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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Yesterday was my first IV Chemo treatment on the Cisplatin. Before the treatment, I met with the oncologist nurse practitioner, who I love. She gave me more details on my PET scan and like boobs, butts, stomach and those baggy things that hang down from the tops of arms as you get older (where do those suddenly appear from??), it seems that my cancer has done the same!!! The PET scan indicated no cancer this time in my neck, shoulders and the piece of my skull they scan. But it’s all collecting in my pelvis, hips, ilium and femurs. Oh joy!! This is causing pressure on my nerves thus the leg aches and pain. In order to combat this, she has given me Oxycodon.

Not only has she given it to me, I have taken it. I can hear a collective gasp from many of you out there!!! I decided that the pain was impacting my quality of life, stopping me from doing things I wanted to do and bringing me down, man. And it works, quite definitively. That’s not all – I now rattle as I walk, so you can hear me coming. The number of drugs to combat the extreme nausea that comes with cisplatin makes me feel like a walking pharmacy. And naturally, all these things cause constipation so then another load of things for that. Sigh ūüė¶

But whether it’s my new BFF the Oxy, the steroids which I only take for three days but give me this strange to me sensation of having energy (!), or something else, I am feeling damn good. I recall about 20 years ago deciding that I wanted to feel free and liberated on the inside no matter what was happening in my external world. Not the way I had expected to get there but indeed today I feel it. I am learning to get out of my brain as much as I can and into my heart and soul. The wisdom that resides in these places is so deep and meaningful and the head can be a dangerous place as I am sure many of you appreciate.

Talking of heading South, am off to FL from 1/25 to 2/5. It’s just a Steve and me trip. We are going to Universal for a day as the bucket list includes Harry Potter World, then off to Clearwater to spend time with Steve’s parents and Mike and Ellen (Steve’s wonderful brother and wife) in the warm sun. Really looking forward to it and then off to Santa Fe at the beginning of March for my spiritual retreat. How did I ever have time to work?!?!

And finally, thank you for all the wonderful comments you post. I love feeling the love – makes me all warm and gooey on the inside like the best tasting warm chocolate chip cookies.

Amanda xx

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Off To A Hippie Party

It really is nice sometimes to have longer hair that never needs washing and never goes frizzy!

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Here is how I envision tomorrow going after all the welcomes and how are you doings:

Manager: business question
Me: huh?
Manager: repeated question
Me: um, er, ah, well it’s like this….. Wanna see my scars?!?!?
Manger: pardon?

Looking forward to seeing the peeps again (except for those that have left or are leaving – you know who you are) and I am sure once I get over the shock of it all, including getting up early and having to wear panty hose again, I’ll be fine. Feeling a little anxious so please be extra kind to me tomorrow if I am sitting there in a daze and/or fall asleep at my desk around 2:30! And I am coming in wigless, so if you see a grey haired lady wandering around looking lost, it’s only me! Working three days a week for a patch, then four then back to full time.

Had a pedicure today with a friend by way of my final non-working person hurrah and painted my tootsie nails bright green for no other reason than I could – picture below.

Love to all and send me good ‘yes, I can get out of bed on time to take the train that might not even come because of the bloody snow issues’ energy tomorrow!

Amanda

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Even when they don’t leave the house! Yesterday, Victoria set off for the mall and about an hour later, our carbon monoxide monitors go bananas – danger, danger, evacuate, evacuate they scream at us, frequently, very loudly and at high decibels. Having never had this happen, we were unsure what to do, except put our hands over our ears and rush around the house in a pickle. After getting our act together, we call the fire station which is literally down the road and in they sweep, husky men to the rescue. Just what is it about a fireman in uniform? Is it the color yellow? Doubtful. Is it all that equipment hanging from their belts? Hmm. Is it visions of YMCA running through my head? Hmm again. I warned Sarah she was in for a treat but at only 14, I think she thought I was in the midst of a weird middle aged fantasy! No acknowledgement from me on that score, no indeedy! A little disappointed though as two of them looked like they were just out of high school and the other was older than Steve with a similar middle aged spread.

The carbon dioxide culprit was determined to be Victoria who had sat in the garage with the engine on, garage door closed, texting, playing trivia crack and generally doing whatever teenage girls do before she left on her trip. Perhaps if Steve won’t wear the Captain Kirk outfit, he might be more amenable to a fireman’s suit, tool belt ‘n all?? Or perhaps I’ll pay Victoria to do it again? Sigh.

Love to all,
Amanda

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Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/sequinofkindness! I am featured in Episode 6, which you can either watch in it’s entirety or in shorter segments that are labelled as to their content. I discuss how I am spreading the energy of love, peace and connection through my ¬†“You’ve Been Flowered” program. ¬†Enjoy!

