Saturday, July 28, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It

This has been a boring week on my blog! I guess that's a good thing cuz there has been nothing to write about! I am just doing so well and not sick and just being a normal person so I don't know what to put on here for my avid readers :)

I still have my hair! It started coming out Monday night, but just like 2-3 strands at a time. It has sped up a little the past 2 days, now I can get a good 10-15 strands. But I have so much darn hair you can hardly tell! Even though I've collected enough to clothe a woolly mammoth. Pretty crazy. The shower today? Yuck! Haha. Looks like I might have to shave my head in Powell though :( LAME. It won't be much of party down there, but maybe I'll be able to hold out till we get back. We'll see what I start to look like. And I mean, who hasn't wanted to see themselves bald? I think everybody has at least wondered it at one time. Now I'll get the chance! And I've always wanted to be brave and chop off my hair in a cute pixie cut, now I will get to have one! Really I am quite lucky.

Um hmmmmmm Oh yeah. I AM GOING TO LAKE POWELL. Did you know its the bestest place in the world? If you didn't know, then I feel so sad for you. I love Lake Powell. And I love my cool family that I get to go with.
Last year at Powell. I am sooo cool at the air chair
Today I ran almost 4 miles! I was soooooo proud of myself. Thursday's run sucked and made me grumpy so I was extra excited to have such an awesome run today :) It was super fun and I am so glad that I can still run!

I don't know what else to say, just wanted to update everyone on my good health and my hair :) I will lose it soon, its much thinner, but I've still got it for now! Here are some pictures from our hike on the morning of the 24th. It was way fun.
Oh yeah. Sometimes people ask me how I'm "really" doing. Um, I'm seriously really doing as good as I say. I write the truth on this blog so if I say I'm doing awesome, I am :)

SMILE! And eat chocolate. It makes you happy. Seriously. Haven't you read Harry Potter?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monkey Goes Under the Knife. And lives!

Well guys, I decided that monkey needed a port and a laparotomy scar. He was totally up for it, he says he wants to get better from cancer too.

Here's how it went:

He tolerated the procedure pretty well, said he felt no pain and no nausea on coming out of anesthesia. There were no complications during surgery. The scar looks like it is healing up nicely and the port is placed perfectly for access to his superior vena cava. He has almost lost all his hair, so he has started wearing head scarves. 
Here he is after surgery, still happy and alive! We now have matching scars, wristbands and ports. What a great friend!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Soon to be Mrs. Baldy

Well today is my 3rd chemo treatment. It's going great! I slept a lot of it, the Benadryl they give me just knocks me out :/ I hate it. But anyway, from what I have been reading and from talking to other ovarian cancer women it sounds like I'm going to start losing my hair today or tomorrow and it might be gone by the end of the week! Yikes! Just in time for me to tan burn it at Lake Powell haha. I am going to have a head shaving party as soon as it gets all thin and yucky looking. Everyone is invited to come. Its going to be really fun! Everyone will get to cut a chunk off (if there is that much) and we'll play Pictionary on my head and have lots of yummy food :) When the time comes I will make a Facebook event and invite you all :) Unless I have to cut it off at Lake Powell, then everyone will miss it. I'm holding on to it until the last possible day! Its pretty weird that one day you can have hair and the could be gone. Lots of people have said that theirs all fell out within a few days. I have a quite a few cute hats though, I'll be stylish :) Except for my missing eyebrows....that'll be lame.

Also, I started the list of nicknames you can start calling me. If you think of some other good ones, let me know :)

  • Cue Ball
  • Baldy
  • Baldilocks
  • Squeekers
  • Chrome Dome
Pretty funny. You know what else would be funny, if I warned everyone I was going to lose my hair and then I kept it for like 3 more weeks. The doctors keep saying I will but every other cancer patient that has gone through it says otherwise. So I really don't know. Better to prepare for it now. My mom is really sad. She said she doesn't want to come to my party! I will be sad too, but no sense in being sad while I still have it!

Here's some pretty pictures by Jessie Oberg Photography. She is an amazing photographer

Well chemo went great today, now I get to spend time with my awesome mom. She does so much for me. Hope this week goes well! Holiday tomorrow...whoop whoop!

Friday, July 20, 2012

What I Do When I'm not a Cancer Patient

Because I have been feeling so good still and I haven't lost my hair yet, I really don't feel like there is anything wrong with me. I don't feel sick, I'm not all that tired, I mean really, it is weird. I have cancer, right? Besides having to go to the hospital every Monday and being super slow at running suddenly I don't feel like much has changed (yet). I am sure that I will be singing a very different tune in a few weeks, but for now I am enjoying normalcy.

