Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays

Happy Christmas y'all! - well, those of you who celebrate it.
Happy ordinary December 25th to the rest of you!
I've celebrated this morning with an unhappy digestive system - no turkey for me today, I think...... :( I just hope I can manage to stuff myself with stuffing - which, let's face it, is the only reason for having turkey to begin with! I love me some stuffing...... ::sigh::
Today, Xeloda, I give you the v's - and I'm not even wrapping them up. So there.
So, I haven't taken part in the cousin's visit this morning - which makes me feel even worse. Not because I was desperate to see them (does that sound unkind? Yes, it does a bit - but that's not what I mean) - what I mean, is that it means I have to play the 'cancer-girl' role. I wanted to go and look normal and be normal and not have everyone thinking 'oh, poor her, etc.'
Whoo -hoo. I'm suffering with ruddy Internet Explorer instead of Firefox today - so I do apologise if my spelling is a load of rubbish. I discover I've become dependent on the in-browser spell-check with Firefox and consequently don't notice my own typo's anymore.
Sweet Camden Lass asked for a picture of the Christmas Tree Caper villain (pseudonym: Maxwell), so here he is, trying to look all innocent:

And here he is looking pissed off because he was sleeping *under the covers* and I lifted them up to take a photo (mean, old me!)

Pissy, evil-eye; yes?

Finally, we have a White Christmas (and yes, I've just grokked-out watching it this morning. It is my favorite film ever, along with anything with Fred Astaire in. *I* want to be able to dance like that and wear fancy frocks like that. ::sigh:: Not Going To Happen.)
It had snowed before I arrived and this was the view from my bedroom window the morning after I arrived:


Then, we were supposed to have a couple more inches last week, but what we got was more like eight inches more - this is the house over the street in the snow:

And, then this is our back garden (well, the wilderness - my grampy liked trees - me too. I miss him lots):
*So* beautiful. The more so because I get get scared that this is the last time I'll see this; have a Christmas here; have any Christmas.
But, it may not be either - maybe I'll see many more. I hope so.
Enough - today I'll just enjoy the day - or do my best, anyway.
(Dear Other arrived last night with miminum delays - so that makes me happy :))
Happy Christmas eveyone.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Naughty or nice

Remember what I mentioned about the cat and the tree??
Well, tree met floor with resounding crash yesterday evening as the cat tried dabbling in the water at the bottom (at least that's the theory). So, some smashed ornaments, water all over the floor, sodden rug and us trying to screw the tree into the floor at 8pm.
And now he's just knocked the watering can over - more water all over the floor.
Someone's not getting a visit from Santa Claus this year........

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snow! ::grin::

Whee! Short interlude for sitting on a plane with lots of turbulence and dodgy intestinal tract - yay! Recipe for a fun trip! But I did make it to the other side of the pond and I've only got 3 more doses of Xeloda before Christmas - hopefully it'll all calm down by then. I have my onc's permission to knock off one of the small tablets on each dose if my skin gets too bad but it hasn't really - my cuticles are all disappearing and I like to be in close-ish proximity of a toilet but that's it for now. So I'll stick with the full dosage - I don't want to start decreasing the dosage until I really have to - that will just mean that I've got less of a place to go to before my body can't take any more of it. So, I'm shutting up and swallowing the damn pills. And lots of liquid to try and avoid being *too* dehydrated.....I thought last week I was getting a cold but it so far hasn't transpired (which is good) But I checked with Megan at the hospital about what to do if I got a cough (instructions in my purple chemo booklet say I'm supposed to ring them if I get a cough and I thought calling transatlantic over the Christmas period probably wasn't going to be much of a goer; so I now have *two* different sets of emergency antibiotics (on top of all the rest of the rattling lot) - I'm getting to be the drug queen........

It's snowing here in Massachusetts - we've had about 6 inches of the light, fluffy variety on top of the 8+ inches from the previous week, and I'm loving it. It's beautiful. Light and white and fresh. I stuck my head out the door earlier to take some photos and it was so quiet. I'd forgotten how quiet the snow makes everything. Even when there's nothing to hear; the silence is muffled too. Isn't that strange?
I'll post the photos later on I hope.

My memory is getting quite iffy again - hence the leaving my glasses at the Haven after Shiatsu last week. They were right on the table in front of me and I still didn't notice and left them there and had to go back to collect them another day - which is a drag because it takes at least an hour and 3 changes of transport to get there......grrrrr.

