Monday, September 13, 2010


Saturday September 11 th, 2010

Today was a day to remember those who perished during those attacks on that fateful day 9 years ago. Life does go tough as it is.

In the early afternoon, Paul and I attended a party to celebrate the one year birthday of our friends, Joe and Michelle's daughter. It was at a park in Glenview. The sun came out and the weather warmed up. They had TONS of good food and drinks, & some special "cranberry juice" for those thirsty adults. I probably could've taken a little nip of it but I think my liver is going through enough already. Several activities were going on outside & the kids were all on the many jungle gyms. Gabe, Lisa, Selena, Paul and I were reminiscing how everything is wood chipped with soft & spongy mats now instead of hard concrete and the jungle gyms themselves are so fancy compared to what we grew up with. Even the pinatas are safer with the pull strings instead of blindfolded little kids swinging heavy objects almost hitting the poor adult who gets stuck holding the rope. It was fun watching Selena's kids having a good time, heck all the kids running around, some sharing the slides, some hogging the slides, some pushing each other down the slides. Was that supposed to happen? Just being in nature, fresh air, listening to the laughter, sharing these special moments with friends is what I'm cherishing. Heck, 10 years ago we were hanging out in the smoke filled bars til the cows came home. Gabe said the other day, "Now we are the cows." Now were older, putzing around the park and falling asleep by 10 pm. :o)

Paul and I left around 6pm to get to another gathering. My VA family planned a bbq @ one of our coworker's home in Addison. We said our "good-byes" & went to pick up some fried chicken. Paul also had some baklava from a bakery and we headed on our way. We got there around 7:30 pm. Just in time. My coworkers had bought balloons and we wrote messages to Preston on them. We gathered on Gene's deck and Tom said some kind words for him. We said the "Our Father" and released them. The balloons went straight over Gene's house. There was more good food and my coworkers were dancing in group formations. B-woo brought her dog Onyx. Onyx is a well behaved dog, mine would've probably run off because they'd be scared and drown in the nearby pond. It was so good to see my coworker's families too. They brought their significant others & children. Unfortunately, this darn chemo makes me intolerant to the cold and my fingers were painfully tingling once the cool weather kicked in. I had my shawl but it wasn't enough. I sat inside while watching my coworkers danced outside. Gene and Lita, you have a gorgeous home and orchids. Can I stay over? :o) Thank you too for the Ube cake, it's very pretty and tasty. They were well prepared for people to take leftovers, how do you say it in Tagalog? Bah-on (spelling?) We have a saying for Filipino gatherings, BYOF, "bring your own foil". Everyone brought some goodies home. It was getting late, I believe some coworkers continued to party and went to the boats. What troopers. Thank you all for a wonderful gathering.

Paul got us home after 11pm, boy were we tired. I waited up until Jenny went to get Marie, it was her homecoming dance. I usually worked evenings and would only get to see pictures of Marie, this time I was able to see her in all her glory. She looked very pretty.

Sunday September 12 th, 2010

The bodyaches that chemo gives me started kicking in during Saturday. I had opened my big mouth to Paul saying, "You know the back pain I get hasn't bothered me, maybe I'm in the clear." WRONG! It started while we were @ the park and gradually got worse as Saturday progressed. By night, my back was very achey. Again, this pain feels like you worked out for a week and the soreness kicks in anytime you move. However, I was able to sleep on my sides again. I was a bad girl and didn't take any Lasix on Sat. I didn't want to be enroute between the suburbs if it kicked in and also my blood pressure was very low that day, I didn't want to "bottom out" anywhere. If I did @ Gene's, at least I would've been surrounded by nurses. :o)

I had missed mass, I woke up around 10 am after a night of restlessness, 4 am bathroom runs and insomnia, which I read for a couple of hours til I dozed off again. Dad had attended mass and blessed us upon his return. He had found a card that was left on our steps by some neighbors. They had only recently found out about my condition. Judy had come by with her daughters, and with bagels and cream cheese. It's been a while since Emelia came, she had been sick. We made plans with our sister, Cathy, on Tues,. to clean up my place. I'm hoping to get the areas by my vents cleaned so I can get them professionally done, it's been more than 5 years and I hope my furnace will work better this year once it's done.

