Friday, July 31, 2015

Day 177 - Waiting

I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms over the past 5 months and have observed many other patients during my waiting. All walks of life can be found in these waiting rooms - some are old, some are young, some are frail, some are healthy, some have their kids with them, some sit alone, some smile, some avoid eye contact.  We all process the experience of waiting differently.  I saw one woman talking to someone on Facetime in the middle of the oncology waiting room. Some sit quietly and stare into space.  Some (me) try to keep as distracted as possible.  I've seen tears and smiles from the same person within moments of each other.  I've seen fear and jubilation.  Really, I've seen it all. As I have noted, there are familiar faces most times I am in the waiting room.  It is nice to make the connection with those people even if it is just through as smile or a nod.

I was in my oncologist's waiting room for about an hour today.  He was running way behind because his rounds at the hospital took way longer than expected this morning.  I certainly cannot fault him for that as his patients in the hospital need him way more than I.

Once I was called back for my appointment, my doctor and I celebrated my great pathology report, he did a very quick exam, and we talked for a few.  I am still swollen from surgery so the exam was somewhat pointless because there is no way to really tell how I am healing at this point.  I asked him to talk to me a little bit about what I should consider a cause for concern moving forward.  I think that I said "what should make me pick up the phone and call you right away."  His answers included seizures, extreme persistent headaches, blurry vision, balance issues, persistent dry cough (that one is tough for an allergy suffer like me), persistent back pain, persistent severe abdominal pain, or anything else that does not go away within a few weeks.  Fair enough.  I am hopeful that knowing what would be a cause for concern will help me to not worry about the minor things.

My doctor also told me that I should have my port taken out.  Since I had a complete response, I am not considered to be high risk for recurrence so he'd like the port out since it can cause complications on its own as is the case with any foreign object in the body.   I made an appointment to have that done on Monday afternoon.  Pretty exciting because the port has never really been that comfortable.  It has not caused pain, but it is about two inches below my collar bone so in an area that does not have a lot of cushion so I can always feel it.

I also asked my doctor to check the lymph node in my neck that recently screwed up my evening, and he said that he did not feel anything at all.  Happy days.  

I also do not have to see my oncologist again until October 9.  I've been seeing him every 2-3 weeks for the past several months so it is exciting to be able to spread the visits out a little bit.  I'll have plenty of other medical appointments between now and then so it will be nice to have a break from that particular waiting room. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day 176 - Cake

There is something so good about leftover birthday cake.  I ended my day with a piece and probably have enough for some more tomorrow night.  Despite my recent endeavors to eat healthier, there is no passing up birthday cake (at least my own).

I had a productive day at work, had a very fun lunch with a friend, and spent some time talking to another friend on the phone tonight.  Henry and I had a really good water balloon fight after he got home from school today.  My mom/Glen got me a water balloon filler upper (technical) that makes filling and tying the balloons super quick so we were able to have a pretty good water balloon battle.  It was very cute.

My hair continues to fill in, and I obsess over it every day.  I spent more time looking in the mirror now than I ever have in my life to try to analyze any additional growth. Members of my Facebook group say that it takes approximately 12 weeks for full coverage.  I'm about halfway there and am so excited to see how it comes in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 175 - 34

On my 175th day of cancer, I celebrate my 34th birthday. The day started with snuggles and back pats from Henry who woke up a wee bit early and came into bed with me (Mike bailed to the chair in Henry's room).  It was the perfect way to start the day.  He got me moving with "Mom, if I pat your back 5 more times, can we go downstairs."  He's a funny one.

My work day started with a little bit of a grumpy phone call which lead me to the declaration that I am not going to work on my birthday moving forward.  Birthdays should be set aside for fun, not for work.  Lesson learned.

Despite the workday grumps, I had a wonderful day.  I took some time for myself during my lunch break and had a pedicure. Mike, Henry and I went out for dinner tonight at Senior favorite cheap Mexican restaurant.  The food comes out so scarily fast that you really wonder if they just have one everything ready. It never disappoints though.

After we got home for dinner, we had some cake and I opened some lovely presents.  I got the best birthday present I could have possibly received last week.  No gift will ever be able to top that one.
Birthdays, in general, are a gift, and I am grateful to celebrate my 34th and hope for many many more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 174 - Wordy

I am generally pretty wordy but find myself without a ton to say today.  It was a fine day, but I don't have a ton to report.

I was supposed to have dinner with the Charleston Young Survival Coalition face to face group tonight, but it did not quite work out.  I arrived at the restaurant on time and took a couple of laps around the place.  I didn't see anyone so I waited for a few minutes before calling the phone number of one of the other members who gave me her business card at the last dinner I attended.  She didn't answer so I asked the hostess about the group, and she looked at me like I had 12 heads. I did one more lap, didn't see anyone so I decided to leave. Turns out they were seated outside in the corner so I didn't see them, and the person that I called didn't answer since I have a VA number. She thought it was a sales call.  Oh well.  I should be able to attend the next one.

When I came downstairs after work tonight, Henry had been put on TV/iPad restriction from Mike.  When I asked Henry why, he said "I didn't make good choices today."  Oh, my heart!  Apparently he was being a bit loud and not quieting down when asked so got into a bit of trouble at school.  

That's about all I've got today.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 173 - Port

I can't remember if I have said this or not (and a quick post search did not yield an answer), but I still have my port. I was going to insist on not having it out during my surgery, but my surgeon preempted me and said that he does not like to take out ports during surgery just in case.  Glad we were on the same page.  He said that I can have it removed whenever my oncologist and I decide that it should come out.  Apparently, my port can come out during an office visit with local anesthesia. Frankly, that gives me the bad chills, but I suppose it is better than more surgery and general anesthesia.

I have to get my port flushed on Friday after an appointment with my oncologist.  When they're not being used, ports have to be cleaned every 6-8 weeks to prevent any clogs.  Fine by me.  They can access my port all they want as long as no chemo is being administered through it!

This morning, I woke up with my left arm flung over my head.  Good sign that I am healing very well from surgery. If doing that had hurt, I probably would not have slept through it. I also did not need any Advil until after work today.

Speaking of healing, I have a long way to go until I am healed emotionally (obviously).  I look forward to the day when every twinge, lump or pain does not make me wonder if something more is going on.  One of the lymph nodes in my neck is EVER so slightly enlarged.  I would not even say that it was swollen...I can just feel it.  I had a doctor look at it on Thursday, and he said that it was not abnormal at all.  I had forgotten about it until I was massaging my neck last night and felt it again.  Feeling it made me tense and cranky.  If I never had cancer, I would have never given it a second thought especially since a doctor said that it was totally fine.

