Saturday, October 31, 2009

Maybe there were technical difficulties with place arrangements

Yesterday, our downtown merchants gave out candy. Eddie and I went down there. Lots of kiddos in costumes. Eddie was a penguin.

Upon our arrival home after being at my colleague's house, he decided to sleep in his penguin costume last night and tonight.

This morning, I asked, "What happened? There's a penguin in Eddie's bed!" The penguin, whose name is "Weirdo Penguin", said, "How did I get here?" I said maybe Weirdo teleported here from Antarctica and Eddie teleported to Antarctica. Weirdo then asked what teleport means, so I explained the concept, and in reply, he said, "Well, maybe what happened was that there were technical difficulties with place arrangements."

Cool! I like that explanation, too! LOL

I asked Weirdo what he liked to eat - he said, "fish" so I said that I had some "Cap'n Crunch fish squares" and also some orange and square "cheez-it fish" and would either of those kinds of fish be okay to eat. His reply, "Sure!"

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Can you spell "discombobulated"?

What a day what a day! It all ended up fine, but after I got to work this morning, things were out of control! I was so discombobulated!

I scheduled a telephone interview with an elder in Alaska for 9am.

About 45 minutes into the interview, I got another call from Ambulatory Infusion (where I get my zometa IV and they draw my blood) - when I finally got the message after the interview, it was, "Deanna, we were wondering if you were going to be coming in today for your zometa appointment - it was at 9am". Crap! I'd forgotten to write the appointment down on my calendar!

I'd also made arrangements to talk to a writer at National Geographic right after the interview. The writer (Margaret) wanted to ask me questions about the Wolf Dance. At the back of the magazine, there's a feature called "Flashback" and she'd decided to focus on a Lomen Brothers photograph. But before I could call and talk to her about it, I had to reschedule my zometa appointment. The Flashback feature on the Wolf Dance will come out in March.

Then, Eddie only had a half day at school today. No problem. I don't have anything scheduled, so I'll pick him up and then we'll just hang out today.

While I was talking to Margaret, I got an email from one of my grad students who is also in my folklore class: "Are we still meeting today at 1pm?" Double crap! I even confirmed the meeting with two students yesterday. But somehow, my brain didn't connect the home part of my brain that knew I had to pick up Eddie with the work part of my brain that made arrangements to meet with the grad students. What's Eddie going to do?

So, I call the parents - admit that I'm discombobulated to my dad and ask if they can watch Eddie for me so I can meet with the students. Fortunately, they could.

Had an okay meeting with the grad students, then picked up Eddie and on our way through downtown, we saw all sorts of munchkins in costumes! "What?!!?", I said to Eddie. "The downtown merchants are doing trick-or-treating today? I thought it was tomorrow! I guess we need to go home and put on your costume so we can do that. Do you want to do that?" Eddie did indeed want to, so we came home, he put on his costume (he was self-conscious at first until we got downtown and saw all the other kids) and we walked around downtown. We bumped into the Osborne-Goweys and some of his classmates. By then, it was time to go to my colleague's house for a potluck dinner to welcome our new faculty member (we're now back to the numbers we had in the department when I started nine years ago - the position was approved about six months before the worse of the recession hit).

Good dinner, good visits, met new grad students. S. and his wife made an excellent chicken curry. Yummy!

So, it all worked out. No work on the writing project though. It'll happen. Sooner or later because it has to!

Happy Halloween everyone!

P.S. Eddie is a penguin.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turtles, turtles everywhere!

More turtle sightings or "hearings": Carver photographed a turtle recently and told me about it. Liz said she overheard her daughter and her daughter's friend talking about turtles. I saw a turtle on the car in front of me at Dutch Brothers yesterday.

Interesting, eh?

Yep, got the message. Trying to slow down.

I'm also procrastinating. I need to write something and I'm just not feeling it . . . sigh.

Busy week-end ahead . .. potluck at my colleague's on Friday evening; some Halloween activities with Eddie - the student athletes at OSU do a Fall Carnival; the downtown merchants participate in trick-or-treating; and the local public library has a carnival.

