Time for a holiday?

It has been soooo frelling cold up here, I thought we could all stand a little beach time. Too bad, this is a close as we will get for awhile yet. I still might have to tweak a bit, but I think it is a nice change. Lets us all dream about sandy beaches and palms. Again, let me know if it is miserable to you as viewers.

I don't really have a post planned, so lets see what is on my computer for pictures. Ah this was fun. This is my parents, Dad trying on his old RCNVR uniform about 25 or so years after the end of WWII.
Pretty handsome sailor, no?

Of course 25 or so years does things to the body!

And for those too young to know, or from other countries, RCNVR: Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserves. Oh and we had a hell of a time getting him back out of it afterwards!

Click to see them better.

Good Morning All.

We take so much for granted!

Our parents, (mine, the Bag Lady's & cousin Leah's from The Goats Lunch Pail) were all raised during the dirty 30's. They all knew what it meant to work hard, or starve, or freeze. They knew what it was like to have a lard sandwich - and be grateful for it. They knew why Canada joined WWII, they knew why we have Remembrance Day ceremonies and the significance of voting.

They worked hard to make life easier for their children. We had it relatively easy, yes, we had black and white telly, computers were huge things that took up whole rooms and required a degree to run them. Our education was taken for granted, it was law that children had to be educated. Most of us did not have to go find work at 15 or 12 or even younger. Some did, but for the most part I am talking about lower middle class and up - we are the ones that take things for granted.

As none of the three of us that blog had any children, I now have to generalize about the rest of our generation. They want to make things easier for their children too! This results in their children taking even more for granted. If they don't have at least three TV's and Cell phones and iPods and games stations not to mention the latest and greatest computer, they are hard done by. They want their cars when they get their drivers licenses and they get chauffeured by mommy or daddy until such a time as they do get said license. Most will do just enough at school to graduate, some will make an effort and go on to higher education but some will drop out when they get old enough.

So, this is what started me thinking along these lines:

We have a new tenant in the building that the office is in. He was brought here from Mexico to work in a food kiosk in the mall. The owner of the food outlet, is paying the rent, power etc on the suite and paying Juan (not his real name) a regular wage on top of this. There will be another joining him soon - also from Mexico.

Yes, Alberta is booming and we can't find enough people willing to work for 10 or 12.00/hour to sling hash, so we import them. We have three suites with West Indians in them for the same purpose.

I honestly can't say what I expected this fellow to be like, except that he is nothing at all what I expected - if that makes any sense. He is from Chihuahua, says he was raised middle class ( I think he was being modest), he speaks four languages fluently, French, Italian, English and of course Spanish. (He was starting to learn German too before he left.) He asked if I knew of anyone in the buildings that might speak any one of these languages so that he doesn't lose his skills. I did finally remember one woman from the Netherlands that speaks French, so I sent him to meet her (after I asked her of course).

He came and chatted again the other day and mentioned that no one he has met yet seems to be interested in cultural things like Opera or the Arts and he was wondering what he could do. And why don't we learn any language other than English here? We do, it is just most of Western Canada that learns French moves to Eastern Canada. It seems that in Mexico to learn another language takes money, unlike here where it is taught in school.

This lead to a discussion of how much we take for granted - oh, and the fact that he landed in the red-neck province of Canada. We have culture - don't get me wrong, we have a symphony and opera and plenty of theater and art galleries, lots of clubs with live music etc. It is just that the people he meets at work, or in the apartment complex are mostly blue collar workers. Or are working two or more jobs just to pay the damned rent. I pointed out that you don't need an education in this province to make bucket loads of money - you just need a strong back and a willingness to work hard everyday.

He said, but what do you do with all that money you make? Well, they either spend it on expensive toys & vehicles or save it up and go to Mexico for the winter. I took pity on him and printed off the Opera schedule and the Symphony schedule and told him that the Friday paper had a pull out section with all the things to do about town. Of course, he also wanted to know where a Catholic church was for Sunday - yeah, like I'm the last person you should be asking about that - however, I did find the info for him and he can attend in Spanish, Italian, French or three or four other languages if he so desires.

He has only been here a week, so Sunday was his first taste of real cold and blizzard conditions. I hope he manages through the rest of this week - the temperatures are going to be in the low -30's to high -40's all week.

