Monday, October 31, 2011
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
- 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
24 down - 4 to go!
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
Sunday, October 23, 2011
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
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
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!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
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
Sunday, October 2, 2011
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.