Sunday, May 21, 2017

next steps with anxiety + 2017 shore walk for cancer research

i met with the psychiatrist this friday to talk about how things are going with the anxiety.

i told him the truth. i am still really struggling and some days are better than others.

the mornings tend to be the hardest. it ranges from feeling very anxious to crying and feeling like i can't make it through the day. it depends on the day.

the evenings at home with barrett and malena are the easiest.

until bedtime. then i get anxious about the following morning but i have meds to help me sleep through the night.

i thought that i could go off of those sleep meds as i have been so exhausted that i thought that i could sleep without them. i tried last night and woke up in a panic with nightmares about work. so i am not going to try that again tonight. maybe again sometime in the future.

we are doubling some doses of some drugs, and trying to work me off of one of the three drugs.

we will see how that goes.

between the side effects of the treatment and the anxiety i definitely feel like i am all over the place and my mind is racing in about one million different directions at the same time. and the anxiety makes it really hard to know which of those directions i should move it.

but i am trying hard to make it through this and just take it day by day. that is all i can do.

at the end of our session, my psychiatrist let me know he is leaving scca at the end of july so i will need to meet with a new one after he leaves. even though i have only had two sessions with him, i was bummed. that means starting all over again. on the bright side, i will have a few more sessions before he goes and i am going to start trying to do regular sessions with my counselor on treatment days. as i have said bef0re, it takes a village and the village continues to grow.

it is not easy to write and share about the anxiety and how crippling it has become for me. but it isn't easy to write about cancer either. so i figure if i share what it is like to battle anxiety and it helps someone who is also dealing with it feel less alone or helps someone to understand it better, then mission accomplished.

it is almost time for the 2017 shore walk that we annually participate in that raises funds for fred hutchinson cancer research. at the end of may, my sister-in-law's family held a bunco fundraiser and $2700 was raised in 3 hours. how incredible is that? i know, pretty damn awesome. the shore walk is on june 11th and if you would like to walk/run or donate to our team or just send us good mojo you can find more info on our team page. if you sign up, make sure that you sign up for our team "cancer you can suck it" - great name, right? right.

my friend mary had her next treatment on friday and all went well until she started feel awful towards evening time. but she felt better on saturday, and because she kicks ass, she ran a 5k today and had my name on her bib. she is a fighter. no doubt about that. go mary go!

i probably won't write more on here this week as i am headed for a super busy week as i had out of town on wednesday to celebrate a family member's 21st birthday for a couple of days. my goal is to leave work behind and just take three days to be with family, breathe, take my meds and try to be calm. i have a million things to do between now and then so wednesday feels a long ways away but it will be here before i know it. which i can't think about too much until i take my bedtime meds.

i hope that you all have a good week. make the most of it. enjoy it. do something really fun. xoxo




Monday, May 15, 2017

results

good news.


the spots on my lungs that the doctor was concerned about are almost all gone.


woohoo!


and my bloodwork was good so we are a go for the infusion.


i am in my infusion room now and just about to get the meds hooked up to my port.


so i will sign off for now.


thanks for all the good luck and vibes.


anywhere i fight, you fight. xoxo

Saturday, May 13, 2017

the shit and the joy

+++ the side effects from the treatment have kicked in and the fatigue is in full effect as are some of the other side effects, dry mouth - dry skin, etc. but, the fatigue. oh man, i am tired. (the shit)

+++ my taste buds are not back to normal but green tea tastes good again and i am loving that. (the joy).

+++ starbucks now has a gluten free breakfast sandwich that is really, really good. i am also loving that. green tea and the sandwich make me pretty happy, i can't deny that. (the joy).

+++ the anxiety over the last couple of weeks has been really hard for me. i am taking multiple meds to help me get through the day, and one to help me sleep at the night. and i need them. the anxiety is running high, and how i do depends on the day. i woke up in a panic attack last sunday morning and did not have a good day. some mornings i wake up and think that i can make it through the day ok. other mornings i wake up and am paralyzed by the anxiety. i see the psychiatrist again on friday so we will see where we go from there. i think that the anxiety has definitely added to the fatigue, and the anxiety meds create their own side effects (memory issues, pending on dosages i can't drive because some are like narcotics, etc.). but i could not make it through the day without them so for now it is what it is. (the shit).

