Lady crazy aka Desperately seeking testosterone

It's been "shark week" here for the past week or so, which means there has been a whole lotta lady-crazy happenin' in this house.  I can't imagine when Emma starts her period too, that's gonna be hell.  Although, she is already quite hormonal and sometimes I just wish she'd bleed already so she can get back to normal.  The only other thought I have is that THANK GOD Courtney is no longer here to add to the mix!  (Hallelujerrrrrr!!!)

I still haven't started my new chemo.  I was supposed to start sometime earlier in the week, but honestly have been scared to death to.  I'm not up to being sick like that again.  I'm still feeling mild side effects from the last round, kind of like little aftershocks.  Today in church, I almost had to sit down a few times during the worship because I would start feeling so woozy and break out in a cold sweat, like my blood pressure was bottoming out or something.  Maybe on Monday.

Before I start the next batch, I decided that I would learn from last time and bring in some reinforcements.  I asked Paul to come stay with me for a little while in order to help me.  I was existing, not functioning.  I couldn't cook for my kids, help with homework, snuggle, laugh, or any of the things it takes to be a mom.  I got through the work day (sometimes) and then lay there half dead, unless I was up puking.  Paul's a really good dad.  That's one thing I can't argue with.  He's very attentive and hands-on, cooks breakfast every morning, on-point with the homework, etc.  My kids need that right now.  And I need a little taking care of too.  So, we'll see how it all goes.

He and the kids moved a few things in tonight and are putting the rest of their things in storage.  They should be moved in by tomorrow night.  After that, I think I'll be ready to start taking the next pills because then I'll have someone to have my back.  That is a huge relief.

Plus it might be nice to have an influx of testosterone into this house.  We've been living on estrogen island for years now and need to be balanced out.  Hopefully all of the Vitamin-T will help us out.

 What I'm afraid it will be like.

lurve you, xoxo v.


My favorite commercial right now

This thing CRACKS ME UP!!!
"You look like a BEACH ANGEL!"
lurve you, xoxo v.


He is risen!

"And the angel answered and said unto the women, 
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. 
Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

Matthew 28:5-6
Happy Easter!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Health Watch....

So here's the latest.  Lupus sucks.  Oh?  That's not new? That's right.  So I started taking the chemo at night, hoping that I would sleep through most of the side effects.  And I did for a few nights.  I would feel really nauseous and tired through the evening and wake up feeling a little better.  That is until last night.  Ugh.  Last night, about three hours after I took the pill, the nausea kicked in, but way worse than before.  Then I found myself darting for the bathroom with my hand over my mouth more than once.  Then I went to bed and slept for FIFTEEN hours!!!  I normally sleep five or six.  So, I called the doctor and let her know all of this and she said to stop taking it and give it a few days to let the side effects die down a bit, and then I am to start a different med that is slightly harsher and not proven to be quite as effective for lupus.  Sounds great, right?  I know.  She said that some people end up having the same nasty effects, but some luck out and don't react badly to it at all.  If I happen to not tolerate this one either, then I have to discuss starting IV chemo.  Although I don't like the sound of it, and that would increase my risk of losing my hair (GAH!), it almost sounds worth it because at least then the nausea and fatigue would be for a few days a month and not DAILY.  Guess we'll see what happens.
lurve you, xoxo v.

Don't you hate it when...

You stub your toe the day after you get a pedicure???

lurve you, xoxo v.


From bad to worse

I thought I had side effects.  Today I realized it can always get worse.  Early this morning, I realized right away that I was going to have to make friends with the nausea.  At the house of my first patient of the day, she was upstairs in the bedroom, and normally that's not a big deal because I jog up and down peoples stairs all day when I work.  Today however, by the time I reached the top of the stairs, I had broken out in a major cold sweat and was so short of breath I could hardly speak.  I tried to put my game face on, but today that didn't work so well.

Every house after that it got worse and worse.  I was so woozy and dizzy and sweating profusely.  I almost passed out right on top of two of these unlucky people today.  By the time I left the last house of the day, the only thing that got me through it was fervent prayer.  "Lord, please don't let me pass out.  Please just get me home.  Please just get me to my car.  Please don't let me ever get fired for being sick.  Just get me out of here please, please, please."

