Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

So here's my theory: if you are going to get a fake tree, you have to go all out. So, this year, we bought a red pre - lit ridiculously fake looking tree for Christmas - and decorated it with Razorback ornaments. Here are some more shots: 

Warner kindly reminded me today that it was not December 1 yet and I told him that it did not matter because it was after Thanksgiving and that was all that counts! So, I sat on the couch painting the ornaments this evening and then we decorated! We even have presents under the tree already! Yippee! 

Here's a picture, just because my brother Charlie is awesome! He took pictures of us while we were in Texas and they turned out great! I'm only showing you guys one for now though! I'll show off the rest at Christmas or something.  

Don't we look like Gap models or something? I'm totally working that scarf! Haha. So, if you ever need pictures done or anything like that, I know a guy. This picture was taken out at my grandfather's farm. We took pictures there and at the park in town. 

We decided against camping on the way home because Warner has a cough and we really just wanted to get home (not to mention there were several good football games on tv today). So, we will just have to try out our new tent another day! 

Mom and I went to Walmart yesterday morning and it was crazy! I've never been one for shopping the day after Thanksgiving. We didn't get there to stand in line, but we did go at about 6:30 and they were completely sold out of almost everything we wanted. We heard from people that there was a line throughout the store for electronics so there would have been little hope anyway of us getting what we wanted from there! I did manage to score a few cheap movies and that was really about it. I did go to the outlet mall this evening and man oh man there were a ton of sales. I picked up a few things and I think I am officially done buying smaller clothes (at least for the season). I wanted a pair of brown pants and Banana Republic had 50% off their entire store so I was sucked in! So, moral of the story? Skip Walmart the day after Thanksgiving and go to the outlet mall two days after!

Friday, November 28, 2008


All I'm going to say is:

WOO PIG SOOIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Official Diagnosis

Symptomatic Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (NOH). They don't teach you how to spell those kind of words in kindergarden. I went and saw my endocrinologist today and he handed me a piece of paper about clinical trials and pointed to those words and said, "That's what you've got." As for the clinical trial, I don't know if I'll be doing it, and I'm not sure I even qualify since I've been hit by the book in cancer treatments. My BP was low today at the check-up and my pulse of course was high, but the good news was it remained fairly unchanged when I changed from sitting to standing. So, my meds were upped and we're going from there.

We are heading out tomorrow to go to my grandmother's for Thanksgiving. I'm ready for some turkey and stuffing!!! 

Random Fact about me: I will drive 30+ minutes to Whole Foods for Veggie Chips and Apples. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

1997 All Over Again

Sorry, I kind of went all Jr. High School girl on you guys yesterday but Mrs. Robin got it right - it was my "one month anniversary" (or whatever you want to call it) of officially being in remission! Ha, I definitely feel like a teenager again. You know, when you celebrate because you have been dating for a total of 36 minutes and it's a huge milestone in your life and he better get you flowers or else he won't ever see 37 minutes. Yeah. I never did that actually. Seriously. I'm not the random anniversary type. I have my wedding anniversary on July 29th and we got engaged on January 17 and that's about it. But now I get to celebrate October 22 as being when I was officially put into remission. Which is awesome, so you're going to have to deal with it! Okay, that's all I've got for now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Question Of The Day

Does anybody know what today was???? 

(yeah, we're getting interactive here)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just An Update

The good news is, my reaction is probably not because of the medicine. Well, it might be because of the medicine but not that I'm allergic to them, since the reaction is only in the radiated areas. 

This time I'm feeling kind of bleh and I have a super headache (I'm dizzy too, but that's nothing new) two symptoms I didn't have before. Oh, and I have a fever So, I'm going to start taking some Claritin and see if that clears it up. If it does, I can go back on the first medication. My endocrinologist has never seen anyone allergic to either of the medications that I have reacted to so hopefully it's not that, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. If this nonsense doesn't go away I'll have to call my radiation oncologist and get his input!

ARg! And No, It's Not Talk Like A Pirate Day

Reaction #2 and a new haircut! Yippee!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

So, I don't have any medical news, I know, lame, right? I can't help it, I would be a whole lot less interesting if I didn't get cancer, and seriously, I don't think anyone would read the blog - I wouldn't even have a blog. I mean, I've gotten way fewer comments since I was put in remission. See, cancer has a sort of entertainment factor to it! I'm okay with fewer comments. I'd rather be in remission than going through treatment any day. Although I was telling someone the other day that I think cancer might be a lot like having a baby - I've never had a baby so I can only assume. I look back on it and it doesn't seem so bad, as a whole. I can think of times when I was miserable, but those don't pop into my mind right away. 

