Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Presley's First Time at the Pool!

Don't have a lot to say tonight but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life has been so hard the past 4 months and it will truly be a blessing to be back to myself again. I actually took Presley to the pool today with the help of my sister. She played in the water and loved it! It was nice to see he kicking around having a good time. I think she will be a water baby. She is just so happy all the time! It's so special to see her little personality coming through already. In the morning time, before she even opens her eyes, as soon as she hears my voice, she smiles. It's the most precious thing. She is laughing a bit but only when she really feels like it. It gives me such a great feeling to hear her laugh.
It was nice for me to feel semi-normal for a bit today. I had a big hat on so I'm sure people didn't notice that I have no hair but that is something that I guess I do try and hide. It's pretty embarrassing to be a female and bald. Now...if I were just completely bald, that would be one thing but I have little baby bird hairs and they look kind of ugly. So I would rather hide those and keep them to myself. I did end up getting worn out with in the first 30 minutes at the pool and we had to turn around and go home but that's all part of recovering I guess. Tomorrow will be even better. I believe each day will continue to get better.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1 Negative PET Scan and I am CANCER FREE!!!!

"Negative PET/CT study. There has been complete resolution of the hyper metabolic left axillary lymph node mass evident on the previous study. Today's study shows no evidence of active lymphoma at any nodal or extra-nodal site."

Great news everyone....I AM CANCER FREE!!!!! Just had my first negative PET scan I am now in remission! I couldn't be more happy. I feel like a different person! I had my final chemotherapy treatment on Friday so I've been feeling pretty bad the past few of days. Today, I was actually able to get up out of bed but Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday I was completely out of commission. This last one will definitely be the hardest. I never fully recuperated from my third treatment so I went right into the fourth feeling bad. I don't care more chemo....ever!! I am just going to believe and pray with all my heart that I never get cancer again. I know that no matter what gets thrown into my life, I can deal with it but I really hope cancer is not one of those things. I found out that I was in remission kind of by accident. I always have to go in for a visit right before my treatment to get a blood count and make sure that white blood cells are back to normal and ready for chemo. I had my PET scan the week before and waiting on those results so when I went in for my appointment that was all I could think about. My worst nightmare was that my PET scan was going to come back not as favorable as they would like and I would have to have 6 treatments instead of just the 4. Anyway, I was about 15 minutes late to my appointment, because of traffic and they had to take the patient before me in so I ended waiting forever! I was so nervous. Then the nurse practitioner tells me that since I didn't request to get my results at the front desk that she couldn't get them for me...they needed to be printed off!! Seriously, I couldn't believe what she was telling me. What would make them think I wouldn't want my results?? So I think she could tell that I was a little upset with that answer and magically, it took her less than 2 minutes to find and print my results. So she goes out of the room, comes back a minute later and tells me that my scan was negative and this will be my final chemo. I felt like crying. In my head I had always thought that I had to have a few negative PET scans before they actual label you "in remission." I immediately asked her this and she said "Oh well you're in remission now!!" I felt like crying even more! I didn't expect such great news all in one day! First my scan is negative now I am in remission!!! The cancer that I once had in my body is not there anymore. I am healed! God is so amazing. Truly. I can't even explain how great the feeling is to tell people that I am in remission. It feels like I am a brand new person. I have all these plans for my life and I am constantly thinking about the things I am going to be able to do in the very near future. Like take my daughter for a walk or to the store, all by myself with no help, go jump on an elliptical machine and work out for an hour, grow hair, take a drive without getting car sick, clean my house, run up the stairs!!! The running up the stairs things is kind of my thing. No matter what, I always run up stairs. It's something people notice or always thought was silly of me. Ever since I started chemo, I just can't do that. I can barely walk up the stairs. We live on the third floor and it takes me like 15 minutes to get up to my door. I hate it and it is one of those constant reminders that I am weak. I just am so excited for my life to begin again. I am so thankful to be able to become the person I once was but this time an even better version. I am going to be able to be such a better mom and wife. I feel like Presley hasn't really gotten the best of me because I've constantly had help but knowing that I am on the road to recovery I am going to change all that and be the best mom! Ever since I found out the tiniest things make me want to cry. I just feel so emotional. Life looks so different to me now. Going through the hell that I've been through I am going to try and never take life for granted again. Life is beautiful and so worth living. Live it to the fullest because you never know what can jump out at you and try to steal your joy and your freedom. Be thankful for your loved ones, because they are the ones that are going to help you make it through the hard times like what I've experienced. We couldn't have made it through all this without the help of our family and friends, just no way. I can't wait to be in the position to help again. I haven't been able to do things for others the way I used to and I am so looking forward to being a helper again. I love to help and be there for others and since I've gone through all this I am going to love it even more.
Presley is getting so big! She smiles all the time, laughs, and we've caught her occasionally sucking on her thumb! A habit I would really rather her not pick up on but she looks so cute when she does it! I think, I would like to take her to the pool today! I may not be 100% up to it but I have my mom and sister here with me to help so I think I just might be able to pull it off. I've been waiting for over a month to go. I'm a little bit nervous but I am going to take the chance and go on up there. If I start feeling bad I'll just come right back home. I am going to do it!! Well....just heard some thunder in the distance...might have to wait until tomorrow! Ha ha

