Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sale still on!

I sold some earrings - thanks! I have finally finished listing all of my stock so if you haven't checked out my store yet, now is a good time to do it :) There is a lot of variety in the earring colours and styles so there is something for everyone. For those of you that like the Waves of the ocean earrings, you might like these Green waves of grass earrings. They both have similar beads in different colours and evoke a similar impression in me.

I also have some lovely earrings using millefiori beads - these are glass beads that have flowers embedded in them. They are gorgeous when the light shines through them. I have these simple green ones, these other simple green ones, these yellow ones, these orange ones, these bigger green ones, and these aqua ones. As well, if you like interesting, fun earrings, have a look at these Flourite cube earrings. And of course I have quite a few simple glass earrings with two or three beads; these are about $10-20 each, depending on the number of beads.

Don't forget to look at my older stock as well; there are some beautiful earrings there. There are also a few necklaces that you might like. I like them, myself :) As I've said before, there is something for almost everyone in my store. Please note that all the jewelry in my store is arranged by dominant colour of the item. Now go and shop :)

The sternum pain is flaring up a bit and the skin is definitely red. There's a red rectangle in the center of my chest; it looks strange. I hope it goes away soon. I'm definitely keeping it out of sight so that the sun doesn't get at it. I'm also more tired than usual, but I'm managing to get by. I hope tomorrow is better.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A long treatment day

The ultrasound went well. The technician definitely got the tender spot, so we'll see if anything shows or whether I just have aches and pains from getting old. I'm thinking it's just aches and pains :) The results should be at the doctor's in five business days, or by Monday, July 9. I'm not worried.

It turns out that I'll only have one radiation treatment, and that was today! The pain might flare up over the weekend but should subside and get even better within 10-20 days. I can hardly wait :) Funny, the radiation technician treated me up in Thunder Bay back when I had my first cancer. This is a small, small world. They did say that I might feel tired, which I do. I hope that this goes away.

I have listed over half of my new stock. My goodness, I have a lot of it!!! Anyways, check out my store - there are lots of new and exciting pieces; I'm pretty sure there's something for everyone :) I will add the rest tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy the sale - don't forget the secret blog sale mentioned below as well!

Sale has started!

My etsy store sale has begun!! Buy any one item in the store and get another item of equal or lesser value for half price! Just put JET in the notes to seller box and wait until I send you an updated invoice before paying. The sale lasts until 6pm July 2, 2007.

I also have a special sale for my faithful blog readers: buy the Hand-beaded evening purse and get up to four free pieces of jewelry (maximum value $100)! To get this secret sale, put JET BLOG in the notes to seller box and wait for me to send you an updated invoice before paying.

I am adding new items even now and hope to have everything added by tonight. Happy shopping!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tomorrow is a big day

Thank you to everyone who gave me their preference for sorting the earrings. I'll be sorting them by colour. I really appreciate your input!

I was able to get all of the first pictures and about 2/3 of the black background pictures edited. I still have to edit the ruler pictures, which shouldn't take too long. I hope to get the pictures all edited after the ultrasound tomorrow and before the appointment with the radiologist. I think I'm scheduled to have my first radiation treatment at 1:15pm tomorrow so I'll be able to spend most of the afternoon tomorrow adding new jewelry to my store. I'm pretty excited about that - I have some really great pieces that I think you'll all like :)

My sale will start sometime tomorrow - I'm a part of the JET team on etsy and we're all having a sale over the weekend. I'll post in my blog when the sale begins :) I'm actually glad that I have this sale and the new pieces to focus on because that means that I'm not nervous about either the liver ultrasound or the radiation :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Radiation starts soon

The radiation oncologist's office called and I have an appointment on Friday at 11:15am with the oncologist and the radiation technician. After that, we'll mark me up for radiation and we will start radiation that day beginning at 1:15pm. That is much faster than I thought it would be - I didn't think that I would get in so quickly. I don't know how many radiation treatments I'll have. I think it will be 5 or 10. I hope that the pain flare is over (or hasn't started) when we go to North Carolina. When a treatment works the pain usually gets much worse before getting much better.

I started taking the Ritalin today and didn't really notice any difference. I'll have to see over the next couple of days if there's any change. I really, really hope it works.

I got to spend pretty well the entire afternoon taking photographs. I have about 60-odd pieces of jewelry that I'd like to have up in my etsy store before the sale this weekend. I did all of the coloured background pics; now all I have to do is edit all of the pictures. I hope to do that tomorrow and Friday to have the stuff up by Friday. Given that there are so many pieces, I'll probably end up adding a few on Saturday.

