Wednesday, December 31, 2008

15 down, 1 to GO

Today was another wonderful day. I jammed as much as I could in a few hours before I had to go to chemo. I wasn't looking forward to it at all, knowing full well that I will be ill for the next few days. The degree of illness is always a new adventure with each chemo. Last chemo, though I had three wonderful days, I was really really sick right after my session. Lets cross our fingers. The other thing that is never constant, and has no rhyme or reason are my blood counts. My friend Tamara asked me what does it mean to have low counts? Her question made me realize that I may not have explained this. Before each session I have to have my port accessed and they stick a huge freakin' needle into the middle of the port, which doesn't hurt at all. Once they've done that they draw blood and check for my White Blood Cell, Platletts,and another one. I forget right now. So far, all my cancellations have been due to my WBC's being too low. Although for the past month my Plateletts have been very low. Today they were really low, but not low enough to cancel.
Anyhoo, so the blood counts are off of that test. Today for some reason they were 4,800 which is good for right now. Last week they were 3,600. A normal person not going through chemo is around 7-10,000. When they cancel my sessions my counts have been in the low 2,000's.
So, I am done with chemo number 15, and only have one left. I am so excited. I have officially gained 29 pounds. I just stood on the scale, in sheer disbelief. It really did take me a few seconds for me to realize that that was right. I stood there getting my numbers wrong. I just can't believe it. I have been eating super good the past month, and not super good in a bad way. Super good in a egg and toast for breakfast, a sandwhich with a fruit for lunch, bake potato and veggie for dinner. Maybe some chicken, on a few days. But that's it. It must be tons of extra water in my body right now.
I haven't said this because I have been hoping and am still hoping that its just some weird infection that isn't causing phlegm in my lungs. But for exactly a month, when I lay on my side my lungs hurt. And I mean hurt. They hurt so bad that I have to cough and cough. It happens when I sleep, but mostly when I wake up in the morning. All the usual sicky things are not happening to me. Today, after four weeks of me telling my Onc this, and me not coming up with a cold, he ordered me to have a CT scan of my upper chest and abdomen. Last night they hurt so bad (I'm a side sleeper) that it woke me up over and over. He thinks its very strange and says that its almost zero percent that I'd develop cancer in my lungs while I am getting such high doses of chemo. Nevertheless, its a scary thing that is happening and on friday I am getting the scan. We'll see what's going on and at least I can sleep with painful lungs knowing that there isn't anything in there that is hurting them. Maybe its just a strange side effect from the chemo, or the sheer weight of 30 new pounds squishing my little lungs. Which seems to be the culprit, I bet!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is it true Toto?

I am so cold right now! Its chilly in Seattle. I must say, that I just had another wonderful eventful day. It was the best yet. I even had the energy to kindof push off of stairs as I climbed them once. I had so much fun today, and I know that tomorrow is going to be another good day. Until Chemo. But then, I'll only have one more to go after that.

I just added a few new pictures and I get a little weepy. I am so excited to be almost done. To see the photo with me holding up only 3 fingers, is just too much right now. After Wednesday, I think I can relax into the knowing and the reality that I really am almost done with this horrible, disgusting, self-mutilating, self-loving, self-living, destructive, killing, falling apart, icky-ness, and start healing so that I can do radiation. I am really excited.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Know when to stop

I have learned during this whole thing more about my body and have gotten even more in tune with it. If I push myself on my good days too hard, I always pay for it. The longer this chemo goes on for, the quicker this happens to me. Today was a good day. It started off with some energy. Energy enough to clean the kitchen, and take a break. Do some laundry, and take a break. And then do some paperwork, do some more paperwork, drive to the office and sit and do more paperwork and then I started to go down hill. My neck and ribs have been bothering me and so I drove to my chiropractor. I should have stopped there and gone home after this appointment but I was close to Whole Foods and everything at PCC is making me nauseous so I went there. I was sick walking in and tried to focus on buying food that I will eat and that's good for me.
I am home now laying in bed with a pounding headache and a queazy belly. I didn't finish all that damn paperwork today, so I am hoping tomorrow is a good day so I can get it all done. We sold our house the day before Thanksgiving (can't remember if I already said that) and it closes on January the 8th. I would normally be packing and such but I just cannot do it. I simply do not have it in me to do that. I just have it in me to get all our paperwork in order for the move.
Speaking of paperwork. I have been diligent with keeping every single insurance paperwork and filing it away. I always joke around that my bill is at least up to $400,000 worth of medical costs. Each chemo alone is about $30,000. That's 16 total of just them. Oh, wait, I just did the math on that, that = $480,000 so my costs are way higher than that. If I didn't have kick ass health insurance what would I do? What kind of care would I get? Anyways, that file is really really thick, like about an inch and a half thick. I can't wait till this is all done so I can add everything up and see how ridiculous the charges are.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What a difference

I hate to say it so early in the day, so I'll knock on some virtual wood, but today is a good day. I feel good, and my little hummingbird is waking from hibernation. She isn't buzzing yet, but at least the tears I cried yesterday just because I never thought I'd feel her again, are not needing to be shed again today. I woke up and ate some breakfast. I even had the energy to make it myself, and then I drove to my realty office and did a bunch of work.
I am home now just about to eat a potato and some broccoli for lunch. I have to be careful eating too much of the same thing because then I get sick of it and it makes me want to puke. I've been eating lots of broccoli and brussel sprouts lately, and potatoes but I am beginning to not like them. I think today will be the last day to eat them.
I am wearing my new clothes. Ones that aren't tight around the mid-section, arms, or legs. I feel pretty. A feeling I haven't really allowed myself to indulge in the past few months. Its funny how my inner spirit feels one way and then I look in the mirror, and see a totally different person. I guess this is how my Nana might feel.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Size 11 or 8?

Today I woke up feeling good. Thank God! I was really sick all day and into the night last night. Poor D made me a lunch yesterday that made me sick, and I couldn't even go into the kitchen until it was totally discarded and the kitchen was clean. It made me shake to smell it! I called my shopping spree friend Tamara and she was available on the fly, so she came and picked me up. We headed downtown. I have gotten over the whole thing of not wanting to buy "fat" clothes for myself. For one, the pants that I have been wearing, are all tight even though they are sweat pants. And D kept making suggestions that I go shopping, "You look like your always wearing your pajamas." Which I have been, with the exception of the pants Tamara bought me months ago. Months ago when I thought the weight was just going to be around for a few days until my body was able to get rid of all the extra water weight the steroids were causing me to carry.
But..that was a long time ago. The weather has gotten colder, and in deed I am huge now. So I went shopping and had a great time. When I'd get too sick/tired, I'd sit down and Tamara would bring me stuff. I found a great pair of pants that are quite slimming and a few shirts and sweaters.
Now that I am home, I am feeling good again. I can last just a few hours and then I get pretty miserable. I am really excited that today is Saturday and that my next to last chemo is on Wednesday. After Wednesday, I will only have one left!! A weird thing happened, is that one nail that is falling off got a friend yesterday. But the weird thing is that its the same finger just on the other hand. They still don't hurt, but are full of pus. Pretty sick looking.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm so sick

I don't feel good at all right now. Haven't all day. I think I might puke. Ugh!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chemo Today

I had my chemo appointment early today and because of this I got to see many new faces. There were two young girls around my age. One older, and one younger. I wanted to walk up to them and ask, " What kind of cancer do you have?" And ask them about their story. I usually do this if I am by myself. But D was with me and so I didn't. The other reason I didn't is that I couldn't stop crying in there. It started when they were putting in my port. I was so overwhelmed with sadness for everyone in there today. I was sad for them that they were going through this and that we were all in there doing this on Christmas eve instead of out doing Christmassy things. LIke baking cookies, or simple merriment with family. D said he too was feeling really sad in there today.
This is the first chemo that once I was done with my treatment I could barely walk out of exhaustion to the car. Luckily D parked directly outside the Swedish Cancer Institute and so I was okay to walk to the truck.
But once I got home at one, I fell asleep. This sleep was an intensely deep barely could move a bone sleep. I just woke up, three hours later and feel good. When I was in getting my port the nurse in there looked at my fingernail that was coming off. As I was showing it to her, I squeezed it a bit and tons of puss came out from under the nail bed. My doc said just to soak my fingernails, all ten of them in epson salts twice a day for ten minutes. I am going to give it a whirl. At the present moment it doesn't hurt really at all, which i am very thankful for.
I think I feel good enough to try to make a desert for Christmas right now. But then again, I haven't stood up. Well see. I am so exhausted its hard to get excited that I only have two more left, but trust me, I am thrilled!!
Merry Christmas you guys. May this holiday great you with a kind and gentle kiss and hug from a healing wind, may your spirits feel the true spirit of giving and the healing that this act gives your heart, may with this returning of light fill your mind with the fact that all things change and are cyclical and may it remind us all that we are stronger than we ever knew possible, and lastly may you walk tall with the knowing that if you are battling something in life that you are the miracle and the light of the New year where every possibility resides. Blessings.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Little Hopes

