Chemo aka rat poison

Chemo sucks. I hated it and still have very strong feelings of dislike for it. I am not even sure where to start on the long list of reasons why it sucks. Yes it did help save my life, I will give it that but that’s it. I am 100% positive that anyone that has had chemo or knows someone who has will agree with me. A little history on my chemo; my “cocktail” consisted ofΒ  Cisplatin and Etoposide. I had chemo every three weeks, three times a week for four months. The day after chemo I would go back and get a shot of Pegfilgrastim which helps your body make more white blood cells.

First reason I hate it is because you feel like dog shit. Sorry for the swearing but chemo deserves a swear word. It feels like you have the flu x 100 all of the time. After a couple of days out from a round of chemo you start to feel a smidgen better but then it’s usually time for more. I also had a lot of soreness. Everything hurt from my limbs to what little hair I had on the top of my head. Yes my hair hurt, well I guess it was more like my scalp but whatever. One of the nurses compared it to having fibromyalgia. Those of you that have that I totally feel for you. It sucks. I was pretty much forced to pretend I felt okay because I had a little that needed attention and to be fed every three hours. But there was one day that I literally could not get off of the couch. Thank God my husband was home because I don’t know what I would have done without him that day.Β  I was supposed to go and get my shot for my white blood cell count but we were in the midst of a snow storm so I had to reschedule. It was the day after my third round of chemo so I was feeling crappy anyway.Β  I am not even sure how long I slept that day I just laid on the couch in and out of consciousness. I remember one of the times I did get up and it literally hurt to walk to the bathroom. I am still a little sore and depending on the weather I still have some bad days but I am so glad that I am not in as much pain as I was during chemo.

Another little wonderful thing that happened to me was I did have some hearing loss. I can thank the Cisplatin for that. I started having some ringing in my ears during chemo and that is a side effect of Cisplatin. I did get the amount of Cisplatin I was receiving reduced by 10% and it took care of the ringing. The hearing loss is not severe at all I mostly have a problem hearing someone talking to me if we are in a large crowd. (Which probably happens to a lot of people) It is kind of comical to listen to my husband and I when we go to a restaurant because he also has a hard time hearing in crowds.

The last reason is the most obvious. The hair loss. I know I will probably sound vain but that was the hardest part. I tear up thinking about it even now. My hair was kinda my “thing” I am not a size two and I don’t have a gorgeous face but my hair kicked some serious butt. It was long, thick and beautiful. I could curl it and straighten it and it looked good both ways. People would always say to me “People pay a lot of money to have their hair look like yours.” When those luscious locks started to fall out I had a small mental breakdown. I think some of it was it kind of cemented to me that yes, I did have cancer. By looking at me before my hair loss people probably just thought I was sick with the flu or something. But now everyone would now. They do make some great wigs but I couldn’t afford them. I did receive a free wig from the American Cancer Society and my dad bought me one for Christmas. Some people told me I should just shave my head right away so I wouldn’t have to go through losing it. I wish I would have listened. When you have cancer you lose control of a lot of things. Your whole life is based around surgeries, chemo and other treatment. Your hair falls out, your body hurts and you feel like crap. So to have some control and be in the driver’s seat again is a good feeling. When my hair started to fall out it ended up getting tangled in my other hair so I looked like I had a rat’s nest on my head. So one day I decided I was going to cut it shorter and donate it. So I did and then two days later my husband shaved my head. I will never forget that night. I went to take a shower and I could barely wash my hair. There was just gobs and gobs of hair all over the shower. After a cry fest in the shower I decided I had enough; I wanted to be in control. I got out of the shower and told my husband tonight was the night. He kept asking me if I was sure because he knew how much I loved my hair. I told him I was more than sure because I knew I could not have another shower like that again. So the shaving began. First I had to see what I would look like with bangs. I had never had them before and I discovered why that night. Then I gave myself a mullet. I kinda wish I would have taken pictures of my different hairstyles πŸ˜‰ Then it was shaving time. My husband shaved my head for me and finally I was in control. (Well technically he was in the driver’s seat cause he had the clippers) I was so glad I did it! No more hair falling out. A couple of days later he shaved his own head and so did my dad. I wish we would have taken a picture together.

After my hair was gone I got to enter the wide world of hats, scarves and wigs. Kind of a cool world; there are so many different colors and styles. I also realized something; I was okay with looking like a cancer patient. My hair was gone and there was nothing I could do about it but that was okay because I was still here; ready to raise my daughter and spend time with my friends and family. To all of the people out there that have lost their hair due to cancer or something else I admire each and every one of you. It is hard to step outside with no hair everyday and walk around on this earth. I wish I would have done it more. Looking back I wish I would have taken more pictures and just plain went out of my house without a wig. If you are in the process of losing your hair or you have lost it don’t be embarrassed.Β  You are beautiful and if you have the guts to show off that beautiful bald head you are awesome in my book!!

