So Sad

Well this was a shitty week. The Coronavirus has taken control and this week people have gone insane. Every day there’s more and more information, stats etc and its scary. Schools everywhere are closed along with businesses. Tulane has gone to online classes and they’ve sent all freshman and sophomores home. Im worried about Miles and I want him to come home, but he says he’s ok for now. Im worried they’ll cancel domestic flights. We’ve cancelled the trip to FL after radiation. Im so sad. I was really looking forward to it. But I need to be smart about exposure, plus everything down there is closing too, so not much fun.

I started the insulin this week and its slowly working. Plus I get to have fun stabbing myself in the stomach every day. Have started the marijuana meds and so far so good. I love the cream for my back. Definitely working.

At hospital they are now screening everyone who comes in. Today the security guard, who has seen me every morning, asks me if Ive been out of the country in the last 3 weeks. I said “Im sorry, have you not seen me EVERY MORNING FOR THE LAST 5 WEEKS? He laughed and said “go ahead.” Idiot.

So I guess we’re all at home for the foreseeable future. What a drag.

Correction

I did some research last night, during my melt down. So apparently Type 2 DOES NOT morph into Type 1. With adult onset, Type 1 is usually misdiagnosed as Type 2. It can be managed for a while (years) before it cant be managed with oral meds anymore.

Im hoping all this is really just because of stress and it will resolve after this whole radiation thing ends. I do know Im more stressed now that ever before in this whole process. Ugh.

Today was a Shit Show

Let me back up. I saw my GP to discuss the med marijuana card (ok) and she wanted to get a check on my A1C. A1C is a blood test for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. It measures your average blood glucose, or blood sugar, level over the past 3 months. Doctors may use the A1C alone or in combination with other diabetes tests to make a diagnosis. They also use the A1C to see how well you are managing your diabetes. When I was checked in November my A1C was 7 and everyone was ok with that, and all my other numbers were good. When I had it checked this week, it was 10. Everyone in an uproar.

So today I got to go to cardiologist and radiation in am. Cardiologist doesn’t know why numbers have gone crazy. Had an appointment with endocrinologist this afternoon.

Great news: either 1) My numbers are crazy because my body is upset due to cancer drugs/treatment/stress. Or 2) cancer has spread to pancreas OR 3) I have miraculously switched from a type 2 diabetic to a type 1 diabetic. I now have to take my blood twice a day, and shoot myself in the stomach once a day with insulin. This, evidently happens more than you think. Type 2’s can control their sugar levels with medication. Until they can’t. It happens slowly and then it seems medications cant control it anymore.

Ive had it. Have plunged into depression and waiting for my long suffering husband to get home. The good news is I got my pot card so I may just spend the rest of my life high as a kite and huddled in the corner…

The Princess

Last weekend we headed to Pittsburgh to see the family and try to figure out my father-in-law’s house. The great news is our nephew is going to buy the property and we are all thrilled that we are going to keep it in the family.

The BEST part of the weekend was seeing my nieces baby, Rose. She is a ball of deliciousness and it was lovely being able to hold her and get to know her (even though she’s only 2 mos.!) My niece is doing great and is as calm as a cucumber. Im very proud of her. The only downside was the drive (8 hrs) which was a lot. I did a bunch of errands when we got back and today I was pooped.

The Princess

Yesterday I went to see Dr. Katie and she did acupuncture on me and suggested I try edible marijuana to help with the “zings” of pain that are happening more and more because of the radiation. So now I’m trying to get a medical marijuana card so I can get at the local dispensary. It should be interesting, since I have zero experience with it and have never used it. We’ll see how THAT goes.

I’ve also resigned from my job with Roberts magazine. I realized there’s too many health issues going on, in addition to Gma, and there’s much stress. I need to simplify. Robert was very understanding, and I grateful he took the news so well.

It was a big week, and tomorrow we tackle taxes. Lord help us.

PS: Shout out to Lynn Heisler who keeps sending great words on encouragement which I really appreciate! XO

Valentines Day and MahJong

Yesterday was Valentines Day which is one of my favorite days ever. Thirty five years ago I jumped on top of the husband and said “Ya know, Valentines Day is in 2 years, lets get married then”, thus we were engaged. We worked and saved enough for the wedding in those 2 years and it ended up being a great event. Its been 33 years and I still adore him as much as I did the day we married. He’s my rock, and he’s been unbelievable through this whole health thing. I love that it seems like the whole world celebrates with us, thats there’s hearts and flowers everywhere. Its corny, but I cant help it.

Could we BE any cuter?

Yesterday, I also went to Anns Place (cancer support center) and played MahJong. I first went last week and absolutely LOVED it. Ive been wanting to learn for ages and I latched on as soon as I learned they offered it. Its the most complicated game but so much fun. I think because its visual, I caught on pretty quickly. However, I think that for me to master it will take the rest of my days! There’s tons of rules and strategies (which I haven’t even begun to understand), my whole focus is just trying to get a hand. The ladies in the group are so kind and generous and patient. They make learning fun and its been great getting to know them. I now have a new Friday obsession. I even have been winning a game here and there!

My first winning hand!

Meanwhile, Ive been trying to incorporate more veg in my diet. Im trying, but its not easy. At least Im more aware of what Im doing. Im still using Splenda, which Dr Katy feels is like arsenic. But Im trying to ease off. Im making more new recipes that are veg based. What I really want to do is have a cheeseburger and fries. I may get it soon because we are leaving for Pittsburgh to see our gorgeous great niece (and the rest of the family :). But Pittsburgh generally doesn’t have the best food choices (french fries served on salads) but they’re getting better and I’m sure it will be fine. The most important thing is Ill be able to eat that baby with a spoon. Im so excited to see everyone!