Because there are so many pairs of earrings, I'll need to split them up somehow. Each item can only go in one section... so is it better to separate the earrings by colour or by length? What do you think?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pain and symptom management

So I saw the Pain and Symptom Management doctors today. It was very, very informative. They did a sensitivity test on my sternum, and it turns out that it's sensitive to even the slightest touch. What has probably happened is that the soft mass that was growing as part of the tumour is pressing against some nerves. There are a bunch over the sternum there, so it wouldn't be surprising that the tumour would hit one or another of them at some point. Oxycodone doesn't do anything for nerve pain, which might be why I don't feel that it's working as well.

What they suggested for the nerve pain was A535 or something similar, lidocaine if that doesn't work, and capsaicin cream if those doesn't work. They also suggest going through with the radiation and if the pain is not controlled after that to start taking one or another medication that targets the nerve. We decided to not try this medication right off the bat because the radiation might actually take care of that pain as well as the bone pain. I have put a call into the radiation nurse; if we can do the radiation before we go to North Carolina, that would be great. We'll see. I hope to know tomorrow.

As for my tiredness, they think that ALL of my medications are contributing to my tiredness. They've prescribed a low dose of Ritalin for me that should take care of this. It is possible that once I have the radiation, I will have more energy and I'll be able to decrease the dose of the Ritalin. I'll be starting the Ritalin tomorrow. I really, really hope it works, because I'm really, really tired of being tired.

I've also been having stomach problems, off and on; I get a tummyache after eating (and especially after eating bananas). I take Nexium for that, but it hasn't been working as well as it had been before. Therefore, they want me to have the test for the bacteria H.Pylori. That's been scheduled for the end of July. If I do test positive for this bacteria, then I need a round of antibiotics. In the meantime, I'm to take Milk of Magnesia in the hopes that it will help soothe my stomach.

They checked my spine and I actually have a new sore vertebrae up between my shoulder blades. I didn't know that one was there; it's possible that there are mets there that aren't showing up. There appears to be a sore spot on my liver also; it's unlikely that I have liver mets, but I have the ultrasound on Friday just in case.

That's a pretty long day, huh? :) After that, I took a bunch of photographs of my jewelry and we watched The Card Player. This movie is directed by Dario Argento - he apparently directed such ground-breaking classics as Deep Red and Suspiria - these movies influenced most of today's horror movies. Apparently they're like very, very gory detective movies.

While we were watching the movie, the neighbour's cat came buy for a visit. He is white with grey patches, and he has yet to grow into his tail or his ears :) He and I had a bit of a cuddle, much to Ian's dismay. The cat has hung around for a while - fortunately, it didn't catch any of the chipmunks in our yard even though it went under the steps to their main lair. Whew.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Some good news

I have an appointment with a pain management specialist tomorrow morning!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited! The pain is bad and I'm tired of dealing with it - I'm hoping that the doctor will be able to help me, either by giving me new drugs or new pain techniques.

Ian and I have decided that we are going to go to the International Juggling Association Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in July. I'm really looking forward to this trip :) We're going to drive down over a few days, spend the week, and drive back. We are planning doing the trip in five or six hour legs, so we'll be going to Scranton, Pennsylvania and then Washington, DC. Th We'll spend a full day in DC - the Smithsonian alone makes that worthwhile :) We'll also look at the monuments and White House and whatnot. After that we'll head to the festival. On the way back we'll stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvnia. Sounds like fun, huh?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The retreat is over

I don't know what was wrong with me today, but I was not in the mood for the retreat today. I think I may have been the only person who was more annoyed leaving than I was going in. The days are pretty intense and I was really tired because the days started at 9am. I'm also having wicked pain problems - I was taking Percocet all day long.

I did get stuff out of the day today - in particular, there was one visualization that I found very powerful. Basically, while relaxing, imagine that you are holding a bowl in your lap. Any kind of bowl is fine. Imagine the love and light from inside you filling the bowl so that the bowl is now filled with light and sparkles and good. Then take each of the dark, negative emotions that you're experiencing, one by one, and drop them into the bowl. Let the sparkly light and love surround and overcome the dark negative bits until they're all gone (they said to imagine them swirling together, but I saw the light surrounding the dark bits and making them smaller until there was no more dark). Once that happens and the bowl is filled with sparkly light only again, lift the bowl and pour the light back into you. I really liked the cleansing aspect of this visualization. I felt energized and whole afterwards in a way that I haven't felt in some time.

