Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gotta love him! More water please!

Brown fat?  Why must you mimic the sign of cancer in a PET scan?  Seriously, folks...  This "brown fat" makes it look like I have cancer mania in my neck area.  I'll post pictures soon.  But confirmed in my appointment with the Doc that there is little, to NO sign of maligncy in my lymph nodes.

Radiation is likely.  I'll here From Dr Rad anytime now.  Short term and low dose radiation.  My new insurance policy that greatly decreases my chances of relapse. 

Just had treatment today, and this all is starting to seem so... second nature. Like....Routine.  Every two weeks,  its the same deal.

Monday - Bloodwork before noon.  Lab lady likes to stick the needle straight through the same vein while she talks to me about chemo.  Apartment cleaning frenzy, now with a boat load of laundry.

Tuesday - Infusion Day (I hate the word chemo) Takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending if I see Doc or not.  Home at last and drained, I choke down 2 glasses of water with some ambien, and i'm off to bed.

Wednesday - Things start to tumble down.  Stomach starts to churn.  Its manageable with the anti nasueadrugs, but still drained and feel sickly.

Thursday - A bogus day.  I found iviting people over to my "lair" keeps my mind off the bunk side effects of chemotherapy.  Unlikely i'll eat much, the tastebuds are in a funk.  Just sleep, take a bath, wedding shows, fall asleep to greys anatomy and wake up to Cody finally home.  Chicken Pot Pie and a liter of water later, back to ambien and bed. 

*Cody gets this time to play some of the new xbox games he got, and still constantly ask me if I need anything.  Gotta love him!  More water please!

Friday - The turning point.  I finally feel better, more energy... to clean the apartment again.  Almost a week of riding the couch wave and drugging myself to less than normalcy has done a number on the kitchen, living room, and laundry hamper. Weak, but keeps me productive and gives that sense of accomplishment.

Saturday - I always seem to wake up to my tongue swelling.  Like little teeth marks on the sides of my tongue.  Ibprofen, and popsicles seems to help.  Mouth sores would be much worse... But today is good.  Normal almost.  Able to have a beer and take roxy out for a good long walk.

Sunday - Swelling goes down, I can eat a full meal again - and being back to myself does wonders for the soul. ;)

Anyways,  its a general idea of treatment week for me.  Luckily at this point I only have 3 of them left to endure.  Holidays were great cause they went by quick and pain free.  Couldnt be happier with the way things are going.

It will be February 9 before I know it.   --   9 down 3 to go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guess What!!!!!

Officially in COMPLETE REMISSION.  Thats right.  I kicked cancers ass.

Now to just finish out the remanining cycles to get rid of the remaining microscopicals, and this chick is on her way back to a  full head of hair, and the wedding i've been putting off for toooo long now.

Best news of my life.

Round 4 = History

With my 4 bag of creamsavers in tow, I was able to get through the end of cycle without a hitch.  (Except I got a nurse I didnt know, and they poked me twice to find a good vein).  Dad went with me, and is a fantastic chemo-company.  California Turkey Wraps, Dr Pepper, Star Magazine (Lots about Tiger Woods).  It seemed like forever before they could get me out of there though..  Like a bad server, our nurse was in the weeds with 4-5 patients.

This was also the day I was anticipating my PET scan results.  I havent gotten a scan to show progress, only the initial scan before I began treatment in September.  It is now the next day, I called Doctor and i'm anxiously awaiting a return call.  Complete Remission here I come!

On another light note, last treatment as explained was quite miserable.  I came home feeling like crap, and spent the next two days feeling even worse.  Had a mini-emotional break down (with dads help, got through the last 30min for Cody to get home) and was on a strict chicken broth diet.  I didnt dare to eat anything else.  This time around?  Not so bad!  Came home yesterday a little drained, but was able to eat ok.  Woke up this morning feeling icky as usual, but able to eat and drink plenty of aqua.  I think it might be the anticipation of the end of treatment to come!  I hear this is about the point where most chemo patients notice their hair growing back and the treatments getting a little easier to handle.  So lucky me!

I would post another picture, but the giant bags under my eyes and no color in my face would send the kiddies running for the hills. 

