Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm back, for now that is

It has been 4 days since my last treatment. My NP stopped my treatments because she said my liver functions were low. Plus there was a holiday last week, so I only got two treatments last week too. I feel sooo much better. I'm eating more, smiling, talking up a storm! I have to go next week to get more blood work done, so I can hopefully finish up my treatments. I want them done so bad! So far I've done 11, so there are only 9 left! My company is having our annual Christmast dinner on Dec. 14, and I want to go. I hope that I'm ok by then to go.

I went to lunch today with my friend & co-worker Kimberly. It was so exciting to get out and actually eat something! I feel like I hogged the whole time talking, but I couldn't help myself. I've known Kimberly for 13 years, well, next month will be 13 years - but wow. How the time goes. I know her well enough that I know she's not mad at me for talking so much! She is such a good friend. She has offered to help me a lot during this time, but I haven't had the opportunity to take her up on it. I still have 9 more treatments, so I just may take her up on it soon :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who am I and what have you done with Linda?

As each day passes, I feel like I'm losing a bit of who I am. I feel like my smiles have gone and that there is a dark cloud looming over my head. I know there have been a few times when I saw people close to me, and they lost the spark in their eyes. But that was different. That was because they were sick or sad or something. I feel like I have permanently lost that spark, and that it's not coming back. I know that this is temporary, but it surely does not feel that way right now. It is real, very real.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tai Tai went Bye Bye :(

So Christina and Tai had to go back home. I really enjoyed them coming out and visiting me while spending a week in Cali! I miss them so terribly much. This was my first time meeting Tai, and she is the most adorable little girl ever! My niece Tina has such a beautiful daughter! Just looking at these pictures makes my heart ache for them :(

Saturday, November 10, 2007

3 down, 17 to go!

Reanna always has a count down list :) 115 days 'til school is out, 42 days 'til the concert, 18 days 'til vacation, etc, etc, etc. Now I have a count down. 17 more infusions. I always listened to Reanna's count downs, but they never really had a meaning for me. I don't get summer vacation, and I very rarely go to her concerts (well, I did drag her to see J.T. with me though!) so while every day she could tell you how many days until each function was to come, I would eagerly listen. Now, I've got my own count down. This normally isn't my sort of thing, but the treatments are so bad, that actually gives me something to look forward to.

Treatment #2 went by pretty fast. I had a new nurse, Parker. He was really nice. He asked a lot of questions, and then told me that he had done the same treatment about 7 years ago. He was very helpful. This time I brought a book, and the time went by pretty fast. When I got home from the appt, my dad, Tina & Tai had just gotten to the house! I was so excited to see them all. I hadn't seen Tina for about 3 years, and I had never met Tai, although I talked to her on the phone and saw many pictures of her. She is even more beautiful in person! I just love her. She is such an Angel. Shortly after I got home and hung out with them, I started not feeling well. So once again, I had to retreat to my room. Only this time was worse. I could not hold any food down. It was just awful. Several hours just lying in bed, fully clothed with the heater on and many blankets, and I was still freezing. By 6pm or so, I started feeling kinda better, so I got out of bed for a bit. I had a small cup of Jello and some crackers for dinner. That was all I could manage to hold down. Shortly after eating, instead of getting really cold, I was sweating. Hmm, I didn't feel that the night before? But yep, my clothes were wet with sweat. Must be another reaction to the medicine.

For treatment #3, my dad took me to the hospital. Well, first I had to drink 48 oz. of water (I only drank 36 oz.) and have an ultrasound. OMG, talk about pain. That is the most awful feeling to have someone pushing on your bladder when it is full of water! Luckily it was over pretty fast, and I got to use the restroom... whew... After that, we went to my treatment. My dad came in with me, and Parker was my nurse once again. I informed him of my nausea the day before, so he was working on getting me a prescription for that. We were there for about 2 hours. Wow, how fast the time goes by when you get used to it. The prescription wasn't ready by the time we left, but I did get a call to pick it up anytime over the weekend. Same thing happened when I got home, I was able to hang out for a bit, then I got sick and had to go back to bed. I have to get completely under the blankets and be fully covered. It feels like the middle of winter and I can't move because the warmth of my body is only where my body currently is, so if I move anything, it gets really cold. Every time I start to fall asleep, the phone rings or someone comes in or something. It never fails.

