I am attending bar review courses and studying my butt off. S0rry I haven't been posting but there isn't much to say but study...study...study!
If you are interested in helping those battling cancer please come visit Spirit Jump
Still selling coffee and tea so if you are interested in something yummy visit Get The Bean
Ill leave you with some pics from the past couple weeks :)
Well its over! I am now a cervical cancer survivor AND law school graduate! It was a crazy weekend, to say the least. My mom and dad flew in on Thursday Morning. This was also the first time my father had met Bryan. We all had lunch and hung around catching up on things.
Then I had a phone conference with Gardasil. That went pretty well and it was very interesting to talk to someone about my entire story again. Hopefully I can work with them to get the word out that Cervical Cancer is a threat and it CAN happen to women who are young and "healthy".
Friday I had my photo re-taken with the Sun Sentinal. I also had an orientation for my Bar Prep course. Then back to the house to spend more time with the family. And then Bryan, my mom and dad and I all went to my professors home to have dinner. Dinner was delicious and I was pretty happy with how it all went, but exhausted!
Saturday I made several trips to the airport. I got my Aunt and Grandmother then my best friend Jessica. To say the least it was a long day but it got longer. Jessica and I went and had a little lunch and shopped. Then EVERYONE went out to a really nice dinner overlooking the ocean. It was delicious and a lot of fun to all be together celebrating my big day. After dinner Me, Bryan, Jess and my sister all went out on the town. We were out till about 1 am.
Sunday was graduation day!! The graduation was wonderful. The Dean called me the morning of graduation to ask if he could talk about me during his speach..."ugh YEA". And he did and it was so nice. It really did mean a lot because going back to law school after cancer was terribly difficult. I never really talked about how difficult it was because I just wanted to finish and not focus on it till the end. Now that I am done-IT WAS HARD! But like I have said before, cancer wasn't going to take this day from me.
My father hooded me, which was great. Then after the ceremony there was cake and champagne. My family had the opportunity to meet some of my professors who supported me.
Then it was off to my party. Bryan threw me a wonderful graduation party and I couldn't have been happier. Everyone was there and we had more champagne than I care to share and drank it ALL. My father and Bryan prepared all the food and set it up. There was a beautiful cake, balloons, lots of drinks and food! It was great :) I was TIRED
Monday everyone had to be taken to the airport. Jessica had to be there at 6 am. Thank you Arbra for taking her! Then breakfast with aunt and grandma before taking them to the airport.
This is why you haven't heard much from me, I have been exhausted!
I can't write much because its a busy day.....GRADUATION DAY. Thats right Cancer you heard you me I am graduating from Law School. You did not take that from me!
Please help me celebrate today! I wish you could all come to my grad party but unfortunately you don't always get all your wishes :( But you are invited to my online grad party! I will post pictures and tell you all about it.
And....I have a great graduation present you all can give me.......Visit Spirit Jump and if you are not already a Spirit Jumper please think about becoming one :) If you need a spirit jump please think about contacting me!
I KICKED CANCER'S @SS ARTICLE
For those of you who are visiting my blog because you read the article, WELCOME! Please take a look around and let me know what you think. This blog is for everyone. Cancer patients, supporters, caregivers and survivors. That's what makes I Kicked Cancer's @ss so unique as a cancer blog.
You can read about my story and read the personal stories of other survivors. My blog also contains helpful resources for those touched by cancer. Free Flights, Places to Stay, Advice on Secondary Treatment Effects, Planning your Funeral, Getting Financial Assistance, Meeting others in Blog Communities. And each day new things are added.
My boyfriend and I also started a coffee company called Get The Bean where we sell coffee and tea from around the world online. We also support the fight against cancer by donating money to various cancer charities.
I also started a new project called Spirit Jump. I am especially excited about this and I hope that you take a minute out of your time to check it out. This project matches those battling cancer with people who want to lift their spirits (maybe you).
Please take a look around my blog and take advantage of some of the resources. If you would like to speak with me directly send me an email email@example.com
My name is Carrie, and I am 30 years old. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 7 years and we have 2 beautiful girls. Sierra is 11 and Reagan is 5. I also have 5 beautiful nieces. Needless to say, testosterone is lacking in our family! Let me back up a little bit. My 30th Birthday. I was not looking forward to it at all. I have always been an old soul, yet very young at heart. I love dressing up for Halloween, drinking hot cocoa in the winter and snow ball fights. I still collect Tiggers! I was not prepared to accept the “adulthood” that I thought came with turning the big 3-0. My birthday was on a Monday. Tuesday I woke up and felt odd. By midday it was like heartburn. By dinner it was intense. That night I went to the ER and the next morning my appendix was removed. Boy, this 30 thing was great and off to a hell of a start.
I always scheduled my yearly pap exam around my birthday. I liked my OB and unlike most of my friends I didn’t mind going to the “cootchie doc”. Unfortunately, my appointment had to be rescheduled due to the appendix thing, and so it was going to be September when I went. No big deal, I went, I joked, and I left with a new script for birth control. We even discussed me trying again for a boy. A week and a half later, I received a call from Joan, my Docs nurse. She stated that the results were “questionable”. The cells didn’t look abnormal, but not exactly normal either, so they wanted me to come in for a colposcapy. I said sure, no problem. Joan steadily asked me if I was ok and if I had any questions. Nothing came to me, so I said no. She seemed to be surprised by this. A few weeks later, I had the interesting and uncomfortable procedure. I compared it to someone using a melon baller, just on my cervix. I bled for a few days, no big deal. Doc didn’t seem too concerned, stating they looked minimally effected, and I shouldn’t be worried. So, I wasn’t. Just more “screw turning 30” thoughts.
