The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has navigated their way safely through Hurricane/ Superstorm/ Frankenstorm Sandy. Gosh, what a mess! I sincerely hope that is not an indication of how things are going to roll this winter... Can you believe that Halloween is tomorrow? Somehow, it's the end of October already! I'm looking forward to getting the kids dressed up in their costumes. They will both be pumpkins. I'm figuring that this will be the last Halloween that I'll be "permitted" to pick out Stella's costume and/or have them be the same thing. I fully plan to enjoy it! It's Simon's first Halloween and he turns 1 next week...aughhhhh!

We had a great weekend. My parents were in town for a visit. We decided to celebrate Simon's birthday a little early since they were here. He had an absolute blast! The kid seriously loves cake. We did a Mickey Mouse theme as he's a big fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the Hot Dog Dance. A great time was had by all and I'm glad my little guy was able to cover himself in cake! The other great part of having my parents in town (and spending time with them of course!) was getting to have date night! Steve and I enjoyed a nice dinner out on the town and tried out a new (to us) restaurant. One of our favorite things to do is try a different place each time we have a chance to go out. We've found some really great spots!

Radiation is going pretty well. The nausea is gone (thank the lord!) and I'm really just tired. Not chemo tired (that truly, truly sucked) but just ready for bed by the end of the day. I'm missing my energy but hoping that it will return soon after radiation is over! I only have two weeks (10 more treatments) left of radiation. My skin is starting to get pissed off. I'm hoping that it will hang in there but I'm not sure. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to complete my treatments.

Three cheers for Halloween! Have a safe and fun evening, I know I'm excited to see all of the little ghosts and goblins tomorrow night :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Choose Hope

We had SUCH an amazing weekend. The 3-Day was so much more incredible than I realized. I am so proud of our team: When Irish Chicks are Fighting and the entire Atlanta event. The event rasied over four million dollars for breast cancer research. That's pretty freaking fantastic!

We had lots of family in town to participate and cheer on the walkers for the 3-Day. The weather was perfect and just added to the excitement of the weekend. I was so happy to have my neices here, along with some wonderful extended family. We had a big celebration party at our house on Saturday which even included a pink champaigne toast. And yes, some of us drank more of it than others :) I don't actually know how many bottles we went through but it sure was tasty!

I have to thank my fabulous ladies for walking: Beth, Missy & Jennie. You have been truly amazing, dedicated and most importantly, my biggest cheerleaders through this journey. Thank you for keeping my spirits high and the laughter rolling. You have been my sanity and honestly, the best medicine. I love you all!

To my family (all sides, branches and connections), thank you for your unwavering support, love and understanding. To my friends and followers, thank you for listening and tolerating my rants and raves of cancerland. I enjoy coming here to tell you about my journey through cancerland and appreciate you giving me the voice to share my story.

I have to share with you the most special and meaningful part of my weekend and cancer experience so far. On Sunday, I was able to walk with my girls on the last leg of their 3-Day hike. I'm not sure how many miles I walked with them, but at the very least I can tell you that Atlanta is NOT a flat city! I was so happy to be able to share such a rewarding, touching and memorable afternoon with them. To hear the crowds cheering as we approached the finish, to walk arm in arm, united with the knowledge that there is hope. Hope that one day we'll not only find a cure for breast cancer, but cancer in general. I believe in the good of modern medicine and the chance to make a difference. I will keep on fighting and I choose hope.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Nap Wars

It's going to be absolutely gorgeous here this weekend. I'm so glad that the girls will have good weather for the walk. I wish we could keep this weather forever, I love Indian Summer!

I had a check-up yesterday with my plastic surgeon. She just wanted to make sure my skin and tissue expander were holding up okay through radiation. I actually saw my favorite NP instead and it was fun catching up with her. The only downside to the appointment was that she said we can't schedule my next surgery (to remove the tissue expander and replace with implant) until nine months after radiation. I'm seriously bummed because I thought the surgeon had told me six months. So, we'll see I guess. I'm just anxious to be done with this whole mess.

