Cold and Treatments

1/14/16 - It has been frosty cold here with temperatures in the teens and snow, blowing and drifting!  Today has warmed up and the snow is melting but more zero weather will be here by Sunday.  I guess it can be expected in January (my least favorite month, with February a close second).  I didn't mind it so much as a retired person who could just stay home, but with these treatments EVERY day, it is a real challenge.  Randy has been great about taking me.
    I did my second chemo yesterday.  Again, no nausea.  I did stop and fill a prescription just in case.  I had to be given an extra bag of fluids and was told to drink more water.  I looked at my info and it suggests 3 quarts  (96 oz) of water a day to protect the kidneys.  I guess that is more than the extra 2 (12 oz) bottles I thought had me covered.  I've decided to just put a gallon of water in the refrigerator and drink that every day then I will know I've had enough.



1/9/15 - I went to the casino this morning to play the last of my holiday casino money won at the Christmas Party in December.  All invited members were treated to a nice dinner and allowed to go down to the casino stage and pick a box which contained various amounts of casino cash.  I think the highest amount you could receive was $1,000 for 4 weekends.  My box contained a voucher for $250 casino cash for 4 weekends.  The last installment was today.  And, it paid off ---  I hit a Jackpot of  $2,078.28.  I got out of there a winner today.  I even stopped and bought 2 Powerball tickets hoping my luck would continue.  The Powerball is currently something like 940 million dollars!  Largest ever!

I do have something in mind for my winnings.  My electric blanket has died on one side.  I will take the control apart tonight and see if I can fix it.  If not, I believe one of these plush heated blankets available at Carson's will do the trick.   They are predicting snow and temperatures in the teens for tomorrow morning.  I wish I had the new blanket now.


The Doodler

1/7/16 - At left is a picture of my WIP knitting project.  It is another Stephen West Mystery Shawl.  I waited until the others were finished with their shawls to begin mine so I would know what to expect.  I still didn't get the colors I wanted.  I thought the Zauberball would be really bright.  The colors, although bold, are more of a drab intensity.  I also wanted bright gold or a turquoise for accent colors.  Not available in the $11 yarn price range.  So, I settled for a teal blue, a red and a black.  Like I said, it is still not turning out as expected.

This picture is my PIC line.  I must admit the nurse who put it in was wonderful.  The dangly things get in the way but I can still knit and type!  My first chemo was yesterday.  It included several other drugs; i.e. steroid, Benadryl, and the cisplatin, something to hydrate me and God knows what else, Oh, something for nausea.   The good news is, it hasn't really bothered me...... the only noticeable effect other than being sleepy is my cheeks are red and feel flushed.  The nurse said the steroid would do that.  I only do this once a week, so maybe I will make it.


PIC in place.........

1/5/16 - Today I had my first radiation treatment.  I went directly over to the emergency room to have my new "buddy" the PIC Line inserted.  Actually, it wasn't too bad.  In fact, the assistant named Kelli kept my mind occupied during the insertion with her love life stories. Quite interesting how she came home from work one day to find her husband of 30 years had moved out, marriage over.  It has a happy ending.  She got the 4500 square foot home and a little over 2 years later she is remarried to a man 16 years younger.  She even had pictures of their wedding on the beach!

I was told the chemo drug irritates the smaller veins so they send the drug thru a larger artery   ------ AND STRAIGHT TO THE HEART!  I can't say this sounds like a good idea but I guess that is the way they do it.

Below are pictures of flowers I received when in the hospital 12/24/15 for the kidney stent!  They are very pretty, still blooming and make things a little cheerier even now, days later.  The yellow and white roses are from my son.  The pretty tinted carnations and bird of paradise came from a dear friend and her daughters.

Anyway...........I also ran into a neighbor at the store.  Seems my other neighbor's husband had a heart attack last night.  Several of his stents are blocked but evidently all  is going well now because he will probably be sent home tomorrow.


New Orleans Souvenir

Jan 4, 2016 - I treated myself to  pair of earrings as a souvenir of my trip to New Orleans.  I wanted something with the fleur-de-li so popular in the city.  Then I ran across these sterling silver charmers at the flea market by the river.  I was attracted to the shape with the tiny circle dangling below the fleur-de-li.  The vendor quickly began his pitch explaining the circle was a replica of a New Orleans manhole cover.  His story  included how manhole covers were stolen and sold on ebay to raise money after Hurricane Katrina.  However, I found this blog post by Felipe G. Massa that explains they have been a sought after souvenir for some time. 

