Post

Pink Ink…

Good Morning! Just a quick interruption of the regular scheduled post.

Some of you are returning to this site after reading about, or hearing about a post RedInk posted last night.  Unfortunately, we had to temporarily take it down.  This is my BRIEF reasoning on why.

My family looking on, as I recuperate! #couldn'tDoItWithoutThem

My family looking on, as I recuperate! #couldn’tDoItWithoutThem

RedInk wrote a WONDERFUL, LOVING, HONEST post about our reconnection this past weekend.  And what a weekend it was! I can’t really begin to describe all the emotions we have experiences.  JUST what I needed and so wonderfully captured by RedInk. Whether it was watching our girls love on each other, my vomit, Red telling me to sit down and shut up, or the true comedy of Red rubbing my feet as the skin slouged off.

Rubbing dry, crusty skin off! #DoneWithLove

Rubbing dry, crusty skin off! #DoneWithLove

But in great moments there are often miscommunications/misunderstandings.  Some we addressed in person, through laughter and tears.  Others we didn’t know existed…until last night.  Unfortunately, the irreplacible memories we created were overshadowed by the “almost correct” health info.  Normally not a big deal…until it effects LIL B.  I will be brief.  We don’t have 100% confirmation of liver presence.  We will find out shortly. The HIGHLIGHT of my stay in hospital was that it was determined that it was NOT in my brain.

This requires a STANDING OVATION!

I carry this to the post, b/c we were immediately deluged by phone, (cell and home), texts, twitter, and, calls to LIL B ( COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE) about my status.  Fortunately, I intercepted these WELL MEANING communications.  But it teaches us all a lesson.

When this type of information comes out in the future, please wait to go into detail of the news or the expression of your support, when you text…only with me or Red INK.  PLEASE don’t call my house. Please don’t contact Lil B, even to say you support her.  WE have entered a new era, where she can’t have EVERY detail w/o direction from Mommy and Daddy. I value EACH & EVERY bit of support, but last night as her head lay in my lap, I felt like I was protecting her from a falling wall.  Thank you to those who did in fact recognized that Red’s presence got the 3Bs through a very difficult reentering society.  Without Red, Mini Red, and Big B’s mom, we would definitely ALL be back at MAYO!  More on that later!

Thank you for listening/reading this.  Please don’t take this as an admonition!  I was floored once again, by all the amazing expressions of love.  Some knew something was off when the post was quickly deleted.  Know, I am GRATEFUL that Red wanted to share our love and experience of the past few days.  But, I did not appreciate people questioning if I was in the hospital a week (like Red said) or a few days longer, (like I instagrammed)  Really?  Most of all, I love each of you, for caring and for understanding that we now must wrap B in even tighter arms of love and be mindful of our responses.

ok, that’s it.  I feel like this will be an epilogue somewhere! So keepy our eyes open.

Now back to your regular scheduled…post.

 

 

Update: That RedInk post will be back with a few tweeks.

You!

Pink Ink…

2008 Throwback picture! 3 generations...

2008 Throwback picture! 3 generations…

Happy New Year!

That’s right!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Sounds crazy huh?  Well it is my Mini Me’s birthday, and also the 1st day of school!   So in a lot of ways, it’s the beginning of a new year!  Time passes by so quickly.  So much has happened in a month, that I can’t possibly address it today.  It has been filled with a few good times, and LOTS of pain.  Pain I have only seen when I had my mastectomy and last summer when I had the crippling headaches.  But rather than go through all of that…today…I thought I would take a few minutes to honor my Mini Me.

In November of last year, I remember praying and crying and praying and crying that I would MAKE it to see my Mini Me’s 11th birthday.  You see, when it sinks in that you are terminal, at 1st you spend a bit of time wondering “when”.  After a while, after a bit of trial and error, I  learned to focus on the time that we have.  That we have NOW to spend together.  This year has definitely had it’s ups and downs, especially the last few weeks.  But for the most part, it has been as good as can be expected.

