Wednesday, April 27, 2005

American Idol

I'm still laughing at Kid Sis's remarks about Am Idol.

I should be embarassed, I guess, that I'm hooked on that show. Especially because once the season is over, I won't care at all what happened to those people. I think it's the idea that 'regular' people get a shot.

This year my daughter, her fiance, and I got hooked and love to rant and rave over the performances. It's most fun to rant, I think. I am amazed at some of the people who are still there.... I don't think they're all that good.

...............

Going to my "home town" Traverse City this weekend. It is really my adopted town, but I had to leave there in January to stay with family, while dealing with the big C. (yep, me too) I will visit with friends, look at the Bay, and have to tear myself away to come back here.

...............

Been having some ups and downs lately, dealing with my illness. I've been healthy all my life...did all the right things...ate right, exercised, didn't smoke.... and yet I am sick. Why?? I'm not ready to face my own mortality. I'm 53, have lots to do, and just am not ready to call it a day.

I feel lazy not being able to work. I like working, and I like being healthy. I don't take to this waiting for the next doctor appointment life. I do the best I can to be 'normal'..... but there's always a reminder.

How'm I doing on the bloggin? I am not sure I have the hang of it.

American Idol

I'm still laughing at Kid Sis's remarks about Am Idol.

I should be embarassed, I guess, that I'm hooked on that show. Especially because once the season is over, I won't care at all what happened to those people. I think it's the idea that 'regular' people get a shot.

This year my daughter, her fiance, and I got hooked and love to rant and rave over the performances. It's most fun to rant, I think. I am amazed at some of the people who are still there.... I don't think they're all that good.

...............

Going to my "home town" Traverse City this weekend. It is really my adopted town, but I had to leave there in January to stay with family, while dealing with the big C. (yep, me too) I will visit with friends, look at the Bay, and have to tear myself away to come back here.

...............

Been having some ups and downs lately, dealing with my illness. I've been healthy all my life...did all the right things...ate right, exercised, didn't smoke.... and yet I am sick. Why?? I'm not ready to face my own mortality. I'm 53, have lots to do, and just am not ready to call it a day.

I feel lazy not being able to work. I like working, and I like being healthy. I don't take to this waiting for the next doctor appointment life. I do the best I can to be 'normal'..... but there's always a reminder.

How'm I doing on the bloggin? I am not sure I have the hang of it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Still here

I've begun a Therapet Group on the advice of Dr. Bernie Siegel, in Prescriptions for Living.

I am living at my daughter's and her fiance's home, and between us we have 6 pets. 3 dogs and 3 cats.

My Therapet group consists of:

Jack
a 98# yellow Labrador, who sheds more hair each day to fur several medium sized dogs. He is a very loving, lovable guy. He's a "licker". He licks the air, cuz he knows we tell him to STOP LICKING! His tongue is large, and his licky ways can be a bit annoying. But that's OK, it's what dogs do. Jack's favorite thing to do is nap. He is as happy as can be to nap on my bed, nap on the porch, nap in the grass...all day. His participation in the Therapet group so far has been to nap while we talk. I'm sure he's getting it all subliminally.

Louis
a 13 year old black and brown tiger cat. He is the best cat in the world. He is manly and handsome, and has spent most of the group time complaining about Jill's 2 cats who live here. Newman is very mean to Louis, and attacks him and bites his ears for no reason. It has caused Louis a lot of stress, he says, and he wants nothing more to do with him. He's decided rather than have to try to brave the walk to the basement to use the litter boxes, he would rather sneak quietly out the front door to do his business under the shrubs. I think that's fine.

Pogo
My 2 year old Jack Russell Terrier. He is black and white with tiny bits of tan blush on his cheeks. He's the long-legged variety, and looks a bit more like a fox terrier than a JR. He's extremely smart, pretty lively, but not obnoxiously so. He is a very good listener. He turns his head from side to side so he can ponder each thing you say, just so he is sure to get it right. He knows there is a possum under the back porch, though he's never actually seen it. He stands on the air conditioning unit barking at the side of the house. Guess he thinks the possum is under there. Pogo also barks at worms and bees.

