Friday, November 30, 2018

Day 53

Meet my new life partner.

Bad news boys, I am officially off the market.  I know 😒

LOL, OK I am just kidding, but, I would like to introduce you all to my new BFF in life, Finn.  She is the most amazing 9-week old chocolate lab puppy in the entire world and I love her so much!  She is so smart and perceptive and snuggly!  She does leave a little to be desired in the puppy breath department and she is very mouthy (meaning everything in her mouth) and we are still working on the potty thing, but she's already sitting on command at 9 weeks!  What a smarty pants!  And, as a proud mom does, I will continue to brag and tell you some of her older siblings work with PAVE so she was bred for emotional intelligence, not something superficial like color or head shape (check out the 'My Links' section for more info about the PAVE program-it's amazing).

I know you all may be thinking, "umm, so you are a single mom with cancer, don't you have enough on your plate?"  I am clearly at my limit but bear with me for a moment.  I can tell you mentally and emotionally this has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life and I have been through some pretty bad stuff.  I was trying to keep my chin up but it was a constant struggle, and I consider myself a hopeless optimist, so yeah. My head space was just pretty whack.   

Some history.  Way back when I was 8 years old, my dad got a lab puppy when he was going through cancer treatment.  I was sitting at the table having my morning coffee a few weeks ago and all of a sudden it hit me and I completely understood why he did that.  I needed a puppy!  That very same day, I went to pick out my new puppy.  Or rather, she picked me.  Her three sisters were climbing all over her and I lifted her out of the pen and she climbed up my chest so she could get her nose right in my neck, and then she fell asleep.  That was it for me.  

Finn is my hiking buddy for next year and for many years to come.  I am so looking forward to all the adventures and fun we are going to have now and after I have recovered.  And, since many of you have scolded me for hiking alone, now I won't be alone anymore!  You're welcome!  =)  

My head is where I need it to be now and I have a perfect distraction and renewed sense of purpose.  Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that simply fighting for my life and to be there for my kids was not enough, because it definitely is enough and it is by far the most important thing.  

It's kinda like I just needed a reboot.  Now my head is pulled out of my rear-end and I've stopped going down every rabbit hole of worse case scenarios.  Now I'm looking forward.

And for those of you that are rescue dog people and hate people like me for going to a breeder, I really tried to go that route first.  This was the right choice for me and my family.  This little girl is such a gift to us all.

So look out my friends for my IG and FB to blow up with pup pictures (shocker) and I am fairly certain the hiking pictures will now include my new BFF in addition to the standard repertoire.

Love you all, have a fantastic weekend!


Monday, November 26, 2018

Day 49

Chemo has me feeling so sexy πŸ‘Š

Hey everyone!  Had my second round of the "Red Devil" the day before Thanksgiving and I am slowly digging my way out of it.  Everything a bit harder this time, from the initial stick in the chest to the rotten feeling in my stomach.  Seems like its about five days before I start to feel human again, and it was back to work today with everyone else!  I did miss Thanksgiving dinner though so if anyone has leftovers, I am down!!  πŸ—

Since my first chemo earlier this month, lots of cool stuff happening with the bod.  Lost a toenail, got sores in my throat that felt a lot like strep but without the fever, my GI system thinks it's WWIII, and my hair is falling out in cool little globs (not to say that it wasn't expected but I am seriously having Silkwood flashbacks-apparently that movie traumatized me for life). 

And, since I am feeling full of chemo glam tonight, I wanted to share my not-so-great-moment that I had this weekend.  Definitely hit a low point and I am going to overshare because that's why I am doing this blog.  I've asked you all to virtually hold my hand with me as I fight my way through this, and not just for the fun stuff.  So, your hair.  On chemo.  You know it's coming out, but you take for granted that you are a grown up with hair like everywhere.  Then you take a bath and holy shit all your hair is jumping ship.  Moral is, don't take a bath on chemo, or you could end up crying over your tub with liquid plumber.  Not fun.

And, on a lighter note, (you may have already seen this on my IG or FB already), but I wanted to put this out into the world again because it's really just so mind-blowing for me still.  I lost a bit of weight earlier this year and needed to rebuild my wardrobe, and I fell in love with Stitch Fix.  I really don't enjoy any kind of shopping and use Click-List, Amazon Subscribe & Save, whatever I can do to never have to step foot into a store.  So with chemo happening and not so much high fashion needed at the office, I drafted a little note to my personal stylist at Stitch Fix in the little box on the app, you know, the one that you think no one ever reads.  Just wrote something really quick and simple like, "hey, starting up 4 months of chemo, can you please send me some comfy stuff for a few months?"  And then something amazing happens.  

These show up at my house.  With a card!

Then I get my super comfy fix with another note.  

I am seriously crushing on my stylist.  I ❤ you Rachel!  But seriously, how many companies would even take the time to do this?  It's overwhelming.  This whole journey has been overwhelming. Full of bad and good, disappointment and surprise. But this, all the feels.  Team Boobie is growing and hopefully bringing some awareness and action.  

It was important to me to leave you all with that happy note after my little pity party a few paragraphs up.

Sidenote, as I sit here trying to write this, meanwhile literally struggling to choke down some water and swearing at the most awful case of chemo-induced acid reflux, like ever, I am wondering do any of you suffer from this and what in the heck makes it stop?  Like if I eat bread will it soak this shit up?   I am on Prilosec from the doc but it's not touching it.  Any help greatly appreciated!!!

