Monday, December 12, 2011

Return of doom and gloom

I have come to realise that my panic attacks are a result of the realization that I will never feel like the place i currently live in as my home. I DO NOT LIKE THIS PLACE AND MY HEART CRYS OUT IN PAIN!!

My sewing space is super small and very dark i cannot see well enough to complete started projects. Maybe i will feel better if i can get some light in the room.

I almost left work today because my pain was intense today. Pain in my knees,back,head,chest. I have to figure out how to survive in this place. I am not sure if i can but will attempt to fight thru.

My next post will be after i have been able to deal with the drama i have created in my mind. Pray for me!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blue in need of Yellow and Red


In about 8 months I will be 50 years old. I never really paid too much attention to my age.
As long as I am able to do what I enjoy age is really not a factor. However lately I have had a lot of doctor appointments.

This increase in appointments started with the feeling of something was in my throat all the time. I cough to clear my throat, I took allergy medicine thinking of sinus drainage causing the problem but after 3 weeks decided to go to see the doctor.

This appointment lead to a series of appointments for testing and then appointments to get results of testing only to make new appointments for additional testing.. Results of all this testing a node on my thyroid was found and new treatment for my GERD.

Prilosec every morning and zantac 1 hour after last meal of the day. After about 8 days the feeling in my throat was gone. I continue that routine everyday.

When they did a CT scan on my throat to see if something was there, because I kept insisting that there was something in my throat, they discovered the node on my thyroid.

The node on my thyroid needed a biopsy. The doctor put the numbing medicine on my neck and then said “ big pinch” If I am numb no pinch should I feel. Then the needle is injected into the node and then the doctor moves the needle back and forth quickly several times, which hurts! He removes the needle and leaves the room only to return with a new needle to repeat the process. 3 times this is done and then I am given gauze to hold on my neck with some pressure to stop bleeding and prevent bruising.

I had to have this appointment 2 times because the first biopsy testing results were non conclusive! The biopsy that was just completed friday, I should have results by time of next doctors appointment in December.

2 Weeks ago I had a resurgence of my asthma coughing until I could not breathe. I got a refill on my inhaler and this did help but the coughing will not stop. I have a doctors appointment December for this as well.

Last week I started seeing flashes of light that were not part of a migraine headache so I made an appointment to see the doctor.

After 2 hours of testing it was explained to me that the gel that fills the eye is separating from the wall of the eye. It usually happens when you are older but because my eyes are so bad it would happen to me earlier in life. When we are younger in are teens and twenty the gel in our eyes is the consistency of Jello and this gets softer as we get older and pulls away from the wall of the eye. The retina is the wallpaper of the eye and it is important that it does not get any damage to it (tear) if this happens then laser surgery is needed to save the vision in the eye. So I am no allow to do anything stressful such as lifting, exercising and no quick of jerking movement to my head. I am to go back in 4 weeks to check the eye to make sure no damage has been done to the retina. If I see an increase in the flashes of light or feel like a curtian is covering part of my eye I am to go the the Emergency Department right away!

I had to go back to the office and continue working with all this information in my head.

Today I just sat still all day long. Well I did clean up some stuff but really I am just fighting the blues. I hate feeling this way. I got up this morning and got dress and then sat on the sofa for the 8 hours and then I WAS forced the leave the house for an hour and then I sat on the sofa for the rest of time evening. If the laptop would not have been near I would not have written this.

I have sewing to complete, I have drawing to complete, I have journal that needs to be done but I am not feeling like doing anything.

I hope that tomorrow I will put some yellow and green on the blues and my determination will return so that I can continue my efforts to be Fifty and Fine.

Monday, October 31, 2011

10/31 Strange sights in the Scheduling room...

Monday 10/31

In the scheduling room today I saw a ninja sneak by my office while a little butterfly ran down the hallway. Santa was getting himself some candy from the basket in my office.

Mustard and Ketchup was talking to a big pink bunny, Groucho Marks was looking for his cigar.
A herd of dinosaurs ran down the other hallway.

I do not like halloween.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No Suicide is not painless...


As you read this imagine the theme song from M.A.S.H tv series. The song is suicide is painless..

My dear sweet hubby does not understand why he now has to use 20 cc of insulin everyday in addition to 4 tables of 500 mg metiformin 1 tablet of amaryl (not sure of dosage). When the doctor told him is sugar levels were too high and he need to give himself insulin shots every day he seriously could not see why. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Well Mr.hubby the meter is showing 312 is your current sugar level the blood-work is showing ac1 at 14. When was the last time you took your medicine?

