Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's been awhile...

Colbie Caliat once sang "I've been away for awhile now..." That's me. What I've been up to (and will elaborate on):

Finished chemo in April.
Had a clear ultrasound in May.
Officially in remission (praise God!)
Barely lost any of my hair.
My hair came in curly (I wanted it!)
I started school in August.
I'm doing well in school.

Yes-I went back to school. Why is it that Rodney Dangerfield's voice suddenly just popped into my head?!! I took the government's money and trotted (not really)myself to school. After some soul searching I decided on baking and pastry arts with the hope of opening my business one day. Now the business type is still not what I'm sure about. I was thinking bakery, like Carlo's Bakery, aka: The Cake Boss (name soon to be changed). Now if you're not overly obsessed with reality television like I am-you should know that Carlo's Bakery is a bakery out of New Jersey. He's what I would consider an italian baker of sorts. He sells all sorts of baked goods and other deliciously sinful desserts. Here's the confusing part-I'd also like to possibly have a barn turned banquet hall for weddings and parties. We'll see how this all turns out. In the meantime I'm happy with how I am doing right now.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Kelly at Kelly's Korner did a post on Simple Pleasures today. You know the little things that bring pleasure to your life. I thought it would be fun to participate since I keep messing up and forgetting to do the Show Us Your Life posts.

A Coke from Mcdonalds (you know they have the best fountain Cokes!)

Or a Frozen Coke from Burger King (or Coke Icee from the gas station.)

A Mocha or Frap from Starbucks (Yummy.)

When you get your coffee to creamer ratio perfect in the morning.

The way a clean baby smells when they first come out of their bath.

When you turn on the t.v. and realize your favorite show is on.

Hearing an oldie but goodie on the radio (similar to Kelly's-I know.)

Snail mail. I don't care what it is I love getting it. (well unless it's a bill)

The sounds and smells of spring (trees sway, fresh cut grass, birds singing, and sunshine!)

When you realize someone is cooking your favorite meal (fried chicken, taters, and garden green beans.)

Lazy days at home when you have the house to yourself.

Friend requests on Facebook from people you haven't seen in forever.

On days you "feel" skinny even though you know it's not possible.

On days when I go to get chemo and they weigh me and I haven't gained an ounce (chemo patients will know what I'm talking about!)

A new outfit.

An outfit that you discovered you've never worn in your closet.

New pair of shoes or purse.

Walmart. (yes-I said it!)

Good hair and makeup days.

Finding a new blog.

I think that's it even though it's a lot, lol.

I want to hear all about your simple pleasures. Join in the fun!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Show Us How You Live Favorite Shopping Spots-Stores & Online

Kelly's Korner has a weekly Show Us How You Live thread and I've decided to participate. This week it's shopping spots-online and stores.

My first go to spot is Walmart (online and in-store). Have to admit it but the best prices on food and what not.

Especially at Christmas time. There shipping rate is a flat fee (97 cents on most items) and they have some pretty high quality items. With the exception of a good pair of leather boots or shoes I buy their apparel as well.

My fave online and in store for fashion is Old Navy.

I recevied a cute sweatshirt from my mom that came form there. Best hoodie ever. They have pretty good quality stuff and it's cute and best of all it's affordable. Most of the time they're having some kind of sale.

My other faves are Lane Bryant, Payless Shoes, and Burltington Coat Factory.

Burtlington Coat Factory is my go-to for baby items for friends and family members. They have the cutest and biggest assortment of baby clothes I've ever seen anywhere. And the prices are phenomenal. If you can find a Burington Coat Factory I suggest you find your way their soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Shower Ideas and other musings...

It's been awhile. The reason for the lack of blogging is a couple things. One is I'm lazy. Another is that I have so much to blog about that it's too much, if that makes sense.

I've had two chemo treatments. Besides a bit of indigestion for about 3 days after I'm doing well. I still have my hair. I'm guessing in about 4 treatments it will start thinning out. Small price to pay for my health.

Tonight I attended the kickoff dinner for Relay for Life. It was a lot of fun and I got to socialize with my onc. nurses and oncologist. It's a rare treat to see them outside of the onc. center. It was nice and I even got to sit with them to eat dinner. I will blog about Relay another time but I have so many great fundraising ideas and I'm so glad I have something I can focus on for a while.

Another thing I have to focus on is my sister's baby. We found out today it's going to be a boy. I'm going to be uncle (what show is that from?) No-seriously I'm thinking it's from Friends but I'm not entirely positive. It sounds like a Phoebeism. Anyone have name suggestions they want to throw out there for my sister. She wants something original...so give me all you have!

I am throwing out ideas for her shower. It will be in May sometime. The colors will be baby blue and brown. Here's a diaper cake I might make for the gift table centerpiece:

And I have a request from my sis to make cupcakes. I'll probably make a combo of chocolate, white, and a maybe some kind of blue rasberry or a special flavor. All will have a vanilla buttercream. I'm thinking I'll decorate like this:

Or I'm going to do this:

Cupcake Bouquets! I would do them in blue shades and make them smaller and use them as centerpieces on all the tables!

My best idea is to have a taco bar (my sister is a huge fan of the taco!):

And the invitations are going to be a surprise. I can't say since my sister reads this blog but I think she's going to love them!

We'll probably have baby blue balloons and a bit of crepe paper. I'm also thinking of making sugar cookies as little favors:

I can't wait to start on this stuff. It's my baby sister so I have to go big.

