In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.


Taking my first step towards a new life.


Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!


Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My New Normal Days 74, 75, & 76. Scared.

The past few days I have been struggling with something I have to do.  Part of getting my new job is also getting new health insurance.  And part of moving to another state is getting all new doctors.  I considered trying to stay with my doctors I had previously if they took my insurance but that is a lot of traveling back and forth and sending of scans and records back and forth.  And taking time off of work.   And that could get pricey.  As much as I don't want to leave my oncologist, I know it just makes more financial sense and is easier.  But it is also harder.

Tonight I finally sat down and forced myself to get online and start looking into my options down here.  I will freely admit that I called my mom to help get me jump started into doing this.  And I also admit that I was fighting a loosing battle to keep back the tears and anxiety and overwhelming fear that started to fight for top billing inside me!

As I started scrolling through the doctor's names on the screen, trying to decide which direction to go since I couldn't find the one doctor that had been recommended by a nurse down here.  Finally I just went to the website for the Florida Cancer center here in Orlando and sent a request for contact form in.  And I was shaking pretty hard as I did it too.

Three years later and just the thought of starting this process is overwhelming.  I can feel every mile between me and the people I love and wish were here with me.  Even my brothers who are only a couple hours away.  Because this is the first time I have had to tackle this alone.  No one to turn to and hug after I hit send.  No one I can just sit next to and feel them next to me and just let it all sink in that I can't pretend it isn't still happening anymore.

I just have to vent for a second and say...THIS ISN'T FAIR!  THIS COMPLETELY SUCKS!  I shouldn't have to be worrying about this.  I shouldn't have to be scared or anxious.  It's times like this where I feel overwhelmingly angry at everything I have to do and everything I have lost!  Of all the children I'll never get to have because of this stupid, horrible thing.  And it's just not fair!

I know I try to be upbeat and positive in these blog posts but for right now, for this post, I'm just angry and hurt and anxious and scared.  I know the chances of getting a bad result when I finally have all my tests is a low percentage.   But so were the odds of me having this cancer in the first place and then having it move to another organ.  I know people want to hold me up and say all the words that are supposed to make a person feel better.  But sometimes those words can't make it through.

And now I am going to take a deep breath and wipe my face dry and curl up in bed with Netflix and remember that tomorrow I get to go do work that always brings a smile to my face.  I get to see the client's I work with and laugh with them and talk with them and encourage them and try to be there for them when they are having bad days too.  And I am determined to not let anything happen that will stop me from doing this work.  I'm going back to being positive and upbeat now.  But thank you for letting me break down a little on here.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

My New Normal Days 72 & 73. Godfather Marathon!

As I sit here, I am watching the third Godfather movie!  Lol!  I found all three movies for sale for $12 Saturday morning at Walmart and though, I need a veg out weekend!  Lol!  Nothing more relaxing than the Godfather movies!  LOL!!

OK, I know thats a little nuts!  But they are a classic and some of my favorite movies!!  I was introduced to them by my brother Peter talking about them and it made me curious!  I about fell over laughing when I found out that the ring tone for his boss (who I believe was Italian) was the theme song from the movie!  I wonder if she ever knew!  Lol!

Anyway, my weekend has been a quiet one.  Running errands, going to church and relaxing at home.  :)  Couldn't have asked for more this weekend!

My New Normal Days 69, 70 & 71. I Made it Through!

As described in a previous post, I had a rough and exhausted start to the week and so the rest of it was pretty much my thinking, "Put one foot in front of the other!".    Not only was I able to do that but I got more accomplished than I had planned!  Lol!  Don't me ask me how other than my Guardian Angel was watching over me!

One of the other things I had to do was fill out some paperwork that asked a lot of medical questions, including a list of every day activities and wether I could do them or not.  Like cook or dress myself or sit up.  Things that believe it or not I had to mark as "No" three years ago.  And as I looked at the list one evening after work I had to shake my head to keep my eyes open.  There was a section allowing me to expand on some of my answers and I thought in my head, "I am so exhausted after my day that I struggle to keep my eyes focused.  But I can honestly say that no matter how tired I am at the end of the day, I got through the day!".

I left work on Friday so tired I felt sick.  But after a rest I was able to get up and feel ok again.  I made it through!  I don't see another week to be as rough as this one any time soon.  But if it comes to it, I know I can do it.  I know I can make it through.

My New Normal Days 67 & 68. Do Not Close Your Eyes At The Red Light!

I can't believe I am using this phrase but...when I was younger...Ouch!!  Yes, I am now looking back on days.  Don't let this baby face fool you, I am not a young kid anymore.  I am not old either.  I am in that in between spot made worse by menopause and the after affects of treatment.  But I digress.  As I was saying, when I was younger I could drive all night, stay awake and spend the next day going strong at work.  And then stay up ridiculously late that night and still go strong the next day.  I can't do that anymore!  Lol!

