Sunday, August 31, 2008


Today, D and I went to our friends child's first birthday party. It was a lot of fun. Everyone there had kids and I couldn't help but notice. The days of being in this situation and having it absolutely KILL me are long gone. Today I just got to notice it and thank god that I am not a mom with breast cancer. I did have fleeting moments of being pissed that I have cancer and that I am dealing with this. I wish I could have chimed in with the other mom's bitching that I haven't slept and how hard being a parent is. Instead, I got to sit back and reflect on how much I will cherish those anguished moments. Life is forever changed and being forced my nature to step my child bearing years aside is yet another lesson I get to learn right now.
As I was at the party I also got to reflect on choices and how we each get to make them all day everyday. I get to decide each day how I am going to react to things and wether or not I am going to empowered or be victimized. I of coarse, having a mother that taught the victim thing very well now how that choice isn't me. You can see the victimized a mile away. The whoa is me, people. I mean people, wake up. Live YOUR life. Dare to ask for what you deserve. Dare to believe that you are the magician in your life. Dare to trust that people are there. Cancer has really taught me this even more. I mean, I have had to dare to ask people for a helping hand. To ask for meals to be delivered the Mondays after chemo. The hard part after asking, is RECEIVING. That is hard and for most woman even harder. So, today these are the little (big) lessons I get to reflect on and cherish. When I am all better, this Heather is going to be a stronger Heather. I will not sit back and take no for an answer with the things in my heart that are dear to me. If no is the answer, then I need to move on and make it so that Yes is my answer. Yes, because life is too short to be wasting time on brick walls. Life is too precious.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Great Article

For those of you interested in such things, in today's Newyorktimes.com there is an article about treating cancer when woman are pregnant.

If this doesn't copy and paste correctly, just go to it online. Scroll down to the magazine and there it is.



Yesterday was a fun day to look forward to. Three of my old-time clients came over from Vashon to visit me. We went up to the notorious Bakery Nouveau and we had a little feast. Or should I say, I did and they had a nice lunch. I tried convincing them to splurge and eat up but they didn't take my suggestion! I wanted company in my pig out. This morning I asked D what he wanted for breakfast and he said, " I am full from the last three days, ah.. a bowl of yogurt and fruit." I had to check in with my stomach and the usual starved first thing in the morning wasn't happening. I guess I am finally satiated and so we had a small breakfast. I am going to Bumbershoot today and I got to go get dressed. Fun, fun, fun..

Thursday, August 28, 2008

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A bright Sunny Day

Seattle weather. The word that I could use to describe it in a positive light would be gloomy. What was with the almost tornado that hovered over Lake Washington the other day. Seattle? Despite this, I started feeling like my little Tigger self yesterday and D had to slow the little hummingbird down a few times. I get so excited now that I am feeling good that I get overwhelmed and start talking at lightening speed about things. If you could imagine. My life is kindof like my tongue.
People say that you can check out someone's tongue and see how healthy/unhealthy they are and I am starting to be a believer in that. When I do chemo, my life shuts down and so does my taste buds. They happen about the same day. Shit, even my eyes become blurry and I cannot see the TV or read for days. Can you imagine anything worse? I feel like crap, everything hurts, your mind is numb, you can't think, you can't remember where the toothpaste is and water starts tasting like poison? Awesome time! I mean, give me more.
I am laughing and I am joking, because I have exactly one week to do so. Laughing and joking is going to help me through this and you all get to remind me that I will soon feel better and the hell I went/going through is passing. So yes, the grey skies of the PNW are just like my taste buds.
But the good thing, is that I am drinking some delicious vanilla roobios tea right now and it finally tastes the way its supposed to and my heart feels like exploding with love again. What happens to the joy during chemo? What happens to my spirit? Where does it go? It feels like a grey cloud is injected into my port (my skin actually turns an ashen/grey colour during the chemo injection) and for a week "Heather" disappears. I have no control over that, nor do I have the energy to try to go and find her. She just goes away, far away and I feel like I am left with a shell of who I am. What animal do I transcend into? Let me think. A snail, with no shell. A...leaf that is at the end stage of rotting on the forest floor in early March? Yes, a leaf in March. That is what I feel like.
So today, is a good day. The little kid in me wants to sing lots of songs and happy songs at that. I want to look at all the blades of grass outside as if its the first time ever and ask "Why" a lot. I feel reborn and happy I have one FULL week of bliss ahead of me. One of my favorite bands is playing at Bumbershoot Saturday night, Band of Horses and I am looking forward to having the energy to trawl around like a salmon in the sea of people all day and night this Saturday with D. It will be fun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chemo Guns

I am glad that now, a few hours ago, yesterday is over. Yesterday sucked. I hit a wall and really was done with doing chemo. I didn't/don't want to do it anymore and after a little BBQ last night D and I took a walk around the block. I told him that I really didn't want to do it anymore. I just want to stop doing chemo. I feel like its killing me and killing my spirit, and killing any future I may have. I told him that this wasn't worth "hoping" albeit that hope is an 85% chance, of being cured. I told him, that I am past it now, but these were the very real thoughts I had grappled with all day. Maybe I could/can cure myself in some alternative way.

