Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31, 2010

It's the night before my (hopefully) last chemo treatment and I'm really not looking forward to tomorrow...not gonna lie! BUT, I had an amazing week, so I guess that helps make up for it! :o)  A friend of my mother-in-law's decided to shave her head in support of a friend who is also battling breast cancer. Co-workers and friends all raised money for the American Cancer Society and they made a big event out of it. The "Pink Heals" tour came and was also a part of it, and that was really amazing! If you've never heard of them, they are a group of firefighters that have 4 pink fire trucks and they travel around the US in support of breast cancer survivors and their families. There are literally thousands of signatures on their trucks and they are the most amazing group of men you've ever met! I've got a link to some pictures (at the bottom of this post), but they really don't do them justice. They were all super nice and just very uplifting! If you want to check them out, their website is
Kristen (the lady that shaved her head) was also an amazing woman to get to meet. Anyone who would willingly shave their head bald just to support a friend is a pretty wonderful woman in my book! She works for Quintiles, which is a pretty large company, so there were tons of people there. Everyone was so nice, I couldn't believe it! I didn't know a single person there, but everyone stopped to talk to me and introduce themselves...I felt like I fit right in! Kudos to them for being such an amazing group of people!
Also this last weekend was the "Boobies and Beer" fundraising event that my friends in Springfield hosted. I am also posting a link to some pictures of that event (again, at the bottom of this post)...which I have to say, I am totally jealous that I wasn't able to go! They looked like they had such an awesome time! It really does make me feel good to know that even after all this time (it's been over 5 years since I've seen most of those folks) they are still just as wonderful and as caring as ever! How lucky am I to have such great friends, seriously?!
So back to the icky stuff for a I said earlier, I go tomorrow for my fourth chemo treatment. In the original plan, I was to do 4 treatments, then surgery (mastectomy on the right side along with lymph nodes), then radiation, then possibly 4 more rounds of chemo if further testing showed there were still some cancer cells. However, when I was there last time, the nurse told me that Dr. Burt had said that I was going to go ahead and do the 4 more chemo treatments immediately. Well, needless to say, I'm not real jacked up about this idea. I guess if there's a REALLY good reason, then I will do it, however I don't understand the thought process. I mean, if they are just going to whomp off the stupid thing anyway they why put my body through the extra trauma?! This last treatment kinda kicked my butt, so I'm thinking that after 4 MORE I'm pretty much gonna be a walking zombie...which doesn't really sound like my cup of tea. Anyway, my mom's going with me tomorrow and for those of you who don't know her...she's totally scary when she wants to be. I mean like "pee down your leg a little" kind of scary. So, if anyone can make sure this decision is the right thing to do, it's her! Totally glad she's on my side...I'm just sayin'. Anyway, I'll keep you all updated as to what decision is made, but in the meantime, please keep me in your prayers that I will not have to do more chemo!
Hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!
Pink Heals Tour


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010

So today I'm going to be a giddy girl...I know, I know, it's not as great as Dr. Stinky, but there have been some exciting things happen this week and I want to share with all of you!

First, thanks to a blessing from God, I was able to combat the barfies and make it out to the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk on Saturday! It was AMAZING! There were 4,600 participants and we raised almost $200,000! "Team Tasha" came in 14th place for top teams out of over 100 amazing is MY support system!? It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. My son was, of course, the hit of the day. I had complete strangers coming up to me asking if they could take his picture. He sure knows how to work a crowd! Also, because of "Team Tasha's" complete coolness, I was interviewed on Fox 4...look out Snooky, there's a new diva in town! :o)  The lady was really nice, and in fact, I didn't even know she was a reporter at first. My team was dancing and having fun and she was standing by watching. She laughed and made a comment like, "Wow, your team is a hoot!". I told her yes, that we were just a barrel of jollies! She then saw me say something to Jeremy (he was holding Alex) and she asked if they were a part of my team too. I told her yes, they were my husband and son. She then went on to tell me how much she loved our shirts and that it was so cute that I put Alex in one too! I told her that he was very proud of his "oobie shirt" and that he got to dress like Daddy. Well one thing led to another and she got very interested in my story. She then told me that she was a reported for Fox 4 and asked if she could do an interview. It went really well, and she talked to me for 10 or 15 minutes...but of course the actual clip is only like a minute and a half long! :o)  Oh well, it was my 30 seconds of fame, so I'll take it! I've got a link at the bottom of this post where you can view photos from the event as well as the video clip on YouTube. Oh...and as a side note...I couldn't find the video clip online so me being the totally tech-savvy self that I am, I just took a video of the TV while it was playing, lol! Anyway, it's not the best quality, but you get the gist!

So as if that's not cool enough...I've got even more excitement. I know, blows your socks off, right?! Well I have a friend who is in the media business and she ran across an editor who was looking for breast cancer stories for her upcoming edition, so she passed along the information to me. I figured, what the heck, so I emailed the lady and told her that I was currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer and that I had a blog where she could find my story if she was interested. Well that was several weeks ago and I never heard back, so I had pretty much dismissed it. Well yesterday morning I received an email from her telling me that she had read my blog and she was interested in including me! She has a health and wellness-type magazine that is produced quarterly and the upcoming edition will have a feature on breast cancer. So I'm super pumped about that, and of course I will share it with all of you as soon as I get a copy.

I'm headed off to the "Pink Heals Tour" to support a fellow survivor while she shaves her head. The pink firetruck will be there and I plan on adding my signature to the truck! I'll post pictures and tell you more about it later in the week (I gotta have a little bit of a cliffhanger to keep you coming back for more ya know)!

