Monday, September 21, 2009

the big "c"

so, i had cancer. i think i can say that it is gone now and that i am cancer-free...but i never really asked my doctor that specifically...guess i should. anyways, what a trip. you hear about it, you probably know someone who has had it, you are told that pretty much anything and everything can give you cancer, but you never think it will happen to you. well, last march, it happened to me. i am not sure how long i had it before i found out about it, but i can guess that it was at least a few months. i started feeling tired and kind of weird maybe in december of last year. i noticed that after working out on the elliptical machine and lying down to do some crunches that it felt like my heart was beating in my abdomen and i could feel a hard lump. i didn't think too much of it at the time, but i guess that was the tumor. i started feeling more tired and i didn't have an appetite. i wasn't sure what was wrong, but i guess i figured it was some sort of winter cold or flu. i also had the chills a lot. i also had a lot going on at the time. i had just gotten engaged, i was going to go back to school, and i was trying to be a good maid of honor for my sister so being tired didn't seem very weird.

i remember joking around with my co-workers about my strange symptoms and comically saying, "what if it's cancer?!".

anyways, my lack of energy was driving my mom crazy so she finally made me go to urgent care. the doctor there told me that it felt like it could be a baby(!) or a tumor (!!). i think my blood test at urgent care was pretty wacky too and they told me to go to the emergency room right away.

the next 48 hours are kind of blurry and stuff. they ran a ton of tests on me and the next thing i know i am scheduled for surgery. because the tumor was attached to one of my ovaries, we had to make some quick decisions. should they try to save my other ovary? should they take everything out so that i won't have to worry about this happening again? well...considering that i was newly engaged and have always wanted to have a family andy, my mom, and i decided that if they discovered that the other ovary was not damaged that they should leave it in. this way we can at least try to have a baby or two and if we are not able too, we know that there are a lot of other options. the doctor did recommend that as soon as we are done having children (or trying to have children) that i should have everything else taken out as soon as possible. i guess we will see what happens in the next few years! the worst thing about the possibility of another surgery is the thought of having to drink that nasty stuff that cleans out your system again! ugh!! maybe they will have a better method by then...

so anyways...i had 6 rounds of chemotherapy and am really glad to be done with that! the first couple rounds were hard because i had gotten an infection from my surgery. i wasn't able to eat much and was very weak. two rounds of anti-biotics later i was better and overall the rest of my treatments were not too bad. i had some nausea and of course lost my hair, but i know that it could have been a lot worse. i can't wait for my hair to grow back because i am very sick of wearing a wig.

anyways, i am generally an optimistic person so here are the top five good things about my chemotherapy:

1. getting time off of work
2. not having to shave my legs all summer
3. having time to just relax and read books
4. spending a lot of quality time with my mom
5. getting over my fear of doctors

and on the flip side, here are the top five bad things that i experienced (there are more then 5, but i'll leave out some of the gory details):

1. losing my hair
2. feeling weak
3. not being able to sleep very well
4. all the needle sticks and shots
5. losing my hair :(

well that is all for now. time to move on with my life! i've already got a lot to look forward too since andy and i just closed on our house and of course the wedding! i am looking forward to making fun decorating decisions and getting into the wedding details! woot, woot!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

last chemo treatment!

i had my last chemo treatment today! it was a little touch and go for a few minutes...they did my lab work and it took forever for the results to come in. i tried to stay busy by playing with my iphone so hat i wouldn't think about things too much and start getting emotional. my mom was sooooo nervous.

after the nurse finally found my oncologist to get his opinion on my bloodwork we found out that we were good to go! my white blood cells were still low, but they decided to give me a lower dosage of the drugs so that i could continue one and be done with it all. thank you god!

they started with the pre-meds...i know benedryl is one of them but i don't know what the other one is...maybe a steroid...something for nausea? anyways those are always fun. they are amazed that the benedryl doesn't make me drowsy. i guess with everyone else they are all fast asleep when they get it.

the first chemo drug that i get is called Taxol. it takes three hours for the drug to go in through my IV. i felt fine for this one and always have.

the second drug i get is called carboplatin. this one usually only takes one hour or less to get. it started out okay, but all of the sudden i felt really weird. i was all sweaty (probably didn't help that i had turned the heat on in my recliner), itchy (especially the palms of my hands and the bottoms of my feet), and tingly...then the nausea set in. luckily they gave me a bucket and i did not make a mess...they stopped the carbo and just had saline go into me for a little while. they consulted with my oncologist and decided to give me more benedryl and some steroids. they also decided to dilute the drug with saline so that it wouldn't be so concentrated. this took some time to do and of course once it was done the bag was twice the size which meant twice the time to administer. luckily i didn't have another reaction and i was able to have the drugs and finish out my treatment.

my mom and i got my favorite starbucks drink to celebrate (vanilla bean blended creme! so yummy!) and then came home. what a long day!

anyways, i am going to write another blog post about my cancer experience soon. fun!

'til next time!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

fantasy football

i am participating in a small fantasy football league this year. i have never done this before and i don't know how excited i will get about it, but here is my team.

Peyton Manning – Ind – QB
Randy Moss – NE – WR
Calvin Johnson – DetWR
Pierre Thomas – NO – RB
Reggie Bush – NO – RB
Chris Cooley – Was – TE
Terrell Owens – BufWR
Donovan McNapp – Phi – QB
Beanie Wells – Ari – RB
Marshawn Lynch – Buf – RB
Lee Evans – BufWR
Kellen Winslow – TB – TE
David Akers – Phi – K
Baltimore – Bal – DEF
New England – NE - DEF

i don't know who most of these players are...but maybe i'll be lucky and will win! andy and i are watching the vikings game right now. he has a lot of vikings players on his team so that is kind of fun.

'til next time!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

twins game

i met julia for the twins game last night. they played the oakland a's and they also lost horribly. we left early, but when i got home i saw that they got a few more runs late in the game so at least it wasn't quite as bad of a blowout. i had a dome dog and got the jumbo pop so that i would have a souvenir from the last season in the dome. it was ridiculously large and yet somehow i drank the entire thing. we were also only a few rows away from the "hormel row of fame". it would have been so cool to have been in that row! we were too far away to jump into any open seats (not to mention that we were surrounded by old people), but it was still exciting.
well this morning, some of my friends are participating in a walk/run for ovarian cancer. i chose not to participate this year due to my ever changing treatment schedule, but i will definitely do it next year! i am meeting up with some of them for breakfast soon so i better put my hair on and get ready. fun times!!
'til next time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

first post...

hola. i've got a lot going on in my life at the moment so i thought it would be fun to write about some of it! plus i love blogs.

to start, here are a few interesting things about me:

- i like writing all in lower caps, it just looks cooler to me...
- i am on two bowling leagues this fall...
- i am getting married next july!...
- my fiance (andy) and i are moving into a new house next week!...
- i had a football sized tumor removed on march, 30, 2009 and i was supposed to have my final chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer on sept. 3...then it got pushed back to sept. 10...and now it's been pushed back again to sept. 17...argh! if it gets pushed back again i will probably cry for days...
- i love television...
- i love my two crazy cats...i am sure they will be the topic of many, many blog postings...
- i once was about 5 feet away from john travolta...
- my picture was in an issue of tv guide once...
- i am working from home today and really should not be working on this right now...guess i better get back to work!

'til next time!