Archive for the 'recurrence' Category


Did you get the license number. . .

. . .of the truck that it feels like just hit me?

Today was one of those days when it feels like the zombies are winning. Or, rather, since I was feeling particularly zombified, that they’re taking over, anyway; since I don’t really feel as if I was winning anything.

The usual pains, fatigue, insomnia, numbness/tingling, bloody nose, and today with extra special chemobrain and blurry vision!

I was having a lot of difficulty thinking straight, and if it keeps up like this, I’m not going to be able to drive anywhere. Fortunately I have some good friends who are going to help me out with rides a couple days this week.

I need to talk to the doctor about the blurry vision though. One of the symptoms of high blood pressure is blurry vision, although I don’t know how high over normal that would start showing up. Presumably, once I’m done with the Avastin and my blood pressure is back to normal, I will go back to my previous vision measurements. Although I was thinking I was ready for new glasses before I started treatment, so I’ll probably wait a couple months, then see how it’s doing.

Vision is one thing that I would be devastated to lose – that and my color vision, because both are so much a part of what I do artistically/creatively.


So obvious. . .

. . .when I actually stop and think about it.

I have been so down, both physically and emotionally, that I haven’t been *really* thinking. Mind spinning, but nothing getting accomplished.

Finally, this week, I was so wiped out that I physically had to stop. The doctor told me I needed (well, OK, sort of *ordered* me) to limit my working hours, because my numbers haven’t been bouncing back very well. I have worked from home 1/2-time this week, and although I’m still very fatigued, and so weak that I could barely walk all the way out to the back yard to sit in the lovely, lovely sun, I feel better emotionally than I have in a long time.

One of the first things they tell you in the support group/class is that you have to take care of yourself.

I have been so focused on trying to be strong, and trying to miss as little work as possible (hey, it *is* the second time in 1-1/2 years I’ve had cancer, and I missed a lot of time last time around, even though it was FMLA time, and unpaid), and trying to do everything I can do when I’m healthy, that I had myself convinced that using DinnersReady to have meals in the freezer, and working full-time, just from home when I didn’t go in to the office, constituted taking care of myself.

How blind we are to our own limits!

I only have to be strong *enough* to get through this physically. If I take care of myself physically, the emotional part will also be at least partially taken care of.

Having to have the doctor tell me that I needed to take better care of myself physically, and to limit what I do made me really look at how hard I’ve been pushing.

I’m naturally a pusher (yeah, go ahead, giggle all you want) – I hate leaving things undone, and even though intellectually I know that other people can do things that I don’t get done, I feel compelled to try. The doctor called me a Type A personality – and the funny thing is, I really thought I’d left that behind me. It’s obviously a process, and when the going gets tough, I revert to type – in this case, Type A.

I don’t ever want to feel as if my job isn’t important to me, because it is. I want to do the best I can, always. But it took the doctor to remind me that the best I can do while on chemo is not the best I can do under normal circumstances.

People keep telling me how good I look this time – trust me, whatever it looks like on the outside, it’s bad inside. Actually it’s worse this time, even with low-dose spread over 4 months vs dose-intensive spread over 8 weeks. For whatever reason, I skated through chemo on Adriamycin – oh, I had side effects and felt extremely fatigued, but I was already limiting my work hours from having taken time off for surgery, and there was no expectation that I was going to try to work full-time then. But the pain, the digestive/intestinal side-effects, the insomnia, and the build-up of the other Taxol/Avastin side-effects as I’ve been on them for 2-1/2 months is a lot worse than that.

In one way it was very freeing to have an authority (the doctor) tell me I had to slow down – I let go of the worry, for now. This time is different than last time, and I have been feeling upset that I wasn’t coping as well as last time. But that’s OK – I don’t have to cope the same, be as strong, or as humorous, or as positive; I just need to be enough of these.


Someone gets it. . .

