Tag Archive | healing

Falling Apart

Sept 1 – Surgery Day, afternoon – 

My eyes fluttered open to a nurse shoving ice chips in my mouth.   I was so out of it. How I had the ability to chew and swallow them was amazing.  Things were so out of focus and my eyes were still heavy.   He was talking to me but what he said, I couldn’t even tell you.   He was speaking to deaf ears.  I was in the recovery room.   hmmm, surgery must already be over.   He continued to give me ice chips.   They tasted good,  soothing.  No one else was in there with us.   Where is Clara Sue?   Where is my brother?   I’m sooo sleepy.   I started to slowly comprehend the things that he was telling me.   Surgery went well.  As I started to come out of it more and fully wake up, I was hit with an enormous amount of pain.   It felt like I was catapulted right into a brick wall at full speed.

 

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The pain set in horribly.   I hurt sooo bad.   I guess the anesthesia wore off.   Here come the shakes.   When I’m in a lot of pain, my body starts to shake.   My chest was wrapped so tightly it felt hard to breathe.   They put me in like this tube top with velcro and they had it as tight as it would go.   The nurse asked if I would like some pain medicine.   Yes!!   Of course.    He gave me 2 vicodin.   It was 3:30.   He went out to get Clara Sue, she can sit in here with me now.   O-M-GEEEEEE!!!   The pain is off the charts.   The nurse brings her in.   She can tell I’m in a ton of pain, she doesn’t say a word.  She sits in the chair next to my bed.   My shakes are horrible.    I feel like hell.  Most of my wires were already disconnected and the massaging leg warmers were off.   Just my vitals were being checked regularly.   About another hour and maybe I’ll get to go home, as long as I’m feeling okay. 

 I was able to talk without sounding like I was blabbering.   I asked Clara Sue to check on Dominic to make sure he is okay.   He is already out of school by now and I’m not home yet.   I don’t want him to worry.  The surgeon comes in and explains to us that everything went very well.  She was pleased.  She got EVERYTHING out!   She also explained that she was able to pull out my chest port thru one of the incisions, so I didn’t need that 4th surgery.   Thank God.    I’m gonna look like Edward Scissorhands got a hold of me.   My chest will need to stay tightly wrapped (compressed) for the next few days.  This will help with any pain and discomfort.   She wrote me out a prescription for a pain killer for when I get discharged.   Another medication to add to my growing personal pharmacy.   I’m ready to leave, I’ve had a long day. 

 I look at my cell phone, wow, I have a lot of messages.   I need to call Dominic so he knows that I’m okay.  My brother Jake couldn’t make it, he got stuck in Santa Rosa. 

 4:08 still in recovery and lots of pain.  The ice chips help.  I think I’m finally coherent.  I’ll get to leave soon as long as I am able to stand on my own.   I change back into my clothes.  That took me like forever.   Being wrapped and bandaged made it a little rough.   Right now you can’t see anything, it’s all hidden behind the dressings.   That pain hasn’t subsided but I wanna leave already. 

 5:00 – getting discharged.  Going home now.   Pain is horrible. 😖  I still feel pretty loopy 😩 I needed help getting into the car.   I felt so dizzy.   I’m so glad this part is over.   Now to rest and recover.   I’m starving, I need something to eat.   It’s dinnertime and I haven’t even had breakfast.  Clara Sue stops to get me a sandwich from arby’s.   Now headed home.    Oh gosh, here comes the nausea.   This always happens to me with anesthisia.   I need to throw up. 🤢  My head starts pounding.  I feel like shit.  We’re almost home.   I asked Brittany to come stay with me the rest of the evening just in case I needed some help with anything.   So she showed up shortly after we got there.  I needed help to get out of the car and to walk inside.   I was swaying like a drunk person.   As soon as I walked in the door I had to high tail it to the bathroom to blow chunks.  😝 It never fails.  My stomach was so upset but I felt so much better once I got all that shit out of my system.   What a relief.    I just have pain and lots of it.    Guess I’ll eat my samich, the pain meds might work better with something in my stomach.   Clara Sue left and I just hung around with Brittany, watched a movie and rested.  My nephew, Yaz, came to keep Dominic company.   By around 8 ‘clock, I felt so much better.   All that loopiness went away.  I no longer felt nauseas and I was back to my joking self.   Later in the night, I felt Brittany didn’t need to stay over, so she left and so did my nephew.  I’m sooooo ready for bed.  My day has been way too long.  Trying to change into jammies was like a marathon but I did it.   Trying to get comfortable and get some sleep was even harder.    Couldn’t sleep on my right because of surgery, couldn’t sleep on my left side for the same reason, I couldn’t even sleep on my tummy and laying on my back is not comfortable.  I couldnt sleep for the life of me.   The surgery meds along with my 80’s like velcro tube top that looked like it was sprayed on, made it impossible to sleep.   I was wide awake but without pain. 

 Next morning –  I woke up feeling pretty good even though I got no sleep.   But has far as how I felt physically, not bad at all.   I didn’t have to take any pain meds so I guess I’m handling it like a champ.  I’m just a tad bit sore.  I decided to finally make my brother some cookies.   The ones I was going to make him for his birthday but I never did due to all the physical pain I had been in.   So far, all that pain that I had been complaining about for like the past month was gone.  I hope it’s gone forever.   Honestly, I felt pretty good.  Today was a good day. 

 Sept. 3 –  Well, it is safe to say that all of my eyebrows and eyelashes have faithfully departed.  It makes my eyes always look red and if I’ve been crying non stop.  Like my hair, I can’t wait for it all to grow back.   I’ve even missed my nose hairs.  My nostrils always feel raw.  Oh the joys of being a cancer patient.   As for day 2 of surgery – –  1. I actually slept pretty good, I needed that.  2.  holy hell, I don’t think I have ever been so sore in my life.   I can’t move at all.   My boobs feel like I have a set of rocks.   The range of motion for my arms is minimal.  Today is for sure a yucky day.   Out of curiosity I unwrapped myself from my oh so sexy tube top to inspect my girls.    Ouch I look like I’ve been beat up and mutilated.  

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I have to leave the bandages on for a few more days.   The stitches will dissolve on their own.   The bandage under my armpit is my lymph node incision.  Round 2 all over with.   Just need to complete the 3rd hurdle (radiation)  and I’ll be home free.  For now I get to deal with all this soreness and boobs that feel like rocks. 

 I never did believe in chemo brain until I got my dose of it.   It’s horrible.   I can’t remember something you just told me 5 minutes ago.  Staying focused and even concentrating is getting hard.    It seems like my mind is always blank.  Especially when I’m asked something quickly.  It’s like “huh?”    I hope the brain recovers with everything else.   I don’t need to be spacey all the time.   Well, I guess I get to take it easy for the rest of Sept.   I have a follow up with the surgeon on the 11th and that’s all.   So, it’s R & R and see if I can slowly get to ‘me’.   I haven’t been bothered by my aches and pains, so maybe the surgery had something to do with that.   Who knows.  I hope they don’t return.   Now, I just have to wait 4-6 weeks before I can start radiation and then I can truly say this nightmare is over.    Can’t wait.    2 hurdles down, 1 more to go.   

Sept 4 – 

 

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This pic is 1 month and 1 day post chemotherapy.     

If you look closey, you can see my fuzzies growing.  It makes my face look chubby, not having any hair.   I will try my best to post weekly pics of the growth progress.   As you can see my eyelashes are GONE  and so are my eyebrows.   These ones are drawn in and I hate them.  I think they’re lop-sided haha.   So glad it’s only temporary.   Today my boobs are still swollen and they feel heavy.   But each day that goes by is another day closer to feeling better. 

 Sept 8 – I don’t know what came over me, but I have really been missing my Pops terribly these past few days. 😢  I have cried nonstop for like 3 days straight 😭 It’s like I’ve lost him all over again.   I miss him so much.   The sadness is overwhelming.   I think everything is throwing my emotions for a loop.  I can’t stop crying.   I just need a hug from you and to hear your voice again.   I feel like I’m falling apart.  My heart is broken. 💔 He was my best friend and I miss him dearly.   

My cousin Irene brought me these and hooked them up for me.   She knows that I’ve been feeling down and figured it would cheer me up.   It did.   It’s so soothing, the way they flicker and dance around.   I just sit or lay on my swing and watch them.   It’s relaxing.   She also hooked me up some outdoor misters that way I can stay cool when I’m out on the swing.   They feel wonderful.   Ahhhhhh     All this eases my sad heart a bit

 

 

 I hate that I can’t get in the pool.   I need to wait for my incisions to heal.   The one incision under my armpit gives me the most grief.   I don’t have any pain but I really am sore.   I miss relaxing in the pool.   At least my neice and my son get to enjoy it.   It is really hot and my hot flashes are still severe.  I wonder when those will go away?    They have been so brutal.   I thought they would be gone by now.  I can’t wait for cooler weather. 

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Sept 9 –  *GASP*  my eyebrows are growing back and I think I spot a hint of tiny eyelashes.   Yay!!!!!!!!   This is so exciting, you don’t even know.   

Well my physical aches and pains are back and they are horrible!   When will all of this end?  I see my primary Dr at the end of the month.   Maybe she can tell me what’s going on with me.   On a better note, my energy is slowly starting to come back and I don’t feel that fatigue like before.   Still, even now,  there is good and there is bad.   Can’t wait till there is more good than bad. 

 Sept 11 –  I just got the best news EVER!!!!!!!!   Got that phone call from my surgeon.   All of my margins are free and clear.   Thank you Jesus!   No more cancer!   It IS all gone!!!! 😄😄   Wow what a relief.  I just needed to cry, cry tears of joy.   She sent in like 12 different tissue samples from my surgery and all came back negative.   Oh I can’t explain what I’m feeling right now.    I can officially say I’m free and clear but I want to wait until radiation is over and done with.   Radiation is just a precaution.   YAY!!!!!!!!!    I.AM.SOOOOOOOOO.HAPPY!!!!!!!! 😄🤗     I slowly started to let everyone know.   Maybe now everything will fall back into place.   Maybe I’ll feel better knowing I don’t have that monster in me anymore.   Maybe this will be the day that things turn around for me.   I sure hope so.   

  I slacked off last week with a pic but here’s this one.  Look at my hair!  I actually have a hairline!  OMG  and look. . . . I have eyebrows and itty bitty lashes.  I look gross cuz this is the plain ole me but I can’t tell you how excited I am.   Oh the little things you don’t ever think about until you don’t have them.   I’m so happy to have eyebrows  haha

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Sept 19 – A hairline and eyebrows! 

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Sept 22 –  fuller eyebrows and more lashes.  I can actually get a bit of mascara on them 🙂    This is just 3 days from the last pic.  My hair is growing in grey, gross.   I think I need a date with L’oreal soon.   Can’t tell yet if my hair will still be curly or if it will come in different.   I’ve heard many different stories on the regrowth of hair.   Who cares?   As long as I have some!!! 