I don't really have any other exciting thoughts to share, unfortunately. I'm currently listening to the demolition crew upstairs (aka: Stella). How can something so small make SO MUCH NOISE?!?! She's happy as a clam but seriously, the napping thing has become such a joke here. I mean, she maybe takes a nap five days out of seven. The problem with that is she still very much NEEDS a nap. I've started removing various things from her room for naptime. Steve suggested padded walls and nothing else and I tend to agree with him. Does this appetite for destruction phase ever end? She will cheerfully remove every.single.wipe from the wipe container. She finds this activity to be joyous while it infuriates me. I do remove them (when I remember) but she just moves on to something else. She really enjoys putting everything she owns into baskets, containers, etc. It's quite frustrating. Serenity now!!!!!!!!!!!

As we speak, a huge crash echoed off the walls from upstairs. No screaming yet... is it too early to start drinking?!?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Toddler Talk

It's hard to believe that the Atlanta 3-Day is this coming weekend. I feel like we've been planning and talking about it for so long. But, I guess it has been a while, since February. I'm so excited for my girls who are walking (Beth, Missy & Jennie, love ya!) and to also have some family in town to cheer them on. The weather is supposed to be perfect here this weekend, yay!

We had an absolute blast at the pumpkin patch over the weekend. Spending a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in the North Georgia mountains watching the kids explore the pumpkins was just awesome. I continually forget how pretty the mountains are down here. They do make me homesick for the Shenandoah Valley, fall is my favorite time of year in Virginia. Speaking of Virginia, it looks like my plan for making it home for Thanksgiving is a go, wahoo!!

While Saturday was a perfect day, the past three have been a real challenge. My poor Simon has yet another ear infection (this time a double). We've been  threatened with the ENT the next time it happens. He's had 4 ear infections in 5 months, so it's not looking good. He's been a real trooper but I know he's miserable. It's the screaming for an hour in the middle of the night that may do both Steve and I in... Hopefully he'll be back to normal once the antibiotics kick in. I serisouly cannot wait for 2012 to take a hike!

Stella is her crazy self which is good. She is still talking about the pumpkin patch and she also seems to think it's her birthday... not sure why but we're working on that one. Simon will be one in a few weeks (OMG, I can't even talk about it) and I'm slightly worried that it may blow her mind. Hoping for the best there. She's such a funny kid and she does make us laugh. Her favorite thing to talk about is dog poop (yeah, I know it's weird, but what am I supposed to do?!?!). I mean, everytime we take Willie (our insane chocolate lab) outside, she demands that he poop. Whenever we leave the house in the car, she says good-bye to the dog poop. What????? Yup, you're secretly jealous that your child isn't obsessed with dog poop. I get it. Aughhhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm still feeling blah from radiation but the good news is that it's not getting any worse. I mean really, between ear infections and dog poop, I just don't have the time or energy to feel bad!! On that note, both children are actually sleeping (at the same time, woohoo!) so I'm going to put my feet up and catch up on my Housewives. Super classy, all the way around, I know!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pitty Party for One, Please

I began my third "week" of radiation today. I'll have a total of 7 weeks, or 35 treatements, however you want to phrase it. Things are going okay, but definitely not as smoothly as I thought. My skin is reacting well and I don't have any pain, which is great news. I am, however, having nausea. Yup, I made it through 6 rounds of chemo without being sick and now, the part of my treatment that was supposed to be "easy" is kicking my ass. Believe me when I say that I am beyond frustrated and annoyed at this little turn of events. At first, I really thought it was just my allergies acting up but as the days have progressed, the nausea has gotten worse. So, I mentioned it to my doctor today, and oh yes, nausea is indeed a side effect for the type of radiation I'm getting. I'm having a fairly large area radiated (IBC infiltrates the skin lympahtics) and in order to cover everything, a small part of my spine is involved which is causing the nausea. Jumping for joy here... My doctor prescribed some anti-nausea meds, so we'll give them a whirl. It's a minor setback really, all things considered, and I'm sure that I'm being a baby about it, but I just wasn't counting on feeling bad during radiation. Mostly I think I'm just disappointed in my body for not taking a stronger stand. November 14th can't get here soon enough. Okay, pitty party officially over, I'm even annoying myself at this point!

All that being said, I don't really have the luxury of laying around and trying to sleep my troubles away. Most days I just try to keep my mind and body busy, the less time focused on not feeling good, the better. I'm glad that Simon and Stella keep me on my toes! We're looking forward to a fun weekend at home. The weather is supposed to be beautiful and we're hoping to take the kids to the pumpkin patch!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Little Things

We had a nice weekend which included a short trip up to Charlotte to celebrate our nieces' birthdays. The kids had a blast (the party included a bounce house, what's not to love??) and we had a good time catching up with family and friends. It was one of those weekends that started out sunny and in the 80's and ended up rainy and in the 50's. You've gotta love a 30+ degree temperature swing in a 24 hour period! The kids were somewhat well behaved in the car and amazingly patient when we were stuck behind an accident returning home on I-85. I-85 in Georgia is notoriously bad and I'm not sure I've ever taken a road trip on that interstate where we didn't sit behind an accident. Yesterday was at least a 5 mile back-up but we used the GPS to detour ourselves around it. Thank god for technology on days like that!

Radiation is going well. I'm starting to meet some people and I've enjoyed chatting with them. The staff (and patients, for that matter) could not be any nicer so I really don't mind having to be there every day. I had a marathon day on Friday which included radiation, a Herceptin treatment, an x-geva treatment and a flu shot to round things off. I was exhausted but didn't feel bad, so that was a bonus. I was able to catch up with Kate again for our Herceptin treatment. She's doing well, considering that she's still getting chemo every three weeks. I really admire her spirit, she's still so positive. I've got my fingers crossed that she's going to get good news this time around.

As I mentioned earlier, it's chilly here in the south. I always have to chuckle a little bit when it gets below 65 here, because people break out the Uggs, scarves and winter coats. Yes, it's cool, but not cold! Although, at the moment I'm freezing and I'm tempted to break out my ski socks. Being that our AC was on over the weekend, I refuse to turn on the heat. It just seems wrong to go from AC to heat, there should be a "period of silence" where you don't have to use either unit and enjoy saving a little cash. So, it's 62 degrees in my house but damn it, we're saving money! It's the little things, really...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Girl On Fire

I feel like the Alicia Key's song: Girl on Fire can represent my life in so many ways right now. Most literally, my body is kind of on know, the whole radiation thing. Secondly, the song is all about feeling empowered as a woman and I can totally relate to that, especially this past year. Lastly, it's just a kick-ass song, you should check it out if you haven't already heard it.

Radiation is going well. At least, I assume it is, I can't feel anything so I guess all is well. Being a science fan (I really am!), I find the entire process really interesting. Radiation treatments are based on such precise, meticulous measurements. I guess maybe I just appreciate the intricacy of the process especially considering what a major cancer treatment this is, and yet, I feel nothing. Cheers to that!

In other news, I bought some "product" for my hair the other day. Yup, freaking fantastic!! I bought some gel (at least, that's what I think it is) which I have never used until pre-cancer hair was fine and very straight - no gels needed! So, I'm currently rocking the "mussed up" 'do which I think I can pull off... if it looks like crap, no one has said anything yet... It's kind of fun to do and only takes about 10 seconds - my kind of hairstyle! Plus, it's a great excuse to sport fabulous earrings.

I managed to burn the ever-living-hell out of the roof of my mouth last night. You'd think I'd learn not to dive into my just-out-of-the-oven frozen pizza, but alas, I've lost count of how many times I've done that. Please try not to be jealous of my gourmet dinner. Look, it was 8:30pm., Steve was out for a fancy schmancy dinner for work and I simply didn't have the energy to whip up some healthy, impressive meal. Rarely do we eat dinner here before 8pm, so that was nothing new, but trying to corral my two hooligans, prepare for bed (bathtime was out of the question last night). read stories, brush teeth, etc, all on my own is exhausting. I know many of you can relate. So, yes, my frozen pizza tasted 5 star last night...