Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Graduation Day

There was a diploma, I kid you not. And a weigh in (that was supposed to happen weekly--and didn't) and blood pressure check (ditto).

I got an invitation to "come back and visit" (as if!)

To celebrate (since I know you are wondering), I bought lunch for my crew. They were most grateful.

Tonight is Trick or Treat (yeh, yeh). I'm debating turning off the porch light and eating all the Sour Patch Kids myself.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Day To Go

Today was my last skin check, or so I thought. I found out that I need to schedule a follow-up visit in a month. I wonder if they realize that my insurance doesn't pay extra for follow-ups.

The penultimate (second-last ) toasting was nothing special except that I got a new purple smile to replace the one that had fallen quite nearly off. You'd think they were made of platinum the way they hand them out.

So, tomorrow, the smiles come off and I am Free At Last.

Just in time, too. The radiologist's office is looking more and more like a ghost town.

I am celebrating by eating the Sour Patch Kids that we bought for trick or treat. It's supposed to rain tomorrow (yes, I know) and my staff has dibs on the leftover Swedish Fish.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Giving Up Yet

Only two more days to go and I am not giving up on this blow-by-blow.

i have blisters and very red skin in spots (fortunately not both in the same spot). I itch, I hurt, and I am exhausted.

My plan for today was to go home early. That didn't happen. Now, it's my plan for tomorrow.

Today, I found out that the nurse at the radiologist's office is no longer there. Victim of the economy. There hasn't been anyone at the reception desk the last couple of days. Another victim?

Seems like a good thing this endeavor is almost over.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Which I Ponder Annoyance

I've been thinking about the comments that I got to my post yesterday about telemarketing calls, and frankly, I don't think I am wrong.

While I appreciate what Jeanne said, and fully understand that telemarketers are just trying to support themselves, when you take a job that by its very nature annoys the customer (me on the other end on the line), you should expect them to be annoyed!

For the record, I was not rude to the sweet, determined young thing on the other end. I informed her that we are on the DNC list. In my mind, the only appropriate response to that comment is "I'm sorry, I'll make a note of that," or something along those lines. Arguing that "I'm allowed" is not only princess-like (and not the Disney variety) but annoying.

So. Don't. Call. Me!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

If You Want My Support

Yesterday afternoon, shortly after I got home, the phone rang (knocking me off-line, but I digress) for the Other Half.

He wasn't home, so I asked politely (yes, I can!), "May I ask who's calling?"

Seems it was some sweet and earnest young thing from Mumble Mumble, etc. When she said she would call back, I asked her not to and said that we are on the National Do Not Call list and that we don't wish to be solicited by phone.

That was when she informed me that "political calls are exempt from that law." Well, yes, they are (though I don't think they should be).

And so, I told her that an organization hoping for support (monetary or otherwise) should respect the wishes of the people it's soliciting. How in the holy hell can they expect to win over people who don't want their day disturbed by phone calls by calling them?

So there!

I don't respond to phone solicitations. Ever!

And on a knitterly note:

I am ready to start the sleeves of the Other Half's Christmas Wallaby. Yes, I started it in March (I think). What's the problem?

It will be done by Christmas!

It's been my Waiting Knitting for the past week and I've made some nice progress. I'm past the point of fusing the pouch.

Time to start the sleeves.

I have a couple of other projects on the needles as well, including a scrap blankie (or laprobe, as the case might be) and Hey, Teach (for me).

The weather is supposed to be pissy (technical term) all weekend, and there's a football game on this afternoon. I should make some headway on the projects that are started and might even start a new one!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Not That I'm Counting

Three more treatments to go!

Yesterday, the scheduling tech asked me about next week. I had already told her that Tuesday at 9 wasn't going to work for me (job-related thing that I couldn't get out of)and so, she was already looking at an afternoon appointment. She asked if I could do afternoon all week (I can, I get to go home if it's late enough).

This morning when I got my appointment card, Tuesday was as expected (1:30), but Monday and Wednesday were "as usual" (9) which is fine by me. I can get a lot done and still go home if I need to!

I found this in the camera.

What a joyful little bundle of energy is our Tiny Prince! This was taken at the eleentary school playground when he and his Mama were visiting.

We climbed and climbed and slid and jumped and had a grand time and chased away the big kids who were there when we arrived. We didn't mean to. I guess we were cramping their style!

The police arrived (probably some nosy neighbor called because of the big kids--who weren't doing anything that I could tell, just being big kids on a Sunday afternoon).

We must have looked "safe," because they never even got out of their car.

This weekend, I am mailing off my contribution to the Red Scarf Project. This is the scarf I entered in the fair (it won a ribbon). I'm enclosing an encouraging note, a gift card to Subway, and a pre-paid phone card for my student and a check (the amount is between Norma and me) for the Orphan Foundation.

