Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chemo #5

Clearly, based on the fact that I have not posted in 12 days, I have been trying to move on with my regularly scheduled life. Its not working all that well. But I try.
 My last chemo got me pretty good. Unfortunately it is accumulative. I normally don't feel well for about 5-7 days after chemo. Where as before it was only 3-4 days. The nose bleeds have become very bad.  My complexion is awful I have no or very little eyebrows and eyelashes.   I WISH  I was saying My energy is great, my health is good, my hair is back. Things are back to "normal".  I'm not quite there yet. But I promise you all when that days comes you'll be the first I share it with. :)

So yesterday was round 5!!! I had that wonderful injection today. You all know how much I love that.  I  was getting soooooo excited to know the end is near but of course I got a few more surprises from the Dr  yesterday. So like I've said before I always start with a blood draw. They want to make sure WBC count is good otherwise they will not have you get treatment. So then on to my exam. So were talking and the Dr is asking me how things are going, do I have my surgery scheduled etc. I tell him I am so excited that I will only have one more after this. He says well we hope it will be the last one. WHAT!? No no no it IS and WILL be the last one. I started to cry all over again. It was like when I heard it for the fist time I was in hysterics. Words can not even express how I have felt over the last 5 months. This stupid disease has robbed so much from me. I've been an mental emotional mess since this has all happened. It has kicked my ass physically although I am here fighting like a girl I will admit I'm just out right exhausted. Financially I don't think I even need to explain or should I say I don''t want to explain it'll just bring me to tears. Being intimate with my DH forget it doesn't happen. Poor guy. I  don't  feel attractive at all in anyway. I have no hair and when I say no hair I mean NONE! Get the picture. I have gained about 15lbs so that doesn't help either. UGH!!!!!!!!!! So anyway back to him telling me it may not be the last chemo. He explained that I will have my next chemo Jan 3rd. I will then continue to come every 3 wks for herceptin for a year and I will see him every 6 wks. Most likely my surgery will be at the end of January. The surgery will confirm two things radiation and a possibly another round of chemo on top of the herceptin. TEARS TEARS TEARS TEARS. I just wanted an end to this. There WAS  light at the end of the tunnel. I want to put this all behind me and never think about it again.
Ya know they say God gives you only what you can handle. Well..... I'm not sure how much he thinks I can handle but I am just about spent!!! The thought of having to do this all again just does not sit well with me. If they end up saying I need a whole another round/set of chemo they'll have to save it for someone else cause I'm DONE. canser  I hate you. You picked the wrong chick!!
Oh and if  that wasn't enough my WBC count dropped by more than half from last time. So I have to be extremely careful. So all you sick peps stay away!!!!!!!!

Your probably all are wondering about the heels or boots. I looked everywhere for Black just below the  knee heeled boots. I found about 10 pair I liked at DSW but none were my size. I went to famous footwear I found a pair but they didn't fit right. Shoe carnival didn't have anything I liked. I gave up its been extremely cold lately so I decided I will for sure have a new pair for next time. 

Playing with hats. I look like a lion Rarrrrrrrrrr!!!

Egh! Its ok.


round 5 chemo outfit!!!!




Hope everyone is staying warm!
xoxoxoxo
Mandy

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Cheer!

It is the holiday season with families gathering all over the world to share food, drink, love and more. I wish I loved this time of year and loved the cheer that goes along with it. However, since my diagnosis, I have been more cautious about the cheer that I partake in.

I gave up sugar substitutes and all forms of corn syrup immediately after I was diagnosed and have stuck with that. This makes some of the holiday gatherings more challenging, but doesn't really bother me to not partake in the cookies, candy and pies. (OK, in full disclosure, I do drool over the Starbucks counter looking at the Cranberry Bliss bars which are only available this time of year and I definitely take a second glance at my mother-in-law's goodies!)

I have never been much of a drinker, only drinking in social situations, but I have dropped that completely. I haven't had any alcohol at all since June. Well one a few weeks ago, I couldn't even finish it.  Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a martini or a good glass of wine just as much as anyone else, it just isn't worth the increased risk of a recurrence for me.

Now there is a new study out connecting alcohol consumption with breast cancer recurrences. Studies are only studies and I know scientists can read whatever they would like into them, but this one says that with women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer that drinking can increase their chances of a recurrence significantly. Since I have been doing everything I can to decrease my chances of a recurrence, I think I will be finding more joy in family and friends and maybe a little less in a glass.

I will make an exception on the alcohol when I throw myself my big Chemo is over party!!!! I think I'm allowed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving!

The children were nestled all snug in their beds... Oh wait, wrong holiday! Well the children actually are all snug in their beds and the house is quiet. Tomorrow all the craziness of the holidays will begin.

But I will take these few quiet moments to be thankful. THANK YOU so much to everyone who has helped in me in any way during this difficult time. I couldn't do this with out TEAM MANDY!! I also will be thankful for my wonderful husband, my fabulous family and friends and the little sugarplums who are asleep. But more than anything else, I am thankful to be here, happy and ALMOST cancer-free.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.
xoxoxox
Mandy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chemo Queen heads to round 4

My sassy spirits are back thanks to a wonderful thing called Decadron. Its a steroid that does wonders for me for a couple days. I'll crash from it by Wed or Thursday but that's OK. Tomorrow is a busy crazy day for me I gotta run to the office to drop off some contracts, beeline it from there to Evanston to get a chest x ray and follow up with my lung surgeon. From there I gotta head over to Highland Park Hospital for the Neulasta injection. My favorite. I hate that thing! But happy thoughts its not gonna get me this time because I'm not gonna let it!!!!!

So I had round 4 today!!!! Woooooooo I'm dancing barefoot, playing the air guitar in my undies, and singing badly and baldly in the shower. Sorry to those who just got a visual of that (wait til ya see the video of it I attached) YIPEE!!!! 2 more treatments to go. I'm sooooo happy. I'm getting there slowly :)

Today's chemo went pretty well.  I did have a moment of oooooo goodness nausea. I was yelling for Jesse to get me the garbage can. But then..... nothing. Thank goodness. It was very quiet today. Just me and the DH today. Got to relax and read and of course check FB fifty million times :)  This morning was beautiful sunny 61 and then as the day went on the temp stayed the same but we got rain and wind and tornado watches. Ick!


my friend our relationship will soon be over :)



The heels we don't go to chemo without them :)


reading my crazy sexy cancer book


OK we got bored so we though we would see if the green can made my eyes look any greener.

YEAH! I have eyelashes and eyebrows proudly presented to you by MAC the best place EVER!!!
                                                                                I have been trying to make changes to my diet I think I'm doing OK. No caffeine, No Alcohol, No sugar. Lots of fruits, vegetables and lots of fluids. I can have chocolate but it needs to be 70% or more cacao. I haven't been able to find much I did find an 86% Intense dark one made by Ghiradelli but they only had one left. If anybody finds any let me know. This girl CANT live without choc. and yummy green teas with no caffeine.

I have joined a support group called Breast Cancer Org. Its a National discussion board and support group. I have been able to talk to so many wonderful woman all over the world. I even got the opportunity to have lunch with a few of the girls last week at Lindy's. It was so nice to compare, vent, relate, give and get advice. Share our treatments and opinions on how to or how not to. I can't wait for our Illinois Holiday Party where I will get to me lots of breast canser sisters.