I have decided from the get go of this whole cancer thing to not dwell on future possibilities and to be in the present moment as much as possible. And more than any other time in my life I have been able to do this. This practice allows the possibilities to come through the thought process, acknowledge them and then let them go. One of those things is, Will I loose my fingernails? In this place of non-dwelling there is hope. Hope of coarse that whatever the random fear is, won't happen. Out of my 10 fingernails, only two have not turned black and blue and disgusting looking. Luckily all of them have stopped being numb and absolutely painful at the same time. But this morning one of the two that wasn't black and blue was numb and tonight it came right up off the nail bed. Not painful at all, although I didn't tug on it. It is still connected to the cuticle area, so I know have it securely wrapped with a bandage.
In the time that I realized indeed another one of those fears has manifested, I had to get sad. It is so disappointing and a bit crushing to my spirit to have my body that I cared for so tenderly for so many years literally falling apart. I feel the sadness for my fingernails in my solar plexus for some reason. Its a bit heavy there right now. Chemo got moved from my traditional afternoon appointment time to the morning, 9 am tomorrow. I agreed, and now wish I didn't. I would've like those extra five feel good hours. Christmas is going to be absolutely uneventful. I was going to cook a traditional Norwegian meal, but its just too much this year. I am exhausted and were going to rest. I feel really emotional that I have chemo tomorrow and that it's snowy and Christmas and I feel that this holiday is just breezing past us. I feel the spirit of Christmas, I've been singing all my favorite carols and such. It's just totally different this year. I can't put my finger on it other than it feels like Heather is gone some where else.
I ran into my yoga teacher today as I sat up at my real estate office for a bit this afternoon. I've known her since I was 17, so that's 16 years later. It was nice to see her today. She said oh, your such a Pitta and the chemo is so Pitta. Well, yes. I am, and it is, and maybe that is why its so incredibly difficult for me. But really, who is chemo not difficult on. Soon, soon, it will be all done. s

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weeping Eyes

I went to the eye doctor today. He said that everything is fine, he thinks. He flushed my tear ducts with a huge freakin' needle. The way you do this is the doctor puts in numbing eye drops (but you still can feel, maybe its just the pressure I felt) and with a huge needle when you're wide awake he sticks it into your lower tear duct and flushes some kind of fluid in there. It clears open the duct and drains to the back of your throat/nose. D was in the room with us just talking away and I was in such a panic telling myself, don't move, don't move, just breathe. Luckily the doctor asked him to stop talking while he was doing this. I couldn't talk and before I knew it it was all over.
He is one of the nicest doctors I get to work with through all this cancer stuff. His appointment today burst my heart open again with hope and I am no longer worried that my life is going to be full of tissue and tears. If you think about it, it is one thing to have an emotional upset in your home. But if you are bald, and walking down the street dabbing your eyes, it looks like you're crying when you're not.
So, I am thrilled that the doc thinks everything will be fine. He said that the next few weeks we just need to keep the ducts open while doing the chemo. And then about six months after treatment my eyes should be back to normal.
I am feeling really good today. Not sick to my stomach at all. Here is a link to a picture so you can check out the anatomy of the eye.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bed Sores?

I have been laying in bed so much that I have a few little bed sores developing on my rump. I need to do a little more laying on my side I think. Seattle is getting hit hard with snow. This is the tenth snow day, and its still coming down. I have been feeling really good the past few days, but not good enough to try to go out in the snow. A really sweet neighbor dropped off a couple really cool hats yesterday. I can't wait to go outside and use them. I just made a yummy veggie curry and coconut dish, its so good. D and I have decided to forgo any Christmas celebrating this year. His mom isn't coming now because of the roads and I'd love to go down to Seaside to be with my family but the roads are too bad, and I'll be too sick as the Christmas Eve is my next chemo. I was going to make a traditional Norwegian christmas dinner (D's half Norwegian) but its just too much this year. He doesn't want to help cook, so I'm not going to knock myself out. I'm not even going to make cookies.
Each year I make cookies for about two weeks, and I give them away to everyone. But not this year. I feel badly for all the people that are stuck in all the airports because of the crazy weather we have. My Dad said that Seaside got nine inches of snow the past few days. I have never seen that much snow on the coast. That's insane!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where to start

I was just contemplating where to start my post, and I looked down at my mouse pad on my laptop, and there is a sign of the times. An eye lash, small like one from my lower lids. I don't have many left down there right now. My tear duct surgery I think didn't work. I am feeling really discouraged the past few days. I have been in bed for days now, trying to get strong. Just walking down to the kitchen to get water is a big deal. Sometimes I'll lay in bed till I am out of my mind thirsty and then I'll muster the strength to get some. But back to the damn tear ducts. I am wiping them constantly and as I type my right one needs to be wiped as its getting blurry, of coarse I'll wipe the left one as well. Sure enough, both had big tears in 'em. I see my eye doctor on Tuesday for another follow up. I am going to ask him to tell me if it worked. Its been almost a month now and I'd think I wouldn't have to be wiping my eyes constantly. I have nightmares during my waking day dreams of being that lady that has to have a tissue with me constantly. I don't and can't be that woman. I'm an active girl. I keep holding onto the fact that he told me that 90% of the surgeries work. So...they're still healing! Right? Well see on Tuesday.
I had a good day finally today. I was not sick to my stomach once.
I'm still not eating that much. Which leads me to yesterday. D and I took a walk in our six inches of snow that blanketed our streets. When we were out I had him take a picture of me. When we got home I asked to see it. Holy Shit. I am so fat right now. My once thin face with high check bones is now one round face with absolutely no facial detail. I was so sad for a while. I just keep going back to being thankful that my Onc told me I'd probably gain 20 pounds, and I am glad I spoke to other thin survivors whom told me they gained 20 pounds during treatment. So, I have a rolly polly face right now and its hard to look in the mirror.
Speaking of mirror. I look in the mirror but generally just look in my eyes and notice the wrinkles that are etched under my eyes now (they were not there when I got diagnosed). I think all this wiping away of tears is causing wrinkles!!
I have a new favorite TV show. The secret millionaire. To end on a happy note. This show I would hope is invoking in Americans across the (gotta wipe my eyes again) country to help others in whatever capacity one can. Before Breast Cancer, I thought about volunteering at schools to teach kids to read. But I never followed through because I let it not be a priority. I let Heather and her busy life be a priority. Since I was diagnosed I have had a burning desire and prayer of how I can best help those with cancer, when I am done with my treatment. There are so many ways, and believe me.. I lay in bed thinking of this many hours a day. I have a few good ideas, and I can't wait to start giving back.
If everyone of us helped give back in some way, that truely touched others hearts, it would change America. Canada, France, wherever you live. It would change the world. It would put the love out there and our hearts would have a chance to connect with others in a "real" way. This show makes me cry, but everything, and I mean everything makes me cry right now. OH! I've turned into one of those, criers! It makes me laugh.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Off to chemo

Well...today number three. Tomorrow, I can say, "Just two more!" I have been pretty weak all week. I went grocery shopping, stopped by my office, and got really sick just being out. My eyes are still flowing with tears. I am getting really sick of it. And starting to worry that the surgery didn't "take". I worry about snowboarding for instance. With gloves on, goggles on, and the cold weather, it would be very difficult to wipe my eyes so I can see to snow board!
I am afraid my counts are super low again, and he might cancel my chemo today. But maybe not, it seems I am always wrong about these things. Food is all together gross right now. The idea of eating just makes me sick to my stomach. I usually wake up starving and have what I am going to make for breakfast fixed up in my mind before I get out of bed. The past few days, I can't eat until around 10 and then its a small amount before I start getting sick. Right now I have eggs boiling, that sounds good for lunch.
D is taking me to chemo today. I will post a picture later if I feel up to it. I want pic's of the last three with me getting the chemo and me holding up my fingers. The count down is on!!

Chemo did get cancelled. I am back in bed now. My blood counts are so low that he said if they get any lower I could end up in the hospital. So...now I will be done January 7th. I am so bummed. I begged, I mean begged him to give it to me. Will see if this week ends up being a good week. Last break I had was such a disappointment that I am not getting my hopes up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Almost done

My body is really starting to feel like it was before the last break. The toxins, I think are the cause. Who knows. I woke up not feeling well and was sick to my stomach all day. I had my handy Zofran medicine that kind of made me feel better. I layed in bed till noon and painted my fingernails a dark red. It took two coats to cover up the black and blue, but they look really pretty. Its so weird to have pretty nails right now. I am so far from feeling pretty, or wanting to feel pretty.
D's birthday is today. I made an incredible meal. A pork tenderloin: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-next-food-network-star/pork-tenderloin-with-prosciutto-sage-and-asiago-cheese-recipe/index.html, and brussel sprouts with prosciutto , mashed potatoes, and then a carrot cake. It was a lot of fun. He is laying next to me moaning, as he ate way too much.
I didn't really eat that much today, my stomach is too messed up right now.
The other very exciting thing is that my sister Wendy found out that she is pregnant today. I am so excited for her and for me! I get to be an Auntie!! Its a little painful as we had always hoped to be pregnant together, and maybe on her next pregnancy we can get to have that experience together.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gearing up

I feel good today, phew! Yesterday, I remembered how my whole life I used to go up any kind of stair. I always, always skipped one and lept to the one above. It was always a fun little thing I did. I can't even remember the last time I had the energy to do that. There is no way I could do that now. I get out of breath simply making the bed now. I sit down, afterwards and feel my heart just thumping away. I only have three more weeks, and after wednesday, only two more treatments left. I can't wait. I am in a little time bubble now, and will be done with it soon. I can't wait. I spoke with a fellow survivor today, and she told me that she worked out the whole time she did radiation. I really liked that she told me that because I've heard so many daunting stories lately of how hard other's rads have been.
I am going to try to go to the gym everyday before my radiation, and then go to the appointment and then go home and go to sleep. Or maybe I won't be really tired, and I'll be okay. I'll just have to wait and see. But regardless, I can't wait to start working out again. At this point just being on a treadmill and walking will be a work out. My back will be happy about that.
Tomorrow is D's birthday and I am hoping to drive to the store to get his cake ingrediants. It is really snowy here, and in West Seattle the streets are really bad. D told me I'm not allowed to drive today, but its pretty sunny and the streets look like they are drying up. And I have a cake to make!! He loves carrot cake so that is what it'll be.
I love baking!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Still sick

I have had a fever all weekend long. This morning I woke up and barely got dressed. It had snowed outside and I really wanted to walk up to the bakery and drink hot cocoa. D didn't think we should go, but I really wanted to get out of bed, out of the house, and celebrate the winter wonderland. We have a few big hills to walk up to get up to the bakery and I just couldn't do it. I got almost there and had to sit in a squatting position for a few minutes and couldn't stand back up without feeling like I was going to get sick and faint. D was pissed at me because I pushed myself too hard. And I was pissed that I just couldn't get to the bakery. I am so sick of laying around and I really really wanted to be with other people and watch them enjoying the winter day.
So, back we went home and I've been in bed with a fever off and on all day. I guess I must be trying to fight some kind of bug off since the fever has lasted for so many days. I will call my Oncologist tomorrow and just let the nurses know I've been sick all weekend.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Oh. Yesterday and today were hell. Late afternoon yesterday I got a fever, and it kept climbing and stayed at 99.6 for ten hours. It was horrible. I took my nauseau med's but they didn't help and I felt like I was going to puke, severely the whole time until finally in the evening I did. I feel asleep and woke up all sweaty, thankful that my fever had broke. I've been in bed all day, its now 4:30 and I can't wait until tomorrow. I am hoping that I feel better then. I am so sick of being sick and not feeling good. D is being great, getting me popscicles and listening to me moan. This sucks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Falling out

Today is not such a great day. It started out full of energy, and I even gave a massage finally. It didn't hurt in the slightest (yippee) my fingers really are getting better. After that I showed a client a home and by then I was wiped out and came home and took a nap. It's so windy outside I don't want to run to the grocery and I don't feel that great.
About four days ago now, I noticed in the morning on my white pillow case that it was covered with hair. I have been really loving the ego booster fact that my hair was coming in. But I think its falling out. My pillow every morning since then has been covered and I can pull it out in little pinches all over my head. Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

For those of you without cancer..

