Tag Archives: humor

Taxol Treatment 9 of 12

It has been a minute since I’ve updated. I feel I just repeat the same things over and over, but I know a lot of you want to know how things are going. I am working on a few different posts and would love ideas on what you want to know. If you have a question, leave a comment. I plan to do a Q and A post soon!

This past Thursday I had my 9th Taxol. It went much the same. The doctor has been giving me an extra bag of fluids each treatment which seems to help my energy levels the day of treatment and the day after. I came home and slept for several hours, but then slept zero Thursday night. The lack of sleep does a number on me emotionally. In addition, the medications mess with your hormones which too makes me emotional. There are times I feel like crying for no reason at all. I feel like if I start crying I may never stop. This has been a struggle the last two days.

The expected pain has started to set in and I fully expect tomorrow to be the worst day of it. That seems to be the routine. By Tuesday I am usually feeling much better and ready to tackle it all over again by Thursday. Okay, that’s a lie. I am never ready for treatment day….Just when I start feeling better I have to get knocked down again.

I keep telling myself I have been doing this since October and there are only three weeks left, four counting recovery, but it feels so far away. I am tired. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally. I want so bad to be done….but then a whole new scary journey begins. I know what to expect now with chemo, but what will radiation bring?

I feel I don’t talk about the emotional struggle enough on here. My family and close friends see it, but I don’t share enough about it. The is almost as much about the mental fight as the physical, if not more. I want to quit. I want to feel normal. I want life the way it was in July of 2020 when there was nothing wrong with me. The reality is, my life will never be the same. I will forever be post-diagnosis Carrie. My families lives will never be the same. They will all have gone through this with me. It’s hard on them. They put on a brave face for me, but I know they hate it and are tired too.

So how do we make it? God! We pray. We lean on our friends and family when we can’t support ourselves. We keep a positive attitude and find the good in whatever we are dealt. When I can’t see positive, someone else helps me find it. We keep a sense of humor about it all. Sometimes people may be put off by us laughing or joking about my cancer, but laughter helps. Sometimes laughing is all we can do to get through.

My medical team at Texas Oncology is great. They are always positive, but real. They tell me what to expect and support me as those things begin to happen. But mostly, they are awesome because they get me. I feel comfortable being honest and telling how I’m doing. I know they won’t get upset if I didn’t drink enough water that week or lost some weight. If I say I was so mean this week to my family, and they assure me it’s the chemo making me that way. They are awesome because they laugh with me when I crack stupid jokes….or wear silly shirts! They cheer me on and are just as excited as I am that my chemo is almost over. It will be weird not seeing them every week! But they swear after this they never want to see me again (at least in the office).

I have said so many times that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. This week, and over the past five months, there have been moments of not being okay. I want to thank those who have listened to me, cried with me, and picked me back up. For reminding me what I have already overcome and told me I only have THREE MORE TREATMENTS! 5 months of chemo done, ONE to go!

I saw this on Amazon and had to have it. The staff loved it!

God > Cancer!

Am I Old or Not?

Before I get to explaining the title of this post I will provide you with an update. I am five days post-chemo and for the most part holding up well. I have had fatigue and in the last few days some nausea has set in. I have lost some taste, which is for sure a bummer when it comes time to eat. Things I love no longer taste good such as my beloved Dr. Pepper or Whataburger. I don’t need those things anyway, so maybe it is a blessing. I pray this is how each infusion will go, but I am fully prepared for the symptoms to increase as I continue to receive treatments. This is my off week of chemo. I will go on Tuesday to have blood work done to make sure everything looks good and then next Tuesday will receive cycle two of four of the AC chemo.

Now to the title of the post. This will require some back story, but it is something that has brought a laugh to me over the last few weeks.

Eli, who will be two in December, was a complete and total unexpected blessing to our family. When I became pregnant I was a young 34 years old. At my first appointment with the OB she informed me that since I would turn 35 while pregnant that I became a bit higher risk. In the state of Texas, a “geriatric pregnancy” is defined as anyone pregnant over the age of 35. I remember thinking, man, I thought I was in prime child bearing years at 35. Who knew that made me high risk. Throughout my pregnancy my age was talked about on numerous occasions. They continued to use the term geriatric, which absolutely cracked me up. The pregnancy was fairly routine. I did end up having gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. All this combined with my “old” age meant I would be induced and have our beautiful baby boy at 37 weeks. No complaints from me as that meant three less weeks pregnant and it put him coming in just under the wire to be able to claim him on our 2018 taxes.

