I continue to think about this subject. Unforgiveness is one of the major hindrances that can hinder your healing. Listen to what Jesus says in Mark 11:25-26. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and [let it drop](leave it, let it go), in order that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings." Happy New Year 2011, I still think this an important message! A quote by Author: Tami Hoag 2007... What purpose does it serve to hold that anger? What good does it do? Hatred is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die of it."

An Opinion... Isn't it amazing that almost everyone has an opinion to offer about the bible (as well as other subjects), and yet so few have studied it (or the subject)? R. C. Sproul, If only one would read before speaking, they would not look so foolish. Yet, I don't want to get in anyone's face... so I keep dropping hints. Does it help? I hope so...)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trip to California planned...

It isn't too many days until my friend Junior, and I, leave for our trip to California.  Junior, as I have explained before, is my ex-husband of 24+ years, plus five years of going together before marriage.  We have remained good friends, and that has been a blessing for both of us as well as our two children.  Since we met in high school, and the 45th class reunion is on August 27, (my birthday) we are going together.  While in Santa Rosa at the reunion, we can also visit family who still lives there.  On the way back, we will stop in San Jose and visit our daughter and her family.  The trip will be quick, every minute filled with activity, and nice to know that I am able to enjoy the time away from medical "stuff".

When I get back, during the first part of September, I will have another CT scan.  Only this time the doctor wants to do from neck to hips.  Also, there will be an ultrasound on the mass that is attached to my thyroid.
The last ultrasound and invasive biopsy showed no cancer.  I am praying for the same results.  Even if it is not cancerous, the size may determine whether or not there will be surgery to remove the bulk.  Hopefully, this mass has not grown and I can go a while before another invasive procedure. 

I have to tell you I have found the coolest medical identification necklace. 

I have loaded my information onto this, and for me it was easy to do.  So... anyone can do it.  The price was not bad, about $50.00.  An extravagance for a simple necklace, but not for this one.  Also, how often are you seperated from the life saving aspirin you may need?  I bought a charm that I can wear around my neck that fits one aspirin.  After I ordered it, my sister brought home an even less expensive idea.  At the craft stores there are usually charms as well as beads.  She took an aspirin with her and found a heart locket that would fit the aspirin.  Perfect, inexpensive and ready to put on a ribbon or chain.  Easy access!  Note: for men there are charms other than heart lockets.

Good news... I have been accepted to move into the apartments I wanted.  I have to wait until my birthday to find out adjusted rent amount.  I will call from California on my birthday, and hopfully there will be an opening in September.  I have gone to the apartments and found the locations in the building I would like, but...  guess I will have to wait and see.  This apartment complex is for seniors (62 and older).  I have had acquaintances scrunch their face and ask me if it is really what I want to do.  I am looking at the glass half full here.  It is a small apartment, bedroom, livingroom, kitchen, bathroom.  I will put my ingenious space saving ideas to work here.  There will be an adjusted rent, so that I can eat, buy medicine and pay rent.  There will be no loud parties above, beside or behind my apartment.  There will be no families with small children.  I never minded the children, and their noises.  Those are to be expected!  What I minded was the lazy parents who screamed at their kids, rather than going to them and showing and telling them what they were doing wrong and showing them the right way.  The parents drove me nuts, shouting... then catching the children and wrenching one arm to haul them away.  I cannot do that again.  Besides, this apartment is walking distance to the hospital, both doctors, a pharmacy, grocery store, fast food restaurant, several mom and pop restaurants, coffee shop, park, city swimming pool, post office, etc.  I don't want to move again... so this will be perfect for me.  Also, just think.. I won't be making the long trip to my medical appointments in the heat of the summer or the cold/ice/snow during the winter. 

Dad:  Easy, easy there ya go... whoops, careful, watch the
tail... oops, yikes, get that tree outa there!  I feel dizzy!
Son:  Dad, go make some burgers or something!

Moving day is going to be interesting.  "If" my son or daughte-in-law have the day off of work... "if" my friend Junior has the day off work... "if" my daughter can come up from California... if, if, and if.  I did find that there is a group in the area called "Teen Challenge" who hire out to help with odd jobs as a fund raiser.  I will check on that.  As far as my sister (broken rib not healed well), brother-in-law still mending from his stroke/cancer, friends who have health issues or are older than I...  I  guess I will keep lookin. 

I have been slow in posting these past months, but should get better when I move.  The computer works so very slow here in Royal City, as well as my health and lack of patience.

  I am using all of that as an excuse, and hope to not have those excuses soon. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Are you an organ donor?

Already, it is August 2nd...

Another month has gone by!  The heat of summer is upon us! 

First of all, let me tell you of my Oncologist appointment yesterday, Monday, 08/01.  My GFR number, which tells me whether or not the right kidney is functioning properly was down.  Last month (June) the number was above >60, which is where the doctor wants it.  Also, my WBC (white blood cell) count was good.  This month (ending in July), one month without chemo, my GFR is down to 49, and the WBC count is not bad, but low enough for certain contributors to this count to either be low enough to be off the chart (not good), or high enough to be off the chart (not good).  The doctor cheerfully said, "not bad Marie, I have seen your numbers  much worse."  But, he also said... "how have you been enjoying the summer off of chemo? ...and, we'll go with another month without of chemo."  What!  I thought chemo was done, finished, kaput.  Next, he says that mid September I am going to have another contrast scan, which includes the entire torso.  He doesn't like doing the contrast scans as the chemicals additionally inhibit my kidney function.

On the bright side, my glucose numbers are remaining good .  Of course that has been dependent on my not being on chemo, as well as diet, insulin and chia seed.  Yes, I am still taking one teaspoon of chia seed before each meal and main snack.  That makes five times a day I take one teaspoon chia with a glass of water.  When I do not take the chia seed, my numbers go up.  I have been reducing my insulin intake daily by one unit a.m./p.m. making it 2 units each day.  I am down to 22 units in a.m. and 22 units in p.m.  Of course, if I have to begin chemo again, all of this will change.

My application for a senior, low income apartment was approved.  The apartment office manager said that I was not considered low low income, just low income.  The apartments are small, but it will put me back in Kennewick closer to the doctors.  The drive is tiresome, expensive, and when I don't feel well... long.  In fact, I got the feeling from listening to my doctor on Monday, he has been waiting for my move back to Kennewick to make treatment decisions.  He knows my money situation, and understands that each time he asks me to come into town what my costs end up being.  The doctor understands the stress of being long distance... time, money, living out of a suitcase, etc.  He does not want me under stress.  He even volunteered to call the apartment complex to ensure they know that I need an apartment that faces out and not into another apartment because of my claustrophobia.  Gloria (sister) looked up causes of my poor (but could be worse) numbers, and stress was a definate contributing factor!

