Monday, January 29, 2007

Without The Bitter There Ain't No Sweet

Just a couple of more days and I will have my last chemo. Funnily enough, this doesn't evoke much excitement in anyone but me. Really why should it? There are those have been on this journey with me, but no one could actually take the chemo for me. So as I approach this day that I have been waiting for, for months, it goes out with a fizzle rather than the bang I imagined. To be honest, I am quite tired of me and my story. I could never think that others aren't too. It's not like I will walk out of the hospital on Thursday and have a full head of hair and feel completely restored. I haven't been at a spa for 4 months.
Thursday morning will arrive and I will do my chemo routine and then come home. I will also be starting the next phase of treatment that I will do every three weeks for a year. The main side effect of H is heart damage. Next Monday I will have a heart scan to get a base line of how my heart functions now. Then every three months I will get a scan to make sure H is not taking too much a toll on the ol' ticker. If so, we will back off a couple of months and then go from there. I guess this ain't over by a long shot. It's not chemo though and that's sweet.
So if you are my friend, in for a penny, in for a pound. It really is a lot huh? You can exit now, now questions asked. Cancer/Chemo/Illness/Surgery. They all test the strongest of relationships. People come and go, but the patient is still the patient. Illness is not a fair weather friend. It likes to hang out for a LOOOONNNNNG TIME. Illness never is late for an appointment. Illness stays with you through thick and thin. Illness is with you through all your treatments. Illness is with you in the middle of the night when you can't sleep. Illness doesn't care if your tired and don't want to talk. Illness is always there to talk about....Illness.
I look back at these last months as a blur. Sometime in disbelief. Sometimes I pass a mirror and don't recognize myself. There have been days that I was as low as I have every felt. There have been days when I almost feel as good as I ever have. I have never known what to expect from day to day. It is very much my nature to not ask for help. I have tried to keep my asking to a minimum, always scared that at some point I would need a lot, and then I would be asking a lot. I have seen the sadness in my partner's eyes. He, not knowing what to do at times to comfort me. I have seen him worried. I have seen my children come through this while their innocence in tact. Never worse for the wear. Just ready for mommy to be able to play more. I have had two friends that always make sure a I a chemo day treat.
I have lived a lot in these past months while trying to do things to keep me alive. I can see it in my face. I have aged. I am not talking vanity here. I am talking aging from worry and fear and feeling sick. Not good for the skin.
Without the bitter of this experience, there would be no sweet in the days to come.

Peace Out

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sometimes Your Hat Is An Airconditioner

I use my hat as an air conditioner. I get cold I put it on. I get hot I take it off. Isn't that convenient? If life could always be that simple.
Thursday was A's bday and we went to the mountains to go sledding. We had a blast. Elliot and Wyatt did great. Elliot is really finding her confidence in such risky tasks these days. Wyatt has seemed more of a daredevil from the get go.
Of course all that activity hit me hard by Friday. I was exhausted. That's the way the ball bounces.
Today Elliot and I had a big girl date. We went to Target and out to lunch, then to the park. Now she and her daddy are outside rebuilding the fence that the wind storm knocked down.
My last chemo gets closer and closer. I am ready. On Wednesday, Edna, my step mother, will be here for 10 days. I am very excited about this. I am going to put her to work :) We are going to do some painting.
BTW, if you want to come by the hospital on Thursday for the last poisoning, please do. I should start getting juiced around 11. I told all the nurses I was having a parade through the halls.
My friend Angie had her second little boy on Monday. Happy Birthday Dylan!!
That's all I have to say today. Nothing has particularly pissed me off lately so no need to go into any rants...for now.

Peace Out

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Haven't Come This Far To Be A Victim

The last couple of weeks I have started to work out again. It's like an old familiar friend. I missed my friend....I'll call him Gym.
I think Gym missed me too.
I saw Naomi who was training me last summer. She's a Goddess. If you live near me and want a good trainer, email her at: She's a blast to work with.
I had been going in and riding the recumbent bike and reading magazines while doing so. Nothing too strenuous. But today I got up at 6:00 like I used to do and got on the treadmill and I RAN. I RAN!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong, I walked too, but I had it in me to run, and so I did. One's body does not forget the hard work you put into it. It felt amazing. I have never run without boobs and that was pretty nice too. No jiggling, but more than that, no sports bra to stop the jiggling. I felt like a warrior. There I was, hat whipped off, running like Mercury. I must of been a sight to see.
While on the treadmill I was listening to my IPod that A gave me this summer for reaching my weight loss goal. I heard a song that said the phrase, I haven't come this far to be some man's woman. Now, I am some man's woman and I am secure in who I am with that, and that whole subject would be another blog...
I digress
The words made me think about how far I have come since surgery. Also that I am not here to be a victim in all this. I pray pray pray to dance at both of my daughter's weddings. BTW that's a turn of a phrase, they don't HAVE to get married.
Maybe I am high. Maybe this bravado is all for noght. It's a slippery slope feeling good right now. Half of me wants to roll in it like a pig in mud, the other half thinks, is this for real? I'll take what I can get. I will let these new found feelings of energy sweep over me. It scares me, but I will take it.
Maybe I am on a high because chemo is almost over. Then I had I thought today that maybe I have become manic and I will crash soon, becoming depressed. These are the nutty things I think. It's so hard to grasp feeling good after months of feeling so bad. It also helps that we have had some sun lately. That'll make anyone feel good.
Today I took the girls to soccer. I also took Cooper my little neighbor. The kids were great and had fun. Elliot is getting better and better. She can move that little booty of hers! It also helps that she has new shoes that she says make her run really fast!
I got a really cute hat in the mail yesterday from my friend Heidi that I used to work with. Props to you Heidi. Thank you!

Peace Out

Get up, get out
And do somethin'
Don't let the days of your life pass you by
You got to
Get up, get out
And do somethin'
How will you make it if you never even try
You got to get up, get out
And do somethin'
'Cause you and I have to do
For you and I
-Macy Gray

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You Don't Have to Live Like a Refugee

I had chemo today. It was my next to last.
While I have this cocktail running through my body tonight, to save my life, my dear friend P lost her sister-n-law to a long battle with cancer. The last couple of years for L have been hard. May she now have peace from the pain and fear that she has lived. May she be at rest. May her family celebrate her life and know that she has truly gone home.
All day I have marveled at the fact that chemo is almost over. I have thought a lot about my first treatment and how I couldn't imagine being where I am today. I saw a woman at the hospital today that was getting her first treatment. She was probably in her early 60's. She looked scared but hopeful. We caught each other's eyes and in an instant knew each other's story. I've been thinking about her all day. I wanted to tell her that she would come through it too, but I didn't. If I ever see her again there, I will take her hand and tell she how brave she looked today.

Honey, it dont make no difference to me
Baby, everybodys had to fight to be free
You see, you dont have to live like a refugee
No baby, you dont have to live like a refugee
-Tom Petty

Peace Out

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Public Affair

I look like a cancer patient. In my own words, I look like crazy cancer girl. I have all the tale tell signs, or is it tell tale?
Anyhoo, I have...the look. Hat, with no hair peeking out. Eyebrows and eyelashes almost gone. No boobs, which makes me look really pear shaped. It's ugly. I hate it. It's public. The wig- who am I foolin'? The drawn on brows-phuleeese. It's all there for anyone who looks close enough to see. I find it hard to look at myself in the mirror. I have a huge lump on my chest on the right side that is my port. It's big and grayish looking under my skin. It saves my veins. It aches everyday.
Chemo is harsh. It's poison. I can taste it when I get my infusion. I can taste it every day. I am officially in "chemo-pause". Hot flashes, sweating, bitch on wheels.
I am not paranoid by any means, but I can feel people look at me.
There is the private side of cancer/chemo and the public side. The public side is how most folks know me. The private side I tell no one about. No one would understand the dark things I think about. I live on both sides.