I'm not sitting here dwelling and got over my tension and crankiness pretty quickly, but that is just how my mind is going to work for a while I am afraid.  Everyone says that similar situations get better over time, and I have to be patient with myself.  I am newly emerging from a very traumatic time in my life, and it makes sense that fear will remain for quite some time.  Until then, I will rely upon my wonderful medical team and my own awareness to let me know if I should be concerned about anything.  I'll get there but will probably always be more hyper-aware of my body than I was in previous years.

I am actually looking forward to seeing my oncologist on Friday because I know that he will be so happy about my PCR.  He has been acutely aware of my obsession with that and will be thrilled to know that it happened.  I've also had fun telling others over the past few days.

My hair is starting to look pretty funny.  From a distance, I still look pretty bald, but a closer look shows some major hair growth.  I wonder when it will start to fill in so that I look less bald! Members of my TNBC group said that it took them about 12 weeks to have full-scalp coverage.  It will be fun to see how it comes back in.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day 172 - Putt

We had a delightfully lazy morning that included movies, books, a long bath for me, coffee, and general hanging around.  After we pulled ourselves together, we went to play putt putt  (or mini golf as most of the world calls it).  There is a place relatively near us that has mini golf, go karts, video games, bounce castles, and a climbing wall.  We stuck to mini golf, go karts, and a few video games.  I am horrible at putt putt, and Henry is not much better, but we had so much fun messing around.  After we played our 18, Mike and Henry raced another family the track.  I figured that go karts probably would not be wise for me so I watched.  Henry talked us into a few arcade games, and we headed out in search of lunch.

After lunch, we went to a few shops and came home for some more chilling and playing.  Henry loves legos and blocks and can build some pretty impressive structures so he and I built and knocked down towers for a little while.  He is very creative, and I like to watch him put things together.  I can almost see the wheels turning in his head.

In the wake of continuing to celebrate my good news, I saw some sad news this afternoon.  A woman who had TNBC passed away early this morning.  I checked in on her via the internet from time to time depending on where I was emotionally as she and her family kept a Facebook page (Fighting Cancer with Sarah Amento) documenting her battle, and battle she did. The tenacity with which she worked to live was admirable, to say the least.  She tried conventional treatments, alternative treatments, treatments abroad that she could not get in the US.  You name it, she tried it.  It was impressive and shows the lengths that a mother will go to be with her children.

When someone passes away from cancer, you often hear people say that she (or he) lost her battle.  I find that phrase infuriating.  There is no way to "win" an unfair fight. Sarah Amento certainly did not lose.  Her opponent was just unmatched despite all of her efforts.  Her Facebook page is worth a browse if you're so inclined.  She was a beautiful person who did everything that she possibly could, and I know that she will be missed.

Stories that end the way that hers did are sobering and show the desperate need for more treatments for cancer.  For certain types of cancers, TNBC included, doctors "throw the book at it" because that is all that they have.  No one knows what causes, fuels or shuts down TNBC so patients have traditional treatment (chemo, surgery and radiation) and hope for the best.  For most, "the best" happens, but the alternative is devastating.  There is a social media movement using the hashtag #stageivneedsmore, and it really does.

Despite the somber end to this blog post, I am in a good place, and we had a truly wonderful weekend.  I am sad that it is over.  I am looking forward to a great week.  I am having dinner with my Young Survival Coalition group on Thursday, and have something special to celebrate on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Day 171 - Friends

Today ended up being a really fun day with friends.  This morning, Henry and I went to a friend's house so that he could play with her little boys. Henry and her oldest especially have fun playing together, and other people's toys are always magical.  They do have some cool toys and even have a small jump castle that Henry probably would have slept in had we let him.  My friend and I were able to catch up, and the kids wore each other out sufficiently. Perfect morning.

After play time, we came home and relaxed for a little while, and I think that I dozed on the couch for a few.  Mike played golf this afternoon so I took Henry downtown to play in two fountains in Charleston's Waterfront Park.  The fountains are chlorinated and treated so are safe to play in, and he had an awesome time.  He ran and ran and ran, made a few friends and ran some more.

Once he had his fill, I put some dry clothes on him, and we headed for ice cream.  As we were walking into the ice cream shop, I heard "Hey, N!"  My friend Alison spotted me as she was driving down the street (I am kind of easy to pick out of a crowd).  She yelled that she was going to find a place to park and catch up with us.  H and I got some ice cream while Alison and family parked which was no easy task.  We caught up with them after a little while, and it was so fun.  Alison was accompanied by her husband, two daughters, mom (who was like a second mother to me growing up), and one of her sisters.  We had a mini reunion right there in the park.

Alison and I have known each other for nearly 25 years!  We did everything together growing up and surely drove our parents crazy doing so.  Some of my best memories include Alison, her parents, her sisters, and her grandparents.  We were truly inseparable.  While we do not see each other terribly often anymore, the memories will never fade.  It made my day to see them.

What a great day!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Day 170 - Basking

I am still basking in the glory of yesterday and wish that I had somehow recorded the phone call that I received so that I could listen to it again.  It was one of the most wonderful calls I have ever received.  The doctor who called me is the one who told me that I had cancer to being with so it seems fitting that he would make the call to tell me that it was gone.

My mind was going a million miles per hour last night, and I had a terrible time sleeping. For once, I was ok with the sleeplessness because I was so happy.  Besides, when I asked Mike if it would be too much to be declared cancer free AND to get a full night's sleep, he said "yes." (jokingly) Yes, it is too much to ask so I'll take the former.

I will be going in for my radiation planning on August 4 and am hopeful to be able to start on Monday, August 10.  If I can start then, I will be finished in late-September which will give me time to recover and get to my October event.  Hopefully that will all work out.

I took advantage of our Friday summer hours by running a few errands with Mike then going with him to pick up Henry.  Nothing like a trip to Costco during some free hours...that makes me sound so old.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day 169 - PCR

I'd like to say that today has been a good day, but "good" does not quite cover it.  Today has been an incredible day and one that I will never forget.  My surgeon called me at around 11:45am to tell me that my pathology report came in and showed no residual disease.  I got a pathological complete response...the PCR that I have been chasing since my first day of chemo and the reason that I begged for more chemo to be added to my regimen (seriously, who does that).

