Monday, January 25, 2016

Recovering from my Bleh days...

After sleeping nearly 72 hours straight and getting IV hydration this morning I'm feeling a lot better.  The past few days were rough, but I think the new trial medicine I was put on will keep the side effects at 5 days...I THINK.  I hadn't been able to eat or drink much at all and that finally caught up with me last night.  I got up to go to the bathroom and suddenly felt really weak.  I started sweating profusely and felt faint.  I leaned my head against the bathroom wall and blacked out and woke up while convulsing.  I literally crawled back to my bed just in time to black out again.  When I came to,  it dawned on me that my blood sugar must be low.  My mom had placed a tin of hershey's kisses by my bed side...and I stuffed a few in my mouth.  It was scary to say the least.

Today, I was able to eat three decent sized meals and haven't dry-heaved at all.  So, I'm hoping each day will get better going forward.  Since I haven't really been leaving my bedroom lately, my frenemy brought over a TV for my room and introduced me to google chrome!  It's been life changing.  He also introduced me to the world of Malayalam movies.  Now, I'm not ready to say I'm a full fledged fan or anything yet.  But I did find it entertaining while I was stuck in bed!  And the songs lull me to sleep in no time!  I have this feeling I'm going to get addicted soon.  

So, on Friday I wanted to share some flashback Friday pics...but didn't feel well enough to blog.  So I thought I'd share those pics today...My aunt had taken these pictures on her phone of albums that were at our family home in India. She showed me all of them during big chemo day...I thought they were way too cute not to post!

My handsome dad and beautiful mom.  
My brother and sister before the light of their lives was born! ;)
I was pretty impressed with their clothes...I'm sure my brother's suit was pretty fly for those days. And my sister was on
point with her mary jane's, fluffy dress and matching bow.  My mom credited my dad for their style!

My brother and me...I think I was probably a year old...already visibly annoyed at him and had my fist ready to punch!

My mom and her her besties at age 16.  This one was really a treasure!  I had never seen a picture of my mom this young.  She's the third one on the right...Little did i know I got my love of accessories from her.  I fell in love with the necklace she was wearing, but of course she says that's long gone.

My mom's group picture reminded me of my own group picture I took at 17...which just seemed funny in comparison!
When I asked my mom why she went to a studio to take a fancy pic with her friends she said she had no idea. Come to think of it...I have no idea why I did either!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Round 3, day 1...

I can't believe today was the first day of my third round! I am so excited to get Charlotte the hell off of me in 21 days so I can move my dining chair out of my bathroom ( what I hang Charlotte on when I shower) and take a real deal shower without cords, tubes, and stick and seal covering my port! It will be a glorious day!!

Now that I'm almost 1/3 of the way finished with this process, there are more challenges arising which I need specific prayer for but I also had an epiphany about myself that requires a massive praise report!

Prayer request my luck would have it...they are switching to a new software and therefore reducing the number of patients they are currently taking. The first appointment date they gave me is for April or May!!!! And that's just the FIRST appointment! This is absolutely not going to work considering I have an aggressive tumor!!  So we are currently working on some possible solutions!! God has provided me with excellent and timely care so I'm pretty confident that He will open a new door for me!

Second request...I did take a new anti nausea med that's supposed to last five days..but now as I type I can feel this acidic feeling in my gut and the taste  of metal on my tongue...and so I'm getting a little nervous! I only have 5 or less days to spare for feeling crappy! I'm not doing 21 days of dry heaving this round too!!

Praise dr. H  told me today that if he had to measure the aggressiveness of my chemo on a scale of 1-10...itd measure a 10. He said the other patients in the chemo room are  doing chemos that are at a 3. I was shocked actually and a tad jealous of the lightweights! He said that because I'm young they pull out the hardcore stuff to keep the cancer from coming back. He even said that if a young patient...who was at stage 4 had the same type of cancer he wouldn't run the same chemo that I have because it would probably kill the patient since it's so aggressive!! 

This made me realize the extent of how strong this stuff is!! I have to say God has given me some kind of extra dosage of superhero strength because I feel like I have handled this chemo fairly well...considering! Yes I have hard days and have dry heaved more then I can keep count...and had one mental break down, and maybe a few cry baby minutes...but overall I have done pretty good! My counts are great! I still make time for visitors and answer texts and emails and occasionally craft and clear my plate!! I haven't once considered telling dr h. I needed to drop down a notch and lower my treatment levels...It's definitely been Gods grace!!  1/3 almost down...2/3 left to go! I can do all things through him who gives me strength!

Thinking out loud...

When you are sick people like to tell you to have faith that you will be speak it into REALLY believe. I've been told these things a lot lately and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Do I believe God can heal? Absolutely!! My BF is a walking miracle!  She was diagnosed with cardio myopathy when she was 17. Doctors said that she would need a heart transplant to survive. Her heart stopped twice. Not only did her heart start beating again...but she's alive and healthy today without a heart transplant. Anytime I question whether God can heal or not...her life is always my walking, talking example that He can.

But I know a lot of people who do have faith in Gods healing power and who do believe that He will heal them...but never receive their healing. People who trust God suffer every day...and die every day.   So what does that mean? Those people don't believe enough? Or have strong enough faith?  I think it's kind of a dangerous thing to tell people...maybe a false sense of security simply really believe in your healing and it will be received. 

I'll tell you what I do believe. I believe Gods will is perfect...and I trust in that. I know that He has the power to heal me right now and I do not doubt that for a second. But that might not be His will for me. 

When my uncle visited me yesterday he spoke to me about 2 Corintihians 12...which is interesting because I had just read it the day to me, that means God really wants me to understand something from this chapter.  The verse that spoke to me was verse 9..."my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"  

I realized that this verse is what I believe...during this time of weakness ive been able to see how God He works all things together for He can move He provides peace that surpasses all there's power in prayer.  I do believe God can heal me...but more importantly, I believe He has a plan and purpose for me...and that's what I choose to put my faith and trust in.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Not-So-Brave Shave...

So, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I decided to shave my head.  Since Christmas day, I had lost a lot of hair, but oddly not enough.  I still had enough hair to wash and comb and tuck in awkwardly underneath my hats.  The hassle was starting to outweigh the was becoming a source of contention.  I'd find it loose all over my clothes, and I was so worried about cooking and it falling into my food.  So, I decided today would be the day for me to shave it all off.  I considered having a brave shave party.  But there's no way that I have enough bravery to shave off my hair in front of all my friends.  Instead, I sat in my bathroom...facing away from my mirror and let Chocolate Chip shave it off...while H-town provided solace.  Afterwards, they both gave me a hug and let me cry it out.  I wasn't ready to look at it just yet, so I wiped away my tears and slipped my hat back on.  They wanted me to look at it while they were with me, so if I needed to cry more, they'd be there to provide hugs, kind words and tissues.  But I insisted on taking my first sneak peak alone.

Surprisingly, I didn't cry again when I looked at it.  I carefully inspected it and decided I kinda look like Sigourney Weaver in the movie Aliens...and I kinda look like my dad when his hair fell out...our heads are definitely shaped the same way. I brave enough to share a hairless selfie?  Uh, I'm not.  I'm not sure that I ever will be.  But, I don't regret my decision.  I do feel like I look less sick and this will be a lot easier to deal with on the daily.  My scalp is still sore...and really itchy...but I'll get used to this eventually.

Prayer Request:  Please pray that my hair does grow back...and that when it does, it will be stronger and thicker then ever before!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Me & sister's Dogter
Growing up, my sister was more like a mini mom than she was my sister. Being six years older than me, she took the responsibility of taking care of me while my parents worked. It's been a long time since then but the past three weeks have reminded me of those days. She rubbed my back when I was nauseous, read to me, cooked and cleaned the house. She worked tirelessly to take care of me...even when she might have not had the strength to do it.  I'm sure that when I was younger...I probably didn't appreciate her as I should have and didn't understand that she wasn't being bossy and annoying...but everything she did was out of love.  I'm glad that as I've grown up, I'm able to see and understand that.  The three weeks I had with her flew by and  tomorrow she leaves. I wish I had more good days while she was here so we could have had more fun together...but I'm hoping that when this is all over there will be time for that. 

We spent the day with our uncle and aunt...our dads only brother. He introduced us to distant relatives who we'd never met before that recently moved to Oklahoma....oddly enough this aunty was a ten year breast cancer survivor. She gave me great advice about being optimistic, focusing on my faith...and even how to deal with hair loss. She had long, thick hair and told me that it had all fallen out...including her eyebrows...but it all came back in due time. It may have seemed like a chance meeting...but I believe that was a divine appointment. God sent a little cancer survivor angel aunty to encourage me just at the right time.

I'm not sure what challenges I'll have to face this week. Round three starts Thursday. I wish I had felt better longer in between rounds and I'm really hoping this round is less brutal. More chemo side effects are becoming lips are so doesn't even feel like skin on my lips anymore. They are cracked and constantly burning. I've slathered them with coconut oil and lots of various lip balms but within minutes it soaks in and I'm back to square one. My nail beds and finger tips are turning dark. Luckily it's not painful...It just looks like I have dirty hands, but i painted my nails this weekend so they'd look a little better. My scalp is starting to hurt as well. The hair loss makes it really tender so I have sore spots...My prayer request for this week is ...getting through the red tape at MDA. It's time for me to focus on my transfer there and getting a surgery date scheduled. 

Before-black nail beds 
After-teal nail beds! ;)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Broadening my horizons...

Avacado Smoothie & Sesame balls filled with red bean paste
Since I've been feeling better, H-town thought I should venture out today.   Like out past my 5 mile radius. She suggested we go to the Asian district for boba smoothies!  Avocado smoothies are my absolute favorite, so I couldn't say no!  Then she suggested that since we're on that side of town, maybe we should wig shop.  I thought it wouldn't hurt to LOOK...just LOOK. There were tons of wigs...some utterly ridiculous and some not so bad.  I tried to show the shop owner my original hair to see if there was a close match.  There wasn't.  I never realized how much I loved my hair back when I had it and was complaining about how curly and thin I thought it was.  **sigh**  I learned a lot about synthetic hair vs. real hair wigs.  And why lace front wigs blend into the natural hair line.  It was a lot of information for me to take in.  I tried on a few...and I felt weird and sad that I was even having to try them on.  The girls liked one on me...but I vehemently disagreed. The owner told H-town and Chocolate Chip that he didn't think I would find one that I liked because I didn't seem like I was ready for it.  And he was right...I'm so not.  He assured me that if I changed my mind, he'd remember me and the wig that they liked for me.  I have quite the slouchy beanie  and handkerchief collection now but I guess I wanted a wig just in case.   I haven't found the perfect wig for me...and when I do, I'm pretty sure I'll just know.  But for now, the search continues...To cheer me up, we had two of my favorite things from Cafe Oasis...An avocado smoothie and sesame balls.

The rest of the evening was spent in my craft room.  The girls felt the need to start cleaning it...and I very hesitantly agreed.  To say it's scary in there is a major understatement.  It's really pretty unreal how much junk...err...I mean craft supplies I have in there! Everything from party hats to 6 pounds of bath salts...It's just nuts and hard to contain in one room.  After spending at least two hours in it...they managed to get it about 40% cleaned and 0% organized.  After a certain point...the clutter in there brought out the crazy in all of us!  There's still so much to do, but it's nice to see the carpet again!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fridge of Fame Friday...