The following week, Doc called to say that to his surprise, the cells needed further testing, and I needed to schedule a cone biopsy. I think this is when my husband began to worry. It didn’t help that the biopsy was scheduled for his birthday, October 20, 5 days before we left for vacation. I went in that morning, had the procedure, and was home that evening feeling guilty for messing up his birthday. Wednesday, I went back to work. I stopped by my sister-in-laws house (who is my BFF) and was sitting on her couch when my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and I knew it wasn’t good. My Doc proceeded to ask me if I was in love with my uterus. I kind of laughed and stated that we had been together a while, but I could part with it if I had to. He proceeded to tell me that it needed to come out. So I began to wait patiently for the scheduling nurse to call me. Later the next day, I called Docs office and left a message for him to call me back. I could remember NOTHING past we need to schedule a hysterectomy.
I have read many blogs where woman give the levels and initials that identify the type and severity of the cancer they have. I still don’t know except for I showed 2 different types. All I do know is I didn’t want it in me any longer than it had to be. My oldest daughter asked me if I felt bad, and why it had to be me. I explained to her that I was glad it was me. I think she and my husband looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told her that if Cancer choose me (who had the ability to have an everyday procedure that would offer me a 95% cure rate) instead of a young girl who hadn’t had the chance to marry or have children yet, or worse would go thru the things I had read about in stories like Meaghan’s, then I was glad it choose me. My pathology report post-op showed no residual disease. I will still go for my Pap tests a few times a year for a while, just to make sure nothing comes back. I still haven’t really dealt with how I feel about all of this with the exception of a few nights crying over not being able to have a son. I cringe when I hear babies cry, and I don’t like to see pregnant women. One day I may come to terms with everything, but for now I am just taking it day by day, waiting for the reality of 30 to hit me.
I have never been asked to share my story by someone before. Although, I have been working on a Photo mural book since I was diagnosed, no one has ever really cared about my story. In reality, most people I meet are surprised to hear I am in remission even though I have never hidden it. I assume it is strange to see someone happy and healthy after dealing with a baseball sized aggressive tumor. I have never met another Glioblastoma brain cancer survivor in person, only online. When I discuss it, the topic always turns to someone losing their battle with GBM and with the statistics as bad as they are I am not surprised. I struggle to think of words to describe my life at times. I went from an overflowing creative Fine Arts student who thought I should get paid to write my Term papers (I really did, they were that good!) to a student who stresses to get even the most weakly poetic words on the page. My husband is a writer and I only wish I could flow as smoothly as he does. However, when Meaghan asked me to share my story I was both surprised and greatly honored. As I lay on the MRI table earlier this week and they struggled to try and “SAVE” my vein *which means wiggling the IV inside my arm around until they actually get it into the vein* and finally settled on my hand, I knew I should be sharing it. Many times in my life I forget I had cancer at all, no one mentions it, and no one acknowledges it anymore. Only as I lay in pain, having a panic attack, struggling with a cold I never used to get, or everyday as I take two 1000 MG pills am I reminded that I am a survivor. I celebrate all my anniversaries but if I stopped to think about how many people in my life actually remember why I am celebrating, it would be a depressingly small number. I knew I would not be able to write up my story from scratch. You see I am completing my second bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Animation and currently my class is killing me! This is primarily my reason for not having my book completed; I take on too much for one small person. I work a full time job, I intern and do contract work for a studio in
, I go to school part time and I try to do as much charity work as humanly possible. I wanted to share my story from my book. Here is what I have written so far (hopefully one day you will see it and the website that will accompany it out there in the real world! ^_^): New York
“While I studied in
Tokyo in the fall of 2004, I walked several miles a day to and from my university. I rarely took the subway and chose to walk as much as possible. It was not the concrete scenery that kept me going, but the lack of funds and a will that I would study in Japan , and I would do it no matter what it took. Japan was amazing. There was so much life in Japan . I made numerous friends, and I maxed out a credit card on food and art supplies. During my times there I was introduced to an excellent photography instructor named Shinya. It was my first step into the world of Photo books, and I jumped head first into my projects. It was costly and time consuming, but it was the easiest way to communicate my feelings. I left Japan in December and settled back into my normal university life that following year. On April 4th, 2005, the first nice day of spring, I decided to start walking the 45 minute hike through the city to my home much like my hikes in Japan . The sun was blinding, and it had just started the unseasonable heat wave. I made it home perfectly fine, and decided to go to the library down the street for free movie rental since they have the best foreign film selection. The movies that I wanted were checked out, so my friend and I made our way back to the house. When I walked in the door it was so dark. It felt as though my eyes would never adjust to the light. I could hear the trickling of the shower in the one bathroom located through my bedroom. My then fiancé, Kris, was taking a shower, having a weird sense of humor I decided I should bang on the door. Tokyo
“Come out of there! It’s the police! Open up!” What a funny joke, right? A few steps later, I was walking in a circle and laughing like a mad man with tears streaming down my face. For me, I could hear the strange laughter and knew it was coming from my mouth, but it seemed unreal. I could not think about the laughter for long, my head was cricked to the left side and I was seeing flashes of objects. Ceiling, dresser, friend in the doorway. Ceiling, dresser, friend in the doorway. The same repetitive images over and over as I twirled in place. The sounds were worse. I could hear that Kris had come out of the bathroom having finished his shower, and he was talking with my friend.