I'll post again when I get the call about the PET scan.  Lets pray the results are what I think they're going to be!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Waiting for the turning point?

I will never again under-estimate the time it takes for my body to bounce back.  Everytime I get the usual treatment for this so called cancer, I constantly tell myself I will feel better by thursday.  Treatment on Tuesday, better by Thursday.  Yeah, a frickin stretch..

I seem to feel ok in the mornings.  Chow down some grub.   Yeah, grub.  Get some paper and make myself a little to do list, but try not to over-do it.  Over-exerting myself is the worst feeling ever.  Before I know it, my head is foggy, my stomach starts to turn on me and I find myself trying to "choke" down water.  WATER!!  I maybe had a piece of toast, and oatmeal to eat yesterday.  But the worst part, is being left alone with my thoughts.  I'm usually super positive.  "It will pass"  But yesterday I had a mini-breakdown.  Feeling like shit, not being able to consume anything ALL DAY, and going through it all alone... really starts to take its toll. --- The point is, every Thursday I find myself waiting for the turning point.  I need to come to terms with the fact that it NEVER COMES ON THURSDAY.  Just impatiently waiting to feel better over-exerts my body, and in turn I end up making myself feel even worse.

This damn chemotherapy is both friend and foe.  Both saving my life, and making it more difficult.  Cant be in large crowds.  Cant be around anyone with so much as a cough.  Cant do so much as laundry until the weekend following treatment.  My digestion?  You dont even want me to go there... but lets just say, it aint right. I could go on and on with complaints about the lowsy side effects...  but i'm not going to.  I'd rather get up off the couch (finally!) and find something that tastes good. 

Popsicle maybe.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Next stop, the scan. Now with AP

Today I feel quite shiteous.  So this entry will be a short one.
I do believe all the exercise I got in the last 1.5 weeks have helped me barr through the side effects a bit quiciker.  I feel icky, but have a feeling i'll be bouncing back tomorrow instead of friday. 

I have a PET scan scheduled the day before my next treatment, and just might have the results back within 24hours!  So while they're pumping the poison through my body, I'll know whether or not i've kicked this cancer ass.  I'm confident that shiz is GONE.  Just 2 more cycles to be sure, a bit of radiation to wipe out whatever microscopicals we cant see, and i'm on the road to the golden wedding.  The anticipation is killing me!

Anyways, bobby dad and I took some fun photos during treatment yesterday.

This is AP. (Angry Panda)

Jokes Book to keep my mind off the poison.


AP wanted coffee, and he got coffee.

AP getting blood pressure taken.  Hes 130/86

AP's DuRag               



Thats all for now, folks.

Monday, November 30, 2009

December 09 in perspective.

Thank you all for letting me rant there.  And sorry for the inappropriate middle finger that I felt was necessary.  Like the mohawk?

Have treatment tomorrow afternoon, which i'm looking forward to getting overwith.  Spending today getting more christmas shopping done (and wrapping), as well as cleaning the ol' apartment for preparation of the week to come.  In which I will NOT be cleaning, or cooking, or functioning.

December will be quite a month.  A few pros include the parade of lights, christmas lights everywhere, 3 treatments in one month (odd to be on the pro list, but it means end of treatment is two weeks earlier than I originally anticipated) Christmas happens to land on my off week, and Zach and Jennifer (future bro and sis in law) are coming into town.... which leads me to the cons.  They arrive on the evening of the13th, and I have treatment a day later...   So no visiting zach and jen until almost a week after they've arrived.  Um, the 3 treatments in one month also means feeling shitty 2 of the 4 weeks of Dec. as well as NYE, and I'm always broke during the holidays because of all the shopping.    ** At least the pros, outweigh the cons!**

What else....  Bobby is coming to treatment with me tomorrow, which is kickass.  Unfortunately Cody wont make it to anymore through the end of the year, hoping I get lucky with January.  But by January, I will only have 3 treatments left!!!  You can all expect a huge party 1.5 weeks after my last treatment... so... end of February.  Mark your calendars!!!

I will also keep you all posted once Cody and I decide on a wedding date!  We decide this month! (after my scan)

I'll leave you all with a pic of my wig...  I dont think it looks too bad.... 