Shrimp & cauliflower, farro with artichokes, ratatouille. Who’s the healthiest?

And it begins

First day of radiation was yesterday. Was in the hospital for around 1.5 hrs because it was the first appointment and I had to lay in this machine while they took more measurements, photos etc. This morning should be much quicker.

Not me

So you’re laying there with your arms up, hands gripping handles and your head in your specific pillow. Breathing…trying not to move. Unlike patient above, I have no top on, but a pillowcase that covers one side for “modesty”. Ha. Every 5 minutes, this thing is sliding off. I can feel it, inch by inch, step by step easing its way to the floor. But I cant get it because I’m in this weird position. Whatever. Meanwhile I lost all remaining modesty long ago when I was trying to breastfeed Phillip in an NYC hospital and the kid next to me from Brooklyn had his whole family waltzing in and out, including pizza delivery. So that boat has sailed long ago.

Then the techs start writing all over me, and Picassos they’re not. This is generally what it looks like and I cant wash them off. I don’t care what you say, Im attractive. No, no, really. I am.

Also not me.

Then after all that, the treatment actually starts. The crazy machine goes around. Resembling Star Trek, its like a weird alien. The treatment feels like nothing, like an X-ray. I have a special cream I have to use daily to prevent a kind of “sunburn”, skin sensitivity. So far so good and am on my way to treatment 2 this morning. This should be a piece of cake and only be about 10 minutes. Only 28 more to go…

Crazy, whirling alien machine

Geaux Saints

This week I made a lot of visits. I visited Anns Place which is a cancer support center in town. They were very nice and have many interesting things like group meetings, reike and even a Mahjong group! I’m definitely going to that! Then I met with Dr. Katy, the integrative medicine doctor. She’s going to try and sort out my diet, and she gave me acupuncture for my back. The next day I booked a massage, which she said was really good to help the acupuncture do its job. Im a genius.

Listening to Dr. Katy, I made myself a giant salad to last a week with chopped broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, edamame, green beans, mushrooms etc. Im determined to eat more veg, but its not easy. Hopefully if I continue to make this, I’ll eat it.

In other news, Phillip George met Keith Richards last night at the bar. He comes in regularly, but Phillip has always missed him. Richards came in with the family and Philip got to make him drinks and was thrilled.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. Im watching for the commercials and in my HEAD my team is playing….

Tattooed Lady

Today I went for my mapping session for radiology. It was pretty easy, but lots of information at once. Meetings with therapists, Dr and nurses. Then in the machine for images, and they have these formable pillows that they form to your body and will be used every time to get me in position. Also, I got my tattoos. Im about to share with my niece and nephews what a badass I am, because they are BIG tattoo fans.

Tattoo one of three

Now, don’t be jealous! I know they are fancy tattoos. But as tiny as they are, they bled like 3 tiny mfers. Actual treatments start next Wednesday and continue till the end of March. Now that I know the schedule, I can start to plan the Caribbean getaway for me and Sammy. We’ll really need it by then.

Day with Gma

So the latest debacle is that Gma’s helper, Maria, quit. She quit everyone she was working for because her daughter had a baby and she’s going to babysit. Which is all well and good, but Gma didn’t tell me any of this because she “didn’t want to bother me” except now she has laundry galore etc. I found out from Mary, who is the helpers other client. Also learned the Gma was the most difficult person she’s worked for in 20 years. No kidding.

Yesterday I took her to see the eye doctor. First up was filling out the forms, which through her for a loop, see below:

So Dr goes fine, I’m then taken to breakfast to discuss what is now known as the “Maria Situation” Happily today I asked my cleaner if anyone she know can handle Gma. Just so happens one of her girls, who knows Gma, said she’ll help out. Bless her. We’ll see how long this lasts. Meanwhile, at breakfast she gets 2 pancakes and covers them with butter and tons of syrup. She’s been losing a bit of weight, which has come back, and now we know why…how a woman who’s 111 lbs can eat like this, I don’t know. Those pancakes were drenched! But she was happy.

So Alene starts Monday and fingers crossed, we’ll be back in business. Meanwhile, just thinking of alternatives but so far having her in her apt seems to be ok. Taking each day as it comes…

Radiology 101

Hola! I saw the radiologist last Wednesday and got the general plan I go in next Tuesday and get mapped. This is generally what will happen:

My doctor will precisely identify the area on my body where I will receive radiation. Pictures will be taken of the area that needs to be treated. Those images are sent to the radiation planning computer, which will help set up the general treatment fields (the areas that get the radiation).

Once the treatment fields are set, the radiation oncologist will mark the corners of the fields with small tattoos or a special pen (markings are usually no bigger than the head of a pin or a freckle). The marking is a guide to help the technician line up the radiation treatment fields the same way each time you receive treatment.

Most cancer centers recommend that people have tattoo markings for radiation therapy rather than ink markings, because the ink can fade or wash off. While tattoos can be removed after treatment is over, they are also preferred over ink markings made with a pen because are that they permanently mark the area of the original treatment field in case radiation is needed in the future.

After the simulation is done, the dose of radiation I’ll receive is calculated, and my radiation treatment is designed over the next few days. As of now, we are thinking 5 days a week, 6 weeks. Good times being had by one and all.

I will post after first session, to update. Meanwhile, we saw 1917 today and it was a brilliant movie. Go see it if you can.