Sunday, December 31, 2006
The other night and I can't remember for the life of me what the conversation was about or how it started....I think it had something to do with my 14 year old Son teasing Jim about becoming an old man because Jim's 48th birthday was coming up. And I had said that Daddy was born for me, because God knew that I was going to need a good man in my life especially during this part of it and this is when Jim turned to me and said, "No, you were born for me because I was here first and waited for you!" and I don't know why that filled my heart with more love.....maybe because being a woman who loves love so much, and it was so nice to know that Jim felt the same way I do about us and that he knew "we" were supposed to happen.
So it's on this day New Years Eve of 2006 that I am forever grateful that my Jim was born on December 31, 1958 who grew up to be a great man, who waited patiently to find me and then promised me forever....being with Jim all these years and all the years still to come.......I truly, could not ask for more.
Happy Birthday Baby! How appropriate that we woke up this morning to the sound of rain ......"our song"
"I could not ask for more"
by Edwin McCain
Lying here with you
Listenin' to the rain
Smilin' just to see
The smile upon your face
These are the moments
I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
Looking in your eyes
Seein' all I need
Everything you are
Is everything in me
These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
Theseare the moments
I know all I need is this
I've found all I've waited for, yeah
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
Could not ask for more than this time with you
And every prayer has been answered,
Every dream I've had's come true.
Yeah, right here in this moment,
Is right where I'm meant to be,
Here with you, Here with me ... yeah yeah
These are the moments
I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments
I remember all my life
I found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
Could not ask for more than this time with you
And every prayer has been answered,
Every dream I've had's come true.
Yeah, right here in this moment,
Is right where I'm meant to be,
Oh Here with you, Here with me.
No I could not ask for more than this love you gave me,
Cause it's all I've waited for,
And I could not ask for more.
No, yeah yeah yeah
No I could not ask for more
Thursday, December 28, 2006
At least with the holiday season I was able to see family that I hadn't seen since last Christmas and I had a couple of days since starting chemo in late September I had a reason to paint my face, don on my goldy locks do (wig) and put on a pair of high hees...felt good, felt normal......which reminds me of a new favorite quote by Naomi Judd....."The only normal is a cycle on a washing machine!" Isn't that the truth....I don't think anything ever returns to normal, because everything changes....including all things normal.
Next Tuesday will be my final chemo treatment.....I hope I never have to say those words again, I think I should be given a "Get out of cancer free card" to carry around with me the rest of my very long, but healthy life...What would be even better is if someday soon, like all the yesterdays that have passed....we could say cancer and cure without having to add find to the same sentence.....I now understand why people stop treatment (when terminal) and just want to enjoy the few days they have left......... there is a lot of humility that is learned when one experiences chemo.
At least when I look back on the year of 2006, I can balance it with this also being the year that our oldest Daughter Melissa married her Tony (wedding and cancer diagnosis in the same month Oy Vey! lol) and was the beginning of their happily ever after......feels so good to have that as a counter balance to cancer.......maybe this time next year I'll have a grand baby??? hint! hint! hint!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I am hoping that when this year officially ends, so will this funk I am in........."New" Year has a "New" meaning to me.
Monday, December 18, 2006
I'm still having trouble with my legs today ( I want to go go go, but they don't want to) but I think that could be from wearing my high heeled boots all day Saturday (10 hours) It's been a very long time since I had on heels (since July) But I keep telling myself a lil while longer and I can put all this behind me and by summer I should have all my old energy back, and my hair (loosing eye brows and eye lashes now) and I can wear all the high heeled shoes I want to! lol
I have found that dealing with cancer is a lot like childbirth the first time.....your scared, you don't know what to expect, it's more painful than you thought, but in the end it's a new life, metaphorically speaking of course. Having Jim and the kids makes it so worth the effort, I'm not ready to say my goodbye's just yet. When your baby, our 14 year old Son; who is trying to be more of a man than the lil boy that I knew, lays his head in your lap and says more to himself than you "I just don't know what I would do without you Mom" how can I not fight like hell to make sure that doesn't happen for a very long time?
Out of all this I only had one dark day, and that is when I was unable to walk and found myself crawling to the bathroom and unable to pull myself back up onto my bed.....I was mad as hell and refused Jim's help..it was at that moment that I finally broke down, and said, " I Give up, it wins! I can't do this anymore, I don't want to do this anymore, I can't take this anymore!" as I collapsed on the floor and cried my eyes out, breath holding sobs racked my body as Jim took me in his arms and rocked me. After my crying slowed down enough for him to be able to quietly speak to me, he whispered into my ear, "You are the meanest, toughest woman that I have ever met and you're gonna let cancer beat you?" I know those aren't words of love to many, but those are exactly the words that I needed to hear, he reminded me who I was and what I was made of and that is just what I needed to get my Irish temper up and get pissed off enough again to finish what I started.....kickin' cancers ass!
So here I sit today with my 7th treatment tomorrow and only one more to go after that........better days are coming, they are coming and I will be ready to enjoy every single one of them!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
All dressed up and finally someplace to go! lol It's days like these when I feel good and don't look so bad I can forget I'm dealing with cancer......I'm bringing my camera to the Family Christmas Party today and I will get a shot of the infamous.......Gramma Annie who I lovingly refer to as "THE TROLL"
We have another party to go to out at the lake tonight, I just hope that me and the spackle can last that long! lol lol lol
Friday, December 15, 2006
Saturday is my Big Irish (extended) Family Christmas Party, and I can't wait to finally see all of them. Cancer has been very cruel to my family, One of my Aunts and one of my Uncles didn't win their battle and because of that everyone and I mean everyone is devastated that I was diagosed with cancer. For some (Hell most) of them they haven't even been able to see or talk to me. Even though I could of used the support I understand why they all find "seeing me" very difficult. It's all about comfort levels and I will not cross someone else's to appease my own.
So I am hoping that when they do "see" me tomorrow, they will see that I will survive cancer, and maybe they will stop thinking the next time they see me will be at my funeral. First of all I ain't a Funeral kinda girl.......hate them! My first funeral was my Father's and that destroyed me. I still go to funerals but it's not what I want for myself and forget about burying me.....not gonna happen any time soon or even when it is my time to go. Call me crazy but I want to be cremated, mixed with sparklies (lol) and tossed into a few helium balloons and left to wander where ever the four winds take me! lol I've always been one who loves a great adventure and I have suffered from wunderlust my whole life so why not continue with that even after death. My poor Irish Catholic Grandmother would have a fit if she even knew of my intentions after death! lol
It was my wish that My Grandmother not be told about my cancer, she will be 88 years old in February, she is the Matriarch and she has already experienced too much heartbreak in her life. She buried her Husband at the age of 31 and was left to raise her 7 children ( ages 15 and under) on her own and when she could no longer do it, she had no other choice but to have her family split up after they were accepted into Mooseheart. Click on this link to learn more about the "Moose Club" and Mooseheart ~~~> Welcome to Mooseheart - The Child City . She buried her first born Son (My Father when he was only 41), she buried her first Born Daughter ( 52,Cancer) and then she Buried her second born Son (55, cancer) That is the hardest thing a Parent will ever have to do....burry one of their children and she has buried 3 out of 7 plus one of her 18 grandchildren, the 31 year old Son of the Uncle I lost to cancer. So I do not want to put that woman through more heartache then she has already seen and I don't want her heart to be heavy with what I am going through.....who knows maybe when I am finished with chemo and I get the "all clear" from the Doctors I might let her know then and she can see for herself that cancer isn't always a death sentence. I come from a long line of strong woman and now you can see where some of it comes from.
