Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Do a little more each day than you think you possible can!

Wow! What a weekend we had. It was so wonderful to get to spend time with family and friends.  It is so nice to have everyone at one place so I can see my family!!  After all the party's were over I got to hang out with my one of my favorite crew...I just love them! I think they are used to seeing me with no hair which makes me happy because my wig gets so hot!

Great news from my doctor yesterday...Friday is my LAST treatment!!!!!!! I will have 4 larger doses of radiation on the 3 most troubled spots...my pituitary gland, my mid back and lower back. There is a tumor that is near my tailbone that he feels the radiation has affected, which is causing me all the pain. He said he is happy I am showing pains because it is a sign the radiation is working. Lucky me to not be able to sit! The side effects with the pituitary gland are short term memory loss, blurred or double vision. He referred to my mid back region as the "scary spot". Hopefully, all the tumors will be eliminated!!

Today was probably the worst radiation treatment I had. They had to reimage and draw new lines on me that took over an hour. I had to lay still with the mask on, feet bound together and not move. I started to have a small panic attack and cry! Thank goodness that was the last of that! They said tomorrow will be a normal treatment.

I will still have to wait until march 25 for the rescan before we know any results. It will be nice to get some normalcy back in the next month and not be driving to pgh everyday! 

Thank you all again for the love and support. It makes me so happy when I see pics of the tee shirts on Facebook and all the smiles. You all are truly wonderful!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Well this turned into a harder week than I thought! My legs felt so tired and weak throughout the week and my tailbone pain never let up.  I pushed myself through PT to finish the exercises but as soon as she left I was laying on ice! I hope by staying off of it as much as possible this weekend that will help!!

Radiation has been going fine...the drive down is becoming annoying. Jon & I both agree we will not be venturing to Pgh in the near future.  Hopefully next week is my last full week of radiation! I'm ready to have my afternoons back!

I loved waking up this morning to the sun shining and he birds chirping... No winter last forever, no spring skips it's turn.... Until next week when the bitter temps return and snow!

Hope everyone has a great weekend & sorry for such a short update. Thank you again for all of your love and support.

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." -Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The greatest oak was once a little nut that stood its ground!

#20 down...hopefully 10 to go!! It has been a long road... this morning my legs were just not cooperating with me which made me extremely frustrated.  After my nurse left I took a nap hoping to wake up on the right side of bed. Unfortunately, my tailbone is still bothering me! I did lay on ice tonight and have been rotating side to side to try to stay off of it.  It sure makes pinning hard to do while laying on your side!

I got a sneak peak of the tee shirts that were made by my little cousins! They looked awesome and brought a smile to my face. We also got the rubber bracelets in, my brother in law has all the info for them if you are interested.

I know I'm allowed to have a bad day here and there...hopefully tomorrow I wake up full of energy and legs that want to work & a not so sore tailbone!

Thank you for your love, prayers & support in this difficult time. I can't wait to get back to my old self...hopefully sooner than later!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Radiate Positive Vibes

Had a great Sunday with family and friends ... went to lunch with my parents & Azzara's to Gateway Grill. A m a z I n g pizza!!!! Afterwards we went to our cousins 1st bday party. It was great to catch up with everyone!

I got #19 under the belt today! We have noticed some red marks on my forehead over the weekend and my Dr seems to think its because the front of my skull is not as thick so some radiation is affecting that. He was going to try to get another measurement to correct that. Other than that everything seems to be going well. He said my last 4-5 treatments will be a heavier dose of radiation. I will just be happy when traveling to Pittsburgh everyday will stop.
My legs are exhausted today. I had a good workout with PT and used the stimulation machine...I don't know if that is why my legs feel so tired or not. 

I was also happy to see the bracelet sales that Vanessa did went very well :) I already have an idea on what I want for the shopping day :D . My brother in law also got his bracelets in today....the rubber style.

I am still overwhelmed with all of the love and support we have been receiving. You all hold a special place in both Jon & my heart!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

If you dream it, you can make it happen.