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life is a Party at the Doctors Office....

Believing is never seeing
I believe I am well, I believe I am fine
I know God is with me, never far behind

Loving is always feeling
Feeling happy, feeling mad
Having even more, when times are so bad

Laughing is always making fun
Fun at the doctors, smile through the pain
Laughing is the cure for so many things

Crying is so healing
Feel it pouring out, like rain from the sky
When you're crying, it's impossible to tell a lie

The truth, we have no choice
Sneaks up when you expect it the least
Tells us a sad story so very often
The truth, may it always bring you peace

Feeling kind of sad today, so I thought writing might make me feel better. I'm ready...I am so ready for this to be over and done with! My body is getting weaker with every treatment and I just want it back! I'm sitting here in bed and barely have the energy to write but I know I'll sleep better if I talk a little and get some of this off my mind. The days are so long for me now. I find myself counting down the hours until I can go to bed again. Only because everyday that passes is one day closer to being done and being HEALED! I am constantly trying to receive my healing and believe that it is coming. It's tough. Especially with the fact that I have a PET scan tomorrow to see how much progress I've made. I have this fear that I'm going to have to have more chemo than we thought or that for some reason my body didn't respond to the chemo as well as it should have. I feel like if they tell me I have to have 6 treatments instead of 4 I will have a very tough time accepting that. As it is right now, I feel like this 4th treatment will push me past any limit I've ever had. I just have to believe that the PET scan will come back showing that the chemo has been working. It just has to.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


It's almost 3 am and I'm awake. I woke up a little hungry so I made some food and now I'm really not going to be able to fall back asleep! I'm just sitting here looking how precious my daughter is. She truly is my whole world. I know she's nice and comfy in her crib but I just want to pick her up and hold her close. No matter what is wrong in my life or in the world she can always make me feel better. She is just so innocent and pure. She always smiles at me when I look at her, she always holds on to me when I hold her...she loves me, even though she doesn't know it yet. I can feel it every time I look at her. Being a mother is the most precious gift God can give anyone. We get to carry and create this perfect little thing in our bellies for 9 months, we get to wonder and dream about what or who they will be, we get to feel them kicking around and moving in there....we get to know them, even when they are in the womb. Then, when they finally come out, it's a joy you can never describe. I forever have a picture in my head of her when she first came out, lying on my belly and looking up at me. She wasn't even crying. She was just looking at me as if she knew who I was. I knew who she was. She was exactly how I had pictured her in my dreams. This beautiful dark haired angel. She has allowed me to feel more in these last 4 months than I have in my entire lifetime. Though I have a huge struggle right now, it doesn't even matter because I have her. I thank God for her every second. She is the perfect dream...

