Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunshine on the way


Monday, April 23, 2007

Call me Harold Crick

My life. Interesting to me. Others? Hmmm........ I guess it all depends on whether or not you enjoy watching everyman(woman?) live his(her?) life.

Today was my second six month follow-up with my Radiation Oncologist. This is the last of my follow-ups for this round. I will start another round in 4 months. Each round goes about 2 months in order for me to see all of my doctors. I have also thrown in Optometrist and Dentist with that group since I have to see them regularly as well.

All went well with the check-up and I continue to exhibit signs of being a healthy, cancer-free human being. The energy level is coming back although there are still days of fatigue that pop out of nowhere just when I am least expecting them.

Today is one of those days. I feel like a narcoleptic in action (or perhaps inaction). Working on Excel today, I actually dozed off in the middle of copying a formula down into a group of cells. I snapped out of it rather quickly but not before copying formula all over the spreadsheet and having to start over again. It is not necessarily that I feel tired but rather fatigued. For those of you that have not experienced it, the difference is difficult to explain. I guess feeling tired means that you feel it is temporary and you may get over it if you just rest or sleep. Feeling fatigued is with you from the moment you wake up and is attached to a lethargy, heaviness of the body and bones and general feeling like this will never go away and I will never be able to move at a pace faster than a snail under water. Anyway, the fatigue does indeed go away sometimes and these days, those times of non-fatigue are getting longer and longer - thank goodness. I do have to keep reminding myself that I am only 2 1/2 months past my last surgery and 5 1/2 months past my last Herceptin treatment - not a long time at all.

On other notes, life outside of cancer does go on. Friday eve, it was off to Bay Meadows for an evening of $1 admission, $1 hotdogs and $1 beer. The parking, unfortunately, was still $4. Altogether, the whole evening cost me $15 and that was even with buying my friend Diane popcorn, beer and hotdog, too since I arrived first and the lines were long. It was good fun and there was a band for some dancing. I can't honestly tell you which horses raced or how they did but they were sure beautiful and it was exciting watching them run.

Saturday dawned early with clouds and rain. I decided it was a good day to lounge in bed a little longer with the dogs and a magazine. Finally, I got up and went to pick up my new contact lenses and some groceries. About that time, the guy I had called to clean up the yard, called and decided he would come over to give me an estimate. Yes, for the first time in my life, I had someone else working on my yard besides myself. After 10 years, this year's freezes and this year's rain, the yard had finally gotten out of my control. I just didn't have the time, energy or leaf bin space to clean it up so called a guy to come in for a one-time clean-up. Best thing I could have done for that yard. He and his one-man crew got everything, except the weeds and rose bushes shaped up in just a little over 2 hours. I worked on the weeds and filled my whole leaf bin myself while he took away a truckload and the equivalent of 4 more leafbins in barrels tied to the top of the stack. The front yard cleanup will follow this week. Needless to say, after all of that, I was tired out Sat afternoon and decided to take a nice bath and read a book until bedtime.

On Sunday, it was so nice to once again see the sunshine. Hooray! I got up and headed off to my 8AM Yoga class. Afterword, feeling invigorated, I grabbed a Mint Mocha and headed off to Costco for grocery shopping. Can you believe that there was a big line just to get in on a Sunday morning? I thought there might be some kind of special going on but, NO, it was business as usual and just folks out shopping.

I really thought at this point I would be able to take a break and read the paper, watch a video but, when I got home, I realized that I needed to mow the lawn so I got the mower out and mowed the lawn. Then the pots on the way up the front walk caught my attention and I decided that they needed trimming and cleaning out. A couple of hours later, I finished filling the leaf bin and left the rest (all the big stuff) for the gardener to come in and clean out. Now, I thought, I will rest but then I remembered that it was Earth Day, and, in the spirit of my ongoing efforts to "let go" and clean out my house, I remembered that I had a computer monitor which the dog had chewed in his panic attack and a TV that had a blue screen where the picture should have been so I loaded them both in the car and drove off to WalMart where the ASL folks were waiting to receive them.

They were very nice and gave me a nice blue disk to plant in the ground that they told me would grow wild flowers. They also gave me a card that was worth $50 somewhere at some merchant on some thing - all unknown. I went home and looked it up but no details posted yet on the website.

I planted the blue disk in one of the pots I had cleaned out that morning. Now, I thought, I can take a break but discovered I only had 1/2 hour before it was time for my afternoon workout at the gym with the Paddle Past Cancer team. I sat for 1/2 hour and then headed off to the gym. My good intentions were thwarted by an accident on 101 that closed off all lanes of the freeway. Arriving at the gym 45 minutes late, I found that they had only just finished warmups and were starting the main part of the workout. 2 hours later we were finished and hungry. Chinese food sounded really good so we headed off for dinner. I finally got home late that evening and crashed. It was a good day but very busy. At the end, I was more happy and grateful than ever that I had had help with the gardening. Now, if I could just get a helping hand around the house for all of these chores that I am trying to catch up on.

