Welcome! Read Me!

This blog is created to give you a central location to answer any questions you have about my current and upcoming treatments and reactions. It is also created to help me make Lemonade out of the Lemons I have been given, so I will keep this as positive as I can.







Sunday, December 19, 2010

The "Good Week"

I haven't blogged in a little while, and maybe by the end of this post you might see why.
I am half way though my Chemo Treatments so I have had my share of "Good Weeks" mixed in with the bad ones. I think that this current Good Week is probably the busiest one ever. It is actually close to 2 weeks this time. It started on the 8th, 8 days after my last treatment. I was happy that I was feeling pretty good so I went to the Christmas Progressive Dinner. It was great to get out and enjoy some time with the ladies and basically kick off my good week.
Once it started there was no stopping... Quite literally. We jumped into action and started working on the Christmas Candy. Every spare moment we worked on it. There were not a lot of spare moments but we made it happen so that we could share at least a little Christmas Cheer and Gratitude to people who have helped us out. I am definitely grateful that I was able to buy my Chocolate Tempering Unit this summer to help make the process Easier. It was a fun "toy" to play with this holiday season. 
This "week" continued into Saturday with the Christmas Party at the Church with Food, Music and Of Course SANTA! The girls were pretty excited to see him, but so shy that they didn't talk to him about anything.

Photo By Kami Clark. Thanks Kami!

Sunday it was time for Birthday Celebrations. We had a party for Danielle and me at the Thorpes. Continued with another Birthday Dinner for Danielle with both Grandparents to celebrate her 1st Birthday! Wednesday we had my Birthday Dinner at the Outback Steakhouse. We were able to have a "break" from parties for a couple days to finish up the Candy and then we were back at it on Saturday. We spent the morning wrapping the gifts for 7-11-Doubles (White Elephant) and grabbing a couple last minute things at the store (like Cat Food). Then we were ready. We Partied the whole rest of the day. This wore me and the girls out. We have rested through the morning and early afternoon so that we can party one more time tonight.
I have one more day to Enjoy before I go back in for treatment. I am happy that Alex has taken off work and will be home to take care of me and the girls for this round of treatment. Monday, I plan to pick up a couple things at the store. Go in to work for a little while and hopefully I will get at least a Chiropractor visit, if not a massage as well, then I should be ready to sleep for the next week.
We decided this week that we wanted to do Christmas ON Christmas. We were going to try to do it Monday before I went in for Chemo, but after this week we have had I decided I will likely be more prepared and probably even more rested on Christmas than I would be tomorrow. We will just keep our celebrations at home and have a relaxing Christmas.
Is it crazy that I am looking forward to Chemo so I can rest up? :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Genetic testing results are in...

At the beginning of this journey we were asked to take a genetic test to check me for a Gene mutation for BRCA 1 or BRCA 2. These Mutations are strains that can cause most cases of hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancer. I got a call from the Surgeon yesterday during Chemo to tell me that I do not have those 2 genes specifically. Hooray! However... I do have a 'genetic variant of uncertain significance' This is a variant of the BRCA 1 listed as Y1863D (5706T>G) Whatever that all means. LOL but it could be a factor that has caused my own Cancer.
At this point the Dr said there are only a handful of Breast Cancer patients that they have identified this gene, so they are trying to get a better idea if there are family members who carry this gene that Have or do NOT have cancer of any type.
I am filling out a survey of my family members, including my first cousins, to see if anyone qualifies for a free genetic test to see if anyone caries this variant and to see if it means anything. If anyone in my family does not want to be included let me know so I can note it as such on my survey. This may not cost anything for you and may or may not tell you anything, but it may get you seen earlier if you have any other risk factors down the line. I am also not sure if I can include relatives without blood relation who have had Cancer. I will be asking this since I know that there are others that may be able to be reviewed, just in case they carry that gene mutation.
I hope that in doing this it will help others down the line. There is some "fine print" that states that they may not be able to answer my own risk right away with this assessment, but it could... So it may be worth something.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going into Chemo #3

