Friday, 30 September 2011

Weekend Update

This weekend update does not come to you by Tina Fey. I wish.

It's three and a half weeks after my last chemo session and I'm finally feeling myself again. Like really myself again. The myself from before I knew I ever had cancer. I don't feel like I'm having "good days and bad days", but that I just feel like me again. Really, towards the end of chemo "good days" were more like "well, I'm not curled up in bed days, so that's a plus". It's awesome to have all this energy back. And just in time too. Lyla learned to walk about a week ago or so and I haven't been able to sit down since. I'm loving every second of it.

The reason for my delay in blogging is two fold: One, that last round of side effects was a doozy. I know I said I was all happy to be done 6+ months of chemo in 4, until it felt like, wow, I just got pounded with 6+ months of chemo in 4. The second reason is that I've started to repel technology. Sometime in the last few weeks our house computer's hard drive crashed, the monitor on my work lap top stopped working, and my blackberry won't send emails. Corey's off today for his annual chefs-at-large-in-the-woods weekend so I have the run of his lap top for a few days. It feels great to be plugged back in, but man do I have a lot to catch up on, and not much time to do it in.

This Sunday is the Run for the Cure! This will be my first run since I used to do the Sun Run in elementary school. Remember when you were young and just had so much energy that you didn't need to train for a 10K run?? Now I'm most likely going to be walking this little 5K number... how the mighty have fallen. Thanks to everyone for your support of Team Smashlyn. I'm especially thankful to my sister-in-law Jeannie and her friend Jodie who organized the whole thing, as well as to everyone who donated to our team. We were close to $3000 last time I checked. I am sincerely touched by it all.

After the run, it's sayonara to the sisters. Tuesday October 4th is my surgery date. I'll be the first surgery of the day, so hopefully I'll only be in hospital for one night. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about the upcoming surgery. I think I may have floated back into a bit of denial because it all seems surreal now. When I was diagnosed and they told me I had to wait for surgery, I was thinking, "ARE YOU CRAZY??? CUT IT OUT RIGHT NOW!!!" But I've been feeling so good these days that if it wasn't for the bald head, sparse eyebrows and the whopping 12 eyelashes I have left, I'd be able to forget I have cancer. I'm also somewhat feeling irrationally guilty over Righty. She never did anything wrong. Lefty was the traitor. Now they're both going. It somehow seems unfair...

So that's it for now. I just got my t-shirt for the run (i picked a survivor shirt by the way!) and I can't wait to get out there and be part of something so positive for a change. I'll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Much love,

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's Not Me, It's You!

I've had my last chemo session! Woot! When they told me my cancer was too advanced to wait three weeks between sessions and that I had to have it every two weeks instead, I was freaked out. But really, once I got a few sessions under my belt, I realized that chemo wasn't anything I needed to be afraid of. Don't get me wrong, chemo sucks. It's just not something to fear. It was very obviously working and now that I'm at the finish line, I'm so thankful that my case got me here in just over four months rather than six. I know I still have a few more bad days ahead of me, but frankly I just don't care. I'm finished chemo! Eat it cancer.

Next up: Surgery. I'll be getting a bi-lateral mastectomy and I'm meeting with my plastic surgeon today to discuss reconstruction. I know that getting radiation affects what they'll do in surgery, but I'm not sure to what extent. It'll be great to get those answers because, well, knowing is half the battle (Go Joe!).

I can't begin to tell you all how great these last few weeks have been for me. The love that's getting sent my way for finishing chemo is unreal. I think my Facebook notification broke yesterday from overuse. Well, really the love I've been getting this whole time is ridiculous. For example, my ten year old niece had a $5 and $10 birthday party this year. The idea is you bring a 5 dollar bill for the birthday girl and a 10 dollar bill for a cause of her choice. She chose to give the money to me so I can spend it at the naturopath. Are you crying yet??

I've been sent more cards, letters and books than I know what to do with. There's been countless offers to babysit and just recently another offer to use a friend's cabin for some down time. Someone's also just sent me a subscription to People Magazine and no one's owned up to it! WHO ARE YOU?? I love it! I  love a magazine that I can actually complete the crossword puzzle in pen :) And just yesterday I got the greatest package sent to me from work. Inside were gift certificates, more than 200 donated personal assistant points, a beautiful card, and then a link to a 10 minute video they put together for me full of well wishes. They were from my fellow recruiters, team members I had hired, managers I've worked with, and all of them friends. I had to watch it more than once because I bawled through it the first time (happy tears I promise!) Liking your job and loving the people you work with is like winning the lottery. Who knew cancer could make a girl feel so lucky??

People keep telling me I'm handling this so well. That they love my positivity and strength and so on and so on. But listen here people, it's all because of you! Look at the kind of people I'm surrounded with. It's like the "It's not you, it's me" cliche in reverse. I had myself a nice little Sunday Funday on the Joe Fortes patio this weekend with my best girl friends (Dave, that includes you!) and Lord, did I feel lucky. I live a really good life. There's been some bad times these past few months, but hey, I've been through worse. Not everyone gets a fighting chance. Not everyone is surrounded by the best family, friends and colleagues there are to find. Every time I'm at the cancer agency there are people who are all alone. People without rides, and no one to sit with them. And I know there are people who abandon, or worse yet mistreat people they know with cancer. I can't even fathom a scenario like that because of all of you. You have all been a part of my fight. Please accept my sincerest thanks.

With much love,