Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just another update.

Well, knock on wood, it seems that the barfs and sharts, pink eye and most coughs have left the house. Maybe because of my paranoid cleaning spree that I did on Tuesday. Washed all the bedding and door knobs, light switches and railings. I feel better... Now only if my stupid cough would go away!!!

Alright, so I have had my MRI - still awaiting results. I have a MUGA scan tomorrow morning on my heart to see if it is still holding up well so I can continue with the Herceptin shots. I have a CT in the early in the new year. That is the one that I am anxious about. I just want to know if everything still looks the same. Please pray with us that it is!!

Had my amazing feel up at the doc's. It was amazing because he said that everything felt good and it seems that I am doing well. I was SO excited when I left the hospital. You have no idea. Also found out that my hemoglobin is back up to 125 (I think it was) which is why I have WAY more energy and feel like I can actually make it up the stairs without needing a nap halfway up... or an inhaler!

Today is a good day. I am not feeling so down. I am getting excited for Christmas and spending time with my family. I think we might just get to see almost everyone this Christmas and that is a miracle!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blue Christmas...

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I have really been struggling with fearful and sad thoughts. It doesn't help matter much that K keeps saying, "Mommy, I will really miss you when you die." Does she know something I don't? Or is she just thinking those thoughts most of us thought when we were once children?? "How could I possibly live without my Mommy and Daddy?" Or was I the only morbid child?

I am really trying to be excited about Christmas this year. It is my most favored season for so many reasons. Giving, loving, helping, hoping, being kind, smiling, hugging, laughing and of course the birth of our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ. For me, this year seems to have lost some of that sparkle... I am more fully aware of our Heavenly Father's plan, and how blessed we are to have this plan. I know where I am going and what awaits me on the other side, but I have no strong desire to be there at all.... not for the next 60 years!

My desire is to be here with my family. To have a loving, close and growing relationship with my witty and charming husband. Be a mother and friend for my cherished little children. Watch them grow and learn and blossom. I don't want to see this from Heaven. I want to experience it on earth. Although I am certain when I meet with our Savior again I will feel nothing short of pure joy and utter peace, but I don't want to meet up with him just yet. No offence! ;) (I believe we are made in the image of God, so that being said, I know he gets my sense of humor so he wouldn't be offended by my choice.)

So as I am trying to find time to bake and clean and wrap gifts, I find myself blankly staring at my surroundings, trying to take it all in just in case it's my last. I wish I didn't have a cold so I could smell our Christmas tree and baking.... I want to keep every decoration the kids have made with tiny fingers and hands.... I want to hold my family closer than I ever have and love them more strongly than I thought possible.... I want their diarrhea to be gone so we can all feel healthy and happy, and I don't want anyone else to barf. I want to laugh and get up early on Christmas morning... I just wish it could be us, for the rest of our lives. And have all the time in the world to be together.

I am not a tard, I know that would be short lived and I would be annoyed in less than two days, but still.... sometimes it is hard as world around our family goes on and I can't help but wonder how much more family time we have. It could be years and years, it could be days, it could be months... I just wish I had more faith and could replace my feeling with it instead of fear and sadness.

So my wish for you this Christmas is that you will love your family and laugh with them. Cherish them and their weirdness and quirks. Love all that makes you a family and don't rush to be onto the next party and event. Slow down and take it all in. Enjoy this special season and all the reasons that make it so.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

This year Ken decided that he wanted to get a real Christmas Tree. We have our fake one up upstairs, but thought it would be delightful to have on in the basement. It was so bare down there last year so I was in for sure. He have some great friends that are super outdoorsy so we asked them if they wanted to come. So the two families headed out yonder for a fun afternoon.

We headed up some very slippery forestry roads, luckily we have 4 wheel drive this year, and finally decided on a sunny, open (I know, weird. Wouldn't you want a heavily treed area?) spot so the kiddies could play. And play they did!!

We walked up a hill and didn't really see anything that we LOVED. So we headed back down. This is awful but so funny!! My girlfriend A is at least 11 months pregnant (jks - she thinks she is huge but I think she looks no bigger than me and I don't have a bun in my oven) and she was carrying a saw. She happened to stumble upon a little slick area and in slow motion, she went down on all fours into the fluffy snow whilst the saw did a few triple flips in the air and somehow, managed to miss the four kids, her and I, before it came to a stop in the snow.

Of course like a true and concerned friend I asked her if she was ok and if the baby was on it's way now.... and then I held her arm like she was an elderly woman until she told me she was fine and pried my fingers from her. And the entire time I was laughing. What a jerk. But it was just so funny and it was honestly in slow motion!

We didn't have that much success up the first hill so the men went up over another hill. The kids were starting to get cold and cranky so us two girls got a small fire going. We did a pretty good job. It was enough to give the kids a bit of warmth.

I had said to Ken that I wanted a pine tree. We finally saw them coming back down the hill, dragging their prized trees. Ken had picked out just what I asked for. But after I saw the M's tree I had a little envy. I think Ken was less than enthused to go back into the woods to find another tree... but him and B did. This time they took the boys and the dogs.

Ken had found a great tree... a little flat on one side but I wouldn't dare ask him to go back in and find another one... he would have left me there. We could put the flat side against the wall anyways.

I am so used to our fake tree that when I look at our real tree it looks a wee bit un-even. BUT, I smile every time I look at it. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and how much we anticipated putting it up (it was a bloody crisis to get my Dad to put it up... don't even get me started on the lights!! ;) Love you Dad) and decorating it. The kids had fun for a bit until they got frustrated that the decorations kept falling off. I had to show them how to put them down further on the branch so it could hold the weight.

I am so thankful for this beautiful season. I am thankful for Christ and his eternal sacrifice for us. I am thankful for the birth of our Beautiful Brother who is an example to me every day of how I can try to live my life better. I am thankful for our Father in Heaven who has this lovely plan for us, to return to him one day. We are so blessed to have this opportunity on this Earth. After all, I believe that we chose to come here, trials and all, to have this gift of a mortal body. To learn and live and love and grow.

My hair.

I know my face is still really round, but that is because I am chubby, not weird looking from chemo. I am excited to say that I have finally knocked off 10 pounds though and I hope to continue on the downward spiral to a healthy weight.

I must love you because I thought I would actually let you see my chubby face and my hair... not just that hair line. It is coming it really well.

I always think of the lady who I was talking to in Kelowna who said that she shaved her head at Thanksgiving and she expected it back by Christmas. She said it is thick and grows fast... well, so does mine and I only now have full coverage in the front and the back. I would love to see where she is at. Maybe it will come in quicker because she is on a different type of chemo and she wasn't on it as long as I was. My wish for her is that she will have a head full of sprouts if not more by Christmas. Oh the small pleasures of life.

One month.

I thought I would show you guys how my "burn" area is doing...

What do you think?? I think it looks a LOT better than it did before. And it only bothers me now and then by being itchy. It is never sore though. I am thankful for a quick healing body because when I was on chemo it took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. for a scratch to clear up. So I am glad that some things are restoring.

What's up doc?

Right now we are just waiting on an MRI. I have had many, many people ask, "When will you know when you're cancer free?" It's not that simple. I wish it was.

They are doing the MRI to check my right breast for a mass that was noted at my first MRI. Dr. T said it was small and we would just keep checking on it... so that's what I am waiting on.