Anyway. I started Christmas shopping today, yeah I cringed at the thought of doing so as well. But, since I'm going back to work on December 1, I decided I needed to get my shopping done early. So, don't judge me! I also stumbled upon shoe heaven while I was out shopping. Seriously, DSW Shoes is INSANE. I'm going back. Soon.

My mother - in - law was in town the past few days. We went shopping with my mom one day and we ate beignets another. Now, she is back home, hopefully enjoying her new Kirby vacuum cleaner / carpet shampooer! She bought the dogs a new toy while she was here, and Edgar does not let it out of his site. It's the one in the picture at the top! Many wars have already been fought over this little orange guy! 

So I lied, I do have a little medical news - see, I'm making it worth your while to read my whole blog! I'm not allergic to the new medication. It isn't working 100% though. So, while I can definitely tell in the mornings when I haven't taken it yet, I still get lightheaded every now and then throughout the day. 

In other news, I think I'm going to go through my closet some and start packing up some clothes that don't fit anymore and save them for a rainy day. When I look in the mirror I don't feel like I've lost any weight really, but then I put on my clothes, and well, yep, I have - and I'm eating like a horse! I guess it just means more shopping for me! HA. I think Warner would disagree. Speaking of Warner, I need to convince him to write a blog post soon. Maybe he'll be more interesting than me. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Little Less Red

You guys are all way more concerned about my health than I am. I'm going to be fine. I talked to my doctor on Monday and he really wasn't too concerned. I told him I stopped taking the meds and was taking benadryl and that was good enough with him. I'm pretty sure the swelling in my neck and under my chin were because of my lack of lymph nodes. I'm just going to have to work harder now to get the swelling back down. I'll start a new medication when I get back home from Paula's house. I wanted to wait until my reaction had gone down some so I would be able to know if I was allergic to the next medicine when I started taking it. The redness and itching have gone down a little bit today so enough about that. 

I went to the Birmingham zoo today with my friend Shane and his wife Shauna showed up for a little bit. It definitely wasn't the Audubon zoo and there were no elephants! However, there was a baby giraffe, a very feisty white tiger, and very pink flamingos so it was fun. Paula and I went up to The Vulcan which is a statue in Birmingham, apparently the largest iron statue cast in the US. You can take an elevator (or stairs if you are insane) to the top of the platform and look out over the city. We went once during the day and then we went back at night to see the lights. Tomorrow I'll be heading back home to see my husband and my puppies, who, hopefully, have missed me dearly. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

You Should Probably Take Two

So, I started taking my blood pressure medication yesterday (Saturday). I take 2.5 milligrams at seven, noon, and four (most people have to take much more but I started out on a really low dose). When I got to Paula's house I noticed a small red patch on my cheek, but I didn't think too much of it, because I figured it was just dry from the cold air. Yesterday Paula and I went to a football watch party at her friend's house and I noticed the patch had gotten a little bigger, but I wasn't too worried, so I popped my four o'clock pill. We left the party a little early to go to the Birmingham Christmas craft show - which was amazing. I noticed the red patch was now out of control. I decided at this point I would still take the medicine the next day and see what happens and then call my doctor on Monday - I wasn't quite convinced at this point that it was the medication. Well, as the night progressed my neck and lower face were starting to swell some and my skin was hot and everywhere that was red felt like it was bruised and my poor neck muscles were much tighter than normal. I googled midodrine side effects and all the side effects I was having said to seek emergency care - I wasn't about to go to the hospital at this point because I was fine except for the swelling and the rash (I was still breathing fine) - it was just annoying. At this point I decided I would not be taking the meds again the next day. I didn't want to take any benadryl without talking to the doctor because I know that some of the blood pressure medications don't interact very well with certain drugs. So, I stuck it out over night - Paula kept waking up in the middle of the night to see if I was still breathing. 

We went to church this morning and after lunch we ventured out to the pharmacy to ask them about drug interactions. I asked him if I could take the benadryl after having taken the Midodrine and he looked at me and said "Ummm, you might want to take two!" To which I replied, "Do I really look that bad?" Then, he asked me if my tongue was swollen. Poor guy, at this point he had no clue what he was about to hear. Haha, I told him that No, it's not swollen, I had tongue cancer and I always sound like this now. We all kind of laughed - I laughed hard, but I think he was a little nervous. So anyway, I am now taking benadryl, but it's not really helping yet. My face and neck are now itchy and they are still very red. My face definitely looks worse now than it did earlier today when I took this picture. The picture does not properly display my swollen double chin and the extent of the swelling on my neck. And, my face is much redder in person! Sorry this is a bad picture of me! Ha!

