Sunday, March 29, 2009

Margie is holding her own.  This is the 4th day of the last chemo cycle, definitely a down day.  But look at our Margie/Mom!  She's hanging in there! Tomorrow (Monday) is Ceci's last day before returning to Madison to complete the semester.  Donna will stay till  the end of the week, when Estela, our dear friend, will take over for 10 days.

So tomorrow will be a special day. Though Margie is tired and is having stomach pain, she wants to join her walking friends for breakfast at the beach.  We will then contact her GI doctor to be sure that he knows her current symptoms. We will also get a prescription for the Prilosec that helps her tummy (prescription = possible insurance coverage).

Ceci and Donna look forward to more relaxed and healing time with Mom on Monday.

love to everyone!

March 29th (Steve Ford's Birthday!)

Margie got up at 7:30.  Her blood pressure and temperature were in good shape.
Margie, Ceci and Donna are going for breakfast at Margie's old haunt, The Tree House (part of the Pepper Tree Best Western on State).  We will meet Donna's sister-in-law, Carol, and two nephews, Mark and Cole. Mom will call Steve to wish him happy birthday before we go out.

Mom's tummy is aching a bit, but she is in good cheer. She's taken her acid fighting medicine and is ready to eat. Yesterday she was a reluctant eater, but that's to be expected on the 4th day after chemo administration.

Ceci will stay with Margie today. Ceci has lots of papers to comment on for her graduate class. Margie has letters to write and resting to do.  Donna will be off with her family having fun.

Anabel returns from Berkeley today.  Ceci leaves for Madison on Tuesday, very early.

Margie wants to have Monday breakfast with here walker friends.

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27th

Marjorie is tired after 5.5 hours of chemo yesterday. 
She had lovely foot reflexology at 9 Am this morning.  She then returned to her home at Vista del Monte and had the clinic check her blood pressure. It looks high, so she is adding to her blood pressure medications (she had cut back on these when her blood pressure dropped due to the internal bleed a couple of weeks back).  Margie napped through the lunch hour, but Ceci and Donna went to the Vista del Monte dining room and picked up a great salad. 

We have just mixed the salad with Margie's leftover chicken teriaki from Edo Masa last night. She is enjoying her chicken salad on the balcony, taking in fresh air as well.  She says it is a fabulous salad (a pretty good review for a woman on chemo).

So all is quiet here. 

Ceci leaves on Tuesday (early early), and Donna stays on till Saturday.  Estela (a family friend and a woman who cared for our father in the last decade of the time he still lived in Northridge) will take over from Donna.  Estela will stay on for 10 days. 

Then,... at last!... Margie's chemo will be behind her!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

At last the final chemo treatment!

Margie will have her final round of chemo today, Thursday the 26th.  Her blood worked looked good and safe for the last treatment, and her stomach has been doing well with the right medication.   

Donna and I will trade off keeping Margie company for the 5 hours she'll be sitting with the drugs filtering into her.  

We expect her to have the same kind of slump over the weekend and through next week as she has had in those stages during previous rounds. However, we do not expect that there will be the very scary symptoms that alerted us to her blood loss two weeks ago.

Margie cherishes hearing of all you good wishes, and she delights in the notes and cards you all have sent.  I am sure that you know this, even if she's not had the energy to write or call in thanks.

Margie does her exercises

Marjorie's pilates teacher, Sabrina, was leading her through some quad strength exercises yesterday (March 24th). 

Notice how Margie cheats in her counting. How'd she jump from 3 to 5 there?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22nd and all is well...

Marjorie ate a hearty breakfast and lunch.  She visited with Helen Frederick, and took a 30 minute walk with Ceci. All this before 3 PM!   For the afternoon, she plans to call Steve and to nap a bit. Ceci and Margie will watch "A Mighty Wind" tonight. If you haven't seen this funny "mock-umentary" yet, we recommend it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 21, 2009

Marjorie is doing wonderfully. 
Time away from the blows of chemo is precious and even delightful. 

Ceci and Margie went to hear Sandy Thompson in a choral recital today in Santa Barbara at the Methodist Church on Anapamu and Garden... beautiful! 

They then got the DVD "Best in Show" and laughed as they ate a light dinner and watched this funny "mockumentary" spoofing dog shows.  

Marjorie is tired but in great spirits. Full of laughter, as ever, and sending love to all her relations and friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

no chemo this week

The oncologist decided yesterday that the 4th chemo will be delayed till next week (March 26th). Margie is healing from the weekend procedure (cauterizing bleeding ulcer) at home and sounds pretty good, though still weary. We hope the 4 units of blood she got at the hospital strengthens her.

Her daughter, Ceci, arrives in SB on Thursday. She will stay through next week, and Ceci's partner, Donna, will come to help Mom through the next chemo and the week that follows.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Margie back at Vista

We are happy to report that Margorie is home in her apartment again at Vista. Steve and family are visiting, but mostly Steve is caring for Mom.

Anabel has been on duty 24/7 taking care of absolutely everything. She will continue with this till Donna and Ceci arrive on Tuesday afternoon.

We will let you all know what the oncologist says.  Margie is scheduled for the last chemo round this Wednesday, but after so much blood loss this past week, we don't know if another treatment will be advisable right now.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Margie has now had an upper GI exam. They did find an ulcer and have cauterized it. Margie is getting a 4th transfusion. Steve and Annie have been with her at Cottage hospital. She is in good spirits and happy that it was her regular GI DR who did the job on her.

