Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PET scan clear...

...so that is a relief. Thanks for all the caring people who worried along with me. So...brain and body all clear per the two different scans. Will be seeing the docs on Friday to see what they have to say and what sort of follow-up they want to do now...although I do not think it will change much from what we have been doing.

Hope all of you had a great day. With love - c

Monday, October 25, 2010

Such a good time in Atlanta...

...Brent and I rested and played...going to the zoo (LOVE the gorillas...esp the family set with the 4 month old baby and the twin 4 year olds running around acting the way Fred and Rose used to do!!!) and the botanical gardens...a little shopping and visiting with the Roo. Got to take her to lunch and dinner a few times and visit some on Sat. She is doing so well and adjusting to everything and everybody like a trooper!!

Back yesterday, got settled in and today was off to the scans!!! The MRI people and the PET people played well together again. Got one IV for the duration. The two ladies who have done both of these scans for me in the past are really super. They are kind, considerate and really make an unpleasant experience the best it can be. So a big shout out to two great radiology techs at Erlanger East and Chattanooga Imaging.

Brent has already reviewed and the folks with my neurosurgeon have already called about the brain MRI. It is as it was before. No change. The right frontal lobe zapped place is calcified as expected and they continue to refer to the place in the posterior occipital lobe as a calcification secondary to radiation of a brain met...although as far as we know...that never happened. We hashed that out last time...but, whatever, it is unchanged from the last MRI. Will be seeing the neuro surgeon and the neuro radiologist Friday. No results yet on the body PET.

Back to work tomorrow. Will keep you posted with the PET results. Love to all - c

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Poor photog, great runner!!

All my pics of Brent's finish are worse than these!!! He was so happy he wasn't last!!! Rosie went to him and ran him in for his finish!!! It was fun.

There she goes.....

Rosie did GREAT coming in somewhere in the 20's for women finishers and definitely in the top 100 because...SHE GOT A PIE!!!!!!!!!!

Warming up for the Pie Race

Brent and Rosie ran 6.2 miles this morning in the Signal Mountain Pie Race. The first 100 runners win an apple pie! There were 199 runners. It was cold!

Friday, October 15, 2010

More of biking to the ocean...

Dim sum and B's Oysters!

Brent downloaded his other camera....thought you might like to see some examples of Dim Sum and Brent's oysters and lamb sausage!

Biking to the Pacific

Despite our prior visits, we had never explored Golden Gate Park. Maybe I had assumed it is the area around the Golden Gate Bridge itself, which is park-like, but it is not. It is a rectangular property that is about 6 miles long and maybe 3 miles wide that goes from the middle edge of San Francisco to the Pacific. It was turned into a garden pretty much through the efforts of one man who began to plant rhododendrons and grasses that the other locals thought would never survive. He also began to reclaim land from the sea by placing sticks at the ocean's edge and allowing the waves to wash sand over them. As it did, he patiently placed more sticks. Over many years he created a beautiful park and the land over which the highway along the Pacific runs. On Wednesday, our last day in SF, Brent had his heart set on seeing the Pacific. Without a car, he decided we would take a bus to the area of the park and rent bikes. Despite a little difficulty finding an open bike shop at the start, we were successful and had a beautiful day...
Oh, San Francisco...biking to the ocean, walking along Haight/Ashbury Streets, riding buses with a wide variety of the human experience, street performers, an amazing Italian restaurant (La Briciola: the best waiter, patient and working to teach Brent Italian, squid ink risotto, crab with penne, cherry tomatoes and arugula, the best buffalo mozzarella I've ever had with prosciutto, tomatoes, and sweet balsamic...oh, my....tutti bella!!!!), a little corner Umbrian restaurant (where we gave a homeless man half our pizza...so many homeless...makes me sad...while we have so much...have always seen the most homeless on the streets of New Orleans and San Francisco....don't know if it is the local economies or the mostly mild weather....hurts my heart...we have plenty homeless people here in Chattanooga as Brent and I well know through our work at the Homeless Clinic...but....), walks along the wharf, beautiful flowers, the man I love........................tutti bella!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More China Town

