Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Round 13

Round 13 down and 3 more to go. That is nothing! I can totally do 3 more rounds. 

I went into round 13 very calm. The weekend before was incredibly relaxing. Friday night I spent a much needed day and night all by myself. I missed the girls and Eric, but still enjoyed my time alone to do nothing or anything I wanted. I ended up cleaning, but if you know me, you know that actually relaxes me. I'm weird... I know. ;) It pretty much took up my whole day as I still get very tired on Friday's with any sort of activity. I also rented a couple chick flicks, started watching Burlesque and fell asleep halfway through. The half I did see, I did enjoy. But, I fully admit I have horrible taste in movies. I'm a sucker for happy endings and will watch any movie that has some sort of happy ending. 

I then got to spend some time with two of my favorite people in the whole world, Jenny & Justine. They have been my longest and best friends since we were young. We took a drive to La Conner,  walked around the shops and ate out at some cute restaurants. We had lots of laughs, a little tears and more laughs. I needed this time with them to get my mind off my reality so badly and it worked. The weekend ended with a nice family dinner at Eric's moms house. It was a perfect weekend. :)

I planned to go to my treatment on Monday by myself (I really, really don't mind this). But, Eric does mind this. So, Melissa (Eric's sister) came with me and we had a nice time. She, like a lot of others really wanted to see what I go through during chemo. I think it puts a lot of peoples minds at ease. All the nurses and even the receptionists are amazing at Swedish. I am beyond happy with my decision to get my treatment there. 

My blood counts were good and have been almost every time since I've been on Taxol. When I went in to see the doctor, we talked about some upcoming things. I will be doing one more MRI before surgery to get an idea of what my tumor/lymph nodes look like. I will also be joining the "Active" program at Swedish. This is a program for cancer patients going through/after chemotherapy and also rehabilitation after surgery. They will put me on an exercise regimen designed specifically for me. Until several years ago, it was thought that exercise for cancer patients was harmful, but now they have found it crucial to recovery.  I wish I would have began this program much earlier, but hoping it's better late than never. I have been walking as much as I can. If it's nice out I'll take walks outside, but living in Seattle those days are few and far, so I found a walking video "on demand" that I do. I've also been taking Brooke with me to the mall and we just walk. She loves it and I love spending the one on one time with her. Although, this has gotten her in the habit of going and she's now asking to go daily. Oops! I may have started something there. As the doctor and I were discussing an end to chemo quickly approaching and how great that feels, she did let me know there is a chance of needing chemo again after surgery. We won't know if this is even an option until after the surgery and they see exactly what's going on inside me. I'm of course hoping this will not be the case, but am open to anything to treat me. She also mentioned a 20% chance that when I'm in surgery they will find no sign of disease at all. This would not change the plan of action to have the double mastectomy and she stressed how uncommon this is, but how great would that be! I'm hoping and praying this will be the case. 

After seeing the therapist the last few weeks, I have been having fewer panic attacks and the anxiety isn't as bad. Getting my fears off my chest is a huge relief and I recommend it to anyone going through this. I have a lot to still work on, but I'm doing the work and that feels really good. I'm still scared and likely will be until this is journey is over. I do realize this cancer shmancer business is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life in one way or another, but I'm gaining the strength and knowledge everyday to continue to get through this. I truly believe the changes have to be mind, body and soul. I will get there!!!  

I also want to share something with you all. This was sent to me from a very sweet woman I've never met, but feel as if I have. A very good friend of hers was also diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer a few years ago and two years later is cancer free. I relate to her words so much and feel like they could be mine.

Dear Cancer,

You came into my life a few months ago and caused me great pain. My heart was broken when I heard you were attempting to take my life. Many tears were shed and many screams into the nearest pillow I could find. To rid your disease my body was cut, poked and run down. I did not understand why you chose me. You caused extreme fear and worry for those that love me. You created a world for me that I did not want to be in. Your goal is death, but I would fight you hard. How can you stand the thought of taking a mother away from her two small children and leave her husband alone? Did you think I would allow this to happen? You made me sick and very tired and some days I could not sleep. You kept me up thinking what if..... You took away precious time from my children and family, time I cannot get back. You left my family helpless to watch me endure your motives. My mom and dad couldn't even fix this, they used to be able to fix everything. You took my sense of security of health and my hair. Most of all, you scared my children and I hated you for that. But not anymore.

It took some time, but I realized you are not in control. I am in control of how I remedy and handle what you have attempted to do to me. Although you are not a person, you are capable of doing what some people do to each other every day. I want to call you evil, but evil you are not. You taught me many things on this journey. Things I never knew before. You woke up my senses. Made me more appreciative for life and family. You allowed me to meet new friends to last a lifetime and build stronger friendships with those already my friends. Helped me see what true friends are all about. You made me humble. You showed me how loving and caring complete strangers can be. You made me realize how precious life is, and really how short it is. You taught me to not sweat the small stuff, there is always a bigger fish to fry. You made me want to get to know God, and place my faith in him. You are helping me be a better and a healthier person. You taught me patience and endurance. You made me want to help other women also embedded with your disease. You made me stronger, I can do anything now. You made me realize life can change in an instant, step back and enjoy the moment. You helped me get my priorities in order, what is more important. You allowed me to not take those I love for granted. I've learned that there are other people far worse off than me and not to feel sorry for myself. I've made you part of my life now, because you are. I will never forget what this journey has taught me. Better days are around the corner. It won't be long and I will have the ability to soak up my children's energy and appreciate it, my health, a new head of hair, and my head held high. Cancer, thank you for the lessons. Should you someday feel the need to come back and visit me, I will be ready for you.


  1. WE LOVE YOU, And, honestly, we wish we could 'fix' this!! You have shown us all how STRONG,Patient,Loving,Kind and Beautiful you are...inside and out! We'll continue to walk beside you, and lift you when you need it.
    LOVE YOU BUNCHES...Dad and Mom

  2. We are very happy to here that there is a chance that you might be disease free by the time of your surgery. We will be praying for that result.

    Love You always
    Harold and Sheila

  3. Margie,

    You truly are amazing. Im so happy your in therapy and finding your way to deal with such a huge change to yourself. In knowing you, not like all these others do, but the little I do know,, your gorgeous. You inspire me to learn at least a tiny bit that you have learned thru this journey.. It makes you even more beautiful which is hard to even imagine as you are one of the most beautiful people I know already! Chin up and know you are in each prayer I have! Love you! Cheree