He got me thinking though, what do you take for granted? That your car will start? The grocery stores will always have full shelves? Water will always come out of the tap? Lights turn on at the flick of the switch? Your internet connection?

Good Morning all.


Which is which?

I have just replaced my scanner (the other one died about four years ago) and have been archiving old pictures. My Sister (The Bag Lady) & I have both posted about how much we looked alike growing up, so, here are a few more to laugh at. These were taken in 1965 - yes, that long ago that is why they have no colour.

This is Sister:

This is me:

Now comes the challenge! Which is which? Who is who?

It was easy when we didn't have coats on, but it was April, so I imagine we were getting a bit chilly. The grown up boy in the middle is our oldest brother - he is about 10 years older than I am. No idea why the other brother isn't there.

No I didn't deliberately cut off feet or any clues as to the dresses under the coats. I have my suspicions, but I would really like Sis to confirm - the rest of you can just have fun making guesses.

I am too lazy to make this a contest and moderate, so just comment and we'll see what we come up with.

Good Morning All.


Oh Soooo Close!

I am looking at cars, cheap cars, under $1200.00 cheap cars. As I was perusing the for sale ads on-line the other night I came across an ad too good to be true. I read the ad, my he sounds serious! Here is the gist of the ad:

2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse - FREE - Yes, you read that right FREE. I bought this car for that cheating B---h that I married. It was her dream car and now the S--T can't have it! Call between 7.00 AM & 7.00 PM First call takes it.

What I wonder is, WHERE THE HELL WAS I at 5.00 when he first put the ad up? I didn't see it until well after 7.00 PM, but that is a $26.000.00 car! Base price! Even if it were a standard, I could drive it, I would hate it, but I could drive it.

Of course you would be stupid to believe that he wouldn't change his mind, or sober up or the wife would shake her thang and they would want it back. I mean yes, you would get a proper bill of sale and in order to register or insure, you have to buy it for at least a dollar. But oh, to dream for just a few minutes! Needless to say the ad was gone in the morning, like it had been a figment of my imagination.

So, I am back to tying to find the cheapest, newest, best overall condition car I can. This could take awhile.

Good afternoon all.


Thumbs up!

The Doctor walked in with thumbs up! He knew why I was there and wanted to end the suspense fast! This is why, in spite of how much he ticks me off, I keep going back to him.

So, it is the beginnings of another fibrous lump and who knows how long it will take to appear. When it is big enough to be of concern, I will deal with it then. I just have to remember that it will eventually form and not panic the first time I feel it. The very first lump I had removed three years ago was of this sort, nothing to worry about and it is fairly minor surgery. It in fact is at about the same location, just the other breast.

In the mean time, I just have to put up with my kater-whompas tits. You all remember the song Madelina Catelina, with one tooth points North and the other points South? Well, in my case it is nipples! One is almost 50, the other is oh, about 30ish.

Thank you all for your concern and kind encouraging words. I am going to go and feed myself now.

Good Evening!


Well, it's Friday

The test results are back at the Dr.'s office! Unfortunately the Dr. is not :(

The nurse/receptionist (I am not sure it was the nurse) would not tell me anything, which could mean bad news. She had to put me on hold and when she came back was more "prepared" in telling me that the Dr. would look at them Monday and he had several open appointments through the day and well, I could just come in and see him on a walk in basis. It really makes me think it is not good news. I hope I am wrong though and I won't know for sure until Monday so there is no point worrying about it.

On the other hand, it snowed here yesterday and this is the view from my patio doors.
All those of you that ski, that is powder! Makes it easy to sweep, but enough already! I still have to figure out the settings on the camera, but those are not bad pictures. The wood that you see in the second shot, is the A frame for my swing and the rockers for the matching chair - in other words, just crap on the patio.

I will post on Monday, hopefully with good results!

Good Afternoon All!


Odds & Ends

On Monday, I described the test that was done on my left breast, if you are interested in more information, I found this link on my local health region's website. There is from that page a link to what calcifications in the breast can be. No, I have not got the results yet, probably by Friday - hopefully.

