Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hair is way overrated

After being apprehensive every time I washed my hair, Thursday is the day it decided to start falling out. We aren't talking a few hairs here and there, we are talking clumps of hair in my hand as I shampooed. Sam and I had already talked about me shaving my head when this happened and him cutting his hair into a mohawk. Now those of you who know him, know he doesn't do his hair; for the 9 years we have been together he has gotten one real haircut, at a barber shop...for our wedding. So him doing his hair every morning is pretty remarkable.

Thursday night when Sam got home from karate, he buzzed my hair, then I buzzed his. In the morning when Ellie saw us her response was laughter and "your hair is so silly mama, just like daddy's is"

Friday morning I searched YouTube for ways to tie a scarf and found a great website with 50 ways to tie a scarf :) I will be rocking the headscarves since my wig makes my head hot in this weather. And I will post more pictures when my peach fuzz falls out (which it seems to be doing pretty rapidly)

Monday, January 20, 2014

On the Upswing

So it has been a while....
The first day after Chemo, Saturday, I felt tired but not too bad, I had to drink a ton of water and though wasn't feeling hungry, I made myself eat.
The second day, Sunday,  I was hit by the exhaustion train, I spent the whole day either sleeping or lounging on the couch. I had absolutely no energy.
The third and fourth days, Monday and Tuesday I slowly got energy back and was able to do little things around the house as long as I rested after each one.
By Wednesday I was able to do a bit more, and by Thursday a bit more, etc.
So today, ten days after chemo we went in to see the High Risk OB. He measured Baby S, who is measuring just fine! Baby S is 4lb 4oz, has plenty of amniotic fluid and is doing wonderfully. Last appointment we got to see baby gag him/herself and this time we got to see baby become completely shocked, eyes and mouth opened was really funny.
Surprised Baby!

So peaceful now :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Meg vs. Cancer- Round 2

Yesterday, 1/10/14, was my first round of Chemo, this involved 3 separate appointments with my entourage for the day, Sam, My Mom, My MIL...

Appt 1-8:30- Dr. Miller (onocologist)- So this appointment was basically a "Yep, you start chemo today and I need updated labs" So I went down to get blood drawn so that he could review my counts before I started Chemo.

Appt 2-9:00- Lea Mish (oncology nurse)- This appointment was to go over all the side effects of the three different drugs I would be injected with, how to try and prevent them and how to deal with them once I have them. The biggest risk seems to be mouth sores, so I have to brush after every meal and rinse with a special mouthwash (water, salt, and baking soda) to prevent them.

Appt 3- 10:00- Chemo Chair 14- This took up the bulk of the day. So first they had to wait for a few of my lab results to be back so we used that time to numb my port site so I wouldn't feel the needle go in.

Port Site
Lidocaine to numb the site
 After everything was mostly numb (I now have the Lidocaine so I can numb pre-appt next time) They inserted the IV and started me on a saline drip along with an anti-nausea medication for about 15 minutes to make sure I was good and hydrated and to prevent nausea, which is a big deal seeing as Baby S had me nauseated for the first 5-6 months.
IV all set
I had to decorate my room :)
First I got the dose of Adriamycin, this one looks like I am getting shots of Fruit Punch Kool Aid, it is bright red and pushed manually over the course of about 15 minutes, it made me pee a lovely pink color for a couple hours.
Next, I got the dose of Cytoxan, this was given through an IV drip over the course of an hour. The first two treatments were pretty uneventful, we chatted, read, played games on i-pads/phones, had lunch. I drank tons of water and made plenty of trips to the bathroom, thanks to Baby S. using my bladder as a trampoline.
Cytoxan treatment
Finally, I got my Taxotere treatment. This is the drug with the highest risk of allergic reaction, so about 20-30 minutes before the treatment they gave me a heavy duty dose of Benadryl which completely knocked me out. After the Benadryl kicked in, the gave me a test dose of the Taxotere to make sure everything would be OK, no issues, so they started me on the full dose. About 20 minutes in I flushed and started feeling hot and sweaty, so they stopped the drip, gave me more Benadryl and then we finished it up.
The effects of the Benadryl Pre-Taxotere
All done and ready to go home!
When I got home, I was wiped out!  A friend of mine came over so that Sam could go to karate, my in-laws took Ellie to a birthday party, so my friend and I watched "Singing in the Rain" and "State Fair" while I slept off and on, on the couch. Since I have to drink 120 oz of water for the next few days there was a lot of getting up for the restroom.
I slept until 8:00 this morning, and woke up feeling rested, but very pregnant! I am noticing that I get tired very easily and am super thirsty (which helps with the 120 oz).
I start my Neupogen shots today which will help my White Blood count stay up and help me stave off infections.
Thank you all once again for all the wonderful messages, texts and e-mails you sent yesterday!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Let It Go....

