Friday, October 5, 2012


Friday night again!  Hello steroids.  As much as I want the sleep, I feel so productive in the middle of the night when I'm all "roided up"!  This morning started even earlier than last week.  1:45, I forced myself to stay in bed until 2:30.  Just read some of a book on my iPhone (Why I wore lipstick to my mastectomy).  About a 27 year old that had breast cancer.  I am not too far into it, but so far I share some very similar feelings as her so I think this book will be right up my alley.  I haven't read really since Ryan was born and have another book I need to get to next that is borrowed so I'm trying to spend more time reading and if I'm not going to sleep when everyone else does, what perfect timing!  Then I ventured downstairs and had to shut the blinds because being downstairs at that hour kind of creeps me out.  Worked for awhile and next thing I knew, it was 5 and Ryan was up.  I fed and cuddled with him and rocked him back to sleep, which worked until I laid him back down.  I came back down to do some things and watched him on the video monitor.  He was cracking me up!  Just talking to himself and trying to crawl in his crib.  So I decided to get him up and play a little.  Not a good habit for 5 am, but hey, he is my baby and I'll do what I want with him!

The weeks of just Taxol, I try to make my appointments for 1:00 so I can work 1/2 day and then chemo in the afternoon.  These weeks I don't have to see the Dr. and because I have been doing the blood work the day before, it seems pretty quick.  My blood work today was good.  My hemoglobin was 8.7 (last week 8.2) Anything over 8 is okay and my WBC stayed he exact same 2.4 I think.  Anyways, my nurse told me that I was all in the safety zone and this was the first week they haven't had to get the green light from Dr. Hantel to start my chemo.  So that is good right?!  Also I do not think I have mentioned (if I have forgive me, chemo brain going on) that I have a personal relationship with the receptionist now at the cancer center.  Sometimes I walk in a tad late for my blood work on Thursdays.  Recently it seems busy and I have to wait in line and always give myself a hard time because it is just blood work so I feel like they could punish me and make me sit and wait for being late.  But the receptionist the past couple of weeks waves me down in the back of the line and says "I've got you Amber".  Although it is so sweet of her, I don't like the idea that I have this type of service at the cancer center.  I mean a 5 star restaurant, that would be great to have that service, but not there.....But I do appreciate her because I feel like me being late is flying under the radar because I do think this would be the place that puts you at the back of the line to teach you a lesson. 

What I have done this week: It has been a good week.  I am fine with my levels, but I really thought they would be higher because I was staying up later and really had some extra energy.  We didn't do anything special, but I just felt good.  I did have some extra anxiety creep up on me that caught me a little off guard.  It kind of started last week, but I was able to shake it, but this week, it has haunted me at night and I think I'll put it out there:

As I am nearing the final countdown of chemo and the surgery is approaching, I have had a couple fears.  1.  Right now I worry, but don't worry about the cancer spreading or coming back, this is because I feel with all of the weekly poison I am receiving, how could it right?  But what happens when I am not getting a weekly fix of poison?  I hate it, but I feel like it is helping me so what helps when I'm done? Again, this is scary for anyone at any age, but I am 33, I have a long time to have this creeping around. I know over time, it would probably fade, but I know my personality, I worry somewhat more than normal (somewhat probably being a little too nice) before this so I don't think I will shake it as easily as some.  I am diagnosing myself with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  2.  Surgery and the timing.  Right now we are looking at the beginning of December if everything stays on time.  This could make ringing in the New Year a GREAT year with just radiation left to go through, but there is that fear that I don't get clean margins with surgery and the New Year won't get to start a new chapter of living cancer free for the first time.  I just want 2013 to be back on track with us!!!  

This post was not meant to be negative and I would say 20 hours of my day, I don't let these fears in, but they always manage to do so.  So I have talked to a social worker yesterday at the cancer center and she has referred me to a counselor.  I just think talking to an outsider who doesn't know me might have some ideas and ways to clear my head.  The social worker agreed with the post traumatic stress syndrome and said this is usually a normal time during treatment to have these fears and although didn't know I was struggling, but was happy that I recognized this and requested this information.  She also thought going back to yoga and meditation was important.  So I have reached out to Liz and I'm getting back on track this week with that as well.  I miss it, but have just felt so good and neglected my sessions and shouldn't.  So back on track this week with that and hopefully talking to someone.  

Sister Jess arrived safely and has a birthday today.  My grade school / high school friends Lisa and Megan (aka the head shavers) are coming up tomorrow afternoon and will spend the night to do the walk on Sunday.  I have tons of walkers coming on Sunday and am so thankful and at a loss for all of the support.  I think close to 40 and that doesn't include the donations from others that are unable to attend.  This will hopefully be a yearly walk for us and I would like to do a team next year, but I learned about it too late for this year and wasn't sure of the interest, but once again I have been overwhelmed with the support and love and realized doing a team this year would have been easy to reach a goal.  Oh well, lesson learned and there is always next year!

I will leave tonight with some things that I have decided are more important to me these days:
1.  The change in the leaves - They are beautiful all of the colors.  Fall has always been a favorite, but they are sticking out more than ever these days.
2.  My rides to and from work - It does help that I took the plunge and got back into my work car program and am driving a beautiful 2013 midnight blue Porsche Panamera. (I will take pictures soon) But I have used the car ride to just listen to music (not Air Supply Lisa), Just a little of everything.  The words to music stick out and I seem to find a way to tie it to my situation.
3.  Belly laughs from my boys.  This has always been a favorite, but to see Justin get Ryan to laugh and the baby laugh being so contagious that Justin belly laughs and the next thing I know I am, Don is and Whitney is.  Priceless.
4.  Hot showers!  I still am getting some pretty crazy hot flashes especially at night.  I start out freezing cold because of my bald head, so I start with a night cap (please don't try to picture this because it is not the nicest of things but it is soft and keeps my head warm) but usually by midnight I have tossed it on the floor because of a hot flash.  But without skipping a beat, 20 minutes before my alarm goes off, I wake up freezing and I'm too lazy to reach down to pick up my cap so I wrap myself in the blanket like a burrito and usually dream of a hot shower.  So when the alarm goes off, I'm quick to get up these days and since I don't have to spend the extra time on drying my hair, I spend that time standing in the warm shower.  I'm sure any bald person can attest, warm water on a bald head is AWESOME!

Goodnight!  I'm well past my bed time after my all nighter and someone around here is probably going to put me to bed soon if I don't go on my own.

Thank you for the continued prayers and support, keep them coming!

Love to all!



  1. Wow! We are so amazed with your strength an insight and new awareness of your surroundings. These updates of yours are so good. Thanks, Amber. You are tops in our book. Brian & Rose Ann

  2. Amber,
    I found your blog through your friends etsy page. I was diagnosed with breast cancer about a month after you and had a bilateral mastectomy 2.5 weeks ago and chemo and radiation are to follow. I also started a blog and my email is if you ever want to talk. I know all about the fears you are talking about, especially being so young (I'm 28). I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers!