Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dancing in the Night and Doing a 180

I dunno what was up with the blankets last night. I had a difficult time maintaining control. Somehow during the night they did a complete 180. All three of them. I'm thinking they had a fine time, dancing and twisting, flying up in the air and rotating before landing again atop my semi-sleeping self. It must have been quite a sight!

Tossing and turning myself, I continue to struggle with a rash that is a side-effect of the drug Avastin. Sometimes the rash is quiet. I do not notice it. Other times one area of my body will begin an intense burning/itching. The palms of my hands insist on a repeat performance of heavy itching every morning.

The Avastin is a relatively new drug in terms of treating ovarian cancer. When I experienced recurrence in January my new oncologist (Dr. W) put me right back on carboplatin and paclitaxel which were the drugs used the first time round. And he added avastin to the mix. I finished the six rounds of carbo/taxol in July and have continued with the avastin every 3rd week since.

Dr. W (should I call him Dr. Who?) would like me to stay on the avastin. But I dunno how long I can continue with the rash symptom. Neither antihistamines nor steroid creams seem to help.

On the other hand, with a clean PET/CT scan in August and again in November I'm reluctant to give up on the drug. The current statistics show longer remissions for those who continue on the drug. It's not a cure-all. But it does extend the time of non-recurrence.

So I'm hanging in there. And I'll tuck my blankets in a bit more securely when I make the bed today.

As for Thanksgiving? I'm thankful for today's medical profession. And I'm thankful for family. Most of all I'm thankful that I can trust all to a loving who provides for His people all that they need here and in the hereafter.

Disclaimer: For any readers who may be using the drug Avastin, my rash is an unusual side-effect of the drug. Don't let my experience cause you apprehension about treatment with Avastin.

Friday, November 12, 2010

About Avastin, Quilts and John Owen

None of the items in today's title are related. Not in any way. Except that they are part of my experience today.

Even though I don't really consider today's treatment "chemo", that's where I'm headed. Chemo. Actually I'm getting an infusion of avastin into my Power Port. I'll be in the chair for at least three hours while the drugs trickle into my veins.

The avastin doesn't really affect me except I am highly suspicious that the drug is causing the light rash that began slowly in March and is a continual aggravation. There are little pin dots of single hives here and there. All over. Except for my face! Oh, I am thankful for no rash on my face! What's the biggy, you ask? They itch, Folks! They itch!

Along with the avastin I get pre-meds...decadron, aloxi, benedryl, and zantac. None of this five-drug cocktail seems to bother me (other than the aforementioned rash) except the decadron. Oh, Man! That Decadron! It has me in a whirl for the next couple of days, boosting my energy level, AND my vocabulary level. UNTIL! Until I CRASH somewhere around mid-Sunday.

But chemo is not what I meant to write about. I'm writing about my just completed quilt. You can see it in its pre-completed form by clicking here.

I make quilts. I make quilts from recycled cotton shirts and blouses. I was making them before Bonnie Hunter (a woman who makes lovely shirt quilts and writes books about them!) began making them and I have several in the closet. And another waiting to be quilted.

(If you like vintage sewing machines, you can click on the photo of this 1940s Singer 201 which is much beloved by quilters for its reliability and power...and perhaps because of the aura of being "old-fashioned". Oil this baby and keep the bobbin area free of lint and dust and it will run forever! Well...perhaps not into Eternity itself, but you get the picture. The Queen Anne cabinet is pretty nifty itself.) Ooops...edit here. This is a Singer 15-91, not a 201. My error! I do have a sits on a shelf in the basement.

This double 4-Patch is the shirt quilt I finished last night. I especially like the striped binding. Actually I would have preferred a plaid fabric for the binding but didn't have a plaid shirt in a color suitable. So stripes it is. (The corner of the quilt is folded back over the backing which is a Calvin Klein cotton sheet - 80 percent off sale - that works great with the masculine shirt fabs.)

Hope your day is great. I'll be reading in the chemo chair...I'm taking John Owen's work on the Holy Spirit with me and will enjoy digging into his thoughts...until the benadryl kicks which time I will have a good nap.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Smile That Keeps on Smiling!

I thought today, being Veteran's Day 2010, you might like to see a pic of my favorite Vet.

This photo was taken a few decades ago. And he's looking a mite older today. But his smile today is just as wide as it was then.

One of the things I first saw in my Vet was his ability to laugh at himself. That's a rare gift. And it still endears him to me.

My salute to all Veterans of our beloved United States of America.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Censorship" Gets Called on a Lot These Days and It Makes Me Puke!

I'm using my First Amendment rights! I'm sick and tired of people yelling "censorship" everytime something like today's upheaval at Amazon comes along. (Read the news, folks!) According to today's news, the "amazing" big online seller is "selling a self-published guide that offers advice" to a certain segment of the population that abuses children.

Regardless of Amazon's claim to the contrary, their reason for keeping the book on their online shelf is NOT a "censorship" issue. Any commercial business is free to sell or not to sell and can select to stock whatever items they wish. Nobody is beating Amazon over the head with the First Amendment and forcing them to sell this book (which, by the way, will make you puke!). Their decision to keep selling the book is their own choice, free and simple. Theirs is a choice of "profit" and not one of avoiding "censorship".

The First Amendment guarantees a right to "free speech". Any author is free to write whatever he wants (within guidelines...he can't, for instance, threaten to kill a member of our government...if he does, he goes to jail).

The First Amendment does NOT guarantee any writer that stores are "required" to sell his book. The market makes that decision. If there is potential for profit, the book gets placed on the shelf. This is a $$$ decision, plain and simple, and has absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment or censorship.

So let's drop this Censorship BS and begin looking at the real issue here. Money! Profit! $$$$$!

In regards to $$$, the people speak! By buying or not buying. We are free to spend our money wherever we wish and I'm betting Amazon is going to lose big time on this issue.

As for "your" rights in regards to the supposed "censorship" of this book? If Amazon takes this book off the shelf, you are Constitutionally protected in your right to track down the author and buy a copy of his esteemed contribution to literature. If, however, you use the guidelines therein to commit a crime, you are subject to the law and the First Amendment won't protect you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Take on Voting Early and Avoiding the Political Axe Grinding

I haven't paid the least bit attention this past three weeks to any political ad on TV, radio, or in the mail. Not the slightest bit.

You see, we voted absentee ballot about three weeks ago. No need to worry about the polls, the TV diatribes (did I use that word correctly?), the signs lining the neighborhood streets. Nope. Haven't paid them one iota of attention.

Wouldn't it be funny if everyone voted absentee? Think of the campaigns that could just shut down completely three weeks prior. Whoa! That would be pretty doggone cool. Three weeks of political quiet until the ballots are counted the first Tuesday of November.

I say we start a movement! Vote Absentee and Vote Early!

(Where's my smiley face icons...can't find 'em!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hot Off the Presses - And You Can Win a Copy

Hot off the press in October was a book that Greg Lucas wrote from a compilation of his blog posts. Somehow I ran across Greg's blog this past year and began following as he talked about his son Jake.

Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability and the Lessons of Grace is the product of Greg's blog. The book is now in print and available in many stores, including Westminster Bookstore. You will be humbled in your reading.

So! can acquire the book by buying it. OR you can leave a comment over at Connie's blog and perhaps win a copy. She purchased 3 for herself, one for a friend, and one for a giveaway. Thanks, Connie!