Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1558

What a difference four years makes.

Aside from giving birth to my two children, December 5, 2013 is probably the day I am most proud of. 
For me, the beginning of my treatment meant 8 biweekly infusions, which was 14 weeks of chemo (that's 99 days!). 

Compared to a lot of people I know who've gone through it, my experience with chemo wasn't that bad.  But even "not that bad" when you're talking about chemotherapy is pretty damn awful. 

Hours spent in the infusion room, chewing on ice or drinking a Sonic grape slush to help prevent mouth sores.  Pulling my IV pole behind me as I paced the room because the premeds gave me restless legs.  Hundreds of dollars wasted and hours spent freezing my head in an attempt to save my hair with cold caps (it didn't work).  Pills, pills and more pills.  Having to go back the day after each chemo to get a $10,000 injection (thank God for insurance) to boost my white blood cells.  Migraines.  Having no taste buds.  Being queasy 24/7 and only having a handful of foods that were anywhere near tolerable.  Rinsing my mouth a hundred times a day with Biotene to try to get rid of the nasty yuck taste.  Feeling so damn tired every minute of the day.  LOSING MY HAIR!!! (and my eyebrows... and eyelashes).

But you know what?  I'm grateful for every one of those 99 days because I'M STILL HERE!
I'm happy and (relatively) healthy.  I'm living my life.  I'm loving my family.  Aside from the routine checkups, I no longer spend hours at the doctor's office.  My life doesn't revolve around blood draws and Germ-X.  I'm able to work, go to football games, hug whoever I want, spend five days in Vegas with one of my besties, focus on a book for more than ten minutes, eat what I want, take my daughter to concerts, keep score at her softball games.

Chemo is harsh, and it's effects are awful and some never go away, but it killed my cancer and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1555

Happy December!

It doesn't feel like December.  I know I live in Texas, but a little bit of winter weather would be nice.  Hubby and I went to a high school football playoff game last night and we didn't even need jackets!

Our beloved Wylie Bulldogs were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, so we went to cheer on another local team - the Cooper Cougars.  It just so happens that the Cooper head coach is part of our Lady Diamonds family.  His daughter is our catcher.  We had dinner with Sheri and another Lady Diamonds family and then we all went to the game.  Fun times, even though it was a heartbreaker of a loss for the Coogs.

In more happy news, I have to confess that I've been stepping out on Hubby.  
I'm in love with NED...... a.k.a. "No Evidence of Disease"

I had my six month checkup this week with Dr. H and everything looks good.  My weight is steady (not going down, but at least it's not going up!), blood pressure was fantastic, and other than a few pesky low numbers on my blood counts, I got the "all clear, see you in six months".  My white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, calcium and albumen have all been low since I finished chemo, and this time was no different.  Those numbers were low enough to get flagged, but not low enough to worry or do anything about.  

So.... no news is great news!

In some unhappy news...

I'm still dealing with lymphedema in my left hand and arm.  I know once you have it, it's something that never goes away, but sometimes it can get better.  So far mine hasn't.

This is my normal hand:

Notice my wedding rings.... on my RIGHT hand..... because they don't fit on the left.
Here's why:

Looks awful and uncomfortable, right?  It is.  Wearing my compression garments seems to make it worse, which sucks in a lot of ways.  There aren't a whole lot of treatment options for lymphedema... compression, massage, more compression, exercises.  I'm doing all of that.  In fact, that pic of my swollen hand was AFTER I'd had my custom sleeve and glove on for six hours.  

I've spent a lot of money (A LOT) on treatments for this.  My pump that I use daily (60 min at a time) was almost a grand.  I have several off the rack compression sleeves and gloves that were over one hundred each.  My custom sleeve and glove (which oddly enough make everything the worst) were $300.  Not to mention doctor appointments, physical therapy and even a CT scan.  All of that money with NO results.

Very frustrating.  

But, in the grand scheme of things, it's just something to deal with.  It's uncomfortable and painful and increases my risk of infection (hence the standby antibiotics in my medicine cabinet), but it's not life-threatening.  It's a result of cancer, but it's NOT cancer, and I'll take that.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1553

30 Days of Gratitude - day 30

What talent or skill do I have that I am most grateful for?

I'm grateful that I can remember the words to just about every song I listen to.  Music means a lot to me, and most of the time the lyrics touch my heart. 

I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but that won't stop me from belting out the hits when I'm alone in my car.  Ha!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1552

30 Days of Gratitude - day 29

What friend/family member am I grateful for today?

Today and every day, I am grateful for my mother. 
She was here for Thanksgiving and J's birthday, but had to leave this morning.  I'm always sad taking her to the airport, but especially this time after only a five day visit.

I'm thankful we had this time with her, and that she made it home safely.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1551

30 Days of Gratitude - day 28

What small thing that happened today am I grateful for?

This is no small thing, but my son, my baby boy.....

He was nervous, I was nervous, his Grammie was nervous.  He lost points for a few things, but he passed his driving test the first try. 

AND he drove himself back to school.  BY HIMSELF.