Dream Creator

Dream Creator
My photo
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**

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gettin' the Motivation Bug!


(painting of the Nelson bridge by Karla Pearce/karlapearce.com)

I am definitely feeling better!
I know because I am restless.
In a good way.
I woke up this morning at 5am because I was brewing "ideas and projects" in my brain.
I couldn't wait to start the day!
I had my 3rd Neupogen (Filgrastim) shot last night and again, not much achyness. In fact I felt a little stiff, but I couldn't tell if it was just normal, everyday tension. So obviously, it's not a big deal. I am so grateful for that, as I have gotten the shit end of the stick when it comes to chemo side effects. Maybe my Docetaxol (last 3 cycles of chemo) won't even bother me at all.....wouldn't that be nice.
I hiked yesterday with my dogs, I took them to one of my favorite spots called Kokanee Falls. It's an 8 minutes drive and there's a beautiful, dense, mossy forest. A nice path guides you along a raging creek and up to a waterfall. It's pretty magical. I have clarity when I walk there. It most certainly has healing powers, you could never argue.
I hiked well. It seems I am still fairly fit during my chemo (minus the first 2 days) but the only thing I notice is loss of arm strength. When I try to open a jar or hop up to sit on the counter, my arms give out. I will have to work on that. A little weight lifting should suffice.
Today I am going into town to shop for various things...painting supplies, a few jewelry making supplies, a couple frames for pictures I've been meaning to hang....and a few more random things. When I was laying awake this morning, I was thinking about having a garage sale. We have so much valuable stuff that we don't use. I am ready to get rid of it! I will donate a portion of the proceeds to some type of breast cancer fund.
I was also thinking about paintings I want to do....so that's to come really soon....
The sun is blazing and the lake is sparkling and I am sure Baker Street smells of fresh coffee and baking as usual. I will go out today without the dogs and just see where the day takes me. I will enjoy life like a normal, healthy person, but I will wear my goggles and REALLY see it for how great it is.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Breast Cancer Support Group

Today I felt fairly good starting off my day.
I got up early and decided to walk my dogs and get groceries while it was morning.
While I was on my walk I got an email on my blackberry. It was my father in law and he said "call mom simpson asap"...so I did.
She told me there was a support group for breast cancer at noon.
It was 10:30 and I hadn't gotten groceries yet.
She told me there was going to be a guest speaker and lunch.
Sold.
So off I went to get groceries and then to the meeting. I wasn't sure if I'd be feeling much up to talking, but I guess I was wrong. I poured it out. I probably sounded self absorbed, but I needed it.
The group today was just a small one, about 6 older, small town ladies. I think the youngest was 50? But it didn't matter. They were so sweet. I had a blast! We had tea, coffee, croissant sandwiches and there was a guest speaker. The speaker was a woman who works as a life coach. She was like a mix between a motivational speaker and a therapist. Very Wayne Dyer-esque.
I liked it.
We also chatted randomly about our breast cancer experiences. They seemed interested to hear my stories as I think most of them had completed treatment many years ago. Things change quickly with treatment and medicine (yet for some reason there is no better replacement for chemo). I learned a lot too. I learned that "staging" of cancer is NOT cut and dry. One woman had a small lump 1.4cm, and zero node involvement and was classified stage 3! Another had a 3.5cm lump and 2 infected nodes and was classified as stage 4 (terminal!). So it makes sense to me now that my cancer isn't easy to stage. It's often much more than size and node factors that are involved. It's pattern, it's many things.....
I had a great time. If I wasn't concerned about my dogs eating my groceries in my van, I would have stayed all day. I will go again....and I will bring my Mom next time!
Grateful.

http://students.missouri.edu/~alphaphigamma/Philanthropy/BreastCancerRibbon-710539.jpg