I would pay out of pocket for another CT to check my lungs and make sure that everything is still fine on that department.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow with Dr. O (I love him!! He's amazing! One of the nicest men I have ever met.) I am sure I will get the usual feel up, which honestly, I have missed. No body has touched me since I went for radiation and that just makes me a little nervous considering I had a check/feel up every three weeks before. I have been doing it myself a little but I tend to find things that aren't a big deal but totally freak me out! I will also have my blood taken and we'll find out how my hemoglobin is doing and where my counts are at. I am excited! We are all sick right now so I am sure my counts aren't stellar, but a 1,000 times better than they were on chemo.

I will be having a CT scan every six months for the next 5 years to check and see where I am at as there is a high risk of recurrence... Lovely... But at least I know that they will be on top of it and that I won't slip through the cracks. I find security in that. My dream is to get through the next 5 years and then onto the next 40! Once I make it past the 5 year mark I will relax a little I think.

Once again, I will keep you posted on what we find out for results. Please continue to pray for us!! The power of God brings even the tiniest of miracles to his beloved Children. And thank you to those of you who haven't stopped. Again, I don't know what we would have done without the power of Heaven being called on in our behalf. Thank you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My New Fave!

I just got this today. I LOVE it. It is in pink to keep with the theme of everything, but you can't tell that from the pic. But I think it's pretty great. Ken's glad he has his own vehicle. ;)

Thanks C!! I love it. Your amazing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I had the most amazing dream the other night. I was in the midst of chemo and was walking by the mirror getting ready to go out to a work related party of some sort. I was less than enthusiastic about getting ready and even more reluctant about going out.

As I looked at myself I thought, "What's the point? No matter how much makeup you put on, earrings you place in your ears or hat you choose, you don't look like you at all! You look chubby and swollen and nothing at ALL like the girl you used to look like. All it does is make you sad when you get ready because it frustrates you that you aren't who you were. Just forget it."

At this point in my dream I put on a green shirt and thought I would give it a try regardless of how I felt. As I started to do my makeup I noticed that my hair was growing. I played around with it for a bit and then I looked into the mirror again. I was about 140 pounds... not my pre-pregnancy weight but it felt way healthier than my current weight. I felt good. I was actually happy about what my body looked like. I wasn't annoyed that I had another 12 pounds to loose to get to my "goal" weight. I was truly satisfied.

I looked back to the mirror and my hair was about three inches long all over, dark and cut in a really cute way. I had side swept bangs and I was in awe at how it framed my face and my eyes. My eyes!! I still had to do my eye makeup. I was going to go out for sure on this evening. I felt so great!

I carefully put on my eyeshadow and eyeliner. I thought for a brief moment about my beloved eyelashes. They were still pretty thin and only about a third as long as they normally were. I wanted to put on mascara so badly but knew it would only look silly. After snuffing out that thought I decided to put it on anyways. After all, I had already had the most amazing transformation so I figured "Why not?"

I swept the mascara wand carefully over my eyelashes, as if it was the first time I had ever put it on. Every time I finished the stroke to the end of my lashes, they grew longer and longer. It was the most amazing thing. By the time I had finished my lashes, they were full, thick and longer than they were before. I was mesmerized by my eyes. They were stunning. They were happy. They were beautiful. I was beautiful... once again.


I can't even explain how incredibly amazing this dream was. I honestly think it was a gift from our Heavenly Father too me. It has so many meanings to me... Like he was telling me, "See my beautiful child, I told you I would take care of you. I told you I would make you truly fall in love with who you are no matter what you used to think. I told you I was right here with you all this time, loving you and encouraging you to keep going. My beautiful daughter, I have always seen you in this way regardless of how you saw yourself. So love the wonder of this body that I have created for you. Take care of it and it will take care of you. I will always be here, beside you. I love you my child."

Honestly it was just what I needed. And I am so blessed to have had this experience. I will treasure it always.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A new hair line!

I have quite the crop growing now. Ken has coined my lush locks as "male patterned baldness". He's pretty much right. But I am quite enjoying my new fuzzy do of cat hair (it's quite soft and DARK!!) My eyelashes are also coming in quite well but not as great as my eyebrows. It's so nice to have some hair again!


What a difference a week can make.

Nov. 6th Nov. 12th

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crunching leaves...

So the picture that I showed you a few posts ago was from last week. And I can't remember if I explained that the radiation keeps working for about 5-7 days after your last treatment. Meaning it gets worse before it gets better. I think that picture was at the peak of the worst of it. That or the day after, but none the less, it all pretty much look that crappy.

On Tuesday or Wednesday of this week I was really starting to feel better, in a sense. Although I feel like Fat Bastard's sister and I can pick off more skin than Goldmember could ever dream of, the pain was going away and I was starting to heal.

I am no longer getting up in the middle of the night to put on lotion as relief. I wouldn't say that I am sleeping really great, but at least I don't have to do the cold lotion thing.

The next phase that we have moved onto is the peeling. Everything blistered before it dried out and started to peel. My skin literally (I am not exaggerating!!) sounds like brittle, dried, fall leaves under your feet, when I peel it off. Don't barf! I know, it's sick but I told you I would be honest in this journey.

If I reach or stretch too far, it pulls and can become a little painful as it feels like it is going to crack open. Kind of like I am not quite supposed to be able to "go there" yet. It is also a little bit itchy and I do have an obsession with grooming the area with my eyebrow pluckers. Could I get any sexier??? My poor husband.

I have to be careful when I shower because the water from the shower head can be too strong when it is streaming out and it gets caught in the small pockets of skin that are starting to peel and it makes it sting. But it is honestly getting better.

In the midst of the pain, I did say that I wasn't sure if I could do recon. This entire journey is one of pain from diagnosis, to surgery, to recovery, to chemo, radiation and then reconstruction. It is a lot to take in. Ken was quick to answer "BABE.... you don't have to make that decision right now you know!" That made me give a good hearted, belly laugh. He's such a man.

Coming home.

I am happy to inform you all that I am blogging now from the comfort of my own home again! Actually, in my bed in my pj's today while my kids are playing a dance game on the X-Box downstairs... laughing, fighting and playing. It is honestly glorious.

To bring you up to speed... My second last week of radiation I was able to double up on one treatment because they were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was in my little plan to be able to get home a day early and surprise Ken and the kids. That weekend of the 28-30th I somehow managed to keep my big yap shut and not spill the beans. Again, it was very hard when the kids were crying on the way down the street but this time I wasn't sad. I was very excited!

By this time my radiated area was getting really, really sore to say the least. I had a big area under my armpit that was opening up and was really painful. I thought to myself that I wasn't sure if I would be able to smile this coming week of radiation. I told this to one of the therapists and he said, "NO!! You always smile. You have to." That made me smile. :) It was really hard to life my arm over my head though because it was so sore.

I finished up on the Wednesday morning and we were on our way by the afternoon. I knew that we (Dad, Mom and myself) wouldn't be home in time to see the kiddies before bed. I was really nervous too that Ken might be trying to pull a surprise of his own, even though I knew he couldn't take time off of work, but I was stressed he would show up in K town or something along that line. I had called him three times that morning to "chat" and see how work was going and I couldn't get a hold of him. So I had to call Mom and Dad Atwood to find out if he was actually home or not. I really didn't want to tell anyone, but it was good that they knew what was up. And they confirmed that yes, Ken was at work. Lucky me!!

We got home at 9:30pm and my mom and dad-in-law motioned that Ken was downstairs. I crept down the stairs (apparently I was louder than I thought because Ken said he wondered who was coming down because it was too heavy for Carson and too fast for his Mom!). I walked around the corner and all Ken could say was "What the heck? What the heck?" And it took him a bit longer than I thought it should have, to get off his arse and come and give me a hug. I actually surprised him!!! He had no idea!

