Thoughts: Week of December 17-19, 2012 (No Thurs/Fri)

Monday:

8:15am-9:30am Drive from Home to Work

[Extra late, thanks to the rain, which now means a shortie lunch to stay on track timewise.]

Work
Lunch
Work

Fatigue:

[It showed up at about 1:45 today.  Ah well, I knew it wasn’t gone.  I was hoping some small miracle would happen.  Well, I guess it kinda did – I didn’t really feel the fatigue until afternoon.]

Acupuncture
7:15pm-7:50pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

Tuesday:

[General post-radiation weirdness item: today is the second day in a row I left the house wearing a necklace.  I couldn’t do that for the past 7 weeks.  Well, I could have, but since I couldn’t wear any neck jewelry during the treatment, I’d have had to take it off then put it back on after.  Instead, I took necklaces in my bag and put them on after treatment (if I remembered) which sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t.  Now I can get back to doing this in it’s proper place in my day – at home, when I’m getting dressed in the morning.]

8:00am-9:00am Drive from Home to Work
Work

Fatigue:

[Yeah, today it arrived at about 11:30am.  I still had a few hours this morning where I could forget about it – but fewer than yesterday.  Good thing I have tomorrow off!]

Lunch
Work
5:30-6:30 Drive from Work to Home

Wednesday:

Physical Therapy
Whole Foods
Egg Plantation
Nap
Dishes
Laundry
Reorganize a Freezer
Make Dinner

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– put gas in the car
– made Saturday nail appointment
– moved RSurg appt (to not conflict with follow-up ROnc appt)

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

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To Schedule or Not To Schedule, That is the Question

I’m not sure I still feel the need to document my schedule as specifically as I have been lately.

Clock

It felt important to me to share with those who (it’s been said to me numerous times) “had no idea” of the degree of chaos and intrusion into one’s normal life that cancer and its treatments cause.  The craziness that ensues from trying to work full-time through radiation (I didn’t quite make it, but didn’t realize until I was almost done with radiation how many people don’t even attempt it!) is really of the batshit-insane variety, and not only did I post for some sympathy (yeah, at some point – well lots of points – this Is actually about me!), but Also to let other people know when I say I don’t have time and energy to see them/do whatever . . .

. . . that there are some times in life when what gets accomplished gets whittled down to the serious bare necessities, and going through radiation therapy while working Is One of Those Times!

In fact, if it weren’t for Hubby, I may well have had to ask for help keeping food in my house.

Fairly quickly, my life became about 3 things and 3 things only:

three-fingers

– Cancer Stuff:

Radiation Therapy
Radiation Oncologist Appointments
Physical Therapy
Acupuncture
Support Group

– Work

As much as I still could, as I went through the 7 weeks

– Sleep/Rest

That was it.

Now that I’m through those 7 weeks, it will take me some time to transition out of that mindset . . .

And I already feel some better (though I don’t yet trust that feeling), not having those 5 additional deadlines in my schedule every week – and knowing the physical symptoms will take weeks to months to fully resolve (both skin issues and energy levels).

This morning was, well, just weird:

– being allowed to apply antiperspirant (at all) and body lotion (right after my shower)

– not having to leave the house until 8:00am

– not having to wear something I could pull down (if a dress) or a shirt I could take off, in other words Not having to wear something in which I could easily expose the girls without having to gown up (sorry, I’m just not a gown girl, for various reasons – this may or may not become a separate post).

You see, it seems to be part of conventional wisdom that it takes six weeks to make or break a habit.  Doesn’t sound right to you?  Okay, this is me Googling it.

My point is that the 7 weeks of my radiation therapy is just enough time for things like not applying antiperspirant, or not applying anything to my underarms and no lotion on my body directly after showering – to stop feeling weird and wrong, and something I have to think about (not doing).  And now I have to work at recreating those habits – recreating those parts of my normal life.  But that still won’t take up the time (and hopefully the energy either) that the radiation therapy took.

So, we’ll see whether I feel like continuing the schedule thing as I have been.  If I don’t, maybe I’ll have time to write some other blog posts, parts of which have been sitting hidden online as drafts for a while.