Breast canser posse :)
   I know this was a short one but its 11:30 and I'm about ready to fall over. I took two new sleeping pills they must have kicked in. I still gotta get my tea time in before bed. Night night!!!

xoxoxox
Mandy

Friday, November 19, 2010

canser blues

Not sure whats wrong with me lately. I'm extremely crabby Ba hum bug!!!! Great attitude and motivation has left the building. I m struggling more lately with the why me? I've been told its normal. Well normal you SUCK! I try not to bottle it up. I get mad, sad, depressed, numb. I'm having more and more side effects of chemo and they seem to be hanging around longer than before. Unfortunately this is normal. You know how I feel about normal. LOL! :)  I also am probably the only person getting chemo who has continued to get periods. Us girls all know how fun that can be.

So I had a Dr appt today with my oncologist whom I absolutely adore. He always has some cute little thing to say to me when he sees me. Theres my favorite girl, The chemo queen is here, canser babe has arrived. Anyway today I was in no mood for this. I had lots of questions and complaints for him today. Maybe I'm reading and researching to much. I don't know but I'm crabby and I want answers and I want em NOW!!!!  The appt always starts with a blood draw, weight, temp, blood pressure. All was good but my weight. I've gained 5lbs. I'm not gonna say anymore about that. :) 
So next to the exam room. The nurse says do you normally change for him. I quickly just whipped off my shirt and bra and said ok I'm ready. She probably thought I was nuts but this freaking disease has robbed me from everything. Why the hell do I need some ugly ass robe for. Like by having my self covered up is gonna change anything or make this process easier or more comfortable. Forget it! Let's GO.  I don't have time for this. It takes me longer to put the damn thing on than it does for him to do the exam. WOOOOOO I'm crabby. I got this spice to me today. Watch out world! LOL! So anyhow he comes to do the exam. He comments on how wonderful my incisions from the lung surgery look. He asks how I did with the last treatment? A question he probably wished now he never asked. I gave him an ear full on that one. I was right in my thinking about having the break from chemo for the surgery effected me on the last treatment. We are hoping that this next one on Monday will be different. I'm sorry what I meant to say is canser you can kiss my big fat ass and chemo your not gonna bring me down I'm not gonna let you ruin my Thanksgiving!!

Don't know if any of you noticed that I did not capitalize the word canser nor do I even spell it correctly any longer. WHY? It does not deserve any kind of power, respect, attention or recognition from me at all in any way.

Before canser I was kinda voiceless. My common response to questions or decisions was, maybe, sure, I don't know, you decide, whatever you want is fine with me. NOW I can get pretty mouthy. So watch out. LOL! And guess what? I'm learning that its ok to put myself first. Everyone else takes care of number one, so why can't I? Its not selfish!

canser isn't killing me, its just forcing me to change and grow up.

Until next time.
xoxoxox
Mandy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

mammogram guidelines

I understand that guidelines are just that; guidelines. But I am absolutely appalled at the mammography guidelines. The recommendations:

Most women in their 40s should not routinely get mammograms.
Women 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year until they turn 75, after which the risks and benefits are unknown.
The value of breast exams by doctors is unknown. In my case was pointless because she told me it was nothing. And breast self-exams are of little or no value.

How do they reconcile these guidelines with the fact that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women under 50 and the most common cancer to affect women? They say the benefits of mammography are smaller in younger women. I was 30 when I was diagnosed. Mine was not found via mammogram at first, my husband found it. It was over 5cm and it was classified as aggressive. By finding it early, it has not had the chance to spread to my lymph nodes (I'm hoping) and I get to be alive.

My concern with waiting until the age of 40 or 50 is that people will think that breast cancer isn't something to worry about until you turn 40 or 50. But the fact is, cancers found in younger women are more aggressive. If those women who are carrying around breast cancer without knowing it waited until they were 50, they then have to battle late stage cancer instead of early stage cancer.

These guidelines are based on the fact that most women are not at high risk for breast cancer. Well, thank goodness for that and it would certainly be a good point if most breast cancer patients were people who had a family history. But in truth, 70-80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have NO FAMILY HISTORY! Less than 10% of people diagnosed with cancer have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation that predisposes them to breast and/or ovarian cancer. That leaves a huge amount of women who have no reason to believe that they will get cancer, but will.

One of the reasons for the guidelines is that mammograms don't always find cancer and neither do self exams. OK, I'll agree with that. If there was a better tool to replace these two, then I would say definitely tell people to not have mammograms until they are 50 and go with the new tool. But there isn't a better tool, so why take away the one that we have, even if it is flawed?

I will continue to tell everyone I know to have mammograms every year starting at age 30 and earlier if you have family history. I know too many amazing women who have been diagnosed in their late 30's and early 40's to be able to hide under a rock and pretend that it doesn't happen. It does. Let's not give people the idea that if you don't worry about it until you are 50 years old, it won't happen to you.

The new guidelines say that the benefit to younger women is small. Well I'm one of those younger women, and my life is worth the benefit.

Please please please share my story, spread the word and get those mammograms!!

xoxoxox
Mandy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

TEAM MANDY

Ok so I have a silly request. Could all of you who have purchased either shirts and or bracelets. PLEASE send me a pic of you and or your family with them on. I am scrap booking my journey and I'd like to remember those who have and are showing their support. I need pics of TEAM MANDY!!!
I'd also like to add the pics to one of my blogs and my facebook album. Thanks ever so much.
My email is ppets@comcast.net

xoxoxox
Mandy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Form a team with me :)

I have met many, many women who have said these words to me. "I was diagnosed......" It becomes part of a normal conversation complete with treatment, surgeries, prognosis, and more medical terms than I ever wanted to know.

It is a difficult thing as an adult to say these words and understand what they mean. I'm sure a lot of you have heard the mix radiothon they do to benefit Children's Memorial Hospital. Children's Memorial  Hospital is a shining star in health care. They take care of children who need it regardless of economic ability. I normally listen to the radiothon all day and the thing that continues to bring me to tears is the interviews. I keep hearing children as young as 3 saying those words..."I was diagnosed....". They shouldn't even know what the word means.

Not all of the kids at Children's Memorial Hospital are dealing with cancer, but many are. Cancer is a miserable, terrible, cruel disease and the treatment for cancer is miserable as well. These kids who are going through chemo or radiation or stem-cell transplants are braver than brave and they don't deserve to be turned away because their families can't afford the treatment. I hope you will join me in supporting Children's Memorial Hospital. If you are a survivor who reads this blog, I want you to remember the first time you had to say those words..."I was diagnosed". If you are a parent who reads it, think about how your heart would hurt if you heard your children say those words.

LETS FORM A TEAM!!!!
CHICAGO Dance Marathon 2011

Dancing for Children's Memorial

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Sheraton Hotel & Towers
301 East North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Registration: 7:00am
Kick-Off: 8:00am
Closing Ceremonies: 9:00pm

Do you have to dance the whole time?
Nope! CHICAGO Dance Marathon is about MUCH more than just dancing. There will be 13.1 hours of entertainment, great food, games, activities, but above all patients and families to interact with and that will share their stories and inspire you throughout the entire day!

