Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If anyone is interested, I want to walk the Holiday at Home 5K in Kettering on Monday. Post if you're interested in joining up with us. We'll most likely finish and check out the parade or head over to Lincoln Park to the craft show. I know...Im just getting wilder and wilder in my old age.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Other than my innocent little logos to the right, I promise not to wax political on this blog after this post....but I did find this interesting little nugget today.

(If you click on the Ribbon to the right, you can read the entire article...)

There are so many issues involved with this election, but for me, and millions of other surviors stuck in this crucial phase of treatment, improvements to drugs and the hope for a cure is not something we take lightly.

There are many of you who have been convinced we should fearful and militarily agressive, and sadly, there is no convincing. Thats ok. We've all got our own agendas and thats what makes our country work. But for those of you seeking info on an issue important to me, below is an Excerpt from the full article you can read by clicking on the ribbon to the right.....

(Overall Grades on Breast Cancer Research Support)

John McCainGrade: D

Sen. McCain chose not to participate in the Livestrong Presidential Cancer Forum. He also declined to answer questions from the National Breast Cancer Coalition.In general, McCain believes personal responsibility is the key to controlling chronic diseases like cancer. He recommends education around nutrition and fitness, and believes in smoking cessation programs. He won’t commit to adequate funding for cancer research, and in 2000 was accused of not supporting breast cancer research by voting against a package of funding that included initiatives for breast cancer. McCain claimed the funding package hadn’t been examined thoroughly enough.Most of McCain’s health-policy statements center on personal responsibility, and the individual taking more control of his or her own health. As stated on his Web site, McCain also believes that “insurance reforms should increase the variety and affordability of insurance coverage available to American families by fostering competition and innovation.” In other words, deregulate the insurance industry and get the companies competing with one another to offer lower rates. Much of what I’ve read about McCain and health care focuses on controlling costs, rather than funding research.McCain has failed to express support for the DOD Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program; the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007; and the Breast Cancer Environmental Research Act.Personal cancer connection: McCain is a two-time survivor of malignant melanoma.Bottom line: For a fellow who’s had cancer, he seems surprisingly disengaged from it and disinterested in spending taxpayer dollars for its prevention or cure.

Barack ObamaGrade: A

Obama didn’t participate in the Livestrong Presidential Cancer Forum. But he’s managed to get his strong health care message out in other ways, including his signing of the Congressional Cancer Promise in 2006. This “manifesto” from the Cancer Action Network, sister organization to the American Cancer Society, calls for a number of public policy initiatives with an overall goal of “eliminating suffering and death due to cancer by the year 2015.” The Promise notes that “While the 2015 goal is not one that can be reached with certainty… our past commitment to cancer research and programs has poised us to greatly accelerate progress toward a time when people live with cancer rather than die from it.” Surprisingly, Sen. Clinton failed to sign the Promise.According to information from Research!America, a not-for-profit public health education and advocacy alliance (via a blog by Jim Waldenfels on, Obama strongly supports “managing chronic illnesses with public and private partnerships, grants to organizations promoting healthy lifestyles, improved school menus and expanded workplace wellness programs. He would require all providers participating in his new public coverage plan to provide chronic disease management programs.” These would include Medicare, Medicaid, and his proposed public health plan, all of which would be required to fully fund mammograms and other cancer screenings.Obama has strongly supported the DOD Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program; the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007; and the Breast Cancer Environmental Research Act, of which he is currently a co-sponsor. In answering questions from the NBCC, Obama’s staff writes, “As President, Obama will make ending cancer the top priority it needs to be by increasing funding for the NIH, NCI, and other medical research grants. The fight against cancer is a critically important issue in the lives of millions of Americans. It needs to be a top priority for our government, and it will be under an Obama administration.”Personal cancer connection: Obama’s mother died at age 53 of ovarian cancer.Bottom line: Sen. Obama is an energetic supporter of funding for cancer research and prevention.

OK!!! Off the soapbox!!!!

your favorite liberal

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, I THOUGHT I was feeling better!!

Last week I was feeling pretty damn good. Really good considering the week after treatment #1 had me on my ass for a FULL WEEK. I was seriously concerned that every treatment would do that and Im out of sick time so I really need to be at work.

I dont think I mentioned that at treatment #2, I almost didnt even get chemo because my hemoglobin was so low. (Should be 12-14 range. I was at a 7.9 and they usually transfuse at 8) But as usual, I begged for the chemo and Romer gave it to me as a slightly lower dose and insisted I get another CBC test a week later to make sure everything was still ok. I got a shot of aranesp to increast my counts temporarily, but they were pretty sure it would be low again, and soon. I was really surprised how good I was feeling last week, but like a good girl, I walked across the street to the hospital to get my blood work done.