Filgrastim/Neupogen

Hello world.
Yesterday I had my first Filgrastim shot. This is a routine my oncologist has encouraged in his chemo regime. After the second chemo treatment we wait 5 days and then we give me a shot everyday for a 5 day run, then repeat again after next chemo til my chemo is over. Every oncologist has a different way, some people don't get the shot unless they need it.
The shot is an amino acid protein injection that helps stimulate white blood cell production so that, during chemo, you don't have neutropenia (or infection due to low blood cell count).
So yesterday I went into the hospital so they could teach me and my mother in law how to give the needle. I was NOT looking forward to it. Needless to say, I didn't learn (I layed there with my eyes covered), but my mother in law did. She is a retired nurse anyway, so there wasn't much to learn. I had myself worked up into a nauseous state. I just hate needles!!
It was a piece of cake. I numbed my belly with a cold pack and then didn't even feel it going in (that doesn't mean I won't cringe next time). But seriously, it didn't hurt at all. The only side effect you are supposed to have from the shot is achy muscles and bones. Apparently we produce bone marrow (white blood cells) in our hips, so your hips will generally ache. I felt like shit after my shot. But I don't think it was the shot, I think it was the stress related to the day, plus the fact that I hadn't had a proper bowel movement in days....
I spent the rest of the night with a headache, some nausea and light body aches. It wasn't anything to really complain about, mostly I just wanted to have a bowel movement.
Today I had another shot. About 2 hours ago. Again, no pain with the needle going in at all, but after about 10 minutes my belly felt a bit sore, again, nothing major. Right now I feel fine. A bit dizzy, but that's usual for me for the first week after chemo. When I get tired, I get a bit dizzy. I am sure I will feel totally normal again tomorrow.
So that's Filgrastim 101. If anything changes with my side effects, I will let you know, otherwise it's a piece of cake and nothing to ever worry about!
Ciao.
UPDATE!! I didn't have any achyness or side effects at all last night from my shot...I feel great today (minus heartburn lol.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Head Wrap and Delicious Drink Recipe!!




Just a quick note.
I have to share this recipe...call it smoothie or milkshake.
Either way, it's soooo delicious and I got it out of my "Healthiest Meals in the World" cookbook, that I received from my in-laws (thanks!!!)
And above are some pics of my nicely shaved bald head (which is now a patchy mess) and a head wrap that my good friend made me that I really like.
PS. Don't mind my un-makeuped, post-chemo face. Just look at the wrap. ;)
Enjoy!

Tropical Drink

(1 serving)
1/3cup light coconut milk (shaken first)
1/4cup almond milk or I USED WATER.
2tbsp honey
1tsp vanilla
3/4 banana
4 ice cubes

Blend

Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
This is So SO SO! Yummy. Try it!


I love my home.






























I had a better day today. I took may daughter and dogs out for a beautiful sunny walk. It is February and pretty much spring already here. It's come early and that's fine by me.
We walked along the beach. The water is low now and because I had my rubber boots on we were able to slosh out thru the water to the sandbars in the middle of the lake. We soaked up the sun and pooped the dogs out. I love holding hand swith my daughter. We walk and pick up crystals on the beach. Chatting and laughing. Sometimes we play "What am I grateful for?" and we take turns saying what we appreciate in our life.
We walked for an hour and then put the dogs in the van and walked over to the playground. It was nice to just be able to watch her play. I have always struggled with this. I guess I have always had a sense of urgency to rush, or something stressful has been on my mind distracting me from the moment. But not lately. Not today. I was so happy just be breathe fresh air and soak up some vitamin D. I loved seeing her smile and have fun playing. I pushed her on the swings, we played on the teeter-totter. It was perfect. I am truly blessed to have such a sweet little girl and a beautiful home town. Just look at what I get to see and smell and hear everyday.
so serene.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"To stage the unstageable stage!"

When I went in for my chemo the other day, my oncologist came over for our mini appointment. Not sure how it works in a big city, but here he comes over during each treatment and has an appointment with you so you can ask any questions etc.
One of my questions was "What stage of cancer do I have?"
Can you believe all this time and I have never been told my "stage"?? I know some of you reading may be saying "You had no node involvement so you are stage one!" This is not true. It also depends on the size and type of tumor and spreading through tissue blah blah....
He couldn't answer my question. He said "It's more complicated than that." and showed me my formula for my type of cancer. It was jiberish to me. He said that because of the different types of cancers in my breast and the weird nesting pattern and being borderline HER2+ and Triple Negative he just can't really say.
From what I read, I'd say I'm in a stage 2 somewhere because from what I read you can't be a 3 unless there is node involvement, is this true? Anyone anyone???
Anyways he has been a well respected oncologist for 35 years and has never seen a case like mine he says. Luckily my Kelowna oncologist has seen it once before. I know that being Estrogen neg and Progesterone neg isn't great because there are no target treatments. Originally I thoug I may be Triple Negative Basal (if my HER2, tested neg then that's what I'd be) which I read is very unique and somewhat rare and a bit harder to treat (aggressive) but then when they re-tested my HER2, they said I am borderline. I am neither (or both) HER+, HER2-......crazy.
So I asked my doc, what is worse to be? And he said "HER2+" ...so if there is anyone else out there like me, maybe that will help. He is going to treat me as though I am HER2+ and give me Herceptin, because it shows that it only will benefit me or at least not hinder me. They just believe that I have to do whatever I can to treat what I have or had and prevent it from coming back. So I will. I will do it. I have come this far. What's another year of IV? Plus apparently it doesn't have and pain or nausea, so I hear.....good times!!!
Ciao for now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chemo likes milk.