I also talked to the business side of the hospital.  My insurance, Group Health, contracted with Medicare, has still not paid on any of my chemo treatments.  They date back to December, 2010!  I was assured that they would not cut off treatment, and would look into it themselves and let me know. 

This month I am going to California with my ex and friend Junior.  Since we met in high school, and came from the same home town, he offered to take me to the 45th class reunion.  An added plus is that we are still friends, both his and my families still live in Santa Rosa, and then we can stop and see our daughter and her family together in San Jose on the way home. 

Now, I am going to kick back for the rest of today, and begin a new project in the morning.  I am going to get up early, before the heat, and begin sanding and painting my bed frame before the move.  I still tire very easily, so it takes me a lot longer to accomplish what I did "before" cancer.  As long as I have something to tie around my head to stop the dripping sweat, a wet cloth around my neck, something to drink and somewhere to sit and pace myself... I am good to go. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another day at the river, 07/03/11

My sister Annie, came up with her son from Santa
Rosa, CA.  We took them to the Columbia River. 
It was the Fourth of July week and wanted to do
something fun. 

The three sisters, together! Gloria, Annie, Marie

Annie and Brandon drove up for a quick visit.  It was so nice to see them.  We missed seeing Denny, Annie's oldest son.  I will be going down to CA for a reunion in late August, so will see him then.  During this visit, we also had at Gloria and Allen's, Mike's daughter Requel.  The best part was that all of us seemed to be in good health for a nice visit and outing.  I am the oldest, then Gloria and the baby is Annie. 

It is exciting that this month I have not had to spend time in chemo, and afterwards not feeling well.  I still have issues, but they are getting better as each day goes by.  My chemo brain is still here... I say and do things that I wish later I had not.  But... time heals that issue.  I also still have frustrating moments when attempting simple tasks that I have done many times before.  That is especially true with computer and technical issues. 

I am taking my nutrient supplements again.  I could not take any of those during chemo.  As the doctor said, I am not "out of the woods" yet, but downgraded to "watch and wait" before further treatment.  Basically, he is watching for growths.  Since CLL is slow growing, I am counting on a long time before new mass' grow.
Energy and desire to multi task is still in the healing process... wish it would get a move on!

The chia seed is still helping me with my diabetic numbers, so I am continuing with insulin in the morning and evening and not the three shots before each meal.  That is good.  But... summer is here and so difficult to maintain order on my diet.  I strive for 100%, but am pleased with myself when I can be sure to accomplish 75 - 90%.  Some days, I am really good and make 100%, while others I just have to have an extra bite of the tiny portion control of watermelon, or a spoon of ice cream, and my worst... popcorn.  It cannot be in the house, I have no control!  I have bought boxes of popcorn, and thrown away parts of it to put controls on myself.  No, not just throwing it into the garbage can... cutting it open and pouring out the contents.  When a craving hits, I am not above crawling into the dumpster.  I am, at heart, a carb junkie!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29...

Going to the Columbia River, at Vantage, WA yesterday.
Requel says... "Are we there yet?"

Looking at the river from where we are at...
It was a nice day, relaxing and nice to get out.  Glad that
I am feeling better and can enjoy outings again!


Oh look!  Grandma Gloria found pollywogs!  She was the
champion at catching them when we were kids.  The only reason
Grandma is in the water here is because this shallow area is warm!

Grandpa Allen back at the picnic site.  It is safer there for him...
 we women can be daring, or mean...  Face it, he is afraid of us
 getting him with the cold Columbia River water!  We couldn't
convince him we would never to that....

It is so good to feel good enough to go on outings!  I waded
in the water, yeah it was cold... but fun.  Except for when I
gracefully fell down, with my sweet sister behind me...
watching.  She says she grabbed my blouse, did I
hear a chuckle when she said that?  Hmmmmmmm

Hey buddy!  Are you checking out my legs?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June, 2011 blood test results...

On 06/23, I went to pick up my latest blood test results.  Wow!  It was great to see that my kidney function was greater than >60.  The number range for normal function is greater than >60.  This is the first time since last year that my numbers have been normal.  Also, my WBC and RBC (white and red blood cell count) are now in the normal range.  All of these months with my numbers being abnormal, this is just wonderful news.

June 27, I made another trip into Kennewick.  My tooth/teeth are still in pain.  Found that my teeth which are soft anyway, are somewhat brittle from the chemo.  I clinch my teeth... yeah, I cracked three molars.  They are now in the process of being repaired, but the expense!  It seems that I need to win the lotto to be financially free again.  Ha ha.

Driving back to Royal City yesterday I really thought about all I have to be thankful for.  In those thoughts were my surroundings.  As on past trips, I have tried to appreciate what I am able to view, experience, and appreciate.  This time I noticed the acres and acres of lush green fields, filled with mint, hay, alfalfa, baby corn coming up, yellow mustard, orchards of fruit trees, fields of berries, and feed lots filled with cows.  Every since I found out that I have cancer, appreciation of the world I am in has been important.  The fact I have my eyesight, can drive, can smell and hear... all becomes valuable.  It may sound sappy as I tell about my trips and all that I experience, but... think about not being healthy enough to be out and about.  I do not take the health I have for granted.

Passing the auction yard on Hwy 395 was a sad representation of the poor economic times we are in now.  The property was filled to the brim with farm equipment, as well as vehicles both business and private.  Most of the time these are for sale due to repossession, foreclosure, loss of farm or property.  It was so sad to see all of these items, knowing that they represented so many business' , individuals and families. 

Ah, but there is the rest of the story.  As I approached Hwy 26 on my trip to Royal City there was a lot of dust in the air.  Road construction!  (Of course I just washed the car)  Earlier in the trip I figured that I didn't need to make a potty stop, as the road construction should be finished for the day at 6:30 p.m.  With that in mind I continued on, figuring I would make it home in time for my business.  Wrong!  Don't ever assume.  Road crew still working, holding up traffic every so often, took what seems "forever" to get down the highway to Royal City.  You just don't do that to a 62 year old woman.  Maybe the female astronaut who wore adult pamper's a few years ago had a good idea, ha ha. 

Cranky women alert...
Where's the porta potty guys?
You know we are going to be asked!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday 06/20/11... Great News!

Today was hot for a change, no wind, and tomorrow it is offiicially summer (06/21).

