2012 Music & Book Review

I always make a year-end playlist of my favorite songs from the year.  While I would venture to say most of my readers don’t like my style of music, I still wanted to share.  You can listen to any of the tracks free on Spotify, here is the link for this playlist:  2012



I only read 33 books this year, way down from last year.  My reading goal for the year was to read or re-read the classics.  I think I did a pretty good job on those:  The Fountain Head, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Confederacy of Dunces, Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, Catcher in the Rye, 1984 and The Stranger.

My favorite book, besides maybe The Great Gatsby or the Catcher in the Rye, was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I cried approximately 7 times and finished it in about 4 hours, staying up until almost 3 AM.


Gone Girl and Defending Jacob were also very good reads, although none of them particularly happy stories.

I read several I didn’t care for, so in 2013 I need to decide not to waste my time finishing a book that didn’t resonate with me from the beginning.  I can stop watching a horrible movie, why do I feel I need to finish a book?


Books, Music & Movies

With treatment being pretty spread out now, there’s not a lot to blog about as far as that goes.  I still go in once a week for blood work to check my counts, I take Mercaptopurine chemo pills daily and Methotrexate pills weekly.  We are currently on day 21/84 of the second round of maintenance and the next big event is on day 29- another spinal tap to give Methotrexate to my brain and spinal cord,  my monthly IV chemo – Vincristine, and the start of another 5 days of Dexamethasone.

I find I’ve been spending most of my time reading, in fact I’ve already finished 8 books since the start of the year:  The Hangman’s Daughter; Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea; The Bedwetter:  Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee; How to Be Good; My Horizontal Life; Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang; Heaven is for Real and finally Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  The best of these by far was Unbroken, it was probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.  It came recommended by my cousin Drew and I recommended it to my book club as one of next selections.  If you’re looking for a great book to pick up, this needs to be your next one!

Congrats to Arcade Fire on their Grammy win for Album of the Year!  If you remember my post Lists for 2010, I listed this as one of my top 5 favorites for the year.  Facebook was abuzz that night with people angry about this Grammy win, I’m guessing because most people haven’t heard of them.  A while back I had posted a link on Facebook to an interactive Arcade Fire video which uses Google maps to show your home town in parts of the video, pretty cool.

I'm gonna write a letter to my true love
I'm gonna sign my name
Like a patient on a table
I wanna walk again gonna move through the pain

Now our lives are changing fast
Now our lives are changing fast
Hope that something pure can last
Hope that something pure can last

Lyrics to "We Used To Wait"

Thinking of the Grammy’s makes me think of the upcoming Oscars.  Back when I was in high school and worked at the movie theater, every year I would have seen all of the best picture nominees (and I believe there were fewer nominees then too).  Life is a little more complicated now and opportunities to go to the movies are far less frequent. As of right now I’ve seen half of them:

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids are Alright
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

It would be unrealistic to see the rest of them before Sunday, but of the ones I’ve seen I’d have to go with Black Swan with Winter’s Bone a close second.  I think the win will go to the King’s Speech. I think Ryan’s pick would be Toy Story 3.

Week in Review

Monday was a really long day.  I had been aching so bad and was out of pain pills.  I called first thing Monday morning requesting a refill and when John and Ryan stopped on their way home to get them, it had not been called in.  That night I felt sort of feverish and had a temperature of 99.7.  I usually run around 97 something so that is kind of high for me.   I was starting to wonder if I was getting the flu or something.

Tuesday morning I went to the doctor to get labs.  Turns out the reason I was hurting so bad was that my white count had skyrocketed.  It was 10 something.  I guess my body decided to start working, which is for sure a good thing, but hurts like hell.  They did refill my pain pills so I got some relief that afternoon.  Tuesday was also supposed to be the day I take the other chemo pill.  I looked at the bottled and it instructed me to take 14 pills.  I thought that could not be right so I decided to wait and ask before I put all of that in my body.  When I talked to the office on Wednesday, they told me that was right. I took 14 pills Wednesday afternoon and for a couple hours thought I was going to puke every time I stood up.  My total pill count that day as 31.5.   Once a week I’ll have to take that many pills.  Insane.

We had a special treat this week as John’s grandparents came up from Memphis to visit.  Monday night we went over to John’s parents house and then Tuesday evening they came over to ours.  We were going to go over there last night, but Ryan was just so tired and acting like a two year old so I stayed home and put him to bed early while John went over to his parents house to see them before they left this morning.  It was great to see them, they are so sweet.

I’ve been spending my afternoons on the couch with a heating pad and a book.   In the past week I have finished the next 3 books for my book club. I read Handle with Care, The Day the World Came to Town, and Bliss, Remembered. All of them are books I probably would not have picked out on my own, but were quite good.   The Day the World Came to Town is about a town in Canada, population less than 10,000, that on 9/11 had to host as many people when the US Airspace closed and planes were forced to land.  It follows several of the people on the flights and how the town came together to help everyone.  It was a quick read (I finished it in one day) and out of those three, I would recommend that one.  I also finished Me Talk Pretty One Day which I had been working on here and there.  I will now pick up The Alchemist again.  Stacy got me this one and I started it, but got distracted by the others.


2B: Day 22

I had to be at the office at 10:30 this morning to get labs done and they’re not getting any higher:

WBC: .3

Rgb: 8.7

Platelets:  4

This means I still get chemo, but have to get platelets and will continue to give myself neupogen shots until at least Thursday when I go back for more counts.  It’s currently 3:45 PM and the platelets have just now arrived from a hospital across town where they had to be irradiated and other big words I don’t understand.   Today outpatient is so crowded that I can’t even see a window.  I’m guessing it’s still gray & gross outside, like it has been for the past week.

I’m hoping to see some sunshine this week, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the cards.  This weather makes me want to nap when I’m perfectly healthy, I may not get out of bed tomorrow!

Yesterday Ryan had a runny nose and in the evening started to feel warm.  I took his temperature this morning and he was not running a fever.  I’m praying my little buddy is not coming down with something.  Both for his comfort and for my selfishness, since my counts are so low I shouldn’t be around feverish people.

Things I’m happy about today:

  • I started a book that I really am enjoying and have had plenty of time to read today – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I’ve had a mental picture of what she looks like in my head as I’ve been reading about her experiences, but I just googled her to see a real picture.  I wasn’t that far off.  🙂
  • Our friend Laura K is bringing us dinner tonight -Tacos!  Such a blessing on days like today when I’m stuck here all day 🙂
  • Countdowns!  Brian, Jenn, Tyson & Marietta will be here in 4 days and Karen will be here in 11.  Other special people may be traveling far distances (very, very far distances) and I hope to see him soon, but will update on that as it happens.  Right Amy?  wink wink  😉