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One of my wigs.
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Hair starting to come back πŸ™‚
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The only pic I can find with my bald head. As you can see what I did have left was gray.

Why I started blogging

There are a couple of reasons why I started blogging. First reason is my daughter. Even though I am in remission and everything is going great so far I always have that nagging feeling that my cancer will come back. (Well I guess it can’t “come back” to where it was because those organs are long gone) So now I convince myself that I have a different type of cancer at least once a week. Once you have been told that you might not live or in my case “Some people make it” you have a lot of thoughts spinning around in the ol’ brain. I have always been filled to the brim with anxiety and worry and since my cancer diagnosis I have enough for 200 people. During my third round of chemo a social worker came and asked me if I had a living will and suggested that I do so. I asked her to leave and never saw her again. Everyone that I have talked to has said the third round of chemo is the worst. You feel worse and etc. That was definitely true for me. It was also more stressful. I had the dippy social worker and I also had the billing department at the clinic calling me when I was literally hooked up to the i.v. telling me my insurance wasn’t going to pay for any of my chemo because it wasn’t pre-approved. UGH! Anyway back to my daughter, after I was told I had cancer it really got me thinking what if I am not going to be able to raise my daughter. Scary thought. The solution was to write everything down for her. Tons of things came to mind to write about. Well when I had her I realized I was not going to have time to write a book of advice, stories and feelings. So after thinking and considering for about a year and a half I decided on blogging. I figured then she would be able to go back and look at our life together and maybe get to know me a little better. I do feel better about things now that I have started blogging, I feel like now she will know me a little better if something were to happen to me. She might be a little embarrassed when she gets older but right now we are bff’s and I ❀ that πŸ™‚ So, Avery when you look back at this when you are 16 know that once upon a time you loved to hang out with me and ride in cars with me instead of your friends πŸ˜‰

Second reason is I truly do want to help people. Whether it’s making them laugh, feel better about their own situation or maybe droppin’ a little knowledge. When you lose a child or have cancer everything goes really fast. You have so many decisions to make in a very short amount of time. All of those decisions are ones you never thought you would have to make. So if my rumblings can help anyone in their decision-making then I have reached one of my goals. I know how nice it is to have help in those critical decision-making moments. I don’t claim to be an expert in anything but I have been put in quite a few tough situations so I can offer a little advice. I also don’t claim to be funny. My so-called humor has gotten me into some trouble in the past. I always have to tell myself “Autumn you are not funny, just shut your mouth” Sometimes it is nice to have someone who you can relate to. So if someone comes across this mess of a blog and they actually feel a little better that would be great!

Third reason is I actually like doing it. I really wasn’t sure if I would; which is evidenced by the length of time it took me to start blogging. I am usually a very fast decision maker. Sometimes too fast. So for me to actually think something through is kinda crazy. Now I wish I would have started sooner. Another thing I have learned in these past three years is that time is very precious. In one second the rug can be yanked out from under you. So if you are thinking about trying something new, do it!! If it doesn’t work, so what at least you tried. If it does work that is awesome!!

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#1 reason for blogging πŸ˜€ This is probably my favorite pic of Avery so far ❀ She is nine months old in this pic

People are AmAzInG- Part 2

Pressing forward to the people in our lives that did so much for us while we were going through hard times. This is the second part of my People are AmAzInG posts.

I was in the hospital on bed rest when I was pregnant with my son and I received tons of visitors, cards, letters and flowers. Some of them really surprised me.Β  Some of the cards came from patients at the hospital where I worked. It was so nice to know that they were thinking of me along with my friends and family. When my son passed away I could not believe the outpouring of support we received from people in our community. More cards, letters, flowers and momentous came to our door. People brought food so we didn’t have to worry about cooking. That was so nice because the last thing I wanted to do was go to the grocery store. We had a small private memorial service for our son and the way our family and friends pulled together was amazing. We had a lunch at our house and I don’t think I had to lift a finger. They all made the food, brought tables and chairs, plates, napkins and cups. People dropped off books about grief and angel figurines.Β  My friends and family were kind of “on call” for me. I would call and they would come over or talk to me. They were always checking up on me which was much appreciated. I didn’t always feel like talking about what happened but it was so nice to just talk to people about anything. My co-workers at the time were pretty awesome too. They sent some things to the funeral home and sent me a card. A couple of them came to visit me in the hospital too. I am kinda weird and I saved all of the cards that we received and I keep them with my sons things. It is nice to see them when I go through his things to see how many people cared about him and us πŸ™‚