Well Chemo is tomorrow. It seems like it was longer in between treatments somehow. Maybe it is all of the Holiday festivities. Or maybe it is because Me, Emma and Danielle have been sick the last few days. I dunno. But being sick has brought to light some side effects that I wasn't really expecting, and one that I expected, but not to this magnitude.
I was told before I started Chemo that I would loose my hair. Including my NOSE HAIRS. You don't really think about your nose hairs until they get too long and tickle you when you breathe and making you sneeze, or when they are dangling out of your grandpas nose. LOL But when there are less hairs it doesn't hold in the mucus so much anymore. And when you have a Cold and your nose is running all the time anyways... it REALLY doesn't hold much back! So I am constantly needing to be near a Kleenex Box!
The next thing that has surfaced is something I NEVER thought I would say... I have the same problem as my nose in MY EARS! How weird is that? I mean really?!?!? Runny Ears? Really??? That is a Strange thing.
I am slowly losing some of my eyebrows, but not enough that I look too different yet, and I still have most of my eyelashes as well, so I still feel like I look a little "normal" though I don't expect that to last forever. We'll see if they stick around.
And lastly, there is the strange sensation of a cat licking my bald head. Now that is different too. I am accustomed to this on my hands and even my elbow when they are trying to get my attention and get me to pet them, but the head is all new. That will take me a while to get used to.
On another note. I have been checking things out and was given a great link on the web from my Sister in Law. The Pink Renegades. It has given me a great resource about how to tie scarves and deal with my baldness. Now I can go shopping with a little more information of what I am looking for and how I can tie them when I get them home with some practice. My first trip and try didn't go all that great. :) I will have more time to make it work. On one of her videos there was a song that admittedly made me cry. (but really there are not that many things that don't, and that isn't a HUGE change from before... I get it from my mom) I guess it helped that it was playing as she was having her head shaved, and that brought me back a little. And I always get a little extra emotion the couple days before Chemo for some reason. Maybe the stress of it all or the wonder of what will be different this time... but anyway... it is a song I thought I would share: India.Arie - I Am Not My Hair - ft. Akon

Overall, I think I am holding it together most of the time but we'll see if I still believe that after tomorrow. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How do you say it?

Oh... By The Way... I have Cancer...

I guess I have grown a little bit "comfortable" with my diagnosis. Is this a bad thing? I am not sure... I suppose I am mostly comfortable in the knowledge that most everyone I deal with on a daily basis knows that I have Breast Cancer, and most of them are over the shock. While it is still very real to me and to those around me on a daily basis it has put me in a weird place.
Today I went in to work for the first time since I have become bald. And this is the one place that not everyone I see throughout the day knows of my current status. And I was faced with the questioning looks of people in the halls or bathroom wondering if I am just weird or if I am bald for a reason. (in the building I work that is often a  good question...) Some people would give me that "disapproving over the rim of their glasses" look, while others seemed to give me a "knowing" look as if they either understood or cared. I am not sure which since they were just passing glances, and no words were exchanged. None of these made me uncomfortable since their opinion does not make any difference to how I live my life, but it was hard when one of my co-workers cheerfully asked if I had shaved my head for "Locks-of-Love" (for anyone not familiar, it is the foundation that allows people to donate their hair to make wigs for Cancer patients) I replied with a smile telling him why I had done it. I tried to keep it upbeat, and I think I succeeded, hopefully, but it did cause him the surprise of a lifetime and hopefully he didn't feel bad about his query, there is no way he would have known. I did better on my second encounter of the day. I was on my way out and was shocked by an old friend who I haven't seen in YEARS!!! I was so excited to see her, and I was a lot more comfortable in telling her the reason for my baldness somehow.
I don't like to share the news anymore because it goes back to them being in shock, and I want them to just be familiar. Is there a way I can send some sort of broadcast message to everyone I have ever known that just in case they run into me in the store or anywhere else that they can just not be shocked, and I don't have to tell them the news.
No-one should take this in the wrong way, I am fine with talking about it with anyone who wants to talk, but I am just not a fan of the initial introduction of the topic if I have to do it. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The beat goes on...

