Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Little update about babysitter......

Had a nice long chat with Zandra about her coming up to "babysit" me next month while Dwight goes fishing. I'm quite excited about seeing her.  It has been way too long.  I started looking at a new blog and before I knew what was going on - I was lost in blogville - I'm hooked on all the blogs of people from Great Britain.  I've always been drawn to that culture and even more so now that I've had the unique experience of "living there" for two weeks in a quaint little village with Marlan.  Every time I read one, I find another one and off I go into "good memory land".  I've got to stop this because I'm spending way too much time on the computer because of this.  Oh well - ....maybe one more entry. :)

Last day of October, 2012......

It has been a long time since anyone came here for treats. Between it being too dangerous to walk in front of our house and our not having the outside lights on has meant we haven't had "treaters" for years now. It is also pretty cold out there tonight so we definitely aren't expecting anyone. I only had one appointment this week - acupuncture yesterday. It went okay. She is pretty booked next week so it will more than likely be another week before I go again. It did help though - I had spit yesterday and most of today. I am having to chew Biotene gum right now though. I got the information for my appointment next month with the Lymphoma Oncologist at Duke and I really hope I like her. I have to go and sign a release at the other cancer center tomorrow so she can get all my medical records regarding the lymphoma before I see her.
Jessie sent me this picture of Page in her new "meeting" coat. I like it. She also told me a Page story. It has to do with hat day at school and the unique way Page decided to wear two different kinds of hat at one time. Oh yeah.....that's our girl. We are definitely driving up Saturday to spend the night with them and I can't wait to see all of them. I think they are going to cook BBQ chicken and hopefully, her Mom and Dad will join us. I am looking forward to being with all of them. It has been way too long. Hopefully it isn't going to be too cold - I'm pretty much cold all the time anyway these days. Dwight just asked me to find out if Zandra would like to come "baby-sit" me next month for him to go fishing. Since he is only going to be gone the weekend, I doubt she will come for that. I'll have to ask Geral if she will be available. That reminds me, I need to ask Debbie if she can come by Saturday and give Miya her medication. It will be good practice for her for when we are gone for a week. I have mixed feelings about leaving her alone that whole week. I know you think that is silly but she is our baby. I feel sorry for people who don't love their cats. I am also hoping we can get out to see Ennis in the next few days. I found out she is home now and I really, really want to see her.  It is so hard being dependent on others to get around for every little thing.  I will be so glad when I'm off the Oxy and can get around by myself again. I know poor Dwight will be happy too. He is pretty much trapped by my situation and has been wonderful about it. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Only two more months and 3 days left in 2012...

Yep - here we are at the end of the 10th month of 2012.  I'm not going to  spend too much time lamenting about how fast time goes by since I've gotten older. You would think it has inched by since I've been sitting in this chair for a little over a year now. So hard to believe it has been a little over a year since I was diagnosed, the surgery, the radiation and all the little things that keep cropping up.  At times it has felt like one step forward and two steps back.  That isn't true any longer but I am starting to feel that every time I think I'm really on the mend, something new crops up.  Hopefully the test for my ability to swallow will tell us something that will make it better.  I only have one medical appointment next week - acupuncture - and I'm happy about that.  We are both pretty tired of trips every week for medical appointments.  I threw up again tonight for no good reason.  That is the second time in less than a week.  Oh well - again - one day at a time...right? Good night (morning) everyone.....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Some memories are good and some are hard......

