Hey! Good afternoon my dear lil lambs. I hope today’s post finds you all quite well and enjoying your Saturdays. I’m relaxing and getting ready to go buy soft pretzels to have pretzels in the park with the hubs. Maybe we’ll stop at the duck pond and feed them some cracked corn too.
It’s been a long week and I’ve been tired a lot so the daily posts have been short and without much substance. I thought I’d play catchup this afternoon while I’m not exhausted and my eyes are closing.
Sunday we woke up early and were supposed to head down to Millville for the Millville Airshow. Unfortunately for us the Blue Angels were grounded for a safety violation the weekend before and just as we were getting ready to shower the power went out at Casa de Soapboxville. By the time the power came back on and we transferred the UPSes we use for our computers back from the fish tanks to the computers it was later in the day than we’d anticipated leaving. By the time we made it to Millville there was only an hour left to the show and traffic was non-existent so Chuck mentioned driving down to Cape May for dinner at the Lobster House. I’m always game for a trip to Cape May so off we went down to Cape May for a good meal. We got lucky and were seated right away. This is a minor miracle at the Lobster House, where the wait is often an hour or better. I had fried flounder and the hubs had sautéed scallops. Yum.
We were going to take a walk on the boardwalk in Wildwood but there was no parking to be had for block and blocks and the paid parking lots were asking $20 to park. For the amount of time we were actually going to stay up there we decided against paying to park. So we made our way to Laura’s for fudge for us and salt water taffy to give to folks in the Radiation Oncology department and Chuck’s coworkers. Everyone’s been so good to us I thought that some salt water taffy would be a nice treat to say thanks.
The ride home wasn’t bad either and I managed to get a few pics of the sun and sunset as we drove home. It was a really nice day and at least 10 degrees cooler in Cape May than it was at home.
Monday was Memorial Day and there was a heat advisory, the sun was strong and I had the day off from radiation treatments so I spent the day watching a marathon of the first season of West Wing on DVD. It was nice to relax, drink iced tea and watch one of my most favorite shows.
Tuesday began week 4 of my radiation treatments. As we were driving to the hospital, Donna, who is one of the radiation therapists called to tell me they were having trouble with the machine and that I should come later. Since dad was already waiting for me at the hospital I told her that I’d just wait it out. As it turned out I didn’t get out much later than I normally do. I seriously love those women. I don’t know how they do it but Donna, and Lauren and Maria and Denna and Jill and the new girl who’s name I have yet to remember are always pleasant and smiling and calm. When I worked at the magazine we’d all be pissed off and grouching and bitching that we couldn’t work if there were the slightest problems with the network or computers. How these women maintain such a good attitude on a daily basis is beyond me but I’m incredibly grateful for their good attitudes and daily kindnesses.
Wednesday found me at my halfway point, 15 treatments down, 15 to go. It also found me 234 days into my journey, which began on October 11, 2010. I was 4 weeks and 2 treatments days into my 7 week odyssey of radiation treatments. We ate pizza from Pizzeria Pesto for dinner and got ready to spend time at not 1, but 2 hospitals the next day.
Thursday brought treatment number 16 of 30. For the first time since my treatments began the first number was higher than the second number. I also saw my Oncologist, Dr. Hughes. I got a good report from her. She confirmed that the Neutrogena is the best sunscreen to use and added that I should not be out in the sun without a hat. My head still looks good, my vitals are good, my side effects are minimal and I’m feeling pretty good; a little tired, but pretty good otherwise. Everyone from the radiation therapists to my nurses to Dr. Hughes to Chuck all think my scalp is handling the radiation well.
I’d measure my relief later. I was in a hurry to get to Hahnemann Hospital to see my father. He had a heart catheterization and was scheduled to also have the blockage cleared and stay overnight. When Dr. Kussmaul (hope I’m spelling his name right) did the catheterization he said the blood vessel was too far back and the clog was too small and that surgical intervention or putting in another stent was too dangerous. He instructed my parents to talk to dad’s cardiologist, Dr. Victor to have it treated medically. Because they did not put a stent in dad was able to come home that afternoon. He has an appointment on Wednesday with Dr. Victor.
I’m on the fence about this development. Obviously part of me is glad they didn’t do anything that would be dangerous for dad but I’m also worried about the blockage growing or moving. I’m also worried about what exactly they’ll do for him medically. He’s already on at least 2 blood thinners; Effient and a daily aspirin. He bleeds pretty bad now. I can’t imagine how bad it will get if he’s on yet another blood thinner. I can’t do anything right now so I’ll think more about this on Wednesday when he goes for his appointment. If it’s later in the day maybe I’ll go with to listen to what Dr. Victor has to say.
Friday was a glorious day and since dad was not in the hospital Chuck and I decided to go to the Morris Arboretum after my radiation treatment was done for the day. We stopped in the city on our way out to the arboretum to pick mom up and take her to her weekly hair appointment. It was a long ride out to the arboretum and I was in search of a hat so we stopped at McDonalds for some lunch while searching for a strip mall with a clothing store. There was not a strip mall to be found within 5 miles of the arboretum so I called their gift shop from McDonalds to inquire if they sold hats. They do and so it was off to the arboretum. I was, or course covered in sunscreen — Neutrogena SPF 60 for sensitive skin. I Tweeted last week that I hated the Neutrogena sunscreen because it was too heavy but I did a better job of applying it this time and it wasn’t nearly as heavy, uncomfortable or yucky. I recommend it. I was out all afternoon at the arboretum and am as white as I was when I got up Friday morning.
I bought a straw hat at the gift shop before we set out on the trails. It was a gorgeous sunny, breezy afternoon. The arboretum is beautiful and we had a great day to be there. In addition to beautiful, trees, plants, flowers, fountains and a garden railway I saw quite a few chipmunks, ducks, birds, a spiderweb and a groundhog. The only downside to the day was they are currently playing host to an ungodly amount of gnats. They don’t bite but the swarms are creepy. I’d love to go back in the fall when all the trees are changing color. I bet it’s gorgeous in the snow also.
It took us 2 hours to get home in the weekend traffic. When we got home we took the kitties out for a walk in the beautiful spring sunshine on their leashes. It was a nice half an hour and then in we went to brush them real good and wipe them down from their outside adventures.
I was exhausted by evening and just about barely posted yesterday’s blog. What I wanted to say last night got tabled until today. If you see Chuck give him a hug. If you talk to Chuck tell him he’s a good husband. He took the day of my first radiation treatment off to be with me. He’s taken the last 3 Fridays off to be with me during my radiation treatments then spend the day with me. It’s made the fear and anxiety and worry more manageable to have a nice day to look forward to. Mr. Soapy’s a good egg with a good heart. I’m so blessed that he’s my husband. He’s been with me every step of the way right there by my side. I am well and truly blessed to have him right there by my side.
Okay, time for pretzels at the park. I’ll be back with a daily photo and short post tonight. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment every day. I love you all.
With much love and great affection,
~ Carol Anne