I'm terribly sorry for the lack of updates! We have had a busy week and by the time we get home in the evening I am exhausted!

To recap everything that has been happening is we are over the hump for radiation! We are hoping march 5th is the final treatment.

We met with my other oncologist that specializes in chemotherapy and I will be rescanned March 25 to see if the radiation got everything. Prayers that it has!

This snow hasn't affected our travels to and from hospitals. Growing up I played in the snow for hours at a time. It makes me sad that I cannot get on the quad or sled ride with my nieces and nephews. I know everyone will moan and grown but hopefully next winter we will be able to make up for it!

I also got my wig today.  Everyone in the family loves it... its just a weird feeling for me. I got my head shaved completely down and I am not used to that. Then I put the wig on and am not used to seeing hair. Brody told me today that he hopes my hair is in by his birthday because if I'm sick I shouldn't come to his birthday... bless his heart!

Today has just been a hard day for me. And I know its okay to have days like today.... a want of normalcy...if that even exists. I guess i would take a perfect day of sled riding with the kids, tubing on the back of the quad & making smores at the campfire.

OK ... back to positive..

  Keep calm & Fight on!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Life's not a sprint, it's a marathon!

Well after feeling quite crappy day yesterday I feel much better today!  I was just so drained, exhausted & nauseous all day yesterday.  When we got home from radiation I ate and went straight to bed. 

Today was much better.  We hit #15 of treatment, as long as nothing has changed only #15 more to go!  Other than the drive that seems to be getting longer and longer, my treatment times seem to be getting shorter.

Still no word on my wig, but I am loving the Mohawk hair cut for right now.  I can still tell I'm losing a lot of hair, but its easy to deal with now that it is so short.  Jon will have to buzz me up again this weekend.  

My Dr. gave some good news... only 1 poke/week for my blood work!  YAY!!  My white blood counts are still on the low side but they have not dropped any more.  Hopefully it continues to stay that way!  I'm over getting blood work!

Sorry for such a short update...

The struggle you're in today is the strength you need for tomorrow. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sisters are angels that lift us to our feet when our wings forget how to fly!

What a weekend!  We were pretty busy this weekend.  Yesterday, Jon, Julie & I went wig shopping and found a wig.  It should be in within a week.  I have been losing so much hair lately that today when I woke up I made the decision Jon was going to buzz it.  I was at the point that I was waking up in the middle of the night to clean off my pillow from all of the hair.  No one should live like that! We had fun with my hair...we put a temporary Mohawk in.  Hey, I'm never going to have the opportunity to do that again...might as well take advantage of it!  Jon said now I will be so low maintenance when I need to get ready and that I now have the screw you cancer hair cut.

After wig shopping yesterday, we made our way to the mall.  It felt good to get out and shop!  Jon and I did our Valentine's Day shopping and gave our gifts a little early.  I got a new watch & Jon got new shades.  Unfortunately, the sun has yet to be out! 

Today we went to my parents house for homemade pizza with the family...and to debut the new do.  Brody's response was "Aunt Bethy you look like a boy!"  He has a good way at making me laugh.  I'll have to teach him when he is old enough to date not to tell some girl that!  My Dad could not believe I had a Mohawk!  It felt good to make them laugh.

I know everyone says, "It's just hair it will grow back" but the moment Jon started I felt refreshed.  I read a saying a while back, "Cancer never had me, I had cancer."  Its true, it may take my hair, my appetite, & my strength, and other things; however, those are things that I will have back.  In fact, today during working out I increased my weight in dumbbells and I also was able to make Jon Sunday breakfast. I am still me.

Thank you again for the continued love and support.

"The greatest glory in living lies in never falling, but in rising every time after we fall." Nelson Mandela

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fall seven times, get up eight.

Well today was a pretty okay day!  We knocked the nausea out pretty early this morning, so I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee with my cereal today.  That then turned to knocking out my headache quickly. Jon & I did some physical therapy together this morning as well.  It felt good to get back into the swing of things. 

