Thursday, July 31, 2008

Simple Things

I didn't sleep again last night. I am full of anxiety and worries. This is getting annoying. I am a big sleeper. Like big, in that if I don't get at least 8-10 hours of sleep, now this was pre-cancer, I would get flu like symptoms. This has been how my body has been my entire life. Now, I get about 3-6 hours of sleep. Last night, I fell asleep around 11 and woke up at 4. I just didn't feel good. Hard to explain other than my body didn't feel right. I went downstairs and just sat looking at my newly remodeled kitchen and just sat and looked at how beautiful it is. I got bored doing that after a half hour or so, so I started cleaning. I mopped all the floors in the house and ate two bowels of yogurt. I fell back to sleep for a few hours and woke up feeling great.
D reminded me this morning that for the past three days, I've said, "I finally feel back to normal." I tried explaining, but soon realized that I am simply up against my competitive nature. I'll explain in a bit.
So, I woke up and went grocery shopping. Yippee! Fun, fun, fun. Its is the small things in life that make me happy now. I mean, I can drive, and feel like I will get there safely now! That is a big accomplishment. I drove to get our mail, and went to PCC. I had our 2 ten gallon jugs of H2O to fill. By the time I wove that cart around through the aisles with those jugs full, I could barely walk out to the car. Normally I would be embaressed that I had to ask for help, but today I simply didn't care. They got me out of there, and I could barely walk up the stairs. We have a lot of them. I can't wait till the garage is all done, and then I can just park in the back and walk right into the house. Anyways, so I layed in bed resting for about an hour and just went downstairs and made lunch for D and I. I feel a bit lucid and a bit foggy, but I put on my shoes to mow the lawn next door. I am very independent and because of this it was hard to listen to D. But he nicely put his foot down and said that he wasn't going to let me do that. Damn it! I reluctantly agreed with him that I keep getting bouts of energy and then I do something that wipes me out. He asked me to take one more day to just lay around and watch TV. Okay, so I am in bed now watching Ellen Degenres, and laughing. I am going to wait another day to start doing massages.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Got my mind back

Today was a good day finally. I must say, that yesterday was not day 6, it was day 5. Today was day 6. I am counting the days this way because I am getting my treatments in the early evening.
I met a new friend today, she is a BC survivor of four years now. She came and picked me up, and we went up to the bakery. It was so good to get out of the house, and talk with someone. My brain wasn't working that great in the morning and she understood. In fact, she understood everything I was feeling and thinking. I was able to share with her fears of mine. One fear, was that I wouldn't ever "feel" normal during any of this, so for four months. I am very in tune with my body and because of this I can really feel all the drugs in my system. When I was talking to her about this, my oncology nurse called. I talked to the nurse about my fear and that I still didn't feel safe driving a car. My motor skills didn't feel like they had kicked in yet. My new friend, Sandi said that I probably won't feel "normal" during this entire treatment. I realize that I just have to surrender to that.
After about an hour of visiting, I got extremely tired and had to go home. I slept for a few hours and woke up to a clear head. I felt so good, that I booked a massage to do this evening (I just did it and feel okay). I knew I could do the massage, I just wasn't sure if I could drive there. I feel high, or drugged, up until this afternoon. So, to my surprise, I woke up feeling good and just did the massage. I need to do massages as much as I can right now because it is a meditation for me and it helps me to not think about having cancer for an hour. Plus, I love my clients and i love what I do, so that makes all the difference in the world.

As you can probably tell, I am still not writing up to the way that I like to. I am in bed now, not feeling that great. I may take a nausea medicine here in a bit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What started great..

Today, was not a good day after all. I called a family member today, a few of them and cried. Today is day 6. I was hoping to go to Costco, maybe even mow the lawn for a bit of exercise, (it rained so I couldn't anyways) and by 10 am I was flat on my back, in bed. I woke up feeling great, I started organizing the kitchen and by 10, I suddenly felt nauseous and faint. Seriously, sick. I layed in bed for a few hours, slept, and tried to go back at the kitchen. Same thing. I reluctantly ignored D's suggestion that I should take the anti-nausea med's. I felt like I was being weak if I needed it. So, when it hit me again, I called the doctor's office. Sure enough, I was supposed to take the medicine, wait a half hour to eat, and then that is what I did for the rest of the day. I ate. I was hit by insanely intense food cravings. At one point, I asked D to stop working and drive me up to the bakery because I had to have a muffin. My guts felt like they were going to come screaming out of me if I didn't have one right then. The trip to the bakery was insane. Being in public, I realized how not well I am yet. Or should I say, I could feel the poison in me still working its way out of me.
For the whole day, I layed in bed, and drank lots of salty things, as this is what the nurse said I probably needed. I did feel better, but not even 90% yet. I was sad about that. I really wanted to be better today. The nurse reminded me again today, that I need to not compare my body with anybody elses, and I need to not compare my treatments with one another. They all could be different.

Yogurt and my meanderings

Okay, I can finally say it, " I made it thru my first chemo treatment." I am really done. Last night, though the heartburn was severe, I slept every couple hours. Then I would wake up and have a huge bowl of Nancys Lowfat Plain Yogurt. The chemo's new second food must have. I think I ate three huge bowls, or was that four? All I know is that I bought a big one, the biggest one they make yesterday and I ate half of it last night. It was the only thing that soothed my stomach. I slept. That is huge. I thought, as I can still feel the steroid's or, maybe its just the anxities of going through this treatment.
This disease is teaching me many things. One of the big ones is compassion. Not that I wasn't a compassionate person before but because I see the fragility of who we all are. I knew that we are all trying our hardest and trying to be the best we can, but now I don't feel the judgement that was there before. I have an exceptance in a more universal way. The second biggy is a fact. I am learning to surrender. That though, the "normal" Heather, or the Heather that has died in the past few months, once believed she was God. I truely did, guys. I thought I 100% was what I believed, projected, willed, everything, you name it, I believed that I could actually shift anything if I believed in it enough. But what I am learning through surrendering, is that I do not have control over anything (oh, please spare me the attitude one, I know that-I say that with a smirk) and the old "God" that I thought I once was/is/have been~because I was once a this, I is now gone. In its place in me learning to be okay with the unknown. There could rest fear in this place, but I have to disregard it. I have to push it aside. I have to trust in the winds of change, or spirit, or allah, or jesus, whatever we "cope" with by calling on the greater, I have to trust that everything is going to be alright. And for the first time in my life, not just because I feel like its me that is projecting on itself. Me, the all knowing manifester~ smirking again.
So, yes, I have to surrender, and trust, and have more compassion ALL for myself during this time, which in and of itself is teaching me to open my spirit like a lotus blossom and just love.
This is incredibly painful to me. I feel a sense of death to the young superwoman that flew in all her glory. I feel an age of understanding that my Dad, would have hoped I wouldn't see for twenty more years. But, for some reason the winds brought these lessons to me this summer, and I get to be a better person sooner, than I had thought in my all knowing, was due me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Holy Mollie

I called my oncologist today because I have had severe heartburn, and I haven't been able to sleep. Luckily, I asked why I needed to keep taking the steroid that I've been taking three times a day, so every 8 hours. The nurse, acted shocked and said, "Well, generally you only take it for three days. The first day, you take three, the second day you take 2, and then the third day, only 1." She checked with my doctor and indeed the bottle is wrong, and the chemo nurse that sent me home with the medications was wrong in directing D and G. So, I have been hoppped up on steroids and not able to sleep and the nurse thinks my heartburn has been so bad because of the steroids. So..good news, no more meds.
The only bummer thing is now, that my body has been on such a high dose for 5 days, that I may have a steroid crash they said for today and tomorrow (body sore, and really tired). This is a little frustrating to D and G, but to me, it doesn't really matter. I know in my normal world, I'd probably be pissed right now. But, to me I have to just surrender to so much right now, and all if it doesn't make sense to me. The fact that I have been overdosing on steroids the past few days, is a small deal compared to it all.

What rabbit hole was that?

I can't sleep again. I keep waking up to eat TUMS, and drink water, which leads to the inevitable and I thought I'd just type a bit. First of all, there are heros each and everyday that appear and help D and I in various ways. But yesterday, our family was really really blessed by many acts of supreme kindness. I need to call these folks out into the middle of the circle and say thank you for supporting us in such an incredible way. FIrst of all D's Dad, Roger and Brother Kale, Thank You two for taking the time and energy and pain in the ass, that moving is out of your day to help D move all of the staging furniture (packing and loading it) into a u-haul, then driving it down from Lynden yesterday, to move it all into our house, and then you moved all of our furniture from our downstairs MIL, into the main house. I won't go into how much this time was good for D, but for me, it was not just about moving our stuff. Being as vulnerable as you can with family is always powerful. Thank You. These words just don't say what I mean, and that is frustrating.
Maryam, thank you for being a gentle spirit in my morning yesterday. You tender touch of your hands on my shoulder reassured me that I was not alone, and your support helped me feel my own strength that this was just passing, and I was going to get through this.
Tamara, thank you for sitting with me for a huge portion of the day. You gave me the energy to watch 3 movies, and you waited on me like a momma bear. I really needed the time to just not have to get up and "DO" anything. WIth all the chaos of the move, you helped me remember that it wasn't my job right now to help anybody, but myself.
Ann Leda, thank you for making a special trip to my house to give me an acupuncture journey. I don't need to say anything else here, you know how special you are to me, and what it meant that you came.

