Monday, December 24, 2007

We made it!

The stockings are hung and stuffed, the presents are by the tree and the "BIG BIG CAR" is in the garage waiting for two little boys to get up tomorrow. I am exhausted, but it is the good kind. I made it to Christmas in style, but I know that I did not get here alone. Many helped with the house, wrapping, shopping, food, housework, the list goes on and on. Thank you......this moment means to the world to me. I can't wait until tomorrow. Merry Christmas everyone!!!! Love, Ang

Thursday, December 20, 2007


It has been a long but wonderful day!!! I am done with radiation. After the glorious last treatment, lots of hugs, and butt wiggles, I went upstairs to see my oncologist for my marching orders. When he saw me, he said, "You have done amazingly well with these two treatments and now you need a rest." I am thinking - what is doing poorly?!?!?! That must really stink!!!! Then I thought - WAIT did he say rest??? So, I asked, "What do you mean rest?" He replied with, "Well, you have been at this for a while and everyone needs a rest, so we will start on January 7th." I was like, "No, we discussed December 31st." He looked at me, tilted his head, and said, "I know you think you have done very well and your blood is in good shape, and you have done well, but your body needs a rest. We will start on the 7th" I was like, "But..." "The 7th m'dear." F-I-N-E. So, I start again on the 7th. I left the building and realized that I have more than two weeks.....a two week vacation from cancer. That sounds pretty darn good like a surprise Christmas gift that you didn't see coming. Merry Christmas to ME!!!! Love, Ang

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Better today....

Two days, two treatments, and chemo pills run out tomorrow.......I can SEE IT!!! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Funny story....people at work used to use the phrase "This too shall pass" and I would always add " a bad bowel movement." If I had only known!!!!!! Love, Ang

Monday, December 17, 2007

Home Stretch

Well, the healing isn't going as quickly as I would have liked, it is better than before. Today was a bad day, so bad I could not stop shivering, I was nauseous, and weak. What I find now is what I was warned about by past patients. The last week drags on, you find yourself discouraged and depressed, and you start not caring about anything else but finishing. To top it off, fatigue is at its worst. With the mix, I find myself fighting to stay positive and just wishing this was just all over. And then I see my boys wrestling with their Dad and smile. I remember him (Grant) telling me this will all be over soon and a distant memory someday........someday. I want someday here now. Opps there is the timer, got to take my chemo pills.......someday this will all be a distant memory. 3 treatments, 3 days, and 2 more days of pill chemo. Here is to the 20th, Ang

Friday, December 14, 2007

Let the healing begin!!!

So, today was good. No radiation in the back - only on the sides, yippee!!! With any luck, I will be normal by Christmas. Funny story - I was visiting Bob yesterday in treatment and I met this older gentleman with stomach and esophagus (is that right?) cancer. We were talking about side effects during radiation and he said he was able to eat, poop, etc. and I responded with, "Then I would say to you, 'I am feeling nothing for ya!!!!'" He laughed hard because really it is all about poop. It should be noted that previous to that conversation Bob thought I should get a poop Christmas ornament and his wife suggested I could make one out of raisins!!!!! Yeah, maybe I will skip that one!!!! Happy holiday weekend, Ang

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The quiet one....

So, today wasn't so great and I was in a great deal of pain. This just stinks. The good news is tomorrow is the last day of the "full meal deal" and the last five treatments they back off a bit - THANK GOODNESS! Anyhoo, there has been this young woman in the waiting room for maybe a couple of weeks now. She always looks confident with a little scared mixed in. I have quietly said hello to her and she politely says it back. I think she is a bit younger than I am and she comes with her Mom everyday. Her Mom is flat out scared. Well, today she initiated the hello, sat right next to me and said, "I had my first chemo yesterday and I was high as a kite! I think I need all that advice you gave that other woman last week. Do you mind?" I looked at her like, "Are you kidding???? Bring it on! Somebody get me a pen and paper." So, we started chatting and the conversation went easy. Towards the end of the conversation she said, "When I first came here I thought you were here with a patient. I had no idea you were one. You are so happy, healthy looking, and have your hair, but when I overheard you tell your story I almost cried...." I stopped her there, winked, and said, "I get that a lot, but I have a happy story. I am done in March when switch to "Survivor" status. And, by the way, who says you won't be there with me?????" Her eyes darted to mine. She looked at me with those eyes six months ago. A mix of resignation, fear, fight, hope, and more fear. So I touched her arm, nodded, looked her straight in the eye, and nodded again. No words - no need. And then I got called to treatment. I told her I would see her tomorrow. She smiled and said, "Oh yeah....more tomorrow!" We smiled and then I was off to fling myself on the table. Happy Wednesday. Love, Ang

Monday, December 10, 2007

Today is turning out better than expected....

