It's all uphill from here

Well, my final chemo has come and gone. Pulled out my favourite wig and t-shirt and had fun with it. Begone poison! I am done with ye. Hooray. :)

My best friend and I were hanging out the night before and she bought me something so sweet to celebrate this (after accidentally giving me an empty box. Kindred spirits we are indeed! I love her to bits). A leather charm bracelet with a happiness charm...and she has the same bracelet (I've been eying it up for a while) with the other half of the happiness on hers. I'm wearing it in this photo. I love it and it's one of the sweetest gifts I've ever received. I'm not much for jewelry, but to be given something so thoughtful that suits me so well is just...I'm blessed with my kind friends and family I am...and all of you out there in interweb land who've popped by with hellos and encouragements. THANK YOU. You have no idea how much it has meant through all this. I  just have to ride this last batch of side effects out, and then so many good things are to come: going out in public with a normal immune system! Comicon, surgery, rads and if I'm lucky, maybe even a music festival in the late summer if I get the go ahead! Oh life is good people.
I feel like the end is really nigh and things are moving on. It's been nearly 6 long months of this chemical haze and I am so glad to have made it through relatively unscathed. It's not over yet, but it's well on the way.

As a bonus, the ukulele I've wanted to pick up (I've wanted one for years) that I was going to get for my birthday but didn't because this was when all this went down and it just got lost in the shuffle?  Well J and I went over to buy one from a musician friend friday after chemo and now I have a lovely little soprano ukulele to amuse myself with over the next few months to keep me occupied and finally let me learn how to play the ukulele song from "the Jerk". I have wanted to do that all my life since seeing this wacky Steve Martin movie so many years ago. :) So here's to many hours of strumming and picking and keeping myself amused through the rest of treatment and enjoying the warming weather as much as I can. It's -2 today so J and I plan to get out for a nice stroll and see how far I can get before the chemo fog descends upon me for a while.
Have an awesome day my little taters :)

Selfies for awareness??

Lately the no makeup selfie has been going around. Charlotte on the Great Fitness Experiment posted about it today. Friends and family have done a few on the old Facetube. Some say it's to make people feel beautiful in their own skin...but mostly to (somehow) raise awareness for breast cancer. Oddly, none of my friends have asked me to post one first I had a pity party about that feeling fugly and then Iranted a bit about why it would somehow raise awareness... but then I realised that they didn't want to force me to post a pic of my egghead if I didnt want to. Oddly, today I don't mind. I switch between pity party and feeling badass, so it depends on my mood. Today? I feel here goes. 

Want to be aware of breast cancer? Well, let this stand as a reminder that beauty is more than skin deep and breast cancer is real-please support breast cancer researchers (like me) and those fighting breast cancer (ahem). 

A post on the Gutsy Girl weblog today also made me grateful of all this bugeyed eggheadedness I'm currently sporting. It made me think about things from a different perspective-not just mope for uberfit old me but appreciate how it felt back then. To remember how lucky I was to do all those things and to not take them for granted when I get some or all of them back again someday. Right now I'd give my right boob to be as active as I was before chemo. And after I do (bwaha, my sides) I will do my damndest to do so again . 

You, right where you are, right now-you are beautiful and capable of amazing things. :)
Now be excellent to each other.
(And party on dudes)

Sick People : Foamy The Squirrel

I love Foamy...he's a bit um...NSFW (potty mouth), but this says exactly how I feel about sick people everywhere right now. Keep your germs to yourself please. I am almost safe from germy people. Kthxby.

I don't want your germs on my nachos...

Hear me baby, hold together

Ok....just to warn you. This a ranty post. I just have to. If you need a little happy, i am afraid i am a bit lacking today...
You would think that with the amount of tears my dry eyes shed this past week I would not be able to also be retaining water...but no. Apparently my mad multitasking skills apply to side effects too. 
Oh yes, my dry watering eyes. Worse this treatment-J and I went to dinner and a movie on the weekend since I was feeling better energy was so nice, but my eyes weeped the WHOLE time. At the moment my eyes are red and blotchy and often water so badly I have blurred vision. In sub zero weather it hurts my face to be outside because the tears freeze on my face. Yes. Lets just say my eyes hurt. I am waiting for this to go away soon. Impatiently.

