Monday, June 29, 2009

Armed robbery

Well on Saturday, my middle son Adam (he is 11years) went to tenpin bowling with his friends for a birthday party. I got this frantic call from him saying there were robbers. We were not sure what ensued during that time but we were not able to phone or go there.

It turned out that 6 robbers broke into the casino at the boardwalk. One robber got stuck in the vault and took 3 people hostage. The others ran trying to get out the service exit. When the armed robbery started, CID officers surrounded tenpin bowling (and the rest of the boardwalk) and wouldn't let anyone out or use their cell phones. The service exit is next to tenpin bowling. The kids were all evacuated into the basement and kept locked in there (we are not sure how long that was) Apparently the robbers tried to break into the building in an attempt to take more hostages. Adam says that a very large bouncer managed to hold back the door! (I think he has become an urban legend)

Anyway the police then ran through the building fully armed causing much noise. Adam was very upset and started crying. This is when Adam managed to call us. After 2 hours of negotiations, the robber let the hostages go. Luckily no one was hurt. The public were finally allowed to leave. Adam was there for just over 3 hours. There seemed to be very little news about it and we are wondering why everything is so hush hush. The story that we heard from the mom who took the kids is quite different from the newspaper article. But of course this was from a different place than the casino. Read the report on

http://www.theherald.co.za/article.aspx?id=438969

I can't pretend I wasn't really unhappy and scared. It is just so disgusting that in this day and age people are still living like animals.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Scan booked

When I had the last debacle with the pills last month, they had booked my next appointment with the doctor and my start date for the next round of chemo on the 1st July. But I had to wait longer and only ended up taking the chemo tablets on Sunday 7th June.

I see the Doctor and go for my MRI on Wednesday 1st July. I should (hopefully if all goes well) get my tablets on the same day. I will only start the chemo tablets on Sunday. This will give me the full 3 weeks break. Starting on Sunday night was actually good because I have my last tablet then on Thursday evening. So I still have my weekend to myself. It ties in quite well because on Friday 3rd is my wedding annivesary. It feels like it has gone really quickly and yet it feels like a lifetime! We will make an effort to get away and take a night to ourselves, which is not that easy with kids, money and work.

We have been having the most incredible weather. Hail, strong winds, rain, clouds, lightning, storms .... I find it quite invigorating, but I know alot of people struggle in these conditions. Last night our garden and the golf course was WHITE from all the hail. It actually looked really beautiful. Every time the lightning struck, it would light up the entire course like a flash photograph. Its amazing how excited we get. The kids were trying to grab pieces of ice. Just the sound makes it more cold than we think. Unfortunately South Africans don't have heating systems. So we ended up with a wardrobe on and sitting next to a small fireplace. (we do have underfloor heating though) And of course we get to snuggle in bed... What could be more fun than that?!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We are just too busy...

Well next week I have to start my next round of chemo (bo hoo) I still haven't booked for the MRI. I want to have it done before I see the doc on Wednesday next week. Otherwise times flies and we go on with all the tasks. Hopefully I can have the scan by Friday so we have some time to mull over it on the weekend (not that the weekends are any quieter!)...

I have been tired but battling to sleep. I think this is from excitement of all the things going on. By the afternoons (and sometimes the mornings) I am exhausted. When I do fall asleep, I sleep for about 2 - 3 hours. That assuming I don't just lay there with my head spinning of things to do. The 'panda eye' look is not really working with my 'not all there' hair look...

I am eagerly awaiting that last patch of hair to grow back and pushing my body to do it by the end of the month! (You go girl!) Oh I am SO craving a chocolate...

Friday, June 19, 2009

A new schedule

This week has been really busy and that feels good. Last night, I decided that during the week we are going to turn off all electronic goods from 5pm to 7:30pm. No more IPod, computer, cell phones, playstation, WII, music etc Kids must be back from friends at 6pm. I just found that things were getting out of hand with the kids going to friends and constantly preoccupied. Suppers had cell phones ringing and the TV on. This way we can actually talk, read and lay in bed. Obviously if there are emergencies or important concessions, this can change.
We will change the rules on weekends and give the kids a bit more leverage.

I just need a bit of peace in my home. I have found that my ears are extremely sensitive. I struggle in shopping centres and at movies. I think it depends on the pitch or type of noise. We also need to spend time as a family and ensure that we are connected.

Well the first 2 nights have gone well (although there was alot of moaning) The kids were counting down to 7:30pm ... lets hope we can keep it up.

Dr Dupper sent me to a dermatologist because my scars were itching when I took the chemo. I am totally fine!! Yay some good news for a change! It is amazing how it works now days. They scan your mole or problem area with a hand held device and it analyses the structure of the mole. It then gives an analysis. So no more chopping out of moles 'for just in case'.

