Shaving my head

Shaved my head today–for the 3rd time. This time not due to chemo but from whole brain radiation. It sucks, my husband kept asking me if I was sure….lol…I had to keep reassuring him that it was ok, I was ready. It had started falling out in handfuls and my scalp was starting to hurt, so it was time. He finally did it and I asked him to write how he felt in having to do that for me yet again, cause I could tell he was upset. I told him that this was part of the being Brave, Having Courage, and being at war with cancer….I was like a soldier coming in for a shave about to go deeper into battle. I’m STRONG, I can do this! I WILL DO THIS!!

I was dehydrated today when I went in for chemo, so they gave me a bag of fluids. And they know I’m in radiation and how sick that alone makes me so they asked if I wanted to skip this treatment. I’ve been in this situation many times and the fighter in me says lets just do it! Knowing how sick I’m going to be this weekend. So I’m due to go in for fluids on Monday. I’m just glad I have the husband that I do, and the family that I do, all who give me so much support and LOVE that it keeps me going.

I would’ve been long gone by now if it weren’t for them. So thank you again to ALL of my family near and far and all my friends….I love you all so much! Below is a short excerpt of how my husband feels about all this and having to shave my head.

Excerpt from my husband Eric:

My wife asked me to write how this has effected me and I said no. I do not want to have to put this out there. I then thought I have asked her to put her story out there and it has been uncomfortable for her to do this at times. So, here is some of my story.

First, when you hear that your wife has cancer your cut off at the knees. Your first responsibility as a man is to protect your wife/child first and foremost. How can you protect her from this? So, I have failed to protect her. Then you try to solve the problem. That is another thing we do as men. We solve problems using the skill set we have. I could not solve her cancer. I failed her here again. During chemotherapy you try to comfort her and make her feel better. Except nothing makes her feel better, nothing. So, I continue to fail her. This is what you will go through as a care giver to your wife. There is almost nothing you can do “to fix” this situation. The one thing you are suppose to do, you can’t. No matter how hard you try and work and read. You can’t fix it.

Today, I had to cut her hair off for the third time. She just finished 10 whole brain radiation treatments on Monday. Tuesday night during her shower it started to fall out. It is so painful to see her lose her hair again. All the effort she puts in to her hair and looking her best. I know it is hard for her to go through this again. This just sucks. Another thing I can not fix.

Then I realized that it is not my job to fix it. It is my job to love my wife. To make her feel loved through all the pain and fear. To reassure her that I am here and not going anywhere no matter where this path takes us. That God placed us together for a purpose and that is to love each other. In the good and the bad. No matter how bad the bad gets, you hold on to the promises you made. The promises to your wife and to God. We have been incredibly blessed with the life we have been given. Even with the cancer. She is the love of my life and no matter the life that we are given we are going to do it together until the end.

So, all of you spouses out there don’t lose faith. Understand your role and fulfill that role to the max. Hold on to the love you have. Keep your faith that God is in control in all circumstances. Love, love, love them and never take a single day for granted. — Eric

See why I’m so blessed to have the husband that I have….LOVE and SUPPORT…keep me going….

I love you more than you know my sweet man. (:>

Goodnight all. thanks for reading.

L.

Keep Going

I finished whole brain radiation Monday, and I start liver radiation tomorrow. And throw in chemo on Thursday. Phew! I am literally sick and tired! Add to that depression. I am depressed. I’m told to hang on, keep fighting, your strong, brave, you can do this, your a fighter, survivor, etc… But I don’t feel like any of those things. My hair is starting to fall out, hubbie is going to shave it tomorrow. This will be the third time losing it. 😦 I had a much needed session with my therapist today and she reminded me that I get depressed and hopeless everytime I get radiation and chemo at the same time cause it makes me so sick. That It will get worse before it starts to get better and that it is only temporary. Again, she told me to look for things to watch or read that make me laugh and put a picture of Eliana where I can be reminded of what I need to fight to live for. There is a lot that I need to fight to live for, but right now, that little girl is the light of my life.

Sometimes, like right now, I have to look from the outside in and look to see as to why some people see me as strong, brave, and a fighter.

To be brave happens at day one of diagnosis. All of a sudden you are looking death in the face and know that you have to put on your imaginary armour because you know that you are about to start the fight of your life in the midst of HELL.

