Monday, September 10, 2018

Wildlife...

One of these things is not like the other
One of these things doesn’t belong

Damn wasp got me good right on the pinky knuckle at work.








Sunday, September 9, 2018

Labor Day Weekend 2018

 Heading into the storm!  I even turned to Butch and asked if we should just turn around and go home!  Scary looking clouds with LOTS of rain!

We made it through the other side to a beautiful sunset!
Then, no rest for the wicked...Butch wanted to work. I have got to train him on what a vacation means!  Sigh. 

 Sweeping off the roof.
 Smile!

Sunday we went to walk the beach at sunset. The sunset was short lived due to the clouds, but pretty while it lasted!


Lots of waves coming in thanks to the tropical storm coming in!


 Love be the waves on my legs and had it not been a holiday weekend I would have insisted we go for the afternoon to swim and relax on the beach.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Flowers and planting plans

This is my first year with dahlias. 

I’m learning where not to plant them, however this one is quite happy so I’ll plant the other survivors on this same hill in the fall!  Only half of my petunias survived the heat this summer, but the ones who made it are gorgeous.  

My Elephant ears are monsters and I believe I’ll separate them out this fall and move some to the north bed as late summer growth as that side is liking puny and is too wet for most plants.

 I think I’ll also separate my amaryllis I have in the south bed and add some of the ones dad is giving me to the north bed as well. They make beautiful spring color then the elephant ears come up and it’s green all summer. 

I also need to separate my day lilies  

Friday, August 24, 2018

Adventures in neuropathy

So as some of you know I did get some neuropathy from the chemo.  Not as bad as some, but bad enough that I have been experimenting with treatments.  I had some limited numbness in my fingers during the end of treatment and through January/February, however, it still remains in my feet.  It got really scary there a few months after treatment stopped that I started noticing it more up the insides of my legs on my calves.  I did have some thoughts that it was due to me being more active and dressing in REAL clothing again where I had been in jammies and sweats for months!

 

What does it feel like?  Well, it's hard to describe.  My toes feel like they are ice cold all the times... sometimes this feels like they are simply cold, sometimes it's like a slight burning cold as in edging on frostbite type of cold.  BUT you physically feel them and they feel fine... nice and toasty.  In addition to this lovely "chill" they are numb, but not totally numb... it's like there is a few layers of latex gloves over them... so I can feel, but not really well.  I feel pressure and I do feel tickles, but at a distance.  And yet, saying this they are super sensitive as well, I can feel every grain of dirt on a floor.... but still can't feel the sticker stuck to the bottom of my foot.  Weird contradiction in feelings, isn't it?  Yeah, I have a hard time wrapping my head around it too... I think, "How on earth can I feel all the GRIT and not the sticker?"  Yeah.  Weird.

 

What have I tried so far? 

1.       Gabapentin.  Possible side effects:

a.       Common side effects: ataxia (unsteady gait), dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, fever, nystagmus (twitchy eye movement), sedated state, and viral infection. Other side effects include: blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), peripheral edema (swelling), tremor, amblyopia (lazy eye), irritability, and xerostomia (dry mouth).

b.      Negative side effects: After a month I had kankles, as in hugely swollen ankles... and that was a known side effect, so I opted to stop that treatment as an option... swelling of the extremities isn't something I would take lightly.

c.       Positive side effects:  Well, it really did resolve quite a bit of the numbness in the calves and did wake the toes up a bit more.  I didn’t experience any of the common side effects listed with the exception of the above mentioned negative, thus why I discontinued this treatment and wanted to seek others

2.       Henna.  Henna?  Yes, as in the paste you put on your feet to make it a temporary tattoo look, henna.

a.       Common Side effects: darkened skin – duh.  I’m laughing here.

b.      Negative side effects:  No true negative side effects are experienced

c.       Positive side effects:   Limited response.  I think it really just gets into the pours and blocks some of the more sensitive feelings you get... but it didn’t' help the numbness or glove wearing feeling. 

