Wonderful weekend away!

Terry, Rylee and I had a great weekend away. We have been attending Prepper Camp in Salina, NC for 4 years now and have learned so much to help us as a family if we find ourselves in a grid down situation. Are we completely prepared? No! Are we heading in the right direction. Yes we are. Now I’m not talking about a Zombie apocalypse. I’m talking about if Florence had hit my house and I lost electricity for a while. Would I have enough food, water and supplies for my family and animals. I would have been pretty close!

This year I was a vendor at the event with my SBH coffee. The lady I was next too was giving classes on how to ferment vegetables. I really didn’t think I’d like the way her carrots and cabbage taste but omg was it good. I guess the chemo has redesigned my taste buds. Her name is Suzanne and we talked a lot about fermenting, herbs as medicine and forging. Now I’m no farm girl but I will tell you that forging intrigues me. I love looking for and finding treasures God has provided for us everywhere. Take the pecan trees in my yard. I LOVE going out with an empty bucket and filling it up with free food! And now I’ve found out that most of the weeds in my yard aren’t really weeds but medicines! I’m tickled to death! Like I said, it was a fun weekend. It always is!

Today I had a chemo appointment and was chaperoned by Kathy Mangan…darn I forgot to get our picture! Anyway. Our first stop was to see NP Karen. She said after my over the top reaction to the Taxol last time the doctor said he’d like to try and lower the dose, do every Monday and extend it 10 weeks. 😳 Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. Here I thought I had 3 more treatments and I have 10 to go. She explained that the side effects would be much easier to handle and that if it didn’t work we could try the sister drug to the Taxol. So I agreed to try. I wasn’t happy about it but I figure they know what their doing!

To the back we go. Today my nurse is Rick. He’s very nice and was very busy so we sat there a bit. He finally came to access my port and took blood. Shortly he came back and said it was fine and started my cocktail. Within 3 or 4 minutes I told Kathy to go run her errands and I’d see her when she got back. About an hour later, she woke me up with my lunch (a club sandwich from Big Bitz) It was really good but the fries I couldn’t eat. Fries seem to choke me these days. We finished our lunch, my chemo bag was almost done and we were walking out around 2pm. Fastest treatments date…but I still don’t want to come 9 more weeks!

Today Terry and Rylee came home from Boy Scouts really late. Terry was visible upset. They got some bad news that I really can’t share at this time about a scout leader who needs our prayers. Please join me. God knows who he is.

My blessing for today was a quick appointment and good company even though I slept most of the time! Thanks again Kathy!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Breaking point

Again last night I couldn’t go to sleep. My head hurt, my stomach hurt, my heart was racing and I was extremely tense. I just couldn’t relax. I was so uptight even after doing the whole body muscle release exercise my neck was still tight as a drum. I finally fell asleep but it wasn’t long before the alarm was going off to make sure Rylee was in the shower and I laid back down.

Once again my mind was racing. Then I realized, I’m afraid of my next treatment on Monday. I’m trying to get ready for a camping trip. I’m trying to get ready for a vendor show but the elephant in the room is Monday and I can’t concentrate on anything but. As I’m leaving for work I sent Terry a text and told him I was making an appointment to go talk to my oncologist or his nurse practitioner. Something had to fix this. I was a wreck! When I finally got through to someone and she said, what do you need to see him for, I fell apart! I tried to explain but I’m sure I sounded like an idiot! But I didn’t care. I needed to talk to someone and it had to be today! She said we’ll see you at 3.

I got to work and it wasn’t easy to turn off the tears. As hard as I tried, they just kept coming. At about 11:30 my boss showed up to auction off a few units that hadn’t been paid. He didn’t stay long but asked how treatment was going and how I was feeling and I let him know I had an appointment at 3 and I’d let him know after.

I’m in the room and Karen, the nurse practitioner, comes in and she’s asking me questions and I’m thinking I sound like a looney tunes but she says, you are not crazy, I’ve never heard of these things happening to this extreme but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’m thinking…yea, tell me about it. I told her all about the muscle spasms, the achy joints and the crazy bee stinging sensation. And I added that last evening and this morning my heart rate was racing and how bad it scared me. She reminded me I was not crazy and that she would talk it over with the doctor and they would come up with a plan but that she didn’t want me to spend anymore time afraid of treatment. They were going to find a solution.

I walked out feeling so much better. Actually, I felt better that morning just knowing I was going to get to talk to someone about it! The mind is so powerful but sometimes it’s not in your best interest.

