Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Have we had a conversation yet about how much I love my gummy vitamins/supplements? Because, if we haven't, we need to.

I love them.

They're like candy, except they're full of vitamins. So, basically health food that's candy.

Win/win, right?!

My love affair with the gummies started when I had a consult with my GP doctor pre-chemo and she advised that I start taking D3, because I was about to lose any quality time I was used to getting with the sun. I made a face (as I am wont to do when medical professionals tell me I need to swallow more pills), and she immediately came back with "They have gummies! They're delicious, and do exactly the same thing that pills do."


Since I started with the D3 gummies in February, I've slowly and steadily been finding more gummies to add to my daily regimen. (Mult-vitamins? No, thank you. I'd rather chew two separate pieces of fruity candy for every kind of vitamin.)

I'm up to five different kinds of gummies (that's 10 gummies a day - basically a package of fruit snacks). One of which is this swell fiber supplement.

Don't judge. Some of us need to eat, like, 200% of our daily recommended fiber (plus stool softeners and laxatives) if we want to poop. (Some of us = me, btw. Please don't lose your cool and be jealous of my awesome guts and how much help they need just to plod along.)

Jo had bought me a massive Costco bottle of these fiber goodies during chemo (I think there were 400 in the bottle), and I finished them up just yesterday.

When I was packing for Houston, I realized I was almost out of these bad boys, and because I knew the last thing I'd want to do when I got back would be to go to WalMart to buy more gummies... I ordered a bottle from Amazon. (Prime has its perks. Free shipping is the best!) (Also, I was right. Because I was pretty much out of toothpaste before I went to Houston. My intention was to use the rest of the tube and then leave it in the hotel trash bin. ... That's definitely not what happened. I brought that empty tube of toothpaste home, and I've been squeezing the life out of it, morning, noon and night, because I don't want new toothpaste bad enough to make myself go to the store for it. I'm super lame.)

Anyhoo... as I was saying, I finished up the gigantor bottle of fiber goodies yesterday. Which meant that I had to go to the office to pick up my mail today, to get the new bottle of gummies that had come while I was out of town. (Yeah, I've been home for four days and have yet to go to the store for toothpaste. And I'd been letting mail pile up in the office since I left town last Wednesday. I'm the greatest.)

And, this, ladies and gentleman is what I found...

I promise you that A) this is not what I ordered. You can tell, because the bottle says "sugar free" and we all know that this girl loves her sugar. 

And B) Those aren't gummies. That's just one, giant, solid.

Also, proof that there's something different about the dark pink ones. (I always thought they tasted weird. Looks like there's a reason for that. They're the one flavor that didn't melt into the mass. Grody.)

I have no idea what happened. (I mean, besides extreme heat. That definitely happened.) The package had been sitting in the air-conditioned office all weekend, so it's not like the 117 degree heat got to it as it was sitting on my porch. My guess is the Fed Ex truck's A/C went out and everyone who got anything delivered on Friday got soup.

At any rate, I have no fiber gummies. You'd think this would make me get dressed and go to the store. Uhm... no. Instead, I ate a bowl of grapes and two peaches and have decided to have popcorn for dinner. Surely, that's enough fiber to offset the gummies I didn't eat today.

Maybe I'll go to the store tomorrow. For fiber gummies. And toothpaste. And some more grapes, since I ate everything that was in my fridge this afternoon...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Two of a kind

Tonight, the Jude and I went on a mission to get our matchy/matchy hairdos documented on film. 

I'm not too shabby at selfies, going solo. It's an entirely different matter when I've got to cram two faces in there. (Obviously.)

Anyway, this is the few from the front. Jude's rocking more gray in the front than I am, but from the back, we have very much the same color.

Don't worry. Neither of us broke our arms trying to get this angle in a truly backwards selfie. Oh no, Judy absolutely chased down a couple strangers and then we handed them our very expensive camera equipment and literally turned our backs to them. 

We have such grand adventures in the city!

And here's a true close up side-by-side. (No strangers were involved in the taking of these pics. This is Evans work, for sure.) Mom's hair is longer, but the curl patterns are the same and the color is very close. It's awesome! 

