View Full Version : A journey through cancer....

09-26-2003, 10:21 AM
Though not offically in regards to weight (but still kind of) I thought I would chart my journey through cancer.

I was diagnosed with Large B-cell Lymphompa on August 28, 2003. I think that it was truly a blessing for me to find this board when I did, because I lost over 35 pounds before I was diagnosed, and I felt great, and I am sure that will help with all I am going to go through.

I started my chemotherapy yesterday (September 25). I am doing a form of chemo referred to as CHOP (each letter is one of the drugs involved). Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband and family. I am a trifle worried about my 10 year old stepdaughter (she is at our house every weekend, except for when my DH has Drill Weekends for the Air National Guard), as I am not sure how she is going to take this. Her dad and I got together right after she turned 5, and she just turned 10 in August. I did see a flyer at the doctor's office yesterday for a Kids with Parents with Cancer group that might be good for her. DS4 is too young to really understand what is going on, he just knows he is going to be mommy's big helper.

My chemo lasted all day yesterday. I have yet to get sick yet, and hopefully that will remain the case. My doctor did infom me that younger patients (I just turned 27) tend to get sicker easier, because their "gag reflex" is younger. Great, just what I need. Shouldn't be that bad though, I was sick for all nine months when I was pregnant with DS. Plus, I was prescribed quite a bit of anti-nausea medication (not the cheapest thing either, one prescription was $54 for 3 pills, and the other was $89 for 15 pills, and that was AFTER insurance paid their 80%!). Just trying to take things slow, and one day at a time.

09-26-2003, 10:31 AM
Oh you poor love. I'm sure you will be surprised at how your stepdaughter will cope - children and remarkably resilient and love to help - as you know from your DS they love to be Mummy's helper! And make sure you do let them help. They need to feel useful and it will help them to focus their fears if you give them plenty to keep them occupied. I speak from an experience when my DH had major brain surgery when my DS was only 3. Even though he was very young he was a tremendous help and moral support and is now an incredibly thoughtful 10 year old.

What strikes me is your obviously positive attitude - "I thought I would chart my journey through cancer". That is exactly what this is, a journey through it.

As many have said before, God gives you burdens he knows you are strong enough to carry. I'm sorry you are being tested with this, and at such an extraordinarily young age, but keep positive and strong. I will watch your progress and pray for you and your family to have the strength to face this challenge.

With love,


09-26-2003, 11:01 AM
{{ Hugs }} for you BabyTigger!! You have come to the right place, though! WISH is not just about weight - it stands for We're Into Staying Healthy - and that's just what you're doing, trying to stay as healthy as possible through this ordeal!

You sound very brave and strong. It also sounds like you have a great family around you to support you. Don't forget to include extended family and friends in that support system also.

I wish you strength and peace throughout your journey and many, many years of joy to come!

09-26-2003, 07:25 PM
Me and my DD will add you in our prayers for strength and recovery! Stay strong and we're sending lots of pixie dust to help you through this!

09-26-2003, 10:16 PM
{{{{{{{{{Hugs for you, BabyTigger}}}}}}}}}}}}}. I just wanted to let know that I'm thinking about you and keeping you and your DFamily in my prayers. I hope that in the days to come you'll find that you can use your journal to let out all the many feelings that you're experiencing as you go through this experience. We'll be here for you; stay in touch.


09-29-2003, 08:33 AM
Well, I made it through my first chemo weekend, and I must say, it was a lot better than I thought it would be. I have actually NOT even thrown up, which is a miracle for me, since I can lose it at the drop of a hat! I think I overdid myself a little on Friday, just being surprised that I was feeling sooo good, so I went shopping for about 2 hours with my sister, but I was pretty out of it Friday night. Just kind of laid in my chair and moaned. I did have to take an extra anti-nausea pill, but it is the only extra one that I have had to take.

Saturday I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a train. My dad had come over to help DH hang the new back door, so my mom picked up me, DS, DSD to bring DS to swim class. I do noitce that when I can get out of the house, I do eventually start feeling better. I think it is that whole initial fear of being sick in public. Although, as we were sitting in the viewing area, a mom was on the floor in front of me and changed her 2 year old daughter's diaper RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! I could have done without that!

The one thing I have totally been craving since the chemo is cherry slushes from Dairy Queen, and do you think my DH would go get one for me on Saturday?? NO!! He had taken DS to a hockey game, so I had to make to with sugar free Tropical Punch Kool-Aid. Not my first choice, but it took the edge off a bit. At church yesterday, people heard me complaining about the whole cherry slush issue and said, "next time you need one, you just give me a call!!" So nice to have people around that care!! BTW, I made mom stop after church to pick up a slush. Can you say heaven!!!

So, overall, this journey is not as challenging as I would have thought, but I do have a long way to go yet. The hair is starting to come out, so it is just a matter of time before I have my cousin's wife come over to shave it off. Next chemo treatment is scheduled for October 16th (2 days after me and DH's 3rd anniversary), and hopefully, things will keep going along as smoothly.

09-29-2003, 09:14 AM
I'm so glad it wasn't too bad. Thanks so much for letting us know how you are getting on. I'll keep popping by to see how things are going.