My cousin Tina called me too. She was so helpful. She is going to come over next weekend and help me out. She is going to make some meals, clean house, and hang out with me for a while. I can't wait. I hate to have people over assisting me (Yeah right!) but I'm learning to accept help. Ruby & Barbara even volunteered to bring me some soup. And my old friend Amy called out of the blue, and she wants to take me to a few appts to, if there is a time that I don't have a ride. I can't believe how much everyone is helping out. Thanks everyone :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My first infusion

So I had my first infusion yesterday. Lori picked me up and took me. I have known Lori for so long, but I'm rarely vunerable with her. It was really nice to have a real good talk with her. I got to tell her of my weaknesses and fears. I told her how hard it was to go into the infusion room the first time. I was so glad that for my first infusion I was not alone. She sat there with me the whole time. I thought it was going to be about 1/2 hour, but it turned out to be about 2.5 hours! Wow, not what we were expecting. But the time went by so fast! Afterwards, we went home and I showed her how to make chicken soup. I knew I would not feel well, and that always helps. After that she left cuz she had to pick up Breanna from school. Reanna & Ben finished the last few parts of the soup. I had no clue how sick I would get. I knew I would get flu-like symptoms. But OMG, this was just the most awful thing I endured. I felt so sick and cold. I had on sweats, a sweatshirt, my Thorlos (the best socks ever!), my blankets, and I still felt cold. My whole body would not stop shaking. It lasted for several hours. How I was just praying that I would fall asleep, but that was just not happening. After a while, Reanna did give me a little bit of soup, but I wasn't very hungry, I just ate a few bites. After we ate, she came and lied down with me for several hours. At about 8pm, Sab kicked her out and he lied down with me :) I woke up around 1am, and felt so much better. Even now I feel a little better, until my next treatment in 1.5 hours!

I've got friends

Sometimes I feel like I don't have any friends. It's because I don't like to call and burden people. Well, on Tuesday night, after my PICC line was inserted, Ruby called me to see how I was doing. I don't talk to her often, but I have known her for so long - probably close to 20 years. Wow, I'm really revealing my age here :) The thing was, I don't know if she knew it was the right time to call or not, but she called when I really needed it. She told me things that I really needed to hear. And I felt so loved. I felt like what she told me really validated me. Wierd, how someone I rarely see and speak to could do something like that. But yep, it's true. I know I'm not alone.

Another good thing is that Lori also called me. She told me her day was free on Wednesday, my first treatment, and that she would be able to take me! I'm glad I asked her to come with me. I can be so stubborn and want to do things on my own. But it will be great to have a FRIEND come with me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Got my PICC line

So yesterday I went to and got my PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line. NP Grace Daun inserted it for me. I showed up at 9am, ready to get my line. I didn't get called into the exam room until 9:30am. Then once I got in there, I had to sign some disclosures, then Grace went over the procedure and my instructions on wearing this PICC line. By then it was 10am. I asked her how long it would be, and she said about another hour! Oh no, dh was in the waiting room, an I had no clue how long it would be. She she got everything ready, it was like a surgery. She covered herself up, as well as met too. She had some issues with the PICC pkg, but got them resolved shortly thereafter. It didn't hurt much, just a few pinches from the needles. After it was inserted, I had to go take an x-ray to make sure it went in the right place. So I go to the waiting room, and Sab is not there. Oh know, he had my purse with my ID & Kaiser card, so how was I to get an x-ray? I went to the x-ray dept anyway, and I told the lady my situation, and she let me in :) The x-ray took less than 5 minutes. So I go back, and Sab is there in the waiting room. He had gone to get something to eat, which is understandable because we didn't eat because we thought we would be out of there fast! So I go back to the exam room, NP Grace looked over my x-ray, and all was good. So I go meet with Tracy, the scheduler, and she gave me my schedule for injections. Wow, every day for the next month. I can do it!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why am I

so lonely? I thought I might enjoy some time at home, with nothing to do. But it is lonely. Everybody works. I don't know anyone who is home during the day. I go online and send a few emails, check a few websites, but everyone is working, and I hate to send too many emails, but there is nothing else for me to do. I have no interaction with anyone all day. Well, Sab does call me at home several times a day. But he has to work too. And he works weekends. And all of my friends have kids. So even on weekends they are busy. Reanna is at school during the day, and hangs out with Ben after school. She is a teenager, that is what she is supposed to do. Then she goes to her dads on weekends. Normally I work all week, and I love my free time on weekends, but now it seems to be even lonelier. I have started reading, but you can only read so much. I could scrapbook, but that takes so much time & energy. I have the time, but not the energy. Plus it makes such a mess :) Like I care about that?

