April 25, 2011

Wow, it’s been forever since I’ve updated. Sorry. I didn’t realize it had been so long until Julie reminded me. Spring is what I call “special event season” at work, and I guess I just got busy and forgot to blog!


Things are still going well. I’ve been back at work full time since the last entry. It has taken a while to recover energy and stamina, I will admit. We’ve taken to calling February’s illness the “great incident of 2011.” Especially since no real cause was ever pinpointed. Flu, fatigue, being run down, whatever, it has passed. It left many lessons in its wake: listen when your body says STOP being one of the main ones. Any of the warning signs experienced during that illness bring me to an abrupt standstill. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) is in any rush to do that again! Another lesson: avoid stress and concentrate on the important things.

Meanwhile, I had a check up with Dr. Smith last week. I am doing OK. However, the tumor markers are still inching up. SO, he has taken me off Tamoxifen and we’re going to the double dose of Faslodex. His words: “You still look good. We want to make a change before you DON’T look good. Good way to put into perspective. But I have to admit, I was a bit bummed by that. The Tamoxifen has very few side effects, so I didn’t mind taking it. But obviously it’s not working. Hey, maybe that’s why there are few side effects.

For those that don’t know, the Faslodex is also a hormone blocking treatment. It is delivered by injection. Intramuscular. In the hip. And yes, a double dose means in both hips. I took the single dose for 18 months prior to the Tamoxifen. New research shows the double dose to have more effect in some cases. (that’s the great thing about Dr. Smith–he is always keeping up with research and looking for new options.) That’s the good news. The bad news: OUCH! :0} Seriously. The injections can cause baseball sized knots in the muscle for a few days. Well, OK, maybe they’re golf balls. Whatever……….lol. Try finding a comfy position to sleep in when you’ve got that on both sides, lol. The soreness can also radiate down the leg, if the injection touches a nerve. Thank heaven for the pain meds. SO Friday night after the shot I slept sitting up, pretty much. And Saturday night, well, with the storms I didn’t even worry about it. I just sat on my heating pad and watched Shane Holinde tell us about tornadoes, lightning strikes, and flash floods (thanks, Shane, for keeping us safe). But the soreness passes after 2 or 3 days. By Monday I still have the bruise and the knots, but the pain is pretty much on its way out. All in all, totally bearable if it does its job.

Easter was a wonderful holiday. The choir did a beautiful job for Palm Sunday and again on Easter. Then we spent a wonderful afternoon with friends. Though Mike and I have had nasty colds all week, we thoroughly enjoyed Easter Sunday with Elizabeth Honeycutt and friends. How blessed we are. And we are blessed to have other “framily” around us, too, like Shreves, Prides, Walkers, and Coles. Plus I spoke got to talk to my “sister” Debbie today. Made the day special.

I am still trying to put my priorities in order more now. It’s amazing how other people’s drama and emergencies don’t seem so important any longer. If you know me you’ll fall over at this one: recently in a meeting someone made sort of an underhanded snide remark–pretty sure they thought I didn’t catch it. I let it pass instead of shooting back. What good would it do? And how important was it? Not important at all. Certainly not life changing. Maybe that’s God’s influence giving me more peace than I used to have. I hope so. Who knows: Maybe if I refuse to fall into the trap of pettiness then maybe that pettiness will just dissolve. We can only hope, right?

Another really cool thing: I’ve been blessed to find “house help,” as Jan Karon calls it in her books. My neighbor Carla told me about her wonderful housekeeper. Not only is Julia a blessing because she helps so much around the house, she is a blessing because she is so sweet and kind. I think God has put her in my life for a reason.

Please send prayers to our dear friends the Russells. Bill has been diagnosed with 4 or 5 heart blockages today and is in ICU tonight. Please pray for him and for Anna. He is such a dear, dear friend. And such a good man. All the best to the whole family.

Spring is promising wonderful times with friends. As soon as the nasties (this stupid cold) passes I plan to take Emily and Sydney to The Paintin’ Place for some girl time. Who knew teenagers could breathe so much life into the old girl?

I will try to do a better job of updating in the coming weeks. I value everyone’s best wishes and prayers. Now, everyone go hug someone special. Be sure to tell your family how much your love them, every day. And your friends, too. Every minute of every day.

Until next time, Love and blessings, Anne