It is from her that I also get my very raunchy and wild sense of humor......My fathers whole side of the family "suffers" from it! lol Gramma Annie is the one that I get all the "TELLINGS" from, stories past down from one generation to the next and I come from a wild bunch let me tell you! It has always been with a lively sense of humor that we have survived many challenges and boy am I glad that humor is a big part of my DNA! lol lol lol
Now for another "Telling" WARNING!!!!!! Not for the delicate ears so click out now if you are easily offended. LOL LOL LOL
Now Gramma Annie is the Mother of 7, The Grandmother of 18, The Great Grandmother of 27 and Great Great Granmother to 1 and while at a Family Christmas Party of few years ago....I had a quiet moment with her and I had always wondered but never asked, why she never found anyone else (after my GrandFathers passing, now remember she was only 31 years old!) to spend the rest of her life with. There were never any men around while I was growing up and I do know of a man that she met a few years after my Grandfather died but way before I was even a twinkle in my Fathers eye....She was maybe 35 and dated him for awhile thinking the whole time he was single only to find out that he would no longer be able to see her because he had lied to her and that he was married and his wife was about to be released from (what they referred to back then) the Insane Asylum. But after him there was never anyone else.....so I asked her "Gramma after all these years why didn't you ever fall in love again or did you just not want to? Wasn't there ever anyone special? You've been alone for over 50 years? Didn't you want love again?...........and her answer to me (Now mind you I am expecting this love story kind of answer, about loving only one man my Grandfather, and that every man after him paled in his shadow....you know a story that I could share with the great grandchildren and future generations) and her answer went something like this.........(finale warning adult content)
"Well, Kimmy all my life I was looking for a man with a thick wallet and no dick and all I kept finding were men with thick dicks and no wallets!" Now I about fell outta my chair....this was an 80 something year old woman....all I could mumble after all my chit's and giggles stopped was, well that's another story that can't go down in the family story book but can be shared with the rest of the family when they have reached adulthood themselves! Now me and the rest of my adult siblings and cousins got a kick out of it, but her adult children were not amused!!! lol lol lol
Now are some of us gonna burn in hell? Probably but it will be one hell of a party! lol lol lol
There are other "tellings" somewhere in my archives you are more then welcomed to find and enjoy reading them!
Gramma Annie now suffers from macular degeneration so she will not be able to tell by looking at me that I have been ill.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Part 1: The Birth of You
Were you a planned baby?: My middle name is........"OOPS!" figure that one out! lol
Were you the first?: I was the 4th out of 5 pregnancies.....But I am the third born (My Mother had a miscarriage before and after me)
Who was present at your birth?: Just my Mom......My Dad was stationed over seas during my birth and I didn't get to meet him until I was 11 months old.
Were your parents married when you were born?: Yep.
What is your birthdate? February 12, 1963
Part 2: The Family
Are you parents married or divorced? Divorced....and my Father is now deceased.
An only child?: Nope....but I remember there were times I wish I was! lol lol lol
If you have siblings are you oldest, middle, or youngest?: The baby! AKA spoiled rotten brat AKA demanding lil shit..hence the screen name! lol lol lol
What are your sibling's names?: Michael and Kelly (good ole Irish names! lol)
Which parent do you get along with best?: Depends on what age I was.....but I always knew my Mother had my back even when I was going through a very long rebellious stage...(12-20).....if you only knew how bad I really was, you would be asking that my Mother be given Sainthood! lol lol lol
What do you fight about? I stopped fighting with my Mother after I became a parent myself......that's is when I realized she did know more than me! lol lol lol
No......but my Mother has been dating the same man since I was 13 and I'm 43 now! lol lol lol
Do you have step parents?:
Part 3: The Friends
Do you have more than one best friend? Yes
What do you like to do when you are together? Talk, shop, cocktail............laugh!
Do you share the same interests?: Yes...but we are a very diverse group of women.
Which friend can you tell anything to?: My friend Michelle.
Part 4: Your Personality
How high/low is your self esteem?: I've always had a healthy esteem level.....I had to in order to survive a sometimes extremely difficult childhood.
Do you get depressed about things easily?: No.....Tomorrow is always a new day.
Are you an extrovert (outgoing) or an introvert (reserved)?: Total extrovert......but I am also a very private person.....I will share everything from my past with anyone including total strangers, but keep most of my present time close to my chest.
Are you happy?: Extremely!
Do you live life to the fullest?: Always have.......it's a gift!
Part 5: Appearance
Are you comfortable with the way you look?: As comfortable as a woman can be with fresh scars on her breast and stomach and sporting a bald head! lol lol lol But I am truly loving the new flat tummy!....I'm just UNDER CONSTRUCTION!
Describe your hair? MIA! (Missing In Action......Thanks chemo!) but I think of it as a bad hair cut.....it's only hair and it will grow back....(please! Oh please be thicker with a few curls!!!! lol)
How do you dress? For the past 10 years I would have say "comfortable" but with my new body..........I'm bringing sexy back! lol lol lol
Part 6: The Past
Were you a strange child?: I would have to say yes......I always knew who I was and remained truthful to myself........most kids don't learn that until they are 30 something adults.
What did you used to love that you no longer do? A coupleof old boyfriends......Danny, Vito and Kevin....but each past love held my heart and my hand and made me a better me and that better me was ready to meet and be with my Forever Love, my Jim.
Do you have the same friends?: I have always had lots a different 'cliques' of friends, I still keep in touch with grade school and on up friends too!
Was there anything in your past that was traumatizing? Unfortunately yes.
Part 7: The Future
What is your ambition? To spend more of forever with Jim and our children and I think having cancer has given me another calling......I just not sure on how to start, but I hope at least by sharing my battle with cancer through my journal is a good place to start!
Are you scared of growing old?: It's MY WISH!
Do you want to get married?: I think there is a law about not getting married if you already are married! lol lol lol Plus Jim has this thing/rule about me not dating anymore! Lmaooooo!
Part 8: The Outdoors
Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?:Beautiful weather.....I'm outside! if it's too hot or too cold I'm home bound! lol
Favorite Season: Spring.......new cycle of life begins!
Do you like walking in the rain?: I LOVE the rain....hey I'm 43 years old and still love to puddle jump! lol lol lol
Part 9: Food
Are you a vegetarian?: No, But I will be changing my diet habits and eating more organic food..my breast cancer was linked to having too much estrogen in my body....most meat and poulty has been treated with growth hormones......I feel there is a link......So I am going more organic.
What is your favorite food?: Japanese then Mexican then Greek then Chinese....I'm an international eater! lol lol lol
What food makes you want to gag? soggy vegetables.......yuck!
What is your favorite dessert?: Tiramisu.
What is your favorite restaurant?: Several Japanese restaurants in my area.
Are you a fussy eater? Yup! but the older I get the more willing I am to at least try new stuff.
Part 10: Relationships and Love
Are you single or taken?: Utterly and completely.........taken! lol
If taken who is the lucky guy/girl?: Jim and I do remind him of that on a daily basis! ;)
Do you think love is the best feeling in the world?: Yes of course......when it's the right love it's better than chocolate and orgasms put together! lol lol lol
Do you believe in love at first sight?: YES! My whole love story is based on it!
Part 11: Experiences
What was one of your greatest experiences?: The miracle of childbirth.