I'd like to participate in this event. Anyone interested in forming a team with me. TEAM Mandy! Each person will need to raise a min of $400.00 by April 22 2011. Should be easy there is plenty of time.  Please let me know if your interested. I'd like to sign up asap and start collecting my donations. You have to have a minimum of  five people to form a team. The more the merrier. The more people we have the bigger of a difference we will make :)

Check out the site for more info.
http://www.heroesforlife.org/site/TR/DanceMarathon/DanceMarathon?fr_id=1241&pg=entry
I don't want my kids to EVER have cancer.  I sincerely hope that in the way that I missed the genius gene, they will miss the cancer gene.  I hope my children live wonderful lives and have an appreciation for things-all while they are cancer free.

xoxoxoxoxox
Mandy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UPDATE!!!

So I am officially at the peak of the mountain here. Can't ya see me I'm standing at the very top screaming and waving. I've made it up one mountain side and I'll soon start heading down the other side. I have finished 3 rounds of chemo and the lung surgery. I have 3 rounds to go and two more surgeries. I keep trying to tell myself your almost there. One would think that the closer I'd be to the end the easier this would get. But its not it seems to be harder and harder every day. I think I'm hitting a breaking point here. I am just out right EXHAUSTED! Sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm done with this already.

Round 3 of chemo has been by far the worst of it so far. I'm not sure if it is because this is all starting to accumulate now in my body or if it was that I was still not 100%  from the lung surgery. The effects from chemo are adding up and seem to be getting worse and sticking around longer. Nose bleeds, eye twitching, blurry vision, no taste, nausea, full body rashes, heartburn, fatigue, weakness, upset stomach. UGH! So aggravating at times. I use to wish for fancy vacations, shopping sprees and to win the lotto. But what I would give to have a full head of hair and be able to taste a meal. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

On the up side. I had a great busy weekend. I was able to go and watch my daughters cheer competition. They had a great performance and got second place. Our Wauconda Area Queens were in the Lake County Community Pageant. So proud of the three girls they did a great job and represented Wauconda well. Sunday was the Dist 118 fall fashion show where I was one of the models. It was a great time. It was nice to get out and see so many wonderful faces.

My husband decided he would go on a hunting trip. ISN'T THAT NICE!! Even though he has been amazingly helpful through this and he has really stepped it up with the house duties and kids. I could kill him for leaving me alone with these kids for 9 days. I sure hope he is having a good time. He is gonna wish he never went. I have a honey do list that is about 5 miles long and he is gonna do it all in one day while watching the three kids and the dog. And hes gonna do it all with a big smile on his face and NOT one complaint!!!!! LOL!!!! Oh and no breaks and while I'm at it no food or water either. :)

A HUGE thank you to those who have purchased T shirts and or Team Mandy bracelets. I can't tell you what it means. I had no idea I mattered that much to soooo many of you. Both bracelets and t shirts are still available for purchase.

I hope everyone is enjoying these beautiful days were are having!

xoxoxoxox
Mandy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Give fear its 15 minutes of fame.

     Fear can be more dangerous than anything. It takes away our joy and tramples our hope. Days, weeks, even years can slip through your fingers. If left unchecked, fear will strangle every breath from our lives. I am constantly amazed by this.....Why is it that we're so scared to live yet so afraid to die? We thirst for change and yet we choose to remain stuck. Trippy, right? How many of us dwell in that self - imposed purgatory? I know I've spent a good portion of my young life doing just that. The first step in taking charge of our situations is to acknowledge the fear. Let it have its 15 minutes (or more) of fame. What are you afraid of? Many of our fears are totally justified and need to be heard before they can be soothed. Those are healthy fears. Unhealthy fears are the ones that are purely negative and spread like an itchy VD! :) Those are the ones that need some TLC and a dab of cream! LOL! Do a reality scan with me an have a come to JBEE (Jesus, Buddha, Elvis, Etc) moment. Feel your body, hear your breath, ground your self in the right now. Ask yourself if your fears are manageable or if they determine your every thought, word and action. Allow the honest answer to come forward. If the response is "Yes they rule my life," then inner chaos is bound to clog you up. Few things are worse than soul constipation. It hurts and makes you feel cranky and fat.
So...... What are you afraid of? This is it part 2. WRITE IT DOWN. Put all your fears on the paper and then here's the next step BURN THEM! Put the bastard in a fire pit or fireplace and release them from your life. Dance naked like I'm going to. LOL! I know you all just got a visual of that I'm sure it was pleasant. :)

So I'll share with you my fear that I gladly burned.  I always have compared my life to my moms. She had a child very young at the age of 18. I too had a child very young at the age of 17. She had been married and divorced a number of times. She ended up to be a single mother of 4 children and struggled to keep a roof over our heads. It was difficult for her at times to even  keep groceries in the house. We grew up in a small barely 2 bd room shack. The thing was ready to fall over at any moment. After I had Christian at a very young age all I could think was OMG this is it. This is what I have to look forward to. A life full of hard work, struggles and misery. This can't possibly be. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer when Christian was almost 2. She was 37. She fought the awful disease for 5 yrs. Of course it kept spreading to different areas over time. She passed away at age 42. So my life's cards have been dealt just as bad as hers if not worse. I was diagnosed at age 30. So my fear, here it is people if I continue to follow in her footsteps I'm looking at that I have five years. Five years is NOT a long time. I will be 35. Christian would be 19, Mariana would be 14 and Enrique would be 8. I sooooooooo can not even process the thought in my mind. I just start crying every time I think about it. Do I start living life in fast forward mode. Do I try and not think about it at all????????

OK so now that I have myself all worked up here and my husband is looking at me like I'm some kind of freak. I think I'll end it here. Remember to write down your fear and rid it from your life. It may be easier said than done. But there's no harm in trying.

xoxoxoxoxo
Mandy

Back at it again!

It is hard sometimes to force myself to spend the day at doctor's offices.  It is especially hard to have to see so many others there that are not doing well. It reminds me of how difficult it is.  Cancer is hard.  There is just no denying that it is a terrible, difficult disease.  However, I am grateful for good health care and thankful that so many people are on my team, helping me to make sure that I remain healthy.  So, I went in on Monday for Chemo and I was grateful that I was going there to remain healthy and not because I am sick. I will be going back again this afternoon for my injection. WooooHOOOOO! You all have no idea how much fun your missing out on. :)

Ok so I'm reading this book. Its called Crazy,Sexy Cancer. I'm in love with just the title. This book is really making me dig DEEP. Now remember you don't have to be a cancer patient to benefit from this. This is gonna be a fire starter, an inner revolution boot camp. We are gonna do exercises, meditations, "aha" moments, rituals, and midnight-ramble-back-porch brainstorms - for EVERYONE! Its meant to inspire you to become an empowered participant in your healing. This isn't about cancer, this is about life, and life is a juggernaut of gorgeous, staggering, messy, brilliant, yes, no, holy cow, holy shit, champagne supernova, love, loss, and learning. The only thing you have to bring to this is willingness to be fearless. No one gets a easy pass: we're all hauling around something, and we can either drown in the suffering or use it as a springboard for personal metamorphosis. Our spunky attitude is the key to our freedom. So what are you going to do? Open up, breathe in, and let yourself THRIVE!!!!

Ok Team Mandy: Stay calm. Anyone who has been diagnosed with the pesky big C knows that its a crisis of the mind as well as the body. I immediately imagined the worst and busted to my knees in prayer for a kind yet authoritative soul to tell me that this nightmare was all a mistake. I was waiting for the JUST KIDDING! But it never happened. Instead I was introduced to mortality, "Greetings, Death. I'm Mandy and I'm not ready for you yet so BACK OFF!"Time stops and suddenly I understood that dorky old saying, "Without our health, we have nothing."
Cancer demands that we get off our asses and GO FOR IT - I mean it really, What am I waiting for? Out with the complaints, in with the solutions. We need to give ourselves a tune up from the inside out.

If you haven't already, now is the time to give yourself authorization to define your own journey. Put yourself in a can -do space. In my mind I was a survivor the day I was diagnosed. As someone with cancer I live everyday with a suffocating weight on me. What if? Will I see my next birthday? I imagine myself gone and my kids being raised by a stripper. LOL! Cancer puts me on a rim and while I'm on the rim I have an opportunity to appreciate and express fear simultaneously. I multi task dying with living while managing my chores to keep it together. So why not celebrate all that I've/ we've managed to accomplish already? Sometimes just keeping it together is surviving. So stand up straight and yell the S word. No not that one :) SURVIVOR! Survivors come in many shapes and sizes. The best part about being a survivor is the appreciation you will feel for the little things (even when they're painful): the sheer joy of peeing in the ocean; of crying so hard that you burst into giggle madness; the agony of suffering over a lost loved one or a perished dream. SURVIVORS squeeze every drop of juice from its extraordinary life. From diagnosis to discovery survivor is an attitude. You my friends are ALL survivors no matter what. I am a survivor! Lets not wait til the icy patch thaws before celebrating life.
We see freedom, create it, become it. When I put cancer behind me and started smiling again, the disease lost its grip on me.

Ok here goes. Go get a piece of paper and something to write with. Pen, pencil, crayons,markers, red lipstick whatever.  I DARE YOU!  I don't care if you wanna laugh, cry, fart sneeze do what ever ya need to do. LOL! Some of this you will need to change up for yourself. Whatever it is you may be dealing with in life it doesn't matter if what it is. If your here dealing your a SURVIVOR. I of course am dealing with cancer so that's how this will all be worded for me.
Ok so this is part one: Write it on your piece of paper......... I am a SURVIVOR, a crazy sexy SURVIVOR and thriver!!!!!!
Come on people with heart and enthusiasm make it pretty twirl and doodle all over it.

Some of you are thinking this is soooooo stupid. You gotta hang in there with me. There's a lot more to this. One part at a time we will get there. I wanna see your papers people.

That's my lesson for the day! :) WE ALL ARE SURVIVORS!!!!
 We'll do some more tomorrow.
xoxoxoxox
Mandy

Monday, November 1, 2010

Round 3/4

So some of you are probably wondering is it Round 3 or 4. Well its kinda like 3.5 I guess what happened was the last time I was there they didn't give me the full dose of chemo because I was gonna be having surgery two days later. So because of that I went backwards. Today was considered my 3rd treatment and I have 3 more to go. 11/23, 12/13 and 1/3. I can then have my breast surgery 3 weeks after my last round of chemo. Yipee! I'm getting there. My lung cancer is GONE. Everything looks good. I need no further treatment for the lungs. I just need to finish healing which will take a couple months. I will get scans regularly to continue to make sure all is good.

Today was the first time I actually got queasy and nauseated during treatment. It didn't last to long but was enough to bother me. Today's chemo was very quiet and boring. No kids no visitors. Just me and Jesse. I traded my heels for boots today. :) I was able to read a new book I got. I'm gonna be sharing some deep stuff with you guys that I'm learning from this book. But you have to promise to do it with me. You don't have to have cancer to do this.
 So I spent 4 hrs at chemo and 2 hrs in the car to get home. Traffic was awful I was not a happy camper. I'm kicking cancers ass but my ass is getting bigger and bigger from all this sitting. LOL! And here I am at the computer face booking it up for the last 2 hrs. OY! I need to get a treadmill. Anyone have one they are using as coat rack or has 2 inches of dust on it cause you haven't used it since the day you got it. If so let me know I'd love to borrow it for a few months.


I traded the heels for boots its getting cold out there.

My friend that I can not wait to get rid of forever


the book you all are going to be hearing a lot about
                                                                                          

Well this is a short one. I'm super tired. I will write again tomorrow. Its gonna be a good one I promise.

xoxoxoxox
Mandy

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Remember!!!

Hola Everybody! Hope everyone is enjoying their Halloween festivitiess. I still am very slowly getting better. I went back on pain meds today. :(  I also am starting my chemo meds tomorrow and will have chemo on Monday.
 Soooo I got this idea from a friend who got it from a friend who got it off a message board somewhere. Make Sunday October 31, your day of remembrance. I think this is a great idea!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is winding down. I'm glad that I succeeded in some small way of creating more awareness for breast cancer. I will start earlier next year and build on what I've learned.

I've decided to join in creating my own holiday: Breast Cancer Remembrance Day. On Oct, 31, the final day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I will remember the friends and family I and others have lost to this disease. It's Sunday, so I will light a candle for them and say some prayers.

I will wear black, not for its funeral implications but for its simple dignity, a quality that has been sadly lacking these past 30 pink saturated days.

At 8:45 tomorrow night I will go outside with a flashlight. I'll think of the one in 8 U.S. women who will get breast cancer and the 45,000 who will die this year.

A science teacher said if you turn on a flashlight and pointed it toward the sky the photons leave the flashlight and they immediately start to spread out. Provided that they don't hit anything, each individual photon travels through space forever. Time slows down as you approach the speed of light.
I'll think of those whose time was all too brief and I'll hope for brighter days ahead.

Happy Halloween!!!
xoxoxox
Mandy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slowly Slowly Slowly

Its been 13 days since my surgery! I'm getting better very slowly. Its driving me NUTS! I don't have time for this. I'm ready to go and do and my body is just not reading me. I thought it would be nice to have some time to sit and relax and do NOTHING! Once again I was wrong. I'm getting really really crabby. I've only been out of the house once since my surgery. I think cabin fever is setting in.
Me the tv and the couch thing is OVER!!!! I can't drive so its not like i can just get up and go and on the other hand I don't always feel good enough to go do something. Sitting has gotten old. I did make some blankets over the weekend that I will be donating to my cancer center. I also have been doing puzzles. AHHHH I'm turning into a grandma. Making blankets and putting puzzles together?! Whats next bingo and sewing!? LOL So now I know for my next surgery to make a pre- planned visitors schedule. This way I'm not so bored. Who would of thought I'd be complaining about being home alone all day long with no kids and nothing to do. It was nice for about 3 or 4 days.

I've been coughing up a storm. Its normal so long as its productive coughing. Meaning I should be coughing up stuff. I stopped taking the pain meds 4 days ago. The doctor said I would most likely need to take them for about 6 weeks. Egh WRONG!!!! This stuff is really tearing up my stomach. I'd rather be uncomfortable than feel like my stomach is being eaten from the inside out. I get very winded very easily. Just going up my stairs one would think I was having a heart attack by the time I got to the top. I go back for a chest X ray and check up later this week. So we will see how things are going. I go back to Chemo Nov 1. I should be done with chemo middle to end of January.

My husband has really stepped it up. He had to pull out his parental skills while I was in the hospital. I guess the night I had surgery Enrique got sick. He was vomiting, diarrhea, fever. The thought of my husband having to clean that up was absolutely GREAT! Of course I am the one who would normally have to deal with that. That couldn't of happened at a better time. Jesse has been doing laundry, dishes, moping my floors. He gets all the kids up, dressed, feed and off to school. IMAGINE THAT!!! LOL! I knew he was capable of doing this stuff. It just took me loosing all my hair and half  lung. :)
Christian and Mariana have been really great with helping too. Christian made me chocolate covered strawberries the other day. Mariana always is asking me if I need anything. Enrique well Enrique is Enrique.

