Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is this it?

I have one day left before I start my next set of three months, every week of treatment. I am scared that I won't have a day like I did yesterday, or like the day I will have today, for three months. I don't know if I have the strength to go on, if I don't. I am freaked out that I am going to get fat because I have to eat so many steroids a day. I have to eat tons of them a day to counter act any allergic reactions that I may get. I think the steroids are the hardest part of this treatment for me. Besides feeling like I am going to blow chunks, and never do. I did throw up last time at the doctors office.
I just pray and am going to have faith that I will have at least two good days in between treatments. Yesterday, D and I took a long walk down to the beach and layed out on the rocks for a bit. I told him that I had to keep walking. I used to love to sit and take in the rays on the beach. But now, since i lay around in bed for so many days on end, all I wanted to do was walk like the energizer bunny.
I don't have much more to say. I am really pretty darn happy right now. I feel like this past week has given me the strength to look at my next three months. And I know I can make it. Its just going to be rough.

Tamara, thank you for getting me some fat pants. It really meant the world to me!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend gone where?

This weekend I worked doing massage and real estate all day long and into night. Old little worker bee Heather came out for a little dance. It felt so good to spend my time the way I did. Sure a camping trip sounds heavenly, but while I feel good I thought I should be working. I am so bummed that Wed is just around the corner. I sure hope this Taxorete is easy on me, as everyone seems to say it will be. AC was really really rough the first time and the second. But each treatment got easier and easier on me. I wonder if it was just that my body was so pure that it took doses of toxic shit to get into me and pollute or kill off everything in me? Maybe now, my body is just full of toxins and so its like no big deal when it gets a new dose of AC. So... I am hoping that is the way it is with this next chemo drug. Although it could totally skip the first one being sucky, that would be okay with me.
I am nervous about the steroids, since I have to start taking mega doses of them. I am afraid that I am going to get fat. Sure D says he doesn't care, but he sure does notice when I get big. I mean, its impossible for him to not notice. I am just really sensitive right now. Its hard to tell someone they look pretty still when I am bald, fat, and red as a beat.
I have been eating lots of fresh fruit and salads and veggies. My body has suddenly been "needing" all that. This makes me happy because for a while there all I wanted was comfort food. Three months is a long time. I am really nervous about this next set.

Word to all. Please call me and cheer me up if you notice that I am having a hard time in the next few months. I am worried that I won't have any good days and that it will be like a horrible run on sentence of pain and icky feelings. If this is the case, I'll need some good jokes told to me on a regular basis.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chemo Nurse

I woke up and cried last night. I remembered that in my chemo induced fog, last time I was at the hospital my chemo nurse Cara told me that it was the last time I'd see her. I was so sad to say goodbye. She is one of two nurses that has always given me my chemo. They are both my age, a bit younger and are traveling nurses. It is crazy that I just processed it. Chemo makes me so icky and all I can do is focus on me and getting better that now that I am better I remembered and I am sad about her departure.
I have officially reached the point that anytime I even write chemo, I get sick. My mouth waters and I get a full body "Icky" feel. Ewhh!!

The changing weather has given me an invigoring feel the past few days. I love my head being cold and not hot. I never realized how many spider webs my head goes through with hair. Now, I notice it a few times a day. My taste buds are still wacked out. Water tastes like poison. I can't handle anything spicy. Not even pepper.

I can't wait till the debate tonight. I can hardly wait actually.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sad for a friend

Today I ran into another Keller Williams agent that just had surgery on his neck. Within one month, a tumor grew and he found out that though it didn't appear on MRI to be cancer, that the surgeon said it looked like it was. I couldn't help but get sad for him and his lovely family. What choked me up was when he talked about the things that could've happened during the surgery and how lucky he was that that didn't happen. I said to him, "Yeah, but even if it did it doesn't matter because your alive." He and his wife, now having entered the cancer realm knew what I meant, and he said, " Its true. Life is so precious." It killed me. It killed me because I was/am so sad that another person has to look at life in such a serious paradigm shifted way. Sad, that they are sad.
Off to do a few massages. On my merry little way. Loving it..