Friday, November 2, 2007

No treatment yet

I should have started my treatment this week. The are going to put in a picc line before I start my treatment, and I can't even get that scheduled. I called on Tuesday, and Tracy, the scheduler, said they are booked and will try to get me in ASAP. I didn't hear anything from her, so I left a message on Thursday morning. She called me back in the afternoon to tell me Friday Nov. 9th, is a good day, at 10:30am. Well, yeah, that would be ok for me, especially since I'm not working. But I have an Ultrasound scheduled for 10:45am that day. So she said she'll call me back. It's now Friday morning, and no call. So it seems like it will be at least another week or two before I start my treatment. So I will be right in the middle of treatment around Thanksgiving. Fun. Guess that I'm not going anywhere for Thanksgiving. I'll probably be home. I wouldn't mind, if I knew that I'd have the energy to cook. But I don't think that's going to happen. So I'll probably be home. Alone with Reanna. If she is even with me that day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oncologist Appointment

I had an appointment with Dr. Kwong, my Oncologist. I had a few questions for him, and he was helpful. For some reason I think the Interferon injections are going to hurt, but he told me they will not. I still don't believe that, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. I'm going to have to get my injections 5x a week - I thought it would only be 3x. Wow, that's a lot of office visits. Luckily the hospital is nearby. My current stage is IIIC. I was hoping for IIIA or IIIB, but because there were 4 lymph nodes with cancer, its IIIC. Wow - the next stage is IV. I hope I never get to that stage. The good thing is that I'm M0, which means there is no metasteses. (sp?). I'm extremely happy about that. That would not be a good thing.

After my appointment, I got a flu shot and then the treatment manager Mary gave me a tour of the treatment facility. I walked in there completely scared & shocked. This whole time I didn't really feel like I had cancer. I had no interaction with anyone with cancer. It's only been me & the drs this whole time. I almost lost it when I walked into the treatment facility. It took all of me to keep from breaking down. It was the first time I felt sick, cancer sick. The room was filled with chairs & IVs & the like and a good amount of the chairs were filled with patients getting their cancer treatments. I thought, I'm just another number. I'm another statistic. And next week I'm going to be another fighter. As I'm typing this, I think my dog Butter felt my pain. He just came up to me and kissed me. I just love him. Back to my story. Just walking through the treatment center, I glanced at a few patients. I'm sure most of them are going through chemo, which I'm not doing. I saw a women with a scarf over her head. I saw another women with a full head of hair, just like me. There were even a few men in there. Seeing all of the patients made me realize that I, Linda, have cancer. I don't look sick, I don't even feel sick. How has this disease found me. How did I get it. As many, many cancer patients have said, Why Me?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

3 weeks since surgery

So it's been 3 weeks since my surgery. Wow, I can't believe how fast the time has been passing. I am still in a lot of pain. My whole thigh area is still sore, and feels bruised. I know I had major surgery, but I never imagined the pain would last this long. And the Percocet has stopped working :( I took one and I was up all night. So I tried again the next night, thinking it was just a fluke, and I was up all night again - but this time with stomache pains and a sore leg. So that's it, no more Percocet for me. I'm not going to bother calling Dr. Kutner for more pain medicine, I'll just use the Tylenol or Advil we already have.

On a lighter note, I finally went to the photographer and ordered Reanna's Sr portraits! I was so mad that she only took them with the black drape, but oh well, it's not like she is going to take her dreads off to take more! I just hope that we get them soon, in time for Christmas.

Two days ago, we drove up to Martinez because Sebastian wanted to check out a bike. So yep, he bought a new bike. Another Yamaha, but this one is much older. I think it's 28 years old. If he's happy, I'm happy. Since we had to go all the way up there, I dropped off my Mercedes at the dealership because since I bought it, my front speakers were not working. Plus it was due for it's first inspection. The inspection was fine, and come to find out, it was not the speakers, but the stereo that was messed up. So they just replaced my stereo. I must say, I love that dealership. They are the kindest. They treat you like royalty - even after you buy your car. There are many dealerships that are only nice before/during your car purchase. Walnut Creek Mercedes Benz is awesome. They are so kind in every single department. Even when we were waiting for our loaner car - people were coming by asking if we had been helped. I will definitely buy another car from them.... yep, I already want a new Mercedes ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


