Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mid Point of Chemo!

Today I had the 6th of 12 chemo sessions!  I've reached the mid point of this second phase of chemo!  Six sessions left to go! 

I had a hard time falling asleep last night.  Maybe my afternoon naps are to blame?  I was up until after 4:00 a.m. and then, when I did fall asleep, I dreamt that I was in an accident on the freeway!  I was not ready to wake up when the alarm went off at 7:00 a.m., so I stayed in bed for another half hour and sort of dozed on and off.  Still, I was up and dressed and ready to leave by 8:15 a.m.  Traffic was fairly light since it was Friday; the traffic reporters call it "Friday light", a result of some people having Fridays off from work.  In addition, it was also a holiday for some, being the start of Passover.  I was at the clinic shortly after 9:00 a.m. and called in by 9:15 a.m. (my scheduled appointment time). 

I met with the nurse practitioner today and we discussed  my insomnia.  She said it is a side effect of the chemo as well as the steroids.  Also, I am no longer as tired as I used to be, since I don't have to go to the office, am not experiencing the extreme fatigue from the first part of chemo, can take afternoon naps, etc.  Her suggestion was I do more physical activity to tire me out.  So, longer walks, I guess.

The chemo session went well.  It was quite uneventful.  As usual, I read my prayer book and knitted while I was hooked up to the IV.  I was done a little after 12:30 p.m. and was home by 1:30 p.m.  No problems and no side effects, so far. 

One of my cousins called in the afternoon to see how the chemo session went and her mother called me later in the evening.  They are planning to visit me tomorrow night and aunt wants me to make her some egg salad sandwiches after she found out that I had an egg salad sandwich for my lunch, today; apparently she loves egg salad sandwiches!

My gardener friend came to do the garden today.  We decided to redo a portion of the front parkway, with paving stones and aloe plants that he will bring from his own garden.  Then, I got him to transplant a few plants, uproot a couple of unwanted volunteer tree seedlings that were growing from seeds dropped from my back neighbor's trees, and plant the packet of tomato seeds that I found included in a magazine I had received.  He asked me if I needed anything in terms of groceries.  At first, I said I was fine, but then, asked for bagels.  So, this evening, he brought me a package of bagels, cream cheese, and a mango!  

For dinner, tonight, I had some of the leftover chicken and veggie saute and a bagel with cream cheese.

Daughter and I were able to video chat, today.  She had to switch to her iPad, as her laptop was giving trouble.  There seems to be something wrong with her laptop as it says the microphone doesn't connect.  She tried to connect her headphones, instead, and that didn't work, either.  Her laptop is fairly new, so, we'll have it checked when she comes home, next. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- A safe drive to the clinic (unlike my dream of an accident!)
- Listening to a music CD during the drive.
- Being at the mid point in the second phase of chemo!
- Being able to video chat with daughter.
- Gardener friend bringing me bagels and cream cheese.

Wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight?  It is past 1:20 a.m. now, and I am not tired or sleepy!

How was your Friday?  What have you planned for the weekend? 


  1. I'm so glad you were able to drive safely to your chemo session with only 3 hours of sleep and nightmares about a car accident! Your daughter might need to update the drivers. I'm assuming she has Windows 10. Here is a thread that discusses this:

    A lot of people had problems specifically with Skype and audio not working and messages 13 and 18 on this page (message counts on the right) explains how these users fixed it :

    Good luck!

    1. Thank you, Nathalie! You are so helpful! She does have Windows 10 (and told me not to upgrade because she found she couldn't run some of her school programs on her computer after she upgraded!). I will send her the links and tell her to look into them. :)

  2. So glad you have reached your half way point - have a lovely weekend xx

    1. Thank you, Angela. Get through one step at a time, has been my mantra, but it is encouraging to know that, with the help of everyone's thoughts and prayers, I have made it half way.

