Friday, December 31, 2010

Not what I wanted

So I get a call from an old family friend last night....she called on the home phone and on my cell....so I suspected she really wanted to talk to me. My stomach had already turned over a couple of times as I suspected an idea....

Sure enough....she says to me that my mother had called her for the first time in about a year....she seemed civil and so she told her....about my "situation"....why?! why?! why!?

If you don't understand the complexity and severity of what has happened between my mother and I....don't judge...go to another site.

Apparently she shed a tear and said that if I wanted to...I should call her. Ummm...no. I am a firm believer that cancer can be self-inflicted, the result of being on the shit end of the stick and/or a result of terrible negativity and constant stress and strain on the body....I firmly believe that my cancer is a result of the latter...for the most part.

It's been four 1/2 years since I've spoken with "her". It took me a good year to go through a type of "grieving" process. There is no relationship between my mother and I. My life is finally...."calm"....my life is finally "without major stress"....my life has cancer....funny how that works. I can finally "take care of me"....and the last thing I need is to rip open my broken rib cage and expose my battered, ill beating heart. Sorry....I'm going to be a selfish, self-centered wife and mother of three. The four people I have closest to me....are all that I need. There is no more verbal and physical abuse in my life and none for my children to witness...nothing but love and gentle hands and understanding hearts.....it's what I craved for years....it's what there is now.

So anyways....I'm disappointed that she took it upon herself to tell my mother but I'm not changing a thing....not now. Ask me again in 5 years....maybe I'll have had a change of heart but for now....I need to get through this and I need to get through it without any added crap. She'll have to "take a number".

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"From this moment on"....

"So, it's official.

You've been diagnosed with cancer.

This time it's not some family member, acquaintance, or celebrity --

It's YOU.

Like it or not, you've joined

the cancer movement.

You're one of "them."

More accurately, you're one of "us"

And from this moment on....

your life will never be the same


NEVER

Some things will be worse and
some things will be better...

There will be many surprises
but also discoveries.

In the days ahead,
you will find YOUR OWN WAY
to deal with your cancer diagnosis."

I was loaned a book labeled "a guide for those recently diagnosed with cancer"....beautiful excerpts....I will be sharing....hope you don't mind....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

If you don't want to hear this....

....cover your eyes. Yeah, yeah...I know....

So the chemo itself went pretty well....it's the "after crap" that didn't/isn't. It consists of this list of sufferings....

tiredness (lots)
nausea (slight)
headache (big time)
fever (a touch)
constipation (don't even go there)
stomach ails (I just about passed out last night)
gas(I think I could run the entire Ford fleet)
monthly (just one more thing to add to my list)

I've had so many fluids....Metamucil and prune juice, water etc.....I just don't get where the pains have come from. Regardless....if Tony doesn't have to take me to the e.r. tonight (which was a very close option last night), I might even venture out for a bit tomorrow. Of course I have to stay away from anyone with a snotty nose. But I'm looking forward to getting out of this joint...just for some fresh air.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TMI

I know...if you had a look at my side panel and noticed the "how I'm feeling" spot...it might be a little much information for you to handle. Yet another side affect of taking all these pills....now if you'll excuse me....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas update



So here I am...it's Christmas Day 2010, I have countless toxic chemicals running through my veins, pills upon pills in my tummy and a strict schedule on when to eat and when to pop a pill. I spent 6 hours in the chemotherapy department of LGH yesterday hooked up to an iv, talking to and learning about other people and their situations...having to run to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so. At the end I was "unhooked" and sent downstairs for an echocardiogram just to make sure that my ticker was in good form. By 5 p.m.....I was literally exhausted. Of course when I laid myself down to go to sleep....I couldn't....at least not for another couple of hours.

Today I woke up with ever so slight bit of nausea, a low-grade fever and nice warm and rosy cheeks (I'll take advantage of those for the time being). It's now almost half past two and other than feeling very tired again...I'm feeling pretty good.

One down and four to go...not doing to bad at this point. My sister's mil is coming by at 4 today to give me my white blood cell booster shot...hopefully that goes just as swimmingly.

Turkey's in the oven, although I was very disappointed when I took her out of the packaging to find that she was missing a wing...I should've noticed! I'll make a pork loin dish, mashed potatoes, asparagus and gravy...simply...but yummy...oh and of course not to forget the cranberry sauce!

Well I do hope that you all are having a Merry Christmas and fabulous time with family and loved ones. Take in every moment and don't sweat any of the small stuff....it's not worth it.



xo

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How do they expect one to sleep the night before chemo?



So here's a shot of me after my surgery....notice....I still have my boobs....victory number one! Victory number two....I still have my hair...although it's pulled back...it's there....just where I like it.




















And here I am with my beloved pooch....who would kill for any member of this family...although it's tough to see that in this picture....especially with that pot belly....she really was a little piglet in her past life.











And finally....here I am with my hair hacked off....don't worry..."wig photos" are to come...and I'm excited...sort of.













We had a really nice dinner at my sil's...short but sweet....what do you do the night before you're supposed to get a good dose of major chemicals?...get nervous. I just wanted to be home and got my stuff together for the 5 hours we'll spend at the hospital tomorrow. Of course now that it's really time to hit the sack...I'm wide awake...adrenalin...or something like that. I'm even "trying" to have a glass of wine to "take the edge off" and it's not helping. I'm not nervous...but maybe I am....I'm just not looking forward to it....who would be?

I'm done my "nesting"...everything is set in place....everything is packed, wrapped, labeled. Turkey is salted...as are the next 3 meat dishes.....I just really want this to be over....

But I'm okay with it...I'll take it and get over it and move on...cuz that's just how I am. Oh and trust me...I'm bringing my little bell to beckon the hubs..."oh honey...it's tea time....put a shot of brandy in that will ya?" ;o)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Getting used to the new "do"

I'm just about done my Christmas shopping...what the heck happened to "sticking to a budget"? And then tonight I gave the kids $40 to go to a movie with their friends and my buddy...they came back with dog chew toys and some spare change...no movie! Oh well...they had fun....

...until the girl came home and saw my new "do". I had my hair cut...short....really short....and while I'm getting quite used to it and almost liking it....the girl refuses to look at me...even 2 hours later...which is starting to peeve me just a little. I mean seriously....I'm the one who's going to lose it all....and she won't even look at me. The boys on the other hand, say they quite like the new look.

I went to pay for my first round of white blood cell booster and anti-nausea medication....my credit card was declined....not because there wasn't enough to cover it...the balance was at zero, as I had just activated this morning. No...it was "suspicious"...which I appreciate but....I told "Visa" that I would have charges (very expensive charges) coming through for the next 4 months from two separate pharmacies....and now I had to deal with StupidStore for over 45 minutes and a line up of people witnessing that my card was declined and the cashier make the comment to her assistant "her card was declined because of the funds"....um no....my funds are there you bimbo....it's the credit card company that has it messed up. So I ended up being able to make a $1,400.00 deposit (as that was all my "debit card" would allow for the day) and I'm having to come back tomorrow to finish up the transaction...now that I spoke to the credit card co. Geesh....I just hope they put those meds back in the fridge!

Well I've had a crappy nights' sleep...for a while now....I'm suspecting tonight won't be much different....and I'm expecting not so good ones coming up.....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Organized

Yes...you know that I am..."organized" that is? How else do I get 75 Christmas cards made and out on time? The house has been decorated for a little while now, most of the shopping has been done...just a little more to finish. And here's my "window of opportunity"...the boys no longer believe in Santa...surprise, surprise...and the girl isn't home tonight, so guess what I'll be doing tonight? She really wanted to do some baking, so I'll make sure that we squeeze that in over the next couple of days. I'm set up with the pharmaceutical company that's going to fill my chemo prescriptions...my white blood cell injections are all ready to be picked up...along with my anti-nausea meds. lol...they called today wanting to make sure that I was aware of the cost.... $2,500.00 (one treatment)...um yup...see you tomorrow. My chemo med was not ready as of today....I'll take care of that tomorrow. My hair gets chopped tomorrow and I'm making stew today and soup tomorrow....and then we're good except for our family Christmas dinner....I'll deal with that in the next couple of days. I really want the kids to have as "normal" of a Christmas as possible.

