Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feeling Good

At the risk of jinxing myself, I am feeling great! It seems my main problem last time was the antinausea medicine. It apparently is what caused most of the fatigue and sleepiness. I am taking a different kind this time around and am doing much, much better. I am very tired and slept 11 hours last night, but I am not anything like I was last time. I still have not developed any nausea (knock on wood) and so far things are much better than expected. Wednesday and Thursday were my worst days last time, so I expect to be more tired tomorrow. I'm eating better this time and have much more energy. YEAH! I will try to get Jeremy to take some pictures of me in some of my scarves and post them sometime this week. I made 2 from material I bought at Hancock, and they turned out pretty well if I don't say so myself!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Before and After

I started losing my hair by the handfuls today, so I decided to bite the bullet and just shave it off. Luke enjoyed the process quite a bit and told me afterwards (without prompting from Daddy) that I was still his mommy and that I was beautiful. You can't ask for more than that!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bald is Beautiful!

Well, I knew it was coming just not when. Apparently, about 14-15 days after treatment is when. I ran my fingers through my hair about 30 minutes ago and way more than should have came out. I don't know if it will pretty much all fall out during the night or gradually over the week, but it is definitely on its way out. On the bright side, this will make my getting ready time in the morning significantly shorter!

On a side note, here's a picture of Luke and I at Monster Jam last week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


My head is itching like crazy! I don't know if this means anything or not, but my hair is still firmly in place. According to Google, some people had itchy heads before their hair fell out and some did not. All I know is that my head feels like I have poison ivy all over it and on the back of my neck. On I side note, I ordered myself some footed pajamas the other day. I get so cold lately I just decided to get something more comfortable to wear around the house. I might post a picture, but I make no promises about that.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Race for the Cure

If you are interested, some of my wonderful friends have started a Race for the Cure team that will be participating in the Ozarks Race for the Cure on April 24 in Fayetteville. The team name is Jessica's Chemo Sabes, and we will be wearing pink cowboy hats! If you are interested in joining with us, please feel free. I am putting the link in below to register with the team.


Bangs and a Checkup

I decided I needed to try out some bangs today, so I cut me some earlier this evening. Unfortunately, Luke walked in on me. I threatened his life if he ever cut his own hair which of course lead to the obligatory "but Mommy, you just cut your hair" followed by the "I'm a grown-up, and grown-ups can cut their own hair." Anyway, we'll see if he tries it. Here's a picture. It's not great, but you get the idea. I think I did ok. Jeremy keeps calling me Natasha. He says I look like a Russian spy. (And yes that is a pink, zip-up, fuzzy robe I am wearing...It's really comfy and warm; what can I say!)

I did have my checkup today. My white counts are low, but they are where the doctor expects them to be. The exhaustion is getting better daily as is the eating. I would imagine before my next treatment I'll probably gain back 5 pounds or so. In total, according to the doctor's scale, I've lost 9 pounds since my treatment Monday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Monster Jam and Baldness

We went to Monster Jam last night. Luke loved it. He told me at least 4 times that it was "the best birthday present ever." That's all I needed to hear to make the exhaustion worthwhile. So far, that is my biggest beef with chemo. I am just totally exhausted all the time, and I am as slow as a 90-year-0ld woman. I have an appointment tomorrow just for a checkup. On a side note, I should be about bald by this time next week. They told me it would all come out within 1 day after 2 weeks. We've decided to make a family event of it and let Luke and Jeremy take turns shaving me. Jeremy and I both though it would be less traumatic for all involved this way. Imagine being a 4-year-old boy and suddenly seeing your mom bald, pretty scary! There will be pictures to come. Luke is very excited about it. He thinks shaving Mom's hair is "pretty awesome!"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 Pounds

Well, I've been losing weight intentionally on and off for about a year now. I've lost about 20 pounds so far and kept it off; however, I've lost 7 pounds since Monday. I'm pretty sure my doctor is not going to be very happy about that. I'm not trying to lose weight, but it is really hard to eat when everything has a metallic aftertaste and nothing sounds good. If this keeps up, I'll be back at my birth weight by the time this is over.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Out of the Mouthes of Babes

So Luke obviously has a limited understanding of what cancer is. He does, however, know that he is supposed to be very careful with me since my surgery. Lately, he has come up with a new phrase that Jeremy and I find adorable. We should probably correct him, but it is just too cute. When Jeremy reminds him to be careful, he says, "I've got to be careful so I don't hurt Mommy's cancer!" I'm sorry, but that is just cute! On a side note, I called my doctor today and they said it is completely normal for me to be feeling like poop. They said days 3-7 after treatment are the worst, and I should be feeling a little better in a day or two. I hope they are right because I really, really hate feeling like this!

Monday, January 4, 2010

1 Down, 5 To Go

I finished my first treatment about an hour ago. I didn't have any problems and feel fine so far. I am taking a pretty strong nausea medication regularly for the next several days and also had IV nausea medication before they started my treatments. I'm sure everything will kick in at some point, but I'm hoping it will be tolerable. My booty hurts from sitting in a chair for 5 hours straight and I've never pee-pee'd so much in my life; but other than that, all's well.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Beginning

I have been encouraged by several friends to write about my experience with breast cancer. I'm not much of a writer, but I decided to give it a shot. I was diagnosed in October 2009 at the age of 32. As a wife and mother of a 4 year old, this was definitely not something on my agenda (not that it is for anyone). I have virtually no family history and no risk for this disease, especially not at 32, but tell that to the cancer! I ended up having a bilateral mastectomy in November. The cancer was only in the left side; however, a lumpectomy was not an option for me as the cancer basically involved the entire breast. My risk for recurrence in the right side was astronomical due to my age, so I decided to go ahead and just do the right side as well. Fortunately, I was able to have my surgery at a wonderful medical center with the best surgeons on the planet and was able to have immediate reconstruction done. The exact type of surgery I had is still pretty new, so it is not offered everywhere yet. For those of you who have a general idea about how reconstruction works or you know someone who has had reconstuction, I did not have expanders put in and will not have a 2nd surgery to have the implants put in. I had what is called a total skin-sparing mastectomy meaning they took out all the tissue from my breasts and left all the skin including the nipple skin. I had my implants put in that same day. This makes the recovery a little more painful and a little longer, but you don't have to go through a separate surgery to have the implants put in later. You also don't have any time where you don't have your breasts. When the pathology came back, I ended up having 75% of the cancer catagorized as DCIS. DCIS is basically cancer that stays within the ducts of the breast and does not spread; however, if untreated long enough, it can become invasive cancer. Invasive cancer is cancer that does spread. The other 25% of the cancer ended up being highly aggressive, grade 3, HER-2 and hormone-receptor positive. What all that means is it was really, really bad. If you want more details about all those terms, Google it! I have essentially recovered from surgery, but I still have to wear a bra basically 24 hours a day which really, really stinks. Because I immediately had the implants put in, they did not have very much holding them in place, just chest muscles and some skin. Wearing the bra for a couple of months nonstop gives your body a chance to heal around the implants and keep them where you want them to be; otherwise, you could end up looking like you got plastic surgery done in the back ally of a free clinic. I will start chemo on January 4th and am very nervous about that but hoping for the best. As they say, this too shall pass! I welcome your comments, thoughts, and especially prayers. I would love to know that you are praying for, thinking about, and/or buying gifts for me!