Judy had gone home, her little ones were falling asleep. In a few hours, our friend, Suzanne came by for a visit with her twin girls. They were visiting from Green Bay. The neighbors 2 kids came by as well. Paul came by and grilled some hotdogs for lunch. Suzanne had brought a few flavors of cheese from Wisconsin. The Fontina is VERY good. We snacked on the cheese, crackers and apples. Her girls were shy at first but then started to open up. My back was still hurting but Suzanne understood when I had to get to my recliner and pillows. She worked on the girls' princess-themed birthday invites while we socialized. They're 4th birthday is in October. It's funny, Suzanne says she has "Mommy brain" and I have my "chemo brain" so if we had attention deficits, we were like, "that's alright". My family watched and hooped an hollered during the BEARS game. They had worn their Bears jerseys. I made sure I got pics of my family with Suzanne and the girls who were going back to Green Bay, Suz is still a Bears fan, hee, hee.
They left around 3pm and made it home quickly. Suzanne was able to unpack and settle them in for the night by the time we talked later.

I ended up taking my Lasix and boy did it work. I hadn't taken it earlier in the day because my pressure was low and I was already feeling dizzy. I had a pretty good appetite all day today and I felt stronger by the afternoon, that's when I took it. I ended up watching a mixture of the VMA's with the Kardashians and fell asleep around 10 pm. However, it's now 4am and I've been up since about 2 am. It started with a bathroom call, I read 2 gossip magazines, still couldn't sleep, snacked on an apple and cheese, rinsing it down with water and have been blogging ever since. I've been having stomach pains all day too. I am passing things, just wish it wasn't so discomforting. Now I'm wondering if my stomach wants another snack. It's hard to tell. The usual sensations I used to have for 40 years of hunger, or if my bladder or bowels need emptying has changed. I don't know if it's because of the chemo affects of those nerves or just the pressure from the tumor pushing on my insides. I wish we had those Star Trek scanners so I can figure out what's going on inside. I'm also waiting for my cold intolerance to go away. I'm craving ice cream and milk. Paul made these Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips cookies and Marie was dunking it in cold milk in front of me. Then later Jenny and Marie were eating ice cream cones in front of me. I'm very tempted to get some. I'll wait another day or two before I try.

I have to try and get some sleep. I have an appt. later today with the surgeons in charge of that robotic knife to see if I'm a candidate for debulking or some radical surgery that will hopefully make me cancer free like the lady, Susan, who had her procedure done @ UIC and is lucky to be back on her feet. I still have major paperwork to complete, so I have to make calls to make sure that gets done too, JUST IN CASE, if anything should happen to me. I'll try to say "goodnight" for now, but after I get another little snack.

Dad and I did meet with the surgeons @ UIC. He and his team reviewed all that I had done so far. He told us that debulking could be done on my left liver lobe. I heard the words, "HOPE". I know there's a lot of risks involved with surgery, any surgery, or anytime one gets in their car, on a plane or leaves their house. If this can cause me relief to some degree, release the pressure this mass is causing on my insides, I can fight what cancer remains in my right lobe.. One less cancer filled lobe to deal with. He even mentioned that we can deal with the nodules with radio-frequency therapy, and other methods. Yes a lot of "bad" can happen but I would like for everyone to think of what GOOD could come of this. I know we didn't plan on what happened with our brother, John. No one saw that coming. He also suggested that he could place a shunt to help deal with my ascites so I wouldn't have to get my abdomen drained every 2-3 weeks. I'd have to be cleared that my cancer hasn't spread first and get a few more tests, ie. EKG, chest X-ray. I'd rather try something than just sit in the recliner wilting away from the chemo and dealing with this recurrent ascites. This news is already causing a stir in my family and not everyone knows about it yet. Yes 3 other surgeons said that I wouldn't be a candidate but this one has experience and if he would've come in the room and said right away, "no", then that'd be the end of my surgery pursuit. I was told that they only take this risk if there's a possibility of a cure. I told them about Susan, who they took that chance and she's been cancer free, Thank goodness, for 2 years. If anything bad happens, you can all say, "I TOLD YOU SO!", but if good comes from this, you'll have me to pester you for the next couple of months/years. Please be brave for me and support me. I am leaning towards this surgery, now I really have to get my paperwork in order, JUST IN CASE. Don't worry, I plan on being there on the 10th,so let's really have a good time then. I'll try to schedule things after that.

As you can see, it's about 2:30 am on Tues. I'm going to try and get some sleep. My Lasix pill didn't work so much last night and my belly is big. Darn! I might have to schedule another paracentesis instead of my dental appt. this week. If it's really bad, I might have to go back sooner. You sure you don't want to switch places with me? Love you all.

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