Ok. I blog truth. But I do not want to scare people here. Please keep in mind, when I post my experiences they are only my experiences. Everyone goes through things differently. In fact there are few things I have read about in other blogs regarding chemo, that I have gone through. So if you have cancer, don't think, my experiences are going to necessarily will be yours.
I had chemo #2 yesterday.
My nurse knew that I was quite ill last time and told me over the phone to start taking my anti-nauseants a day before treatment. So I did. I found out when I got to the hospital I was taking the wrong ones. whoops. Not sure if that contribute to my illness this time or not, but I don't think it helped the way it was supposed to.
I was sick. Maybe even sicker than my first treatment. It's not like a nightmare kind of sick or anything, but it really sucks. Like a BAD hangover or a BAD flu. And it really lingered this time. I have barely left my bed in over 24 hrs.
My husband and I think they may have upped my dose of EPIRUBICIN (the Red chemo drug they manually inject). When I saw her put in 2 viles, I thought maybe it was more than last time, as I only remember one vile. Then last night my husband said the same thing. Not sure if this was protocal or we are wrong, or regardless if this has even contributed to me being so sick but I will bring it up next time.
(update: we were wrong, they broke the drug amount into two half viles...but I am glad we brought it up, better safe than sorry..)
I only have one more treatment of this concoction. Apparently most people don't feel pukey on the last regime. Though starting Monday I have to get my Filrastim shots. These puppies are EXPENSIVE!!! And I have to give them to myself in the belly for 5 days in a row each cycle of chemo. My mother in law is going to administer the first few at least, but them they go on holidays, so I will have to learn to do them myself in March. I hear they are a piece of cake, but just the thought of giving yourself a needle is so yuck!
I have been really nauseous. I find (like last time) food is a weird thing. Most food seems gross, but you have to have the right amount of food in your belly to keep from feeling sick. There is a fine, fine line. And finding what belongs in there is tricky too. Certain foods make me gag. But I did find my one comfort that makes me feel better all the time.
Milk.
My chemo likes milk. It is one of the few things that takes away the nausea. So I will sip it all day. I assume I will feel better tomorrow. Hopefully I can take a walk or something. Fresh air would be good. All I have done is sleep and watch Olympics, which is starting to bore the hell out of me, but it seems all I can do for now.
Tomorrow is a new day, and I am making progress,
light at the end of the tunnel!!
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_z4-74ev0oGM/SAhwvJ0NG2I/AAAAAAAAA2I/fV0DSDcSmmY/s400/seth_bald_milk.jpg
PS. this is a man, not a picture of me, though it kind of looks like me right now. ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

pooped.







