Archive | September, 2009

Need a favor

9 Sep

This Thursday I need a ride to a doctor’s appointment. It is in the afternoon and is across the street from Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Believe it or not, this doctor is NOT one of those doctor’s that keeps you waiting. She has always been on time for me. So my point is that historically a trip to her office is not an all day affair. She actually sees me on time. Anyway, I hate to ask, but I am still not allowed to drive yet after my surgery. Aaargh.

I really do try to arrange for these things in advance, but last week I was sick and ended up admitted to the hospital over Labor day weekend. I was released yesterday and am kind of just now feeling up to taking care of some necessities like trying to figure out transportation to doctor’s appointments.

Obviously I am only asking this favor from people I already know (so please do not volunteer if we are strangers).

If you think you can do it, either call me on my cell or email me at my personal email – lisa plus my last name (no spaces, just my first and last name at or if you want to, go ahead and make a comment here.

Thank you so much.


home from hospital

8 Sep

Hi all,

I ended up having to go to the emergency room this past Saturday, had a temp of 102.8, which is dangerous for me. I was admitted to the sub icu floor (something between a regular hospital situation and the intensive care unit, they are able to keep a closer watch on you I guess). My blood pressure ranged from 79 over 35 to 190 over 90 . . . crazy. Anyway, they ran a bunch of tests (THAT was fun) and are still waiting back on blood cultures to see what kind of infection I had or if maybe I had a virus. My fever went down in the hospital and they kept me around for a couple of days to watch my blood pressure and to see if they could figure out the source of the infection. So far we don’t know. But. there are still cultures that we are waiting on (some take just 24 to 48 hours and some take up to 5 days). If the cultures are all negative, then the presumption is that I had a virus. Anyway, I am on antibiotics either way.

My immune system is pretty taxed after the chemo, so I am prone to getting pretty much any cold or flu or whatever, but because I have a weakened immune system it’s tough for me to fight it off.

Anyway, I am home . . . so grateful for that!

I have three doctors appointments this week (it is like a full time job this cancer thing). But, today at least I don’t have any, so I can rest. I have one on Thursday am and one on Thursday afternoon and then on Friday. I am very much looking forward to the appointment on Friday because it is with the specialist up at UCLA. She is great – please pray for me that she has some good news for me, because I could really use that right now.

Marv – words can not express how much I appreciate your taking care of my pup Molly. I know it can’t be easy. But, your caring for her has made it so much easier for me. Thank you so much!

okay, I am going back to bed, please feel free to send me a message here, or to email me. I miss everyone so much. This dang cancer thing can be so isolating.

Please continue keeping me in your prayers.


Last week was rough

4 Sep

I don’t want to dwell on it, but last week was a hard one. A lot of pain and just all the things that go along with that – being worn out from it, not able to get around etc. It was a drag. But, I saw my reconstruction surgeon yesterday and she said I am healing well. She did the first expansion since my surgery, so I have more chest today than two days ago, It is kind of amazing really. But, because it is stretching skin and muscle, it does cause some pain. But, it was not so bad. The real disappointment was that it set me back mobility wise quite a bit with my arms. I am back to  not being able to pick things up  s0 easily. And, because I have to be back on the pain pills, I am not clear headed either. So very tired.

I will posts more later when I have had some rest.

Please continue to keep me in my prayers and know that your comments here and emails mean a great deal to me.

Love, Lisa

back on pain meds

3 Sep

Well, I don’t know if it was skipping the pain meds for the day on Tuesday (which my surgeon approved me to do) or what, but, I was in so much pain on ‘Tuesday night I thought that I would not make it through it. Thank God for my dear friend who came to the rescue and got me back on my pain meds and kept me on them throughout the night and day (waking me up at 2 am to take a pill etc.)

Once there is that much pain I really can not think straight or take care of myself. I don’t know. I was told that the surgery and recovery from surgery would be so much easier than chemo. But, that has not been my experience. I presume it has something to do with the weakened state you are in post chemo and that having surgry right after chemo makes it a bit slower recovery time. But, all I know is that I thought I would be a lot further along by now. It’s a struggle right now to stay awake to write this post and you can be sure that I will be going rt back to bed as soon as I am done.

I have an appointment with my reconstruction surgeon today (I see her every week right now). She plans on “expanding” me today (please see prior posts for what this is, I am way too tired to explain it right now). Basically she will be adding saline to the expanders that were put in under my pectoral muscles during surgery. After she has expanded me to a size that I like then she will be able to exchange the expanders for silicon implants. It is a process. But, the very exciting part about it is that I will have a chest (even already have one, but just not a whole lot until she does more expansion – the first of which is today). It is so amazing really. There is – so far no detectable scarring the way everything is healing. Unbelievable.

But, all of that stuff above is really kind of not important to me. I mean, sure on some level it is, of course – to be able to come out of this with natural looking and actually beautiful breasts (so my reconstruction surgeon brags to me every time I see her . . .  ” You have great skin, I am so excited to be doing your reconstruction”.  Yeah, raw, boo . . . it’s all great, but I am just soooo tired and really all I care about is surviving. You know what I would like to have one of my doctors bragging to me about – is how I am going to survive this no problem – – how when all of this surgery crap is over with and treatment, that I am going to be 100% fine. That is what I want an oncologist to brag to me about! I have to say that the pain has definitely affected my overall mood – – the pain has been depressing me quite a bit. So hopefully the pain will get under control pretty soon so I can start getting back into things a bit more.

