Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Round II

Hi there, A recap of my week in progress...Monday had my glucose test for the baby boy and it came back okay! It's great news that I can still eat what I want, god knows that helps with my sanity these days and it's definitely showing. Tuesday had my second PICC line "installed" and to my delight, it went perfectly smooth. I had the line put in with the radiology unit this time and the doctor had the line put in within minutes! Much better than the 2 hour struggle that I had faced the time before. Makes for less anxiety knowing I'll need two more in the coming weeks. After spending the morning with my mom at the hospital, I met my two girlfriends (should really just start calling them my life support) and shaved my head. Thank you Kelli and Amy for your constant support...being able to find humor in what could have been a devestating task is priceless and I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. :0) Having a shaved head is not pretty, GI Jane comes to mind, but according to Kelli I have a nicely shaped head. HILARIOUS! Who would have thought that would be something to brag about. I will say, it feels pretty good. I feel like I have menthol on my head at all times. My dad always fights with my mom to shave his head (she likes him with hair) but now I get really feels nice. This last week has been all about the hair so hopefully we won't be discussing this topic much in the future. I just don't want to forget this experience because I think I'll be proud of myself one day for being able to do it, because trust me I never thought I would or could. But after 3 days of crying in the shower because the hair would not stop falling out in crazy clumps (it was everywhere and wouldn't stop coming out, yet I still had tons to go) I just felt like I was making the situation more difficult on myself. Plus I was shedding everywhere and if you have pets, you know how annoying that is! The natural progression prepared me to just want to get rid of it. I'm glad I did. It was a burdon lifted after doing so. But don't worry peeps, you won't be seeing much of me and my bald head, I'm still very much a hair girl and rocked my new wig today during my second chemo treatment. It's definitely an adjustment, but one I'll get used to QUICKLY. My treatment today also went better than expected. My mom was with me to help pass the time. We are a pretty good team when it comes to distracting ourselves and pretending we aren't in a place where we don't want to be. Instead we focus on what's really important, like what's happening with the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Orange County (insert sarcasim). She showed me the YouTube clip of Kristen Bell and the's hysterical and worth checking out. On a serious note, we met a woman at the chemo clinic today who was extremely excited to announce it was her birthday (over and over again). She made sure everyone in the place knew it. Once I had a chance to talk with her, she explained that she has been receiving chemo treatments for the last 3 years and shouldn't be having this 35th birthday. I'd be celebrating with such enthusiasm if I were her too. What's funny is she got upset after learning of my situation. It's so interesting to me that when you join this "cancer cult", as I've been calling it, you learn to take yourself out of the equation and empathize with everyone else. I think that's the healthiest way to be anyhow, but to see others in a similar situation do the same is neat...strange, but neat. Although every situation is completely different, there's a strange sense of understanding that resides with these strangers...we know the true meaning of adversity...well I'm in the process of learning, but you become a gang in a sense. I believe not only I am apart of this new gang, but my family and friends are also initiated members...we are all very much a part of this and I am soooooooo happy, relieved and thankful for my support system. Each new day, I'm speechless with the amount of support I'm given without a blink of an eye. I have no idea how I'll ever truly repay each of you, but I promise I'll never, ever forget what you've done for me. Peace & Love, Misty