We went into the kids room so I could say hi and give them a kiss. K was completely out of it. I kissed her a few times and then headed over to W. He rolled over and gave me the biggest smile I had seen in a while! I was so happy. W was so excited he didn't want to go back to sleep, but he was really good and did. It was so nice to be able to tell him that I was going to be here in the morning!

I headed upstairs... I guess my little fart of a C wasn't quite asleep either and he was playing in his room and he didn't seem as surprised when he whispered "Mommy..." Still there was a big smile on his little face and a huge hug came right after that.

I was home. Finally home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Found this too!

I also came across this too on this amazing Mom's blog. She added her own special touch to it and I totally agree.

"This is cute, but I disagree with it. Don't keep calm and fight on. Wake up every day and bitch slap that cancer until it's gone. :)"
She's funny!

Want this.

Would love to eventually get this shirt. Don't know if I would actually wear it... might parade around in it! LOL

Thought I would share.

I have been trying to stay away from cancer blogs because we are all so different and I can't stress myself out with what (met's, "incurable" and death) has transpired with others who have not been so fortunate. It is very hard for me to pull myself away from these beautiful women and not wonder if the same fate is for me.

So this morning when I came across this beautiful YOUNG Mommy's blog, I deemed it safe because although her treatment is completely different than mine, she is just a few steps behind me and I am alright with the fact that I have BARELY!!! been there and done that.

So I read on... and on... and on. She is also 31 and has three children, a 5 year old girl and twin boys (3 I think). Anyways, her blog is great. While reading I came across a little poem I guess, can't think of the right word, and LOVED it immediately. So I thought I copy it and post it here for you to read. It is completely true.


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

Well, she said, I think I'll braid my hair today!
So she did.
And she had A Wonderful Day!

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.

Hmmm, she said, I think I'll part my hair down the middle today!
So she did.
And she had a Grand Day!

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.

Well, she said, today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail!
So she did.
And she had a Fun Day!

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head.

Yay! she exclaimed, I don't have to fix my hair today!

Attitude is everything!

And I have to hold onto that. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

It don't matter.

I was thinking today about cancer.... I think about it everyday. I was thinking that it is unfortunate that cancer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care if you are young or old, black or white, thin or plump. It doesn't matter if you can run a marathon or need a walker to help you get around. It doesn't mind if you eat healthy or not so much. It doesn't skip past you because you are a CEO at a major company or an employee at a fast food restaurant. You aren't exempt because you have little children, teens or grandchildren.

Cancer doesn't care if you have an amazing holiday planned or are going to a friends to visit for the weekend. It doesn't mind at all if you have an abundance of money or you are barely scraping by. It could care less about the size of your house or what car you are driving.

It doesn't mind if you are married or single, in love or utterly alone. It doesn't care about the plans that you had for your future or the things you wish you could have changed about the past... because maybe if you could change the past, you could have done something to prevent it...

Cancer also doesn't know that it can change one forever. It can make a person stronger and yet softer at the same time. It has the ability to make you think about what is important and what really matters in this life. It can push you to learn more about the world we live in and who we truly are deep down inside. It can make you fall deeper in love.

Cancer automatically invites you to be a part of a special group of people who all share the same ideals. People who have the same fight and determination. People with the same willingness to succeed, live and thrive. Special people who are linked to each other, even if they don't know your name. People you can have a conversation with and find so much in common in a matter of minutes. People who you can find comfort in and draw a certain strength from.

It doesn't matter who cancer decides to pick on because it can't completely take away who you are and the mark you can make in this life.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Would never do.

There are a few things I thought that I would never do in my life. The list as follows:

- Never go out in public without my make-up on, unless to the Gym which has been a long time.

- Never go out in public without a bra on.

- Never go out in public without a bra on and only one boob.

- Willingly show people my boob/non-boob.

- Avoid people I know out in public so they don't have to see me, or so I don't have to talk. (rude I know and I am NOT like this normally)

- Have skin so dry it literally feels like fruit leather.

- Never thought I wouldn't have eyelashes or brows.

- Never thought I would shave and then WAX!!! my head.

- Didn't think I would ever miss so many days of church (even though I know my relationship with God is more than just a Sunday affair, I really miss being there)

- Make plans (because in the bottom of my heart I am still me and I can do everything) and then cancel because I can't do it.

- And my most favorite, added to this list as of today... wear those mesh panties that you get in the hospital when you have a baby, as a partial tube top (crotch cut out!) and part of my church outfit!!!!!

What has happened to me?? I know what has and I hope that once I am past this "stage" in my life, I will NEVER do these things again!!! ;)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Red Hot.

Well, my armpit is to the "skin is breaking down" stage. But apparently it still looks good. WHAT?? I think it looks like hell so I guess I am lucky compared to others. It hurts most of the time and I can't wear a soft sports bra or anything constricting. I am completely down to my man's tee's. And my fakie is most certainly out of the question.

Mom and I went and saw a nurse the other day because one of the radiation therapists told us to ask for a dressing that we could put on. So when we asked the nurse about it she looked at it and told me it looked dry. I am not supposed to put lotion on 2 hours before the appt because it can act as a bolus, so by the time two hours is up, it is pretty dry. I was a little annoyed because I honestly put lotion on about 8 times a day. She also said that it wasn't cracking or oozing yet so she wasn't sure if I even needed a dressing. Well, Mom and I thought that this was a stupid idea. Why not give us a few things to we could treat it if we needed to. She she finally gave us some different dressings to put on it while we were away from Kelowna this weekend in case something happened. And guess what happened - on the way home in the car it cracked and started oozing. YAY!!!

Last night Ken was putting lotion on for me, ( I STILL hate touching the area, it really grosses me out!) he said we were about at the baby but rash stage. But when the lotion dries out it is like a sick, thick peeling sunburn. On the bright side, I think the front of me is hanging in there!

24 down - 4 to go!

The countdown is on!

This past week I had 9 different appointments. It was pretty busy for me. I know there are others that endure way appointments and visits with doctors, specialists and such than I will ever have to and to me they are strong, amazing because it is busy and exhausting.

I took some pictures of the room that I am in called the Beach. This is the machine that does the damage! ;) If you look directly above the radiation machine you can see some lighted panels on the roof. They are pictures of waves crashing in the water - to help soothe and relax you I suppose, or give you something to looks at if you get bored in there. You'll be able to see them better in another pictures that I will put up. I rest my left arm in the stirrups on the left side of the bed and tuck my right thumb under my hip because you have to stay in the exact position that you were placed in when the first CT was done. So if you have an itch, a twitch or need to go to the bathroom - you have to wait! If you do have to cough (I did the first few weeks because I had a cold and it's too hard to hold in some coughs) it's all manners aside and you just cough in whatever postion you are in because your body will usually settle back down to the position it was in in the first place.

The reason it is so crucial to stay in the same position is becase they literally work in millimeters when lining you up on the machine. So if you move, they have to start all over again. I think it would be quite a tedious job. And there is always two people in the room to double check what the other is doing while setting up.

This is me laying in postion ready to go... well almost, I have to expose my burnt, disfigured left used-to-boob and then they draw markings on me by following the tattooed areas and then all things are a go.

Monday, October 24, 2011


At night, I c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y. and I mean that, crawl into bed, and rest my sore arm on a pillow. With my right arm, I pull the covers up around my head and snuggle into another pillow, moving like a little puppy trying to find the perfect spot. Just as I find it, HOT FLASH... rip off covers, sigh, repeat.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Red isn't rad...

