Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Hiya Blogster!! And all you Blogees (readers of the Blog) :)

I know, I know, you don't have to yell at me for being soooo out of date with the Bloggy. Believe it or not, I DID have every intention of updating the blog the weekend I got home from Hawaii, which was.. ya, well, a week ago . Now that I've left it this long, I am not sure what to report on since anything over a couple of days and I tend to forget what happened! I'm thinking I have some pictures on my camera, but alas... it would mean getting up and hunting down the camera... and then, quite possibly the pictures are out of date. I know there are probably a couple from the last day or two in Hawaii... but that is sooo old news now! So, I think I'm just going to have to start over and any pictures I take from here on in, those will be the ones I post!

Ok, where to start? I do remember coming home on a very packed, not an empty seat on the plane, flight. The flight home was ok, although I must admit, I did feel like a sardine and I hate feeling that claustrophobic for 6 hours!! But I did make it home ok... and wouldn't you know it, I swear the plane parked in Burnaby and we had to walk back to the terminal... that is how long the walk was. I had waited until most everyone was off the plane before I headed out... and by the time I got to customs, the people were all gone! I was the only one wandering all by my lonesome in that huge Customs area!! Poor Alice was looking all over for me, wondering if I had just up and disappeared. And Walter, bless his heart, got my luggage for me and put it on one of the luggage carts. From the airport, I took a taxi to my friends', Stephanie and Tony's house out in Tsawwassen.

Now, here's an interesting thing... for those of you following the US economy and, in particular, the US dollar. All us Canadians have always looked up to the US$. As a matter of fact, there is a generation or two of Canadians who have only known the US$ to always be higher than the Canadian dollar. Well, when I went to pay the taxi fare, I didn't have enough Canadian currency on me so I tried to pay with half Canadian and half American money. He was very nice, but said that he couldn't accept the American money but would take Canadian or a credit card. Tony came out at that point so when he saw the problem, he went back in and got the Canadian that I needed. I have never, in all my life, been anywhere in Canada where they did not only accept American cash, but LOVED American cash better than our own money!! So this is just a sign of the times... something I've been in discussion groups with others for a long time.

Anywho... I did get out to Tsawwassen ok and what Tony did was put the dogs out in the backyard ... then I came in and stood in the far corner. He then let both Bridget and Reagan in. Bridget immediately had her nose in the air and made a beeline for the kitchen. I wasn't there, so she came running back into the family room... and then she spotted me. Then the excitement began! She was very excited to see her mom... screaming, hollering and making all sorts of noise. When I picked her up, she was Velcro Dog... with a paw around each side of my neck and hundreds of puppy kisses. This lasted oh, 10-15 minutes, and then it was as if I had never gone ;) Until we got home... then I got the cold shoulder for the next 2 days. How DARE I abandon her!! Luckily, she got over that and she is now back to her old puppy-loving self :)

The rest of the week, I pretty much needed just to try and adjust back to the cooler (ok, at times, COLDER) weather. I did go out to see Dad, Pat, Jer and Erin out at Dad's place when I got home, but it's amazing how the drive out and back actually did tire me out. I'm not sure if it was the drive out/back or that I went out so soon after traveling by plane... but I was knackered!

This past weekend, for no reason, I got very sick on Friday night (well, the wee hours of Saturday morning). It wasn't food poisoning because I felt fine... and didn't get any of the normal waves of nausea. But oy vey, was I ever sick to my stomach!! That lasted for about 5 hours, every hour or so. Even now, I have no idea what brought that on!!

