Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tonight we're going to a Hallowe'en event at the Orpheum Theatre. They're preventing Nosferatu (the original Dracula movie filmed in the 1921 in Germany --- a legendary film) accompanied by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra! I think it will be great and kind of scary. Doesn't Max Schrek make a very scary Count Orlock (aka Dracula)?
Hannah and some of her friends are going, too. A perfect way to spend Hallowe'en, though I will miss handing out treats in our neighbourhood and seeing all the little ones in their costumes. Next year. Get ready, Laurel, for the onslaught! Erin can prep you. At our place, just around the corner, we're lucky if we get 40 kids!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I had bloodwork done early this morning, I came home and packed and, for the last hour, I've been on the couch with my feet elevated. My ankles are wider than the widest part of my foot and my feet hurt from the pressure. They're a little better after elevating my feet. I'm taking the lasix but I'm not seeing any difference. Hopefully it will kick in. Hopefully. Man, oh man, I wish they would go back to normal.
Regardless, I'm going. Today! I hope to update while I'm away, since I'll probably have to spend a certain amount of time there laying around with my feet in the air.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I'm to continue taking my pulse regularly and weigh myself every day. I should be able to accommodate that while I'm in Vancouver. My doctor said I should be fine to go. He would have recommended against travel if I were going out of the country, but Vancouver should be okay. YEAH!!
I'm relieved to be at this point, at least, today.
What I feel badly about is missing my lunch date with Lou. I totally forgot. I think I was a little caught up in my alarm over these recent health issues and the fear that they might interfere with my leaving tomorrow. SO SORRY, LOU, to have stood you up!!
Within an hour of being out of bed this morning, my ankles have already gained weight! I took my last lasix pill half an hour ago. Very discouraging. My heart rate was 128 before I went to bed last night and at 4:30 this morning it was 104. After leaving a message for my oncologist this morning, I got a call back telling me to see my family doctor, even though this must all be related to my cancer treatment. I now have a call in to my family doctor who is completely booked today. I think he'll call me and fit me in somewhere but it's a waiting game and, even then, I'm not sure what they'll do. I feel very out of touch with this heart-rate problem in that nobody has told me WHY it's elevated or what it means or how much I should or should not be concerned. Same with the edema. My oncologist wasn't going to give me medication for it. He said it would go away on it's own now but even with parking myself and elevating my legs and taking lasix, it persists. I'm getting a little anxious. Correct that. I AM a little anxious.
I had a nice visit with Nora when she stopped by yesterday! Thanks for the lotion, Nora. Still laughing at "kipper tits"! Carol and Alyssa popped in, too. It was nice to have company to pass the time before Kevin came home at 6:00.
Post note: Hannah, upon hearing this challenge, said, "My achievements don't manifest themselves materially". Perfect way to put it, my dear.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
All you have to do is ask the radiologist or your doctor what the mammogram indicates about your breast density. You can even ask to look at the images. It's probably good to know your level of risk.
Mine were categorized as "very dense". But I didn't learn this until after I was diagnosed. If I had known this earlier and the connection between breast density and breast cancer, I most certainly would have pushed my Doctor to send me for a mammogram when I first found my lump.
Here's a link with visuals to information about breast density. And this article explains my question about what it is about breast density that is associated with the actual risk.
Small or large breasts can be dense. I'm told you can't tell by feel or sight how dense they are, though I've seen many accounts of dense breasts being more solid and "perkier", which makes sense and is my experience.
Also worth noting, if you do have dense breasts, the new digital imaging mammograms are the way to go. The older technology is not as good at finding lumps in women with dense breasts because breast density shows up as white and lumps also show up as white in the radiograms. I see that the screening centre in Saskatoon just announced that they now have digital equipment. Good to know.