Hey Doc I just ate some peaches before I came here that why the meter is showing a high number.

That may be the case however that is an extremely high number and the ac1 is way way to high and eating peaches just before today appointment would have slight effect on that. So when did you last take your medicine....last month.

Well I eat a lot of peaches. I had to have eaten 4 or 5 peaches.... I know I have to cut down on my portion sizes...

Mr Hubby. When did you take you last dosage of metiformin? ( the doctor is looking him straight in the face this time.)

It has been a while........ more than 6 months ( hubby is look anywhere be at the doctor)

Did you take your meds at anytime this year?

I know that I did because I had a refilled the medicine this year....

Mr hubby you have not been taking your medicine and you have not paid attention to your diet are your exercising at all.

My wife has a membership where I can go with her to work out

Have you gone?

No.... ( hubby is defeated and he knows it )

So you can understand my exhaustion with him when he tells me the results of his doctors appointment. He tells me that the doctor told him this is his own fault he knew what needed to be done and he gives all sorts of excuses as to why he did not do what he was suppose to do so he needs to have the insulin and hope that the damage to his pancreas is not serious and maybe he can get off the insulin and go back to just pills but that is really depends on him

When I did not respond in any other way than to say “ Do you know what you need to do? Good I will continue to do what I can do help you.”

We went to the Diabetes educator and he was shown how to use the insulin pen to inject himself . Then I was shown how to give him the emergency dosage if he passes out. I am to call 911 first explain what is going on and then give him the injection...

In my mind doing this calmly I would take his sugar level first to see if it is high or low..... if low and he is uncooperative or passed out I will give him the shot and call 911 etc..... who knows i may not every need to do that.

Short person, his daughter, yelled at him for trying to blame the doctor for giving him insulin when “ you did it yourself the doctor gave you insulin so we would not come home find you passed out and then you die!” She went back into her room and came back out later after she was calmer and her dad was asleep.

She explained to me that she can see that diabetes is hereditary and so she need to get herself together. I told her to get as much information that she can get and make whatever lifestyle changes that need to be made done.
I am stressed and have decided that he is actually committing suicide and murder. Because He is killing me as I watch him slowly kill himself. This is very painful..

Friday, October 21, 2011

All Things Creative....


I am so behind on my sewing, crocheting, painting and all things creative! Work has become greatly demanding since the Singing scheduler is on family leave. Hubby has a new job working as a dispatcher and he is really happy with that. I have been working with my niece getting everything ready for the audition for costume design at the creative school. High school for her.

I have started drawing everyday to help inspire me creatively and hopefully it will help me.

Lets see,

Betty has a beautiful little boy. I love him just because he is here. The singing scheduler is in the process of adopting a little girl, I hope to see her one day. It will probably be at least 1 month or 2 before that happens.

Betty”s little boy I held in my arms and we talked and he slept. She has a beautiful family, and I am very happy for them.

Since my throat is starting to hurt I will be staying in this weekend my sewing studio will be completely set up. I can start on and finish the sling for Betty. It is so important to get the correct weighted fabric so it can be good and strong.

The game room is finally cleared of a lot of extra stuff. I now have a camera and so soon I will be posting pictures and keeping my blog up date.

Owens family established 1961


Today is my parents anniversary, If they were alive they would have been married for 50 years!

I wonder what they would have done to celebrate this milestone. Whatever it would have been I know our family would have come together. Even with all of us it is still quite a small family. 4 daughters 3 of whom are married 3 grandchildren 1 step grandchild. I imagine that we would have a party with all their friends around and end the day with a plane ride to some resort for the honeymoon that they never had that I am aware of.

I miss my parents a lot because we never outgrow our need for them.

This was to be the year I would get my sisters together for a dinner and take the time to look at ourselves through our parents eyes. What would they say to us? What advice would they give us?

My sister(4) is organizing an MBA Gala at the glamorous hotel downtown this weekend. Great opportunity for her I hope all goes well. It was an opportunity the she could not pass up.

Her daughter was Stage manager for a play at the creative arts school. Work was horrible all week long but I got off work and put the effort to get to the school on time. I made it hour and a half early! She did a wonderful job. Everything flowed beautifully The lighting, sound and the no one forgot their lines. Beautiful. I know my parents would have loved it.

My sister(2) who lives out of town, we could barely get her in town when sister (3) was dealing with cancer and our need for her help during her recovery never came.

Well next year i will get everyone together I will start planning in January and sisters ( 1-4) will together.

