Thursday, March 25, 2010

Still Sore

Talked to the doc again today. Looks like I'll be heading home tomorrow if nothing sets me back. My insides got with the program tonight- had some Wendy's fries and watched Project Runway. It's been a good night.
I miss my girls terribly. I got some coloring book pages in the mail that Iris had done for me. Made me smile.
The doc says the chemo worked a bit but there is "still plenty of tumor in there that needs to go." So while the surgery went well- there is concern that the chemo isn't working fast enough to beat the cancer. It's working, but not fast enough. Doc said we may do another IPHP surgery in 6 months. whee.
I'm going to meet with the Oncologist here in Columbus about clinical trials, chemo and whatever else can be done. I had hoped to be finished with this crap for just a bit, but no joy. I guess I'll have to prove my endurance now. I'm gonna try to adopt a healthier diet and exercise when I recover- even if I'll just get knocked on my ass again soon. I gotta buckle down and commit and stick to it. Dammit.

But for now I say happy day that I will soon be home with my girlies.

New day.

The swelling lip finished it's reign. It's still puffy- but not like it was last night. I got some sleep actually. Bed around 1-ish and then woke up by rounding student doctors. They don't bother to knock, they just flip the light on as they come in. rude.
I'm very sore today, I think it's from the walking I did yesterday, hopefully the pain meds take care of it. I've been upped to thicker solids to get my GI tract with the program. I don't want to rush it- but I don't want to sit here for days on end either. So I'm chuggin' an Ensure right now... not bad. Tastes like pumped up Ovaltine.
I am looking forward to going home and hanging with the girls, sleeping, and getting stuff together for the Relay for Life. In that order.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Really! I'm seriously going to just laugh this one off. One side of my bottom lip just started swelling out of the blue. The swelling is making it's way around my lip. It's to the middle right about now.

Maybe I'll look like Angelina Jolie by morning. Oh- and I need to pluck my eyebrows... badly.
I DID want to say I didn't get an NG tube this time.. don't really know why. Hasn't been a problem though. Even better- so that's the silver lining.

A little better

And I mean that in the most miniscule way. The morphine wasn't cutting it so they upped me to dilaudid? Sleeping is near impossible. My back is killing me- my stomach is killing me and I'm stiff all over.
Now, for the details... They wouldn't do the hysterectomy because priority #1 was to treat the cancer I DO have.
Supposedly Dr Arnold removed 'numerous' pea sized nodules from my abdominal wall and my stomach. My other organs look good but he said it's more cancer than he'd have liked to see. I guess more chemo is in store for me... dammit. I guess I am also a candidate for esome clinical trials. bring 'em on.

Well, I am dreadfully exhausted so I'm signing off for now. More later.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I used the best title for this post a while back.

I am in Columbus tonight- the night before "Go" Day. Today was a mess. I was doing laundry at the new house... we evidently have a clog somewhere. The downstairs was flooded after 2 loads of laundry.
THEN, as that got cleaned up- the husband was taking the dogs out and evidently one sat on the other's leg and probably broke it. This all just before I left the house for Columbus. Because you know I needed a few more things on my plate. Guess it's a good thing I won't be home to go shopping for groceries.

Anxious about tomorrow. Thinking about that damnedable NG tube.

Could be worse... could be raining.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ramblin' on

Hmm. Where to start?
Well- first things first: We slept in the new house for the first time last night. I was exhausted but didn't sleep well at all. Racing mind and aching body. Bad combo for sleeping.
Once we actually got the girls to bed, they slept well. Iris LOVES the new house but said she missed the old one. Vera keeps wandering up and down the hall... looking around. I think she digs it too.
Gotta pack for the hospital stay. I leave Sunday to spend the night in Columbus so I can be there fresh and ready for Monday morning.
So I unpack for the new house to pack again for a hospital stay. I'll have to remember my bath and body works cucumber melon shower gel and lotion. The nurses on my recovery floor told me that they liked coming into my room because it smelled good. So maybe I got better service for it. :)
I loathe packing for hospital stays. I want to change every day- MY OWN clothes. I HATE hospital gowns. I also hate the idea of not being able to wash my damn hair for days. Packing 'do-rags.
Admittedly, I'm not looking forward to the next week. Second HIPEC (or IPHP) surgery and hysterectomy. I would just rather be in a drugged up haze so I don't remember it. I will miss the girls TERRIBLY. I don't know that anyone will bring them up to see me.
As far as work... well... someone is sitting in for me while I'm gone. I probably won't even have a job when all is said and done.
It's funny. I got diagnosed with cancer, had 2 surgeries and someone held a benefit for me... (Mind you- I've been at my job for almost 9 years now) No one called to see how I was doing and nevermind sending flowers at any time. And I saw ONE co worker at the benefit.
It is kinda sad. I got cards and well wishes from total strangers- but hardly a peep from the people I see 5 days a week. I must've worn out my welcome.
No matter. I found out who my friends are.