Other than that visualization, the day pretty well sucked for me. At one point we were talking about our greatest fears.... mine, in case you were interested, is that I will lose the ability to reason or think logically; that I will lose my smarts, as it were. This fear is real because this happened after treatments for my first cancer. Anyways, someone in my group gave me this look when I said this and said "you're afraid you won't be smart anymore?"in this shocked, "I can't believe you just said that out loud" kind of a voice. Like I should be grateful for any smarts I have.

I explained that I'm not all that smart, but that I identify with my intellect, logic, and reasoning abilities. I use them in every aspect of my life, and I'm terrified that they'll go away again because I wasn't me when it happened before. I kind of felt like that when the person made that comment they were thinking that I'm some snob who's better than everyone else. I'm not - wanting to be my smartest is no comment on anyone else or their abilities - but I don't know if that person got that. Sigh.

I was really glad when the day was over. I think Ian got some interesting things out of it - if nothing else, the doctor who facilitated the event validated our view that you have to be your own advocate in this health care system. I don't know that either of us would go to one of these again, though. I've had enough support in that kind of environment to last me a long, long time.

When we got home, we watched 5ive Girls. It was pretty good in a cheesy, low-budget horror movie kind of way. I'd recommend it if you like those sorts of movies. There's not much gore, and the story is kind of interesting.

On a much more positive note, this weekend, the JET members on etsy will be having a sale. Each member picks their own sale; mine will be "Buy one, get one 1/2 off (of equal or lesser value)". I'll be adding a LOT of things to my store this week. So if you were thinking of buying something for yourself or for someone you know, I'd encourage you to buy it next weekend as you'll be getting a fantastic deal!!! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

More on the retreat

The retreat is still interesting. Today we focused on using mindfulness to relieve stress and cognitive behaviour changes. Mindfulness is basically living in the present. It's almost impossible to do it all the time, as we do all have to remember our past or think about the future from time to time, but it's a good tool to have when we're stressed. Sometimes when we're stressed we are busy thinking about what has happened or what is going to happen; mindfulness allows us to let go of those times and to focus only on what we are feeling right now. It can make a situation much more manageable and bearable, that's for sure.

We were looking at the cognitive behaviour changes in relation to thinking disturbing or unhappy thoughts. Basically, we were trying to find ways to transform those thoughts into more positive thoughts. As an example, if you say to yourself that you'll never get through treatment because it's too hard and you don't have the strength (this is a negative thought, I guess), you could make it more positive be saying to yourself that treatment is very hard, that no one has strength all the time, and that's ok - it's ok to pamper yourself and take it one day at a time until you're through treatment. The exercise we did as part of this talk was very intense; people really opened up about what they felt, and the honesty was quite refreshing, if a little overhwelming.

Ian and I also helped Hopespring do some video scenes. Apparently the videos of us talking in a group setting, doing Qi-Gong, and talking together will be used in public service announcements. I've also been asked to share my cancer journey story for the same reason. It'll be interesting. My thinking is that the retreat is free so if I can help them in any way, I will do so.

I've also decided that I'm going to change Spirituality and Healing days. I'm currently in the Tuesday afternoon class but it often conflicts with Ian's dad's schedule. Therefore, I'll go to the Thursday afternoon class instead. The facilitator of that group is a better fit for me, too :)

After such a long day, we wanted to take it easy so we decided to rent movies. Tonight we watched the movie Unknown. It's about five men who wake up in a warehouse and who don't remember who they are. It's quite good; we enjoyed it very much and would recommend it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Cautiously optimistic

I'm feeling much better today about the appointment with the oncologist. I was so shocked when I got the news that everything was ok - I just couldn't believe that everything could be fine AND that the pain would be so bad. I put a question to one of my newsgroups and it seems that pain is not always a reliable indicator of cancer progression. Femara also causes bone pain, so it's possible that the pain is from the Femara and it's working. I will still get an ultrasound of the liver to be sure that I'm ok.

I've asked for a referral to a pain management specialist at the cancer centre. The pain is not under control and there's no reason for it to be so bad. Clearly something needs to change because I shouldn't have to live in pain. My family doctor is the one who does my pain management right now. His approach, when my pain goes up, is to add more long-acting oxycontin (it's supposed to be taken every 12 hours) and/or take it more frequently. Right now I'm taking 120 mg of long-acting oxycontin every 4 times a day (every 4 hours, most days). This is a fine approach at lesser pain levels but at my current level doesn't seem right.

The specialists have other drugs and techniques in their arsenal that my doctor may not know about. For example, there's a drug that reduces the pain of the tendons rubbing against the bones. I don't know that this is happening to me, but this could be causing pain in my left femur. Taking that pain away would be great!

