Saturday, October 30, 2010


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!!!

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!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


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.

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!!!!!


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!

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,




I'm not sure what this is.

Bye! See ya next time.


 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.


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!!!


Monday, October 4, 2010


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!!!!!!!