Yes, look closely and you will see the chicken feet in sauce, alongside tripe and blood sausage in most shops...and wait...ONE, and only one, tall, blonde person!!!
Ever since reading all the Pearl Buck novels I could get my hands on as a young teen in south Alabama, I have loved the idea of steamed dumplings and rice....dim sum. We had tried to find authentic dim sum when we were in San Francisco with the kids about 7 years ago and hadn't really succeeded. This time we hit the jack pot. As you walk along in China Town, especially if you are blonde and on the main street, you are constantly accosted by women with fliers advertising various restaurants. They don't speak English, because if you try to actually speak with them, it is not possible, but they do know a few English phrases...."Eat here. It good." "Real good Chinese...down street 3 doors." There are also those who stand directly in front of the restaurant entrance and try to lure you in...."Eat here. Dim sum good. You like!!" One was so cute, and obnoxious, that I fell for her. So, Brent with a big question mark for a face, followed me in. Rather, up. Many of the shops in China Town are actually above or below the street level. In this case, it was up. Steeply, up...many steps. We made it, and were suddenly in a cool, quiet sanctuary...with high ceilings and open windows looking over the street below. Simple, but clean and nice. Ladies came by regularly with trays filled with fried or steamed dumplings, egg rolls, wontons, shu mai (little wanton wrappers twisted around a pork filling and steamed in bamboo steamers), pork buns (my least favorite...they are very pretty round buns of a rather doughy bread that may house a variety of things in the center...in this case pork from Chinese barbecued ribs...but they can also be filled with pickled fruits and jams....they may be very white when they are just steamed or golden and sticky when coated with some sort of sweet syrup). Anyhow, all these items are just a bite or two and each plate comes with 3-4 per plate. When you point to a plate or miniature bamboo steamer, the server places it on your table and stamps your ticket so that at the end of the meal the correct bill can be tabulated. It was really fun and delicious.
As we were leaving, the same obnoxious hawker was trying to lure two couples in. With my encouragement, reporting how good it had been, they headed up the stairs. Brent just shook his head. Hope they liked it!!! HA! We even went back on a different day! Yum dim sum! Just up the stairs. It good!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

China Town

I LOVE China Town. There is the "main" street with all the tourist slog shops, still frequented by a zillion locals. Then there are the back streets that I adore. Butcher shops with roasted birds (chicken, quail, duck...all coated and dripping, some flat, some not) and huge 3 foot long and 12 inch wide stips of fried pork rinds, and chicken feet in all sorts of sauces. With the locals yelling their orders while the butchers hack the cooked fowl into pieces and place them in styrofoam boxes for the trip home. The fish mongers with live, dried, salted, and fresh fish...some I can identify...others not. The vegetable and fruit stands, where women jostle others out of the way to get their bags filled with the best and newest products. On my last visit, baby bokchoy was the prize. This time, a small fruit, which we watched on woman lift and give to her toddler, looking something like an oblong plum was the object of desire. I tried to find out what it was but could find no one who spoke English. All signage is in Chinese. What else? Oh, yes...the pharmacies...smelling old and dank and pungent with large glass jars of all sorts of dried roots and herbs. Can recognize various mushrooms, ginger and ginseng...but all else is unknown to me. There are the dry good shops with huge bags of dried mushrooms for just pennies, as well as dried fish, and huge baskets of what we finally determined to be dried sea scallops ranging from 18 to 50 dollars a pound depending on their size with the larger being the more expensive. I have no idea how they use them. I love the flavor and the mystery.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Wharf

On some of our trips to the City by the Bay, the sea lions were massed on the piers. Today, only Gretrude had drawn the short straw. We had lunch at the Slanted Door with a beautiful view of the bay. So yummy!!!! Oysters with radish and vinaigrette (all Brent's favorites...NOT!!! And HE ordered it...just 'cause he knew I would like it...although having the 'digusting little morsels' topped with radish was even more than he had imagined!!!!), lamb sausage with a little salad, spring rolls, cellophane noodles with grilled shrimp, and roasted egg plant. All so very good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Farmer's Market in front of the Ferry Building

On Saturday, we walked down toward the Ferry building on the wharf and discovered a Farmer's Market in full swing. Such amazing fruits and vegetables!!! I longed for a kitchen. We enjoyed delicious snacks and beautiful sights.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Embarcadero

Brent and I had such a great time in San Francisco! Played, relaxed, learned a little, ate very well. Hope the following pictures give you a little sense of the sights and sounds of one of my favorite cities.....

Friday, October 1, 2010

To San Fran...and other things...

Getting ready to head out to San Francisco. We will return on Wednesday evening and are both really looking forward to it. My teeth are cleaned and my new pants are packed!! :>)

In other news, if you're interested in the state of some upcoming melanoma meds GOOGLE: The New York Times for an article by Amy Harmon, New Drugs Stir Debate on Rules of Clinical Trials. The only drug that has been found to work more than "chance' alone, is being held up in trials, basically so that drug companies can make more money. These drugs are not causing side effects. Taking them does not kill your liver, kidney, cause heart attacks, etc....so it is not so delicate an issue as determining if benefit out weighs risk. They have proven their worth in trials that have already taken place. PLUS....there are NO OTHER DRUGS!!!!! AND...the PATIENTS ARE GOING TO DIE ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read it and see what you think. There is, somewhat shockingly, a big uprising and debate going on, originating from a lot of oncologists who want the drugs for their patients..NOW.. that is not fully covered in this article. (Doctors are not known to be the most outspoken set of folks...sometimes tending to be more like sheep! Sorry to those of you that I know and love....but I think you'd all be the first to agree!!) I've seen one of the guys quoted in the article...Sosman from Vanderbilt.

The trouble with America's health care system is due in large part to the amount of control insurance companies and Big Pharma have over it. This is a perfect case in point. There are companies other than Roche making similar drugs and this is basically a fight over territory, patent, and money.....with human lives and comfort at stake.

Better get myself in gear and off to San Francisco!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love to all -c