What was one of the worst? Burying my Father and loosing a child.
Have you ever done drugs? Can you say................."WILD CHILD?"
Have you ever thought you were going to die?: Yes twice, both during my childhood.....but I didn't think I was going to die when I was told I have cancer....just a feeling of one more thing I have to go through in life (Now busting out in song) I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it, not gonna give up, I'm gonna be stronger.....(destiny's child) laaalaaaalaa la!
So now you have learned a lil more about me....if you do this in your own blog send me back a link please!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
So when one of these hot flashes hit.....I can't unwrap myself quick enough and the urge to run naked through the streets to the nearest snow bank almost overwhelms me! Now just imagine there you are sitting in your living room and this 40 something year old bald woman (I'd have on earrings of course! lol) with one sagging boob, one rather nice looking perky boob minus a nipple and an areola of course, with a rather large red scar from hip to hip ( but my oh so flat tummy! lol) comes flying down your street and jumps into the nearest snow bank??? My luck somebody would arrive with a straight jacket and the hot flash would continue! lol lol lol
Hmmmm..... I wonder if they make straight jackets in PINK?? lol lol lol
Monday, December 11, 2006
Surgery to remove my left breast along with it's 3+ cancerous tumors took care of removing some of the cancer from my body....now it had to target the cancer cells that were left to run amuck in my body...hence the need for chemo..chemo targets the all the cells....the good, the bad and the ugly! ( Cancer cells are UGGGGLY! LOL)
My doctors had handed me out this information below when I was first given the Taxol (2nd part of my chemo regiment) it answered a lot of my questions......I hope you find it informative too.......I now feel like there is a fierce game of "Space Invaders" going on in my body! lol
As taken from Chemocare.com (Scott Hamilton of the Ice Skaters Fame)
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into contact with like cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and balances in place that control and limit cell division. The process of cell division, whether normal or cancerous cells, is through the cell cycle. The cell cycle goes from the resting phase, through active growing phases, and then to mitosis (division).
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide (self-death or apoptosis).
Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells only when they are dividing are called cell-cycle specific. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells when they are at rest are called cell-cycle non-specific. The scheduling of chemotherapy is set based on the type of cells, rate at which they divide, and the time at which a given drug is likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.
Chemotherapy is most effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. The "normal" cells will grow back and be healthy but in the meantime, side effects occur. The "normal" cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy are the blood cells, the cells in the mouth, stomach and bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect different parts of the body.
Paclitaxel belongs to a class of chemotherapy drugs called plant alkaloids. Plant alkaloids are made from plants. The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant (catharanthus rosea). The taxanes are made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (taxus) (if anyone comes across one of these on the pacific coast can ya give it a great big ole hug from me please??LOL!). The vinca alkaloids and taxanes are also known as antimicrotubule agents. The podophyllotoxins are derived from the May Apple plant. Camptothecan analogs are derived from the Asian "Happy Tree" (Camptotheca acuminata). Podophyllotoxins and camptothecan analogs are also known as topoisomerase inhibitors. The plant alkaloids are cell-cycle specific. This means they attack the cells during various phases of division.
- Vinca alkaloids: Vincristine, Vinblastine and Vinorelbine.
- Taxanes: Paclitaxel and Docetaxel.
- Podophyllotoxins: Etoposide and Tenisopide.
- Camptothecan analogs: Irinotecan and Topotecan.
Antimicrotubule agents (such as Paclitaxel), inhibit the microtubule structures within the cell. Microtubules are part of the cell's apparatus for dividing and replicating itself. Inhibition of these structures ultimately results in cell death.
die cancer cell die! lol lol lol
Saturday, December 9, 2006
I had my 6th chemo treatment this past Tuesday and Dr. Serious did up my pain meds this time around....what a difference a few milligrams make! Besides from making me nap just a lil more, you can't even tell when a pain is flashing through me this time around......VIVA LA PAIN MEDS! lol lol lol If I can make it through my last two chemo's feeling this good I am home free and very thankful!
The weird thing is that when I was doing the 1st 4 parts of treatment (The A/C) I was nauseous but never did get sick to my stomach........on the Taxol I'm not nauseous but I was sick to my stomach 2 times Thursday night and 2 times Friday.....just a quick twist in my stomach and fast hobble to the bathroom and it's over and done......so far so good, see getting sick to my stomach is dangerous for me, even on a normal B.C. day (before cancer) My heart tends to go into A-Fib after I get sick to my stomach when I am battling a migraine....and I have had more than my normal share of migraines since diagnosis.........go figure! lol So every time I do get sick to my stomach Jim has to listen to my heart just to make sure I am not in A-Fib and then off and running to the Heart Hospital for a few days stay........me and my odd lil quirks huh?? lol
The bone pain did shift this time though.....last time it was my hips and my thighs.....this time it was my pelvic bone and my rib cage mainly.....it hurt to sneeze, burp, cough, laugh and just breath deep....so if I keep the pain under control with a pain med every 6 hours and I am basically pain free this time around....thank you! thank you! thank you! Good Lord I feel so good I am even doing.................GULP! LAUNDRY! must be a side effect! lol lol lol...............MEDIC!!!!!!!!!!
Life is good and I am blessed!
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
I have a good number of male readers that have been following my journal from time to time and have wondered how my Husband Jim has been dealing with or handling watching the Woman he promised "forever" to, battle cancer....First let me tell you I fell in love with and married a Man's Man.....very strong, very masculine and one who loves me so much it scared him in the beginning..... He was with me when I was prematurely informed I had very aggressive (cancerous) tumors via my Radiologist (and who I will be forever grateful for the early heads up..you know us Mom's we put everybody else first and without that early heads up) Who knows how long I would of put off going to my Oncologist if he (the radiologist) didn't tell me "Don't wait, do it now!!"
Jim has been my soft place to land and my rock for many years and he meant every vow on our wedding day....he has seen me atmybest and seen me at my worse (even before my cancer diagnosis! lol) and has loved me unconditionally every moment since we first fell in love at first "date" back in 1986......we met in 1981 for the first time and even though we both belonged to someone else I told my best friend at the time, that I didn't know how and I didn't know when, but I was going to marry that man some day and we finally did after becoming a couple in 1986 and then married in 1990. He had a 3 year old Daughter and I had a newborn Daughter (Melissa and Amanda) when it was finally our time and after we married we added two of our own to that mix (Rachel and Jimmy) and have been living happily ever after until my illness hit in July of this year.
That man has seen me scared and so very ill at times that only my eyes were able to watch him cross a room. He became the "rock" for the rest of my family during my 9 hour surgery and one week stay in the hospital....he watched them get ready to send me home early, learned how to change my bandages and my drains, then watched them try to stabilize me after my heart went into Atrial fibrillation and then moved me to the heart hospital where I had to continue the rest of my week stay at the hospital, he took care of my basic, every day needs while I was in the hospital where I never had to rely on the nursing staff or the "call button." he bathed me, fed me, soothed me, loved me and slept by my side every night, on a not so comfortable lounge chair, he laughed with me, he cried with me and he pushed me when just when I thought I couldn't take anymore......which seems to follow an every other week pattern during chemo! lol! He understood without words, that our intimacy would be challenged and neglected (which I know is hard for any hot blooded man! lol) but both of us know our love has more facets than just physical love anyway. He has seen me fall, crawl and be too sick and weak to cry, he has helped maintain some type of normalcy in our home for our children's sake, gave up his hunting season, he has gone to the drug store up to 6 times in one day to buy stool softeners, laxatives, suppositories, enemas, finally a prescription phoned in by my Oncologist to just get back home again only to turn around and go back out for sanitary napkins and tampons for his teeange Daughter.......now that is love! lol lol lol Like I said, I married a man's man but one who had no problem walking around the drug store and asking forhelp in locating these items when his wife was home, weak and bed ridden most of the time for the first few weeks following surgery and then 5 days a week following each chemo treatment since then. He has been with me at every Doctor's appointment and every chemo treatment and pushes me through every weak moment since diagnosis.
