It has been awhile since I have last posted anything. Our life has been a bit CRAZY!! Which has been nice, I had something else to focus on other then "ME". Back in August I took Bennett in for his wellness check up and the doctor noticed something in his left eye. From there we went to see a optamologist. Bennett has developed a cataract.I am gald it wasn't too serious and it can be corrected. Serious what 10 month old has a cataract??? I thought just old people get these. So we made a few trips to see doctors in Salt Lake City and to get the surgery scheduled. He went in for surgery on Sept 29th, had the cataract removed and had a lense implanted. He did amazing! Which I am so thankful for. He will be getting glasses in the next month or two.
I can finally see the light at the end of tunnel. I can't belive it's coming up soon NUMBER 6! Seriuos it have been 4 almost 5 months that I have started chemo. I can't belive it. I thought the end was never going to be in sight. But it's here!!! I just got treatment #5 last Thursday. Sept 23rd, can you come any quicker???
I can't believe it has been over a month since I have blogged. Life for us has been a bit crazy. I had my #4 treatment on August 12. Number 4,5, and 6 chemo has changed so I really didn't know what I was up against. BOY! it was a lot different than the first three. I was a perfectly fine for two days, than it hit me. I was extremely tired and my body ached. I felt as though I was coming down with the flu. I just felt horrible. This lasted for almost a week. My white blood count was low, so that really explained was I was feeling off. I am glad that one is over.
This is how I have been feeling the last couple of Weeks. I have been going stir CRAZY. It seems as though we haven't done anything and it's been driving me nuts. The weather is too HOT and to be honest I haven't been feeling that great to take them out anywhere all by myself. I feel like July has just passed me by and I love July. It has always been one of my favorite months, because of the holidays. This July has been the pits. I have been sort of depressed, lately. I wonder if Chemo has this side effect??? I will have to ask the doc, next time I'm in. My mind is constantly on my next treatments, how many more, how many more weeks, I wish September 23rd would come quick, my hair(lack of), if I look stupid in my wig, to people notice it's a wig, my surgery, when to have surgery, how long is recovery, how will I look....really the list of questions goes on. I can't stand it anymore. I need this to be all over and I wish it would come fast!!!! I want my life back!!! I want to be feel normal, again. Will I ever feel normal??? I needed to take a break and focus on something different. Brett and I decided that I needed to go up north and visit family. I packed up the kid on Tuesday and headed out. I have been here for 24 hours and I am feeling so much better. My family has kept me busy. It's been so nice and realaxing. The kids have swam, played with cousins, watched movies, manicures, pedicures, been shopping, trips in the car, ice cream, diet coke runs,, hot dogs, junk food, visits from Karissa and Chaddy, and jumping on the tramp. Next on the lsit Cascade Springs. This has been a much needed break! Although I still worry about my hair and cancer, I have joked and laughed about it with my family. I miss Brett, but we're having FUN!!!
What cancer cannot do Cancer is so limited... It cannot cripple Love It cannot shatter Hope It cannot corrode Faith It cannnot destroy Peace It cannot kill friendship It cannot suppress Memories It cannot silence Courage It cannot invade the Soul It cannot conquer the Spirit.
Can I just tell you how yesterday felt????? It really was wonderful! My friend, Liz, and I took the kids to the pool. Went to Cafe Rio for lunch. Than headed over to the Library to check out some books and movies. I felt like a normal person. I didn't think twice about the scarf on my head and my baldness underneath, maybe because I am getting use to it. We didn't talk cancer (I don't mind talking about it, it just never came up in conversation) and for a few hours I had forgotten that I had it. The day didn't end there. Brett got home from work and we head to the lake with my niece, Karissa, her boyfriend, and the kids. We tubed, wake boarded, and let the kids play on the beach. It was a fun filled day. I need more days like this.
Hmmmm....#2 I really was expecting it to be a lot worse than #1. It's been about the same. I threw-up a few more times than last, but that was just the one night that I got home. I took my sleeping pills and slept the whole night. I woke up feeling pretty good and went out to run some errands. I really can't complain too much about this treatment. I still feel tried, but I'll take that over the throwing-up. My dad and Step mom, Paulette, came down to take and stay with me during this treatment. When I walked into the infusion room, my good buddy Mercedes was there in all her glory with a big smile on her face with excitement that she was there once again. Only because they told her in the beginning that she wouldn't be able to be treated with chemo and gave her 6 months to 1 year to live. She is stage 4 lung cancer, but after her PET Scan Dr Te decide that chemo would work for her. She actually told me that she had another PET scan and her tumor was shrinking. That was exciting news to hear and I am so happy for her. She noticed that I was wearing a scarf and she said, "I was wondering if you would lose you hair." She has also has lost her hair. She really makes it enjoyable being there with her and it makes the time go by fast. I did get a compliment from an old man across the room that looked very sick. he has colon cancer and is not in his liver. He didn't want to talk much and and told me he wasn't havig a good day. He did say he admired my scarf and earings. Hey I'll take a compliment whenever I can get one. Paulette sat and talked with us and my dad took full advantage of the nice leather recliners chairs and laid back and took a nap. Not to mention that he snores. The nurse, Shelia, who I was just started to get to know and like a lot informed me that she is going part-time and would not be working on the days I have treatment...bummer. Paulette is here making a ton of freezer meals that If I feel tired or sick one day I would not have to cook. She also has done all my laundry and cleaned. It's nice to have someone to take care of you every once in a while. I really appreciate it. The kids are doing pretty good. I really don't think they have been effected by my cancer. We have tried to keep things as normal as we possible can for them. Except for all the visitors, but I think they don't mind them coming. Brighton is doing ok, all he wants to do is play sports. Brinlee still wants me to show the world my bald head. Bennett just turned 8 months this week and is still as happy as ever.
I finally did it... the part I had been dreading for almost three months now. Sunday morning, I was trying to get ready for church and there was nothing I could do with my hair. By than it was dry, dead and thin hair. I was getting tried of holding on to it. I knew I wasn't going to make it till Thursday. Brett had been so helpful each day brushing my hair lightly so I could pull it back into a pony tail. I think by than Brett was tried of seeing me struggle with my hair for the past few days. But trying to be a good husband and not saying anything until I was ready to make the decsion. I was gettin pretty tried of the hair all over the bathroom foor and all over our house. That's when I made up my mind that after church was going to be the time. And besides I had a bunch of cute hats, wigs,and scarves that needed to be worn. I asked my good friend, Julie, if she wouldn't mind coming over to shave my hair. It soon became a "Hair Shaving Party" with the group of my good friends and Sunday treats. It was pretty scary, in fact it might be one of the scariest/bravest things I have done in my life so far. After it was over, I didn't want to look in a mirror. I was afraid what I looked like. Even though, all of my friends told me that I looked really good and I had a beautiful head. It took me a few minutes to look at myself. It was a little frightening at first, but I looked at myself again and I didn't think I looked that all that bad. A few of my friends stayed a few more hours and we chatted, I completley forgot about my hair, well lact of. I still felt like me. My hair had changed, but I haven't. Brinlee thinks I look like her dad and Brighton thinks it's cool, but kind of weird. I asked Brett what he thought about his bald wife and he said , "your still you and your hair doesn't define you." I do have to say that I am so happy I finally let go of it. It was a big hurdle that I had to jump over, I did it, and I a feel so relieved.
I have to admit that since my hair starting falling out, I have been afraid to wash it. I have been trying to hold on to it for as long as I can. It's been since Monday. I know totally gross, right? But I usually go three days without washing it, anyway. So really whats two more than that???? And according to my friend, Dana, it doesn't look bad or greasy. Must be the Chemo or shes lying. I have also been keeping it in pig tails and a pony tail. It keeps me from pulling at it. Well tonight I finally had to wash it. We decided to go boating with our friends and I had been dying to wakeboard. After being in the lake all evening I needed to take the plunge and wash it. All I have to say is good thing I haven't been washing my hair frequently, because a lot came out. I wish I would have taken a picture. I am not sure how many more days I can hold on to my hair, but I really want to make it until my next treatment on Thursday.
Most of you are probably wondering if I am bald, yet. Well, the answer is NO! But my hair has started to fall out. This past Monday is when I really starting noticing that it just wasn't loose hair falling out, it's the real thing. I would probably say on Monday there was about 20-30 piece that I could pull out from just running my fingers through my hair. It has gotten worse each day. Already this moring I would guess about over 100 pieces have come out. If you saw me you wouldn't noticed that I have lost hair. It's thinning, but I have really thick hair. Watching my hair fall out is really scary, because I know what the next step is going to be....bald. I honestly think when the moment comes and I need to shave my head reality is really going to hit me. I am freaked out! I have to keep telling myself that this is just temporary. And I am one lucky GIRL. It could have been a lot worse. I am blessed that I have such amazing family and friends that are around me and will do anything to help. Just knowing that makes this journey a little easier. If I didn't have them I think my attitude would not be the same. I am blessed to have the gospel in my life and to know that I companion every second of the day. Just knowing that I can get on my knees and pray or just talking my heavenly father is the greatest thing.
I had my last appointment with Dr Wintch, my surgeon, this week. I will go back and see him after chemo to discuss more surgery. I'll post about that later. I said to Dr. Wintch, sorry that we had to meet under this condition. Dr. Wintch, said to me "Sara the Lord has a plan for you and you are going to learn something amazing and you have a positive attuide and people are you going learn from you, too." He than said, "you have a beautiful spirit." It's thougths like this that keep me smiling. Here is Dr. Wintch and me
I made it back form up North. I had a fun filled week, my sister, Melissa,seemed to have something planned each day to keep us busy. I got so see a childhood, Kerry, and highschool firend,Melisa. I was fun talking about old memories. It was also nice to catch up. It has been awhile since I had seem both of them. Brett came Firday afternoon to pick me and the kids up and drove to Kaysville to see his sister, Vicki's family. It was a nice realaxing weekend. I think it was good for Brett to be able to see his family, too. It was all fun and a nice distraction from reality, but it's nice coming home.
The Kids went GeoCaching. We had never gone, but it was a lot of fun, especailly for them. This picture is near one of the hiding sites. I like to call them treasures
I decided that I needed to get away for a few days. I thought that going to spend time with my family up north would be a little therapeutic. My sister, Melissa, was leaving on Sunday from my house. So I decided to drive up with her. Brett will come up on Friday and spend the weekend with me and the kids. So far it has been nice just relaxing and hanging out. It's also been nice having lots of help with the kids. Bennett woke up early this morning and dad came into the room and took care of him while he let me sleep a little longer. Brighton and Brinlee wanted to spend the night with their cousins. Oh my poor sister...after getting home late and being tried. Brinlee peed the bed early in the morning. Brighton waking up at 5:30am telling her it was time to get up. I think he was a little to excited to play with his cousins. Today, Melissa and her family went to Lagoon today and took Brigthton and Brinlee to my sister-in-law, Vicki, house who lives near Lagoon for the entire day. My dad and Paulette (step-mom)and myself went shopping and out to lunch. Bennett slept while we out shopping. My dad offered to stay in the car with him so we didn't have to bother waking him. It's been a nice time so far. I am feeling OK. I am not going to say good or great, because that would be lying. Like my DR said NO LYING!!!I have this stupid headache that comes and goes. I am not sure if it's sinus or chemo. My guess is chemo. I guess it could possible be lack of diet coke...lol. My symptoms with treatment #1 have been a bit of nausea (I threw up once) very tired and my headache. Oh... and how could I possible forget, my sister shoving water down my throat. Over all it hasn't been too bad. But I do know it will get worse with each treatment. I am just counting down the days until my hair starts falling out. 10 more days. I have a lot of cute scarves and hats so I am ready BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can honestly say that Treatment number one was not that bad. Although I heard it gets worse the more treatments you get. I had a little orientation before the big stick. The nurse went over a all the side effects I would possible have. Which are the following:
-Nausea, happened already -Loss of Hair (around day 14) 90 percent chance this will happen. I am still hoping for that 10 percent. Keep you finger crossed. -Severe dry skin -Sensitive to the Sun, although I can still go boating with sunscreen and a big hat. -Brown Veins, (serious) -Automatic Tan hoping for an all over tan not just blotches. -Dry Mouth, if I have bad breath, PLEASE tell me. -All foods and drinks will taste like rusty nails, this is already starting to happen. -Dehydration -Sores on my mouth nose and lips. Do gross out if this happens to me. -And of course, possible death... Whatever!!!
Like I said before these are POSSIBLE side effect
The type of chemotherapy I am currently on is called Fluoronracil, but the nurse and doctors and now myself like to call in the BIG 5FU emphasis on the FU whenever you want. I had on option to stay in my own private room or go to the infusion room with all the other chemo patients. Of course I choose the infusion room. I never miss an opportunity to met new people. So I walked in and there sat two old women late 70's and one older man in his late 60's. And from what else I noticed all the was coming for the office was older people. But it's okay, because I have always loved old people.
I have a new BFF...Merdcedes! She totally ROCKS! In the beginning of my treatment, and hers, she was sitting in her "usual" chair at the other end of the room. Eventually, she moved down to my side of the room, where the PARTY was going on! I found out that she actually lives around my neighborhood. We are instantly bonded! She told lots of funny stories that kept my sister and I entertained! Thanks to my bff, Mercedes, the treatment wasn't so bad. We giggled and laughed the whole time.
Mercedes was HONESTLY the only one in the "club" that was so happy to have Chemo...She was told that she wasn't a candidate for chemo, she has lung cancer and was told that she had 6 months to a year to live. For whatever reason, she was given the option to try chemo and she is so excited! Now I realize that Chemo isn't always such a bad thing.
My sister Melissa came down from Heber to help me through my first treatment. There is no way I could have handled this all by myself. Brett is a fabulous husband but, someones has to go to work to pay for all the Dr bills.
Later in the day, my other sister Mary and her family stopped by on their way back from Vegas. I was feeling so good. We had some errands to run, so we turned my day number one of chemo into a girls day out. We did a little shopping, We all agree, even Brett, that after every TREATment, I get to TREAT myself to a new outfit! After our shopping trip, I realized I had better take it a little slower. I was starting to get a headache and nausea! We headed for home.
When my sisters and I arrived home, Brighton, my 7 year old, saw me and asked, "Where were you?" I told him I was getting my medicine. He said, "Why do you still have hair?" This is coming from the little boy that can't wait to change my hairdo on my Mii on the Wii to bald! Oh goodness.
I finally got my port "installed," yesterday. It hurts more than I thought. A port is bascially a small appliance, about the size of a quater, that is placed under the skin. The catheter,a small tube, is what connects the port to the vein. This is how I will be getting my chemo treatments and blood drawn.
My dang cute freinds threw me a "Pink Party." It was alot of fun. I got some really cute hats and scarves. Good books to read, lotions and journals. Just alot of fun stuff. It was a good night of great conversation and laughs. Thanks to all that came. I appreicate your support. It really means alot to me.
I feel like I have no control. Is this how it's going to be??? Not necessary the cancer, but all stuff that leads up to the chemo treatment. All the tests, lab work, and getting this port placed. It's all on their schedule. Even when I went it to get my PET scan done. Serious what a joke. I had it scheduled three different time. The first one was denied by my insurance. You have to be on the all protein and no sugar diet 24 hours before the test. So the day before my test I got a call for the doctors office saying the the scan was denied. I felt a little reliefed that I didn't have to get it done and also to eat. And yes, I totally ate three pieces of pizza that night. So the next week the doctor's office called and said we got the PET Scan approved. Dr. Wintch called and gave the insurance company he's two cents. Apparently it worked. By they way, did I mention how much I love Dr. Wintch. He is an amazing doctor. Everyone around town says, "You have the best" and I truly fell like I do. I appreciate him calling me in the evening to tell me about results. Calling me on a Saturday and asking if I would like to come in and talk a little more about surgery. He loves what he does and cares for his patients. Anyway, the PET Scan was approved and of course they scheduled it on my birthday. Awesome birthday gift, right? So here I go again starting my diet the day before and mentally preparing myself. I show up in the morning at the hospital and of course I don't have the work order form from the doctor. Why do I not have the form???? because I wasn't given one. So I call Dr. Wintch and he happened to be at the hospital. He comes down to give them the go ahead and they start taking about the scan and that they had me scheduled for a full body bone scan. Dr. Wintch turned to me and said, "are you seeing any other doctors besides? Because I am pretty sure this is not what I ordered." So.....no scan today they told me. I was pretty excited. I didn't want to do this today. Instead of the scan Brett took me out to breakfast and we went shopping. Third times a charm, right? I got the scan scheduled again and it actually happened. What a weird experience that was. The nurse injects you with radioactive medicine and you sit in a dark room by yourself for an hour. They ask that you not bring any thing to entertain you. Your mind must be relaxed. So as i sat there, a lot went through my mind. I think I said about a thousand prayers. I was nervous about what else they could possibly find. Well Dr. Wintch called me that night and everything looked good. I was so relieved.
I am starting this new blog for friends and family, so they can follow my "new" journey in life. Where do I begin......April 21st. April 21st is a day I will never forget and I hope I will never go through another day like that again. That was the day the I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. When Dr. Wintch said the tumor was cancer. I guess I didn't quite understand what he was telling me. It wasn't until his medical assistant came into the room and started talking about surgery,chemo and radiation. There was no way they were talking about me. Dr. Wintch asked me to follow his medical assistant to her office so that she could schedule my surgery. As she started making phone calls, I remember her talking on the phone to the IHC Cancer Care Coodinator and said, "We have a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient." At that moment I knew she was talking about me. I was in complete shock! There is no way this could be happening to me. I am young, I have young kids, and I just had a baby 6 months ago. I scheduled my surgery that following Tuesday. They night before surgery I was given a blessing. I felt very calm and knew that everything was going to be OK and I would pull through this. That morning I went into surgery not knowing what they were going to find. Also I was aware that I could possibly have a mastectomy. As I came out of surgery I laid in the recovery room I didn't ask any questions to the nurse about what happened during surgery. I just wasn't ready to hear the news. As the nurses rolled me down the hall I saw Brett he had the biggest smile on his face. At that point I knew the surgery was successful. Dr. Wintch removed my tumor and the surrounding tissue. Seven lymph nodes were removed and tested which all come back negative for cancer. I knew that the Lord had answered my prayers and I know that's way I felt so calm and at peace. I have a great support system and I am thankful for the good friends that I have. They have taken my kids at the drop of a hat and have done so much for me. When I first found out that I had cancer, my family and friends made sure that I wasn't alone. They each day their "shift" to be with me. Thank you again.