Well, I am going to take a nap and gear up for my appointment with my surgeon – hopefully she will still think that everything looks good and hopefully the expansion won’t hurt too much.

Oh wait a minute, I left out the most important thing! I have an appointment with Dr. Hurvitz, the breast cancer surgical oncologist specialist up at UCLA on September 11. I am a bit nervous, but I am mostly thrilled to be able to see her as she is so good.

Okay, nap time.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers.



Gathering up some energy . . .

1 Sep

So, I decided not to take a pain pill this afternoon . . . we shall see how that goes. But, I really am tired of being tired and I think that the pain medication is probably contributing to my sleepiness. I can’t imagine getting addicted to this stuff. I realize that people do, but, I just don’t get it. It’s not like you feel good taking it. You just feel out of it and, the pain does seem to go away for a while. But, it’s not like you take the drug and you are flying high and can’t wait to take another. Maybe that’s not what it is about for people who do get addicted to pain medication anyway. I wouldn’t know. All I know is that the sooner I can be off of this stuff and resume my normal life the better.

I can’t drive until I stop taking it (not a car, not a bike). And, I’ll bet I can’t even operate heavy machinery while I am on it . . . do you see the the limitations I am experiencing?

My main problem with it is the sleepiness – assuming that is what the sleepiness is in fact from. I have actually fallen asleep while talking on the phone (makes me a little concerned about calling back prospective clients).

A professor from UC Irvine’s new law school called the other day expressing some interest in one of my books. This is pretty exciting as I really want to get into UCI and had planned on marketing to them this past Spring for their Fall starting semester. But, cancer kind of got in the way with that. Anyway, I guess this professor saw our books at a local law bookstore (the only one in Orange County) and she wants to make the Torts book (that is the subject she teaches) available to her students. So, that is encouraging. We sell our books at UC Hastings, but, it would be great to get into a local law school bookstore as that would translate to more bar students locally.

Anyway, I have been afraid to cal her back for fear I will fall asleep mid sentence. I will call back soon, I just have to make certain that I am awake enough first.

Let’s see, no real other updates. Just impatiently waiting to be recovered from surgery. I am very bored (probably a good sign as last week I was in too much pain to be bored).

I can’t wait to see the specialist up at UCLA so I can find out more about how I really am doing. I think well. But, Dr. Hurvitz is the oncologist I really trust (she is the one up at UCLA). Plus, I just trust UCLA in general. They developed Herceptin and have treated far more women with my type of cancer I think than anywhere else. So, I feel much more confident in their abilities and knowledge.

My main complaint right now is the heat. I wish it would cool way down. It is pretty tough for me to be outside except in the early am or after dark. So please say some prayers for me and for the weather to cool down a bit 🙂

Good news . . .

1 Sep

Good news, I have an appointment with the specialist up at UCLA in about two weeks. I wish it were sooner, but, she is out of town all of next week. But, it is not like I will be doing anything differently prior to meeting with her anyway. I am very excited to meet with her as she will definitely be able to assess my situation and give me a plan that I can believe in and trust.

I spoke with my surgeon yesterday and she said that a little typing is okay, just stop if it hurts. Well, it already hurts a little, so this will he kind of short.

I spent the entire day in bed yesterday – no t.v., no movies, just resting (mostly slept in a quiet, dark room).

My only outing was at the end  of the day – a friend of mine took me to a hair salon down the street from my house so I could dye my hair; I like  it (what little hair I do have), the color is sort of a strawberry blond. It beats the white hair that was coming in (which my doc said was temporary, still, it was getting old). One advantage of having hair that is only about a 1/2 or 1/4 inch long is that it does not take long to dye. After chemo it is typical for your hair color to change and to come back in curly (assuming you have straight hair to begin with it). I also supposedly comes back in thicker. My hair is growing pretty fast. But, it started coming in white, then dark so now (before I dyed my hair) it was kind of a gray color overall. My docs say eventually I will get my own hair color back. We shall see. Until then, there is hair dye 🙂

I am getting my bike back tomorrow! Woo-hoo! It is not much of a bike (I had a really nice one, but it was stolen last year). But, it is the only bike I have right now and it fits me (not too big etc.). So, I am really  glad to be getting it back. I probably won’t be riding it right away, but at least I have it back and so when I am up to it, I will be able to go for a spin. I have been trying to get this bike back for I think over tw0 months now. Anyway, enough said on that, I am glad to have it back today!

Well, I am sure there is more to say, but I am just too tired,

I am doing okay, still very tired and in some pain. But, all in all, I am doing better. I plan on another day of rest today. My surgeon says to expect 8 weeks for a “full recovery” from the surgery. If that is the case, then I am nearly halfway there since it has now been three weeks and four days!

Please continue to keep me in our prayers,