Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sixth Taxol – A Day in Pictures

Today’s post will mainly be a pictorial.  I have reached the 1/2 way point with the Taxol.  YAY!!! Diana came with me again today.  Unfortunately, she has a bad cold so had to wear a mask the whole time we were at SCCA. image

Diana was banished to The Chair behind The Stuff.  (We drink copious amounts of water.)

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This is me waving “Hi” to my nephew Anthony who was going to get this image via text.  Sorry, Anthony, no exclusive photos for you.

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Baldy and Snotty climb the walls as they wait for labs.

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Diana got this picture of me taking a picture of me and my pump.


Self Portrait with smirk and slight googlie eye.  (It is hard to know where to look when taking a self portrait.  I chose to look at two things (who can make up their mind?) thus the googlie eye.)  Note the slight green pallor.  I hope it was the lighting.


The long-awaited self portrait with me and my pump.  I love my pump.

Some people go out and buy pumps and put them on their feet.  Not me.  Pumps are for fluids that go straight into your heart where they do bad things to bad cells.  I once showed up at work with two different color pumps – black and blue.  It was a long day.

The Second Half

Today was the first infusion of the last half of her Chemo treatments.  Woot!

Diana is here and she got to meet the oncologist.  The oncologist was impressed that Loretta managed to have some unusual symptoms – something she has done all along.


The nurse doing the infusion is Debby – one of our favorites.  She wanted to be in the bed, too, but Diana was hogging it.  (Not really.  Debby is a consumate professional.)  Here they all are checking the Google for instructions on how to set up the IV pump:


T-Ville catch up

I have been a bit lax in my posts this past week.  Last Monday Roberta was my chemo buddy.  We went furniture shopping beforehand at Kasala.  I actually found the couches, chairs and ottoman for the new house.  It was the fastest furniture choice ever!  Scott and I went there on Wednesday for him to do the “butt test.”  They passed the test!

My sister Diana is visiting for two weeks.  Her sister-in-law, Sue, visited this weekend from Pasco, Wa.  We had a good time.  We met Sue in Seattle.  After going back to Kasala to order the furniture, we toured Pike Place Market.  We spent the rest of the weekend on Bainbridge walking around town and hanging out.  We cooked some great dinners and enjoyed each others company.

The photo on the left is Cathy, my chemo nurse, and me.  The photo on the right is me and Roberta.  I am so lucky to have great nurses and great friends.


The Wall

It’s been quiet here on the BooBooBooB even though I often ask Loretta if she is going to write something.  She always intends to but often runs out of time or steam.  More often than not it is the steam she is short of.  Even casual athletes are familiar with the concept of “hitting the wall” – when they get to a point where fatigue overwhelms them and makes going on seem all that much more difficult.  Loretta has hit the wall when it comes to her chemotherapy.

She will tell you that she seems to “hit the wall” about three quarters of the way into whatever it is that she is doing.  She’s almost there now in the chemo.  The symptoms caused by the chemo are starting to get her down.  We knew this was going to be a long slog and that we had to look at it as one day at a time but it is easier said than done.

On the other hand, she is able to do a lot more with this course of drugs than she was with the last.  That might be one of the problems – she feels like she can do more so she does and makes her really tired.  It’s great for her mentally but still hard on her physically.

Like every other time that she has hit some kind of wall, Loretta will get through this one,  In two months she’ll be done with the chemo and can have her port removed (something she is REALLY looking forward to).  Then there is that pesky surgery and radiation but we’re not thinking about that yet.

She has an appointment with the oncologist tomorrow so I’ll be going and will post pictures of the infusion tomorrow.  I know you all look forward to seeing pictures of Loretta sitting in an infusion room.  Maybe we will come up with some other kind of picture.  Her sister Diana is here so maybe she’ll come up with something interesting.

We haven’t heard many jokes from you in the last month or so.  We’re always looking for a good joke.

This week in T-Ville

I am waiting for my third round of Taxol to start.  After today I will be 1/4 of the way through this round of chemo!   Taxol is kinder and gentler than AC.  Fatigue can still be an issue but all in all I am feeling better.  Yesterday (and so far today) I felt pretty darn good!

I had three interesting encounters with strangers and cancer this week.  The first happened at Home Depot when an employee came up to me and tentatively asked me if I was a cancer survivor. I was about to say, “Well, I am standing here aren’t I?” but decided not to be flippant   She was a breast cancer survivor who had been through treatments a few years ago.  It was very nice to talk to her and hear her story.  She was not so lucky in the support department.  While she had one friend who took good care of her, her family was not supportive at all.  She is doing well now.  Our conversation ended with a hug.

My second cancer encounter occurred outside Classic Cycle.  For those you of not from around these parts, Classic Cycle is the bike shop below the condo/townhouse we are renting.  I was passing by the shop and a man in an orange “Fuck Cancer” t-shirt came out.  Well, my friend Dee had sent me the same sentiment t-shirt in black some weeks ago and it was the first one I had seen on somebody else.  (I haven’t had the courage to wear it it public yet.)  I asked him about the shirt and we got to talking.  He is a nurse that was just diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.  He was on his way to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to meet with a surgeon to get a plan. He said a lot of people stop him and ask about the shirt.  Some people even want to take his picture to send it to someone they know with cancer.  Our encounter ended with good wishes on both our parts.  I hope he will be okay.

My third encounter occurred in a deli.  I was in Poulsbo (a small town near Bainbridge Island) and needed to eat.   As is often the case these days, trying to decide what I actually want to eat can be a lengthy (difficult, indecisive, i.e. not easy) process.  I decided to stop at Jak’s deli because they have Boars Head products.  The deli has been there about 5 years and this is the first time I have ever stopped in.  There was even an on-street parking space in front.

While waiting for my sandwich to be ready, I overheard a women talking about starting radiation the next day.  She went on about how it was lucky she hadn’t waited to see the doctor and other such things.  A minute or so after she finished her conversation, I went up to her (not my normal thing to do) and told her I was going through treatment myself.  I was wearing my hat so I tipped it up so that she could see my bald head.

She looked at me and said, “I have something for you.”  I was a bit startled because she talked to me like she had been waiting for me to show up.  She said she had it in her car. She got up from her lunch and practically ran to her car.  She came back and gave me a book called “Jesus Loves You.”  She told me that I just needed to open it to any page when I felt sad or worried or afraid and read what was there.  She told me I was beautiful and that Jesus did love me and that I was going to be okay.

I had a hard time holding back the tears.  She was so sincere and kind and loving.  We parted with a hug (people really do like hugs.) I got to the car and started to cry.  The encounter was so unexpected.  I was in a place where I had never been before and walked in at the exact time this women was telling her story.

Were these three experiences coincidences?  I think not.  I think each of us needed something from the other at that time.  The woman at Home Depot needed to share her story and I think she felt truly happy that I have such a great support system.  The cycle store guy and I shared the reason we decided to seek care at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  And the deli woman needed to give me the book and I needed to accept it along with all the other amazing gifts I have received.

So, that is what was up in T-Ville this week.  David was my chemo buddy today and I forgot to take a picture of the two of us at chemo.  So instead I will include this picture of me wearing my special t-shirt.  One more bracelet down.