Thursday, January 31, 2008


Ok, Ok, I might have made up the word Cherisher but in my own, personal dictionary it is described as "one who cherishes". I think it's a good word.

Anyway, I have decided I have been and always will be a cherisher. Here are some moments from my life I have cherished.

- when I was a little girl, every Saturday night my dad would watch Hockey Night in Canada. I can hear the theme song in my head as I type. I would always be in the room, playing. But, eventually I would end up on his knee with my head on his chest. I could hear the game going on and hear his heart beating at the same time. I would fall asleep this way and the next morning I would wake up in my own bed knowing he had carried me and tucked me in.

- When I lived in Belleville we had a rink in the park behind our house. There was a "hockey" rink and there was a "skating" rink. I sometimes had the skating rink all to myself and would sing the song "Ben" (Michael Jackson song) and skate my little heart out. I always thought some big talent scout from the Ice Capades would drive along and see me skating so beautifully and make a star out of me.

- Going on errands on Saturdays with my dad. We would go by the butcher shop and almost always go by the bait shop where they sharpened his skates in the winter and we bought bait in the summer. Then in the afternoons we'd go skating on the bay in the winter or fishing in the summer and I always caught the most fish.

- Lazing in bed with my mom. Sitting in her "hole" on the couch while she would read a magazine or book or do a crossword and I would either read or watch tv.

- The cottage. Everything about it. Fishing from the canoe. The Loons. Swimming. Washing our hair in the lake. Making up routines on the swings with my sister, Kim. The dad would get us to catch frogs to use as bait. Then my sister, Karen would get us to sneak outside in the middle of the night to let them go. My dad would get up to go fishing early the next morning and would have to use worms as bait 'cause all the frogs were "gone". ROFL!!

- Going anywhere with my sister, Kim. I'd beg her to take me anywhere she was going and she always made me feel so special. She also taught me how to cook.

- Getting my brother, Steve, to take me to Dairy Queen.

- Lazy days by our pool - right from high school all the way through until I had kids. I loved those lazy days.

- My Grandma Irvine's kitchen, when all the relatives would gather in the kitchen and chat and cook. My Aunt Vi would sit in the rocker and I'd sprawl across her lap and make her scratch my back for as long as she could. Then, my cousin, Judy and I would go outside and practice baton for hours.

- Softball. My dad coached me.

- Cheerleading. I loved it more than words can say.

- My wedding. A beautiful, perfect day.

- Watching Lindsey being born.

- Snuggling in with my newborn babies for a nap.

- Sunday afternoons swimming at the Y with Andrew and the boys.

- Disney the first time. Magical. The boys were 6, 7 & 8. It was the perfect time to go. Andrew's sister Hilary came with us so we had one adult per kid. We drove from Canada down to Florida and even that was fun. I think it was the best vacation of my life.

- Watching my kids play soccer and hockey. Especially the year when all three played hockey on two teams together and Andrew coached one of the teams. We were so busy but I love love loved it!

- Watching my kids in plays and musicals. Especially the year when Jeff was the host of the entire production and Scotty did a solo - New York, New York. He was only in grade 5 and it was so brave of him to do that and he sang so well. Heaven.

- Debbie. Going on "girl vacations" and just chatting on the phone. I am so lucky to have this girl in my life!

- Ireland with Andrew. Paris by myself. Aruba with Andrew for his 40th birthday. Amazing.

- Spending time with Andrew. In the kitchen, in the car, anywhere.

- Phone calls from my kids when they're away at college.

This all came about because someone told me that maybe I got cancer to make me remember to cherish the small things. I told them I have always cherished the small things because they may seem small at the time but they're huge in the realm of life. We don't need to get "sick" to realize this so I've pooh poohed that idea away but I wanted to share some of the times I've cherished with you. Such wonderful memories.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miss America

The Miss America pageant was on last night. My favourite pageant. I'm a pageant junkie. What made it even better this year? There was a reality show prior to the pageant with all 52 girls! really got to know a little bit about them. My favourite was Miss Washington - she came in third, I think. Anyway, this pageant even comes with a talent segment. I love it. Anyway, just thought I'd share about that excitement.

Andrew & Kevin painted our bedroom this weekend. We went with gold paint. It's really nice.