Interestingly I have been using E45 cream on my face and body and love it. It happened after the surgery as I ran out of face cream and my skin was very dry. E45 is quite cheap and it makes my skin feel great. Now before I used E45, I was using a range of expensive creams, I went to beauty houses and had consultations etc etc. I asked the dermatologist about it and he says E45 is a great product! It holds in moisture and I just need to put a bit of sun block with it.

So there you go! During tough times there is still something cheap that works! (take my word for it) Shouldn't I be paid for this advertising??

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Project

Yesterday I staying in my pyjamas and did some work. I'm such a dirty girl :) It felt good to not have to rush anywhere. (The kids didn't have school) I got a few things done for a family project. We need to be innovative in these times...

I tried to get hold of my doctor yesterday, to find out if I can get the referral to have an MRI. He is also having a long weekend because of the public holiday today. I will call him tomorrow as I want to have one next week. (add to my collection of brain pictures) I am very curious as to how it is going.

I have a few things planned for this week, which is good. We have to have a reason to get up. Being busy means I don't have to cook! I do have a bit of a wheezing chest, I think it is from the chemo. Since I have a couple of weeks till the next round, I am not too fussed.

I hope all of you had a great public holiday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Hair

I am feeling so much better today. I think it is knowing that I have finished another round of chemo. Also... I got my new wig and think it is great. It is so similar to my old hair style. It is just a bit more red then I was hoping. But they didn't have the other in stock so I settled for this one. (apparently it takes months to make) The hair is so soft and feels real. It blows around. I really love it. Now we know how the movie stars do it! ...Well done Revlon!





Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rough day

Today wasn't great. I was really tired, but I think that Leo had something to do with it. I wasn't brave enough to ignore the Zofran and took half a one last night. I am feeling quite nauseas but that might be because I actually can't eat anymore food as the system is slowing down dramatically.

Well its the last round tonight...of course till I have to start the next round. I am looking forward to having my next scan and my hair is nearly fully back. Hopefully it will be back by month end.

Sleep tight...d:)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A beautiful blessing

I found this Irish blessing. It is really beautiful and actually made me feel a bit weepy. (They were playing beautiful Irish music in the backround which didn't help) I do have Irish ancestory so I think I might have a closer connection...

My wish for you

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds, nor a life on a bed of roses,
Not that you might never need regret,nor that you should never feel pain.
No, that is not my wish for you.
My wish for you is:
That you might be brave in times of trial,when others lay crosses upon your shoulders.
When mountains must be climbed and chasms are to be crossed,
When hope can scarce shine through.
That every gift God gave you might grow with you
and let you give your gift of joy to all who care for you.
That you may always have a friend who is worth that name,
whom you can trust and who helps you in times of sadness,
Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.
One more wish I have for you:
That in every hour of joy and pain you may feel God close to you.
This is my wish for you and for all who care for you.
This is my hope for you now and forever.

-- anonymous Irish blessing

See the flash version - http://www.e-water.net/viewflash.php?flash=irishblessing_en

Treatment going well

I can't believe it, but the last two days of chemo have been totally fine. I woke up feeling normal both mornings. I only took half a zofran the past 2 nights and tonight I am going to be brave and not take any. I have to try sometime. I know when I was on half dose chemo (110mg), I never took zofran. I don't know if it is the diet I am on thats helping (I am gradually getting into it). I have figured out that I need to go to bed on an empty stomach. I have been having a bit of plain yoghurt and rooibos tea about an hour before the chemo. (I don't know how scientific that is)

I have been on mixed emotions - happy that the chemo is going well and sad that I am in this situation. I had to ask my doctor for a report on my situation and treatment for my 'serious illness' Insurance claim. To get approval from insurance company, the report is perfect. To read it is not great for my self esteem. Looking at it in writing has made me realise that this is going to be a long term battle. My life, although I haven't fully thought it, has changed in every aspect. (Like I have said before - I am slow to catch on!)

So, my struggle this week has been emotional. I am feeling weak as I realise that this has and is going to continue to change my life. Its not a great thing to be hanging over your head! (so to speak :) )

Monday, June 8, 2009

Taking tablets again

Last night I took my 220mg Temador. As usual I am not happy to do it. I didn't get sick but don't feel great today. My chest really hurts, I have a stuffy headache and my lower back seems to be cramping. Don't ask me what is causing it, I don't really want to find out. I am telling you, seeing doctors can really make you paranoid. Every mark, cough, nose run, you wonder what is next.

I have come to the conclusion that I cannot go to the movies anymore. Both times I have felt as though a seizure is coming on. My eyes start twitching. After 20 min in the movies, we had to leave. I had to try prevent anything happening. The sound is too loud and the light flashes too much.

So lets see what today has in store, no plans really. I have few to-do items but pretending they don't exist. I have finished 2 paintings - which I am really happy about. I want to go see what it looks like on the wall in case I need to make a few changes.

