Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chemo Sucks- Sunburnt Eyes and Heel Sores

I thought my chemo rash was under control, but this weeend it flared up on and around my EYES. My Eyelids are scaley and tight and hurt and under my eyes is all rashy and itchy and red and tight. It keeps me up at night. Cold cloths don't do the trick. No ointment yet that moisturizes enough to relieve the pain and itch. I have a call into the Oncology nurse, so hopefully some answers. I REALLY don't want to go for Chemo tomorrow, it's the Erbatux drug, which causes the rash in the first place.

I also have some odd sores on my Heels. Hurts to walk.

The cummulative effects of Chemo....not fun.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Girls Rule!

Last night was spent with my fabulous posse of Grade School/High School friends: Penny, Karen, Julianna, Peggy, Laila and the newly adopted member of the group- Gail!

Penny had a fabulous spread in her beautiful backyard. I can't tell you how much it energizes me and perks me up to spend these monthly get-togethers with these women. Gail commented on how absolutley comfortable it is to be around them and how easy we all just flow into our friendship. As a group in highschool, we never had the drama or fights or anything many of us witness though our children's lives. We seriously never fought about anything -all we cared about was having some laughs and going out and having fun.

Karen gets the prize and kudos for travelling from Evanston to DuPage county the last 3 times. Our next trip will be up to her neck of the woods.

To all my girls, Thank You from the bottom of my heart for coming together and rekindling a 30-year old friendship. It means the world to me and I hope you all get as much joy from it as do!


Thursday, June 25, 2009


My bloodwork for yesterday's summer outing to chemo shows another downward trend in the cancer marker- 19.0 down from 39 two weeks ago. Yippy Skippy Yay!!!! Also, scored a BED instead of a chair yesterday! YAY!!

So, what does that mean? Tumors shriking. My big unanswered question, and I have asked this of Dr. Lo: What markers, stats, counts, CT Scan reuslts are you looking for to make decisions on future treatments AND most importantly Surgery? I'm not sure why I haven't gotten a straight answer on this. Is it because it's too soon to tell? They need more months of chemo to determine how I'm doing? I really need some answers, unless they just don't want to tell me soenthing, then forget it, keep me in the dark.

Due to the past 2 weeks of mouth issues, I LOST 2 pounds. BOO. I have GOT to suck it up and re-gain those 2 pounds this week. I can't go below 100 pounds and I was at 102 yesteray, down from 106. This has got to stop. PLEASE lift prayers so I can fatten up.

Julie Dillon was my Chemo Buddy yesterday. She was awesome. Of course brought foods and force fed me until I fell asleep. Some good laughs and just a wonderful time to spend together.
My Army of Angels continue to amaze me with their gifts. I am so very very blessed!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I've been pretty p.o.'d this week about the whole food thing. Don't I have enough challenges with this damn cancer?

So, in an effort to "accept" the fact that food is no longer a pleasure, it is a means to an end, I am starting to experiment with food I can tolerate and swallow. I basically need slippery food to help get down.

This morning I ate some couscous in chicken broth. Not very filling, I'm still hungry. Panera's chicken wild rice soup works as long as it's not too thick, I'll stock up Today.

I went to the Smoothie Factory yesterday and got a vanilla shake with Protein Powder. I may get that again today after I drop off Michaela at Baseball camp.

Katie made me some italian Green broth- her friend Lisa made that for me in the first weeks after my surgery. I'll try that as well.

On the Vanity Front: I started an antibiotic for my rash I get from the Erbitux and it's working great. That hot red rash on my chest is very subdued and my face is clearing up as well. At least I don't look as scary and the pain is gone too!

Tomorrow is the Full Chemo Cocktail. It's supposed to be like 95 degrees, but I'll be all wrapped up in blankies in the mauve vinyl chair in the Chemo Circle. Julie Dillon will be my Chemo buddy for the day.

I need to get some structure in my days. I've been super tired and lethargic, which doesn't help me get stronger. I think the lack of good food is also making me weak. I really need to figure this out so I don't lose momentum. When you're so used to working a job most of your life, it's very unsettling when the routine is gone. I'm in limbo and need to climb out.