Don’t get me wrong – I know there are a lot of people out there who have or have had cancer and know (even more so than I) how scary, stressful, and depressing it is. Just look at the books out there, the famous people who have had cancer, the people who blog about having cancer, even the phone numbers and e-mails in my address book of people who have/had cancer. There’s no lack of experience for me to turn to in order to have sympathy and understanding.

But my friend Cathy, who was the only one to cry when I told her about mine, knows intimately the dark side of having cancer, and still has been there for me, when I have reached out and when I haven’t; in spite of the fact that she, like so many of us, would like to put cancer behind her.

Long Time, No Nothing

Cathy is one of the reasons I have strength to go on, because of her friendship, and because she doesn’t let me get away with moping – she always gives me something to laugh about, even if it is a dark laugh. And because, like the artist she is, she can make me catch my breath with something as stunningly dark and beautiful as her post.

Love ya, Cat!


Flashbacks, non-acid-related

It just occurred to me when I felt this exact same way – unable to concentrate on books, knitting, work, movies; and even more, when I really didn’t *want* to concentrate on anything – it was after my mastectomy in September of ’07, and for about 7 or 8 weeks afterward. Admittedly, I had another bout of the same thing related to chemo in December of ’07, so I presume that the chemo is catching up with me finally.

I tried to read The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, but oddly enough, the random thought-pattern of Benjy was too much like my own chemo-brain pattern to allow me to focus. Instead, I read Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie – I think I can truly say that I’ve finally found a Christie I could not estomac!

I was going to watch a movie tonight, but I just didn’t feel as if I had the energy to sit through something more than an hour long; and since we don’t watch TV, I don’t have a clue what might be on broadcast.

I knit about 6 rows on my current project, but when it came time to do the cabling again, I put it down because it required concentration that I’d obviously been lacking when I purled some knit stitches on the previous row. I had the presence of mind to be able to fix them as I came upon them, but clearly I shouldn’t have been knitting in the first place.

Conversely, last night, Brian was trying to fix a problem with our amp, and popped in a movie so he would know when he got sound. It was The Wizard of Oz, and for a good 45 minutes, I sat there and stared at the movie, mouthing the words of both dialogue and song based on what was playing on the screen. Guess that was about my speed. . .


March 9, 2009

Definitely starting to feel the build-up of side effects, and at least one new one.

I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping this weekend and this afternoon – as well as sleeping through the night the last three nights (hey, that’s nearly unheard of for me recently – mostly I’ve had insomnia). The bone and muscle/joint pain is getting worse, although so far the pain pills are still taking care of it.

But this time, instead of peripheral neuropathy, my nailbeds hurt on both hands. With the Adriamyacin (my previous chemo) my nails turned black, but there was no sensation involved with it. For the Taxol, one of the side-effects can be blackening of the nails, but there’s no indication of pain. So I don’t know if it’s just a modified version of the nail-blackening (which hasn’t happened yet – still pink), or a modified version of the peripheral neuropathy.

My blood pressure was up on Friday, and I asked if 148/83 was high enough to be worried, but apparently it wasn’t. If I’d looked up the symptoms of high blood pressure prior to our meeting with the doctor, I’d have asked a different question. The Friday before, I was puking-sick with a bad headache – one of the basic symptoms of high blood pressure (well, OK, it says nausea, but first comes nausea, then comes puking). Could that be related?

At any rate, I’m still feeling very fatigued in spite of taking a couple-hour nap this afternoon.

One of the things that I did regularly with the first bout of cancer was to listen to guided imagery CDs relating to surgery, chemotherapy, insomnia, general wellness, fighting cancer, and later, weight loss. I started out listening to them this time, but haven’t kept up on it. I’ve decided that I need to start listening to the CDs again to see if this improves my mood – it is definitely one thing that I’m doing differently this time around, and I’m tired of feeling low.

And just to relieve any concern caused by yesterday’s post, the two people who were so rude were neither family or friend – one was a complete stranger, riding the train; and another was an acquaintance that I’d already determined was not someone I want to spend time with.

Everyone else has been extremely supportive and caring, and I appreciate it greatly; even, for the most part, complete strangers have been very supportive.