By the time I got to my car, I literally fell into the seat, pulled the door shut and slammed the lock down (safety first, even when you're dying!).  I laid there panting and sweating and thinking (literally) that I might be dying.  My ears were ringing and my hearing was dimmed like I was in a tunnel.  I called Paul and could hardly speak.  I wouldn't say I was confused, but I couldn't get the words out and it was hard to make a coherent sentence.  It was like my sugar was rock-bottom, and probably my blood pressure.  My hands were shaking so bad I could hardly hold my keys.

It was ridiculous and there's no way I should have driven home.  (Slapping self in forehead *stupid stupid stupid*)  I slowly got home and had big-time trouble trying to get the front door open, because my hands were shaking too bad to get the key in the door.  I was determined though, because I had nightmares of faceplanting in my front yard and having my kids find me there.  Yeah, not happening on my watch.  I ate a little something, laid down, and slowly came back to life.  Kind of.  I'm not totally better... still woozy, stomach pain, nausea, etc.  But I'm a whole lot better than earlier.  Earlier scared the shit out of me.  I did not like earlier.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Health Watch....

I know many of you have asked how I've been feeling and I realized I haven't updated you much.  Sorry about that.

Tomorrow will be two weeks since I've restarted chemo and it hasn't been as bad as I expected (yet).  A week or so ago, I was really struggling with nausea.  I called and told my doctor about it, and of course she wasn't much help.  This doctor wouldn't get the best reviews from me because I feel that she doesn't listen and is too jumpy.  She already has me taking this medicine (which she struggled to get me to take in the first place) and when I asked her to call me in some medicine for nausea, instead of just doing that for me, she has the nurse call back and tells me since I'm complaining about not tolerating the medicine to discontinue it and she's calling me in a script for another medicine (one of the stronger, worse ones that I didn't want to take).  I just told her no thank you and to forget about the nausea.  I decided I would try to do what I could to make it a little easier, and stopped taking these huge fish oil tablets that I've been taking.

Well, by the next day my nausea was nearly GONE.  It was the FISH OIL that was making me so sick!  It was making me nauseous, giving me chest pain, short of breath, all kinds of nasty shit that I was attributing to the chemo.  So I quit taking it and things have been better for about a week.  Today?  Not so much.  I am not well today.  Major nausea, chest pain, stomach pain, dizziness, headache.  I hope it passes quickly.  I know it's just the medicine building up in my system, but in one week I have to double my daily dosage and if I'm dealing with these side effects, I know they're going to get worse.

On top of that, I'm starting to have effects from the prednisone.  I hurt everywhere.  If someone puts their hand on my back, I wince.  With the prednisone, the pain is always mainly in my trunk and upper arms.  Like, mainly anywhere a tshirt would cover.  It's like a sunburn that goes all the way through the muscles and into the bones.  It's not to that level yet, but it's coming.

The one bright shot is that the fatigue hasn't been too bad yet.  I mean, there's some, but it's not debilitating like the last time I was on it.  I used to get so weak and tired I could hardly get to the bathroom on my own.  I've still been able to function and work (*knock on wood*).  So that's it in a nutshell.  Other than the health stuff, everything is life is good (*knock on wood harder*).  Hope you guys are doing great!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Real life fb sister love

  •   Maddie:
    You neeeed anger manaagement. :|
      • Emma:
        shut up fat face
lurve you, xoxo v.


Celebrating the now....

Will it change?  Is it because it's new?  
Or have lessons been learned?
Know what?
Who cares.
Today, I am happy.
This has been the happiest, most genuine,
most solid few weeks we've ever had.
So for today,
I'm soaking it up & being HAPPY. :)

lurve you, xoxo v.


Love and Devotion (reposted from 2.9.06)

I saw something that a dear friend had posted on her blog today, and it instantly took me back to this night that I wrote about back in 2006.  I thought I would repost it for you.


I took care of a gentleman last night who was dying. No big shocker there. But this guy, actually it was his wife, was unlike any patient I've ever had and he has stirred things up in me big time. This was an almost 91 year old man who is today celebrating his 70TH wedding anniversary. He was declining rapidly and is supposed to go to hospice today or tomorrow. He is unresponsive & never said one word to me all night. (Which just goes to show that we don't always have to have the "right" things to say, do we?) The thing that got me was the depth of love and devotion that his partner felt for him. She was also 90 years old... a "good" 90.... but 90 none-the-less, and she was a source of worry for me all night long. This is because ANY 90 year old should be at home in bed sleeping at night! Right? I thought so too.

