Monday, April 23, 2012

Taxol week 3

Lots of family and friends have asked me to post photos of my wig or bald head.  My sister took this iphone shot when we went out one night.  I get complements on my wig all of the time.  I like it.  I can see that it will be very annoying to wear during the summer.  It can be itchy and hot.  For now, it works for me.  Most of the time I wear a hat.  Hats are comfortable but I notice people stare at me with a hat on.  I kind of wish I had the courage to just go out into public bald.  I walk around my house all of the time bald but if someone comes to the door I throw a hat on.  As for my bald head photos, I'm working on it.  I've had a few ideas for some artsy photographs.  I doubt I will post them to this blog.  I have been so busy working on other photo jobs/chemo/daily life and I haven't found time to take them.  

Other people have asked me how Taxol (2nd chemo drug) is going.  My answer to them is GREAT.  For the most part I have been side effect free.  Honestly the infusion is the hardest part.  Usually during the infusion the different medicine stings as it is administered.  We are going to take some steps this week to avoid this.  After my infusion I have been exhausted.  I go home get some rest and have been able to go about my normal activities.  I do tire easily.  If I don't get a nap I am ready for bed at 8.  Since Taxol is cumulative I will be more tired as the weeks go by.  I will take Taxol any day over that awful A/C.

Since I have started Taxol and had confirmation that my tumor was shrinking I have been so happy.  I'm going to steal a quote from my friend.  "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present."  On days that I am feeling good I have tired to live life appreciating the present.  I have been elated to take a walk outside, wrestle with my kids, go out with friends or actually talk to Joe instead of sitting next to him on the couch while we channel surf.

While going through the A/C I would cry at least once a day.  Usually in the shower or if I was driving in my car by myself.  I can see that my old optimistic personality is coming back.  I'm happier and I am ready to get this cancer treatment over with.  Now the hardest day of the week for me is my Friday infusion day.  I know that the doctor will never tell me that I'm cured of breast cancer.  I do know that once treatment is over with I stand a good chance of the cancer never returning.  

At church we had a lesson on charity.  Most of the lesson focused on how we can become charitable through service, forgiveness and correcting our overall attitude toward others when they offend us.  

Right now I have a completely different vision of what charity means to me.  I have seen so many people go out of there way to help our family.  As I watch others be charitable it makes me want to be like them.  I'll fully admit it.  Sometimes I wouldn't do things for people because I thought they could help themselves or that they brought problems on themselves by making bad decisions.  Now, I realize that becoming more charitable will only benefit me in the long run.  I have been looking for small ways I can help others.  So far, I have listened to a few people tell me there problems and tried to help them.  The old me would have probably cut them off and done nothing about it.  When you have cancer it is very easy to be selfish.  My hope is that I can branch out and help others while continuing my treatment.

Join My Team!

Here is the link (below) to register for race for the cure. You have to click "register"and then "join an existing team". You will then be able to search for the team by typing "Lynnsanity", the team should come up and then you click "join"and proceed through the registration.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ultrasound Results

So a friend told me that when she is going to have an important day she looks at herself in the mirror and says "You are a bad ass!" just to pump herself up to do well at her job and whatnot. In preparation for today's scan I tried to use her pump up method. I'm not sure if it took all of my anxiety away but it did make me smile.

I went for an ultrasound to look and see if the tumor and lymph nodes had changed. I'm excited to report that the tumor has shrunk by 75% and they didn't see any cancer in my lymph nodes. I had about 3 lymph nodes infected two months ago.

I have been on cloud nine all day after hearing this news. Two months of this awful chemo drug has done its job and soon I'll live cancer free. YAHOO!!!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bye Bye A/C! I will not miss you.

It has been a difficult past two weeks. I finished my last A/C treatment. This was phase one of two chemo phases I will go though. My last treatment left me very tired and so sick to my stomach for a week. I was hopeful that I would be back to normal in three to four days like the last treatments. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have given myself a timetable to recover by. By day 3 and 4 I was feeling worse compared to days 1 and 2. When I didn't get better I mentally began to feel upset about what was happening to me.

Now that I am feeling physically better my mental state has improved. This weekend our church had general conference. Click here for more info. I noticed that a few of the talks mentioned people with cancer or just people that were sick in some way. I found one of the talks to be very relevant to my current situation. Here is a quote from the talk.

"Though many people face trials, adversities, disabilities, heartaches, and all manner of afflictions, a loving Savior will always be there, said Rasband. “He has promised: ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you’ (John 14:18) ‘… My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’” (John 14:27)."

A friend of mine that had breast cancer told me that the word afraid is used more than 200 times in the bible. Fear is one emotion I have felt in the past two months. My friend said "Take hour by hour, day by day.. but, "do not be afraid"... I just wanted to pass those words onto you. I know things get tough, especially the kind of past few days you just had! But, you will come through it. I would say, God is trying to pass along a message to us with those words!" I really try to live by this advice. When I do my days go better.

Don't get me wrong though. I have had some bright spots in the past few weeks. I had a whole day to myself. No kids and no husband just me!!!! We have had fun with our kids. We even took a road trip with friends a few weeks ago during spring break. Right now, I live for these moments. Nothing is more important to me than the people around me. Having the people I love around me is what is keeping me going though this.

My friend is setting up a team for the race for the cure. I spent some time looking at the komen website today. I think this website is an excellent resource for breast health. When I was first diagnosed I looked at the breast cancer page off of It left me very confused and I couldn't find any concrete info for my specific kind of cancer. This site has LOADS of info. A few little facts for you:

-There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the US today.
-When breast cancer is found early the 5 year survival rate is 98%!
-Five percent of all breast cancers occur in women under age 40.

I also visited the shop komen page. I love this t-shirt!
I know I have talked about how awesome Joe has been during these past few months. He is more excited about the race for the cure than I am. He has been so positive though everything. Even when I am at my worst he has been my cheerleader. On a hard day when I was so sick he sat by me and worked on his laptop. I asked him "How can you love me when I'm like this?" He answered "I don't know how to not love you." Is this guy for real?

My friends have been so supportive. I get really emotional on infusion days. Before my infusion I started to cry. My friend Kate took my hand and said "You can do this." It was all I needed to stop crying and get it done. Other friends have watched my kids, brought me food, sent me texts (joe had to get me a new plan) e-mails and phone calls. I have felt so supported.

Tomorrow morning I will have an ultrasound to look at the tumor and see if it has changed. I'm hopeful that I will get good news. I know so many people who are sending positive thoughts and prayers my way. I'm grateful for that.