Don't worry, this was just a passing thought. A passing thought that consumed all of yesterday but it passed. I am going to stick to the chemo guns and hopefully I will get through this. Hopefully my kidneys, my heart, my freakin' mind, my little veins, my blood, my liver, my stomach, hopefully we all get through this unmarked. But doing chemo is horrible. There is absolutely nothing nice or enjoyable about it. And I am not going to lie so that anyone feels okay reading this, or so that you don't feel uncomfortable. I am totally freaked out and feel horrible. When I run into people the past few days, that is what I say. I am not going to try to be anyone's chemo hero and act like its a breeze, because it isn't.

So, its 2:30ish in the morning, I can't sleep because I am full of anxiety and the anxiety woke me up. As I slept, I started thinking about Clinton's speech last night and our future as Americans. This lead to my future and before I knew it there was no way I could lay in bed any longer because I was full of butterfly's. The mind I used to have is long gone. I used to have great control over it but now its a wild caboose heading down a mountain. It gets off track so very easily and I understand more how my Nana used to wake up in the middle of the night worrying about us kids. My mind has developed into an entity all its own and the drugs I am on doesn't really help. I know, mediation would help and I probably should give it a try. But honestly, just doing a bit of yoga a day is huge for me. I don't want to quiet myself and relax into my body. I am so sickened and saddened by what I am doing to my poor body, that I don't want to get "closer" to these facts. I would like to just try to numb my way through this.

What if I am doing irreversible damage to myself? Is all this really worth it then? How many more years will I really get to live because I've done this chemo shit? These are questions that hang out in my mind and in my quiet bones that woke me this morning. I have to have faith in the chemo gods and hope that this is worth it. Otherwise I will talk myself out of doing it. What also helps me is remembering that little kids go through this and they make it, and so can I.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A better day

Today has been up and down with me simply not feeling good and being really tired. There is a huge part of me that is scared of doing this chemo and I am really upset about it. This is something that I just have to set aside and not dwell on because it doesn't help anything at all. But I am scared of it. I am scared that the drugs are ruining my body somehow and taking years off of my life. I feel sad that I am so young and so healthy and that I have to face this. I feel pretty devastated by it. I just want a normal life, and this is hard to set aside when I am out in public. When I am at home, I can just fall asleep and spend my waking hours watching TV, as today and the past week are not days that are full of energy and excitement. I can't believe that its August and summer of 2008 has gone by and I spent the summer dealing with this. The scary part is that I still have months and months of dealing with this.
When my Dad was here, I had a short five minutes of a pitty party with him. He didn't let me stay in it longer than a few minutes and this post and those feelings I am setting aside are reminiscent of that party. This sucks and I am bummed. My stomach doesn't feel good today and I am exhausted. I am pretty sad lately, and there is nothing around that. Its just a simple fact.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Belly's so Full!!!

First of all I have to explain my body's amazing ability yesterday to gain at least, and this is not an exaggeration of at least seven to ten pounds in one day. I woke up with my Dad and my husband all not wanting to say, "Holy shit! You got huge." But it was inevitable. I was. I was so sad all day yesterday. Nothing I put on fit. Nothing. Not even my blouses, they all were so tight in the back that finally I just put on a wife beater and sweats and tried to welcome that my very loose baggy sweat pants were now tight on me everywhere. I went to bed not feeling that great, and an incredible thing happened all night long. I went pee, over and over and over and over. I lost all that weight in one night from urinating. I have no idea if this is from the steroids or the chemo, or what. But I can tell you when I woke up this morning I was back to normal and even D noticed. Very strange.
Today has been spent sleeping and eating. I am what I would say, almost back to normal. This chemo session was totally different, like night and day from the first one. It wasn't as severe and I can say that I just drove for the first time up to get some Pho and I could do it without any strain. As I sat there eating the soup my very bald head started sweating and I got so uncomfortable I had to get it to go. Nowadays I can't eat big portions and it helps to lay down in between shoveling the food in the mouth. There is absolutely nothing sexy or attractive to having cancer and trying to get back to normal after my sessions. My stomach is a raging 18 wheeler truck that can't watch my normal "Food Channels" as I cannot handle the intense food cravings I get for anything I see on the TV. Although I can only eat small portions right now, I can eat lots of them. I just have to lay on the floor in between as if I am making a snow angel in the carpet and relax in between the stuffings.
I realize that I have only ten more days until my next session, and that makes me sick to think about. My sister is coming up for the next one. My Dad was an angel for this past session. He got me everything I was hungry for, including a blackberry pie that once he got it here I couldn't eat. THis post is all about food and the interesting thing is is that that is all that I can think about. Believe it or not, maybe its because I can't taste anything that isn't salty or sweet. Water is the most disgusting thing to drink right now. Even with two packets of emergencies in a 12 oz glass it still tastes like plastic. I have these cravings and they are usually not satisfied because the food doesn't taste the way its supposed to.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh, the joy of early mornings

