Monday, May 30, 2016

for beth

i will catch up on me and this week that is to come, but this post is for beth.

this friday she goes in for her next round of scans. i just know that they will come back all clear as they have before and she will keep moving farther and farther out from that original diagnosis and year of treatment and surgeries. even though i am totally convinced she will get good news (her results come on monday), please send her your prayers, good vibes, and mojo.

you know how i feel about sharing stories, and so i thought that i would share beth's words directly so you can hear it from her on how she feels as she heads into this week.

i know that we both appreciate all of the love and support that comes our way. keep it coming.

you've got this beth, that i know for sure. love you. fight on. xo

My scansxiety is in full force right now as my scans are one week away.   I am starting to have weird anxiety dreams.  I can feel it in my body, my breathing, how emotional I am.
I had to call the radiology department this morning because once again they didn't send me any instructions for the scans and I am pretty sure I have to fast.  Which I do.  Then I got the clarification of my labs because they had forgotten to place the order.  Never stop being your own advocate.

I go in now around 10 am for labs next Friday.  Then onto my scan at 11.  Then I go in for the results at 11 am on Monday June 6.  So that I don't sit and worry all weekend about the results my parents and I are going to Hood Canal for the weekend where I can worry all weekend there.... We will plan some activities to try and distract me. They get in town Tuesday and it will be so nice to have them here.  Unlike last year I don't have 2 other procedures and tests while they are here.  Only the scans.

I of course worry about the results and what I will do if I hear that the cancer is back.  Will I see my world crumble around me?  How would I get the energy and strength to do treatment again?  But people do find it in themselves to do it again.   I was talking about this with my counselor this week and if I find out the cancer is back will I question things I did and wish I would have done differently.  She told me something that is helpful, she reminded me that it's not like I am doing anything knowingly bad for me, like smoking cigarettes.  Everything else known right now is not scientifically based.  Like me getting cancer, random.  If it comes back, random.  At least with what we know now.  I know I can't control everything.

I have had a lot of appointments in the past week.  Last week I met with my naturopath.  Still talking fatigue and neuropathy.  We are trying some new supplements for a couple months to see if those work.  He also is thinking about trying this laser treatment on my feet.  The engineer in me asked for research before doing that.    One of the lingering side effects of chemo is dryness  Dry skin and for me dry eyes.  So my acupuncturist had this treatment that required me to go in 2 days in a row to help with dry eyes.  They feel better but I am not sure if it's a dramatic difference yet.  But that one has been a real nuisance side effect.   Then I also saw my fatigue/active doctor yesterday.   Overall he thinks I am doing good and understands my frustration with not feeling like me quite yet.   So he asked me a lot of questions and overall I do have more energy during the day, but then I still crash and need more sleep on the weekend.  I wonder if my bosses will believe my doctor ordered me to take short naps during the day?  So I need to keep with my conservation of energy plan and my workouts and walks.

Last weekend I served breakfast at the SCCA house. I chatted with a nice woman from the Bay Area who is up here with her husband.   He is getting treatment for their last effort at treatment.   And she was remarkably hopeful and in good spirits for that news.  I still really enjoy serving there and meeting people.  They do come in all shapes and sizes.
Alli is hanging in there.  Like with all treatment the side effects are building.  She goes in next week for her second cycle.  They need to come up with a good plan for her nausea that doesn't make her so exhausted.  I remember living on nausea meds so I get that feeling, and it's an awful feeling.

