Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hello Hair!

And Hello Friends and Family! I have had numerous comments on my lack of attention to this blog. I must admit I was a tad concerned that you had all likely lost interest in reading this blog thingy especially now that I haven't much to say. But, I have been told that is not the case so here is a little update, a photo and some general Maryfo...

As of November 19th I was deemed Cancer free, treated and ready to get on with the rest of my life. I was cleared completely that day and told that all scans, bloodwork and the like showed no signs of cancer and no signs that we should continue treatments. I was quite thrilled if not emotional. I was happy to hear that news but somewhere in the back of my mind was nervous and unsure. I was not going to need to see a Dr until February when I am scheduled to have my next scans (those I will have every 3 months for 2 years, then every 6 months for 3 years and then once a year for the rest of my life). However, since that day I have had some discomfort in my chest around the area where they were radiating and it has yet to go away, so after much prodding and 'reminding' from Mom and Lar, I saw the Dr last Friday. He did a chest x-ray and did not see anything but thinks I am likely suffering from some inflammation and suggested I use some steroids for a few days and keep an eye on it. That did make me realize that I think I will most likely be even more hypochondriachal than before (if that's possible!) since every little thing makes me nervous! But I am sure that will go away with time. I will let you all know how that goes...

As for everything else, I have been working my little fanny off and trying to find some semblance of normalcy. I am still struggling with my memory and that is incredibly frustrating. Doc C told me I would eventually start getting some of that back but that it will never be quite what it was. I have been dealing with it as best I can. Larry helps me often and thank goodness everyone has been extremely patient with my constant forgetfulness. As for the hair, well you can see yourself that it has been coming back quite nicely. It is a good bit lighter than it was before and I have a few new cow-licks. But I have been telling everyone who asks that, as long as it comes back I could care LESS what it looks like. As long as it grows all over my head. :)

Larry and I are ready to start this new year and try to remember what it was like BC (before cancer) and maybe even get ready for some new additions to the family. But for now, we are just working on getting our life back. We continue to be so grateful for you all. I have decided to keep the blog (and try to be better about updating it every so often) until we are actually able to achieve those new additions and let you all know how that goes (meaning the eggs and all, not any more detailed than necessary as I have displayed enough of my life for public viewing-wink). So until then...thanks for reading and love to you all.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

I, just wanna celebrate!

Can you hear the music behind that? Well good! I am only one more treatment away from being finished with it all. I saw Doc C on Wednesday (I know, this is a little late) and he said "Officially" that all scans are clear, clean and sans any signs of the big "C". That being said, I got my passport out on Friday (WHEEEEEEEW) and after Monday's last radiation treatment, I don't have to see another cancer doctor until February 19th or something. That was the best news a girl could get! There is a small feeling of sadness however, weirdly enough, but I have come to feel sort of like family with all those people there at the office. I see them so regularly and talk with them so often, that not seeing them anymore kind of makes me nervous. I keep thinking does this mean that instantly I am supposed to feel normal and well and finished? Cause I really don't yet. It seems weird to think I will see no more doctors, yet I still have no hair, no period, no energy and numb fingertips. But, I know all those things will begin to subside (or come back as the case may be with a few) and my life will slowly return to normal. Yesterday was a great feeling though when they took that port out. I actually started to cry. As soon as he said, "alright, it's out!" the tears just started falling. The girls had to hand me a rag so I wouldn't cry all over the table! It was such a strange feeling, like I knew it has officially ended when my nemesis was removed!! I asked the doc if I could keep it (the most bizarre request I am sure he has had) and low and behold, he actually dropped it on the floor by accident into a bag and I found it on my way out the door! I have no earthly idea what I will do with it, but its mine. I might just stuff it in a drawer and never look at it again, or maybe I will make a necklace out of it. That made you cringe a little, didn't it? :) It just is the one tangible thing I have from this whole ordeal and it carries a huge meaning with it, as strange as it sounds. Anyway, me and my weird notions will move on to other news...

With life returning to normal (or as much as it can) Larry and I are so grateful for everything. We have been so supported through visits, emails, CARDS, and phone calls and could not have made it without all of it, without all of you. I am not sure I will know what to do with myself when this all ends, but at least I know I have the most incredible support group to call on. At least I hope you aren't all tired of hearing about Mary. Cause I just might need you a little while longer.



Saturday, November 3, 2007


I promised a post when I had details about scans and when I started radiation and dawg-on-it, if I didn't forget and just leave you all hanging. Sorry!

So here's the deal...radiation is a breeze! I had all my scans on Monday and although I have not had the official reading by the Radiologist yet, Dr. C scrolled through them with me and said he saw nothing! That means chemo is done and there is officially no more trace of Mona (except that small scar she left behind and the clamps, wires and staples). So Tuesday, I started the radiation and it is fast and so far no real side effects. I drive over to SCOA everyday at 2:30, change into a gown and about the time I get my heiney planted into a chair and have a decent magazine to look at, they call my name back. I lay on a table (pretty much like for an x-ray) and they line me up with those fancy blue sharpie marks I told you all about, and then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz they laser my front, move around to my back for about another 30 seconds, and that's it! It takes them longer to line me up than it does to actually laser me. So Monday thru Friday, I see my friends Sergio, Amanda and Kelly and a super nice little lady (she says she's 82, but I don't buy it) who is there with her daughter and that's it!