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Down with AC

Yippee! I am so happy that I am finally done, for the rest of my life, with Adriamycin!! No more, and done with Cytoxan! Thrilled. I have been really emotional the past few days. I don't know what is about going to the PCC but I always have a little cry when I am done. This morning, I woke up and cried too. I have moments of disbelief still. I just can't believe it. It, being the simple, very simple truth that I got cancer. I no longer have cancer, it was taken out of me, but just the fact that it grew in the first place. I feel this crazy healthy person rising inside me, and I know that when I am done with this freakin' nightmare of a treatment, or as my Oncologist likes to refer to it, precautionary clean up, I am going to REALLY take care of myself. Not just as in food, but in every aspect of my life. I am going to make sure that I am happy and that I am living and doing what it is the way I want, because life is too short to not live this way.
There will be major changes. But honestly these changes have already begun, they're in the works right now. There is so much to change because of my growth. The growth I guess is what makes me cry, and made me cry today. Its painful.

I get to ask myself each day, "Is this the kind of woman I want to be?"

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Looks

Yesterday, as I was checking out of the health food store, and pushed my cart to go outside I got overwhelmed with tears. How is it that I "got" cancer. I ate everything right, I had the right mind frame, I exercised, I just don't get it. I let it wash over me, as well as the looks I get from people. But yesterday, the looks got to me and the fact that I caught my breast cancer early at the little old age of 33 just freaked me out. I got really sad. I got a few tears in my eyes and I got to my car and then I let it go. Life. My life. Life. How? Why? How is it possible? Why me? How come? How? How? How is it possible? What could I have done differently? What can I do differently? My future? Its scary. I wish I could know what my cancer feeds on, and what happened to make it start growing in the first place.

Today I am almost back to normal. I went to the office as I am in the middle of a few deals right now. I got wiped out pretty fast and am now back on the coach trying to relax and not feel sick to my stomach.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Just Starved

Today has been almost a "normal" day. Besides the insane, " must eat right now " times, and the nice plumpish reddish skin colour I am doing good. I slept the night through without any sleep aids last night. I really wanted to do that because I am afraid of those aids. Afraid that I will get addicted to them. So, last night when anxiety would creep uo and wake my heart up, I would just calm myself down. Its funny, but I am one of those people that actually since I was a kid count sheep. The whole white picket fence, green lushy grass, and the white sheep. Just jumping slowly one after the other over the fence. It always does it for me, putting me fast to sleep.
I just woke up from a nap and life is good. I am again, looking forward to a better day tomorrow and can't wait for it. This is what gets me through this. The hope that tomorrow is a better day. I am almost over the AC, and maybe tomorrow I can say. I finished it completly. A strange thing has begun to happen. Anything disgusting, anything at all, is too much right now. I have to only think of nice things, as anything that is gross makes me sick to my stomach. I can't think of getting the chemo, and even just writing about it right now makes me sick to my stomach. Enough of it. I just can't wait for three months from now. I will be all done with chemo. I'll get to take three weeks off and then start radiation. Happy trails...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Its going to get better

