Monday, September 27, 2010

From the Gourdpatch

I finally loaded the pictures I took at the Gourd Patch Festival. The first two are the gourdmobiles; the third is Lexi with her $15 gift certificate for making the most artistic one.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm back!

It's been quite a month! I guess I'll use my little journal (very brief entries) and my calendar to bring things up to date.

On Saturday, 8/21, Lexi spent the night. Lexi likes fish, but Alyssa doesn't fix it often and Nana (Lexi's paternal grandmother) won't allow it to be cooked in her house, so we often have it when she's here. Rose says she doesn't like fish, so I told Lexi that we wouldn't tell her that the tilapia I cooked is fish. Rose liked the tilapia, but not the rice and peas I served with it. Lexi asked when we'd tell her that tilapia is fish, and I said, "We won't."

Sunday, 8/22, Lexi, Rose and I went to church in Alyssa's car. The girls were very good during the service. I'm sure Rose will want to go again.

Tuesday, 8/24, My computer quit!

Wednesday, 8/25, Sara drove me to my oncology appointment, since my car is in the shop. My red cell count went up from 8.5 last week to 8.6 - still pretty low, so they gave me more Procrit. My blood pressure has been running lower than my normal for several weeks, so Dr Winkler said to stop taking the diuretic, to see if just the 50 mg of Atenolol twice a day will control it. I've been getting dizzy when I stand up more and more often recently - blood pressure? red cell count? cold?

Rose saw the front of Judy Sumner's book of sock patterns, and said she wants socks with no toes. The patterns in the book are adult sizes, but as Lexi said a couple of months ago, I know how to make adjustments, so she now has a pair of 'pedicure socks.' I've also been working on several shawls and scarves.

Tuesday, 8/31, Sara drove me to Mayfield, to the bank and then to the transmission shop to get my car. From there I went to the dentist. The cavity left by the tooth he pulled on the 12th was not healing well. It appeared that the bone was dying - a possible side effect of the Zometa that I've been getting for the past three and a half years. Drs Marsh and Freeman called an oral surgeon in Lone Oak (suburb of Paducah), who said for me to come on up. The two dentists explained the situation to me, and then Dr Marsh asked me if I was 'a woman of faith.' I replied that I am, and he asked if he could pray for me. Of course. So the three of us held hands and Dr Marsh prayed. I've never had that happen before. It was nice.

So I drove to Lone Oak to Dr Heine's office. He cleaned out the abcess a bit and made an appointment for 9/2 to scrape away the dead bone tissue.

Wednesday, 9/1, Oncology appointment. No treatment because my red cell count was too low, 8.3. In fact, Dr Winkler said I needed two units of blood! So they made an appointment for me to get blood the next day, and changed my appointment with Dr Heine to the following Tuesday.

Thursday, 9/2, Arrived at Western Baptist Hospital about 7:45 am, registered and was shown to a small room near the registration desk. I remember being in that room three years ago when pre-registering for my hip replacement surgery. After a few minutes, a nurse called me out into the hall to weigh and measure me. I walked out of the room and across the hall just fine, but as I was starting to step up onto the scale, my legs turned to rubber. If a nurse had not grabbed me from each side, I would have hit the floor. Another nurse brought a chair with wheels for me to sit on, and they got me back to the chair I spent the rest of the day in. They hadn't gotten my weight, but I told them what it had been at Dr Winkler's office the day before. It was 4:30 before I left the hospital. I have given blood many times over the years, but this was the first time I had ever received any. I have certainly felt better since then. 

Monday, 9/6, Labor Day. My sister Renee had called about a week ago and asked if we could use a bed. She's redoing her computer/guest room, with a futon or hide-a-bed, so had a double bed to dispose of. I said that we could use it for Sara's room, so she and her husband, Michael, brought it out from Louisville today. It was great to see them, and also good to get the bed. Sara had been sleeping on Lexi's cot. Now the cot is going to Alyssa's house for Rose to sleep on when she spends the night there, and Lexi will sleep on the futon in my living room when she spends the night here.

Tuesday, 9/7, Sara drove me to Dr Heine's office, since I was having general anesthesia for the procedure he was doing. He scraped away dead bone cells. He also prescribed more antibiotics and an antimicrobial mouthwash. I think I'll be on antibiotics for a couple of months, and will be seeing him every couple of weeks for a while. The first two or three times I used that mouthwash, I thought it was going to burn a hole in my mouth, but now that I've gotten used to it, it doesn't seem so hot.

Wednesday, 9/8, MRI and bone survey at Western Baptist Hospital. Finished about 10:30, then went to hospital cafeteria and knitted until it opened for lunch. After eating, I went to noonday prayer at Grace church, then talked to the office staff and the rector, catching them up on my condition. Then I went to the coffee shop for my regular knitting group.

Thursday, 9/9, Oncology visit. Again no treatment. My red cell count is up to 9.5, which is good. However my white cell count is low, so Dr Winkler has taken me off all of my myeloma medications to bring the white cell count up to help with the healing of my jaw.

Friday, 9/10. PET scan. I registered at the main entrance of Western Baptist and they sent me back to 
radiology, where they told me that PET scans are now done in the building across the parking lot. Why didn't the registration desk know that? and why didn't they tell Debbi that when she made the appointment for me? Before they do the scan, they check blood-sugar. Mine was only 79, despite the fact that I had eaten cake and ice cream the day before.

Tuesday, 9/14. Saw Dr Heine. He was glad to hear that Dr Winkler has taken me off the myeloma medication. 
Took Lexi to Art Guild to make 'gourdmobile' to race on Saturday.

Saturday, 9/18. Gourd Patch Festival in Mayfield. Saw and talked to several people I hadn't seen for varying lengths of time - nice. Lexi's gourdmobile won the 'most artistic' prize, but was eliminated in the second round of the race. If you're familiar with the boy scouts' pinewood derby, you can imagine this race. In fact, they borrow the 'racecourse' from the boy scouts.

Tuesday, 9/21. Picked up the computer. Now I need to reinstall some things.

Wednesday, 9/22. Dr Winkler took bone marrow sample for biopsy. He was very good about explaining when to expect pain. The only thing that really hurt was when he was actually pulling the bone marrow out of the pelvic bone. When he has all of the test results, he'll decide what my treatment will be going forward.

Thursday, 9/23. Drove 118 miles. First to Paducah to the Vintage Grace (for those over 60) luncheon at church. From there to Mayfield to meet Lexi's schoolbus. Later back to Paducah to take Lexi to her gymnastics class. It had been several weeks since I had taken her, so it was nice to watch the class again. Then I drove her home to Mayfield, and then me home to Milburn.

Friday, 9/24. Lexi spent the night because Alyssa, Trevor and Sara all had to work very early. Rose and I drove her to school, then went to the Senior Center, to introduce Rose to the people I used to work with, and to bring them up to date on my life.