Monday's Metronome

Another long and brutal FBC (F-bomb Breast Cancer) day.  Are you tired of this?  I sure am!

This morning, I went for acupuncture with high hopes of ameliorating (or eliminating!) my ailments:  headache (bad!), stomach cramping, nausea, diarrhea (yes, commode seeking AGAIN!), fatigue and weight loss. Four more F-bomb pounds since last week’s chemo.

Yes, at this point, weight loss is considered an ailment.  I know. I know.  Prior to this experience, I would NOT have considered weight loss an ailment. However, I’m too skinny.  Way too skinny. Somehow I have to forget my 85 year-old great aunt’s needlepoint pillow saying “You can’t be too thin.”  One can, in fact, be too thin.

So, anyway, I went into the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic for my acupuncture and it was cooooooold.   Freezing. Or at least I was cold.   At 10:00 in the morning, they were already behind schedule. Being punctual is one of my things.  I just like being on time. Being late on a day that I feel wretched added insult to injury.  (I do know, though, that the reason they tend to run late is because Dr. Han is so attentive and caring and takes his time with each patient. But still.)

So, I told the (very sweet) receptionist that I had to go outside to get warm.

Silver Lining alert!  I had to go OUTSIDE, in JANUARY, to get WARM.  Nice! Extra special SL.

Because there were no benches, I squatted on the sidewalk, held my aching (bald) head in my hands, and leaned against the building for a good 10 minutes, wanting to heave the entire time. I can’t imagine what went through the minds of the people who walked past me.

Because I was so dizzy and nauseous, I couldn’t walk back in to find out how much longer I was going to have to wait (at this point, my appointment was 20 minutes late).  So I called.  Yes, I called the office. Because I couldn’t possibly get my sorry, bony, saggy tush out of my squat to go back inside to ask a question.  She said, “WHERE are you?”  I’m outside, like I told you, I said.  Two seconds later, she came running out, “WHERE are you?” (again).  I’m over here, on the sidewalk, I said.

Next thing I knew, I was in a room.  On a table.  Dr. Han came in and went to work.

Every time he stuck a needle into the nausea and stomach acupuncture points on my legs, tears came pouring out. Everything hurt so much, even my psyche.  He tried to do acupuncture on my face (to combat the headache) and I levitated off the table and almost went into convulsions from the pain.  F-bomb. I hit my limit. Tears came pouring out and wouldn’t stop.

In the meantime, my Oncologist’s office called and asked me to come in for some IV fluids (as an additional measure to combat the nausea).

It’s amazing how quickly FBC fills a day.  FBC.

So, off to the clinic I went (after I put the EMLA numbing cream on my port-a-cath, of course) to get IV fluids.

All tee’d up with my warm blanket (a SL at the clinic!), I watched a gigantic cart of patient charts roll by me. Made me think of all of the other people…so many people…who have or are going through the exact same thing. FBC. FBC. FBC.  (…or any other type of FC.)

My oncologist came in, sat down and asked, “What % of you feels human?”  I burst into tears. Couldn’t even answer the question.  All I could do was cry.  By the way, I’m NOT a pretty crier.  My face gets red. My eyes get puffy. My nose gets so snotty that it looks like parallel train tracks coming full steam out of my nostrils. NOT pretty.

He then put his hand on my arm, which made me cry even harder.  Then, horror of horros, I put my snot-filled hand on TOP of his.  OMG.  Then I cried even harder, so hard in fact, that I started laughing.  Comedy of the absurd.

We then had a long talk about nutrition.  We discussed the possibility of IV nutrition (because of the weight loss). However, because of potential side effects, my oncologist wants to hold off on that as long as possible.  He encouraged me (at this point) to get calories any way I can, including ice cream (but REAL ice cream, nothing “lowfat”).  Additionally, for the next few days, he wants to do daily IV fluids (to catch up to and get ahead of the nausea).

Though I left the clinic feeling as yucky as when I came in, I was happy to have a plan.  Something solid (or liquid, I should say) to get me past this lump in the road.

As soon as we got in the car, The Husband suggested a chocolate malt at Tinkers in Summerland.  The Husband and I are chocolate malt connoisseurs. Some would even say snobs. We have a “Top 5” list of chocolate malt’s from around the world and let me tell you that Tinker’s is at the TOP.

Tinker's: Just Great Food. Located at 2275 Ortega Hill Road, Summerland, 805.969.1970

This, my friends, is where the Silver Linings came out in full force!

Just look at some of these photos.  How could I not feel better?

Tinker's Menu. Made to Order.

Classic Barstools

Perfect Outdoor Plastic Dining

We were even blessed with a conversation with Mr. Tinker, himself (who happens to be the kindest, sweetest and most wonderful man imaginable).

So, with the most delicious malt(s) in hand (The Husband needed one as well because my nausea is so bad that I think it might now be contagious), we went to the beach to take in the visual and aromatic beauty (SL).

The air, the breeze and views were huge

Summerland, California

Though I still felt nauseous, the malt was gooooooood.  And full of calories (SL)!  Yeah!  (My how things have changed!)

We came home to find a whole lotta love waiting for us (SL).

The Husband and 4 3/4 Snuggling

Happy Buzz

Though at times FBC seemingly has ownership of me (or at least my schedule), FBC does NOT own me.  Silver Linings are what triumph. Every. Single. Day.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

~Winston Churchill

Leave a comment


  1. adrienne says

    Hi Hollye , your blog has allowed me to here from some of your and my favorite people ! And to know one of them that is so wise and kind and brave . You . The others …Merryl…you are just hilarious with this one ! Jo , KLfriend , bananas and chocolate, love fest ! Hollye , Tinkers makes the perfect Chicken Taco Salad … fresh warm grilled chicken on a bed of crisp lettuce with avocado , cilantro, minced onion and a little ranch dressing with a little red sauce to kick it up a bit . It is Richards ( Tinker ) special recipe , Looove it ,so will you and the family . As always , good feelings , happy days and blessings always , Adrienne

  2. Nan and Hilary Jacob says

    My goodness what a day…hope that malt helped sooth it away. Along with The Husband, 4 3/4, Buzz and your wonderful friends, sounds like it was just the ticket!
    Thinking of you…

  3. Jo Saxon says

    Say the word and I will be at your house with a homemade chocolate banana cake. It is an age-old, calorie rich, family wonder drug. xo

  4. Maureen Basse says

    Hollye-Hang in there! You are one tough cookie and can get thru this. And you are so brave and wonderful to share each day with us. I look so much forward to reading your blog as each entry makes me appreciate my little world more too-because of you. Your words are so full of wisdom, pain, love and inspiration. Thank you for that. And, did I say hang in there????!!! XXXOOO
    PS When I finally get up there to visit, we're heading to Tinkers.

  5. Nancy says

    Ms Hollye!
    Have you tried McConnel's peppermint stick ice cream with hot fudge? Sooothing and delicious. I work at keeping my weight up, too! Care for a delivery??

  6. Catie says

    Such a good ending to a horrible start of a day, Tinkers is a favorite, for sure!! Those malts are heavenly!!! Hang in there you wonderful woman, you're fighting this every day, and I never forget. Always in my thoughts, keep on trekking!

    xoxo FOREVER!

  7. Merryl says

    I am coming over to your house tomorrow with a great big bag of ice cream, chocolate and so much LOVE. I know a thing or two about how to get fat, so I will get right to work on this situation 😉