3.       Wanted to try acupuncture as it’s covered by my insurance but there are no providers in my local commute and I’m NOT paying $250 per session, thanks, so back to drugs!

4.       Cymbalta.    

a.       Common side effects: asthenia (weakness), constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, hypersomnia (daytime sleepiness), insomnia, nausea, sedated state, headache, and xerostomia (dry mouth). Other side effects include: agitation, erectile dysfunction, nervousness, psychomotor agitation, tension, vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, decreased appetite, decreased libido, hyperhidrosis (extreme sweating), loss of libido, and restlessness

b.      Negative side effects: I'm feeling a LOT of the side effects from this one that are a bit more concerning, but they state these should wear off after the first week or so... the first morning I got up and almost ran into the TV, then the wall... yeah, super wobbly and not steady at all and this was a full 12 hours after taking it.  AND the sleeping difficulties are truly a bear.  First night I woke up at 4:30am and found it hard to go back to sleep... this from the girl that takes MULTIPLE alarms to actually GET me out of bed, I have been out of bed and at work an average of ½ hour early for the duration of taking this drug…. Really – weird.  Night two woke at 1:30 and had that feeling of never really going back to sleep, but knew I must have, so I’m sleeping, it’s just restless and broken.  Last night was no exception – 4 hours in and *ping* awake and finding it hard to drift back off.  Finally looked at the clock.  1:30am.  Nope, nope, nope… I do feel like I really did go back to sleep for a few more hours last night.  The other thing is DRY MOUTH.  Good lord.  Yep, it’s there… always have a dry mouth feeling – like after surgery can’t get saliva going if they paid you type of dry mouth.  But I drink more tea in the morning and water during the afternoon, so I should be fine.  I can’t decide if I have constipation or diarrhea at this point.  The first night I had multiple poopcidents in Target (yeah, it was a “fun” shopping trip) then had more issues the next night with running to the potty… it may have been the very same night, who know… but thinking not as I was wearing a shift on the night that I was pausing TV shows constantly to run to the potty (yeah, memory like a steel sieve).  Anyway that indicates I was in the pool prior J  I didn’t do Target and Pool in the same day.  Sort of mystery solved.  So… still working out which this is as yesterday I just felt constipated and didn’t go all day long, which at this stage in recovery shouldn’t be surprising to me as my bowel movements are still all over the place where I’m either purging in a day and holding for two/three and repeat.  So… this one is up for debate still.  I also feel a little “jumpy” twitchy… but not where I can’t control it.  I definitely feel a bit “high” at times, but hoping these will pass as time goes and my body adjusts to the drug.

c.       Positive side effects:  Well, I'm on day three and so far the reaction on day 1 was shockingly GREAT.  I can really FEEL my toes, they don't feel quite as muted.   There are still a few spots that are "off" like the crooks under the toes on the bottom... they are a bit numb, but the rest are actually feeling more like toes.  That high feeling may need to be here as well on occasion... ha!

 

So, other than the dry mouth, jitters and sleeping issues, life is good.  Fewer Poopcidents.  I think that this Target one was the first in at least three weeks or more.  I even had a beer Monday and didn’t have any bowel reactions until Tuesday.  So, I can’t blame the beer for that one!  

 

All in all, I can’t complain. 

 

I went to the new colorectal doctor here locally.  We had a very nice LONG discussion about my cancer and what lead me to go to Mayo.  The question was did I know he was here.  NOPE.  And I was blatantly honest about why I didn’t stay local – aka I asked for a 2nd opinion and was treated like a leper and I basically left… I was never offered a more experienced surgeon here in the local area, none were mentioned and the doc I went to was an ass. 

 

So… I like the new doctor although he told me some things that really worried me.  He informed me that I had in essence two different cancers in my colon.  One in the colon that was the pre-cancerous that was so VERY close to being full blown cancer and the true already formed one.  The pre-cancerous one concerned him as it was one that would have spread as it wasn’t well defined and was ready to strike out to places unknown.  These statements along with the concern about the polyp removed from the Cecum area make me KNOW I’m glad I did the chemo now.  All problems associated with it or not. 

