Hello again. The photo I have attached with this blog is myself and my friend Lindy. She has taken me to a few treatments. I am doing well. I am mostly bald now. Which isn't all that bad.....it is nice and cool for the summer. However I do have to watch so my head doesn't get sun burnt. I am over half way in my treatments. I just started the 3rd cycle last week. So I have a total of 4 individual doses left. I am getting there. The side effects of the chemo haven't been terrible. They are more annoying than anything. I get very frustrated because my body just doesn't want to cooperate with me sometimes. Mainly because it is tired. It is hard sometimes to just sit an watch everyone else. I am tired of being sick and tired. However I know that I have to let my body recover, and if I do not I am the only one that is going to suffer the consequences.
I am getting ready to do an Ovarian Cancer event at St. Francis University on July 14th. During the event I will speak about my journey and also sit on a discussion panel. I am really looking forward to this event.
I have been keeping myself busy. Doing a lot of reading. Both of my Aunt's from Arizona were here, well one is still here. Getting to spend time with them is always fun. We have had graduation parties as well. Congratualtions to the graduating classes of 2012. I am prepping for treatment this week, and then I have a week off! YAY!!!!! Thanks for reading!
Hello! I am way overdue for an update so here we go. Things are going well. The photo I posted is of myself and my friend Katy. She took me to my first dose of chemo. I have one cycle down and 3 more to go. My first double treatment was pretty brutal. It knocked me down for 2-3 days. I was super tired, and had nausea here and there. Mike and I tried to watch a movie that was supposed to be 2 hours, but it took 3 hours to watch because I had to keep pausing because I was nauseous. Then I just had a single treatment, and I didn't really have a "fallout" day from that. Which was nice. I also had to start Neulasta shots. For those of you that do not know what Neulasta is, it is an injection that goes into your bone marrow, and it helps stimulate your white blood cells. Unfortunately one of the side effects is deep bone pain. There were a few days that I was really sore. I could really feel it in my neck, shoulders, and back. I had one that that I stayed in my pj's and just laid in the heating pad. My week off was great. I felt good. Got some things done around the house. I was supposed to go to NYC, but it would have been way too much for me to handle. So instead Mike and I went to visit Ronell and Shawn in Cranberry. We took Josie to play with their dogs Bruno and Sampson. All 3 pups had a fun day, I think Josie is still tired. HAHA.
My hair started coming out this past week. It is so annoying. I actually dread taking a shower because I end up with handfuls of hair. I just hope it doesn't clog our drain....eep! It is definitely easier than the first time, but it still stinks. I am getting to the point that I have almost had enough of the hair getting everywhere. So I will probably be shaving my head pretty soon.
I am starting cycle 2 tommorrow. My friend Sara is taking me. I have chemo on Wednesday and Thursday. Not looking forward to the chemo part, but spending a night is Pittsburgh with a good friend will be fun. So this means that Friday and Saturday will be pretty crappy. However I will be 1/2 way done with cycle 2. That is promising.
Well that is about all that is going on here. I will write again soon! Have a great day, and thanks for reading.
Hello all. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. I know I did with my family. The photo I posted is from Briana Kenno, a local photographer. I am feeling great since surgery. My wound has completely closed, and where my colostomy was is almost closed. I still have trouble doing things that require use of my abdominal muscles. For example, getting out of bed. I have to roll on to my side and then push myself up.
Well I have an update. I went back to the doctor after my surgey to talk about the pathology results. My doctor explained that there are still some straggling cancer cells left. He said that they were not visible to the eye, but came up in the pathology. They are not active cancer cells, but they are still there. So we talked about some options. First, was we do nothing and it greatly increases my chances of it coming back. Second, we could do a hormonal therapy. Third, we do another round of chemo. After discussing the options with my doctor and getting his recommendation, Mike and I decided that our best option is to do another round of chemo. I would rather deal with it now, than to have it come back strong. So I am heading in for surgery on April 12th to have my IV port replaced, and an IP port back in my belly. I will then start chemo on April 25th. This regimne is different than the other one. It is 4 cycles, each cycle is 3 weeks long. I will have 3 treatments per cycle. So it will take me into July. Lets talk about my feelings with all this. I can honestly say that I was completely shocked. I guess it was kinda silly to think that after my reversal that I would be completely done with all this. It's a reality that ovarian cancer is going to be something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. I had a wide array of feelings.....I was terrified, angry, disappointed, everything. However, I am going to stay strong, and beat this. I won't let this beat me!
Mike and I just did a photo shoot with Briana Kenno. Briana contacted me to be a part of her ovarian cancer fundraiser. She has planned a photo event and basket party for June 2, go HERE to check out the event on Facebook. Since I am starting chemo again, I wanted to have a family photo taken before I lost my hair again. We did the shoot over the weekend. So we will see how they turn out. I also spoke with Briana about documenting my journey through chemo again. We discussed photographing my scars as well. Briana has a blog that she will post some of the photos, and I will link it when she posts them. She asked me to write a little blurb about why I wanted to document everything. So this is what I told her.....I want to let people see what I have gone through, and to help them understand that cancer is not always a "death sentence". It is what you make it. Yeah it is not a fun or beautiful thing, but it is real. Also scars can be scary, but there is a story behind everyone of them. So make sure you check back to see the photos.
That is pretty much it for right now. I will let everyone know how chemo is going.
I figured it was time to post another blog since surgery. I am feeling great, still a little sore. The photo is of me and my first solid meal, which was pancakes. Just an FYI.....hospital pancakes are awful. I was in the hospital for 9 days after surgery. I ended up with a fever of 101.5 and two different infections. The first one was a UTI, and then my incision got infected as well. So right above my belly button I have a wound that is 3.2 cm deep and about 2 cm long and maybe 2 cm wide that is not completely closed. This has to be packed everyday by a home health nurse. I was given some pretty potent antibiotics, and finally discharged. Also during. My stay at the hospital my IV port decided to stop working. So I will be getting that taken out sometime soon. They did not want to do it when I had the infections, so we will see when that comes out. It was a super long 9 days. My mom stayed with me the whole time. It was good having someone there to help me get up if I needed to use the bathroom or just move around. I think the hardest part of being there was not seeing Mike and Josie everyday. We did Skype though, so that helped but it isn't the same. I got a huge welcome from Josie when I got home. She was so excited to see me. The feelings were mutual.
Since I have been home things have been going well. I am able to do more things everyday. Going out to eat is still a little terrifying, but we just make sure food is the last stop, and head home right away. Being back in the land of having to use the toilet for that again is odd. I will say that a day or so after surgery I was questioning why I put myself through another surgery, but it was worth it. The doctor told me that I will have to make sure there is a toilet close by after eating because I do not have the bend in my colon to trigger the urgency, but this will reform itself after about 6 months. Sometimes I do still yell at Stanley. Haha. My doctor said that everything inside looks great, and we are waiting for the pathology reports to come back to see if there are any cells left. After my appointment on the 14th I will post again. Hope everyone has a great day!
Well hello everyone!
I just wanted to give you all an update. My last two tests went well, however one was horribly uncomfortable. But I guess it will give the doctors the best look as to what they can expect. For those of you that do not know, I am scheduled for my colostomy take down. So that means no more Stanley. He is down to a week left of his above ground existence. Surgery is scheduled for February 14th. What a way to spend a holiday. I told my hubby he needs to have a box of chocolates waiting for me when I get out of surgery. I have been looking forward to this day for almost 2 years. It was a long and hard journey but I wouldn't change it for the world. This has brought me to who I am now. Also I can't thank my family and friends enough for all of the love and support. You all played more of a role than you know. Next, my doggie Josie, no matter how crappy I feel, a kiss or look from her makes it go away. So we will try to keep everyone up to date after surgery. Check back.
Merry (few days late) Christmas to everyone who reads this blog. The photo is of Josie with Santa. The picture was done at the Galleria Mall by Burns Photography. I had an amazing Christmas with my family. I was so sad it had to end. It is always great to spend time with family, expecially those you do not get to see often. I hope Santa was good to everyone!