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This is my new hairbrush.   Its cute, isn’t it?   Can you believe it’s been 7 months since my diagnosis?   Yes 7.   I can’t believe it.   I can’t believe everything I’ve been through.   I have the scars and all the pain but it still just doesn’t seem real.   I guess you never know how you’re going to handle things until you’re faced with it.  I can do this. 

 

Things were going so well. . .  and then we lost our beloved furbaby, Riley.   

 

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This broke me.   I’ve been trying to stay strong for so long, but this broke me.   It shattered my heart.   My mental strength turned into pure mush.    What’s happening??   I cry ALL THE TIME.    

 

I’m falling apart at the seams. . . slipping away

 

 

 

 

The leap of Faith

Aug. 4  

Day after my last chemo.  Believe it or not I slept very well last night.   Today is my official last day of work for a while.   I only need to put in a few hours than I can take my time off and concentrate on me.   I need rest and lots of it.  I feel like I need to go into hibernation.   I’ve been running on fumes these past months and I really need a break. 

My day at work flew by and it was over before I knew it.   I felt some relief when I clocked out and left.   No one at work really knows that I’ll be out.   I’ve told a few that I’m taking vacation but they think it’s only for a week.   After work I left and went to the district office to submit the rest of my paperwork.   I have no idea how all of this is even going to turn out.    I don’t know if my time off will be approved.   I don’t know how things are going to be financially.   I don’t know how my results are going to turn out when I do my MRI or how surgery is going to be.  I don’t know anything at this point.   So, I’m taking the leap of faith.   I’m putting it all in Gods hands once again.   I’m one of those persons that has always said,  “things will turn out as they should.”   I suppose they will, even this time.   They always have in the past.   I stress out about it for awhile but in time it always turns out how it should have.  I’m putting all my eggs in one basket,  So I hope and pray it turns out for the best. 

 

What a relief to be out of work!!  Mentally and physically. . . phew  

 

Looking back at how I did things,  I’m so glad I did it the way I did.  Keeping my circle (support system) small.  Waiting to tell everyone was the best thing for me.   Some people may not agree with that and that’s okay but it was MY choice.   It was my choice to deal with it privately.   Everyone has a choice and this was mine.   I didn’t have that added stress of different opinions.  I was able to deal with it peacefully.   Not gonna say it wasn’t stressful trying to keep my life as normal as possible and I’m not gonna say the rest of my people wouldn’t have been supportive, because they have.  But. . . . I’ve had a couple of people say that I shouldn’t have gone through chemotherapy.  I’ve also had some tell me not to go through radiation, it’s the worst thing for me.   Try taking this or drink that.   Don’t eat this anymore.  Take better care of yourself.  WHAT THE HECK?!?!?!  😠   Let me be.   Let me do what I  think is best for me.  What my medical team says is best for me.   If it’s going to save my life than I’m all for it.   Still, I don’t like what I’ve had to go through or what I still need to go through,  but like I said before,   my life and my son are worth all the hell I’ve had to endure.  What worked for someone else may not work for me.   This is what I didn’t want to deal with.  This was the reason I wanted privacy.   I did’t want that added stress.   I wanted peace and I still want that.   Please respect that.   Unless I share it with you,  I don’t wanna talk about it.   Yes, ask me how I’m doing,  I’ll tell you and if I want to share more, I will.   Besides, I AM sharing it all with you.  right here, right now.  I am telling you how I’m doing and how I feel.  This is my sharing spot, my therapy, my release.   In person or anytime,  I want things to be as normal as possible.  Don’t treat me like I’m fragile, I won’t break.   I’m still silly ole me 😜 with a great big heart ❤ and one that is OH SOOOOO HAPPY  that I’m DONE with chemotherapy!!!    ahhhhhhhh     The relief mentally feels amazing!!!  😃  I CAN’T WAIT to physically start feeling better.   Hopefully a week from now when my body realizes it is no longer getting pumped with poison, things will go back to normal.  I’ll start feeling better, sleeping better, being able to taste my food.   Soon I hope my mouth sores go away.  It’s been almost 8 weeks straight that I’ve had those 😩.  I haven’t lost anymore weight.  It is holding steady.   But all together, I lost 17 pounds.   I can’t wait to have my energy and my strength back and to be able to do things without getting breathless and worn out.   I can’t wait to take vitamins!!!  I have’t been allowed to have those during chemo. 

 There are sooo many things that I can’t wait for!!! 

 

 Monday, Aug 7 – MRI 

 Today I go in for my ultrasound and MRI.   Gonna check to see if the chemo zapped it completely.  I sure hope it did and they don’t see anymore cancer.   My oncologist no longer feels a lump but there could be minute cancer cells left over. 

 (praying 🙏) 

MaryBeth is here with me today.   The support she has given me is amazing.  It’s like having a sister.  It’s wonderful!    I change and wait to be seen and watch as MaryBeth works on a blanket.  She’s GREAT at making blankets and quilts, that’s her hobby.   We talk like if we’re not even waiting at a Dr’s office.   I don’t feel nervous or anxious but we’ll see how I feel when I get called in. 

Time for the ultrasound 

I get the same tech that I got back in February at the beginning of all of this.   I really like her.   She begins her procedure.   The ultrasound wand doesn’t hurt like before when she puts pressure.   There is no pain at all.  That’s a good indication.  Before it used to hurt SOOO bad.   She carefully goes over the area.  I hadn’t looked at the monitor at all until she mentioned she couldn’t see anything.   The last time, the image scared me, so I was afraid to look.   So, when I finally did take a look at the monitor the only thing you could see, barely, was the tiny titanium clip they had inserted months ago for my biopsy.   The mass from before wasn’t there.   She called in the doctor to take a look at it and confirm,  it was all clear.   No signs at all of cancer.     YESSSSS!!!!!!   

