Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Update and Hodgepodge

When I last posted I was working hard to gain somewhat normal motion in my arm. I had my appointment with my Radiation Oncologist this past Wednesday and he was very pleased with my range of motion, actually he was very surprised at the improvement. Granted it is still not perfect or anywhere near normal, but I am able to get it over my head and in the position needed for the treatments. So even though we still had not gotten the results of the gene (Oncotype DX) test the doctor wanted to go ahead and do what he called my "simulation".  

This "simulation" consisted of lying on the table shown in the picture. The table moves up and towards the machine. The material I was lying on was then conformed to my body making a mold that will be used for each of my treatments to ensure that I am in the same exact position every time. The doctor then came in with a sharpie marker and marked the area to be radiated. The machine rotated around me and pictures were taken. Once they were satisfied that they had the area targeted the nurse gave me my permanent tattoo marks. I now have three small dark blue tattoos, (just little dots). These too will ensure that the correct spot will be treated each time.  

Finally, Monday evening the Medical Oncologist called with the test results.

My total score was a low 12, so this means NO CHEMO!!! I am so happy and Thankful for this news. 

I go on Thursday to have a cat scan and with this the Radiation Oncologist and his team can put together my exact treatment plan. Because they will be treating my left side the team has to take extra precautions to keep the radiation from hitting my heart. 

They hope to have a plan together to start the treatments on Monday, if not than it will be the following Monday. Six weeks of Monday through Friday treatments... I am dreading this so much but know that it is what is best for me and I just want to be done with it. 

But for now, on with the Hodgepodge.........

1. April showers bring May flowers...what have you been showered with this month?

Tulip Tree March 2012

I think the only thing I have been showered with lately is Doctors. 

Not really much growing in my yard, even my Tulip Tree hasn't bloomed as beautifully. When the tree blooms were just beginning to open up we had several cold frosty days and the blooms never fully opened but turned dark and fell off. 

2. What is the nature of compassion? Is it learned or innate? Can compassion be learned? If you're a parent is this something you've purposely sought to instill in your children, and if so how?

I do think compassion can be taught. Experience is the best teacher and if our children see us as parents and role models being compassionate towards others they too will learn compassion. 
Simple things like treating others with respect no matter their status in the community, or collecting clothes and toys for a family who has lost everything in a fire, bringing food to a friend or neighbor who is ill,  teaching our children to be accepting of those who are different from ourselves, opening a door for the young mother struggling with a child and packages or groceries, stopping as a funeral procession goes by, and so many other acts of kindness.....

3. Do you prefer to watch romantic comedy or romantic drama...or are you rolling your eyes saying bring on the action flicks?

I would have to say that I enjoy them both. Give me a romantic movie any day over an action flick!!

4. It's April which means baseball season is officially upon us here in the US of A. Humphrey Bogart is quoted as saying "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." Agree or Disagree?

Oh I so Agree!! There is nothing like a hot dog from a ballgame. I don't know what it is about them, but they are always sooooo good!!

5. What's something in your community or city that needs fixing or improving?

The roadways. There is so much construction going on and so many areas have had streets torn apart with the installation of underground wiring and bigger drains. 

6. Share a song you enjoy that mentions flowers or a specific flower in its title.

This is the first song that came to mind and one that I enjoy, The Rose by Bette Midler.

7. April 22nd is Earth you believe there's life on other planets? That wasn't the question you were expecting was it? 

No little green men or monster like beings, but micro organisms I supposed there could be. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Trying To Find Some Normalcy

