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, 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.