Weeks in Review: Week 83-84

Hey, cats & kittens! Sup??

I’m sort of over my cranky hump of last week because I’ve been forcing myself to go out, for better or worse. When you don’t feel well for a long time you just sort of get used to staying home…but I had finally hit the wall. So, while my legs are not really any better at carrying me around, I’m making them do it anyway even though it’s a struggle. Eventually I get home and collapse on the bed – for hours. But til then…I’m gettin’ out, baby!

I read “The Girls’ Guide to Hunting & Fishing.” It’s not my usual MO, but I liked it. I liked the characters, it was an easy, fast read…and I’ve already bought something else by her which I will hopefully like as much. I give it a 3.5 out of 5. That’s pretty good for me. I think I’ve given like 3 books a 5 in my adult reading life: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Power of One and All the Light We Cannot See. If you think we have similar book taste you can follow me on Goodreads.

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I puppy-sat two weeks ago. It was a beautiful day but no one wanted to sit outside with me.

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I started taking advantage of the beautiful area I moved to recently.

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Caleb is such a peeker*

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Just another beautiful sunset.

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Finally made it to a beach. It was just in time for the sun to go down, but still…

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I love this picture. Now, this has NOTHING to do with having cancer. But do other people see pictures of themselves and think “I have to tell someone I want this picture in my “life collage” at my funeral?” Maybe that’s just a regional thing where family members put together big photo collages for display at the wake or funeral service. I actually have a folder on my computer where I’ve started putting pictures I want displayed. Hey, that’s the last time I lot of people are going to see me – I’m not leaving THAT up to someone else. I have a *lot* of plans (guidelines?) for my funeral – and this goes WAY back before the cancer.

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Oh, it’s just a dog driving a BMW.

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I can’t resist a good sky.

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See above*

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A good friend made this beautiful bench for me. He’s calling it a bench. I’m using it as a table. It’s so smooth. I keep petting it.

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This bunny comes to the front yard every day.

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My friend Johnna and I went to a “doggy brunch” this morning. Cute concept but it was a little rough on Caleb. I brought a little rug for him to lay on but it was so busy he couldn’t really settle in. Getting up and down is hard for him these days so it can take him awhile to decide to lay down. Johnna’s 5-month-old Italian Mastiff , Shine, was *such* a good boy! He’s all velvety and loose-skinned and sweet.

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And that’s that! I plan on continuing to get out as much as possible. I have to start getting a LITTLE fit again so everything is not SO hard for me.

Have a good week, yo!

 

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I’m Cranky, but…

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I’ve been feeling very cranky this week. Everything is pissing me off: my keyboard, the mouse, the dog, the bug that keeps buzzing in my ear at night, the return of heat and humidity, this %&(&^!! acne. And more.

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In trying to figure out what the REAL issue is…I think it’s the waste of this entire year to stupid cancer and the accompanying surgery and treatments. I’ve felt crappy for too long, I’ve been stuck inside and sedentary for too long, I’ve missed out on doing fun things with friends and Caleb…and myself.

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So, treatments are over. I certainly don’t FEEL better yet…but I’m trying to force myself out a little more. A teeny tiny walk with the dog. Sitting in my chair at the beach at sunset. Having ice cream with a friend in town. Easy things but…IT’S GETTING ME OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE!!!

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So, as the title said, I’m cranky, but…I’ve tried to keep things as easy for myself as possible this year (well, except for moving, ha ha – that was not ideal timing but it’s done). A dress like this helps. The Sharagano dress is a drapey chambray (I think it feels like a Tencel blend) and SO easy peasy to wear. It’s a loose swirly tent-fit and hardly wrinkles. I rented it through Gwynnie Bee and when the sale price went to SIXTEEN DOLLARS I snatched it right up. I love this spicey orangey rust color and it goes well with several of my duster length cardigans so I can wear it well into the autumn.

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And oh yeah, POCKETS.

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So, yes, I’m cranky, but…things are GOING to get better. Each week a little more of the chemo poison will leave my body and I’ll start feeling better and better. I’ll be able to start living MY life again…not CANCER’S life. Stupid cancer.

Soon I’ll be spending less time laying in bed and more time watching sunsets.

