Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Am I supposed to work here?

I've done a grand total (if I'm pushing it and rounding WAY up) an hours worth of work today. One little tiny hour. Since they got rid of the support department and made me it, my workload has become really cyclical. The nature of our software means that the beginning of the month and the beginning of fiscal periods are busy. The ends of the month before a holiday weekend, not so much.

So in the other million free hours I've had today I discovered that I might want to vacation to Hatteras, North Carolina. Ever been there? Me neither. I'm looking for a place on the ocean, that's a bit touristy with a small little town where I can relax and be a lump. Oh and yeah for a week. Oh and yeah by myself.

This will be the first time that I have ever gone on a vacation by myself. I'm kind of nervous and kind of thrilled by the idea of it. Perhaps after I get back I'll be revolted by the idea but you never know.

Initially I started out this quest for a vacation destination by trying to find a tour for single people. Not hard to find. But the more I read about them the more I realized that I didn't want to be around a group of strangers for a week going here, there and everywhere. I wanted to lay low. I wanted to do nothing at all. I wanted sun and water and surf and sand and a book or seven. That's it.

Not sure yet if it's going to be Hatteras but the Outer Bank is sounding right. Maybe further north around Kitty Hawk or Kill Devil Hill or Nags Head. Going to keep on researching and see which spot it will be.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Since I've been gone & Tally's FINAL CHEMO

So much has happened since my last post. Was it really a week and a half ago? Time has flown by.

First off grandpa is still hanging on. He's such a trooper. He started talking a bit on Friday, the 19th and talked to us all day long on Saturday. Most of it was not in the current time period but oh well. He started the day in the near time frame only going back about 25 or 30 years and thinking that he had to get to the firehouse for work. Then at one point he thought he was on the USS Boise which is where he spent all of his time in WWII. Then at the end of the day he was a slick teenager hitting on me and my cousin. Some quotes were amazingly funny. Like the one where he said to my Uncle's girlfriend that she had tied him up really well last night and that he was glad there weren't any fires. We all nearly peed ourselves laughing. Saturday was his best day. Sunday when we got to the hospital he was really agitated and asked for ice water and said yes to the question about pain medication. Little did we know that the ice water request would be the last intelligible words we would get from him. After getting his pain medicine he was out for the day. Everyone else left on Sunday and dad went to work on Monday so I went to the hospital by myself. I was not prepared for what I was about to witness.

I just happened to arrive at the same time his orthopedic surgeon did to perform a post-op check. Overnight grandpa had deteriorated and his sugar level had sky rocketed. Apparently the overnight nurse wrote in his chart the the insulin was refused at midnight. Let me tell you that grandpa most certainly was not in any position to refuse any medication. The day nurse and the surgeon went spinning into action saying that they needed to get the primary physician on the phone now and that maybe grandpa needed to go to ICU. It was a really overwhelming way to end my visit with grandpa.

He pulled through that craziness and has since been moved back to the care facility where he's been living for nearly a year. He's in his apartment there with round the clock care. No tubes, or wires or needles. Just grandpa. They have figured out how to manage his discomfort and he seems to be settled in for as long as he can hold out. I'm so glad that he's not in the hospital and around all of that insanity. He's home and peaceful. You can hear the calm in my dad's voice when he talks about grandpa now. Whereas before it was TENSION!!! I'm so glad that I got to see him one last time. It was well worth the emotional turmoil.

Came home late Monday night the 22nd. Britten brought Tally with her to pick me up at the airport. It was SO great to see my little puppy girl again and I was looking forward to a night's sleep in my bed and a calm week. On Tuesday during our evening walk Tally started limping but kept on moving and I didn't think much of it. I gave her paw a thorough once over when we got home and then went off to my hair appointment. When I got home she was limping even more and really freaking me out. I sat right down in the middle of the living room and kept asking her if she was really going to make us run to the ER. Really? Come on Tally. Just for mama can't you shake it off? No. Damn. In the car we went.

The ER Vet shares a space with her Cancer Vet so that made me feel really good. They were all very sweet with her and in the end the Vet thought she must have just sprained her elbow. We left with some anti-inflamatories and orders to rest for a week. Gave her one of the pills when we got home and another in the morning. During our morning walk you would have thought I'd made up Tuesday entirely. She was FINE! Nary a limp or hitch to be seen. So I figured she was just getting back at me for leaving her for the weekend.