Yesterday I spoke with a friend that is on a similar journey as I, but his cancer treatment is much more compact and brutal. We shared some hard things that only a Survivor really gets. And he said something to me that I felt that I should share once again, I know I have in earlier posts, but I thought it might be helpful to those of you that are reading this that have never had cancer and are helping take care of us along our journey. And for those of you that have not been affected by this disease, I think this could be helpful to you as well.
It is very easy in life to think you know yourself well enough to know how you will be in any one circumstance. I think we all would like to think that we know how we'd be if we got a limb cut-off, or if we lost our sight suddenly, or if we...you get the idea. But really none of us know how we would be. I can tell you that the hardest part of this journey for me was dealing with family and loved ones in my life judge me and hold me up to standards that they thought and knew that they'd react like. It was the most painful part of this journey. When all you need is love, and all you need is someone to tell you, " I have absolutely no idea what you are going through and I am not going to pretend that I do. I am here for you. I am here to listen to you." But instead, what I got was judgement from a few, and I had to gently explain myself in a time when I did not have the energy to do so. And honestly should not have been put in that position. My one prayer is to forgive these folks so that I can move on. But it is taking time.
So my suggestion is for those of you in the new role of being a friend to someone in this journey, is simple. Just listen. Don't tell them that you think you'd do something different then they are doing. Because I'll tell you what. I would have never in a million years thought I would do some of the things I have had to do, and I mean HAD to do, to get through this. Everything, was striped from me. Cancer strips every idea you once you thought you had, every memory that is attached to a feeling, ev-er-y-thing is gone. And it is up to the Survivor to get through their journey so that they can Survive. It is our journey, and our's alone.
My friend and I laughed yesterday that we watch so much TV. I rattled off the shows and times, and he said, "I'm right there with you."
When I first got diagnosed, D and I were trying to be positive and he said," Now you can learn to do the things you've wanted to learn." I thought, "Great idea. I can learn to knit." But when it came down to it, its either I am totally in the present moment. And in the present moment, you hurt, you feel really really sick, you're body is not your own, and you lay there feeling in the moment how it is to be really truely sick. And months go by, and it is too brutal to be present 24 hours a day. And really, truely alone with only your mind and your sick, sometimes hurting self, on tons of med's (which is so foreign to me).
So, I have chosen to give my mind a break, and my heart, and my flu like constant a break, to not think and watch lots of TV. I don't want to read right now, I don't want to do anything on those bad days. I want to disappear and laugh, and I get to laugh when I watch Ellen Degeneres. So, please, hold the judgements. You really have no idea what is is like to try to get through a experience like this, unless you've been there. And a bit of advice for you care-givers:
The most helpful thing you can do, is get the support you need so that you can be the support needed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Getting better

I have been pretty darn free of pain in my fingers this whole past week. My fingernails continue to get a nice dark purple, but they don't hurt anymore. So....My bored to death little self gets to start doing massage again. I am giving myself a few days, to get better from today's chemo that I have. I think they got better because I had a break of chemo and my body was able to process all the toxins. I am hoping that they don't start hurting again after todays treatment. But we'll see. So, I am hoping that by Sunday I'll be able to do a few before my next chemo.
My nose started bleeding again yesterday, it was nice to have a few weeks break of this. That break I had, though it didn't feel like one, did give me a break from some body side effects, which was worth the break. I am feeling really good today, and am going to go to my real estate office and hang out for a few hours, before I have to go to my eye follow up appointment and then chemo. I get to be at the doctor's offices for about seven hours today. Lots of fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I jumped over a hurdle yesterday, one that I've been scared to do, but I did it. I went to my first yoga class that cancerlifeline(.org) offers. It was in West Seattle at the 8 limbs studio. I was scared to feel my pain, my sadness, to be silent and listen to my heart, my feelings, my spirit. My spirit that doesn't change, that hasn't changed, that no one or nothing can change, my resilient self, and be with her. And I knew there was a lot of grieving in this place. Before I went I spoke with my friend Gen, and I said something about me being changed, a different person. And she said tentatively, not really, you're still the same. And I am. And I am not. There is the new normal, or the new me, that Survivors speak of. And I agree. And yesterday in yoga, I got to disagree too. I'll get to that moment in a second..But first
I had to walk in to the class. Up three flights of stairs, I was tired by the time I got up there. I was the only one there for a few minutes and was worried the class was not going to happen. But then the teacher came. As I introduced myself and she asked questions about my journey, I told her that I hadn't wanted to be in touch with myself since I was diagnosed. And I was going to probably cry a lot through the class. She told me that was totally fine, and to do whatever I needed to do. Some people even sleep, she said.
Sure enough, as I layed on my mat (my own mat that was being newly christened) in a room of other women that all had had cancer or were care-givers. We have all been affected by cancer. And I just bawled. I sobbed. I breathed, and sobbed. I dabbed my tears, and sobbed some more. "Heather, there you are." There you are sweet one. I was so sad. I have gone through so much, in such a little amount of time. So, we did a relaxation technique and the gentle yoga made my muscles quiver and shake as they remembered that they are supposed to be long and lean, not taught and bound. Opening, my muscles, my heart, my soul, my child in me, my scared adult, my fear, my love, my future, my present.
The one thing that drove me a little crazy was that the teacher through the entire class spoke, and she spoke of being present, and not thinking in the future. And this probably was helpful for the care givers in the class. But to me, I thought, how could a Survivor get through what we have to get through if she isn't living in the present. My yoga class was a world of difference for this one reason. I think I have really learned and gotten closer to reaching the idea of being in the present. I wanted to tell the teacher this. To tell her that she was putting fear in the room by talking about not being in the future and not worrying about the future. But I didn't. Her words got me out of the present, and so I was able to stop crying, and I just pretended that I was in a room with someone that was trying to brain wash me and I wasn't listening to her anymore. I just sank deeper into my own breath and my own stretching.
As my little body moved with the ebb and flow of my breath, I found that the fear that resided in the idea that I've heard over and over, that I will be a different person, I decided that was a bunch of balony. I am not a different person. I am still Heather, just a Heather that has grown into a deeper place of spiritual deepness. One that has had to learn to open when I didn't think I could open anymore, and be still when I didn't think I could ever be that still, and I got to grab tightly to Heathers hand yesterday. Soon, before I know it, I will be up and running again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The weekend

Our weekend flew past us, like they always do. The insane swelling went down by Sunday. Thank God. Just walking really gave me an understanding for what it might be like to be over weight, and not want to walk because its so hard to walk. I was out of breath just walking up the stairs to our master bedroom. It took so much more energy to get up those darn stairs! I have my cute little knees back, and I can see my ankles, and life is good.
Yesterday, D needed some guitar strings so we drove to Fremont. I didn't feel well yesterday, the flu thing, so I stayed in the car. I noticed we were parked across the street from the Flying Apron Bakery and caffeine seems to give the flu symptoms a jolt, so I walked over there and got a latte. I sat out on bench and enjoyed the winter day. I sat there and remembered all the memories I've had, in Fremont. Shopping, eating, strolling after dinner to get gelato, a special day newly in love w/ D, and I couldn't help but sit there and cry. I am so emotional lately its crazy. I, someone who prided myself in the fact that I wasn't one of those people. A crier. Well, shit, I am a crier in full force now.
Of coarse when the tears start swelling, then you cry about everything else too. I wasn't sobbing, I was in public, but I had a nice river flowing down my little checks. I was just so sad that I am dealing with this. Not why me, this time. But fuck, its ME! And, shit this sucks. My little body hurts. I am so sick of feeling sick. Everyday, sick. I am so sick of it. I am sick of being sad and wishing for the day that its over. I am exhausted, and I felt sad for the exhaustion.
I thought of healthier days, and christmases in the future that I will be so thankful for a healthy busy life. A life that doesn't revolve around doctor's appointments, and one full of exercise again. I mean, I actually dream of exercising, this is how much I miss it!
D came, and we started home. I kept crying, and telling him how I felt. I asked him to drive through downtown so I could see the Macy's star and the other city lights. It sure is a beautiful star. By the time we were done with that the tears and the pitty party were over. We came home, and I felt much better and we just watched a couple of movies, and one tear jerker, Hallmark Movie on TV.
A dark thing happened to my family this past week. One that I don't really want to talk about, but that I am going to anyway because there is a point to it. My older sister's suicidal ex-husband, finally got his wish when he took his life this past week. I have been really sad for him. Sad that he didn't get the help he needed, and that makes me super sad. He was a really good man, just sick. Suicide is a strange thing. Its also funny timing, he gave his life away when I am fighting for mine. And the thought I have on this is: if he got cancer, would he have been stoked because he wouldn't have had to kill himself, because the cancer would. Or would he have been faced with the fact that he would die, and not want to die, and push through? To life. We are all born into this world with our struggles. And cancer is helping me to understand the depth of my personal struggle isn't any less than your's. Its all the same. I just wonder if John had the chance to face death if he would have in turn fought for life. Was his death a cry for help, or was he really done? I'll never get to talk to him about this and that makes me sad. I will miss him. Please no comments about this. Thanks..: )