Thank goodness I had such a HOT lab tech take my blood!!!!

Thats right, I went over to Deaconess and had one of my bestest friends from high school stick me. I didnt feel a thing!

So I wait for the results to be sent to Dr. Romer. The hemoglobin is down to 6.7 and my ass is instructed NOT to leave the hospital. (Had I not gotten the results I would have no doubt sped-walked back to my office a half a mile away)

So yeah, I ended up getting admitted to the hospital and once again, had another blood transfusion. John was working 2nd shift all last week so I ended up having Julie come pick me up at 11pm when it was all over. Thanks Julie!!!

I went back to work the next day and felt fine. Actually, I didnt really feel much different. I am an odd bird. But I did what the docs said, got to be a patient of one of my best friends, had dinner served to me in bed, and got a awesome shot of Benadryl to knock me out for the whole thing. (Ive been having a hard time sleeping lately so I said, "They usually give me a shot of benadryl for these", like Im getting transfusions on a monthly basis or something. im such a hack) All in all, a positive experience.

I took this picture to make my dad jealous. High School Football warm-ups visible from my office on a Friday afternoon. Look in the stands, you can see all the Donny Fortener dads there five hours early. That night was the St. X/Colerain game...I think Colerain won. Go PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!

Saturday morning I treked down the road to the Finneytown JV and Varsity volleyball game -first game of the season. If you remember, they had a phenominal senior class and I believe there were five of them that graduated, so they're struggling a bit to fill those shoes but it was really encouraging to see a scrappy JV team with a lot of talent, coached by one of those graduating seniors!

Yeah, Yeah, Oktoberfest in August - We're crazy here in the 'Nati. We only do it because the German contingency here is so incredibly strong that there are SEVEN STRAIGHT WEEKS of various Oktoberfests....and they're supposed to take place in September so they just start theirs a little early to get a bigger draw. Germania has hands down THE BEST sauerkraut balls - they made 24,500 of them this year and start in MAY!!!
But what Cincinnati festival would be complete without one good, solid novelty tee:

We worked the pop booth on Saturday from 2-5....although John did most of the work while I sat around. When you look like a chemo patient you can get away with that. Ok, I AM a chemo patient but I really felt fine to work.

The Kelts men put in a tug of war team and needed some sexy inspiration to cheer them on....Derrick filled that void by dressing in drag as a little German Girl....
And then got fresh with dad.....
The parade of champions! They make a great big deal about the Tug-o-War event here. This is no joke. The teams (seven I think?) Were paraded around the whole event before settling at the venue.
They do not take this lightly!!
Hmmm....well, the event was on Sunday, and as of Saturday, the Kelts werent even going to particpate. Then, last minute, a few guys recruited some others, and now the kelts have a team. Its a bit disorganized, they're the only ones out there with out uniforms (which is ironic because they were the only actual sports team registered) and looked a bit rag-tag.

Lets hope they get an easy first draw.....hmm....the Hamilton County sherrifs department. They dont intimidating at all.

No really, not at all. (that guy was like 8 feet tall & made Deebo look like Webster)
C'Mon Kelts!!!!
HOLY CRAP THEY'RE WINNING!!! (as Derrick aka Broom Hilda cheers them on)
Kelts actually WON the first TUG! Although you have to compete - best out of three. They lost the second one pretty easily and really gave it a good effort on the third pull. Then they were done. But a really good effort. I think the whole crowd was impressed!!!

