Thursday, June 30, 2011

Catch up

Someone suggested in the previous comments that perhaps I was taking a hiatus at the beach. I wish it were so. As I'm typing, my raincoat is nearby, as we're still waiting for the sun to make an appearance this 'summer' in our neck of the woods. So, no, sadly I have not been spending my time at the beach. I will try to recap my last 2 weeks for you. Let's start with the fun parts:

I'm having some severe night sweats, hot flashes and (obviously) insomnia (who could sleep through the night sweats and hot flashes?) that are leaving me tired, soaked, grumpy in the morning, and just generally pissy that I have to go through them. This is because of course chemo has shut down my ovaries and now I am experiencing the joys of menopause. There are many more side effects to menopause, and I'm experiencing those too, and I am not liking them. For those of you that have gone through it, you know what I'm talking about, for those of you who haven't - I don't want to scare you. 'Nuff said.

I've had a bladder infection 3 times this month. Yup, THREE times. Each time I finish one round of antibiotics, it comes back, and I go on another antibiotic. I am currently half way through my third antibiotic, and the lab called me (they finally cultured my sample) and they say that that can't find any micro-organisms in the sample. Which leaves me puzzled, but I wonder if that's because I've been on constant antibiotics and they can't see it because of it? Or, perhaps it's not a bladder infection at all and I need a referral to a urologist now? Hmmm... either way, doctor apt is at 1:30pm today.

I found a lump on my chest wall - it's been there a few weeks, but it's getting bigger. I went to my doctor, my surgeon and my oncologist. At first nobody was concerned, they said it could be 'fatty tissue' so we should watch it. Now it's grown, it's getting more painful and I'm half way crazy with worry. So now we're doing a CT scan on it - it looks like they're trying to get one for July 11, which happens to be my birthday. It's ok, I'm having another procedure done at the hospital that day so I guess it's as good time as any. I just want to know what it is. Let the scanxiety begin.

Yesterday was the last of my chemo sessions. It was a bit of a crap shoot, as I went in there high as a kite (i even borrowed a graduation cap from a local highschool to mark my 'graduation' from chemo) and left there quite in a different mood. Turns out my port wasn't working right (Brad had put his head on my shoulder for an impromptu snuggle a few weeks ago, and by accident somehow must have moved the port or the line from it. I felt pain immediately and of course he lifted his head right away but the 'damage' had been done. I was in pain for a couple of weeks after that, the line in the port felt kinked and it hurt when I lifted up my left arm and I could no longer sleep on my left side due to the pain. Of course the doctors said it'd be fine) Anyway, it was fine after a while, at least the pain went away... but yesterday when they tried to access the port and stick the chemo in it, guess what? It wasn't working. Ugh. So, for my very last chemo they ended up having to stick it in my veins (which I've been trying to avoid, which is why I got the port in the first place, and all the nuisance that came with that surgery). Anyway, it was ok in the end, but it did sting going in and I didn't like it. At least, we're done with chemo.

Yesterday at my last chemo session.

On July 29th I'll have a small 'procedure' to remove this darn port out of my body and I can't wait. Good riddance. I have agreed to be awake during it, and I hope things will be less complicated than when they put it in.

Radiation begins beginning of August. Turns out 3 weeks ago, a major international study came out and based on this study, women with my stage of cancer not only are recommended to get radiation, but it should now include radiating the lymphnodes by the collar bone too (Earlier I was perceived as 'aggressive' for pursuing radiation, now it's recommended and more of it. So, of course this will discolor my skin like crazy (and now above the collar bone too, which I will not be able to hide in clothing) One more point for cancer ruining what is left of my body. Ugh. But I'm glad the study came out because apparently it is changing the standard of care in radiology and I'm lucky to be getting in at the right time to take advantage of it. 3 weeks ago it would not have been the case. And that is why they do studies I guess.

It's the end of the school year. My last week has been spent at school, as my son received an 'Academic Honors Award' one day, my daughter was in the 'school talent show' the next day, doing a dance, the day after that was the school play, in which my son had one of the lead roles, and yesterday, was the musical performance in which my son played the recorder. What can I say, I have multi talented kids. Needless to say, I spent my days at the school clapping and cheering and taking pictures. I really appreciated the chance to be there, as normally, in June I would never be able to take time off work (property tax season and all) so I'd have missed it all, like in previous years. Yeay for silver linings.

He is in the front row, last one on the right.

During the school play... It was "the world of OG"

Again, last one on the right. He did a great job and may have found his calling.

I went to the Rihanna concert on Saturday, with my BFF Christine and her daughter. We had the good fortune of staying in a company box, (Christine's company owns a box in this building, and often they let their employees use it) Anyway, I'm not much of a Rihanna fan normally, but it was fun and I enjoyed it. A bit raunchy, and it was funny hearing her 12 year old daughter say 'mom, this is inappropriate' several times.

All dressed up for the Rihanna concert.

Also, through Christine we got the box use again, for July 10 - for ... New Kids On the Block!! Now this concert, I am sooo excited about. I remember them in concert when I was 16. I loved loved loved Johnathan Knight... Hehe. I am taking my daughter this time, and Brad's oldest daughter. It's the day before my birthday, and I plan to have a great time and forget all about the scans the next day. Looking forward to it. The kids have no idea who they are so I have been going on YouTube and showing them videos and songs from the 'olden days' lol. They are just exited to be going.

So, folks, that's what I've been doing the last 2 weeks. Sorry I didn't post. I am now preparing for the chemo yuckies to start today - nausea, bone pain and joint pain is on the horizon for me, but I usually turn the corner by day 10, and knowing this is the last cycle of this may make it easier to bear this time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Technical Difficulties

UPDATE: I think I figured it out, I changed something in the comment settings, from 'embedded' to 'full page' and it seems to work. For those of you who had trouble commenting before, can you let me know if the glitch is now fixed?