Friday, December 5, 2008

Swollen legs

Last night my legs started feeling really weird and hard to move. I noticed that they were getting swollen. Well this morning I woke up and by mid-morning my ankles were almost the size of my calfs. My knees were huge and I could barely walk. I called my doctor and I'm on a dieuretic pill for six days. Hopefully it does the trick. I am laying in bed with my legs up and am laughing and crying off and on. I just can't believe that I keep getting all these weird side effects that don't happen all the time, but seem to happen to me. I am laughing right now. It is really weird to look at my legs. They don't even look like their mine.
Other than that, I had a pretty good day. Off to watch more TV. And dream of the not so distant future of the day that I will be done with this hell.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Aweome Day

I think I had such a great "feeling" day because my blood counts are so good. Not super "normal" good, but good for getting chemo. I had a full day of real estate. I went to two listing appointments and I did tons of errands and I feel great. Yippee!!! I am hoping that I wake up feeling good. I had a great chemo yesterday. A fellow TN sister brought me. She is 8 years out, and it was/is so encouraging being around a fellow survivor. We just yapped and yapped together and understood what each other were saying. She suggested that in the book I am going to write to have a chapter in there about husbands and how it is for them. I think this is a great idea. I haven't talked in detail in this blog about D's journey and how its been good or bad for me. But I think the book will be a great place to do that, and to interview other husbands and wives.

Today is just a short post. But I'm doing good, feel awesome, and am so thankful for this day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Comic Relief

I was reading the article in Women's Health magazine on Cancer and found a few new sights. One of them that I really liked is Planetcancer.org. I found a list of funnies and thought I'd share it.

Top 10 Worst Responses If Someone Tells You They Have Cancer

10 Other than that, how's it going?
9 This isn't going to affect my career, is it?
8 I guess there's no need to quit smoking now.
7 There are easier ways to build character, you know.
6 Oh, my aunt/cousin/grandfather died of that same cancer!
5 Be sure to wear clean underwear.
4 Just think of all the money you'll save on shampoo.
3 Cancer...is that before or after Aquarius?
2 Yeah, right, whatever.
1 It's always about you, isn't it?

I am going to ad a new one:

Why aren't you happier? You're only a stage 1!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What I miss

I miss having hair. My mother in law left a couple magazines that show all the hippest wares and do's of the season. I haven't looked at one of those magazines since the waiting room the day of my initial biopsy. Way back in May. Well. I haven't wanted to dress up in any of my fun clothes. When we were getting ready to put our house on the market, I packed away all my products for my hair and all shampoos of various scents and claims of what they do for my hair. I miss my hair. Right now, I sortof miss dressing up. But the fact is is that I have gained so much weight, I cannot fit into any of my fun clothes. And I refuse to go buy a new chemo wardrobe.
I knew I wasn't going to be allowed to get a pedicure or manicure during treatment (because of the high risk of getting an infection) and so I went and got my last french pedi and manicure in June. I have not touched my toes in months. They still look cute. Luckily they haven't gone through what my fingernails are going through. But I miss the indulgence and the self-loving of getting a pedicure. I see getting them as one of the few things I do for just myself. I miss that.
My eyes are healing from the surgery. My reddish right eye is healing. It isn't red anymore, and the skin is now coming off like it a sunburn would. They still weep a little. The doctor said it will take a while for them to totally start working correctly again. But it is already 90% better. The surgery was lightening like fast. I was in and out of the hospital within an hour and 1/2. No pain, just groggy from the surgery.

I can't wait till I feel better. I am so sick of this. Another chemo friend, that just finished wrote and said how i am feeling is how she felt. The week after her last chemo she felt like she had the flu too. I wish I didn't have that darn break now, because it wasn't a break. I never got to feel like Tigger.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Winter break

It sure has been nice having a break. This break, unlike last time doesn't feel like a break though. For some reason, maybe my body thinks it had chemo, but I feel like I have those same flu like symptoms. I feel 75% like Heather. Because I had eye surgery I can't do any strenuous activities. I sortof wish I could go for a run. But then again, I don't feel well. The flu is going around, but I am not throwing up nor do I have a fever. D thinks it just that my blood counts are low.
Thanksgiving was great. My mother in law, Brianna came and we cooked all day. I made three pies, cranberries, stuffing, and the turkey. She made her famous sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and we together tackled the gravy. Which wasn't a hit this year, D thought Brianna and I didn't like it either so he threw it out. I am still in disbelief and whenever we eat left overs, I say ,"I wish I had the gravy." He threw out turkey day gravy!!
My body feels an over all exhaustion at this point. My muscles all are sore and tired, as if I exercised all day long the day before. My fingers are still very achy and if I extend my fingers out, they hurt like the nail beds are being lifted off. So my fingers are in a constant curl. I cannot take off my socks without a lot of pain. My taste buds are gone. And I have sores in my throat and nose still. I am listing all these symptoms because I am hoping for a break from one of them during this winter break. Its already Saturday, so my hoping is getting less and less.
I am now set, unless there is another set back, to be done on New Years eve. When you're all out whooping it up, I am going to be getting chemo. And I will be whooping it up that I am done with this leg of the journey. I am nervous about radiation. A few women I have talked to say that it was the hardest part of the treatment for them. But that was for them and maybe it will be easy for me. Regardless, even if its the hardest part, I will only have six weeks, every day of it, but still only six weeks, and I can count each day down.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Doubled edged sword

Chemo got cancelled today!!! I am thrilled, my counts were too low again. That's the not good news, that they are low and that I had to put off the chemo. But, I am so happy. I actually started to cry when my Onc told me that. I was, and am so happy. I get to have a good turkey day, and I get to have a whole week of feeling good. I really need this right now because I feel like these chemo's are getting harder and harder on my body. I am getting weaker and weaker.

Yippee!! Have a good turkey day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Surgery today

Well today's the day for the tear duct surgery. I can't wait till my eyes are fixed. They are so chapped and red down to my check bones. I am not scared for the surgery. But I am nervous. I just don't know how I will be after the surgery. I am going to get knocked out, and I am allergic to some pain meds. After the lumpectomy I threw up all the way home, so I am hoping this isn't how I am.
You know, I have been dealing with going to doctors appointments or this or that for over 5 months now. Its a long time for me. But what is getting apparent is how long it is for everyone in my life. D's life has kept going and he has integrated all these appointments into his life. But there are times, like today, that taking time off in the middle of the day to go to another doctors appointment is just not conveinant. I recognize this, and so I am taking a cab to the surgery and he's going to pick me up. We need him to work during the day, and its kindof part of life. You come into this life alone, you die alone, and I am going to be in surgery alone. Its not like he is going to be in the operating room with me. So, I after I freaked out a bit, realized that its okay that he not take the day off, and sit in the lobby waiting for me.

THis whole thing sucks. And I think I am learning a lot. But mainly, I am getting stronger in me, and learning that it really is just me. Or just you. We really only ever have ourselves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It really is fall

Today it felt like fall to me, finally. The leaves have fallen from the trees, and our apple tree has just a few danglers on it still. D and i took a long walk this morning. I think about four miles. It felt good to walk. Though, I don't think I have ever been in this kind of shape ever in my life. Simply walking was making my muscles in my body tighten, and I was exhausted the whole walk. I am now laying in bed again watching the boob tube. I made a crab and artichoke dip today and have my cinnamon roll dough rising. I want to still cook, but I really can't taste a thing and get really full quickly now. Food is kind of grossing me out. Its weird not being able to taste stuff. I just have the texture and of coarse the visual. I am not going to panic that my taste isn't going to come back. I am just believing this that it will. That would be one of the worst things if it didn't.

I am looking forward to getting this eye surgery on tuesday. My eyes, especially my right eye really bothers me, its so chapped.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am not feeling well again. But that doesn't really explain how it is that I feel. Let me try to explain. Chemo kind of sucks the life out of you. My mind, on Taxotere is totally intact. Thank God. I can still think, unlike when I was on A/C. I just feel like I have the flu and my spirit has been sucked from me. Like I am functioning at 30% of my true self. My fingers the past couple of days kindof got better. But yesterday and today they've gotten worse. Imagine, the center of your nail bed feeling like it was the only thing that was holding on, and the rest of the nail is lifting off the bed. It hurts to type.
Not that this is a gripe session, I am just explaining how it is to be me right now. Oh, and I have constant tears running down my face. My face is so chapped that I actually had someone ask me the other day if I had been hit in the face. On a positive note, I think this week is better than last week. But not sure yet. In just a few days, chemo will be again and then I will only have 4 left. I can't wait.

OH!!! I have officially lost all taste in my mouth. This is a huge one! There is a faint smell I can get from the back of my throat when I eat, but other than that no taste. I am hoping that by Thanksgiving my taste comes back.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another one bites the dust..