Amazon seems to have sent everything I ordered from them in an individual box - sorry, make that an individual, ridiculously enormous, over-packaged box. I'm sorry earth - I think my Christmas presents have cut down the last trees in existence. In the past they've been *much* better about it so I'm quite cross really. We went and picked out our tree yesterday and it's lovely - lots of smell and just the right shape and size - so now we have to fish out all the decorations. When we were putting it into its stand last night the cat insisted on sticking his head in it for ages - and then had a sneezing fit. Quite amusing. Hopefully this will have cured him of wanting to climb or otherwise decimate it......(but probably not).

Heartburn can See Me In Hell - getting permanently annoying now.

Right -decoration hunt begins now! Challenge!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Long time, passing

Where did I go? I guess December has gotten the better of me.
What have I been up to?

Well, I had my appointment at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital with Dr. Kassab - who was very nice. Her office was filled with plants which was nice - green and leafy. She was very kind and it was so fantastic to talk to someone who really acknowledged how much of a problem the hot flushes are - and then went on to say that she was pretty sure she could do something to help. Which is such a difference to the usual 'well, it's crap but we can't do much about it'. I'm not saying that other drs. etc have been unkind or unsympathetic; it's just that, generally, they can't offer much help with it. Plus, it's always considered as a *side-effect* rather than a problem in its own right.
So, I cried (as usual) and explained everything that had happened to me (which I hate doing - well, the explaining the whole when it first started, how I found it and all that stuff.)
It was really quite fascinating discussing it with her - she asked lots of questions about the emotional effect and how I felt when it happened and before it happened and what it felt like. I learnt some interesting things about them through this - for example, the hot flushes make me feel claustrophobic - having to have windows open at night; feeling compulsions to take off as many clothes as I can when they happen; panicking and feeling trapped when they happen.
So I came away with an initial prescription for 'Argent Nit. ' and another for 'Glonoine' if the other isn't doing much after a month. So it's been just over a week and I'm still waiting to see what sort of effect the Arg. Nit. is having......I'm not feeling like it's helping much yet but I'll keep on giving it a go.

One of my few working veins has given up the ghost so we had to have several goes at getting the cannula in on Friday ::shudder:: I never thought I'd say this, but; I miss my portocath.....I keep joking that I'll bring in my port and they can put it back in. But I was down to 2 or 3 functioning and easily found veins in my one usable arm and if we keep going with the IV pamidronate then I'm going to run out of veins!! Plus, who knows what they'll have to give me in the future. Eventually, if the Xeloda stops working, then I may need some other drugs. So, in the long run, it may be an investment to have the portocath put back in.....I guess I'll cross that bridge in due course.

So, then on Saturday morning (of course, these things never happen on Mondays...) I noticed that a mole on my leg was looking odd and scabby and darker. So, of course, I freaked out; convinced that it was skin cancer and it had spread and perhaps this was the initial cause of it all (irrational, much?) and so on. Oh, and that the 3 cysts I have in various places weren't cysts and I should have mentioned the new one instead of telling myself it was just another cyst etc. Argh, dying, end of world, man the lifeboats, plan the funeral, finish the knitting etc.
Poor Dear Other tried to reassure me - reminding me that the CT scan would have shown up other cancer spots, that even if it was abnormal it didn't mean it was cancerous, that it was small. And it was a case of me meeting logic and going 'lalalalalal cannot understand this logic-thing, s'cuse me, too much dying to do!' Poor, poor, Dear Other - he looked so sad and said he felt so bad about not to be able to make me feel better. (Bear in mind I'd thrown in a healthy dose of 'I'm so stupid; it's all my fault; I should have done this and that and the other; bad, bad me, blah, blah, blah') Well, he did make me feel better; but I felt pretty crap to begin with so it was better on a relative scale. So, after a weekend of 'argh!' and great fear, on Monday morning I rang my breast care nurse (well, the new one - the one who knows me best is on maternity leave - the nerve of it!) who helpfully said 'hmm, don't think it's to do with the Xeloda - go and see your GP. Bye!' Not quite as much cossetting and reassuring as I'd hoped for. So, I rang my GP's surgery and asked for an appointment that day - none to be had (of course) so I asked for my GP to ring me and headed off to Shiatsu where I spent at least half the session crying and wailing before we even started - but she was very nice and understanding about my neuroticness and was even kind enough to say that she understood my point of view about feeling that the cancer was my 'fault' because my body is me. By the time I got home it was getting on for 5pm and my GP *still had not rung me* and I was cross but decided I'd just ring for an appointment early the following morning but just as I was bad-mouthing him, he rang (at 4 minutes before 6pm....) and said 'it's about a mole?' and I said 'yes, it sounds pathetic, I know.' and he was kind enough to say 'no, no - do you want me to look at it?' (er, no - why would I want that? Please just use your psychic powers to divine it's status and we shan't have to bother with all this appointments business.....) Ooh, I am bitchy - horribly so, considering that he told me to come and see him the following day - a miracle because I can't usually get an appointment with him at all. But he squeezed his schedule or something and fitted me in.
So I showed it to him, along with a bunch of other ones and my cysts, saying 'what about this one? Ok, this one? Can I just show you this?' and he was exceedingly patient and looked at them all and told me they were all *FINE*. (YAY!) But he said that if I came back in a month then he'd look again and if I wanted to have it removed then he'd take it out and send it to be tested; so I probably will have it taken off - just so I stop peering at it and poking it (which was probably why it was red in the first place - dumbo.) Then he asked if there was anything else he could do for me - which I always think if very nice but very pointless; because what can he do? I was torn between saying 'yes, make it all go away' and 'yes, come round for tea - that will make me feel better!' But I didn't say either - well, I might have said the former in a not so facetious way. But I did whine a bit about not sleeping and he gave me a prescription for some Zopiclone (why do half my pills start with a Z or an X???) - just a small number, not a long term thing but he said it might help so I can make the most of my time with my family over Christmas. So, I went home a very relieved bunny and collapsed in a heap.

