Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking forward

I am so excited about seeing my friends this weekend at the Borgata Ladies event. I am so blessed to have these distractions to get me through the misery of breast cancer treatment. My mind is such an important part of keeping me grounded and it gives me the gift of these moments where I can just be cancer free in my head for as long as god lets me play. I know it sounds funny to some people because it is gambling and it does cost money but when you are staring mortality in the face you realize that you cant take it with you so the time I spend playing poker is priceless to me as long as I am not hurting my family in the process. Some people have Golf some people have broadway and opera's some people have horseback riding I have poker and they all have a pricetag. I am not playing to get rich I am playing to enjoy the moments I can being competative and since I am quite frail right now I cant play golf or tennis to fullfill my competative nature so this is it for me.

On the health front I have some stuff going on I have my next chemo treatment on Thursday this week and I'm a little blue because this chemo really causes me some pain and I want to enjoy my trip really bad it also is making me lose my eyebrows and eyelashes and I feel like I look like a droid. My self esteem is kind of in the dumps. I look really sick right now I am 104 lbs soaking wet and I hate to look in the mirror. I am trying really hard to keep eating every few hours but my pants keep falling off of me and my face looks gaunt and my coloring is grey. I know this is temporary but aside from the physical pain it is really hard to cope with this but I just keep telling myself it is not permanent I am almost done and I can get through this and be better than before!

I have now set a date for my second surgery which will be taking out the tissue expanders in my chest and puting in the permanent silicone implants it will be on March 10 so God please let me get through this surgery with ease. I am unerved about surgery and I am not happy that they told me that I will have drains in my chest for up to a week again. Those drains were so painful the first time I almost cried when the nurse told me I would have to have them again. I knew in my heart there would come a time during this ordeal where I just feel like I cant do it anymore and I think thats where I am at I am worn down to the core I just need to get through this and then on to the next which is radiation. I will have to go for radiation starting about a month after my surgery for 6 weeks every day and I pray that God gives me the strength to get through everything and recover. To my friends and family you are my strength and thank you for your endless love and encouragement you are my gift and I treasure you. Please know I will never stop fighting but this is my mind releasing my sometimes negative thoughts onto paper and out of my head so I apologize if any of this bothers you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Family Matters

Last night my sister and her kids and my Mom and Dad had dinner together at my Mom's house. After dinner my sister said the kids had no school today so we decided to let her little one Danielle sleep over and she would hang out with me for the day. Her and Grandma had breakfast and then Grandma went to work and Don Don (Nickname for Danielle) was watching TV on the couch until I got up. Next thing I know I hear Don Don crying down the hall towards my room crying "Aunt Nicole the dog bit me in the face" My heart nearly fell out of my chest I was afraid too look. I pulled myself together and calmed her down and went to the kitchen to get some ice. The blood was dripping between her fingers as she was holding her cheek and I felt sick to my stomach. I calmly sat her at the kitchen table and got some ice and some paper towels and wrapped it up and told her to hold it to her face as hard as she could without it hurting. Now I had to call my family and I called my mother first because it is her dog and I wanted to let her know before anyone else so that I could try and keep her calm. She was very upset on the phone but just asked what hospital am I bringing her too I wasn't sure yet but I said I would call her back. Next thing I had to tell my Dad who I knew would be so angry because this was not the first time this dog bit one of our kids he attacked my daughter Jordan about 8 months ago also in the face but only cought the side of her face by her ear and it healed fine thank god. At that time my father wanted to put the dog down because he showed other signs besides this of being unstable but my Mom love's this dog and we thought we could just make sure he was kept away from the kids but you just get lax about it and then like a bad dream it happens in an instant. God I wish it were me I felt so bad for my poor little neice she was so brave and good after what she went through today I am so proud of her. She got stiched up by the plastic surgeon this afternoon and hopefully the scarring won't be that bad but we will see as it heels. This kid is unbelievable she showed me a thing or two about being calm and resilient and I hope to use her strength in my own fight. Finally my sister called me really upset which I knew was coming but I didn't want to be the one to tell her so I waited and I knew when the phone rang it was her. I almost didn't want to answer the phone because I had no idea what to say to her. I answered the phone and she just kept asking me how bad is it and I didn't want to say the truth in front of Don Don so I just said it will be fine but we just need to get her to the hospital to have the plastic surgeon evaluate it. When she asked me point blank if it thought it would need stitches I said yes and I felt her anger and fear and I felt so bad for her especially when she said why did we let this happen again now my beautiful daughter will be scarred for life on her face and for what we knew this was going to happen. She was right but as we all know hindsight is 20/20 and we never really know what will happen so lets just move forward from here and hope for the best. I trust that whatever happens God will take care of it and my neice is always going to beautiful inside and out even if she has a couple of little scars on her face. Unfortunately for the dog this is the last night he spends with our family and with his history I'm sure his fate is sealed but he had some great dog years and I pray that he finds peace either here on earth or in heaven. I feel sorry for my mother who I'm sure is feeling guilty and also will feel very sad because when you lose a pet it is difficult under any circumstances and I know she would never have wanted this for the dog or her grandaughter but sometimes things are out of our control and we just have to grieve and move on. This is a strong loving family and I am proud to be a part of it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bravery in a nutshell