Even though the ultrasound produced no signs of cancer, I still need to be seen for an MRI.  They want to be sure.  They want a more closer, detailed imagery before they give me the green light.  So, here I go to get prepped for the MRI.   Back into the noisy machine I go.   This time they have me in a really awkward position and it’s really cold in here.   Oh well, whatever it takes.  It’ll be about 15 minutes. . . . . . . . . .

All done.  They send me back out to a room to wait for the doctor with results.  I asked them to call in MaryBeth so she can be with me when I get my results.   After a few moments, the doctor comes in and also the ultrasound tech.   He gives me my results.   ( deep breath )   The MRI didn’t detect anything.   It was all clear.   There were no visible signs of cancer cells.   He began to tell me that I had responded very well to the chemotherapy treatment and that it did what it was supposed to do.  It was gone.   The only thing that they could see was the clip.  I started to tear up.   With a knot in my throat I asked him,  “So, there is nothing there?  It’s all gone?”  Him – “Yes, it’s all gone”.    Me, choked up – “Really?  you don’t know how long I’ve been needing good news.”   Him –  “yes, I know.   Congratulations.”   (he was the one who did my MRI in the beginning when I first got my news, so he knows)  Me – “Thank you, I needed this.”     Him ( handing me kleenex ) –  “good luck with the rest of your journey.” 

They left the room to give me a moment.   MaryBeth hugged me and I started crying.   I needed this.   I got good news,  I really got good news.   After a few minutes, I changed and we left.  As we were walking out, one of the receptionists that I have come to know, asked how it went.    I gave her a thumbs up and told her, “good news”   She came over to give me a hug and wish me the best of luck.   MaryBeth and I started to leave but we ended up sitting in the lobby for a good while absorbing my good news.   She was in tears.   She was very happy for me but I think at the same time she was heartbroken.   This was bittersweet for her.    She lost one of her sisters to breast cancer.  The very same kind that I had.   She went through all of her treatments but didn’t get the ‘good news’ in the end.   So, this hit home for her.  It opened and old wound that didn’t have a good ending.   So, she was very happy, yet very sad.  We talked for a good while longer.   A part of me was in disbelief.   I have been so scared for months, it was hard for me to be happy.  Yes, don’t get me wrong, I was happy but I had a very hard time expressing it and feeling it.   Is that weird?   Is it even normal?   Even though I had tears in my eyes it felt like my emotions, my feelings, were shut off.   I’m not sure what I feel.  We hugged, walked out to the parking lot and got in our separate vehicles.  We didn’t come together. 

  So, here I am, once again, sitting in my car.   This time with the news that my cancer is gone.   It is really gone.  I am trying really hard to absorb this good news.   6 months ago,  I was sitting here, in my car trying to come to terms with the diagnoses they had just given me.   How crazy and unpredictable life can be.  Cherish it always.  The good, the bad and even the horrible. 

 I got home and one by one started telling my loved ones.  I didn’t make this public, I only told my circle.   Oddly, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t get excited about it.   I should be doing cartwheels and jumping for joy.   Instead, I feel numb.  There is no excitement in me.  I think I’m afraid to be happy.  I’m afraid to feel happy for fear of jinxing it.   For fear of being let down.   That’s the best I can explain it.  Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet.  Maybe when Dominic gets home from school and I tell him my good news, I’ll feel this excitement.   I know he’ll be happy.  But why does it all seem like a blur?  Why does it seem like I just woke up from a horrible nightmare and the past months never happened?   How come I feel this way?   Looking back, none of it seems true.   I don’t know what’s going on.   My heart and my mind are at an impass.   They are not connecting. 

 Later that evening, I text MaryBeth,  “did today really happen?  Did I really get that good news I’ve been waiting for?”   Her – “Yes, it’s true, it happened.”   How come I don’t feel it?  How come I’m not as happy as everyone else, that I’ve told, is?   I hope the Good Lord doesn’t think I’m being ungrateful.   Because I’m not, I am grateful.  I’m glad to be at this point.   My son was relieved and happy.  It’s been hard for him too.    I just feel disconnected.    It hasn’t sunk in.   

 I’m having some hard days.  Saturday, 2 days after my last chemo, I felt great.   Yesterday and today, my body hurts.  It feels heavy.   There’s a heaviness.   I almost feel depressed, even with the good news I just received.   Yesterday I was sooo tired, I layed around all day.   I’m having such a hard time wrapping my mind around all the events that have happened.   I’m trying to be happy,  I am thankful but it’s hard to come off of months of chemo, get good news and try to get back to a normal life.   I’ve had highs and lows all week.   I wonder if other women feel this way??  Tammy says this is exactly how she felt.   It’s just a combination of everything.   No one realizes just how much the effects of chemo have on our bodies.  It is literally poison that helps to kill the cancer.   I think my mind and my body are just so tired,  exhausted from everything.    I should be ecstatic.  I’ve finished chemo and I am still alive.   Instead I feel down and my body hurts.  My emotions are all over the place.   I cried in the doctors office and came home as if nothing even happened.    I’ve been waiting for that deep exhale, that release.   It hasn’t happened.  I feel that when it does, I’m just gonna have a breakdown.  I really need that good cry out.  I’m just having a hard time.   When will everything go back to normal?  

My surgery consult is scheduled for next week. 

 Even though my ultrasound and MRI showed nothing, I still need to go in for surgery to remove (scrape out) any remaining debris and the ’tissue bed’ where the lump was.   It needs to be tested for any lingering cancer cells that weren’t caught by the chemo, if any.   

Aug 11 –  Today has been 1 week and 1 day post chemotherapy.  I’m hoping that once my body realizes it won’t be getting hacked anymore, things will get better.   My veins are gonna feel relief that they don’t have to get poked anymore.  This will be the first week since March that they don’t get poked on a weekly basis.   My arms can heal.  I look like a druggie 😜💉  My hair will start to grow from this peach fuzz.  I’ve lost my eyebrows 😢 and my eyelashes are thinning badly.  This for me is very upsetting.   I don’t like it  *sigh*  I still have mouth sores and my feet are still tingly.   The hot flashes are still brutal for me.  I can’t wait for the weather to cool down.  I love fall.   Soon, I hope, all of that will be a thing of the past. 

 I got this pain in my left knee, right at the bend.   I’m not sure what brought it on.  Maybe I tweaked my knee or something.   It hurts a bit.   I’m sure it’ll go away.   

On a brighter note,  my time off from work got approved.  Yes!!  That is a relief.   It got approved til Nov. 1.   That will give me enough time to get through surgery and radiation.   Also, my bank is gonna bend a little with my finances.   Phew!  Oh and I can finally start taking vitamins!!!   woo hoo.  You know how excited that makes me?  I can start building up my energy.   My body has been so deprived. 

I registered my son this week for school.   I officially have an 8th grader!  He starts next Monday.    I’m so hurt our summer was robbed and we didn’t get to do anything.  I always felt like shit and worn out.   I’m not ready for him to go back to school and neither is he.   I get time off and he goes back.   Not fair.   

Aug 14 – My son goes back to school  ☹  and I will be all by myself.   I guess I’ll just rest up.   This pain in my knee has not gone away.   I wonder what I did to it?  I can’t bend it or try to get down on it.  It hurts.  I love to sit like a little girl, in a pretzel or bring my knees up to my chest.   I can’t do that anymore and I can’t tuck that leg under me.   hmmmm. . . what the heck?!?! 

Tuesday – This pain in my knee is not getting better.   I’m starting to limp on it when I walk and it hurts me most in the morning when I get out of bed.  Did I twist it?  Or am I getting arthritis in it?  I think I’m starting to feel it in my other knee as well.  What is going on? 

I’m starting to feel achy throughout my body.  I think my body is just sooo tired from being attacked.   I’m starting to feel all the aches now.   My ankles hurt, the bottoms of my feet hurt, especially in the morning.  That’s when it’s the worst.  By the afternoon, after my body has warmed up, it mostly goes away.   I walk my son to the bus stop in the morning and again in the afternoon I wait for him, so I am getting exercise.   It’s that morning walk that’s hard for me. 

My older brother Jake came over to help me clean up some of the yard.   I haven’t worked out in the yard this year but a bit here n there.   It’s thrashed.  Everything is so overgrown and bushy.   It looks horrible and I don’t like it.   Now that chemo is over and I start getting energy, I want to clean the yard, get rid of shit and also attack my house.   We spent 2 days cleaning some of it but I have such a big yard, it’s gonna take a few more days.  We pruned, raked, cut down branches, threw away trash and old stuff, you name it.   I tried my best to help as much as I could but my energy level still isn’t there.   I got tired very easily and it is really hot out.   We didn’t finish but we put in a good dent.   I’ll get to the rest of it when I can. 

 The following day, I almost couldn’t move.   My hands hurt.   It must be from the pruning and the shovel.   It doesn’t help that I have pain in my knees and it seems to be spreading.   I knew this would make me more sore but I wanted to get it done.   It’s my fault.  My body isn’t ready for this kind of work but I wanna get it done.  I have a bad habit of pushing myself way too hard.    I really paid for it.   

Aug 18th – Surgery consult

Clara Sue and I come for my surgery consult.   It has been nice not having to come up here for a couple of weeks.  The doctor does a breast exam.  Then, she goes over my ultrasound and MRI images.   She is very pleased with what she sees.   So, she went on to explain the surgery I will need.   Since I was negative on the genetic test that I had taken in February, I get to keep my boobs.  I do not need to have them removed.  However,  I will need surgery on the right breast to remove any remaining debris.   I will also need surgery on my left breast as well.   WHAT???   WHY???   When they did the 2nd biopsy in the beginning, I was told I didn’t have anything to worry about.   I didn’t need to worry because that shaded area they had tested was benign.  I have a very tiny benign lump on my left breast.  I did not know this.   She wants to have it removed because over time it could change from a benign lump to a malignant one.   Wow.   She is also going to remove a couple of lymph nodes from under my right armpit.  She needs to remove the Sentinel and axillary nodes (3).   They don’t have cancer but she wants to remove them.  Okay, so that is 3 surgeries all at once.   Not what I was expecting at all.   We start setting it up.  She is NOT pleased that it took so long for me to be seen by her.   That is how I was scheduled.  She said they screwed up and I should have been in sooner and my surgery already scheduled.   There is a timeline that they like to follow and I was already beyond that.   I should be having surgery now and because of this delay and her upcoming vacation, she can’t get me in until Sept 22.    *gulp*   what?  That’s a month away.  I don’t want to wait that long.   Honestly, I’m afraid to wait that long.  I don’t like this.   I asked her if it was dangerous for me to wait that long.   She didn’t like it either.   She asked if I would like to be seen by another surgeon who could possibly get me in sooner.   I didn’t know this other surgeon.   I really like the one I have now.  She’s been with me from the beginning but she did say that if she was having surgery, she would want her to do it.    That made me feel better and I agreed.   The doctor would be on vacation for 2 weeks and she didn’t have an opening in the ER till Sept 22.   Also, that is the anniversary of the day I lost my Mom.   I DID NOT want to be in surgery on that day.  So, she set me up to see the other surgeon.   I see her on Monday.   Because of this delay,  I have to wait 4-6 weeks before I can do radiation and I’ll probably have 4 weeks of that.   So, we’re looking at almost Thanksgiving or Dec before I’m all done.   *sigh*   They weren’t lying when they initially told me I would have a long year. 

Aug 20 – I really need to get out of dodge.  So, I was happy when my brother and I decided to go to the ranch.   We have a ranch in Ponderosa.  It’s in Northern New Mexico.   My Dad is from there.  Someday, we’d like to build a cabin up there and have it as a getaway whenever needed.   There is nothing like the mountains.   I have so been needing fresh, mountain air and to get away from the city.   I think it would do my son and I some good.   To break away from the daily routine and a change of scenery. 

 It’s beautiful here.  *inhaling*  ahhh,  smell that.  No pollution at all.  It smells clean, fresh and inviting.  It’s a bit chilly but warm at the same time, if that makes any sense.   We took us a nice good walk around the mountain and contemplated where and how we would like to do things when we start.   Some of the fence around the property was a bit damaged where the elk try to run through.  We wanna put up a pipe fence.  I haven’t been up here in a long time and I have really missed it.   It’s super peaceful and relaxing. 

 

 

 

 

 Dominic really enjoyed it and says, “Gosh it is so beautiful here!   How come we don’t come here more often? I love it here.”  I felt guilty.   Other than my current situation, I didn’t have a good answer for him.   We had packed some food to have a picnic out in the wilderness.  It was wonderful!!  I can’t wait to have a place up here to come to.  Surprisingly,  I was able to do a good walk up and around the mountain.   There is a portion (not pictured) that has a pretty good incline.    That was hard for me but I did it.   My aches and pains don’t make it any easier but I feel I have a bit more energy, not much.   I didn’t feel like I needed to pass out but I did need to go at it slow.   We spent a few more hours there then packed it up and came home.   I can’t wait to go back but I wanna be done with everything before I do.    Back to the city.    I really needed to get away even if it was just for a day. 

Monday 21st – My aches and pains are getting worse.   Maybe I over did it with the yard and all the walking I did yesterday.   Can’t worry about that now I have an appointment with the other surgeon.   I didn’t ask anyone to come with me today, so this will be the 1st appt I have been to by myself since Feb.  I’ll be alright.   I am a bit nervous.   The new surgeon comes in.   She is very nice.   I like her a lot.   She goes over all of my information and my images and what my other surgeon had in her notes.  She really explained the surgery to me in great detail and I got a better understanding of what to expect.   She looked at her O.R. schedule and has an opening on Sept. 1, if I’m interested.  I don’t know anything about her but I really like her.  I got a good vibe from her.   Surgery would be next Friday,  eek.   I take another leap of faith and agree to switch over with her.    I get scheduled for Friday, Sept 1.   for a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy)  of my right breast, surgery on my left, my lymph nodes and to have my chest port taken out.   Yay!!!   I finally get to have that chest port out.   I’m gonna look like a mummy after I’m done with that surgery.  That’s 4 they’ll need to do.  sheesh.   Since I’m already here she immediately sends me for an EKG.   After all the chemo I had she needs to be sure my heart is healthy enough for surgery.   So, I get to do that.   Today is the solar eclipse and I’m gonna miss it cuz I’ve been here and I have another impromptu appointment.   Oh well, this is more important but I would love to see something that hasn’t happened in YEARS!! 

I get my EKG and instructions and check in for surgery.   My heart is still beating like a champ.  There was no damage from the chemotherapy.  YAY!!!    It’s great to know my heart is still healthy.    Getting damage to the heart from chemo is a big risk.    There are a lot of things I need to get done medically before next Friday.   It’s a relief to know surgery is coming soon.   I’ll feel a lot better mentally knowing the rest of that crap, if any, will be scraped out.   My chest port will come out and all I’ll need after that is radiation.   This whole journey is getting closer to completion.   The one thing I’m not gonna like is not being able to get in the pool.  After surgery, I’m not allowed to swim or soak in water for 2 weeks.   Awe man!   I have really enjoyed the pool.   It washes away my worries and helps me feel better physically.   When I’m in the water my aches and pains go away.   Of course it wears off after I get out but it does help to loosen my muscles and joints.   

Well for now the ball is rolling again.  Here we go with phase 2 of my journey.   I’m still waiting patiently to feel better.  This Thursday, it’ll be 3 weeks since my last chemo.  Soon I’ll start posting pics of the growth of my hair.   My fuzzies are starting to strengthen up and my mouth sores have FINALLY gone away!!   Good Lord!  I had them suckers for 8 weeks straight.   All of my eyebrows are gone and I’m horrible at drawing them in.   I never draw in my eyebrows, never had to.   My eye lashes are down to a slim number.  Good news,  I haven’t lost any more weight. I am still holding steady.   I’m still waiting for the day to feel like ‘me’ again.   I thought I would feel good by now but it’s taking longer than I thought.  The chemo should already be out of my body.   My feet are still very tingly.  Guess it’ll take some time for the neuropathy to get better too.   It’s been nice not having to stress out about work and I’m home when Dominic leaves and gets home from school.  He loves that.   My food is tasting so much better, my taste buds are coming back and it doesn’t hurt to eat anymore.  I’ve been getting better sleep but nothing to get too excited over.   I could still use more.   Don’t know what’s up with these aches and pains but I keep telling myself maybe tomorrow it’ll be better.   I sure hope so.  I just wanna feel good.    I know I’ll get there. . . . .  Someday.

