Wednesday, June 6, 2012

now posting on new blog site....

Just wanted to 'remind' you that I am now blogging on this new blog address.....I don't know when they will actually 'stop' this older version....

here is the web address:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012...I didn't expect THIS!

Well I was trying to log onto my Blog site…but for some reason it kept kicking me off and kept saying there was an ‘error’….I even tried to begin a brand new one…but talk about confusing!!! So here I will begin my journey of: Friday, May 25, 2012.…I didn’t expect this….

looks like I was finally able to get on...but it says that they are starting a 'new' blogger and that's the one I can't log onto....this maybe one of the last blogs postings. IF you are reading this and want to continue reading my blogs...please email me directly and I will forward my journal updates directly to you....I know it maybe hard or even disturbing to read my blogs all the time...that's why I created this blog - so you can log onto it at any time at your own convenience...I know for myself I get tired of hearing some stories.

We, Paul and I, left our house at 8:00 am to get the train from Dover into the city. With it being a holiday weekend and my last doctor appointment at 2:45 I figured we’d get caught in traffic if we went to the Secaucus train station. On our way to Dover - still having plenty of time to catch the ‘express’ train…Paul decided to go to Morristown Convent Station (which turned out to be good…they have a bathroom inside the station)…we got the express train that took us about 50 minutes to get to Penn Station…then we ran to the subway that took us to Lexington Ave…then one more train that took us closer to the hospital (where all the appointments were scheduled for) -- Man oh man…the running…the steps….the walking…boy am I out of shape! If I enjoyed going to the city, I’d go more often and that would be my exercise!!!

We, finally, arrived at the hospital about 11:30 am…We also left early enough because Paul had a callback casting call in Midtown (another train for him). Paul left me at the elevators…I went up to the 11th floor and signed in for my MRI (my appt. was for 12:30) and told them I’d wait…during that time I received a call from the nurse at Dr. Brown’s office asking me to go to my 1:30 blood drawing before my MRI so the doctor would have the results that same day….took the elevator down to the 3rd floor - as the receptionist at the MRI desk said it would be on that floor…couldn’t find it, asked another nurse and she said to go to the 4th floor…back up the elevator…I saw Dr. Brown in the waiting room and she didn’t recognize me (why would she…she only saw me once to talk then the surgery). I introduced myself and said that I’d see her later…It took me all of 15 minutes if that long then back up to the 11th floor…waited about 1 minute then I was called in…took off my bra and put on a gown (over my clothes) and they prepped me…a needle for the contrast…then into the room….They scanned me to make sure there were no magnets on or in me and then I laid on the table…They must scan children as they had a TinkerBell sticker and butterfly and a few other decals on the front of the scanner. Put ear plugs in (which I had a problem with my left ear…seemed like it didn’t muffle the sound enough…but ended up being fine)….This machine is so loud! Even with the ear plugs in…and holding my breath!!! Talk about it being hard….when you have to hold your breath for at least 30 seconds….Once I thought I was going to loose it….I thought I was going to pass out…I ended up letting the extra air out…thought they’d have to start all over…but I think it was just enough time! Now I know for a fact…take a deep breath in…let some out and then hold it….that was is much easier!!! Then I had to wait 4 minutes…they rolled the table out of the scanner and I was able to put my arms down at my side…I was totally uncomfortable!! One more breath holding and then I was done! I was out of there by 12:30. I texted Paul to let him know where I would be waiting for him….I ended up going to the gift shop then down to the lobby to wait. It was about 1:30 when he came and I was starving. I was able to eat or drink before we left the house…but then I’d have to use the bathroom more….so I starved myself. We walked the whole block and across the street to Lenny’s sandwich shop…Bought myself a sandwich for $10.00 and only ate half. Paul said he had grabbed a sandwich on the way to me…not knowing that we had plenty of time. Back to the hospital for my 2:45 appt with Dr. Brown. Of course we were so early that we had to wait. She actually took us pretty much on time….so now the story continues.

Paul and I were praying that we’d hear good news…When Dr. Brown came in - she gave us the thumbs up…Paul and I were relieved!!! And even said it….she signed some paperwork. Said my blood work looks great…my CEA is down from 42 to 10 (that's a tumor marker and normal is 0 - 5)...and then I asked her for the written report on the scan…She thought it was too early for them to have it in the computer but checked anyway…as she scrolled down and saw the report…she said, in a sad tone - there are two new lesions….WE were devastated!!! I kind of stopped hearing her when she said this…it turns out that the two lesions are in different areas. One is by the colon and the other is by my right side…she said she couldn’t ablate the colon one and I should make an appt. with Dr. Allen (the surgeon that did the liver resection)…I think she said it was due to the machine that she uses and not being able to get to that site or maybe it was because it was so close to the colon…She suggested that I immediately make an appt. for this coming week. I asked her if we could try a ‘telephone consult’….after I told her we had one before…she said she’d email him and give him all the details and thought it might work…as she was looking at me…she saw that I looked fine and the scans is what he needed to see as well as the written report. Now I have to call Dr. Allen’s office on Tuesday or Wednesday to see what is next.

