A Bit of An Anticlimax

I made it through all my various infusions relatively unscathed. I did have an episode of vomiting Sunday afternoon, but four hours later, I ate a full meal with no problems. Based on the symptoms, I think it was more my stomach having a snit fit (which it has done periodically since last summer for reasons which are probably linked to stress), and I don’t think it was related to the Rituxan. Of course, my ribs muscles are sore today. I had my second of three infusions of fluid today, and will have my third Wednesday.

I go to see my cardiologist Tuesday about my weird blood pressure readings. The top number is too high and the bottom number is way low, like 140/43. (That makes three days in a row I have to be out and about. Ugh.) I’m going to talk to him about an alternative to metoprolol, maybe one that doesn’t have nightmares as a side-effect. Between the metoprolol and the cetirizine (Zyrtec) I take for allergies, my dreams have become decidedly “nonpleasant.”

I guess it’s officially spring now. I saw a robin today. The American version (Turdus migratorius) is bigger (oddly enough) and is a member of the thrush family (Turdidae). The European original (Erithracus rubecula) belongs to the chat family (Saxicolinae), a subgroup of the Muscicapidae, the old world flycatchers. The one I saw today was policing the lawn for tidbits.

My hair is about an inch and a half long now, long enough for the wind to mess up and for the natural curl to assert itself. It’s always had a mind of its own. I may have to go for the dandelion clock look, whether I want to or not . . .

In the knitting news, ongoing projects are ongoing. Six more rows on the baby blanket and I will begin the edging. I could probably finish the hat in an afternoon if I’d just sit down and do it.

Ah, Well

They’ve started up the Library knitting group again. Now that the COVID situation has improved, the Library ladies asked M, the woman that originally started the group, and who was “moderating” it when I started going, to start it back up again. In the months before COVID, M’s husband’s health had deteriorated to the point where he could not be left alone, it was hard for her to find sitters for him and she didn’t like driving at night, which was when the group was meeting. Somebody offered to take it over, but it petered out after M left, and then COVID hit. M’s husband passed last year during lock-down.

The newly reconstituted group is still meeting on Tuesdays, but at 1 pm, which solves the problem of M not driving at night. Several of the former regulars are no longer with us, including my friend LB who passed from breast cancer, but KC and I went this past Tues. Apart from KC, M and me, all the rest were newbies of varying degrees of skill level. Of course, I just started a new cycle of chemotherapy today, which makes my future attendance somewhat problematic. I did go this past Tuesday though, and it was good.

After I left knitting group, I went and got my hair cut, got a simple manicure and my toenails cut. A little judiciously applied self care (that’ll be $$, thank you very much). (The past three times, I’ve gotten this young manicurist. She looks around 18-20, and she always has the coolest tee-shirts. She’s pierced in several places and wears wire-wrapped crystal jewelry. )

I had the hair stylist give me what is, in effect, a buzz cut. If all my hair is going to fall out anyway, I don’t want to be pulling handfuls of it out of brushes and shower drains, or wake up and find I’ve shed all over my pillow. What you might call a preemptive strike. (Those black things behind my ears are the Bluetooth headphones to my computer.)(Bless you, Ericsson Mobile!)

(I’ve got a pair for my phone, too, as well as two internet radio apps and a Napster app on my phone. And whatever music is playing on my phone will play on my car radio. Oh, rapture!)

Wednesday I slept in, then puttered and cleaned, changed my bed, took a shower, and washed/dried two loads, one of clothes and one of sheets and towels. I still haven’t unboxed my new computer. Possibly tomorrow, possibly Saturday. Soon, though. Still working out the logistics in my head of getting hither to yon.

I went to JACC at 9:40 a.m. Thursday morning and didn’t leave until 3:30 p.m. I had labs at 9:40 and met with my oncologist at 11:00. I’m taking the COP chemotherapy regimen. I started chemo at 12:30 with Decadron and half a liter of normal saline (and a nice little nap), followed by the cyclophosphamide (the C), followed by the Oncovin (the O) and something else I didn’t catch. After I saw my doc, the nurse called in a prescription for tablet prednisone (the P) I was supposed to take after the infusions, but they didn’t call it in until around noon. (If I’d known, I’d have suggested they call it in Wednesday so I could have already had it on hand, but, oh, well.) Mirabile dictu! They had it waiting for me when I went to the VA at almost 4 o’clock to get it. That was such a relief. I went home by way of Sonic and had a bacon cheeseburger, tots and fries to celebrate the fact that I was sloshing full of cytotoxic chemicals. . .

Tomorrow I go at 11 am to get the stuff that keeps my white blood cell count from cratering. It’s administered as an injection. In 2018, they were giving me Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), but I haven’t been able to get an ear on what they were telling me I’m getting this time. I’m going to make a point of getting the infusion nurse to show me it written down so I can read it.

