Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Fall!

Just a little post to keep you updated.  I had my first checkup last month and I'm doing fine.  No sign of cancer.  I'm feeling great.  I've lost 50 pounds since my surgery and still have more to lose.  I'm still very motivated to get healthy.  There's nothing like the fear of dying to kick me into shape.  LOL.  I'd really like to make this a home/cooking blog, so maybe this fall/winter I'll have some time to do that.  I hope everyone is doing well and has a great holiday season.  There is so much to be thankful for.  Much love to you and your family!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Radiation and Ramblings

I'm nearing the end of my treatment--I've finished two radiation treatments and the final one is on Wednesday, so I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned through this process.  First here's a little info about the treatment--The radiation I'm getting is called HDR (High Dose Rate) Brachytherapy, which is a type of internal radiation.  In my case, it uses a device called a vaginal cuff, which basically radiates the incision where the cervix was detached.  It isn't painful, but it is fairly uncomfortable.  Luckily, the treatment only lasts 15-20 minutes.  I'm not experiencing much pain or any side effects now, but there might be some lasting side effects.  However, I'm doing my best to be positive and be thankful that this is the only treatment required.  Some women have it so much worse.

I hope this isn't shocking, but I'm really thankful for the experience I've been through.  I've been more happy the last couple of months than ever before.  Being diagnosed with cancer and dealing with all the emotions has taught me so much.  It has made me a better person and I realized I'm much stronger than I thought.  It has taught me that life is a gift and every day is precious.  In those first few days after hearing the word cancer, it seemed like a death sentence, but then I realized that I had such a strong desire to live.  I had no idea that was in me and the strength of that desire surprised me.

 Another thing I'm thankful for is that it motivated me to take control of my life and health and make it better.   Since the diagnosis, I've lost almost 30 pounds and although there is a lot more to lose, I'm feeling so much better already.  This will continue to motivate me to continue making healthier food choices and doing regular exercise.

It has also taught me to treat others with kindness, generosity, and empathy.  Once in a while, I'd hear someone complain about a problem and I'd think "Oh, please!  I have cancer."  But then I realized, that everyone is dealing with something.  To that person, their problem was as serious to them as my cancer was to me.  I've probably lacked empathy in my life, but something clicked in me and I realized that everyone deserves to be treated with the kindness and generosity that was shown to me. I'm not the only one with problems and other people have much greater ones than I can even imagine.  Hopefully this lesson sticks with me as I move forward.

I sometimes wonder if there will ever be a day when I don't think about cancer and I'm not sure there will be.  However, I'm doing my best to not fear the future possibility of recurrence or another cancer, but to live every day with no regrets.  If it returns, then I'm ready to fight it.  There are no guarantees for tomorrow and  I'm trying to face each day with a positive attitude and be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.

I apologize for all the self-indulgent ramblings and offer my sincere thanks to everyone for all your support, prayers, and good thoughts. You have no idea how much they meant to me! <3

Monday, April 30, 2012

Great News!

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this, but I had my follow up visit today with the oncologist.  Going into the appointment, I was sure that a long course of chemo is where I was headed and honestly, I was at peace with that.  I had prepared myself mentally/emotionally for a long battle.  The first thing the doctor told me that they found an additional type of cancer in my uterus.  We knew about the rare, nastier one--adenosarcoma, but the other is more common (adenocarcinoma), which is the one my MIL has/had.  However, both cancers were apparently caught very early and staged as 1A.  This means no chemo (YAY) and 3 doses (rounds?) of radiation.  I'm unsure when those treatments start or how long in between.

The doctor was guarded in his optimism because the sarcoma can show up again in other organs/areas, but the odds of it recurring go down significantly after 2 years, so I'll be seeing him every 3 months for checkups (I have no idea what these will entail).  He also said that the treatment will be much harder if it recurs, but I'm going to do my best to not worry about it returning.  I think for everyone life is uncertain--no one knows what the future holds.  In the last few weeks I've been trying to focus on the wonderful things in my life and not worry about the things that are beyond my control.  One thing I can do is try to lose some excess weight and get as healthy as I can in case I need to fight it.  

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  I'm so grateful to everyone who supported me during my little crisis.  I'll continue to post updates if there are any, random thoughts, or maybe a recipe or two.  <3

Monday, April 23, 2012

Surgery update

So, I had a total hysterectomy 10 days ago.  They basically removed the uterus, tubes, ovaries, and cervix.  They also took a few lymph nodes to check to see if the cancer has spread.  The doctor said he didn't see any signs that it has, but we won't know for sure until the lab reports come back.  My follow up visit with him is on the 30th.  I don't know if there will be any new information before then. 
I ended up staying in the hospital 4 nights.  It wasn't that bad, I basically just tried to ignore everything and sleep as much as I could.  I'm feeling pretty good, still have some pain, but the worst part is how bloated I am.  I hope this goes away once my body heals more.  Here's a cute kitty picture to apologize for my whining!