I'm in quite a bit of pain. Muscle and bone pain. Two different things but both bothersome. We slept in Jeff's bed last night and will tonight. Now I remember why we got a new bed and gave that one to him. LOL!!

Have a great Sunday, all!


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tom Cruise

OMG! Have you seen the Tom Cruise interview/video? Here's a link:

Watching this video is like watching his movie Vanilla Sky. The whole way through? All you're thinking is WTF is he talking about. He's insane. Gorgeous but insane.


Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm awake, again!

It's 2 am. I've been up since 1 am. I guess this is going to happen every night after chemo. ugh. I've made myself a huge pot of Sleepytime tea. Only problem is? If it works and makes me sleepy I'll wake up and have to pee a gazillion times. Well, that might be an overstatement but you know what I mean.

I've been thinking about how much chemo has changed my life. It's just shocking when I think about it. I got an e-mail the other day. One of those that asks cute questions like "what's you favourite colour" and stuff like that. I love those things and just don't understand why everyone doesn't. Really, what's better than answering questions about...ME! ROFL!! Anyway, a couple of the questions really hit me. One was "What do you want to do before you die?". Now pre-cancer my answer would have been travel the world or live in Europe or become a millionaire. Know what my answer was? To live long enough to see my children get married. Wow. That's really my answer. Another question was "What are you most afraid of?". Pre-cancer answer would have been snakes or one of my kids getting hurt or the dark. Now? Dying too young. That was my actual answer - and by too young I really only mean before 67. I don't know why 67 but that's too young. But really, in my mind? In the next 5 years. The chances of recurrence are highest in the first 5 years. Shoot, Kevin will still be in college by then. None of the boys will (probably) be married and I sure as hell probably won't have any grandbabies by then. That is way too young to die.

Sad, eh? I know. I'm not morose (usually) and I don't dwell on this whole thing it's just that when stuff like that comes up? I really am a very different person than I was 4 months ago and I know my family feels the same. This can't help but change us and our outlook on life and death.

On a happier note, we are not letting this change our lives, too much. On my good weekends we really try to get out and do something. On my bad weekends we just try to do some small thing like go for a ride in the car or go for a walk around the block. I can't say it makes me appreciate life more because I already appreciated life. A lot. But it is making me step up my timeline in all things - except maybe laundry and cleaning the house. I still procrastinate those things. ROFL!!

On a funny note, my dog. When this happens and I'm up in the middle of the night? He looks at it as a time for him. He gets me to feed him (he eats and drinks very loudly) and then let him out (he barks loudly to come in) and then he thinks I should play with him (which involves him running around the house like a mad-man squeaking his toys and I'm supposed to chase him - not gonna happen!). Seriously. He doesn't care that it's now 2:30 in the morning and other people are sleeping. OMG!! He's so cute! Maybe I should give him some Sleepytime tea. LOL!!

Well, that's all for tonight. I really could go on but it would be the longest post in history and I'm going to go play games on, so I will say
G'nite Everybody

and keep on remembering
She's a little bit country
He's a little bit rock and roll
you know the rest and if you don't?
you should and I'll sing it to you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chemo Day

It's chemo day again. This will be chemo #6 out of 8. I just do the one drug (Taxol) this time. It takes about 3 hours, maybe more if I have an allergic reaction again.

OK, so what I do when I'm coming up to the weekend after chemo (I call them my "bad weekends") is I tape/dvr lots of tv shows and some movies. Some is really mindless stuff (home improvement stuff) and others are really great movies (my choice this weekend is Brokeback Mountain which I haven't seen, yet). So I'm all ready for my bad weekend, right?

Well, after all this time? Andrew's decided to paint our bedroom! I'm very excited. I've got the paint all ready to go (after buying several colours and spending lots of money on paint I'll never use - I finally decided on tan/gold). Then it occurs to me....if he's painting the bedroom this weekend? How can I watch all my tv shows? Well, I can't. boo! hiss! that just sucks. But...on the other hand I do get my bedroom painted so that's good. But on the other hand, he's going to be busy painting with Kevin and I won't have anything to do. But on the other hand my bedroom's going to look so great and the next bad weekend I have I'll be in a really great bedroom. I feel like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof going back and forth like this. LOL!!

Anyway, if anyone knows what to do with gallons of paint that you bought thinking they were going to be great on the wall and then, when you do a sample patch, it's not exactly what you wanted (well, no where close to what you wanted), let me know.

Have a great day, all!

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Rambling Thoughts

I gotta put up a new picture. That one's not at all accurate any more. I'm bald, now and Andrew's grown back some of his plus a goatee. He's hot - In my humble opinion, anyways!! LOL!!

We had a pretty lazy Sunday. Got some errands done and got a new computer. Boy! You don't realize how slow the old one was till you get a new one. I found some scarves, finally. I know this sounds really, really weird but I had a dream on Friday night that told me to go to the flea market to find a scarf. Now, I really hate the flea market. Why do they call it a flea market, anyway? Are there fleas there? Weird. Anyway, we had just about given up when I saw some really nice scarves. I'm so excited. I definitely like wearing scarves better than hats. Anyway, it's really weird that this dream told me to go to the flea market and I really did find them. Andrew doesn't even question this "stuff" anymore. He just goes with the flow, now.

You know what I realized? I only have 3 more chemos!! That means six more weeks and I'm done the chemo! This is really exciting to me. I've even started watching the "hair commercials" again on tv. I had stopped for a while. I would change the channel. I'm also looking at hair styles in the mall thinking about the style I'll want my hair when it grows back. Oh! You know what's really bugging me now, though? People with bad hair. WTF! They have hair! Do something with it! We were at the mall yesterday and I saw some really atrocious hair and I thought "you jerk - you've at least got hair. Do something nice with it or cover it up." Oh! I'm becoming so judgemental, eh?

Speaking of judgemental. That's my "thing" this year. People need to stop being so judgemental. Really. Who cares what other people do? We should not. If they want to spend all their money on a vacation instead of fixing up their house (that's me!) who's it hurting, really? This came up several times recently - not my vacation vs house, thing. I was talking to someone who really, really felt it's important for teens to work. He felt very strongly about it. Well, I disagree for my kids. I repeat - for my kids. Especially here in the states. If kids get great grades here? They go to a state school for free. That's right - free!! If they get good grades they go for 75% off. That's still really great and adds up to $4,000 per year and then some ('cause there are scholarships, too). my humble opinion, it was better for my kids to concentrate on their studies and play hockey (kept them out of trouble on Friday & Saturday nights) than to get a job. Now, that's just my kids. Ya know? Ya see where I'm going with this? What's right for some is right for them and even if it isn't it's a lesson learned and isn't that what life's all about? Learning lessons? So no one should be judging anyone else 'cause it's all about life lessons, right? Who cares if one person spends all their time on a boat, golf course, in front of the tv, at the beach, walking their dog, etc etc.... It's their life.

Anyway, that's what I'm concentrating on this year. No judgements. So... next time I see someone with bad hair I will not judge. Maybe they just didn't have time. Maybe it was all they could do to get up and out of the house. Maybe they just like it that way? Who am I do say, right?

One last thing. Did y'all see the finale for Amazing Race last night? My very favourite team won! That never happens! I love that show. And now? American Idol has started and Big Brother's starting up again in a few weeks. So exciting for me! I love reality tv! See? Now I'm not even going to care that the writer's are on strike! I've got Ellen and The Girls Next Door and American Idol and Big Brother and Don't Forget the Lyrics and I'm sure Hell's Kitchen will start up again soon...yah!!

OK, now that I've given out all my secrets of watching bad tv, I guess I'll sign off for today....oh! see? that was judgemental against me. It's not bad tv. I love it!! teehee!!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Still Sick

Wow, this cold is really holding on! Andrew's sick, too. He worked all the way through until Friday and finally took Friday off. Then....the dummy! - I say that with the utmost love and affection. He worked most of Friday morning. He has this thing called Skype. It's a phone through the computer and he can talk to Europe really cheap and it's installed in his laptop so he can work from home and on the road. Finally at around noon I yelled at him and told him to go to bed or he's gonna end up with pneumonia!! The yelling started me coughing so we both went for a nap.

Today we're feeling about the same. We had to go buy a new computer. Ours just stopped working. I hate that. It was working one second. The next? dead. I'm trying to save up for a new tv and that damn computer really set me back. You see, I still have one of those "old" tv's. Not big screen. Not flat screen. Just one of those old, big backed tv's. I really want a new one's where it gets expensive, my old living room cabinet won't fit a nice new tv so I need to not just get a new tv but also get a tv stand. And..of course, I don't just want a tv stand, I want a whole big unit to display pictures and "stuff". That can get pretty expensive. This isn't even a "keeping up with the Joneses" thing 'cause, I'm pretty sure the Joneses had a flat screen tv 3 freaking years ago. This is more a I'm getting old and need a bigger tv thing. ROFL!!!

Oh! On the staring front. I've noticed people don't stare as much if I wear scarves as much as hats. Now, if I could just find some scarves. We looked again today with no luck.

On the kid front. Kevin went and played hockey last night!! His first time playing since he broke his leg. I guess it went ok. I didn't ask too many questions. He's a big boy and he has to decide for himself whether it's safe or not. He definitely knows the consequences but I'm really happy for him. Scott's home this weekend - Martin Luther King Day on Monday so it's a long weekend for him. Love that. Jeff. Oh, my Jeff. He left on Tuesday for school. Came back on Thursday 'cause he'd forgotten something. Then, he picked up something else but forgot the thing he'd come for so he came back on Friday (with his sweet little girlfriend, Chanel) to pick up the thing he forgot. Again, he forgot that and left his cell phone so they had to come back again!! OMG!! It was pretty funny! I think he just likes all the hugs he gets from his momma and forgets things on purpose! LOL!! Right, Jeffy?!!

And..I like Jeff's girlfriend, Chanel, even more than before. She knows all the words to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song!! OMG!! That makes me so happy to know there's someone else out there who loves that movie as much as I do!

I also must add a thank you to my sister, Kim. Every week, sometimes twice a week she sends me a card of inspiration. Something just to boost my spirit. Ya know? I don't even know I need a boost till I get these cards and they just lift me right up!! I love it and, Kim, I love you so much. Thank you for knowing what I need when I don't even know I need it myself!!

OK, that's all for me. Hope everyone's having a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cold & Flu Season Sucks!

Cold & Flu Season sucks! - especially if you're having chemo.

Last time I wrote everything was going swimmingly - no nausea although I had been up all night. Well, that went on throughout all of Friday. No napping and not tired. When I went in for my Neulasta shot on Friday (that's the shot that keeps me making the good blood cells) they told me the wakefulness was from all the steroids they gave me. That makes total sense. I remember when my asthma was bad and I was on tons of steroids I spent endless nights just lying in bed awake.

Friday was lovely. My momma and I went for lunch. We went to a place called Jack Willie's. One of my favourite places to go - it's got a huge outdoor tiki bar on the water. Then we went to look for more scarves to use as head coverings but we couldn't find any. They were all scarves that were long rectangles whereas I'm looking for large square shaped scarves.

The next day I started to feel some pains in my muscles and bones. Ouch. Took some pills for both of them but mostly stayed in bed all day.

Sunday Andrew & I went for a drive. We started at the mall to look for scarves. Again, no luck. Not a single square scarf. Weird. We then got back in the car and meandered down to the beach. We ended up going to a couple of open houses at some condos on Clearwater Beach. Very Nice places. I could see myself living there someday. When we came home I was in lots of pain in my muscles and bones so I went to bed and dreamed of living on in a condo on the water. Nice.

Woke up Monday morning with a killer of a cold. Lots of coughing - that barky cough I get from my asthma days. This is worrisome because the combination of chemo and a cold can turn into pneumonia very quickly for me. So I called the doctor and got an antibiotic and some great cough medicine and stayed in bed until now. It's now Wednesday afternoon and I'm feeling half-decent.

So...that's all I've been doing. Lots of aches and pains and coughing and feeling gross. Nothing exciting, that's for sure.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Chemo 5 Done!

As I write this I must tell you that it is 5:30 in the morning and....I've been awake since 1:00 am. How much does that suck?!!

I'll start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

24 hours ago? I was sleeping. In fact I slept all the way through until 9:30 am. Nice. When I woke up I realized it was "chemo day". Yuck. It was the start of new drugs so I had to get there at 11:30 instead of 2:00 so I realized I had to get moving. Mom and dad picked me up at 11:15 and off we went with magazines and suduko and crosswords and blankets and drinks in hand. We were going to be there for 4 1/2 hours so we needed "stuff".