So the project I assigned myself today was to re-do the fridge of fame....I have this thing about throwing out Christmas cards, thank you cards, and wedding invites.  I figure if people care enough to go out and get pictures done and order cards, their efforts shouldn't be tossed in the trash.  A few years ago, my frenemy brought over a box of about a million magnets and told me that he just knew I could find something to do with them.  At the time, I was like...yah, right what the heck am I going to do with a box of magnets?  But I didn't throw it away because I also have this thing about throwing away things that could be possible craft supplies.  I guess it's pretty clear why my craft room looks the way it does..Anyway, a few years ago I finally got a bright idea to cut the pictures off the cards and stick the magnets on them!!!  So they stick to my fridge perfectly without clunky magnets being used to stick them up there.  Today's project was to cut new pics from this year's cards, turn them into magnets, and reorganize the pics on the fridge.  Here's my finished fridge of fame....It's always a focal point and conversation piece at my house.  I mean...who can resist adorable babies, cute puppies, and beautiful people??

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mission accomplished...

So today I was able to scrape myself off the couch and drive to my home away from home...hobby lobby...with my sister. It dawned on me that Mousse's stylish bandanas might actually work as a good head covering option for when I'm sitting around the house. The hair loss is to this really patchy point...and it makes me really uncomfortable to look at it so I'm pretty sure it's pretty upsetting to my visitors too. So I want to cover my head at home but all the covers I have are winter hats which can get pretty toasty when sitting inside my house. Hobby Lobby has a ton of cute prints to choose from and I figure when my hair is back...Moussey can add them to her collection!!

So mission accomplished...I got out of the house today!  It was nice to go on a  little joy ride with my sister, make a starbuckst stop, and jam to some good tunes. Speaking of tunes,  I must also inform you that my ridiculous obsession with Fetty Wap is officially donezo! I have now moved Justin Bieber! I'm not ashamed to admit this!! His new CD has made a belieber out of me!  Out with the with the new!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On the mend...

I haven't felt like myself since the 1st and then yesterday I thought I was finally making progress.  I had one solid good nausea, no migraines, and fatigue was manageable.  I pulled out the Cricut and crafted a bit, managed to eat and keep food down with no dry heaving, and was really chatty with my mom and sister...I felt like I was finally getting back to my old self.  I decided that today, I'd actually get in the car, drive, and do something that I used to do on the regular.  I've been missing my old life...and all the things I used to do that I thought were go to work every day, walk mousse, shop, and work on parties.  However, things didn't go as planned.  After breakfast, I felt so nauseous...again...and the dry heaves were back.  I spent the rest of the day feeling pretty blah and couldn't find the energy to drag myself out of the house.

Sometimes how I feel when the day begins isn't how I feel when the day ends.  Things are so unpredictable.  I have just over a week until Round 3 begins...and I don't even feel like I've successfully gotten over Round 2.  Time is moving at warp speed and in slow motion at the same time.  It's hard to put into words how chemo and cancer make you feel.  Everyone always tells me to be positive and think positive...and I think I've done a fairly good job at that for the most part.  I try to take each day as it comes and not think too far ahead.  But some days...being positive is virtually impossible for me...because this road is long and the journey is emotional.

I'm really blessed to have my cancer buddy...he's like my own personal cancer trail blazer.  He's gone through the entire process now and helps me see that there is a light at the end of this very dark tunnel.  He's always been very positive, cheerful, and hopeful... and I've wished many times when I've been down that I could be strong and optimistic like him.  But today, while texting me to encourage me...he said that he had days when he felt only sadness.  He then shared this video of Eric Berry, a pro football player who was diagnosed with cancer and had six months of aggressive chemo.  When I watched the video, I could totally relate to everything he said. My cancer buddy reminded me that if a powerful football player could have a few cry days...then it was ok for us to have a few too.

