Odds & Ends

Well hello! I had no intention of falling off the face of the blog world for almost a week, but I guess that’s what happens when chemotherapy knocks you on your ass. Apart from not blogging or photographing things, I’ve also not been keeping on top of my inbox (sorry to those who e-mailed me), hardly twittering, and only sometimes on Instagram. Netflix however, I’m all over.

I finished off my fifth round of chemo last Wednesday. One “round” of chemo consists of two “treatments” (ie sessions of IV drips in a chair in the chemo room at the hospital). Under my new COPP/ABV regimen, I start a round with the COPP treatment and a week of chemo pills, then after a week I’m back for a session of the ABV treatment. Then I get three weeks off before the whole thing starts again. The COPP drugs aren’t that bad, they just make be feel tired and crummy for an extended period of time. The ABV treatment, the one I got last week, however made me feel like absolute shit for at least 3 days straight. I become completely useless and just wish the days away.

Scored a stretcher in the chemo room last week!

Thankfully, I am starting to come through the other side and am happy to be facing two whole weeks of NO chemo! My next round, the sixth round, will hopefully be my LAST. The only bummer is that the ABV treatment falls on Dec. 21, so I will likely be hating the world come Christmas day. But I will take it if it means the end of this cancer debacle. I’m due for a PET scan once I’m through with chemo, then my treatment “team” will decide if I’m a good candidate for radiation. So far I’ve been told I am not because they would have to radiate over my left breast, which at 25 years of age puts me at a high risk for breast cancer in the future. However, it also depends on how agressive the cancer is at its original site. We shall see! I’m hoping I’ll be able to start working again part-time in the New Year.

Seeing as I’m coming off several days of being highly medicated, and you’re probably coming off a fantastical weekend (or very filling, if you’re American), here are some completely random topics to entertain you (and me) on this Monday:

1. Fellow blogger Abby, from Abby Has Issues, wrote a book. She is hilarious. You can read about how the book came about here. The best part is that proceeds from the book go to the Humane Society. So if you would like to save a kitten whilst being thoroughly entertained, you can buy the book on Amazon.

2. The other night, I was sitting in bed and Buster came up to snuggle on my lap, digging his face into my tummy. I always think of Buster as this poor helpless animal who needs me to survive. But in this moment it dawned on me that if Cesar Millan were to come into my house, he would probably say this dog is totally the boss of me and that Buster is probably the “pack leader” in this relationship. I bet Buster often thinks he is caring for me. And let’s face it, of the two of us, I’m probably the one more in need right now. So I am now convinced that when he waits outside the bathroom door for me it’s not because he misses me, but because he’s looking out for me. He knows I’m sick, and he’s got my back.

3. Speaking of pets here is a funny bit about them:

Stand-up comedy has become one of my most-watched genres since getting sick. Because it makes me laugh! I love that moment where I uncontrollably burst into laughter and for a second, I don’t feel sick at all. No depressing stuff allowed around here. Unless it’s cheesy drama from the 1990s, obviously.

4. I made these biscuits last week and they were really good.

I followed the layering technique and loved how you could just pull them apart. They turned out wonderfully fluffy despite having no buttermilk and being made with whole wheat. The high oven temp really led to them being crispy on the outside but still mega soft on the inside.

Excuse the iPhone photos. I had an issue with my DSLR and was feeling too sick to fix it. Cancer card yo.

5. It’s been a long while since I last did a music post. Here are five fun songs I’ve been listening to and are perfect to jumpstart a Monday (if you’re reading this in e-mail subscription, you may have to click out to view the videos):

Johnny B Rotten by The Monks

Sometimes I Cry by Tricky Woo (this whole album is ridiculously rockin)

To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) by Ryan Adams (off another amazing album)

Fucking Boyfriend by The Bird and the Bee

The Letter by Joe Cocker (not the most “finessed” version of the song, but the video is worth it)

6. Last but not least, today I am going in for my third pulmonary function test in five months. The last time was to help diagnose the lung toxicity caused by chemo. This time will be to determine my lung capacity before I meet with the respirologist next week. I’m nervous! I hate having to blow through those tubes, and this time they’re going to make me get on a treadmill. I’m crossing my fingers that the damage to my lungs will be reversed, I know that my symptoms are already much better with the steroids I’m taking. I reallyreally hope the damage won’t hinder my ability to run when the cancer is gone!

Anyways, that is all she wrote. I should be back more regularly for the next couple of weeks. I’ve got a few recipes to share per usual!

Posted on November 28, 2011, in Buster, Cancer, Music, Pets, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. one more treatment! that’s amazing. my fingers are crossed that everything goes super smoothly.

    my parents are going away for the holidays, so we celebrated early christmas last night. you’d never have known that it wasn’t the real day since we had [almost] all the elements right there. i say, reschedule! dec 20 is the new christmas.

    • I’ve thought of having Christmas dinner early actually! I like that part better than the gift giving anyways. My birthday is Jan 23 though, so right now I’m hoping to be done chemo by then and have a rockin celebration :)

  2. First and most important, hang in there, kiddo. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and let’s hope the worst is behind you. While I could never know what you’re going through, I can offer my support and endless stream of positive thoughts and karma.

    Second, the fact that you mentioned my book kind of made me emotional on this Monday morning. I don’t get emotional over anything other than animals and someone taking my food away, so that’s saying something. Your support–especially given your own situation–means the world to me. It’s true you get what you give, and I am most appreciative!