Busy end of the week planned: Going to Penny's house for our monthly High School Girls gab fest. Saturday Gail, Gina and I are taking Susan out for a pre-surgery (breast cancer) love fest and Sunday, will see April and Kelly, my work Buds! Whew, I'm tired already!

As Always, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your continued prayers and support, a HUGE factor in my Progress and Healing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Results Are In...

CT scan findings: Numerous hepatic metastases scattered throughout both lobes of the liver, now containing spiculated calcification, and most showing interval decrease in size. Mass in Right lobe was 10 x 6.0 CM and is now 3.7 x 5.5 CM (Dr Miller thinks the 5.5 correlates to the 10) and Large Metastasis on left lobe of liver now measures 3.1 x 2.3 down from 6.4 x 6.9.

In other words, Yippee. The decreased size of the larger tumors correlates with the decrease in the CRE marker (1400 to 68 to 39).

It was a relief to have confiramtion that the tumors are shrinking. I am so thankful. And so thankful for all the prayers coming my way. I have a looong way to go folks, many more months of chemo.

The Chemo is taking its toll on my body: super dry skin, I swear I shed a complete Peggy every other day!

Mouth Sores- My mouth is completely scorched. I can't taste a thing. Soups and rices that I was tolerating now hurt to have in my mouth. It SUCKS that I can't taste anything, but for it to HURT on top of it just blows. Shakes, because they are cold, I can tolerate best. I really don't want to live on milkshakes.

Numbing my mouth with lydecaine is an option, but the numbing factor Burns too, so why bother.

I have to muster the courage and the strength to choke down caloric food, withstand the pain and live with the fact that there is absolutley NO pleasure in Food anymore. My sense of taste has been so off from the beginning, so when I found foods I could tolerate and enjoy, it was always so gratifying.

So, please pray that I can find that strength and do what I need to do to nourish myself- a key factor in my healing.



Monday, June 15, 2009

CT Scan

Tuesday I'm going for my first CT scan since surgery. I have to do the barrium contrast drink- OH JOY! But I'm sure it won't be as nasty as the colonoscopy prep!

My Prayer for Tomorrow: That the CT scan shows significant improvement/shrinkage of my liver tumors and NO new growth in my body.

I also pray for relief of my mouth sores and tongue. It keeps me from eating enough food I so baadly need to keep my weight up.

I better take a "happy pill" tonight so I can combat the anxiety.

Will update when results are in, and I KNOW it's going to be positive, I just know it. Keep those prayers and positive vibes flowing!!!



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday Night cook out with Art & Mindy Carlson and Dale and Pat Stephens. They were angels to accomodate my low partying threshhold and make the trip on a Friday evening from Mokena and Naperville. These couples are college friends of Lee's from Illinois State. They are salt of the earth, and I'm so glad they are part of my life!

Mindy reps several clothing lines and brought me a bunch of samples to wear. What a generous wonderful thing to do. Love you Mindy. And the jeans fit great!
Art wanted some shout-outs on the Blog, but damn if I remember a THING from last night's conversations.

Counting my abundant Blessings for the wonderful people in my life, in my corner, fighting right along with me. It really is energizing and healing to be around the people you love....so THANK YOU


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Puppies & Poppies

Bribery Pays

I had the marathon Chemo session yesterday- blood work, Dr. Visit then the Dripping of the Shrinky Juice. I fell asleep in the waiting room b/w the Dr Visist and Chemo. I was sooo tired.
I jokingly said to the Check-In nurse - Julie - "Hey, if you can score me a bed instead of a chair today, I can get some much needed sleep"

well, wouldn't you know, when I was called, I was sent to Room 5- complete with Bed, TV and heat control! I slept probably 3 hours! Those bakery treats did the trick!

I was still bone-ass tired when I got home and fell asleep early, which of course ruins the full-night of sleep. I was wide awake at 2 am, then gave up, went to the couch and read until the birds started chirping.

