Thursday, April 30, 2009

Had my 3rd round of chemo yesterday. This was for the full cocktail of chemo drugs, an every 2-week event. On the other weeks, I'm getting a single bag of shrinky juice- Cetuximab - a targeted therapy for colon cancer that has spread, like mine, to the liver.

This round was a much better experience that my 1st. They gave me a Benadryl and I basically slept thru 4 hours of the appt. Lee was able to find a spot in the health center and work on his laptop.

So, except fo not sleeping last night, I feel dad is here babysitting me for a bit and we will indulge in some tea and Carrot cake!

Once again, prayers answered: I had a no-drama chemo experience, so far I'm feeling good, post-chemo. What else can a girl ask for? Well, I'd LIKE to ask that one of my side effects - major acne- would go away, but no room for vanity, as long as the drugs do their job, I will handle being ugly!

Oh, one last thing: The baked goods we brought to the Chemo Crew worked like a charm. All the ladies stopped by my room and thanked us profusely! Will treat them again in a few weeks.

Jayn and Larry (Lee's parents) to arrive early evening. Colleen has 4 performances in Wizard of Oz, starting tonight. All seats were sold-out in PRESALES. Col will be one tired girl, but I know she loves the experience.

Have a great weekend everyone, and, as always, thanks for your prayers and support!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This past November, Julie & Tim Dillon had our old clan of MU friends at their gorgeous home in the city.
funny how easily a bunch of middle-aged people can revert to college-like behavior.

Answered Prayer

Last week, after my Saturday trip to the ER, I prayed that I can string together more than 2 "good days". I thought if I can get past the roadblock of feeling good for only 2 days in a row, then I can gain some momentum on getting the physical and mental strength I need to handle chemo every week.

Well guess what? Prayer Answered!!! I've had FOUR good days in a row, and today would make FIVE. How stinkin' lucky am I that I received immediate answer!!

Other Milestones:
I ate TWO helpings of delish Chicken Tetrazzini yesterday. Delish to my off-kilter taste buds and calorie-heavy to add much needed meat to my bones. The yummy food was made by Margaret Nettleton.

I ate TWO pieces of rye toast for breakfast this morning.

Lee took me for a walk last night. I made it from our house to the end of the block and back! Woo-Hoo! I so look forward to getting out on my own and taking longer walks. Getting cabin fever.

Lee's Mom and Dad are coming in from California this Thursday. His sister Desi will come in from Stoughton, WI. They will attend York High School's "Wizard of Oz" production. Colleen is one of 3 Crows, that will sing a number that segues into the Scarecrow scene we all know from the movie. She's also in various songs as the people in OZ/Emerald City. I'm bummed I can't attend, but crowded places/germ-filled venues aren't on my list of OKs.

The Luckey's will also get to see one of Michaela's softball games. The season thus far has been one rain-out after another, and it looks like more rain this weekend. But hopefully she can show Grandma and Papa Luckey her awesome fielding!

Round 3 of chemo tomorrow. Katie ordered the baked goods for me to bring to the Chemo Clerks in my campaign to reverse my "trouble maker" label.

My prayer for tomorrow: handle the chemo and to have minimum side affects so I can continue to have "good days".


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday April 25 - Where Do I Begin?

OK, so the Wednesday round of Chemo, I'll tell the story "Yay/Boo" Style - A story-telling style my Dad, Donald Dean, used when we were kids.

Arrived for Chemo and there were NO wheelchairs - Boo

But I was able to walk the walk straight thru the building - Yay

Just as we were about to check in with Flotsam and Jetsam(the mean clerks from earlier post) I blurt an unpublishable comment about the 2 dollies.
We start to check in and the one clerk (Julie)looks up "Mrs Luckey, right" I asked "How did you know, I've never been upright the last 6 times I've been here?" To which Dollie Number 2 (Mary) replies " Oh, We always remember the trouble makers!" Boo

I laughed so hard and told Lee, Man, oh man, the Big guy TOTALLY put me in my place for my little name-calling, even though it was to Lee, not in front of the girls.

So I know must humbly eat crow, and bring baked goods to the nurses to establish a positive relationship with the chemo Crew at Loyola. Said desserts are ordered and will be delivered by my local baker - Kathy Best of Tea Rose Pastries - Elmhurst, IL.

So after 6 hours, got home, out of my mind. One of the side effects from the particular drug I got is flu-like symptoms. I was under 7 blankets at Chemo, cold from the inside - out. Then basically Thursday felt like some one beat me with a baseball bat. So, all in all, not bad. YAY!!!!!

