Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seven

I had an appt. with my gynecologic oncologist for the last time before my last chemotherapy on June 1st.

I will continue to see him every three months for the next year, every 6 months the following year and every...well, I lost track how often after that.
It appears he wants to break up with me, albeit very slowly.

I will still be going to have blood drawn for labs. The CA-125 being an important blood test.
Normal CA-125 level is anything up to 35.
My level was 305, pre-surgery.
My last level was 7, post 5 chemo treatments.

The CA-125 is a so called tumor marker. It is not all that reliable in detecting ovarian cancer.
Many women who have elevated levels do not have ovarian cancer. There are other processes that may cause elevated CA-125 levels.
On the other hand, a low level does not necessarily mean you don't have ovarian cancer.
We need a more accurate test to detect ovarian cancer in the early stage.

For those of us who have been diagnosed correctly with ovarian cancer through a pelvic exam, ultrasound and CT scan, the CA-125 is useful in monitoring how well the treatments are working.
So far, mine are working well.

For more information on CA-125 from Johns Hopkins, click here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Say A Little Prayer For You

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a cold with my last chemo treatment.
I started to feel better, but then seemed to have a relapse.
I have been trying to take it easy, so I would feel OK for my final infusion which is next Monday.

But, staying inside and watching TV for days on end has done a number on my emotional state.

Yes, the women of The View, Bonnie Hunt, Judge Judy and the good people of Pine Valley have tried to fill the emptiness of my days.

However, these last few weeks have really been lonely.
I have been napping a lot. That disrupts my sleep. As does the hot flashes.
I am not getting any hormone replacements and that makes my state of mind fluctuate from hour to hour.

I am thankful for my friends.
Lisa calls me almost everyday to check in on me and to offer support.
Susan calls often and has been really helpful taking me to chemo and staying with me so she can drive me home.
Carmen calls to see how I am doing. She gives me all kinds of ideas for getting better, from yoga to taking vitamin D.

All of them have been so good about accepting my many moods and not holding them against me.

Unfortunately for Briana, she gets to see all of the really teary low points from the cancery girl.
Thank you for being patient with me. For loving me even when I am not at all likable.
She forwarded this text message to me tonight. Bonnie was babysitting the kids tonight and originally sent it to Briana.




from bonnie FWD:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:14 PM
From:
@VTEXT.COM" <@VTEXT.COM>


To:
@SBCGLOBAL.NET


from bonnie FWD: Dylan just prayed "dear God thank you for Cathy help her feel better from her chemo. Amen."


This little boy said a prayer for me.


.


I feel better already.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

They Have A Card For Everything

My Mom sent me this card this week.







Having my hair come out in clumps was quite disturbing at first.
Having my head shaved brought tears.
Then, I sort of got used to not having to wash and blow dry a head of hair.
I basically wash my head and wipe it dry.


Still, I am looking forward to those "good hair days" to start.

Singing in the Backseat

video

Here's a little clip of Addie. Briana has a post about it here.

It's not the hearty rendition she usually sings, but it's pretty close.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

All I Know, I Learned From Daytime TV

Days have been kind of long here for Godfreysmama.
I had chemo (one more left!) last week. I had a cold at the same time.
Just when I thought I was over the cold, I seemed to have a relapse.

So, I have not really been out of the house since Sunday.

That means a lot of TV watching.

You people who have to go to work everyday don't know what you are missing.
Here are the highlights of daytime television today:

9:00- Susan Sarandon was on with Regis and Kelly. She is opening a ping pong/bar in NYC. She says it's better for your brain than crossword puzzles.
Ping Pong and mojitos?
I think she's onto something there.

10:00- The View was quite a bit more sedate than yesterday when Whoopi and Barbara went after Glenn Beck's throat.
Quote of the day from Elizabeth: "We need to trust our president, listen to him and hope his methods will keep us safe."
I think she's up to something.


Larry King was also at the table today. Larry King is one of the creepiest old men on television. It was bad enough he said he couldn't take Viagra because of his heart condition, but did he really need to tell us he didn't need it??

11:00- I watch The Doctors for
this reason.
But, they always have some interesting medical information.
Today I found out that people who have sisters are more balanced, optimistic and ambitious.
And, to my sisters I say....you're welcome.

12 Noon- Thank goodness for the DVR. The Bonnie Hunt Show had this
little clip.

Meanwhile over on All My Children, everyone in Pine Valley is a suspect in the murder of Stuart who was inadvertently killed because he was mistaken for his twin brother Adam.
I think Erica did it.
She wants another Emmy.

1:00- On The People's Court, a 19 year old got a scolding for addressing Judge Milian as "Miss" instead on "Judge". Boy, was she mad.

2:00- Did you know pineapple upside cake was first popularized in the 1930's and was called skillet cake?
I didn't either.
Martha told me.

See?


What am I going to do when I have to go back to worK??

In The Buff

As you know, hair loss is common when having chemotherapy.

The hospital has an appearance center which helps people prepare for the changes that are going to happen.

I have to admit, some of the changes are not too bad. Hair loss on the arms, legs, underarms is pretty nice. No shaving!

But, some hair loss is disconcerting. Like losing my eyelashes and eyebrows bothers me more than losing the hair on my head.

I went to meet the specialist, Yo, before I had my first tx.
My sister, Cheryl, Briana and Susan came with me. We needed to pick out a wig, AKA "alternative hair".

After my first or second round of chemo, my hair started coming out in large clumps.
I went back to see Yo and just went ahead and shaved my head. It was easier to have it go all at once than to lose it strands at a time. Besides, I was tired up sweeping up hair everyday. Tired of having people picking off stray hair from my shirts.

I got the wig, but don't really care too much for it. It's quite itchy. I also have frequent hot flashes and having that hair on makes my head sweat a lot.

I have taken to wearing a buff usually topped by a hat.

Dylan was quite curious about my suddenly wearing hats and buffs. When I take off the hat and the buff he says I look like an old man.
He is right. I have bald spots on my head, but I also have some fuzzy white/gray hair.
They say there is a chance my hair will grow back a different color or may have a different texture.

Until then, I will stick to buffs and hats. Maybe a scarf or two.

Dylan and Addie got in on the buff action.
















Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

A photo from our trip to Mexico last year.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

P.S. It's almost as hard for me to look at a picture of myself with hair as it is without.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Plumeria Ring

I received this very thoughtful gift today from my friends, Briana and Ryan.

Of course, Dylan had some say in the design they chose.
It is a beautiful ring and I LOVE it!