Fast forward to today. I was diagnosed with invasive ducal carcinoma breast cancer roughly a week after I turned 37. From the very first visit with the surgeon to the visits with all the other physicians who would treat me, my age was again a factor. This time for the opposite reason. You are so young. It is not common for someone under 40 with no real family history to get breast cancer. Actually, the median age of a woman diagnosed with breast cancer in America is around 62 with most diagnosis being those age 55-64. So I am a good 20 years too young for breast cancer. This just proves that cancer does not discriminate or follow any rules. We know that my genetics are not the cause of my cancer, but we may never know what did cause it.

You often hear that God works in mysterious ways and His plan is perfect. I truly believe this. At the time we laughed at the thought of “starting over” with a new baby. We had a junior in high school, a third grader, and a newborn. Who does that? Now, two years later, I know exactly why Eli came along. I feel God put him in our lives for three specific reasons.

First, simply, our family was not complete. God knew we needed the little firecracker to keep things exciting! Both of his brothers adore him so much and the feeling is mutual. His best friends are his big brothers. his dad and I are pretty fond of the little dude as well. He brings so much joy to our home.

Second, I do not believe I would have found the cancer had he not been born. I breastfed Eli for roughly 9 months. I would like to say i am fairly in tune with my body. When I stopped breastfeeding I noticed that things on my right breast felt different. I don’t know how to describe it, it was just not normal. I brushed it aside thinking it was my body trying to dry my milk up and that the harder spot was a clogged milk duct or something. When that lump began to become larger and more uncomfortable I questioned if it was related to breastfeeding or something else. I still put off talking to my doctor for longer than I should. Hindsight is always 20/20. I have learned that tumors like mine take years to be able to be felt by hand. This mass could have been there while pregnant and while breastfeeding. I have no idea if feeding Eli caused it to grow faster or if it just made me more aware of what was going on in my body, but thanks to breastfeeding this beautiful baby boy, I found the lump. It was still nearly a year later before I brought it to the attention of my physician, because, again, I was making excuses for what it was. I mean, I was too young to have breast cancer, right? When a few other things had been ruled out, I knew it was time to speak up. So glad I did!

And third, God put Eli in our lives to get us through this fight. Not that my other two boys aren’t worth fighting for, they absolutely are, but having another kid, especially one so young, makes you want to fight harder. I want to see all my kids graduate high school, start college, get married, and have their own kids. To do that I need a good 20 more years in my own life. God gave us Eli, so full of energy, to help fight the fatigue that chemo would bring. It is hard to sit idle when you have a 22-month old terrorizing the house. It is hard to be sad and down on yourself when you have an innocent little guy giving you “cheesy grins”.

Look at the cheesy grin!

While one speciality might think I’m too old for babies and another that I’m too young for cancer, I know that God has a perfect plan for my life and I trust Him. The path may not always be clear and straight. There will be detours and obstacles, but we must trust in our Lord to get us to the end of the race.

He Makes Me Laugh

So many have told me that staying positive will be critical in my treatment. I have tried from day one to find the positive in each but of information we are given. We have laughed about some of the strangest things, mostly to keep from crying.

PlChris is wonderful at making me laugh at just the right times. While sitting in the conference room waiting to meet our oncologist and hear the treatment plan, my anxiety was high. I was unsure what the doctor would say about how to cure the cancer and my overall survival of this disease. I am not sure what Chris was feeling at the time, but he looked over at me and said, have you looked at the wallpaper in here? I had seen it but not noticed anything note worthy. I took a second look.

Still not seeing anything I inquired what his mind was thinking. He said, do you think it’s a coincidence that the wallpaper looks like the anatomy of a breast? After laughing for quite a while I completely saw what he was looking at.

Over the last month we have been in many doctors offices and exams rooms and seen our fair share of breast diagrams. And he’s right, it totally does look like that! We may have to ask of this was intentional, if we can do that with a straight face!

No matter what happens in your life find joy. A smile or a laugh goes a long way!