Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who says chemo can't be fun?

Many thanks to Karen Mirrer for the excellent props! It seems somewhat strange to say I had a good time when referring to chemo therapy but I did! Thanks again Karen!!! Counts holding steady, and I am feeling good!

Also thank you to my sister-in-law Christine for the wonderful chili; to Art and Karen for dining with us even though I was not feeling my best, and to our neighbors Hank and Jessica for a wonderful dinner (although I think the kudos should actually go to Hank's mom who cooked!)

It has been a crazy week and the evenings are growing darker much earlier all of the sudden. I do enjoy the fall, nothing better than running on a crisp fall morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last Days of Summer...

Wow - August 26th already. Unbelievable. In some ways I am thrilled as the end of summer bring me closer to the end of my chemo treatments but on the other hand I am somewhat sad as this summer was a blur of trips to NY, feeling good and bad, and sticking close to home. I am already planning my summer of 2009!

Lots of good the past few days: we had our homestudy updated Friday so we hope our adoption procedings will continue as planned. We asked the social worker what turnaround time they are telling folks now and she said 29-30 months. That puts us at Sept/Oct 2009. We just have to wait and see.

I had dinner Friday at my mom's with "the girls" and laughed so much my stomach hurt. The food was great too and my mom gave me some beautiful flowers. Saturday I walked/jogged at the track in the morning which tired me out a bit so spent some time at my Aunt Lorna's sitting by the pool reading. We then got my badly needed shopping done. When are they going to put a Trader Joe's in Kinnelon? After stopping home to unload the groceries we stopped by Laurie and Rodgers for a quick hello as Rob and Robyn were there too. Saturday night was spent at Erin's for Lauren's bachelorette pre-party. It was a lot of fun and I was very envious when they all piled into a limo and took off for dinner and revelry in NYC. There is just no way I can stay out to 3 or 4am these days. Maybe once the port comes out... Ended the weekend with a very nice dinner at the beautiful home of Kathleen and John out in the country. (Clinton, NJ) The work they have done on their home is fabulous; Greg and I have always loved big old stone homes.

Back at work Monday and all I can say is my days there fly by as I am pretty busy. Karen M. will be my "chemo companion" this week! The countdown continues!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Chemo treatment #9 is done! My day started out great - I was deemed worthy of gold by my niece Hayden, as you can see by the medal I am wearing in my photo, for being Top in Category: "Being an Aunt". In fact, my nephew Aaron even said, "...when it come to aunting, you are like Michael Phelps and swimming..." - Ethan sent me a great card too!

Chris Melone accompanied me today - how great to spend some time with her! My counts were good - WOOHOO! Dr. Oratz told me I could even start running again, albeit slowly, but actually running!

Lastly - my hair is growing back!!!! It is white - like a fine peach fuzz but it is hair! I have read that it comes back without color first with pigmented hair coming in a bit later. Can't wait to have my buzzcut back and to see what color my real hair is!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Suddenly Sunday

The weekend started out all right: Friday night my mom brought me a beautiful basket of flowers, Jess dropped off an elaborate salad, and we had a wonderful dinner at Lorna's. Off to a good start right?

Saturday morning was beautiful. We drove down to Flemington to meet Greg's friend Doug, his wife Karen and their two girls, MacKenzie and Kylie for breakfast. (They were in NJ visiting family; they live in Minnesota.) We had a very nice time; the girls are beautiful and very entertaining! After breakfast we walked around the outlets for a bit picking up some cool baby outfits for our new neighbor, Gregory Jupiter Jones (Cammos for newborns - who knew?).

As we headed north we heard from our friends Laurie and Rodger who were in the midst of their annual family party and we planned on stopping by. I fell asleep in the car on the drive back and when we arrived home did not feel quite right. I thought perhaps I needed to eat something, but no, that did no make me feel better. I then thought perhaps a short nap would snap me out of it. Greg woke me up about 3 hours later and all I wanted to do was sleep. Not sure why I was feeling so fatigued but figured I best go with it. So, needless to say we missed Laurie and Rodger's gathering along with my dear friend Antoinette's 40th celebration. Our neighbors Hank and Jessica - parents of the aforementioned Gregory Jupiter - took pity on Greg and invited him over for dinner. Greg woke me to try to get me to eat but food was just not appealing to me. I tried to sleep but could not so spent the later part of evening laying on the couch just watching to the Olympics.

So as my post title states, it was suddenly Sunday. I had accomplished nothing on Saturday. I was feeling good so started laundry, etc. while Greg tended to the lawn. Phyllis called and I decided I was up to lunch at her beautiful new house. The chores could wait! We had a good time having lunch with her and Mike; they are so happy! From the south we traveled north and spent an enjoyable evening having dinner with Greg's Dad and Jean. It was a beautiful night on the lake and the grilled meal was perfect. The highlight of the evening was my Greg receiving some vintage Star Wars toys from Jean And Greg Sr. He smiled the entire drive home!

