Showing posts from 2017

Wonder Woman

People wonder why I'm a fan.  Why I watch the old series every Saturday night at 8:00pm.  Why I took her on our most recent family vacation (she was our version of Flat Stanley).  The short answer is that she reminds me to be strong.

She reminds me to be strong, even when I want to throw in the towel.

Every time I have to make multiple phone calls to try to schedule multiple appointments for the same day, which entails going to multiple departments within the hospital.   The other day I realized I could find my way from the Lombardi cancer center to the Bles Infusion center to Cardiology without looking at the directional signs on the wall or asking for help. 

Every three weeks when I go for my IV infusion.  Every six weeks when that infusion is coupled with an appointment with my oncologist.

Every evening at 7:00pm when my alarm goes off reminding me to take my daily medication.

Each and every time my port is accessed (if you don't know, I'm deathly afraid of needles; m…

The Cost of Cancer

The Monetary Cost
Cancer is expensive.  I have good health insurance.  Really good health insurance.  Even with very good health insurance, though, cancer is expensive.  Every time I visit my primary care doctor, which is about every four months, I have a $10 copay.  No big deal.  Every time I visit my oncologist, which is every six weeks (down from every three weeks while I was undergoing chemo), I have a $15 copay.  Every time I have treatment (Herceptin and Perjeta infusions), which is every three weeks, I have a $30 copay.  In addition to these routine things, I see my cardiologist, my surgeon, my gynecologist, my ophthalmologist, and my oncology rehab specialist periodically.  That's $15 each visit for each specialist.  On top of these copays, there are other medical costs.  Luckily, for my Tamoxifen prescription, I am able to receive a 90 day supply, which is no cost to me.  My other prescriptions, however, are between $10-$20 each month.  Then there are the physical therapy …

On Using a Cane....

I did it. I bought a cane.
I have balance issues. I can't walk up/down even a curb without holding onto something for balance. I've found myself at work walking next to the wall in case I need to reach out to steady myself. Whenever I'm standing, I find the nearest thing to lean on. Whenever I walk with my husband or sons, they automatically put out their arm for me to hold on to.  I'm going to physical therapy for my balance issues, in addition to the muscle cramping. They think that it's fatigue driven.  I think they're right.  I am working on pushing through the fatigue, but wow, it's hard. So, I had been mulling around about getting myself a cane. Not to help me walk, but just to help me keep my balance. Hopefully I will be carrying it mostly and just using it to lean on when there's not a wall or a post handy.   In that aspect, I think it would be very helpful.  On the other hand, I worry that I will become dependent on it.
When I mentione…

The Night I Almost Met Lynda Carter....

If you know me at all, you know that Lynda Carter is a favorite celebrity of mine.  In 1975, when I was 10 years old, Wonder Woman came on the air.  Back in that time, there was no Netflix, no on-demand, no Tivo, no VCRs.  If we wanted to watch something, we made sure we were home at the time it came on, or we waited until summer reruns, and try to catch it then.  I made sure I was in front of the TV each week when it came on.  Little did I know I would be watching this all these years later.

You might remember one of my blog posts, It Takes a Village.  In it, I mention how watching Wonder Woman helped me through the hard days of chemo, and surgery recovery.  I finally found a quote that really sums it up:

"People always ask me why I love Wonder Woman....   It's because she reminds me tobe strong whenI don't want to be."
I don't know who to attribute the quote to, but it really is fitting.  To help me remember, I have some Wonder Woman themed things -- sunglasses, …

It's the end of March! No posts since January! Where have I been?!

I've been here.   Tired, but here.  In January, I was pulled from my regular duties at work to help out elsewhere, which took away all of my downtime.  No time some days to even turn the computer on.    Nice change of pace, but exhausting.  Today should have been the last day for that, we'll see tomorrow.

I have a facebook page connected to this blog, where I post shorter items, doctor visit check-ins and updates, medical test results, things like that.  I try to add some levity with posting comical items, too.  So, if you read this blog, you also want to like that facebook page.  Here's the link:  Living With Stage IV Breast Cancer facebook page.

So, where have I been?  Other than working with no downtime, I spent an unexpected week or so off of work in February being a co-caregiver (along with my husband) to our 19 year old son, who had an emergency appendectomy.  He ended up spending a week in the hospital, and then was sent home with ten days worth of three different I…

In Your Face, Cancer!

Last week while at a medical appointment, I was knitting with some very bright pink yarn.  The person I was with knows how I feel about "pretty pink ribbons" and how I feel that the awareness campaign needs to shift to a research campaign.  So, as I'm knitting with this obnoxiously pink yarn, she remarks on how bright it is.  Yep, it sure is bright.  Paraphrasing here, she said, "No, it's really bright.  It's not frilly light frou frou pink.  It's 'In your face, Cancer!' pink.  It's 'Take that, Cancer!' pink.  It's a good pink for you."

So, when I was having a pedicure on Saturday, I was originally going to go with a shade of blue.  Did I?  Nope.  When I related the above story to my wonderful nail stylist, and told her I wanted to find the most obnoxious pink they had, we found this:

If you want a great place for spa services, I highly recommend Nails & Faces of Joy Spa

My First 911 Call

I say my first 911 call because I know there will be more.  I have a terminal illness.  I watched my father live with cancer.  I watched my sister live with cancer.  I watched my mother deal with being paralyzed on her right side as the result of a stroke.  Sadly, I did not pay enough attention to how they lived with it.  I really wish I had been more attentive, and a better caregiver; a much better member of their respective villages.

Here's what happened last Monday.  Because of my treatment the previous Saturday, I knew what was coming.  You learn to predict when the side effects will hit.  I took some Imodium as a preventative.  Choked on the damned pill.  Have you ever seen one?  They're really small.  Leave it to me....  You would think that I could just cough it up, right?  Nope, that sucker was stuck.  So, I called (as well as I was able with a very quiet, raspy voice) to my boys, who were (thank God) home.  David heard me and came running.  He got Jimmy.  While Jimmy …