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. I was at work when I found out so obviously my co-workers knew about it. It was a Friday when I got the news so it was kind of nice to have the weekend to process everything. I spent a large chunk of the weekend shopping online for preemie clothes to keep my mind off of the “cancer” Saturday morning I had a knock on the door. The NP that I worked for dropped off Sprite and chocolate for me. I ❀ Sprite. It is my absolute favorite drink in the whole wide world. I am a firm believer that Sprite helps a person out in any type of situation. If you’re feeling down, drink a Sprite; if you’re sick drink a Sprite. That bubbly goodness will make you feel so much better. For added joy have it on ice πŸ˜€Β  Anyway back to the story. She was so helpful and nice to us during our cancer journey. She organized a meal plan for us. Three nights a week we had supper delivered to us. My friends and family brought us supper over. I couldn’t believe it! If you have ever been through chemo you know the last thing you want to do is cook. Since we were getting food three nights a week I basically never had to cook because we would have leftovers. Not only was the food nice but it was good to chat and visit with everyone. Then everyone could see Avery too πŸ™‚ I was amazed that people would actually want to take the time to bring us food. Now it wasn’t just sandwiches or something. We would have a five-course meal. There was dessert, meat, potatoes and snacks. Someone even brought us Erbert and Gerbert’s. I LOVE that place and the closest one is an hour away. I actually gained weight during chemo.

Again we were flooded with cards and well wishes. People sent us packages in the mail for Avery and sometimes there would be a little extra for us πŸ™‚ Speaking of Miss Avery my friends threw me a baby shower. I didn’t want to have one since I had one only a year ago for my son but they insisted. So in about one week they put one together so I could have everything before she came. It was at my house one evening. I had lots of friends and family come over and we received such nice gifts. I even had people send gifts along with others for me. People that I used to work with or I kinda lost touch with over the years. It was so nice. Not only because we received a lot of things we needed but it was a night where I didn’t have to think about the “cancer”

When Avery came home we had a couple small issues. I needed a babysitter when I had chemo and a ride to and from. I had chemo every three weeks and it was three days at a time. The first day was the longest about eight hours and the next two days were four hours. Well it’s kind of hard to find someone to babysit smack dab in the middle of the day. Plus Avery had that wonderful little condition where she would quit breathing when she ate so some people were too scared to watch her by themselves. I really can’t blame them because it freaked me the hell out when it happened. But we did have a couple of friends and family that would watch her and drive me so it worked out. Usually my husband stayed home on my long day so we only needed babysitters for two days.

After I was done with chemo I was able to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave with my baby girl. Then I went back to work part-time which was so nice because I still felt like a walking zombie. If you have ever had a major medical problem then you know all to well the expenses that come with it. We were trying to keep up with the medical bills but for some reason it was never enough. I won’t go into all of it but lets just say I yelled a lot at quite a few people in the billing department at the clinic.

Then a little angel appeared at our door. Our neighbors at the time have a pig roast every year and the proceeds go to a person or persons that have had a major medical problem (usually cancer) They informed us that we were chosen to be the recipients that year. OMG I didn’t even know what to say! I think I was in shock for a couple of days. Of course we said yes and thank you. So it began, well for them anyway. I can’t even imagine the planning that goes into this event. It is held at a campground a couple of miles from the town that we live in. So we were able to spend the night and have some fun. People donate gift baskets and they are raffled off and other larger items. There are games and food. Oh the food πŸ™‚ They sell t-shirts beforehand so everyone wears them the day of the pig roast. My friends and family helped in the gift basket department and with some other planning. It still amazes me that this couple dedicates probably six months or more of their life every year to help someone else. I am going to call them “O” and “T”Β  So “O” is a cancer survivor and actually just got cleared!! He put his five years in and now he is done going to the oncologist πŸ˜€ Yay for him!!Β  “T” has become a good friend of mine and we still talk to this day πŸ™‚ I can’t say enough about them. It is a huge weight off of someones shoulders when they are able to pay some bills and get those horrible bill collectors off their back. “O”, “T” and their daughter will always have a special place in our hearts. I can only hope they realize how much we appreciate what they did for us! Every so often you meet or become closer with extra-ordinary wonderful people. They are definitely those people!! One of the best things about this is that now we are able to help with the pig roast and donate to the other recipients. Last year I helped with the kids games and donated a gift basket.