I don't know if I've ever explained how chemo goes. First you go in and get a "finger prick" blood test. Painless. They test to make sure you're well enough to have the chemo. Then they say yes and start the chemo. You go to the chemo room . There's about 20 recliners in the room and you choose where you want to sit. They always have lots of hard candies around the room and lots of magazines to read. I take my own magazines because I'm a "germaphobe" and don't like to read magazines that other people have touched (especially men who rarely wash their hands after going to the bathroom - ewww!!). Anyway, then they start up the chemo (through the port). They always start with other stuff first. The first four times it was always an anti-nausea drug. For these last four it's various drugs but it includes a steroid and lots of Benedril. People tend to get allergic reactions to these particular chemo drugs so Benedril is given to counter-act that. Then they started the Herceptin. All went well. Then they started the Taxol. This is the one where you could get an allergic reaction....and I did. The nurse was standing there talking to me and she saw that I was getting hives all over my chest and neck. She stopped the Taxol, upped the Benedril and, after about 10 minutes started the Taxol again at a slower drip. Then, this is very interesting, she started "something else" and she and my mom are chatting and I get, well? A funny feeling. Down there. I'm like, "ahh Kit? I'm getting, well....." And she says "Is your crotch burning?". I'm like, "Well, sorta, yah" She says "It happens to all the women". Interesting. My mom says "What about the men, what happens to them?" Kit says "nothing". Then we got into a discussion about mammograms and the boob squeezing and how if men had to get their scrotums squeezed down to be as thin as a sheet of paper, there would definitely be a new test within a very short period of time.

Well, needless to say, all the stopping and slow drip made my session go much longer. It was fun, though. No nausea to speak of. My daddy went and got us Wendy's for lunch. I had my momma's undivided attention for the whole time. The nurse chatted with us and we laughed and cried and laughed some more. Really, if you have to have chemo? This is a good way to go! Anyway, we didn't get out of there until just before 5:00 so it was a 5 1/2 hour session. I was exhausted when we got home so I went to lie down.

Have you ever had Benedril? Well, I gotta tell you, this stuff makes my brain "buzz". A very high pitched buzz that won't go away. It also makes my brain "race". Thoughts, just random thoughts, going through my brain very quickly. Annoying. So, instead of napping I just lay there. I tried to watch tv but my brain was too buzzy and racey (not porn racy!) so that didn't work. I finally got to sleep around 6:30 and woke up at 7:00 - not much of a nap.

I had called Andrew and told him to take care of dinner. Well, the poor guy didn't get home till after 8:00! Long story that includes a 1/2 hour wait in the pharmacy line, not getting what he needed then another wait in the Walmart 10 item line where a woman had 30 items (he counted) and then going to Subway to pick up dinner but their bank machine was down and he had no cash so off to Quizno's and finally home. Boy, was he was grumpy when he got home. He promptly poured himself some wine. Interesting thing about chemo? The smell of alcohol is just gross!! No kissing for him.

We went to bed at the usual time and I woke up at 1:00 am. I tossed and turned till 2:00. Learned something "good to know". If Andrew's snoring? I just have to cough and it wakes him up and he switches position. Anyway, I got up and went to the living room and read until 4:30. Went back to bed sure I'd sleep. Wrong. Checked the clock at 5:00. Again at 5:03. Again at 5:06. Then I realized I was checking the clock every 3 minutes so it turned into a game. I started purposely trying to check it every 3 minutes. I only made it 2 minutes so I started counting to 60 three times. Well, that got old fast so here I am writing in my blog. My dog keeps talking to me. Darn dog.

So, that's it for now. Kevin's up getting ready for school. Andrew's up in the shower so I guess I'll go have some coffee and watch some tv and hope that I'll be able to nap today.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Good Weekend!

Well, here I go again - yo yo girl. If I knew how to upload music on to this blog you would be hearing The Osmonds singing "Just Like a YoYo" right now. I know, I know, y'all are very sad that I don't know how to do this but my cousin, Judy, knows how and will e-mail me the directions so I can do this in the very near future, right Jude?

I had a fantastic weekend! On Friday night we went to the Olive Garden for dinner. Our last dinner before Scott heads out to college on Saturday. So sad for me. I hate when my kids are gone. I also hate when they're here for too long, though, so it's good that he's going back, really. Anyway, it was a lovely dinner out. I just love my kids and hubby and they're all so funny I almost spit out my drink a few times. The only down thing? Again.....people staring. It's really weird, I tell you. We walked in and there were a lot of people standing around waiting for tables. So many of them were staring. I watched this one girl look at me, tap her boyfriend/husband on the shoulder (he had his back to me), she actually pointed at me and he turned around to look! Then, we gave our name in and Andrew and I went to the bar for a drink. We walked through a family (all adults). I looked back to see if the boys were coming with us and I saw this family all staring at me. I said to Andrew "OMG. Look, they're all looking at me. They are, right?" ('cause by now? I think I must be crazy and people aren't actually looking at me - it's all in my head - no pun intended!!). But he looked and sure enough, six adults standing there staring at me. Then I looked towards the bar but just had to look back to see if they were still looking at me? Sure enough, now this is about 30 seconds later, I look back and one of the women is still staring at me. Now, I must admit, I did look cute so it coulda been that. I have this fuzzy pink hat that I just love. LOL! Anyway, we got a seat at the bar, I ordered my drink and our buzzer went off to tell us the table was ready. Well this was weird 'cause they had said it would be 40 minutes and it had only been 5. I asked the couple sitting beside us how long they'd been there and they said 45 minutes. She joked and said it musta been my cute pink hat that got us in so quickly. LOL! Then, we were walking to our table and a teen at a table we walked by said "It's not that cold out" - about me wearing a hat - I thought that was pretty funny! Anyway, the night was good other than the staring!

Then on Saturday we did laundry all day. By the time it was done Scott decided to stay another night (he was going back to college Saturday to play hockey at 7 pm but by the time he woulda got there he woulda been too late). yah!! I swear, I did not do that on purpose - he had a lot of laundry!! Anyway, a friend of mine was having a dinner party on Saturday night so Andrew and I went to that. It was very nice. Weird, at one point. There were four couples and, we girls, as girls do, were in the kitchen chatting. The conversation came to hair and they're chatting away about their hair. It wasn't rude of them or anything it was just weird 'cause usually? I'd be right in there talking about how thick my hair is, making them run their hands through it so they can really understand just how thick it is and chatting about highlights and perms and lowlights and oh! I love hair-talk! This was, truly, the first time I've had a hair conversation going on around me that I just didn't participate in. Weird. Anyway, the evening was completely enjoyable!

Sunday. The Canadian Callin's had sent us down some gift certificates for Christmas to our favourite restaurant on the beach. Yesterday was a perfect day. Not a cloud in the sky and the whole family home. So, we called my mom and dad to join us and off to the beach we went. It was perfect. First off, we found a parking spot that we didn't have to pay for! This is huge!! Clearwater Beach? I didn't even know there was such a thing as a free parking spot! Anyway, we parked and wandered down to the beach. The sand is like walking in powder. So soft and warm. The water was cold. My mom kept saying it gets warmer but Kevin and I were pretty sure they were just numb and she couldn't feel then any more! LOL! We found two small sand dollars! I've never had that before! We saw a woman in a thong bikini - I've never seen that before, either! Then, we went and had some lunch. It's an outdoor place right on the beach. The weather was perfect, the food was so good, not a single person stared at me. Wonderful!

Sunday night Scotty went home. We watched some tv. Andrew didn't snore last night! I tell you! What more could a girl ask for?

Here's a chemo-weirdity for you. My nails hurt. I had heard they can turn brown (UGH!!) and sometimes even fall off. I think that might be happening. They truly hurt. I can't even open a can of pop anymore. Weird.

Anyway, the rest of my through Thursday morning I'll do some business. Kevin goes to his Orthopedic surgeon today for another follow-up. He's hoping to get the ok to play hockey, I'm sure. Tomorrow I go for another heart test. I'm hoping the cute guy does it again! Thursday afternoon? Another chemo and the roller coaster starts again.

Have a great day, all!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Back on Track - Sorta

Well, I'm back on track - sorta. I went to see the oncologist yesterday. Andrew came with me. This is how it went:

I have a total aversion to the doctor's office, now. Just walking in makes me want to wretch. There's this weird smell in the lobby. This is just stupid (I mean the smell not the aversion) because when people are on chemo they can get a very sensitive sense of smell. So to have any kind of smell in the lobby is just stupid. not puke what I do is I take someone else with me. They go in and tell the receptionist I'm here and I wait outside. Doesn't matter what the weather, I wait outside - far away from the door because that smell wafts outside when the door opens. The person I'm there with waits for my name to be called and then they come get me. I take a deep breath and walk very quickly through the lobby into the office while holding my cute little nose. So far no one's gotten in the way but God help them if they do - I'll just bowl them over!!

Now, the plan, in my head was that Andrew would wait in the lobby until I had finished with my blood test - remember my first chemo appointment and the ambulance and Andrew? I was having none of that, again. But...Andrew decided to come in right away. And...he did fine. No ambulance needed. Good thing 'cause I really needed him this time. I can't tell you how easily I cry right now. I'm just so...needy right now. This is a really weird thing, for me, because as anyone who knows me knows I'm Miss Independence. I can do anything I want and if no one comes with me? I'll go by myself. I've gone to many hockey tournaments and been the only woman there (with three kids and only two parents? It has to go that way sometimes). I've explored Paris by myself and Stockholm by myself and I am very, very independent. And pride myself on it, too. This doctor appointment? and my last chemo, actually...I swear...if someone wasn't with me? I would have left. In fact that last chemo? If my mother hadn't walked into my bedroom and made me go? I would have skipped it.

Anyway, back to the appointment. The nurse, Andrew, came in to take some blood. They do it out of the end of your finger - doesn't hurt at all. He was having a really hard time getting any (note to self - drink lots of water on "doctor days"). My Andrew did fine - read a magazine and didn't look. The blood tests came out bad so the doctor made nurse Andrew redo them. All was ok. So, as Andrew was doing the first blood test I told him I was considering being a "Chemo Dropout". He laughed. I said "No, I'm serious. I can't do this anymore." He looked really surprised. Then the doctor came in. She made a big to-do (to-do is not a word according to spellcheck but I'm leaving it in hoping you know what I mean) about husband Andrew being there. It was pretty funny. She asked how I was doing and I told her I was considering becoming a Chemo Dropout. She, too, laughed. I said I was serious and why was everyone laughing when I said this. She looked surprised and said I'd done extremely well up until now - the model patient. Always smiling and happy. I thought to myself "Holy Shit! I shoulda been an actress!!" Seriously! I really should have!

At this point? I lost it. I started crying and blabbering on about how I hate chemo and it makes me so sick and tired and the burping of chemicals is just gross and all food tastes disgusting and I'm going into early menopause which sucks and I'm starting to get these stupid hot flashes which makes getting a good night's sleep impossible because I'm either too hot or too cold and I'm really really sick of all this and I don't want to continue with the chemo. Literally? Think of me saying that and crying and blowing my nose and having that ugly "cry face" and that's what I looked like and sounded like. She really was shocked that this was how I felt but she was so sweet. She said it was to be expected and everyone feels the same way. But....I'm done the really bad chemo part and the next part shouldn't be as bad (I'm finished the first drug and now move on to something called Taxol for the next four treatments). She told me to take it one day at a time. Try the Taxol. Just try it. See how it goes. So...I'm going to try it and see how it goes. New side effects with this one. Not as much nausea but I will get "finger tingling" and muscle pains.

Then I asked about the Herceptin. This is the new drug on the scene. It specifically targets my "type" of cancer (HER2 positive) which is a really aggressive type of cancer. She said of all the things I'm doing the Herceptin is the most important one - so I'm on board for that. I have to do it every 3 weeks for a full year. The worst part of that is that I know I have to go to that office for a whole year and, if this aversion to that office stays with me? That'll suck.

Then I asked about the Radiation. I don't really get why I have to do radiation. If I'm doing chemo and the chemo is getting any renegade cancer cells and then the Herceptin targets the HER2 cells, why do I have to do radiation? Anyway, she told me that my choice was either mastectomy (take the whole boob off) or lumpectomy along with radiation. I had the lumpectomy so I have to have radiation. period. I kinda remember that but I also know that was when I was in the no-chemo zone. When I thought I didn't have to have chemo.