So, now to the rabbit hole.. What the hell?? I cannot for the life of me remember what I just went through, except for yesterday. So, from Wednesday to Saturday, one big blur. I vaguely remember visiting a cedar tree with Gen, Gen washing and washing, and washing some more dishes, Gen making me egg on top of toast over and over and over again, and not a lot else. D asked me how I felt, is it kindof like the flu? I said no way. He asked, "If I woke up feeling like this what would I do." I said, "I'd have you take me to the emergency room." My soul was sucked from me, it felt like. The Adriamycin or the Cytocxtan, who knows which evil but my 33 year old body feels like a 76 year old women. I walk in a shuffled gait, I am out of breath by walking a few paces, my body aches in a way that I tried to describe a few days ago, words just do not capture how it is that I feel. Or they do, and I am just to brain dead still to think of a poetic way to explain to you all, how intimately my body has been held captive by poison. Someone asked me why I wasn't happier finding out I was a Stage 1, instead of a 2. Because, I am 33 years old, and I have Breast Cancer. That is why. Because I knew I had 12 treatments of Chemotherapy ahead of me. Today, I have something to be VERY happy about, I am done with number 1, and I have only 11 chemo treatments left!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quick before I change!

I am wide awake. Full of various chemo anxietities and a new burning sensation, heart burn! I thought I'd write know, just in case in the morning I feel like crap again. I think I feel like Heather, at least I do right now. The waves are intense. The pain is horrible. I am not wanting to mince words and i am sure you're all glad I am not. It hurts down to my core. Last night I asked G, if she could feel me shaking. She wrapped her arms around my stomach and said, No. But then I placed her hands on my leg and then she could feel it. It is like the booster shot, is taking grab of my femur, tibia, and ulna bones and just shaking them. The shake goes up into my stomach were it circles around my sacrum and radiates out and around my hip bones. Incredible uncomfortable. For the Julie, that commented the other day, child birth is a breeze after chemo, thank you for saying that. I can, and will get through this.
Yesterday, I had a bit of a cry with G and D outside, on our new beautiful patio. I just cried and cried. Not so much Why me? But How Me? What could I have done differently? Why not a coach potatoe? Why not, okay, yes, there was some Why Me, mixed in there. I just don't want to be spending my summer doing this. Treatment for six months, it is so wrong. Soooo, I cried, they listened, and they pulled me out of the mud and gave me a pep talk, both of them. One would let me get down, the other would pick me up, and then they would change. Tomorrow D, is heading up north to get all of our staging furniture for the house. His Dad, Roger and brother Kale will help him move all the stuff down here, and then spend the day setting up the house! Thanks you guys!! We wouldn't be able to have gotten this all together if it wasn't for you.
I will have two babysitters. I cannot be left alone yet. My day yesterday, but mainly my brain is simply not working. Or at least it wasn't about 3 hours ago. Now, 1 am, here you are and my brain is working and there is a hunger that is unquenchable. The steroids they give you for anti-nausea are, "Eat NOW!! You ARE HUNGRY!! ORR...Your Going TO VOMIT." So, I eat. Usually the egg and toast, with Wildwood Aioli sauce, but right now I am sipping on some very bland, delicious I might ad, veggie soup. All the veggies are from my friend Dave's Organic farm, in Eugene. The difference between fresh produce and store bought is huge!!
So, in a few hours my friend, Maryam from work, is coming over to watch me in the morning, as G has to leave back to Toronto. And then my other Tamara, is coming from 12-5. Then my old time friend Ann Leda an Acupuncturist is making a house call to me to give me a very needed treatment. The other day, my also very old friend Lyn Solander, gave me a massage I think the day before Chemo. It is all a blur now, as I am a wreck. A very tired wreck. If I go back into bed, I will just lay there, tossing and turning and THINKING! This sucks. Off to check email. Read the paper. Who knows. Hopefully I'll be a easy baby to watch tomorrow guys. I am not getting that much sleep, about three hours worth. Maybe I'll just sleep right through.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Today is a Oozy

I didn't sleep well last night at all. i was so anxious about little things. I do not have the mind control I once had of being able to let go of things right now. The chemo has just taken over my mind. I worry about our move upstairs and I worry about nonsensical things like a bad dream about my friend Gen and I just can't sleep. That is what one of the chemo drugs is for. I took it twice last night, at the intervalled times I could. I woke up feeling pretty bad and gen and I tried to walk to the beach but I didn't make it back up the hill without calling D to get us. I kept walking into branches and scratching my face because I can't see that well right now. I called it my Pheriphreal Village on accident. The typos are driving me crazy, sorry. I just don't have the energy or brain power right now to fix them. I have been in bed basically all day now since the walk. It took too much out of me. The only thing that sounds good to me to eat is a fried egg on top of a toasted piece of bread. MMmmm... Delicious. G keeps making me smoothies and ginger tea. We are going to watch Nacho Libre a little later today, so that we can laugh a little. That movie still gets to me

Meds and more meds

My very nice Oncology nurse said to me the other day, " Heather, you just have to let go of the alnertavive way in you go while you are doing this chemo. You need to stay up on the meds, you need to take them." I have found this to be true. No waiting, to see how badly I need them, because badly is going to come, and it is going to come rolling at m like a frieght train, a black one at that. I have med's that I have to take that make me unable to drive, to keep my nausea down, and that make it very hard for me to type and to read, or even watch TV. My eyes are pretty blury. This is a close second to the overall jest of not feeling well and achy. I am hoping today is a better day. We will just have to see. Everyday, I have walked with Gen down to the beach,sat and watched the ferries leave Vashon Island and then walk back up the hill.
Yesterday, I had to water a cedar tree, on my own accord. There was nothing I could do. I tired to get deep into the tree, but I am on so many med's right now, and drinking so much water (tons and tons) that if I did get caught, I would have first of all looked ill and very believable and secondly my excuse would have worked. If none of those worked, I am a girl. : )
As we sat yesterday, on one of our walks. One walk we drove down to Alki. We took a break on one of the benches and talked about coping. I am ready to come back to the copying side of life again. Copying, as in letting, and allowing myself to believe, and fall into what we as humans do. We use our various stretched out, enlightening, purpose filled, you got my picture reasons why and how life is so hard and how we get through it. I am ready to fall back into this. However much, getting a life threatening disease took this from me for almost two months. More acutely just being faces with my own mortality on such a deep and devastating level. I think its fair to start trusting in "things" again. We all have them. It is what makes us get up on the right side of the bed. Taking another med, so that I can get some sleep and deal with the nausea. I have to wake up, eat my new favorite bland meal of egg on toasted toast, and go back to sleep. Or is that, lay in bed and wait for the medicine to put me to sleep. This is all so foreign!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A few words and typos's

A few words to describe how my third day is, CRAPPY. Yesterday was horrible, we ended up needing to go see the doc and get an IV of new meds, I slept great!! I woke up at 7 feeling sick and puky again. I cannot spend too muhc time on how incredible D and my friend G are being. G told me today to stop thanking her after everything. I get to relax in recieiving. I had to go to the surgeions office today. which took all my strength to muster up to get in the car and get droven there. I am taking meds that doen'st allow me to drive. Sorry for all the typo's. I see them, I just don't want to fix them. My right breast, the one with the tumor is bright red. So, I had to drop everything and go in there. He drew a black line around my breast makring the area he doesn't want to see the reddness go out of. He doesn't know if I have an infection or if I have developed(ing) lymphadema in the breast. So, I am on antibotics for a week four times a day.

Not much to say. And too much to say. I feel like crap. I am trying to learn the nausea med's and the scheduling for my body. The iniatl ones were not strong enough. So, now I htink we got the right ones. My goal is to walk down to the beach today again, even if it takes me an hour.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Spa on The Chemo Floor

AS we drove to The Swedish Cancer Institue, I sue was emotional. I would cry and then be fine, but mainly I was anxious. I had read so much, to prepare me for my sessions. I am glad did because then I know the big the bad and the ugly. And yesterday it was all about the biggness of the expereience instead of anything ugly. In fact it was terrific! We went in to visit my my Onc just to talk to him about all my fears, reality, pressures, and how D has been feeling, kindof getting us insnyc again, with the Narcissisum Breast Cacner is, it is all about me and my care. This and that is what she will need if everything goes well, well as excpected. But if not, this is what you can expect to help her with. A very needed conversation.
After that we went to the pharmacy within in the building to get my chemo anti-nauseau med's. These drugs are not cheap! The are almost 500$ a month. Insurance only covers the ones that are generic, so I have prada sytled drugs in my body. I love it.

We then were ushered into the chemo area, and told that all the rooms were taken. The place they brought us to was perfect, it felt like a room too. Very private, we couldn't hear other people around us. I had 2 great nurses, and at one point 4 in my room. I was good to go with my port being accessed. In a bizarre way it felt good. I have been so gentile with it over this time and D gets queezie thinking of touching it. So, to have someone that knows how to firmly touch it, the port was in heaven. So, the port was accesssed and they starting pumping all the anit-nausea med's in me for a few hours. Then came the big guns. The Adrimayicin came in two giganict seryinges. It was read, and made my urine reddish orange right away, and still this moring. As my nurse was putting the AC in me, in an untouchable place (within the port site) it was burning me. I am very sensitive, and I am VERY intune with my body (except knowing if I had cancer) but I was being, if you can use the gentle word, gently burned. She called in a few other nurses and thye ended up just agreeing with me that I am sensitve. They have not known anyone that has been able to feel the AC before. I told them, look see if its in my head, I will close my eyes and look the other way and do it off and on. But still, it was the case. I felt it.

The room was fantastic. D, sat and talked with me whenever I felt like i needed to, otherwise he watched a movie on his laptop. I had an old friends healing music playing in my ears as I leafed through my book of healing collages. I was there with the support I needed from D, but then in my ears my music helped me drift into a deep healing place for me and process and cry and know that I am finally killing those cancer cells in my body.