It’s only 7 p.m., but already I’m thinking about how soon I can go to bed ;-}


Prisoner of . . .

Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes, pg 198:

“Some prisoners counted off each day until their future release; George could only get through prison life by treating it as the only life he had or could ever have.”

When I read that, it felt so true. I guess I’m really a prisoner of my own mindset about having cancer again, but inside me, it feels as if the cancer itself is holding me prisoner.

I miss (!?!) the first time I had cancer. I was able to approach it with a sense of adventure – not that I was enjoying having cancer, more that by approaching it with humor and as if it were a once-in-a-lifetime experience I was able to get past the fear and worry that were always there at the bottom. I do believe that it helped me reshape my ideas about what is important in life, aided by the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – and as I’ve said before – if you have thoughts about wanting to change your life’s direction, *don’t* wait until you have cancer to do so.

Because I have so withdrawn into myself this time, I’m not able to find as much humor in it as I did before. Even though the prognosis really isn’t any different than the first time around, I haven’t wanted to discuss my experience this time, and I am more of a room with a closed door.

I have been turned off my support group this time by an influx of new people who complain about coming to a group and hearing all the stories of those of us who have recurrences or metastases – I truly sympathize with people who are facing this for the first time, and especially at a lower stage of disease it is hard to hear about someone who was at their stage and had a recurrence, no matter how short or long a time after their course of treatment was done; but how do you think it makes those of us feel to be looked at as a source of horror? It hurts, it starts us in our own feedback of negative emotions, and for those who have Stage IV, I can imagine it being pretty devastating.

And for those one or two people who have told me to “suck it up”, I say, “fuck off”. Even having cancer yourself doesn’t give you the right to say that to me. I will handle it in whatever way I best can, and if right now it is by withdrawing into myself, and not making contact with everyone I know, then that is how it is going to be.

For those of you (the vast majority of friends and family) who have offered me so much love and support in spite of my state of being incommunicado, thank you for understanding. I will reach a point where I find my mojo again and am able to reach out again – it just takes time.

I came across this post the other day, and it is a fairly accurate description of how I feel in general right now. If I Only Had a Brain


Whether the stone hits the pitcher, or the pitcher hits the stone . . .

. . . it’s going to be bad for the pitcher.

For pretty much all of my adult life, I’ve always seen myself as the stone. I learned to become the stone, because it hurts to be the pitcher. So I became the stone, *believed* I was the stone. Even when I clearly was the pitcher, my belief in being the stone got me through some difficult times.

Especially through my first bout of cancer, I was the stone. Mentally, emotionally, physically, I was the stone that battered the cancer pitcher. It didn’t have a chance.

This time around, I believed I was the stone. And at first I was.

More often, though, I’m starting to have days when I believe I am the pitcher.

But even if I can’t be the stone, I *will not* be the pitcher. If I am just a pebble, then there are other pebbles around me and, united, we can crush the cancer pitcher.

To all my fellow pebbles, thank you for your love, and strength, and giving. And for all you pebbles out there who help others in their stone quests, bless you for being there for someone who needs you.


February 22, 2009


I mean it. Yuck.

This evening is the worst I’ve felt since chemo started. I have been sleeping most of the day, my bone and muscle pain has been down most of the day actually, but this evening is starting to edge up; I’m feeling some tingling and numbness in my extremities, my left hand in particular (peripheral neuropathy); my head is aching terribly, I’m having mouth sores start to develop (that was a regular thing with the Adriamyacin, only had this once before with Taxol); my mouth tastes terrible, and anything I eat tastes terrible; smells are really getting to me, I’m feeling dehydrated, and I keep swinging between feeling chilled and having hot flashes; my stomach is nauseous, enough so that I thought I was going to puke earlier, but the feeling passed; and there’s intimations that all is not well on the intestinal front.