Rant of the day:
I just have one quick rant that I hope evolves into a lesson for those of you who have ever found yourself in this situation. (On EITHER side of counter)
When organizations hold festivals, they make a deal with ONE pop vendor and they sell that vendors beverages. That means if they have Coke, they wont have Pepsi. If they have RC cola, they're NOT going to have Coke or Pepsi. If they dont have the brand you prefer, deal with it. Dont tell me you're "going to see" if they have Coke products anywhere, because I can tell you, theres one other pop booth and they've got the same thing we've got.
We were peddling RC Cola, Diet Rite, Rootbeer, Country Time lemonade, Seven up, Diet Seven up and Sunkist and Water.
I could not believe how many people came up, asked for a Diet Coke....or a Coke....or a Pepsi....and you could tell they were having a full-on MELTDOWN in their heads because they had to chose from RC products. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
First of all, I was raised on Diet Rite and it is an EXCELLENT diet soda. Period. (Even though it never did much for my 'diet') Many people prefer it OVER Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. period. If you havent tried it, suck it up and try it lady.
And dont even get me started on the KIDS! Im sorry we dont have Coke little girl, I told you RC is "pretty good" and "you should try it!", but you look at me like Im trying to give you Peach Faygo or something (Another great brand...what happened to Faygo?) and then you say, defeated, "Ill just take a water."
Im so sorry you HAVE to settle for WATER on a hot day! LIFE IS HARD!!!! whaaaa.
All Im saying, people, is be flexible. last funny thing.
While I was working the booth, there was an older gentleman who looked to be hitting on another older woman. They were both so cute, all dressed up in their full German regailia...I was so close that I couldnt help but over hear the conversation, and at one point, I heard the most adorable geriatric pick up line. He says to her, "Maybe I can come over sometime and show you how to Google something."
Old people. Love em.
John's in NC all week and Ang is staying with me....for almost a whole week! Im so pumped! Its SLUMBER PARTY WEEK! I told her Im crimping her hair tonight and Im going to dig up "Girl Talk". Then when she goes to bed, im totally going to do the Shaving-cream-nose-tickle gag....
Neighbors better look out, someones gettin' tee-peed!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So, Ang didnt know that I shaved my just so you know....I shaved it.

I know cancer is supposed to make me a kinder gentler, less agressive driver, but its not happening. There are still a few times when I feel its ok to run someone off the road, like I did on Thursday. Before I get all riled up, lets acknowledge that these pictures Ive been taking of Drew get cuter and cuter every week. I props were used to make it look like he was reading....he reeeely was! He's so smart!
Ok, those of you Cincy-Daytonians who travel our blessed I-75 on at least a semi-daily basis know that around the West-Chester-Union-Center-Cin-Day roadish area the far left lane merges into the next lane over. THEY GIVE DRIVERS ABOUT A MILE NOTICE....really. Now, I am a law-abiding, butt-kisser who almost ALWAYS (unless Im distracted....Ill be honest), ALWAYS gets over before I hit ground zero.
I blame my stubborn agression on the fifty cars that speed past me, hoping to get to the VERY LAST OPPORTUNITY to merge in and pass all of us who merged when we were told to do so. As each car passes me, Im always temped to roll the window down and hold out my middle finger. Just let it fly in the wind. Just my little way of saying, "F**K You, F**k you, F**k you,"(sorry Jami's mom) ...and so on. But of course I never do it. I dont know why it gets to me so bad. Maybe its my competitive nature. I agreed to lose to these cars when I got over in the correct lane. It was my decision. But its still losing.
So anyway, Im driving to Dayton Thursday night and inevitably it happens. I get over, and what feels like a hundered cars are speeding up the right hand lane, all excited to cause a nasty bottle neck. Good job A-holes!
Im sure my face looked very angry. Im sure my blood pressure was going through the roof. I made the decision to do something, actually, just as unsafe as those last minute merges. I see ground zero approaching, and a white car is riding right along side of me. Im so far up the car in front of me's ass, Im sure he's feeling uncomfortable too. Not exactly safe on my part...
So now, in these last few seconds, Im getting nervous. Pissed and nervous. The car keeps riding along side me, and I AM NOT LETTING THEM MERGE IN FRONT OF ME. At this point, Im even angry that there's PLENTY of space for this car to slow down a bit and merge in behind me. They dont deserve even that for pulling this crap. I bear down. When IS THIS IDIOT GOING TO SLOW DOWN AND MERGE IN BEHIND ME????
And thats when they did it....quickly shifts left AND STARTS DRIVING IN THE CONSTRUCTION ZONE!!! And Im not talking about shifts into the construction zone and slowly stops realizing their mistake....they TAKE OFF!! Dust is flying, now they're about 10 car lengths in front of me, on the other side of the cones. My jaw is dropped. My eyes shift from the car in front of me to the white car who has taken matters into their own hands and is continuing to fly through the construction zone. This goes on for what seemed like two miles....they were driving on the other side of cones, then on the other side of concrete dividers!
After about two miles, I could see an opening where the car could have possibly gotten in without incident, they would have had to wait awhile of course, but I think they just gave up. Any further and they were definitely risking getting in trouble with the law. As I passed the car, they were turning onto SOUTHBOUND 75.
So let this be a lesson to you.....if you pass me en route to merge at the last minute on 75, you better find another car to let you in, or you're gonna be in a whole lotta hurtin!!
WHOA!! All that agression! We need more cute baby pictures STAT!!!!
This did not happen with ease....thirty minutes prior to this shot Drew was throwing a fit! He didnt want to go to bed!! Pam has an effective "Sleeper-Hold" that usually does the trick.
We kept Drew Thursday night and had a little playtime before I took off for chemo, yee haw!