Last night I felt really wobbly coming home, but good enough to take a walk with one of my best friend's Gen. D stayed home, and we slowly wound our way down to the beach. We got down there just when the sun was setting, sat at a bench and we reminicesnt of old days and our freewheelin' girl days. We had a lot of fun together. By the time we walked up the hills to home, every cell in my body felt as if I had run a marathon. I barely got myself up the stairs to get inside, but I did. I can't remember the rest of the evening. I think Gen made us some really yummy food, and then I took more anti-nausea med's and went to bed. Gen came in there and told me stories of us until I feel asleep.

I woke up around 2 or 3 feeling sick, so D got me my zolofron, and I drank it down. Went back to sleep. This morning, I took all my med's again, as I am not feeling good. I cannot lift a water bottle, there are probably lots of typing errors and it is just because its hard to type when your laying flat My head is pounding, but this isn't that bad. I feel pretty crappy, but not super crappy. So, I am happy about that. Mostly happy that D isn't getting overwhelmed, with needing to lay in bed with me. Gen is here, and D can go about business on the house and go grab straws from store, ect. He has me all organized that that is helpful. Gen is here, she said that I can just order her around to get me water, ect. I feel extremely blessed that I have this support today.

This whole thing is and has to be about me. Me getting better, everything. A very very very strange concept for me. As my entire life, I have always put everyone else first. Gotta go feeling like puking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Almost ready to JUMP!!

I feel the past week or so that I have been on the edge of a giant mountain, with my toes curled around the edges of the earth. I have been looking down and noticing how far down it is, so far that I cannot see the bottom. I see giant boulders that I may strike and I don't let myself spend too much time thinking how much it will hurt when I hit them as I tumble into the abyss. I see clumps of grass that I am hoping to land in and that is my journey I am faced with with starting chemotherapy today. Hard to believe.
I think back on the first week or two that I was diagnosed and I have moved on from that numb place of shock. I am able to believe that I have cancer, but somehow my mind has made it just what IS now, instead of the big bad monster that word con notates. It helps me when I want to relate to the bigness that cancer is is if I think of a dear friend, or my sister having it. Many emotions than arise, but if I bring it back to me, I am just going through the motions.
I have absolutely no idea how today will be. Down to the simplest unknown of how they will access my port. I wonder if my skin will make a popping noise as its accessed or maybe not. I wonder if the chemo will come in one of those cylinders that the radiation for my various scans came in. Or will it be a simple IV. I don't know if I will be ravenous coming out of the treatment or if I will have the 'metal' taste in my mouth that everyone mentions.
I ate a big breakfast today, and am filling in this morning at my real esate business since the secretary is out of town. I thought it would be better, however crazy it is, that I work here today until around 1, instead of sitting at home worrying. Well, it doesn't really help. I am at the office, still worrying, because Cancer is Always WITH ME. It is all consuming. Some of you that don't understand this will think, "jes, move on think of something else." I am sure there are those of you out there. This is the first time in my life that it is impossible for me to seperate myself from my disease. Maybe it is because I have never had a disease before. Maybe like a woman that has not had a child before. She thinks she will act in a way for this particular event or if this or that happened. But then, she becomes a mom and finds that she acts totally different. And then there are the mom's that get to have a few kids. And again, she finds herself doing something she never thought she would.

So, today, at 2:20 I check in for my first chemo. Something I never thought I would do. Funny, the day I got diagnosed, as D and I drove to the hospital I told him, " Okay, I am going to treat this totally alternatively, this is my body and I don't want you to tell me that you think that I shouldn't be doing what I am going to do. I am going to drink mothers milk (as this in Europe has been effective for treating many cancers), and I am going to treat myself alternatively." He was so sweet, to agree with this request. By the time I left the doctor's office, I realized that my cancer if treated JUST alternatively would very much be sealing my envelope of death. So, here I go. Into a zone that I never thought in a million years I would be entering and I am nervous, excited to start killing the cancer that is floating in my body, and anxious. I am almost ready to jump! Almost.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

erasing and going back

I have erased the 'survivor' post as you may notice. I have decided through this process that I am going to assume that all of you do not care if I write about our personal conversations, unless you tell me otherwise. I will not be hurt by this and respect that you do not feel comfortable with this. But please tell me, I cannot know who doesn't feel good about that or not, this will help those of you that this would feel hurt, so that you do not get hurt. Okie dokie, so you all will be responsible for telling me your limits! Thanks.

I am happy to say that my old self, Heather feels like she is back. Yesterday I started feeling towards the end of the day, like myself again. Myself with cancer, but so much better. The fertility people sure were right when they said that I would get noticably more sensitive. My life literally felt like it was closing in on itself the past three weeks. I can't say my blog won't be sad, but I don't think I will be so gloomy now. When I meet a young woman that is newly diagnosed AND doing the fertility thing, I will truely understand how intense her life seems to her now. I started doing massage this weekend and feel so good doing it. I know that some of you worry, and I know that one day I wrote in my blog saying that I thought that that was a bad idea, or did I say inherently wrong, : ) but that was a fleeting moment and those of you that know me, knew that. So, yep I am doing massage again and loving it. No stress, just love. That is what this is all about. Love. I will make it through and it is because of all your and my and the earth's love.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Needed Disclaimer

I spoke with my father in law this morning and he expressed to me how difficult it is for him and his wife to read my blog for them. Difficult for very valid reasons. He made the point that since I am putting all my emotions out there for everyone to read that he is concerned. He also finds himself reading my blog and not knowing where I am at emotionally. He is concerned for my well being. I understand. I guess reading my blog is kind of like going to a book club with a bunch of ladies. There is one book, and a lots of different women reading this book through their experiences of life. That is the one thing that makes a book club work, and fun. There are so many different interpretations on the lenses of life.
I want to first of all say, that the Heather that started this blog is still a loving, free spirited, strong, positive, happy, soldier. I am. That has not changed, and will NEVER change. However, as with any cycle of grieving, there are stages. And you all are reading my journal. My process. For those of you that are more private, my sharing may be too much for you. Or for those of you that love me with all your heart and are private people, this may be too much for you to bear. Dad, you are one of those. I know you cannot handle reading my blog, it makes you cry, and you get to sad for me. But everyone, I am still writing to my Dad, even though he is not reading it. Why? Because it is my process. I have always been an open person.
The reason for this is that I have grown as a young adult and now woman because of you all sharing and opening your lives with me. As an evolving spirit, this is how we grow I believe. I feel that as an emerging society we tend to lock ourselves up and not share with others how we really feel, or how our days really are. But as simple human beings it is in our deepest core that we thirst for this connection. I learn and thrive from this. I appreciate and honour that this is foreign to many of you, and to my beloved husband. I thank him for allowing me to process in my way. If I wasn't this would all be unbearable to me. This single act along, is huge. So, for those of you that feel that this is not in a million years what you would do, even if the Head leader of FARC was going to cut your toes off one by one, please honour that this is my process. If it is too much for you, don't read it. I feel your support many many ways. Not from reading my blog.
One more thing, I am grieving. Every emotion I am writing about is real. Every cancer survivor, every doctor, every social oncologist that reads this blog emails me privately or for the brave that post comments, tell me that I am right where I should be. It may be very difficult to understand all the words that I write here, as you haven't walked in the world of cancer. I may spend days saying that I am anger and I may use the F word for a week, but know that my spirit can never be crushed. My spirit is still alive and flourishing, it is just processes. I feel like I was the blueberry bush that we just transplanted, right before it was to bear fruit. For all you gardeners out there that know this is a NO, NO, you never transplant when a plant is just budding. But you know what, to my delight, with a lot of water, even in the hottest days of July, that bush IS bearing blueberries. Lots of them. They are not as sweet as they were last year, and definetly not as juicy but NEXT year watch out. And I have so much awe of this mature bush. It survived, its fighting not only to live but to keep living. It is able to bear fruit in the midst of having the very soil and roots that have been planted so deeply in the ground, up rooted it is adjusting. Some days, some leaves are yellow and not pretty and they look sad. But when I water the bush, it gets happy and then when the sun gets really hot and its had a rough day, just trying to cope with making new roots, it survives.
The other plants in the yard that didn't get transplanted, like our cherrie trees do not understand what the blueberry bush is going through. All the cherry tree can say to the blueberry bush, is its own challenges. Like when one of its roots got severed by a giant machine and its limbs got cut. But it really doesn't know how hard the blueberry bush is pushing to keep producing happiness and berries. My life is like this. My blog is like this. My intention is to try to share with others my unique experience. My journal is to help others with their journey. My journal is giving me the strength to keep fighting. A fight that is not always pretty.
A man once said to me, smile. I got so angry with him because at that moment I was thinking. A deep thought that didn't make me want to smile. If I had smiled for him, it was only to make him feel like he had cheered me up, he had made me feel better. He didn't understand that I was smiling inside, I was just thinking. Many of my words may not make sense to you, because you are not in my head. So, a disclaimer is being made. I feel all of your support in the ways that you would like to support me. Please do not feel that you need to do anything, as I am on my journey, that does not support your growth as a human being. I love all of you, and again, this blog is TITLED: Heather's Journey. It will never be your journey, so you cannot read this as a journey you are on. It is my process, mine alone, and I own it. I own every feeling, every sharp, wild, nonsensical feeling. Because it all makes sense to me. Love you all with all the love in my heart. If you are here, you are here out of love, or out of your own suffering and you are able to connect with the wild journey we ALL call life.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A perfect summer day

