Saturday, November 22, 2008
now to demonstrate how pure and innocent my family really is i had to explain what that REALLY meant to my grandmother, aunt myra and my mother. (here is where i insert that i hope you guys get the joke too...i would explain but my preacher is probably reading this) we all had a good chuckle as i opened the card that was on the bottom...so i'd like to say a quick thank you to James, Meredith, Will and Grace for the funniest gift that actually had the best message.
bc honestly i want to shout that phrase (in its correct form of course) all the time.
So i know i'm a week late with updating you guys on what happened at my doctors appointment last friday. not yesterday. but the one before that.
Met Mom for lunch at PTs since its her new friday lunch spot (i think she goes there so she can see me.) then we drove the 7 seconds to Dr. K's office...we were promptly summoned so they could stab me in the hand for three vials of my blood. i didn't cry. which is good. i'm getting better i think. Then we met with Becca, my PA, who did a quick check up. then it was off to the chemo room to get my Zomeda.
Zomeda is a bone strengthening drug. I'll be getting it once a month for who knows how long...but it takes 15 minutes to drip drop into my system via getting jabbed in the chest. (i actually do not mind the chest jabbing. i LOVE and ADORE and THANK GOD for my port) the only downfall to this Zomeda business is that it makes you sick the first time it is administered. which i thought it was pretty awesome that they let you know that up front...for example the last time they wanted to give it to me the day before i left for DC....not cool i said. so in true procrastinator fashion i put it off until this month. and without thinking scheduled myself at work at 8 am on saturday morning.
soon after it was finished entering into my bloodstream by way of port 'o happiness i felt sleepy...so i hightailed it home where soon i was getting some headache like symptoms.
which includes your head feeling like something is squashing it into a pancake. took some meds then slept all freaking evening (great way to catch up on zzzzzz's since i was just getting over a gnarly cold) the next morning i woke up thinking
yay no more sickness
i was wrong. 30 minutes into being at work i felt as if all of my body parts had been used as drumsticks at a rock show then placed back where they came from all bruise-y and throb-y. which is unpleasant to say the least. talk about your flu-like symptoms...i was tired, everything hurt (from fingernails to ankles) and i had to work an intensely long day. thankfully God was smiling down upon me and it wasn't too terribly busy. and Dustin let me leave WECT early too. which was freaking awesome.
The last time i had an appointment i had my lab results back the following monday...So monday afternoon i started calling mom in case they had called her since i am sort of impossible to reach. Same goes for tuesday...(by that afternoon i was on pins and needles. i am verrrrry impatient) wednesday morning at 830 am (on my one day to sleep in mind you) the nurse finally called with the results of my lab work...drumroll please.
it got smaller. again. which freaking ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!
it went from a 74 to a 59 which means the last results weren't a fluke. the tumor really is getting smaller and at a pretty fast rate too which is even better. so keep saying prayers and thinking good thoughts because they really are working. for serious! high fives all around! whoo hoo! i'll toast to that (well i'll toast to anything) but i'll really toast to my cancer disappearing!
so yeah, life is good. things with me are good. super jazzed about the holidays.
OH and i am SOOOO glad that i got to see everyone at Homecoming. Sunday as everyone was starting to separate and head to their respective cars to head back to whatever place they came from i totally pulled a girl move and got a little weepy. ok a lot weepy. but i LOVE those girls and i wish i could convince all of them to move here. (it comes with a beach and your very own Kim to love!) so to be a little sentimental thank you to Stephanie Larson for letting me read on your couch, Amy Fransen for letting me sleep on your couch and calling you super early for a ride, Alli & Emily Bottoms for sending me into hysterics of the laughing sort, Sarah Polli for suggesting lunch sunday, Mel P for standing with me in the corner at the party, LK Pruitt for knowing how i feel, and of course Hannah Swicegood Proctor for being the best best friend on the planet and suggesting the plastic wine glasses and having a husband who bought us matching coozies. i love ALL of you a crazy ridiculous amount.
and it was wonderful to see all of my AKPsi lovies. especially micheal (for saying that he missed me), eric anthony for coming from iowa and my great grand little for carrying on tradition :)
so i'll keep you guys posted...i'm sure the thanksgiving holiday should be one for the record books and it also helps that all of my crazy family will be in one place which usually adds up to a load of laughs. because lets be honest. we're funny people.
Monday, November 10, 2008
it was freaking wonderfully fantastic to see everyone in one place.
and i love my friends. they are the coolest. and the best.
i have a doctor's appointment on friday so at that time i should have something interesting to say :)
also Joe P has requested that i mention my new responsiblities at work.
so i am going to mention that i now have new responsiblities. which require me to be there at a very very early hour.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Once standing in front of it, i took some photos, turned 180 degrees to what was behind me and saw the most incredible view of EVERYTHING....it is incredible what Man can create when they put forth the effort. it was breathtaking. and made me feel very small and almost obsolete.
So i took a Right (again) and walked back up the other side of the National Mall...More photo ops, another museum (Air and Space) then kept walking up past the washington monument to what lay beyond (a big field. with lots of grass) but its ok. i was totally jamming to my ipod the whole time. The most awkward was jamming to weezer's pinkerton album while snapping intense photos of the WWII memorial. Time for some reverence. So i got rid of the tunes until the walk to meet alli. That night we took a moonlight monument tour. So freaking awesome!!!!!!!! it was so COLD (brisk winds my friends), Alli was in a dress, and I thought i was dying from walking so much in one day, so we kind of cheated and spent more time on the trolley than perusing the memorials. however we did go take a peek at lincoln in his nighttime glory (breathtaking). We went home and immediately fell asleep.
Wednesday i took a breather, i knew we were going out that night so i decided to just hang around the house all day (it was a good idea...trust me). We went out that night. Had some drinks at some bar near Dupont Circle. Shananigans insued.
Thursday i wasn't feeling well (see above paragraph) so i had another chill day until it was time to meet Jud (a friend from High School) in the city for dinner. I had the best smore on the planet. i am forever ruined for campfires. (again, Thanks Jud!)
