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To start with I have been extremely lucky to be going on a holiday this weekend! My dad and sister arranged for Jess and I to fly to the Gold Coast on thursday night and return monday morning. I haven’t been before so I am excited to go somewhere new and just get a change of scenery for a few days. Jess has some work reasons to be going but it will only be taking up a couple of hours of the time we will actually be there. I had to contact my doctors to check if I was okay to fly/be going away and its all fine, it actually worked out great timing as I have a day off for radiation on friday because the machine has its routine service taking place! Apart from that all I had to organise was changing mondays times around so that I can make it in time when arriving back home. I also will have to wear a my compression full sleeve arm bandage on both flights to decrease my risk of lymphedema and also wear it to bed every night whilst away. I hope my room has air con thats for sure!

My chest has gradually become pinker and a lot more sensitive and itchy. Even raising my arm to a certain height feels tight and very sore. The girls today at radiotherapy noticed that it had worsened and I will be keeping a closer eye on it as of now. I have started to use the swimming pool for laps at the gym so I also have to be careful there as the chlorine may irritate my skin more, so far so good though. Tonight after my swim I had a shower in the change room and took a couple of Iphone photos to show how much it has changed since my last photo of my chest. Also another photo of my hair as Adam has announced this week ‘you have WET hair! Its WET!’ My hair is at a length now where it is kind of like a duck and can hold water! Yay.

My current radiation reaction
Hairy me!

Whilst we are on the topic of hair.. My body hair is coming back too. I guess this is good and bad? I don’t think many female like body hair right? At least I will have a fresh start back to waxing! I think I am actually looking forward to it to be honest.

Over the last week I received three bunches of flowers thank you to Clare, my mum and Adam’s parents 🙂 Clare also bought me three BRIDAL magazines and a home made cupcake. I haven’t bought any myself yet so I was pretty overwhelmed looking through them! It made me excited to start planning things when I am ready. Not long now! She also wrote me a beautiful letter which I will treasure forever.

Today an incident occurred which Jess and I had predicted may happen some day soon. As the head shave for Leukemia took place not too long ago, we thought maybe some people may think I had shaved my head for the cause. We giggled about it thinking oh no, they will feel awkward if they ask and I had to say no I didn’t.. Anyway today a lady in a store asked me if I had shaved my hair off for that reason and I said no no, I actually am being treated for cancer. I felt terrible having to answer with that because I know she would of been shocked. She was indeed and was very apologetic and couldn’t believe it because she thought I looked so healthy. What a compliment!

I purchased a book today called ‘PUGNATION’ by Jim Dratfield. Obviously a book on pugs. It has pages and pages of photos of pugs in funny situations so its appropriate for me and as I looked through it in the store I had a huge smile on my face. I thought it was definitely worth buying so any time I felt down all I had to do was flick through a few pages and smile.

Yeah, it is back to front. You get the idea.

I had a phone call from my friend Vinka today (the lovely lady who bought me my Rihanna ticket) saying she needed a favor from me, of course I said yes, yes what is it!??! She told me that she had written into the radio station 92.9 fm to tell them my story and gave them my blog. Well, they read it and I am now going in to the studio tomorrow morning for a 20 minute interview which will be aired some time this week. How crazy is that?! I am so excited and only have this wonderful lady to thank for voicing my story. It is also breast awareness day on friday so you all know, so check them boobies! I shall keep you updated when I know more and let you all know how it goes tomorrow.

Good night friends.

xo

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Back to square ONE!

Last night I picked Lynz up from the airport, yes she is back in Perth again for a little while! Ofcourse, it was unreal to see her again and I am happy to have her back in my city!

As I got into bed last night I thought… ‘Hrmm, I want to take some Valium, but I shouldn’t unless I realllllly need to.’ So I was trying for about an hour and I was just so restless being hot and cold every few minutes so I just took some and was asleep within 20 minutes. Definitely one of the best sleeps I have had in a long, long time. I woke up at 12:40 just in time for my 1:40 radiotherapy appointment. When I got out of the shower I had the most terrible throbbing headache. Every step I took to get down stairs was a thumping pain in my head. Panadol didn’t help and either did the massive exhaustion I felt once I had fully woken up. Here we go again… Chronic fatigue has yet again, come to an arrival.

Radiotherapy was funny today, the people are always so, so lovely. They made me feel better and cheered me up with telling me it was all fine and before I knew it would all be over. One girl said ‘Oh, on this form they have called you MRS’ I laughed and said well……. I’m definitely not a MRS yet! The other man said ‘Thats right you are engaged.. soooo… what the new surname going to be?!’ At that second it reality struck me that I was engaged and I got this big wave of happiness thinking of Adam. Not to say I haven’t been happy and excited since he proposed to me, but this was a real burst of  ‘i’m going to be better soon and feel normal and be doing better things, enjoying my life…’

Next I had to see my Oncologist at 2:15. Its always a long wait – around an hour to get seen so mum got us a coffee whilst waiting and I overheard a lady next to us saying she needed a mint because she thought she had bad breath. I offered her one of the 4 packs of mint gums I had in my handbag and we got chatting. She was so lovely and was seeing the same Oncologist as me for the first time in 11 months! She was there for a check up after having Vulva cancer which she had chemo and radiotherapy for… and unfortunately, they had picked up breast cancer towards the end of her treatment. So once she had been fixed for the first cancer, she was straight back into chemo and radio again. WHAT THE HELL!? This is the cruelest, meanest, horrible world. Why do these things happen? Its just not fair.. and always to people who definitely do NOT deserve it.. I guess it strikes the strongest of people. People who deserve the chance to live their lives to the fullest and be happy forever. That about all I can cull it down to.

It was about this time that I realised I had forgotten to get my full blood test two hours prior seeing my oncologist! SHIT! I had never forgotten!? What the hell is wrong with me. I have been so blasé (<— is that even the right word to use?) about things lately. It probably comes across that I am dumb or uninterested in conversations or just forgetful? Maybe its my foggy chemo brain still there or my tired head trying to keep up with daily routines. This isn’t the normal me! But anyway, I had forgotten to have my bloods so I had to go urgently have them done before I had chemo which was scheduled for 3:30 after seeing my oncologist.

First question my oncologist asked (same first question as 3 weeks ago) was ‘so I am guessing you have got your period back now?!’ Nope…. Not even a sign of it returning. I am kind of scared I am going to be stuck in pre-menopause for the rest of my life. This isn’t fair. Who would of ever thought I would be WISHING for my period to come! Its one of those things girls despise having. Well on the up side, I am glad I had IVF or I would be pretty freaked out at this point of time. So I am now referred to go to some Menopause Clinic for some options. Either drugs to help my bad side effects or promote my period to come back or something. Who knows. The bills are pouring in still, even higher than they were before as Radiotherapy costs are huge. More specialists just means more money and more complications. Lets hope something good comes out of it!

After that appointment next was my 30 min session of chemo. I got there at 3:30 on the dot but I had to wait till 5:15 before I was called through! Apparently they had a chemo drug leak/spill ofcourse it took a long time to clear the area because the drugs are insanely toxic. I’d say every staff member would of been involved in helping clean it up. Adam met me in there and I was done just before 6:30. Such a long afternoon of hospital crap. Luckily all the staff are so nice everywhere I go, so it helps make my stay not so nasty.

Here is a photo of me from chemo today showing my fantastic hair growth…….. 🙂

YAY!
WOO!
Jus Chillin'

When I got home this evening I had a look at my chest and noticed my redness had pretty much doubled since yesterday and was even itchy with a couple of tiny blisters. Oh dear! I filled up the bath with luke warm water and submerged myself in some ‘Flare-Up Oil’ which QV make. It really worked, the redness died down a bit and was less irritated. I think I will have to do this a couple of times a week as I still have another two and a half weeks ontop of now to go. 😦

I have also noticed that I haven’t been getting up in the middle of the night to wee so much lately, I think this must mean my kidneys now have less pressure on them post chemo which is awesome. Its so annoying waking up with a full bladder several times early in the morning!

Tonight I emailed one of my old lecturers from TAFE. She was someone I always bonded very well with. I was told by a fellow student around early august 2010 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was so devastated, I can clearly remember talking about how horrible the news was. Funnily enough I ended up being diagnosed a couple of weeks after. I have been wanting to chat to her or go visit her and I did actually call up TAFE last year seeing if she was around or where she was to contact and all the lady could tell me was to try her old email. I didn’t really feel right emailing her at that time and tonight I thought of her and decided it was time. I hope to hear back from her and maybe we can catch up for coffee and chat.

I almost forgot, I went to the dentist on wednesday. Throughout chemo I was told to take extra care of my mouth. Its prone to infections, bad ulcers, the oral thrush which I had a few times, gum problems etc. I had to wash my mouth with salt water every time I ate something, I wasn’t allowed to floss nor could I use any mouthwashes that contained alcohol. (which is most..) I was pretty scared to go to the dentist to be honest because post chemo can cause big problems. Thankfully, my mouth was in good condition and same with my teeth! The lady was saying I was very lucky as lots of people end up with gum disease and gum pockets or something which are not good. My mouth was so sore after she gave me a good clean up as my gums were still extremely sensitive and she kept over flossing/poking metal things inside my poor mouth. Next up is re-doing a filling net week, then all four wisdom teeth out. I can remember the last time I went to the dentist round abouts July last year when I was having problems with carpel tunnel and trigger thumb (which is now playing up again and I need surgery on my thumb…) they said to me ‘you need these wisdom teeth out very soon, but your thumb is priority right now so as soon as thats fixed we will take them all out!’

Too bad after my thumb, I got cancer. Sorry teeth – I promise you will be free soon!

Back to square ONE!

Burnies

This week has been tiring and busy. I am getting more and more tired by the day. I got up at 10am today after a big day/night on monday, ate a bit of breakfast and ended up asleep on the couch not long after. This afternoon at treatment I think I felt the radiation beam going through my chest wall. It was a sharp quick sting a the start of it but it never happened again, maybe it was just my scar having a stabbing pain from healing. It does still do that time to time..

I shocked the radiologists today as I rocked up to my appointment wearing a wig for the first time to radiotherapy. No one recognised me it was pretty funny. Also when I was taken through to the second waiting room area in my gown, I grabbed the front of the wig and was pulling it vigorously back and forth, on and off my scalp to scratch my head. It was insanely itchy! No one could see me and I was glad or they would of been freaking out.. Until another patient walked out of the treatment room… I immediately stopped and was thinking ‘oh shit, how embarrassing’ as I am used to being cautious in public when I am adjusting my wig, and she also stopped walking, looked and me and giggled saying ‘HAHAHA! Don’t worry! I do the exact same thing! Aren’t they just SO itchy?!’ As she said this, she pulled off a short haired wig. It was hilarious and I just laughed back and said ‘I know right, for a minute then I was thinking I had revealed my secret’.

Everyone is so comforting when it comes to patients vs. patients/specialists vs patients. I am glad I am surrounded by people in similar situations at some stage every day as it helps me get through the day knowing I am not alone.

Here is a screen shot I just took fresh from getting out of the shower tonight. Its a little bit more red in real life than the image but you can get the idea of how its going. Tomorrow I will be half way through radiation!

Burning Chest Wall

Yesterday my GP gave me some prescriptions for a few different drugs that should aid me in getting back to normal. She did try to put me on some anti-depressants to help some emotions and menopause side effects as mine are bad ones. Some A-D’s can apparently lower your blood pressure, which is what you want if you are having bad hot flushes. I already have low blood pressure normally and was already a bit iffy on the subject. I also wasn’t very interested in taking anti-depressants and asked which one she was thinking of.. Venlafaxine AKA Effexor. I continued with ‘no, I refuse to take that’. Due to some experiences a couple of friends have told me they have had to that particular drug. She agreed and said its true – some of the side effects to coming off the drug are terrible. I don’t want any more troubles/problems than I already have to deal with thats for sure!

I also got some (I don’t really want to write the name of this cream as it sounds discusting!) ‘cream’ which helps with estrogen levels – not sure if I will take that one. Then finally I got some Diazepam AKA Valium. I am having the most restful sleeps due to muscle pains. These pains occur 24/7 but its so annoying to wake up 12-15 times a night being ‘hot’ then ‘cold’ from massive night sweats due to menopause, then lay there in pains in my legs and back having trouble to get back to sleep. EVERY time. Hopefully I can soon get some proper ZzzZzz’s and not wake up feeling like shit every morning.

Sorry to leave you all on a sad note, but..Today I heard some terrible news through an old friend. I am not going to mention any names or anything but it involves cancer and this friend’s father has been given a time span of months to live. I saw this person not long ago and its crazy to think what path life chooses for you. It made me think really hard about how important each persons life really is and you should live each day as its your last. I wish to pass on my deepest  love, strength and courage for the family.

Night all. I shall have more news tomorrow.

xo

Burnies