The Stacey Report

June 6, 2006: Countdown to the Relay for Life

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on June 6, 2006

I’m in vigorous training (snort) for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which cometh apace on June 9! Thank you to everyone who has donated already! For those of you who have been planning to donate, please click on the link of your choice on the sidebar under “How You Can Help.” You can donate via Stacey’s Sister, Stacey’s Son, or Stacey’s Stepfather! Hanley will be in town for the weekend and thought he might enjoy a leisurely stroll…

Actually, go ahead and click on Stacey’s Son. Lyle is really interested in “trouncing” me. (Yes, he is 13 and yes, he really said “trouncing.” Those of you who know Lyle personally did not question it for a second, I know.)

It’s Shameless Plug time again, and today’s plug goes to Chris the shoe guy at REI in Framingham! (Yes, it’s the one next to Kinko’s that’s kind of hard to get to if you’re westbound on Rt. 30. Their slogan, “REI: It’s Worth the U-Turn!”)

So, I went to REI for some decent walking shoes; as many of you know from my frequent whining, I have Hallux Valgus, more commonly known as a great big bunion, in my left foot. I no longer have Hallux Valgus in my right foot because it was surgically corrected two years ago by the fantabulous Dr. James Stewart. (OK, two shameless plugs.)

This means that it is not extra comfy for me to walk long distances, and I knew that I would definitely need good shoes to pull this off. Chris the Shoe Guy helped me find the right pair of Merrells, added a fantastic arch support insole, and even sold me on these nifty double layer anti-blister running socks. OK, now you’re thinking, that sounds like a lot of stuff, sounds like just a really good salesman. I’ll give you that, but he was also entirely pleasant company, completely non-pushy, and I personally saw him handle up to four customers at once with complete Zen calm. So, everyone go buy shoes!

Oh, right, Stacey. Let me IM her and see how she feels.

Here’s the abridged reply:
“Other than the hips and the puking I feel ok. [My] hips [are] still creaky, but still better than on weekend. I vomited lustily this morning for no particular reason. I have been eating ok, though ok is relative, of course. Still not into much beyond pasta, Auntie’s soup, potatoes, corn, some fruit. Oh, guacamole and chips are good. Any salty snack goes down well.”

My favorite part, and the Stacey’s Sister watchword for the day…

“No pity, people, just Pringles!”

June 5, 2006: A Retraction

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on June 5, 2006

Apparently, I misunderstood Stacey’s tale of blood drawing woe. In fact, getting the IV team was a story related to her by someone else in the office. And, most importantly, the oncology staff at NWH is EXCELLENT in every way, including drawing blood. They never have any problem, and the poking around and “right here!” problems came about when Stacey was having tests done all over the hospital and running into people with varying levels of needle-sticking skills.

So. There you go.

In other news, Stacey is feeling better after last week’s chemo, and her hip is giving her less pain than it was over the weekend. It seems to her that the more active she is, the better it feels, so we’re taking turns coming up with realy important reasons for her to get our butts out of bed on weekend mornings. (I do not have a medical need to do this, I’ll just be a lazy cow all day if I don’t.)

So far, the most compelling suggestion is strawberry picking at Tougas Family Farm, God bless ’em. The strawberries are not quite in, but soon! As many of you know, the fruit picking season is a GREAT BIG DEAL around here, as Stacey and I both make jam and other yummies, most of which go into Christmas gift baskets. The best time to go, by the way, is on thursday or friday mornings, very early, when it’s just Stacey, me, and a whole bunch of elderly Yankee Ladies, all of us industriously picking fruit. Bliss.

June 3, 2006: Fundraising Amendment, and Chemo Report

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on June 3, 2006

I have been reprimanded for a lack of proper marketing of my nephew’s Relay for Life donation page. So here is the fundraising amendment:

Please support Lyle (Stacey’s Son) in his Relay for Life walk; to make a donation online, click on this link to go to…

—> LYLE’S DONATION PAGE!

I have also added Lyle’s page to the sidebar on the right, so click away!
Meanwhile, in other news…
Stacey’s second chemo treatment went well, medically speaking. It has been a difficult week physically and emotionally speaking. The morning of the scheduled chemo treatment, Stacey found herself nauseated and vomiting, even though the physical effects of the first chemo treatment had subsided and she had felt well the day before. When she mentioned this to her Oncologist, Dr. Browne said that that is very common and even has a name: Anticipatory Nausea. Add to this a very strong survival instinct to NOT go back to the Chemo Cafe, and you have the makings of a very unpleasant morning.
Stacey started the treatment visit with a check-in with Dr. Browne. She explained about the Anticipatory Nausea and, after a quick exam, said that the lump and the swelling continue to shrink and that she’s very pleased with Stacey’s reaction to the treatments. They also discussed the fact that Stacey’s body is trying to ovulate in the midst of this crazy hormone storm (I neglected to ask exactly how Stacey knew this). Dr Browne said that some women continue to have periods throughout chemo, some have fewer, some stop at all. Interesting fact: women who do NOT resume normal menses after chemotherapy have fewer recurreces of the cancer. At which point Stacey said “I’m all for menopause; bring it on!”
After the check-in, Stacey went to get her treatment (got her favorite room again). Because of the extra Zometa (bone glue!) treatment, the whole deal took three hours this time, but she said that it seemed to go faster. She has also started ordering the nurses around, specifically about drawing blood. Each of us has one good spot, left arm, right where the crease from the bend is. This week, after a lot of random needle sticks, Stacey pointed to the spot and said “There. Put the needle right there.” The nurse said “Well, I don’t feel anything, but I believe you…” stuck the needle in and hit the vein right off. Next week, Stacey is going to ask for someone from the IV team to come and do it, no more messing around.
The day after chemo wasn’t bad, but the next day was pretty horrible. Whether it was the treatment or the rainy day, Stacey’s hip was very painful and she was limping quite a bit. She felt very unwell (a lot of gagging but no actual puking) and just to put the cherry on top, her hair has started to fall out. As most of you know, Stacey has very thick hair, so it will take a while for the loss to really show, but she could essentially pull it out by the handful if she wanted to. Which of course she does NOT, thank you very much.
That happened to be the day we were scheduled to go on our wig-finding expedition. We had made an appointment at Merle Norman in Framingham, and they were very pleasant and helpful. Stacey tried on three or four different wigs, and found one that looks very much like her own hair, which is nice. She also bought a sleep cap (right now, to keep her hair from falling out all over the bed, and later, to keep her head warm at night) and a pre-shaped bandana thingie, which will be very easy to throw on. We are also waiting for something in the mail from Doma Designs, a headwrap with instructions for eleventy-jillion ways to tie a scarf.
No matter how much fun it may be to go and try on wigs (and from Stacey’s reactions, I’m going to venture to say that it was exactly NO fun) and learn how to tie scarves, the fact remains that losing your hair is really rotten. Truly, insult to injury. In general, this has been a pretty tough week, and yet Stacey’s attitude is one of righteous indignation rather than self-pity. I think cancer may have picked on the wrong girl.