Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In Alaska

After a busy couple of days, I arrived in Alaska last night. I am staying with one of my cousins (there are or were 43 of us; several have passed away) and her son (C. And E.). We have already had some good talks and this evening, we visited with Teddy and Iviana, two of the elders in my community. I had to ask them about bird songs and greetings, but we also heard a lot of other stories.

This afternoon, we had lunch with our other cousin, Toni, and her kids. Then I took Toni and her kids shopping.

So it was a busy day!

As for the new symptom, the swollen groin, my oncologist felt that it was mostly due to the t-cell infusions. I think it might also have to do with the heat because The swelling has gone down some since I arrived in Alaska. Just in case, he gave me an antibiotic, in case the swollen nodes in my armpit have a secondary infection (I had a low-lying fever). He also gave me a prescription for a mild pain pill that kinda makes me tired. The pain pills have helped me sleep the last two nights.

So, I am busy. Everyone wants to know where Eddie and my mom are, but I couldn't afford to bring them with me this time.

Well, off to bed. I am tired!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eddie's Wipe-out Kids' Edition Birthday Party

We had Eddie's "Wipe-out Kids' Edition Birthday Party" yesterday.  It was a  hot day (about 96) but a good one for having mud and water and sprinklers going for the kiddos.  Eddie turns 10 next week, but his dad is taking him back east, so we had the party on Saturday.

The order of obstacles in the "Edstacle Course" is:

1.  Hoop Run (step into four consecutive hoops, raise above head, drop behind you)
2.  Dizzy Dummy (a spinning table that the kids sat on)
3.  Slick Beam (a balance beam over a mud pit)
4.  Crawl Through (kids had to crawl through holes in two ladder-like apparatus with a shallow pool between them)
5.  Tarzan Swing (kids have to swing over the water hazard)
6. Slip-n-Slide

We had two rounds through the course and the three fastest times won prizes.  The only difference was that the second round, the kids had to navigate water balloons thrown at them, shaving cream on the Slick Beam, Crawl Through, and Tarzan Swing, and silly string sprayed at them when on the Tarzan Swing.

In general, I'd have to say that it was the water balloons that slowed kids down the most.

I would have to say that a good time was had by all.  Here are a few pics of Eddie on his obstacles.

Here's Eddie on the Dizzy Dummy:

Here's Eddie on the Tarzan Swing:

And, here's Eddie on the Slip-n-Slide:

I'm going to link to my brother's Facebook page - he put together a quick video snippet of the course and the party attendees.  You can follow the action at:

Eddie's Wipe-out Kids' Edition Birthday Party

Eddie and I need to give a huge thank you to my dad for building the obstacles (several longer-term projects), to my mom for taking charge of the food, to my brother Scotty for doing the electronics (theme music, stop watch, microphone and speakers and for photos and video), to my other brother Kevin for running the stop watch, my niece, Kenna, helped with decorating the cake/cupcakes, yard decorations and filling water balloons, and to my friend, Josh, for announcing the play by play as the kids ran the course.  Then, of course, there was all the set-up and clean-up.  Whew!

Happy Birthday, Spagedward!  It was a lot of work, but it was fun, too!  Enjoy!

A New Symptom?

Yesterday was my son's "Wipe-out Kids' Edition" Birthday Party.  I will write another post about that adventure.  But it was quite warm out (about 96 degrees) and I was in the heat from about 12noon or so until about 6:00pm.  Eddie's party was from 2-4pm, but then some friends stayed to hang out in the shade.

But last night, I took a cool bath to wash off dirt and sweat and I noticed that the area around my right groin was swollen.  It was raised about a half inch from normal.  The whole swollen area was about 4-5 inches long and 2-3 inches wide.  It felt a little squishy so I presume it was fluid/lymphedema. 

Dang.  Lymphedema?  In my groin?  My only guess is that the lymphedema which is in my right scapula area (around the shoulder blade) had migrated down to the groin via gravity but was not able to drain for whatever reason.

So, I stimulated the lymph nodes around the groin and did some squats and stretches in an attempt to move the lymph in that area.  By this morning, the swelling is down quite a bit, but I can still tell it's there.  That area is now somewhat tender. 

