Dream Creator

Dream Creator
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Just a small town Canadian dreamer... This started as the diary of a young woman's experience with breast cancer and continues 5 years later as the diary of a woman, like many other, who has decided to take her lemons and make lemonade. **If reading this blog for the purpose of learning about my breast cancer experience, PLEASE START AT THE OLDEST POST (October 2009) AND WORK YOUR WAY FORWARD**

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 5

I lied, I don't feel super good.
I mean, I feel better than I thought I would, but I am dizzy and tired all of the time. My belly feels weird and last night I brushed my gums right open! (sorry, gross)
I just have to ride it out. I chatted with my good friend who has just gone through this, she has helped me immensely and told me to get a few "at home" hobbies to keep me busy. I have painting, but I am going to look for another.
Maybe I'll learn Spanish.
Tomorrow I have my bone scan (yay) and a day with my husband.
I will get through this...
I will do it right, so to never do it again.
Today my 6 year old daughter said "I wish your cancer was over Mom."
"Me too sweetie."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good News!

Day 3 after my first chemo session.
I feel really good.
Hilite of the day? I pooped this morning.
HAHAHA, no seriously, these anti-nausea pills can seriously cause problems, and they are very concerned that I poop, or I would have had to go in for an enema! No fickin' way man!
I had a peaceful walk with my doggies, a short but sweet visit at my in-laws, and a delicious pre-made (homemade) meal from 2 of my old clients in Calgary!! Thanks!!! I didn't have to do any work and I ate like royalty!
Plus! When I got home from my walk, my MRI results were in....and they look clear!
Clear Clear Clear! The only thing is that there is still a fair amount of scar tissue in my left breast, that could potentially contain cancer cells, but my oncologist doesn't think so. Plus even if there was, I am doing chemo now and then my mastectomy and possibly Herceptin after, so I feel really damn good now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's a beauty!
I found out on chemo day, that I am HER2 borderline....this means I am neither (or both) negative (and/nor) positive. My team of oncologists recommend that I take Herceptin. It is a target treatment for HER2 positive cancer patients... (just like Tamoxofin is for Estrogen positive) it apparently decreases my risk of recurrence and metastasizing by around 5-10%?? I think. Originally I thought it was only 1%, and I wasn't going to take it. But my German oncologist told me today (I think, in a strong accent, it is 5-10%) Anyways, I am going to talk to my local oncologist and see what he says. I might go with it, though I don't want shots for another year of my life (every 3 weeks).
I am the girl who hates needles, and medicine and surgery. Why ME!!!
But, if this is going to significantly help. I'm in. I think.
Til next time!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Put it on my list of least favorite things. Yuck! I thought I was all mentally prepared to go in there and get 'er' done (first treatment yesterday) but when we got there I freaked. I absolutely freaked out! I think it is due to so many horror stories people told me and how many people told me not to get it. And then the fact that the nurses have to tell you every little scary thing that could happen (2 days before your treatment). I already have an imagination the size of a black hole. I don't need facts. they should fill you up and then send you home with all the facts on reading material. Ignorance is bliss.
Anyways, I walked in the room and it was busy. Bald heads in every corner. "Why am I here? Am I really one of these people? These sick people I see in the movies? I am only 31, why am I here??" The nurse smiled and asked for my papers, I handed them to her, shaking....she asked how I was doing, I shook my head (no) and started bawling, instantly. "Not good, I'm freaking out." I whispered in tears. They put me in a chair and closed the curtain for privacy. My oncologist came over to try to reason with me, and I just cried. Finally he said "Do you want an adivan?" I said "yes". I wouldn't have even known what an adivan is but the day before the MRI nurse told me many people take adivan sedatives to calm their nerves.
The adivan worked. I felt good overall. I met some locals in for their chemo. One business owner (she's so cute and funny) and I saw a little boy come in too (6yrs old). You look around and just think, "Why is this going on?" It just doesn't seem fair. But I bonded, it felt nice. I especially like the business owner. She seemed strong and firm-headed. I looked up to her, I still do I guess. After my IV of chemo, I felt ok. A little wobbly, but I assumed that was from the anti nausea pills.
I went home and layed down. I had a nap. When I woke up I felt like crap. From 6:00-11:00 I juggled violent throwing up, restless leg syndrome, and feeling like I was going to throw up. After I would throw up, however, I felt good, for like 30-45 min. And then the restless legs and queasiness and then throwing up again. the whole time I felt like I was sick from the anti nausea pills. I just felt cloudy and light headed. Today I don't think that is true. I think the new chemo drugs in my system for the first time ever made me feel drugged and sick. Because today I have taken 2 anti nausea and I feel pretty good right now. At least I feel clear headed. I have my genetic counselling meeting today at 1:30 and my oncologist is really pushing me to get a "dome" implanted in my chest. It is a way to administer medication (chemo and such) without ruining your veins. I don't want a dome, I don't even want to talk about it right now or I may be sick. But apparently the results came back from my "Triple Negative Basal Carcinoma" test. This is a rare and unique type of cancer where the 3 hormones are negative...Apparently I am Estrogen- Progesterone- and I am on the fence with the HER2. I guess literally I have the HER2 score that is on the fence. (22 positive, 20 negative...I am 21) something like that. It is sort of good news because they think they can give me a target treatment as well for my cancer to make it go away and never return....but it is a year of shots every 3 weeks....I don't know if I am going to take it or not. I am getting a mastectomy after all. And that already lowers my chances so much. I just want this to be over with when it's over with. I want to go to Mexico for a vacation after this. I don't want to live the "cancer lifestyle" for another year. Anyways, that's my story.

Update: 6:00 pm....
I had my genetic counselling meeting today. It was overall boring but I did find out that even if I have the gene, I won't be able to test my kids until they are at least 16-20 years old. They say it's not psychologically correct for me to test her, because she may grow up and not want to know if she has a 60-85% chance of breast cancer. Plus things might change by then, medically. God I hope so!!
When I got home, I felt like crap. I had a nap, and my husband made delicious home-made pizza and IT HIT THE SPOT!!! I feel good now, almost normal. Just gonna kick my feet up for the night and relax.....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MRI and Kelowna Trip

Yesterday we were in Kelowna again for my MRI. We got to stay at my cousin's beautiful home where we feel very comfortable. It has been nice to be forced to come to Kelowna for care, because I have gotten to see my cousin and her husband. It had been too long. My cousin and I are the same age and were the best of friends growing up. Life got busy and kept us away from each other for years, but not anymore. I want to see her more often. She's only 4 hours away!!
Anyways my MRI was yesterday and here's the story....
I wasn't in anyway scared to do an MRI....I mean, it doesn't hurt, it can't make you sick...what's there to be scared of? When I got there they promptly had me undress and put on a gown. I did so and waited in the waiting area with my husband. Then a man came over and told me he was going to give me an IV. This was news to me! I hate needles...oh well, I guess if you are going to get a needle, it's best to do it on a whim to avoid all of the nerves leading up to it...it hurt by the way. I find most men are rough when giving needles, they just jab you. sucks...(but I'm a bit of a baby). Next a bubbly, sweet girl came out of nowhere and sat down beside me and asked me a few questions like have I ever had metal in my eye, do I have piercings etc...then she explained the MRI process. I can't remember what she kept saying but she was insinuating that I may not like it and want it to stop. She told me if they had to stop the MRI, they would have to reschedule (which wasn't possible for us, this was my only shot) I was like "No problem, I can do this, I'm not worried!!"
I followed her into the room and saw the machine (which looks like the ones on TV). I had to put in ear plugs (it's a noisy machine). they taped a little red dye marker on my right breast (so they know when looking at my results, which breast is which...I then kneeled on the bed, put my face down into a hole (like a massage table) and there were holes for my boobs to fall into. The lady pressed my boobs into hole so they could get a picture of all of my breast tissue. Super flattering. I was comfy cozy, no problem! Then she said she'd back me into the tunnel and leave the room. As she started backing me in the tunnel, I could feel my hands press the sides of the tunnel. I could also feel the air tighten which made me aware of how tight my surrounding were. All of a sudden a switch flipped in my brain. I started panicking...my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest!! I realized if I wanted to pull my arms out, I couldn't! I knew I could squeeze the ball and they'd let me out, but that would take even minutes!! I felt likeI lost control, and I freaked! But when the lady spoke on the speaker "Are you ok Megan?" I said "Yep." I realized I could control the panic. I needed to. I needed to get this thing done, once and for all! It was quite funny actually. I starting breathing slow, deep, controlled breaths. I started thinking about Mexico, and the sweet trip I want to take there when this is all over with. It worked. I was in there for a total of 50minutes. About every 10 minutes or so, I would freak out a bit, but then I would calm myself down. Funny how you don't even know you are claustrophobic hey? The rest of the appointment was fairly uneventful. They pumped dye into my IV for the last 10 minutes, but it just felt cold and had a bit of a funny taste. Small price to pay for extra detail on my MRI. Overall it was a quick trip to Kelowna. I did stop at a hippy store for a scarf for my soon-to-be bald head, and when the sweet clerk asked me if I wanted help, I basically told her why Iwas looking, that I had cancer and needed something soft for my head, that still looked pretty. After I said this to her, I realized for a minute, that I may have made her feel uncomfortable. But then, she asked me what kind of cancer I had. I told her and she paused and said. "My sweetie has leukemia." it turned out her husband who is only 42 was diagnosed with the 2nd worse kind of leukemia. The more I look around, the more I see cancer everywhere. It seems unfair. Even scary. But it is a big red flag waving to all of you. Enjoy every moment. Stop complaining about things. If you are unhappy with your situation, change it! Live healthy!!! Love every moment. Observe all of life's beauty and joy. You never know when it could be taken away, or compromised.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Late Night Worries