“What happened” “I don’t know, I think she hurt herself.” (I laugh and cry when I get hurt sometimes). “Honey, are you ok? Honey, stop doing that! Honey?” The last thing I remember was the simultaneous “I’m calling an ambulance!” When I woke up, I was on a gurney and the sun was once again shinning in my eyes. Two paramedics were attempting to talk with me but my voice was missing. I felt helpless. I could see the environment around me. I remember glimpses of my neighbors standing outside. Groggily I tried to explain that I am scared of needles. I started crying uncontrollably and searching for Kris. When I found him in the front seat of the ambulance, and I begged him to make them not stick me with the needles. From my place on the gurney, I could not go anywhere. I felt like I weighed a ton, every movement of my head felt like it took more effort than I had ever exerted before. The paramedics were asking me questions and engaging me in dialogue that to this day I do not remember. The lights from the emergency room were almost as bad as the blazing sun light. I remember lots of faces and flashes of images, but the next full memory I have is sitting in the ER room 19 with Kris and my friend in the chairs next to the bed. As a art major I remember the art work being so terrible in the rooms, single block colors with a white matted border hanging from the walls, not even fit to call it art. My body felt fine, I have no idea why I felt ok but had lost a chunk of my memory and was ok with that. I told everyone that I was ok, and that I was dehydrated. I apologized for not drinking any water on the way home and reassured them that I would be more careful next time. I told them these were just routine tests. I begged and begged for some water. When the doctor entered the room she has a striking resemblance to my eldest sister. She even had the start of the same birthmark my sister possesses but not as drastic. She has curly happy hair, but not a smiley disposition. Her name was Dr. Bohn, and my mind raced to the old Bevis and Butthead response of “heh heh heh heh, her name is Bohn. Heh heh heh heh!” When she sat on my bed, it was not with a “dehydration is a serious matter look”, it was much more grave.“You have a Tumor.”
You have a Tumor.
Have you ever had such a ground breaking string of words said to you that at the time seemed insignificant, but the more times it echoes in your head, the more it occupies your thoughts? These are my ground breaking words, but I did not respond the way a “normal, well adjusted” adult would respond. There was no worry, there was no sorrow. My mind jumped to Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Schwarzenegger echoing “It’s not a Tumor!” It made me smile. I must be the only patient that upon diagnosis, smiles. I was run through a series of tests, which to me seemed to take a mere second, but in fact I was under observation and study long enough for my family to commute the two and a half hour trip to join me at my bed side. It was nice to see my family, but I did not see what the big deal was. They never came to see me, so it must be something big. I just wanted some water, I was dying of thirst! When Dr. Bohn (still makes me smile as I write it, think about what it would have been like to be name Bohn during the Bevis and Butt head era where everything was funny) came back to my room, she stated that the tumor was fast growing and I would need to be admitted. I was scheduled for surgery the next day. My room was a normal hospital room but I had no roommate. The rest of the night is very cloudy to me, I remember laughing with my sister about my thoughts during diagnosis, and I remember getting woken up by the nurse early in the morning, but only for a few seconds of ultra bright light. I remember having to chew on ice because I was not allowed to have any water. At some point during that day I remember complaining about my catheter and having the nurse remove it. Later that night, I had to go to the bathroom very badly, but I knew that I was hooked up to what felt like every machine possible. I felt wobbly and I did not want to cause more damage by trying to do things myself. I pushed the nurse button and informed her that I had to go to the bathroom. I waited and waited and waited and no one came to me. I tried again and informed them that I needed to go to the bathroom. I could hear the nurses chatting a short ways out of my room, but it sounded like I was underwater. I still to this day think it was from not being able to go to the bathroom, and not that I was drugged up. When the nurse finally answered the call she answered now fully annoyed that I had a catheter. I informed her that it had been taken out and that I had to go to the bathroom. She checked like I was some kind of lying scam artists that likes to play in the ICU. She reluctantly placed a container under me and told me to go. I did and then I had to push the button three more times before she came back to help me take it away. When she did, she spilled it on my bed, and I ended up spending the rest of the night in a soggy, nasty bed. Now I could have left this out, but this is my strongest memory of my hospital experience. This one rude nurse, made that big of an impression on me that she blocks out all other memories. When I awoke later that day, my head was covered in a really soft rag hat. I had several IVs in me now, and I was relieved that I did not remember them sticking them into me, especially the one that went to my heart. My mother informed me that the old woman in the room next to me in the ICU was also named Jetty, but it was spelled Jetti. She told me of the woman’s happiness to hear that there was another Jetty in the world who was young, but I wondered how much happiness she could have knowing that the other Jetty was sitting in the ICU. Not exactly the best place to be at the young age of 21. From my bed I could see the flowers and balloons from my friends and co workers. Kris had brought my monkey that I sleep with every night, and my cow blanket. The first thing that crossed my mind was to get my camera which I carried around with my every where (a habit I picked up from
