Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I cried Uncle

Some background on this memory from the late 1950's.  There was no such think as self serve at gas stations, now called service stations.  A hose went across the station drive way and rang a bell when a car rolled over it.  That let the attendant know when a car pulled in and he would come out and pump the gas, check the oil, and wash the windshield.  When ever my friends or I could get the family car, we would load up and drive around town, it was called cruising.  That did not have the meaning it does now.  We were not looking for sex, we were just out seeing who was doing what and who we could talk to.

This story is about silly teenagers.  My mother was dating my soon to be stepfather, Papa Jack, while I was in high school. When they got serious is when I started calling Jack "Papa Jack". And I still do. Jack had a hunky younger brother, Taylor, whom I dubbed UNCLE Taylor.  Don't you know a high school boy loved that.

I had just a little crush on Uncle Taylor.  Now no way would Taylor have ever dated me.  First off  he had a steady girl friend, we all hated her because she didn't even go to our school.  So she stole him from the locals.  Second reason he was an important football player and I was a Band Rat. (Yes, that is what we were called. We took the name and wore it with pride.)  Rarely did the football team notice Band Rats were alive.  So my friends and I did things to drive Uncle Taylor crazy.  Our favorite . . .

Taylor worked at a gas station.  We would drive over the bell, wait for him to come outside, then the whole car would scream,"Hi, Uncle Taylor!!!"  And then we drove off.  We only did that about 4 times a night.  There were cute boys hanging out at The Wing and the Hungry Hound we had to go flirt with them  (these were two of the popular drive-ins where we ate and socialized.

He still is Uncle Taylor to me. He has been family since 1962, so really my uncle. I hope he has forgiven me for loving to embarrass him in high school.

Memories are good. I plan to write other memories in the future.  You all need some laughs and not so many health stories.  Stay tuned for stories from the last 70 years.  I told you I am old.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Scan, good and bad news

Today my oncologist called with the CT Scan report. First she said she forwarded my email about the awful scan to the Chief of Radiology.  ( for those not caught up, read the post before this one)  Those involved will be talked to.  They also are trying to get permission to hire nurses just for radiology. 

There was one point in the report where the radiologist said there wasn't a good contrast so not clear on some things.  No shit, no contrast, wonder why?  Read previous blog post. 

Now to what we worried about.  Bad news the mass is a little bigger than the last scan.  Good news the mass is still smaller than the original scan and no spread.  Lots of little things showed  up.

I will have another heart echo scan. There is a possibility of fluid around the heart.  This does not involve an IV, they just grease me up and punch and roll over my heart area.  This one is not scary or painful.  A different department will do this, it is through cardiology. You know me, visit every department.  Spread the wealth.

Yes, I was really upset.  After the good blood test, I was thinking the mass was really shrinking.  So I cried and ate chocolate.  Luckily I had made brownies yesterday.  I ate too many, and the doctor thought that and wine was a good choice for tonight. 

So tomorrow I am back to living one day at a time.  I can't stay upset, that drains my energy and peace of mind. I have to stay strong and calm. I know the outcome of this disease.  I just have to go with how I am feeling now.  I feel damn good. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

CT Scan Hell

So today I went to oncology to have the link from my port set up for the CT scan dye.  Then I checked into radiology and paper work wasn't right.  So I had to wait.  Finally they took me back.  I told the tech they were to use the port since they had so much trouble hitting a vein last time.  She wasn't happy, "We will have to get a nurse to do that!" 

Forty five minutes later I am still sitting there waiting on a nurse.  I got up and complained.  I explained I am a chemo patient and I am worn out by the end of the day.  He said he would tell a supervisor. 

Finally a  nurse is found who will touch a port. ( departments other than oncology are afraid of ports and don't want to touch them)  They start the saline and dye solution.  I am starting to go through the machine and the IV tubing hangs up and is trying to rip out of my chest.  I scream for them to stop.  They rearrange the tubing and we start again.