Let’s see – oh, yeah, and my chest is hurting again. I’m not having any problems breathing, but I know if I call the doctor tomorrow, he’s going to want me to go to the emergency room. It’s probably just because I slept wrong, since my neck and shoulder on the same side feel tight and sore, so I’m going to try to stretch some to see if that helps. If it gets worse, of course I’ll call the doctor, but I’m *really* sick of having to go the emergency room for anything that might possibly be a pulmonary embolism. If it really were, I’d probably be dead by now!

So, wah. That’s where I’m at right now. Time for more drugs. Hooray for anti-nausea medication ;-} I may take some sleeping pills, too, just to see if I sleep better tonight than I did last night – the first couple hours were good, but then I lay awake for another couple hours, and then I got up and finished knitting the second sleeve on my current knitting project. Fell back asleep in the recliner, got another 3 hours of sleep there; took a long nap this afternoon, then again this evening. If I weren’t feeling so crappy right now, I feel as if I could sleep another 9 or 10 hours.

But the good news is that I’m halfway through the chemo. Only two more months to go! Woot!


February 19, 2009

Well, not really a lot to report on myself – same ‘ole chemo problems, different day (actually, most days, but at least I’m getting in a variety).

Robin is doing fine, we saw the vet last Friday, and he (the vet) talked to us for about 45 minutes about whether there was anything we *should* be doing – short of having massive neurological testing, including MRIs and CT scans, we probably aren’t going to find out anything unless he has another “seizure”. The vet suggested that this could have been a “focal motor seizure”, as opposed to a grand mal seizure – the difference being that the focal motor seizure is a disturbance that affects just a small portion of the brain, in Robin’s case it would be a portion of his motor center, because it was just his hind legs, nothing else; whereas a grand mal is a disturbance that locks up the whole brain.

At any rate, it could have been a one-off thing, or if it repeats, we may be able to track down a cause. The vet mentioned that a certain number of dogs develop epilepsy as they age, so it could be the onset of a type of epilepsy, or epilepsy that hasn’t developed fully. He also brought up brain tumors, either benign or malignant, but said that it is unusual to see them develop in a dog as young as Robin.

On Tuesday evening, we did end up taking Robin to Dove Lewis for a totally different issue. Our dippity-do-dawg has the habit of bouncing and barking, and sometimes running after, the cats when their collars jingle. He also has the bad habit of doing this while he’s eating (I think the cats jingle on purpose when he’s eating, and their nefarious plan nearly worked). So Tuesday evening, he did the bounce-and-bark while he had a mouthful of food, and managed to inhale a piece of food. He’s done this before, and usually after a bit of coughing and dry retching, he’s fine. But Tuesday night, he started vomiting, and continued to cough and retch every time he walked around. Finally I called Dove Lewis, knowing they were going to say “bring him in”, and sure enough, they did.

At least he puked and coughed in front of one of the techs, so they could tell something was really going on.

It was pretty busy there – most of the animals seemed to be in for nothing major, although at least one dog was in crisis. However, the doctors got Robin in and checked him over – couldn’t find anything in his trachea or esophagus, or behind his soft palate, but his esophagus was highly irritated and dilated. Got sent home with some soothing medication (I swear, it has a name that includes “sucra” in it, so maybe it is a placebo. But don’t placebos work by faking out the *patient*, not the caregiver? I mean, the dog doesn’t care whether it’s really medication).

Other than that, I’ve got my third February chemo tomorrow, then a two-week break. I’m ready for a break.


February 10, 2009

Oddly enough, this week seems like more of a struggle than last week. Perhaps it’s because I’ve started my second month of chemo; or maybe it’s just that I’ve started my second month of chemo before I’ve really recovered from the pneumonia.

Admittedly, it hasn’t been too bad a case of pneumonia, but I’ve been so tired, and feel pretty much as bad this week as I did last week.

I had a couple things I really needed to be *in* the office to do, and so commuted in yesterday and today; I’m having warning signs that the mid-week switch from one intestinal catastrophe (hint: “The Big C” is not Cancer in this scenario) to another is heading my way, so I’ll probably end up working from home for the rest of the week. Around my next chemo on Friday, of course.

