Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Bear!

Another little milestone- today I can make it up and down the stairs even without crutches, which means my dog gets to come home! She's great company, as she is the only one who sits in my room day in and day out with me. I know during Interferon, she'll probably have to go stay with friends or family again, but I'm really enjoying having her back for now, and I'm just going to concentrate on the things I have to be thankful for today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I Fell flat on My Ass. No, literally.

So Lush and I go to the movies tonight and, of course, I'm still on my crutches. And he says to me on the way, "I hope you can crutch up stairs, because I'm not sitting on the front row." Let me just say now that the movie had already started and it was full of people as we made our way up the stairs, and I noticed that I was almost tripping a lot and that I was really tired. So my stupid ass makes it all the up to the seat, when I just drop and eat sh*t in front of everyone. On my way down, there was this collective gasp from the theater watching me. It was hysterical. It's been a long time since I've been embarrassed, but I was tonight. I think I started laughing before I even hit the ground. And then I just sat on the sticky floor laughing until Lush finally helped me up.
Truth be told, I didn't slip and fall. I didn't even know I was falling until I hit the ground. And I guess since it was so dark in the theater, I didn't realize that I was dizzy, not just clumsy. Evidently that bowl of cereal wasn't enough today. :) I'm such a doofus- I know I need to eat more, but when I'm not hungry, it's hard to make myself. But I'm going to have to because I can't be one of those people that always has to have someone looking out for them to do the right things. Lush watched me like a fucking hawk when I got home and it drove me nuts. What a freak.
Overall, hysterically funny night. hehehe

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lucky girl, world's shortest memoir (w/pic)

Went to the doctor's office again today, and no sutures, staples or tubes were removed, which is fine. Jody says the drainage needs to be down to <30 cc's a day before they can take the other 'nad. It's cool, though, and I got to read a great Lance Armstrong article in the waiting room, and in the elveator got to talk to two little white-haired ladies who thought having my toe cut off was the funniest thing ever, which made me laugh all the more. Went to the chapel after, as is tradition for Hammer and I, even though I was missing Hammer today. She's in St. Louis working, and everyone at the office asked for her. I love that office. I love my doctor and my nurses and the way they hook me up with meds and such. I love my friends and that they've made this so much easier for me, that they've carried me thru this. I love my crutches and my luck and how good life is. As I was going in to the restroom at the doctor's office, a lady was coming out that had had a double mastectomy. Why am I so lucky that this was just skin cancer and I just lost a toe? Why am I so lucky that even though I let this go on for years knowing I needed to check up on it, we still caught it in the early stages? I guess there's no answers, but I feel so blessed. So blessed and so lucky, and it just makes me want to share my luck with others and make sure I pay this forward.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Don't eat yellow snow

I'm fat today. Okay, maybe not any fatter than yesterday, but today I have PMS. And it kills me because I miss working out so bad and I can't do anything now (obviously, since I can't walk and I have tubes coming out of my stomach). I just keep telling myself it's a temporary situation, and it is, and that makes it all ok. No, seriously. Only thing that truly helps is that I'm honest with myself and everyone else is honest with me. I say, "Am I gaining weight?" And they say, "I think it's just that you're not working out so you're not toned anymore. But you can't try to lose weight right now, you've got to keep your strength up." So I trust that and just go with it and try not to think about it, and that works for me. (Plus, I avoid mirrors and overly honest people.) And I'm still happy with me, I just know that the things I have to work on have to be put on hold. It would help if I could wear a little skirt and high heels again, but you can sh*t in one hand and wish in the other and see which one stays full, I guess. That's cool, right?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Keep on truckin (w/pic)

It's been a good weekend, and today Bobby painted my crutches bright pink, which just makes me feel great about having crutches. It's so funny how cute they are. Stuff like has made the whole experience so much easier to deal with, like the pink crutches and taking pictures of me on the Lark in Target. Good friends will take you far in cancer land.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fell off the Wagon

Got a call from a charter school this morning that wanted to interview me for an English Teacher position in Irving. A killer job that I know I can't take b/c I have to start Interferon-Alpha in a few weeks. It doesn't make me mad, it just hurts that I want to work SO BAD and it's an awesome position that is hanging in front of my nose. But everyone that I know that's taken Interferon said it would be impossible to work, especially the first few months. The first month alone is a high dose administered in the office for at least an hour. And the symptoms are supposed to be pretty severe.

In related news, a local woman suffered extreme fatigue and soreness today from the doctor's visit she had yesterday. Alot of the drainage that was coming out of that Jackson Pratt they removed is collected in my upper leg, abdomin, and pelvic area. It's not painful, it just makes me feel nauseaus (ok, there's no way that's spelled right) and miserable. Plus my side is so sore from her pulling it out, and my foot is swollen, so I'm totally reliant on my crutches today.

I'm such a little bi-otch sometime, crying like this, but I'm hoping just admitting all of this will help me move on.

I know I can handle it, it's just a couple of low blows today. I tell myself, hey, it's okay to feel sad and worn out like this when something happens; and, it's true. I'm working on being proactive and heading feeling depressed off at the pass. I miss stuff just like putting on normal clothes (I mean, the lymph nads are great, but I miss my cute clothes). But in all honesty, I know the good outweighs the bad by tons, and in the end, I will have learned from this and will be a better, stronger person for the journey.
Some call it insanity, I call it thinking. :)

On the upside, Hammer took me to Target today and I got to ride the Lark. That's quality stuff, that little scooter and me ridin through the store. It made being a crip all worth it!