Welcome LUKE HENRY!!!!

JOhn and I headed over to visit Stacy, Casey, Emma & Luke for a little while. Cutie!!!
I know...she's like, In the sixth grade.
Somebody's gonna want this for a scrapbook!!!!

Im getting really tired at the moment but I want to blurt this out before I forget. Has anyone seen the commercials in Ohio about the payday lending law they're trying to pass? I cant even speak of the specifics because I dont know and I dont claim to know.
What pisses me off, is that they have this waspy looking farmer, all concerned....talking about how "If Im strapped for cash and want to borrow the money for a bag of feed, and pay $15 extra dollars for it a week later, that SHOULD BE MY RIGHT!!!"
Ok, what sort of IDIOTS do the people making these commercials think we are? Unless you havent traveled more than 20 miles outside of your home, you know damn well that Payday Lenders arent out there making sure all the FARMERS have enough feed for their livestock. GIVE. ME. A. BREAK.
The farmer (or actor) in that commercial probably would be scared $hitless to go into most neighborhoods that have a Payday lender and a Cricket phone store on every corner. I personally think anyone giving a shovel to someone already in the hole is seriously lacking character. And shame on the people who made these commercials, and the people who can sleep at night who make money off those who are already struggling and have nothing.
Would you believe I actually went to mass tonight? I needed some God with all this anger! I wont go into details but we "tried out" a church tonight and tomorrow Ill be "trying out" another one....a big Hyde Park. Yes, Im going to go where I NEVER thought I would....details to come.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mom came down to campus today for lunch and we took the bus to Ludlow and shared a Cucumber/Cream Cheese/Salami Melt and a Feta/Craisin/Walnut Salad at Sitwells....YUM.

Oh yeah, and Harry totally forgot to send me this pic from Coney Island. I totally remember taking it and was wondering what happened to it!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

WHO-HOO!! Great weekend!
Computers still on the fritz though....I think its getting fixed tonight, maybe.

Jean & I heading up to the top of the Zoom Flume at Coney Island. Harry was supposed to photoshop me a left breast and must have forgot before emailing me the pics....Doh!

Gaaaah! My computer still isnt working!! I cant figure it out! I can pull up most home pages, but anything that involves logging in, or clicking on another part of the site and Im screwed. If you've encountered this issue before let me know what you think the problem is. For a SECOND on Friday I was able to log into my yahoo and then *poof!*....I couldnt do it ten minutes later. Ive got a friend who is going to look at it remotely tonight so hopefully things will be better soon.

This was a pretty fantastic weekend. For starters, Im feeling A LOT better, so Friday I went NUTS cleaning the house. For the most part we just watched the Opening Ceremonies, and after the US came through, I went upstairs and started to rearrange the bedroom. This is was done, as you might remember, because we needed to move the bed away from the window so the cat wouldnt be temped to use my face as a landing strip anymore. Our room was pretty messy with clothes everywhere and desperately needing a vaccuum.

It was fun. Its nice to know I still rearrange my room like I did when I was twelve. As a child, I rearranged my bedroom roughly every three weeks. I tell people that growing up, 85% of my brother & I's fights were over the remote control. This is true. What was the other 15% of our fights over? My bedroom rearranging antics. Anytime i would rearrange my room, there was often some piece of furniture that just "didnt fit" anymore. -OR-, it might be that there was a piece of furniture in Nicks room that I wanted for my new arrangement, so I would just take it. Nick would come home, see his room, get pissed, tell on me, mom and dad would tell me to stop putting furniture in Nicks room, and I would try and justify my actions by throwing my hands in the air and explaining that this was a "gift" to nick and that he should be thankful for the new metal shelf I just put in his room, -OR- I would say I took a shelf out of his room that he wasnt using. I was helping him to "Declutter"!!!!! What an ungrateful child he was.

My other "method" of rearranging, was moving furniture before the room was actually clean. I find that rearranging the room when it is still a disaster is probably more difficult to do than when its clean, but it just gives me more motivation to clean it when Im done. In addition to the bedroom, I cleaned both bathrooms THROUGHLY, did multiple loads of dishes and laundry, and even cleaned my car out. After two weeks ago when I was in complete physical and mental lockdown, I just want to make up for all that lost productivity I guess.

Treatment #2 is on Friday so we'll see how that goes. Im praying that I have more energy in the week following and Im not a complete waste of space for six days!!

