Friday, January 29, 2010

Just typical girl stuff.........

I'm really loving some of the spring clothing at The Loft: I was browsing The Loft for a dress

Well I have a wedding in February and I'm so excited because it's my closest in age cousin and I love him so much! I have so many fun memories of being at Mimi's (our grandmother's house) with him.

So here's some other dresses that caught my eye

I'm looking for something modest because of my reconstruction/scar stuff. I have an official reconstruction date of June 22nd. It's so hard for me to think about the future like that, but it is exciting to think about getting my tissue expander out and something permanent put in!
I do need to do a little research on implant types, but I think I will probably just go on the doctor's recommendation.
My girls Amber and Erin are coming to town and they are going to help me with my wigs and just plain hang out with me. I'm super excited!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine's Day

Well I'm still getting ready for Valentine's Day MARTHA has some great ideas:

Well I'm working on gifts for Valentine's Day and it's coming along pretty slow. I did crochet a heart book mark.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the Polaroid idea. I wanted to take a better picture, but I don't know. And they don't make Sweethearts like they used to....product quality is not very good....some hearts were blank!

I did purchase a couple of shirts for Rob, Lucas and myself at cafepress:
All 3 shirts came to $35. They had a good selection of shirts for $9.
Any guesses on who's is who's???

Well I did enter the give-a-way at Tatortottsandjello
from MY BELLE BOUTIQUE- cute stuff!

Today I felt a little sick to my stomach, but I think it was because I slept in. I should have taken my medication sooner. I was dreading the whole hair thing again today....what a baby.
Anyways the day turned out good and I finally just shaved the hair and felt better. Now I feel like a real member of the
Karl my dog was a little freaked out, Lucas thought I looked good, Rob said, "It still looks like you" and then he had me try on all my wigs and hats. I have a nice selection. It turned out to be not so bad. Maybe if I have guts I'll post a picture.
I guess tomorrow I'll be wiggin out!

You know at times things smell so gross to me - well tonight I decided to say my rosary in the living room and as I'm saying it I could smell the flowers my friend Tammy had given me and it was the sweetest smell. What a blessing that was to smell them as I'm praying.
I'm going to sleep good pink beanie and all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2nd Treatment Done

Well treatment #2 is done-now we do the whole cycle and get ready for the #3.

I dreaded this treatment because I will lose my hair, but I couldn't have a better send off for treatment. My weekend before treatment started with Friday night Rob taking care of Lucas for me while I stayed home and nursed my cold. Nursing my cold consisted of prayers, bread and butter with yummy OJ, laundry and Lipstick Jungle repeats. I got to bed early and felt good Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon we celebrated my Godson Joey's 1st Penance(confession) and we all went to confession. That felt good. So we spent time eating and visiting with my brother and sister-in-law's family which is always fun.

Thanks Joey, Joe, Nicole and Family!
Thank you Father K

After that we were invited to a friend's house for dinner.
Since meeting Rob I've meet so many great people. Dean and Mary have been great friends to us not to mention an inspiration of what a couple should be. They were so kind to invite other wonderful friends. My cancer angel Vicki was there with her husband and Rob was so happy to meet Dave. Many times through all this Rob had hoped to meet someone who may have been through what he went to and he found that in Dave.

We were feed yummy food, given hugs, encouragement, advice and gifts. We felt loved. I felt good about my next treatment knowing we have so many people and prayers behind us.

I loved getting flowers

And they couldn't come at a better time as I was about to replenish my Blessed Mother's flowers.

This was also a great idea......If we plant these flowers now they will bloom as I am completing my treatment. What a great idea. I love paperwhites! Another gift I received was from Linda's mother who is a breast cancer survivor of 14years. She gave me the above angel and nice card. I wish I could take a better picture, but she is gold and I'm not the best photographer. I was able to call Betty to thank her and she was wonderful to me and had great advice. I'm planning on paying her a visit next week.

Thank you so much to Dean, Mary, Vicki, Dave, Brian, Linda, Betty, Bob, Barbara

Lastly Sunday we attended mass as a whole family. I got to say my prayers.