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Pictures taken by my friend Karen. Thanks!

Week in Review: Week 77

It was a decidedly NOT exciting week. I missed a couple days of work for not feeling well…there so many different side effects to chemo that every day can be something different. But…halfway through. I’m SO looking forward to just FEELING WELL again after all this nonsense.

The daily headwear is a fun distraction. I have quite a collection of scarves now, thanks to friends and coworkers, and things I’d saved of my mother’s…and a couple hats. I’m kind of a spazz about tying them so so far it’s a pretty basic – kerchief look or this sort of scrub cap look. This one’s a lot of fun, sort of boho hippie with elephants on it.

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This was the whole outfit. I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting “outfit of the day” on Instagram. I can’t wait to be in the new apartment and not surrounded by boxes!

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This is the cutest hat that my sister sent me from Headcovers Unlimited, I think it looks sort of 20’s flapperish. A co-worker said I was looking very Great Gatsby-ish. I’ll take that!

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I tried on some baseball caps at Charlotte Russe. I don’t like that they come up so high on the sides. I passed. I know I could wear it over a bandana kerchief but now that’s more effort and more HEAT. I love getting in my car at the end of the whatever and taking the head thing OFF and letting the ac blast on my bare scalp – woohoeee!

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Yeah. Making myself eat (and drink) enough is a challenge. HOW AM I NOT SKINNY?!? Anyway, I receive many lectures about this so when I saw this adulting sticker I knew I needed to have it 🙂

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A friend gave me this silk scarf. I love the roses and want lipstick to match.

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I did feel well enough one evening to have dinner with friends then go to the beach. They walked to the lighthouse to look for bucks…and I dragged my chair literally like 6′ onto the sand from the parking lost and just sat there and breathed the good air. Til I was freezing. Then I left.

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Had a very pink shopping trip.

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More lecturing pushed me to try Crystal Light in water in hopes I would drink more. Nope. I’ll keep trying. How can eating and drinking enough be the hardest part of cancer?

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And yesterday we had a new awesome work event at Great South Brewery – the two young women who put this event together did an AMAZING job. I was there photographing the fun but didn’t last that long. And after that I was DONE. Was in bed by 7:30, down for the count.

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Well, THAT was the most boring blog post ever! Ha, sorry, folks 🙂 This week coming up is PACKING, more trips to the new place to move stuff, and a kooky fun activity Wednesday that I’ll share next weekend.

Well, THIS happened…

So… I apologize for my diversion from fashion and plus-size life posts, but this is what’s in the forefront of my life, time, head and heart these days. Last week I posted about the anger and heartbreak of starting to lose my hair. This weekend it *really* started to come out fast. In the shower it would just all mat up into a solid bird’s nest around my head. Trying to untangle it just made giant clumps come out. THAT was an emotional day and many tears were shed over the sinkful of hair. So I went ahead and scheduled a head shaving at a salon in my new town.

What was left before I went. Not much in the front, some length still in the back. Sort of a Friar Tuck look. Not really good.

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And here we go. Morgan the stylist was so sweet and gentle and patient with my papparazzi 🙂 taking tons of pictures. She started with a #1 blade and finished up with a 0 (zero).

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It was WEIRD. It is still WEIRD. But this was the worst part…and it will just get better from here.

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Friends came with me for support (thanks, guys!) and brought me scarves and hats and Fireball 🙂

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Getting there. I had moments of trembling and sadness, but mostly I was okay. I knew this would be better than the blotchy hair loss of the past few days, with hair coming out in the shower every day and on my pillow every night. I’ve been wearing scarves on my head each day to cover up and I was so afraid of them slipping off and revealing my monstrous looking head.

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I *really* hope I don’t also lose my eyebrows. They’re naturally a little sparse but they’re generally not visible under my bangs, which I usually like hanging in my eyes a little bit. No hiding anything now!

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Almost done. Heads are weird.

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Afterwards, a rinse and scalp massage while sitting in a lovely massage chair!

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Bye-bye, hair. See you again soon. I hear such different accounts of how people’s hair grows back after chemo. Sometimes totally silvery grey, sometimes the color of their youth, sometimes curly, sometimes soft. I guess it will be a surprise.