I spent a lovely but quick weekend in Michigan with my folks and due to plane delays, I didn't get back into Orlando until almost midnight.  then I had to get an Uber, which proved more difficult than I had thought, and get my car from my office.  I seriously considered just curling up on the white couch upstairs in the office since I had to be back there at 7 in the morning.  But I got in my car and drove home and arrived around 1 am.  At which point my body fell exhausted into bed and my mind refused to turn off!  I couldn't fall asleep for easily an hour!

Needless to say the next day was ROUGH!  Lol!  I ended up with a full day which wasn't the plan.  But just before I left the Friday I tucked in an early appointment for Monday!  The good thing was, once I started to work with a client I woke up.  I still have an adrenaline rush when I work with a client and I am focused and awake and sharp.  Then I sit down again in my car and oh boy!!  This is when I confirmed a lovely new reaction.  Caffeine puts me to sleep!!!  So as I drove from client to client I went between freezing cold AC and blaring music to calling friends and family asking them to talk!  I distinctly remember at two red lights that are notoriously long thinking "I can close my eyes for just a moment!  Rest them some!"  Lol!  I did not though and I made it back to the office.  And there I had coworkers around and I perked up some more.  I will admit though, the first thing I did when I got home was to lay down and not move for a while!

So, when I think I am 24 again and have all the energy in the world, I have to remind myself that in fact, I am almost 37 and dealing with all these changes that drain me completely and I have to tell myself, take it easy!  Lol!  And whatever you do, don't close your eyes at the red light!!

My new Normal 64, 65 & 66. Fall Colors!!!

This weekend I went up to visit my parents for the weekend and attend a Tea with my mom!  It has become a tradition with us and we didn't want a little thing like me being on the other side of the country to stop it!  Lol!

It felt good to be in cool weather without a hint of humidity and to see all the brilliant colors of the trees!!  from yellow to oranges to reds to purples!  There was a symphony of color mixed in with the green that was still dotting the trees and fields!

I got a chance to visit with my grandma and just walk around the farm with my mom and dad and take silly pictures like the ones I have added below!  It felt so good to be back there for a couple days and just relax and rest and refocus!  I got a chance to have a taste of my favorite season and it sent me back to work feeling happier :).

Pictures described below:

Yellow fall colors on the trees lining the dirt road in front of my parent's house.

Mom and I dressed up and standing on the front walk before going to the Tea.

Me sitting on the John Deer tractor in the front yard in front of the small barn.

A selfie of dad and I in the front yard.

A selfie in the barnyard with an all white ram who is poking his nose at my glasses and face because I had stopped scratching him and he wanted me to continue!  Lol!

My New Normal Day 62 & 63. Something New :)

I have done something small for myself that I have not done ever.  I bought a brand new piece of luggage that I actually like for some trips I am taking this winter.  Just short ones so it was only a carry on.  Every piece of luggage I have ever gotten myself has been from Goodwill or Big Lots or Walmart.  Granted, I got this one online but it is a nice piece and I feel good when I look at it!

It might seem silly but for so long in my life I have been pinching pennies and robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And it isn't like I have a ton of money now.  But for the first time, I was able to buy myself a piece of luggage that isn't from Goodwill and it won't fall apart within the year!  Lol!  I'm not rich!  Far from it!  But I am able to do little things for myself now and then!  And that feels good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My New Normal Day 61. Finding the Balance With Food

My whole life I have struggled with weight.  But before, if I put my mind to it, I could loose weight.  Slowly but steadily.  The past few years I have been struggling to loose even a single pound and keep it off!!!  I lost plenty of weight during chemo but I ca;;ed it fake weight loss.  I could barely eat and would loose 9 pounds in just a few days!  Not healthy and it always came back on as soon as I could keep down solid foods.  And forget eating healthy during treatment!  Very few things sounded good so whatever I could keep down I ate!  And it seemed to change with each chemo!  For a few weeks the only thing I could stomach were crescent roles with plane cream cheese on them!

Now, my eating habits have much improved and my exorcise has gone up and I have managed to tone some of my muscles but I haven't lost a single pound!!!  I've had long talks with my doctors and they have run tests but it always seems to come down to the same is very hard to loose weight during menopause!  And I truly believe that is a drastic understatement!

So, lately I have been trying to be more careful of what I eat.  And I can do well for a while and then I fall and have the dreaded carbohydrates of pizza and chips!  My stress food apparently!  And while the stress I have been feeling is more caused by being a good is still triggering that desire for everything that is bad for me!  But I am determined and this morning I made a fruit smoothie for my lunch.  And by the time lunch came I was starving!  It was good in the moment but I freely admit, two hours later I felt like I hadn't eaten all day!!  Why does food that is good for you never seem to satisfy beyond the moment???

I am going to keep trying though and see if I can find the right combination of food and exorcise and defy the stereotype of not loosing weight in menopause!  Or at least I will if I would remember to bring my travel mug home with me so I can fill it with another smoothie!!!