I am searching for pictures to make a picture quilt that will be a wall hanging in my sewing studio in remembrance of their life and love.

Joe Louis Owens and Sally Mae Williams united as a family October 21, 1961

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Final move Hopefully

October of last year we moved into a cute little cottage and I never really got a chance to set up my sewing room.

October 2011 and we have just moved into my father in law house and in time it will be redecorated so that I can feel comfortable in what is now our new home.

I have the challenge of setting up my sewing room again but right now as I look around me this place looks like a candidate for Hoarders or more like it we need a visit from Niecy Nash (Clean house).

I work on it everyday and soon it will be feeling like home in no time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Time flies.......

It is just amazing when I take the time to look at my blog all the stuff that has happen since May 31st. It is too much to tell so I am just going to make it short as possible.

My Sister’s cancer is gone as of now. All testing show that the chemo did its job and since she has the surgery done there is no need for radiation! She is not in the process of getting the tissue expander fill a little every two weeks to get to the size she wants. Then sometime in November she will have the implants put into place.

My cousin Brenda King died. This was stunning to us all she was planning a party for everyone who has helped her to deal with her illness. She went to fashion desgin school and because of her I had experienced what it was to be a model and then what it was to run a fashion runway! I love her very much.

Pap pap died, He fell and hit his head which caused bleeding in his brain and that was and still is heartbreaking and so is living day to day without him. Todd himself day that the funeral was hard but living without him to talk to is even harder.

Pap house was left to his son so we will be moving in. We gave our notice to our landlord and so September we will be out of there and into our new home.

I am working hard to make the house feel like our home and it is taking some time because of over 40 years of stuff in the house. So with cleaning and taking the time to figure out what need to be thrown away in both house it is difficult because I can do something with everything. I do not want to be on an episode of hoarders so I will be getting rid of a lot of stuff! (sigh!)

I still have not found my camera so I will have to buy a new one but I will keep posting as much as I can.

First room to truly complete, Sewing room. This house is a 3 bedroom cottage style house with and addition in the back that is now the game room. We cleared the 3rd bedroom out ( smallest of all the bedrooms) and Sunday I painted it , the color is a Berkley Tan. I will paint the framing of the window and door and milk chocolate brown and pale blue is the other color that will be in the room. I think this will be the colors for the whole house so it will seems coordinated to some degree.

I am sore and tomorrow I will be even stiffer but tonight I go to the old place and clear out the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom and pack up most if not all the stuff in the sewing room. It would take about 90 minutes and then Tuesday I will be cleaning the kitchen cabinet of the new place and restocking it with the pot and pans that I will be keeping. Wednesday moving the sewing room in the new place. That leaves the bedroom, basement, attic for the long weekend.

I know it will not be done that quickly but who knows maybe.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Holding on!

Right now I am sitting in the waiting room of woman's hospital waiting for the doctor to come out and give us updates on her surgery. It is to take place in 2 surgery one surgery is the removal of the breast (bilateral) and the second is the reconstruction surgery. Total time in the OR 10 Hours add 3 hours in recovery room I guess I will be close to 9:00 before I see her again.

She had mad family support and elder from the congregation come to pray with her.

I am somewhat at ease that the first part of the surgery went fine and anxious in waiting for the second part of the surgery to be done.

This whole year has been a challenge and I have been feeling like I am about the fall apart. Literally fall apart but I have been holding it together but every now and again I slip and feel like I am about to fall off the edge of sanity.

When my cousin died i had to take the week off from work because I was already holding on by my fingertips! There is so much I want to say but it is not formulated correctly in my head so I have to try again another day.

Monday I took the time to clean up my house so that and everything is finally in place and the sewing room need some final touches and this should help me to hold on.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daily life

I may get a new body out of this! This is how my sister started a conversation with my just the two days ago. She had been reading a book “John Hopkins Patient Guide to Breast Cancer”.

It was written by a nurse who personally had to deal with breast cancer. B just started reading it and she was please that is was full of useful information she said it was a truly encouraging and helpful book.

