Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Things I Wish I Were Told...

Good article. I would recommend it for anyone newly-diagnosed, along with their family and friends.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Ode to Worker Bees (you know who you are!)

Your offices spill over with pink
I wonder what strangers may think
Stingers of black

We will wear on our back
While we walk and sweat 'til we stink!

You've written emails to friends,
Planned t-shirt sizes to no end!
Dozens of errands you've run
To ensure all our fun
All while writing reports for year end!

I'm attempting to show you my praise
And tell others how much you amaze
But my rhyming skills suck
And I'm somewhat awestruck
So I thank you, my friends, ALWAYS.

See you tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Research on Stress and Breast Cancer

Just one of the reasons we are so thankful to everyone who helps us out in some way.  Meals, cards, play dates, Rory pickups, taking on a work project, etc.  THANK YOU ALL for helping me keep my stress level in check!

Stress Management for Breast Cancer Patients May Affect Disease Course

ScienceDaily (Mar. 21, 2012) — A team of researchers led by Michael H. Antoni, director of the University of Miami's Center for Psycho-Oncology Research, has shown that a stress management program tailored to women with breast cancer can alter tumor-promoting processes at the molecular level. The new study, recently published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, is one of the first to link psychological intervention with genetic expression in cancer patients.

Full article here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crappy Chemo Weekend

Chemo is a tricky thing.  Every time I think I have the patterns of how I will feel down, it decides to throw something at me, just to keep me on my toes.  This weekend I have been EXHAUSTED and achy.  I think the exhaustion is from the chemo and the achy is from the Neulasta shot.  I got up on Saturday morning and put a bagel in the toaster for both Rory and me.  I ate three bites before I was so exhausted I couldn't go on and needed to lay down.  My hips hurt (expected from the Neulasta) and my muscles have felt like I worked out too hard a couple days ago, though I haven't exercised in a couple weeks. Oh yeah, and I've had a very slight fever here and there (including right now as I type this).

Ibuprofen has helped but I feel guilty being a lump on the couch most of the weekend.  Ibuprofen doesn't help that.  (By the way, if anyone is aware of anything available OTC that can take away guilt, please let me know!  I would share it with my hubby.)

Jason and I are planning a getaway weekend for the two of us in a couple weeks, but are now looking to shift dates so that if the next chemo treatment hits me the same way this one does, I won't be laying in a B&B feeling this crappy.

Our friend and neighbor, Gloria, told me this morning, "Well this is what chemo is SUPPOSED to feel like, so relax!", which did make me feel very fortunate for how I've felt over the last three months of chemo.

OK, I'm off for a quick nap before Jason and Rory get home!  Big hugs everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Juggler

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has better entertainment in Pod 4 than me!

You can make the video full screen by clicking the icon in the lower right corner of the video.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mid-term Report Card

For your first glimpse of how today's mid-term chemo report card turned out today, check out the 7 second video below:

Gotta love that still shot!

All good news today!  When I was diagnosed three months ago, the cancer was in three areas:  my liver, my spine, and my omentum (yes, that's a real organ - google it!).  As of today, there is no sign of cancer in my omentum!  And the tumors in my spine and liver (there were numerous ones in each) have decreased both in size and number.  Both my spine and liver have spots of scar tissue from small tumors that have now healed.  And all my other organs are still healthy and cancer-free.  YIPPEE!

What does this mean?  We still have 3 more months of chemo, then we answer that question.  But for now, it means we DANCE!!!

Love you all!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Test Day Distraction

Today is the halfway mark for my planned six months of chemo, so it's CT Scan Party Day!  Tomorrow we talk with the doc about results.  A week ago, I was feeling very confident heading into the test, thinking "I'll show them!  They'll be AMAZED at how well I'm kicking this!"  Imagine the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie imagines the reaction his teacher will have to his theme about wanting a BB Gun.

This last few days, I've not felt as confident since I've not been feeling 100% with the mono (though I've felt remarkably good for dealing with cancer and mono at the same time!).  These are times I question every gurgle and twinge in my body, imagining it's things getting worse.  Then (and here I'm going to let you in more than you probably want on the crazy of my brain) I think to myself "What are you DOING??  Thoughts can create reality!  Stop it!  oh wait... how long have I been thinking this in the back of my mind before it made it to the front?  What if I've been-" and that's when I get distracted by something else, in typical Jill fashion, like some classic 80s song on the radio.

So, for today, here is my theme song...  :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Wednesday and Thursday I had two rough nights of sleep for no particular reason.  By Friday morning, I was exhausted.  I went to work for two hours before calling it a day and heading home to nap.  As the afternoon went on I felt worse and by dinner a fever kicked in.  And of course, in Chemo Land, a fever means a trip to the ER to get checked out.

They did tons of blood tests and the first piece of good news was that my white blood cells were way up! At first all blood tests came back looking really good.  So tell me...

What 40 year old married woman gets MONO??

Yep, mono.  At first I wondered how in the heck I could have gotten mono, but then I have to remember that with all my time in doctor's offices, I spend more time than the average bear in places where there are some very sick people.  And did I mention that I like to lick them?  Who gets mono at 40?!

So, all plans this weekend are canceled and I plan to lay on the couch most of the time.  You just have to ride out mono.  Fatigue can last 4-7 weeks, but I have been feeling tired a week or two already, which I had been chalking up to Hectic Cancer Life and Hectic Real Life.  Looks like my body is demanding more rest than I was already giving it.

Anybody have a good book to recommend??