Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hump Day, Hump Treatment

WOO HOO! I am officially halfway done!! Thank goodness. I broke down in tears earlier just thinking about it. It's relieving but also pretty crazy at the same time that I am really going thru this. A least I have gone over the hump...

First off was my meeting with Dr. Nabong. It went good. We discussed my blood cell counts mostly. He didn't offer the information, I asked and I'm glad I did because it made more sense to me and was very interesting. My white blood count was pretty low. The normal count that you want for a person is about a 4 or a 5. I was at a 1. If it was lower than 1, he wouldn't given me chemo. He thought about it or even just lowering my dosage, but he didn't. He thinks he may have to next time though. Hey, rather be safe than sorry. I asked him what my number was for the previous treatment and he said it was a 2. Interesting. So, my count is lower, but I felt better. ODD. I asked him if that is why I am so tired too. Not really. That's more red blood cells. I'm just tired because I have cancer and my body is being treated aggressively...DUH. So since my level was pretty low to begin with he said I may have a hard time with this treatment, but we all know I'm a fighter and hopefully will be just fine. As far as my other counts, they were all good with him. My uric acid level is pretty normal too, but he would like me to continue the Allopurinal till another round so I will!

As far as the treatment went today, it was as good as it can be! I am becoming a pro now and know exactly what they will be doing. It was a lot less busy in there today as the last time so it was nice. Nobody was asking to play poker and there were no paramedics today, but there was a lady snoring her head off. That was pretty funny. Aimee and Lyda were happy to be part of the experience. :)

I can tell that I am more tired though...I followed the same eating ritual as last time and that seriously helps. Thankfully I'm not nauseous. Whew. I do feel just weak though and don't want to do anything, but the good news is I don't have to do a thing. Aimee and Lyda have been great nurses! Aimee is spending the night with me, has asked me numerous times to check my temperature and made me dinner. :) I love my friends. Thank you.

I will be getting a PET scan here within 2 weeks. I don't know when it will be because they will be calling me to schedule it so I will let you know when it happens. I'm excited, yet nervous for it, but I really shouldn't worry about it. I think I'm just more curious to see the results more than anything. I hope it's what we want to hear!!

That's pretty much the update about Round 3! I passed thru it with flying colors...did you expect any less?! :)

I will check in tomorrow to let you all know how I'm feeling. I have my Neulasta shot tomorrow at 2:15pm...gotta get those white blood cells going!

Thank you all for your words of encouragement today! I love you all...

The Fighter--E

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

They're flailing!!

It's time to kill some more cancer cells in about 12 hours and I am ready! I don't think the cancer cells are but I could really care less! That's right, I will get my 3rd round of chemo cocktail tomorrow. With that means I will hopefully be halfway done with this part of my journey! Seems fitting as we end another month tomorrow as well.

Today was my last day of work until next week. I plan to be back next Wednesday, but I usually wait to see how I'm feeling on Saturday and make the decision then, but if it's like the past 2 then I'll be good to go! Time will tell.

My bestie girlfriends Aimee and Lyda are my chemo buds tomorrow. I'm so happy they want to be part of it. It will just put into perspective for them what I have been going thru this whole time. Helped for my brother, so I hope it helps them too! Should be fun! Mom admitted that she is sad she won't be there tomorrow, but it's not like I'm banning her from going!! She knows I will be in good hands though. Of course I will be meeting with my Docs beforehand and I'm sure I will get my PET scan scheduled as well for next week sometime. I will be sure to report back in tomorrow night to let you all know how I am feeling!

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and words coming at me as I power thru another treatment! I'm also looking forward to the rest as well...I need it!

Till tomorrow's update...

The Fighter, E

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tired, real tired.

Hi everyone! I'm just checking in to probably just ramble some more. I don't really have anything new and exciting to post, but I thought I would write anyways. I'm gearing up for Round 3 on Wednesday...I can't believe in just a few days that I will finally be halfway done with Part 1 of this nightmare! Thank goodness.

My title of the blog states that I am tired, real tired. I was telling people the other day that I have never been this tired in my life. I don't think it's because I'm not getting enough sleep because I get plenty of sleep and I sleep great (well, except right after chemo when I'm on that damn prednisone) but right now, I sleep great. I still wake up tired. It's nuts. I'm starting to get used to it though. I just wish I had more pep in my step, but oh well. Such is life when you have cancer I guess. If that's the only problem I'm dealing with, I guess it ain't that bad. I certainly can deal with yawning, couldn't you? I really don't even know why I'm complaining. HA.

Last night I went out for the first time since before I found out I had cancer...so it's probably been about 2 months since I've been out on the town. My good friend Carmen was in town from Vegas so I met her and Jamie (my old hair dresser) out for dinner and drinks. Well my drinks consistent of water, but I watched them drink yummy cocktails. I am such a good girl. I met some new people too, sported my wig (which everyone thought was my real hair until they found out it wasn't...ha). It was great to see them and it felt good to be out again. It's been awhile.

Today was April's (Chris's fiance) wedding shower. That was a good time as well. I saw some of Chris's family that I haven't seen in years so I enjoyed myself. Today I also cleaned my house so it's nice and clean in here for my staycation here in a few days! I'm actually looking forward to the rest.

