metasticized breast cancer

The buzz cut

My hair was falling out in chunks because of chemotherapy. I was sleeping in chunks. It was getting very aggravating. I was wearing a black Pink Floyd shirt and all you could see was a bunch of blond hairs stuck to the front and back of the shirt. My pillow had chunks of hair on it. I would wake up to scratch my head and clumps of hair would fall out in my hand. It was 2am and I wanted a buzz cut. But, I waited until the morning. At 6 am I got the clippers out. My husband got a chair and he gave me a buzz cut. The first swipe was my bangs and my lower lip started to quiver. the second swipe over the top and my lip quivered more with little tears in my eyes. The third swipe and I couldn’t help but frown. But, my big girl voice took off and I told myself, it is not forever, don’t cry, suck it up, it is going to be okay. Losing my hair can be quite devastating. The feelings of sadness went away and I decided that it is just another part of my life to get through and it stopped bothering me. My head was buzzed. This to shall pass. I still have very short hair and blotches of no hair. My head feels like on big purple bruise in some areas.

It took Parker a looong couple of seconds to notice my head. He knew that I was going to lose my hair. I told him that the doctor is making me take medicine that is really hard to take and it would make my hair fall out. Once he noticed, he smiled and said, “your hair fell out.” I told him that I have a lot of hats to wear and he was wondering why I wasn’t going to wear a wig. Of course I wanted him to feel comfortable with me when we go out, so I actually thought getting a wig would remedy that. The truth is that he really doesn’t care. He likes the hats and I did make a compromise, I have a half wig that covers the crown of my head and leaves the top of my head uncovered. This is to wear with hats. I actually like it and it is totally my style. All the wigs seemed to perfect and I didn’t feel like myself no matter what kind of wig I tried on. But, in the back of my mind it would be really cool to have a super long blond wig. Ryne and Amanda have been through this before. I wore a scarf the whole time. They don’t care what I wear on my head either. I was so worried about making little change that I forgot my kids love me for me and not for my hair, duh. They just want me to get better.

Today, I put makeup on. It is something I barely ever do. I believe I should keep doing it though because I makes me feel good to look pretty.

Below are some pictures of the process and a small modeling show of some of my hats.

P.S. Cancer doesn’t control who I am, it controls how people treat me. I am still me.

 

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Great faith, great lessons

Hey there.

I am in between my 8 and 9 round of chemo, 2000 mg a day (this is a lower dose than usual and I was started on 3500 in the beginning as the doctor was shocking my system. He is an awesome doctor). I had a partial hysterectomy 6 weeks ago.

Anyway, I think I have symptoms of hearing loss. My ears are constantly ringing too. I do have allergies, but this is different. The ringing changes in frequency. You know how your ears don’t work as well after an AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Ozzy, Rush, or Grateful Dead concert. I’m sure there are more, you get the point. Although, it also sounds the same as the time I shot my M16 and failed to wear ear plugs…woops.

I have a sever joint pain. Every one of my joints throb. The kind that makes me think it could be rheumatoid arthritis. My muscles hurt horribly. I have side pain and also upper abdominal pain. The pain that makes me want to start self diagnosing myself on WebMD.

There are times when I cannot sit still and have no energy to move. Yet I press on through the Little House on the Prairie marathon. Which is everyday on the Hallmark Channel.

It appears that I lost my finger prints. I’m sure my toe prints are missing too. I haven’t checked although I will not doubt myself. My oncologist told me I could rob a bank and they would never get my finger prints. I assured him I would never do this.

My lower back hurts. My hips hurt and the psoas. However, today when I was working with my trainer (who is also my friend), while laying on my back, doing hip thrusts, it donned on me. It has been a long time since I had sex. That was funny…. and not so funny at the same time.

My neck hurts it causes headaches and it seems to be connected to my ears. You know how your neck hurts from head banging and dancing in mosh pits? That is the kind I hurt I mean.

I was craving Buffalo Wings and potato chip chocolate and rocky road chocolate. I actually waited in town, pretending to have an errand to run, until Buffalo Wild Wings opened. I ate 5 of them on the way home.

All of these things remind me, on a daily basis that I have metasticized breast cancer. That is one of the hardest things to get anyone to understand; that I feel like all of the pain through out my whole life, encapsulates my body and I suffer from pain without end. I have to write about this because if I don’t, I will go crazy on all the people who are failing to understand this. This is the type of pain that starts with the first diagnosis. This gradually, gets better over time, but it never completely goes away. This is the pain I feel.

I understand that I have tons of blessings too. But, is it so hard to realize that I have trouble seeing them? It’s not that I just scraped my leg on the path to my elementary school, or my dad died when I was 7, or hit my head on the ground, on a cast iron stove, the end of a balance beam, soccer balls, or at the bottom of the pool. It isn’t that I didn’t go through all that normal teen stuff. But, For crying out loud; my dad dies, all of my grand parents die, no to mention a wonderful cousin. I got a lovely divorce too. Look what I just wrote…see how hard it is for me to see my blessings? I am so darn sensitive that I am off the Richter scale.

I do know my blessings. All of the above is relative. They are things I hardly ever think about. It is because it is not me. Yes, my experiences mold me and it is possible to make the wrong mold. However, I can change my mold. I can change my spirit. I learned that unhappiness does not matter. It is not what happens to me, it is what I do to make life happen for someone else.