Friday i woke up early so i could head to the Iwo Jima memorial...which was outstanding...i can't describe it to you...it was by far my favorite memorial...took a TON of pictures while simultaneously angering the film crew that was also there trying to get footage...oh well :)
Alli and I had lunch at some italian place that was delicious then headed to the Holocaust Museum...terrifyingly real and surreal at the same time. so many shoes! i can't get past the number of shoes taken from innocent people...
That night Sarah P and Heather came down for the night, Had breakfast the next morning, napped all day because of the rainy weather...it was so good to see them! (but i'll see them again in a week...YAY homecoming!)
Saturday Night i went with the girls to their Kickball league party. Ridiculous. Completely Ridiculous. those are the only words i have. That and beer.
Almost missed my flight sunday due to some last minute circumstances. Flew back and Spent the afternoon (and night) with BFF mary adelaide! YAY!
Had to be at work monday afternoon (BOO) terrible i know. so that was the end of my vacation...i returned to work to find things exactly the same. but it was wonderful to be back at PTs on tuesday!
No, i have no halloween plans. I am working ALL day sat and sun. then the coutdown begins for Homecoming Weekend! i am so ecstatic! all of my ECU/AKPsi bffs all in one place!!!!!!!!!! whoo hoo....its going to be a great weekend!
Also, i just wanted to let you guys know that my tumor has already started shrinking according to my lap work...which is terrific news! so keep praying and other such positive things because its totally working!
Monday, October 27, 2008
but i did want to let all of you know that my tumor has already started to shrink (crazy awesome...i know) even though its only been 4 weeks on my meds
SO KEEP PRAYING! (bc it works)
as soon as i've got some free time from work i'll fill you guys in on my misadventures abroad :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday i made it to my gate (20) at 10:30 with no problems, but since my flight did not board until after 11:30 that left me with plenty of people watching time over the top of my book (The Thorn Birds...which is pretty good by the way) now at 10:30 in the morning on a sunday there is not much going on at an airport, especially RDU. The most crowded gate was the one across from me that was heading to Toronto. which is in Canada! it was kind of cool to see what sort of people would want to take a trip to Canada. but they mostly looked like normal people. not that i was expecting that they had physical qualities that screamed i'm Canadian, or broadcast that they liked to visit Canadians.
(ok i digress)
mostly i watched the mom walking her baby around. holding her hands in the air helping her take step after step. picking her up when she got wobbling. swinging her in the air to make her laugh. and i decided that moms do that all of their lives. or at least mine has. yeah, eventually they let go. and you have to take steps without them holding you up, but they're always there just in time to help you when you need it the most. (like when you get cancer)
and then i broadened my internal thoughts (i had a lot of spare time remember) and thought about how that's basically what God does too. When i'm wobbly, he's there. When i am full of good news he's the reason why. I'm lucky to have a God that is so full of personality. He places incidences like a small vacation to visit some friends in my path for reasons.
When the plane took off within a matter of mintues i was looking at nothing but green. Trees, grass, other types of foliage...and thinking that God made ALL of that! and then we started passing over houses, farms, neighborhoods and i got to thinking about all of the people we were simply skimming over...i will never know them...but for some reason all i could think about was how many people down there have what i have? How many women living in the state of Virginia have Breast Cancer? and i'm betting that a few of them do. and i'm betting they're going through what i'm going through. which is sad. and depressing.
but then the plane passed over a large body of water that was so clear i could see the sand beneath the tiny lapping waves and there were several boats out enjoying what was surely a beautiful day. Out enjoying what God has given them.
then i wasn't nearly as depressed
(bc honestly the depressed part of the trip lasted about 5 seconds)
oh and yes i spent most of my plane ride with my nose pressed against the glass trying to see as much as i possibly could.
and that plane ride put somethings in perspective for me.
So walk towards baggage, call Alli bottoms who was also dropping off her man friend at the airport trying to find her location...turns out she was on the other side of the wall...
we hug. do the girl high pitched shrill at seeing a long lost friend. then proceed to drive to Falls Church...we stop for some lunch and to pick up some shampoo and stuff then take the rest of the night to be lazy bums on couches...(watch the movie Whatever Happens in Vegas...so funny)
Monday Morning i got up and Kristen and I walked to the metro station (which is very close to their house) rode it to Judiciary Square then walked to the Newseum where Sarah works (both of these girls are Alli's roomates) and then we took the bus to chinatown for lunch at Ruby Tuesday (alli met us) Then Kristen and I went back to the Newseum to get our tour...That place was heaven...it had everything i'm interested in packed into 7 convienent floors. The veiws fromt the top (especially of the capital building were AMAZING). Ryan (the guy showing us around) clearly loves his job bc he went above and beyond telling us about the stuff we were seeing...the best part was when he took us behind the scenes to where the control rooms were...BUTTONS ABOUND! i wanted to press every button on every switcher! it was heavenly.
ok i lied my favorite part was the pulitzer prize winning photographs. That exhibit was amazing.
Then i got lost trying to find the metro station (on my own) called alli and discovered i was on the opposite side of the building...took it to Farragut North to meet Alli and then the two of us went to Georgetown for Shopping and dinner...holy cow the number of stores...and i'm trying to decide if my mom would kill me if i bought a coach bag (i may see if we can go half on it and make it a sort of christmas present) regardless it was gorgeous. then dinner and ice cream and then back to the house where everyone went to bed.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
so here it is...Sunday Morning...day of my departure...and i dont think i can keep all of my excitement to myself! so i thought i'd let a little bit of it trickle down to you bloggie stalkers so that you may share in my delight at leaving the wonderful state of north carolina and venturing off into the great unknown (or relatively unknown...to me anyway) that is Washington D.C.
now if you did NOT know that i was going to dc you must have been living under a rock or in a very dark cave because i have talked about it non-stop...before i even had plane tickets i've been talking about it. i love vacations. probably because between two jobs i very rarely get either unless it is for a quick weekend away (probably to Raleigh or Greenville) that involves a specific event taking place that requires my beautiful presence.
well not this time! i am going somewhere just for the heck of it. and it is a TOTAL added bonus that it just so happens to include a few of my BFFs! Plane leaves at Noon! Get Excited!
ok now to the real reason you are probably reading this...a cancer update.
