Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: 4 weeks Post Chemo


The Emotional Rollercoaster Continues

Of course I wanted everything in life to go back to normal immediately after chemo treatments. My hair should magically grow back, and my energy level should sky rocket. Sadly, none of this happened. In fact, I just want to hide away most days and wait to reveal myself once I look a bit more like my old self. But that's just the problem... I will never be my old self again. I have evolved, and I'm still trying to figure out who it is that I am morphing into. 

“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”

― Franz KafkaThe Metamorphosis


In the meantime, I have been gaining energy every week, and pushing myself to do more and more every day. Even if it is making the bed, doing a load of laundry, making dinner, or vacuuming - the little victories matter to me. I have found myself craving to be creative again, and I hope to feed those cravings as I get stronger and more confident. I look forward to it.

I have an appointment with my Oncologist this week, and hopefully she will clear me to eat sushi and get a mani/pedi. It's been way too long that I have had to go without. I will also get started with Tamoxifen that I aim to take for 5 years. I'm a bit nervous about the side effects, but will deal with it as it comes up. Baby steps. I have scheduled the surgery for my medi-port to be removed on August 31st... the day after my birthday, which may limit the celebrating on my actual birthday - but I'm ok with it. I just want to get it out. Then in September I will follow up with both of my surgeons. Autumn cannot come soon enough. I'm so ready to get this year over with and keep on keeping on.

Give me another week and I'll post some pictures of my peach fuzz head. Maybe my first art project will be to put a collage together of my hair growth photos. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: Every Monday Morning Comes



Just a quick post before my last chemo treatment


Since I began chemo treatments in March, this song would run through my head every weekend before infusion on Monday.

This weekend while I enjoyed time with family and friends celebrating Rileigh's birthday, the tune played in my head as usual... but it will be the last time that I will dread Monday morning.

I still need to get through infusion and my week of recovery, but I am eager to be on the other side of chemo. I hope to regain some energy and continue to see the positive in everything.

I plan to continue blog posts on how I am doing, hopefully some hair growth photos, and my next chapter of Tamoxifen.



Suede - Every Monday Morning Comes (Sci-Fi Lullabies)


Monday, July 11, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: 'Cause you can't, you won't, and you don't stop!


Only one week left!




As I sit here in the infusion suite, dreaming about next Monday being my final chemo treatment, I can't help but think of all the people who helped get me here. It's impossible to name you all, but please know that all of the encouragement, visits, gifts, cards, well wishes, prayers, and love have made me stronger and able to fight through this.

Some people I have to mention are my hubby Ross, my mom (AKA Memaw) and dad (AKA Pop Pop), my two tough sons Rileigh and Jackson, and our dog Karma. You all have been so very patient, caring, and strong throughout this tough year. Your love is unmeasurable and I can't thank you enough.

It's been a tough week for us all. HELL, it's been a tough year! With so much hate and prejudice in the world and on the news these days, it's difficult to stay positive. That is why I chose a quote from the Beastie Boys for today's post. "'Cause you can't, you won't, and you don't stop!" 

'cause you can't ignore what is happening in our world today. If we could just all do as our parents taught us - Treat others the way YOU want to be treated. 

you won't stand by and do nothing. A simple act of kindness everyday goes a long way. Pay it forward as much as you can. Hold a door or the elevator for someone. Say hello and smile. It's easy to be kind. 

and you don't stop because people acknowledge kindness. Children recognize it and hopefully copy it.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”
- Gandhi

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: 25 Random Questions





I have been busy lately... well, busy for me. Ross hosted a movie night at the park; I met up with friends who are in town; we went to a concert; and we drove the boys to camp on Father's Day. I get tired out easily, but I'm hanging in there and trying to enjoy myself. 

Trying to stay positive can be tough with all of the doom and gloom in the world these days. For a break from the grind, I decided to take a moment to answer 25 random questions.