And in the last 2 days I have suddenly gained 7 pounds in what has to be water weight...overnight my winter boots won't zip up my calf and legs feel rediculously puffy. My fingers are puffy. My pants are snug. 
Oh yes. I am bringing the sexy.
To say I am annoyed is an understatement. 
Lets just say bald, puffy and bug-eyed without eyelashes or eyebrows is not a good look for me. There's no way to ignore it.
Trying to stay positive, but it is really REALLY annoying...I will try and muster what little energy I have to hop on the bike today and try and get some happies in me.

Just 1 chemo left! 
This friday I am poisoned for the last time.
Thank frog...

Amanda Huginkiss

My current favourite breakfast...
Boil 1 cup of water with 1t vanilla, 1/2 t cinnamon, ~1t molasses and 5 chopped dried apricots. Toss in 1/2 c Rogers Porridge Oats mix (has bran and flax in...yum) and cook around 7 minutes until done to my liking. Serve with a splodge of milk. Mmmm...healthy and good for me, fills me up and helps keep me going. The apricots also add a sweetness so you don't need to add sugar.  The molasses get you a bit of extra iron, calcium and magnesium and helps with the bran to move things along, if ya know what I'm sayin'. If you want extra protein you can even stir in an egg right at the end for yummy fluffy oats. It's good with grated apple too...
I love oatmeal and I've been alternating between this and smoothies for breakfast lately. Yum...

Just hanging out here's supposed to get colder again for a bit so I plan to get out for a nice walk in the sunshine today. Feeling much better and other the eye/nose side effects I seem to be bouncing back energy wise - yep, time for a nice long walk! I think I'll find a few good podcasts and head on out.
Add to that the fact that J is no longer sneezing or sniffling and actually worked out this morning I plan on hugging him today. Lots.
Hooray. :)

Someone needs a hug

I haven't hugged J in a week.
He still has a sniffle...I want him to hurry up and get better is hard to not just go "ah screw this, come here." Because...snuggles are the best medicine. But not sick ones to a chemo patient.
It's been a crazy wierd weekend with him dealing with a lot of life stress outside of me being sick...and altho we're coping, it is just so...wrong to have to stay a few feet from him and treat him like he is infectious...and he just needs snuggle therapy too, dangnabbit.
At least my immune system should be a bit stronger soon again. Days 7-12 are when I am my weakest and must be cautious, and then I bounce back. It's day 11.


Da Blues?

Heh heh heh....Stumbled across this and it made my morning. Screamin' Jay Hawkins singing the Constipation Blues (1969). Given my post yesterday it seemed fitting!!!

Have a great day!!


It's been a pretty decent day. Side effects and tiredness are not too bad. Good enough that I decided to get out for a bit. I did do one round through my lower body exercises and then I bundled up for a nice walk. It's +1 out right now so I made an errand into a nice's a 20 minute walk to the nearby mall where there is a Sangster's store, so I set out for my walk. Truth be told, it was about all I could do, but it was nice to be out. I had lunch there and then picked up a probiotic complex for myself and then took the bus back home here to settle in and rest up in the sun with my cat and a cup of tea.
My journey had a reason besides me seeing the great outdoors and getting a sunny walk in. i have been doing a lot of research the last few days into some long term chemo effects and how to mitigate them. One of the main effects is digestive issues -yup, the big C causes constipation and digestive issues. Chemo attacks fast developing cells...which there are a whole lot of in your GI. Add to that me being on cyclic antibiotics and yes, lately I feel myself being "off" more and more. Honestly, I did not understand constipation until I started this poison roller coaster!  (sorry for the tmi) And from what I can see, and have read, as you continue, effects are cumulative. Thing is, besides constipation the biologics in your gut are critical to your overall health-even your immune system.  How you digest and absorb nutrients is what feeds you and helps you heal and thrive. There is even research that IBS and chrohns are linked to screwey gut flora. The wrong bugs aren't symbiotic and you get nutrient defficiencies and yeast infections. From what I have read cancer patients can take years to get back to "normal" or take medications for this for years to come after. I have no desire to spend the rest of my long life worrying about my guts, how I poop and eating lots of prunes. I have better things to do! ( altho I actually do like prunes...)
After much journal reading and study, I have decided to continue with my regular healthy diet with lots of fibre and liquids and to start taking probiotic suppliments as well for the next few months at least until chemo and treatments are done. I never needed to before if I ate well and looked after myself and so didn't really see the point of the probiotic bandwagon then...but am hoping I can help my guts recover and come out the otherside relatively unscathed in 6 months or so.  I will double check with my doc that it's OK. I cannot see why it would not be, but I am not an oncologist.
Sooooooooo, I picked up Sangster's mix of 11 probiotics today and will see how it goes. I figure it's like putting hand lotion on my dry chapped overwashed do what you can and your body will respond as it can. We shall see :)

