Sunday, July 29, 2018

Lucy Hates Caps

I just love pictures of dogs wearing different caps.  But Lucy would have no part of wearing my newest cap.  She clearly hated it and while this is a terrible photograph, it was the longest the hat remained on her head.  She had already begun to shake it off.  The words on the blue cap read, "MAKE AMERICA NOT EMBARRASSING AGAIN.

I've never been one to wear hats since my childhood days of Easter finery.  However, one side effect of the chemotherapy I received was hair loss.  I decided not to purchase any wigs and I wear knit and crochet caps only if needed to keep my head warm, which is more often than  you might think.  And I wear a baseball cap when I am in the sun to prevent sunburn.  This is one of my favorite caps.  But as you can clearly see, Lucy doesn't like it one little bit.  So no more attempts will be made to photograph her in a cap.  BTW:  my hair is beginning to grow again and my head is fuzzy with soft down.  It looks rather strange and feels even stranger.  And wouldn't you know those six stiff old-lady chin hairs were not affected at all by the chemo?  God has quite a sense of humor, doesn't she?

I mentioned in my last post that I did not want this blog to be about cancer.  And I do not.  But I would be remiss if I did not share the news that a more specific scan (PET) showed three "hot spots" of remaining cancer.  Not good news, but certainly not the worst it could be.  The areas are very small and not amenable to resection by surgery.  So beginning Monday I will start on a new regimen with a drug recently approved for treating ovarian cancer.  Last month, in fact.  The drug does not cure the cancer but rather inhibits its growth.  So the spots are contained and cannot grow and spread.  The side effects are minimal and do not include the onerous side effects of many chemotherapy drugs.  So I will go to the infusion clinic every three weeks for an intravenous infusion of the new drug.  We will continue the drug until it is no longer doing its job.  If subsequent scans show any growth of the spots, the plan is to return to the traditional chemotherapy to eradicate the cancer.

So that's where we are, me and my cancer. I am feeling stronger and stronger the further away from chemotherapy I get.  Hopefully, I will soon return to getting out and finding more interesting things to post.

The quotes of the week come most appropriately from George Orwell:

Political designed to make lies sound truthful...,
And to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

And if you wonder why you keep reading the same comments from compassionate people over and over again, here is another of his prophetic quotes:

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What Happened to the Blog?

The Mountain Musings blog has been dormant for quite some time.  The reason lies in an unfortunate truth.  Don't worry...Lucy is just fine and thriving.  She is totally ignoring that she will be thirteen this month and we are delighted she remains in such good shape.

No, the unfortunate truth is that at the end of October I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer.  I had major surgery and then began chemotherapy treatments four weeks later.  Because of a severely compromised immune system (and the weakness and other side effects chemotherapy brings) I was pretty much confined to our house except for medical appointments.  So I was not able to get out to photograph our lovely area.  The whole focus of my life has been on surviving the treatment and "beating" the cancer.  I have remained pretty upbeat through it all.  I figure if you are upbeat you have nothing to lose, even if the news is not good.  I definitely did not want my blog to be about cancer.  And since there was so little other focus in my life, I went dark all these months.

I completed six months of chemotherapy a few weeks ago and while I am not in anyway back to normal, I am feeling better and stronger every day.  The scans do not show any evidence of cancer.  YEAH!  Unfortunately, that does not mean there is NOT any more cancer, since the scans detect only masses and not diffuse cancer.  So I likely have more surgery and chemotherapy in my future.  Time will tell.  But for the time being, things look pretty good.

Our granddaughter has visited us and in fact is visiting us now over the Independence Day holiday.  She is totally fascinated and in love with Lucy.  At thirteen months of age she has been taught by her parents the art of "gentle touch" with their cats, and she transferred this to her dealings with Lucy as well.  The last time she visited (in May), she was not very mobile so she admired Lucy from a distance and Lucy did not have to respond.  Things are very different this time and she loves to approach and pet Lucy.  Lucy is very gentle with the baby but was initially very confused about what her role was supposed to be.  After a day or so she felt more comfortable and now feels free to walk away if she's not interested in interacting.  She does, however, station herself beneath the high chair at mealtime.  All sorts of wonderful bits of food might fall to the floor.

(Sorry about the blurry picture of the baby.  She just wouldn't stand still so I focused on the dog.)

Lucy and Friend

Smiles all around

Lucy tires of the activity and walks away

So that is our life so far.  I will not likely post on a regular basis, but I am doing well and as I can once again get out into the community and find some interesting things to post I will do so.  Meanwhile I will continue to read and enjoy your blogs.

If you are so inclined, I would appreciated petitions to the Deity of your choice on my behalf.  Or positive thoughts and good vibes will work as well.