As for the side effects, I think I may have some psychosomatic one's including thinking that my throat is burning and that I am physically exhausted (that's what they told me to expect) but I think those may be attributed to my working all the time and allergies. for now, I am just trying to get back to feeling like myself, watching my little bit of fuzz grow back and get this Lupron out of my system (that's the Menopause stuff that is supposed to be protecting my ovaries, but the only thing I am sure its doing is making me a crazy person with INSANE hot flashes). There is one upside, I have a new respect for all those women I see frantically fanning themselves! They say that should be out of my system about mid December. I am thinking that if that is not the case, people will suffer. Just teasing, kind of. Anyway, I am thinking that my last day of radiation is November 19th and then by Thanksgiving I should be all done!! Woooohooo! Hopefully they will have taken this stupid port out by then as well. I see Doc C again on the 14th and I am not leaving his office until he tells me when it comes out. See...there's that crazy person I told you about. You all thought I was kidding, didn't you?

Well, here is the update that I promised ages ago. Hope it was worth the wait. It sure was some good news and I am sorry I did not share it sooner. As for Lar and I, we are heading to a Halloween party tonight with some friends, so I must go get my costume together. Until next time...



Friday, October 26, 2007


Well, Larry and I are sitting our lazy hieney's at the beach taking a much needed chemo-cation. Mom has a timeshare in North Myrtle and was kind enough to let Larry and I come down for a few days to rest and relax. You all know how much I love the beach and thankfully Larry shares that love with me. We have been doing absolutely nothing (except watching some rain, boo) eating sushi, since I couldn't eat that during chemo and watching movies. Yesterday we were able to sit on the beach and watch some kite surfers for a while and last night after eating a delish sushi dinner we sat more on the beach and just enjoyed the sand, smell, and sights. Sleeping late, yummy breakfasts and laziness is just what we both needed before the next part of our crazy cancer journey begins. We have been planning our Halloween costumes and what we will do when all this is over. Mostly what we have come up with is life as usual. We plan to continue going on doing what we always have done. Love each other and love life. It has been so nice to get out of town again and celebrate the fact that the worst is over and we almost have our lives back. Almost. Monday I have all my final scans and hopefully get the official last word that chemo is over and then get my port removed. YAY!! Then on Tuesday we start the actual radiation process. That happens for 15 sessions and I think I figured that November 19th I am done. That is just in time for Thanksgiving! What a time for thankfulness that will be. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday anyway, but I am sure looking forward to it more this year than any before.

Well, just wanted to give a quick update while I was here being lazy and relaxing. Thanks as always for reading and wanting to know what we are up to, we are deeply thankful for you all.



Monday, October 15, 2007

Many thanks

Well - I had the best birthday yet, and it would not have been possible without all you wonderful folks. I received tons of cards and phone calls, emails, myspace messages and the like. And Saturday, Dad, Ang and all the kids came down and spent the afternoon with me which was fantastic. It was great to see them as always. Sunday, Jess, her mom Susan, my mom, Sam, Jen, Larry and lots of others, got together to throw me a wonderful birthday party. We had oysters, kabobs, bleu cheese dip, cake, beer, the whole nine yards. It was attended by my closest friends and family that lived near by and I just smiled all day. Susan let us use her fabulous new home and yard and there was bat gammon, horseshoes, fishing and lots of fun. The only time I can remember when I have felt more loved was the Yard Sale and that will likely never be trumped by anything. It is still simply amazing what lengths my friends and family will go to for me. Jess, Jen, Ash and Sam all got together (very sneakily) and made me the best gift a girl could ever ask for: a scrapbook of this last year (and a few pics from the waybackwhen) full of friends, wigs, baldness, parties, and everything in between. They spent so much time and effort making that book and its the most awesomest thing I have ever seen. I can look at it anytime I like and remember how loved I am. An incredible feeling that is, for sure. Thank you my fabulous friends and fam for the bestest party ever. I love you all.

In other Marynews, I had my scan today to measure the radiation area and I am scheduled to start that on the 30th. That's the day after my diagnostic scan, so hopefully I will then know for sure when they are to take this dumb porta-thing outta my arm. I have my tentative blue-sharpie-marker marks and will get the real-deal Holyfield things on the 29th when they do my simulation scan and make the molds and all that jazz. They did give me my schedule though, and everyday at 2:30 I will report to SCOA and get my laserbeams. After 15, then I am a free woman!!! I guess they will rescan after that, or something, but I will find out for sure and let you all know. Well that is the latest, so until something interesting happens...



Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Ok, so I totally stole that one from the Red Stripe commercials cause I am getting really unoriginal. Anyway, today I returned from the dead or at least feeling like it and actually went to work, shopped (Chemo demands a little retail therapy every now and then), and had dinner with friends! It was totally amazing. After9 days of feeling worse than ever and three days of IV fluids, I am a new woman! I am still reeling from the impact that a little bag of water and salt can have on a girl. I will never doubt a good ole' bag lunch. ;)

I also had my radiation consult and that was full of great news to get a girl feeling better as well. I now only have 3 weeks, that's right 3, of radiation. Only 15 sessions/radiations/laser beam-doohicky-times to go!!!! How awesome! They also informed me that I will NOT have new uber-not-cool tattoos (Gank will be happy about that), CAN wear deodorant (everyone will be happy about that), CAN continue wearing jewelry and will only suffer from a few side effects. By the way, all of those are rumors that spread from Cancer Vixen to Cancer Vixen like wildfire! Those will be nothing like the monsters from the dreaded R-CHOP chemo aka The RED DEATH. I am not sure yet when all this lasering will commence, but I have a CT scan on Monday the 15th so Doc N (new radiation oncologist) can decide exactly where and what to laser beam. He will compare scans and plot out a territory being very careful to ensure my heart, lungs, breast tissue and spinal chord get as little radiation as possible. After the scan they will set me up for a "simulation day" where they actually lay me under the laser beam and mark out the spots. {Secret embedded message: I am sorry to say though Johnny that you and I will not have twin tattoos, and I certainly did not mean to imply that yours are uber not-cool, just that they would not be in line with the ones I already have. Fair?} Ok, end secret message. They actually are going to be using bright, blue sharpie marker with plastic stickers over it to make sure it doesn't wash away. How about that for some scientific stuff?! The amazing advancements they have made. Wonder how much that'll cost me. Oh, sorry, back to the story. After the sim day, I have a diagnostic scan on the 29th which will look and make sure that no more tumors or lumps or Mona's have grown back and then we will begin radiation. I think. I am actually not entirely sure about that timeline, but it sounds about right. I will update any changes as I get them. But for now, I am going to retire because I can hear (or read?) myself babbling and starting to get a little giddy - or punch drunk as my Momma loves to say. So goodnight my wonderful peoples and thank you again for letting me vent the other day and for encouraging me to get it all out. I sure do feel a lot better and that must be part of it. So for now...



oh- and its my birthday in 3 days (hear me singing that). now you really know i am feeling better, don't cha? ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The blues

First, I want to thank all of you for your supporting comments, calls, hugs and love when I was at my lowest of low points. I have not quite crawled completely out of my hole, but nearly and thought I should let you all know. I do not remember feeling as sick as I was last week, EVER. I need not rehash the symptoms for you all but they are slowly fading. I went in yesterday for some IV fluids because I was apparently pretty dehydrated from being able to eat and drink only in small portions. They also gave me so IV nausea meds that finally didn't make me knocked out. I still feel as though I may have caught a bit of a stomach bug and can't seem to kick that either. This morning I am sipping some green tea and trying to get down half an english muffin and deciding whether I should go in for more fluids so that one day this week I can actually work!

About that - I was talking with Mom last night about the work ethic that we have instilled in us (her, my brother, myself). I know it came from her parents, which no doubt came from theirs and so on, and is something we see fading in society on the regular. Now, I know you don't come here for lectures on the evolution and downfall of society, but that's true. Anyway, sometimes it would be nice to not care. To not worry constantly if your coworkers are doing too much of your work, or if your boss thinks you are slacking off cause you have missed 349,097 days of work or that your clients surely cannot survive another day if you do not make your next appointment. Man, who knew that a good work ethic came hand in hand with the guilt of a Catholic? I sure didn't. But alas, I am home and going to stay home until I feel at least 50% better and at least can eat more than 5 bites of food and not immediately feel like that cobra who tried to eat the baby rhino. (For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about: google).

Anyway, it is now 4 days until my birthday and I am a little more inclined to anticipate its arrival with excitement. I know you are all thrilled about that! Well - I am nearing the end of this blog and have managed less than half the tea and only about 3 bites of muffin and starting to feel slightly snake-ish, so I think I will retire this and talk to you all tomorrow. I have my consult and meeting with the new Cancer Doc and possible harbinger so I will let you all know how that goes. Until then, thanks again for being such incredible pillars of support. A cancer Vixen could never survive without her peeps. Fo sho'. :)



Sunday, October 7, 2007


I stole that from a Ray LaMontange song title because it seems appropriate and I have been listening to him. I say trouble because that is how things feel lately. I cannot seem to kick this treatment and find myself still nauseous, still achy, still head hurting, and without taste buds or fingertips. I am saying trouble, because now I am feeling like trouble. Trouble to those who have to constantly ask if I am feeling better, do i need anything, am I ok. And I can't tell them anything positive yet. It is starting to get me upset. And that has not been a hard thing to do, if you all remember. Crying is quite an easy accomplishment with this cocktail they have me on, but this week, whew...even worse.
Wednesday I saw my family and that was one of the best days I have had in a while. I got hugs and had missed them so much it hurt. I cried when I left because I was so angry that I felt too ill to stay and visit. My grandfather said we looked like twins, and it made me smile so big (even though he has me beat) but when I had to leave him, I just cried. Most of them had not seen me since my new "hair-do" so it had been a while. I just wanted to stay and be around them, to feel better with my family, but damn the sick, just won't let me. It won't let me anything right now. I wouldn't let me enjoy the rest of Sam's surprise party. IT wouldn't let me have George and his friend in town for a visit, I won't let me eat the yummy egg and cheese sandwich I smell Larry cooking right now. It is just nothing but trouble. Big mean stinky trouble, and I have had enough. The worst part is, I can't make it different. I thought if I tried getting out and about, doing something fun, surely it would slowly dissipate and leave me be. Nope. Just gets me when I am stuck and have no car, or are 20 miles from home. Maybe if I go for a little walk, it will make these muscles not ache so much. Nope, just leaves me down the street with more aches and farther to get back home. Now my 29th birthday is just days away and there is nothing I desire less to happen than that. I usually LOVE birthdays. Normally - I would already be celebrating mine cause its my "birthday month". But I don't want it to come, don't want to be sick on my birthday. I know this isn't the blog you all are used to, but today I have just had enough. And needed to get it out. Thanks for listening and don't worry, none of you are trouble.



Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ugh, Ick, Ack, Blah...

Those are the best words I can think of to describe this last treatment. It began quite normally (I wore my cute new shoes and some make up and jeans) and then low and behold, about one third of the way through my first bag of stuff, I was as queasy as I can remember having been yet. It just would not go away, even after I tried to eat the Groucho's that LA and Emma brought, so they gave me some Fenergen (sp, huh?) and that just made me feel like a gigantic, drugged slab o' beef. I could hardly keep my eyes open and still felt nauseous. Finally about an hour before we were all finished, I woke up and low and behold my momma was there! That stuff sure did put me out! I was incredibly groggy the rest of the day and evening and still violently nauseous. Yesterday was exactly the same. Usually the day after treatment, I am doing OK and can get some work done or get up and about, but not yesterday. Larry had to come home to drive me for acupuncture and my miracle magnets, and while they helped some, I am STILL nauseous! Today, I have lost all my taste buds, fingertips are numb again (so please excuse any typos I don't happen to catch) and am all in all just plain cruddy feeling. I did have some of Angel's delish chocochip cookies last night before my taste buds died, so for that I am very grateful! I tried them again today, and while I still ate a few small ones, they tasted like nothing. Zip, zilch, zero. AGGGH!

Anyway, hopefully since the yuckies started so early this time, they will finish sooner as well! That would be great! Now for the updates you really want to know about:

Doc. C has scheduled me for my Radiation Consult on Oct 10, and then my next PET scan on the 29th. Then we will know whether this porta-crap, I mean cath can come out yet! That will be the definitive on whether I am officially done with chemo and ready for radiation. So keep your toes, fingers and tongues crossed on that one! And - I have some new baby hairs on my head! How about that? They look just like peach fuzz and are still trying to grow. Doc C says they may fall out after this treatment, but I am hoping like the dickens that they stay and keep on growing! I am waiting to see if they start curling (cross something on that one, too)!

So, with all that said, there leaves little else. I will continue to keep you guys posted on this dreadful week and last chemo and keep the comments coming. I LOVE THEM!!



Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chemo Finale

It's the night before my last treatment and while I should be asleep, I am doing everything but. I spent the day cleaning my house to try and reduce some of my anxiety (didn't work so well), rearranged my guest room, washed the baseboards, swept the porch, cleaned out my closet and even attempted to bake chocolate chip cookies (help Angie, I just can't make it happen!). This entire week has been rough (read full of tears) just thinking of what is to come. It is bittersweet knowing that its my last treatment and then I will have a break for 4 weeks, but still so dreadful knowing what to expect. Larry won't have to drag me from the bed, kicking and screaming in the morning but I am sure that I will not be in my grandest of moods. I will get to find out when I have my porta-cath removed and that will be a day worthy of celebration. That thing has been the source of many a tantrum and I can't wait to say good riddance to that evil little device! I am expecting next week to be much like the previous two and am prepared for little to no work and have Mom and Lar on stand-by as always.

I have seen many of you lately and continue to get the most incredible feedback about this blog. Some of you say "make it a book!" and others say "when are you going to update it?" and all I can say is how touched I am that so many of you come here to read my thoughts, rantings and overall silliness. This blog started as a way to keep my friends and family informed when I was not up to phone conversations but it has truly become something that is, in a way, healing for me. I enjoy writing and getting out what I am thinking, and I LOVE the comments from all of you. Some make me cry, others bring about giggles and all make me feel surrounded by so much love from the most incredible people. So thank you all again for coming to this crazy place in the sky to read about me, I am so thankful for your support.

Well, I think I am ready to face this last treatment with the biggest smile I can muster. I have struggled this week with the lack of control I feel I have on my life, but tomorrow I will wake up and be strong. I will eat breakfast and drink my coffee (that Larry so wonderfully makes for me), wear something cute so that I feel less like a patient and more like that vixen I was talking about ages ago, and go get my last dose of poison, I mean medicine. So wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts, cause that sure is a nice place to be.