The joy of not sleeping is fast approaching an annoyance level, that I would like to erase from my memory. I got an incredible massage yesterday from my friend out on Vashon yesterday. My Dad drove me, otherwise I couldn't have gone. My vision really becomes impaired with these treatments. Seriously, I need to get glasses to lay over my glasses, or contacts. That would be a site. My body responded heavenly to the massage for the first part of the day and then in the early evening, and still my lymph system is just not handling it very well. Even though she gave me a very soft massage, no DT at all, my freakin' checks, the checks on my face even are sore to the touch. Advil doesn't take away the pain at all. I thought it would be good to get a massage right after the chemo because my body was aching so desperately badly, but I think next time I will wait until I am feeling like Heather again. I have the post-steroid stock piling on various gross food combinations going on late last night and this morning. I am sipping some Peace Tea right now, trying to soothe my stomach before I put food in it again. The steroids are very very harsh on my system. My skin is a nice flushed red clolour for the entire time I'm on them, and I just eat a lot. I think I gained last chemo and this five pounds, and then loose it after Heather comes back. In the back of my mind, I worry about the weekly Taxol's and my body getting huge. If that happens, like my Dad said yesterday, and again, "its better than the alternative." And there isnt' anything I can do about it. WHen I have to eat, I mean, I have to eat. I have never in my life felt such a craving for anything.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Much Better

Overall chemo number two has been much better than number 1. The most annyoying thigs is staying up on the meds and not beign a superwoman. Because of this, I have felt way less sick. I have though totally lost my appetite except for moments of needing and I mean needing blackberry pie and hard boiled eggs, both of which D was willing to go and get or make for me with a moments notice. I can't see very well at att, and that is annyoying. Today my dad and I are going to pick me up a paoir of thos reader glassess so taht I can see better. WE are also, if nauseau permits going to drive over to vashon and get a massage for me. I can't wait. My other main complaint is thta every single long bone in my body including my tush bones ache severly. Really bad. I haven't been taking walkes to the beach this time but rahter around the blocks from my house. The past coupld of days I have just been sleeping and feel good. Thorugh I wish I could be sleeping right now. THese damn typing errors, urgh!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A big blur with headlights

I don't remember much of the past few days, but maybe more, now that is a gib maybe more than last time. I haven't been able to eat us muhc, I just get sikc from the idea of most food. I've eated a 1/2 of an egg and sandwich, I will try another today. I made a big pot of bland veggie soup the day before chemo and that is okay. Iseriously cna't type the way I hsould be. It is driving me crazy. Yesterday my Dad and I drove to the hospital to get my Neulesata shot. this shot makes your bones marrow produced WBC's. It causes me to have extremly achy bones for a few days. THy aslo gave me a iv of fluids and compazine an anti-nausea med that worked wonders. I woke up thinking the difference between heaven and hell. Then when I stood up to use the bathroom, the nauseau came rushing back to ma and here I am not feeling well again. Took the compazine and emmend again and lets cross my fingers in a few moments I will feel better. I am going to try to make a little somthine. I'm going to go. These misspeled words are driving me crazy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chemo #2

My Dad is leaving Seaside sometime this morning, and will be here hopefully by noon. D and I will leave to go to the chemo at 1:30 and I'll be hooked up to the machine around 2ish. Or so..there is always a wait there. Am I ready of five or six hours of medicines? Sad to say that I am not. I am so bummed that I have to go through this. There isn't much to say other than I am nervous, scared, pissed, bummed, scared some more, and nervous a little bit more.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The roaring fire

Well...I've been having lots of fun today running around making the flyer for the house, and all those fun pre-listing to do's. I am not sure if I like selling real estate or if I just like all the check lists this career forces me to make. As I LOVE check lists. I'm on my way to the office to list the house into the MLS. Very exciting and fun.
I saw my Doctor today and he said that I am all set for chemo on Wednesday. Oh, Yippee!! My Dad is coming up Wednesday morning and he will be here until Sunday. I am thrilled. I just can't wait to get started with this journey again and be finished. I hope this chemo makes all the stubble fall out. I am sure it will. I am officially not shaving my armpits anymore!! That is a blessing. But my leggs, I couldn't be so lucky. Those damn little hairs are tenacious!! My thumb is sore still and my Doc said he could be conservative and have me do another bone scan to see if the infection is in my bone. I told him no thanks. I much rather gamble on getting the infection the day after chemo and then needing to deal with it. I don't want to risk finding out pre-chemo that I do have a (very, very slight chance) bone infection and then postponing the chemo. That would suck more than another infection. Its my little gamble I got to take, and he felt VERY (okay, moms! He was VERy good with it) good with this decision. : )

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Lint Roller..

It works just as good as the blue painter's tape, if you're wondering! Maybe a little easier since its is on a roller. I am now down to a few strands, here and there, with a bit of fuzz. I look bald. Bald enough that I am getting those infamous looks. Yesterday I was at the store getting my med's and a group of teenage girls were alerted by one of the girls and suddenly they all looked up at me. I wanted to say, "Hey, I have cancer." But instead, I just took it in. Remember, I am trying to learn from this whole experience, as it is my choice to parade around bare. I must admit that I was hurt by it. Hurt enough that I couldn't write about it yesterday and I took the day to process it.
The house is set to go on the market tomorrow. All the last minute doings are almost wrapped up. We get to fill out the Form 17, the disclosure and such. It will be an interesting week with me doing chemo and needing to be ushered into the car so that people can, by appointment view the home. Luckily my Dad is coming for the week and I am excited to get this done. My thumb started hurting me again today, just a little. I am afraid that it hasn't healed enough to do the chemo as scheduled, so I will call my Doctor tomorrow and talk to him. Not much else. I am ready for my journey to begin again. I am scared.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hot Seattle Day

Today was incredible in Seattle. Perfect weather. If I didn't have cancer, I would have taken a plunge into the Sound. I had to call my doctor today and get an extension of the antibiotic. My hand is not 100% cured yet. But it doesn't hurt to move my thumb around, just when I push on it.
This weekend I managed to clean our 3400 SQFT house, all by myself. D worked on getting all the odds and ends completed around the house. The photographer came yesterday as did many other subs and now we are all set to go on the market, on Monday. Very exciting. Life has luckily been busy so that chemo day, Wednesday comes quickly. Hair is still limply holding on. I might roll a lint roller over it. I have no desire to risk shaving my head. I can't get another infection right now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Painter's Tape

Last night I was laying in bed and telling D how much my stubble hurts my head. Not hurt as in cellulitis hurt, but like when someone rakes their stubble across your tender little face, or for guys maybe when your gal doesn't shave her legs. My hair has limply been hanging on just by its follicles this past week. My friend Nic told me yesterday that she thought the reason it was bothering me was that the hair is out of the follicle and poking the nerve endings. That makes sense to me.
Needless to say, I've been fantasizing about shaving my head or getting it waxed. I've even thought of using Duct tape to pull it out. Shaving and waxing I am scared to do because they both pull the first layer of skin off, and I don't want an infection. So, like I was saying, last night I was laying in bed and told D how uncomfortable it is to lay my head against a pillow. He said, "Why don't you use duct tape." That is all I needed.
Never in my life would I EVER have thought that I would find myself in the bathroom with my husband pulling my hair off my head (now that is not out, it is off because its literally just hanging in there for dear life at this moment), with blue painter's tape. Yes, we pulled it off like you'd do to an old sweater with all its little annoying balls of pitted yard. The tape worked! I now look like a dog with severe mange. I have bald spots all over and at this moment can feel the air's circulation through my house against my head more than I could yesterday. Any ideas on how to get the rest out??

