Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thank YOU

It's definitely overdue and going to be mentioned often, but I have to send the most sincere thank you to all my family and friends for your unconditional support, words of encouragement and love. Thank you for the cards, the gorgeous flowers, text messages, emails, phone calls, magazine subscriptions, books, and for just spending time with me. It's because of you that I am able to be positive and keep my mind in the right place as we go on this rollercoaster ride. THANK YOU!!

My best friend, Leslie, posted a touching blog telling her perspective of learning that I have breast cancer and so much more. If you have any interest, please check it out! Leslie's blog is "Jar of Vintage Buttons" the post is called "The C word." Let me know what you think!

Last, but never least, I have a special thank you to Robert. You are truly the reason I put one foot in front of the other each day, especially when I don't want to face the ugly truth. I've always known we had a special kind of love, but I had no idea it was this much! Thank you for being by my side through EVERYTHING! Every appointment, every gruesome decision we must make, for staying up late researching while you let me sleep, for taking charge with the doctors and ensure we are getting the best treatment while letting me focus on just the treatment itself. Thank you for making sure that I'm comfortable, safe, happy, and for making me feel like I'm still the girl you fell for 15 years ago. Thank you for adjusting your entire life in a split second to help me beat this thing. You are my angel, and I love you more than anything, and I know you know this much. I just need to tell you how proud I am to call you MY husband. Thank you :o)


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prep & 1st Chemo Treatment

Yesterday was supposed to be the "easy" day. I went to Christ to get a PICC line put in my arm to administer chemo because I cannot have a port due to the baby. The procedure should have taken 30 minutes, but instead took 2 hours of poking and prodding my veins trying to run the catheter to my chest. Needless to say, my poor arm felt like it had gone to war and lost. The worst part is that I have to get at least 3 more PICC lines installed. My next one will be in less than 3 weeks, I really hope I forget the experience before then. I joked with the nurses and asked if I should request for them for the next 3 months for this procedure, but they politely declined stating I have the tiniest vessels and that although I was a good patient, she would prefer not to be the one to install my future PICCs. Not too encouraging.

On a comfy note, last night Robert picked up our new recliner bought especially for me and my recovery. It has two motors, so it can lay completely down like a bed and get you ready for standing position with a remote control! My sweet husband thought this would be a good idea so I'm not stuck in bed throughout the process. I'm relieved we got the chair! Plus, it's super comfy!

ONE DOWN! First treatment was today. We got a late start so we spent the majority of the day at the doctor's office, 10:30am-3:30pm. Overall, experience went better than I expected. Calm room with half a dozen patients other than myself. The nurses couldn't have been any nicer to me. I'm so relieved to have this over with so now I know what to expect going forward (with the treatment at least).

My chemo schedule has changed to every three weeks for the first four treatments because I can not take the "growth factor" injection that boosts your blood count after treatment because it's hasn't been proven safe for baby. So I'll have 3 more treatments every three weeks and then begin a new drug in which I'll have to get a treatment weekly for another 12 weeks. I'm pretty much stating all these details for my sake, changes have been made abruptly around here that it's hard for me to keep track of everything.

It was definitely a surreal day, I was at least 30-40 years younger than every other person being treated today. That was hard to swallow. After I had my moment of acknowledgement I changed my focus to getting what needed to be done and get home. Still feel like I'm dreaming at times.

I've been home for several hours and with the nausea meds in my IV today I still feel pretty good. I just finished making banana bread!!! If you know me well you know I don't cook, much less bake! I was informed by the docs that mid-day tomorrow and day 3 (day of treatment + 2 days) I'll likely start to feeling crummy. Then again on days 5-10 because my blood count will drop. I've went ahead and scheduled for fluids the next two days to be safe. Plus, figured I'd use this damn PICC line after all the hassle of putting it in (jk).

More to come soon...I want to document as much as possible for the first treatment so I'm much more comfortable for the next time.

Peace & Love,

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Haircut

Last night I finally did the one thing I never thought I'd do, or ever wanted to do, still don't want to do, but I chopped off my hair (well my mom did). Don't worry, she's a professional. Before the super short cut, we sectioned my hair into 6 sections to hand off to my girlie Kelli to begin preparing for 6 little wigs for local children that have lost their hair due to similar circumstances. Even if they can't use all of it, I'm going to believe that's where my locks went.