It's been a while since I had a cancer related panic attack. I am having one tonight. I really can feel something in my right breast, and my new oncologist felt it too yesterday. My MRI on Tuesday will show if there is something. But if there is, are we really going to continue on with chemo before surgery? I mean, how will we know over the 4.5 months of chemo, that the cancer isn't spreading into my nodes or other parts of my body? I guess I will just have to wait and see what the doc's all say. I am afraid again. I hate this feeling.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

These are a few of my FAVORITE THINGS!

http://kerryosborne.oracle-guy.com/files/2008/12/the-hills-are-alive.jpgEver since I was dealt my "hand", I have been searching high and low for things to make my life a) healthier b) more comfortable Thanks to hundreds of friends and family, I have easily succeeded. Now I want to share with you! Even if you don't have cancer, a lot of these things you will LOVE! I assume I will be adding to this list along the way, but for now, here we go!

#1. GREEN PAN- Oh yeah! Thanks to my cousin for this referral and thanks to my in-laws for buying me two! These pans are non-stick, but also non-toxic, PTFE- free, PFOA-free. Basically Teflon is bad, it releases toxic gases into the air which are extremely harmful to you. This pan is free of these chemicals AND cooks anything without sticking (so far)! It is so easy to rinse clean and it works amazing for crepes! The best pan ever, regardless of it being chemical free. WORTH the extra few bucks it costs to purchase!

#2. NIKKEN WATER COOLER- I had this before I even found out I had cancer, and I have always loved it! Mine is different than the one below, it sits on a base with hot and cold functions...I make my tea with it too! You pour your own water from the tap into the top and it filters down while adding minerals (see the rocks) back into the water. Such a cheap way to drink clean, healthy water! Love it!!!

#3. BREWER'S YEAST- Delicious! Thanks to A&D for introducing me to this one!! Though my husband has been eating it forever on popcorn!! These delicious flakes are found at most healthy markets, organic markets and such and usually are found in the bulk section. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals and taste so good! Usually you don't eat them by themselves (if you try them this way, you may be grossed out) I sprinkle it on cooked rice, vegetables, meat even. It adds a saltier, rich flavor. The very best thing, is it on popcorn!! Popcorn is a recommended snack for anyone on any kind of diet (especially cancer diets!) Just air pop and just lightly spritz the popcorn with butter or oil, just enough to moisten it, the flakes add all the flavor!! It is a delectable healthy snack, you never need to feel guilty about!! I LOVE IT!!

#4. JUICER- I have Jack Lalaine's juicer. It is awesome! My Mom bought it for me at Canadian Tire for around $100 bucks. It is worth it!! Easy to clean, and separates the juice and pulp. I freeze the pulp and then add it to sauces, soups, chili's (or if fruit, muffins!) I juice veggies mostly. Certain things juice better than others. My fav combo is...celery, carrot, red pepper, greens (kale, romaine, chard...anything) and then I sprinkle "spike" in it. Spike will be next on my list. This juice is yummy and full of good things!!


#5. SPIKE- This is a seasoning that's been around for a long time! It is recommended in many cancer diet books as a healthy substitute to bleached table salt. I will list the ingredients below. Please do not confuse it with Accent. Accent is basically MSG. Yuck. I buy Spike bulk from the natural food store, or you can get it at health and vitamin stores. Basically a healthier version of seasoning salt. It's garlicy and de-lish!

Spike's Seasoning Ingredients contains:
Salt and sea salt crystals, special high flavor yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, mellow toasted onion, onion powder, orange powder, soy flour, celery leaf powder, celery root powder, garlic powder, dill, kelp, Indian curry, horseradish, ripe white pepper, orange and lemon peel, summer savory, mustard flower, sweet green and red peppers, parsley flakes, tarragon, rosehips, saffron, mushroom powder, parsley powder, spinach powder, tomato powder, sweet Hungarian paprika, celery powder, cayenne pepper, plus a delightful herbal bouquet of the best Greek oregano, French sweet basil, French marjoram, French rosemary, and Spanish thyme.

#6. http://www.gaiam.com/ - I love this website. I stumbled upon it recently, because I bought a DVD made by this company. I love this DVD. It is divided into 3 parts. Upper Body, Lower Body and Abs/Back. Each workout is 25 minutes long and is perfect when time is limited! My DVD is included when you buy the balanceball and resistance band kit...it is called Total Body Balanceball Kit and it is on the site. I found a lot of Qigong stuff on this site too, like beginners DVD's etc!! All in all, a one stop shop.

#7. Kootenay Bath Salts...EMPEROR'S BATH- Yum, yum, yum! These natural bath salts made in Nelson, make my mouth water. The problem? I use them up too quickly!! I have a preference to this flavor, though there are many. When I have had a bad day, a small glass or organic red wine, and a hot bath with these salts fixes everything. Thanks to my sis-in-law who always buys them for me...she knows how much I love them!!!

#8. RICEWORKS SEA SALT CRISPS- These are delicious, and quite a bit healthier than usual chips or crackers. High in fibre and soooo tasty! They are a bit pricier, but when I want a treat, it's worth it. Yummy!!
Benefits include:
-No preservatives, all natural, no artificial flavors
-Wheat/Gluten free
-33% less fat than potato chips
-Vegan and Celiac Friendly
-Kosher Certified
-Cholesterol Free.

#9. JOSHUA RADIN "SIMPLE TIMES" CD- I downloaded this on my IPOD and it is quite literally the soundtrack to my cancer experience. I am in love with this album. My husband says it's "boring" but it has made me cry, laugh and brightened my day. You can hear samples on his website. Best Songs? Brand New Day, I'd Rather Be With You,
http://www.joshuaradin.com/Sky(featuring Ingrid Michaelson), Vegetable Car.
***Did I mention he's a little bit attractive?

#10. ALLRECIPES.COM- Kick ass website with recipes for anything!!! Plus it lists the nutritional info for every recipe!! It has helped me create many healthy meals!! One thing I have learned, which I find exciting through all of this, is never be afraid to change recipes to work for you. Most recipes are flexible (yes, even baking!) I love substituting oat or spelt or whole wheat flour in place of all purpose. Apple sauce or banana for butter. Maple syrup, honey or (I just heard from my good friend Shannon) brown rice syrup instead of sugar! So awesome! I also cram everything full of veggies now. Again, the pulp from the juicer, is ground right up and will dissolve into nutrients into just about anything!!