  3. Good luck with the sleep, I hope you get enough rest. And you are half way now - sending prayers and good vibes. x

    1. Thank you! I got 5 hrs. of sleep last night, which used to be my normal amount of sleep for years!

  4. Congrats on making it through your 1/2 way mark of chemo.. So proud the gardener got the bagels for you..[very sweet].
    Sorry your having trouble sleeping.. Hope tonight you will be able to rest better.
    Also happy you got to video chat with daughter.
    Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I am happy to have made it this far! I got some sleep last night, so all is well. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and get lots accomplished.

  5. Yeeech, I keep promising myself to not query but I keep blowing it! Apology in advance I'm suggesting...While DD researches going forward to PhD, it's important to know the age and if possible background of participating candidates of the last 3-4 cohorts. Please understand I'm mentioning this into a blank background as I'm unfamiliar with details of DD's program.
    I recall DH being invited and partly funded to do his doctorate primarily based on his contributions to his employer. In some faculties most doctoral candidates are somewhere near mid point in their careers aged 30 + y/o having made significant contributions to their field. I know DH felt the others in his cohort were at a far higher level in their organizations and certainly better known in the field. The doctorate program is quite different as participants are usually expected to work as a group and learn from one another based on work life experiences. Would DD be treated as an equal by the others ?
    Thank you for graciously accepting the offer of grocery items. I hope you'll eat Mango

    1. No need to apologize, Hon. You have raised very valid concerns.

      Daughter is not planning to do a PhD right away. She wants to work for at least a year. Even so, she will probably be one of the younger candidates.

      Daughter is familiar with being younger than her cohorts. In her present Masters program, she was the only one in her cohort who was accepted straight out of undergrad. Everyone else has had several years of work experience in their fields, run their own labs and programs, have several publications to their names, etc. All are several years older than her (and she's younger than average because she skipped a grade in elementary school). At the very beginning, she was a bit awed by their accomplishments and intimidated. She couldn't believe that she was selected straight out of undergrad to be included with these accomplished people. But, she soon found out that she could hold her own with them and has taken leadership rolls in group projects, etc. Academically, she has just one B+ which is preventing her from getting a 4.0 GPA.

      I am confident she'll be ready for the challenges, if and when she decides to take that next step. She won't do something unless she feels ready.

      I don't like to brag, but she is someone who had the opportunity to test out of high school and go to college straight after middle school; but I wouldn't let her because I didn't think she was emotionally ready for college life at 13 years old. Academically, she would have been OK (she was tested and identified as highly gifted quite early). She had done so many AP classes in her high school that she had junior standing, units wise, when she entered UCLA, but I made her stay the full 4 years (by which time she had double the units she needed to graduate!) Even now, she has more units than needed to graduate from her Master's program. All she really needed to do this semester to fulfill her requirements was sign up for the thesis seminar (3 units), but the college wanted her to be a full time student, so she signed up for additional units.

      I think she'll be OK, whatever she decides to do from now on.

    2. LOL, Bless, your daughter sounds amazingly gifted! You don't like to brag but goodness, you should be singing it from the rooftop! How awesome to have such a bright mind, and such a caring mother who made sure that her well-being was ensured on an emotional level, by allowing her to flourish without rushing her into programs that might have suited her intellectually but at what cost personally?

      I agree with you that it sounds like she is well prepared for her future and has a great head on her shoulders on top of having a great intellect! I know you are proud of all her accomplishments and by sharing those with us, you can tell her that your online friends are proud of her as well! I wish her all the best in her professional future!

      I'd love to hear what her exact major is. Would you mind sharing this with us or it is getting too personal?

    3. Thank you, Nathalie. She always tells me that I brag about her too much! ;)

      She's doing a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology and BioStatistics, specializing in Nutrition (looking at the role nutrition plays in epidemiology).

      For her undergrad degree, she majored in Microbiology-Immunology-Molecular Genetics (all one major) with a minor in Asian Studies-Japanese (because she wanted to learn Japanese so she could read Manga in original Japanese; her Japanese professor was so impressed with her that she wanted daughter to major in Japanese!)