Yesterday was beautiful outside and was also my birthday. I will celebrate this Birthday along with next years. So its gonna need to be BIG!!! I haven't come up with what yet but it should be something ridiculously random but FUN!!!! Any ideas??

Team Mandy bracelets are still available at Bulldogs Grill and now also at 3 Amigas in Wauconda.

For those of you who have ordered the T shirts they should be in soon. We also will be doing a second order for those who are still interested.

Hope everyone is enjoying this very windy day!
xoxoxox
Mandy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Surgery

Well we started off the morning being late. I was suppose to be there at 8:30 and we didn't get there til 9:00. The traffic was horrible and it was raining. The nice thing about being late was there was not alot of time to think about what was to come. Which is good because I always get my self all worked up. So I got in there changed into my lovely dead sexy hospital robe. Seriously something needs to be done with those things. While I was waiting I had to fill out some paperwork. Peed in a cup got on those very cool tight white stockings.


seriously someone in the health industry needs to be brought up to speed on the most current fashion trends.

my bro
     The nurses and doctors started pouring in. The nurse who TRIED to get my ivy started, didn't like her so much. She was digging around for about 5 mins before she gave up. I guess Chemo makes the skin tuff and the chemo has damaged my veins as well so getting an IV started is not easy. The anesthesiologist came in to take a look. Right as he was about to try he got a page. He said sorry I'll be right back and ran out of the room. Five minutes later he came back meanwhile he had left that thing tired around my arm so I think that helped. Anyway it took him 2 seconds to get it. MWUH!!!!  At this point they are starting to talk about the time line. The nausea has now set in. I told her ok I'm starting to get worked up not feeling so good. She said don't worry shortly I'm gonna give you something to calm ya down. We will then take you to the OR I'll have you scoot over on to the table and that will probably be the last thing you remember. She suggested at this point to say my goodbyes to Jesse and my brother. It was time to go. She said ok I'm gonna give you something to kinda relax you. As she was giving it to me we were joking around saying I would be feeling real good in about 5 seconds. Woooooooo thats good stuff! Jesse and my brother very quickly became blurry and I could see five of them. Jesse said as they were taking me away I kept commenting on how great it was and how I felt like I drank a whole bottle of vodka. Jesse said right as I was about to go through the doors I said loudly this is awesome! Jesse yelled down the hallway was that Mandy? YES. Yes it was.
OK here comes the good stuff!

Seeing double wooooooooooo!


Bye boys now entering lala land woohooooo!
                                                                                  
I remember her asking me to scoot over onto the table. I remember looking up at these huge massive metal lights. It was a very cold and sterile feeling room. She came over and put a oxygen mask on my face she said ok take three big breaths. I don't remember even getting past the first breath.
...................................................................................................................................................................................
I woke up 3 hrs later. I couldn't quite open my eyes but I could hear a male voice screaming F you, your stupid, get away from me, somebody help me. Oh my I was thinking make up your mind. Which is it get away or you need help. I started laughing the nurse said Oh can you hear that. She apologized that I had to listen to that. She was telling me they get one like that everyday. I guess he was not doing good coming out his anesthesia. I seemed to be doing ok. The doctor told Jesse everything went well. He got everything and then some. I won't need any further treatment other than recovery and I could most likely go home on Friday. FRIDAY!???? That's like barely 3 days. Well we will see. At this point I had and IV in my right hand, Five patches stuck to my front side for heart monitor with wires, some red glowy thing on my pointer finger on my left hand. A drainage tube coming out of my left side which was absolutely disgusting. It drained blood and other fluids into this box thing where it collected and they would measure it. When I would breath it would go up and down. It was not pleasant to look at. Ask Jesse and Meagan? LOL! There also was another tube going into the incision that was giving pain meds right to the spot were they had done the removal. On top of all that I got 3 injections a day  in my upper legs to prevent blood clots. I also had nebulizer treatments 3 times a day to prevent infection or problems in the lungs. Lots of pain & nausea meds too! First day after the surgery was ok but I think I had the help of all the meds and anesthesia from the surgery. I had some visitors that evening. Jesse's parents came. It was kinda funny. I was very tired so I would sleep and then wake up. There was a clock on the wall right in front of my bed so every time I would fall asleep and wake up I'd be starring at this clock. At one point it felt like I had been sleeping for hours but it had only been about 3 mins. Back to sleep I went. The next time I woke which was about 3 or 4 mins later I woke up to Jesse's dad sitting there starring at me I about leaped out of my bed. Scarred the crap out of me! Meagan and her sister also came to visit. She brought this gorgeous vase with pink flowers and a pink balloon shaped like the cancer ribbon. It wasn't long after she got there I started having a huge amount of nausea. The nurse encouraged me to try and control it as I would be in a lot of pain if I vomited at this point. I got through it but Holy smokes I put 110% of my thought and energy into it. I did everything I sat up, layed down, but cold wash cloths and my head and stomach. Tried to talk about something to get my mind off of it. The next day was HORRIBLE!!!!!!! I was in an extreme amount of pain. I could barely talk or breathe and my heart rate was between 146-148. The doctor came to see me and said I looked horrible. G thanks Doc. They changed a couple things for me. They switched my pain meds and gave me two different ones, gave me pain patch to put around the incisions and ordered me a chest x ray. When radiology came to get me for the xray the nurse wouldn't let me go. She had them reschedule it for later in the day. She wanted to wait til my heart rate was normal and I was more comfortable with my pain. It took from 6 in the morning til 4:00 that afternoon before I felt any kind of relief. There was no way I was going home on Friday. Friday afternoon they took out the drainage tube. It didn't hurt but I wouldn't say it was a walk in the park either. It did relieve some pain and pressure I was having. I hadn't gone to the bathroom so the nurse came in to do a ultrasound of the bladder. She was pushing on my lower abd with the probe. She said does that hurt? Nope don't feel anything. She then says ok well your bladder is full you can either go voluntarily or involuntarily. Umm yeah as a matter a fact I'm feeling like I need to go right NOW! After having anesthesia it takes a while for everything to wake up and start working again. Jesse had been coming everyday at some point to see me :) Friday late afternoon my sister came and stayed. We watched some girly movies and had dinner. She actually stayed the night which she may have regretted doing about 2 hrs into us trying to sleep. It seemed like the nurses came every hour. They don't bother me all stinkin day but as soon as I want to sleep they are constantly coming in the room flipping the lights on. I was soooooooo annoyed all I wanted to do was sleep. One of the nurses helpers or whatever you call them came in at like 2am woke me up and asked if I had gone to the bathroom. If ya went over to the bathroom and looked in the toilet you would see I left ya a whole lotta pee in that white catcher thing. There's so much more I could tell ya about the four days I spent there. But I'm super tired and having some discomfort from sitting here at the computer for far to long.

xoxoxoxo
Mandy
Still trying to wake up. My eyes felt like they weighed 500lbs.

right after getting to my room 4930




One of my visitors about 6 hrs after my surgery. Right before this I had a huge nausea attack.

I have so much crap hooked to me. Wires coming out of everywhere.
                                                                                          

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Off I go!