And I'll leave you with this awkward selfie, complete with the inclusion of a glorious handicapped sign behind us. You're welcome.

Results Day

Okay, so... the long and short of it is that the tumor IS growing, but it's growing slowly. (This is very good news!)

The tumor in my back (between ribs #9 and #10) was 1.5 x 2.7 cm in June. It's now measuring at 1.8 x 3.3. The doc wants to see that on a PET before she even thinks about going back into chemo. (She needs to see the SUV to decide how to treat it.)

Soooooo... my body just bought us another 10 weeks chemo-free. WAHOO!

I'll come back in November for a PET/CT, and then we'll go from there. But for now... I'm cleared to keep living the way I have been for the next two months. I could not be happier or more grateful!

Time and dirty Dr. Peppers are,  pretty much, the most important things in my life. And I feel like I just won the lottery on both fronts!

Project Chia Pet - Week 10

It appears that I have a new uniform. How is it that I've been wearing this same white shirt  three Fridays in a row? 

As you can see, Houston had made my hair a little bit bushier and flippier. It's been a super good time! 

Today's pic was taken just a moment ago, in the Dr's waiting room. (That would be me, live blogging from the waiting room, in an effort to not get too worked up.)

Stay tuned for the results follow up.  Fingers crossed that I'll be greenlit to keep growing this crazy mop of mine! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Scan Day

I started today off bright and early in the Diagnostic Imaging dept. Here in Texas,  they use a different (tasteless and colorless) contrast than what I'm used to in Gilbert. And I'm here to tell you,  I'll take 32 oz of Tropicana OJ with a half cup of chemicals thrown in over the same amount of mocha flavored barium any day! 

I mean... Look,  I'm genuinely smiling in this pic. That's happened with barium exactly zero times. 

After my scan,  Judy and I went to lunch with Cousin Jan. This time she took us to The Raven (OMG, aaaaaaaaaa-mazing food!) and then on a driving tour of Rice. (OMG, beeeeautiful campus!)

After lunch, Jan and Jude dropped me back at the hotel do I could take a much needed nap,  and then they enjoyed some grown up cousin bonding time. 

After a good three hour nap,  I woke up with a screaming headache and a need to go outside and warm up. (Hotel a/c always kills me a little bit.) So Jude and I took ourselves on a walk of the facilities. 

It took us an hour to walk on one side of the street lunged with MDA buildings. My guess is that there's another hour worth of walking to be done on the other side. 

This place is GINORMOUS. 

And totally awesome. 

And at the end of our travels, we stopped for a selfie in front the main building. If you look at the tippy top of the pic, you can see the MDA signage. And if you look at our hair you'll see that this is probably my best matchy matchy hair cut pic yet!

I'll get results on today's tests tomorrow afternoon. Be looking here for the update.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Project Chia Pet - Week 9

Funny story. This week's side-by-side selfies were taken in the same room, wearing the same shirts. Not even on purpose. 

Obviously, they were taken at different times of the day... check our last week's shadows, vs this week's bright face, but whatev.

The bummer about both these selfies being taken in my front room is that you can't really tell how crazy my hair is these days. It started curling up a couple weeks back, and is almost officially out of control.

Here's a bonus pic for your ocular enjoyment. I took this yetserday to send to Spencer and Judy to show them we need to get together and have a group matchy/matchy hair selfie.

It's not quite long enough to just let it be and have mass curls everywhere, but I've officially lost the ability to part my hair, and my bangs are doing this new and very special thing where the front of them curls down and towards my forehead, but the section of hair right behind that is curling backwards. Totally on its own, not even on purpose.

It's like my hair KNOWS that I went to Snowflake High School in 1989.

And here's one a more close up, so you can see my sweet feathery/flippy action. 

Don't be jealous that my hair changes weekly. ... That said, I'm super curious to see what it does in the Houston humidity next week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Three months

Three months ago, today, I sat in Dr. H's office and was given an estimated 3-6 months to act before this tumor chokes me out.

Two months ago, today, I sat in Dr. Z's office in Texas and was told that #9 hadn't shown enough growth in the month from May-June 18th to merit starting another treatment plan right away.