You get it?
Blahhh, today was brutal.
I did get a lot of things accomplished, but it was hell out there.
First of all, why was town so busy today? I felt like I was living in a major city!!
My daughter is still sick with a stomach bug after 5 days....so I decided to take her to see the doctor. We had so many other things to do along the way...
Pick up the dog from the groomers.
Go to the hospital for pre-chemo blood work.
Walk the dogs.
Eat lunch.
Buy toques for my sore head, cause I can't wear my wig for longer than 1hr before it is hurting me (I think I need a wig cap)
Go to the post office.
Go to the toy store.
Go to Walmart.
Get a few groceries.
Take my daughter to the doctor.
All the while, I am on my Ondancatron. (sp?) because I have chemo tomorrow and my nurse wants me to start taking my anti-nauseants early. They make me really groggy and tired.
Also, my wig was hurting all morning and Lily was trying to put hats on me in front of everyone in the clothing store, almost ripping off my wig!
I did buy a few nice soft toques, and when we left the store I immediately ripped the wig off and put a toque on.
I kept running into people I know as well. It sucks!! Some of them I don't care, but some I don't want to see with no hair. Plus, a lot of them haven't seen me since my diagnosis and they have heard the news so I get the weird akward look and smile. BLAH!
Then, to top it all off, there is a major outbreak of whooping cough in my town. I have made the assumption that I have had the vaccine (as I assume it was standard in my childhood) but I know my daughter is behind on her vaccines. So of course while I am standing in line at the grocery store, the lady in front of me says aloud. "Make sure you wipe everything down after I leave because I have whooping cough and I am contagious."
Are you fricking kidding me?
I was so infuriated, I wanted to scream at her "I am a chemo patient and if you are carrying a contagious disease maybe you should stay at home you idiot, you could kill some people!!" I realized after, I probably couldn't catch it from her, but it is the principle, and what about my daughter? I am already worried about her being ill. Man, people suck.
Germs are harsh when you have cancer. You are constantly aware of them. Everything you touch you think of germs, everyone you see sneeze or cough, you think of germs. Watching your kids put things in their mouths, or rub their faces and hands on public benches or dirty windows, makes you crazy. It's brutal. I just don't want to get sick, cause I need to stay on schedule for my treatments. And I can't have my kids get sick because I can't take care of them (or I shouldn't at least) because I can't risk catching it. Plus, I am physically unable to take care of them for the week of my treatment, cause I'm so tired and nauseous.
When I finally got Lily to the doctor's office and they put us in a private room, I took my toque off and a shit pile (yes that's right, a shit-pile) of hair came off on it. It was like it was velcro or something! I could see it all on the inside of the hat and when I look in the mirror now I am so patchy.
All in all, I felt like a cancer victim today. I really felt like my disease affected my life today. Slowed me down, made me insecure, and created anxiety.
But tomorrow I make progress and get chemo #2.
I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

LOVE IT!

Have to share!!!
I stumbled upon this website last night.
I LOVE the head gear they offer. I am sure they are all handmade, but I was just excited to finally find some head cover fashion that isn't "cancer patient looking". I liked seeing stuff geared toward a younger style. I have found my wig isn't something I want to wear all the time. As well, I have found that for me, just tying a scarf on my head just doesn't look good. When you lose your hair, your head looks smaller, so when you wrap something on it, it accentuates the "smallness" of your head. And for me, I look like a peanut-headed pirate. Which sucks, cause I bought so many pretty scarves early on, thinking I'd wear them. Oh well.
So I have found I like sporting my bald head, more than I though I would, but because it is spring and chilly, I need a beanie or wrap of some sort. That's why I came across this site. Check it out! And pass it on to anyone you know who may need it.
I'll let you know how I like em' when I get them and try them on...I'll post pics too!
CIAO!
http://www.fashionscarvesandshawls.com/headscarves.html


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This on is "pre-tied" with an elastic, so it just slips on and looks the same every time. Notice the volume at the crown? That's necessary for me.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Good Weekend.

I had a really great weekend.
I have been trying to really get involved with the breast cancer world. To educate and support those who are affected. I find a major lack of resources in our town here. I especially see a lack of support for us young one's with breast cancer. So I have been in talks with some people at "RETHINK" to discuss ways we can create more support here in small town BC. I am eager and excited. As this journey has taken place, I feel one of my biggest motivations to stay positive and heal, is to help others. I am becoming obsessed with helping. It's kind of sappy even, but I like it. I feel good and I want to make a difference.
I joined the local Dragon Boat Team in town. I think I am the youngest by a good 15 years, but I don't care. I like it. I think it is going to be a blast! I am already looking froward to next year when I will be in shape to actually compete!! For now, I learn and take part in casual rowing on Saturdays. You never know, maybe a younger woman is wanting to join and just needs to see that there is another young member in order for her to join! Let's pave the way!
Last night we had friends over. It was fantastic. I used to be so social, but this cancer thing has really cramped my style. I have only a handful of days per month I can really socialize. So last night we invited a few of our closest friends over for drinks and food and games. I had too much to drink, not WAY too much, but just enough too much. I felt human again. I didn't wear my wig for more than 10 minutes. I rocked the bald all night and no one cared. They love me regardless. We laughed, drank, ate, sang karaoke, argued, laughed and it was awesome.
I have said so many times now... when you get cancer you get a set of "goggles" they are the goggles in which you see the beauty in little moments. When you wear the goggles you see things for how special they really are. The goggles are the best gift you could ever receive. I had the goggles on last night. I truly value my friends. This whole cancer thing has really shown me who my true friends are. The most interesting people have come forward with beautiful words, actions and even gifts for me. Some of the people I would have expected to be here for me, haven't... and then some people I haven't heard from in years have made themselves present.
All I know is I am truly blessed.
I love my friends, I love my goggles, and I am so grateful to be seeing the world with such a clear, positive outlook.
I am refreshed.