Today was okay. I found myself pretty sick, and each time I wrote down the time I took a med and why I took it it made me sick just to write the word nauseous, for the reason why I was taking it. I think my brain has a lot to do with me not feeling well. I took an anti-axiety med tonight as my whole body was shaky and I needed to just calm down. I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later. Feeling much better. The past few days lots of friends have dropped by food, which has made it a lot easier for D and I. Being on this chemo alone, the food makes it one less thing we need to do. Though I am not doing anything but lay around and watch movies and tv. Its just takes all my energy to walk up the flight of stairs to the kitchen right now. Forget about going up stairs to the bedroom. Our bedroom during chemo is the downstairs area. Just too many stairs for me. Today we took a very slow walk around the block. I was hoping it was going to take my mind off of eating, and it did for a second. THe steroids are incredibly intense this time. My face and body has been bloated since the day after chemo. We are referring to my little body as plump and red as a beet. The days of pissing it out are long gone. Not sure why, but my body is keeping the water weight longer and longer.
When I saw my onc on wed he said that since I am having such a difficult time with the steroids instead of using Taxol we will use Taxotere. Same results just different chemo cocktail. Taxol i would be on 10 pills a day, and taxorete just 4. Right now on the firtst day I am on 3 then 2 then1 and I am miserable. I guess you have to take lots of steroids because of all the allergeic reactions. I can't sleep and my new sleep aid hasn't put me to sleep, well it did for about an hour. I hope I get tired soon. There is nothing on TV and I am bored.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

To use or not to use

Since the use of steroids seems to be what is causing all my ill affects I had a bright idea to not take them this time. My Onc said, "ok..but here are some suppositories just in case you can't keep anything down." I left his office excited that I wasn't going to be so sick, so swollen, and so sleep deprived shoving my face of unknown foods at all hours of the morning. chemo went okay yesterday and last night I fell asleep with the aid of a new sleep aid. I acutally slept until 5 am. Wonderful. Today, i was up sick as a dog. D and I are on this chemo alone and so he woke up and made me an incredible omelet and then we went back to sleep. I woke up nauseaous and have been all day. Its like having the flu without blowing chunks. I am a puker and always look forward to feeling better afterwards. With all the anti-puke drugs they don't let me ever puke so I just have walked around feeling sick. I just got back from the doctors and they gave me a bunch of IV anti-nauseau stuff and my little WBC count booster so that I can fight off infections better. I actually feel about 50 % better. I'm going to go..just a little update

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Couldn't be better

Today was such a great day, I got to forget I have breast cancer. I even feel that its right to not capitalize it. How fun today was. I worked all day doing real estate and had a very accomplished day. I don't have much to say other than I am equally bummed that tomorrow is another chemo and thrilled that it is my last of AC. I got a letter this morning from a dear reader that said her sister is on the same treatment as me. She had just as rough a time on AC that I have had but that the three months of Taxol were much easier on her. It was a wonderful way to start my day. I had a big smile of hope on my face and I really do hope that in three weeks time, when I start the Taxol that I find that it is easier.
I will just have to wait and see, and until then have faith that this is going to be the case.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Missing my hair

I have really been missing having hair the past few days. Looking in the mirror to my bald little head is something that I am not sure I will ever get used to. Going out in public is always a big deal. Kids cannot help their curiosities. They stare and stare and last week, I sweetly looked at the boy that was in front of me in the grocery store and said, "I know, I don't have any hair. I look kind of different, uh?" Is it that adults stare, looking at how healthy I look, but knowing and letting it register that I have cancer? I mean, besides losing my hair I look the picture of health.
I have been feeling like the picture of health lately, too. Wednesday is coming too soon. I wish it weren't. Simple things I used to take for granted like washing all my floors in a matter of minutes because I am a swirling dervish. When I am sick for the week after chemo, I can't do that. Nor do I even want to spend my bit of energy I do have on cleaning the floor as fast as the tasmanian devil. Its funny how the accomplishments I used to make in a day, accomplishments that used to really matter to me, just vanish and all I can do is get through the day. And that is a huge accomplishment.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bag Lady

