Category Archives: chemo

a long 5 months

Exactly 5 months ago today I had a biopsy done on the lump in my breast. I found it during a self-exam and figured I better get it checked out to be safe. The little research I did showed 80% of all biopsies are negative for cancer and the biopsy test itself is about 97% accurate. Well, I need to stay away from the casinos!
Lol.

The biopsy actually came back negative for cancer. I remember that moment ever so clearly when I told John and my parents I did not have cancer. It was the first time I ever heard my dad cry. I could be upset that it was not accurate, but I choose not to. I actually thank my lucky stars that we have wonderful doctors here and they thought I needed further testing to check again. Looking back I have to admit I was pissed;) I just had a needle jabbed into my boob, and now they have the nerve to say I need surgery for a lumpectomy? But…… that decision saved my life.

It has been a crazy 5 months. The double mastectomy was no walk in the park…and neither has 4 months of chemo. I am physically and mentally exhausted. BUT…. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it feels oh so good:) I didn’t think at 32, with 2 young kids and a husband I could handle all this… but I did. With the help of many, many people I think am doing a pretty damn good job! I love my life, my family and my friends… and this girl isn’t going to give up easily. I will beat cancer, and hopefully help other women in the process:)

20130517-230147.jpg

Welcome back :( :(

By far, this is the worst part of chemo. It’s hard to explain to everyone, but when you feel good you literally have to rush to do anything and everything while you can. Time is ticking. You want to eat a nice dinner out….see a movie…. go to the spa… GO NOW! Because soon it will end, and it will be another 2 weeks or so till you feel better again… and that sucks!

The night before my last treatment I remember crying about this. I finally felt good, and more like myself…and it was all coming to an end. I’m not sure why this upsets me more now, but it does. I can’t wait till my final treatment and know that I will soon feel better… and STAY better. Yeah! But for now I’m living in the town of Crapville, USA.

Yesterday I felt terrible, and today still
do. My joints ache terribly, I’m sick to my stomach, and my hot flashes are almost unbearable. I have a million things I want to accomplish…. and none will get done 😦

Yesterday I sucked it up for a good cause….my baby girl was graduating preschool:) I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Even though I just had chemo the day befofe, nothing was stopping me from seeing her in a cap and gown. So I went… and paid the price heavilly for it later. I walked in the door, jumped in the bathtub and didn’t get out for 2 hours! I feel like total crap. But, those moments for me were priceless:

Anyhow, here are some pictures… enjoy:)

20130517-124538.jpg

20130517-124557.jpg

20130517-124605.jpg

20130517-125010.jpg

20130517-125042.jpg

Friends….

Wow! Now over 16,000 views to my little ol’ website! Just waiting on a call one day from a book publisher;)

I wanted to touch base for a few minutes about having friends… and having cancer. The day I found out I had outpouring support from so many people. Everyone wanted to send flowers and help…call, text, etc. It was wonderful! I felt amazing and never knew so many people would care. But, like all things…they come to an end. Somedays I am so overwhelmed with the wonderful people that have stepped up….and also upset at the ones who did not. The good: I never knew some of the great people in my life would become some of my closest friends after this.

A few great examples:

Michelle. She was someone who I knew, but wouldn’t say we were great friends. After I was diagnosed she has sent flowers, she has texted, and emailed me so many times to see how I am doing. She even wears Pink every single treatment I have to show support. Love her:)

Barb. Barb and her family were always friends of ours, but now more than ever I feel her presence. She has sent me things for inspiration and always asks and messages me to make sure I am okay. Love you Barb.

Kristen. Kristen is a nurse who was there the moment I was told I had cancer. She cried when I cried, and it showed me what a caring person she was…not just a nurse. Now we are good friends. We text each other, and she has always stopped by out of her way during chemo treatments to visit me. She showed me what a good friend was all about. Love you Kristen.

Kaylees teacher, past teacher, and office staff. They have helped me so many times when it comss to Kaylee. They keep her safe and have always looked out for her. If I need her brought home, or have any issues… they race to help. I’ll love them all for what they have done.

