Saturday, March 24, 2012

First days of Spring

The weather has been beautiful, except for the pollen being off the charts high in the 9,000's! It's a nice temperature to get out and walk or just play outside. We live on a lake with lots of wildlife and Carter likes to investigate. 
Every little boy needs a net to catch things.... fish, bugs, whatever! Carter and I scoped out the lake for fish but none were around at this moment. All the sunbathing turtles dove back into the water when they heard us come outside. So we looked for bugs. We saw some ducks but they're too smart to swim too close. Not a good catch that day, but we'll be back.
Relaxing, watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, after playin' outside. This is Carter's chair, and he'll let you know it! But he let me snuggle in, and the pups too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1st week on Temodar + Avastin

I'm currently on the "off" week of every other week on the pills and infusion. I was feeling pretty good the first week I took the pills, and grateful for that. One of the side effects from Temodar is constipation though and this past weekend that hit me hard, no pun intended. I will watch my diet a bit better from now on and make sure I stay more regular. Digestive issues have been the biggest side effect from treatment for me, from radiation to the abdomen and also my chest, and now on chemo. I've lost ~10 lbs since all that started last August, without trying to of course. I try to eat well when I feel good, lots of protein and calories. I'm not drinking wine very often though and that alone could account for half the weight loss. 
I start the pills again on Thursday... here's to the 2nd round going well and staying on top of the side effects!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

my first attempt with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...

was a great success! I loved using it and was so pleased with the result. 
I found this chest at a local consignment store for $40. I fell in love with the shuttered style of it and could picture it painted white or even blue. It's solid pine, no veneer here, and the sides and back are finished just as nicely in the shutter style as the front.
 Although you don't have to pre-sand to paint with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I wanted to smooth out a few nicks so I did it anyway. 
I decided to take off the trim to update it more too. 
 All ready for the paint.
 Duck Egg blue to go in Kristin's family room as a toy chest for Nathan.
 I sanded the edges after painting to give it a weathered look.
 See the back detail, nice huh?! 
All painted and ready for the wax. The waxing is a bit of a body-buster though so I purchased an electric buffer to use for the next project to save my weary muscles.
 Look how well it matches her fabric in the room. I love it!
 Ta Da! Finished and all ready for toys. 
It's now safe at home in their Florida family room. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

a family weekend

So I'm still catching up on February events and wanted to post about our visit from Kristin and Nathan in February. Since he was born last May, we have been very fortunate to see them every month since! I miss having them nearby and love seeing my little bub whenever we can!
my wonderful family... LOVE them!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sarcoma status from February Dr. visits

Mid month it was time to be scanned to see if December's chest radiation had any effect. I met with my Radiologist to discuss the results on the Thursday after Monday's CT scan. He was pleased with his work and said it looked as though the 2 lymph nodes we had targeted showed signs of "necrosis". Friday I met with my Oncologist and he wasn't so sure the radiation had worked. He said our next step would be chemo, but not sure yet what drug. I then met with Dr. Force the following Friday to discuss what he could do for me. He didn't think the lymph nodes had been effected either and we still needed to deal with the 4 lung nodules. We reviewed the CT scan with him and he pointed out that the lymph nodes were inoperable and 2 of the lung nodules would be difficult to get and most likely not yield clean margins. He couldn't help me this time. This was quite a blow to me... he had always been my go-to guy, my surgery-savior, to rid my lungs of the metastases. That option was gone. I cried all day long.
To take charge of my options for chemo I decided to see a new Oncologist at Emory, Dr. Movva. She had been on staff for ~2 years and was their Sarcoma Oncologist-Guru. She presented me with a research paper, a study done at MD Anderson, of 15 patients with my exact Sarcoma, Hemangiopericytoma. The study was for 2 drugs, Temodar plus Avastin. We talked about my cancer and she was so educated and smart, and had reasons for what she wanted to do. She gave me hope, I signed her up as my new Onc! 
I started the Temodar on March 8th, I take 200mg per night for 7 days, then on the eighth day do a 2 hour infusion of Avastin. I'm on Ativan and Compazine as pre-meds for nausea. Except for the first night where I was sick for 3 hours, so far so good. We'll see what side effect if any the Avastin adds this week. 

I'm grateful for my new doctor. I'm grateful for medical research, although rare in the Sarcoma world, that there is some new drug protocol available to try. I'll do a 2 month cycle and re-scan. 
Praying for great results!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Catching up on February, it was a busy month!

Our February started with a trip to St Thomas and St John! It was great to get away and soak up the sunny sunshine and warm temperatures. We had not had a vacation in 2011 due to health reasons, so this time away was very much appreciated! My brother and SIL from CT joined us and we're so glad they did!
We arrived at the Ritz Carlton, checked in, and then headed over to Red Hook to reserve a table at the Caribbean Cafe for the Super Bowl the next night. There was a fun mix of locals and tourists cheering on their teams in a close and exciting game! Fun for all, especially Giants fans as our team won!
The Ritz has a lot to offer and we indulged in it all, snorkeling, paddle boats for 4, too funny!, Hobie Cat sailing, walking the beach, rafting in the pool, and of course dining on all their delicious food and drink!
We took a couple of days to venture over to St John. We hopped the ferry in Red Hook and w/in 20 minutes we were on St John for a little shopping and dining at Mongoose Junction, and swimming at their beautiful private aqua-blue beaches. 
It was a much needed, enjoyable and relaxing time! 
A storm rolled in that night, so we waited it out with a few cocktails!
Do I look relaxed yet?
We had a wonderful time!