Monday, December 26, 2016

The Hardest Year

It's 2:40am and I have been up since Hunepants came to bed at 1 am. No matter which way I turn, my chemo port hurts, is uncomfortable and bothersome. I finally decided to get up about a half hour or so ago because I couldnt' take it anymore and I started getting very hungry. As I finished a show I had been binge watching (FRIENDS) I started balling and crying my eyes out. The only thought that came...THIS WAS THE HARDEST YEAR...

I looked back and remembered this time last Christmas. We were newlyweds, enjoy our first Christmas. First Christmas as a married couple. First Christmas in Colorado. First Christmas away from family.

We sent small gifts and I made treats for everyone. We sent my mother in law holiday cups from Williams Sonoma...this year we drank from those cups and as I set the table, it took all my might not to burst into tears.

In January, sadly right before her birthday, my mother in law passed away. She had Bechets and her immune system was often down. She had a minor cold, that turned crucial. We had just spoken with her the Sunday before. It was all so surreal. A week later she was gone. I was married for five months. Five months and no more mother in law. She was so kind and sweet and loving. Most of all, she loved me for me. I have been married before and I have never felt truly accepted by any of my past in laws, but I did by her.

Looking back, I remember the beginning of 2016. I had such high hopes for this year. I was going to make 200 aprons and donate them to the DSM Womens Club. I as going to be a Mindfulness Practitioner and help those to overcome their trials and adversities in life. I was going to do so many things and accomplish so many goals. I even did the Pursuit of Excellence this year and created a plan in Asana. I thought I was going to conquer the world this year....

Then, death happened. She passed away.

The grief overcame me. We lost her in May but they didn't set the memorial until June to go to Pickeral Lake, where all their family summered each year. Holding onto that pain until June was very hard for me.

It was a culmination of things. Remembering the loss of my father when I was young, losing a mother in law so early into our marriage, being there for Hunepants to be the strength and support for him through this trial and then the hurt from on of his family members who lashed out at me,  constantly telling me to stop being in pain because it wasn't about me. Which to this say bothers me because though I know that mentally, I felt like she was trying to stifle my feelings, and I felt I should have been allowed to feel what I felt.

I found a therapist and learned EFT and talked through the issues. I moved past things. I overcame, once again.

Then I tore my rotator cuff doing my New Year's Intentions to get more fit when I was lifting weights. I found a local doctor and started seeing him for the issue. He was an Ortho doctor and family so I chose him. (later I regretted that) He helped me get the right physical therapy, dry needling for my back issues, and got me back on track physically.

Mid year, we moved apartments to the other side of the building. The week of the move, I got terribly sick. I just kept vomiting over and over. We just assumed it was a stomach flu or something I ate. It didn't let up and I wasn't much help in the move. After speaking with my Chinese doctor, I was given some herbs to help out. My regular doctor was no help at all really. I told him of my issues and complained about bowel problems. He, like all the other doctors, said it was just IBS and not worry.

June we went back to Wisconsin and I felt like I walked around with baited breath. I was afraid I would be overcome again and the family member I had issue with would once again come at me, telling me to stop being so upset, that it wasn't my family and that it isn't about me. I did my EFT training and pretty much stayed to myself. Then another family barked at me for something completely unrelated and I lost it. I didn't even want to spend time with the family out to eat because I was so upset. They never apologized and the matter got swept under the table, like most family issues often are (especially in my family and now I guess this is how his family is too).  The once built relationship I had with those family members now is always tainted in my mind. though I forgive and move on, the apprehension of that issue is still there. The rest of the time, I kept to myself and didn't want to really be around one. I never feel accepted by his family, only his mother in law and his father and Step mom. With the mother in law passed, all I had was the other set of parents and was grateful when they let me hang out with them at  a flea market like I was one of their own.

August rolled around and I remember writing in my journal how much pain I was starting to be in again. I felt he pain was getting worse but I didn't want to talk to Hunepants about it because we had already been through so much that year, and I hate being a complainer. My family is a long line of bitchers, whiners and complainers and I didn't want to be like that.