Happy Valentine's Day

Yes it is!
The day of "love"....
I never really understood it. I think it's probably just another day to make money. But I like it! I like treats and Valentine's cards, and I love a reason to go out for dinner!!
But I think you should show love everyday, not just on one day.
Everyday should be like it's your last day with your partner. That way, you don't sweat the small stuff and you always have passion. I am fortunate. I have a really, really great marriage. I married my bestest friend in the entire world. Don't get me wrong, we have had minor tribulations, but everyday we laugh and love together.
I remember when we got engaged, we got a card from my husband's grandmother. It had special words written in it, that we live by daily.
It read...
"If both parties always give 60% and expect only 40% back, you will have a happy marriage."
Isn't it so true!!? I love it.
Because if both people will be expecting only 40% and giving 60%, then both people will be over fulfilled!
I find, for us....giving to the other is a snowball effect. If you push to go that extra mile for the other person, then they tend to do the same thing back and so on and so forth.
I believe that generosity and love is contagious. I believe that when someone does something nice for you, you feel so great that you are driven to share that feeling with someone else. You usually want to "pay it forward".
It works the same in a relationship.
I know.
Try it out and see for yourselves!!
Happy Valentine's Day!!
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/valentine.jpg

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bye Bye Hair!!!


Well, I woke up this morning and laying in bed, I decided to check my armpit hair. I don't have much because I shaved it recently, but the little bit that was there, I pinched. It came out. So I tried my head and "yes indeedy" it came out as well. More on my sides than on the top of my head...the top seems more planted in, but the sides is like pulling a cats hair, it just all comes out! Funny too, because my scalp was feeling normal. Not sore or itchy like it was last week....so no real clue as to it happening. My leg hair is too bristly to tell, but it seems like it's staying a while.

I have had a bunch of headaches over the last few weeks, so I thought I'd call the chemo room at the hospital to see what they thought about that. I asked other questions too. Here's what I learned (did you know learnt isn't a real word? either is lyed, as in I lyed there thinking...) so anyway, here a couple cool things I learned.

Apparently, after chemo, I am not supposed to puke the first night, or feel nauseous the first week. When I told the nurse how it went, she gave me a new regime for taking my anti-nauseants. Basically I will take (the one type) the day before my chemo, once in the morning and once at dinner, and then once in the morning before my chemo. I tried telling her that it may have all been psychological and she laughed and said "It's always the chemo, it's never psychological." So hopefully this new regime will fix the barfing, it's worth a try!
The other thing I learned, is that I could have asked for a private chemo room. Normally, for me, (I live small town BC) I go to a room with one patient in each corner and in the middle is a desk where the doctor and 2 nurses sit and do work on the computer. But when I told the nurse today, that I had a lot of questions for Doc on my next appointment day, she said, I can always request a private room, if I want. This would have been handy on my first chemo day, as I think all of the bald heads is what freaked me out! But now, I like it. I had fun chatting with the other people, everyone was so pleasant. However, I thought I would let others know, you may be able to ask for this in your city or town.
So those little tidbits may help a bit. Basically mentioning any concern you may have seems to open a door for solution. It seems to me it is the chemo nurse's job to make you as comfortable as humanly possible during this.
Other things I can look forward to for this up coming appointment...because I puked so much the first night, the nurse told me that my Doctor is going to try and get me to stay the night on my first night. He likes to admit these patients so he can keep us hydrated and monitored. I'm not opposed to the idea necessarily but, it's pretty boring at the hospital. No T.V, no internet. POO. We'll see what he says when I talk to him on Wednesday. I guess at this next appointment, they are going to teach me (and my mother in law) how to give me a needle in my belly. Starting this next round of chemo, until the end of my chemo, they are prescribing me the $2000.00 a shot drug!! They call it Filgrastim. It has another name but I can't remember it...it is a shot that you give yourself (or your partner gives you) a few days after the chemo. It triggers the production of white blood cells, so that you don't get an infection and have to be hospitalized. I don't think it is necessarily standard but this is my oncologists way of doing things here. Oh, and thank god for coverage! Most people do not have to pay for this.....so don't worry!
So here I sit. Hair falling down like snowflakes, preparing myself for my next treatment. I am actually looking forward to it. One more down means, only 4 left!! That's OK by me. I should get up off the couch and walk my dogs soon, maybe have a shower...but for now I am content. I am going to write another blog today on some exciting stuff I am starting to become a part of.....til then!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CENSORED and RETHINK

