Thursday, September 25, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I was so happy to arrive home yesterday. We got to the house right at 5pm. I know this because there was a lovely bouquet on my front porch. I was quite surprised and had no clue who it would be from, and it ended up being from my work. Wishing me a Happy Birthday. I was bummed, because I knew at 5pm everyone would be heading home and it was too late to call and thank them. But I called this morning - so that was good.

We got to Riverside Thursday evening, and it was an ok ride. I rode in the back most of the ride and layed down because of the pain. Luckily it was tolerable. First thing Friday morning we got up and did my lab work.

I feel like a platinum member down at Riverside too now. I know all of Dr Gailani's assistant's now, the crew who always insert my central line know me by name, as do the nurses. Everywhere I go it's like running into old friends. And they treat me so nice.

Sebastian knows I hate stuffed animals. But on my birthday he came in the door and brought me a stuffed dog that looks just like my dog Butter. It made me so home sick. I looked at the dog and couldn't help but fall in love. You see, Butter is my side kick. He has his own bed in our room, but every night at bedtime he comes and lies on my side of the bed right in front of my nightstand. He stays there all night, or sometimes he'll go inside my closet and sleep under my hanging clothes. But he never goes far.

Also on my birthday I had a visitor. My mom and her husband drove from Las Vegas to visit me. Once again, I do remember them visiting, but not much more than that.

This time around I got thru 8 treatments. The problem is my heart rate and blood pressure get too high, and they have to be able to control that in order to continue my treatment. A few times I got out of bed to use the restroom, and my blood pressure would skyrocket. So for two days they banned me from getting out of bed. That was not fun. Luckily it did not last long. Then the doctor told them to hold one treatment, which they did. Two hours before I was to resume treatments again, Dr Gailani stopped them and said that was it for this time. Eight is good, and he didn't want to over do it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On The Road Again

Sebastian & I are leaving again today to Riverside. I hope that I'm up to it. The ride is not that bad, but I'm afraid of the pain I'm going to be in.

I finally called Robin, Dr Gailani's assistant. I told her that I was in a ton of pain, and asked if this was normal. She said yes, that arthritis is a common side effect of the IL-2. Why do I never know these things ahead of time? Anyway, ten minutes later Sebastian was at the store buying me Tylenol Arthritis, because that is about all I can take (according to Robin). It helps, but just for a few hours.

My best friend Lori will be here watching the house with Reanna. Reanna is not coming with us this time, she has to go to work. I hope that they don't have any incidences like last time I left her. Lori, Reanna & Breanna (Lori's daughter) went to Valley Fair Mall. As they were pulling up, a guy was running out of the mall with a stack full of jeans in his arms. Lori goes "He's stealing!" and says "Come on" and they start following them in the car. She makes Reanna call 911 and give the license plate number, and Reanna & Breanna are scared! Reanna was saying "Lori, what if they shoot us!" And Lori was saying "They won't shoot" etc and kept following. Anyway, I think they finally lost the guys and went back to the mall. Well, the stack of jeans were not cheap. The jeans are about $250 each. Yep. Jeans.

We are still eating the food from Latinas y Amigas. And it's not just us anymore. A few days ago my dad & I had tamales for lunch. There was one left the next day, so Sebastian put it in Paige's lunch. Later that day, everyone was off resting, and Sebastian comes down the hallway asking if I saw the mess and left it? No, if I saw a mess I would have called someone to clean it. What mess??? Paige's backpack was about 4 feet from where she left it, and there was a plastic baggie and shredded corn husk in the hallway. Yep. Peanut ate the tamale. The whole thing. Here he is, returning to the scene of the crime.

Last night Reanna got a cake for my birthday. That was so nice of her! She also got me a gift card to InSpa, where I love to get pedicures & massages. Last week when the arthritis started, I told Sebastian I wanted to get a massage this week before we go back to Riverside. Well, I haven't been up to it, it's been that bad. But now when I get home, I have a gift card to go. Reanna didn't even know I had told Sebastian that. She is the greatest!