Today is the big day!! I have to be at Evanston Hospital by 8:30 my surgery will be at 10-12:30. I then will have 1 hr of recovery. Once I am awake and comfortable I will be moved to a room. That scares me once I'm comfortable!? Oh I better be comfortable or they are gonna have a not so nice lady on their hands. LOL! Thank you everyone for being so great! I love you all! Call Jesse if you want an update. 847-343-4578 I'll try and post again soon. I will be there for at least 5 days possibly 7. Don't worry all I soooooo got this!!!!!


xoxoxox
Mandy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Surgery tomorrow

So tomorrow is the day I'll be parting ways with the lower lobe of my left lung. Good Bye! Adios! Ciao! Au revoir! Starting to get a little nervous. Didn't sleep real well last night I kept thinking about the surgery. Also didn't help that Enrique peed all over me. 2 in the morning I wake up to being all wet. Soooooooooo gross.
I said Enrique why do you pee your pants? Your suppose to go in the potty. I didn't mom your bed got me wet. LOL! Ya ok good one. I'm not sure why he did this he hasn't had potty issues in over a year.

Anyway I'll try to have Jesse give FB updates. For those of you who are really really wanting an update you can call Jesse. I'm shooting for 5 days instead of 7.

See ya!
Mandy

Monday, October 11, 2010

Round 3

So as most of you know there was no school today. So we decided to make today's chemo a family event. It wasn't to bad. Enrique and Mariana had LOTS of questions. When we first came in they got to pick something from the toy box. They were happy about that. Every time I go I get weighed, they check my temp, blood pressure and do blood work. All was good except I gained 6lbs AHHHHHHHH!!!
I guess I better start eating more like a rabbit. My nurse takes me to my treatment room and today I shared it with someone else. OH boy alls I could think was I hope Enrique behaves. Please let me get out of here with out the kid burping, farting or saying something weird. The nurse was getting everything out laying it all neatly on the tray. Enriques eyes didn't move off of her. He was very interested in what she was doing. She accessed my port and then took 6 things of blood. Another nurse came in to do the nasal swab its part of pre op. Enrique is still watching every move. She finally gets my IV going. The kids are being great. They are keeping them selves busy with coloring. Enrique was sitting right next to the current. I see him peak around the edge of it. He looks back at me with a weird face. The man next to me is blowing his nose and Enrique says loudly whats that noise? Mariana starts asking whats that? Where is it going? How does it do that? Why? Whats it for?  OMG! Can we just have silence for two seconds PLEASE!!!! After a while Enrique got down and came over to see my arm. He's says do you feel better now mommy? 
One nurse took them to check out the snack area, another nurse came to just talk to them she commented on Marianas shirt. She wore her Cancer Sucks shirt. Another nurse brought them back some pink pens and a pink scarf thing. Jesse and Enrique started playing with it to see how many different ways they could use it. Bunch of clowns I tell ya. The poor guy next to me I'm sure was happy when we left.  So after I was done I had to see the Doctor so we had to switch rooms. 
I didn't even have to wait the Doctor was in the room before I was. Enrique thought it was hilarious that his name was Dr. Dragon. He kept saying Dragon. After about 10 times it wasn't funny anymore. So he starts doing the exam. He said if he didn't know that I had those 5 lumps before he'd never believe it now. They are ALL gone! The nipple is also healed. WHOOOOOOOOOO its working! So I'll say this Chemo sucks. But if it sucks the cancer right out of you then"yay chemo!"

Love you all,
Mandy







Grandma

Gangsta



Ninja

I'm not sure what this is.


Bye! See ya next time.

pinktober

 October used to be full of hay rides, apple picking, Halloween costumes, and more outside fun things in the crisp cool days. But now for me it has been replaced by Pinktober where we are flooded by all things pink. I LOVE IT!!!!

 I was in the grocery store there were so many products with little pink ribbons. I felt like the store was dipped in pink. At the Wauconda Fire Dept Open House a lot of the guys had on Pink shirts. WHS cheerleaders and football players have been sporting the pink ribbon. Bulldogs Youth Football has their boys wearing pink socks. WHS had a pink out at the last home game. The NFL is also using the power of pink. A couple friends have gotten the pink chunk highlight in their hair. PINK PINK PINK!
This is all I can remember but I am sure there is more. I can't wait to see what else I am exposed to during the month. I am sure I will see pink ribbons on EVERYTHING!
 Raise awareness of breast cancer, the most common cancer in the US for women.

GO PINK!!!!!

PLEASE REMEMBER Cancer doesn't only happen in a specific month. Cancer happens year round. People are diagnosed daily with all different kinds of cancer. Cancer awareness is a good thing.  Cancer awareness has reduced cancer from being the C-word to something that is openly talked about.

XOXOXO
Mandy

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A little bit of everything

Ok so I thought all of Wauconda would know my story by now. Apparently not!!! This morning Mariana was cheering and I ran into a old friend that I'm friends with on facebook. He says to me Oh yeah I saw this bald lady yesterday and I thought Oh she must have cancer. I said Oh like I do! He said what do you mean you do. And I said Why do you think I'm walking around bald like this? He said Oh I thought you did one of those St. Baldrick Events. OK NOOOOO! I would love to say I was brave enough to shave my head and that I raised tons of money for children with cancer but I didn't.

I'm still getting used to this no hair thing. I think the kids are more OK with it than me. Friday morning I went to pick up this wig I bought it has a hat attached to it. So I sit down she puts it on. I had her cut about 2 inches off of it. It looked good. Were getting ready to leave and Enrique my 3 yr old starts having a HUGE tantrum. He's screaming throwing himself on the floor. He spit his candy out on the ground. He ripped down some posters they had hanging on their wall. I tried to pick him up to calm him down he rips the hat & wig off my head and throws it on the floor. He's screaming I hate it take it off.
Soooooooooo embarrassing!!! I wish I could of crawled in a hole. UGH!

The good days are still out weighing the bad. I've been feeling great. Been helping coach cheer, staying involved with Robert Crown PTO, going to see my queens at events. Ya know keeping busy.
Unfortunately I think this is all gonna change soon. I have chemo on Monday and my surgery on Wed.

I'm soooooo excited November 7th is Dist 118 Fall Fashion Show. Guess who is gonna be one of the models? That's right ME!!!!!  I have something to look forward to for after my surgery. I can't wait! Thank you Robert Crown PTO ladies for thinking of me. I better start practicing my walk. LOL! I better see Team Mandy fans there! If you'd like more info please let me know.

For those of you still interested Bulldogs Grill has plenty of Team Mandy bracelets. Make sure you get yours!! :)

Also those interested in donating a blanket or fleece to make blankets please let me know. I'd like to get working on them asap. With the weather getting cooler I think the cancer patients will really enjoy them. I know I love mine and use it alot!!!

The meals, cards, gifts, thoughts and prayers keep coming!!!! Thank you sooooooo much to everyone. I had no idea I meant this much. It means alot. I have NOT forgotten not one of you. Even if you haven't sent a meal or gift maybe you happened to smile or wave when I needed it most. Keep it coming. The road is about to become very bumpy I think.

Don't forget to schedule your mammogram ladies!!! OH and men(you know who you are) don't forget to schedule your prostate exams. Being proactive with your health is soooooo important. Catching things early is always good!

Hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful weekend. I sure did!!!

XOXO
Mandy

Monday, October 4, 2010

Update!

