Monday, January 30, 2006

My Deepest Sympathies on the Loss of Your MOJO

Well, the girls at Gilda's have come thru again. I mentioned in one meeting that I was losing hair and the next meeting they gave me 2 hats and a scarf. Bobby says the Cat in the Hat cap makes me look like a soccer mom, and I realize I look like a gypsey in the scarf, but it's all in good fun. I'm not sure what I look like in the Harley cap, but with an added 6 or 7 tattoos, I think I can pull it off. We actually think that we've determined that the hair is not actually falling out, it's just breaking off. So if I get a haircut, all this dread for being bald could be eliminated, which I'm personally all for. Not that Kojak didn't do it for me. Let's not be mistaken- I was hot in all the right places for him. It's just not right for my head, personally. We took these pics for all you crazy little mothers who are just dieing to see me.
Bobby and I have been working on the room non-freakin-stop, so I've been really busy lately, which is always good. I personally am enjoying the project, and it's turning out great. We're putting a slideshow together to show everyone the progress; and, of course, by "we" I mean Bobby. It's awesome and COMING SOON!
Had a doctor's appointment last week and met my new oncologist. She is awesome; I really love her, and she can't be a day over 30. I have a sinus infection that she gave me a Z-pack for, and when I take it "as directed" I'm asleep 16 hours a day. But she also let me try a new anti-nausea medicine that seems to be working, and I can't tell you how happy that makes me.
It's been a rough week, but today I just decided I wasn't taking any medicine, and my head was so clear and I felt so good. I took Hannah for 3 walks and got a lot done around the house and had just the best day. I've been fighting depression pretty hard lately, and I think a lot of it is the fact that so many of the drugs I'm prescribed are sedatives, it just brings me down. I'm sure you can imagine- always feeling drugged up and sleepy or sick is not the way to hang. I'm not gonna lie, a little sedative can be a good thing at the right time, but 24-7 is not the right time. You ain't gotta lie to kick it, I know you like it, too. :) All together, that and being sick were no good as a combo. Today's better. And I know if I just keep it together tomorrow will be better than today.
I've recently taken up drawing, too, and checking out some online art classes. The pics of what I've done should be on the website soon, so don't forget to check out the old homepage when you get a chance.
I also want to thank everyone who's been searching Yahoo and Google for "Miss Melanoma." It's really helped bring my page up on search engines and I'm getting a lot more hits.
That's it for now, kids. I'll be in touch soon. Keep it rizzeal and be sure to drop me a line.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Um, that's gonna leave a mark

Not much going on this week. I think I got a cold somehow, even though I never leave the house. How does that happen? And I'm so ready for summer for the warmth of the sun, for days with no rain and for lazy summer nights. Just a random thought, just something I pulled out of the air. Just putting it out there. Just sending a shout out.

So chemo on Sunday really jacked with me, mainly because I had to take the white blood cell shot, too, which makes me even more tired. Plus I was pretty tired and dehydrated from a day of working, which I don't think helped. It was such a good day, I felt so good. I knew I'd pay for being so active, and I am, but I think it was probably worth it.

The only big news lately is the last couple of times I've showered I've noticed an issue with my hair. Yeah, it appears to be falling out in clumps when I wash it, and I'm just starting to notice a difference. It sucks, and let's not lie- I"m pretty bummed about it. Friends are suggesting to just shave it off, but I'm not gonna. I'm just gonna hang in for a little while longer and see how it goes. Who knows, maybe it will get better. Crazier things have happened. And really, losing hair- it could be so much worse. It could be a limb. And hair grows back.

I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday, and my cold seems to be getting better, so maybe that's part of the moodiness. In any case, I"m hoping for a better week and I hope everybody out there is doing good too. Keep the faith, and keep checking the site- some big changes are coming soon. No really, I mean it this time.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

People like you are the reason I take pills

I have this habit- this terribly bad habit of dropping off the face of the earth when I don't feel so good.