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Off day

Hi there,Today is a day where I don't have a million things going on or to "get done" so my mind is swimming with unpleasant thoughts, or thoughts I don't want to face. Instead of just feeling like a bottle about to explode, I'm going to unleash my thoughts on here, afterall this is why I've created a blog to begin with. I'm leaving these thoughts, feelings here so I can get back to normalcy. So last Wednesday my oncologist had explained that by day 16 or 17 post my first chemo treatment my hair will begin to fall out pretty rapidly. That brings us to today. My Aunt Linda had explained that my scalp will get tender right before this process begins and that I'll know when it's happening. Well, it's happening. I think all women know what I mean when I say a hair headache, when you've had your hair in a too tight of a pony tail for too long and your head aches. That's what it feels like. This hurts my heart because I can "feel" healthy or be as positive as I want to be and this crap is still going to happen whether I want it to or not. Willpower can only get me so far apparently. I've noticed several locks of hair near the shower drain over the last week and I have honestly thought, poor Robert is losing his hair....what the heck is wrong with my brain! It made me laugh when I first realized how silly and protective my mind is being, but now I'm sad for myself that I'm truly, and happily, in denial from the emotional toll I'm embarking upon. I have cut my hair, I have scarves and a wig ready to go, but the act of using these things in lieu of what I'm used to is still so odd to me. I have had so many people give me the sweetest compliments on my new hair cut and I'll be honest and say, each time I think, it's not by choice...not what I want. The hair process is really just a gigantic symbol of your illness. It's the staple of cancer and tells everyone without a single word that you're sick. This is what I hate about losing my hair. Trust me, I know it's only hair and it'll come back. It's just frustrating to know for a month now that your battling something, but even after a month, you've only just begun the challenge. If you ask my mom, I've always wanted to be far older than my years and I believe it's so that I could have full control over my life, my decisions, avoiding things that make me uncomfortable, etc. Well this cancer thing isn't following my rules and taking me to many places, making me do many things that I'm not too fond of, nor pleased about. I'm sure my anxieties are high anticipating what next week will bring. I know I can do it, I will do it, but knowing that it's going to hurt (stupid PICC line) and the unknown of what symptoms it's going to bring out this time puts me in a foul mood. After I posted about the upcoming benefit, I had a flood of messages pour in from friends and family from all over and from a long time ago. Thank you for reaching out to me and taking time to let me know that you care for me and my family. It's unbelievable the amount of love people have and are so ready to share with us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Benefit -- May 17, 2012

Hi there, I wanted to post about an upcoming benefit that my dearest friends are putting together for Robert and I to help see us through this "interesting" process. I first want to say THANK YOU to each of you, you know who you are, for always stepping up and helping when it's most needed. My girlfriends have this very strange, wonderful ability to throw awesome events and I usually just help however I can (and do what they tell me to). To be on the other side and be the purpose behind "why" this event is happening is very nerve wracking and makes everything all the more real to me. Robert and I are ever so grateful to you and appreciate all that you are doing for us. I'm honored to have a core group of ladies that care so deeply for us and are willing to take time out of your lives not only to check on me on a daily basis, meet me for lunch, drop off dinner and send me text message saying your thinking of me, but to organize an event that is solely to help make my life as stress-free as possible and ensure all our bases are covered. THANK YOU and I'm seriously the luckiest girl in the world to have best friends like you, I mean that! I love each of you to the core, thank you for EVERYTHING! For the rest of you reading this, hopefully I can help you better understand why my girlfriends jumped into action to help us out. Robert and I have decided to get a second opinion on my treatment plan with a facility called MD Anderson. This facility is based out of Houston TX and specializes in pregnant women with cancer and treat up to 40,000 pregnant women with cancer per year. Although I have an excellent team, I want to go where I'm the norm, not an anomoly and have the experts in this area help advise us as we go through this process. From what I hear, this is a normal thing to do to ease the minds of both the patient, their families and to have a team work together to ensure we are getting the upmost care. Needless to say, the benefit is going to make this possible for us. Please don't feel any pressure to contribute anything at all, we are fully aware of the hard times this economy has imposed on all of us, but your support emotionally is/has been appreciated just the same. :0)
Event Details: Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:00pm-10:00pm Blinkers Tavern 318 Greenup Street Covington, KY 41011 The invite has been sent via a Facebook event invite by Kelli Fohl. If you have not received the invite and would like to be included, please just post a comment or message me and I'd be more than happy to forward to you. If you would like to include anyone, please feel free to pass the invite along. Thank you so much for your support. UPDATE TO BENEFIT INFORMATION REGARDING DONATIONS: A benefit account has been setup for Misty at The Bank of Kentucky. If anyone has received donations on her behalf or know those who would like to make a donation, you can stop in any Bank of KY location and give Misty Porter's name to deposit the donation into her benefit account. Please visit​locations.aspx for a list of Bank of KY locations. You can also mail deposits to my attention at the address below. The Bank of Kentucky Attn: Brooke King 7900 Tanner’s Gate Lane P.O. Box 577 Florence, KY 41042 Thank you for your support!!! We hope to see you May 17th!! :-) The Bank of Kentucky > Locations Peace & Love, Misty