As of last Friday, the doctor said that I’m currently not immune compromised; probably by this Friday, my White Blood Cell count will be down (leukopenia), but even that is not enough to make me immune compromised – it’s only when the type of white blood cells called neutrophils falls below 1000/mm3 (normal is 1800/mm3) that I need to worry about catching stuff. So pretty much after my next chemo round I’ll probably want to stay away from sickies and crowded places like the train.

I’m also having quite a lot of bone pain again – the doctor had recommended Glutamine, and I thought it was to help with this, but he said to take it for the first three days after chemo. Looking it up on the Internets, however, that it may not really have to anything to do with that (Glutamine). All I know is that I wasn’t having so much bone/muscle pain while I was taking it, and today it got worse. I’m going to start taking it again, to see if it helps.

We’ve got an appointment with the vet on Friday to discuss further diagnostics on Robin – he’s been fine ever since, but I want to make sure we’re not missing anything.

Other than that, life is going on, and we like it that way ;-}


February 3, 2009

Well, it’s only Tuesday, but already we’ve had more drama than necessary this week.

Last Thursday, I realized that I was coming down with a cold, so worked from home on Friday, and tried to take it pretty easy on the weekend. I already had plans for Saturday morning (a class on learning how to use my new sewing machine’s spiffy functions, which are indeed way cool), so I went to that.

Then on Sunday Carrie, James, Brian, and I went to brunch at Petite Provence on Division, which, not so coincidentally, just happens to be next to my most favorite bead store ever, Beads at Dusti Creek. So of course, we sent the boys home and spent a couple hours browsing and chatting – I really went to visit the ladies, because I haven’t been in for a long time, and miss seeing everyone. Sweet Calla was there, but sadly, nearly everyone else except for Eric, and most importantly Beau, were not. But we had a great visit with Calla, and Carrie found some great stuff for a new project.

I’m on a stash diet this year – I have enough beads, fabric for quilting, and yarn for knitting to last me for way more than a year (at least at my present level of output), so I’m only going to work from items in my stock. Of course, if I don’t have any findings, or need batting for a quilt, or don’t have the right set of needles for a knitting project, I will do what I have to do to make sure I don’t have a pile of UFOs on hand, but otherwise, NO purchasing new beads, fabric, yarn.

At any rate, I made it out of Dusti’s without actually buying anything, and oddly enough, without the usual “Oh, but just think what I could make with *this*, and it won’t be here the next time I come back, so. . .” temptation. It was fun to look at stuff, and I definitely saw things I would like to make projects with, but I didn’t even have to talk myself out of anything. Weird.

Of course, that might be because I wasn’t feeling up to par – my cold and left-over chemo side-effects from the last infusion on the 23rd had me pretty tired, and after I got home, I lay down for a two-hour nap. I had no problem sleeping Sunday night, either.

I woke up Monday morning to a pain in my calf, which lasted for a few minutes; and before that pain passed, my left lung all of a sudden felt like it was being compressed, and I felt like I was breathing through cotton. I could feel mild pain in my back underneath my shoulder blade. When I stood up I was a bit light-headed. Crap. These are similar symptoms to what I felt when I had my pulmonary embolism.

I called the oncologist, and, as I expected, he sent me to the ER. It was very busy, so probably the first hour was spent in the waiting room, although they did give me an EKG while I waited (sounds sort of like a service for the busy professional – EKGs and ultrasounds WHILE YOU WAIT!). Once I was in a room, they drew some blood and hooked me up to an IV. Annoyingly, they had to poke me in the arm rather than use my port, because the contrast agent they use for CT angiograms cannot be put through the kind of port I have. Apparently there is something called a “power port” that is specifically designed for taking that kind of abuse (hey – if a bloody plastic apparatus can’t take it, how are my precious organic VEINS supposed to handle it, huh?).

Another 4-1/2 hours and one CT scan later, the doctor told us that I had pneumonia. Brian and I looked at each other, pumped our fists, and yelled “woo hoo!” – pretty sad when having pneumonia is a good thing, but ya gotta admit that it is *much* better than a pulmonary embolism.

