Saturday, February 23, 2013


Post Chemo Day 3

The side effects started last night. I felt so achy and was in so much pain. Little did I know how bad it would get. I slept pretty good through most of the night until about 3 am when Stephen woke up screaming. Steve had to get up with him because I physically could not get out of bed. He cried for me, poor buggar. Within a half a hour he was back up again, but this time, I let him come in the room and get a 15 minuet cuddle and I staggered with him back to his room. The girls were up bright and early and I turned on the TV in my room. Every time they moved the bed, I cringed. It hurt so bad and felt like an eternity before Sarah finally showed up. I only managed an hour before I fell asleep on the couch. I slept most of the day and Sarah made me come and get some food. This pain is incredible. I feel like I was set out in the sun, with baby oil, crushed between two steel slabs and then given a mutated flu gene. Every place there is a hair on my body aches. My face feels like it is being stretched beyond the limits of the world. My neck and shoulders may just fall off from the pain. Nothing seems to help. I wasn't ready for this.

Stephen was out of control tonight. He screamed for what seemed to be the entire evening. Nothing soothed him. Lily joined his madness for a while but is easier to get over her issues. They just don't understand. I feel like a helpless mom and that is just about the worst feeling.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


It's been 16 days since I jotted anything down. 16. What a number. Shannon was born on the 16th and she forever changed my life, and let me tell you, in these past 16 days my life changed in no way like it did when she was born. 16 days ago, I would fight this C and I knew I'd live. Today, I can't say the same. An incredible whirlwind of emotions has taken over my life.

15 days ago, I went for my Bone Scan and CT scan. I was feeling sick since the day before. I had a cough for a solid month and while all of the Project Sweet Peas Board of Directors were in to receive the $20,000 check from Chase; my back pain went through the roof because of my cough. It was unbearable. So after all of my scans that morning, Steve made me go to the ER. Apparently having C and having the issues I was having was not good. How did I know they would all be looped together in a matter of hours?

I was admitted, and in my room for only two hours when my Breast Surgeon came in. She told me that she had the results of my scans, and she wished she had better news. They found cancer in my liver, 2 spots on my spine, and in the other breast. I was fighting Stage IV breast cancer. I have been in this place before. I stopped listening, and broke down. I just remember looking at her sobbing and asked if I was going to die. Her response "We are going to try and not let that happen". Not a "Oh my Gosh, no hunny, what an over exaggeration, you will be just fine"; They would "try" to save my life. Thanks, I guess.

I haven't Steve cry like that for years. He sobbed as he made the phone calls and I laid there in a comatose state. I went back to the dark place, my eyes were swollen and hurt from crying, I couldn't sleep, it consumed my every thought. I am dying. I am going to die long before I should. Would I see my kids in 5 years? Chances are I would never see them have kids, and that broke my heart most of all. I would die before my husband, who I always assumed would die before me. Sarah stayed with me overnight because Steve didn't want me to be alone, and she and Danielle did a darn good job to keep me in better spirits.

I stayed in the hospital for a couple more days as they pumped me full of meds for my upset belly and tried to get my cough to go away. They think I may be starting in to asthma, hence my cough with breathing problems. My nurses were awesome, and made me laugh so hard. They will never have any idea of the impact they made on me those days. I had to turn my phone off because it was going crazy with supportive texts and calls, but I couldn't bring myself to talking to much of anyone, I still really can't.

I ended up cutting my hair once I was released because I knew I would be losing it soon anyway, but I wasn't ready for a complete shave yet. I hated it at first (sorry Sarah!!) but it was more because I knew why it was short. I didn't choose willfully to do this. Just like I didn't choose to have a hysterectomy, it was chose for me. And to live, yet again, I had to do more stuff I didn't want to have to do. Another part of my femininity was stripped away from me. I was slowly be torn away from my womanhood- and it would soon get worse.

Danielle came with Steve and me to the oncologist on the 14th and took notes. Thank goodness she did because I got lost in everything he had said. Basically, only 5% of metastatic breast cancer (cancer that spreads) is curable. So, chances are slim that any of this cancer will ever go away. The only hope is to stop it from growing and spreading. Surgery is not in my future. They will do a couple rounds of chemo and targeted drugs for my type of mets and then repeat scans and see where we are. That is it. All we can do is prolong my life as long as we can. I pray that I am that 5% of curable Stage IV mets cancer patients, but, let's face it, the odds have never been in my favor. I ain't no Katniss Everdeen.

The doc wanted me to start chemo ASAP. So I had my first round on Wednesday. I tried hard not to think about it, but it ate at me like nothing I have ever felt before. My first round meant that this was really happening. It was a reality that I had cancer and I was indeed dying. As soon as my nurse started hooking me up on my meds I lost it. I just couldn't stop crying. It was really happening. Really.

It wasn't terrible, I didn't have any bad reactions, but that's probably because God figured to at least give me a "freebie" with it. I am actually a little frightened that maybe it isn't working because it went so well. Yesterday I did good; no bad side effects. The steroid I am on for my bone mets cause servers insomnia, so I just don't get to sleep for a couple days while I do a round. I had some chills like I had the flu but it's just another day I am alive.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I saw the Breast Surgeon today. Doc found two types of BC, which is the type that is in my milk ducts and has not moved out (DCIS), and I also have the IDC (Invasive Ductal) which means it has moved out of the ducts in to the tissue. When you have BC, they check your hormone receptor status, which means they try to see if estrogen, progesterone or a protein called HER2neu is "feeding" your C. Each type of those is treated differently. I am negative for the E and P but am positive for the HER2. So this protein normally is fine, we all have it, but mine is rapidly reproducing and causing my cancer. It also makes my prognosis and chances for re-occurrence greater. Only 15% of BCs are HER2+. It has started to spread and was also positive for spreading through the lymph nodes. My stage is still 2, so I am right in the middle of "okay BC" and "oh shit BC". Good thing about being HER2+ is that there is a specific chemo that targets the protein, but the chemo rounds will be longer and I will need more of them than most.

I have an MRI today which is standard, but have been battling back pain since around the time I found the mass and go for a bone scan and a CT scan tomorrow. I also have to see a genetic counselor today, given my age and hormone status. This will tell me if the BC is genetic or not.

I go on Valentine's Day to see the oncologist and that is the appointment that we will have a solid plan that we'll start soon after. Doc today says that it is most likely given all my factors that I will start Chemo first to stop it from growing and reduce its size.