Sunday, September 25, 2011

Have You Been Fitted for a Wig?

   Well this has been quite an interesting week.  I went for first chemo treatment on Monday.  Packed up laptop, books and Bruce!  Had a quick physical, talked to Dr. Wendt and off we went to pick which ugly brown chair to sit.  The nurse accessed my port, it did hurt but tolerable.  Then three hours of poisonous infusions.  Nothing too remarkable and we left.  I felt fine until about three o'clock, then to bed for night! I had to go back in the morning for "the injection"of nuelasta.  The drug that makes your body produce more white blood cells, because the chemo kills them along with all the other cells.  The main side effect?  Your bones hurt because the marrow is swelling.  Ouch, yes bones ache and have twangs of pain.  It is weird now because I actually feel sick, and I hate it.  Anyway, other typical symptoms, extremely tired and leaning off the cliff of nausea.  The roof of my mouth feels like it is coated with a layer of metallic paste, mmmm.
   Tami came to help out while Bruce was in Santa Barbara.  What a blessing.  She made my favorite tortilla soup and shrimp ceveche.  I did manage to eat and it was great!  So glad she was here to help Vance and his friend get their Togas together for the game, crowns and all. 
   Today a local group of women from a breast cancer group arranged a mani/pedi get together in Chandler.  I had originally said I would go until I was poisoned.  I took a shower and decided to go. I walked in a little late, they were all in pedi chairs. The nail lady asked if she could help me.  I said "umm, I'm here with a group?"  Ohhhhh, yes sit down she told me.  Like, oh you are one of them!  Well, I guess I am.  They were all so positive about all of it. Glad I went, now I am back in bed!
   Now, the question of the week.  Have you been fitted for a wig?  It is, once again, a memory jerker.  When my mother was going through chemo, she some how managed, to take my sister and I ice skating.  She fell on the ice and her wig fell off.  I picked it up, skated by her and literally plopped it on her head while she sat on the ice.  I am sure I just didn't want her to be embarrassed, which I probably only added to!  She did always laugh when retelling that story! 
I am going for a wig fitting Monday with a couple friends and fabulous hair Carol.  Then I think I will have her give me a short hair cut to make shedding less dramatic.  Caty sent me a few Halloween wigs, so I will have quite a selection! 
We have been so blessed with all the help and support from so many people.  Vance now "loves" meatloaf and says he never had it before! 
Thanks so much for absolutely everything and every prayer sent our way! ♥♥♥

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Another "C" Word........

There will be no wasting time now.  Holy shit!  Chemo starts Monday morning at 9:00 am.  I am realizing there are so many phases in this battle.  Each one has so many unknowns and anxieties associated with it.  Seems like I finally get used to something and the next step is knocking at the door, kind of like a stalker.  I think we are attacking the real unknown pretty hard.  Three chemo drugs (TAC) at a time, every three weeks for a total of six weeks.  Total will be 18 weeks if all goes as planned.  Dr. Wendt says hair falls out at two weeks and four days.  I guess I'll find that out soon enough.  Once again, it is hard to separate the vanity from the treatment.  I have a hard time picturing myself bald.  What a frightful sight with scars, unfinished breasts and no hair!!  Unfortunately, it is real and happening.  I have looked at some wigs online, no scarves yet but probably will soon.  Once again as I read some other women's stories I am amazed how they handle things so calmly.  I guess it is just facing the facts and moving forward.  I think of it like swimming through mud!  I was given a couple prescriptions to start before chemo, anti-nausea and some sort of steroid to prevent allergic reaction.  It is weird to take things for something that doesn't feel real.  I feel pretty nervous about all of this, reading too much and worried about side effects.  Hopefully I will get some sleep and get through this without too many problems I have read about.  Thanks again for all the encouragement and love! ♥♥♥                                                                                                                                          
Keeping The Vanity in Check!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Breast Cancer Can Be Funny...