The obvious fact that everyone looks at me and treats me like I have cancer is starting to get under my skin.  The MORE you worry about me, the worse you make things for everyone.  I dont want to know about your nightmares that involve me.  I dont want to be told that I look un-recognizable with my wig on.  If you were a women suffering from hair loss, you wouldnt appreciate that comment either.  Granted I'm not going to lose all my hair, i'm still going to lose 75% of it.

All you negative nancys are pissing me off.

I'm fine.  I'm still me.  I'm not going to let my condition bring me down or waste my life away.

So stop treating me like i'm going to die, because I'M NOT.  So STFU.
I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but its my blog, and greatly expresses how I feel about you negative nancys.


P.S.The ring is new and thought it would add a little "pizzaz" to my middle finger.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Was impatiently waiting to get to this point.

Now that treatment 6 of 12 is complete, I can finally rest assured that the light at the end of this tunnel is near.   Is barreling towards me so quickly, I can taste it.  (well not really taste it, cant taste much but sewege at the moment)

Cody came with me yesterday, which he is always the best company in the world.  (as I tear up)  Hes only been able to come to one prior to yesterday.  And next to bobby, does a kick ass job keeping me company and making time go by quickly.  After tucking me into bed when we got home, he was off to finish the remainder of the day at work.  Needless to say, this guy rocks my world.   Though everytime I think about it, I think about how he doesnt deserve to be put through this, and yet he sticks around anyway.  Even tries to release me from the emotional chains that are keeping my hands behind my back.

I dont think i'll even be able to BEGIN to explain everything I am thankful for this thanksgiving.  Or keep it together none the less, but you all get the idea. :)

So Cody and I have been talking about where we want to go next year, when I can finally take a break from being a full-time patient.  And I think its decided!

Drumroll please................................... LONDON!

We both want to experience Europe so bad.  Shortly I'm going to talk to Neal and Devra about having a place to crash for a couple nights, then a cute Hostel or something for the remainder of the trip.  Should be a kick!  A well deserved vacation after a long and difficult battle for both of us. 

I'll keep you all posted on the deets!

Obviously feeling pretty uneasy today, and still have tomorrow.  But hoping all the fresh veggies and yoga i've been sticking to the last month, will lighten the side effects a bit and  make the nasuea easier to handle.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

She's always running from something

Every horrible horrible thing, has a silver lining.

I've taken the ENDLESS amount of time I have with my own thoughts, to think about what this experience will change.  For the better, or worse.

I'm done letting work slip by.  Settling for $200 paychecks.  Being the first to volunteer to go home early.  In order to have the finer things in life, I need to do more.  Make a difference.  Find my place in society.  Most cancer patients/survivors seem to be leaning towards being advocates, starting non-profits and raising awareness.  Not for me.  But i'm confident I will find my calling, as it often takes a close brush with death to realize what we're put on this earth for. 

I know my purpose is to make people happy, i've been doing it all my life.  Even putting others happiness before my own.  I will find an opportunity to encorperate that into a successful career, but never again put someone elses oxygen mask on before my own.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And without further ado.

After a rough week of awful chemo side-effects, being couch ridden and having the constant feeling to wretch...  I've decided to take my thoughts to my blog on this wonderful week of feeling better... FINALLY.  I've realized i've been neglecting you all that follow me.  Not enough juicy details.  Hell, no one has seen my boy-short hair-do except immediate family, and cody of course.

I've made it my personal mission to document this horredous journey in more enticing detail.  No one in my family has really dealt with cancer this "up close and personal" before.  Grandma J had lung cancer, being the frickin awesome cancer vixen she is, got through it like it only took a week.  (which I believe it took a bit less than a year) for remission.  Grampa W had non-hodgkins, a lot more common than my hodgkins.  Which the treatment is less aggressive. (Still cancer, none the less)

But HOLY SHIT! Katie?  She's only 23!  You guys have no frickin idea how many cancer babes like me are out there.  Ovarian, Hodgkins, Cervical, Breast, Leukemia, you name it, someone in their twenties has it.  Rare and all.