I still haven't heard from my 2nd chemo buddy but the lady in charge (whom I emailed) said that Mandy from Massachusetts had sent me a package on the 17th...hmmm...well, I never got it unless someone stole it from my doorstep. She said she was going to check the tracking on it. Interesting. I will keep you posted.

So, we are upon our last few days of March, I can't believe April is right around the corner. One month closer to the end of this crap!!

Happy Monday!!

Love, E

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Hug Sandwich...

Well, my 7 week mark has come and gone (yesterday)...still doesn't feel like it's been that long...actually it feels like an eternity now. Time really is going by quickly though but I think that's because I'm trying to lead the most normal life I can. Work is such a great distraction, well, until someone brings it up or looks at me funny. Here are a few more stories of some approaches:

1. One of my older regulars (he walks around Old Town, comes in for a Bud Light draft and only has chips (no salsa!) He's such a sweet old man...he came in yesterday and just looked at me weird, and said, "you look different! What's going on?!"

2. Another regular who I haven't seen in a long time came in and said, "E, what's going on...like with you? (and pointed to my head!)" I told him and he was beyond shocked...but then knew the reason he came in today!

3. A guy that works 3 buildings down at Alphagraphics usually places his order to-go over the phone, but today he decided to eat in. I didn't have his table, the other girl did, but after he was done he came up to me and said, "I don't want to pry, but are you a survivor?" I told him not yet, but I will be. He asked me what type of cancer I have and he said he had something similar. Neuroblastic Lymphoma. They told him he was going to die. He went thru chemo, radiation, spinal tap and then a bone marrow transplant and he is alive and kicking today (obviously!) I was floored and I asked him if went to Good Sam for his BMT and he said, "yup!" I said, "Dr. Schriber?" He said, "yup, he is the best!" So, there is another success story that this guy is G-O-D when it comes to BMT because here Milo was told he was going to die....

4. It was towards the end of my hectic busy day today when 5 lovely ladies walked in. They were probably my Mom's age (50s-60s). I went up to the to greet them, bring them chips and salsa and get their drink order. Well, they started off by asking, "We have to ask...we are all breast cancer survivors!" That just got to me for some reason. These ladies were sooooo nice. I was so overwhelmed by their reaction to what I told them. It brought me to tears at their table (and I haven't broken down at work once!) After they had their dinner, etc...I thanked them and said goodbye. They said they weren't done with me yet. They wanted to give me all of their positive energy. So they all got up from the table, surrounded me and gave me a hug sandwich. It was so awesome. I mean these ladies are complete strangers! It's just amazing. I couldn't believe it. These ladies are truly angels...

It just goes to show you how prevalent cancer is. It's really quite sad and scary. I have another story to tell, but I will leave that for my next blog entry. I don't want to put all the good stuff into one entry! It will give you something to look forward to!

I heard from Mary, my chemo buddy again...she sent me a postcard from the National Geographic Museum in D.C. It was nice. I still haven't heard from my other one and emailed the lady and she said she asked them if there was a problem...I have yet to hear! No biggie...

I thank my lucky stars that I know I will conquer this beast and squash it from my body FOREVER. I can thank all of you out there for your never-ending prayers and positive energy and I can also thank all my new friends out there who are by my side whom I don't even know. It truly is unbelievable and I am ever so grateful. I can never thank you all enough, never.

So, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Love you all---E

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tillman

Hi everyone! It's been a busy past few days so sorry that I have not checked in. Don't worry all is well with me!

We had our friends and family game night on Monday night and it was so much fun as usual. I wish we could do it more often, but then again it makes the time we do spend together that much more fun. :)

Yesterday we declared Tillman Tuesday! My brother finally got his new little almost 5 pound mini-dachshund Tillman. He's cute as a button. I will post some pics at the end of this so you can check him out. We had a nice trip up to Camp Verde (it's about an hour and a half drive) to pick him up and then we drove back. Mom made some dinner so I stayed for that, watched the new little rascal run around like crazy playing with Sydney and then got home. It made for a long day, but it was a fun day at that. Anytime spent with my family is great!

I heard from 1 of my chemo angels! Her name is Mary and she lives in Woodbridge, VA. Funny thing is I know people who live in Woodbridge and it's about 30 minutes from where I grew up outside of D.C. What a small world. Mary sent me a really nice card, pretty much just an introduction. I don't know how old she is (I don't think she's much older than me) and I don't know if she has had cancer. I will keep you posted as I receive more! Still waiting on my other angel to write...

I received some semi-bad news today...my brother is NOT a match for my bone marrow. It's really not a big deal though. He only had a 25% of being a match so the chances were pretty slim. We are still hopeful that I will be able to harvest enough of my own cells that I won't need a donor anyways. If I do, they will find someone on the board. I'm not that upset about it, it just would have been nice to have my brother donate to me if I needed him to than some stranger, but whatever. It'll be OK!

The rest of the week is quite busy with work, friends visiting and getting ready for treatment #3...my hump treatment! I will be halfway done come next Wednesday with chemo! Thank goodness!

That's the update from here. I am feeling amazing! Till the next time...take care everyone.

Love, E



Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rum Dums

Hello there everyone and Happy Spring! I love this time of year, but unfortunately for us in AZ it doesn't last long! It will be HOT before we know it, but for the time being I am enjoying this weather! I think the whole state is...hence my insanely busy week at work. My feet told me today that they forgive me because I didn't make them work today so I think they will stay attached to my body. Thank goodness.

