Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Coffee is TERRIBLE!!!

I've got a lot to write about after my last post on Wednesday....

I went to work with Bob on Thursday.  I had been fighting a little head cold during the week but felt like I was improving.  Even with that I was quite tired all day and really wanted to leave on time.  We had planned to go to DeCicco's (our new favorite grocery store) that night to pick up some things for the freezer.  Treatment cycle #5 is planned for this coming Thursday (3/3) so I need to have everything set in the house for the following week and a half.  Also, Sarah and Alex will both be coming home for a few days - the best news of the week!!!  Anyway, DeCicco's also has lots of prepared food with tables and we decided we would eat dinner there too.  I felt so tired that Bob offered  to just go home instead but I insisted we go anyway.

As usual, it was a great trip to the DeCicco's!!  Yes, this has become a highlight of life and would suggest a stop there to anyone... think of it as Adam's on steroids.  Exit 19 off of 84 --- end of commercial!!!

By the time we got the bags in the house and put away, my heart was racing and pounding in my chest.  I got up the stairs to our bedroom and sat in my favorite This End Up chair to calm down.  Yeah, I still have one. I usually only feel this way during the week after my treatment - but not even this way.  During that week I would feel a heaviness in my chest, a sign of fatigue, as I've described in the past.  This was different.  Once my heart stopped racing, it was continually pounding in my chest.  Palpitations. Then the racing would pick up again and then slow down.  I figured I was just really tired and needed a good night sleep. 

I did sleep some, waking occasionally, as usual.  Each time I noted the feeling in my chest hadn't gone away.  When I woke for the day at 6am, I layed there feeling the fluttering of my heart.  Another feeling to add to the fast racing, the slow pounding and now the fluttering palpitations.  Not sure what to do, I decided to try to ignore it and get ready for work.  I already told Bob I wanted to take my own car because I felt so tired the day before that I might want to come home early to rest and then pick things up from there.  I did my 'thang' - shower, breakfast, animals, etc. 

I thought about working from home but knew I had Lynn coming in and needed to see her, not just for business reasons, but because she's just one of the best people I know and wanted to share our lives of the past few weeks. I got to the car and  when I finally sat down I finally realized the pounding and racing in my chest had not gotten any better.  I could say worse and almost continuous.  Call the doctor, I finally said to myself.  I sat at the bottom of my driveway trying to get through to the Poughkeepsie office.  At least 3 people tried to patch me through, but I ended up nowhere.  I finally gave up trying and headed into the office to a 10am meeting I had with a client.  I slept through our meeting on Monday and had to make it up to her. 

Sandy, my client, is very nice.  She knows my situation and has sent me a lovely note of encouragement already.  She opens our conversation with 'how are you feeling?' and I'm speechless.  I knew I had something going on that day, but was it really necessary to share it with my client?  I simply said 'Ugh - it's always something! Let's not talk about it...' She was very understanding and just talked business for 2 hours.  While it was distracting for me, I did pay attention to the feelings in my chest and that they were not going away. 

When I finished, I stood up and went to talk to Lynn.  As I stood there, I had several waves of palpitations and added dizziness to the mix now.... yeah, I was getting a little nervous.   We ordered lunch and it seemed to make me feel better.  Dr. Rubin and Tammy take lunch at noon too and I knew I wouldn't be able to reach them anyway so I waited until after.  Palpitations were back.  It was approx. 1:30 when I spoke with Tammy describing my feelings of the past 18 hours and she was truly concerned.  She quickly hung up with me to contact Dr. Rubin and by 2 I was talking to him myself.  After quizzing me about everything, he convinced me to head to the ER for precautionary reasons.  He closed with 'I wouldn't want you have a heart attack or anything' - I think I'm close to the exact quote.  That sentence scared the crap out of me....