I am all about having good memories and can honestly say, my good ones far outweigh the bad ones for the most part.
This picture is one of those that bring up good feelings. Dwight loved my Mama and she definitely loved him. She also loved to make his face and ears turn red with her "salty" jokes from time to time.
This one also brings good memories because it was taken when I got married. She worked nights but went in late this particular Friday night so she could be at our little wedding. I think she was very happy when I married Dwight.  I remember this dress - it was brown wool and looked so good on her.
This one was taken around the same time as the one above but was taken on a Saturday - not a Friday. See the difference in her hair? Back then, women got their hair done on Saturdays and it had to last until the following Saturday. I enjoyed wearing this suit also - loved the color on her.
This one was taken with her youngest brother whom she loved dearly. He was ten years younger than she was but his health was never very good (he was born premature) so she was always protective of him. He called her his Doodley. The nickname stuck between them until she died. I have the cigarette lighter he gave her one Christmas with her name "Doodley" engraved on it. She loved it.  She also let him name me Patricia - he always called me his "Patericka".  I remember not liking my name and asking Daddy why in the world he let him name me that. Daddy said, "I know - I never really liked that name very much either so that is why I gave you the middle name of Jane."  I remember thinking to myself - "yeah - great - I'm Patericka plain Jane". I actually don't mind my name anymore. It must have been a popular name during those years because I know quite a few people who are around my age with the name Patricia but haven't really heard it in the many years since then. Mama always called me Tricia or Triciajane unless she had called me to come several times and then it would be Patricia Jane which meant don't make me call you again. :)  Today brings our one sad memory regarding her because she died 18 years ago today.  It had been a gorgeous Autumn and her view outside her bedroom window was of a big tree full of bright yellow leaves. Most of us were with her when she died in her and Daddy's bed with us all telling her how much we loved her.  Even with the hope of the resurrection, the death of a dearly loved one is still very hard because we miss them so much.  Jessie has always been sad that she never got to meet  her because Douglas has always talked about her a lot.  I guess that tells you a little bit about her - we still talk about her and miss her.  Miss you Mama.......

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nothing like a busy week......

This has been one busy week for me and Dwight but before I get started on that I have to mention a surprise we had on Saturday.  A large vehicle pulled into the driveway and I assumed they were turning around.  When it was obvious they were staying, I looked out and saw dear Roxsanna.   
As always, she came bearing gifts.  She brought us this gift basket stocked full of wonderful goodies and the plant above in honor of the colors of Autumn.  She also brought a nice gift, a homemade card and a school picture of her darling son for Kelly.  What a very special young woman she is.  It was so good being with her for a nice long visit.  She is a wonderful Mom and her son loves Kelly as if she were his real auntie.  Now back to the busy week - we had an appointment on Monday for acupuncture but when we got there, they said the appointment was for Thursday. Wow - how did that mix-up happen? I had to cancel the appointment they had for Thursday because I already have an appointment that day and I am NOT wasting a moment of the precious time we will have with Kelly for another appointment.
We arrived on time for my PET and CT Scans on Tuesday morning. It was a very long morning and for the most part - pretty uncomfortable. Between not being able to get warm and having to hold my arms above my head for so long (the left one still hurts pretty bad as a result of the surgery) it was a long day. The attendants and nurses are always helpful and kind. This one kept bringing more heated blankets because they were having a hard time getting me warmed up. It turns out, being cold affects the image they get.
I am convinced Miya knows when I need a little "extra loving" from her. She was all over me the rest of the day. On Wednesday, our wonderful bookkeeper came over to reconcile Dwight's checking account and to get his books all caught up. She is coming every three months now so it will be much easier to do our taxes at the end of the year. She will never know how much we appreciate her.
I had a surprise visitor Wednesday afternoon. Danny had come by Ruby's and when he found out she was coming over to clean with Debbie, he followed her over. It has been years since I've seen him and I wish we had more time to get caught up. He looks great! Of course Kelly came in Wednesday night. They went by her favorite Chinese place and picked up dinner on their way home from the airport. Everything they got was pretty spicy so I stuck with my good ole Ensure. I got a text message from Page telling me her Mom was late getting home and hadn't called. So I called Doug and he said she was running late. I told him Page was worried so he said he would call her. Not a minute or so later, I got another message from Page telling me her Mom was there and that her Dad had had a wreck but wasn't hurt. Long story short - a tractor trailer hit him on the highway. Yeah - he was a little shook up - but he is okay - sore and has to do the drug test, get a doctor's note to let him go back to work and all the stuff that goes with having an accident with the company vehicle. Kind of intense for awhile there. We had a pretty long wait Thursday to get the report from the scans.  It turns out the lymphoma hasn't stayed the same this time. All of this time they have remained the same and NOW they decide to change. They have grown in size and are "brighter". The being brighter bothers Kelly a little. She also wants to know they are definitely the lymphoma. I asked Jennifer to refer me to their Lymphoma Oncologist. If I really like him/her, I may consider changing to have both of my oncologists in the same location. I haven't decided that yet though. I plan to discuss it with my surgeon and radiation oncologist first. I have already discussed it with my Primary Care physician and he said he is all about second opinions. I'm sorry - I guess I am a little bummed with the report after all. I was really, really hoping it would not only be clear of the really bad boy (which it was), but that the other would have stayed the same. Oh well...On another note, Marlan came by Thursday afternoon. She had left her pillow and diamond ring here from her overnight stay with me earlier. Kelly was happy she got to see her and to see for herself that she is doing okay.
After writing this, I realized I need to "make time" to read this book Ruby gave me. She said she read it and it was very good. From the little bit I've read, it is a positive book written by four women who became friends as they were all fighting different kinds of cancers.
The moon was gorgeous last night. This picture doesn't do it justice but you should get a good idea of how bright it was since I took this from my chair across the room.
Even though it is a fuzzy picture, when you compare it to this one, you can see the difference in the plant Debbie and Yonn cut back for me. It looks like it is going to do well. It looks much better since the large bushy limbs are gone.
To close this post on a happy note, I love this picture Jessie shared with me. The note on it basically said - "Page rode in Papa's convertible and I'm not sure how to get all the knots out of her hair without cutting"........she really is a cutie.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sisters, bright sun, cool air, mushrooms......