Friday, April 6, 2012

Strike a Pose

It's been a good GREAT day! I had my first ultrasound since my first chemo treatment. I'll start getting monthly ultra sounds to monitor his progress more closely. I'm just reminding you of this as I prepare you for the great of today I'm 23 weeks and 1 day pregnant and my BIG boy is in the 69th percentile and already weighs approximately 1 pound 8 ounces!!!!!!!!! The radiologist said something so cute I think I almost burst all over the walls of the hospital with pride, "He's even on the chubby side when it comes to his belly and face!" My baby is even CHUBBY! Oh please keep news like this coming! I am on cloud 9, no cloud 10! I got to see his darling little face and sure enough he's got his momma's big cheeks! If news like this comes every so often, I can take this, all of this. Nothing will take away the pride I felt today. I just have to keep telling myself that I know I'll get to feel this wonderful feeling again in another month! Keep all your fingers and toes crossed for my boy, that he continues to get big and strong.
Now to my thank yous....Brenda H., Terri V., Carol S., Beth M., Jan C. thank you so much for the beautiful cards. Beth, I've already placed the "Promise" in our bedroom where it is prominently displayed, thank you. Charles, thank you so much for the HUGE book, it'll take me a while, but I'll get through it. Shawn M., thank you so much for the incredible goodie basket that had the whole kit and caboodle (I forgot to thank you for the delicious candle, but we love it!). If I missed anyone, I'm so sorry, but THANK YOU! Ann T., thank you so much for your inspiring letter. I've been thinking of you often as I go through this process and will defintitely reach out to you soon. Thank you for all the contiuous emails, facebook messages and for those of you that I don't know very well that are following my story and cheering me on (Dr. C ladies). I'm finding myself surrounded by love and support in every possible direction that it's impossible to deny. Each of you make it impossible not to wake up with a smile on my face and ready, and happily face a new day and ALL of it's possiblilities (migraines and all). I'm truly blessed and know this more and more as I go on this journey. I want to give a shout out to my most favorite place in all the land, the Union Bead Boutique. My favorite store is closing it's doors on May 12th. I have to say I've literally been sick over the news for days. The day after I found out I visited the store to talk to the beautiful owner, Jessica. I had to go to my favorite place and see it again before anything changes so I can picture all the beautiful beads, crystals, glass, etc. just as it was so I will always remember it that way. I may sound crazy to some of you, but this is where I have gone for years for inspiration, or on a really bad day at my real job I'd slip away on my lunch break, and of all things, Jessica made my wedding jewelry that I'll cherish always. This jewelry is what inspired me to make jewelry myself. Jessica, her husband and staff have always been so welcoming and have done such an amazing job at providing a haven for jewelry artists like myself to go to their fairytale and "get lost" in their fantasies of creating all kinds of possibilities and wonder. Thank you Jessica for sharing your wonderful treasure with me for the last 5 years. I'll never forget your store and will still be a devout customer (and friend) via your website and local events. Wishing you and your family ALL the happiness as you start your new journey. I know it's going to be even more wonderful than what you've already created (which was pretty perfect)! Just in case I'm not on here in a few days, Happy Easter family and friends. I love each of you. Peace & Love, Misty

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day at the zoo

Today was an interesting day...I started off the day by going to the zoo with my girlfriend Kelli and her two adorable babies. The weather was beautiful, I was in good spirits and felt good, and little Kaidon (Kelli's daughter) was so excited to see the monkeys and zebras! After being at the zoo for about 2 hours, I was talking with Kelli and realized the words coming out of my mouth were nonsensical. I was confused because my thoughts seemed normal but I couldn't find the correct words to put a sentence together. Kelli sat me down in the shade, got me water, and tried to help me make sense of what was going on. I do have a history of migraines, have had instances where my speech was impaired but I couldn't articulate this to Kelli at the time. Once I got my bearings we left the zoo. Kelli encouraged me to call my oncologist so I did, wasn't sure if it was a side effect of the chemo. The nurse acted like she didn't know what would be causing the irregular thoughts/speech (and I forgot to mention my right arm went numb) and she told me to call my OB. Frustrated, I tried to convince Kelli to just take me home and I'd sleep it off, but at this point my vision started to go and I wasn't able to recognize familiar things, people, concepts that she was trying to talk to me about. She was fed up and called Robert and the next thing I know I'm at St. Elizabeth hospital. After bloodwork, EEG, and CAT scan it was determined to be just one of my "complex migraines." After the speech and vision issues lapsed, my left side of my forehead began to ache. The doctor was awesome and so nice, he helped me understand it's probably just caused by over doing it when my body is going through so much as it is. He explained that the speech issues, right arm numbness would make sense if a vessel in the left side of my head was strained or whatever the case may be. He also explained that my complaints were textbook so I could at least feel relieved that we knew what was happening, just don't know why exactly. So I just have to report any other weird instances if they occur and I already had appointments setup for tomorrow to get my blood count checked at the oncologist and meet with my OB. I keep thinking every bit of this experience is happening for a reason, so my lesson out of this is to make it my goal to find out who is my "home base" physician so when something comes up like this, whether it's a side effect from chemo or not, the issue is still addressed immediately and I'm not shrugged off to another doctor. I'm so grateful that I have such a wonderful support system with my friends and family. I had to have been so difficult to deal with and Kelli didn't flinch and took such good care of me all the while having her two babies with us! Thank you Kel, I love you! Thank you to Robert and my parents for rushing to be by my side! I have to admit I was terrified, and I was even more afraid when I couldn't express that I was terrified. I will do two things going forward even though I hate to: one, I will learn to speak up for myself to the doctors even though I struggle to do so, and two, I'll really take it easy. I HATE feeling sick. I want to throw a temper tantrum and scream it's not fair, but what good is that for anyone? I think my stage of denial is coming to an end and I'm being forced to face the music. I don't know how to prepare myself for this. Deep breathes.