This week's treatment hit me a little harder than the prior treatment. Though the same has been true, that the evenings are worse than the days. And some times I am just counting down the minutes before I can take my medication again. Once I can, I am usually fine other than being tired, but at least I feel a little better.
My week has been filled with good visits for me, from my "Merry Maid" Neighbors, to my Sister and Parents as well as the wonderful friends and neighbors who have stopped by to watch the kiddo's or bring in some food it has been a busy one.
We started Katelynn in her Online Preschool (UPSTART) and she is loving it. It did take the back seat for a few days when I didn't feel up to it, but now that she has started it, I am not sure there will be a day that she will miss it. She Loves it. She loves Learning and it has Music with it too and that is definitely a bonus!! Emma is even getting into it. They are both going to be singing the songs pretty soon.
Alex is working on the Candy so we are ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Two batches of Peanut Brittle are done without a hitch. The nougat not so much. We had thermometer issues (If anyone was in my house yesterday and smelled the burnt sugar smell that is why) and we lost that batch. We have a new Thermometer now and there is still time to try that one again thank heavens because I think there would be a riot if we didn't do nougat. :)
My Head is creating somewhat of a Conundrum. It is either Hot or Cold and nothing in between. It seems the insulation of hair was able to help regulate this temperature far better than anything else I have found so far. When I lay down for bed generally my head is cold, but the second I put on a hat or something it is immediately hot. At the same time I still have some "prickelies" of hair that has not yet fallen out and it acts a little bit like Velcro on my pillow and I don't like to roll my head over as it scrubs along, so I really would like a head cover that solves that issue. My Mother in Law is making me a couple sleep caps, and hopefully I will be able to try them tonight. If that doesn't work I may look into a Chillow. Something will work. :) But if you see me in all my Baldness Glory, just know I am having a Hot Head moment, and don't be surprised if that changes by the minute.
And one last quick note about the baldness. It is a weird sensation to take a shower routine that has been the same for YEARS and cut out something so major as Shampoo and Conditioner. I stand in the shower wondering what I should do now because that 5 minute section has been removed... Then I get out and I still feel like I need to wrap my head all turban-like to keep the water from dripping off my hair onto my clothes. I did put away all of my brushes and most of my hair products so my sink is much less cluttered than it was a few weeks ago (to my husbands delight) but I still feel like I should need to do something there. I am sure I will get used to this free time and use it wisely instead of standing in a dumbfounded stupor waiting for something to change, but for the moment it is just a little weird. :)

This post is a little random, but I guess that is what happens when I am up before 6 am on a Sunday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bad Hair Days Go Bu-Bye!

I am done with Bad hair days for a while! Hooray!!!!
Over the last couple of days I have been losing at least half of the hair that was left on my head (not to say that was a lot by now) so I broke down and decided to just have it shaved off. Alex gave me a little bit of courage by doing his first! He just wanted to be less maintenance than me first. LOL. This is always the "fight" at our house, who can be done fixing their hair fastest... He has always won... So I let him win one more day, this morning, and now it is my turn to win for a while. He will have to put in some upkeep to his, and mine will be all clear pretty soon.
It is nice though because the last couple of days and the amount of hair I had lost I looked sick. Now I just feel renewed and refreshed! I no longer have to worry about touching my head and ending up with a handful of hair coming. This is a wonderful day!
On another Very positive note! While I was busy getting my new doo Cheryl (MY HERO) has been busy potty training my cute little Emma!! She is wearing big girl Panties and is so excited! So we have both been big girls today! I cannot be more thrilled!!

Thank you Kami! Thank You Angie!!! Thank You Cheryl!!

The first cut is the worst. (Not really, but it was a fun pic.)




