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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

In Over My Head

Firstly, an update on how I am doing post my 2nd chemo treatment.  The answer is OK.  I got all the same stuff as before, heartburn, achy bones, very sore mouth but this time had many pills to take before things got too bad and also knew what to expect.  The worse thing is the fatigue as I am tired the whole time.  I have grand plans but then can’t muster the energy to do much at all.  To add to everything, we (I use that term in the royal sense) decided to get another cat.  Peanut, although loving her walks, pays very scant attention to me, preferring everybody else in the house and even some who are just visiting.  In an attempt to convince Steve that our little kitty needed a play mate, I hatched a plan to get a new, new cat that would love me the most and be the companion I had envisioned for myself.  Off Sarah and I went to the MSPCA, promising Steve that we would come home empty handed and indeed we did but only because Louise needed to be spayed.  Two days later, she was MINE and as she’s been very sick with cat flu since we got her, has clung to me like a limpet and I am loving every minute of it.  Maybe I am getting empty nest syndrome in advance of it being empty?  Or perhaps some days with two teenage daughters, wishing it was empty?!?!

And yes, her name is Louise.  She arrived at the shelter with a kitten so the pair were called Thelma and Louise.  I had wanted Peanut to be called LuLu but was outvoted. I think it’s a cute name, loved the singer LuLu when I was a kid and last but not least, my sister-in-law who died of breast cancer was called Louise, so a trifecta.  Nobody else got a vote, period.  I keep joking that she completes me like Mini Me and Dr. Evil or perhaps Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth who lost all his hair when he was unfrozen.  And yes, Mini Me has a cat, too (images below).  Unfortunately, the cat flu has caused LuLu to drool, snort and sneeze all over me, particularly at night, but life is short, eat dessert first I say.  We now have to give her antibiotics which I am going to force Sarah to administer so that she doesn’t think I am a mean Mum (the cat that is, not Sarah).  They say that chemo cooks the brain but I do not feel that I am a living example of that in any way at all.  No Siree.  And to prove the point, have taken some images of the garden whilst out walking Peanut which I have added to my photo page.  My life is just so busy, having chemo, cleaning up cat snot and crawling around in the bushes, being dragged through the yard on the end of a leash.

On a separate note, I am developing a whole new relationship with my head.  Yesterday, I went on a nature walk through the Healing Garden in Harvard.  Us cancer ladies took a short walk with a hiking guru and we did silent walking meditations, along with observing nature and talking a little about our stuff.  The weather was beautiful and the walk was very scenic.  I left my head bare and the sensation on it was just amazing.  It was as if I was sensing the world through my head in a way I had not before.  The breeze, the sun, just the feeling of it all up there on my noggin.   Although my head has been bare for a couple of weeks, it was the first time I was really conscious of how I was experiencing it.  And then I went to buy apples at a farm store and later on, took the cat to the vet.  In both cases, I had on a baseball cap and felt like a cancer patient.  Such a contrast. I know it’s my interpretation, but when I am in a normal situation with a bald head, think that people are pitying me, feeling sorry for me.  Of course, I have no clue what’s going on for others.  They might be thinking that I am brave, beautiful and wise.  Who knows, but still I am keenly aware of  how I feel.

So that’s the skinny for now.  I got a whole new bunch of hats from a woman in my Pink exercise program and without exception, are the most awful looking things on me.  One of them looks like a cap you’d see on the maids in Pride and Prejudice and as I was very into Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, making Steve watch it, too, acted a number of parts to him last night, quite convincingly I must say.  I was giggling my ass off but he was just shaking his head.  Oh well onward and upward.

Love to all,

Amanda

P.S.  If you are a Star Trek fan, you have to check out Carol’s response to my last blog.  How could I have missed that episode?  I am going to look for it on you tube right now!  And to blpkmp (Karen/Brian, is that you?) who got all the answers right, way to go and Scotty, beam them up!  A dreadful picture of me is coming your way!

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For those of you that do not know this about me, I am a huge Star Trek fan.  When I was a young warthog (Lion King reference), I would NOT miss an episode, hanging on to every move made by my first love, Captain James T. Kirk.  Week after week, he’d get beamed down to some planet, connect with a hot chick who’d inevitably meet some grisly end thus enabling him to repeat the whole thing the following week.   My friend Tracy and I used to play the Star Trek game and I would be the girl with whom Captain Kirk fell in love.  I was not nearly so keen on the interim seasons but my adoration has returned through the visage of Chris Pine, although this makes me a cougar as he’s young enough to be my son.  Also, unfortunately,  Steve won’t wear the Star Trek costume I got him for Xmas as after all, us girls just love a man in uniform!!?!?

So when my very kind next door neighbor buzz cut my hair as it was falling out all over the place, getting very annoying and itchy, I was mildly surprised and a little chuffed to find I have slightly pointy ears and could play a Vulcan on my very favorite TV show.  In order to give you the full picture, see me below, taking on the part.  I am sure you’ll believe me a shoo in for the next movie.

To test your Star Trek knowledge, here are a few brain teasers (I know you’ll know these Amanda L!).  The first person to respond correctly gets an exclusive picture of me wearing the crocheted hat I got from the hospital that makes me look like a mutant, old maid daisy, but it does keep the bald noggin warm.

1). Who said live long and prosper?

2).  Where did the crew boldly go?

3).  What does the T stand for in Captain James T. Kirk?

