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!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ruth Update, May 5, 2008

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Prayer Partners,
I have my next round of chemotherapy tomorrow.  Since this is one of the times when my every three weeks chemotherapy (Taxotere), and my every four weeks bone-strengthening med (Aredia) fall at the same time, I will spending a loooooong time in the chemo clinic.  I plan to pack a lunch.  This is the first time I have had them on the same day, and I hope there will not be some kind of reaction. I saw my oncologist today, and she did not appear to be concerned. 
The trouble with the regimen I am on is that both of the chemo drugs, Taxotere and Xeloda, have side effects concerning the feet and hands.  It looks like I will lose one of my toenails.  One out of twenty ain't too bad, I guess, but it is on my "big" toe.  I have been treating it with tea tree oil, along with the other nineteen nails, and it is the only one showing ill effects.  All of my fingernails have "wrinkles" that they did not have before, but the nail beds look pretty healthy.  The bad nail was bad before I started the tea tree oil.  I will see if I can get some under the nail.  My doc seemed to approve of that idea.  Ewwww.  Too much information, probably.
The good news is my cancer marker number has gone down!  The blood drawn on May 3rd showed a CA 27-29 value of 311.  The one on April 7th was 374.  I am not precisely sure what the test indicates, other than that the chemotherapy is doing some good.  We want that number to go down.  I would have liked a bigger drop, but am glad we are going in the right direction, anyway!  My doctor was pleased.  All my other blood tests looked good, except that my albumin was a bit low.  I guess I need to eat more eggs!
On Saturday, I went to the wig shop and picked out my new head of hair.  Thank you to my anonymous angel.  I will pick it up on Thursday of next week.  I could have gotten it this week, but I probably won't be feeling well on Thursday.  It actually cost a bit less than the gift given to me, and I plan to donate the remainder to the Race for the Cure.  Thank you to all of you who have donated.  I only hope I can do the walk.  I got two t-shirts in the mail today, one pink survivor shirt, and one white "regular" shirt.  Why I got two, I cannot tell you.  I will ask my fellow survivors if this is the usual thing. 
Paul and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on Sunday.  This is a very big deal in the greater fiber arts community.  Paul was mostly interested in the sheep part.  Part of it is like a county fair that features only sheep, though in multiple breeds.  We really enjoyed the "Parade of Breeds," where an example of each breed represented at the show came into the ring.  Paul estimated forty breeds, and the narrator mentioned that only chickens have more variety than sheep when it comes to livestock.  One of the "examples" was a white ewe with her two black lambs.  Those lambs stole the show, jumping and gamboling about while the remaining breeds came in.  Their handlers finally had to pick them up and hold them to control them.  They seemed to like that just fine, too!  We also enjoyed the sheepdog demonstration.  It is really impressive to watch well-trained border collies work.  It is almost scary, in fact.  And then, when they are "released," they are just playful dogs, who love the children, and jump into the water basin at the end of the demonstration.  It was a sunny day, after all.  I hope the sheep also had some water, the way the dogs were chasing them around.  They were a longwool breed, too, and had not yet been shorn, so they had their full winter coats on, flying in the breeze.  Oh, and there was yarn.  We watched part of the "Sheep-to-Shawl" contest.  We missed the shearing part, but saw which of the teams won, and part of the auction.  Watching the spinning and weaving was what interested me most, of course.  I took some photos, and hope to have them up on my blog sometime soon.
Get your mammograms.  Do your self-exams.


  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Mary said…

    I wish I could have seen more of the livestock and contests but my friend was on a mission to buy for her friend's yarn store and at the end we were both tired. Next year I hope to see the demonstrations and music.

  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger datatech57 said…

    Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the music! You don't see and hear hammered dulcimers and harps every day in the DC area! Definitely a high point of the day, too.


  • At 6:17 AM, Blogger Jinann said…

    It was great seeing you at the "Sheep to Shawl" on Sunday!


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