<shrug>

Schedule: Week of December 3-7, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 24]:

7:00am-8:45am Drive from Home to RTher

storm track

[Yes, it took me one hour and 45 minutes to get to RTher this morning.  Yes, the streets were wet.  Three accidents happened along my route After I left my house.  No, this is not reasonable.  Yes, this is the worst traffic has been in this recent series of 3 storms coming through Southern Cali.

And no, that image above isn’t from this past weekend’s storms, but it is of a storm track in the right part of the country, so I’m using it.  You must know by now how much I like my graphics and reference treasure hunts, no?]

8:45am-10:15am RTher, Appt with ROnc

[Yes, those two things took me an hour and a half today, but since I was late I did not feel like I could hurry anybody else up – I may sometimes be a bitch, but I try not to be unreasonable (they are Not the same thing).  I had PTher scheduled for 9:00am-10:00am this morning, but when I figured out I wouldn’t be getting to my first appt of the morning Anywhere near on time, I called and cancelled my PTher, asking them to change it to Wednesday.  Thankfully, they were willing and able to move another patient (thank you for your flexibility, whoever you are) and get me in on Wed at 9:00am.  I haven’t seen my PTher in two weeks now, and if I couldn’t see her this week, my next appt  with her is Wednesday December 19th – two weeks from now – which would have been four weeks between visits with her.  Now, I would have figured something out, or made alternate plans for treatment somehow, but since I am having swelling issues, it’s nice that I Don’t Have to figure my way around that.  :)]

10:15am-10:30am Drive to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car]

10:30am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:15pm Lunch

[I’m back to shorties to make up that 1-1/2 hrs work time I’m down on “first thing” Monday morning.

joanns-fabric

Headed over to my nearest Joann’s (found out this store is closing January 24, 2013 – I’m not so happy about this – it was, well still is, but not for very much longer, a close stop for lunch-time craft supplies shopping) to pick up some materials for decorating my teeny tiny punkins (two of them, ‘cuz one got taken home with the intention of being decorated and never made it back to my ledge at work, but magically another one showed up there to take its place!) to help them transition from Halloween, when they first appeared, to the end-of-the-year Holidays.  I may publish a separate post about that with pics and I’ll update this one with the title if I do that.  Or maybe not.]

2:15pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
5:55pm-7:00pm Acupuncture

[This is my last visit with Mo, who I really like!  😦  She has finished her internship now and is headed on to study for her licensing exam at the end of February.  It takes a month or so for results to come back and then a couple weeks for licenses to arrive, so the earliest I could have her again would be sometime next April.  She did say she likes her supervising doctor at our facility and might explore working with him when she gets her license so she may be back where it’s very convenient to me.  She has my email and says she’ll keep me updated on that plan, and I have her email so I can bug her about it if she doesn’t!  And I’m sure whoever else I get for my last Acupuncture treatment of the year in two weeks will be good too.]

7:00pm-8:05pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

[With 2 stops: 1 at the pharmacy to drop off my new Rx for pain meds (babe-seems-to-think-I-am-an-addict – otherwise known as my ROnc – actually refilled my pain meds today.  Maybe she realized I’m still taking the same amount as I have been the last two weeks to manage my pain and not more, and maybe this was part of her conversation with my RSurg last week.  In any case, she gave me twice as much this time as last time, so I don’t have to have this conversation again with her next week or the week after.  Thank the Goddess for small favors.) and 1 stop to pick up dinner for me & Hubby (no officer, that wasn’t me texting while driving – thank you Siri): two patty melts and an order of fries to share from Everest!]

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 25]:

7:10am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:10am-8:25am RTher, Post-RTher ablutions (otherwise known in my world as boob-gooping)
8:25am-8:35am Drive from RTher to Work
8:35am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch

200px-Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg

[One of the things that has (temporarily) gone by the wayside is bringing breffast & lunch to work with me – are you reading this post, have you seen my life lately? – but the clothes are getting a tad snug (‘course that could be the monthly tide business – things crested this past Sunday) and it’s just good practice to eat clean, so headed off to Whole Foods for a salad bar lunch, with some organic (WA state, but you can’t have everything; where would you put it?) Ambrosia apples (didn’t get any in Oak Glen this year, so picked up a couple), and organic Bartlett pears (just because they were there and I could), plus 4 more bags of cranberries for more cranberry sauce before I can’t find them anymore.]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:45pm Drive from Work to Home