One of my all time favorite movies is on right now, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I couldn't sleep last night. The fact that I can't sleep anymore is so foreign to me. I could go to sleep at 9 or even 8 in the evening and wake up at 6 or 7 the next day, everyday of my life. I have never ever had trouble sleeping. I also never used to not be able to control my mind. Last night was one of those nights. I literally was loosing my mind over everything. I called my friend Gen close to 1 a.m. I knew she'd answer her phone and I also knew she could calm me down. I am anxious about starting chemo. I feel so much pressure to not have any side effects. When I first got diagnosed so many people said they knew people that it didn't effect them at all. At that time, I didn't realize there were different kinds of chemo and different treatments. Now that I have walked in the cancer shoes for almost 7 weeks now, I would say that 90 % of the women I have talked with that did AC got pretty darn sick. I am really nervous about this. I could breeze through this and just need to sleep a lot, or worst case scenario I would be staying in the hospital.
The vast experiences do not bring comfort to me. Sure, those that say attitude made it be a positive experience for them, are also the ones that breezed through it. Is that again just a coping mechanism we have? Attitude doesn't change much, other than I can smile as I go through everything. My mom taught me this as I watched her journey for close to nine years after she had her stroke. My aunts and my siblings, we would choose to laugh with my mom, or we would cry. So, sure, attitude does make things better. The other thing I have found so confusing is that EVERYONE that mentions (usually those of you that do not have cancer) that they have spoke to people that went through chemo #5 was the worst, or #1 was the worst, or #? whatever. You get the idea. What this shows me is that it is my body's chemistry that is going to present to ME, MY process through this. MY body's ability to cope with the chemo and radiation is unknown to everyone, including my Oncologist. He more than anyone, and D is a close second, is just saying we'll have to see. So, last night I couldn't sleep. This whole process is teaching me so much, and one of those lessons is simply not being able to plan. I mean, how could you plan for something like this? Either I just sleep a lot, or I could be walking on the 12th floor of Swedish hospital a few weeks a month. There are too many possibilites. There is one thing for certain, next week at this time we all will know!
On a very fun note, today D and I went out on our friends Todd and Kim's boat. We got lots of sun and I got to have one more summer day before this all starts!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thoughts for D

My friend Leigh came by this morning and dropped off a bunch of collages that friends had made for me over on Vashon. As we talked, and as I showed her our house I was able to step back and remember how hard this is for my husband. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind how much he loves and adores me. And I feel so lucky to have such a rock of support with him through my journey. We are a young married couple with no kids. He hasn't had to face, as a father inevitably does once they have a child of not putting themselves first and thinking of someone else first. This freaking cancer thing is slowly causing this effect.
D is two weeks from being done with a full remodel. A, gut the house down to the studs and make a 3500 SQFT house absolutely stunning remodel. Not to mention the yardscape that is a remodel in and of it self. So in the middle of all this, that would stress anyone out to the high heavens my husband on a daily basis has been in his work clothes, and then has to come in change and drive me to doctor(s) appointments. Shifting from business man to scared out of his pants husband. Then, back home, change and back to being a business man. For the past 6 weeks I have undergone a lot of testing & surgery that has made me very sick. My body is so healthy that those poisons they have put in me were so foreign that my body just didn't handle them well.
Luckily my sister has been here a lot lately, D's mom came, and my Dad came, and a few people have helped with meals. All of this support has helped tremendously because frankly my husband is at his wits end. This beast couldn't have reared its head at a worst time in our lives. I have to check in with myself and feel for the depth of stress D is under right now. I am not going to allow myself to fee guility (as many survivors feel a huge sense of guilt that they have burdened their loved ones). I am not going to feel guilty because there is nothing I could have done. But I do need to recognize that D is only human and that he hasn't had to deal with being so scared before. He might loose me. That is scary. He is scared and that is okay. Support groups are good for people that like to process or for people that like to open up and talk to complete strangers about their fears. I am like that, but D isn't. So how is it that D can get support?
Support comes from me saying to him that its okay that I don't talk to him every waking moment about ALL my fears. This doesn't mean that my husband isn't there for me, it just means that he is human. We all have our limits. Just as I can't cope with working Over Time Full Time right now, he can't deal with working FT and dealing with my cancer. It is just too much.
I am lucky to be in a marriage that at the root is full of love and I need to go through this journey on my own. If I visualize what this is like my hand is my symbol. My palm is me, and then I have all these cheerleaders, and that is all of you. My family and friends are my tendons and muscles in my palm and fingers and D is just one of those tendons. The main tendon, but he can't be all fingers. It is impossible.
My little pinky has to go to market, this little finger has to stay home, you know the rest. All of us can only do with what we have. We all have our toolboxes and sometimes like my toolbox right now, all my tools get thrown out of the box. Some get buried (Dad, remember when wendy and I thought it was super fun to bury your sacred tools?), some got lost, some just disappeared, and some will be found again. I will also have a new set of tools when I am finished with that. I am most excited about this very real fact. I am changing and morphing into a new woman. A woman with a bigger heart, and a stronger heart. Just when I didn't think it was possible, I get to be stronger. I am looking forward to this the most. And really adoring my husbands ability to handle is plate that is stacked high. Just as high as I've seen people do at Sizzler Steak Houses. You wonder first of all how they managed to pile all that on one plate, and then you wonder how on earth they will manage to eat it all. Somehow, they do.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Workin' Girl

I have been putting my head together to think of ways that I can work, but that will not tax me. Of coarse, the work horse that I am, I have found myself some work already. I am going to fill in at my Real Estate desk when the secretary needs to leave for this or that. I have started booking massages, which I am excited to do. But for those of you that are clients, I spoke with my surgeon's nurse today about the reality of getting lymphadema. No one knows if I will get it or not, and that is something I will live with for the rest of my life. The things you have to be careful to not do are repetitious stuff. Massage is foreful and repetitious, so who know's. I am going to do a few a week to start out and watch my arm and under my armpit like a hawk.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

For anyone questioning me....

This is one of the many letters I have gotten lately. I thought it was good and so here it is:

Forum: Welcome New Members

Posted By: MarieM

Heather - Please be very careful about going back to work right now.

1. DON'T go back until your doctor clears you.

2. DON"T go back until YOU physically and mentally feel up to it. I am a LMP and I know how much energy you can expend treating other people.

3. When you go back - approach this kind of work with caution. You should discuss with your doctor YOUR risk of lymphedema. I know women who have this just from radiation treatments (no surgery at all). With having axillary lymph nodes removed, you ARE at risk. This will end your massage career if you get it!

4. Don't expect to have your old "normal" life. There a phrase i've heard that is "new normal". You will survive this, and you will go on to love and laugh and hopefully raise children, but you will NEVER be the same as you were. This is not a bad thing. I'm so grateful for the growth I've experienced as a result of this horrible disease. I'm grateful for the growth in my relationship with my partner. He has had his ups and downs dealing with this believe me, but I have seen so much growth in him as a person, as my partner, and in all our relationships.

5. Get a copy of "Breast Cancer Husband" by Marc Silver. Ask your hubby to read, and read it yourself as well! It has amazing insights from interviews with many cancer patients and their partners.

6. AC is a very powerful treatment. Very few people are up to working much during this treatment. Most people experience extreme fatigue and low blood counts. Protect your immune system!!

7. If finances are an issue, see if there's a social worker at the place you're being treated. They are a wealth of information regarding financial programs, grants, etc that you may qualify for.

8. You ARE a survivor!!

sorry sorry sorry for the rant. It's just so important that you take really good care of yourself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do Breast Self-Exams Do Any Good?

For those of you that have followed religiously, you will now about this article (though I think you should take the time to read it) and for those of you that follow along when life allows here's my quick story.  
The original MD I saw told me that there are new stats showing that breast self-exams do more harm than good.  Of coarse when I was still on the "normal" side of things I started telling everyone this new news.  Now that I am on the breast cancer side, and  a women that found my lump myself, and a woman that has learned that most young women are the ones that find their own tumors I am outraged that the original doc told me this.  This article shows a miniscule difference of only 3 women in a control group.  If more Doctors are telling young women like myself to not check their boobs because of this ridiculous study, I believe many young women will die from this.
We need to keep educating women that they DO need to check their breasts.  If this study keeps telling Doctors to tell their patients to not do self- exams, I think in 10 years all the work that has been done will be taken away.  I am floored that there is such a small difference and that the Doctor I heard this from made it seem like there was such a huge difference!  Check it out, and keep checking your boobs girls.  If you don't want to, then think of me, and maybe that will kick you into gear.
If you find a lump, measure it, and watch it like a hawk.  I keep thinking of making "Boobie Journals" for us girls.  I know, one more thing to do, but if you don't start doing it, maybe you won't be here to do those One More Things.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sky High Estrogen Levels

Okay, I am laughing because I feel totally normal.  Totally, 100% normal, but D is loosing his mind with me.  To quote him, "You're driving me crazy."  I told him, "Remember what the doc's said.  I might get really emotional.  And I feel normal, and I think you are being the jerk.  Try to remember what the doc's said, and it will be over in a couple of days."  Folks, I feel like I am being the sweetest person possible.  And my husband is very insensitive.  
To put a framework up for you so you have an idea of my estrogen levels.  The high for a normal cycle is between 400-500.  As of today, around 9 am my level was 1, 638.  Holly shit!  I am so convinced that I am acting and feeling normal that I don't want to say, "Poor D."  Although, maybe I should.  I feel like sleeping on the coach I am so annoyed.  Pretty funny, I guess.  
To give you all a little lesson in IVF, as I just learned what I thought was wrong.  The med's I've been taking are just keeping those eggs alive so that they continue to mature.  What is causing the estrogen levels to sky rocket into, watch out your driving me mad status, are all those 12 eggs that are maturing.  Remember, us girls usually just have one egg that matures and those PMS symptoms are from one egg.  Well, I have 12 eggs that are pumping me full of sweetness, sweet as cherry pie.  I am serious!  I am a joy to be around!!  So, the little follicles, that are holding my eggs are getting bigger and bigger.  
I have one last golden shot remaining.  I get to give it precisely at 9 PM tonight and then no more shots.  This shot, will trigger me (I forgot to ask what that means) and then exactly 35 hours later I will be in the surgery room getting all those eggs out of me.  Thursday morning at 7:30 is when we need to be there.  I can't wait to have this done with.  The IVF stuff has been taking up so much of my time and worry in my head.  I am ready to start focusing on support groups, meeting up with other ladies in my area that are Triple Negatives, and getting my healing together.  
This whole thing of getting sick to get better thing is still very foreign to me.  I look to be the picture of health and it is hard to believe I have cancer.  I have a disease in me that is slowly taking my life from me!  Unbelievable!!  