A week from today, I fly back to Texas. I'll have another round of tests/scans done Thursday and I'll get the results on Friday.

Fingers crossed that the scan will show that my little friend is still little and I can squeak in another couple chemo-free months before I go back into treatment.

I know that it just is what it is, and when I'll go back into treatment and how that's going to look is totally beyond my control. But man alive, am I grateful for the last three months.

I am tired in a way that I didn't know existed eight months ago, and I have some discomfort that is pretty consistently bordering on pain these days, but I've said it before and I'll say it again... I will take feeling this level of crappy all day long, and for as long as I can get away with it.

I haven't been all that awesome about blogging lately. And, I'm sorry, but... I'm not sorry. It's because I've been busy squeezing as much life out my life as I can, and the reality is that all that living has made me really tired.

But listen... it's been a great three months. I mean, the best.

Here's to hoping that the doctors' calculations are off and I have, like, 372 months left. (And hey, assuming they're wrong, someday I'll get back to blogging again. Promise!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Project Chia Pet - Week 8

Okay, so... here are the pics from last week.

Don't worry about how it's Tuesday and I'm just barely posting last Friday's side-by-side.

The pic was taken Friday night. I just totally spaced uploading it. (Ha!) I had some friends come into town for the weekend and I took this right before walking out the door to dinner Friday night. (You may or may not have noticed, but on the off chance that you didn't... I'm gonna go right ahead and point out that my cheeks look less chubby in the pic on the right. It appears that I was correct and it was the angle of the camera the week before. Hooray!) Anyway, I took the pic Friday night, but then came home from dinner and got straight into bed, and then spent all day Saturday with friends (and all day Sunday in bed to compensate for having been out of bed all day Saturday... my life is such a fun balancing act of down time vs. actually leaving my house). And then spaced it...

Until tonight.

When I remembered that I needed to get Week 8 the heck up here before I'm responsible for Week 9 in 72 hours.

My, how time flies when you're having fun. (And/or recuperating from having had fun. Tomato/tomahto.)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Project Chia Pet - Week 7



Is it just me, or do my cheeks look chubbier?

It's either the box of chocolates, or the angle of the camera. (Let's blame it on the camera angle. I have a 15 yr old houseguest for the weekend and there are a lot of calories in store. I don't want to think that every single bite of cheesecake that I'm gonna eat will be going straight to by chipmunk cheeks.)

But hey!

Good news!

My hair's getting curly!

Also, I have a very strange hairline that I can barely stand. (I feel like my neck looks especially werewolfy in this pic. While I know that my hairline is weirdie and awkward, I feel like the angle the camera was held at increases the weird factor. ... I know, I know. Me and my "camera angle" theories. Just go with it. ... Please. Because the alternative is that my cheeks really did chub out in a week and my neck really does look a little Lupin-ish.)

But seriously, the hair is getting actually CURLY in the back! I'm so excited that I can hardly stand myself!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


This just happened.

Yeah, that's a 1 lb box of See's.

Or, rather, it was a 1 lb box of See's. ... I've eaten as much of it as I can.

I've been setting housekeeping goals for myself. (Don't judge. I can't make myself clean the kitchen if I haven't made a "rule" that it has to get done on a certain day of the week.) Aaaaaand, today, while cleaning said kitchen I ran across a box of See's that's been sitting on a shelf since I got it. ... As a Christmas present.

That's right. I ate an 8 month old box of chocolates today. And now I'm preserving the moment for posterity.

In my defense, most of it was inedible. It was a box of nuts and chews, and the caramel had crystalized, rendering practically EVERY "chew" pretty disgusting. (Don't worry. I gnawed the chocolate off the sides of the caramels. Waste not, want not and all that stuff.)

But listen, it was still a pretty decent amount of chocolate. I'm more than a little sick to my stomach, but I also feel like VICTORY IS MINE!

Man alive, I love candy. It's so great that I can eat it again! (And, tender mercy, kids. The rum nougat was still perfect. Soft and chewy and awesome in it's rummy fruitiness. Who cares that there was only one good candy left in the box? It was my favorite kind, so that's a serious win!)