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:

What does the mean, Deborah Ann???????

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.

The Party's Over

Well, we dropped Miles off at the airport this morning and we were so sad to see him go. It was great having the family together. One of my favorite parts was all the boys friends coming over and sharing stories about their lives now. I feel lucky because they have great friends, that they’ve known since kindergarten. Now I get to see them all grow and begin their adult lives. I can’t imagine not having them around. Plus, the boys spent time together and it was fun to see them hang out and it makes me happy. Its one of a parents goals is to have your kids become friends as well as siblings and I feel they are on that road.

Good news from Dr.L. The pow wow happened with all the oncologists and it was determined that no chemo is called for, thank god. So this Wednesday I go for my first radiation visit and find out how many sessons I’ll need.

Here is the product of the week: Moosh-Moosh 12” – Large Softest Plush Premium Squishy Pillow Series 1. I had a terrible cold after Christmas and I couldn’t get my neck comfortable while sleeping. I ordered this thing and I LOVE IT. It fits everywhere, wherever I need support. I highly recommend. Plus mine looks like a neon bat. Because, why not?

Am happy to get a regular schedule going. Decorations are put away, house is clean and its a fresh start. Hopefully I can breeze through radiation and get this behind me. On a brighter note, after we drooped Milesy this morning we went to a diner we used to go to all the time when we lived in Yonkers called the Raceway Diner. We had a full irish, plus was chatting with the waitress about all the places wed been to in Ireland. By the time we left I was so satisfied, filled with sausages, puddings and conversation. It was a great morning.

The Holiday

Its New Years Eve and the holidays were nice. On Christmas Eve I delivered romano cheese to Barbara and our whole family ended up at theirs to celebrate. It was really lovely. Our kids have known each other since they were tiny and as they’ve grown, it’s been tougher for them to get together. It was wonderful to see them all together and having fun reconnecting. Everyone had a relaxing, fun time and it was a perfect unplanned Christmas Eve.

Next day was Christmas and despite Gma delaying, as par usual, we had a great Christmas. The boys took over making our traditional Timpano, which was delicious. and we relaxed and just enjoyed being together.

Yesterday we saw Dr. L, who said I was healing nicely. He is part of a team of oncologists, including Dr Winer from Harvard who is one of the world’s experts on breast cancer, who meet via Skype every month. He is putting my case forward Wednesday to get a consensus on next steps. The original plan is to heal, radiation and Ibrance for another 6 months, then Letrozole for 10 years. We are still hoping for no traditional chemo, bc my particular cancer will not respond to it. So, we’ll see what happens. When I meet with the radiation dr Ill know exactly how many sessions Ill need.

Meanwhile, Ive caught a rotten cold and am trying to drug myself up like an addict to make it through tonights celebration. Im grateful I get to celebrate. Our friends are all meeting at a local restaurant where we had our celebration last year.

Here we are. Got home around 11 and was exhausted but was so happy to share the New Year with my peeps. Here’s hoping 2020 is healthier and happier!

The Bubble

It’s Thursday. I just need to write that down because I normally have no idea what day it is. Ive been in my bubble for 4 weeks and I know nothing. I only “escape” from the house has been the doctors office. I say escape, but I don’t mean it. Im loving being home and being able to rest and nap. Im lucky Im able to recover in such a snug place. I’ll know that Im really better when Im anxious to go out and about. Which is not now.

We went to get drain out on Tuesday as scheduled. Hurt a tiny bit but really nothing. The doctor notice a big bruise across my back which was puzzling, but to me anythings possible. By last night it looked better so just some rando side effect. Was able to take shower yesterday, hallelujah. So that made me feel great. Today Im going to take off dressing. Still tender and uncomfortable but yesterday only took 1 percocet all day, and 2 at night so Im getting there.

Meanwhile, the Magnificent Friends have been feeding us like royalty. Its so funny because at the beginning of this Sam was like “I don’t know if we want food from other people, who knows what they’ll bring” Meanwhile, we’ve had spaghetti and sauce, banana bread, almond cake, grilled chicken and veg, Osso bucco, Chicken chili and Beef Bourguignon. He’s realized my friends are the gourmet meal train and is now plotting to see what other catastrophes we can get into to keep the meals coming, lol.

Oh, dear lord, the tv just said its 16 degrees out there. Again, not leaving bubble so everything ok by me. Milesy off in NJ with girlfriend Meg and got a report that Phillip was shaking cocktails like a pro last night, so happy everyones around and I think this will be a great Christmas!

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Ok, so lots of news. DR. called last night with the good news that pathology came back and all is clean. She had taken out 5 more lymph nodes and the were all clear plus remaining margin is good. So that’s obviously really great. Its hard to celebrate because of this stupid drain thats in my way, and I’m uncomfortable, and I tried to clean up which isn’t easy. I removed bandages and it looks like a 10 ton truck hit me squarely under my arm and took a piece with it. Im trying to be upbeat, but I feel shitty. Sam, my in-house saint is taking me to get my hair washed and dried bc I can’t get drain wet and cant really lift my arm. So maybe after that Ill feel better.

When I got home from the hospital, Barb showed up with the most ridiculous gift ever, and named him Ralph. I could not stop laughing. Then this morning Sam got him exercising and I almost fell down when I saw him. He’s worth his weigh in gold just to keep me amused.

I almost forgot to tell you guys about the first night in the hospital. They took me to my room (single, thank god) but I had a neighbor who chose to discuss opera at the top of his lungs at 10pm. Tosca. Do you want to see where my seats were? Heres a clip. What if Mariah Carey sang it? or Whitney Houston? All accompanied by loud clips of singing and him yammering on. So, being who I am, when the nurse comes in I naturally say “WTF is happening over there? Does that nut realize he’s in a HOSPITAL and it’s 10PM????? Evidently the message didn’t not get through until midnight. I think they drugged him just to shut him up, which is what I would have done if I was in charge.

Me, about to kill the guy next door

So generally, things going ok. Milesy coming home tomorrow. I think Im going to get drain removed Tuesday and that will make all the difference. OX


Yet true. We get to the hospital at 8:30am on Tuesday. Gave Dr C her reminder which she appreciated

By 10 Im wheeled in. Turns out they take the margin, plus more lymph nodes. Plus a hematoma in my breast THAT WAS THE SIZE OF AN ORANGE. Let’s let that sink in for a moment. And add drain, a whole new level of excitement. So Im in enormous pain, much more than first surgery. Sammy has seen me go every color of the Benjamin Moore white pallate (Alabaster, Decorators White, Intense White). Turns out Im developing ANOTHER hematoma where the lymph nodes were. And am anemic. So next step is to get blood in me. (reverse vladmosis).

So we have to wait for tests etc, long story short, the blood arrives at 1 am, and takes 3 hrs to infuse, so now we’re at 4 am. Nurses in my room every 15/30 minutes so this is where I get to have 2 solid hours of sleep. So when Dr sees me Wed. its determined the second hematoma needs to be dealt with and because its an add on surgery it will be at end of day. Second surgery happens and that actually releases the pain quite a bit because prior to that I was just screaming for percocet and ice. Thursday was feeling better but still anemic so yet another 4 hour transfusion of blood. Now the good news is the nails matched the blood so at least Im coordinated.

Not yet dead but coordinated

By Thursday afternoon was released. Was so happy to be home. We finally watched the Irishman and I stayed up till 9 which I thought was impressive, for any day. Slept right through until 10am so, although still uncomfortable, Im ok. So far so good. Hoping for no more hematomas, drain does its job and pain goes away. I thought Id had enough, but Ive really, really had enough…