Time keeps on ticking…..

My GOD I’m terrible at keeping this up to date.  Apologies all around.

I’ll get to the cancer-y stuff in a minute but here’s what you’ve missed the last week or so:

1.  My birthday weekend kind of sucked.  As this year has mostly been a festival of suck, I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I spent my actual birthday getting a transfusion with the promise of a great next day at Disneyland.  That didn’t happen.  I woke up super early the next morning and it was raining.  When I actually got up, it was cold and nasty.  With visions of my doctors’ angry faces in my head, I cancelled.   No good my getting sick three weeks before surgery.  I stayed in bed and pouted watched movies all day.  I tend to feel like crap for a day post transfusion anyway, so it worked out.   The next day (Sunday) was awesome as my brother, sister-in-law and lilli came to the house for some San Biagio’s goodness and as my present, bought and installed both a hand-held shower sprayer thing and a new water filter for the filtered water dispenser in the sink.  Clean, yummy drinking water and a good shower.  Happy. Camper.

2. Last week, I spent at my client site.  All Week.  35 hours on site.   Usually I work 15-20 hours, mostly taking care of systems and resolving issues.  Last week was crazy – training for a new system as well as managing a major upgrade for another system.  I’m so not cut out for full time work anymore.  I made it through the week but I couldn’t have done it again this week.   There was one day where I spent 4 hours on the freeway.  That.  Sucks.  I knew it would be hard but, being self-employed, you don’t get paid if you don’t work.  So I pushed it big time and now I’m clear to not have to really worry about working very much during my recuperation time.  I am on email/call with my client but they know not to expect an immediate response.  They have been very good to me.

3.  I got a jury summons!  HA!   I had an appointment with my hemo today and totally forgot to bring it but I see my surgeon on Weds and will have her fill it out.  My jury date is 12/16.  I don’t think so.  They need to put me on a do-not-summons list.  I happily did my civic duty for years, but now, they’d have to let me have bathroom breaks every 10 minutes and adjourn for naps at 3pm.

4.  USC IS KICKING ASS!  We’ve won 5 straight and this weekend is the biggie!  USC v fUCLA!!!  We are going to smash the bRuins!!!  I’m a little excited.   I send weekly tweets to our AD Pat Haden asking him when he is going to announce Coach O as our new head coach.  He hasn’t gotten back to me.   I think if PH doesn’t hire Coach O, a ton of our Juniors will opt for the NFL and we may lose some of our better recruits.  He could be a legend at USC if given the chance.  Pat Haden says he has a hard decision to make.  He really doesn’t.  My message to Pat:  Get off your ass and fucking hire Coach O.

On to the cancer-y stuff:

 If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that my blood sugars are going crazy.  I saw my endocrinologist last week and she added YET ANOTHER DRUG to my collection.  It’s called Invokana and it’s only been on the market for 6 months or so.  It takes the glucose out of your food and makes you pee it out.  So the majority of food glucose never hits your bloodstream.   Or something like that.   I’ve been on it a few days and it has seriously improved my sugars.   I also had to increase my injected insulins, give an extra shot at night and double my metformin.    I called my endo today and she asked me to stop by.  When I went there this afternoon, she increased my invokana to 300mg.    Funny enough, one of the possible side effects is baldness.

So even without chemo, I may lose my hair.

If I do, I hope it grows back auburn and curly.

Today I had labs and an appointment with my hemo.   My labs came back ok.  Hemoglobin was 9.6 (high for me!), platelets were about the same, still no white cells, blah blah blah.   Of course, it wouldn’t be a doctor’s appointment these days without a semi-meltdown, so there was crying.  I think I’ve cried more since August than in all the years prior to that.  It’s sort of a pain in the ass.   I was a bit overwhelmed.  I have my port placement on Wednesday and before that, I have to have labs, see my surgeon, have a platelet transfusion, get the port, then go back to the day hospital and have 2 units of blood.   This starts at 8am and ends somewhere around 9-10pm.   What is it about Wednesdays?   All of this, by the way, on a freaking empty stomach!  There is some sedation involved in the port placement so no food or water.   They better have a sandwich waiting for me when I wake up!

To prepare for said port placement, I have to take Neupogen shots today and tomorrow.  This is the white cell medicine.  If 2 shots bring my counts up, then I will take 5 shots the days prior to surgery.  If two isn’t enough, then I will take 7 shots the days prior to surgery.   The negative side effect – bone pain.   I’m so OVER IT!!  I took my shot 5 hours ago and so far so good.  Other than, because of every other medicine I’m taking, I’m having hot flashes.