Have a great night friends πŸ’—!  


p.s.  Two chemos down, six to go.  I've got this!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Day 37

Proof of Life =)

I swear I am here!  It has been a whirlwind week between my first chemo and the big party and work and life and all that good stuff!  

I am doing pretty good, very up and down.  Mostly tired and nausea.  And in a real life episode which aired today of, "What the Shit, Life?", I also have cramps.  Ask me tomorrow how I feel about Tylenol, but tonight I am accepting chocolate donations LOL.  

OK! Enough of this boring stuff!!  Yuck!!!  

Without further ado, some pics from the party.  Look at all these wonderful people that came to support me!   I cannot thank you enough for coming out.  I am so grateful to have each and every one of you in my life.

The company was great and the pizzas were amazing and a big hit!  Many many thanks to my pizza hero, Scott!!  Check out that spread!


Not only was there head shaving and pizza (as if that wasn't enough!), we unveiled the new "Team Boobie" t-shirts and hazed some of the newest members, also some of Scappoose High School's finest young men.  You may recognize the hashtag 😍  

Thank you Chad.  You are amazing to put the idea together and just run with it.  I love them and they make me smile and laugh.  And as you know, that's how you actually kill cancer =)   Can't wait to dazzle the infusion room next week rocking my new threads.

Also, had a little victory today convincing someone to schedule their very procrastinated mammogram.  Please do not wait.  I'm lucky I didn't. 

I hope you enjoy all the pics, sorry so long away!  Talk at you soon πŸ’—


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Day 30

What my kids think I look like right now
'Twas the night before chemo.....

...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a - OK let's be real.  I am stirring.  Hardcore.  At least this nervous energy is focused on being productive!!  So much laundry getting done!

I  had every intention tonight to author a more thoughtful post, giving a shout out to another one of the folks that did something wonderful and unexpected, but that will have to wait until another day when I am going a little less nutty cakes and much more lucid.
Me, now.  They're not too far off lol!

Asking (again) for you to send good vibes my way for my first chemo tomorrow.  Anxious and excited to get it started and start fightingπŸ’—πŸ’ͺ, but hella nervous because I have no idea what to expect!!  

Get some sleep for me!  πŸ’€

Goodnight and I will check in with you all tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Day 29

So much love happening!

I can't even cram it in to one blog post!!  I don't even know where to start!!  If you know me personally, this will (hopefully) make you laugh out loud.  To make things easier, I will just alphabetize all the awesomeness that has been surrounding me lately.  When you quit laughing at me, please read on =)

First up this week:  Becky.

Look at what this beautiful amazing woman did out of love and support for me!!

To really appreciate this (yes, it's possible to find even more great things about this act), allow me to take you back 36 years ago to River Grove Elementary School.  Becky and I were backyard neighbors and 1st and 2nd grade BFF's.  When my dad remarried and we needed to relocate, I remember being so devastated to say goodbye to Becky.  Like it was the end of  my 8-year-old-Barbie-loving-little-girl world.  When I moved to Salem, new friends were made and I didn't see Becky anymore.  She had moved from the now to the then. 

Fast forward 24 years.  I had just reentered the workforce after staying home with my daughter for a year after she was born.  We were currently living in the Eugene/Springfield area and I had just got my "big break" as an Invoicing Specialist at Richardson Cap Co.  I was training with a co-worker and I noticed a very familiar name on the employee roster.  I was thinking, "OK, I know that's not a common name at all, but this can't really be happening".  So!  I had my coworker take me down to introduce me and holy shit it was Becky!!   It was so great to catch up and learn about what she had been doing, and her own battles.

Me and Becky (I think 7??)
Then as life and change happens, we moved back up to the Portland area, and for the most part lost any sense of meaningful interaction (translation: FB friends only).

Fast forward 12 more years.  (Taking a minute to let that settle in.  Time goes by so fast!!).  I shared my diagnosis on my social media accounts, after agonizing a bit about whether to do so (see my Day 1 post), and Becky was the first to reach out.  She is a cancer survivor and is wearing her battle scars proudly (and loudly after the recent haircut-thanks Mike 😊).  She has come with me to doctor appointments, provided support, understanding, and love.

I think I get the message that some people are just meant to be in your life.  And, if you are lucky enough to have Becky in your life, you have been blessed. 

Love you girl.  I told you I was gonna dish on you ❤


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Day 26

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

Groan, I know!!  

I have so many things to talk about, but I decided I'd better get the invite out there first.

So, I'll cut to the chase.  I am having a party to shave my head.  The kids will do the honors but I would love to have my friends here to support me when I do it.  It'll be hard to cry when I am laughing!

I will provide non-alcoholic drinks and flatbread and sauce for pizzas, so bring your favorite pizza toppings and/or favorite side dish or dessert.

Here's the link to RSVP!  Hope to see many, many, of you there! 

Talk soon!!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Day 24

I have been assimilated.

OK, the sci-fi geek in me just can't resist indulging in the parallels.  But seriously, this tube running down my neck, bump in my chest, and hole in my neck are making me feel like the unwilling subject of some alien experiment.  I know I will get used to having the port and it will be so great to have and save my veins from many many pokes, but it's kinda grossing me out right now.  Humbly asking for a grace period on adjusting to my new cyborg bling.  I'm sure it took Picard a few days too.

I also got the call from the oncology scheduler today and I start chemo next week!  So exciting and scary all at once. Wednesday I will go in for an EKG, and then Thursday morning the battle begins for reals!  

I hope you all had a lovely evening!  


p.s. Thank you Chad for the Star Trek inspired words of encouragement 🀣