It is more important to know where you are going, than how long it takes to get there.

Friday, December 24, 2010


For ten months my mind was a dust storm generated by thoughts of diagnosis, searching for the right care, surgeries, recovery, treatments, side effects, and worries about my family. The dust is beginning to settle, giving making way for my mind to wonder... Surprising to me, I think about cancer several times a day. Every now and then I get a twinge of fright with a "what if" thought for the future. Previously, I was focused on ridding cancer from my body, but not necessarily on the cancer. I get angry with myself for having these dumb, unproductive thoughts. Several doctors warned me that I might experience this type of thinking.

Last night I met a beautiful woman in her 80's that had breast cancer and treatments in 1968-42 years ago! Her demeanor sparkled! She said that she saw me in church and wondered how I was doing. I asked about her treatments, and when she told me about her chemotherapy, it sounded like a very rough road. Chemotherapy must be very different today than it was 42 years ago. Talking with this lovely lady gave me a reprieve from my unnecessary thoughts.

I am looking forward to a happy and healthy 2011. (I like odd numbers.) It begins with a day surgery on January 3rd to have my port removed, and then it will be smooth sailing!

May the miracles of the season be with you throughout the New Year.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Torn Cape...

Because my cancer treatments have gone relatively well, I walked into the MGH North Cancer Center last Friday for my Zometa treatment, via and i.v. through my port, with my chin up, a little pep in my step, and with pink b.c. cape flowing. After all, attitude is everything.

Last Friday I ironed my cape, and went back to the Fusion Center in the MGH Cancer Center for and i.v. of Zometa, a bone strengthening drug. The i.v. drip lasted only about 20 minutes. I figured that since this is not chemotherapy, it will be an easy treatment. After the i.v. I felt fine, so the girls and I went downtown to participate in an local shopping event. (Any event that includes shopping has Riley's name all over it. Plus, it was tons of fun!) We went to dinner after the shopping, and all was hunky dory. Then... about 10 p.m. it hit, the side affects of the Zometa that I disregarded as something that happens to other cancer patients, but not me. After all, I soared through chemotherapy, pink cape and all. The side affects of Zometa are bone aches and flu-like symptoms. This is the same list of side affects from the Nulasta shot I received after chemotherapy, and one that a couple of Tylenol eliminated. As I was starting to ache, I took Tylenol again. And, then about 3:30 in the morning, the side affects hit me with a vengeance. My body ached as it I was hit by a Mack truck. Every single bone hurt 100 times worse than any flu-like symptom . My ankle bones hurt so much that when I tried to walk I was afraid I was going to fall over. There was not a bone in my body spared. On top of the aches, I could not stop vomiting. My trusted and reliable friend, Compazine, wasn't even working. After telephoning the on-call oncologist, I finally was prescribed something to keep me from puking. During the time I was throwing-up, I kept telling myself that this is what chemotherapy was supposed to be like. But the bone aches, oh the bone aches, they are still with me 60 hours later, but less intense.

I have five more treatments to Zometa. I will receive the Zometa every six months for three years. Ugh. Well, I guess this is one way to get rid of the Thanksgiving extra poundage. I think I'll leave the cape at home next treatment.

Speaking of b.c. We bought tickets to go to the BC Chorale on Saturday night (that's Boston College for you west coasters. )Needless to say, we did not make it. I tried to send Riley with some friends, but she is afraid to be out of my sight when I am sick. I think she is afraid that something grave will happen to me when she is gone. We saw the Chorale perform last spring, and they were fabulous! If you ever have the opportunity to see them perform, take advantage and go!

Yesterday morning Riley got a call from a friend who heard I was sick and wanted to see how I was doing. She also wanted to let Riley know that if there was anything she or her family could do, like give her a ride, that they were there for us. We don't even live in the same town. How unbelievably sweet! This is proof that teenage girls can be thoughtful. I want to make her the poster girl for teenagers everywhere.

Whacky thought for the day...
What is worse, saltine cracker crumbs or sand in your bed?

Happy Birthday Katherine!
Happy Birthday Melinda!

(That's it for the family birthdays.)