My sister Faye called to ask if I had received a "special" card she had sent to me. Normally the answer would be either yes or no - you know - a simple question and answer. Alas, things are not that simple for me any longer. Because of my memory "lapses", I have to think, re-think and then ask for help for so many things now that I have always taken for granted.
I "vaguely" remembered getting several special cards this week including one Marlan brought over Friday night when she came to stay with me.  I really enjoyed having her with me.  I appreciated her taking her personal time to "baby-sit" me.  I gave her a "gift" for their 37th wedding anniversary.  They got married a little over 10 years after we did.
I looked around the room and noticed I had put a card on the bookcase and realized it was the one Faye had sent to me. It is a unique card with a special note inside. Isn't the card AND the note beautiful? I have two other surprises but want to wait until Kelly gets here to mention them in my blog.
I went for a short walk this afternoon and took a few pictures with my new iPhone. There are tons of mushrooms in my yard this year - various sizes, colors and types.  The yard is also full of dead or dying leaves.
Leaves are really starting to change now including this relatively new tree growing in the new natural area in the back yard. Haven't been feeling well at all the past few days and sadly, I have to admit I'm not as OK about the palate being fused as I had told myself I was. Doesn't really matter since there is nothing we can do about it.
With all the dead leaves and various colors of mushrooms, I was still able to find the vibrant green of the various patches of moss.
I also loved this picture of an old root that belonged to a very old tree that used to be in the back yard. This is the only remnant of that lovely old tree.
I got pretty winded way too fast and decided to come back in as these two guys rode past on their motorcycles. It was a gorgeous day for riding.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Flu shots, dentist and friends...

BigD and I got our flu shots this morning. Pam suggested I wait a day before getting the shingle shot she gave me a prescription for. Since we still had over thirty minutes before my dentist appointment, we dropped in to see how Judy is doing.
She is making some progress to the point they are taking the picc line out. Her knee still feels warm but doesn't seem too red now.  I was so glad we went because she got real excited when I told her I'm eating a little bit every day now.
Her dear hubby plans to make me some juices with his Vita-Mix. I promised I would try them if he makes them. The dentist and hygienist are concerned about my teeth. It was very hard to clean my teeth because my mouth is so dry. It was a little painful but she was very careful and did a good job. They put some fluoride around three of my teeth and the dentist gave me a prescription for a special toothpaste I am supposed to use at night without rinsing (just spit out as much as I can) and a mouth wash he hopes will help with the thrush that is still there. He wants me to come back every 4 months instead of every 6 months from now on. After we got home, Gail and Yonn came by to trim back Page's big plant that was growing crazy out of control and taking over the corner we had it in. Hopefully it will fill out now and look better. I showed Gail how to give Miya her medication and refill it for the next day.  She said she feels like she can do it so BigD and I are both very happy. Miya will be able to stay in her own home with a "friend" who will visit her every day to make sure she has food, water and her medication.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


