Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dear Chemo,

Dear Chemo,

You may have won round 1 with me but listen up and listen close... YOU. WILL. NOT. WIN. ROUND. 2. TODAY! I repeat, this round will go to me!

Dee Anne...Yog...Chemosabe!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Going... Going... GONE!




Many thanks once again, to the wonderful and kind spirit of Missy.
Hair stylist extraordinaire!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Pre-Bald Hair Cut

My hair days are numbered, so I thought I'd make the process a tad easier by cutting it off. And for the record, my last hair wash for a while sure felt great! 

And there SHE goes - Missy at New Birds in Ventura! Luv her!

Hmmmm.... and there IT goes.

Wow, it feels so breezy short!

Wowza! That was more hair than I thought!

Tah Dah!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chemo Amnesia? Yes, There is Such a Thing!


Will someone kindly tell me where the past 7 days went since my first chemo appointment? Because, last I recall, I was walking into a room full of chemo chairs with my good cancer attitude for what I thought would be a breeze of a couple of hours and next thing you know it's April 10th. And from what I can figure out, there seems to be a bit of a gap of time frame between my chemo room greeting the day of -  "Welcome Dee Anne, I'll be your chemo nurse for today" to my new groggy voice and sudden speech impediment of "Hiilllll, whaaat mehciiine canneye taaake noooow?"

Something seems a little fishy, don't you think?

Perhaps I was captured by Oleg, a KGB agent that took me to a shed in the back woods of Tskhinvali, Georgia where I was interrogated for 6 days before being released into the back country without a map. Or maybe, one of the Housewives of the OC slipped me a 'Mickey' in my power juice cocktail after chemo and I passed out until today. Wait, I know, I'm sure my lapse in memory is from the big egg-shaped aliens that took me to their sky vessel for several nights before releasing me back to my earthly bed with a forearm microchip that erased a week's worth of memory.

Whatever the case or ludicrous list of possibilities that are out there, all I know is that since last week's first chemo appointment, my mind and life is one giant blur. And by blur, I mean, I only have snippets of consciousness and recall between April 3, 2012 and April 10, 2012 that occupy my mind and memory. But for sure, I'm positive that both pain and torture were involved during this time frame.

Aside from the usual suspects of side effects of bloody noses, fatigue, nausea, headaches and extreme bone pain, the worst of it came in the middle of the night on day 4. Suddenly, at 1:30 am, and without an ounce of warning, I was awoken by THE.WORST.CASE.OF....you guessed it, Montezuma's Revenge! I'll spare you the wretched details, but let's suffice it to say that 3 hours later, Hil just stuck me in the tub until the Hazmat cleanup was complete and I could safely be tucked away in the guest room for the remainder of the night. Uh huh, humbling.

As for the aftermath that has left me with a gnarly taste in my mouth and throat along with certain words ('breakfast bars') that will be forever banned from any future conversations in.my.life! - I'm now attempting to shift my perspective to matters of importance while living on a diet of jello cups, toast and popsicles.

These days, I continue to find myself desperate to procure happy moments of time that bring me even the most minuscule contrast of light, cheer and peace of mind. Not an easy accomplishment in the face of defeat. Any joyful attempts to repel the pain and misery of the chemo side effects are more than welcomed. 

Recently, I've found pleasure with the small things in life like laying in the dark of night with the windows open so that I can hear the rain dropping down on my backyard patio, having Hil open up the window in the guest bedroom in the afternoon so I could smell fresh air, listening to the sounds of the neighbor boys playing in our driveway after school and eavesdropping on their 20 minute convo about their piggy bank accounts and - repeatedly watching the iPhone videos that my sister and brother-in-law sent me of their trip to Vegas. Hours of entertainment for sure.

On Easter, I found extreme delight in going outside and sitting in the chair that Hil put on our front porch so that I could watch our friends and neighbor’s kids go on their annual egg hunt. And as usual these days, a sweet moment presented itself when my little 5 year old pal next door was so proud to show me his half eaten chocolate egg full of peanut butter along with 2 quarters in his easter basket. 

These, my friends, are the moments to be had in life. Some might say sad, untimely and burdensome, but I say lessons to be learned and time well spent.

Lastly, but most prominent in my mind, is what I have deduced thus far - chemo is indeed a harsh and humbling experience at best. And, without question, I have THE most amazing caregiver on planet earth.

For these reasons today, I say that I am beyond blessed with goodness.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chemo #1: Stats for A Cure

6 hours of chemo

5 chemo meds called 'TCH' - infused 1 at a time

3 side effects during chemo (itching attack, a flushed face & a bad taste in my throat & mouth)

3 Tylenol

1 Benedryl

1 Zofran

1 Ativan

2 Dexamethasome

1 fabulous nurse (Martha)

2 great standby nurses

1 head nurse

1 chemo mixologist (still waiting on my martini Amber!)

1 visit & 2 plants brought from a dear friend and her sweet son (xoxo to Julie & Jeremy)

1 visit from an old/new friend Sydney

15+ texts and emails from dear friends and family during chemo

1 hilarious quote from my brother-in-law Eric - "Make cancer your B*tch today!"

1 huge support system from the love of my life (Hilary) - How lucky am I?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Quantum Moments

Our 'Backyard Buddha'

Thank you Dr. Wayne Dyer for teaching me how to be flexible, to not always be in control, for helping me to allow and let life flow, for letting go, and letting God. Thank you for helping me understand that there will be magic in my life that will allow good things to come my way. Thank you for helping me to understand that I have everything I need to move forward and to gently lean into this next phase of breast cancer. Thank you for helping me know that I will not die because I still have music in me.

Thank you.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pre-Chemo Prep! T minus 2 Days

Chinese Herbs to help my body accept the chemo & aid my system in letting the chemo do it's thing.

A daily immune-building green drink juice which, is chock-full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients from all of the kale, spinach, carrots and yummy fruit.

The last 'sushi supper' to which I must now say Sayonara to for the next year - Doctor's orders ("No raw fish!"). But, it was at least a fun night of sashimi, a dynamite roll and my fave 'Tony Hand Cut' - delish!

A chiropractic adjustment from my wonderful chiropractor Dr. Michael Peck in Ventura!

My green (a healing color) chemo binder to take with me each time to show the nursing staff and Doc my daily temp, side effects, etc. Some may say OCD, I say - let's make this whole thing flow as easily as possible. 

The Countdown has begun...