Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Windy Road (La Calle Sinuosa)

This evening, after we got back from the park, we put Lemon to bed and sat around and chatted with Paco. Steve was working late, but came home at 10 PM to me, Judy and Paco cracking each other up.

Lisa, my beloved sister-in-law came today and packed up 5 (I think) boxes for us. Amazing. No Beckett, Beckett’s grandmother watched him so Lisa could help. Jolene and June, moms of good friends with cute kids, look after their grandkids, so their daughters can help me. That is extraordinary.

Paco and I made a bet. He is feeding fish next week and we believe he is exaggerating the size of the fish. The loser has to write 3 emails to people in Spanish and if I lose, I also have to post in Spanish. While we were discussing this, I found a test I had taken last year. I read it out loud, and this is why Paco and Judy were laughing so hard. It is Spanish, but the words vomitar and rapido are self-explanatory. Malteada means milkshake.

Cuando era niña, mis abuleos vivían en Medocino. Dos veces cada año, íbamos allá para visitar mis abuelos. Mi padre conocía el camino muy bien. Y cada vez, esperabamos que él condujera más lentamente, pero cada vez, él iba rápido por la calle sinuosa. Una vez, queríamos que nuestros padres llevarnos a McDonals para almorzar. Y mi hermando tomó una malteada verde (era el día de San Patricio). Mi padre, como siempre, conducía por la calle rápido. Mi hermano gritó, “Papi, es necesario que pares.” Mi padre quiería llegar a la casa de mis abuelos en punto. Él continuó por la calle. Y mis hermano gritó otra vez. “Yo voy a vomitar.” Y él lo hizo. Nuestro padre esteraba que mi hermano no vomitara, oer nostoros queríamos que él condujera menos rápido!

I may not have every detail correct, but it made Steve laugh when he got home. He thought that I meant Mendoza, Argentina at first. Un Mendocino is someone from Medoza. When I learned that I thought that was very cool.

Adieu Ally

We had to say goodbye to our cat today. Her dementia has been building for a couple of years. We are moving in a week or so (last year when she moved, she hid in the bathroom for 1 month), and she had begun pooping in the bed, after crawling between the sheets. Paco had said several times over the last few months, “I think Ally will die soon.”

For a few moments, I was actually sad and negative about myself. Steve and I reconfirmed our intentions were our brains to fail. You have to have a lucid discussion before drama occurs.

Steve picked Ally out for me 12 years ago, at an Oakland adopt-a-pet event. She was about 2 or 3 at the time. I was her 3rd owner. Her first, abused her, she had scarring on her hip. Her 2nd died of stomach cancer the day I adopted Ally. Her name when we adopted her was Angel. It did not suit her. In the car on the way home from the adoption, her tiny paw burst through the cardboard carrier and she meowed non-stop.

She tried to break my mom’s anti-cat manner. When we lived in Oakland in 2002, Ally would sneak in to mom sleeping at night and sleep on her.

Ally, in her younger days, was quite the fighter and huntress. She was about 5-6 lbs and tiny. But feisty. She had brought us many mice and birds. She was out to conquer the world.

She was very kind to the kids. And Paco loves her. But he knew. He asked if he could come today, then wisely decided not to go. Cindy offered to take him swimming with the crew she had in the car. I had not said what we were planning to do, but rather said, “I’ll take her to the vet, but think that it is time to let her go.” And he seemed to know what that meant. He spent the morning snuggling her, petting her and rubbing noses. He is six.

When Paco came home, he asked if Ally had died. I said, yes, sweets. She did. Paco nodded.

Avastin Day: Escape From the Hot Zone

Forgot to post this last night!~

I was mean to someone today. There was a barista in a local café and I was annoyed with her. I sipped the espresso and then I returned to the counter to speak to her in a negative way. It is the first time in a long time where I have not taken the high road. Ugh!

Anyway, from there, I headed to UCSF for the Avastin. Ah, I was able to flee from the 80s (at 9AM) to the low 70s, high 60s (at Noon). There was a snafu with the meds, so I had to wait about an hour, but with the Brazil, Chile game, I was well–occupied. I was hoping for an all-Spanish speaking semi-final as the US and UK were kicked out.

The staff at UCSF was pleasant as always. From there, I enrobed two cousin outlaws and a cousin for family tasks, then returned home to two boys happy to be with their abuelita and daddy. My mother-in-law was not surprised at the help I got from family today. She shakes her head in amazement and gratitude for what the family has done for us.

Lemon is addicted to a parent. But he is also working it. He applies the charm, the sparkle and smile; then cries in need of water…no…no…no, he wants the bottle in your hand, the food that is the same will not do, he wants what is in your hand. He drank Paco’s milk, would not drink the same milk in his own cup. And without it, I would not give him an oreo. And he knew it. The child is 15.5 mos old and already fighting with me for the Stubborn title.

He also fights sleep. So I had best set a good example and not!

Santa Hoodia

Thy light is glowing. Paco and Judy (Hoodi) are writing an email in Spanish to paco’s teacher from San José.

Esta foto es un regalo.

Viva el fútbol de Argentina!

Starts Well, Ends Well. Need a Nap in the Middle.

It is now 10:11 PM and I am barely coherent. I got short sleep last night, then about 2 plus hours today. But right now, my eyes are droopy.