The red is upon me. As you can see, my upper left side looks a bit like a patchwork quilt. Well, one square of a quilt I guess. And it hurts! I have a hard time sleeping at night because it is often very uncomfortable. I put lotion on about 5 times a day and a few of Ken's t-shirts are stained with grease marks... and the bed sheeting too. Allllllllllmost! over with it though. I only have 9 more treatments and I am stoked! (Grade 9 word I know.) I can't wait to get home and get my tree up. Yes, the Christmas Tree. I missed decorating for one of my FAVE!!! seasons, so I am getting geared up for my total favorite, early.

I am going to try to explain a few things for you. Where my boobie used to reside is very thin now and it is probably the only place I can feel my ribs... sick. Anyways, in order to radiate it better/deeper they put a fake piece of skin on me called bolus. This helps the radiation to be more effective. As a result of this, the area that the bolus is applied usually ends up being more red, especially along the scar. So far so good I think. I know that I am red, but I don't honestly see it to be in any specific area on the front of me... except that nice red spot on my neck. The reason that I have that little area is because the position that I have to lay in causes a neck roll (not surprised, I have a lot of rolls right now!) so the double up of the skin acts like bolus, and therefore, treats the area more effectively. I have a prescription that I put on the skin once a day to help thin it out.

My armpit however, is a complete mess all on it's own. No doubling up on skin, but just irritation from my sports bra, shirts - whatever comes in contact with it, like my own skin! It really hurts to have anything constrictive on so I am back to no bra and one "girl" running free. And if I am not wearing a bra, I am not wearing my fakie. So I am back to sporting the awkward body form... again. Brings back sweet memories of post mastectomy... "U-G-L-Y you ain't got not alibi. You ugly - - you ugly..."

I asked the "radiation therapists" (that is the correct term for these amazing people) how long until the redness disappears. I told them that I know that everyone's skin is different, and one of my friends is still "pink" and it's been a year. They told me that a therapist or a radiation oncologist will always be able to see it on a person. I guess I may not ever completely cover up the path that I have traveled. Which is fine, but I kind of always pictured a few years down the road when people would assume me to be a normal girl and wouldn't have a clue as to what I had been through. You know, when I have lost weight, have hair, and two boobs again. Is that what "normal" is?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oh the tears...

Have you ever stood at the end of a driveway and watched, broken hearted as your family drove away... children crying uncontrollably and it takes everything inside of you to keep it together... it's awful and I am getting tired of it.

Are we going to make a comback?

Well, have you ever tried to count your eyebrows?? Probably too many to even start. Well, I am down to 19. I was hoping that they would have started to come back, but no such luck. And my lashes are still MIA. I am looking forward to the day they decide re-appear.

The part that really sucks is when I rub my eye and then rub off my eyebrow and forget about it. Then I look really odd...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Check your ta-ta's month!

Well in honor of this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided I wanted to make a cute cake for the amazing staff at "The Beach". I thought this was perfect because I could make a cake and not have to eat it all because I feel bad that it is going bad on the counter.

Some of the sweet staff... not all of them... they are so great at making you feel alright about what you are going though. They are so attentive, answer any questions and treat you with such respect. Special, special people!

It was a pumpkin spice cake on the top and bottom and a vanilla sponge in the middle. Bavarian cream filled the insides and it was covered in cream cheese icing. Hope it was good!!

Give me a case of Meno-start!

OK... let me paint a little picture for you... hot cold hot cold hot cold hot cold hot... cold hot cold hot cold hot cold hot cold.... cold... HOT!!! It is really friggin' annoying. The "cold" is from not having much hair up top to keep me warm.

The "hot" are hot flashes from being put into menopause from the chemo. One moment, I am fine and the next my face beams red, like I am embarrassed about something I said, and I can't get cool fast enough.

There are a list of symptoms that one may experience while this temporary menopause is "inflicted"... (word carefully chosen).

Sometimes at night I have night sweats. I wake up soaked, literally, like I have just got off the treadmill from a 1 hour run... my pillow is wet, the sheets are wet, my head is sweaty and my whole body feels glossy. It is a gross feeling.

I will just list a few of the symptoms that I have/am experiencing. No cycle anymore, mood swings, fatigue - not sure if that is from chemo, radiation and fake menopause... most likely all of the above, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, dizziness, anxiety, TOTAL irritability and some itchy skin. Don't feel sorry for Ken, he is fine and I am not that cranky unless it is too loud, hot, cold, the conversation is too confusing... ok, feel a little bad for him. ;)

As the old saying goes, "It's better the devil you know than the one you don't." I am looking forward to the day to have my old friend come for a visit again. At least I won't be hot, crazy and exhausted!

From the mouths of babes.

Just over a week ago, a friend of mine from my childhood was reading my blog. Her sweet son C, came up to her and started to ask her some questions. This is what she wrote to me.

My son caught me reading your blog today and started asking me question about you, how I knew you and why I was reading your blog and so on. I explained most of it not in too much detail but enough so that he would get the picture of what you and your family must be going through. Must ad something else C is 9 and has been growing his hair out for 2 years. Our conversation ended there and we carried on with our evening.

A while later C came to me with the lap top with three web sites opened. First with the breast cancer wrist band and asked if we could get some to support breast cancer, a second with a website of how to donate hair for wigs and the specs to do so and the third was your facebook page. C then asked if you needed a wig and if not he wanted to donate it to someone else that needed hair. To make a long story short you have impacted my 9 year old sons life. He measured his hair and it is 10 inches long and we found a place in Vancouver that will take the hair. He also made an appointment for his haircut tomorrow. I asked him if we wanted to think about it for a while and his response was "What is there to think about mom, girls need hair way more than me."

What a sweetie! My heart was so warm with the thought of the sacrifice this youngster was willing to do for a stranger. And the fact that C is only 9!!! His thoughtfulness says a lot about his wonderful parents... they are doing something right for sure! This really meant so much to me because I can well imagine how important his hair was to him. Trust me, I know! LOL Our hair, in a way, is part of our inward expression of who we are and what we're trying to portray to others - sophistication, put together, tired mom, Granny, rocker, "punk", shy and the list goes on. So for him to give up a small part of who he is, to give to someone else is so special.

I learned a few amazing lessons from young C. First of all, you never really know who is watching you and what they may be learning from you.

Love can be shown in so very many ways... no matter what age you are!

You never know how you might be able to impact the lives of others from small and great acts of kindness and sacrifice.

And although I didn't need a wig, I know that the hair donated from C will mean more than a warm head for someone and sense of who they were, even if it was bed head from a little one... it will be a life long reminder of the love that a perfect stranger can have for another person. It will be an example of how to serve and love and care for others in ways that will live on in ones heart forever.

Thank you C! Your act of kindness will always remind me of the amazing qualities that we can acquire no matter what age we are. YOU are an amazing young man!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I had a friend ask me to explain the difference between chemo and radiation and what they do. Very valid, because I had no idea what they were before I hopped on this train. What I did know (or so I thought) was that chemo makes you barf.

Chemo, explained by my simple brain, are drugs that are given to you to kill cancer throughout your body. There are many, many different chemo's, so there are many, many different combo's they can come up with depending on what you are fighting. So again, there are various side affects that can occur. It kills the cancer cells, but also kills your good cells and can cause you to become sick very easily because your immune system is shot.

Radiation is treating a very specific area of the body through - well, radiation. Like an x-ray I guess. This is what the machine looks like... a giant kitchen mixer.

This picture is one off the net, but the one that is used here is very similar.