Hodgkin Disease though.  Guess I should feel lucky.  With the 5-year survival rates being in the 90 percentile.  Might still have the opportunity to bear children.  Only 6months of treatment...  but no one with cancer should be considered "lucky".  This chemotherapy, makes me a zombie.  Imagine that awful stomach feeling the morning after you've had waaay to much to drink.  I feel like that for about 4 days straight.  Nothing tastes good.  Water has got to be the worst tasting drink (though most important) when enduring chemo side effects.  Kinda like finding an old silver spoon at the bottom of an old box in storage, and sticking it in your mouth.  Cob webs and all.  If you can imagine what that tastes like... its what water tastes like to me.  I still havent found a beverage adequate enough to drink during that bad week.  When I find one i'll let you know.  Next week, Hansens Natural Soda.  One of those damn flavors has to work.

Then to the hair.  I have to beware, last time I posted about my hair, it started falling out twice as fast.  We'll see.  When I started Cycle 2, my gorgeous new hair cut took a turn for the worse.  I stopped brushing it,  washed it every 4 days or so.. (gross!) and when I did wash it, more and more hair would end up at the bottom of the tub.  I became a wreck.  I found myself depressed over my hair.  It was always my greatest quality.  Being cursed with small bewbs, and a boys figure... my perfect hair was all I had.  When it started falling out even quicker than orignally expected, I would cry everytime a hair loss thought crossed my mind.   This was not only sending me down a certain road of sadness and agony, but Cody was starting to lose his mind as well.  He could no longer make me feel better, keep me positive, happy.  So we both decide its time.  I'd have to say, shaving my hair was one of the best and worst experiences of my life.  I was almost certain it would all be gone in a few weeks time.  Sitting in the chair, trying on wigs, feeling like a complete moron just being in that wig shop... seemed to make matters worse.

I sobbed uncontrolably the rest of that day.  As far as I know, my support group (Cody, Sarah, Mom and Dad)  Cried as well.  Usually people try and make fun with it.  Cutting ridiculous haircuts, shaving mohawks, and so on... laugh it off.  There was just NO WAY I could have fun with it.  But afterwards, it was liberating.  The first step in my healing journey.

Nearing the end of Cycle 3.  Hair is thinning.  Its about an inch long, and seems to be thinning up top, but staying strong in back and around sides.  haha.  Eyebrows and eyelashes (my second worst fear) are thinning as well.  But I was told by my EX-ONCOLOGIST (details later) that I would not lose it all.  Thank god, I hear when the eyelashes go... every little thing gets into your eyes.  Sounds quite annoying.  At this point, I feel liberated.  Both happy and sad the hair is gone.  Defintiely dont regret my decision to shave it off, because that road to depression could have done horrible things, both mentally and physically.  The LAST thing I wanted was to hear the chemo wasnt working.  Depression could have made that a reality.  I refused to let that happen.

Like I'm sure i've said before.  It really takes a toll on your ego.  Makes you start the search for that "inner beauty" everyone keeps telling you about. Teaches you a huge lesson in vanity.  Makes me realize, looks are the last thing I should be focusing on right now. 

I constantly ask the universe for guidance, in healing.  In ridding my body of this poison that has taken the reigns of my life and brought everything to a screeching hault.  My plan?

1. Introduce vegetables!
2. Yoga.  Focus on breathing, replenish the oxygen deficiancy caused by awful habits like smoking.
3. Gratitude.  So many things in life to be grateful for, done focusing on the things that piss me off.
4. MORE Water.  I drink LOTS when it does start to taste normal again.  I found that I lacked the hydration my body needed.  With all the soda, beer, more soda, and more soda and another beer.
5. Meditation.  Not only people struck with an awful illness... but everyone should seriously take 15min out of their busy days to CLEAR YOUR MIND of all the stress, negative thoughts and emotional crap that swirls around that thick skull 24hours a day. 
Happy thoughts, equal Happy cells people.  Trust me.

Heres some pics of my current hair situation.  Sometimes I wear a wig, sometimes just a hat, sometimes just like this.  Depending on my mood.  :) 

and its actually my natural hair color.  DISHWATER blonde.  ek.

Tehs Hawt!
Hope you can see my neat cowlick in back.  I obviously took these after rolling out of bed in the morning.  But none the less... my hair actually grows and thins at the same time.  Quite amusing given what I expected when I shaved it off.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Say WHAT!?!!