It's the strangest thing, I don't feel like I'm the most vain person in the world, but I will tell you, having a certain sense of yourself (at least for me) does go with your outward appearance. I didn't really recognize myself in the mirror this morning and felt sheepish when my husband first looked at me last night. This is the complete reason why I had to just bite the bullet and chop it off because I need to get good and ready for feeling like this and being confident not only with very, very short hair, but with NO HAIR. Stupid Cancer!

I texted my mom last night thanking her for doing what neither of us wanted to, but by taking the bull by the horns, so to speak. Mom helped to empower me to begin this process with us taking the lead. She apologized for taking my hair from me. I want to correct her because I don't think I can sleep at night with my wonderful, supportive, caring momma to think she ever took anything from me. She gave me strength and control. Cancer is taking this from me AND I'll get it back. I'm okay with this. I haven't shed a tear over it, and I'm not going to allow myself. Bigger things to be thinking about from this point forward...

I also need to thank my Pops while I'm at it. My dad was there for comic relief and stayed with us while we turned my long hair into what I've been calling my new "boy" cut. Thanks Dad :0) I think we reached a family consensus that if I had red hair like my brother, he and I would look like twins with my new do.

This afternoon my mom and I went to the American Cancer Society to get information and to try on wigs for when all of my hair is gone. The women there were so gracious and supportive and provided tons of information that will help not only me, but my family through this process. Thank you ACS for your generosity and support! Please remember to tell others that they offer all sorts of support, wigs, hats, scarfs, etc. free of charge for any woman going through a similar situation. I've signed up for their program "Look Good, Feel Better" on May 7th. My mom has volunteered her time with this program for 8 years and she will be hosting the class on this day. It'll be an experience neither of us will forget, and I'm so thankful she'll be with me. Love you Mom.

The new me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Entry

Hi there, this is my first entry, ever! For the first time in my life, I am about to embark on a journey that I feel documenting is worth while. My name is Misty, I've just turned 30 a little over a month ago. I'm 21 weeks pregnant (today!) with a precious baby boy, and a week ago today was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I want to remember my life as it is now, remember the next painstaking few months, and the beautiful life my wonderful husband and I are about to experience, so what better way than to begin documenting my daily adventures (whether they are good or bad). I'm an open book to those that know me (you probably know me too well) but pretty shy and reserved to those that I don't. This is a huge stretch for myself to put my real thoughts out for everyone to see, but I think that's just what I need to do for myself right now, experience the unknown and to just embrace it.

So, here we go.....
I found a lump in my right breast about 8 weeks ago. I thought surely, this was due to the pregnancy and that my OB would tell me that I was just a normal worried mother-to-be and that everything was normal. To my surprise, I was referred to get an ultrasound of my breast which led to a biopsy, which led to the words that I never dreamed would be uttered to me, "Misty, you have breast cancer." A moment that I will never, ever forget. One week later, I now have two oncologists working diligently to ensure not only is this tumor treated promptly, but that my baby is safe throughout the process. I begin 8 rounds of chemotherapy over a 16 week period on Wednesday, March 28th. After the chemo, my baby will be delivered, and the double-mastectomy, and reconstruction will begin.

I believe one day, I want to share this story with my son, or maybe there will be another young woman experiencing something similar to myself and find some sort of relief or comfort that she is not alone. I have found this comfort in reading Libby Ryder's blog, "Don't Waste Your Cancer." You should really check out her story, it's so touching and inspiring to see such a strong, young woman go through such a difficult situation with such grace. I hope to see myself in the same light after this is all said and done.

Tonight, I'm going to cut off my hair into a pixie cut. Something I never dreamt I do, nor do I want to do it. I know my psyche couldn't handle watching my long hair fall out in clumps in the shower or waking up to it on my pillow, so I'm going to try to take matters into my own hands (I guess I forgot to mention I'm a control freak). Wish me luck, and if you are reading this and you are my loved one, please be nice to me (fake it even if you hate it) ;0).

One of my biggest supporters gave me this card, so I have to post this final thought for the day: Cancer is Stupid.
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Peace & Love,
My husband Robert & I at a Christmas Party. We found out 5 days from this event that I was 5 weeks pregnant.