In other news...well, there really isn't any....except that it's still not snowing and I though this winter we were going to bombarded with snow and freezing temperatures?!?!?!?...not in this location.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Time marches on

It's but a few more days before I start my lengthy treatment. I'm scared shitless....not about the outcome...just about the toxicity and volume of chemicals coursing through my veins. It's always the fear of the unknown that gets me...I'm sure I'll be okay after the first treatment...even though they say the second one is the one that "gets ya".

In the meantime...I've taken to a sort of "nesting"...cleaning the house, washing the floor, cooking up a storm...I like to be prepared....I'm gonna be prepared! The kids are home this week and so it'll make Christmas shopping/wrapping a little more difficult...even though, even that's pretty close to done....

We went to my sister's last night...oh my gosh....the food was phenomenal!!! To die for actually...well, not literally but hey...."bil...where's the recipe?".

Hair gets chopped on Tuesday.

Time to get the little one in the tub.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To answer your question....E... ;o)

The chemo drug of choice "Abrax**ane" is currently not covered by our benefit plan nor our wonderful BC "Fair" (stupid title) Pha%^rm%^acare plan. Apparently Dr. K (my oncologist) said that he uses a slightly "unconventional" method of treatment for cases such as mine. If he were to use the treatment plan that is recognized by the BC Can^^cer So*&ciety, I would be covered....HOWEVER....I run a great risk of heart damage due to the toxicity of one of the drugs used. He said "if you were my daughter...." and that was enough to settle on our decision. He said that the price in the short run is well worth the long-term outcome. Not to mention the fact that the side effects are much better tolerated with this drug. We'll dig into the line of credit and pay it off after....for now....it's a blessing that at least my white blood cell booster meds are being covered 100%. At $2,100.00 a pop and I need 5 "pops"....we're saving additional $10,000.00....but I'll probably have to learn how to give myself the injection in my rear....hmmmm...something for the hubs?

I'm dropping off prescriptions for anti-nausea meds and the white blood cell booster tomorrow....we're looking at $10,500.00 right off the start....I'll be darn sure to submit that receipt asap.

What pisses me off to no end though is.....a friend of mine told me that she knows someone who works at the local pharmaceutical dispensary warehouse... She said that the "number one prescription being filled"....is being dispensed to inmates for "breast enhancement" drugs....can you fricken believe it?!?! And they're covering that shit!!! Me....a tax-pay, law abiding, hard working mother of three....and I get the short end of the shit stick....I can't believe it.

This all makes no sense to me....I still can't believe this is happening to me. Tomorrow my hair gets cut off.....

All in all....I still believe with 100% certainty that I'm in the best of care and that my outcome will be good. I wouldn't trust myself to anyone else but Dr. K.....and I believe with all of my heart that I'm going to be here writing about this "blip" for many years to come! There is no other option!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quite frankly....

...honestly and from the heart.....this is shit.

I'm not as strong as you think I am....

Today I met with my oncologist/family friend....all reports were good. I went through my "chemo teaching"....I can't even begin to tell you how scared the drugs that they're going to pump through me make me feel....I'm terrified....and yet...."comfortably numb"....go figure. My "home away from home" for the next year "essentially" has been set up and I've met my "temporary family members" today.... The chemotherapy department at LGH is about to become my "next best friend".

My first treatment begins on December 24 and runs for 5 treatments, every three weeks....I will finish my last chemo on March 21 (5 days after my birthday) and then run another 13 treatments (every three weeks) with the drug "Herceptin"....at which time my last treatment will be November 28th, 2011...and then I'll have radiation...I'm putting on my foot down on next Christmas being a better one than this....I'm hoping.

And with all of this....it's going to cost us between $25,000 - $36,000.....less if we go the 7 day injection route of the "white blood cell med"...as opposed to the 1 day per treatment injection.....I don't know....$9,000.00 is alot of money that could be spent in Tofino...

I almost broke down as we got "the tour"....I was the youngest one there by a far cry....I know I'm not but....at the moment I was...."I wish I had a river I could skate away on".....

My friend told me today that her first treatment made her so jittery that she was up at 4 am baking and cooking...which might be a good thing...I should just leave all the Christmas prep work for that first night...or maybe the family will wake up to more food than they could handle in a week?!?!?

For now....my husband is the most awesome....sparing not a single nickle on my health.....how can I not love this family??? Seriously....I am loved....and that's what's going to get me through this......

Well I should get some shut-eye....did I mention?....the hair that I've spent so long in trying to grow....is getting hacked off...it's time....it'll make the transition a whole lot easier.....for once....I'm look forward to change.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A "slow down"

I really have "slowed down" and I'm quite liking it. I haven't woken up in a panic for over a month now. I'm not sweating as I'm rushing out the door anymore. I'm enjoying my morning tea and sometimes even an afternoon one too! And I sleep in on the weekends...when I can...like today....10:00 a.m.....and I finally crawled out. And here it is 10:40 and I'm tap, tap, tapping away at the keys....still in my comfy cozy, fleece pj's...sipping away.

Today I will spend an hour on finishing up a work project, then I'm going to prepare lunches for tomorrow and then we get to spend 3 hours at Krystina's Christmas dance performance....which I'm looking forward to because....hello....she's performing in three dances!

And with that being said....maybe I should make some breaky?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cut me a break...would ya?

I'm doing okay...thanks for asking. I had my follow-up with my surgeon today...he said the massive bruising and swelling was "perfectly normal"...considering how much tissue they removed...which, if you look at the actual measurements....doesn't sound like much but....well, I'm prepared for the deflation of my breast....when the swelling comes down...which it will...so I'm told....*shucks*.

Dr. K. managed to "get it all"....I swear he had some fun while he was in there as well....you'd have to see the photos to agree with me on this one. Two sentinel lymph nodes were removed...one was "clear"...one had a two mm cancer spot....which is enough to say that the cancer had spread to my lymph node(s)...which means that either a further operation (not likely) or radiation (almost 100%) will be added to my treatment plan. Per Dr. K. today....over the next 5 years I will be watched over like a hawk and I will undergo many, many more tests, mammograms, scans etc.....my focus right now...the next 10 months.

In other news.....my chemo medication was turned down for coverage by our insurance plan....it is also not covered by Pharma*freakin*care....we're talking a small mortgage here.... We don't know why the insurance co. denied the covered...apparently they didn't "completely" deny coverage...whatever the heck that means...and because they wouldn't talk to the hospital handling my chemotherapy care....I need to call them on Monday....but so far it ain't looking so good. The nurse at LGH said they're "going to fight for me"....I mean seriously...how is it possible that our flippin gov't. will cover "gender change" operations but not medication for someone who has a legitimate disease....I don't even smoke!!

I guess this is where I "get mad" at this whole shitty situation?!

I am mad....I have every right to be pissed.....I, and every person with this stupid disease deserves the best in care without question and without selling an arm and/or a leg....or ovary....or whatever....I'm a tax paying, mother of three, fairly young, wife and I need to be here a lot longer than this.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I don't plan on going anywhere.....

Yesterday I got a call from a friend who had just found out my "predicament" (sp?). Her message was sincere enough and I love her but.....her tone was as though I was already on my death bed. People....I only have one option....I'm not going anywhere....not anytime soon. While I desperately cling to my family and close friends for support and the want to help during my "down times"....please, please, don't cry and speak as though I only had a week left to go. I've lost a chunk of my boob....and I'm glad!...it means that nasty lump is gone. I've lost a sentinel node...I'm glad...it means the cancer won't drain over to my other lymph nodes. I'm going to lose my hair....I'm glad....I got me one gorgeous wig! My life has slowed down....I'm glad for that too....it was time. I'm still me though....and I'm enjoying life and living....and that's what I'm going to continue to do!

On another note....well regarding the same topic...I took a couple of photos (for my own reference) of the state of my boob....well little miss took my camera and.....saw them. I told her calmly that she shouldn't have taken mommy's camera without asking....and then I asked her if they scared her...."yes"....I told her it looked worse than it was, gave her a big hug and reminded her that I'm going to be just fine.

On an even "other note"....I went to the best sushi place in town today....oh my gosh...I couldn't believe how tasty and how beautiful this food looked....for cheap!!!...I'll definitely be going back to "Sushi Sh*el$ter 101"....D...you gotta go!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The sun came out today

It's December 5th, 2010. It's been exactly one month and two days since my father-in-law passed away. It's been exactly one month and 7 days since I was diagnosed with "invasive, ductal, carcinoma". In the last 2 months I have had more mammograms than a woman should have in her lifetime. I've been injected with so much radioactive material that I should be sending off signals to satellites floating around high above our atmosphere. I've been poked, cut, scooped, squashed, stretched, flattened, scanned that really....how did this happen? Well it did. And I'm grateful.

Today is a beautiful day. The healing is happening with each day and I'm able to do more and more without wincing in pain. I have the support of many wonderful friends and family and more food than I know what to do with. I just enjoyed a really good cup of tea and am going to freshen myself up and step out and get some fresh air today, for the first time since surgery. My girl spent the night at a friends and I will meet up with her at her soccer game.....I think we'll just mosey on over to Starbucks after and get ourselves a hot chocolate topped with whip cream and chocolate sauce....yup....I think that's what we're going to do!

You guys have a great day too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My IV line



Brutal.

I finished my Christmas cards tonight.....

Well hello there.....

....you didn't think I'd be gone forever...did you?

I'm starting to function again, albeit still in pain....the anesthetic has worn off and I'm now living in a slight fog of regular rounds of Extra Strength Tylenol. I was able to have my first shower today and boy did it feel good!

Surgery went well...apparently "textbook well", according to what the surgeon had told Tony. The nurses had a bit of tough time getting me knocked out (see....my stubborn attitude never leaves me and it won't now either) but once they did, they were able to man-handle my poor breast and arm-pit to their hearts desire. The big ole nasty tumor is gone, gone, gone!....and I lost my sentinel lymph node as well (that's the main guy that does the draining and filtering to other lymph nodes in the arm-pit area) which means the cancer had spread but luckily I didn't have to have more removed....well, at least not at this point....we'll have to wait and see what the pathology reports have to show next week.

But so far, so good...if you look at the over-all picture...I'm most grateful for how things have gone so far....but whenever I look in the mirror at my poor boobie....I just want to cry...momentarily of course....because then I remember that....the tumor is gone! My boob is so swollen and sooooo black and blue....it really is quite shocking and has kept me up the last couple of nights....it's actually kept Tony up too as he's too afraid to move in bed for fear of hitting me. I can't wear a bra and so when I walk I have to kind of hold it under my arm so that it doesn't "bounce"...lol...imagine that....my boobs "bouncing"...never mind...it's tmi....but then this whole post kind of is too. Did I mention I received my "monthly" yesterday?....lol....you knew that was coming, didn't you?...you had to?!

Anyways....I'm tired still, I'm still peeing blue (blue dye injection that I received during surgery) but I'm relaxing....seriously...I really am! Christmas cards are all almost signed. The kids are helping me out...in fact Teddy is vacuuming the house right now....I have food coming out of my ying yang and I'm so thankful for all that I have.

Now ladies....(and men)....check your boobies!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The billboard went like this......

...."Money CAN buy you anything...until you find that lump in your breast". Smack dab in the middle of my little suburbia that's what the billboard said....*sigh*.

You know what guys?....I just want to thank you all for your well wishes, you can't imagine what it does for my mood. I know I have total support from my husband...in fact it's a little hard to handle at times...but knowing that I'm thought of and wished well wishes...well it really does lift my spirits.

Today was another long day and I'm glad that for the moment....the pre-op/further investigation tests are all done. I went in today for my sentinel lymph node mapping injection....another injection of radioactive material that showed my lymph nodes during a 30 minute scan. Tomorrow I arrive at the hospital at 7:20 and have a "fine wire" inserted at 8:00 a.m. At 10:30 my surgery starts and I am injected with now a blue dye and will have a "metal detector" of sorts pass over me to find "hot spots" to see if the cancer cells have moved from the initial tumor to the surrounding lymph nodes...which will determine how long my chemo will be, at what intervals and possibly whether or not I will have radiation when the chemo is done.

I'm still scared.

Tomorrow I lose a good portion of what helps make a woman...just that....I nursed my babies with that body part....I finally got it back to "pre baby" appearance....but it is just that...."a part"....it's done it's job and it's really not needed any longer....besides...I still have one healthy one....which I'm obsessed with checking constantly. And ladies....learn from me....CHECK THEM!!

My kids are well taken care of tonight and tomorrow...we have more than enough food to feed them....*as I look over at the stove and make sure that the chicken soup is simmering nicely*....

Life is good and I for one....cannot wait until this surgery is done.

Thanks again for everything!

See you soon!

Monday, November 29, 2010

All I could think of....

....was getting into my comfy, cozy, fleece pants....and I'll just live in them for the next 6 months thank you!

Today was wet, rainy, breezy and cold....to the bone "cold". I just wanted to be home in the comfort of my cozies.

We're picking a short hair style for me....

Friends have been wonderful bringing me yummies that I can freeze and use when I need to.

I picked up a couple of yoga dvd's that I can do from home.

The entire elementary school now knows....apparently I have "hair cancer".

I'm tired and can't wait for Thursday...strange as it may sound....I WANT this surgery.

And now I'll go and deal with the eye infection that seems to be festering in my right eye...yuck.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm not sure which is harder.....

.....dealing with my own emotions or....those of my family.

No more secrets....

I hate keeping secrets from anyone....anyone. Today was the day that I decided I was going to tell Krystina....over Starbucks hot chocolate...after dance....too bad she didn't want hot chocolate...she was too hot....great. We stopped at Canadian Tire....I needed a couple of "zip ties"....I gave in and bought some new decorations for the tree.....and an Aero bar... Back in the parking lot I climbed into the middle row (with K), all the while she kept saying..."what are you doing here mommy?" And so I started....

...."K....I wanted to take you for hot chocolate so that I could talk to you about something."

"What mommy?"

"Well honey....I...firstly...I don't want you to worry about anything...everything's going to be just fine....mommy's going to have an operation this week and then she'll have to take some medicine that will very likely make me lose my hair"

*break down*

*no consolation*

At this point her only concern was that "mommy was going to lose her hair"....she wanted nothing to do with a wig or bandana.

*fast track to current time*

"mommy.....but doesn't it mean when you lose your hair you have cancer?"

"*pause*....yes sweetie...mommy has cancer....but I'm not going anywhere....I'm going to be fine"

*silence*

"did you hear me???...I need you to be strong for me...I'm not going anywhere...."

End of conversation....

Shit life is hard sometimes!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Interesting day to say the least.

So I had booked a "consultation" with this wig place here in the lower mainland...apparently there are really only two "speciality" places...I mean sure, I guess I could've gone to The B*ay but I may have ended up with something that was purple and green. I do realize that there is always the chance that I don't lose my hair but you know what....after trying on and picking this one....I'm almost tempted to wear one for ever!! lol...I have very, very, fine and "feathery soft" ;o) hair and the stress of the last couple of years has thinned it out even more...so much so that I'm very conscious and think people can see my scalp shining through. Anyways....the wig I picked is "real hair" so it'll last 2 1/2 - 3 years as opposed to a synthetic one that would only last 6 - 8 months....my hair will just be starting to pop out at that point. It's very close to my natural (when I say "natural" I mean my dyed color hair) color and when I take the effort in straightening it and fussing....it looks very, very close....except that there's a lot more of this glorious hair!! And it made me feel fantastic!...not sure how it's going to feel when I'm missing eyebrows and eyelashes but hey...one step at a time. So in the even that I don't need it...thankfully we do have some coverage for it because hello....you could buy an old car for this amount....I can always sell it or give it to someone who can't afford one and make them feel good about themselves. I'm not ready to show you but I will....eventually.

Tomorrow I will be telling my littlest and I will be getting my hair cut short on the 15th.

Surgery is next week....I can't believe it's almost here already.

On a different note....I just finished munching on some (they sound disgusting) yummy (not the healthy way of eating I'm trying to stick to) Dorito's nacho chips in...."cheese burger" flavor....um believe it or not....as much as they sound disgusting....they are tasty! Just don't eat too many of them.

Alright...off to work on some Christmas cards.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

At the moment....love, love this song.....



Love her voice and can't wait till her new album comes out!!! This is definitely a song that's gonna help me get through things....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I can't get rid of the cold....

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/cabc0224

....I'm wearing warm socks, comfy cozy fleece pj's and my ever so comfy and puffy pink bathrobe and...I'm still cold. It's going to snow tonight...so they say....well I say...and don't be a "me hater"....*let it snow*. I'm not going anywhere tomorrow...I'd be happy just staying in what I'm wearing now...oh but wait.... I may get an appointment for an ECG....this was a missing "pre-op" that I got called about...well...hopefully I'll be home tomorrow...my ticker is just fine.

I'm thrilled that I finally got Firefox to work for me again...it was in the dumper till now and even better....I got all of my bookmarks back as well!!!

I spent tonight looking through an "Aveda" book that I had picked up a few years back on a trip to Tofino....it's kind of a holistic approach to life and health. Now that I'm looking at it again with these newly "opened eyes"....I find it very interesting and have noted some really important points....for someone going through what I am. Don't worry...I won't be walking around in a burlap sack but....I may just investigate the whole "organic" thing....for what it's worth.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On my "agenda"

The area under my armpit/arm has an ache for the last couple of days...not sure if it's my imagination, a strain or my lymph nodes...*sigh*...soon enough.

Tuesday I go to LGH for a "chemo teaching" or "chemo 101" I supposed...and I thought that that was one hospital I wouldn't have to frequent, seeing as though I know every other one in the lower mainland like the back of my hand!

Wednesday I go in for a "sentinel lymph node mapping" whereby even more glow juice gets injected in and around my tumor and then flows towards my lymp nodes...to see if the cancer has put its ugly claws there.

Thursday morning I get a "fine wire" inserted into my tumor....at this point I cannot wear a bra and will walk around for a couple of hours with this wire poking out...

Thursday at 11:30 I get the "chop job"....and then I'm home later that day.

December 14th I see my oncologist.

December 15th I'll get my hair cut short.

December 24th (bright and early - 8:30 a.m) I start my 3+ hour chemo treatment.

*Ho Ho Ho Ho*

Monday, November 22, 2010

Abominal snowman has come....

It seems like just yesterday that the weather was mild enough that we could still walk in our shorts...oh wait...my husband is still walking in his shorts....although he has lost a few leg hairs as of just this evening. It has turned bitterly cold in these them parts! So bitter my car is sporting a cardboard sunglass and even more bitter that ole Gramps is sneezing and Aleks is coughing and feverish.....something I DO NOT need....with surgery in just over a week away. Todays' high was -3...tomorrow...-8...and then we're up to +7/8 by Friday....freakish weather.

I'm looking for a decent wig factory...you know...to keep my follicles warm during the "coldest weather on record".... ;o) I wonder if my hair will grow back "thicker and stronger" like some people say? I just want "some hair" to grow back...mind you...the hubs did say get a "nice wig"...I'm going for length baby!

So I'm booked for my "sentinel mapping and biopsy" next Wednesday...good grief, seriously....next week already? With surgery next Thursday...I'm gonna miss that boob. I think though that I'm much more scared of the chemo than I am of the surgery...

I can't help but wonder what people think when they see me..."oh...there's that lady with cancer"......."oh I hope she makes it"....."oh I wonder what she'll look like when her hair falls out"....*blech*....right now I'm more worried about why the heck the dog peed on Teddy's bed...seriously.....she's not in my good books right now.

And with that folks...gotta keep my immune up and stay away from these sickos....I'm gonna lock myself in my bedroom for the next 6 months....send blankets!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's a joke...right?

This....predicted to be a very, very cold winter... with lots and lots of snow....and me....having to go bald....really.....seriously? I'm stocking up on toques! ....or how ever you spell it.

We had soccer pics at 7:50 this morning...the hubs was off doing his parking duty before that....I had bought new flannel sheets at Costco the other day and was finally enjoying them last night....needless to say...I came home and crawled back into bed....it was -2.

Krystina had a game at noon...it was great....what I saw of it....I always get too chatty during these games and then I forget why I'm where I am...until the end...or a goal is scored...which there was not...it was a tie...."nula/nula"....hot chocolate was in order moments after....for the both of us.

More snow is on it's way...Wednesday they say.....it's okay because hey...I have flannels.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I may have had an extra glass of two of wine tonight...but that'll be it for this chick. Yes, I do enjoy my wine...very much....but I don't think it's going to mix very well with anesthesia and/or chemo drugs...sooooo.....this will be it for this girl. I will miss you...yes I will.....

D....you are too funny....I love you too.

People....my boob has been sore for about 4 days now and is growing slightly larger than the other....I cannot wait till this tumor is removed....

I can wait however...for chemo...even though I have no choice...I think this is the part that scares me the most.

My freezer is filling....thanks P for the laughs tonight....I sooo needed that.

I'm going to miss my hair.

In other notes....my son has soccer pics at 7:50...I gotta go....and in more ways than one...no really...I "gotta go"!

g'night

Friday, November 19, 2010

I feel so special

I get a call from LGH almost every day now....today I had two....sorry, I was busy dealing with my late father-in-laws banking issues....I didn't have time today....but I did go for a beer... is that bad? I'm wondering if todays' call has anything to do with my coverage....good grief...we're prepared but hello...I feel guilty that I won't be able to give the kids a nice Christmas dinner and yet we're probably going to fork over $50,000.00+ for meds to keep me alive....even though they're going to make me puke and poop and lose all of my hair..."all" of it....

I told Al...he was stunned...but he has "COD".

We just have the little one to worry about now...

...less than two weeks now. I keep telling the hubs to get his "grabs" in now... lol... yeah whatever....I'm a leper.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good news and bad news...

.....I'm going to have a little more time to prepare for Christmas....but...

Chemo starts on December 24th.

My doctor/friend wanted me to have 3 weeks of healing to ensure no infection.

I'm about to tell my middle guy....wish me luck....I'll wait a little longer for Krystina.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Worth gold

I spoke to the hospital where I'll be receiving my chemo treatments today....seems as though everything is booked and we're ready to go...and as the nurse said (without my saying anything first)...."it's good to know Dr. K!" I replied with..."oh yes it is"! But I have to admit...I'm feeling almost a little guilty for it as well....I mean I'm definitely getting preferential treatment...but I'll take it...I need something good in my life too!

So as I mentioned my sentinel node mapping is on December 1st, my surgery is on December 2nd and my chemo will start on December 14th....kinda ucky for Christmas but hey....it'll be a quieter Christmas with hopefully lots of snow and firelogs! Which reminds me...I gotta dig out my knit caps. The chemo drug of my doctors' choice is Ab*ra#xin Car*bo Her#cep*tor....works incredibly well and is incredibly expensive.....we're looking at getting near to the $100,000 mark when all is said and done....most of this should be covered but we will be forking out some cash....apparently it's the best drug out there. Side effects will still be there but not as severe as with some other chemo treatments....unfortunately I could lose all my hair in as quickly as 2 weeks after the first treatment. Speaking of which....my next big thing is to tell the two youngest...I think my girl is going to freak....I'm just hoping that she won't look at me as though I'm a leper or something. This is all too much of a dream still.....

I also got a call from the hospital where I had the biopsy done....kind of the obligatory "how are you doing now that you know you have cancer growing in your body?" Actually the woman was very nice and just wanted to pass on some "help centre" information should I need it. She asked if I had someone to talk to?.....has she not heard about the "blogosphere"? ;o) ....and whether the family was taking it all okay. I choked a little but she said that I sounded "strong"....she has no fricken idea?!?!

Actually I have moments of panic but really....I am doing okay....I have to....somebody has to keep their wits about them....who the heck is going to decorate the house?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And here the poisons begin....

....I came home today to a message from my oncologist/family friend/doctor....."Dr. K. would like to start you on a new drug...do you have extended health benefits?" As though we would say "no"...we do...to a degree.....but thankfully with the house paid off we can dig into the line of credit to get this sorry ass back into health. I just can't imagine how I would feel if we weren't blessed enough to be able to handle the upcoming bills....I feel guilt in knowing that there are others out there that aren't as fortunate! I'm fully aware that the the next year could bring prescription meds up in the area of around $60,000 - $70,000....just to get me healthy again.....not to mention the trip to Tofino at the end of it all....that can add another $3,000. Funny though....I said to Grandpa..."so do you think Dr. K. is planning my treatment in his sleep?" I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I am in the care of such a wonderful doctor(s)...I go through my moments of distress and worry....sometimes I even still think I'm going to hurl....but in the end....it's because I'm only concerned for my family....I know whether it's now, a year from now or 50 years from now....I'll be in a better place....my worry for now is...."what the heck are these people going to eat?"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Because we could all use a little humor?!?!

My daughter has turned 9 (last June) and now these little bodies are starting to make some pretty big changes....as was evident the other night.

K - "mommy....I found a hair"
me - "where sweetie?"
K - "down 'there'"
me - "are you sure...how do you know?"
K - "well, I saw it there and I pulled....and it was attached!"
me - "well I guess you're turning into a big girl...."
K - *sniffle* "I don't want to have babies"!

Oh the joy!

Can you see me glow?

Today I had my bone scan. So to date I've had my blood work, my chest x-ray, my ultrasound (of my organs) and now....I was injected with Isotope in the "nuclear medicine" department in the basement of LGH....which is situated next to the morgue....how depressing is that?!? My husband....was there with me the entire time.

At 12:30 I was injected with radioactive dye and sent off to go shopping, have a sandwich, have a beer...whatever I wanted. At 3:15 I returned to have my bone scan. Can I just say....wow....I didn't know they made scanners that huge! It lasted just a little over 30 minutes...the first scan being of my entire body...from head to toe....and I was not allowed to move for an entire 15 minutes (x 2). I have to be honest and tell you that I had to close my eyes so that I wouldn't go into panic mode....this massive, multi-million dollar contraption was set only about 4 inches away from my face and head....I truly felt like the thing was going to disengage and smother me. After about 3 minutes at my head it very slowly started its was down my body. The second x-ray was of my entire spine and did not involve claustrophobic closeness....but did move around me in 9 degree intervals until it was done.

I met my oncologist/family friend in the cafeteria and he did give me a "everything's going good" sign.....so I'm glad.

Next step will be the sentinel node mapping on December 1st with the surgery to remove most of my breast on the 2nd. Chemo and radiation treatment plans will be made on December 14....I just might still have my hair for Christmas!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's new?

Nothing....still got these damn "nasty cells" inside of me and well....it seems I have nothing else to talk about...which makes me angry...because I'd really like to talk about something else....really.

Did you know my kid (boy) scored a goal yesterday in soccer?...yup! My girl is going to a dance with her long time bff/I'll have a good fight with her...in a couple of weeks! My other boy is at work....presently. A very old family friend (whom grew up with) came by today with her priceless little 6 week old daughter....oh my gosh, oh my gosh.....can I just say that there was a moment that I considered redoing the whole "vasectomy" thing?!?!? I know...then I slapped myself in the head...which hurt...a little. Tomorrow I get a little more "irradiated"....we get the bone scan thingy done....first appointment is at 12:30...which is where I suspect they inject some sort of poisonous chemical into my veins/bones....and then I go back at 3:15 (I'm suspecting) to get shoved into a tunnel and have my "picture" taken....all the while trying not to go into a panic attack as I'm "traveling through the tunnel"...I should make sure I've gone to the bathroom before.

I'm good with all of this...I think....but every once in a while it hits me and I think...."wtf?...I....have cancer"....you've got to be fucking kidding me?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two things

1)....it's incredibly frustrating when you send in your laptop in to be cleaned of many, many, many virus', only to get it back and not be able to go on FireFox and the discovery that all of your bookmarks have vanished.

2)....my husband has attached himself to my hip......I'm not complaining.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guess I'm going to have to tell 'em?

I've purposefully held back on telling my two youngest...not sure really why? I think Al would be okay with it...considering I had told him a month ago that "mom had a lump"....he seemed pretty cool with it. I think it's the girl that has me the most worried....and yet....I don't even think she knows what "cancer" really is...but I could be wrong. And it's not like I'm hesitating coming out and telling that because I...think "this is it"....Hell no!...this chick is a far car from "giving in"!...and my prognosis is good....so we'll hang onto that. I just think that it'll freak her out when mommy's walking around with one boob that's pretty much...non-existent and hair that's been flushed down the toilet. On that note...hmmm...I wonder what my head really looks like under this hair that I've worked at for 6 years to get to this point....but hey...hair grows back. I wonder though....do you lose "all" your hair? Ewww....tmi

I'm going to enjoy this weekend, I think....it'll be relaxing and I'm taking the hubs to the "Habenjero sp? Grill"!...that is of course....after soccer and dance....oh....and I'm really looking forward to sharing some time (and drinks) with my ole buddy.....muchly missed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflective

Today seemed to be a little harder...I slept well....my cough was great today...but I felt very melancholy today....oh well...going to enjoy a glass of wine, a fire and my "show night"....

That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today's update

Today I met with my surgeon....you know....the one that's going to remove part of what makes me a woman.....wonderful doctor....he totally "gets it"....I mean that which helps make a woman tick. He went through the regular shpeel...checked out both my boobs (in front of my hubs...kinda weird) and went through the next few steps....of which I had to stop him and say...."ummm....our very good family friend is the cancer specialist at LG Hospital.....I've already had 3 of the four tests done"..... He responds with...."oh, Dr. K?" "That's right!". So we went from getting into surgery in possibly 5 weeks at ERH (which would've been quicker than RCH) to getting into surgery in exactly 3 weeks (December 2) at the NW Surgical Centre....a private surgical centre (apparently funded by the government but nonethless....a much shorter waiting list). I am going to have a sentinel node mapping done the day prior (to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes), a fine wire will be inserted just prior to the surgery to mark the center of the tumor and the lump and surrounding tissue will be removed at 11:30 a.m. Yes I will be left with a disfigured breast (but I get to keep my nipple!!!) but at this point....who cares!

So Monday afternoon I head out for a bone scan and then I should be good until just prior to the surgery.....which will be good to get over with as my boob is growing larger than the other...

I still get overwhelmed with emotion when I have a chance to reflect....this is all too freaky....this is not supposed to be happening to me.

I have to say though.....I have a wonderful/supportive husband and an amazing group of friends....I would really love to know though.....who left the little tile/saying on my step today....it left me with a really big smile!

Loving this song.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The day is done

Today we laid my father-in-law to rest. It was pouring the entire morning and lo and behold...I kidd you not....it stopped just in time and for the time of the graveside service....which ended up being very nice. Hopefully the feisty one is finally at peace and at rest....that's all he ever wanted. We had a very, very small gathering.....of just us, my dad, my sil (and family) and well...my very lost bil (and his daughter). I did nothing but order a tray of sandwiches and veggies and fruit. I'm exhausted.

This morning we (Tony and I) headed to N Van for an early ultrasound of all of my organs (I'm assuming this is in preparation of the chemo treatments...to make sure I'm not missing a kidney or an ovary hasn't ended up where my liver should be. The technician said everything "looked good"....I told her it was nice to get some "good news" for a change.

Tomorrow I meet with the surgeon.

It's funny to think that if it wasn't for Dr. K, I'd just be waiting for my appointment with the surgeon and nothing else would have been done....even the ultrasound techi was surprised that I was already at this point......I've said it before and I'll say it again....."it's not WHAT you know...but WHO you know". I haven't been feeling that great these last couple of days and have been keeping Tony up with a persistent cough that's even even giving me "bags" under my eyes. And to boot....my dear "monthly friend" came to call yesterday.....well at least I (hopefully) won't have to deal with her during my surgery. I'm already preparing myself (as is my family...less the two youngest) for a quieter Christmas.....my sil has brought a couple of frozen lasagnas......her mil has brought me a tonne of baking for the holidays.....I'm still preparing myself for my eventual hair loss....I think that's when I might "break"....a little.

Also.....you'd all be so proud of me....I turned down a potential new client...can't take anymore and am ready to enjoy the box of fire logs that Tony has bought. Still.....so much to do.

On another topic....I took Teddy to get his Grad photos done.....um...hello....this kid is "hot" (in a not so motherly way) in a shirt and tie.....course he couldn't stand the tie....and then when he put on the cap and gown......haven't I had enough to cry about lately?!?!?!? So I asked him again...."you are graduating...right?". It's what I'm living for right now....that and the trip to Tofino that Tony has promised me....via a Cessna plane...I know!?!??!??! But hey....seriously....anyone who goes through Chemo can get through anything.....and life is so good....I need to finally really enjoy it.

I've had a bunch of pre op/treatment appointments already but...tomorrow will be another huge step as to what we can expect over the next little while..... I've decided though that I'm prepared to lose a breast and possibly two....I just want the cancer to be out of my body.....take a lymph node or two, or 6 while you're at it....I'm tired of "walking around with cancer cells growing in my body".....my boobs have done their job....now they're just there for looks and well...who cares.

Okay well...with that...my laptop is still infested with viruses...which is why the lack of posts...sort of....

If I could ask of one thing from you guys....just send good vibes that Tony and I have a good night's sleep tonight....I've/We've had it rough because of this never ending cough....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life is a whirl wind....

All the arrangements have been made and I'm feeling good that we're all done. I managed to go and order some trays for a very small gathering after....really...we're doing a graveside burial and it'll include us (and Gramps), my sil and family and my other bil (and daughter)....exactly as my fil would've wanted. We've ordered a beautiful casket and beautiful flowers....he'll be put to rest on Tuesday.

I need to go and find some shoes for my Al this weekend, we have dance, we have two soccer games and a birthday party and then there's work on Monday (it's payroll) and then of course bright and early Tuesday I go for a special ultrasound, the burial being later in that day. I meet with the surgeon on Wednesday....we have Remembrance Day on Thursday and then it's back to work on Friday.

I'm starting to prepare for the times that I won't want to leave the house...including buying myself a lovely pair of cozy, flannel pj's! I've asked Tony to supply the house with many boxes of fire logs, some nice candles and a nice fluffy pillow and blanket....oh I'm going to milk it baby! I have hats ready to be knit and I even have Tony saying I should think about a wig (so as not to "wig" out the youngest). We've got some cash set aside for the monumental prescription costs we're going to have endure. And I'm ready and prepared to finally lose those stubborn 10 pounds!

Let's get this freakin show on the road and get these nasties out of me!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My world is a little quieter....

....but sadly, it's a little emptier too. My father-in-law passed away last night at around 9 p.m. Tony and I were able to spend some time with him earlier in the day and I spent a few more hours with him in the afternoon. He gave me one last crooked smile and quietly slipped into a morphine induced sleep to finally end his sufferings and go on to be with his beloved wife and brother (who passed away earlier this year). Despite his rough exterior, I knew he loved me (all of us) and we did have a special bond. He will be deeply missed by us all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm tired of this talk....

...seriously....can't we talk about something else?

I have an appointment booked with the surgeon for next Wednesday....I'm on the cancellation list.

My dad called his high-school/friend from "back home"/well known cancer specialist here....I spoke with him tonight and am seeing him tomorrow.....he told me "not to worry"....I'll take that from him.

I've decided on having both removed.....this is what I get for liking my boobs again.

And now....really....can we talk about something else....my head hurts!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

And on a totally different note.....

......my gosh Halloween turned out to be great!!!

Seriously...the rain pelted all last night. Today the skies were full of clouds and blue sky.... Decorations were set out and carved pumpkins were lit....we got rid of a whole bowl of candy and the kids got to enjoy trick or treating, harassing the neighborhood and blowing off illegal fireworks before the rain set-in..literally 10 minutes before they all arrived back home.

I loved the fact that I did not work this weekend....at all.....I even cleaned the toilets....which I'm seriously considering hiring a cleaner during any treatment that I might have to have.

Tomorrow I'm off to work....which will not be rushed and I will enjoy....in my heated bucket seats, my girl has photo retakes in her new outfit.....can you believe that Teddy has his grad photos taken next week?.....shnizen....I just hope he graduates!?!?!

Oh and Tony...spent the entire afternoon (and bless his heart....the guy wants to go everywhere with me now...funny how it takes something like this....xo) cleaning out the shed whereby it was infested by rodents who were eating the rotten potatoes (that I forgot about) and literally....there was shit (rodent/squirrel) everywhere!!! He killed 3 mice.....gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well at least my shed is clean!

I should be in bed....

....but I don't feel like sleeping....and I suspect I'll have many nights like this.

Tony told Teddy last night....I didn't want the kids to know but in the end...it's probably a good thing that Teddy does....definitely not a good thing that Krystina does....not now...maybe not ever.... He's being very good about it all...asking me questions and giving me kisses....oh what we do to get those little pecks on the cheek!?

So now my family and friends all know....they're all being incredibly awesome about it all. I'm still really trying to get my shit together and move forward....hello....I have "cancer"...fuck me. Ok that's a little harsh but I just want to hit something or scream or...something......it just all seems so incredibly surreal. Okay...now that I've that out....we'll move forward.

My decision now is....do I settle with a "lumpectomy"?...or do I just have the whole darn thing removed and then....do I have them both removed? lol....funny thing is they say that if you breast feed your children you're much less likely to get breast cancer....um hello....I had Teddy for 4 months, Aleks for 12 and Krystina for 13 1/2!!!....so much for that. I'm thinking just get rid of both of them and if I choose....I can always get "better and bigger" down the road.

This all has to do with the fact that I was talking vanity by saying that my boobs had finally "bounced back" (since having children) and that my hair has finally gotten to a length and thickness that I'm happy with...since my teen years. See people...."vanity"....does no darn good!

I'm jumping the gun I know.....I'm definitely having surgery...in the next few weeks....I'm definitely having a radioactive (or something like that) dye shot through my veins to see if this bitch has gone further than my left breast.....the chemo and radiation is still up in the air.

I'll tell ya one thing though.....this is another kick in the ass to take my vitamins (yes, I know Erik... ;o) ), not stress so much, slow life down, enjoy each moment, exercise and lay off the wine! Sometimes this is what it takes.....so sad though.

It's like a fly that you just want gone....

....*swat*....be gone I say!

The shock has worn off....

....I just wish I felt like eating.

Today I went into Safeway to get some groceries and there it was as I walked in....a table all set up for "Breast Cancer Awareness".....somebody....get me a box of Kleenex I can just walk around with! Good grief...talk about being totally "emotional" today....I'm not used to this.

I'm going to get through this...it's going to be tough....but I have so many good friends and family and I know one of the best cancer specialists' in the country...not to mention my incredibly supportive husband (who truth be told....might be taking this even harder than I). The best part though....is that Tony said "when" this is all said and done....he's taking me to the Wickanninish Inn in Tofino for a weekend of much pampering and relaxation! Hell....I might even consider taking a small Sesna and flying over..... I know!!!!!!!!!!.....don't choke on your coke!

Letter to an inspiration

Hello Deborah,

I first came across your flickr photos through another contact of mine and fell instantly in love with what you've done....if I remember correctly it was the blue gloved hand, holding the green apple that I first saw. Since then I've lurked on around on your blog....and was saddened but inspired when you were told you had breast cancer....I loved your attitude through your ordeal.

Well....on Saturday, September 11, 2010....I was in the shower when I discovered a lump in my left breast. I remember looking up at the ceiling and saying..."damn it". I made a doctor's appointment for that following Tuesday and was heading off to an earlier scheduled (my annual was to happen on October 26th) mammogram....whereby they took 9 photos (only two of my right). Two weeks (last Tuesday) after that...I'm scheduled for a core biopsy....last Friday I was called back into my doctor's office. I have Ductal Carcinoma.

Friday I cried.
Saturday I walked around stunned and fought back the urge to hurl.
Sunday I'm learning to deal with it and am finding much inspiration going back and re-reading your story.
Tomorrow I find out when I meet with the surgeon.

I have three children, 9 year old girl, 13 year old boy, 17 year old boy, my beloved husband, my disabled dad who lives with us and an 89 year old father-in-law in hospital and I just keep thinking....I can't possibly be going through this....who's going to take care of these people? Truth be told....my life has been going "fast forward" for years and I think this is the kick in the ass that I'm getting to finally slow down and "take care of me". I know the survival rate of this type of cancer is high....but I'm so scared....my husband, I can see....is terrified.

So long story short....I find much comfort in reading your story and wanted you to know that you are an inspiration! I'm going to kick this in the ass....and I'm going to see all three of my children graduate (Teddy...my eldest is graduating in 2011).

Sincerely and with kindest regards,

L

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I didn't want the kids to know....

....hmph...who am I kidding?! Obviously they're going to find out something is wrong.....

Tony told Teddy tonight....I wasn't prepared for that....although I knew as soon as Teddy came home from work and gave me a kiss on the cheek.....that's just not like him.

At this point I think Tony is taking it harder than I am....I just want the moments of wanting to hurl to stop.