To be strong and keep fighting means that I get out of bed when I don’t want to. I force myself to eat and drink, even though I have no appetite, and now most of the time I vomit whatever I eat. And when I sleep most of my days for several days and don’t drink or urinate, I end up getting a bladder infection and I’m on my second one this month. I feel so weak and tired ALL THE TIME but I still try to get up and go do things. See my family, run errands with my hubbie, eat what I can, and just try to be awake. What I really want to do now is give up. Crawl in bed and just sleep till I’m gone. Which I know that if I were to do that I would be gone by 3 weeks if that long. But I don’t do that because of my family–my husband who looks me in the eyes and says please don’t leave him. He says if I give up I’ll be gone soon. Then there’s my mom who tells me the same thing. Then I have all my kids and their families that I have to continue to see them grow all of their little families. So that is where I get the strength to make myself keep on going.

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and never did I think I would be dying of breast cancer. I just want my life back again. Where I could still do things and eat, drink and be merry!

And I consider myself a Survivor because I’m still alive. On Sept 8th it will be 4 years that I have been fighting this cancer. And everyday has been a fight!

I need prayers for comfort and peace, the will and strength to keep on going.

Going to bed now. G’nite and sweet dreams!

L.

Delusions…

Delusions and confusion have started yesterday. Never experienced either one before, but they are scary! Yesterday after getting home from radiation, my daughter and I were sitting on my bed eating and watching TV. Apparently I fell asleep eating a bowl of water melon and my husband came home and my daughter left, my husband took the bowl away from me and covered me up and just let me sleep. Well….I woke up, it was dark and he was in our bathroom getting ready for bed. Thing is, when I woke up, I didn’t know who I was, where I was, or who was in that room next to me moving around! I was in a HOT panick! I didn’t know which house I was in, or which husband I was married to. I swear I heard my baby (Katy) crying and the other two girls, Chelsie and Jenny were running and playing around..plus there was a thunderstorm outside,(which there wasn’t)! I layed there for a bit trying to catch my bearings. Then Eric came out of the bathroom and he said I looked at him like a deer caught in the headlights! He said I kept asking about which house we were in, and where was the baby.

He saw the terrified look on my face so he came and sat next to me, held me, rubbed my head and started reorienting me to everything. I was afraid for either of us to go to sleep, I didn’t want to leave each other. Then this morning when I woke up and he came to kiss me good morning, again he said I was startled and didn’t know who he was. It slowly came back to me. But then after he’d got dressed and was actually leaving for work he said I had the covers pulled up to my chin and kept looking at him like he was a stranger, but I slowly came to and gave him a hug, Dang! This is some scary shit I’m going through! When I got up this morning, it took me a bit, but I got it together. But my head and eyes felt so darn heavy! I could hardly keep them open!

Talked to the doctor about it today and he said that sometimes this will happen as the radiation accumulates in the brain from so many treatments, he said they are going to just watch it for now and if needed he’ll put me on a steroid that fights the inflammation around the area that stores your memories. He also gave me a med to start today that will help with my cognitive abilities. So hopefully I’ll see some improvement in that area. All I know, is that right now I don’t feel my self and my head constantly feels like a big bowling bowl, so heavy on my head!

I have 2 more brain radiations to do and hope it doesn’t keep getting worse, and I sure hope it gets better! Then we are going straight into liver radiation, 5 treatments of those. Mannn I’m about radiated out! But the alternative is not something I would like to try either. So guess I’m stuck.

Well, it’s about time to go to sleep — I have been having weird dreams but not scary. It’s just the waking up and the disorientation and confusion that now comes with it that sucks. I guess this journey has a lot of nice twists and turns that I have to experience. Go ahead and keep bringing this cancer on you Devil…God is on my side and he is keeping me strong through this fight and either way, I WIN!!

Goodnight everyone, sweet dreams!

L.