Okay, sorry I took a few days off. I admittedly have been slammed with real estate and absolutely loving it. Yeah know, when I got diagnosed my life fell apart. It had to. I had to spend weeks on the coach in shock, unable to move. I had to spend time reading everything I could get my hands on about breast cancer and I needed to do this. It empowered me. The pain of family members calling and not understanding and feeling free to judge and ask me why, I wasn't happier, ect...still is painful. I felt so misunderstood in a time that I needed to just be held. The compassionate person in me can and does understand that they are just people, trying to connect the best they can. But my heart has a ways to go with understanding their questions.
I remember when I was afraid of everything in the beginning. Even questioning and being met with no real answers from my doctors about the simplest life things. After my surgery will I be able to carry heavy grocery bags? Will this cause lymphadema? Yesterday, as I left the grocery store I decided to test this for the first time. The once unconscious act of carrying multiple bags in my right and left arms. Well, yesterday I carried two heavy bags with that right arm. I thought to myself, "wow, I am doing it. It doesn't cause any discomfort. I think its safe." That is how my life feels again. I think its safe to be Heather again.
A friend Anna from Vashon made a collague for me. Its a beautiful yellow flower that has shattered glass swirled in a beautiful pattern around its budding flower. This is how my life has and still feels. I was that beautiful radiant flower that gleamed all that I am. And then, cancer came into my life. It shattered the mirror of my life into a million pieces and it was up to me to get them into a beautiful pattern. As I was not going to let cancer make an ugly pattern of my life. So for the past few months I alone, have taken each piece of my shattered life and begun putting it into a beautiful mosaic again. I cannot put the mirror back the way it was. That is impossible, and I don't want to. I want to see all the ways that life isn't perfect and see the beauty in it.
In fact, I am starting to feel empowered again. So, to the people that thought I was being destructive, or that I should be working faster than I was able to, or that I was not "doing" to their unknown (because they have never had cancer, nor had to face their mortality, at a young age) standards, I AM BACK. THE WAY YOU WANTED ME. BUT ON MY TERMS. AND ON MY CLOCK. I am so proud of the way I have gone through this and frankly, I made it. I feel good. Cancer isn't just about facing treatment and making it. Its about facing my life, and facing mortality and being brave to know that noone can tell me if I am going to make it 100% and thats the real truth, not to mention what I had to go through with the whole fertility thing.
So, Heather is trickling back into my blood. I am back tentatively attacking real estate again. I actually am enjoying it tremendously. My office rocks. I love going there and have such support from my family there. From the beginning. Support that hasn't gone away with time.
I still have about five months to go. But I am starting to learn to live with my cancer treatment and all the unknowns. I don't get to know if my cancer counts are going down during this, I just get to have faith that they are. I will get to wait until January to know if I am in fact in remission and that I am living cancer free. So for today, I get to go forward with a beautiful sunny day and I get four more good days until my last AC. I am not looking forward to feeling sick again, and having my soul sucked from my veins. I get to just hope that Taxol is easier and that it gives me a few good days in between the treatments. I am scared that I won't. Changing to weekly chemo treatments brings a bit of anxiety to me. But at least I am now carrying grocery bags and going for bike rides.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The week of friends

This week friends have brought by a lot of food, and thank you all for that. I honestly haven't been cooking the healthiest possible in the past month, and with the food made with love from you guys, I can just pull it out and it makes life so much easier. I am back to Heather. In fact, D and I are going for a bike ride in a few moments. We are going to try shaving my head today. I have about ten little hairs that are still growing, and so they stand straight up in the air and they are driving me nuts.

I don't have any new major thought provoking ideas to share with you all. It doesn't change. I just have to get through this. Each day, many times through the day, I have to give myself a pep talk and know that I can and will make it through this. I have to give myself these pep talks because its so rough to do what I am doing. Its so disgusting. I say that I would never do it again, but then I think life is worth it. And maybe I would. I just have to say right now that I never would do it again because I can't imagine doing it more than I already need to. In fact, remember when I asked my doctor for the four more treatments of Taxol, because of the 27% increase in survivial rate? Well, right now, and in fact this very second I am listening to myself and my mind, heart, body, and soul now doesn't want to do the extra month. I can't imagine doing it to myself. I could be done with chemo in two months instead of three more. Its going to be each week now (after my last AC, next wed). What if I don't get days of feeling good in between. I know these weeks of feeling good and feeling the joy in my spirit rise again is the ONLY thing that gets me through this. This bike ride I get to go on. The one that I will need to wear a little hat because the wind rustling through the almost bare scalp will be cold. So, can I handle weekly Taxol for three months. No, I know I can't. But then, I know I will. The athlete in me knows I will. I just have to get on my game face, and I am scared. I am so scared, and so sad, and so devestated, and so tired of not feeling good. I am tired of crying and waiting to live life again. I am so pissed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Better Days