I do have the results of the bone density test. I have lost some density since the last exam (which was about 2002) but I am not osteoporotic yet. That is the word the Dr used, I am taking a guess at the spelling. He told me this when I went in to see him on Tuesday because I had not yet stopped bleeding from Monday's test.

Yes, you read that correctly. On Monday afternoon, I noticed that the little waterproof bandage they had put on at the clinic was saturated, so, as I happened to have some of the same type of bandage, I changed it. The first was dripping wet, by 20.00 (8.00 p.m.) the second bandage was half soaked, but when I went to change it, it didn't seem to be bleeding anymore, so I put a fresh one on and didn't worry about it. When I got up in the morning, you could tell that I had been bleeding still through the night, so I sauntered off to the Dr. I figured by this time a Steri-Stitch would not be a bad idea. The incision was only about a quarter inch long, but with all the digging they had had to do, it had been stretched a bit.

My Dr. kindly put three Steri-Stitches on and sent me on my way. I had to pick up a few things on the way home and ride the bus, so as I was walking up to my apartment, I thought, gee, I wondered if I started it bleeding again! I had, so I stuck another bandage over the stitches. This morning after my shower I changed that bandage and so far, it appears to still be clean. Lets hope it stays that way!


Boy-Toy Needed

While I was at the Dr, I forgot to ask him about something else, so I looked it up on the web and I think I have found out why I think I keep getting yeast infections. They are not yeast infections, but I have something called "Use it or lose it" or Medically known as Atrophic Vaginitis. This occurs when you have your estrogen killed off, either through natural or forced menopause and the cure is sex. Well, that and lubrication. What I don't understand is why no-one told me to get a boy toy or at the very least a vibrator! After all, the Dr's prescribed the Tamoxifen to kill the estrogen, the least they could have done is suggested daily lubrication.

Gives new meaning to the phrase "dry spell".


How stupid is she?

My boss is not computer literate at all! Well, she is just not very literate anyway, but that is not what I am here to bitch about today. Neither is her husband and he supposedly works with computers and is all technical and stuff. Yeah right! They brought his old computer to the office and I think I posted previously about refreshing my memory and setting up a data base? Well, the desk they found to house the computer is not a good desk and the bottom of the monitor, when it is on the shelf for the monitor, is about two inches lower than where the top of the monitor should be. Clear as mud right? My solution, in order to not break my neck, is to put the monitor on the flat of the desk and ignore the shelf, it has a cordless keyboard and mouse, so you can put them anywhere, it doesn't interfere. Well, hubby insists that the monitor must be on the shelf! So, I printed off a sheet that shows how to set up a computer station ergonomically. Now this computer when they brought it over still had family pictures and hubby's crap on it. Eventually he came and removed it, but added a bunch of other software that didn't need to be there, because he knows best.

So, finally the boss decides to get (and talks the owner into paying for) internet service. Well, this shows how slow the computer is running. By the way, it is 1.7 GHz, not really slow, it needs to be re-formatted to get the crap off and it will be fine. I offered to do this, if hubby would bring me the O/S disks. Hubby goes out and buys himself a new laptop and gives the office his newer computer, which he has loaded Vista onto. I haven't checked but aside from having more RAM and hard drive space, I think it is only 1.8 GHz, but, he hasn't had it long enough to fuck it up, so it works just fine for now.

He loaded Limewire onto it, now granted my only experience with limewire was a couple of years ago and it has probably changed, but, I got nothing but spam and it made my computer vulnerable to hackers, so I don't think it is a good idea to have this on something that is supposed to be a business computer. And no, I am not going to put a link to it from here, I had to re-format my computer from the last time I had it on. If it has changed and improved, feel free to let me know. He put it on, because he purchased an i-pod for his 36 year old daughter for her birthday - the 80 Gig one. She is also computer illiterate. She didn't want the first computer that was in the office because it was too slow. Well it is faster than what you have now, which is nothing honey! Anyway, she has access to the office and can use that computer whenever she wants to.

Oh, I digress. The boss told me to "download the work stuff" and her hubby would clean up the computer and bring over the next one and set it up. To me "Clean up the old one" (oh, they sold it to someone in the complex) especially as you have sold it, means re-formatting it to get rid of all traces of anything you had put on there. Any idiot with the right software can pull up anything you have deleted. All deleting does is scramble the data and cut off the links to it, it is still there until it is written over. (In case you didn't know that goes for your cell phones & blackberry's too.)