You lay on a table in a specific position to how your treatment has been set up. That is why they put tattoo's on so that they can line you up exactly for your treatment each day. The tech's (I think that is what they are called) set you up, and double check your positions with one another and then they leave the "vault", seriously that is what it is called. It is three walls of cement and there you lie, half naked on a table being fried while everyone else is well out of harm's way. I have told myself that the people who do this job for a living need to be well away from the beams as they do this all day everyday. So it must be safe for me... ya right. But, life saving? (still reading a lot about natural ways to kill cancer) none the less.

Dr. M explained it to us as an extension of the surgery. Just to make sure that they got everything. They are also doing my neck because I have lymph nodes that run up there and still more behind the chest muscle that aren't removed.

That about sums up the difference in my uneducated version. I hope this helps!

Monday, October 3, 2011

More updated pic's.

I realized I haven't shown the rest of my ta-ta in a while. Plus I wanted some pic's before the radiation actually starts to show up.

So at this point I have 5 treatments down and 20 to go. I don't feel anything yet and as you can tell from my bright white skin, there is nothing to show from the radiation.

My scar has healed up well and "looks really good" or at least that's what I have heard. I still think it is gross and don't want to have too much to do with it. I don't know.... it's just odd.

I'll keep the pic's coming as to what is going on when I start to notice a change.

Two things.

First of all, have you seen "Despicable Me"?? One of my favorite shows. I love it, my kids love it and Ken loves it. It is great and if you haven't seen it, you should.

Anyways, we all know that my hair is growing back and it looks just like Gru's mad scientist's hair - completely unattractive.

Don't even say it's cute - because it just isn't. LOL

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Did you know?

This post is for my husband... right now I feel lost without him.

Hey Babe,

I am sure that by now you are fast asleep... probably having a good one because last night, you were robbed of that. Something to do with a tiny 3 year old kicking you in the face as he was pressed between us and upside down in our bed. I hope your sleep is peaceful.

I wonder if you can feel that I am up. If you know that I am sad. I wonder if you know that even though we had a good cry yesterday about life and the reality of what our future may hold, I am still scared.... I wonder if you can feel me through the distance. Do you sense that tonight (and probably all week) I am sleeping in your t-shirt, just so I can feel like you are with me? I wonder if when my heart aches, does your heart ache?

I wonder if you know how much I absolutely love you. How I could not live this life without you and your money...... kidding. I wonder how much of "me" would exist if I didn't have you. I know you don't know how much I appreciate e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g!!!! that you have done, that you do and that you will do.

Do you know how much I love ALL of the things that we have gone through together in our marriage? The most memorable highs and lows. For without these, we would not be shaped into the people we are now - capable of the love and sacrifice that is needed to endure the moments at this time.

I wonder if you know how much I love the man, father, son and friend that you are. You bless the lives of many. Do you know how I love that you dream? Yes, it does drive me crazy and causes me to often roll my eyes, but on the inside I am smiling... because not one thing in this life, to you, is unattainable.

I wonder if you know that it is hard for me to breathe and my heart pounds when I think of all that we need to do in this life, together, as husband and wife, and mother and father. It overwhelms me to think of 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. I NEED to be here. I NEED to help and love and teach. I guess I need to have more faith and know that only the Lord know of the plan for me and I have to trust in that.

Do you know that I can see us when we are older, sitting on a front porch of a white house, holding hands, wrinkled, old hands that have worked hard, on a sunny day watching life happen on the street we live on? The sun in shining through the leaves on the tall, green trees as the wind slightly moves them. It is beautiful and I hold onto that...

I wonder if you know how often I pray for you and your safety. That the Spirit will be with you and guide you and keep watch over you. I pray you never feel alone.

I honestly wonder if you will read this post because you don't read my blog. I hope you do. I hope you know how much I love you. I hope you know how important you are to me. I hope you know that you are mine and I am yours.

I love you sweetie! I miss you. My arms and soul ache for you... for that feeling only you can give to make me feel complete (thank you Tom Cruise for ruining the word "complete" and making it cheesy in most instances!!). I am doing the best that I can to hold it together to make it easier for you and the kids until I can come back home. And we can be a family again.

And finally, I wonder if you know how much it means to me, when you take me in your arms and kiss me softly on my bald head. It is a moment like that, that I know how much you love me.

From brighter days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My finger nails.

The last chemo drug that I was on, Docetaxel, did a number on quite a few things. My eyelashes, my eyebrows, my skin and finally my finger nails. They started peeling from the bottom up, much like if you got your nails done and needed a fill. Shortly after that started, they were peeling from the top down. My nails are a mess right now and a lot of the soft nail bed is exposed making them very sensitive and quite painful depending on what I have them come in contact with.

I can't have them in the water too long or it makes the entire nail too soft and then more and more of it flakes off, exposing the soft bed underneath.

A more natural approach.

I have been reading A LOT as of late about a more natural approach to cancer treatment. I wish that I had been able to come across it sooner, but when life comes at you so fast, you don't really know how to react. You just kind of go along with it because "you know it's best".

One thing that I have learned is that USUALLY you have some time to figure out your best approach to a treatment. The doctors that I have been reading up on have had quite a bit of success treating people who are at stage IV cancer. Of course there are a few people who are too sick to be able to be treated. Which is sad, but none of the Dr's say that they have a 100% success rate. Which I think is very honest of them.

They have cured (a lot of them don't like to use the term "cured" they prefer "managed") many cancer's with metastasises, which in conventional medicine is usually deemed as incurable. That alone is totally depressing, so it is nice to know that there are other options other than death to treating a cancer that has spread.

What I find totally interesting is that they have had success with pancreatic cancer which is most certainly a death sentence within 5 years.

A lot of it is done through diet and supplements and it is a lot of work. Most of the fruit and veggies are organic and the protocol is longer than conventional medicine. I am not saying that for one moment I would have changed the route that I have taken. I believe that I have had amazing doctor's that have my best in their interest and they have done what they deem to be the very best options for me to give me the best possible outcome. But now that I have had time to read a bit, I think if I had to go through this again I would possible take a different approach. One that is less toxic and better for my body.

One of the great books I have read is called "HEALING The Gerson Way" by Charlotte Gerson with Beata Bishop. Following their protocol has healed many people with cancer and other chronic diseases.

The other book that I am currently reading is Suzanne Somers book "KNOCKOUT Interviews with Doctors who are Curing Cancer and how to Prevent Getting it in the First Place." I am almost through it and I love how she has interviewed a few different doctor's and found out the different things that they do to "manage" cancer.

The Doctor who I am reading about right now is amazing. He has his board-certified oncologist and a board-certified homeopath. This is the kind of doctor that I think that we need more of. I always say that I wish that people of the medical profession and people of the holistic approach could come together and come up with the best options for all. I personally think that this route would benefit many, many people in the best way possible.

I have a lot of other personal opinion's that I will keep to mysef at the moment, but I think anyone should read these books... we all know someone who has cancer, may get cancer or you yourself may (Heaven forbid!!!) come in contact with it and then you will be able to offer some helpful info to others, or have the info at your fingertips so you can make the most informed decision for you.

More Changes.

My dates for radiation were changed.... AGAIN for the third time. I actually started radiation on Monday, so I have had two treatments. So far so good. I shouldn't really notice anything until around day 10 - 14. By then it might feel a bit warm to the area.

I got another two tatt's! Again, little blue pinpoints on my skin, now I have 5! I wish I didn't have any...

They are going to radiate me from my sternum to half way around my back, maybe a little bit less than that. And then it will go from about two inches above my belly button but in line with my sternum on my left side and up to my collar bone. I will also have part on my neck radiated because of the lymph nodes that run up there. And also part on my left armpit. That area is a LOT bigger than I thought would be covered... but better to be safe I guess???

