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!