When I talked to the people at the hospital, they asked me a whole bunch of questions about my moods over the last little while - like whether I've been tired, fatigued, stressed, sleepy, happy, depressed, or whatever. I think this is because pain affects so many parts of a person's life that when it's bad it takes over in so many ways, and they wanted to know how much of my life was affected by pain. For the first time in a while, I'm cautiously optimistic that my pain might actually be reduced. I'm feeling really good about this.

Ian and I went for the first night of a Skills for Healing retreat. We'll be talking about stress reduction, meditation, mindfulness, nutrition, and negotiating the medical maze. I think it will be good for both of us. Between Ian's dad's cancer and my own, there's a lot of cancer to deal with right now. It's weighing pretty heavily on each of our shoulders (more so Ian's than mine, of course), and the more skills we have to help deal with that weight, the better. The retreat lasts all weekend, so I'm sure that we'll each get something good out of it. It's a free retreat which makes it even better :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oncologist appointment

I saw my oncologist today. She was happy with my bone scan because it showed no significant change from last time (she said that there was no progression on the left, that it said later that there was no change since January). She also said that she didn't think that a change of 2 in my tumour markers was significant and hence it was nothing to worry about.

I guess there are people whose bone mets don't get smaller with hormonal treatment. I know there are people whose tumour markers mean nothing. The thing is, I just don't get why the pain would increase so much if the cancer was stable. That doesn't make sense to me. Ian has a theory that the cancer and the bisphosphonates are butting heads and that the cancer might start to actually decrease if the cancer is losing this battle.

I've insisted on a liver ultrasound just to be sure that my liver is fine. I'm sure it is and that there's nothing to worry about, but I want a scan to tell me I'm sure. I'll have the ultrasound between now and July 10th or so. I see my oncologist on July 13 and we'll figure out what we'll do then. I think the plan will be to have radiation to the sternum to kill the pain there and to keep me on the Femara.

Oh yeah, she said that the radiation oncologist didn't need to worry about getting rid of the pain because she had other diagnostic factors like scans and tumour markers. I guess pain isn't one of her diagnostic factors.

The whole appointment felt very surreal. I came out of it very confused and very upset. How can I have so much pain and everything be all right? I don't understand this at all.

I think I may be partly upset because my dad was having some tests done for some weird things that had been happening. His test results have come back normal, thank goodness, so I don't have to worry anymore. Now I have to stop worrying about me :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bad news

I saw my radiation oncologist today. He doesn't want to do radiation because the pain in my sternum is really the most reliable way to determine whether or not a treatment is working. If the treatment doesn't work, the pain will increase and if the treatment works then the pain will decrease.

He showed me my tumour markers as well. They were 39.5 when I had them checked in March, down from 48.8 in October and 58 last August. This month they went *up* to 41.3. That is the wrong direction. This is not good news.

Sigh. So the cancer is not being held back by the Femara and it's safe to say that the Femara isn't working anymore, if it ever did work. I see my medical oncologist tomorrow and I guess we'll have to figure out what to do next. Personally, I'd like to get my liver checked to be sure it's cancer-free before we embark on a treatment. I don't know whether it's better to check the liver via ultrasound, as I had before, or CT scan. My thinking is that a CT scan would be better suited for the liver than the ultrasound. I don't know how deep the ultrasound can get and it would have to show the entire liver.

I don't know how the Femara has failed. If it's that it no longer blocks the production of estrogen, then it would make sense to try another hormonal treatment. However, if the tumour is growing because it doesn't need estrogen anymore, well, it wouldn't make sense to try a hormonal treatment. In that case, we'd need to try a chemo to kill off the cancer cells and then maybe try another hormol treatment (or try a hormonal with the chemo).

I just don't know what to do next. I wish I trusted my oncologist more. Maybe this will be the test for me to trust my oncologist. We'll see. The saga will continue tomorrow. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Good news!

The bone scan showed no new mets anywhere. It did show slight progression in the left sternal met, but that's it. That's good, because it means that even if the treatment isn't working, at least the cancer hasn't gone hogwild. I guess they took the extra film to have a closer look at the degeneration in my L5-S1 vertebrae. It is still degenerated and it still hurts, but it's not mets.

I'll tell you, I was stunned to get these results. I'd honestly expected the cancer to have spread further. I am very relieved that it hasn't gone to other bones, but I'm also worried that they're going to think that I'm crying wolf. This is the second time that I've called about something that turned out to really be nothing. I know that there are people out there who do call about everything and I'm worried that they'll think that I'm one of those. At least the bone scan didn't show nothing - there is progression in the sternum which could correspond with the pain, so it's likely that the Femara isn't working in any case.

