Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Day 113

Cautiously optimistic.

Where cautiously optimist equals feeling like you could run a marathon carrying  big sparkly pom-poms and then sleep for five days because you're so happy and exhausted. 


...preliminary review of my mammogram by the radiologist indicates a 70% reduction in the size of my tumor.  

Which essentially means I am kicking cancer's ass.  

I guess I just threw cautiously optimistic to the wind but whatever.   I'm good with that.  I tend to walk a fine line between optimism and pragmatism which is kind of an unusual combination and it works for me most of the time, but this has been a true test of that.  I can tell you that I am leaning heavily towards optimism tonight!  There were definitely tears of relief today.

So next up it's wait for the official report, bust through two more chemos, then two surgeries (to be scheduled for mid-March) and then I am done!  

Thank you for the time you took out of your day to send positive energy my way.  I am going to snuggle up on my couch, eat some ice cream, kiss my kids, and watch a movie.  Maybe even get a good night's sleep.   

Love to you all, and have a beautiful night!


Monday, January 28, 2019

Day 112

Nervous much?


Talk to ya'll tomorrow after my appts.



Saturday, January 26, 2019

Day 110

 Gee menopause is nice, am I right ladies? 🤬

Just a quick shout out to chemo-induced menopause. Two things I would never wish on my worst enemy (chemo or menopause). Hoping I can get the hysterectomy done before everything starts working again and I have to do this shit twice.  I mean it's not too much to ask to have a hot flash and night sweat free day, right??? Not to mention feeling semi sane. Ugh.

Also wanted to give another shout out to Scappose Family Dentistry. I had a composite filling come out while I was on my business trip in Seattle (I. Know.) and they got me right in to fix it.  Although first I had to call my oncologist and make sure I could get the dental work done. Add that to the list of things I never thought I'd have to do. Turns out I didn't even need novocaine so that was great news! Just slapped some bondo on and called it good. What I really wanted to thank them for was all the laughs and warm thoughts and the hugs. Seriously a great team at that office and I'm proud to call them friends.

Oh and lost another toenail last night (thank you Taxol) so kinda barfing over that 🤢

That's all for today my friends!! More later as I start freaking out about my appt on Tuesday.

Until then, have a great weekend!

Love to you all and funny faces from Finn!!! Seriously her eyes crack me up in this pic. Enjoy my nerd puppy 🤓🐶


Monday, January 21, 2019

Day 105

Taxol is Not Easier and Other Musings

Hello everyone!!!  Two more chemos to go (WOOT!) and I could not be more excited and freaked out.  Apparently the Taxol (my new cocktail for four cycles) is "supposed" to be more easily tolerated than the Adriamycin (the "Red Devil") and the Cyclophosphamide.   I tend to disagree.  

First because I have had fairly crippling joint pain which is new with this drug.  And it gets better!  The latest and greatest Taxol adventure is from last Thursday's infusion.  I had a pretty bad reaction to the Taxol, but, after some ER type drama, 100 mg each of Benadryl and dexamethasone, 11 hours later I was home.  Long day and looking forward to not having chemo anymore.  It was pretty scary last time and not very comforting to know I am on three times the normal dose for this drug.  

I am also super nervous about my mammogram next week where we'll see what all this chemo did.  I can deal with any result other than "it's bigger".  So cross your fingers, toes, and legs.  

Other than that, lots of fun life happening.  Finn learned how to open doors which has been fun, especially if you are a house guest and are using the bathroom =) 

And, as you may remember, Michael had a little accident in my car.  Well, the week after it was fixed, he lost his job at Jackpot.  (Three part-timers also got laid off, so Scappoose peeps, if you know of anyone hiring locally, I have a very "eager to keep his insurance and driving privileges and help his mommy" 16-year old son.)  Then last week, (a few days after he lost his job), he got rear-ended in the parking lot of the high school in the new family-mobile.  I shit you not.  Poor kid. That's a lot for an adult to deal with, not to mention a kid!!