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Everywhere I look

I see my little half inch sized hair all over the place. I am afraid to have my head shaved because if I got a knick, I could get an infection. Yesterday I didn't write here, I felt too good, and got myself busy. Before I had this riotous break seriously didn't know if I could make it through 4 or 5 months of this hell. I really didn't know. I can't say how thankful I am for the blessing of having a break and getting to have ten wonderful Heather days back. I see that at the end of the tunnel, the little light that I will indeed have a good life again. It was impossible for me to really see this. I just felt irreversibly changed, for the better, and sadly for the worst. The worst because I didn't know if I was going to make it, and I still don't. But at least I am happy (that is today) about not knowing.
My hand is still infected, but my Oncologist decided it was time to take me off the IV antibiotics. I am just taking the oral gut wrenchers now. Yesterday our sawd got layed, and it is impossible for me to sit back and tell people what to do. I like to show people. I got my hands in the dirt, got pricked a few times by our cedar fence that was going up at the same time, and got my hands dirty some more. I was told yesterday that this is a NO, No, and you'd think honestly that I had just learned my lesson. I have to always wear gloves. But that sucks. For instance last night D and I thought that we needed to water the lawn. D went outside and said, " Hey, I need some help. Can you grab the hose and untangle it." Am I supposed to say, " I can't. I have to run upstairs, and grab my gloves out on the deck. Just wait a minute." By the time this would've happened the lawn could have been watered already. This wasn't the hummingbirds choice, nor Tiggers so, I grabbed the filthy hose and tried to untangle it.
This lesson, this cellulitis lesson, hopefully made me think about not grabbing that hose. I am a slow learner on these types of things and I have a feeling I will have to get it again, to prove to myself that I need to NOT DO anything that puts me in contact with dirt. I mean, maybe it was just a fluke that I got it....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Radiating Sun

I feel like the radiating sun today because I am full of thankfulness for this time. The time to be "Heather" again, and I haven't gotten this luxury since I was diagnosed on June 2. The past few months have been filled with every emotion under the stars while I tried to grasp the actuality that I was living with Breast Cancer, and of coarse the Fertility stuff. Then it was my first chemo treatment and then dealing with the repercussions of it. Now, today, yippee!! I have no worries, I am in treatment, I am out of pain, I have my mind back and solely to myself. I get to think about having cancer now every other moment instead of every second. Sure, my little stubbles of hair are falling out all over the place but that's fun. I actually am TOTALLY loving rocking the short hair do! Its fun.
I am pretty sure when I see my doctor tomorrow he is going to continue the IV antibiotics. My hand is still pretty swollen. But, I have been wrong about most things concerning my body lately so, who really knows.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy

Today was a fun day. I got my port injected with a radioisotope of some kind to make sure that it was working correctly. I am one of those "really in tune" girls that can feel the AC going in. They wanted to make sure that everything was working correctly, and sure enough it is. I have waited for almost three hours to see my Oncologist. I got an award today, for making the longest wait to see him, he said. I didn't have a set appointment and so I got to wait and wait some more. The old Heather would have been pissed, I mean pissed. But what I said out loud to all the other ladies waiting for their appointments was, "Hey, I don't mind. My life is on hold anyways." And I meant it. I was just bored out of my mind. I had time to set up two of my friends on a blind date, that's always fun for a married woman!!
My doctor decided that my infection hadn't cleared up enough to do chemo this week. He wants me to start up like I was supposed to on August 20th. I just skipped a whole treatment. There is a part of me that was scared and asked him if I should be. He said that it is very common for someone to skip an entire chemo treatment once. If it happens again he said he won't be happy. I am a bit nervous that that may happen, since I have had such a hard time out of the gate. Let's keep our fingers crossed. So that was the bad news. But the good news is that this couldn't have happened at a better time!! Our house is set to have photographs taken this friday and to go on the market on Monday. So, that means I won't be all out of my mind with sickness and it will be smooth. Phew!!
I am now sitting waiting to have more IV antibiotics. I have been at the hospital for four hours and should be here for another hour. My doc ordered me to have two more days of IV antibiotics and then said I need to see him again on Wednesday. Hopefully my hand will be all better by then, and we'll just stick to the oral antibiotics. The reason he doesn't want to risk giving me chemo this week, is that even if the swelling goes down this week, my WBC count drops dramatically each time I do chemo. The risk is that the infection would still be lingering a bit and then I'd get the full blown infection again! YIKES!! I hope I never again have to have that kind of pain in my hand again!! So, there is good news. I get to wait for another ten glorious days to fill my body up with that toxic shit! Happy Happy, Joy-Joy!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Day

Well, my hand is still hurting but not nearly as bad as it has been. I can type with discomfort today. I realized through this whole pain thing for almost one week now, that I would not be able to handle life if I had constant debilitating pain, for the rest of my life. I even have more respect today for my mom, that she was able to endure nine years of it. I also realized that I highly doubt I will be able to do chemo tomorrow. The swelling has gone down, but I still have a swelling like I did the first day. I have a goose egg size bump on my thumb and you still can't see my tendons in my hand. I leave for the hospital in a bit to get another round of IV antibiotics.
Yesterday, hundreds of plants were put into the ground at our house. We now have a fully landscaped, beautiful yard. Today, the fence is starting to get built and D is less stressed. Getting cancer in the middle to end of a remodel I think ranks high with one of the less opportune times to get "it".
I have been thinking and..At the end of the day, we came into this world on our own with the help of our mothers. And at the end, when we die, we go to a place all our own. And in this journey, not that D isn't there in the way he can be, and not that family and friends aren't there, because I am getting lots of support, but in the end, in the end, I am the one laying in bed alone with my body, my pain, my sorrow, my grief, my shock, my joy, my fervour for life, that no one in the entire world can touch. That is the loneliness of this journey. And it is the Magick. It encompasses all that is. It is a very high spiritual place. I can, and do at times cry because this place is hard. But in this place of hardness, I believe I am growing to be a stronger woman and someday a better mom. One day, I will be able to give to my little tigers more and from more of a compassionate place because I know how much we are on our own, and how it is to need comfort, when comfort still doesn't take away the pain, or the sadness.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tears on the Pillow

