Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The sports of the weekend

Well, it was a good weekend for sports, locally speaking. While Harvard was losing the game in the third, we switched over to TVG to watch the running of the Stuyvesant, in which our friends Joe & Mary Grant had two of their boys, Dr. Rockett and the ever classy Evening Attire running. Well, with new jockey Jose Santos aboard, Attire ran his race, rating close to the leaders, and got the win.

When we switched back to the game, Harvard had tied it up! And won in Ivy League's first triple OT. A winning season, to be sure.

Then the next dday, Tony Stewart won his second NASCAR championship. I am so happy for Tony -- the move from Lake Charlotte, where all the big name drivers live, back to Columbus, IN., has made a huge impact, and he seems much happier this year.

Jack Roush is a whining baby. Kust Busch made a bad mistake, but Roush is not acting like a grown-up about it all. I am delighted his teams were defeated by Tony in his Joe Gibbs racing 2 car team.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

This is how I warned my colleagues yesterday...

On the day I reached the halfway point of my treament.

I am grumpy, and I am going to be bald.

So please forgive me for the next few weeks. The bald I can deal with (if I have to, to quote Red Green), but the current dose of 16 mg of Decadron a day is something else. (Melissa has already made me one stylin’ new hat, and she’s going to be awfully busy for a while. I think the most disconcerting thing was reading, “You will lose your hair. It may or may not come back.” Argh!!!)

I am undergoing whole brain radiation to get rid of a few pesky remnants. I am halfway through treatment as of today. Yes, there is champagne on the agenda. I finish up on December 2, and I hope to be tapering off the steroid this week, but Decadron does lead to mood swings, so if I utter a less than cheery good morning in the mail room, please know it has nothing to do with you – everyone here has been outstanding through a very long period of this. I was talking with Connie, my radiation tech this morning, and we were both saying how very fortunate I am to work in such an office, with such understanding, and with such supportive colleagues.

Thank you all. You’re the best Thanksgiving present a soon to be bald and already grumpy woman could have. ;-)

And that goes for the people -- most of them, anyway, who read and respond to my blog. Thanks for your support. We're out there, kickin' butt!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let's hope for a warm winter....

Sorry I've been incommunicado. I was scheduled for a follow-up MRI at Dartmouth today, but a few weeks ago, I noticed I was feeling... different. So I called and asked if they could move it up a couple of weeks, which they did.

Dr. Hartford himself wasn't sure he saw any growth on the MRI, but the radiologist did (grrrr). Oh, also, I had been throwing up every morning, and no pregnancy jokes, please. All three doctors, Hartford, Bonnem, and the wonderful Dr. Singh, agreed it's time for whole brain radiation.

Whatever you do, do NOT Google WBR. It will tell you terrible things. Scary things. Things I did not need to read, frankly. I did ultimately find a good Canadian website, but still. I can get the radiation done at the hospital in Dover -- 20 minutes away as opposed to 2 hours. Dr. Hartford suggested two treatments a day. Dr. Singh didn't think that was necessary, so I have one treatment a day, for fourteen days. Two down, twelve to go.

Of course, one of the side effects is hair loss. Melissa has already purchased a book of knitted hat patterns. Keeping her in check should be amusing!

But let me tell you about the meeting with Dr. Singh. He was very positive. It looks as though with all the radiosurgery and regularly surgery, we got the core of the tumor, but it keeps sending out these damn tendrils. Whole brain gives us he chance now to get everything, to wipe out any little cancer cells that are even thinking of showing up. I also asked him what it meant to him that the cerebral spinal fluids have been clear for quite a while now -- almost since that first chemo in July. He said it was huge, and wonderful, because it meant there was no other "burden of disease." Which made me feel good. He also said I shouldn't experience any burn such as I did with chest radiation, thank heavens.

I've now had three kinds of head/face apparatus for keeping me still during radiation, and fitting this last one was the worst, strangely. Worse than having little holes drilled in my head, even. It's a piece of plastic mesh that they soak in hot water to make it malleable. Then it is pressed over one's face, completely. I managed it -- they also did the measurements, so it took a while -- but I was very happy when they removed it.

It was a relief, therefore, yesterday, my first treatment, to discover that the hardened mask was a lot less scary.

Each treatment, by the way, consists of two 20 second blasts. That's it.

Other good news -- the tech is Connie, who was the RT when I had chest radiation done two years ago. Another confidence booster.

I finish up on December 2. Christmas will be a smaller affair this year -- we've opted not to have our usual party -- but I anticipate starting off 2006 completely clear and cancer free.

And with some stylin' new hats.