Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007 -- Chemo Session #3

Dear Bloggy,

Here I am! It's Monday night and Dancing with the Stars is just finishing. Poor Billy Ray, I think this may be his last night. He's a good singer and not bad on the acting with his daughter on Hannah Montana, but he is definitely NOT a dancer!! ;) So, at the moment, I am in the bedroom watching the tv in here because the living room tv is recording the Cirque Du Soleil 2 hour special. Gotta love those Cirque kids!!

Anywho... where to start on today's blog? Obviously, today (Monday) the big adventure was Chemo Session #3. When I got there at 11am, I no sooner got into the building and an alarm was going off. Turned out it was a false fire alarm, but interesting how the elevators automatically shut down. I'm not sure how they would handle a real emergency in this building since a lot of people are in wheel chairs and hooked up to IVs. Then there are all the people in the Chemo rooms who are hooked up to multiple IV bags, etc. The chemo rooms are on the 6th floor, so does that mean the nurses would unhook everyone, then the patients have to make their way down 6 flights of stairs? I didn't get to witness this because it was a false alarm... and at the time, I was on the 2nd floor so could not get up to the 6th floor because the elevators weren't working. Of course, I could have gone up the four flights of stairs, but what was the point if they were going to have to evacuate the building?

Anywho... like I say, it was a false alarm, so no need to do anything other than wait for them to reset the elevators... then up I went to the 6th floor. The chemo rooms are all set up with 4 chemo chairs. When I got to the room, there were already 3 girls and I was the 4th. So I dubbed it the "Girls' Party Room". Once again, I lucked out in that the three gals were all friendly and somewhat chatty... well, at least they appeared to like the chatty ambiance. One gal, it was her first chemo. Another gal, it was her 5th, as well, she was getting radiation. The third gal was one I met the last time, but she was only there for about 20 minutes after I got there so we didn't have a lot of time to chat before she was on her way. This time, she recognized me and she was there for her full hour. So we all got yakking. VERY interesting talking to them. Two of them said they were quite private and although they had told their bosses what was happening, they didn't tell their co-workers because they didn't want to discuss it with others. Hahaha... my poor co-workers get all the gory details... gee, do you think I should be a little more mysterious and private?? Naaaaa... it's all about me! Can't be mysterious and withold the details if I want to retain my Diva status (grin).

Anywho, the session went fine, as it had the first two times. I did tell the nurse about my last side affects with the super sensitivity to the cold (even though it wasn't that cold); the problems with breathing at the time; and the shallow breathing, heaviness in the chest for the couple of days while I had the 5FU chemo pump on. She called Dr. Gill, who wants me to take a low dose aspirin (81 mg) every day while we go through the chemo/radiation. I have never had any history of heart problems, but the low dose aspirin is a "preventative" measure.

Today, I did do something different than last time. Since both previous sessions I got the vicious migraine headache on the first evening that then went all day on Tuesday, I took an Oxycodone and 2 extra strength tylenols when I got home. I could feel the headache hovering in the background but it had not developed into a full blown migraine yet. So I took the pain meds in advance and that seemed to really help. All evening the headache was there, but it did not develop. At 10:30pm tonight I took another Oxycodone and two tylenols and right now I am headache free!!

Robyn and Graie took the little four-legged diva out for her afternoon walkie before I got home... and then came down at 9:30pm to take her for an evening walkie. When I got home and got out of the car, it wasn't even cold out. I thought it was very mild! Well, the air did not bother my breathing, but the backs of my legs (calves) got all tingly... so no point in taking unnecessary chances. Hence the girls took Bridget. Tomorrow morning I'll get Mimi to come out with Bridget and I... and to be on the safe side, I will take a Starbucks' thermo-mug of hot tea when we take Bridget out so that SHOULD it affect my throat/breathing... by drinking a hot beverage, that will warm everything up. I'm learning all these little tricks to the trade :)

Ok... so now I'm going to post some pictures taken the last couple of days! On Saturday, Bridget and I headed out to the Small Dog Off-Leash Park in Stanley Park (about a mile from our place). So, I have some pictures of our little outing.

"Wake up, Bridget!! It's a beautiful sunny morning... time to go for our morning walkies!!"

"Awwww, Mom, do I have to??? I think I'd rather get some more zzzzz's this morning!"

"Ahem! You lazy bum... get up!!"

"Awright, already! I'm getting up, I'm getting up!"