I see the radiation oncologist tomorrow morning and I hope that he'll be making the pain go away. I see the medical oncologist on Thursday - she'll have the tumour markers, too, and we'll figure out what comes next. It's going to be a long few days.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Home again

I'm home now. I didn't sleep much on the flight in and so I was very tired today. I did sleep for most of the day, meaning that I didn't go to lunch or to Well-fit. I had trouble staying awake even through tv shows I like.

I am happy to be home with Ian but sad to have left my parents. I would have loved to stay longer, if I could have, but I've got all those appointments this week.

I guess I'm nervous about the appointments (the first one is tomorrow). We've had trouble with our internet going down between 8 and 9pm over the last six months or so. The first couple of times it happened I talked to tech support and they sent it up to second level support, who fixed it. This time (and the last time, come to think about it), I talked to tech support in India, and they're just not as good at dealing with issues. They have a checklist to go through - which includes deleting cookies and temporary internet files - and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is going to stop them from going through that checklist.

I'm afraid I lost my temper with the person I talked to and with the supervisor I talked to. I just got so frustrated - I knew that I had called before but they didn't look back in my records to see what happened before. The people in this office don't make decisions for themselves which is probably why second-level tech support won't accept calls from them unless they go through their ridiculous checklist.

I want to cancel my Bell Sympatico internet account. I'd rather not have to deal with technical support list that. Unfortunately, Rogers (our other option) has bad internet service. They split the service amongst all subscribers in an area, so they tend to be slower. I wish we had a third option.

Wish me luck on my appointment tomorrow. I guess it's better to know what my bone scan showed, right?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Leaving tonight

I'll be heading to the airport in another hour or so, and I'll be back in Ontario tomorrow morning. I'm sad to be leaving Edmonton. I've had a really good visit with everyone this trip and I was really glad that I came here. I wish I could stay longer but that wouldn't be practical, really. Still, I don't want the fun and good feelings to end, you know?

I've been staying with my parents and I really appreciate everything they've done to make my stay very comfortable. I felt very much at home here and so I was very comfortable. They were very generous in getting things ready for me and in taking me places. Thanks, mom and dad :)

Happy father's day to those of you who are or who have fathers.

Visiting and some movies

I spent a great day visiting today. First I saw a friend of mine for coffee, which was fun :) Later on, we went to my aunt's place for dinner. She'd been in hospital a couple of months ago for a few weeks but is doing quite well these days. I was very glad to see that :)

After that, my parents and I tried to watch a movie and we just weren't able to get through even one. We started off with Happy Feet, which I kind of liked but which was slow-paced and had too obvious of a story line. Then we tried Alpha Dog but we weren't able to figure out what was going on so we stopped watching that. Finally we tried Ghost Rider but we didn't find the beginning bit all that interesting and I couldn't figure out when it would get better. At that point, we gave up :) We ended up watching tv instead.

Tomorrow will be my last day in Edmonton. I've very much enjoyed my time here and I'm very, very glad that I came. I'll be sad to leave, because I like spending time with my family and wish I could stay longer, but I'm looking forward to seeing Ian again.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

No blisters?

Today was pretty relaxing; my parents and I ran some errands in the afternoon which was fun. I didn't want to interrupt their routine too much while I'm here, as it's disruptive enough having someone stay with you.

Later on I saw a friend of mine for dessert and we hung out a club called Suede. I wore my new red shoes, and when you're wearing shoes like that, well, you have to go out and show them off, right? The club has a bunch of white couches for seating and has pretty nice decor. I think it targets a slightly older (25+ ?) demographic. I stood around in my shoes for over an hour there before my feet started to say anything, and I could have stood on them for a lot longer before my feet would hurt too much. I was able to walk around in these shoes, too. I think they're winners :)

I didn't get any blisters on my feet, either :) I used a product called Band-Aid blister block and it really worked!!!!!!!!! There were a couple of spots that I was sure would give me blisters but my feet are fine. I highly recommend this product.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Shopping with my sister

I saw my sister today to do some bead shopping and hang out. It was fun spending time with her; I really enjoyed it.

The first bead store had a lot of high-quality semi-precious beads that I couldn't afford and a pretty big selection of glass beads. I bought some glass beads and some hanks of black bugle beads. I think I'm going to make another fringed-type purse for the holiday season. Yes, I'll be doing more beaded fringe at some point :)

The second store had a special on where if you buy three strands of semi-precious stones you get four free. I'm not one to turn down that kind of offer! :) I bought seven strands of beads and spent quite a bit - I was able to buy some stones at a quality that I usually can't afford. I bought some onyx briolettes, some breathtaking labradorite faceted rectangles (the facets bring out the flashes of colour), faceted rainbow moonstone ovals, aqua jade (the most expensive strand), rhodochrosite nuggets, snow quartz briolettes, and peruvian opal. They are beautiful - I can't wait to use them!

