Happy Cancer Girl

A Happy Girls Journey with Cancer

Chemo #2

I had my second round of chemo on Monday. This treatment was only one drug (Taxol), and I’ve been feeling good since the infusion. Taxol is the drug that is causing my hair loss, so my scalp feels like it has goosebumps. My hair hasn’t actually started to fall out yet, but it probably will within the next week or two. Speaking of hair loss, I got an awesome package in the mail on Monday that I am going to blog about tomorrow!

I wanted to give you all an update on my first chemo session. The last time I wrote I said I was feeling pretty good, and I was at the time. I swear as soon as I was done posting, I put my laptop away and realized I was feeling really ill. I ended up being in bed and unable to eat for a few days. I am taking an anti-nausea drug called Zofran, so it helps me to not vomit, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling the nausea. Another unfortunate symptom is constipation, so I have to take laxatives every other day and then the laxatives give me stomach pains. Not fun at all! After spending a few days in bed last week I was really weak and found walking up a flight of stairs to be really tiring. On Sunday I begged Owen to not make me continue with the chemo (I think I was joking), but of course he said I had to keep going. But, like I said this second round isn’t bad so I’m sure I can handle feeling crappy 1 week out of every 3.

I am taking heavy doses of steroids every week before my treatments. I’ve never taken steroids before and didn’t really know what they would do to me. I’m still not 100% sure of their effect on me, but they are certainly causing me to have a very flushed face and terrible hot flashes! I have read that some people ask their doctors if they can lower the dose of the steroids, so when I see the oncologist again in a couple weeks I will check with her.

I have even felt well enough to dance a little bit around my kitchen yesterday. I’m loving this song, I hope you enjoy it!

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I’m on a Roller-coaster

Last week I wrote about going to see the oncologist and asked you to do a happy dance because she told me the cancer didn’t spread. This week the surgeon who did my hysterectomy called me to go over the final pathology report. She told me that the original tumour was endometroid ovarian cancer, my other ovary had a borderline tumour (which is not full blown cancer, but can turn into it), and my uterus had some unusual/odd cells (which I guess could have turned into cancer if it wasn’t removed). My cancer stage is called Stage 1C Grade 1, because the cancer wasn’t contained to one ovary and the original tumour was cut into while it was still inside my body (it was also stuck to my pelvic wall). The surgeon (who is a gyn-oncologist) told me that it was their recommendation that I do 6 cycles of chemo.

I feel like I am on a roller-coaster and I’m not allowed to get off. I don’t understand why the other oncologist told me that the cancer didn’t spread when in fact it did. I am looking forward to seeing her again next Tuesday so that I can ask. I know that when I had my first surgery they sent the slides to 3 different labs, so there are 3 different pathology reports and two of them agreed while one was a bit different. This could be the case again, but I won’t know until next week.

Despite everything going on, I feel good. I don’t want to do chemo, but I was also really nervous that I wouldn’t be doing chemo. I know the chemo will kill any little cancer cells that may still be in my body and once the chemo is done I will be able to move on with my life and won’t spend all my time worrying about the what if’s.

Thanks for joining me on this journey, it’s nice to have the support of family, friends, ladies who have gone through the same thing, and also people who are following along who don’t even know me. When it’s all said and done I hope that we can celebrate together and do one big happy dance!

Have a good weekend!

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Finally Some Good News

Yesterday I met with the oncologist and she was able to tell me about the pathology report. The cancer didn’t spread!!! Everything came back clean and clear. If I could dance I would, but rest assured I am dancing in my head!

So, what now? Well I still don’t know. The oncologist wanted to talk to the surgeon who did my first surgery before she recommended her final treatment plan. It is a little confusing to me because the GYN-oncologic surgeon who did my hysterectomy told me that I would have to have chemo to be on the safe side, due to the endometriosis. I guess we will wait to see what this new oncologist decides and we’ll go from there.

I also have a part of my incision that isn’t healing very well, so we need to give it time to heal from the inside-out (yup it’s as gross as it sounds), before I can start chemo. I see the oncologist again in 2 weeks, and if it’s a go with chemo it would probably start about 1 week after that…so hopefully in 3 weeks my hole will be healed!

Now that you’ve read my news, you can go do a happy dance for me!

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Couch Potato

What do you do when you can’t do anything? I don’t normally watch a lot of television, so it feels odd to lay on the couch watching show after show. I was sent Sudoku and Search a Word books (thanks Kim), they are keeping my brain from turning to mush. Yesterday mom took me for a drive, it was nice to get out of the house!

I guess you could say I’m bored. What I would give to go for a walk, but by the time I made it to the end of my driveway, I would have to turn around and try to walk back up it. I did walk around Shopper’s Drug Mart yesterday because I needed to pick up some more gauze, paper tape and a thermometer for chemo. I was hoping to go for a drive again today and maybe go for a slow walk around the grocery store, but my car is a standard and I don’t want my mom to take me for a drive with it, in case she’s jerky (it’s been a while since she’s driven a standard).