This first half of my post is not for the faint of heart.
If you don't want to hear about my body parts, skip down the the second half of the post. :)


I was beginning to think that chemotherapy side effects only took place the first week after the treatment, because for the last 2 weeks (other than my cold) I felt completely normal.
I was wrong.
Yesterday I started losing hair, and it wasn't on my head or armpits or legs.
You hear what I am sayin'? If I even pinch it, it all comes out!!! Kinda weird! It doesn't hurt or anything, it's just falling out!! I knew this would eventually happen and I was all trimmed up, so I wouldn't have "curly's" all over the house!! LOL! Can you imagine!
I also have about 4 canker sores on my tongue and a new weird "owie" on my hand.
I'm a little concerned about the "owie" because they say things don't heal the same during chemo, and I need to be in tip top shape to continue with treatment next week.
I stopped rinsing with baking soda cause I felt so good and my gums seemed back to normal, but I guess I shouldn't have cause now I have all these annoying canker sores on my tongue....I feel it's important to blog about these things, because these are the things other women with cancer would want to know, so they can compare situations, or just get a glimpse of how it all goes down.



On a more EXCITING note: I received my FREE pink Blackberry Pearl yesterday from RETHINK Breast Cancer. "Rethink" (rethinkbreastcancer.com) is a National organization made for young women aged 25-40 who have been diagnosed with, or affected by breast cancer. It is a great database of info and has support for specific types of breast cancer. My good friend Shannon (who has had breast cancer) I like to call her my "mentor", is a volunteer for this organization and sells her cute little books that she wrote! She donates part of the proceeds to Rethink. Last year Rethink ran a program where Telus gave a free Blackberry Pearl (in pink of course) to anyone in the age group who had been diagnosed. Telus also paid for a year of free FULL service, pretty much unlimited everything! The goal was to help young women keep track of appointments, stay in touch with family and so on. They haven't decided to continue the program this year yet but, because I know Shannon, I lucked out and got a phone. Good thing too, because I am an ideal candidate. We only have one shitty cell phone with "pay as you go". My appointments are all over BC (Trail, Kelowna, Nelson) and my family all lives in Alberta. So I will really benefit from this phone. I am so grateful. The bottom line is that Rethink has great programs for us young and affected women. They help find answers, they help ease the worry and they are continuously evolving.....Everyone should check out the Rethink website, even if just to buy a book or make a donation. This is an organization I truly believe in. The British Columbia wing of Rethink is called Breast Cancer Now What? Here is their website also... www.breastcancernowwhat.ca

...and the link for the books!
http://www.thebreastbooksever.com/

http://www.thebreastbooksever.com/

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just another LAZY Monday...

Just another lazy Monday.
My husband is home today, though he is sick with my nasty cold (which I am almost over).
I have a "to-do" list today but most of it is booking appointments over the phone and stuff I can do in my pjamas on the couch.
I plan to spend the majority of my day on my ass, on the couch with my husband. Later we will go into town, with our kids and get some errands done and go for a walk, and have a nice dinner in town.
Sounds like a perfect day to me!
Toodles!
(i did just say toodles)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dreams Cancer Patients Have.