The second store was called Bedrock Supply. If you're in the Edmonton area, I'd highly recommend them; they not only have a fantastic selection of semi-precious stones, they have all the tools necessary for lampworking and have display items, too. They are a very good all-around bead shop.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Shopping and creating

Oh, how I love shopping! Today we went to this really cool store that has new and used retail fixtures. I think I may have mentioned before that I was looking for a mannequin or something on which I could photograph my necklaces. People say that they want to see necklaces actually on a model, but I'm too short to show necklaces properly. The store had new hanger mannequins to the waist for about $15, but I was able to get a used "regular" fabric-covered bust mannequin (to the hips) for $50. The bust on the hanger mannequins showed more than I was comfortable showing in my photos, and I felt like I got a good deal on the one I bought. It's being shipped via Greyhound to Ontario; I can't wait to use it :)

I saw my sister and her family today. I took all of my beads over and offered to make them things like bracelets and cell phone charms. I also said that they could keep any beads that they liked. I made two bracelets and four cellphone charms (one of each of them) out of the beads that each of them picked. They looked cool; all of them had very good taste. I'd never made anything like that before, so I was kind of making it up as I went along. I was very pleased with the result. I wonder if there's a big enough market for cellphone charms?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Shopping in Edmonton

I had a fun and relaxing day with my parents. I showed off my beads (which, together with my suitcase, weigh 41 pounds) and we had fun looking at them.

Then we went to Michael's to get some yarn - my mom has generously offered to make me a sweater out of yarn that I have. I have Bernat Satin yarn which is super-soft, and she's going to make a sweater out of that. The sweater needs additional colours for a fair-isle pattern which is why we needed the extra yarn. Then we went to Fabricland to get some fabric for a current project. They had a great selection but the world's slowest people. It took us fully 25 minutes to get our fabric cut and to pay. That is just ridiculous. At least we got out of there alive. :)

I feel very relaxed and at home here, and I'm very glad that I came to visit. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my parents during the rest of the week, too. I will be seeing my sister and some friends of mine, but I'll spend the majority of my time with my parents, which is what I wanted.

In Edmonton!

I managed to make it to Edmonton! I tell you, traveling on WestJet is so much nicer than traveling on Air Canada. On Air Canada, as you may recall, they turn the overhead lights on when they're doing dinner and beverage service during a redeye flight. Westjet didn't! They kept the overhead lights off which was a much more pleasurable experience. I was actually able to sleep uninterrupted for a couple of hours, which I liked.

It's been raining here and I miss the way Edmonton smells in the rain. It's so fresh and clean and green and, well, nice. I don't know how to describe it, except to say that it smells nothing like Southern Ontario in the rain - which has a wormy, pollutiony smell. I'm very much looking forward to my stay here. I don't know what my days will have in store for me yet as I've done virtually no planning, but I'm prepared for almost anything. I certainly brought enough clothes!

I also brought all of my beads. Ummmm, they take up a pretty big suitcase and weigh about 40 pounds altogether. That seems like a lot of beads :) Even though I don't need to make anything because I have so much stock, I still want to be able to make things. And I figured that people here might want to take a look at my stash in case they want custom orders or something :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Feeling much better

After a lot of sleep and clear fluids I'm feeling much, much better today. I was even able to eat solid food - toast with honey and french toast - which means that I'm definitely on the mend.

Funny, I woke up a lot earlier than I thought I would because I had sweat so much in my sleep that my sheets were soaking wet - either I had a hot flash thingy or else I fought off a fever in the night. I hope that doesn't happen again - I now understand why menopausal women find night sweats unbearable.

I'm very much looking forward to going to Edmonton; I've checked in and printed my boarding pass and everything. I'll be sitting towards the front of the plane which will be nice for deplaning :)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The show

It was a beautiful day for the show - sunny and mid-twenties with a light wind. Unfortunately I was very sick today and we had to leave by 11am. My tummy wasn't feeling so good when I woke up so my breakfast was light.... but we had to stop on the way to the show because I had to be sick. Once we got to the show I was sick every 15 minutes to a half hour. Basically, my system was trying to expel everything in it one way or another.

I don't remember the last time I was sick like this. By the time we left I wasn't able to make it to the toilet (well, portalet) to throw up, and that scared me a lot. I can remember that happening when I was a kid, but not since then, not even when I was drinking. To make it worse, the craft show didn't have flush toilets - only portalets - and there was no way to wash up (not to mention that I had to use the one-ply toilet paper). Had I been able to wash up I might have stayed but I felt grimy and sick and icky and wanted to go home.