Oh yeah...something else... Romer said the treatment I picked wouldnt make my hair fall out, and Joni said it would....GUESS WHO WAS RIGHT?? Joni! Thats right, my shiny bald head will reveal itself to the world for the third time sometime this week. I have a pretty thick head of hair and realistically, I could probably wait a month before shaving it, but right now, my scalp burns so bad everytime a TOUCH my head, and the hair is falling out and making a mess all over the house...not to mention Harry's car!

We went to Coney Island with Harry & Jean yesterday and had a blast! Went swimming and hit up some of the rides. It wasnt super hot so the water was pretty chilly but all in all we got good sun. On the way home, Jean & I were in the back seat and when I got out, I noticed my hair had been blowing out of my head and covered his (BLACK!! EEK!) interior under the back window. And I give our cat a hard time.... Heres some pics!

John makes his way down the zoom flume!

EEEEEHH!!!! The water was FREEZING at first, it took awhile to get used to it. The wind didnt help matters!
Its been a while since Ive been on one of these!
We're not moving yet....
The Tilt-a-whirl was moving at this point.....I was talking to my dad at the moment.
J-Mac & Harry conquer the scrambler!
Whoooooo! Jean got this shot when they came right at us! (we were just watching)
They tried to play it cool but they can't hide the excitement....
Jean and I were having a discussion on what we would do with our lottery winnnings (if we, played) and Jean said she wanted her "own Taco Bell"....just where she could go and "make shit whenever" she wanted. The four of us talked about Taco Bell for about 45 minutes, the menu, the best and worst Taco Bells in Cincinnati. (Winton/Galbraith Taco Bell and Ridge Taco Bell are reeeely bad)

Of course we had to go to Taco Bell at the end of the the Anderson. Not bad. They were training a few people, no dining room music, and Jeans cheese wasnt melted the way it should have been. J-Mac ordered his usual - 3 Hard Shell Tacos, 7-layer burrito and two chili cheese burritos. mmmm....Taco Bell.

BIG POST TOMORROW WITH PICS - forgot my camera today...

Friday, August 8, 2008


The video you've all been waiting for.....J-mac and Nick competing in the Dance Dance Revolution Competition at Kelts Summer Camp. In this game, everyones a winner....or wiener.

And....this is reeeely old - Drew doesnt even look like this anymore, but this video is too cute not to post...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh for the love of Pete - Its been a week and Ive already broken my promise to you all!!!

But I swear, its not because I dont care. I "Fixed" my computer the other day, and by "fixing" it, I mean that I broke it. I tried to download new anti-spam software because I kept getting these pop ups and the old software expired a month ago. Duh...

But I downloaded it, mistakenly put parental controls on it (John LOVED that) and the computer got more screwed up than it ever was. So then Friday I went in and uninstalled a whole bevvy (thats right I said bevvy) of programs to speed things up abit, and also uninstalled the whole friggin anti-virus software so I could wipe out all the parental controls and all that other garbage. Then I was going to put it all back, nice and neat, just like it was

Last week I was a mess. I felt alright for my last sunday blog but, man. This one waited a few days before hitting me like a truck. I can go to work beat up from a rugby game, with a headache, whatever. But I had the worst stomach pains last week, and I could do NOTHING. I was only able to make it into work on Monday and a half day on Wednesday. I was miserable ALL. WEEK. LONG. It was just an awful week.

Im posting this just to get something up but I will also let you know that Mom took me to Esther (The healer in Indy) last night and it was again a very intense experience that I probably wont go into details about, but just so you know, I was there yesterday, and this is the best Ive felt in 10 days.

In other news, I seem to be getting my appetite back, so I anticipate that the 15-20 lbs Ive lost in the last two months will slowly begin to creep back.....During a brief flash of wellness on Friday I busted out my senior prom dress and paraded around the house in it for about 10 minutes, took some self-timer'ed pictures, and then got so exhausted I was couch-ridden for another four hours. I do love that dress. I gave my junior prom dress to Rubi Girls, although I still have yet to see it in action - JOSH!!! :) I will never give this dress up. Its sassy! And you're never too old to dress up.

So thats my crummy recap. Things were really bad last week, now they're getting better (slowly), Im back to work, riding the ol' Metro, and slowly evolving back to my old self again.
Maybe If I fix my computer Ill go into a rant this week about my frustration with prescription drugs. I hate pills. Im sick of getting one Rx that fixes one thing but then gives you another side effect that can only be pacified with, you guessed it, more prescription drugs. Its no wonder the elderly are so stymied with all thier drugs.

I decided mid-week that my best bet was to just focus on staying hydrated and drinking lots of water. That seems to be doing the trick. Just plain ol water.

Ok, so maybe it wasnt a rant. Thats all I wanted to say.