Loving the Comb-Over look
Rockin it with the Mohawk
No more Bad Hair Days!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chemo Day: Episode 2

Can you believe it has been 3 weeks since Chemo Day 1? I sure can't! In some ways it feels like it has gone way too fast, but in other ways it feels like it has been dragging. Yes, I am mostly insane. :) I was hoping to be Bald by the time I was coming back for treatment, and I was basically looking forward to that being a milestone, but it didn't happen that way. I still have hair... as sparse as it has ever been for sure, but here nonetheless. I do plan on fixing that problem pretty soon though. Alex came home from work with a new haircut. So I can't let him be bald and me still have hair! So I think I will try to shave it all off as soon as I can get in.
Today was mostly work in the morning and I was able to do that un-interrupted because the girls were already on their way to Grandma T's when I woke up. Jolynne was able to come and pick me up and take me to Treatment. I am sure that the people in the Treatment room thought that we were a little insane. (not that it is true or anything) It was like we were 15 again, back in Mr Dowdle's History class.
This treatment was not same-old same-old though. I am not sure what is different about this treatment and the last one, but I had an allergic reaction to the Taxotere. It basically felt like everything closed at the neck. I couldn't breathe and it felt like no blood was moving in by head. It just felt like my lungs and head were going to explode. I truly felt like the cartoons that have their head turn bright read and get bigger and bigger until it pops, but I didn't make it to the popping stage. At least I stayed awake through it. Even if I didn't feel like I was really "there". The nurses are great though. I think I maybe had about 90 seconds that I wasn't breathing or at least felt like I wasn't. She disconnected the Chemo and flushed with an IV bag and gave me a quick dose of Benadryl and steroids to help counter the effects, and within a couple of minutes I was pretty close to back to normal just a little heaviness in my chest. She continued to give me the bag of IV until I was feeling more normal, then was able to get back to the treatment without any more issues.
Since I had an extra dose of the steroids it made me REALLY hungry. So once treatment was over we went to IHOP for some lunch. I love girl time! Even if I do have to have Chemo first. LOL Thanks Jo for coming with me to Chemo! It was much better to have you sitting there with me during my drama! I think I ate enough at lunch that I haven't needed dinner yet. :) Over all it was a great day with a little scary part in the middle. I even got some dishes done.

FUNdriaiser 11/6

Finally I have a quiet time that I can post about this event. I haven't wanted to post while the girls were here and awake so they don't have to see me Cry... even if they are happy tears, I don't want them to worry.
The day started out just like any other day... Hair falling out argued with myself to know if I should wear a hat or show off my shedding locks. I opted for showing off my thinning hair, but brought a hat just in case. I brought my camera in the hopes to get a good record of how things went. I was so overwhelmed by the response and the sheer mass of the crowds at times that I only managed to get a few pictures. I had been so excited for this event, but had the uncertainty of how many people would come. All of my most Extreme numbers in my head prior to coming were absolutely blown out of the water! I can't even fathom how that was even possible. In addition to the people that I saw there were anonymous donations that were delivered prior to the party even starting. This made me cry immediately after seeing them. Peoples kindness amazes me. I absolutely burst into grateful tears when I read the note about the "Christmas Jar" that I received. This family had been saving up through the year to donate their funds to a cause and chose my cause to donate to, even though it wasn't Christmas yet. It is a wonderful feeling! And there was enough in there to pay for the first wave of bills from the Labs that I got this week! Perfect! Then there was the one guy who just dropped by a donation without wanting to be named. If either you are reading this, You know who you are, and I am eternally grateful to you! Your hearts are very kind and you will be blessed in the days to come for your caring! I was already overwhelmed at that moment before the event even started as there were already as many donations at that point than I had any hopes of getting through most of event. And the kindness just kept on coming! Words of encouragement from people who has watched another loved one go through the same thing. Words of support offering their time and shoulders. And the wonderful people continuing to keep a smile on my face even when I wanted to go and hide to cry in my gratitude! Seeing all of my friends and neighbors getting the Sparkle on head to toe was just awesome and it did exactly as the name implies. It made it FUN.
There were appointments and walk-in's for the Tinsel Hair and it seemed never ending, and the Glitter Toes was first come first served and the waiting list was ever growing. I wish I could take some of the sore away from Kami and Cindy from being in the same place doing the same thing 30+ times through about 6+ hours with very minimal breaks or even snacks. I am forever grateful to them for sacrificing their comfort for a time to help out a friend and Neighbor! Wonderful!! And all the yummy baked goodness that was donated for the bake sale was wonderful! The donation of the Massage from April! How great is that!?! For Corrine who helped get everyone their Sentcy, always on her feet too. It seemed every time I looked that corner was busy! It was just wonderful! And then there was Angie keeping everything flowing. I am amazed at the promotion the event had! I think the only thing she didn't do is hire a plane to advertise it through the sky! You guys are so Wonderful! I don't think there is a way I can ever repay you guys for all that you have done. Just know that I am here for you whenever you need me (when I am on level 1) :) I enjoyed meeting New Neighbors and friends and family of my current neighbors. It is absolutely amazing!
My family is Eternally grateful, and my clunky words can never express the feelings in my heart to do it any justice. But just know that I have shed enough happy tears since the day the event was announced up to the current day to fill a couple bath tubs! I love you girls. You are all wonderful! And I appreciate all the hubbies who took over mommy duty (even though the U game was on) to allow this to happen.