Fortunately, Ian was able to set up my shop and to take care of it. He's been taking care of me as well, which has been pretty easy because I've been sleeping a lot :) I'm on a fluids-only diet now and I seem to be keeping everything in ok. I still feel a bit queasy, and I don't want food, but I think I'll live. I'm determined to be better in time to go to Edmonton on Monday. This means that I probably won't go to Well-fit on Monday because I'm so weak and I'll definitely take it easy tomorrow.

At the show, apparently someone took my card to talk to me about wedding jewelry, and a friend of mine bought a couple of pieces. I don't need to make much now since I have a lot of stock :) Watch for new things on my store in the next while.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tomorrow's the show

I think I have everything ready for the show tomorrow - I've tested out the display, got all the jewelry categorized and priced, and loaded up the car. It's supposed to be clear and 24C tomorrow so it should be a nice day for an outdoor craft show. I'm a little nervous, of course; between yesterday and the show tomorrow I was snappish all day. I'll let you know how things go tomorrow :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bone scan day

So I had the bone scan today. A bone scan, as I'm sure you remember, has two parts: the injection of a radioactive tracer into me, which settles in the bones, and then the scan (much like a geiger counter) three hours later. They had trouble with the injection - I guess she got the needle in and then the vein disappeared, so she had to poke my veins twice. This is not a surprise, as my veins don't like to be poked.

When I came back for the scan, they said that they would do an extra close-up scan of my sternum because that was the area that was hurting. They did do this extra scan in the same orientation as the last time, on the left side of me. The top of the field was around my shoulder and the bottom was around my stomach.

But then they did another close-up on the right side of my chest. The top part of the field was at about underarm level. This means that they weren't just doing a scan of the sternum from the other side, you know? And the scan was completely unexpected; they'd said that they would do a closeup scan of the sternum, but they didn't mention a second scan.

Needless to say, I freaked out and am still freaking out. I'm scared, and I didn't think that that was going to happen since I suspected that I had more mets anyways. Now the idea that there might in fact be something going on scares the crap out of me. I don't get my test results until after I come back from Edmonton, so I have to live with this for just under two weeks. The best thing I can do is to put this out of my head until the night before I get my results back. And I will do that, but today I need to work through the fear. I hope that none of you ever experience this kind of fear - it makes my knees weak, my heart pound, and I feel like I'm moving in slow-motion.

Today we also did bloodwork including the usual complete blood count and my CA 15-3 tumour marker. I'll get those when I'm back from Edmonton, too.

The pain hasn't completely decreased. I hope that it goes away before Monday, but it's not really showing signs of doing that yet. It's still quite painful at times, although I guess it'll take some time to get used to the new dosage. I'm a little light-headed and woozy at times, too, which will be a direct result of the new dose.

The best part of today was that we worked on my display for the show on Saturday. So far, I'm liking the way things are being set up. I think I'll have less space than last time, but I think I'm using the space better. I hope that I sell lots :) If you are in the Hamilton-Ancaster area on Saturday between 9:30am and 3pm, please stop by. I have a lot of stock that hasn't been posted on my store :) You may find even more things that you like in person!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Doctor days

You might be wondering why I didn't post last night. Well, around suppertime, my back started to get really woogly and so I took a clonazepam. Bam! I was out like a light. Today I took one by accident and am abut to fall asleep. This entry will be short.

I saw my family doctor and he's increased my Oxycodone from 360 mg/day to 480mg/day. That may not seem like much, but 3 weeks ago I was taking 280mg/day. I can't believe how much the pain has gone up :( My doctor says that if my pain isn't better by Monday I have to go in and see him before I leave.

I have my bone scan tomorrow as well as my bloodwork. I get the results in two weeks.

In preparation for the show on Saturday, we're getting the display together. I decided that I wanted a black background. Originally I wanted velveteen, but after some thought at the fabric store, I decided to get some black linen-look polyester fabric. It drapes really well and has a bit of a sheen to it, making it very attractive. I still have to get all of my things priced and inventoried, too. Guess what I'm doing tomorrow and Friday? :)

If you haven't already, please have a look at my treasury - it's the best I've ever done. Enjoy! I love it so much!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I got a treasury!