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All done! In my mind I sort of thought I’d end up smooth-headed but it’s actually very stubbly. Apparently if I want a smooth dome I need to shave with a hand-held razor and shaving cream. Not sure I’m up to that…but the stubble is a little annoying as it catches on scarves and feels weird when I move my head on my pillow. But I’ll give it a few days to see if I adjust. I guess I could go to a barber and have them clean shave me…or the hair might continue falling out. I’ve got three more treatments.

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Part of the gang, minus my two photographers. POSH salon in Northport was lovely. They do free head shaving for cancer patients and Morgan was so nice and made it all as pleasant as it could be.

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And I decided to walk out into the world with my bare head. I felt like no one knows me there yet so seeing me sans hair would not be a shock, plus I don’t know them either, so who cares what they think.

We crossed the street for ice cream then went to look at the new house and apartment which is less than half a mile from this nice main street. I did try on my hat gift for ice cream.

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Thank you to my dear friends for coming with me and hugging me and taking pictures, thank you Morgan and Posh for making a not-so-pleasant event as painless and pleasant as possible, thank you Universe for keeping me around 🙂

Don’t worry, I have more fun content planned for the weeks ahead!

Thanks, followers & friends, for sticking with me through this,

Bettye xoxo

OH! I am trying to be part of a link-up from fakefabulous.com – I’m a spazz at this stuff so I may not be doing it right, but I’m giving it a go!

This is the description of the Fake It Until You Make It link-up:
This link up is for anyone (of any age) to share their fabulous blog posts.
The main aim of the game is to share those posts that will help us all to fake our own fabulousness.
Whether it’s outfit inspiration, and style tips.
Beauty secrets.
Homemaking hacks.
Cooking tit-bits.
Parenting know-how.
Or, general life-enhancing wisdom.

It’s Not All Good

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So. I have to talk about The Cancer today. Through most of this time I think I’ve been pretty good at keeping my Game Face on. I am not by nature a perky, positive person. I consider myself more of a realist and prefer to face *all* things, good and bad, and not pretend bad things don’t exist. But I *have* really tried to find the good in the situation…to find some beauty along the way…small joys, blah blah blah.

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But yesterday I hit a brick wall. With all the rashes and diarrhea and queasiness and infections and sores and exhaustion and other joys that I have mostly kept to myself…the thing that I’m having the hardest time with is…losing my hair. I knew it was going to happen. I knew the particular chemo drugs I’m getting have that as a side effect. But I still hoped I would somehow escape it.

Nope.

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You know how a little hair always comes out in the shower? That’s normal. But yesterday…it just wouldn’t stop coming out. Big clumps and handfuls. And tears. Then when I tried brushing it out…it wouldn’t stop coming out. My brush was full of hair, my hands were full of hair…if I touched hair, it was coming out. I finally just wrangled it all into a messy bun and called it a day.

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I don’t know if it’s really noticeable yet because pulling hair back into a bun is sort of like a glorified combover (ha ha) but I’m sure in bright light it’s visible. And is only going to get worse.

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I’m afraid to take a shower this morning because so much more is going to come out. I’ll just wash my bangs in the sink. And hope for the best.

So I’m seriously stressing out about what I’m going to put on my head. I KNOW there are 12,000,000 options…but I don’t really see anything that looks like ME to me. I don’t feel sick, I don’t want to LOOK sick. I don’t want to look like someone ELSE. I’m not a hat person EVER – not in the winter to keep warm and not in the summer to shade my face…so this concept of having to put something on my head in the morning and leave it on All Day Long – at work, shopping, etc, just feels so awkward and foreign to me and I DON’T LIKE IT. I DON’T WANNA. WHAAAA.

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There. This is my time I’m allowed to be mad and sad and bitchy and complainy. I’M ALLOWED. I don’t want anyone trying to cheer me up, cuz you CAN’T. No one’s words can change the way I’m feeling. I’m terrified and angry. And I’m just gonna roll around in that for awhile.

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So, now that I’ve alienated half of you (ha ha), I can proceed with my outfit. I LOVE this dress. It’s by Rachel Roy via Gwynnie Bee. It’s dark dark grey and feels like velvety slinky silk. And it has this cool drapey effect on the front that hides EVERYTHING. It’s light and flowy. It’s EASY. Which is exactly what I needed yesterday.

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And we found the perfect location to shoot – this abandoned movie theater. Crumbly and littered…and yet even it had a little spot of wild flowers still growing. Even when I only WANT to focus on the ugly, I find some beauty. Damn it! Ha.

Weeks in Review: 68-74

Week by week it doesn’t feel like I do much…in fact, I’m doing a whole lot of Not Much. But when I looked back at the past 6 weeks since I last posted a Week in Review…yeah, there’s some stuff. So I’ll share.

I finished radiation. 28 treatments. That really felt like an accomplishment. I hope to never be back for more.

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I got my appetite back.

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I was so sure this baseball tee dress was going to be a win. But it wasn’t. I thought it would be cottony but it was more polyestery. And too long.

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This floral silk Lucky Brand top from Gwynnie Bee was a win.

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Nope.

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Got my blood clot filter taken out.

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I left on a jet plane. I did come back again.

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Florida! I stayed overnight with my daughter in her cute Tampa apartment.

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Cool bathroom where we had brunch.

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Katie found Tommy.

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I found the ocean. I floated and bobbed for hours. A manatee swam right past us!

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There was a beautiful sunset every night.

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My fambly ❤

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My grand-niece Annabelle is the sweetest.

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My boy was happy I finally came home.

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I got a present!

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And started real chemo.

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Meet Bruce: IV site gone wrong. One of several unpleasant issues. 9 days out from Treatment #1 I’m back to feeling almost normal. Just tired.

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Caleb got some new meds and feels good.

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Janey had a bath.

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And today I will be…PACKING…because my exciting news is I’M MOVING!!! More details and pictures to come….

Week in Review: Weeks 64-67

Wow, I’ve essentially lost the month of May. May was the bulk of my radiation treatments – I still have seven left to go so they’re reaching a little into June as well, but hopefully I’ll be able to reclaim some of June for myself. I’ve been too tired to do much of anything, but here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

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I photographed our 5k Jack’s Run for Autism up in Port Washington. It was like The Windiest Day EVER. We couldn’t hang signs or put out balloons to mark the course or anything. But the runners didn’t seem to mind. Those athletic types don’t let *anything* stop them. Respect.

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And then I went for my first chemo treatment. Scary. They kept referring to it as an “all day treatment.” SCARY. But in reality, it was a lot of prep, counseling, two hours of IV hydration and anti-nausea meds before and another two hours after…and the actual chemo was only one hour. But it *was* a long day of not really knowing what to expect so I had my bag well-stocked with activities, snacks, water, super soft kitty blanket, book, etc.

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I was anxious all day waiting to feel awful…but that really never happened. I felt *queasy* for the next week or so but never really nauseous. I will be repeating this procedure on Monday. Hopeful for same outcome.

Ugh. This dress. Not good. It went back to Gwynnie Bee immediately. You win some, you lose some.

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I brought some lilacs in from outside our office door. They smelled so so so so good. And I haven’t killed my succulent terrarium plants yet! Yay Me!

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Caleb is such a sneaky-peeker.

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I found a rock on the beach that looks like a heart. Or a butt. You choose.

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Ahhhhh. I need more of these.

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Don’t work too hard, Caleb.

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Sunrise outside my door.

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How fun is this beachy cake? I just looked, I did not touch.

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A family from the school brought me this card. They’re having their own struggles and yet they took their time to do this for me. HUGS TO YOU.

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My kooky kid.

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Her kooky mom.

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Sunrise out my girlfriend’s door.

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I dog-sat last weekend. They’re a tough pair to handle. Not.

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We had lots of lovely porch time.

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Some things never change.

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Ruh-roh. I killed one of the succulents. It rotted away. I think I overwatered. I put a turtle in its place. That will be harder to kill.

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Here is a pic of me at 10. It was part of a video I just saw for the first time, so I apologize for poor quality due to screen grab. I guess my father filmed this back in 1970? Isn’t it weird to see pictures of yourself from the past (well, duh, all pictures are from the past but you know what I mean) that you have No Recollection of? You know it’s you cuz you can SEE you, but. I have no memory of this day or this dress or even my father having a movie camera! And this is funny, in 1970 girls were not yet allowed to wear pants to school. But we were wearing dresses this short (you can’t see the groovy white Jan Brady knee socks I had on but they’re there). How did THAT make sense??