[With 1 stop to pick up pain meds]

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 26]:

7:00am-8:15am Drive from Home to RTher
8:15am-8:30am RTher
8:30am-9:00am Killing time between RTher and PTher

[Walked down to the end of the block to the Local 80 of a major entertainment union – there’s a locational bread crumb if it makes any sense to you – to get myself a coffee since traffic this morning wouldn’t nearly let me stop on the way in to get one, and discovered that a one long block walk decided to make my legs tired.  Not liking that at all!  Struggling between trying to get some exercise to limit how much this all takes out of me before it’s over, and saving what energy I do have to do what needs doing.]

9:00am-10:00am PTher
10:00am-10:45am Drive from PTher to Egg Plantation

egg plantation

[Because, goddamn it, I was finally going to have my pancakes!  Of course there was plenty of protein first.  The eggs I had were so fresh and the yolks such a beautiful rich orangey color I had to ask my server where the place got their eggs from.  They looked so much like the eggs I get two canyons over from my house, I just knew they had to be some local, non-industrial place and sure enough the restaurant gets their eggs from a cage-free farm about 8 miles away (a different place than I get them, but same situation).

Seriously, there is Nothing on this earth like eating an egg you know was still in the hen no more than 2 days ago.  Just for contrast and information – most of the eggs we all find in our supermarkets are already at least 3 weeks old before we lift that carton out of the cooler – yes, it makes a big different in appearance and taste.]

10:45am-11:30am Brunch
11:30am-12:30pm Drive from Brunch to Home

[With 1 stop at Food for Less to pick up the apples for that 2nd tub of applesauce.  Ya know, at 10 lbs of apples per tub of applesauce, things aren’t cheap here, so I figured 98c per lb of apples was doable.  And I think the non-Oak-Glen applesauce will be the one going to work – let’s see if anybody notices.]

Afternoon:
– nap
– took call from RSurg

[Really needed to talk to her before agreeing to radiation boost.  Emailed her physician’s assistant last Monday asking for a call last week about this.  Didn’t get one.  Called PA again while at brunch this morning saying “um, running out of time here.”  Got a call from RSurg this afternoon.

Doctor’s really don’t get it with patients, or maybe I’m just that different from most other people.  RSurg told me that yes, this radiation therapy Could create a situation where I may not be able to have implants later if I decide I want them.  She told me something I did not want to hear, but she gave me an unequivocal straight answer when I asked her a direct question, trusting that I can understand it and handle it.

Then she told me what else we Can do about my appearance (using other methods) to get me to, or at least closer to what I (may) want to look like when this is all said and done, or later on in the future (since a history of breast cancer is sort of a get-insurance-to-pay-for-boob-surgery-forever card).

I wish more doctors would understand the “if you want me to listen to you, then you have to really listen to me first, and answer my damn questions” thing.

My RSurg actually made me a little more scared than I was before our talk about the damage this treatment that I need can do to my body, and at the same time reinforced my belief that she’ll be there to work with me to get me over/through/past it, and still be the me I want to be when I do.]

– called ROnc to tell her I would be doing the boost radiation next week
– called Mom to tell her RSurg had finally called me back (PA had passed on my request for a call to RSurg, but had not followed up to make sure the call had been made, and took responsibility for the delay in the call happening – she’s pretty damn awesome actually, so they get a pass on this one)
– waited downstairs for Hubby to get home from work

[Turns out Hubby had this kinda crazy idea – that we go out to dinner.  You see, he got home around 4:30ish (yeah, I know, blue-hair territory, but remember, I’m going to bed at blue-hair time these days, so what the hell, huh?) and figured though we sometimes go out on weekends, it’s usually brunch (okay, if you haven’t figured out I’ve got a serious thing about breakfast food, please stop reading here and don’t come back, you’re too stupid to be here, thank you) and maybe today it could be dinner for a change.

So we could sit for a few minutes for him to shift his thoughts from work to evening, and we could go out, have a mellow sit-down dinner (not necessarily fancy or expensive, just someplace we get dinner on a plate instead of in a paper bag), and be home by like 7pm, plenty of time for me to call the parents, do evening boob-gooping, take my evening pharma-cocktail and still make my blue-hair bedtime…cool!

