Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Im off!!

So im off to chemo #5 in just a few minutes. Im not gonna lie, im extremly anxious and im having a lot harder time this time than any time. Im to the point that thinking about having to lay in bed for the next 4 or 5 days makes me a bit crazy. Having said that, I realize that I only have to do this one more time and then the hard part is over. All I have to do is to keep thinking of that. Its almost over, its almost over!! Im trying to stall if you hadnt guessed-i really, really, really dont want to go. But I guess I must. At least I have a good book to read and 3 hours to relax in a recliner while poison flows through my veins! Positive thoughts-no nausea, no nausea, no nausea. See ya next week!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eyes, ears, mouth and nose!

There are alot of things about cancer that I hate-obviously-but this side effect of hair loss has been quite annoying. Im really not complaining much about the head hair loss-that has actually been kinda nice. I can go from shower to out the door in about 10 minutes. I have always HATED doing my hair-so im enjoying NOT having to do it. I just wish I had the guts to go out bald without hats or scarfs. The wig I have is horribly ugly, so I never wear it and I get tired of having something on my head-especially now that its getting hot.

Anywho-back to the other annoying hair loss. When I was told I would lose my hair, my only thought was about the hair on my head. I never really gave much thought about the other hair. Like my eyelashes and eye brows and the hair in my nose(gross I know). I knew that these little hairs were there for a reason, but its not really something you think about. Because my eyebrows and eyelashes are gone, there is nothing there to stop dirt and anything else from getting in my eyes. They are constantly burning and irritated. I look like im crying all the time. Not to mention my eyelids are swollen, so they look huge and they make my no eyelash eyes stick out even more. Thank goodness for glasses!!
So since my eyes water all the time, it makes my nose run. Having no hair in there makes that snot just run on out. I get no warning-it just starts to drip. The positives of this-yes there are some- is that I NEVER have to shave my legs or under my arms or my toes =) I wont lie-its been nice!

As far as side effects go, there have been many. I knew that one of the chemo drugs I am given would cause mouth sores, I just didnt realize that they would last for 2 weeks. My mouth has that feeling you get when you drink way too hot hot chocolate. This time I actually got big sores all over my tounge. Every time I brushed my teeth and tounge, I would bleed. Food didnt taste good and I couldnt even drink water-yuck!!! And this time around, I have been nausous so much more. I still get it everyday-not too bad, but enough to be annoying. I think this next time, I will forgo the patch and try a new IV drug and hope that it works. I think it was the patch that was prolonging my nausea-so im totally done with that.

And the worse side effect of all, I have gained like 10 pounds. They told me that I probably would being on a steroid, but I just thought it wouldnt happen. I just keep telling myself that it is only temporary, but it stinks. Nothing like being fat AND bald.

So Wednesday marks my 5th chemo treatment. While I dont look foward to these, I look forward to marking one more down. I cannot believe that after this I only have ONE more. One-thats it. I can totally do this!! In Utah, my kids school got out on the 29th of May, so I just figured that it was the same here. Its not-its the 21st. The day after my last chemo treatment. I look at all the things that I am missing because of this cancer. I was sick for Averys 2nd birthday, I missed 2 field trips, I missed Easter, I was sick when my sister and her family came to visit, I missed a baby blessing and a sealing. These are just some of the things. I miss out on so much family time and I feel that when i do start to feel better, I have so much to catch up on that I am still missing things. This last round left me a lot more fatigued than before. By the end of the day, I am tired and cranky and my drive to do anything is gone. I know that its temporary and soon enough, my energy will be back and this will all be a thing of the past. I know that I still have a long way to go-a double masectomy, recovery, 6 weeks of radiation and then the start of reconstruction. Hopefully by Thanksgiving or Christmas I will be cancer FREE with a tummy tuck and a boob job. Merry Christmas to me!!

SO...on to #5. I cant wait until I can say that I only have one more. Have a great week!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It can happen to ANYONE!!

