Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Third Time Was Not a Charm

Yesterday was my third round of this particular type of chemo. Thank gawd I only have one more of this type of rounds. It's horrible. Yes, I am sure I am being dramatic, but it makes me feel like I have been hit by a truck. I was up until 5am this morning feeling so bad. I do feel better today. The girls are out and about with Anthony and I have a lot of down time today.
My friend Desiree went with me to this chemo and an old co-worker of mine came by to see me. She brought two hats she knitted that are CUTE!!!!! Thank you Milica:) I have such talented special friends. Desiree is a VERY talented photographer. Check her out at I am always humbled by their kindness, love, and givingness (is that a word?) I can't say thank you enough. Ever.
So our friends Jason and Amy moved into their new house on Monday. It's a gorgeous place. I really miss them. They were so fun to have around. We had Thanksgiving with them on Saturday. The guys fried the turkey and Amy and I made all the rest of the fixings. It was delish. I have to say I had a completely emotional day. I could not stop crying. Sometimes this process catches up with me and I become over whelmed. Well Saturday was that day for me. There was nothing really wrong. I was just so emotional. We were at the table talking about what we are grateful for and Elliot pipes in that she is thankful for her mommy. Pow! I love that kid.
This last week I was in Target and I saw this woman. She had very short hair and a pink survivor bracelet. We smiled at each other. I totally have my chemo flag flying. No hair and a hat trying to cover my bald head. Well we ended up talking. She finished chemo four months ago. She looked so great and I loved her hair growing out. Ultimately she invited me to a young survivors group. I went Tuesday night and LOVED it. I thought I would be crying the whole time, but it was much different than that. I will surely go again. We all knew what the other was talking about. We are all walking the same path. What brave women I met. I salute you all.
Tomorrow we go to Jason and Amy's for turkey day. Should be a nice relaxing day.'
Happy Thanksgiving dear reader. I am thankful for you all.

Peace Out

Friday, November 17, 2006

Click Your Heels

I woke up this morning crying from a dream I was having. I kept saying over and over that I just want to go back, as I was holding a baby, that was also crying and together we were wailing of the thought of being where we had been. I think the baby wanted to go back to the womb and I know I wanted to go back to before I started the cancer/chemo journey. I feel raw. What scares me is that I am not even in the middle of the experience and I feel this raw.
A friend of mine spoke to me yesterday about entering a tunnel, and knowing on the back side of that tunnel she would have the things she needed and wanted for her life. Her fear is what's in the tunnel. So she does not enter. Not to steal her thunder of her voyage, but I can see why she doesn't want to be in the tunnel. THE TUNNEL SUCKS. Metaphorically, my tunnel entrance is sealed shut and I cannot see the light at the end. It's dark and it's unpleasant. I have no feelings of getting better at this point. Nor should I. That's not where I am in my treatment. Just the same, I feel raw and on the edge.
Some one who loves me a lot, said to me the other day, Why do you have to be so hard (saying hard for lack of a better word) And I said because I have to. I cannot start sliding down the slope of self pity. You think I may be kidding but I am not. I will go under for a while. I cannot let my guard down too much. If I do, I will run under the covers and not come back out for a very long time. This is how I am hardwired. When you go through chemo feel free to do things your own way.
It's a double edged sword. On one hand feel I the need to do as much normal stuff as I can and on the other hand I am sad and tired.
I want to go back. I want to feel healthy and energetic. Especially now during the holidays. But no matter what I eat or how much I sleep and rest, I feel the same. I want to go work out and get that workout high again!!!! I just want to go back. Because I have no idea what life after chemo feels like, it's hard to know what to expect. I would like a normal day, where I wake up and work out out, feel like going to the park with the girls and actually making dinner for the evening. No headaches, no wooziness, no shots. No saddness, no cold bald head. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I have been trying extra hard not to ask for help from my friends lately. I feel like that if things really get bad down the road, I don't want to burn anyone out at the tunnel entrance. So I have kept to myself and been a bit introverted. The girls still need food and bathing and attention. Those things can I do at a slow pace.
So I want to go back to a place that doesn't exist for me. Time will only tell what the new one will look like.