http://www.pdwhite.com/images/Midsummer_s_Night_Dream.jpg

This is a big topic for me.
I have always been the girl who has fabulous dreams and remembers them.
I have even been able to control my dreams at times, and create beautiful scenarios.
Dreams do change when you are diagnosed with cancer.
At least they have for me.
I have long dreams about me getting my treatments....so boring and tedious.
I have had dreams about me being in my house, living with my cancer, which I do everyday.
Basically most of my dreams are continuations of my normal life, so I never really feel I get an escape.
But it's better than the nightmares.
I have had a few.
I dreamed the other night, actually it was the day I found out my MRI results looked good, the first day I felt like I wasn't going to die from my disease. I dreamed that night that a good friend wrote me a note that said "Megan, I am sorry, but your cancer isn't gone...it has metastisized and spread to your liver, you are terminal, no one knew how to tell you. I will pick you up in an hour to start a new session of treatment." This dream was hard because I fell asleep feeling so positive, so I didn't sign up for a dream like that. When I woke, I wondered if it was a sign?
Early on in my diagnosis, I had nightmares all the time. Dreams of being told I was going to die. they felt so real, and painful. I would wake up crying.
Often I would just have dreams of me being told I had cancer...it felt so real and painful, I would wake up crying, and then realize it wasn't a dream. That was the worst.
I have dreamed of loved ones that have passed, and them talking to me, these dreams are special, I often think they are real. I have read that one of the only ways your dead loved ones can communicate to you is through dreams.
Either way, my dreams have changed. Instead of being a beautiful escape, they are usually quite exhausting.
I look forward to the days where I can be myself again...fully.
Dreamer.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here Wiggy Wiggy Wiggy!




Here's some pics of my sweet ass wig! It's not perfect, but mostly it looks real...the brand is Jon Renau and the style is Natalie. I also tried on the Posh style and it is nice too but not quite as real looking. I got my wig at the place where my Mom got hers. In Calgary, it's called Willow Park Salon and Lennie is the owner. She is an amazing woman who is compassionate and can pick out and tailor a wig for just about anyone!!! She does it all and I highly recommend her. If you are not close to Calgary, look online for the maker and the style, and order from there!!
Ciao!

Head Cold and Cancer

I have had a bad cold for the last 3 days and I'm gonna whine about it.
3 days ago, I woke up for the first time since my chemo, feeling like a normal human!!
I was so happy, but I knew I was going into my 7 day "incubation period" (the 7 days where my white blood cell count is lowest so I am more susceptible to illness and infection) so I thought I'd take it easy. I decided to only go out to walk the dogs and stop for a roast at the small little butcher shop in town.
I drove in and went straight to the butcher shop. No one else shopping, so a good way to avoid catching germs. I picked out my roast and went to find my wallet when I realized I had left it at home (5 miles away!!). I hopped back in the van and realized I was out of gas, well, really low, like it said I had 0km left. I thought, I could call my husband to meet me with money but then I realized, I left my cell phone at home also....MAN!!!!!
I then thought, I could walk into his work and get some money, but seriously, I hadn't planned on seeing anyone I knew that day, so I looked like ultimate S-H-I-T.
I drove to the gas station where I saw a payphone. I found 50 cents (yes, that is what it costs now to use a freaking payphone) and plugged it. Dialed hubby....VOICE MAIL.
Then I realized the germs I must have just exposed myself to on the payphone....YUCK! I ended up making it home and got my wallet, made it back to the butcher and payed for my roast. Along the way, I touched a dirty payphone, a gas pump, a debit machine pin pad and hugged 2 friends...and I got myself a sore throat by dinner time that night.
I decided to call my local oncologist to see what i should do about it. It was tricky knowing if going to the ER with a minor sore throat was the right thing to do or a waste of time. Doc told me to go in. He said "It's better to get swabbed and blood tests now in case it IS something, we will have results before it gets too serious."
Made sense, you see when you have cancer and are in chemo....they stress to you that ANYTHING out of the ordinary, even an ingrown toenail, should require immediate attention as it can quickly turn into infection.
So off I went to emergency. They took my blood to count the white blood cells....which were low, but not a problem. They swabbed my throat, and said I'd have results in a few days and I went home. By bedtime, my throat was SUPER SORE!!! But I kept checking my temp and it was fine, so I went to bed and waited til morning....Doc phoned about 11:00am and asked me how the ER visit went. I told him fine and he said "Did they tell you, your hemoglobin is low?"
I said "No."
He asked me a bunch of questions about my iron and so on and then told me he wanted me in to have a bit more blood work. So I had to go in again and get more blood and an at home stool sample kit. I didn't really understand what all these tests were for, I just trust he is being proactive, and hopefully it is nothing I need to be worried about.
Anyways, it's been 3 days and my sore throat is now a full blown sinus cold!! It sucks!! And my body is trying so hard to fight it but it is lacking in iron and immunity right now, so I just have to let it run it's course. I get to take normal cold meds for it, but nothing really seems to work.
I am blaming it on the payphone.
I thought i was being so safe by just going into town for 2 things, and look what happened.
I should of made it worth my while and gone to the hot springs (germland).
Well, hope this blog proved useful to anyone in chemo who may get a bit of a cold.....I was so worried if I did I would die. HAHA, but nope! Just sitting here like normal with a chapped nose and a roll of toliet paper.
BOOOO. :(

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Babysteps.