I spoke to a family friend of ours (about my age as well) who was diagnosed with the exact same cancer earlier this year. She's just completed 5 of 6 chemo treatments and decided to have a mastectomy (prior to the chemo)....funny thing is....our lump(s) are/were in the same spot...just different boobs. The problem for her was the cancer was being very aggressive and was going into her lymph nodes so they had to remove 6 nodes....which she says was far more painful than having her breast removed. She lost her hair after 2 treatments and will be having radiation as well.

It's amazing to think that statistics show that 1 in 9 women will get this type of cancer and if you're going to get cancer...this is the one you want...apparently. This just makes me think that they're an awful lot of women here going through the same thing I am......

Personally.....I just want it out...I want the "monster cells" to be ripped out and thrown in the fire....and I hope it's really, really soon.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I have cancer.

Yes....I never thought in my entire life that I would have to say those words.

I had my biopsy on Tuesday and was told that the result would come in in 5 - 7 days...at the earliest....today was day 3. My doctor called and asked that I come in.

Basal duct carcinoma....apparently a very common form of breast cancer....but "cancer" nevertheless....I broke down.....but I getting myself back up. I'll be scheduled for a lumpectomy where they will proceed to inject a dye into my lymph nodes etc. to make sure that it hasn't gone elsewhere....this will be within the next week or two....I hope. So at this point I won't be losing a boob...just part of one. Whether chemo and/or radiation is in my future is still up in the air.....but I have cancer.....I don't care what kind/how common/how anything...it's still cancer.

So for tonight....I'm going to enjoy a couple glasses of wine and tomorrow.....I'm going to begin a bit of a "mountain to climb".

Am I scared?...shit yeah!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can you see me glow?

The title says it all...19 mammograms in 2 months...if you need anything radiated....just throw it my way.

Well today is done.

It was definitely not as bad as I had expected but it wasn't a pleasant experience either. 10 mammograms, my breast fondled/handled by three different women...wait....that could be a good thing, right? 30 minutes with my boob squashed...freezings....a little slice and 10 "sample withdrawals"....not to mention to be left with a little titanium piece left in my boob...I'm done.

I'm left with a sore boob, blood that has oozed out of the gauze and a "waiting game"....

...I get the results in 7 - 10 days...this is what's going to kill me....but I made it this far......I can wait a little longer....."small victory"....I got through today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

So true!

IP said it best......it's always best to celebrate the little victories....really....so much to be thankful for.

Tomorrow's another day and I'm going to get through it (even though it is an early, early riser)....and I'll get through the waiting period....and I'll get through whatever is thrown my way....cuz I'm a fighter and I have a hell of a lot of work to do still.

Plus....what would my husband eat if anything were to happen to me?!?!?

p.s....did I tell you??? My daughter's first day of glasses went swimingly....definitely something to "celebrate"!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One deaf ear

It really pisses me off when I finally get a chance to sit down at the laptop and do some "catch-up", perhaps even listen to some tunes and I'm forever sticking earphones in my ears where only one freaking ear works!!! So my right ear is full of tunes and the left gets it sporadically....so it pisses me to no end and I just take the ear-phones out and don't completely enjoy this "time to myself". *blah blah blah*

It's been a crazy weekend......

Today is the first day of the rest of my dear daughter's life....with glasses...she's beautiful....and the smile she had when she put those specs on at the optometrists'.......priceless......she can see!

Aleks has a migraine.

The hubs is not 100 per cent.

Teddy is flipping those pancakes and ignoring his homework...he's supposed to graduate this year....I paid for his cap and gown...and booked a "graduation photo session"....

I'm still scared....but not as much as I was earlier.....perhaps more now of the actual procedure than what the outcome might be. Well truth be told I'm sure I'll be in panic mode very soon....I just want it done.....and I just want to know that it's all okay. I couldn't bear to give my husband more grief than what he's/we're having to deal with right now with his dad....

I'm at my breaking point with everything.....but I will get through this week....I know I will....and I do have yoga to look forward to it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

No matter what...

...whatever you believe...we have one life on this earth.....and we have to grasp and enjoy each and every moment...

The plan....

....was to go and visit the fil tonight...Tony a little earlier to get some old WWII info out of him and then I'd come in.....we'd have some "quality time" and then Tony and I would head off to dinner (something that rarely happens) to the local Cactus Club.

He called me about 5 minutes into the visit...."don't bother...he's nuts".

My fil is clearly possessed or something bad is happening to him.....he's clearer than he's been in months, no stuttering, crisp in the eye contact and yet.....he's swearing and yelling and saying Tony (and the rest of the family...including me) are against him that we're conspiring against him.....that we want him dead....it's uglier than I can even get into....they called a psych doctor...he doesn't want to eat or take his meds....he thinks everyone is out to "get him"......

*sigh*....lol....we're only "given what we can take"...right?....I cant' take any more...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On having my breast squashed....

....so I get a call today from BC Women's....routine questions...are you allergic to anything ie. bandages, latex etc.....are you taking any blood thinners, vitamin E?....just simple stuff...then she proceeded to go through the "routine" I'll be facing on Tuesday....and mind you people...I've cut myself off of coffee...so I'm sporting a hell of a "caffeine withdrawal headache" today....and really not thinking clearly at all...anyways.....

I'm to arrive 20 minutes prior to fill out the typical paperwork and get into some really fashionable dress.....they will then have me "comfortably" lay on a table (on my left side) and proceed to squash my boob in a machine...for which I will not be able to move...for 30 minutes...minimum. Once they have the picture/angle they want....they will proceed to "freeze" my boob...with needles..many of them...then a small incision (very small) will be made where yet another needle will go in and start extracting cells from my "lump". Once they are finished with that...they will drop a little titanium bit in my boob...which will stay there forever (to mark "the spot")....I will then get a small suture and and ice pack to put in my bra.

Results in 5 - 7 days....oh the suspense is killing me!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's always about me...

...isn't it?....or so it sounds anyways....

I think I mentioned the whole "Acid Reflux" thing?? Well I've been taking "Tecta" for months now and for the last couple have doubled up on the chemicals. I still feel as though someone as thrown petroleum down my nasal cavity/esophagus and lit a match....it's incredibly painful. They said "give it time".....well when it hurts to breathe....I don't have much patience. My husband was kind enough to start doing research...you know...cuz I don't have the time. So he was told that I should load up on some "Gaviscon" as well as try some "Manuka Honey" (from New Zealand)...I'm giving them all a try! I have sores in my nose and I'm sure if I were to spit on the road, I'd leave a hole! I'm done....and I'm getting my boob squashed on Tuesday.....oh am I prepared for that!!!....not!

On a different note...my fil is doing sort of okay...well as much as the doctor's are telling us...although he was worried about not having any milk and/or money today....or clothes...but the fact that I was there....was better than having his own kids there...I know...sad...but this is what he said. They've moved him to the 6th floor...not sure why....he seemed to be picking up....but I can only hope to reach 88 1/2....he's done....and he's told me...time and time again...

Life is still incredibly "sandwichy"!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life goes on.....

...today was a good day with a bad start.

I woke up not wanting to get out of bed....the bed was strangely more comfortable than any other day....I was alone.

I didn't know what to expect...yesterday was not a good scene.

I managed to concentrate on some work and then a trip to the hospital to meet with my husband to see how my fil was doing......expecting worse than yesterday........

As we rounded the corner I took a deep breath and.........

...saw my sil...she was smiling........

My fil was able to communicate today...mostly in Polish but......he was to talk to me....and his pee bag was beautifully full!

I'm not good with this stuff...I know it's a part of life but.....it's never easy and when I get into these situations...I tend to revert into a little shell.....people don't always get it.

But today ended off good...except for the fact that my little girl has a terrible cough and I'm thinking it's actually Bronchitis at this point....

9 days and counting....*sigh*

Hey...they're filming "Final Destination 5" mere feet from my home....watch it....just to see the cemetery where we let the dog fly!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Haven't been here for a little while...

....I don't even remember the last post that I wrote.....

I'm continuing to suffer with "GERD"...have been for 10 months now...what???.....I didn't mention this? I didn't want to burden you with more of my crap....but it's great fun!?!? I've been on meds for 4 months now and I live each day with intense burning in my esophegus (sp?) and nasal cavity....today I'm sure if I'd spit on concrete it would dissolve into nothingness.... yes....it's that bad....I'm surprised I still have teeth.