my appointment was on Thursday as most of you know. Had to have some labs drawn first thing aftere i freaking sit down in the chair. slight bruising. slight pain. whatever i'm actually getting used to being a pin cushion. So we see Dr. K and his new resident (rather cute if you ask me) he asks me a few questions and is pleased to hear that my side effects have not been that severe and that i'm tolerating Tamoxifen rather well. He then tells me that i will be the glad recipient of a flu shot this season...(immediately i send him a frown of hatred) and even better i will be receiving it right there this very day in his office. (whoo hoo barf) so nurse comes in and sticks me in my arm. (it hurt.) (and it still hurt the next day). THEN dr. K wants to do a quick physical and asks if its ok the resident watches...basically what is one more person? i really should start asking for dinner or at least drinks beforehand. maybe it would make it less awkward? nahhhh it would still be wierd.
then we discuss me getting a bone strengthener called Zomeda. apparently after the first time you get it it makes you super sick. so i asked to put it off until next visit since i had to work Friday and was traveling this weekend. a fever and chills do not make for nice traveling companions. too much fiddling with the a.c. and such.
also mom brought along my nurse satan doll that my cousin Christy made for me. everyone in the place thought it was hilarious. but not as hilarious as when my Doctor asked if i was taking my pill everyday and i feigned a surprised expression and nearly sent my mom into a tizzy. resident thought i was funny though. no surprise there. this whole ordeal has definately sharpened my wit. not to say i wasn't funny before. or maybe i'm not as funny but everyone laughs when i make a joke because i have cancer. nahhhhh i really am this funny.
Got another haircut. I now have bangs.
So me and my awesome bangs are heading out in a few hours and in four hours i will be hugging the heck out of alli bottoms at the airport. whoo hoo! DC here i come!
Monday, October 13, 2008
"opening to the back"
i think "ut oh"
because being the fashion forward person that i am, i detest VPL. (visible panty line...look it up its a real thing!) and my yoga pants are tight. so on this particular morning i was wearing a thong. Any other day i would not have been bothered but really...this guy is my age and that is just AWKWARD!
so i tie up the gown EXTRA tight and tell myself that the x-rays will only take a few minutes and i'll be on my back for the whole time so no big deal...
i was wrong. the first time he asked me to lay on my side my butt was facing away from him. and approximately 2 seconds later i start to fear that the draft i'm feeling is not my imagination...but thankfully my butt wasn't in his face.
until 2 minutes later when he wants me to lay on the other side! now. do i just do it and hope for the best? do i keep a firm grip on the gown regardless? what?!?
i decide not to take any chances and keep a firm hand on the opening holding it shut...he helpfully adds "hey you're covered"
and i want to say "um hey i'm in a thong. no i am not."
that is the last time i wear a thong when there is a chance of gown-age.
Then i went to work a couple hours early, picked up breakfast with Joey I, worked, had Sushi with Chrissy, Stacy Hannah, and Sam then went out for a beer with SH to discuss our lives since we had been separated (for DAYS!) Friday i worked. Friday Night SH came over and i continued with my big cleaning/cleansing project. Found pictures from High School (i have more than a few flattering ones of one particular Jessica), was able to piece together the beginnings of my friendship with Chrissy and Mary Adelaide, relieved a few hungover mornings at Hannah's apt in Pirate's Cove freshmen year, ohhhhh the good old days.
speaking of hannah and her apartment.
Hannah, Eric, Amy, Mark and Steven drove down saturday around lunch to see me!
(yes i know, it was rainy and windy and not at all the day i had planned :( oh well)
I miss them already!! pancakes were delicious Amy!
at this time next week i will be in D.C. with Alli Bottoms!!!!!!!!!!!! excitement is mounting!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
today i went to barnes and noble and spent 70 dollars. i need to get out more often.
so my right upper leg region has been bothering me a bit lately...i offhandedly mentioned it to mom...or maybe it was dad...whichever parent it was...insisted that i call nurse M. who mans Dr. K's desk (and is incredibly awesome and powerful! she can book appointments under impossibe time constraints) so i did...and she went and talked to Dr. K who wants me to go have an x-ray in the morning...whoo hoo.
also stacy hannah is back in town officially! more whoo hooing.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
i would have updated more recently but honestly not a darn thing has been happening.
i get up at 7 with Saylor, go to work at 11, go to job numero dos at 330 then sleep. i am lame.
oh and at 730 pm i take my pill. YAY.
since we last spoke a few minor things of extreme importance have happened.
Stacy Hannah has officially relocated (however she is coming back to wilm to visit tomorrow YAY no seriously double YAY!)
Christine has taken the LSAT and kicked its butt.
Hannah, Amy, their boys and Steven are coming to visit this weekend!!!!!! i am so excited i haven't seen them since Hannah's wedding (minus hannah, i saw her immediately after my diagnosis bc she is so freaking awesome) ...two full days of them! now if only i knew how to entertain them, apparently steven wants to kayak surf...hmmm.
As days pass i am getting more and more excited about my D.C. trip. i even spent sunday evening in my edit bay watching Dane Cook's a vicious circle to brush up in preparation of being in Alli Bottoms presence (its DC!!) haha what a pun.
anyway and i discovered that Stacy Hannah should also be in the area along with Joey I at the same time i am! that makes me incredibly happy!
i've been staying pretty upbeat for those that are wondering about my mental state.
(had a rough day yesterday...but i took a nap and was much better)
as i was telling someone at the tv station today its been nice being on this pill so i can maintain my sense of normality. (or possibly keep myself in denial longer...whatever you want to call it) i'm taking whatever keeps me feeling the most positive and running with it.
this past weekend to celebrate Chrissy's release from studying we went downtown with Drew and Jamie and some of their friends from raleigh whom i did not know...can i tell you how awesome it was to be out with people who had no idea that i had cancer. bc i dont know if you have noticed but october is Breast Cancer Awareness month...and it seems like everyday there is something somewhere about breast cancer. today it was on the news...yesterday it was on the news...the story yesterday opened with the line that "breast cancer is no laughing matter" whoops i did NOT get that memo...that was not part of what Dr. K told me...silly me laughing my way through this entire ordeal....(ok, to be honest i have had a few hellacious days where i was crying or biting people's (i.e. nurses) heads off) and that is quite the opposite of laughing. i'll give them that. but regardless i have even discovered that when i'm telling someone i kind of laugh. i dont know if it's out of nerves (bc who likes bearing bad news?) or to lighten the mood of the moment (bc again, bad news is a DOWNER) but i do...i almost giggle, probably to keep the other person from bursting into tears and leaving ME to handle the incredibly awkward moment.
because even before cancer i did not do well with bad news. giving it or receiving it. i supposed when it comes to that sort of thing i am a pretty private person. i try not to do a lot of crying in front of other people. its not good for my reputation. (unless apparently its over a haircut...)
for someone with nothing to say i've certainly made this blog last a while.
oh and ps keep sending cards! i'm beating everyone else in the mail department and i'd like to keep it that way :) thanks for everything!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
(we played this game once on the way back from Duke for a AKPsi mixer)
anyway...the point is...i am not going on a picnic but i AM going to washington d.c.
and i'm going to bring a lot of things. i dont pack lightly (too many shoes).
but i'm more concerned about what i'm going to do when i get there...
so let the suggestions begin. i am open. and i am touristy!
so. stacy hannah's going away shindig was sad (for me).
also. i would like to take a moment to say some words of encouragement to my best friend Chrissy... you are going to kick some LSAT butt. and then you are going to get into Carolina's law program and become a rich attorney. and i will be your housesitter for your beach house. i love you.
tonight there was a beautiful sunset by the way...hope you guys saw it.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
it is not.
it is quite silent. which is a nice.
First of all i have to say this:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY ADELAIDE & TAYLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this is the first year since probably 10th grade that i have not been with at least one of them to celebrate the glorious day of their births 2 years apart. i miss you guys and love you an obscene amount. (ps had dinner at your house tonight...made me miss you both even more)
Next i wanted to say:
today was a good day.
the ONLY thing raining on my little parade is the Stacy Hannah Relocation Project of 2008.
she is leaving me :(
but i do know this.........she can do anything she puts her mind to. she will grab DC by the tail and swing it overhead shouting war chants in mere months. maybe weeks even. i know she hasn't heard it from many people but...
i believe in you.
just like you believe in me.
that is just what best friends do.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
with that said today was not a best day.
quite the opposite.
today started out pretty humdrum normal...get up with puppy then sit on the couch until time to head off to the great land of hamburgers.
work was good until a friend made a bad joke at the wrong time in the midst of a terrible situation about how i was flaunting my cancer. now i have known this kid for years. and i know it wasn't meant the way it sounded. but honestly it put me off just a bit to hear someone actually say those words to me. and if i have been flaunting it for the love of all that is good i would hope someone would tell me (in a more delicate fashion) so that i could promptly put all flaunting to an end. that is the last thing i want to do. but if that is how my method of coping comes across i seriously would like to know so i can remedy the situation. i feel like its hard to take me seriously as someone with cancer when i'm not barfing or bald. and i'm definitely making a tremendous effort to carry on as if my world has not changed. yeah i think about the future and what it might have in store for me. and if the decisions we are making are the right ones. but i can't possibly think that i am flaunting it. flaunt has such a negative connotation. and negative is the last thing i need right now. especially when i find myself getting moodier and testier as time passes. positivity and sunshine only here folks!
if you can't find me a silver lining you are out of here.
if you aren't willing to go along with my jokes peace out.
if you can't maintain a happy go lucky demeanor then adios.
life is too short.
it is short.
and so now i'm trying to fit in all these things that i really WANT to do.
especially now, while i can. first on my list...DC. trip planning is already in the works.
i have always been a very laid back person. floating with the current no matter the season. and just because my summer changed before i was ready for it to does not mean that it too cannot be another beautiful autumn.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tamoxifen is supposed to shrink/get rid of my cancer.
sounds lame. but here's hoping it works!
nothing new really to talk about...my family is still awesome, my friends are still the best, my puppy still wakes me up at all hours of the night. it's wierd...some days i forget that i have cancer...other days its all i can talk or think about. and there's really nothing earthshattering that is going to happen until its time for my surgery. so until then i take this little white thing and get hot flashes. (i should not being having to worry about menopause yet!)
OH! today Alison Goins came to town to have lunch with me!!! i've missed my twinnie!
(we were both hired at the same time at PTs...we're both short with blonde hair...people got us confused...still do apparently) and thinking of twinnie always gets me pumped for the christmas party (not too far away actually!) and the party always gets me pumped for the holiday season! yay presents! yay christmas movies! this is a terrible post and i apologize for making you all read it.
ps i also want to complain about how terrible the game was today...i had to leave my edit bay before i threw something through the tv monitor...they better shape up for homecoming!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
(definately, maybe is such a cute movie! ryan reynolds is hot.) we stayed with some people who had been members of our church before they moved...(thanks betsy & bill!)
the next morning mom woke me up at 7 since my appointment was at 9 and we needed to have some breakfast. which we had at Foster's...delish...then off to unc...skipping ahead to 9 and my actual appointment.
She was french. Cecile somethingorother. Ashley her intern did most of the talking. Trying to convince me to take a test that would look for genetic mutations...(or secretly maybe they want to clone me...cool! just call me dolly (the first cloned sheep) can you imagine ANOTHER one of me? scaryyyy)
ok...i have been working on this post for several days now...probably some writer's block of some sort...
i gave them blood for the test.
my brother eric and his family gave me a wonderful present.
i love surprises of this sort...i didn't know they were going to drive to chapel hill just to see little ole me! and Erika is the CUTEST kid on the planet. lucky for her i'm her cool aunt Kim who does not wear shoes :) you had to be there.
So its time to meet with Dr. C. i walk into the room (after everyone else bc i was getting my blood pressure and temp taken) and everyone is kind of sitting around this one guy...who introduces himself as Jeremiah (he was very very attractive) then Dr. C comes in and i kick the family out...(there is NO reason they should be in there if i am not wearing my own clothes...call me crazy but unless i'm in MY shirt...its just me and docs...sorry mom.) Now Dr. C and J both feel for lymphnodes then she leaves and its just me and hottie...and he about to look at my cancery boobs...what a turn on. (insert barf here)
basically they tell us the same things as my beloved Dr. K....chemo or pill...both will work in different fashions...then they explain that i have stage four cancer. stage four. stage four. this is one thing i am having issues with. stage four. its all i can think about basically. i have stage four cancer. apparently i will never be cured. i am treatable. i am managable. but i am not curable.
yes i know you are saying that miracles happen...and that God can accomplish great things. but the reason i couldn't finish this post is because i have stage FOUR cancer.
this angers me.
i want to yell it at people as they are walking by me on sidewalks.
I HAVE STAGE FOUR CANCER!
this is unfair. why not stage three or two...or better yet NO cancer.
STAGE 4. gross. i am all cancery and stuff.
since this discovery i have since spent an incredibly wonderful evening with jennifer who took me out for dinner then some shopping. (she is amazing...and the best listener on the planet)
(i love you jennifer!)
and i have worked at pts. and i have watched my football team lose to state. and i have sat in the edit bay. and i have eaten an ice cream sandwhich. i am about to meet the girls out. however;
i still have cancer.
i started my hormone pill yesterday (friday) it seems so silly that this little white pill will shrink a tumor that has attatched itself to my chest wall and is pushing into my skin. it has also spread to three other places...
i used to like stages. in high school drama. now stages are stupid. but it is all i think about.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
"secrets to remaining upbeat when all you really want to do is have a snarky attitude and throw things at people whilst wearing a terrible scowl on your face and stomping up and down like a 5 year old"
but alas there was not.
here is my list of things that are making it easy to remain upbeat
- people that i love come visit me. (hannah, alli, jennifer, jamie, mary adelaide)
- almost daily messages, cards, phone calls, text, messenger pigeons, etc. from HCS.
- my amazing BFFs here at home. (Chrissy & Stacy Hannah)
-getting more mail than all the other people at my house combined
-grandma's constant love and affection manifested in home cooked meals (i.e. mashed potatoes)
-pts on 17th street
-voicemails (i know i'm a terrible caller backer)
-Dr. K's academic good looks (it also helps that he's trying to cure me)
-chocolate. in any form.
-naps. when time permits.
-my puppy saylor.
-harmless cancer jokes
-the amounts of praying that's been going on
- my family (unmatched by any other!)
things that make it a bit difficult to remain upbeat
- having cancer
- looking at my hair (yeah i know it looks fine but its the principle of the matter)
- feeling like i cannot complain to much for fear i will upset someone or look whiney
- seeing my grandmother (who is my favorite person on earth if you can't tell) cry on friday.
- strange doctor's offices
- always having to be witty
- having a strange urge to cuss or barf anytime anything about breast cancer comes on tv
- missing shifts at pts when i know that i'm needed
- being tired all the time
- my parents' faces at doctor appointments
- not knowing what is going to happen in the future
and i know i have NEVER had control over that last one...but i always thought i had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen the next day, or the next one...or even the next week.
i hear the road less travelled is the best one to take...but i really would like to back up to the fork in the road August 20th and take the paved fork to the right that led straight into the horizon instead of this dirt path of a left that leads right into what looks like a forrest. and boy is it dense. and the only sunlight is peaking over treetops (a major tease to know it's there i might add) but is so far away that the hope of reaching it at all seems slight. But then God sends me one of those things on the first list i made. just in time to keep me from becoming a depressed shriveled up angry hermit. and the sun shines a little brighter and feels a little warmer. And staying upbeat isn't so hard to do at the moment...That's how i know God is watching over me. Because of his impeccable timing and extremely wonderful sense of humor, because of the people he has placed in my path, and the people he has given me from the beginning.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
ok time for the results of wednesday's biopsy.
met with Dr. K yesterday and he says that yes, the place in my rib is cancerous. which leads him to conclude that the spots in my arm and spine are also cancerous. this is what is commonly referred to as bad news. more cancer. great.
however. as Dr. K kept speaking the news he was spewing forth got better and better.
we have two treatment options.
#1 Chemo: fast acting treacherous poison that would have heinous side effects
#2 Hormone Pill: takes longer to get working but has the same sort of side effects as a bc pill.
hmmmm tough decision.
i'll take the pill please. thank you.
Ok i take this pill once a day and eventually my cancer stops mass producing.
yes there would still be a surgery and probably radiation...but neither of those sounds nearly as horrific as chemotherapy. (can you tell i was NOT stoked about chemo?) (stuff is the thing nightmares are made of)
PS we are going to Chapel Hill wednesday to spend the day getting second opinions and other whatnots. yay roadtrip with the parentssssss.
In other news i am now the proud mama of Saylor the 13 week old golden retreiver puppy.
she's gonna be a beast when she grows up but she's super chill and very sweet.
i'm trying to think if there is anything else of importance to relay to my newfound public but so far nothing is coming to mind. other than the fact that last night Chrissy, Drew, Jamie and I went to see the movie The Women....it was funny. and much better than i thought it was going to be.
also Alli Bottoms is home! YAY! too bad i'm working too much this weekend to bathe myself in her presence.
Again. i know i say this a lottttt but thanks for all of the prayers, cards, thoughts, hugs, etc.
i know some of the best people residing on this planet. boy am i lucky.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
first of all know this: it was not what i expected. not in a good or bad way.
so first of all Kathy Viveona went with Mom and me to cape fear for this biopsy of my right rib and I love her bunches!
we get there, sign in, then since the main waiting room was full we went and hung out in the kiddie one where i snagged a quick snooze on a beanbag that looked like a beach ball. when we were called we crossed the hall into the CT/MRI department with a very nice nurse named Laure. (her only downfall was an overly happy demeanor. other than that she was awesome!) she accessed my port (YAY for being stuck in the chest!) (i LOVE my port!) took some blood, then we had to wait an hour for the blood work to come back...during which we hung out in our little room with its tiny tv and watched the movie Bambi (classic) while waiting. finally i was able to head to the ct room.
this was the first test i was able to lay on my stomach for so i was in heavennnnnnn...also they informed me that since i have many aversions to pain and needles they would be putting me in lala land (yay!) then the technician kept asking me my name and my birthday (this is done so they know they have the correct person...however how many people with my last name are out there milling about at the age of 23 with cancer? hmm?? yeah exactly i'll willing to bet just one. and that would be ME. so somewhere in there the procedure begins...they stick the needle in my back where the place on my rib is out and grab a sample for testing (find out results tomorrow) all i really remember is being asked to take two deep breaths. and being wheeled into recovery and asking for the crackers that my M.I.A mother had. had to hang out in that room until a quarter to three (for some reason i thought this process would only take an hour and a half at most...everytime i think that i am veryyyy wrong...this was closer to 5...but i did get to watch bambi, thumper, and flower get twitterpated)
we went to get me some trolley stop but for the love of all that is good i inconveniently got nauseous and could not finish my surfer dogs...then i came home and slumbered on and off until i finally made it upstairs to bed around 1:30 in my super groggy state
however i did catch america's next top model and 90210 (yippee)
so fingers crossed that i do NOT have bone cancer.
also i may be getting a puppy. i'll keep you updated on this matter as well!
thanks some more for all the cards and prayers!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
yes. lame. i know. but its what i get paid to do.
the ONE highlight was watching my Pirates destroy WVU saturday afternoon.
i should have been there...drunk and arghing my head off like everyone else.
ideally i would have been in the stands with Hannah, Amy, Megan, Alli, Sarah and Melissa after a gnarly AKPsi tailgate. instead i was sitting in my tiny edit baying screaming espn and arghing to myself. YAY for being ranked number 14th. PURPLE! GOLD!
ok enough of that.
so it is monday. or was. its around midnight.
my mom calls this morning with a crazy story about how 2 women were sitting next to one another at their sons' baseball game gossiping when one turns to the other and says i have someone i want you to pray for this 23 year old girl...and the other interupts her to say...Kim, yeah i've heard about her.
this is crazy. and amazing. and i am incredibly blessed. have i said thank you? because i feel as though i can't say it enough. and i know that once the going gets to be a bit rockier i may forget to say it. I am thankful for my family. Those crazy Millers. The most amazingly LOVING family on the planet...how i got lucky enough to be one of them i will never know...i know that if i needed even the tiniest thing (like mashed potatoes) they would be there for me. and my parents have been tremendously supportive. and i know the time will come when eventually i will have to lean a little bit...but i know they will be pillars of support when i need them the most.
i am also thankfully for my other family...my chosen family of best friends...my bffs...
tonight i'm going to single out one of them...her 15 minutes of blog fame if you will...
A tale of Mary Adelaide and Kim:
the first time we hung out did not go so well. i think it was freshman year of high school.
as time passed we grew to tolerate one another. by senior year i was invited to the bell house for sleepovers. by the time we left to go off to college we were good friends. Our connector friend had been Christine (informally known as Chrissy) who was attending UNC, while i was of course at ecu and MA was at Peace College in raleigh...so when i went to chapel hill to visit MA was always there and we had one thing in common...the need to go out and find a party. when school ended and it was time to head back home for the summer. we were instantly glued to one another the two of us along with chrissy and michelle quickly became what was to be called the usuals (i will forever be grateful to wooten for giving us a name). we were always together. always causing trouble. we joked about being two halves of the same person. she was my BFF. over the past couple of years I have spent almost as much time at her family's house as my own.
at one point i even had my own bed. i would spend time there even if mary adelaide was absent. it became another home for me. last year mary adelaide's sister (and another one of my bffs) taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer (so far so good on the cured part) so if there is one family who knows kind of what i'm going through its this one...
Mary Adelaide invited me over for dinner tonight after calling me BEFORE 9 this morning while she was on I-40 east followed by a call an hour later from her mom. I accepted first off because i love spaghetti, second bc i hadn't seen the bells in a while, and third it meant some face time with MA...so i go over on my dinner break from work and immediately am greeted with hugs from Nancy and their family friend Sherry (sp? maybe an i? regardless) we catch up on the latest cancer info while ma and i feist on bread and sauce. before dinner big Doug (or Ezra if you are a usual) says grace (probably one of the most moving things said about me in my presence since these whole cancer shananigans began) we dine on pasta then cupcakes for desert while normal bell family business takes place...discussing school work, ecu, bottomless appetites, and Mac's need for a napkin. As i'm leaving Nancy offers her support anyway she can help there are more hugs all around. again i am astounded by how lucky i am.
ps i am not a huggy person so these people must be special if i am enjoying this simple gesture
OH and Nancy mentioned this quote over dinner, then i saw it later on the myspace page of a breast cancer survivor
live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning...Satan shutters and says "oh shit, she's awake!"
i think i can do that.
Friday, September 5, 2008
since all this cancer mess began it has been the one place i have not been able to go as often as i wanted due to appointments scheduled in the middle of the afternoon.
(pts shifts are 11-3 so a 2 oclock appointment does not allow me to work!)
i walked in the back door with a flourish shouting that i was back...and much to my delight most of my favorites were working...such as Joe P, SH, and timmy, etc.
so we open and my front is all stocked and stacy hannah and i are gossiping like old times
and to make what could be a long boring story about how slow work was shorter and more exciting...
regulars came in! and i got to get drinks, mark tickets, call out orders and boss people around!
it was heavenly.
today it was busy despite the dreaded tropical storm and i got to boss around people even more!
and there were more regulars! and life finally feels like its sort of back to normal. because normal is me running the front of the PTs on 17th street, and being bossy, and joking with Joe and being creepy with Tim, hugging stacy hannah and chatting with my customers. Wonderful! Glorious!
i feel like i dont have cancer.
and there are no words to express how lucky i am to have a workplace like this one. with a boss who knows what i need when i need it. and since right now its jokes...i am bombarded with terrible cancer jokes and even more terrible boob jokes...but i love it. and i love him.
and my pts family...(customers included) bc they have been nothing but supportive.
so i found out that i there is a possibility that i might have bone cancer. which really doesn't have the shock value it should have. probably bc i already have cancer. and really? what's one more thing? come on man...sock it to me! i'd rather have them all at one time any way. it would really only mean different drugs in my chemo cocktail (i love cocktails)
on the other hand...it may not be cancer which would be pretty sweet. i dont really NEED more cancer i feel like i've already got plenty in my boob. but honestly i have no control over these things. so i've been talking to the big guy upstairs (God) and letting him know i'm ok with it either way. bc really he wouldn't give me anything bigger than i can handle (which i think is pretty nice of him)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The two spots may be cancer. one in my upper right arm and one in my lumbar (lower back) region. Dr. K does NOT think they are cancer. I do NOT think they are cancer.
however to be safe he wanted extra tests done to rule out the SLIGHT possibility.
so there was a second MRI that took about 3 hours yesterday and a Bone Scan that took up most of my day today. Quick antidotes. MRI number 2 went muchhhh better than the first one. yes the nurse still ended up stabbing me more than once on his search for the ever elusive vein. and yes i had to lay perfectly still in a tiny compartment for hours on end...but the fun part? it was all in a trailer! which led me to believe that they really could have brought the mobile MRI unit to ME. instead of making me go to it. i was seriously the last patient there (i walked out with the nurse pushing me out the door so she could lock it at 7).
this morning i was awoken at a heinous hour to shower before being at Dr. K's office at 10 so his nurse could access my port (the thing inserted in my chest) which is much less painful and terrible than having people jabbing into my arm. (wierd...i know...i prefer being jabbed in the chest.) and i head to cape fear for the bone scan. i get the contrast (radioactive...i'm guessing becoming a superhero is closer at hand than i thought with all of this stuff going into my system) then i go home for two hours while it attatches itself to my bones so they'll show up on the scan all nice and shiny.
sidenote: the nurse did not want to use my port. i calmly (notice i Was calm) explain that the reason i have a needle and syringe hanging out of my chest is so she can use it without having to send me into hysterics. she tried to argue. i calmly but forceably told her to use the damn port. she called in a nurse who knew how and yet during the whole time kept talking about how she didn't want to use it. I wanted to tell her that she didn't have to. the nice nurse in the green glasses had to and she seemed fine with it. and then i wanted to stick out my tongue and gloat.
i get the scan. it takes all of 45 minutes. with a HUGE contraption hanging about a centimeter from my nose. it if were to come loose...i would have died a huge crushing death. tragic and messy. luckily i made it out alive. it bothered me more than the MRI did. then they inform me that the will not deactivate my port. i have to drive allllll the way back to Dr. K's nurse to have THEM pull it out. LAME. it made me a bit cranky. and at this point i really just wanted to go to sleep since last night was not a happy slumber. (apparently i coughed all night...all i remember is waking up every time i laid on the port wrong (which was often.)) sorry for all of the parenthesis. stream of conscience writing can get messy and confusing.
on the way home mom wanted to stop at the pink ribbon store and get some decorations for our cars. Mom and I have antenna topper thingys and grandma got a magnet in the shape of the pink ribbon. and apparently my reputation precedes me...the woman knew who i was already and seriously had already been praying for me...wierd that people i dont even know are talking to God on my behalf. and i am grateful for everyone of them. bc it helps. i know it does.
tomorrow afternoon i meet with Dr. K again to go over these newly updated test results. say prayers that i'm right and it isn't cancer. bc that would be uncool.
OH and about the title of these blog. i just woke up from a sweet nap. Naps are my new favorite thing. I talked to my brother and was able to admit that naps are a nice side bonus to this whole cancer thing. yes the fatigue level will probably rise with each passing day or treatment but to know at the end of it i get a nap...is phenominal. (its the small things in life that makes me happy)
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
retail therapy. i highly recommend it. i felt miraculously cured. just walking through the shoe department of belk...trying on bcbg's (my new loves) and jessica simpsons (my new guilty pleasure) lifted my spirits. call me lame. call me materialistic. but i'm taking happiness any way i can get it.
anyway. we mostly bought cancer paraphenalia such as hats and scarves. which was hard to do since they must be cute and stylish and meet a host of other qualities. if anyone cares i also bought a dress. the color of mustard. i also had to take hannah to work with me at the tv station. she mostly read magazines...if that tells you anything....Sunday was more of the same...browsing and buying (matching dresses...but we live in different cities so its ok) eating and browsing some more...then mom and dad decided to have a mini cookout hannah had to leave soon after to get back to hubby. missed her immediately after she left. like a TON. (i Love you bonnieeee)
well tomorrow i get back all of my test results. here's hoping that everything is normal!
and may i add that friday night i had the Best bar-b- que on the planet courtesy of Jennifer the best pseudo big sister ever.
and may i also add that i am incredibly blessed in the friends and prayers department.
thank you to everyone that has sent messages, emails, or cards (send more! i love cards!) i appreciate all of them so much! (ok done being sappy...it goes against my style)
Friday, August 29, 2008
first things first...there was not a nurse satan. (thank heavens) howeverrrrr
there was a Nurse almost McHottie. he would have been hot. had he not been a nurse.
he did not stab me. one stift stab at the wrist and TA-DA! needle neatly inserted with NO TEARS! (see it can be done) however it was filled with radioactive glucose. i could end up turning into a super hero. i'll leave you guys to come up with possible superhero names...
so the pet scan goes smoothly. i go by PTs for some fries and to get a Joey P fix since i miss my boss A LOT! and as much as i know at that time of day none of my regulars will be there i was secretly hoping that maybe at least one would be sitting at the bar. bc honestly...i miss my regulars...i hope wesley isn't cheating on his fries and that someone is remembering bob likes his burger well done. (pathetic i know...but they're like an extended family). but i digress.
after PTs i go home to hang before the big C. C for CUT. as in HAIR CUT. dreading it. horribly.
we get to karen and mom gets hers cut first. then its my turn. she starts to snip. i start to sniffle. eventually sniffling turns into a meltdown (its funny now...it was NOT funny then) which turns into me shoving all hands away from anywhere near me and stuffing my hair into a ponytail and basically bolting out of the place. Poor Karen! now that i've gotten used to it...its not too bad. it actually looks ok. its just way shorter than anything i'm used to. that turned into another night that i didn't speak to anyone. well that's a lie. my mom answered my phone and i eventually called some people back.
