MOM2ACAT's SparkPeople Blog MOM2ACAT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sunday and Monday My Sunday ended up being kind of a "lost" day, due to some extreme fatigue. Didn't get much of anything done, and it seemed like it took me forever just to get my grocery shopping list done and my coupons ready. Usually, if I take a nap, I try to do it early in the afternoon so that it doesn't interfere with my sleep, but I put it off until after 3pm. I tried by then to resist the urge, but I was so tired I just had to give in, and ended up taking a 2 hour nap. And although it did make it har... Mon, 1 Jun 2015 15:29:08 EST House sold yesterday! We had the auctions yesterday morning for my parent's house, and for the contents that my sister and I chose not to keep. I didn't have to be there, and I chose not to be, because of my health issues it would have been too tiring for me, and with my immune system being compromised, I didn't need to be among crowds of people either. <BR> <BR> The auction for the house went well; within 20 minutes of starting, the house was sold. The auction for the contents didn't go as well, there was a low ... Sun, 31 May 2015 13:01:59 EST Internmit service for Mom, more help from Penny Most of you who read my blogs know that my mom passed away in November of last year. We were not able to have the burial of her ashes at the time of the funeral, because of the weather. We had that done yesterday morning; it was just a short, simple service but the pastor did a beautiful job. It was more "bittersweet" than somber, just the way my mom would have liked it. We had perfect weather for it too; sunny and warm, but not too warm. Along with my sister and I, Penny was there, and also ... Fri, 29 May 2015 15:09:34 EST A lot of help from a very dear friend I'm so thankful for my dear friend Penny, she has truly been a blessing to me. She has been here in town for most of the past month to get my mom and dad's house ready to sell (she is the executor of the estate; she was listed in the trust to take over if I wasn't able to do it, and I stepped down because of my health issues) but she has also been doing everything she can to help me personally. <BR> <BR> I have a small shed in my yard that is over 20 years old; it's never been painted the wh... Wed, 27 May 2015 14:44:41 EST CT Scan Results My CT scan results finally showed up online late in the afternoon yesterday. Not really sure what to make of them; they aren't good, but I'm not sure how "bad" the "bad" really is, if that makes any sense? Until I talk to my oncologist, I don't know if the progression of the cancer is considered minimal, or a lot, or if it's still slow growing like I was told it was about 6 months ago. <BR> <BR> It does say there are multiple new lesions in the liver, but not what size those lesions are; the... Tue, 26 May 2015 14:05:36 EST No results yet I was hoping that my CT scan results would be posted before the day was over yesterday, but that did not happen. Sometimes, the scan results are posted the same day if the scan is done in the morning, but more often than not, it takes about 24 hours, and now that it's the weekend, and a holiday weekend at that, I probably won't find out anything now til Tuesday. If they aren't posted by then, I have to go in for lab work that day, so while I am there, I will just get the report from the medic... Sat, 23 May 2015 12:06:13 EST CT scans scheduled for tomorrow As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, my oncologist ordered CT scans for me. The hospital called me about an hour ago; I was expecting that my appointment would not be scheduled until next week, so I was surprised to find out they had an opening for tomorrow morning. I figured with all the anxiety the scans cause me, and the stomach upset from the barium, I might as well get them over with sooner rather than later. And the sooner I get them done, the sooner I can get the report online. <BR> <... Thu, 21 May 2015 15:25:37 EST Oncologist appointment today; scans coming up The good news I got today is that now I only have to get the Halotestin injections every 28 days, instead of every 2 weeks. That's at least one less trip to the cancer center each month. <BR> <BR> The other news, which isn't necessarily bad, but let's just call it "The news I'm not so thrilled about" is that it's scan time again. Over the 8 years I've been living with the cancer being metastatic, the anxiety that comes with waiting for the results doesn't really get any easier; in fact, it's... Wed, 20 May 2015 14:55:13 EST Feeling better since the transfusion The fatigue is not completely gone, but things have been a lot better since my transfusion Friday. My legs are feeling stronger now too; 2 weeks ago when I went grocery shopping, I had to use one of those electric carts, and still felt pooped out when I got done with my shopping. Today, I walked and used