Yesterday, is now behind me. Chemotherapy number 11. I have actually done eleven chemotherapies. To get through this I just have had to keep my head down and go. Move. Don't think to much, little one. Just do it. Just get your port put in. Don't think, feel a bit, and move forward. Yesterday, I let myself think about the monstrosity of chemo and what I have actually gone through. All the stuff. The IVF stuff, all the injections I had to give myself, all the emotions of coming to grips with possibly not getting to have my own kids someday, all the tests, the hair cuts, the hair falling out, the sleepless nights, the not feeling good, the losing and tearing away of the veils of my former life, on and on the list goes. I let myself think about my these feets yesterday. I have actually allowed myself to receive eleven chemo's so far. Incredilbe. There are tears running down my face right now.
Yep, I have only five more and I can't wait. I am a little scared of all the tears that will start percolating in early March, when I am all done, and am safe to REALLY start processing. You know, when you go traveling to a third world place and you are suddenly able to live and do things that you in your first world mentalities would never allow yourself to come in contact with, and you can fully function and love life in this new way. I've always wondered how I was able to live with the people in West Africa for as long as I did. And I loved every moment of it. Having cancer is sortof like this. I for some reason, am able to transcend my old way of being, (although its just in reach, whenever I am ready to go back to it) and do and go through things that I once didn't know I could go through. We are all like this. We are so much more than we ever really know.
I had relatives this past winter tell me and D that they didn't think I could handle being on Survivor. It was such a funny statement to me when they said this. First of all, it was clear they didn't know who I was very well, and secondly to think that a human spirit isn't able to transcend was such a foreign concept to me. This is what WE do. This IS life. And WE all do it, daily. Maybe not Cancer level, or Survivor level, or Africa level, but we do it. Its how we survive what we call life. Its our opportunity to grow spiritually.
So, here I am unable to sleep and thinking about what I've done so far. I told my Onc yesterday that if there are any microscopic cancer cells that have not been killed, and rear their heads on a MRI in a couple years (it takes sometimes, a few years to grow large enough to be detected) that i wasn't sure if I'd go through this again. He said, that right about now this is how everyone feels. I have been, not out of morbidity, but out of the very real fact that it could happen, thinking about my action plan if it does come back. I told my Onc that I was thinking a nice beach in Costa Rica would be a good way to go, instead of poisoning myself in my last days in hopes that something works.
He told me, that he's giving me the most powerful chemo drugs he can this time, in hopes that that doens't happen. The brite side, is if it does come back, he'd give me lessor powerful drugs to see if that would do the trick. And in a couple years, the medicine will have new innovative treatments. He told me its common to go through this. Which leads me to thinking about how vulnerable I will feel when this is all done.
As it is right now, each day I have to stop myself from doing breast exams. I keep thinking I feel lumps, and panicking. D, reminds me that my Onc, "the best guy in the state to do a breast exam, Heather" just did one last week and you are OKAY. Right. I am okay. Sure. Sure. Its so unsettling. I already know that I am going to NEED a few support groups and I can't wait to start turning this blog, into a book. This process is really going to help my process.re

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's the day..

Well...today is 6 of 12! Tomorrow, I can say I only have 5 chemo's left. I can't wait to be done. My eyes the past couple of days have been a constant river of tears. Not tears from emotional outcries, but from the scar tissue that is not allowing them to flow correctly. My right eye is especially puffy, reddish purplish bluish from the checkbone to the lower eyelid. It burns and so I called the eye specialist today. He is only 1 of 8, and is considered the top specialist in state. So, if you know any kids that are going into the medical field tell them to go into the Ophthalmology: Oculoplastics field. Anyways, so he wants me to come in and see him today. I am hoping there is some kind of cream he can give me to help the skin not be so inflammed. Cross your fingers for me.

I've been weighed in at my doc's office. I am now sitting waiting for him to come in and tell me my counts are good and to send me up to chemo. Folks.. I am in disbelief. My onc told me I'd probably gain 20 pounds from the chemo. The nurse today, said they don't know why woman gain this amount, but just that it happens. I have officially gained a whopping, stunning 16 pounds. Its not like I am laying around eating Bon~Bons.
I am sick about it. SICK!! I can't wait till this is all done, and I can start exercising like a freggin' maniac. 16 pounds. Wow!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Open hand

I can't remember if I've said this or not. But I just was reminded of it when I was writing to another TN BC (triple negative breast cancer) sister on the TNBC foundation site.

I imagine the saying, "Love someone with an open hand." Well that someone is me.

When I was doing the A/C I didn't know if I could do more and keep going. And honestly, the past week has been so hard that on an emotional level that is how I am feeling. I am crying all the time ( and I used to never cry) and I am sad. Simply sad. But how I am getting through this is by surrendering. I have to just open that hand that wants to hold on to the idea that I have the right to not feel sick. That I have to right to be healthy. The idea that my life is in my control. Whatever it is. I just have to let go. I have to open my heart to this journey and let go of all my judgements and ideas of what's fun and make fun where I can.

When I was a little girl, I was in 2nd grade actually. My mom was in a terrible car accident. My older sis missed a corner in their new little VW bug, that was red. They hit a couple trees square on and my mom was in bed for months. I remember crawling in to bed to with her and finding animals out of the ceiling texture on the ceiling. We'd lay in bed together, finding the fun in what we could. And that is what I need to do right now. Just let go of the idea that laying in bed for days on end would normally depress me (maybe I am depressed) and just get over myself. Just be in the present moment and that's it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not sure

Today was spent again, laying around. In the afternoon D and I raked some leaves. When I'd get tired, I'd sit and watch him. The tired that happens now a days, is like this..Once I stop moving my heart pumps so hard that I can feel it in all my veins. As if each heart beat causes my whole body to shake. When it starts pumping like that, I stop myself and wait til it subsides. So, we did some yard and I couldn't wear my gardening gloves because they hurt my fingers too much. I cancelled all my massages this weekend and didn't call others that I though I'd get to. I am not sure how I'll feel tomorrow and not sure if my fingers will miraculously stop hurting. The tips of them are double their size and like I've said for a few days in a row now, they hurt. The throb. Going to the bathroom is a chore, and one that is quite difficult. I am just lucky that my toes are not affected. That would suck if I couldn't walk because they were numb and hurting too. I hope this doesn't happen with remaining chemo's.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


This morning I started out like most mornings, drinking water. But this morning it made me puke. Awesome time. I was hoping today would be better, but it wasn't. I layed around all day. I had to call my Onc because I was so sick I didn't know what was happening to me. He had me take the super duper anti-nauseau med and that did the trick. D and I took a short walk this afternoon but basically I layed in bed and watched movies. I called my Dad crying today, telling how sick I am of all this and boo hooo. I told him that I can't help sometimes of thinking what the chemo is doing to my kidneys, liver, ect.. And he nipped that in the bud and said, " Heather, you need to think about what the chemo is DOING for your body right now." I am sure lucky to have him as my Dad. Its true. There is nothing I can do to think about all the possible negatives and life long side effects, or effects that might rear their ugly heads in later life. I just need to think, that its better than the alternative.
I am hoping that tomorrow is a better day. I'd like to clean the house, maybe rake some leaves. I have been so sick that I am not sad that I've been laying around for days. That tells me how sick I've been. I'm over it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tear Ducts and Nails

This is going to be a gripe session. I am going to start off on the lessor of evils. My nails. They hurt. Each session they get darker and darker and the cuticles get more and more swollen and I am hoping that they can hang in there and not fall out. It sucks, and it hurts and I am getting sick of it.
The other crazy thing is that my eyes have been tearing constantly for about a couple of weeks. Luckily I mentioned this to my Onc and luckily he knows that this is not a good thing, and luckily he referred me to a eye specialist. I saw him today, and indeed my particular chemo, Taxotere that I am on causes a weird thing in the tear ducts. For some reason it accumilates in the tear ducts more than anywhere else in the body and causes an inflammation in the tear ducts (no wonder my eyes have been hurting and burning~the chemo is in my tears). Left untreated, it would cause scar tissue that would form on the tear ducts, and I'd have to get tear duct replacement surgery, a glass tear duct. But, luckily all the luckies that were mentioned above happened, and I have tear duct surgery on Nov. 25 to open the tear ducts wider so that the tears can get through them.
I am sick of feeling gross. My stomach always hurts, kindof like having the flu but with a little pain that goes all the way up to my mouth. My throat hurts because I have a sores in it, and my mouth feels like there is cotton stuffed into it and my tonuge is almost entirely numb now. I get bloody noses constantly and I am really really sick of this.
Water used to taste like poison, now it just doesn't have any taste, except it hurts to swollow cold water because of the sore in my throat. It hurts to type today because of my fingers. Luckily the two tastes that have a faint taste still are savvory and sweet.
With the lack of taste you'd think I wouldn't be that excited about Thanksgiving. But I am. My mother in law, Brianna is coming, as she always does to our house and we all pig out for a couple of days. I am really excited. I was going to try to cook on Tuesday the 25th and the morning of the 26th before chemo. But now, I have that surgery and so, I think we'll just be cooking all day on turkey day.
I hope I feel good on thursday, turkey day so that we can make a really yummy feast.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Half way done

I have now had 10 chemo appointments, hard to believe. I have 6 left. Only 6 more weeks. Yesterday my friend Maryam came to chemo with me. She said, "this has gone by really fast." And the other day someone said that to me. For me, this has been the longest 5 months 11 days of my life. I have gone through hell and more and I just can't wait to be done with the treatments.

The doc told me yesterday that the reason my eyes have been watering non-stop is that its not from the lack of my lashes. But this chemo drug makes scar tissue in the tear ducts so I need to go see a eye doctor specialist so that if this is what is happening he can prick my tear ducts so the tears can go down through them again. He said the doctor can do it without torture. We'll see about that. I can't wait to stop poisoning and killing off my body. I can't wait to get really healthy again. I have officially gained 13 pounds, my Onc said I could gain up to 20. I have never been this heavy in my life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Picking up the leaves

Today was a big day, and this will be a long post. Where to start?

I was on the island today and during the massage I was giving I felt my athlete in me. Doing massage, I always have felt her. As, occasionally I (unbeknownst to my clients~now you guys know) I put myself into a yoga posture to stretch as I am doing massage moves. What happened to me when I got diagnosed was that my life imploded. I let go of everything as everything, and I mean everything fell apart and to the side. All that I had ever thought I'd known, disintegrated. Even my athlete. Although I have called on her during my treatment, I haven't connected with her yet.