I am feeling absolutely great. I really can't complain (considering). Albeit being tired and sore, I had a great week. It was a lot of fun, saw a lot of people, talked with a lot of people and it felt great to be back in action. Another normal week is upon me as well and I'm looking forward to it. I have 2 good friends coming into town later this week so I will be excited to see their faces as well!

In my last posting I was talking about feeling like a pink elephant at Loco. I still do, but it's fun now. I can't wait to see how people approach me. There was a lady on Saturday asking another server if I was in treatment. She told me that her hair grew back curly!! (She's in remission for the 2nd time from breast cancer.) We had a nice chat and I can't wait to see how my hair grows back. Another lady said, "I have to ask, is it for the look or for health reasons?" Others just said, "good luck with your health," or "how are you feeling, how is it going?" It's really quite interesting to hear all the different approaches. It's interesting too that some just assume. Some people just give me weird looks like they want to say something, but they don't know what to say. I think I may wear a sign or sign people's checks with, "thank you and yes, I do have cancer." HA.

My brother is coming up tomorrow for the night. We are all going to fetch his new pet on Tuesday so I'm excited to meet the new addition, Tillman. He's a mini-dachshund (from the same breeder Mom and Dad got their beloved pet!). It's also friends and family game night so I'm looking forward to that as well. It should be another busy, yet fun-filled week. Before I know it I will be preparing for Round 3!

I hope to hear if Ryan is a match to me for bone marrow as well as hear from my chemo angels this week too! I will keep you all posted.

Until the next posting, enjoy the spring-like weather if you are lucky to have it!!

Love, E

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Feet Are Mad At Me...

I forgot what it was like to work a 12 hour shift of madness! My feet are rebelling today (and I put another 7 hours on 'em)! I even wore my Crocs yesterday which are like slippers to me, but man did they hurt today!! I was ever so happy to get home and put my feet up. In fact I think I will be jumping in my hot tub tonight..ahhh, that'll make them like me again! :)

I survived another day at work. Actually I feel great (well besides my legs/feet hating me for all the walking I did yesterday at work), and it's just been 6 weeks today since I first heard that damn C word. I still can't believe this is all happening. I was telling 2 customers today at work how I still don't feel like it's real. I wonder if I ever will? I first thought it would be when I got my first chemo treatment and it didn't sink in then, then I thought when I lost my hair...well the hair is gone and it still hasn't sunk in. So, I pretty much gave up on when will it sink in. If it does, it does. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I have more things to concentrate on than worrying about that!

I hate that cancer has a dead giveaway. If I still had my hair nobody would have the slightest clue that I have cancer. It's really interesting though how people approach me. Everyone at work knows. Most of the Loco lifers (regulars) know as well, but I just don't go out and say, "oh, I'm doing ok, well, besides the cancer." I think they know, but the way they approach me is like they are scared to say it. So it's really awkward.

It's also really interesting dealing with the really inquisitive people. The strangers. Last night a guy just came straight out and asked me (he was about 4 margaritas deep though). Then, today another guy asked me, "so are you going to win?" I was like, "win what?" Lol. I had no idea what he was talking about!! (See why work is such a great distraction? I forget I have cancer for the moment). I was like, "oh ya, of course. I can't stand losing!" So we got to talking. I wish I was super witty at that moment and said, "no I just shaved my head because I feel like it!". Ha.

I have an older couple that comes in all the time and orders the same thing every time. 2 beers and chicken enchiladas. I hadn't seen them in awhile and of course, they would have never suspected me to be a cancer patient, so she said, "what happened to your hair?" That was a bit awkward because when I told her she felt soooo bad. Such a sweet lady.

So, I guess I feel like a pink elephant in the room. Not like I care, it doesn't bother me because like I said, working is a great distraction. I feel great, I act the same, but the only difference is I don't have hair...dead giveaway!

Speaking of having no hair, my head is as smooth as a baby's butt...actually probably smoother. I finally took my razor to it...I couldn't stand the spotted disaster of it anymore and it was just so painful! I should have taken it to the blade earlier because I feel SO much better. It doesn't hurt to sleep and I'm not shedding little hairs all over the place. Thank goodness. So all of you baldies out there, I won't have to shave my head again...it's permanently like this (well, at least for the next few months!). The other great thing is I pretty much don't have to shave any other part of my body that you would normally shave either...it's great. The only hair left on my body is my arm hair, eyebrows and eyelashes and I would like to keep all of those hairs please. Thank you. Please don't be jealous anyone that I can now retire the razor!!!

2 more shifts to get thru this week, but I'm ready. I would rather be at work than sitting here watching TV. It's too dang nice out...it's been in the 80's here this week. This is why I love AZ. If anyone wants to come visit me, come quick! It'll be 100 soon...geez, I hope not.

Ok, enough rambling. I'm going to suit up for the tub and hopefully my feet will like me again. I need them tomorrow.

Till the next time.

Love, Erin :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erin Go Braugh...

Or more like Erin go to bed...I'm too tired to write what's been going, but since I haven't written since Monday I feel like I should post something to say that I'm alive!! I am, but I was back to work today and it turned into a 12.5 hour day...so needless to say I'm pooped. It was good fun though.