Then I seen my doctor friend and she had a couple gifts for me and more advice. She reads and attends talks on cancer and she fills me in on what she hears. The latest thing she mentioned was a doctor doing research on cancer needing a niche in the body and she mentioned on taking a dose of aspirin every other day. This can not be done during my treatment. Being it needs a niche means keeping "the house" (my body) clean is important. No junk food, Fruit and Veggies, Water, Deep Breathing, Exercise, and 1 BM a day ;)

Thank you Doctor

My parents took me to treatment this time so Lucas could stay home with Rob. Lucas needs a little extra so we tried that out. Next time Rob and I will be going. It was nice going with my parents. My mom helped me pick out some head stuff. My mom also got to meet the doctor and stayed with me during my treatment which you will be happy to know didn't include running for a barf bag. Yeah! It was a long day and I'm blessed my parents would do that for me. We love you mom and dad and Thank you.

Lucas is doing good and almost done with Basketball. He is a typical teen. I know he worries about me, but we keep loving him and explaining that everything is going to be ok. I love him sooooooo much.

Thanks to all my ususal angels who constantly check on me with notes, phone cals, texts, and cards.

Leann, Becky, Amber, Pat, JenJen, Jackie, Nikki, Lori, Julia, Joyce, Tim, Carrie, Connie, Cindy, Vinny, Gina, Kristin, Sherry,Krista, Amy, Tracey, Liz, Nicole, Danielle, Maureen, Mariann, Carol, Marical, Barbara, Jeanie, Katie, Colleen, Mommy, Faith, Danielle~~~~These girls and guys are constantly checking on me with texts, cards, gifts and phone calls! Plus they are always praying for me :)

Thanks again everyone~~~~~~~

ps still have my hair

2 Haircuts 2 Days

So I originally was going to get a hair cut to match my wig. I did that on Friday and it wasn't bad at all. As I got to thinking about the whole thing and how much I dreaded the whole hair thing I thought about trying a short haircut. It's one of the few times I can actually just try anything being that it was going away soon. So in the end I guess I did find myself a way to enjoy this otherwise sucky situation.

Cut 1
Went to my usual salon
My girl wasn't there so I had a really young girl who happens to have a mother who is a cancer survivor. Very sweet girl. I showed her my wig and this cut is similar enough for me. The best part was when I was leaving the girl said she would pray for me.

Cut 2
Walked into a salon at the mall and had just anyone do it.
Didn't care for the way she cut hair, but it was a cut and it was cheap.
So in the end it wasn't too bad. I'm sure that this week when my hair falls out I will be a bit (a lot) down, but it's worth it.

Dear Hair

I'm sorry to see you go. You have never caused me any grief and I could always count on you to make me look good. I have no complaints! I could always count on you to do your part whether it was taking a perm, color or teasing you did it all. I'm giving you some much needed time off for good behavior. I will miss you terribly, but I'll be OK!
I love you and I'll see you on the other side of treatment!
Your Dearest

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's been going on..................
Well since my last post...I had some down days. I called some friends and got some tips and support. I missed my Look Good Feel Better appointment b/c I just couldn't get going quick enough.
Thank goodness for Vicky and Liz who helped me through some downer days...
Words of Advice:
"It does get better"
"Just keep your life as normal as possible and work around your good days"
"Do your nails in fun bright colors to brighten yourself up"
"This part does suck, but it's worth it"
"Tell your doctor and see what he can do"
And my sweet mother bought me this.........................

I love my Ipod and now I can plug it in here while I do my make-up which will now get more minutes of my day! - I LOVE it!

I have put together a little jewelry kit to do when I can't do much! So that I don't just sit and stare out the window. I'm no jewelry making expert, but it will keep me busy.One small project done for sweet little Sabrina xx I'm really excited to try venison. I'm so lucky a friend gave me some to try. I love meat, but my cancer was hormone positive so I'm scared of some meat out there. My friend even gave me tips on preparing it, so I'm excited. They packaged it so nice for me.