With a little help from PlanetCancer, Chemochicks, and personal experiences....

Excuse me? yeah... people have ACTUALLY said:

1. (insert relative here) Died from that
2. You should try (raw food diet, vegan diet, insert crazy diet here)
3. Its Hodgkins?  Like they always say, if you HAVE to get cancer... this would be the one i'd choose.
4. Nice haircut (thanks, its chemo hair) my friend had cancer, he didnt lose his hair (obviously he didnt get the good stuff)
5. Now you can lose those extra pounds!
6. You should try my (acupuncturist, chiropractor, insert holistic alternative treatment here)
7. You look good for having cancer! (thanks?)

8. Well didnt you keep with your regular check ups? - uh.. are you seriously blaming the victim here? 
9. Maybe it was all the (drinking, smoking, fast food, insert bad habit here)
10. Excuse me sir, you're in the ladies room. (yeah. bad)
11. Did you know, when a dog has chemo it doesnt lose its hair?

12.  AND MOST IMPORTANTLY... It seems like everyday that someone tells us about how they know someone who knows someone who has cancer, or is going through some treatment for something. To us, it doesn't sound like an interesting tidbit of news, but more like "oh, this random cancer fact reminded me of you."

But dont feel bad friends.  We all have brain farts, we all say stupid things and later feel like a TARD for doing so..  No worries..  I had fun laughing at you behind your back with my other cnacer friends.  So we can all put it behind us.  You feel bad, I laugh about it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is it the swine flu?

Where to begin.   Cody caught SOMETHING on Monday.  Guess hes not gonna make it to my next treatment (Tuesday).  Naturally, I start disinfecting everything in our apartment.  I find myself so paranoid not to get sick.  I'm using lysol wipes immediately after he touches something.  Crazy?  I think not.  While me and my dad go to my treatment, Cody packs up and heads to his parents house to get over the bug he'd gotten.

Now the day after chemo (and my flu shot!), my mom comes over to keep me company... and sure enough (cough cough!)  SHIT!

They say if your temperature reaches 100.5 or higher, call immediately.  Mom stayed over to make sure I was ok, and it was necessary for her to do so.  I no sooner woke her up at 630am with a fever of 100.6.  Please god help me avoid hospitalization!  She hops on the phone, could it be the swine flu?

Swine flu symptoms:
Fatigue - Hard to say considering I JUST had chemo, whether or not the fatigue is a symptom of H1N1
Dizziness when standing - Nope
Cough - I've got a horrible cough..  its the first symptom I had.
Fever - Yikes!  I hit 100.8

A little tamiflu here, antibiotics there, and tylenol every 6 hours to keep the fever at bay.  Moms are the best at taking care of their sick children.  Mom went grocery shopping, made me soup, bought a humidifier, did my laundry, disinfected everything again...  I love my mom!

Codys fever broke, and we had to wait 24hours after his fever broke for him to come home.  He got home last night, I was soo happy to see him.

My fever peaked again last night, but dropped this morning.  So now I just feel like i've gotten a nasty cold.  But i'm semi functional.  Thanking god I didnt have to go to the hospital, i've heard horror stories of being stuck there for days.

I've finished cycle 2!  Slowly but surely, i'm getting through this nightmare.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Amazing how liberating it is to just get it overwith.
All day Saturday, I was an emotional wreck.  My hair was falling out twice as fast after chemo 3.  Cody finally got me to stand up to my greatest fear of losing my hair, and dragged me (practically kicking and screaming) to the salon.

We went to Hanas Wig Boutique, with Mom Dad and Sarah.  Wigs everywhere, extremely intimidating.  The staff there were extremely helpful and supportive, knowing exactly how hard it was for me to just BE THERE.  Tried a couple wigs on, examined the hair I did have, and how quickly it would fall out.  Hana herself came by, and shes a cancer survivor! so it was comforting having her help me.  Finally settled on a wig about the same length and color as my natural hair.  Then out came the shaver (or whatever its called).   I cried as my beautiful blonde locks were shaved off my head.  I think everybody cried.

This seriously teaches me a huge lesson on VANITY.  Gives me a new appreciation for those who up and shave their heads BEFORE they start chemo. 
Those I love, will still love me, hair or no hair.