Sunday: housework.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Unmistakable Touch of Grace

I'm reading a book entitled "The Unmistakable Touch of Grace" by Cheryl Richardson. While I'm sometimes uncomfortable with the Christian undertones as well as how commercial her website is (which is why I didn't provide a link to it), I do like what she has to say in the book. The gist of the book is to learn how to recognize when the Divine or the powers that be place messages or opportunities in your path and then to take that path. The path may not always lead you the way you think it's going to, but in the end, it's will contribute to your spiritual growth.

After I was in Hawaii last month (Renee and I had several conversations regarding spirituality), I decided that I should go on a meditation retreat. About a week and a half ago, I mentioned it to a friend and she said that she'd go on one with me. Then, two nights ago, as I read "Touch of Grace", the author mentioned that her work life had become very successful but also too busy, so she decided that after she honored her professional commitments, she'd slow down. One of the first things she did was to go on a meditation retreat. My colleague today told me that she'd take me to this Zen meditation group that meets on Sunday mornings. Just now as I was reading the blog of another cancer blogger (Chris at The Edge of Light), she said that she just started a meditation class.

Hmm. Do ya think the world is trying to tell me something?

Also, while I was in Hawaii, I really connected with turtles. Every time I went into a shop, things with turtles in them caught my eye. I bought turtle earrings, Renee got me a turtle bookmark, I bought a carved bone pendant with a mother turtle carrying a baby turtle on its back (it reminded me of Inupiat umaqqing which is when a mother carries her child on her back), and I bought gifts for family members with turtles. Upon my return home, one of my grad students was wearing a turtle pendant that she bought in Hawaii. Then, on Facebook, someone thanked one of my friends for the turtle necklace and I just happened the read that post. Then, the day before I went to Alaska, I stopped at a stoplight behind a car with, yes, you guessed it, a turtle decal in the window.

Hmm. Do ya think the world is trying to tell me something?

I think the world is trying to tell me to slow down (hence the turtle) and one of my friends this morning also told me that the turtle represents a long life (I like that interpretation, too!). The world is also telling me that my path to slowing down is to do meditation.

What's your take on it?

From the frying pan and . . .

into the fire! Actually, I'm just joking. I was so busy at AFN, got home Sunday evening and yesterday, I hit the ground running at work. Students needing recommendation letters, students needing clarification on assignments, paperwork for the travel, scheduling meetings, writing responses to emails, following up on things from the trip, teaching my folklore class, meeting with various people, escorting international students to give a guest presentation at my son's school, etc.

Good thing I did qigong last night. It helped to center me. One of my classmates in qigong is so focused on getting it right, but by focusing on getting it right, she's missing the point of just doing the movement and getting used to how it FEELS. That's more important. It's kinda nice to be on the other side of intellectualizing it (like I did when I first started over a year ago) and more on the experiencing side of it.

I'm also happy that the fact that I'm able to do it means that I'm mostly over the flu/cold bug that I had. Yay!

Well, someone agreed to do an interview via the phone with me tonight. So, I best get organized for that. It's one of those follow-ups from last week.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

P.S. Promised pictures will come soon - hopefully this week?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

AFN - the Alaska Federation of Natives

Whew. AFN is certainly a whirlwind. Lots of fun. Got some work done on all three projects - maybe not as much as I'd like, but I met lots of people. Did some observation. Saw some rellies (relatives). Ate "nigipiaq" (real food or Eskimo food).

Actually, y'all might want to hear what we ate one night: dried salmon, half-dried salmon, smoked salmon, seal oil, sura (willow), crab legs, tugayuq (wild celery), and alluk (salmonberries, blackberries, and raspberries mixed with reindeer fat and seal oil). It was mmm mmm good!!!!!

I think I've been full the whole time I've been here.

Good times, good food, good company, tried to meet other people to interview for one of my projects. That's tough. I'd have to just go up to someone and start talking to them, then introduce the topic, and then ask if I could interview them. Hard work, especially for me since I'm innately shy.

Whew, again. I enjoyed it, though. Saw former professors, saw cousins and aunties, meet other Native scholars and artists and a politician or two.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love my job!!

On my way home tomorrow. The time was both too long and too short. Too long since Spagedward stayed home but too short because there was so much more I wanted to do!!!

