Thursday, October 15, 2009

Football Time in Tennessee!

Last weekend, we went to Knoxville for a visit and for the TN/GA game.  Go Vols!  Ok, as if I care so much about football, but I do get caught up in the spirit of the game.  Especially this rivalry.  Scott is a Georgia fan.  We packed up the car and left later than intended (as usual!).  This was our first trip using the portable DVD player in the back for Annabel.  It did not go so well.  We made it about 45 minutes out of town before she started barfing.  Pit stop at Target for some Febreze and snacks and then back on the road.  We had just gotten out of the mountains when she barfed AGAIN and then immediately fell asleep.  Scott cleaned her up and we kept driving, in the rain.  We couldn't even roll the windows down!  It was foul, but we laughed a lot.  It turns out that Annabel was just carsick from watching her DVD, so luckily she was just fine the rest of the weekend.

Saturday was a busy day.  I knew it wasn't a good idea to go to the football game, but I was still able to socialize, which was great.  I took Scott downtown to meet up with Shannon and Lillia and crew, so I got to visit a little at the brewery.  After I dropped him off, I met my friend Lisa and we got to spend some time together.  I was pretty worn out after that, so I went back to my dad's and crashed on the sofa for a while.  Kim picked Scott up from the game on her way home from work and we all ate pizza for dinner.  I really wanted to see my friends Paige and James, so we went to a party on Saturday night and caught up with them, FINALLY.  It has been a long time since we've seen each other, but because we have a mutual friend in our neighbor Shannon and since James and my dad work together, we just picked things right up.  It was great to see them and we also got to have brunch together on Sunday morning.  I was really happy to be able to have such a social weekend.  Really, I think that is the most socializing I've done since before Annabel was born!  She is finally old enough that we can leave her with family and she is very content.  It was a great trip, another great diversion and the drive home was nice.  The leaves are starting to change in the mountains, so it made up for the drive there.

Last week, the counselor from the Cancer Society called me to see if I'd be interested in speaking with Fox Carolina about breast cancer because they were looking for someone to interview who is currently being treated.  I agreed to do it and the news reporter called me early this week to set up a time to come over.  She was here this morning interviewing me for their breast cancer story that is airing at the end of the month.  I am nervous!  I hope I didn't look or sound like a dork.  I am sure that I did and will not enjoy watching it, but hopefully they can do some editing and make me look like slightly less of a dork.  I don't know....I have a hard time lately finishing a train of thought, so I am interested to see how it turns out.  I'll keep everyone posted about when it's going to be on.  She interviewed me outside on the front porch and they also filmed a little bit inside the house.  Scott did some good speed cleaning last night, so I hope the dirty parts don't show up and we look spiffy.  I get a goat voice when I am nervous and I told the reporter.  She said that she didn't hear it after she took my mic off.  I just hope that I help someone or was able to thank the people that help me.  That was sort of my point in doing it.  We'll see!

Another thing that I haven't mentioned here yet is that Kim got the results back from her genetic test.  Unfortunately, the results were positive for the BRCA1 gene.  She recently had her mammogram and ultrasound and also a breast biopsy; there was no cancer, which is a GREAT thing.  Because she has such an increased risk to get breast cancer, she is opting to have a prophylactic mastectomy sometime soon.  Specifically, she is looking into having the DIEP surgery.  This is where they take tummy fat and make new boobs, so she gets a free tummy tuck, too.  This surgery is relatively new I think and there are not many surgeons who do it.  She is planning to meet with a surgeon in Milwaukee and if it is a go, she will have the surgery there and recover with our family in Wisconsin.  I hate that she tested positive, but I am glad that she is taking a proactive approach.  I don't want her to ever have to have cancer, so anything she can do to prevent it is a great thing.  It is not uncommon for women in her situation to have a prophylactic mastectomy.  As a matter of fact, we are going to a luncheon in a few weeks and the speaker chose this route after helping her sister through breast cancer, so it is a similar situation.  I feel bad.  Like this is Kim's big prize for helping me through this.  She seems to be taking it really well. 

We have sort of a busy weekend planned.  We're taking Annabel to Boo in the Zoo and having dinner with Mario and Shannon.  We're also planning to go and look at some campers.  I keep looking online, but I am sure that when I see them in person, they are going to look much tinier than they do in pictures!  We hope to get a camper sometime next spring so that we can enjoy some family vacations and road trips when I am feeling better.  I've been looking at lightweight, hybrid travel trailers.  We need something that we can pull behind the Pathfinder, so we'll see where our search takes us.  I am VERY excited about it. 

I want to thank everyone again for all of the support and encouragement!  It really helps me.  I know that I have been bad lately with correspondence, but it isn't because I don't think of it.  It is sometimes hard to find a quiet moment. 

Feeling alright with one week left until my next treatment.  My throat has been hurting again and this week, I have had pain in my neck/shoulder where my port is.  I am thinking that I possibly slept on it funny this weekend, but paranoia strikes and I worry that there is something wrong with my port again.  I am generally lethargic and get worn out really easily.  I don't feel like I'm pushing myself enough to do any walking or anything, but I also just want to get through this chemo thing.  I have not been eating well lately.  I don't have a very good appetite.  I'll eat if food is in front of me, but I am not very motivated to cook or shop and have an especially hard time deciding what to eat.  I am also drinking Instant Breakfast to make sure that I get vitamins.  I tried Ensure, but it was awful.  It is not my preferred method of dieting, but I have lost some weight, which did not seem to please my doctor.  Luckily, I have clothes in the next size down and they also happen to mostly be winter clothes.  I know that the fatigue and side effects from chemo are cumulative, so the fact that I am easily tired and not feeling well shouldn't be surprising, but it is no fun.  Four more weeks until my last treatment.  The countdown is on!  It is hard to believe.  I hope I get the most bang for my buck here and have mild side effects with great tumor shrinkage.  I was really hoping that the tumor would be GONE by the end of chemo, but it was still 3cm at the last measurement.  That is good because it continues to shrink, but it is probably much to hope that it disappears completely.  In any case, whatever is left will be gone with surgery.  Both my oncologist and the counselor at the Cancer Society mentioned an Oncology Rehab program, which includes exercise and nutrition help.  Apparently, I will do this after I am finished with radiation.  I am looking forward to feeling better, for sure!

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