). While a strange request, Kris brought me my camera and I started taking pictures of everything: IVs, self portraits, get well presents, everything to document my time. When my batteries died, they were replaced and more pictures taken. I was still on plenty of drugs, and the soft hat was eventually taken off which exposed my bandaged half shaved head. The earliest pictures of me are smiley peace sign pictures or me making faces. There is no sorrow or depressed feelings. I was moved to another room where I had a roommate, and I started to feel strange. I was on anti-seizure medicine and I was feeling funny in my most intimate places. I tried to complain but no one would listen to me. It was another time during that week where everything was discussed with everyone but me. My voice was not heard by any doctors. I was released from the hospital five days later and was happy to be home. The next day I went to see an oncologist at the cancer center close to my house. The doctor blew off my uncomfortable feeling and told me to get some over the counter medicine. Later that night, I was freezing. As I brushed my teeth, Kris touched my back, his hands felt like pure ice. As I lay on the bed, I knew he was scared because he was frantically looking for the thermometer. My sister who was staying to take care of me, sat with me as Kris went to the local Walgreens to buy a thermometer. After about 45 minutes, I began to worry about him; I was so cold and could not get warm. When he arrived, he carried with him a $20 thermometer that upon placement in my mouth failed to give an accurate reading even though the packaging said “Guaranteed accurate”. We finally decided we needed to go to the hospital and have them do it. Another waiting room, another nurse, same old questions, same old room, it was becoming my routine. When they took my temperature it was 102 degrees. As I was taking off my shirt to change into the ohh so flattering gown, I let out a small gasp. My whole body was covered in little red bumps. Once I had caught site of them, they started to itch. That was my first, but not even nearly my last encounter with hives. I was miserable when they took me to my room. My legs were weak; my whole body ached and itched at the same time. I was freezing but they denied me any kind of blankets. It took my parents a while to get to the hospital and once they arrived they informed us that they could not stay but one night because they had a pre arranged trip. Since my fever was so incredibly high, I suffered through ice baths all night long, with not a blanket in sight. My teeth were chattering from the cold, but at the same time it eased the burning itch of the hives. It was a love hate relationship between me and the ice water bath. It took a full week (seven days) for my temperature to return to normal. I spent more time in the hospital for this than for my tumor! It seemed like every doctor that came in started his conversation with “Well, we think it is the Dilantin, but to be on the safe side…” I even saw an infectious disease doctor. I got a spinal tap, and several blood drawings. It was incredibly miserable. The pictures from this time are of a very miserable Jetty. It turned out the uncomfortable feelings I had been having were the starting signs of my allergic reaction. “Dilantin Hypersensitivity” it is called. If one doctor had stopped to listen to me, I would not have spent a week in the hospital being poked and prodded looking for an answer. In the end I was happy to leave the hospital, but it left my seizure medicine issue up in the air. I needed the medicine to handle the seizure matter, but which one to put me on. The next batch was Depakote. Depakote is a monster sized gray pill that didn’t even last two days before I awoke with full body hives. This time I was told to stop taking the medication and start taking Tegretol instead. Tegretol is a small white pill that worked for about two days on me. The hives that had started to subside were going strong now. I met with my Neurologist at this time to find me a medicine that had no known rash reaction, and that is when I found Keppra (which I still currently take). The list of my allergies is still constantly growing and it seems that with every new pill I take I get a horrible rash. I am even allergic to Priloseq and Zantac. That even stupefied a local dermatologist! I now own a huge vat of cream that is “10 times stronger than cortisone” this was only after I emptied over 15 tubes of Cortisone 10. Japan
Treatment: One step at a Time
Radiation is one of those experiences everyone is curious about but you just can’t put into words. When I went to my first session, I got to lay bolted onto a slab and my face was covered in a wax like substance that began to harden while on my face. The pictures of me during this time are very strange with half of my hair gone and the beginning effects of steroids. I am still smiling, but I have not yet accepted that I have cancer. Even though my first meeting after my surgery with the neurosurgeon called for cyberknife treatment (a radiation knife that “cuts” out the cancer without actually cutting), my oncologist said we would see after my treatments how we would proceed. So, I began my treatments. They were scheduled during the end of my school year on into the beginning of summer. I did my homework using the internet and having friends turn in my homework for me. Radiation is like nothing of this world. Treatment is different for every person, but it is also the same for everyone. Unless you have been through it before, you have no idea what it will be like. My cancer was strange. I did spot treatments (focused on my right frontal lobe) for almost two months. I was worried about how I would feel afterwards. For the treatments which were 9 sections of 5 minute I was strapped into a machine which spun around me and made the craziest noises, like creepy animals in the woods, I was fine. I was reading an excellent book at the time which consisted of several flesh eating horrors that I imagined those sounds coming from. It was not until after I had finished my first month that I started to get very tired. I was on steroids which not only caused me to feel like I was starving and eat everything in sight (causing a 40 lbs weight gain), but also made my legs and arms incredibly weak. I would fall for no reason. I feel going up the steps, I feel walking on the flat smooth flooring on the local library. My legs would just give out and I would go down like a ton of bricks. My face swelled up like a balloon. I was informed that these symptoms were known as “moon face” and “noodle legs”. Sometimes Doctors have the strangest names for the worst symptoms. It was like I was not in control of my muscles. One moment I am up and happy, the next I am lying on the ground like a fish out of water. The actual radiation treatments were not bad. When I went in for my treatments I was placed on a slab, I had a triangle of foam under my legs to keep them from getting tired and I had a blue ring to hold onto to keep my arms from getting tired. The mask was placed over my face and then bolted to the slab. It was not comfortable, and as I gained more weight they had to cut the bottom a bit so I could fit into the mask. When I left the treatments I had little triangle marks where the mask had pushed into my face. Radiation makes you tired and weak and when you finish a treatment you just want to go home and sleep, which is what I mostly did during those days. It was mainly after my treatment was over that I really felt the whole strength of the treatment. I would try and take a bath and Kris would have to help me out of the tub or he would have to help me dry off after a shower because my arms were too weak to hold a towel. If I got up too fast from a chair, I would almost pass out. It was very difficult to get around by myself, without my fiancé I would have been lost.