We ended up at this place we’d never been to in 8 years of living in this valley: Margaritas.  Damn, why’d we wait so long to try this place?!  Just the highlights – very nice Tequila selection for a restaurant in a strip-mall (but that happens a lot in my valley – strip malls and restaurants therein) – custom-made margaritas by bartender/owner (we figured out the bartender had to be the owner about halfway through dinner) – wonderful delicate flavors in Every dish (nothing heavy or overpowering) – someone in the kitchen Really Loves shrimp (they were, and I don’t use this term lightly, seasoned and grilled to perfection).  Plus, I think we were the only people in the place who didn’t know everybody else in the place, but that will change.  We’ll be back, so eventually we’ll know everybody else too.]

– talked to “Dana” (my friend from radiation) on the phone for over an hour!

[It was Really nice to get more than a few minutes with her.  We could share a bit about our particular situations, which we hadn’t actually done at the treatment center – that’s kinda not something you really get into in the few minutes of gooping, or the “you’re finished for the day and now it’s my turn to lay down on the table” passing in the hallway that happens.

I was sad to hear her details (not going to share what they are, they’re not mine to share) – they scare me more than my own details.  All I can do is love her (yes, we just met, we’ve had essentially a couple of hours of actual time together and I love this woman – sometimes in life you meet someone you just click with automagically and instantly – she is one of those people for me and I think she feels the same about me) and keep her company on her journey as she will walk with me on mine, wherever those journeys go.]

– 11:00pm bedtime (I know, not precisely blue-hair territory)

[When we got home from dinner, I had that pleasant slight-food-coma thing going, figuring I’d slide right into a decent bedtime.  But after talking to “Dana,” I was wired.  From excitement about sharing with someone who Really Gets It, worry about her details?  Not sure why, but it took 2 Benadryls tonight (usually only takes 1) to get me to dreamland – that’s gonna make for a rough morning.]

Thursday (Radiation Therapy – Day 27):

7:15am-8:30am Drive from Home to RTher
8:30am-8:50am Wait for RTher

[Yeah, when I’m late, I lose my right to bitch at them about the time, so I was a good girl.]

8:50am-9:00am RTher
9:00am-9:15am Drive from RTher to Work
9:15am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch

[This shorty catches me up on work time this week (not including my Wed off) so I can have an hour lunch tomorrow, what Will I Do with all that time?]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday (Radiation Therapy – Day 28):

7:00am-8:10am Drive from Home to RTher

[With a quick stop at Starbucks for my regular Friday “treat” – wouldn’t have been late if I hadn’t stopped for this, but I’m no longer able to stress every morning about being there perfectly on time.  They take whoever’s there in order of appointment time, and they slot me in when I do arrive – this is Exactly why I took the 8am spot rather than cutting things razor-thin timewise by taking the 8:30 spot.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any Starbucks iTunes Freebies this morning so my work folks are outta luck on that this week.  Again, I can’t stress about that.

Uh-oh, I think that just became Rule #4: I Can’t Stress About That.]

8:15am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:30am Post-RTher Ablutions
8:30am-8:45am Visit with “Georgia”
8:45am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work
9:00am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– put gas in the car
– laid in partial supplies for more cranberry sauce (still need fresh oranges, more nutmeg and I may be low on maple sugar)
– bought more apples for a second batch of applesauce – seriously, my work colleagues can go through near an entire tub with latkes, leaving not nearly enough to be used in other recipes, eaten over yogurt and cottage cheese, etc. – so another tub is in order
– uh, yep, looks like I’ll be cooking again this weekend, hm?

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of November 26-30, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 19]:

7:10am-7:55am Drive from Home to RTher
8:00am-810am RTher
8:15am-9:00am Appointment with ROnc
9:00am-9:30am Waiting for requested med records to be printed
9:30am-9:45am Making additional acupuncture appointments

[Going from only on non-support-group weeks to weekly, for now, at least while I’m still in radiation therapy, and while Mo is in her clinical rotation (before she graduates and the next class comes in).]

