Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rantings of a Crazy Chemo Brain

Day 118 - Back in Bed. Happy that I got to visit a bit with my favorite stalkers
Taffi and Patty at HCJH today (and hug on Mr. Winger, aka. "Cookie").
Wait for it... Wait for it...
Day 119 - Oh the crazy stuff I come up with!
  • My hair has started growing back. It's crazy though, super-fine, blond (maybe grey) baby hair except for right down the middle of my head (it's darker and a bit stronger). Oh, and there are random hairs that are about a quarter of an inch longer than the others. This should be interesting!
  • So, if that hair is growing back that means...... DANG IT!! I had to shave my  pits today!!! First time in months!!! It was only a few, random hairs, but still!!! I was hoping that maybe my body would decide that hair in "certain areas" wasn't really necessary and concentrate all it's energy on the top of my head, my eyebrows and my eyelashes!! For some reason it's put quite a bit of energy into my chin!! Ugh!! Oh, and I only just noticed today that I have basically no hair on my forearms - didn't get to fully appreciate that! Although, I've been told that there is a chance that my hair could fall out again by the end of chemo.  What exactly am I hoping for here...?
  • HOT FLASHES SUCK!!! Enough said.
  • If I have to take naps, then EVERYONE should have to nap too!! That way I'm not missing out on anything! Come on people, naps are fun!!
  • I miss swimming.
  • You'd think that after 18 chemo sessions and at least that many labs, that I wouldn't still have panic attacks that I forget to put my lidocaine cream on my alien port to numb it before they poke me. NOPE!
  • I want chicken.
  • Where'd my pinkie toenail go?

In Bed Again

The Faces do Chemo: Day 117 - Lunner (lunch/dinner) in Bed


Day 116 - Got all artsy-fartsy with Christine Rose Elle at the Bra-Vo Art Bra Workshop!
Today I went to a Bra-Vo Art Bra Workshop.  It's a workshop where breast cancer survivors and champions get together to share their stories trough creating beautiful works of art with bras. The bras will be on display in various locations throughout Uptown Whittier during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) to increase breast cancer awareness and support the PIH Health Patricia L. Scheifly Breast Health Center.

My bra was inspired by this photo Christine had taken of me and by Isaiah 40:31,
"but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.".

"With Brave Wings She Flies"
On October 5th, there will be the Bra-Vo Art Walk and reception. Sounds like it will be a great afternoon, so save the date!! For more info go to: http://pihhealth.org/bravo.

Chemo Buddy...

The Faces of Chemo: Day 113 - Chemo #9 with my Chemo Buddy Terry!!

Day 114 - Ah dang! I forgot to take a picture today!
Nothing like waiting until I'm totally butt tired!

Day 115 - Out of bed and out with my guys.
Let's see.... today I'm hungry for donuts (as usual),
a dipped ice cream cone, and movie popcorn..... YIKES!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ups and Downs

 The Faces of Chemo: Day 108 - Hangin' with the boys.
 Day 109 - Bren's Bday Celebration Continues....

Day 110 - Veggin' today.... ALL DAY.

 Day 111 - HAPPY 18th ANNIVERSARY!!!
Feeling pretty run down and achy today. Spent most of yesterday in bed.
I know that chemo is dealing my cancer it's final blow over the next few weeks,
but I'd like to NOT be a total zombie while it happens.
Day 112 - Chemo is trying to kick my butt... pretty sure this will make me feel better!
Saw Lady Doc Onc this morning (my Doc Onc was out of town - not that you needed to know that). Good News: I've been anemic pretty much this whole time, but NOT ANYMORE!! Bad News: My white blood cell count (the little guys that help fight off infection and sickness) is pretty low again. I need that to come up so I don't get sick and so I don't have to go in for injections or mess up chemo. Come on Prayer Warriors, I would really like to make a strong finish over the next 4 weeks!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Days 101 - 107

 The Faces of Chemo:
Day 101 - A little girlfriend time with my pal, Sharon!

Day 102 - Surprise afternoon date with The Hubs.
 Day 103 - Layin' low on the last day of Summer Vacation.
To my boys - Sorry for the Bummer Summer.
Thank you for making the best of it AND for looking after me. Love you both BUNCHES!!

 Day 104 - Back to School (and Mama needs to go back to bed!).

 Day 105 - Baking seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I just need a nap!

Day 106 - TWO Chemo Buddies - Lidia & Joi!!! Thanks Gals! Love ya!!
Arms feeling a bit tingly after Chemo #8. Only 4 more sessions to go!!!!
Come on body, fight it!!! We can do this!!!!!
feeling determined.

Day 107 - Happy 14th Birthday, Brendan!! 


Thank you, Christine! ♥

DAY 100!!!!

What??!! 100 Days?! That calls for a pizza party!
The Day 100 celebration continues... with sprinkles on top!