They said it will eventually feel like a sunburn and some of the areas MAY open up and ooze. Gross!!!! I hope that this won't be a side affect for me. Anyone else have any info about themselves or people who have gone through this... did this happen to them? I know that everyone is different, but I was just wondering.


Something a Mom should never have to ask, "YOU GUYS!!! Where is my boob? It is not a toy you know!"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Update.

I am so bad at keeping up as of late so I am not sure if I have let you know what is happening with radiation. I had my initial consult in Kelowna this past week. Dad, Mom, C and I went out there together. It was a fun trip.

We met with Dr. M and talked a little. He asked me if I have gained any weight and I asked him if it looked like I did. He laughed. I am sure he noticed! How can you not! Anyways, then I had to have a CT. They do this to set me in the exact position that I will be laying in while I have radiation, from there Dr. M can draw up his plan on how I will be radiated.

Then I was received my second and third tattoo. Don't worry, these are literally two little blue dots on my skin for marking. They alcohol wipe you, put some ink on your skin and then poke it with a pin. Easy. I have one in my old-cleavage-stomping-grounds and one my side under my arm.

I will start my treatments on the 22nd of September and I will have 28 treatments in total. I hope I am done in time for Halloween! I don't want to miss that with my kiddies. PLUS, if I can think of it, I could have a really cool costume this year with my bald head and all... any ideas??

Can't say...

There are a few funny things that I realize I can't really say anymore.

First of all, when people would argue how bad some things to eat and or feed your kids were/are, for example, Macaroni and Cheese, I always said, "I ate that when I was growing up and I'm fine." Can't say that anymore.

Also, for now, I can't say "I have an eyelash in my eye." I don't have any, so I can't say that.

Can't say, "My boobs are too big, too small, hurt, are saggy, ugly, not perky enough..." etc. I CAN say that they are different sizes!

I know I will think of more so I will add them as I think of them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I am not horribly disfigured, burnt or anything else that is a permanent part of my life. But, regardless, I have eyes on me, wherever I go. I wonder what people think. I wonder what they tell their kids who are most certainly curious. I wonder what they tell themselves. I wonder if they have been where I have been, or with someone who has. I wonder if they feel sorry for me.

This hasn't really bothered me before, but for some reason today, I wanted to cry. And to make matters worse, when I was driving home from the grocery store, I was watching people. I was looking at them laughing in their cars with their friends, jogging on the sidewalk with a child or by themselves, walking their dogs. And I was wondering. Wondering if they have ever had a moment on their life, when the world absolutely stops, and you seem to be alone... the only one who is about to embark on a journey that you were never prepared for. An illness, the death of a loved one or most recent to a lot of us, a missing child.

As the world seems to carry on as usual, you do not. And it seems weird and unfair that everyone else gets to go about their day as "normal", or so it appears. As you sit in a fog of unbelief, sadness and despair, life continues on. I am luckily not here anymore, but my heart aches for the family of this little boy who is lost. As the world around them continues on, their world is at a major stand still.

I don't know how to explain exactly what I am thinking and feeling, but it is odd to me that when things are so impossibly wrong for some people, life is usual for others.

One thing that I am thankful for are people... people who love you and know you inside and out, people who are acquaintances or people who have never met you and wouldn't know you to see you, but would stop their world to help you out. I am thankful for all of these people who have helped our family, friends of ours and complete strangers. I am thankful that there are still so many good people in this world that can get together and help others. To start their world in motion again and give some reprieve amidst the storm. I am thankful for our Heavenly Father who created us in His image and for our Savior who taught us how to be. I am thankful for the love they have for us and that they have placed others here on this earth to help and love and guide... people that are filled with the light of Christ.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sleepless nights.

This chemo has been a rough one for me. I guess I feel like I have hit "the wall" in a race and am having a hard time trying to pick up and finish up.

I have felt ill from day one of this chemo. I know that my body is just tired and run down and is doing the best it can for me, but it's a rough one. I was nauseated for the first three days after this chemo, which I haven't been from the last two treatments. And then like clock work on Sunday, the old lady crept into my body and has been in charge ever since.

Yesterday I felt particularly sick, but I had things to do so I sucked it up and went out. K and I had to get a few last minute school supplies (which I forgot the list at home so that was pointless - Thank you Mom and Dad Atwood who went out today and picked them up for me!!). We did have fun though, the two of us girls... who am I kidding, I felt awful and was really short with her. Luckily she loves me and just kept smiling over her little glasses. But we did share some really good chocolate, a cheese bun and she got to have a cookie.

After we had supper we went outside for Family Home Evening to play a little game and when we went outside I was freezing. Yay. I thought it was maybe just because I hadn't been out all day and it was pretty warm.

We came in, bathed the kids and got them ready for bed. I came with C into his room to settle him and get him to sleep, and I thought I might be able to catch a few winks myself, so that I would have enough energy to stay up for a while and visit. Well, he farted around the whole time and I was trying to keep curled up in his blankets because I was cold. Eventually I left and went and grabbed my house coat, slippers and the thermometer. If I go above 38 degrees, I have to go to the hospital. I checked it and I was 37.8. Last time we did this dance I was just 38 so this time I wanted to wait until it was legit to go. About a half an hour later I checked again and I was 38.2. I honestly just wanted to crawl into my bed and get some sleep, but I knew we couldn't risk not going. So, Ken and I grabbed our books (Hunger Games!!) and headed up.

When we first got there they did all the vital stuff at the desk, bp, pulse and temp. When the nurse took my temp and I was 37.7 - and really annoyed. We should have just stayed home.

They got me in right away to the wonderful isolation room and we started the whole process of elimination. Listen to the lungs, 7 vials of blood, a urine sample and a chest x-ray. A while later they checked my temp again and I was 38.8. So not a total waist of time! After 3 hours, we found out that my counts were good enough, and there was no sign on infection. The Dr said it could have been a drug fever and just keep an eye on myself. If I felt blah blah blah blah blah, or blah blah blah, come back up. This is not a slight against the hospital at all. They were awesome and didn`t make me feel like it was all in my head... but I was just so tired.

Came home, and couldn't sleep... of course. And tonight is the same. My feet are cold, which happens when I get sick, my temp is 37.7 again but I have some drugs on board which makes me wonder if it is actually higher or if I am really ok. I know I am not going to the hospital right now that`s for sure. I have been laying around restlessly since 12:30am, just after I finished up my book.

The Tylenol and Advil don`t seem to be helping at all and I keep getting juts of pain throughout my body... mostly in my legs, but also my jaw. I am hot and cold and just want to sleep... again! So, I resorted to whining about it online to help pass the time and take my mind off not feeling so hot. Sorry!!

I thought about going outside with a huge warm blanket and willing the cool, soft grass up between my toes. But I think I am mentally disturbed from reading The Hunger Games so I just want to stay in the house. Great books though, so gory and twisted that you can`t put them down. So here I lay, in C`s bed because he is in mine, sweating on his mattress cover (how do kids sleep on these horrible things that don`t allow your body to breath) will Ken`s wool socks pulled up to my knees, bald and tired. I am just so hot, physically I mean, the way I look, that I amaze myself! ;) Even at 3am I am a specimen to behold!

The last CHEMO!

I guess now's as good a time as any to blog. I, am yet again, behind.