This weekend brings some fun and rest.   Going to the Seattle International Film Festival, a Mariner's game and picnics and gatherings with friends.  And hopefully I get to enjoy the rest of the plans I have made in June with a clean slate for a few months!
Thank you for your love, support and prayers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

the lone ranger

met with my oncologist today. man, i am thankful for that guy every single day of my life.

as i totally anticipated since it was never mentioned by the nurses, yours truly is the first patient he has ever seen with swelling like mine from treatment.

i will take my curtsey now thankyouverymuch.

because of course if anyone is going to have a side effect he has not seen before, it has to be me. because if anyone is going to be the lone ranger, it has to be this kid. it was that way with my previous treatment, i had extreme side effects that most all other patients do not have (like losing all my hair - which mine is currently starting to already thin a bit).

honestly, i totally predicted this one. on a good note, my breathing sounded good when he listened to it (which makes my mom super duper relieved), which is a really good thing. i mean, that kind of goes without saying, right? right. anyways, we will continue to monitor the swelling (forgot to mention last night that i also have swollen ankles but they aren't yet in full on kankle mode like they were when i was pregnant so i am super thankful for that). if something changes dramatically, i will of course let him know right away (i promise mom).

also on the list, we talked about the muscle aches i have which is common (reminds me a bit of my year spent on interferon when it hurt so bad to walk - not to that level yet), and how any joints that slightly ached before really ache now. he reminded me that the treatment can cause arthritis to come on, really hoping that doesn't kick in for me. but like with everything else, we shall see.

i am going to try a new drug to help with nausea, my current one makes me really drowsy so that is a no go on work days. so we will see if the new one helps me make it through monday - friday.

we talked a bit more about how the side effects are likely going to be rough(er) after this next dose, ugh. but i will just have to take it as it comes and see how i do. i would be lying to you if i said that june/july were going to be easy months. but are any months with cancer easy? i say no. so onward we go.

we talked about a port, i am still debating that one a little bit more. actually have been feeling so crappy i had not thought about it too much, but will think it through more after this next round of treatment.

after we left the appointment, i did my usual swing through the gift shop to see if they had any cool hats that i could not live without.

as you can see from the picture, that was a very successful mission.

happy thursday all -- i am so ready for friday to get here. i might crawl my way into it, but  i will make it. we can do this. look out friday, we are coming for you. (insert hand fist emoji here because i can't figure out how to do that on blogger;))

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

and so it goes

"and so it goes" is one of my favorite billy joel songs, but seemed fitting for this post as well.

i have a new side effect to add to the list as of monday morning.

swollen eyes, lips, and chin.

this is what my eyes looked this morning, as you can tell, the eyelids are basically entirely covering my eyes. and they seem to have decided to also swell about half way down my face. my eyelids feel like they weigh about 1,000 pounds each. man, my eyes are so tired by the end of the day. but on the good side, my actual vision has not changed which is a potential side effect and one that i have to watch closely. so while i can barely see, my eyesight is still good.

my lower lip is a lot bigger than my top lip, and my chin is swollen. perhaps like a botox incident gone wrong;)

yep, looking good in the morning and throughout the day. i promise that i won't show pictures of every side effect, but i figured that this is one that you can see and can get an idea about. and since we are going on this crazy ride together, you might as well see what i looked like before i propped my eyes open with toothpicks (kidding, kind of).

i walked into my boss's office today and he asked how it was going and i said "oh good, except that i am nauseas and my eyes weigh about 200 pounds each - other than, totally good." and i laughed. and he laughed. and he said "you know, i guess you can choose to laugh or not, and you always keep laughing."

yep, still laughing. what else am i going to do? lay in bed and feel sorry for myself and cry. yep, did a little crying last night to be honest and then quickly realized that crying was sure as hell not going to help my swollen eyes. sucks when even crying makes your side effects worse;)

so we will see what tomorrow holds. i have a check-in appointment with my oncologist so we will what he thinks about the swelling. i have been keeping him posted and have been ensuring that my breathing has been good as swelling of my throat is a concern.

happy wednesday peeps -- may it be a good one:)

Sunday, May 22, 2016


friday was the best that i felt all weekend.

i made it all the way through the billy joel concert, nauseas but doable, and then during the encore the nausea came on like a freight train. but, oh billy --- he puts on such a good show. i would see him in concert every chance i can. so, so good. nothing like singing along with him at safeco field, with the roof open, on a gorgeous may night.