Ari
My daughter Jill's boxer. He was adopted after he was abandoned at an apartment in town. He is a quiet guy, though if anyone wants to fight about something, he's up for it. He likes to claim the couch when we have our meetings.

Newman
The bad kitty. He is a food stealer. He will circle around behind you when your back is turned, jump onto the cupboard and try to get any food he can find. We think this is because he was once lost for 2 weeks and had to find his own food. Now he's not taking any chances.

Stewie
He's a very sweet boy. He has the longest meow I've ever heard. Stewie is a worrier, he complains about everything, and worries that the dogs want to hurt him when all they are dong is staring at him. He has had a rough life, though, also being an abandoned cat who was lucky enough to find his way into Jill's house. (no one ever found out where he had come from) Stewie has a digestive disorder, eats often, has a fat tummy, but is skin and bones. Apparently he does not absorb the nutrients from his food and has to take supplements. He worries alot about his health.

As you can see, we have lots to discuss during our Therapet sessions. We've just begun, so we'll just have to see what we learn from each other. I think next time we'll just go around the circle and let each one speak their minds.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

With Wings

Interestingly, last night as I lay in bed, one of my large paintings FLEW off the wall onto the floor. I could see it happening even in the dark, it seemed to spin outward and fell. I didn't realize at first it was the painting, and I couldn't figure out what was going on, and what had flown about. I got up and turned on the light, to see that the painting was sitting neatly propped against the wall. There on the wall, I saw something. I had forgotten it was there, but when I moved my things into this bedroom at my daughter's new home, there had been something painted on the wall. It wasn't very well painted.....a decoration......very crudely done, and perhaps thoughtlessly covered up by me when I hung the painting. The decoration?

A purple butterfly.

I accept this as a sign of life. I am warmed by this sign, grateful for this day, and today I have no complaints.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

another Milestone?

2 months into a 3 month waiting period between CT scans, and post-chemo in which there was a significant reduction in the main lung tumor (Stage IV NSCLC), I developed right-sided chest pain, underwent an evaluation CT, and the tumor is growing again.

I initially received Carbo/Gemzar/and Velcade as part of a clinical trial (the Velcade part was the trial) for 6 cycles, which ended in January 2005. A CT at that time showed at least 50% reduction in tumor, with all symptoms relieved.

Since then I've been feeling very well, have much of my strength back, just need alittle extra sleep, and am anticipating my daughter's June wedding, and my son's November wedding.

The sudden development of the chest pain sent me to the ER to rule out a PE. No sign of embolism, no pleural effusion, so they are considering bone mets in that area, so I will undergo a bone scan, as well as xray of the area.

I'm being treated at UM Cancer Center, and I've been started on Tarceva, I anticipate a positive response to that. I trust my oncologist, and feel good about this decision.

Dr. Cheerful.... feel free to offer your thoughts...??

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ode to the Cheerful Oncologist

He says what he thinks
He does what he dares

He takes on the worst
He shows that he cares

Sometimes there are losers
who wish they could win

But that's the world
That he's living in

He writes from his gut
He speaks from the heart

Some days he thinks
he's just playing a part


In the life that he's chosen
And the time that he gives

Makes him ponder
why it is that he lives

Was this what he was meant to do?
Repair a broken life or two?

Does the work that he does mean anything?
Some think..... that it means everything.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

It's the little things

I had a lovely day. I slept til 9, had a great cup of coffee, spent time with my dogs, and went off to visit my neice and her gorgeous 2 year old son.

I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with him, snuggling on the couch, with a pudgy hand in mine, his sweetly sweaty head against my shoulder.

There is nothing more wonderful than a cuddling toddler, excited about life and all it's gifts.

Thank you for this very lovely day.