Well, I get a phone call from the boss on Monday after my procedure while I am trying to nap and she asks me why I didn't delete the stuff from the office! Well, honey because no-one in their right mind gives away or sells a computer without re-formatting the drives! I didn't say that, but I did ask her why hubby hadn't cleaned it like she said he was going to.

So, I went in today and explained in words of two syllables or less what needs to be done to a computer before it leaves your possession. I don't know if she will pass it on to hubby, or if she does, what it will come out sounding like. Yes, the woman they sold it to is only learning computers now, but what about the next person to own the computer? I am glad that it is not my data floating around. It is an IBM, which means it didn't come with O/S disks (never buy IBM - for just that reason) which means at the very least he has to buy a program like Clean Sweep to scrub the data off.

As for the database I was working on? I have it on my computer here at home and will work on it to refresh my memory. If they want to buy it from me when I am done, I will sell it to them at a good price, otherwise they can purchase one that is commercially available.

The new monitor is up on the shelf and although it is a widescreen and not as tall as the old one, I still cannot work on it there with out having to tip my head back and getting a crick in my neck. Until I know that Limewire is safe, I am not putting any data on that computer that could be hacked. We do have laws that require us to protect the data of our tenants and I for one do not want to have it come back and bite me in the ass.


Bag Lady's Blather

As some of you know the Bag Lady is my sister. The Cowboy's uncle is visiting indefinitely and he is a pain in the ass. He will curtail the Bag Lady's ability to respond in her usual witty fashion by reading over her shoulder as she types and reads. He will do this while talking a mile a minute and smoking non-stop. So, if her responses are not what you have come to expect, please do not be offended. She will try to get her blogging done while the old fart is sleeping.

And that is all I have to impart tonight - Good night all.


Just Place Your Tit in This Vise

Well, I am back and I am SORE! I am also not joking in the title.

I went and had the biopsy done on my calcium deposits in my left breast today. The clinic decided that the best way to do this was to use stereographic x-ray. At least I am pretty sure that is what they called it and from the description of stereographic I found, I think I am correct.

They took me into a room with a table that looks like it came from Torturers - R - Us, but because it is a breast clinic, it is that wretched dusty rose colour that was popular in the '80's. It is vinyl but has only enough padding that the sharp edges don't cut through the vinyl. If this is not bad enough, there is a depression and hole in the centre of the table. Either end has a padded bar between metal clamps. I found out later that this is so they can accommodate various leg lengths.

Underneath all of this is a contraption that you just know is going to cause you pain! Oh, it looks somewhat benign at a glance, but when you look closely, there are small metal protrusions that look suspiciously like needles in between the moulded plastic parts that look like the pieces found on the regular mammogram machines. The nurse explains that you will be lying face down with your breast hanging through the hole and they will x-ray it from various angles in order to locate the deposits. The Dr. will come in and freeze the area and then they will make a small incision and insert the needle that takes the core sample. After this they will x-ray again to make sure the needle is positioned properly, then take 5 samples, x-ray again and then x-ray the samples in the other room to make sure they have got the calcium.

Whew and that is just the explanation! So, I climb up onto the table, take off the wonderful designer gown and turn my whale-like mass over onto my belly. I am so accustomed to having anything done on my right breast that I tried to put that one in the hole first. Once I got sorted out and the pillows placed so I was somewhat comfortable, she raised the bed to about head height on her. Makes sense, I wouldn't want to try to milk a pig, a cow looks to be hard enough on the back. With humans they can raise the bed enough to not injure the nurse, I say go ahead. Oh and yes, you feel somewhat like a cow, especially when the nurse starts to tighten up the vise. Can't have the udder moving on you now!

Well, the Dr. comes in and sticks the needle in to freeze me. She did this so badly that my back tensed up and went into spasm! I can't move! I'm not sure which hurt more, my breast or my back. Well, I got my back to relax, the freezing took effect and they made the incision. Stuck the needle in did the x-ray, took the core samples and missed! So, back comes the nurse, we have to try again! X-ray, move the needle, x-ray, core sample. Of course, she is now moving the needle beyond where the freezing is. Not bad, I can handle it, after all my arm is hurting more right now because, like an idiot, I put my right arm up over my head!