Looking forward to seeing dear friends tomorrow night. They're making the trip to me, cause I don't last too long in the evening -that way I can crawl to bed and they can stay and visit with Lee.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

I know, I know - Haven't Posted in a while.....

I was crabby this past week. Between the abscess on my tooth and my continued troubles with Stumpy and the Magic Poo-Pouch, I wasn't in the mood to post.

Add to that, my worst reaction to the Erbatux Chemo (the single- dose treatment I get every other week). The rash is really, really bad this week and stings and itches like a Mo-Fo. cold cloths feel OK momentarily, but not lasting. I think the Aquafor moisturizer, which is like Vaseline, is keeping the heat in. I'm at a loss for an effective anti-itch moisturizing product.
My angel sister-Katie went to the nursery and brought me an Aloe Plant this morning. I applied it and it "feels good" and doesn't sting. The drawback is it dries kind of tight and sticky, which adds to my increasingly dry, tight skin.

I was feeling sorry for myself this week, angry, sad, and trying not to go down a bad road with my thoughts. I know it's OK to wallow a bit, Hell, I have every right to feel every negative thing about my damn Cancer. But this week, Peggy needs to rally - BIG Time. Some possible avenues to help:

Wellness House Women's Group- It's time to reach out and join a support group of my peers- women with Cancer. I hope I don't just sit and cry, I hope to gain strength from the amazing women I know will be part of the group.

Walking in the Hood: I need to combat my fatigue and get some strength- I did a half-hour walk today instead of my 1-loop around the block usual. I did think at one point I was going to be found splayed out on the sidewalk about 5 blocks away from home, but I made it! Note To Self: Next time bring your cell phone, just in case.

Prayer: Focused, thoughtful prayer, not only for my healing, but for my family and other special intentions.

Mani/Pedi: Always a mood-booster!

Today's Gratitudes:

My family. I hate breaking down in front of my Parents. I was emotional this week and it is so hard to know how much my parents are aching for me. But we're learning how to fall apart, have a good rant & cry and then dry the tears and move on.

My Lee-Lee: Taking over all the planting- The usual division of garden labor is Lee is all prep and muscle (the hard, exhausting part) and I plant the gardens and numerous containers and hanging baskets with all the annuals.

Lee's done a great job and OF COURSE, wanted to bring a new (read $) element to the garden by adding MANY more Sheppard's hooks to the summer color line was up high, not in ground.
It's looking good, and if summer ever comes to Chicago, it will be a glorious visual feast by July!

My Colleen: You've been such a help to me. Thanks for being the weekly grocery shopper!
My Michaela: Thank you for being honest with your feelings about what's going on in your life right now.


XOXO Peggy

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From Zen to Dental Problems- @$!##

So typical of me - I went to the Wellness House to try out a Guided Imagery workshop. A facilitator basically talks you through each part of your body, helping you to connect, limb-by-limb, organ-by-organ - to help ypu focus on the mind-body connection, it's healing powers etc. All new stuff for me. Skill to learn and use in stressful times: CT scans, bloodwork reports, etc...

It's also very focused on breathing- we all hold our breath and don't even realize it. Well, for some reason, the focusing on the breathing thing was STRESSING me out! I felt like I had shallow breaths and that it was a struggle, similar to my struggles for the first month after surgery. Was it Anxiety? Who knows, but I was the twitchiest, un-zen like person in the room.

After class, I had to go to the Dentist - I felt a mass on my upper gums - was it a chemo side effect or something else? It's a freakin' frackin' ABCESS. So here I am, having to stretch my mouth open - folks, my SKIN is soooo dry and cracked, it's like when you get sunbruned badly and it hurts to stretch your limbs - like the skin's gonna break open and pop off.

I hate having to get dental work - 2008 was the YEAR of dental work for me: 2 crowns and a Root Canal from HELL. Got a MASSIVE infection that blew my face up like a Good Year Blimp, but the worst part was the shear pain that kept me up for nights. Now that I think of it, Chemo is a breeze compared to that event.

Mom's here to take me to Chemo. Gotta pack and get ready for the shrinky juice.