I promise to catch you all up tomorrow. Hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patrick's Day!

Love, Erin-Go-Braugh

Monday, March 15, 2010

This is definitely not wonderland...yet.

Hello folks! How's everyone out there that reads what's up with me? I'm doing pretty good actually. I have been sleeping pretty good and I actually haven't taken one nap since my last treatment. I remember saying I was the "napmaster", but I have decided to just try and stay awake, I really think it helps me sleep better at night. On the other hand, my Dad took 3 naps today. Wow. I hope he can sleep tonight...ha.

Let's see, what have I been up to since Saturday? Not too much. Yesterday I pulled some more weeds and then returned the beloved pet, aka Sydney, to her rightful owners. I went over to Chris and April's house for a bit with Heidi and Frank so they could play with their friends. It was also my little boo bear Frankie's 6th birthday yesterday so I wanted him to have some fun. He sure did...the poor little guy didn't move once we got home for the rest of the night! He's such an old man!

Today I wanted to feel like I was back in the swing of things. It worked! I went to Loco for a bit to catch up on paperwork so I didn't have to do it all on Wednesday and I had lunch there with Mom and Laurie (my Aunt) before going to see "Alice in Wonderland." Loco was pretty crazy today at lunch so thankfully I was there to help out. It was nice...I can't wait till Wednesday to get back at it! Thumbs up for normalcy.

"Alice in Wonderland" was great. I thoroughly enjoyed the re-make. We saw it in 3D too...I really think if a movie is offered in 3D that's the only way to go...just my opinion.

So, that's where the title of my blog tonight comes into play. Dealing with this crap is definitely not wonderland especially when everyone is off on their fun, exciting spring breaks. Makes me super jealous, but I just tell myself to be patient because I will soon be living in my own wonderland once I win this battle! Amen.

I'm feeling pretty good. My mouth is still weird and very active when I eat, but thankfully it's not as painful as the last round. I'm still swooshing that magic mouthwash. My head is a sure sign that I have a disease. It's so funny looking and so splotchy. I can't wait till all the little hairs fall out. Slowly but surely I guess.

So that everyone is the latest! It sure was exciting isn't it? Tomorrow is my last day off before I get back to the grind. Looking forward to normalcy and a good distraction from reality.

Till later...

Love, Bald-E

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Farms! I love Farms!

Hello all, today was a fun day. I of course had a rough night of sleep again...I woke up at 3:30am this morning (not my typical 4:30am) but one of my smoke alarms was beeping in my house telling me it needed a new battery. Ugh. I obviously had to take that bad boy down. Then, of course I couldn't get back to sleep for the life of me. I think I fell back asleep sometime after 5am. Yikes. Stupid Prednisone. Thankfully tomorrow is the last day of it for this round. Yippee! I did chat with my brother during my sleeplessness, he was thankful for the wake up texts while he was working. Ha.

7:15am came quick but it was off to the Farmer's Market in Old Town with Aimee. It was lots of fun, not too big, but good deals on all organic produce. I crammed my bag full and it was pretty heavy too, all for $33. Not too shabby for the freshest, healthiest produce around! Yuuuuum.

From there it was off to Trader Jo's. I haven't been there in AGES (or maybe never) so it was fun to just putz around the store getting this and that. I am making great progress in switching over quite a few standard items in my fridge/pantry, etc. I'm pleased with my progress. The food so far is delicious too and even though it's all still new to me, the only difference I have noticed besides it tasting so good is I don't feel so tired after I eat like I did before. Usually when I ate a meal, I was ready for a nap! Ha. So, I will continue to keep up with my healthy, organic eating as much as possible. It truly is yummy and I know it's doing me good!

Mom and Dad are safely back to their homestead on the hill...thank goodness. Now I don't have to worry about them anymore today driving 13 hours from Reno to here. Yikes. They will be reunited with their beloved pet tomorrow when I return her (if I do....hee hee.)

Oh, how am I feeling? Not bad today, but the darn mouth thing came back, but I think I nipped it in the bud before it got really bad. I just had a really "active" mouth this morning and it was starting to hurt so I swooshed around the magic mouthwash. I will continue to do so tonight and probably again tomorrow, but I think I stopped it in time! Woo hoo.

Tomorrow is Sunday, I don't have much to do but hopefully sleep and get more rest. I will probably go back out and tackle more weeds. We've had so much rain here that I can't keep up with them. Ugh. So annoying. They are almost as bad as gnats and mosquitoes. Bah. I guess it gives me something to do though.

So, till later. I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend!

I'll check back in soon...

Love, Bald-E

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just checkin' in...

Well Day 2 after Round 2 wasn't so bad either, although I am just one tired girl. I don't feel like I have been hit by a truck, I am just flat out pooped. I actually slept good last night, woke up a couple times and of course at 4:36am but I was able to fall right back asleep. I got up about 9am because I needed to take my meds and have some breakfast. After that, I went back to bed for a couple hours. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I was up for another few hours, had some lunch and it was time for another nap. I will be going to bed here soon as well because I'm just tired! I hope it's another good night of sleep...

I am getting up early in the morning to check out the Farmer's Market in Scottsdale with Aimee. I've never been and I'm excited to see what it's all about. I will most likely be napping once home again!