Well that's it for now folks! I will definitely be adding some more as things go on....but these are so far, my most favorite! I hope you adopt one or more of these products....ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BC Cancer Center

I am back from Kelowna.
My husband and I took a trip up there (4hrs) to have my first meeting with my oncologist. It was fabulous! I was scared, a common feeling for me these days. Fear of the unknown. I am most scared of the fear!! Every now and then a panic attack creeps up on me and it is the worst feeling! I feel sick and dizzy and breathless. Luckily the panic attacks have been fewer and further between.
When we arrived at the cancer center, there was someone playing a grand piano. The sound echoed through the halls. There were hundreds of elderly volunteers smiling and greeting and there to help in anyway. The one thing I didn't like was how busy it was in there...never a good sign. I didn't see anyone who looked really ill. Just a lot of people living with the cards they have been dealt and grateful to have such a wonderful place to feel safe and well taken care of. I filled out forms and waited in the waiting room. The forms were sad. They were multiple choice and had questions like "How often do you eat." and the answers were "My eating habits haven't changed." or "I am only able to take supplements at this time" There were many questions like this, all with a range of answers. I couldn't help think how terrible it would feel to have to answer the questions on the worst end of the spectrum. I am so fortunate.
Every 20 minutes a coffe cart would come around with free coffee, teas, juices, cookies etc. I thought this was a nice touch, though I wondered if this was where all our money was going. Nevertheless, I am glad they had it. It made me feel special, like I was part of the "cancer club" and I get free refreshments and you don't. :)
When I finally got into the room, the oncologist came in. He was about 40 years old and Swiss German. He had a strong accent. He was very nice and he listened to me. We told him how we had had terrible doctors and treatment up until this point. We told him about all the mistakes and run arounds and how no one seemed like someone we could trust! He listened, with caring eyes. I liked him. I liked his energy. He felt good.
He answered our 1000 questions and then told us about my treatment regiment.
I would be starting chemo in the next 10 days...before then I would have an MRI (though the results wouldn't have too much baring on my treatment, more for my peace of mind) My chemo would be 6 cycles with 3 weeks in between each, administered in Nelson. My cocktail consists of
3 cycles of FEC (Epirubicin, Fluorouracil, and Cyclophosphamide) and then 3 cycles of Docetaxel.
The first 3 cycles may have nausea and hair loss side effects, then the last 3, achy bones etc. I will blog as I experience these side effects, as everyone has different responses. After my chemo, I will take about 6 weeks to heal and be back to my regular self. That is when I will go on with my surgery. I will be having a Bilateral (both breasts) mastectomy with reconstruction. My oncologist does not perform this procedure, therefore will refer me to a surgeon along the way and then I will have more info on this treatment. We are still awaiting results from my HER2. This will tell me if I indeed have triple negative basal carcinoma. If the HER2 is negative (along with the Estrogen - and Progesterone-) that makes 3 negatives, hence the name. If I am triple negative, it only means I am unique and they would recommend a mastectomy to prevent mestastisizing and recurrance. Because I am already taking this precaution, it doesn't mean all that much for me, except if I and my daughter have the gene. (which I will find out in a few weeks to a few months). If I am HER2 positive, that means there is a "targeted" treatment for my cancer (a bit higher survival rate) but this means a year of intravenous treatments every couple of weeks. So I will wait on these results, and let you know. I had good news that I won't have to have a "port" or "picline" implanted for my chemo. Sometimes they have to implant these devices into you so they can just pop in the tube of chemo each month. Because I have good veins, I won't have to have that. I will just get an IV each treatment. The first 3 drugs can cause corrosion to my veins, but because they are "good" and it is only the first 3 treatments, they think I am good to go. YAY!!!! I don't want something dangling from my body for 5 months (how sexy).
The doc told me if at anytime I get a fever or feel like I am getting a cold or flu, to go immediately to the ER, as my white cells are low and could cause me to die. That was a bit scary...I also have to avoid germs like crazy...so if my kids are sick, they need to stay away!! Then they told me, I cannot get pregnant during this. I mean , I am able to , but I must not!! that was weird. I can't even imagine having sex during chemo. I mean I probably will, it is 4-5months after all, but thinking about being bald and some people with ports hanging out of their chests, it isn't the ideal image for "love making" :) lol. I know! Too much information!!! Sorry, but like you didn't think about it....hopefully my husband likes bald chicks...haha, sorry, ok, I'll stop. :)
So that's all of the main stuff my oncologist went over with me...the rest is boring and would mean nothing to anyone reading this, unless you have breast cancer, then by all means email any questions and I will answer. Now it's time to prepare myself...I need to prepare as many meals as I can to freeze, so that I won't have to worry about cooking if I feel like shit. I want to get dental work done and anything else before the storm hits. Luckily a good friend of mine cleaned my house for me recently (god bless her soul) so that's not a worry right now. Now is the time I am going to want help from people. If anyone still wants to help out, I would love healthy soups, casseroles and muffins for my freezer. I might need someone to help clean the house here and there while I enter my "sleep coma" (apparantly this concoction makes you sleep A LOT!) I would love someone to help me with dog walking, at least on the days closest to my treatments when I am feeling side effects...all of these things would really help out. I won't ask, of course, but if you ask me, I will gladly accept.
Overall my trip to Kelowna was great, all of my questions were answered, I finally have a competent doctor I can trust, and I also got to visit with my family (cousin and hubby) which was really nice. So, til the next big event, I am signing out to take on my busy week of preparations....don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for a few days....peace out!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kelowna here we come!!!

We leave for Kelowna today.
We are off to get more answers and get this treatment ball rolling...
Let's do this!!

Birthday Day.


Yesterday was my birthday.
I turned 31.
I wasn't expecting to enjoy my birthday this year.
I was going to have a "pity party" for myself.
I had a really good day.

I took my beautiful kids to their swimming lessons, and smiled for an hour straight. My son is such a good swimmer now, and my daughter is hilarious. The coach asked her to put her head under water, and she said no. The coach asked again, and she said no. So when the coach looked away, she puffed up her cheeks with air, and closed her eyes and dunked under the water! But no one was watching, except me. When the coach looked back over, she saw my daughter's dripping hair and said "Did you go under?" and Lily said, wiping her eyes..."Yep."
After swimming, we stopped by my husband's office and we all went to brunch. It was nice...I ordered a "healthy" veggie burger and then deep fried sweet potato fries...it's my birthday after all.
After brunch the kids and I took the dogs out to the beach for a long walk. The whole town was covered in a thick fog all day (so thick you couldn't see across the lake). But when we drove out to the beach, the fog was gone and the sun was shining, bright! We had the best walk, the kids played on the ice and I threw stick after stick for the dogs and they had a blast. I soaked up the sun and inhaled the sweet smells of lake and pine and camp fire. I felt so alive and so content. Since I have been diagnosed, it's like my senses kicked into high gear. I smell things, I taste things, I see things like never before. Why couldn't it have always been like this? Well, it will be like this from now on!!
Home for a workout and some computing....50 some messages on my facebook page. thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday....it blew me away!!
Dinner with my in laws...I love them so much. I am so grateful to have them here and I am grateful for how much they love me. I am a challenging person to love sometimes, and they love me anyways, and I can feel it. I got a really nice gift and my father in law payed for dinner!! How generous!!! I was spoiled. My husband and I decided to go out after, for coffee and dessert. We ordered 2 desserts. It is my birthday after all!! We chatted and laughed and stuffed our faces.
When we got home, there was a bunch of stuff on the counter....someone or someone's had been over while we were gone. I had a big bucket of borscht (if you are reading, THANKS!!!!!!!) and another friend bought me a book, and another left a gift of beautiful coasters. My best friend from Alberta left a message on machine of her singing Happy Birthday!! Thank you to everyone, for making me feel special and helping me enjoy my day. It really meant a lot to me to enjoy this day, and I did. FULLY.
Thanks again!!!
31 ain't so bad!