Time to go ~ hope you all have a good weekend and I'll be back probably late next week. L~

Monday, September 15, 2008

What A Weekend

I think this has been the most horrific weekend by far. I have been in so much pain. I do not know if it's the drugs going through my body fighting the cancer, or if it's the cancer. Whatever it is, it goes down to my bones. I hope this pain goes away soon. Today is a bit better, especially if I'm online!

I forget so much lately. Sometimes I even go through and re-read my blog, and I read stuff like it's the first time. I have no recollection of what I have written. I guess that's a good thing I keep this then.

I do remember that Louise came to visit me in the hospital last time I was there, and I didn't see that in any posts. But much more than that, I don't recall. I'm sorry Louise, I wish I remembered more.

Thanks to Latinas y Amigas for the wonderful food again. We have already enjoyed the muffins from Natalie, Lucy's Famous Angel Hair Spaghetti and MaryAnn's Superb Pork Chops served with Potatoes & Bacon. We will be enjoying the rest soon. It really helps to have a home cooked meal after being away for so long. Hospital food ~ need I say more, and Taco Bell don't cut it after you've been in the hospital for so long. Oh yeah, another story I forgot to tell. The day I was discharged I ate breakfast, and it was ok. Then the lunch, no thanks. So I was just eating a few orange bites from the lunch tray. They didn't settle very well, and so up comes my oranges and breakfast. We are trying to get released asap to get driving home, but the dr was on lunch, etc and so we had to wait until like 2pm before we were finally discharged. I was so hungry, and as we left the hospital I asked Sebastian if I could get Taco Bell. Well, you have to know Sebastian to understand him. He was upset because we were going to get stuck in LA traffic. So I just complained a little that I had nothing in my stomach and that I didn't want to wait 3+ hours to get food. So of course he takes me and we get on the road. About 20 minutes in, I felt nauseous. I didn't want to throw up, as he would get upset (like I said, you have to know him). But it just was not the right thing to eat at the time. Luckily I didn't throw up, but I haven't wanted or craved Taco Bell since that day. I have been wanting home cooked meals, and thanks to you wonderful ladies, I have had them.

This weekend will be my birthday. I guess since Reanna's 18th birthday was in between treatments and we didn't do much, and Sebastians birthday fell on the day we were driving down, it's only fair that my birthday gets sacrificed too. Only I will be in the hospital, and be allowed no phone calls. I do remember they do not allow cell phones! And please, please, please do not disturb the ICU staff by calling. They are busy tending to me and other patients.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Home, But Not For Long

I got released from the hospital yesterday, and got home last night. I'm so glad to be home. The week went by so fast, but it's so weird because I had no outside communication. This time I was admitted to ICU starting day 1, and they allow no cell phones in your room. And if you get a phone call, they bring a phone to you to use very briefly. I think I got a message from a nurse that my sister called but I was sleeping. I don't know which sister it is, but I'm sorry I missed your call. I was in ICU because of the side effects. The whole time I was there they had me hooked up to a heart machine, checked my blood pressure every 13 minutes, and were always checking my oxygen levels. While still giving me IV's, infusions, pills, and every else. I had so may wires, plugs, etc if I yawned, they knew about it.

Starting out, they try and get 14 doses of the IL-2. They told me not to worry if I can't to all 14, most people only get 7 - 9 their first time. When all was said and done, I got 10 doses in. Once again, above average :)

The whole time I was there, Reanna stayed in my room with me. Poor thing, she probably got no sleep and what little she did was on this tiny seat that makes into a bed. Luckily, she is small. I would wake her during the night and make her push the nurse button. Between the nurses bugging me, and me bugging them, I don't think she slept. Now that I think about it, I don't think she was there to sleep.

Another good thing about being home ~ no more pill popping. I feel like all day & night I was popping pills. Just to look at them make me want to throw up now. There were a few times in the hospital when I actually did. Then the nurses would look through it to see which ones I was gonna have to take again. Glad that's not my job.

