Friday, June 20, 2008

ROUND ONE: JILL (DING! DING!)

Wednesday was my second treatment. Before the appointment, they check my blood work to see if my platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells are back up to par for round 2. All was good. Then they feel the tumor and draw it on my breast, so they can measure it. The truly scientific way to measure progress. The good news... they said that my tumor has decreased in size by 50-60% already, after ONE treatment!! Round One - JILL!!! It won't change my treatment plan, but it does get rid of it faster and it does make the surgery less invasive as the tumor gets smaller.

So... thank you to all of you who have been praying for me and us. We'll keep doing what we're doing. You keep doing what you're doing. We'll lick this thing together. The goal now is for it to be a dead tumor by surgery time. That's the best possible target and a real possibility. Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Girls, women can cut risk of breast cancer through exercise

This article was published today on the Wash U site. For all my young friends out there, get working out!!

http://record.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/11913.html

BTW, I'll put up more posts soon. Yesterday we did the big shave, and I'm wearing my wig for the first time today. Pictures and/or video should be posted tonight or tomorrow. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Big Shave!





I've always heard people who've been through chemo say that the worst moment is the diagnosis, but a CLOSE second is the day your hair falls out. On Father's Day, I decided I had had enough of the shedding. It was getting to be tough emotionally to be thinking all the time, "Oh, don't touch your hair because more will come out,", or "Will TODAY be the day that it's now obvious to other people and I have to shave it?" So, after an emotional morning, I felt it was time. I had picked up my wigs on Friday, had a few cute hats and scarves in my stash, so felt I was ready to start the work week on Monday with my wig.

I called my wonderful friends Rebecca and Bobby Jones and they loaned me a clipper. A couple hours later, I was ready. Happy about it, looking forward to the relief, and ready to shave. The whole family gathered out on the patio, we got out the hammock, chicken was grilling, and cameras were rolling, and Rory was much more interested in playing ball in the yard with Poppy. I did the first part of the shaving myself, sitting on the concrete patio under the shade. Jason did clean-up for me. We all had a great time, making G.I. Jane jokes and searching for what grotesque previously-unknown birthmark we might find under all that hair. Luckily, what we found is that I actually have a pretty nicely-shaped head!

When we finished, Rory came over, rubbed by fuzzy head, and pointed at the clipper saying, "I want some now." We explained that Mommy was the only one shaving her head today, so Mommy could wear her "new hairs" as she calls my wigs. Then, in her two-year-old way, she said, "Mommy, you look kinda like a baby." I laughed and said, "You know Rory, I guess I probably do, don't I?"

So, here are some pics of the shorn head and the wig.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

For GIRLS ONLY (seriously guys, skip this one)

I never thought I'd say this, but I do believe that right now, dealing with a period is much more difficult than dealing with chemo! I KNOW women out there will understand. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but my particular type of cancer is estrogen-receptive, which means it could be fed by estrogen. Therefore, as soon as I was diagnosed, I had to stop taking my birth control pills. It has been WAY too long since I was dealing with periods that were not somewhat modified and regulated by birth control pills, so honestly, THIS is the most difficult thing I'm dealing with so far. I'm crampy and it's throwing off my digestive system big time! Not fun.

Over the weekend, some tiredness kicked in. During the first four days after treatment, I have to take a specific anti-nausea pill that also includes a handy little stimulant, which was good to keep me feeling great those four days. Saturday night was the last one of those, so by Sunday around 6pm I was ready for bed. Just no energy, but otherwise fine. I'm at work this week, doing well, minus all this girlie stuff.

p.s. The new video from Thursday is a couple posts down now. Google Video really has some serious hiccups so it took this long to be able to get it to work.