The machine starts moving me through the "doughnut" hole and the IV tubing breaks and the dye goes all over me.  In my hair, down my back, in my ear,  all over my face, down my arms, in my  hair.   I was screaming curse words.  I could not this believe that this happened to me again.  I lost it and cried and cursed and yelled at them.  Plus I had no idea what the dye would do my skin.  They said it would do nothing, they would clean it off  me.  So they sort of cleaned me off.  I took a shower as soon as we got home.

Now my worry is was there enough dye in me to get a good picture of the mass? Trust me, I do not want to do this scan again.  And if they say do it again, I think I will go back to the hospital we went to before this one opened. 

When I went back to oncology to have the needle removed from my port, they were horrified at what had happened. They send lots of patients down to radiology and never heard of this happening, let alone twice. 

I am OK.  I have calmed down and can almost (I said almost) laugh about this. 

And another update on me

Tuesday was chemo day.  Good friend Kirsten took me for a couple of reasons.  It gave Marty time off as my caregiver, and Kirsten and I had two to three hours of just us talking.  Two hours is never enough for us, we are like a couple of teenagers yakking away.

The chemo process as usual is no big deal.  Doesn't hurt and the side effects don't usually kick in until I get home.  These two drugs are not making me sick as the pre Christmas chemo did.  I have very light nausea and tiredness.  Pills are controlling the nausea and naps work on being tired.

Now the chemo brain is a whole different story.  I can't remember squat.  And I do dumb things.  The other night I was going to turn off the kitchen light with its remote,  But it didn't work.  Why, you ask?  It didn't work because I was punching on the TV remote.

I am able to do some domestic stuff: cook, wash dishes, sort laundry, and yesterday I rearranged some furniture.  I have days I think the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is wrong.  I feel good,  nothing hurts, no trips to the ER.  How can I be a cancer patient?  Well I know I am and I know I am lucky to feel as good as I do.  Thank you prayer warriors.

Monday I had blood work done and a test was added.  It is the baseline test that identifies the type of cancer.  This is the third time they have done it.  I don't know much about it, but do know the test came back with lower numbers.  That is great news.  But what it really means, I don't know.

This afternoon I have a CT Scan to see what the mass is doing, growing, shrinking, spreading.  I am just a little nervous for several reasons.  If you remember the last time we did this, they couldn't get a good vein for the IV and I went through hell as they struggled to find a vein.  A lot of crying and pain that trip.  I told my doctor how scared I was of going through that again.  She had a way to avoid that.

I have a port in my chest for the chemo and lab work done in oncology..  No other departments are allowed to touch it.  My doctor set up that oncology will put in a link for the radiologist tech to use, I will have the scan, and then oncology will pull the link.  Thank you Dr. Kuan! One less panic attack for me.

Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Blog

Joe has started his own blog about the Marriage Factory.  Below is the link for you to add to your favorites.  Right now he has posted what you have seen  here.  Next week I am sure he  will  have written a new one.

Joe Mallon's blog

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

News from the Marriage Factory

Today is the probably the last time we will see Joe's post as first time readers.  He is going to write his own blog.  I am so tickled he is doing that.  His writing has become so different from his first posts 2 1/2 years ago.  And I mean that in a good way.  He was very factual at first, just the facts mam.  Now he expands, adds humor, and lets us see Joe.  In the future after he posts, I will link to his blog for you all.  His readers should see it first.  

Spring Has Sprung!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

What was going on???

This blog is named I Have No Endings because I started writing about marriages ceremonies I performed.  I knew/hoped the couple was in love, but I would never know if their marriage lasted.  Well, one I know didn't last because I was deposed for the divorce legal battle.  Then I branched out to other topics.

Now I'm not strong enough to mingle with the public and can't perform weddings, but there are other things in life that have no known ending.  Last night at our house, a huge mystery.