In between all that wonderfulness, our cat went missing and then decided to come home 5 days later after we were complete messes.  He's never been gone that long and it was just about too much for me and the family to deal with.  If you've met my cat, he literally is the coolest cat, like ever.  So he's home now and all fat and sassy like he was never gone.  I did tell him when he nonchalantly walked through the pet door last Saturday morning that he was an asshole and if he ever did it again there would NOT be flyers in mailboxes ever again.

Also went to MOPOP for the first time.  I highly recommend going!!  They are also having a Marvel exhibit right now.  Umm, can you see my geek flag waving yet?  

That and seeing John Bonham's drum kit (among other extremely geeky music memorabilia), and Michael and I were completely SUPER geeking out.  

Oh, and I got this cool t-shirt that makes me LOL every damn time.  Like every time.  ➡

And Michael was so sweet, I could hardly make it through the entire museum I was so dead, so he gave me his arm and walked me through the whole thing. Just a proud little "I must be doing something right" moment.

Been travelling a lot to Seattle for work, which I LOVE.  I seriously heart Seattle.  But, since I am kind of a wussy right now and not super great to travel alone, I've been trying to make the best of it by taking one of the kids with to make sure I am OK during my travels.  The most recent trip Jess went with me and we went to see Bumblebee, went to the Dough Zone (seriously why is there no Dough Zone near me??) and came back to the hotel and did extreme facial care. 

Last week all my eyelashes jumped ship and my brows are on their way out now too.  Quite honestly I feel so ugly, but my skin looks fabulous now!  (And there's a LOT of it LOL!) 

As far as the musings I mentioned, I have been hesitant to voice them in much detail, because I don't want to come off as being negative.  After deliberating, it's not really that I am being negative at all, but that I have received a perspective that not everyone has been as lucky as me to receive.  If the following comes out badly, I am blaming the Taxol.

It's so funny to me to keep hearing that I am so positive about everything.  I sometimes have to laugh and roll my eyes a little bit because most days I feel like I am struggling to keep my shit together.  But thank you to all of who think I've got it all figured out.  I thought a little bit about it, and I think it's just I don't really have time to lose it.  It's like, OK, you have cancer, time to deal with it.  Like Michael wrecking my car or something, you know?  Just got to get it taken care of and check it off the list.

I've really taken a lot of time to reflect on the people in my world.  I am so blessed to have such solid people in my life and I am eternally grateful to you all. My family is amazing and even my ex has been great =) Although kids, you could do better about your chores.   It's also been so surprising to have so many people reach out to me that I didn't expect would, and in unexpected ways.  Even people I didn't know before I knew I had cancer, or didn't know very well, or didn't know in any way that I would have expected them to reach out and offer their hand, have become a fundamental part of my extended support system.  And it has been such a comfort to work for such a wonderful company, (I've always thought this, though, ask anyone), and my boss (that I seriously heart) and the senior leadership team got me a housecleaning and a spa day.  I mean hello!!  And the whole Stitch Fix thing and the random flowers from folks, and the hey, I know we haven't talked in forever, I just wanted to send you positive vibes.  It's just so overwhelming and there's too much to list, and I will always remember and cherish your presence.

Conversely, I have dwelled, even agonized, a lot, on the people in my life that I thought would be here for me that haven't been.  I am not going to talk too much about it because it's still a pain point for me, but it's been a real thing that I have had to deal with.  It's been super disappointing as I've gone down the path of reevaluating years of friendships.  I know that it's not anything I did, and I feel a deep sadness that there is a force in their lives that is preventing them from reaching out in a meaningful way, especially now when their friendship would mean so much.  I don't really have anything else to say about this other than I will always remember and mourn your absence.

