Saturday, April 5, 2008

Where do I Start?

First of all let me get this off my chest CANCER SUCKS!!!! Now I feel better. I know I had told everyone that my radiation was done and I got my catheter out. I thought I was running towards home after that. NOPE!!!! I was caught and am back in the dugout. I had mentioned the Oncotype DX test where they can see what my chances of cancer coming back is. Well my chanes range between 23%-44% with an average of 34%. It also showed that the cancer cells were very aggressive and I am hormone negative which means I won't respond to hormone therapy to help fight the cancer cells. I was told I have to have a very aggressive chemo regimen. They call is Dose Dense Therapy. I will be given two chemo drugs (Adriamycin and Cytoxan) once every two weeks with a total of 4 doses. I will then be given the chemo drug Taxol once every two weeks with a total of 4 doses. This means I will be receiving chemo until sometime in July depending on the exact start date. I do have to have some tests before hand. One of the tests is a heart test. It is called a MUGA Scan and pictures are actually taken of the heart pumping. The Adriamycin can cause heart failure so they want to make sure your heart is pumping normal before administering. If anything at all shows up with the heart that chemo regimen will not happen. The plan goes that if that test is okay then I will see the medical oncologist (Dr. Crane) again and we will talk about an anti-nausea regimen for me. He says I will lose my hair, be very sick and very tired. Just what I am looking forward to. Anway after that visit I will then have a port line put in to have the chemo administered through. After all of that is done I will be ready to start....FUN huh? One other thing I am doing is being genetically tested. Dr. Crane said he wanted me to see a genetic dr. and see if this is all genetic. That happens Thursday.

Both my medical oncologist and my breat surgeon says it is odd for the me have had such a small tumor in the early stages of cancer and have the numbers this test showed for me. My surgeon put it as "We have a bad actor that has an ugly face." I could give this cancer friend of mine some more not so nice names.

Now...I have been upbeat about this.....HECK NO!!!! I have cried more over this and anything I have encountered so far. I can't even pinpoint why except I just want it over. I am tired of feeling tired and now I am told it will get a lot worse before it gets better.

Will I stay positive...HECK YES!!!! That's half the battle. I can have bad days and still be positive. There is a purpose for this...even though I haven't figured it out but I know it is there.

Will it make me a better person.....I SURE HOPE SO! All of us have room for improvement in whatever form and I know something from this will make me a better person.

Am I scared to lose my hair....MAYBE NOT SCARED BUT NERVOUS! I was one that always liked the color of my hair. It was bright red when I was little and then turned an auburn color. Of course it has a lot of gray now but I did like it. What scares me the most about losing my hair is the fact I am not a beuty queen so losing my hair will not enhance my looks any...What a bummer!!!! I don't think I am a wig type person so bald will be me. I figure if someone doesn't want to associate with me because I have no be it!!!!! It is their loss!!!!

What do I see that can be a silver lining here......LOSE WEIGHT!!!! Maybe I can change from the chunky bunny to the sleek mink...LOL Knowing my luck I will be the only person in history to go through aggressive chemo and not lose a pound. Boy will I be mad!!!!

AS FOR TAC SEMINAR...I am still planning on going. I already asked Dr. Crane and he said he would want me to go and we will work around it. So.....I am still planning on attending so if you see a bald woman (hopefully on the way to the sleek mink stage) that looks like's me and don't worry I'm not contagious and come up and get a hug and say Hi!!!

SO....there is what my life is going to encounter. I am going to try to stay as normal as possible with my activities...that is posting on the computer and making a few cards. I won't be having classes or running marathons.

Anyone that really knows me and has met my family they know that my son is a Momma's boy. By the picture he looks like a big brut but he is a big teddy bear and is so nice and loves everyone...especially me and kids...LOL He is divorced...any nice girls want a nice guy...LOL The main thing is you have to move here...I won't let him leave.

One of the things my son loves is tattoos. They are not my thing but hey he will be 32 the 14th of this month so there isn't much I can do. Here is what he did for me:

The initials above the ribbon is my mom's. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990. She went in and had a mastectomy; came out of surgery and had a massive stroke 1 1/2 hours later and died the next day. The bottom initials are mine. He said he could get a car magnet and someone would steal it but they steal his arm. The colors are of course a pink ribbon and shadowed in purple which represents all cancers. This picture was taken the day after he got it. It really touched my heart that he did this. It is his way of showing me his support and wants everyone to be aware.

One of my good friends called tonight and said we should have a hair shaving party and shave our heads. I then said we could all get T-shirts that say "Can you tell which one really has cancer?" and my sister said on the back we could say "Only my hairdresser knows for sure." What a hoot!!!! This is what keeps me going...I have the best support team ever. I have wonderful friends and family all around me and I have all of my cyber and angel friends on the net. Thanks everyone that reads my blog and prays for me!!!!

Tomorrow is a new day and is suppose to be wonderful weather wise. In the evening I am going to enjoy and then go to my friends mom's house where we are going to play cards and munch out!!!! During the day I will spend it with DH and enjoy the sunshine. I know we will be taking a walk as we are going to do that everyday to give me as much strength as we can before my treatments start.

Love you guys and check back!!!!!


Heather Devino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather Devino said...

Hi Rita! You're in my thoughts and prayers. Your son is a hottie, by the way. We are the same age, but darn it, I'm married. I like his tattoo. That is such a sweet sign of affection for his momma. You're so lucky to have him and your supportive loving family, but I'm sure you already know that.
Hey, I was thinking about this hair thing. I think you would be really cute with a TAC stamped handkerchief around your head. You could have one to match every outfit. Now you have another reason to you really needed a reason, right? Love you Rita!

Karen Lindsay said...

Oh, Rita... I'm so sorry. Just know that we are all sitting out here to listen and encourage you in your journey through this. You will be a survivor. Your attitude will carry you along. I'm so glad you have your son and your husband there to give you the love and hugs you're going to need, also in large doses. My prayers are with you.

Char said...

Hey Lil Buddy!!! I hate cancer too!!!! It has affected my family so many times over the years. are going to BEAT this!!!!

I know you are going to have your good days and bad don't feel like you are not being positive when that happens. Allow yourself to feel these emotions and VENT. And, just remember...I am here for you, any time of the day or night....OK???

I know you have a great supportive family and tons of you will be ok in the support area!!! I just wish we didn't live so far apart! I wanna be there for you!!!

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend!!! I love you TONS!!!! But, then you already know that ;-)

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Rita--your honesty in venting is great! We're all so sorry you have to go thru this, but your attitude will carry you far. Your son is so sweet to do that for you and his grandma. :-) I'll be looking for you at Seminar. Praying for you...

Diana said...

I'm still praying for you I know GOD is keeping you in his arms. Your attitude toward this is going to help you overcome this!

I will pray that you can make it to Seminar so you can receive all the hugs you deserves! Check my blog, I have something for you!


Angela K said...

Rita you are in my prayers! Stay positive, and I agree this Stinks!

Karen said...

Hi Rita! You really are a beauty where it counts. I cried with you today. So glad you are surrounded by love(especially the kind "with skin on" so you can feel the hugs). Prayers for all you are going thru today. Hugs, Karen