I hope the 1/2 inch of hair I do have left, grows just a little, so I can at least sport a mo-hawk.  Give this awful haircut a little pizzaz!

I did notice how many freakin shampoo and hair color commercials there are though.  Which will be frustrating for the next few months.  And I do pay more attention to the people around me in public places.   Is her hair real or fake?  How many other bald people are in the room?  It was extremely comforting when codys mom came over yesterday to take us shopping, and she had no idea my wig, was a wig!  Reassuring to say the least. 

Stay tuned for pictures.  When I bring myself to take some.  Dont worry, I eventually will.  Promise.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Begin Cycle 2

Wasnt so much a happy camper this time around.  It was my first visit with my Oncologist since starting treatment.  She came in, checked out my lymph nodes (neck, under arms, etc..)  and said "i'll be right back, I have to check on something"  as she left the room.   No "lookin good!" or "i'm seeing progress!"  just a be right back.

Naturally I start to panic, pacing in the exam room.  Wondering WTF.  She kept me in there for a good 20min before coming back with my mom and sister.  Nothings wrong, no need to panic, just went to get your family from the waiting room.  Here I am sweating bullets, on the verge of crying.  NOT FUNNY.

But good news is, chemo is working!  swelling of my lymph nodes have noticablly decreased.  Few questions I have for my favorite onc..
-Yes the hair loss will get worse
-Yes you will most likely need radiation (short term though)
-Yes you are going through menopause, temporarily, only during treatment.  Which explains the emotional spells, and hot flashes.

So all in all,  got both good and bad news.  I was praying the hair loss wouldnt get worse, but woke up with a pillow of hair on my pillow.  Oh well,  I'm slowly but surely coming to terms with it.  IT WILL GROW BACK.  And the treatment is working.  Thats ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW to lower stress levels and kick this hodgkins lymphoma ASS.

Maybe i'll go brunette, Cody likes brunette.  Or maybe pink?  Might as well have fun with it. 

I'll post pics when I decide to shave it all, and invest into some crazy wigs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Love the feeling of feeling good!

Crazy how you dont appreciate a normal stomach, until you regularly feel like shit. 
Week ago today was chemo, so I think its safe to say Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 are pretty miserable... but then I slowly start to come back by the time the weekend rolls around.  I'd consider this managable!

Poor Cody has been working all day, coming home, making dinner, cleaning after dinner, and resting by about 930pm.  Poor Cody.  Those treatment weeks are going to be rough on him for a while.  Luckily, he doesnt have to try hard on making dinner... cause for me it all tastes like crap.  But i'm making it up to him by cleaning, and making dinner, and making him coffee in the morning EVERYDAY i'm functional.

Status update: (before visit with ONC next week)

Hair - Started falling/thinning out.  Slowly though, which makes me believe I may not lose it all.
Overall health - Feeling normal today!  Good day!  Got bloodwork done yesterday to check on WBC.  (White bloodcell Count)  Will determine my next treatment, and whether or not I need that Nuprogen shot.
Lymphoma Symptoms - Progressing.  Starting to get night sweats.  But apparently, thats to be expected.  Still itchy, still exhausted easily.  No other swollen lymph nodes that I know of.  (official doctor update next week)

Lets all think positive thoughts for Katie this week!  I'm hoping for progress! treatment effectiveness!  good test results! and a quick and painless week next week!

Time to clean, vacumm!!! (my hair is everywhere, quite gross) disinfect everything, run some errands, and keep trying for my goal to drink a GALLON of water a day, need good veins next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My coffee tastes like S***

Ah, one of the many lovely side effects... everything tastes like crap. 

Well, I actually take that back... Last night.. Cody made me White Wine & Herb Chicken with spinach salad and rice,  and it tasted fine.. but my coffee this morning?  Bleh.  Bleh.  FRUSTRATION.  Maybe I should avoid buying Starbucks whole bean coffee, cause we all know they burn their coffee when they roast it... as its not roasted here in CO.