So this is the Man I fell in love with the very first time I saw him at the young age of 18, and who I knew I was destined to spend forever with and finally did get to start that forever with at the age of 23. Now here I am soon to be 44 (February) him 48, and I have more love and more respect for that Man, who has spent the last 20+ years of his life putting his love for me and his children before his own needs to give us a beautiful life and it is for him that I battle with all my might to beat this terrible disease, just to spend a lil more of forever with him and finish raising our last two babies (14 & 15) and maybe I can be around a lil longer to spoil the hell out of future grandbabies to come.....nothing in life could be sweeter than a longer life with Jim and the following generations....that will be my every Christmas wish, every Birthday wish, every New Years resolution and every falling star wish the rest of my life.......how ever long I am meant to be.
Life couldn't get better than this...... only my health can and I'm working on that my friends......I'm working on that! ;)
Monday, December 4, 2006
I for one will always fear that Oncologist check up...is it back? is it worse? Can I find the strength to battle it again? But having Cancer has taught me many other wonderful things.....I now have the ability to see things from a different perspective....I was never one to sweat the small things anyway....surviving a difficult childhood taught me that at a much earlier age, Jim and I losing a child was far more painful and difficult than my battle with cancer and learning to rely on my instinct at the age of 11 to save myself from an abductor who was hell bent on breaking into my childhood home and harming me taught me I was one tough cookie!
I still am unable to pray for myself or pray for a miracle of healing for myself because I KNOW there are others who need those prayers way more than I do........ I save my prayers for them, I'm a survivor and I have such a peace that comes over me and I just let every worry go (most of the time! lol) I know I am loved truly, madly deeply LOVED by my Husband Jim, better than any man could have loved me, I have 4 wonderful, stress inducing children which reminds me that life still goes on and if they are back to misbehaving than life is slowly returning to normal around here! lol I have good friends and extended family that are having a hard time letting me go....if that is the way it is to play out and I have a full heart, I am thankful for everyday ( I was even before Cancer) I am thankful for every tomorrow too! With being cooped up in the house for over a week and usually dreading this time of year because of years and years of battling depression....who can be depressed now, when having every day and having hope of every tomorrow is still in my grasp? Driving home from my Sister Kelly's house last night after watching yet another "Bears" win (heee heee heee!) with a blanket of beautiful white snow reflecting all the colors of Christmas time..........warmed me more than it ever has before! How beautiful life is if you see everything through my eyes now....cancer gave that to me! seeing tiny bird foot prints in the snow bring a smile to my face now, I notice much more of life now....I don't see all my don't have(s) anymore......I see everything I do have and know that I am blessed more now than ever....cancer gave that to me.....when I let my heart fill with all love I have been shown, tears fill my eyes ( I have to limit how many times I do this or I would be crying all the time! lol), just from the simple joy that the gift of love brings out in everyone....we all have love.... be it from a child, a parent, a sibling, a best friend, our pets, extended family, our spouses or significant others.
I didn't have to develop a life threatening disease to learn all this, what I did have to learn was to slow down and let myself see these things, I had to give myself time to let my mind wrap around these things then I had to allow myself time to feel what I feel and then I had to figure out what I learned from it and then store it away or share it with others and then let go of it so I can experience more and start the whole process again....letting go of many things moved me further ahead than I ever thought possible before. Do I know what my prognosis is? No I don't, do I feel it is my time this time to go where ever it is I am supposed to go? No, I don't.........I just don't "feel" as if my journey is over yet........I think when we do figure out why we were meant to be here is where and when the journey ends.....for some it's far too early for those we leave behind and for others their journey takes a life time....it's not for us to decide ,it's for us to discover and I for one am very thankful there is no itinerary to follow........how dull and boring life would be if we always knew what was just around the corner!
Nothing in life is better than sharing how much someone means to you....why not tell someone today? What a wonderful thing if it turns out to be one big, long chain reaction huh?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
If you work with someone that is ill....see if you can transfer one of your sick days to your co-worker..this woks too if that person is the main care giver for another person that is ill. There is a lot of down days when the patient needs someone to stay home with them or take them on one of their numerous doctor/treatment appointments.
If your a neighbor of someone ill you can help by raking leaves, shoveling snow, cutting grass, taking in the trash cans or taking them out, bring the newspaper closer to their front door in the morning or organize some of your other neighbors to put some funds together to hire a service that can help with the outdoor stuff for a season or a whole year.
Organize some neighbors to rotate cooking dinner for the family that is going through a health crisis...everyone takes turns making enough dinner food to feed their own family plus the other family.
Volunteer to run errands, if your going grocery shopping call and see if there is anything you can pick up for them, pick up or drop off things at the dry cleaner and such. If one of your kids is in a sports or other activity with one of their children, video tape the event and share that with them.
If you have rented any movies and after your finished watching it. ask if they would like to view it too and then you can return it to the video store, or you can ask them if there is a movie that they would like to see and rent it for them...remember there is a lot of time spent in ones bed during a serious illness or recovery from an operation. If you want to, send over a bag of microwave popcorn and other treats with the movie.
If its a good day for the person, invite them over for a football party..nothing beats a tail gate party in the comfort of a living room, keep the guest list small...chemo lowers ones ability to fight off colds and viruses....a major illness on top of their other illness can delay their treatment.
Send a goody bag over loaded with antibacterial items, a box of tissues, heavy duty moisturizing cream, lip balm, a lavender scented candle....best known for its calming ability, a back scratchier ( A MUST HAVE!LOL) be careful of sending anything over that has a really strong scent to it....strong odors become offensive when one is ill.
If they have small children organize play dates with your own kids and other neighbors, offer to drive their children to these play dates too.If they have kids of the furry kind lol! volunteer to make that late night dog walk, see if there are any vet appointments that you can take care of.
offer to Christmas or Holiday shop for them....last place they want to be is at the mall or toy store with all the germs that are around this time of year. If they have small children that still believe in Santa offer to hide the gifts at your house.
If they are a really close friend or family member, look through your old photos and make a copy of one that has you and that person in it, find a fabulous frame and send them a note telling them how much they mean to you.....this will bring back happier times and let them believe that those kind of days will happen once again, some time soon.
I have been very blessed as far as health insurance goes....we have hardly any out of pocket expenses...just 20 pills of the Zofran (an anti-nausea medication) is an $ 887.00 dollar expense and that only lasts you for one treatment per chemo, we only had to pay $10.00 co pay.....like I said I am blessed, my entire operation hospital cost was over $45,000.00 and that did not include any of the Doctors fees (still waiting for those bills lol)....Our insurance covered the whole amount.....others aren't as fortunate...see if there is a need to raise funds for that family..sometimes all it takes is a phone call to your local newspaper to generate a story of that family's plight and then the snowball "good will" effect takes over and the family can get some help with the financial costs that burden them too...especially if the person that is ill, is the main supporter of the family.
