In the Air!

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

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

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

Graduation

Graduation
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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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Still Fumbling!! When Will It End!?

I sometimes wonder if my brain will ever be mine again!!  I am the type of person who can recall long ago memories with startling clarity and random facts without knowing how.  Until now that is!  I was warned that my brain would experience what they called "chemo brain" or "chemo fog" during treatment...but I guess I was hoping it would clear up by now!

My memory recall only works a little.  I know that there is information that I do know and it's like it is just there beyond my reach...but I am positive I know the information!  I just can't grab it!  That is beyond frustrating!  Then there are the moments were the information is in my head but I can't get it to come out of my mouth...like it can't figure out how to get from my head to my vocal chords...and should it reach them, my vocal chords can't seem to remember how to produce the sounds!  Then of course there are the moments where I forget to do something.  I forget to turn off the stove, I forget to do the simple task I'm asked to do...sometimes while I'm on the way to do it!!  Forget asking me to do something more then five or ten minutes from that moment!  This is NOT who I was!

People keep telling me to be patient...that if I give it time everything will be back to normal.  I suppose I might be a bit impatient.  Even though I went through it, now that I'm not on my back almost all day every day and feeling sick and beyond exhausted I guess I assume it is all over and all the side effects.  My hair is slowly coming back in...although I still look like a boy with a VERY short buzz cut.  I can do more and am driving on my own...but still can wear myself out faster then is considered close to normal.  I guess my question is...when are the side effects really gone?  Or are there some that just never go away?  I really, really want my brain back!  I feel like I am operating on half my ability to think clearly!

It's like I'm half way between treatment and being completely better...and I'm stuck and can't seem to move forward.  Probably I'm still moving forward but I can't see it.  And that is maybe almost as frustrating as having half a working brain!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hello Sewing! How I Have Missed You!!

About a year and a half ago I really got into sewing and strangely, it became something that relaxed me!  Hours of sewing was how I would relax during school.  Sitting there putting fabric together to make something cool...designing bags, aprons and blankets...it was just fun!  Like many things, last April I had to stop sewing.  I was hoping to be able to sew during chemo but my depth perception, nistagmis and the inability to use my hands properly kinda put that to an end!

However, today, two months after chemo, I finally sewed ON MY OWN!  Thats right!  And I didn't sew my fingers and sewed in a relatively strait line!  Granted, I was sewing squares together for a blanket top but making those squares come out even and lined up properly is harder than one might think!  But I did it!!!!  LOL!!

So happy to be back to sewing...just one more thing I am reclaiming!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

IN REMISSION!!!!!!

Today I was told that my post chemo CT scan came back clear!  No indications of cancer!  While I knew, logically, there probably wouldn't be anything on the scan, the past few weeks have been stressful!  I either tried not to think about it or, as it got closer to getting the results, I kept telling myself over and over again that everything was going to be ok.  Half of me believed it but the other half of me just couldn't bring itself to agree!

From the beginning of all of this back in April I have managed to hit the minority reaction to almost everything!!  And I also heard the word "but" more than I wanted to as well!  Before my first procedure, the doctor told me that while there was a small chance of cancer being found that the percentage was something like 5%.  Pretty good odds right?  A 95% chance I wouldn't have cancer.  Hello 5%!!  Then came the question of having a partial or whole hysterectomy.  Again, the chances of the cancer spreading beyond the uterus was very small.  But I decided to have the whole hysterectomy.  That was God having my angel whisper in my ear.  I thought I was going to only have to worry about it moving to the lymph nodes.  Those were clear (thank God!).  That was when I heard the word "but".  It only went 3/4 of the way through the uterine wall...thats good!  BUT, it moved to make a small tumor on an ovary.  Because it moved,  chemo was strongly recommend.  Six treatments of pretty nasty chemo followed.  An experience I NEVER want to go through again and wouldn't wish on the worst person in the world!