I had every intention of closing up shop for myself and heading to the ER since I had my own car.  Bob was incredibly busy Friday - he had told me so that morning and I didn't want to add any more to his stress.  My last trip to the bathroom before putting my coat on and my cell is ringing from Vassar.  This time it's Dr. Keleher - breast surgeon.  She's kindly calling me to offer a speak to a fellow survivor who's willing to share her experience with the surgery and after.  During our last meeting, she mentioned this option knowing she has a list of people and described the woman she wanted to connect me to as 'not crazy like you' - I really appreciated that comment!!!

I tell her what's going on and she agrees I should head to the ER quickly.  Then comes "You are not driving yourself, are you?"  Of course I am, but she convinces me to tell Bob and have him drive me.  I get to Bob and try to underplay it all but it's fruitless.  At this point, I'm pretty worried and he immediately is too.  He drops all afternoon appointments and before I know it we are in the car headed up to Poughkeepsie.  Bob is calmly talking to me trying to ease my fear of having a heart attack.  A heart attack seemed more real to me that this thing growing, or formerly-growing in my breast.  I could actually feel something going on with this situation where my tumor was silent.  Sitting in the car with my heart visibly pounding through my chest, I was emotional.  Scared.   It hasn't happened often.

The ER at Vassar has come a long way.  While I haven't been there for myself EVER, I've delivered my family and friends there many times.  It has much improved and I'm taken in immediately.  One nurse is asking me questions and at the same time I'm getting an EKG from another in triage.  I look up at my nurse and realize she looks familiar.  I ask 'Did you ever dance?' and sure enough she has.  It was Christine. I had been her teacher at least 15 years ago and knew her mother Lucy from running around Beacon all my life.  My dancing connection never fails...

I'm whisked into a room alone because they don't want my immunity to be compromised.  I really felt confident with my 'team' of  Dr. John and Sarah.  They evaluated me and ordered a bunch of other tests - CT scan, ultrasound, blood work, chest xray, I think that's it.  They are looking for some sign of heart distress or blood clot.  Everything comes back negative except for the blood... I can't remember what the name of the thing is they were looking for, but it came back positive.  This doesn't mean the 'worst' just that it was a 50/50 chance I had something floating around.  After all these come back, Dr. John (who's last name is some god awful long Dutch thing that he is tired of trying to pronounce for people so he just goes by 'John') talks to Dr. Rubin and they agree I should be admitted for observation.

By now, Barbara knows about my visit to the hospital.  We were to have dinner with she and Allen and we had to cancel.  In the conversation, Bob has to tell why.... let's just say Barbara is on the phone getting me a room ASAP.  Unbelievable.   Someone from administration comes down to greet me and ask if I need anything.  At first I say no, but I realize I'm sleeping there now and I came straight from work.  I know they'll supply soap and a toothbrush.  What is really bothering me is my wig!!! I ask if they have some sort of hat I could wear during the night since I will take it off to sleep.  Not only do I not want to scare the crap out of my nurse, my noggin gets pretty cold from time to time!!  Before I know it, she's back with a cotton adjustable hat with pink bc ribbons all over it... perfect and so appreciated!

I'm put on the cardiac floor instead of the cancer floor because of the heart monitoring.  I'm pretty tired so I encouraged Bob to leave and Barbara to stay home.  I was in the right place if anything happened and there was nothing they could do besides watch me sleep.  I'm in a private room with a tv, the heart monitor and the dreaded saline drip and high hopes of sleeping... yeah right.  I slept a little, but nothing like usual.  Somewhere in the middle of the night, they decide I should have the calf massaging things that expand at intervals to promote blood flow.  Even my nurse Maria didn't understand why since I was mobile and walking myself to the bathroom with no sign of edema.  Either way, they weren't too bad after all and I did sleep a bit more after. 