95 - 99

The Faces of Chemo: Day 95 - Home alone and chillin'.
‪#‎cancerisstupid‬ ‪#‎toopoopedfrompretty

 Day 96 - Ain't too tired to get my grub on!
‪#‎toopoopedfrompretty‬ ‪#‎iheartbbq
Day 97 - I REALLY needed a PINK dipped cone! 
So, just in case I had you all fooled that I REALLY was Wonder Woman, I have a prayer request.... This is week 7 of my weekly chemo visits. It seems that my body is now finding it harder to bounce back each week. The fatigue is creeping back in on me and now I'm starting to experience numbness and tingling in my hands (neuropathy). I see Doc Onc tomorrow, so we'll see what he says. I could really use some more of that Super Human Strength (don't want my chemo schedule to get derailed). I promise to only use my powers for good!! Thanks! ♥
Day 98 - Saw Doc Onc today and upon examination he declared,
"It's probably down 70%!"
Woo-hoo, thank you Jesus!!! We just need the neuropathy to "chill" so we
can finish the last 5 chemo treatments! 
 Day 99 - Chemo 7 of 12 with my Chemo Buddy, Angie!
‪#‎chemowednesday‬ ‪#‎wonderwoman
Hey Cancer! I mustache you a question... How scared are you right now?!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Strength through Beauty

The Faces of Chemo: Day 94 - Thank you for making me feel like a girly girl, Christine! 

I have never been a fan of getting my picture taken.  I can pretty much ALWAYS find fault in any picture of myself.  I knew that when I decided to start my "Faces of Chemo" photo-journal, it wasn't going to be easy.  Posting a picture of myself everyday would be anything BUT comfortable, but I figured that these pictures weren't meant to be pretty.  What you see is what you get.  I would have good days and bad days (thank you, Jesus that the good have far outweighed the bad!).  This is my journey.

So, when my SUPER SWEET photog, writer-blogger, artist, fashion stylist, well-being passionista friend (whew!), Christine Rose Elle asked if she could do a photo shoot with me, I was excited and well, pretty darn nervous!  I mean, these pictures are supposed to be pretty!  Posing for pictures is awkward and uncomfortable enough, but wigs, bald head, sparse eyebrows and lashes, alien port and scar... How was I going to pull that off?!!  Then it hit me....

This was going to be another opportunity to share my journey.
This was another chance to shine.
Another chance to show cancer who is boss!

Christine was wonderful.  She made sure I was comfortable long before the actual day of the shoot.  I had seen some of the portraits she had taken before, so I knew that she did beautiful work and I could totally trust her. Plus, I just LOVE HER, so I knew that everything was going to be fine.

Morning of the shoot, I woke up, ate breakfast, showered, got dressed, moisturized, gathered my wigs and a few other things and headed out the door.  I took my friend Cherie along for extra moral support too (a little extra couldn't hurt).  I'll admit that I was a little nervous on the drive out, but once we were met by Christine's smiling face, those nerves started to melt away.
We went upstairs and after a little chit-chat, the fun began!  Christine helped me pick out some pieces from her beautiful wardrobe collection and applied my make-up AND EYELASHES (woo-hoo!!).  I put on the first outfit and my wig and tried to think pretty thoughts.  Christine gave instruction how to sit, where to put my hands and arms, how to hold my head, chin out and down... it was a bit awkward at first.  A few more outfits and poses and it was time to expose the dome and take some bald shots.  Christine dressed me up in a beautiful dress and bling to match.  I wasn't sure how pretty I felt, but I did somehow feel strong, free, empowered. After that, the rest of the shoot was easier, I was more confident - that and we saved my favorite outfits for last.
The shoot was over and I had no idea how any of the pictures would turn out.
What I did know was that I was SO THANKFUL for the experience.
I got to play dress up and be a girly girl!
Whether I actually looked it or not, Christine had made me FEEL BEAUTIFUL
and that was something that I hadn't really felt since my hair fell out.
Later that afternoon, some of the photos arrived in my inbox.  Blown away.  I couldn't believe that was me in those pictures.  Still can't.  Honestly, Christine has a magic camera.  She's pretty magical herself.  How she did it I'm not sure, but cancer schmancer, I LOOK GOOD!!  And when I start feeling low or I’m having a bad day or chemo is kicking my butt, all I have to do is look at those pictures and I am reminded that I AM strong and I CAN shine through this.

Thank you Christine, for empowering me through beauty and allowing
me to share your talents as I share my journey! Love ya, Sweets!! xoxo


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The Faces of Chemo:
Day 87 - 6:30pm, in my pj's and ready for some Die Hard action.
Day 88 - It's been a pretty good day!
Day 89 - Lazy day with my Chach
‪Day 90 - Back to school shopping... ‪#‎cancerisstupid‬ ‪#‎stickaforkinme

Day 91 - Eeeeeekkk! Shea Fragoso, YOU ROCK!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for bringing a little JM to me since I couldn't make it to him!! Made my week!!!! ‪#‎cancerisstupid‬ ‪#‎iheartjm‬ ‪#‎mayerisback
Day 92 - Chemo #6 of 12 with my Chemo Buddy Sharon! Half-way done!!  
Day 93 - Listening to my body.