A few more months went by and the pain in my belly was getting worse. I had problems constantly when I was going to the bathroom and my back was killing me. I kept calling my doctor and never got a response. When I was able to talk to him, like always, he discredited my issues for e mere nothingness.

Come Early October I tried countless times to reach him for my issues. to no avail, no answer, no return calls, even his nurse failed to get back to me. I couldn't take it anymore. I was fed up. I called the Clinic and talked to the head admin. I informed him of my concerns and that I had enough of trying to talk to that doctor. I had seen that there was another doctor int he clinic and I wanted him as my doctor now. I realized I just probably sounded like a bitchy patient, but I knew something was not right in my body, and no one was listening. The admin told me the other doctor was not accepting patients. After beginning a pleading and basically stating that since they are a business they mgiht want to keep me as a "client", that I could either take my business elsewhere, or see if this doctor would take me since the other one at their clinic had no desire to get back to me. LAter that week I had an appointment.

My first visit with Dr. K I am sure to him was an interesting one. I told him of my ailments and issues and to say our first few visits were "rough" might be an understatement. Yet I persisted. My spouse didn't want me on certain meds like Lyrica, I didn't want to be just given meds for everything and continued to complain of lower back pain and abdominal pain.

My friend A comes out to visit and during her stay I see Dr.K again. As I go in she says to me something to the effect of "Stick to your guns" and I smile.

I asked for colonoscopy and we talked about it. We talked family history and I found here and there some issues but mostly uterine and cervical. Dr. K wanted to rule out any issues in that area since that is where the majority of the family history was. I still thought it was something with my colon as it still was taking me two hours to have a bowel and that was with much pain.

In the ultrasound the tech is casually taking pictures of my uterus and calmly says "Honey, do you have problems with your colon ever?" There ya go. I mean, we aren't anywhere near my colon and SHE is even asking about my colon. She take a few more picture near that area and sends me on my way.

A few days later Dr. K brings me in and says there were some spots near the colon and he is concerned and wants to rule out issues and not to scare me, but this may be colon cancer. (How does it feel to be THAT doctor that has to tell you that? I have always wondered. Ar eyou nervous to tell your patient that? He seemed "genuinely" concerned.

I go back to the Touchstone Imaging Center and do a CT. I get a disk at the and as Dr. K told me to and when Hunepants came home we took a look at it. We are not health pros but we do have the ability to look things up online. One our two monitors we have the scan on one monitor and info on CT results on the other...We look left, my scan, look right, info. We look at each other. We both have a sneaky idea this is cancer but though we say it, neither  wants to admit it just yet.

Dr. K calls me the next day..."Don't be scared..." he says. I already know...he is going to say he thinks it is cancer..."I want you to get the colonoscopy asap because we think it may be cancer." I reply that I am fine and that is what I thought. I wonder if he believed me or thinks my BiPolar is making me be in denial. I am sitting on the edge of the bed as we speak. (talk about the edge of your seat) and he tells me he request Dr. N at South Denver GI to do the screening. Now they have something to look for.  This isn't a free screening anymore. Now we are concerned. Things just got serious. I hang up and stare at the floor. My kitties Mr. Dude and Mr. Booties both come nuzzle up to me (which is rare) and I start crying. I know if both my cats are near me, I should be worried.

Keep in mind, I have barely know Dr. K a week or two when all of this is going on. I am a brand new patient and this is what he has to start with. I feel sorry for him having to deal with this and me through this. I try to reach my current therapist. He informs me he doesn't have time for me. I decided I no longer have time for him if during this crisis my own damn therapist can't be there for me. i will deal with that one later.

Less than a week later I am drinking SuPrep and cleaning out my bowels to ready myself fro a Colonoscopy. I get through the prep (which I am told is worse than the procedure and I tend to agree). Hunepants can't take me to the appointment so I ask a brand new friend if he can take me. I have already called 7 people and no one else can. I remember calling my friend A and saying, "After all I have done for others, why is it when I am in need, there is no one to be found?" She agrees. Wished she could be with me for everything.