One thing that has helped me through this cancer crap has been reading other peoples stories. I do alot of reading and it makes me feel like I can beat this!! Tonight, I came across a story of a 10 year old girl who was just diagnosed with stage 2A breast cancer. This is so rare and there are no reported cases for her to refer to and her family is searching for an answer. I thought I would post her blog so you could read for yourselves. Maybe there is someone out there who can offer them some advice or has any information.
This just shows that breast cancer can happen to anyone and we really need to educate ourselves and our daugheters about it-prevention and early detection is the key!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meeting with the surgeon

I just got back from my first meeting with the surgeon. I never know what to expect going into an appointment with a doctor you have no idea about. With the insurance I have, not too many doctors take it. I think my oncologist had to search for one for a while. That in itself left me feeling unsettled because I dont want to have to "settle" for a doctor- especially a surgeon. First of all, this guy looks just like groucho marks-he even has hair pouring out of his ears. He just kept talking and talking and wouldnt let me get a word in. He kept throwing in all these different scenarios that had nothing to do with my situation-like if I was 60, or if the genetic test was positive or if I was a stage 1 or 2. I was starting to get impatient because I just wanted to talk about MY situation and what MY options were. He talked about the option of doing a double masectomy and I told him that I would prefer to do that because I dont want to deal with this again-and he just kept talking about why it would be good and why it wouldnt and maybe I would prefer to wait a few years and then do it and yada yada yada. I left his office with a tentative surgery date of early June and a huge pit in my stomach. Now what do I do? Do I take it into my hands and find my own surgeon? I asked my oncologist if he knew the surgeon and he said yes he knew him and liked him. I trust my doctor and trust what he says, but im just not sure about this one. I want to do reconstruction also and the surgeon I saw in Utah had said that I could do it at the same time as the masectomy. This doctor is saying that he wouldnt recommend it-that he would wait until after im through with radiation. That would mean that I would have to go back for 2 or 3 more surgerys instead of just one more. There are pros and cons for doing it both ways. The pro of doing it after radiation would be that I could use my own tissue instead of using an implant. That also means a little tummy tuck because they would use the tissue from my stomach, but the con is that I wont have any boobs for like 6 months. Thats awesome-no boobs and no hair-what a woman I will be. I really dont know what to do. I would love to hear any advice or anything that any of you reading this can offer. I know that im not the only one who is or who has faced these same questions.
Anywho...thats where I am right now. I feel good right now and I am going to enjoy the remaining week and a half. I am so behind on laundry and cleaning and organizing and all that jazz-but all I want to do is go out to lunch and hang out! I will be sooo excited to be done with this chemo and stop living in 3 week incriments. My last treatment will be May 20th. Thats not too far away. Have a great day!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4 down, 2 to go

I have finished Chemo #4. Just talking about it still makes me nausous. I thought I would include a picture of me in the chemo chair. Not really a pretty sight, but this is what it is. I get to sit in a nice reclining chair while they dump in the poison for about 3 hours.

I wore the patch this time and it actually helped. I wasnt as near sick as i have been and I was actually able to get up a few times throughout the days. I dont know if it was the patch or if my body is just used to it now or a combo of the two, but this time was actually bearable. Im not saying I would like it all the time, but at least I wasnt in a death cloud. This time brought a lot more bone pain than in the past and it was almost too much to take. I like to use the "operation" analagy-you know, the game Operation. I get a nice little electric shock in my bones. Its beyond painful and not at all comfortable, but I still didnt do the pain pill thing. I really didnt want to, but I think I might change my mind.

So 4 down and only 2 to go. Im over half way and that is a great feeling!! Im actually feeling ok tonight. Well enough to sit down and blog anyway. Today being Easter and all, I just couldnt stay in bed all day while my family ate all this good food. My Mom brought in one of her wing back chairs to the table, and i plopped myself in the chair with my pillow and blanket. I even managed to eat a bit. Even though I couldnt do much with my kids, I think they still had a good day.
Heres to a good week!!!

Its party time!!

I am finally getting around to posting some pictures from my awesome hat and scarf party. It was so much fun to see everyone who came. I was spoiled beyond belief, but more than that, I felt so loved and so blessed. People from my ward growing up were there, old high school friends, my super awesome book club, and so many more. I am so blessed to have such a strong support system behind me and I am so thankful for eveyone who came, anyone who has sent a letter, a text, an email or a well wish. Thank you so much for all your love and your support. I really couldnt do this without all of you. And especially, a HUGE thank you to Rachel for putting this together and having it at her house, and also the book club for the food and to anyone else who helped. The night was perfect and I enjoyed myself so much-and it was much needed. So thank you!!!

A picture of the awesome spread
More pictures of the food!!

What was left of the food
I think I really liked the food-i got lots of pictures

I dont think these were meant to be, but I told Julie that they looked like nipples-anyone else think so??? I thought it was appropriate for the night!

3 of my awesome book club gals.

Holly, Laura and her sweet baby boy

Mandy and Abby-whoo whoo for 45th ward!!
The Lomu Sistas. Love you guys!!

More book club girls-Julie and Joni

The hostess with the mostess and her Mama, Lana and Rach

Ok, so I will include one picture of myself but only because Audrey looks so hot!!