So my sister and mom are going up to the hospital with me. I had my husband take yesterday and today off to move rather than Monday and Tuesday to be at the hospital with me. I'd rather him be home with the girls for some consistency at the new house. The first 2 days of surgery and recovery are a blur anyway.
i'm thinking I can talk my little brother into letting me have his laptop for the week so I can catch up on Project Runway and Lost and watch some movies and blog a bit. Some communication with the outside world does me good in the middle of the night between doses. :)

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More good news.

I say that with every ounce of sarcasm I have in me. I got a call from the nurse yesterday tell me that I have a 2(ish)cm cyst on my thyroid but that TSH levels were fine. In the meantime- I am itchy, FAT, tired and have probably the nastiest dry skin I can imagine. hmmm.

I have also discovered that I am slowly breaking down. I think if I didn't have my girls that I would just have to throw in the towel. I don't know how much more bad news I can take and deal with.
It's not just the cyst. I feel like I'm failing at everything. I am not the mother I should be- I catch myself losing my cool too easily. I TRY- and in the back of my head I wish my husband would CALMLY take over and give me a break and maybe at least play 'good guy' but he doesn't. If he sees me getting upset- he gets mad too- which, in turn, puts me on the deffensive for the girls- because I can't stand to see someone get cross with them- even if it's him. They're my babies. So there is a constant frustration in me that will manifest in tears given the slightest opportunity.
I hate that I am on anti-anxiety medicine because of how HE makes me feel- not because of how the CANCER makes me feel. I'm frustrated at work because I feel worthless and know that there are at LEAST 2 people here that have discussed just how 'not useful' I am. I am a talker- that's why I got into radio, but I am afraid to talk anymore for fear that I'll say something stupid and be looked down upon. So my air time consists of "Yeah", "Ha ha" and "Awww." Riveting- right? There was a time here that I was gung ho about making these stations work great and I would do whatever was asked of me. I realized I was the only one. It wasn't working- so I joined the "I don't give a shit" club. But for some reason 'I' am the only one who gets the attention for it.
So I guess the happy pills are for work too.
I wish I could just whisk my girls away to the beautiful hills of Tuscany and live a semi-modern but simple life... cancer free, worry free, work free, financial troubles free.

I'm pissed at life right now.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I spent the weekend painting and it's still not done. I want to give a HUGE thanks to Sarah, Tina and Brenda for coming out of the blue to help- you gals kick ass! And thanks to my Dad for, uh, well, where do I start?!?! Thanks to my mother in law for working so hard, my mom for putting my kitchen in order, my stepdad for getting the laundry room taken care of, my little brothers Sean and Luke for the help and Luke's friend, Troy for all the hard work.
I am hell-bent on being in the new house by Friday night. I would like to at least spend 2 nights there with the girls before I'm whisked away to Columbus to have my next surgery. I will likely be there for at least a week. Yee-Haw! Before then I also have to go to work, get bills taken care of, get arrangements for sponsors and donations for the Relay For Life Team, get advertising taken care of for the fundraising wheelchair basketball game, get my disability insurance check on track and a thousand other things I'm sure.
My BIGGEST worry right now is my 3-1/2 year old. She's been acting up a bit lately. She's had a tantrum at least once a day for the last 4 days. I think the stresses that I'm dealing with are starting to take a toll on her. (Hang in there Iris- it will get better. I promise.) Night time is especially hard. I wish I could lay there with her and sleep next to her every night... I wish I could have both girls in bed with me every night- but let's be honest: I would never get any sleep with all the commotion.
It's such a transitional period right now- with the new house and emotionally. I've got to get used to constantly worrying about the cancer coming back, I have to get used to different prominent people in my life and get used to ones who were there not being there so much. My mind wanders and wishes and wants (and whines). You know what they say..."You can want in one hand and shit in the other and see which gets filled first." Such is life. I can only get that which I have control of... and I've found that I have control over VERY little.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I am busy...

But not too busy to blog I guess. :)

We closed on the house yesterday. So now the real stress begins: Selling our current house, painting the new one, then moving stuff, then painting the inside of the old house and MAKING someone buy it before we lose our shirts.

In the meantime- I have an ultrasound on my thyroid today (my doc said it looked swollen) could be nothing, could be hypothyroidism, could be... yep.. cancer. LOL- by this time next year I think the doc will say "Hmm, it looks like you've got a little Rachel in your cancer." har har.
HOWEVER: If it's hypothyroidism- it would explain why I'm still ridiculously tired all the time and FAT.
I digress.

Tonight I head to Columbus with my sister for her surgery. I guess her status is common knowledge now and I can talk about it since she told her co-workers and that even our old high school band director knows about it. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January. She has lynch syndrome too. Dunno if the 2 are related but Lynch is a son-of-a-bitch and is related to things adeno. That's the type of cervical cancer hers is- NOT related to HPV. Her type is rare too, accounting for about 5% of cervical cancer cases.
Like I said before- It's been a Stellar Year for the girls in my family. My cancer in May, My little sister's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis (and near coma just before that) in August and then Micki's diagnosis. Needless to say, My Mom is TRYING to hold it together. I think she's doing better at it than I expected her to. Probably better than I would I'm sure. I'd be a mental wreck worrying about my girls.

So, we have P.L.E.N.T.Y. of 'walks' to participate in this summer... like Relay for Life for Micki and I. I came up with a witty name for the team "Sorelle Di Lotta" which means something to the effect of "Fighting Sisters" though I don't speak Italian- I took a risk. (SOMEONE will tell me it's all wrong... LOL) and NO, I'm not above soliciting donations- even here on my CANCER page. So- if you'd like to make a donation, it's WAY easy, just follow this link and the directions. Voila!

Rachel's Relay

Blah- if the link doesn't work- copy and paste this:

The link goes straight to my donation page so you shouldn't have to search for me. Every little bit helps reach my goal. Thanks in advance to anyone who gives. :)

Relay for Life is just the first walk to come up this year, then the Diabetes Walk and the Alzheimer's Walk this fall... but I will also be joining the March Of Dimes Walk. Gotta stay busy- and walking is good for ya, right?

Is there a hypothyroidism walk????

Cancer eats my shorts..... LOL for a Colon Cancer patient...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nothing is so bad that it can't get worse...

I get comments of "I don't know how you do it." I "do" it only how I can think to. No, not every day is a blast- and I have breakdowns and fits and all that other stuff you'd expect when basically every waking minute you know you've got cancer and that some huge clock with your name on it somewhere is ticking.
It's a heavy burden, but if you swim in it until your fingers get all pruny- you're not doing yourself any favors. I get mad that I got cancer at 33 (or at 23 if you look at when the tumor started developing) but I've had 34 good years now and I expect more. I really think the end of me would be to see one of my daughters go through something even remotely similar to what I'm going through. I'm reading a blog right now that is about as bad as I could imagine.

I really need to stay up on these things because for me- it puts everything in perspective: So Friggin what if we don't have money for Disneyland? I have my healthy kids... Big deal if someone spills popcorn on the floor, IT'S A FLOOR- It's washable! No problem when Vera wakes in the middle of the night for the ump-teenth time- She'll grow out of it, and it's another reason to cuddle her while she dozes off again. Snuggle "just 5 more minutes" (one of Iris's favorite sayings to get you to draw things out) with Iris after you read her the last book of the night... before long, she won't WANT you to read her a book at all!

Though it's kind of a double whammy. If I were 100% healthy- Little Layla Grayce's story would still wreck me. Knowing my time with my kids is limited- What unnerves me even more- the idea that my girls may endure something like what I'm going through... and won't have their mommy there for them.

Cancer Can Suck It.

**Sleep in peace little Layla. A flock of Angels sing you to your rest.**

Friday, March 5, 2010

Waiting some more.

Well, we have to wait until Tuesday to close on the house. Evidently Fannie Mae (who wanted us to close by March 5th) isn't ready yet. Figures. Though I don't know what the problem could be- they're not doing anything other than collecting my money.
I wanted to get started on the cleaning and painting this weekend because time is ticking away before my surgery- I won't be too useful for a while after that.
We did take the 'final walkthru' yesterday. My mom and sister came with. They hadn't seen the inside. I got their thumbs up on the place.

I met a doctor on Weds that is super nice. He wants to do my hysterectomy when I get my chemo surgery (shake and bake). Dr Arnold said he could do it, but seemed hesitant. Dr O'Malley is a gyn oncologist- and said that since I have Lynch Syndrome and since I'm good with the idea and actually pushing for it, he'd do it for me. He actually offered to do it. I didn't ask.
Supposedly Lynch Syndrome is an area of study at OSUMC. Very cool- now find a cure for my cancer. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The 'Word'

What's the Word?

My grandpa used to ask me that. Now no one does. At least they don't word it as such. I like asking that though, most people don't know how to reply.

As of right now- I've got the people in Marietta on my side for the total hysterectomy (yay?) so they're talking to my surgeon to see if it can happen with the IPHP. But the issue is: If I get that done- I will no longer make estrogen. Which may mean growing a moustache and my voice deepening... in addition to the hot flashes, osteoperosis and so on.
I COULD go on estrogen pills- but since there is a history of breast cancer in my family, they don't want to do that. I insist that I'd rather do the estrogen and get mammograms every year than NOT have estrogen.
My Grandmother is Italian... I already have to worry about a little darkness on my upper lip- I don't want to be rockin' a fu-manchu (or however you spell it) at any point in life.

Oh well.

On another note... we're closing on the house on Friday. Lots of work to do- lots of money to be spent in the next month. eeesh.

It will be worth it. I just think of all the room and openness of the new house. I'm feeling cramped in the old house. PLUS- instead of the whole house waking to Vera's little cries- the girls will be in seperate rooms! Ahhhh. A good night's sleep for SOMEBODY!

Surgery is still on for March 22nd. Bring it!