I went off of the Synthroid on the 15th.  It was giving me an emotional multiple personality disorder.  It stopped within two days of stopping the medicine.  Now I know I’m just my normal crazy self. 🙂

I go tomorrow (Tuesday) for my Keck pre-op.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following: admission crap, blood work, EKG, anesthesiologist visit and a future date with a cardiologist.   I have a bit of high blood pressure and heart rate.   Considering I’m a little stress, this seems normal to me but to make everyone happy, I need to see a cardiologist.   As I was hearing this, I freaked out and thought “OMG!  I might go into cardiac arrest!.”   But then I realized that people with actual diagnosed heart problems have heart surgery and do fine, so I’m only mildly alarmed by this.

As an aside.  I know that there are tons of risks and I know that I have to be made aware of these things.  But it is really hard to stay positive when you are constantly reminded that you could die.    It’s like  “This <insert terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing>  could happen.   Why are you stressed?”


Again, I’m SO OVER IT!  With all the combined crap I have wrong with me, the pressure to keep doing the right things is INSANE!   Do I eat a fresh peach (for gluten free diet which helps with my blood sugars) or do I eat the pre-packaged cup of peaches (not gluten free or healthy but good for neutropenic diet).  Take this drug because it helps with iron overload or blow it off until after surgery because it can destroy platelets which I need right now?

I feel like every decision I make is a life or death decision.  I know it isn’t that way but that’s the way I feel.   I just want this stupid surgery to be over with so I can go back to being a normal person.

With a frankenchest.

For fun, I went to the “Women’s Image Center” at Norris (I think that’s what they call it) and met a very nice lady who is a trained mastectomy bra/prosthesis fitter.   I’m  also anxiety ridden about my post-surgical rack.   Seriously, it should be a rule that if you don’t qualify for reconstruction that they have to take both breasts because WTF do you do with ONE?  She showed me the actual prosthetic (you have to buy an ugly old lady bra with a pocket inside the cup that holds the prosthesis) and I found myself discussing how realistic it feels.   Realistic?   Let me tell that to next guy that gets to second base!   I would feel like false advertising.

It has the color of Silly Putty.

I wonder, if you smash it down on the comics page, will it come up with an imprint?   I don’t think I’d mind it so much if I knew that Garfield was on it.

I’m sure I have more to say but Chester the Cat is trying to sit on the keyboard and I have to get up at dark ass o’clock for my pre-op visit.

More tomorrow.




5 Comments on “Time keeps on ticking…..”

  1. Karen Stember says:

    I’m exhausted just READING what all you are going through!!!!!!!! Pam, you are a good person, (despite your love for USC) and have a team of friends, family and docs pulling for you. Hang in there….you will be sporting a new “old lady” bra before you know….and coming from an old lady, they are not so bad 🙂


  2. Jan kruger says:

    Oh-h, Pam. Wish there could be some way I could help you from here. I know, I know, cheer for USC on Sat. That I can do. You could have 7 silly putty clumps for each day depending your mood and the best comic of the day. Also get ‘far-out’ looking wigs just like Janet Williams did. A wig for each mood of the day. Xxoo


  3. Aimee says:

    Oh Pam! Does Norris offer any sort of crisis counseling or have a referral system or anything? I know you don’t have time for it, but they may be able to help you with some stress/anxiety management… Hugs and prayers from me…


  4. Lori Lewis says:


    I say we go into business making SUPER SEXY prosthetic bras! If you have to go through all this, why not get rich (and famous – I know Oprah will totes wanna talk to you) – THAT is a side effect we all can live with, right? 😉

    Joking aside, I’m so sorry you have to go through all this. And very sorry you’re feeling so stressed! You know I’m only ever a text away, if you’re ever freaking out, I’m here and will hunt high and low online for something to make you say “LMAO” ❤

    You are strong, my friend (Trojan strong!!!!) and someday you'll look back on all this and know that you not only made it through but that you sailed through with flying colors.

    And seriously, dude, if you're not seeing having a boob that'll pick up comics as a selling point… I know at least half a dozen guys who would totally geek out for that! 😉



  5. Heather says:

    Everyone who has commented has wonderfully worded the many things going through my head right now, but I just want to add a reminder about the love heading your way. I am always amazed by the strength, humor, and powerful honesty of your blog posts. How about an “old lady bra” party?


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