Melissa. She was the first to send me hats for chemo that she made. She was so wonderful and sweet. We have never met, but will one day when I am cancer free and will give her a great big hug! Thanks Melissa, Luv u 🙂

Lynn. She was the Editor of the paper in Rolla and did an amazing job. She stayed with me all day and we really got along. It allowed me to open up more in the article, and it turned out fantastic. She is a great lady, and I’m so happy we met:) Thank you Lynn:)

Marina. I have never met her, but I contacted her about a dress I wanted to buy and she owned the store. I had just had my double mastectomy
and had such low confidence. She sent me a few things to try on and her stuff was amazing. Just so beautiful. If she ever does a fashion show, and doesn’t mind a bald lady;) I would do it for her. She is such a kind and generous person. Thank you 🙂

Anita & Katrina. Both I have never met, but they have had breast cancer. Their names were given to me for support and they have been wonderful! Emails, texts, messages.. when I have questions, or just want to vent they have both been there for me. They have showed me nothing but love. And I am so grateful.

Carol. She is my nurse navigator. The hospital hired her to help with cancer patients, go to appts with them, and answer questions. She has always been so supportive and checks on me all the time. She is someone I can cry to, and she’ll always make me feel better. God put her in my life for a reason..HE knew I needed her….and I did. She is
a great friend and a wonderful overall person. She has stuck by me this entire time, and will be there to celebrate at the end. Thank you Carol… love you 🙂

My church and preschool friends. All of them have been great! I get texts and messages all the time. They are always asking if they can do stuff to help and are always willing to lend a hand. I have never had so many friends in one place ever before. I would trust any of them with my children. That is a big deal to me:) They were there from the very start…and are still there now at the end. Love you guys:)

Lucky. Lucky is a nickname my dad gave one of his friends. He was one of the first people to step up and help us. He knew I had cancer and would have bills etc, and wanted to do something to help out. I will forever be greatful for his kindness. Love you Luck

Carol. Carol is a member of our Church. She has always been there for me to talk to, or just vent to. She reminds me of my grandmother and how loving she was. When I talk to her, it’s like a piece of my grandmother is here on Earth and helping me through this. She is wonderful, and I love that she is in my life.

Deann. Deann is now a great friend of mine who I trust with the most special and valuable items in my life….my kids. She is a preschool teacher Sophie had last year. But now, she is so much more. Since the day I was diagnosed she has called, texted, and messages me multiple times a week. She just wants to help in any way….and I am so grateful. I will forever be friends with her and love her for all she has done. She is a true friend and kind spirit. Love you Deann:)

Mary & family. Mary and I met in sort of a funny way. My husband recruits doctors for the hospital and recruited her husband Dan. We hit it off from the start. She is the kindest most genuine person I know. I never in my wildest dreams thought she would become one of my best friends. But she is. We text or call each other everday now. She has taken care of Sophie almost every chemo day. She just wants me to rest and get better, and wants to do anything to help. She has been there from the start. Even when the biposy came back negative she was there to celebrate… and when it was cancer…she was on my front porch crying with me. From the start she wanted to help. She had John and I talk to her dad who was in the medical field and made us feel so much better about the mastectomy that was coming up, and all the questions and worries we had. I also got to know her sister and mom who are just as sweet. They message me and always check to see how I’m doing. I practically don’t even know these people and they are so kind to me. Sending gifts, and cards… and really showing support. Without a doubt in my mind I know God put Mary in my life for a reason. I will always love her and her family. Michael, her son is one of Sophies best friends now. They are kind, loving, generous and sweet. I owe them so much for all the support they have shown me. I will always love all of them:)

What all this comes down to is true friends are so important to any cancer patient. It doesn’t even take a single dollar to show love and compassion. To call, or text, or message.. just something to show you are thinking of them. This is such a difficult journey and you cannot do this alone. On days when you are hurting and crying, it makes a big difference when you know people care for you. It made such a difference with me. I think most people have support right after they are diagnosed… but are the same people
there in 3 months? When time has taken a toll on the person and they need them the most.

20130514-135605.jpg

Mother’s Day

So, today is Mother’s Day. I have had a great day so far. The only thing I asked John for was that yesterday he take all of us to get pedicures (even him;) and that’s exactly what we did. My new chemo drug is harsh on my nails. They are very thin, and you can see the blood through them. I will most likely keep getting pedicures for awhile because of this. The doc isn’t sure if they will all fall off or not, but let’s hope for the best. I have to also keep my fingernails painted at all times to keep them strong and prevent them from falling off too. Anyhow, crappy about the side effects…but my nails will look cute:)

We went to church today and service was great. I hadn’t been back since Easter, but felt well enough to go, so we went. I love the people at our church and know so many of them pray for me on a daily basis. I wanted to look nice, so I got the ol’ wig out and rocked it:) At first it looked terrible, but I pulled it back some and think it looked more realistic. When I put my make up on I noticed my eyelashes and eyebrows were pretty thin. I tried with make up to make the best of it. As the day wore on and the make-up wore off… I could definetly tell. I need to stop and get some make up to fill in my brows this week. I can’t wait for the day when my hair grows back and these are not things I have to worry about. But, when I was all dolled up and ready to go, I just sat and cried for a bit.