All of the tissue that my surgeon removed was either normal tissue or scar tissue, and the 3 lymph nodes that he removed were free of any disease as well.  This is a big deal.  A huge deal.  I tried to find an actual research article to link here, but I couldn't find anything that was remotely easy to read.  I found an excerpt that is particularly relevant: 

Patients with TNBC have increased pCR rates compared with non-TNBC, and those with pCR have excellent survival. However, patients with RD [residual disease] after neoadjuvant chemotherapy have significantly worse survival if they have TNBC compared with non-TNBC, particularly in the first 3 years.  

That's pretty heavy and illustrates why a PCR was so important to me.  It was mostly out of my control (except for the additional chemo) so really all I could do is hope for the best.  Who knows if the additional chemo had anything to do with the PCR.  Perhaps it would have happened without the carboplatin.  We'll never know, and that is fine.

My surgeon is pretty direct and to the point (I can appreciate that), and his call went a little something like this "Mrs. Touhill.  I am calling to tell you that you got what you wanted - no residual disease."  I burst into tears, thanked him profusely for calling me and told him that I would see him later for my post-surgical appointment.  I ran downstairs to tell Mike the good news, and he was on the phone.  Thankfully, he was talking to one of my uncles so my interruption was welcome and understood.  It was also handy that I could tell them both at the same time. 

I made a few more tearful (in a good way) phone calls and headed out to meet a friend for lunch.  The  other TNBC woman that I recently met (in the parking lot) and I got together for lunch, and it was a lot of fun.  She and I have a lot in common, and it was nice to be able to talk openly with someone who really understands as we club members do.

My post-op appointment was very uneventful (good).  I am healing nicely and was told to come in if I have any swelling or other issues but that my surgeon would otherwise see me in 3 months.  He also gave me the all clear to start radiation within the next 3 weeks, and his nurse got the ball rolling there before I left the office.  The PCR does not cancel out the need for radiation.  Radiation will sterilize the surgical area just in case anything went rogue.  It is highly unlikely at this point, but I won't risk anything with this nasty disease.

My radiation oncologist called me late this afternoon to check in and to let me know that someone would be calling to set up my planning/mapping appointment.  She also said "I just saw your pathology report.  Congratulations!"  She knows.  Hopefully I will hear from her office tomorrow to get my planning appointment on the calendar so that I will have a better idea of when I will start and finish radiation.

As is the case in life, there are no guarantees with anything, but I got the best possible news that I could get regarding cancer today, and I am so very grateful.  I am thankful for all of the prayers, support and love from those who are going through this right next to me.  Today was a victory for the whole team! I am honesty still absorbing it all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day 168 - The Club

Earlier this evening, I was thinking about what to say in a text to someone that I know who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  I haven't sent the text yet but my opener may be something along the lines of "welcome to the club that no one wants to join."  Calling the vast world of cancer a "club" may seem like I am making light of the situation, but I can assure you that I hardly take cancer lightly.

Upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, your membership to the club is immediate and permanent.  You are so quickly thrust into this horribly scary world that you can never leave.  Sure, a lot of people get better, and the club does not take up as much of his/her time, but membership is always valid.  That horribly scary world will fade some, but club members will always remember day 1.

The club has a different lingo - ports, pre-meds, chemo this, chemo that, margins, radiation, blood counts, boosts, mapping, hair loss, hair growth, scans, scares, trials, education, etc.

There are different divisions in the club. I am, obviously, a member of the breast division but have friends in other divisions.  We all know the lingo and can all relate to each other.  The club is way too big and members' hearts are even bigger.

We crave the company of each other, cheer for other members' victories, and shed tears for their setbacks.  Complete strangers become instant friends, and we are immediately invested in each other's lives.

Club members learn a lot about themselves, each other, and non-members as soon as they are initiated and as they become more intertwined in the club.  To be very clear, I would give just about anything to not be a member, but I have certainly learned a lot about myself; some good things and some things that I could have gone without knowing.

There's no real point to this post...just a thought that snowballed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 167 - No Call

I did not hear from my surgeon today regarding the post-surgery pathology.  I vowed to be ok with not hearing today, and I mostly am.  Of course, I REALLY wanted for him to call, but I resisted the urge to call his office myself, and that is pretty big for me.  I am not the most patient creature in the world, but I've had to have a lot of patience this year so am getting better.

I did get a call from my surgeon's office at around 4:30pm with an automated reminder for my appointment on Thursday.  Not cool, universe. Not cool at all.  Oh well.

Otherwise, today was blissfully uneventful.  I was glad to be back at work.  The soreness continues to diminish, and my range of motion continues to increase.  All good news.  I went for a short and slow walk around the block during the middle of the day, and it was nice to get some air.  I won't say "fresh air" because it is so hot and muggy here that the air is not so fresh.

I can't walk very fast until I heal a bit more because too much motion pulls on my incisions.  It's not terribly comfortable when that happens so I'll stick to more of a meandering pace.

I was so happy to receive a call from my therapist this morning congratulating me on my surgery. It was so nice of her to think of me and to call.  Very much appreciated.

I had a moment of weakness this morning when I saw that Loft was advertising 70% off of their online sale so I had to indulge a little bit.  70% off.  Come on.  I treated myself to some $3 -7 t-shirts and $14 pants. Who knows how any of it will fit, but it is all returnable so why the heck not.  I have no business buying clothes right now for a variety of reasons, but maybe this will motivate me to get rid of some of my old clothes that are just taking up space.

Mike actually was hoping that I would spend some time going through old clothes while recovering from surgery, but I shattered his hopes when I laughed at his suggestion. He even offered to hold the clothes up for me while I was sitting in bed, and I could offer a simple "donate" or "keep."  Clearly, he has no idea how the world works.  I could never go through such an exercise without trying on any clothes in question.  That would just be barbaric.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 166 - Bored

It's a great sign that I was a bit bored during the day today.  I am solidly on the mend and ready to get back to work.  Don't get me wrong re-living the early years of The Office has been a lot of fun, but it is time to be more productive.

I am feeling much better, and the soreness is starting to go away.  As long as I am wearing a very supportive bra (sorry), I don't feel much pain at all.  Keeping gravity from acting on my incisions as much as possible is key.