I think I have to start with yesterday before I go further. Yesterday, as I watched Ellen Degeneres ( I am now a TV holic that loves, and I mean loves all these TV shows, so funny to me) so as I watched her, I got up as I was feeling well enough to do exercises for the first time since I was diagnosed, in a serious way. Every commercial I did lunges, squats, calf raises, tricep dips, and crunches. I felt great doing it and but I didn't say hi to my athlete. I just did the exercises.

Fast forward to today, my calf's were a little sore and I felt supported by my body, by my athlete. Back again, during the massage, I looked in the mirror as I was doing a massage stroke, and said hi to her. And in that moment, I realized how far from her I was. I checked in with myself, and there was the base emotion of anger. But when I looked closer, I was angry that she, the athlete had forsaken me. I mean hell, I have exercised religiously my whole life. She let me down. She let me have cancer. She, oh, the tears started. Not heavy, as I was working, and this all happened in a matter of probably two minutes. But it was deep. I realized that I had to forgive her. I had to forgive my athlete/my body for giving up. For not fighting off that fucking cancer. And in this forgiveness, of really myself, I had to recognize on a deep level that she wasn't at fault. But that I had been pissed and disappointed in her efforts. I had been let down and that we needed to come back together. I needed to forgive her. So, during that massage I welcomed myself back to my athlete/my body.

I told her that I am ready to do those yoga postures again, and to feel my body again, and to risk loving my body again. Risk, thinking and ultimately believing that if I love my body by exercising I will live a longer healthier life.

I was ready to feel again. So, through the few eyelashes I have the tears got heavy, and I wiped them away and I was whole. I went for a three mile walk today around the Burton Loop. There is a flat stretch along the way, and my athlete in me said, "Why don't you run that half mile, Heather." So I did. I felt my lungs rise and fill with air, and felt my body get warm again. I was in touch with my breath. I was and am, alive. I caught the cancer as early as I could. My life is in the hands of what I agreed to as I entered this body. I am learning from all of this. I am growing and learning to love myself in a deeper way. And that is all I can say.

I am ready to start doing yoga again, and start feeling my body again. I am no longer afraid of her. I am no longer angry with her. And I am no longer disappointed in her.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Egg nog

Yesterday, as I was on the ferry going home, I got really sick. It felt like I had a fever with chills and body aches. I layed in bed from 3 until I fell asleep. I called my Dad and my sister and had a big cry. Its been a while. I did have a fever and I felt horrible. I had egg nog earlier in the day and was worried that I had gotten sick from the raw eggs. But this morning I feel fine, actually totally fine and am going to do a massage this afternoon. I've been laying in bed this morning, watching murderous shows. I am scared out of my mind right now. I am going to go rake some leaves for a bit to get a little exercise.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Secret House

Today, I went to an amazing home that you can rent on Vashon to give a couple of my oldest massage client woman friends massages. Its a house in a park and that's all the guesses you guys get. It has been totally restored and it was amazing. After those massages I got a little sick and now am at home in bed. Its good to work as it gets my mind off of all this. I'm not well at all right now, so off I go. Into the check out of the TV. Lord, I would have never thought I'd watch so much of it. Its just that I need to not think, and its a perfect antidote to all of this.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I asked my Onc a while back why he hadn't tested my tumor against the various chemo's I was going to do to make sure they would work. He explained to me that there isn't a way of doing that yet. If I can figure out how to do that that is the million dollar quest right now. He explained that once the tumor is taken out of the body, for some unknown reason tests don't work on tumor to find answers to this quest.

This morning I was reading the New York times and there was an article talking about the prospect of getting closer to this. You can read it if you copy and paste the article below. I uploaded a paragraph below, that you can read.

Scientists Decode Set of Cancer Genes (NY times)

The findings will not help patients immediately, but researchers say they could lead to new therapies and will almost certainly help doctors make better choices among existing treatments, based on a more detailed genetic picture of each patient’s cancer. Though the research involved leukemia, the same techniques can also be used to study the genomes of other cancers, and the researchers expect to apply them to breast, brain and lung cancers.

You can read the entire article if you copy and past this link:


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

8th down!

I am not feeling well right now. Just got back from my 8th chemo, now I just have 7 left!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Road Trip

On friday I drove by myself, to Bend. My best friend from childhood lives down here with hubby and kids. Her littlest was born just weeks before I was diagnosed, so I hadn't met him yet. Its been nice to be away from my cancer routine. I felt pretty sick friday and saturday. I was able to notice how often I talk about all my body symptoms. Of coarse, Jody didn't mind hearing about them all. But I realized how good D is to listen constantly to all of them. Being a massage therapist I am pretty darn in touch with myself.
Speaking of changes, just as I was leaving on Friday I noticed as I was brushing my teeth that indeed my hair is growing back. For some reason eyelashes and brows are falling out, but hair on my head is growing back. Thrilling. I just can't wait be pretty again. Please don't post comments that I still am. Its just the fact that I don't have hair, that I think in my mind I have hair, until I see a picture of myself or see myself in the mirror. I just can't wait to be feminine in this way again.
Being around Jodys kids I realized how I have to protect my heart right now. Usually Sadie (she's 2) melts my heart and I love falling in love with her sweetness. But this time, I am faced with possibly not getting to have my own kids, and maybe kids at all, so I feel kindof like the grinch. Not the grinch as he is in the world, but the grinch right before his heart grew. As, its hard to be around the kids and not have it melt. But I'm just letting it melt a little. Otherwise, I just cry. And believe me, there have been a lot of tears since I've been here. Its just entirely sad to me that I am dealing with this.
I come back tomorrow, and can't wait to see D. I miss him so much and feel so lucky to have him through my side during all of this. Its been a lot for him and I. Hard to believe all the tough times we've had. You just don't know the kind of person you've married until you journeyed together through something like this.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Only 8 more left!

My counts were actually good yesterday. The girl (don't you love my split personalities) in me that wants to hide under a blanket on a warm beach somewhere, was hoping that my counts were too low and chemo was going to get cancelled. But they didn't. The athlete in me that said, "Yippee, one down! 8 more to go!! You can do this", won out. Last week counts were at 4, 800 this week 4,700. No big changes.
An odd thing happened and I got to tell you all about it. I can't remember if I ever talked about it but it is so icky that I am going to again.
Each week as I drive myself to chemo (I drive there, in preparation. I can and do, as much as I can. It helps me, and D drives me home) So. as I am driving I get the gear on. I never have told D this either and since he doesn't read this, he won't ever know : ) But I tell myself all the way there that I can and will make it through this in various forms. I am a huge high fiver, and I imagine giving myself from my different selves many of these. We can do this they say. I smear on black under my eyes and put on a jersey. This sounds so funny and am laughing to myself now, but I really do this. The black under the eyes is the funniest to me, but when I am behind the driver seat driving myself to chemo. This is always a serious part of my preparation.
I usually get a little nauseous waves through my body. It gets worst once I get to the cancer institute. The smells that I once thought were so fun, and new, and my little Tigger in me finding the J.J...JOY in it all has changed to Rabbit and disgust. I get there and ask for my little slip I give to the nurses that are going to access my port. They do this by putting a (very sterile process might I say, that is equally gross) needle into my port and then sealing it up. But what gags me out is all the cleaner and sterilizer stuff they use. I suck on any minty thing they give me and actually yesterdays Altoids Tangerine flavor helped. The grossesst part are the flushes they use before and after. The used to use the perservative filled Heperain and Saline. They push the Heperain in to keep the port (which is very very long and wraps around under my skin) tube clear and not blocked by blood, and the saline just flushes the meds through.
The Saline with perservatives smells and tastes instantly once its pushed through my port like a fruit basket in August that has fruit rotting in it. Just imagine. The Heperain smells like a Skunk. In the beginning I thought wow! Cool! How odd!! Bring it on. Now, it gives me full body shivers and I cannot use the perservative filled ones. I always ask for the "Freshy" ones. So, they the poor nurses have to go an extra couple steps for me. And make fresh ones that do not have the perservatives. I don't get any icky kickbacks and its not bad. Except all the sterilizer stuff.
They then take blood so check out my counts and send me on my merry way.

Okay, now you know what goes on with the port accessing stuff. Fun stuff. They give me a little slip of paper and then I wait in the lobby to see my Onc.

Now, I just have 8 more treatments. I have done exactly 8 total since yesterday. I am half way through with chemotherapy. Crazy. Yesterday I was mad at the world. I never act like this. But everything pissed me off. I said to my little angry self yesterday, "Heather, your the one that is going to change this day around. Why are you so angry? Everyone is upsetting you. What's going on?" And Heather said, "I am mad that I have cancer. As I sat in my little car, I cried. Just for about 30 seconds. But I cried. Didn't indulge. I acknowledge the Heather that was angry and sad and pissed off. I went on with my day and felt better. I guess what triggered it was I went on the Today Show webisite and took a dumb ass quiz that was labeled ARE YOU AT RISK OF BREAST CANCER? I took it. It said NO. YOU ARE A LOW RISK. Fucking dumb quiz. Misleading to all you ladies that have never had breast cancer, or at least knowingly and I felt like this test was actually doing a misservie. A miservice to those woman that are taking it that read my same results, but actually have breast cancer and their doctors have missed it like they missed mine and then these woman take a breath of fresh air and go on with the merry little lives. I got mad at statistics.

8 more to go!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Few I'm so hot..

