Chemo #3

3/25/2016

My white blood cells and platelets are good so chemo is a go(Thank you Irmina for my wheat grass shots and beet soup).

I really can’t believe I’m here again.  I so don’t want to do this.  My friend Kellie has come with me today.   We have laughed and giggled the whole 6 hours.  I think Kellie only got a little nervous when the nurse asked me my name, and I couldn’t remember it for a split second.  The drugs are seriously good this time.    It also probably wasn’t so amazing listening to me talk to my doctor about my endless bathroom issues.  But hey, if we can’t laugh at diarrhea, right?   And we did.  We laughed and laughed.  Drugs are good.

That’s a wrap.  Chemo #3 is over.  Now, I play the sickness waiting game.

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Tumors are Shrinking!!!!

5/23/16

Today, I saw my breast surgeon to see if there has been any progress.   My husband was working so my friend Melody went with me as my extra set of ears.  This chemo brain stuff is real.  I can’t remember a darn thing!  I do, however, remember this.  My tumors are shrinking!!!!!!!!!!!   That’s right.  My doctor said that there was “phenomenal” shrinkage.  Yay for me!!  It means that all this sickness has been worth it.   All of my terrible side effects have been worth it.  It is working.  I am beating this thing.  I am fighting, and I am beating it.  I am beating cancer!!!!!

Wait! Did I just get scolded by my doctor?  Yes, I did.  Oops.  Maybe I shouldn’t have told her how tired I was.  She got after me, and told me to sleep A LOT more and to take naps.  Naps?  My mom(a godsend) has gone back to KC for this next round of chemo.  How do I get in naps with three kids when my mom is not here?  Oh, a nap sounds so good right now.  A three hour one.  Yum.  “But how do I do this?,” I ask my doctor.  She tells me to accept the help that has been offered.  Oh no.  THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME TO DO!!!!!!!  In fact, this has been one of the hardest things for me to do.  I’m stubborn.  I’m strong willed.  I know.  It is a fault of mine.  It’s crazy hard.

Melody laughs because she knows how I am.  She plans on telling everyone I need more rest.  It pains me to admit this, but I do need more rest.  I need a lot more.  So, I’m going to do it.  I’m going to accept help.  Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Don’t worry. I’m still smiling ear to ear over my “shrinkage”.

Family Day

5/20/16

I’m finally feeling better after my last yucky chemo and alien port installation.  So, today was family day.  We took the kids to Underwood Farms to see the animals, pick some fruit and let them run.  Watching them today reminded me of why I’m fighting.  I’m fighting for them.  I am fighting for my babies so they can have a mom.   I have made up my mind.   This momma isn’t going anywhere.   I’m going to enjoy many more family days and watch my children grow, cause I’m a bad ass warrior and cancer doesn’t have a thing on me!

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Oh Port, oh how I don’t like you.

5/16/16

So, I finally got my port put in after going two rounds with chemo in my veins and one vein already collapsing.

Getting the port put in is out patient surgery.   The port scares me when I see it.  It looks like a small dental floss box with a tube coming out of it that is going to attach to a vein in my neck.  Gross.  And I’m not going to lie.  My vanity kicks in when I realize that I’m going to have two scars. I am just hoping they won’t be too big.

During the surgery,  I’m awake, and yet out of it with more lovely drugs.   I don’t feel anything until I’m back in the holding area.  Then, the nurse tells me they don’t prescribe any pain medicine.  Oh, and I can’t lift anything for a week.  What?  I have a two year old.  How do I not lift him for a week?  Impossible.  And my port is already hurting on my way out the door.  What do you mean you don’t give pain meds? I just had a dental floss box inserted into my chest.   Ports are no fun.  They stink.  And they hurt.  I already want this thing out of me.  I look like a like I belong in a Star Trek movie, bald with weird markings and bumps.

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Chemo #2!!!!!