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wig schmig

Well, I found a wig and it was fun and wore it to Jason's party and about half way through my head was burning up and I just yanked it off. No one's eyes popped out of their head, or jaw dropped to the floor or anything. Not that I expected my friends to all freak out, but they were just fine. They were more interested in playing with my wig than my pale, bald head. I enjoyed the rest of the evening so much more without that stupid itchy thing on top of my head. It was much more fun to watch all of them running around with that contraption on their heads than mine. I think I may be getting a little more used to this bald in public thing after all. Hope you like this little picture (if you click it you can get the full effect, cause this thing would not cooperate with me) I have made for you all!

Today - I even helped Jen move some of her stuff and did not wear my scarf. I sat by the pool afterwards at her apartment complex and was shiny bald for the world to see, and it was quite liberating! Anyway, not much else to tell, so adios!



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wig shopping

Well, its been almost a week since I updated you guys with anything so here's whats been happening with us. Work, work and more work. Larry and I have both worked our heinies (how do you spell that?) off this week and it has almost seemed like our life is back to normal. I have been exhausted by the time I get home everyday, but other than that things have gone swimmingly. I have had a few meltdowns and cry-fests, but less than last time so I am patting myself on the back for that one. If you own stock in Kleenex well, sorry, I haven't been using them quite as much!

I did go wig shopping again because I was supposed to meet some school friends for dinner last night and I wasn't feeling like a blonde and it was just miserable. I was so angry at this hair thing. Who would have thought it would be THIS STINKIN hard, i mean it's just HAIR! I imagine you all are tired of hearing about this, but it's been the hardest for me and therefore the most likely topic about which I will write.

So anyway, the wigs were just ridiculous. The one's that I did find and think I could wear and not feel like a total moron where upwards of$200!! And that is for synthetic! So nonetheless I came home sans stupid wig but with red eyes and a runny nose. Mom talked me out of my state of complete disgust, anger and frustration and I came home and ate way too much pizza. I had to skip out on my friends, much to my chagrin, cause I just could not stop the tears. So today, Jess, Jen and myself are going shopping again. Today I will not be looking for that wig which looks just like my hair. I will be looking for that wig that is fun! Funky! Crazy! Blue! So, if I find what I am looking for you'll see a picture, I promise. Cause from now on, I am gonna do my best to have fun with this bald thing and hold it in disdain no more. Now ya'll I said try, so be nice. Ok?

Till' next time...



Sunday, September 16, 2007

Slick bald

I have kind of been slacking off with the postings lately, but that way there is more to write when I finally do. Right? Since my last post not too much has happened. I spent the last few days of the week trying to recoup and feel normal again with moderate success. Friday, I met the girls out for happy hour (where I actually drank a beer and it tasted like something!) and wore my new, sassy-girl wig. It looks a little not like me what with the blond highlights and bangs, but it was fun nonetheless. It was also HOT! Sitting outside, my head was sweating and I felt like every little piece of that acrylic hair was sticking right to the sides of my face. The girls were awesome and kept telling me how hot I looked as a blond and at least I didn't feel like a cancer patient for the first time in as many days. That was nice. I only lasted about two hours and then my cranium started trying to make bone marrow again (at least that is how it feels) so I went on home and to bed.

Saturday we went out for breakfast (and again the food tasted mostly like I thought it should) and then I played in the dirt some for its therapeutic benefits, planting some herbs and pretty flowers for the patio. Afterwards we went to meet up with Forrest and Nancy at their tailgate spot and I had my first official public experience wearing a scarf and knowing that I looked the part. It was much too warm for a wig and I just wasn't ready (still aren't) to show the newly slick bald (and white, I might add) head that I am rockin'. So, I went out with a smile and cute outfit and took the looks in stride. I sometimes forget, even as I sit here at the computer sporting my mister clean look, that my hair is gone and that people can now tell that I am sick. In the coming weeks when I am feeling well, and both anxiously awaiting and dreading that last treatment, I will still look sick. That is something that I am so glad I will not have time to get used to. I do not enjoy the looks of sadness that are accompanied with smiles. It certainly has made me more aware of how my face may betray me when I see others in a situation that I might view as unfortunate or sad, and hopefully it will increase my awareness. Who knows. Maybe I am just super sensitive or still angry at losing my hair. My head sure does get cold at night.

Anyway, enough about that. Monday is a new week and I have TONS of work to make up. Meetings, phone calls, P A P E R W O R K (all that is for emphasis and to show just how much I have awaiting me), client visits and the like. So wish me luck or say a prayer and I will keep you all posted on all things Mary. Hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful weather today, I sure am!
Love you all.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yay all I can say

So, there was no post yesterday cause this second treatment hit me like a ton of bricks. I know that everyone is different and they can't tell you everything, but man it just seems like only a few of the things they prepared me for have actually happened, and one of them has only partly happened (stupid-non-cooperating-hair)! Tuesday, i was not all energy like I was last time. I went to work (think I told you all that), got acupuncture and that was it. Wednesday I spent the entire day either on the couch or in the bed. That was, for sure, my worst day yet. I could not get out of bed to even get myself a drink until around 10:30 in the morning. So, to my rescue came my fabulous husband and he took care of me all day. Today I feel a good amount better, but still rough. Mom came over this morning to make me breakfast (which turned into sweeping, mopping, laundry, dishes and lunch: man do have I have an awesome mom!) and then I went for some more acupuncture to help with my nausea (REALLY WORKS!), energy and my bone pain. I feel a good bit better already. It is amazing.