The greatest thing that happened this time after chemo was that my Mom showed up, unbeknownst to me. I was totally shocked and so exited to see her. She said, "I was here for the first, I couldn't miss the last!" It was so nice. I know I have not been through this alone, but, it was so special that she came all the way to see me. She had flowers from my Gramma for me, a beautiful ceramic gift of the Savior and we shared some lunch. I'll never forget how amazing I felt because of her kindness and love. And I know that many of you were with me that day too!

I am still not done at the hospital though, I will finish up 14 more treatments of Herceptin and then I should be good to go!

I start radiation on September 22 and will go until the 31 of October. I have very mixed feelings about being away from Ken and the kids, but I know it is the last major leg in this journey so I just need to "get 'er done"! And when I get home, the Christmas tree is going up!! Hope Ken reads this before too long so he can prep. :) I am craving the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" feeling... wonder why...

Friday, August 12, 2011

The bare bones.

We all like to look our best. We all like to feel our best. And we usually try and present our best to the world who views us. Because I want to be so open and so honest about this journey, I have decided to show you what I truly look like right now. I am embarrassed to show you, but this is who I try to hide everyday.

It is a far cry from the girl with the long hair in her first chemo picture... even the girl who sported her new short do! This girl is sad, and sore and you'll see why she has a hard time finding herself in there.

I don't know if I can wear makeup anymore, it honestly hurts my skin so much. My eyes are so sore and red, and the dry skin around my mouth makes it hard to smile sometimes. It literally feels like my face is going to crack.

My face has never been so round in my life, even when I gained 60 pounds with my first babe, it looked very different from this face. The lower half of my face was fuller, not through my cheek bones and such.

Oh well, just a bit longer...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thank you to all.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who think of us. I know I have said this before, but I truly mean it. We couldn't survive without your prayers, encouraging words, love and comments for us. You keep us going, and keep our life real right now. Know that we are wrapping our arms around you and giving you a hug, even if we don't know you, we can feel of your strength.

Thank you... many times over.

Today is new.

I have been really selfish as of late. And I am very blessed that I have had the opportunity to be this way. Currently my Mom and poor Dad have the kids. I could be using this time to do laundry, clean my house, organize closets, call friends, write thank you cards, serve someone else in need, exercise, make freezer meals... I think the list is pretty endless. So what have I been doing? Whatever the heck I want!

Ken and I have had some great one on one time together. To talk, to reconnect, to discuss fears and anxieties, to laugh and hold one another. Our lives seem so busy with everyone around and we have neglected each other in all that is going on. Trying to keep our kids as happy and entertained as we can. We could NEVER do any of this without help and are beyond grateful for all that has been done for us... but we miss being us. Our family. Our kids. Our home.

I honestly don't know how my amazing husband does it. How do you kiss a bald, yet sprouty head, good bye in the morning and really feel completely in love with this human being? How can you look at someone who you once thought was so beautiful (I am assuming he thought this, maybe I shouldn't) and not really see any of them in the face they have? How do you see beyond the flaking dry skin, swollen face, red and sore eyes? I don't know. But I know he does. And I know he loves me no matter what disfigured Disney creature I look like. He has told me he loves my bald head and all 5 of my eyelashes. He often counts to see if I have lost anymore. I have more than five, but I am sure less than 10.

Enough of that blab. So I have been doing whatever I want. On Monday I lay in bed, listening to the rain and thunder outside the bedroom window. Although it was "dreary", my soul longed for it. The rain was so powerful and so cleansing. I did stay in bed most of that day, but it felt so good. Just to be able to listen and to smell was what my spirit needed. And I read a lot.

Tuesday I did a road trip with some great gf's and we shopped. It was fun to get away from the house although my body was in total pain, it was good to be out.

Wednesday, I stayed in bed until 4pm. It was just what I needed. I am sure I showered before Ken got home and made our hamster nest. I napped and read a lot that day too. My body has been sore and I have been tired. I feel like I should be doing something, but I am honestly just taking every advantage of my babies being away to rest and not worry about silly things. I planned on going on the treadmill but never got around to it.

Today, I felt rather great! I had a horrible sleep, I am sick of taking pain meds, so I wait and lie there awake thinking that the ache will stop soon and rest will come. It doesn't and eventually I choke something back and wait for the pain to stop - THEN, I am able to drift into sleep. So, although I had a horrible sleep, I woke up at 9:30am and felt "rather great"! I got my rear out of bed and put on my running shoes and hopped on the treadmill. For the first 15 minutes, every step hurt, but I tried not to compare my current state to when I could run a 10 minute mile and think that I should still be able to accomplish that. Because right now I can't. So walking is just as good.

After my walk, I ate a healthy breakfast and then climbed back into bed and read my book for a couple of hours. Again, the ache was there and I took forever to decide to choke some more meds back and then decided I should shower. The water was so warm and I could not resist filling up the tub with an amazing milk bath that my gf M gave me in March. Ginger nutmeg... made me crave fall. And I don't know why I haven't used it sooner. I am not usually one for baths. But the water helped soothe my body and my spirit yet again.

I feel hopeful that the next two week before cycle 6 will be great. I feel that I will feel more like me and less like whoever the heck is looking at me in the mirror. I am getting excited as we are wrapping up chemo, to find "me" again, and truly let her shine.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I am sorry for not being so current. There are many reasons why I have been avoiding the updates of my blog. On the brighter side, we have been really, really busy and I just don't feel like I have time.

The other reason is that I just don't want to be honest about how I feel right now. I know I am over the hump as far as chemo, but I miss my old body... even if it was overweight. At least I knew what to expect and what it did... now it is just a mess and a guessing game that I don't have time for. Nothing works like it used to it seems.

I have been feeling really down about my self image. I REALLY hate looking in the mirror. I dread looking at my "normal", un-make-up'd face, it's awful. I HATE seeing my body and what I have done to it. I totally dislike staring there for minutes wondering "What could I do today to make me look and feel more like me" when all I want to do it crawl back into bed and pull the sheets up over my head and shut the world out... letting my kids come in to tell me something cute or funny, or even angry because "so-in-so kicked me in the face", or just to give me a hug and tell me they love me. And I don't want Ken to see me like this anymore - there is nothing attractive about me when I don't feel like doing "me" up.

I am not saying all of this to get sympathy comments, that is why else I haven't wanted to tell you all how I feel. I don't want to hear that I am still so beautiful. I guess I should post a picture of what I really look like so you all know what I really see.

I do like to look at old pictures because I can still, deep down in there somewhere, see the old me. The girl who I will become again. The healthy one, who loved life and loved to move.

One thing that I do more often is laugh louder than I used to. It feels good. And I laugh more often! (Unless it is one of Ken's cheesy jokes) ;) Love you babe! It just makes the moments feel so real. And is one of the greatest doses of medicine. And I LOVE holding my man's hand while we watch our kids dance around, laugh and play with each other. And right now I find nothing more romantic that having one of our babes, crawl between us and sleep with us as we hold hands around their little head... thinking that the love that we have for one another, brought this precious (most of the time) child into our lives.

I know that my Father in Heaven is aware of my feelings and how I feel. I know that he blesses our lives in many other ways, other than with looks and how I perceive myself. He blesses us with you and your calls and your thoughtfulness and you love and support. And that means so much.

You like how I turned all that bad blab crap around at the end there???

Chemo and intimacy...

Told you I'd tell it all. Well, let me sum it up for you. This is how often I feel like being intimate:

(insert drugs for period picture here - the blank one that shows nothing)

Yup, SO exciting I know. Just ask Ken, well don't.