Have a good Sunday everyone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Laurie, over at "Not Just About Cancer", posted about all the pink marketing in October for breast cancer awareness and she called it "pinxploitation". I think it's appropriate and wanted to give her credit for her new word. Thanks, Laurie!!

In the last year or so, after I learned how much the companies make from pink ribbon marketing, but only a small percentage of the profits actually goes to breast cancer research or support - I have tried not to literally buy into pink ribbon marketing. I don't really participate in Walks for the Cause or Races for the Cure. However, I do understand that the pink ribbons and such help breast cancer survivors connect with others going through treatments and find support and I know that my family and friends feel that by participating in such events, they are supporting me. I sometimes get gifts with pink ribbons. And, that's okay. By receiving them, I know they love me and are thinking about me and I accept those gifts in the spirit in which they are given.

So, I am engaging in a small, quiet protest by not buying into pink ribbon marketing. But I don't make others feel bad or guilty for doing so because I think their heart is in the right place and also because there's enough guilt and bad feelings in the world that I don't need to add to it. I just focus on things that make me happy and don't dwell too much on the negative.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm here in Anchorage!

Hello everyone,
I made it safely to Anchorage and have been running around all over the place. Mom got in a lot of visiting for her birthday and I made some good contacts for my work projects.

Will try to fill folks in on what I'm doing later. Tonight, however, I need to go to SLEEP. I woke up too early this morning so I'm feeling tired.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Anchorage, Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Whew. What a busy couple of days! Yesterday, Eddie and I and my folks went to Bauman Farms in Gervais - and he had a ball. Then, we had dinner at Heather and Kevin's house - good dinner and good company. (Thanks, guys!)

Today, I had to: get cash, put gas in the car, get Japanese food treats for Eddie's country report, get my chai, drop off a suitcase for mom, pick up a form at Parks & Rec for volleyball, get Cheez-its at the store for Eddie, come back home to get cooked spaghetti for Eddie's science project, and then go to work and gather materials I need for my trip, then I watched Eddie's oral report on Japan, then lunch with a colleague, then back to the office to copy off some forms for my trip and then bring stuff home, then to pick up a friend of Eddie's for a playdate, then I brought him home, took Eddie to K-Mart so my folks could babysit him so I could do qigong. Now, I'm home again and still need to pack and do dishes and take out the garbage.

Whew. Again. Just finished eating dinner (leftovers from my folks) and am watching Field of Dreams while I blog. But I need to pack still. So, signing off!

Tomorrow, I pick up A., R. (two students), and my mom after I drop Eddie off at school. Then, we head to Portland; mom will visit with her cousin and the two students will go to Powell's while I go to the Tribal Museums Conference at the Red Lion Inn Columbia River in Portland. Then, about 3:30 or so, we head to the airport to catch our plane to Anchorage. We land about 8:45pm . . . we are attending the Alaska Federation of Natives convention - I need to do some interviews and also demonstrate the King Island interactive map. I come back home on Sunday.

It'll be a good trip. I'm gonna miss Edward Spagedward, though, as he's staying home so he can do his Jogathon.

Have a good week everyone!

PS I'm feeling better.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Canadian Researchers Sequence a Patient's Metastatic Breast Cancer Genome

One of the cancer bloggers I read regularly posted this link:

Canadian researchers make breast cancer breakthrough

I find this article really interesting because I think it means that all the different mutations that have occurred in a patient's cancer, even at the beginning, means that different cancer cells will respond to treatments in different ways. The one patient they discussed in the article had five different mutations at the beginning and, by the end, she had 32 different mutations.

So, perhaps in the beginning, my cancer responded to Xeloda and Tykerb (but not completely - it knocked out a lot of them but not all of them), but maybe now it'll respond to Tykerb plus Femara (but maybe not all of them - that'll have to rely on a different regimen).

Anyway, thanks, Chris, for posting this link! Hopefully, it means some kind of breakthrough!

Illness Update

I didn't mean to make my last post sound dire - if anything, I have mild symptoms, just slightly achey, slight headache, some fatigue. It could be a lot worse. It's just kinda hanging on, which tells me that I need to rest. Luckily, I don't teach for a week or so - I'll be in Alaska interviewing and such, but most of the time, it'll be things I enjoy and I have students to help me out with the technical side of things. And, I'm with my relatives and other Alaska Natives which is always a good thing.