We also received some donations from a craft sale. As I have mentioned before I ❀ craft sales. One of my friends I will call her “LB” was involved in a craft sale. She decided to donate some of her profits to us. Well two other people jumped on the bandwagon. Plus she had people coming up to her that couldn’t attend the sale purchase something or give a monetary donation to us. How wonderful!! We are very grateful to all of them πŸ™‚ I know what it takes to set something like that up since I used to do direct-sales. It can sometimes be a pain in the bum but she never complained and was always very upbeat πŸ™‚

I really hope I didn’t forget anyone and I apologize if I did. Still have a little chemo brain going on πŸ˜‰ Sometimes it can be hard living in a small community. Everyone knows or thinks they know your business. But we have found out it can also me truly amazing πŸ™‚ People that I hadn’t talked to in years sent cards or letters wishing us well and were praying for us. We actually had a couple of churches put us on there prayer-chains. At times I was actually at a loss for words (which if you know me you know that doesn’t happen like ever) when people were doing all of these nice things for us πŸ™‚ I am truly humbled by all of the support we have received. Thank you everyone so so so so much!!! There is a special place in our hearts for all of you ❀

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Avery sporting her Pig Roast onesie πŸ™‚

People are AmAzInG- Part 1

In the past couple of years we have a had some bad things happen to us. We lost our son, I got cancer and our daughter came into this world two months early. Through those things I have learned that people are truly amazing. Yes we had some bad experiences being in and out of the hospital and we have had some people who were not so nice to us but all in all people have been wonderful to us. So I want to give a big shout out to those people who have helped us through these hard times. I have decided to split this into two parts because there is so many people to recognize.

First off is the medical staff that cared for me, my son and my daughter. My OB/GYN is amazing. She has been with us through it all. I started seeing her when I was trying to get pregnant so we have been together a long time. I think she was almost as happy as I was when I got pregnant with my son πŸ™‚ When I lost my son I asked the nurse to please call her and tell her what had happened. I didn’t want her to come in thinking everything was fine and then bam not so much. So a little while later there was a knock on my hospital door. It was her. She came in on her day off to see us; totally unexpected. I had to have an ultrasound before I had him and she stayed with us for the ultrasound and talked to us after the ultrasound. She hugged us and made us feel so much better. She always made sure I had the best care possible. She checked up on me and made me feel so comfortable. I couldn’t have asked for more. Than I got pregnant with my daughter. Her awesomeness continued. This time around I was sooo nervous. So I was very pesty wanting to come in and hear the heartbeat and all of that good stuff. She always obliged my requests and assured me everything was going to be okay. When I found out I had cancer she was on medical leave but after I had my daughter we had another knock on the door. She came to visit us and see how we were doing. She is an amazing Physician and a wonderful person. I was obviously upset when I found out I wouldn’t be able to have more children but I was also upset because that meant I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore 😦  There are countless other things she has done for us but I should probably move on because I have so many other people to acknowledge.

As I mentioned in a previous post the nurse I had the day I lost my son was amazing πŸ™‚ I hope she knows how great she is ❀ After I had my son I met another great nurse. She was the head of a program they call TLC that they have at the hospital I had my son. She is the one who took some pictures of my son and she gave us tons of info and made sure that we got his hand prints, hand molds, and foot prints. She called me for a year after I had him to make sure I was okay and to answer any questions I had. That has got to be hard job and she does it so well. She made sure that everything went smooth for the rest of our stay. Actually all of the nurses and Doctors were great the whole time I was in the hospital. (I was on hospital bed rest for two weeks before I had my son)

The Doctor that delivered my son is also pretty special. I am sure that is not what he had in mind that day when he walked into my room. He was on call all weekend and was very compassionate. He asked me what he could do for me and I said “I want to go home asap” Less than 48 hours later I was on my way home πŸ™‚ Actually all of the staff that weekend was pretty great. When I was pregnant with my daughter I came in on a Sunday because she wasn’t moving. The Doctor that delivered my son was on call and both nurses that I mentioned before. They were all so genuinely concerned about me and my daughter. They all knew I had been diagnosed with cancer and were very helpful that day. A funny story about that day. I ended up going in by myself because my husband and step-son were hunting and I had upset myself so much that I didn’t want to wait for them to get home. Β  After we found out everything was okay and I put my time in on the monitor they were going to discharge me. I had the Doctor and nurse in my room and they kept looking around and I was thinking what in the world are they looking for. The Doctor asked if I was alone. I said yes and thought oh crap what is going to happen to me?!?! (I watch way to much ID Discovery) Then he asks “Does your husband ever talk?” Omg I laughed so hard!! I couldn’t help but think was this a burning question with the staff we had gotten to know so well over the past couple of years. I replied, “Trust me he does, I have to live with him”Β  Now he does not think this story is very funny especially when I tell it over and over. I think it is and everyone that hears it thinks it is. Sorry husband but I had to tell it again.