I talked to Terry when I got home and if I’m not happy with what they decided to do, I’m going to say so. I’ll call them Thursday and see what the game plan is!

My blessing for today was finding peace of mind.

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

I went to work today.

It probably wasn’t the best idea but I’m not making money at home. The day wasn’t too bad. I was still a little bit queasy, but I did OK. It’s the muscle spasms and the fatigue that was killing me. I’ll be calling the oncologist tomorrow to see if this is what my last 3 treatments are going to be like. Elaine said they were going to change something but I don’t remember what.

I started the day off starving and ordered a ham and cheese omelette from Corin’s café. It was ok but nothing taste good to me right now. I ate what I could! The morning was a little slow and I was grateful. As the day went on I saw more people come through. I was glad when 5pm rolled around. I picked up a few things for my dad and delivered them. Then home to eat another bowl of chicken noodle soup. Someone brought for the family to eat and I think I’ve eaten almost all of it. It was homemade and really good! Now I’m in bed to read some email and get some sleep.

My blessing for today was having my boys home safe from their hiking trip.

B blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

New kinda chemo

Well Monday I received my first of 4 doses of Taxol. I didn’t do much research on this drug but “heard” it was milder and didn’t cause the nausea the other 2 did. I read there might be joint pain and some muscle discomfort. Ok I can handle that. Some ibuprofen should take care of that. Boy was I wrong. I’ll take you through my last 4 days.

Tuesday usually isn’t too bad because I’m still on a chemo high. I was surprised that toward the end of the day I was feeling sick. To the point that I need to take the nausea meds. I went to bed around 10. I still felt like I was a winner. Nothing I couldn’t handle.

Wednesday I woke up around 3am with awful pain in my knees and ankles. And I was achy like I had the flu. As the day went on I started having little sharp pains from like my rib cage down. The best way to describe it was to say I felt like a voodoo doll in a mad beehive. Little stings all over with no rhyme or reason. On the top of me middle toe, in my vagina, my hip, behind my knee, up and down both legs, IN my rectum and the bottom of my feet. Ibuprofen (800mg) and Tylenol wasn’t touching it. Terry went to work and Rylee to school and I laid in bed wondering how long this was going to last. Terry sent me a text to see how I was doing and I tried to explain what was going on but I really didn’t know how to explain it. I told him I had a couple of the pain killers left from when I had a tooth pulled and I was going to take one. He said good idea and he’d call me later. Well, I took it and 3 Benadryl and fell asleep. Buy the time he got home it was wearing off and coming back with a vengeance. It almost felt like I was in labor. The pain was really unbearable. I tried to eat dinner with them but could only eat a little. I came to my room, took another pain pill and went back to bed. I was awake again in the middle of the night and took 3 more Benadryl and went back to sleep.

Thursday morning Terry came in to check on me. I was curled in a ball and trying not to cry. I promised him I’d call the oncologist as soon as they opened. I’d taken the last pain killer I had and fell back to sleep. When I woke up around 9 I called and left a message. My bff Sue had text me and I was trying to explain to her what I was feeling and the voodoo doll beehive deal was the best I could do. I heard back from my doctors nurse, I explained as best as I could what was going on and she said she’d talk to the doctor and call me back. In the mean time Melanie text to see if I was able to pick up the kids from school and I told her what was going on and that I still haven’t heard from the doctor. I’m not sure what time that was but she told me she was going to go by the oncologist office and find out what was going on. I’m not real sure what she said or how it was presented but whatever happened, she got 2 Rx to take to my pharmacy. One was for a steroid and one was for a pain killer. Only problem was she had to drop it off at the pharmacy, bring Rylee home and take Lia to the doctor. So she called Terry to go get the prescriptions when he got off work. By this time I was so tense and in so much pain I really thought I was going to die. Terry got home around 5:15 and brought me the meds. I had asked Rylee to fix me some toast because I hadn’t eaten anything since that morning. I got a piece down and took the meds and 3 Benadryl and tried to relax. That was the hard part but I finally fell asleep. Terry came back in around 10:30 to give me another round of meds to get me through the night. And I went right back to sleep. Everything was feeling better.