On the way home it was a beautiful day, my biscuits were still burning, but I was distracted by the sun. I opened the sunroof, cranked the heat, and changed the radio station from Christmas music to Jack FM. For those of you that know me well, you know that I am closet ACDC fan and ironically "Highway to Hell" was just coming on the radio. I cranked the volume and a trucker started laughing at me. I thought Highway to Hell was fitting for what I am going through right now, don't you? When the song was over I exited the freeway, went back to Christmas Music (Frosty the Snowman to be exact), and continued home. My moment. Yes, I know it is 40 degrees. THAT is not the point! Love, Ang

9 treatments; 11 days; 10 more days of chemo

Last Wednesday I met with my oncologist and he said, "Well, I am glad you are feeling better and your bloodwork is good, so we are going to start Xeloda." Xeloda is a pill form of chemo. It is considered a low dose of chemo compared to what I was on before radiation started. I thought, "Great, just when I get one thing figured out I have to compensate for another." I said, "Okay, let's do it. But I get Christmas week off, right?" My oncologist replied, "Yep, that is the deal." So, Wednesday through Friday went pretty well and then Saturday hit. Saturday stunk except I do have to say that I have learned to manipulate this well enough that I go to things like book club and Mason's birthday party that he was invited to. I do these things and then return home within 3 hours to the bath tub, my bed, and my couch (whichever is necessary) with my lotions, potions, and creams. The trick is that the event must be close to home in case I have to return and I must be home within 3 hours - 2 is better. Sunday was a bit better, but today looks like a bad day. The hard part is I won't be able to truly tell until about 11:00am. The worst part is that in my depression and pain this weekend I decided to dye my hair because my roots were horrible. They discontinued my color and the new color is a bit too ashy for me. So, now I am a pathetic butt burned cancer patient with a bad hair dye job. Wonderful! People keep asking me what other side effects I have....well, my fingernails always feel like they are going to rip off, I can't feel the tips of my fingers again, my feet are super sensitive, my bowels are all screwed up, I am TIRED, my butt itches CONSTANTLY, but I do not feel nauseous. So, I guess that makes me a tired, pathetic, butt itching, butt burned, appendage painful, bowel questioning, cancer patient with a bad dye job. Oh well, I got to do the things I love this weekend despite it all and I was strong enough to go through the neighborhood with my family last night and look at the Christmas lights which was a true joy for me. Mason is the cutest. He had to stop at everyone's house, sit on the curb and watch the lights......pretty adorable. 9 more treatments, 11 more days, and 10 more of can't come soon enough. Love, Ang

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Preparations

Last week, I was talking on the phone with one of my girlfriends and I started to cry. I was so tired of being sick and tired. I was fearful of not having Christmas be perfect for Mason. I didn't know how I was going to get the decorations up, the presents wrapped, Santa photos, etc. I wanted it to be perfect for him because, well, I didn't know if I was going to see Christmas a little while back and my third Christmas was the first that I remember as a child. I remember how excited my Dad was that day and on that Christmas I got what I asked for - a teddy bear. He was a big as I was and from then on he was my best friend. I wanted this Christmas to be like that for Mason (and Nolan, but let's be serious - he isn't going to remember!!) She suggested I ask some friends over to decorate and wrap gifts. I thought that was a crazy idea, but then again, I am nuts so I thought about it and called a few friends - the ones that love Christmas. I called one that loves to wrap, one that love the Christmas tree, one that just loves Christmas, and one that is a work horse. (Ladies - guess which one you are....hehehe). I pulled a lasagna from the freezer, asked one to bring a salad, and we were set. They all came and transformed my house and wrapped all my gifts. So, many times that night my eyes filled with tears, but I didn't cry. They teased me about my crazy ornaments - doesn't everyone had a pig angel?????? We laughed and chatted up a storm. The the best part was one friend was from high school, one from college, one was a old neighbor, and one was a soccer buddy, but they have all been with me for so long that they all know each other. They talked in a familiar way, enjoying each other's company. Let's face it - I do drag people together and, if they have any sense, they go with it!!!!! So, Wednesday night my house was Christmasfied, and on Thursday afternoon my Mom picked me up with the kids and we went for Santa photos. Mason and Nolan were at my folks for Tuesday and Wednesday night because Grant had to work late both nights. Wednesday and Thursday were great days, but by Thursday night I was exhausted and went to bed at 7. It was a good amazing tired.....who would have thought that all those people would have time to help me during the holidays? How lucky am I?!?!?!? Happy Friday, Ang

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

12 Treatments; 16 days

Hey - I am the same - always in pain and chanting to myself how many more days/treatments to go. I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday and I then a woman the the waiting room said, "You look so healthy - you look amazing." We started chatting and then everyone in the waiting room was chatting and I learned that the man to my right had stomach cancer. I said, "Wow, I haven't met someone with stomach cancer." He replied, "That is because they are all dead." I looked at him and we both started laughing. Only people with terminal "anything" can do that......I am still laughing......he was cool. On another note, Sunday was Mason's 3rd birthday. We did a bowling party since there were 12 adults and only 5 and a half (Nolan) kids. It was a good time and I won!!!! In fact, I pretty much spanked everyone at bowling. Secretly, that is why I wanted a bowling party. I am a bowling master at heart. Mason had a great time and that is really all that mattered. Here is a good story....Mason really wanted to be five (like his cousin). So, he just started saying he was five and showing all five fingers. I was a little concerned with this and said to him, "Mason you are three. You can't change it. It is not one of those things you can change." He looked straight at me holding up five fingers and said, "Mommy, look at my fingers. I am five!" "Okie dokie, you're five." No worries. He changed his tune by the party. Hang in there - I am trying to! Love, Ang