Other than just being tired and lazy, I feel great still! Much better than after Round 1! Yippee!

So far, so good with the mouth thing not re-occurring, except my "squirters" are pretty active...but if it starts I will be swooshing that magic mouthwash around immediately!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I will continue to rest...

Love you all--Bald-E

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Chemo?

Hey all, you would never have guessed I was given a large amount of chemotherapy yesterday and pretty much had all my blood cells destroyed. I feel amazing today. I'm beginning to think they gave me fake chemo...haha.

My brother and I think it's the fact that I ate...it could be, but I really have no idea. I guess I am just taking this really really well, which is great news and I'm going to continue to roll with it! I'm just happy I don't feel like I've been hit by a truck.

The damn Prednisone has started taking it's part for the next 5 days though. I was wide awake at my magic hour of 4:30am this morning. I finished reading "Skinny Bitch" (it's a hoot if anyone is looking for a kick in the a*& to get healthy) and then I played on the computer and then decided I should lay back down...I think I fell back asleep around 6am. I really had no business getting up at that hour and my brother was snoozing away so I didn't want to disturb him!

Of course the phone rang 3 hours later so I got up then, then the doorbell rang twice (nobody I knew!)...and don't these people know I have cancer?! HA. I think I need a sign to put on my front door...better yet, I need a NO SOLICITING sign. I swear they come at the WRONG time. Now my brother was really up!!!

The only thing on my agenda today was getting my Neulasta shot at 2:15pm. My bro went to Loco to say hi to the peeps (I didn't feel like going) and to get us some food. He brought it back, and we were off to Ironwood. They were super busy again and I heard under-staffed today so I waited 45 minutes after my appointment time for my damn shot. I was in and out in 10 minutes after that! Home to rest, Ry took a little snooze before he left back to Green Valley.

His departure was tearful. He's so proud of me, yet it breaks his heart his sissy is going through this. I'm just so happy he was able to come up here, see what it's all about and to know in his heart that I'm doing JUST FINE and will BE OKAY! It was also nice to just spend time with him. I don't think we've had a brother/sister bonding like this in awhile. Too bad it was under these circumstances, but hey, I'll take it!

Tonight's just been emotional...but then again, I have my moments and they are good even though the tears flow. I was just thinking yesterday how I haven't really had a good cry in awhile...well today I did and I feel better. It's all part of the process that I want over soooo bad!!

Anyways, that's about it from here. It's been 5 weeks today. Wow. I still can't believe how good I feel, but I plan to keep it going. I'm on house arrest till Saturday morning...even though I feel good, I know my immune system is not up to par so I need to be careful...hence, staying at home! I'll hopefully be clearing out my DVR.

Thanks again for all your support and kind words, especially on Facebook. I smile a lot thanks to you all. :) Keep it up!!!

Love you all--

Bald-E

PS...my head is really splotchy now...it's funny.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Erin 2--Cancer 0

Round 2 is over and done with! Yippee skippy! My bro and I left a bit early to get some food. I wanted to eat before this treatment because if it was anything like last treatment I didn't really eat all day because I didn't feel good...so getting food in early was a good idea (and I had to take pills)! I'm back on my counting sheep medicine...great. Got to Ironwood and there was a nice sight of an ambulance there and a fire truck. Someone wasn't doing so good!

Checked in and waited to get called back to see the Doc! First off we met with Scott (Dr. Nabong's PA). First thing he said was, "geez how tall are you" to my Bro!). HAHA. Scott informed me that all my labs came back great. He asked me a few questions and we just chit chatted about this and that. He liked my baldness too...

Dr. Nabong then came in (made the same comment to my brother about his height!) and pretty much said the same thing as Scott! They were both SO thrilled to hear that I am out of pain. They admitted they were about ready to send me to the ER the last time I saw them to give me an emergency dose of Chemo to get me out of pain. But, it was the weekend and they figured I could wait 5 days...and I did. The plan is still sticking...after my next treatment (yippee, I can say that now) they will do a PET scan, he'll review the results and so will Dr. Schriber. I will know more the beginning of April! All positive news and I was very relieved. After the meeting, it was off to the chemo room!

The chemo room was PACKED. Ry was banned to the floor by me, but then we found him a chair. Of course I got lots of looks because 1. I was rockin' the baldness and 2. I'm the youngest person there! Eh, I don't care. I don't care what anyone thinks anymore...that's something I learned! I'm happy and that's all that matters.

I swear this port is a Godsend. I am so happy to have it...didn't quite understand why at first, but let me tell you, it cuts back on A LOT of time and pain. She literally just pokes me and I'm hooked up...no crazy IV mess anymore...it's great. The only thing that was different this time was the order they put the drugs in me. I got my hour drip first and they pushed the other 2 thru my line last because I had the port. I got 2 more things after that to take care of the port. One was just saline to flush it and the other was Heparin so my blood thins and won't clot in the port. That would be a bad thing. I was in and out in an hour and a half! Piece of cake!

Funny story (well, not really, but we still laughed). There was an old man there on the other side of the room who was dead asleep. He woke up and then had no idea where he was. The nurse was telling him he was getting his chemotherapy treatment and all he wanted to do was play poker. It was quite funny...we could hear the whole thing. Oh and the ambulance was there because an older lady had a racing heartbeat of 190! Damn! They hadn't even started her treatment yet but off she went! Something wasn't right there. So, I guess never a dull moment at Ironwood. The waiting room was PACKED when I left too...sad that it's that busy, but at least everyone is getting help.