Love and Hugs to everyone who was there, and anyone who donated even a penny. It is all going to help! Even if you only donated a Smile it was worth you coming in! You made my day!! And every time I see a gal with Glittery Hair and Toes I feel the love and support. It gives me a Warm Fuzzy! :)

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

And a million more times! THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Well... Here it goes... Literally...

It won't be long now! I just took off the hat I had worn most of the evening and ran my fingers through my hair and it looks like it won't be too much longer before it is gone. I am excited to be getting to this phase, as the same time I hope my head is not a funky shape or that it doesn't have some crazy birthmark I didn't know about. LOL!!!
Bald Is Beautiful! And Hats and Scarves will be my new fashion statement.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Pink Ribbons

October 1st began Breast Cancer awareness month. It also was the start of my stress. I had just had a Biopsy the day before for something that "concerned" the Dr's in the lump that I had found in my breast. It was that weekend that I HATED every commercial, and every football game that everyone was wearing Pink. I was Angry at the thought that I could possibly have Breast Cancer. I had to turn away from all of the Pink Hype that is abundant in October. Then on October 4th when it was confirmed that it was Cancer I was Mad to have joined the Pink "club" without a choice. I spent a lot more time avoiding any of the "Pink" ad's and I didn't want to watch Football with Alex because all the players were wearing Pink and the announcers had to consistently remind me of the Cancer. I know it isn't their fault that I was Diagnosed in October, but I was not happy about the diagnosis and at the time, the awareness was not making me happy.
Once my Pity Party was over I was actually Excited that it was October. (I am not normally this 'wishy-washy. At least I don't think I am...) Because it was October, people were Aware of Breast Cancer more in the month and it didn't seem so "weird" to talk about it. Additionally, Facebook and the rest of the Internet was Bombarded with links to information and other resources for me to look at. It gave me a way to share awareness with my friends and family and get them some of those same resources to help them understand my Cancer as well.
While I still have a bit of a Love/Hate relationship with October, as I am not sure I will ever be HAPPY about my diagnosis, I would rather have skipped this step, but at the same time I really think that the timing may have been Perfect. I can pick up Pink Ribbon items and I have the most incredible "Pink" Friends! So now that October is done and I am looking back, I might be sad that October has passed. I will keep sharing my own information throughout my own process, but I will be sad that I will actually have to Search for it a little more than I have gotten used to.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Symptoms disapearing~ :) ~ :( ~ :)

Well... I am losing some symptoms!! It is a little bittersweet. I know I am insane. :) LOL
The symptom I am not really happy about... My insomnia is creeping back in and I am awake late again or laying restless trying to sleep if I go to bed on time. So the symptoms I am totally OK with losing... The Pain, the overwhelming tiredness and my 6:13 Alarm Clock!! I actually slept in until 8:15 this morning! It was Fantastic!! I am happy to say that the last couple days have been a 1 on my Scale! It is so nice that I have been having good days! And great that it has been just in time for the Holiday festivities!
Since things are getting better for a while I have started a booklet with a timeline of things from the start. In the end I hope it can be a good reference (without emotion) that can be shared with others if they need it. I should have probably started it electronically, but I thought a book might be more handy to keep track of when I am not around my computer.

Now if only my Hair would fall out already. LOL

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Picture day!

