Tuesday, September 30, 2008

keyboard replacement equals frequent bloggies

i blame my two updates in a row on my dad finally hooking up the new keyboard (wireless...snazzy i know) i wanted to test it out...see if it was as noisy and clickity clackity as the last one...

it is not.
it is quite silent. which is a nice.

First of all i have to say this:

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

today was NOT the best day ever

so i dont know if i have mentioned the ongoing joke between sports kevin and myself about everyday being the best day ever. (if not i hope it was self explainatory)

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

nothing new

so it has begun. i am on the pill. i am moody, tired, almost barfy, and already tired of remembering to take it.

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

slight delay

hey guys sorry its been so long but our house computer has broken and my laptop and wireless do not get along...(probably bc i'm stealing it)

anyway...i'll update you guys as soon as possible. love youuu all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

all the world is a Stage

so tuesday night in a cold damp drizzle my parents and I loaded up the car bid farewell to stacy and the animals then headed west toward the great tar hell mecca of Chapel Hill. i'd tell you about the trip but i spent it with headphones on watching movies on the portable dvd player.

(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.


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...

stage four.

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

if there was ample space i would have titled this blog

"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.
- needles
- 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

poison or pill?

I am currently sitting in my teeny tiny edit bay watching the ecu game against tulane on a teeny tiny monitor that Kevin (the sports guy) has routed (tv lingo) so he can have footage for the newscast...and honestly that makes me super happy.

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.
not really.

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

fingers crossed groggy style

this will probably be a short post bc i'm meeting my daddy (i.e. the biological one) for breakfast before work...however i wanted to update everyone as to how my day yesterday went.

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)
i digress

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

a Bell family dinner

So this weekend was bland. Edited the news both nights and stayed up well past my new bedtime (around 11...fatigue...number one side effect of cancer)(number 2 sarcasm)(number 3 presents)
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

i love my job.

so yesterday (thursday) i was finally able to get out of bed and put on one of my pts tshirts, yoga pants (for better tips) and my ugly crocs and head to my home away from home on 17th street.
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

an added benefit

so yesterday i met with my oncologist Dr. K to go over test results from my hellacious week of poking and prodding and Stabbing. everything looked fine other than my PET scan (had some questionable spots) and he requested a couple more tests before i begin chemo...Here is the breakdown of what this all means.

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.

YAY Prayers!

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

coping the best way a girl knows how

sorry i neglected to update over the weekend... Hannah was in town visiting so she could see for herself how i was Realllllly dealing with my current predicament instead of just believing what i was feeding her via phone, email, facebook, and blog (which is that i am fine and dealing quite well actually). So we gossiped friday night until after midnight, slept in (gloriously) saturday morning before getting therapy the best way a girl knows how to...


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)