5/4/16

After being sent home from chemo last week because my blood counts were too low,  Chemo #2 is a go.  Blood work is good.  Yay!  Finally!  I never thought I’d be happy to get chemo, but I could not stand being at stand still for a week.  I’m ready to get the show on the road.  Let’s do this.

I have my friend Sunny with me today.  We have giggled at my incoherent sentences, and my eyes rolling to the back of my head from the drugs.  Woo hoo!!!!!!  Drugs are good.

We have also laughed hysterically at my Pizza Hut sunglasses.  My hubby gave me a $50 giftcard to The Sunglass Hut because I need new sunglasses. This would be great except sunglasses are around $200 at The Sunglass Hut, and I’m not spending that much with 3 kids who will break them in a week.  I was telling Sunny this story except I kept saying Pizza Hut.  So, she couldn’t figure out why I was saying, “Chris got me a $50 gift card to Pizza Hut, and I don’t why he would do that when everything is $200 at Pizza Hut.”  I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t getting it, and why she was looking at me like I was bat crazy.  I guess I am.  Gotta love the drugs and Chemo brain!

Time to go home and let the poison take over.

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PS.  The lights are way too bright in here.  I mean seriously.  They really should just have candles and music.  Music would be good.  And maybe a massage.  That would be nice too.

 

Let’s Talk Hair

4/26/2016

My doctor and nurses told me it would happen, and it would be sudden.  I didn’t believe them.  I thought I would be the one who got away.  They were right.  Damn it.  I noticed little hairs on my shoulder on Thursday(day 16 after my 1st chemo).  By Friday, it was falling out like crazy.  I went to the gym because it is my recovery week.  When I went to take my hair down after my workout, it was one big matte like a dog that hadn’t been bathed in a year.  I clipped it backup.  I knew, but I wasn’t ready.   I wore my clipped up matte all day on Saturday.  I went out with my mom.  We went shopping.  We even went to try on wigs.  It wasn’t until that night when everyone was asleep that I took a shower.  I knew.  I tried to wash my matte.  It wouldn’t budge.  So, I got out of the shower, took my pick and began to comb through it.  I was right.  My dog matte was hair that had already fallen out, but was stuck because of my sweat and curls.  As I combed through it, it just fell in the sink.  By the time I was done, 80% of my hair was gone.  I looked like an old man with a comb over.  I cried, and I cried in the bathroom by myself at 11pm.

Yesterday, Monday(day 20), I knew it was time.  More hair was falling out by the second.  My friend Belen did the honors. I had four mimosas for courage, and then she shaved it.  I didn’t cry.  I’m sure the mimosas helped.  I liked that it was just my mom and Belen.  It made it easier.

This is a moment where I can sink or swim.  I have decided to swim.   So, I’m going to channel Charlize Theron from Mad Max, because she is a bad ass warrior.  And so am I!!  Just call me Furiosa.

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Eight Days After

4/14/16

My head is finally clearing.  It has taken over a week. I can only say that chemo sucks.  IT SUCKS.  IT SUCKS.  IT SUCKS.  My body doesn’t work.  My legs don’t work.  My brain has been in a fog.  I can’t watch TV.  I can’t read.  I can’t concentrate.  It exhausts me.  I have been so sick.   The bathroom has become my home.  Yuck.  I really can’t believe I have to do this 5 more times.   My whole body is screaming that it is being poisoned.  It is.  Please stop.  I feel like I’m on a wave, and I can’t get off.  Thank goodness my mom and husband are taking care of me.  I’m too weak to do it myself.

My First Ever Chemo

4/6/16

I barely slept last night. I thought it was my nerves, but my oncologist informed me, it was the steroids I had to start taking yesterday.  I don’t know why I didn’t realize that.  I’ll just blame it on “chemo brain” even though there is no chemo in me yet.  Chris and I showed up at 8am to get started on our 9 hour day.  I’m nervous.  I guess they drip the chemo in slower the first time to make sure you can handle it.  This is very reassuring that they are making sure I don’t die.  My blood work came back great so chemo is a go.  Let’s get this battle started!!!

