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.
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!
Yesterday, the Az Cardinals played football(yes they won!!) and Coach Arians was shown several times saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” The original quote is attributed to Gregory Peck, but I am sure this saying is a lot older. It reflects the spirit of optimism and hope, and is going to be one of my mantras during this battle against cancer. The current CEA count is 29.1, which is fast approaching our goal of under ten! Heading in the right direction! So when I am feeling sick from chemo, I can still say, “it is working, it is working!” Whoooo Hooooo! Only two more chemo treatments! However, I received the greatest birthday present this week. No nausea during this chemo week. It is the first time in almost one year of chemo treatments, and I have enjoyed it to the max! Take that cancer! Pow! Pow!
Rupert – Raven Dreamcatcher
Here is the Dreamcatcher I have been working on. Rupert is one of the ravens at Liberty Wildlife. He is quite the character and one of my favorite ravens ever. He talks in different voices and is just so intelligent! Barbara Delve(another Rupert devotee) took the photograph and was so kind as to let me use it for a reference for this special Dreamcatcher. Thanks so much Barb! This one went to Jan Miller as a big Thank You for all of her work at Liberty Wildlife, and her love and support during this cancer battle. Also a big Thank You to Margaret V for giving me a ride to Liberty to deliver Rupert. This was such a fun and special project, it is a blessing to be able to be involved in projects like this.
I have been having lots of kitty and parrot therapy and am felling well, with some tiredness. The guys have been really good, and I am wondering what they are really up to? SO if you figure it out, let me know!!!! Back to Rip Van Winkle land…….zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Eight chemos down and four to go!!!!! The CEA count is down to 41! So it is still working!!! Have been doing the Rip Van Winkle all week, but the news was so good, I had to wake up to let you know. Once again, I have to thank all of you for the prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes! You help me fly through this experience on wings.
Wolf Dream Catcher on Black Velvet paper, embellished with feathers, fur, leather and beads.
Last week was a good resting week, so I got another wolf Dreamcatcher done. Will get back with you when I wake up, now it is nighty night time again.
Whoooo Hooooo…. over halfway through the second round of chemo! Five left. I did the Rip Van Winkle/Sleeping Beauty imitation from Wednesday until Saturday Afternoon. You would think I would be rested by now, LOL.
More Splish Splash
The Arizona weather is amazing right now. We can open up the windows, watch all the birds and butterflies, and just enjoy life
outdoors.I caught a hummingbird playing in the red fountain this morning. Only had my IPAD, so the photos are a little blurry, but you can see why we enjoy sitting out so much. This is making me tired, think I had better go join the kitties for a nap!
Queen Caterpillar getting big!
Whoooo Hoooooo! Halfway! Only six more treatments to go! The CEA count is down to 52 from 75, so great progress this month! I have been feeling a lot better this last treatment. Little nausea and pain levels are WAY down. Just fighting the chemo burn, but can live with it when the tumor marker count drops like this.” It is working, it is working” is my mantra! Thanks again to all of you for your support, prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes!
Queen Caterpillar – about 1″
It is finally cooling off in the desert! We have had water falling from the sky, my friends tell me it is rain….even some hail. The windows are open, it is 75 degrees and fabulous! So the monarch and queens are appearing on our desert milkweed! We have had three monarchs go full cycle and four or five queens, with four queen caterpillars and one monarch chrysalis still on the bush. It is our best year ever. Saving the Monarchs one butterfly at a time. Hopefully I catch one of the butterflies and post photos, but they are skittish and tend to fly when I open the door. It is awesome to see them fly away, since there are tons of flowers for them to feast on.
I have a new guardian hummingbird who sits in the Arizona Orange Bells just outside the door. He flies away everytime we open the door, will keep trying to get a photo! It is really hard to sneak up on these guys, I am going to have to practice stealth! I am trying to get lessons from the kitties. However, the cats are very unhappy because we are keeping them inside, except for supervised visits in the backyard. I do not want to encourage them to become bird murderers. They are very vocal about the rules at times, but the parrots just scream louder to cover up the noise, LOL. Note to self….buy earplugs. Wishing you a happy fall!
Killdeer – Pastel Pencil
Next week will be treatment #6 – halfway! Only 3 more months to go!!!! This resting week, I had a migraine Tuesday, but am feeling much better today. No nausea! Whoooo Hooooo! Back to the first New Normal, now maybe I can start having a good week in between treatments. The ole hair is thinning again, but it is taking longer this time, maybe some of it will stay. The Astivan tan is definitely back, so it looks like I have been to the tanning booth. Maybe a few field trips this week as I feel better! Art store, here I come!!!
Three of my pastel pencils are down to the nub, but still was able to work on the Killdeer. Think it is about time to step away from the drawing. Well, maybe a few more adjustments……I love killdeer, especially the fake broken wing act the parents do to draw you away from the little ones. And speaking of little ones, killdeer just have to be one of the cutest of the baby birds, they are just little fluff balls on long legs, with the greatest expressions. Now how am I going to figure out what to work on next. I have been going through my 30,000 reference photos and it is just hard to choose. However, I haven’t done a parrot in a while, maybe I can bribe the guys to pose for me. Hopefully they have forgotten about the wages issue and will work for peanuts again. Stay tuned……….
Welcome to treatment # 5 of 12……Whooo Hooooo, almost half way. Even though I have had a lot more nausea and filled a lot more barf bags it does seem like the time is going a lot faster. I had more good days last week, than I have since this round began. The CEA (tumor marker) count is still going down and was 75 at the last reading, Sept 14, down from 85 in August. Because this has been such a roller coaster ride, I got up the courage to ask the oncologist what we will have to do if the tumor marker count does not go down below ten this time. His answer was a resounding “it will” so don’t even go there. So I am happily bouncing along thinking during the nausea, the cea is going down, it is working, it is working. We are working the plan, its of good things will happen after this round of chemo! Traveling to see family, go to Alaska to photograph eagles, moose and bears, bird photo trips, more art…….
Speaking of art, I am continuing my love of pastel pencils and have started a Killdeer family drawing. I love the babies, and the broken wing act the mother does to keep you away from them! Also, I posted on Facebook and Flickr the Super Moon/Blood Moon photos I was able to stay up for during a particularly bad bout of nausea. You can click on flicker on the lower right side of this page which will take you there or click on my Artist page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Arlene-Powers-Art-23414012357/timeline/
This is chemo week, and I am about to Rip Van Winkle, so back to you when I wake up! Stay tuned for more bird/cat and art supply adventures.
Black Necked Stilts
I just realized the other day, that I have survived cancer for one year, even though I am still in treatment, it has been a year. So I am going to celebrate this and continue the fight. A toast to surviving!*!*!*!*! This round has been tougher, but that means I just have to stay strong and continue the battle. Have been dealing with more nausea this time and the chemo burn has already started. Still have hair for now, and the tan is starting, so celebrate the silver linings! Thanks so much to everyone for the encouragement and support!
During this resting week, I have the Stilts almost done, photographed them over the “Chickadee” frame to see how they would look as a diptych. Hope you like them!
Don’t forget most of my paintings are on my website, http://www.arlenepowers.com if you want to take a look around. The pastel drawings have not made it yet, but will add a section when I am feeling a little better.