Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday, May 10th, 2007 -- Kimberley, RIP - May 10, 2005

Hi Bloggy,

Well, there's so much to catch up on, I just know I'm going to leave something out. So for those of you reading, go grab yourself a coffee or beverage of choice because this is going to be a LONG entry!! Consider yourself warned!

I have to start this entry off with a tribute to our friend, Kimberley Regent. It was two years tonight, that dear Kimberley passed from this earth and touched so many of us in so many ways. Even now, two years later, the Kim Care Team is still going through many emotional highs and lows when we think back to how her death affected us individually and as a group.

In this picture, we got Kimberley all dressed up so that she could attend the Smallville wrap party for that season. Kimberly was the props mistress for that series, although, at this point she could no longer work. This picture was taken in her room at the Cancer Agency and so yes, I can honestly say that two year later, on the anniversary of her death, I would never in a million years have guessed that I would be in the same building, hooked up to an IV getting rehydrated! It definitely gave me lots of food for thought today and Kim, if you are up there checking up on us... know that you are never far from any of our thoughts!!

Ok, so you all might be wondering what the heck I'm talking about being hooked up to an IV today getting "rehydrated". Well, as you recall from my Sunday's blog entry, I told Bloggy that the reason I hadn't been making blog entries was not because I was sickly, but because I was being a social butterfly. Famous last words! Hahaha! On Monday, I came down with some bug or reaction where the nausea took over big time. Nausea, intestinal cramps, fatigue, you name it, I had it!! I thought it was probably a delayed reaction to the chemo from last week, but then it went on all day Tuesday and Wednesday too. So I knew it wasn't that. Maybe I had overdone it on the weekend and took on too many social activities... but why would I be soooo sick??

I saw Dr. Sharlene Gill (oncologist) today and she was pretty sure it wasn't the chemo... if I was going to react, that would have been the Thurs/Fri of last week. She feels I may have eaten something that was off or been exposed to a flu bug, in which case my immune system may have had a problem fighting off either. But, no matter what it was, I had become quite dehydrated. So she set me up with the Medical Day Care up on the 6th floor for 3pm to get rehydrated. This meant getting hooked up with an IV through my portacath and having 2 litres of saline solution put back into my system. She also ordered a small bag of Ondansetron (anti-nausea med) to be put through the IV. This took four hours... but I was back to my old self once I was rehydrated!

Now, for someone who does not have Extended Health Coverage, I have no idea how they handle the finances of these drugs. For instance, any drugs that they give me at the Cancer Agency, the Cancer Agency covers the cost, which is great because these drugs are NOT cheap. Any prescriptions they give me that I get filled at a pharmacy, I pay for depending on my drug coverage, and that is what everyone does. Your mileage may vary depending on your coverage.

So, we figured out that the anti-nause pill that Dr. Gill had prescribed for me just wasn't doing the trick. Who knows how sick I would be if I didn't take it, but suffice it to say, it didn't do much good with this bout of nausea I got big time this week. So, she says that she will give me the pill form of Ondansetron which will stop the nausea in its tracks. This is the same pill I take half an hour before each chemo session and I have not gotten sick with those strong chemo drugs.

But the catch is the cost. For 20 pills (which she prescribed for me today), the total cost if I had no drug coverage (extended health coverage) would be $239.64 which is about $12/pill. That is not the most expensive pill I take, so can you imagine?? But, because I do have the Extended Health coverage, I paid $1.00 for all 20 pills.

Ok... enough about that!! The good news is I'm rehydrated and feeling back to my old self. Onwards we go! I start Radiation on Monday and Dr. Gill is going to hold off starting me on the oral Chemo pills until we see that this nausea is gone and the Radiation doesn't bring it back. I see her next Thurs in the morning and if I'm still feeling good, then we start the oral chemo then.

Ok... let's talk about FUN stuff!! On Friday, my crazy co-worker, Dave Jenkins, had taken it upon himself that he was going to shave his head in support of me and my journey, and at the same time see if he can raise some funds for the BC Cancer Society. He had a goal of raising $100... and lo and behold if all the wonderful people at work (both the Vancouver IMB office and the Victoria IMB office) and some of you wonderful non-work related friends who wanted to pitch in... didn't end up coming up with $800 for Dave to send to the BC Cancer Society!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! And Dave, you hold a special place in my heart... but if you stick around in it for too long, I'm going to have to start charging rent (GRIN).

Hahaha... am I having fun or what??? Yes, Dave gave ME the honours of shearing his locks!! Oh, the power, the thrill!!! He was a brave, brave man... but I didn't draw blood even once!! (grin)

And here is the end result!!! Dave now has no hair!! I still have at least half of my hair. And most important... he is still talking to me after the Dave Shave Job!!! Hahahahaha!!

There are oodles more pictures and if you want to see them, just click on
this link
to get to the official Dave Jenkins - Shave Dave page.

And, if you want to check out the BC Cancer notification I got in email this morning letting me know about this wonderful gesture everyone did, check out
THIS link
which will take you to the BC Cancer Society notification.

My friend, Kathy flew in from California. She was coming to Vancouver for the weekend for her son's wedding ceremony to his partner of 7 years. So once she got into town and settled at the Best Western Sands by the Sea hotel around the corner from my place, we got together and went to The Keg on Granville Island for dinner. Had a wonderful dinner and managed to get caught up in person... although could have chatted for many more hours!