That's Bluebelle--she likes to sleep on the pillows and purr really loud.  =)

Ok, I confess.  I'm not really 29.  I know this comes as a shocker, but it's true.  I'm actually 44 and now in what I believe is called surgical menopause.  I asked the doctor when the menopause symptoms start and he said they could start immediately.   Luckily, I haven't had any symptoms at all.  I don't know if natural menopause would have been this easy or not, but I haven't had any hot flashes or been moody (that I've noticed).  I asked my husband and he said I was cranky once in the hospital, but I'm not going to count that. lol.

I want to thank everyone for their support/prayers/good thoughts. I'll update when I learn more or think of something else to talk about. <3

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jello and other things.

First off, I want to say thanks to all the people who sent messages and have been so sweet.   I really appreciate the kindness and support. 

I'm feeling really good, just full of nerves.  I'm ready to get the surgery over and see what's next.  
 When they called to set the surgery, I was put on a liquid diet, so basically I can only have clear liquids, broth, and Jello.  I'm not really a Jello fan, and I couldn't even get Oscar to try it, which should tell you something--that dog will eat anything. 

I met with the Oncologist this morning and my surgery is set for tomorrow AM.  They're doing a hysterectomy and taking the ovaries and tubes as well.  He's also going to collect some lymph nodes and dig around to see if he can see any signs that it has spread.  Hopefully not!  I'll be in the hospital for 3ish days.  I'll be honest, I'm a little freaked out by the fact that tomorrow someone will be rooting around in my innards. lol.

I'll know more about the stage of cancer after surgery, but we were told it is very rare and a grade 3 (on a scale of 1-3) type cancer, which means it is the most serious.  I'm still trying to stay positive and will fight my hardest to beat it.  I'll update when I'm home from the hospital if I have more info.  Next time more cute pet pics, I promise.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

First--I hope you have a happy Easter--here is a pic of Oscar looking cute from a few years ago.  He's still cute, but we're not humiliating him with the funny ears as much anymore, lol.

I was mentioning to DH that it seems so weird that I now have an Oncologist.  That's something for other people, not me.  I know that everyone probably thinks that when bad things happen to them.  My mom has had breast cancer twice, so honestly, I figured the odds were that I would get cancer sometime in my life.   But I was living my life happily in denial.  Even though I knew it was a possibility, it is still shocking when the doctor tells you those words.
I'm not writing because I want people to feel bad for me, I don't even know if anyone will read this.  But, it is helping me get out some of my thoughts and feelings because it's hard for me to talk about this IRL.  In the scheme of suffering, I've been really blessed in my life to not have had much and now it's my turn to have some.  Many people have it so much worse.  I'm grateful for everything in my life.

Some other news--my mother-in-law will be starting 6 rounds of chemo next Sunday.  I know it will be hard on her, her husband, and my dh (who is an only child).  On my side, I got some good news last night.  I had a CT scan yesterday morning and last night my doc called to tell me it looked good--they couldn't see evidence of more tumors.  I'm just waiting for the formal pathology and then I'll see the Gyn Oncologist to find out about the treatment.  That is where things stand now.

Oscar is such a good sport--when we were done taking the pictures, he pranced happily through the house with the bunny ears and proceeded to chew them up.  Gotta love his sweetness. <3

Have a great day--I'll update when I have something else to say.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Hey!  Here I am, but it's not exactly the subject I expected.  I thought I would make this a cooking blog, random funny stories, or adorable pictures of Oscar, but that never happened. (lol)  Last week, I found out something and I want to use this blog to talk semi-anonymously about the feelings I'm working through.  6 days ago, my doctor called to tell me that the mass she removed from my uterus contained some cancerous cells.  It weird, because it's been less than a month since my mother-in-law was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  She had a tough recovery from surgery, but is home now and feeling better.  The best news is that hers was caught early.
Really, I haven't been able to think of much else since my doctor called, everything else seems trivial. Only my husband and one friend knows.  I don't know the seriousness or treatment yet (beyond a hysterectomy), so I've held off on telling anyone.  I don't want to worry people and I hate talking about anything health related (at least IRL).
I'm not even sure anyone cares to read about this, but I need a place to vent.  I apologize in advance if my blogging is sporadic, rambling, random, or incoherent.  I will also try to update soon and include cute pics of the dog and cats.  Because, really they are the best.  <3