Today also reinforced how fortunate I have been to work full-time during my treatment.  Working has kept my brain working properly and has kept my mind from wandering too far adrift.  I am looking forward to getting back into real life tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day 165 - Bandage

I was looking through my post-op paperwork this morning and saw that I could take my bandages off today.  I like to get an eye on things so proceeded right upstairs to take them off.  The incision areas do not look too bad though the incision under my arm looks a bit worse than the other.  I had a feeling that would be the case as I am sure that it is hard to operate in that area, and it is certainly hard to keep it still for healing.

Bandages are off though the steri-strips are still on.  I am not sure if I have any actual stitches or if the strips are the only thing keeping things together.  Regardless, they stay on until further notice.

I also managed a quick bath to try to feel bit more human.  I did not wash around the surgical area and won't until I get the all-clear, but I did get mostly clean. Not to sound overly lame, but all of that activity made me pretty tired.

The soreness is still present, but I was able to take Advil today vs. my prescription pain medicine.  I hate how narcotic painkillers make me feel so was very eager to make the switch to Advil.  I can't decide if I am tired now from the actual procedure or if I am tired from lazing around for the past few days.  It's probably a combination of both.

In hindsight, I probably should have done my surgery on Wednesday so that I had a few weekdays to recover while Henry was in school.  It's hard for him to understand that I can't do much, and I am afraid that he has been bored this weekend.  He and Mike did activities both yesterday and today, but Henry is used to me doing things with him all weekend.  Oh well..this is one weekend out of many, but I do feel bad that I have not been a more active participant in it.

I will probably take one more sick day from work tomorrow.  It's somewhat hard for me to extend my arm to type so I am afraid that sitting at my desk all day tomorrow will be uncomfortable.  My boss had a really good point when I talked to him on Thursday, "Nancy, we all hope that you only go through all of this once so take the time off that you need."  Fair point.  I'll make that call a bit later in the day though depending on soreness and range of motion.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 164 - Details

As promised, here are more details from yesterday.  I had to be at the hospital at 7:00am so we knew that it was going to be an early morning for all.  Henry actually woke up at 5:30, which was a good thing yesterday.  He came in bed with us for a little while, and I am so glad that I got to start such a big day with snuggles from my sweet boy.

Mike and Henry dropped me off at the hospital, went for a quick bite of breakfast, and Mike came back after taking Henry to school.  Henry's school does not open until 7:00 so we could not take him before I had to be at the hospital.

Once I got into my pre-op room and got somewhat settled, the nurse came in to start an IV, and I was on my way for my two pre-surgical procedures.  They took me to the nuclear lab first to get my radioactive injection.  Let me just tell you, the nuclear lab was the biggest disappointment of the day. I expected it to be kind of cool-looking given its name.  Maybe it was all glass, maybe it required a fingerprint or retina scan to get into the lab.  Maybe it would look like something from a movie set. Nada.  Zip.  It was a regular old hospital wing with no special security or anything.  Boring.

In the lab, they injected a radioactive isotope into my left breast.  This radioactive material traveled to the lymph nodes that drain the tumor area and were visible to my surgeon during the operation after he injected a blue dye into the same area.  The blue dye adhered to the radioactive material so that the surgeon knew which lymph nodes were my sentinel nodes because they turned blue.

After the letdown that was the nuclear lab, I had to go to mammography to have a wire placed into the tumor bed so that my surgeon knew exactly where to cut.  The radiologist explained to me that she would numb the area then place the wire under "light" compression during a mammogram.  Suffice it to say that I would hate to experience her definition of "heavy" compression.  I was compressed for quite a while while the wire was placed, but they were able to place it in the correct area on the first try.  Good.

Post-mammogram/wire placement, I was taken back up to my pre-op room where Mike was waiting for me.  He had managed to put a few chairs together and get somewhat comfy while waiting for me. The British Open was on so he was pretty content.

We waited for about an hour before the actual surgery got underway so that I could have some IV fluids.  The anesthesiologist came in and discussed what would happen anesthesia-wise.  It was nothing that I was not expecting, but I am glad that he ran through everything.  I like this anesthesiologist a lot.  I had him when I got my port put in so requested him for yesterday.  Hot tip - hospitals honor special requests like this if you just ask.

My surgeon came in to talk to us right before they wheeled me out.  He just gave us a rundown of the procedure, marked the area where he would be operating with a marker (for real), told Mike he would call him after, and went out to the nurses station and told them that all was a go!

Two OR nurses came in and asked me a few more questions, the anesthesiologist gave me some medicine to make me feel nice and woozy, Mike gave me a hug and a kiss, and we were out of there. Last thing I remember is getting onto the table in the OR then waking up in recovery.

In recovery, I woke up with some pretty significant pain which I reported immediately.  The nurse gave me some liquid Dilaudid for pain through my IV, and I think that I had a mild allergic reaction to it.  I started to itch like crazy all over so she called the anesthesologist who instructed her to give me some Benadryl.  The Benadryl delayed my wake up by a few minutes, but it helped with the itching so it was worth it.  My surgeon came by briefly and said that things went well but did not give me any details because I would not have remembered them.

I asked the recovery nurse if I had any surgical drains, and she said no!  Happy days.  Drains are such a pain.  They hang down and have to be emptied every few hours.  I had them after a totally unrelated surgery several years ago and am so glad that I do not have them again.  Apparently I was very concerned about the drains because the recovery room nurse said to Mike "she's asked 3 times if she has drains."  Ew.  Surely she is used to people not remembering things as they wake up from surgery.

Once I was awake enough, Mike helped me get dressed, and a wheelchair came up to take me down to my chariot.  The hospital offers complimentary valet parking which is awfully handy when leaving after surgery.  They pulled the car right up to the front door, and we were on our way.

As I said yesterday, all we know so far is that the surgeon got clear margins around the tumor area.  This means that he excised enough of the tumor bed so that normal tissue is all that showed around the edges.  Had he not gotten clear margins, he would have gone back in to cut out more and/or we would have had to discuss more surgery at a later date.  Thankfully that did not happen.  He also only removed 3 lymph nodes which is also a good thing.  He expected to have to remove between 1-6, and he said that it would depend on my particular anatomy.  I had 3 sentinel nodes for that particular area so they came out.

We expect to have the pathology back on Tuesday, and my surgeon will call me if it comes in.  If it does not come in by Tuesday, I'll have to wait until I see him for a follow up appointment on Thursday as he operates on Wednesdays (and Fridays). I am feeling very optimistic about what the pathology will show and am ok with waiting until Thursday if necessary.  I reserve the right to change my mind on feeling ok about waiting at any time though.