As for tomorrow, we shall see what happens. I have been eating a decent amount the last two days thanks to the decrease in my nausea, but nothing seems to taste like anything. Jess even made some of her delicioso broccoli-cheesey-potato soup and while I knew it was yummy (cause it smelled divine!) I could hardly taste it. Hopefully that will only last a few days (along with the brain melt-down - I had to call Larry to ask him the word "postcard"! I could describe it, but not recall the word. Weird.) and then my taste buds will be back, my brain will function at some small capacity and things will be well until October 1st which is my next and LAST treatment! YAYAYAY! Until then, if anything exciting happens, I will be sure to let you know. Love you all and again - THANKS FOR READING!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Being Nearly bald

So I finally made it to that Yoga class on Sunday evening and boy am I sore. It left me a little emotionally sore as well. My hair was full of bald patches but would just not fall out and I wore a scarf to class and it just made my hair hurt (that is the weirdest phenomenon btw) so afterwards Larry took a very emotional me outside and shaved the rest off. I can still see all the patches, but it feels better a little and hopefully the last of it will come on out soon.

I had my second (and second to last, yay!) treatment yesterday and it went by much (well one hour less) quicker and with zero problems. I was walking out the door by 4. I, later last night, went to a "Look Good, Feel Better" program which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society, ACFTA (can't remember but Cosmetics and Toiletries something i think) and by Palmetto Richland I believe. They gather groups of women going through treatment (either radiation, chemo, or both) and give us a two hour presentation on putting on our make-up without using our hands (to lower the risk of infection), baldness care, nail care, scarf tying and also gave us about $250 worth of really nice makeup! I have something from Chanel for the first time in my life! I feel spoiled rotten. They also had wigs to choose from and i finally got one that is fantastic. It is short and cute and VERY sassy. and I left there feeling just that - better. It is a wonderful program and I so enjoyed talking with the other women who were facing very similar side effects and emotions as I have been. They ranged from young to old and the volunteers were fantastic as well. I can't wait to offer my volunteer services when i am feeling better!

As for today - many of you remember that the day after last chemo i was going 900 mph all day and eating everything in sight and feeling fabulous. Well i wish I could give the same report today, but no such luck. Feeling mostly nauseous all day and a little like I have a bad cold minus the sinus junk. I got my Nulasta shot (bone marrow growth) and got some acupuncture to see if that helps with the nausea. We shall see. I did make it in to work today as the new interns were coming in and I very much wanted to meet all of them. So I worked about 4 hours and then called it a day and went on the my doctors appointments. So - not too much else to update you about. I will be sure to let you all know when all the hair is gone and how the rest of the week goes. I am hoping for another yoga class this week, but we will see. Love you all!


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I always wanted a mohawk!!

So, first things first, my hair started falling out on Monday morning (at least that is when I noticed it first) so Tuesday night, we had a shave your head party! It was great fun and the boys came and shaved their heads too. They helped me make it into something that was fun and not so sad or freaky. I watched Larry shave his, then Dave Ly-dell took his off, then my turn and later that evening Pete came and did his too. Larry was so nervous and I think more emotional about it than me! He must have kissed my head 10 times before he finished. We left the mohawk for a few minutes and then took off the rest. I thought you all would appreciate seeing this picture first!! I went to work today with my new do and got great feedback - actually nothing but compliments really! I have actually felt quite fabulous all day. I almost forget that it is as short as it is until I see a mirror or walk by a window. But I am actually liking it a lot! Tomorrow I will see all my kid clients and get the true feedback, cause you know kids do not hold back! But so far, the transitions from long to short to shaved have been nice and I am happy that I have been able to be PROactive instead of REactive, finally!

Now to tell you all about my WONDERFUL weekend in Florida. We made great time getting there Friday, and the drive was fun. We saw a sign in Georgianna, Alabama that read "Hank Williams, Sr. Museum" so we stopped and it turns out that his boyhood home (only from ages 7 to 11) was in Georgianna! So we took a little tour and bought some souvenirs and then got on our way. It was an ideal way to make a road trip. The morning after we arrived, George and Larry went to pick up the CONVERTIBLE that George and Trisha rented for us! It was an awesome surprise!! We drove all around in that little hot rod and I felt like I was on some reality show or was a princess or something. It was just wonderful. George, Trisha, Chloe and Sofia treated us like we were royalty and spoiled us rotten. Saturday we spent the day at the beach (which by the way really does have white sand and clear blue water - standing neck deep, i could still see my toes!) and then went for a double date. The next day Larry and I drove down to the beach and found a great little spot to take some pictures (like this one) and just enjoyed our wonderful day, driving around in a convertible. We left Geo and Trish's Monday morning and made great time getting back to town. It truly was what I needed, the sand that looked like sugar and beautiful sun and warm wind in my hair (thank goodness I still had some) and good friends. We are SOOOOO thankful for our friends and family and all your continued support and thoughtfulness and prayers. We are two of the luckiest people around.