This is who Jesus turns me into. Into a loving, caring, giving, inspiring, smart, beautiful woman. I changed the mold because I choose the right. I choose Jesus because he chose me first. Jesus gave me the best option and I took it immediately. There is nothing like knowing who you are, where you come from. and what is your purpose. There is nothing like truly seeing people for who they are. It is a gift. There is nothing like truly seeing who I am.

This is why I am still okay. It is because I understand the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I entered into a covenant with my Heavenly Father. I believe I will not parish because I believe Jesus truly died for all of my sins whether I remember them all or not. And as long as I repent for everything that understand I was wrong, I will have everlasting life. Because I know this, I can live life to the fullest and not have fear of the world. I will fail and I will repent, therefor I will be saved.

This is what gets me through my days. It is strength, courage, love peace, patience, hope, and most of all faith. Faith in Jesus and faith in myself. This is working for me. It requires a lot of support. It requires letting the bad go and stepping into the light, Then keeping it for as long as you can. It is work. Life is not for the weak. Especially with cancer. However, I know it could be worse….there could be starving children in China.

I know that one day I will die. I seriously doubt it will be from any type of illness or disease. Which means all this exercising and eating right will pay off and I will be very old when I die. It means that my prayers are being answered according to my faithfulness. Those with great faith have great lessons. This was a great lesson. What a ride.

What the….Miracle?

Still processing what happened today. I have to write it out in hopes to make some sense of it all.

The morning was normal. I got ready to go to the doctors. Sat on my bed and thought about how not to deprive myself of any happiness today. The beauty in the world will not escape me today. I talked myself into a place where I absolutely knew what my purpose is and that I still need to be fulfilling my purpose.  I finished getting ready, walked out the door, and hopped in my car.

While driving to the doctors, I caught myself sinking into fear. I told myself that I had nothing to fear but fear itself. Thank you Franklin D. Roosevelt. I kept asking myself, “What are you so afraid of?” I told myself not to be afraid because I have a long life ahead of me. I told myself that fear is only the enemy. I am a warrior!

That is me!

I drove into the parking lot, walked into the building, and up to check-in. Then I sat and waited on a couch. The nurse called me back to get blood drawn. As usual, this takes three tries. I kept my cool. I am used to it. The nurse called for my husband when I was done and we walked down the hall, turned left, and sat in room 15. This is the room that my doctor keeps a lot of pictures of his family. There are pictures of vacations to Niagara Falls; canoeing…He has four kids. My husband and I played on our phones. Then all of a sudden, out of the blue, from nowhere, this song pops in my head.

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right.

All I could see in my imagination was a bright orange-yellow sun with very long warm rays beaming outward. Soon after, my smiley doctor entered the room. He is so awesome!

He asked us to pull our chairs up to his computer so we could read the results with him. He said that it was all good plus a slight curve ball, but it ends up all good. Of course, that is when I get that horrible feeling.  It is a very heavy feeling that just feels bad. However, my doctor is still smiling. He starts reading the results. The radiologist states that the scarring in the pleura lining is indicative of scarring from a pleurodesis and that according to the radiologist there is no active cancer cells. The swollen lymph node near my pharynx is gone. Then he said, “Here is the curve ball.” The scarring on one of my spinal discs shows that cancer was there, and now is gone. In addition, the scaring on my pelvic bone also shows that my bone has heeled itself from cancer. Huh??? Yes, not only did I have cancer in the pleura lining, I was actually much further along than anyone thought. The cancer had reached my bones.

Curve Ball. The only time baseball will show up on my blog.

Now here is the miracle. The cancer on my bones was too small to see. However, the PET scan sees the scaring from cancer easily. The scaring on my pleura lining could have a slight chance to be cancer, but they are sure it is not because it looks like scaring from surgery and inactive cancer. Honestly, they know what they are looking for. The only real way to know that the medicine works is thankfully, the scaring on my bones from the healing of cancer, which we did not know I had in the first place. I think that makes me a walking miracle. At least, that is what I am calling it.

 If I did know about my bones, I think I would have felt defeated. Is this God’s way of saving me from that? Um, YES! I would have freaked if I knew it was in my bones. I think everyone else would have too. Then…God answered a lot of prayers, because of the scaring on the bones we know that the medicine is working! Prayers answered!!!

To make a long story short, I asked my doctor, “Are you saying that the cancer is no longer active?” He said, “I am saying that the cancer is inactive and that is what we call remission. I told you that you had decades and I meant it.”

I know that I will never be cancer free. I will always have to take some kind of drug to keep the cancer from growing. It is a disease. I am okay with that. I am just so happy that those sneaky cancer cells died. I would rather be in remission than anywhere else! Thank you God for the Good Sparks in my life!!!

Then my doctor hugged me, told me how happy he was, and said we have known each other a long time and that this has made him very happy for me. I love my doctor!

The lyrics to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, it is very fitting. It really has been a long, cold lonely winter.

HERE COMES THE SUN

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

Little darling

It’s been a long, cold lonely winter

Little darling

It feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

Little darling

The smiles returning to the faces

Little darling

It seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling

I feel that ice is slowly melting

Little darling

It seems like years since it’s been clear

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

It’s all right

It’s all right

 

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