Friday, May 21, 2010


I have many happiness's in-between all these doctor visits. A major diagnosis like this brings so many heavy thoughts and feelings that I wasn't balanced out for a long time. I honestly believe that I am just now able to cope with what is going on. After all the thoughts and sadness and worrying, I felt it was important to stress the importance of spending time making yourself happy too.

It is so important to even yourself out with positive feelings. By evening yourself out, I am telling you that you should try to spend an equal amount of time doing things that make you happy. Being around the people that make you happy also helps. It makes all the difference.

For me, first of all, my niece that is just about a year old now, is the light of my life. Ever since she was born I noticed that she had this life energy that was more than enough for her. There was always plenty of energy left over for me. I felt so much better every time I saw her. I would notice that when I spend time with her, I would leave feeling such joy and happiness. I just know that she and I share a very special connection that is undeniable. I know that she is so smart just by our interactions. She is a great joy in my life.

I have to say my husband and my kids are such a big part of my happinessas well. We love to hang out together on weekends and to go to our favorite places. I love taking the kids out to get a reward for their hard work being straight A students. They really try hard to do well and we really try hard to work with them for their futures. It is important for me to also teach them to be kind to others. My little one tells me every week about a situation that happened at school and how she handled it. This girl is 9. I tell her not to make things so complicated. I tell her to just try to have fun and not be so serious all the time. There is plenty of time to be serious. I always try to have them remember to lead their thoughts with integrity.

My dogs also make me very happy. I know that they are loyal to me. I know that they dont have any place they would rather be. Dogs bring a fun that no other being can do. There is a mind-melding that happens there because that is the only way they can communicate. I really believe that you can look in a dogs eyes and hear what they want if you just listen to them. You hear it if you have love in your heart for them.

I have not even touched on all the ways that one can find happy times. I hope to share more ideas with you on ways that I find to make me happy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuesday May 12th-ONC VISIT

Tuesday morning got up very early. The appointment was at 7:30am in the morning. My mom took me up to the hospital, but ended up dropping me off because she had to go to work. Not to long after that my sister was coming to pick me up after and take me home. She was going to try to make it in time to go in the doctor office with me but I told her to be safe, if she made it she made it.
So I was going to my visit with my normal oncologist. I was going be go alone for the first time in a long time. Especially when it came to going to hear news from a scan or something like that. 99% of the time, I do feel great and don't expect to hear anything bad at all. Regardless, Chris and my mom and my sister do not let me hear news alone ever. Good, bad, or regular news it all works out to be stressful just the same. They know that I am left to think about everything after the doctor visit. I do stay positive and brave.
I got out of the car and went in the hospital. I ended up being seen even earlier than they thought so I did end up going in by myself.
I first had to get labs done which consists of them drawing blood. And if you remember I didn't have a great time getting an IV the day before that. I had bruises from the day before. I went into the room and showed the lady my arm. She saw my port and asked me if I was having chemo that day. I said no I am having chemo tomorrow. So she decided to draw blood from my hand since I had bruises on my upper arm and not from my port since I wasn't having chemo that day.
I saw a doctor that I haven't seen before come in and visit with me. He looked at my scans before he came in and told me that they saw 3 new places that the cancer has spread to. Possibly. There was a spot on my liver, a spot on my sternum and there was some sort of spotting on my left chest area where I had my radiation. He examined me and he could not feel any sort of tumor on my chest area where the new spot was supposed to be. As for the spotting on the liver, lots of people have liver spots. Normal people have spots like that and nine times out of 10 they don't know it. They are normal and harmless. He also said that the spotting also might still be from my radiation healing. He said that they would be doing another scan in 3 months to check again and they would use this scan as a baseline. I said OK and he left and I waited for my doctor to come in.
I didn't wait to long and my doctor came in. She gave me a big hug as usual. She asked me if I had any questions about what the other doctor had said. I told her no. She was explaining that I hadn't had that type of scan in a year. I felt good about that. If its been a whole year and that is all that is coming up then I am great. I told her that I feel great. She told me to keep doing what I'm doing to feel good and that we would go from there.
I knew I would be there the next day for pain management and my chemo, so I got out of there as fast as I could. I called my sister and she picked me up and took me home.
I was so tired, I crashed out the for a couple of hours until my daughter got home from school. I tell her like I always do that I had a good doctors appointment, and she tells me like she always does, I know mom... and we go on our day.
I love my family...I would not be able to go on without them....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monday May 11- The Scans

I had my appointments at the beginning of last week. I saw all my doctors. Monday was full of scans. I was injected with radioactive dye. I was also made to drink that drink that makes the cancer inside me glow. It wasn't all that bad really. The worst part of this day was that the nurse who made the IV in my arm missed my veins in 2 separate places. It was tough to sit there. She was digging around and everything. After she couldn't find a vein, she went a little lower on the same arm and then she did it again! She then told me that it was a good stick when clearly it wasn't. It started to get red and puffy around the needle location. So I decided to let her go on with the next patient and let the other nurse come back and tell her. When the other nurse came back I told her that it wasn't good and it hurt. She looked at me a little weird. She then took my arm and tried to flush the IV. There was no return. She kindly removed that needle from my arm. I got immediate relief. I sat through all that. I guess I could have gotten mad because she had to make sure. I also didn't get offended because I know she deals with tons of people and she had to make sure, she was just doing her job. I did however look at the other nurse who knew English well enough to understand me when I yelled NO GOOD at her pointing down at my arm. The thought of having radioactive dye in my veins not going anywhere wasn't exactly a great thought. It would have almost defeated the whole purpose of the scans. So I sat there while my arm was pokeed yet a third time with the thick IV needle and gets return this time.
The other thing is I am only allowed to let the nurses take my blood pressure and take blood poke into my right arm. Since they removed my left armpit and 15 lymph nodes it does not allow them to take accurate readings. Wouldnt you know my entire life I have always used my left arm for things like that. My best vein was on the left side of course. I now have to either get poked with my port, or the right side.
Luckily other than having to wait a little while when I got to the room where the scans where and got on the machine it was painless. The radioactive shot feels a little weird. When they shoot it in your arm, it feels warm and you can feel it going throughout your whole body. It goes up into your head, around and down one leg and up the other. Then they put you in the machine and then you hear the machine tell you to breathe, Hold your breath. Then release. Your lungs need to be full of air when they take the shots.
I got to go back to change and go to the waiting room where Lisa and my baby niece was waiting for me. She is about a year old. I love being with my sister and my niece. Anyway, my sister was nice enough to take me because everyone else was working. With my leg the way it is, my husband and mom don't want me going anywhere alone.
That was mostly it for that day... on to Tuesday

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Made the Call

After much suffering and trying to just make it to my scans, I made the call. I left a message and let them know that I was in severe pain. I could only get up for a few minutes at a time and I have to time my meds just right and take them right before I attempt to do anything. Anyway,
She called me back the next day, as is standard to do, and told me that my doctor moved my scans up a whole month. So Mon, Tues, Wed, of next week I get to do all my appointments including my Zomeda on Wed. Zomeda is technically chemo but it is not degenerative, its regenerative. The intention is to feed my bones. I get treatments that women with osteoporosis get. Whatever works you know.
This is why I said that I would enjoy my good news while I can because on Tues. (scans being Monday) I will get to find out if the cancer had spread to any new places, if its in my lungs or liver, and if its now in my left femur bone and what the plan will be for it. I already know that if it doesn't regenerate fast enough I will need the steel rod. It is the same surgery that anyone who breaks or has a fracture in that bone needs.
With all this in mind, I brace myself and I don't have a point of view. I prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best. I numb myself and sort of rise out of my body when she talks. I act like its not me. Whatever trick I can pull that day to help me through the appointment is OK with me. I finally realized why I was having panic attacks before my appointments. I mean bad. I never knew what a panic attack was before that. I finally realized that every time I have been to the doctor over the past 2 years I have gotten bad news. I have to deal with something else then something else then something else. Just when I think I have heard it all, it cant get any worse the bottom drops out. And this had been every 2 weeks for 24 months. I am surprised I haven't cracked before. On top of the meds, on top of trying to run the house, on top of keeping up with financing, and also trying to be a mother and a wife who can walk, hasn't been able to cook, and on and on... I know I am hard on myself. I am still coping with it all but I do the best I can. I will never let it keep me down I know that. I don't care if I can only stand for a minute or two at a time right now, I will be up doing what I need to do. When my body tells me enough for right now, I listen. Its the best I can do now.
I wanted to share that at least I go for scans Monday, see my doctor Tues for the results, and go for pain management and my treatment on Wed. I don't need to pep myself up for this one, and I do not have any panic feelings right now. I am taking care of business. All I ask is for them to give it to me straight. They all know that if I find out I need surgery I tell them to schedule the first day available from that moment. Why drag it out is my feelings. Lets do it and I will be back home faster, and healing faster. I have the healing down to an I always hear, "Well Renee, you sure are looking good"... now I hear it 2 ways. I hear it one way as wow, you look good for all you have been through, and you look bad ass for what you just went through and your already up and walking around. You are a miracle.
The other way I hear it is, wow you sure are looking good, like a smart ass, like I make a big deal over nothing because look at me, I am already walking and getting around. Now here is where I choose to take the higher road over dopes that have no intelligence.
I know that when they tell me that I will be walking around with a walker for a month, and I scrap that sucker in 2-3 days and start walking on my own, after a major surgery that I am a bad ass chick. All I think is they would never be able to do what I do. And I am the one who is "supposed" to be "sick"..

More as I get it,

Peace and love,


So I just realized that the privacy setting on my Facebook was not allowing anyone to add me or even find my page for that matter. I had it locked down...LOL.... anyway.... I just got into the right page and found the correct button to uncheck on the privacy settings and BOOM there I am. Long story short, my shortcut to my facebook page now goes somewhere.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

So meet Sara. We had a group of kids that came to our door who asked us if this was our dog. I said no all at the same time I picked her up and fell in love. Mind you she was tiny because we have actually had her for about a month. We wanted to make sure no one was going to claim her.
Anyway, I told the kids if when they finish going around to the houses and still couldn't find her home to bring her back and I would care for her. They told me they had already been to every house on the block and the next. I said OK. In the meantime, we have been outside with her everyday 3-4 times and have tried to find an owner with no success. By now she is Silly Sara B. Now a part of the clan. Once you are in, you are

This is a picture of my haircut even though Chris says I am so used to putting my hair behind my ear that I did the same thing here. Its funny cause I looked and he was right. But you can get the idea of the cut and color.. which I love by the way. I have already been asked to model for my stylist on her next show. So thats pretty cool.. enjoy!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I have recently started having severe pain in my other leg. The same pain that I originally had in my right leg and its severe. It makes doing everyday things so hard.
It is the same situation when my right leg hurt like this. My femur bone in my right leg showed on the scans that the cancer had eaten almost halfway through my bone and could snap on worst case scenario. How scary is that? How painful is that? My option was the orthopedic surgery. My pain management doctor told me after the surgery that the doctors in there use the same tools as carpenters use to get that rod in there and in the right place. Google orthopedic surgery and see for yourself. They hammer and pry and chisel and whatever else they need to do. Trust me when I woke up I was in intensive care for 9 hours and I was never supposed to even be in there. It hurt so terribly that I cried the entire time, none of the pain meds worked, and I saw the staff change shifts before I got any comfort from the pain. They finally installed a pump that went off every 6 minutes. Luckily, I started climbing uphill very quickly after that. Once I was able to get my bearings, the rehabilitation and physical therapy department came to visit. They showed me how to climb stairs, and how to get into my house. Several things that I had to be careful of and get used to again. I was cleared from the physical therapy department but they ended up keeping me an extra night due to all the pain I experienced.
Anyway, I came home the next day and my right leg is doing great. I know the steel rod works because it supports me as I need. It has probably fused with my bone and I think is doing very well. The pain of it fusing is still there. I do still experience pain in my right leg but it is pain that I can take.
It feels like to me that my left leg is experiencing pain now and I wanted the scans done to see whats going on...good or bad..
So last weekend my mom and sister and I went on a celebration to Toni & Guy Salon to get our hair cut, styled, and colored as a celebration that we didn't have to shave our heads after all. No chemo, no bald heads. It was also time to donate our hair to Locks of Love anyways. So they worried about me being able to stand being at the beauty shop all day. I said this is a celebration and there is nothing that can keep me from getting my summer cut. My view is if I just stay here and sit here in pain then that wont be good. I at least can get my hair cut like a normal person, and if the pain got unbearable I would have stepped out. Most of the time it is so intense that it does bring me to tears. Although I have been able to do breathing exercises and do the best I can to calm down until it subsides. I loaded up on pain pills this day for
So the next thing is they will scan me and tell me how much of my femur bone that the cancer has eaten and if I will need the surgery that I had on my right leg, I am guessing that is in my future for my left leg as well.
I was trying to cut down on all the pills I have to take, I was going to make it where I didn't need anymore pain pills. The pain pills make it subside, its in the background just for long enough to do little things here and there. I often times must listen to my body and go sit down. It doesn't matter if I am done or not done doing my tasks. A chore is never more important than your health and being in pain. I am so stubborn at times and I say, I am not going to let it keep me down. If I don't grin and bear it then in a sense I feel its winning. I often push through and take those few more steps whether I have to cry to do it I will. I am not going to sit by and let my bones just be eaten alive and not try to strengthen them or do what I can to make my muscles stronger.
I know I wouldn't even be able to get up at all if I didn't have those pills to help me get up. And I hate pills. I have gotten so good at it I can take 10-20 pills at a time. I know my next oncology appt is coming up and I have been trying to make it until then. I try to tolerate everything. I know I can only do that for so long, I must get this leg scanned. I know that is what I need. I will let you know what they say....