Was able to walk with Amy this AM and now it is off to work ! I look forward to chemo this week as after this treatment I will finally be at that place in my treatment plan where I have less cycles still facing me than I have already had! That light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mingling with the Masses

Ah, freedom, sweet freedom! Yes, my white blood cell count has rebounded and I am free to leave the house. Okay, so I left the house once or twice, but now I can even go to a restaurant or Whole Foods and not wear gloves and a mask! (No, I never did that - but the thought did cross my mind!)

I started Thursday morning off by opening the front door of the cabin and seeing the signs in photo above stuck in my front yard. I laughed out loud! I knew right then and there it would be a good day, I mean really, how could my day go wrong with a beginning such as that?

Jess was my chemo bud (Thank you!). At my oncologists's office, we met a woman going through chemo for the 1st time. She will be on the same drug protocol I am so I gave her my phone number and told I'd be happy to talk if she needed to. She may have thought I was nuts handing over my number to a total stranger, but I found that talking to folks who had been through what I was now experiencing put my mind at ease when I was freaking out! We were then able to have lunch with my brother who is located just a few blocks away.

My evening was capped off by Denise bringing us some homemade beefstew! As I said - it had to be a good day! I'll be returning to the office Monday.

ONLY 8 MORE CHEMO TREATMENTS TO GO!!!!! If keeping with my marathon comparison, I am at mile 13.1 and just hitting my stride! 13.1 more to go!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bubble Girl

Tomorrow it will be a week since the start of my chemo induced exile and I have:

1. Become addicted to the Olympics
2. Refolded everything in my drawers
3. Learned just what it must be like to have OCD

Seriously folks I know I need to take it easy and all but I am praying my counts are good and I can, at minimum, go to the grocery store! (Althought I have to admit, shopping using the Peapod delivery service is quite nice and also there is Mom's delivery service which can't be beat - homemade soup and flowers, not to mention a supply of antibacterial gel and bug spray!)

I have been able to walk outside which has been has been quite comfortable. I am hoping my iron counts are good so I may even return to some light running. My brother, my niece and nephews along with Amy and Jess have kept me company walking, it is nice to have human interaction! Keeping my fingers crossed for Thursday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Taxol treatment #3 is now behind me - thankfully!

My friend Maureen joined my today - it was great to see her and have her company! The bad news today is my WHITE blood cell count has crashed to a dangerous low. Just when I got my iron counts under control! I almost did not have my infusion today which would have been a major downer since I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel; I mean I am finally in the single digits when it comes to remaining weeks of chemo: NINE!!! HOORAY!

Anyhow need Neupogen ASAP and will use that to try to get my counts back up but in the meantime no malls, no movies, no restaurants and no office. I also need to be very careful about who comes to visit. So while this interlude may be good for my pocketbook, (maybe not - internet shopping still works!), I may lose my mind!

I am at just over $900 towards my goal of $1500 for the Komen NYC Race for the Cure. THANKS EVERYONE! Also, so many folks are walking with me, it is going to be great! My mom, Christine and Hayden, Jess, Shelly and her daughter, Jeanie and Patrice will all be walking with Team Medco. I am glad the team is open to "outsiders!" I have decided I will walk bald. I'll wear my pink wig for the Team Medco photo (I do not need my bald head posted on Medco's intranet)and then remove it for actual walk. I also plan on wearing my F*CK CANCER shirt so will need to make sure I am in the back row for photo as well! Be sure to check back here for photos! The Race for the Cure is 9/14 - again I'll ask you to please join us or consider supporting us!

Monday, August 4, 2008

August Already

It is yet another Monday morning and thankfully I am feeling well. In fact, my 2nd Taxol treatment was not that bad. I had some achiness Saturday and Sunday but taking some ibuprofen and a nap seemed to do the trick.

We did a bunch of nothing this weekend which tends to be just what I need these days. We kicked off Friday evening with a long walk and dinner made by my friend Terri. Saturday came and went with rain, I did a lot of reading! Sunday was beautiful, cool and breezy. We spent the morning at the New Jersey State Fair (See giant sand sculpture photo above) with the Haggertys. How can you not feel good at a carnival? So many colors, sounds, smells - it is sensory overload! Sydney and Sarah always make me laugh so it is good to be around them. I was sad I could not go on the rides this year due to the location of my port and most over the shoulder restraints but I'll be back next year! Also, the dietary offerings leave a it to be desired when not all that much tastes good! Pizza always seems to work. I tired quickly from walking around in the sun and after a quick stop at my mom's (who gave us homemade beef and barley soup - Dinner! Thanks Mom!) headed home and took a much needed nap.

This week chemo is on Wednesday. It was great to spend time with Tracy last week, this week I'll get to spend some with my friend Maureen. Treatment should go rather quickly as all I need to receive is the Taxol. No Benadryl and no study drug. Ten more treatments to go...