Sunday, June 28, 2015

Health Update with some other stuff

This has been a busy week, some good, some not so good.  I posted last week about the great news of the tumor being smaller.  I earlier had posted about my leg infection that was clearing up.  Well, that didn't continue.

I talked to the advice nurse and had a phone appointment with a doctor on last Sunday.  I had finished the antibiotic and the swelling and redness began to increase.  They started me on another 10 day round of antibiotics, a different one from what I had been on.  Monday I went into oncology for my weekly lab work.  I told them what was going on, the nurse checked my legs, and then said not to go home yet.  She wanted my oncologist to check me out.  The decision had to be made on whether or not I had chemo on Tuesday.  

The doctor looked at my legs and talked to Marty and me.  She knew we were leaving on our Amtrak adventure on Wednesday.  She said no chemo, (so I will have 2 weeks off)  with the infection I might have more side effects and that could ruin my trip.  She changed the antibiotics back to the one Baylor hospital had put me on.  It had fewer side effects and we knew I had done well on it.

So here I am in San Diego a week later with ankles most of the time and very little redness.  ( I will do another post about Amtrak and San Diego later this week.)  I have had no trouble with the antibiotic and it seems to be doing the job for me.  We will see how things go when I finish the bottle later this week.

A little bit about San Diego.  I am walking in the pool everyday.  I am eating well and often. I feel good and not as tired.  Our wonderful friends/hosts Richard and Luis are really taking good care of me.  We eat out, Richard cooks for me, and today Luis' family is coming for a pool party and to see me. 

Internet is spotty, I thinks our computers are home bodies and don't like traveling.  I will post a blog with pictures when we get home.  I don't want to be in the middle of posting and lose internet connection for several hours.  That is not good for my blood pressure.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Good news on a couple of fronts

This week I had lab work on Monday, Tuesday I had chemo, and Wednesday morning the dreaded CT scan.  Regular readers know all the trouble I have had with the last two CT scans. I was really scared to have another one.  And in a normal case a CT scan is no big deal.

The first time I was poked and poked and the idiot couldn't hit a vein, then the IV line leaked.  The next time they had a hissy fit over my port and didn't want to use it.  Then they caught the IV line and nearly pulled my port out of my chest.  The topper, they ripped the line and dye went in my ears, eyes, mouth, down my back, into my hair (yes I had hair then) and all over the floor.  Yes I was really scared Wednesday.

When I checked in I EXPLAINED the port had an access line for them and to get the person who hooks me up now.  I would not wait over an hour this time.  I was taken back and glory hallelujah, a different team appeared.  I carefully told them everything that had happened the last two times and that I would hurt them if it happened again.  I also told them I had friends waiting with Bail money if I needed it. 

This team was horrified with what I had been through.  They calmed me down, and said nothing would go wrong.  They called the radiologist doctor to access my port line.  The doctor was so sweet to me.  He held my hand and said all would be OK.   They took good care of me and nothing went wrong.  Three minutes and it was over.  I have the names of the team and was told I could request appointments with them.  Trust me, I will ask for them.

Then the wait for the results began.  If not Kaiser, a patient could wait days for the results.  But with Kaiser I had an email in 5 hours and in 6 hours my oncologist called me with more details.  The tumor is smaller, everything else is the same and in the normal range.  I am one lucky girl.

Thank you Prayer Warriors!  You are great.  You give me comfort, humor, and better health.  God Bless You. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pictures from Texas and a little health update

The antibiotics have kicked in and the swelling and redness on my feet and legs is much less.  I had lab work today at Kaiser and they checked with the doctor about chemo tomorrow.  I am good to go since the infection is going away.  Now to info and the promised pictures from our Texas trip.

Texas: big, beautiful, and hot as hell.  I have not been warm since September 2013 when I went on blood thinners.  Well, I broke a sweat while outside in Texas.  Such a strange feeling not to be cold. 

Marty's brother is a from scratch cook.  Really from scratch.  He grinds his own flour for waffles, breads, cereal.  His kitchen is a cook's heaven.  Every gadget you want, plus some I had never seen before.  Great meals at home and at the restaurants he took us to.

As Keith prepared cinnamon rolls for the next day's breakfast, he had a Scotch tasting.  I tasted one and decided I would stick to Bourbon.
These are the cinnamon rolls ready to rise.  The pans they are in are 9 by 12.  Texas size rolls, and delicious.  One was all anyone could eat.  Did I say TEXAS size?
Keith used his sous vide machine to prepare the steaks.  Then he used this huge blow torch to char them. The blurry part around the torch is not blurry, that is flames.