Also, the last few nights, I have not been able to get comfortable when it comes time for bed.  The swollen lymph nodes in my left armpit kinda throb with pain.  When I pay attention, it's almost continuous.  I started taking an extra dose of Tylenol about mid-day - before I only had 2 extra-strength Tylenol in the morning and 2 at night. 

I had a Herceptin treatment on Monday. My guess is that maybe, just maybe, the extra pain is caused by blockage in the lymph system, causing most of the Herceptin to kinda pool in the area of my armpit and upper arm.  Dr. S from UW said that a lot of the t-cells (Herminator-2) cells are congregating in the lymph nodes there since my injections go in that left arm.  It makes sense that the Herceptin would do the same since my Herceptin goes in that arm as well.  That's my interpretation anyway.

I'm calling my oncologist, Dr. K., tomorrow and will report on the lymph in the groin and also the pain in the left armpit and see what he says.  I may ask for a prescription for pain pills and will also make sure that it's okay to travel.  I am supposed to leave for Alaska on Tuesday for an 11-day trip.  I choose this time to go because Eddie is going back east with his dad. 

I'm really going to miss him.  I wish he wasn't going to be gone for that long.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Work and Birthday News

I am close to concluding my participation in a project that I have been a part of for two years (the "Alaska Native View of Statehood").  I interviewed 24 Inupit and Yupiit elders who were alive when Alaska became a state. 

I wrote my summary of the Inupiat interviews last fall and finally got enough Yupiit interviews this spring.  I decided to just include the Yupiit interviews into my summary and I added info from archival and literature research.

My chapter summary as well as a 1000-word essay on the "Future of Inupiat and Yupiit' was due on Monday.

I got the 1000-word essay completed and sent in on Monday.  Then, I worked for 8 hours Monday afternoon and evening (from 4pm to 1am with a break for dinner) and then worked for 6 hours on Tuesday (from about 4pm to 10:30pm with a break for dinner).  I had appointments on Monday and Tuesday mornings (Herceptin for three hours and then errands on Monday and then an 8:50am, 10am, 11:15am, and noon on Tuesday).  I turned in my chapter on Tuesday evening.

And, it was accepted.  Now it just needs some editing . . .

Last week, I found out that OSU Press accepted my book proposal.  I met with the Acquisitions Editor to talk about my contract on Wednesday.  I'll be able to look over the draft while I'm away.  My plan is to finish the whole manuscript by next April 1, 2010.  I have a Center for the Humanities Fellowship in Winter Term that should help me write the two new chapters I need (intro and conclusion).

Wednesday also happened to be my 46th birthday.  So, I met with the editor, then a friend/colleague drove over from Bend, and we had lunch and brainstormed some ideas for new projects.  I think we might have something interesting and doable . . . now to sell the idea! 

Wednesday evening, my family went out to dinner. My folks gave me a Tom Robbins book, my friend/colleague gave me a very pretty bracelet with images of skulls, and my sister gave me a sign that said, "The beach soothes my soul" and a turtle necklace. Oh, and a colleague bought my lunch on Tuesday.  Plus, I had almost 50 well wishes on Facebook - that was fun!  Thank you for the gifts, everyone!  And thank you to everyone who wished me well for my birthday!  My favorites were the ones that said, "and many more to come".  Yep, that's my intention.

So, all in all, a good day.  No complaints!

Tumor Markers and CT Scan Results

I had a Herceptin treatment on Monday and they drew my blood.  Got my tumor marker results earlier this week:  the CEA is 44.3 (down two points from last time) and the CA15-3 is 29.2, down by 0.7 points from last time.

This is the first time that the CEA went DOWN in 18 months.  Yippee Skippy!  Yay!

The CA15-3 is below. Remember that anything 33 and under is "normal":

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
Nov 2 2009 - 36.4 U/mL
Nov 30 2009 - 38.5 U/mL
Dec 28 2009 - 37.5 U/mL
Jan 25 2010 - 33.8 U/mL
Mar 8 2010 - 30.9 U/mL
Apr 22 2010 - 30.0 U/mL
Jun 7 2010 - 29.9 U/mL
Jul 19 2010 - 29.2 U/mL

And the CEA numbers. Anything 3.8 and under is "normal".

