All I can Do is Smile


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Something not mentioned about chemo side effects

The hair loss was no surprise. As anticipated, it came away from my head, legs, armpits and the bikini area (huuuuuuge bonus not having to shave any of these areas, less the head).

The eyebrows and eye lashes lasted up to the 6th round. You can tell I sleep on my left side because more hair is missing from there. My left eyebrow is practically nonexistent and there’s a rather large chunk of eyelashes missing from my left eye. Nothing a bit of make up can’t address.

I hadn’t considered hair in other areas and how that might be affected. Can you figure out what body part has hair that I haven’t yet named? I didn’t figure it out until this morning.

I’ve had a perpetual runny nose the past 6 months. I thought yesterday’s cleaning extravaganza (which was DOMINATED by Mary and myself, thanks Mary!!) would address any allergens in the air. But then, while I was pedaling around alone with my thoughts this morning, having to snot rocket every 10 minutes, I had an epiphany: nose hair!

Sure enough, nasal inspection proved me right.

I don’t have nose hair. Who knew?! No wonder my freakin’ nostrils don’t stop leaking.

No one mentions the loss of nose hair. So there you go.


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Cleaning Tomorrow

My wonderful friend, Dyana, shared a great resource at the beginning of my treatment called Cleaning for a Reason. They clean women living with cancer’s homes during their treatment. I submitted an application, but unfortunately services weren’t available in my area. (But! If you know someone going through cancer treatment outside of OC, they support women across the country.)

There was talk from other friends about paying for maid service, but that turned into who should I hire, blah blah blah and frankly, I’m rather particular about how my house gets cleaned. (Type A control freak, remember?)

So, when I mentioned that I was going to just deep clean my own house, another wonderful friend, Mary offered to come over and help.

Tomorrow (Sunday), we ride!

Want to come help? Many hands make light work. We’re starting at 8am. Coffee and a continental breakfast will be provided. Reply in the comments if you’re coming.


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Sneak Peek: IP Chemo Photo Day

If I had to choose a title for the imaginary book I’d write about this experience, it’d likely be called “All I Can Do Is Smile.” I firmly believe that the energy you put into this world is the energy you get out of it and that attitude makes all the difference in a situation. But duh. You already knew this. Why am I sharing the obvious?

During the penultimate infusion, I reached out to my friend, and our wedding photographer, Karey, to see if she’d be interested in a different type of photo project: to capture the entire IP infusion process. She was available and I enjoyed (as much as you can receiving chemo) a day together chatting and photo making. It even sparked some collaboration ideas, which is a subject for another day. I will share more about that in the coming months.

As always, Karey captured the essence of the day. I wanted to share a few of my favorite shots with you and soon, I will share a photo essay of the entire day. One thing I noticed in all the shots… I smile. A. LOT.

I know this is a good thing. 🙂

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And this is why I like routine

Yesterday sucked.

SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED.

Yesterday was definitely the absolute worst I’ve felt during the entire chemo treatment and that’s saying something. I couldn’t keep anything down. The day was spent throwing up and then dry heaving went well into the night. Did you know you can throw up and poop at the same time? It’s awesome, let me tell you.

So yeah. That happened.

Our theory for what caused this ultimate fail in what should have been the easy part — the damn timing. My infusion on Wednesday didn’t begin until nearly 7pm. I’m usually done with my infusion by 2pm. We got back home by 12:30am and I was definitely out of whack on my medication schedule and nausea management.

So I payed for it. Big time.

I feel a thousand times better today and can take heart in the fact that I will feel better each day from here on out, because there is no more chemo in my future (pending CT results… that test is schedule next week)!

What a horrible way to finish this thing out, but ironically appropriate. Here’s to the next chapter!


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The Last Infusion

Update 5:00pm – I’m here and ready to rock and roll. Come visit. Please!! Kaiser Sand Canyon/Alton room 411. There’s a phone on the 4th floor entrance where they will let you in. Text me to let me know if you’re coming. I’ll be here until at least 9pm.

Update 3:30pm – bed ready! I will be in room 411. I’ll update when I’m settled.

Update 2:15pm – oncology nurse called to say they’re just waiting on a discharge. She’s been over there 4 times harassing them. It’s gonna be a late night for this infusion…

Update 12:45pm – still waiting on the hospital to call with an open bed.

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Of course it should happen this way.

It looks like my final infusion will be at the hospital  since the infusion center is short nurses. I was supposed to get a call at 7:30am letting me know if I should come in and that time has come and gone. (Yes, I already called them.)

So, now I’m waiting for the hospital to call me when they have an empty bed.

The benefit of the hospital is that I am not limited to a single visitor, so I’m calling this last infusion what it is: a freakin’ party!

Once I know my room number and timing I’ll post an update. I welcome any and all visitors this afternoon/evening to celebrate the final dose of this cancer killing juice they pump into me.