The sun / Son is smiling on a new day

It is also a time to remember mom, Josephine Alice (Hopper) Roach... June 21st was/is her birthday.  In memory of mom I will quote, "This is the day the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24.  Every, and I mean every morning she would loudly knock on the bedroom door that all of us kids shared and repeat this verse.  It was her way of waking us up.

Today I had an appointment with my Oncologist.  Good News!  The MRI scan results were reviewed by my doctor, and two in-house radiologists.  These three have reviewed and discussed my case from the beginning.  All seem to be in agreement the right kidney scan shows NO active cancer.  The scan does have scar tissue which appears in the picture.  This information, along with a prior MRI scan showing the right renal artery free of active cancer too, is wonderful news.  Both growths now inactive!  Whoo hoo.

No, I am not free, but there are no active growths that we know of.  The doctor wants to do a MRI scan every three months for a while.  He says it is possible that I may go a long time before chemo treatment is needed again.  At $37,000.00 each treatment, it is a good thing to be done.

It has been almost a month since my last chemo.  I am looking forward to my body healing, as well as my other health issues improving.  The biggest ongoing problem I have had is with my diabetes.  Without the regular infusion of chemo steroids, I invision my glucose numbers going down.  Yes!  I hope the amount of insulin needed will go down too.  Right now, even with the Chia seeds (which are continuing to work for me) it is, 50 units Humulin N in the morning and again at night.  It is better than that plus Humulin R, before each meal too.  Is is greedy for me to want better results, less insulin?  Maybe I could go back to the oral medication (Metformin) I took before all of this CLL/chemo.  One can hope.  Also, how long does it take to say goodbye to "chemo brain?" 

Tonight I have so much to be thankful for... and I am.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monday, 06/13

Up early and going to Kennewick for a MRI/contrast scan. I am so sore and drug out from the yard sale my sister and I had this weekend. Did I make a bunch of money? Well, comparing it to zero the amount was better than nothing if I hadn’t done the sale. Every little bit helps, and this week it was a "little" bit of money. You never know, sometimes it can be $100.00 or more.

Gloria taking the money...

Me, Marie...  putting stuff out.

The rain has really helped everything grow, including the weeds. But, the new growth is so welcome and wonderful to look at. Flowers are blooming, seedlings are coming up, berries are beginning to develop. Fresh cut grass smells so good, along with the clean air after a rain. Then the sun comes out and gives us a treat. I enjoy the wonders and beauty of it all.

In addition to going in for the MRI today, I went into Urgent Care. My primary doctor was full, and since I was already in Kennewick... ran over to Urgent Care to be seen. I would have put it off, but my sister, Gloria, is persistent. Glad she was... it seems I have an infection in my sinus’. And I thought it was allergies or asthma. From my low WBC, and all symptoms, the infection has been around for a couple of months or more. My Oncologist had my lungs x-ray a couple of months ago due to the cough, but said there was nothing. My primary doctor has listened to my lungs and said they were good. Neither considered it was an infection dripping down, rather than a problem coming up from the lungs. I am on medicine for that, hopefully the coughing, slight temp which keeps me worn down, etc. will go away now.

I have to get a copy of my birth certificate made for my apartment application. While doing this, I will be making a copy for something I never thought would happen during my lifetime. Several states have passed laws, as well a counties within states... regarding proof of citizenship. With all of the security problems in the country right now, I understand the laws, but it is so sad to think we (America) has come to this. I also understand that officers must ask everyone for the same information, or else they will be charged with profiling! The new laws being passed, state by state, allow an officer to ask for proof of citizenship "when" contacted for other reasons. So, if I go on a trip and a county in the state I visit has this law... and I am asked for proof...where are the authorities going to place me if I don’t have it? Hmmmmmmmm


          Thursday, 06/16

Still have not heard anything from my Oncologist regarding the MRI/contrast scan. Part of "wait and watch" I guess.

Okay, I am going to admit this only one time, but in hindsight I have to laugh at what my sister and I almost did. Do you remember this past week, in the news, there was information about a solar storm? Gloria looked it up, and came to me a bit worried. We talked about the results of a solar storm and what was rumored it could do to electronic stuff. So, (mainly Gloria, ha ha) and I thought that maybe we should cover our computer towers and my lap top ... etc. with aluminum foil. We were going to ask the advice of our children, but figured that they would just add this to the information file to have us committed (ha ha), so didn’t call. Also, we did not use up the foil supply covering the electronic equipment. Gloria and I decided to take a risk and not be made fun of if all turned out okay, and if not, well..... and, no we are not making paperclip necklaces to protect us either, we are not that bad off. Really!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday... June 5, 2011

It is amazing how the time passes by so quickly.  Part of it is that since starting chemo, I have been in a daze.  It has been difficult for me to concentrate, let alone have the energy to complete any task put before me.  I know this is part of the process, I accept it, but do not like it.  I would much rather be the Type A personality, multi tasking and driving everyone nuts (around me) person that I have always been.  Working under pressure always put me into overdrive, now it overwhelms me.  But... that may be coming to an end soon!

I am not sure if the latest chemo cocktail was harder, or if the accumulation of all of the chemo's caught up with me.  The past few months I have had a lot of discomfort and being tired after my treatments.  As said in a prior post, I discussed a break in chemo with my Oncologist.  The insurance and Medicare may take that decision out of our hands.  After quite an approval process (from Medicare and my insurance), on June 13th I have another MRI/contrast dye scan.  If this scan does not show more improvement in my kidney, the remaining chemo which was previously approved will be declined.  Before beginning the new chemical (Treanda) a six month chemo was approved for the second cocktail, this is only the three month mark.  Even with the doctor explaining that the remaining three months is needed to show a result, approval probably will not take place.

The silver lining in the cloud is that without chemo, maybe I will begin to feel more like myself.  I am looking forward to having more energy, being alert, clearing the cobwebs, body aches gone, etc. etc.  The thought of being able to plan ahead, work on a sewing project or keeping what hair I have left is a positive thing.  For now, I am looking forward to this tradeoff. 

The tradeoff is the Watch & Wait plan, that is what my doctor calls it.  Does this mean no ill effects during this time?  No, some conditions continue.  I understand why the doctor recommends not to remove my right kidney.  In short, if the affected kidney is removed, the remaining kidney as to do the work of two.  Being a diabetic, it is a pretty sure bet that my remaining kidney would have issues on its own.  Compound that with the early onset stress and dialysis comes into view.  Also, removing the kidney only addresses that issue, the cancer continues within my bloodstream waiting for a new location to take over.

