Monday, November 24, 2008


Oliver wearing the dinosaur hat I got for him while he was here. Previous record for it staying on his head before him ripping it off-about one second. Somehow he has become more tolerant of it though it looks like his right arm is going up for it.

Yesterday I went for a walk up in Kensington with Jan. A lot more snow there so things were slippery. The chickadees enjoyed the walnuts from my hand but their winter companions, the downy woodpeckers, titmice and nut hatches were less trusting.

I managed to get a run in this morning before the big snow which is now melting. Even though it was warmer than yesterday, the high humidity made it feel cooler. I finished right in time-it started sleeting as I was cooling down. There was a spin-out accident in front of us as we went to the hospital. First I needed a series of blood tests to see if I am healthy enough for chemo, check my thyroid levels which maybe high, and my FSH levels, which is a part of the chemobrain study to see if my chemobrain can be due to menopause. I had an hour break before the MUGA so I went to their cancer education center. I was surprised to see it being manned by a former colleague Ellen. She was one of the very promising Phds hired in the 80s to put Parke-Davis (before Kizer bought us) on the map research wise. But I always liked her even going cross-country skiing with her in the early years. She gave me lots of literature-including the Susan Love Book (which I didn't take but it would have been nice to know that I could get it for free) and can do research on any cancer related issue. She was a scientist in the company's cancer program.
The MUGA test measures my heart's injection volume, an indication of heart function. They do this for everyone faced with taking the red devil Adriamycin. It involved me lying still for 45 minutes as they injected a radioactive tracer into me and it scanned my heart. I saw the images-not too interesting. I assume that my heart is in good shape as I can run alright and recover very quickly. Hopefully the red devil won't destroy my heart.

When I was checking in, a clerk said how much she liked my hair. Instead of being a reasonable person and just saying 'thank you', I had to say something pithy like-well it will all be gone in 3 weeks. When will I learn to be a 'good' cancer patient.

Still no info on my new insurance as promised. My current insurance expires Thursday though I paid for the whole month. If the stuff doesn't come in the mail tomorrow, I will have to make yet another series of phone calls. Did I say how much I hate the drug company that rhymes with Kaiser today?


Moutray said...

This is a very good blog. My wife had triple negative breast cancer, as well. Unfortunately, she passed away last year. I have just written a memoir about my life with her. Perhaps you could turn these posts into a self-published book, as well, as others might find it equally interesting. Best of luck to you with your treatment.

S. F. Heron said...

Sue, I'm glad those tips on food helped. Drop me a note anytime if you need some advice. I'm on a very rough dose of chemo - Taxotere, Adriamycin, and Cytoxin all at once. It's kicking my butt but I swear, 99 percent of this is mental. 99 percent of the time, I forget I'm doing this.

Be strong, take care of yourself - your body and mind. Don't immerse yourself in being a cancer patient. Strive to move outside of that. Keep up your exercise, take up knitting, crochet or even cross stitch. I'll hook you up on some writing websites if you like. The more that keeps your mind occupied, the better.

I spoke to the mother of one of my daughter's classmates last week. She's a 6 year success story. I don't see this as surviving but rather as a success. Every step you take, no matter how scary, is a step to success.

The great part about being a woman is that all of us are born with gumption. Let it serve you well.



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