I made that call a few years ago for a Mother that was donating one of her kidneys to her very ill 5 year old son (she is the SIL of a very good friend of mine) that story help set up a fund to cover the expense of that lil boy's life long medicinal needs.
You might think that what your doing seems so small and insignificant, but trust me that small deed is huge in that person's life.
And remeber that person when you are counting your blessings and last but not least.....A prayer goes a long way and is the easiest to bestow.
Life is good and I am blessed!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Going through this Cancer ordeal has taught me many things....first is I am not alone....almost everyone that reads my blog has someone in their life that has been touched by some kind of cancer, everyone feels the same helplessness that goes along with knowing and watching what goes along with this terrible disease. The most frustrating thing is not knowing what to do for that person....here as some things that I know brightened up my darkest days.
We don't always want to talk, if someone says it's ok to call then by all means call, if you don't get the go ahead to call wait for them to make the calls.
Encourage them to start a blog for family and friends to keep updated without worrying about calling and waking them up while they are resting.
Buy them a box of Thank You cards and a book of stamps, or a stationary set.
Buy them a bed tray so they can eat their meals there when they aren't feeling up to making a trip to the kitchen.
Buy them one of those dorm back pillows, after surgery you have to sleep at a 45 degree angle for awhile.
Buy them a small pillow 5 X 7 to tuck under their arm between then breast area and the under arm......feels good especially if they had lymph nodes removed.
Send cards weekly, those let that person know how much they are loved and are a good picker upper especially if they aren't ready to make phone calls.
Send some soft stretchy hats that can keep a bald head warm but still let some heat escape.......Thanks Sheila!!!!
If you know them and their family well enough to know what they enjoy meal wise or snack wise by al means do so....especially if it's a Mom that is going through Cancer and Chemo. We are smell sensitive during the first part of chemo and strong smells make us gag. Send them a pizza or Chinese food or gift certificates to their favorite family restaurant that they can call and order dinner to bring home and enjoy.
If your a neighbor volunteer to drive their kids to the bus stop or school on bad weather days or after school activities...last thing we want to worry about is getting our kids to school safely.
If your the parent of a friend to their children, invite them over for a sleep over, the kids need a fun night away from the illness and it is especially important during the really rough times....as a Mom, I don't want my children to witness a really bad day for me...it freaks them out and is hard to forget watching one of your parents sick or in pain.
Buy some super soft and comfy through pillows for their bed....they will be spending a lot of time there.
If they are an avid reader get them a gift certificate to an online store....that way they can pass the time escaping into a really good book and forget for a moment what their real life is like at the moment.......same thing for movies.......nothing beats a really good comedy.......laughter really is a great pain reliever.
I hope this gives you some peace of mind when knowing someone who is going through a really difficult illness.....it will bring them joy and give you the peace of mind that you made a small difference in their lives.
As a Cancer patient myself........I know my illness isn't easy for the majority of the people in my life, so if you can't find yourself being able to deal with their illness face to face a small gesture goes a very long way! With my family and friends only a very few can deal with my illness and it is people like you that come by my journal and inspire me to keep up the good fight that gives me comfort when people who are in my everyday life can't!!! Thank you for making such a difference in my life.....you will never know how much you have touched my heart.
Thank you so very much my J-Land Chemo Angels!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 27, 2006
I finally was able to spend sometime with my Brother yesterday with other family and friends for the Bears game....it was a Thanksgiving left over feast and I got to enjoy yet another very cold beer! I also shed the wig and traded it in for a pair of reindeer antlers with bells...and by the end of the day I was so brave with my light up the night bald head I did the drive home with my glorious bald head catching all the headlights! lol weird but exhilarating feeling to have the cool night breeze blowing through my.....ummmm hair nubs! lol It was good for me to get out again and very good for my Brother to see me doing so well in my Kickin cancers ass mode once again! He said, "Your the baby, this isn't supposed to be happening to you, you don't even smoke anymore(I quite 22 years ago Thank You very much!) I told him it's not supposed to happen to anyone but it does and I'd still rather it be me than anyone one else that I know and love.
There were alot of chits and giggles as my wig was passed around but we all decided it looked best on my friends 200 pound Great Dane named no other than Scooby Do! lol lol lol
Life is good and I am thankful!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
My hair is already starting to grow back...WHITE in the front with BLACK in the back.........GREAT!!! I'm gonna look like Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmatians! lol! I was what they refer to as a toe-headed baby.....my hair was so blonde that it was white....I wonder if that is the color my hair is coming back as? It got darker and more golden as the years went by.....but with Chemo who knows! Just give me a few curls or waves....hell, I'd be satisfied if it was just thicker than what I had before! lol This sure will be interesting, not matter what! lol
Whatever happened to me feet with my last A/C round is still a mystery to me and my Oncologist. Yesterday I woke up to find huge blisters on the bottom of my feet where the red burn marks were when I was unable to walk last around. I still have the one hot spot on my left foot that will have to go through what ever it goes through....but hopefully that won't happen again and I will be able to really enjoy my feel good days. Very Strange......and I'm still breaking out in new hives even though I have been off that medicine for over a week....I feel like such a lab rat with all these weird side effects! lol
I am still finding me having Cancer is much harder on my family and friends than it is for me to deal with....to protect my family(Mother and Siblings) I have not let them see me when I am looking as bad as I feel....But this Thanksgiving was only 2 days after my chemo round and I was in no shape to camouflage the effects of chemo and cancer has taken on me.....so no make-up, no wig, no sunny disposition. My Brother is still avoiding me and that is ok, so he spent Thanksgiving with my SIL's family. I did get to talk to him and told him that I love, miss and want to see him soon....but I do understand everyone has a comfort level when dealing with illness and I will not push past that comfort level for my own sake. In my huge extended family Cancer was never caught in time so I know and understand the loss....So it is up to me to prove to my Family that if found soon enough, you can survive and I'm gonna! I find some comfort in that and what a great legacy to leave behind when it's my time......like 40 years from now! lol lol lol
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
With the Taxol I won't have to take antibiotics, or anti-nausea pills and all the meds I had to take after those to counteract all the new symptoms that accompanied them with reactions to those meds and now that my immune system will be stronger and I won't run the risk of getting sick so easily (which could of delayed my treatment) I will be able to socialize more without the fear of getting sick! Yipeeeee and the best part of all I won't feel so weak and fatigued outside of the possible bone and joint pain which is very common with Taxol and I won't have any down days!!! (crossing fingers)
Before the Taxol was added to my IV drip they gave me two types of other medicine (intravenously) to stop any kind of allergic reaction to the Taxol (very common) One was a steroid and the other was benedryl........now let me tell you about that benedryl! lol I have taken it before with no problem but this dose must have been pretty strong because I was stoned for about 40 minutes.......I mean whippy in the head, unable to put a decent sentence together and off in my own world stoned! I know it was the benedryl because I always had the other stuff with the A/C treatment part of the chemo. I'm still having moments where I can't find the right words I want to use and I am still having trouble with some confusion this morning.... but this too shall pass! lol
After I had my Chemo Jim took me out to dinner and guess what I had?? Fettuccini Alfredo again! lol and when you have Cancer and are going through chemo all the rules fly out of the window. You rest when you need to, you eat when you want to and you can eat whatever and whenever you want to so for breakfast this morning I had left over Fettuccini Alfredo again! lol lol lol Oh, and I can now confess I have a scoop of vanilla ice cream almost every night around 8 p.m. So I get to break that no eating past dinner rule too! lol jealous aren't ya??? lmaoooooo
Now the only rules I still have to follow with my new chemo is that I still have to have a shot of Neulasta within 24 hours after chemo and I still have to drink an obscene amount of water for the next few days 64 ounces a day for 5 days then I can go down to only my normal amount of water a day which is around 48 ounces. And if next Tuesday my blood counts are good (they shouldn't drop as much as they do with the A/C) I won't have to go for anymore bi-weekly blood draws! yipeeeeeee! One less trip to the Cancer Hospital will be a blessing in itself especially when it starts getting colder and the snow hits......the only time I like snow is if I don't have to go out in it! lol lol lol
Tomorrow my family and I will be going to my Sister and BIL house for Thanksgiving and we have a whole lot to give thanks for, big and small....Dr. Serious told me that by tomorrow night I should start to feel a few body aches which he said feels like flu symptoms and to take ibuprofin first and if that doesn't help or the pain gets to bad hit my vicodin and it shouldn't last that long. Yup....I think me and Taxol are going to get along just fine!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
With this latest round of chemo I was robbed of a few of my good days....in fact I only had 2 good days.....not much of a respite. But yesterday (Monday) I took full advantage of my last feel good day (later today is first round of the Taxol) and took my friends up on going out to lunch! Ü I have been jonesing for Fettuccini Alfredo so since the lunch was in my honor I got to pick where we ate....yeah me! lol We all ordered different dishes and different wines and just had a huge share fest feast! lol I actually passed on the wine and had a beer.....I hadn't had a beer since this past summer and let me tell you I really enjoyed that beer! lol lol lol
It felt so good to be out of bed, out of my room and out of the house! It really felt good to have hair (my new wig, I'll have to post a picture of "us' soon, it really looks like my old hair before I started doing all my pre-chemo hair cuts) and I did my nails and make up and dressed in something besides jammies....it felt good to look and feel good. Some of my friends that I dined with had not seen me since I started chemo and they kept telling me that if they didn't know I was sick and going through chemo that they would of never known I was even ill.....that made me feel good even though my lifeless eyes tell a different story.