saturday morning i slept in late, i needed the rest. felt ok when i got up, not great, but thought the day might be bearable. about 1.5 hours later, while we were out getting some lunch, the tidal wave came rolling back in and i was down for the count for the next five hours. so, that was pretty much my saturday.

today i was up for the day although i needed to take quite a bit of deep breaths to keep chugging through the day.

i am getting worried that this nausea is going to be with me the whole way through, and even more worried that this is not as bad as it is going to get.

but i can only see how it goes when each day passes.

but for now, let's just assume everyday i am not feeling great because i will get tired of writing about it, and at the end of a long day of living with it, writing about it is just about the last thing that i want to do.

in between the nausea, we did get in some tickle fights, some movie time cozied up under blankets, making malena's cooking kit for the month which was donuts (which of course we made gluten free), time with the family, and of course i got in some green teas.

another week begins, i have no idea how this one will play out so the only option is to dive in. right? right.

here we go.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


today was a rough one.

i was really nauseas all day, and then it really came on like a massive tidal wave in the afternoon.

i had to leave work early to come home because i just couldn't take it any longer.

i had to go.

that was really hard for me.

i saw this video last night (which everyone of you should - in my humble opinion - take 10 minutes of your day to watch. like right now. it is that good. trust me. are you watching yet? have i ever been wrong before? i think we both know the answer to that).


it is a really hard one for me. i am trying day by day to work on it.

as i was driving home today, i thought about acceptance and how walking out of the office was such a major step for me. it was me saying to myself "you are too sick to be here right now. you need to go home and rest. this is your reality, whether you like it or not. so accept it and make the right choice for you."

but it was so damn hard. and i was angry. and i was sad. and a part of me was grieving because it felt like my fears were coming true the moment i walked out that door. i might not be able to work like i always have, and that is devastating and crushing for me.

i walked in the house, put my bags down, changed from my work clothes, and went straight to bed. i didn't get out until about 3 hours later when my awesome husband had some dinner for me to try and eat (in addition to being a really good blog poster as needed, he is a good cook too;)).

so now i am off to head back to bed and try to get some more rest. i hope when i wake up i feel a little better.

i hope your weekends are good ones. ours is going to include a billy joel concert for me (and come hell or high water i am making it through the entire show), sleeping in, camp outs, tickle fights, down time, dreaming about the new house, reading my happy mail, swim lessons, and some time with extended family.

enjoy your weekends peeps. make them good. do something fun. relax. eat your favorite ice cream. go to your favorite restaurant. get outside. play. smile. laugh. drink a cold cider (make it two since you will need to drink one for me;)). xoxo

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


"the wounds have changed me.
i am so soft with scars my skin breathes and beats stars."
(nayyirah waheed)

on saturday when we went to the melanoma symposium i knew that it was going to be rough.

it is every year to hear about the latest in treatments, patient stories (which can also be inspiring and bring hope), the latest research, etc.

but this year, when they were talking about the latest in treatment and statistics, they were talking about the exact treatment regime that i am on. it is hard to explain what it is like to hear doctors talk about statistics around treatment (like how many patients are alive at so many months after starting treatment) when you are one of those patients. it was very jarring. as hard as that was, i also take comfort that there are really smart doctors dedicating every single day to making advancements in melanoma research and working to find cures.

we also learned some stats that were new to us. washington has the 9th highest rate of melanoma within a state in the country (utah is number one). the puget sound area has the 4th highest concentration of melanoma in the country. one more time, 4th highest in the country. that is insane. there can be many reasons for that, one being that people who live here think that on the cloudy/rainy days they don't need to protect their skin. that is an incorrect assumption.

in 1930, one in 1500 people developed melanoma. this year, 1 in 50 people will develop melanoma. 1 in 50. if you think about that, within the group of people you work with/family/friends, 1 person will develop melanoma. since i am already in throws of it, i hope that i am the one person in all of your circles so that no one else i know or love has to go through this.