Friday, April 24th-Fantastic, magical, Most Excellent Day! Lee cleaned up the house and got the deck ready with the furniture (great weather in Chicago that day) in anticipation of 4 of my grade school/high school friends coming to visit. Lee worked so hard all day long, he's so stinking tired, and he did it all for me. Love that man-o-mine.

Had a great time cackling with the girls, lots of catching up, too much for a couple of hours, but so incredibly energizing and draining at the same time! I had to tell them to go, i was breathless from laughing and talking.

Then, Perfect Day Part 2: My mental/visualization "Happy Place" is Cayucos, California, a little beach town on the Central Coast where Lee's sister - Jana and her family spend lots of time at her in-law's Beach home. We've been lucky to go several times.

So, Michaela mentions to my neighbor Gail, Mom's Happy Place is Cayucos and all of a sudden, she and Lee are plotting a date night on the deck for me. After my girlfriends left, Gail and her daughter do an HGTV on our deck complete with sand, seashells, ocean-themed candle holders etc....Colleen made a music mix on her ipod and we had that streaming..the weather held out, and Lee & I just hung out, talked, cried etc....

So once again, I had this 24-hour love fest bestowed on me by friends and family, absolutely magical.

I'l say it again: I am overwhelmed on a daily basis on each and every act of kindness, errand, food, gift, help with the kids etc. to tell you the truth, I'm crying so much every day in appreciation for everthing, it's draining me! Does that make any sense at all?

I feel like God is pummeling me with lessons everyday. Like a crash course and constant revelation and "Ah-Hah" moment. Not sure if I'm explaining my self very well on this particular subject, but I'll get my head wrapped around it and figure out how to better articulate.

Have a great week. My next round of "Shrinky Juice" is this Wednesday, early am. wish me luck!!!!!

XOXO Peggy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ponderings from Peggy - Wed

Getting juiced again today. the tumor in my colon was tested for some mutation or another, i don't have the mutation, so there is some additional cocktail they need to give me today. 6 hour infusion...hoping i'm coherent..last week was a doozy!
Poor Lee, there is NO comfortable chair or anything for family/friends in the Loyola setup. The waiting room is bright any sunny, but stiff nasty chairs, and no place for people to plug in laptops etc while they do the waiting game for loved ones.

Praire Cafe Soup- the chicken noodle soup is still my nutitional lifeline. I'm like an addict if i know i'm running out..which I am, and which kate is taking care of for me today. I had my mom get 2 cartons of it the other day and she took one home because she thought I had too much and I wouldn't get thru it.!

Showers: It hit me yesterday that it'll be a looong time until i can take a "normal" shower. Lee wraps me in Saran Wrap(so anti-fantasy) to cover the Ostomy bag so it doesn't get too soaked.

Mushy-Love stuff and shout-outs: You all know me as pretty open emotionally, not embarassed to cry ans how emotion. Lately, I feel like the leaky faucet in my bathroom- lots of tears. But I have to say, most of the tears are rooted in the overwhelming and astounding gratitude I feel every day to all of you that keep on giving and praying and ministering to me and my family.
Seriously, at this very moment, I there seems to be no bottom , no end in sight to the constant love and giving and all I am receiving. It's almost embarassing that I have so much, it is without a doubt HUMBLING to the core of my soul.

I tell Lee, "Look at what we are being taught! How to love and give in a situation like this. Now we know." I can't WAIT to get stronger and better so I can take the lessons I am learning and shine my light on others and it is being shone on me!

Time to change the bag, put on my hot pair of stretch pants and shuffle to the Hospital!

Love Love Love!!!!! Peg

Friday, April 17, 2009

Peg's Cancer Comedy- Seriously, it can only happen to me

April 15th- Tax Day, we've never filed an extension before..I had Lee figure that out, do Colleen's 1040-EZ form, which she couldn't sign until 9pm that night, then my father drove out the forms to Carol Stream Post Office that was open for all the last-minutes losers !

So this was the first day of chemo 3pm appt at Loyola, my home away from home. Highlight of the drive in the Eisenhower is that nasty foul landfill in Hillside. Seriously, that town just needs to go away.

Lee pulls up to the valet at the Cancer Center, I stick my leg out and Holy Mortification - my ostomy bag sprung a leak! So Lee hoists my poopy-ass out of the car, looks for a wheel chair - there were NO wheelchairs...15 minutes later, he retrieves my smelly-gross body from the cold stell bench in front of the Cancer Center and wheels me to Chemo.

Now, picture this: I'm out of my mind with pain, slumping in the wheelchair, sticky and gross and Lee notifies the clerk I'm here for chemo, and we had an accident. "is there anywhere she can lay down, Peg can't sit up straight anymore and we need to change her bag". The Postal Worker Drone clerks, look up and simply state " Have a seat we'll call you when we have room for her".

OK, if you took one look at me, you'd be thanking your lucky stars you weren't me at that moment. God Bless my husband, Lee has had to do the nastiest things in the name of "In sickness and In Health" ever since this started! He cleaned me up and about 1/2 hour later I got a bed to start the 5 hour Chemo.

Thursday, was a GREAT day. I felt good for a change, not so lethargic, I was lucid all day. Holly my sister in law came over and helped me purge my Working Woman 30 pair of black pants. I tried a pair on - size 8 my normal, and it was huge. Holly, my gorgeous tall beautiful,sinewy girl even got a couple pair of hot Long & Lean Gap jeans out of the purge!

Katie,my rock,my absolute Angel on Earth, spent half the day with me, getting me my current fav chicken noodle soup from the Prairie Cafe in Elmhurst. She got me on the swish and spit routine to keep mouth sores at bay. God I love her so much. And you can tell what a blessing she is to others as HER friends minister to me with prayers, and food (Deana and Lisa M and Fran you ROCK the kitchen) and gifts etc.

My Mom & Dad: There are NO adequate words to fully describe my unending love and appreciation for the constant care and support this month. You are without fail the most heroic, strong people in my life. I am so lucky you're mine.

So, enough for now, I need to monitor myself all day then get my chemo unhooked, then go back next week and start all over again.

Again, Love to ALL fo you for your unending gifts of prayer and support and time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hi All,

Peggy should be starting Chemo on Tuesday. Her pain is pretty severe at this point and was given a prescription for morphine pills but it kept her up all night. It doesn't seem like she is going to get that breather she was hoping for where should would feel rested and ready to move on to treatment so please continue to pray for her. Pray that she will gain the physical, mental and emotional strength to fight. Pray for her complete recovery.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thought I'd give you all a re-cap of the week after my surgery, with a Peggy-spin:
Monday: Appointment with the poo-bag nurses (ilesotomy bag if you must know the formal term). I'm pretty lethargic and out if it, pain in my ribs continues. The nurses tell me I look like crud and should go to the ER. Ya-Hoo. I was dehydrated, sucked down 2 IV bags; I was in the ER for 8 hours, yes 8, and had an ultrasound done on some organs and a chest X-ray to make sure my lungs weren't filling up. I did mention to Attending surgeons, once they graced me with their presence, that my incision was very swollen. They said it was normal.
Tuesday: The surgeon's office called, noticed I was in ER and wanted me back in just to get hydrated - "come to the day hospital so you don't have to wait in the ER". Mom took me, and we waited 2 hours to get in - my appointment was at 12pm. During the wait, I had the unfortunate and mortifying Ileostomy Leak- the equivalent of a pregnant woman's water breaking in public! At least I was at the hospital, they gave me someXXL scrub pants and I went commando for the rest of my visit!
Wednesday: Nice and Dull
Thursday: After my shower, I notice blood on the floor..What the Heck? Visiting Nurse arrives and determines my incision is infected. It needs to get looked at and cleaned out. Just as we were about to go to the ER yet again, my Primary Doctor calls and comes to the house. We go to the office, which is just a few blocks away, and Dr. John basically drains the infectious ick, gives me 2 shots in a VERY sensitive area, and packs the wound. I now have a nurse come every day to change the dressing. Looks to be clearing up nicely.
So, I didn't exactly get a chance to "rest" my first week post-op, but I guess the wee k showed me that there will definitely be ups and downs and blips along the way.
One thing I must express: The kindness, support, love, cards, flowers, food and most of all - Prayers - have been overwhelming. It is humbling to know how far-reaching your love and support is. I feel so blessed, beyond blessed, to have this support system. It's almost like all of you are this big cloud, lifting me up and gently caressing me so that I can go about the business of healing, and just getting ready for the next steps in this journey. I'm really in a physical stage right now - trying to get strong, move, rest etc..very basic stuff.. As I go through the journey of Chemo and healing, there will be more physical challenges, but I really am just going day by day for the moment. Spiritually, you all have me covered, and for that I am so very greatful.
Love You All,