Here's the recipe:
1. Retro Crockery Kettle
(mom's old crock pot)

2. 1 Bottle DinoBBQ sauce

3. 1 Yummy looking piece of Venison

So tonight I'll eat my venison with baked potatoes and some of this Yummy Veggie side (my mom-in-law makes this best, but I gave it a shot this morning)
Eating had been different. Certain things just couldn't be eaten and I craved other things. Water at one point grossed me out where I didn't think I could swallow it. A sweet woman gave me the tip of adding a little juice or drinking flavored waters.....Oh and mashed potatoes with chicken broth on it!!! I loved that. I wanted pudding, but I had heartburn so that was a no. A few nights I would suck on FLAVOR ICEE sticks before bed. Tums on the bed stand a must and Rob chatting for a while before I could actually fall asleep.
I missed church on Sunday and didn't like that. I got to see my whole family for dinner on Sunday and that was real nice. I wish I was feeling better, but it was good anyways.

For the most part I did very well and I was lucky I didn't have any major problems.

My sister-in-law made me my favorite soup and brought it for me at lunch today!
Nicole's Beef Barley and Strawberry RiceKrispy Treats....yummy
Look what else she brought:

I have so many great friends! Thanks for all your help and support. I love you all!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Feeling Better

Well I wasn't myself for a while, but it's getting better for now. I was tired, foggy, and had some heartburn and taste issues but I'm doing O.K. now. I actually made dinner tonight and we ate it.
I'm just figuring out about the 2 phases and how to eat and take care of myself.

Thank God for amazing chemo vets giving me advice! I'm so lucky to have so many survivors take me under their wings. Chemo isn't going to be fun, but they make me feel so much better.

Rob did great on Tuesday giving me the shot to boost my cell production. I don't know how he did it, but he did. I didn't watch.

He's such a good nurse. I found a couple of pics from when we were in the city. I wanted Rob to grow a goatee and this is how far he got:
I was digging it!

He's a good nurse, but not a push-over! I begged for this teddy! On my last treatment Rob promised to take me back for him....that bear loved me.
So mom and I went to look at wigs and I found 2 I liked. I do really like them. I went to Jenny at Hair It Is on Front Street in Vestal and she was great! I didn't really do my make-up so this is as good as you will see of my short one:

Here's my longer girl:
Well I got to go clean my room and try on new jewelry I got to go with my wigs.....BonTon had a great sale. Rob is going to kill me! It's retail therapy right?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Blessed Mother

Well I'm going to take a stab at witting a couple short stories about the Blessed Mother.

Story 1

Once upon a time there was a young girl with porcelain skin and light golden hair with big blue eyes. This girl came from a wonderful, soft family who guarded and cherished her. The girl fell for a boy with black slick hair and brown eyes who came from a strong family who adored him. The boys toughness conflicted with the girl's family softness. The girl loving them all so much didn't know what to do except turn to the Blessed Mother. The girl was working in a hospital and when she had time she'd go into the chapel and pray to the Blessed Mother. Eventually the boy softened for the girl's parents and the parents actually toughened up some. The girl and boy eventually lived happily ever after.

Story 2

Once upon a time there was a little girl in about 3rd grade. She had a little white face with dark brown hair and little brown eyes. She loved going to catholic school and mostly loved the nuns. She loved their habits and rosary beads. She even liked their sensible leather shoes with the little heals. The girl was learning so much about God, Jesus, and the Blessed Mother and she grew to admire the Blessed Mother. Around this time she learned about dying and heaven and thought about it quite a bit. One day she realized that her mom had the most dainty statue of the Blessed Mother in her bedroom. So when this girl had a problem she would sneak into her mom's room with her little uniform and prayed to the Blessed Mother. She asked for some big favors. She adored her family so much and prayed for them.

Story 3

A grown daughter was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and turned to her religion for some help. It was a struggle to understand everything and how to move on. Seeing the woman's pain her mother offers her daughter a prayer she has said to the Blessed Mother when ever she was in need of help and answers. She took the prayer and said it daily. As time went by the woman got stronger and continued to pray to the Blessed Mother every day. She then started going to see the Blessed Mother before the start of mass on Sundays to say her prayer at church and felt at peace there.