Well, here I am a year later. I am a lot stronger, and have a lot more hair. HAHA! My head doesn't get quite as cold this year. I have come a long way since last Christmas. I am doing very well. I have one more maintenence treatment left, and that is scheduled for January 11th, 2012. How awesome is that? There are some days I feel like I have been doing this forever. I am proud to say that I have completed the whole program. At this point we are figuring that I will be heading into surgery to get Stanley reversed in mid February. So it will not necessarily be a "Happy Valentine's Day," but that is fine. I will be happy to be done with this chapter. Over all I feel well. I was having some problems there for a little while controlling my moods. I felt like I could go from 0 to 1,000 in 2 seconds. The doctor gave me something to help level me out, and I feel a lot better. I think the people I work with and Mike are very thankful for that. Work is going well too. Like I said I have been having an easier time controlling my moods, so that is a huge help. The neuropathy seems to have leveled out. It doesn't feel like it is getting worse, but I wouldn't say it is better. I recently discovered that I have ingrown toenails....ugh. Super. I will eventually have to get them removed, but I might as well just wait until after I am done with meds and surgery. Then it will not be as much of a big deal.
I am waiting for my CA 125 for this month. It was holding pretty steady at 9, but we will see. I should have actually called today, but I completely forgot. I am curious to see if it will fluctuate more after I am not receiving meds every 3 weeks. I guess only time will tell. One step at a time.
I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year as well. I will let everyone know when I am scheduled for surgery.
Well hello there everyone! Long time no blogging.....my bad! I have been very busy with work, Zumba classes, and then going on vacation. Things have been going very well. Like I said I have been keeping busy. I started going to Zumba classes with some friends, and I really enjoy it. It is so much fun. Granted I have no rhythm, but I don't care. It helps me be active, so I am fine with that. I also organized an Ovarian Cancer Awareness Luncheon at work. It went pretty well, hopefully we get a little bigger of a turn out next year, but we did raise some money. Some is better than none at all, right?
Mike and I just went on vacation with some friends. We went to Duck, NC. This was my first trip to the Outer Banks, and our first trip with friends. We had an amazing time! It was rainy, but we were able to get out on the beach at least everyday. However, I must say that what they say about your skin being more sensitive after chemo is 100% true! Ugh! The first full day we were there my legs got TOASTED! I forgot to put sunscreen on them, and it was a little chilly, so I didn't notice that I was getting fried. Good thing I bought After Sun lotion before I left....I think between Mike and I we used almost a whole bottle. We also ended up buying 110 SPF while we were down there. We both came back with some color, I got a tan, and Mike got red. HAHA. I was actually pretty impressed with the colostomy at the ocean. The barriers stuck pretty well. They did get a little sandy around the edges, but I expected that. Josie loved it. She had fun playing with Bella and Spencer. She also loved running around on the beach, but I think her favorite part of all was digging in the sand for the crabs. She would see the bubbles after the waves would come in and would go to town. We had to keep filling in her holes. The Fahy family will definitly be returning to OBX. We also managed to bring home colds too....wonderful!
I had two doctor appointments since my last entry. Both of which went well. It seems that 7 is my lucky number, because that is where my CA 125 has been for at least the past 3 months. The latest doctor appointment was on 9/28. I talked with my doctor about my moods. I was feeling a little irratic lately. I felt like I could go from 0-100 in 2 seconds. I was told what was going on with my body that is causing that. Because my body isn't making the estrogen, my brain is not making the chemicals that stabalize my moods. So the doctor put me on something to help with that. We will see how it helps. They told me it would take about 2 weeks for me to feel a difference. I just finished cycle 17, so 4 more cycles to go! YAY! I am getting there, slowly, but surely.
I feel good. I have been a little tired lately though. I think it is a combination of work, vacation, having a cold, and getting a dose of meds. So I think Mike and I are just going to have a pretty low key weekend. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I will blog again soon!
Hello! The photo that I have included is of my old roomies. From left to right Tracy, Jen, Terri, Jess and Me. It has been over a month since my last entry, so I figured it was about time for a new one.
Things are going really well. I feel great most of the time. Like I said before, I get tired by the end of the week, but that is to be expected. My last CA-125 was 7 again, so that is wonderful. I am still having trouble with the neuropathy stuff. I went to see a podiatrist to have the caluses shaved off. Which seemed to help a little. I have been on my feet a lot lately so I'm sure that doesn't help. I really try to prop them up in the evening, and soak them. It is a temporary pain relief, but still better than nothing. I am still not sure how much the meds are helping, but I guess it is better to take them and have a little relief than to not take them and have no relief. I am ok with them propped up, but as soon as I go to walk again they get super sore. But, I just have to deal with it. I will not let it keep me from doing what I want. I just hope it doesn't stick around, it needs to eventually go away.
Mike and I have been pretty busy lately. Since last summer was pretty limited, we are doing as much as we can this sumer. We recently did the Laurel Auto Group Ovarian Cancer Golf Tournament. We had such a great time. This was the 11th golf tournament. They do such a great job with everything. It started out a little rainy, but did clear up. If anything, being diagnosed with OC has introduced me to a bunch of WONDERFUL people. I have met so many people that are just outstanding. I know that Mike and I have met some friends for life through out this whole ordeal, and I would not change that for anything. I am so lucky to have so many great people in my life. i was also able to go to Shippensburg and visit some of my college girls. It was great to see them all! We had such a great time!
We recently got a new car! YAY! So excited! I have never had a new car, so this is incredibly exciting for me. I got a 2011 Nissan Rogue. I highly recommend going to see the people of the Laurel Auto Group. They were polite and willing to work with you to make sure you found exactly what you wanted. So a big thank you to the people of Laurel Nissan for helping me (us) find a new car!
Work is going pretty well. I can't complain yet. I have been able to keep up with the work load. The true test comes when school starts, and the busy season begins. We will see how I can handle it then.
I am getting ready to go for another doctor appointment next week. So we will see what happens then.
Hello there! Well I am not sure if everyone realizes what today is.......well let me tell you. Today is the day that my life was flipped upside down. I woke up from surgery in ridiculous amount of pain, and had no idea what was going on. Later was told that I had cancer, had a hysterectomy, and would have to do chemo. WOW! What a load to throw on a person that is still under the influence of alot of different medications. However, I was still able to say one smart thing, "I won't let this beat me." This was the longest, hardest, most excruciating year of my life. But, I DID IT! Here I am a year later, cancer free, and back to work. I DID IT! I am so proud of myself, and I just want to scream it so loud that the entire world can hear me. I am a cancer survivor!
I just want to take a moment to thank everyone. I know I say it over and over again, but I truly appreciated all of the support. It doesn't matter if you sent a card, messaged me on Facebook, asked Mike or a close family member about me, stopped in to see me, or maybe had a quick daily thought/prayer for me. It means the world to me. Having so many people cheering me on was incredible, and made it alot easier for me to continue. I have a stack of card here that is approximately 1.5 feet high. It is incredible. And some days when I feel down, I will go read those cards to make me smile. So once again, Thank You!!!!
Next topic-"How am I feeling?"- I get this question alot. As opposed to last year, I feel wonderful. I could feel a difference immediately after surgery. But currently I do still feel good. I am starting to get back into a routine, I am back to work and doing my job, I can mow the yard (booo! Couldn't last summer it's way too bumpy), but my life is finally starting to change back to normal. Well, almost. I still do have to worry about blood tests, not as much, but I still have it tested every 3 weeks. I have to worry about this darm neuropathy. My feet are still killing me, and my hands feel worse. So my meds were increased. We will see how that works, and hopefully I will get some relief. I feel at times that I am starting to get my body back. I know most of the time how it is going to respond, and I know my limits. It doesn't get filled with drugs that come out in biohazard bags and the nurses have to put gloves on to handle it. I only get little doses now that don't require gloves. HAHA. I get tired by the end of the week, but I still feel like I will get used to it. To all the women whom have/had cancer of some sort, and continued to work while doing treatment. You women are tough as nails, and crazy as hell! I know how I felt, and I couldn't imagine feeling like that at work....YUCK!!!
To the staff member at Magee Womens' Hospital-you people are absolutely wonderful! To the cancer nurses-it takes a special person to work with cancer patients. You ladies are always there to answer our questions, and witness our meltdowns (right Lori?). Also give us the wonderfuls meds that make us not want to puke! To the Gynecologic Oncology staff-I owe you a special thanks. You guys saved my life. If it wasn't for you who is to say if I would even be here right now. Thank you for listening to my crazy concerns and I hope that I make you laugh a time or too. A laugh is the least I can do to pay you back for saving my life.
