Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Way too long since my last post.  I'll give it another shot and try to stick with it, but have to figure out how to make this blog more visible on the net - so, will do some research when I'm finished here and hopefully get some more readers.

Health is still good (knock on wood).  I'm 62 now and last checkup was April of '14 and everything looked good. Of course, I no longer go to my Onocologist because I'm so far out, but my internist takes an x-ray of my chest every year.  What does make me a bit nervous is that my cancer did not show up on x-rays; had to have CT scan.  That's 4 tumors, and one being 2.5 cm, that didn't show up!  That still baffles me.  If you think you MIGHT have lung cancer, and your doc says your x-rays are clear, then insist on a CT.  Well, it's been 17 years ago I was diagnosed, and I must admit, when I say that to myself, I 99.9% believe it WILL NOT come back.  My Oncologist had told me that if it comes back, it's usually within 3 years. But, of course, there are always exceptions.

Please email me with any questions you have about my treatment, etc.  More than happy to share my experience.  Bye for now. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Haven't Posted in Ages!

Gonna try again to get this blog off the ground if it kills me!  I've been busing it to work for the last 3 weeks!  No kidding, and it's opened up a whole new world, a world I'd rather not live in permanently, thank you, but nonetheless, another world.  I hike about a half a mile to the bus stop and the bus travels pretty much down one main boulevard, with the exception of one turn, to my place of employment.  Folks enter and exit at almost every stop and I try and guess where they work, what they're homes are like, how many kids, if they have a car or not, if they're trying to be "green" by busing, or use buses because they must.  With the busing, a couple of big issues hare arisen:  first and foremost is the air conditioning on these damn buses.  I don't believe the drivers care about the comfort of their passengers one iota.  They adjust the a/c to their own liking.  Think about it, if they tried to please all those riders (the young, the old, the fat, the skinny, the pre-menopausal, the menopausal), the knobs would be worn off.  So, it's usually hotter than hell, or so cold you can see your breath!  Once I inquired if the heat could be turned down, and the answer was, "You're not the only one on this bus!"  Secondly, the potholes, or rather the empty swimming holes! There are more potholes than smooth pavement in the bus lanes, I kid you not.  I thought I had lost my uterus a couple of times.  Sometimes I think they drive over them as fast as they can to see if they can pop the riders out of their seats for the fun of it.  L. A. has talked for years about fixing the potholes, but I guess funding the EBT cards are more important, especially when they can be used at Casino ATM's.  Where did that come from?  Sorry.  I'm sure you are bored listening to this never-ending rant?  Sorry, but I was on a roll...and I do feel better (next installment on bus ridership coming soon.)

I'll end this post with a photo of a favorite living room of mine in the L.A. area that I found on the web.  Love the contrast of white walls and the dark wood.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

More on My Lung Cancer

Please, even if you've smoked for a long time, try and quit get those black lungs back to a healthy pink.  I've been told by a doctor that it happens in about 2 weeks.  The bad cigarette smell goes away, and the cough clears up in a few weeks too.  Look what you have to look forward to!  A whole new life opens up.  It's amazing. 

I was a rare case, being that I was only 45 when diagnosed.  The type of lung cancer that smokers get is slow growing so you can have it for YEARS before you know it.  Mine had been growing about 2-4 years per my doctor.  I'm ashamed to say that I didn't get to the doctor soon after I noticed it.  I wanted to give it time to go away, and in doing so, I gave it time to grow and slowly start killing me.  Even if you don't have any symptoms, you can have lung cancer.  Insurance companies are finally waking up and allowing CT scans for suspected LC, as CT's do much better at finding LC than x-rays.  Remember in my previous blog I said the x-ray only showed a thickening somewhere.  You could not SEE ANY TUMORS.  I HAD 4 TUMORS PEOPLE!  NONE OF THEM SHOWED UP ON THE X-RAY.  Sorry.  I wanted to emphasize that. 

So, if you are a long-time smoker, go and get checked out.  Chances are you are fine.  However, if LC is found, there are many more treatment options available, including clinical trials that can save lives as well.  These days, they have pin-point radiation and many chemotherapy choices, as well as gamma-knife, Tarceva, etc., etc.  I know of two people who had late stage LC and have survived over 5 years taking Tarceva (a pill), rendering their cancer dormant and they are still going strong.  So, there is hope folks.  Please don't think it's a lost cause, because it's not.  There are Stage 4's out there who have survived.  I wish I had quit sooner.  I smoked my last cigarette the day I was admitted to the hospital for my first chemo.  I haven't smoked since.  And I NEVER will again.  Ok, I'm cancered out.  More later.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lung Cancer at Age 45 (And Still Here at 58 to Tell You About It)

The longer I survive, the more thankful I am.  I had a dull pain in my side for way too long before I had it checked.  I knew exactly what it was.  I was a long-time smoker, the ache was in my lung, and it wouldn't go away; the pain occurred more often and increased in intensity.  "I think I have lung cancer", I told my internist.  "You don't have lung cancer!"  "Yes, I do."  We both looked at the x-ray, and again he said, "I don't see anything!"  Guess what, 2 days later, at 10pm my phone rang, "The radiologist sees a thickening on the x-ray, so I want you to get a special kind of CT scan.  Call my office tomorrow and we'll set it up for you.  It could be scarring, an old infection, etc., etc., but we have to check it out." 

You know what, I didn't cry.  I wasn't shocked.  I just sat there thinking, OK let's get this show on the road....  His call set the wheels in motion.  I really didn't know much about LC treatment and the rigors involved (a blessing in disguise), but I survived heavy duty chemo, enough radiation to make my cell phone ring, major surgery (thoracotomy, lobectomy), and more jet fuel in a different octane just in case some of those little buggers survived the first round.  Let me tell you (and I have read, and I have been told) that lung surgery is as serious or more so than open-heart surgery.  It was by far the hardest of the treatments to recuperate from, and I still to this day, have many reminders.  My fabulous doctors decided to go at me with the big guns and treat me to cure me, rather than administer palliative care.  I was almost a Stage 4 (terminal) patient but I was young and healthy otherwise.  I had 4 tumors in one lobe.

So, I will leave you with that.  If you want more, I will get into more detail about the almost fatal dose of pain medicine, the near death experiences from the side effects, and the horrendous hospital stays.  Just let me know.  I can recall the events with scary details from over 12 years ago, as it is crystal clear in my mind like it happened yesterday.  I will never, never forget.   

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How Does This Work Anyway?

I'm new to this blogging thing, as you can tell.  How in the heck do I get people to visit my blog?  I have to learn all those tricks about linking my blog to public blogs, etc.  Also, I think I can put it on search engines.  Have some reading to do. 

Went by this very cool Beauty Store close to me; I recently moved to the valley from over the hill in L.A.  Lived here many, many years ago and am currently rediscovering the territory.  The beauty store had up-town L.A. prices for the San Fernando Valley.  I just don't understand shampoo for 40-50 bucks!  What is the deal?  Why are they so wonderful?  Please someone tell me.  Sure they smell nice, and the bottle is cool, and they clean your hair, but so do lots of others for much less dough.  Also, berets - what is that deal.  These cute berets that cost 10, 30, 50 bucks is nuts!  I wonder what the markup is on that stuff.  Everything was way overpriced in that place.  I did buy a few things - hair band, hair clip, microfiber towel for drying my hair (they're the best for long hair), Sebastian Shaper Sleek Hold Jel for 1/2 price (4.99).  Oh, and some little tiny razors for the eyebrow area.  I like those but you have to shave so often - plucking is better, but the razors are great for fast touch-ups.   I accidentally bought a hair clip I didn't want and immediately turned around and went back in and explained.  The clerk said she couldn't do a void and no one was there who could.  Only the owner could.  I said when?  She said tomorrow between 9 and 5.  I work and told her I couldn't.  So she reluctantly did it for me.  Yeah right, she couldn't do a return huh?  Nice line there.  I hate stuff like that.  I was happy cause I didn't have to pay for it, but it smacked of dishonesty and greed. 

Let's see, I need to put up another pic for my mass of readers.  Be right back.  That's odd that it landed there??  Don't worry I'll get better at this.  This pic is a few years ago, and it's totally washed out and makes me look much much younger than I am.  In fact, I should be -x in this pic. 

Later, gators.....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Have a Terrible Sore Throat, Ugh!

I've been trying to be so good, with washing my hands and all, but I've been taking the subway and that's probably where I got this damn bug.  I hate sore throats - you never know where they'll lead.  Occasionally, my will lead to bronchitis, which scares me to death, especially since I'm a lung cancer survivor and any illness of my respiratory system makes me nervous because of my weak lung.  When I was 45, I was diagnosed with stage 3b, 4 being terminal.  Yep, one stage below terminal.  With super doctors and mega-aggressive treatment, I am here to talk about it 13 years later!  Wow, sometimes it's so mind-blowing to realize I survived that nasty disease - I truly am grateful for the last 13 years and know that I am a very lucky lady.  The survival rates for lung cancer are somewhere around 14%, which are grim statistics.  If you smoke, please consider drastically cutting down or quitting.  I know it's very difficult, but please understand you can have it and not even know it for years.  Don't mean to scare the hell out of anyone, but it's a serious subject.  I had radiation, chemo, lobectomy, and more chemo.  Thank you doctors for my life!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warm Day Here in Cal-e-for-nea (as our Governor would say!)

Warm and beaut-e-ful day here in Cal-E-for-nea.  For some reason, that really irks me - I mean really - can't the guy learn to say "California" correctly??  It's been 4 years already!  Geez!  I wanted to support Meg in the beginning, but now I'm not so sure.  But Jerry Brown???  Well, she's made herself look bad with the Nanny firing and her wishy-washy back and forth stances, but you have to remember she's new to this, and when you say something, it sticks lady!  Too bad, I really thought California might have a chance still with the eBay ex-exec.  She definitely made some good dough-re-me at eBay! 

One of our court reporting agencies we use at work brought a big bucket of Halloween candy right before lunch.  I ate way too much!!  Then had a cup of Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Soup (try it if you haven't; or try the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup -fabulous!), and then more candy, then more candy, then a lot of bubble gum....yuk.  I could launch myself to Australia and back if need be with the extra fuel I'm packing, if you get my drift.  Sorry.  I'll try to be polite. 

I guess you'd like to see a pic of Pea-Nuttery.  I'm gonna go look for one now.  Later. 

Here she is - rather here's her cute little face.  She loves to burrow.  She's a fat little Chihuahua!  My Little Pea-Nuttery - I lover her so much!