+++ jennifer has met with her team of doctors and they are working on coming up with a plan on next steps for her. the fact that she has a good team of doctors working collectively on a plan for her (the joy/hope). the fact that she has to deal with cancer again (the shit. obviously). thanks again to all who signed up for the happy mail campaign for her. you are awesome. but we already knew that didn't we? yes, we did.

+++ mary has had two treatments and the second one had side effects where she felt like she had the flu and was down for the count for the day (the shit). she is doing better and will do her next treatment this coming friday on the 19th so start kicking up the mojo her way please. she is going to run in a 5k on the 21st. go mary go for kicking some running ass while going through treatment (the joy).

+++ i only need to use the cane in the morning when i am pretty wobbly (the joy). sometimes during the day i lose my balance but it just happens for a moment. i do not miss walking with the cane, but i do miss feeling like i have my grandpa physically close to me.

+++ i had a scan on thursday (the shit). my last scans showed an area that looked like an infection in my lung. my oncologist wants to make sure that it is what it was. if it was an infection, it will hopefully be gone in the scans. we get results on monday at 2:30. so starting kicking up the vibes and mojo.

+++ monday is a treatment day if my bloodwork cooperates. the shit because i am doing cancer treatment. the joy because there are drugs for me to do cancer treatment and hopefully continue to keep those tumors from spreading/growing.

+++ i have been quiet in this space primarily because of the fatigue. i am going to bed pretty much as soon as malena does. and i am trying to make it through working full time and a lot of stress going on for me related to work, and still feeling like i am catching up on our personal lives. hopefully things even out and i get back to this space more again soon (the hopeful joy).

+++ sunday is mom's day (the joy). tonight i will be doing a camp out with my girl who is already lights out. today i got to celebrate with my awesome mom-in-law and dad-in-law and bro-in-law (great joy). tomorrow i get to celebrate again with my mom, dad, brother/sis-in-law, and i get to see my grandma and other family members. and of course, i get to celebrate with malena and barrett. i am super thankful for this day and another year of celebrating getting to be this 8 year old's (how is that possible?) mom. being her mom has been the greatest thing i have ever done and it challenges me everyday in all of the best ways and keeps me learning everyday on how best to help her grow and face the world. i am so, so lucky to get to spend my days with her and i don't take that for granted for a second (the joy).

+++ i know that mom's day is not happy for all women. some are missing their moms who are not physically with them any longer. some don't have great relationships with their moms. some wish with everything they had that they were a mom. some mourn kids they have lost. some don't have great relationships with their kids. so my heart goes out to all of those whose hearts ache on this day and for whom mother's day is a hard day to get through. (the shit)

+++ i hope that whatever this sunday brings for you, you find some time to enjoy some part of the day in whatever way makes you happy (the joy).

+++ more to come on monday. thanks for all the vibes and love.

+++ anywhere i fight, you fight. and the fight continues on. xo





Monday, May 1, 2017

the end of the day

this will be short because i am super tired. which is not unusual these days, but these last couple of days i can barely keep my eyes open.

all of my bloodwork looked good so the infusion was a go.

no problems and everything went as usual and we were there for about 6 hours total between bloodwork, doctor appointment, and infusion.

thanks for all of the love, prayers and mojo you sent my way today, i really appreciate it.

it was a long day due to infusion and anxiety creeping in throughout the day.

i appreciate all of the good thoughts.

hope your week is off to a good start.

xoxo

Sunday, April 30, 2017

round 2

in the morning i go in for round 2 of this treatment plan.

another early day.

bloodwork.

doctor appointment.

infusion.

we are still trying to figure out my anxiety meds and get to the right combo. we tried changing up a few things this week with input from the psychiatrist that we met with last week. but it didn't seem to work as many mornings i woke up straight into a panic attack. not the severe panic attacks i had two weekends ago that lasted for hours (the psychiatrist did confirm that those were in fact severe panic attacks so at least we got confirmation that was what i was going through for those two days before we got some meds).

but it has been hard and different finding my way through the anxiety while trying to maintain normalcy at work and in life. it is hard. really hard. every day. but i am trying the best i can.