We were then off to Fry's to get my prescription to go back on Allopurinal (I should be on it for 3 months)...ugh. I had Scott call it in for me so I wouldn't have to wait, but that didn't work...it wasn't ready yet....another hour or so. Ry and I went home, he set up my DirectTV on Demand (woo hoo) and then he went to fetch my prescription and get Subway. I was getting hungry and didn't want to miss a window of opportunity to eat! Ha. I wolfed down my Subway and then it was naptime.

A lady came up at my while I was waiting for my prescription the first time and said, "Can I just tell you I love you hair!" I wanted to say, "you mean lack thereof?" but I said, "why thank you" and she said, "It really looks good!" I rocked the baldness at Fry's obviously! How nice of that lady!!

Good news is I am not nauseous. I would have been by now, but I'm not. Ry and I think it's because I ate before and after. Could that be the answer? I really feel pretty good but I'm super tired and don't want to do anything. That's normal though and how I'll feel for a couple days. I hope nothing else happens..but then again we are already off to a great start. Mom, will you come cook me strogy tonight?! Ha. Nurse Ryan is doing a great job!!

I JUST got an email in my inbox that I am officially adopted by 2 (TWO!) not ONE! ChemoAngels! I'm so freakin' excited!! I should hear from my angels by mail within 10-14 days. This is great! I can't wait to see what they have to say and of course, I will let you all know when I know! I am shocked I got adopted my two!

I'm ready to watch the "Hurt Locker" that my brother gave me as a gift. Gotta see the best picture! Thanks to all for you support today...it means the world. I'm a freakin' trooper!! :)

Till tomorrow for another report...

Love, Bald-E

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vampire Day...

Hello all! I'm getting ready mentally for Round 2 tomorrow! It will be a piece of cake, I know it. I'm just excited because it means I am one step closer to being DONE!

I had a busy day today and I'm pooped. I started off by going to get my lab work done for tomorrow. I learned my lesson the first time I went to this lab (Sonora Quest) that I should make an appointment. Well, I did that today and walked right in, signed in, she said, "ok we will call you up shortly for your paperwork." I turned around, she said, "oh, Erin, come back please." It was because she saw I had an appointment. Hee hee. Then, one person got called back and I was called right after that. The place was PACKED. Everyone was glaring at me...hahahaha. Silly people...make an appointment. I was in an out of there (2 small viles of blood less) in 8 minutes, no joke.

One vampire sucking down, one more to go.

I got some coffee (since I had been fasting for this blood work) and I went back home to shower and get ready for the rest of my day. I was going to meet my brother at Good Samaritan (he was coming up from Green Valley) because I had errands to run beforehand, etc.

Arrived at Good Samaritan and we were ready to get our bone marrow typing done. That just means figure out what type of bone marrow each of has and hopefully it's a match! We both signed our lives away (ok, not really, but 3 pages worth) and we were off to get more blood sucked out of me. Wow, this was the most blood I had taken out of me at one time. 3 HUGE viles and 2 smaller ones. Yikes! She assured me it was nothing. Ha.

The best part of the whole thing was I told her I had a port. (Oh, they can't access my port at Sonora because those people aren't nurses and only nurses can access ports). She asked me if I wanted to use my port and I said well it hasn't been used yet, I don't know if it works! Ha. It was a really funny experience because she was feeling it, but she said she couldn't feel the 3 little prongs that are on it and neither could this other lady. It was OK though, they could still access it. She said, "so do you want me to try it?" I said, "oh, I don't know, do you want to?" Ha. I have been nervous about this for awhile because I wasn't sure if it would work. Well, of course the chances of it not working are slim, but still, you always wonder! So, the other lady was like, well we better just to make sure for tomorrow! Ha!

It really is quite a contraption and something I'm glad that I have already. She literally just poked me and that was it. She was in, no looking for a vein, no poking here, etc. etc. It was awesome and IT WORKS!! So much easier!! So, it was a relief to know it works properly. The vampire sucked some more and then I was done, Ryan's turn! He of course had to do it the other way, but it was still easy! We were in an out of there in an hour! We should find out in a few days to a week or so...and once we do I will let you know!

Both of us were starved so it was off to TeePee for a late lunch. It hit the spot (and what is the spot exactly? I don't know...but you get it). We checked on the parent's house and all is well. I got conned into helping him with ceiling fans. No, not really conned, but man did that wear me out! I am happy to be home and relaxing! It's great having my brother here though. I haven't seen him since Christmas. I'm just happy he gets to experience this with me (even though he probably wishes he didn't have to!)

Tomorrow is Round 2 of cocktail hour. I have been quite thirsty since the last time so I'm anxious to get this over with! I hope I feel just like the last one and hopefully not any worse. Keep your fingers crossed everyone!!

I'll be back tomorrow with a full report on Round 2! Ready cancer cells? More of you are going buh bye!! Adios!

Till tomorrow---

Love, Bald-E

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Am I in Seattle?

Hello there everyone, I hope you haven't missed me, but honestly nothing too exciting has been going on that I felt like I needed to ding in and bore you with my details! Ha.

