Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I had cancer this morning

I had cancer this morning, but now i don't! It's over and I am all done. I had my last treatment this morning. Phew! It's been kind of a teary day for me. I don't know if it is because I am tired, because I am done, because Andrea left or because I feel like I don't have to be strong for another minute. It is a very happy day, though. I feel so much relief. The top picture is of my machine and the therapists that became my good friends. I will miss them. The next one is lunch today with my friends to celebrate. Thanks, everyone!

Jaymeson and I were talking about the house we want and all the work it will take to update it and I said,"that's ok, we have nothing but time" and that made me cry because time is what I have. It's the greatest gift I've ever been given. Time to watch my kids grow. Time to keep growing myself. This life is short and precious and I'm glad I get more of it. What a blessing.

One thing I like about living in the midwest is watching things grow. There is something soothing and reassuring about it. We have cornfields around us that I love. I hope they never build over them. It reminds us that life goes on and that miracles happen every day. I feel like cancer is like winter. It's cold and nothing grows. It's hard to get through, but I always knew spring was just around the corner. The whole metaphor is reinforced with the timing of my hair coming back. It's spring! Cancer is over and things are growing. Miracles happen every day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Carrie is worried...

Carrie is worried about me, so I better drop a note. I have been sleeping or working every minute for the last two weeks. I am very tired. I only have FIVE treatments left. Can you believe it? I wonder what to do with this blog after that? When am I officially through this? Do I make it into my family blog then? Do I print it out and bury it in a weird ceremony with incense and voodoo dolls? I am unsure.

It seems I don't have so much to say these days. I wake up, go to radiation, come home, work, sleep. My Aunt Nancy made good on her offer and has been out here helping since last wednesday. I like her very much. She is wise and fun. She made me orange rolls out of clementines. Mmmmm. My kids love her, too. Mason started out calling her "that friend", then "crocker" (unsure about that) and now Nancy. Preslie can even say "Nancy". (She calls me "Daddy". Mystery.)

I am growing real hair. Dark and soft. It's strange. Usually when someone shaves his or her head and it starts growing back it's all stubbly and spiky. Not mine. Soft, soft. Touching my head feels like petting a rat. Maybe I'll get brave and take a picture. Probably not. I'm getting my dark eyelashes back and they are soft and curly. I liked my old ones better.

My chest hurts. I can feel it now (and taste it!) when they radiate me. I'm glad it's almost over. I can't work out anymore and I'm so very tired. Are you getting tired of me saying that I am tired? It makes me tired.

That's it for now. I'm sorry I don't have more to say. Hopefully when I get this catalog done we can laugh and play more.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blondes have more fun

Right? What if it's baby-fine blonde hair all over one's whole body? What if it's like that creepy blonde hair newborns have on their shoulders? If that's all over me, will I have more fun? Even my face! Gross. I am going to wax my face tomorrow. My eyebrows and eyelashes are like that, too. Anyone who has known me at all knows that blonde eyebrows and eyelashes aren't normal. Remember when I had that big, thick unibrow that none of you had the guts to tell me about? I'm thinking about shaving my head, too, because this weird hair isn't helping anything and it won't ever do me any good. I'm a creepy newborn. Good because all I want to do is sleep, eat and cry. Actually, I don't want to cry. I am happy now. I have my energy back again. I was pretty darn sick the last couple days, but I am better now. I think I catch every little bug that goes around and I can't fight it very well once I have it. AND to make any sickness worse, they won't let me miss radiation for anything! I end up dragging my sick self and my two smallest monkeys (one of which has a broken monkey-foot) there no matter what. Cancer is such a mean taskmaster. (Poor me, boo hoo.)

But not for long. I know the final score and it is ME:1 vs Cancer:0. I have completed 11 of my 23 radiation treatments (even though I think they did Thursday's backwards - don't tell 'em). I'm getting a funny-shaped tan on my chest and back. I'm tired, too, but that's about it for side-effects. Phew! I have feeling in all my toes again and almost all of my blisters are gone! My fingers are still pretty numb and I have four nails that want to fall off. They've pulled back about half way. Should I cut them off? Should I risk leaving them on? You can't tell by looking at them because I have them polished so maybe I'll wait it out.

I just reread this and I sound like a real attttraaaaccttive gal. Oh well. You love me and that's all that matters. There were a bunch of applicants who are trying to get into the Radiation Oncology dept at Washington University (Jaymeson's program) on the elevator with me this morning. (I was looking especially cancery without my wig.) I told them that It is a very hands-on program. So hands-on, in fact, that if they feel you haven't learned all you are supposed to learn by your last year - they'll make sure your wife gets cancer so you will be compelled to finish your education. Nobody laughed. Cancer just isn't as funny as it used to be, I guess. Oh well.

As I get closer to the end of this saga, I look back sometimes and think, "Really? That happened? I had cancer and chemo and radiation?? I could have died?" I don't believe it. It has really gone by fast and I have been so blessed though the whole thing. I've become very attached to my ward(s) and my family and my friends - new and old. Most of all, I've become very attached to my Savior. I think even more than being here for me through all of this, He has taken a lot of the pain and sickness from me. He has made hard times pass quickly and good times last longer. I have honestly heard the words "This, too, shall pass" whispered in my ear. He has inspired my family and friends to be here for me and take care of all of my needs. So much of this is a blur to me. I am glad I have this blog so I can go back and remember. Thanks for checking it and thus forcing me to write. I love you.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hey Denmark!

One thing a shelby-centered person (like myself) likes to do is check the traffic of my blog and see where my friends are. Sometimes I see that there are people from all over the world but I usually dismiss it as someone who clicks "next blog" but doesn't know me or read on. There have been a few times though where international super spies (maybe not) have logged on more than once... there was someone in Italy, New Zealand and now someone in Denmark. Leave a comment! I'm dying to know!

ok. bye.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Hi. Four down and about 19 to go - radiation treatments that is. No problem. I'm tired and I feel like I have a lump in my throat, but other than that - es no so bad. My doctor said that I'll get a bad sore throat, but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe that will keep me from shoving my face. Probably not. I have quite the will-power when it comes to eating.

I definitely like going to radiation more than chemo, if only for the people I get to hang with. We all get gowned-up and go to a waiting room and talk about how blessed we are while comparing wigs and chest-paintings. Cancer is no respecter of persons. We are young, old, rich and poor. I happen to be all of those things. I have taken my kids a few times. They go and sit at jaymee's desk to draw pictures and quote Harry Potter for the nurses. I'm there about 10 minutes, so they only wear out their welcome by about nine and a half. School starts again tomorrow. Phew!

Seems like I have been busy-busy ever since the minute I felt ok. Christmas everything (I even went to Wal*Mart the saturday before - what am I? Nuts?) then Jaymeson's sister and her family came to visit and go to Wicked with us. Then New Years (I celebrated with New York and then went to bed at 11:01. Every party needs a pooper...) And now work is back with a vengeance! It's good to work again. I like feeling like I am accomplishing something. I'm getting back into my real life. I have even ran in slow motion a couple times. Hooray for nike+ shoes. Santa wants me to get off my bum and get back into shape. I am a sorry sack of shelby. Did you know that chemo actually makes you lose muscle tone? I have heard that laying on the couch for three months does too, but I prefer to blame chemo... or society. I don't know what that means.