Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stayin' alive

They say there's a song for everything & I often hear songs in my head. Today's song was Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees. My PET scan came back normal with no changes since my last. Insert chorus here "ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.."

I've always had something irregular in my uterus. Since the beginning of this cancer journey we've never known what it is, so I just call it an alien. As long as this alien shows no sign of change we're happy. No doubt the radiation zapped it over & over stopping its growth as it did my entire reproductive system. PET scans light up irregular cells & today Dr Lee explained that my scan showed it to be less lit up, exactly what I wanted to hear.  Where my tumour once was, or as I named it 'Big Kahuna', all looks good. I was very happy to hear the fantastic news. 

After we discussed the scan results, I asked my Dr some questions and shared my concerns about my anxiety. It was hard for me to show my weakness, but I trust her 110%. I've been struggling the last few months and think I need some help. Perhaps I tried to hide it because it's not something I dealt with pre-diagnosis, I'm not sure, but it's an issue and I want it figured out. Everyone says things like "you're so strong" or "you inspire me" so the last thing I want is to let people down but ultimately I can't let myself down. 

The highs and lows of anxiety are terrible so I need to figure out an every day fix and not just a temporary one. A lot of the "in the moment" medications mean you can't drive and I need to be mobile and remain somewhat sane. I'm no nut job after all....or am I?  So we reached a decision that I'll meet with a phychiarist who'll help evaluate my needs. Now let's not get too crazy with the shrink business, he need not go too deep in the vault or judge the fact that I love wearing black and white (with a bold lipstick of course). I'm skeptical but open. I'm willing and ready. 

I said to my friend Carolyn tonight how I think I'm a better person post cancer. She told me I was always a good person, now I've just grown up some and have different values. What used to bother me rolls off my back, and things I shrugged off before are now centre stage. She's bang on, perhaps she should be my shrink and save me some hassle. Maybe we can also hit up a Karaoke Bar and sing some Bee Gees. 




Thursday, March 17, 2016

A new PET

The title of this entry might have you thinking I got another cat. Fear not...I keep my cat count at 1 and with that my cat lady status under the radar. I still have Bob though. He's my fish gifted to me by my godparents for my 40th birthday. Well actually he's Bob II.  Original Bob was a Goldie and died after 6 days so was replaced with a Beta fish, aka Bob II, as apparently they live longer. 

Simba remains an only cat and today I was at the Cancer Agency for another PET scan. This is my 4th PET scan since my diagnosis. It's nuclear medicine images are used to detect any abnormal function of cells or organs. Basically I got scanned to ensure there is no cancer growing anywhere in my body.  They let me leave my boots on so guess the feet aren't of concern. Our poor feet always get a raw heel, I mean deal!

I consider this the easiest of the 'big 3' scans; MRI, CT and PET. The MRI is loud requiring earplugs & earmuffs, the CT makes you feel like you'll pee yourself but you don't and the PET sounds like a fan is on. Of course all these scans require dye injections and IVs, some making you radioactive for 6 hours which could cause some ruckus at the border. There was no going for gas in Point Roberts today!

March 23rd I'll have my 3 month physical check-up and also hear the PET scan results. I feel fine but always like to hear I'm fine. Without pain so my cancers go undetected, so as much as my pain sucked, it saved my life. March 11th marked my 1st year anniversary being cancer free so hope these results keep me on pace for a second. 

My pride isn't overly impressed but I'll be discussing coping mechanisms with my doctor for my anxiety. I don't have problems every day but think I need some assistance for moments when I do. I'm getting better at overcoming these episodes but it's very much a part of my life and see no reason to ignore it. 

One of my dearest friends had a baby a couple weeks ago and yet again no child has been named after me! Instead her sweet name is Sofia Maria. My friend & I had a little phone cry the night she was born. My friend so elated at becoming a mother, I happy for her, but also 5% of me was sad I'll never have that mommy moment. 2% because I'll never be a mom and the remaining 3% because I'll never name a kid Moonbeam or Apple. Those aren't my real favourite names but I do have a list. If you're in need let me know & I'll send it to you.