She explained how she may get a new body because of the breast cancer.
Get a tummy tuck and new boobs at the same time. TRAM flap reconstruction. Fat and muscle will be taken most commonly from your belly (a TRAM flap, which stands for transverse rectus abdominis muscle); or from your upper back (a LAT flap, latissimus dorsi flap). Resulting in a tummy tuck or a butt lift!
She will be able to keep her boob size and get that flat belly she always wanted. Hey I told her do they have a donator program I will be happy to donate my hip and thigh fat! I will be glad to help a sister out. She just laughed and said that she had enough fat to handle this herself.
She is still reading the book and it is giving her a great deal of information. She has a list of questions for the surgeon for her appointment on the 10th. She asked me if I have any questions she will add them to her list. I thought about that for a while I have been so busy making sure she is tolerating the chemo will that I am forgetting the other phases of her treatment. I am going to find the book and read it myself and see if I can truly get a grasp on how she is feeling. I am trying to know what she is dealing with but I am still on the outside watching what has now become a part of her daily living.
Our daily routine had changed so much once my mother illness started stealing her energy from her.
I remember sitting next to the cot we had set up in the dining room for my mother because she was tired all the time. I would get up in the morning and get everything she needed set up close to her. My dad worked at night so when he came home go upstairs and pick up my mother and bring her downstairs for the day. He would stay downstairs with her. She slept on the cot and he slept on the sofa. It was not uncommon for me to come home at lunch and see my dad sleeping on the floor next to the cot holding my moms hand as they both slept.
When I ended my work day I would come home to find my mom and dad sitting at the dining table and talking. I would cook dinner for everyone and we would sit as a family and eat dinner. My mother would just pick at her food but she usually finishes ½ of what small portion she was given. After my sisters and I would argue about who turn it was to clean up the kitchen. My dad would carry my mom upstairs for the night and I would go into her room and just talk until it was time for dad to go to work.
That was daily living until one day I woke up and went downstairs to get everything ready for my mom and to my surprise she was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. She smiled so wide and said “I feel pretty good today. “ My dad was so happy to see her at the breakfast table waiting for him. I called off from work and dad gave up sleeping that morning. She wanted to go to the strip to get some fresh veggies. So dad drove us into the strip district and she walked to two market stands found what she wanted. “ I don’t feel tired but don’t want to overdo it.” We made it back home, she juiced her veggies into some strange concoction but she loved the flavor of it. When my sister’s came home from school they were so excited so see mom up and about that they just could not stop talking. We laughed at the dinner table and I hope this was the beginning of our return to our daily living before the illness that stole my mother vitality invaded out lives.
The next morning I got up and really wanted to see my mother in the kitchen. Before going downstairs I looked into her bedroom and she was not there. I went down stairs and I saw her sitting on the cot with the oxygen hose in her hand. “Please turn this on for me. “ I turned it on and readjusted the oxygen. I held her hand and was on my knees in front of her. She smiled and said “Yesterday was great!”
My little sister B is not on oxygen. She has most of her strength and determination. She finds the strangest things funny. She makes phone calls at 2:00 in the morning which I always take because it could be and emergency but usually she says things like “There is hair in my panties!” This was her way of telling me she had started loosing her hair. Or she will call and say “I may get a new body out of this!” Today she called and said “I think we are Jewish!” Remember please it about 3:00 in the morning. “What!” is the only thing I could say because we both were laughing? Then she explained that the defective gene she has is typical in Jewish women. Then she ended the conversation.

She left out the fact because of this defect they were recommending a double mastectomy because of this defective gene the cancer probably will reoccur. What will daily living be like if someone told you something like that?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breathing a little easier.

Well the first Chemo treatment was uneventful. Which I was very happy about, because as much as I try not compare my sister treatment with what my mother dealt with it is next to impossible not to compare.

When my sister was first diagnose and she chose the hospital and doctors that would treat her she was given a binder in the binder were several tabbed pages which contain so much information and one page was a business card holder so every doctor she sees she has their card handy. They encouraged her to keep track of test results and all information she was given. This way she has a record of her treatment and they work as a team. For my mother I remember buying a 5 subject notebook and that was because she told me the information was overwhelming and there was no way she was going to remember it all. We wrote everything down and each time I was with her on a follow up appointment I had my notebook and the doctors were excited to see it and often would take it and read what I had written for the weeks before the appointment. It good to know I had a good idea with regards to her care.

My sisters chemo appointment included; information for a research study, return to waiting room, vitals check, return to waiting room, examination by the P.A., return to waiting room and finally time for the chemo.

When my mother had chemo privacy was not an issue it was just a big room with different station with the iv poles defining each station. With brie there was cubby rooms separated by walls with window in them so the nurse could see you regardless of whose cubby she was in.

