Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday, January 13th, 2011 - I missed doing a Christmas and New Year's entry :)

Helloooo bloggy-mates!

Ok, do you think I should enter some contest for the absolute worst blogger? I mean, there is no rhyme nor reason to my entries. They aren't daily, weekly or even monthly! They can be full of promises about how I've turned over a new leaf and am going to do entries more often and then you don't hear from me for weeks. How rotten is that??

So, I'm just going to dive right in and babble away. To save time, I'm not going to put any pictures in this entry, mainly because I'd either have to find them on the computer or download them from my camera (another little task I have not gotten around to). So just what the heck keeps me so darn busy I can't sit at the computer and do a few entries per week? After all, I AM a retiree now, so doesn't this mean I have all the time in the world to just putter about doing whatever I want??

Well, I'm guessing that at some point I will get that luxury... at least , I'm kinda counting on it...I'm just not sure when that's going to happen. So here is my life in a nutshell.... since the last post which was Dec 21st :)

As you all know, I will be going on a new (to me) chemo starting Feb 7th. So that means next Thurs (a week from today) I go to VGH and have the chemo port surgically put in, just under my collar bone. They will insert the catheter from the device into some big old vein (the aeorta?), meanwhile anchoring down the device by sewing it to a muscle, so that it remains in place. They will then staple the wound shut (whatever happened to the old fashioned stitches?). It will have about 18 days to heal before it is used for the first chemo. Now, here comes the fun part... when you go in for one of these they do tell you that you might feel a mild discomfort for the first 24 hours. HA! When I had this done in 2007 we are talking major pain for a whole week, pain where I couldn't raise my right arm any higher than my waist and even that was a challenge. So think about it... if I can't move my arm, then I can't drive because my car is a standard. I need my right arm for the stick. Hehehe... I think this is where I may get my week off where I can just putter about the apartment and on the computer ;)

Now, just what am I doing that keeps me busy, and can I continue that busyness from home? The answer is yes! As some (most?) of you know, I am the Publicist of Metro Theatre. They are one of the few community theatres who do a complete season of 8 shows plus a Christmas pantomime... so 9 productions a year. The shows are back to back... different directors/crew/cast for each one, so in that sense these people are doing one show/season and of course they focus on their show as being the priority. I meanwhile, are involved with all 9 and am working on 3 shows at any given time (the current production that is running at the theatre plus the next two productions that are in rehearsal), plus am publicizing the theatre as a whole.

Now, for the last 4 years, I have also been working down at the TUTS office 3-4 afternoons/week, then 6-7 afternoons and evenings/week once the shows move down to the park. I have freed up that time now (it really was getting to be crazy hours I was working trying to juggle the two companies) and resigned from TUTS in mid-November. Don't get me wrong... I LOVED my time spent down at TUTS and I'm sure you all have heard on more than one occasion how much I would rave about how gorgeous it was to be working smack dab in the middle of the most gorgeous park in the world. It STILL is the most gorgeous park in the world and I admit I will miss that... and miss the work that I loved doing, especially when we were offering Musical Theatre camps to kids ages 6 - 18 yrs. I can't believe how much fun I had doing the registrations, talking to the parents, answering queries and working with the most wonderful instructors -- Diana Kaarina and Richard Coombes. But alas, all good things come to an end and there were some personal reasons for me to choose it was time to leave, before the new season got too much underway.

So, did this free up my time? Well, yes and no. Yes I wasn't going in the office 3-4 afternoons/week but I did offer to help a small group of friends who were doing an Equity Collective Christmas production... Christmas on the Air. This was an absolutely delightful production and it didn't hurt that I adored each and every one of the people involved. I must admit, it was also a real treat to work this small show with no squabbling, no hidden agendas, no "we can't share that with you", and no exclusion. I felt right at home, while at the same time, I really got to live up to the challenge of publicizing this production. I was really pleased with what all I managed to accomplish as far as publicity goes and from what I've been told by Pacific Theatre who was sponsoring the show as part of their season, the show was very successful.

Now, I'm still working on the shows at Metro... and we have the musical in the Spring which will be a huge challenge for me, but I will be up to it, working around my chemo treatments ;) And I have just heard from my friend, Diana, who runs Broadways Edge where they offer musical theatre workshops/classes, as well as voice and dance, asking if I would be interested in organizing the registration for a course another dear friend, the delightful Seana-Lee Woods will be putting on at the studio before she heads back to Ontario. YES!! I jumped at the chance! Both Diana and Seana-Lee were in Christmas on the Air... so anything I can do to help either of them, count me in! :)

Meanwhile, today I had an appt. with my kidney surgeon, Dr. Alan So. I think if you go back in the blog to about a year and a bit ago, that is when I first met Dr. So. I was soooo impressed with him and his attitude/personality. Considering the last surgeon I had any dealings with was Dr. M who took out my right adrenal gland. He did a wonderful job but had the WORST bedside manner. Needless to say, we didn't click at all. But Dr. So was wonderful right from the start. He is my surgeon because of the tumour found in my kidney and assured me that there was no reason to take out the whole kidney... but that the tumour was small enough that we could do a RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) procedure to remove it. Of course at that time we had no idea if it was a spread of the colon cancer or if it was a brand new primary kidney cancer. The only way of finding out would be when I went on chemo for the colon cancer tumours in my lungs, if the tumour in the kidney started responding by shrinking, then it would be accepted as being a colon cancer tumour. If it didn't respond, it would more than likely be considered a kidney cancer tumour. Well, it didn't respond and it actually has grown slightly... nothing to get too excited about but showing a trend of starting to be active. Dr. So said that if it were to grow over 4mm, then it might be too big to zap... but it currently is just over 1mm. He said that with this kind of tumour, it would take a few years to get to 4mm, as it is... it's been over a year for it to get to 1mm. Anywho, to make a long story longer ... he says that yes, he would like to see us get it zapped. Now there is usually a good 3 - 4 month wait for a non-life threatening RFA procedure, so he would like to get the ball rolling now. He knows I'm about to start chemo for the tumours in my lungs and the RFA can't be done while I'm on chemo... so we are planning that this happen when I'm on a break from chemo in 6 months. He said that he did send my case to the renal conference board... where 6 renal (kidney) specialists went over my case and all 6 were unanimous that I was a good candidate for this procedure since I was doing so well and have so much energy. He says that usually, they wouldn't be this aggressive with a kidney tumour when someone is a Stage IV cancer patient... but he is impressed with how well I'm doing... and how good I look (ok, just telling me I look good, I think I've fallen a teensy bit in love with him ). Sooooo, yayayayaya!! I'm still being given aggressive treatments which is a GOOD THING :)

There you have it. I'm sure there's lots more to yak about, but for those of you on Facebook, you probably follow my adventures over there :D Next entry, I will try to add more photos... photos are always fun!! :)

Ciao for now!!



Anonymous said...

So, Dr. So is so good. He needs to be to be able to take care of our Cheryl! Dr. So can sew you up so you will be all better in the kidney, so? Love, Susan S.(Issaquah)

Truly Low Carb Karen said...

Cheryl, my reading is almost as sporadic as your blogging, but you know that must be a good thing, because it means I am less worried. You handle everything so well, always - but I am still glad you left TUTS. More time to spoil the Diva this way! :)

Anonymous said...

Still sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

Hugs, Maryann