9:45am-10:00am Walked over to lab building across the street (Please see “Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again“) to get my lab results that should have been faxed to me last week.  Yep.
10:00am-10:15am Drive from Disney Family Cancer Center to Work

[With a drive through McDonalds

for junk 740 calorie breakfast (eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, biscuit) – really, there’s only so much one can shoehorn into a morning and still get anywhere near a full-day’s work done.]

10:15am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pmpm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
6:00pm-7:00pm Acupuncture
7:00pm-7:55pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 20]:

7:15am-8:00am Drive from Home to RTher
8:00am-8:20am Wait for RTher
8:20am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:35am Slather boob goop/visit with “Dana”

[I had invited “Dana” to join me at Support Group, which is tonight, and then go to breffast tomorrow before going home to rest after we do our crazy crack-of-dawn cancer business, but…

… it seems her blood work yesterday is such that they didn’t do her chemo, and she’s been feeling like something’s going in her body just now, so she’s not really supposed to be around people until her blood counts recover – this all means that her immune system is compromised to a point where she needs to be Extra-Careful ’til things turn back around.

She told me she was disappointed and I am too.  Of course, timing may not have worked out tomorrow anyway with my new CT films, but I hadn’t had a chance to tell her about that.  She said she’d call and I reminded her that we both have the rest of our lives to get to know each other if we want, and we’d keep trying to just find some quiet time for us to hang together some.

Throw up a little prayer for my new friend, if ya feel like it?  Thanks.]

8:35am-9:00am Drive from RTher to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car and buy lottery tickets.  Damn, if there was any time I could go for winning a lottery that would allow me to quit my job, if even just for a while, it’s now!]

9:00am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch

[Seems I’m back to shorties to make up work time missed for medical appts.]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Support Group
7:00pm-8:30pm Support Group
8:30pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group to Home

[Yeah, sorry, you only get two days of this week.  Even with taking Wed off – this week was my first of 4 consecutive Wednesdays off – I’m getting  pretty tired.

It’s weird, the treatment really doesn’t feel like much – you can’t see it, smell it, or taste it – and yet it can lay you low.]

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– wrote check for housecleaner who came the Monday after Thanksgiving instead of her regularly-scheduled day which landed on the day after Thanksgiving last week
– made it working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
– bought lottery tickets for the first time in weeks (months?)

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of November 19-21, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 16]:

7:10am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am Waiting for RTher
8:15am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:40am Waiting for appointment with ROnc
8:40am-9:00am Appointment with ROnc
9:00am-10:00am PTher
10:00am-10:10am Post RTher-ablutions [in other words spreading boob goop]

[Yes, you are reading correctly – I had radiation therapy, a doctor’s visit And physical therapy, All Before going to work. :)]

10:10am-10:25am Drive from RTher to Work
10:30am-1:15pm Work
1:15pm-2:15pm Lunch

[I’m pretty sad about this Hostess thing – not only because I’m tired of upper management in companies being greedy, bankrupting their companies in the first place, And Then blaming it on the workers who put all that stolen money in their pockets!  And Then of course, a world without Twinkies and Ding Dongs would make me sad.  Are they healthy to eat?  No.  Is it okay to eat them once in a while?  Yes, I think it is.  Are they a reminder of my childhood I would be sorry to see disappear from the earth?  Yes again.

It has been said (most likely correctly) that another company will buy up the assets of the company (the brands and their accompanying product recipes – at least where the Hostess brand is concerned), so that these bad-for-you but occasionally good-for-your-nostalgic-soul-and-sweet-tooth cakes may indeed survive their original maker’s demise.  Just in case they Don’t get sold and survive, I was going on a hunt for ’em in my local neighborhood – namely my closest (within 5 miles or so of work) Hostess Outlet.

Long unnecessary story shorter than it could be – I came away with two bags of powdered sugar Donettes, but there were no Twinkies or Ding Dongs to be had at all in the outlet (good thing I have a box of each coming from Amazon – let’s not talk price – we definitely achieved the ‘silly’ level, but Did manage to stop short of ‘crazy,’ ‘ridiculous,’ and my personal favorite ‘batshit insane.’)  I’m low on time and energy in general these days (and interest too – a touch of depression anyone?  Yeah, I’m being treated for that – it’s cool.), but I’m thinking that was a lunch hour well-spent.]