Oh, I am back to private again, yes. Sorry for the technical difficulties.

I am going to 'open' the blog back up for a few days while I figure out what to do with the comment glitch. (I will delete the previous post for obvious reasons)

I know that many of you aren't able to comment on my post - since I've gone private... but you could on my first private post, which is weird.

But when my blog is 'open' you are able to comment.

Any idea why?

Monday, June 20, 2011

And we're private...

Hey - you made it!! Yeay ...

Can you leave me a comment so that I know that it worked? Let me know you could log in, okay?

Thanks :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A shoutout

I've mentioned that I got asked to write a story for a while ago. Well, today, they informed me that my story is up.

Click HERE to read it. connects survivor through stories, experiences and pieces of fabric, that can represent a connection between ones who've walked this road, and others who are just beginning.

I am truly honored to have shared my experience with them, and be part of their wonderful network.

If you are a new reader (or came here via and would like me to 'invite you' to read my blog once it goes private, please leave your email in the comments and I will be sure to add it to my 'ivitee list'

Friday, June 10, 2011

Head in the clouds

I am as tightly wound as they come. I am 10 minutes early for everything.
I remember appointments months ahead and my personal monthly schedule gets laminated.
Every month.
(ask anyone who knows me)

That's because I feel the need to be in control at all times, if not of the world around me, then of my actions in it.

I lived that way for 35 years and it suited me just fine.

Until chemo turned my brain to mush.

I have heard of 'chemobrain' - I've been warned by friends who've all had it while undergoing treatment, I've read it on the pamphlets at the hospital that they handed out as one of the side effects and I've ignored all warnings until... it happened to me.

At first, I didn't think I would get it, I thought it was an excuse people made up for being forgetful.

Then, last month it really hit full force. I cannot do the smallest thing, simplest task, if I don't have it written down. There are a million little things I forget or simply misplace, but I will tell you about two recent ones so you see just how far off the deep end I've gone.

Today, I was home alone after dropping off the kids to school.
(I thank my lucky stars I still am able to get this task right -although I've sent them to school once without snacks because I simply forgot to pack them - I've never ever done that before cancer!)

I proceeded to have some cereal for breakfast.
I put the dog outside and I went and grabbed the cereal bowl and the milk.
I poured the milk into the cereal and went to close the cap. Which was nowhere to be found.

I looked on the floor, I looked on the table (which was empty - except for the milk and my bowl) I even looked through the garbage - couldn't find it for the life of me. I had to makeshift a lid out of aluminum foil and some rubber bands and put it back in the fridge.

I'm still puzzled about where it went.
(I can't even blame the dog because he was outside.)

A few weeks ago, I took my dog Jet to the groomers. I dropped him off at 9am and I was supposed to pick him up at 3pm.
Like always.

At 3:50pm the grooming lady calls the house "Jet's waiting for you". Oh crap. I totally forgot. "I'll be right there" I say, and get into the car right away. I drive directly to Save On Foods (which is a grocery store chain where I live) I get out, and go inside.

Inside Save on Foods I wander the aisles aimlessly. I try to remember what I need to buy. Why I'm there. About 10 minutes later I leave empty handed because I can't remember what I need.

I drive back home.

About 20 minutes later, the groomer lady calls me again. "Are you coming to get Jet?"

Oh my god!
THAT'S where I was supposed to go!

"I'm on my way" - I yell into the phone.

I drive directly there and leave her a big tip.
I kiss my dog and apologize to him for forgetting him.

Then I wait two full weeks to tell Brad the story, because I'm just so darn embarrassed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

For non bloggers - a tutorial

Yesterday I ran into a long lost friend, who happens to read the blog religiously.

So he says.

I drove away thinking about all the people that read this blog and don't comment.
Most don't know how to do it (My friend didn't either) and my very best friend in the world reads this blog, but still struggles with the comments.

I guess I don't get it.

Having been a blogger for over 4 years now, it comes easily to me.
But it must have been difficult at some point I imagine.
Someone must have shown me too.

So, here's a small tutorial for those non- bloggers who wish to leave a comment at some point.

Go to the bottom of the post. On the bottom, towards the right side there is the word 'comments' sometimes with a number in front of it. That just means that's how many people commented before you. If you click on it it will open another window.

It will show you everyone else's comments there.
You can take the time and read them or just scroll down.
When you get to the bottom of the page, you'll see a white box "Post comments here"
- i think it says.

Then you type your comment in the white box, and go to the drop down menu where it says 'post as' - and choose 'annonymous' - then click on 'post comment'. A small tip, because you are choosing annonymous (that is because you don't have a blog of your own, and it's the easiest way to comment) please be sure to leave your name at the bottom.

I"d love love love to see comments from people (who I know read this blog) but don't usually leave a message.
At first I thought it was 'cause you had nothing to say about what you are reading. Now, after having talked to my two friends, I am starting to think it's because you had no idea how.

I hope you enjoyed my short tutorial.
And I'll bet you'll end up liking knowing how to leave comments, it really is like you're contributing to the conversation.

Besides, it lets me know you're reading!
(and let's face it, it's all about me in this case)

And then, as a bonus, you could add your email to my growing list for when I go 'private' - otherwise I'd miss you and you'd miss me... and that's just sad.

Tomorrow is also my second to last chemo, and I'll be feeling crappy after it.

Even more reason to post a comment for the very first time, and cheer me up ~ right?