Friday, I woke up with the meds wearing off. It was about 5:15 so I got up to go potty and Terry was packing his lunch. He asked how I was and I said I felt more relaxed but the pain was coming back. He said he’d make me some oatmeal so I could take the meds but I got up and made a bowl so he could get ready for work. I ate the oatmeal, took the meds and went back to sleep until about 1:30. I took 2 more pain killers, got dressed and ate a little bowl of soup. I tried to do a little bit around the house but I didn’t get too far. At about 3 Joey (eldest son) came in with Lia and Terry came home with Rylee. They were supposed to be heading out to a Boy Scout hike but the guide was needing to leave later then they planned. We visited with Joey and I was soon left with Lia. She was so sweet and wanted to take care of me. She wanted a peanut butter bread but couldn’t make it so I did and got her a drink. Most of the rest of the day I laid on the sofa while she colored and talked to me about everything under the sun. Lol By about 4 PM I was feeling hungry and I text Joe (son-in-law) to see what he was going to have for dinner. He told me he wasn’t hungry but if I wanted something he would stop and pick it up. I was feeling a little bit like Burger King and at 5:30 he walked through my door with my dinner. I managed to eat almost all of the hamburger and a few of the fries but I couldn’t get anything more down. Joe and Lia left I guess at about 630 I finished up some papers that I was printing on the computer, took my meds and came to bed. Then I realized I forgot to blog so here I am. So because I need to try to go to work tomorrow I need to go to bed. I’m sorry this was so long. Please pray me to work tomorrow.

By blessing for the past few days was how my family pulled together to help me get through the hell I was going through. Thank you everyone! I love you!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Day after.

It’s the first day after the new chemo medication just like before I’ve been on a steroid high today. I got a lot of cleaning done. OK maybe not a lot but I got some done! I’ve been busy all day working on stuff around the house and trying to get ready for Prepper Camp. A lady named EN and her husband Bob brought us dinner tonight it was Parmesan chicken salad and a dessert tray and it was really really good. Rylee insisted I call her and get the recipe! Right after dinner I started getting a really bad headache and I tried to work through it but I’m just done for the night so I’m cutting this short and I’m going to bed.

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Treatment #5…

You know when they say it doesn’t effect most people in a negative way. Well I have never been “most people”! It seems this new Chemo I’m taking doesn’t make people sick like the last 2 I was taking. On top of that my doctor says he thinks I definitely have Anticipatory Nausea. He asked me what triggered the gagging and I told him the popsicle sticks left on the table at home, the smell when I walk in the building, texting with my companion about pick up time for the day. He said he can give me an anti anxiety medication, put I told him I would see what happens. But just writing about it and I’m not doing so good.

The day started with Kat picking me up at 9:30am. Kat and I met through her husband, Chris, who is in the SBH business with me. She’s very sweet but I felt bad that I felt so bad and that we were there so long! Here’s Kat and I.

She was good company and I found out we have a lot in common. That’s what makes friendship fun.

We got to the appointment about 15 minutes early and still didn’t get called back until about 10:30. But it’s because my doctor will stay with you and talk to you as long as you need him. One of the reasons I love him. He asks a lot of questions and will tell you his true thoughts on what he thinks is going on. We got back to the chemo area and choose our spot. My normal spot was take so we had to pick another spot. Rick, a new nurse came to access my port and then another nurse came to take me to see the doctor. Then off for my toxic cocktail.

My meds started out with a steroid and a stout dose of Benadryl. It was just a few minutes and I felt like I was drunk or high. My speech was slurred, I knew I couldn’t walk and the lady sitting across from me had on a geographic 3D shirt. AND then the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. But I can’t walk! So someone got me a wheel chair for a little butt 🙄 and I got my not so little butt in the chair and out the door we go. Everyone from the office, all doctors, nurses and patients went out back to the shade because most of the meds dripping into our bodies can’t get hot. I over heard someone say that anyway. We were out there about 20 minutes and it was over. I guess someone said they could smell smoke so they had to act on it.

Back inside and I’m just not feeling good. It was almost like motion sickness or morning sickness. Most of the time I’m just on the verge of throwing up. Then came the new chemo and it was going to take 3.5 hours to complete. I forgot to take my Restless Leg Syndrome Rd before I got there and my legs were going nuts. Then Madison tells me the Benadryl will heighten the restless leg problem so although I was so tired my legs were driving me nuts. I think I slept some but I really didn’t want to leave Kat alone. I’m not sure why I feel like I have to entertain everyone. She was so sweet and because she an ER nurse she was excited to see how things are done some place else. I’m glad she came with me!

