Thursday, August 26, 2010

Treatment Plan in place!!!

I will be going to the Oncology/Hematology Center in the Medical Building on the Fore River Mercy Hospital Campus in Portland for my first treatments.  Dr, Inhorn, chief of oncology, is my medical oncologist.  My chemotherapy starts on Friday the 3rd of September.  I have to be there at 10 for blood work, then I'll see Dr. Inhorn and meet Cathy, the nurse assigned to me.  I'm expecting to be there about 5 hours for the first visit.

The oncology treatment center is a large open airy bright room with huge windows that face the Fore River.  Great views!  There's also plenty of space around the treatment chair, a personal television, two tables...not too close to anyone else so there is a sense of personal space.  Fridays are typically less crowded, too.  I figured that if I might feel crummy the first day or two or three after treatment, maybe having treatment just before the weekend would make it easier to get extra help here at home if we need it.  I'll be on some really good medications to stop nausea before it even has a chance to start.  That really is the only side effect I've been concerned about.

I will have chemo every third Friday until I've had six treatments.  Then I'll take a short break before starting radiation in Bath at the Cancer Care Center.

That's what I know at this point.  Have prescriptions to fill tomorrow, lots of handouts to read, and I have to set up the finances ring binder to keep track of bills/insurance.  The fun part this next week is choosing what to put in my Hospital Go Bag!

To Portland Today!

First stop:  Mercy Hospital, State Street; wound check from the medi-port implant with Kate at Interventional Radiology

Next:  Mercy Hospital Medical Building on the Fore River campus for a meeting with Dr. Roger Inhorn, chief of Oncology/Hematology

Hopefully I will have a treatment plan in place today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Haircut!

It's pretty short!  Your basic buzz cut with clippers on the back and sides with just a little bit more hair on top so I don't look completely bald yet--I will be soon enough!

Off to the Library!

Donna and I are working this morning (and maybe some of the afternoon) at the Bailey Library in Winthrop.  She has a final project due for her online class about online literacies and I'm going to help her set up a blog and a portaportal.  Should be fun for me and probably agony for Donna!  :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back to Work Monday!

I'm going back to work at Your Maine Stamper Monday.  I will help Connie with store displays and have lunch with her before my class in the afternoon.  During class, 1 to 3 PM, we're going to work on black-and-white or black-and-orange albums that can be used for photos or stamped images later.  We'll be using the Bo Bunny Cascading Album in Chiffon as the canvas to be decorated.  Ribbons in the rings that bind the book?  Ribbons in the holes on the decorative edges?  Each one will be unique!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Off to Portland Today!!

Today I visit the Lymphedema Center at WestGate in Portland.  There's lots of paperwork to fill out!  Then I have a 90 minute evaluation session.  I am really ready for someone to fix my right arm!  May do some retail therapy while I'm in town or hit LLBean on the way home as well as my favorite secondhand places in Freeport and Brunswick.  I'm taking myself out to lunch, too.  Might as well enjoy the travel!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Up for Today!

This is today's procedure at Midcoast Hospital.  It will take about an hour.  Donna once again is my designated driver.

Then we're off to the Coastal Botanical Gardens at Boothbay!  Our reading group is meeting there for lunch and a walk through the gardens.  What did we read?  Claire Cook's THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB.  Looks like the perfect day.  I can't wait to see the Children's Garden!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"A Temporary Port in the Storm"

I get this kind of medi-port device (or one very much like it) implanted into my chest today, near my
collarbone on my left side.  This is the way that I can receive my chemotherapy and other IV-administered drugs and I can also have blood drawn this way.  Believe me, this is going to be a lot easier in the long run than trying to find a vein each week.  When I was in for my surgery, it took at least four sticks before a vein was found that wouldn't collapse.  I expect to have this medi-port in for a year because I think my Herceptin is also delivered this way into my system.  This will be a fairly simple surgery under sedation much like that one gets when having a colonoscopy.  I will be at Mercy Hospital State Street in Portland from about noon to 3 PM.  My friend Donna is driving me down and back.  I expect I'll be a little groggy afterward.

I will be using this blog for awhile to post updates on my treatment plan and progress.

Friday, August 13, 2010

An Altered Book for Summer 2010

This summer I took an old book MAINE MY STATE, gutted it, made my own pages and sewed them into the remaining book cover.  I used Ranger Distress Inks to paint the pages and added stickers, writings, photographs, and other embellishments to the pages to record some of my summer adventures.

To the left you can see the front and back covers which also include stamped, colored and glittered images, ribbon tapes, a tag, and other embellishments.

This is the inside of the front cover and the first page.  I salvaged the poem from the original text and parts of the title page to reuse.  All of the tabs that hold the pages are papered with pages from the original text.

The State of Maine Seal on the left

"The Way Life Should Be" postcard photo reminds me of the log cabin where I grew up and adventures this summer in the Moosehead Lake area.

There's actually a store in Kennebunkport called Daytrip Society.  I bought some items there for Sam to take on his People-to-People trip through Europe this summer.  I thought it would be nice to belong to something called the Daytrip Society since I tend to take more daytrips than long travels these days.

The page on the left is my homage to sheep.  I LOVE sheep, lambs especially.  The photo of the lamb is one I took probably ten years ago.

The righthand page is a salute to the local Farmers' Market in Winthrop where I buy vegetables from Farmer Kev that we don't grow in our own garden and I also buy the best homemade soft pretzels I've ever had.

I love the greens I used on these pages and went with a theme of pond--the pearl swirl for the water; frogs in party hats on lilypads; cat-o-nine tails.  The frogs have been particularly noisy this summer, like they are having a party every night right outside my window.

The postcard image on the left reminds me of the Scarborough Marsh and sea heather.

The corrugated paper pin and three dimensional paper flowers blend nicely with the background on the righthand page.

Don't you just love this raven!  I think it's the black boots and how his wings look like a cape.  I've had ravens in my dreams.

The page on the right features a stamped and watercolor image from Memory Box and a popped up pear inside a rhinestone circle.

The greeting card image on the left reminds me so much of our woods.  I LOVE birch trees.  I also experimented on this page with some new Washi tape.

Little Red Riding Hood shows up often.  I have a large collection of books, framed prints, and other collectibles.

The A-1 Diner remains one of my favorite places to eat.

The other page has another stamped Memory Box image on a watercolored background.  The written quote:  Sorry to appear insistent, but I must have my trinkets.  This is the last chance."  I found this on a postcard at RockPaperScissors.

Olive is my new cat.

These are my journaling pages from July 28 once I knew for sure that I have breast cancer.

Rabbits and Chicks

I have a lot to learn.

Love the colors on the FISH page and the waterlilies card that I tore up to add to the page.

Purple lupine are one of my favorite roadside flowers and love the color of them with the colors in the page's paper.

I am also fascinated by squirrels.  I left some room on this page for journaling later this month.

The page on the right includes a card front that I created using tissue paper, glimmer mist, stamped images, stamped paper flowers, and a clockface.  I also used glimmer mist to color the fabric trim I added to this page.  These are some of my favorite colors.

Donna made the card that I pasted on the lefthand page.

More blue pearly swirls on the fish in the water page.

Cat and streetlight are stamped in black on a watercolored background.  Love the colors in the 3-D Prima rose.

These are my Moosehead pages.

left:  "Up North"

right:  I kept the inside back cover page which included the book pocket.  I made a tag to insert into the pocket.

This is a book I go back to every day, to page through, to add little items to, to journal in.  It is an on-going work that I won't finish until the last day of summer.