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 (or was it 5.8?)
11/2/2009 - 7.6 ng/mL
11/30/2009 - 10.5 ng/mL
12/28/2009 - 13.2 ng/mL
3/8/2010 - 22.9 ng/mL
4/22/2010 - 28.9 ng/mL
6/7/2010 - 46.3 ng/mL
7/19/2010 - 44.3 ng/mL

As I mentioned in my last post, Dr. S. from UW stated that what they are seeing is that the t-cell infusions take a little longer to work against the cancer, so I should give it a couple of months.  I personally think it's good news that it went down.

As for my CT scan, the largest of the tumors in my left lung grew by about 0.4 cm in 6 weeks.  Everything else is roughly the same as the time before.  There was a suspicion of a "subtle change" in my liver, but they suggested a more detailed scan or MRI in 3-6 months.  I'm not going to worry about that one just yet and just allow the time for the t-cells to work.

Dr. S from UW also said that CT scans tend to show inflammation.  So, if there is growth seen in the tumors on the CT, it might be due more to inflammation than to more active cancer activity.  Remember that when t-cells are doing their work, it is an inflammatory response.  (Think about when you have a cold and your lymph nodes in your neck get swollen - they are inflamed.  That's the t-cells working.)

My interpretation of the growth of the tumor (or tumors) in the left lung is that there is some inflammation going on there and the t-cells are doing their job on those tumors. 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fun Times on Camano - UW Visit - Exhausting Drive Home

Eddie and I left for Camano Island after his swimming lesson on Tuesday.  We ran into some traffic in Seattle and a little through Everett, but other than smelling something around my right front tire, it was uneventful.  I'd been smelling the smell for a few days and would try to get other people to smell it, but they couldn't.  So, I figure it was my imagination.  But I smelled it again when we stopped to grab lunch in Portland, so I worried and fretted about it before deciding to stop at a Subaru Dealership in Longview.  Diagnosis?  A torn CV boot on the interior side of the tire.  The guys at the dealership said that the tear was throwing grease onto my catalytic converter, which then caused the smell.  They said that it would cost $350.  But they said it would probably be okay to drive it on to Camano Island, but that I should probably get it fixed while I was up there.

Great.  So we found the nearest dealership and luckily I could bring the car in on Thursday, when I had my appointment at UW.  Extra expenses with the car and my teeth.  It would sure be nice to spend money on something else for a change!

At any rate, we made it to Camano around 5pm and had a wonderful spaghetti rustica made by my high school friend, C., who owns her own Italian restaurant in Tehachipi.  We sat on her mom's and stepdad's deck.  It was gorgeous.  We faced east, across Puget Sound, to Mt. Baker.  Sunny and blue skies.  A glass of red wine.  Visiting and talking.  Eddie played the wii - they had Wii Fit Plus with an obstacle course that he liked to play. We played Mario Kart with C. and B.  Eddie and I slept in a tent in the back yard - it was a little chilly outside, but okay in the sleeping bags.  I got up at 4:30am to use the restroom - and saw a rim of pink lining the tops of the Cascade Mountains.  I was a little bit wired from the drive (and some caffeine about 3pm) so I didn't get to sleep until 1am. Eddie woke up at 7am and I kept him in the tent until 8am when people started stirring in the house.

Wednesday, after a lazy morning, we went out on C.'s boat. We left from Camano Island State Park and intended to eat a Langley on Whidbey Island, but there really wasn't a free place to moor the boat, so we boated all the way to Everett and had lunch at Anthony's.  Then, it was a choppy ride home.  Eddie loved it as we bumped across the water.  He would just sit with this sly grin on his face.  It was a beautiful sunny day again.  Another night in the tent.  But I slept longer - from 10:30pm to 7am. 

The next day, C. and I drove to Seattle - after dropping my car at the Subaru dealership in Marysville.  The good news is that they said the repair bill for the new CV boot should only be $200 plus tax.  Whew!  Then, off to UW.

I had a CT scan, then met with Dr. S.  She had a couple of girls who were college juniors (from underrepresented groups) tagging along with her who observed the exam.  C. sat with me and we visited about old times in high school.  I received another vaccination. Dr. S. said that they are changing their study protocol to give the CT scan at a later visit because they are starting to see that the t-cell infusions do not have an immediate response against the cancer - that it usually takes months.  She wasn't surprised that my lymph nodes were still swollen and inflamed (although I think the inflammation was back to where it was before the t-cell infusions).  She also felt the little nodules were little micrometastases.  They are inflamed now because of the t-cell infusions. 