The sad thing is, almost everyone has figured this out about me: my mom, my friends, even little Lizzy. So when I don't post, or don't answer calls, everyone freaks out, thinking I'm in the hospital or incapacitated or comatose or decapitated or bound and gagged or held hostage or tarred and feathered or brainwashed and enlisted in the militant Nazi branch of Al-Queda, or out adopting Cambodian babies.

Not to worry, friends, it's just me being me. And sickness and weakness have never been my strong points. It's hard to be on the phone with someone who is saying, What's up? How are you? And you just can't think of a single good thing to say. Not that there's not a good thing in my life, it's just when you're sick, and you all know what I mean, like sick like the worst hangover you've ever had, then its not about talking. It's just about being able to get from the bed to the couch and maybe eating some crackers. So try not to trip, and I'll try to make a promise to at least respond by email.
In other news, I've been corresponding with a melanoma patient in New Jersey that had the same diagnosis and underwent the same treatment as me. I found her through Cancer and it's been a real asset to be able to ask her all about what's coming up for me. She is awesome and has a really similar sense of humor, so we get along great, and I appreciate her insight into what's going on. She also makes me feel so normal for all the stuff I feel and go through, especially all the sleeping.
On the homefront, my room is getting built. We're taking pictures as we go so all of you can get a view of the transformation. So far it's just a little framing, but I'm excited.
So my friend Alicia from high school came into town, but I was so out of it from the chemo we didn't even really get to meet up. I'm bummed about it but hoping we can plan some kind of get together at some point.
This post is all over the board, but I'm trying to get it in before the Ativan takes over. Anyway, In Gilda's club last night, someone mentioned a cancer patient from group that had died, and when the other members read her obituary, they were amazed by the life she had led, the things she'd accomplished, and the people she'd touched. The people in the group never saw that side of her, they only saw and got to hear from her as a cancer patient. It's amazing to me how often that probably happens, that so many people in these hospitals or doctor's offices are seen as just sick people. The thought inspired me to tell all of you: when you see that sick person, or that person in a wheelchair, or on oxygen, or with a mask on, or whatever, just remember - That's a real person in there that had a life and friends and all of that stuff before they got sick. Being sick sucks, and it's amazing how just a simple smile or bit of conversation with a stranger can make you feel so normal. When you're told to stay out of public places in general, it just makes such a difference to be able to be a little social with strangers, even just to know you're still human and still sociable. Not sure if any of that makes sense to you, but it's like a crystal to me.

That's it for now, amigos. Stay on your toes, remember your blessings, and let's be safe out there.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

And In this corner, a weenie

Bobby here. I'm sick.

I know, you're asking yourself, “Why should I care? This is the Miss Melanoma site, not the little hairy monkey Bobby site.”

I’m hip.

But bear with me; it will all tie in, I promise. If not I’ll send each of you .80 cents, wait, $1.80, WAIT $11.80 (just ask Antonio, aka Tony, the crackhead in our neighborhood) (You know what, actually, just don’t ask).

Anyway, I have what feels like the flu. No, not the bird one, just the good ole’ fashioned flu flu.

The reason this is important to you (here comes the tie-in, get ready) is way back when we were finding out what was involved with this melanoma treatment thing a common response to how does the treatment affect you was “You feel like you have a BAD case of the flu”.

Now, I can tell you for sure that I feel like poop right now. And I know that it will go away in a few days if my flu follows standard flu practices.

I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to get messed with at all, much less go on about daily life.

Most of you know, hark back to the day when you were a little lad/lass and you had the flu, all you wanted to do was stay in bed in your underoos watching Scooby-Doo, sleep and feel miserable.

Now, our little Lori has been dealing with that for 5 months already and has until August when the treatment is done. We’re planning a huge “No More F’in Chemo” party in August btw. You’re invited!