So, watch & wait, but this does not mean that I do nothing.  Gloria has been researching and referring to me many options I can help myself with.  During chemo many of my other health issues have become worse.  This is why I discussed stopping chemo with my doctor.  The cancer is not going to get me before my diabetes.  Glucose numbers have gone up into the 400's and droppig into the 100's.  Not only is this doing damage to vital organs, but emotional issues, and stress on my body is affecting blood pressure, etc. 

Just this week I discovered that "none" of my chemo treatments have been paid on by either insurance or medicare.  The amounts astonished me, approximately $37,000.00 each month for my chemo!  After discussions with the Billing Department of the hospital, it is obvious that I am a customer to the actual business, and a patient to the doctor treating me. 

My last visit to the Oncologist office, I watched as the patients came in.  I found myself being thankful that my issues were less than most; at least from what I viewed.  I do not take for granted being able to drive to my doctor appointment most of the time, have clear vision off and on, ability to have more than one thought at a time during parts of the month, energy enough to run the errands I have to, and have an appetite.  

"It is the quality not the quantity that matters."
(Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It is a Happy Mother's Day

I am the mother, it is a Happy Mother's Day for me.  Both of my children were born a blessing to me, and they were probably two of the most joyful days of my life.  My daughter born on October 13, 1972 and my son on August 8, 1975.  Growing up they were both a joy and tiring, as well as happy and sad, perfect and not so perfect.  They were typical children with good days as well as bad, and I wouldn't wish that they were any other way.  Never a burden or regret, and always pleased they grew from infants into responsible adults.    When I think of Mother's Day, being a proud mom comes to mind.

Doctor visit, Thurs 05/05/11

The drive to Tri Cities (Kennewick) was nice!  Except for the blossoms of fruit trees, floral, etc.  Allergies don't just stay allergies with me, rather they prompt my asthma to kick in.  The sunny day is worth it, as well as the beauty of new growth and colors to view. 

During my Oncologist visit it was decided to do another MRI contrast scan two weeks after this coming chemo, May 23/24.  If this new Treanda cocktail has not helped the kidney, as the last (Fludarabine cocktail) did not, then the chemo treatment will be stopped.  Both the doctor and I discussed that the side effects have been burdensome so a break is in order, but Medicare/Insurance will not pay for non-progress either.  He has to justify every three months to be able to continue the chemo therapy, and what it has and has not accomplished.  So... the doctor and my decision will be moote, if the remaining chemo is denied due to lack of improvement.  Some good news... the kidney function numbers are up this month.  Not normal, but up!

Remember the Chia seed?  It is working to keep my blood sugar down.  I have still not begun the extra three shots of insulin a day.  My numbers show I don't need it, but I do have to advise the doctor.  My 14 day glucose average is 132 now.  And... that was while I was learning to use the Chia.  (One teaspoon dry down before each meal or snack, with a cup of water.) The next 14 day average should be less. I am kind of afraid of the doctor reaction.  Anyway, I am going to print off educational information on Chia for the doctor.  Also, I am still not taking Prevacid!  Less money out during the month... with not taking three shots of insulin, using needles, and Prevacid.  What a better time to save than when in the pharmacy donut hole.  Another help for my glucose will be not taking the steroids during chemo. 

Okay, my hair is still thinning.  I am so glad that I inherited very thick hair.  It still looks like I have a full head of hair, just limp and thinner.  That is okay... not going to have it cut at a shop for a while.  The last lady was really uncomfortable with her hands full of hair she had not cut.  So, I will have Gloria trim me... not using the Flowbee.  I am afraid the vacuum device will suck the rest out at this time.  Ha ha.  Also, not coloring it and letting it grow out because of the chemicals.  The color is not that much difference, except for the gray hair.  There is a lot more gray hair since chemo started.  Oh well, rather gray than none. 

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd "dye".

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hi... I am back, again... 05/01/11

Hi everyone!  It seems I have been longer and longer between posts.  The last months of chemo have not been pleasant.  It seems that my focus, concentration, comprehention, etc. is off kilter.  I think I am going to be up more than down today, so I am going to try and get a hello and update posted.

First off, I want to give credit to what is keeping me pushing along.  It is my faith in God.  Not everyone has that in their life. For me, I don't know what I would do without it.  Faith gives me the ability to look for positive when negative is closing in, it is a 24/7 pipeline to prayer (discussion with God, questioning why, giving thanks, asking for help, guidance, etc.).  There is so much more, but you get the message.  Right now, faith is my lifeline.

Well, I am losing more hair.  It isn't coming out in clumps, just thinning rapidly.  This week when I go into the doctor, think my sister and I will get some of the temporary henna tattoo.  When I am bald, we will play.  Probably have to cover up my head more from the henna tattoo than the bald head.  Oh well, we will have some fun.

My diabetes is worse.  It is the steroids with chemo, asthma medication, and body change.  The doctor recently put me on additional insulin shots.  When I left the doctor office, the thought of five shots a day, plus six-plus tests a day was not something I was looking forward to.  Gloria (sister) had been reading on Chia seeds.  We went to the health food store and bought a package to experiment with.  I am going to do some research on it and post it, but in the mean time suffice it to say the seeds help with glucose levels!  Also, I have been on Prevacid for a long time due to stomach issues.  Since beginning Chia seed I haven't had to use Prevacid!  Normally, two days max and I am hurting.  It has been since 04/18, no Prevacid, no pain.  I have not yet begun the extra three insulin shots prescribed on 04/18.  The R (regular) insulin was to be taken before each meal to deter the spikes and valleys.  Blood pressure doing well... Chia is supposed to enhance blood pressure medication.  Keeping a close eye on all conditions, in case too much of a good thing isn't really that good. Taking one teaspoon of "dry" Chia seed before each meal, with a glass of water has done wonders with my glucose and stomach.  I still take 50 units of N (longer acting) insulin in the a.m. and p.m.  There is a lot of helpful information on the internet about Chia seeds.  Another thing I am researching is Ionized (alkaline) water.  I have recently read that it is important to keep your body more alkaline than acid.  I think everybody knew this but me.  Anyway, I am reading on this too.  There are so many health issues that can be traced to acidosis.  Alkalizing my body with the correct water, and taking Chia seeds is not costly, nor radical actions, compared to the outcome.  I will let you know how it goes.

This is going to be a week to push myself.  After the trip out of town to the doctor later this week, we are going to have a yard sale.   The economy being down, so are yard sale prices.  Hope that I make enough to make it worth the time.  It will help me scale down my "stuff" and that is good too. 

