Farewell to 2013

2013 was a horribly stressful year. Most of you know the basics and a few of you know all the ins and outs of just how stressful it was. Totaling the Jeep in late 2012 & the consequences from that…being without a vehicle of my own & all the court stuff. I’ll be done with that soon though. Having a full house of people, kids & pets for a good portion of 2012-2013. Cancer, moving, surgery, “what about the house”, relationship stresses. Etc.

The main great thing is we made it to Nashville. I’m done with chemo and am moving on with treatment that’s a lot easier to handle. The next surgery won’t be as rough recovery wise. The boys are doing well in school & have adjusted to the move pretty well. We don’t have the dogs & cats anymore. We miss them sometimes, but we are not stressed with the responsibility of them that we really couldn’t handle before. Even through cancer treatment and all that comes with it, we have been able to explore our new town some. It makes me want to do even more. Gives me a lot to look forward to. Mike & I are enjoying the present, closing the door on past junk and looking forward to 2014. I’m not too crazy about new year’s resolutions because a person can make a resolution for change at any time of the year. It’s a great time for a brain reset though and that’s what I’m doing. All I can say about 2014 and my intentions for the year are that I strive to be a better me than I was in previous years. Healthy, happy & whole.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year. However you celebrate, be safe.
Cheers!

Life with cancer: Reality vs Fairy Tales

I just read this blog today from another breast cancer warrior. I could have written parts of this post, although my writing is not as eloquent as hers. I recently told one of my “Breasties” on Twitter that I used to think I’d just go through the surgery & treatment my oncology team wants me to, then I’ll be “past this” and move on. To a degree that is still true, but I’m not so naïve to think that after 2014 I’ll simply be “done” with cancer. I will always be some form of a cancer patient. I’m currently going through treatment. Once I’m done with treatment I’ll still have to have regular monitoring for years & years to come. I do hope to be cancer free for a long time, like my grandmother and my aunt. But I’ve met too many Stage IV patients who were in my exact same shoes years ago. They also “caught it early”, but are now fighting to stay alive as long as they can, and with a good quality of life. It’s not fair, and it’s silly for me to think that “it’ll never be me.” I’m not all doom and gloom about it, but I also used think that with the high risk in my family it’d probably still never happen to me. However, I was unlucky and it happened to me. It would be terribly insulting to my Breasties to say , “I’m done guys! No more cancer!”

Positive thinking is nice & is so necessary. I AM a positive person most of the time, but plenty of people who are positive, hopeful & do all the right things still die from cancer. Don’t be ignorant when talking to a cancer patient. Once their treatment is over, the initial worry might be over.. FOR YOU. For cancer patients, recurrence is a very real threat that may not always be right in our face but is always lurking in the back of our minds. Just be kind and mindful of the things you say. That’s all 🙂
XOXO

Music is awesome.

Sometimes a song you’ve heard many times before plays during a special moment & suddenly it’s a meaningful & romantic song.

“Nothing Else Matters” ~ Metallica

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No nothing else matters

No more chemo!!!

Quick-like update:
Today was my 6th & final dose of Taxotere & Carboplatin. Yes!!

My platelets today were up yet again… A HUGE jump from 78K before last chemo to 154K today. Wow!

I’ve been feeling good other than being a tad worn down. The oncologist was concerned that my hemoglobin levels were low. They dropped from last time too. She wasn’t so concerned as to require me to have a blood transfusion, but it’s an option if I start noticing symptoms like shortness of breath, heart palpitations or being more tired than usual (how am I supposed to know?! Lol I’m tired a lot as it is.) I’m hoping I can’t tough it out since I won’t have more chemo treatments and they’ll bounce back on their own.

I go back now in 3 weeks for labs, visit with Dr. Mayer & to have my first Herceptin-only treatment. Those will continue every 3 weeks for a total of 52 weeks. I’ve already had some of those along with the chemo, so I’m presuming I’ll be done with those in August of 2014. I’ll only have to have labs done & see the doc every 9 weeks, so my treatment days are going to be a lot shorter after next time. I can’t wait to get back in the swing of a new normal…Get my energy back, have my hair come back, get a JOB again! After my next surgery (feb-march hopefully?) I’ll feel like I will finally feel like myself again and not this shell of a Jen. (Heh…that rhymed)

I just want to say again how grateful I am for all of you rooting for me, thinking of, praying for, sending love, light & positive vibes to me. You are the best. I’m especially grateful for my husband. He’s been by my side every step of the way & making me feel so loved. I’m a very lucky girl to have him.

2014 will be a great year. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & New Year with your families. We had a great (albeit short) visit from my mom & stepdad this past weekend. It was so nice to spend time with them in our new city! We will have all our kids here on Thursday. Jess & Carter come Thursday morning, & Austin flies in Thursday night. Can’t wait to hug his neck! I haven’t seen him since right before chemo started!

Ok I’m tired & crashing for the night. Much love.

XOXO,
Jen