What’s up, buttercup?

What’s up, buttercup?

HELLO!

It’s been awhile since I’ve lasted posted a blog entry. Big changes have happened since my last post and big changes will be happening over the next few months.

Just over a month ago I finished my last round of ‘hefty’ chemotherapy. I say that because for the next six months I will be receiving Herceptin every three weeks.

Herceptin is used for a variety of breast cancer patients. In my case, I fall under the  HER+ positive people (Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2-positive ) along with being high risk. The high risk factors are considered either being  ER/PR-positive with one of the following features: tumor size >2 cm, < 35 years of age, or tumor grade 2 or 3… & guess what!? I have all of those features (5+ centimeters, younger than 35 aaand grade 3 tumor) SUP.

HER2+ is aggressive, but I’m fortunate enough to have Herceptin. It’s been proven beneficial for patients like me. And plus, these infusions will be significantly shorter than my previous treatments.

About a week ago my eyebrows and eyelashes started falling out like it was their JOB. I hopped out of the shower one day, looked in the mirror and immediately said “What the F*CK” (It takes a lot for me to swear so apparently this made me really upset) – I know it’s only hair and blah blah blah, it might sound vain and blah blah blah, but that was probably the only PHYSICAL feature I used to have confidence in- nice brows and long eyelashes. probably have 20% of eyelash and eyebrow hair in comparison what I typically have. So basically now I look like a fuzzy bug-eyed girl rather than my typical hairy bug-eyed girl look.

me
…or this stud.

SHOUT OUT TO MAKEUP. but hey- it’s helping me build confidence in more than one way.

Side note: Don’t make sarcastic jokes to the 6th graders that you coach, they won’t catch the sarcasm and they’ll look mortified that you said such a thing. Or… do it. It was quite entertaining. I LOVE being a coach again.

Up next, I have FINALS before graduating.  I also have all my appointments leading up to SURGERY the 22nd. A colonoscopy is also included this month hahaha okay, life.  ❤  The 21st is my Lymphoscintigraphy. Try saying that twice! LOL JK this mushy brain can’t even say it once. The 22nd will be bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.

LOVE YOU ALL.

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I relate to Cynthia as well. The hair on my head sticks straight up after I shower and I always think of home girl. In reality though, those dots on her head are more representative.
Guess who’s back… back again

Guess who’s back… back again

Hello! It’s been almost a month since my last blog, not surprised. Who was the genius that thought being a full-time student, chemotherapy patient, and part-time worker, OH and now 6th grade feeder team basketball coach was a good idea? That’s right, yours truly! Let me tell you, I am exhausted. Many days last week, I was asleep for more hours than I was awake. At the end of the (very long) day, I know that all of this is worth it.

Since I am extremely busy, and tired… and mushy, I haven’t had the inspiration to write in the past few weeks. I also knew that anything I would write during those weeks would be as exciting as watching paint dry. Today is my most “normal” feeling day since last Monday’s chemotherapy so I thought I’d take advantage of this day. What’s new on my end?  I’ve been having extreme stomach/indigestion issues from chemotherapy so they decided to cut back the Taxotere (of TCHP) by a “pinch” in hopes that it would help solve some of the issues. I knew it sounded too good to be true; the only thing that changed from the new regimen was a delayed response. So my REALLY tough days landed on school days. When a classmate said “you look like you’re struggling today,” she was SPOT ON. Struggle bus city. The other change since last blog is the intensity of chemopause. Chemopause is like menopause, but for chemotherapy patients… hot flashes and all. And yes, they’re just as fun as they sound. Being a naked mole rat also makes it very confusing and difficult to stay at a normal body temperature.

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This is the chemopause DREAM. (Picture taken from Young Survival Coalition)

 

The good news from these crazy couple of months? The tumor has shrunken in size SIGNIFICANTLY. It cannot be felt by examination :] Two more rounds to go!

As promised, here are the question’s I received for the AMA:

How did you know you should go to the doctor?

  • Something in my gut (or my severe anxiety ;]) wasn’t feeling comfortable with the lump that I noticed in my breast. I did not believe my OB/GYN when she brushed the lump off like it was nothing. I wanted to shut up my anxiety. As the tests continued, I began to have a weird feeling that it was cancer.

Do you go in weekly for chemo? How many weeks do you have to do it for? When did you start?

  • I go in every three weeks. I’m convinced that it’s every three weeks because it takes that long to start feeling like “normal” again. For me personally, every round becomes more exhausting than the previous one too.  I have six rounds of chemotherapy total, and started August 1st. So come the middle of November, I will be DONE with chemotherapy :] 

What does stage 2 grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma really mean?

  • This means that I’m a lucky lady :] But really. Though the tumor is larger, 3.1 x 2.2 x 2.7 cm to be exact, it is contained within the breast. “Grade 3 cells look very different from normal cells. They grow quickly in disorganized, irregular patterns, with many dividing to make new cancer cells.” < Which means they are aggressive. I took that directly from breastcancer.org – To find out more about IDC and different breast cancers, click here.

For those of us that are limited in energy or whatever, we want to send to you the best encouragement and support. What helps you most? How can we provide it?

  • I’m a simple lady, every little comment, message, text means the world to me. I am a SUCKER for both giving and receiving cards. So I would have to say sweet words of encouragement, personal letters are my personal favorite ❤

What’s the best thing that has happened to you since your diagnosis?

  • OU GOOD QUESTION. I think one important thing for me, as someone who has always suffered with self-worth issues, is that I have come to realize how many people I have in my corner. I was blown away by everyone who came to join me for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. It brought tears to my eyes at one point. I had people join me from almost every stage of my life thus far, and that was really humbling to me ❤
    team
    I LOVE YOU ALL (not everyone pictured) – You all blew me away.

    What are some things that keep your mind sharp after chemotherapy?

  • GOOD QUESTION. I have no idea. I am Queen Mushy Brain. I love to read, but I need energy to read and I have been lacking that as of late. I’ve been thinking of adding podcasts back into my drives… so hopefully that? Short walks help a little too.

If any of you have ANY questions ever, never hesitate to reach out. Please ❤

This song came on in the car today and instantly brought a huge & creepy smile to my face. “Maybe you were made this way, maybe the pieces were intentionally different”

Noah Gundersen – The Difference