoga. I went today. The topic was Boosting Bones & Muscling Metabolism. We then did about 45 minutes of yoga. This was the first time I did yoga. It was an interesting experience.
Bathroom Remodel: We decided to remodel our master bathroom. We figured it was a good time since I'm stuck at home for so long I could be here for the contractors. We have moved to the upstairs guest room. It took us two days to move especially since Tom was one handed! This experience has made me realize two things (1) our closet holds A LOT of stuff and (2) it was full! Demolition on the bathroom started yesterday. The contractors came at 7 am and were done by noon. Where can I get a job like that??? No wonder it takes them so long to get things done!

Here are the before pics of the bath:

Here are the "after" pictures of the bath: