Friday, February 25, 2011

All the hair changes; BRACE YOURSELF

Well I have had good hair days, bad hair days, and no hair days! We have kept the boys entertained through this journey to try to seem "normal".   For the most part it is working! :) 

Here are some pics starting from the beginning.

My hair long.
Miles cutting my hair!
Owen cutting my hair!

I decided from the beginning that I would cut it short so it wouldn't be so dramatic when I did lose my hair. The boys had a BALL cutting it off.  They were giggling the whole time.  I did have the "talk" about no cutting hair on sisters, dolls, school classmates, etc.  So far so good!

Then I had a friend cut it short and I really like how it turned out, thanks Lacey!

 One night around the two week mark I noticed that my hair was falling out and Brian and I agreed it was time to buzz it. So this is my hair buzzed and my boys' comments:

Owen said, " You look like a MAN!" ha ha (oh the honesty, gotta love it! :)
Miles said, " You look cute mom!" Awww
Brian said, "You have a great shaped head! ha

 Then one day for lunch we were sitting on the couch and daddy asked Miles to, "Pull on daddy's hair and see if hair falls out!" Well as you can imagine this was great fun for Miles. So he tugs on daddy's hair and nothing. Then Brian says, "Pull on mommies and see if you get any hair!" Well you guessed it mine fell out. Miles thought that was sooo cool and for the rest of the day the boys would walk by and grab a pinch and so for awhile I looked like a spotted leopard.
I know this may sound disturbing but it did not hurt and it was falling out anyway. So no harm done except for belly laughs from the kiddos! I am thankful that we have our humor to make this journey fun for my children, I wouldn't want it any other way! So please no mean comments!

This is a picture right after my port was placed.

This is my current pic.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I have GREAT...


I know I know not what you expected me to say!  Ha!  Well I share this because their is a possibility that I will lose them from the chemo.  Some women have experienced loss of nails and I am hoping mine don't go but if they do then you have proof that my nails are GREAT :)  I have never had any problems growing long, strong nails.  I also have always wanted to be a hand model, so here you go!  Nice huh!?  I am currently using nailtiques which is a nail protein to make them stronger. 

I also had to have Brian buzz my hair on Tues.  I had started losing it on Monday but by Tues. it was getting worse.  Everyday it gets thinner and thinner.  I don't understand how bald men can walk around without a hat! My head is freezing all the time.  I wear head covers most of the time.  I also have had some incredibly talented blog friends want to make me hats so I will showcase those soon! 

I have surgery on Monday for my port and start my 2nd round of chemo on the 16th.  I will update you when I am able. 

My friend Melissa gave me this verse and I wanted to share it with you all.  I know it will help me during the chemo days! 

Don't be afraid, for I am with you.  Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  Isaiah 41: 10

Friday, February 4, 2011

OH holy chemo!

Warning: LONG POST but it will catch you up from the beginning to now.

Well I have all the tests finished up. I head to Manhattan on Monday for the last set of tests. The first day was strictly tests (mri's, labs, mammos, ultrasounds, etc) We were there from 10:30am-4:30pm. The next day was meeting with Dr. Fabian and her staff. We had a wonderful warm welcome from everyone involved! We were told that they found 5 tumors on the left breast and 1 on the right. It has doubled in size and is growing into one big mass. The measurement was around 5 cm. Dr. Fabian believes it is late stage 2 beginning stage 3 breast cancer. The FANTASTIC news is it is NOT in the lymph nodes or bone marrow!!! God is good!! The stage 3 is solely based on the size of the tumor so although it sounds scary it is not :) I start chemo on January 25th and will return for chemo in KC every 2 weeks for the next 4-5 months. I am so blessed of the amount of support from you all!
Oh one more thing I started menopause too. My tumor is growing b/c of hormones so they shut them down! We will see what this brings :)

I did a genomic test which shows your oncotype DX. Oncotype DX breast cancer assay uses RT-PCR to determine the expression of a panel of 21 genes in tumor tissues. The Recurrence score is calculated from the gene expression results. The results score range is from 1-100. I scored a 28 which puts me in the intermediate risk group to have a recurrence at 10 years after 5 years of Tamoxifen treatment. This will help me to know what type of breast surgery we will do when chemo is over. I will most likely have a bilateral mastectomy with a complete hysterectomy as well.

I am currently taking 3 chemo meds they are called Taxotere, Epirubicin, and Cytoxan. Have fun researching :)

Oh holy chemo!!  Well my first round of chemo was on the 25th and for the following 2 days I felt okay.  I could walk, talk, hug, laugh, etc.  On Friday  I was starting to feel the effects of this poison.  I had horrendous chest pain, couldn't eat, couldn't lift my head for longer than 15 seconds it was ROUGH.  I don't even know if rough is the word.  I have never felt so close to death ever.  I know some of you are laughing, oh this is Courtney being dramatic, but really it was bad!  I laugh as I type this because the worst is over and I look back and think WOW I made it through that .  This second round is going to be a breeze :)

I went to the hospital on Monday where they pumped me full of fluids and meds and by the evening I was a new person.  What an iv bag can do is miraculous!   The lab report showed that my white blood count was 0.3!!  A normal person's wbc is 4-11.  No wonder I felt yucky.  My oncologist nurse called and said that we won't be able to do chemo on the 9th but will do it on the 16th.  I will leave Monday evening for KC to have my port placed in my chest by my breast surgeon. 

Grandma JJ has taken all three children to Aunt Ellen's house for a cousin's party!! They are having a fantastic time and I can't wait to see them on Sunday.  I am tired, weak, but able to do small tasks.  The best way  I can describe it is with my toaster.  I have stood and waited for toast soo many mornings for my boys but now I have a hard time standing to wait on it.  Everyday gets better and better.  I wake up each morning reaching for my hair to see if I still have any and I do!  Here is a recent pic of me and I am wearing THE SCARF that my girlfriend is making in my honor!  LOVE IT! 

Thank you all for the meals, cards, calls, etc.  I am humbled by all the love and support my family and I have had!!! 

Next time I will get a shot of all my meds I have to take :(  I have the BIGGEST pill organizer in America.