Missed again! I told her that this had to be the last time as I could no longer feel my right arm and my back was spasming again! Repeat above steps, again moving beyond the freezing. Three times is a charm and 13 is not an unlucky number! That is how many samples they took! I think they will be able to tell if there is anything happening in the neighbourhood!

Then I was able to move - woohoo! That was fun too! Inching up on an arm that has no feeling while the nurse is holding onto my breast trying to staunch the bleeding! Well I managed to get over onto my side (yes the one with the dead arm) and the nurse managed to not let go. Feeling returned to my arm about the time the nurse gave up and stuck a bandage on me and I was free to go. My appointment was at 10.30, it was probably a few minutes late getting started and I walked out the doors at 12.05. I would guess from that, that I spent about 50 minutes on my belly with my tit in a vise, unable to move except my fingers and toes.

I wish I had taken my phone with me, so I could have taken a picture of that table. Oh well, you will have to use your imaginations. At least now, you have an idea of what to expect if you ever (God forbid) have to go through this yourselves.

I am going to have a nap now, because of course, I didn't sleep again last night. I won't know anything about the results until Friday at the earliest, I will keep you all posted.

Good afternoon all.


Testing, testing

I went and had my mammogram and a bone density test done today. This is the first such test since having completed all of my treatments and I was a bit anxious.

That may be understating things. I have been having trouble sleeping for the last couple of nights. Now as this is a fairly regular thing anyway, I didn't really pay it much attention. I knew I would be a bit tense and just accepted that I would be short of sleep.

I woke up this morning at 7.00, for me this is early! Especially as I was still awake at 3.30! I thought, well, my appointment is not until 15.00, so lets see if I can sleep some more. I woke up at 10.00, I thought about getting up, but before I could turn thought into action, I fell asleep again.

I had a phone call at about 12.30 - I even answered it. Then I just lay there thinking how much I didn't want to get up! That would mean getting showered and dressed and catching the bus and getting my boobs squashed!

I didn't want to do any of those things. I wanted to live in blissful ignorance for a few more hours. It is a very pleasant place, I have it all decorated in a 1920's Art Deco theme, with handsome debonair men to cater to my every whim. Chocolate doesn't have any calories and Champagne flows freely.

Oh well, back to reality. I did finally haul my butt out of bed and shower etc. I transferred to the bus the route generator on my computer told me to, then freaked for a few minutes when it when in the opposite direction than the one I knew I had to go in. I sat and thought about bus numbers and calmed down when I realised I was on the correct bus, but for a minute there I thought I was going to wind up far away from where I needed to be.

So, I get off the bus and am walking along the front of the strip mall that the clinic is in, killing a minute or two, when I see a woman with a bag with all sorts of paper work in it. It was only then that I realised I had left my paperwork at home! I went into the clinic and explained what I had done and they just asked me to call the Dr.'s office and have them fax it over. Well, if you have read any of my other posts, you may remember that I have pointed out before that my Dr.'s office staff are not the brightest bulbs in the box. I had to explain twice what I wanted and then she had me hold to see if they could do that! Well she finally said that she could, so I went back in and filled out the forms that they gave me.

I was measured & weighed again. I haven't lost nor have I gained weight since October at the Dr.'s office, but I am now almost an inch shorter! 5"6" and a bit! I have no idea what is going on there, but I am sure we couldn't have been that far off at home when I measured out at 5'8 3/4" at 16 or so years old. Maybe it has something to do with being measured by someone shorter than I am?

So, I had the bone scan first, I won't know anything about that until the Dr. calls me, then I went in and had the mammogram. They took four slides of each breast and sent me out to wait. The first two on each side are regular slides and the next two are magnified, I don't remember them magnifying the last time I was there, but procedures change. They called me back in to take more shots of my left breast (yes, the one that didn't have cancer) because they could see little specks and wanted a better look at them. The nurse said they were calcium deposits and they were on the last films, but they want a better look. I was sent out to wait again.

The nurse came and took me back to where I could get dressed and told me that they want to do an ultra-sound and core biopsy - just to make sure of what these are - and she would set up an appointment for me while I got dressed.