D picks me up and as we are driving to the test he casually asks "I don't mean to pry but what are we going to the hospital for?" I say, after taking a large gulp, "They are concerned I might have Colon Cancer." I hold back tears. He apologizes and wishes me well. I thank him offer him money for gas, he denies. He mentions to let him know how things go. I say I will.

I walk into the GI alone and start shaking.

I get through all of the paperwork and fill out the slip that says who will be picking me up. the nurse asks me if he is here and I softly reply no. I try not to let this bother me, though it does. I look around and everyone else has someone with them. I am a mix of mad and hurt that Hunepants isn't here with me, but I know he will be when I wake so I try to be ok with it.

The nurses are all great, everyone kind and sweet and sincere. They talk me through everything and get me ready. We go into a small room after I am changed and I meet the anesthesiologist. I feel ok but still nervous. They give me something to put me to sleep and I try to get comfortable, The one nurse tells me to get on my side and be comfortable the best I can because I will be asleep soon. I barely remember raising my arm up then down and I was out.

I woke in recovery and as I barely woke, there was a nurse handing me a glass of cranberry juice, someone pulling back the curtain to let Hunepants in and the doctor is telling me I have cancer. They are doing biopsies but he knows I have a tumor and I need surgery STAT!  He asks Hunepants is he can take me right away to meet the surgeon to get this scheduled. I don't even have my clothes or shoes on yet. DAMN. Now I am pissed. Not at him but at every Mercy Medical Clinic doctor in Iowa for not listening to me. For the back doctors not listening to me. for everyone discrediting me for years. I tried to tell them. Now I am wondering what stage I am. I try not to think about it. I get dressed and we meet the surgeon. Nice man, seems to know his shit. Dr. H. Eveyone in his office is very nice. As we talk I am stoic and he keeps telling me it is ok to cry, it is ok to have emotions about this. I feel like a tank just got dropped on me. The more he talks the more it is sinking in....I start crying now...he hands me a tissue and it appears he is relieved I am crying. Perhaps the not crying make doctors more concerned.

Mind you this is Wednesday and the surgery is scheduled for Nov 1 the following Tuesday. He tells me to stay on soft foods and I shouldn't' have to drink so much glug if I do. It is called GoLighlty and he makes fun of the name saying the makers of that need to change the name because it is nowhere near LIGHT. He tells me I might not have to drink the whole gallon. I hope not, that doesn't sound fun. We stop by CVS, hand over scrips and leave for them to let me know when they are filled. I let them know I had surgery so I needed them right away, but they have to order them because they don't have them. Talk about nervous. Ali, the Pharmacy tech tells me it will be ok and assures me they will have it in time.

We go home and I being to write cards. I pour myself into emotions of letting others know how much tye mean to me. The tech, Ali, the bankers at Wells Fargo, Sprouts manager, my vision place and so on. I think I wrote over 25 cards to hand out and another 25 to send. This is how I cope. letting others know their worth and value.

As the surgery gets closer I panic more. I cry and cry constantly. I have called or emailed every family member I can and put out the Facebook blast about my condition. The outpouring of love and concern is amazing. Here is that support I was wondering about a few weeks ago. It showed up. HARD. I wonder if my mother cried is worry about me. She seemed so strong on the phone but, hello, this is her baby we are talking about. My older son was stoic about it. That was to be expected. My younger son got completely silent and informs me his last girlfriend before his fiance dies of Colon Cancer. I don't know what to say. He offers me love and support. This too, was to be expected. Not that my older son doesn't love me, I know deep down he does, but he never says it. I mean it, I just told him I have Cancer and he still can't say it. I consign that this is just how he is and accept what he can offer me. Math jokes.

The weekend approaches and I am up all Saturday Night. Tuesday is surgery and the day and time are drawing near. I feel like I am having a panic attack. I get out of bed and start reading scriptures and praying. HARD.

