Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - Catch Up

Hiya Bloggy!

Yep... time for another catch up blog entry. So much seems to be happening these days, with much more than I still want to do, want to plan... but still have the same old problem. Not enough time, not enough days in the week.

I do think my energy level has improved... although, it is not consistent. It's now like I go through these power energy surges where some days I can go for hours and hours... and other days, half a day is about the limit. For example, yesterday I went down to the TUTS office at 11am and Jill/I worked our butts off with no break straight through until 5:30pm when I HAD to leave to drop Bridget off at home and then get out to the Langara campus to do the registrations for the Modern Millie call back auditions. Lucky for me, Toby met me at the back of the apartment building and she took Bridget... was going to take her out for her LATE afternoon walk, bring her home and feed her... so I could go straight to the college. I left there just after 11pm and didn't get home until just after 11:30pm So that was a 12 1/2 hour day which I did survive... but just barely. I was in big pain... every joint in my body. So much so that I had to put my foot down and say I'm staying home today (Wed). Hahaha... but, I didn't really have a vegging out day... I worked for about 5 hours on getting the audition stuff together for tomorrow night (Thurs) because I'm not in the office today or tomorrow... and Greg is going to handle the auditions tomorrow night. Jill picked the stuff up from me tonight on her way home. Hahaha... so, as you can probably figure out... right now my time is being taken up with administrative type stuff down at the TUTS office and AUDITIONS for this summer's productions of "Annie" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie".

Here are a couple of pictures taken at our various audition venues...

Children, children everywhere! (Children's auditions for Annie)

More children, more auditions... and yes, there was 1 - 2 parents for each child :)

This doesn't really show the venue too well, but this was taken at the adult auditions for both shows.

This shows our computer set up... 2 Mac iBooks, with a portable web cam that takes stills so we can take a picture of everyone when they register and that picture is then pasted onto the audition form. I don't have an example, but you can sort of see one in Rose's hand.

Not the best picture of me, but at least I'm still energetic and ready to process the masses ;)

And no, Bridget does not come to the auditions with me. There are just too many people in a small space. She comes with me to the TUTS office and has her own little bed there, but the actual auditions, she stays home where it's quiet and not so chaotic.

Mind you, the other day I was trying desperately to get caught up with my laundry. Again, because of the auditions and what not, I have not been home to do the laundry... and on weekends, I do try to leave the laundry room for those who work during the week. But this past weekend, I decided I was one of those people who work during the week , so I did four loads of laundry on Sunday. HA!! And I thought the auditions were tiring!! Going up and down the stairs on my goofy, painful legs was quite the accomplishment getting all that laundry done, one load at a time! And back up in the apartment, I had my helper... little Miss Bridget, the Laundress:

Now, when I empty a basket of clean, dry laundry on the bed to be folded, hung and put away... she has to sit right in the middle of things and guard the laundry. She doesn't like me putting it away! It's warm, and she'd like to sleep in the middle of it all :D

Now... as much as I try not to think about it too much... time for a little update on the medical front. I did see my oncologist, Dr. Sharlene Gill, the other week. We went over the ablation procedure and I talked about hoping that we can ablate the other lung tumours, although they really are too small at this point to do anything about. She agrees with me that chemo is not the way to go right now, the main reason being that when the tumours are as small as they are and as slow growing as they are... slow growing cancer tends to be chemo resistent, so there really is no point bombarding me with chemo right now if it's not going to do anything. If they start growing and/or others start up and are faster growing, then we will look at the chemo treatment. If only one or two of the tumours start growing, then we will look at ablating them. I did very well with the ablation I did have, but ablation may not be the answer if more new tumours show up.. then we will look at doing chemo. But hey, we are not about to hurry this process along. If the tumours remains slow or not growing at all at this point, then that's a good thing.

