Friday, July 20, 2007



I had a big chemo day on Tuesday and it really knocked me out. I had the FOLFOX - got the pump off yesterday for 5FU which I wear for two days. I also has Zometa, the bone hardener which I think causes my forearms and legs to ache, Aranesp for hemoglobin/red blood cells, and all the other attendant pre-medications for chemo. My platelets were low, but I was still able to have chemo anyway. I have been sleeping a bunch which is a good thing. My CA 19-9 tumor marker was 3821. My liver enzymes were all bit low or high, but nothing of real concern.

My left leg still hurts where they think I have a blood clot, so I'm going up on my steroids to two a day. I'm cutting Zoloft back to 1/4 pill. I try to take my steroids in the a.m. I've been taking Oxycodone for pain which causes constipation, so I try to keep my laxatives in balance with the pain medicattion. I have neuropathy really bad which causes my feet to swell and my mouth to react to cold. I can't have ice cream for the first five days or so after FOLFOX, and we just got Blue Bell, the best ice cream in the country, in Montrose, 35 miles up the road at the Russell Stover's Candy Factory Outlet. If I take Neurontin for for the neuropathy, I am gone. It really knocks me out. My oncologist wants me take it twice a day, but I would be asleep all the time, and it's just too busy right now in Ouray to be knocked out. I think I heard a statistic on TV that this is one of the busiest weeks for tourism.

Speaking of being busy, Harry Potter comes out tonight. We ordered 60 copies and all of them have been spoken for. This is huge for our small town bookstore. I'm hoping to get down to the store for the sale.

Week before last I was at a writing workshop in Taos. I took a memoir class with Barabara Robinette Moss who wrote Change Me Into Zeus's Daughter, Fierce, and she has a new memoir about having a rare form of cancer. I recommend all of her books.

I need to send a big thanks to my friend Jody who assisted me while I was in Taos. Thanks, Jody! Jody helped me give myself blood thinner shots, Alixir. She said I turned white the first day, but then I got better. I am quite a handful at times, so thanks Jody for your help and patience.

Starting tomorrow in Ouray, there's the San Juan Writer's Workshop. There are three fiction sessions that I plan to attend: Pam Painter, Pam Houston, and Robert Olen Butler. If any of you are reading this Pam Painter will have a reading on Sunday night 7/22/07, Pam Houston (Cowboys Are My Weakness, Sight Hound) will read Thursday night 7/26/07, and Pulitzer Prize winner (Good Scent from a Strange Mountain) Robert Olen Butler will read on Saturday night 7/28/07. Author readings are at 6:30 pm with student readings on the same day at 4:00 pm. All the readings are free to the public. I heard Pam Houston read in Taos from her most recent book yet to be published is really funny. The story was written in second person like her first story in the book Cowboys Are My Weakness. Pam has also been anthologized in the Best Short Stories of the Century.

I have to run - my husband just came home to pick me up for the Harry Potter Party - got to get my witch's costume on.

More later. Sincerely, Caroline

Friday, July 13, 2007

Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk

Caroline's long time childhood friend, Margaret Parks Thomas, from Duncanville, Texas, is hoping to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk in Dallas in honor of Caroline.

Margaret must raise at least $2200 in order to participate in the walk. She has a webpage at the Komen website if you would like to donate online:

If any of you reading this are in the Duncanville area, on July 25th Joe's Crab Shack on Highway 67 is making it Margaret Thomas Day for the race - they will donate 10% of every meal sold that day. Wish I was there ---- I'd gladly eat a ton of crabs on Caroline and Maggie's behalf!

Caroline should be home from Taos sometime this evening --- as far as I know, all went well and she had a great time.

Suzie Gray West

Friday, July 06, 2007

Headed to Taos, New Mexico for Memoir Class

My friend, Jody Curphy, is driving me to Taos (as she did last year) for a writing workshop in Taos, NM. We had a great time in 2006 and I'm repeating a memoir class with Barbara Robinette Moss who wrote Change Me Into Zeus's Daughter and Fierce, both excellent memoirs. Barbara is a wonderful teacher as well as an artist. We leave on Saturday and I'll be gone a week.

I got to be in the parade here on the 4th. I was part of the Woman's Club float. Most people didn't recognize me with my very short hairdo. (I have lost my hair and it is coming back in like a bristle brush. I do miss my hair, and I have some wigs, but right now they are too hot to wear.) We have a great Fourth of July here - old fashioned parade, water fights (people try to knock each other down with a very strong water hose from the fire hydrants), and awesome fireworks.- the sound echoing off the mountains in our notch is really something. We had a great day in the bookstore. It was really hot, and no one minded getting wet at the water fights. In fact, this is my 12th Fourth of July here, and it is the first one I can remember where we weren't in sweaters at night. I ate all day - BBQ ribs from the Masons, brisket from the Elks. I escaped to the Elks Rummage Sale for several hours and got some great bargains. I would shop in the sun, sit under the tent at the Elks, get up and shop some more, etc. I was at the bookstore most of the day and saw so many people. I got lots of hug therapy - hope I didn't affect my platelets or white blood cells.

I am sorry to report that a friend of mine in Denver passed away this morning from pancreatic cancer, but she fought for four years - quite a record. I met Margaret Mullen through my friend Jody who's driving me over to Taos. In fact, Margaret had my oncologist while he was at Kaiser Permanente in Denver. We both think he's great. Margaret was at home under hospice care. Her mother said she went to sleep for about three hours and just didn't wake up.

Jody and I are going to Taos in celebration of Margaret's life. When I pass, I want everyone to go to something fun in my honor.

I have to scoot. I got messed up on my meds yesterday and didn't sleep last night, and I'm paying the price today. Have a million things to do before leaving tomorrow.

Sincerely, Caroline