Sunday morning. Early. 5 am. I pray for more knowledge and answers and peace and comfort. not knowing what do and feeling as if I will die. The spirit came over... "Call for a blessing". This prompting continues in my head...I decide to go to and find out who my missionaries are.

At 7 am, I called in tears asking for a blessing. I left a message and they called me back. We schedule for them to come later than night and I tell them my story. I ask Elder Mork to give me the blessing and Elder Bjerga assists.

After tears and emotion being revealed and a wonderful blessing, I finally feel at peace.

Tuesday comes. My friend D accepted my request to go with Hunepants and I to the surgery. The staff was very nice, the doctors make me laugh before I go in and I am happy. I feel ok. They joke about not being professionals and I remembering commenting that if they were stuffy, then I would worry.

Surgery is great and I was in recovery two hours.

I remember waking and thinking "I made it! I didn't' die! I am alive!"

I have a whole new lease on life and think, geesh, if people thought I lived life out loud before, just wait!

I do great in the hospital, I sat up right away, I walked all the time, the nurses loved me, I loved them. By Friday I am eating solids and on Saturday Nov 5th I am home. The next week I walk for 3-5 miles each day around Fiddler's Green and think I am doing very well. he following weekend, I have diarrhea for three days straight. Uh oh. Somethings wrong. I call the surgeon, he isn't concerned. I still am. Though, thinking it is just food, I go with the church ladies to CFA and hang out. LM brings me home and I lie down for about 20 minutes. My stomach hurts and again I am worried. I call to see if I can see Dr. K and the admin gets me an appointment. I text Hunepants and tell him he needs to go with me. He comes home ealry and takes me.

I have CDIFF.

I end up on these monstrous anitbiotics. Which to me is dumb because too many Antibitiocs is what caused this in the first place. But I hear it helps. I text my Dr. friend Dr. I. he concurs so I decided this must be what I have to do.

The following week I am no better. followup with Dr. K. More Metrondiazonale. Yay. Not and he suggests a probiotic to get my gut flora back.

Two days later I am better, but he says keeps taking it until it is gone.

Now we are here.

I have seen the oncologist and he alerts me that even if the scan is clean we still need to do chemo to kill any microscopic cells that might linger that have cancer that we can't see. This is th best we can do. I am in denial. Hunepants says do it for him. I don't want to. I want to wait and see what the scan is and then keep doing the herbs and juicing we are doing now. He keeps trying to get me to understand. I give up talking to him about it. We won't see eye to eye. I dont' get why I shoud put poison in my body if the scan is good.

This week was the crazy week.

Tuesday. Scan was clean.
Thursday Chemo class to learn everything I can about my upcoming chemo treatment.
Friday. port put in.

Now it's December 25th. Merry Christmas.

I am still in denial. I am doing the chemo though I don't want to. They wanted to start right away and I halted saying "No, I need to go see my mother and family in New Mexico first" They schedule my first chemo for Jan 9th.

The year is winding down and all I can think of is how HARD this year has been. WTF.

I go through bouts of tears and happiness. Not really sure which to feel.

Today I made a dancing video and posted it online. I am determined to remain fabulous though all of this. Not an easy take mind you. But yet, I smile, and then I cry. My emotions are still close ot the surface and I am just trying to cope.

I will be glad when this year ends, though, for once, I am NOT looking forward to the new year. Six months of upcoming chemo.

Which of these years will be the Hardest Year?

This one...or the next?

We shall see....

Do you miss you hair? And other things I think of...

As I was sitting in the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center today I looked over and saw this lovely woman with a beautiful black and white scarf. I really wanted to say something encouraging but all I could think of what to say so I said "I love your scarf" She said thank you and went back to reading her magazine. Her spouse was next to her looking at his phone.

Though he wasn't paying grand attention to her, I kept thinking "That's nice someone was with her"

The more I sat there I though  Do people who have lost their hair from Chemo look at new cancer patients and start thinking things...

for instance...

That poor girl, I hope she doesn't lose her hair too


Just wait, you will see


Gee, I wish I still had my hair...

I know these are dumb things to think, but nevertheless, I think them.