I was soooo happy that lunch lasted 5 hours! lol lol lol
later today (yes I'm up in the middle of the night again) I go to the Cancer Hospital.....meet with the nurses for blood work, blood pressure and temperature check...then back to the waiting room to see my Oncologist Dr. Serious to go over this new round of Taxol, side effects and such then I go into the chemo room. It is a huge open room with floor to ceiling windows on one wall and big comfy chairs inside and outside on the terrace and for those that want more privacy they have small rooms with TV's off to the sides of the room. Now me being that chatty person that I am, I like to sit in the open room, in one of the big chairs in front of the floor to ceiling windows, so I can watch life go by on the street below and enjoy all the fall colors of the trees below. By now I know a lot of the other patients and the whole staff by name.
I learn so much about other peoples struggle with Cancer and meet a lot of survivors...those are the ones that give me hope. I met an older woman there who was keeping her ornery Husband company during his chemo and she walked over to me and told me that she was a 27 year Breast Cancer Survivor.....music for my soul that conversation was.
Another 27 years sounds good to me! I'd be a young 70 something year old woman by then.....I wonder if my new boobs will STILL be perky by then! lol lol lol....Hey Dr. Hollywood? Is there a life time guarantee?? lmaoooooo
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Ok, so you were able to sneak into my body and cost me a few days in the hospital and cost me a few lymph nodes and my left breast! In actuality, in the bigger scheme of things, it is really no big deal to me....Having that surgery saved my life and gave me more time to spend with those I love..is there really anything more special than that?? I don't think so and I am sure I am not alone in my way of thinking either...... So Cancer, I am getting my life back and you got a boob......big deal....anybody get a boob these days! lol lol lol
Oh and Cancer? I was wondering how you liked my lil friend called Chemo.....now even though he is doing a number on me....he's really gonna do a number on you! So prepare for you untimely death (to you) and not soon enough of your death to me! How's that feel, to have something trying to take away your existence? Not much fun is it!!!! So if this is all you got.......chemo and me....yes I said me...........wins!
Now I know you are in here in my defense....but could you just be a little kinder? a lil gentler? I mean for God's Sake.....Don't you think my plate is a lil full already?? Cancer, teenagers, the DH's first wife who calls every few weeks to see if I still have a pulse as if she still has a chance??? lol lol lol
Let's see since I've become up close and personal with you I've been dehydrated, I've passed out into walls, sores in my mouth and down into my esophagus and not to mention I've been so constipated that I now have a new visitor in my life called Mr. Hemroid and made my walking quite comical for those that saw me do the BUTT SCOOTIN BOOGIE for a few days 2 weeks ago and what did you bring me this time?? why swollen inflamed feet of course....so now your messing with my total mobility?? I have spent this last week on my back in my "I'm so sick of my bedroom" bedroom having to have help just getting to the bathroom or crawl when I have had to just to do a basic body function.....my patience is starting to wear a lil thin I should say! Oh and let's not forget to mention the allergic reaction to the meds they gave me for my feet in the form of HIVES! and that lovely reaction some women get to certain antibiotics which will be left anonymous.......so could you cut me some slack these next 4 rounds of chemo, you know the TAXOL? Because the only thing all this is really doing... is starting to get my IRISH TEMPER up and that only makes me stronger....or was that your main objective anyway?? lol lol lol I admit I have shed a few tears and this past week I finally had my huge melt down that people have been expecting and waiting for me to do......still don't know how I feel about that but....today is a new day and I'm ready to do battle once again!!!! So bring it on!!!!! I'll just need a bigger stick this time! lol lol lol
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I'll be back when this stage passes.......enjoy your weekend!
Friday, November 10, 2006
First of all......I would like to thank Jackie and Chris for all their heartfelt work and dedication on the 2006 VIVI AWARD JOURNAL Bravo Girls Job well done!!!!
Second I would like to congratulate all the nominees and the winners! A lot of blood, sweat and tears get poured into some of these journals.....So KUDO'S to you all!!! Winners can be found by clicking on this link.... 2006 VIVI AWARD JOURNAL
And now for me.....lol I never knew my journal was going to become so serious, but then again I had no idea it was going to become a great way for me to cope with my diagnosis of Breast Cancer back in July of this year and I hope by me sharing my journey with BC I can help ease some of the fear when the next person is diagnosed and I hope to some day Happy Dance the night away when there is finally a cure! I want to thank everyone who nominated my blog, for voting for my blog and for every donation made in my Honor for Breast Cancer research... I have never felt so overwhelmed with love and care from people I may never get to meet in person but who have found a way to live in my heart and I thank you........so very, very much!
Best Attitude Winner........I always try to with everything life throws my way......so thank you very much for this!
Best Inspirational......you never stand taller than you do when you are holding someone else up and many, many times you have lifted me and I thank you! I just wanted inspire others to do the same.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
I am having a real difficult time as well as many of my other family members convincing a few of them that I am not dying from this, my Brother being the most difficult to convince. I think a lot of it has to do with all the remorse that has built up in him since the end of our childhoods and about the way he treated me during my childhood. Being raised with an alcoholic abusive Father was never easy and was even harder on my oldest sibling my Brother, for my Brother took the brunt of my father's wrath more so than my Sister and I and in turn, he took it out on us, especially me.....I never could hold my tongue! Big Surprise on that huh? lol My Brother was in so much pain growing up that the only way for him to let some of that escape was if he took it out on my Sister and I and let's just say my beatings were viscous....and there was always a threat afterwards of if I told....I finally held my ground my 16 year....he was warned by me that if he ever laid a hand on me again, I would have him arrested and that was the end of that.....I couldn't even like, and sometimes hated (but always loved) my Brother until my 30's and then I was able to forgive him.........he has never been able to forgive himself and that is why he his having such a hard time dealing withmy cancer.
