Saturday, 30 November 2002 :)
There was a tech named Angel who was aptly named.... he made sure that everything I needed I had... he and his partner Fernando both would come to say hi to Ian and me.
One of the surgeons, Roger, a great guy with a super personality, came and took out one of the chest tubes and the catheter.... I walked around twelve times.
Ian stayed over again.
Friday, 29 November 2002 :)
I walked around the unit three times... then collapsed. Ian stayed right by my side.
Thursday, 28 November 2002 Thanksgiving :/
Today I was transferred to the floor.... Good.... I slept for most of the day.... tossing between freezing and over heated... very strange. I had eleven tubes coming out of everything you can imagine... It was a lot like that last time so I knew what the deal was. Damon, the guy who took care of me two years ago was there again and it was great to see him.
Kris and Melanie, Trever and Shawn all came up to see me and that was great... I was just a bit dopey from the meds.... Ian slept over in the hospital with me... I love that guy.
It’s been four days since I’ve eaten or drank a thing... even water.... my voice is still very raspy and weak.
Wednesday, 27 November 2002 :/
ICU: The ventilator is removed... Yea.... Every time they would sit me up I’d cough my butt off.... which is totally normal to get up all the gunk from the anesthesia (and I’ve had it two days in a row). The problem was that it hurt so much I’d have to get a pain med which left me gorked. So when they told me I had company and they were planning to get me sitting up in a chair I asked to please stay in bed, not coughing or gorked and that I could sit in the chair after they had gone.... make sense? Well the head of the unit, Lynn, told me I would be in the chair when they came just for two hours... I explained the dilemma and promised her that if she would allow me to stay in the position I was in I’d sit for three hours later. She said no... she was quite the bitch really.... I pitched a fit and demanded to see the surgeon.... While we waited for him to arrive Lynn made all sorts of snide remarks... when Darroch got there Lynn told him her reasons and said I was fighting her nursing judgment. I told him that I promised to sit up for longer than the two hours... I just didn’t wanna be coughing or gorked while they were here... after listening he laughed... turned to Lynn and said, “You can’t argue with this man ‘cause you can’t win.”... HA... after they left I sat up for four hours!
Tuesday, 26 November 2002 :/
I was wisked back into the operating room and reopened... seems they tried to put the NG tube down my throat and couldn’t.... come to find out there was a thread tied around the venerator that blocked was acting like a belt around the tube.
I’m still in ICU at this point. There was a nurse named Tasha who was like an angel to me... I’d write what I was in need of and she was right there.... God bless her.
Later... Monday, 25 November 2002 :/
The operation took six hours... I was asleep... thank God.... I didn’t get into ICU until six O’clock PM...
Trever wouldn’t leave my side... even when the nurses insisted.... he held my hand and poured his heart out to me.... I couldn’t respond because of the ventilator down my throat.
Monday, 25 November 2002 :)
Ian and I woke up Trever and Shawn.... it’s three o’clock in the morning and time to get ready to schlep to Saint Peter’s Hospital in Albany for the big day.... I had my little bout with terror last night... I’m ready to forge ahead now though.... Keep me in your prayers... I’m sure I’ll be fine but prayers are like Jello: good for you and always room for one more.... heh
Sunday, 24 November 2002 :)
The weather is so pretty, sunny and bright, a great day for walking. I had to start the medicine that prepares me for tomorrow so most of the walking is to the bathroom... ifyaknowwhatImean.
Kris and Melanie came by to visit..... so did Mom, Aunt Pam, Aunt Toni-Ann and Kissy..... Mariann came over too.... it was great to see everyone but before you knew it ..... it was time to say goodnight.
Saturday, 23 November 2002 :)
Had a great visit from our dear friend Tom Hoffay... it was great to see him.
Today was one of the ‘clear liquids’ days..... funny how food smells better when you can’t have it... hrmn.
I got lots of calls today from friends and family..... I expect tomorrow will be a busy day too.
Friday, 22 November 2002 :)
We drove to Albany at five o’clock in the morning.... got there on time and after starting the IV the two nurses were wondering why the doctor would want a bronchoscope rather than an endoscopy..... good question. When the doctor came in we asked.... only to learn that he was looking to see if there was any inclusion of the cancer in the bronchial tubes or the lungs... “if there was”, he said, “then there’s nothing I’ll be able to do for you.” *gulp*.... then he began.... the bottom line is there was nothing... *Yay*.... so Monday is still a go.... By the way... Ian was feeling sickly so while I was busy he decided to go to the ER and get checked out... Ha!.... he ended up being admitted!.... Stuck in a wheelchair and given a chest x-ray.... He’s got Bronchitis the poor bastard... there we were the both of us with matching name bands... hehe.