Monday, July 14, 2008

What is Normal?

I am struggling with this sentence?  I have heard D say to me numerous times that he is wanting to move through this, me having breast cancer, as if his life is normal, and that I can have a normal life too, if I want.  It is me that is deciding to not have a "normal" life.  Whatever this means.  Does this mean that all the people that say they have continued with their "normal" lives did these things:  .1. they kept working .2. they were still the happy go lucky people before they got diagnosed .3. their lives were not full of fear, anticipation, angst, sadness, longing for old.  Really, what does, "I can have a normal life if I wanted to mean?" How am I supposed to go back to what was?  I cannot do massage yet, my Doctor said no, and I should wait until I am healed.  Am I supposed to do Real Estate full time?  Impossible!  Maybe, everyone that said they worked full time still, as if they were "normal" worked behind a desk.  
Giving massage right now seems, to me, maybe not to you, but to me inherently wrong.  How is it that I am to heal myself of a major illness and harness the strength to heal someone else?  Forget about real estate completely.  That job is the most STRESSFUL job one can have.  Forget about it!  I'd rather raise twins during this time than be an agent.
My life is not normal, nor will it ever be again.  Maybe D's life is normal, or maybe he can ignore that everything in my life is falling apart, because that is what he has to do to get through this.  Maybe that is a guy's way of dealing with a major illness.  But my life is 100 % affected.  My mind, my heart, my body, my fertility, my hair (i may be grey when this is all done, i've read), my spirit, my soul, *uck I have to look at my mortality daily.  There isn't a moment that goes by that I miss my old life.  My life that 100% I cannot go back to.  My life is changed.  Maybe D's isn't, but mine is.  
The other thing I have to remind myself is that D hasn't gone through major illness before with others and so he doesn't know what to do. Last night when I was falling asleep, I told him I was scared.  He said, "Don't tell me that because I get scared too."  So many things all at once, it is incredibly painful.  I have no idea what I am going to do when this is all over.  I may decide to be an Oncologist.  Who knows?  You all may be throwing dirt on my grave, who knows.  Really.  Who knows.  The limits are endless.  The possibilities are endless.  
And one more thing I have been thinking about.  This is not Beat, with or By Attitude.  I 100% believe, my ability to use visualization and positive is a great thing to do, and I spend about 75% of my day doing just that.  I am positive.  But come on.  Really!  What this boils down to is wether or not my body is going to "take" the chemo.  And from there, that is where I can have a good attitude.  If I am sick, I can remember that I found it, at least.  If I am 100% healed I can be happy as a laughing babe.  If my cancer metastizes than, I can be happy that I am alive that day.  So, yes, I see what attitude means.  But the little scientist in me is so sick of hearing that it, being my survival, is all about my, attitude.  
I am scared shitless about my upcoming chemo treatment.  I have absolutely no idea how my body is going to react to the chemicals.  And I have the absolute right to be scared.  I need my hand held.   Major illnesses in ones life, is one of those crucial, life times that people generally need support from their loved ones.  D thinks that he wouldn't.  He would just take a cab to his appointments, and he may very well be like that if he got sick.  I would have to honor that however hard that would be for me.  We all go through a major illness in our own way.   Luckily for me, I have lots of good friends and family that are dear to me and I want to open my heart to receiving all this love.  That in and of itself, is tough.  To open up to being loved without "doing" anything or giving anything back.  This is one of the most beautiful experiences I have felt in my life, this one gesture.  Simply on the basis of the intent is coming from a PURE place.  

It Looks Like

Well, those little follicles are turning into big follicles.  Follicles that are in my ovaries, not on my head.  If I understand correctly, this IVF cycle pumps me full of estrogen and causes ALL of my follicles to become matured.  In a regular cycle, our bodies naturally pick one follicle to mature and that is the star of the month out of all the 5-20 eggs that get released.  The IVF cycle captures all of those follicles by using all the estrogen shots (my tummy is getting sore), I am now up to 4 a day.  My ovaries are supposed to get really really big and it will make it easier for the fertility doctor to go in and grab the eggs.  
I told the nurse and my doctor about the vintage car parade cry, and we had a good laugh.  I booked a massage to give tomorrow night and luckily I listened to the little voice that said, "call your doctor."  My doctor put the cabash on doing any massage until I am completely healed.  The risk is me developing lymphadema, and it isn't worth it.  My little worker bee in me is instead going to channel my energies into support groups this week. There is a young survivors meeting at the Gilda Club of Seattle. I am excited to meet some young women my age that are going through what I am.  I have one more week of fun living before I start chemo. Man, the anticipation is killing me.  

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Vashon Island

D and I went over to Vashon Island today for the annual Strawberry Festival, and it felt good to open my heart and be comforted by my community out there.  My heart has been in the dumps lately.  As the precipice of chemo is soon to start, it is hard to not be scared and sad.  I have been on the edge of  a huge cliff, knowing that in a few weeks I will have to blindly jump and hope that I land on the ground with my two feet intact.  I've been thinking how bizarre it is that I have had one body my whole life and now I am going to put hard core toxic chemicals into my body.  I may very well not have the same capacity when I am finished.  My hands and feet could be numb. Shit, who knows how many side effects I will actually develop, if any at all.
Today was a fertility appointment in the morning.  I found out my estrogen levels are now 1003.  On Monday they were less than 100.  If that gives you any idea how emotional I have been.  Today, I cried as the vintage cars passed by. I couldn't help myself.  I thought about all the owners of those cars and how life passes by and stuff remains.  Stuff is passed on and I couldn't help but laugh at my tears.  
At the village green stage we caught my friend Sarah Christine play her set.  Friends that have heard my news came and sat with me and I cried some more.  I cried not because I am sad that I have Breast Cancer.  But because of my youth (I grew up there from the age of 17) that is now gone and how incredibly magick it was.  Each friend that came up to me, I have had many experiences with each of them that has helped me to develop into the woman I am today.  OH!  Those estrogen levels.  To put that spin on top of everything else right now, just adds to the Twilight Zone effect.
After we had enough of walking around looking at stuff, stuff we didn't need, we drove south to the town of Burton.  It is a quaint little town that is one of my favorite places on this earth.  My favorite little post office, where the mail people know your name, a little auto shop (where I was taught in my early 20's how to put new rotors on my volvo station wagon- I loved the overalls), it has a little gallery, and the Burton Store, a Vashon Landmark!
We stopped by and visited my friends Hans and Marife and were able to relax to the point that I almost fell asleep on their sofas.  Today, was a good day.  I didn't feel like I "had" cancer.  The idea is still so foreign. How is it that I have cancer?  I am the symbol of health.  I know this because I feel it and because so many people say that to me, once I tell them the news.  Cancer has no agenda.  No one type of person.  I can't wait for the day that perhaps someone will be able to say, "Ah-ha!  Here is your little fucking culprit, this is why."  Today was a good day.  I feel like I have had a summer.  My skin got lots of Vitamin D and I feel good.  
One more thing before I go.  Supposedly, Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be possibly a key indicator of a possible cancer sign.  For those of you that think this, I will say one word.  Bullshit!  At my last check-up, my Vitamin D levels were checked.  Shockingly my results came back, Perfect.  Above perfect in fact.  Rare for people living in the PNW.  But true.  So, there!  Give me another reason!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Back

I feel so much better today.  Yesterday was hard.  I have the right to have a hard day once in a while. Although, before BC I never allowed myself to wallow in anything hard for more than a few seconds.  I have never been able to stand the victim attitude and that is what is going to pull me through this.  Remember that earlier post, I am swimming to my little Breast Cancer raft you all threw me.  I am going to get there!
 This is just so big and it takes a lot of spirit to rise above it all.  And I do.  I see the big picture.  I keep reminding myself, that I FOUND IT!  I get to live because I found it.  Imagine if I had waited until next year and possibly my Doctor missing it again.  I have a lot to be happy about and my joy is bubbling forth again today.  It is awesome outside.  My sis left this morning. She just graduated from nursing school and her state boards are in one week.  YOU ARE GONNA DO GREAT DUDE!!!  I am so proud of her.
Yesterday my arm hurt and it got a little swollen from surgery, so today I am going to be a lefty.  I don't have much to say other than I am stoked that I found my lump, and I am one day closer to kicking cancer's butt.  One day closer to starting chemotherapy and one more day closer to having my life back.  
Thanks to my friend Lynn, she got me in touch with the Susan B. Komen foundation here in Puget Sound.  I am going to start training in September for public speaking with them.  I am really, really, REALLY excited about this.  Besides telling every single person I run into, I can hopefully go to schools and talk to young teenage girls (is my hope, not sure where they will send me) or anywhere.  I am excited to see where my life leads me.  I am not sure if I will do real estate full time again.  I know for sure I want to use this blog as a tool to help rekindle this experience and to write a book for young women that are newly diagnosed.  Women of any age really.  I guess age doesn't matter.  What I am going through is a collective experience.  