400,000 cases of cancer are linked directly to tanning beds. 6,000 of those cases are melanoma. even writing the words "tanning beds" makes me sick to my stomach (which technically should be "makes me even sicker to my stomach" since i am still so nauseas).

there will be 73,870 people diagnosed with melanoma in our country this year. there will be 9,940 deaths in our country this year due to melanoma.

i saw my friend deb at the seminar. she has been a stage iv patient for years, and melanoma just came back again in the fall for her too. she was on a treatment (one that is a drug i am on) and it was not successful for her and new tumors developed. she is now on a different treatment regime. i am continually sending her good vibes and love, and i took comfort that again we were both there. we were both there. but this is the first time we have both needed treatment since i met her.

the patient stories. 3 patients, all stage iv, got up and shared their stories. their fights. how they have been to hell and back and are still fighting. it is hard to hear those stories because honestly they scare the shit out of me, but it is also comforting to know that there are options to help with the fight. one woman talked about how in the years she has been fighting she has got to dance with her two sons at their weddings, celebrate grandkids birthdays, see a daughter graduate college, etc. i know how she feels. every milestone or holiday i have got since the day i was diagnosed i am so damn thankful for. every single one.

so today the nausea continued throughout the day. between that and the fatigue i felt like i got my ass kicked, and i guess that i did. but that means the drugs are doing their thing and that is good. clearly they are on the move and getting to work. so we will see if this becomes my new normal, i certainly hope not but i can only take it day by day and see how it goes.

there was a quote by churchill that was shared at the symposium.

"now this is not the end. it is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

i liked that one.

a lot.

here we go

just a quick update since i haven't wrote in a day or two.

the side effects, other than being tired, seem to be kicking in.

yesterday i had a couple of times at work where i could simply not find my words. i knew what i wanted to say, but i could not find the right words and i could not get them to come out my mouth. super frustrating.

then at about 5pm i started to feel really nauseas and that never went away. i was down for the count for the rest of the night.

still not feeling well this morning. hoping my nausea meds kick in here sooon for me to help me get through the day.

i will write more soon, hope your weeks are going well - it is hump day, we are half way there. i don't know about you, but i am more than ready for the weekend to get here.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

and so it begins----

thursday was a long day (but it was a great shirt day as you can tell).

it started out on a sweet note as i got to meet with other first grade moms to plan malena's end of the  year party at school. that was a fun way to start the day, since i love planning parties, and her party is one of the events that i made sure did not land on a treatment day.

i checked in at 11:45 and got my bloodwork done and my iv put in. similar to when i had treatment before, the iv was put in on the lower part of my right arm (which really hurts). since i will now have so many treatments coming up, i am going to need to decide if i want to have a port put in. a port would be put in my chest and would be a long narrow plastic tube that would allow them to put the meds into my veins. it would mean that i would not need an iv put in each time, but it would mean that i would have a port in my chest for the rest of my life. i haven't yet decided if i will do that or not, i just need some more time to think about and process it. at some point, even if i decided to not do it, i may have no choice if my veins stop cooperating due to how abused they will become over time due to all the bloodwork and ivs.

after we got the iv in, barrett and i met with an oncologist (mine was out of town) and the nursing team to go over the side effects. i am not going to lie, that was really, really hard. it is so overwhelming to talk about what may be coming for me, but i also want to know what i may be facing. every patient is different, and so i will need to take it as it comes.

after that appointment, i met with my counselor and that was good/hard as they always are. we talked about how i will choose to spend my time moving forward. i walked out of that room with tears streaming down my face and right into the arms of my friend michelle who was there with us for the day.there are moments in this that i don't know how i will do this, but then we headed to the infusion floor and i did it.