I managed to snag a treasury this morning on etsy :) For the first time in a while, I'm not featuring jewelry artists; this time, I'm primarily featuring photography artists. The colours are strong, bold, and beautiful. Feel free to have a look at All the things I love. One of these days I hope to make it to the front page :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Shopping and wire

I had bought a couple of skirts from H&M recently, as you may recall. Well, I loved them so much that I convinced Ian to go back so that I could buy more. I ended up buying two more black skirts and two black and white skirts. I know it seems unusual to have three identical black skirts, but I love the skirt so much that I've been wearing it every day. A person probably shouldn't wear the same skirt or pants every single day, so this way I can switch it up.

I also bought a bunch of wire today. I was running out and so I managed to get a spool (75 yards) or 24 gauge and a spool (120 yards) of 26 gauge sterling silver. I use a lot of the wire because I wire-wrap the closure on every bead, making the items more secure. It requires a lot of wire for complex projects and sometimes I make a lot of mistakes so I waste wire accidentally. At least now I'm going to have enough wire for a while.

I'd also ordered wire from petitespoon on etsy; I got a mixed bunch of wire from 16 gauge all the way to 24 gauge. The lower the number, the thicker the wire. I'm excited to have these new wires; I've never worked with the lower gauges before and can hardly wait to make some interesting designs.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Creating, creating, creating...

I spent some time today making more jewelry. I now have almost 100 pieces which I think will be almost enough. I want to make a few more necklaces, of course, and maybe a few more earrings. I'm pleased that I'll have enough stock.

I'm also thinking about the displays. I bought some similar things to the display things I used last time; I think what I'll do is string black wire back and forth to make sort of a chicken-wire or sea effect and hang the things off of that. At least, that's my current plan; I hope it works out. I expect to be making jewelry until Wednesday and then spending Thursday and Friday (when I'm not doing scans and stuff) working on the displays. I think that'll be an effective use of my time.

The show on Saturday is in Ancaster, ON and runs from 9:30am - 3pm. I've put a link on the side for you; there's more information on the June 9 part of the events page.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A fun shopping day

I decided to go shopping today because, well, I love shopping. I went to the largest Winners in the area and tried on a bunch of things. I ended up buying four more shirts, two of which have lots of printing and sparkles on them. I have a thing for lots of printing on shirts. And sparkles. I share some qualities with crows.

I also bought some shoes :). They have a 4 1/4" heel with a 3/4" platform, are red patent, have a stacked wood sole, have a comfortable peep toe, and are slingback. They are these shoes (with leopard coat and black tights); I guess they're not part of the current collection because I can't find a better picture, but that's ok. These shoes are amazingly comfortable. I walked around in the store wearing them for about 30 minutes and my feet weren't rubbing anywhere, there were no incipient blisters, and the bottoms of my feet weren't getting sore. I think I will be able to wear them for a whole evening :) I love love love love love love love love them, although they aren't the most practical purchase I've made. then again they're not the most impractical purchase I've made, either.

I hope I can find a place to wear these fantastic shoes. After all, what young woman doesn't need a pair of sky-high red patent shoes? :)

I managed to make a bunch of earrings today. I very much like the teardrop structure that I used for these Waves of the Ocean earrings. There's something about this particular arrangement that really works, isn't too regular, and has a lot of interest. It's also not immediately apparent what the structure is, which I really like. Anyways, I spent the evening making a bunch of earrings using the same pattern for the bottom drop part. So I've made a bunch of earrings that have an interesting, colourful drop. I'll make some simpler, cheaper earrings tomorrow.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bone scan scheduled

As you can guess, I was up pretty late last night what with the airport and all. Unfortunately, instead of sleeping late, I got woken up at 10am by Ian telling me that Cheryl from my oncologist's office was calling. It took me quite a while to connect those words in such a way so that they had meaning :) Anyways, once I figured out what the words meant, I took the phone.

She was calling to tell me that the bone scan is scheduled for Thursday, June 7 with the injection at 9:45am and the scan at 12:45pm. In between, I'll do the labwork. I will get the results on June 21. Usually it takes a only week to get the results, but I won't be here a week after the tests.

I won't be here that week because I'm going to be in Edmonton then!!!!! :). I felt that I didn't spend enough time with my family at Christmas, and I really want to go back to really connect with them. I miss my parents very much and am aching to see them. I am also longing to see my aunt and my sister to reconnect with them, too. I hope to see some friends once in a while, too, but I will spend the vast majority of time with my family. No, Ian won't be coming with me - he'll be staying in Waterloo/Mississauga.

Speaking of Ian, he wasn't feeling well today :( We'd hoped to do something fun this evening, but he wasn't well enough. I expect it's the heat getting to him and I think he was a little dehydrated as well. He is feeling better now, thank goodness. I (and Ian, I expect) will be very happy when this heat breaks on Sunday.