Radiation went well.  I was talking to the girls there about how tender my scalp is feeling and they said that is normal to feel as I start to lose the hair.  Tomorrow I am going wig shopping.  Something I thought I would never be saying at 27 or be looking forward too.  It was pretty freaky today in the shower and see how much hair I am losing.  It is definitely easier to think "Oh, it is just hair it will grow back".  But actually seeing it fall out is something I don't know how to prepare for.  Maybe have Jon shave my head...then we'd be twins.  I guess I just need to handle it the same as I have been handling cancer...One day at a time.

On the plus side, Courtney & Luckey came over with the Wii tonight...I'm pretty sure the Lee's kicked butt! ;)  It was nice to get to play some games to get my mind off everything and still work on my balance.  By this time of the evening, my legs were pretty exhausted.  Plus, we managed to get an ice cream cake out of it.  And thank you Courtney for helping get some more organization to the house! 

Hopefully tomorrow we have success shopping! Thank you again for all your kind and positive thoughts and prayers.  Keep them coming! 

"Those who believe and trust they are strong will always have strength when they need it"

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there.

So sorry I haven't updated in a few days! Being home is great, but I have a lot to get acclimated to.  We are still trying to get settled in. I've been doing okay at home getting around...I've been trying to use my walker as much as possible and only use the walker if I'm tired.

The past few days we had a home nurse, occupational therapist & physical therapist come to the house. The OT does not need to come back. My PT will be every Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I start that next week. Until I have Jon to help men work out until then.

Radiation has been going OK. Most mornings around 3am I wake up with a migraine & am extremely nauseated all morning. I still suffer from dry mouth. Today was session 12...almost half there. I have noticed more strands of hair coming out when I brush my hair. Its scary to think about but we knew it was going to happen. Whenever it does happen I decided to have Jon just buzz it all. Maybe I'll be that 1% that doesn't lose it ;) . After all, I was the 1% to have my shunt in my back fail!

I hope all of you know how thankful I am for the abundance of cards I receive daily. It is truly an encouragement for me to keep a positive outlook during this chapter of life.

       Dear God, if today I lose hope please,  remind me Your plans are better than my dreams.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Home is where your heart is

I am FINALLY home! Jon and I have been living at presby and mercy hospital since January 9th. What a feeling to walk into a clean house, new love seat & home gym. Thank you to my sisters & brother in laws for making that happen. Now you can come back and help unpack the 20 hospital bags we have ;) .  And thank you everyone for your donations that helped with these purchases to make my life as comfortable as possible.

Today at radiation we had to do some x-rays because they were moving to a new area. We also discovered that my blood count is low. That means my immune system is very low and I can catch viruses very easily.  I have to get blood work 2x/wk to track this.

Remi was so excited to see us.  She literally had her paws on my chest kissing my face for a long time and has not really left my side.  I definitely got more kisses than Jon... just saying!

I can tell there are going to be a lot of adjustments that will need to be made for me.  I guess we will tackle that hurdle tomorrow!

I will be receiving home health care for a while then will go to a regular out patient therapy center. Until home health is set up, I have Jon to push me and make me do all my exercises. I don't know to be scared or happy! ;).

     What I love most about my home is           who I share it with.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Always keep your head up

So much for my day off! We only had 1 hour of PT this morning and I walked the furthest since I have been here. We started on the 1st floor walking on a sloped surface and then learned how to sit on a low chair and how to get up. From there we walked to the elevators, stood the entire time waiting and the ride up, then walked to my room!

I've still am battling through some upset stomachs, hopefully they get that fixed up before we leave on Monday.

I am SO excited to bust out of here! It will feel so good to have Remi snuggling with me in my own bed.  I'm sure Jon is excited to sleep in an actual bed then a cot as well!   

Jon & I are so grateful for all of your continued thoughts & prayers. We can feel the love & support that is being sent our way.

I thought I'd end with a quote that made me laugh tonight,

      Without brains, boobs are useless.