Got up early, a day full of errands, including an appointment to see my doctor about my new lump on my other breast. I convinced myself by about noon, that is probably wasn't anything. It felt different from my first (cancerous) lump, so it's probably nothing. I still felt like vomiting.
My mother-in-law (who is, by the way, an absolute saint. Who has stood by me from day one with this... and is the reason why my husband is my rock.) picked me up, we went to the doctors office to deal with the new lump and our efforts to try and get an earlier MRI in Kelowna (since we are going there Monday)...Without any luck on the MRI front, we moved into the examining room to check the lump.
I figured, since doctor's have much training to identify what normal tissue feels like, compared to cancerous or cystic, I'd be given an idea if there was an issue right off the bat....I knew my new lump felt different than my first, but it still stood out, maybe more soft (my first was a rock hard solid mass) but definitely, it stood out. I layed on the table and he asked for me to point where it was, I did, and he placed his hand on my breast. Right away he felt it.
"Ok, yep, there it is....(still feeling)...ok, well, let's get you in for an ultrasound."
GREAT. So he didn't think it was normal tissue...I even said to him, "Shit, I was hoping you'd say it was normal tissue." and he said "Well, let's hope it's nothing." and I proceeded to get my requisition and off to the hospital.
They called me in right away and I got undressed and layed down on the table with a towel covering my upper body. "Why me? Am I meant to die at an early age? Who is out to get me? This isn't fair, why me?" I felt ill. The technician came over and asked for me to show her where the lump was, so I did. She felt it right away...ok, good she said, and left the room to go get something for the machine. I looked up at the ceiling in this dark room. I began to pray. From the pit of my belly, I poured it out.
"Please god, please Jesus, please I beg of you, take the cancer away...don't let there be anything in my breast, please take it away. Please, please help me and take the lump away. I beg of you."
I continued over and over until she came back in. She placed the ultrasound thingy on my breast and began hunting........nothing......she tried again, and again.....nothing.....higher, lower....nothing.
I asked her "Can you see it?"
She said "No, all I can see is regular tissue...let me go get my partner." she left the room and came back with another girl. The girl asked me to show her with my finger, where the lump was. I went to my breast and, couldn't seem to find it. I poked around the area..."Hmmm, I can't seem to find it? It's in this area though." she started looking with the scope thing, and she scanned my entire breast twice. Weird. Why is it gone? Is it mobile? But if it is mobile, you'd think they'd still see it scanning my entire breast!? Strange.
"Well, Megan, we can't seem to see anything. Please still mention it to your oncologist on Monday, but I don't' know what to tell you. As far as we can see, there is nothing there." she said. Holy crap, I'll take that news!!! I proceeded to my blood work and continue on with my day.
That's crazy. Did god really take the lump out? Was it nothing to begin with? Is there something there and they just can't see it? Is it hiding? Or was it a miracle? I could use a miracle. I will believe it is a miracle for now...I like that best. On Monday I will still mention it to my oncologist and at the least, the MRI will pick it up on the 25th (if there is something)...until then, it is a miracle. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Time to start going to church.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm a fighter alright!


Got some serious shit done today. Ya, that's right, me.
If you don't already know, I have a serious coping problem. Certain things stress me out. And when I get stressed, it's like "firestarter" the Stephen King movie, except instead of starting other things on fire, my stress causes damage in my body. No proof of this, I just know. In fact I often think that my cancer was created by my stress in the last year or so. Owning a restaurant and trying to sell my salon and dealing with my Mom's cancer and so on and so on...a little more than I could handle.
So, anyways, because I am the "firestarter" my husband took over many of my affairs since my diagnosis. He has been dealing with Blue Cross and booking my appointments and so on. But this morning I ripped Blue Cross a new asshole, and it felt great. They are the people paying my disability to me, through Safeway...they have been nothing but problems. I don't really want to get into it because it pisses me off, but they (my group of people, maybe not Blue Cross in general) have been SO UNORGANIZED, slow, and frustrating!! Every time we ask a question, we get a different answer...we get different people telling us different things every time we talk to them. And they make us send in papers every month to say I am going to be off work longer...like I can do all my treatments in a month...idiots.
So, I lost it on them today, gave them a piece of my mind. Probably didn't get anything out of it, but it felt good.
Then in the afternoon I picked up the phone and called the Cancer Society. We have been waiting for a month now for a phone call to give us a date for an oncologist appointment. Even on Monday my husband called and they said they'd probably call this week to book us in, but the appointment wouldn't be for a few weeks still. So I picked up the phone and called. I got an appointment for Monday, with no problems, in about 5 minutes. It was crazy!! 2 doctor referrals and an angry husband call and nothing....I call in and I have an appointment in 4 days!
I rule.
Maybe I should start dealing with my own shit more often!!
One bad thing happened today, just after I got my appointment made, I was leaning against the kitchen table with my boobs pressing on the wooden edge, and it hurt (or course) and when I noticed that it hurt I thought, hmmm, I should just check my other breast (the one that isn't infected). I reached into my shirt and right away felt something. I pulled my hand back and gasped. I almost puked. It couldn't be? I prayed to god, out loud, that when I checked again, nothing would be there. This time it was harder to find...deep in the tissue in the center of my breast. I feel a lump. 90% sure there is something there. It feels oval and softer and smaller than my other lump. Good lord I hope I am wrong. But I have a doc appointment tomorrow, followed by a trip to the hospital for blood work and hopefully an ultrasound. Why me? Just take my breasts off already, I don't want this stress anymore!! I am done with it. I wouldn't even care if I had to be breastless for the rest of my life, I don't want em'.
Again, I hope I am wrong, I will keep you posted. I am guessing this will just slow things down again. If they see something on my ultrasound, it may lead to a needle biopsy and so on...but at least my oncologist appointment is on Monday. Maybe I can just get a mastectomy scheduled ASAP instead. We'll see.
My new fav song....


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Triple Negative Basal Carcinoma