I had a few seizures when I changed my dosage and was taken off of steroids. They were minor and occurred only in the face, but it has such a draining effect that I am shot when I have one. Chemo is one of those things that affected me the worst, but that is different from most survivors I meet. My chemotherapy was in a pill form called Temodar. I took 4 1000 mg pills a day in which I had to take 3 stomach medicines to over come the nausea. I would take them in the early morning (sometimes I would go to bed afterwards). They had to be taken with a full glass of water and on an empty stomach and I couldn’t eat for an hour afterwards. It was rough to be on steroids which severely boost your appetite and a pill that doesn’t allow you to eat. The morning dose was not so bad, I would take it and go back to sleep and then wait until I woke up to eat, but the night time dose was horrible. It would be 3 in the morning and I would be eating because I had to wait until my stomach settled in order to attempt to satisfy my hunger pains. The one time I did not take my lifesaver stomach medicine, Kytril, I was vomiting non stop for two hours. I threw up so much I chocked on it. Chemo made me so weak for so long. At my yearly gynecologist appointment I bled during my examination and the tiny pin prick to check my iron came back with a very low number. As the finger test is not very accurate, I was forced to wait in a calming room while they called my oncologist to get advice on what to do. My oncologist was not available but the oncologist on call informed me that since I was on chemo I would be anemic and the doctor gave me a sheet on how to boost my iron intake. They scheduled a meeting with my chemo doctor for a week or so later.
About three days later, my best friend (a wonderful Korean boy whom I had known for couple of years) became very sick and wanted to go to the hospital. I pestered the ER administrator if it would be possible to merely ask the doctor a question I had or would I need to check it. Subsequently, I had to check in. No free advice in the ER. The night before I had noticed some red marks all over my body like a bad prank, they were under the surface of the skin and did not itch, so hives were out of the question. I was not concerned, just curious as to why it looked like an instructor went to town on a failed test all over my body. I waited in a different, smaller emergency room this time, and spent my time convincing Kris that this would be the first time I was in the hospital that I would not have an IV or have any blood drawn. Too bad I didn’t know on any wood then! After taking one look at my chest they decided to drawn blood. The first blood drawings were not so bad, they hurt a bit but at least I didn’t have an IV. Wishful thinking on my part! After the blood somehow became unusable they were forced to draw more. This time it was horrible. When the results came back, it was once again Dr. Bohn (who did not remember me but I remembered her) who came to tell me that I was staying. I received a very harsh lecture about how much danger I had placed on myself and how no matter what my symptoms were I needed to come to the emergency room immediately if anything changed with my body. A normal human being has a platelet count between 150 and 400 (thousand) A normal cancer patient has a count between 25 and 45. My count was 7. Yes, 7. I felt fine. I came to the hospital because my best friend was sick and he could not drive.
I had to get a platelet transfusion. This meant another stay in the hospital, another round of misfortune. The platelets were administered and I was told it was going to be an all night thing. I sent my husband home because I didn’t want him to lose his current job which he was striving to keep while still being my caretaker. After he left and the bag emptied, I found out that all the platelets I needed were in that one treatment but that I needed to stay over night for observation. I started to feel funny so I asked the nurse if I could be allergic to the platelets. She told me it was impossible. I then asked it I could be allergic to saline because it always makes me feel horrible, I was once again told this was impossible because our bodies are composed of salt water. I tried to explain to her that I did not feel right and something was wrong. She told me to try and sleep and everything would be better in the morning. I went to the bathroom before going to bed (quietly as I had a roommate that was probably already disturbed by my 10:00 admittance to the room) and I pulled down the front of my gown to reveal full body hives. I called the nurse again and she reluctantly came in the room. When she saw the hives all over my body her mood changed abruptly. She gave me a Benadryl shot and I went to sleep. The next day I was informed by the Doctor that you can in fact be allergic to platelets.
I visited my Chemo Dr. for the appointment a couple days later and he took more blood. He decided that with my counts so low, I should cut my treatment two months short because I was so anemic. I was weak, and tired after that point. Strange that I was fine when I checked in, but horrible when I checked out. Hospitals have a way about them that makes your feel worse first.”
If you have read all of this, then I applaud you! ^_^ I couldn’t find a way to edit the writing to take out some of this long winded writing. Now, you know everything about my story and I hope that it helps someone feel better about theirs! If you have any questions or need anything from me, please feel free to contact me through Meaghan!
Love Love Jettychan
I think about cancer all the time! When I wake up, drink my coffee, take a shower, read a book, watch tv, even when I sleep. Cancer is always there! I try to think about other things, have conversations about things unrelated to cancer but its always there, lurking!
In February it will be two years since my diagnosis. Its been a long, painful difficult two years. I would love to say I'm over it but im not and I dont think I ever will be. I often wonder if there will be a time in my life when cancer is not the center of all things. When caner is a faint memory. But for now it is all. Nothing even compares to Cancer. I don't know who I would be without cancer but I often wonder.
This is why my blog and now Spirit Jump are so important. When I think of cancer I can focus my energy and thoughts into these things. I can try to think of the perfect gift for another fighter or how I can help someone deal with chemo. I can research hospitals, send emails asking people to participate in Spirit Jump or write a post about how im feeling. If I did not do these things I am afraid of where my mind would go. I am afraid of what would become of me.
So this is my confession to all my readers who think I am strong and coragous, Im really not. I am doing what I must in order to survive. I am doing the only thing I can think of that will allow me to wake up tomorrow and get out of bed.
Im definitely sore today! I also feel very bleah :( I appreciate all the warm thoughts and wishes. Today I am just resting and my friend Jessica is taking care of me. Chicken noodle soup and yummy tea :) I am sure I will be back to my normal self shortly. There are tons of things I would like to blog about but my head just isn't clear enough for it right now.