There's still time if you want to participate. There are cool prizes for $ contributors, but we aren't in it for the prizes!

Picture a teen, trying really, really hard to succeed on her own. Now picture that same teen with a little support. See how much farther that teen can go?

You could be the support.

Do it!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

What a Day!

At least it's over. Four more toastings to go.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First Round To Me

Today marked the end of the first part of radiation treatment. Tomorrow I get the first of five boost doses.

I can hardly contain my excitement.

Questions were raised about the 'stickers" that were installed on my chest earlier this week. Yes, I can shower. (Can you imagine the indignity of that not being allowed. Oh, wait, we already did that part!) I just need to be careful not to knock those suckers off.

So, 28 behind me; 5 to go.

Aside from the exhaustion (which started about day 5), the itching (day 10?), the slight blistering (very recent), and the sharp hot pains (almost from the beginning), it wasn't so bad. (Neither was childbirth or multiple root canals if we are comparing.) I will say that one of the things that got me through was this blog which I am still reading. (If you are going to do it, start at the beginning and read backwards!)

Friends' experiences (thanks, Amy! thanks, Susan!) helped too.

So, I'll chronicle the last 5 sessions, and the trips back to the surgeon, and to the oncologist (medical), but let's all consider that this adventure is over, shall we?

In another week, the blog will be all about knitting and the Tiny Prince.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Almost Done

Today I found out that the smile stickers have to stay in place until treatment is finished, which would be okay except that they itch and pull. Rats.

One more regular *zap* tomorrow, then 5 "boost" zaps (which I expect will toast my skin quite nicely--think crispy bacon) and I am finished.

Hanging in. . .


Monday, October 19, 2009

What's More Tired Than Exhausted?

Yesterday, I had a "gig" at a lunch meeting for a donor. I was there (or on the road) for nearly 4 hours--to speak for less than 10 minutes. At least the food was good!

What that really means, though, is that despite having a weekend, I got little rest. Saturday was gocery shopping, fun and necessary, but certainly not relaxing. Sunday flew by, and then it was Monday again and back to the treatment center.

And just in case I wasn't having enough fun with the regular treatment (10 seconds X 2), today, the techs got a chance to draw on me with blue Sharpie and stick stickers.

I took pictures, but it wasn't pretty, so I deleted them. You'll just have to imagine aging boob droop with blue marker and purple smiley-looking things.

Oh, the artwork was in preparation for the "boost" which starts Thursday, instead on Monday. I can hardly contain my excitement.

Seven to go!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Explanation of Benefits

Let me just start by saying that I will look at EOB (the form the insurance company sends to say what they were billed by your doctor and what they paid, and also, what you might still owe) to see if/what we owe after insurance does its thing.

Usually, it's just a tiny bit (the co-pay) that is still owed.

But I look, to make sure, and sometimes, I am intrigued by what was billed vs. what was paid (and that my provider accepts as full-payment and "will not bill" me for the balance). It's a percentage (usually around 50). Is that what I would be expected to pay if I didn't have great (through the Other Half's employer) insurance? Holy cannoli!

For the first three weeks of radiation treatment, the bill was over $21,000! And there are 4 weeks left to be billed.

Who can afford to get sick?

You know where this is going, don't you?

Others are debating it far more competently than I can, so I won't, but good grief! I will just say that, though some of us ::coff::me::coff:: consider basic health care a right, not everyone does.

Did I mention that the bill is only for 3 weeks of just radiation? No surgery, no doctor visits, no mammograms, no biopsy, no MRI, no CT, no second surgery, no placement or removal of catheter (nor the cost of the device). Did I mention that it's just for the first 3 weeks?

Holy crap!

Coming tomorrow: knitting content, perhaps.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lather, Rise, Repeat

I'm starting to feel like this treatment reporting is about as interesting to read as watching paint dry.

Today marks day 24 with 9 left to go.

Now, in addition to smelling bad, I am starting to feel bad. Not just tired, but, frankly, as though someone is ramming my chest with a hot knife. And itchy, as well.

The good news is, I feel like I'm picking up speed!

I can't get a lot of knitting done in the 5 or so minutes I wait for treatment to start, but hope springs eternal, so I carry my latest portable, mindless, I Can Set It Down At Any Moment project with me. Today it's slippers. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? (Probably the other slipper.)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not That I'm Counting

Today was Day 23 with 10 left to go.

Something I am looking forward to: real deodorant. Seriously! This Kiss My Face Stuff should kiss my. . .

I am so tired of smelling like the south end of a north-facing goat! Though those around me assure me it isn't so, by the time I am home at night and ready to hit the shower, I am offending even myself!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two-Thirds Behind Me

Today marked treatment # 22. That means that there are only 11 to go, so 2/3 finished, 1/3 left.
Did we think we would ever reach this point?