Last night I cried myself to sleep. I am already tired of being sick. The doc's say that this cellulitis thing isn't common. Hopefully from now on, its a smoother ride. I have been on antibiotics since July 24th. That is upsetting to me, I still have six days of them. I am sick of being in pain. Last night I woke up at four a.m. with my hand pounding, and should have taken a vicodin but I am scared of them, and just took Advil. I am getting sick of taking Advil all day everyday. Sick because I know how bad they are on my little body. Then I start thinking about everything else that I am doing to my body right now and all I can do is cry. I want my old healthy lifestyle back.
I have to remember what my Dad said in the beginning when I told him I didn't want to do chemo, "The alternative sucks." Yes, death would suck, but who really, really knows that that isn't my fate. We all want me to live because of the little hummingbird that I am, but really, who knows. That makes me cry.
Life is so precious. Time is precious. Its hard to go through this as a married woman. My life is coupled with someone that is healthy and hasn't, due to our young age, had to endure death or facing death before. I lost my mom, and in a way this helps me. But D hasn't. He has no clue how I am feeling. He only, and for his sanity he just sees this as a passing thing. He is making his life normal. He is even going to record his album in the middle of me doing chemo. He has to keep his life the way it is. So, when I was saying "we" have cancer, he isn't taking that on. So in a way, I am pretty lonely through this. Its hard. For those of you that haven't gone through this sortof experience you probably don't understand what I am saying.
I am just really sad the past couple of days. I still don't know if I am going to do chemo on Monday. I hope so I just want to do it and get it over with. I was hoping to be done with everything by the New Year, but it doesn't look like it.

Friday, August 8, 2008


This painful infection is slowly going away. What is crazy is that it all started, we think, from a teeny tiny little scratch the size of a needle head on my right pinky finger. My immune system is pretty lacking right now and due to the 3 nodes they took out of me, diseases like staph don't get filtered through my system as well as they once did. The doctor said that this may be something that I have to watch for for the rest of my life in my right arm. We'll have to see about that.
Now that I can type again, I will back pedal a bit. So, the little doctor that I am. I was 100% certain that I had simply done too many massages and I had developed a bad case of tendonitis in my thumb, that was Monday. On Monday, D suggested I cancel my massages and relax, and go to the doctors. I said no, and did the massages. Tuesday, I woke up and my hand was pounding out of my heart and I couldn't move my hand it was swollen so badly. I iced and iced, and it didn't help the inflammation at all. It just got worse. I called my doctor and told them. They said that they thought it was an infection. I told them I wanted to wait to see them for my scheduled chemo the next day, wednesday. Tuesday night came, and by then my hand was sending shooting nerve pains up into my shoulder and it was so bad I couldn't breath regularly. D suggested for me to take vicodin and I thought for the first time in my life, " Brillant idea." I really needed them. I took them every 2 hours, just a half tab. I am so freaked out by all the news there is about all these people getting addicted, so I use them sparingly. I ended up in the middle of the night realizing that 1/2 tab wasn't enough, the pain seemed to like 2 Advil too. So, that has been my diet for the past few days.
I was disappointed to find out that my chemo got cancelled because of this. I had family in town to help me out for this session, and now I am stuck with pulling through this one on my own. A few friends will come over and help watch me during the day, so that D can do the last minute touches on the house. Starting on Wed, I have been going to the hospital everyday and getting IV antibiotics. Today, I went thinking it was my last day. I thought this because last night the pain diminished and I stopped taking the pain med. The swelling went down enough to not put me in the hospital over the weekend, thank god. But, not enough for my doctor, so I got 3 days added of the IV antibiotic- sat, sun, and monday.
On Monday, we'll be at the hospital, (if I end up getting to do chemo) for close to 8 hours. I have a port test in the morning because since day 1, of it being used, I get a burning sensation whenever they put anything in me there. They say that shouldn't be happening. I think its alright, my intuition (however, it seems that that's been off with everything regarding this cancer crap) think that, but who knows. I am a very sensitive person, and so maybe I can feel inside my arteries? Who knows? After that test, I will get my IV antibiotic and then, possible chemo. I hope so. Its hard to get geared up for a possibility.
D, shaved my head last night. WIll get the pics up probably tomorrow. It looks good, as good as a mangy dog can look. My little bald head has hair and spots of no hair. I can't wait till its all gone and just a smooth little head.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Clumps and one hand