Friday, July 11, 2008

The big Ah-ha!

I think I am super emotional because of those darn fertility drugs!  Oh, now I see.  I will be back to a normal sense of joy and happiness.  Just one more week to go of all these wonderful estrogen shots!!

Where have the hummingbirds gone?

My hair is cut and I'm not okay with it.  Please don't tell me its okay.  It is not.  It isn't about the hair and it is not about how people will perceive me.  I could careless if I am beautiful or not.  My body is what it is.  End of story on that.  I am pissed because this isn't the hair cut I wanted. I didn't want to have short hair.  I wanted to have long hair.  This may seem ridiculous to some. D hit the nail on the head when he said, "It just isn't the hair cut you wanted."  For me the sadness is because I have so many things being taken from me right now.  I do not have a choice.  
The west seattle street fair is this weekend.  Walking around up there is horrible.  I remember last year, how I felt at this little street fair.  I know that my usual little hummingbird self is happy and cheerful.  I just don't feel that way.  I feel like my spirit was crushed.  And THIS is what I am sad about.  I feel broken.  I don't feel sorry for myself.  I don't wish something was different.  I don't wish anything.  That is the problem.  I don't feel empowered.  I just feel blah.  I feel like my eternal fountain of happiness and cheer and ability to see the bright side of any situation as stopped flowing.  I worry that it won't come back.  I worry that D can feel this gloominess and I wonder if he will stop being attracted to me.  Not because of my hair, but because the spirit of the woman he married has changed. Has it changed forever, who knows.  I am scared of the depths of sadness and shock I am in.  
It could be a torrential downpour outside and that would be fine.  Even that is horrible.  I used to love summer.  I need to pull my head out of the self-deprecating, but its hard.  Because there is no normal to go back to.  Normal doesn't exist anymore.  Normal life is gone.  I am in a transition, but one that just realized I am in transition.  My little car light just flashed, need oil.  I still need to go to the store and get the oil (chemo) and then put it in and then hopefully that is all the car needed and I can start racing around town again.  

Degrees of Vulnerability

My entire life has been spent being a go-getter.  I am an empowered women that was taught by my Nana and my parents that anything I want I can get.  Anything I can imagine, I can do.  With that being said, I hope you all understand how incredibly hard it is for me to walk around in a meditative existence right now.  I am slow, I am blurry, I have no control over my destiny, I have had the floor that I believed with my whole heart, body, and soul to be one that I created out of visualization and magick, vanish with one sentence, "Heather, you have cancer."  I feel like I am a kid again, playing a game of dodge ball in PE and some dumb boy threw the ball as hard as he could at my stomach.  I wasn't fast enough to catch it, and I am down on the floor with the wind knocked out of me.  
But this time, instead of getting up on my own for my own self-respect, I have to ask for help. This is the hardest thing, today.  Or should I say this morning, since I am getting my hair whacked soon and that will then be the hardest.  I have to ask D to pull the clothes out of the dryer and carry them.  I have to ask him to make the bed.  The simple motion of taking our heavy blankets and doing that fluid motion to get them to lay flat is not even possible.  I can't open a jar of pickles, or do a push-up.  Not that I did many of those regularly anyways.  
To look on the bright side, I have the luxury to be vulnerable right now.  I have an incredible husband, sister, Dad, and mother and father in-laws that are an incredible support group for me.  Not to mention all of my friends, so thank you everyone.  If I didn't have anyone and I spent my life so far doing everything on my own and not having the knowing that I can stop and ask for help,  I wouldn't be able to feel what it feels to be vulnerable. 
I hate, I mean I hate answering the question, "What can I do for you?"  The little athlete in me that can and does do everything on her own, now needs to say, "If you made us a meal that would be helpful."  This happens daily to us, and I feel so embarrassed with my reply.  I know it allows people to help, and that is great.  But that means that I am not going to be cooking all the meals each and everyday.  It means that I have to ask for help, sit back, and open my heart to receive. This is hard for me.  But this is the medicine my heart and soul has needed.  I think we as women spend so much time, some of us since we were kids with our younger siblings, giving and nurturing.  We forget about ourselves.  We power through life and in doing so we don't get a chance to be nurtured.  So here's a perfect opportunity to do about ten years worth of counseling, in an expedited year.  I wonder what I will be talking to my therapist about when I am done with this?  I will finally get to tell her I understand now what she was trying to get me to see.  
Heather, it is okay to be loved and to be open and to be vulnerable.  You are still the strong women you were before.  Now, you are stronger.  You have felt the people around you pick you up and carry your weight.  
My vase is deeper now.  I will have more to give back!  So watch for me!  Public speaking, here I come.  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Long Walks and Steaks

My sis is here and we went for a six mile walk from my house, here in West Seattle down to Alki and back up the hill to home.  She kept stopping, and here I am going to have her type in what she thinks of that walk.
Wendy says, "It sucks walking with you. Especially going up all the hills.  You have breast cancer and your in better shape than I'm in, without breast cancer."  I loved that!  We had a great time.  My Dad had to go in today to see if he needed Angioplasty.  I think that is how you spell it.  I asked him last night if he was okay, and he said, "Sure.  I just wish I had time to have two more steaks."  For those of you that do not know my Dad, he could (he'd be uncomfortable) but he could have them in one seating.  This made me mad, which is my usual response to his indifference to his health.  But this time, he couldn't blow off my fury because I have something in common, and I won't let him get off this easy anymore.  I felt that this is a good thing to bring up in my blog because we all do things that we know we shouldn't be doing for our health. 
Not often in a child's life, do kids get to teach their parents lessons.  Occasionally that does happen, and oh, do I love it when it does.  My little chest feathers get in a furl over it!  Last night when he made the steak comment I said, "Dad, I have the same thing going on right now. I love to eat sugar, and I can't anymore.  Sugar is the Devil for Cancer.  I totally understand how it is to want something you know you shouldn't be having.  And it sucks.  But Dad, I have to stop myself. I have to have the strength to stop myself.  I have to stop having ALL forms of sugar."  
So, I know how he feels and I have more compassion for everyone that needs to be exercising regularly but doesn't.  But if WE want to live, we, as in all you, have to start putting the right fuel into our bodies and start working out daily.  Even if it is a walk.  It is much easier and funnier I will add, to have a delicious little cookie or whatever.  But I just can't anymore.  And Dad, you need to stop eating red meat!  
Onto another note.  I am getting my hair wacked short tomorrow.  This time tomorrow I will have had a short do for two hours.  Not looking forward to having short/bald hair for a year.  I am increasingly becoming more and more emotional or controlling or whatever you want to call it.  My fertility shots are boosting my estrogen levels sky freaking high so that they can harvest the eggs.  The Doc warned us of this, but I didn't think it would happen.  I still don't notice it happening, but poor D keeps saying, "Relax."  I guess it is happening.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pixie cut

My sis is on her way down from Eugene, she should be here within the hour.  I need her moral support when I get my hair freakin' chopped off on Friday.  I am not looking forward to it at all.  I am really sad about it, however vain it is.  I loved my hair, it was the longest it had ever been and I just hate not accomplishing a goal.  My goal was to get it down to my butt.  It will take probably ten years to get it that long again.  Besides the fertility thing, this is the runner up with being pissed at something.  You know what?  I am going to make a Pissed off list right now.

1.  Possible menopause and will be not be able to conceive naturally (which sucks. I always dreamt about the day looking into my man's eyes and saying, "let's make a baby."

2.  Cutting my hair down to nothing and then being bald

3.  Not being able have an awesome August and September in the PNW

4.  Not doing real estate as hard core as I was

5. Not being able to carry heavy things, i.e. my massage table

6. Worrying that chemo might not work

7.  Dying and having D love someone else

8.  Dying 

9.  Not eating sugar anymore

10. Not eating baked goods 

11. Worrying about having cancer come back

12.  Worrying about wether or not I should even have kids now

13.  Having so many things ripped from me that I can't even think anymore.

14. The ability to think about having kids and being indulgent with thinking about being a mom is GONE!  That sucks.

So that is a list and that list doesn't seem so dark and horrible.  I must be forgetting something.  So yep, the hair gets to be cut short as a boy's in a few days and that sucks.  The non-sucky thing lately is that my fertility doc's were afraid my follicles were too big and they weren't going to get many eggs.  As it looks today, I have 10-15 eggs, that's awesome!  I am still going to divide them up, as D just isn't sure.  I am sure he would be more reflective if he wasn't in the middle of building a house, and trying to be there 100% for a wife that has breast cancer.  It is so messed up.  OH!  I just thought of #14.  My sis should be here soon.  D is stoked, he gets off of dish duty for a few days!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Treatment and all that Jazz

I sure was hoping that I wasn't going to need chemo.  But ALL Triple Negative breast cancer patients get it.  It is all we have.  My final diagnosis is T1c.  I am a stage 1, which is awesome!  I did catch it early!!  But what he doesn't like is that I am a Triple Negative.  The numbers look like this for me.  One in 6 will get a second recurrence within the first two years.  Which freaks me out a little.  Driving home we were on a little road that merged us onto the West Seattle bridge.  I told D, its like all of us cars are Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor's and one of six cars will just blow up.  It will get that cancer back.  
Those odds are not that great.  I am mean, should I be happy that one in six of my friends could die?  No, I don't think that is good.  But, if I want to put on the happy hat with all its charms and whistles sure, I only have a 15% chance., that's low.  My margins around the tumor were all good except the back one.  The Doc's like to get a 1cm all around the tumor and the back one is 1mm.  He said he was happy with that and so was the surgeon because in the back, the Pectoralis Major muscle is a sheath that stops/protects the cancer from spreading.  This isn't that reassuring and even D said, I hope you don't get to worried about that.  He said he could see my overtly expressive face freaking out about it, or maybe he can see the springs in my brain popping over it.  This whole thing is unnerving.
There always seems to be some twist to make me never feel safe.  I am settling or learning how to settle into the true unknown's I get to live with for the rest of my life.  My Oncologist that I always want to hug goodbye, said that after 5 years, my numbers of recurrence drop tremendously.  So it looks like I will be crossing my fingers, for five years thanks to my tumor not being positive for any of these hormones.   
I will be starting treatment after they have harvested my eggs, so in about two weeks.  We are getting our floors refinished probably next weekend, so that monday, maybe the 21st.  I will let you know.  My chemo will be for 4 months.  I will have A/C and T, probably Taxol.  Then I will get 3 weeks off for good behavior and then 6 or so weeks of radiation and then I will be done!!  