So I decided today that I was going to buzz my hair, as you can see....the decision came as a result of my scalp beginning to feel sore, which I have been told is a sign it is going to start falling out soon. Also my daughter Lily is really worried about me being bald. So I thought, if I could take baby steps and start with short hair, then buzzed nicely, then when it is totally skinned bald, it won't be so traumatic for her. When she came home from school she looked at me and got upset. "It looks bad Mom." she said.
I laughed "No, it's not too bad, it feels funny!" and she felt it and giggled.
"Does this mean you don't have to do anything else?" she asked, worried.
"What do you mean?" I asked
"Does this mean your cancer is over?" she asked
"No Lily, not quite yet, I have some more appointments still, but we're getting there!" I said.
She breaks my heart somedays.....I just don't want this to affect her you know?
But now she's downstairs playing Little Big Planet on PS3, so I guess she's happy.
Babysteps.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

GEOCACHING Baby YEAH!!!!!

http://www.webdesign.org/img_articles/11118/AustinPowers_original.jpg

Geocaching. My favorite little secret.
A healthy, active, inexpensive hobby for anyone!
I was going to explain what it is, but I saw on Wikpedia, it tells everything there is to know about it!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching
OR this site is good!!! http://www.soyouwannagogeocaching.com/
It just blows my mind to know how many little treasures are hidden all around us at anytime. And how many people will live their entire lives not knowing this!! I have always been a big fan of treasure hunts and hiking, so this was my dream come true. My friend Ashley first told me about it and I am forever grateful to her for that!! We have geocached in town here, on camping trips, and there are even geocaches IN Disneyland!! They're everywhere!! I know the geocaching community likes to keep it hush hush, but my readers are limited and good people. If you decide to take part and pick up the hobby, all anyone asks of you is to respect the caches. Don't take unless you give, pick up trash along the way, and don't do any damage to the natural surrounding while on a "hunt".
I love the creativity used in placing a cache. I have seen all sorts from your typical tupperware under a pile of rocks to "fake" screws on a post with a little tiny piece of paper in it, to underwater caches....the possibilities are endless! I find it just as much fun to plant them as it is to find them!
Once you've read the Wikpedia entry, and want more info. Go to www.geocaching.com for coordinates and to sign up. All you need is a hand held GPS for a TON of free, healthy entertainment for you and your kids and even your dogs!! Any season!
Have FUN!!!



Am I Pregnant?

I swear chemo feels a lot like being pregnant!!
I know, I know....pregnant is nice and healthy, and cancer is not but seriously! Look at the similarities!
1.morning sickness- I woke up the past 6 days with nausea, the same feeling as when I was pregnant.
2.heartburn- This is a doozy! I've been getting it quite bad the last few days!
3.cravings- What's up?? I have the weirdest and wildest cravings lately, and "most" things taste soooo good!
4.fragile gums- Gentle brushing always, to avoid bleeding gums.
5.fatigue- Just sleepy and lazy a lot of the time!!

If I just pretend I am pregnant, maybe chemo won't seem so gross and scary to me!
I am on day 6 after my first treatment. Today is the first day I felt good from wake up on....no morning sickness, no headache! I had 13 hours sleep last night (awesome!) which is great cause I am entering my "low immune" stage. Day 7-14 (post chemo) your white blood cell count goes down quite low and you are more prone to colds, flus and infection. You are generally recommended to stay home and rest. Too bad the last 7 days was the same because I wasn't feeling great! Yesterday though I had my bone scan (easy, peasy, even the needle didn't hurt). I had to have an injection and then kill 4 hours til they were able to take my pictures. We were in Trail, so we decided to drive to Rossland and go geo-caching. It was great! I hiked a bit and felt good doing it! I ran into a friend there and it was good to see a beautiful, familiar face. For those of you unfamiliar to geo-caching...I am going to do a post tonight on it. It is something everyone should know about. I just love it!!!
So today, I am going to leave the house just to walk the dogs and stop at the butcher and pick up an organic roast (maybe even elk) to make a splendid roast beef dinner!!
I am craving Yorkshire Puddings like nobody's business!
Cheers, to a good day!
http://www.essentially-england.com/images/roast_beef_and_yorkshire_pudding2.jpg