On Saturday, we had our Girls Plus Two Boys lunch! What fun!!! I have been trying to get this group of gals together forever but someone is always out of town! It doesn't help that one lives a good part of the year in LA as an actress so lives where the work is. She has been in movies, series, etc. Another is a fabulous singer and headlines on the Princess Cruise lines. So trying to get these two gals in town at the same time is a miracle in itself and it happened this Saturday

Here are the two gals, Lynda and Lelani, who we are going to have to nail down if we want to get them in town at the same time so we can do this again!! We had so much fun reminiscing over the years and realizing that we have all known each other for 25+ years!

Here I am with dear Lynda!! I am so glad that she is getting lots of work in LA, but darn it, it would be nice to know she was closer to home and we could get together more often. Hmmmm... then again, there's lots of good shopping in LA. Lynda, I may have to come and crash at your LA digs, catch some sun, some smog and do the rounds of shopping :)

Here I am with Nancy. Nancy and I co-hosted the lunch, but she was a doll and had offered her condo for the get-together. THANK YOU, NANCY!!!

Here I am with John Payne and Lelani. Hmmmm... do you see a pattern here?? I seem to be getting in every picture... and have you all noticed my gorgeous, straight hair?? Yes, Greg the Hair Wizard came over to my place in the morning to do my hair so I could show it off at the Lunch.

I love this picture!! It's Lynda, Jo and Lelani taking the Charlie's Angels pose! Sometimes we are all crackers, but we all hav the same sense of humour so it's not hard for us to crack each other up :)

Jill and Greg, deep in conversation. Yes, that is Greg, the Hair Wizard! Since Greg had spent years living in New York City and San Diego, he and Jill hadn't seen each other for years, so there was lots to catch up on!

There were more pictures but you get the drift... fun was had by all as we tried to cram a lot of news over the years in one afternoon :) And yes we WILL do this again!!

Now, on Sunday, I had the honour of attending Kathy's son, Brian's wedding ceremony to his partner of seven years, Ed. It was a lovely service and there were approx. 18 friends and relatives who showed up from all over the States... mostly from the Eastern States. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and was only disappointed in the fact our weather last weekend was probably one of the wettest, grayest, foggiest, drizzle that we've had in ages. Everyone assured me that they were having a good time and the weather didn't bother them, but I would love them to have seen Vancouver in the sun... like this last couple of days!

There were more pictures but I don't want to take the limelight away from Brian, Ed or Kathy... once they show pictures then I'd feel better about posting them. Hehehe.. I do not want to be the thunder stealer!!! (grin).

Ok, I just noticed the time and it's almost 1am, so time to go get some beauty rest. Tomorrow is a retirement lunch for my manager, Kerry Winkler, and I have every intention of attending it. Hey, one only really retires once!! And to think Kerry is going to retire BEFORE I get back to work. I have to have words with him :)

So, I hope I haven't forgotten anything, but sleep is calling me!!

Nitey Nite!


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunday, May 6, 2007 -- Lots to catch up on!

Heya Bloggy!

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't put a blog entry up since May 1st! Yikes!! Where has the time gone? Sorry if anyone got worried... no, it has nothing to do with me maybe not feeling well or having any problems. It all has to do with me being a total Social Butterfly and don't have the time to be sick or tired or fatigued (grin).

Anywho... I did want to put in a quick little note here to let folk know that I'm fine and thanks for checking on me! And to all my cyber-moms out there, I know, I know!! I've had a few too many late nights this week and that is not part of the Chemo Week One's plans. I will try to do better... it just so happened that this week was chock-a-block full of plans. What I have done is scheduled Tuesday for a quiet day and night... the whole day. I may not even answer the phone all day (grin).

I have lots of pictures to upload to the bloggy too. Just as a preview of what I am going to yak about and upload pictures of ---

Thurs - no pictures, but had a wonderful evening spent having dinner with friends, Joan, Deb and little Sophia. Just us gals having a girls' evening and pasta!! (forgot to take any pictures of this)

Fri - it was the great "Dave Shave" where my co-worker, bless his heart, decided to do some fundraising for support of the Cancer Society and in support of me and my little journey. He has raised over $700 and it's still not too late to send in donations! If you are interested, let me know and I'll give you the info! Pictures to be set up soon!

Then, Friday afternoon, my friend Kathy from California flew in and the two of us went to The Keg on Granville Island for dinner.

Saturday - Greg, my Hair Wizard came over in the morning to flatiron my hair because this was the day of the Girls' Lunch that we were having at Nancy H's house in Marpole. Ok, it was a GIRLS' Lunch, but we had to have our two token boys... ok, 4 token boys since Nancy's wonderful sons were home. So, besides us gal pals, we had Greg, John, JJ and Brett. Fabulous time and I'll be putting up pictures soon.

Sunday - Kathy's son and his partner had a BC wedding ceremony, then a brunch/reception at The Bayside Room. Some of us gals then went shopping at Park Royal. I'm now resting, before meeting them all at Milestones for dinner.

Monday - I will be driving Bridget out to Dad's in the morning, so he can doggy-sit while I go to the Cancer Agency in Surrey. I have to get an abdominal scan done on some kind of machine that they have at the agency in Surrey, but the Vancouver agency doesn't have. This is the pre-radiation scan that they will be using as a baseline to compare the other post-radiation scans to. After I get that done, then I'll go back to Dad's and have a visit with him and Pat. It's Jerry's birthday on Monday (Happy Birthday, Jerry!!) but I don't think he will be home when I'm there.

TUESDAY will be a definite day of rest... and hopefully, that will be when I can catch up with the blog :D

Sooooooo... all is well! I do still have the major sensitivity to cold because of the Monday chemo. But this is now Day 6, so I'm thinking by Tues or Wed it should hopefully be gone... and hopefully I won't have to deal with it while doing the radiation :)

Ciao for now!