All night, I am still feeling the palpitations - more fluttering while laying in the bed and pounding when I get up to make my way to the bathroom or even shift to get at drink of water.  They continue in the morning while I wait to be seen by the doctor.  Now it's 2 doctors I'm waiting for - Dr. Rubin and a cardiologist.  In the meantime, I'm brought breakfast.  I'm served a 'regular' diet... non-descript omelet, bagel, cereal and coffee. Too much food, too much really lousy flavorless food.  Have I mentioned the coffee was terrible??? The worst I ever had?  I drank what I could.  Why? Because it was there... but within minutes of swallowing my KiSA (Knight in Shining Armor) Bob brings me McDonald's large coffee - what a relief!!!

I finally see Dr. Rubin at 1pm.  It's Saturday, so there is no big rush for them to get through their rounds.  I'm so happy to see him, but he's not so happy to see me in this situation.  We talk all about what's going on and he's very concerned with the effects of the Adriamycin on my system - specifically my heart.  It is known to have cardiotoxic effects and I've felt those early on as I've described the heaviness I would feel in my chest after chemo.  But this episode was very alarming to him.  He spoke with colleagues about lowering my dosage to achieve the result we wanted and they agreed.  I've made it through 4 cycles of it and it would be eliminated from the next 2.  Dr. R talked all numbers - mg. per meter squared, etc.  The dosage I've received is close enough and more than most can tolerate.  This cycle I will not receive all 3 chemo drugs only 2 - Taxotere and Cytoxcin.  In a way, I'm relieved.

In the meantime, the cardiologist has come in.  He's reviewed all tests and talks to me about everything going on with me.  He and Dr. R are discussing my case and they've come to an agreement - no more tests and I can go home.  The tests indicate its a bigeminy arrhythmia - normal sinus rhythm followed by an extra beat.  People live with this all the time and I can too.  It more than likely will go away when I'm done with chemo.  Even with this diagnosis, Dr. R wants to stop the Adriamycin for fear of anything more effecting my heart.

After waiting for 2.5 hours, I'm finally discharged at almost 4pm.  A couple of gripes - first, there is only one doctor in the hospital on Saturdays that handle all admissions and discharges!!! That to me is way WAY understaffed!!! Second, the nurse I had on Saturday.  Once she realized I was not the wife of Dr. Ritter and not in physical distress, so was not to be found.  I stayed connected to a heart monitor and an intravenous drip even though I was being discharged.  All I wanted to do was get dressed and I waited and waited finally alerting a technician a few times to get the nurse there.  Again, doing the same thing to get myself out the door before nightfall. I really hate to complain since I know I'm not the only one needing care, but it did cause undue stress.  Even a visit to my room to discuss it would have been helpful, but nothing.  Water under the bridge...

We went for a burger and headed home.  Yesterday, the walk to the door of the restaurant caused palpitations.  Stayed home last night and relaxed with a bath and a movie.  Perfect prescription because today I haven't had one!!!  Walking around the house, up and down the stairs and not feeling anything like I did before.  I'm a little tired and plan on taking it easy the rest of today hoping that experience is behind me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reality Check

Big reality check today - actually started talking about surgery dates with Dr. Keleher.  With only 2 treatments left and it's time to plan for the next phase and all that it brings!

I have a decision to make on having a bilateral mastectomy or not.  With the cancer only in the right breast, a single mastectomy is what is called for.  But we've had several conversations with all different doctors about taking the left breast too.  As I've discussed earlier, I'm diagnosed as having dense and cystic breasts.  It was the pain I felt in the large cyst in my left breast that caused me to call the doctor to have it checked.  If I didn't get it checked then I wouldn't have found the cancer until my next mammo and who knows what my prognosis would be like with 3 months more time to incubate inside of me.

If I take just the right breast, then I'm faced with MRI's, mammo's, and other checks of the left.  If I find a lump, and I know I will, then I will immediately suspect it for cancer instead of the cyst that it probably is.  It will cause fear and undo stress.   Now, as the doctor's tell me, there is no higher chance that I'll get cancer in the left at this point, I just simply don't want to worry about it any more! 

What I did find funny was how the doctor's like to point out that if I do both then there will be better symmetry between the two... like I care about that!!! Close enough is all I ask for!