I'm hoping to finish out this week strong. My goal for tomorrow is to get out of the house, drive, and do something that I used to do.  I didn't get that done today...but tomorrow is a new day!   Until then...I'll leave you with a few pics of my Cricut craft creations...

Thank you cards...
This was the frame I made for cousin Les for Christmas in memory of Bailey the Cat Kurien...

Yah, so this isn't one of my craft creations...but I knew you guys would want to see my insanely cute dog posing in her  Leopard print scarf.  

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Round 2...Chemo Won

This is the first day in a long time that I've been up to writing a blog post....I haven't been able to sit up for an extended period of time, much less think and formulate sentences that make sense.  This 2nd round of chemo hit me so hard and knocked me off my feet....literally.  It lasted past the 5 estimated days...and IV hydration didn't help either.   I've been nauseated, and although I have been able to eat a bit and keep it down, I've been dry-heaving relentlessly.  I haven't spent much time out of my bedroom since the 1st...and haven't left the house other than to go see Dr. H.  I'm usually someone who goes stir crazy sitting at home and I'm looking for any reason to get out and about.  But, leaving the house has felt like an exhausting chore.

It's been a tough start to the year.  It seems like all I've been hearing is sad/bad many people are suffering with illnesses...friends and family who are young and would otherwise seem healthy.  I've heard many people say that 2016 is going to be a tough year.  I feel that way too.  Regardless of my health issues...the world just seems to be getting scarier and darker year after year.  I don't mean to be discouraging...On the contrary, I think that no matter how bleak and hopeless things may appear...we should find and hold on to our faith in the midst of it all...because it is the light that will lead us through the darkness.

I felt better today...and hope that tomorrow will be even better. I had some special visitors this uncles and aunts from Texas.  It always makes me happy when my family comes to see me and spends time with me in prayer.  My aunt asked us to read Psalms 34...the whole chapter really touched my heart, but I thought I would share a few verses:

"The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Sick and tired of being sick and tired...

So, it looks like I missed the first four days of 2016.   I guess I missed all the New Years hoopla and talk about resolutions and goals and all that jazz...all of which seems pretty irrelevant to me at this time anyways.  I think it's pretty obvious that the typical resolutions I set for myself...losing weight and spending less will be a given....given my current situation.  My only goal for 2016 is to get through this battle with cancer in one piece....and then take an amazing vacation to celebrate the victory, of course.

Mousse gets so sad watching me so I sent her to her granny's for a few days
I've been confined to my extreme close proximity to my barf bags...and sleeping most of my days away.  Yesterday I dragged myself to the clinic and got some much needed IV's, but still came home feeling pretty nauseated and tired.  I returned back to my bed for more sleep and then dragged myself to the living room to watch the premier of the Bachelor.  You didn't think I'd miss the season premier of the Bachelor did you?!?!? Today, I'm exhausted, but have been sitting up for approximately an hour, so that's a good start.  I also ate breakfast, and I don't feel it creeping back up my throat...also a good start.  My goal is to finish this blog post and then take a very well-deserved nap.

pathetically ill...but thankfully I found some Burt's Bees with lip color tint!
People have asked me if this second round was harder than the first.  And I have to say, was.  This time I had all the anti-nausea meds I could possibly need, but even still I couldn't really get a
handle on the nausea.  And I think I'm more emotional this time as well...possibly because I see the effects of chemo in the mirror...and it's sad and scary.  I find myself thinking a lot about my dad and wondering how he felt in these moments.  And sometimes, I wonder if he can see me from heaven...and when I think about that...I hope that he can't.  Because I'm sure he'd be sad.  And I'm pretty sure JOY is the only feeling allowed in heaven.

Actually, I take it back...I do have more than one goal for this year.  I want God to use

writing...this help other people who know Him but don't KNOW have a better understanding of who He He loves...and to see His light even in the darkest of times.

My verse for the year...I like the New American Standard Version the best:
Ps 46:10
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.