Its October people. Breast Cancer Awareness month!!!!! So awesome to see the NFL is supporting the cause. Oh yeah some of you have been asking about the Team Mandy bracelets. They are still available. You can get them at Bulldogs grill in Wauconda. While your there have a burger and garlic fries. SOOOOOO good but watch out you may walk out with 5 lbs on each hip like I did. It has been soooooooo great to see who is apart of Team Mandy. I've been seeing people all around town with them. I make sure I make an effort to confront those I see. Some people look at me so weird at first. I walked up to one guy in Jewel and I said Thanks so much for being a part of Team Mandy. I kinda got this look like HUH WHAT??????? I'm Mandy! Long awkward pause. OHHHHHHHHH yes nice to meet you.
So its been a little over a week that I've been walking around bald. Its been interesting. Kids just can't help but speak what they are thinking. I've gotten lots of kids starring or pointing. My little nephew Gio who is 2 asked me What happen to you Tia Mandy? Me: My hair fell out. Gio: Why? Me: Because the medicine I'm taking made it fall out. Gio: Why? Me: Because I have cancer and that's what it does so I can be better. Gio: Why? Me: I gave up after that one. LOL! Some kids are scarred of me at first. I've even gotten the look or the double take from adults. I went to go get a manicure and I hit Starbucks first. I had to have a Decaf pumpkin spice latte! SHHHHHHHH don't tell my doctor. He'll have a cow or maybe he would have a dragon. GET IT?! Dr. Dragon. Come on laugh! I thought it was funny!! LOL!
The owner of the nail salon happened to come in right behind me. She was on her cell phone so I just nodded and smiled at her. She quickly glanced at me and continued walking. So I thought she clearly didn't know it was me. I've been coming to her salon since the day it opened and we are on a first name basis. So I'm patiently waiting for my drink she sits down on the chair behind me as she too is waiting for her drink. She is still on her phone. I finally get my drink I turn to walk out and I smile at her and say bye! All of a sudden it was like it registered. She says OMG mom I gotta go I'll call you back. Um Mandy why are you bald? So then I had to use that very fun word CANCER! She gave me a big hug and wished me luck. I said I'm coming to get a mani right now. So we'll talk. So I'm sitting enjoying my mani and this lady comes up to me and says I see your a survivor. I kinda laughed and said well lets say I'M SURVIVING! LOL! This time next year I'll be able to say I"M A SURVIVOR! Anyway she says to me I am a two time breast cancer survivor. We must have talked for at least 45 min. It was wonderful. She invited me to several support groups. She gave me lots of ideas and advice. She made my day!!!! I'm so glad she felt comfortable enough to approach me. It was like we knew each other for years. We could relate with so many things and she just understood everything I said. She was practically finishing my sentences for me. The sad thing is I can't remember her name nor did I get her contact info.

I had to take Mariana to school this morning. I normally just pull up, she jumps out and I go. But today I actually needed to go in to give lunch money. As I'm heading down the sidewalk I see Mr. Brennan (principal) coming towards me. I'm thinking oh gosh this so humiliating seeing people when you look like this. I don't know what they are gonna think or say. Some people don't even recognize me. So I'll just keep walking. Next thing I know he's hugging me. It was kind of an awkward long hug. Mandy I am praying for you, we all are! I kinda got a little emotional. How weird but OH SO AWESOME to have your old High School Vice Principal and now my daughters principal show his support and make a huge effort to make it known. Thank you Mr. Brennan you made my day and you also made me realize that I'm getting OLD!

I had my blood work done today. No results yet. But I'm sure they will be perfect!

9 more days til surgery. I can't believe its almost here. I'm sad that I am going to miss a lot. Mariana has her first cheer competition of the season. In the 4 yrs shes been cheering I have NEVER missed a cheer comp. I explained to her that I won't be able to be there and she said UGH! Who is gonna be there to watch and support me? TEAR!!!!! Jesse quickly spoke up and told her he would be there. I will miss the Lake County Pageant Luncheon that I have been waiting to go to. I'll miss my friends jewelry party, my sister is having a party for Aidan. Mariana has a field trip that she wanted me to go to. And my Birthday that I wanted to spend at Eagle Ridge in Galena will have to be pushed to next year. Damn you cancer your screwing up my plans!

So I'm still learning so much about Cancer. I learned today that there are 4 foods that help fight breast cancer. Tuna, beef, portabello mushrooms and low fat cottage cheese. MMMMMMM doesn't that combo sound wonderful.

No matter what situations life throws at us. No matter how long and treacherous the journey may seem.  There is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!!!

XOXOXOXOXOX
Mandy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The bald and the beautiful!

Saturday September 25th. A day I will never forget! :( So the boys all needed haircuts. And this was the second day in a row I woke up to what looked like to be a small dog on my pillow. It was becoming a mess and noticeable in several areas that there was no hair. So I had to do it! The thing you all know I have been avoiding. It was very very very hard. I cryed of course. I was fine until the lady said to me how are you feeling about this? I couldn't even get words out. The tears just came. There was a guy getting his haircut next to me and he kept assuring me I would be fine and that it looked great! Yeah I'm thinking if your going for the GI Jane look or Shenae O'Connor. This is not me making a fashion statement. So Enrique my little guy says to me mommy wheres your hair? Again here came the tears. We are in the car and I'm calming down a little and Mariana says to me Mom are you ok? I said yeah I'm just sad and again here came the tears. Then Christian says to me I don't know if this matters or will help but you really don't look that different and I'm sure you can guess............YES here came the tears again!! It was a very emotional day for me. Its gonna take some time to get use to it. When I first saw my reflection I was in tears all over again. I wake up every morning to see myself like this and its just a daily reminder that my life is just not normal right now. It is very uncomfortable and hard to sleep. Its like little needles poking you in your head. I hate going anywhere by myself because I feel like I'm being starred at. I'm gonna get a shirt that says YES I HAVE CANCER!!!! This way there is no question.


crying



crying


still crying



SOOOOOO not a happy camper!

Mariana said so mom do you not want to take pictures anymore? So this is our picture :)

Round 2 chemo

Its been a while since my last blog. Sorry have been super busy and super tired!!!
Where do I begin. Well I guess I could start with my wig consult. It went good. I learned a lot. How wigs are made, the difference between human hair and fake, and the different gualities. Either way they are EXPENSIVE!!!! The one I would have liked to have got was $1500.00 OUCH! Yeah I have good taste :)  The one I'm thinking I may get one day is $750.00 and it wasn't even real hair.  Enrique came with me when I went it was kinda funny when I put a wig on he seemed afraid of me and kinda made a icky face. When I took it off he said There you are mommy! It was cute.


My last chemo session went well. It was early this time. So when I got there the waiting area was full. Everyone must come in at the same time. Anyhow I was being starred at from all angles of the room. Most of the people waiting had to be 60 or older so of course I stuck out. I could tell they all were wondering exactly what I was doing there. Finally one of the woman asks me if the blanket I had was for me. I said yea my girlfriend made it for me. She about fell off her chair she said wait your here for chemo. And with a big smile on my face and no hesitation I said YEP!!!! There was another woman about 65 or so she was in bad shape poor thing could barely hold herself up. She asked me if she could borrow my blanket she really liked it. Anyway I decided since this blanket seemed to be such a big hit I'd make some and donate them to my cancer center. If anyone would be interested in either donating 2 1/2 yards of fleece in 2 colors I'll make them or maybe you'd like to make one I will gladly take them to the cancer center. Fleece is usually priced well at JoAnn Fabrics. This time I was only there for 4 hrs instead of 5. I seemed to be way more tired and emotional this time around. Where last time I was best friends with the toilet. The toilet and I have grown apart and have not been spending much time together. Which is perfectly fine with me!!! So I was thinking that I would be skipping a chemo treatment due to my surgery coming up. My surgery is October 13 and my next chemo would normally be Oct 14th but that is the day after my surgery. So I thought YIPEEE we can skip one I'm fine with that but once again I am WRONG!!!! Instead I will have chemo, pre op physical and history and blood work on October 11th. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I can't catch a break to save my life :) Oh well. Bring it on!!!!!