LND - Lymph Node Dissection Surgery

So on Tues. October 2nd I went into the hospital at 6am for my surgery. We got there early, and no one was even in the department we were supposed to be in. We were waiting outside the door, and someone came by and told us to go somewhere else. So we did that, and there was a whole room of nurses ready to help care for those of us who had to go in for surgery. They did the standard thing - which is ask a ton of questions and hook me up to an IV. Then shortly after, Dr. Kutner came in and drew a line on my leg to where she would be cutting, and then the anestesiologist came by also. Not too long after, they brought me to the fridge, I mean surgery room. Of course, after a few shots, that hurt like HELL, I was under. No, not in hell.... After surgery, I was in a recovery room for a bit, and they would not let my family in there. But once they brought me up to the hospital, my family was allowed to visit. My mom & Sab were there waiting for me, with some flowers, etc. Later on Sab brought in Paige & Reanna, and then my Aunt Regina came also. It was nice to have people visiting. I felt so awful though. I was throwing up everything. The nurse was so nice. She gave me some anti-nausea medicine, and it really helped. About 9 - 10pm, everyone went home. It was ok with me, because I was so tired, I slept 1/2 the day anyway. A big mistake was talking to the lady in the room next to me. OMG, after I said a few words to her ("Sorry for calling the nurse every 5 minutes and keeping her up") she would not shut up! I just wanted to sleep! Anyway, after a while, I fell asleep on her! I know, because she told me the next morning... lol... So when Dr. Kutner stopped by the next morning, I was still sick, and still throwing up. So they did not release me :( I had to stay another night. In a way I was glad, because I was not ready to go home physically, but sad because I really did want to be in my own home. Luckily the lady next to me got released, so I had the room to myself. Sebastian & Reanna visited again, as well as my mom & Patricia. Then later Kimberly came by and visited for a few hours. Sebastian was going to come back when Kimberly left, but I told him I was tired, not to bother because I was only going to sleep. Which I did. The next morning, Dr. Kutner came by again, this time I was released! She removed all of the bandages, and everything looked great. The nurse came by and bandaged me all up again. She was so nice to me. She even went down to the pharmacy and got my prescriptions for me, so Sebastian & I just had to go home. Two days later, but I was sooo glad to go home. I was still in pain, but it wasn't as bad. Over the next few days, I just stayed home and recovered. On Sunday, Sebastian & I went to Oakridge and walked around for about 30 minutes. That was plenty for me. It was just nice to get out of the house. The next few days I just stayed home. My dad & Barbara came over on Tuesday night, because Sab had to go back to work on Wednesday, after being home with me for a whole week. My dad & Barbara took Reanna to school & picked her up for me, as I was still on pain meds. The first day Barbara took Reanna, and the second my dad. Of course I was sleeping, so I didn't think anything. But when I got up, Barbara was worried because my dad was still not there, and it was 30 minutes later! Since I'm so sore, I can't go back and change, brush hair, wash face, or anything. Luckily I stuck my robe on when I got out of bed. So here I am, sore & tired, driving around town looking for my dad! He has a navigator, but he did not have my address. Cell phone - sitting on the kitchen table! 30 minutes later, I almost give up and I'm in my neighborhood. One more drive around the area. Then I get a call from Barbara - my dad found his way to Lunardi's, and I'm 1 block from there anyway. So I go there and he follows me home. He feels so bad, making me drive all around town looking for him. Come to find out, he was spelling my street name wrong on his navigator. He added my address in so it doesn't happen again!

So on Wednesday, we go to see Dr. Kutner. She removes all my bandages, everything looks great. Out of the 13 lymph nodes removed, 3 had cancer. Good news. Now I do not have to do Radiation. Relief. I was not looking forward to that. All I have to do is the Inteferon treatment. Not that that will be easy, but one less thing is better.

I think I over did it on Wednesday, because Thursday & Friday I was way too sore. How I did that, I do not know. I had not taken the Percocet in a few days, Advil & Tylenol only. Now here I am, more than a week later, needing the Percocet again. I just stayed in bed the next few days, because I was too sore to do anything else.

So today is Sunday. My dad & Barbara left this morning. I will really miss them. They really did help me a lot. They cleaned my house, made dinners, was Reanna's taxi, and gave me all of the support I needed. My dad will come back if I need him too, but I'm hoping that in the next few days I'll be feeling better. It's close to 2 weeks after surgery, and my leg is still feeling so bruised, and it takes me a while to walk. Not to mention my knee still doesn't bend well from my first surgery. At least I'm able to get online for a bit, I couldn't even do that for a while. Today, my Uncle Ralph called me. My dad didn't tell him at first about the cancer, but I don't know what made him change his mind. So he called me and gave me well wishes. It was nice to hear his voice.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Surgery is Tomorrow

So my surgery is finally here. Today I had to go in to do a few more tests before the surgery, and it took about 20 minutes. So now I'm clear for surgery. I just don't know if I'm ready, or if I fully grasp yet about what is to happen tomorrow.

I went to lunch today with my friend & co-worker Kimberly and it was nice. We really didn't talk much about my surgery, so that was good. Sometimes questions can get kind of tiring.

I must say that work last week was kind of hectic, especially since I might be gone for up to 3 months. I was greatly surprised that the company I work for had a luncheon for me. It's not like we are huge, 10 people, but it was quite nice. We don't normally do things like that at my job. One of my co-workers couldn't make it, and his wife stopped by and gave me a beautiful arrangement of yellow roses & irises, as well as a lovely card. It was such a nice feeling that they would go through the trouble and do something so heartfelt. I really am going to miss going to work... NOT.... jk...