typing w/ 1 hand still. vicodin every few hours. i have what they call cellulitis. my hand is even more swollen today. last night my mother in law said to me, "i'm surprised your hair isn't coming out yet." i was chipper and said as i pulled on my hair, " yeah, i just pull on it and nothing comes..." well, it did. i held my first clump of hair in my hand. if i pull on my hair, anywhere, it just comes out. i'm going to have d shave a mohawk for me for a bit, and then shave it off entirely. can't handle the emotions if i see clumps, as people say on the pillows.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

chemo cancelled

tpying w/ 1 hand again. i didn' t do too many massages. i need to stop thinking i'm a doctor and start calling them when i am in any pain. well, i have a really bad infection in my arm/hand. i'm right now hooked up to intravenous iv and getting a dose of antibiotic. will do that two more times this week, and have a super strong antibiotic that i have to take for 10 days orally, too. i am in so much pain that i HAVE to be on vicodin, i cannot breath through the pain.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The tin man

It is impossible to use my right hand today. My thumb's tendon is very swollen, to the point that I finally had to take a 1/2 a pain med because I was no longer able to breath through the pain. D wanted to go to doctor;s today, but I said no because I'm going in tomorrow. I feel like the tin man. I'm not going to tpye anymore. Using one hand is no fun. I am scared to do another round of chemo tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Treatments?

My job, as I see it now it to get better, and to learn as much information about my disease. Me, a Triple Negative 33 year old, stage 1, TC1. Yesterday, a new study came out showing that there was a 27% increased survival rate for women whose cancer may have spread into other parts of their body, if given Taxol weekly for 12 consecutive weeks. OH! MY!! That means on Wednesday, I need to go into my Oncologist when I see him, armed with this study and talk to him about it. I want that 27% chance. I want it. I cannot believe that I would ask for more chemo. A whole months more at that.
Yes, no one knows if my cancer has spread. Didn't I do those scans you ask? Yes, I did. But all those incredible space age scans only show cancer that is bigger than a mm. So, any microscopic cancer that is freely floating around in my body is going undetected. My tumor wasn't contained, it was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. That word, Invasive and being a TN-the nasty Aggressive form that it is, in MY mind, tells me that it is HIGHLY likely that I have free floating cancer cells in my body. Tumors have to live, and my tumor was living for however long it was-no one will ever be able to tell me- living off of my blood in my body. So, it is a no brainer to me to ONE do chemo in the first place, and to ask for more chemo. My ONC. probably has already read this article, but just in case I am bringing it in to him. I don't ever intend on doing chemo again. I want to try as hard as I can this first time, and if it comes back deal with it another way. That way, we won't talk about now. Maybe ever, hopefully. So, here I come. I want that 27%.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Back to back

I was thinking that back to back would be a good title since I just gave two 1 1/2 hour massages back to back, and I feel awesome. It is so good to be back and fully back. I cannot say how happy I am that I feel normal again. With the whole treatment thing started, I almost mentally feel like Heather again. The old superwoman, Heather.
When I wrote back to back, I also thought that it was a good title with how I am feeling, or is that stuffing, the fact that I have 11 more treatments. In the bottom of my gut and in the back of my mind there is sheer terror with the fact that I have to go through this 11 more times. I am scared and freaked out. I can have a good and optimistic attitude, and hope and try to will my body into not having any reactions to the chemo. But because the first round was so bad, (could've been worse, I could've been puking) that I am a little nervous. So, I just have to think of all the little kids that go through this and all the millions of people worldwide that do chemo and not worry about it. I just have to be a little chemo soldier and keep going.
I am not allowing myself to actually think about my upcoming treatments, except when I am writing here. I am now going to stop myself. Today is a beautiful day in Seattle. Thank God! It has been rainy and cold for most of last week. I have one more 1 1/2 hour massage to do today, and I am looking forward to it. Off to finish, The Book Of Negroes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Feeling Good

Today was just perfect. Perfect weather, perfect day, prefect body. I feel good, and have my nose in an incredible Canadian best seller the past few days. It is called, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. One of the best books I've read in a while. It has been a God send. For the past few days, I am able to get my mind off of cancer, and live the life of a slave.
I have bouts of anxiety about my upcoming chemo treatment and brush them away. I have to stay in the present moment, and when I get scared, I just remind myself that lots and lots and lots of people go through chemo, for even a year and they all make it. I will make it through this, and I'll be okay. Oh! I did get an incredible mouth wash that numbs my mouth so I can eat now. It makes my mouth and me so happy to be out of pain its incredible.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Beautiful Poem

My friend G just sent this to me.