The IV for my mother was in her arm with Brie it was in her hand the nurse explained that they start low that way if the vein blows then they can go up higher but if the start high and the vein blows then they have to go to a different site. The Saline solution was started and then she was given the medicine to prevent nausea. Mom never received that so I was not sure how effective it was going to be.
Adriamycin is one of the medicines given, I will never forget this medicine it is bright red and is given directly into the IV. The nurse has 2 larges syringes full of this medicine and she must slow shoot this into the IV. She is very careful because this medicine if comes into contact with the skin it will burn. This is when becomes very apparent my nervousness I remember soon as the nurse was finish the first syringe of this medicine my mother started vomiting. Once the nurse was finish with the second syringe I started looking for a container and there was none and my sister did not vomit she was very calm and I felt that I was making her nervous. So I went to the waiting room and got our sister and let her sit with her for the second medicine which was Cytoxan this was given in as an IV drip, this was to last 45 minutes and then she would be able to leave. Jo was there for 30 minutes and then she came out and my cousin Di went back with her. Di came in town to stay with Brie because she wanted to help and thought this would be best way to help. I really appreciate her coming in town she will stay at Brie apartment so someone will be with her 24 hrs for the first week after chemo.

The side effects for both medicines are very similar. Since the Adriamycin is red and pee is yellow her pee will be orange for a little bit. High dosages of this medicine can affect her heart which is the reason for a Muga scan days before. The Muga scan is a nuclear medicine test to evaluate the function of the heart ventricles. Her heart is good and strong and the dosage of this medicine is not high enough to cause a problem.

When we got back to Brie apartment we sat around waiting for something dramatic to happen but it never did. I was relieved and yet wondering if the medicine was really working. After a while we joined hands and said a prayer together and then stopped waiting for the shoe to drop.

Brie asked me to crochet her a blanket for her bed. So I am crocheting a blanket for her I will have pictures to show when I blog again.
I am breathing a little easier.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What's been going on.

I remember December and it was a day that I was happy to be home. My husband had just accepted a job with the same company that I worked for and I felt a load lift off of me. I t was the Christmas break and he felt weird giving a 2 week notice during the 2 weeks the school buses would be off because of the school observance of the holidays.

I was just thinking that we will be starting the year off right. Both of us full time employment with benefits. We were talking about the changes it would mean for us and the goals were just about to be put in place so that we do not lose sight of what we really need to accomplish.

Pay bills on time, on time is key! Save money, not for a rainy day but incase someone loses a job we will be able to live without sweat! Get in a position to buy a house.

My phone rings and it is my sister Brie, she was crying, she was just diagnose with breast Cancer. She was at home alone. I left home and went to her apartment. I held her in my arms while she cried and I kept saying all the things that I heard. The medicine is so much better now than 20 years ago, you can beat this! I told her about Wanda is a survivor and Brenda P is a survivor she will be a survivor as well. I truly believe those words! And in my heart I know she will survive this.

Triple negative refers to breast cancer that is estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor negative, and HER2/neu negative. In other words, triple negative breast cancer does not express receptors for estrogen or progesterone and does not overexpress HER2.

Most likely women with metabolic syndrome (which involves distorted hormonal interactions) are more likely to have triple negative breast cancer upon diagnosis than women without it. Generally speaking, drugs or foods that reduce the production of estrogen or block its effects in the body are not effective treatments for this type of breast cancer. Therefore, in addition to surgery and radiation treatment, chemotherapy represents the best opportunity to eradicate breast cancer cells and prevent metastasis.

Triple negative breast cancer is more often responsive to chemotherapy than hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Therefore, it is important for those with triple negative breast cancer to have surgery complete the chemotherapy that will be prescribed. The initial treatment period provides the best opportunity for a long or permanent remission.

My sister’s treatment plan is chemo treatment, surgery, then radiation therapy. The chemo treatment starts on Feb 3, 2011, 4 treatments 21 days apart. There has been a long list of pre testing for a baseline before chemo something that they can use to compare all testing after chemo.

When she first told me of the cancer I was scared because I did not want her to have the same experience that my mother had then after a while I came to realize that I was remember the end of my mother life as if it was the way she lived during her whole fight with breast cancer. There was lots of time when mom was doing quite well. She went to work everyday, took time with us and lived as if she had no problems at all. And By all appearances that was the case. I will not recount my mother journey at this time because this is about my sister and my ability to be there for here.

I thought about how I would feel if I was her. She is not married and the last boyfriend she had now lives in Chile and they have little or no contact and the boyfriend she had before that is now engaged to a girl who is 10 years younger that she is. Each of these friendships ended nicely enough but she has only family and friends to turn to and help her deal with this current fight. So it is very important to me that she knows she is not alone. I realize that I cannot completely get rid of this feeling but I am going to do my best to try.