Another recycling day comes on Tuesday and, once again, my bins are full. Yeah! Some day, I will finish with all of the letting go and my recycling will return to a normal level (except the leaf bin of course) but that day is not in sight yet.

It does feel good to have an emptier house, emptier closets, etc. Everything feels so much lighter. Now if I could only get this extra 19 pounds off of me that found its way on after I started work again.

As Roseanne Roseanna Danna used to say, "Its always something"..........

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Stuff, stuff, stuff

First of all, the most urgent order of business. When will the reign of Sanjaya end? Although his Besame Mucho last week was very impressive (although the sleazy looking goaty and hair made my skin crawl), he came back this week with his usual mediocre to unlistenableness. I think it is really time to say bye, bye. The entertainment factor for me is gone, gone, gone........

And, on to more serious stuff.....hmmmm.........Here I sit. I am very happy to be working. Projects are great and give me a chance to really focus undisturbed since no one knows who I am and therefore, I am not constantly interupted by phone calls. The only problem is that I finish too quickly. Then I look for more to do and go the one step further and finally, with nothing more, I sit and wait for the next project to come my way. I know there is lots to do but the person doling it out is too busy to do any doling. Oh woe. In the meantime, I have cleaned up all of my emails, made my charitable donations, caught up on my phone calls and planned my trip to LA. I am starting to run out of things that I can do outside of my house and have no small amount of guilt for sitting here doing other things while I am waiting and waiting and waiting. And now, I am catching up on my Blog. So, although this all sounds like a sob story, it really isn't. After all, how many folks get paid to clean up their own emails? Funny as it sounds though, I would rather be contributing something in return for the money they are putting into my bank account.

I guess that is about all I have to say. Wow! How boring. Oh well, sometimes boring is good. No disasters happening. Will have to post some new painting photos soon. Have to get the film developed first.

The Contact Lenses are doing fine.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Letting Go: The continuing saga

Slowly, slowly, I am getting through this 20 years of storage and filing in my study. For every step forward, it feels like there is one back as the piles tend to multiply and gather on their own. Yesterday was a rainy day and a good day to stay in and file. Unusually, I found myself with a large block of free time. 8 hours later, my desk was once again cleaned off and caught up. I made it through the latest bag of filing which meant I was living primarily in 2006-7.

This morning, I went off to yoga. The class got me energized and ready to go again. I even did a handstand (with the help of the teacher) for only the second time since I hit my 30's. It was exhilirating. However, as I tried by myself before hand, I came down wrong on my right foot and jammed my ankle - the first yoga injury I had ever had. It felt okay and I finished out the class. However, after 5 hours of filing at home, it turned very red and swelled up causing a great deal of pain and difficulty in walking. I downed a Vicodin, ate some dinner and got off my foot for a little while before heading back in to file for another couple of hours.

So, today, I was living in the mid to late 90's and early 2000's as I once again delved back into the historic filing. It is very tedious work, even with all of the mail sorted by credit card company, insurance, medical, etc. Every envelope must be opened, the bill or other item removed and either put into a pile for filing or shredded. One whole stack of insurance mail actually turned out to be all of the old insurance bills for my beloved Capri which was crushed last year. Needless to say, I didn't need them and they were shredded but only after I had to open every single envelope to see if they were the bills for the Capri. All of that hard work took me only through half of a box of filing and one bag. There are still 9 more boxes to go so you can see what a daunting task this is. However, I must say that I have already accomplished a good deal although I don't know what it would add up to in numbers of boxes.

The upside of all of this is that the more I get my house cleaned up and emptied out, the lighter and less burdened I feel. It is a wonderful feeling. Whenever, my emotions start to get the best of me and I want to hand on to something, I think to myself, "What if I died tomorrow, would anyone else care about this or would it just be a hassle for my family to have to look through and figure out if it is important or not?" The answer is that it really isn't important and is just an emotional tie that must be cut. And so it goes.................... My second job - 8 hours/day is about all I can take of it and that is pushing it.

Well, the recycling bin is once again full and won't be emptied for another week so I have a reprieve for the week. But never fear, the leaf bin is empty so it will be out to the yard to fill that up during this week and next weekend...............

Wow, this is the most boring blog but it does me good to get it off of my chest and when I go back and read it I feel as if I have actually accomplished something. Yahoo!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What you doing?

This is the question so often asked by my nieces these days. I am not even sure if they care as much about the answer as they do asking the question. :) Anyway, it is fun.

So, what am I doing? Still working. Still on 8 hour days - amazing. The trash man finally came yesterday and emptied the recycling bins so now I am ready to fill them up again. However, in the interim of "waiting" for him to come, I have managed to fill my time with other things to do. Lots of things!

