Sunday, August 28, 2011

My computer isn't working, and honestly, I'm just tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I'm worn out. So, I love me some blogging, but I'm taking a break. Be back soon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stupid Portacath

A few weeks ago, I had a device put inside me called a portacath, hereon called a "port." It's a little catheter that goes inside my chest, below my right collarbone, and it looks a little something like this:

However, mine is a purple triangle, not a white circle. Details.

They did a surgery to put it in, and once it's inside me, it looks like this:

It connects to a vein up in my next that goes straight to my heart. Kinda scary right? It shouldn't be, but it freaks me out when I think about it too hard.

The purpose of this port is so that they don't have to stick my arms every single time I go in, and make me all uncomfortable. With this, they stick me once in the chest, in the middle of that silicon circle, and we're done with the poking for the rest of the hospital stay.

Or so it should be.

Thursday when I went in, we started with the standard poke, but for some reason the nurse couldn't get it.


No matter, she said. I'll try it again, and we'll hopefully get it right this time.


No pullback on my fluids. She went out to get the head nurse to help out.

"How are we doin today? Shall we get this port working right?


Fail. Yet again. Head nurse says he's never seen one not working, or being so stubborn. There was supposedly a clot blocking the way, so they put in some medicine to break it up with this poke. Take it out, try again.


By this point, I'm losing it. It hurts freaking bad to be poked in the same place time after time. and to try and get things running, he starts pushing and pulling on the syringe with literally all his force to get the clot out.

But ok, if the clot in in the catheter, isn't that pushing a blood clot into my heart?? So I'm freaking out, and I ask them but they say the clot would be stuck inside the port. I have no idea how that's possible, but I let them roll with it. They say they're going to send me down to Radiology where they can hopefully get it with an x-ray image.

On the way down there, I'm covered in warm blankets, bald and in a hospital gown. I look like your typical needs-a-lot-of-help cancer patient, and for some reason this gets me really emotional. There were little kids staring at me, and I tried to smile at them, but I knew all they had to be thinking was how weird, how different I looked. I couldn't handle it. I was holding back tears for the next hour.

Radiology was really great, they all remembered me from when I got the port in, which was impressive. One guy told me how much he liked my hair! ha ha ha. Plus I've cut one of the guy's hair that works there! He's next to try.


No whammies. They take a look at the x-ray, and it looks like it's just on the edge of the plastic and silicon. Keep in mind, my friends, that every waiting period takes me farther out from leaving the hospital, farther out from getting chemo started. It was 4 PM. I got there at 9.


One last, desperate attempt, that yielded no results. The doctor came in and did it via x-ray.


I couldn't hold in the swears, or the tears any more. It was too much. That was poke #7 and I was tired of feeling like a guinea pig, and also ugly. Man I felt awful.

They told me the problem was that one of my stitches felt like a knob they use to locate the silicon, and said don't be so patient with the nurses next time. If it doesn't work, ask to be sent down to Radiology ASAP so they could do it.

I desperately hope that never happens to me again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm getting too comfortable talking about my bodily functions

Last night, within two hours, I got up at least 7 times to go pee. Seriously. I wouldn't joke about something this intense. And it was in-tense! I'd go pee, then lay down and 5 minutes later, feel like I had to go so badly that I'd burst if I didn't get up. Then I'd go and it's like....a drip. Maybe two.


I'm trying to think of reasons why my body would do this. It's not a UTI because it doesn't sting to pee. I didn't drink a ton of water - in fact, every time I pee'd, it was barely any at all because it was so often.

*Gasp* You know what? I'm well aware of the date, and that a week from yesterday was my original due date for my baby.

MAYBE my body is so hyped up on HCG, and has been for 9 months, that my bladder's like, "aren't I supposed to be peeing like crazy now? You should have a 7-pound baby pushing on me, but since you don't...I'll just go ahead and make you feel like you have to pee anyway."

This whole pretending to be pregnant while actually having cancer is GETTING A LITTLE OLD.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I told you that story so I could tell you this story

Herbal remedies: I'm a little cautious. My parents swore by them, and sometimes they worked. I've taken a few pills here and there growing up, cause it's all we had. Then I was introduced to the magical world of Modern Medicine my freshman year, and haven't looked back. I love me some ibuprofen!

You know what I love MORE than ibuprofen? Chemotherapy. Not in and of itself, but because it cures my cancer. My nurse at the Huntsman warned me against looking up natural remedies online and trying to cure myself, and it hadn't even crossed my mind. I trusted the doctors with whatever they were going to give me, and didn't want to risk any kind of setback or interference with another "cure."

So of course, it was only a matter of time before I told my friend Ali what the nurse said, and we started joking about the various other things I could do instead of chemo. Our favorite was to squirt lemon juice up there and it'd be strong enough to kill the cancer.

Not a month later - I kid you not - I get an email forward from a certain family member, aimed specifically at me, and,'d be better if I just show you.

"Lemons and Cancer

Eating a Lemon is lot Healthier than eating an Orange ........ LEMONS will clean all your INTESTINES.. Which oranges don't ...

This is something that we should all take seriously. Even doctors are now saying that there in value in trying "LEMON"

A must-read-The surprising benefits of lemon!

Institute of Health Sciences, 819 N. L.L.C. Charles Street Baltimore , MD 1201.
This is the latest in medicine, effective for cancer!

Read carefully & you be the judge.

Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells. It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.

Why do we not know about that? Because there are laboratories interested in making a synthetic version that will bring them huge profits. You can now help a friend in need by letting him/her know that lemon juice is beneficial in preventing the disease. Its taste is pleasant and it does not produce the horrific effects of chemotherapy. How many people will die while this closely guarded secret is kept, so as not to jeopardize the beneficial multimillionaires large corporations? As you know, the lemon tree is known for its varieties of lemons and limes. You can eat the fruit in different ways: you can eat the pulp, juice press, prepare drinks, sorbets, pastries, etc... It is credited with many virtues, but the most interesting is the effect it produces on cysts and tumors. This plant is a proven remedy against cancers of all types. Some say it is very useful in all variants of cancer. It is considered also as ananti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure which is too high and an antidepressant, combats stress and nervous disorders.
The source of this information is fascinating: it comes from one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world, says that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that:
It destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas ... The compounds of this tree showed 10,000 times better than the product Adriamycin, a drug normally used chemotherapeutic in the world, slowing the growth of cancer cells. And what is even more astonishing: this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and it does not affect healthy cells.

Institute of Health Sciences, 819 N. L.L.C. Cause Street , Baltimore , MD1201

SEND TO EVERYONE ... ! ! ! ! !


I am not going to lie. I was laughing super hard at this. I bet if they injected as much lemon juice as chemo as they are right now, I'd feel as crappy as I do. Or maybe not?

It doesn't seem to cut it. There's no way. Though after Santo's story....

I just had to share.

Friday, August 12, 2011

This is just plain funny

I frequently use Skype to chat with a very good friend of mine who is currently in the Dominican Republic, waiting for her local husband's visa papers to clear so they can come to America!

Needless to say (but I will say it because it pertains to my story), they have different traditions and outlooks on life's challenging circumstances caused by amazingly different cultural upbringings.

During one of these nightly chats, her husband was telling me of a sinus infection he'd had for a while and it was really bothering him. We went over possible remedies, but one struck him that he thought might really work:

This is the face you make after squeezing half a lime's juice up your nostril.

Half a LIME!!!!

Isn't that hilarious?

The picture's not ideal - I wanted to get one of him doing the deed, but this was his second attempt and I can't imagine it was painless. However, now that I look at it again, it seems quite...perfect.

He ran away after that to deal with the pain, and days later when I talked to my friend again, she swore up and down that he was cured. Completely. With the lime.

Remember this story.

(PS I just noticed his wife in the upper left corner laughing her face off. You're welcome.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An outdated conversation with my doctor

At my appointment, the good doc came in, and first things first:

"Rosanne. You are my worst nightmare."

"Well, Doc. You're mine!"

He explained the situation, which is basically that the tumor I have is a ghost and that they were pretty much doing the surgery blind. They cut out where they think it was - basically a quarter of my uterus, so they figured they had a 25% either way of getting it right!

But it wasn't all right, and when he came back for my lab results, they weren't good.

I yelled "Shit!" when he said my HCG levels went up, and I guess he's used to anger 'cause he wasn't fazed; he just kept right on talking! I guess you have to be used to anger in the oncology ward.

He told me he knew I was religious because of the school I had attended (that's a little stereotypical, Doc), so he told me that, while he wasn't a pray-er (one who prays, not the noun. Or one who preys), he gave me full
permission to do so this week if I wanted to. So I told him, "I know you're not a praying man, but if you want to be this week, that's ok." I see no reason why I shouldn't be a complete exception to his....entire way of living. Wait.

He told me he had called one Dr. S, the nation's leading specialist on gestational diseases. So I casually mentioned that if it wasn't for me, he wouldn't be learning so much. You're welcome. (I also say that to him on a regular basis, usually without being thanked).

"Doctor, if you get rich off this, I want a slice."

"How am I going to get rich off this?"

"Like I know!" I said. "But if I end up being the only person with it, and you find some cure or something, that's all I'm sayin'."

They haven't found someone else yet, so things are lookin' good!

Monday, August 8, 2011



The BEST Thing ever just happened!!!

It's like Christmas but early!!

I guest posted for a real live blog!! That is my hero of all bloggy-ness!!

I submitted a post with my friend Sarah to a blog called Rants from Mommyland about a month ago, because they were doing a series of "Domestic Enemies of the..." and then they'd list a type of mother, be it the adoptive mom, mom of teenagers, suburban mom, etc. So I thought to myself, "We need one of the moms who are Trying to be a Mom-moms!!!"

So we got it written and anxiously awaited the day for its posting.

And it's here!!!

So instead of writing about my party today like I originally planned, go ahead and hop on over to RFM to see what we have to say about infertility.

Merry Christmas!!

Here, This Will Make Your Page "Fancy"

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Feels just like I'm washing for the last time

    Because I did. Wash my hair in the shower for the last time for months. It was very emotional, because Taylor Swift's, "You're beautiful, every little piece, love," came on, and in a few hours I just knew I wasn't going to be beautiful. Then Chris came in 'cause he heard my crying, and I showed him all the hair on the wall and he reminded me that I wouldn't have to deal with it soon enough. Not the physical side effects anyway.

    And I've decided I'm going to keep it shaved until the chemo is over with, which will be at least another month. So I better have some creative things to do to my head until then!

    My HCG levels are in the one hundreds!!!!

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    This post talks extensively about my pee

    When you get a major-ish surgery, the hospital does all it can to do what it takes to make you feel comfortable - if you're at a good hospital. After my "c-section" surgery, that included giving me a catheter (a tube and sac that catches your pee) so that I didn't have to move around too much after the surgery. It was a good idea, too, because the first time I did go pee, I passed out on the toilet. Apparently, that's "normal" after surgery. Thank goodness I'm not a boy!

    Anyway, this whole catheter thing was working out great for me, until at one point, I started to feel a but of pressure in my bladder. Not to worry, the catheter was there to catch all my urinating needs. But the more time that passed, the more pressure I felt. I tried to push myself to go, but my whole abdomen was pretty much useless as far as muscle control went, seeing as it had just been sliced open. So I tried to relax, thinking that was my best option. Plus, I had a friend visiting and I can't very well start talking about my pee while she's sitting on my bed.

    Wait a second. She was sitting on my bed....

    "Hey Sarah, get up and move for me will ya?"

    We called the nurse in, and asked her about the bag. She said it was looking alright, then she traced the cord back up. "Looks like we had a kink in here!" She untwisted it, and sure enough, I started going freely again.

    And going.

    ...and going

    ...and going

    ...and going

    ...and going

    ...and going

    ...and going

    ...and I kid you not, two minutes later I started slowing down. Not stopping, but slowing down. Think about how long two minutes is, then think about how long it is to relieve yourself.

    I wasn't even embarrassed. What a feat! Who knew you could pee for two minutes straight!

    Obviously, you see why I had to tell this story.

    PS for anyone who hasn't heard, I'm having a head shaving party this Friday, August 5th @ my house @ 6:30. It's also a fondue party so feel free to bring dippins.