I was very sleepy yesterday afternoon and could not stay awake for more than 30 minutes at a time though I did not sleep terribly well last night.  It was hard to get comfortable.  I will take it very easy today and will probably spend most of the day in bed.  I am still on prescription pain medicine which hits pretty hard so I can't do much.  I may try to switch over to regular old Advil for pain tomorrow but will play that by ear.

As my oncologist said earlier in the week, I am considered to be cancer free as of yesterday.  Cancer free.  What beautiful words.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 163 - Chop

I am very happy to report that my surgery went well today.  My surgeon got clear margins around the tumor bed (good news) and only had to take out 3 lymph nodes (even better news).  I am doing well and not in a ton of pain thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, but I am really tired.  I can't keep my eyes open for more than 30 or so minutes at a time.  I'll write a more detailed post tomorrow with a lot more information (probably too much information for some).

Tune in tomorrow...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day 162 - Memory Lane

In an attempt to distract me from myself, my friend Diane sent me a series of Throw Back Thursday (#tbt) texts throughout the day today, and they were hilarious and sweet all at the same time.  Diane and I have known each other for quite a long time and have gone through many major life events together so we have a lot of memories to share. We also have a very similar sense of humor and just "get" each other.  One text was a picture of the two of us from one of her visits to Charleston, and that one made me tear up and smile all at the same time.  It reminded me of "easier" times that I so desperately want back.

Knowing Diane as I do, she probably created a checklist of texts to send to me during the day today.  Her level of organization puts mine to shame.

Despite distance, time, and major life events, Diane and I have remained the closest of friends, and her friendship is so meaningful to me.  I am so very lucky.  

I received an outpouring of calls, texts, emails/messages, and cards today, and I am extremely grateful.  As one might imagine, I was pretty on edge today.  I went from jittery to weepy in the blink of an eye and surely was not much fun to be around.

As my therapist said the other day "you just need to get through this surgery."  She's right.  I need to get through it to realize how anti-climactic it actually was.  The rational side of me recognizes and appreciates that but is sadly not communicating well with my emotional side. 

I went to the gym tonight in an attempt to work through the nerves, and it helped so much.  OrangeTheory workouts are so challenging that it is difficult to focus on anything else.  I was in a much better mood after I was finished and am hopeful that working out will help me sleep a little bit tonight.

I'll update tomorrow even if it is just a few lines.  Thank you for your love, support and prayers!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Day 161 - Planner

As promised, I wanted to summarize a conversation that I had with my therapist yesterday afternoon. She was asking me a little bit about my work because I mentioned that I want to be able to travel by the end of October.  We had not talked about work terribly much in previous sessions, and it was great that it came up yesterday.

I am an event planner.  I spend my days working on schedules and details that come together to make an event, be it large or small.  I also spend time working through worst case scenarios and contingency plans with members of the events team.  We talk about the "what ifs" and what we will do if they happen, and we are constantly on the lookout for things that are going wrong or could go wrong so that we can fix them.

My therapist asked me to consider if I am doing that as it relates to my health, and a light bulb went off over my head.  I totally am.  I am working through the "what ifs" and contingency plans because that is just how my brain works.  I gather information so that I can work to make the best possible decisions and so that I have as many details as possible. That is how I am programmed.  The difference between and event and cancer is that I have a lot more control at an event.  She encouraged me to try to pinpoint the aspects over which I have control and focus on them.  I have control over what I eat, how much I exercise, and what supplements I take.  I do not have control over how effective chemo was in killing my tumor.  As much as I would like to have control over that, I do not.

At events, I do not have control over everything either.  I do not control what our speakers say though we provide them with guidance, and I do not have control over the actions of others though we provide direction and training.  Sometimes, we just throw our hands up and say "what is done is done."

It was a great conversation with her, and it helped me see myself a little bit more clearly. I had honestly never thought of things that way, and I laughed when she helped me draw that conclusion.

She was also thrilled to hear that I have been able to amp up my exercise in recent weeks and said that exercise is really the best possible thing that I can do for myself right now because of the way that it changes the chemistry in the body.  She said that exercise can keep people with mild to moderate depression (not me) off of medications at times.  Pretty interesting.

One other note from yesterday - I went back to the chemo room to say hi to my nurses after my oncologist appointment.  It was great to see them, and it was even better to say a quick hi then walk out.  They were all fawning over my hair growth, and one nurse told me that she thinks that it is coming in grey! She said that people often have grey hair after chemo.  We shall see. 

I remain pretty solidly on edge about Friday, and it is manifesting itself in me being a little weepy, a little impatient, and a little distracted.  My surgeon called me today to check in and to see if I have any questions about the procedure on Friday (how nice).  When I expressed my anxiety, the assured me that my feelings are totally normal and not unique to me.  He also also promised to take excellent care of me, and I know that he will.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 160 - Cure

I saw my oncologist today, and he used the "c" word during my appointment.  Cure.  I have heard, anecdotally, that many oncologists will not use that word, but mine did, liberally, today.  Now, he did not say "you're cured."  He said that we should all consider surgery to be my "curative event."  No one knows if chemo alone can cure breast cancer because it is always preceded by or followed by surgery.  Even those who do have a complete response from chemo still have something removed during surgery, and there are some types of breast cancer that are not chemo-sensitive at all.  Non-invasive breast cancer (DCIS) can only be cured via surgery, and there are some studies out there that show that surgery may not always be necessary for that type of breast cancer as it can just stay put.  And actually, if there is any cancer left at surgery, I hope that it is DCIS and not IDC (invasive).

My oncologist also said "after surgery, we will consider you to be cured indefinitely unless there is very very compelling evidence otherwise.  You should take that 'unless,' put it in a closet, shut the door and never open it."  Easy for him to say (though no part of his job can be easy).  I like the way that he thinks, and I like that he is encouraging me to think that way even more.

We also talked about some of the "benefits" (and boy do I use that term loosely) to having triple negative breast cancer.  The main one is that the recurrence window is much shorter than other types of breast cancer.  If it comes back, it comes back within a few years vs. other types that can recur 15-20 years out.  That will, undoubtedly, lead to some tension over the next few years, but that will lessen with time as the wrecking ball does not hang over our (TNBC) heads as long as it does for some others. 

It will take time to heal both emotionally and physically from this, but I will take all of the time that I need.  I am giving myself the opportunity to truly heal, and part of how I do that is to show my vulnerability through this blog and through conversations.