Finding out you have cancer is unexplainable. For me it has been a roller coaster. I think it is different for everyone. It is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. At the beginning, it was almost a high. Even when I was sad or scared, I had an adrenaline rush going, a constant buzz...Some days I was excited about the challenge, and other days I was able to look at it as a chance to get my life on track and finally see what is important in life. In general I kind of looked at it as an advantage on others. No, I didn't want to have cancer, but I was able to see the "bright side" at the beginning...But as the bad news kept rolling in "it's still in there"..."it's a rare, aggressive form of cancer"..."we didn't get it all"..."mastectomy"...etc it starts to take it's toll.
I guess you can say "the honeymoon is over" so to speak. This is scarring and no matter what good comes out of it, I will always have a scar, emotional damage. For the rest of my life I will question whether every spot I see is skin cancer or every twinge is stomach cancer. I will fear death more now because though a 30 year old should not even be thinking of death....I have been shown that page of the script. And it is real and it is a dark, dark, place and it scares the shit out of me. I am changed.
The last week was torment. I was basically given a week to decide what I wanted to do about a mastectomy or surgery or what have you. Ps.I don't like making decisions that affect me living or dying...I can't even decide on what restaurant to eat at!! So I got really depressed. Thoughts of walking around with no breasts, thoughts of making the wrong choice and the cancer spreading to my organs...it was an all time low. A sick, dark place where the only way I can describe it is like the mental anguish is so intense and the anxiety and panic so real that I could feel it in my bones. An achy, restless feeling, like how I would picture someone in heroin withdrawl to feel. I would lay in my bed to try to sleep it off and I couldn't stop tossing and turning. The thoughts seeping in. It was utter HELL. I wanted to die.
Yesterday was the worst...it was the day I was to tell my surgeon my decision. And though I had made my decision and was at peace with it. I was scared it would cause a fight. I decided I wanted both breasts removed, regardless of genetic testing results. My cancer is looking like it might be called "Triple negative basal carcinoma" They aren't 100% sure but it looks that way. Because this is a rare cancer and very aggressive with a tendency to metastasize. I just thought, why take the risk? So I waited all day for doc to call and I put myself into a panic...(later I realized the tea probably didn't help...see last post) I was nauseous and sad and all sorts of bad things.
Then he called. He didn't even let me talk. He told me he had been studying my case with a surgical oncologist (he gave me her name) and she recommends I have a double mastectomy regardless of my genetic results. GOOD!!!! She also wants me to start my chemotherapy first before any surgery. OK?? I questioned this. It seemed weird to "possibly" leave cancer in my body during chemo, isn't his harmful?? Doc said because of the long delay after surgery before I could heal and be ready for chemo, it made more sense to get chemo first, then I will have my genetic tests back and then when chemo is done I can get both breasts removed and reconstructed from my belly fat (bonus!) all in one surgery (bonus!!!) So that flew me to the moon! I went from my lowest low to my highest high within minutes!! But I still felt a bit nervous about the order of things until....my aunt (have I explained her before?? bio researcher, cancer researcher aunt) emailed me that the surgical oncologist he had look and assess my case is one of the best in the country!! SWEET!!! This was the best news I had heard in a long time. Finally an answer to what my road is going to be, plus it has been drawn out by one of the best in the country?? Thank you LORD.
What a roller coaster ride. It is now the day after the phone call, and I still feel great. I got up this morning, worked out, emailed, walked my dogs, made dinner...it's been really good. I think from now on I will avoid those dark corners...I am starting to feel again, like everything is going to be ok.
Til tomorrow....
peace love and pink ribbons.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Went to Master Kwan's house the day before yesterday ...What a shitty day by the way. It was cloudy and dark and rainy. DEPRESSING!! So I needed a pick-me-up and I found it in Qigong.
I had emailed Klotz a few days earlier and asked him to respect the fact that I was going to be doing chemotherapy, more surgery and radiation (if called for). He is very "ANTI-CONVENTIONAL METHODS" as he believes they do more harm than good and he has seen first hand the effects chemo has had on his patients (in a negative way). However, I know I am strong and healthy enough to battle the bad and properly accept the good...
Anyways, when I saw him he was very good about it. He is most concerned that I continue to see him. When I first got to his house, he was about to start treatment on me and he said "I wish I knew exactly where this tumour is..." I explained to him that they removed the tumours and that there may be some cells left but there shouldn't be anymore tumours (somethings get lost in translation between us). He said he'd feel most comfortable knowing exactly what was going on in there by consulting his psychic friend. He picked up the phone and dialed his friend and put him on speaker phone. The "friend" is 30 years old and extremely talented. So talented that he and his girlfriend were able to quit their regular jobs and live off of the income from his psychic consulting business alone.
Klotz first asked his friend if there was cancer in my left breast before my first surgery...
"Yes there was"
Klotz then asked, was there cancer remaining in my breast after my first surgery
"Yes the first surgery only removed about 30%" he said
Klotz: "After the second surgery was there cancer left"
"Yes but very little" he said
Klotz: "Did my first treatment help with the cancer that was left?"
"Yes, it helped, I see the cancer going from a very dark heavy blob, to a light, airy image, almost as if it turned into a gaseous state." he replied
I know I know, it sounds phony, but the way it went down, with neither Klotz or him really knowing the details of my surgeries, the way the "friend" paused, and thought, his tone in his voice and so on, I really felt it was legit. And I am a skeptic.
So basically he said there is very little left and Klotz's work is getting rid of what's left. Also he explained where it is in my breast which makes total sense to what I have read on my path reports, which neither of them really knew.
Klotz treated me again and I didn't have any real side effects this time, I just felt good and hopeful and happy. He sent me to the market to buy this weird tea called Taheebo. I couldn't find it when I got to the market, so I asked, apparently it has another name. Pau D'arco. He swears by it and says everything else you purchase is a waste of money. He believes this alone will do the trick. I bought it and drank a lot of it the first day, it is tasty!
Then I drank more yesterday morning. By the afternoon I felt like absolute shit! I was anxious and panicky and nauseous! ***UPDATE**I just googled this tea to find out the proper spelling and found this link http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/HPI/UnconventionalTherapies/PauDArco.htm
It says under side effects that it isn't good for you and can cause nausea and so on...
I don't know what to think, maybe the nausea is a good sign of toxins leaving your body? I am not going to drink it anymore though. It made me feel bad....back to green tea for me.
I think Master Kwan is "old school" and believes in ancient methods which in general are great but I guess you need to do your homework also...But overall the treatment was a success! I had a great finish to my day and felt confident it was working and the cancer was small and getting smaller each session. Thanks Klotz!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Sunday...mmm, I would like a sundae.

Well I had a rather obnoxious day of people's unwanted opinions!! No let me start over...I had a hard time swallowing some people's advice that they meant to be helpful but only made me feel scared and anxious.
I am supposed to practice being positive ;)
I made the mistake of posting on Facebook, how I struggle with the holistic vs conventional western medicine worlds. I wish they could just get along. I feel like the guy in the movie with the devil and the angel fighting for me to do what each wants! (Except I can't tell who is devil and who is angel) Anyways I post this concern and everyone starts replying....which was mostly good. But I wasn't asking for advice, in fact I was saying how stressful the one sided opinions are, and I still had people telling me their horror stories about chemo. Holy! I am really getting sick of this...
"My mom died of cancer and I think it was from her chemo" or "My dad got so sick from chemo that it gave him heart problems and he dies 3 years later"
I guess everyone is just trying to help but it is terrifying!! It DOES NOT, i repeat, DOES NOT HELP!!.
But I am at peace with my decision. I prayed and meditated for a sign and I feel in my soul I am to do all treatments. I also, other than my gut feeling, had 2 big signs from very influencial people in my life pointing in this direction to reassure my decision. So I am good. When I get some negative news, I will delete it. Chemo very well may have killed someones mom or dad, but it is right for me and I am young and healthy and strong and ready for it. Bring it on bitches!!
Some of you may be wondering "What about Mexico?" well, I was talking about moving to Mexico all of the time before I found my lump. This was a coping mechanism. It's not that I don't want to move to Mexico one day, but I am in no rush....I was really unhappy with my life foe a while there...and Mexico dreams made me happy. I will move there one day, but it isn't urgent. I will go with the flow, enjoying every moment I have here and there, vacations there, summers here and so on until the door opens. I am happy here and grateful, and have seen my support system in bright lights and that is priceless. In a perfect world I would live here doing a less stressful job, and then live in Mexico all winter and then back to Nelson. YES! Perfection. But I won't complain. For me right now? Perfection is living. Is every moment I have with my beautiful husband (god how I love him) and my amazing kids. Perfection is every moment in the moment.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Qigong Healing