 

 

Once again, appointments are getting shoved down my throat!!  😔

 

 

 

 


The light at the end of the Tunnel

Today is the day!!   

Aug. 3 –

As I get myself going and get ready, I’m as calm as can be.   Today is my last chemotherapy infusion.   Wow!!  It feels like it’s been a long time comin’.  From March when I started til now.  What a crazy, horrible journey.   A journey that has had so many ups and downs.  Frustrations, madness, and so many other emotions.  Sometimes you don’t realize the strength you really have til it’s put to the test.  This has surely tested me.   It has tested my strength in every way, my faith and everything that makes me, me.  I didn’t realize how strong I’ve become.  It has definitely changed me.    It hasn’t changed who I am in my heart, but I believe it has made me a better person.   I see so many things differently.   I see things more clearer.   I feel a whole lot deeper.   I’m more gentle with how I speak.  My heart feels like it’s opened up wider and bigger.   I keep thinking a lot about that saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”  That is the truth.  When you’re faced with this kind of obstacle,  the small stuff I used to fret over doesn’t even matter.  Be thankful, ALWAYS. 

 During this course of treatment I have found out which friends are truly there to stick their neck out for you.   It’s amazing the ones that have stepped up to the plate.  I am truly grateful for friends like them.   

My nephew is here to stay with my son.  I’m waiting on Brittany and Clara Sue.   The 3 of us are going to my appt. together.   The rest of my crusaders, hopefully show up later.   I told them that they didn’t have to be there for the whole thing but I wanted them there when I finished and rang the bell.  That is important for me.   We did this together.   They were all there for me in some way, shape or form.   

Amazingly,  I slept pretty good.  I thought that I was going to be wide awake and anxious with thousands of thoughts going thru my mind about today.   I hope it turns out how I see it in my mind.   Ever since I posted my news on social media, which was just last night,  I have gotten tons of support.  Lots of messages with kind thoughts and words. 

My appt is at 11.   By 3, I hope to be done.   Tonight I can sleep with the fact that this part is all over.  I made it through and now I can start the healing process.  I can start building myself back up.   I’ve been knocked down so many times through this process, I can’t wait to go up.  It can only get better from here, right? 

Brittany is here.   She took the day off of work (we work together)  just so that she could be there for me today.   That just touched my soul.  It means so much.   She’s like a little sister to me.   It makes me happy the love and support I’ve received.   It feeds your strength.  It’s soul food.   Clara Sue gets here and we get ready to leave for my final visit.   Eeeekkk.   I think I’m gonna get emotional.   I hope my nephew and my son show up later.  They just have to be there.  Dominic won’t be allowed to the back ( infusion )  but I hope he can be there when I ring that bell.  I don’t wanna do this without him. 

We get to the cancer center and don’t even have to wait.  We barely had a seat in the waiting area when they came out to get me.   It was before 11.   Wow, maybe this will go quick!  I get weighed in, vitals taken, and we’re ready to get started.   I get my usual window seat.   Maybe the dove will come visit me for good luck.    It’s a beautiful day outside.   My mood is fantastic.   I already feel relief and I’m not even done.    Just knowing that the end of this part has come has been a huge burden taken off of my shoulders.   

As Brittany and Clara Sue leave to get us lunch,  Lisa, (my oncology nurse) talks to me about the journey I have overcome as she hooks me up for the last time.   She reminds me that the hardest part of this will be over soon.   The rest of my journey won’t be this bad.  I’ll breeze right through it.   I’ve done so well even though the side effects have been a nightmare.   I really hope the rest of it is as simple as they say.   She starts me on my premeds.    Thank the Lord this will be the last time I’ll need those steroids.   I’ve hated those!!! 

Brittany and Clara Sue show up with lunch.   They got Long John Silvers.   They also brought those funny hats.   So, here we are, eating lunch, wearing our silly LJS hats, sitting by the window to look outside for the last time.   The hats were fun.  It’s a good day.  Premeds are done and I’m hooked up to my last chemotherapy.   Lisa tells me,  “1 more hour!”  😀  Yay, I’m getting excited.   I send a text to Penny and tell her, “time to knock this shit out of the park!! ❤ 👊 💪🎀 ❣  Bitch be gone!” 🎀 🎀  I wish she was here.  She’s at work.     

Slowly my crusaders start to trickle in.   Both my brothers are here and Marybeth just showed up with a chocolate turtle cheesecake to die for.  mmmmm   That’s my treat to share with everyone.  My heart stopped and swelled with happiness as my nephew and my son showed up.    *Gasp*   I can’t believe they let Dominic back here!!!   He’s not even allowed and yet, he’s here.   Tears of joy filled my eyes.   He brought me a bouquet of flowers.   I’m sooooo happy he’s here.   Unfortunately, after a few minutes, he was spotted and we got in trouble for having him there.   Children aren’t allowed in the infusion center.   So, they made him leave.  He had to go to the waiting room.  😔 That made me very sad but I knew it would happen.  1/2 hour left.  I was very surprised when Penny and her husband, Manuel walked around the corner.  I started to cry.    I’m happy she made it.   I didn’t think she would be able to.   All of my crusaders are here.   We’re gonna finish this together. 