This weekend was a nice relaxing weekend, I was glad that Serenity was able to come over too. I won't be able to make it to her birthday party next week, so I took her and got her a few things. I think she had a good time with me. Here are a few pictures..

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Oops! I did it again...

JK. Well, first and foremost I have to apologize to my gf Selina. She did call me on my birthday, I just missed her call. She left a message right before 5pm, right around the time I was leaving work and the same time Sebastian called. My phone is really wierd like that. Sometimes I don't hear it ring if I'm on it. Anyway, she called me on my birthday. I don't know how I thought she would forget??? I guess I was just a bit emotional.

I've been trying to post, but just haven't had the time.

So on Friday, Sept. 21, I had my pre-op with Dr. Kutner. Of course she went over the usual stuff, but then there was something else that caught me by surprise. After they remove my lymph glands, they are going to biopsy them. If there is a lot of cancer in them, they will do radiation to that area, if there is not, no radiation is needed. I hope there is not a lot of cancer in there! After my appt with Dr. Kutner, I had to go admit to the hospital. While the lady was questioning me, she asked me if I had been in there recently. I said yes, I just had a surgery last month. She said she thought my information sounded familar! When it was time to go, I told her I hoped I didn't have to see her again. She just smiled, because she knew exactly what I meant.

Sunday, September 23 - Sebastian and I woke up early and went to San Francisco to go shopping for my birthday. We got there around 10am, and of course the stores don't open until 11am. So we walked around a bit, and checked out the LUSH store, which opened earlier than the other stores :) So of course, right at 11am, we went to Macys. I bought some boots, crocs, pants and comfy jammies. I need a lot of jammies for after surgery. Then we went over to H&M & I bought some sweaters and a pair of sunglasses. I wanted to go to the Coach store, but we ran of of time. Really :) I went home and took a nap, because I had to go the the Justin Timberlake concert that night!

So Reanna, Paige & I went to the concert, and I loved it! I really don't care much for JT, but his concert was really good! I think that Timbaland did an awesome mix, and I liked his little tribut to Aaliyah too. It was much worth the wait...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's My Birthday!

So today is my birthday. Yep, I'm a ripe old 35 years. I can't believe that I'm in my mid 30's. I'm not ready to be that old yet! Ok, so I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I will be forever young. I refuse to get old.

So this week my surgery was moved up to Oct. 2nd. I called and tried to have it moved up to September, but Dr. Kutner was booked. And tomorrow is already my pre-op appointment. Wow, time is going by so fast. And I've got so much to do at work, I don't know if I'll be ready in time.

Yesterday I woke up to the most horrible allergies. I almost forgot what they were like. Yep, now I remember, just AWFUL. I went home from work early, took some Benadryl and just rested. I tried to sleep, but I couldn't. Can you believe that I didn't even eat dinner. I don't remember the last time I did that. Something must've been seriously wrong. So before bed I took another Benadryl, and I did sleep a bit better.

Since today is my birthday, of course friends & family call! I was shocked though, there were a few people who didn't even contact me. I know that there have been times where I didn't call, but I know I had a card in the mail. Oh well. I know that people are busy, and have their own lives to deal with, and I'm sure they don't around thinking of me all day, although it would be nice if they did :) Sophia took me out to lunch - we went to Chili's. Yum Yum. I had some Chicken something... and it was good. I really liked it. Then my mom called while at work. Oh yeah, the greatest husband, he left me flowers in a vase on the kitchen table with 2 cards. One from our dogs - it is the cutest thing - there is a picture of a boxer laying on a couch, and inside he wrote, "We promise not to get on your couches for your birthday" and he gave me another card promising me to take me shopping in SF this weekend. I like shopping, but he gets impatient. So it's a good/bad thing. If he goes, he will buy me nice things, but I have to hurry. If it's just me, he get's made if I spend to much, but I can take my time! So it's a double edged sword. I guess it's better if he takes me, guess then I don't get in trouble for spending too much $$. So before he left for work today, he gave me a kiss (he does every morning before he leaves) and told me happy birthday. When I woke up Reanna, she told me happy birthday too! I love her! Then my mom called and told me happy birthday. I chatted with Maria online for a few minutes, and she asked me what day my birthday was on, because she always forgets (she's getting old - ha ha) and she told me happy birthday too. But I was shocked that my dad did not call, and neither did Selina. Reanna was making fun of me saying maybe he'll call & tell me Happy Anniversary because he did call me in Feb. and tell me Happy Birthday on my Anniversary! He also sent me $$... lol... so maybe that is why, I already got my gift in February.

