B is for Boulders!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post!  Now that I’m feeling good, I find that my time gets eaten up with all the things that were neglected the 6 months or so I was down.  Let’s see if I can get you all caught up….

The plastic surgeon was able to get my tissue expanders filled in record time…  it was a very painful process (nursing two boys was NOTHING compered to the pressure I felt after each fill), but the important thing was that we got done before I had to start radiation…  I now have to sit with what I call “boulders” in my chest for 6 months, until they put the actual soft implants in late December.  Let me tell you, these things are HARD.  They don’t move, shift, or bounce in ANY way.  Sleeping is interesting, to say the least.  I was never a stomach sleeper, but if I had been, that would be impossible now. Although I am slowly getting used to it, the silicone implants will be a welcome change.  Come on December!  Once that second surgery is over, I will finally be able to put this all behind me.  Here’s to a better year in 2015!  I think my family is WAY overdue..

Radiation will start on Monday, July 21st and will be 5 days a week for 7 weeks… Side effects are relatively minimal from what I understand. Some fatigue, and possibly a sunburn like rash in the area being radiated. I’ll just be glad when it’s done, and I can get one step closer to my new normal.

As for my hair, it is S~L~O~W~L~Y growing back…  after realizing that it would take several months before I even have a “pixie” cut, I decided to buy a new wig.  This one is VERY natural looking, and is much more wind friendly than my last one.  I think I’ll name her Charlotte.   :)

Hope everyone’s summer is going well!  I’ll keep doing what I do best….  keep on keepin’ on! 

D is for DOH!

The time has come!!  I get my very last chemo treatment on Friday…  I was SUPER excited for that until my last visit, when Dr. Reed informed me that recent research has shown that radiation would now be beneficial in my case…  I was originally told I did not need to do it at all.  That in itself was a bomb, then it occurred to me that it could effect my reconstruction process.  When you first start that process, the plastic surgeon asks if you are going to get radiation.  If the answer is no, then he does not continue to “fill” the tissue expanders while you are receiving chemo, in order to cut back on the risk of infection.  If you are, however, going to get radiation, they DO fill the expanders during chemo, because skin that has been radiated does not stretch like normal skin.  Since I didn’t find out that I needed radiation till my chemo was almost over, it has left me in a pinch to get the expanders filled as quickly as possible.  Hopefully I will at least get close to the perfect “C” I have been dreaming about!  That was my silver lining to this whole ordeal!  Hahaha!!  Right now, I am not sure when radiation will start, but I do know that it will be every day for five and a half weeks, and that it can be done here in Kearney. 

So yes, I was a little pissed off at this new revelation.  I thought I was DONE!!  Haven’t we done enough “preventative” stuff already??  But then it occurred to me, the whole reason I chose to go to UNMC for my treatments is so that I can get the latest in medical research, and here they are giving it to me, and I am mad?  Seems a little counter productive…  this new study did just come out in the last month or so, it just so happened that I fell into the window and was lucky enough to get this new info.  If it further prevents this stuff from coming back, then I have to be all about it, right?  I just hope we can get the reconstruction stuff completed first…  I will know more about that after tomorrows appointment. 

I will be ringing the “Cancer Be Gong” at UNMC tomorrow…..  it’s kind of a big deal, at least they make it out to be.  To me, it’s bittersweet, because Justin rang that once…. that one didn’t work out so well…..  Mine will be a different story though…. it already has been.

B is for Better

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post!  The week after that last chemo treatment was very rough, and it unfortunately carried into the holiday weekend.  I did end up in the ER the Saturday before Easter with a fever, but I did not have to receive IV antibiotics, so that was good.  By Monday, I felt completely fine.  As far as the most recent treatment (number 5) it has (so far) been much kinder to me.  I had muscle aches the first few days after, but those are pretty much gone by now.  From what I have read about Taxol, the side effects can get worse as time goes on, but for now it is so nice not having to take the anti nausea pills every four hours!  It really is the little things….  As for life in general, the boys and I are doing good.  Baseball season is starting so it looks like we are going to be busy with that.  I am looking forward to the warmer weather (if it ever gets here!!)  Callen is joining the ranks this summer too…. signed him up for Tiny Kickers soccer in July!  Should be interesting to say the least…. 

H is for Halfway

Today I received my fourth chemo treatment, and the last of what they call the Red Devil. (Doxorubicin) I am halfway through.

One more week. One more week of feeling like total crap. One more week, and the worst of this should be over. The drug in the last four rounds isn’t prone to making you nauseous near as much as the current one. The pharmacist said today that I wouldn’t even need anti nausea meds at all, and that my fatigue should improve. Right now, especially the week after, I am taking meds every four hours, and I can’t miss or I am miserable. Not having to take ANY will be a welcome change! So far it has gone pretty fast for me, so I guess that’s a good thing. The boys are at Grandmas this weekend so I am just going to relax as much as I can, and get ready to plod my way through one more bad week. I can do this! Soon I’m gonna see that glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel… 😊

F is for Follow

Those of you that are keeping up on my blog and haven’t taken the time to sign in and “follow” me, please do so. It would be nice, (and comforting!) to be able to see my supporters listed out in front of me! It will also help me in daily conversations so I know who knows what. Thank you everyone! ❤️

J is for Jinx

I should have never bragged about how well I’m doing… The very day after my last post, I woke up and felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks. It was all I could do to get out of bed and get the boys ready for school, and I ended up missing my first two days of work. (And hopefully my last!) I did nothing but sleep and sit in my recliner, and am once again happy that our family was around to help with the boys. By Saturday my energy level was up a little, and by Sunday, it was like a switch flipped and I was back to feeling completely normal. I even felt good enough to do a little yard work, it was so beautiful! This only feeling good 50% of the time is starting to get to me! I feel like I need to jam so much into the week that I feel good… Groceries, cleaning, and not to even mention spending time with my boys! Caleb has been so good, but he is ready for this to be over (says it’s taking forever!) He did say the sweetest thing the other say when I was noticing that my eyelashes were starting to thin… “The good thing about loosing your eyelashes is you will get lots of wishes!” Don’t worry buddy, I’ll be using up all of those babies.

T is for Trooper

At my last checkup, as I was listing off the many side effects that I’ve had with my chemo, my doctor told me that I was a trooper.  The nausea, stomach cramps, over all feeling of blah….  I have been dealing with it like a champ I guess.  I don’t see that as any thing to brag about, what choice do I have really?  I’m still working.  Still taking care of my kids.  Since it isn’t my first rodeo, I guess I walked into this situation with my head above water.  I knew I wasn’t going to feel good.  I knew I was going to loose my hair.  Both things I have no control over, so why whine about it, you know?   With that said though, I will mention that Nebraska wind and my wig do NOT go together very well…  I am finding that I need a hat to keep the damn hair in place!  It doesn’t exactly look like natural hair once it’s been blown around, so if you ever see me in that situation, please don’t stare!  Hahaha!    And one thing is for sure, the wind is going to blow, so I guess it’s something I’ll have to get used to.  Dr. Reed did share some hopeful words when she told me that there is a chance my hair will start growing back during my next chemo drug, (the last four sessions) which begins on April 25th.  Only one more nasty “RED DEVIL” treatment left, and I will not be sad to see that one go…. 

So far it’s been pretty predictable…  I feel crappy the week after, then the next week, just as I am about back to feeling normal, they knock me down again.  It’s a definite roller coaster, but I am grateful to have the one week of feeling good at least!  Gives me a chance to catch up…..

I is for Insomnia

After a rough weekend, (another fever, feeling run down), I have come around and am back to feeling pretty normal, just as I did the last chemo cycle. The only side effect that is getting to me now is insomnia. I’ve never really had a lot of trouble with it in the past, but evidently it is a common side effect for chemo patients. I am hoping to find a solution soon! Seems ironic that I’m so tired all if the time but I can’t sleep at night! I am excited for a much needed girls night this week… It seems like it’s been ages! Then the boys and I are headed to Omaha for the weekend. Caleb has spring break, and I think mom has some fun things planned for the boys while I receive my chemo treatment on Friday. I am hopeful the “wonder drug” will have me feeling as well as I did last time so I can enjoy some time with them over the weekend too!

Hair is almost completely gone, and although it is still a bit of a shock, I continue to enjoy the ease of getting ready in the morning… It’s amazing how much time you spend on hair! I may never go back to the real thing. 😉