You know there is something funny about Breast Cancer!  That definitely sounds weird, but seriously I have always been pretty modest about my body, then I get Breast Cancer and now I talk about breasts all the time!  Breast cancer is so unique because if you have kidney cancer or liver cancer or skin cancer everyone can talk about it and no one gets embarrassed or uncomfortable.  It can even be a dinner conversation without any issues. However, mention Breast Cancer which is a private, feminine and sexual body part and quite a different reaction!!  Cancer has taken over my life lately and "breast" and "boob" are part of about every conversation I have.  It is strange, and I think funny.  Especially when men get embarrassed about it. I could talk about a kidney transplant and no one would care. But I talk about breast reconstruction and it’s suddenly an embarrassing conversation. Women don’t seem to mind because they all have boobs. (Well okay, most of them do!) Boobs aren’t such a big deal to women. You mention boobs in mixed company, though, and the men don’t know what to do. Is it okay to talk about it? Do I laugh? Do I act interested?  What’s appropriate? If I look at her chest am I out of line even though they’re fake implants? Is it okay to notice? Haha, What do I do?!!
As far as I’m concerned you can relax. You aren’t going to say or do anything to offend me. Since I have had  breast cancer, any issues I had about talking about breasts are long gone. They had to go. Which really isn’t such bad thing. It Seems like society gives far too much power and interest to breasts. Yes they are beautiful and desirable, but they are also a normal part of the human body. So we should all  lighten up about breasts!  Instead, let’s laugh about them and have some fun.
On that note, what a fun week I have had!  Talking and sharing breast info with multiple people and many complete strangers!  I had a PET scan, only about thirty minutes of holding still.  Results came back negative (good!).  Blood work was all within normal range. (good also!). Saw Dr Zannis (surgeon) for post operative appointment, said everything looked good and see him when I'm done with chemo, seems like a lifetime away.  Had a vitamin and nutrient infusion with Dr Porter (naturopath) to boost my immune system.  One more on Friday and then we will see with chemo schedule. No coffee enemas yet!!!  Today I had another fill!! Hooray for that.  Then I had heart ultra sound and echo cardiogram.  Awkward moment... a young guy comes to get me.  I think it was honestly more awkward for him when he was doing ultra sound and I was talking about breasts and nipples!!!  Really nice guy though, but someone had to break the ice!  He said my heart looked good.
So tomorrow I see Dr Wendt (chemo dr).  I am sure we will set up plan, probably starting next week...ewwwww.... definitely not looking forward to that!  
Thanks so much for fabulous dinners and cookies this week!!  So generous and helpful!
Vance says, "well at least this is one good thing from all this!!" His way of saying thank you!
Thanks for all the love and support!! ♥♥♥

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fight Like A Girl!!

My niece Sierra sent me a photo of a little boxing glove that said "Fight Like a Girl!".  So sweet and exactly what I need to do.  Breast cancer is not something I ever imagined myself personally fighting, but it is as real as it can ever be.  So I am going to embrace it the best I can and fight it!  Bought a juicer today so I can work on anti-oxidants and detoxifying.  Made some carrot  and raspberry juice for my first attempt and it was actually pretty tasty!  Our refrigerator has bags of broccoli, carrots, green beans, berries, organic free range eggs,  organic chicken....... I have been feeling pretty good lately, my left arm is still sore but I mange things using my right hand.  I can take a shower and even glance in the mirror without freaking out too much!  I have a very event filled week.  Honestly, I have at least one appointment every day.  I am meeting with naturopath Monday and set up some sort of plan, he will be so thrilled I have a juicer!  Coffee enemas?  I am going to have to warm up to that!  I will be one detoxified person!  I have PET scan (I think it is like MRI but of entire body) on Tuesday morning.  I am expecting nothing but good results from that.  Dr Zannis  on Wednesday.  Another fill on Thursday (not a double D yet!).  Then an echo cardiogram to check heart function for chemo.  Then the Friday Finale with Dr Wendt (chemo dr) to set up chemo schedule and plan, scary!  The ball is really rolling now!
Vance and Bruce have never had such fabulous treats and meals!  Thanks so much, something sweet is always appreciated by Vance!  Fergie and Stella even got a little care package (we are all missing Kramer).
Thanks again for everything!  I had no idea what fabulous people are in my life! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