They've take out 3 liters s far!

They’ve taken out 3 liters so far!

I am constantly amazed by my daughter’s strength.  I know most parents think their kids are awesome, and I am no different.  But I am also honest.  Sometimes she makes me want to scream.  After all, she is a preteen!  Two weeks ago, she asked me,  AGAIN, why everything has to be about me, when we are planning something.  Big B grabbed my hand because he knew she was about to “catch a loss”.

Or she makes me laugh.  Example….Recently, I asked her why she thought I was writing the play.  Her answer?  TO BE ON TV!!!  Really?  TO. BE. ON. TV.

So imagine me sitting there explaining to her that I was doing it for HER.  So she would be proud of her mom when I was gone.  So she would know that I always fought, always wanted to educate.  So she could be proud of ME!  She turned to me and laughed.  “I thought it was so you could be on TV”.  WOW.

But then I balance that with her incredible strength while on a quick family getaway a few weeks ago.  It was shortly after my 3rd lung drain.  My meds were not working enough.  All I could do is lay there and cry.  My body was shaking from the pain.  I couldn’t speak through the pain.  I did manage to whisper to her NOT to tell Daddy.  He needed to rest!  (It was his vacay too, after all! )  Lil B and my mom sprung into action…into stealth mode.  Next thing I knew, I had more meds, ice packs, Lil B was wiping my nose.  Wet washcloth on my head.  Then she and mom climbed in bed with me and soothed me until I could finally fall asleep. (Side note! HATS OFF to my mother for allowing a 10 year old to take over and guide this process.  She is of the “you’re the child” generation” so I know this was tough!  Thanks mom) All the while, my dad and hubby were out front enjoying a cocktail and catching up!  A lot of kids would freak out in this situation.  Not my little one.  She even pushed my wheelchair through the airport. Head held high.  Gotta love her.

One of the better days of vacay. 3 Generations!

2013! One of the better days of vacay. 3 Generations!

After my play reading, I was surprised by how many audience members appreciated the “caregiver” scene, where characters acknowledge their caregivers.  Many came up to me and shared that they never thought of kids as caregivers until viewing the play.  Well today I salute my caregiver! My Mini me!

Baby girl, one day you will read this, and hopefully you will know how proud I am of you!  Proud to be your mom! Guided everyday by your strength, your laughter, your love.   I hope you will be proud of me, for everything I do is for you, and daddy.  I hope to be around for many more birthdays, many more 1st days of school.  What ever life brings us, know that I will always be with you, as you have been with me during this journey.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE!

Unfortunately, I can’t have a cocktail.  (damn meds…)  But today, I celebrate…YOU!

 

UPDATE: I sit with tears streaming down. Typing with one hand. Other hand not working.  I am unable to go to her birthday dinner.  I tried. I stood, I sat back down. No energy. Can’t breathe. Heart. Is. Broken. I saw the heartbreak in her eyes.  She rubbed MY tears.  Told ME to stop crying.  “It’s ok Mommy”. (But it’s not) I apologized through tears. I have never missed one.  She is OF me. Why today of all days?  Transfussion tomorrow…

I PRAY I can make it up to her next year.  Must sign off. #LifeInTheCancerLane

Get Healthy

Pink Ink…

Sitting in the office listening to QParker from old school group 112.  He made a song entitled “I’ll Wear Pink for You”.  Reminded me that I need to give a quick update.  Here is the quick and dirty.

Good news:

The chemo seems to be working.  It has cut the spots on my lungs in half.  Now we know they will always come back, (hence the “incurable” nature of my situation) but at least they are being kept at bay.  The chemo doesn’t wear me out the way the “Red Devil” did. That is a blessing.  I can still do most things.  So Lil B is happy to see me when she steps off the bus.  My hair hasn’t fallen out.  It HAS stopped growing and is VERY dry. But it is hanging on for dear life! Lol My eyebrows remain a little rough looking, and I can’t wax them.  But, again, a small price to pay.