Observation No. 1
I have toe knuckle hairs. Just on my big toes and I have always shaved them off when I shave my legs. Before I had chemo, I mean. I haven't had a hair on my legs since I lost my hair during that first chemo treatment. I even lost the hair on my toe knuckles. But, interesting to note (to me anyway), is that my toe knuckle hairs have grown back while I've been on taxotere (the chemo drug for my last 3 of 6 chemo treatments). Hair didn't grow back anywhere else. Legs and arms are still completely bare, so I wonder if it didn't grow back on my toes because of wearing the ice boots? Since I don't have hairy hand knuckles (honest, I don't), I can't say if the ice gloves would have had a similar effect.
I'm going to assume that confessing to toe knuckle hair is no big deal. I'm going to assume that many other people have toe knuckle hair but that's it's just something we don't typically talk about. Right? Don't worry, I'm not asking you to fess up. I'm confident that I'm right about this. No need to out yourself, too.
The hair on my head IS starting to grow back, by the way. Fine little ones that stand up when I run a washcloth over my head. I think some are long enough that they're starting to curl a little ... just curving a little at the tip. Some might be about 3/4 of an inch long ... some dark, some light. How exciting! I'm a little nervous, though, because there's a patch at the front of my head, right in the middle, where nothing has started to grow yet. Not good but I'm not alarmed ... yet. I haven't dared to look at the back of my head. Generally, I still find looking at my baldness upsetting ... especially if I linger.
Observation No. 2
First a confession, which holds some relevance in terms of timing, though not as personal as confessing to toe knuckle hair. Yesterday, I stayed in my pajamas ALL day. I did NOT have a bath. The closest I got to the sink was hand washing and teeth brushing. That means I don't know if the following happened only today or whether it was yesterday.
This morning I gave myself the spa bath treatment. It felt great! When I was toweling off, I noticed with some surprise that my right breast was suddenly slumping! Two days ago it wasn't like that. I would have noticed because it wasn't something gradual. The slump is rather dramatic compared to what it looked like previously. Not only has it slumped, but now it's all squishy and soft instead of solid and firm. A very marked change.
It raises some questions for which I have no answers. Curiosities more than anything.
Once I learned that my tumour was estrogen fed and that it had low levels of progesterone, I learned about "estrogen dominance". My understanding (and I'm no clinical researcher or doctor so don't quote me on my understanding) is that estrogen dominance can cause or contribute to breast density. I confess to having been rather proud that while at 50 years old, my breasts, which had grown considerably since my early 40's, hadn't drooped. They sat quite high and round on my chest. I had never had cleavage in my life until my mid-40's and that they were "perky" was a bonus. I could still go bra-less and not look silly.
In my research I read that women who have perky breasts in their 40's and beyond should be aware that this could be a sign of high breast density and that, after age, high breast density is the 2nd leading risk factor for breast cancer. That was news to me. Both "breast density" and it being a "risk factor" were news. And, in fact, my surgeon told me that my breasts were very dense. Now, I can't say for sure WHY breast density is a risk factor. Is it because it signals estrogen dominance (estrogen not being balanced by progesterone and/or other hormones and with estrogen fed breast tumours being, by far, the most common) or is it because it's harder to detect lumps in dense breasts? I'm not sure. Maybe it's both.
Now, back to my suddenly droopy boob. Why is it suddenly so droopy? I've only been taking Arimidex (the estrogen blocking drug I take for the next 5 years) for 3 days. Could that have already blocked enough estrogen to make my breast slump? I just find it very curious! If anyone knows anything about this, I'd be most interested to know. I haven't done any thorough research on the topic but I will do a little digging.
Oh, and if you're wondering why it's just the right knacker I'm talking about, it's because what's left of my mutilated left breast is already smaller and has it's own directional course due to the incision, scar tissue and such. It's not much of a gauge.
This really is more information that I would normally share but these are things I don't understand and they're actually happening. It seems to me there should be reasons.
Sorry if I've scarred you for life. Join the club!
