Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ruth Update, October 18, 2007

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Prayer Partners,

I have been trying out a new, short, description of my current condition. If people have not been brought up to speed, I tell them "I am now in the chronic, incurable phase of my cancer." What do you think? I usually go on about new discoveries all the time, but that pretty much sums it up, right? How would you feel if another friend hit you with that?

I was just speaking with Sonia, an online friend. Her mother, Arla, was diagnosed with cancer when she was in her eighties. She has had several rounds of chemotherapy since then, and some radiation, too. Sonia went to see her last year, as they thought this might be her last chance to see her while she was still fairly healthy. She is now 91, and all of her scans show clear. She lives in her house with her husband, and her kids call her "the Energizer Bunny," because she just keeps going, and going, and going . . . I wanna be like Arla.

The southeast is suffering a drought, and just this week a record was set at National Airport for the longest period with no measurable precipitation. Paul and Timmy are off on a Scout Camporee, so we naturally got rain today. I hope the boys don't get rained on this weekend.

My plan for this weekend include going to the mall to get new glasses and a new driver's license. So, if anybody is going to be a Fair Oaks Mall Saturday morning, you know where to look for me! There is also a new yarn shop open over in that direction.

I checked with my oncologist about my pain medications. I have been taking NSAIDS -- that family of drugs that includes asprin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. They are known to be hard on the kidneys when taken over a long period of time, and since Aredia has the possibility of kidney damage, I asked if maybe I should stop taking those. She said that, though the risk is slight, it might be a good idea to change to other pain meds. So, she wrote me a prescription for Vicodin. That is Tylenol with Hydrocodone, a controlled substance. Okay, good for bedtime. I assume I will have to take Tylenol during the day. I quit taking pain meds a few days ago, to see how things went. I seem to still need them. Not only do I have the aches associated with my bone mets, I also have the family knees.

I asked my oncologist about clinical trials. She told me that if I found one I wanted to participate in, to bring her the paperwork. In other words, I do the legwork. Well, not tonight.

While I was working on this entry, my brother Andy called. He lives near Lincoln, Nebraska, and works as a cook at the heart hospital there. He and his friend Mark have been playing guitar together off and on since high school. When we were cleaning out our parent's home, Andy found a part from Mark's Fender Telecaster electric guitar that had probably been in the house for twenty years. Anyway, they have finally found a drummer, and have named their band "The Prairie Kings." They hope to get some gigs around Lincoln and have some fun. A CD is in the works, but nobody is giving up their day jobs. They could also use a bass player, so Andy can play some more harmonica. Right now he plays guitar and bass. Mark has put up some pictures and stuff at his personal website. That's Andy on the left. Since Mark is the computer expert in the bunch, expect a website for the band in the near future. I will keep you posted! Well, we think Andy is great, anyway.

Get your mammograms. Do your self-exams.




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