The not so great news:

The chemo is KILLING my platelet count.  I mentioned that before.  Last week I was back in the hospital.  My count dropped to a scary 7,000.  Remember, it is supposed to be around 275k.  So something as simple as flossing my teeth could cause my gums to bleed and not be able to stop.  My blood has developed issues.  Once the easiest kind to match, it now takes a while, and the docs must watch for reactions.  Last week, two of my close friends were privy to one of these reactions.  While I don’t think the reaction scared them, I think they were definitely amused when the drugs they gave me made me totally incoherent!  (Hello, Demerol + IV benedryl) It was actually kind of funny.  In my mind I knew the words I was trying to say.  I tried really hard to get them out.  They sounded like….”klsdfhkjwefuyegpouh..efhvsdpepo”.  Complete nonsense!  Anyway, I was also put on a steroid that shot my blood pressure up into orbit. We are managing that.  This past Monday, I almost couldn’t get chemo b/c I was all jacked up.  But we pushed through.IMG_1108

Hopefully chemo will be done in 2 weeks.  I will lay for a CT scan, to see how much the spots have shrunk.  If all is good, I will have a break from chemo for a couple months!  That is EXACTLY what I want.  A chance to rehabilitate this body.

Despite the war being raged in my body, I am well.  Just VERY tired.  I have had to live in a bubble for a couple weeks. I cannot afford to get sick. But I managed to get out once or twice.  All three Bs are laughing and living.  I am definitely getting the “You don’t look sick” comments again. Don’t be fooled.  But we got this.

IMG_1124So again, thanks for all the love!  February is Heart Health Month.  Take a few minutes and check out http://www.pinkwellchick.com for my Heart Health adventure. You know I have to keep busy, so February is all about Heart Awareness.

Join me, as I…get healthy!

In 2013

 

Pink Ink…

Well we have hit the end of 2012! What a year it has been. Let’s do a review, shall we!? It’s a long post, so grab some Champagne, and buckle up!

January: New Years Day in the ER with exploded boob and drains everywhere! But ended month in Vegas!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

February: Back in chemo!

So Pissed...March: Found more cancer. No Spring Break for me.  More surgery.

So thirsty...

So thirsty…

April: Radiation begins.  My College Roomie is diagnosed with Breast Cancer. (After 26 years of friendship we’re still “sharing” stuff!)

radiation

They say this doesn’t hurt…

May: Radiation is done! 3rd degree burns. I think the worst is over! Friends fly in to celebrate!

Let's Party!

Let’s Party!

Lil B and I ring that Bell!

ouch

ouch

 

 

June: Chicago to celebrate with all my besties! Then the headaches begin.

headaches

Surprise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

July: Headaches are getting worse. More tests.

Got needles in my brain!

Got needles in my brain!

August: Made it to the Vineyard with my people! Lil B celebrated a birthday. I’m starting to feel better about stuff! I discover Instagram!IMG_0577

DSCN0154

Touch your Tata ad

Touch your Tata ad

September: Still have headaches. More needles to the brain stop them!  Discover dots on lungs! More tests.

IMG_0590

October: Racing for a Cure with family and friends! Renewing Wedding Vows! Waiting to see what’s up! 30 days of Pink!

 

Pink It Out1

I do!

I do!

 

IMG_0358

 

 

 

 

November: Metastatic Cancer in the lungs. More chemo… But we kept our President!

4 more years!

4 more years!

My Bs are right there with me.

My Bs are right there with me.

Here we go again...

Here we go again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December: Chemo. Surgery. Platelet Transfusion. Blood Transfusion. Bad Reactions. ER visits.

Reaction to Neulasta shot.

Reaction to Neulasta shot.

 

Quite the year!