Peace Out

My List of Demands

Be nice
Don't lie
Don't lie by ommision
Stop advising
Let go
Be clear
Say no sometimes
Don't be a martyr
Turn off the lights when leaving
Be peace
Don't be sneaky, you'll never have my trust
Love freely without condition
Push your chair in when you get up
Ask permission
Have no expectations
Get what you deserve
Take a chance
Let loose
Just remember. I have no guilt
Don't wrap birthday presents in Christmas paper
Ask yourself why you have guilt
Stop listening to "they"
Call before coming
Knock before entering
Don't tell me what to do
Keep your list of demands to your self This is my blog
Just take the inch, don't go the whole mile
Admit you're wrong
Make it right
Don't keep secrets, they'll get out
Don't wear a slip, it hangs out the bottom and looks messy
Don't go through my things without my consent
Fight the good fight
Do things right the first time
Be respectful
Stop gossiping
Don't be so wishy-washy
Eat meat
Don't eat meat
Don't judge
No means no
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
Chew gum with your mouth closed
Use good manners

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gone Today

It's all gone but the fuzzies. Anthony and Jason also shaved their heads in solidarity and man, they look handsome. I, on the other hand...not so much. Oh well what can I do? The girls love to rub it. I have been wearing hats to keep my head warm but they keep taking it off to rub my head.
Reader, just a note here, the girls are fine. Life is good for them and they are probably having more fun and attention than normal. All kids want is attention and undying love. That's what mine get. This part of their lives will merely be a funny time when mom was bald. Let's not make this into something it doesn't have to be.
I have been tired this week, but that seems to be how this first part goes while my blood levels drop. This whole week I am back to shots for 5 days to raise those levels. Anthony has a business trip so I am winging it during the day and Jason and Amy will be here in the evenings. This is doable. We all hung out yesterday and Anthony got the girls a basket ball hoop. They love it.
We are doing Thanksgiving this coming Saturday due to me having chemo on Tuesday and Jason and Amy moving into their new house around Wednesday. We do a pretty good turkey day if I must say and I look forward to it. The guys are going to fry the turkey for the second year in a row. Sounds funny but it ends up very juicy!! I already have pies. Amy and I like a certain dressing and DO NOT forget the mashed potatoes. Come on by if you need some grub. We may shave your head for fun though!

Peace out

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Well, I do believe that my hair is on it's final days. It's everywhere. Elliot cannot wait to shave it and use my head as a canvas. She has taken this ride with the grace of a 4 yr old. She never bats an eye at the scars. She only knows that I go to get big shots. Let me tell you, as long as it isn't her she ok with that! Wyatt only wants to snuggle, which is getting easier as the scars heal. She's happy with that.
We'll probably do the big shave tomorrow. I have to say I miss my hair more than my breast. I had nice boobs in my youth, but honestly they were heading south. I fed two children with one boob. The blue ribbon boob. My other would not work due to radiation I had before I had the girls. So on that front, they were nothing much to look at. But my hair, my long dark thick hair...I really miss. True true it will grow back, but it's hard in these winter months to be bald. Whhhaaaaa poor me. :)
I do have things I am grateful for this morning. I slept 10 hours last night. I got some sleep aid from the onc nurse on Thursday. Chemo wears you out but at the same time you feel edgy. Horrible combo. I am trying to be positive hear so let's move on. The weekend is here. Lot's of help around the house. Our friends Jason and Amy were home yesterday and I was just a lounge lizard. I will miss them when the move into their new house!!!! I've been able to eat better this round of treatment. Little small meals even if I don't feel like eating helps. I hope to go walk on the treadmill today at the gym. Energy begets energy. Those are my good things today. See you on the flip side BALD!