If you happen to live in Chelmsford and want to see when it’s on the telly, go to http://www.chelmsfordtv.org/schedule.

And here, also, is a picture of me being attacked by wolves from my visit to the wolf sanctuary this week (they are really just after the food in my hands!).  More to come on the trip.

Love to all,
Amanda

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Hairy Tail, Part I

One of the things I most enjoy about the holiday season is our Christmas Tree. It adds sparkle and light to my holiday spirit. We don’t do much decorating around the house, either in or out, as I am much too lazy and Steve is rather bah-humbug about the whole thing. But my one effort to let the neighbors know we do posses some seasonal joie de vivre is the tree. I used to insist on a real one but eventually my tree hugging nature, combined with the chore of picking pine needles out of the rug for months after, drove me to agree to Steve’s pleading for a plastic version with lights already attached (I hear some of you out there screaming in protest!). He subsequently purchased what must’ve been the cheapest and thus puniest tree he could find in Target in the January sales.

The thing has lasted us two years but this year has received a serious onslaught in the form of ‘dearest’ Peanut, yes, the cat that got stuck behind the wall 20 minutes after arriving home from the shelter. Of course, my purrfect baby, Lulu, would do nothing as heinous as climb the tree, knock off all the ornaments, eat the tree, bend all the branches and knock the ornaments off again, right after we have replaced them. No breakable items have been dispensed from the storage boxes this year, leaving room for all the lollipop stick non-breakables the kids made in elementary school. My poor tree looks ratty tatty and the whole thing exudes an air of unkempt loneliness. I am not mirroring this I hasten to add, but do somehow feel as if my sparkle will have to find it’s mojo from another source. I have included a few images below to provide pictorial representation of the whole sad story!

Hairy Tale, Part II

On Monday I had a shower which I know sounds like just the exciting type of information you’d choose to read about in a blog! But there is a whisper of new news in this as I actually washed my hair! Is there much to wash? No. Did I do it anyway? Yes. I used my most expensive shampoo and then also conditioned the fuzz as you have to pamper the little baby shoots. It felt SO comforting to return to a familiar routine as for the 48 years pre-chemo, I have always washed my hair first in the shower.

Hairy Tale, Part III

And last, but not least in this series of hairy tales/tails, Victoria passed her driving test yesterday. I think I was more anxious for her than she was and now I am even more anxious than she is at the thought of her heading out alone. Luckily her first solo flight will probably be to Michael’s where she works, which is just 5 minutes down the road. As my friend, Eileen, whose daughter passed today, texted “now the worrying begins in earnest”. ¬†And as I replied “ain’t that the truth”! ¬†Another parent/child right of passage bites the dust.

Love to all,
Amanda

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So yesterday I had my TV interview about You’ve Been Flowered. It’s a taped affair and the guy who is the technical editor for the show (whose Grandmother I once helped with her garden!) won’t be back until next week, so not sure at this point when the grand reveal will happen.

I’ll tell you one thing though, I LOVED doing it! It was just so much fun. Afterwards, Barb, the host of the show, the Sequin of a Kindness, told me I was a natural and even if she says that to everyone, I totally bought in to it! I am thinking I’ll change careers and become an official interviewee, swanning around giving my opinion to anyone who cares to ask. I’ll be a professional celebrity, sort of like Kim Kardashian but older, balder and wearing more clothes. I’d not be able to recreate her champagne glass on the butt photo shoot, but I could certainly balance one on my left boob. Heck, if it hadn’t been deflated, I could’ve balanced a whole champagne bottle, accompanied by canap√©s! That would certainly get me interviews, I think.

I will obviously attach the link to the show once it comes out, but in the meantime, if you know of anyone looking for someone with an opinion who loves to talk on camera, give me a bell!

On a separate note, a big call out to my Boston work buddies who outdid themselves again with a wonderful care package that I received this week. I got a mug that says “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain…”, along with a beautiful hummingbird ornament and a brand new Kindle with a wonderful lime green case. You really are an amazing group of people and it is my privilege to know you. Thank you xxxx.

Love to all,
Amanda

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10) I shower in five minutes and am ready to leave the house in fifteen
9) I do not have to shave my legs or arm pits (yeah!)
8) I save a lot of money not having to cut and highlight my hair or buy endless fluffing, thickening or smoothing hair products
7) A lot of people stare at me – some even smile and talk
6) I go out in all manner of weather and have no fear of flat or frizzy hair
5). I can change my hair-do in a flick of the wrist
4) I let my head steam when I go to Zumba and sweat a lot
3) I get a lot of head massages as people want to touch the growing peach fuzz
2) I can go to parties as Spock, Gandhi or Kojak
1) I am getting great treatment to ensure my cancer doesn’t return

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Amanda

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This post contains an accounting of my chest expansion and subsequent issues, so if you work with me and would rather be thinking about my beautiful green eyes as opposed to the activity below my chin when we next meet, please feel free to pass by this post. If you are brave or curious enough to continue, congratulations and here goes.