Going strong with brain radiation

Today was my 6th treatment, four to go, then I go straight into liver radiation which will be 5 treatments every other day. Then I’ll be done until the next scans. I’m still hanging in there with all these symptoms, I got a new one…sores in my mouth. The inside of my mouth is raw and doesn’t so much hurt when I eat, but when I brush my teeth. I get confused and disoriented a lot, but that’s expected I guess. I feel like I’m slowly losing my brain function, thus the writing of another blog….trying to keep this old brain working! I’m glad I went to the beach especially with my family, precious memories made. Between Eric and I we have 7 kids and all but 2 have families, but everyone is scattered around the whole US so it would be hard to get us altogether..but that would be TOTALLY AWESOME if we could ALL get together for a family vacation! I would LOVE to see everyone again before I die and love on and hug all those sweet grand-babies!!! I guess I just feel it’s getting closer because of the tumors in the brain and how fast they are spreading. Once I lose my brain function my body will be no good. I’m afraid I may not know what a beach is pretty soon, or have the ability to drive myself anywhere. I’ve given instructions to my husband to close out this blog and my social media. And I’m glad my daughters are helping out with rides cause we get to spend time together and have some good and important chats. I don’t know how much longer I’ll recognize them or be able to have these talks. So girls…or family members/friends…better tell me what you got to say to me now or forever hold your peace. Because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be maintaining brain function!

Yeah losing my brain functions suck. I’m slowly losing vocabulary, English, cognitive, and comprehension, typing, math skills, balance, memory, etc…. I can still do things that are habitual though. Like getting ready for bed, getting up, making coffee, take all my meds, I have them in a weekly pill holder so I can remember if I took them or not. One thing that sucks is that I’m not trusted to watch my grandbaby Eliana all by myself anymore. Someone has to be here with me. 😦

And I finally gave up my nursing career in May and decided to go on full disability. I cried when I had to send all my equipment back. It was a chapter in my life that I was closing the door to. I’m STILL gonna keep my Texas license active, but the other ones I’m letting expire. I’m still praying for a cancer curing miracle to come around and save me. Since I have so much fatigue, I guess I have all the time needed if my body says it needs sleep.

I pray I keep most of my brain to see my youngest graduate, which is another year and a half. I know there are many milestones I would like to be here and see…but that one is for sure!

Well this writing has helped. Thanks for reading. I’m getting tired so guess I’ll go to sleep. Goodnight everyone. Sweet dreams! 🙂

L.

Been awhile….

Wow! Been almost 4 months since I’ve last blogged. With all that’s going on in the world it’s been hard to write about myself and what I’m going through compared to what those around me in this world are going though. The last time I wrote I was doing brain and liver radiation. Well here I go again! I just finished 4 treatments of whole brain radiation and have 6 treatments to go. Then 5 treatments to my liver for a new spot they found— last scans showed 11 more brain tumors and another spot on my liver. Lungs and bones remain stable.

This time they decided to do whole brain radiation versus the targeted one because the tumors are growing and spreading too fast in between scans. They are going to try to get a jump on things before they get worse. The whole brain radiation will kill active tumors plus any new ones that are starting. But it doesn’t come without side effects. I’ll lose my hair again and of course the fatigue. Also, they are going to try radiating around the area that holds my memories so that I don’t lose all my memories. My short term memory has already been affected from previous brain radiation and chemo.

My symptoms so far have been nausea/vomiting–(BAD), mild headaches on the left side of my head, I lose my balance, I have confusion, and if I bend over to get something I get dizzy and just about pass out when I get up. And I don’t want to speak too soon, but no hair loss as of yet, They say it usually starts towards the end of treatment, so we will see.. It’s affected my memory more, I have trouble doing simple math, and I’m losing my cognitive skills. My husband and I practice counting money and change. He ordered me some flash cards on different things to help me. And of course it’s affected my typing ability, my speech, thinking of the right words to say, etc..

I’m not driving right now, cause I don’t feel safe, but the doctor said that I’ll be able to drive again.

The fatigue as usual is BAD! I usually come home after treatment and go to sleep, I sleep about 4-5 hours, get up eat or drink an Ensure, shower, and go back to bed.

This last week was good because my husband was home with me to take care of me and keep me company. He was furloughed for a week, so even though it was good for me, it was bad for our finances. I think we’ll be ok though, pretty tight, but ok.

The girls, my mom, and my sister are taking turns on taking me to radiation in these up coming weeks. I thank GOD for the blessing of a supportive family.