My allergies were not as bad as yesterday, so I didn't cancel dinner. We picked up Paige and went to the Fish Market. We met Lori, Bernie, Irene & Breanna there. The company was great, the food was nothing to brag about. I had heard a lot of good things about it there, and it was nothing to write home about. Well, it could be because of my allergies also. Food is just not the same. After dinner, we came over to our house and had some cake. Yummy. I love cake. I love ice cream too, but we didn't have any. Which is fine, because I'm lactose intolerent. So that just means I'll sleep better tonight.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bark in the Park

Today was the annual Bark in the Park event held at a park at the corner of 16th & Williams. I really needed to get out and do something, as most of my weekends I have been home alone. I was glad that Sophia wanted to go, it got me out of the house. I left later than I wanted. I had to straighten up a bit, because Barbara came over to stay the night. So I had to wash the sheets, etc and make sure everything was nice & clean :) After that I dropped off Reanna at her dad's house, and went to the park. I was really dreading all the walking, and earlier in the morning I finally took off the remaining surgical tape Dr. Kutner put on last week after she ripped out my stitches! Now all that is left is a scar about 3 inches long going the length of my knee. But do I care. No. I actually like it. It is a part of me. A part of my new life. It is a reminder to me to live life - and to love it. I love my scar now - just as I love my life.

I knew I was going to spend most of my day walking, and I knew the parking there would be just horrid, as the park is in the middle of a residential area. So as I drive around and look for parking, I turning at the corner, and what do you know - there is handicapped parking! Woo hoo! I had gone the week before to DMV and got a 6 month placard. Yes, I was excited that I was not going to have to park far. So, right in I go. I wave to the police my placard, he makes me stop and roll down my window. He told me - "That is a hanging placard, hang it!" "OK, thanks officer" was my reply, but wtf? It specifically tells you - DO NOT DRIVE WITH PLACARD HANGING. Hello??? Did I miss something there? I was still DRIVING! Anyway, I park and Peanut & I get out of the car. At first he was scared, but right away he warmed up and he had a great time! Of course, I had no $$ on me. What a LOSER. I had to use my ATM to pay the $5 per dog fee. Shortley after getting there, Lori came up to me. What a surprise that was. I hadn't seen her since ... hmmm... I think it was the baptism for Christine's first baby. And she just had baby #2 - Dillon. Lori even showed me a picture. The proud auntie!

There were so many dogs there. It was really nice. I was glad to get out and do something. Midway through my time there, my knee did start hurting. I thought of bringing my cane, but I did not bring it because I had Peanut, and there was no way I can have my dog and cane at the same time. That would have been too hard. It was hard enough - I'm used to walking him, and stepping over his leash, etc. Today I had to keep turning around, etc because I can't bend my leg enough to step over it. I managed. I really want my knee to heal faster, so that when I have my next surgery, it will be easier. Sophia got there and she was so kind to buy some food tickets and got me some food! I got a snack first - ha ha. That's me! I still haven't changed. La Fondue was there, so I had chocolate covered strawberries. Yummy. By the time I was done, she was at the front of the line for food, so I got a pork pot sticker. I gave Peanut some, and he didn't eat it! Now that is a shocker. He eats everything. But it was funny watching him try to bury it! It got a bit windy, and I had a tank top on, so it was time to go. Later Sebastian got mad at me because the Dr. told me to avoid the sun. I wore sunscreen, but I don't remember her saying that to me. But then again, I have been to so many appointments, sometimes everything just runs together. Hence me blogging now. It's easier to do it while it is fresh on my mind. After Bark in the Park, I went to Selina's to pick up mine & Sophia's candles, then home to nap. I was tired. What a day out does to me!

When Sebastian got home, we just went and ate Taco Bell and then ran a few errands. I knew Barbara was coming over, and she had the key, but she was in front! She said the key wasn't working? We tried it, and it worked fine? I felt bad, she was out there for about 30 minutes! Oops. That'll teach me! Anyway, I showed her our new cars (well, we've had them, but she hadn't seen them yet) and she loved them. She said Sebastian should enter his car in car shows. He really isn't into that, but I think he should too. But then again, if he does, he may see something someone else has done, and there we go. Spending $$ on fixing up cars that are already nice. We do not have the kind of $$ it takes to make your car "better than the others out there." I just want him to enjoy it, which he does.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Leg Sock

So today I had an appointment to get a leg sock for after surgery. I will have to wear it for about 6 months to prevent my leg from swelling, and lymphedema. After they remove the lypmh nodes, I guess your leg can swell up. I can take the sock of to shower, etc, but for the most part, I will have to wear it all the time. Luckily I get two, one to wear, one to wash. So I picked one beige & one black. Since they didn't have my size already made, they had to measure me and they will be special made. I hope they are done by the time I have my surgery. After the appt, I met Kimberly at Valley Fair and we did a little shopping :-) I just bought a pair of pants & shorts to wear after surgery.