My whatever that caused loss of voice and a general crappy feeling (technical term) is passing rapidly, but now the Other Half seems to be coming down with something, and you know what that means.

Today, I had to take the (leased, and the lease is almost up) car in for a bit of "emergency" (as in the annoying light on the dashboard) work. Monday, I discovered that I had No High Beams, which wouldn't be a problem if I drove at normal times through Not Deer Areas, but that isn't the case. I thought that was the cause of the annoying warning, but it turns out not to be the why of it.

Seems that Mr. I'm Almost Two was "driving the car" and flipped a switch that I didn't notice that disabled the high beam function. WE (the car guy and I) decided that driving should be restricted to Those Over Three. (We had a good chuckle over that. Then he fixed the Bulb That Was Causing the Annoying Message.)

Two totally unrelated and completely coincidental car "problems."


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shopping With Mom, Part 2

Finished this brightly colored "small daughter" sweater a few minutes ago and hit it with the steam.

As soon as I am sure it's dry, I'll be packing it up as a gift for one of Older Son's teammates.

Baby things are quick and fun. This little sweater is a joy to make and in wool. . .WOW!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Important Announcement

Heet the Feet has been put on Temporary Hold

while I complete a special request.

Older Son asked for "something warm" to fit the small daughter (about 1) of one of his colleagues.

And here it is, nearly finished. Just needs the second sleeve finished (should/could happen today), ends woven in, and 6 pretty buttons.

Elizabeth informs me that the pattern is still available for free at Knitting Pure and Simple.

Sadly, the yarn isn't. It's Plymouth Outback Wool. Random hanks might be still "out there," and I have 2 left in this colorway and 1/2 of another in brighter shades. Nice stuff.

We have company this weekend. We're having fun!

And Connie sent me these that I'll be forwarding to Cheyenne River next week when I send my monthly box. Aren't they cute? The little ones are LB Al-Pa-Ka. Probably the last of its kind anywhere in the known universe!

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Friday, October 09, 2009

End of Week 4

Today's treatment marked the end of another week. Two weeks and three days to go.

I had another opportunity to converse with the Other Patient from yesterday as we both arrived early. I was driving from home, a trip that can take 45-60 minutes depending on traffic (it took 35 this morning), rather than from work (15 minutes), so I allowed for delays and there were none.

I can say that I am feeling the skin and underlying tissue "tightening" and the surgical site is hard and lumpy. Makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to do a "routine" monthly BSE again!

The Tiny Prince is visiting this weekend. I hope to get lots of pictures.

Today, while his Mommy took a well-deserved nap, the TP and I baked cookies. Well, actually, I mixed and plopped and he munched peanut butter toast and applied the sprinkles. And we took advantage of a break in the pissy weather to play outside for a bit. My idea of work (picking up the branches that fell during the windstorm earlier this week) is his idea of play. I say, "have at it, little guy!"

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Waiting For Ever

Today, I waited and waited. I was on time. The woman waiting with me was early (and hoping to be taken in early).

We were out of luck. No reason to get upset. Nothing we could do about it. Why freak?

So we conversed. Longest conversation I've had in the (nearly) 4 weeks!

We decided it ws so much fun we'll do it again tomorrow.

19 down; 14 to go.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Does It Feel Any Different?

Now that I'm coasting to the finish line, I don't really feel any different.

The cough is easing up, thanks to some Really Good Drugs.

My appointment tomorrow is later than usual, and I can't find the card that tells me exactly when. Of course, the office is already closed, so I'll have to call in the morning. Rats!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

South Side of the Slope

Day 17. Sixteen to go.

'nuff said.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Halfway There

Today was Day 16 (of 33), so quite nearly half done. (Tomorrow gets that honor.)

One of the two women I see frequently when I go for the very short burst finished today, so we said the obligatory "hope to never see you again," good-bye.

(It's not a very chatty place.)

Older Son put in an order for "something for a small girl," preferably winter weight, so I cast on the Easy Baby Cardigan. It used to be available for free, but isn't any more. Well worth the price, though. Film by Saturday when I hope to mail it.

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Did Someone Say Prizes?

First of all, thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Mittnz Challenge. You knit, sewed, crocheted or bought an incredible 644 pairs of Mittnz.

How is that compared to prior years? Well, to be honest, the total is low. (And though it bugs the sh*t out off me to hear other people say it) In this economy, that's phenomenal!

This is most of the prizes for this year's Mittnz Challenge. I will admit that one was "missing on picture day" and I am tearing the house apart looking for it!

Somewhere in this room is a set of KnitPicks double points. I thought I put them in the box with all of the other prizes as they arrived, but damned if they can be found!

I have conducted the official random draw of all nine-pair participants, and am pleased to announce that the following ::drumroll, please:: kniiters/sewers/crocheters should be expecting an email from me requesting a mailing address.