But I'm a girl that knows coffee.  Espresso.  yum!  I'm very picky.  But when no matter what I do, how much I pay, it all tastes like crap.  Being the negative nancy I am this morning.  Maybe it was the bible thumpers that knocked on my door reading me passages out of the bible while roxy tries to get out, i'm in my pjs looking far from happy.  lol.  "what do you think it takes to make the world happy?  are you depressed?"

Excuse me?  I have cancer.  But i'm not going to tell you that...  Cause you're just going around knocking on peoples doors in my apartment complex... which you probably dont have a permit for.  Spreading the word of god whether we want to hear it or not.

Thats my venting for the day.  Actually still staying positive.  Reasons to be happy today:
-Not EVERYTHING tastes like crap
-No hair loss yet, as I was told to expect it by now.
-Sunny Day!
-Feel ok enough to clean up the apartment today.
-I accidently clocked Cody in the face with my engagement ring this morning.  Made me laugh.  Dont worry, he didnt bleed.
-Nice to close the door in those peoples faces.  Wheres your permit to solicit here? GO AWAY.
-Sarah is pregnant! I'm gonna be an Auntie!  A badass Aunt Katie to say the least. ;)

Pic of Sarah and Bro in Law Chris.  Expectant mom and dad.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Update! From everyones favorite Katie.

Whew.  Just came back from Chemo2.  Or the END of cycle 1.
That makes 1 down, 5 to go!  Though the end is FAR from close....  its still in sight. ;)

This time around, I get to fully experience the effects of the treatment.  My first treatment was difficult, as I was going through withdraw of quitting smoking, so any effects I experience (dry mouth, sore jaw, headaches, heartburn, irritability) could be the chemo, could be nicotine withdraw.  But, i'm going over 2 weeks strong without a cigarette!  Not as hard as I thought.  Though under these circumstances, it makes it easier.   Damn C.  Wish it were pregnancy that made me quit.  Oh well.  Guess the Damn C has a silver lining in some aspects.

I feel ok today, got home and immediately wanted to take a nap.  Slept for a couple hours, helped bring back some energy.  UNFORTUNATELY, docky doc is concerned about my white blood cell count (guess I shouldnt have had those few beers while camping, but its camping! and I compensated with water and electrolytes the next day!).  Have to go in next week for another lab.  So i'm gonna veggie, water, and excercise it up this week to give my immune system a lil' nudge in the right direction.  Fingers crossed!

Cody and I decided to downgrade to a 1bedroom apartment, help cut back on expenses since i'm not working until this is all over.  The leasing office people are being so helpful.  Though we cant get out of our lease, they are waiving some big-time fees to get us to a smaller place, with less rent.  So we should be able to manage through the next 6months until i'm back on my feet.  Codys been doing better than ever through all of this.  He's my best supporter.  Even when he comes home, and i'm far from happy... he still manages, and keeps a smile on my face.  Me smiling keeps him smiling.  AND he came with me today!  He and SARAH came with me today. 


My view of the treatment area...

And my view of Downtown Denver from the 12th floor of the hospital!  Nice.....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cigarette FREE

Never thought i'd have the will power to do it.
But my cravings are becoming less and less frequent, and not as miserable!

I didnt want cancer to be the reason I quit.  But its definitely a good reason, as I could have caved already.  I'm excited to have my apartment smoke free.  No cigarettes or ashtrays around, no temptation.  I feel empowered.  I've accomplished something i've been wanting to do for years now.  Never thought high school, peer pressure, alcohol, drugs would lead to a 5 year battle of quitting these nasty habits.

Been 4 days now.  Not one cigarette!

Happy as can be.  :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cycle 1 - Not too bad!

Yep. Day 1.
Cycle 1 - Treatment 1 of 2

Not too bad actually. I get to sit in a nice recliner chair, bring a portable dvd player, my laptop (free wifi!) or take a nap... so many options. My brother Bobby came for my first treatment. He's the best at keeping me giggly and happy.

In more detail, I am getting ABVD
A-Adriamycin --- This is the drug that causes hair loss.
B- Bleomycin --- An Antineoplastic used to treat certain cancers.
V-Vinblastine --- An Antineoplatic used to treat certain cancers.
D- Dacarbazine --- This one everyone dreads. It causes burning while getting the med thru an IV. This is why some doctors use Infusion Cathaders (surgically put under skin of chest or arm to reduce irritation or burning)

This nice cocktail of drugs is what a majority of Oncologists use to treat Hodgkins Lymphoma. (Depending on your age, weight, etc...)