There have also been many many good times!  Many great memories!  I’ve reconnected with old friends! Thanksgiving and Christmas with family that brought only peals of laughter and joy!  Again, there are too many people to thank for getting me through this year!  You know who you are! There are not adequate words to express my gratitude! Sending you all a wish for a happy, family fun filled 2013!

The saying goes that God only gives you what you can handle.  I guess I can handle a lot!

Here’s hoping that I have a lot less to handle… in 2013!

The Same

Pink Ink…

 
Well, I survived my 1st week of Chemo, so I thought I would give a quick update! It has been a crazy week of highs and lows. So buckle up!

 

Last Sunday, the night before chemo, I actually slept really well! I didn’t wake up until about 5am. My plan had been to wake up and WORK OUT before putting Lil B on the bus! Yeah, that didn’t happen. I rolled right back over to enjoy my last 90 minutes of…peace! What do they say? “The best of intentions!” Ha! There were no tears getting on the bus. We all had a sense of “been here before”. We told Lil B to keep her phone on, and sent her on her way! Then it was off to Mayo.

 
The quick and dirty is that I was SCARED TO DEATH of what my emotional reaction would be as I walked into the Chemo Suites. Well you know I believe in “cancerrealtalk”, so full disclosure. The Doc said I could take a Valium before hand. So I took a ½ pill and breezed in! No tears, just a little bit of apprehension. Big B was watching me close b/c he knew at any time I could crack! All the nurses recognized me, and begrudgingly welcomed me back. In fact, Nurse Michele was there the 1st time I had chemo LAST year! Bananas. After 3 attempts at getting in the IV, they called in a special IV nurse, and it worked. So we began. Of course I was nauseous, but thankfully, no actual vomit. Three hours later, I was on my way home.

 
The good news: Compared to last year, not nearly as much nausea! Only took Zophran 3 times this week! I have started to lose appetite and taste buds, but not too bad. I have exercised and eaten healthy all week! I have been able to enjoy my husband and daughter. I am certain this will change, but for now, that is GOOD news!

 

The bad news: I realized I have a bruised rib, hence the swelling and obnoxious pain that has kept me sleep sitting up for 3 nights! I bruised it in Vegas on a shower door…and no alcohol was involved!!!! HA! So I spent half the week on Vicodin at night, just to sleep. Also, if I lay or sit the wrong way, I break into racking coughs. Last night I had my 1st foot cramp in months. That comes from dehydration. I didn’t know I was dehydrated! I couldn’t walk or bend my toes! After an hour, 2 bottles of water, and many tears, I was able to go to sleep.

 
The worst news: One week ago, I felt GREAT! Healthy, full of energy. Now, once again, I feel that my body is not my own. Everything hurts. The feeling of health is fading fast from my memory. I wonder if I will ever know what that feels like again. I had my Port consult. I will have my port put back in, in a week. It will stay in…forever.

 
That’s my medical update.

 
I have been comforted this week, by all the people who continue to reach out to me. Thank you! To those in Charlotte, I hear you! I see your notes and texts! I feel the love across the miles! It is very humbling. I also heard from one of my Northwestern Sorority “Big Sisters”, with whom I had lost contact. When I read her card, silent tears fell. (That “1908” bond is something else.)

 
Tomorrow I have my 2nd round of chemo. I’m ready. Let’s get at it!

 

 

2011 Fashionetta

2011 Fashionetta

Finally, yesterday we went to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Fashionetta. It’s a Holiday Fashion show, and the largest attended black event in Phoenix. The place to be the 1st Saturday in Dec. Good times! Last year, I was bald and cold and keeping people at arms length so I wouldn’t get sick. This year, not so bald, but still keeping people at arms length so I wouldn’t get sick! But at least I was there again with my family. What a blessing!

 

 

2012 Fashionetta!

2012 Fashionetta! 1906-1908 1st Family!

So, it seems as much as things change, they stay…the same.