I was wiped out later, but I ate my weight in pecan pie and white tuna sushi.... tomorrow I’m only allowed clear liquids.
Thursday, 21 November 2002 :\
Ian went into New York and I would have gone with him but I had planned to get together with Michele.... good thing I was home - Saint Peter’s Hospital called at nine to tell me that I had to speak with a nurse as part of the pre-admission testing, that it could be done over the phone, but that she didn’t know when she would call.... ugh.... I stayed home... calling them periodically but the call didn’t come until almost seven at night... oh well.... at least it’s all done.
Ian and I have to take off for the hospital way early in the morning ‘cause Darroch wants to do a Bronchoscope first thing... fun... fun!
Tomorrow will be my last day of solid food for a while.
Wednesday, 20 November 2002 :)
Ian, Trever and I went to Albany to meet with the surgeon. I asked him a complete list of questions that I had typed up in advance.... he was open and direct with his answers.... and the operation is definite for Monday. I’m resolved that it will be okay, but nervous just the same. I remember how it was not to eat or drink anything for a week so I went out and bought flavored dental floss.... mint, cinnamon, cherry-berry.... they will help to fill the void..... hmmmm.... looks like this Thanksgiving - I’m the turkey.
On the way home we made calls from the car and as we got closer to the house we ran into Mariann and Robbie. They came in and visited a while. It was nice to talk with them. Jim, the boys former probation officer stopped by too... he really is a nice guy.... and we all enjoyed a visit.
Later the boys went to stay over at Mari’s. Ian and I went to have dinner at his Mom’s and the evening came to a quite end.
Tuesday, 19 November 2002 :)
Well, the meeting with the Vice Principal was enlightening.... he gave Our Hero a five day ‘suspension’.. aka ‘holiday’.... and defended his position by simply saying that in his mind if it comes down to a child’s word vs. an adult’s, he believes the adult because, “they wouldn’t lie”.... hmmm.... essentially I told him that his posture didn’t assist in getting to the truth - it just defended adults. And as far as his ‘mind’ goes I reminded him of the great Bill Clinton and wished him a safe journey back to Earth.... scary huh?.... Who is guarding the guards? Came home and called our lawyer who helped me draft the perfect letter.... She’ll take it from here. Ahhhh...... life in the country.
Monday, 18 November 2002 :)
I’ve known Ian for eight years and seven months today... Shawn made a cake.
I spoke with Darroch’s office and I have a consultation on Wednesday.... the operation may be as soon as Monday... I’ll know more after the meeting.... *sigh*
Ian had to go to New York for a press conference.... he came home afterward.... meanwhile Trever got into trouble in school today.... tossed off the bus originally for mock fighting with a friend.... then for swearing. Our Hero swears he never swore and I believe him... If he had Trever’s response would have been, “Yeah, and he deserved it!” He’s not a liar! I meet the vice principal in the morning.... hrmn.
Sunday, 17 November 2002 :/
Today was a rainy day..... and since our dryer is still out of commission we went to the ‘Great American Meeting Place’ aka: the Laundromat... it was kinda fun.... Ian went with me and that made all the difference. I love being with him anytime - anywhere.
Saturday, 16 November 2002 :/
Ian was feeling like he was coming down with something.... so he rested most of the day. There was an ice storm that turned into rain and was great for sleeping.
Later in the afternoon we went to the mall to meet up with Susmita and Tom and grab a bite... that was kinda fun.
I spoke with Jack and he wants me to skip going to Florida and Detroit and get the operation going.... so .... Monday I’ll call Darroch Moores, the fellow who did the operation the last time and schedule it... Derroch was strongly recommended by Jack and that’s enough for me. I’m a little nervous, but hey... Sooner started - sooner done, right?
Friday, 15 November 2002 :)
The weather was perfect a perfect Autumn day.... clear... crisp.... colourful wit a gentle breeze. Ian went into New York today on business.... I bicycled two miles today.... that felt good. I got to see Carolyn, Jim and Riley before they headed to Manhattan.... Maybe we’ll see them next week in Florida, as I’m setting that up. Riley was adorable playing in the leaves and laughing... repeating ‘again’ over and over.
Aunt Pam headed south this morning so Mom came by all by herself.... it was great to see her... we talked about what to plan for Thanksgiving Dinner.... Mom wants to pay to have it catered... very cool..... I like the way she thinks.