Friday, June 4, 2010


Today is the day...again. It came so fast this time, probably because I was really dreading it this time. Yesterday was a tough day because all I thought about was today! Chemo treatments are like getting kicked when you're down . No, chemo is like getting kicked right when you're about to get back up! Very frustrating. But it is what it is and after today I only have 1 left!
So, as I am sitting here in this chair I thought I would go through a Chemotherapy treatment, step by step.
The first thing you do to prepare for a chemotherapy treatment is put a numbing cream over the port area so you don't have to feel the needle being pushed into the port but of course I forgot to put mine on before I left this morning! I actually got into my chair around 11:40 and first thing we did was put some ice on my port so it wouldn't hurt as bad. Then they placed the needle into the port, flushed it with saline solution and checked for a blood return to make sure it was working correctly. The crazy thing is the bulk of the chemo treatment is the nurse actually preparing you for the chemo, which they call giving pre-meds. The pre-meds first include Granisetron, which is a push med, meaning the nurse has to manually push through the port rather than hanging it and letting it drip over time. They push different meds for different reasons but I think they push this one because it comes in a very small amount. The next pre-med is a steroid called dexamethasone and they hang that one instead of pushing it. The reason for giving steroids is it helps your body to respond better to the chemo treatment as well as helps kill the cancer cells. The next one is the Emend and that's the best of them all! It is a very powerful anti-nausea medication. So powerful and expensive that they have to get special orders for it. For example, my insurance will only give me the exact dose right before each treatment because it is so expensive. I take the pill form on day 2 and 3 after the treatment. So far I am still waiting for the Emend to finish dripping then they will start my treatment and give me Doxorubicin or hydroxydoxorubicin, which is the H part of CHOP. The side effects of this one are of course nausea but also hair loss. It can also have a negative effect on your heart if given in large amounts. There are tons of other side effects but these I think are the main ones. The Doxorubicin is a push medication. This one has to be pushed instead of letting it drip because this medication can burn your skin if the port stopped working and didn't go through a vein. So when pushing this one she continually checks for a blood return just to make sure. It comes in 2 separate vials and right before she pushes each she flushes it with saline. For some reason that saline gives you the nastiest taste in your mouth and smells bad! That is the only thing that gives off a smell or taste when it's going through the port. I hate it! So we are all done with the the H now we move on to the Vincrisitne or oncovin, which is the O part of CHOP. This is also a push medication. They push this one because they've found that this medication has a better response when pushed fast instead of a slow drip. Along with plenty of others, hair loss is also a side effect of this medication. Then the last part of chemo that is given here is the Cyclosphosphamide, which is the C part. The main side effect of this one is nausea. Had I not been given so much anti-nausea medication before hand this would be the medication that made me the most nauseous and would cause me to vomit. I actually respond very well to the anti-nausea medications because some people will still get extremely sick and will have to be given much stronger medication for nausea. The way they gauge it is if you have had children, how your first trimester went. Chances are if you had really bad morning sickness then you will probably have a much stronger reaction to this drug. This one is given through the IV drip and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Once that is done, they flush you again with Saline and send you on your way! The P part of chop stands for Prednisone and I take that in a pill form on day 1-5 of chemo. Those 5 days aren't fun because steroids make you very jumpy and on edge. It's not a good feeling. I pretty much have to take a sleeping pill if I want to get any rest. The Prednisone does help with my appetite though. It makes me very hungry and while I am on the steroids and do a lot better about eating. Once I'm off my appetite kind of dwindles away. So that's it. It's almost 2 o'clock and the process of CHOP completed! 3rd treatment is over with and now I only have one to go. Then just one month of radiation and we're done...CAN'T WAIT!!!