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Gabbi is 5 Years Old!
And I am 5 Years in Remission

Friday, October 31, 2008

Well I found something....I think






I had been very upset about the ladybug costume not fitting right. The real problem was the bloomers that were HUGE and the corset shirt that was just odd fitting. I tied it too tight and it buckled up and folded in between the ties. I left it too loose, well...you could see things that shouldn't be seen. lol So...I went back to the store today and feeling pretty depressed about the "all sales are final" policy I began looking at new costumes when I came upon ANOTHER lady bug costume that is all one piece. I have the ladybug shoes already so I thought I'd give it a try. Again the size was XS-S. The number sizes was 2-8. Now seriously. To me a 2-8 is a ridiculously wide range. I really have a hard time seeing this dress fit anyone bigger and definitely not taller. If it were any shorter you'd have to buy a separate skirt. LOL Well the party is at my house and if it bothers me, I'll change. It looks better and that's what counts!

I went to buy some goodies for the party today too. I am stocked and ready to go I think. I just need to clean clean clean tonight. I don't spend too much time in our basement. Hubby and the kids hang out down there. It's a full finished basement even with a second kitchen. I like it. It makes for good parties. The problem being that I don't spend a lot of time down there though. The kids and hubby...well they aren't as particular about tidying things up. haha So I need to get moving on that and make the girls help. They are after all the ones who mess it up.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!!!!

A New Day, New Stress

I picked up my girls from school yesterday and headed off to the costume store to buy my costume. I was meeting up with the hubby after he got off work. He was late so we started browsing around the store. Not much jumped out at me so I was feeling discouraged. I had to hold Gabbi and she is no little baby. She is a good 23 pounds. She's a chunky girl. My sides were aching. I didn't care for Lexi holding her for too long because then she got tired out and Gabbi would start to fuss.

Finally I saw a special section in the back of the store with a lot of women's costumes but you had to ask a clerk to get it. I saw a cute ladybug costume and even some shoes to go with it and just got crazy. I decided to get it. I had 3 older whining kids beggging for everything and a fussy baby on my hip. I needed to get something and get out of there. On top of that we all needed to use the restroom and they had none at this store.

Hubby finally showed up and picked out his costume. I never tried mine on because the size small said it was for a size 2-6 which I generally wear a 1 or a 2. I figured that it should work just fine.

Big mistake.


I got home and proceeded to put on the top portion of this costume which is a corset type thing. There is a black shield under the front to cover things. It didn't cover my stomach yet on the box it shows a girl with her tummy totally covered. This thing was riding up. I was trying to tie this corset thing tight but then all the sides started to buckle and crunch up. If I loosened it up then you could see through the middle. The skirt came up too high and it was missing the choker so you could attach the wings. The store doesn't take returns...so I am going to have to go in and ask about the choker for a costume I won't be wearing. It's not going to do me much good though. Oh the red bloomers they came with are about 18 sizes too big. I look like I'm wearing a giant red diaper. So yeah that won't be happening.

So. Off to the store again. This time I'll be trying it on.

*sigh*

Thursday, October 30, 2008

There Goes My Chemo Brain Again

Well, it just dawned on me that I did not ever elaborate on my Halloween Costumes comment in my last subject title. haha I got to doing my awards and then poof. The thought about Halloween Costumes vanished and only just now returned. I blame it on chemo brain...but it could just be me. haha

My problem is that I am having this Halloween Party Saturday night. I have NO idea what I want to dress up as. I haven't even got an idea to start from. What are some really cool Halloween costumes for adults? What have you been for Halloween? I would love to hear some ideas. I am going to go to this new halloween store we have around here. Granted I have waited until the last possible minute so things will be very picked through. I don't know if there will be much left in my size. I'll post what I get when I return this evening.

Blog Awards!!! Halloween Costumes?

I received some blog awards yesterday. It is such an honor to receive these awards from such wonderful sites. I got this award from Kay 9's...& Kritters.







Thanks so much for the award!

~ Put the logo on your blog.
~ Add a link to the person who awarded you.
~ Nominate 10 other blogs.
~ Add links to those blogs on yours.
~ Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.



