Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007 - Catch up

Hello Weekend Bloggy!

Yep, I'm slipping, I haven't put in an entry since the great hair makeover! And now, I'm on my own. Somehow, I have to recreate the look all by myself today. I swear there should be a law that one's Hair Wizard should never live more than 5 mins. away and be on call 24/7 (grin).

Let's see... this week, Chemo Session #3 has gone very well. I was actually quite shocked at just how well it's gone. The only noticeable (pain in the butt) side affects this week is the hyper-sensitivity to the cold. I mean, it's not even cold outside and yet, I have to wear a winter coat, gloves and in some cases, a wool scarf. And that doesn't help the legs. Even when I wear long pants, this week the backs of my legs all went tingly and frozen. Pain in the butt, let me tell you!

Anywho, I was expecting Thurs and Fri to be my rough days. But I woke up Thurs morning to gorgeous spring sunshine and I felt great!! No sign of nausea, headache, fatigue... nothing! So Bridget and I went for a 1 mile morning walkie and I felt GREAT after that (other than the cold stuff). So, you'd THINK I'd just enjoy the fact I felt great, right? Noooooo! I was on a mission! I took myself out for breakfast (yum... went to the Dutch Pannekoek House on Robson), then because it was so beautiful and I had treated myself to a lovely breakfast, I decided to walk it off, so walked up the hill (Robson) and then down to pay work a visit. Had a wonderful visit with my co-workers... will add pictures at the bottom of this blog entry... and disrrupted everyone from what they were doing. Then, I not only walked back home (1 1/2 miles), but had to take Bridget out again once I got home. Still, felt like my old self, so all totaled I walked 4 1/2 miles on Thursday.

Ha! Well, it hit me on Friday. Could I not have just kept the walking to oh, 2 1/2 miles on Thurs??? The fatigue on Friday was pretty intense! I did take Bridget out in the morning, but we literally only walked a half mile, tops. Just enough to do her business and give her some fresh air. The rest of the day was spent napping, reading and more napping. I can't believe I ended up also sleeping through the whole night last night after sleeping most of the day. I guess I was tired :)

Sooooo... here it is, now Saturday. It started off as sunny this morning but the clouds are rolling in. Forecast is for some showers later in the day, but then it should clear up sometime tomorrow. I'm just going to take it easy at home this afternoon. Well, I'm not sure about easy... I'll be washing my hair and trying to replicate what Greg has done with it because tonight a bunch of us are going to Metro Theatre to see a friend, Pat, in the current production of "Sand Castles". Tonight is closing night. I'll be driving out with Steve and Don since I'm not sure I should be driving that far after yesterday's fatigue.

Meanwhile... here are some more photos... of my visit with the gang at work and some of the unfortunates who couldn't escape my camera (grin), and then some of the flowers/trees on the walk home from work.

The two trainer chicks! Charmaine is now holding down the fort while I'm on sebbatical (grin)

Here I am with my buddy, Ken. Hey Ken, what fort are you holding down?? I have to get you something to do!! (grin)

Ok, here I am with Boss-man, my manager, Kerry. But alas, the bum is going to retire next month!! So he won't be there when I get back!! Traitor, I tell you!! (grin)

Ahhh! Can we spell TROUBLE? Yes, Mala and I... a very dangerous combination!

Here I am with Shirley P.! We have worked together over the years and gone back so far, well, I think we are both older than dirt! It has got to be a good 30 years that we've worked in one form or another at the same office.

And then a group shot -- Dan, myself, Ken, Mala and Shirley sitting in front. The rest of the gang... beware! When I next come to visit, you have no idea if I'll have my camera or not!

This is one of my favourite streets. Ok, so this isn't a street, it's an apartment garden. I just love it when someone makes the outside of their apartment look so country-fied!

It's getting a little late in the season, but on some of the sheltered streets, you can still find the Japanese Cherry Blossoms around the city. The white/pink ones are gone, but now the pink pom-pom like ones are here.

These purple tulips are interesting. Last year, in this same garden, they were so deep a purple they looked black. This year, they are an actual purple. Not sure why, but there you have it :)

It's been kind of a weird spring! The daffodils came up really early and there are still a ton of them around! Usually once the tulips come up, the daffodils are over, but not this year!

I think rhodies have to be one of my favourite flowers! Here are some early red ones that have sprung up. My other favourite is the azalea. They have started blossoming around, but it will be a couple more weeks before they are out in full force.

Ok, had to put this one here. Not sure if the detail will show up on the blog, but this was a pretty exquisite blossom and would make a terrific background wallpaper on the computer :)

Ciao for now!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 - Greg, the Hair Wizard!!

Dear Bloggy,

Well today was the day of the Extreme Hair Makeover!! And oh my, what a day it was! Greg was coming over after work for dinner and American Idol. While watching Idol, he was going to give me a hair makeover. Now, I have to admit, I had no idea what he planned to do, and in all fairness, I've never ever been totally pleased with any haircut I've ever gotten. Mostly it's because, no matter how I leave the salon, within an hour or two it goes it's own way and I can never duplicate what the hair stylist did. So I wasn't expecting too much different tonight, other than it would be good to get rid of some of the dead hair and weight of it. Between the weight of the hair and the chemo, it was coming out by the handfuls/brushfuls and I could just see this not stopping (grin).