BigD has been quite industrious these past few days. He bought an extension to help him wash the outside of the house. After he blew the leaves off the roof the other day, he washed his truck. Today he moved all the chairs and other "stuff" out of the living room so the guy could clean the carpet this morning. 
After the guy who cleaned the carpet left, BigD washed the two big windows in the living room from the outside with his new extension and brush. You can see the water running down the windows if you look closely. Where was I sitting when I took these pictures? In my chair in the kitchen right in front of the refrigerator.  Where did we put all the "stuff" we took out of there?

I took these pictures with my iPhone - some of them I took beside me and over my head. Doesn't Miya look confused? The rest of the stuff including Page's big plant that has taken on a life of it's own are not only in the kitchen but are also in the hallway, my bedroom and the office. So much "stuff" in this tiny little "cottage".  BigD has gone to Costco to see if he can can a few smaller rugs to go over the high traffic areas that still look sad even after it has been cleaned. In front of my chair under the stool we had there are two very dark spots that also didn't come out completely. It turns out the spots are from the soles of my bedroom shoes that just sat under the stool - they are black on the bottom. He said the reason all the stains are so bad is this carpet is mostly polyester - not all nylon like the old one. I see a new carpet in my future over the the next few years (maybe not that long hopefully). We have the ceiling fan going but the carpet is still quite wet. 

Pop, Simple, Coffee and Carpet

I forgot to mention that my father-in-law was born yesterday in 1909 which would have made him 103 years old.
I really like this picture of him.  Kelly has enjoyed seeing the older pictures of him and Malvine. Deb told me yesterday she has been cleaning stuff out of GG's house and found some more pictures she will bring over later. More scanning coming up. My mother-in-law called him by his second name, Lennox but I called him Pop from the first time I met him and he liked that. One day when we were dating, Dwight and I were in their backyard and Dwight was under his 1955 Chevrolet (with 3 in the floor) working on it so I scooted under the car with him to see what he was doing.  Pop came outside to see what we were doing and after that, he always called me "dusty-butt" because I had dirt all over my pants when we came out from under the car.  Both of Dwight's parents were very good to me - especially when Dwight was away in the Navy. I would live with my sister Faye during the week (or my Mom) and stay with them over the weekend. Dwight was close to both of his parents, even working with his Dad for several years before and after we married. Like his Dad, he loves fishing, can fix anything mechanical or electrical, enjoys a stiff drink of bourbon every so often and is a man's man. Miss you Pop....

I was also excited to receive a special edition of one of the only two magazines I subscribe to -
Real Simple. What isn't to love about this magazine? Articles are short and great information about anything you could ever be interested in. In other words - "simple". I told Dwight yesterday to make enough coffee for me to try this morning.
I was just going to take a few sips to see how it went. I waited until it cooled down a bit and guess what? I drank the entire cup of coffee. YUM. We decided to stick with one cup though but at least we will be able to share our coffee in the mornings again. Do I sense normal in the hopefully not to far future coming my way? Definitely will walk today once it warms up a little. Hope the yard is dry enough to walk through some - so boring just doing the driveway. Looks like a gorgeous autumn day outside so I hope you all have a good one. Dwight just reminded me the people are coming to clean the carpet in the one room we have that has carpet in it.  Better get up and get busy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hair "doos" and other stuff...