My last CA 125 was 7. So it went up one point, but it could fluctuate. No worries. As long as it doesn't double. I am confident in my treatment team's abilities and I know they will give me the best care possible.
But the main focus here is to keep going. With the support system I have around me, I can do anything! Have a great 4th or July Everyone!!
This picture is of my cubical at work. They had it all decorated with teal and had a cake. It was awesome! I am so lucky to have amazing co-workers!
First things first, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the Dad's out there. Especially mine! I can't even begin to thank my Dad enough for all of the support he has given me this year. From him stopping in, calling, and leaving me voicemails it is very much appreciated. Also my Father-in-Law, thank you so much for always being there if I needed someone to talk to or if I needed a piece of cake. To the Daddy of my fur babies-a very special Happy Father's Day to you too! You are absolutely incredible!
Well, the first week of work is under my belt. It went pretty well. I was pretty tired by the end of the week, and my feet have been bothering me. I need to make an appointment at the reflexologist. So one hurdle is done, I started, so we will see what happens. I will just continue to keep plugging on. So far so good. I'm sure it will be different when I have a full case load, but I just have to take things in stride. If I get too overwhelmed I will have to talk to my supervisors.
I have a doctor appointment this coming week, on Wednesday 6/22. I still feel pretty good. My feet are still bothering me alot, but I guess that won't go away for awhile. I just hope it does actually go away, but I guess time will tell. I just have to keep pushing, but I know my limits. Once again, I will let everyone knows what happens with the appointment.
Well, we have been pretty busy lately. Mike and I (well, mainly Mike) decided to take on a landscaping project in the backyard. Ugh! I don't think I have EVER done so much yard work. Mike had to dig down, level, put down gravel, then sand on top in order to get the pavers in. Then we put in 3 azaleas, 2 rhododendhrons, and 6 different perrenials! Not to mention we put a flower box around our mail box, and all of my "normal" flowers. It was alot of work, but I am VERY happy with the results.
Last doctor's appointment was on May 25th. I got my CA 125 back from that day, and it was 6 again! YAY! Maybe 6 will be my magic number. My doctors are very happy with my progress, and have released me to go back to work. Like I have stated before I have very mixed feelings about this. But I have to stay confident and just keep going. I will be fine. I think it will just be getting back into the swing of things. I have been trying to get up early this week so I am not so tired next week. Also I needed to figure out what time I need to take my meds in order to sleep well, but not wake up with a headache. The Ambien seems to be doing pretty well. Once I am alseep, I usually stay asleep unless I get hot or something. I am still having alot of problems with my feet, and more recently my hands are bothering me more. It just feels like I have arthritis in them. I was just put on Neurotin. I haven't been on it that long, so I can't really say if it is helping or not. I will just keep taking it and see what happens.
I just had another CT scan yesterday (6/6). I have good news! The scan was CLEAR!!!! No signs of cancer and the small blood clot I had in my belly is gone! YAY! It makes me feel good knowing that all of the pain and suffering wasn't for nothing. As long as my CA 125 stays down, and my scans keep coming back clean I will be a happy girl! So far my treatment is working! I am so thankful that I was able to participate in this study! I know I have said it a million times, but from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU to everyone that has stood by my side through this journey. I wouldn't have been able to do it without any of you. The cards, emails, posts on Facebook have been more that I have EVER dreamed! It is time to move on to the next stage of my life......being a cancer survivor! I am so proud to say I am a survivor! Going back to work on Monday, and next doctor appointment is on 6/22. So I will blog again after that! Thanks again everyone!
Hello. I have been pretty busy since my last entry. My Aunt Trish and Grandma came in for a visit from Arizona. We had such a great time. It was really nice to see them, and they got to see how much hair I have. HAHA. Aunt Trish did actually keep up with her quotes while she was here. There were a few times when I was with her and she found the quote for the day! I also got the COOLEST gift from Aunt Trish and Uncle Manny. Since Uncle Manny couldn't make it in this trip he did something very special. He sent me a "Won't Let This Beat Me" bicycle! It is a 1955 J.C. Higgins that they completley repainted. It is teal, black, and white. It also has hibiscus flowers on it too. The seat is embroidered with the teal ribbon from the shirts, and it has "Won't Let This Beat Me" on the chain guard. One photo is of my bike and Mike's. The second is of the seat. It is INCREDIBLE! However, I told Uncle Manny it didn't get him out of coming to visit me! So a HUGE thank you again to Aunt Trish and Uncle Manny for the AMAZING bike!
I am feeling pretty well. My main complaint is my feet, still. I was advised to take vitamin B. I also started going to see a reflexologist. That is actually pretty neat. She was rubbing one part on my foot and I told her it was pretty painful, she then asked if I knew where that part of my foot was connected to. I told her no, and she informed me that it was to where my ovaries are connected to. It was really neat. The reflexology seems to help alot for 3 days, and then starts wearing off. So me and my reflexologist decided I would go once a week until we get most of the pain worked out, and then maybe once every two weeks. So I will continue with it and see how it works out. If anyone in the Somerset area wants her number let me know, I would be more than happy to refer you! LeAnne you are WONDERFUL!
My CA-125 dropped again. It is now down to 6! YAY! I have another appointment next week so we will see if it dropped anymore. I will also be talking to my doctor about going back to work. I need to see if I will have any restrictions, if any. As of now I will be going back mid June. Like I said in my last blog, I'm pretty nervous, but I need to just suck it up and do it. After all I have been through I can do this.
Sleeping seems to be a little better. I have been trying to get up earlier in order to start prepping myself for going back to work. Usually once I fall asleep, around 11:30-12a, I stay asleep until about 5:30-6:00am. Which is better than before.
I will post again after my next doctor appointment. Thanks for reading everyone!
Hello everyone! It has been a few weeks since my last blog, so I figured it was about time. The photo I posted is of myself and Mike. We went to the first playoff game for the Penguins. It was SO much fun! Things have been going well. The weather is getting nicer, so that puts me in a better mood. I'm still not sleeping the greatest, and have been having alot of problems with my feet. When I get out of bed in the mornings I can barely walk, and by the end of the day my feet hurt so bad I could cry. Thankfully my husband is AWESOME and rubs them for me when they are extra painful. I recently scheduled myself with a foot reflexologist. I have heard good things, and hopefully it helps. I will try anything right now to get some relief. I thought a pedicure would help, but it did only for that day and the pain was back. It is pretty gross, but you can see on the bottom of my foot where they hurt the most, I have calluses. I tried tylenol, insoles in my shoes, and my next step is new shoes.
They put me on a new medicine to help me sleep. I seem to be sleeping better overall, but still not great. From about 12:00am-5:30are my best hours of sleep. Or from 7:00am-10:00am. Most of the time I just toss and turn. Hopefully I will be able to get out more now that the weather is better, and make myself more tired so that I sleep better. If this current sleeping pattern keeps up I am going to be miserable when I have to go back to work.
I am pretty nervous about going back. I am worried about the stress level, if I am going to be able to handle the "stuff" that comes with the job. Those of you that know where I work understand. I'm worried about my sleeping and how that will affect my performance. The pain in my feet, hands, and back have me concerned. I don't know if I will be able to handle being on my feet most of the day. I also can only be in the car for around 2 or 2.5 hours, and after that I am miserable. I know I just have to put my fears behind me and just do it. Afterall I did beat cancer, I shouldn't be worried about going back to work. Kind of silly if you think of it in that perspective. I know my boundaries and how far I will be able to push, but we will see what happens.
I also had some awesome news from the doctors......my latest CA-125 was 7! YAHOOOOOO!!! It went down another point! That has been very encouraging!
I am really looking forward to the month of May. I have family coming in to visit from Arizona! It will be nice to see them and spend some time together. We will see if Aunt Trish posts quotes when she comes to visit. ;)
Next doctor apointment is May 4th. So we will see what happens then. I am also speaking at ACM on 4/28. Really looking forward to that as well!
