Monday, December 20, 2010

My first chemo treatment.

I found a quote that seemed very fitting for how I was feeling before my first chemotherapy treatment:

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" - Dr. Seuss

My first treatment was on Monday, November 29, 2010, and I was both eager and anxious to get started, though I had no idea what I was facing that day. But knew I was ready to get it started. I would have started chemo the day after I found out the diagnosis if I could. My sister, Breanna, went to this appointment with me. She was great! She and my parents made me a "chemo blanket" to make sure I was as comfortable as possible during treatments. It's so pretty and very cozy, and I plan to bring this blanket with me to each of my appointments. I'd never even thought of something like this. Thankfully, I have other people to help me realize what's going to make me comfortable.

The actual chemotherapy treatment wasn't so bad. They set me up in a little room with a comfortable chair, and of course I had my blanket. The nurses began hooking me up to the I.V.s through my portacath and Breanna and I watched some T.V. The nurse was in and out of the room changing the medications in the I.V., and at one point she sat down with me and talked about some of the changes I would feel when I left the hospital. After my first treatment she told me I would likely lose all my hair before my next treatment - just two weeks away. Though, I have to say, that thought never scared me. I find it just to be a constant reminder that this chemotherapy is inside me killing this awful cancer.

While there, the nurse and I began talking about Vanessa and Brooke. I told her I would be talking with the girls that night about my breast cancer diagnosis. I had wanted to tell them sooner, but there never seemed to be a good time. I just wasn't ready and wanted to make sure I was educated enough to be able to explain it in a way they could understand. My mom had given me a pamphlet on how to explain this diagonisis with children and how they may react at each age, which I found very helpful. It said that I couldn't make any promises to them when asked questions such as "was I going to be ok," or "are you going to die." Just reading those words nearly killed me. As a parent you always want to assure them everything is going to be ok and I couldn't do this. I knew I had to be as positive about this as possible as they would feel my energy.

Before I left the hospital a women came into my room with three childrens books telling stories about breast cancer and the effects of chemotherapy. I was so grateful, and seemingly little things like this to them, were major things to me. These were the exact comforts I needed, and  made me more comfortable in my decision to select Swedish Cancer Institute for my treatment. With everything going on and things happening so fast I hadn't had a lot of time to think of something like that. I read through the books that night to kind of prepare myself, too, for what we would be reading.

My sister and I left the hospital after about 5 hours. I was exhausted, but feeling pretty well considering. We went to my parents where Jan, the girls dad, and the girls were waiting. I wanted to talk to them right away and just get it out of the way. We all sat down and I told them mommy has breast cancer and what that meant. Brooke didn't understand much, just that mommy was sick. Vanessa understood a little more. She said she has heard of breast cancer, so I asked her if she had any questions and she said not yet, but that she would soon. She had to process all this first. We talked about it a little more and I explained to them I would be taking medicine that would sometimes make mommy not feel very well and that my hair would fall out. The girls thought that was silly. I promised them that when that time came, we could go together and try on wigs, an idea they liked a lot. They were both so sweet that night and hugged me a little tighter and a little longer all night. My sweet girls. We all went to Red Robin after to kind of lighten the mood and have a fun time. I was feeling a lot of relief in how well the evening had gone.

Later that evening, I got the girls tucked into bed and told them we'd be able to read some stories about breast cancer the next evening. I started to not feel very well and decided to go to bed as well. Within a few hours I woke up feeling very ill and a little scared. I was up the majority of the night, but thankfully Eric stayed up with me the whole time to make sure I was ok and to ensure I knew I wasn't alone. He even got up in the morning and went to work after only two hours of sleep.

The next morning I woke up with very little sleep and very little energy. Both Jan and Justine came over to help me get the girls ready for school, and to make sure I had everything I needed. Justine brought over everything she could think of to make me feel better. :) Just having her there made me feel better. I slept pretty much that whole day and began to feel better. Looking back on it now,  I felt like everything went pretty well.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your posts. Reading these just makes me wish I lived closer. I know I haven't seen you since 9th grade...but I can still SEE you smiling and HEAR you giggling in the hallways at Cedar Hights. Clearly you are much more than the girl in flannel that I are a beautiful momma. The one thing that shines more than your desire to beat cancer, is your love for your girls. You are so inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you again for sharing.

  2. Really happy to see you sharing this with everyone! I love you.

  3. You constantly amaze me with your Strength and Positivity. Vanessa and Brooke are so lucky to have such an amazing mom! You are not only my best friend, you are my hero. You are truly beautiful both inside and out. xoxo


  4. You are truly amazing! Your strength and willingness to share with all of us is so powerful. I do think of you often and look forward to your posts. Stay strong girl. Tessie (Amy's friend)

  5. I agree with Justine!! You are so strong and amazing!! When I face little things in my life (like when Dev is having one of his moments) and I just want scream or I feel down, I think of what you are going through and how strong and positive you are I tell myself to shut up lol. We love you Margie!!


  6. Margie...Thank you for sharing your journey...and what a blessing you are to all that know you...especially your loves Vanessa and Brook... You are such an awesome mom. If you need any idea's for hair styles..let me know...;)
    Love you.

  7. Speechless, teary eyed, inspired...this is so touching. Thank you for inviting me on this journey with you Margie. To put it simply you are truly amazing. I feel so good knowing that you have a strong support system. I wish I could be there helping out too. I adore you and your positivity.

  8. Special thanks go to God almighty for using dr.zack balo in curing my Cancer disease, I was having a Breast Cancer and doctor told me that I have two years to live, that news brought sadness into my life, I was depressed, don’t know what to do. One faithful day I saw a testimony on how a spell caster cured a lady, who is called Holly, due to her testimony the man is a great man, quickly I copied his email, then I contacted him and he asked me not to bother myself that all my problems are over. I was happy to hear such words, he told me to buy some items, though I couldn’t find the items myself he asked me to send down the money to buy the items for me, faithfully I sent him the money he bought the items and prepared a cure for me. He told me that he is going to send the cure through courier delivery service, I paid to the courier delivery service, then, I got the cure, he instructed me on how I will take the cure. I took the cure and I was freed from the cancer, I went for scanning, the cancer was no longer there. I am very grateful for what he did for me. If you have any disease you can contact him via email on

  9. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comApril 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Hi Margie,

    Healthline just designed a virtual guide of the effects of chemotherapy on the body. You can see the infographic here:

    This is valuable med-reviewed information that can help a person understand the side effects they are experiencing from their chemo treatment. I thought this would be of interest to your audience, and I’m writing to see if you would include this as a resource on your page:

    If you do not believe this would be a good fit for a resource on your site, even sharing this on your social communities would be a great alternative to help get the word out.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to review. Please let me know your thoughts and if I can answer any questions for you.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    About Us:


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