As Paul and I left…besides both of us being in a cloud…I was saying that I didn’t want to do anything!!! Definitely no more chemo…and I really don’t want to be cut open as I was before - enough surgeries! How much anesthesia can a body handle? Paul is besides himself but holding everything in! Before leaving the building I used the bathroom and cried! My face was red and puffy when I got out. Quietly we walked the street to get to the subway…then I said…we’ll see what Dr. Allen suggests…maybe he can do a lapascopic surgery or maybe I would get a colonoscopy and they could cut it out from there (which the more I think about it…that would definitely perforate the colon, so that wouldn’t be an option)…but these lesions are still small.
Now, going through my mind is - can this cause a bowel obstruction??? Sure, one more thing to worry about.

We ran for the subway and got the train right away…then the next subway…and the same thing…running down steps and then up steps and this dumb escalator that you have to lean either forward to backward because there is such a large incline! And we had to run for the subway again! We were too early for the ‘express’ train from Penn to Convent Station so we waited in this area where they had lots of seats and fans. We waited about 15 minutes then went for the train at a decent pace! I also wanted to get a pretzel...but I lost my appetite at that point. We got on the train and waited about another 10 minutes…of course we were on one that had a crying baby!!! To top things off…this ‘express’ train ended up crawling along - due to another train ahead of us that had trouble…We finally got to Convent Station at 6:45!!! Paul had plans to go down the shore with Bre (to her mom’s boyfriends shore house). He drove to her house and then I left to come home. After driving about 5 minutes I noticed Paul left his cell phone in my car…Well, this young man would have been devastated if he didn’t have it on him for several minutes!!! So, I drove back to Bre’s house and handed her the phone. Paul was already in the shower…I’m sure he ‘relieved’ himself with the shower water falling on him….I finally got home at 7:30.

What a long day and so depressing. Charlie didn’t come with me because of work and thinking that I’d still be disease free - as we all thought. Of course the two weeks prior to this appointment everything was going through my mind….Charlie was devastated when he was finally able to reach me via cell (when we were on the train coming home)…not getting anyone to answer the first several times he called put him in panic mode.

Sam came home from work about 10:15...she was talking on her cell phone about a young girl at work…Charlie went up to her and told her to talk to me. She was fine as we were talking…then about an hour later I came up to my computer and she came in and started crying…

This is what kills me…my kids! I know how much you need your mother! I know Sam needs me - just to be here…whenever she wants to talk or cry or yell at me - she knows where I am…Paul needs me too…again, just to be here…to do his laundry, fix his bed, buy food for him…and Nicholas too…even with him being on his own - to loose another important person whom he loves so much….that poor kid has lost so many people that he has loved and still loves…I’m sure it would be a difficult thing for him to make a life long commitment with a woman.

And now a new journey begins...the waiting game again in process...The weirdest thing is that I feel this I've been caught in a dream...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

updated hair!

 Charlie and I at Logan's Christening Celebration.
Sunday, May 20, 2012  - Elks Lodge, Bridgewater
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 14th

Our house is officially off the market....until late fall - early winter.  Charlie is having too much fun buying plants that need loving care from Lowe's!

Sam drove from USC, alone, and arrived in time for dinner on the 6th.  The boys were here - so that was my Mother's Day!  Nicholas is in San Francisco for work - so he wasn't here yesterday.  The kids made dinner and Charlie had worked until 5.  It was a very pleasant day!

We had our mailbox stolen, again...this is the 3rd time!!!  We're the only one on this block that has been vandalized!
This has been happening for about a year now.  The first incident was the door to our mailbox along with the door flag was taken...then the clock inside the shed and the 5 x 7 US flag on the outside of the shed....we put a new clock and flag...and that was taken!  Then I put a paper plate clock and another flag....they too were gone!  In the meantime we had the blue emergency house number and noticed that was gone too!  Oh yes, the mailbox was taken - the whole thing -- during that time.  Then we put another paper plate clock and a much smaller flag that were taken....Now, sometime between late Friday to early Saturday - this last mailbox was taken.....Sam and I were going shopping and noticed it was gone, so we stopped at Lowe's and picked up another and hopefully our last mailbox.  The mailman hung a plastic bag with our mail on the nail that was still there.  They took the post that the mailbox was screwed onto.  Today Charlie noticed that there was a container with used oil in the shed....whomever is doing this must have a car.  When they took the mailbox along with the wooden shelf - that's pretty heavy and then for them to 'drop off' the used oil....I just can't wait to catch them!  Charlie filled out a report at the State Police this morning...we now have a camera and being that a stolen mailbox is a federal offense....they will prosecute!!!  I can't imagine what whomever is stealing our stuff is thinking - to see another mailbox and flag....hmmmm.