Meanwhile, I told her my only complaint is the pain in my legs... specifically the knees, feet and lower back. Now, I know I had osteoarthritis in both knees before this cancer diagnosis, so arthritis is not a surprise to me... but it does seem in the last 2 years, since we started the chemo and had 8 months of it, the pain has gotten considerably worse. Definitely the use of my legs is very limited and my knees are very stiff... as are my feet.. So Sharlene ordered a bone scan at VGH. Now, I managed to convince myself we were doing the scan to see how much arthritis damage there was to my bones... but in all fairness, Sharlene is an oncologist and she is more concerned about whether the cancer has spread, in this case, to my bones.

Well, I had the bone scan last Thursday and on Tuesday Sharlene sent me an email to tell me that there was absolutely no sign of cancer having spread to the bones (yayayayaya!) and that my bones are actually in remarkable shape, other than the osteoarthritis in both knees, both feet and lower back. The back is consistent with normal wear and tear, the knees and feet are considerably more severe. Well, that certainly answers the pain in both feet/knees which would affect the whole leg.

But I am thrilled that the bones are in remarkable shape and that there is no spread of cancer to the bones. I think I have enough to work on and didn't need to hear the bones were affected as well :) I will now be following up with my GP as far as what more we can do for pain management, whether physio is warrented or a change in meds, etc.

I just know there's tons more to yak about since it has been awhile since I've posted here, but my mind is going into sleep mode. Oh, I know... I've been searching old theatre photos that I've taken. For as long as I can remember, I've always had a camera with me and was always taking pictures at rehearsals, backstage, parties, etc. I posted a bunch of pictures from 1982 when we did the show "The Spirit of Malkin Bowl". That summer we couldn't use the TUTS outdoor theatre at Malkin Bowl (in Stanley Park) because it had had a big fire that winter. So we did the show out front of the stage on a temporary stage. I posted these pictures in an album on Facebook and it was wonderful to see old friends surface... everyone had a great time remembering the memories of that show. I've now got a bunch from when we did "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Arts Club here in Vancouver. So I just have to find the time to scan them, organize and post them on Facebook. Hahaha... then (good intentions), one of these days I'll be going downstairs to the Storage Locker, with a flashlight, to find boxes of old photos... and will have to scan up a storm with them as well. There are a lot of memories in those old photos!!

Ok, it's 11pm so I better post this blog. The next thing I must do over the next week is find time in between auditions and what not, to do up the March 1st Community Theatre eNewsletter. I am thrilled that my energy is coming back slowly but surely. I can't for the life of me figure out how I worked a full time job and then did the theatre stuff in my free time... that just doesn't compute with me yet. Here I think I'm getting my energy back, but realize I have a long ways to go before I could ever work at something 5 days/week PLUS have all the extra curricular activities going on the side. BUT, I'm not going to get upset about that... as long as I can get out and do the things that keep my mind active (and that I enjoy) and be able to recognize when I've pushed it too far, so can step back and rest... then I'm a happy camper :)

Soooo... I hope all is going well with all you Bloggy readers!! Even though it is March, I just know spring is around the corner... I can feel it in my arthritic bones . When I parked the car at the TUTS office the other day, I was thrilled to see the little snowdrop flower starting to sprout up ...

Ciao for now!!!




Anonymous said...

Hey Cheryl, So glad to hear about your arthritis (not the other stuff) in your joints etc. We'll take arthritis over any other nasties that I can think of. I love your oncologist. She certainly is worthy of taking care of your sweet self. We (your public and loved ones) approve!

Love, Susan S. Issaquah

Melinda said...

I really like that photo of you at the auditions! Good news too... make no bones about it, lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl. I just caught up on your last few entries. It sounds like you are refusing to do what is expected by medical science--attagirl!! Do it your way and beat the darn thing. Hope to bump into at the TUTS auds. next week.
Love, KK

Anonymous said...

Hello! It's good to see you and read your news. Keep those positive thoughts flowing.

Hugs, Maryann