Mammo Or Ultra Sound

I was trying to wait to post until after my Oncology appointment today, but I just can't wait.  I just got an email from a old massage client (that got married and moved away) and she is about my age, maybe a few years older.  She said that she scheduled a mammo for herself on the 9th of August.  I feel like I need to explain what happened to me, so that you younger ladies understand how important it is to not just do a mammo.

Okay, Luckily that nice MD that said, "Hey, lets go have you checked out."  Made in her referral for me, to have an Ultrasound.  She also said for me to make sure I had this done.  What happens is that young women's breast that haven't had the effect of gravity pulling on your boobs for years or from kids breast feeding, whih gives us denser breast tissue.  Even if you have breast fed, if your young your breast still can be dense.  When breast tissue is dense mammo's do not pick up tumor's that well.  In fact, mine didn't at all.  For all that know me, when I say I put up a fight, I mean I did.  Even with the prescription, they didn't want to give me an ultrasound.  Procedure is mammo first then if there is a problem, then you get ultrasound. I told them that I wanted my ultrasound first, because I was afraid if it didn't show up on the mammo that they wouldn't give me it, or insurance wouldn't pay for the ultrasound.  
I got the ultrasound, and that is what showed the lump.  So, ladies, when you go, make sure you have your Doctor write on their little prescription pad, for you to get an Ultra Sound TOO!  And if snubbed, demand it to be done.  This is your life, and your health care.  You have the right to ask for anything you want.  If you feel weird doing this just remember,  This saved my life!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunny skies and eagle fly's

I was driving back from seeing my fertility Doc's at PNW Fertility and an eagle flew high and above me and I just felt wrapped in its wings.  I am so sad today, that I am crying off and on.  But I couldn't ask for a better experience through this.  To be a young woman that wants to have kids and to explore the world with her family and to have all of this put up in front of me as a road block, showing me how desperately I want it, and that this life lives on the other side of this Breast Cancer Roadblock.  I really can't say that I haven't felt totally comforted by each and every doctor, receptionist, technician, blood drawerer, everyone has made this easier for me.  I am so thankful that I have had a team at PNW Fertility that has acted fast so that my treatment wouldn't be delayed. 
 I spoke with a Doc there today that told me that just this winter they went to Oncologists at Swedish and told them that they are now ready to start doing egg freezing for women.  This is huge.  I feel really lucky that I got breast cancer now, and not a few years ago.  At least I have embryo insurance if I need it!  
The other thing I want to share today is this, if anyone is reading this and you know of a way that I can get involved in a large way (like a commercial or ad's or whatever) in being a face for young women with breast cancer, let me know!!  I totally want to do something like this.  Especially when I look healthy and all.  I want women to know that they could be me, and that they need to check their breasts.  

Triple Negative

I am scared today.  There are a few different kinds of breast cancer, and the kind I have is called Triple Negative.  They don't know what it feeds on and because of this they don't have anything other than chemo to treat it with.  I am scared that mine won't respond to the chemo.  I am afraid that it will come back.  If it does come back, which my TN have the highest 2 year recurrence rate, chemo probably won't work.  See, the other cancer's can be scary too.  Her2Nu grows/feeds off of the growth hormone, which makes it a faster grower, than Triple Negative.  But the Doc's have found that a adjuvant therapy of Herceptin works to keep that hormone level low.  Or if you have a positive tumor for either Estrogen or Progesterone than they'll give you some other drug to keep those levels down.  You would steer clear from foods that have a lot of Estrogen in them, ect.  
But I don't have anything like that.  Its chemo, Baby!  And that is it.  I am scared.  I don't want to keep telling D how scared I am because he is scared.  He has to shut down a little because its just to much.  It is too much to live in the future and to worry right now.  I just keep hearing my Oncologist say two things, #1, " We just know your cancer is bad, real bad." #2, "That's bullshit, and cancer is curable."  So, they are the opposites sides of the bar and I feel helpless.  *ucking helpless.  I am scared, I could cry, but D just walked by.  I need to stay in the present moment and just whistle along, D's whistling right now, and let go.  There is absolutely nothing I can do, so back to what Dad says, "Worrying isn't going to change a thing."  Or my friend Sarah writes in a song, "Why worry, when you can pray."  Worry?  Because I could die from this.  I could.  
I think the shock is wearing off.  I am in the angry stage right now.  A stage that I won't be in when I am logging off of this site.  Anger is not good.  Okay, its past. A deep breath took it away.  I am so sad.  The roller coaster is a hard one.  Self-indulgence is cruel, yet necessary right now.   

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ode to the Popsicle

I just bought my last fruit sweetened popsicle box.  Strawberry, with yummy little chunks of berries in it.  Innately I know that I need to cut out all sweets.  I know that cancer feeds on sugar. End of story.  I have for the past month, forced myself to stop going to the bakery.  I went once and got a quiche.  That sucks compared to a twice baked almond croissant from my favorite bakery in West Seattle, Bakery Nouveau. This is a bakery-a-holics nightmare distance of just four blocks east from my home.  
I keep teasing and testing myself since I found out I have breast cancer.  This is how it goes in my head, "If I don't get cancer back, then I will never know if changing my diet mattered.  If I do get it back, then I will either have something to take out, if I don't take it out now.  How much do I want to risk, or how much do I want to eliminate all the things I can blame if it does come back."  But today, in Susan Loves Breast Book I read this golden tidbit, " It just illustrates that we have only odds, no certainty; to some extent, it's a crap shoot.  You have to just search your heart and make your own choice."  I can and do have the same philosophy with my journy with every freaking aspect.  This WHOLE DAMN THING IS A CRAPSHOOT!  Crapshoot, crapshoot, crapshoot.  No certainty.  No, noone knows if everything is going to be okay.  And that is the thrill of life.  Don't you see.  
We all seek and desire these limits.  Our limits.  I am just on a journey with limits I didn't want to explore.  But I get to explore them.  I get to see how my body will fight its good fight against breast cancer.  And it is my responsibility to do everything I can to put the right fuel in my machine.  Would I before a big run drink a milkshake and eat a popsicle.  No.  So, I get to juice lots of greens, and carrots, and ginger, and, and, and....  
Today, I felt awesome.  Until we got outside.  We walked up to the west seattle farmer's market.  I got up there and ran into my friend Marni.  In the middle of our conversation I started feeling dizzy and really weak and I had to leave.  We got home, and watched another documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge.  Then I thought I was okay to go the grocery store.  I get tired, really tired within about ten minutes of being away from the house.  I think its running into "normal" people and telling them about my experience and knowing that they just don't get it.  The feel for me, but no one knows unless you've gone through it.  If I wasn't such a people person I could see how someone could indulge in this separateness.  It could be lonely.  If any of you survivors are feeling lonely, I always find just talking to other survivors to be very empowering.  They remind me that its totally normal how I am feeling, and that always helps.  
My fear disappeared for a few days.  But I am scared again.  Although its not in my nodes, it still comes down to the, its a crapshoot thing.  It sure will be interesting to see my destiny.  This may sound grim, but its just life.  The bug that flew into your windshield didn't mean to, it just was on its merry little way, and bam.  Dead.  We all joke that we could die on the way to work in a car crash, or whatever, but its true.  I am a tenacious fighter, and I can totally hippie out and focus on those cells in meditation and I will start that this week.  This week, I have to start back on the hippie train.  Hard core.  But it is a crapshoot.

Washing my hair

I feel awesome today!  I missed the fireworks as I couldn't keep my head looking skyward for longer than a minute or so.  I was bummed, to say the least.  But today!  Watch out!  I have cleaned the stove, washed the cabinets, done the dishes, swept the floor, took a shower (even shaved my legs) and I noticed that under my right arm its a little numb.  That will come back, as nerves take a while to heal sometimes, but no big deal.  I put on my favorite white jeans and a white t-shirt and I am feeling summery!  D is sitting next to me on the coach watching a documentary on records.  This is actually quite interesting, these collector's keep talking about that they hoard all these records because they're into the music, but they have millions of records. Its about collecting, this film is hysterical.
D is still in his robe and I can't wait to go attack the city!  I want to go cut my roses and bring them in, but I want to talk to my Oncologist.  Should I not cut roses anymore?  What if I get stuck and my arm gets lymphadema?  How long after surgery should I wait to cut those roses?  If I was a careful person I would go cut them.  But I am not.  I am again, like a tornado or Tigger.  Did I mention I did all that housecleaning in a matter of minutes?  I am quick.  That is how I prune my roses.  So I always get pricked.  
The sky is shining and I am feeling good.  I am going to try to not think about my breast cancer today.  If I do, I will move on and pass it by today.  I need a break.  Tonight we are going to Vashon to watch this comedy thing.  We both need to laugh. 