The good week is starting to roll in. I can feel the darkness of the AC disappearing and joy is starting to come back into my heart. The key word is "starting". Its amazing what chemo does to me. It steals or takes the joy from my spirit and all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and just hope that the next day is a better day. The very exciting thought for me today is that I just have one more AC and then I am done with it. I am going to have to make a really nice dinner in celebration, maybe bake a pie or something. Although crusts give me indigestion lately so it will probably have to be some kind of cake. I have been thinking about lemon bars lately so maybe I'll make those. I am starting to think that maybe this weekend I can go for a bike ride on Vashon. I can't wait till tomorrow when I am feeling even better than today and will have a full week of feeling good before the last AC.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just sick

Today was not a good day. I lost some of the water weight, but I had crazy food cravings. Ones that brought me back to what I liked to eat as a child. I had to take my anti-nausea a few times today. I am sad and I hate that I have to go through this. End of story. I am over it. I want my little life back. The one that I got to worry about all the silly little things. Like if there was a slow idiot in front of me in the car. I used to honk and get pissed. Now, I just slow down. Just slow down Heather. Its going to be alright. Everything is going to work out the way its supposed to. Maybe not the way I thought, but that is part of the beauty.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The only skirt that fits

I've ballooned up again. Its all water weight, I hope. My skin hurts, and I have no clothes that fit. The only thing I can get on my over my hips is a skirt that I put on over my head. I have been so hungry and I have to eat. The steroids make me. They send out this crazy hunger in me that paralyzes all will and I succumb as quickly as I'd imagine a tiny tot with a cookie in front of his/her face. In seconds. My friend Kristen today said, "its sounds just like when I was pregnant."
I didn't sleep again last night. I woke up at 1, at 3, at 5, and then at 6:30, each time just starving and I had to eat. Luckily my sister made lots of little meals for me, so I just would pop a little stuffed red pepper in the oven and eat it up before it was fully warmed. Or yogurt, or a peach...you get the idea. This morning I brought myself out to a nice breakfast, alone. On the drive there, I was so hungry. I didn't stop for a quick pastry, even though my mind was telling me that if this little french restaurant was packed and I had to wait I might go insane with food cravings. Like my mouth would start watering, the corners of my mouth would start to pucker, and I might eat the food off of a sweet little lovebirds table next to me. But I resisted, and luckily there wasn't much of a wait. I tried to disappear within the pages of the book that every girl in America has read, the one you know that everyone carries with them, Love, Eat, and Pray. I do like the book and her travels are fun, especially since she is almost obsessed with food as I am. That brings me an idea, I should read some real "foody" books right now. In fact, if any of you know of one please give me the title. Anyways, so life is about feeding the steroid rage as wendy my sis, and D call it. I hope its gone tomorrow. I have eaten and eaten and honestly this afternoon I am not as starved as I was yesterday. I am feeling much better today. In fact I just woke up from a nap. My body doesn't ache, I can see, and lord I AM MORE THAN HALF WAY FINISHED...with hell. I just have one more AC and then its Taxol baby.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Not sleeping