I just got some pictures that my Nephew Cayden (now 9) took of me and the girls trying on some of my hats. He did a great job!! It was fun!
We are all wearing hats that have been donated by my mom, my sister Suzie and my sister in law Debra.



Friday, October 29, 2010

In Happy Tears

It is Crazy how often I have been in Happy Tears instead of Sad tears through this experience! When I Started this path of uncertainty I Cried A LOT!!! And most of it was Sad or Uncertain Tears. But after a few days and the generosity and the love came flooding in I could not be Sad about it anymore! How could I be? How could anyone so blessed with such wonderful Friends/Family feel sad about anything??? Now I still Cry A LOT!!! But it is usually any time someone offers help, just sends a text to see how I am doing or even just makes me laugh, or tells me a story, and I pretty much lost it over Pink Shoelaces!! (I should have invested in the Kleenex stocks, they are likely going up as we speak!) So; If I tear up when I talk to you, don't feel bad! It is just because you make me Happy! And If I don't tell you in person it is probably because I don't have a Kleenex handy! LOL
So to EVERYONE who has done ANYTHING Big and Small, even if you feel like you haven't done anything... You HAVE! I Love you and I appreciate EVERY Moment of our friendship!
(Why did I bother putting on Mascara today????)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Alopecia (Hair Loss)

OK, we have all heard it. We all know it usually happens. Even the Doctor said it would happen. BUT, WHEN WILL I LOSE MY HAIR???
I am not a patient person who likes to just wait around for something to happen if there is something I can do about it. But this one is a little different I have to either wait or shave it off, And I have heard that shaving isn't always the best option since then you have to deal with stubble until it actually falls out, That doesn't sound fun to me. According to the literature I was given when I received my initial dose of Chemo " Hair loss can begin 10 to 21 days after drugs have begun." So here I sit on the morning of day 10 almost willing my hair to just fly off of my head. (you remember that commercial that the big fluffy cat sneezes on the stairs and all that is left is TONS of cat hair? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUCOLQZhaIA) This is what I would like to happen with me. One sneeze and I am done. LOL) Since I knew that my hair would not be around too long I colored it Mahogany Red and according to Alex, "it is a good thing it won't be around for much longer." Too dark for him, but the color is growing on me a little. A strange thing happened when I did the color though. It was possibly a reaction to the Chemo and the Dye, but my hair is now almost completely unmanageable! It is course and thick (2 words I have never in my wildest dreams used to describe my hair) and I don't know how to handle it. So... I have allowed it to reign. I put in enough product to keep it from looking like I stuck my finger in a Light Socket and let the curls take over. So if you see me and I do not look "normal" just ignore it and we can all rejoice when it finally starts falling out and I can have my sanity again! :)
Although there is a little anxiety that I will have an "ugly" head... It is not enough anxiety to make this positive side effect turn sour on me yet. I am really looking forward to not shaving, and not having to manage hair. A little lotion on top and at most I would use a hat, scarf or other type of head cover and I am on my way. Those days cannot happen soon enough! :)
Waiting to be Bald! I hope it is soon! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My New Alarm Clock

I am a girl who Loves Sleep! I have often been irritated by those people who say to me, "I don't need an alarm clock, I just wake up." Well, now I am officially irritated by me! LOL Since I started Chemo I have had a very unusual side effect that no one ever said would be possible so I had no warning! But every morning at 6:13 (not a minute sooner or later) I am wide awake!
I really wanted to sleep a little longer than that today since I got to bed later, so I set my alarm for 6:17 to see if I could allow myself to sleep until my ACTUAL alarm clock went off... NOPE! 6:13, my eyes pop open, I can't stop the chain reaction of getting out of bed and starting my morning routine. I could not even get the extra 4 little minutes. 
Anyone who has known me and my sleep habits KNOW that this is not normal! Up until this point in my life I could sleep through a train crashing through the house and stopping just before it hit my head, and then I might roll over a little. but now with no provocation I am AWAKE! At 6:13 in the morning. There must be a medication for such a heinous side effect!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crazy Lazy Sunday

My Saturday wasn't as filled as I expected it since I did not make it to the Trunk-or-Treat or other festivities last night, but it was plenty full I say.