I did go to a geneticist today.  We talked about my family history and any other factors that may make be a candidate for the BRACA gene test.  She is going to submit it to insurance for pre-approval and then I'll followup with the blood test.  If I do test positive, which we all doubt, the bilateral will be a given.

It was Dr. Keleher and her nurse who talked about the length of the recovery, what I'll feel like after, the dreaded drains and much more!  But, it was good to talk about all this because it means I'll be done with the chemotherapy treatments and moving onto the next phase.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The other day, I was reading a magazine article about 5 women who had breast cancer.  Each had a particular reaction or feeling that seemed to define what happened to them as they recalled in their story several years after they had been diagnosed.  One thought to just let me live long enough to see my children grow.  Another recanted how she lost a friend based on the emotional differences the disease caused them each to feel.  I read them and could relate to all of them in some way, but at the same time couldn't find myself in any one of them

What am I feeling about this cancer thing?  What's my deep philosophical revelation? I don't know yet.  Maybe because I'm in the middle of it all.  I was diagnosed 3 months ago and on that day, I was not surprised or shocked or even scared by it.  I had a schedule of things I had to do to get to the surgery and I've been doing them.  Methodically going through my day to day life to get past the bad week, thru the middle week and onto the 3rd and best week then, back down to do it all over again.  4 times over so far. 

I haven't been thinking 'I want to live long enough to see _____ '.  I've been doing what I'm doing in order to continue living as I did 3 months ago.  To fulfill my normal life's length as was intended.  To make my body cancer-free - 3 months from now. 

My visit to the plastic surgeon had me thinking of foreign objects inside of me to make the outward appearances look the same.  We discussed all the particulars before, during and after - long after.  Months to get there. Thinking that far in advance is the most difficult - marking time.  

It's hard to wrap your head around the time. Wasted time? Necessary time, but still valuable time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Delicate Situation...

I've shared and shared so much of myself through this blog, but I have not told all because, honestly, some things are a little too embarrassing to just put out there - even for me.  This has bothered me so much this time, I'm compelled to write about it to help the rest of those that follow my blog and are inflicted with this disease in hopes it keeps things moving... in some way makes the ultimate outcome smoother.  Ok - I'll stop.

Chemotherapy is that mixture of drugs whose job it is to kill the cancer cells.  It also does lots of other things like make your hair fall out, dry up your skin, cause nausea, mouth sores, etc. Not pretty - you get the picture.  I tried to heed the warnings of feeling thirsty by drinking more, but when you are totally overloaded with saline during the infusion, it's really difficult.  Your mouth is so dry that even a little water can help.  But, a little water is not going to help the bigger problem. Elisa, my acupucturist, put it the best.  Chemo is like heat... it sucks the water right out of me - from my mouth, my skin and, yes, my intestines. 

Dr. Rubin warned I might get diarrhea as a side effect of the drugs.  I didn't think that would be too bad for me since I'm prone to constipation anyway and maybe it would balance it out.  BUT - I was beyond constipated with each treatment and after this time is was unbearable.  I complained of being so uncomfortable this time because of the bloated feeling caused by the saline, but instead I now believe its the effects of being totally constipated.  TOTALLY!

I understand if you stop reading now...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I've had some difficulty keeping up with this blog this week.  As I've experienced as I've gone along, things are not getting easier but harder.  Longer to recoup, but recoup I will!

A good part of Sunday night was spent being hungry and hitting the bathroom.  I continue to expel water every 2 hours because of the saline, I think.  Hunger?  The only thing I can figure to cause this is the extra Zofran I took on Saturday to curb the nausea.  I won't be doing that again!

Yesterday, I desperately tried to work some in the morning, but couldn't keep my mind on anything.  I was pretty well rested because of my 'sleep' Sunday, but I had a terrible taste in my mouth and felt 'hungry' in some weird sort of way.  I would eat one mouthful and it would taste good, then immediately not be able to taste it again.  I went through my day like this.  I think I actually overcompensated by eating literally one or two bites of a dozen different things. 