As I was sitting there, all I could think of was ....

I am so glad I am strong and tough. I don't know many people who could do this, who could handle this. Here I am alone, trying to absorb ALL this information, and most often I am alone and that is okay. Sometimes, one must endure things and battles and fights in life alone to become the amazing person I am meant to be...

My thoughts run away with me more often than not and I swear I think the dumbest things while going through all this...but then I think about my thoughts, perhaps this is what others think. Perhaps it is just me. But jus tin case. That is why I am posting this

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Cancer Waiting Game

I had my PET CT scan Monday. It was different. At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, they don't have a stationary scanner. They have a mobile unit so it can go to all the Cancer Centers. Monday was the day they were in Lone Tree, Co.

Hunepants got off work early and picked me up to take me. He wouldn't park where I wanted so I knew I could get to the center and I got a little grouchy. (I feel for him. I have so many emoitions running through me right now, I feel like Jekyl/Hyde. the quote from Forrest Gump comes to mind..."You just never know whatchu gonna get!"

We figured our way around but I was a few minutes late.

The financaial lady came in and informed us that since we had met our deductible this year that this cost was $6,400 but it was fully paid by insurance....

(I dearly hope so after at $157,000 hospital stay, Gi $6,000 and paid a surgeon $6,000 not to mention all the other doctor visits I have had this year to try to figure this out to this point)

Then the male nurse cam in to explain and set up my IV  and took my blood sugar which was 80 at the time. I shrugged and asked if that was good and he said yes. Then he had me take my coat and we went outside then into the mobile unit.

Then I sat in a recliner and he put a crapton of blankets on me and turned on the chair heat. Then he gave me some Radioactive Sugar and had me sit there for it to kick in. Halfway through he gave me some water to drink. Before the scan I went to the bathroom again so I put on my coat and ran back inside, went tinkle then back outside to the mobile unit. (very cold)

Then he had me take off any large metal items, glasses, earrings (to be safe), my colon cancer pins, however, had me leave my nose stud in (so odd)

Then slowly and I mean very very slowly I went in through the scanner. First they sent me all the way through so my head was sticking out the top. Which was ok. I didn't have any issues there. But then, when it got down to my head being in the tiny little tube, I panicked! I had a panic attack and started crying and trying not to move. I called out "hello" in the mic and he came in to comfort me. He said "Only a minute and half. You're doing great!" I didnt feel great, plus I had to tinkle again.

When it was done and I came all the way through, he saw that I was crying and he said "Oh my, I am sorry, I didn't realize you were having that much issue. Are you ok?" I told him I was. I dried my eyes and then put my coat back on and he walked me back to the building. I went tinkle but Hunepants was nowhere to be found. Then we realized he had pulled up next to the mobile unit so I didn't have to be outside long. (so sweet)

Then Hunepants took me home.

Now it is the waiting game.

It is now Wednesday and I still haven't heard anything from them about my results. They said if I haven't heard by Wednesday to call them. I have multiple appointments today and need to fit that in as well as call the GI doctor today because there has been a LOT of blood in my stool again.

Now we are not sure if it is something internal or just my thrombosis hemorrhoids again.

In normal world, most people would write things off. But as a Cancer patient, everything is susceptible. It's annoying as heck.

So until then, I will keep busy today, and somewhere in between contact places and doctors for results.

Until then...I will wait.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How I Plan to Beat Cancer : Supplements

One of the things that HUNEPANTS got right onto was research what will help kill cancer and one of the main things he found was supplements. Right after I was home from surgery that removed my tumor, was he bought me and asked me to take herbal supplements he found that he found beats or kills cancer. So I responded. Ok.

If you wonder why I am writing all this on my blog is for two reasons.

One: I want to have someplace I talk about all this so if other are going through this too, they have someone to look at that has been through it.

Two: I want to have a place to track this like as if I am in a study. I am willing to try these and other things and want to record all of it, so there is a backing of proof or falsity of doing the things that I am researching and trying, that I keep hearing is more beneficial than Chemo.