Today I had a new and wonderful experience.
I went to the home of a man named Master Klotz Kwan. I am fortunate that I live in a place where the special, spiritual people flock. It's true! Nelson, BC is known to be a magnet for spiritual growth. It has healing powers. There are crystals and healing stones found naturally all around the mountains that surround this beautiful valley. So special people like Klotz Kwan settle here, and then I am fortunate to be only a 15 minute drive away from him.
I was referred to him by a good friend. She works in an insurance company and she said one day Klotz came in and approached her co-worker and asked her what she needed...she was at first confused, but after knowing Klotz and what he does, she proceeded to tell him that she was having a terrible time with her kidney stones and she was scheduled for a surgery to get them removed because other treatments were not working. He did about 3 minutes of work on her and did not charge her for his services...a week or so later, this woman went in for her surgery and got all dressed in her gown and the works and when the nurse went to look for the stones on the ultrasound, they were gone. All of them gone.
This was enough to get me interested...I read his website (see above for link) and was thrilled with the testimonials and such. I mean, how can you not trust something that has been used for thousands of years!! The "research" section of his website is great for any skeptics out there...
So, my experience...
I drove up the mountain to his home...a beautiful, serene spot.
Parked, walked through his garage, out the garage door, onto the back step, down some more steps and found a door. I had this sense of something guiding me to where the entry to his studio was, I didn't question it, I just followed the voice. There was a sign that read "for healing walk in", so I did.
He had asked me on the phone the previous day, to announce myself when I entered so I called out "Hello!" and I removed my boots and sat on a chair and waited. I could hear a television, like someone was watching a movie in the next room. I looked around. This was a basement suite at one point. Cupboards, tile floor...I studied the space. I saw 2 bamboo plants dead. I snickered. I guess nobody's perfect, even healers!
Eventually he came out of the room and I startled him
"Oh!" he said "How long you been there?" he had a thick Chinese accent.
"Oh 5 minutes, I called out but didn't want to bother in case you were busy." I said, knowing full well he was just sitting in there watching an action movie. Mr. Miagi, watching an action movie. That's who he reminded me of. Short, older Asian man oozing of wisdom with a touch of mad scientist.
I went into his room, it was a disarray of books, trinkets, photos. There was a bed, a couch a desk with a computer and a large plasma television on a table beside his work desk.
He asked me to tell him about my ailment. I did. He asked if I was sure I had cancer, I said yes and explained the whole surgeries and so on. He made it very clear that he did not like western medicine and our current health care system. He told me stories of people he had healed who continued with chemotherapy and then died because the chemo killed them. He is anti chemo, anti mastectomy and anti radiation. He said that only 10% of illness is science related and the other 90% is energy rooted. Whether from stress, or trauma or resentment and so on, this is the stem of 90% of our illness and therefore science cannot cure these ailments, only energy healing.
Makes sense to me, I believe my cancer was caused by stress but I was sad to hear he didn't believe in chemo or mastectomy at all, because I probably am still going through with these treatments and I want him to work with me through this process. Plus, I have wavered on my feelings on chemo and I was just feeling confident about my treatment path and then he challenged me.
He pulled me over to his computer and showed me emails from people who his treatments had worked. He showed me writings about why western medicine fails, he told me stories of his successes and failures and so on, all the while radiating pride. And so he should, he has a great gift. I wish I too could heal people!!
He pulled out a pendulum and board, the board had yes, no fair, good, poor, excellent and percentages on it. He held the pendulum up in the air and began to pray. He asked Jesus Christ to guide him in answering these questions. Then he asked. All sorts from will Megan heal from my treatments (good) to if my cancer had spread (no) and so on. I wasn't a fan of this part. I was here for the healing and I didn't feel as trusting in this part. Not that I thought he was faking, it just didn't mesh with me.
He asked if I needed to use the washroom before he began and I said yes. I went to the toilet and while I sat peeing, I felt my breast, it was sore...still from the surgery. I get back to my seat and he prayed, and then proceeded with the treatment. He got me to read stuff on his computer and papers while we worked. I think he hates being watched, he just wanted me occupied. He bresthed heavy and moved his two fingers back and forth over my breast (never touching) with my clothes on....he did the infected area for about 20 min. and then asked me to touch my breast to see if it hurt. It didn't hurt at all!!! AT ALL! I pushed harder to make it hurt, no pain. Wow, it was working!! He continued over my entire body now, less focused but he mumbled something about my chakra. When he was done, I felt tired. I took a dvd of exercises he wants me to do daily and a recommendation for a tea he wants me to drink. I thanked him and booked in for Monday and told him his home was lovely and left.
When I got to the car and starting driving, I realized how exhausted I was...like soooooo tired. I could barely keep my eyes open. It had to be the Qigong, I had lots of sleep the night prior and a healthy lunch and it was only 1:00! Weird.
The rest of the afternoon I fought to stay awake (though I had to to visit with some family). When I talked to my Mom later, she told me her friend had it done and was the same, EXHAUSTED and could barely drive home....so it was the treatment. Right now it is 8pm, and I still feel tired, but also fluish. A bit achy in spots and my throat and lazy!! Sort of like right after a major massage appointment. My boob hurts again (to touch) but I feel like it is still working. He told me not to bathe for 24hrs to keep the energy working...
All I know is that the treatment did something to me. I believe in it and plan to continue practicing it throughout my journey and most definitely after for prevention!! Today was an interesting first experience and I am happy I did it!
Peace.Love and Chinese Tea.

Friday, January 8, 2010

fairly unenventful.


Yup. That was the day in general.
Had a sweet sleep in though and a long dog walk (in the freezing cold).
And my kids both had dental appointments (their 2nd ones ever!)
Lily was so cute lying in the reclining chair with her bib and goggles on...she acted so big. In moments like that I want to cry. My pride pours out of me and then to top it off I have shots of fear that it may be one of my last times seeing her in the dentist chair...I know it's horrible.
But it is so very hard to control. It is a reality to me. It is near impossible to ignore it. I don't know what's worse, the negative thoughts or the stressing over having negative thoughts. I mean it can get so deep, as deep as I created this cancer with my thoughts, or made it grow and spread through my thoughts...my brain hurts most days.
The kids both have great teeth and there is a yummy Mexican dinner in my oven. Mexico, OH Mexico....I need you now more than ever. Once I meet my oncologist I might try to see my schedule I have set up and try to plan a trip....in between? maybe not, but for sure after.... if it were summer here, I could heal and cope a lot easier I know. I would sit in the forest for hours and meditate and bond with the trees and the sounds of the earth. I am good at that. But cold and I do not get along. So I wait. for warmth. for answers. for peace.
Until then? I create my own. Close my eyes and drift.

Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away....oh I believe in yesterday.

Thank the good lord above, I woke up yesterday with a new outlook....
It was a great day.
I got up and did my first workout (video) in a LONG TIME! I promised my husband I would start getting exercise to heal my brain and build body strength (plus I think he is concerned about my cellulite ;) I struggled a bit with the workout but it felt good and I look forward to more. Then I had an appointment with a woman. I'd like to call her a life coach but that is not her official title. Doesn't matter, she didn't help me with what I went there for but we had a lovely chat and I met a really nice beautiful person in the process. I then had some time to kill so I walked over to the Sally Ann (Salvation Army) and browsed...I found a super cute toque and 2 black cardigans all for 9 bucks! Not bad.
Then I went to Starbucks at Safeway and saw my 2 favorite friend/coworkers. I got 2 london fogs and proceeded to my friend's house for lunch. She is so sweet. She just listens to me talk about myself for hours and never blinks an eye, even though she is going through health issues herself and her dad just passed away from cancer. She is the least selfish person I know. Truly. I am grateful for her. Plus, lunch was yummy!!
Then I drove home, picked up my dogs and went for a nice walk on the beach with my IPOD. I listened to Wayne Dyer. I guess he would be titled a motivational speaker? Not sure. He is extremely spiritual and lives like the Dali Lama. Everytime I listen to him I learn and become a better person. He is my coping mechanism right now. He spoke of attachment.
"Pain is only caused by the inability to detach oneself from something or someone."
It's true in my case. If I am not attached to my hair or breasts, I won't be hurt when they are gone. I need to detach myself from these things. Basically you look at it like, Can I ever be happy with out----fill in the blank----? Really look into it. Typically you can continue a happy life no matter what as long as you have your heart. You need to visualize this, and believe it and you can carry on with no (or at least less) fear and pain. It worked for me instantly. Like a light went on.
It was a lovely walk and a therapeutic one at that. When I got home I went into my kitchen and the breast cancer flowering plant my work friends bought me was back to healthy!! I saw this as a sign. I am known for killing all plants around me...when this plant (pink with a ribbon decorated it) looked dead the day before I thought, here we go again....but I watered it and put it on the counter and yesterday after my epiphany and amazing morning it was all perky and beautiful again. Definatley a sign. Definately.
I cooked a wonderful, healthy dinner and then after, we all watched Earth on BluRay on the couch with popcorn and spritzers. It was the perfect day. I hope to have more of those days ahead. I need them to get through this.
Grateful, I am grateful and I am happy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Inner Peace"