Have a great Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This month has been a challenge to remaining "perky"

Hi everyone!  Well, I am about ready for my second round of the chemo coctail that includes Treanda.  Monday, 04/25 I "get" to do it... not "got" to do it.  I am blessed to be able to have the coverage to allow me this service.

This month has been a low key month.  Seems that I cannot keep focused, and my bones ache!  With that and my persistent cough, I have been taking a lot of naps.  I have never been a nap taker, I am more of a person who has to show production for time used.  The bone pain is from the Neulasta shot I receive at the end of each chemo.  And, I guess some of my foggy brain is from pain medication.  Either way, stop, enough!  I would like to read a book page by page again.  Seems like I have to keep going back and re-reading.  So, I am back to taking notes when I read to refer to.  I get my money worth out of the book, that's good.

One thing, my prescription insurance reached its donut hole much sooner than I thought it would for this year.  Half way into May, I am on my own until I have paid out $4,500.00!  That will take until the first of October, when the insurance will begin paying again.  The largest rise in medicines has been due to my diabetes.  During chemo, and within my asthma medications, I have steroids.  That is what has caused my numbers to peak and valley, using much more diabetic supplies and medicine.  What to do... besides on my way home from the doctor on Monday when I realized it.  Panic!  My son and daughter are ready to commit me when I finished off a text to them with..."next year how do I pay rent and donut hole at the same time?  Guess I'll stand on a street corner, skirt hiked up as I lean seductively against my walker and gain attention next to the senior high rise."  I was just kidding guys!  Gotta have a little humor.  Besides the quarters thrown my way won't go far in this rising economy...  Smile!

Don't think that chemo is keeping me down as much as a combination of it, allergy season, asthma kicking in and all of this affects my glucose numbers.  The doctor has me on two long term N insulin shots each day,  and three short term R insulin shots each day.  That in itself is taking some getting used to .

I seem to be losing more hair lately, thankfully I have thick hair!  I am feeling an unpleasant feeling at the base of each hair.  So, I comb carefully... wash and finger comb a lot.  Sure hoping that it doesn't all go, but just incase I did order a hat.  One never knows.  I don't really care, but I do not want to become an attraction either. 

I have located an apartment back in Kennewick.  I cannot put my application in until my birthday, 08/27.  I will be 62 then.  Now comes the struggle with paying the donut hole and saving enough to move.  And, I really want to see my daughter in CA.  Okay, I won't be greedy... but pray for a financial miracle to help me live closer to the doctor, hospital, treatment center, etc.  The long drives are tolerable, but not when you are really feeling awful and want to get there quick.  I am thinking positive, and feel that all will come together as I need it.

In the meantime, I am thankful for the many things I am blessed with.  They may be small or large, a glimpse of something nice, love of those around you, or a friends call, the fact that my car is still running, and I can fill the gas tank... all of it (and more) are blessings.

Easter is coming up this weekend.  My wish is that all of you have a wonderful day with family and friends.
Love, Marie

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It has been a long time since last posting...

Hi, I hope that this finds everyone well and enjoying the sunshine that is out!

This past month has been difficult to accomplish "anything" due to a series of walls that I keep walking into. 

I began with starting the new drug, Treanda, during chemo this month.  I am not sure whether it was the Treanda or the Neulasta shot finally catching up with me, but... I was one out of sorts puppy for a while.  The doctor had previously prescribed Oxycodon, and it was good to have it on hand.  Hurt... oh yeah.  Then, my thoughts, focus, energy all went by the wayside.  I have been trying to get myself back into a normal routine.

With the stress on my body, and the steroids from chemo and my asthma inhaler, the glucose numbers I register are high!  I go up one unit each a.m./p.m. along with diet and exercise until it reaches some control.  So far I am up to 52 units a.m. and 52 units p.m.  I have been told that once I complete chemo my system will level out a bit.  I am struggeling with weight.  I have been told this is normal with the diabetes bouncing around, and the high amounts of insulin.  Since I have only completed one chemo with the new drug, I have five more to go.  That doesn't include the months I have just completed with the other drug. 

I have to pat myself on my back that I was able to focus enough pay bills, balance my checkbook, figure IRS, etc. this month.  Oh, want to hear something?  I did not have my Social Security Statement (proof of income) for this year.  I went online and requested a Proof of Income letter.  I was told that I would receive it within ten days.  Then, I receive online, "In light of the current budget situation, we have suspended issuing Social Security Statements.  You may be able to estimate your retirement benefit...."  Unbelievable!

Day by day I am doing better... the only problem is that chemo is coming up again on the 25th!  Ugh.....  I am not used to going slow, not doing what I want physically, multi tasking, etc.  This slowing down is emotionally painful!  Ha ha.

Have a great week, enjoy the sunshine, be thankful for what you can do... and focus less on what you no longer can do.  Focusing on the loss makes one angry, I don't have time for anger... I am looking for joy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Insurance approved new medicine!

Received a call today from my oncologist office.  The new medication for my chemo treatment, Treanda, was approved!

With that news, also received confirmation of chemo on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday the Neulasta shot.  It is a shorter treatment than before.  Three months on this schedule once each month, then a MRI scan.  If all looks good, another three months, and then another scan... and it goes on.

Now, I know that I am pushing my luck... but want to try and get my primary doctor to convince the insurance that I need to use Lantus insulin rather that what I am on.  The Lantus has a longer life, and will regulate my glucose better.  It is also expensive, so they have refused to pay for it.  If not, I will wait until I get my supplemental insurance the end of this year.  Hope that it will pay for Lantus.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yesterday's oncology appointment 03/21...

Hi everyone! Hope your week is going well.
I apologize that this post is the same as the post on the CLL forum.  I just don't have the brain power today to do a second one, and wanted to get this information out to those I promised I would.
My week has mixed messages, but I am going to focus on the blessings, and not what if's.
I went to the doctor/oncologist yesterday. He went over the latest CT scan, MRI scan and blood test results. Good news first.  The mass around my renal artery is down (confirmed) to the point the scans are no longer distinguishing the difference between the lymph note and the mass. Before you could see the mass, attached to the node and surrounding the renal artery.  Now, the doctor cannot see this growth! And no, the bathroom scales are not showing a loss of weight due to the loss of mass.  You know, that is not fair!
The cancer within my kidney is difficult to judge. It is not a normal mass, but a mushy/cloudy substance filtering thru the entire kidney and its tissues. The oncologist discussed this at a conference with other doctors about treatments and radiation. Radiation was agreed on only for a later resort. Surgery is not being considered because the right kidney is still functioning and helping out my left healthy one. So, now comes the fight with the insurance company.
Again, I have an advantage plan contracted with Medicare. In this state (Washington) due to an attorney general ruling which I don't understand, I cannot buy supplemental insurance until I turn 62.  This decision covers me even though I am on disability social security/medicare. If I could afford it, nobody will sell me a policy with my pre-existing conditions. The insurance /medicare thought is if the F&R didn't help, why go to the expense of another treatment. Doctor is calling to explain that the F&R did help, just not much.  My kidney function is a tiny bit better, there have been no developing growth (from the cancer cells circulating in my blood reference the leukemia)since chemo began, and the renal artery issue is much better. With that he thinks he can convince the insurance/medicare to let me continue with Rituxin and include Treanda, along with the other meds given during chemo.  He could add the C to the F&R (FCR) treatment, but it is much more toxic than what he is recommending. The Treanda is more cost than what I was on... that is the problem. If the recommendation is declined, I have to wait for further treatment until I can change to supplemental insurance. My insurance window opens late October. So, further treatment would not take place until approximately November.
Pray for an approval from my insurance and medicare.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hope for tomorrow...

Just a note:  During this time of the Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster, the information being reported is mixed.  I would rather hear the truth, even if it is not what I wanted to hear.  I cannot believe that this radiation release will not have a bigger effect on the people of Japan, and the world , than we are being told.  I do not want to be an alarmist, just realistic.  Now, I am told there is a post online that the Navy is taking away personal phones and computers on ships near Japan.  Is this so information leaks will be at a minimum?  If this post is to be believed, what is there to leak?  While in Kennewick, at my doctor appointment, my sister and I stopped at the health food store(s) to check on their supply of Iodine.  None.  And, unable to get any further supplies for a while. I am told that there is a government stockpile.  That information might be correct, but how long will it take to have it available for consumption to the average citizen?  Maybe I am worrying over nothing.  And yet, I pray that 15-20 years from now I don't have family being diagnosed with cancer due to this.   

Thursday, 03/16
It is so nice to have the weather changing into Spring.  The drive into my doctor is so much more pleasant without ice, snow, and rain.  The wind, as we do have that during Spring, can be managed.  But, there are times when driving the wind is so hard that it plasters the tumbleweeds against the car.  On occasion, we have had to stop the car and pull off the tumbleweeds. 

Arrived for the MRI test, and find that I need another IV.  It has been a while since my last MRI, and I forgot that this was the machine with the long tube you are enclosed in.  On top of that, I am not good at holding my breath... and the entire test is "breathe in" and "hold."  When I quickly breathe in, my asthma kicks in and I want to cough.  Try holding a cough in, and keep your abdoman extended. Really it is not bad if you are not claustrophobic or have asthma.  If you do have these issues, the short test can appear long!

Afterwards wanted to go eat!  Had to fast before the MRI.  Gloria and I went to a new Italian place in Kennewick.  Since I have been having an issue with tomato burning my mouth, we ordered pizza with olive oil and pesto sauce as the base.  Wow, never would have believed it... better than with tomato sauce base. Only ordered a small pizza as I was going to my doctor in two hours

Then, went to primary doctor about my diabetic issues.  He said that as long as I have chemo/steroids, inhaler/steroids, and other issues that my glucose levels would be up.  I have to test several times a day, and now insulin shots twice a day.  The amount goes up daily until my glucose reaches an acceptable number at twelve hour intervals. 

I am doing more in-depth research into N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine and Alpha Lipoic Sustain.  This promotes Glutathione and is a precursor to Glutathoine.  My sister says that since she has been on this her blood pressure is better.  I have also read that it may help my glucose levels.  So... read, read, read and hope I find something that will help.

Today (Friday, 03/18) I would like to send prayers for a cancer surgery that is taking place in Seattle right now.  Once of my son's co-workers (Washington State Patrol) is having a serious cancer surgery.  I am proud of the local Tri-Cities police/justice community and how they have come together to help this young man and his family.  This is going to be a long recovery.  I believe with God's influence, a blessed recovery is possible.

Enthusiasm is contagious.  You could start an epidemic
Author unknown

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My father was part Irish.  He would not let us believe in Santa Claus;
but, as children under his direction, we always put a treat out for the
 "wee people."  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Chemo was cancelled, more tests...

Attitude is everything.  You simply cannot be beaten if, at the end of the day,some tiny part of you can still whisper, "I will try again tomorrow." 
Author unknown

There have been so many tragedies in the world, the latest being the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.  My thoughts and prayers go out to them, as well as other parts of the world where there is suffering.  Not everything makes media headlines, but the suffering is just as real.

My daughter has recently passed her California Insurance Exam and is training with Aflac.  The reason I bring this up is the earthquake(s) in Japan.  From her training she has told me that this company has a huge presence in Japan.  I was worried about how the people would be able to prove injury, death, anything at this point.  Their homes are gone, along with personal records.  City Hall's are gone, people are missing... how will they prove a claim?  I was delighted to hear that Aflac is going to be extremely reasonable with those claims, the people have suffered enough.  I am not promoting Aflac, just praising a large company for being compassionate.

I have a sick tooth...  
Sunday, 03/13.
I have read that during chemo treatment you are not supposed to have any dental work.  Great... I have a tooth that is hurting.  This coming week I am going to ask if I can go to the dentist.  Since I am at the end of my chemo break (4 weeks) I have just begun to have reduced glucose readings.  They have been in the low 200's, even down to the high 100's.  With chemo comes the steroids, which means my glucose numbers are going to go up again.  Drats!  The side effects of CLL and its treatment involve more than the cancer itself.  I know that infection is of great concern, then throw in my bleeding problem... what to do?

Monday, 03/14.
This morning started off as any other chemo week.  Once I got to the doctor's office I was anxious to review my latest CT scan.  First off, the doctor told me that he was cancelling chemo because he needed more information to be able to decide what the best course of action would be going forward.  I think he is having to justify his actions to the insurance company.

The doctor told me that the mass around my right renal artery is no longer visable, at least on the current CT scan.  That was reason for me to sing praises!  The right kidney is difficult to determine improvement, if any, from the CT.  There was no evidence of any new mass formation.  Much of the news is an answer to prayers.  All of this will be confirmed with a upcoming MRI on Wednesday, 03/16. 