I went to see Heather, my massage therapist, to try to alleviate some of the back pain associated with the neulasta.  She spent time working out my kinks and pains.  I felt entirely renewed when I left.  It is amazing

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Not every day

It's getting harder and harder to pass the time. 
It's getting harder and harder to share my mind.
It becomes more than just what I do in a day.
It just doesn't seem to be going away/


It seems now every treatment experience is a little different. 

Thursday, we arrived a little early hoping to get started early.  I had an appointment with my geneticist at 4pm and I wanted to be sure to make it.  I made the decision to have the gene testing done to determine if I'm carrying it or not for 2 reasons - for me and Sarah (and Alex too).  If I am carrying it, I'll have a double mastectomy immediately and get it over with.  For Sarah, she now has the knowledge that she is likely to be carrying it too and it will help her to make her own decisions in the future.

But that didn't happen.  I had my blood work done on Tuesday in anticipation of this day so we could start immediately, but the results were not at Dyson, so Kathy, my nurse, had to hunt them down.  This delayed us almost an hour.  When I saw Dr. Rubin during the off week, I complained that I had too much saline (2 bags instead of 1) and it made me very uncomfortable for several days afterward.  He said many of the drugs do not need to be administered with the saline.  I made sure I discussed this with Kathy ahead of time.  She has a different methodology than the other nurses.  She adminsitered 3/4 of saline bag first then followed it with the pre-meds, etc.  This in itself slowed us down more. When 3:45pm hit, I had Bob go up to Kelli the Geneticist and reschedule.  It wasn't until 5:30 that we left.

Sure some parts of my day were the same.  Needles and drugs, Barbara and Bob.  Shelly couldn't make it in this time - she had enough going on in her own life, that's for sure!  But she was definitely there in spirit as she texted and im'd me throughout the day.  What was different for me was the lack of sleep.  Usually I go to sleep when I'm hit with the benedryl but not this time.  I felt what would be described as restless leg syndrom, but I felt it all over my body.  Although I was tired, I couldn't settle down to sleep and relax.  I would be jolted up feeling jittery and uncomfortable.  I had sent Bob out for a bit after Barbara had left.  He was feeling anxious about the slowdown and it wasn't helping me.  It was very crowded in the infusion room too.  When we got there, there were no 'corner' chairs available, so there was a shortage of power for all our electronics.  I had wanted to try to use Alex's Brain Scan pieces to try to help me sleep and did... but even that didn't help.  I did manage a short nap when Bob came back, but not enough.  I went home and settled in to rest and read for the night. 

Friday wasn't much better.  I managed a little work but then I had to lay down for a while.  Shelly stopped by with fries with lots of salt - she knows that I can't taste anything for the next few days and the salt helps!  After she left, I had to drive myself back to Dyson to get my neulasta shot.  Barbara had called me to see if I could go out last night and at the moment I thought I could make it.  I made what I thought was a 'quick' stop at the Walgreens but that was enough to wipe me out.  Alex came home for the weekend but I wasn't much good with dinner for the night, so he and Bob finished off some leftovers and I layed down once again.  I had a strange night sleep of feeling hot and cold all night.

So it's Saturday.... slow slow Saturday.  Not alot gonna happen for me again today.  I made some eggs for breakfast for all of us and had to rest.  It's just the way it's gonna have to be... again looking forward to the upswing. 

That's my update for now.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I had been planning to go to the city to see Billy Elliot on Sunday with my little group of theater lovers, the TWITS.   There was a little kink in the works... ice! 

Saturday night, Bob and I went to Shelly and Chris's to hang for awhile.  We left early because I had a busy day the next day and I wanted to be sure to get enough rest for it.  It was about 9:30 when we left... and it was about 10:15 when we got home.  S & C live 5 miles away.... the travel home was fine.  We turned up the driveway and made it half way up and the wheels spun on the ice.  You see, it was warm during the day but got cold again at night.  The driveway under the trees never had a chance to dry out and it froze over solid. 