Let's see, I last left you on Thursday, it was a busy day at work. Well, Friday was another busy day at work and Saturday was even busier. By 4pm on Saturday I was running out of steam, but I only had to make it another hour. I did and it was worth it. I was so happy that I got to work this week...it was great fun (and money too!)

Last night I went to eat dinner with Aimee at a new place (I LOVE trying out new places). It's called "My Florist" and it's at 7th Avenue and McDowell. If you haven't been there, I would highly recommend it. All of their food is natural too and fresh. They don't even have an oven in the kitchen. It was super tasty and healthy! I enjoyed every morsel.

Today I tried to get up early, but that didn't happen. My cousin Mistie had offered to come over and give me a therapeutic massage today and I took her up on it. Boy was I glad I did! That was probably the best thing that has happened to me lately. It was amazing. I highly recommend her. I have only had 1 real massage in my life and this was the 2nd. This one blew my first out of the water. I mean you could just massage my feet and I'd be happy, but Mistie spent 2 hours on my poor body. She said I am pretty jacked up, a 6 1/2 on a scale of 10 with 10 being the worst. Well, that doesn't surprise me, but then again I've been through a lot lately. I think I will have to get another one. Thanks again Mistie. It was much needed and I feel soooooo much better. :)

The massage (although relaxing and immediately made me want to nap afterwards) along with the Seattle-like weather we are having today didn't keep me on the couch. I did laundry and cleaned my whole house. I also cleaned out my pantry, fridge and freezer. It was like a cleansing day all around and it just felt great. You should try it. It was like ridding my body and life of bad stuff. I recommend it. I also grilled up some organic chicken tonight (my first). I did it in between thunderstorms and I should have started 5 minutes earlier because as I was getting my chicken off the grill it was pouring, I mean pouring buckets. I had to change my clothes I was drenched. Don't worry I had my bald noggin' covered. The chicken was delish though...

Speaking of noggin'...my peach fuzz is starting to fall out at an exponential rate. I felt it coming because my scalp started to hurt again. It hurt to rub my head (against the grain). Even Mistie couldn't do part of her massage today on my head because it hurt too bad. :( I have patches (I look like a spotted animal) where the hair has completely fallen out. It's interesting.

The Oscars tonight were great. GO SANDRA! I loved that movie....if you haven't seen it, do so. It's amazing. I'm so happy for her.

Tomorrow it's back to work for a day and then I'll be off for over a week. I hope to get back to work on St. Patty's Day, but that's only if everything goes according to last time! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. My Bro is coming up on Tuesday to be with me while I have my treatment (Mom and Dad are having a much needed vacation in Reno). It will be nice to spend time with my brother. I haven't seen him since I was diagnosed so I'm looking forward to it.

I've spent a lot of time researching eating more organically and I'm really excited. I'm going to my first Farmer's Market on Saturday with Aimee and I can't wait! It's going to be great.

Ok, enough babbling. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Thank you for all my friends that came in and visited me at work. It was so awesome to see everyone. I meant a lot to me. Thank you thank you.

Happy Monday!

Love, Bald-E

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring is in the Air...

It always hits this time of year...baseball season is starting and the weather is too darn nice out here in AZ...spring fever is upon us. Too bad I can't have a beer or a tasty frozen strawberry margarita. Boo hoo.

It's been one month today since I was diagnosed with the dreaded, stupid C word. It really doesn't feel like it's been a month, it feels like it's been longer. I think maybe because during this month I have been thru a lot. So much has changed it's crazy. I have to look at it this way though, it's one month closer to the end of this nightmare!

I'm still adjusting to my baldness. It really is quite weird. My head gets stuck on my clothes when I put them over my head...it felt funny laying on my pillow and my head feels wet, but it's really just cold. I have a cold noggin.

I was all ready to rock the baldness full on today at work, but my noggin was too cold. We all know that I can't get sick so rather than being totally fierce I wore a bandana for warmth. It totally helped. I really am not used to it at all because I keep forgetting I have no hair. I go to touch my hair, but wait, it's not there. So funny. From fellow baldies I hear that I will get used to it and I'm sure I will. I have to admit it's quite fun. I know some of you out there are jealous. If you want to join the bald-E club just let me know...

My parents have started their journey to Reno and I have been watching the beloved pet. She's a good dog and it's fun for my dogs to have someone to play with.

I have received more information on eating organic and I'm really looking forward to it. I have more research to do but I'm ready to switch out some basics. I know it'll be good for me in the long run.

Thank you all for your comments on my new do, err lack there of a do. I greatly appreciate it. The nicknames keep coming too....Dow came up with a good one today as well...bald-e-gal. HAHAHAHA.

Enough of the blabbing...just wanted you all to know I'm becoming one with my baldness.

Happy Friday!

Love, Bald-E-Gal

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rockin' the Baldness...

Whew, another chapter closed in my journey. The head was shaven tonight! I woke up this morning and my head just hurt. I had read that my scalp will hurt first before I lose my hair, well, it hurt and I was losing my hair all at once. So odd. It felt like your hair was parted the wrong way, like it was going the opposite direction that it usually goes or if you had an "up-do" done and you took it down...hurts! The amount of strands falling out this morning had increased since yesterday so on my way to work I called Miss Aimee and said I think I'm ready to rock the baldness.

