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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Late Summer, Early Fall Roundup

Pepper Place Market
It’s been nearly a month since my last post, and what a busy month it was.  After  my sixth treatment on August 26, we began to get ready for our daughter’s visit from Australia. We were in a flurry of getting the dogs to the groomer, cleaning house, getting in groceries, etc. and getting more Neupogen shots to keep my white blood cell count up.  I was able to get the shots scheduled for early morning so that our days weren’t  interrupted too much, so we were able to get a few activities in while Heather was here. We went to the Pepper Place Farmer’s Market, Railroad Park,  Art Crawl in downtown Birmingham, plus a couple of yoga classes and had a family get-together. 

Plenty of tomatoes and peaches
Heather   admiring some of the work at ArtCrawl
I was scheduled for the seventh chemo treatment on  September 9, but once again, my  white blood cell counts  had done a roller coaster ride in the week  following the last  Neupogen shot, so  I got more shots and chemo treatment was put off until September 11, a Friday, which meant I was  wearing the pump for Heather’s last week-end at home, which curtailed our planned activities somewhat. But we still managed to  have a nice visit and  we were able to enjoy some  of the sights  and activities in town while she was home.

It took me  quite a while to recover after that last treatment, and I had side effects that  I’d
 been able to avoid before. I experienced peripheral neuropathy in my hands for the first time- and it is NOT fun, so now I wear gloves whenever I reach into the fridge or freezer and Mr. G  reaches into the cooler and  frozen food sections  at the grocery store, because I  keep forgetting my gloves when we go out.  Gloves are just not something I normally think about when the weather is hot and humid, but a few more experiences of numb, painful fingers will probably work well to jog my memory.

I had  more shots on Sept 14,15 & 16 in order to build up my blood counts for  the last scheduled treatment on September 25, yesterday. I  thought at the time, and did mention that  maybe we should put off the shots until  just before the treatment, but was assured  this schedule should work just as well.  Guess what? It didn’t.  Another roller coaster on the  numbers and another delay, so I got a shot yesterday and will get more on Monday and Tuesday, with the chemo treatment  scheduled for Wednesday. About two weeks after that I’ll have a scan to see how all this chemo has worked, or rather IF it has worked to shrink the tumors,  and then we’ll figure out, based on the results, what happens next.

Hummingbird straggler, tiger swallowtail
Meanwhile, the  hummingbird  feeder, the scene of so much activity a week or two ago now hosts only the occasional straggler. The hummers have begun their migration now that fall has arrived. Butterflies are still fluttering about, and the summer  flowers are putting on their last show of the season, while  fall blooms and berries, like the beautybush are coming into their own.
Late summer bloomers
Signs of fall: American Beautyberry, goldenrod, pineapple sage, dogwood leaves
 Although the temperatures certainly don’t feel much like fall, the leaves are beginning to turn, ever so slowly, and  when a slight breeze blows, the golden leaves  come drifting down- a very welcome sight after a long, hot summer. .

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