we were on the infusion floor for about 4-5 hours i think (i kind of lost track of time, but as you can see from this pic, i had my boxing gloves on). i got one drug, they cleaned my iv, then i got the second drug. they took a long time. it was hard to be back on that floor again. it was hard to be in one those rooms. it was hard to be in one those beds. it was hard to walk past all of the patients in each of their bays. it was hard to hear the constant sounds of that floor. it was hard. all of it.

right as treatment ended, i felt really nauseus and did throughout the night and early morning. for the most part, the rest of this weekend i have just been really, really tired. i am going to need to watch that closely because fatigue is a common side effect so i need to watch it so it doesn't get to the point that i don't feel like doing anything.

i worked from home a bit on friday, i just didn't have the energy to go in. which was a good thing for me to know because i imagine it will only get worse from here so i will plan on that routine moving forward.

the rest of our weekend included down time, some movie watching, looking at colors to paint our new house, finding some fun new pieces for the new house, signing closing papers, and tickle fights. it also included barrett and i going to the annual melanoma symposium that fred hutchinson and seattle cancer care put on each year. it has been tough to be there before, but it has never been this tough. but i am glad that we went and i will write more about that in a future post.

so another week begins. thankful that it doesn't include treatment. my next treatment will be on 6/1, and have an appointment with my oncologist on 5/25.

hope your weekends were good ones. thanks for all of the ongoing love and support that you are sending our way - it means so much to us that whatever comes, we aren't going to do it alone.

anywhere i fight, you fight. xo

Thursday, May 12, 2016

1 Combo down, 3 to Go

Hello All,

As you may already be able to tell since you can see some capital letters, you have a guest blogger tonight for a quick blog.  This is husband blog #2.  Alli isn't feeling great but she wanted to make sure we got a quick update out for all.  It was a long day both emotionally and physically but it's in the books and the 1st of 4 treatments with both drugs is done and we are now off to bed and hoping for no side effects.  Thank you for all the well wishes as it means a lot to both of us to know we have so much support from everyone. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

in the ring---

dear you,

i know. today was tough.

it was the last day. the last day that you think that you might ever really feel like yourself. and i know that was so rough for you.

i saw you as you walked to your last meeting. and i knew you were trying your very best to hold it together. i could tell that you were thinking to yourself "what if i am never able to work at this level again." but then i saw you shake it off, get it together, and walk into that meeting and get it done like you always do.

i saw you as you watched this video on your bus ride back to the eastside after your meeting. i knew you were initially debating watching it, because you weren't sure if a video of the vice president talking about cancer was the right thing for you. but on this day, it felt like the right thing because it brought you comfort to know that good things are happening each and every day in the fight against cancer. and i knew you totally wanted to stand up and clap and cheer on the bus when robin talked about how she hates it when people talk about how patients "lose their fight" with cancer. and you started to cry when he talked how the loss of his son and how he was his soul. but you got it, you are a parent, you got it.

i know that as you walked out of the office, you wondered how you would feel the next time you walked through those doors.

i knew that when you talked to your sister you would feel a little bit better, i am so glad that you two were able to connect. i was happy when i saw you smile when you came home and saw your two favorite people and your parents. i especially kind of liked it when you cracked yourself a cold cider. my favorite moment was when you were laughing so hard with your mom and dad that you had to sit down because you couldn't stand up due the laughter. yes, yes...i really loved that. because in the midst of what you will face, you are still laughing. i also know you so well that i knew as soon this song was played on the voice that you would put your hand up in the air like you were holding a lighter (and that your mom would too) and mentally remind yourself to download this song in the morning because you were reminded how much you really love the song.  i also loved it when you cracked yourself a second hard cider, it is well deserved my dear. i say crack a third one open, you know you aren't sleeping tonight anyways.

so i know there are no words to tell you that are the right words. if there were, you and i both know that i would have said them to you a hell of a long time ago.

but i will tell you this. i know you can do this. i know that for sure. you are a fighter. you will never give up and you will never give in. you will do whatever it takes to kick cancer in the ass. and tomorrow is one more step in that fight.

