Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Goal 1 - Met

Seeing my daughter graduate high school... complete. Proud parents, once again happy for their child that is always exceeding in life, always moving forward. Of course there was no doubt in anyone's mind that she was going to walk across the stage, but there was always a question of who would be there to see it.

Sometimes choices are required and there is a major time limit on these decisions. Do I? Should I? What if? I gave up being concerned with those questions almost two years ago. Hell, maybe even before that. Life is too short right? Old people say that all the time. I always rolled my eyes. Now I'm saying it, and if a young person is saying it... you should listen. Life is too god damn short. No one is in control and if you think you are, you are in total denial. There is no higher power that is going to save your ass or help you decide anything. You find out you have something awful, something that might eventually kill you and you are given options. Oh great, options? So I have to choose my fate. No one wants to deal with that. Do this and live maybe, or do that and die maybe?

When all this cancer bs started, I was asked to think about a bone marrow transplant to forever get rid of my exact type of cancer, of course I could get a different cancer, and of course the transplant is very risky and there was a high risk of dying. Not to mention having to live in a germ free bubble half dead from the chemo they would have to give me for a few months, and bleeding out during the transplant, and the infection risk is a little insane.. do I need to go on? Now if I was older and had a chance to see everything I wanted to see maybe the risk would be worth not having treatments... but I had a goal. I just wanted to see Alexis graduate from high school, making the treatments and the heart surgery clearly worth it and not thinking again about the marrow decision.

Graduation day, very moving for mothers, of course I sobbed several times, oddly enough not for the normal reasons people cry at those events. Alexis has succeeded in everything she has ever attempted. I was so happy she is moving forward to another successful stage of her life. Happy enough to cry? Sure, but as proud as I was of my daughter I was thinking of some other things. Some people's graduations that were not as happy as the one we were attending. Alexis had a friend named Kate, she passed away a few years ago during a heart transplant attempt. She should have been on that stage that day with Alexis and the rest of her class. Everyone wore a purple ribbon in Kate's honor, it was her favorite color. Kate wasn't there, which was so unfair so I cried.

I had a cousin, she passed away from a rare form of cancer right before her daughter graduated high school this month. I had not seen my cousin in a very long time but found out she lost her battle of many years right before some huge events, I was crushed hearing this, putting myself in her shoes for a second.. it could have been me missing prom, awards, graduation, first day of college...

I am lucky, and sadly that is all this is about. Luck. Maybe some strength and a large amount of goofing off helped. Not to mention the love and support of friends and family. But there was a huge chance of me not being there for that graduation. So I am damn lucky I got to see it. My goal was met and now I need a new one. Its hard to think if I want more short term or long term goals set now. My treatments continue for the next two years, and I am so damn lucky I can keep working, playing, and meeting goals during them. 
Congrats Lex! Nice job baby. Love u. 


Friday, April 25, 2014

One year anniversary

Happy anniversary to me. The scar, one year later. 
Cheers to not being dead! 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Treatments Round 2

So this cancer comes back in most people, yes I know I am not "most" people, but I don't want to sit around and take a chance. I also don't believe in a "higher power" so wishing and praying does nothing in my eyes so I'm leaving it up to the doctors and they say I should have maintenance treatments to prolong the time I would need chemo again, which is fine with me, I dislike chemo greatly. So this Friday I am back at the hospital for 4 treatments, one a week, then I can move to once every 2 months. Not looking forward to sitting for 8 hours but it beats the alternative. Will be hitting Bikram to mentally cope, and to get into all my tiny bikinis that have been in the drawer all winter. :)

xoxo

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cancer Really Sucks.

Sharon Russell is one of the greatest ladies I know. She has been my loving step mother, a great friend and a wonderful grand mom to my daughter. A huge part of my life for almost 20 years. Every thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthday was spent together. She was at my wedding before either of us got sick. She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months before I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Unfortunately her cancer spread to different locations. While she was fighting breast cancer she came to all my surgeries. Supported me each time I was in the hospital. Was at my heart surgery too despite being weak from all of her chemo. So many times we sat together with my dad, both she and I recovering from our chemos. She is amazing. She rocks her no hair, looks so beautiful, has such a glow. 
She is exhausted from the fight. The family, her friends, the world is going to miss this amazing woman who I am so proud to be able to call her my mom for so many years. 

Saddest day of my life.

So I was questioning myself to share the following.... I made this blog to help people and I'm not helping anyone who might be going thru a similar situation if I don't share everything so here it goes. 
This is a weird one and when this happened to me I googled it. Not much out there on this so I might as well. 