These hot flashes are intense. I sleep with a thin sheet on. If the sheet goes above my shoulders for some reason it triggers a hot flash and then they all come off. Same with clothing. I wear tank tops under everything right now, so if I get too hot I just take the top layer off. My head gets sweaty all the time. It is amazing but when you have hair on your head you have no idea what your little scalp goes through in a day. I have gotten very intimate with the chemistry of my scalp!! My nose and throat symptoms came back this week, and am not sure if these are precursors to low blood counts. But I won't be surprised if my Onc says no to chemo today.
Yesterday was my first big day of real estate since I was diagnosed. I now have the energy and the full spirit to go gangbusters again with bells on. I am and have always been a firm believer that you must be passionate about what you do and love what you do . If you don't then its not worth it. And I love what I do again, so I had a great time yesterday.
Will keep you posted on whether or not I get to do chemo today. I hope so, because then I will only have 8 more weeks left!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pec mmls

I woke up at 2 AM in a panick. Now that I have moved forward in my healing, I am able to process some of what has happened to me. They say when you're done with all your treatments it is the hardest because of this reason. Anyhoo, so 2 AM came and I freaked out about the fact that the surgeon to get clear margins had to take some of my pectoralis muscle. How much, how close to my bones was it? My mind started racing and I started having a mock conversation with my Oncologist asking him to allow me to do radiation at the same time as chemo.
Of coarse, I can't do that. The breast cancer chemo is so severe that they don't let you do them at the same time. I have to have faith that its all going to be alright because I want to live. Shit! I want to live so badly. I just cannot believe that at 33 I am going through this. I have to stop my mind from worrying and just trust that everything is going to be Okay.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My sense of humor

Oh! Saturday night live is so funny. I watched this link at least five times this morning. Thought I'd share it with you all:


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cilantro pesto

I made a really yummy cilantro pasta today and am about to make some blueberry muffins. With chemo on Wednesday, my Saturdays seem to be the hardest day. I generally feel icky, like I have the flu. I know tomorrow will be a better day. It is hard for me to not do things on days like today. If I push myself to take a walk for instance I end up feeling worse so its better for me to just force myself to hang out around the house. I get to have spurts of feeling good and then I have to lay down for a bit.
Same Ol Same Ol, not much difference. I have only 9 more treatments of chemo left now. After this coming Wed. I will only have 8 more and that means only two months left. I can't wait to be done with this part.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Freaky hair thoughts

I think my hair is growing back. I'm not holding my breath but I think it might be. Since I never got the umph to shave my head, I have lots of hairs that are in every length imaginable on my head right now. Some are about a half inch to much smaller. I am not sure if the ones that are on my head are just leftovers of the ones that never fell out, or if there are some new ones. I am surprised to find that the hair that is on my head is blond and my head looks like a little babies. Fine whispy hairs. I notice how scratchy they are at night when my arms go above my head in my sleep.
Today I went out to Vashon and took a walk with an old friend and then visited yet another old friend. I feel pretty icky today so I've been taking the anti-nauseau pills. My finger nails are really starting to darken and hurt, typing isn't that easy right now. The cold crisp air allows me to be thankful that I am experiencing my menopausal symptoms this time of year.

I am finding writing this blog very interesting. There are those of you that have known me for years that really know me, there are those of you that don't know me at all except in passing and are getting to know me intimately, and then there are those of you that have recently gotten to know me and are getting to know me on a deeper level. What is interesting is the feedback I get from all of you. I hope you all understand on whatever level it is that you entered my life, and have been following my life the past few months that I have not changed. I am the Heather in every aspect, every ounce of my spirit that I was before cancer. All my thoughts are thoughts and beliefs and ways that I have processed all this heartache and grief, are ways that I have always coped with life and saw life. And those of you that have been in my life for years that truely know me know this. I think the one major change in my heart and mind is really a simple one. It is that I can be pushed and torn to a degree that I did not know was possible. And that is all. My whole life came tumbling down and crashed. I was never defeated. Although I spent about two months feeling that way. I was crushed. I was so sad and crushed and torn apart. At times it was not graceful. But those shards were and may never be graceful. They still poke and hurt.
Thank you all on whatever level of intimacy we know one another, thank you for your support.
I guess this blog reminds me of how we as Americans can project what we think of others and their lives and when you get to read something as personal as this journey of mine, you get to see who it is that I am. I have always been a fighter, have always been who I am. And that is why I am able to blog about this journey. To help (and it has and will continue to help) other ladies going through similar journeys. And for those of you lucky to not be stretched in this way, you too will be stretched in your own way. As we are here to grow and to go through painful things so that we see the beauty and the light and remember to appreciate the simple art of feeling our own lungs ebb and flow with our breath.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumkin pies and Fall

Fall is my favorite season by far. The past few days my friend Gen has been here from Toronto. Its been great having a friend around to make pies with and take really long walks with. But mainly just to talk. When I lived on Vashon I used to make pies almost everyday. There was a year there that I was learning how to make crusts and I'd make a pie a day and give it away. There are just so many pies you can personally eat without gaining weight. Gen's been making a lot of pies lately and she definetly has mastered the art of a pie crust. Flaky, moist, buttery...mmmm good. We took about a 5 or 6 mile walk and I felt awesome. That walk was Tuesday. My sore throat and nose are almost healed.

Yesterday she came with me to chemo, and gave D a break. My counts had almost doubled and so I now to get to that I have nine, count that 9 more chemo's left. I can't wait to be done. I am looking forward to the rains and taking have an excuse of weather to take life easy and eat lots of soup. It will be a good feeling to be done with my treatments at the beginning of Spring when things start to grow. I wonder if the frogs will start their chorus of songs on Vashon in unison with my celebrations of being done with all this.

I am feeling good today so far. I just can't sleep because of those darn steroids.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where did the weekend go?

I can't believe its already Sunday night. I had a blast this weekend. In fact, I can't remember a weekend that I had this much fun. Today I met my friend Sarah (long time friend from Vashon) and we walked all around the Arboretum. For those of you that don't live in Seattle, it is one of the most beautiful parks here in the city. WIth the fall leaves at their peak I had sensory overload. She reminded me to put myself first and again, I was reminded of the foremost lesson that "cancer" is/has taught me. I need to put Heather first.
Why is it that woman tend to think of their mates/children first, putting off their needs and desires for the greater good. When the greater good often gets neglected in return. I had a great weekend because I put Heather first all weekend, as I have been doing on a much smaller scale since I got diagnosed.
I miss living on Vashon. When I am out there my community is around me at every turn in the road. Literally, it is. I get to say Hello to the folks crossing in the streets. I miss that to the core of my spirit. Taking walks out there I can hear, actually hear the rustle of the leaves and the distant eagle chirping. These are sounds in the city that get eaten up by the roar and vibrant beat of all the people.

I spent all day yesterday out on the island. I had lunch and dinner with friends and in between took a long long walk all by myself. This used to be a daily routine. I can't wait to live out there again. Life is just simpler out there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Letting go

I realized that my chemo getting cancelled didn't effect me the way it did last time. I was so freaked out last time. Freaked out because I was skipping a treatment. Freaked out because I was supposed to do one. This time, I think I can see my growth as a person, in a big way. I have really learned to let go. It really doesn't matter either way. I can only do what I can do, and that is it. So, I'm patting myself on the back. As today, I was reflecting and realized this. Maybe what my Dad has been saying to me my entire life is starting to become actualized. "Why stress over the things you have no control of, Heather?" Well Dad, even though your not reading this because, it chokes you up to much, I'm starting to learn what you mean(t).

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I am not a doctor, but this whole thing make me think I know just enough to make me lethal to myself. Haha. But seriously, I think that I don't have a sore throat from a cold but from a real life sore. It hasn't gotten better in over two weeks, and has even gotten worse. Drinking water (still tastes like poison) absolutely brings a grimace to my face. It hurts so bad. My doctor said I don't have an infection in my sinus and that its just a sore caused my the chemo. So..that made me think today after I could barely swollow water and thought, hey! Maybe its a sore. It hurts to breath because the sore in my throat gets aggravated. So...maybe I have a cold because my counts are too low or maybe I have a real life sore because my counts are too low and the chemo is attacking my mucusy areas. Oh! fun. I just hope that it heals this week now that I have a week off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chemo cancelled #2

Shockingly, my chemo got cancelled not just for a day or two but for a whole week. I feel good, despite the bloody nose and numb tongue thing. My counts are way too low to risk doing a session this week so YIPPEE I have a week off. Last time this happened I didn't get to enjoy it because I had a really bad case of cellulitis. But this week, IT'S A PARTY...starting with tonights debate and then followed with ( I wish a cupcake ) a nice dinner and a week of.... a 35 hour class I've been putting off all year. Really though, I am very very excited for my P*A*R*T*Y!! Yippee!! What will I do with myself? Cartwheels down the middle of the street? A little Yodeling to poor D? Who knows? But its a Party at our house this week. For sure.

Oh, the doc said the bloody nose is from the chemo. No big deal.