I'm feeling great...keeping busy all day too.  I have my energy level back and love every minute of it!  Too bad I have a tendency to keep munching during the day...the weight keeps piling on!  And everytime I say I will not eat 'stuff' during the day - I do!  It's my fault...I buy it all!

My hair is growing back but the top is still falling hairstyle looks a little like a mans comb over!  I'd love to cut it all to the same length but I'm too vain to do that!  It's still too short - about 1/2 inch all over.

Have to have a molar pulled....boy oh boy, my Mom was 96 and just had one tooth that was an implant and that's because it was a front tooth!  I've had two other teeth removed and now this one!

That's my update.  I go for my MRI in NYC on the 25th of this month...I will post my results then.  I am praying and being positive that I am still disease free!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Seems like there is always something to write about. 

I've had this 'gap', 'hole', or something to that effect on my gum (in my mouth)...last tooth which is capped and had a root canal done years I find out that there is a cavity in the tooth...but way down, just below the point where the roots of the teeth join....meaning:::::: tooth extraction!!!  I can't believe my luck....guess with all the chemo and having 'dry mouth' - this is a major cause.

I put off going to the dentist since I originally saw this a few months ago...but I began getting worried - thinking that I was getting an infection....I don't feel any pain because it doesn't have the roots/nerves...which is a good thing too...or it would have gotten an infection.

I have an appointment to 'consult' with the dentist that will extract this molar next week and then - an appointment to pull it will be next.

Never ending doctor appointments!!!

Other than that - I'm feeling great!  Have my energy back and had a busy week since Friday.  Wedding, cooking, company, shopping, cooking and now dentist....for the exception of this last thing - they were all enjoyable....


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday, April 21st

I don't know if this is going to work....there is a 'new format' and as much as I think I'm good with technology....I'm not....oh how I dislike changes on the internet!!!  Well, here goes...

Just figured I'd post that everything is fine and dandy here at the Marra house...I'm feeling really well!

Charlie was home Wednesday and Thursday and he was doing 'his' yard work.  He had his gas leaf blower out and I decided to have him start it so I could clean the bottom of our driveway.  That backpack is pretty heavy! but I did it!  All those stone and grit are now moved to each side of the driveway.  I haven't done this for two years! (since I had the port in)....Charlie had done it last year...but not to say he didn't do a good job......but......I did better! LOL

Our outdoor rocking chair was desperately in need of stain or a paint job.  Charlie chose stain...I sanded and stained it and it looks better...but I still think it needs paint...the old yellowish stain is kind of still there even though I thought I sanded it enough. 

Charlie was working yesterday and I met him to pick out our plants for the planters.  They had a great deal on herbs...I didn't know that they actually have a 'steva' plant!  One of the woman that was working there told me to pick off a leave and chew it....WOW, it was real sugar!!! and it lasted a long time in my mouth!  So, we bought it!  There were a few other herbs that I haven't seen which we got to remember that I actually have to walk to the back yard to pick them...I think we even got a lemon mint....guess I'll be making a lot of iced tea!!!

That's about it....I enjoy keeping myself busy now that I have my energy back...I'm back to work too!  If you need me....I'm here......

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday, April 9th

What a great Easter! This was one of the first 'major' holidays that I did not have chemo! I was able to enjoy my entire meal (along with seconds) without having to leave the table not feeling well. What a joy that was!

Samantha was finishing her last day at the Augusta Nationals, so we missed her at our table. This is the first year she hasn't been home for her birthday or several holiday's....too far to drive for just a few days. She'll be back home next month...actually less than a month. She's looking forward to coming home - not necessarily to see us...but her girlfriends!!! I'm sure we won't see her too often....too be young again!

I'm feeling really well! The port removal incision is getting better everyday. It never really bothered me - not enough to take Tylenol, but I knew it was there. The ablation -- it's like it was never done. I did end up with a bit of a stiff neck yesterday (did A LOT) and the nurse had said that sometimes this ablation pain maybe that is what it was from.

When I mentioned to Charlie that my port was bothering me - he reminded me that I had 5 internal stitches....I didn't remember that one! I know and feel it's healing!

I did get Charlie's cold - but not as bad as he had it. He's still coughing and I just sound congested. OR maybe it's from my spring time allergies......

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter! and have lots of food left over so you don't have to cook - for at least one night!

Thank YOU again and again...for being part of my life and receiving all the prayers and encouragement from you. Words can never really express what I am feeling for all of you.