At surgery, if there is a chance that one might need radiation, the final silicone implants are not used, but expanders are put in as placeholders. These expanders include a port and balloon type containers that are filled with saline solution. The port allows for the injection of extra fluid, thus expanding the site in preparation for the final implants. The side that is to be radiated requires extra liquid as the skin shrinks during the procedure. Well, my plastic surgeon seems to believe that all good things come in large handfuls. Having already watched 34B/C disappear in the rear view mirror, at my last appointment, he gave me extra, extra on the left side as that is where I am to receive radiation. I felt so large and lopsided that I was worried that if I walked too fast around a corner, I might topple over and need help getting upright again. I could take a second job as a personal flotation device for a few small children needing help in the pool but due to rudder imbalance, we’d just keep flapping around in circles. Well, you get the picture and luckily for all concerned, there are none included with this post.

So I go to my first radiation planning session and everyone who sees my chest goes ‘oh my’. We go through most of the planning when the decision comes down from above that we are going to have to rebook as my girls, particularly Dolly on the left, are now just too damn large and the laser beam keeps getting cut off at the pass, so to speak. I get sent back to plastic surgery, having to see someone different as my regular Dr is, luckily, at a conference. ‘Oh my’ says the nurse when she checks things out. ‘Oh my’ says the plastic surgeon when he gets a look, followed by ‘are you going for va va voom?’. Categorically NOT. I think they look fine on Ms. Parton, but that’s where they can stay. Luckily, what can be created can be rent asunder and he was able to deflate, giving me back some balance and dignity.

I had my follow-up radiation planning session today and all went well. I start on December 1st and will finish in early to middle January. I wish for many reasons, including health care costs, that it could all have been finished this year but it’s the gift that just keeps on giving. The hair continues to sprout but patchy, not uniformly and today I felt the beginning of little hairy prickles on my legs. The eye brows and eye lashes have stayed the course for the most part and hopefully they are now out of danger.

So that’s the excitement to date!

Love to all,
Amanda

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For the last 23 years, I have been reading gardening books, gardening magazines, garden catalogues and lurking in garden centers just to find out as much as I can about plants, particularly perennials. My kids will attest to the fact that I also talk to my plants, call them my babies and that once Sarah, then around 5 but now 13, asked me if I loved my garden more than her. Of course, that brought on an attack of the mother guilts but here we all are, 8 years later, happily (for the most part) co-existing! They expect to find me outside most weekends from April to November, tending to one thing or another, happily snipping and pulling and spraying (organic only of course), chatting and cursing (bleeping woodchucks) or just sitting out there waiting for the next hummingbird to visit my bee balm. And you should see the bees on my thyme in July, divine!

This year going through surgery and chemo, I have had plenty of time and desire to rest peacefully in my beautiful garden sanctuary, pondering the meaning of life and other spiritual questions. I have had a vision for many years to create a series of gardens around the world that are all about connection, bringing people of different nations and cultures together through the earth. These are gardens with a difference as they also contain sophisticated electronics, allowing the visitors in the different spaces to communicate/connect with each other.

But I have always wondered how do I get from here to there? I am sure there are many roads but one that came to me this spring was to start small, one plant at a time whilst paying forward, in some way, the amazing amount of love and support I have felt from everyone around me during my latest journey.

I purchased small coneflower plants and new pots, planted them in organic soil and with the help of family and friends, filled these plants with the energy of love, peace and connection. I envision a grid around the world, full of these plants, beaming love to whomever plants them or sees them, but also sending these same attributes to the ground itself and encasing the whole world with this energy.

I have started small, giving them to my wonderful friends, my neighbors or where I travel, to others who appear to love gardening. I have donated plants to the Healing Garden and the school, along with my new breast cancer colleagues at the hospital. At this point, I have given out around 35 plants. I know that some will make it and some won’t (bleeping, bleeping woodchucks), but I feel such gratitude that in some small way, I am bringing beauty to this earth. I have included below images of the tags created by Victoria that I include with the flowers.

On the medical front, all is well and I have my radiation planning session next week and from there will know when I start the treatments. My hair is growing back, but due to descend again by the end of this coming week from my final chemo dose. ¬† After that the growth will remain unabated. It is coming back patchy but definitely white. I look like a little baby bird, hatched naked then growing fluffy, scraggly, downy feathers before the full ‘coat’ comes in. I have a feeling the final feathers will render me Snowy Owl rather than Brown Owl!

Love to all,
Amanda

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