My son started getting a runny nose yesterday - not sure if he has a cold or if he just has some allergies to the hay. He's decided to rest up today so that we can go to Bauman Farms tomorrow. It's been rainy here today but only scattered showers are expected tomorrow. Yesterday, we went to another local farm, Heavenly Harvest, and raced ducks, shot the corn cannon, and went on a hayride and picked out pumpkins. It ended up being a beautiful if muggy day - temperatures got up to 75 I think, which is unusual for this time of year. We were supposed to have some showers according to the paper, but they didn't materialize until today. Afterwards, we just rested after we came home.

Today, we ran some errands. I'm trying to declutter the house a little bit, write thank you cards, hang up a new picture, and decorate pumpkins. An open house at a colleague's later. Dinner at a friend's tomorrow evening.

Happy week-end everyone!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I think it must be the flu

One of the headlines in today's paper says, "OSU says 200 have swine flu". None, fortunately, have had to be hospitalized. The health officials at OSU also note that many more students have been sick and are chalking it up to a bad cold, but probably also have the flu. It's mostly been a fever and bad cough.

I had a fever for one night two and a half weeks ago. I did have a cough but it was never bad. I now have achey muscles and a headache and fatigue, which can last up to 3 weeks.

I think I have the flu. I guess that means I should rest and drink lots of liquids.

Sigh. Rest is hard to do when you're a single parent with a child who doesn't have school this week and with a full time job with deadlines and expectations.

Okay, enough whining. Thinking about the work I have to do is stressing me out. I just need to enjoy my down time. I need to rest as much as possible before my trip next week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's going on?

Yesterday, I felt okay. Had a decent night's sleep and then had two appointments which weren't too bad. One appointment got rescheduled for later in the day and I agreed to the later time. However, I completely forgot about my department's faculty meeting yesterday! Sheesh. I heard from my colleague that most of the talk has to do with changes that are in the works at the university level, but nothing set in stone yet, so there was a lot of speculation.

My rescheduled appointment was with Wells Fargo - I called to ask them a question regarding my parents' mortgage on their manufactured home and then they said that maybe they could help me out somehow. So, I let them offer some options, but they weren't good enough to get me to make any changes with regard to a refinance or other loan. My folks have been paying an outrageously high percentage rate on their mortgage for the past 11 years . .. but since they don't own the land their home is on, they are kinda out of luck. Afterwards, I picked up Eddie from my sister's house - he played with his cousins for a bit while I met with the bank - and then the three of us had a teriyaki chicken/veggie dinner that was quite good. The rest of my sister's family were at soccer practice.

Anyway, I slept okay last night but not nearly long enough, so I've been dragging all day. Eddie and I slept in a little since he doesn't have school and then I dropped him off at my folks' house so I could teach. I felt better at the beginning of class then I did before Tuesday's class, but afterwards, I felt fatigued and I had a headache and my neck and shoulder are achey and now I may have a slight sore throat again.

Is it the flu? I don't have a fever; I did three weeks ago. I have continued to have fatigue off and on - and when I get a good night's sleep and take it easy, I do okay the next day, but it seems if I do a little bit of running around, then I pay for it the next day.

Or, is it fatigue from my meds? Femara does cause fatigue - does it cause headaches? It does also cause achey muscles and joints. I've been on Femara for about six weeks now. Maybe it's just now kicking in.

Who the heck knows? Maybe it's a combination of both. But that's life with metastatic cancer - you don't know what's causing it. I guess it doesn't matter, because in the end (although my left-science brain really wants to get to the bottom of it), I think my body is telling me to keep resting and to not overdo it even if I feel okay.

I leave for Alaska in five days, though. I think that means I really really need to discipline myself and just take it easy - hard for a do-er like me to do.

Or, perhaps it means that teaching takes a lot out of me and that I should try to decrease my teaching load as much as possible! HA! I kinda like that spin on things!!

Seriously, though, teaching a class does take a lot of energy - and since I am innately shy, standing in front of a classroom is draining. I'm glad that I was able to buy myself out of a class this term - I can't imagine the shape I'd be in if I was teaching two classes at once - or even worse, four classes at once like I did when I started my tenure-track career in Connecticut!