Slowly, one by one, his family filed out of the room and left. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren left. Then children. All the while she just sat in a chair in the corner and stared a very heartbroken stare towards her love...the constant trace of a tear always present in her eyes. Then I watched as one of their sons got on his knees in front of her and held her hands and prayed with her. Prayed for his father and his mother. For himself. For the reality and the heartache that was settling in on this family.

After the son left I went into the room to check on her and in the faintest and frailest voice (although I have a feeling it was the strongest voice that she could muster at this point) she looked at me in the eyes and said, "will I be in your way if I stay here?" I will never forget the piercing and penetrating, heartfelt plea that her eyes gave me. I just stood there and stared at her. On one hand, of course I wanted her to be able to stay. But on the other hand, she's 90 years old. I didn't want her to end up in another bed down the hall from pulling an emotional all-nighter. It was only a few seconds in real-time but it seemed like forever that I just stood there, and before I could say anything she looked at me with tears welling up in her eyes and said "please don't make me go. I've been next to him since I was 18 years old and I have so little time left with him....please." I continued to stand there silently for a moment...though now it wasn't because I was debating in my mind all of the pros and the cons, but because now I was speechless. I was looking at the emodiment of everything that I silently feel inside. The love between two people that usually only comes along once in their lives. A love that is way bigger than the two of them. The indescribable power of an all-consuming love that just is...whether you want it to be or not. It defies time, space or logic and it won't go away just because someone thinks it should. And also the longing and the pain of wanting someone that you know is slipping out of your hands.....and all you can do is watch it go.

As I stared into her face I suddenly, in my minds eye, got a glimpse of her through the years. As a teenager who was crazy about this boy, as a girl getting engaged, as a young bride glowing with love, a mother who cradled her baby in her arms, a woman who made dinner for her family and then love to her husband, a retiree who was excited for the freedom of finally getting her man all to herself and traveling or just spending lazy mornings. And now of a woman who has seen all of the seasons of her life come and go and was now helplessly staring at her one true love slipping away....and all of the pain that brings.

I suddenly felt fiercely protective of this woman. I told her that of course she could stay and that I would do anything I could do to make her comfortable. I had to fight her tooth and nail to even try and get her to take a blanket. She was so afraid of being in the way bless her heart.... I never did win either. She sat slumped over in that uncomfortable chair with her coat on to keep warm. She wouldn't let me get her a cot or even a more comfortable chair. At one point she woke up and was confused. She thought she was at home, and that he was in bed waiting for her and she couldn't find her way to their bedroom. I was so sad for her. Even through confusion she was still looking for him....her heart knew where it wanted to be. The heart knows what it wants....even when the mind and body are telling it differently.

lurve you, xoxo v.

God only knows....

Sitting here bawling like a baby.  I finally got to watch the finale of Big Love... did you see it?  I can't believe it.  I'm so sad for them.  I know it's just a show, but as usual, I feel like they are family to me.  And as usual, I see the man removed from the picture and all that remains are the women taking care of women.  Not saying anything was wrong with the man, just saying that women are what it usually comes down to, doesn't it?

When I'm in a pinch and I need help, who do I call?  My mom.  When I'm mad, sad, happy, irritated, who do I call?  Allison.  When I was devastated by what the evil one had done, and for a brief moment allowed myself to feel the grief, who took care of me?  Women.  I can remember laying on the couch, sobbing, barely able to take care of myself, and looking around to see someone cleaning my bathroom, while another woman was cooking for my children.  That only lasted a day or two (because I'm too stubborn for my own good sometimes), but it hit me on that day that when the chips are down, the women in my life are what I have, and that's only been reinforced to me over and over.  When Allison & Shawnda drove four hours through the snow, just so that I wouldn't have to sit in a courtroom & see the evil one for the first time alone after what happened.  When Joleen came running, breathless into the emergency room in the middle of the night and scooped me up to cry with me that tragic night.  To rejoice with me over good news, to celebrate kids' birthdays, to make sure my kids found a good school in a strange town, who make sure I get hugs and kisses through the mail to let me know I am being thought of.