I am happy to be joining in once again with this fun meme. I attempted to before Easter but simply did not have the energy. Since having my surgery I have been so exhausted and then while still in the healing process I developed a sinus and ear infection. This combination totally zapped my energy. I had multiple doctors appointments scheduled, (follow up visit with the surgeon, first visits with the oncologist and radiation oncologist), I thought that one of them would be able to treat me for the sinus stuff too. But, they would not. So a visit to my family physician was added to my agenda. Thank goodness for steroid shots and antibiotics. I am feeling much better now. As for my healing process, it has been a rough road. The doctors have been pleased with my progress except for the radiation oncologist. He was not pleased with my arm motion and wanted to send me to physical therapy. He said in order to start the radiation treatments I would have to have much more range of movement in my arm. So he gave me a week to get the arm moving or off to physical therapy I go. It has been rough, and I cried while doing the exercises for a few days. But, thank heavens I am gaining more use of the arm. It is still swollen and very sore but I am able to raise it over my head now and to do the exercises without crying in pain. I see the doctor again on Wednesday and hopefully will be able to move forward with the mapping out of my treatment process. I am still awaiting the results of the gene test to determine if I will be able to skip the chemo. I should have those results by the end of the week.

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And now on with the Hodgepodge.......

1.     April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income tax returns. What's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'?

Keeping files updated at the office. My husband often leaves things where he finishes with them instead of putting them in their proper place, so I spend a lot of time trying to locate documents that should be in a client's file. We work at home at times, more so since my illness, so documents are scattered at home and at the office. I periodicity have to check the conference room and his office at work as well as our dining room table and computer area at home for documents.   

2.     I'm participating in the April A-Z blog challenge, and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on Day O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?

Ohhh, how I love onions and olives!!!! I like to put onions in everything or eat them on the side with certain foods. I love the smell of onions grilling and there is nothing like a green onion and a tomato fresh from the garden. Throw a few olives, green or black, in there and Yum, Yum!!

One of my favorite lunches is what my hubby calls a "nibbly plate" a few olives, tomatoes, green onions, cheese, grapes or pineapple, a slice of ham or turkey and a few crackers!! 

3.     What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience? 

So many things... Telephone Party Lines, rotary phones, only three television networks to choose from, having to move the rabbit ears to get one of those stations to come in, having to go outside and turn the antenna to make the television stations clear, moving the rabbit ears on the television so you could have a clear picture, watching shows in black and white, counter checks....

My kids and I have had several conversations about many of the the items listed above. The telephone party lines simply blow their minds and the thought of only three tv stations does as well. But the counter checks has been the most amazing to them. Maybe it was just a small town thing. But where I grew up we had two local banks, we called them the white bank and the yellow bank, not because of the buildings but because at local businesses they had pads of counter checks white and yellow. When customers would go through the check out process and say they were going to pay with a check the clerk would ask, white bank or yellow? Which ever bank your family used that is the check pad you would be handed. You filled out the check and signed it or signed your parents name and yours underneath it. It was more of a task keeping up with the checks with more family members writing them on the same account and them not being chronologically numbered. 
My kids seldom even write checks and when my daughter lost her debit card and had to do without it while they issued a new one asked me how she was going to be able to get cash or pay for things. The thought of writing a check was a foreign concept to her. 

4.     Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts? 

I am on the fence on this one. While term limits would possibly bring new eyes and new ideals to the table, sometimes the wisdom of age and experience is best.  
5.     On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'...when did you last make a midnight ride? Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.

One night my kids and I were up late. We decided we wanted something to eat. Since the only places open around here at midnight or after are White Castle, Taco Bell and the local Donut Shop we decided to make a midnight run to White Castle. The furthest place from the house of course. It was actually fun and a great memory of time shared with my kids. 

6.     What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider? 

Not that I am fond of either one, but the mice I can control. Spiders are another story. We have those pesky Brown Recluse spiders around here and they are nearly impossible to get rid of. We spray our house every year for them but still see them at times.  My husband and step son have been bitten by them, both of them had to see a doctor for their bites and had to take medication to get the bite site to heal. I am constantly on the look out for them. Once I saw one under my pillow. I turn my pillow over Every night before climbing in bed now.  

7.     I love it when people ask me________________________?

How I keep my hair in such great shape. Many times when I get it cut the people will remark about how soft and healthy it is. This past January while in Florida I got my bangs trimmed and the guy commented on my hair. The thing is I really don't do anything special to it. I change shampoos often, I try to at least trim the ends twice a year and very seldom blow it dry. But I color it every few months and straighten it or use hot rollers on it nearly every day.

8.     Insert your own random thought here.