Okay . . . got to go rest now. TTYL!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Almost Relapse?

I woke up yesterday feeling really tired, like I hadn't slept. However, yesterday was a teaching day, so I had to go to work. Extra caffeine yesterday morning gave me enough energy to teach. But afterwards, all I wanted to do was to come home and rest. I picked Eddie up after school and just stayed home, watching TV. I felt a slight sore throat and toward the evening, my neck and shoulders were achey. I didn't go to bed early, but I did rest all evening and then got about 8 hours sleep.

Mom and Dad brought over dinner for me - Dad had already prepared it. I feel really lucky that they're close enough to do things like that for me.

So, I feel okay today. Not 100%, but maybe like 85-90%. I don't have the sore throat or the achiness. Good thing - I have a couple of appointments today. Eddie doesn't have school, so he's going over to my folks house.

Thanks, mom and dad, for bringing over dinner! It really helped!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eddie's Creative Writing

This year, Eddie has to write short creative writing stories at school. I should've shared his first two, which I think were pretty good, but I think they got recycled. His third story was based on the assignment to "pretend that you are zapped into your favorite TV show". Here is Eddie's story:

Sponge Eddie Squarepants, by Eddie
One time, I was watching Sponge-Bob Squarepants. Suddenly, I got zapped into the TV. Since it was underwater world, I couldn't breathe. Then Spongebob provided me wiht a helmet. An underwater one. "Thanks," I said. "No problem. What's your name?" asked SpongeBob. "Eddie," I said. "What brings you here to Bikini Bottom?" asked Sponge. "I got zapped in here," I said. Spongebob remembered he was going to the Krusty Krab for work. "How'd you like to go to work with me?" he asked. "Sure," I said. While we were there, I tried a krabby patty. It was delicious. I also met Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Patrick, and Sandy. After work, we hung out at SpongeBob's pineapple. We watched TV. "I feel myself getting zapped back," I said. "Bye, Eddie," said Spongebob. "Bye," I said. Then I got zapped back into the real world. The end

Not too bad for a 4th grader, eh? : )

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've had a good week-end . . .

but I didn't work on that article yet! I'm having a hard time getting started on it. A colleague of mine asked me to co-author this article with her, but I didn't get it until Friday and she wants it back today because the deadline is tomorrow. Because it's the week-end, all I want to do is to relax and have fun. My folks and I went garage saling yesterday and then they helped me with my mosaic (a big thanks, especially, to dad, who did all the hard work!). Then, I played cards with my buddies in Philomath. Today, lunch with Scott in Portland and then back to town for a get-together at my colleague's house.

Week-end tally: Work on household stuff - 3 things accomplished (groceries, laundry, mosaic); socializing - 4 different groups/people (folks, cards, Scott, colleagues); work on article - not yet.

I'd say that was a good week-end, wouldn't you?

I'm hoping to post the Hawaii pictures this week. Still have the effects of a cold - a bit of a cough from post-nasal drip; I have some fatigue (related to the Femara? Or to the cold? Who knows?); and my hot-flashes seem to be a bit worse these past couple of days thanks to Femara. I take that as a sign that it's working . . . take that, you damn cancer cells!

P.S. I did finish my edits/changes to the article late Sunday night - about 11:15am. I really am a procrastinator!

Okay. I'm procrastinating. I'm entitled, don't you think? : )

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Message to S.

S. told me yesterday that I was focusing too much on the markers and thinking too much about the "what ifs" - such as "what if the numbers continue to go up, I will have to do IV chemo", etc. Worrying about the future, in other words. He reminded me that I needed to live in the moment again and to live life as if I'm immortal - which is what most people who do not have chronic illnesses do. They plan as if they will be alive for years and years. He had noted a change in my tone in my blogs over the past couple of weeks and said that I'd gotten off-track and told me that I needed to get back on-track and live for the day. In other words, an attitude adjustment is in order.

Just wanted to let him know this . . . mission accomplished! I feel better today and happier. The sun is shining and it's looking to be a great week-end! TGIF everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Did you ever have one of those days . . .

when the clothes you put on didn't feel right? I had on a pair of slacks and drove to Eddie's school. On my way walking to work, I decided I didn't feel good in them, so I went back to my car and drove home.