Taking no aspirin during chemo is one move she must make. Another is to take Prilosec to reduce the GI problems. Chemo does affect all fast growing cells, and stomach lining is one of those cell types.

Margie may be going home Sunday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The latest news is that Margie is being admitted to Cottage tonight (,March 13th). She has been very weak; her blood pressure was falling; and finally Vista insisted that she get to the ER.  She has incredibly low hematacrit (5!  you and I would be low 11, 8 is the baseline before transfusion).  It maybe a stomach ulcer.  They will do GI work ups tomorrow.  Of course, we wish we were there with her already.  
Annie says Margie still in great spirits -- and the nurses at Cottage can't believe she looks so good with such terribly low red cells.  That's our Margie!
I don't believe that the oncologist will do the 4th chemo treatment next week.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March 9th
Margie continues to do pretty well.  She correctly identified that she had a urinary tract infection, and the Vista Health Clinic got on top of it.  Margie is now taking a medication for that and is responding well.  These infections can cause confusion and fatigue, so maybe she'll do even better in a few days.

In the meantime, she's still getting some time in exercising in the Vista pool, and her pilates instructor, Sabrina, has been keeping her up on other exercises. Margie is getting free foot reflexology and Reiki through Breast Cancer Resource Center. Donna reports that Margie comes out of those treatments in a fully blissed-out state!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hi everyone,(from Donna to kids - keep substituting Majorie for your mom!)
March 3rd

Your mom is napping peacefully at this time so I thought I send you all the latest.

After I wrote you that note yesterday your mom complained of feeling "queasy" and nauseous.  I asked her when it started and she told me while she was going through her mail.  She did not eat much for lunch yesterday other than an orange.  It was close to dinner time so I gave her a compazine/her antinausea medication.  We then both went to dining area and decided to bring the meal back to  the apartment.  When we returned to the apartment she leaned up against the wall and said "I feel terrible, I think I'm going to vomit."  We then spent about 5 mins next to the "porcelain goddess" without any results.  She decided to lay down in bed and was there for about 30 or 40 mins.  By that time her medication started working and she felt good enough to get up and eat some veggies and rice.  The remainder of the night she felt okay and stayed up until 10:30 doing things in her room.

I have a feeling that worrying about her mail is effecting her.  She says she "hates" to go to the mailbox because there is so much to deal with.  She is having a difficult time handling bills and appointment notices and feels at times very overwhelmed.  I am now sorting through her mail with her and trying to ease her mind.  

Today she had a Reiki appointment at 8:30 and afterwards she was soooo......... relaxed.  It's like a transformation in her.  We stopped at the bank and made a deposit of 2 checks she had received.  She had difficulties with making out the deposit slip so I did it for her.  I also sent a change of address to the company that sent her the checks.

We returned to the apartment and Sabrina worked with her at 10:30-11:30.  After that she went to the pool and then picked up lunch from the dining room.

While she was working out with Sabrina and swimming I took off and rented a bike in town.  Unfortunately I made a wrong turn out of a parking structure with a friendly policeman behind me.  He got me!  My first ticket ever.  I tried to tell him I was just a midwesterner visiting but, it went nowhere.  Oh well, at least I wasn't speeding and the bike ride was great!!

Tomorrow is another day with a full schedule, I'm sure you'll be hearing from me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1st Update on Marjorie

More news from Donna on Marjorie (just substitute her name for "your mom"):

Yesterday your mom started to feel what she calls "punk" and was more fatigued.  It was a day of rest for her though, she did go to the dining room for breakfast and to the pool in the afternoon.  She had less of an appetite yesterday mostly just nibbling on things.  I did get her some Miso soup from Gelson's  (which she asked for) and she ate a nice size bowl of it.  She says that "things just don't taste right" which is most likely related to the Chemo.  This morning she surprised me and ate a half of a Denver omelet,  a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of OJ, I praised her as she had a better appetite then I.

In the last day I have started giving her the Claritin, tylenol and Ibuprofen for her "aches."  She told me at breakfast that she feels "nervous like"  with "adrenilin flowing through me" .  Her BP, pulse and temp have remained normal.  My thought is she may be experiencing some anxiety and also that this may be another one of those chemo side effects.  If I remember correctly she described these feelings to me the last time she had chemo.  She continues to remain a trooper through all of these side effects and informs me now that she plans on going to the pool this afternoon.

The swelling in her right arm is almost gone but, her right hand still has some puffiness to it.   She has been wearing her support sleeves daily and holding her arm up in the air whenever she thinks of it:)

As far as her weight goes I do remember she was weighed in prior to her second chemo with her jacket and fanny pack on.  That definitly makes a difference!  But, I seem to remember that at one point maybe around her surgery she weighed close to 130 lbs.  I think maybe I'll skim through her medical reports here at the house and see what I can find.  If there is a scale down at the workout center/pool area I may just weigh her there.

Speaking  of the pool, I'll try to type up an easier schedule for her and Anabel to have.

Your mom's schedule of events for the week is as follows:  Reiki on Tues/Fri, Sabrina on Tues/Wed/Thurs, Sonja on Wed, and last but, far from least is lunch and a movie at Patricia's house on Thurs.   I here Patricia has a "fabulous place" so I'm looking forward to going.