I am now Belly port FREE!!! YAY!! I had out-patient surgery on Tuesday 3/29. I was in and out of surgery in about 30 minutes. LOL So things went well and as planned. I have two incisions, however neither are new. One right over top of where the port was, and another about 3 inches below that. I don't have any stitches at all. They used "people glue." Haha! Overall, not horrible, but I was in some serious pain Tuesday night, well about 4:00am Wednesday. Boy, Wednesday was really rough! I slept most of the day, and was super nauseous. I ate two pieces of toast the whole day. For those of you that know me personally, you know I had to be sick! Thursday was interesting......I had my first colostomy leak. Good thing I wanted to shower anyway, but not exactly at 6:30am when the leak occurred. I ate much better Thursday too. Today I feel pretty good. A little bit of pain here and there, but nothing unbearable.
I have a busy week. I will be speaking again this week in Professor Tuning's class at Allegany College of MD. I really enjoy telling people about my experience, and raising awareness for Ovarian Cancer. I hope everyone did their homework for class and checked out my website! I actually was there last week too, which the class was great. They asked alot of questions, which made it a lot easier for me. I am pretty open when it comes to my experience. I will answer most questions. If it will help someone in the end I am totally ok with that.
Mike and I went to a Pens game on 3/27. We went with our friends Lindy and Jason. The photo is of Lindy and I before the game. We had such a great day. There was A LOT of eating involved! HAHA! I think we laughed and smiled all day! I think the photo I posted is one of my favorites from the day.
My next doctor appointment is on 4/13. I believe I will be getting a maintenance dose that day as well.
That is pretty much all that has been going on since my last entry. I will update again soon!
Hello there everyone!
Well since my last entry there has been a lot going on. We have been pretty busy. All of it has been good though. I had a doctor's appointment on 3/9. That appointment went really well. Doctor's say that I am moving along well. I am getting ready for out patient surgery to get my belly port out. Surgery is scheduled for 3/29. I never thought I would be excited for surgery, but I am. I am very ready to get this port out. It is incredibly uncomfortable. Apparently it was "tacked" in place, well, my tack came loose, so the port is actually sitting lower than it should be. No wonder it is driving me crazy! Doctor said that I won't have any new incisions, so that is good. My belly already looks like a road map. HAHA.
Over the weekend (3/11-13) Mike and I took a little vacation to Philadelphia. For those of you that know Mike and I personally, you know that we are huge sports fans. We were able to see our favorite NBA team, the Boston Celtics, play the Philadelphia 76ers. Friends of ours were able to get us tickets. The top photo that I posted is from the game. The Celtics lost by 3 but we had such an amazing time! We had AWESOME seats! It is really neat to see your favorite players in person. They are soooo much bigger in person than they look on TV. We also went to the Philadelphia Zoo. It was so much fun to see all of the neat animals. They were all very active because it wasn't too hot outside. So I recommend going to the zoo in the "off season." We were also able to catch an NHL game while we were there. The Philadelphia Flyers played the Atlanta Thrashers. The same friends were able to get us tickets to this event as well, and we had amazing seats. We got to see a hat trick (3 goals by one player), and overtime. However, the Flyers lost 4-5. The bottom photo is from the Flyers game. It was really neat to see the Wells Fargo Arena both nights. It was interesting to see it transform from a basketball court to an ice hockey rink.
We had such a great weekend away! It was nice to get out of here and spend some time together. A HUGE thank you goes out to Matt and Tori for everything they did to get the tickets for us. We appreciate it more than you guys can imagine. I got to be a "normal" person, and completely ignore the fact that I am battling ovarian cancer. Which I would say that I have done a good job. My last two CA-125's have been 8! YAY!!! The only crappy thing is that I ended up getting a cold before we left, but I did NOT let it bother me. We were still able to so everything we wanted.
I had another maintenance dose on 3/14. I also saw the doctor for what I thought was just a cold....boy I was wrong. I ended up with bronchitis and a sinus infection. UGH! They gave me some antibiotics so I hope to feel better in a few days. I will just rest to get my strength and energy back up. I told Mike that I appreciate the fact that he wants to share everything with me, but next time he needs to keep the sickness to himself. It is hard to not pass a cold to the person you live with.
I will let everyone know how I am doing after the port surgery! Thanks for reading!
Hello everyone. Things have been going well. I had a doctor appointment on Feb 16th. The only thing that stinks is that earlier in treatment when they said it would last for 21 cycles, I heard 21 weeks. Which was TOTALLY wrong. I have 21 cycles, and one cycle is 3 weeks. I believe I just finished my 8th cycle. So maintenance will take me into December of 2011. So a little longer than expected, but whatever. If it will prolong my life in the end, I will do whatever it takes. The only good thing about this means that I will be getting my IP port out on March 29th! WOO HOO! So happy about that, the stupid thing is so annoying.
I had another maintenance dose on 2/16. It went well. They only take about 30 minutes. I also don't feel as crappy as I did with the other stuff. I do still have some symptoms. My muscles are a little sore, and feel tired, but the hospital said it could be "left overs" from the other medications. I get a little nauseous the Sunday after my treatment, but nothing that the Compazine doesn't handle. Overall I'm doing well, can't complain.
I also have wonderful news. I had a CA 125, and it was down to 8. So that is absolutely amazing!! Also my hair is growing like crazy! It is weird to look in the mirror and see all the hair on my head! HAHA! People keep asking if I am going to keep it short. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet. We will see what happens as it grows. Thank you to everyone that has been reading my blog. I will update again soon!
The photo is of Me, Mike and our dog Josie. You can see how crazy my hair is. HAHA
Alright, well I have blogged in awhile, and I have been getting scolded for not doing it, so here we go. HAHA.
Not a whole lot has been going on. I am feeling pretty good. I am slowly getting more energy, but when I am busy I still get tired quickly. So there are lots of rests being taken.
I had my first maintenance treatment on 1/25. My mom actually took me. My blood count was up, and ready to go. So now I will go every 3 weeks. The great thing about getting just the Avastin, is that it doesn't make me feel like crap. I get a little tired, but nothing like I felt during Chemo. My next appointment is scheduled for 2/16, and I have a doctor apointment that day as well, so Mike will be going with me. I'm hoping that we can go to the Olive Garden afterwards for a belated Valentine's Day dinner. :0)
I was going to try to go back to work during this part of my treatment, but the way things work out it really isn't worth it for me to go back. I may lose my disability, and the way the hours would work out, it is easier for me to just stay home. Plus I am worried about going in and out of the schools and germs. I'm not really sure if I would or would not get my maintenance if I was sick, and I am not willing to take that risk. So, unfortunately, I will just stay home and keep recovering.
On a great note, my hair is growing like crazy! It is amazing how fast it has been growing. I actually have to go get it trimmed around my ears. I wake up in the mornings with the CRAZIEST bed head! It is hilarious. I feel like Medusa. HAHA. However, I am very thankful it is growing, and not curly!
Oh, I forgot, my last CA 125 was 12 (I think, or maybe 11, I don't remember exactly, but it's low)! WOOO HOOO!!! I will be getting another one next week.
That is all for now. I am going to keep plugging along. I will blog again soon, I promise.
Here is the picture from last week, 1/12/11. This is Mike and I on our way home from Pittsburgh after we got the good news!
I had a doctor's appointment, and was given the results to my CT scan. There is no cancer showing on the scan, so YAY! My body finally did something right! They said that they did find a small blood clot in one of the veins in my belly. They said that it isn't big, it is more like a small obstruction. They said it wouldn't move, and as long as I am not having any pain there is nothing to worry about. So if the doctors are not worried.....I won't worry either.
We also talked about surgery. My doctor wants me to do my maintenance medications first. Then that way it won't interrupt anything in there, and if something goes wrong with surgery I won't have to worry about doing the medication later. Which makes sense. However I must say that I was crushed that I wouldn't be getting rid of the port and Stanley. More so the port than anything. It is just annoying. I can feel it. It doesn't necessarily hurt, but it isn't anywhere near comfortable either.
I was supposed to start my maintenance last week, but my blood count was way too low. This week I had blood work done on Monday, and my blood count was too low again. It was 912, and it needs to be 1,000. So one more week off, and hopefully next week we will be good to start. So 21 weeks of drugs, but every 3 weeks. So I will have to go to Pittsburgh 7 more times. Then I take a month off to get my blood counts up before surgery. So things are looking great. I feel pretty good, still getting a little tired, but for the most part great. So we will keep plugging along. I will let everyone know what happens next week.