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~


Yesterday, I got a pint of fresh local organic raspberries. I had read everywhere that I wasn't supposed to eat raw fruit and veggies and my doctor said that was balony. At least right now while my WB's are good. He told me to eat whatever I was hungry for. I asked him about one of my favorite, raspberries and he said sure. So, I am rinsing everything and have been enjoying eating whatever that I want. Until yesterday that is. I ate about 1/4 of the pint and gave up because they just didn't taste that great. In fact they were tasteless, they smelled good. I left them out on the counter for D to eat. Sure enough, he came around and ate them and said they were the best berries he'd had all summer. What? I didn't think, I mean would you, that my taste buds were gone? My tongue did feel coarser and yes, I got mouth sores the very first day (even with impeccable mouth rinsing after I ate-every single time~my skin basically just came off the first day, I know gross, but this blog is in detail) but I still have always been able to taste everything. I just couldn't believe it. The next thing that I noticed was our water. We just got a new fridge and D and I drank from it yesterday, as the water was filtered really well and tasted excellent. Well today, that was yesterday now, I can't drink water anymore. It suddenly tasted like plastic, so that is why I really wanted to go get those 10G jugs of freshly filtered water yesterday. I got home with that water, same thing. Some chemo patients say they have a metal taste in their mouths, and I am familiar with this taste due to the scans and injections with them. And this is why I was taken by surprise yesterday. I don't have that taste in my mouth. Yes, I am in a lot of pain in my mouth~and it doesn't really bother me because its the least of body symptoms right now, usually a little sore in my mouth would kill me, and last night they did keep me up a bit, but generally not a big deal. BUT plastic, tasteless fresh raspberries, plastic water. Luckily we have a lot of fresh mint here around the house so I put it in the water. D tasted it a few times for me throughout the day, as even with a huge sprig of mint in my glasses, the water still tasted lifeless.
I wanted to share my thoughts on losing my hair. For those of you that remember me pre-cancer I had gotten my hair so long, and just were I wanted it, finally. I was really, really sad to lose my hair. If you haven't read the hair posts, you may want to go back and recap, as I am not going to again. So, my hair is now in a pixie cut, and it took me a week of feeling the symbolism of losing everything in my life right now, to get over it. I love it now. All this week, I keep running my fingers through my hair, just waiting for the day that clumps start coming out. I kind of tug on my little short strips of hair between my fingers to see if they are coming out any easier, and to my delight they are holding firm. I am ready for my hair to come out though.
As ready as one can be. I am sure the emotional response to having a bald head will be deflating and sad, or maybe it won't be. There is absolutely no way for me to know how I will feel and what feelings will be evoked from the ritual shaving. Or from the looks I will get, you know the young precious kids that can't help but say something. My mom was a very large lady, and I got used to those remarks or the insensitivity of people "trying" to say or do the right thing my entire life. So, maybe I will be okay and used to it. There is also no way of saying this for me other than just bluntly, and those of you that know me, know I am NOT an ego maniac, but I know that I was blessed with a beautiful face and body in this life. I have never personally had anyone discriminate against me because of the way I look. Ever. If anything, my life is much easier because of my looks, and I have always known that. So, this will be my challenge that I am wanting to experience, and am actually excited for the growth. There may be days, that I write in this blog about how hard it is not having hair. And you all will have to understand, that I will be processing this growth as a person. So, this I am looking forward to.
I do not want to wear a damn wig. The wig is for everyone else. I HAVE CANCER. I am undergoing a debilitating treatment and everything in my life is gone, except for the love of my family and friends~which on a side note is incredible. The love that grows between a husband and wife through the trails of life-and living together is absolutely a great reason to sleep with one person for the rest of your life. So, yes, we all know I have cancer, and the wig is for everyone else. It is a costume that I am unwilling to act the part. I love more than life itself going to festivals and dressing up in various costumes and morphing into aspects of my spirit that I can explore. I am unwilling, thank god I've been in counseling since the age of 5~smirking again, to not wear a fucking wig. I am going to embrace this and I am going to go bald. I am going to have sunscreen, don't worry to all of you that are my mom's out there, and wear hats, pretty scarffs, and I am going to rock my electric blue wig if D and I go out on the town. For fun. I won't wear my blue eyelashes, because they say I can't, I might get an eye infection. But, I will have fun, or not and that is okay.