Friday, March 31, 2017

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 IV antibiotics.  We hooked that poor boy up five times a day.  He's doing well now; he's still more tired than he'd like to be, but it could have been so much worse.  His surgeon said that his appendix had been burst for three or four days.  Crazy.

So, for a time both my husband and I took time off from work to care for our son.  After a week at home, we started taking turns.  I was due to go back to work the following Monday, when at 3:00 that Monday morning, a tree in our backyard fell onto our house.  So, with no going back to sleep after that, and the tree removal people coming, I stayed home to be caregiver while my husband and his brother supervised the tree removal.  Never a dull moment here!

A few weeks ago, my family and I were invited by another stage four friend to the Hippodrome in Baltimore to see a performance of Stomp.  The evening included a reception before the show, the show itself, and a meet and greet after the show with the cast.  VIP tickets were sold to benefit Leslie's Week, a wonderful organization that gifts "vacations away from cancer" to stage four families.  It was such a fabulous evening.   I posted photos on my personal facebook page.  The album is set to public, so even if we're not facebook friends, you'll be able to see it.  Look for the photo album entitled "Stomp".

This past weekend, I hosted a Touchstone Jewelry party.  A high school friend of mine has recently become a consultant for them, and we thought this would be a wonderful way gather with friends.  It was such nice day.  Friends from high school came over (it's been thirty-ish years since
high school), as well as current friends, and even a high school friend of my husband's.  She and and I became facebook friends so that she could keep up with my cancer updates and then we found out that we're both in the same knitting facebook groups.  It was incredible meeting her in person.

When routine tests go wonky -- Monday was my regularly scheduled every-three-month echocardiogram and CT scan.  I have a CT scan every three months to keep an eye on things.  There are still spots in my left lung.  They might be cancer; they are most likely scar tissue.  I have routine echocardiograms to keep an eye on my heart, as one of the meds I'm on (Herceptin) is know to cause heart issues.  Echo was first, and seemed to go well.  Then the technician took my blood pressure.  It was 188/89.  I sat for five minutes, quietly, then it was taken again.  It was 187/91.  Blinking red.  Wow.  Since I was not symptomatic, he said I was free to go, but I should contact my doctor.  As I sat in the Radiology waiting room for my CT scan, I sent an email to my oncologist's nurse.  After we emailed back and forth a few times and spoke on the phone throughout the day, we decided that I would track my blood pressure for 7-10 days, and make an appointment with my primary care physician.  After the CT scan, I went home, and there my blood pressure was 154/90.  After a two hour nap, it was down to 117/73.  Phew!  I tracked my blood pressure and brought the data to my primary care physician, who agreed with me that it was most likely caused by anxiety about the echo.  I was very calm, at least outwardly.  Apparently, though, I was unconsciously freaking out. 
That brings me to this weekend.  Tomorrow (Saturday) is my regularly scheduled every-three-week infusion.  So, Saturday's plan is to do a bit of housework in the morning, spend a few hours at Georgetown, then rest.  If the past is any indication, Sunday will be spent resting. 

That's it so far.  Say tuned on Monday for another post!

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