Saturday, September 19, 2009

Anxiously awaiting...

I am currently in Newport Beach, I arrived yesterday afternoon. My roommate, Korie, drove me out here. We decided to come out to spend two days here and also take my sister back to Las Vegas with us. If you haven't guessed it already, I am starting chemo next week. I know, I know - I wasn't going to say it, but I was reading over some of my previous blogs and think I may have indicated some clues that it was happening this week. I am getting pretty nervous, mostly because I am afraid of not knowing how my body will react. I am so nervous that the side effects are going to be horrible or the cancer cells won't be phased by the chemo at all due to my body rejecting the drugs. Yes, that's rare, but then again, is getting cancer rare at my age? Some may beg to differ with me on that, as there are THOUSANDS of people worldwide faced with cancer, but I guess I still just can't believe I am now a statistic. I'd rather be a statistic of something else, but guess we can't win it all. I am still feeling pretty good after my procedure on Thursday. I am not in excruciating pain or anything and was able to go on a decent walk around Corona Del Mar yesterday with Korie, which was relaxing. Last night we had a bonfire at the beach, which was also relaxing. We are going to head home this afternoon so I can get myself organized and prepared for next week. Please continue to pray for me and pray that chemo works for me and kills the bad cells and strays away from the good ones (i.e. my hair) Yes, I'm prepared to lose my hair, but when it comes down to looking at myself bald, well...that may be difficult. I think I'll just hang a picture of Brit Spears in my bathroom when she shaved her head - not sure that many will agree that the picture of her should inspire me. :) Happy weekend everyone, enjoy...but don't forget to pray.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

All is well!

Another thing I can put behind me...I completed the whole fertility process! The procedure was not as bad as I anticipated it to be, mostly because I get so nervous for the IV's. But to be honest, the IV wasn't even that bad. I was only in the room for about 15 minutes and then went to the recovery room for about an hour. My blood pressure was a bit low so they pumped me with all this liquid before I left. I am feeling a bit of discomfort, but nothing super painful. I hope I never have to use the eggs and will be able to conceive a child on my own, but now I have a backup plan if for some reason I can't. I am glad I decided to do that....good choice Lauren :) So, thanks for all who supported that decision! I do have a chemo start date, but am not saying it until I am sitting in that chair with an IV in my port waiting for the meds to start flowing through. Because we all know when I say a start date, it doesn't happen! BUT I do have one!

As always, I hope that everyone has an enjoyable weekend! Happy Birthday to my lovely friend Erica and best wishes to my friends getting married, Stephanie & Derek! I wish I could take part in the celebration, but I'll be thinking of you guys on your special day!!!!

Another round of anesthesia...

Today is the big day for the egg retrieval! My appointment is at 11:45a, but we have to get there by 11:15a. I am kind of used to the drill for surgeries now - no eating or drinking after midnight, etc. etc. Naturally, I am so dehydrated right now and want a giant beer (just kidding). I really want a giant glass of water! BUT noooo...can't have anything. When I got my lymph node removed, my surgery wasn't until 5:00p, that was so intense not eating or drinking all day. They also weigh you before a surgery and I think I was like 5 pounds less that day. Anyways, I will post later today and let everyone know how the surgery went. Supposedly I'll have some abdominal pain, but we'll see. I don't know if the doctor remembers that he is dealing with the Incredible Hulk? :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Better day!

Today is much better than last night. I found out this morning that my baby little eggs are ready to go! My procedure is on Thursday and I can't wait to be done with this hurdle. I am a little sad though because this means tomorrow will be my last day at work until I return on September 28th and I truly love being at work. My co-workers provide such a comforting and loving environment for me and I can honestly say I like being there. I've decided to not get sad about not being at work, I am going to think of chemo weeks as my mini vacation. Where should I say I am going on my mini vacation - Fiji, Bora Bora? Come on, think of something fun for me. Besides my good news, I still can't get Ethan's situation out of my mind, I am feeling a little better. One of my co-workers told me either last week or two weeks ago that I had too much of a "bleeding heart" for people and it wasn't good for me because it obviously makes me upset frequently. And I thought about what she said and I kind of do and it's probably not always healthy. Whether it be that homeless person on the street or that elderly person sitting at a restaurant by themselves, my heart literally aches because I hate to think people are alone. What I have come to realize is that you can feel alone even if you are surrounded by 30 family and friends telling you they love you. So those people that appear to be alone could be the happiest they have ever been. Moral of the story is that I feel upset and saddened over tragic cancer stories because I picture that being me and I literally put myself in their shoes. But at the same time, I don't understand their situation to the fullest and should not be so quick to judge others or feel sorry for someone, when maybe they are happy. And Ethan may be in a horrible situation, but could be feeling so good. So, when my co-worker told me that I had too much of a bleeding heart, she didn't intend for me to start being cold to people or to not care, but she simply taught me that it may not be necessary. And I think I realized that today.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again and again. I want everyone to know who takes the time to read my blog that I am so appreciative you take the time out of your day to do so. And for those of you who send me e-mails, text messages, phone calls, cards, etc. - thank you. I know that sometimes people may look at me and feel "poor Lauren" but those people have no idea how much love and support I am receiving through this and how "not alone" I am. So don't feel sorry for me, feel happy that this has happened to me and I am going to get through this alive and be a better person in the end. To end on this note, Ethan had mentioned in one of his videos that God may have given him this stupid disease to inspire people after he was cured and I am going to agree with him that it may very well be my job as well - to inspire others.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kind of sad...