So, I wait.  Give it another couple of months to see if the lymph nodes clear up.  I'll call on Monday for the CT scan results.

I was pretty tired Thursday night and ended up with a slight fever.  C. and I ate dinner in Seattle since we didn't finish with my appointment until about 4pm.  I was tired because they drew a lot of blood and because of the vaccination.  I hung out on the couch and C. waited on me hand and foot.  Don't I have great friends?  They also took care of Eddie.  L. and B. (C.'s mom and step dad) babysat Eddie all day.  They said he was really easy to take care of.  They took him raspberry picking (and we brought the berries home with us) and ran a couple of errands.  He played the wii and played on the computer.  L. (C.'s mom) later told me that we are raising a great kid - he was nice and polite and not high energy.  That's my boy!  Thank you, C., L., and B.!! 

On Friday, after another lazy morning, we went to garage sales, then had lunch at a local cafe, and more garage sales before a lazy evening and dinner on the deck.  Friday was a little chillier - the clouds didn't lift until afternoon.  I found a silk screen print on rice paper by C.B. Greul, a kind of fish (definitely not a salmon or trout - it's fatter) for $5.  There was a little bit of damage - like it had been rolled up in a closet and then a little bit of water damage kinda soaked up the paper since there is a faint tan ragged line along the bottom of the print.  I googled C.B. Greul and found that some of his prints are going at auction for $150-400.  Not too shabby!  I am trying to decide what to do - it's a nice print and I may keep it.  Or, I may try to get it restored and then try to sell it.  What do you think?

On Saturday, Eddie and I left our hosts about 9:45am, with the intention of meeting some friends in Portland.  I found out, however, that they were going to a mall, not the Hawthorne District, and i felt like I didn't really want to do that.  It depended on whether or not I got to Portland when they were still there.  But we hit traffic at Federal Way (just south of Seattle) and it took us well over an hour to get to Fort Lewis (just north of Tacoma) - a trip that should only take 30 min.  Gak! 

Then it was slow again from Olympia to Grand Mound because of road construction.

By the time we got to Portland, my friends were on their way home.  So, Eddie and I stopped at the Family Fun Center in Wilsonville for about an hour.  We got home about 7pm.  I was tired tired tired!

The other good news is that I found out that I don't owe my department as much money for the course buy outs from last year.  In fact, it will be a lot less.  So, when I finish my chapter for the Alaska Statehood project tomorrow or Tuesday, I'll have enough extra salary to pay down debt, put money into savings for property taxes and emergencies, and get a house at the coast next month.  That's a big relief.  Whew.  Now I just need to get to work! 

Okay, I have a Herceptin treatment tomorrow.  I leave on July 27th for an 11-day trip to Alaska.  Eddie's Wipeout Kids' Edition Birthday Party is on July 24th.  My birthday is July 21st.  So, a busy week ahead of me before taking off to Alaska! 

I am so thankful for friends.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I Did Last Week-end

I had a busy week-end, as usual.  Eddie was with his dad.  I had a softball game on Friday (we lost 17-9, but it was fun) and then we went to a teammates' new house. It's really nice with some pretty updates! I was up past midnight that night . ..

And, then Saturday, I ran to the Dollar Tree and got some supplies for Eddie's birthday party on the 24th.  Then, dad, Scotty, mom and I worked to declutter the house - since it was rather warm out to be working outside.  We rearranged furniture in the front room and brought some things out to the garage, then we decided to give away old textbooks.  We managed to give ourselves a bit more room and we got a lot of things off of counters and other surfaces.  Then, we reorganized the books in my parents' room.  Then, I went to my friends' house to play cards and hang out on a warm summer evening.  Yay!

Sunday, I cleaned, did some touch-up paint work in my bedroom, then attended a friend's daughter's birthday party, then took some stuff to my office, and played softball (we won 10-3!).  Whew!  I was tired and I'm still tired today.  I think that I must've ended up with caffeinated diet pepsi instead of caffeine-free diet pepsi last night. 

Today, Eddie had a swimming lesson, then I did some work at home, then I had physical therapy, then worked in my office and wrote some emails.  I need to work on my chapter summary on the Inupiaq/Yup'ik view of Alaska Statehood!  I need to send in revisions next Monday! 