When I was first told I had cancer and chemo was needed, my doctor asked me if I ever wanted to have more children. If so I would need to freeze eggs before chemo because the treatments will send me into early menopause. I didn't want to do that since pulling eggs took time and the cancer was already at stage 4 I didn't want to waste time before starting the treatment. So we went ahead and didn't freeze eggs. Despite not being able to have babies anymore I decided to keep my copper IUD in place since I only had it for about 3 years and it didn't feel great going in so I knew it would hurt coming out and I had enough medical crap going on I didn't need to add to it. So it stayed since the doctor said it was ok to keep it in. 
Well as I like to defy all medical reasoning and as they are writing a thick book on me already I figured why not add to the list of crazy ass shit. 
Weeks late for my period I realize the menopause is finally here. About time, it was right after my last chemo. I was having some physically issues like my boobs were popping out of my D cups fast and they were so sore it was time to call the dr and see if they could do something to stop this crap. They said they could give me something but I needed to confirm I was not pregnant. We all laughed at that as I was still on chemo and the iud and the menopause there was no way but we have to mark the chart that one was taken and negative. WELL...
Two positive tests later I went to the obgyn. Pregnant with non identical twins. 
Yeah that happened. Non identical... Somehow I released two good eggs??? With enough chemicals in me to kill.. well cancer.. How in the hell that that happen? Once again the doctors look at me and say "well we have never seen that before". I'm getting sick of hearing those words. Negative percent chance of this occurring and of course it happens to me. Now after cancer and heart surgery and hardly shedding a tear, this made my cry for days. Sadly the babies were conceived in between chemos and I had a CT scan not knowing I was pregnant. Devastating. I lost them. 
Finding out then losing them within days was a struggle and since none of the drs or nurses could believe this happened I tried to find anything or anyone online that had a similar situation. I found nothing. I have never felt more alone and more like a freak of nature. So for that reason I wanted to put this out there just in case someone googles "pregnancy with IUD" or "pregnancy during cancer or chemo treatments". Nothing could have prepared me for this. I would have rather had another heart surgery then to have had two innocent lives end. They were adorable though. Two cute little beans on the sonogram. Saddest day of my life. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blood thinners are fun

Ok they are not really, I was kidding.

So I have not updated in a while and people have been asking...
Lets see since my last post I had my Iron levels drop to 2, took a month and 4 hour long infusions to get that level up to "low" instead of "none". I have had two chemos despite my bitching about not wanting anymore and in-between those I went to Mexico which was awesome. Got to show off my scar, but no one noticed I was rocking one as I was getting an all over tan. :) I swam my butt of in the ocean which felt so good, up until the trip I was not allowed to use my arm and chest muscles so that was a huge step in the right direction.

The blood thinner thing sucks. Was on a pill that normal people take one of and that gets their blood thin enough, however I am some medical freak of nature and I was at 7-8 pills a day and my INR was still showing 1.4, I hate taking any pills so I was totally done with that. I have yet to serve my 6 months of therapeutic blood levels so my heart wall thins out where they removed that thing, so I opted for the self injection method of some wonderful medicine that actually works for me and now I have lovely poke marks on my belly. Its totally sexy. :) But I get to eat spinach, salad and blueberries now so its totally worth it.

I had another CT scan, the tumors are still there and not shrinking HOWEVER we cant tell if they are just scaring OR actual cancer. So I will get a PET scan to confirm later in September, but if they match my last PET scan the cancer should still be gone. Fingers crossed.

CHEMO IS OVER for now. I have three more treatments but its follow up infusions that attack the cancer tumors themselves and not all of my good cells too, so that's a plus. My hair is growing like crazy, waiting to be able to style it again, I love that awkward point that its not even worth trying to make it look good. Ha.

So all this great stuff is really bitter sweet to me, I have no interest in celebrating my success. I have a step mom with cancer everywhere, they have changed her treatments in hopes something starts working, she has been battling for years. My Aunt Connie was just diagnosed with breast cancer and just had her first chemo, she is rocking a shaved head like a rock star, just beautiful.

This crap has got to be cured.

xoxoxo




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oh yeah baby! I'm back!

Four weeks as of tonight! Feeling great! The Dressler's syndrome that sent me to the er last Tuesday is much better. Just left the surgeons office and he has cleared me to work, travel, RUN, drive!!!!!!! Oh yeah baby I am sooo happy right now. I ran down the hall after we left. Ha. No holding me back now. Will finish chemo after we return from Mexico late July. Xoxoxo