Note: I just did a quick Google search ("breast density" droop) and found this article, Drop in breast density means tamoxifen is working (Dec 12, 2008). Some quotes from the article:
In women at high risk for developing breast cancer who take tamoxifen to help prevent the disease, a reduction in breast density as seen on mammography is a strong indicator that the drug is working ...That sounds like very positive news about my now droopy boob. But could that really happen within three days of taking an estrogen blocker? That sounds a little unlikely, don't you think? The study used a timeline of between 12 and 18 months. But how else to account for my droop?
"Our findings suggest that the impact of tamoxifen on risk reduction is predictable by the changes it induces in breast density after 12 to 18 months of treatment ..."
"The women who had a 10 percent or more reduction in breast density -- and that was a substantial number, over 40 percent -- they had almost a two-thirds reduction in breast cancer."
Lynne came over in the evening for a visit, which was wonderful. She brought a quinoa (keen-wah) breakfast dish for me try. I had some this morning and it was really very good. Not at all like oatmeal but good. There's fruit in it. I added a little brown sugar and milk. She couldn't have known that I've been looking at "grains" recipes and have been interested in trying some of the other grains that are less familiar to us, including quinoa. Grains and legumes. They're tops on my list of things to try adding to our diet.
Even though I spent so much time with me feet raised yesterday, the swelling in my feet and legs still increased during the day and was quite uncomfortable by the time I went to bed at midnight. That's a little disconcerting considering I only have 2 lasix pills left and I'm going (I AM going) to Vancouver on Tuesday. And then, to top things off, my numbness increased yesterday. Instead of just my fingertips being numb, they're now numb right down to the top most knuckle and right through to my nails. In fact, my middle nail on my left hand is actually tender. Same with a left toe nail ... the one beside my littlest toe. YIKES!! Even my back feels numb. I notice it when I put my shirt on or if I pull my shoulders back. It just feels very strange. I had thought these side effects would me minimizing by now instead of MAXIMIZING! What's with that?!
This morning my edema is down from what it was last night but I still have elephant ankles. Downer. I hope it doesn't behave like yesterday and continue to get worse. I took my lasix pill. DO something already, lasix pill!!
Sylvia took my pulse again in the evening and it was up to 106. Doesn't it seem that perhaps it's moving up and down with the edema? Hmmmm ... By the way, she also had a difficult time finding my pulse last night. She would find it every now and then and then it would disappear. Next time she's going to bring a stethoscope. She tells me I'm NOT stupido for not being able to find my own pulse. Isn't she kind?!
I'm not at all happy about feeling this way now, especially when I'm leaving for a vacation from cancer on Tuesday. Now it looks like cancer will be joining us. It wasn't invited. Then again, it never is. Cancer isn't for everyone, you know.
Click on the photo to see a bigger version of it.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I meant to take my pulse this morning and THEN phone Sylvia with an update. I wanted to phone her asap so she wouldn't worry about me because she knew I was feeling lousy last night and was alone at home, but I gave up and phoned her anyway. She just arrived here in her guise as Nurse Cratchet and she took my pulse. It did take her a while to find it, too, and, perhaps to make me feel less stupido, she told me I have a tricky one to nail down.
The happy news is that my pulse is down to 96! Under 100 is what I've been aiming for. Hopefully it will drop even more.
Doesn't it seem that there is a direct correlation between my heart rate and this edema? It seems that way to me and to Sylvia. I'm surprised, then, that my oncologist and nurse immediately dismissed the edema as a cause.
My ankles are now starting to swell a bit so I'm going to elevate them right away and try to keep things in check. I'll look for a movie to watch since I don't feel like sleeping and because I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!
Part of the problem, I know, was my own stupidity! At about 4:30, while talking on the phone, I noticed that there were 4 pills in the lasix bottle when there should only be 3. After initial disbelief, I mentally retraced my steps and determined that I did NOT, in fact, take my lasix pill!! ARGH!! It is almost identical to the Arimidex pill I just started taking, so perhaps I confused it. No wonder my feet and legs kept getting bigger and bigger during the day!! What an idiot I am! So I took my lasix pill at 4:30, parked on the sofa with my feet raised and slept for a couple of hours.