      But the other day, she was telling me that she really enjoys computer programming. She's picking up some coding to learn how to run the programs at her work. Oh, yes, and she taught herself HTML using a library book, one summer when she was in 5th or 6th grade because she wanted to redesign her Neopets webpage.

      Oh, and daughter corrected me, saying what is keeping her from a 4.0 GPA is an A-, not a B+. She told me she doesn't have any B's. She has 2 A+s, 1 A- and all the rest are A's. (Get your facts straight, Mom!) LOL.

      She also told me that there are a few current PhD holders in her cohort now - they have decided to pursue an MPH in addition to their PhD in another field. Plus she works with several PhD holders at her work and they work well as a team. I guess they do - after all, they offered her a full time job there, once she graduates.

      Have I bragged enough?

    4. It's a start... I expect you to report on every grade and accomplishment from now on, OK? That's how proper bragging is done, lady :)

      I'm laughing at your daughter correcting you (probably indignantly, if she's anything like mine!) for saying she got a B+ when she got an A-, lol. Mine would totally do that too :) I don't know why those schools are nitpicking. All A's should equal 4.0 in my opinion. In France, we were graded from 0 (fail) to 20 (perfect). 10 was passing (but mediocre). Anything less than 10 was horrible. I'm not sure if they still use that grading system nowadays. It's always hard for me to explain my kids' grades to my parents and they don't understand GPAs at all. The only "GPA" I had in France was then they calculated my average on the Baccalaureat (which is the high school exit exam that you HAVE to pass in order to graduate from high school) at the end of 12th grade. Each subject was given a "coefficient" according to its importance for our high school major. So, for instance, since my high school major was Philosophy and Foreign Languages, my coefficient for philosophy was 5 but my math coefficient was only 1. That meant that as long as I scored high enough on Philosophy (and French and Foreign Languages), I could completely flunk out math and still get my diploma. A good thing or I'd still be trying to get the darn thing!

      Your daughter's field of studies sounds very fascinating even though I have contact allergy to anything that uses the word "statistics", ha! In reality, I'm very envious of her abilities. She has a bright future ahead of her! You are very right to be awfully proud of her!

      My daughter had also wanted to learn Japanese to read Manga (she reads it in English) but it wasn't offered at her school or at the free virtual school. She started learning it online on her own for a little bit and then she got sidetracked by her other activities so I don't think it got any further than that. I took a Japanese class when I was in college in Florida (just a semester, it was informally taught by a Japanese student who needed to do the teaching bit for his diploma so I was one of his guinea pig) and it was fascinating because the way the Japanese think is so different from ours so it affects the way their grammar works. I can still remember "I don't understand" but that's about it.

      I think my daughter might still have her Neopet account, I'll need to ask her. She and my youngest son were completely obsessed with Neopets several years ago. I do know she still has her Howrse account (that's gotta do with horses), she still logs in once in a while to keep it "alive."

      Please tell her that if she wants to study the effect of eating many bags of marshmallows on contagious allergy to doing the dishes, I'm her gal!

    5. The French way of grading seems rather complicated!

      Maybe your daughter will take a class in Japanese when she goes to college. Daughter had to take a semester of French and a semester of Spanish in 1st year of high school and then, pick one of them to do for the remainder of high school. She found French a bit hard to pronounce properly and, besides, being in So. Cal., Spanish is more practical, so she chose to do Spanish.

      I'll tell her of your offer! She's a bit allergic to doing dishes, herself! :D

  6. I know what it's like to have a very gifted daughter, too. I learned to give her a lot of leeway by the time she was 4 years old. Her accomplishments are far beyond what I ever expected and she has done it all herself. She intrigues me because she's equally proficient in both math and language skills. Both sides of her brain are fully operating all the time. Fortunately she has a great husband who understands her.

    1. Marylynn, she sounds wonderful! I am sure you are very proud of her. And what a blessing that she has a husband who understands her. That is what I will be hoping for my daughter, too.


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