♥♥♥ KRAMER ♥♥♥

♥♥♥ KRAMER ♥♥♥

What a sofa king sad day :(.   We woke up today to Kramer way out of sorts.  He was panting heavily and barely able to get around.  He would lay and just stare at the wall.  The king of food inhalation didn't even budge when we gave him a piece of turkey.  So damn sad (to put it lightly).  Took him to vet and found out he has huge tumor and nothing they can do.  Bruce, Vance and Clark went to say goodbye to him, I stayed home and cried.  He has been a pleasure to have in our lives and has had a great "dog" life.  We will miss him so much and are glad he didn't have to suffer too much.  We love him so much.............
So, back to the cancer talk....met with naturopathic doctor yesterday, very interesting and works with oncologist without problems (at least on his part!).  Gave some blood and meet him again next week.
We met with Dr. Zannis, took off bandages and drains.  Then path report, not bad, one more node involved.  Not sure if he felt that answered a lot of questions but surely not really bad news.  So onto oncologist soon to figure out chemo regimen.  Dr Zannis  thought we should still see radiologist since I am so "unique", hooray!  Anyway, appointments soon, no date yet.
Tomorrow I see Plastic surgery doc, hopefully get first fill, seems like only highlight in all this.  Sorry but no photos yet!!!
That is all for now, thanks and love to everyone ♥♥♥
RIP little Kramer we will miss you....................

PS. This was his favorite sleeping position!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


These past days and weeks tend to blend and overlap quite a bit lately.  I have received lots of texts and messages about last Thursday's surgery,  I didn't realize that my last update was the day before the surgery.  I notice I am often saying, "what day is is this?"  Thanks so much for everyone's concern.  Surgery went well with nothing too remarkable,  Funny to be at same place just two weeks later.  I was definitely not freaked out like the last time, and no skinny dipping either! Dr. Zannis came to talk before the surgery and asked how I felt about the chemo port, I told him having a port placed made this all feel even more real and of course I didn't like that. Same basic pre-surgery prep as the first time.  I was covered with warmed blankets and wheeled away.  I woke up shivering and freezing.  Not sure of time, but managed to be home by 3:00 pm that day.  I looked at my new port, it is placed in my upper right chest area with a skinny tube going up my neck,  I have to say not nearly as bad as I had imagined but still odd looking.  Lymph site has a drain and bandage.  It does have more of a burning/stinging feeling, so I try to keep that side relatively quiet.  I was given different pain meds this time.  I called the office Friday morning and asked to change because they make me anxious and cause insomnia.  The nurse said it was probably the anesthesia and wait a day or two.  So, up all night again and called the doctor on-call and asked again.  The way they act, I am some kind of prescription drug addict...oh well, finally they gave me some Valium to take with pain meds.  Kinda scary but I  may try it tonight. 
Now, once again we wait some more for pathology results from the newly removed nodes.  Have an appointment Wednesday with Dr. Zannis to find out if there are any more positive nodes.  I desperately hope the answer is none!  Keeping me on track with present plan would be great (funny to even think that any plan is great!).  Once again it's all relative!  Either way I will battle through this and keep as positive as I can.
Vance had a basketball tournament this weekend, I am sad not to be there.  I am sure he misses hearing my constructive comments to the refs!  He does love all the food and treats everyone has been so generous to bring to us!  Thank you :)
I am still so amazed and grateful for all the support and love (I know I said that before but it is just so true)!  Thank you all ♥♥♥