Kelly started getting her hair cut shorter and shorter until one day she got it this short.
It was funny because when She got to Brian's house after she got it cut, he looked at it and was WOW.  She laughed and said he kept trying to figure out why it was that he actually loved it so much. :) We all love it and evidently, so did my spiritual daughter, Linda who wanted to see a picture of it. So Kelly took these one day in her cubicle at work hoping no one would walk by and catch her. Linda had noticed how short she kept getting it in some pictures I had put up on my blog while we were on vacation. It was funny because when we first met Linda, we loved how short she wore her hair back then.  So Linda got her hair cut and then Kelly wanted to see how hers turned out so....
Ain't technology grand?  And YES - they are both absolutely beautiful inside and out. I'm beginning to think they could go bald and still be beautiful - NOT that I'm giving them any ideas! :) My Mom always said I was a good baby and I believe it since my head is flat in the back. I asked her one time if I laid in the bed on my back too much since I was so good and she would swear my head wasn't flat because of that. :)  I would definitely wear my hair this short if my head was shaped as pretty as theirs are.  Sweet Linda and her babies brought me home from the meeting last night.  She is such a smart, talented, wonderful young woman - "sister" - wife - and mother of three beautiful, smart and wonderful children.  I was able to stay for the entire meeting last night and could not believe how cold it got. I am definitely not ready for colder weather.  I was going to walk today but got side-tracked.  Vera came to pick me up earlier today because we were supposed to go see her daughter and her new house. We were just waiting for Dafina to call when she got home from the dentist whose office is very close to us.  She kept sending text messages saying she was still waiting to be seen - even after they took her in and put her in a chair.  After quite some time, Vera had to go or be late for work so we will try again next week.  I know Dafina must have been fit to be tied because she had planned on our coming.  She also had to get away from the dentist in time to pick her boys up from school.  I think I would change dentist.  I've got a busy Monday coming up - Dwight and I are getting flu shots and picking up a prescription for a shingle shot at Dr. Manning's office followed by me going to the dentist up the street from him for a checkup and cleaning followed by me getting my shingles shot at the pharmacy. No acupuncture next week - she will be out of town the entire week.  Dwight is going fishing Wednesday so I will be having sleep-overs with some girlfriends while he is gone.  Ate some potato soup today and did pretty good with it. Dwight is grilling hot dogs tonight and I'm going to see if I can tackle one. We'll see. Snatched some wonderful pictures from FB. Young friend is on a fishing trip with her Dad and Uncle at the coast this week.
I wish I could share all of the pictures she has put on FB of their trip so far.
We all love the wild horses across from Beaufort's waterfront area.
Check out this "bird in flight" picture she got! I think it is great!
I'll close with this wonderful picture of two sisters enjoying the State Fair. Going to go sit on the porch with Dwight while he cooks before it gets too cold. At least I will not have to worry about the mosquitoes!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Radiation appointment and fused palate.....

I was actually looking forward to my appointment with Dr. Brizel (Radiation Oncologist) today. I had some questions for him as well as one Kelly wanted me to cover. She has been concerned that I'm still taking the oxycodone after a year but he and the resident both said to not worry about it. When it is time to come off, it will be gradual but the fact that I still have pain shows I still need it. It is true that I sleep through a dose from time to time but as Dwight pointed out today, most of the time I wake up. When he examined my neck, it was still quite painful; especially on the left side which is numb from the outside unless you put a little pressure on it. It might stay numb
since the feeling hasn't come back yet. I'm talking about the actual feel of touch to the skin. Before he examined me, I told him about how my tongue as been contracting (spasms) as well as how I can breathe in through my nose but can not breathe out through my nose or blow it. I blamed it on my the issues with my tongue but after examining me, he told me my palate has fused almost together due to scar tissue from the surgery and radiation. When he put the scope up through my nose and down to my throat, he almost couldn't get it through that area. He showed us a picture of how it works - when I breathe in through my nose, it pushes the palate open a tiny bit but when I try to breathe out, it slams it shut completely. He assured us that the pain and the palate are because he and Dr. Scher "whupped up on me pretty hard" between the extremely aggressive surgery AND radiation BUT how it was necessary because my diagnoses was a VERY, VERY MEAN cancer. I assured him that I would learn to live with it because I am so happy that I am still HERE and I give them both all the credit for being so aggressive. They had both tried to prepare us for it and now it is just going to take time. As far as the palate goes - I told him I can always breathe out through my mouth and thank goodness we have Kleenex to help me "go up there" for anything that needs to come out. He laughed at that and said, "exactly".  I had to mention how proud we were of how he saved the little girl's life on the airplane and he smiled real big.  I will see Dr. Scher in 3 months and Dr. Brizel again in 6 months. He wants me to get my flu shot and shingle shot right away. Oh joy.