I had 3 really great conversations with other patients at my doctor's office today (they were running way behind so I had a lot of time to chat).  I ran into a woman who I have seen regularly over the past 5 months.  She's 84-years old and has been on chemo for over a year for lesions on her liver.  When I saw her, she told me that her latest scan shows no cancer, and she is able to stop chemo.  She hugged me tight and said "I did it."  I had tears in my eyes talking to her and am so happy for her.  She is going to be in Pennsylvania for the month of August visiting her 3 children, and I am just thrilled that she does not have to come home to more chemo.

I sat next to another woman in the waiting room who is 4 years out from her breast cancer diagnosis and just celebrated her 60th birthday.  She had such a refreshing perspective on things, and it was a real pleasure to talk to her.  She offered a lot of encouragement, and I am glad that we would up next to each other in the waiting room.

Another woman came up to me and told me that I have a beautifully shaped head.  Oh cancer compliments.  That is one of the biggest ones, I must say. I felt honored. 

The oncology waiting room is not always a happy place, as one might imagine, but there are rays of sunshine that make it into the room, and I am always grateful when those rays touch me.  I am especially grateful this week when things are a bit more tense. 

This post has gotten WAY too long so I'll save a great conversation that I had with my therapist for tomorrow's post.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Day 159 - Fragile

I originally wrote a post about how emotionally fragile I was today but deleted the whole thing. I was pretty emotional for a lot of the day for a variety of reasons, but I am choosing to not dwell or recount any of it. Instead, I'd like to write about the things that made me happy today:

  • I started my day snuggling with Henry on the couch as he eased into the day, and I did the same before taking him up to bed tonight. 
  • I tickled Henry about 15 times tonight so that I could hear him laugh, and I also read his books in a silly voice for the same reason.  He's got the best laugh.
  • I worked out before work this morning. 
  • I took a nice long bath during my lunch break in an attempt to relax and get rid of some of the fragility. 
  • I ate very healthfully today.
  • Mike and I spent some time just talking today, and we have not done that in a while.  It was nice. 
  • I am receiving and outpouring of love in advance of my surgery that is manifesting itself in so many ways.  I am so grateful.
I could go on and on and will probably continue the list in my head as the evening wears on.  Perhaps, I will write more about my emotions another day.  Today, I choose happy. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Day 158 - Patience

I'd say that my patience-level generally ranks at about a "5" on a scale of 1-10.  I am not overly patient, but I am not ragingly impatient either.  I do find, however, that I my patience starts to creep lower and lower before major life events.  My nerves and anxiety get the best of me whether I am aware of it or not.  I found myself a bit short on patience today, but I am chalking most of that up to the very big week that I have on tap.

That said, we had a very nice day.  Henry had a swim lesson this morning and did a great job. He's been taking swim lessons with the same woman since he was 10 months old.  I know that sounds really young, but he's a champ in the water, and I think that is because he was exposed to it at an early age.  He's super comfortable in the water and is getting better at actually swimming.  His swimming is still a bit flailing and frantic-looking, but he's improving every time.  I also really like his swim instructor, and it was great to see her today.

Post-swimming, I took Henry to the pirate playground, and he was not into it at all. He went down the slide maybe 4 times and was ready to head out.  That's not quite like him, but it was hot, and I think he was a bit tired. Mike met us for lunch then Henry and I went to Trader Joe's for a few essential and a lot of vegetables.

I put the groceries away and left Henry at home to run one more errand.  I had to go to Walmart to buy some front-closing no underwire bras in anticipation of my surgery and a somewhat limited range of motion.  You would not believe how hard it is to find such things on the cheap.  I've been looking all over town, and Walmart was the only place that had something that fit the bill.  They are super attractive (kidding), were $6 each, and will go in the trash can or maybe the fireplace (for the theatrics) once I no longer need their practical and supportive services.

I also spent some time preparing veggies to eat during the week and cutting up/portioning fruit for smoothies and yogurt.  I love to cook so it was a nice way to spend an hour or so.  Having everything prepared will make it easier to eat healthy during the week and will help me stick to meals that I have planned out.

Big week coming up.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Day 157 - Splash

One of the county parks in Charleston has a small water park called Splash Zone.  There are two big water slides, a pool, lazy river, and a shallow water-based playground.  Henry and I met some friends there, and once I got over the fresh hell of walking around in public in my bathing suit, we had a wonderful time.  Truly excellent.  Henry was just tall enough to go on the big water slides in a double float with me, and we probably went on them 15 times.  They went pretty fast, and Henry got a face full of water at the bottom of each, but he did not mind.  In fact, the first thing he told Mike about when we got home is how he got splashed in the face.  Funny.

The playground area was also a big hit too. He is big enough to be pretty independent in shallow water like that so had a blast.  He played with his friends, and their mom and I sat in the water and chatted.  The lazy river was also fun.  We went around twice, but it was a little too slow-paced for my adventurous child. 

I went to OrangeTheory this morning and had a pretty good workout by my current fitness standards.  It was a tough workout for anyone so I just did my best.  I also got to see one of my favorite trainers, and he and I spent some time talking for a while after.  I asked him if he thought that he and the other trainers could help me with enough modifications so that I can still go during radiation.  He assured me that they could and said that they've got members with rotator cuff  issues who also cannot do any upper body work so they are accustomed to making modifications.  When the time comes, he encouraged me to let the other trainers know well in advance and that they would give me lower body exercises when others are doing upper body, and I can ride the stationary bike during the rowing portions of the class. I'm pretty excited about that. I was feeling guilty even thinking about requesting such modifications, but the trainer said that kind of stuff is exactly what they are there for. 

He is also really big into nutrition so gave me so things to look into to help detox and get my body back to where it needs to be (slowly).  I'll look into his ideas.  I'm not going to got too crazy, but maybe I will add some juicing or some super nutrient-dense smoothies into my diet to get an extra boost of nutrition.

Today was an excellent day.  I am glad that I took some time for myself this morning and even happier about the afternoon that I got to spend with Henry.  He and I will both sleep well tonight!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 156 - Apology

I always find it refreshing when an organization takes the time to properly apologize for a misstep.  I received this note from the CEO of the Young Survival Coalition in my FB inbox this morning:

I am writing to you directly to apologize, and also to let you know that I took the YSC post about Spensers down this morning. Even though the post is down, I didn’t want you to think that I did not read your message and that I didn’t hear you. I TOTALLY GET IT … the name of Spenser’s Foundation “boobies make me smile” - is offensive and upsetting. 