That is why I say perspective has been such a gift to me.  I am so lucky!  Life is so different now.  Better.  More meaningful.  Priorities are different and things that used to matter don't seem to matter anymore because when you are sitting where I sit, all of it was really pretty trivial anyway.  What matters in life is the meaty stuff, not the politics and self-involved bullshit that no one will remember when you are gone. I'm talking about the real stuff.  The talks, the laughs, the hugs, the things that directly touch your heart and your soul and take your breath away without passing go.

Just a little wisdom from the single girl with cancer.  Take it or leave it.  

The world will be a better place because of who you are, not what you did - Me

Hugs from me and funny faces from Finn.

Love you all!


Friday, January 4, 2019

Day 88

We've hit the half way mark and then some!

Greetings!! SO much has happened since we last talked!  

First, I hope you all had an amazing holiday!  I wasn't really feeling the holiday vibe this year, but we made it through with some semblance of normal, although sans tree because new puppy + tree does not equal a good time for me.  I even got some xmas selfies with the kids!!!  Yay!!  Took the kids to PIR to see the lights a la peppermint hot chocolates, which is corny but at this point it's a tradition. We had two so very delicious holiday dinners and I ate WAY too much thanks to the steroids I have to take.  

Our family was adopted for Christmas by a Michelle's love family and we got some really great gifts and we are so thankful for their generosity (check the link in the "My Links" section on the right to see what this amazing charity does). 

And I even stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve to see the ball drop, kissed my daughter, and then went to bed.  

I reached the halfway mark (YAY!!!!) of my chemo on 12/21 when I had my last round of the "Red Devil" and Cyclophosphamide.   I can attest that I was feeling the full cumulative effect that week of that particular drug cocktail.  I won't belabor you with details but I just felt really bad.  Highlights of that last week are I almost passed out twice in one day (I think from dehydration), and my blood pressure dropped to 93/58 which is not a great thing for me.  Thank goodness I am done with that and I started my Taxol regime yesterday.  I'll have three more of those and then I will be done with chemo, hopefully forever, on 2/14.  Besides breaking my left pinkie toe the morning of chemo yesterday, (seriously - you know how graceful I am) I am feeling much better after this last round of chemo and my blood pressure has returned to it's normal 120/72.  I am hoping the worst is behind me (I mean with a nick name of "Red Devil" it almost has to be!).  Next really important appointment is the end of this month.  I have a mammogram, so I will find out how the chemo has affected my tumor.  I am nervous about the appointment and trying to stay positive.    

In other news, lots of stuff!!  Michael got into a little $4200 fender bender in my car.  You know, the Camaro that I call my second husband.  Yeah, that one.  Most importantly, everyone is A-OK.  It's all fixed now and Michael is having a life lesson on car insurance deductibles.  While I am speaking of husbands and cars, my ex husband bought the kiddos a car and drove it up the week of Christmas, so I am super grateful and all kinds of emo over him doing that.  It just makes life so much easier.

Also took the kiddos to the King Tut exhibit at OMSI which was so great!!  I think it's here until the end of the month and if you have a chance and you are a history geek like me, you should def go.

Then I had to go to Seattle to work last week, so made a little adventure out of it and took David and Jess with me (Michael had to work so couldn't come) and we went to the Space Needle.  I am not sure if you've been since they put in the Plexiglas floor and walls but oh my gosh it is scary, but really cool!  So we did that and then went back to the room and settled in for some Grub Hub and mediocre hotel cable. Was a really great way to end 2018, chillin' with the brats =)

I have to say I am really excited about what 2019 is going to bring me and the journey of healing and recovery.  There is some cool shit that's going to happen this year, and I hope your new year brings lots of cool shit too!

Leaning up on the glass wall, I was so scared!
I have to say that I am so grateful to my family, my friends, and my work family for all that you have done to keep me focused and motivated and feeling cared about.  I love you all and am so blessed to have you in my life.  There are definitely times when I feel like I can't do this on my own anymore and I am so thankful for you all for not letting me forget that I am not alone.

Love to you all, and from Finn too!