Even more exciting is that this means we don’t have to take me off the Avastin. It can cause bleeding problems (either clots or hemorrhaging in extreme cases), so if I’d had a PE, we would have had to stop it.

Finally got home (via Dairy Queen for my first meal of the day, and a consolation Heath Bar Blizzard) around 5 p.m., had a nap, read, went to bed. I’m on antibiotics for two weeks, and the doctor says I can go back to work by Friday. Of course, Friday is supposed to my next chemo, so I have a call in to the oncologist to find out if that’s still a go or not. I *really* do not want to delay the chemo. I want to get it over with!

I woke up around 2:30 a.m. this morning with an upset stomach and a killer headache. I got up at 3, had some broth and crackers, and sat in my recliner reading until 4. Since my stomach was better, but my head was still killing me, I decided to nap in the recliner for a while rather than go back to bed and risk waking Brian with my restlessness.

Around 7:30, Robin, who had been sleeping behind my recliner, started thrashing around, woke me up from a fairly sound sleep. I jumped out of the chair and went around to see what was the problem – he couldn’t stand up, his hind legs weren’t working. I calmed him down, ran my hands over his back and hind legs, but didn’t seem to have any pain reaction. Got him on his front legs, then lifted him onto his hind legs, and he was able to walk but not steadily – his rear legs kept collapsing. I got him over onto the carpet, and sat with him for a while, calming him down again, then tried standing him up again. It looked like it was mostly his right rear leg that was the problem.

I woke Brian up, who took him to the vet – they didn’t have an open appointment until 3 p.m. this afternoon, so Robin will be there all day. Since Brian has to go in to a client’s site this afternoon, hopefully our neighbor will be able to pick Robin up.

So that’s been my fun couple days so far. Woo hoo!


January 24, 2008

Chemo went well but slow yesterday – I ended up being in the chemo suite for 4-1/2 hours. It was extremely busy when I got there, and one of the nurses was filling in for the phone triage nurse, so they only had two nurses.

My white blood count was quite low, 1.2, when the minimum is 3 (not sure of the units on that); so I am officially immune-compromised. Basically, I’m supposed to avoid any sick people for at least the next week. I had to get a Neulasta shot this morning to help get my bone marrow producing more white blood cells. I had to do that after every chemo session last time, but this time it is on an as-needed basis. Since I don’t have another chemo for two weeks now, hopefully I should not need one next time.

The Taxol and Avastin both can cause bone and muscle/joint pain, and I’ve definitely been having problems with that – typically fairly low level (maybe a 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 on the pain scale) but sometimes escalating up to as high as a 6. Usually it *seems* worse at night – mostly because during the day I’m focused on work or whatever, and moving around, but at night I’m just trying to sleep. I had some Vicodan and some OxyContin left over from one or two of my many surgeries, but for some reason, although they knock back the pain for the most part, they’ve been wiring me, so I can’t take them at night; and even extra-strength tylenol isn’t enough to kill the pain at night. I can’t take any ibuprofen or nsaids because of the Avastin, which can cause bleeding problems, so the doctor gave me something stronger. I tried it last night, and it worked fine for the pain, and I slept pretty well for a couple hours, but then I was hit with some nausea – don’t know if it was chemo-related or due to the pain meds, but I basically didn’t get more than two hours sleep last night. Which so far has been OK, although I’m fading fast now.

My hair doesn’t seem to have reached the falling-out stage yet – I may go ahead and shave it to avoid having clumps falling out at inopportune moments; besides, I’ve decided that, since I can’t figure out how to have people sign my bald head like one would a cast, I’ll have them sign a hat, and then I get to keep it forever.

I’m taking it pretty easy this weekend, trying to conserve my energy so that I make it through the next week at work. Tomorrow some friends are coming to visit, the ones with the Dorkie – Robin is going to be ecstatic when Augie gets here. That should take some of the edge off *his* energy, thank goodness!