Women.... you are loved.  You are cherished.  You are treasured.  God only knows what I'd be without you.

The final scene from Big Love
"God Only Knows"
Natalie Maines
lurve you, xoxo v.


I've become one of those people

You know, one of those people that
have a whole slew of pills to take.

The mediset is full of pills.
I've committed to take them.
This actually made me just about as
sad as originally hearing the news that I'm sick.

That sounds so stupid to me,
but yet it's so real.

lurve you, xoxo v.


I don't want moonface again :(

 I guess I'm as sick as I've ever been.  That's what the numbers say.  What's scary is that I actually tried to fool my rheumatologist by delaying getting my labs drawn until I had taken a course of prednisone to bring down any inflammation so that I would look healthier and she wouldn't want to put me on scary meds.  Makes me wonder what the numbers were before the prednisone.  For those of you who know numbers, my sed rate is 42 and my crp is 33.8.  That's a lot of inflammation.  Back in 2007 When they put me on chemo because I was so sick that it freaked them out, my sed rate was only 37.  The crp scares me because it can cause heart disease and the normal stops at 8.  EIGHT!!!  I'm 33.8!!!  *sigh*

So, of course, I tried to talk my way out of the scary meds and she was having none of it.  She agreed to put me on a "milder" med than I was on before, so that I might not have to miss as much work, might not be as nauseous and might not lose as much hair.  The one thing that won't change with this medication regimine is the likelihood of developing "moonface."  That's when someone is on steroids for a long time, and they develop a round face, like a moon.  This is a picture of me from '07 after a few months on the stuff.  See how much rounder my face is???  Blah.  I know it's all worth it if it makes me better, etc etc.  But I don't want moonface and I'm pouting about it for a little while.

I took my first pills tonight.  I have to take one pill a day for three weeks, and then increase to two times a day.  I read tonight that this med can cause greatly increased risk of cancer and lymphomas, and can also cause sterility.  Not like that matters much to me anymore, but still.  I like my internal organs and would like to keep them.  Please pray for me to have peace about this whole thing, because I am struggling with it.  I will eternally live in denial that there is anything wrong with me, or dismiss it as not being all that bad.  I don't want to be the "sick girl."  And am notorious for being non-compliant with medications and all that jazz.  This is necessary at this time, so I'm doing it.  I just don't want to feel traumatized by it.  Wish me luck.

I'm a little freaked out that I've been reading that it takes a minimum of 3 - 6 months for this medication to begin working.  I'm not a 3 - 6 month kind of girl!  I'm lucky to take meds for 3 - 6 DAYS & have already agreed to take it for 3 - 6 weeks.  But MONTHS?  Oh man.  I'm little hyperventilaty over here right now.  Am I too much of a commitmentphobe to take these for that long?  THIS is like the olympics for bad patients.  I was all stoked and ready to kick some inflamed-ass, and now?  Oh man.  This shook my jug.  Can I do this?

lurve you, xoxo v.




A few weeks ago,
I noticed little black grains-of-pepper looking things
all over my bathroom floor, and bathtub, and inside of my shower.

Unfortunately, this was familiar to me,
because a couple of lifetimes ago
when I lived in Louisiana,
I smacked a big, hairy, black spider with a shoe,
it exploded itty-bitty black babies

Yeah, that's something you don't forget,
even if it's been nearly twenty years.

Soooo, back to my bathroom.
Uh-huh.  Little black spider babies.

(*commence freak-out and spastic cleaning spree*)

Paul & I went to the professional bug-spray store
and bought the most powerful stuff we could find
(because this homey don't play when it comes to things crawling in my house),
and he sprayed everywhere and everything.

Every day I still clean up and flush dozens (hundreds?)
of little black dots off of the floor and out of the bathtub.

I've washed the rugs, and have even bought a can of Raid 
and spray everywhere often,
and yet, there they are.

I am SO skeeved out.


Our theory had been that as spiders crawl in under the door,
they get hit by the poison and die,
commencing to launch their babies all over the floor.
I have found a few dead full-grown spiders,
but every day?
And, how are they getting all the way to the bathtub?

Any suggestions?
lurve you, xoxo v.
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