After trying on another pair of pants, I ended up with jeans, changed my necklace, changed my socks, and my jacket and now I feel "right".

I'm normally not so weird about my clothes . . . but I feel ready to tackle the day! Yay!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Discussions Today

Yes, I will admit that the inching tumor markers were worrying me. One of my colleagues picked up on my mood in my post and talked to me in my office. One thing he mentioned is that the numbers aren't very bad, comparatively speaking, that they haven't really spiked up much, and that the one marker, the CA15-3, doesn't differentiate between dead cancer cells and dead normal cells. We also chatted about some possibilities for further treatment that I should discuss with my oncologist. Anyway, it helped to just chat with him some today.

Then, I saw Dr. K today and while he didn't say anything really positive or negative about the tumor marker numbers (which I interpret to mean that he was hoping they would go down, but they didn't; however, they also didn't jump up), he did say that they usually like to wait "3-4 months" with hormone treatments like Femara because it usually takes several months for them to take effect. He quoted his professor who said, "with hormonal treatment [in this case, Femara, which prohibits aromasin from making estrogen], because the pathway through which it works is complicated, it takes awhile to see its effect on cancer cells".

Dr. K also said that sometimes the numbers do go up before they come down again. We'll revisit the situation come January.

He also said to keep monitoring the swollen lymph nodes in my left arm pit . .. those are an indicator, too. He thought they were the size of acorns, or about 1.5cm across. The CT scan in July said they were 2cm.

I asked him whether or not I should also take Xeloda - and he said no. For some reason, the anti-estrogen treatments and standard chemotherapy drugs tend to cancel each other out - was it because the Xeloda would destroy the Femara before either could do its job? Something like that.

So, in the meantime, I continue to have very mild side-effects: a bit of fatigue, dry mucous membranes, which in practical terms means that I don't produce as much saliva, and it affects the amount of liquid in my joints and hot flashes. Not too bad when all is said and done.

I had a good day, today. Worked on a couple of projects, started to make contacts for my Alaska trip in two weeks, met with a student, had my appointment, and then took Eddie for a playdate/birthday party and visited with his friend's mom. They have now invited me out for dinner, so I best take off to do that.

All in all, not a bad day. A good day, in fact. The sun is shining and I've been somewhat productive!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tired Today . . . A Rousing Match of Super Mario Kart Helps, though!

I didn't sleep well last night - not sure what was up. I woke up every 1.5 to 2 hours. The previous few nights, I had a half dose of Nyquil before bed because of my nasal congestion and I swear I slept 4-5 hours straight on that stuff. I didn't take it last night because my cold is better.

The day went fairly well - had a nice chat on the phone with an old friend, prepared for class, had a good class, made travel arrangements for Alaska (two weeks away already) for a research trip, then Eddie and I saw "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and then dinner with my folks - but I've felt tired most of the day. Maybe even a bit moody. Probably because of not sleeping well the night before and also probably because of the news of the tumor markers.

Dad told me at dinner that I had five comments after my post on the tumor markers. So, after dinner, I read them and I cried a little bit. I am really thankful for all of your supportive comments, and for sending your healing and positive thoughts from all over the world. You know, if thoughts and prayers and all have anything at all to do with my healing - and I believe that they do - this cancer doesn't stand a chance. In fact, I think that I'm doing as well as I am precisely because of what you all are doing for me. I do know that it could be worse. Anyway, that's what I choose to believe most of the time - cancer is not going to kill me. I'm going to be around for a good long time. I just need to spend more of my time and energy healing on a daily basis. I really want to learn how to meditate better.

Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of my heart! Have a wonderful evening! And, oh yeah, wish me luck playing volleyball tonight! If we have enough players, though, I'm coming home. Too tired!

P.S. Two hours later: Eddie and I played two Grand Prix's on wii's Super Mario Kart! I won the first one by two points and he won the second one by two points! Woo hoo! That's the first time I beat him at Mario Kart! Yippee! If that doesn't help with fatigue, I don't know what does! My team, unfortunately, lost our match tonight, but it was a close one - 22-20 and 21-18. I started coughing a lot so I stopped after the second game. So, I feel better. Tired still but good!