i know that you are the most scared you have ever been in your life. i know that you feel like you are falling apart. i know that you feel like you are barely hanging on.

but it is ok to be scared. and it is ok to fall apart. and it is ok if you can't hang on.

because i know that you will take the time you need, you will pick up the gloves again, and you will get back in the ring.

you always get back in the ring.

you always do. remember that.

i can now hear the bell dinging in the distance,  and so i know it is time for you to climb in the ropes.

i will be right here cheering for you the entire time.

i will be with you for as many rounds as it takes.

knock 'em out kid.

love, me

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

the schedule

so one more day to go and it all begins.

not sure what i will feel like writing tomorrow night so i figured that i would write now about the schedule for thursday.

once i check in mid day, i get my iv put in and have my blood drawn. then i have my check with the nurse. next i have a counseling appointment. then i start the first drug which will take over 2 hours to get through my iv. then i take the second drug which should take just under 2 hours to get through my iv. and so if all goes exactly according to their timing, i should be there for just over 7 hours. we will see how the timing works out, clearly, i am not leaving until they tell me i am done.

the two drugs that i am going to be on are ipilimumab and nivolumab which are known as opdivo and yervoy. i am not looking at info on the internet (but i am guessing you might be searching on google right now) because it isn't helpful for me and often there are more horror stories than good stories. if you see some good news, take comfort in that, and send me some good vibes. if you see some some bad news, send me some good vibes. but please don't send me links or data or stats, depending on my mindset and how my day is going, seeing info on the drugs isn't going to be helpful for me. i need to mentally believe they are kicking cancer's ass and anything that distracts me from that doesn't help me to keep my head in the fight.

i haven't yet read through all of the pages of side effects. i will. probably tomorrow night as a final way to mentally check my head into the fight. but not yet. this is still my time, not the drug's time, and i want to savor it. living in slight ignorance (though i clearly know what is ahead but not reading it all in black and white has made it seem a little less real) has helped a bit with coping up until this point. i will probably crack my last cider tomorrow night while i read what lays ahead, that will likely be fitting don't you think?

so more tomorrow night, but this gives you a sense of what thursday will look like. i have thought about this blog a lot since we got this latest news. and why this has happened to me. and i hope that sharing all of these glimpses of my story through these years has helped. maybe helped to understand better what cancer patients go through. the sadness. the grief. the day to day battles. the appreciation for the things that really matter in life. the mental ability to keep your head in the fight, when your body is doing all it can to fight. the losses. some you move on from, some you never forget.

my story. i don't know why this one is mine. i wish that it wasn't (i don’t want it be anyone’s story). i don't really even know after all these years why i share so much of the story in this space. i guess that maybe at the end of the day, i hope that it will make a difference in what you will think about when you think about cancer. and how you will think about those that are affected by it. and you will understand it a little better. and maybe you will feel a little more than you would have otherwise. that you will recognize when you are holding the shit in one hand and joy in the other, and you will be so damn thankful that in the midst of all that can and does go wrong, there are so many incredible things that can and do go right.

and that those are the things you must hold on to the tightest. because they are the ones you hold closest in your heart, and they are the ones that can never be taken from you.

not even by cancer.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

mom's day

this mom's day was one full of feeling all of the feelings.

woke up at my parents and got to have breakfast with my them and my two favorite peeps.

it was really nice to be able to be home with my mom for part of the day.

we headed home and i was greeted by some flowers by my in-laws which was super nice, it is nice to have some fresh flowers to look at in the kitchen.

we watched malena at swim lessons and then headed to ikea.

we wanted to wander and look for ideas for our new house, and honestly, i just wanted to stay in constant motion. dreaming about ideas for the new house was fun for me and it kept me thinking about when we move, instead of thinking about thursday.

there were definitely moments in this day that the tears started to come, but i knew well enough to know that if i left them fall, they would likely not stop falling.