I know that there is a lesson in here for me I just need to realize what that lesson is. I am going through the motions but my head is spinning. I can't stop thinking about how the hell this could happen to me. I thought I was over this but it just never seems to go away. All the well wishes and caring thoughts are so helpful but then I have to go and see doctors and listen to things I just don't want to listen to. I am afraid of thinking wrong that the universe will some how punish me for thinking why me. I am afraid of the things I see and hear in the chemo room or in the doctors office. I met a young woman in the chemo room which is what it sounds like, its a room in the hospital with about 8 chairs where everyone in the room is getting there dose of poison that day. It amazes me that every time I go there it is full with a waiting room full of people waiting for their turn to get hooked up. Anyway this woman I met was sitting next to me and being there for 4 or 5 hours you eventually start talking to everyone around you or in my case within 5 minutes you know everybody in the room life story. Unfortunately for me I asked her about her cancer and I heard just the thing that I feared most. She told me she had breast cancer that started 7 years ago and that she was stage 2. Two years after her diagnosis it returned a second time and she went through chemo again and went into remission again and then it returned for a third time and it is all over her chest. I should have kept my mouth shut because I have not stopped thinking about her since. I kept asking her how the hell can you deal with this and she told me believe it or not you get used to it you just keep fighting she was the bravest person I ever met. She was maybe 40 had two young kids and her husband left her because he couldnt't deal with her illness yet she sat there smiling and being so positive in a way I envy her. She told me they have used 5 different chemotherapys on her and they still have more to use when the cancer becomes resistant to that one as it always seems to do. She kept telling me this won't happen to you that it is much more likely that I will be fine but I just can't get the thoughts out of my head. I pray for her and for her kids. This disease is a curse on mankind and it takes the lives of young people and if there is anything I can do to help find a cure not just for myself but for anyone who has been touched by cancer I will. I know life is not a promise but a gift and I want to use mine to help others and I hope I get the chance to make a difference.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The day before blues

Today is the day before chemo and I seem to get anxious the day before treatment every time so far. I expect that that is normal considering I feel so good right now and I am about to go through hell all over again starting tomorrow. The Taxol which is the easier of the two chemo treatments has been pretty hard for me at least harder than I expected. I seem to have side affects such as night sweats and bone pain which is very painful for me and I stopped menstruating so I am having all those great menepause moments. I don't know how to dress its so funny I have to dress in layers so I can peel them off one by one as I have a hot flash but then as soon as the hot flash is over I am freezing my ass off. I even have sweat dripping off my bald head I didn't even know it was possible to sweat on your head but at least I have a lot of new clothes thanks to my neice who gave me all her clothes that she has grown out of. Its strange when you get hand me downs from you 16 year old 5 foot 8 neice. So now I am bald and Hip. I need to have a lot of clothes because all I seem to do is sweat so its good to have back up. Anyway I know the chemo is almost done I just have to keep my eye on the prize and keep moving forward. I have to make sure that my attitude stays positive which for some reason is a lot more difficult now than it was at the beginning of this ordeal. I know I am getting closer to the end but that has a whole new set of fears for me. I feel like "
then what?" Do I just wait or what happens then. I feel like at least in treatment we are actively doing something what do we do when I'm finished. What kind of testing will I go through and will the anxiety over these tests ever get easier. Do I want to know or don't I. I am not sure. I think ignorance is bliss but on the other hand the more I know the more I can fight. I am so confused and scared I dont know if this is normal but I am trying a new medication for depression and anxiety and I hope it works. My mind is like a big circle I have other thoughts but somehow someway it always end up thinking about cancer and death I just have to break the cycle and start learning to train my mind to live and relax. I want to gain control back and stop letting cancer dictate my life and my thoughts. I need to learn yoga or something. Poker helps me so much its like my time to be cancer free and just enjoy every moment but my financial problems have made it impossible for me to play right now so I need to find something else that works so far not to successful and shopping is out so any ideas let me know. LOL. I hope everybody has a great new year and I plan to have a healthy and hopefully happy 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Well kids go back to school tomorrow and I go back to Mom's house reality sucks a little right now. Good news is I only have 3 more chemotherapy sessions left and then hopefully I get to come home for good. My life is pretty boring right now so not to much to blog about but thats a good thing considering. I know life will never be totally normal again but I can see how it's going to be better as time goes by. It is getting easier and thank god I am feeling better. I do have a weird fear though of the swine flu which I'm sure a lot of people have but the more I get back to life the more chance I have of being exposed. I hope this vaccine is not just fooling me into being more reckless with exposure and that it really works. Staying at Moms house is getting old not that I don't love being there with her I actually love the time I am spending with her but I really miss being with my family in my own house with my own pets and not her really cute but insane dog Casey. I love Mom more now than I ever have I am grateful for her help I can never repay her for what she is doing for me on an every day basis. Everyone says thats what Mom's are for but not everyone is a lucky as I am to have her do what she has done. Her life has been everyday Doctors appointments and hospitals and sickness and I appreciate that more than she knows. Everybody elses lives are normal with a moment or two of helping me through but her life is like mine completely consumed with Cancer and all the fun stuff that goes along with it. I still have a long road ahead of me but it hopefully will get easier now that the first chemo is done and the one I am on now is more liveable. I am eager to get back to living my normal life. One thing really bothering me now is that I think the Taxol the chemo I am on now for the next 6 weeks is making me lose my eyebrows and eyelashes which makes me sad. You really don't realize how different you look without eyebrows they are so expressive and really make you look like you. I haven't lost them completely yet but they are really thinning and the lashes are almost gone on the bottom lid and thinning on the top. It seems more upsetting to me than losing my hair because it changes my face and that is me my face is me. I hope it comes back fast. I also cant wait till I can have sushi again I miss my raw fish I can eat the cooked stuff but can't have any raw stuff I get so jealous when we go to eat japanese food but I still like the eel so its not so bad. Anyway just counting the moments and hopefully my mind will stay strong with the help of my friends and family. The support is endless and it still amazes me how lucky I am.