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.



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


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.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Slowing Down

Sorry Its been awhile since my last post. It has caught up to me. I felt really really good Day 1, 2 and 3. And then BAAAAAAAM hit me like a brick wall. Took chemo pill on Wed, had my first intravenously chemo on Thurs 9/2 and then the injection to boost white blood cell counts on Friday. I thought I would keep busy with the Cardboard races at Lindys and the Street Dance.
WRONG!!!!!! Well I tried. Saturday morning I didn't feel to bad so I thought I just push myself through it. We decided to go watch the cardboard races up at Lindys and grab some grub. About 5 minutes in the car I changed my mind. It was worse than I thought and it was coming on strong and quickly. I figured once I got there and ate something I'd be fine. I don't even think I tasted my food. I inhaled it. I have been soooooo hungry lately. Its from the steroids. Not to mention I have lost sense of taste :(  Do you have any idea what it is like to be hungry and not be able to satisfy being hungry. Its very weird. I just eat and eat and eat.
So far I have experienced increase and loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue, mouth dryness, bleeding and soreness, blackened nails, bone pain, nose bleeds and heartburn that could knock a cow over. The toilet and I have become best buds lately :) I'm thinking since were gonna be such close pals that I should go buy a pink one (toilet) and cover it in swarovski crystals. We might get along a little better that way :)
Got my results back for the BRCA1 BRCA2 and the p53 genetic testing. ALL came back negative. Which means as far as they can tell it is not genetic. I do not have a mutation to either of those genes. Its good in a sense that my kids and or family are not at induced risk. But it leaves me in a gray zone of why this has happened. So they are going to move forward with further genetic testing. We'll see what happens.

I'm going on VACATION!!!!!!!!!! No kids, No phone, No emails, No daily routine.  October 13th. I will be gone for 5-7 days. I will spend most of it in a quiet private room. I'll have 6 star unlimited room service. Can't wait!
This is where I'll be staying!
For those of you who have not figured it out yet. I'm kidding! I'll be having my lung surgery that day. I'll be having a Lingular Sparing Lobectomy by Dr Howington. The surgery will take 2.5 hrs. I will stay 5-7 days in the hospital. I did confirm repeatedly that I WILL be under anesthesia for this. He probably thought I was crazy. After that lung biopsy incident I just wanted to make sure.
My next Chemo is Sept. 23rd which will be followed again with the injection to boost white blood cell count. So two hurdles to get over 9/23 chemo and 10/13 surgery. I can do this!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chemo Queen!

Today was the "day". I did it! The weirdest thing I felt AMAZING! I was telling Dr. Dragon ( my oncologist) today I haven't felt this good in almost 5 weeks. He explained it was from the steroids and would not last long. Well I'll take it one day at a time I'll take a good day even if it means its just for today! :)

Who goes to get Chemo wearing black heels and dressed to kill? MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!. I hope I knocked the pants off my cancer. I'm not going down looking like crap or without a FIGHT! I walked into the the Kellogg Cancer Center this morning glowing. Literally I looked like I had just got back from some awesome Caribbean vacation. AKA a reaction from the steroids. LOL! My doctor said to me Oh Wow you got some sun and I sadly said no woke up with this sun kissed skin this morning. Apparently I got some great beauty sleep. Or maybe it had something to do with the sleeping pill they had me take Whatever! Lets just stick with that I got some great beauty sleep.

 I was there today for almost 5 hrs.  Its 9:01 pm and I"m ready for bed.  I'll finish this up tomorrow.

I'm back....................... So where was I? Oh yeah the 5 hrs of silence. Alot happened to me in those 5 hrs. I was named president and CEO of a major health concern ME!!!!! As they prepared me for my first session of chemo. I realized I was very happy with the team I assembled. I feel I have picked a qualified team of experts. Which will ensure my business success. The Business of getting well and getting back to normal. This is a BIG business! The first thing to remember as Chief Executive Officer is that I'm the BOSS. My staff works for ME! Wooooooo I like the sound of this! But I still have to remember not to be a difficult boss.
Anyway my appointment started with a routine physical/check up. Then to Dr. Dragons office for a explanation on the whole process and my medications. Dr. Dragon is an amazing man! He is very happy  sincere, warm, inviting, informative and encouraging. He treats us as well as I believe he would treat his own spouse or child. Its a great feeling! Oh and his office is soooooo cool. He has dragons everywhere.  We went out to the waiting area just for about 10 min. Right before heading back Dr. Dragon came back out and shared some very nice words with us he said I just want the two of you to know you are very mature and are handling this well. You always come in here smiling.  As he is rubbing the side of my arm and back. It was SO uplifting and really made my day. He wanted us to be comfortable with every aspect of the process and that if we had questions or concerns I could call him anytime. He even gave us his cell number. He may regret that later LOL!

So now to meet my nurse(s). Nurse Bonna. She is a blast very funny full of energy and information.  And Jo! She was absolutely wonderful. She made sure I was comfortable at all times. Kept us stocked up with drinks and goodies. She did a great job of explaining which meds were for what, and what # bag I was on and how many I had to go. I will have Jo as my nurse for my next 3 sessions. I will spend more time with her than anybody else on my team. As she will be administering my chemo, monitoring my blood cells and generally know the details of my treatment. Chances are I'll come to have great affection for her. I cant wait to learn more about her. I guess it couldn't hurt to bring her some candy or cookies as a token of my appreciation. My motto is "Never underestimate the power of chocolate."

