Friday, February 27, 2009

Meet Ida

So when I walked into the co-op class I teach on Monday, this is what I found sitting on the table in front of my chair. My very own little spud growing grass for hair experiment. How much fun is that? It is convenient to have this little spud, affectionately known around here as Ida, just so you can get an idea what the top of my head looks like, since my new hair is a bit shy for the camera. My sprouts are not growing at quite the same speed. Nor are they coming in green. (Although if I have enough by St. Paddy's Day, I might just go green for the day.) Mine seems to be coming in very blond. Almost white. You have to catch it in just the right light, or you might miss it. If you happen to have a fuzzy peach on hand, that would be pretty close.

My only complaint about Ida is, that I think she's a little cocky with the batting of her eyelashes, considering I only had three left when Amanda counted them the other day. I just don't think she is being very sensitive, and I'm trying not to take it personally.

On other fronts, I had a Muga Scan last week to see how my heart is taking the Herceptin. (Sometimes the Herceptin can mess with the way it pumps.) But, so far so good! Four Herceptin cocktails in, and the Muga Scan came back normal, thank God.

Also, for three days last week I was radioactive and had superpowers again. Just another day in the life.

(Dave here. I added a picture and a video from the Muga scan. Here she is on the table getting the scan. Those big arms rotated all around her and took pictures. There's a preview on the screen above her head. The heart rate monitor only shows 53 beats per minute, but it was really beating faster than that. The technician said the monitor doesn't detect the beats as well on really skinny people. The video below is the end result, which shows her heart from three different viewpoints.)

As for the neuropathy I have been experiencing from the Tax-ALL chemo, I have noticed that it seems to be lessening a bit. I have the feeling back in both my pinkies, and my ring finger, and can feel that the other fingers are jealous and will eventually succomb to the peer pressure. My feet don't feel nearly as fat, and the intensity of the tingling and numbness is beginning to let up. My toes are pretty much still precariously perched digits, but I am beginning to feel the pads of my feet more, and my feet are a bit flexible now. Yay, a light at the end of that tunnel! And all I can say, is that it is good I live with my very own manicurist during all this, and she has been very good to keep my nails at bay from doing unneccessary damage to myself or others. Also, it's not like you could trust me not to cut off a finger or toe, since neither the hand that would clip, nor the hand that would be clipped, have any feeling to know when to stop. Thank you, Amanda! ;)

As for tennis, I have had to take a bit of a step back, momentarily from all the excitement of getting back out there and hitting the ball. Which is very hard to admit and say out loud right now. But I am probably going to have to get my rotater cuff issues worked on and worked out before I can hit again. I have a pretty inflamed pinched nerve that has been radiating pain down my right arm for quite a while. I was playing with it before, with advil, but I'm not in the same place I was before, and am definitely not as strong as I was, to be able to suck it up and play. I was hoping with the inactivity of the past six months it would have healed, but I think the chemo had other things in mind. So right now, my right arm is pretty much at a painful standstill, and standing in the way of my tennis.

I am hoping to start physical therapy next week, after my next Herceptin cocktail on Monday. My poor racket had its hopes up so much, that's really the hardest part. And I haven't even told my new shoes yet. They aren't even really broken in yet. So hopefully, this physical therapy thing will be my ticket to play.

Meanwhile, I have decided that I am done with winter. I can not believe how under the influence I was the other day when we had sunshine and temps in the 50's. It was like happy juice. I took a 2-mile walk with my tennis bud, Heidi. I am ready for more of that. Ready for spring to spring like my hair, and especially Ida, has sprung.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie!
I'm so glad things are going better for you finally! Ida IS a little cocky with the eyebrows but then she's only a spud - what does she know?! I LOVE reading your blog and read it all of the time even though I don't always leave a comment. You're so funny-you always make me laugh!
Here's to you and your sprouts! May they multiply quickly!

Mikey said...

Hey mum! Kudos on the peach fuzz :D It's gettin there! Could be orange?
Anyway, you need to hurry up and get that arm fixed, so I can get back to schooling you on the courts! ;)

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Ida is ADORABLE. She reminds me of my late ChiaPet, Chuck E. Chia, who was gifted to me during a White Elephant exchange waay back in 1990. Unfortunately, Chuck wasn't nearly as fecund as the spry Ida and had to endure increasingly antagonistic attempts to rouse some sign of life from his sad little head before ultimately succumbing. Acute foliage failure it was. So sad.

Happily you don't suffer from AFF and will be a perky blonde before you know it. Blondes do have more fun, so that is fitting.

Sorry about the shoulder. I'm optimistic that a little PT will work just in time for the Windwood Warrior Tour de Force Trois.

Yer Pal,

Lisa R.

Anonymous said...

Julie - So maybe you're going to be a toe-head blonde. Sorry you've had to put the brakes on tennis for a bit, but slowly but surely everything will get back to normal. Or a new normal - hair and all! I think a lot of us that read your blog and pray for you feel like we've walked through this with you from a distance (minus the fat feet, numb digits, etc, on our end). Your journey has been, and is, inspiring.
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Hey, Julie, those heart scan pictures look like candle flames!
Will be praying over this shoulder; may the PT make it all better!
Becky E

debbiep said...

I hadn't been on in while and just saw the pic of Ida. Love the name. Don't will soon put Ida to shame on the hair and eyelashes. Love Mikey's sassy post by the way. I hope to see you embarrass yourself at a restaurant before much longer. Love you, DEbbie