Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Cancer Aftermath

When I was in the midst of my cancer battle, I longed for the days when I could finally say those 2 sweet words "cancer free". I am thankful to God, my awesome healer, for getting me to that point. I just never imagined the ongoing aftermath of cancer. Sometimes it is frustrating and discouraging to have one thing after another pop up and in the end all point back to either my cancer, my surgery, my radiation or my blood counts being so low they were classified as "life threatening". In my head I know, and am continually working to accept, the fact that every little twinge, pain or "off" thing is going to send me into a spiral of worrying whether the cancer is back or if a new cancer has started to take over my body. I'm trying to look at things positively and remind myself that at least by the time I get to the age where a normal person would actually be having all these procedures (mammogram, colonoscopy, breast biopsy) that I'll have already gone through it and be an old pro and have no worries:) I just pray to God for peace, discernment, wisdom, and the strength and desire to make that leap from surviving to thriving-my new goal for 2010!!

So the latest... had a colonoscopy this morning. It honestly was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be-I was totally zonked out so I didn't even know when it started or when it was happening, and all the nurses were so awesome and kind. The worst part, as you can easily imagine, was the prep-not even gonna go into those pretty details LOL Really wasn't fun when you are attempting to help your spouse get 2 little people to bed, and pathetically even the "food" on Cafe World (Facebook) was looking soooo scrumptious!

I had the colonoscopy because I've had alot of lingering symptoms since my last radiation treatment-some of it started during radiation, some stopped when radiation stopped, some continued and some new ones started. So my oncologist wanted to make sure it was related to damage from radiation and nothing else was going on.

YAY good news (or I guess best that it can be in this case)-I have radiation proctitis (no cancer, no polyps, no biopsy necessary, so basically as "normal" as could be in my case). Apparently 75% of cancer patients who receive radiation to the pelvis/abdomen end up with radiation proctitis. We are hoping mine is mild enough that it can be treated with medication.

First attempt will be an anti-inflammatory enema, once nightly for one month (oh yeah, gonna be fun evenings in our house BLAH). The surgeon also mentioned trying an anti-spasm medication which I think would do wonders because I had to take something similar when I had bladder issues during radiation and it helped alot-so I'll discuss going ahead with that when I see him next month. If neither of those work, we'll look into other meds and as a last resort, surgery. Gonna definitely do my research and find any and every med tried so I can avoid surgery!!

So the near future holds- breast biopsy follow up with Dr. Friesen on Friday, colonoscopy follow up with Dr. Rogers early next month, routine oncologist appt in April, and then follow up mammogram this summer. I soooo long to be 5 years out, officially in "remission" and prayerfully done with all this JUNK!! But I know I just need to rest and be thankful that I AM cancer free, I'm not in the middle of that battle, and I am ALIVE-here with my husband, my babies, my family and friends, and am able to get out of bed every day and not only just function but live a pretty darn awesome life:)

Thanks for all the sweet and encouraging emails and cards-love you and thank you for the prayers!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cancer Free!!!

WOOOO awesome report-the path results from my biopsy show NO CANCER!!! When the nurse called to tell me on Monday, I screamed, "AWESOME!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU" and then hung up on her:) LOL oops!! I was just too excited and didn't even think to ask questions. Thankfully I have a follow up appt next week. I was able to take off the binding on Wednesday (never thought I'd be so thankful for a normal bra LOL) and only have bruising now (not swollen or sore anymore-YAY). We have done so much rejoicing this week-thank you SOOOO much for all of your prayers!!!

On to the next medical adventure.... I seriously cried all the way home on Wednesday just being sick of medical junk always looming in the distance attempting to consume my thoughts-kinda let it take over for a bit that afternoon. I have been diagnosed with radiation colitis. Unfortunately when you have radiation, it not only kills the nasty cancer cells but the good healthy ones too (did you see Grey's Anatomy this week and the "smart" radiation that only kills the cancer cells-AWESOME!!!). So my radiation was to my pelvis and abdomen and apparently it did quite a bit of damage to the organs in my abdomen and that is why I'm still having alot of the radiation after effects, still this far out from my last treatment. So lucky me, I get to have a colonoscopy on Jan. 27th. I'm trying to be positive and look at it as once I do get old to the age where it is actually normal to have these kind of lovely procedures, I won't have to have any fear cuz I'll already know what to expect-HA, gotta find the silver lining and that is what I came up with! So if you can say a little prayer that the procedure goes off without a hitch and everything comes back just peachy:) I'm ready for a year when I'm no longer a never-ending prayer request LOL But am eternally greatful for all of your prayers!!!

PS-Chubs is walking!!! Gonna try to get it on video this weekend and post it on the family blog:)

Monday, January 11, 2010


Threw myself a big ol pity party tonight-felt kinda good to just let go of the tough girl facade and have a nice lil meltdown:) Gonna pray lots tonight cuz I think Satan is really trying to creep in and plant lots of anxiety, doubt, worry and TONS of anger.

I know cancer will always be a part of my life. I know every ache, pain, weird "off" thing will cause me to think, "Is it back?" But dangit I do NOT want to go through this again! I do NOT want my family to have to be dragged through it. I hate even thinking about my life possibly having to revolve around cancer all over again.

I've been positive since I found out I was gonna have surgery. Just gonna get in there, get this junk out and it'll be nothing. Not sure what the heck my problem is today but it ain't fun! I guess just the fear of yet another surgery, dreading the wait over the weekend, and knowing anytime my phone rings on Monday or Tuesday I will want to throw it. I'm gonna tell the surgeon that if it is bad news, they need to call me and tell me to come in. Don't tell me over the phone. I want my family with me this time. Finding out last time all alone when I went in thinking they were just gonna stop the bleeding again was not fun (granted they didn't get the path report til after I was already there so there was no way to avoid it). If its good news, then they can call and just tell me over the phone and I'll jump around squeeling like a goofball:) Oh I hope I get to jump!!!

Last week, one night when I was having a doubtful moment, I just said to God, "Ok, seriously if this is what you need to be able to use me in awesome ways, I'll take one for the team. Use me use me use me but it better be all for your glory God!!!" Yeah that sacrificing moment didn't last too long-went right back to praying for no cancer! But seriously, the last time around, God used me in so many awesome ways and still is, just touching people and being there, being able to use that whole experience for his glory has been life changing. Then I said, "Ok, but really God, could we just skip a 2nd dose of it? Is it REALLY necessary?" I dunno-just a crazy back and forth dialogue I've got going with him-somehow keeps me sane:)