Thank you grama & grampa, Nancy and Jan & Gene for the beautiful cards. All were so uplifting:-) I'm going to do a better job acknowledging everyone's support and help. My apologies if I haven't thanked you personally yet, but I do read every single message, card, etc. and every single one of them mean the world to me. I'll be in touch slowly but surely! Kristy L. your message was so touching and sweet, thank you so much! Kelli thank you so much for dinner, it was delicious!
Peace & Love,

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chemo Plus 5

Hello there, I have to chuckle a bit when I title these posts, I'm really not that morbid and since this whole thing is new to me, I'm trying to figure out what I want to share, what to keep to myself and what's worth while to write about so bear with me. Because I started this whole thing on the premise of my diagnosis, I feel like that's what I should be sharing at all times, but in fact, I'm still the same girl who has the same interests, thoughts, and motivations and am now just coping with this new order of business. So I want to branch out of bit and talk about the most exciting thing all of us Kentuckians will be bragging about for years to come (well only us BLUE fans anyhow), but how our C-A-T-S kicked some bootie in New Orleans last night!
I had a great time watching the game at a friend's house yesterday, ate myself into a food coma, and caught up with old friends. Saturdays don't get much better than that! I'll finish with a lil cancer update...I have felt remarkably well considering what I feared I would feel like after receiving chemo. Every morning I wake up and Robert asks how I feel and I do a quick body assessment and report to him. It's truly the scariest, and odd scenario to fear what each hour might bring. I've been told that the chemo builds up in your system and the symptoms get stronger, thus worse, with each treatment. So hopefully I won't be suddenly debilitated after my next treatment. But overall, the only complaints I have is fatigue, mild nausea, and this terrible aching in my left arm (nope not even the arm with the PICC line). After 4 days of complaining about this pain in my left arm, I'm starting to think it's a preganacy symptom, not having anything to do with strange what your body does. That's probably the most complex part of this whole process, having a great oncologist (chemo doctor) who knows nothing about pregnancy and a great OB that has nothing to do with chemo! This means Robert and I get to play mediator on daily basis piecing together what each doctor says and sorting out what makes sense to us to be able to make a "decision" that we hope we can live with. As part of the change in my treatment, I begin antibiotics today to prepare for my blood count to start dropping today through day 10. I have no idea what to expect other than what you might expect when you are anemic, my guess by what I'm feeling right now is more fatigue and crankiness. This will occur after each treatment because I won't be taking the "growth factor" to boost my blood count (no good for baby boy). I'm finding myself a bit irritated with the changes to my overall treatment plan and that I don't quite grasp when everything will be finished. I'm more than likely going to be continuing chemo after my baby boy arrives which is an obvious downer (irritant for me) and postpones the mascotomy even further, which means my life with cancer is just extended all the more (and my husbands, parents, friends, etc.). Enough complaints out of me for one day. I'm going to blame my sass today on my dropping blood count. A little random, but to end on a happy note, here's my two babies, Charlie and Roxi. These two fur balls are the loves of our lives and bring more joy and laughter than we could ever imagined.
Peace & Love, Misty