I will continue to keep you guys posted on the hair deal and how it goes (haa haa, what a pun!). Monday (the 10th) is my next treatment, so I will let you know about that, too. Until then- we love you all and THANKS FOR READING!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A day late and a headline short...

I was a slacker yesterday and did not post a single thing. But - I did go to work and I did clean my house! I still had my bouts of nausea and feeling tired (I took a nap in between house work and work) but all in all it was a fairly good day. I saw the Doc first thing in the morning and my white count is low as he expected, but he is sure it will begin to raise since they gave me that shot that makes my bones ache, aka produce more bone marrow. He suggested that I continue with one of the meds he prescribed for nausea and that seems to be helping. :)

Today I worked alllll day and then baby-sat for by boss and her two cuties (needed a baby fix) and then came home and made myself a yummy supper of broccoli, corn, carrots and cantaloupe. It was absolutely delish and I was CRAVING veggies! I guess that is good, hunh? Now I am going to go watch the rest of my not-so-trashy TV show The Closer and head to bed early cause tomorrow is another day of work. It has been really nice to feel so great the last two days and getting my mind on work and my clients whom I have neglected, is a great way to do just that. I am actually feel almost normal-well as normal as I can anyway.

Friday morning we leave for sunny Florida where I am going to enjoy the white sand and blue waters! Our plan was to use some of the funds sent from you wonderfully generous people and rent myself a little convertible so that I could see the sky and travel in a way that I have never had the chance before, but alas, SC rental car places just don't have convertibles. Oh well, maybe we can find one when we get there for a day. I am so very excited to get out of town and see the ocean. If there is anything that always makes me feel better when I am feeling ill, its the ocean, sand and sun. I am a beach girl at heart and I just knew I would not have another chance to see the beach until after chemo and low and behold that wonderful hubby-o-mine is taking me to the GULF! Anyway, I will stop bragging about that and let you all get back to your lives. I plan to kind of chill with the updates as long as things are still moving along as they are. I figure you guys REALLY don't want to know everything I am doing, cause that would just plain get old. So, until we meet again, I love you all!!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rainy Sunday afternoon

Hello my faithful friends. Well, I did not make it to that emotionally aligning yoga class but I did attend the movie. And it was GREAT! Not that I have needed any assistance in the tear inducing part of my life lately, but it did make me shed a few. I laughed and giggled and stuffed myself with buttery popcorn and Jess' homemade peanut butter chocolate brownies (snuck very carefully into the theater, shhh.) and left feeling just great. An evening with some of my most favorite ladies was just what the Doctor ordered. After the movie we came back to my place and Jess made more yummies, Enchiladas and Guacamole and we chowed. I had a fairly good appetite and went to bed with a full and not so queasy feeling tummy for the first time in a week. It was wonderful.

Larry was in Charleston attending a fund raiser for us at the "The Park" in Charleston (skatepark) and having a grand time. I was sad to not be able to make it down to party and show everyone our appreciation for their thoughtfulness, but I just wasn't up to the journey. Jon Dee and his most fabulous girl Margaret put on one heck of a show full of skating and music and raised a ton of money for us! Larry and I are still reeling from the outpouring of support that continues to come from friends and family. We are so truly blessed!

As for today, I spent the morning giving some blood at the hospital to make sure that my count was where it should be (it was) and then the rest of the day laid up on the couch being a completely lazy bum and watching trash television (Brett Michael's Rock of Love, for those who share my vice). My mommy dearest met me at the hospital and came home to take care of me until Larry got back into town. She made me chocolate chip cookies (care of Angie- YUMYUMYUM!) and a grilled ham and cheese sammy. I know, I am the most spoiled rotten chemo vixen there is! And - I am really sticking to this eat what I can thing and worrying later about the eat what's healthy thing. That's what's important now, right?

So anyhoo, just a quick little update and then I am back to being a bum. Tomorrow I have another check-up with Doc C. and blood work and the "hey how was your first week of chemo?" dialog, so I will fill you all in tomorrow. Happy Sunday and thanks again for reading!



Friday, August 24, 2007

Tomorrow is the day!

Yep, tomorrow I will attend my yoga class and will have the strength to move distances farther than 20 yards. So far today, eating has been the most difficult due to a sore mouth, teeth and the nausea. But tomorrow is a new day and I have every intention of eating, stretching (in an emotionally aligning sort of way) and watching "No Reservations" holding a giant tub of extra buttery popcorn alongside my fabulous girls. Thanks again for all of the calls, cards, letters, myspace thingies, and love. It helps more than you know. So look to tomorrows update where I tell you all about the movie even if you haven't seen it! ;)

Oh - and for those curious, and I know thats most - the hair is still hanging in there. I'll let you know when it's time to "plane down" as the fabulous Mr. Ken Dennis (who is making my hair piece from my very own hair!) prefers to say!



Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day Four

I don't have as much to say today as yesterday, but still wanted to keep you guys up to date. Today was a puny day with lots of nausea (that was the worst it got, thank goodness), a decent amount of napping and only some of the bone pain from the previous days. My wonderful mommy-dearest came to my rescue today and made sure I was ok. She made good ole' homemade vegetable soup and cornbread, did my laundry, played with the dogs, rubbed my head and wiped my tears. This whole thing would be so much worse without my momma!