It turns out the day of chemo isn’t bad.  The pre-drugs they drip in you make you feel good and loopy. I giggle, and then I sleep for a bit.

Chris and I were thinking that it was going to be boring but our first day was filled with interesting happenings.  There was a point where someone was having a reaction, and the paramedics rushed in to take her to the hospital.  With my wide eyes, the nurses assured me that this is very rare.  Ya, I hope so.  Then, there was the guy who seemed to be so out of it that he walked around and tried to bang his IV pole on other peoples’ IV poles as if the poles were talking to each other .  Then he just wanted to sit on a stool in the middle of the room.  I watched him in amazement and was glad he didn’t see me in the corner.  But my favorite of the day, was when I heard this come out of someone’s mouth.  “If you touch me one more time, I will take this cord and wrap it around your neck.” Wow.  Just wow.  It turned out to be an elderly gentlemen who didn’t want any help walking to the restroom.  I felt bad for the nurses and him, but I will say, it was not a boring first day in the chemo ward which today felt more like a psych ward.

Now it’s time to go home and see what happens to me.

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The night before

4/5/16

It is the night before chemo.  I haven’t slept in weeks.  I was so tired today, but I went to the gym anyway.  I still showed up.  I boxed my little heart out.  I needed to do this for my sanity,  and to put myself in fight mode.   And just when I was at the point of exhaustion, I hit the bag again.  Again.  Again.  Again.  I was angry.  I was scared.  I was petrified.

I came home from the gym to a surprise Hawaiian party compliments of my mom, who has flown out here to help me, my husband, and my 3 kids.  We had leis, grass skirts, flowers, dinner and a special cake.  Afterward, they gave me scarves for my head, pajamas, lotions,  and an iPad for my in bed days.  I was shocked. I had a huge smile on my face.  It was such a sweet gesture and got my mind off tomorrow for a while.

Now, the house is asleep, and I’m wide awake.  I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  I know that I don’t want to do it, but I will because I am a fighter, and I will never give up.  I AM A FIGHTER!  BRING IT ON CANCER. I AM READY FOR YOU!

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I am a Car

3/31/16

So, apparently, I have to have many tests before I can do this chemo thing. I need genetic testing, an MRI, blood work, a PET scan, an echo cardiogram for my heart and another biopsy.  This time, it’s on my right breast because they saw something that looks “suspicious.” My new not so favorite word.  This is a different type of biopsy because it’s not a lump.  It’s just tiny calcifications so they have to take samples.

When I get to the room, there is a table with a hole in the middle of it.   That’s right.  It’s a boob hole.  I’m told to lie down face first and put my right breast in there. The nurse raises the table a little.  There is a mammogram machine below it to squeeze my breast for the biopsy.  Fantastic.  I lie there for an hour with my face to the wall, my arm raised above my head, boob squeezed and a needle stuck in it sucking out my calcifications.  I’m told not to move an inch or will mess up the photos.  My boob hurts.  My neck is killing me.  My back aches.  I can’t see anything.  I imagine them sitting on stools bending over and working on my boob.  Finally, they are done.  The nurse tells me I can move.  I immediately push up to my knees to stretch my back, and she yells, “Careful.”  To my surprise, as I look down,  the table is so high, I hit my head on the ceiling.  I had no idea that I was so high.   That whole time,  they weren’t sitting on stools bending over me.  They were standing under me and working on me like a CAR!!!!!!  I was a car with a boob coming down from the ceiling. I laughed and laughed.  How ridiculous was that? I mean seriously, who gets worked on like a car?  Then on the way home, it hit me what had just happened and that this is real.  I called my dad so I could hear his voice, and I cried all the way home on the 101 Freeway.

The good news is that there is no cancer in my right breast.  FullSizeRender

That, in my opinion, is worth being a car, and wrapped like a mummy for a few days.