As you can see the steaks are huge.  Then we had all those great veggies to eat.  The wine in the decanter is Opus from a far off year.  Fabulous meal.
Friday we went to the Dallas Arboretum.  We walked for two hours in 90+ degree weather.  That didn't begin to cover all the gardens or the mansion on the grounds.  But two hours was all the fun I could stand. 
The brothers:  Keith on the left, Marty on the right.  They were dying in the heat, and as I said, I broke a sweat.  The South in June . . .
This is a misting system for the ferns.  As humid as it was, misting not really needed.
Just a little piece of beauty.
This is the entrance to a children's garden.  Each building is covered with plants and tells a different story.  They took fairy tales and converted them to Texas stories.
Even animals were made from plants.
And a different garden look
A lily pond
After seeing the plant Longhorn, Keith took us to see some live ones and also some bison. 
Mama Longhorn and her calf

Up close and personal to a Longhorn.  Even though some of the articles on Longhorns talk about their gentle nature, Keith says they are dangerous animals.  Tourists get too close to the barbwire and get hooked on the horns. 
It was a great trip.  I was really tired when we got home, but I am bouncing back.  Feet and legs looking more normal, I am walking 25 minutes a day, and eating well even if taste buds are messed up.  Life is good.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Week

Friday night we flew out of San Francisco to Dallas.  Yes, the oncologist said I was well enough to go see Marty's brother, Keith.  We landed at midnight, we got our bag quickly and headed for the shuttle to Budget for our car. The shuttle passed us by three times.  One hour and 45 minutes later we had our car.  Budget is not really a 24 hour service.  We were prepaid, yet no car was waiting for us with the keys in it. We had to wait in a long line at the Avis desk (run by idiots) and fill out all information again.  BOO HISS.

We arrived at Keith's close to 3:00 AM, had an adult beverage, and talked until close to morning,  Since then Keith has cooked gourmet breakfasts and dinners.  He is a from scratch cook, and I mean really from scratch.  He grinds his flour, his multigrain oatmeal like cereal is ground by him.  One dinner we had steaks bigger than the plate (everything is bigger in Texas) that he prepared by sous vide.  Tonight we are having ribs that he has had in the sous vide cooker for over two days.  Wonderful food.  We also have eaten at some great places. 

Saturday morning drug ourselves out of bed to meet a friend from Houston who visiting her son about 30 minutes away.  We had a great visit with them.  Love you Susan.

When we left home I was having some swelling and redness of my feet and legs.  I blamed too much sitting without my feet up and salty restaurant food.  The red became even more angry looking and the swelling was getting worse.  I emailed my oncologist and she wanted me to be evaluated by a doctor. 

Monday we went to an urgent care center.  A huge rip off and not overly clean in my opinion.  I had given all my health issues to a tech and why I was there.  The doctor walks in and the first thing out of her mouth was, "Why are you here?"  I lost it and asked why I had needed to fill out the info earlier if she wasn't going to read it.  She was useless, said she couldn't run the tests to see what was wrong, and I should go to an emergency room.  But they could take our $247.

So off to Baylor Hospital ER, with me crying, pissed off, and scared.  Baylor was right up there with Kaiser care.  They were kind and they took good care of me.  I had an ultrasound to check for clots, none there.  So that left infection.  No immune system and being a diabetic, infections are a heartbeat away.  I am on antibiotics and the legs are some better. 

Tuesday a friend drove 6 hours to have lunch with us. After all the flooding in Texas it was an awful drive for her: roads washed out, bridges gone, and bad weather.  We had a great visit.  And I helped her pick out her Mother of the Groom dress.  That was fun.  Deb is part of the A Team that I written about for years.  Love you bunches, Deb.

We've done  family things for a couple of days.  Tomorrow we going to see some gardens in Dallas.  And Saturday we fly home.

Some of you are asking where are pictures, why not nightly updates?  Well, this is the first day I have been able to get on the internet except on my phone and mini IPad.  No way I can write a blog on them, and post pictures.  Keith's security system hates Windows 8 and even when hard wired we have had trouble connecting.  Marty talked to the Geek Squad, and they gave up  He then called Microsoft, and they wanted money upfront before they would talk to him.  Their system on a new computer, and they don't give a damn.  Today I was asked if I would like to upgrade to Windows 10.  I don't think so.  When I get home I will post some pictures of our trip.

I am amazed I have done so well. I haven't rested as much as I have at home, my legs haven't been up as much either.  But I am holding up.  We are having a great visit.  Lots of laughter, adult beverages every now and then for me, and incredible meals. Today has been strictly a day of rest for me.  Feet up, and naps. 

Prayer Warrior special prayers for the flight home Saturday night.  I do not like flying. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

A quick health update

This has been a tiring yet great week.  My brother and his wife were here to celebrate my birthday.  So I did more walking, sitting without my legs up, and I am paying for that.

This was chemo week..  Platelet count was really low,  They were going to give me blood but I had  no dangerous symptoms.   They decided to go on with chemo  as planned.   The combo of low platelets and chemo made me really tired.  Also I have had light nausea and swollen feet and legs.  Nothing horrible, but more side effects than usual. 

As I mentioned the doctor is letting me fly to see Marty's brother.  I really am not fond of flying so prayers requested for tonight and a week from Saturday flights.  I do have good drugs so I won't run screaming down the aisle, maybe.

I really am tired, and worry a bit about this trip.  I hope to pep up as I get further from the chemo.  Keep your fingers crossed.