Peace Out

Friday, November 10, 2006

I Heart Frida Khalo

If you know me and anything about me you know my obsession with Frida Khalo and her life. I have been a Frida freak for about 15 yrs. I would like to say that I was down with Frida before most of main stream America heard of her. She is my hero. She embodies a spirit and will that I wish to carry with me on a daily basis. I have named my cats Frida and Diego. I have driven great distances to see her art displayed. I have been to Mexico and walked through her house.
I am sure this blog will seem like a ramble as many of mine do. Here I go anyway...
I cannot do much justice to her story. I will try. She was born to a Jewish Father and Mexican Mother. She had polio as a child that left her with a disabled leg. As a teenager she was in a cable car accident that left her with a spinal injury that she never fully recovered from her entire life. The accident also injured her bad leg and with these to injuries she lived a life of physical pain. She saw and fell in love with Diego River with in college and married him twice within the course of her life. He was an industrial muralist, but not the reason she started painting. She was a painter in her own right.
I would have to say Frida's greatest sorrow of her life was never having children. Due to her spinal injury and many operations she could never carry a child to term. I can only imagine if she had, the legacy that her children would carry. Frida was loyal and true. She loved people, men and woman in her life with abandon( To yield (oneself) completely, as to emotion). She had views and beliefs that were not always popular (I love that about her) yet she never wavered to make others happy. Aren't we all kind of like that? I feel that I have ideas and ways that I live my life others would not adhere to and vice versa. Here's were unconditional love comes in let people be who they are! Sometimes to love someone is to keep your mouth SHUT! I do not want to push my views on others and I DO NOT want others to push their stuff on me!!!!! Frida marched as a communist in the streets of Mexico. Not my thing but I respect it. I am sure if she had children she would have shown them the things she felt were important as I show my girls. But there is a time to let go. There is a time when we have said and taught what we feel is necessary, and then you have to give it a rest. Live in peace. Because if you don't, you are going to build a wall and create negative space that you may never get back. I believe that to my core. Live and let live, for cryin out loud! So in this rant comes my admiration for Frida. Her spirit tickles the back of my neck. Have the grace and maturity to let others be who they are without pushing your agenda on them over and over. No one wants to be around that kind of constant badgering and turmoil. I don't and I will not allow it in my life or my family's lives. In turn I will give you the same respect. Isn't that what it is that I ramble about? RESPECT.
Frida Khalo is my hero. She lived with so much pain yet never gave up hope. So as I hurt from the poison that is put into my body I think of her and say my mantra that I saw she wrote so may times in her published diaries: Tree of hope stand strong.

If you ever need a big juicy read on the subject of Frida, my fav is: Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

I may not of articulated all I wanted here today. You get the jist huh?

Peace Out

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shout Out

This is a shout out to a dear friend of mine. His name is Chris Arangio. He is getting married tomorrow and I want to give him my best wishes.
I have known Chris since 10th grade. We've seen some good times and some not so good times. We seen each other grow up.
We live as far apart as possible. Me in Seattle and he in Miami. Our birthdays are one year and two days apart. He being the oldest.
Christopher, I wish you joy, love, and happiness. I wish you the joys of parenthood. You've waited long enough for these things. I am so happy for!
Congratulations my friend.

there's always something there to remind me

Chemo Mafia

Today I had my 2nd round of chemo. I will first start this blog with yesterday...
I have had a little cold building up the last couple of days. Although yesterday I was feeling the affects of this cold, I felt pretty good in general. It was a busy day. I took Elliot to ballet and we went to lunch with my friend Patty and her kids. When I came home I finished up laundry so it would be done after chemo. I cleaned up the house a bit and vacuumed. Here's where the "were you high?" part comes in, I VACUUMED MY CAR! WHY? I have no idea. It was like I was about to give birth and I was nesting. Such a strange productive feeling I had.
One of friends from book club, Robin, came by and brought me some juicy magazines to with me in the morning.
I decided not to go tt book club due to my cold. Jason and Amy brought home Thai food and it was goooooood. I went to bed early.
This morning Jason and Amy drove me to the hospital. Some how a chemo fairy got into their car and left me a chemo treat!! It was a morning of blood draws , running to the pharmacy, meeting with PK, my Nurse Practitioner, and finally starting chemo about 11:30.
I took a different nausea medication this time and it worked much better. Tough, it did cost $152 bones. We gotta get this health coverage in this country figured out. What if we couldn't afford the medication. I would have been screwed today. There folks in this country who don't even have insurance. That is whack. This is a subject that deserve an entire blog dedicated to it...
Anyhoo, I had the nurse today who was so strange, She had the shakes and was dropping stuff everywhere. next time I go in I am requesting not to have her. She didn't hurt me and she was very knowledgeable, but something in her world was not right.
We got home about 2:45 and I pretty much took to the couch. Now here I sit bloggin'.
I titled this Chemo Mafia because I feel like that's we are. We, being my family and friends. I invision taking cancer and giving it a new pair of cement shoes. Letting cancer take a long walk off a short pier. Maybe doing a little drive by on cancer's side of town. You get my drift?
We'll see how this next week and a half go. Anything is better than nausea! So we're already off to a good start.

Peace Out

Monday, November 06, 2006

Burn Your Bra Sista!

