Sunday, June 17, 2012

4 years

I haven't posted in over a year! This has been a hard year, but not because of the cancer, which is still gone. Gone? It's hard to think of the right word... I'm clean. It was a very hard year none the less. At some point, maybe this summer, I will compile these blog entries with additional information and create a book or play. Seems everybody has a cancer story nowadays, but perhaps mine will be unique because it is MINE. Musical? Puppet show? One person-puppet-musical-slideshow? Working title: Foob = fake+boob

Saturday, June 11, 2011

3 years on

This week marked the third anniversary of my diagnosis.
Other than being altogether too fat, having bone pain from the arimidex, dealing with thin hair, having little energy and occasional chest pain with swelling, I am good. No. I am not complaining.

My plan:
I have decided to not be fat anymore. I am going to live like a thin, fit person and that will make me one.
The arimidex makes my arms, from shoulder to fingers, ACHE. I don't know what else to do except stretch, continue to get massages and take ibuprofen.
Because the arimidex causes thin hair, I have gone to my natural hair color, grey, and very short. It looks thick and healthy. There are no "roots" to highlight the thinness!
I have more energy than I had last year at this time, so I can only imagine it will get better. Especially since I am not going to be fat anymore!
Chest pain. It's not too bad and if I did more self massage, it would be better...

My friend, Miriam just had her last chemotherapy !

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January already?

I'm fine. My chest is still swelling regularly and my arm hurting - but, eh what ya gonna do? I have a weird new "ouch spot" under my arm, right around where my bra band hits. It is sort of an exposed nerve feeling. The shoulder is starting to get a little more sensation, but this is not the kind I was wanting.

Prayers please for my very first roommate, Miriam who has found a couple of lumps in her breast and is waiting to find out what she is up against. We were best buddies and roommates beginning in the summer of 1980 and have gotten re-connected via Facebook. Funny how you can lose contact with people, but the love that you feel for them doesn't diminish. She is in a really scary place of not knowing and can use all the good vibes, prayers and energy you can send her way.

Had a really nice time in Mineola over Christmas with the Mitchells and Rays. Haas stayed in the room with us and was really happy for the attention. I think we will move him into our bedroom, once we get the boxes out of there! I always enjoy my time in Mineola, where there is nothing to do but eat, sleep and spend time with family.

We are making more progress on the house! Dining room table has legs now and we have the living room set up. Each little bit helps.

Steve seems to be doing fine with his treatment. I am so glad that he seems to have few problems. Mum came home Friday.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Everything is fine.

Had a small scare the other day- I found a lump. On Tuesday, I had an ultrasound and it turns out that it is nothing. I probably was feeling scar tissue or a weird fat deposit. Both the Radiologist and the technician could find nothing unusual so... Big sigh of relief.

Steve, my brother, is doing OK with his radiation and says that everything is uneventful on that front. Mum went to stay with him, since as he goes on with the treatment, he'll almost certainly get tired. You know how tired you feel when you have a sunburn? Well, that's what radiation does.

Getting a little bit done around the house. One box at a time.

Had a weird thing happen on Tuesday. I cam home after getting my hair cut and I couldn't get in the house. My key wouldn't work. I waited around for a while for Chris and then I went and got some nachos... His key wouldn't work either, so we had to get in through the back door. Looks like the lock just went bad. Chris changed it out.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekend update

So. Update.

Work still sucks as far as work/class load and I have not had the promised reduction. I also lost the student teacher I was supposed to have next semester because she dropped out of the program. I am proud of myself that I told my principal that I fully expect to be rated as "exceeds expectations" in my annual appraisal (coming up this week) because I am clearly exceeding expectations by teaching so many preps. His first response was surprise(I guess he didn't expect me to be so assertive) and his second: that I need to be careful about attendance. OK. BUT the main reason I have missed so much work (AND been docked for it) is that the ridiculous amount of stress is making me sick. I had used up all my sick and personal days for the school year by the end of October!!! Arrggh. Two weeks until Christmas holidays!! I can make it....
I am trying:
Not to stress...
To be more zen.
To let go.
To be OK with not doing my best ('cause there aren't enough hours in a day) and do "enough."
To remember that other things and people deserve my attention too. Chris needs to move up the priority list to the top! After all, he'll still be my husband (hopefully!) long after this school year is a fuzzy memory.

Steve is here visiting this weekend. He is all marked up so he can start his radiation this coming week. Turns out they just "sharpied" him. He didn't get the prison tats that I got! Oh well, each doctor has his/her own style. Don't get too excited about the tats - they are 3 dots that look like blueish freckles. I've got one under each arm and one in the center(ish) of my chest. Since the low cut neckline look is permanently out for me I don't think anyone but Chris will ever see it/them.

Healthwise: I have been fighting an upper respiratory infection since November 1st. I get better and then worse. Right now it is just a lovely phlegmy cough. Mum has had this for about 2 weeks longer. Chris still hasn't gotten it! Thank goodness. Breast Cancer-wise: My mastectomy side armpit muscles have been really tight and ouchy and my prosthetic has been slightly painful lately, but there is not much to do about that but to do my stretches. I know I have an appointment for my 3 month check coming up this month, but I don't know when. I MUST make a call today and find out

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My brother, Steve, was just diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ! Yes. Breast Cancer. He is justifiably freaked. It sounds as though he is quite fortunate in that it has not spread beyond that site - thus the "in situ." He just had a biopsy that removed the cancer with clear margins, so now he has to find out where to go next. He has seen a Radiation Oncolologist and has asked me for copies of my genetic testing. Interestingly enough, the genetic testing indicated I was not positive for the supposed "breast cancer gene", so he won't be either.

School is still CRAZY and my schedule has not been reduced. I am becoming more "squeaky wheel" about it. We aren't even at Thanksgiving and I have used all my sick and personal days! I also have gained back all the weight I lost. Although I love my job and my students it is making me sick and I can't have that.

Excellent quote: “If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.”
–Donald D. Quinn, teacher

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Checking in

Busy. busy. This week marks the end of the 1st 9 weeks and all my students have projects due. Of course, I can't be like every other teacher and just assign one thing and make them do it. I have to give them multiple choices! So I'm teaching 4 different novels and have... so many balls in the air I don't know which way is up.

A friend of mine, Anthony Washington, just died. He had cancer and had gone through a lot before I joined him in the cancer fight. His cancer was all throughout his body and he dealt with a lot of the indignities of cancer with a smile. He TAUGHT while wearing a "chemo bag," endured multiple surgeries, and the loss of bowel control. He really helped me to stay positive. I haven't seen him in a while since I no longer teach at Central. I am beyond sad to hear that he is gone. I found out via e-mail today during class and had to leave my students with another teacher to try and get my act together. I guess I thought he was keeping it at bay. Somehow.