I loved his post about "The Case of the Coveted Manhole Cover" and have copied the biggest portion of  it below:

Sometimes opportunities for entrepreneurship are literally laid down at your feet. As I've started getting to know New Orleans, I've begun to notice the little things that give the city its world renowned charm. Most people remember the beautiful houses along St. Charles, the iconic and noisy streetcars (no wonder he had to scream Stella so loud), or the balconies that hover over the streets of the French Quarter. I was just as interested in the little things, like the ever-present fleur-de-lis that are emblazoned all over the airport, tattooed on the locals and proudly displayed in flags hanging over awesome porches everywhere.

The flag of the city of New Orleans has three fleur-de-lis, derived from is the yellow, 6-petaled lilies that surround the River Luts in the Netherlands. It also became a symbol of French royalty indicating divine favor.

   A less prevalent, but also very cool looking New Orleans artifact, is the water meter cover made by the Ford Meter Box Company of Wabash, Indiana (aka "the company that cares"). In1898 Edwin Ford, a superintendent of the waterworks for Hartford City, filed a patent application for the Ford Meter Box. As superintendent, Ford wanted to make sure that customers were not wasting water and costing themselves and the city money. So, in the basement of his house, Ford designed and produced the first meters and boxes. These boxes helped protect meters from the harsh Indiana winters as well as from general wear and tear. Soon, Ford agreed to supply neighboring communities with the meters. Eventually, news of the meter boxes reached Louisiana where boxes were desperately needed to protect meters - while some meters were installed in basements, the lack of basements in New Orleans and Baton Rouge called for boxes to be installed in the ground. The beautiful New Orleans meter box cover bearing the crescent moon and shining stars was designed by Edwin Ford in the early 1920s after a visit to the crescent city. By the mid twenties, nearly half the company's sales were to the City of New Orleans.


Starting a New Year - 2016

January 2, 2016 - I need a happy picture here.  So I am posting my finished Supernatural Shawl.  The rest of this post concerns my medical problems.  Don't read on.  It is just my way of keeping straight everything that I've been through the last 3 months.  Instead, check out the Supernatural Shawl.  I love it but am now doing The Doodler by Stephen West.

January 2, 2016 - Last year ended on a rather busy and "not fun" time for me.  I earlier posted about some health issues starting in October.  Well, as expected from the reaction of the doctor at my first meeting the first week of October, I do have cancer.  This doctor could tell from looking.  She scheduled me for an ultra scan and did biopsies in her office.  The result of the follow-up visit was an appointment with an oncologist/gynecologist in Indianapolis because as my Anderson doctor put it, "It's more than I want to deal with."   My Indy doctor scheduled me for a cold-knife cone biopsy 11/19/15 which sometimes is all that is needed for cancer caught early.  However, following this procedure and a CT Scan done at Indianapolis, I was sent to Anderson to meet with the radiation/chemo team.  I have now had another set of ultra sound scans (12/22/15) followed by a Pet/Scan (12/23/15), followed by being sent directly to the hospital for surgery on Christmas Eve Day (12/24/15).  The chemo doctor found that my left kidney was blocked by the tumor so he ordered a stent to be put in immediately. 

Happily I was home on Christmas Eve by 3:30 and have gotten along well.  I didn't take any pain medicine with either of my procedures.  But, looming in my 2016 future is six weeks of external radiation combined with "light" chemo on each Monday, combined with internal radiation treatment beginning in week 4 (a 2-hour, under anesthetic procedure given in Indy).  Needless to say I am apprehensive of it all!  It kicks off with a radiation treatment on January 5, followed by a run over to the emergency room for insertion of a Pic to set me up for my weekly chemo that begins the next day.  The thing that amazes me is that they have known since October that I have cancer.  It will be over 3 months before I receive my first treatment for the cancer.  The rest of the time has been "hello" doctor visits and scans and look sees.  Just like when I was pregnant, everybody has a hand in it!