I still try to stay home quarantined. Don’t want to catch Covid or anything else.

So, that’s my update. I’ll get scans again at the beginning of August!

Everyone take care and wear your mask!

L. 🙂

A Quick Update

Hello..popped on here to give a quick update. Finished brain radiation last Thursday and have been sleeping pretty much ever since! Ughhh THE FATIGUE sucks! I go in tomorrow for the ‘dry run’ of the liver radiation…that’s where they do a practice run without the actual radiation. Then I start the real thing on Monday…5 sessions for about 45 minutes a session which will go over 2 weeks. This time they put this black weighted piece of plastic from my neck to my knees…then they suck all the air out of it and it shrinks around my body and torso till I can’t stand it, so that I don’t move and my breathing is minimal. Once again TORTURE!!!! And yes, I’ll be taking Lorazapam for anxiety, but that will also help with the nausea and vomiting they tell me that it will cause. I have a driver for tomorrow, but I guess I’ll have to line more drivers over the next 2 weeks. I forgot how sick they told me that I’m going to get and the nausea and anti anxiety meds make me really sleepy. The brain radiation caused a lot of severe fatigue and memory loss. I feel like my memory is slowly getting worse and worse. I go for chemo next Thursday too, this ol body just can’t catch a break!

I’m still planning on staying quarantined from the public even though here in Texas they are slowly going to start opening up certain businesses again. It will probably be awhile before I trust to go out anywhere. I hope everyone stays safe and doesn’t rush going back out in public either. Take vitamins and immune boosters!

Love ya’ll! Goodnight!

L.

Feeling Green

I have been feeling the effects of chemo and radiation…major fatigue, major memory loss, diarrhea, stomach aches, and the worst…nausea and vomiting. I have 4 different medications for nausea and vomiting, plus CBD oil, and none of it is doing these symptoms justice. For those of you who think I’m so strong…if you could only see me now…how it really is. If it wasn’t for the slew of medications I take for the symptoms, I’d be in the hospital on IV’s. But cancer treatments and medications have come a long way so now you can suffer in quiet in the privacy of your own home.

I have two more rounds of brain radiation this week then I’ll start radiation to the liver. The main symptoms that liver radiation will cause is nausea/vomiting. GRRREATTT!!! This just keeps getting better and better!

I guess ya’ll are all wondering why I’m on here writing if I feel so darn bad. Well..cause it’s not ME who writes these. It’s GOD writing through me. I pray before I write every time. Sometimes the words and messages come right away, sometimes it takes a few days. This message has been stewing for a couple of days and here it finally is. God uses me to speak words to those that need to hear them. I never know who I’m writing for, I’m just being obedient to my King. And yes, part of my writing is for people to understand what cancer is like.

Tonight I watched one of my favorite movies with a great message…I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me. I Can Only Imagine is also one of the greatest songs ever written. If you haven’t already, I recommend you listen to it and also watch the movie. The movie is about Forgiveness. One of the greatest powers that God gave his people. The Power to Forgive. He also gave us the choice to use that power or not. But in doing so, it brings freedom to our souls. Freedom from anger, hatred, bitterness, pain and hurt. It replaces those things with love and light from GOD. You feel so much lighter and at ease…like you can breath in fresh air.

A lot of people think they need an apology first, and then to be asked for forgiveness. Nope. Forgiveness is not complicated. Forgiveness is not for anyone but yourself and YOUR spirit and soul. Of course we must always ask The Father for forgiveness for the sins we’ve done here on earth. But to forgive others whom we feel have done us wrong is something you can do on your own, they don’t ever need to know it unless you want them too. You just simply decide that your not going to let that person have a strong hold over you that keeps you feeling hatred and hurt anymore…(do you think it bothers them? They most likely don’t even know how you feel. And I guarantee they go about their daily lives not thinking about what is eating you up day to day) So you just have to decide one day that your going to let all that go and your going to truly forgive them from the bottom of your heart and soul without them even knowing…just free yourself and let it go for real…finally and for good. with NO expectations in return. THAT is the Power that GOD gave you to be able to live healthier and happier on this earth. Live freely with no hurt and pain in your heart and soul. Learn your God given gift of the Power of Forgiveness. And USE it!

I think writing this took my mind off of the symptoms while the medications kicked in cause I’m feeling a little better. 🙂

Going to try and get some sleep now. Goodnight all! Much Love!!

L.

It’s gonna be a longgg month of treatment.

My scan results came in this week. News was good and bad. Good news is the tumors on the bones are not showing any growth and there are no new spots on my bones. The ones in my lungs kind of equal out cause some have grown by a mm and some have shrunk by a mm and there are no new growths. There are 2 new spots in my liver so they are going to radiate those once they are done with the brain. I started brain radiation on Wed, they radiate one tumor at a time. Yesterday I had 2 done back to back so I had to lay on the table with that darn mask on for about 2 hours. SUCKED! The last 3 should be about an hour. UGH. I get the mapping with the CT’s and molds done for my liver on Monday after brain radiation. The CT on my lungs showed on Monday that the pneumonia has cleared up. Which I am very happy about!

My husband has started to slowly quarantine himself in the house. I guess someone that he works with, the babysitter of his kids has tested positive for the COVID-19. He has no direct contact with her and Eric has no direct contact with him. But still we are being careful. We are trying to decide as to how we are going to isolate each other from one another if one of us gets sick. I can’t very well go stay with anyone, cause none of us who goes out into public really knows if we have been exposed or not. I’m just going to have to pray really hard that I am protected from it, and if I do get it, that I will make it through it. Funny how I haven’t given much thought to the results of these scans, my main worry right now is the COVID-19!!

At least with the Cancer I feel like I have more time due to all the new treatments. But the COVID-19 is like a dark monster just waiting around the corner to jump out and devour me! I just hate how I’m hearing how it attacks your lungs. And I had chemo today, so my immune system is getting ready to go way down. Not to mention having the radiation at the same time. But all I can do, all any of us can do, is put it into Gods hands and pray for the best. I pray for all of my family and friends, especially those who are older or have compromised lungs or immune systems. And I pray that the young and strong fight this as best they can and get through it to carry on life. This Pandemic is horrific and beyond anything that any one of us could have imagined. But in an eerie way, as the world has seemed to come to a screeching halt, I’m seeing that a lot of the HATRED that we’ve had for one another for reasons unknown, other than we Hate each other for our differences. All that, for the most part, has come to a stop. And even though there are still some thieves and murderes out there, most people are coming together, showing kindness, and helping one another. Something that this world has been lacking. Maybe this is GODS way to slow us all down, to STOP, and smell the roses, to notice our neighbors. To realize how much we actually miss being around each other. Many of us are thankful to have social media just so that we can see each other and talk.

So forgive, if there is someone that you need to forgive. Call those that you haven’t spoken to for a awhile but have been wanting to call them. Tell those loved ones that you love them.

I know your probably thinking you won’t catch the COVID and it’s unfathomable that your loved one will to….BUT IT ONLY TAKES ONE LITTLE DROPLET FROM THE WRONG PERSON….AND YOU CAN BE DEAD IN DAYS. THIS IS NO JOKE. LOVE NOW, AND LOVE HARD. IT COULD BE YOUR VERY LAST CHANCE.

Prayers, Love and Kindess to all,

L.

Quarantined

Hello. Hope everyone is staying at home and safe out there. Not anything different for me and many cancer patients on treatment. We always have to be pretty much quarantined to avoid any sick people since our immune system is low. Now everyone knows how it feels for us to not be able to go anywhere, and if you do, you have to wear a mask…even though I used to not do that, but now I do for sure. I get scans tomorrow and the results on Tuesday, but right now I think I’m more afraid of getting COVID-19 than my scan results. I’m just getting over pneumonia that I got from having a simple cold, much less getting a virus that attacks your respiratory system. I don’t think my lungs are strong enough to fight a virus like that. I’m pretty stuck at home for real now and not being around people, especially those that have any symptoms. My husband is still working which I’m thankful, but at the same time I PRAY he doesn’t catch the virus and bring it home. He would most likely survive if he got it, but I don’t think I would.

I know I don’t write much anymore. There is only so much a person with cancer can write about their journey with cancer. It gets repetitive cause it’s always the same…. Get scans, get results, then get treatment. And your always sick. And like I said before, you don’t really get to go anywhere anymore without being afraid of catching some virus.