I also got an email back from Dr. Kutner. I asked her to move up the surgery date so that I can start my CASDI in Sept, instead of Oct. If I do that, I can get a lot more $$ per week. Hopefully she can find a cancellation in her schedule so that I can move it up! I hope I get a call from her on Monday!

Dinner was nice. I went to Fresh Choice with Reanna & Sebastian. It was very relaxing, and the place was not a madhouse! Sometimes it is pure chaos there - but tonight was really good. Then of course Reanna got a text from Heather & Justine. So she is out tonight, Friday, hanging out with them. I love it when my daughter is hanging out with friends. I like for her to be out with her friends, and sometimes I feel I push her to go out, and she doesn't want to because that is not her. (I have not done that in a long time!!!) I do love her for who she is, I just don't want her to miss out on doing fun things. I have learned to let her be her, and love her they way she is. I just got excited that she actually went out tonight. Normally she'll just pass. I hope she has a fun time and stays safe!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Last few months

Wow, the last few months have been quite overwhelming. Earlier this year I had a mole on my knee that was really bugging me. It would hurt all the time, and I would bump it on my desk at work and it would get really irritated. So finally, after Sebastian bugged me, I made an appt to get it removed. So on June 29th, I brought Reanna with me and Dr. Gifford removed my mole! I was so glad that it was finally gone!

On July 5th, Dr. Gifford called back to let me know that my mole had Melanoma. I didn't know what it was at first, but then he said skin cancer. He immediately told me that I had to meet with a surgeon and have a WLE (Wide Local Excision). Ok, so I panic a little, but not too much.

July 10th, I go and meet with Dr. Kutner, and she explains the Melanoma & surgery more than Dr. Gifford did. Oh no, this is not what I was expecting. My surgery is going to be 1.5 hours, and she is going to remove all of the skin/tissue around the knee area, where they removed my mole, and then a few lymph nodes also. The only thing is that we had a vacation scheduled in two weeks, so it was going to have to wait for that.

July 19th, I go and have my lab work & chest x-rays done. Normal procedure before surgery.

July 22 - Sebastian, me, Reanna, Paige and I drive our RV to Las Vegas! Oh yeah, we brought Peanut & Butter with us. My mom came by and we had a great time! We ate at Circus Circus, gambled a bit, and the girls played some games.
The next day we drove over the Hoover Dam and then walked around for a bit. Boy, was it hot! I do not know why - but for some dumb reason I did not wear sunscreen. So we had to hurry, because Dr. Kutner told me not to go outside without it! Yes, it was hard to hurry when it is that hot! Luckily, we got back to the RV, turned on the A/C and had a nice lunch. We had sandwiches and a Spinach dip I made before we left. It was GOOD! After lunch, we finished our drive to Williams KOA. The next morning, we took a cab to the Grand Canyon Railway. While there, we saw a wild west shoot out - pretty cool, it even sprinkled a bit during it. Then we took the train into the grand canyon. It was a beautiful day! There were a few clouds, but you could still see for miles! I must say that it is quite breath-taking there. I would love to go back someday! The next day we were supposed to relax at the RV park, but in the middle of the day, Sebastian decided we should drive home! So that is exactly what we did. We packed up and drove home. What a drive that was. Glad that we will never do that again (we sold our RV immediately after the trip).

August 6, 2007 - Sebastian & Reanna came with me to have my physical done. I had to have a physical before my surgery. I guess they called it a pre-op appt. The physical wasn't that bad, but I felt like I was there all day! I had to do that, do some more lab work, go meet with some other surgery people, pay for my surgery ($5) and sign paperwork, etc. Not fun at all.

August 12, 2007 - Maria's birthday. I called her, and she wasn't home. She had just left to a baby shower. I called again at 6pm (9pm her time) and there was no answer :( I was bummed that I did not get to tell her Happy Birthday! Anyway - Sebastian & I took Reanna & Ben to SF for the day. It was Reanna's birthday the next day, but I would be in surgery, so we went to the Wharf & Pier 39. We ate lunch at Pier 39, and Sebastian was making me mad. We didn't finish our fries, and he carried them with him for about an hour. He was trying to feed the pigeons, but they didn't want them. I told him not to do it, but since he saw them eating them in the restaurant, he thought they would want them. Sometimes he's a bit too stubborn! Anyway, after lunch we went to Ripley's Believe it or Not! There were a lot of interesting things in there! Then we walked around for an hour or two, and then made our way to the Wax Museum. I think Sebastian read EVERYTHING in there, because he took forever. We had to send Ben back in, because we thought maybe he got lost or something. After that, we went right next door to have dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Reanna picked that out! We had a great time on her 17th Birthday!