I spent most of the morning trying to cover my bald head. Fill in missing eyebrows. Cover missing eyelashes. Paint over bloody fingernails….and last but not least disguise my missing breasts. It’s just a lot to do. It’s a lot to maintain and worry about. All this, just to get out the door and look “normal.”

Enough sad stuff, it’s Mother’s Day 🙂 My kids and my husband and family are the reason I am even fighting this fight. The reason I get up every morning, put on a brave face, and go forward. I am nothing without them.

I was a mere 21 when I was pregnant with Kaylee. Just a child myself. I had no idea what being a mother was even about. The one thing I had going for me… I had the best role model on how to be a great mom. My mom is the best, and now more than ever she is showing it. She has stood by my side almost everyday and told me it would all be okay. That I would get through this, and she would do whatever she could to help me. And she has. She has practically had to move in with me during certain parts of chemo to help
the girls and I. We just needed an extra set of hands to help, and she was waiting first in line. I love her, and could never ever pay her back for what she has done. I just hope her being proud of me is payment enough 🙂

Here are some photos from today. Some I posted online for all to see, some I didn’t. As the day wore on, and the make up came off, I was a little less confident. I wanted to take pictures as a family, but think I should have done it earlier. Oh well, this is me… now.. and it is what it is 🙂

20130512-143914.jpg

20130512-143920.jpg

20130512-143944.jpg

20130512-143951.jpg

20130512-144006.jpg

20130512-144103.jpg

Feeling okay…

So, yesterday was the first time my family and I have been able to go out to eat for dinner in weeks. It was soooooo nice to be out and about in public. The food was great, and I was so happy:)

Sadly, I came home (and this morning) and my knees and legs are killing me. These are still side effects from the chemo. 😦 So, I am going to take my pain meds like Doc said and take a hot bath. Then….I’ll be ready to start my day! The sun is shining and I’m not going to miss a minute of it.

Carpe diem

Ps- Here is my new cup I got at the hospital gift shop. Maybe should have waited till after ALL treatments were over…but oh well. I survived this long and thats an accomplishment isn’t it ?? 😉

20130511-084147.jpg

a bit of HOPE

Today I met for my weekly appointment with my oncoloogist and it went really well. My white count was way up, which surprised us all. He said whatever I was doing was working, and just to keep it up. So I will 🙂 I need to just press forward and keep my eye on the prize. Doc said 2 left and he was so proud of how far I had come. I can’t wait to be done with chemo. More than anything else in the world I just want it to be OVER. I will end here on a positive note for the night:)

Back to the Future

As chemo winds down my brain wants to take to me to the wonderful land of No Cancerville. Oh what a great place it will be! But then again, is it?

I have no idea what life after cancer will be, because I’ve never had cancer before this. Does everything go back? Is this like Back to the Future and I can set my clock to January 15, 2013, the day before I found out I had cancer. Live my life like I lived it that day? Probably not a good day to pick as I was going over and over and over in my head the many ways I was going to get told I did indeed have cancer, or I am not the 5% that gets cancer under 40. But, anyhow the point is… who am I after this? Am I the same? Am I different? Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? I have no answers.

All I can do is hope and pray and believe in my soul that I will get through this and beat cancers ass! That one day I will look back at my struggles and realize I had to do everything I did to save my life. Everything I gave up…had to be given up. That indeed every scar on my body was put their for a reason…to keep me here on Earth to live another day. It’s not an easy thing to accept. I’m still working on it.

So for now I will take each day as it is given and do the best I can. Try my hardest to get through this horrible time and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The chemo is doing everything in it’s power to shut me down, and what feels like kill me…but I won’t let it. On days when I can barely get out of bed, I know it is one more day behind me. And one day closer to remission.

I also still worry about reoccurance and so on, but I have to stop myself and learn to live in this momemt. I can’t worry about getting cancer again, when I have not yet defeated the cancer I have now.

I will end by saying…I don’t have all the answers, but I wish I did. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: