Monday, December 12, 2011

It's an update!

It is time for another update. So sit back, grab a yummy snack, and enjoy.....
*I am still riding high from getting good news a month ago. We found another tumor in my leg and had to have it removed and tested, it came back PRE-cancer. It was the first good news we had heard in a long time.

*I am still doing chemo at home 3X a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights are still tough for me. My body is fighting HARD, which is good and bad. Good because my body is strong and hopefully that means that all the cancer is getting destroyed! Bad because I experience terrible side effects. I still get high fevers (around 102-103), bad headaches, chills, body aches, and throw up A LOT. I am still only doing a half dose too. My Doctor wants me to get through the Holidays before we discuss upping the dosage.
Getting my chemo port taken out!

*My lymphedema in my leg is manageable right now(sometimes). My whole left legs still swells up with fluid a lot, but exercise and my compression pants help. I hate this new disease, and will address it more next year. We are looking at getting a manual pump system at home that I could use nightly to help with circulation. This could be a HUGE blessing if we can find a way for insurance to pay for it.

*One of the biggest difficulties I am having right now is the fight I have with the medications I take daily. I don't like taking pills. I HATE that I have to take so many of them. And to make matters worse, I'm taking lots of pain pills. I don't like how I feel on them, but it is the only way I can manage pain and honestly it is the ONLY way I can get out of bed most days. With that said, I'm scared of being on pills ALL THE TIME. I have talked to my Doctor about this one too, but he doesn't seem too concerned. 80% of people with my cancer quit the chemo only after a few months, so he wants me to do whatever it takes to stay on this treatment even if it means I become addicted to pain pills. I am not sure how I feel about this, but it doesn't sit well at all. But yay for completing 3 and 1/2 months of chemo at home.

*I still make it to the gym 3X a week. I know that this sounds crazy to so many of you. But when we discussed the fight I have ahead of me with my medical team, I understood that to give myself the best chance I HAD to work at keeping my body strong. And so I do just that. I work as hard as I can to stay physically strong. I do bootcamp Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and I kick my ass every time. I still struggle with the eating "healthy" thing, especially now during the Holidays. Can I get an amen?

*Mentally I am doing just ok. Having cancer messes with your head. I have Doctor visits where my mental state is the first thing we talk about and honestly it is one of my Doctor's biggest concerns. Cancer patients struggle with depression and I'm beginning to understand why. I have always been a cheerful person, probably annoyingly cheerful. I am just wired to see life that way. So it was hard for me when the Doctor explained that cancer, chemo, and the medications I would be on WOULD attack my mind and outlook on things. This is a hard battle. And it is just that....a battle. I work hard to keep my body as strong as I can and keeping my mind strong is just as much work. I feel weak mentally. And this is hard for me. I need prayer. I need friends who are willing to just sit and laugh with me. And I need lot's of Jesus.

* My stomach looks like a push pin and it is really gross. I know that I am probably being a little dramatic about this one, but I don't care. And I understand and feel for everyone else out there that daily have to give themselves shots, but this seems different. First off just the act of shoving a needle into your stomach is just creepy. But knowingly injecting poison that you KNOW will make you VERY sick it just crazy. I have to mentally talk myself up before each poke. And the skin on my poor stomach is having a hard time with getting stabbed 3X a week.

*My hair is growing FAST now. I still get sores on my scalp (I know gross huh?) But the baldness stage is gone (I hope, I could lose my hair again at some point). This makes me happy, because I have always had long hair and I guess it makes me feel prettier. Everyone has been so nice about my hair, but honestly it can hurt me feelings. I don't like my short hair. It is a symbol of something that is trying to kill me. I know that I should be proud of it of the battle I am fighting. I know that I should wear my new hair with pride. But mentally that is just hard for me. I miss my hair and what I used to look like. I miss my husband playing with it. I JUST miss it. So even though I LOVE hearing that you think I am cute, it stings just a little each time.

*Some new jewlery. I am on the search for a good medical bracelet. One that I can wear all the time. It is just a smart move. If anything ever happened to me doctors would need to know what I have and what medications I am taking. If I am unconscious then a medical bracelet will help. Anyone know of any good ones? I am currently looking at roadID.

*The kids are still doing great! They just don't get it. That is partly because I don't let them see anything bad. And partly because they are just so young. I will tough out most things until they are asleep or gone, then I lose it. I cry, moan, lay on the couch, and complain to Adam once the kids can't see me anymore. I could be doing A LOT better at a lot of my Mom duties, but for now I think we are just holding on. Fostering is still out of the question, which makes me feel sad and weak. I miss my babies. And little Alexis is still having some separation anxiety. She loves her Mommy very much and freaks out whenever I leave.
I think that is it for now. Did I leave something out? Do you have other questions? Then leave a comment and I will answer.....Until next time.....


Anonymous said...

Love you! Thanks for the update and sharing your life with me. Hate that I met you because of cancer. Love that I have you to encourage me as we journey.

Sandi B. said...

Love your updates! So proud of you. Thanks for taking the time to write your real thoughts and feelings. I love love love the REAL JEN! :) xoxo Miss you!

Jenni said...

You are so awesome, Jen! You're better at all the mom things than I am even with cancer and chemo dragging you down. I have no idea what god's purpose is in putting you through this trial, but I know that one good thing that has come out of it is inspiration to everyone who knows you to fight hard for what's important every day. You are the strongest person I know. Thanks for letting us all walk through this with you.

And call me anytime to come listen to you, laugh with you, cry with you, or talk about *ahem* boopies.

Anonymous said...

My friend, Lisa Lehmann, is a christian and amazing artist who does a lot of custom jewelry. She has a medical bracelet that is hip (link below), however any of her stuff she can customize by personalizing the medical info on her silver. Here is her link-look at all the bracelet's on her website and you might find something you like that would work. Very artsy stuff! :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa's other bracelets that can be customized.

Blessings and prayers!

Anonymous said... has the CUTEST medical bracelets! Sign up for their emails cause they have sales all the time. My biggest problem is that I want them all!

The Dansbys said...

Hey Jen- I've got this bracelet and have been super pleased with it. I have had it since the end of October. I have the yellow one, you might have seen it at Sea World. Praying for you! Amelia

Anonymous said...

Road ID is the best!! I love mine, just make sure you get the interactive on on line. It has areas of questions that you never thought possible! Great Investment. Hope all is going well!

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