Story 4

A women is standing alone in a hotel room in New Jersey; she had been brought there by her husband, father, and brother to have a 2nd surgery for her breast cancer. The men excused themselves to go downstairs to eat. The women (who loves to eat), she wasn't allowed any food until after surgery. The woman was nervous because this surgery was going to give her more information on her cancer. Her cancer still scared her. So she went through all her prayers and came to the prayer she says to the Blessed Mother. While saying this prayer the Blessed Mother spoke to her. She told her, "This cancer is not going to be your death, but you will need to strong because life is not easy and you will experience things you prayed not to experience." The women felt a bit of relief, but the whole "BUT" bothered her. Was it really the Blessed Mother speaking to her? Why would she make her happy and then throw in a "BUT".
Well the woman had her surgery and it went well and came with good information about her cancer.

So if you haven't figured it out the 1st story was of my mother as a young girl.

The second story was me at a little girl.

The mother and daughter in the third story was me and my mother at the very beginnings of my diagnosis.

The woman in the hotel room was me. What I later figured out was that the Blessed Mother threw in that "BUT" because when I would sneak in my parent's room I would pray to die before all my family members. In third grade I was happy to go to heaven and wait for all my family. I didn't believe I could live through the deaths of anyone in my family. This to me was a message from the Blessed Mother so that I would know it was her speaking to me and that she's known and watched me always. And a message to toughen up!

If you are interested in the prayer it is called:

The "Memorare"

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


I still struggle with fear of my cancer, but I think of the Blessed Mother and feel better.

I also recently came across my favorite picture of the Blessed Mother I had as a child. Looking at this picture you can see how I could adore her so much. The picture is made of paper, fabric, and netting. It's hard to find something like this these days. I was saving it in case one day I had a daughter, but recently decided to hang it now. It seems a shame to just stow it away.

Sometimes I don't know the best way to get a story out so this seemed the best way.

Yesterday- I didn't go to work. I was a bit tired and Lucas really needed me and it took some work. Lucas just turned 13 so he is at the age where sometimes he wants his mom and other times no. I think that growing pains of getting older are enhanced because maybe he feels like I won't be able to baby him on those days he needs it. Maybe he feels he is being pushed out of the nest. I have been there for him always and since marrying Rob, Rob has been there for him too. Then when all this other stuff happened Rob and I had a lot of work, and decisions to make and Lucas may have felt sad. Although we spoke to him often he still just needs us to be there. So yesterday that's what we did. We did homework together like the old days and it was very sweet.

He did manage to have a fun kid party in the midst of everything.
I see this picture and love his little blonde head and remember when he was a baby.

I had to explain and apologize for not being able to be myself some days, but that it is all temporary. Everything going on is to cure me as weird as it may seem now. Talking and talking, hugging, kissing and praying can't do it enough with him.

Things I'm looking forward to:
Look Good Feel Better Class- this will teach me how to do make-up during treatment- this program is through the American Cancer Society.
Wig appointment- Hair it is on Front Street in Vestal will hopefully help me find a good wig
These things are important because sometimes I feel like all my girly things are going away for a while.

Today I didn't make it to work - felt tired. So I rested and then ate little amounts like everyone keeps telling me. I also got to try out my new STEP-UPS - Rob and I went for a walk. I think these Step-Ups are going to butt and thighs did hurt a bit.
Other than tired I feel good. No major side effects. I'm blessed.

I'm going to work tomorrow!

I'm dying for some Chinese right

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1 Down- 7 to GO!

Well it was a long day. We arrive at the doctor's office at 10:45 and I left around 5:30. It was busy day from the start
1st the hospital at home didn't fax over my MUGA scan so I had to frantically get on the phone with them (and I suck with my new phone). So that put me late getting to my appointment.