Last treatment DONE!!!!!
My friend Sara took me on 1/5/11 for my final chemo treatment! YAY! Soooooo incredibly happy to be done with that! What a huge relief. I never thought the last treatment would get here. I had 18 total treatments, and it took me 22 weeks to complete. Not too shabby. LOL. I only ended up missing 4 total treatments. With me being the goofy person I am, I took sprakling white grape juice with me to celebrate. I had a couple other patients have a "drink" with me, and also the staff. It was fun, it made everybody laugh, which was my goal! It's not like I won't see them again, I will during my 21 weeks of maintanence, but still. I had a CA 125 too, but I didn't get the results yet. I had a fun surprise when I got home. My Aunt Maxine put signs up on the trees in front of my house and on my doors. They said things like "She Conquered Chemo", "Good-bye Chemo, Hello Hair", "I'm a Chemo Survivor". It was really neat, and made me cry. I am very proud of myself. It was a long and hard road, but I DID IT!
So now I have a CT Scan on 1/10/11, and my friend Jessica is taking me to that. I then have a doctor's appointment on 1/12/11, we will get the results from the CT scan and hopefully see when surgery will be. I will keep everyone updated.
This photo is of my friend Jenny and I. She took me this week.
Treatment number 17 is in the books! Hooray! That means I have one left! I never thought I would get here when everything started. It has been a long and hard journey, but with all of the love and support it has been tollerable. I am feeling good. I will probably get a little sore tonight into tomorrow, but once again it is nothing I can't handle.
I can't tell you guys how many times I have had people say that they wish they could take this all away from me. You know what, if I had the choice to give it away, I wouldn't. Yeah it hasn't been a fun journey by any means, but it has made me a stronger and more laid back person. I just tell them, "No thanks, I can handle this." A life changing event is really what they say it is......life changing. I have learned so many things about myself, mostly good, but some not so good. The cancer has really helped me figure out who I am. I am a stong woman that can handle anything that is thrown my way, with the support of my family and friends. So once again thank you EVERYONE for all of the encouragement. You truely have no idea how much it helps!
I am very ready for 2010 to be over. Things can only get better from here. I am bound to have a better 2011. I think I deserve it. So HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
The photo is of my Mom and I, on 12/22/10. We took the picture after we got home because we forgot at the hospital.
I was so busy last week getting ready for Christmas so I didnt get the chance to blog. Treatment #15 was on 12/15/10. My Dad took me that week because the weather was crappy. We forgot to take a picture. But I will try to get one over Christmas and post it. We had a good time and went to lunch on the way home.
I had a doctors appointment this week, and everything went well. Doctors said that in 3 weeks I will see the doctor that did my surgeries, and we will plan out what is going to go on after chemo is done. They said I have to wait 1 month after to chemo to give my body some time to recooperate before surgery. Then they will take out the IP port and do the colostomy reversal. They said that they may take the IP port out before the reversal, and that is an out patient procedure. So I am looking forward to getting this stuff done, but nervous at the same time.
Treatment number 16, my last BIG treatment, is on the books! YAY!!!!! So I am officially in my LAST cycle of chemo. What an awesome Christmas present. Even though I will probably feel crappy on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I will take it. I can handle feeling yucky for one Christmas if that means that I will be here for many more. I love Christmas, and this year it has a lot more meaning to me. I am so happy to be here and that I can spend Christmas with my wonderful husband and family. You take alot of things for granted before you have a life changing illness. Although mine was caught early, there are many people out there that theirs is not. Because my doctors are amazing I am able to spend this year and many more on this earth. So I guess the best thing I can say is to treasure every moment you have with your loved ones, because you never know what will happen. So with that though I wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas!
My Aunt Maxine took me to treatment this week. The photo is of her and I.
I did get treatment this week. So 14 down, and 4 more to go! YAY! It is so weird how you get so excited to get treatment, and then feel like crap for the next 3 days. But, I guess it is part of the deal. Overall, I am feeling pretty good. The smaller treatments do not make me as tired or anything. My eyelashes have almost all fallen out. Which is kinda weird. The bottom lashes are almost completely gone, but the top ones are still there and are getting thin. So I guess I will actually have to start wearing eyeliner. I just hope my eyebrows don't start coming out. I'm not exactly an artist or good with make up so that could be pretty challenging. Haha. There really isn't much else going on. I thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers. I will let everyone know how things are going after my next treatment.
The photo is of myself and Amanda.
Treatment number 13 is done! YAY!!! I really wasn't expecting to get treatment on 12/1, but I did. I am still stuffy from this stupid cold. I guess turkey and hamburgers really do the trick to raise the white blood cells count. Haha! Things are going well here. Mike and I are all decorated for Christmas. It took a few extra days for me to get everything up, but it is done. It looks beautiful. I love this time of year. So I am now down to 5 treatments. I can count them on one hand! So exciting! The only thing that stinks is that my next "big" treatment is the Wednesday before Christmas. I guess feeling like crap on Christmas is better than not being here for Christmas. So I will take it. Next treatment is Wednesday, so I will let everyone know what happens!
I hope everyone had a Wonderful Thanksgiving! I usually have Thanksgiving at my house, but this year I knew I wouldn't have the energy. So my wonderful Mom said she would do it, but that I will get it back next year. Which is fine with me. We had dinner at my parents house with the rest of the family. I was in charge of pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake. Both of which came out delicious! The whole meal was fantastic. It was a great time for me to let my family know how much I really appreciate them, and everything they have done for me. I think I made everyone cry, but I couldn't do this without their support. I have a lot to be thankful for this year. First of all, I am here and alive. That would not be possible without my amazing doctors and the staff at Magee Women's Hospital. Second, I have the most supportive and loving husband in the whole world. Third, my family is irreplaceable. From people calling, sending cards, and stopping in, their support is appreciated. Finally, I have the best friends EVER! They have become an extension to my family. They take me to treatments, keep me laughing, and enjoying every minute of my life. I have an incredible support system, and wouldn't trade them for the world! I have also had many strangers sending me well wishes. You really find out who your true friends are when something horrible happens.
Mike took to me treatment on Wednesday (11/24). I ended up not getting treatment. My blood count was way too low. I actually ended up coming down with a cold last weekend. So as I suspected, no treatment. It was a very bittersweet thing. It stunk because missing with push me back another week, but it was fabulous because I knew I would be able to eat a lot and enjoy the holiday more. Let me tell you.....I ate enough to be considered a stuffed turkey! Geesh! Mike and I had a nice day though, we ended up going to the Olive Garden for lunch/dinner. We were also able to do a little Christmas shopping at Burlington Coat Factory. So all in all, not a bad day.
I still have a horrible cold. I just can't kick it. My head feels like it is going to explode. There is so much sinus pressure behind my eyes. Ugh! I have tried Mucinex-D, and Tylenol Severe Cold. I don't really think either is helping that much. So I guess I will have to call the doctor again on Monday. I just don't feel like I am getting any better, but I don't necessarily think it is getting worse. The only good thing that has come out of having this cold, is that my mom made me homemade chicken noodle soup! It is so yummy! It is amazing how it does actually help open up your head! So, I am not too optimistic that I will be getting treatment again this week. So frustrating. The only thing I can do until then is rest and eat my soup. So that is the plan. I will let everyone know what happens this week!
The photo is of Cori and I, we are in my driveway because I forgot to take one at the hospital! Oops!
Well I have two things to write about today. First of all speaking at Allegany College of Maryland. I did that on Monday, 11/15, and drug Maxine with me. This went really well. I spoke in front of Professor Tuning's, Death and Dying class. He wanted me to tell my story and talk about how my family and friends have supported me throughout my journey. The class was very nice and polite. They seemed to be interested. I took some merchandise with me and the class bought $110 worth of shirts. So thank you guys very much! I may even be going back next semester. I was so worried about sounding like a bumbling idiot. But, I guess I did alright.