So I typically only like to hear positive stories about cancer and to hear about people in remission. I do not like to hear people dying or that the cancer came back to play again. First, I see that Patrick Swayze lost his battle to pancreatic cancer at a young age of 57 and then I just go to to find out the cancer came back for my Survivor friend, Ethan Zohn. Ugh, I literally feel sick to my stomach. Remember, Ethan has the same disease I do, but a different type of Hodgkin's. Mine is Nodular Sclerosis whereas Ethan's is a rare form called C20. I am extremely sad right now to know that his cancer came back just shortly after he finished his chemotherapy sessions. It literally makes me sick because he was someone that I really admired in this whole process and still do. I was just praying that he was going to be okay, as it not only gave me hope, but made me feel good someone else went into remission. Now Ethan has to undergo a stem cell transplant which will be a process that will take him through January 2010 (is what he stated). He will have to spend months in the hospital too in order to get this transplant. He WILL survive the transplant and his odds are still on his side, but it's just a lot to go through again after he is coming out of chemotherapy. Obviously this makes me scared out of my mind that something like this will happen to me. Can't say much tonight except my thoughts and prayers are solely with Ethan and his family, as well as Patrick Swayze and his family.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My port picture...

Okay, so to clarify, here is what my lovely scars look like. The one on the top is where they removed my lymph node (remember I said I looked like Frankenstein?) Anyways, that is healing beautifully - he cut very straight! The one lower than that is my port scar. See, there are no tubes hanging out or anything, just a little raised bump. That one is healing, but it's a little more new than my first one so it has a little bit longer to go before it starts looking pretty again. I am a little red because they itch so bad! I obviously can't itch them hard, but I do kind of - oops. I just made my roommate take my picture and I had to find a tube top to wear so I looked appropriate in the picture. I picked up the shirt I wore the night I found the lymph node and she started crying. She is very emotional this weekend, she may have stolen some of my estrogen from me (just kidding she really didn't, I just like to tease her).

Another fun week ahead!

Hello, Hello....hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! I sure did. I got to see a lot of good friends this weekend and got to spend time with my co-workers. Thank you especially to my friend, Tay, who came from Texas to see me! It was definitely a nice weekend. Now I am sitting in a coffee shop with my roomie doing some homework. It is such a cute place and I ironically am enjoying doing homework! I just put together a PowerPoint presentation for one of my online courses, hopefully it turned out okay! I do have another proposed start date for chemo, but am not going to write it because like I said, I jinx myself every time! I had a doctor appointment yesterday with my fertility doctor and they think I should be ready by Wednesday to have the eggs removed. Shoot, should I have not said that date either? Oh well. I am so ready to have these eggs removed, I am not only Fertile Myrtle, but I feel pregnant. I don't really know what pregnant feels like, but I think this is it. I am like Octo-Mom, haha! So please pray tonight is the last night for my injections and I am ready to go by Wednesday! Last night I made my roomie watch my dad while he gave them to hands get so sweaty, literally like dripping. I hate needles so much. Go figure :) That is all that's going on with me right now. I am still feeling great - taking daily vitamins, eating healthy and drinking my alkaline water and Kombucha! Okay fine, so I had a chocolate chip cookie yesterday and maybe a sip of Diet Coke, don't judge me. Also, I decided I am going to dance everyday I have chemo, probably to Brit Spears. Chemo Dance Days...anyone can join, just make sure you are ready to dance. Will update you all with anything I have, as always! Love and hugs to all...