Paul called to let me know the biopsy showed there was still cancer there, but the tumor was smaller.... he suggested the operation as soon as possible. I put a call into Jack in Detroit to get his read on the matter and to have him suggest the surgeon to do the job.... we’ll see.... my plans to head to Moffitt could get changed real fast depending on what I find out.... this could mess up Thanksgiving dinner plans, but it’s too soon to tell.
Thursday, 14 November 2002 :)
Walked two miles today and intend to hold it to that until Sunday when I increase it to three. I have to get in shape.
Saw Carolyn, Jim, and Riley again today.... got to visit for a short while... not long enough. Mom and Aunt Pam cam over too. They only stayed for a fast cup of coffee, but it was good to see them. Aunt Pam is heading to Florida tomorrow.... I made an appointment at the Moffitt for next week so we may be heading there too.
Wednesday, 13 November 2002 :)
What a busy day.... I was scheduled to have the Esophageal Dilatation in the morning. As I was ready to leave it dawned on me that Our Hero was still in bed... ugh... I had to get him up, motivated and dressed to schlep him to school - which made me late getting to the place they were performing the operation.... but all went off without a hitch. Dr. Paul Burrows is amazing and so friendly... and so are each and everyone of the people who work with him. It went fantastic and I was awake through the entire procedure, no sweat!
Later Sonya invited us out for a sushi dinner which was delicious. She came back to the house for tea and was there when Carolyn, Jim and Riley arrived all the way from Florida.... it was great to see them again and to meet Miss Riley.... who is two and the most adorable little thing. This was the first time I ever met this little doll. She played the whole time, never cried once, was perfectly behaved even after her long day traveling. I had heard stories of a such children, who were behaved and followed instruction to the tee but this was the first time I got to see one up close.... very cool.
Ian and I can’t believe they’re really here!
Tuesday, 12 November 2002 :)
I went off to Saint Francis Hospital and got the three Catscans done there. it was a wild place.... not like the place I usually go. There was a prisoner with two armed guards waiting for and ex-ray and a woman who was really out of it on a stretcher who tried to sit up and almost fell off the damn thing.... I held her back... phew.
When I was done I came home to find our friend Corey there. He wanted to go out to dinner and tell us something very important - He’s fallen in love with a wonderful young lady named Amy. He felt awkward ‘cause he’s been dating men since he was fifteen. I think it’s great that he’s happy - he deserves to be.
Tomorrow I go for the Esophageal Dilatation so I have to get to bed early. Carolyn and Jim will be here later so tomorrow will be an exciting day.
Strange thing.... the dryer stopped drying the clothes. As I was in the process of trying to fix it, (by looking for obvious things while talking gently to it) guess who on the phone - SEARS! They wanted to update the contract on the washer and dryer.... Is that WEIRD - or what.... I said yes.... the repair guy will be here Friday!.... hmmmm.
Monday, 11 November 2002 :)
Had a busy day.... re-re-caulked the tub, last time I must have used the wrong product, spot painted the cellar, prepped the condo for Carolyn’s visit.... She and Jim are bringing Riley to New York and we’ll get to see them and I can’t wait.
I’m tired now and ready for bed.
The boys have been wonderful and helpful.
Sunday, 10 November 2002 :)
Had a really long heart to heart talk with Trever..... we cried and got to a deeper understanding, and he decided to stay..... déja vu.
I was very weepy today.... more than weepy... missing my Dad for some unknown reason I was just a great big mush ball.
Ian and I raked the lawn for the exercise and walked too.
Please say prayers for Michele O., she needs them.
Saturday, 9 November 2002 :\
Today is ‘Saturday Cleaning Day’ at our house.... the boys know what they have to do and always after much fuss and nonsense they do their chores. Trever decided otherwise and was very clear (and very rude) about it too... no problem.... I called his Mom and asked her to please allow him to come and live there... and she agreed. To quote Groucho: I don’t want him to leave in a huff - I want him to go in a minute and a huff.... if he can’t leave in a minute and a huff - leave in a taxi. Tomorrow he relocates..... ciao-bye.
Ian and I washed the car (otherwise referred to as Gino’s therapy) and went out for breakfast since the house was now officially declared a war zone.
When we returned everything was peachy... the boys were fine.... I turned to Ian, my eyes glazed and begged him to tell me if I had been hallucinating before (I am on heavy meds)... heh.
Friday, 8 November 2002 :)
Ian went off to New York to have a luncheon with the President of Bell’Italia Magazine, one of his clients.