Treatment number 12 is under my belt! YAY! My counts were ok this week, and I was able to get treatment. This week my friend Cori took me. We had a good day, I got treatment, and we had a yummy lunch. I was really tired when I got home though. I took and nap, went to be early, and slept in today. Next week is a big treatment, so the goal this week is to rest up and do everything I can to get my blood counts up. It kind of stinks that I will have a big treatment they day before Thanksgiving, but oh well. I will probably be ok on Thursday, the full effects usually don't hit until Friday or Saturday. I just hope that I will be able to put up all of my Christmas decorations on Friday!
Good news! Another treatment down! YAHOO!!!! That means I only have 7 more to go. I will be really excited when I can count on one hand the amount of treatments I have left. This week was a small treatment, and my friend Jen (from work) took me. I don't have a picture because I am a total slacker and forgot to take one. Treatment went well, and my counts were good. I don't know why but this treatment made me so sleepy for the rest of the evening. I was exhausted. I just couldn't keep my eyes open, I took a nap when I got home, and even went to bed early. I am feeling much better yesterday and today though. Mike had yesterday off for Veteran's Day, so we did some shopping. It was a GORGEOUS day here, sunny, upper 50's. It was perfect. We walked all over the mall and a few other stores. Boy were my feet killing me by the time we got home. So the rest of the evening was spent on the couch with my feet up. I am feeling great today too. Just trying to stay rested up and not push myself too much. I think a day of laundry and sitting on the couch isn't too strenuous. HAHA!
I will be speaking at Allegany College of Maryland on Monday. I was invited to Professor Tuning's, Thanatos Death and Dying class. In the class I will be discussing my story, and how grief has affected me. I guess I will actually have to sit down and maybe plan a little. I have 50 minutes to use, so Yikes! I just hope I'm not too boring. So to all of the students in Professor Tuning's class: I will try not to be boring, and bring lots of questions. I will do my best to answer them.
Well I actually have alot to write about this week. Here is Dad and I at treatment this week. I look a little tired, but that is because of all the meds they give me.
On Saturday October 30, Mike and I attended the "Linked in Pink" event. This event was sponsored by the Laurel Auto Group and Conemaugh Hospital. This was the second annual luncheon. There is a link between ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Women that have either cancer are more suseptable to get the other cancer. We were invited to this event by Matt and Tori Smith. Matt asked me to speak at the event and tell my story. There were about 250 people in attendance at the event. So I was a little nervous at first about speaking, but then I said to myself "You have cancer, which is the most scary thing in the world, public speaking is nothing." So I got up there and told my story, it was alot easier than I thought. I think it was easy because it was MY story, I didn't have to study something or make sure I remembered something. When I came off the stage I received a standing ovation. It was awesome. I didn't really get emotional until then. Matt also asked me to bring my t-shirts and stuff along. Matt and the Laurel Auto Group said that whatever amount we made from selling shirts they would match as a donation. Well we sold $309 worth of merchandise! YAY! So a huge thank you goes out to everyone that attended the event and helped support my cause, also to Matt and Tori Smith and the Laurel Auto Group. We had a great time!
I finally got treatment yesterday, 11/3. YAY! My counts were high and looked great. I guess I needed a little time to recooperate. Which stinks, but did help. My Dad took me for treatment. It was nice we got to spend some time together and chit chat. Feeling alright today. A little tired, and still pretty full but overall good. I can't complain I guess. Only 8 more to go, and only 2 more "big" treatments! YAY!
Just so everyone knows we have had over 7,000 hits on the website! AMAZING!
Here I am another week later, and I missed treatment again. SOOOO Frustrating! I was crushed when the nurse said that my counts were too low again. Sometimes it feels like this whole nightmare will never be over, and missing treatments just makes it go on longer. I always knew this, but cancer just makes it more obvious.....nothing is ever easy. However, the harder and more difficult things get, the harder we have to work. Low blood counts are just another stepping stone in my journey. The thing that is the hardest with all of this, is that there is nothing I can do to get the levels up. I just have to let my body do it's own thing. I wish there was something I could eat or do to guarantee that my counts were ok for next week. They say that just resting and staying away from people that are sick are the best things I can do. Although I am disappointed, I will not let this get me down. I am going to keep my head up and keep my positive attitude. I think my attitude is one of the things that has been helping me through all of this. I am going to keep going and battle this disease. It will not get the best of me. I will be honest there are days that it is tough to keep a smile on my face, but I just look at how far I have come already. I have the upper hand on this disease, and I will not let it slip through my fingers.
I just want to thank everyone that has been there for me. My husband, my family, old friends and new friends you have all been amazing. The positive words and encouragement helps me keep going.
Well I said that I was going to Blog during treatment......there will be no treatment today. My blood counts were too low. So I am getting some fluids and magnesium, and will get the big treatment next week. I knew this was bound to happen, but I was hoping that it didn't. I think I did pretty well going 9 weeks without missing one. I was a little more sluggish this week than usual. Oh well. I will feel better next week and come in and kick some butt.
So.....My sidekick and I are going to go to the mall, Olive Garden, and the Pie Shoppe. I can't say enough good things about this side kick. She has been amazing throughout this process, even took time off work for me. Can you guess who it is....? It's my Momma! Mom has been a huge strength and support for me. Doesn't matter what time I call her she is more than willing to do anything to help me. That even includes changing Stanley (my colostomy) at 11pm. So Mom this blog is for you, thank you for everything you have done for me. I couldn't ask for a better Mom/friend. I love you with all my heart. <3
9 treatments down! WAHOO!!! This means I am half way! It doesn't seem like I have been doing this for 9 weeks. My friend Lindy took me to treatment this time. Lindy and I went shopping after treatment. We had a great time. Thanks Lindy!
Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. I know that people like to read these, so I appologize. I have been feeling pretty well. The things that are bothering me the most are my nose runs/bleeds constantly. My feet hurt all the time, thinking about buying a new pair of sneekers to see if that will help. My back is sore most of the time, especially in the evenings. I usually end up falling asleep on a heating pad. I am still doing well with the nausea aspect, so I am VERY thankful for that. I had another CA 125, and it was at 15! So YAY!!!!
This week is a "big" treatment week. Ugh. Not looking forward to it. These treatments make me feel yuckier (if that is even a word). The fatigue is worse, and I just don't feel like doing anything until all of the stuff is absorbed into my body. I won't eat a whole lot either, just because it makes me feel so full. My Mom is taking me this week. I am going to try and blog while I am getting treatment. Just so everyone can see how long treatments take and what not.
Well it has been a busy few days. Wednesday was treatment day, and my buddy Sara took me. She is the one in the photo with me. Treatment went well. My blood counts were good. It was a short treatment too, so we were only there for a couple hours. So far feeling pretty good from the treatment. Having a little bit of soreness in my neck, shoulders, back, and feet. But that is nothing new. I haven't been overly tired either. When I get sleepy, I sit and rest. I am down to 10 treatments! YAY!
On Thursday I did an online radio broadcast, on TruVue Radio with Roland Hinds. I was able to tell a little bit about my story, talk about my support system, and many other things. It was alot of fun, and very informational. I talked about the website and hopefully will be able to raise more money. Roland was a great host, very easy to talk to. There were also other women on there sharing their stories. Here is the broadcast, please check it out.
I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be doing a Radio Broadcast with TruVue Radio on October 7th, which is this Thursday. My segment will be at 8:00p. It is titled "Does Ovarian Cancer Have A Face?" Please follow this link to listen.
Chemo tomorrow. This will be treatment number 8! YAY!!!
Hello everyone. Treatment number 7 is in the books! YAY. Almost half way! I had a doctor appointment and then chemo following. Doctor said that everything looks good, and to keep going. I need to get a flu shot though, but with me having chemo every week, my team of doctors has to figure out when the best time for me to get that will be. Treatment number 7 was a long one. I had both IV and IP treatment. Holy crap did it take FOREVER! I think Mike and I put in a shift at the hospital, I think we were there for 7 hours or something crazy like that. I started out reading, and then from the medication I got really tired. So for most of the treatment I slept, which is why there is no picture from this week. It was nice because I do not sleep that well anymore. When we finally got home I crashed on the couch again. Then the real shocker was that I slept the whole night without waking up once. It was WONDERFUL! I don't even remember the last time I slept the whole way through the night. Mike came in on Thursday morning to check on me and I was like, "is it really 7:00am?" Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. Ha Ha.