Thursday was the port placement surgery. they ask a bunch of questions, do a pregnancy test (negative in case you were interested), then stick me with a needle courtesy of...nurse satan (another one... i know!)...the really interesting thing is that in order to have this sugery i had to be completely naked. i would have rather been able to at least wear my underwear. so i get the special juice and wake up hungry (had not eaten since 10 the night before) surprise surprise...craving some pizza and in painnnnnnn.
ps Hannah is here so these stories are now going to be reader digest versions
i get pain pills. my mom springs me from the joint. and we race home so that i can have some thin crust pepperoni pizza and bread sticks from pizza hut. Chrissy and Dustin come over for a while until my prescription meds send me off to la-la land. then i doze on and off the rest of the night.
finally to fridayyyyy which is HANNAH is coming to town day!
or less famously known as MRI day. also TODAY.
go to the hospital mri unit. immediately dislike both people working the desk. i go to the back and they give me double X L scrubs to put on in a disgusting maroon color. then i meet a man. a man who turns out to be a huge jackass. (pardon my language) but he was. and i told my mom that too. and i'm trying to explain my needle hangups and he's not really listening...basically i keep getting the placating and patronizing "we use small needles...blah blah blah" and i'm trying to tell him that Every nurse has used small needles...and guess what? there are tears 99.9 percent of the time. but he obviously has more important things to worry about on his friday afternoon...like where he should roofie college girls on his hot night out with his loser friends...
anyway. i get my head stuffed into the contraption and i would describe the inside of it to you but i had my eyes closed the whole time for sanity purposes. so three quarters of the way through they pull me out of the white tube and decide it is time to inject the dye. sooo nurse inept (a female) tries my left hand. fails. tries my right hand. fails. i am crying. nurse jackass comes to help. fails. they call down another nurse. we wait 10 minutes. two women enter...and i love them! one finds a vein...no problem. and wha- la! i'm almost done.
hours later i find myself sitting at my computer reflecting back on my week of daily testing and stabbing. and i come to this conclusion.
i am never being a blood donor.
hannah's patiently waiting for me to finish so she can read it.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
i wasn't allowed to eat starting at 945 or have anything to drink...and i'm sure you all know me rather well and are aware of my extreme love of all things edible...so needless to say i arrived at my appointment with a growling stomach and a cranky attitude. The nurse calls my name, i go through the big double doors and sit in the chair by this contraption that looks like it could be a portal to some black hole in space. I am THEN informed i have to drink more of the hellacious concoction (this time vanilla flavored...just as terrible!) then i lay on the table thingy that will transport me in and out of space and am terrified to find that they have to inject me with something.
when i had staph infections i had to endure a lot of needles
when i stepped on a wine glass and needed stitches there was a needle
when i went to the dentist once there was a needle
Friday i had labs drawn more needles
Monday they had to inject a tracer which meant a needle
Yesterday they had to shoot me up with some dye which meant a needle.
I HATE NEEDLES. can we say tears and panic attacks?!
so monday the nurses had a hard time finding a vein which led to nurse satan digging around in both arms before calling in nurse angel who was talented in the way of the vein (regardless i shed tears) so when i went yesterday i mentioned (as always) that i hate needles and if i begin to cry to just stick the damn thing in and ignore me. (this was hard to do yesterday) (sobbing is not nearly as lowkey) i also mentioned that the vein in my right hand looks like my best one...
so nurse satan sticks the needle in and is like on a scavenger hunt trying to poke my vein...well she gets it in and it blows out on her (which hurts) so she calls in nurse lucifer who takes a hold of my left arm and soon i'm in a torture chamber while they search for a decent vein to stab into. Meanwhile i'm in near hysterics (my bad...can't help it) so when its all over mom and i exit the building...and here is what happens....
i turn to my mother "i am about to say a bad word"
me "this fucking sucks"
mother "i know"
this is all said while i'm crying big crocodile tears and railing off on how i hate having cancer. seriously. i hate it.
THEN to add to the trauma we go to the wig place. we find one. we buy it. i told mom to put it somewhere i dont have to look at it. bc this is the one thing i am super MAD about.
i like my hair.
we're cutting it to my shoulders today.
devastation in smaller doses i guess.
today is my pet scan. i'm assuming it comes with a nurse satan who is going to jab me in my arm.
PS i apologize to anyone that called my cell phone yesterday. that sucker was on silent while i sat on the couch watching Greek (new favorite show) and trying to return to the cheerful upbeat disposition i had prior to yesterday. Just needed a day to myself.
be warned...it may happen again.
but i still love you guys a LOT! seriously i do! BUNCHES!
and keep the mail coming...i LOVE getting mail!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
if you ever have to get one you have to drink two bottles of the most disgusting sludge on the planet. however the nurse will give you options....vanilla, apple and berry.
nurse satan helpfully added that berry was the most popular so i went with what seemed to be the tried and true.
it is gross.
dont fall for it.
there is no way this is the most popular. its horrific. terrible. and other synonyms.
however i'm halfway through bottle two. appointment is at 145. then its time for a nap since my phone started vibing at me at 728 this morning....and did not stop until it was sure i was out of bed. thanks a lot PHONE!
Monday, August 25, 2008
well prior to wednesday...i felt something...knew something was a bit off.
on Wednesday (now known as C-day) i had my yearly exam...had her check the boob situation out. she was concerned. sent me to a girly surgeon.
this surgeon also checked out the situation. decided to do an ultrasound.
it had black spots (not good). she then proceeds to inform me (while i'm still half naked) that there is a pretty sweetlife chance that i have cancer....there were some tears...ok that's a lie...there were a lot of tears...and an overwhelming need to speak to my mother.
i mean seriously. i am only 23. this just doesn't happen.
i hadn't mentioned any of this to my mother. so my phone call to tell her my news was a bit of a surprise. or better yet was a completely new way to turn our lives upside down.
there was a biopsy (which hurts and the needle makes the most bizarre popping sound)
and that was it for the day...other than telling the most important people in my life that i was now rocking out with cancer. in my left breast. Grade 2. kind of serious.
Friday i met with the oncologist and the radiation oncologist.
good news...i will be cured (eventually) this type of tumor responds well to most treatments. which i guess explains why i will be getting MOST treatments. some chemo, a surgery, radiation.
more on those as the time comes
The weekend was spent with some of my best friends. Thanks to them i got some normal before all of this madness really begins. oh and thanks to Kenny Chesney. those sad country songs while intoxicated are really a killer.
Monday i had my chemo teaching basically i'll lose my hair, have no appetite, and am required to drink a ridiculous amount of fluids. Great. luckily i like water. and what girl wouldn't love the opportunity to get back to the size she was before the freshmen five hundred...i would just rather not have to barf my way there...