I’m so hungry. Literally, all I can think about is food. And that’s because I can barely have any.
Monthly Archives: August 2014
Twists & Turns
At 25 I never expected to know what it’s like to have a catheter put in, but I do now. That’s what happens when you gain 45 pounds in 2 days and physically can’t get out of bed.
Last Wednesday, I had a long day planned for the hospital. I was to go in, get my bone marrow biopsy and then another round of the chemo cocktail. But I was happy because that night, there was a pizza party planned at our little palace as one of my best friends was in from Chicago and staying with Mike and I. Unlucky for me, the pizza party never happened. I had known it would be a long day, 8 hours maybe, but little did I know hours would turn into days/weeks before going home. My mom held my hand as the biopsy was conducted and when it was all done, we went to the “infusion” area to get set up for chemo. Quickly I started getting bad stomach pains that grew into horrific, stabbing pains all over my abdomen. So with that, my mom, my nurse and my doctor rushed over to the ER where we discovered that I had acute pancreatitis. Unlike an appendix that you can just remove, you need your pancreas to live. So the only “cure” is to get on massive pain killers, stop drinking and eating and get absolutely drowned with fluids. I’m talking pumped with so much fluids that I went from 114 pounds Wednesday morning to 160 by Friday. (“Buzz’s girlfriend…WOOF!) As laughable as it is that I gained that much weight, it unfortunately is extremely painful and made me unable to move, stand or walk by myself. Saturday I stood for the first time with lots of help. Sunday I stood for longer and Monday I got a walker to begin to walk again. It’s unbelievable how your body can change so dramatically, so quickly but it can. The good news is that over a week later, I’m recovering nicely and the doctors are proud of how far I’ve come in a short amount of time.
The most frustrating part about this is that the cancer didn’t cause this. This wasn’t one of the shit weeks I’d planned for. This happened unexpected and is a rare side effect that can happen as a result to one of the main forms of chemo that I have been receiving and was planned to continue on for for the next few months. Now, however, I won’t be able to get that kind of chemo because the risks are just too great of this happening again and the outcome being more dramatic than a 45 pound weight gain.
I like to think that I’ve gotten good at taking what life throws at me but this is a hard one to shake. I mean, not to be a baby, but isn’t leukemia enough? Why’d I have to also get pancreatitis? Do I not already have enough restrictions in my life that it was necessary to now add extreme dietary ones? Have I not been poked and prodded enough or did I really need to have more things stuck into me? It just seems so unfair. I feel like I got struck by lightening and then a cat came and pissed right on me. Just so unnecessary.
But unnecessary as it seems to me right now, that’s life and I’ve gotta roll with the punches. My new goal is getting out of this hospital (although I was lucky enough to get back on the best floor in town and have the best nurses in the entire world. Kristen if you’re reading this, THANK YOU AGAIN, you an angel!) and get back to my bed and my life.
I’m off to have some chicken broth for breakfast. Thanks for letting me vent and I’ll end on a GREAT note: in the midst of everything going on this weekend, my doctor came in with the results from my bone marrow biopsy on Wednesday and my marrow was completely clear of any leukemia cells!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU GOD!!!!
PS here’s a highlight of the week
when my niece came to visit after not seeing her in over a month!! (She was being a world traveler instead of hanging in Manch, NBD)
Live from Dana Farber
One shot of morphine down. Two ativans under the tongue. Now I get to sit in an “observatory” room as we wait for it to hit me. Last time, my mind won over the meds and I didn’t feel their effects until after the procedure was done. Hoping for different luck today. I could use a smooth ride. Either way, in about 30 minutes I’ll go in to have my bone marrow biopsy. Fourth one I will have had done and still no easier. Beyond the physical pain, the uneasiness that comes from knowing that what they’re pulling out could have leukemia cells in it is such a crazy thought. I say the words “I have leukemia” often yet there’s nothing physical that I can ever see or feel. But since they’re extracting something from me during a bone marrow biopsy, it makes it feel like they’re ridding some of my body of this terrible diseases. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s going to happen today but I like to tell myself that it is. That with every pull, they’re pulling out bad cells and bad energy from my body.
Maybe the drugs have kicked in, I’m starting to talk a little crazy so I shall end here.
Wish me luck!
Life is Good
Yesterday I was a cancer slayer. Today I get to be a spoiled lady with the best boyfriend in the world on a long weekend getaway in Portsmouth, NH.
Seafood chowder is on it’s way, the sun is shining, seagulls are chirping, I can smell the saltwater and feel the ocean breeze. Can’t get much better than this.
Today I feel blessed. Happy. Today I’m appreciating the day and all it has to offer. I’m feeling present in this moment and all my surroundings. Life is a crazy, unexpected, beautiful, wonderful thing.
Enjoy today and all it’s beauty!
Help Me Raise Funds to Put an End to Cancer
On September 21, I will be participating in the 2014 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk. From the very moment I was diagnosed with leukemia, my life has been in the hands of the wonderful men and women at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). Those hands and the brilliant minds behind the endless hours of research that is conducted at the DFCI has literally saved my life. And for that, I am forever grateful and forever indebted to the people and research that is executed at this incredible establishment. By walking and raising funds, I want to give back to the organization that has gone so far beyond simply “treating” my disease. It has offered programs like massage therapy and acupuncture to ease my stress and anxiety. It has given me nurses that comfort me when I’m scared, chat with me like I’m one of their girlfriends and get me cold facecloths and warm blankets when I’m getting sick. It has provided me with social workers and therapists to help me digest this terrible time in my life and help make it one that I can get through with strength and courage. And above all else, it has given me the best doctors I could ever ask for. Doctors that are not only brilliant but compassionate and warm. Doctors that have become my friends and whom I trust with all my being.
The funds raised through the Walk will not only help the DCFI continue to provide this type of beyond brilliant care to each and every one of their patients and families, but it will help to enhance these programs and initiatives for the future. These funds will also be applied when promising new research opportunities arise which is essential to ending the fight against cancer. By making a donation, big or small, you are helping to change the odds of patients facing cancer. And lets face it, that’s a pretty big deal.
Below I have included a link to my fundraising page where you can donate in order to help me reach my goal of $1,000.
Every little bit helps so please consider donating to this more than worthy cause. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for supporting me and Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.