Lucky for me, it was over in 5 hours, because this past weekend was the start of the auditions for Theatre Under The Stars. WOW... can you believe that?? Auditioning for the two shows that make summer magic around here! Come heck or high water... even with the amount of joint/bone/muscle pain I am going through (hopefully it will be long gone by then ??), I will once again be volunteering to be part of the incredible TUTS team! This year, the two summer shows will be the revised version (written for Bernadette Peters) "Annie Get Your Gun" and "Jesus Christ, Superstar!" Two great musicals... and if we get the good weather... well, wow! But first, the auditions! And we have gone hi-tech this year!! :D We have two older iMacs set up on a table, hooked up to a printer. Each of the iMacs have a cute little webcam that is on one of those twisty arms. So when someone comes up to register to audition, we can fill out the first part of their audition form (name, address, email, phone, etc), then at the same time, do a command/C which activates the web cam to take a still picture. Voila! We can then paste the picture right on the top left hand corner of the audition form, print off two copies (one for each show's set of directors) and the auditionee is ready to audition. This is the first time I have ever seen this done at an audition and it is brilliant... I'm surprised no one has thought of it before! The directors/choreographers/musical directors can now remember who was who when they go through the forms prior to callback auditions because the pictures are of the auditionees on the day of the auditions and not the lovely, professional headshots that actors turn in, where they look gorgeous, but not necessarily how they looked when they came in. Sooooo... I will be helping with the auditions in the evening this week and then again next weekend. I am staffing the computer/pictures, then when it's not busy, I am putting together a spreadsheet of auditionee's name, ph, email, address so these can be sorted easily when we need to get in touch with them later this week.

Ok... that sort of brings us to today. Today I went to see my oncologist, Dr. Gill. I am just going to paste the information I sent in an email to my family so I don't have to type it all over again...

My major complaint for the past umpteen months has been the joint and muscle pain. Prior to all this cancer stuff, I DID have osteo-arthritis in both knees and, as much as a pain as it is, it was something I was used to. The rest of me worked the same way as it always has. Since about the end of August, I was starting to notice more pains... like arthritis but in other joints... and as time went on and we finished the chemo treatments, the joint pain continued to get worse. Now, my oncologist is thinking that the joint pain is just the long term side affects from the chemo... and with time it may get better. Either that, or the chemo has triggered off any dormant arthritis I may have had in my body, so now it is her in full force. Before saying it's chemo-related or not, she is referring me to a rheumatologist and he/she will put me through some tests to see if I have any signs of rheumatoid arthritis (the crippling kind) or any other soft tissue damage. She doesn't think I do have any rheumatoid arthritis because I show no signs of inflammed joints, redness, etc. But, she wants to rule this out as a cause and if we can rule it out then we can be pretty confident that the joint pain, be it osteo-arthritis or a chemo-related infliction... it has probably been triggered by the chemo.

Then we got to talking about the blood work (which I had totally forgotten about since the joint pain was my main concern)... and my CEA levels are elevated again, even higher than in December. Some of you will remember that the CEA test is the one they call the "Tumour Marker". It does not mean they are marking a tumour, it's just the name of the test where they measure this substance in the blood. If the test shows the substance is elevated then it "COULD" mean there is cancer somewhere in the body or blood system, but it is not a "for sure" thing. It is just one of the tools they use to monitor.

Since my CEA levels were elevated again, Dr. Gill is going to go ahead with ordering another CAT scan, as well, she is going to order a PET scan. The CAT scan will be the same as the one they did in December where they will scan the whole abdominal area. With the PET scan, the procedure is they give me a special kind of sugar which, if there IS cancer, it will absorb this sugar and then show up on the scan as a glow of some sort. The PET scan is of the whole body, where as the CAT scan is specific to the abdomen.

So, that's where we are at the moment. There is no rush for these scans... it's not like we have to rush in an have them done in the next 48 hours. But it will be the PET scan that takes longer to book than the CAT scan, so they will probably book them at the same time. Chances are, I will have both scans and an appt. with the Rheumatologist within the next 4 weeks. Once they are set up, they will mail me the dates/times.

Okey dokey... this was a lot of babble and no pictures to break up the babble. But what's a girl to do?? I will add pictures later as I take them ... or I may even do something sneaky and post some pictures of friends/family once I get their permission :)

Soooo... until later... ciao for now!!



chet said...


Thanks for the update and welcome home. Enjoy TUTS, I know you will.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Positive thought going your way.

Hugs, Maryann

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your updates, Cheryl, and best wishes for your upcoming tests. Although I've been remiss in reading regularly, I'm now current and so happy to see all your great 'party' photos from Hawaii. You're sooooo tanned! Sounds like you're back to working those theatre folks go girl!!!! MARY.