a regular shopping cart, and I did not feel overly tired when I got done. <BR> <BR> I also made it through the day Sunday and yesterday without having to take a nap, and so far, I don't feel... Tue, 19 May 2015 13:11:33 EST Finally, a much needed blood transfusion! My hemoglobin on Thursday was 8.6, finally met that criteria for a blood transfusion, but when I didn't get any calls that day from either my oncologist's or internist's office, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would just "tough it out" over the weekend, and ask about being scheduled for a transfusion when I had my appointment this coming Monday at the cancer center for my Halotestin injection. And I did not want to go to the ER again; at our hospital anyway, it's pretty much ... Sat, 16 May 2015 12:56:49 EST Still struggling I wish I had better news to report, but unfortunately, still struggling with the fatigue, and with the hemoglobin being low, but not quite low enough, to be able to get a transfusion. In some ways, it's worse to be ALMOST needing one than actually needing one; if my hemoglobin was actually at the point where I could get one, at least I would know something could be done to get me feeling better. <BR> <BR> All I can do right now is try to be patient and wait it out. Right now, I'm not worried... Mon, 11 May 2015 13:18:19 EST The loss of a very dear man On Monday, our community lost a great man. His name was Phil, and he was a good friend of my dad's. Phil and his family lived about a mile down the road from where our family lived. I remember when I was very young, sometimes his wife Kathy use to babysit my sister and I, and we played with their two little girls, who were just a little bit younger than we were. <BR> <BR> He was 73; he had a lot of health issues, and even though his health had deteriorated a lot within the past year or two, ... Thu, 7 May 2015 13:10:14 EST Small earthquake here in Michigan Around 12:25 pm, I was sitting at my computer and suddenly felt some shaking for about 30 seconds; no noise with it, just felt like the house was shaking. It didn't scare me, it was over with so quickly. It just felt strange. At first, I even wondered if I was just imaging things. <BR> <BR> I found out later there was a 4.2 earthquake in Galesburg, Michigan, which is about 120 miles from here (I live in Big Rapids.) No damage at my house; didn't have any pictures fall off the walls or anythi... Sat, 2 May 2015 14:46:30 EST Today's CBC Hemoglobin count today is 9.1, just down slightly from the 9.3 on Tuesday. The lab tech had a little trouble getting my blood today. (I have port, but the hospital here won't access them in the outpatient lab.) Since my arm was bruised by all the needle pokes I've had lately (and I can only use my left arm for needle sticks, because I have had lymph nodes taken out of the right side when I had my bilateral mastectomy), she decided to use a thinner needle. At first she had a hard time getting ... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:15:55 EST Rough start to the week It was kind of a rough weekend with the fatigue and having low energy levels again. Sunday night was a bad night, no sleep at all, and a rapid heart rate kept me awake. I felt very shaky and weak when I got up yesterday morning. I called my friend Penny (she's back in town for a few weeks to do some more work to get my parent's house ready to sell) at 7am, I figured I'd go in for my standing order labs for my blood counts, and hopefully find out early in the day if I needed a transfusion. She... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:48:44 EST A low thyroid and a sick kitty It's been a tough week with my fatigue issues, and on top of that, my cat Timmy is having some health issues right now. <BR> <BR> Had my usual standing orders for my blood counts on Monday and Thursday; Monday's hemoglobin was 9.8, and yesterdays was 9.2. <BR> <BR> Wednesday I had an appointment with my internist; he said that even though my hemoglobin keeps trending downward, it's good that is not going down as quickly as it was before. He decided to check my thyroid again, and he also pre... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:26:24 EST Hitting a wall with fatigue again First, a little bit of good news; it's been 5 weeks now since I've last had a blood transfusion; that is an improvement over the last few months, averaging about 3 weeks in between transfusions. So even thought the hemoglobin is still not staying up where it should, it's not dropping as quickly as it was before. <BR> <BR> I had my CBC done again on Thursday, but it did not go back up to at least a "10" like I was hoping it would. It went from 9.7 on Monday, to 9.3 on Thursday. I feel like wi... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:16:56 EST A Rainy and Windy Monday I had my CBC done this morning, as per my standing order for Mondays. Last Thursday it was 9.8; today it was 9.7. That is a very slight drop, but I am still a bit disappointed that it didn't go up instead. At least I've made it 4 weeks now without having to have a blood transfusion; so far this year, it's been about 3 weeks between each transfusion. <BR> <BR> I got the grocery shopping done this morning too; I won't have to go anywhere until Thursday now, for my Thursday CBC standing order. ... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:33:22 EST Pushing through fatigue, but enjoying beautiful weather Despite the fatigue issues, I managed to accomplish the two most important goals I had for this weekend. Yesterday was my laundry day, and I got an early start on that in the morning and had it done by 1pm. I'm very thankful to have a washing machine, so at least I do not have to leave the house to do my laundry. I don't have a dryer though; I never replaced my old one after I got rid of it when it stopped working. I am not able to hang laundry outside where I live, but I wouldn't be able to ... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 16:30:49 EST Today's CBC I went in this morning for my Thursday standing order CBC. Hemoglobin went down a little bit; it was 9.8 today. But this time, I am not letting that discourage me; last Thursday, it was also 9.8, but it went up to 10.1 when I had it checked on Monday, so it very well could be back up to at least 10 when my next CBC is due this coming Monday. I think with blood counts, there are probably factors that will cause them to fluctuate day by day, such as diet or fluid intake. <BR> <BR> It's a rainy... Thu, 9 Apr 2015 15:15:48 EST A good oncologist appointment today; cautiously optimistic I had an appointment with my oncologist this morning, and as I expected, he was pleased about my hemoglobin counts finally showing signs of stabilizing, so it sounds like the Halotestin is FINALLY working. He wants to continue the injections every two weeks, for the next 6 weeks, then, depending on my lab work (which includes the usual CBC, but also checking the kidney and liver functions, tumor markers, etc.) he will change that injection to just once per month. He said he is doing the bi-we... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 14:12:23 EST Blood counts stabilizing, I hope? A little bit of good news regarding my hemoglobin levels; I thought for sure I'd end up having to get a transfusion this week, but my hemoglobin was 10.1 yesterday, that is up from 9.8 when it was last checked last Thursday. Not a big increase, but it went up instead of down for a change. Last Monday, on March 30, it was 10.1, so maybe the Halotestin is starting to stabilize it now. <BR> <BR> I'm still struggling with the fatigue though. I know some of it has to do with my sleep issues, but... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 11:37:08 EST Feeling very blessed; help with yard work today Shortly after 9am this morning, my dear friend Penny, along with her daughter and son-in-law, got here to rake my yard and get it tidied up for spring. I used to love doing yard work, but it's not something I can do anymore because of my health issues with the cancer. <BR> <BR> It was sunny, but very chilly this morning, only 35 F while they were out working. My yard is very tiny, but they filled 15 of those tall paper yard waste bags. (Where I live, you cannot put leaves in plastic bags; th... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 15:43:29 EST My week so far Today is one of those days that I don't know where to begin, at least when it comes to today's blog, so if I sound like I am rambling, that is why. <BR> <BR> I got through the weekend ok, though I was very tired; didn't sleep well Friday or Saturday night. We had a nice steady rain most of the night Sunday night; most nights, I have to have to have to be listening to music or a relaxation CD in order to fall asleep, but that night, just the sound of the rain on the roof was enough to lull me... Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:07:57 EST Used book sale today This morning, Penny picked me up and we went to the annual AAUW used book sale. The sale didn't officially start til 9am, but when we got there at 8:45am, the doors were open so we went in and a got a little bit of a head start on the crowd. <BR> I found these books; 2 of them have actually been on my "want to read" list for quite some time. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The House Girl by Tara Conklin <BR> The Light Between Oceans b... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:14:04 EST Wrist pain update and CBC again today Still have not heard from the lymphedema specialist's office yet for an appointment, but as of yesterday, I haven't had any pain in that wrist, and the swelling has gone down a little bit. If they haven't called me by the time I go to the cancer center for my next injection, I will ask them about it, but if the pain returns, instead of waiting, I'll give them a call instead. <BR> <BR> Today I had what is now, at least for the next 2 months, my twice weekly CBC done at the lab of the hospital... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:48:30 EST Wrist pain and possible lymphodema Since around midday Friday, I have been having a lot of pain in my right wrist. I was hoping maybe it was just pain from overusing it (though I can't think of anything I had done over the past week that was more than my usual activity level, or doing anything like heavy lifting) and I was hoping it was something that would get better with time. But when I mentioned it to the nurse at the cancer center today who was doing my blood draw for my lab work and giving me my Halotestin injection, sh... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:51:36 EST A couple of busy days, and my CBC today It's been a busy couple of days; yesterday Penny picked me up in the morning yesterday so that I could stop at the bank to make a deposit, and drop off some books that I am donating to the AAUW for their annual used book sale, which is next week (and I am planning to go and check out the sale too), and I did my grocery shopping. <BR> <BR> She picked me up again this morning and we went to the bank so that I could get a safe deposit box for my will/trust and other important documents, then I... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:39:16 EST Another ER visit and hospital stay I was really hoping to avoid another ER visit and hospital stay, but the hemoglobin took a nosedive again last week. ( I apologize in advance for this being a rather long blog today.) <BR> <BR> I started really feeling it last Thursday; besides the fatigue, I was having insomnia too, and really struggling to get through the days. I wasn't doing anything other than the the basic things (washing the dishes, feeding the kitties and cleaning the litter box, etc.) I really had to do. (And please,... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:37:36 EST Disappointing hemoglobin count on Monday Monday's hemoglobin count was disappointing; on 2/23 it was 10.9, and on 3/9 it was 10.6. I was really hoping that this week's would be in the "10" range, but it was at 9. That's just enough to make me feel fatigued, but not low enough to qualify for a blood transfusion. <BR> <BR> I also had another Halotestin injection Monday, so I am hoping that soon my counts will start going up instead of down. <BR> <BR> Despite how tired I am during the day, getting to sleep at night is still a problem... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 10:37:28 EST Spring is on it's way! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> It finally feels like spring is on the way; we made it into the low 40's today, and the sun is shining and the snow is melting! The whole month of February felt like a deep freeze here in Michigan. I know we are likely to be hit with probably another snow storm or two, but still, winter is nearing it's end. <BR> <BR> My sister gave me a pink fleece lined zip front hoodie jacket for Christmas, I've been waiti... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 16:34:01 EST Monday's hemoglobin count Yesterday, I had my blood counts checked as I do every Monday. My biggest concern is always the hemoglobin count. Last week, it was 10.9 (that was about 4 days after my last blood transfusion), and yesterday, it was 10.6. So overall, that is good, because it usually drops much further than that from week to week. It's too soon to tell though if that is a result of the Halotestin finally working, there may be other factors as to why it did not go down much in the past week. I'll see where that... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:10:35 EST Oncologist appointment today I had an appointment with my oncologist this morning. Even though the Halotestin hasn't really made any difference with hemoglobin count yet, he believes it will, given more time, so he is going to keep me on it for now, at least. He said there really isn't anything else he can do to treat the anemia and the fatigue, so I really hope it will kick in and start working like he believes it will. I see him again in 6 weeks, and in the meantime, I will get the injections every 2 weeks and continue... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:45:07 EST Snowy day, and a long wait for a doctor appointment Even though our winter weather advisory officially started at 4am, (it is set to expire at 7pm) it didn't start to snow here until around 9am, so I did not have any worries that the Dial a Ride buses would be running today. I was picked up at 9:30am for my 10:30am appointment with my internist. I got there a half hour early, but that was ok; I expected I would be, and I always have my Kindle with me when I have to wait anywhere. <BR> <BR> Shortly after I got to the office, the wind started ... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:39:05 EST It's COLD outside! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was - 24F when I got up around 7:30am, and we were under a wind chill advisory til noon. At least no frozen pipes today! Just a "frozen Shari" LOL. <BR> At this hour, a little before 2pm, it is 8 F. <BR> <BR> With temps that cold, I would not have gone out if I didn't have to, but on Mondays, I have my standing order at the hospital lab to get my blood counts checked. (Still waiting for the report online put i... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:56:25 EST Another ER visit yesterday, frozen pipes this morning Yesterday morning, I just could not shake that feeling that something was wrong, with the lightheadedness, fatigue, and weakness I was feeling despite sleeping ok the night before. I finally decided around 9:30am to just go to the ER; the way I had been feeling all week, I was sure I'd end up going by the weekend anyway, so I decided to just go instead of waiting at home and worrying. <BR> <BR> I didn't really notice a rapid heart rate this time like I did the last time I went to the ER, but... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:32:51 EST Hemoglobin still going down, feeling fatigued and discouraged On Monday, I had my weekly CBC done. As I had been suspecting since last week, my hemoglobin went down some more; down to 8.7, down from the week before which was 10.2. It's very frustrating, because it's at a level where it's making me very tired, but not quite low enough to meet the criteria for a blood transfusion. So, I am trying to hang in there until it's checked again next Monday. I am hoping that I won't feel so bad before then that I have to make another trip to the ER, but I will go... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 10:49:38 EST Signed my will today, new CDs, and winter weather A few weeks ago, I got the process started on getting my will made, something I had been putting off for far too long, but when the status of my cancer changed, I knew I had better get it done sooner rather than later. It's been completed now, and this morning I went to the law office to sign everything. Fortunately, the fees are coming out of my share of my mom's estate, otherwise I could not afford to go through a lawyer for this. <BR> <BR> Most of us, I am sure, don't really want to thin... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:40:42 EST This weeks blood counts This morning, I went to the hospital for my weekly standing order to check my blood counts. I was able to get the results online about 2 hours later. My hemoglobin dropped again, but this time it wasn't quite as drastic a drop as it has been the previous weeks. This time, it dropped from 11.2 to 10.2; I was relieved it was not any lower; I had a tough time this weekend with the fatigue so I was very anxious about the lab work this week. I think maybe it was the Halotestin injection (my 2nd on... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 17:04:48 EST My weekend, hemoglobin decrease, and some aggravation today It was a snowy weekend here; we didn't exactly get a blizzard like some parts of the country did, but we were under a winter weather advisory from 7pm Saturday through 6am Sunday; mostly snow and wind here. Not the kind of weather you'd want to venture out in if you didn't have to. <BR> <BR> It snowed all day Sunday; I had to go out twice to move my car for the plow, which means cleaning off enough snow so that I can see (which wasn't too bad as it was light snow, nothing frozen onto the win... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 16:21:13 EST My hemoglobin went up! A quick recap first; when I went to the ER on Sunday, my hemoglobin was 7.2. My CBC was checked again Monday morning, after my blood transfusion, and it was 10.7, a good number after 2 units of blood. Today, I had to go to the lab and get another CBC done. I would have been happy if it stayed the same and it did not go lower than 10.7. <BR> <BR> After I was home a couple of hours, I checked for my report online. I was very surprised to see that my hemoglobin went up to 12! I was not expectin... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:52:55 EST ER Visit yesterday, and an overnight hospital stay This weekend was pretty rough with the fatigue and the usual symptoms that I have when I am severely anemic. I had hopes that the Halotestin injection I had just had the previous Monday would be kicking in at least keep the hemoglobin from falling, even if it didn't increase it, but I knew by Friday that another blood transfusion would be inevitable. <BR> <BR> Still, I tried to hang in there, and wait until Monday, my scheduled day for my standing order for my weekly CBC. Saturday, I did my ... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:24:44 EST Book Review: Dying Well; Peace and Possiblities at the End of Life by Ira Byock M.D. The author of this book, Dr. Ira Byock, has dedicated his life as a hospice director to make sure that no one should have to die in pain, or die alone. He is prominent spokesperson for the hospice movement. In this book, he shares the true stories of dying patients, and how important emotional work can be accomplished in the final months, weeks, and even days of life. <BR> <BR> Through the stories of the patients, families and those that are dying that can learn to deal with doctors, how to ... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 09:30:24 EST Frustration with Fatigue and Blood Counts I was disappointed, but not surprised, by the results of the CBC I had done on Monday. My hemoglobin went from 10 when it was checked January 12 (which was a week after my last blood transfusion), down to 8.8 this week. I knew just from the level of fatigue I had been feeling that it would be down, even though I tried to convince myself it was from not sleeping well at night instead. <BR> <BR> Right now, that is low enough to make me tire quickly, but not quite low enough to meet the criter... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:44:28 EST Started another cancer drug today I went to my oncologist appointment today feeling very anxious after the news I got last week, not knowing what to expect today. I was fully expecting being told that since the drug he talked about trying before was not available, that I would truly be out of options. I was prepared to accept that, but it was the not knowing that was causing me all of the anxiety. But once again, he threw me a curveball, and I don't mean that in a bad way. <BR> <BR> He still wants to try the Halotestin, but ... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:41:52 EST Won't be starting that drug for the cancer after all First, the good news; my CBC that I had done today shows that my hemoglobin is at 10; this is the first time that it was checked since I had the transfusion last Tuesday. I was relieved to find that out. A friend took me grocery shopping today after I got done at the hospital, and I felt so fatigued by the time I got done, I was worried that maybe my hemoglobin hadn't gone up very much. I checked the lab report online as soon as I got home. I slept ok last night, but didn't sleep well for 2-3... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:14:13 EST Transfusion went well, feeling so much better! The transfusion went well yesterday, and I am feeling so much better now, but the day started off kind of rough. <BR> <BR> My friend Von picked me up at 6:45am; God Bless her for being willing to go out into the bitter cold so early! Lack of sleep wasn't a problem for me, but I felt so worn out, it took every last bit of energy I had left to get ready to go. If I hadn't had the transfusion scheduled, the way I was feeling, I am sure that at some point, I would have gone to the ER yesterday. ... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 11:21:09 EST Another setback, severely anemic again I've had a setback again with my health because of severe anemia. This past week has been especially hard, with extreme fatigue, a rapid heart rate, and some episodes of shortness of breath. We've been very cold here over the past couple of weeks(today we were under a wind chill advisory from 4am til noon) and the worst episodes of shortness of breath have been when I have been outside. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings I had to clean the snow off my car and move it for the plow, and all I di... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 16:11:51 EST Exercise and Terminal Illness; 2015 Goals I haven't had anyone come right out and ask me this yet, but I'm sure there are people (and I don't mean just here on Spark) that wonder, "Why bother to exercise if you have a terminal illness?" <BR> <BR> Just because you know your life is going to probably shorter than you expected is no reason to stop living. At this point with my cancer, I don't believe that exercise will extend my life, but it can make the quality of the time I have left better. <BR> <BR> Exercise can boost self-confide... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:26:47 EST First Christmas without my mom I made it through my first Christmas without my mom, but no matter how old you are, Christmas is just never the same once both of your parents are gone. <BR> <BR> The last few years, after my dad passed away, I always went to church on Christmas Eve with my mom and sister. This year, I went to a family gathering at a cousin's house instead. My sister wasn't able to go because she came down with bronchitis, but I am glad I was able to go. I think it would have been hard being at church that f... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 15:41:55 EST