I was home a little after 4. Ms. Leslie brought us an amazing dinner. I ate a few bites but my stomach was still bothering me. It’s almost 10 and I think I could eat it now but I won’t. It’s too late. I’ll just eat my peach! Yummmmm. Thank you Leslie. It really help to know my men are getting fed and I don’t have to worry about it.

My blessing for today was spending time and getting to know Kat better. Thanks Kat for keeping me company today! I hope you weren’t too board!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Well…

I just sat here and typed out my blog and hit post and it’s gone. I don’t even remember what I said. Something about being off all weekend and spending time with my family. How I’ve been feeling ok but not great. I mentioned that Florence had arrived and was more of a pussy cat than a lion. I spoke of my back yard that is now a swamp and my goofy Aussies, one who doesn’t care what it’s doing out because there something to chase up a tree and the other who won’t go out without a human and when she done she done.

It’s was short but not this short but I’m tired and I need to go to bed! I’ll catch you up tomorrow. I start a new drug and I’m really anxious about it. Back to not knowing again and sick to my stomach! I think a couple of G-Clear are in order and off to bed.

My blessing for today was spending time with Terry. It doesn’t happen very often!

Check back tomorrow!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

It’s been a busy week.

Monday I was supposed to have a scan to see if the tumor was shrinking but when I got there it had never been ordered. I called my doctor and she said she wanted to wait until the end of all my treatments. I was very confused but ok. I had also scheduled and free workshop (if I could get there in time) called Look Good, Feel Better . It’s through the American Cancer Society I believe. I made it on time. 🙄 There were 6 of us and we were all given a bag with $200 + worth of high end, full size makeup. I got Oil of Olay moisturizer, IT under eye concealer, Clinique cream base make up, Mary Kay loose powder, L’Oreal blush, Maybelline mascara, Neutrogena eye shadow and a brow pencil, a lip liner, 2 lip sticks and 3 beautiful make up brushes. Now I don’t wear all that make up but it was fun to be pampered for a couple of hours. One lady taught us how to apply all the make up and the other lady showed us different ways to use a scarf or wrap for our balding heads. One lady who came in with nothing on her bald head walked out with a stunning wig. It really changed the way she looked! It was a nice diversion for a few hours.

⚠️warring⚠️

I’m not sure where to go with tonight’s post. It’s not been a very good week. I’m having some problems but I’m not sure how to share them. It’s been 8 days since my last chemo and I’m still not feeling good. I’m still taking meds for nausea, I’m super tired all the time, I can’t eat much and I’ve got a new hemorrhoid. They are a trio now. 💩 ing has become a task I dread but on top of all that, I’ve developed open sores in my girly area. So now it hurts to go pee pee. I’ll be calling my oncologist in the morning because there is no comfortable way for me to sit in a chair and I have to go back to work in the morning. It just kinda popped up this afternoon. I’m wondering if all my orifices needed popsicles. Oooooo just the word made me gag! I’ll see what the doctor has to say tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to work tomorrow. Sitting hurts but walking REALLY hurts! Ok enough about orifices!

Please be smart where this storm is concerned. If you live in NC, SC, GA and even VA and TN, be prepared for the worst and celebrate when it doesn’t happen. Yesterday we were on the back side of the storm with 3 to 5 inches possible and today we are on the front side of the storm with 8+ inches and extremely high winds expected. I’m a bit of a storm freak and I’m looking forward to it but I’m also very prepared. We have food for at least 7 days, 30 gallons of water for cooking, drinking and bathing. We have an awesome first aid kit, flash lights and batteries and a generator. The only things I’m worried about is all the stuff in our yard that could become airborne and the 100 year old Pin Oak trees that are in my neighbors yards. But I guess that’s why we buy insurance. So for goodness sake, be prepared and be smart!

My blessing for today was my nail and pedicure appointment that let me relax and unwind! Aaron always takes good care of me!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

5 days later…

… and I’m still feeling sick. I’m a little surprised at how long this has taken to get out of my system this time. I guess as it builds up in my body, it hangs on longer. This time I’ve been so much more nauseous. To the point that for 2 days I just slept and drank lots of water! I’m also noticing the dehydration of my lips and my skin is worse! I can’t get enough to drink and lotion just soaks in and is gone. Also, my eyes are matted when I wake up. I’ve never had this much crap in my eyes and of course as I try to get it out of my lashes, I’m pulling them out. It’s always something but it hasn’t been anything really serious so I guess I’m good.

