The Unexpected Journey

When they said, "Hey conversations about cancer don't make me squirm", she said "Hold my beer."

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If you have arrived on this forum through searches for cervical cancer, my hope is that this writing is of help to you. Firstly, I am simply a person who was diagnosed with cervical cancer, treated and is doing well. The writing that you will read in this series is regarding my experiences and information that I garnered along the way. There are many types of cancer and many different treatments and outcomes, even for the same type of cancer. When reading, please understand that your best source for treatment plans or prognosis is with your medical team. Just as everyone has different experiences when travelling, your experiences may differ. Secondly, these posts were first made in 2015. Due to an unfortunate disclosure in a large...
Well written. I took nothing without running it past my oncologist / pharamacist. Yes to some things. "No" to others.
Thankful for a recommendation on the new dentist. I had a thorough examination today, confirmed the pain in my tooth was in the same tooth as the one that was filled this spring by the dentist that bought Dr. P's practice (ouch), and...have appointments to replace it, fill a couple of small fillings, plus all my 40+ year old fillings. Nice timing to get it done before retirement. Cleaning tomorrow am. Did you know you can't have a cleaning or dental work as you are approaching or in chemo treatments? I'm overdue from the fall
On July 25th, I was to be flying out to Singapore/Shanghai to meet T for two weeks. Instead, I was having a cone biopsy and worried about what next. So today, I used that cancelled trip to book a flight to Cancun. T and I are headed for a celebration of end of treatments, my retirement, her special birthday and my birthday ..all rolled into one. We will be able to celebrate all of those events, plus more. Looking forward to some rest & relaxation, some sun, and being spoiled.
Well 2015 didn't go exactly as I had anticipated, but what a series of events. It started with work craziness and pulling more rabbits out of hats to meet insane deadlines and support new resources overwhelmed by the scope of what they had taken on. Feb was a welcome break with fun times in Florida with T, H, A & G, including riding a moped! By the spring and throughout the year, many of my go-to's, the design leads, directors, and managers sought and found other employment and so the series of good-byes that would run through the year started. The summer came with a surprise as G moved to Newfoundland to work as a full-time paramedic. The joy and excitement of a trip to Asia with T, and the planning for retirement were changed...
Six weeks of recovery. The first two weeks as the radiation continued to work its destructive magic. Targeted by the brachytherapy at the tumour, impacting cells around it. During those weeks, the body was healing as well, and then by week four the healing was well on the way. Energy was increasing. Fatigue lessened. Able to do some shopping to wrap up Christmas lists. Decorating is a gentle task which was smile providing during that time. Do a bit, sit for a while, do a bit more. I am thankful for the ability to afford cleaners, recognizing it is a luxury not everyone recovering can afford. By the time we would be having our early Christmas, the house was ready. The weeks of healing were moments of recognition that a symptom...
At the Lanc, enjoying the blues of Suzie Vinnick Suzie's music accompanied me on many days through the journey, travelling to Juravnski as well as Concert Window providing a great distraction. Jocelyn's upbeat attitude was ever present, and Karin was one of my companions and delivered a flavourful spanakopita to our home with her young son. It was a great way to pass a Saturday night with friends new & old listening to awesome tunes and was perfect for the healing process. (Jim & Karin enjoyed it so much that you can see the stack of CD's in front of Karin) (Only downside was a couple of noisy tables. I'm out of the habit of listening to an artist in a bar environment)
For those days when it is hard to move For When You’re Actually NOT Okay: 16 Truths When You Feel Like Giving Up A great reminder of concrete steps. It helps to know ways to help ourselves .
I try to do something every day to extend my strength and feel like I accomplished something. Today I went to the awesome Hobby and Toy shop to get the little kids gifts from their grandpa and our family. I thought that I would stop at ET cetera, a lovely little Shop on the way home. I hit my wall there and must have been obvious as the woman commented and offered me a bottle of water. I love independent stores. Got rested up, and took dad out for a late lunch so he could do his banking and I could fill in re presents. Tomorrow will be a super quiet day.
Each week I can see improvements as my body returns to normal. The "up all night with GI issues" are less frequent as is fecal incontinence. I was asked if I knew the triggers. I am fairly sure citrus and stress both are. I am not introducing nuts yet. I can stand or walk longer without exhaustion. I even made some applesauce for the freezer this week Naps are still part of the daily routine. I fall asleep watching Netflix and wake up and have to determine which episode I was on when I fell asleep. I have internal aches and pains as I heal. I am aware some are curious when will I know. To be clear, I don't completely know. I will see my oncologist mid- December. I believe that I will have an MRI before. I am aware that just...
Yesterday I decided to head to the mall. I did one lap of it with a bit of shopping accomplished and a short sit down at the one store. I had a sense of accomplishment with a few gifts purchased for Christmas. After resting for a few minutes , I decided to go to homesense.if anyone hears of the person who looked like they were asleep in the side aisle sitting on one of the chairs with their head on the shopping cart handle, well, I swear I wasn't sleeping, only resting my eyes. (hah - right T, D) The good news is that the fatigue is less and I felt well enough for the mall. In addition, GI issues are improving. Though no where near normal, I am more comfortable which I am thankful for. Even though last night was rough, it was like...
Hi folks, haven't updated for a bit. As you know from photos had my last treatment on tuesday. It went well but was hard on my body. Then again it is the end of a number of weeks of treatment. My body and mind are tired. Zzzzzzzzzzz continues to be my update. Not feeling like eating. Hips are feeling impact. I tend to read, nap, check-in and repeat. I know this pattern is what my body is calling for My patience is low, my mom would have said that I have a short fuse, right T I appreciate the concerned pings from folks who were missing the updates. All is well.
"wonderwoman" in the day surgery area modelling the new outfit from workmates in milwaukee. (note: this is before drugs!) Right down to the toes.... Complete with insignia on cape Surprise for the technicians this morning. Brought a laugh. It says "Woot! Done." and "Thank you " Ringing the bell for the last of the last. 5/5 chemotherapy, 25/25 external radiation, 4/4 HDR brachytherapy and the crowd goes wild. This was prior to projectile vomiting, but, hey...that was also a first but figured you didn't need a photo of it. Sleep is my friend. More in the days to follow. All is well.
I received an email that I was 7 nights away from Diamond status with #Hyatt again this year. Dang, I thought. Not going to get it as not traveling through year end. Then I thought, hey. I can always ask. So, I sent an email to customer service explaining that I had 43/50 nights in early July, but then was diagnosed with cancer and due to treatments would not have any stays through year end. Received a lovely note back advising my diamond status had been granted for another year and to let them know if I needed anything.
Wow, just got off the phone with the radiation oncologist from Tuesday's brachytherapy. She was phoning to see how I was doing and explain one piece about Tuesday. As part of that, she advised that my primary radiation oncologist had shared the two logs that I had written regarding the procedure. She complimented me on them, and also explained how my treatment was slightly different in one piece, why it was, and why for me the difference would have no impact. I tell you, these folks are amazing. From my friend, SF.
Had my 2nd last brachytherapy today. Went well. My friend MB, who came from Milwaukee to help, was up bright & early to drive me and hang out during the process and bring me home. (I even kept awake, if groggy, for the drive home). Slept the afternoon away, and likely will the evening too. Just one more to go!
I had bought tickets for Sound of Music at Stratford. Thankful for my niece and great niece accompanying me Was thoroughly delighted with it
These days can be summarized by one set of letters: zzzzzzzzzzz Lots of naps on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A few small errands to get out of the house. A doctor's appointment Remembering how to knit A bit of tidying , purging, sorting. A visit from a friend. A lot of sleep.
Sitting in the external radiation area, thankful that it is my last one. My skin has started to break down. My bowels are really unhappy. My body is feeling the impact of radiation...that bully that just keeps on hitting you...blow after daily blow. Technologist comes by who works in 20E and 20F and says “woot, ring the bell day”. I grin. I was late and the patient in the treatment room was on a stretcher so would be a while. No biggie, it’s my last. I can wait an hour if need be. I got this one. I know how to relieve my bladder of ½ of the volume should it be needed. I can entertain myself. A woman there smiled and asked about the bell. She was in her first week of treatment and hadn’t been aware of the bell, so we talked...
"Sometimes being silly is enough". A card arriving from ASB with the perfect message as I wear my silly Halloween socks from SO on last day of external radiation. Last external radiation. 25 of 25 daily trips done. Only 2 more brachytherapy's (nov 3 & 10) before it is the last of the lasts. The scarf was from a lovely trip with my s-i-l D to Boston. T bought me a tart. I think i will have it and a cup of tea.
No long post today, just the celebration of #2 being done and the previous catch up from Monday. Also, I got the toes all ready for brachytherapy today. Had a white flower added this morning. (teal and white is the colour for cervical cancer). A special callout to JG who is a year ahead of me in cervical cancer treatment.