So when I pulled out of the delirium and haze of my last chemo (and that took about 6 weeks before I felt like I could maybe do every day things without collapsing!) I had this CT scan to look forward to.  The logical side of my brain was agreeing with everyone around me...that there shouldn't be anything on the scan.  But the emotional side of my brain was still very whiplashed from being smacked down physically and emotionally over and over again since April!  I just couldn't believe it was going to be over!  I kept seeing myself hitting that 5% of people who end up with cancer from Endometriosis and the random movement of the cancer!

I will admit that up until this morning, my brain was refusing to calm down and just believe it would be ok.  My mom managed to get me out of bed to go to 8 am Mass at St. Joe's though and I think that was the push I needed to get over that unbelievable fear I couldn't ignore.  I'm not saying I was suddenly filled with peace...but more like a slow acceptance that God was in charge and had everyone from the Blessed Mother to my patron saints, guardian angel and older brother as well as everyone else all my friends where begging for intercession, asking Him to bring me out of this!  It's not that I doubted He would bring me out where He wanted me...it was how much longer I was going to have to go through this!  I know God never gives us more than we can handle and I think He was letting me know just how much I can handle!  Maybe not always gracefully but He knows.

Because of this, as the day progressed and I found myself in the car with my parents heading up to Saginaw, the panic was reseeding and a sense of almost calm was winning.  I say almost calm because I am a worrier by nature so it would have been a complete miracle if that worry had been totally pushed aside!  As soon as the doctor walked in and asked me how I was doing I told him I would be doing so much better if he told me that the scan was clear.  He said it was clear!  No evidence of cancer!!  On top of that, he didn't see any reason that there would be anything to worry about in the near future.  No doctor will ever say the cancer will never come back...but they will let you know if they were concerned or not and he wasn't!

I go in for exams every three months and another CT scan in 6 months.  This is going to be a regular routine for the rest of my life but I can handle that!  It means that every three months I am reassured that I am ok!!  So now I sit here and look around me and ask God;  Whats next?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Other Things To Think About.

Well, I am less than a week away from finding out what my post chemo CT scan will tell me.  I am so use to getting smacked upside the head with bad news that even though there is no reason for bad news, I have come to expect it.  Logically, one would think if they saw anything on the scan they would not schedule me to come in a week later.  So, I am praying hard that I finally get good news and I can pull away from treatment for good and move on with love.

So in trying to not think about Monday I am thinking of the things coming up.  Like Christmas and getting ready fro that.  And maybe getting back to Sunday Mass!!  I am told I can go into public without my face masks any more and I have been dipping my toes into that lately...but it still freaks me out!  Something tells me a lot is going to scare me for a little while.  But as I stood in a jewelers shop the other day with no mask on, it felt a little liberating!  lol!  

Also ahead of me is a trip to Bronner's after New Years to get my 2014 Christmas ornament and a few more nice ornaments for my collection.  I decided two years ago that all my Christmas ornaments I buy will come from there.  I managed to get a star for my tree there last year and I love seeing all my ornaments on my tree!  While I won't have my own tree this year, I will next year!  Lol!

Then, come February, I'll get back to VA and see all my awesome friends out there!  Including my best friend since we were 8, Marie!!!!   Hang out with her and her family and then cruise down to Front Royal, get my mexican hot chocolate (thank you Krystal for addicting me to that!) and see all my friends there!  Lily and Pat and Colin and Sarah and all my Christendom peeps!  See what Mirandum Pictures is up to in their new offices and walk up and down Main street again!  And of course I can't miss my Northern VA friends...especially Ginny and Carolyn!!  And all my St. V's people too!  And I am really looking forward to a fancy, steak dinner to celebrate graduation and kicking cancer with my friend Christopher!

On top of all this I am getting back into making crafts, writing and even starting my own magazine!  Lol!  God willing I can get enough people to help me with the articles!  But lots to look forward to!!  Monday WILL give me good news and I can put all this fear behind me!!!