On a separate note, I was stung by a bee yesterday!  It was just a little sting on the back of my neck and has not swelled.  I was nowhere near the compost heap so didn’t have the foresight to be wearing the necessary protection.  I have decided to start a whole line of You Tube videos wearing my beekeeping outfit.  I’ll have to give myself a catchy video name such as Ginger Hills, which is really my stripper name, determined by my first pet plus the name of the road I lived on.  Anything more creative connected to bees would be gratefully accepted.  How about ‘The Latest Buzz’?  Or I could tie it all together by ‘Buzzing With Ginger Hills’!??  Oh dear, me thinks I should stop before I get in too deep.

If any of you need a good movie recommendation, try Galaxy Quest which is a total take off of Star Trek and Aliens with Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. It’s very funny, in my estimation.  Other than that, lurching towards chemo on Thursday.

Love to all,

Amanda

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The truth is, I feel like bleep, bleep, bleepedy, bleep. I sailed through the surgery, happy little bi-lateral mastectomy patient, wowing everyone with my positive attitude, minimal pain, no drugs and lots of comments like ‘you’re only two weeks out, you look amazing’.

But we all have our thing and my chickens are roosting with a vengeance right now. Of the two drugs I am on, the normal side effects are nausea, hair loss, fluid retention, reduced blood counts. No real nausea in this body and they give you the miracle drug that zips it right away. Less common side effects for my two beauties: fatigue, heartburn and muscle pain. Yes, yes and freakin’ yes. The heartburn was so bad, I called the on-call Dr over Labor Day weekend and am now one of the trillions of people that take Prilosec. It has worked like a charm, I must say. I take so many pills for the side effects of the side effects, that I rattle when I walk. Oh, and did I mention teary, draggy and generally feeling like I have the flu? The family is just loving this stage!

I have a date with hair loss between September 10th – 13th but with my trusty wig (nicknamed Twiggy) at my side, will have well coiffed hair for the world to see. Work sent me a wonderful care package, picture below, Cranberry, Banana Nut Mix already eaten, that put a huge smile on my face, particularly the beekeeping jacket. Upon arrival, I will post pictures of me wearing it. Luckily when I am gardening, I will have something to cover the bald noggin, thus avoiding both wasp stings and sunburn.

Am also off to the hospital twice tomorrow. Once so the Plastic Surgeon can pump liquid into my boob expanders to, well, expand them and later in the day, to the dermatologist. My BRCA2 gene thing increases my chances of melanoma apparently. Can’t wait for that appointment.

So I am thinking that patience and strength are the attributes I most need this week. If any of you have either to spare, or anything else that might be useful, please send my way, with bells on.

Love to all,
Amanda

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Being a pet in our house has been a dangerous occupation these past twelve months. We started last year with two cats and two rabbits and by the end of 2013, had lost 75% of our menagerie. Before you call the Humane Society, both the cats were 18 years old so had lived long lives and we took the $30 rabbit for a $350 vets visit (also discovering that she was in fact a he) and then hand feed him/her for 10 days before he/she finally died. But that’s a story for another time.

Our one remaining pet, a Silver Marten rabbit, is a beautiful looking but curmudgeonly thing who only lets Sarah pick him up and being petted and sitting on your lap are very low on his list of things to achieve in a day. So with my chemo coming up and thinking that a little cat companion would be heart warming, I decided the time had come to listen to Sarah’s constant begging and promises that she’d actually clean out the lit tray, and get another cat.

Both the girls are still in FL, spending some time with Steve’s parents, so Sarah gave me permission to go to the MSPCA and get the cat in her absence, as long as I kept in mind her list of essential attributes before bringing one home. Off I go on my mission, coming home with a beautiful little year old cat, name yet to be decided.

Thinking myself the great, all-knowing cat whisperer, as after all I grew up with cats and have owned them all my life, I did not pay as much attention to the words of advice being given to another family at the shelter as perhaps I ought. “Be careful”, the shelter volunteer said, “keep your cat in a small room, like a bathroom, for the first few days because in their fear, they can crawl into little spaces and get lost”. What’s that phrase about great advice falling on deaf ears?

I get home, proudly open the cat carrier to show Steve my wonderful choice and the cat shoots out of the box, slinks down the stairs and into our unfinished basement before I have had time to say Jack Robinson (some of you are going to have to look up what that means). Steve finds her once, she escapes again and vanishes, apparently into thin air. There we are, the pair of us, undoing all the good work of our time away together, pulling apart the basement, with me sobbing “I am a cat killer” and him responding “that isn’t helping, please just shut the #%^* up!!!”. And still no cat, not even the next morning. We had owned this cat for 16 hours and we’ve laid eyes on it for 30 minutes, including the 28 minutes it took me to drive home from the shelter.

But luckily for all, this story has a happy ending. My very good friend, Gertie who is a pet lover and shelter volunteer comes riding over the next morning on her white horse (metaphorically speaking), pulls me out of my pet murderer miasma with words of support and encouragement and helps me search the whole house. We look everywhere and still nothing – not a meow, not a scratch, as nothing as nothing can get. As a last hope, we finally decide to unscrew a 4′ false wall under the stairs in the basement. We have to use flash lights to even see, lie on our stomaches in all the cobwebs, use all our unscrewing ingenuity on rusty, worn out screws, before we open up a 6″ gap behind the wall. And who is quietly sitting there waiting for us? Yes indeedy. I have never been so happy to see anything in my life, except for the time I lost Sarah at the beach when she was 5, but yet another story for another time.

Off for my wig appointment tomorrow. Thinking I’ll get two – one like my everyday hair and the other like the hair I always wished I had. Make sure you check out the Wallace and Gromit toupee video I added in my last post. It’ll make your day if you need a good laugh.

Love to all,
Amanda

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