In a way this Cancer has brought a few things full circle for me in many ways and how can I not be grateful for that?
Monday, November 6, 2006
EVERYBODY HAPPY DANCE WITH ME!!!!!
My In-Laws have been in town since last Wednesday and I am forever grateful to my Daughter Melissa and SIL for putting them up at their place since I was in the throws of my bad week last week. My FIL's last Brother passed away and even though the news of that was sad, it did a world of good for my In-Laws to see me looking and feeling well at the wake Saturday...I wasn't sure if I was going to make it after how bad I had felt, but I was blessed with my good days. Now my MIL and FIL won't break into tears every time someone mentions my name. It took this woman 20 years and I had to get BC for her to bond with me? Strange but true! lol lol lol Now I am the GOLDEN DAUGHTER-IN-LAW! lmaoooooo
We had a full house yesterday for DA BEARS game and it felt good to have my home full and noisy once again. It will be soooooo good to put this chapter of my life behind me then I can go back to being the social butterfly that I was born to be! lol In my late 20's early 30's we were the "Entertaining King and Queen" with our family and friends.....big house, big lot and big swimming pool with party deck included. Then I got smart and a little tired of all the work that entailed....so we don't entertain at our house much, but between being on everyone else's party list and all the time we spend out at the lake together I still get to be the social butterfly but don't have all the mess to clean up afterwards at my house anymore! lol told ya SMART! lmaoooooo We haven't even opened our pool for the last 4 years! lol I'm done being the Kool-Aid Mom and that is a really good feeling too! lol
I think every Mother at this stage in her life looks back at her grown and almost grown babies and wonders how the hell we did it??? Ok, I must confess something here....2 years of therapy (cleaning up some childhood issues) and 2 years of Prozac (I think this had to do more with having 4 young kids of my own plus cool and kool-aidmom to many more) helped me BIG TIME lol back in the mid 90's! lol lol lol
So when Chemo, Cancer and my final surgery is all said and done, I hope to be looking back at this time say....10 years from now and wonder where I got the strength and perseverance to go through this and then pray that the next say....40 years is a PIECE OF CAKE! lol lol lol
Saturday, November 4, 2006
The VIVA Awards for journaling is open for voting (until nov/6th I think).........
I was nominated (yipeee! Ü) in 3 categories......drum roll please!!!!!!
Best Attitude.....My Momma would have to differ during my teen years! lol
Most Inspirational.....My Momma would be happy I am using my powers for good instead of evil......again referring back to my teen years! lol
And Most Emotional....I think my Momma would of said I had lots of practice being emotional.......again the teen years!
So in the words of Sally Field.....if you really, really like me or another of my fellow nominees in my category and the others...........go show some love if ya get a chance!
I'm ready for my close up Mr. Deville! lmaooooooooo!
Ok, I will be spending the rest of my day......gettin' ova' myself! lol lol lol Ü
Friday, November 3, 2006
I believe in the PAY IT FORWARD theory.......when someone does something to enrich your life or make a tough situation easier to bare, (which I am going through with cancer) a little bit easier, a little bit kinder, you in turn should pass that good will on to others when and if you are able to.
There are wonderful people in J-Land that took time to let me know they were thinking of me and my family during my battle with Breast Cancer and every good thought, prayer, karma whatever you choose to send me has warmed my heart and kept me afloat through some pretty rough days and my eyes fill with tears every time I let that kinda love wash over me.
So it's time I PAY IT FORWARD in your name, the ones who keep me afloat and on my good days I will be getting packages ready to send on to others out in J-Land that could use a little extra kindness sent there way.
I just want you all to know how much I appreciate every kind word or gesture and when I am strong enough, I will be another link in the chain that remembers to be grateful for the smallest of things and when I can, try make someone else's burden a little lighter to carry.
If you are in need or have things to donate please visit this journal and see if somehow you can be of help.....some requests are just for a warm winter coat, many are for children's clothing. Put it on your alerts.....you might have something that you no longer need and someone might just be looking for it. :)
Here is the link........it will explain it much better than I ever could.
The Giving Tree
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Four months into my "Extreme Cancer Makeover" I have learned many things....my hair and my breasts do not matter to me as much as I thought they would, they do not define me as "Woman" and I have come to discover that I was much cuter as a bald baby then I am as a bald women..thank you eye lashes and eye brows for sticking around a lil while longer....at least I can run my fingers through those instead of my hair huh?? lol I can't tell you how much money I am saving by not having to buy hair products and razors.. and the only thing I am 'curling' right now are my eye lashes! lol
One more round of the "bad chemo"......next Tuesday..... then on to 4 rounds of the Taxol, but after reading up on Taxol the side effects seem to be exactly the same...at least I will be half way done with treatment. I will get some peace knowing that....and that tomorrow will be even better than today as I am on the incline of my good week.
Cancer.... you have taken only a brief moment of my life but I have learned many things about myself because of you....I'm going to be a survivor and I will light the way of many other survivors as those before me have lit my way. We are only as strong as our weakest link and I have yet to meet anyone who could or would walk away from life so easy....
Life is good and I am blessed!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
When I was first diagnosed with BC, I wanted to read everything I could get my hands on, since my surgery (8-16-06) I didn't want to read one more thing. I had come to the conclusion that BC had taken enough of my time and effort and body parts and I didn't want it to become "everything" about me. So I put away all my reading material, then when October came around I was flooded with BC commercials due to the fact that October is national BC awareness. I have to admit I changed a lot of channels and so many shows did their own telling of BC. For all the awareness it raised I am eternally grateful, but when I had those blissful moments of forgetting what I was dealing with, I found myself getting upset being reminded of it constantly.....this too did pass and I am back to finding ways to promote awareness, to find a cure and to help other women who will be on the same path as me.
So yesterday's post was about signing a petition to stop drive through mastectomies, today's post is going to direct you to the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Foundation..... Once again Congress needs to be reminded that all women should have access to lifesaving screening and treatments and with the cutbacks that they want to make to Medicare regarding this issue will make it almost impossible (financially) for our Older American Women on fixed incomes....please stop by and read up on it and if it moves you to do so please fill out your information and send the form letter to your Congressmen and Congresswomen.
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation | Take Action: Be a Champion!
Thank you so very much for caring about me and other BC patients who are trying to find their way to becoming BC survivors!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Having had my left breast removed on August 16, 2006 due to Cancer, I can personally attest to the need for quality health care given to Women who will be walking down the same path I am finding my way through. I have recently discovered this insane practice of what they are calling "Drive Through Mastectomies" where Women are being forced to leave within hours of having a Mastectomy............I find this appalling! I hope you do too!
Please visit this link to learn more about it and see the faces of people who are taking up this fight for Women...... Please sign the petition to help urge Congress to pass the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005 (S 910/HR1849).