After today, I have 9 more to go! I am so excited to be done with this journey. I have had a headache for three days, a bloody nose for three days, and I can't wait to see my doc today to talk to him about my side effects. Not a constant bloody nose, like if you got hit in the nose, but a bloody nose that is a slow drip. I know, I know, disgusting. I almost didn't put this icky side effect in, but I thought in light of the current approaching holiday, I thought I'd put it in.
Yep, 9 more to go and then I have three blessed weeks off and then I start radiation. I have a wonderful spring to look forward to. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Numb things

The past two weeks I have been fighting a cold. I think if I wasn't doing chemo, I wouldn't have a sore throat. Its not getting any worse or any better just staying as a sore throat. Mentally I am so thankful that this new chemo, Taxotere isn't taking its toll. I can think and so I can work, which gives me time to not think about me. I have a few odd side effects. The most noticeable is that my tongue is numb, except for the very center of it. The other thing is that my fingers especially the tips of them feel weird. They don't hurt, they just feel kindof numb but not numb.
My friend Gen is coming here next Monday and I'm excited to see her. I cancelled my sis coming back this week because I am not sick like I was on the AC. I don't need someone taking care of me and helping D out. Not much to say. I am not really letting myself think to deeply right now like I was in the beginning. I feel like I am in the middle of a race right now and I am just trying to get through this. Day by Day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lots of food

This past month we've had people bringing food twice a week and it has really helped. Its such a big deal to except this gesture to me. The fact that we need help right now and that this is the most nurturing form of help we get. Simply not having to deal with figuring what to cook but to just go to the fridge and and grab dinner is a blessing. So thank you to all you angels that have been helping us.
I have fleeting worries that the cancer will come back. I guess this is normal. Today it happened. I was standing at the kitchen sink gazing out at the back yard and noticing all the fall color. And the terror of the thought that what if it comes back. I hate all the stats that say 5 or 10 years after treatment the person is still cancer free. Well, I am only 33 and 5 or 10 years is nothing. I wouldn't even be 50 by then. I have to admit that I am freaked out about it. Not that I am dwelling just that I have to acknowledge the possibility. Its kindof like those of you that have been in a bad car accident and as your the passenger in the car the driver makes you scared for your life. You've been through a horrible experience and your body is warning you of danger. Not impending danger, just danger. This is how it feels. My body is scared to go through this again. Not that I feel that I will have to, but I am scared. And honestly, I still cannot believe that that little bump in my boob was a tumor.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A little whoozie

I haven't felt that great today. I was hoping to go for a bike ride, but instead needed to take a nap and relax. I made a chicken soup and biscuits. My first buttermilk biscuits ever. They turned out really yummy. Not much to say other than I am just getting through the day by knowing that tomorrow I will feel better. At least I hope I do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Senior moments

This week I have had a few funny senior moments. Last night as D and I got ready for bed, I realized that yesterday was Thursday and not Friday. The funny thing is is that yesterday I cancelled massages that I didn't even have scheduled. They were for today. My sweet client didn't say anything and just let me cancel. I don't know if I am explaining this well but today I felt well enough to do the massages, after all. My thing is that I feel nauseous if I don't take my med's and I simply forget to take them. I don't like to take them, and so I think I just put it out of my mind as an option. But today, I have stayed up on them and I feel much better.
I officially have gained ten pounds. I think I will be able to loose them now that I am not eating 24 hours a day. That waking up and eating every few hours was rough. Now that I am not on all the steroids I am hoping that the weight comes off. Not much else to say. I have 2 1/2 more months left of chemo. I am almost done!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feeling Icky

Today was a good day. I went grocery shopping and layed around most of the day. I made zucchini muffins. My first baking experiment with agave nectar. They turned out incredible and very tasty. Didn't miss the sugar at all and they didn't have a weird taste to them, like using Stevia. As the day progressed I started turning bright red again, my cheeks are burning in fact. And I feel like I have the flu. Hopefully tomorrow is a good day. My mother in law came down for the day and it was nice to have someone around giving my love pats.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I realized just before I left for my chemo that I had totally forgotten last night and this morning to take my steroids. I guess, I conveinently forgot them! I called my doc and the nurse checked with him. She left it that if he was going to cancel my appointment she'd call me back. Well.....I forgot about that too, and went up to my appoinment without my phone. As I sat in my doctors appointment and told him about all my side effects, he said, well...we cancelled your appointment but since your having a hard time on the steroids, lets just try it out today. I luckily got to take my appointment today and luckily had no allergic reactions. So that means, that next time I don't have to take any steroids!! They just pump me full of the daily max amount at my appointment. Yippee!!
I feel whoozie and icky and just ate a great dinner.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Glorious Fall Day

I had an incredible day today. I did a little real estate in the morning, (found an awesome house for some buyers) and then hit the ferry dock! I got out to Vashon island just before the Burton coffee stand closed, got a latte and took a walk around the Burton loop. Its exactly three miles if you park down at the stand. In the past, I usually run from this point. But today, I was just really happy to feel like I was healthy enough and not sick to my stomach to take a fast paced stroll. Walking up the first hill, I kept my eyes high in the sky. The wind from last nights storm was still swooshing around the trees and I was filled with such delight as I felt this breeze whip around my body. I felt embraced by the smell of the needles on the moist ground and felt warmed by the cool wind. I felt my leg muscles lengthening as I took long strides and honestly was shocked that at the end of the walk my muscles felt like I had a good workout. This laying around is starting to take a toll on my body.
I went to the old SBC store and sat and read a book for a few hours before I did a couple massages. I feel really really good right now. Being out on Vashon and being held by community at every turn in the day was a blessing. I always say a little prayer when I go out there. I say, " Please bring whomever I am to see today into my path." Maybe just having the open heart to talk and be present with whoever I run into, opens me to seeing everyone. I always appreciate the spontaneity of this prayer. I usually never call a friend and suggest to hang out. I have so many friends out there, that I just like to bop into people, here there and everywhere. Chemo is tomorrow and I have the strength to do it again because of the smells I have in my memory from my magnificent little isle of love.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The M word

I have to admit to myself how utterly sad and scared I am of the M word. The menopause word. My oncologist told me I had a 50/50 chance of coming out of it when I am all done, if I went into it. All I can think about it my darn Vedic Astrologer telling me earlier in the year that my time to have kids was limited. Of coarse, he didn't mention to me my cancer or anything life changing like that. So, maybe he is wrong. And maybe I do have the 50% chance of getting my moon back, and even if I don't I do have those 4 eggs that I can use still. But I am still really sad. Its silly of me to be strong and try to not think about it.
What am I thinking? Just the fact that for the first time since I was 13, my body is having such a hard time that its shutting down. That in and of itself is sad. My poor little ovaries, full of toxins. My tongue feels numb, my fingers and toes are starting to feel numb, and my stomach feels constantly irritated. Poor little body. And yes, I can feel sad. And of coarse I can get worked up over this and start pulling the tissues, or I can wait and cross my fingers and hope that I get it back. Think of my bones if I go into menopause this early!
In the beginning when my Onc was telling me all the possible things that could happen I just heard them with one ear, took notes with one hand, and then let them all pass through me. Trying to not hold on to anything as a concrete possibility. But now that I have actual side effects showing up it makes all the things he said a little truer and scarier. I tried to be so healthy. I ate right, I thought right, I had lots of fun, and I am still where I am today. Crapshoot, crapshoot, crapshoot. And so, sad for a mintue. Break my heart sad, and I will have to save my mourning till later. A later date. A date, when I know for certain that I need to be mourning something. As right now, Heather!! You have to remember that I have a 50% chance of having a normal body back! Right! I need to walk through my days with this thought. This reality, or its going to be too painful. It will take away from my strength that I need to make it through this.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall walks

Last time my sis was here, I really liked to eat Pho after chemo. Now, just her mentioning that she wanted to go there made me sick to stomach. Mouth watering, ick! I have to be careful, because many things I have eaten during chemo I can no longer even think about. Gatorade for one. Yhew!!! Chicken noodle soup. Disgusting... I think you got the point, I won't keep making myself sick. So for those of you just starting chemo, stay away from things that you like to eat.
Today, she brought us to Indian food for lunch and then she hit the road back to Eugene. It was nice to have her here for a day. I really am doing okay, so I told her to go be with her husband. Today I am doing good. Yesterday, for some reason was a really icky day. I kept feeling like I was going to throw up and I kept hugging the toilet bowl, and nothing would happen. Anytime I stood up for a period of time, I would feel like this..so I forced myself to lay around, and hold hands with my sis.
When wendy left, D and I drove to the Arboretum and took a walk. What a beautiful park it is! We kissed under a group of cedar trees and talked about what a stressful time it is for us. He said, 'Luckily we have each other to go through this together.' I agreed. We get to do all the stressful things at once, this year. Have a house on the market, and cancer. Awesome time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I can't believe it..

I really can't believe that yesterday I learned that in fact what I am experiencing is a freakin' Hot Flash. My friend Debbie, let me know that yes, the sweaty head and neck is a common symptom. Oh, great! I know I skipped a period, and I am really hot all the time. Like when I am sleeping. I can't sleep with any covers on me and throughout the day, I just get super clammy feeling on my head and neck. I am praying and I mean, seriously praying that these hot flashes go away and my period returns when I am all done with my treatment. If not, I am going to be really really sad. I know I have those eggs in the freezer, but I didn't want to have to use them. I really just want to have a family without any help. I can, worse case scenario, still get pregnant with those eggs even if I am in menopause. Sad. So sad, that I can't even spend time right now thinking about it too much.

My sister is coming down this weekend. I got pretty sick last night. And this morning, I realized my throat is pretty sore. I hope I don't get a cold. I don't have much to say. I was doing really good, but it takes a lot to stay chipper and happy right now. I have never danced this often on the edge of depression. I have so many things that are and have happened and I just have to force myself to push them aside as I have no idea how and if my body will bounce back from all this toxic crap.

I still cannot believe that I GOT BREAST CANCER. Its gone now. The surgeon pulled it out, but still. Its hard to wrap my brain around it.

Friday, October 3, 2008


No laughing last night. She did okay.

I am doing okay. I just can't believe it. I am going to do a few massages today and see if I am really doing as well as I think I am. Doing massage is always the ultimate test. I have not been sleeping through the night. The steroids keep me up. Its pretty crazy, I haven't taken them since Wednesday and they are still in my system. Last night, D said, " Wow! You are bright red." And I was. My face and my chest. Red as Rudolph's nose. I have been eating lots of egg on english muffin lately. I get really severe leg cramps if I miss having a banana a day. I drink plenty of water, so I know I am not dehydrated. I can't bring myself to drink regular water. But Pelligrino I can handle. I think its the minerals and the bubbles. MMM...water that tastes good. I am hoping that I can start exercising a few days a week. I'd like to start running again. I still haven't shaved my head. Its partly me being lazy and partly me not wanting to get rid of the only hair I have. I like referring to my wispy hairs as My Hair. Even though it makes D laugh. But it is my hair.

I miss my hair. I miss being in shape. I miss feeling healthy. I miss not having an achy body. I miss being busy like the tasmanian devil. I miss having a sound mind that everything is going to be okay. I miss having that confidence.