This is a big one.
Results from my surgeon about my last surgery (Dec15th)
Doc "We removed 6 lymph nodes, and they all tested negative for cancer"
YESSSSS! YAHOO!! WHOO WEEE! And not just because they were clear but because he took way more than he was originally going to which covers the other "surprise lump" and my arm doesn't even hurt anymore. That's awesome and I am GRATEFUL!
Doc "The bad news is, we removed 6cm of tissue and your margins are still negative"
BUMMER. There is probably still cancer in my breast, hence more surgery.
Doc "And the weird thing is, your cancer is very unusual...it is in multiple small nests deposited all throughout the tissue and there are more than one type of cancer."
Doc "Your cancer doesn't really have any of the typical characteristics of breast cancer, but I assure you it is still considered breast cancer."
HMMPH. What the hell does that mean? I didn't have a chance to get into details about it with him, because there were many more important priorities to address with him still. That's the thing, For me, with my surgeon, I feel like I always have questions unanswered because I feel like his priority is to only discuss getting the cancer out, which isn't a bad thing, but it keep me hunting for answers...I am sure the day I meet the oncologist that will all change.
My doc discussed with me that I will have to get genetic testing and an MRI (to look for cancer still in my breast and other breast too to be safe) both of these things need to be done ASAP and if I have the gene, the boobs gotta go. You see there is a reoccurance of 50-85% with a 3% increas in that risk each year you are alive...which for me is almost a guarantee...so bye bye boobies...
If the MRI shows more cancer in my infected breast, I need it removed...
AND, if the MRI shows nothing, doc would go back in and make a bigger margin again (and hope there would be one this time)
Basically we are both feeling that there is a good chance I still have cancer in my infected breast.
So I left the doc's with major mixed feelings. Mostly I was scared of my "weird" cancer...WTF did that mean and should I be scared? He said it was "concerning" to him, so that sucks...but I was sooooo happy my nodes were clear. I was starting to think more and more that a mastectomy would be a good idea, because even if there wasn't anymore detectable cancer in my tissue, I would live afraid that one of the little nests had "crossed the border" so to speak and was starting a new colony somewhere in my breast OR body....kind of like cutting off the moldy cheese on a block of cheddar...you have to take enough to make sure there isn't invisible bacteria somewhere just waiting to grow, OR you could not risk it and just toss the cheese out. I am thinking I want to toss the cheese and get a new block of cheese. :)
I drove home with my husband, the mood was grim, I was beat, I went to bed.
I woke up at 3am with cancer-mares....barely slept until 6am then I crashed and woke up all groggy at 10am. I was to go to a dentist appointment (this was yesterday). I was in a bad place from the time I opened my eyes...thoughts of dying had never been more vivid and every 20 seconds I was shot with fear through my body and felt like I was going to puke...I was DEPRESSED!!! Officially.
I tried to have a tea and take in some useless Facebook time to cheer me up but then the phone rang.
Doc"So, I found out that even with a rush order, the soonest you would be getting your genetic results back would be in 3-6 months, therefore we can't wait on the results for you to make a decision on what you want to do."
My stomach sank
Doc"You have to make a decision here Megan and here are your choices..."
There will be an MRI later January....
Senario 1. The MRI shows there is still cancer on my breast...Mastectomy...live with one boob until my genetic tests are in and my chemo is over and I am healthy again....
Senario 2. The MRI shows nothing....I either have a mastectomy (again on the one breast) and live with one boob until my tests are in and chemo is done and I am healthy again. OR have another surgery where doc makes a bigger margin, hoping to god he gets it all, and there isn't some cancer cell that has hidden itself somewhere for a rainy day. Then wait for genetic tests, if I am positive then after the chemo I get both boobs off, and reconstructed at the same time.
Originally I wanted both boobs gone, right away and reconstructed right away to minimize my risk and minimize the number of surgeries in my future, basically "GET IT OVER WITH" so I can move on to chemo and the rest of the fun....but Doc says it's "unethical" for him to remove a breast without knowing if it is neccesary, and we can't wait for the results so it would be one boob at a time. So I tell him I don't think I could live without one breast for even a day!! the thought of seeing even my lumpectomy scar freaks me out and makes me sick.
He tells me I can't reconstruct it until I have the genetic results back because, the flap reconstruction can only be done once, so my one boob would just have to wait for the other...
It was starting to look like I didn't have much choice after all.
Doc said to think about it for a week. I hung up the phone and went ballistic.
This was officially the worst day of my life. ever. I wanted to get hit by a truck. I have never felt such helpless fear and anguish in my life. the rest of the day I had to get a haircut, chest Xray and blood tests and I basically walked around town perma-bawling and feeling like I was going to puke and any moment...
My husband took the afternoon off of work, canceled my dentist appointment, and called his folks to invite ourselves over for dinner to talk about it. Once there my day continued, sick, sad, scared, SO SCARED, like I was actually convinced I was going to die. Depressed, sick, angry, tired Help Me!!!!!
Until about 7:30pm.
I read a blog on a woman who got breast cancer when she was pregnant and had to have a mastectomy when she was pregnant and she didn't even really complain.
"It's a small price to pay to live" she said. Well. Ain't that the truth. I mean, this woman has a way worse situation than I and she is calm and centered. Nice. My clouds started parting...
Then an email from an old friend. She had a messy mammogram come back and was scared and needed my help and info to calm her down....while I don't believe in sugar coating cancer (because I still am pissed at everyone who told me I didn't have cancer and then I did and was un prepared!!) I had a moment of clarity. I could help someone. I had a purpose and it wasn't only selfish. I had to be strong so I could hold others up!! My clouds dissappeared. Just like that.
I went from wanting to die, to awakened in less than an hour!!
This felt much better. I was going to go to bed and feel better tomorrow.
What a day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just a quickie....

Today is the day I go to my surgeon's office to find out my results from my last surgery...I hope I get all of my questions answered...I should find out...
a) if my second lump (the surprise lump) was cancer
b) if the lump was new and the result of highly agressive cancer or old and overlooked
c) if there were margins...basically if there is still cancer in my breast which will then tell me if I need another surgery, or mastectomy which then in turn, will lead me to choose a double mastectomy (I have made the choice so far, that if I need a mastectomy, I will just do a double)
d) if there is spresding of the cancer in my body OR if my lymph nodes were clear.
e) how many nodes did they take? did they take enough to cover the "new" lump?
So, this will be good...these answers then show me a bit more of the path I will be taking over the next 6 months...I can't believe how long it is taking to get an appointment with my oncologist. The oncologist is the KEY to unlocking all the answers and what path I will be taking.
Last night I had a breakdown. it had been a while. In fact I have had a few little cries here and there, but I haven't really had a big one. Til last night. I have felt lately, like my husband doesn't want to talk about it. at least not all of the time, though it is on my mind, ALL OF THE TIME!!
So I have been holding it in, but last night when I started to talk about how scared I am, he shut off the TV and gave me his full attention and walked me through a breakdown. I got all of my fears and feelings off of my chest and he talked to me, reasoned with me, and helped me through. It was such a healthy release for me and made me feel so much better. Hopefully that breakdown will last me a while and I won't have to put him through that again for a while.
Ok, well I am going to try to declutter my closet and get ri of some things I haven't worn in a while...I will be blogging tonite or tomorrow to update.

Cry.gif Cry image by draculasbride641

Monday, January 4, 2010

People are idiots.... or maybe it's just me?


I have been losing my tolerance for people lately.
People I don't know, people I know well, all people in general.
It is cancer related, this I know.
Here are the top 10 things that make my days harder.