Everyone took turns going out to the waiting room to sit with Dominic til I was done.  Time is really flying by.  This is going quickly!   I’m almost finished.   Tammy sent me a text and told me to feel every emotion I could feel and to ring the hell out of that bell.   I can’t wait.  I look up at the drip bag on my chemo pole ( I don’t know if I ever told you, I named my chemo pole Joaquin)  it’s almost empty.   eeek.    A few minutes later, the machine starts to ‘beep’.   Indicating that it’s done.  I inhale deeply at the thought of being finished.   Lisa comes to unhook me.   She asked everyone to wait by the bell for me.  Clara Sue and Penny stayed with me while she did this.  When the wires were all off I could feel the emotions rising from the pit of my stomach to my throat.   I gathered my things.  Clara Sue and Penny walked to the front and my brother Jake came to walk out with me.  They’re all waiting for me.  I start to tear up.   As I walk towards them, Lisa says, “before you start to cry, let me get a picture of you holding the bell as if I was gonna ring it.”   We get the picture. 

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 Now she wants me to read the poem on the bell.   Oh gosh,  I don’t know if I’ll be able to.  My emotions are on overload.   Here goes.  Deep breath.   *sniff, sniff*

 

“RINGING OUT”

“Ring this bell, three times well,  it’s toll to clearly say.    My treatments done, this course is run and I am on my way.”

 

After I was done reading it, I paused for a few moments as they all told me to ‘ring it, ring it.”   There are some things I need to say first before I do.  I have to thank my loved ones.   I hope they don’t kick me out.   I look at the bell and turn to my son,   “Dominic, my son,  I ring this bell for you. . . for us.   My brothers,  I know we don’t say this often, but I do love you very much.   My crusaders, Thank you for being with me, I appreciate everything you’ve done.  And Clara Sue, my # 1,  from the very beginning you have never left my side.  Thank you for everything.  You’ve done everything my Mom would have done.  I love you, thank you for that.”    “Ready?”    *ding, ding, ding* 

 I can’t explain the rush of emotions.  For a moment I just stood there til Lisa came to hug me.   I guess a part of me was in disbelief that I finally made it to this point.   I thought I was gonna fall apart and just break down.    I didn’t.  I teared up a bit but that was it.   I surprised myself.   We hugged, took pictures.  I gathered my things and we all walked out. 

 

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My crusaders!

 

 I’m done,  I’m really really done.   Why does it all seem so unreal?  Did I really just endure the last 5 months?  5 months of hell?  Maybe now I can breathe.   Maybe my life will slowly fall back into place.  I need to decompress.   I  wanna go home with my son.   I don’t want to go have a celebration, not yet.   I just wanna be with my son.   Is that weird, weird that I don’t want to celebrate?  Some of us went back to my house for a while then Dominic and I had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.  Just what I wanted.  I slowly started to call and text the rest of my family/friends to let them know I was all done.  It is a relief but I really dont feel a whole lot different.   Everything now just seems like a blur.  Like if I’ve been watching it all play out in a movie.   I was waiting for that release of emotions I’ve been needing but it never happened.  I thought I was going to ball my eyes out.  I’ve been holding it all inside for almost half of the year.  I didn’t cry at all.  I almost don’t feel anything.  Is that weird?  I feel like my emotions were suddenly somehow detached.  This isn’t what I expected at all.  I expected just the opposite.   Maybe in time I’ll start to cry it all out.  It needs to come out.  I guess it’s just not gonna happen right away.   Oh well.  We’ll see.   For now,  I’m going to be thankful.    Thankful that I have my life.   Thankful that I’ve conquered this quest and that I had the strength to do it.   I’m gonna close the chapter on this one and hope to never read it again.  New chapters are ahead.  No looking back.   Moving forward.  I’m gonna sleep tonight ready for tomorrow and a new beginning.   I’ve been waiting for this.   Yay me!!!!   I made it!  Thank you Lord!!

 

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I had my hands on that bell, we all rang it together! ! ! !

 

 

Ready for a new day, new beginnings! !  ❣  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

🎵 It’s a great day to be Alive!🎶

This is a song.  A country song sung by Travis Tritt.   Some of the words are just me.   Not all words pertain to what I’m going through but some do.    Every time I hear it, I think to myself,   “Yes!   It is a great day to be alive!!”  Every day is a great day to be alive.  The chorus seems to say what I feel.  There is a bridge in it that describes what I felt way too many times.  Sitting alone in my room, lonely and desperately shouting out from the inside of my soul.  Smiling on the outside and falling apart on the inside.   Not everyday will be like this.   I know in time it will get better.  I know the sun will continue to shine.   No matter how hard the times are. 

 But there are some good days too.  And today is one of them.  So I’m gonna jot some of these words down and let you listen to the song.  Music soothes my soul.  Some songs just speak to me.  I’ve learned not to take anything for granted.   Yeah, I’m doing alright!

 

🎵  Yeah I think I’ll make me some homemade soup.  Feelin’ pretty good and that’s the truth.  It’s neither drink nor drug induced.  No, I’m just doin’ alright 🎶

🎼  And it’s a great day to be alive.  I know the sun still shining when I close my eyes.   There’s some hard times in the neighborhood.  But why can’t everyday be just this good?”🎵   

🎵 Sometimes it’s lonely.   Sometimes it’s only me and the shadows that fill this room.   Sometimes I’m falling, desperately calling, howling at the moon.    Ahooooo 🎶

 

 

 

 

Why can’t everyday be just this good? ?