Yep heels again to chemo!!!

Meagan made me this blanket. It couldn't of been more perfect!!! Its always freezing in there.


You can see I'm balding thinning really bad here.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Update

I have a bad bad bad case of chemo brain seriously!!! I think I should be looking at blonde wigs. I'm really bad. I can't remember anything. I'm so disorganized. I'm dropping stuff all the time. It takes energy just to have a intelligent conversation with someone. So not like me.
My eyes have been watering and twitching a lot. I also have been having blurry vision. I can't believe how much chemo effects your body. I have been talking to other people who are going through this now and they have a lot of the same side effects.

THE HAIR IS DEFINITELY FALLING OUT NOW!!!!!!! Its everywhere on the floor, my bed, my  pillows, my clothes. The other day I was telling Jesse my head hurt. The top of my scalp was bothering me so bad. I wanted him to look at it to see if it was red or had sores. My skin has been very sensitive and breaking out I have bruises all over my legs so I thought maybe I had something on my head to. So hes looking and all of a sudden I hear him say Oh my gosh and then I hear the garbage can close. I turn to see what it was I open the garbage can to find a huge chunk of my hair in there. OH GREAT! LOL! Nice Jesse. I don't need any help with this process. I just need to make it til Tuesday. I am going to have a wig consultation and then I'll need to figure out how I am going to go about this whole shaving my head thing. Its becoming a mess around my house and I don't think I have any other option. Maybe I'll let the kids do it. They would probably have fun with it.

My next Chemo is going to be this Thursday. I can't believe its time already. Lets hope it just keeps flying by like this. Before I know it I will be done with all of this. I'm looking for a pair of HOT HOT heels for my next chemo this week. I think I'm gonna take a trip to DSW today.

Hope Everyone is having a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Plan B

So my back to work plan. NOT gonna work :(  They have already done the schedule for the next 2 weeks and can't guarantee they will have any open shifts on the next schedule. And by the schedule after that I'll be running into my surgery date. Sooooooooo change in plans yet again. Can't go back to work so I'll go back to working out! I'm gonna try and get into shape here. We went to the zoo on Sunday we were there for 5 hrs. I think I walked 10 miles. And yesterday I ran/ walked with the dog. Mowed the lawn this afternoon and am going to tempt to do 3 miles after dinner. My brother got me a membership to the YMCA so I think I'm gonna start going while Enrique is in school.

Been feeling GREAT lately. I've been sleeping better since I've been active I think I've been physically exhausting myself. My skin is really bad lately I've been breaking out everywhere. I've had a lot of nose bleeds and the pleasure of experiencing chemo brain. Chemo brain slang for cognitive deficits. Symptoms can include: short term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, difficulty retrieving words and difficulty organizing and planning. Chemo brain can last up to a year after chemo. No one knows what specifically causes it, but I am grateful just to know that my scary mental retard moments are artificially induced.......................... What was I saying???? LOL!

Its been 12 days since my first chemo treatment and so far no hair issues.:)  Of course I chopped my hair and nothings happened yet. It could be one in a million and I'd be the ONE! I'd be the one who's hair doesn't fall out. I wish I wouldn't have cut it. I should have waited. I HATE this length hair. I finally liked my hair for the first time in years and now I cut it and hate it. Its not freaking fallen out. So frustrating. I obviously have mixed feelings on this. Don't want it to fall out but now I'm pissed its not. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! And then when it does happen I'll be pissed it happened. This is a loose loose situation.

So I have a interesting little story for ya.......... (hang in there with me theres a point to it)

Long ago in a tiny village, there was a place called the House of a Thousand Mirrors. A little dog decided to visit the house. He was an unhappy dog, and his natural expression was a cross between a scowl and a sneer. As he entered the large house, he saw a thousand mean and scary looking dogs staring back at him. He immediately backed away and let out a low growl to protect himself, and, just as he did, all one thousand of the mean dogs growled back at him. Of course he ran out of the house immediately and thought "What a terrible place that is. I'll never go back there again." Not long afterward, another dog decided to visit the house. As he approached, he saw how beautiful and inviting it looked and couldn't wait to go inside. He smiled and wagged his tail in anticipation of his adventure. As he pushed open the door, he was greeted by a thousand dogs with wagging tails and big smiles approaching him. Of course he was thrilled; he had a thousand new friends he was sure would become his buddies.
The moral of this folktale, of course, is that the world gives back to us what we give out to the world. That's not to say we should pretend that everything's great when in fact I'm going through one of the hardest challenges of my life  But it is true that the more positive you can be, the more smiling puppies you'll have cheering you on. Which in my case couldn't be more true. I have had endless amounts of support. Thank you to everyone who has contributed! I can't tell you how greats its been. Sorry that I just compared you all to dogs. LOL! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

:)

So yesterday when I was driving I was thinking. I seem to do most of my thinking when I'm driving. Anyway something came over me. It was like hitting a fast forward button and every thought of anything and everything played through my mind. Alls I could think about was ALL the things I needed and wanted to do. Everything from wanting granite counter tops, a cute convertible mustang, needing to take the kids to the dentist, that stupid bill I still had to pay, finding someone who's life a could make a difference in, Chris one day soon getting his drivers licence, Enrique growing out his I'm related to the devil phase, Wondering if Mariana will forever be my perfect princess of a daughter, The "HAIR" if when and how is it gonna fall out. (come on you guys knew I had to throw that one in there) I decided at that moment I needed to step it up I was loosing it. I have spent the last 6 weeks of my life basically sitting here having my own pity party at times, not feeling well at others and letting time just past me by. I'm going to go back to work! I'm tired of just sitting here thinking about this crap. I am gonna work as much as possible from now until Oct 13th. So long as I'm feeling like I can do it. I may have to take a couple days for the 9/23 chemo. But thats ok. I'm gonna get my granite counter tops. Will it make me happier? I don't know but, its a goal something to work towards. Something else to put my mind & focus towards. Now lets hope work can get me back on the schedule ASAP.

9/10 & 9/11   These two days are the worst suckiest of days in my book.
9/10/01 My mom passed away from lung cancer. I think about her everyday and since going through all of this wishes she was here even more. I don't know how she faught this fight for soooo long. It can be very exhausting at times. And of course we all know about 9/11 what a horrible day for sooooo many people in the world. And now this year 9/11 Jesse's grandpa passed away.  What is with theses days?

I've been reading a lot lately. Right now I'm reading a really funny book its called Are you there, vodka? Its me Chelsea. SOOOOO funny! If anyone has any suggestions for good books or movies I'm open for suggestions. I"m gonna start collecting as I will need something to do after surgery. Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day. I"m taking the kiddos to the zoo. I'm trying to do as much as possible with my kids as once I have surgery I won't be able to do much for quite some time.