So, I really have nothing to report, no good news or bad news right now. I sure took a long time getting there though didn't I? I have the appointment on Monday to find out what these are, until then, I just have to wait. Hey, I might wind up with my boobs the same size again after all!

Good evening all.


Secondary Lymphoedema

This will be the final installment in my saga of Breast Cancer. For any of you that missed the beginning of my story, you can check out the first post about Chemo here and the second post about Radiation here. This post is about how I discovered the cancer and the surgeries.

So, Secondary Lymphoedema, is the result of having Lymph Nodes removed from my right armpit in order to see if my type of breast cancer had spread to the lymphatic system. I was very lucky in that it hadn't, all of the nodes they removed were clean. That is what makes the lymphoedema so very frustrating. It turns out not to have been a necessary surgery and I will have to put up with this probably all of my life! I could be lucky and it will correct itself over time, some women who have had the surgery never experience the swelling that I am about to describe to you.

First off, here is the link to the Wikipedia description. They have other links there as well and a link to the blog of a woman suffering from primary lymphoedema which is very informative.

Without getting too technical, the lymph system is a circulatory system, much like how your blood flows through your body. It's job is to filter & carry away toxins and crap in your body. With the removal of some of the nodes, my bodies ability to remove this fluid has been compromised which results in the fluid accumulating in the arm.

The resulting swelling is painful to say the least. In order to get rid of the swelling, I had to visit the physio therapist at the cancer clinic daily to have my arm wrapped in compression bandages. They start the wrap with a cotton/spandex sleeve, the wrap the fingers and hand with gauze. Over this they wrap up the length of your arm a thin 4" wide piece of foam. Now, if you aren't hot enough already, they then start from the hand and wrap 4 tensor bandages, in a figure 8 pattern all the way up your arm. In my case, they had to add a cushion over the nerves at the base of the thumb and an extra cotton padding at the crease of the elbow. This is what the end result looks like. (Sorry for the quality, click to get rid of the background.)

Close up of the hand

Monday through Friday, I had to get my arm wrapped, then walk over to the radiation department and try to get my clothes off and then tie one of those designer gowns they give you. With a newly wrapped arm, you can't bend your elbow! I eventually gave up trying to tie it, I figured that everyone there was there for some treatment or moral support for a family member and that seeing my back bare (I was able to keep pants on), was not going to shock or upset anyone.

Weekends, I was to keep Fridays wrap on as long as I could which meant that I had to shower with the wrap on. They gave me a plastic glove that goes all the way to the shoulder. Now those of you that know anything about farm animals or watch TV or movies where this glove may have been used as comic relief, know what type of glove I am referring to. So, being the smart-alec that I am, I asked the girl that was wrapping me, if they get the gloves from a Veterinary supply house? She looked at me kind of funny, then the penny dropped and she laughed. She was a farmers daughter, she knew that this was the type of glove used for pulling calves or turning them in the womb or other things I don't want to think about that would have to do with the insides of large animals. When I needed more gloves, one day, I had the therapist (not the assistant) wrapping me, but, I asked for more "vet gloves". She had no idea what I was talking about! After I stopped laughing, I explained to her what they were for, she said she didn't think they came from a vet supply house. No sense of humour that one.

Wrapping the arm and forcing the fluid out has a few side effects. One of which is that the fluid has to go somewhere and the closest place is the lungs. This is not a good thing when you have asthma not to mention the awful habit of smoking. I am working on that I swear! The weird experience I had, was when it went to my head! For two days, I am not sure if it was because I was so tired or what, but I must not have moved all night and when I got up, I staggered like a drunken sailor. It affected my balance for a few minutes each morning, I was even listing on the loo. Not to mention walking sideways, and each step getting faster trying to stop moving in the direction of the wall! Very funny in retrospect, but not so funny at the time.