I will tell you that I had an interview with a paper called the Sun Sentinal. Its a pretty big paper in Florida. I am hoping that they do write the article, how exciting will that be!
Also, if you haven't done your christmas shopping please consider giving the gift of coffee or tea. Stop by Get The Bean and see all the wonderful gift ideas there. And....we are going to be announcing what cancer stories we chose to give donations for. Because there are so many wonderful stories we will be picking more than 1.
And, if you would like to participate in Spirit Jump email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope everyone is doing well!
Hi everyone! I'm out of surgery and feeling pretty good. The pain is bad but I can tell its going to pass shortly. I had a very relaxing day and was able to visit with some family. Thank you so much for all the comments and support.
I wanted to take a minute to thank those who have given to Spirit Jump
Get The Bean
Jewel Street Designs
Silver Dot Jewelry
Dana Marie Art
The Post It Place
Fruit Nut & Candle Business
My Cancer Score Board
Tranquility & Turmoil
Here are some of the amazing donations:
Its a freezing 5 am morning and im on my way out to New England Baptist in Boston. My surgery is set for 7:30 so please be thinking healthy warm thoughts for me right around then! Im always so scared of going under, I HATE IT! Thank you everyone who are all the warm wishes, they are greatly appreciated!
My name is Meaghan and I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with end stage cancer in February of 2007. Like many cancer patients I underwent chemo, radiation and numerous surgeries. My battle was a difficult one and with only a 20% chance of surviving my spirits were low. However, there were some bright moments during these dark times. Every day when I returned to either my hospital room or home I was met with a little special something. Some days there was a card waiting for me or fruit basket, books, stuffed animals, beauty products, magazines etc…It was this moment, when I was opening my package that I felt my spirits lift. Someone out there cares about me, was thinking of me and wanted to brighten my day. And it did brighten my day. Throughout my entire treatment journey I had these moments of joy and they were the moments that helped give me the strength to overcome!
I was very fortunate to have so many people think of me and send things. This is not the norm. Many people fighting cancer do not get cards or packages from family or friends never mind perfect strangers. This means they do not have those bright moments in their dark days. How do I know this you ask? Since starting my blog I have received countless emails from people recently diagnosed with cancer, battling, supporting or care giving. Too many of these emails talk about the loneliness they are experiencing, the sorrow and despair. You would be shocked at how many people are in need of a little gift of kindness. This is why I came up with Spirit Jump.
Spirit Jump is a project that connects people who want to give with people who are battling cancer. Why the name Spirit Jump? Your gift will jump someone’s spirit, even if just for a moment. It’s simple. If you have a shop, artistic abilities or even an extra card in your drawer you can participate. The idea is to send a special something to a special someone. If you want to participate all you have to do is send me an email letting me know you want to jump someone’s spirit. I will then give you the names of several people who are in need along with a brief description of what their particular cancer battle is. You can then decide on who you would like to be matched up with. When you decide I will send you that persons mailing address and then it’s up to you to send the gift.
If you decide to be a Spirit Jumper (gift giver) you will be overwhelmed with the joy and warmth you will receive when giving a gift. But there is more. Every Spirit Jumper is welcome to write a post on my blog. In this post you can tell my many readers about your shop, blog or website. You can include links, photos and any information you want. I encourage you to also include why you decided to donate, who you donated to and maybe even a photo of what you donated. This will be wonderful exposure for your shop, blog, website and you will be jumping someone’s spirit, WIN, WIN! But wait there’s more. Your shop, blog, website will also have a permanent home on my blog under resources.
If you have been recently diagnosed, been battling, are a survivor who feels frustrated and alone, a supporter or a caregiver, please contact me so that someone can jump your spirits!.
BE A SPIRIT JUMPER:
NEED YOUR SPIRIT LIFTED:
Well tomorrow is the big day! My sister is picking me up at 5:30 am and we are driving to Miami International. I am not super excited about the fact that I have a lay over but oh well beggars can't be choosers. I will arrive in Boston Massachusetts at 2:08 and then my mom and I are going into Boston for some food, oysters! Its going to be a long day but that's okay it should be a distraction from Monday.
Monday is surgery day. Even though I do it every three months I still get so nervous. Before the cancer I had never had surgery. General Anesthesia scares the crap out of me. The idea of being put to sleep just scares me. Then there is the waking up, bleh! I always feel like such crap for weeks after, I hate it! But, I am alive and cancer free so I can't complain too much. They are thinking that maybe they will try to take the stents out next surgery. I'm a bit skeptical because we have tried this before and it resulted in an infection that was pretty painful!
Tuesday I have my exam to check for cancer, im really nervous about that too! But I am going to have a great time meeting some new friends and old ones too. Don't worry I will find internet access and be posting :)
Also, if you are interested in my new project: Spirit Jump email me at email@example.com we are in need of more sponsors and always welcoming those who need their spirits lifted! If you need your spirits lifted email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Prestons likes all "boy" things!:) he loves nascar, monster trucks, thomas the train, mickey mouse, anything disney!! hes really easy to please!! :) just getting something special in he mail would bring a smile to his lil face!!!!
If you want to help bring a smile to this brave boys face please email me: email@example.com
Oh Me Oh My What a BIG DAY! Today I took my last Law School Final...EVER! I made it folks, hats right. Thats Meaghan 10 Cervical Cancer 2!! I beat ya again :) I never thought I would see this day. I am so happy. Today I am going to relax and maybe go out to dinner to celebrate and then Sunday im off to Boston for Surgery.