My recovery is not that bad. I don't have much nausea. But my whole body gets really sore. I'm extremely bloated, which they say should last more than a few days. The soreness comes and goes, and Tylenol helps it to go....

I go back next week. I can't believe it's so fast. But yep, next Friday I get to start this all over again. Why did I even leave Riverside this time?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Sebastian

Today is my husbands birthday! Since we are leaving for Riverside in just a few hours, we had a pie for him last night. Nothing fancy, it was just me, him and the girls.

Today I've been cleaning a little, so my house isn't too dirty for Lori when she comes and watches it for us. And packing a little too. I've got to go finish that up soon.

I also want to wish a Happy Birthday to Lucy! I wish I could join you beautiful ladies tonight, but unfortunately I can't. I'm glad I was able to make it last week, I had a great time. I'll be back soon ladies, save a seat at the table for me.

I'll be offline for a week, but Reanna might come and do a few posts for me if she has time. Have a great weekend. L~

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Love Kiehl's

I know all I ever do is say thank you, but there are so many people out there who have helped me lately I can't say it enough.

Anyway, last week when I took Reanna to the mall to get her new Ed Hardy sweatshirt, I stopped by Kiehl's because I needed a new toner. I have been using their Avocado Eye Cream for YEARS, and will not use anything else. And I dabble in the rest of their products when I can, like the Silk Goom cream, when I have hair. It makes my hair look so shiny. The Sales Assitant, Zan, was sooo nice to me. I told her my skin was extremely dry due to chemo, and she helped me get a good toner and then the Creme de Corps lotion w/spf 30. OMG, it's so smooth & silky ~ and it smells good! I love it. I don't know if I can use anything else now. I must say Zan went above and beyond. She was so kind and caring, and geniunely interested in me. Before I left, she went to the back and gave me tons of samples for my newly extra dry skin. I gave her this website before I left, so she can read my story anytime. Well, that night she sent an email that she loved the site, and that she wanted to give me some scalp oil because with chemo comes dry scalp. Right when I read that email, I realized how dry my scalp was. Sometimes it takes someone else to point out your issues! So I sent her my address, and in today's mail came a box with a full size bottle of oil for my dry scalp and two lotions! I can't wait to use the oil on my scalp tonight. Every day it seems to itch more and more. Thanks to the team at Kiehls, Valley Fair ~ Camie, Kathy, Sha & Zan. I will definitely be going there more often! You ladies are the best.

While I'm at it, thanks to Selina & Marissa for cleaning my bathroom for me. If you know me, I'm a product junkie. I try everything. Then I get something new. I have so many products in my bathroom, it has taken over my whole tub. I couldn't even get into my bath. Selina & Marissa came over and got rid of everything that I no longer use, and cleaned my tub & tile area. I can now take a bath, in peace. And Sebastian doesn't get as mad because not as many things are falling when he's using his stuff! Thanks, I owe you too one.

My sister Maria came over and helped me out after my mom left. She was kind enough to even plant a tree in my backyard and got me a new hanging plant that we put in front of our house. Sebastian likes it because he stuck it where we had a longer plant, and you can now see our new mailbox. I think it's a guy thing.

Anna, Felicia & Jasmine helped me a ton with the BBQ. Thanks for helping me set up and clean up, I couldn't do it without the 3 of you. Oh yeah, Lenora too. I look at the picture she drew me before my first chemo visit every day. It's still on my fridge. I owe her some toys. Remind me before she comes next time, because I'm gonna forget!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thanks To All

Thanks to everyone who came to our BBQ. I enjoyed it, just wish I had more time to hang out with those of you that I didn't get a chance to. And I'm sorry for those of you that couldn't make it, hopefully we'll see each other soon.

I tried to take pictures of everyone, but I missed a lot of people :( It was a fun day, but very tiring. I'm still sore from Sunday. I feel like I had a good workout!