I also received this award from Lady Banana







I appreciate these awards so much. I am glad you all think my blog deserves them. I am going to think on who I should give these awards to and do that another day. :)

MSN and Their New Multiply Groups

It's getting really very irritating. I am not very fond so far of MSN's new site. I figured out how it is posting to my blog. I post something there and unless I remember every single time to UNCHECK a box that is at the bottom of my post then it will cross post to blogger. I am going to have my RSS feed removed from that site because obviously it's desperate to cross post. lol I am a forgetful person and I guarantee I'll forget to uncheck that box a good 50% of the time. =/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Healthier Hair

I made a post a while back about my hair. It really hadn't been doing well since chemotherapy. Honestly I didn't so much as trim it throughout the whole thing because I figured I'd lose it anyway and anything I managed to actually keep was pure luck. I did lose a good 50% thought it was hard to tell because I had it in a ponytail every day. Right before my last chemo I chopped it off up to right above my shoulders. New growth started coming in right after chemo ended and it stuck straight up through the rest of the hair. It gives a whole new definition to *fly aways*. Literally you couldn't smoosh them down. Anyway I tried to be patient but my hair kept feeling dry and brittle. I ended up cutting again after it grew back because it still felt unhealthy. The stylist said my new growth felt strong and healthy just not the outer hair. I do color and blow dry/flat iron my hair but I have always done that and my hair was always pretty healthy. I was told hair can be very fragile after chemo and basically I probably started doing those things too soon. I started doing all that as soon as it grew in pretty much. I've needed some serious help and I think I've found it. I finally gave in and bought salon products. I bought Redken Intense Renewal. I leave it on for about an hour with a towel on my head though the label says 5 to 15 minutes.










I also realized I needed to start using a product to protect my hair from the heat styling I do. Shame on me for not using anything to protect it from the ever present flat iron. My hair is kinda (ok a lot) curly without it. I found this:














This product is also great for control. Spray it on then flat iron or blow dry and it will hold it, trust me. Careful to not use too much though. Or you will have a stiff hairdo. haha :) Anyway these are the new products to me anyway, that I have been trying. I may buy a leave in conditioner soon and probably start using the shampoo from Redken too. I still have a practically full bottle of Bed Head shampoo for color treated and damaged hair. It is better than using other shampoos that strip your hair but it didn't do the trick on it's own. My hair feels better but I really do want some length back.


I got some blog awards today! I'll be posting those later tonight.

Halloween Parties and Sleepless Nights

I am having a Halloween Party on Saturday night. Finally a Halloween party for adults, that I get to attend. I have always wanted to do it. My sister and I have discussed it and this year since I bought a new house I am doing it. I am anxious to dress up! I may be a kid at heart but I am ready to have fun. We are a family of singers so we'll have the full karaoke/DJ rig in the basement. My brother in law has a band and my sister is now starting a band. She's a really good singer. I love singing so there will be much of it on Saturday. As long as this cough of mine fades away!

Gabriella caught my cold a week ago and it's been an interesting week to say the least. She really has been so healthy since birth and I am so thankful. Mothers worry enough but combine that with the use of chemo drugs during the pregnancy and how much more do you think you would worry whenever she had the sniffles? haha Well honestly I haven't been too bad. I think any studies I have read (and I have read many) of older kids who had the same thing are not showing any problems. The risks I was informed of were maybe some developmental delays. She may be a little behind on the whole pulling up thing and cruising around the furniture but I know it's my fault. I have babied her sooooo bad. I am trying to break that habit. Anyway she had a fever for a couple of days, congestion, stuffed up red watery eyes and just miserable. Last night she finally fell asleep but every so often she'd give a whimper or a cry. I'd run into her room and she'd just be sleeping. She seemed a bit uncomfortable. I wish I knew if it was her throat, ears, tummy??? I have no idea. She seems happier this morning though so hopefully we are nearing the end of this thing. She's coughing but then again, I am still as well. I hope that it just doesn't get too bad.

Oh and for fun...here's a video of me singing in my basement. Yes...this is my basement...or one corner of it anyway. It makes for a good time with friends.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food Allergies and Birthday Cakes

Gabriella is allergic to milk. We discovered it when she was young. She's been on soy formula for quite some time. Now I have been informed kids can outgrow this allergy and usually do. The time frame that they outgrow it though is somewhat difficult. The doctor said it could be by one year, it could be not until 3 years. The only way to know would be to give her milk and allow her to get really sick if she's still allergic. She vomits, profusely. So I am in NO hurry at all to try this. I have been concerned with finding a good birthday cake that has no milk. She's almost one and honestly I have been VERY behind in giving her solid foods. It's hard to find things without milk and I have babied her a lot. It's time for me to stop though. Yesterday we found a wonderful recipe for Wacky Cake. I discovered that this cake was invented during The Depression when eggs and milk were scarce. I really wasn't sure how good a cake without eggs could possibly taste but I want her to have birthday cake so I decided to give it a test run. I don't have a recipe yet for any milk free frosting. If anyone knows of a good recipe please send it to me! Here is the recipe for Wacky Cake. I am sure you'll find a lot of different versions online but this one baked up moist and delicious. I just dusted it with a little powdered sugar.












Wacky Cake



INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water



DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into an 8x8 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three depressions. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour water over all, and stir well with fork.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing.