The doctor was frustrated as he normally has a mass (lump) he can measure to determine increase or decrease in size.  However, mine is different.  Of course, I don't do anything simple!  The cancer within my right kidney is cloudy/mushy, filtered in the empty area and tissue of the kidney.  This makes it difficult to measure.  So, the doctor has ordered an MRI, which is where the diseased kidney was located during the diagnosis process.  I was told CLL is systemic, therefore removing the right kidney would not cure the lymphoma/leukemia. 

My right kidney still works good enough to help the left kidney.  We don't want to remove it and put more stress, as well as my diabetes issues, on the healthy kidney.  On Monday, 03/21, I go into the doctor to review the MRI results, and current Creatine and GFA results. 

The doctor, along with my insurance, will decide how to proceed with treatment.  Of course the insurance company is going to try for the least expensive method, as well as consider whether or not the amount of money is going to a worthy cause.  Since January 1, I have found that my doctor is having to discuss everything, routine or not, with the insurance company.

Either you control your attitude,or it controls you. 
Author unknown

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Had my CT scan yesterday...

First, let me say that yesterday was (sarcastically I say) fun.  I thought that I was being so smart and put  numbing cream (lidocaine/prilocaine) on my port and right hand before the CT scan IV was put in.  First time I remember to apply it correct, and the nurse takes my left hand because it was on the side of the machine more convenient to her.  Then she tells me that since I will need the IV hookup when I go to short stay, a large needle would be needed.  At that I (politely) said, "Uh uh... please use my right hand and drape the cord over me."  I'm not afraid, sort of... just getting tired of the pokes.  This was the IV for the iodine dye, which did not set well with me this time.  If you have had this test, you know the feeling of being flushed and think you are wetting your pants.  Which by the way could be embarassing, one never knows until after the test if it is real or imagined.  That's why I always wear black pants when having a CT scan.  Smart of me huh?

Anyway, after the test that feeling came back on me, as well as a very sick stomach.  In addition, the stress of it all caused my asthma to kick in.  The stort stay nurse called my doctor and he prescribed an IV of Zofran.  It is the medicine that I have received in ER for a sick stomach.  For whatever reason, my 45 minute IV turned into almost four hours in short stay. 

The hydration IV was a large one, so it took a while.  The reason for the hydration IV was to give my body a boost towards pushing the iodine dye and contrast through my system quicker.  The Barium Sulfate Suspension contrast that I had to drink before the test, and the iodine dye during the test,do not filter well through my kidneys.  That was the purpose of my taking the NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) the day before and day of the test. 

With that said, I need to clarify something.  In my excitement and haste to post this information regarding NAC, I did not finish reading and find the following warning.  NAC appears to be a great supplement, for a number of reasons, but not for everyone!  I, for instance, should not take this on a regular basis.  Drats!  It seemed like a good thing for me.  But, since I have a sulfa allergy, am a diabetic (blocks insulin), promotes antioxidants (not good when on chemo), fights chemo brain (the boost is not allowed during treatment), dairy intolerance, etc. I cannot take this.  Okay, another warning... drink your water while taking NAC!  If you don't drink plenty of water, kidney stones may develop.  I still feel that "if" you can take it, NAC looks like a good supplement.  Please read up on it, discuss it with your doctor, before making this a regular supplement.

A couple of tidbits...  On 11/12/10 I posted about insurance.  I guess I didn't read as well as I thought or ask all of the questions that should have been asked.  It seems like there are changes that I was not aware of.  Most recently, some medications are not covered.  Fortunately, the actual cost was not much.  I find in discussing this with another chemo patient, there is a loop hole.  If you ask your doctor to schedule an injection of the medication, it is covered under Medicare B (does not have a donut hole).  Check to see if this is the case with your insurance.  Injection form, yes; pill form is a no.  My diabetic testing supplies are no longer covered under the B program.  I have to get them from the pharmacy, which will cause me to reach this year's donut hole faster!  I guess since my insurance is contracted with Medicare, when Medicare makes a change the insurance company goes along with it.  This is my understanding, from what I have been told.  Hope my chemo brain hasn't distorted the information. 

Have you been to a thrift store lately?  Wow!  The economy has hit there too.  Went into one and found that blouses were as high as $9.99-$12.99.  My sister and I found jeans average price $6.99-$12.99.  I even found a purse for $89.00, and jeans for $49.00!  Buying a used book is not as cheap as it once was.  We also noticed that the amount of inventory was "down" in the thrift store(s).  Yet, when you have a yard sale people still want the blouse for a quarter, jeans under one dollar, etc.  To replace what you have sold at a yard sale is going to be expensive during this economy, whether or not you buy new or used.  Suggestion:  Locate a used book store that will take a book purchased there as a trade-in.  You will pay less for the initial purchase, and get money towards your next purchase with the trade-in. 

Never take a person for granted.  Hold every person close to your heart cause you might wake up one day and realize that you've lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones.
Author unknown

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pre-treatment for CT scan...

As I said in yesterday's post, before a CT scan is given to me pre-treatment is necessary. The oncologist prescribed NAC 600 mg for me to take the day before and day of the test.  After a difficult time locating it, and paying my co-pay, I find the following out.  NAC can be purchased as a supplement, that is why the pharmacies did not have it.  I paid more for four pills that what it would cost to buy an entire bottle over the counter.  Anyway, from what I have read this NAC will help my kidney process the contrast administered during the test.  I am surprised that I have not been told about this before.  From the articles below and others, it would appear to be a good supplement for me to be taking all of the time.  I will have to ask the doctor about this.  Then, after the CT scan I will have an IV to help get my system to flush at a faster rate.
N-Acetyl Cysteine

Acetylcysteine: An drug used to reduce the thickness of mucus and ease its removal. It is also used to reverse the toxicity of high doses of acetaminophen. Acetylcysteine with hydration significantly reduces the risk of contrast nephropathy in patients with chronic renal insufficiency. Also called N-acetyl-L-cysteine.

Defination of Contrast Nephropathy

Contrast nephropathy:  A form of acute renal failure that starts soon after administration of contrast media (dye) for X-rays. The disorder usually runs a benign course and only rarely requires recourse to dialysis.

N-Acetyl CysteineExcerpt from

"NAC is used by hospitals, in very high levels, to treat patients with acetaminophen poisoning. It also contributes to the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione, has proven to be effective in preventing kidney damage brought about by injections of iopromide (a contrast medium used in people undergoing CT imaging), and has been helpful in treating liver failure caused by drug toxicity, hepatitis, and more."