Today also marks one year with Bryan! We had our first date Dec 5, 07. Bryan has been my angel ever since! I could go on and on about him but I'll try to keep it short. As many of you know I was 28 when I got diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. I was in the midst of law school and had no boyfriend or children. My treatments left me unable to have my own biological children. I was very sick, could barely function and was pretty depressed. Daily I thought, "who would want to start a relationship with me?" I also wondered when and how i would tell a boyfriend that I could not have children. This made me very sad. Of course friends and family always told me that the right guy would come along, that a good man would love me and the fact that I couldn't have children and needed lots of care would not matter. While I "understood" what they were saying it was my life and the reality was a relationship was going to be more difficult post cancer.
I met Bryan a little under a year after my original diagnosis. He was wonderful from day one. It all just happened so perfectly. Bryan loves kids but told me that if he were to ever have any he wanted to adopt. He felt this way regardless of my situation. "There are too many children in the world who need a good home" is what he said to me. And as far as me being sick, Bryan didn't bat an eye at that either. From the beginning I suffered from high fevers, kidney infections, horrible pain. Bryan responded by taking care of me, cooking me healthy food, making tea and renting movies. I never imagined that I would find the man of my dreams but I did! And the funny thing is I was at the end of my ropes when he arrived, he was a gift from God.
But wait, there's more. My knight in shining armor has watched my battle with cancer and he decided to start a business that would donate to various cancer charities. Bryan saw how frustrated I got when I couldn't find charities for Cervical Cancer. So he decided that we would start Get The Bean and that we would allow people touched by cancer to tell us what charity they wanted to support. Could this guy be anymore wonderful???
December 5 has another meaning to me....its my dear friend Jessica's birthday. Jessica is 30 today! Happy Birthday dear friend :)
Okay thats it :) And.....if you haven't heard about my new project, Spirit Jump, please check it out. Its a project I started that matches people who want to give with those touched by cancer who need their spirits lifted! Click HERE to read more.
UPDATE: I am in need of a gift for a 17 year old girl who is currently fighting AML and recently had a bone marrow transplant. If anyone out there has a good idea or wants to donate please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow I can't tell you how happy I am with the great response I received regarding my gift project! So many emails from people who want to give and many from those who are in need of a bright moment during their dark battles. This is just wonderful!
This idea came to me after Kelley emailed me to let me know her card blog, Amy's Angels, was up and running. Kelley had emailed me about a month ago wanting to do something for the many people fighting cancer. She, along with some other wonderful ladies including Tracy got it all together and now their project is up and running. I have another bloggy friend, Angie, who hand makes boxes to give to men and woman fighting cancer. Angie also created a blog dedicated to this called Nana's box. These women inspire me!
After looking at Kelley's card site, Amy's Angels, I started looking around at other bloggers. As usual I ended looking at lots of beautiful crafts handmade by so many of my bloggy friends. Then it came to me! If everyone donated just one of their items to a person who is suffering it would make the world of difference. An act of kindness from a complete stranger, how wonderful.
Now, I know times are tough, we are all feeling the pinch, so I came up with a solution. If you donate something to a person fighting cancer I welcome, encourage, you to write a guest post for my blog. In this guest post you can write about your blog or website. You can include pictures, links whatever (Hello...great advertising) I would love for you to include a bit about why you decided to donate and what you made. One of my bloggy crafters suggested having the person who got the gift take a picture with the gift, GREAT IDEA! This will get you great exposure and encourage others to give. Also, I have a link under Resources that lists all the shops that have donated and obviously it goes directly to your site!
I notice that many of you do giveaways and this is a wonderful way to get some exposure but I think this gift project is even better! Let me know what you think if you want to participate please email me @ email@example.com. If you don't have a shop but still want to donate, WONDERFUL!! Even a hand made card by your child would really make someones day, week, month or even year!
If you are someone who could use a pick me up I encourage you to email me too. If you know someone who is in need contact me!
This is a GREAT site dedicated to bringing hope, joy and encouragement to those fighting cancer. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer you absolutely have to read this blog and take advantage of a great opportunity. I have asked Kelley, the creator, to tell you about her project and blog. Please take a minute to read what she wrote, you will be happy you did
When I began blogging, never in my life did I think that I’d be asked to write a guest post on a blog that I read on a regular basis! Thank you, Meaghan, for letting me be a part of your blog. This is very exciting! Now I really have to be on my best behavior.If you knew me, you’d know that I’m a person who is notorious for starting a project, but never finishing it. If you looked at the basket next to my couch you’d see half crocheted scarves & partially completed cross stitch projects. In fact, right now, in my dining room are 4 canoe paddles that I need to=2 0personalize for the summer camp I used to work at. I’ve had these paddles for 2 months.
When I decided to start the Cards by Amy’s Angels project, I knew that this was one project that I would for sure see through from start to finish.
What is this card project? Oh. Meaghan’s friends & blog readers—this is probably the coolest thing ever. OK, besides the invention of the DQ Blizzard that uses Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. But I mean it. This is cool stuff.You see, my friend Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer last October. Like some people who are diagnosed with cancer—she had no symptoms. No family history. There were no light bulbs going off in the doctor’s head saying “Hey…wait. Could this be cancer?” Nope. None of that. You see, like so many young women (Amy was 33 at the time of diagnosis), when a lump is found they’re told, “Don’t worry, it’s probably nothing. Just a cyst. Or fat.” Just want you want to hear at the doctor’s office. That you have fat boobs.