So, a productive time.  I plan on relaxing at Cathie's!

Lymph Node Update and Camano Island

Before I head out to Camano Island and my next visit to UW, I wanted to report on the status of my lymph nodes.  They are still swollen and it *may* be slightly smaller.  Hard to tell.  I still have a handful of those other little nodules around the swollen area.  So, mainly, no real changes.

I have my next appointment at UW on Thursday the 15th.  I will have a CT scan and a booster vaccine.  I guess I'll know more after I get the results of the CT scan.

The good news is that Eddie and I leave tomorrow morning, after his swimming lesson, to head north to Camano Island (no, not north to Alaska - that's later this month), which is one of the San Juan Islands, located about an hour and a half north of Seattle.  We will stay with the mom and stepdad of one of my friends from high school, C.  C. and I worked together at Tastee Treet back in the day.  We figured it had been 28 years since we saw each other - and were lucky enough to reconnect on Facebook.  C. is an ovarian cancer survivor and her mom had breast cancer five years ago.

C. brought her boat (for skiing and crabbing) with her, to park at her mom's house.  We plan to go out on the boat, enjoy C.'s cooking (she owns her own restaurant in Tehachipi, CA), and chill out.  C.'s mom and step dad have a wii and C's stepdad has a Harley and said he'd give Eddie a ride if he wanted.

I  am sooooo looking forward to it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finally! Summer!

When summer arrives in the great Pacific Northwest, it arrives! Our weather finally got above the mid 70's on Tuesday, maybe around 85. An old friend of mine from high school, C., drove her boat up from southern California and stayed in a local hotel. I met her for dinner - she was gracious enough to pay - and we had a great time sitting on the patio, enjoying a delicious margarita and a great dinner.

Eddie and I will drive up to Camano Island to stay with C.'s mom and husband for four nights. We will get to go out on the boat, crabbing or whatever, C's stepfather said he could take Eddie for a ride on his Harley. C. will go with me to my appointment at UW next Thursday and C.'s parents said Ed can stay with them. They also have a wii, which made Eddie happy. So, I will get Tues afternoon, Wed., and Fri. to hang out on the boat. Maybe even Thurs evening. C. Sent me a picture of the view from her mom's house - I could see a great backyard, water, and mountains in the distance. Absolutely gorgeous!

Last night, I went with Cat, Goo, and Baby Goo to hang out in the Marys River to cool off. I think it got up to 99 yesterday. It was hot!

Other than that, I have been getting caught up at work. Still need to make revisions on an article.

Dad is working hard on Eddie's "Edstacle Course" for his Wipe-out Kids' Edition birthday party. There is one more obstacle to finish. I think Eddie is going to have a great time! I will post pictures. Thanks, dad!

Otherwise, I have been slowly getting my work caught up and need to work on revisions on a chapter summary. I am working with a grad student on an independent study, and am supervising three, well, four students on various projects. My office is almost finished - I reorganized and cleaned it up and there are only one or two more things to do.

Monday, July 5, 2010

To Monetize or Not to Monetize

So, I'm considering doing the "monetize" function (i.e., using Google's AdSense) on my blog.

This month, I will have an extra $500 in expenses because of the need for a new crown.

In addition, I received extra summer salary this month, but where I thought I would get two full-time weeks of pay at the end of June, it turns out that I only got about one and a half weeks, which, after taxes, amounts to about $600 less.

Damn.  That's $1100 less this month, which means less to go towards paying off some debt.  Whatever extra I received will go to the new crown and to Eddie's "Wipe-out Kids' Edition" Birthday Party - with some extra going to the debt.

In the end, we do need more money coming into the household.  And doing Google's AdSense is an easy way to do it.  It will inconvenience my readers . . . just because they will be confronted with them.  So, I apologize.  I think, though, that I can choose to block some companies.  I plan to use whatever extra (which I realize probably won't be a lot) to pay down the home equity line of credit (which I used when I was diagnosed two and a half years ago and on sabbatical).  Mom and dad do contribute to the household - both in monetary and non-monetary ways - but it always seems to be a little touch and go.  A little more cash flow will be good . . .

So, dear readers, I will probably implement this change in the next week or so.  It'll be an experiment . .. if it pans out, great.  If not, then I will take it off.  Thank you for your patience!