Between my naps I was able to watch the girls put together a Halloween Craft and then they decorated a bunch of cookies after dinner. (thanks to the annonymous donor of the cookie fixins) They are still hyper from the sugar. :)

My sisters came by to give me a bracelet to help me count down my treatments. 1 Down!
I had a lot of fun having a Hat fashion show for Cayden. We took a bunch of pictures with me and some with the girls! They loved the attention and we all got to try on some of my hats. :) Hopefully there are some good pics in there that he can use, and maybe he will share some with me... *hint* *hint*

Speaking of hats. I have been wearing hats or other covers on my head so that the girls get used to them for when my hair falls out. Today I am wearing a bandana/scarf and Katelynn says to me, "Mom, Can you tell my why you have a 'mack-in' (napkin) on your head?" LOL I guess she might get used to it a little more as I wear more scarves, and especially if I wear cuter ones than this one. :) But this is a good fall back scarf that I can just hide my bad hair day. :) Kinda looking forward to the day that I don't even have to try with it. That should save me a lot of time and frustrations. :)

Symptoms seem to be about the same each day. I need at least one nap, and perfer 2 if I can get it. :) The pain in my joints and stuff seems to be pretty steady, but not unbearable. I was able to not take a pain pill for the morning so I would be able to go to Church and not sleep. It was good even though it was Crazy since the older two were fighting (She's on MY SIDE!) and Dani was so tired and refusing to sleep. But at least I was able to be there. It is good to do something "normal" for the moment.

The new week is starting tomorrow and I am hoping that I will be back to working more normal hours and be able to get back to being a person. But I am not rushing into anything yet.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thankful

I am thankful for a day that all I really needed to do was nap! The girls spent the day at Grandma T's and were delivered back home safe and sound shortly after Alex got home.
Today has brought with it new information and new side effects. I found that I have a "chemo buddy" While I am not glad that she has to join this "Exclusive Club" it is nice to have someone going through it so that we can compare notes. I have also found that yes your hair can hurt. It is just tender, nothing I can't handle, but a little weird.
I am also excited that I am going to help my Nephew with his reflections project. "Together We can Cure Cancer" Hopefully I am Photogenic enough for him when he comes to see me. :) I am happy to help him with whatever he needs. In between naps of course!
In addition to this tomorrow, I would love to get the girls to Trunk-or-Treat. They are so excited to wear their costumes! And I can be a Witch and Daddy can be a Dad!! :) (According to the girls that is how it is going down) Kids are great!!
Now it is time for me to eat some Chocolate! Then Bedtime!

The Numerical System

Around the house we have started using a numerical code to tell Alex how I am and how am feeling and what I need from him for the day. I figure that it would be good to share here as well to let you all know how I am feeling.


1. Me: No Help Kids: No Help
2. Me: No Help Kids: Slight Help
3. Me: No Help Kids: Full Help
4. Me: Slight Help Kids: Full Help
5. Me: Full Help Kids: Full Help


So far I haven't made it to the 4 or 5 range, But I needed to put it up there just in case. I am mostly hanging out in the 2-3 range. 3 mostly while I am sleeping. :)

I am contemplating puting a sign on the door warning of the level that someone would come in to when knocking... but would I scare everyone away if I put a 5??? If my house is this big of a wreck at #2 I should put "Enter if you DARE" for any other number beyond. :) Maybe some Police Yellow Tape???

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chemo Day 1 (for real)