Since I have been enjoying normalcy, there is nothing really to write about or update people on. But here are some of the things I have been doing.....
This is me pre-cancer on my 22nd birthday
2 days after I was diagnosed. I biked 80 miles with my mom
Weeding our garden
This is what I will look like when I grow a mustache
On Thursday I hiked Mt. Timpanogos with my awesome sister! She was such a good sport, letting me rest every 5 feet and being so patient. It was so much fun and beautiful up there!! I had a great time even though I was a more tired than I expected ha. We took lots of pictures and they are all so pretty!

Hope I get to keep doing fun things! My life rocks!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

To Be a Mother

A few people have inadvertently made some kind of insensitive remarks to me and so I decided to write this post....This is a personal blog so this post is personal and honest...

By far the hardest part of this cancer journey for me has been when they told me that I didn't have an option, my uterus and other ovary needed to come out. This was especially hard because they had originally told me I would get to keep them so I was not at all prepared to hear this news. It's a really hard thing to hear that you will never be able to have children of your own. I know that in the past I have not been the biggest fan of children. I didn't want them for still like 5 more years....but I have always wanted them sometime. Its hard enough for me to love other people's children and I was really looking forward to having something grow inside me and give me 9 months to learn to love. There is something so special about that bond and to know that I will never get to have that now is really really hard for me. I don't like other people's kids, how am I supposed to just take someone's random baby they don't want and pretend it is my own? I know that when the time comes that it won't be like that, but right now, that is what it feels like to me.

I am not trying to make everyone feel bad for me, nor am I feeling sorry for myself. I just want to put this trial in perspective for myself and others so maybe people will understand how much certain comments hurt to hear. To have a child of your own seed is the greatest most beautiful blessing on this earth. It is the entire purpose of Heavenly Father's plan for us. And now to take away that one beautiful gift of being a woman is kind of like losing one's identity and purpose.

There are a lot of things that I will never get to experience. I will never get to send out cute "BUMP AHEAD" baby announcements. I will never get the joy and anticipation of getting an ultrasound and seeing the little alien inside me that is mine, created by ME! I will never get to know what my little children would look like with half Sterling DNA and half Kalina DNA. I won't get to be fat for 9 months or say "Oh, I'll have some more, I'm eating for two!". I'll never get to wear ugly maternity clothes or get stretch marks. When my bladder falls and I pee my pants every time I laugh I wont be able to blame my kids "I didn't have this problem till I got pregnant with you" hahaha. Oh there's a lot of super awesome things that I am really sad that I will never get to experience.

There are some things that seem like they'd be nice, like oh I won't have a period anymore, I won't have to worry about birth control, I won't get fat, but honestly I'd rather get to have all those things. You never know how great something is until you don't have it anymore. I definitely have a much more sacred understanding of motherhood than I ever did before. It makes me sorry that I was disrespectful and not very excited about having my own kids. But my trials have made me understand things that I didn't before and I have a much more mature and selfless attitude about the whole having a baby thing now.

I know though that there are so many incredible blessings in store for me. I've heard cool adoption stories and I know everyone says you love them as your own. I am sure I will believe them when I go through it, but I don't...not yet. 

I hate hearing adoption stories of "yeah she couldn't have kids forever so they adopted 5 and then one day she found out she was pregnant, isn't that amazing?!" No, that is not amazing because guess what, that won't happen to me! Thanks for rubbing it in. I also hate "well you didn't really want kids anyway so now you don't have to worry about it!" Oh....lucky me. Thank you.

Just saying :) I am not negative about the situation, just a little sad, and I know that good things will come of it. I know that I need this trial for some reason or another and I know that through it I will be blessed and I will be able to bless the lives of others. I will get to give a child a loving and nurturing home when they weren't going to have that option. I am not as sad as I was at first, and I am learning to accept it. But women out there that can have kids, you be so grateful. It is an amazing blessing. I am so jealous and I never ever thought I would say that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Roundhouse kicked that Chemo

Today I got my second chemotherapy treatment. I worked it like a boss!! Seriously, I didn't even get sick, I didn't feel nauseous and the rest of the day I have been totally fine!!

I took a cute pic of me getting treatment, but I forgot to text it to myself from my mom's phone so check back later tonight if you really care about it. **NOW ADDED. SCROLL AHEAD TO SEE HOW CUTE I AM. HAHA**

But here is a pic of the station

Each patient has a little cubicle that looks like this. It is pretty nice. Today went so much better with the drugs. They take forever to get you started because they have to draw blood tests and wait for the results to come back first just to make sure you are doing good still. My appt. was at 8 but I didn't get hooked up to any meds until about 9:10am. They gave me Benadryl and a nausea medicine again. I still hate Benadryl. It made me feel sick and weird in my head. The nurse said next time they will try a different drug since I seem to react weird to it. Finally!

It is super weird having an IV come into your main blood vessel. It goes directly into my superior vena cava. You know when you drink a hot/cold drink and you can feel it going down your esophagus? That is kind of what it feels like with the medicine. It's not cold or hot, but I can feel it pouring into my body and it is really quite a sick weird feeling. I don't like it. But its not miserable or anything, so I am so glad!!! I really was so lucky and blessed today. After the infusion we got a pedicure with my aunts and Granny and went to lunch :) I am about to get dressed and go to the gym real quick since I didn't work out this morning!

For those of you that didn't see it on Facebook, here is a pic of what I colored while I was sitting around :) I love Tangled. Its my favorite.

The whole chemo brain thing is totally real. I tried to play Words With Friends but my brain just gets so foggy and confused and can't focus for very long so looks like we'll be sticking to TV, coloring, maybe Sudoku, and looking at magazines.

Next infusion is next Monday at 8am! Hopefully it goes well again! My mom got me some super cute hats that I wanted, so when I start going bald in two or three weeks I am going to be rockin them :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I have a new pet. His name is Gouda. Like Gouda cheese. Because he is a mouse. That lives under my skin. See?
Can you see the resemblance? Extremely attractive if I must say so.

I also made this shirt on Tuesday cuz I was bored. 
I used a bleach pen to make it and an old black T-shirt. I wore it to school and my teacher was like "So how are you kicking cancer's butt? Was it a 5k or something?" and I was like "um....I have cancer" and he was like "What the heck are you doing here? Do you want to go home and just get an A?" and I was like (in my head) "yes please, I hate this class." But I really said "No I think I'll be okay. But I will let you know." And he was way cool about it.

This week has been pretty good. I haven't felt very sick. Only a few times I felt sort of weird....not super sick, just not right exactly. I have been tired, I have to take a nap every day but I have also been able to run every day which is awesome. Today was my longest run since surgery, 3.15 miles!! It felt great. I feel weird because I feel like I am a normal person and then on Mondays I have to have cancer and then I kind of recover and become normal again by the end of the week. It's a confusing cycle for my poor head.

Well....till next time! Adios compadres. Hasta la vista. Eat some pizza.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chemo's real

So, I experienced my first chemotherapy treatment yesterday. I first got some labs drawn (they do this pretty much every visit) and it was the first time they got to use my port. I was pretty freaked out for this part because my chest is still sensitive from getting the port in. However, I had used numbing cream before I went and it hardly hurt all all when they used the special needle to access the port.
This is what my port looks like (the purple part) and the yellow thing is the special needle they use.

I also met with the doctor and we just discussed the treatment and she answered a lot of my dad's questions and also told me the results of my pap smear (uterine biopsy). They found evidence of endomertrial cancer in my uterus soooo looks like there really is no hope of saving it :( Darn.

Anyway, after the doctor we had lunch and then checked in for chemotherapy. We waited a loooong time before they let us back. I should have taken a picture of the place! Its pretty nice. All the chairs face the large glass windows that look out over the valley, so its really pretty and bright. I got to sit in a comfortable reclining lazy boy in front of a personal TV. They hooked me up first to Benadryl to prevent an allergic reaction to the chemo drugs, some anti-nausea drugs, Tylenol and Pepcid. All stuff to prevent me getting or feeling sick. The Benadryl made me feel super sleepy :( Then......they hooked me up to the Taxol first. After about 30 seconds I started realizing what people meant by chemo brain. I felt all fuzzy and weird. And then, in the blink of an eye, I got crazy nauseous, my face felt numb, I broke out in hives and I couldn't breathe at all! It was freaky!!! They quickly stopped the infusion and put me on oxygen until I could breathe. I had a severe allergic reaction to the Taxol, it was really scary. They let me sit and catch my breathe for a little bit then hooked me up to some more Benadryl. I had to pee and when I saw my face in the mirror it was crazy! My eyes were bloodshot and my cheeks were all puffy and splotchy, I was quite a sight to see :) The Benadryl started working, which for me sucks because I think I'm allergic to it too. It makes me all twitchy and feel super weird, but I have to have it. They let the Benadryl soak in for 30 minutes and then started me back up on the Taxol. This time they slowed the rate down to half as fast as it normally is. I felt much better the second try. I was extremely tired by this point from all the Benadryl the shoved in me so I fell asleep. I slept for most of the time. Every once in a while I would wake up and talk to Sterling or watch TV with him but then I got tired and would fall asleep again. They checked in every so often to get my vitals (blood pressure, heart rate and temperature).
Skull Candy donated headphones for all the first time chemo patients. So I got these super nice things for free!
FINALLY the Taxol was done. It took more than twice as long as it should have because my body freaked out. They then flushed my system with a little saline and hooked me up to the Carboplaten. Luckily I didn't have anymore freak outs. My temperature just spiked to 104 was all.....yucky. I didn't feel all that bad though and the last hour or so I was awake watching TV and eating yummy food. Like chocolate! And granola bars. And more chocolate. In fact, I was pretty darn hungry. And super hot since my fever was so high. Eventually the carboplaten ended and I was set to go!! Yay!!!! It was 6:15 by this point and we were thinking we'd probably be out of the hospital by 3 or 4....oops :) They de-accessed my port by pulling the needle out. It was a little scary and kind of hurt, but mostly it just felt weird. Then I was good to go! I was the last patient left. Lucky me :) All in all it wasn't too bad of an experience really. Just the 15 or so minutes where I freaked out and then was all twitchy and weird. The rest was fine! And today I feel great still. Not sick yet! I even ran this morning, although I am definitely slower than before I had my port, its kind of sore still I guess.
Right before they hooked me up to anything.
Before I got my chemo drugs, and I was just hooked up to the preventative meds I met this super awesome guy getting chemo too. He has been on chemo treatments for 4 1/2 years! Oh my gosh. And he has to be on them the REST OF HIS LIFE. His cancer is terminal and either the cancer is gonna kill him or the chemo is. Wow, it made me so sad for him. He has two cute little kids, an 8 year old and a 5 year old. And he was such a funny person! He has pulled so many pranks on the poor doctor and nurses and really just has fun with his situation. It was really awesome to meet him and made me realize my situation is NOTHING compared to his! He also made me want to pull funny pranks too because it sounds really fun :) He didn't explain in much detail, but I got the idea that one time he went streaking through the infusion room with his IV!!! Hahaha that is so awesome.