This is a list of the reason why I feel this way:

* I'm fat

* I keep gaining weight

* I am tired

* I am bald and have really ugly chemo sprouts growing on the top of my head... seriously looks like I am growing alfalfa or something... sexy

* I am missing part of what I felt like makes me a beautiful woman

* I have less than 16 eyelashes now

* I have a few more eyebrows but still pretty sparse

* My face is dry and cracking, it looks like really nice

All of this so far is pointing to "Please DON'T even LOOK AT ME LET ALONE TOUCH ME!!!"

* I hardly put on makeup because I wonder what the point is - does it even make a difference. The fake eyelashes hurt my eyes because of the glue, but I so desperately want to wear them. My eye liner hurts my eyes, and often makes them water so I end up rubbing it off anyways. My foundation cracks into my dry skin and highlights the fact even more that I have some major problem areas. The corners of my eye lids are also dry and cracking, but if I don't I look really sick... huge purple bags around my eyes and a slight "looks like I've been crying all night" puffiness to them.

* I don't want my body to be touched

* I don't want my body to be looked at

* I don't want my scar to be touched or looked at

* I don't want my poor hubby to miss who I used to be and yearn for her

And intimacy aside, most of these reasons make me not want to leave the house. I don't want people to judge why I am overweight or even look at me. That doesn't stop me from going out bald sometimes because it is too damn hot to wear a wig and/or a hat in the summer!

I know this is just a period of time...

The others.

I don't know if it was just yesterday when I went to get my blood taken, or if it is truly how people are starting to feel. But most people in the chemo room looked tired. I look tired. It made my heart ache to see the bit of struggle in their eyes.... that most common smile missing. Exhaustion and maybe a bit of frustration set in. Please pray for them. I don't know their names, but our Father in Heaven knows who you'll be praying for.

The one sweet man who is usually on the same days as me, has to skip for a week until he starts to feel better. I was sitting by his wife who was leaning over close to her husband as she asked if I had a cold. "Yes," I said, "but I am getting better." "That is why I am leaning over this way a bit," was her remark. I felt so bad that I could have got them sick, and he is already not feeling up to par.

I brought W with me yesterday too. He has been having a really hard time with all of this. He worries a LOT. He gets a LOT of tummy aches and often asks what kind of cancer he could get. "Mom, do kids get cancer?" "Can you get eye cancer?" He has some dry scalp and Ken and I were picking at it and he wondered "Is it skin cancer?" Yesterday we were driving home from the hospital and he asked "Can I get leg cancer?" "How old was Terry Fox when he died?" "I wish you never got cancer..." THAT breaks my heart. I want him to worry about how many days until he goes back to school, where his fave toy is that C hid on him, when he'll get to play X-Box, why he has to eat cereal all the time for breakfast... I just want him to be a kid and worry about kid stuff. Not adult crap! Please pray for my little man. He needs it more than me I think.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

WARNING! May cause...

Drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea (still waiting for this side effect), nausea, restlessness, headaches, body pain, joint pain...

Sounds fun!!

This is probably TMI but this is what I usually take when I have my period...

That's right, nothing.

This is my current plethora of things available to me for a whole bunch of different reasons.

Amoxi - for a throat infection, two different creams for an infection in my armpit, Tylenol and Advil at my leisure, an anti-depressant, nupeogen - complete with needles for self injections to help my white blood cells grow faster, Emend - for nausea, Dex - steroid, Super gravol, regular gravol, ondansentron - all for nausea, and hemorrhoid cream. I think that about covers it all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They were right!

It is unbelievable to me, how smart the doctors are! LOL For some stupid reason, I thought that this chemo I would just be luckily unaffected. Other than the few aches and pains I had the other day, it was not big deal. Well, to be honest, I have hardly slept, I wake up about 40 times a night just to see that the clock has only moved 2 minutes. Sometimes I get lucky and get an actual hour in there.

It feels like there is an 80 year old woman trapped inside my body right now. My bones are so sore and it is a deep pain throughout my body.... knees, legs, hips, back, ribs, feet etc. I am sure you get the picture. Again, little nausea which is great, but may have been a little easier to control than this.

My finger tips hurt, just like they said would happen. I just can't believe how quickly these potent drugs seem to work. I know that is the point, but it is so fast. My nails have not changed colors yet, but the entire nail bed is very tender.

My eyelashes are thinning quickly, along with my brows, and I don't like to look in the mirror. I know this isn't permanent, but I am feeling very unattractive... rather gross.

We took the kids to the park yesterday and that was a huge thing for me. I actually went out. I don't like being "out" very much right now. But the kids had fun and made me remember that no matter what, I am a Mom. Their Mom. I watched W skip 4 rungs on the monkey bars; gave all the kids under-ducks; watched K try and catch butterflies; and watched C try and get some helicopters to fly. They had so much fun. We didn't stay that long, but I was so happy to be out, looking at the mountains and enjoying (not really) the heat.

I am thankful for moments of being reminded who I really am and what my purpose is here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chemo pains

I have honestly felt really, really good on this new chemo. Yesterday we did a bunch of yard work and it felt so good to be out there in the earth, digging and picking rocks. I know that sounds cheesy, but I haven't done much of anything lately, so it was amazing! It was nice to work along side our family and not just watch from the window. And I got to see how strong of a woman my mom-in-law really is as she manned that rototiller like it was nothing. After suffering a broken leg twice, she just keeps on going. That is the kind of woman I want to be.

I am not sure today if I am sore from the yard work, or from the chemo. Like I said earlier, I have had little to no nausea and have felt pretty amazing the past three days. However this morning when I woke up, my hips and knees, were bothering me. It is not really painful, just uncomfortable. And I feel like my face looks like a big, red, balloon. I just feel swollen and sore. But I would take this any day over the last three cycles of chemo.

So currently, I am sitting in our bed, in all my beauteous glory, missing church and thinking about life. I am so happy that I can hear the birds outside. I am so happy that the sun is shining. I am so happy that I got to have a wonderful day yesterday at our little friend's baptism. She looked so beautiful. I am so happy that even though my children are coughing like freaks, they are still smiling and were so happy to go to church. I am so happy that my husband still kisses me even though I do not feel or look like me. I am happy that he loves me for me. I am so thankful for all that has been done for us and I will NEVER stop being thankful for that.

I may be a little sore and uncomfortable, but I am blessed beyond measure.

The Greatest Blessing

On Friday morning, Ken and I went to the hospital to meet with Dr. M. He is the oncologist in charge of doing the radiation. He is very, very nice. We chatted with him for a while about how things will probably work out. If I can stay on track with chemo, then I will go to Kelowna mid September to get marked up for radiation. Fingers crossed I will start that at the end of September. I will go for five and a half weeks as I do want to do reconstruction on my boobie. He said (my interpretation) that doing it at a lower dose will be better for recon afterwards. It will be better for the skin. So that is fine. We were thinking that we would be there for five weeks anyways, so five and a half is not a biggie.

FINALLY!!!!! after chatting for a while, he told us the highly anticipated results of my last CT scan. The spots on my lungs and spleen have not changed, indicating that they are most likely lesions from being sick at some point in my life! I think I had a perma-grin plastered on my face for the rest of the day. And still do when I think of it. It is the best news that we have had all along. It was hard to wait 9 weeks to have the repeat scan done to see if anything had come of it. I hope I NEVER have to hear those words "deemed incurable" in my life. But if I do, I will fight with all I have. But for now, it is out of my vocab!

In the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants chapter 84:88 it reads, "... I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." This is completely true. No matter what is happening all around us in this world, the Lord is here with us, "bear[ing] us up." And for that, I am truly grateful.