I can say I have officially survived my first Chemo treatment. I am taking a combo of Toxotere/Cytoxan/Neulasta. I am excited to know that I do not have to take "The Red Devil". :)
We went in at 11:10 and had a consult with Dr. Beck and then it was back to the Treatment room with Tina. When we got there there were 3 others getting their treatment. One was finished up shortly after we got there, and we got started, then another one got added and finished up before we left. They told us to plan on 5 hours and we were done in about 3 hours instead! That was Great! It was nice not to have to send Alex out to get lunch and we could pick it up on the way home. We scheduled the treatment quickly to get it going, so we did not get any preliminary Chemo class info. So we watched the Video that they show in Chemo Class and then the nurse went over a bunch of papers and I have an enormous packet of info that I can read at my leisure. Just some light reading... We'll see how much of it I will read.
Side effects so far:
While getting the Cytoxan I started getting a burning sensation in my eyes and sinuses. Not unbearable, but I guess you could call it mildly annoying.
While getting the Toxotere I had a strong flavor of Metal in my mouth. I tried eating Grapes to solve it, but they tasted like Metal too. Lucky for us they had a bowl of hard candies so I ate a strong peppermint disk and that solved it for long enough.
So far I am just a little sleepy, and don't really have an appetite, but otherwise no effects to speak of.
I had to go to Smiths to get a couple prescriptions, and I saved nearly $8 on my new Prescription Savings card! It took them a while to figure out how to get it in there, but it should be nice from now on! And I bought Bright Red Hair color while I was there. They didn't have pink there, and I didn't feel like going to the Salon Stores for it since it will likely only color my hair for 2-3 weeks anyways. So we will go with Crazy Red. :)

Non-Cancer related happenings of they day were likely more exciting than the actual Treatment. 3 possibly 4 of the 5 inhabitants of the house are dealing with Fluish symptoms, I am not included. It seems to be a 24 hour flu, so they should all be done tomorrow. Cute Quote of the day from Katelynn to Daddy, "Why do I have Bugs in my tummy?" She is such a doll!! Making me smile even when she is sick.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 1 (Kinda)

Today technically starts my Chemo Treatment, except for the getting the Chemo part. With each round I need to take a round of Steroids the day before and the day after I go in, so I am well on my way now. Things I have been working on to get myself ready:
  1. Cleaning up some of the places in my house that most people do not see regularly, but might in the near future.
  2. Making shopping lists to stock up on things so that I don't have to go back to the store for a while
  3. Making lists of things to bring to keep me busy while I am getting Chemo
  4. Getting any work done today to make sure that they don't miss me too much if/when I am out.
  5. Helping arrange babysitting and meals for while I am down and out.
  6. Collecting Head Covers of different kinds.
With all of this I am getting a lot of help from Friends, Family and Neighbors! I can't possibly see any way that I would feel so good about this week if I didn't have this support! I almost feel "ready". If that is even possible? But I am going into this with a Positive Outlook. I am hoping that I have the Mildest reactions possible... But I am still realistic and planning for the worst possible reactions. For anyone who is scheduled/planning on helping me, if I am doing better than expected I may call and cancel help if I am up to it, otherwise I will be ready to accept it if I am not!
This will be a serious effort for me. I do not normally like to accept any help from anyone. So Help Me, Help You, to Help Me! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I know so far...

Today I found out enough information to make me feel more at ease, and at the same time slightly more nervous. And both for the same reasons.
I have an official sechedule. I start my first Chemo on Tuesday the 19th, and I will be going in every 3 weeks from then on for 18 weeks, 6 total treatments. This helps me know what to do with my schedule. Now it is Real. I just wish that I had some idea how i am going to react to the treatment.
I am set at ease though because they have found that I have the hormone reactive type so I have an even greater chance of beating this thing in the end, but it is an extra treatment, so it could potentially make it a tougher road, or it could make it the same as it would have been. I just don't know.
So I have some answers, and still some questions, but I feel good about it tonight.

I am forever greatful for my Family and Friends. You guys are ALL AWESOME!!!!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thanks for Everything!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dignosis 10/4/10

Well, this is not likely something that I will be able to pretend isn't happening, and will not be something that I will smile through all the time. And now that I have a little bit more information I can let you all in on what I am going through. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We have one more test that we are waiting for to determine if I am in stage 2 or 3. The current plan of action after all of my test results are back and I have had a chance to meet with the Medical Oncologist will be to begin Chemo and Radiation. This could be as soon as next week. So if I seem grumpy or sad, this is why. I am trying to get to the point that I can power through this in positivity, but I need to have a little pity party first. If you notice that it is lasting too long, kick me in the pants and help me back up. Success stories are great, sad stories are not so great.