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wrap my brain around what?

My web of life is spinning in a new direction today, at least my mind would like me to believe this.  Today, I caution myself to again stay in the present moment as now, I am wondering about the future again.  This future that I wonder/worry about is one that belittles the very fact that I had breast cancer removed from my breast.  Since its not in my nodes, I find myself lessening the fact that I have/had breast cancer.  I feel like I am in an in between state.  Do I have breast cancer in my body anywhere else?  Isn't that why I need to do chemo and radiation?  If I don't and my Doc's knew that for sure, then I wouldn't need to do any other treatments.  Which brings me back to the present moment of forcing myself to wait until I see my Oncologist on the 8th.  I will then sit down and listen to his treatment plan.  
I guess the part of me that wants to make me not having breast cancer a big deal is the part of me that is still in shock.  Shock that I had it in my breast first of all, and secondly, that it isn't in my nodes.  Why was that one so huge, I wonder?  I just have to not minimize it at this point.  I have to keep saying out loud to myself, so that I can believe that its true.  I find myself still saying to D, to my sis, to my friend Gen, to anyone, "Can you believe I have breast cancer?"  The question no one will ever know, is if "It" was "All" cutout the other day, or if I in fact do have breast cancer cells elsewhere, and yes, it will be good that I do the treatment to kill those little avengers.  

Friday, July 4, 2008

The things you do

I really didn't realize all the things I do with my pec muscles until after the surgery.  Movements like washing my hair are not even an option, at least not today.  After surgery, I was wheeled back to the room where D, my Dad, and D's mom were.  I swear I was speaking coherently.   I was so thrilled and stunned that the nodes didn't look like they had cancer in them I just kept repeating, I guess they say over and over, "My nodes look good."  Or, "My nodes don't have cancer in 'em."  I was showing them that I wasn't even in pain, and I showed them once how I could move my arm around.  They all said, "No, stop!  Just relax."  Yesterday, D finally had to tease me a little.  Now that I am off the med's and he mimicked a very slow motioned voice say, "My nodes look good."  I swear I didn't sound like that.  haha.
I can't sleep anymore.  I know my cancer has put my into a very very uplifted cloud in the breast cancer arena.  But I am still a bit nervous.  I feel like I have the luxury of wondering if I acted to hastily in chopping my hair.  I have to just not care.  It will grow back and if I don't have to do chemo, then having short hair for a while can help me in some way.  Right now I am sick, sick, sick of my low back or kidney's whatever it is killing me.  I can't sleep and I feel like one of my massage clients that I love dearly.  She is always telling me that she has to wake up and take IBprofren for her back pain.  Although mine isn't going away with tylenol.  I keep stretching as best I can.  Keeping both of my wings close to my body and turning to either side in between typing.  
I can feel my port in my chest.  It just feels really tight under the skin.  I wonder if I won't need chemo and I'll just have this taken out?  For all you fellow survivor's out there that are tempted to write to me, and tell me wether you think I will or won't, please don't.  I am simply not wanting an opinion here, other than my Oncologists.  I am just sharing this time.  Usually when I ask a question here,  I DO want a response from any of you. But not this time.  I am also up because that means I am either getting closer to the time I start chemo, or not.  And so I am hoping like 60% of me that my Doc says I do not need it.  But then since my Triple Negative feeds on something, they just don't know what and they know that it responds the best to chemo like 80% of me wants to do it.  I realize these numbers don't make up the correct mathematical whatever you call it ( I was horrible in math) totalling 100%.  To me those numbers make all the sense, because this cancer doesn't make any sense.  So, these numbers do make sense.  
I am anxious that I am doing this fertility thing for nothing, and if my Doc says no chemo, I will be again, thrilled to stop this whole process.  I am drinking enough water to water log a camel, so my back isn't hurting do to that.  I just think its all the horrible med's that are finding their way out of my system and I have to remember that my body was just violated and maybe my back mmls were tensing up during surgery, although, I doubt it.  I looked, from the pictures pretty much out of it.  People are bringing by delicious food and we really appreciate it.  I need to get my sister to make a list and a calendar for you guys that have offered.  If I haven't responded yet, its just because there is so much to do.  And to worry about.  If I don't need Chemo, then I think we are fine with the food front.  But if I do, then I want my sis to make it kindof spread out, food coming on the night before chemo. The little planner in me has to find a way to work.
This little planner, The Dictator is what D called it jokingly the day I got back from surgery is trying to find control in the most ridiculous ways.  I am sure it was funny to the 3 of them (my Dad, D, and D's mom) with my slurred words telling them all what to do or how to find things.  One lesson was revealed to me during this time.  One obvious one, I spend entirely too much time worrying about everyone else's needs, even when I've just been operated on.  When I have the luxury of time, to go see a therapist when the Breast Cancer horses are reigned in, it will be a fun self journey to start putting Heather first.  I guess that is what having cancer does to people.  It makes you or should I say FORCES you to put yourself first.  There is a list getting started in my head, a new List of Positives.  This will be a post someday in the future.  
I just have to leave you all with this.  I loved with every cell of my being growing up in Seaside, Oregon.  The fourth of July fireworks there is unbelievable.  I have always loved and watched the sky this evening in delight and wonder and I know that at one point during our united show across America we can all take a second to send out a united Cheer and Thankfulness with me, that my nodes are negative and that Our Lives Are Beautiful.  Whatever our challenges are, we are so blessed to be Americans and to be alive Today.  Opening our hearts each and every minute to loving all of those around us, and not taking our lives for granted.  We are blessed to have the luxury of breathing. 

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pain meds are not my cup of tea

I have never taken Percocet or Vicodin before.  In fact, I have to google their correct spelling to get it right.  I puked and puked yesterday on the percocet.  Horrible stuff.  We switched to vicodin yesterday evening and a half pill did me just fine until this morning at 8.  I tried to not take anything but just a bit ago I had to. I have had an incredibly horrible headache all day and a wee bit of pain.  Since I am doing the fertility shots, I cannot take IBprofren.  I still have a headache but its been dulled by the pain med and reruns of The Bachelorette.  I think DeAnna is going to pick Jason and D thinks she is going to pick the snowboarder dude.  
Since I have the med's in me and my head hurts I am not going to make this a good post.  I just don't feel up to it. AND THE NEWS I HAVE IS INCREDIBLY SHORT AND SWEET!! 

My surgeon just called and said that the 2 sentinel nodes on the first screening came back negative and that the 3rd node they pulled out is negative.  They are doing one other test right now and we might get the results back later today, if not by Monday.  So that means, the Cancer did not move out of my breast and we did catch it early!!  The second part of the good news is that my tumor was smaller than expected.  It was 1.8cm only.  Good good news!  I wonder if I am only a stage one now??  I will find out on the 8th when I meet with my Oncologist.  

Have a good fourth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's out!

Where to start?  We headed over to Overlake hospital in the morning, traffic wasn't bad so we got got there early.  We went to Whole Foods and I sat salivating watching D and his mom eat a breakfast burrito.  Once we got there, they ushered us through the whole pre-surgery stuff pretty quickly.  At 11 I got this new kindof of radioactive isotope injected four times into my breast.  I then had to massage it for 12 minutes to get the dye to move into my lymph nodes.  
My Doc came in and said, "Are you ready to get cured?"  D, his mom, and I all started crying.  I didn't realize until he said that how afraid I have been lately.  It is really hard to go a whole month without talking to a Doctor who is so positive.  I've been cooped up reading books with everyone else's stats and the outcomes are not very bright sometimes.  So, it felt super good to have him come in and remind me that I am going to be cured.  And this breast cancer is only fleeting.  
Before they wheeled me in to the operating room, D gave my nurse the instructions on how to use our camera.  We have great pictures.  The last thing I remember was looking up at my surgeon who was gently looking down at me, and I started crying and saying, "Thanks for doing this surgery for me."  I was in the very best hands possible and that is something that transcends all the fear that had been circulating around me.  I was still in the surgery room I think, I was so out of it.  But I remember hearing my surgeon say, "We didn't find any cancer in your lymph nodes."  Of coarse they are being biopsied (is that a word) and this news may change.  But I am not going there.  I don't want anything to rain on this parade.  That is the best news I have had in a long time.  
When I got back into the room, and D told me again they don't think they found any cancer in my nodes.  There was such a joy and a huge weight was lifted from our shoulders.  D told me that my Dad had come up and I was again overjoyed.  I really needed that parental love and holding, and comfort yesterday.  I am going to go, I am starting to feel sick again.  I just wanted to do a little check in.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day of Surgery

I am laying in bed typing.  I just gave myself my second fertility shot.  I am trying to not think about the bubbles I saw that I didn't get out of the needle.  I tried to, clicked the needle and then pushed the blunger thing up to make a little drop, or two.  But as I started injecting it I saw bubbles.  I was afraid I'd waste more medicine so I didn't do the whole bubble drop thing again.   Yesterday I got a little sick from the shot, 45 min. after the shot.  Within an hour I felt okay and normal again.  
I woke myself up screaming, "NO," last night.  My heart was racing and I was afraid someone was going to inject me with more medicine.  I really don't have much to say this morning.  I am not as ready for my Lumpectomy as I had hoped.  Although, I am not sure if you're ever ready for surgery.  I don't know how typing will be.  I might as my friend Gen to type for me for a while.  I wonder if I'll be able to extend my right arm enough to even type.  We'll well see.  I am going to go wake up my mother in law.