25 Random Questions

1. Do you have any pets?

Yes. We have a Jindo-mix dog named Karma. She is frequently on Instagram. #karmadog

2. Name three things that are physically close to you.

My laptop, a glass of iced tea, and my cell phone.

3. What’s the weather like right now?


A bit overcast and about 80°F

4. Do you drive? If so, have you crashed?


Yes I drive. No I have never been the cause of an accident or crash.

5. What time did you wake up this morning?


This is a bit embarrassing... around 10am. 


6. When was the last time you showered?

This morning. 


7. What was the last movie that you saw?

Last week I watched Deadpool.

8. What does you last text message say?


"OK, I'll keep in touch."


9. What is your ringtone?

It depends on who is calling me, but my default is "Opening."


10. Have you ever been to a different country?

Yes. I have been to Iceland, Costa Rica, Greece, Aruba, Jamaica, and Canada. 

11. Do you like sushi?

Yes, I love sushi, but haven't been allowed to eat it since February. I look forward to a visit to Sushi Taro in August. 

12. Where do you buy your groceries?

From several grocery stores including MOM's Organic Market, Whole Foods, and Harris Teeter. 


13. Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster?

Recently, yes. 


14. How many siblings do you have?

I have one brother, Jamie.


15. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?

Both. 


16. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

40, ugh...


17. Do you wear contacts or glasses?

Both.


18. Do you color your hair?

Ha! This is a rude question right now. When I have hair, I seldom color it. 

19. Tell me something you are planning to do today.

I am planning on cooking a healthy dinner for Ross and I.

20. When was the last time you cried?

Today. It wasn't a full blown cry-fest. My eyes welled up a bit. 

21. What is your perfect pizza topping?

Fresh arugula.

22. Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger?

I haven't had either in a while, but cheeseburger.  (Now I want a burger!)


23. Have you ever had an all-nighter?

Of course.


24. What is your eye colour?

Brown.

25. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?

YES! Pepsi is gross. It tastes flat and too sweet. I love the harsh burn of a Coca-Cola!  (Great, now I want a Coke with that burger!)

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: Being Positive.






I am slowly learning that being positive is not only about projecting a positive attitude. Being positive is also about choosing to see the good in life. Through my family and friends and the power of encouragement I know that things are getting better.

Weekends are for fun and time well spent with family and friends. I try to enjoy myself, but it can be difficult when I know that Monday I have another infusion. This past weekend I met my new nephew who was born just a couple of weeks ago. Although I wish I had more energy now so I could be more helpful, I am super excited that this chemo nonsense will be an old memory by the time I am able to have some real fun with him. I am already imagining Auntie outings with him.

So as I type this from my 10th of 16 infusions, I am doing my best to stay positive. I am well over the half-way point, and I will continue to push towards the finish line.

Much love to you all.

Monday, May 23, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: 8 infusions down. 8 more to go.



Someone in the infusion suite is celebrating her last treatment today. She brought Georgetown Cupcakes for the nurses, balloons are tied to her chair, and she has a big beautiful smile on her face. So why do I want to cry? I'm so incredibly happy for her, but I can't help but feel jealous. I have planning my last treatment celebration since I began.

Today's infusion marks my half way point. In eight short weeks I will be the one celebrating.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Breast Cancer Update: Part B of treatment - 3 of 12 cycles done!



This past Monday I had my 3rd infusion of Taxol, and so far so good. Other than feeling tired, I have not experienced any significant side effects. I have been warned that as I continue I may still develop neuropathy, but I'm staying positive that this portion of treatment will be easier. I have had a little bit of swelling in my left arm and I have been keeping up with my massage and exercise to keep it in check.

I have had more energy these past three weeks than when I started chemo. I have been getting out more and able to be a bit more productive. Let me just say that going out to dinner with my husband is great! I've missed it so very much and I'm glad to be able to handle short outings. My oncologist is pleased with my progress, and wants me to push myself a little more through these last weeks.

I am pleased with my progress too. Although I have my ups and downs, I finally feel like I will be on the other side of "this" soon.