So a little while ago I I posted a link to the song "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen.  I have listened to it about 20 times today, singing it at the top of my lungs each time. Here are some of the lyrics that I have really connected with...
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seems small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all
So many things I used to worry about that I would let get to me, bother me, worry me, now seem so silly. Since being diagnosed, I've been able to step back and see just how small those things are. 
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I’m free
I noticed that as my Grandmother got older, she cared less and less about what people thought about her and the things she said. I think I've reached that point a little early. As you, my readers, know I don't hold much back when it comes to what is going on. I've heard so many people tell me they have had friends or family go through cancer and didn't know half of what they went through, because they didn't want to talk about it.  I'm a talker, it's how I process, how I digest information, so talking about my diagnosis, treatment, etc., might be considered to some a too much information, but at this stage my feeling is, if you don't want to know, don't read it. 
Let  it go, let  it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here  I stand  in the light of day
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway!
So I know no one is perfect, but at the same time we all have an ideal we try to live up to. When a wrench like this is thrown into your world you can either try to ignore it, let it ruin your ideal, or adapt your ideal to work with it. To me the first two are like trying to be perfect, I instead have had to adapt my ideal pregnancy (which wasn't that great since just like Ellie, Baby Sager made me nauseated for the first 6 months)...ideal time off of work...ideal time home with Ellie...I'm sure I could go on, my point being I've had to adjust it all. Let's face it, my three-year old won't remember that we didn't go to the park when I was home with her, but she will remember making play-dough and having lots of tea-parties with mommy, she'll remember helping "like a big girl" to let the dog out, stir her mac'n'cheese, clean up after her meal. Baby Sager won't remember that I couldn't breast feed.  

With all that tonight I am a tad nervous, once again because of the unknown. Tomorrow will be my first Chemo treatment and it makes me nervous that I don't know what to expect for the week after. It makes me more nervous that each round I could react differently so what happens this time may be different for rounds 2 and 3. But I do not have control, so I have to LET IT GO, and make the best of it.

P.S. I am so getting this shirt when all is said and done :)

Monday, January 6, 2014


So I got my genetics report back. I do not have the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation. However the geneticist finds it extremely odd I tested negative and have these three factors
  1) I have cancer at 33
  2) I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  3) My grandfather had breast and testicular cancer
So she is taking my case to present at a monthly review to see if there is any other genes that should be tested. At this point I will be having blood tests on a regular basis so what is another couple vials??

The crazy thing is that research in this field is moving remarkably quickly and in even a few short months there may be a new discovery of which genes can lead to a situation like mine.

Funny Stuff

So through this journey there have been several moments where I couldn't help but laugh

- You always hear about people who get limbs amputated experiencing phantom pains. Well about a week after surgery it felt like my left nipple was itchy even though it was gone...go figure.
- After my bandages came off so the steri-strips were showing, Ellie would ask to see my booboo, she would then proceed to tell me it was a "big booboo" and whine that it was scary. Inevitably an hour later she would want to see it again.  At about three weeks out she decided that it was silly so she would still laugh and then laugh hysterically after seeing the incision sight (still covered with steri-strips)
- About 4 days post surgery, Sam's grandparents came for a visit. It was about 80 degrees (that's December in SoCal) so it was really hot with the bandages, camisole and shirt on, plus I had the pillow in the camisole, so I was burning up! During the visit I reached in and took the pillow out and I guess Grandpa's face was just priceless :)
- Shaving a numb's just weird.

Something not so funny...laughing it hurts like please don't make me laugh...yet.