Peace Out

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My Little Piece of Glitter

Happy Birthday Wyatt!
Today is Wyatt's 2nd birthday. Hard for me to believe. At 9:20 AM on 1/6/2005, three hours after my water broke, I had this little bug. It's really gone by so fast.
I knew with Wyatt I was having a "planned" C-section. I also knew that Elliot had come early and that it was a very traumatic birth experience for us. So yes, I was a bit nervous to see what having this baby would be like. I was talking to someone in December before my "planned" date had been set and this person, who has no children, told me not to be so worried about it. Are you kidding me? A woman who has not had a child should never begin to advise one who has. There are SO many reasons for this rule. First being the hormone factor, second not having an equal experience to compare it to, third never having a full contraction, I could go on and on , but won't due to the lack of time and space on the blog. I will say that when this person gets pregnant, I will only smile and nod my head remembering all the advise and suggestions she gave me. Then I will let her live out her own experience. As it should be.
The summer I was pregnant with Wyatt was a difficult one. My dad had major heart surgery, so I was flying back and forth to Texas. We had also had some testing done on Wyatt that had some indicators that she might have some birth defects. It was an emotionally charged pregnancy, but what one isn't?
When my water broke at 6AM, the day I was supposed to go meet my surgeon, I knew once again, this would not be "planned". I did meet my surgeon that morning, right before he cut me open. I won't go over every detail but I will say it was a completely different experience than my first. Yes, there were contractions on the way to the hospital, and they hurt. I thought getting to have another c-section I would never have to feel those again. But when your kids always come early, that's not the deal.
We had all four of us in a room by 10:30 that morning. We were complete as a family. Wyatt was that final installment. Elliot was jumping at the chance to see her new baby sister. I believe she held her before I did. She was all giggles and smiles. So proud to hold the baby. To this day Elliot is Wyatt's great protector and playmate.
I live for this two little birds. I would do anything for them. I am like a mother bear to protect them. I, with my partner are the guiding force in their lives. I love them more than air. My duty on earth is to see them grow and flourish. My course is set. Critics and heretics be damned, they are my charge.
The four of us are a family. We do not take this lightly. We do not stumble along, groping to do the right thing. Our bond is strong. Our love is great. We are a unit. Raising children is not a guessing game. Of course you can never see all bends in the road, but you can purposefully work together to find the solution that works for your unit. The four of us are a team.
Happy Birthday Wyatt. Wylie. Wy-Wy. Wyget.
We're happy you came to complete our team.

I love you-Mommy

Friday, January 05, 2007

I've been to Sorrows kitchen and I Licked Out All the Pots

I have done 6 treatments and I 2 more to go. Yoo hoo. Yet I then commence a year of a different kind of treatment. That new treatment will be every three weeks for 12 months. It ain't over till the fat lady sings and I haven't sung a word yet!!!!
I can really see the light at the end now. I have a trip to Mexico planned in May and that is my single goal right now to make it there. It's my- you did it- trip. I have no idea where I will be on energy at that point. I have heard from others in this battle that the effects of treatment wear on or up to a year. Plus the fact that I will still really be in treatment. So taking trips and such at this point can prove logistically challenging. I have 2 kids, 2 carseats, too many suit cases, a dog to kennel, a rental car, a hotel, and let's not forget 4 airplane tickets now that Wyatt turns 2 tomorrow. Ohhh don't forget about food to buy and all the other gear I have to bring. It will take me until May just to amp up to that. I have no plans for much until May. So if you want to see us. Come on up. We'll be here. Call first, I take no guest these days without advanced noticed. I will not answer the door for surprise visits. Sound uninviting? It's not really, I just need that courteous notice. And I will give you that same courtesy. I know. I know. Folks should be able to come anytime. Just not right now.
I feel the toll of this treatment coming to a changing point. I am tired. Things have really changed around the house as far as what I can accomplish. Monday through Thursday I take the girls to school and soccer and I the middle of all that I got get a daily shot, and this shot is in my tummy. I am actually used to it now, yet it's ANOTHER thing I have to get done. We then get home and I honestly want to talk to no one. Emails and calls seldom are answered because I simple do not want to talk. This blog covers what I want/need to say. I don't want to "make nice" I don't want to put on a show. Not that anyone expects it, but I have nothing extra to give, and what I can give goes to A, E, and W. I will not be the same person on the flip side of this. In some ways that is good and bad. There are some things that I will appreciate more deeply than ever and there are some things that I will not. I see that time is short and time for the things that give stress are quickly going out the door. I am reevaluating everything and I am quite aware to some it seems angry and hard, that too bad if you take it that way. But as I have said, if you have gone through this, I welcome your thought on what you did differently. This is not only physical, but emotional too.
It's poison they fill me with every other week. I don't feel nice about that.
I have slept 3 hours tonight. Too jittery from the steroids. The girls are going to play at friends and Anthony is working. I need this alone time today. I am not fit for humans today. I need no one needing me today, for I have nothing to give. Chemo can be isolating. So let me be.

Peace Out