User Error?

"I hate this new system," groused the lab tech. Ah, the classic Change Management mantra. I have my usual appointment with my oncologist next week, which means that I have to get my blood work done so that she can review it with me. Normally I get the orders on paper and stow them away until it's time for my blood work. Not this time - the orders were sent to my lab of choice... Read more →


Walking Again

On Joe's work evenings, I used to order my dinner online from Panera Bread - Pick 2, onion soup and Asian Sesame Chicken Salad - pick it up on my way home, and then enjoy it as soon as I got home. (Now Panera has stopped selling all of the salads that rely on romaine lettuce, so there goes half my dinner.) Then I'd loaf for the rest of the evening, just sit my butt... Read more →


Ten Things About My Cancer

It's almost six months since I finished chemotherapy; almost three since my oncologist gave me the good news that I'm in complete remission. My next appointment with her is December 16th. It only requires blood work, yay. The CT scans require more time, drinking some nasty stuff, and breathing/not breathing on command. The only pain involved is the needle stick for the contrast dye. Well, and the fact that the whole shebang is a pain... Read more →


A Dual Celebration

The day after I finished chemotherapy, we threw some stuff in a bag, dropped the cats at the vet, and jumped onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Our destination? The Omni Bedford Springs Resort, where we spent our 35th wedding anniversary. This year is our 38th, so we decided to celebrate the end of chemo and our anniversary with a big old splurge. So we went back to Bedford Springs. Our room was in the historic wing,... Read more →


The Best Bell

I have rung many bells in my time - school bells, dinner bells, silver bells, Taco Bells - but the bell I rang today was the best bell of all. See, there's a tradition in the chemo world that you ring a bell when you finish your last chemo treatment. Who am I to buck tradition? Ringing the best bell. See that lovely tiara? It's not mine, even though I bought it. Actually, I bought... Read more →


Quite a Week

Well, it's been quite a week. Here are ten things about it. My great good friend Judy arrived on Sunday. She was delivering the keynote address and conducting a workshop in nearby Conshohocken, so she came in a couple days early for a visit. Judy treated us to a live taping of the Lovett or Leave It podcast at the Merriam Theater in Center City - it was fabulous! Before the show, though, we had... Read more →


The Joys of Blood Work

So, I have to get blood work done before each of my chemotherapy sessions. Normally I make an appointment at the lab up the street from me. I try to get in pretty early because I don't particularly enjoy fasting and abstaining on the day appointed. Well, I waited a little too long this time and the earliest time I could get was 10:00 Thursday. Oh well. Then I realized that I work obligations on... Read more →


Second Verse, Same As The First

Today was Day 1 of Treatment 2 for my SLL. Now it's almost 9:00 PM and I am drinking espresso. There may also be a shortbread cookie lurking around the demitasse cup. It went just fine. Day 1 is the long day, but today the long day was a shorter day compared to the first long day - only 4½ hours. I got all of the same poisons life-saving drugs as last time, but smaller... Read more →


Inspiration

As far as inspirational sayings go, I may have seemed a little snarky in my previous post. I didn't mean to, honest. I have nothing against inspirational sayings. I even have a few favorites, like this one from Nolan Bushnell: Just when you think the sun shines out of your ass, all you have is an illuminated landing strip. The Signals catalog (and others, I expect) have nice cuff bracelets engraved with inspirational words and... Read more →


First Treatment

Whew! My first chemo-immuno-therapy treatment is over, done and dusted, in the history books. It was everything I expected and not at all what I expected, all at the same time. Dr. S, my oncologist, and my Michele, my nurse are simply wonderful. Dr. S filled me on the drugs and how they worked and what the side effects would be. She went over the results of the FISH test, which revealed that I have... Read more →