This is my hair before Greg got his scissors on it. Note the scraggly ends, the frizzy sides and those very scary bangs!! Yes, one should never do their own bangs... there's a reason for this! They come out looking horrible. Then add a little curl to the mix and they no longer look like bangs!! They just look like a mistake!! (grin).

So, here we are watching American Idol. Greg would have me turn this way, that way, head back, head forward... snip, snip, snip. Prior to snipping away, he had me buy two Aveda products that he uses when he flat irons hair. Aveda is a fabulous line of natural hair products and I could see why he recommends these and why I should have them myself. So he showed me how to use these two products if I was going to use a flat iron on my hair (next purchase will definitely be a flat iron!!)

So, while we were still watching tv, Greg was using his flat iron on my hair. Every now and again, I would reach up to touch a part he had done and I loved the feel of it! So smooth and you could tell it was shiny just by the touch. I have NEVER had shiny hair, like the hair you see in magazines!!

I had no idea what my hair looked like... just could feel it. You should have seen my jaw drop when he was finished and gave me the mirror to look at!! My mouth and jaw dropped in shock!! I loved it!!! Here is the Extreme Hair Makeover, done by sitting in a kitchen chair in the living room, watching tv!!

Is this not BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL??? It feels soooo good! Much lighter and finally I have a hair cut that I love. I can shake my head and the hair falls back into place, just like it does on the hair commercials! Not only that, when you run your hands through it, it FEELS healthy!! A comb or brush goes through it now without pulling or tugging... and the hair is NOT falling out like it was!!

Here is a picture of Greg the Wizard and me with my new do:

Aren't we cute?? (grin) I am so happy with my new do and Greg is happy that I'm happy!! I was so happy that I called Mimi and told her she had to come downstairs right now and see my new hair. She said she was in her pajamas, but I told her she doesn't have to go outside, come straight down the stairs :D So she did, wondering why she was coming downstairs when I'd see her in the morning (chuckle). But she, too, was amazed at the transformation from bush-hair to shiny, smooth shorter hair :) She took this picture of Greg and moi :)

Then we have my Britney Spears big smile under a hat with the new do:

Ok, maybe not Britney Spears, but doesn't she always wear a hat when she has short hair and have that big smile where she's grinning from ear to ear? That will be me tonight (grin).

Anywho... that was what we did tonight and in all my years of getting haircuts, I have never been so happy with one as I am with this one. I have had many compliments on hair cuts in the past and people seem to have liked them, but it was something I couldn't understand because I wasn't particularly happy with them. But this one I'm ecstatic about! So poor Greg will now have to put up with me for the rest of his life (chuckle)... I hope he knows what he's gotten himself into!

And if anyone in the Vancouver area is looking for a hair stylist, I highly recommend Greg...and yes, he is taking on new clients :)


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!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007 - A quick note

Dear Bloggy,

Ok, I admit it, I'm way behind now in Blogdom and email! I had ever intention of catching the blog up today, including some recent pictures, but it just didn't get done. I finally gave up on my $()#*)@ printer. For the life of me, I just couldn't get it working and that's with $75 worth of new ink cartridges. I do NOT have patience for devices that should be very easy to operate and then they act tempermental! So, I lost patience and went and bought a new 5 in 1 printer today. I now have my scanning, printing, copier features again, so I'm happy. But what a waste of money buying the new ink cartridges for the other printer was. Grrrrrrr! I even tried to buy the same printer so I could use them, but they don't make that printer anymore. Grrrrrrr!

Anywho... I do have some pictures on my camera, so I will hav to download them onto the computer and then I can put some of them up on the blog. Hehehe... I guess this means the blog entries may be kind of weird where I'll be putting entries over the next couple of days, that will have pictures from last week. Oh well :)

I did get a new phone this weekend (well, Friday). It's a new cordless that has to handsets so I could replace my living room phone and my bedroom phone. Both have call display. Yayayaya!! Now I do not need to answer any telephone solicitor calls! It's a pretty neat little phone system... and very clear! I have found that cordless phones are like talking in a tunnel.... but this one is clear, so I'm impressed :)

Well, I was just going to make a quickie entry for tonight since I haven't done one all weekend, but it's bedtime for bonzo. Tomorrow is Chemo Session #3. And, depending on how I'm feeling on Tuesday and whether Greg has a late afternoon meeting, the plan is that he is going to come over and we are going to do the haircut. He's going to give me a new look that is also relatively easy to maintain. It's gotten to the point where it's become a real nuisance trying to wash my hair, with it coming out in handfuls/brushfuls. I figure I've lost about a third of it, although for anyone looking at me, they wouldn't necessarily notice because I had so much hair to begin with. But it's a real nuisance every time I touch it, more comes out.

Sooooo... stay tuned. If I'm not feeling all that hot this week, then we'll do it next week on the good Week 2.

Time to curl up with a doglet and a book :D

Ciao for now!