Overall my first Chemo session went GREAT!!!! I had all kinds of visitors while I was there. And each one of them was kinder than the last. It made my experience wonderful. Different nurses came in to say Hi. A nutritionist, counselor, lung specialist. Man they got me covered. Not matter what it is I may need I have a point of contact someone assigned to my case. One of the girls gave me a T- shirt. It has a crown on it and it says Chemo Queen. Couldn't be more perfect. My sister and husband where there with me throughout the process. We watched the Proposal. It was a cute movie.

I was able to read a little bit. Its called Any Day with hair is a good hair day. Sooooooooooo true. All the times I've stood in front of the mirror searching for every gray hair I could find and pulling them out. I've been wasting time and feeling unnecessarily upset. Yes, gray hair means we are getting older. SO WHAT? Growing older means were still alive - the very thing I am battling for with everything I have. How many times have I wished for my hair to be a different color or texture, straighter or curlier, thicker or thinner when just having hair is such a blessing! Have you ever stopped to think about what an incredible entity hair is? When it gets wet, it takes almost no time to dry. It keeps you warm without making you hot. When the rest of your body is sweating on a hot day at the beach, chances are your head isn't, even though its covered with thousands of strands of hair. Hair replaces itself, unlike any garment we wear. And it keeps growing for a whole LIFETIME! As you all know I think about this everyday. But I pray I will be reminded- frequently that when push comes to shove, most things we encounter day to day as my Grandma said are "the small stuff." Whats left, like a day with hair, is what makes our day a good one. :)     I attached some pics of my first chemo day!

Dr Dragon
Almost time!
my medication schedule for the next 7 days
Ohweeeeee. Here goes!
Nurse Bonna
Nurse Jo

I'm laughing and theres blood.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Almost there

Had my chemo teaching class today! Another one of those appointments that hurt the brain. Way to much info. I will have chemo once every 3 wks for the next 5 months. Each chemo session will range from 4-5 hrs. Each chemo session will be followed with an injection the following day. Blood work will be done every 14 days. My port will need to be flushed every 4wks.
I had my first big bill at Walgreens today $111.70. WOOOOOOO I'm a drugee! KIDDING!!  They are starting me off with 6 prescriptions. Dexamethasone,Ondansetron,Nystatin, Lorazepam, Famotidine and Prochorperazine. These will be used to treat nausea, vomiting. Relieve anxiety and cause drowsiness so I may sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz gotta have that. A histamine blocker to prevent ulcers. Something to prevent fungal infections of the mouth. One is a steroid.  There is one other that I can't remember what it is for. I'm sure it will help do something and I'll suffer from every side effect it has and then I'll need a pill to help with those symptoms. UGH! What a pain in the boob!

Went to go check out the Pink Heals pink fire truck today. It was very touching. Took some pictures and got to sign the truck. Check it out @

As most of you know my first Chemo session will be Thursday 9/2. AHHHHHHHH its getting closer. The biggest hurdle is just around the corner.Yep I'm gonna say it again "the hair thing". I'm sure your all tired of hearing about it. So many people say O its hair it'll grow back. Its not that easy people. I picked up a short hair styles magazine today. TEAR! Theres some cute ones but I'm gonna be in hysterics. Maybe a hair party would make this easier. I don't know! Maybe if everyone I knew shaved their head it would be easier. HINT HINT!!! Mmmmmhm O yeah I don't see to many of you jumping at the opportunity. LOL!  I'm planning on getting the new do either tomorrow or Friday as I don't have much time. I will start to loose my hair approx 10-14 days after my first chemo session. So that would mean sometime between 9/12-9/16. Can you tell that I'm not at all freaked out by this. I think if I sat and thought about it long enough I could figure out the exact moment it will happen. And somehow convince myself that I have a the power to change it. Ugh I'm gonna drive myself to be crazy with this.
I'm already crazy but you know what I mean :)

So I'm starting to notice the effect this has had on the kids. Mariana came home the other day screaming Oh NOOOOOO! I had two wigs sitting on the kitchen table and she had a cow. She screamed to me up stairs MOOOOOOOM your not wearing these! I started laughing and explained to her that very soon I will not have hair and I will need something. She also expressed how she hated every hair cut in the magazine and how ugly she thought they were. She cringes at the sight of my port as the incision has still not healed. In the last couple days its really taken a toll on Christian. He asked me the other night if he could put up some pictures on his mirror in his room. Of course I said yes. Next thing I know he must of went in the basement and brought up a box of pictures I had stored away. The three of them were laughing and pulling out pictures form this old raggedy box. Some of those pictures were 10- 14 yrs old. TEAR!!! Chris had even found some of him and my mom. (RIP) Ugh it was so very hard to hold back the emotions. I also had a mom of one of Chris's good friends call to let me know she thought Chris was very worried and bothered by the situation. She said Chris had verbally shared concern of getting cancer himself and seems to very scared about it. Poor kid. He watched his grandma deteriorate and pass from the disease and now I have almost the same thing. He asked me the other day So what does this mean for me? Unfortunately I have no answer for him as there is no cure for this awful disease. Once I get back my genetic testing results I will know more and have a better way to comfort his fears. The same fears I have lived with for the past 10 yrs. SAD SAD SAD!  Enrique doesn't understand. He's just to little but he has been extra needy its like he kinda knows. He said to me last week Mommy why you go to sleep and stay there?  In other words Why the heck are ya sleeping all the time?  And then theres Jesse the biggest kid of them all. Such a goof ball. Always saying the stupidist things. For example: He thought he would offer to anyone who's interested free breast examinations as he was the founder of my lovely lady lump. LOL! hahahahahahaha!

Love you all and Thanks for all of the support. Keep it coming as my journey has only just begun.