Girl in a bubble

Well, much to our frustration, J is SICK with a cold.
Sadly, to try and keep me well, we are staying away from each other. Boo to that. I have been constantly wiping down all common surfaces with lysol wipes and washing my hands like a nutter...cuz I really really should not catch his bad cold.  He is actually going to work sick, usually a no-no, just to be away from me and working alone as much as he can so I can decon the house and rest up my achey post chemo bones in relative peace for a few hours. It's frustrating to have to be so crazy in my own home which is usually my germ free haven, and despite all this I might STILL end up with me sick with my immune system being trashed, but I'm trying my best. This weekend is my immune system's lowest point and of course he is sickest we just have to do what we can, not only to keep me out of emerg, but to keep my last (WOOOOOO!) chemo on schedule at the end of march and the subsequent surgery after that on track too.
My immune system is pretty strong usually and I do bounce back after chemo. I have antibiotics to take for this week when my system is at it's lowest too. It helps but over time, with each chemo the antibiotics tend to cumulatively muck with my normal flora and I'll be glad o be rid of them. Then there's viruses...viruses are tricky things and since we both have the flu shot I have to assume that whatever he has I can catch too if I'm not here's to another 3-4 days of no touching my face, washing my hands incessantly, using isogel and being (sniff) at arms length from J and everything he touches until he stops sneezing.
I am reading a lot. Napping a lot. Making myself either pedal my bike or stretch despite how exhausted I am in the hope that it will keep my system up and running better. Yesterday 25 minutes on the bike seemed like eternity with my total lack of energy...but I will persevere for my health. I can always nap after.
Soon the plague will pass our home.

...The way we look to a distant constellation that's dying in the corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder and don't cry baby don't cry...


My surgery date is set!
It is 3 days after Comicon!
Bye bye boobie on April 30.

I am so glad...this gives me something fun post chemo prior to my surgery and something to look forward to during the last of chemo. So glad it worked out.
So glad. :)

Of course J is coming down with a cold so I have to be a hermit in my own house, but I'll wear a hazmat suit if I need to!

It's the little things :)

Do I dare disturb the universe?


Just realized that I've not been by in a few days. Sorry about that. Just not had a lot to babble on about really. I've been feeling OK with a few odd annoying side effects, but working hard to be healthy and been reading and puttering about, doing puzzles and little house jobs to keep busy in the cold snap that has finally lifted. I've been doing my exercises and getting a bit stronger stronger (with less aches the next day) and this week have done 2 times through it. A little exercise helps you deal with life and side effects better - it really does. I've felt so much better this treatment and I want to keep that up. I feel stronger and feel a bit more toned and just better overall. 3 weeks of trying to act and eat healthy has kept me at a steady weight and I lost the water weight from the steroids I was given to deal with last treatment and am a bit closer to feeling like myself in my own skin again

I've learned that there are still limits though. Tuesday I did an old beginner exercise ball DVD instead of the daily workout thing I've been doing and it was hard but I felt great after. Then I ended up having to get the month's groceries and unloading it all on my own since J was called out of town for work and altho I took my time, the next day I was very tired...think I accidentally overdid it a bit, but today I'm back to normal.

Yes. Good job everyone. :)

I met with my doc this morning and have the OK for treatment #7 tomorrow. Second last one. Meep.
It really truly is coming to an end soon.

*happy dance*

Then on to surgery and radiation. Although surgery is a bit scary (I've never had any kind of major surgery ever) it is good to know that I'm under the care of good people who are doing their best for me.

But enough of that.

I came across a recording of Anthony Hopkins reading one of my favourite poems by TS Eliot.
Have a cuppa tea by the window and look out over the snow and let the words carry you away :)

Yes, time for some tea.

Later taters. :)