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

More Pathology Reports (w/pic)

1st doctor's appointment after the surgery was today, and it was good to give the doctor and my nurse thank you's: they've been so unbelivably awesome to me. They removed one of the Jackson-Pratt drains which was good- it feels so much better now, even though Bobby almost passed out watching them take it out. Also they took off the dressing and I got to see the foot for the first time- it looks funny missing a toe, like I'm a mutant or something, but F**k IT- I think it looks cool.

It's so good to be over the operation and on the way to recovery. There's almost 60 staples from where they removed all my lymph nodes, and they're still not ready to come out, the staples that is. Maybe Monday. BUT THE BEST NEWS was the Pathology report - out of the 16 lymph nodes they removed, only ONE was positive for cancer. Amped! and can't even believe every day what a lucky girl I am!

Looking forward to meeting & seeing my oncologist and getting started on the interferon- alpha. I'M GONNA KNOCK THAT SHEE-ITE OUT! Some of the drug companies and non-profits seem like they might come through for grants on the meds, so I'm hoping to be good there. It's been a really good day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A hard hit from Reality. Melanoma sucks donkey balls.

So I knew this day was coming... but my job called today and they're replacing me. As I said, I knew it was coming, but it's different when they really tell you. I loved my job. I loved helping people, meeting people, making people feel better. But Dr. Noor was so sweet, and said they would love to continue covering for me, but even after surgery, I still won't be able to return to work b/c I can't work around sick people while I'm doing the chemo treatment; it's just too risky. My white cell count will be so low, I'll be at risk for too many things, and it'll be life-threatening to even try.

I feel lucky to even know these doctors, and they continue still to do things for me like set me up with oncologists. And really what can I say except that I can only learn from this feeling that I have that I'm missing out on something I loved doing. Really loved doing. I guess the lesson is that I need to really enjoy moments when I am doing the things I LOVE to do, and I am glad to learn this lesson today. Every moment needs to be a THIS IS IT! moment, and that means even this moment I am in right now. This very moment, I am appreciating how lucky I've been thus far, and how much worse things could truly be.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Baby steps

Back in my room! Had to be camped out in the living room the last few days b/c I couldn't make it up the stairs. My foot feels awesome, so much better than I thought it would by this time, and I'm really feeling strong again. Having my privacy back and being able to do those little things like wash myself- THE SIMPLE THINGS that I took for granted in day to day life that I SO appreciate now. It makes me smile to think about how good I really have it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Womens' Race- Inspiration Inside (w/pic)

In every package, a marshmallow surprise!
Today was an adventure race in Austin that Hammer and Tina did in my honor. They called themselves "Team Little Toe." Makes me giggle! I feel funny being someone's reason for doing that sort of thing, but I'm not gonna tell you it's not cool that I have friends that will do that sort of thing for me. They brought home T-shirts and everything. Tina called to tell me that as they finished the race, the announcer was talking about me and about how many women were racing today to benefit cancer research.

I feel all warm and glowy inside.

It's been a good day.

I love Vicodin! (w/pic)

Don't really remember the last 2 days.... so there's that... and the pain pills- who loves them. The surgery seems to have be really successful, but I'm sore as hell. I can barely sit up, much less make it up the stairs, but it's a little better every day (at least, as far as I can remember, lol.) I find the harder i push my limits, the faster I make progress, so I'm doing just that. I'm glad it's over with, it had been a nightmare having to reschedule this thing over and over and now I'm good to go. A little anxious about what the pathology report will be, but I know either way, whether it comes back clear or if I've got melanoma in every lymph node, that I will deal with it the best I can and believe that everything is going to be okay. If that means I'm fighting it until then end, then so be it, and I don't have a problem with that. Bring that sh*t on.

Best thing about this surgery is they put two Jackson Pratt drainages on my stomach, which means I have these two tubes coming out of my stomach that lead to two little balls at the end of them. This may not seem cool at first, but when you see them, they're effin hysterical because they hang off of my stomach and look like I've got gonads hanging on me. My own sack! That's comedy, kids. I've enjoyed putting them in my shorts and telling people that I actually went in for a sex change operation. Tamara has nicknamed them the lymph nads. It cracks my ass up.

Tamara & Lush of course have been unbelievable, and I don't know where I'd be today without them. I mean that literally, because they've helped me thru all this a hundred different ways, and even given me a place to stay. I never have to worry what I'm gonna do about coming home or how I'll make it: they are always there, even through those times you never imagine you'll have, like those times I was trying to get off the toilet. :) Thank you God today for the opportunity to become friends with them 17 years ago, and of course for all the support and love I've gotten from everyone else I've met along the way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Told my Mom today

Yeah, so I guess the title says it all. The most frustrating thing is that I've had a month to deal with all this, and so she's where I was in that first week of hell. It's hard for me to remember what that was like, and I know it's hard for her (it doesn't help that she's a nurse, either) ....... okay, it's really, really hard for her... but trying to comfort her and convince her that I'm okay is more draining than cancer itself. It's not her, really, it's just that I have to stay ahead of the game here, and that means that I can't let myself get blue and start questioning if I'm gonna live. Tammer of course stepped in and it seems to be going better already. Thank you God for my positive attitude and the humility of this entire situation.


I'm Too Young For This!