so instead i just focused on being in the moment. talking with my parents. getting some laughs in with them. drinking my favorite green tea (thank you fogos). laughing with barrett, planning for the new house. watching malena swim laps in the pool. letting myself get inspired by furniture and prints and decorations. eating swedish fish with malena (can we leave ikea without a bag? i say no). eating great pizza barrett made. tickle fights with malena. talking with my grandma on the phone. laying under my favorite blanket. sharing mom's day wishes with friends and family.

just focused on today.

man, this one was bittersweet for me, and honestly harder than i thought that it would be with the start of treatment looming over me. my anxiety and stress are through the roof, and my emotions are all over the place. i am scared shitless and really don't know which way to go or what to do.

but today.

today was full of so much goodness.

that is what i will hold on to.

no matter what, that is what i will hold on to.

Friday, May 6, 2016

good news

we love good news and we got it yesterday.

we got 5 offers on the house and ended up accepting a really great offer for us.

what a huge relief.

we of course had a hard cider to celebrate, and for the first time in a long time, i slept like a baby.

now we just need it to close and for everything to go according to plan:)

it was a great way to head into the weekend.

i am looking forward to some down time this weekend and spending time with my family and enjoying mother's day.

i hope that you all have a great weekend too. xoxo

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

the all clear

so today i got my ultrasound results back. and as anticipated from what the tech told me, the results were clear. so maybe it is  just a pulled muscle that is hurting so bad. my oncologist will let me know if there are any other follow up tests that he might want to do. i will keep close track of my left side to make sure that i don’t have feel any lumps or bumps.

i met with my nutritionist today and we focused on my game plan for treatment. it really isn’t too different than how i eat now but we are going to make some minor adjustments.

in a nutshell, i am going to focus on no dairy, no gluten, no soy, no nightshade vegetables (tomatos, eggplant, peppers), no sugar, no alcohol (might need to have one more cold cider before next thursday), fruit, vegetables, protein in smaller amounts twice a day, lots of green tea, green smoothies, juicing veggies/fruit, lots of chia and hemp seeds, lots of avocados, no corn, no beans, etc – doing hot saunas (as long as they don’t make me feel worse), and lots of walking (no running for now because with treatment we don’t want my body to be too stressed beyond what it will already be going through) and jumping (jumping on trampolines is really good for clearing out your lymph nodes). oh, and taking my vitamins – and trying to get lots of rest.

that is a really long nutshell, but you get the picture.

i am all for it. having a very focused plan for eating makes me feel like i am doing the needed work to get my body into fighting shape as much as possible – making sure that that my body is focusing on fighting cancer and not the food that i put in it. this won’t be too hard because i have basically been eating this way since 2013, but now i will just dig a little deeper.

my nutritionist also gave me a referral to an oncology nutritionist in seattle that focuses on nutrition for cancer patients. so i will get an appointment with him too. i am so appreciative that she did the research to find him, and then called him to make sure that she was comfortable in referring me. how cool is that? my own private screener for health care, got to love that.

tomorrow we review offers on our house. i am so ready to be done with living in a staged house. it is like one more life complication that i really don’t need. but it will be worth it tomorrow at 5pm if our realtor tells us we have a solid offer (or even better yet, multiple offers). keep your fingers crossed, we definitely need good news tomorrow.

happy thursday all – one more day until the weekend. i am pretty sure, even though i am draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagging, that we can make it. slow and steady wins the race.
ps) and because i seem to be on a roll -- this (go to minute 5:45 for the best part). you are welcome.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

this is my favorite

i have been having pain on my left side for a couple of weeks now. it has progressively gotten worse so i asked for an ultrasound and we did it yesterday. i was already going to be over at seattle cancer care for a counseling session (aka alli walking into the room and immediately bursting into tears time) and so they made their magic happen and got me in. in the ultrasound room, instead of those stupid fake tiles that apparently make you think you are outside when you really aren't (you all know how i feel about those), they have this tile on the ceiling. as i was laying there and the ultrasound tech was moving the equipment all over my stomach, i told him this was my favorite room because of this design. something about it brings me comfort, i can't quite put my finger on it. it just does.