Now, we have lived here a long time and have backed down the driveway in the winter many many times before.  Bob starts backwards and since we were on just the first bend, we had to turn the wheel slightly which made us head straight for the drop off and/or a tree.  All I could say was oh my god, oh my GOD, oh MY GOD, OH MY GOD!!!  The car turned 90 degrees and stopped.  We left the car and walked up to the house - Bob on one side of the driveway me on the other - stamping our way up thru the thick ice cover snow until we reached the part of the driveway that was dry. 

The next day, the boys head down to try to get the car up or down so I can go to the show.  I was to pick up the girls around 10:30am after my acupuncture appointment.  I kept the pickup time at 10:30 even though I had canceled acupuncture the night before - not know what to expect in the morning.  But the temperature was rising and the boys thought we'd be ok.  I did check out 'Plan B' - the train schedule - just in case.  Bob and Alex headed down there with shovels.  By the time I got there, Bob was on the phone with Danny, our neighbor for additional help.  Danny and his son come over with their truck and a rope, 4 shovels and kitty litter. Time marches on and we aren't getting any closer to the road.... well, maybe a little. 

It was getting a little too close for comfort so I called the girls and had them head to the train.  I would meet them there.  Their worry??? Would I be lonely driving alone!! Cute, huh?  The boys got me out of the driveway and on my way.  In fact, I actually got to the restaurant before they did!

We made it to the show in plenty of time.  I have seen it twice before, but really hoped the girls would like it. There's just something special about this show.  The dancing, the message - it all worked for me.  We didn't have great seats... in fact we were in the last row of the balcony!  But that didn't seem to matter.  I enjoyed it as much this time as the rest.  I helped the girls understand a bit of what was going on with the storyline at intermission.  Margaret Thatcher was a big part of the 2nd act and I had to explain who she was and how she effected the lives of the coal miners we were watching.  They got it and seemed to love it as much as I did!

The drive home was filled with giggling and laughing and talking.  Just the way I like it.  We made it home in time for most of the super bowl, but I realized we did not take one picture of us during the entire day! 

Either way - I want to thank Bob and Alex for their efforts to get me out of the driveway.  The Moore's for pitching in too.  The Twits for putting up with it and making the rest of the day worth it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Social Experiment Results!

You've all been waiting for it....

TOPLESS is my most popular post of the week!!!

.... now get your mind out of the gutter and have a nice weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I had an unexpected test today to check how my heart is withstanding the Adriamycin .  Earlier in the week, I was describing the feeling in my chest for the week or so after the chemo treatment and Dr. Rubin just wanted to check that my heart wasn't being compromised.

Adriamycin is the dangerous drug that is administered from 2 vials into my IV on the day of chemotherapy.   The general practice is a body can withstand 350 mg/m of the drug before it causes permanent heart damage.  Based on my treatment plan, I will be below that at 300 mg/m by the time I go in for surgery and any damage that's happened is reversible over time.

Not used to feeling 'chest' pain or anything like that in my otherwise healthy body, it alerts me each time I feel it.  And, in the week after the treatment, it happens quite often.  Dr. Rubin listens to everything and encourages me to talk about anything unusual that is going on and this feels unusual for me. 

I've actually had this test before I started the treatments also to test for my ability to withstand the Adriamycin back then.  I was a different person then - just 2 months ago. 