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For some reason this “I Am the Champion” muscle man bicep pose was my go-to photo pose around that age. Who knows. That’s my sister, cheery in yellow.

And there you have it. This month was a LOT of laying around, staying close to home. Hopefully I’ll be able to venture out a little more this month. Fingers crossed!

On another note, I have STILL not switched out my winter clothes for summer! It’s been just cool enough that I haven’t needed to. Maybe this weekend. I kind of think that was the same last sentence from my LAST Week in Review post!

xoxo Bettye

Week in Review: Week 61

Was a pretty full and busy week – had several doctory appointments, went to dinner with friends two nights, had a little photo shoot, work is getting busier…

But we started the week with Easter at the Ex’es. I went to meet the new horse, Harley (spotted horse on the right)…and Amaretto (“Retto”) on the left.

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And said hello to Beau (horse) and Rosie and the goat whose name is NOT Cinnamon but that’s the only name I can ever THINK of for her. Wait, Ginger? Is it Ginger? It might be Ginger. Anyway, this is Rosie in the pic.

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Caleb got a little goody bag to take home after dinner 🙂  Did you notice he has the same color and markings as Rosie??

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Monday’s outfit of the day. Or is that what I wore to Easter dinner? I forget. Wow.

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Had a meeting with a social worker at Sloan-Kettering to see what kind of helpful services and programs they have. But I jumped the gun a bit as you can’t really apply to anything til you’re actually in treatment and have accrued $300 in co-pays. Which I have, just not with THEM. But I got applications to fill out so I’m all ready when the time comes. Everytime I go there’s something new blooming at the entrance.

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Wednesday’s outfit of the day. A second season dress from Alice & You and a sleeveless knit duster from CityChic. Both items via Gwynnie Bee. Maybe it’s time to say bye-bye to Hello Kitty. Goodbye Kitty?

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Had a follow-up visit to the blood doctor. They found a blood clot when I was in the hospital…it partially divided and became several blood clots in my lungs as well. So I’ve been on blood thinners and had a clot filter inserted prior to surgery. Which they now want to remove. THROUGH MY NECK. Gah. That just sounds horrible. I feel the medical profession as a whole could endeavor to make things a LITTLE more fun. I don’t know how, but they’re the ones making the big bucks, let THEM figure it out.

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My cousin sent me this picture of my mother as a baby. I think it’s hysterical! She was born in 1922.

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A package arrived from Old Navy. I’d been so excited for these items but….MEH. I’ve seen the blue floral off-the-shoulder (OTS) dress on a couple bloggers and was just in love with it…until I put it on. I knew it was a questionable choice for me because of the elastic waist. And sure enough it was just not right and I felt very fidgetty in it, constantly fussing with the waist. The OTS part was also not cooperative and I don’t even OWN a strapless bra (oh my gosh the dog just burped in his sleep and it sounded like a child said “hi”) so what was I even thinking?? It was a size 4x. I’m still addicted to striped tops and am looking for a new favorite. This was not it. Too big in the chest and shoulders, too snug at the hips. Sigh. Story of my  life. Size 4x. And I’m looking for a couple pairs of slouchy (BUT NOT SLOPPY!!!) soft fabric, like a rayon or linen blend or tencel, ankle length pants for summer. These linen blend 4x pants were just too big. I couldn’t tie them tight enough to keep them from slipping down my hips. The last dress, the mustard yellow dress is just like the light blue Tencel “nightgown” dress I had from last year…but it’s more of a gauzey rayon and a little snugger fit. Size 4x. Pass. Everything is already on its way back to Old Navy and the search continues. I can spend the same $100 on clothes for MONTHS, buying and returning, lather, rinse, repeat.