Here are the supplements I am taking and have been taking since right after my surgery:

  • Ashwaganda: Kills any cancer in me now
  • Astragulus: Kills any NEw cancers that might try to form
  • Probitic (one with 30 micro living organisms in each pill): Keeps my gut flora healthy
  • Eluthero: For healing my surgery internal and external
  • Vitamin A: Helps my cracked hands and cracked ips
  • Vitamin B12: Energy booster and cancer fighter
  • Multivitamin: Because my appetite is low and I may not be getting everything I need
  • Tumeric Extract: #1 in cancer fighting
  • Two various Chinese herbs from my Chinese Medicine Doctor
    • Xio Yow Wan
    • Gu Pi
These are just the ones I am starting to do now. I may end up doing more. But this is just a start.

I am gonna fight this with everything I've got!

Xo Trisha Trixie

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Happy New Year Chemo!

Oncology Update: Chemo starts Jan 9th, 2017...Happy New Year.

Oh yeah I get to do 12 rounds for 6 months every other week. One Chemo week, One "normal week" then ...a Chemo Week again and so on and so forth yada yada beetlejuice

December 19th I have my PET-CT scan to establish a baseline.
December 22nd I get to go to Chemotherapy Class!!
December 23 my port gets put in
and Then...January 9th, I get to start a long day 4-6 hours of Chemo! Woo hoo! How exciting! Doesn't that all just sound fabulous?

< in case you were unaware that is the my version of sarcasm>

So, with all that, I am running away to see my mother. I leave for New Mexico on December 28th until January 4th. That will give Hunepants a break before i really will need to rely on him. He agrees.

so, you are am I?

Welllllllll...I'm sad.

I talked to my exspouse Scott and he said "That is not a term I remember ever seeing in you the ten years we were married? What does SAD mean to you. Explain."

I chuckled and explained...

Not that anyone really WANTS chemo, that of course wasn't what I was rooting or hoping for. I had all this research and basically was told those are great, but you still need to do chemo to make sure the microcells we can't see that MIGHT have cancer in them, are killed so they don't grow up and become bigger badder meaner cancer.

I now have all these appointments from now to then, and the start of my 2017 is starting with having to be on Chemotherapy. :(

I DON'T want to scream or shout or yell at the world and I have no desire or inkling to yell at God, My higher Power, or The Universe because well, it's not their fault or anyone else's really (with the exception of the idiot doctors in Iowa who could have caught this sooner had they listened to me and just done the damn colonoscopy years ago when I asked), I just am...I don't know, I feel sad.

That;s it.

Just sad.

Keeping My Head Up : Cancer Fighting

Listening to Keep Your Head Up

And thinking about how to do that.

I mean, I am a pretty positive person, but I am also human. I get nervous and scared and overthink.

Today is my oncology appointment. Hunepants is going with me, thank goodness. I don't think that is one I could handle alone. I just don't know what will happen, I have so much I want to talk to him about and I fear there wont be enough time. I also fear what he will tell me. Though, the more I think about it, today's visit might not be so scary as the PET-CT scan and the next visit when I get told whether or not I will have to do chemo treatments. that is what scares me most of all. I really do not want to do chemo. I do not take that advice blindly.

I have read on so many groups people who never got a PET scan and just did chem because their doctor told them they should. I am not that way. You gotta show me proof. I am not going to put poison in my body if I don't need to!

I know I am wishful and hopeful thinking that the scan will show nothing, but you see I believe that the power of prayer and meditation work. And if, per chance the Do find cancer, that doesn't means my prayers didn't work. That just means I still have a battle I need to face. It just means that this was not my time for that answer. I am ok with that.

I AM, however, nervous, scared, in wonderment about results, and dreading the chemo decision, if that is what comes to be.

I just keep breathing and praying that everything works out and if i Do have to do chemo that I will be strong and brave and an example unto the world of how to be and stay positive through this journey, to overcome, to not just be a survivor but a WARRIOR!

Fight the good fight! Keep swinging until I win or at least go down fighting, smiling and loving life