So this weekend, my girlfriends and I gathered for a ceremonial burning of old nasty bras. I , of course , burned every one of mine. It was an evening of friendship. My neighbor Deena, pictured with me here, offered up her house and firepit. The guys made us a roaring bonfire. We all went out in the rain and chanted and burned. If you ever read Ya-Ya Sisiterhood, you will know what I mean when I say I had my Ya-Ya's with me.
I could not of asked for a more perfect evening. We had good good food. My friend Sandy's daughter Katie made the best pumpkin pie I have ever had. I just can't say enough good things about the night. For a woman who lost her boobs I have gained so much. I have gained the sight to see friends and family gather around me to support me.
I stood on a tree stump hovering over the fire, just about to burn every last stinkin bra I had, and looked at my circle of YaYa's and took a snap shot in my mind. I thought about a day 20 years from now when we will all have a laugh and tell the story of a gal who burned her bras and is STILL surviving to tell the story. Amen Sista.

Peace Out
See more Bra Burnin pics:

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Have a Hairache

My hair hurts. When I sleep it wakes me up with an ache. Don't geisha's sleep with their necks resting on a wood block so they don't mess up their hair? Must get one of those.
Today was the last of my 5 day shot regime. I am glad to be free of appointments for a few days. Oh to feel normal....
I was thinking about something as I was watching the train wreck also know as Anna Nicole Smith on Entertainment Tonight. You were watching too huh? I was thinking that no matter how much money, fame, wealth, notoriety you have, or don't have, when you are pregnant, or should I say, give birth, all us chicks are equal. We may do different meds or water birth, whatever... But when that contraction hits, NO MONEY IN THE WORLD is going to make is better for you. It's an equal playing field. Kinda like pooping. We all poop and it all stinks.
I have no idea where that came from.
I am looking forward to a restful weekend and burning my old bras. I am so flat. I know gals think they have a small chests, but I am nothing but a rib cage. Skin stretched across muscle. No nipples, just a scar. F.L.A.T.

Peace Out

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Drink More red Wine!!!!!

Hey, did you hear about the study today that said that they tested red wine consumption on mice and found it delayed the affects of aging and all sorts of good stuff. They also said that if we human were to drink as much as the test mice we would have to consume about 150 bottle a day!! Wooohoooo. Drink more red wine.
Slept ok last night. Today was picture day at school for Elliot so we got gussied up for those. It's rainey and wet and cold out. I am in desperate need of doing laundry. Laundry is even hard on the best of days! But, I'm going to give it a shot.
Here's something completely personal yet amusing...My pubes are falling out. The hair on my head is still in tact but not below. I find that very funny.
I am sleepy now. I think I am going to rest a bit. What laundry?

Peace Out

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's Not the Cancer, It's the Chemo

Cancer does not hurt. Chemo hurts. Chemo makes everything fussy and spinny. I felt fine when I had my boobs and the cancer was in there. Hell, I felt real good. I was fit and strong. I was able to have PMS and not throttle my partner or children. Though, they may all disagree.
So I keep telling myself, it's the chemo, not the cancer that is currently kickin your ass. Must. Remember. This.
So today I write about a bunch a junk. Tales from the edge as one might say. Cuz honey, I am on the edge.
My children. I can't even write that without tears welling up in my eyes. ilovethemilovethemilovethem. I know every parent thinks this, but I have the two most incredible creatures hatched to date. lately I have been able to look at them deeper than ever. I know them so well. I see their hearts in their eyes. They are so good and true. I watch them play together and I swell with pride. They are very close. The greatest gift I could of ever given Elliot was her sister. They will always have each other and that pleases me. We do not allow "space" in our home. We're in this together. Too bad if you need a break. We're in this together. No shut doors, no time alone. I would never say that's an easy policy because Anthony and I don't have a time out either, but I feel in the long run, there will be a bond of my girls that nothing will ever break. They still sleep with us and that's the way we like it. I would never change that because really, what 12 yr old will want to be as close as we all are now. I am raising the future of that bond. ilovethem.
More later...
Today I bought a feather bed topper for the guest room. Now that's something that would NEVER happen in Texas. I feel so Pacific Northwest today. Most nights I cannot sleep through the night so I wanted a little comfort area to call my own. Now I've got it..
I get filgrastin shots everyday in my stomach to make my white blood cell count go up. The nurse speared me today. It still aches. Only two more days are I am doctor free for 5 days YAY!
There's something to be said about quality of life. If you don't have your health, you have nothing.

Peace Out