I am thinking and praying for everyone going through financial stress. It is weighing heavily on my heart. Necessity breeds innovation...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chemo tablets arrive

Well my chemo tablets arrived today. Apparently they had to be couriered from the US. There seems to be some sort of political thing going on with some pharmaceutical companies on strike. Anyway they are here now and Dr Dupper said I can start on Sunday evening.

Yesterday I called Dr Butler (neurologist) to discuss a few things. I asked him when I could have a scan and he said I could have one in July as the chemo doesn't really cause swelling. I asked him about being on chemo when I have a low grade tumour and he recommended that I do the full treatment. It just made me a bit depressed to think that I have to be treated so seriously. I was hoping he would say I could stop now. I am going to ask to have another scan after this round of chemo, the last one was done 6 months ago.

This weekend seems to be reasonably quiet (thank goodness)... have a good one.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

60 Years

Thanks Divina for reminding me to put something on. My grandparents have been married for 60 years and have been an inspiration to us all. After all this time - they still love each other. Eat, drink & be married!
Well done!

Eat Drink and be Married

I have always enjoyed Ecclesiastes ... To many people it seems depressing, he is pessimistic and says that all is futile. My interpretation is different. I think he is saying, life is not difficult to understand. We are trying to complicate life but actually it is not complicated. We spend our life fighting for things that are futile and somehow, miss the real meaning.

Ecc 8:15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.

I think that when you have a serious illness, you realise this. As I have said before, we shouldn't have to wait till we get to that point to have to change our thinking. The reason I felt I should speak about this today, is partly due to the party we had on the weekend and partly due to seeing how many people aren't glad. It is a hard one, but hell, life is short, we should find any excuse to celebrate.

You will see that work is mentioned, I believe that we can get much joy for fufilling our purpose in life. My Grandfather always says that life is only about relationships (he is right) - so lets eat drink and be glad with them!

I still haven't got my pills, so I will reluctantly call them today to find out what is going on. James & Leo are sick and I am not far behind. Maybe its a sign (Now I am hoping)

James' view on the meaning of life : Eat, Drink and be Married! (I like that)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Diet Plan

I got the diet plan and it doesn't seem too bad. I have never been able to follow a diet. I find when I am on a diet, I think about food all the time. So what I will do is just make sure that the foods I have in my house are on the list, so when I eat, I am eating what I am supposed to, at the time and quantity I need. I usually have a snack in the morning and breakfast at about 10 - 11, for example. I am not far off on my portions, so I am not going to count out "one cup of potato"

I am putting a link up of MY plan. http://www.kohlerprojects.co.za/brain/diet.pdf

Please note that this is not for everyone, but has been formulated based on my current needs, weight, height and medical situation. I am not at all suggesting that this diet will help anyone with other serious problems or problems similar to mine. (Unfortunately now days we have to say this!!)

I will need to add benefibre to the diet as she has cut out the insoluable fibre. Well now I am going to fetch a few of the ingredients needed for my diet and particularly for the crumpet recipe! You may notice I am "allowed" a scone!! OH YAY!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chemo postponed

I went to fetch my tablets yesterday, to no avail. I can't say that I am upset that they didn't have the tablets in stock! They have just moved to a new centre and the pharmacy is busy stocking up. Needless to say, it is a bit of organised chaos going on there. People with drips, nurses running around and the place is almost impossible to find.

They need to send my tablets down from JHB. So I didn't have to take tablets last night (yay) I should get the tablets tomorrow. (Wednesday) As we were standing in the chemo room, James was looking at some of the patients (there seemed to be a lot of men yesterday) and said "Isn't it crazy that they have to poison you to heal you?" I would agree. I am doing this with such a heavy heart, every time I go there I want to cancel. I know what it is doing to my body and I just hope that it is having some sort of effect on the low grade tumour and all of this is not an exercise in futility. You have to be strong to go through chemo. I am aching to do a scan and see what the past 4 months have been doing.

Anyway, I forgot that Friday was the end of the month, with so much going on at the party, that I forgot to pay school fees! I had a call today and got straight onto the internet! (very embarrassing!) I thought my bank was looking good! Well I have alot to sort out today... before I sulk tomorrow!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Toga Pics

Well, I have to go fetch my chemo tablets today and cant deny that I woke up quite depressed about it. Not only am I worried about what to expect tonight, I am tired of it. I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn't last long... I am going to try half a Zofran, I am just praying it is going to work. Getting sick is really not on my agenda today.
We had to rush Leo off on Saturday morning (7:30 am) because his chest closed up completely. I was cleaning the venue and collecting the things. Leo has had this before, his gets into a spasm and his breathing is really short. He is totally fine now.
We were hoping to sleep in, but got an afternoon nap anyway. The party was great. We ate, drank and partied. We have the photo's to prove it! Here are a few, I am still busy downloading and getting some from my Mom. I will upload the rest to facebook... "Deirdre Howe Kohler"


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