My fil is not doing so well....which is definitely adding to my acid issue....he's on the same floor as my mil was 10 years ago......I'm prepared...I think....I just don't want him to suffer......

It's sad that I don't have much positive to write about...even though there's so much positive in my life...really...there is.....my husband is the best....I don't know what I'd do without him...but then again....what the hell would he do without me?

And with that....let the bobcats, raccoons, bears, cougars and coyotes roam....I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Four Eyes"

On a completely different note....I'm driving a little "piss pot" (as per my husband) and I'm only saying that because I'm so used to driving either a truck, a van or my Flexx....none of which are tiny?!?! My "beloved" has gone in to be repaired since her recent "bear attack"...lol....my courtesy car????....a Pontiac G6....which has obviously been totally "rat bagged", even in her only 49,000 kms....I cannot wait to get my beast back.

And as the title suggests....somebody is getting herself some glasses here....and no, it's not me....if I didn't have them already the streets would be an incredibly dangerous place to be! Little miss K had gone back to the optometrist today (as she's been unable to read the classroom black board)....she definitely needs glasses.....for the classroom. She has her heart fixed on some "Roxy's"...yeah well....we'll see the price on those....cuz I saw some "Ray Ban's" for kids and *hello*....$260.00 for a pair of kids' glasses....not likely!!!

So we've gone through tears, excitement, nervousness and more tears but....I think we're ready for them!

Sedation is not always a sedative

I didn't get a chance to go and visit with my fil today....of which of course....I feel guilty....through my piles of paper and miles of work I kept thinking of this thin, bruised, "almost" 89 year old man lying in a hospital bed in the middle of an incredibly busy (and noisy) e.r. My sil had gone out after work and promptly called me at just after 8ish....they sedated him. Understandably they need to keep him safe and because they don't have "one on one" care for him....they needed to give him a little "sleepy time". Well if you'd been with me with one of the initial hospitalizations...."sedations" don't "sedate" this ole timer....and so of course they had to strap him....bleeding because he'd already ripped the thin skin off of his elbows. He's utterly confused, yelling profanities and screaming at his daughter....he's not a sight to behold....just a confused, little, shrinking old man.....my heart breaks for him....he really won't be here much longer...whether it's 10 days or 10 years.....he's tormented and so very unhappy. Until then....he'll take a little part of all of us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So seriously...when do I stop laughing?

Yesterday we/I decided to do a turkey dinner...just us...it was going to be good....it was going to happen before 8:00 p.m.!

Well at 11:30 a.m. we got a call that my fil had fallen and was being taken to RCH.....at 5:45 I checked on my turkey (which had been in the oven since 2:00 p.m.).....the oven broke.

Good grief......................................................................please someone...................shoot me!

Turns out it doesn't appear that my fil has broken a hip...but something else is going on...he's been in er at RCH now since noon yesterday...he's in good spirit's...thankfully....he always makes me tear up.

My oven is dead and it was a good thing that my neighbours' had already finished their turkey dinner....cuz we could finish our dinner...for the most part... she wasn't totally done...but good enough.

Today I went to work which seems to me my only "escape"....and I loved it as none of my client were around...a good time to turn up the internet radio and wallow in my "blessings"....of which I have many...

...even if I was major bitchy these last couple of days.......I'm settling now and appreciating my fil's comments....."I was thinking of you always when you drove those miles to your clients"....he really is a good man...his brain is just started to malfunction.

I'm still terrified.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grumpy

I'm just in a pissy mood tonight...is that okay to admit?

I'm pissed that I feel sorry for myself.
I'm pissed that I feel that I get stuck doing all the crap work here.
I'm pissed that my home is not completely the way I wanted.
I'm pissed that I'm exhausted.
I'm pissed that the boys are so demanding....and yet they have no idea.
I'm pissed that I'm feeling sorry for myself even though I have it so good...right now.
I'm pissed at the husband for sitting in front of the computer while I change sheets on three beds....make a yummy dinner...do the laundry....clean-up....
I'm pissed that I have a date with "boob squasher".
I'm pissed that 90% of my thoughts involve my left boob.
I'm pissed that my fil raised his voice at me today.
I'm pissed that I have to fork over $300 for the damage the bear did.
I'm sad for my girl who has to live a life of glasses...of course which we have to fork over $$ for....
I'm pissed that it just never ends.....
I'm really pissed that I'm not being very optimistic here......and I'm sounding like a whiner....perhaps it's just "that time"....so I should just shut up and not be so hard on everyone....because life is the way it is right now.....and really....in the total scheme of things....
Life is good!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One of those "spotted" posts

....well at least it's a post...right?

Been going through some questioning times...wanna make sure I'm where I want to be...no matter what happens.....

I have a "core biopsy" booked for 8 a.m. October 26th....a frozen boob and stuck in a mammogram with two more needles stuck in my boob for 30...yes, count them...30...minutes straight....it's no wonder women end up with their nipples down at their knees!

My daughter needs glasses.....she confessed in a tearful admission the other night..."mommy....I can't see the board".....we're off on Tuesday.

My uncle leaves tomorrow....after 4 1/2 weeks of a "surprise" visit.

I think my dog has bladder stones again....might explain the peeing on the carpet in the living room and Tony stepping in a puddle of urine just as he stepped out of the shower........more $$$$

My son is supposed to graduate this year....good grief....where the hell has the time gone....am I really 3 years older than my father was when he'd cruise up to the school to pick me up, the year that I graduated?

Am I really worrying about a lump in my breast?

Do I really have way too much work to do and am actually considering cutting back....my health is far too more important.

Did I manage to get away this past weekend and have a blast....and some awakening moments....and reconnecting moments.............

I'm grateful that I don't have to worry about a meal for 7 tomorrow...but....I will miss my uncle....he's a good person....and besides my husband and you guys....is the only other person who "knows"....I've become quite good at the Slovak language.

My car got a $800 dent...thanks to the local bears....darn things decided to come and attack our garbage...which attacked my door....good thing "comprehensive" is only $300....like I need anything else....except maybe a few more "Copic markers"?!?!? ;o)

Oh yeah...I started yoga...loving it...even though I can barely walk today.....it's the best thing...and don't worry....I'm not turning into a Hari Krishna....

Well that's it for now....I'm just glad that my laptop is back where it belongs....exactly where I don't want it to be....on the dining room table!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not a great way to end a beautiful day.

Well they started off with the routine mamm (2 shots per boob)...then I went to wait...then they called me back for "one more" (of my left...which has the lump)...then they had me wait...then they called me in for four more (of the left)....then they had me go in for the ultrasound....where the technician proceeded to call the Dr. in and have her look....who then responded with "I'm worried about what the mammogram is showing us, but I'm not getting a clear enough picture from the ultra sound"....oh....this is after the technician says to me "I'm going to bring in the doctor. Is there a history of breast cancer in the family?......*silence*....just a routine question?" The doctor wants a something, something biopsy, to be done at BC Women's in the next week or two....something about freezing my boob....shoving it under a mammogram thingy again and sticking it with needles....needless to say I'm a little nervous. I've already decided if I do need any sort of treatment...I know the doctor I'm going to...one of the best in Canada and thankfully...a personal friend of my dad's...from the old country.

I'm thinking positive...but also being realistic...I'm a planner...have to know what's going on...always.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Every once in a moment...

...

I'm thinking pretty positive these days but there are those moments during the day that thought crosses my mind and.....I'm scared shit-less. There's no point in freakin about the unknown, but.....it's this "thing" in my boob that keeps making me think....

My doctor decided he wanted to ensure I had both tests done at the same time...rather than..."well if it looks suspicious than we'll take the next step"....soooo....now I'm scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2...breast ultrasound and bilateral mammogram....guess I can go ahead and cancel my "regularly scheduled mamm"?!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Of all the things....

...."the dog" has healed
...."my dog" has lost some poundage
....Ted's saving for his first pickup/Jeep...which he'll have before his license
....Al's going for the PS3 "move"
....Krystina's going through trauma....she's afraid to "grow up"
.....she also needs glasses...desperately
....the old guys are gone for the night
....I wanted to start my yoga tonight...came wayyyy too early....because my brain is fried
....had my first workout in a while
....found a lump last weekend....
.....am scheduled for an ultrasound next Wednesday....if need be...they'll do a bilateral mammogram right then and there
....too tired to be worried....at this point