Wow, this cancer journey is a roller coaster ride. I have started really recovering from the chemo that was not working, am feeling stronger and better than ever, but the numbers are not reflecting this. The CEA count went up 200 points. It is 400 now. The oncologist says sometimes the numbers go up, but I should rely more on how I am feeling physically, that it has been the best indicator. So we are going to stay with this protocol for another month and see how it goes.
In the meantime, I am getting ready for a two person show in September and October at the Beatitudes Church. It is at 7 St. and Glendale in Phoenix, AZ. More detail to follow. In addition to 5 paintings, I intend to have five leather and five velvet dreamcatchers. Here are photos of 3 of the leather waiting for feathers and beads.
Loki, Sunny and Charlie say “Hi”, the cats give you the look, and the wild birds fly away! Enjoy!
I know you have wondering about the radio silence. Well, list’s just say without going into a lot of detail, I have been very sick. After a horrible bout with dehydration, the oncologist called and said I needed to get back in right away, my CEA was rising and the liver enzymes were way off. We started a new protocol, (weekly) which went for a month. Basically, it is not working well, so we had been waiting for an insurance authorization for a new protocol. Just got the authorization today and will be starting new treatment tomorrow. Once again this one involves bringing home a portable unit for a day and night. SO I Will go in for treatment on Tuesday, come home with a portable unit, and go back in have the unit removed and get another treatment. Then I get a resting week. My only concern with this protocol is possible neuropathy. If it hits my hands, I will be very challenged to continue art work. So I am hoping for the best as always and thank you for all the prayers, good wishes and positive thoughts!
I have had some wonderful visitors! Thank you all for the encouragement! Hopefully next time, some photos of art or birds!!!!!
Not always where you want to be, huh!?! Sunday, I started having problems keeping food down, this continued until Thursday, when I called in to the oncologist’s office to see about coming in for fluids. Later that afternoon, I was getting a bag of fluids and nausea medications. Friday AM, the oncologist called to let me know they had done blood work and that my liver functions were way off. SO I need to get back into chemo right away. The scheduler got right back with me and set it up for Monday. SO here we go again!!!!! They are going to use a new protocol, so we will see what is up on Monday.
In the meantime, I am working on the leather dreamcatchers, and hope to have some photos to post soon!
The parrots and kitties have continued with their therapy, so I have lots of feathers and fur to hug and pet. And I will leave you with one of my Guardians, an Anna’s Hummingbird.
No one’s getting past me Boss!
First of all, I must apologize for taking so long to blog. Sometimes life gets in the way, LOL. March 22, the cancer pain returned with fury. I called to get into the oncologist, and could not get an appointment to see him for a week. In the meantime the pain levels were not going down, so had to go to the ER for intervention. They gave me some relief and sent me home with a stronger prescription to manage the pain until I could get in to see the oncologist. The CEA levels were still fairly low, 58, so we are managing pain until we see him again in May. When chemo starts again, he is going to try a new protocol. More info on that to come.
This is one of my faves. A female Phainopepla
We have done several bird photographing trips, which I have posted on Facebook. Have gotten some fabulous shots and have plenty of reference photos to start a whole new round of paintings and drawings. In the meantime, I have still been working on Christmas Cards, gelli plate printing and have been working on metal embossing. You want to see photos?!?!?!? Ok, here are some photos!!!
Gelli Prints with old family photos attached. Turned them into greeting cards and sent to family members.
These will show up a lot better when I get some patina on them. They will make great book cover material!
Finally I will leave you with a few images from Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
If you build it……..they will come!
Got the Lab results last Wed, the CEA count is back up a little to 37. After visiting with the oncologist today, he is not really alarmed. We were hoping for under 10, so I am a little disappointed. However it will be what will be – so no point in borrowing trouble. We will just hope it stays in this range for a while. We have appointments for May to get blood-work and see the good Dr. again. In the meantime will be putting one foot in front of the other and getting some bird watching and art done in between sneezing from the seasonal allergies. It has been so warm this winter, the plants are convinced it is spring and they are springing with a vengence!
Today’s art exploration is: learning to wrap feathers with sinew to attach to the dreamcatchers. Sinew is now made with polyester and is heavily waxed, so no disgusting animal parts, LOL. Glad to live in the present hi tech world. The top feather is wrapped, then a silver cone bead was added…..the middle is plain sinew wrapping…and the bottom is wrapped with a copper cone bead added. I am sure my wrapping will get better as I go, since there are so many feathers on one dreamcatcher. Stay tuned….dreamcatcher coming!!!
Have to post the current Christmas card update….no I have not forgotten, and have kept up with the monthly quota. I have a total of 15 now! Wish the glitter showed up better in the photos, they do not look quite the same without it. Everything looks better with some bling!
Good luck with changing your clocks! We are so blessed to live in Arizona where we do not go through the “daylight savings change your clock twice a year.” That does not keep us from being confused about what time it is where you live though. So we do have sympathy pains with the whole “daylight savings” phenomena. The parrots all think clocks are for chewing on, so that is a good thing to them. The cats, as usual, are indifferent to the whole “time” concept. They only care about “meal time” because to them the rest of the time is “nap time.” Speaking of nap time, that sounds like a great idea……zzzz…..’til next time….zzzzzz.
The cards are still on track, also I have started a new project. I got all the ingredients together and made my own gelli plate. I have just started playing around with the process. It is fun! The gelli plate is made with gelatin, water, glycerin and alcohol. It provides a good surface for mono-printing. You put the paint, stencils, cutouts on the gel plate, then press the paper onto the plate to make a print. This is my first real experience with acrylics. Very different than watercolors! I have two of the gel plate cards in the photo, but am working on more. SO did anyone notice I put one of the cards upside down…..just checking to see if you are paying attention, LOL.
We just got back from the heart of Texas, where we visited with relatives and friends, ate a lot, visited some more, then ate a lot more. The weather was hot one day, cold the next, and windy the next. So it kept us guessing the whole time. I remembered how to say y’all, and saw some really pretty country. The trip was too short! Hopefully will be going back soon. In the meantime hubby got me a new camera lens for Valentine’s Day. It is the Tamron 600mm telephoto lens. I have been taking photos like crazy and putting them on Facebook. Still have tons more, but have to take time to process them. We are going to Sierra Vista to visit some of the birding hotspots, so will even have MORE to post soon.
On the cancer front, the side effects from chemo are slowly fading and I am getting my strength back. Next week is the blood work, then we get the results the following week during a visit with the oncologist. All has been quiet, just waiting for the results. Hope the CEA count is under 10, so I can have a nice rest from chemo!!!!
More cards and some photos to come, so stay tuned!!!!
Whoooo Hoooo! The hair is starting to grow back, I can see the hairline where it is getting thicker! About 1/4 inch, but it is hair, and eyebrows are starting to sprout! Maybe even eyelashes! A few more weeks and hats will be optional! The new saying for the year will be, “Live with passion!”
2016 Colored Pencil on Strathmore Paper
Here is the new installment of Christmas Cards for this year, LOL, I know it is still eleven months away, but it will take time to make enough to accommodate my mailing list!!! With my tendency to get thrown off course, I hope to keep focused long enough to finish this project. I am the one who walks into the room, forgets why I am there and go back where I started to see if it will come back into the ole memory. If not start a new project, do some parrot or kitty therapy, take a photo……..now where was I??????????
So we will have a break from chemo, and hopefully the side effects will slowly start wearing off. I expected to have a lot of energy this week, but didn’t happen yet, so maybe next week. Since it is the second round, it may take just a little longer to get my mojo back, but it will come, so the next weeks are really something to look forward to. Whooo Hooo to being able to get the nasty taste out of my mouth, get rid of chemo burn and nose running constantly.
On the art front, I got one piece juried into the Glendale Arts Council Show.
Wolf Dream Catcher on Black Velvet paper, embellished with feathers, fur, leather and beads.
It is a Wolf Dreamcatcher, and will be there until Sunday, Jan 24th. The show is open daily from 10Am to 5 PM. It is at Sahuaro Ranch Park, 59 Ave & Mountain View, in the old packing building just North of the main building and rose garden. If you live in the West Valley, you would really enjoy it, there are two rooms of great art. Speaking of Art, I have started a new project for the new year. Thinking of Christmas, I decided to make Hand Drawn Christmas Cards. If I do one a week , should have enough to send everyone on my Christmas list an original. They are 5″x7″ and will pop right into a frame, or can be matted and put into an 8″x10″ frame. SO here is a sneak preview of the first four cards.
On the pet therapy front, I got a couple of photos of Loki during our parrot therapy session. Thought you might enjoy! Oops, Loki is screaming, I mean Loki is calling me to do more parrot Therapy……Later!…..I am coming Loki……nuts, you want to be paid now…..I thought this was volunteer work……hmmmmm…
It was Jan 2015, then I blinked my eyes and it is 2016!!!! Where did 2015 go? This happens every year, but it seems like it happens faster each year! I know, I have been on this soap box before, but really how come time seems speeded up and when I was young, it seemed to drag on forever. All it takes is one art project and time goes into zen mode and I wake up a few days later with a completed project. Or it is chemo week, and I sleep the week away. LOL, I guess a lot of it went by while I was sleeping.
So this was the last chemo week for a while, the CEA count is down to 27 and we are praying really hard that it takes a big dive this month to get under 10. The hair is really in the baby grackle mode now, but in a few weeks it will start growing back. Speaking of hats, I was asked to post a few photos, so here they are, the latest style in chemo hats!
Blue Sparkly made by Debi Bell
The kitty, parrot and wild bird therapy continues, and I feel a little better every day. We are planning a Texas visit the family trip the first week in Feb, so I am looking forward to seeing everyone! George got a Weber Smoker for Christmas, so we have been treated to pulled pork and smoked brisket over the last couple of weeks. The AZ Cardinals are in the NFL playoffs, so we have some exciting times coming. Wishing you and yours a wonderful year to come!
Christmas With Family
Hope you have a purr-rect New Year, which brings you love, family, prosperity and lots of good stuff! As I reflect on 2015, I am grateful for my family and friends. It was a little difficult, but family and friends always came through, making it so much easier to get through two rounds of chemo, and one surgery. Family is healthy- art is flourishing,-and the parrots and kitties are all well, happy, and continuing with therapy. So the hair is almost gone, I am sporting the “baby grackle” look again, but it is a great time for hats. You never realize how your hair keeps your head warm until it is gone. Hooray for hats!!!
Here’s to 2016, the best year ever!!!!!