August 13, 2007 - Reanna's Birthday & Surgery Day. WLE. I have to be at the hospital at 8:30 in the Nuclear Medicine Dept. The dr. gave me 4 shots in my knee, and boy were they painful! The radioactive dye should've shown up about 10 minutes later, but of course, NOT. Finally, 45 minutes later, it shows up. The dr comes back, marks my leg up, and sends me on my way. I make my way to the surgery center. The nurse asked me about 100 questions, then I had to go to the room and get changed (or should i say undressed) for surgery. A few minutes later, Sebastian shows up. He is there with me up until they wheel me away. While in surgery, he went and got my prescription. Right when I got out, he was right there. He was so helpful! I stayed for about 45 minutes and then he helped wheel me to the car, etc. My leg brace was big! I wasn't expecting it to be that big! I go home and just take my vicadin & rest. I really couldn't do much more. The next morning, I was extremely sick. I was throwing up my food, water, everything. All I did was sleep. I felt awful. I did not want to talk to anyone. Not even him :( I could not help it at all.

August 15, 2007 - I meet with Dr. Paek, my new dermatologist. Dr. Gifford referred me to her because she specializes in melanoma. I meet with her, and I have no clue why. She went over my whole body, and the remaining of my moles are fine. But she does not have any info for me because the results from my surgery are not back yet. All she told me was that I was minimum melanoma Stage II.

August 21, 2007 - Post Op follow up with Dr. Kutner. Good news - the surgery in my knee was successful. All of the cancer was removed. Bad news - the cancer spread to my lymph nodes, so they are going to have to do another surgery. Just what I didn't want to hear. She left the room for a few minutes, and I had tears in my eyes. I just could not help it. Sebastian was with me, and he was so kind and understanding. We went to the surgery scheduling area, and I scheduled the surgery for Oct. 5th. I got home and called Selina, I could not help but cry. She was so strong for me. I know she was upset, but she stayed so strong for me! That was what I needed. Then I called my dad. Once again, I started crying on the phone. And my dad too stayed strong. He told me he would help me in anyway he could. Barbara even got on the phone and said to call her anytime, she would come down and help in a heartbeat. That really meant a lot. The next call was my mom. This time I had to be strong. No more crying. I finally called her, and she was really upset, and she too, like everyone else, stayed strong.
August 29, 2007 - I met with Dr Kwong, an Oncologist that Dr Kutner referred me to. He gave me a lot of info, and treatment methods. He was very understanding, and offered to give me support group info. I learned that my Breslow's depth is 2.01mm and my Clark's level is IV.
August 30, 2007 - PET Scan. I went in, and of course it's freezing cold. Yep, I did not blow dry my hair, so that made it worse! I brought a Sudoku book, because I have 45 minutes to do nothing. The nurse tells me I can't read, do Sudoku, nothing! She turns the lights out and tells me to go to sleep. Luckily she gave me a blanket, but I was still cold with WET hair! Right when I fall asleep, she wakes me up and makes me go into the room with the scanner. I'm in the scanner for 45 minutes! It's not that bad. Guess I'm not claustrophobic! So after that, I go to work, then to meet Dr. Hickey, a PT. She gives me some exercises and measures me for a sock that I'm going to have to wear after my next surgery. On the drive home, I get a call from Dr. Kwong. Can you believe they already had the PET scan back! Earlier that day his assistant Linda (I wonder how I remembered her name?) called me and made an appt for me to get the results on Sept. 6th. It's the same day and he already was calling me? Well, he said he had good news and he did not want me to wait worrying for the next week. The cancer is confined to the lymph nodes in my left groin area. This is GREAT news. Oh yeah, I also have gall stones and a cyst on my right pelvis. LOL...

Sept. 05, 2007 - I go to Dr. Kutners office because the stitches in my knee are really starting to hurt! I need them removed. OMG - now that was painful! I did not know it would hurt so bad. She was pulling them out, and I was sliding off the bed! I wanted to scream SOO bad, but I refrained from screaming only because I did not want to scare patients that may have been in rooms near me. I can still remember how painful that was. Next time she said I'll have the dissolve able ones. Thank God!

Sept. 12, 2007 - I had my ob/gyn appt. Every 3 years is too much! Can't you just go once in your lifetime? Anyway, I had to go because of the cyst that was on my pelvis. My Dr. scheduled me for an ultrasound in Nov. to look at that, long after my surgery. Yep, I have to drink (4) 8 oz. glasses of water 1 hour before my appointment, and I can't pee. Like that's going to happen??? I can't believe they make pregnant ladies do this! Guess I should be glad I'm not pg.