Rib Pain

While I had a good week-end, I did have some pain in my ribs that flared up Friday night, was kinda bad on Saturday, and started to subside on Sunday.

On Saturday, it kinda hurt to breathe. It was a constant pain that affected my whole demeanor, I think.  Between the rib pain, sensitive teeth, arthritis in my hands, plantar fasciitis and the swollen lymph nodes, I really felt old. 

I wondered about the rib pain - worried if cancer got into the liver - but I also considered the fact that lymphedema had increased, causing more pressure on my ribs. So, I tried to do some self-massage to get the lymph in the right area moving and I wore an Under Armour shirt to bed (sorta works like a compression sleeve). 

Since the pain resolved relatively quickly (I still sorta feel it, but I can go about my daily activities) after wearing the Under Armour shirt, I decided that it was lymphedema.

So, that was the focus of my acupuncture treatment today.  She did "spooning" (gui shui?) by rubbing massage oil on both of my shoulder blades and applying pressure using a spoon.  The right side was really really tender - and I kept flinching away because of the real and also the anticipated pain.  Once I relaxed some and tried to do deep breathing, I could tolerate more.  It is designed to release toxins and release and move the edema. 

Life with cancer . . . there's always something!

Holiday Weekend Happenings

I hope that you all had a great holiday week-end.  I did.  It was relaxing.
On Friday, a friend of mine, R., stopped by to tell us how to stabilize the "Tarzan Swing" which goes over the water hazard. Afterwards, since I kept him waiting, I bought him a pint or two at Squirrel's and we played a few rounds of pool.  First time in years that we played.  Squirrel's was our destination of choice after our volleyball games - almost 20 years ago. 

On Saturday, we spent most of the day around the house.  Had to go to Home Depot for a few supplies for Eddie's "Edstacle" course, for his "Wipe-out Kids' Edition" Birthday Party.  One might wonder why I'm going to all of this expense for a one-time deal .  . . my reply would be is that both the mud pit with the "Slick Beam" and the "Tarzan Swing" draw my son out to the back yard to try his hand at the course and away from his Wii and the computer.  Saturday evening, we headed down to Corvallis' Red, White, and Blue Festival.  Eddie played on the inflatables, we listened to the band, dad got french friends, we shared an Elephant Ear, and had fun.

On Sunday, we ran some errands and then we went to Fort Hoskins Park and did the little interpretive trail, then decided to drive to the Coast for dinner. We were, in essence, chasing blue sky.  The blue sky was west of us and when we walked into the restaurant, it was sunny (although the clouds were just offshore).  When we went back to the car, it was cloudy and we chased the blue sky inland back to Corvallis.  We stayed home for the fireworks display - we were tired, for one, and Eddie does not like the sound of the explosions.  We could see the fireworks just over our backyard fence, between two tall trees in our neighbor's yard.

Today, Eddie had a swimming lesson, then I had an acupuncture appointment, then after lunch, Ed's dad picked him up and we ran some errands, figured out a potential solution for a "Dizzy Dumbie" - a spinning obstacle - and dad barbecued our dinner.

Today, I read two of the chapters of the Alaska Native View of Statehood, in order to incorporate links in my own chapter to these other chapters. I have one more chapter to read and then a bit of analysis.  But I think this evening, I will work on my mask collage. 

So, a good week-end.  Relaxing.  I hope you all had a great week-end, too.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Saw My Oncologist's NP today

I saw my oncologist's nurse practitioner today, to ask about the other little nodules I have near the swollen lymph nodes.  H. thought that they were also part of the lymph system and that they were swollen because of "congestion" or as a kind of spillover from the larger nodes.

H. measured the swollen nodes, took a picture of them and then just asked how I was doing otherwise, and what the plan was in the near future.

As far as I know, it's stay the course with Herceptin, until I'm done with the major portion of the clnical trial.  If the caner is not under control yet, then Dr. S from UW thought of maybe starting Avastin.  But, in the meantime, all I'm doing is waiting to see what's happened after "hermination" (the t-cell infusions).

I do think that the swelling in the lymph nodes has gone down a little bit.

I also had an echocardiogram today.  No news yet - I presume I'll get a report next week some time.

No other news, really.  Have a great 4th of July!