Christina and Stacia-two longtime friends. Can you believe these 2 have triplets??
Lana and Cara

Andrea was trying to get me to open up my presents for like an hour and I just kept talking and talking, so she took it into her own hands and started opening them herself. What a gal!! She got some great stuff!

My mom and my sisters, Britney, Jackie, Debbie and Mom
My super awesome book club girls got this rockin hat hair for me. I think I look pretty hot!!

The Worthen girls-more 45th ward. I sure miss that ward!! Judi, Courtney, Wendy and Syd
My sweet Aunt Sandy and my cousin Lynette

Just some of the loot!!

One of the many awesome hats I received!
2 of my best buddies. Nancy and Anney. I have known these girls since I was in diapers

Jessica and Kristin. Some more longtime friends

This picture was the last of the stragglers. Some I have known my whole life and some for about 4 years, but all my favorite girls!!
It was such a fun night and I got so many great things.


Hair today, gone tomorrow

Well, better late than never right?? Although this happened quite a bit ago, I still wanted to post these pictures because they mean a lot to me. Shaving my head wasnt as traumatic as I thought it would be, it was actually kind of cool. I think im diggin this hair style because of how easy it is. I was never one to love getting ready and doing my hair, I actually dreaded it, so its really not so bad. I look ugly as sin, but what are you gonna do.

My sweet boys decided to shave their heads along with me. I was out at the store and by the time I got home, Bill had taken matters into his own hands and started shaving without me. Noah and Tyson were already done and he was starting on Caleb.

I think Caleb hates hair cuts more than anyone I know. I was so proud of him for doing this for me!!

Noah and Tyson looking good with their new hairdo's
I was in denial for a while after I cut my hair short. I just wasnt ready to have it all gone. It kept falling out in clumps and it was all over the place, but I just kept putting off the shaving. I think it was the Sunday before this, I was getting ready for church and noticed a HUGE bald spot smack dab in the middle of my head. I thought I had covered it pretty good, but when I got to church, my Mom immeadiatly noticed it. I figured it was time.
The last picture of me with hair...well some of it anyway.

The first swipe. Bill was my hairstylist for the day. I wouldnt recommed him :)

YIKES!!!! Im not so sure about this!

We realized that this was the first time in about 18 years that I didnt have any color on my hair. I never realized how dark my natural really was.
The kids were all standing in front of me and were dying laughing. Avery had just woken up from her nap and came outside to this nice sight-she wasnt so sure.

And the deed is done!! I deccided to wait just a few more days to bic it. I actually didnt mind the shaved looked

The whole shaved head family, plus Avery who was a little nervous at her moms new hair cut

Im so loved by my sweet boys. I was so happy that they all decided to do this for me. I know that Tyson didnt want to because his hair had finally grown out just enough to have a mohawk, but he did it anyway. I have such sweet little boys. I love them so much!!

Good Days

I am such a slacker these days with this blog. I think to myself everyday that I really need to write, but when I go to do it, my brain decides to stop working and I cant think of a single thing to write. We call that Chemo Brain. It really is true that this poison affects every part of my body. My goodness, my brain is a mess. I kind of compare it to the way your brain is after you have a baby times 100. Its crazy. Unless its written down on a sticky note attached to my forehead, I dont give it a second thought. I even forgot about a birthday party that Lani was supposed to go to last Saturday. She was upset but then said it was Ok because I have chemo brain. Sweet thing. But mushy brain aside, things are really good right now. I feel good and have lots of energy-until about 7pm or so anyway. My only issue is sleeping. Some nights I get so restless and sleep is hard to come by. But I will take that anyday.
I just read this book called Miracle of Faith. Its the story of Rex Lee, he was BYU's President for about 6 years and like 100 other big things. He was diagnosed in 1987 with non-hodgkins lymphoma. He lost his battle in 1996, but it was such an inspirational book of faith and perserverance. He had it way worse than anything I will have to face (hopefully), but I felt so inspired by his story because no matter what I face, I will get through it. Even though I feel like things are tough for me, there are a million people who have it worse and I have nothing to complain about. I know its weird to say, but I really am grateful for this trial. I have grown stronger and become closer with my Father in Heaven. I have been able to see what is truly important in life and to not let the little things bother me. On Sunday, the RS lesson was on the talk from the last conference " Come what may and love it". While I dont love this Cancer, this is what I have been given and I will try everyday to learn from this and to find all the positives that have come and will come from this. I really feel so blessed right now!!!