My sis and I grew up sharing a room. I was the neat freak and she was the one with the apple under her bed. Needless to say, one day I got the almighty Roll Of Duck Tape and made a line down the middle of our room. That way my weeble wobbly's and fischer price guys could be set up in constant play and I didn't have to worry about cleaning her side of the room. Last night or I guess still tonight, I slept in the same bed with her. I love her so much. This snuggly brought back childhood memories and a comfort that is only shared with a sister. I have been up off and on since 1 am. The first round, I ate a cup of Plain LF Nancys yogurt and now, a bowl of kick ass buffalo chili my fridn Nic brought by earlier in the week. Its so good. I am not sure if I'll be able to get myself to fall asleep again. The steroid induced weight gain came on again yesterday. My doc, (tink by the way) said its usual and I am okay. Even the very not talked about because I was afraid of talking about "crazy" things on her that the 6th day I loose my mind for about 45 minutes. I have to force myself to lay down and not to think because my mind starts racing faster than my other mind and I fragment. No worries with that, just a lovely side effect of the chemo and steroid use together. Both just working their way out of my sysytem. I am crossing my fingers that it doessn't happen this time again.
Over all this chemo was better than the other two. Yesterday was a bad day. I hope today isn't a bad day. My joints really really hurt and I had to take an ativan just to be able to handle the persistant *reaking pain last night. I'm supposed to take those every night, and I do, but I took it a little early. They are supposed to help me sleep. But they don't. As you can see. I watched the stand up to cancer thing yesterday. My sis and I held hands and she cried. I couldn't cry anymore. You know, the tears would have been "poor me" tears and my sis was doing enough of those for me that it made me feel good and empowered. Damn cancer. Wears that Fuck cancer hat. My little noggin is cold. I wear it around the house. Haven't been bold enough to wear it on the streets of West Seattle. I think kids hear that word enough. They don't need to see a bald lady wearing it on her head.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm not feeling good

Today sucks. My body aches, my skin is red as a beet, but I can see and type. End of story. My thumb got a damn little knick in it and now its getting infected. One more day of trying the neosporin. If its not better tomorrow, I am calling my doctor.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All on the wing of a prayer

For those of you raised in the 80's you'll know this diddy.

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air.
I never thought I'd live so freee.

ooohhh could this be, believe its just me.

I am feeling pretty damn good. Good in the meaning that I can actually see still, I feel like I have the flu but that I am not dying, and the other complaint is just a mild digestive upset and redskin.

So, I am doing good. I even did a real estate deal today. I've slept pretty much all day, and woke up and ate all the yummy food my sis is making me. I hope I feel as good as I do today tomorrow.

Love, H

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Chemo day number three. I am not stoked that its here. I feel like I am running the best race of my life and I twisted my ankle and I have to stop. Bummer! I am having so much fun again and now I get to feel like total crap for another week. My sister is on her way up from Eugene. I haven't wanted to talk to her that much this past week because I didn't want to talk about her coming. You know how you do that with guest. The excitement that they are coming. Because she is coming to help us out, there isn't in an excitement to see her because she's coming to help me through this chemo crap. Chemo does weird things to my brain. It makes me sick to even think about today and what's going to happen. I called her yesterday and told her, "okay, I'm ready to talk about you coming. I've got my game hat on again." I was serious. I have to put on my kick ass, or the actual Fuck Cancer hat, my friend Tamara got me to get myself psyched for this. After today, I only have one more AC and that's going to be awesome!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

So Good

I am so thankful for this past week of feeling good again. I really have felt totally like myself for only about four days, but those days have been wonderful. Today I think was the best yet. Did I mention how much I have always loved my ability to mulit-task at a high level? I mean I love it. Today, my mind was working full swing and I was able to think way in the future about all the little things I got to plan for and to execute. The difference now is that I don't let any of it stress me out. For that lesson alone, I am thankful. I still run into friends that don't know I have cancer and its so insane to relive those early days of how it felt to share my news. Now when I share the news, there is strength in the telling and not a feeling of morbidity. I guess there is still that sense of who the hell really knows but not on such a deep level. I am an optimist but I cannot totally believe in a 100% cure since it was and is still so incredibly shocking that I "got" it in the first place. I sure as hell hope and send positive energy out there but at the end of the day none of us really knows when our time is and will be.
I just get to live with that heightened awareness for the rest of my life. I think that is a good thing. I think.