Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1st Chemotherapy Treatment

I woke up Tuesday the 28th after sleeping in my bed for the 1st night since the port was placed, granted i had to use 2 pillows but it was awesome to be back in my own bed and when i woke up it felt like any other day...then i realized i start chemo today-bleh!!! i got up and started getting ready went down stairs gave hugs and kisses to my kidlets and ted like i have done before every other appointment. i kept trying to tell myself, "this is just like all the other appts" until i saw Ted's face and the tears in his eyes were building up which in turn got me teary eyed (if i see another person cry...there is a pretty good chance that i will too, not sure if it's sympathy, empathy or just simply because I'm a sissy lala) but i rushed out the door and got in my car and drove to my Dr's and i almost passed the patient parking (apparently i must be in some kind of denial, hahahaha) i went in paid my co-pay, met with the financial counselor to try to figure out a payment plan and to see what kind of grants i can qualify for to help us out (FYI-cancer is expensive) after i left her office i went with the nurse weighed in and went in for vitals. the Dr came in and was reviewing my PET scan with me and was telling me that he is bumping me up to stage 3b. apparently i have "many" active lymph nodes in my abdomen. stage 2b and 3b are treated exactly the same, all it means is that it has spread below my diaphragm. but now i will have to have a bone marrow biopsy to see if it has spread to stage 4 (in my bone marrow) ***FYI-that is not my game plan-I'm not going to even touch that one with a ten foot pole unless need be*** the Dr's and nurses aren't uncompassionate but very matter or fact and for someone like me who gets overwhelmed when too much is coming at me too fast i cry (once again...sissy lala) the Dr asked if i was OK and i told him yes that i was just allergic to his office, every time i'm in there my eyes water ;) he got a good laugh from that and told me that i could do whatever i wanted in the office as long as i didn't get violent (thanks for the warning, hahahaha!). i went back to the chemo room and it's a huge room with what looks like lazy boy chairs lining the walls and every chair has an IV stand next to it. my nurse was going over everything with me but once she said she was giving me a 3 ring binder with all the information in it i simply checked out mentally. i did the occasional nod and said OK or uh huh but in my mind i was nervous, scared, and thinking out a gazillion different scenarios...but one thing came true to me in those minutes of "orientation"...this is REAL, this is really happening to me! the last 3 months of what ifs now seemed like a lifetime ago and the what ifs turned into the "what nexts". it startled me that all of sudden i felt weak and powerless but not defeated because i had a room full of nurses and doctor's who could be strong for me for the next 6 hours while i sat in this chair and various different poison's were being pumped into my body. the time flew by and i slept through most of it and as i was walking out the door of the center i regained my strength. almost as if when they gave me my appt card for my next visits they also gave me my strength back for my 4 beautiful children at home. i drove home walked in the door as everything was just the way i left it, the kids playing, ted yelling and bruiser wagging his tail, excited to see me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Port

well this week was full of excitement! i got my port put in. the doctors, nurses and tech's at desert radiology were amazing! they made me laugh and feel completely comfortable during the entire procedure. i was explained in detail (and in words that i could understand) what was going to happen from beginning to end, it was great! they thanked me for being "young and nice"...they then explained that they deal with A LOT of (as they put it) "old mean patients". i wish there was something i could do to thank them. we left there and i felt great...apparently still drugged up.
ted and lorie came with me. since lorie has come home for the summer she has been right by my side helping me, going with me to appointments and just being there when i freak out on my bi-polar days. but today i think she came along to help ted and support him.
when we left i said i was hungry so we went to egg works for breakfast. came home and i took a nap and when i woke up the meds that i was on had worn off and the "48 hours of pain" began. i wasn't given a prescription but just told to take advil...that is a bunch of bologna!!! this sucker hurt, it felt like someone beat the crap out of my chest, the tug and constant pull from the port and the tube that is now connected to my jugular vein wore me out...those "48 hours of pain" involved lots of grunts and winces of pain and tears. this is really funny...but i have had to wear a bra to bed because the gravitational pull hurt to much! hahaha, damn big boobs!
today however the bandage came off and i feel 80% better and am looking forward to feeling 100% better in a day or so.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Did you know that there are side effects/symptoms the medical world never warns you about?

so after reading and talking with various doctors through this process and road to remission i have come across a symptom that they did not warn me about... bi-polar disorder! this is not mocking or making light of another serious condition but more on the lines of complete empathy for those who suffer day in and day out with this disease. in the last 10 days i to have been dealing with as well. i have gone from being completely "normal" to extremely angry then to happy and laughing then tears of sadness and let me tell you this has happened within minutes.
to all my facebook friends i would like you to know that the other day touched and warmed my heart (and caused a few tears) and i would like to thank those of you that posted/liked/tagged/mentioned me in the status
"We all wish to have a new lose weight. A person who has cancer only wants one beat their cancer. I know that 97% of you guys won't put this on your wall...but 3% of my friends will. Put on your wall in honor of someone who died from cancer or… someone who's fighting against it now... ♥ you!" meant so much to me and showed that no matter what i have the best support group!!!
i am normally a glass half full, love of life, genuinely happy person and being diagnosed has tested my "motto" for living life but at the end of the day i think of what i have waiting for me at the end of this curvy road and i smile and am thankful that i have these 4 beautiful, funny, smart, witty, [insert any and all compliment], plus extremely supportive family and friends to help me reach my goal of full remission. HUGS!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

when and how this all started...

so many people have asked, "when did this start?" well i'll tell ya ... Feb 17, 2011 i went to my primary physician for a follow up for a UTI and i told him, "what the heck...i had a double ear infection, then UTI and now my glands are swollen?" and he said, "thank god you're not a dr because your glands are back here, that is a lymphnode." he thought it was an infection that needed a little boost breaking down and gave me another antibiotic. 10 days later i was in there again for that follow up, knowing that the lump in my neck had not gone down i was very curious. he had me do some blood work and had an ultrasound done that day. March 10th i went in for my results and they said there were 3 lumps in my neck. i was told that they would get a referral for a ct scan. it took a month to get the referral that i ended up not needing and fitting into their schedule. thursday april 14th had a ct scan and that evening i was at mikey's dance class and my dr called telling me a 4th lump was found(it scared the crap out of me to have the dr call himself and after hours). that following monday (april 18th) i was in for a chest scan and i got the results a few days later and on april 28th i had the 1st biopsy those results came back inconclusive so i was referred to an ear nose and throat specialist, i saw him on may 2oth and referred me to a pathologist for another needle guided biopsy so the following wed (the 25th) i had that done. the results came back (may 31st) that i tested negative for all types of cancers but unfortuntely needle guided biopsy rarely detect lymphoma so surgery was scheduled to remove the entire lymphnode and do a biopsy on it and that would give me the answers i have been waiting for...
so on june 2nd i went in for surgery. it was an outpatient very easy surgery but holy crap was it painful!!! i never knew we used our neck muscles sooo much! so once again i waited and on june 8th 2011 i went in to dr. weingarten's office with my brother and sister by myself and received the news, i was diagnosed with hodgkins disease.