i would also like to find a combo that works because i can't drive myself because two of the meds essentially put you under the influence. so clearly i wouldn't want to risk safety for myself or for anyone else. but not being able to drive myself anywhere is a real pain in the ass but i guess that is the least of my worries at this point.

i think that my body is still in full recovery mode as i pretty much slept all day yesterday, which if you know me, is rare. i would usually be trying to knock things off my "to do" list and get things done, but i had less then zero energy so i just listened to my body. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz was about all it was saying throughout the day.

i will let you know how treatment goes tomorrow, hopefully all my blood levels look good and i get to have treatment. fingers crossed.

anywhere i fight, you fight. xo

sidenotes:

1) ckelleher - i saw your note about signing up for jennifer's happy mail, just let me know how to get in touch with you to give you the details.

2) if you signed up for jennifer's happy mail campaign (and it isn't too late), you should have heard from me with the details. if you haven't, let me know - i want to make sure that i didn't miss anyone. thanks!




Monday, April 24, 2017

for jennifer + my buddies in wisconsin

"you can do this"
(self - print by life love paper



tomorrow jennifer has a 7am check in for surgery.

so tomorrow (tuesday) is definitely a day that i need you to pull out all the stops on your love, mojo and prayers like you normally do.

so let's hope that the surgery goes well, they find that the cancer has not been on the move, and they only have to take what they absolutely have to take around her organs.

that is what we hope for.

thank you to all who have signed up for the happy mail campaign for jennifer. if you would still like to participate (you can sign up anytime), you can check out all the details here.  we are going to make some happy mail magic happen for this girl, that is for sure.

i will write more later this week about the latest with me, psych appointments, crazy balance problems, the anxiety (oh, the anxiety), swelling, lack of memory, not being able to drive myself due to meds for what feels like the 4th month in a row, etc.

but all that is going on with me pales in comparison to what we really need to focus on tomorrow.

and that is jennifer.

thanks in advance for all the love you will send to her and her awesome (one of my most favorite people in this whole entire universe) husband michael and their families.

anywhere cancer fighters fight,

you fight.

tomorrow is an early morning start on the jennifer's latest fight.

xo

important request: i would also appreciate you sending you love and prayers to my friends the pattersons in wisconsin who had two traumatic losses in the last three days. one a beloved aunt to cancer and another a beloved cat to cancer. they could most certainly use love too. thanks for sending it their way, i know they appreciate it. xoxo



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

happy mail campaign for jennifer

"i chose to make sadness my softness,
uncertainty my openness,
my weak days my tend-to-me days,
my brokenness my beautifulness and my scars my strength"
(s.c. lourie)

i got news two weeks ago that my friend jennifer got the news that her cancer is back.

dammit.

and that is not using x-rated words on the blog. because you know that i really want to way f*&k cancer. in capital letters. a million times over. it just never, ever stops.

i wrote a lot about jennifer on the blog previously when she was going through her fights and we did a happy mail campaign that you can read about here.

well, it is time to start another happy mail campaign. jennifer has surgery at the university of washington (same place i have had my surgeries) on the 25th so she will be in the best hands.

if you have been reading this blog long enough you know what a happy mail campaign is but just in case you haven't, let me explain it.

the goal is for jennifer (and if you would like to send mail to her awesome husband/caregiver mikei  know that he would appreciate it as well) is to get one piece of happy mail (a card that just cheers her on while she recovers, a card to make her laugh and/or letting her know that good vibes are being sent her way) every week while she is recovering and making her way through whatever comes next.

if you would like to participate in the happy mail campaign, all you need to do is let me know that you want to be part of it and make sure that i know how to contact you. i will assign you a week and you send the mail and it is as simple and lovely as that.

i know first hand how nice it is to open your mailbox and see kindness and not the bills overwhelming your box. names you know. names you don't know it. just love. it is basically the best.m
i hope you will join me in bringing some cheer to the jennifer and mike.

please let me know by friday and i will get things organized over the weekend to assign the weeks.

thanks all, you are the best.

wherever jennifer and mike fight, we fight.

because we love fighters, and they are two of the strongest i am lucky enough to know.

sending much love to you jennifer and mike. all the goodness, mojo, and prayers are coming your way.

and soon some happy mail too.

love you guys.

xoxo