GI Jane

I was reminded today that I uploaded my post shave photo on Facebook but family and friends following the blog didn’t get a chance to see it. So, here you go:

I decided to do it the day before I started chemo because on my particular cocktail (TAC) I will lose my hair.  All the Dr.’s agreed that out of all the possible side effects this was pretty definite. Shaving it off felt defiant. Like, you’re going to take my hair cancer? Fine, I don’t care…I’ll just cut it off anyway. It was cathartic and empowering and I’m glad I did it. Afterwards I watched Demi Moore in GI Jane and felt pretty bad ass. Now if only I could do a one arm push up. 🙂

Jonathan is working on a photo gallery to publish more images of the process which will hopefully be up soon.



Update Chemo round #1

Welp, I survived the first round of chemo with fairly minimal side effects…so far. 2 HUGE ANSWERED PRAYERS:

  1. The fact that I was able to start treatment. I had a 101F/38.2C fever the day before and if it stayed that high my treatment day was going to slip. I got a good night’s sleep that evening and woke up feeling much better and got the green light to start.
  2. Got the IV on the first go in my hand. Awesome! I was drinking a ton of liquids beforehand and they put a hot pack on my arm which I’m sure helped a lot. Plus I think I made the nurse more focused because of my slippery veins. 🙂

But that was just the first part of the long, boring day. It was in my right hand so I couldn’t do any journaling or crocheting but I got a lot of reading done while the chemicals drip, drip, dripped into my system. I wore my cozy pink bunny socks (with the wide angle lens makes my feet look like pink skis) and wrapped myself in the beautiful quilt my mom and sister gave me to have some love from home. I had no problems with my veins burning or any other discomfort. Poor Jonathan was by my side for the the whole 5 hours in a super uncomfortable chair but he was a trooper.

I am on the strongest dose of anti-nausea medicine and that also seems to have done the trick so far. I am still drinking a ton of liquids and eating small meals but outside of an occasionally queasy stomach it hasn’t been so bad. I understand that the effects are accumulative and this is the first dose but I’m taking my blessings when I get them…one day at a time. I have my “chemo physical therapy” tomorrow to help keep my strength and fitness at a good level during treatment and I am actually excited to go.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and positive vibes during this…they help a lot.



Reluctantly Pink

I don’t really like pink. In fact, I might even say I dislike it.  There is no real reason why its just never been my color. Maybe it has something to do with being a hardcore engineer 🙂 or maybe because I was born in the 80’s and saw so many different horrible shades that I developed an aversion to it.  I can’t ever remember liking it…except for Barbie’s pink corvette. She always seemed to have a way of pulling it off. In general I’m OK with disliking it and have normally left the pink wearing in our family to my rock star sister-in-law Sarah and her fabulous daughter Jadrianne.

But, after I found out I had Breast Cancer it seemed like I saw pink everywhere and even opened myself up to purchasing a few things. Gasp! People have told me that I don’t HAVE to like pink now…I know, and I still don’t really. But the color reminds me of all the women who have gone before me in this fight. It is comforting and sometimes feels like armor against the anxiety of the unknown. I don’t know how my body will react to chemo. There are a ton of scary potential side effects…I had to go to the dentist last week to make sure my teeth won’t fall out. I don’t know a single person who is excited for chemo and says that is fun. So, I am certain it will be rough and am bracing myself for some tough days. But I am not the first and draw strength knowing that there are many people in the same position I am. I can and will do this one day at a time.

That being said I got the call this morning for my first of six chemo appointments. It will be this Thursday at 10:30 am Amsterdam time. I have been told it will take 4-5 hours because they give me quite a cocktail of different drugs. For you medical folks out there I am on the TAC regimen (DoceTaxel, Adriamycine, Cyclofosfamide). And will now receive an IV dose every 3 weeks.

This is when things will get heavier and we appreciate your prayers. Please pray specifically for:

  • A good night’s sleep on Wednesday…no anxiety
  • Getting the IV started on the first try. I have extremely difficult veins and can now only use my right arm for blood draws and IVs. After the IVF and other blood tests my right arm is extremely sore from getting poked so many times. (Most people need a couple tries to get it)
  • Minimal side effects