I threw a Strike!! May 14

Yesterday, throwing out the opening pitch at the Blue Jays game, was beyond thrilling! I must admit, I was nervous at first, but once I got out there, I took a deep breath, and was really calm. It was incredible looking out at everyone, and was so amazing to have SO many friends in the stands. I loved readying all your comments, and getting all your messages. Thank you everyone. Thanks to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation for this amazing opportunity, to represent the walker and survivors for the Weekend to End Woman’s Cancers It really has been a shining light for me through this journey. I am a survivor (not a victim) and during those tough times ahead, I will watch the video of a really happy moment, that I was really happy to share with all of you. I will be wearing my new personized Blue Jays jersey for good luck, when I go for my second chemo this Friday! Hugs to everyone!

week 1 done -May 3

Week one of Treatment…check…done.
It’s a start that leads to the finish.
It’s been a week now since my first chemo. Still lots of questions and unknowns, but the first week was thank goodness, ok. By yesterday I started to recover my energy and felt much much better.
I went to work all week, and although I was tired at night, it felt good to go to work.
Richard and I tried to get out for a walk every night as well.
I know it will get harder as the treatment cycles go on, but hopefully the next 2 weeks will be fine till I start again on May 17th.
Tomorrow I’m even going to try a little run, but I’ll be happy with a really good walk, then some lunch at the Brickworks!

chemo #1 done

Chemo #1 done! Thanks for all your wonderful notes. Other than not feeling 100% Friday afternoon, and tired the rest of the weekend, I was ok.
Some special things of note, Thanks to my Louise Eisfeld who was by my side with very special and meaningful gifts, and most important, frienship. Thanks to Amanda Carleton for dropping by to say hi! Special thanks to my husband Richard Mellon for taking such good care of me! He’s even learning to cook 🙂 and of course my girls Carly Mellon & Hailey Mellon I love you all so much.
Most special of all was a visit from Karen Adams from the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation with a special invitation from the Foundation, Rogers Center, and the Blue Jays, to throw out the opening pitch at the Blue Jays game on May 14th!! I’m so excited to represent PMCF for this special day for Mothers Day week and for all conquering cancer. Now I just have to learn to throw a ball!!!

chemo #1 April 26

Friday we got to PMC and of course had to wait till they made the cocktail, but while waiting Paul (from trade secrets) walked by me (he was there for an appoint) I was SO happy to see him, and thank him so much for everything. Plus we were able to talk about a few things for the walk. Then my buzzer rang, and it was time to start. Thanks to a friend, I asked for Manny to be my nurse, and he was really wonderful and explained everything to me in great detail. We talked about getting a port, and I think I will. When they discussed it yesterday, I was not able to absorb anymore.
Then my friend, Louise showed up to spend the rest of my time there. Richard did end up staying as there seemed to be so much going on that he felt he should be there for, plus by this time we found out I would be out of there at 1. So he read the paper 🙂

It was great to have Louise there, and she brought this awesome ginger stuff to put in water instead of drinking gingerale. She also gave me this beautiful blanket full of awareness ribbons, that bought for her Dad, but never was able to give it to him, I felt so honoured, as I knew how special it was to her. Both our fathers died of blood cancers, and was walk Light the Night together to celebrate our Fathers lives.

The time while having chemo went quickly as I had another visitor from the Foundation, Karen Adams came to see me. She knew I was going to be there. She said she had something very special to tell me and ask me. As a baseball fans….I know you’ll appreciate this. On May 14, the Blue Jays are playing the San Fran Giants, and because the BJ’s arn’t at home on Mothers Day this year, they are making this game thier PINK day. Since the BJ’s and Rogers centers are sponsors and hosts of the walk this year, they asked PMCF to participate in the opening, and Karen was there to ask ME, on behalf of the Foundation, to throw the opening pitch!!! Can you believe it!! Needless to say, it was at this point that Richard raised his head from the paper…LOL. So we get tickets for my family, and I get to take one person onto the field with me. I;m so excited!! Now I need to learn how to throw a ball, not like a girl! LOL
It was pretty overwhelming, and all of us were teary eyed. Certainly a light of sunshine in a day I wasn’t looking forward to.

I was also asked from the WEWC if the girls and I would like to be part of a Mothers Day fundraiser. They want some pictures of us, and need to girls to answer some questions on what the walk means to them. they agreed to do it with me, so we have to get some of that stuff done this week.

So we went home and Richard had chicken soup ready for me, and then we went for a walk. All was good till around 3 when I felt like a mack truck hit me and dumped flu virus on me. Thank goodness for the extra anti-nausea meds! I took them, and tylenol, and an Atavan (for good luck in relaxing) got a wet cloth, and just worked through it all. it lasted off and on till around 10. and then I slept throught the night till 7. I felt pretty good in the morning, took the other antii nausea meds, and ate breakfast. We had to go back to PMCH on Sat to get my Neulasta shot, and I had a wonderful nurse who really took all the time I needed to ask all my questions. I started get some nausea, took more meds, stayed resting for about an hour, then went home.
I slept for about 2 hours, and woke up feeling good. In between I sent Richard to Shoppers to pick up some new make up items that I was told to replace. He’s been really good, and has opened up to me about being scared and how hard it is to watch me go through this.

My friends have been so wonderful, and I feel truly blessed with the care packages, cards, and good wishes. I truly do feel the love, the positive vibes and prayers from everyone. In my dark moments, I go back an re-read the messages and they make me smile. I know I’ve been quite open on Facebook, and it was a choice I made to go “public”, but it was the right choice for me, as I get so much for reading the messages. I did make the decision though to always keep things positive even when I it’s a really bad day. I’m sure no one wants to hear the really bad parts. So I keep those for those of you that I know I can really open up to and not feel that I’m burdening anyone.

Woke up this morning freeling good, I’m told I will have some bone pain from the Neulasta, but hopefully it’s no worse than the body pain I feel after running a marathon!!

I’m guess the next milestone will be if I get mouth sores, and I’ve been rinsing with baking soda and water, and then my hair. Carly wants to do it now! She’s all gung ho, but I’m thinking it will be sometimes next weekend. That;s going to be tough, but I am prepared. I have the wigs, a few friends made me head wraps, and I bought a couple at the Wig salon at PMCH, plus sleeping caps.

I keep trying to find the silver lining in all this, and yesterday I was speaking to someone who I sent out my fundraising letter to. I’m asking people to donate to my girls this year, as I’m already past the minimum, and one of the Mom’s I sent it to called me in disbelief that this was happening to me. But she told me that because of my email, she made an appointment for her missed Mammogram!! So maybe that’s what my role is to be, an advocate for early detection! We’re all busy, but don’t miss that appointment, it could save your life. Based on everything I now know about my cancer, my mammogram detected it early, and potentially saved my life. Chemo now is my extra insurance.

So there’s my update
love to all of you!!

Getting ready to go to Chemo #1

April 26
My Chemo journey starts today. I’m scared, but I know I’m in great hands at PMH.
Thank you everyone! ♥ Your words of encouragement, support, and love have really helped me through everything since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and especially these last 2 days which have been really difficult for me emotionally. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a bad drug commercial hearing all the side effects of everything that could happen. All you words and tips of advice, are more than appreciated. I know this is going to be tough, but I know there is sunshine at the other end, and this is just an unwelcome intrusion in my life that I have to endure as it’s insurance that I will have have a long and healthy life.
I am blessed with so many wonderful people in my life, and I thank you all once more for helping me through this long journey.
I am scared, anxious, a little panicky but I’m ready to get this started, as this is the first day of my countdown to the last day.

meeting with the Oncologist-April 25

April 25
Thursday was very very long, added to it by waiting for my Oncologist for over an hour and a half. Both Richard and my stress levels were out the window. then finally when we got in, the resident went over everything we already knew. We asked her to stop, we already knew this, we needed to know what was next. So more waiting. FInally Dr. Shridar came in and we found out the plan. She met with the pathologist about my equivable HER2 status, and it was decided that it was ever so slightly on the positive side and that I would benefit from being on Herceptin. This ruled out any type of oncotying, and my chemo was going to be a 3 cycle regime of FEC with a 3 weeks in between and then 3 cycles of DH, with 3 weeks in between. After each chemo I would get a shot the next day of Neulasta to help boost my white blood cells. I will still have radiation after chemo, and herceptin continues every 3 weeks for a year.
It was a lot to absorb.

wig shopping April 24

April 24
Naomi and my niece Piper came wig shopping with me. Paul (From Trade Secrets) send me to his supplier directly. While there we tried on a lot of different styles and colours, and there were a few I just couldn’t decide on. The woman stepped out to check on something, and came back with a huge smile on her face. She told me she took the liberty of calling Paul to find out what I could have, and he told her “whatever makes her smile and happy, give her to her!” So I went home with 4 synthetic wigs, and 1 real hair wig, the forms to put them on, the shampoo I need and a drying rack. I was totally dreading the experience, but it worked out fine, and even my niece Piper got into. Or should I say was used as a prop, she’s only 4 months old. I put her picture wearing the wig on Facebook

My treatment plan

sorry about the mass email, but it was the easiest way for me to let you all know what was going on with me.
and quite honestly, I just don’t feel like talking about it over and over right now.
It’s a lot of info and I’m alittle overloaded right now.

As you know I met with the Oncologist today.
I do have to have chemo. what i don’t know yet is what type, how many, or how long.
At the appointment today, they had still not completely decided on what the the chemo would be.

what we do know is that I was progestron receptor negative
estrogen receptor is 1% positive, and thus is considered negative
HER2 status was still inconclusive after a second test.
Please understand that being negative is not necessarily what is the better of the two, it just defines how they treat me.
with all this in mind, along with the size of the tumour, etc, they calculate a 20% chance or reoccurance within the first 5 years, so it’s chemo they recommend followed by radiation to bring that % down

So the Oncologist is meeting with her collegues in the Oncology department on Monday as they always do, and she will be bringing up my case with the team, and decide what the course of action is. seems I don’t fit into one concise bucket and it truly will be a personalized treatment cocktail.
She is also going to discuss the HER 2 with the Pathologist.

what she also told me is that I am probably not a candidate for Tamoxifan, but could be for Herceptin if my HER2 came back postive, but that is something that happens after chemo is done.
As far as how many, how aggressive etc, I won’t know that until I meet with her again on
April 25.
She is thinking every 3 weeks, for 4-6 rounds, but that could change.
That means that after i meet with her on April 25, I could start Chemo on April 26.
and going forward, I meet with her on Thursdays when she will do a consult and blood work, and have chemo on Fridays.
again, I don’t know anymore details.

We talked about Israel this summer and she didn’t see any reason for me not to go for at least a week, other than if I was not feeling well.
no one knows how one will be on chemo, or how they will tolerate it
I do know I will lose my hair for sure within about 10 days of my first treatment.

Before that I have to get some preliminary tests done, ECG, CT Scan

So there you have it. Not much more I can tell you at this time.
The only thing I do know is that I will need some help getting to and from the Dr. appointments, chemo and radiation. Richard has been wonderful, but he has to work, and can’t always be there, and honestly, he needs a break from this as well at times.
It’s been very overwhelming for both of us, and although we are really coping well. we know that the next 6-9 months won’t be fun at all.
I am going to try and work as much as I can, as not working won’t work for us from many perspectives, emotional and financial. But I promise I won’t be a hero, and will take the time I need if I need it.
so, I’ll let you know when you can sign up 🙂
Seriously, thanks everyone for everything.

Hugs
Randy

Results-March 27

March 27
Thanks to early detection, and the wonderful Doctor’s, especially Dr. McCready and all the staff at Princess Margaret Hospital, I am beyond thrilled to tell you that he got the whole tumour out with clear margins and my lymph node was clear. Step one complete.
Now step two starts, they discovered my tumour was considered aggressive, and I am waiting for the appointment with my oncology team. We are also still waiting for some receptor results. I will most probably still have to have chemo, but as a precautionary/preventative treatment, then radiation. It’s not going to be easy, but I will get through it.
I have been surrounded by such amazing love and positive vibes from so many, and I’m so grateful to all of you for your support. I wish I could reach out and give you all a personal hug.
I know I have a tough journey still ahead, but I know I will be ok.
We told our girls, then our family at our Passover Seder last night. Needless to say, it was a very happy night in our home.
Love
Randy

March 29
Next stop on my journey is April 11th. I have a date with the Oncology team at PMH to determine my next steps. It’s going to be a tough 9 months. Can someone please fast forward me to 2014.