There was not much difference to show for it when I went to bed but this morning ... BIG difference! My ankles are not back to normal yet but they're much better. And I did take a lasix pill this morning. I lost 5 full pounds during the night! No wonder I feel better this morning! This is the emptiest my stomach has felt in 2 weeks! It's such a strange feeling to not be bloated and yet I think I still am ... a little bit.
The photo is of the rose given to me by the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency for participating in the C95 Marathon. So pretty!
Friday, October 23, 2009
I had a CT Scan this afternoon and got "marked up" for radiation. They have to give me two little freckle-sized tattoos so that they'll be able to line me up for radiation in precisely the same position each time.
On Tuesday, November 3, I get my mole removed and after the stitches are out (approximately 1 week later), I'll start radiation. Every day for 5 or 6 weeks. I was initially told 7 weeks. I was later told 6 and, last I heard, it might even be 5. If I wait a little longer, maybe I'll only need 1! No matter what, I WILL be done by Christmas. Woohoo!!
Mostly I feel tired and dragged out today. I've decided not to go to Regina this weekend. Best, under the circumstances, to stay home and focus on feeling better for Tuesday's departure for Vancouver.
My heart rate is still higher than it should be. As instructed, I phoned the Champion Centre to let them know that it's still high but my oncologist wasn't there today and neither was my oncological nurse. So, I spoke with another nurse and her feeling is that "it's not their problem", though that isn't what she said, of course. She suggested I should call my family doctor but, if that's what was intended, why would I have been told to call them if my heart rate doesn't come down to normal? It was this nurses feeling that it couldn't have anything to do with the chemo but heart issues are one of the main side effects of chemo and, in fact, they make sure you have a MUGA heart test prior to chemo to make sure your heart can stand up to treatment. As it stands, I'm to monitor my heart rate over the weekend and wait to hear from my oncologist on Monday unless things get worse and then I should go to Emergency. Both my oncologist and naturopath agree that the edema isn't likely to have caused the elevated heart rate and my naturopath believes it's directly related to the chemo. Wait and see, I guess.
Having an elevated heart rate, anemia, and edema probably all explain why I'm feeling generally crappy. I feel so tired and drained. I can't walk very far without feeling winded and my legs feel very heavy. I generally feel kind of lightheaded (and have felt this way for a couple of weeks) and "on the verge" of dizziness. When I move my eyes to look at something it's as if my vision takes a few moments to catch up with my eyes. It's not just focus, it's a strange visual delay.
So, tonight I'll kick back and take it easy. Watch tv and get some sleep.
On the positive front ... and quite literally "on the front" ... my chest is normal skin coloured for the first time in 5 months!! Even when my face and neck haven't been red, my chest always is and suddenly it's not! Up until today, it's looked like I've had a nasty sun burn on my chest! It's a little sign of leaving chemo in the dust. Even little signs are uplifting.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The descriptions of Toronto in the early 1900's brought to mind Mark Helprin's book, A Winter's Tale, which I read at the beach one summer when Hannah was a toddler and it's a one of my favourite books. I was enchanted by it.
Fibre intake goal:
Males 19-50 - 38 grams per day
Males 50+ - 30 grams per day
Females 19-50 - 25 grams per day
Females 50+ - 21 grams per day
Here is a link to a list of fibre rich foods and the fibre counts and serving sizes for each. I'm going to print this list and tack it up on the inside of a cupboard door for easy reference.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tomorrow we're to talk about Tamoxifen, the estrogen-blocker I'm to take for the next 5 years ... one pill a day. My tumour, like most breast cancers, was estrogen fed so the idea behind Tamoxifen is that it will reduce the chance of a recurrence by blocking estrogen. My research, though, is recommending that aromatase inhibitors are, perhaps, better than Tamoxifen so I have some questions about them. They also counter estrogen but in a different way and they supposedly have fewer side effects. The catch is that the aromatase inhibitors are only good for post-menopausal women and that's where I'm confused because I think I'm in that grey area where I'm not sure if I'm pre or post. Would someone just tell me already! I also wonder if the aromatase inhibitors haven't been previously mentioned because, perhaps, they're not covered by Sask Health. I'm not sure about that but I wonder. The aromatase inhibitors are considerably more expensive than Tamoxifen but if they have better results and fewer side effects and are appropriate for my stage of life, I definitely want to know about them.