Surveys For Cash? Paid Per Click? Really?





Well...yes kind of. In the past several months I have joined and even left some of these groups. I honestly do not even remember the ones I left. I think I left Snap Dollars. Survey Savvy I haven't really decided on for sure yet. So far though I can say I am fairly pleased with Inbox Dollars. Now, you only get like 2 cents for a read e-mail. You simply click the link in the e-mail and there you go. 2 cents. That's pretty easy right? They don't cash you out until you have $30 though and that can seem a pretty long ways away and it is. You can do surveys for $.50 a piece but much of the time you will go through *screener* questions that have lasted me up to 10 minutes, one even around 15 before they tell you that you didn't qualify. I have been pretty angered about that. I have done short surveys though and actually did earn $30.00 in probably a month and a half. You just have to be diligent every time you don't qualify for a survey and try another. It's time consuming. I requested my check and they TAKE $3.00 for a processing fee. OK. Now imagine $.50 PER survey I do, and those are at least 20 minutes a piece. Yeah. They took $3.00. Seems like a lot now. They are mailing me a check that is scheduled to be here December 1st. It takes a long time. I can however say there are two companies that rock hands down. One is Pinecone. I only ever get surveys from them that I am qualified to do. I get paid $3.00 each time through paypal because I set it up that way. They take NO fees. I have done several surveys. I had to be invited to join that site though. The other one that I so far think it's pretty cool is Homescan. You basically scan things you buy, plug it up to your computer, send in the info, earn all kinds of points. Then you exchange those points for merchandise. I just thought I'd try these things and it's not like it is that much work so no biggy. I'll post here if I ever get any prizes from Homescan. Is there any that you do? Oh, I can't forget the best one. My personal favorite for YEARS. My Points. If you haven't done it? Do it. I sorted my e-mail folders so all e-mails from them go to that folder. I simply open, click the link and get about 5 to 25 points per e-mail. There are occasional surveys and points for referrals. I have had MANY gift cards through the years for them. I continually get Olive Garden gift cards simply because I love the salad and pasta. lol I have one now for $25.00 I haven't spent. I have enough points to order another. I am trying to earn $75.00 though so I am holding out. I plan to use my points for a different gift card. Possibly Target so I can buy Christmas gifts with it. Any other good ones??

Monday, October 27, 2008

Acute and Delayed Side Effects of ABVD






Side effects
In the relative spectrum of cancer chemotherapy, ABVD is not a particularly toxic regimen. Side effects of ABVD can be divided into acute (those occurring while receiving chemotherapy) and delayed (those occurring months to years after completion of chemotherapy). Delayed side effects have assumed particular importance because many patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma are cured and can expect long lives after completion of chemotherapy.

Acute side effects
Hair loss, or alopecia, is a fairly common but not universal side effect of ABVD. Hair that is lost returns in the months after completion of chemotherapy.
Nausea and vomiting can occur with ABVD, although treatments for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting have improved substantially (see Supportive care below).
Low blood counts, or myelosuppression, occur about 50% of the time with ABVD. Blood cell growth factors are sometimes used to prevent this (see Supportive care below). Blood counts are checked frequently while receiving chemotherapy. Any fever or sign of infection that develops needs to be promptly evaluated; severe infections can develop rapidly in a person with a low white blood cell count due to chemotherapy.
Allergic reactions to bleomycin can occur. A small test dose of bleomycin is often given prior to the first round of ABVD to screen for patients who may be allergic.
Neuropathy Numbness in tips of fingers and toes, this can be temporary or permanent.

Delayed side effects
*Infertility is probably infrequent with ABVD. Several studies have suggested that, while sperm counts in men decrease during chemotherapy, they return to normal after completion of ABVD.[6][7][8] In women, follicle-stimulating hormone levels remained normal while receiving ABVD, suggesting preserved ovarian function. Regardless of these data, fertility options (eg sperm banking) should be discussed with an oncologist before beginning ABVD therapy.

*Pulmonary toxicity, or lung damage, can occur with the use of bleomycin in ABVD, especially when radiation therapy to the chest is also given as part of the treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. This toxicity develops months to years after completing chemotherapy, and usually manifests as cough and shortness of breath. High concentrations of oxygen, such as those often used in surgery, can trigger lung damage in patients who have received bleomycin, even years later. Pulmonary function tests are often used to assess for bleomycin-related damage to the lungs. One study found bleomycin lung damage in 18% of patients receiving ABVD for Hodgkin disease.[9] Retrospective analyses have questioned whether bleomycin is necessary at all;[10] however, at this point it remains a standard part of ABVD.

