Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Okay, I've been schooled...nicely.

So I guess you can tell from the last post that I have been feeling very sorry for myself lately.  And, well, to be honest, there are two sides to that coin isn't there?  I mean, yeah, this sucks. But I have been given some amazing forecasts, I have awesome family, and I am starting to amass support both in my real world as well as online from people who in some cases don't even know me, but are offering me huge support.  THAT is the reason why I am being schooled...and kindly at that. 

So...I am shutting down my pity party. It doesn't make sense to wallow day after day. It doesn't make sense to compare my fight and my journey with anyone else's. And it certainly doesn't make any sense whatsoever to beat myself up about NOT doing stuff because I am tired. 'Cause I am freaking tired. 

It does make sense to stop laying down and acting dead when I'm not...nor am I going to be for a long time. I don't know what happened though. I am always up for a fight. Adam can certainly attest to that. I think it just might have been that in order for people to try to be supportive, I wasn't really given the information as to how bad it can BE. And if I feel its this bad....how bad will it GET? 

Well,  by all accounts I am in the thick of it. And I am living through it. I am fighting and I am going to win this. More than that is this plateau I have reached: I both don't want to, nor do I NEED to talk about this all the time. I think the psychology behind the wallow is to own it and realize it fully. I get that. But at some point it became exhausting. 

Then I realized my biggest problem. 

I have been beating myself up because of cancer and because perhaps I fight a little too much with Adam and because I am mourning not being at my awesome job, and because of a thousand other reasons which is when it hit me - I have forgotten what it's like to be 'Tina in Repose'. I don't know HOW to relax. I have forgotten the sheer joy of getting completely obsessive compulsive about doing leisure activities and chilling my shit down. I forgot how to just BE in the universe. 

Now the constant emotional and intellectual flailing makes sense.

So.  Here I am having to remind myself how to be patient and kind to myself. I have to remember what leisure activities make me happy. Plus I am told that more meditation is probably a good thing too. I am off to find out what makes a slightly addled brain excited. I think quick activities are probably best with a slight inability to focus right now. Any suggestions are welcomed.  

Oh, and I have found out one universal truth - Pinterest is the devil. Just sayin'.

Ta ducks,
Tina  :)



Monday, August 26, 2013

Updates...

Wow, I re-read my last post and I have so much to catch up on.  This has been a crazy summer.  So, breaking it down, here is the skinny...

My fight:  I've had one more operation to remove an additional 12 lymph nodes. 17 in total. This was actually quite helpful and from this operation we were able to ascertain that I have Stage 2, Grade 2, Non-Invasive breast cancer. Wow...it feels so weird to still say that. I did not get clear margins on the chest wall...but I am told that with my kind of cancer that some extra radiation zaps should talk care of that bit of business. My only concern is that with the chest wall issue it has invaded bone...but the bone scan in September will be able to let us know for sure.

After healing I started chemo at the beginning of August. I am on the ACT chemo treatment. 4 weeks of AC and 4 weeks of T. I am told that the worst stuff is the beginning stuff so...yay for getting that over and done with. I gotta tell you...I seriously hope that talking to the oncologist before my next treatment will result is a better 'after treatment' time because it was not a good trip at all.  I wound up in the hospital on a heart monitor the evening of chemo because my heart was coming through my chest. The protein test came back negative so there was no heart event thank God.  But I am not sure if I can do that again. The steroids make me feel full like I'm a balloon to be popped. But it's only for 3 days. I can suck it up. 

I have my sister and my daughter staying with me alternately over the following couple days after so that is really REALLY making me feel better.  But I think I need to have more people over and get on the damn phone more (even though I hate talking on the phone) because I have noticed my alone time is just a little too much. The brain starts to over-think.

My family: Adam is doing his very best though all of this. Really taking on extra stuff. He is unsure how to act and handle my chemical induced moods...so there tends to be a lot of fighting. But I guess that is what happens with a family is handed something as terrible as this. Just getting through it is tough. I have downloaded lots of calming meditations and try to knit and crochet a lot to get through my fears. Although I know of a couple people who have been through this and are here and healthy and living and happy...I have personally seen 3 people go through chemo...and no one made it. So there are demons to be sure. My daughter is carrying on surprisingly well. Getting on with back to school stuff and admitting that she often forgets I am even sick at all. Which is a good thing I suppose. :-)

My work: My place of employment has been amazing. My boss has been incredible. My co-workers text me here and there just to let me know I am still part of the team and I think that is simply amazing. In fact, even Bobby from my last place of employment texts me now and then to say hi.  So nice!

My friends: I am not sure where to begin.  I know they want to help more...I know they don't know what to do unless I tell them.  But that is where I need to get on the phone and let them know eh? I will get through this treatment and for sure call more and get them over more. Jamie was with me for my PICC line insertion...thank God because I couldn't have done it without him. But I need to rely on those who are so sweetly waiting patiently on the sidelines. I love you all...I am just really bad at asking for help. Imma try harder though.  :)

Oh...and just a thing...I emailed the Canadian Cancer Society about speaking to someone my age in my situation about their journey. They call it 'Peer Support'. Yeah, so I emailed them a couple weeks ago now. I am sad to say I haven't been contacted by anyone. Not even to say 'hey thanks for the email, and we are busy but we will get to you soon'.  I am sure they do awesome work but I'm not sure their email staff is fully functioning.

So...that's it for now. I will endevour to do better on the updates. I know a great many of my friends and family are doing lots of fun stuff this summer anyway so we will see you on the other side of September I am sure.

All the best,
Tina

Friday, June 7, 2013

Well that was one helleva ride

Lots to catch up on...but the whole experience was just so overwhelming its taken me this long to process what the hell actually happened.  

The evening before my surgery I had a lovely visit from Jamie...I love him to pieces. He brought flowers and lots of laughs so that was a nice cap to the day.

The morning of my sister came over to stay the day with me, and ultimately with Adam, while I was in surgery. Looking back I realize how horribly under-educated I was in what was about to happen. To be honest, I think I am glad I was because some aspects of the day pre-surgery would have made me think seriously twice about the whole thing.  Seriously. 

Between getting injected with nuclear goo and put into the CT machine...then having fine needles placed around the tumor so the surgeon can have a better handle on the removal...right up to me coming out of the anesthetic badly...the whole day sucked. I don't remember getting home, but I do remember a lot of throwing up. Sound like I am giving too many details? Trust me when I tell you that I'm not. In fact, I am pretty sure there are things I have blanked out of my memory simply because I can not believe the horrors we put ourselves through to get healthy.

But...nightmarish re-telling aside, the surgery went very well Adam was told.The healing is quite remarkable. Yes there is pain...but not narcotic strength...an advil/tylenol cocktail is doing quite nicely. I will gladly leave the heavy duty stuff to those who have constitutions that can take it. 

It's all now down to getting to see the surgeon on the 11th for next steps. I am assuming its off to the cancer clinic and then radiation...hopefully no chemo...but we will see. 

My family and friends have been simply awesome. My boss Sue has been amazing. I am blessed with an embarrassment of love and support.  I fully and completely take it thank you. :)

Take care. Love your life. Give hugs. 
Tina 

p.s.  Thanks to Joey-Jo for hanging out with me on Friday while Adam had to pick up Selby. That bottle of Veuve Clicquot you brought over will be ready and waiting for us to drink at the victory party this fall!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Good news and waiting

Yesterday came with some ups and downs. I had a major anxiety attack because I thought I was coming down with a cold. That wasn't it issue. The issue was that I am frightened that if I get sick, they won't do the surgery. Every day that I have to wait to start this battle is a day that brings me down a little bit. So I left work early and saw my physician.  While there he did a Strep test...two in fact because the first came up as a false positive. Thank God.  No strep throat...and today although I feel stuffy, I was told by the pre-op nurse that one needs to be pretty sick in order to not have surgery.  I will skip the obvious joke and be happy with the comment.

I was also given an incredible piece of information. The second biopsy came up negative. No additional little bastards attached to the tumour. So...nice one bad boob, thanks for that at least.

Staying home today may not have been the best idea. I feel like if I went into work I risked feeling, and getting, sicker before my surgery. A thought that festered all night accounting for very little sleep.  However, being alone all day like this is probably not the best thing I could have done either. Sure, I have been working, doing emails, catching up on understanding the MCT stuff for my job...but I am definitely feeling alone today.  And we all know what happens inside my brain when left to my own devices. Things get blown up, out of control, and certainly messed up.

Hence the blog.

So I think I will get up, tidy up, and maybe do something that doesn't involve being around people, but isn't so alone either.

I have today to eat whatever I want then I have to be good for the surgery.  I am really thinking Burrito Brothers for supper.  Maybe I will even get the super hot stuff. Show cancer why it REALLY doesn't want to stick around this body!

Cheers,
Tina

Monday, May 27, 2013

Life goes on eh?

We had a great weekend. Baseball game on Saturday followed with an awesome evening with old friends. On Sunday we attended Adam's cousins wedding. Had probably a glass of wine more than I should have, but like Dr. Schneider says, 'Drink the wine!'. 

I have pre-op this morning. I am a little worried...scared really.  I just read about another woman dying from breast cancer this morning.  Is it a sign? Or is it just life? Either way, I feel that human weakness today for sure. I need to get passed it I know. Good karma please.

My mantra is 'my faith is stronger than my fear' but sometimes that rings hollow in my own ears. And then I remember that I have a disease I can FIGHT. An unfair one to be sure, but a fight nonetheless. I wasn't told I am terminal or have something that I have no ability to rally against. Those are thoughts I have to keep front and centre.  

Well, off to the hospital. Prayers are appreciated. In return I wish you all a wonderful day. 

Hug your loved ones. Raise your face to the sun. Love life. 

Best,
Tina