This distrust of the medical system is warranted. If something isn't in our protocols here, they typically aren't even mentioned even if you might benefit from them. When I read about women from other countries and their breast cancer treatments, they often mention PET scans as standard testing. I asked my surgeon about PET scans and he said they're not part of our protocol here, though he thinks they are the way to go "in the future" ... and I'm sure they're not now part of our protocols simply because we don't have a PET scan in Saskatchewan and because to get one out of province is very expensive. The thing is "the future" is now in other places. Why shouldn't the future be NOW for Saskatchewan patients, too? The only reason I knew about PET scans was because I had to research them for a legal file a few years ago. Not a single medical profession has mentioned PET scans to me.
From PetScan Vancouver ...Positron Emission Tomography or PET is the most advanced medical diagnostic imaging technology available today for the early and accurate detection of cancer and its recurrence.
A whole-body PET scan provides information about the body’s chemistry and cell function (metabolism) rather than pictures of the body’s anatomy or structure as shown by X-ray, ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI. As a result, PET scans may reveal abnormalities or tumours that would otherwise go undetected. In more situations than with any other imaging modality, a PET scan is key to the early detection and accurate treatment of cancer.
- Detects tumours early and accurately.
- Assesses tumour aggressiveness and monitors success of therapy.
- Determines whether a suspicious site is benign or malignant.
- Scans the whole body for detecting spread of cancer (metastasis).
What I find annoying is that there are drugs and tests out there that might really be to your benefit but you're not even told they exist. I find that disconcerting. It really means you have to do your own research, ask questions, and sometimes really push, trust your gut, and even pursue things independently. You essentially become your own doctor without the training. Something's wrong with that.
Anyway, tomorrow ... oncologist and bloodwork. I hope he gives me something for this edema. It's worse today. Just call me elephant ankles!
Leslie's suggestion echoes what I've been reading elsewhere ... that Vitamin D is the BEST defense against H1N1 and other flues as well. The rational makes sense even though I don't know that it's the only answer. Why is winter our "cold and flu season"? Could it be because it's when we are the least exposed to sunshine (which is our main source of Vitamin D)? Hmmmm ... Even if the link to Vitamin D and H1N1 resistance isn't confirmed (and it isn't without controversy), it certainly can't hurt to make sure you're covered in the Vitamin D department.
Not to mention that recent studies have found that women with higher levels of Vitamin D were significantly less likely to get breast cancer! They are now testing to see if Vitamin D might be an effective defense against other cancers. There are already correlations between low Vitamin D and heart disease, MS, and many other diseases.
I'm going with Vitamin D and I was happy to hear from a nutritionist how important it is that we get enough of it.
Follow the link the the CBC News story about Vitamin D (Feb 2009).
Read this article about Vitamin D and H1N1, specifically.
As an interesting aside, I see that one of the leading researchers of the H1N1 strain (and with previous flues) and a proponent of world-wide vaccination has had his motivations questioned in the journal, Science. There is some suspicion that he might be fueling the H1N1 pandemic fears because of his own corporate interests in the vaccine. While speculation might not be surprise under the circumstances and rumours might be expected (though nothing has been confirmed), to have it actually published in such a respected journal gives one pause. Note that there is no significant corporate interest in Vitamin D.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I'll try to improve my odds of preventing a cancer recurrence by making some lifestyle changes and I'm hoping my naturopathic doctor will be able to make several recommendations in that regard.