I had to work the last 2 days because there was no coverage. I will admit it wasn’t easy. I just wanted to sleep. I was able to take one of my nausea pills but not the one that makes me dizzy. So I did the best that I could. Yesterday was hard because it was a very busy day and I couldn’t get the nausea under control. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. I did get to put my head down a couple of times but for the most part, I just had to do my job. Today was a really slow day. It was quiet and that was ok and I did take a 30 minute nap during my lunch.

Over the past 2 days I also got to visit with my cousin Bryan, his wife Julie and Maverick, the little boy they’re raising. I’m afraid I wasn’t very good company and I felt bad but they both understand. I stayed up as long as I could before I had to crash. I love you both! Maybe next time will be better!

Tonight we attended a Pet Life Celebration at our local Funeral Home. When our Cutter died over 5 years ago the people at Pet Pilgrimage helped us through a morning process we weren’t ready to face. Tonight we made a luminary in Cutter’s honor and everyone there released a dove balloon for the fur baby they were missing. It was beautiful!

Well, nothing much going on. I’ll continue to write when I can. If you’re not hearing from me either there’s nothing to write about or I can’t. If you have a question, please ask. Some days I feel like I’m rambling. Like today.

Terry and Rylee were off camping and learning preparedness things for unsavory situations and thank goodness with what’s hanging out in the Atlantic. Please don’t wait until you can’t help yourself to help yourself! I know people laugh at my family because we call ourselves Prepper’s, but when something bad happens we have thing in place to see us through. Things you might consider gathering would be a generator, saws, shovels, 1 gallons of water per day for each person/pet in your house, extra gas, an extra tank of propane, freeze dried food, extra dog and cat food in zip lock bags, peanut butter, jerky, canned goods, cereal, powered milk, dried fruit, power bars, tarps, rope, a camp stove, EXTRA prescription meds, solar cell phone chargers. AND don’t forget to fill up your bath tub and keep a bucket close by. Use this water to flush your toilet because you’re not going to want to keep that sitting in your HOT house any longer then it has too. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

My blessing these last couple of days was having family come visit and having them understand that I wasn’t at my best and it didn’t matter.

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Last chemo double dose

I am so thankful to say this was the last double devil dose of chemo for me. I’m half way there! Each treatment has been different and unfortunately I think I’ll never eat a popsicle again! I was telling my nurses Denise and Madison that just the thought of eating the popsicles for the last 2 treatments was making me gag. I was kind of embarrassed to say anything but the feeling was so real. So much so that I even changed the flavor from Peach (my fav) to Strawberry this time to see if it made a difference. Just sitting here thinking about it makes me gag. Well Denise tells me there’s a name for this. It’s called Anticipatory Nausea. Ha, I’m not crazy. So I went to the web to see if she knew what she was talking about and it turns out she did. I Googled Anticipatory Nausea and the webpage http://www.curetoday.com came up. The information was really helpful and put my mind at ease knowing I’m not the only one. As a matter of fact it says 1 in 3 people experience Anticipatory Nausea and Vomiting (ANV). Go look it up. The mind is so freaking powerful. Just knowing what this drug was going to do to me made me sick before I would actually fill sick. Why the popsicle was the trigger, I have no idea. I just hope one day it goes away!

This is MY friend Heather. She was my chemo companion today. Ive known Heather since she was in middle school and love her like a daughter. She’s my son Joey’s best friend. It was good to spend time with her and catch up on her and her family. She a pretty special lady! Thanks Heather for taking care of me! I love you!

Coming home, I sat on the sofa and napped off and on. Our friend Michelle put together a meal train and tonight she was cooking dinner for my family. (I would have called out for Pizza delivery). Michelle brought a salad, dressing, bread, short ribs in gravy and Rosemary potatoes. OOOOOOHHHHHH and chocolate ice cream! I got my chocolate Heather! Thank you so much Michelle. I did eat a little because the food Nazi (Terry) told me I couldn’t have any ice cream and less I ate some protein. So I did!

It’s late, I’m not feeling so good. Another friend brought me some Hemp Oil and when I tried it today I wasn’t a fan of the taste but I’m going to give it a few squirts under my tongue before bed to see if it helps with the nausea. I might have to chase it with a beer! Good night and sweet dreams.

My blessing for today was of course Heathers company and the laughter. And the wonderful meal Michelle fixed us tonight! I love you both!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme