Wow I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I blogged. To be honest, I think I needed to get away from cancer treatment for a while, and just re-group. And I believe I have done that!
Last time I blogged I had 3 rads to go. Of course, now I’m done, and it’s been just over 3 weeks. It was amazing to have so many people following my count down on Facebook, it really helped encourage me to get through the daily grind of working, going straight to the hospital after work, waiting at the hospital, getting radiated, and driving home, dinner, and bed. It was a long 6 weeks. I’m glad it’s done.
Just like they told me, the worst of it would come about 10 days after I finished, and they were right. I was very burned. Thank goodness for great creams, and I went through a lot! and Polysporin! The fatigue just blew me over. I wasn’t expecting it. I mean I was told it would happen, but somehow I didn’t believe it. and POW, did it ever. There was one day I left work at around 2:30, went to sleep, and slept till noon the next day. I still get tired really easily. 😦
The burn is much better, the skin has peeled off, and I’m very “tanned” in a square around my breast. (sorry if this is too much info…I said I’d keep this real!) I’m still not wearing my “real” bras, just a “service” one with no underwires…kind of like my Grandma bra! It hurt too much for underwires, and with all the creams and lotions, I didn’t want to ruin one of my nice bras which hopefully I will be able to wear again very soon.
I was asked my UHN to come down and do some filming for them on what to expect when you go to chemo the first time. They are putting together a video for people that are getting ready to start treatment. They wanted to use real people, and real stories. Having been there, I think that would have helped me had I been able to hear real stories instead of what the nurses told me. It would have been good to hear a balance of both. Hopefully the video will come out well, and will help others. It was all done with someone asking me very pointed questions. Some caught me and I found myself far more emotional about it then I thought I would be. I guess that will always be with me. When you go through chemo, it’s just not something that you easily or ever forget, ever. But I was glad I did it. In some ways, it was a little cathartic to talk about it in a way that could be helpful to others.
Needless to say, I am very happy to be finished radiation, and now the hard stuff is done. The crazy part is I’m not ready to celebrate yet. You would think I would be screaming from the roof…”I’M DONE” but I just am not ready. the reality is I’m really not done yet. I still have another 6 month of Herceptin, which I go for every 3 weeks. There are no bad side affects other than a drippy nose. Maybe once that is done, I will feel like celebrating???? I keep planning my Conquer Cancer party, but never send out the invite. Scared to think it’s real, scared to think its done, I don’t want to jinx anything? I don’t know. I just know that I don’t feel like celebrating just yet.
So I’m starting to get my energy back and feel better, I still get tired easy. I do have trouble concentrating, and that’s made work hard. Actually harder now than it was before. I need to get that under control. They have been really good at work with me, but I know come the new year, there will be an expectation that “I’m good” and let’s get going! I’m kind of a little worried about that.
Last weekend was a very crazy weekend with too many things good and bad happening all at once. Thank goodness I was feeling better to have the energy to deal with all of it. First the good stuff. Carly and Hailey both had their first Qualifier for the Provincial in gymnastics. They both did amazing! Medals were added to both their collections! I’m so proud of them.
While at the competition, I received a call from my Sister in Law that my brother Jeffrey, the one that just ran the Chicago marathon, had a brain bleed that caused a stroke that resulted in a seizure. Needless to say, it was extremely frightening. He is going to be ok, no paralysis, and he’s home now. But wow, what a nightmare for him. The Doctors don’t know why it happened, and the put him on anti-seizure meds and took his license away for a year. He’s extremely tired and needs time to recover. As this was all happening, my other sister in law is at the hospital with her father, and he is not doing well. He passed away the next morning, and the funeral was the past Tuesday.
Life takes some unexpected twists and turns.
Richard and I celebrated our 19th Anniversary on Wed. Well, we didn’t celebrate really other than saying….let’s hope this next year is quite and uneventful! We were to be with my Sister in Law as they were sitting Shiva for her father.
So with so much going on, what do I decide to do….take on something new!!! Ya I know, crazy! I had seen these beautiful lockets on line, and then my girlfriend started selling them. and that’s how I got involved! They make me smile, and they make others smile as well. The beautiful part is that you tell a story through the locket, so each is very personal, very unique, and they are fun! Although there are awareness ribbons available, and yes, I have one in my locket, it’s nice to have something that is not specifically cancer related. I will still be donating back to Princess Margaret whenever someone purchases a locket with a ribbon in it, and that will be on going. If you’re interested, please check out my website southhilldesigns.com/locketsdirect/default From there you can order your locket, or host a party for me, or even join me and do this all as well. The company is new to Canada, as it’s only been here a year, so there is lots of opportunity. You can see lots of different ideas on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lockets-Direct-South-Hill-Lockets/774270772589810 These lockets make me smile 🙂
Of course I am also still doing www.thinkpinkdirect.com that is something I will never give up.
Oh, I completely forgot, (I can’t believe I almost forgot) I did have something so wonderful happen, so unexpected, and so unbelievable. I get a email from my friend Judy, and she had nominated me for something on Breakfast Television. and what happened next was incredible I really had no idea of what I was going down to BT for, other than what Judy had written. Even when we arrived, I still had no idea. It was great to see Judy, and meet the other people nominated and hear all their amazing stories, and felt privileged to be included with them. I thought I would be interviewed and then would be leaving. As I now know, this was BT’s Giveback Christmas show, and they wanted to give back to those nominated that had given to their communities and had done good works. Wow, they gave us all so many fabulous gifts, that it was completely overwhelming! Thank you Judy for nominating me, for your friendship, and for a day I will always remember!! It was certainly a bright light in a year where there were many dark moments. Here is the link (I hope it posts properly) http://www.bttoronto.ca/videos/2864616247001/
I think I’m all caught up now, and it feels good to blog again. I’m going to have to do it more often!
[…] Catching up!. […]
Wow, it sounds like a week riding a roller coaster. Congrats on the BT and you deserve it.
🙂 thanks Jodi!!
Thank you for sharing. I just finished my 17th radiation today….13 to go. I should be done on Dec. 23. Thanks for the heads up about the exhaustion that follows radiation. No one had told me about that yet. It has been amazingly comforting reading your blog (and Stephanie’s) as I have gone through this stupid journey a few steps behind the two of you. Thank you for being there for me.
Congrats on all the good stuff and sorry for all the bad stuff. Take it easy though and give yourself time to breathe and accept this new phase of life. I can see how work’s expectations of you may be “you’re done treatments, you look fine, must mean all is back to normal” but the psychologist in the Breast Clinic is telling me that I need to take a 4 month convalescent period after my last radiation treatment and frowned on my idea of going back to work full-time in January. So I guess we need to listen to our bodies and our souls and give them time to heal.
All the best to you,
glad to hear you’re almost done rads!! Make sure to keep slathering with Glaxo, it’s never too much.
Stephanie is a little a head of me, she will actually be finished Herceptin in January, I finish in June. I love reading her blog as well. Her and her Dad Todd are awesome.
I never stopped working through it all, and it’s now that I do want so time to me. I’m taking off between Christmas and till after the New Year, and I can hardly wait.
Make sure to let me know how you’re doing after you’re done rads.