Not much else going on, and I’m pretty much ready to sack out. So goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow ;-}


January 18, 2009

This was an easier chemo cycle – I don’t know if it’s because of only having the Taxol instead of Taxol and Avastin or some other cause.

I was, however, completely unable to sleep Friday night – at a guess, the vaunted “steroid high” finally hit me – I never had one last year, and definitely did not have one with the first session. I’m really hoping that this was an aberration, or that it is also due to having the Taxol alone, since only one session per month is Taxol only. On the other hand, since all my chemo sessions are on Fridays, I could do that Lord of the Rings movie marathon I’ve been wanting to do . . .

Anyway, other than that, some mild chemo brain, some fatigue that hit with some urgency, and a little bit of nausea (coincidentally, I was riding in the car when it occurred – car sickness, not chemo? I don’t usually have a problem with that, but who knows…), I’m doing pretty well. I’m planning on driving myself to the train station tomorrow, so we’ll see if that really happens.

Had a lovely visit with my Aunt Julia in Tacoma, she’s 93, and just an amazing woman! I hope I’m in as good mental and physical health, and have such a positive attitude when I’m her age.


January 13, 2009

Today is a much better day, but no, I haven’t allowed myself to go mess around with the sewing machine again. I did stop at the Sewing Room, and have decided what machine I want, if I actually decide to buy one.

I went shopping, so I don’t have to worry about that for a while – Costco and Safeway were happy to see me.

After the last couple days, I’ve realized that my “natural” organizational talents are coming hard right now – last time I went through chemo, I had come off a major surgery and was only working part-time at home, so if I wasn’t my usual self it wasn’t such a big deal. But working full-time and being able to accomplish anything is going to be a challenge; so I’m spending a little time up front to focus on getting myself a system that keeps me on the right track even on days when there *is* no right track.

One thing that has me thrilled to the depths of my geeky little soul is a new project – my boss (who is the most awesome!) has focused on giving me long-term projects for the duration – as long as I can meet any incidental deadlines on my regular duties, most of what I’m working on right now is stuff that is either data collection or will be implemented down the road. Under the second category, I’m starting to investigate how to convert our style-based FrameMaker documentation to structure-based documentation; which involves learning XML, and will also require determining a “tree” structure for the documentation. Is it sad how pumped I am about this? The last thing (work/techie-wise) I was so excited about was learning how to design databases.

Because of the economy, we’re not doing a lot of events this year, so most of my time that would normally be spent on event-planning/preparation will be spent working on this project, plus a couple others.

So I’m hoping that this tendency towards rapid disappearance of chemo-brain holds true for the rest of the treatment – I really hate the thought of spending most of the next four months in the whacked-out state I was in the last three days. If I’m able to drive myself to the train station, I’ll be happy. Getting on a train going in the correct direction will be a bonus.


Don’t Let This Happen to You (for the chemo-impaired)

1. I did *not* try to fix my sewing machine in order to have to buy a new one.

2. What? Quit looking at me like that!

I really was just trying to rethread it, make sure that it was properly threaded, ’cause I was sure that was the problem.

Then all I did was review the stitch and tension settings.

And I figured that cleaning out the bobbin case couldn’t hurt.

Do you think it was taking out the first screw that was the mistake?

And where was Brian as I was merrily tripping down the “I’ve done this before so there’s no way I can screw it up this time, in spite of the chemo brain” trail?

He saw what I was doing and slunk around the corner, to come back only when I called him to help me get the last screw out. To be fair, he did ask me if I thought I should be doing this – and to be fair, I answered “No,” and handed him the screwdriver.

I don’t blame him, though – he knows that I would never stand for being locked in the garage to keep me away from the sewing machine (and besides, just think what I could have done with two cars and a shop-full of tools. . .).

So I’m blogging right now in an attempt to keep myself from going downstairs and trying just one more adjustment – because surely I have it *nearly* right, and it just needs a little tweaking. . .

Post archive

August 2020

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