Remind me to tell you tomorrow that I left my glasses at Shiatsu, I'm getting a cold, I'm collecting preventative antibiotics and to show you the *bee-you-ti-ful* lace stole I was given as a Christmas present (which I've worn and stroked every day since I got it); plus my dithering over what to make with Pocketina's hand spun yarn (I'm currently too scared to knit it in case it all goes horribly wrong and I spoil it - which will make me cry, more, lots.) Plus, plus, my envy over the meeting and fah-bulous new creations of Laurie and Rebel.

The end.

Whee! Are you still reading? Or have you slumped over in a heap of overwhelmed-ness?

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's all Wicked!

Wow - the whole lack of NaBloPoMo meant that I could have my party yesterday and not have to blog about it on the same day whilst collapsing in a heap of tiredness......
It's great!!
It did go with a bang rather than a whimper, which is always gratifying. The mulled wine went down very nicely - no-one ate enough cake or mincepies: how can this be? I am at a loss to understand this issue.
We did have a few youngsters around which was lovely - at one point there were two little girls grovelling under my table - hunting a tiger, I was led to believe. I also got to listen to a very good rendition of 'Away in a manger' - with nearly all the right words. Apparently there is 'no crib for a star' in this version - and I was quite tickled at the idea of sleeping in a star..... :)

I finally tracked down mini candy-canes to go in my mini Christmas stockings; so I'm well pleased with that!

Tonight, I am going to the theatre too see 'Wicked'! Yay! I've been wanting to see this for ages - the only flaw in the plan are the 10 Guides who are going too......apparently there have been ructions and I'm just hoping we can all have a Nice Time this evening. I've got lots of back-up though (for which I'm super-nova-ly grateful!) - so hopefully all will Be Well.

Tomorrow - is homeopathic hospital day. I have High Hopes. I hope they won't be dashed.....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Blah, blah, looking a lot like Christmas etc.

Well, it's bakety, bakety bake here today....tomorrow is our Christmas Drink part-ay. Why, yes, that is quite early but I'm having fancy afternoon tea at Browns next Saturday. Which is jolly exciting if you spent lots of your early years reading Agatha Christie (like me) - Browns is where, and what she based 'At Bertrams Hotel' on. And the weekend after - I am,...doing nothing actually. But when we planned this I thought I might have gone to the States by then. So, this weekend it was. 35ish people will descend for an afternoon of mulled wine, Christmas cake, mince pies and other such festive things. Oh, and lots of crisps - one of us got a *little* carried away on the crisp-buying front. (and it wasn't me ;))
So, I have baked a cake today, marzipaned and am about to ice another, made cinnamon cut-out cookies, made orange/lemon sorbet (hoping it freezes by tonight - slightly wishful thinking I suspect).
I've also made the bed up in the spare room and am about to fish out the Christmas tree and decorations.
This entertaining lark is hard work!