1. "Did you breast feed?" If one more person asks me this when they find out I have breast cancer, I am going to officially lose my shit. This is SO RUDE. Think about it you idiot, you are basically telling me that you think I gave myself cancer. Especially when it is the first thing you say when you find out, not "I'm sorry" or "are you ok?" My husband has even been asked this question. BTW, No I did not breast feed...do you drink? Well then you will get breast cancer, because drinking is related to breast cancer as well, so is pesticides, nitrates and a million other things so screw off.
2. Stop asking things of me. I know I am not "dying", but I have had 2 major surgeries, and I just found out that I have cancer, all within the last 6 weeks. I am going through a lot and am really physically and mentally exhausted. So stop asking me for things, like haircuts and to babysit your kids and to find you old documents that you know will take me hours to look for, when it is for your own business and you are more than capable of doing it yourself. I don't need anymore on my plate right now and it stresses me out to say "no". Maybe ask me to lunch or to go for a walk...
3. Stop telling me not to get chemo. This one really hurts. I agree that chemo is disgusting and I am a strong (but new) believer in holistic health. But I am no gambler. This is MY life, I have kids I need to think of and I am NOT going to take a chance on putting all my eggs into the "natural" basket. I have researched and seen the proof of chemo working and will do ALL (holistic and western) methods of treatment to save my life. Who are you to scare me by telling me how bad chemo is? Don't you think I am already terrified about the whole thing? And who are you to judge me, do you have cancer?? Is it your life?? I bet if you were in my shoes you'd think a lot harder about making the "hip"choice. So get some tact.
4. Stop with the "sad eyes" please respect me but don't pity me. I see it on your face and it makes me feel uncomfortable. If I am lying in my death bed, then "sad eyes" are allowed.
5. Stop pointing out what I can't have. Whether it's "let's get drunk" or "want a hot dog?" please think before you speak. Ok, I'm sorry, this is not really your fault. You are used to "healthy Megan" and you might even be uneducated on cancer diets. But every time I get offered something I can't have or the chance to party (which I can't) it makes me want to cry. Probably my issue, not yours.
6. Please don't talk about my cancer when you have no idea what you are talking about. I don't know how many people have told me things like "you can get remission treatments" or "at least you're going to be ok" First off, remission is not a treatment, it is a state you are in when you are free of cancer. And saying "at least you are going to be ok" after my first lumpectomy and results of it being cancer, is a little premature. I mean, I like the idea, but I just don't know yet. I STILL don't even know if the all of the cancer has been removed from my breast and this is after 2 surgeries and 2 lumps now.
7. Stop ignoring my husband. Especially if you are family or friends. My husband probably has as many issues going through his brain and heart right now as I do. Please don't assume he is ok. He needs a little empathy right now also, so #1 on my list applies to him as well. I love him so much. grateful.
8. Stop recommending things to me I can't (most people couldn't) afford. Like fancy schmancy treatment centers not covered my health care or equipment that costs thousands of dollars....really? we have lost a total of $1100.00 income per month since I was diagnosed, I am pinching to buy groceries right now, let alone a fricking trip to Honalulu for a spiritual awakening conference (though I'd love to go , if you are paying) :)
9.Ok nine and ten are going to be positive things you do that I love.
9. Keep the emails and notes, links and messages coming!! I love to hear from you all, even if it is just a little smiley or heart shape post on facebook, it fills my "love meter" and helps me get through my days, and I have gathered a lot of useful info from your links...thank you!
10. Thank you again and again to those of you who have taken time to bless us with your good deeds. Whether is has been a financial donation or offering to walk our dogs, or take our kids for the night (Nana and Grandad you are #1 on this list!!) it all helps so much and we appreciate your generosity. Thank you a million time over!

Sorry if this post was a little harsh. But these are real feelings. And I am sure anyone who has been through an illness has had these feelings (gosh, I think I have evn been a culprit of a number of these things in the past). Luckily though, all in all, I see the good in what people do, I understand people don't mean harm (most the time) and are trying to help. But maybe this post will help with your choice of actions in the future ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year...really?


The holidays were genuinely filled with smiles and laughs for me. They were the perfect mask to my "dark cloud". It actually may have been the best Christmas yet...I got everything on my list (guess pity goes a long way ;), and not having to work over Xmas was the ultimate treat!! But shortly before New Years Eve (in Alberta, while staying at my sister's again) "the dark cloud" started to move in again, into the pit of my stomach. Reality was back and it was staring me in the face. I celebrated New Years with a few old Alberta friends but it all felt weird. I wanted to get drunk and I couldn't, I wanted to be "party me" (what I am most famous and adored for) but I couldn't. I wanted to be excited for the new year....but how could I? At least not the start of the year...it would be filled with Chemo and surgeries and radiation and tears and fights and pushing and pulling...God, hopefully New Years 2011 would be a year to celebrate!!
So now I sit here in front of my computer. Jan 3rd. In 2 days I drive one hour with my husband to see my surgeon (I hope he had a nice vacation. not.) and I will get answers and some forsight into my year ahead. I will find out if I need another surgery...(if so, I may take a double mastectomy instead) if I have the gene (if so....ditto) A double mastectomy is sounding pretty sweet to me right now. I hate all this shit so much, it seems like the way to just end it all, and maybe then I won't need chemo??? (no idea if this has validity) It would take my chances of recurrance down to 5%... sounds good to me!
Also, I have been staying up reading "young women's" cancer blogs and chemo is really starting to freak me out!! It seems like they really "give it to ya" when you are young as your cancer is more aggressive. Everyone writes about how awful it was and sick they were and sore and long term side effects and weight gain!! Oh God the weight gain!! That's the final straw! I mean, take my hair, my eyelashes and brows, take my breast and my rosy cheeks (and I have evn heard fingernails!!) but add an extra 20 pounds too!! F*#k you!! That just isn't fair. I honestly am wavering at this point as to whether I can go through it or not...I don't want to gamble with my life (or my kids future) but it seems so rough and if I don't need it?? I mean if they really feel like they've got it all...I don't know, I will wait and see. Also Radiation is crazy!! I thought it'd be a peice of cake, but I found out that after this round. I will have used up all the radiation I am allowed for a lifetime. If I ever get cancer again and need radiation....I can't have it. That's kinda crazy since I am only 30, my chances are a bit higher of getting another cancer.
All of this is the shits. I feel sad and scared and alone. I feel angry and anxious with a little panic. I just wish I could close my eyes and wake up after it is all over. :(
I am going to cut and paste my Facebook post today as I want you to read the bottom of it. A quote from a young girl's cancer blog I have been reading. She started the blog in 2006 and it seems her last entry was 2008, I don't know where she went, or why she doesn't write anymore...but she speaks my thoughts and I am so similar to her....I love her words...
peace.love.and pink ribbons.

Well, Christmas is over...it was a gooder, I must admit! Thanks to the help of my beautiful family members and my co-workers and facebook notes, I was submersed in the spirit of it all and didn't reflect much on my illness. Tuesday marks a big day for me. I will meet with my surgeon in Trail with my husband and find out the results of my last surgery. This is a big deal because I find out if my cancer has spread, if I have any left in mt breast and what's next. Not to mention, at the final hour of my last surgery they found ANOTHER lump and I get to find out what that was all about and if it too was cancer and if so, was it new or old?? I am ready for some answers, I am ready to get on with it. I was up til all hours reading cancer blogs from young women my age, it was awesome and full of info and great to know I wasn't alone in my feelings. I did however get a deep look into what lies ahead for me with chemo and radiation. It isn't pretty. When you are young and have aggressive cancer like I do, they attack you full force and basically wage a war on my body. There will most likely be side effects and illness, and just to top it off, I heard that most women gain an average of 15llbs during chemo from steroids and crap. Perfect. Can't wait to lose my hair, possibly more or both breasts, the color in my skin, AND add 15 ponds on that...may as well take away all my dignity. Sorry, I shouldn't be negative, it's just hard sometimes...but it is a small price I suppose, in exchange for life. Below is an excerpt that touched me, from a blog I read...the writer is 29 with breast cancer, This excerpt is about her first visit to a support group. I feel everything she writes....I will post again soon when I get my results. Ciao!

EXCERPT FROM "Biography of Breast Cancer"

I was sitting there with this group of brave, strong, beautiful young women who had such balls to be going through all this. And again, I was inspired by their talents, their insight, their perspective. And I was pissed at the same time. Pissed that this disease - at any time - has made these women feel scared and alone. Pissed that it made them feel like something had been taken from them. Pissed that at any point they felt less than themselves. Pissed that they had to "recover" from anything. We shouldn't have to be worrying about this. We should be meeting boys and getting drunk and getting married. We should be having fun and having babies and having heart palpitations over our first house payment.