After the Chemo today, I feel fine! Normal. No Nasuea. Had some fresh carrots a tall glass of water and a sandwich. Still feel fine! I assume side effects will show their true colors upon more treatments.

My family has been doing great helping me deal with hair loss. My brother and my dad are going to shave their heads with me once I start to notice a great deal of hair falling out. At the Oncology office, women are walking around bald, with a smile on their face. Gives me the courage to look past the hair loss, and forward to getting through these treatments. Luckily, I'm going through this at the end of the year. No summer swim suits, shorts, tanks and heat to deal with. More cute beanies, wraps, hoods, and snow! I'll probably end up getting a wig. Just one though. Doubt i'll wear it often, too itchy I hear. My off weeks perfectly scheduled to land on holidays! Thanksgiving, Christmas, NYE. Awesome.. By that time, I should only have 1 cycle left before I should be in remission. FEBRUARY FEBRUARY FEBRUARY!!!!!!!

I cut my hair way short the other day... I've NEVER had it this short before... Thoughts?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Meeting my Oncologist

Talk about nerves. Knowing i'm going in to find out what stage the disease is in.
My oncologist was quite intimidating at first. I just wanted to leave before the consult was over. She is very straight forward, a tough cookie. After the exam, and the bone marrow biopsy (uh.. ouch! ouch! OUCH!) she turned out to be exactly what I wanted. Funny, does well keeping my mind straight and keeping me informed (whether I liked the truth or not).

It was definitely a lot of information to take in for the first day. Got a dvd on "what to expect" instead of a class because monday is labor day. (and Codys birthday!) The facilities were nice. They showed me where I would hang out while getting the chemo, and even told me the best spot to get! It overlooks downtown denver, as the oncology offices are on the 12th floor. FANTASTIC view.

It still hurts where the bone marrow biopsy was done. I spent most of the remainder of my day relaxing. Hopefully the pain will subside in time to celebrate Codys birthday.

I was told i'm in stage 2A. Meaning the cancer remains above my diaphram, has only affected a few lymph nodes, and not too worrysome of symptoms. (itching, exhaustion) I will begin 6 cycles of treatment over the next 6 months. (or once every two weeks) I get my first chemo on Tuesday, so shortly we will see how the drug affects me. Until then, I'll probably cut my hair short. And cut down on washing it to about twice a week.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another day, another test

Went in for the PET Scan today. Learned the ultimate lesson, which you all should know...

If you have to fast before a doctors appointment, dont schedule your appointment in the afternoon! Soooo hungry.
It wasnt too bad though. They injected radioactive glucose (sounds scary, i know) and you have to wait around for an hour for the stuff to do its thing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that during that hour of waiting, you get to lounge in an awesome recliner, and watch cable! :) Then you hop into a CAT Scan machine and it scans you for about 20minutes. Pretty long 20minutes it seemed. Then I got a goodie bag with snacks and a bottle of water (they must come across hungry patients often).
I get the stitches out from the surgery, and my first meeting with the oncologist is friday morning.

They want to immediatly start treatment, and do the bone marrow biopsy. I think its safe to say that NO ONE looks forward to those. Sedative please!

First Entry

Hello everyone! I have decided to start a blog, as it may be the best way to share my thoughts and progress with family and friends after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

It all started about a year ago when I noticed an odd lump on the bottom right side of my neck. Being young and hating doctors visits, I decided to ignore it. After a good 8 months, no change in size.. doesnt move, and is becoming bothersome. I scheduled a visit with my primary, could be anything. She refers me to have an ultrasound. Again, inconclusive. Go in for a CT Scan with the dye injected, this is where they refer me to Head/Neck Specialists. Cody came with me to meet with the doctor and what a horrible experience. The fine needle aspiriation is terrifying and painful. The results came back a few days later as "worrysome". No details, just worrysome.

They immediatley schedule me to have the mass removed so it can be examined under a microscope. This is the surgery site and stitches... not too upclose. (ew)

Sure enough... Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was diagnosed with the disease August 31, 2009.