I am still feeling pretty good following my 3rd chemo treatment, my cheeks are becoming flushed which means the fatigue will be setting in sometime today so it's back to bed I go....I do believe drinking the water helps a great deal in how I feel following the chemo (learned my lesson! lol).......Gatorade also makes a water called "Propel" that is fortified with vitamins plus calcium.....at it's FLAVORED........I'm liking the berry flavor (comes in lemon too) and when you have to drink 64 ounces of fluid a day this makes it a hell of a lot easier! lol lol lol
Thursday, October 26, 2006
While I sat in the waiting room, waiting for them to finish pumping her stomach, her Mother arrived, I had never met the Woman before and I wasn't sure how she would react to the fact that I was her Daughters confident and not her. With tears in her eyes she thanked me for always being there for her Daughter especially this time, her Father's reaction.......let's just say he wasn't thrilled with yet another hospital bill, didn't even ask how his Daughter was doing........nuff said!
The reason I am revisiting this time is because even though 2 years has gone by and the girls don't keep in touch that often, I received a card in the mail yesterday from Amy and I wanted to share it with you.
I just wanted to write you a note to say that my prayers are with you and I know you are strong enough to pull through this. Thank you so much for taking us under your wings, you've treated Me, Krista, Matt and all of Amanda's close friends like your own and you're truly a unique, caring, loving, thoughtful, trusting and most of all understanding Mom to us all. Without you I don't know who I'd turn to during my sisters addiction and hard time and with my bipolar, because you've been in the same situations, which my own Mother doesn't quite understand. Thank you for being there for me, and I hope I can now be there for you. I know you can survive this because you have survived life and are the strongest Woman I have ever met and you're a God Send to me and I hope one day I can be the same for my daughter's best friends! Thank you for being in my life and also for saving it, I will never forget that day, I will never forget your love, Iwill never forget you! Thank you for being you and don't let this letter get you down.
We love you always,
With a letter like this life just can't get any sweeter! She is doing better and her realtionship with her own Mother is stronger, her Father has quit drinking and they are healing old wounds and they both have sent long their prayers and good wishes that I have a full recovery too. So far this morning I'm feeling really good after yesterdays chemo, but if I don't post for a few days then know that I am resting and will be back soon!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Many couples have an 'Our Song' Usually it's the song they have their first dance to as Husband and Wife. It is either a song that expresses to others how they feel about one another or a song that mimics a time in their lives.
I have many favorite love songs....most women do, what I didn't know until maybe 3 years ago is Jim had a song that held a lot of significance to him. As many of my long time readers already know Jim and I dated over 4 years before we were married. That last year of dating was an extremely difficult time in our lives and went spent a lot of time apart....so much time that I started dating other men and when Jim and I discovered we both wanted different things, we thought we split up for good..... I was heartbroken but moved on, as did he.
One morning Jim's clock radio went off at it's usual time, but instead of hitting the snooze button, (like the snooze-aholic always does! lol) a new Garth Brook song started playing, being a big fan of his...he listened to the song and really felt the words.....the song is called 'If tomorrow never comes." It was while listening to that song that he came to the conclusion that he really didn't want to spend the rest of his life without me in it. That very same night he showed up at my door after waiting for me to come home from a date and demanded that I marry him....not a sweet, well thought out proposal.......I was told that he wasn't asking me to marry him he was telling me I was going to marry him! lol and I had to get rid of the new boyfriend! lol
Now I want you to go and read this older entry about a magical night we had out under the stars at the lake 2 summers ago..it's about a magical moment, a slow dance and a serenade...........click the link and then come back for the rest of this entry (please)
It was that song that he sang to me that night.
"If Tomorrow Never Comes"
Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She's lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart
If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes
Cause I've lost loved ones in my life
Who never knew how much I loved them
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them never were revealed
So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstance
Where there's no second chance to tell her how I feel
If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes
So tell that someone that you love
Just what you're thinking of
If tomorrow never comes.
So Jim, if at sometime my tomorrow never comes...... the love you've gave me in the past will be enough to last.....till we find one another once again......I love you!
Today is round 3 of chemo, then only 1 more round of the bad chemo to do...........yipeeeeeee! Then on to 4 rounds of Taxol.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
As most of J-land already knows it's that time of year to vote for your favorite Journals.... Jackie from HOPE FLOATS along with Other J-land Friends have graciously poured their heart and souls into getting this years VIVI AWARDS together.
To find out more about it and when and how to vote for your favorite nominees that have been selected please click on this link ~~~> 2006 VIVI AWARD JOURNAL
It is a great way to explore around J-Land and find new blogs to read and a great way to meet new friends along the way. That is the best thing about J-Land! You make real friendships and get the chance to explore other people's worlds. You find connections with people who might be experiencing some of the same things you are, you can get some really good advice or learn a new lesson by someone else's experience, you may find some really good parenting tips, some people even take the time to teach you how to pick up a new hobby or pass along a really good recipe......real people, real lives!
We laugh together, we cry together.......we hold each other up and cheer each other on! That is what makes J-Land so special!
I want to thank those responsible for nominating "I SHAVED MY LEGS FOR THIS?" All that I am is in this journal which I started back in August of 2004. My many ups, my ever so few downs and stories about my Family. Here is where I can share my words, my poetry and my photographs....here is where I found many new friends!
I was nominated for 3 different categories...........
And I must say I am in rather good company with the other nominees! So if you want to, you can go check out the sight, read up on some really good bloggers, young and old and vote if you want to!
Actual day to Vote is November 2nd, so in the meantime get reading! lol lol lol
Sunday, October 22, 2006
So in honor of my fellow "WARRIORS IN PINK" I would like to pimp a few Women that I have found them or they have found me through J-Land and who are going through their own battles with Breast Cancer at the same time I am. They always say you are as strong as your weakest link and there isn't a weak link amongst us.
So if time permits you today stop by, read up on them and then show em' some love. You have all lifted me during times I needed to be lifted and you all are my "LIFE ANGELS" and my heart is full because of all the love and support you shown for me and my family.
Meet Trish from My Breast Cancer Story She is a Wife, A Mother of two and a Warrior in pink! She has already lost one of her Sisters, Sharon to this disease and is like me fighting hard to survive this disease.....she too like me can only tolerate Peanut Butter and Jelly on toast on her not so good days....She also works part time at a Middle School and adores the kids......please stop by and give her a hug!
Now onto a very new blogger named Barbara....she found my blog after being recently diagnosed and after reading up on me decided to become a new member of the J-Land Blogging community....writing is good for the soul and I know it's has helped me get through whatever I have had to get through all my life. Barbara has also lost her youngest child Evan due to a car accident early last year....so she knows heartache and now she has to deal with Inflammatory Breast Cancer....that's a lot tougher than my diagnosis so please stop by and show her some love and support over at Just Another Day In The Life Of Me
Now meet Stephanie.....a stay at home military wife living in Hawaii. Her ordeal started in June with a routine mammogram. She is the Mother of two fraternal twin 7 year old boys. Her life as a military wife (20 years) has taken her a lot of places and has enjoyed it. So not only is she dealing with the diagnosis of Breast Cancer her world was really rocked by the earthquake last week. So please make a trip over to her blog in perpetual motion... and let her know she is not alone in this battle.
Lyrics to "You raise Me up" by Josh Groban
Beautiful words...beautiful sentiment
when I am down, and oh my soul's so weary
when troubles come and my heart burdened be.
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
until you come and sit a while with me.
you raise up so I can stand on mountains,
you raise me up to walk on stormy seas,
I am strong when I am on your shoulders,
you raise me up to more than can be.
Thank you all for always raising me up farther than you will ever know!