    Good luck today and I say this with no hint of sexual innuendo–blow those balls up today, woman!

    • Haha, I only get emotional over the same things too. I always joke that I didn’t cry when they told me I had cancer but I burst into tears the next day when they told me I had to fast for my tests. Also, I struggled for a while wording the whole “blowing into a tube” sentence. Staying classy can be a challenge!

  3. Fingers crossed and saying a prayer that your pulmonary function test goes well today and that the damage will reverse itself once you are finished with chemo! Love that little Buster – he is such a cutie!

  4. So glad you are nearly done! I’ve been following you quietly for this entire trip and have shared your site with several people.

    Just wanted you to know – my darling sister just finished her chemo and radiation for breast cancer. She must’ve been fighting the cancer for lots longer than she was aware, because now, about a month after the final treatment she said she feels better than she has in YEARS! Still gets tired easily, and pretty emotional, but feels AWESOME!

    Here’s hoping that’s ahead for you too!

    • I’ve wondered about that too! I know I was feeling crummy for months leading up to my actual diagnosis, so here’s hoping I feel not just back to “normal” when this is over – but even better! Congrats to your sis too for getting through it :)

  5. Lots of positive vibes coming your way in 3……2…..1! Did you get them?

  6. I’m saying a little prayer for you, I hope everything goes smoothly and you pass your test with flying colors!!

  7. Buster is TOTALLY looking out for you! Pets totally have that sixth sense about us humans. Mine always know to come and comfort me when I cry or to snuggle with me when I’m sick. It’s the most comforting thing in the world to have that fuzzy little guy (or girl) by your side when you need him or her most.

  8. Good luck with your pulmonary test today! :)

  9. Andrew van Geest

    Best of luck to you, Susan:) Don’t worry I’d cry too if I was told I had to fast.

  10. Good luck with your test today!!!!!!!!!!! You will do great :)

    Also, Buster is too cute.

  11. Good luck today! please keep us posted. I am glad you took a week of to just chill. we all need that. Buster is just too cute. He makes me happy for you!

  12. Glad to hear from you Susan and the end of chemo is approaching! It coincides with the shortest day of the year, too – isn’t that interesting.

  13. Good luck with the pulmonary test today. I too hate having to blow into the tubes for the lung function test — and I always end up drooling, which totally embarrasses me like crazy. Also, thanks for linking to my biscuit recipe. So glad you enjoyed them!

  14. yes yes yes dec 21 will be good because it’ll be the LAST of the chemo. Buster is definitely looking out for you. I love his little lips and how sweet he is to you. Penny does the same thing at the bathroom door :) Hoping your test goes well today. Thinking of you always! xoxo

  15. Good luck with everything!! You are in my thoughts!

    Buster is totally there for you! It’s amazing how sometimes our pups look out for us!!

  16. Buster is the cutest dog ever! But I am also a sucker for that breed of dog ;)

    Chemo is almost done!!! Yay!!! Hoping everything goes well :)

  17. Yay! I really do hope that is the last of it for you! You have been so amazing through it all. Such an inspiration! And you couldn’t have a better get well buddy either :)

    Those biscuits do look amazing! YUM!

  18. I have no doubt that Buster is doing his best to take care of you!
    Thank you for the support on my latest project. Here’s hoping the next round is the LAST! :)

  19. Buster is quite possibly the cutest care taker EVER.

  20. Joe Cocker’s version of The Letter? Betraying JD Fortune are we? ;)

  21. If you like to watch comedians, try Jeanne Robertson; she is hysterical! And I’m pretty sure you don’t have to be in your 60s to fully appreciate her humor. There are lots of her videos on You Tube. She’s what I wanna be when I grow up! Enjoy!


    And if you prefer to keep your fantasies of Joe Cocker cool, do NOT go to Wikipedia to see what he looks like now! Apparently the same thing happened to him that happened to me – those 40 years since Woodstock took their toll! (Although I wasn’t at Woodstock – didn’t even know there was such a thing until at least 10 years after it happened.)

    And I’m getting my wish! You’ll be done with the chemo by Christmas (even if you might not be totally back up to your personal best.

  22. Woo! One more to go! Hope all news from here on out is good news. :)

  23. I actually love that version of The Letter! So bad ass. I’m so glad you’re almost done with chemo (and yes I really believe that the 6th round will be your last! You have a lot of positive thoughts being sent your way!).

  24. You have awesome taste in music.

  25. I’m totally getting Abby’s book for my kindle, two of favorite things, reading and saving animals. Plus she’s hysterical! Laughter is the best medicine.
    My kitties often wait at the bathroom door if they did not come in with me. They love going in there with me and I don’t mind the company.
    I love your music posts, thanks!
    Those biscuits look amazing, I think I will be making those soon.
    One more treatment, that is incredible news, I know you will hit that bad boy out of the park.

  26. OMG the cat video is hilarious! Love the hand-waving as tail-swishing! And his tone! hee! Thanks for the LOLZ!

    And the Ryan Adams (not ever to be confused with brian adams!) sounds like something from the 60s!!

    GOOOOOOOood luck. Over here, we have fingers, toes, paws and swishing tails crossed for your pulmonary test while we sit by the radiator. <3

  27. I am just holding good thoughts for you as you go thru the next few weeks! And yes, I think Buster is there o make sure you are OK. I am so in agreement with that he knows something is wrong & is looking out for you!

  28. Christina (aka Mom)

    lonely days are gone, I am coming home, my baby wrote me a letter…

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