I went to see Smokey Joe's cafe and suffice it to say was underwhelmed. Snarfdog says it so well on her blog that I will let you read the comments there. It is right over to your right. Just click on thoughts from a delirious mind.

I am also still pre-occupied with many doctors appts. Twice at the Optometrist since I am being fitted for the contacts I am now wearing. It is required that one try various different strengths to see which works best for them. I can't honestly tell between a 1.25, 1.50 and 1.75 and the clarity seems to depend more on the time of day for me or how dehydrated I am or various other factors which do not seem to have much to do with the strength of the lenses. Anyway, that seems to be sorting itself out.

I also have to get my Port flushed every 4 - 6 weeks and that comes up more often than you would think!

This month also brings my regular 6-month dental check-up and my 6-month follow-up with my Radiation Oncologist. Seriously, I wonder how folks manage to work. All these appointments just don't conveniently fit into my lunch hour.

What else? Time for my car's 6-month check-up and had one day bringing that in.

Besides all of that, I do have my commitments to ATW, USC Leadership and FieldDay. And, it is the time of year for recognition luncheons for CBHP and Palo Alto Animal Services. I keep thinking that I need to drop one of these volunteer things but can never decide which. And I enjoy them all.

And......it was tax month so I had to put them together, see my tax man and then pick them up. Just a few more minutes added to a busy schedule.

Saturdays bring workouts for Dragon Boat - although I have been so busy that I haven't made a one yet and am looking forward to my first one this Saturday - especially since our first race is May 12. Sunday morning is yoga day.

And, I do love to see my family and friends so there are a few lunches and dinners scheduled in there.

So, I ask you, "when does one have time to do yard work and shred papers in the study, not to mention vaccuming, dishes, dusting and bathrooms?"

Oh yeah.......there is the dating thing. Not that I have had time for it lately. Maybe now that taxes are over, I can use that slot for dating if I ever find anyone to date......haha. eHarmony continues to be disappointing and I have only gotten one date (who infamously moved to Dallas). Two on the line now so will see how that goes. My photo doesn't show until about the 3rd step of the process. Many of the guys close the match at the first step because they can't see my photo then. Oh well, that is much too shallow for me. Some of them that make it to the third step and then see the photo, close the match with some flimsy excuse. Still shallow and a little hurtful because they didn't like my photo- hmmmm....... So far, only 3 have made it beyond that point. So much for eHarmony's questionnaires, careful matching, etc., etc.

And, in my real life, outside of the e-Dating world, I don't know of any single men at all - except for my nieces friends and forgive me for not being interested in 21 year olds. So what is a girl to do?

Haven't said much about the job but it continues to go well. I am on an interesting assignment and working on some good projects. It is nice to be appreciated and to get paid for it! Yeah!

Back to work.........What you doing?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Just a short break

Just a short break from work to make a little post to keep up in my blogger world.

Since the Amazon excitement, I have not sold another book yet. Guess I have to wait another 54 days. sigh........ The money is now being deposited in my checking acount. How exciting. Well it was for me anyway!

Working and actually making a living wage at something I love doing has added a little spark of energy, that I didn't know I had, to my life. The same thing happens when I manage to get a date with a great guy. I guess, all in all, that a little change now and then is good.

Trying to take advantage of the energy while I have it, I used one of my days off last week to mow the lawn and clip back a lot of the overgrown plants in the front yard. This left the leaf bin full and me very tired - exhausted. I did manage a walk with the dogs after that. Of course, they were thrilled. All of this may not sound like much but you have probably not seen my yard. My hard work barely made a dent. The frost and rains of this winter either killed a plant or caused it to grow like wildfire. Either way, it makes for a lot of cleanup work.

Having filled the leaf bin and being forced to wait the pre-requisite 2 weeks (yes, the recycling is only picked up once every two weeks in this town), I moved on to filling the paper bin. Back to my study and my letting go project which is getting much easier as I go along. It is tough to put aside the emotional attachments to some items but the more I do it, the better I get at it. I was a shredding queen on Sunday and filled that bin right up. Like my yard though, this barely made a dent and there is much more to do. The good thing is that my desk got cleaned off and dusted for probably the first time in 4 years. There was always too much paperwork there before.

And the dogs are getting walked again - good for them and for me.

Made my yearly visit to the eye doctor and found that they now have come out with new progressive contacts. I am trying them out. At first, everything was quite blurry and I had to really look down my nose to read anything. This made me feel like I was walking around with my eyes closed all of the time. It has taken a number of days but the blurriness is finally going away and I seem to be managing to read things with my eyes actually open. This is all nice and good although I still forget and reach for my glasses sometimes.

And what about the dating, you ask? Wish I had as much good news there as everywhere else but, alas, nothing new on that front. I know that he is looking for me out there somewhere. Come out, come out wherever you are...........