Around 11:00 we heard it, a circling helicopter.  Round and round it went over our neighborhood.  Loud and annoying.  First a large circle, then the pilot tightened the circle.  So they were right over head more often.  Did I say loud and annoying?  This went on for at least an hour.  I gave up on going to bed, who could sleep with the noise?  Plus if the police were looking for people in our area, I wasn't real sure I wanted to sleep.  I needed to be awake for a panic attack, when the bad guys broke in.

Nothing was on the TV news, nothing on the internet news, what was going on?  This morning there was nothing in the paper, nothing on the news.  I don't know what or who they were looking for.  But it certainly made me nervous.

And as I said, I Have No Endings.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

No Chemo Week

My chemo treatments are three weeks on, one week off.  This week is my off week. Since my last post, not a whole lot as happened.  I am not as tired as a chemo week and that is a good thing.

Last week after I updated, I did some things out of the ordinary.  I rode BART into San Francisco to talk to our lawyer about our trust.  We need to have our ducks in a row.  I asked the doctor about using BART, not the cleanest way to travel. I wasn't sure it was safe for my low immune system.  She said to wear my mask of course, and either use hand sanitizer or to wear gloves.  I went with the gloves.  I think they drew more stares than the mask.  We were having a heat wave, sorry Eastern part of the US.   San Francisco is not known for having shirt sleeve weather.  But Friday, in the 70's, no coat and gloves needed.

Many weeks our apartment doesn't get cleaned.  Marty is working and has meetings at nights, it isn't the week Erik comes to help out, or we just don't give a damn.  This week I couldn't stand it. Warm weather and the windows are open and the urban soot rolls in.  It is bad enough when the windows are closed.  So I dusted yesterday, and I had to hold my breath while doing it. Not because things were that dirty.  But because . . .

I use Swifter Dusters.  Guess what, they now sell them scented with febreze.  Even before chemo we didn't buy scented products.  (In case you didn't know, chemo patients have problems with aromas. Smells are heightened, and smells don't smell as they should.)  The scented thing is new, at least at our store.  Never thought to check for unscented.  Huge surprise when I opened the new package  Trust me, febreze Irish scent will gag you.  Why do manufactures think every thing needs to be perfumed? 

Today I ironed some slacks or Marty.  There was only one pair and hardly worth the effort of setting up the ironing board.  I had told him last week I would iron them and today I felt perky and ironed.

I have also cooked more over the last week.  Just trying to take some of the burden off Marty and trying to be "normal".

As you can see, I lead a really really exciting life.   We have huge plans for the rest of the week.  March Madness!  Go Big Blue!  Of course we are pulling for Kentucky.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Wedding Room

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And another health update

Tuesday was chemo day.  Monday I had lab work done to see if I was healthy enough for chemo.  For the first time in weeks, all the numbers were good.  I would be given the second type of chemo.

Trust me I was worried.  So far I have only been very tired.  Would the second chemo up the side effects?  Would my hair fall out again?  Would I once again be a regular in the ER?  Would I be back to being urppy, weak, full of infections? 

Well after over 24 hours, nothing new.  I am very tired.  But that is way better than other possible side effects.  Oh, my extreme itching is almost gone.  I haven't had to take the medicine for two days.

So doing good, but still need those prayers, please.

Friday, March 6, 2015

A quick update on my health

Tuesday I had chemo again.  My liver enzymes were still off, so they couldn't start me on the second type of chemo. 

Tuesday night I felt fine, Wednesday I was tired as they have warned me, and Thursday I was exhausted.  I slept off and on Thursday.  Today, Friday, still very tired and napped some.  I can live with the tiredness.  I am not sick as I was pre Christmas.  I have a little nausea, but the pills take care of that. 

All in all I am doing right well.  The itching is controlled fairly well by pills.  I feel OK other than too tired to do much. 

With all that is going on with me and the meds I am on, it's a wonder I can walk around.  Most drugs makes me dizzy, cause blurred vision at times, and cause other problems.  But so far nothing too awful. 

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bring Your Friends!

More from Joe and the Marriage Factory.