WARNING - THIS BLOG CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT AND MAY GET WORDY. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!
Hello everyone! I’ve included all of you on this blog since you have all individually reached out to me and have touched my life, heart and soul on many different levels .
As most of you know this has been my third time with this giant shit sandwich that I have been served (2005 - lumpectomy w 6 weeks of daily radiation and daily Tamoxifen pill; 2009 - spread to lymph nodes, oophorectomy, 16 rounds of Chemotherapy, 6 weeks of daily radiation, Zometa infusions and daily Arimidex pill). The following is a snapshot of the events on January 5th. Woke up, feeling fine (a little sore from doing 3 back to back classes at the gym the day before). I was watching Botched on tv in the family room. I wanted to tell Jon to come watch it with me since the patient on Botched was none other than 80's sex symbol, Tawny Kitaen. I knew he would appreciate this episode since Dr Dubrows brother was the lead singer of Quiet Riot and his brother and Tawny ran in the same circle of friends (Jon and I both love 80's heavy metal so I knew he would enjoy watching this). I wasn't able to form a sentence and the last thing I remember was getting frustrated and agitated. I apparently had a seizure and either fell, stumbled or tripped and landed face first on the floor between the couch and a large wooden coffee table. That's where Jon found me. I snapped out of it some time after paramedics and police arrived. I was able to answer simple questions with the exception of who the President of the United States was. They told me I needed to go to the hospital and my response was "Ok, but first can I go upstairs and brush my hair and teeth and I would really like to change my outfit since I don't like the pajamas I am wearing!" At least I had my priorities in order! After several tests (CAT scans, MRI, bone scan), it was determined that my cancer had come back and was now in my spine, lungs and brain. I then needed to get a lung biopsy to determine exactly what type of cancer this was. Obviously, not the news anyone ever wants to hear The upside was the the seizure actually saved my life. These tumors could have continued to grow and multiply for quite some time before they were ever detected. I had my 6 month oncology appt a week before Christmas with complete blood workup and everything came back perfect. Although this was probably the scariest day of my life I was told this is not necessarily a death sentence. Every doctor I met in the 5 days I was admitted in the hospital, gave me hope and optimism. Obviously this time is quite a bit more scary due to its advanced metastasis, but I am more determined than ever to power through this. I’m still trying to figure out from my last battle, the “Life Lesson” I was supposed to learn. Maybe the enlightenment will finally appear? Fingers crossed! The ironic thing was that a few months ago I felt so positive that I beat this, that I volunteered to work in the infusion center at the Luckow Pavillion and to sit on a Patient Advisory board for patients currently dealing with cancer. I truly thought I could make a difference and was finally ready after 9 years. Unfortunately, I will once again be one of the patients instead of the volunteer. However, once I am feeling better and the drugs are doing what are intended to do, I will continue on that path of helping others.
I've been dealt some serious blows in my life (I am a 9/11 survivor, dealt with the rather sudden loss of each of my parents and my nephew and struggled with years of infertility). However, I still feel I live a rather charmed and privileged life. I am thankfully for each and every day. I have a husband of close to 22 years who had stood by me through each and every one of these challenges. It can't be easy for him and lets face it, I can be a real bitch! Oh, before I forget, please congratulate Jon on his new part time job as my Patient Care Advocate with our insurance company we affectionately refer to as SHAetna (Erin Leonard, thank you for letting my use that moniker. I am getting a lot of traction out of that name and all of the doctors and nurses seem to get a real kick out of it). I am also blessed to have a beautiful, smart, funny daughter. No 15 year old should have to deal with this crap (and she dealt with this crap at 20 months old and at 5 1/2 years old). I'm just hoping that through the miracles of modern medicine and the sperm spinning wonders of invitro fertilization, that she is a genetically superior human being! Both of them stayed at the hospital with me around the clock, They slept on the floor and in chairs and wouldn't leave my side. The 3 of us had some deep, dark and serious conversations in the hospital. I know you will all have the same compassion for them that you have with me. They have to deal with this shit every single day as well. It still causes me pain looking back 9 1/2 years ago knowing that Lilly had watched her Mother lose all of her hair, could hear me vomiting behind our bathroom door, knew I spent almost every day going to some kind of doctor appointment and understood I couldn't take her to public places for risk of getting sick or contracting an infection. Even when your hair starts to grow back and you stop going to Chemo therapy, your battle is not even close to being over and those horrible events stay with you forever. My kid has been to Hell and back, several times. I wish she was shown a a lot more compassion back then but I can't focus on the negative......only positive thoughts ahead. I am thankful for having a supportive family and I am thankful for my abundance of friends (most of which I consider family). My support network is vast and nothing I can ever say would express the gratitude I have for you. I also want to thank all of you in advance who have volunteered to drive me around for the next several months. Maureen Coughlin has graciously offered to arrange my chauffeuring calendar. Whenever I have doctors appointments and treatments, I will forward those dates and times to her and she will open up the calendar for volunteers. I am not allowed to drive due to the seizure and brain lesions and wont be given clearance until the the neurologist gives me the go ahead. According to Jon, me being off the road is not necessarily such a bad thing. Apparently he's never been impressed with my driving skills.
You learn quickly who is your true inner circle. I have been overwhelmed with people reaching out to me to show their support and kindness. Lilly's school has gone above and beyond to ensure she is looked after. Every single one of her teachers exempted her from taking mid-terms next week and excused her from all missing homework and tests. They told her family is more important than anything else.
Anyhow, I will post my updates here from now on so you can read them when and if, you want. I will try and give the Readers Digest version. This medical jargon can get boring and I don’t want this to be a completely depressing, snooze fest! I’m hoping to share some laughs along the way. I’m a snarky little bitch and need laughter/jokes and sarcasm to get me through this. I do know I have much less tolerance for bullshit, so watch out if I get pissed off!! Only kidding (well, actually not really kidding at all). Oh and by the way, I have developed a whole new love of all things profanity, so you have been warned, mother f******!! There's really no telling what curses will come out of me. I now have quite the potty mouth and I am really enjoying it. Please keep sending me your positive thoughts and don’t ever hesitate to text me or message me through this blog. I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you and it’s a wonderful distraction. I don’t know anyone who has ever said, “Gee, I’m sorry I reached out to show my love and support, I really regret doing that”. Sending me a text is NOT bothering me. Everyone wants love and to be surrounded by people who lift them up.
I have already started my new drug regime so I am hoping that some of the non published potential side effects are: wrinkle reduction, hip/belly fat loss, permanent swelling of the boobs, thick hair and increased tennis playing ability. That's not too much to ask, right? A girl can dream.........