2:15pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
5:50pm-6:05pm Get blood drawn for lab work

[Please see “Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again.”]

6:05pm-7:00pm Acupuncture
7:00pm-7:45pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

[Including a quick drive-through of a pharmacy to drop off the Rx for pain meds I was grudgingly given this morning.]

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 17]:

Hm, I completely did Not (obviously) keep track of this day, and since this is actually being posted Monday November 26, 2012, I’m gonna let this one go…

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 18]:

[Otherwise known as (effectively) Friday this week, with Thursday and Friday off from work.  :)]

7:05am-8:00am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:20am Post-RTher ablutions
8:20am-8:35am Chatting with “Georgia” at the main lobby reception desk at the RTher facility
8:35am-8:45am Driving from RTher to Work
8:45am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-1:30pm Lunch

[On days before holiday weekends, my company intends to close early.  To that end we’re asked to take short lunches.]

1:30pm-3:00pm Work

[Yup, we did close.  Yay!  (You see, I work in a fairly small shop, and the policy is ‘we all go or we all stay,’ so work that has be done by any one of a handful of us can scuttle an early day for all of us.  I’ve been both the scuttler and a victim of someone else’s scuttling in the past – but not today!)]

3:00pm-4:15pm Drive from Work to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– RSVP’d to two Thanksgiving Dinner invitations – one yes and one no
– indulged my returning knitting habit by buying more yarn for the stash (yeah, I know but it’s a thing with us crafters)
– that’s about it – it was a short week, ya know?

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again

So Monday [See “Radiation Treatment Journal – Day 16 – Monday November 19, 2012.”] I talked to my doctor about bruises I don’t remember getting.  While it is unlikely that I would get Thrombocytopenia from radiation therapy alone (without also having or having had, chemotherapy), it is not out of the realm of possibility, plus I’m on two other drugs that contribute to this condition.

So, in order to humor me (which is generally Not okay with me – I do not like to be “managed” as anyone who knows me offline will tell you – but in this case is okay, because a test that tells me there’s nothing wrong will set my mind at ease and allow me to let go of it), she ordered some blood tests.

Of course, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I wanted to get this done and get results before the world all crawls into the Thanksgiving hole this year.

Therefore, I tried to shoehorn getting blood drawn into my day Monday (See “Schedule: Week of November 19-23, 2012” to be published later this week).

[Hm, do I put Thursday and Friday of this week in the week’s schedule or the weekend’s schedule?  Dunno yet.]

In order to try to be less of a bull in a china shop, while at work I called the lab in the building across the compound (for lack of a better word right now) from the Disney Family Cancer Center to make an appointment.  No, they don’t take appointments.  And of course, the time just after work is busy because everybody Else who works and needs labs done wants to come when I do – between leaving work at 5:30pm and having my acupuncture at 6:00pm (or in their case whatever else they have planned for after work).

I will admit at this juncture, that my tolerance for other people’s scheduling issues is realistically, well, nil.  If you’ve been reading my schedule posts, that might make more sense to you, because when I say I don’t have time for this shit, I Literally Do Not Have Time for this shit.  In fact, I think I’ll make a new Rule for this – Rule #3: I Do Not Have Time For This Shit.  You may still think my looking at things that way is not fair or not okay.  And I’m not saying it is right or fair of me to think that way.  I am, however, accepting of the fact that at this point in my life, it is my reality.

So, no appointment made (because they don’t do such a thing there), I walk into the lab lobby to find it completely empty!  Seriously, this holiday light stuff is finally working for me!  I signed in and headed down the hall to the actual lab as directed by a receptionist in that office’s lobby.

And I walk in, admittedly, like a bull in a china shop – because I needed my vein tapped, taped and me across the way in 10 minutes to make my acupuncture appointment on time.