As a young woman who also has lost both my breasts from breast cancer I have always been troubled with their name “Boobies Make me Smile” (it is a terrible name). You have my word as the CEO of YSC - that YSC puts the young breast cancer survivor first before all else – always. However that does not change the reality of Spenser’s Foundation name and that YSC upset you with our post. I am deeply sorry … I really am. And I am here and open to any more conversation… 

Jennifer Merschdorf CEO, Young Survival Coalition

I assume that she wrote to anyone who commented on their Facebook post.  It was a nice thing to do. The YSC internet take-down continued well into the night last night, but it seems to have worked.  There is, of course, no information on whether or not they terminated their relationship with the old "Boobies Make me Smile," but it is a start.  

I'll admit that I was a little cranky today.  There was a lot going on at work, and most of it was very last minute.  Sometimes that can't be helped, but it is frustrating.  It got handled, though, and that is the most important thing.   

Despite a very busy day, I picked Henry up early, and we headed to the pool.  We had a great time, and he even made friends with some neighborhood kids.  Henry is not a shy child but sometimes gets shy when approaching kids that he does not know to play. Once he gets over the initial shyness, he always has a great time.  It is cute to watch.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day 155 - Flash

Not going to lie, I am ready for these hot flashes to stop.  It's pretty uncomfortable to be sitting perfectly still in an air-conditioned house and break out in a sweat all over.  It is a feeling like none other, and one that I am over.  I wake up at least twice a night (even if just briefly) burning hot despite my fan setup.  Obviously, hot flashes are a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but I would still like for them to go away.

I went for a nice long bike ride during lunch today (a perfectly appropriate time to sweat).  It was pretty hot, but the breeze from moving fairly fast made the heat tolerable.  I do a lot of thinking on my bike, and today was no different.  I appreciate the quite time to spend with my thoughts as there are so few times in which there are minimal distractions.

After work, I went out to Kiawah and caught up the crew already there. Mike picked Henry up early from school, and they spent the afternoon on the beach with my mom/Glen and our friends.  I was sorry that I could not go to the beach with them but glad that I was able to join for a cocktail and dinner.  We had a great dinner and visit and headed out at 8 to get Henry home for a late(ish) bedtime.  It was very fun.

I've had so many evening activities this week which is a nice change of pace.  I am also happy to report that my stalking of the woman that I met at the grocery store was successful (that makes me sound so creepy). We've exchanged contact information and intend to keep in touch.  I'm glad.

I was disappointed by something that my beloved Young Survival Coalition posted on Facebook today.  Apparently they have entered into a partnership with Spencer's Gifts (that store still exists?) to raise awareness of breast cancer by selling silicone bracelets with various slogans on them.  One bracelet design said "Boobies Make me Smile."  YSC got slaughtered for it on Facebook, and rightfully so.  That is so distasteful and degrading.  I could go on (and on), but I do hope that the backlash that they are receiving makes them reconsider the partnership. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day 154 - Growth

This is not going to be a post about personal, spiritual, professional, or emotional growth.  It's even better - my eyelashes are growing back!  As I was putting on makeup to go out to dinner this evening, I noticed some teeny tiny eyelashes sprouting up.   I could not see them until I got a mirror very close to my eye, but they are there.  My eye brows are taking a wee bit longer, but I am sure that they will catch up soon.  The peach fuzz on my head seems to be growing in a little bit more too, but it hard to really tell since I attempt to analyze and measure its growth at least 4 times a day.  I am so excited.

I went out to dinner with some friends tonight, and Mike hosted daddy daycare at our house.  One friend is moving so a few of us went out to dinner as a little farewell.  She has two boys around the same age as Henry, and Mike offered to have them here to play with Henry while we went out to dinner.  No doubt that Henry loved every minute of it.  He is very social and loves getting together with his friends. 

I am starting to get a little bit anxious about my surgery next week, but that is a post for a different time.  There will be plenty of time for anxiety between now and next Friday.  The anxiety is not related to the actual procedure as much as it is related to the results of the procedure.  More on that another day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day 153 - Relaxation

As predicted, I am extremely sore from the little bit of running that I did yesterday.  While uncomfortable, I don't mind a little bit of soreness from working out as it signifies that I worked hard.  Lucky for me, I had a 90-min massage after work today so that helped a lot.

Henry's school gave me a gift certificate for a massage several months ago, and I was very happy to be able to cash it in tonight.  It was very nice of the school to do that for me, and I am grateful for their thoughtfulness. I left work right at 5pm and hightailed it over for 90 minutes of relaxation.  It was really incredible.

I've got a few other spa gift cards on hold for future dates. 

I stopped at a grocery store near the massage studio after I was finished, and I just happened to see a woman without much hair (I am hyper-aware) sitting in her car.  I gave her a little solidarity wave, and she rolled down her window and flagged me over.  Turns out that she was also diagnosed with TNBC and is 3 chemo treatments in.  We had a nice chat and compared notes.  She had her port put in on the backside of one of her arms, and I am so jealous of that and didn't even realize that was an option.  Her port is totally out of the way, and she does not have a noticeable scar from it.

She is the owner of a local gym and said to look her up if I wanted to stay in touch.  I think that I will.   That is kind of stalky of me, but she offered so I may stalk away.  I think that it is important for anyone going through this to be able to relate to others and really talk about what is going on.

I also called my surgeon's nurse to ask her when she thought I might be released for radiation so that I can set up my mapping appointment.  I joked with her and told her that she is welcome to tell me to relax and wait for the surgery to happen first.  She laughed and said "relax and wait for the surgery to happen first."  I can appreciate that and will do.  I am sure that I will see my surgeon the week after my procedure so I can harass him then.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day 152 - Run

I attempted to run for a little bit during my lunch break today, and it was not so pretty.  Earlier in the year when I was begging my oncologist to "let" me go to the gym, he said "you might find that your endurance is not where it once was."  That statement has proven true over the last several months when I have exercised.  Today was no exception.

I did week 1/day 1 of the Couch to 5K program and could not finish all of the running.  C25K is a great program and one that I have done before that prepares one to run a 5K via walking/running intervals that increase the running and decrease the walking over a series of several weeks.  Today, the easiest day, kicked my butt.  I did 75% of the running and will repeat day 1 on Wednesday at a cooler time of day. Biking in the heat of the day is tolerable due to the breeze..running is not.

Anyway, I am glad that made the attempt and am sure that my body will eventually catch up.  Previous challenges with running were all mental for me, but now I think that I am in a way better place mentally but need to catch up physically.  I will be sore from the small amount of running that I did today.  Baby steps (seems to be my mantra).

My upcoming surgery will temporarily sideline any running, but why not go ahead and try to get back into it over the next 10 days.  After I heal from surgery, I should be able to run some during radiation barring any major burns or fatigue. 

I am also really starting to focus on adding additional supplements to my diet.  I am currently taking vitamin D, vitamin B-12, glucosamine, and biotin.  I'll add turmeric/curcumin to the mix on Wednesday after it arrives from Amazon.  There is some evidence that turmeric can help prevent recurrence, and while the FDA does not have an official stance on it, it can't hurt to try it.  Turmeric does reduce inflammation in the body so I will benefit from it regardless. 

My radiation oncologist may put a temporary hold on all supplements during radiation, but we'll see.  The work to be as healthy as possible continues.  Baby steps.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day 151 - Magic

I'm not even remotely ashamed to mention that I saw Magic Mike XXL this afternoon with a friend.  It was everything that one would expect a movie about male strippers to be - funny.  There was more of a "plot" with this movie than its predecessor, and it was very entertaining.  A small portion of the movie was actually set in Charleston as the guys were heading from Tampa to Myrtle Beach for a convention.  At one point, a Charlestonian said something along the lines of "why are you going to Myrtle Beach?  You should go to Kiawah."  I couldn't agree more.

In fact, after Magic Mike XXL, I did just that.  Mike and Henry went to Kiawah late morning to play on the beach, and I joined them at the beach house after.  Our long (long) - time family friends always   come to the beach for the 4th of July week and have as long as I can remember.  I have so many wonderful childhood memories of us all spending time at that house.  Now that the once-kids are all grown up, it is fun to reminisce about time spent at that house growing up, and it is even more fun to watch our kids play and make memories there.

I hesitate to mention other people's kids by name without permission so instead of trying to explain how much fun they had without mentioning names, suffice it to say that all kids involved had a wonderful time over these past few days, and I can't wait to get them together again.  There were many belly laughs, squeals of delight, and sweet moments.  I loved it.

It was a great long weekend full of activity, family, and friends.  Just what I was hoping it would be.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Day 150 - Fireworks

Several weeks ago, I suggested that we let Henry stay up for fireworks this year. He's old enough that we've been able to be a little bit more flexible with bedtime so we just went for it.  Henry and I went down to the beach at around 10 this morning, and Mike met us at the house after he played golf.  The beach was perfect today. There was a nice breeze, and it was not too crowded.  Henry ran, and ran, and ran some more.  He actually got a little pink from the sun today, and I feel horrible.  Hopefully it fades quickly. 

We took a beach break for some lunch at around 2 and headed back shortly thereafter.  At around 7pm, it started to rain really hard and thunder a little bit, and I started to get worried that the fireworks would be cancelled.  I had really talked them up to Henry so he was excited, and I was, frankly, excited to see them myself.  The fireworks were to start at 9:30 so I called at 9:10 to ask if they were still happening and was told that they would do them even if it was raining. 

Mike chose to leave and come home, but Henry and I (and several others) grabbed a few umbrellas and some flashlights and walked down to the beach. They put on a great show, and Henry was totally delighted.  It was worth getting a little damp and letting him stay up way late.  

He fell asleep in the car on the way home, and I carried him right up to bed where he rolled over and went immediately back to sleep. 

It was a great day on the beach, and I will write more about that tomorrow.  I am going to go immediately to sleep myself right now. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Day 149 - Storm Clouds

We got chased off of the beach by a pretty powerful thunderstorm this afternoon.  We were sitting under some umbrellas that my family rented from the beach service when two of the service's employees came over and told us that they had to take the umbrellas down due to an impending storm.  He wasn't kidding.  We looked behind us, and the sky was really black so we packed it up and hoofed it the block and a half back to the house.  As soon as we walked into the garage, the sky started to fall.

We had a wonderful time on the beach and wish that we had been able to stay for a little while longer.  There was a great breeze, and the umbrellas provided plenty of shade.  Henry asked for me to dig a big hole for him in the sand that provided a lot of entertainment, and there were tidal pools that he could roll around in to his heart's content.  Mike took Henry out into the ocean for a few minutes, but they did not go out very deep at all.  A child was bitten by a shark a few miles away from Kiawah last week so I was not very interested in Henry and Mike spending a lot of time in the ocean.

It was a really fun day, and we're headed back out there tomorrow morning.  Hopefully the storm clouds will stay away!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Day 148 - Peace

I've been feeling a very nice, very welcome sense of peace over the last few days.  I can't really explain it, but I am so very glad to have these feelings.  Yes, I do still have some fear that creeps in on occasion, but most of my thoughts have been very happy and, again, very peaceful lately.

It was really nice here this morning - a bit cool and slightly overcast.  I went for a bike ride and walked the dog while Mike took Henry to school.  It felt good to do that this morning, especially since it felt so nice outside. Once upon a time, I was a big fan of morning workouts.

I ran an errand at lunch then powered through the rest of the work day.  It always seems like the day before a long weekend moves really slowly.  There is something that I love about long weekends and having that extra day of no real routine.

Mike played golf this afternoon so I picked up Henry.  We had a water balloon fight when we got home and played a little while before dinner.

Nothing much remarkable to report today.  I am looking forward to a fun weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day 147 - Awake

For some reason, I did not sleep well last night.  I was awake between 3-4, and then finally fell asleep on the couch for a few hours. Needless to say, I was tired today.  My mind was just running.  Nothing good, nothing bad, just going.  I hate waking up tired, but it happens sometimes. 

I am happy to report that my aches are starting to dissipate so I am feeling more and more like myself.  It is excellent news.  My hair continues to grow as well.  I've texted two people a picture of the top of my head (how weird is that), and each could see my peach fuzz.  It is coming in really light which is intriguing.  I had lighter hair when I was little but it has been dark brown for years and years.  If it does come in light, I hope that it is blonde and not grey.

I also picked up an eyebrow pencil to help fill things in a little bit, and it made a difference.  I didn't go crazy with it but added a little bit of color to my brow area.  Tips of the chemo trade I suppose.

Work was busy today.  We're 4 months out from our October event so the pace for that is starting to pick up.   Two colleagues are actually in LA this week for a pre-planning meeting with the hotel.  That is normally something that I would do, but "normally" has not been a big part of my vocabulary lately. 

Off to bed early tonight in hopes of getting a solid night's sleep.