So there you have it, I lived through the first treatment and it wasn't so bad at all! I hear it gets a lot worse, so I'm glad I could start out slowly and happily. I will take more pictures next time!
My awesome best friend sent me this monkey pic from the San Diego zoo on her honeymoon while I was in treatment

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Starting tomorrow I will have chemo-brain. Apparently its a syndrome

Tomorrow is my first chemo treatment. I am a little nervous just because I am not really sure what to expect, but I'm sure it will be fine and not even that bad :) I meet with the doctor at 10:30 to talk about I don't know what and then the infusion supposedly starts at noon.

I have been planning ahead for when I am a cool bald chick and I have decided a few things:

  • I am going to wear purple eyelashes to freak people out. And maybe long sparkly ones too. I might even draw eyebrows on with purple eyeliner.
  • I am not going to cut my hair to make a wig. I'm just going to let it fall out and enjoy my beautiful long hair while I can. 
  • Not having eyelashes or eyebrows is going to be freaky and weird.
  • I think it will be funny when people stare at me all awkwardly because I am bald and scary
Also I have found some way cool head coverings/hats that I like. I hear your head gets really itchy and sensitive and that you like to have it covered. These are some of the ones that I like:
cancer patient hatslace hat for cancer patientchemo hats for cancer patientsChemo Hat Alopecia Cancer Sleep Cap Cloche BlackChemo Hat Cancer Cap Soft Womens Soft Warm Polar Fleece White Hat Beanie WinterChemotherapy Head Scarf TutorialBearded Beanie - Raspberry Pink Hat W/ Black Bow & Black Beard Warm Face Mask

I also think I should get some wigs like these.....

I will be pretty much so awesome.

I have a special backpack full of stuff for chemo. I call it my chemo bag. In it I have stuff to keep me entertained like magazines, coloring books, sudoku, and my Kindle. I also have a water bottle, my iPod, a journal, Ziploc baggies (explained below), a monkey and my favorite super extra soft blanket.

The tips I have heard that I will do are:
  • Chew ice chips during the treatment. The cold slows blood supply to your mouth, thereby decreasing the chance that you will get mouth sores.
  • Bring your favorite blanket because it gets cold and the ones at the hospital are scratchy
  • Bring something to do because it usually takes longer than they say, especially if you count check-in and set-up time
  • Bring Ziploc bags in case you get sick on the way home. Then you can zip it up and you don't have to smell your puke the rest of the ride.
  • Wear a button up shirt so your port is easy to access
  • Put numbing cream on your port site about an hour before they will use it because it hurts to have it accessed.
  • Eat a lot before you go because you may puke it all up or you might not feel like eating for a few days.
Sounds pretty crazy if you ask me! It will be quite the experience I'm sure. The nurses and a few other people have assured me that the first couple treatments aren't so bad, I might not even feel anything. From what I hear, I shouldn't start noticeably losing my hair till 3 or 4 treatments into it.

My port is doing pretty well! It was pretty stiff and sore those first 2 days, but its feeling better, just a tiny bit sore now. The tape they put over it made me have an allergic reaction and I was soooooo itchy the first two days after the placement that I thought I was going to blow up. Finally I took the tape off and it has felt much better ever since :)

I will write another post tomorrow detailing how the treatment went! Stay tuned for awesome, and possibly gruesome details :)

Ovarian Cancer Shoes with Butterflies I think these are pretty sweet.