Then I asked about these stupid hot flashes. Is there anything I can take to make them go away? She said I can't take anything with hormones - ever again. So the only option for the hot flashes is to take an anti-depressant. Well, that's just dumb. So, for now, I'm going to roll with the hot flashes. Taking an anti-depressant for hot flashes just seems silly. We would all agree I am not depressed. Mad? yup. Sad that this is happening to me? yup. Depressed? Not. Now, don't get me wrong. If I were depressed I would take them. But, to tell ya the truth? I am one of the most optimistic people I've ever known so if I need anti-depressants we're all in need of them. ROFL!!!

So, in the end. From the beginning of this whole thing. I went from having cancer and needing 6 weeks of radiation. That's it, that's all. to..... 8 rounds of fucking chemo, then 6 weeks of radiation (this is an every day thing, people. ugh!!) and having Herceptin for a full year. I guess it's just hitting me how long this is all going to go on. I mean, I'll still be doing this next year at Christmas time. For Pete's sake! again. ugh!

Long post, eh? I'm going on from here, too, so you might just want to go get a coffee - oh, for you Canadians you might want to go get a beer ROFL!!! I'm so funny!

I saw on John Edwards (the medium not the politician) yesterday a woman who had lost her son. He asked her how she had gotten through it so well and she said "Always Blessings, Never Loses". This really hit me. Made me cry, actually. I've decided that is my new motto. Don't get me wrong. I don't think getting cancer is a blessing. I know people say, "it will make you appreciate you're life, more". Oh bullshit. I already appreciated my life. I already went through life threatening asthma. I didn't need another illness to make me appreciate life. But...there must be something. So I have adopted that as my new motto. That and "Party first, throw up later". ROFL!! I'm just kidding, people!! Just kidding! I will never drink another shot as long as I live.

So now I'm going to list the things that will get me through all this shit. This is for me. I know this post is way too long but I really have to do this for me. So I can look at it on a down day and get some inspiration. Here goes:

1) my husband. My sweet, sweet Andrew who has supported me unfailingly through this and still lusts after my scarred body.

2) My children. Enough said. Any mother understands that.

3) Donny (and Marie) in July. I am finally seeing my Donny. Now listen. This is really exciting. I've done the math. He will be alone onstage for one third of the concert. Marie will have her time alone. Donny will have his time alone and then they'll do some "together" songs, too. I'm going to try to e-mail him and request he do Love of My Life.

4) Vegas in March. When I'm all done with chemo. I'm focusing on this one harder than you can imagine. Andrew's going on business and I'm going with him. We're staying at a beautiful hotel and it's the best of both worlds. I get to spend the evenings with him (and Paul - his business associate who has a huge heart and a good sense of humour - two things I love about anyone) but I get the days all to myself. I don't have to share my time with anyone. I can lay by the pool if I want (and if I can find a bathing suit that covers up my ugly gross port), shop, read, people watch, play the nickle slots. Anything I want.

The distant future and maybes

- living in Europe. Oh!! I want to do this!
- travel - anywhere! I love to see new things and experience new people.
- learning French
- retiring with Andrew
- grandchildren
- summering in Canada
- snorkeling in the Caribbean. Maybe even living in the Caribbean.
- starting up my scholarship (it will be called The United Caucasian Boys College Fund. Basically an average white boys only college fund. When I was looking for scholarships for my boys, as average white boys there are very few scholarships available to them. If they were girls? lots. Black boys? tons. Black girls? OMG!! even more! Any kind of minority? many. If they were freakishly smart? lots. But as average white boys who did very well in school but not valedictorian well and did well in hockey but not NHL-well, there were very few available - I'm talking 5 in our county as opposed to 33 if they were black. So, my goal is to start up the UCBCF fund.)
- volunteering with the Turtles (not ninja) and Manatee groups in our area. I want to be one of those people who go out and mark the turtle nests and make sure the babies get out to the water. I'm not sure what I would do for the manatees but I do love them and want to help in whatever way is possible.
- volunteer for this group who I can't remember the name of right now (Chemo brain) but they help girls who are pregnant and don't know what to do and help them tell their parents and, if they have the baby and want to dump it I would meet them and take the baby - no questions asked - and take the baby to the hospital.

That's it. Those are my life goals and those are the reasons I must live and get through this. Pretty good, eh? I can do it! I can do it! I can do it!!

Have a great day everyone. I will, too!