 

So I am just a cancerous person… basal cell, colon, and lots of variety in the colon to boot.  Odds of this are probably better than the Lottery jackpot.  Yeah, not the lottery you want to hit, eh?  Me either.  I should be in a panic, I should be scared shitless at this point, but really?  Is there anything I can DO about it now?  Nope… not yet… just be vigilant and watch.  Follow doctors’ orders and do as I’m told get screened when I’m told and hope for the best!

 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Busy busy day!!

Productive morning for lying in bed until 9am! I got up, got the table from the garage and put it in the soon to be office for Butch. Put all the collected camera stuff from MY room to that room. Took down the CHRISTMAS wrapping table, yes, it’s been here since before Christmas...then put IT in his office. Then as though that wasn’t enough I pulled a bunch of junk out from of the cabinet on top of the fridge and slotted it to consigment. THEN I cleaned the one above the microwave out and pulled out a large bin FULL of vases to go to consigment. AND loaded the car with all this stuff for Monday! Next up...paint the two lovely water stains on my ceiling from an A/C leak and storm leak. 😕

The kitchen leak before.





The kitchen leak after:


Bedroom leak before:





The bedroom leak after (still a little wet):


The proof in the back of the car! Stuffed.


AND something that isn’t listed is the new pool booster pump is installed. Whoop!!


AND I even went to the Wax strip and got my pits waxed as well.

Angela’s adventures

Angela was scheduled for her colonoscopy in the 8th so I figured I would leave work and drive straight up there.

I got out of work on time picked up Sherry as she needed to get her car from the shop. I tracked her down and then circled the block to get her as it was raining and she didn’t have an umbrella. I’m not THAT mean. My umbrella was tiny and broken so couldn’t be shared and actually started to link. So. Got her then drove very sorely off base. I was assuming it was so slow due to Green Street being closed. NOPE the light was out. Sigh.

Finally off base and getting calls from Angela. Her water was off in her apartment. This is NOT good when you are having to poop. A. Lot. So the decision was made to go to a hotel.

I get another call and she’s feeling sick. Uh oh. So by the time I got to Macon she had thrown up her prep. I had to get a little mean and tell her to hang up and go to Walgreens NOW before her drs office closes so they can figure out what to do as an alternative. So goes and gets the magnesium citrate instead. Much better taste and easier to get down. Only 10oz instead of 16.

By the time I get there she is calmer and has gotten the first bottle of two down.

I brought her gallons of water to flush her sick down as well. Sigh. We then load up and go to a hotel.

I had told her to get soup.


She didn’t see the wisdom until I got it for her. She was in LOVE.

She finished her soup and most of her 2nd bottle and we called it a night as we were waking up at 5am to go to the clinic.


Look at the cute socks!
They were nice and let me go back with her - they normally don’t but as she was young they cut her slack. She was so cute coming out of the drugs. :)

The results were NO cancer - everyone’s fear. But it was Crohn’s. This will be a chronic thing and something that will have to be watched I’m sure. But for now not the worst diagnosis as there are medications and treatments and diets to address this.

We went back to the hotel and had a bite to eat from the breakfast then upstairs to bed for a bit as I had arranged for a late checkout. Zzzzzz

We got up at noon and started to pack up to head back to her apartment....only to have her go potty and find 𝖡𝗅𝗈𝗈𝖽. Quite a bit of blood. Read the packet again and learned we should go to the ER. Ok. Off to the ER we go.


This was approved...begrudgingly. But approved. She was soooo mad. Not sad, just mad. “The worst part is the prep they said” was what I remember the most of her comments. Ha! Yeah well...the bleed explains about her first one too. Her body simply processes FAST. She was told no BM for 1 or two days and 7 hours after she ate eggs she was pooping them. Wow!! Not sure how she’s not rail thin with that rate of processing. Just WOW.

So after a few hours in the ER they sent her home as they didn’t think it was anything bad. And apparently it wasn’t as this is now a few days later and all is well.

So. Sucks that it’s Crohn’s; Great that it’s not cancer.