Of course, by this time, the season had changed and it was full on winter. Here I am running around in a tank top just so my arm could be wrapped easily! Um and because I didn't have any long sleeved shirts that would go over the wrapping. I was very thankful that I had lost a bit of weight and that the sleeve on my winter coat was wide enough to accommodate my arm, even if I couldn't get my hand out of the cuff. I carry my wallet in my front right hand pocket, that made for some interesting times, I would put wallet in pocket before I got wrapped, then go shopping in the afternoon if I needed anything. Yes, I am a slow learner! ;)

My right arm was toasty warm, the rest of me was freezing while I was waiting for buses! I didn't have a crappy old sweater that I could cut the arm off of to keep the rest of me warm while wearing sleeveless tops, though I eventually remembered that I still had my leg warmers from the '80's. They lived in the trunk of my car for winter emergencies, in case you were wondering. They and a large scarf draped over my shoulders were the solution I needed to my dilemma. Well, that and two or three hats to keep my head warm.

Finally, they got the swelling down and somewhat stable about the same time my radiation ended and were able to order a custom fit sleeve and glove for me. These are compression garments and the idea is to prevent the arm from swelling more than it is already. They last about six months and then you need a new one. Silly me, I phoned at 5 months to make an appointment to be checked, only to be told that my therapist wasn't available for the next three months! By the time I got in to see her, I had thought things were under control and so had done some silly things like washing walls and moving furniture, cleaning places that hadn't been cleaned for awhile, because I had been sick. This was not a good idea. I over did it and my arm blew up just before my appointment! It had 3 cups of fluid more than my left arm! So, I had to go through the wrapping procedure again before I could order the new sleeve. As soon as I got home, I made a point of writing on my calendar, at four months, to call and make an appointment!

They gave me a bunch of exercises and massage techniques to use to keep the lymph fluid moving the right direction. They have recommended a low protein diet as well as lowering my sodium intake. What they didn't mention is how to get back to being able to carry any weight. I have been doing the exercises and massage and watching my food intake, but every time, I carry something the least bit heavy, I can see my arm swell. I can see my arm swell if I have to write a lot by hand. This is the frustrating part of having lymphoedema! I have to find the right balance of exercise and diet that will make it go away and stay away. Losing weight would be a bonus if it happened!

So, now I am on maintenance, trying to keep the arm from blowing up like a puffer fish. I have a mammogram scheduled for Friday (that took three months to get an appointment), so I will post my results when I get them. They will of course be clean - right?

Good Evening all.


Well then

After looking and looking at billions of blog layouts, here and at Pyzam. I finally have decided I will try this one for awhile. It is kind of like smelling perfume though, after the first three your nose dies! Well, after all I have looked at I may be wrong in thinking this is easy to read. Please feel free to tell me to change it if you find it hard to read.

I think I have all of my blog roll up again. I will check my reader later and make sure I haven't missed anyone. I think there might be one or two I still have to add.

So over the holidays, I was playing around with the backgrounds so much, I neglected to do a few things! The most important of which is to thank Virginia Lee over at I ain't dead yet.

She gave me this award:

It is from the Shameless lions writing circle and is called a Roar for powerful words . You can all follow the links and read all about it. I am so pleased to have been given this award as I don't consider myself a writer and I just blog to get things off my chest.

The next thing I have not done yet, is to pass the award on! So without further ado, I hereby award the following people (in no particular order) the Roar for powerful words!

1. My cousin Leah at The Goats' Lunch Pail. She never fails to write or say what is on her mind, but is a rare person in that she does think before she speaks (or writes).

2. Frank over at Remaindered Random Musings. He writes about his walks with Benny and always makes me laugh. Then he throws in some pictures and some memories of Christmases and brings a bit of awe and a tear to the eye.

3. Hilary over at The Smitten Image. She takes wonderful photographs and shares them with the world. She tells us about the pictures and includes tales of her kidlets and she has a punny sense of humour.

4. Crabby & Mary at Cranky Fitness. They have a way of getting real information out that works for me. They give you information from sources that contradict each other expecting that you are intelligent enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. And they are funny!

5. Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds. This blog is funny, well written and sassy! The author calls herself "Subservient No More" and tells tales about living in South Florida and her family.

6. oh, darn! Well, I will restrain myself to 5 even though I think I could probably give the award to all the blogs I read!

So, all of you can follow the link above and pick up your awards.

Well, doing this has reminded me of a few more blogs to add to my roll and I have to get my site meter back up and I have to go and make something to eat, so I will leave off for now.

Take care.