As for tomorrow I intend to get up, eat breakfast, drink coffee and make it to my 10:30 meeting. I will let you all know how that goes. And my plan for the weekend you may ask, cause it has been years since this girl hasn't had weekend plans, are an emotional alignment yoga class on Saturday and a movie with the girls. Beyond that it is looking pretty slim. So until the next update!



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The next day blues

First I must say, that the comments and love and prayers and thoughts are so wonderful! Please keep them coming because on days like today, I can tell you I need them!

Day two was not as full speed as yesterday, and let me tell you I was non-stop all day. The blog was only the first of my to do's! I remained at about 150 mph all day until around 6 pm (after twelve hours of non-stop) I began to crash. I still had a decent appetite and was provided another deliciosso supper by Jess' mom (my other mom) Susan. I am not sure what Larry and I would do without all of you! Well-the likeliest thing now is starve!

This morning was a bit of a different story. I awoke half expecting to feel that same crazy gotta-go right now and run a marathon false energy from the day before, but was not so lucky. I was able to eat breakfast and with only a few doubts safely stay through till lunch where my ever faithul favorite Groucho girl delivered a Cole Special. Now don't tell my docs, cause I think ALL my meals are supposed to be uber healthy, but give a chemo vixen (totally stolen from my Crazy, Sexy Cancer Book by Kriss Carr) a break! She and Emma cheered me up for a minute and then I was back to bed where I remained the majority of today. I have done a little work, phone calls mostly and some billing, but for the most part, not much.

Larry didn't want to leave me any more than he had to, so he has worked from home and I can't tell you all how grateful I am that he can do that. He makes sure I take my medicine and drink "plenty of fluids" (my mom is wearing off on him) and then he checks constantly to make sure I don't need anything else. He truly is my Dr. DA, my knight in skateboard armor and my hero. I have not been the easiest to deal with, I know. Calling talking 900 miles per minute yesterday and crying about nothing today, but he keeps on smiling. And I know that is because of the support we have through all of you! Thank you my wonderful peeps and hope you continue to enjoy coming here to read about my "Crazy, Sexy (damn sure trying) Cancer! (Thanks Kriss Carr and thanks Jenn and Pete!)



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First report

I would first like to say thank you to all of you who have already read and left us comments. This is so great! I am still reeling fro the fact that I have a blog!

So, yesterday was the first chemo treatment and while long and tiring it was not so bad. Larry had first shift, then Mom and Laura Ashely came and Jess stopped by for an extended lunch break. I was so glad to have them there, because while I was waiting to get started in the lobby, I saw so many people rolling their IV poles and wearing their headscarves, hats and wigs and I had a few moments of weakness. Without my entourage I am sure there would have been more than a few.

I was home yesterday by 5pm after arriving at 7:45 am to get started with labs and getting some scripts from the Doc. We started the chemo about 9:30 and that took a little longer than they anticipated as I continued to have some reactions to the first drug Rituxin. We had to stop and start so my throat would stop feeling like it would close, and then I was covered in chills and running a fever, all so quickly! But we finally (like I did anything other than sit in a recliner!) got that one moving and after starting a second line we were able to get the other 4 (maybe 5?) drugs in. I came home with a huge appetite to which Sam satiated instantly by bringing one of my favorite home cooked meals - country style steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli! YUM!! Sleep was a tad more difficult as the steroids have got me slightly on edge, so at 7am (and that is EARLY!! for ME) I was out of the bed with a grumbling tummy and ready for breakfast.

I am still feeling well and planning to do a little work today as tomorrow and Thursday are expected to be the days were I feel the worst. Today, I plan to have my hairpiece made (if there is enough left from what was cut off) and then I will go get a shot to help rebuild my white blood count which is lowered my the chemo. for now, I am doing fabulous and smiling. I love sitting to write this, while a tad awkward, I am so comforted to know that so many caring peeps are wanting to know how I am. So as long as you have time to read, I got time to write!



Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hmmm, this is new to me. But here goes...

Larry and I have been trying to find the best possible way to let all the wonderful people who care so deeply about us know how this crazy journey is going. We were given the fabulous idea of using a blog so that friends and family can stay up to date on how my treatments are going. I am not sure how much will be disclosed here, or how often, but I do hope that it will be a place where I can let all of you know how I am, how I feel and how much I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, concerns, and love.

To get the ball rolling:

Chemo starts on Monday and I am feeling about as nervous as one could imagine, but I have spent the weekend eating all of the foods I'm not allowed to as of D-day, laughing, giggling, smiling and just all around feeling loved. I will visit with my Dad and kids from out of town tomorrow and hopefully get a decent nights sleep and then...well, then it all starts. Part of my entourage (Mom, Lar, Jess and Laura Ashely) will be my steadfast companions for the day and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. I will likely give you all an update on Monday as I sit there for about 8 hours getting all that good stuff and I doubt I can read for that long or listen to music, or knit scarves. So...until I figure out how to update this crazy internet blog thinguhmajig, thank you all for being so incredibly wonderful. I love you and I could not have endured the first half of this journey without you and I certainly could not complete it.