Remember if you subscribe to my blogs being emailed to you, you can't reply. You have to go to my blog web page to comment or message me directly. You'll also see pictures on the web page too. Maybe I'll post a photo of Bob II tomorrow, he's growing up so fast. I sure love being a Pet-mom!




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

8 Mile

Most of us know what 8 Mile relates to.  The older generation think Detroit and the youth of today think of Eminem. Either way we all know. It's a limit, a border or a boundary. The city of Detroit & it's 8 mile community or perhaps instead our inner border or boundaries. Eminem had stage fright and I assume still does in some way today, but eventually got up there and killed it. Now I'm not saying to make Eminem your muse and become a rapper with bad hair, but I am saying get up!

I had a lovely lunch today with mom and one of her friends. I'd never met Corry before but she is an avid reader of my blog and also a cancer survivor. I joked that she is just another groupie as I seem to be getting a following, but seriously she's just another person who makes me want to get up!  Now this does not mean I'm not open to finding a nice man and being a kept woman (lol), it just restores my faith and drive, reminding myself with inspiration comes aspiration. 

Having this week away has been quite therapeutic. I'm not chanting while ringing bells at the pool, but have been thinking quite a bit. I've thought about everything from stocking my wine rack to building my legacy. 5 minutes later I'm pissed off as I forgot my adult colouring book....who doesn't feel better after colouring!!  I continue to hear positive feedback about my writing so exploring ways I could branch out or sum up this blog.  

I'm trying to "get up" by breaking down some of my boundaries as best I can on a daily basis. For a quick fix, I often look up a sappy quote on Twitter. Helen Keller, Oprah, Michael Jordan & Henry Ford seem to be popular. Just now I read this via Inspirational Quotes:
                    "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do" - Henry Ford  
Like thanks Henry, how long that take you to come up with? But he's right. I somewhat feel better?

Growing up in the streets of Kitsilano (Vancouver BC for my out of town groupies) is hardly 8 Mile, but regardless of where we grew up or where we got knocked down, we just got to get up each & every time.  




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hanging tough

Most of us over the age of 30 know who NKOTB (New Kids On The Block) are. A boy band from the 90's who had numerous hits including the popular "Hanging tough".  It came on the radio today as I was driving, crying while talking to my buddy Carolyn (hands free of course) on the phone feeling like a panic attack was happening. The timing of this song couldn't have been any better. 

Driving long distances is my biggest struggle right now. I get anxious. I see things. I feel things. I kinda freak out. There have been numerous days where I have had to cancel plans as I don't feel I can drive or I get in the car and have to turn around. My anxiety is a result of my Crohn's. If I know there aren't possible pit stops on the way to where I'm going, it's really hard to overcome it. My solution or the way I cope with these moments, is by talking it out. A co-pilot is always a good one or like today I call a friend to help me change my way of thinking. 

Today was a day I couldn't turn around. It was a day with no co-pilot. I had to be at Kwantlen in Surrey to complete a typing test for my program application. I drove around the neighbourhood for nearly 10 minutes before calling Carolyn and exiting onto the highway. She told me I could do it. With her motivational speech and the first stretch of highway conquered, I regained my composure, hung up and drove. Icing on the cake is that I exceeded the minimum typing score achieving 55WPM with 92% accuracy. 

Every cancer patient gets left with some sort of aftermath, mine just happens to be crappy....literally!  I just get so sick of these darn hurdles. I've done everything I was told since day 1 but have days where I just hate it all. I try not to let it get to me as there are so many people not beating cancer, but it does. The amount of pain I had & continue to live with sucks. Why can't I be one of the survivors who can jump back in to life again, especially in a trim pant size?  Ugh.... But it is my journey. My new normal. 

I'm headed to meet mom in Palm Desert Wednesday AM.  I fly out of Bellingham early morning and this is not a drive I can turn around from. I'll download "Hangnig tough" onto my iTunes and play it over & over until it drives me crazy & my fears are conquered yet again. Gotta keep jumping those hurdles!! 




Update Dec 5th

Sorry I am a day late! This is from Carly yesterday :) Pic 1 was taken months ago and shows how big my hernia was. It was even bigger at...