This is the lowest round of steroids I have taken with Temodar in several months.  Yesterday was my last day, but the Temodar highest point would have been some time during the night. I could barely stay awake today. Kate was here until 11:30. After that, poor Paco snuggled me while I dozed (and Lemon took a long afternoon nap). Then Paco actually slept. A nap he desperately needed.  But alas, Lemon awoke, so there was only a brief 90 minutes of good sleep.  90 hours would be more fulfilling.

I had plans to have the girls over to sip wine and chat, but I was so comatose, I had to cancel. Then I just held on til I got Lemon to crib. Paco was a star. Sweet, independent. He knew it was my worse day of the 4-week cycle and was gallant and kind. He and Steve went to get Steve’s mom at the airport. I have to start packing boxes and get organized for the upcoming move. But first, I want to sleep, and spend time with Paco. Life is tiring, but simply because of good things.

Paco’s high moment was the woman in her 80s across the street asked if Paco could come feed the fish daily. He is proud to do it and looking forward to it.

This morning, I did the workout with the Fleet Feet running group in Davis. I am on a 5k training track. However, I have not kept to it well. Too much going on in the world. This morning I thought I was crazy to go, but it was a smart thing to do. Part of my body is physically tired right now, that is ok with me. (The Temodar makes more of a 1st trimester pregnancy or drug-induced sleep). The group ranges in experience and speed.  I am at the back of the pack, but there is something every time about getting there and getting it done. Today, I spend most of the running time with the co-owner of the shop, Chris. She shares my obsession with language and accents and dialects. I was so overwhelmed about making it on the track when I first got there, but between all the coaches, I was well taken care of. They keep an eye on me, but they keep an eye on all. They hover the group, from front to back checking in and making sure all are doing well.

Judy just arrived from Detroit. Ahhh. So it was a day which started well, finished well, and the issue in the middle of the day can be resolved with sleep. Sleeeeep. Poor Judy, knows she is on duty first thing in the morning. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Had to Cancel, So Hard to Keep My Eyes Open

More on that later…

Blood Results:

Component Results

Component Your Value Standard Range
WBC COUNT 8.8 3.5-12.5 K/uL
RED BLOOD CELLS COUNT 4.43 3.60-5.70 M/uL
HGB 13.5 11.5-15.0 g/dL
HEMATOCRIT 40.3 34.0-46.0 %
MCV 91 80-100 fL
RDW, RBC 13.6 11.9-14.3 %
PLATELET COUNT 260 140-400 K/uL

Temodar, Leads to Sleepiness

In about 45 minutes, I will take the last of it for a cycle. I can deal with the bathroom issues. Alas, the fatigue issues are more challenging. Though for a few glorious minutes, I fell asleep yesterday, wondering why I was so tired. I take this as a good sign: that I had no idea why for a few minutes.

Today, Cindy had offered me many opportunities for breaks. She collected Paco at 4. I was so passed out when she got here. As she gently knocked at the door, Paco was watching TV (yes, again, it is Temodar week, and I am making him behave worse in front of the TV; I am sure), Lemon was sleeping as was I. Paco excitedly went along with Cindy. We had gone to Home Depot that morning (me with the boys). I had broken the rule of who can sit in the big kids section (Lemon, no). But I don’t normally break too many rules. When I saw the awesome safety belts, I felt ok.

I got my blood drawn and did not do much else except look for a bathroom. (for discomfort, not to prevent an accident). Yea, yea, Temodar has tummy problems, but at least it does not directly affect much else. Oh! Except that brain thing. But that is a positive affect.

As Brandon implied; this is the ultimate positve affect (not the Tarceva face and Avastin bleed, the boys!):

Paco: Age 6

He is snuggling in his parents’ bed, watching a cooking show in Spanish. That has to be good, sí. It’s better than watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars!

Amanda From Sea Level to High Altitude

Amanda is moving. To Denver thank goodness (lots of good reasons to go to Denver). She has done a great deal for me, but I have done nothing much for her. She is spectacular. And has been a good friend for a very long time. Today, Shan and Amanda came to Davis and we had Dos Coyotes and ate and chatted for over 2 hours. Amanda has made a concerted effort to visit when she could. Rarely have I gone to her. She and Shan were there when Lemon was born,. When I was diagnosed, Amanda spent the night to help Steve with the sudden shock that hit him. She had come to Brandon’s 4th of July block party and took over Steve’s kids, and tool the lead on watching them while Steve watched me. She and Steve have been friends for even longer than she has known me, and I think that makes him feel even more at ease.

This lunch, we knew it was the last. The previous lunch I got all choked up. This time, we promised not to say too much. I’ll see her in a few months, but it is not the same as having her an hour away by car.

So in the parking lot Shan and I were saying goodbye and I simply had to walk away. None of us wanted mush. Just the big smiles we share and the laughs, and the lifetime of friendship.

In the course of 2009, she was there at the height and the low. The birth of a child. The hell of a bad move (the movers when we moved here, were not great). And then, the beginning of my new path. Fortunately, now, she will be in a place where my beloved cousins are nearby. Denver is truly a mile high. That is a good start to a new phase of life.  I shall miss her.

No hives

Little too excited about mosquito bites.

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