 "One study reported that the incidence of kidney damage dramatically dropped by 86% with the use of NAC. In that particular study 400mg of NAC were given twice a day on both the day before as well as the day of the procedure. Other studies related to this matter have shown NAC to be effective only when a low amount of dye is used. "

Glutathione: New Supplement on the Block
Excerpts from article from the following
By: Alison Palkhivala, Web MD Feature

"If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione," says Appleton. "The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trip to Oncologist...

Yes, the day began early... but clear weather, no rain or snow, in the 20's; yet, sun came out and the day was in the high 40's (maybe even low 50's)!  Not quite beach weather, but... This was nice for the drive and time in and out of a car while going to appointments, and running errands.  I am so ready to put an "all points bulletin" out for Spring.

I have to back up and say "I'm sorry" for stating that I thought the doctor's visit would be for nothing, and a waste of money for the day.  Just because I assume that there is not a need for an appointment, doesn't mean there isn't.  I spoke with my doctor about this issue, and he explained the behind the scenes issues.  With that said, I did learn during my appointment that I would now be officially diagnosed as chronic kidney disease.  This is due to the low GFR numbers I have had for several months.  For this reason, I have to do pretreatment before any CT.  The reason for pretreatment is that this scan, and preparations around it, will be hard on my kidney (right one with the cancer in it).  I have to take pills the day before and day of the CT, drink radioactive contrast the morning of  the CT, and after the CT go in for an IV to help my system flush the contrast out.  The doctor is looking for any size difference in the mass within the kidney, and the mass around the renal artery.  I wonder if the CT scan will show any size difference of my waist and hips?  Ha ha, like a reduction there is going to happen. 

On other issues... my lips have been very sensitive.  When concentrating, or under stress, I have always chewed on my lips.  Well, with this bleeding disorder I have to somehow stop this lifelong practice.  My bottom lip, on the inside, is like a blood blister.  Then my cheeks have been swelling, and I keep biting the inside of my cheeks.  They are a mess too.  So, this morning I took a Benedryl thinking that with my cough, and the swelling, maybe an allergic reaction?  Shortly after taking the Benedryl I stopped wheezing and my cheeks are less swollen.  During chemo the doctor prescribes for me a large dose of Benedryl.  This time of the year I always begin allergies which puts a stress on my body, and that's when asthma kicks in.  I am going to try Benedryl for a few days and see what happens.  If I can get away from inhaling steroids, that would help my glucose numbers come down a bit.  And if steroids are puffing me up, well ... I don't need help adding another chin and hangover eyes. 

CT (Computed Tomography)

My scan will be similar, only the
right kidney will be much larger. 
The mass on the right renal artery
will show too.  From here the doctor
can look into the area and see the
mass, measure it, etc. 

Due to my glucose numbers being high, I have been increasing the insulin amount by one unit each day.  I am up to 36 units, and still in the 200's.  I have started a food log, watching everything consumed, and continue to increase the amount of insulin.  From what I hear, after completing chemo there will be a transition time adjusting insulin down as my glucose levels drop.  They will drop due to stopping the doses of steroids.  I also discovered that all of my numbers react to the amount of (legal) liquids consumed during the day.  Now, where is the weight loss?  Not fair! 

Three times now I have gone into get different prescriptions filled and find that the pharmacy does not carry what is needed.  Infact, again this time, I am told it is seldom requested medicine.  After many phone calls and standing in line(s) at more than one pharmacy, the medication needed for the CT scan was located.  A small independent pharmacy that has been across from the hospital for decades had what I needed.  Another surprise, it is not covered by my insurance.  Fortunately the cost was minimal. This is happening to many.  When standing in line to wait my turn, I continue to hear "What!?" People questioning why they owe so much to the pharmacy.  I felt sorry for the clerks.  They continued to advise people to call their insurance company.  Times are getting harder on anything to do with medical.
Before heading back to Royal City Gloria and I went to eat.  My family has always given me (in humor) a bad time about my addiction to the carbonation in diet cola.  If the stuff doesn't have bubbles, why drink it?  Anyway, my sister and I started laughing when we heard the lady in the next booth.  She was complaining of the taste and lack of bubbles in her diet cola.  Gloria looked at me in disbelief, and we really tried to keep our noise down.  You know how it is when you should not be laughing, then cannot stop.  And everyone thought I was the only odd one when it came to bubbles in my drink.  If not poured in the glass, or onto prepared ice properly, the bubbles are popped.  That is wrong!  

Continuing on... we are driving on Hwy 395, just approaching the turn off to Hwy 17 (driving home) when Gloria startled me with a "turn into this area!"  So I, with a car right behind me, turn on a dime off the road and into a pull off area.  When realizing it was because she wanted a cigerette, I told her that she couldn't have one right then.  She would have to hurry and get out, bend over and play like she was sick.  Gloria looked at me like I was nuts, but I didn't want the car behind me thinking that my driving was stupid for no reason...  I guess that is better than mistaking an empty pop (diet cola) can for one I was drinking out of.  It wasn't, that can was being used for her butt's so that she would not litter.  Wow, that time was an eye opener!  She still laughs at me over that.  Our brains are on opposite ends of the scale, her with a brain flash and me with chemo brain. 

It doesn't stop there, the trip continues to prove interesting as well as entertaining.  We laughed a lot "after" realizing my oops! Pulled off the road to get some gas, then by the time I got parked something else was going thru my brain.  Parked infront of the store, not at the gas pumps and would have probably ended up in the store wondering why I was there.  Gloria saved me, and advised me that we were there to get gas, at the pumps.  After we were back on the road, the last leg of the trip on Hwy 26, I said..."the turn off sign to Moses Lake/Mesa has got to be soon, it seems like we have been on this road forever."  Knew I was in trouble then when realizing that we had left Hwy 395, already driven Hwy 17 and was now on Hwy 26 close to home.   Oh it is going to be a happy time after chemo and my brain wakes up.  Gloria likes to see me do this from time to time, so that she doesn't feel alone when she has her oops moments.  It takes so little to entertain me...

I ran into an acquaintance yesterday who immediately started her conversation with, "Oh Marie, I just heard the news! How are you feeling, and dealing with it, etc. etc." I have been replying to people with positive conversation, and that I have turned this over to the Lord. More conversation about how I am blessed with realizing that I need to embrace each day, not procrastinate and waste valuable time, interaction with those you care about, etc.  Remember... This is the day the Lord hath made... rejoice and be glad in it... (I put this in especially for you Gloria.  She likes this verse that mom quoted to us each morning as our wake up call.)