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And last (lastly?) I paid a visit yesterday to the podiatrist, FINALLY, after suffering with heel pain for almost 8 months. I’ve done the stretching exercises. I’ve rolled my foot over the golf ball and frozen water bottle. I was “off my feet” for as much as I could probably ever be between my time in the hospital and then recovering at home after the surgery. I’ve iced it. I went to physical therapy three times for stretching, massage, laser treatments and electronic stimulation. And it’s been 8 months and the pain is bad and not getting better. He took a digital x-ray which showed a heel spur and inflammation, gave me a cortisone shot (youch) and then wrapped my foot up with this cushiony pad and said to leave it on for three days. It’s already off. Ha. It was SO tight, it was as uncomfortable as the heel pain! I’m going to say the edge is off the heel pain but it’s not entirely gone. I also haven’t walked a lot since. He said it could be 4-5 days before it takes full effect. And I go back Friday to follow-up and get another shot if needed.

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And now it’s the weekend YAY. I have errands and apartment cleaning planned for today…and something FUN planned for tomorrow. And when I say PLANNED I mean, we plan to have FUN, we haven’t actually planned yet what exactly we’re doing. So it’s still a surprise.

What do YOU have planned for the weekend? And have any of you ever had success with ANY sort of treatment for heel pain/spurs?

Week in Review: Week 60

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The week started off with consults at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for a second opinion on my situation and treatment going forward. I’m finally learning that “consult” doesn’t mean sitting in a civilized wood-paneled office, a desk away from a doctor, tissues at hand (like on TV)…but instead “get undressed and put on this gown and the dr will SEE you in a few minutes.” I’ve learned to wear loose-fitting dresses so I can by-pass the gown (how smart am I?) but I haven’t figured out how to avoid the endless stream of EXAMS. Ugh. “Hello, I’m Dr. Smith, nice to meetcha, now skootch down and spread your legs.” Hello to you, too.

Anyway, I was pleased with both the doctors, their treatment plan was pretty different than the first place (though they both had very good explanations for why they’d do things their way), and everything moved along at a good pace. Which is very important to me as I don’t want to be spending my summer waiting in a treatment center. I want to get in, get out, and go see a sunset, thank you very much.

Final decision has not been made yet.

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National Sibling Day was this week. That’s me (the short one in baggy ruffled tights) and my sister (the tall pretty one who is looking very Gidget-esque).

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Tuesday afternoon we headed down to a charter boat marina to do some blog pictures. It felt good to be out in the air and be doing a photo shoot.

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I wanted to show you my cute new EASY TO PUT ON sneakers but the dog wanted in the shot. I think it’s time to unmake the bed-sofa.

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Wednesday morning it was BACK to Sloan for a ct-scan. I drank the kool aid. I failed the test. After all the drinking, waiting, changing, trying to get an IV in me (I have tough veins), etc…they got the first picture then the two ladies came hurrying into the scan room where I was and said, “uh, hun, you still have your bra on!” Damn. I was so distracted by “where do I go next?” as I was changing into THE DREADED GOWN that I totally blanked on taking off my bra. Duh. They’d already gotten the first pic so now I couldn’t move, so I had two women, one on each side of me, trying to remove my bra without me moving. Someone should have taken a picture of THAT.

PS, the contrast dye they injected into me for the scan changed my taste buds for three days and everything tasted horrible. Someone should figure out how to market that as a weight loss aid. If eating Doritos is no more enjoyable than eating lettuce, well…

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There was a pretty little gifty in my grocery cart.

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Thursday night I worked our Adventureland event. Twice a year we rent out the amusement park and it’s closed to the general public and made available just to families of kids and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. It. Almost. Always. Rains. or at least threatens. But this night was PERFECT and we had a TON of happy people going on rides, playing arcade games and eating cotton candy. This picture was taken as the event prior to ours was just closing out, that’s why it looks so empty.

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I’m a little teapot….

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The next morning I was verrrrry tired and was wishing I could just climb on the tuffet with Caleb and Jane instead of going to work.

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Got my second wind by late afternoon and picked up a friend (this is her backyard, can you even?) to go to the movies. We saw Going in Style with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. Ann Margaret was in it a bit and OHMYGOD she looks UH-MAZING. She’s 76, she looks better than I do. She looks better than MOST people do, ha. The movie was cute.

And now it’s Saturday. I have no plans. Wanna do something??

Week in Review: Week 59

It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.

I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.

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While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes

Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes

Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes

You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.

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A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.

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Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.

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And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.

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My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

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This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.

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So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!

And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.