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Change of scenery

I think there's a toast, or an old Chinese proverb or something, that says, "May you live in interesting times." One could say that recent times have been at least semi-interesting.

We are just ending 10 days at our Baja, Mexico, cabin. I'm happy to be heading home to Tucson tomorrow & also looking forward to heading west again at the end of the month to see old friends in San Diego & attend the annual Zoo20 event. I hope while I'm in Tucson in the next few weeks, I can find a solution to nagging health issues.

For a decade--2003 to 2012--revolutionary drugs for rheumatoid arthritis kept my symptoms at bay. I tend to forget my symptoms as soon as they're gone, so during that decade I almost never thought about the excruciating joint pain which sometimes occurred after my RA diagnosis in my mid-20s. But with my cancer diagnosis 2 years ago, those revolutionary drugs were out the window. At first, my oncologist assured me that my chemo drugs should also stop any RA advances, & they did. But the effective drug in that regard was the evil Taxol--nausea-inducing, neuropathy-causing, hair-destroying Taxol. And I'm not on Taxol right now, only Carboplatin, which does not have the same nasty effects. It also does not keep my RA away.

So now what? That's easy--steroids. My rheumatologist told me weeks ago that he had no problem with a small daily dose of a steroid, so that's what I've been taking. And it worked. But this week in Baja, side effects of the steroid became too much to bear & I decided to wean myself off it slowly. Trouble with a capital T.

Nearly a week ago, I woke in the middle of the night with the worst-ever pain in my left wrist, which has been troublesome for months. I took a double dose of narcotics, which blessedly ended the pain temporarily. But stupid me--I brought with me only a small supply of narcotics, not nearly enough to last the week we had left here. So I rationed the narcotics carefully, & dear sweet Doug offered to take me home early. After a few days the pain lessened enough so that I decided I could stay. But I haven't had the use of my left hand for nearly a week--I can't move my wrist at all. Can't wait to get back to my drug cache tomorrow night!

I had hoped to accomplish much more here in Baja, the scene of a disaster. It seems a bag of dog food was left in the tool room at the back of our house when we were last here in Feb., & guess who loves dog food more than dogs. Mice. Lots of mice. You have no idea how much damage dozens of mice can do in five months. Luckily, neither do we. A dear friend & neighbor found the horrors last month, & he & the rest of our kind friends here cleaned up much of the mess themselves & hired help to do the rest of the clean-up.

Who knew mice eat refrigerators and sofas? Not us. At least, the mice ate enough of those 2 items to require replacement. So we bought with us a very nice used sofa from a fancy Tucson thrift shop, & stopped on our arrival in San Quintin to get a used refrigerator--nowhere near as nice as the one we had, which came out of our Tucson house. Mice also ate shoes, shelf paper, magazines, & I can't recall what else, in addition to making the little cabin absolutely filthy. We can't thank our dear friends & neighbors enough for all they did to make our place habitable again, including washing all the clothing & bedding we had here. I had hoped to get everything back in its rightful place. But with no functional left hand for the past week, it was not to be.

On the cancer front--no news is good news, right? Just before we left Tucson, I had another chemotherapy infusion & learned the benchmark CA 125 cancer tumor marker had dropped a little more, to 46. Still hoping to get that number in the normal range, below 34. I see the surgeon, the oncologist, & the primary care guy soon after we return home, so among them I hope they can address my issues.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to our Baja friends & neighbors for making this stay possible!
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Carol Haywood
Euro trip, Baja vacation cabin, event in San Diego & Doug ... life's good!!
1 person hearted this
Esther Staubus Strom
By Esther Strom
Those mice (or any rodents for that matter) can sure be destructive! We had a family of mice take over our basement several years ago when on a week's vacation. I can't imagine what it would have been like if they had had 5 months to set up shop! What wonderful friends you have to have helped out. Let's hope your doctors can put their heads together and figure out some medication you can take to lessen those RA symptoms. Your CA 125 test results sound great though - certainly something for celebration there. Wishing you safe travels! Esther
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nancy ireland
MICE, yuck! I can't imagine and how frustrating to be dealing with the wrist pain. Hope you have a smooth and quick trip home. Hang in there. You're a girl with grit!
2 people hearted this
Deanne Cervantes
By Deanne
I am so sad the pain in your wrist continued to grow to an unbearable level. I wish I could have stayed to help you get better organized. It's true, all things were piled in the "safe" room. I am hoping and praying for an easy drive home. Take care. Stay safe. Be well. I hope to see you later this month. Please don't hesitate to let me know what needs to be done to better things for you in SQ. I admire you. Your courage and your wit. Here's to the next pitcher of margaritas...courtesy of Steve! Love you!
2 people hearted this
Judy Meyer
By Judy Meyer
Thank goodness your friends (I'm thinking Deanne & Steve and maybe others <3 ) got the mess cleaned up! So sorry your RA got so bad and I hope it's getting a little better now. It was good to see the pics in Baja and Doug is looking so much better too! Wishing you both the best of times to come!
3 people hearted this
Verlin Tolk
By Verlin Tolk
Have a safe trip home. We are traveling tomorrow also but only from VA Beach to PA. I hope the Doc visits & meds help with the wrist pain!
2 people hearted this
Hilary Towne
By Hilary Towne
Glad for the "no news" on the CA front, but so sorry you are having to deal with all of that other stuff :-(. So happy your friends were there to help y'all out. XO
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