I often sit and think about being in the hospital, I can’t get rid of the memories. However, one moment I will never forget, nor do I want to forget…I was in the middle of a horrible hot flash and couldn’t get cooled down. My dad opened the window and took a pillow and fanned me with the cool air. It was probably one of the happiest moments I have ever had!

So here I am, 2 weeks post op, feeling better….well enough to be bored, 2 weeks from driving again and 4 weeks before I can lift anything and can do my own housework! For now I can listen to music and dream about dancing!

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Nervous Nelly

We were hit with another snowstorm this weekend, it really looks like winter outside now. It would be better if it looked so wintery in December, but I’m sure there are some people who are actually enjoying the snow! Owen and I did manage to go to the movies once this weekend, unfortunately the movie wasn’t great. We went to see Beautiful Creatures which is based on a book written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which I really enjoyed, but the movie wasn’t nearly as good.

The rest of my weekend was spent by me being a little bit frantic. I want this surgery to be over with because the waiting is going to give me an ulcer! I’m having a hard time sleeping (last night I had a terrible dream where I was pregnant…seemed kind of cruel), and the smell of food is making me feel sick (sounds like I could be pregnant, but I’m not), and I’m having daily migraines because of the stress. I know that I will be fine and I will get through the surgery, but I can’t seem to calm my nerves!

The video I am posting today is for the song Stutter by Marianas Trench, if you haven’t heard it you really should listen. The song is great, but it’s the beat that I really like. I feel like it is a good representation of what is going on in my head right now…remember the beat not the words! 🙂 Let the last kitchen dance party begin!

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The Sad Reality

I am a happy person for the most part, but I do have moments when I am really sad. They come and go and I’m sure they will while I am going through all of this. On the weekend I had some sad moments that I thought I might share.

Cancer is lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had incredible support and love from my family and friends, but I find I don’t share a lot of information. I know I’ve said lots on this blog, but it’s general information and usually on how to make myself happy. You know when you see someone and they say “Hi, how are you?”, the usual response is “I’m good, how are you?”, well when people ask me how I’m doing, I always say I’m great or I’m good, even if I’m not. I feel like it’s not fair to give an honest answer because it’s heavy stuff.

The truth is, I am good for the most part, but for the past week or two I’ve been having terrible stomach pains. This is likely my endometriosis. Before I had surgery in November I only had endometriosis pain about a day or two a month, nothing serious. After my surgery I was healing so I didn’t really notice, but this month it’s been much worse with the pain lasting for well over a week. I don’t know if it’s because I had the surgery, or if it’s because of stress…but what I do know is, it sucks. It feels like a constant pulling inside my stomach and sometimes it hurts so bad that I can’t stand up straight. Today I am going to call the gynaecologist and hopefully I can see her before I go for surgery, because I have lots of questions.

The other thing that often brings me down is mourning the loss of my uterus. I think women often say “Ugh I wish I didn’t have to have a period, it’s so annoying”, but it’s said out of frustration because we are stuck with it every single month. Knowing that in 3 weeks time I’m not going to have a uterus is sad. I will never know what it’s like to be pregnant, to feel a baby growing inside of me, to give birth to a human that you love unconditionally. I have spent hundreds of dollars on books about pregnancy and preparing  for pregnancy and motherhood. I quit a great job because I thought the stress was causing my infertility. Owen and I have spent hours talking about what kind of parents we would be. Owen and I would have been great parents.

Because I have big stuff weighing on me, it’s usually the little stuff that makes it all bubble over. Finding out last week that I was a part of the student load privacy breach put me in a rage. I know mistakes happen, but I was really angry when I found out. When I call someone to talk (because I have to get some of this stuff off my chest), and they tell me they will call me back and then they don’t ever call, it hurts and then I get sad because I give a lot to those I am close to….and sometimes I just need their attention in return. Like I said cancer is lonely. Everyone has their own stuff going on and I can’t expect everything to be about me. I should probably get a therapist!!

Writing this post has made me a little sad so I’m going to crank some tunes and dance around the kitchen…I may even go play Hip Hop Experience on the Wii just cause! But first I’m going to Stompa my feet! I LOVE this song. Owen you should watch the video because there are girls with bows and arrows! Ha.

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Surgery Date

After a long month of waiting for some news I have finally been given a surgery date. I am going to have my surgery on February 15th at 8:00 am. I was supposed to go to Cuba on the same day with my parents and Owen, I had already cancelled the trip as we knew that I would be having surgery at some point and wouldn’t be able to go. On the bright side, the insurance company should have no problem giving us back our deposits!

I am glad the hospital called with the date of my surgery, but I’m sure I will have an all day kitchen dance party to relieve some of the stress that I am feeling. I don’t regret our decision in any way, however it is terrifying going under the knife!

As I said yesterday music makes me happy and really good music usually makes me laugh. I found a song the other day that will likely be played at my house a lot today, it’s called Alcohol by The Cataracs feat. Sky Blu from LMFAO. I don’t drink often but there’s something about this song that cracks me up.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I will blog at you again on Monday!

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