The brain radiation I was supposed to get to kill the 6 new tumors was put on hold as was the chemo treatment until I got better and have no symptoms. So I guess I’ll be resuming treatment this week now that I’m all better. I’ve been on strong antibiotics and was treated at home instead of being put in the hospital, the doctor didn’t want to admit me with all the COVID-19 business. I have a nebulizer here at home that I’ve had to use to open my airways, and I have finally quit coughing up blood, that lasted for 4 days. The congestion I had in my nose and lungs is finally gone, and I’m feeling much better. I’m glad I wasn’t admitted into the hospital. I hate being in there.

So now, like everyone else, I’m just waiting for this COVID-19 to pass so that we can all get back to normal. I miss going to the park, movies, and out to eat. Spending time with family and friends…etc.

I miss having game night with all my kids, and I miss the one grand-baby that we have here close. Shes’ growing so fast and learning new things and I’m missing it. 😦 But my kids are afraid to come over with her just in case they have the COVID-19 and don’t know it. Here in Bastrop county we are not on shelter lock down like other counties around us, but everything is closed, even the parks.

I’m really glad as a nurse that I’m not working in a hospital right now. I have 2 daughter-in-laws that do. One works the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and the other works in ICU. They have said how they don’t have PPE (personal protective equipment) and one of my daughter-in-laws has had to buy her own. One of my nurse friends said she received a letter from the governor of New York asking if she could go up there and work, which she said she did not respond to. I haven’t received such a letter, but I couldn’t go even if I wanted to, which I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to go to New York even if there was no COVID-19 going on. It’s way too crowded for my taste. I prefer the quietness of country settings rather than big cities.

Well that’s about all I have for now. I’ll give an update once I get my scan results next week.

Ciao for now.

L.

Good news and bad news

Got the results of the brain MRI today. There was good news and bad news. A note to Chelsie, Jenny, and Katy…Please don’t freak out when you read this. Everything is going to be ok. Chelsie…please don’t dwell on this and please don’t let it ruin your trip. I want you to enjoy and have the best time ever. I will be ok and I’ll still be here when you get back. I promise.

The good news is… the radiation has killed the 4 brain tumors that I had. The biggest one being 6mm is still dying by the radiation. The doctor said the results were better than he expected.

The bad news is… there are 6 new spots in my brain. Once again, they were caught really early–the biggest one is only 3mm. VERY TINY. They are going to do the targeted radiation again to kill those 6 tumors. And the doctor is expecting good results with the treatment. Bad thing is that I have to go in for mapping and the making of a new mask. :/ I dread having to wear the mask again.

This news was really hard for me to process. The doctor told me the good news first…then he dropped the bomb..after I heard that, everything thereafter was a blur. Eric was with me though for support. He always goes to the results appointments with me. Which I’m glad, cause I cried all the way home. I just wanted to SCREAM! I was so angry. I just couldn’t believe the news. I’ve been thinking so positive in hopes of bringing the positive to me….but it didn’t work. Eric says I should go in expecting to hear the worst so I’m not so let down when I get bad news, and good news will be really good news.

Whenever I get bad news I don’t want to talk to anyone. I revert into myself and I just want to be left alone to be able to process the news. That’s why my beautiful girls, I don’t call and tell each one of you right away…cause I need time to process. After you read this if you need to, or want to talk, that’s ok. I can talk now.

How am I feeling?? Well…I still can’t believe I have 6 new tumors in my brain. But I am starting to accept the fact that I do, and treatment is inevitable. I wish there was a chemo that crossed the blood-brain barrier so that chemo would not only kill new tumors, but prevent them as well. But unfortunately there’s not. So I just have to keep on doing radiation as they come. I’m also sad. I feel like this cancer is slowly sucking the life out of me. I’m constantly fatigued from the chemo and radiation along with the chemo only makes it worse. So mostly my life now consists of sleep. I’m glad I’m on anti-depressants and I talk to a therapist weekly, plus I have my faith and belief in God, all of which help get me through this Hell. And most of all…the love and support of family….my reason to keep on fighting.

I wish I had more positive things to say here..but there is nothing really positive about cancer and it’s journey.

Until next time…