as i laid on that table, and shifted from side to side, i thought about how many other times i have been in that room. more than i can probably even remember. i know how the cabinets look when i lay on my left side, i know how the machines look when i lay on my right side. i know that the tech's name is tom. i know that he will inevitably get the gel on my clothes even though he tries hard not to. i know that when he finishes the ultrasound, he will leave me in the room for about 5 minutes while the radiologist looks over the screen shots with him. i know that those 5 minutes will probably be the only 5 minutes of the day that i am by myself in total silence.

there were definitely parts of the ultrasound that hurt, but he didn't see any abnormalities. but i am waiting on the final results and didn't hear today, so will expect that i will hear from them tomorrow. maybe i pulled something when lifting boxes over the last couple weeks.  it hurts, that is all i know at this point. he didn't think that it looked like there was a hernia either, so i will see what they say and then determine if there is more to do or see if i start to feel better. hell, after next week, a sore left side might be the least of my worries frankly.

i had my monthly dinner with my friend chris last week and we were talking about what lays ahead. i was thinking as i drove home that would be our last monthly dinner before i begin treatment. every dinner we have from here forward i will undergoing treatment. i had my haircut on friday and i thought that by the time i would have my next regular appointment, my hair might be falling out. i was drinking a cold cider this weekend and was wondering how many more of those i would drink. when i had treatment last time, i had zero interest in alcohol. my taste buds changed and what i wanted to eat and drink changed.

any plan for the future now needs to end with "it will depend on how i feel." that is a shitty way to live your life - not being able to make plans on your own terms and know that you will feel good enough to see them through. which is exactly why when i went through treatment last time i didn't make too many plans, not planning was easier than the mental game of cancelling because i felt too bad to do anything. i am already tired of having to talk to people i don' t really know well about cancer, mostly this comes up at work. getting what i call "the look" which is a cross of "i have no clue what to say to you right now" mixed with a bit of "i am so glad that isn't happening to me" which i totally get and can understand. but that look, i think that if you have been on this side of it, you can spot the look from a mile away. sometimes i just want to say (obviously in a nice way) -- "i  know that you don't know what to say to me right now.  i get it. and i know you are going to give me the look. i get it. and please protect your skin so that you don't have to be the one on this side of this kind of awkard conversation at any point in the future."

so obviously i have about a week to pick up the boxing gloves. to wrap up my wrists and get ready for the fight. to head into my corner and wait for the announcer to ring the bell. i can tell you that i am not yet ready to do that.

in many ways i am still reeling from the news. i am still making my way through the calls, the appointments, the schedules, the realities. the hardest conversations i have had to do yet. i think that cancer is so cruel to make parents have to talk to to their kids about cancer. cancer isn't a word that anyone should have to talk about (because there should be cures). but especially kids. i will never, ever forgive cancer for that. ever.

but i can also tell you that i have no doubt that i will be ready to pick up the gloves by next thursday.

because i have a 7 year old girl sleeping upstairs.

and that is everything.

ps) because sometimes you just have to laugh. this.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

melanoma month

may is melanoma awareness month.

this morning i read this post.

so many of her words are exactly what i would write myself.

i also was obviously inspired knowing her story, and that she is now years out from getting clear scans after initially being told she had 6 months to live.

on my facebook account today i posted this video again. i want people to see this and be reminded of how important it is to protect the skin you are in. and to protect the skin of those you love.

next month my friend beth and i will co-captain team "cancer you can suck it" for the 2016 shore walk to raise funds for fred hutchinson cancer research. if you would like to join us (i am hoping that i feel well enough to walk this year) or donate to our team, you can do so here.

i am tired and going to try and get some sleep.

i hope your week gets off to a great start. xo