But Amy’s lump did turn into something. A big Stage 2 Breast Cancer something. A cancer that was es trogen based. A cancer that caused her and her husband of less than a year to make serious decisions about children and future birth control options. After a year of chemo treatments, radiation and all the other side effects that go along with cancer, Amy is now cancer free. Her friends and family feel that Amy got through this because of the knowledge of her doctors, the research that has been done, the support of her friends and family, as well as her faith. One thing that made Amy really feel better wasn’t just the anti-nausea medication or the trip to McDonald’s after chemo.
It was cards in the mail from her friends, family and even people she didn’t know personally. Can you image? Something as simple as a card made Amy's day a little brighter. This is the basis for the Card’s by Amy’s Angels project. We want to send cards to people who are fighting cancer. Not just breast cancer. Any cancer. While the people receiving the cards probably don’t even know us, that’s OK. We just want them to know that we are thinking of them, saying a prayer for them, and are sending them a homemade card to make their day a little brighter.
Yes. That’s right. Handmade cards. I know! The girl who is still working on the same cross stitch project that she started in 1998 is going to make cards. I surprise even myself sometimes.
This is where you come in. If you know someone who is fighting cancer, we want to hear about it. We want you to send us their name, address and how you know them. We then use this information to write a personalized note in the card. We then mail the card out to this person and the chain reaction begins. They get the card, they smile really big, they brag to their friends and family about how you were kind enough to think of them, and that in turn makes you feel good. You then tell your friends and family about our project and soon more requests come into us which starts the process all over again.
Who doesn’t like a little recognition? Come on….you know you do! This is almost as good as getting a big gold star on your math quiz in 5th grade. But only it’s more personal and more than just your mom knows about it.So, here is what we need you to do. Pass this onto everyone you know: http://cardsbyamysangels.blogspot.com and tell them about this project. Tell them a bout how these ladies in Minnesota are sending out handmade cards to people with cancer and they’re doing it for free.
Oh. Did I forget to mention that part? Yeah. The cards are free. Anywhere in the world. That’s how we roll.Look, the bottom line is cancer is a pain in the ass. Not only does it take a physical toll on your body, but an emotional one as well. If a handmade card can make someone’s day a little brighter, don’t you agree that this is the least a friend or family member can do? Because let’s face it, a pan of lasagna is nice, and a ride to chemo is great, but a card—well, that’s just fabulous.
We like fabulous.
Okay I have been pretty upset about this topic for a while so I decided to blog about it, that usually helps. I had insurance when I got sick. However, my insurance quickly dropped me as soon as they discovered I had cancer. They cried, "Pre-existing condition" as quickly and loudly as they could. I was too busy fighting for my life to start fighting the insurance companies so they won.
What does this mean for me? Well it means I have thousands of dollars worth of medical debt. This debt is a constant reminder of my cancer. It is a constant stress for me as well. How in the world am I going to pay all this debt off? I don't work and certainly don't feel well enough to start working anytime soon. I also get constant harassing phone calls from creditors I can't pay. I've been told by these creditors that just because I had cancer doesn't mean I have the right to avoid my responsibilities...WOW! I'm not sure how they expect me to even begin paying them off.
Last Friday i got a reminder in the mail that I owed one hospital 17k and today I opened a piece of mail saying I owed a different hospital 31k. This brings me to tears! I feel like I fought so hard for my life and now my life consists of feeling sick and owing everyone money. Its seems like all that matters is the money. They don't care that I had no choice, that it was either go to the hospital or die. I don't mean to sound dramatic but sometimes I wonder if it was all worth it!?!
I'm shocked at how cold and calculating our medical system can be. Im devastated that my energy and drive must be directed at fighting these credit companies. And it saddens me to think of the thousands of other cancer patients who must battle cancer and creditors!
I'm at a loss for words and ideas. Not sure how to deal with this right now so if anyone has ideas, suggestions or advice I would greatly appreciate it!
I've been talking to so many cancer survivors, patients and the newly diagnosed. Its not easy being us, the understatement of the year! Many of my memories have been flooding back and they are not ones I welcome with open arms. The past two years have been filled with pain, sorrow and loss. Fighting cancer is painful, draining and never ending. So I came up with an idea!
As I visit all my bloggy friends I notice that almost everyone has one form of talent. Be it beautiful jewelry, knitted items, cards, photos, paintings, all sorts of wonderful things. There are also many cancer patients and survivors who could use a present to lift their spirits. If you would like to donate something I will be happy to provide you with a very special someone who could use the surprise. So many wonderful men and women who are battling cancer or who have survived and still struggle have contacted me. I give my words of advice, my ear of understand and my heart full of love but due to the financial disaster cancer has left me in I can't send them all gifts.
I remember when I was sick at first people were sending me all sorts of stuff. It was wonderful but i remember thinking, they will forget about me soon. But, they didn't. Everyday I had treatments and when i would get back to my room or house (if I was luck enough to be out of the hospital) I would be met with a little package. This always brightened my day and took my mind off my terrible situation, even if for just a moment. I got something literally everyday. Whether a card, lotion, cds, necklace not one day went by without a reminder that I was loved! I cherish all the things I got then. Wear three charms on my necklace that were given to me. All these things gave me strength, they still do! They reminded me that I am loved and if I didn't beat it I would be remembered.
If you would be interested in giving please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will set you up with a person who would be beyond grateful for the gift.
Let me know what you think and if you are someone who is battling cancer, survivor, or know someone who is touched by cancer please email me. We all need to fight the battle and support those who are fighting!
I am going to include a category under Resources with the names of the shops that did give and a link to their shop. I will also write a post about your shop and your donation with a picture of what you donated. So you will get great exposure and being doing something wonderful for a person who really needs it! Win Win!!