Do you like the way the hydrangeas have dried on the stem and turned a burnished bronze colour? We've cut them and have them in the house ready for arranging. Patio taught me that.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I loved the writing and enjoyed all of the book except I completely disliked the ending. Think Hamlet. I won't elaborate in case you choose to read the book. I will say that what I liked most about the book and in a big way was the writing itself. I wish I'd bookmarked some of the sentences I most loved.
- Leafy Greens - 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked per day
- Cruciferous vegetables - 3-5 servings per week (serving = 1/2 cup)
- Processed Tomatoes - 5 servings per week (serving = 1/2 cup tomato juice or 2 Tbsp tomato sauce)
- Berries - 1-2 servings per day (serving= 1/2 cup)
- Citrus Fruit - 1 serving per day (serving = med orange, 1/2 grapefruit, 1/2 cup juice, though whole food better than juice - don't forget to use zest at every opportunity)
- Whole Grains - 3 servings per day (1/2 cup steel cut oatmeal, 1 slice bread, 1/3 cup brown rice or quinoa)
- Fibre - 21 grams per day (for my gender and age), including soluble and insoluble fibre.
- Flaxseed - 1 - 2 Tbsp ground flax seed per day
- Legumes - 3-4 servings per week (serving = 3/4 cup)
- Soybeans and Soy Foods - 3-4 servings per week (serving = 3/4 cooked). Exception is AVOID SOY FOODS IF USING TAMOXIFEN, which means no soy for me.
- Garlic - 2 cloves per day (raw is best - can substitute some servings with anything from the onion family).
- Green Tea - 2-5 servings per day. Loose leaf tea better than tea bags. It can improve survival and prognosis for breast cancer survivors.
- Maintain a healthy bodyweight and BMI.
- Physical Activity - minimum 30 minutes per day - ideally an hour. Brisk walking is just fine.
- Eat a Plant-Based Diet - Eat a combined 7 servings per day of fruits and vegetables. Steaming vegetables is better than microwaving or boiling. Lightly cooked or raw vegetables are best, for the most part.
- Limit red meat to no more than 18 oz per week and avoid processed meats. The nitrates in processed meats are carcinogenic.
- Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women, IF AT ALL.
- Reduce sodium to less than 23 mg per day, ideally around 1300 mg for my gender and age.
- Adults over 50 should take a B12 supplement, which you should be able to get as part of your daily vitamin.
- Take a multivitamin daily, just make sure it includes .4 mg of folic acid.
- Vitamin D - VERY IMPORTANT to be taking at least 1000 IU supplement per day. Ask your Doctor to check your Vitamin D level because you might need more than 1000 IU to bring your levels up to optimum.
- Calcium - supplement if you're not getting enough calcium for your age and most people aren't.
- Fish Oil - if you're not eating enough fish, take a fish oil supplement, approx 500 mg per day. It's important in prevention of heart disease.
Following an old video I have, I put together an upper body strength training workout for myself and I went through it for the first time today. I'm definitely wimpy. No push ups for me until after I make a little progress first. It's a start.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The plumbing issues have been resolved. No drama. No drama is good in the personal plumbing department.
My feet and fingers are still numb but that's not painful and only requires a wee bit of caution. There are no knives in the sink when I wash dishes, for example.
The redness on my chest, neck and face is there but is not uncomfortable or severe, like last time.
I had a good, long sleep last night. Ten hours, think.
I believe I'm on the train that is now leaving the chemo station. Next stop ... surgical ward.
Surgery is where my head is at now. Surgery and helping my body recover as quickly as possible.
Here's my view of the surgical scenario:
After my last surgery (a sentinel node lumpectomy), where my surgeon removed the lump (3 cm - size of elongated golf ball) and two lymph nodes, the pathology report indicated that the margins were clear but very close in one area and there were micrometastasis in both nodes.
After that, my surgeon met with a team of specialists that he regularly meets with where they discuss cases and decide as a group what the best recommendations are for future care. In my case, the majority of the group felt that my margins were not clear enough and that I should have additional surgery to remove more tissue and more (all, I think) lymph nodes on my left side. As I understand it, not all of the group felt that additional surgery was necessary.