Okay, so I was there 12 minutes instead of 10.  In that time Nick (dude, you rock!) managed to take my bad attitude and turn it around so that I was smiling and thanking (them both) on the way out.  For you being able to do that alone, thank you.  Yes, you talk the talk “[his] job is to help patients, not to be an additional burden to them,” and you walk that walk, seriously.  🙂

And then there’s Prudencia.  I’m here to tell you, if you ever need to get blood drawn for labs anywhere close enough to Burbank that it makes sense to go to 201 S. Buena Vista, Suite 125, Burbank, CA – make the trip and ask for Prudencia.  This woman took hold of the butterfly dealie they use, I felt one tiny stick, looked down to see no blood in the micro tube connecting the needle to the catch-tube-container (yeah, not very medically precise, but you know what I’m getting at, and if not, check out the pic at the top of this post), and watched her connect a tube at the collecting end and it sucked my blood right down there with no further pain at all!  Two tubes later, she removes the needle, covers the microhole she made with a gauze pad, attaches the red self-adherent gauze I provided to her (See “I’ll Take Red Please“), and I was on my way to acupuncture.  Since then I’ve had no pain there at all, and the next morning I had a tiny little red mark beside what may be a tiny little bruise – about the size of a pea or so.  Today, no bruise at all.

I mean on the one hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, so what if one needle stick turns out to be an (Capital-E) Event?  That would pale beside some of the other things I’m getting to experience (yup, that was my tongue in my cheek, you aren’t wrong).

On the other hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, does a simple blood draw need to be an (Capital-E) Event?  Because really, with all that other stuff do I need something More to be bigger than it has to be?

Thanks to two great people, last night mine Wasn’t.  🙂

I thanked you guys Monday night before I left, but if you ever land on this page, thanks again for helping me shoehorn that into my schedule and even though I came in the door snarling, for sending me back out of it smiling.

And yes, I now believe this cancer journey is maybe making me just the tiniest bit crazy – I just wrote almost a thousand words about getting my blood drawn <facepalm>.

Well, if you’re still here, Happy Thanksgiving to all – please be present with thankfulness about something in your life (even if what your thankful for doesn’t make any sense to anybody else), and tongues explicitly permitted in cheeks during this exercise.

Schedule: Week of November 12-16, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 11]:

7:00am-8:00am Drive from Home to RTher

[With 1 stop @ Starbucks because it’s Veteran’s Day (which I don’t get off from work), so traffic is holiday-light, so I got nearly to RTher by 7:40am and stopped to get myself a treat (yeah, I know, quit counting, k?) on the way for no other reason than I had time.]

8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:30am Appointment with ROnc
8:30am-9:05am PTher
9:10am-9:25am Drive from PTher to Work
9:30am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:30pm Lunch
2:30pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:35pm Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 12]:

7:08am-8:15am Drive from Home to RTher
8:25am-8:35am RTher
8:40am-9:05am Post-RTher ablutions

[Walked back into the female changing room after RTher and found one of the private rooms open, with my new friend “Dana” doing her post-RTher ablutions, so I slipped into the room with her (so we could share the mirror) and proceeded to chat and do our stuff together – sharing with each other what we’re each using and having a lovely time actually.  As wonderful as my entire support system is (And They Are!), there is something incredibly freeing and relaxing about being around someone (even if, to other people, they would seem a stranger) who is going through what you are – there is an instant intimacy and community like no other.  So we slathered boob goop on ourselves and chatted, I shared this blog and my contact details with her.  She said she’d read my blog and gimme a call to give me her contact info.  I hope she does – I had to get to work and she had to get upstairs for something so we couldn’t talk for but a few minutes – but I really like her.  So “Dana,” if you’re reading this like you said you were gonna, gimme a call.  :)]

9:10am-9:25am Drive from RTher to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car]

9:30am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:45pm Lunch

[No good deed goes unpunished.  I had 3 sweaters I had bought and after getting them home decided they didn’t fit well enough to keep.  Every year my company finds a family who doesn’t have all of what they need and helps them out.  One of the things this year’s family asked for was food.  I figured I’d take the sweaters back and use that money to buy food for this year’s family.  I can do that in an hour, right?  Wrong.

So after daring to take a few minutes this morning to talk to someone who, more than almost anybody else in My world right now, knows Exactly what I’m going through, I’m all of a sudden (with yesterday’s PTher) an hour down on work time this week.  And now after doing my good deed (despite giving myself an out not to do Anything for Anyone this year – oh, and I’m sticking by that for my own family – won’t they be surprised?), I’m an hour and 15 minutes down on work time.

So much for a foot massage Friday at lunch, eh?]

2:45pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Support Group
7:00-8:35pm Support Group
8:35pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group to Home

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 13]:

7:05am-8:20am Drive from Home to RTher
8:30am-8:45am Drive from RTher to Work

[Wait, aren’t we missing an entry in there?  Yes, yes we are.  As it turns out the entire computer system for the hospital, and by extension, the Cancer Center went down at 4:30am this morning.  It still wasn’t up when I walked in for RTher this morning, and of course since the medical records are all electronic, they couldn’t even call me to save me driving an hour an 15 minutes for nothing.

And if the system comes up, it takes at least 45 minutes for the machine to warm up, Then they have to go through their daily calibration (or whatever they call it), so who knows if I’m getting my treatment today or not.  So I was originally going to have my last treatment on December 12th, but since my facility is closed on Thanksgiving and the day after, we’re now taking two days on the end of my treatment.  And if I don’t get treatment today, then we’ll add this day onto the end of my treatment.  And then if I (yes, I, not my doctors, it’s not there body – I’m going to get two of their opinions and then make the decision myself) decide not to have the Boost at the end, then that adds another 7 treatments or so on the end, so I’ll be lucky to be done with this by Christmas.

And I have no idea when they’ll be able to treat me today, which means as much energy as I’ve put into making this as easy on my employer as possible, I now have to tell them I need to wait by the phone and bail on them immediately if it rings.  They’ll understand, but it pisses me off.  I simply Do Not have time in my day for it to get rearranged like this.  Please see Rule #3.

Happy Hump Day!]

 8:45am-1:00pm Work

[Got a call at 9:15am from one of my guys.  Apparently the machine is back up and he wants to know if I want to come in for my treatment today.  I ask him when.  He says he has 1:15pm, 1:30pm . . . I take the 1:15 spot, since that actually does Not need an announcement at work – I’ll just take my usual lunch hour and use it to go get treatment instead of…

…what I was going to do was make a deposit to my HSA account to get the tax breaks of maxing out my HSA deposit for this year and be able to pay some of the medical providers who’ve been sending me bills.  But now that will have to wait for another day.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, I know.  My life feels so full right now, tho, that getting rearranged is more of a big deal than it might be for, well, you.

And I’m doing things on my lunch hour sort of because I am so tired these days, in that A) there’s no way I’m doing it on the way home, I’m completely done by the end of my work day,  so this way Some of it gets done, and B) I’m afraid that if I stopped and rested at lunch I may not get going again for the afternoon, so this way I have something to keep me going while I plow through my day in one fell swoop, as they say.]

1:00pm-1:20pm Drive from Work to RTher
1:20pm-1:30pm RTher
1:30pm-1:35pm Post-RTher ablutions
1:35pm-1:45pm Drive from RTher to Work
1:45pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Thursday [Radiation Therapy – Day 14]:

7:05am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:20am Post-RTher ablutions
8:20am-8:30am Drive from RTher to Work
8:30am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch

[Doing today what I wanted to do yesterday at lunch – depositing some money into a couple of accounts so bills can be paid – and they can leave me the hell alone already!  :)]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday [Radiation Therapy – Day 15]:

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– took a hat I had knitted for myself and gave it to one of the supervisors at my office to send to her sister, who has finished chemo and radiation, but whose home got slammed in Sandy – at least last week she was wearing a hat (‘cuz her hair hasn’t grown back yet from chemo), under multiple blankets and eating chips for dinner ‘cuz she had no power or heat – ‘cuz I do have hair, power and heat at home, and the means to cook a hot dinner.
– managed Not to run out of gas in the car (it was a pretty close call one day)
– emailed with my cousin on whether I will or will not be coming to her Thanksgiving shindig next week.  It makes me sad that I had to decline, but with Hubby maybe having to work over TG weekend (yeah, crappy, but oh well), and me literally not knowing how I’m going to feel day-to-day right now, since she needs to know for sure by Tuesday noon to plan her party, I had to decline as I honestly can’t guarantee knowing by then if either Hubby or me will be able to/up to doing Thursday.  So Hubby and me are on our own for Turkey Day, but it’s not the first time (prolly won’t be the last) and we’re okay with that.  We’ll either find somewhere else to go, do our own little thing just the two of us, or just hang out together and have peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

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