Then comes the final Chemo appointment on Friday June 26th. What a great experience that was. The awesome Cancer Vet and I had a great conversation trying to determine the follow-up process and then proceeded to talk about my vacation plans. Then it was time for the actual Chemo treatment. I was up in front paying, as usual, and when Tally was done she did her normal full force run from the back of the office straight to me. This time though she was wearing a little red bandanna with the words "I'm a Cancer Survivor" on it. I nearly started crying. It was just about the most adorable and most inspiring thing that has happened since all of this cancer craziness first started.

Here's a picture of her in all her post-chemo bandanna clad glory!

The next day was my 25th oh wait my 35th birthday! Although with the way I tore it up you may have thought I was turning 25. Started the day by meeting Heather for breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe in South Lake Union. Jess had hoped to join us but she was hit full force with something evil that was causing her to lose all of her insides out both major orifices since 1AM that morning. So needless to say my very pregnant friend thought it best to stay home. Heather and I missed her dearly but forged on as best we could. Since neither of us are preggers we decided to have a bit of the bubbly, so mimosa's it was. Then we went to REI were I got some new sandal's, had a hilarious exchange with the REI shoe department employee and tried on some swimsuits. Wait scratch that last thing. Nope no swimsuits were tried on. Really it was just the shoe department. That's all. (See Heather I told you I wouldn't mention it ever again.)

Then home for a bit for some Tally time and then off to Mani's and Pedi's. This time it was Molly, Ali, Amy and Jessica. There was more champagne, cookies, fruit and a lot of laughs. Back home for Tally's evening constitutional and then on to dinner. Our group grew to 12 at dinner. Amy had made reservations at La Carta de Oxaca and man was it amazing. Margarita's, amazing Mexican food, little puzzles, stickers, and a lot of laughing. For dessert we headed over to Cupcake Royale where the entire store sang "Happy Birthday to me!" I reveled in every moment of my day and enjoyed it ALL!! Thank you to Brooke, Cliff, Brent, Amy (mama), Peter, Dave Peck, James and girlies for so much fun! What a day. Even the hangover on Sunday couldn't diminish my smile.

Sunday was my first book club meeting and that went great too. I had a lot of fun talking about the two books, "The Alienist" and "Judas Child". I felt smart, funny and interesting. Yeah me!

So I have to say if this is 35, I'll take it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Off to Texas. Off to say goodbye

Last weekend my grandpa (dad's dad) fell, breaking his elbow and hip. In order to fix the hip they had to completely sedate him, something they didn't want to do. Since then things have not improved at all. He developed pneumonia, began to have trouble swallowing, and wasn't able to speak.

Turns out he had a serious stroke as well.

He has left instructions that he does not want any heroic measures including a feeding tube which would be the next step. Hospice has been called.

Grandpa hasn't been happy ever since grandma died. He just hasn't seen the point of being around with Betty not by his side. He doesn't seem to be fighting to stay around so we are all preparing for him to go.

So I'm heading to Texas to say goodbye to my last grandparent. I don't know how to do it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chemo #5 - Checking in

Friday morning was Tally's 5th Chemo appointment. Overall I'm shocked by how well she does each time. She's always so sweet and happy to see all of the people at the vet office. But I suppose that really shouldn't shock me. She's generally a happy easy going dog.

The side effects are fairly minimal. The list of what could happen is rather long and so far hers are centered around the lethargy and a bit of a stomach issue. This time the stomach hasn't been as big of a deal. But she has been pretty tired. I'm not sure if I'll know what to do with her when this is over and she wants to start playing again. That will be strange.

But really she is doing great and it's almost over. Only one more to go. Can't wait for it to be over. The vet said that she's not sure yet how to monitor her afterwards. So I'm a bit nervous about that. I'm sure it won't be awful but I'm not good with unknowns so I'll be really glad when that's all sorted.

And now for a graceful switch of topics today I did a bunch of stuff around the house, inside and out. Started by waking at 5:20 even with my newly purchased sleep mask. That's frustrating. Stayed up for a bit and then back to sleep for a bit. Up for good at 9. Then a Tally walk and off to Home Depot. Had to buy some plants for a big container on the patio, some mulch, and black spray paint. See I've got these two red and white patio chairs that are looking a bit worse for wear so I decided to spray paint them black. That way they will match the new chair I bought this year. Unfortunately today it was too windy. So when I got home it was all about yard work. Blech. But the pot is now full of color and one of the beds is fully mulched. Also got a bit of weeding done on the patio. Then inside to paint the ceiling in the hallway and do laundry. Full day all around.