I even rocked a pink polka dotted bandeezy at work today because I did NOT want my hair falling out in peoples frijoles...gross. The whole thing is actually just gross so sorry if you don't like hearing about it. It's just part of the process...

Work today was good...such a nice day here in AZ and I served Derek Lee from the Cubbies today so that was fun. He loves Loco..he comes in every year. Tomorrow Spring Training begins!! It's a fun month...

After dinner I met Mom and Dad for Dad's exciting birthday dinner at Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles. Yes, I had chicken and waffles. It was actually quite tasty, but definitely not part of my organic diet I want to follow. Ooppss...

After that was the big head shaving...it was actually quite fun and NOT sad. I think the sad part already happened when I chopped it off. Aimee and I had fun this time. I put an E in the back of my head and then had a mohawk. I should have rocked the mohawk for a few days...but I don't think the hair would have stayed that long! Ha.

Mom and Dad have seen the new Bald-E. Hee hee. They love it, I love it. I think it's awesome. I may just rock it without a wig or a bandana or scarf. I think it looks really good on me and it feels great. I think people should try it! It's liberating, I feel free...and just think---no more bad hair days! Woo hoo!! It will especially be nice when summer hits here in AZ! It's nice to know too I don't have a weird looking head. Maybe I should be a head model...

So that my friends is what happened on my hump day.

Oh, my horoscope today was amazing. I will share it with you. "Some flowers only bloom once. You are not that kind of flower. Yours is a bloom that won't quit." Amen. That is ME! I think that is the best horoscope I have ever read.

It's been a long day and I'm exhausted. Time to lay my bald head on my pillow...

Till tomorrow...

Love, Bald-E


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Strand by strand...

Hello peeps! I had today off from work but I had a lot I wanted to accomplish. I think I did a pretty good job checking things off my list. I even did some yard work as well! I haven't mowed my grass in months (but then again it's dead so it doesn't need to mowed that often!) HA.

I went to eat lunch with Chris's mom today too and that was nice to catch up with her. I haven't chatted with her in awhile so it was nice.

The worst part of my day happened when I was getting ready. I washed my hair yesterday so I just needed to put some product in my cute little pixie cut to get her all funky but as I was doing that strands of hair were falling out. Oh dear Lord. No clumps yet just strands and strands. Every time I touch my hair some falls out. It's really sad. I've cried a few times today and I'm tearing up thinking about it. I've told you all before that I think it will really hit me that I have cancer when I lose my hair. I mean I lost a HUGE part of it last week, but I still had hair on my head. I posted on Facebook, "strand by strand, it's a goin'. I guess I'll see you in a few months lovely locks." One of my sorority sisters posted after that, " and cell by cell the cancer is going away. Good bye!" SO PERFECT. Totally made me cry. She's very true though and I know this will all be worth it in the long run but man does it suck right now. I got some cute bandanas and 2 scarves today too...so I'm prepared to rock the baldness. My cute little pixie cut may not even last a week...

On a lighter note I have done some thinking and I think for my own good that I'm really considering eating more organically. I don't think I can go completely green...I really do love meat and dairy but I can eat it healthier. My Mom has put me into contact with someone who knows about this stuff more than I do. I went to Sprouts today and I felt like a person in a foreign country. I was so lost. I had no idea what was good and what wasn't (even though I'm sure everything in there is good). I'm just so unfamiliar with all the brands and I just didn't know where to start. Totally overwhelming (as if my life right now isn't already!) So if anyone has some advice feel free to let me know. I don't think I've ever included my email address in this blog but here it is: sillee@cox.et

So that's the update for today. It's also my Dad and Aunt's birthday. Dad, Mom and I are going to Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffle's for his exciting birthday dinner tomorrow night. If you didn't know my Dad LOVES chicken. So that's where he picked! Ha. I also get the beloved pet, aka Sydney tomorrow night for 10 days. She will have fun with Heidi and Frank.

So even though I'm shedding part of my body it's a sign that everything is working...I just need to keep telling myself it's part of the process and it's another chapter I can close.

Let's see what tomorrow brings...

Love--E

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cheese Anyone?

I don't know about any of you but I thought tonight's Bachelor finale was the cheesiest thing I've ever seen. To think that I auditioned to be on this season...so glad I didn't get picked. I guess it really is "to each their own" because I honestly don't see what he sees in Vienna but then again what do I know? I'm still single...

Anywho...today was great!! I absolutely LOVED going back to work. I've never been more excited to go to work. Ha. There were lots of my regulars that came in so it was good to see everyone and of course I had some explaining to do! My peeps don't like when I'm gone for too long...most had not heard the news either. It's actually getting easier to talk about!

I really didn't have any problem getting thru my shift but it sure felt good to sit down at the end of it. I haven't been on my feet that long since the beginning of February! Can I tell you how nice it was to wear jeans again? It's been months since I could wear jeans because that damn tumor got in the way. Who would have thought that wearing jeans and going to work would make me so happy today! Ha!

I'm exhausted though so I need to get my butt to bed. I'm off tomorrow but I have some running around to do so it should be another busy day! Just what I want. So, so far we are off to a great start to this month of March. Tomorrow is my Daddy and Aunt's birthday as well! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Happy Tuesday...

Love, E