Sunday, December 16, 2007

We have snow!

I don't know exactly how much, maybe six to eight inches. It's higher than Spunk. I had to shovel her a path to go out and pee-pee and poop. Louie loves it. He jumps in it. But it's about 22 degrees out so they are happy to come back in.

Last night Bob and I decorated our Christmas tree. We were supposed to go to friends' house for a festive dinner, but Bob had some trouble with his digestive system and was afraid to leave the house (and bathroom). We hated to miss the party, but the snow was coming down furiously so it was more safe being at home.

Every year we debate about the Christmas tree -- real or fake? We say we will go after Christmas to buy a fake tree, but we never make it. So, each year, we end up buying a real tree at the YMCA. Real trees are beautiful and they smell great, but they require a bit of upkeep. Watering, vacuuming up needles, disposing of when Christmas is over. We're getting older and the work required is more difficult. (You have to crouch under the bottom limbs for the daily watering the tree needs.)

The dreaded task of decorating the tree began. For me, it's not very fun. I haven't figured out why; maybe the disorder it creates with boxes and ornaments and lights everywhere. But Bob loves it. We have almost zero storage room at this house so we have to put all our decorations in the garage. Bob trekked back and forth in the snow to bring in the decorations. I stayed at the door for the hand-off so that he didn't track snow in the house. He made us some hot-buttered rums (the fun part) and we set to work.

We finished and were cleaning up, admiring our beautiful newly decorated tree when ... it toppled over, breaking many of our glass ornaments and spilling water all over our wooden floor and area rug. After staring at the mess for a few stunned seconds we sprung into action. Righted the tree, sopped up the water, salvaged the ornaments. (Photo at right of me vacuuming up the broken ornaments.) We got it all fixed and put the ornaments back on, but I think the tree debate is settled.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's not over till it's over I guess

Well, the doc gave me the results of my CAT scan today. They found a new spot on my lung. It might be nothing, he said. Most of the time, colon cancer navigates its way into the liver first, before reaching the lung. But, I said, if I ask you whether you can give me a definitive answer, you would say "No." Right? Yes, he said, but you can ask me my opinion. Ok, what's your opinion? "It's not cancer," he responded. Even if it is, he said, they can pluck it out at a later date.

So I still wait.

I have another CAT scan in four months; they handed over the bottle of barium today. I will drink it the night before and the morning of. He would not agree to remove my port. We should wait, he said. I wanted it out. Because if it was out, I would think that my waiting period was over. I would think that I was cured if he allowed my port to be taken out.

In eight weeks, I go back to get my port flushed and my blood taken. The port has to be flushed out every eight weeks (another reason I don't want it in my body).

The tingling and numbness in my toes and fingers may last forever, he said, "but you'll get used to it."

What am I learning from this cancer? Is it teaching me patience? I certainly hope so. I could use it. A friend at work said "Look at the news on the bright side. You can play the C-card a little longer."

Hey, I hadn't thought of that. More presents please!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I got my CAT scan yesterday

which my doctor will read Dec. 12 to tell me if he sees cancer still in my body. I feel pretty good, so my guess is, he won't see it. Let's hope. (I'll hope even if you don't.)

It's been nearly four weeks since my last chemo session and my appetite has returned. I do get hungry and I do like to think about food. I can almost taste it. I'm not quite there yet. But almost. It's not icking me out like it has in the past. I ate a whole jumbo chile today and Fritos and then an apple. In the midst of chemo, I could only eat about half a jumbo chile. A couple of Fritos, and no apple. So the scale should be going up very soon, though I like the weight I am now.

The only real symptoms that remain of the chemo are numb fingers and toes. The tips of my fingers and the tips of my toes are numb. When I get in the shower in the mornings, the numbness moves up my hand, nearly to my wrist. And up my foot into my ankle. But that goes away quickly.

I've googled these symptoms and read that this is common after chemo, but some people say it has lasted for years. Yikes. Hopefully, this is not true.

So my CAT scan went OK. I drank lots of thick gunk. Barium. So even though I couldn't eat solid foods, the thick gunk kept me from being hungry. There was a woman in the waiting room where we were all sitting around wearing our hospital gowns and socks waiting to be called in to get zapped who was little and bent over and talking to herself. She walked in talking to herself, walked into the changing room talking to herself, walked out of the changing room talking to herself. It wasn't a low murmur either. It was a conversation. I was thinking, this is what it would be like to read someone's mind. You could hear them thinking inane, uninteresting thoughts. "Now where'd I put my keys." "What am I going to eat for supper?" "My knees and ankles hurt." It just isn't worth the ability to read someone's mind. Well, maybe sometimes it would be interesting. If they're thinking about you.

It snowed in Chicago yesterday and today. What a surprise.