I had the chance to talk at length with Bret, that was fun it was good to catch up with what’s going on with him.
Thursday, 7 November 2002 :)
Mariann came over and took the boys with her.... yea.... this gave Ian and I a chance to do something just the two of us - so we went to the movies. My white cells are low so we figured that the place would be sorta empty on a Thursday evening - and we were right. We saw Ghost Ship it was pretty good with some really grizzly scenes.... Tip: If you go see it DON’T WALK IN LATE.
Wednesday, 6 November 2002 :)
I had a meeting with Glen and he reviewed all the blood-work as well as examining me. Although my white blood cells are low, he’s delighted with how well I responded to the chemo and is very happy with the results so far.... Yay.... I left his office feeling good and went straight to see Paul Burrows and schedule an EGD, (Esophageal Dilatation) where they go down the throat to see the situation up close. That will happen on the 13th.... I also have to schedule a catscan and a trip to Tampa. The operation can take place after a month, giving the chemo a chance to lessen in the body.... I’m a happy camper!
I saw Ed Butler today, a genius inventor friend of mine, who brought me up to speed with some of his latest developments.... you’ll be hearing a lot about him in the next few years, he’s developed a method of delivering medicine through the skin rather than ingesting... he’s brilliant!
Tuesday, 5 November 2002 :)
The fumes have gone, Thank God, and I washed the clothes all over again the right way - it was the least I could do considering it was the boys underwear and their concern about skin reactions seemed valid..... all’s well that ends well.
Mariann and Robbie stopped over and we talked for hours.... it was great to spend the time together laughing and telling stories.... we’re lucky to be a family.
Ian and I were going to go to the movies but we rented a movie instead.... Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood... Jilly had recommended it to me eons ago... she was right - it’s great!
Monday, 4 November 2002 :)
Today was a mystery, in a way.... I saw Ian off to New York and headed to Cornwall-on-Hudson to see Michele and continue the work on ‘A Stitch In Time’... as it turned out I didn’t have the chance.... it was far from a wasted time - I met a woman named Ruth who was diagnosed with a similar cancer as my own and we had the chance to talk and share.... Please keep Ruth C. in your prayers and add her name to as many lists as you can.... she needs a miracle and I know my readers can set the wheels in motion.... seen it too many times.
Now from the school of ‘What the hell was I thinking’ it’s a wonder I didn’t wipe out the whole family.... In trying to get my whites really white I stupidly mixed bleach and Orange Glow to the wash..... whoa baby.... the fumes were unreal and totally messed up the evening I had planned. Mom and Aunt Pam had come up to stay overnight.... drats and double drats.... they couldn’t stay... it was horrible.... thank god it’s better now..... and at the rate I’m going cancer won’t have the chance to kill me.... heh
Sunday, 3 November 2002 :)
Quite.... did nothing.... recouped from yesterday. Nothing says ‘Old Guy’ like having to recoup.... sheese..... next thing ya know I’ll be looking for Dairy Queen to have Geritol as an ice cream topping.
Saturday, 2 November 2002 :)
Ian and I stopped by the Champs store that Kristopher manages.... the guy is so handsome but he looks so tired... he commutes from Connecticut ever day and I fear it’s a lot on him.
Then we went to Aunt Pam and Uncle Bill’s house for the last time. They gave us some carpets they had no use for and even though everyone was upbeat I couldn’t stay... on a personal level it was too sad for me so I made an excuse and left. Life changes... onward, onward.
So funny how the healing process is a gradual thing.... my libido returned today... *Yay*... I say that for the benefit of those who read this site and are going through the same thing.... This is a record of my journey after all. Each persons experiance with chemo is a little different but there are enough similarities to make the sharing helpful.
Friday, 1 November 2002 :)
After almost twenty years of marriage, my Aunt Pam and Uncle Bill decided to go their separate ways. It’s sad, but they handled it all with such care and grace that it was inspirational. He’s decided to move to Florida and is leaving Monday so Aunt Pam had a little party for him tonight at a restaurant they both like. My bloods should have prohibited me from attending but it would have taken a lot more than skimpy platelets to keep me away.... he’s a lovable guy who reminds me a lot of my Dad. It was great to see the gang that was there: Aunt Toni-Ann, Aunt Joann and Uncle Bruce, Tracey and Billy and a whole bunch of others and we all had a fun time.
Afterwards I stopped and saw Mom, who wasn’t able to be there... on the drive home it started to snow... very cool.