And we are off on our morning walk. Instead of walking along the beach and seawall into the Park, we headed through the 'hood. It is so peaceful to walk around in the neighbourhood in the morning. It wasn't all that early, I think we headed out about 9am, but it still was very quiet. As you can see, we still have some of the Cherry Blossoms around, but they are short-lived and most of them have fallen from the trees.

Here we have the small dog off-leash park. As you can see, it's not huge, but a small fenced in area next to the tennis courts. But it is just perfect for little dogs. They have the gravel area to run around on, pick up sticks, etc. It is kept very clean and there are a fair number of park benches and one picnic table in the shade for the dog owners. Very nice!

Speaking of sticks... Bridget found a nice stick that she figured she should bring back to me to show me. She was quite proud of herself, being off leash and hunting down the great perfect stick! She is such a little monkey when she is off leash. She is not shy at all and insists on exploring the area, although she does always make sure I'm in her sight when we are somewhere new.

Famous West End Squirrel Hunter! Bridget loves the green zone because she is pretty sure that this is where the evil squirrels must hang out. She is very alert and ready to pounce should the need arise. She did see one squirrel on the other side of the fence, so that required fierce barking and snourting and showing that she was something the squirrels should be afraid of ;)

On the other side of the tennis courts is the nesting grounds (well, trees) of the Great Blue Heron. These are fascinating birds because they look so pre-historic. When they are flying, they look like mini-flying dinosaurs, sort of. Anywho, they have chosen this particular area of the park for their nesting area. So the Parks Board has fenced off these trees so for the protection of the birds, not to mention the protection of the humans walking by ;)

Here is one of the herons up in the nesting tree, next to a nest. Is this not just too weird to see herons in high trees? I mean, when I think of a heron, I think of them down on the shore at the beach, usuall standing in the shallow water on one leg. They are fish eaters and you can tell that when you walk by these trees. It smells of stinky fish :D

Ok, here's one of the nesting trees with that has a lot of Heron nests in it. There are probably a good 8-12 of these trees in the area, filled with these nests. I believe the Heron eggs start hatching in June, once the trees have leaves and the nests are concealed a little more from predators (eagles and hawks who like heron eggs and babies).

On the way home, when we were heading out of the park, we came across this lovely Tulip Tree. Sometimes people confuse this with the Magnolia tree, but it is actually a tulip tree. I think they are very pretty, especially if you are standing underneath them and looking up.

Here is a picture of being under the Tulip Tree and looking up. Isn't this so pretty?? This is one of the signs we really are in spring once the Tulip Trees are in blossom. They are sooo pretty! Mind you, once they start dropping their petals, the ground can be quite treacherous. The petals are very waxy so if you aren't careful, you will go slip sliding down the sidewalk!

Okey dokey, we are almost home now! This was taken on Beach Ave, about 3 blocks or so from home. I liked this picture because of the tree stump with the flowers on. So simple but so pretty. Bridget is ready for her breakfast now, so is more than happy to be heading home, so we did not cross the street and go to the beach. We were now homeward bound (grin).

That was a lovely weekend! We got our walkies in while the weather was nice and then that night (Sat), Greg and I went to see the musical "42nd Street" out in New Westminster (Royal City Musical Theatre)... and it was fabulous!!

Time for bed for this camper! Hahaha... the steroid pill I'm on Mon-Wed is suppose to get me all wired and make it impossible to sleep! Hahahaha... just another example of how I don't react like others. It makes me sleep... and I know I'm going to have no trouble falling asleep tonight :)

Ciao for now!



Chet said...

Great pics, Cheryl and i am really glad you have Bridget to protect you from those evil Squirrels. (G)

Hope things continue to go well for you and when all you hair falls out you could be my twin sister. LOL.

Debi said...

Beautiful! Don't you love spring. It's good to read that you're doing well. Saw "The Secret" recently. I'm with you, we've got the power!

Diane said...

Me, I think Clyde the Glide is on his way out... His dancing is enough to embarrass everyone in Oregon...and probably most of the rest of the Pacific Northwest by association! :shudder:

And what great pics! Especially of your little guard puppy! Mine is particularly interested in guarding us from evil crows right now. She's pretty sure she's going to figure out this flight thing eventually - but in the meantime, she's determined to be louder than they are...them and that damned woodpecker that's beating his brains out on the side of the house!

Bonnie said...

Diane nailed it, didn't she? (about Clyde). Although I find watching Billy Ray much more painful, he has to be next.

Thanks for taking me along on your walk, having gone with on on some of those streets it looked very familiar! Love the tulip tree pics, I am one of those that thought they were Magnolia trees!