Monday, February 18, 2013

It's the end of the ride!

Whoo Whooo- Valentines day / Thursday, was my very last chemo and I don't think I have looked forward to a day, in so long. It is also bittersweet! I know that the chemo is killing the cancer in my body, so I get a little panicky thinking that if without the chemo, cancer might find a way to get back in my body. I have also made so many friends, that I enjoy seeing and talking to every other week. Like David, the young man who was diagnosed with cancer and his family. Susan, who started the same treatment as me, two weeks ago. There are many others that I knew their story, just not their name. It's like the last day of school, you are ready for the summer, but you are sad too, for it to end. Anyway, you get the jest, it is bitter sweet. Kimmie made it a celebration, as she does with most occasions. She surprised me with all kinds of treats. She decorated the car, she made sunglasses and had Cindi and Brittany show up as a surprise. Dawn and her son, came in bareing gifts and sat with me a while. All the nurses were so sweet! We got Shay to sing one more song (Amazing Grace). Lloyd had made Asian Hot Wings for everyone and wrote a sweet note to the nurses that made them cry. It said, "thanks for taking care of the love of my life." Yes, it even choked me up, too!  I wrote a letter to them as well. My letter said, they were unbelievable and an inspiration not only to me, but to Brittany, too. (she said oncology is her calling and she believes she will eventually end up in that field, with her nursing). She decided this after the second time to chemo and talking to the Infusion nurses and to Dr Hahm's awesome nurse Rebecca! Anyway, they all made an impact on my life and I will never forget how in the midst of my storm, they were my safe harbour.
Maria and my last bad of chemo
I often write my blog when I am feeling better and I have said chemo hasn't been that bad. Kinda like childbirth, you forget quickly! Well, as I am sitting here with intense bone pain in my legs and knees, I can say today and yesterday, have been bad. I did not run the fever with this treatment, but the pain is as bad as the first my firstTaxol treatment. But, you know what? I can deal with it because I know this is the last time I'll have to! The most difficult side effect is the stinging, burning, itching of my hands and feet. That hurts and is really annoying (almost to the point of insanity!) Luckily this doesn't start until AFTER the bone pain, so I don't have to deal with both of the side effects at the same time! Then there is the neuropathy- numbness in my finger tips. Dr. Hahm said if I were a neonatal nurse or a surgeon, she wouldn't give me Taxol, because of having to use my fingers for my job. I told her she MUST not know about the art of passing pretzels and pouring cokes, cause I am sure if she did, my occupation would have warranted the concern, as well! Just joking. Hopefully, the numbness will go away at some point, but as long as the itching and pain stops I will be fine!

Number 8 and Final One
Kimmie (Chosen Sister), Cindi (Birth Sister) and     Brittany (my sweet baby girl)

Rebecca- Dr Hahm's nurse
I am so ready to move forward with my life, now that this trip is over. These lessons learned from the cancer I will carry on with me, though. I have always thought things happened for a reason and that God was in charge of putting people and circumstances before you, but now? I believe it more than EVER. I realize that everything you do in your life, and your day to day life really matters! Everything about your life is a lesson. Every little decision you make is going to enhance your spirit or drag it down, so make your decisions wisely! After you have cancer, or any other life altering experience, you realize that you have the right to reject circumstances that drag down your spirit and take advantage of what makes you and those around you happy. Number one in importance is to be fully present and appreciate all that is in your life right now and appreciate the people and things that give you joy. The hardest lesson I will take away from cancer is to give up the need to know what is happening tomorrow and living in the present! That is a hard one for the planner, who wants to know! Taking note of every moment is important to me now. I want to be the person who makes an impact on someone's life, just by the little things I do day to day. There were so many people that did that and touched my life during this journey and I thank you!
So I have reached the destination- I am sliding in sideways, saying Whoo Hoo- what a ride! Thank you all for joining me on this roadtrip, I could not have made it without you all!

The End!
NOW- off to the next adventure!!

Click to watch my video about the last 6 months

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rocky Theme Song

Many of my friends know that I always have a song in my head- and sometimes it pops out. Well today, as I enter the final lap and await the last chemo on Thursday- the Rocky Theme song is playing. I picture myself running up the steps and on Thursday I will be pumping my arms and finishing this battle to the top!
Chemo has been hard, but I wouldn't say it was unbearable. I guess my shoulder injury trained me for the chemo. I was used to being in pain, sitting. and not being able to do anything. I never did get the nausea that some people get with chemo.Thank God!! I had it on my very first treatment of Andrimycin and that was it- of course after that, I stayed on top of the medicine and would even set my alarm to wake me in the middle of the night so I wouldn't miss taking a pill. I think that helped! The nausea pills did make me constipated and I had an issue with that, but luckily I had a friend in Dawn! She was having the same problem and she went to the specialty doctor (in that area) and told me what he said to her, so I didn't go! Thanks Dawn, for taking a probe for me!!! I know, too much information, however; I am writing this blog for women who are going through this same thing, so they may want to know the good AND the bad that came with treatment!
The Taxol is what I am taking now and after I have my treatment on Thursday I will feel fine till about 5 or 6pm on Friday- that is when I get a fever, last treatment it got up to 101- the new cut off point for me to call the after hours physician. The pain will also start about then and  won't let up until Monday or Tuesday. I have learned that the heavy duty pain pills I have, don't help the pain, they just make me feel like I don't care that I am in pain!  So now, I just take tylenol and claritan. Don't ask me why Clariten works with the bone pain, Dawn told me about it when I took the Nulesta shot and had bone pain from that medicine. The new side effect I am having with the Taxol is itching and burning hands and feet- THIS drives me nuts. I take benedryl for this and it seems to help.
But all of this will soon be over- I can handle anything as long as I know it will be better AND when!! That is the key- I haven't been able to plan anything and I am so ready to begin my life over again. I have made "an appointment" for a week long trip to my favorite beach (Cape San Blas). I also have surgery for the reconstruction coming up. My shoulder dr said to wait about 6 weeks after the boob surgery to do anything, so that is still pending. My bucket list is getting longer and I am ready to get to work on that and the party!
Listen out for all the cheers and the Rocky Music on Thursday- it's not just Valentines Day- it is the END OF CHEMO DAY!!

My BCF- Best Cancer Friend, Dawn (Super D)