In other news, Paula and I went on a short hike in Oak Mountain State Park to a nonexistent waterfall - there was barely any water, but the fall colors were still pretty. After we went and ate dinner at the Arnolds' and hung out over there for a little bit - I was a bit of a party pooper and kept nodding off while we were talking because of the benadryl. Shane and Shauna showed up as well. Now I'm back in Paula's bedroom with an itchy face, waiting for the benadryl to serenade me to sleep! So, here are some pictures from the day.

I've started doing this weird thing that I keep my shoulders up towards my ears. I'm working on it though.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A High Salt Diet

In addition to taking the medication for my dysautonomia I have to eat a high salt diet. Can we say "Yuck!" I really do not like salty food at all and I hardly put salt on anything. So, I'm going to buy some gatorade and go from there. 

That is the cake I made to take with me to Paula's tomorrow! I used buttercream to stick all the flowers on instead of just water, so that's why it is kind of messy. But hey, it will still taste good! So, while I was decorating the cake, this is what Warner was doing:

We ordered a new tent online and it came in the other day. Warner was so excited and set it up in our living room. Edgar HATED it. The whole time Warner was setting it up Edgar kept staring at it and whining. Camping should be interesting with him. Oh well, I'm off to clean the house some more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Trial And Error

I finally talked to the endocrinologist yesterday. I had to call him to find out why I had not heard anything about my tilt table test. Turns out, the cardiologist never passed on the results, so my endocrinologist didn't know that I had even had the test. He apparently found out yesterday that I had the test already when he talked to Dr. Bienvenu. Apparently after he returned my phone call (that I missed) he called Dr. Bienvenu about another patient and they ended up talking about me! So, he called me back later that evening and I gave him the results over the phone and he said he was going to call the cardiologist (today) and get the official results. So anyway. He is supposed to call in a prescription for me today (I haven't heard from the pharmacy today so I'll probably be calling them in a little bit). Basically, the treatment for my dysautonomia is not cut and dry. I will try this first drug, see if it helps and if it does, great. If not, then I will move on to drug B and so on. So, it could take a while to get the right drug and the right dosage down. He said I should know in a few weeks if the first medicine is working. 

I had an appointment with Dr. Pou yesterday and that was good. I told her about my tilt table test and my symptoms and stuff and she said she had never seen anything like this is someone with head and neck cancer. So woohoo, yay for being the oddball! We talked a lot about cancer causes and her theories on why people are getting oral cancer at younger ages and she thinks a lot of it is environmental (since she has worked in Louisiana and Houston and has seen a surge in younger patients). Then I informed her I grew up in the River Parishes and immediately you can see the curiosity on her face, because the river parishes had once been called "Cancer Alley." To this she responded with an "Ooooh" and we talked about it a little more. Obviously there are some that will argue against the environmental cause, but who knows. It's really not that important anyway. So, it was a good visit. 

In other news, I'm baking a cake today to take to Paula's house this weekend! I'll post a picture when it's done! 

Monday, November 3, 2008

HAIR! Or The Lack Of It

So, if you click on the picture and make it bigger, you will see that my hair is starting to grow back...sort of. I have some fuzz up at the top and a little bit of fuzz down on the bottom - it's my soul patch. I bet most of y'all didn't realize that I had lost that much hair from radiation. It used to be baby bottom smooth - like my chin (because it has no hair on it either, not that it's a bad thing). So far I can't tell if the hair is growing in darker (maybe slightly?) and it's too short to know if it is going to be curly or not. Right now, it's just fuzz! 

I made another cake today but I'm not going to post it on here because it is politically related and I don't want to get political on here! So, I have a new hobby, and unfortunately, making cakes is not very cheap! Ha. Maybe once I stop having to buy new supplies for my new cake ideas, it will get cheaper. 

This weekend I'm going to go visit Paula for a few days in Alabama since I'm going to start working around Thanksgiving so I have some time to kill - I'm pretty excited. We are going to a Christmas craft show at some point and we are going to meet up with some other friends in town. 

I had an appointment with my radiation oncologist last week and I get to go three months now in between appointments. I still have to see my wonderful ENT every six weeks though and I actually have an appointment this week. I still need to call the endocrinologist about my tilt table test follow-up. That's all my news for now! 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy November!

I love November because usually the weather is cooler and the leaves have changed colors and it's perfect weather for hiking; however, when you live in Louisiana, the leaves only change to different shades of brown and the weather just becomes less humid. Oh well! Last night we had our work Halloween party and it was fun. Warner and I went as pirates! So, if you ever wanted to see Warner in red striped pants - here you go! HA! 

Yeah, we were pretty cute. Warner got a kick out of pretend cutting my neck with his sword since I have the scar there. I made a cake for the party (I made stuffed mushrooms as well, but I'm quite proud of my cake).