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk/Run

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

Well, its official, this round of chemo KICKED MY BUTT! I apologize for not updating my blog sooner, but I've been in bed with the barfies all week. I feel like I am slowly approaching the "land of the living" again, and I am hoping that I will feel well enough tomorrow to go support "Team Tasha" at the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer walk tomorrow morning!! We got our shirts in, and I have to say, my son looks quite stunning in his "save second base" t-shirt! :o) If you ask him what it is, he tells you its his "oobie" shirt...ohh the proud moments of a parent, lol! On another exciting note (I've got to focus on these to keep the barfie bug away), my friends in Springfield are having their "Boobies and Beer" fundraising event tonight and I'm super excited to see the pictures and video! I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I really do have the greatest support system anyone could ask for.
I've got one more round of chemo left (of this cycle) and then its onto my surgery, then radiation, then possibly more chemo. If I've ever wanted a miracle, its that I do NOT have to do another cycle of chemo. I have mentally prepared myself for the surgery, and I think I can handle the radiation, but the chemo I am definitely not looking forward to repeating. Which brings me to a funny story...yes, you heard me right, its funny story time! :o)
So my doctor is on vacation this week (traveling with her family in France...rough life) and so I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Stinky for my Monday chemo treatment. No, that's not his real name, but I can't remember what it actually is and since I *DO* remember the really bad old-man smell he brought with him into the room, that's what I've lovingly named him. So anyway, Dr. Stinky walks in and immediately asks, "so how are we doing today?" in his bright, cheery voice. Really?! I'm hooked to a machine with big gynormous needles sticking out of me, about to spend the next week sick as a dog and you are really asking me this question?! I politely respond that I am doing well. He then proceeds to ask me some standard medical questions, bla, bla, boring, boring, and then right out of left field he puts his hand on me and in his very serious tone he asks, "so who is your best friend through all of this?" HUH??? My mind immediately goes blank...what in the world is he asking me?! Do I say my husband? Do I say my mom? What an odd question! I immediately turn to my mom to help me, because mothers are supposed to be there for their daughters in uncomfortable times like this, right?! WRONG! My mother is averting her eyes, looking at everything but me or Dr. Stinky because she doesn't know the answer either! So after what seems to be a lifetime of awkward silence, I turn to him and say, "sorry, is this a trick question?". He says, "No. It's not a trick question. The answer is the chemo. The chemo is your best friend." I immediately tell him that if his idea of a "best friend" is someone who makes you want to shove your head in a toilet then, yes, the chemo is my best friend!

Really?! How weird IS that?! I sometimes wonder if things like this happen to everyone else or if it's really just me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010

OK, its hair is GONE! The last few days its been starting to come out more and more, and then last night it was just beyond was coming out by the handfuls and it was starting to clog my shower. Oh, and they forget to tell you that when your hair comes out it comes out EVERYWHERE....yep, you know where I mean! Let me tell you how big of a shocker that one was, lol!

Anyway, I had my revelation this morning when Jeremy was trying to be romantic and wake me up with kisses and he ended up spitting and choking on one of my hairballs. Totally gross and totally ruined the moment, I'm not gonna lie. So I cried and had my "poor me" time and then I decided that I wasn't going to let cancer get the best of me...not after all I've been thru. So I borrowed some hair clippers and told the Stepmunster to shave it off! If my hair's going to come out then by gosh its going to come out on MY terms. I'm still "shedding", but for some reason it doesn't bother me as much when it's short little hairs instead of my long hair. I'm guessing that I've got maybe a week until it all comes out and I'm bowling ball-bald...I figure it won't be so shocking if it does it gradually and from a buzz cut. So for now I'm rockin' the "GI-Jane" look! :o)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010

Today is day 2 of my second round of chemo, so I'm back to the barfy stage. Blah. The doctor's are experimenting with different anti-nausea drugs to try and find something, or a combination of somethings, that will hopefully work a little better. That being said, it's really not too terrible though; as long as I lay down and don't move or look at anything it's manageable. ;o)  The medicine gives me "crazy eyes"...which is really kinda freaky! I can't focus on anything and when I look at something its really bright and shiny; I'm sure the hippies would have loved to get their hands on this stuff, lol! So, I'm typing with my eyes shut...meaning two things. One, you all have to forgive me if there's a typo or twelve in here and two, my high school typing teacher, Mrs. Dudley, should be SUPER proud of me!

I went and picked up my wigs on Friday, and they are super cute! They both match the color of my hair, and one is longer (just past my shoulders) and the other is short in the back and kinda angles down. I've attached a picture of my super-goof husband wearing the short one...he seems to think he looks like a surfer-stud in it! I think I will
just stick with 'no comment'! :o)

So speaking of hair, mine is still intact, but the last few nights when I wash it I see a few more strands starting to come out. Ugh. I know its going to happen, and I'm not going to pout like a baby, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it! I'm guessing I've got 3 to 4 more weeks before it gets bad, but that's just a total guess based on what others have told me.

My numbers are still doing OK, but my platelet count is continuing to go down. The range is 10,000 to 5,000 and mine started at 4,500 then went to 3,500 and are now at 2,100. Mom and I kinda freaked out a little, but the nurse said that's to be expected and I just have to be extra careful (platelets are what make your blood clot, so I have to be careful not to cut myself, and I will bruise really easy and get tired easier).

I think that's about it for schedule last round was a week at home getting over the barfies and then a week of "normal" where I was able to go back to work, etc. I'm hoping and praying that I will be able to continue with that same schedule this round too! We really want to take Alex to Johnson's farm next weekend (they have a petting zoo, scarecrows, cider and doughnuts, etc.) so hopefully I'll be feeling OK and the weather will cooperate!