Usha is the technician who administers both the Nuclear and the MugA tests.  For the MugA, you have to be connected to electrodes after being injected with a radioactive isotope.  The first time, Usha thought there was something wrong with the machine because my heart rate was not registering.  She complained that the machine had just been fixed and still it wasn't working.  She did a good job of trying to troubleshoot it just as I would a computer for a customer.  She would turn it off and on, try again, remove and replace the electrodes, swap out for a different set, unplug and replug them in, etc.  I layed on the machine for nearly 30 minutes while she did all this. Finally she called her boss - a big burly but very nice man.  I don't remember his name, but he did rush in and thank her for pulling him out from a meeting with the CEO!!  I was beginning to feel a little guilty... truthfully I found it quite funny!  Anyway, this man starts to run through all the tests again.  After about 10 minutes, he asks me about my heart rate and blood pressure.  I tell him both are unusually low - heart rate is around 58 bpm and my blood pressure runs around 90/60.  He starts to unbutton his shirt and says to Usha "Hook me up".  Three electrodes later and the machine is registering no problem!  We all start laughing for a bit while he buttons up his shirt, gives Usha a few instructions and heads back to his meeting.  With all that I finally register on the machine and with no surprise, my heart is in fine shape to start the treatments.

This time, Usha starts right away with the new procedure, but I suspect she doesn't need to.  I can tell my body and my heart are different than they were just 2 months ago.  As soon as the electrodes go on, I register and my heart rate is 74.  Normal for most, but high for me. I'm a little disappointed.   I'm able to take the test and hopefully find out the results tomorrow. 

MugA test 2 is just not as good as story as the first time!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"That's the funniest thing you've said yet!"

It's another snowy, icy day here.  I'm home trying to work some and cook some.  No need to shower first thing in the morning, so I waited until mid afternoon.  I do still always wash my 'hair' - ok, my head.  But this time I really felt more of the stubble than usual and got pretty excited!  So much so, that I started to think about gelling it for more volume - maybe color it.  Whatever it may be, it would be my hair and something to look forward too!

I rush down stairs to show my findings to Bob.  I say, "Look! My hair is growing!"  I bend down so he can see it and put his hand on my head to rub it so he can feel it.  When I look up with a big smile, Bob doesn't know how to react or what to do... he starts laughing.  "That's the funniest thing you've said yet!"

Admittedly, my hair is just a bit longer than hair I've ever had on my legs and very sparse.  Try as he could to see what I saw, it just isn't there!  I started laughing at my vision of me with a chic gelled hairdo.  He was right - very funny!

Just a dream for awhile... back to the wig.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scaredy Cat

Something's eating at me ...

I have Breast Cancer.  I found out the day before Thanksgiving.  I told everyone within a week.  Everyone but my mother. 

My mother is now living in a nursing home.  I can devote an entire blog page to how we got to this point and maybe I will someday, but for this post let's start there.  She's 87 years old and she has good and bad days, but don't we all.   She calls the Lutheran Home a jail, but without it she wouldn't be alive.  Her memory comes and goes and her health is stabilized.  As she's gotten older, she's become more and more self-centered. 

We are all, and I mean all, guilty of coddling my mother.  My mother never drove a day in her life and people would just pick her up to bring her places - my father, my Aunt Viney, her friends, her children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces, etc.  That's just an example.  No one would want to upset my mother then and now. 

Here she is in a nursing home and cannot do one thing to help me.  Me, the youngest and strongest of all her children.  The one she would never expect to have this disease in her lifetime.

I'm afraid of her reaction, so I chose not to tell her yet.  I figured I would wait until it was time for me to have surgery and just let her deal with that and not all this chemo stuff.  When my hair fell out, we told her I colored my hair.  My wig is so good, she had no doubt that's exactly what happened. She even commented how close the color was to my hair from 10 years ago!  There's been an upper respiratory infection going around the nursing home and I've been avoiding going in there just as I've avoided going in anywhere.  My kids went to visit without me and my sister Donna and niece Dawn have taken my place several times.  Each of them telling my mother I've been 'sick' in some way or another. 

It's been 3 weeks since my regular weekly Monday visits and Mom is asking for me.  I don't think I can hide it from her any longer.  I have to tell her and let her just have her reaction.  She'll be upset, nervous, depressed, sad, angry, etc. I hate to think that I'll be the reason for any of that but I can't avoid it.  I think I'll make a visit to the staff social worker to alert them to what I'm going to do.  At least they can keep an eye on her for any undo reaction. 

I'm the scaredy cat.