This is my week off with chemo so I'm just going to chill and maybe do some cleaning this week. And possibly maybe blog a bit more than usual. I'm going to do a whole blog dedicated to my horrible hospital experience and also my favorite healthcare workers. I feel if I discuss the bad I should acknowledge the good as well.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Show Us How You Live New Years Edition...

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/ has special posts on Fridays and invites her readers to join and link in. Now that I have a blog I am excited to join in. Today is the first edition since the New Year. Can I get a big old fashion Yayyy?!!! Today is all about the resolution/goals of 2010.

1. I want to be a better Christian. I have needed (wanted) to do this since I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. God us blessed my family so much and need to find a church to attend. I'll probably go to my childhood church. It's the one I wish to be married in if that happens, lol. I also want to read the Bible. Maybe not the whole Bible but I would like to read some of it.

2. I want to be a better daughter. My parents, God bless them, have done so much for me that I hope I can repay them one day. I live at home and my mom has taken care of me through my diagnosis. I don't think I could properly repay them ever but I'd like to try.

3. I want to get healthy. I know the obligatory post about losing weight...blah, blah, blah but it NEEDS to happen. I gained weight through my last chemotherapy with the steroids and I can't do the same with this one. I just can't. I also know I can do it. I started to right before I was diagnosed last summer. I lost 10 lbs.! And I did it the healthy way. I counted calories and walked with my aunt everyday. So it's possible. (This has nothing to do with the fact that my 15 year reunion is this year either)...not at all.

4. Be a better relative all together. A better sister, aunt, friend, and granddaughter. I need to take time out of my schedule and just be a better person all around.

5. I will be going to school next fall. I will get a job around that time. It will happen.

If you've made it this far you have my gratitude:)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1 Down....11 To Go!

This is all about what I'm on and what side effects MAY occur. I'm hopeful because I only experienced a few during my last round of treatment (1/08-4/08.) You are more than welcome to skip the technical part of this blog;)

I finished my first treatment today. So far-so good. It's a regimen of 1.) Fluids 2.) Pre-meds consisting of decadron (steroids to fight nausea/allergic reactions), and aloxi (strong nausea medicine), 3.) The Chemotherapy drugs; Cisplatin and Gemzar.

Here's a paragraph chalk full of info you may not care about, lol.

What Cisplatin Is Used For:

Used to treat testicular, ovarian, bladder, head and neck, esophageal, small and non-small cell lung, breast, cervical, stomach and prostate cancers. Also to treat Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, neuroblastoma, sarcomas, multiple myeloma, melanoma, and mesothelioma.

The following Cisplatin side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients receiving Cisplatin:

Nausea and vomiting. Nausea may last up to 1 week after therapy. Anti-nausea medication is given before the infusion, and a prescription is also given for use after.
Kidney toxicity. Effects on kidney function are dose related, observed 10-20 days after therapy, and are generally reversible.
Blood test abnormalities (low magnesium, low calcium, low potassium)
Low white blood cells (this may put you at increased risk for infection)
Low red blood cells (anemia)

These are less common Cisplatin side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving Cisplatin:

Peripheral neuropathy: Although less common, a serious side effect of decreased sensation and paresthesia (numbness and tingling of the extremities) may be noted. Sensory loss, numbness and tingling, and difficulty in walking may last for at least as long as therapy is continued. These side effects may become progressively more severe with continued treatment, and your doctor may decide to decrease your dose. Neurologic effects may be irreversible.
High frequency hearing loss. Ringing in the ears.
Loss of appetite
Taste changes, metallic taste
Increases in blood tests measuring liver function. These return to normal once treatment is discontinued. (see liver problems).
Hair loss

What Gemzar Is Used For:

Pancreas cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer
Bladder cancer
Soft-tissue sarcoma
Metastatic breast cancer

The following Gemzar side effects are common (occurring in more than 30%) for patients taking Gemzar:

Flu-like symptoms (muscle pain, fever, headache, chills, fatigue)
Fever (within 6-12 hours of first dose)
Nausea (mild)
Poor appetite
Skin rash
Low blood counts. Your white and red blood cells and platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at increased risk for infection, anemia and/or bleeding.
Nadir: Meaning low point, nadir is the point in time between chemotherapy cycles in which you experience low blood counts.

These are less common Gemzar side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving

Hair loss
Mouth sores
Difficulty sleeping
Shortness of breath (see lung problems)

I'm also on a nausea fighting medicine called Emend. The Emend works with the Aloxi to block nausea. It's a very successful regimen that blocks cancer induced nausea for 97% of patients.

The steroid I'm on causes you to not get full. I gained 80 pounds last year on this. Last year the dose was a bit higher. I was on four pills the night before treatment and four with the day of treatment along with the dose in my pre-meds. This year I'm just getting the pre-med version. This makes me happy because I'm trying to fight the weight gain by eating healthier and walking.

My whole regiment is very different this time around. This time I'm going in twice in two weeks for the chemo, one week off, and the two again in row. It will be a total of 12 in 18 wks. The Cisplatin is hard on the bladder and kidneys so I have to go in extra early and get hydrated and stay extra late to get more hydration. On a normal day it will be around seven hours of sitting. I'm the first patient there and the last to leave. A very boring, long day.

Next week I'll be receiving a Neulasta shot which is a shot to help keep the white blood count up. It causes muscle aches. Kind of like you're experience flu like symptoms. This muscle pain is probably the worst side effect I experience last year.

I hope you enjoyed that long list of what I'm on, lol. I hope it was educational for someone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kelly's Korner is having a giveaway too...

Win an HP touchsmart computer at Kelly's giveaway page:


This computr looks amazing!