With love,


10-03-2003, 04:58 PM
Well, it has been 8 days since my first round of Chemo. I am still pleasantly surprised at how I feel. I had a bit of a sinus infection when the chemo started, and it has still not gone away, and I don't think that it will any time soon. My body has been sore the last two days in the muscles. I would love nothing more than to sit in the tub and soak for a LONG time, however, my leg still isn't back to normal from having the biopsy done, so I don't think I could even get into the tub! Hot showers have been nice though. My head is really itchy, one of the signs that it won't be long until you can call me Chrome-Dome (I just hope my head isn't too lumpy!). My mom had ordered me some hats from the American Cancer Society, and they came in the mail yesterday. They are sooo soft and comfy! Won't be long until they are a permanent fixture for me.

I am still getting cravings, even worse than pregnancy! The other day was Chicken Soft Tacos from Taco Bell. Also, doughtnuts (I know, bad word to say on this board!). I have lost about 6 pounds since the chemo, but I feel like I eat like a horse right now. One of the best tasting things for me is a HUGE salad with chicken, cheese, red cabbage, carrots, and fat free ranch dressing! I eat at least 2 a day!

So that is where I stand right now. I am hoping that if I am feeling this good after the second round, I will be able to go back to work a few hours a day. I have been off work for 5 weeks, and I am going NUTS!::MickeyMo

10-04-2003, 04:04 PM
I'm so glad the chemo hasn't caused you too many problems. What work do you do - nothing too strenuous I hope? You need all your strength at the moment. At least the chicken salads are healthy!!

Keeping you in my thoughts. I check back here at least once a day to see how things are going. Keep that chin up!!

With love,


10-05-2003, 09:04 PM
You're wonderful!
I really hope this all goes well, and quickly for you.
Your attitude is inspirational, I have some problems that pale into insignificance, and you have really made me feel like I can get on and do what I have to do.
Keep in touch.

10-08-2003, 10:47 PM
Well, the inevitable has begun. My hair is starting to fall out. Lost a bunch in the shower today, and if I run my hands through my hair, I get a pretty good sized clump. All along I kept telling myself this was not a big deal, I knew it would happen, I would just get my head shaved and go on with my life with hats and scarves. Now that decision is not so easy. I have been blessed with some pretty nice, thick hair. I would tell you what color it is but I have no clue what color it really is!! It is dyed a light brownish blonde (but has also been totally blonde, and back in college was red!!). With the exception of the grays (started them when I was 19, am 27 now, had someone that was standing over me at work one day when it was near time to get it dyed and she yelled "Oh my God, you are so young to have so many grays!! Gee thanks!) I have always liked my hair. Now I have to get used to the fact that it will be gone. DH and I are going out for our 3rd wedding anniversary this Saturday (our anniversary is the 14th) and I am now a little apprehensive about going. We are going to the Prime Quarter (for those who don't know, a grill your own steak place, we love it there!) which is a very popular place, and only gets busier when the Packers are playing at home this weekend (hope to gosh we best the Chiefs!!). I do have a pretty cute wine-colored hat and matching sweater that my mom picked up for me, but when it is on, you will know I have no hair. So, I guess as far as something going on with the cancer, this is pretty minor, since it happens to so many who get chemo, and if this is the biggest of my concerns right now, things could be a whole lot worse. Just one of the changes I knew, but am kind of having a problem with right now.

Tomorrow I head in for my weekly blood check. If it takes the nurse more than 3 times to draw blood, I am going to consider having a central line put it (The can draw blood, and administer the chemo through the line, pretty much an IV port that stays put throughout the whole time I am getting the chemo). My white count was a little low last week, but they weren't overly concerned about it, so hopefully it will have risen by tomorrow. I will let you all know.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and thoughts throughout this time. It really means so much to me!

10-15-2003, 02:18 PM
The hair is gone. Had my cousin's wife come over on Sunday and shave it all off. At least I don't have to vaccuum all the time now. Wasn't too bad of an adjustment, either. I am just amazed by how COLD my head can get sometimes, even just walking down the hallway! Tomorrow I go in for an appointment with the doctor, and my second round of chemo. Hopefully, if I goes well, I will be back to work soon.

10-19-2003, 07:59 AM
Second round of chemo has come and gone. I went in for treatment on the 16th of October. I didn't get nearly as sick feeling as I did the first time. I just have been making sure to take it slowly right now, with lots of rests and down time. When I saw my oncologist on Thursday, he cleared me to go back to work, now I just have to wait until I see the other doctor this week, to see if he will clear me to drive, and clear me to go back to work. DH and I have decided that we are going for a quick little jaunt down to Florida in April, as both chemo and radiation will be completed, and (hopefully!) I will be into remission!! What a way to say I love you!!

10-19-2003, 12:18 PM
You're still in my thoughts and prayers. Losing your hair must be such a strange experience! I'm glad you are getting through it with a sense of humor and good spirits.

I think a Disney trip in April will give you something wonderful to look forward to - what a great idea!

Best of luck with your decision to go back to work. Just take it easy on yourself - ease back into your schedule if you can.

{{ Hugs }} for you!!