Anyway, knowing how I feel with my mild flu and knowing that it’s probably 10 times worse for Lori on an every other day basis (one day of treatment, then a day off, lather/rinse/repeat) makes me realize how tough a little monkey she is.

It’s our little funny joke that it’s a good thing she has melanoma because I’m way too much of a sissy to go through it.

I’m going to tell you a story I’m not proud of. The other day Lori and I went and worked out for the first time since this whole business started. We both got on an elliptical runner machine.

Let’s go to the replay for what happened.

On the left elliptical machine we have Bobby, a fairly in shape (or so I thought) person whose only drawback is asthma, and let’s face it, I use it as a crutch when I have to.

On the right elliptical machine we have Lori, cancer patient, one less toe, a 2 foot scar, constant nausea, lymphadema, chest pains on a fairly regular basis, on chemo 4 days a week along with a ton of other medicine.

Well, I went for 10 minutes and was DONE. As in done, as in stick a fork in me… as in, put the candles on the cake; DONE. TOAST. As in brown on both sides, as in get me on a plate and serve me up.

Lori went for over 30 minutes went for 2 MILES! People, if that doesn’t tell you how tough she is, and to a lesser degree how weak I am, then I don’t know what will please you people.

It’s never enough, you’ll always want more. All you want to see is car crashes and athletes femurs sticking out of their legs….wait Lori is telling me “I’m going to far again”.

Moral: Lori is strong, learn from it. She’s a cancer patient and trucking through life. We have no excuse.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

When choosing between 2 evils, I always like to try the one I haven't tried before

Okay, okay. So it's been way too long since the last update. I apologize. In between that last one and now, there's been turkey dinners and reconstruction, 2 doctor's appointments, infection, aparatus removal, new meds, and I've started up a small Vietnamese prostitution ring, too. So, in a way, there's a lot to talk about. The new medication is supposed to be to help increase my white blood cell count. The bad news is: it's a shot that has to go into my stomach, it causes fatigue, kinda like the interferon did in the first rounds, and along with that it causes nausea and flu-like symptoms. So I've been really tired, and doing that 2 nap a day thing again. Lots of sleeping, lots of laying around, lots of eating only soup. I do take meds for nausea they gave me when we have to eat out with friends or whatever, and that seems to up my appetite a little and does a lot for the general "I feel like ass" feeling that I have whenever I have to do those tedious tasks like breathing in and out. The doctor also gave me antibiotics because YEAH! they took the PICC line out of my arm because it looked infected. This is big news, folks. I'm muy excited about this. I mean, I'd never wanted anything as bad as this. Except maybe that yellow bike when I was 6 with the big banana seat. But anyway. So the tube came out, and she started me on Clendomyacin, which I'm not supposed to be allergic to. I am allergic to Vancomyacin, which is the next strongest. But since I'm MRSA, and resistant to alot of antibiotics, she prescribed me to take 450 mg of the Clendo a day. That's NINE pills a day, people. I broke out like Mike Tyson at an ear eating contest. I mean BAD- huge hives from head to toe. So then there was that, and taking Benadryl and Zyrtec every hour to try to get rid of it. Funny now; not so much at the time. Bobby says I keep a constant 4 things wrong with me. When the chest pains subside, a rash starts, when the fever drops off, there's nausea; when the pain goes away, I get diarrhea. It's a cycle.
On a good note, (yes, there is one) Parkland has been an awesome experience since I finally got into the oncology department, and I'm really pleased with my doctor. AND- get this- I've only got 7 more months of chemo left as of yesterday. WOOHOO! I'll try not to be so lame and post more often, and hey, what about you? You could do your part, too, you lame-o. What about that job you said you'd get? I can't support us forever, you know. I'm sorry, baby. I didn't mean that. You know I didn't mean that. Just come here. No, don't leave. Baby, I'm sorry, don't leave. I love you! I do! Don't say things like that. Well, you know what then? Just f* forget you!


I'm Too Young For This!