Oh and I think today was day 7 of the Active 30 day challenge. After figuring out my earlier issues with the system (the position you hold the remotes in is VERY important) it's turning into a really great workout. I'm feeling better about my body in lots of ways. Huge step forward there. The med taper is still going well. I don't HAVE to nap any more and if I do it's only an hour or so, not 3 or 4.

Spent time today researching vacation options. My mom called yesterday and offered to take Tally for me so I can go somewhere. The best time for her is August so I've been focused on that time frame. I'm having a hard time figuring out where to go and what to do. I haven't ever taken a vacation by myself and I'm not sure what it will be like. Should I take a tour somewhere or just lay low somewhere? Pros and cons of both. Tour means no alone time, right? Lay low means all alone time, right? I like the idea of being active and I like the idea of being lazy. Mountains would be nice and ocean would be nice. Can I somehow have an active, lazy, social, alone, beachy, mountainy vacation? If so, where?

Another graceful topic change; I joined a book club. I found a listing on meetup.com for a book club that seemed like it might be interesting. It meets once a month and for June they chose two books! I've finished the first and read a few pages of the second last night. The first one was The Alienist. Didn't love it. Thought the writing was a bit forced because it was written in first person recollection. Way too many times where he said "but I didn't know it then" or "it didn't occur to me then". Clunky. Hopefully the next will be better. No matter what it adds a social outlet that I need. I've also joined a few other groups too. Haven't gone to any actual meetups yet but I joined the groups. Does that count for anything? My little brain says yep.

I believe that's all for now. See you all later.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I am in a HORRIBLE mood today. Capital H-orrible. It all started on Monday night when doing the EA Active workout my little avatar wasn't recognizing that I'd finished an exercise. That day I also had nagging sinus pain. The workout and some decongestants helped. Then yesterday the sinus pain resumed. The workout kept telling me during my warm up that I was intermittently running too slow even though I wasn't changing my pace. I got pissed off and turned off the game to try to see if there were any suggestions in the manual or on-line about this issue. The web site wouldn't process my registration of the game and just hung there. There's nothing in the manual about a sensitivity issue. So I started the workout again but decreased the intensity level.

It was probably the right thing to do but I would rather have been eating an entire box of cookies or cutting my head off than working out at that point. During one section I got so pissed off at the remote I nearly threw it across the room, but that didn't work because it's attached to my wrist. Grrrrr. So I threw little hissy fits at various points but in the end I finished the routine. By then my head felt worse so I ate dinner, drugged up and read my book.

Oh Tally actually wanted to play a bit last night which is a GREAT sign, but it also made me cranky because that means that she's feeling better just in time to go back for her next chemo.

So I played with Tally a bit, until she tired out and then back to my book. Went to bed early and slept fairly well. Then this morning.

My hair is horrid. My face is breaking out like crazy and I've even been having some back acne. GROSS! I feel huge. I want to SCREAM! And why yes I should be getting my period at any moment why do you ask??!?!?!??!?!?

I'm a hormonally charged - bad hair day having - jeans too tight wearing - basket case today. I'd suggest keeping your distance until the Emily you thought you knew returns. Perhaps tomorrow. But you never know. Best to approach from the side and not engage the monster head on.

You have been warned.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm Active

The day after EA Active was released for Wii I ordered it up from Amazon. It took a few days for it to arrive, I immediately removed it from the package and placed it on the shelf. That's where it sat until tonight.

At work today a co-worker said that she bought it last night and was going to start the 30 Day Challenge. I got really excited and told her that I was going to start tonight too! I mean how perfect is it to have someone to give me a little motivation. I mean I certainly don't want to show up to work on Monday and have her beat me!  :) Oh and besides she's not a very nice co-worker and told me once that I had no impact on her job and her priorities, which let me tell you as her PM pissed me OFF!! But I digress. This is about working out and not work.

I had to borrow Molly's scale because I don't have one. I filled out my profile and chose a medium intensity workout. Medium intensity my arse! Wow. It felt great and my little personal trainer said I was really doing awesome. So yeah for me.

During one portion they have you do "inline skating" that involves squats and jumping. Well let me tell you that section was too much for Tally. She thought I was playing with her and started to pounce and lunge right along with me. More than a little bit distracting. She also really wanted to be involved when I was doing the side lunges, even got in my way so that I couldn't complete a rep. I was hoping that by taking her to the dog park earlier it would have worn her out, but nope. Hopefully that she'll get used to me being "Active". (holy cheesy comment!)

I always forget just how great I feel after a work out. Hopefully I'll keep this up. I'm thinking that with a bit of motivation/competition I just might.