Thursday wasn't too terrible. I was a little sluggish, but didn't feel bad. Shade's homecoming bonfire was Thursday, and they started something new with setting up booths. We said that we would set something up. It rained all day, and was just gloomy/chilly, but we decided to go anyway. So I put on a bunch of layers and we went over. Sold a couple things, but the weather got the best of me and we packed up and left. I didn't want to sit outside too long and chance getting sick. By the time we got home I started getting a little sore and just generally uncomfortable.
Today, Friday, has been ok. Feeling sort of bloated from the IP treatment, and a little crampy. I thought I was done with all this cramps business.....ugh! My back is kind of sore today too. Feeling irritated and uncomfortable. I think sometimes chemo makes me grouchy too.....I feel bad for Mike because he is the one that gets most of that. But I am so thankful that he is standing by my side. Sometimes it is hard to put into words what I feel like. It does kind of resemble the flu though. I get really achy, lethargic, and just don't want to do anything. My hair is still getting thin. I think it needs trimmed because it is growing in all these crazy directions, and sticks up sometimes. It's kind of funny. There isn't too much there to trim though.
We have almost 6,000 hits on the website! That is absolutely AMAZING! I can't believe it. Keep passing the word along everyone. Thank you!
Here is a photo from treatment. I was sitting there eating a turkey and cheese sandwhich when Aunt Maxine took the picture. Treatment number 6 done! Woo hoo! My Aunt Maxine took me to treatment yesterday. When we got there they said that my counts were low, so more blood was pulled. After a very long wait we were told that I was able to get my treatment. So that was good. Things are going pretty well. Last week I didn't get the skin pain so that was a good change. My current symptoms are: My nose runs constantly, I began having some pain in my feet, my back gets sore quickly (like if I am standing in the kitchen cooking or something), and I don't sleep very much (maybe 4-5 good hours a night, the rest of the time I toss and turn). So I was given some meds to help me sleep and we will see how that goes. Hopefully something works, I can't stand only sleeping for a few hours. But I won't let this get me down, it is another speed bump that I can get over. I just had another CA 125 done, so I am waiting for the official results from my doctor's office. So as soon as I get those I will post them.
Another treatment down, YAY!!! Went for my 5th treatment yesterday. My college roommate Jen came up from Reading and went to treatment with Mom and I. It was nice having her there. Gave us a little bit of time to catch up on how things were going for both of us. The second photo is Myself and Jen!
I have been feeling a little more nausea lately. It started late Sunday night, and hasn't let up a whole lot since then. It comes in waves though. The meds they gave me seem to be working for now, but if if gets worse I will let them know. The skin pain will start later on tonight an probably stick around until Sunday. That I can handle, this nausea stuff stinks. Other than that stuff I am still doing well. Still kicking.
Also, Clara Hinton, a close friend and inspirational writer in our area picked Mike and I as her inspiration. So a huge shout out to her for the wonderful words and support. Thank you very much Clara. Your article was amazing. Here is a link to her article.
On a good note we are almost up to 5,000 hits on the website! That is Amazing! Keep passing it on to everyone you know. Thanks to everyone that has visited the site already, and to those of you that have placed orders!
Alright everyone here is the photo you have been waiting for.....HAHA. I had such a blast with this yesterday. It was so much fun. My mom ended up cutting her hair too. She was able to donate her hair to "Locks of Love." Mike cut his hair as well. We did some silly things with the hair before we shaved it all off. Mike's was cut like a horseshoe on the top, and left some hair on the sides. I ended up with a mohawk, that we spiked up. Took some funny pictures. Once again Jessica, from Shear Innocence cut our hair. Thank you to everyone that was here. It made cutting my hair so much fun. I hope we made your laugh a little. I know I did!
Hello there again. Sorry I have been such a slacker when it comes to writing these blogs. I have been doing pretty well. I had chemo & doctor appointment on my birthday (9/8), it wasn't too terrible. I made cupcakes and took them in with me. Of course they had teal icing! It was fun, I walked around the chemo place with cupcakes in hand and my "Birthday Girl" crown on. I actually met another lady that had the same birthday. I also got to spend some time with my awesome family. They came up that evening for some cake. My mom made me chocolate cake with peanut butter icing! YUMMO!
Well my hair did start falling out on Sunday (9/5). At least I still had it for my birthday! It is now coming out in clumps. It is actually kind of annoying. I have to be careful when I cook anything. I have to put on a bandanna, and use the lint roller on my back before I cook. My pillows are covered in hair. My shirt always has hair on it. It is such a pain! Mike and I have gone through so much Draino it is ridiculous. So I have decided that I am going to shave my head. I am actually looking forward to being bald. It will be alot less hassle. Not to mention I will save money on shampoo and hair products! HAHA. Mom and I went yesterday and I bought a bunch of different fabrics and sent them to my Aunts in AZ to make me some festive bandannas. I am not going to cry over this. It will come back eventually. It is just hair!
I promise to post some photos of me and my bald head within the next couple days. So keep checking back! Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Another treatment down. YAY!!!! I have officially completed one whole cycle. 5 more to go. I also got some great news this week. I was told that my CA-125 before starting chemo was 92, I had another one this week and it was down to 20!!!! How amazing is that?! Looks like something is working! When I got to the hospital they weren't sure if I was going to be able to have my treatment this week. My ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) was low. Mine was 232 and in order to receive treatment it needs to be 500. So they re-drew my blood to see what it was. Thankfully the level was up over 1600 so I was able to get my treatment. YAY! I really didn't want to push it back until next week. I am feeling pretty good today. Now that it is evening I am starting to get sore. The skin pain starts at the base of my neck and works it's way down my back and arms. It isn't terrible, more annoying than anything. But that is what they give me medication for. As you can see from the picture I still have my hair. I expected it to be gone by now! HAHA. Who knows? We will see what happens I guess.
This may be a weird statement, but eventhough all this crappy stuff is going on in my life, I am very happy with where I am. I think that the cancer has helped me find who I am, and it by no means does it define me. I have an amazing support system (husband, family, and friends) and I couldn't ask for anything more. So thank you to everyone that has been there for me, and I promise to keep fighting.
Hello world wide web! Just wanted to give a quick update. Had my second chemo treatment yesterday 8/25. Doing pretty well today. Not nauseous, just beginning to get a little sore. The main problem I had last time was that my skin hurt. I just felt like it was bruised from my neck down to my hips. It would hurt when someone would touch me, and my back but that is nothing new. I didn't really have a "bad" day until that Saturday when I just wanted to sleep most of the day. But so far so good. Here is a picture of me at my treatment yesterday. My Mom and I were playing a new game, Scrabble Slam. Which was courtesy of Jenny Damin. You can really get a good view of the IV port on my collar bone in this photo. So once again thanks everyone for wanting to read what is going on, and please pass the website on to all of the women you know and love. Awareness is the only defense we have against Ovarian Cancer. Will blog again soon!
Well alot has gone on since my last blog. My first treatment went well. I haven't been too nauseous. So that is a plus. My awesome intake co-workers threw a big picnic for me at work. It was AWESOME! I had so much fun. I got to see alot of people that I haven't since surgery, and even sold some t-shirts and bands. We actually had to order more of both. The picnic was a huge success, and I didn't feel crappy. I didn't feel yucky until Saturday. Which was the 3rd day after treatment. I was mainly tired, and my stomach was a little upset. But it wasn't anything that I couldn't handle. I just slept most of the day.
I was also in the Daily American. There was a very nice article about me and the website. Click Here to read it. We have also added a new section to the website. It is the "Our Friends" tab. This section will be for photos of people in their t-shirts. Some of the photos are from my work picnic.
Now I am getting ready for another treatment. I wouldn't say that I am excited for treatment, just want to keep things moving. That just means that I am closer to the end. I also just discovered the other day that I will have a treatment on my Birthday. EWWWW! But once again another day closer to the end.
Thanks again everyone for all of the support. I love reading the comments. There are a few of you that I would really like to get in contact with. Lynn, Elisabeth, and Sandy if you read this please fill out the Contact Us form. I will keep everyone updated after my next treatment.