Monday, October 5, 2009

And the markers continue to inch up . . .

I received my tumor markers and they went up again. My oncologist's assistant said that it might take a couple of months to see the numbers come down again. So, I guess we'll wait and see what happens. I'll talk with my oncologist on Wednesday and ask him how he interprets the numbers. Oh, the numbers are: CEA was 5.8 (up from 5.1 last month) and the CA 15-3 was 38.7 (up from 31.9 last month). Last year, my CEA was 0.9 and the CA 15-3 was 19.6.

1/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
3/2008 - 0.9 ng/mL
6/2008 - 1.0 ng/mL
8/2008 - 1.1 ng/mL (need to double check this number, but it was in that 0.9 to 1.2 range)
9/2008 - 0.5 ng/mL
10/2008 - 0.9 ng/mL
10/31/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
11/28/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
12/30/2008 - 1.1 ng/mL
3/2/2009 - 1.4 ng/mL
4/8/2009 - 1.6 ng/mL
5/5/2009 - 1.9 ng/mL
6/4/2009 - 3.0 ng/mL
7/2/2009 - 3.7 ng/mL
8/3/2009 - 4.2 ng/mL
8/31/2009 - 5.1 ng/mL
10/2/2009 - 5.7 ng/mL

And, here's the CA15-3.

Sept 2007 - 23 U/mL
Jan 2008 - 31 U/mL
Mar 2008 - 36 U/mL
June 2008 - 23 U/mL (started radiation that month)
Aug 2008 - 18 U/mL (week of August 4th)
Sept 2008 - 14.5 U/mL YAAAAAAY!!!
Oct 1 2008 - 19.6 U/mL
Oct 31 2008 - 15.3 U/mL
Nov 28 2008 - 19.5 U/mL
Dec 30 2008 - 16.0 U/mL
Jan 22 2009 - 15.4 U/mL
Mar 2 2009 - 17.8 U/mL
Apr 8 2009 - 19.6 U/mL
May 5 2009 - 18.4 U/mL
June 4 2009 - 19.7 U/mL
July 2 2009 - 22.1 U/mL
Aug 3 2009 - 29.7 U/mL
August 31 2009 - 31.9 U/mL
Oct 3 2009 - 38.7 U/mL

I think I read somewhere that the CA 15-3 measures a protein that is put off by cells that have died. So, conceivably, I could interpret that number to mean that the Femara/Tykerb combo is killing off the cancer cells and causing the number to go up.

Am I reaching at straws or what? Perhaps - I'll see what Dr. K says. And, stay on Femara and see what happens next month.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Friend Heather and Megan did the Walk For the Cause in My Honor

Heather, who wrote the lyrics "My Xeloda", and her daughter Megan did the Walk for the Cause in my honor yesterday. There were other people on their team, too! Megan's dad, Darrin, and his wife, Darrin's mom, and Heather's co-workers.

Thank you, you guys!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Posted Pics of Our Labor Day Road Trip

Yes, I know. I'm lame and late. But I finally finally posted pictures of our Labor Day road trip. See "Labor Day Road Trip with the Car That Doesn't Get Dog Sick!"


Still Have a Cold But Functioning

I still have a cold - coughing and sneezing and snuffling - cold medicine helps with those symptoms - but I seem to be functional. Walked back and forth to my office from my son's school twice. Had my zometa appointment - tumor marker numbers should come back next week. Completed two paperwork obligations at work. Not bad for someone who's sick, eh?

No plans this week-end other than resting and cleaning up here and there at home. Speaking of which, I need to get a load of clothes in the wash .. . have a great week-end everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Anthropology is considered a dirty name in some instances . . .

especially among Native Americans and Native Hawaiians (and other colonized peoples) but here is a good reason why it isn't. The link below is a news story about Richard Ruiz, who just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Richard graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Oregon State University. His wife, Katora, was a McNair Scholar and I was her advisor. I even rented a house from them for a few months after they were sent to Japan. Anyway, they were both very good students, very engaged and it was heart-warming to read this news story, especially about what Richard had to say.

Here's the link:

Richard Ruiz in the Gilroy Dispatch

Good job, Richard! This is why anthropology matters!