Monday, July 27, 2015

These last few days have been so...normal.

When I was diagnosed I was so sad to lose my normal. That was one of the hardest parts, adjusting to this new life that I didn't ask for and didn't want (still don't). I wouldn't say I didn't appreciate the normal, but I did not realize how much I would seriously miss it.

It has been such a treat this past few weeks to feel normal. Minus the whole hair thing, I feel pretty much like myself. I am eating, not getting tired as easily, and just really feel good. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever feel normal again, and I am glad to know I will. I will have a new normal once this is all over, but I won't be completely starting from scratch.

I went back to my summer nannying job last week. This is my fourth summer with these kids and one of my favorite parts of summer. I am so glad to get to spend some of my days this next month with these kids! It felt so normal to wake up, get ready (which actually takes much less time now so yay for more sleep!), and head to their house.

I moved out of my apartment this last Sunday. It would have been hard under the best circumstances (we had some good times there!), but the current circumstances made it slightly harder. I remember moving in like it was yesterday and I never expected (who would?) for it to end the way it did. It made me really miss school and being on my own. I know there are more good times ahead and I will be super happy to go back and visit the apartment and my friends who live there!

I am really trying to embrace this time of feeling good before everything starts back up. I am trying my best not to think about what lies ahead or even anything to do with cancer. It is so easy to fall back into how things were before, so I am also trying to balance it out so I am not redevasted when things start back up. I can't believe I so crave what I was lucky to have for 20 years and 2 months. I just want my normal day to day back. I am tired of hospitals and doctors appointments. I am sick of feeling tired and nauseous. This break has been great, but also makes me want the final end of all this. I cannot wait to finally be DONE with everything. The ever popular saying "you don't know what you've got till it is gone" is so true (and to anyone who started singing A Little Bit Longer by the Jonas Brothers in your heads I apologize).

All this to say, I cannot promise to never complain about normal everyday things again. One night last week, the printer would not print what I needed it to and I was in a rush. I got really frustrated (not a proud moment). During those times in my old life, I would tell myself that if this is my biggest problem, I am lucky. I still consider myself lucky, but it was weird to think the printer not working is not my biggest problem. I am not sure if this will make sense to anyone but me, but I hope you understand what I am saying! Anyway, I still flip out about the printer not working and I know I will definitely complain about schoolwork and daily activities again. I have a new perspective and appreciation for the ordinary for sure, but I am still human :). I hope anyone who reads this won't feel bad about complaining their problems, just try to have some added perspective after you get the frustrations out!

I have been keeping busy and it feels good! I actually started this post last week, but have hardly had a chance to sit at the computer and finish it since then! I like to be busy though and am thankful I feel well enough to be. I have seen lots of movies (Trainwreck may just be my new all time favorite movie ever...I've seen it twice already). My appetite has come back in full force as in I eat a corn dog (my new craving) before I eat dinner. It feels so good to eat! I went out to eat one day last week with some friends and nearly cleared my plate! I've done my usual errands and am helping to restore my personal spot in the economy one shirt at a time. When I am not out on errands, I am usually cuddling with my beloved Stanley. He is still not completely housebroken (which is an issue), but he is still adorable so he makes up for it!

There's nothing too exciting to update on, which is actually nice for a change! I have a dentist appointment tomorrow to deal with some sensitivity issues I have been having, but other than that there is nothing medical going on. It is definitely a nice break! I'm still trying to convince my mom we need to go see One Direction next week (!)...I did manage to find front row seats so if anyone would like to loan me 1200 dollars I could go :).

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer...I cannot believe how fast it is has gone and I can't talk about it...right now anyway. I am already planning a post about how much I don't want my friends to go back to school.

Thanks for all the continued love and support! I promise to keep this place updated, but if you don't hear from me till surgery just assume all is well and I am keeping busy!

I'll leave you with some pictures!
Stanley's first trip to Petsmart! 

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Overdo Update!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I promise I have not forgotten about this space! Sometimes it is much easier and faster to post a quick update on Facebook, so if you are not friends with me there feel free to add me!

There is lots to update on! 

I finished my second complete round of chemo 2 weeks ago! Last week was the first week in three weeks that I wasn't in the hospital. To say it was nice would be a huge understatement! 

Last Thursday I had an ECHO (I will have one every three months throughout the course of treatment) just to check and make sure things are still good. The guy who did the exam said everything looked normal which is excellent news. Originally he had told me any issues they see with these chemo drugs usually go away once treatment stops, but still normal is good! 

Yesterday I had another MRI and chest CT scan. I did not sleep well the night before. I recently saw the term "scanixety" and I think that accurately describes the situation. I was so nervous to meet with my doctor today. I have no reason to think things are not going well, but the unknown is absolutely terrifying. I try to not "go there" in my head, but sometimes I can't help it!

Luckily, today I had a great meeting with Dr. P, the orthopedic surgeon. He said my MRI looked "fabulous" (his word!), so that was excellent to hear! He said the mass has cleaner edges now and that the middle looked to be dead tissue. We won't know how much of it is dead until after the pathology from surgery comes back. They (whoever "they" are) have standards for how dead it needs to be by this point. Assuming it comes back as dead as they want it, I will continue on the same regime I have been on. If it does not come back as dead as they want, they will do some testing with the tumor and figure out what needs to be done. Let's just hope the pathology comes back good so we don't even have to go there!

I scheduled my surgery for August 18. I am kind of nervous, just because I have never had any kind of surgery (besides mouth) surgery before. Dr. P made it seem like it was kind of minor (in the realm of surgery) so it made me feel better. They will take out the mass and the affected part of the bone. It will either be replaced with a cadaver type thing (which he called something with an A, but the word is escaping me) or with a metal piece. The cadaver thing has a rougher recovery, but once it is done it is done. The metal piece would require me to have a little surgery every 15 years to check and make sure the piece is okay. Other than that, one is not really better than the other. They said it is two days in the hospital, three days max. I was really scared I was going to be immobile for a time, but he said I should be up walking the next day. I am sure it will be painful, but I am glad to hear stairs won't be an issue! He said I may walk funny until I adjust, but that seems so small in the scheme of things! I am glad this is schedule and look forward to getting this big step out of the way!

In the meantime, I don't have anything medical going on! I get a little break, which is much appreciated! I was beginning to seriously crave some normalcy, so as much as I want all this to be over, I needed a break mentally (and probably physically too!). I think we are going to go to the beach for a few days and my mom is convinced to put some weight back on me. I am just really thankful to feel good and be able to eat! No mouth sores or nausea woo! I am also trying to convince my mom we need to go see One Direction at Metlife in Jersey in early August. I didn't buy tickets originally and good seats are going for almost $400 each so it may take a bit more convincing (or if anyone has any connections and can hook a girl up....kidding.....kinda :) ).  It is nice to be able to plan ahead for once!

If you are Facebook friends with me then you have already met Stanley. In case you aren't, I wore my parents down and we got another dog at the end of June. I ADORE Oreo (our first dog), but he is not cuddly. He used to sleep with me, but now we think my bed is too high for him to jump on. I had been really wanting a cuddly dog for those times when I am stuck in bed. Well, the first week of my methotrexate this last round did not go smoothly. They kept telling me I was going to go home and then I wouldn't. It was terrible and I ended up getting stuck in the hospital till Friday. Not to mention it was the week after the whole ICU thing, so I think my parents felt especially weak :). Anyway, while stuck in the hospital, I kept looking up dogs at the humane society. I came across Stanley's picture and immediately knew we had to go get him. Luckily everyone agreed that he was adorable and needed to come live with us. That Friday (the 26...we will forever remember because it was also the day gay marriage was legalized!), I was released from the hospital early afternoon and by late afternoon, we were at the shelter bringing home Stanley!

He is the CUTEST dog. I am completely obsessed with him. I have become that crazy dog lady that wants to post a picture everyday. I discovered his doesn't mind wearing shirts (as long as they don't have sleeves) so he is gaining quite a wardrobe. He is part Chihuahua and part Dachshund. He is the most cuddly thing and absolutely adores people. Unfortunately, he was not housebroken (the poor thing was totally clueless), but we have been working with him and he is slowly getting there! Oreo tolerates him much better than we expected, but they do fight like brothers over toys. Vanilla (our cat) hates him. He chases her around and barks at her. We think because they are similar sizes, he just wants to play. I could spend the whole day just watching him...he is very funny! He is a good boy and I am so thankful we found him!

Unfortunately, we had to put our other cat, Scamper, down. We got him when I was 6, so he was my very first pet. He was a big, sometimes mean cat but I miss him more than I thought! I cannot remember what it was like for him to not be around, so it has been weird. He became sick very quickly, and it was easy to see that the end was the end. We had complete peace about the decision, but it does not make it any easier!

I was able to finish up my online french class in June. I don't typically like to say stuff like this, but I was really proud of myself for finishing. June was an eventful month for me health wise, and considering I spent 3 of those weeks in the hospital (and 1 of them in the ICU), I was very proud to finish. I did have to pull the "cancer card" one time. The first night I got methotrexate, I got very nauseous so they knocked me out and I was not able to finish the work by midnight. I got the doctors to write me a note, and thankfully the professor was extremely understanding and allowed me to make it up. I finished the course with a B, so I am happy! I probably could have gotten an A under normal circumstances, but I really just wanted to get the credit for the course (which I know is awful hah) so I am good! I will be taking another class online this fall, and I now have the confidence I can do it!

So overall things are pretty good! I started to feel really good this past week, and I think being able to eat is a major factor. My eyebrows and eyelashes have gotten pretty thin, but I am hoping they may fill in a bit before I start chemo back up (probably the beginning of September). I am just really going to embrace feeling good and having a little bit of "normal" back for a bit!

Thanks again for all the continued love, support, and prayers! I promise I really am going to do better about updating here, if for no other reason than I do feel better after I write. 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and has a great weekend! I will leave you with a few (I promise...just a few!) pictures of Stanley!

“It was unrealistic to expect to be constantly in the happiest place. In real life, you're lucky just to be always somewhere nearby.” 
― Sarah DessenSaint Anything