Well everything went well today. I am not puking so that is a great thing. The meds they gave me are working. My main symptom right now is just fatigue. I am just relaxing. The whole process wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought it would be super scary but it wasn't. They just hooked me up and it started to drip. So far no really bad symptoms. "Knock on wood." But here is a photo of me hooked up to the machine with all of my tubes. I will try to take one every treatment to show my hair loss as well. I was told that probably by my 3rd treatment I will be mostly bald. But it is just hair, it will grow back. But I will keep everyone posted. Thank you for staying interested!
Well here goes nothing. I'm off to Pittsburgh! Alright Ovarian Cancer your days are numbered in my body. Here is the start of a very slow and painful death for you. Let's do it!
I will try to post a picture from the hospital, but we'll see how things go. If I don't blog while I'm getting my treatment I will try to later on this week.
Thanks everyone for the support. I really appreciate it!
Since I had a doctor appointment yesterday I figured it was time to update the blog. So everything went really well. The places the the ports were put is have healed nicely. I also had the ports tested yesterday. Which was an odd experience. I didn't know what exactly to expect with that so I was pretty nervous. So Mike and I went up to the cancer center at Magee, and I went in to get them tested. They actually use and "L" shaped needle that if they hit is anywhere on the disc (it's about 1 inch in diameter) it will pull blood or whatever. So they did the IV (one on my collar bone) first. They just stuck the needle in and it was good to go. As soon as it went in I needed an Easy button, because it was so much easier than them having to search in my arm for the vein. They also checked the IP (the one that goes in my belly), and that one was functioning properly too. So to anyone out there that is going through chemo and what not, GO GET A PORT! They are fabulous! Never thought that I would be excited about a place to continuously get stabbed by needles, but hey whatever makes you happy right?
I have also been having alot of emotions lately. I am nervous about the chemo, but anxious to get it started so it will be over. So it is real now....I start chemo on 8/18. I am scared to see how it will make me feel. I've been told that it will make my belly cramp, and that I will feel like I have the flu. Not exactly thrilled about that. I am craving to be normal. I just want all this stuff to go away. I want to go back to work, and be able to lay down and not have to lay a certain way because it hurts. It is so frustrating. I guess all of this will happen in time. Ugh.
I am also worried about how people will treat me when I lose my hair. Right now nobody knows that I am "sick", but when I don't have hair they will. I don't want people treating me different just because I am bald. If people are going to be nice just because they can tell I am going through chemo, thanks but no thanks....I don't want your sympathy. You should be nice to others all the time.
Well that was my rant for the day. Thanks everyone for continuing to be interested in my progress. All of the prayers and thoughts help. It is nice to see that I don't have to face this alone. Not only with Mike and our immediate family I have a whole army of people that are pulling for me. So thanks again, and with all of your support it helps me keep going.
I wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone that has visited the website, we have had over 1398 hits on the site in one week! That is absolutely amazing. Please continue to pass the site along to all of your family and friends. Especially to the women. It is incredibly important that women read this website and learn what some of the symptoms are for ovarian cancer.
Well I have another appointment coming up to get my ports checked. If everything is in working order I will start Chemo on August 18th. VERY NERVOUS about this whole Chemo thing. I guess it is normal though, you are always afraid of the unknown. Once I get one treatment in and see what it is going to do to my body I will be a little better. I think the most traumatic thing, if it happens (anticipation is a gigantic pain in the butt), will be loosing my hair. I have one treatment per week for 15 weeks (I think). So that means a lot of trips to Pittsburgh. Oh well....I would rather get the best treatment possible and have to drive for it. However they did say that I may be able to transfer for Johnstown in September for treatments. That would be a lot closer. But it really doesn't matter as long as I feel better. But my main goal through all of this and through treatment is to stay as positive as I can. That is really the only thing I can control at this point, is my attitude. I know it will be tough but it is something that has to be done. I will keep everyone updated as soon as I can.
Thanks again for all of the love and support. I really appreciate it. It is encouraging to see how many people I have behind me while I am fighting the fight of my life. Thank you.
Well everyone has been asking about my new hair cut. Jessica Conlin from Shear Innocence, who has been my best friend for years cut my hair. She did a great job. I called some family and friends to come up and be a part of the experience. There were about 30 people total here. So I just want to thank everyone that was here with me.
I figured I would write a little something today since I had surgery yesterday. I had two ports (IV and IP) for Chemo. I am feeling pretty well overall. Just sore. They did it laproscopically, so they had to put air in my belly to open things up. I think the air moving around actually hurts more that in incisions. Dr. said that he was looking around with the scope while he was in there, and he did not see anything that has spread or grown back. So that is a major positive thing. Dr. wants to see me in 2 weeks, and probably the day after I see him the Chemo will start. Just getting anxious about chemo. But I think once I have one treatment and see what it's like I will be better. It is just the anticipation that is a killer. I am actually cutting my hair short tonight. I figured I would take it before the chemo does. I am having a bunch of family and friends up. I will post some pictures tomorrow of the new cut and the people here. I also think that if my hair starts falling out really bad that I will probably just shave it off. But thanks for all of your support. Keep checking back for pictures tomorrow!
Appointment went well today. All of the steri-strips came off and my incision looks great. The colostomy is functioning appropriately as well. So overall a good report today. I was able to talk to the team of doctors about Chemo. There is a research study that I am able to participate in. I will be honest I had mixed feelings about it. So l had some family and friends (that are doctors) read over everything to get their opinion as well. After speaking with everyone they all said to do it. After thinking about it a little more and talking with Mike and my family I decided to particpate. I will get the latest medication, and from what I have been told everyone at Magee (15 other women) are doing very well. So today I went and had all of the necessary test run (blood screens, CT scan). Because I am in the study I will have to have weekly blood tests, but with the ports that won't be too terrible. I will have 2 ports, one in my chest area, and another in my belly. As far as I understand I will have chemo 2 days a week for 2 weeks, and then a week off. Will probably be spending some time in Pittsburgh, because I know I don't want to have to drive there 2 days in a row. The drive there and back on appointment days is bad enough. I get so ancy and just can't sit still. Which stinks because I am supposed to go to a wedding in Delaware. My doctors said that I can go, I just need to make sure I get out and walk. So the 5 hour or so drive will take forever. So I have decided to just stay home. The good thing is that my family from AZ is coming today! YAY! So excited to see them. I have an appointment on July 27th to get the ports installed. I will blog again around that time.
Alright well, where do I start? I guess this blog thing will be a good way for me to get my feelings out and also to track my progress. I was discharged on July 3rd. Talk about a great 4th of July…..Ugh! :( I did get to see my family over the holiday which made things a little better. I did get to see a lot of fireworks, courtesy of my Uncle Chip, and that definitely made me smile. I feel pretty good, just sore sometimes. Haven’t really been able to go to the bathroom yet, so actually I am feeling pretty miserable in that aspect. The hospital told me that is to be expected though. I still need to take naps and rest. My back is pretty sore as well, but that has to be a combination of sitting all the time and not being able to go to the bathroom.
Well now I guess I should talk a little about what I am feeling emotionally. This whole process has been a complete rollercoaster ride. After my Dr. told me that it was cancer my heart completely sank. You always get the whole “Why Me?” thing right away. All I could think about was that I wouldn’t be able to have children. Which completely crushed me. I have always wanted to be a mommy, but I know that can still happen, it’s just not the way I was hoping for. I decided then and there that since ovarian cancer had already taken one thing away from me I wasn’t going to let it take anything else. I have too much to look forward to and too much to do with my life to take this “laying down.” I am happy to be alive and healthy (well for the most part, still working on this though). Thankfully Mike and I decided to come off the pill when I did, because who knows how long it would have been until this was caught. Who knows, I might not have even been alive in a few months. I have an amazing group of doctors, and I have complete confidence in them that this will all work out.
My first post op appointment was on July 9th. I had some complications that morning, and was a little nervous about making the trip. But I HAD to go because of the stuff going on. I will spare everyone the yucky details. To make a long story short I did end up making it to Pittsburgh. I got my staples out that day, and had steri-strips put on. I also had not gone to the bathroom yet, so was sent for x-rays to make sure there were no blockages in the colostomy. If so they were going to keep me overnight. Well, thankfully there were no blockages, and I was able to come home. I did finally go to the bathroom yesterday. Feeling MUCH better now. My next appointment is on July 21st. So I will let everyone know what happens after that appointment.