When we got there I didn't realize I needed my finger prick done 1st so I had to go downstairs for that and then back up for my appointment. My appointment was a physical with breast exam and a health questions. Then we went over my MUGA scan which looks at my heart valves and they were great. ( hope they stay that way). They went over a few side effects from the chemo drugs and took questions and we were off to the waiting room. #1 nurse then took us in to go over side effects of the drugs I will be taking at home. She also taught Rob how to give me a shot the day after treatment(this will increase my white blood cell count). He even got to practice.

Then back to the waiting room where a nurse came to talk to me about a study I sent my tumor off to. They would like to continue a follow up on me for their study so they asked for some of my blood if I wanted to..........well I did because any thing good they can learn from me if FINE by me. Maybe it'll save someone else.

After that the waiting was so crowded #1 nurse suggested we go down to the 2nd floor where there is a library, computers, the boutique and tons of chairs. I ate my lunch in the packed waiting room- but Rob was shy so he ate on the 2nd floor in peace. They took my cell phone number and said they would call when a room was ready. While there I phoned the dietitian to let her know where I was so she could talk with me about supplements I had been taking and any tips she had. She came down and looked over my bag of things and shot down everything except Vitamin D and my Magnesium as needed. So sad, but she did say that supplements are good just not at this time. The best way for me to get the stuff I need is through food. She also said she was going to put me in touch with a gentleman she knows who is doing a lot of research on mushrooms (that was my most exciting thing to try). She also said tons of water and only pasteurized juices. She also gave me a little book with sample meal plans. Then on the Memorial Sloan Kettering website they have a section where you can look up any vitamin or mineral and it has great info about reactions with meds. I was super excited to try tumeric, but while on chemo I can't (found that on Sloan website)

Ok - After a while I was called in and I felt good- I knew so many people were praying and pulling for me I felt good.....but creeping in the back of my mind was the killing of cells (the good guys too....the menopause thing still bothering me) BUT I didn't cry and thought I had it under control. I should have said a prayer that probably would have calmed me. As soon I was in the room I was given pills. Then she looked for a vein, took her time and got one and inserted the needle no problem. Drew the blood for the study. They then put in saline to check the flow in the the vein and I could feel it; it felt like ice water going up my arm. I didn't like the feeling but not a problem.
So then came time for my 1st drug and that would be put in the IV by the nurse who put it in with a syringe. Well I didn't watch much and then I felt terrible....dizzy, pain in my stomach and then the old "I don't feel so good", "What do you mean?", "I think I'm going to throw-up".

Rob went for the garbage can and the nurse got me a bag and I gagged a couple of times, no pills came up so that's good. The nurse said she would stop and go real slow. She said it was just anxiety because she hardly gave me anything and it wouldn't make me sick so fast. She then said that some doctors give an anti-anxiety before treatment and she can call mine and see if it was ok- If I wanted to. So I said yes. As long as I wasn't allergic to the chemo (because that scared me to - then I wouldn't even have the option of treatment) I wanted to get this done.

So got that drug right in the IV and proceeded slowly. Other than getting stuffed up and itchy eyes from the 1st drug the 2nd one went fine and I slept a bit in the car.....after eating soup from my new fav soup place.

After I felt a little weird, spacey- probably from the anti-anxiety meds. My eyes seemed a little off.... like slow. I almost felt like a touch of motion sickness.

So ONTO life at home. Took Meds. Felt a little sick, but ate morning cereal with Lucas and drove him to school.

  • Came home...ate crackers and ginger ale - I had started to feel cold and weak
  • Meditated
  • Wrote a mission statement for my chemo days ahead
  • Took a shower
  • Read a message from my friend Lori - reminding me to keep eating to fight nausea
  • Painted my nails
  • Rob got some music going and I danced some- we hugged for a while
  • Said my prayers
  • Drank water, little cottage cheese(the one that's good for your tummy), and a little V8
  • Went to work
  • Ate and apple when I got there and drank water
Here I am ready for work...... sorry skipped the make-up.

Well 1 Down...we'll see how the next one goes. Not so bad so far. I think they may get tougher as we go, but I feel good knowing I have such great family and friends!

Thanks- I love you!