As I mentioned, I have two internet radio apps and a Napster app on my phone, and those Bluetooth headphones (which I’m not very fond of as the left one doesn’t like to stay in my ear. It’s a pain to have to hunt it when it falls out and goes skittering across the floor). (I may get another set of Comiso ones for my phone. They play longer on a charge, they’re more comfortable to wear, and that little (removable) hook over my ear keeps them from falling off.)(I can use the phone set I have now with my Fire tablet — I’m not worried if the left earbud falls out in the bed!)

Today, I used the internet radio app on my phone to get Soma FM’s Drone Zone channel, which is just about my most favoritest of their channels. That was what I was listening to when I left the apartment, and all during my visit. (So soothing!) It provided just enough sound masking that I could take my little nap during the infusion, while still being able to hear someone talk to me — although my earphones provided a little moment of surreality when the people over at Carillon House returned my call about my mom’s care plan. When I get a phone call, I don’t have to lunge for my phone and juggle it trying to answer the call. The ringer overrides what I’m listening to, and all I have to do to answer is touch the right earbud and talk (they have have built in mikes). I was chatting with the infusion nurse who was hanging IV bags when the lady at Carillon House called, and it took her a moment to realize that my seeming non sequitur was me talking on the phone. That’s a downside to those Bluetooth earbuds — if you don’t have wires coming from your ears, and aren’t holding a phone in front of your face, it kinda makes you look like you are talking to yourself.

In the knitting news, I’ve discovered three mistakes on the 9-pinwheel hat, many, many rows ago and didn’t catch them until now. Rather than frog back to the earliest mistake, I’m fixing them one by one. Wrestling the octopus. It will be tedious, but I broke out the DPNs, which makes it easier though no less tedious to fix. ($%#^@#!)

It’s usually much easier to just frog back the section where you made your mistake and rework just that bit than it is to frog the whole thing back to the mistake — unless you’ve messed up so badly there’s just too much to fix. (The law of diminishing returns applies to knitting, too.) I would have had to frog the whole thing back almost two and a half inches to fix three small mistakes — not worth it. Because my mistake here involved adding a stitch that shouldn’t be there, I’m going to have to take a tapestry needle and redistribute the slack backwards and forward on each row so it’s much less noticeable. (It’ll just look like a small area of uneven tension. Blocking it will also help.) You can fix your mistake on the needles you are using on the project, but having a set of DPNs that are the same size as your working needles makes it much easier and faster. Nuts. Make that four mistakes. (&*^%$#@@!@#$!)

After I all I went through in 2018 after my first round of chemotherapy, I decided to treat myself.

I found the lovely pendant below left on Etsy. The stone is Labradorite wrapped in silver. The seller lived in the Ukraine, and was putting herself through college making jewelry. The longer I wore it, the more I loved it, so I went back to her shop and got the necklace on the right in 2019. I wonder about how “Kedikekik” is and if she’s safe.

The Prodigals Return

I have two sets of bed/bath linens/towels, so there’s always a clean set in reserve. I throw the dirty set in the wash, and put the clean set on/out. Well, time before last, when I washed clothes, a hand towel and a washcloth went AWOL at some point between the bedroom and the dryer. As well as towels and sheets, I had washed a couple of single-bed size blankets (which go on sale about May-ish) preparatory to making them into lap robes for some friends to take to their cabin. I knew there were only three places the missing hand towel and washcloth could be: Hiding in the corner of a fitted sheet (nope), static-stuck to one of the blankets and accidentally folded up (no, I haven’t actually made the lap robes yet. It’s only July, for crying out loud.), or else they’d slid off the top of the clothes in the laundry basket and fallen behind the washer or dryer.

Well, yesterday I finally bit the bullet. Got out the step stool and climbed up on top of the dryer so I could see behind them (I’m short. What can I say?). Yep. You guessed it. So then I had to go get the tank vacuum to get them out.* They’ve since been reunited with their towel, gone through the washer and are now in a holding pattern in the dryer.

Note: No fatted calves were harmed during the return of these prodigals, although half an apple did go the way of all flesh.

*This method is not recommended for retrieving anything (e.g., sock) that is small enough or skinny enough to get sucked up the hose unless you don’t mind fishing it out of the vacuum cleaner bag.

Mysteries and No Wonders

Caught a glimpse of something shiny on the carpet. Found this on the floor beside my dining table. No idea what it is or where it came from. My best guess is that somebody lost it, and it was on it’s way to Plainview (where all lost things go to be found) and it overshot the runway. . .

I had just woken up when my brain broadsided me with this scene set in a story in progress. Didn’t dare wait for the desktop to boot up. Just grabbed a piece of paper out of the printer and a bp pen to put it someplace where I could find it again. No wonder word processing is so much better than writing in longhand.