Nancy G, Bev H, Cherri, Ann H, LizzyK8, Carol K, Julie, Jennifer, and Mary's sister.

Don't throw away those ticket stubs yet! I will still be awarding the needles as soon as i find them.

You would be amazed at how clean and neat parts of this room are. You would be equally amazed at the mess everywhere else, I'm sure!

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Countdown Starts

I know we already had the fair countdown, but that's over and done with for another year (or until 2010 panic sets in).

I'm talking about Christmas countdown.

As in 81 days ::eep:: from now, we will all be in Gay and Festive mode.

I'm lucky. No one expects much out of me this Christmas. I've been sick.

So I am hoping that the intended victim lucky recipient will like this version of the ribbed scarf. Like its companion, this is made of Patons SWS, this time in shades of brown.

It's available again at Smiley's; don't wait if you want some. Availability at Smiley's usually means Closeout.

And here's a little quick and dirty Festive Dishcloth (or facecloth if you are like me and don't wash by hand). The yarn is Old Reliable (Sugar and Cream). The color is Mistletoe.

In health news, I still feel like crap (technical term). I coughed all night (meaning that neither I nor The Other Half got a lot of sleep.

My voice has not come back completely, though it is showing some signs of improvement.

And Monday (tomorrow) marks day 16. You know, nearly the half-way mark.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Imaginary Friends To the Rescue

As you know, my Very Good Imaginary Friends got together and made Mittnz in my honor.

Come on, admit it. Unless you family and friends are really Internet Savvy, they think that all those folks you converse with on-line every day are All In Your Head!

Could All In Your Head Friends send you prezzies?

Mine did.

Thursday morning, the Other Half called to me to help him with some stuff that "Santa" (aka the Dude Dressed In Brown) had left on the front porch.

One box was huge and heavy (diapers for the Tiny Prince's upcoming visit

The other box was smaller, but still substantial.

It contained this lovely "comfortghan" from a bunch of my Other Imaginary Friends.

Ronnie gathered the squares from all over, edged them, and sent the 'ghan on to me.

It's really lovely. Thank you, Imaginary Friends!"

So, if you are scratching your head trying to figure out why there are so many photos, look again. The only way I could get a good picture of all the terrific squares was to fold it in quarters and take four.

If you click on each photo, sometime Blogger will make the picture bigger.

Click away!

My next challenge will be to decide where it will live!

The colors go really well in my bedroom ( neutral greens), living room (neutral greens--eyes left, the colors IRL are much closer than they show in this picture) , and family room (moving in the direction of neutral greens--can we say "color rut?").

I guess I could just wrap it around myself and carry it from room to room. . .

Oh, and look at the goodies that were packed in with. Scented candles, cookbook, patterns, yarn (I really need more yarn).


Friday, October 02, 2009

Shopping At Mom's

Once again, Younger Son is in need of a gift. I have nothing suitable in stock. Rather, I have nothing in stock that he can have. We call this "planned for a meal" (i.e. recipient already in mind thankyouverymuch). The recipients-to-be are two women. Not teenagers, and not "old" (which we know means My Age).

So I whipped up what All The Cool Kids are wearing.


First pair (and the second) are Phyllis Wharton's Scallopers' Wristers from Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen. Great book for Mittnz knittn! I had to modify (different weight yarn) and I added ribbing at the top.

Remember the Laprobe That We All Knew Was Really A Baby Blankie and the Rambling Rows Jacket? The little person I made them for arrived at 5:40 AM. He's cute! (not unexpected). I have a picture, but I don't have permission to share, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Today was Day 15. I still feel like crap and have No Voice At All. None. I croak. And I had to croak twice at Rotary at lunch today.

I am looking forward to Two Days Off.

Oh, and while we were catching up on Netflix tonight, there was a rousing THUNK from the laundry room. The dryer managed to shake loose a HUGE jug of All Free and Clear (the size you get at Costco or BJ's or Sam's). Cursing mightily while cleaning most of it up, I offended The Other Half (who really didn't exactly do anything) by yelling at him. You know, if I had needed wanted an audience, I would have sold tickets. Just saying.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Day 14

One more down.

This one (Thursday) is later in the day than the rest, 10:30 vs. 9, and so it's somethat possible to track symptoms. A passing fever spike that occurs shortly after treatment is "somewhat normal." After all, the radiation is burning (think severe sunburn).

This, too, shall pass. I plan to leave work early tomorrow (after a neen meeting), get my flu shot, and rest up for Monday.

19 to go.

Mary sent me a picture of the Mittnz her sister made and sent to the Reservation.

Aren't they great?

You can still send me your photo and get in the drawing. I need it by noon (eastern time) on Saturday, October 3. abmcmanusATverizonDOTnet

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