And that's where I'm at now until we meet with my surgeon on Monday. As the day grows closer, I am more and more considering that "no additional surgery" might be an option. Of course, if my surgeon recommends surgery, that's what I'll do, though the extent of that surgery is yet to be determined. I think there might be a chance my surgeon might support the "no surgery" option. It will all be a matter of weighing risks where there are no guarantees and little else but statistics to base a decision on. What are the odds that the chemotherapy took care of the micrometastasis? Can we expect that the other nodes are clear now? Is there a chance that some cancer cells are still in my breast tissue because of the margin having been so close? What are the odds of the chemotherapy having zapped those? Would radiation take care of anything the chemotherapy missed? ARGHHH!! Questions. Questions. And mostly questions with no solid answers.
I expect a very difficult decision and I really hope my surgeon is willing to provide some authoritative as well as personal guidance.
This is where my head is at today.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Canadian Cancer Society and the Women's Mid-Life Health Centre of Saskatchewan have teamed up "to bring Beck's nutrition and cancer presentation to Saskatchewan".
Beck says, "... more studies are linking diet and food to cancer prevention".
"Research shows that 30 t0 35 per cent of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight. Small changes in your diet can make a difference", sayd Donna Ziegler of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Leslie Beck / Foods That Help Fight Cancer
Elim Tabernacle / 3718 8th Street East at 7:00 p.m.
Admission is free.
Luke didn't end up with a turkey dinner after all, but despite having to write a mid-term on Sunday (huh??), he's had a fun weekend cutting loose with friends. Hannah got together with friends and they cooked the full meal deal one night. She made a pumpkin pie from scratch and I mean from scratch. Well, she didn't grind grain for flour, but she did roast an actual pumpkin. And then she wrote an essay.
Monday, October 12, 2009
My hairless head is a curiosity to me. I now understand why I was never good at balancing a book on it, which is something Mom had all of us kids do from time to time in order to encourage good posture. We'd balance books on our heads and then, under Mom's direction, walk with our toes properly following the kitchen linoleum seams to prevent our becoming pigeon-toed or duck-footed. I don't know if any of that worked. We are what we are. Anyway, no wonder I couldn't balance a book on my head. A cushion of hair was my only saving grace in that department.
Today, after my long, reclining soak in the tub, I tried balancing things on my head ... a talcum container, a body butter container ... with no hair, there's not even a hope. I have a starfish that sits very nicely on top, though.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
It's been nice having Kevin home for a long weekend and as frustrating as it might be for him to be thwarted by weather from doing a big yard clean up, I'm just as glad for him (and me) that he's been able to kick back with me for a bit. Kevin, being the more restless one, makes sure we get out of the house even if only for a drive. Today we went to Lawson Heights Mall to pick up fish food and a few groceries while we were there. Then we stopped by Rex and Erin's for a halooo before going to Jim and Lynne's for a wonderful roast beef dinner. Note to self: eat more beets. Lynne's garden beets were delicious! Well, everything was delicious!
Today I feel more side effects creeping up. My face, neck and chest are more and more red, though I'm not feeling much of the heat yet. My fingers and toes are more numb ... and not just numb ... tingling and the ends of my big toes hurt just a little bit. Tonight as well I can feel the "tissue tenders" starting. My skin is a bit tender to touch all over. It started with my cheek bones and jaw, but it's now my chest, back, arms ... pretty much tender everywhere. I don't feel miserable but I'm guessing that this is the start of what will be something worse. Whatever. At least there will be no returning to this kind of thing.
Luke did the Run For The Cure yesterday with his lacrosse team. He was blown away by the number of people there and he said it was a good time. I told him that I was sorry he wouldn't be getting a turkey dinner there in Kentucky but he told me that some girls were thinking of making a bunch of the Canadian boys a real Canadian Thanksgiving dinner! Nice girls! Of course, I like to think that our boys are a little more "new age" and might tackle such a meal themselves ... had they a kitchen.