*Cardiac toxicity, or cardiomyopathy, can be a late side effect of adriamycin. The occurrence of adriamycin-related cardiac toxicity is related to the total lifetime dose of adriamycin, and increases sharply in people who receive a cumulative dose of more than 400 mg/m2. Almost all patients treated with ABVD receive less than this dose (for 6 cycles of ABVD, the cumulative adriamycin dose is 300 mg/m2); therefore, adriamycin-related cardiac toxicity is very uncommon with ABVD.

And the one I fear the most:
*Secondary malignancies. Patients cured of Hodgkin lymphoma remain at increased risk of developing other (secondary) cancers. Treatment-related leukemias are uncommon with ABVD, especially as compared with MOPP.[6] However, one study found a risk of second cancers as high as 28% at 25 years after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, although most of the patients in this study were treated with MOPP chemotherapy rather than ABVD.[11] Many of these second cancers were lung cancers or, in women, breast cancers, emphasizing the importance of smoking cessation and regular preventive care after completion of treatment. Radiation and chemotherapy probably both play a role in the development of these secondary malignancies; the exact contribution of chemotherapy such as ABVD can be difficult to tease out.



I guess I am concerned about having lung/heart problems. During treatment my heart had a whole lot of fluid around it. They never did check it again after treatment. That's in the back of my mind. Of course I couldn't breathe at all so since I have been there done that, the thought of that happening again is frightening. I guess it's not the here and now I am really most concerned with. I want to grow old with my husband without this thing hanging over our heads. Perhaps as more years trickle by I'll forget about it more and more and eventually won't think of myself as any different than the next person. I have to say though, the risks are SO much lower with ABVD than the MOPP treatments. We have come along way and for that I am truly thankful. It could be worse. I'll just count my blessings.

That Green Eyed Monster

Isn't that what they call jealousy? I felt it. Recently. I am ashamed though. See, a horrible thing happened. A girl that I see pretty regularly out watching my brother in law's band was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. They were able to surgically remove it and now she has to go through chemo. She has the longest hair and I feel so so sorry for her. I would not say we were ever friends but I saw her a lot. I just didn't talk to her much. I can sympathize though with what she's going through. I feel very sad to see anyone go through it, close friend or not.

Now what could I possibly be jealous of? Well...the reason I found out that she was diagnosed was a group of people are throwing her a benefit to help with her costs. These are all friends of mine...and family. I was jealous and maybe a tad hurt because nothing was ever done for me. I never had any offers of help. I know my sister wanted to. There are reasons why she couldn't do it. I hold no ill feelings towards her at all. But still.....it was like a little pang of sadness I felt. I see people who get sick having benefits for things like this. I was going through cancer and all the treatments combined with high risk specialists and regular doctors for my pregnancy. I was on life flight twice. I have medical bills that I'll never pay off in all my life unless I win the lottery. Even with a good insurance a person's medical bills get up there. I have to say though, I immediately reprimanded myself. It wasn't a feeling I could necessarily help feeling but what it is important here is that this girl DOES need help and I will be there to help her too.

Did Someone Say Cupcake?




MMmmmm cupcakes. Yes. I found a blog hosting a cupcake contest and after looking at all the entries I'm happy to say I'd eat all of them. haha They looked so good. It would be hard to choose one. I want to make some adult Halloween treats for a Halloween Party I am hosting at my house this weekend. I am not looking for kiddie treats. I need something else. Cupcakes though are good for all. If you have a link to a recipe or a good idea for something to make, let me know.

I am hosting an adult Halloween costume party this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it. I always wish I could dress up each year. I may just be a kid at heart but I never have a good reason to dress up. This year, I am making sure I do. Now....what should I dress us as? I haven't got a clue yet.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MSN Groups, Now Multiply Apparently Has Glitches

Well the last new post you can ignore. I have a group on MSN and they are shutting groups down as of February so I am moving everything over to their new site Multipy. It had an option to add my RSS feed over there from my blog. I thought that was really nice until I realized that the post I made to my group over THERE somehow made it's way over here to my blog. I can't even begin to understand that one. =/

Wind, Wind and More Wind







I didn't even realize how windy it was today until my daughter yelled "The fence! The fence!" I looked out the window and sure enough two sections of our fully fenced in yard had blown over. I then noticed how hard the wind was gusting. I guess I had heard the wind today but never really thought much about it. It is strong though. I don't think the leaves will last too much longer on the trees. As you can see from my pic, the difference from only a week ago is amazing. The colors are really turning. It won't be long before my trees are bare. I do love the beautiful colors though! Oh....the neighbors dog was leashed very near the portion of fence that blew over. Thank goodness he was not injured!

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Note! Villagephotos disappeared randomly. My pictures are NOT working that I have linked. I had to file a BBB claim with them for money they continued to charge me, regardless of the fact their site is now gone. I lost well over 1000 pictures with them!