Moving forward (gosh we know a lot of people) The Doctor that discovered my polyp is also my OB/GYN’s husband. The day when I came in he decided to do an exam. Thank God he did. I don’t think I ever properly thanked him for that. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to have to call me and tell me I had cancer. I think I was so stunned when he called that I never said that I really did appreciate what he did for me. I would also like to thank the PA that did my first exam when I was pregnant with my daughter. She convinced me into letting her do an exam and boy am I glad that she did because it helped narrow down the time-frame as to when I got cancer.

One more shout out to the OB department and then I promise I will move on to something else. As I mentioned before we stayed at the Hope Lodge when our daughter was in the NICU. Well a nurse and two medical assistants from the OB department set that up for us. We had no clue what we were going to do when I left the hospital. I was able to stay for four days and I believe it was the second or third day all three of them came to visit. I was happy they came to see me but then they gave us the awesome news of what they had done for us!! I had never even considered staying there and having it all set-up for us was wonderful πŸ˜€

On to the Oncology department. (I promise this one won’t be as long) First off my second Oncologist; she was wonderful. She overloaded me with anti-nausea meds so I was able to take care of my baby girl instead of being in the bathroom sicker than a dog. She listened, answered questions and really did care about us. She is very straight-forward, knows what she is doing and always has a plan. She reminds me a lot of my OB/GYN. Two very smart women πŸ™‚ Then comes the nurses that administered my chemo. What a great group of people! They made me feel so comfortable and I really enjoyed talking with them. They would actually sit down and talk to me about how I was feeling. Of course they always asked how my daughter was doing. If you know me at all you know that if you care about my kids you are awesome in my book. At my last chemo I received a lot of literature about “life after chemo” One thing that stuck out to me was how people have a hard time not communicating with the staff on an almost daily basis like they are used to. In my mind I was kind of thinking yes I appreciate everything they have done for me and I will miss talking to them but I am running very fast out of this chemo room and I hope to never be back in that chair. Well after about a week I totally understood. When you are receiving chemo you pretty much have access to someone 24/7 to ask questions too. There is your Doctor, the nurses that give you the chemo and the nurses and Doctors that are on call that you have access to. After your done with chemo you don’t have all of that access. Of course you can call if you have questions and things but for some reason it is different.

Last but not least the NICU staff. This one is going to be a little shorter because I kind of already wrote about them. (Not like any of these people will be reading this but you never know) Avery’s Doctor was awesome and so was the rest of the staff !! We were invited to a picnic for the NICU last summer and I was really looking forward to going and seeing everyone but we weren’t able to make it. I am hoping for another opportunity to connect with them.

I have a hard time telling people how I feel and such so writing is a good way for me to do so. Maybe it’s the face to face thing. I know I have probably forgot some people but this is getting really long and if someone does read this they are probably asleep. Thank you to everyone that cared for all of us and we really truly appreciate each and every one of you. Even if we are “quiet” or have a hard time “expressing” how we feel please know we are very thankful. I know days can get hard especially in the field that you work in but try to remember how good you are at your jobs and how you have touched our lives and I am sure countless other patients and their families.

I am sorry to have to tell you this, you have Cancer

Today marks two years since I found out I had Cancer. My official diagnosis is Large Cell NeuroEndocrine Carcinoma of the Cervix. At the time of my diagnosis I was 30 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I had went in the day before because I had some spotting and the Doctor I saw decided to do an exam and he had found a polyp.Β  I had never had an abnormal pap in my life, no polyps nothing. So I was very shocked to say the least. I honestly can’t remember bits and pieces of the conversation. I was at work when he called to tell me the news. He didn’t have much information for me only that this type of cancer was very aggressive and I was scheduled to see the OB/GYN Oncologist that next Tuesday. (He had called me late on a Friday afternoon) He also told me that I would be having my daughter in two weeks and she would be spending some time in the NICU. Oh and I can’t forget that he also said I would be having a radical hysterectomy.Β  The Nurse Practitioner that I worked with at the time told me I was breathing really heavy on the phone and by what I was asking she knew something was very wrong. At the time I was working for her and a surgeon in a private office at the front desk. So after I hung up the phone I really didn’t know what to do next. Call my husband, call my parents, call my friends, cry, scream, I just didn’t have a clue. I immediately got mad, I just kept thinking how is this fair, I literally just lost my son almost a year to the date I found out I had cancer. Now I might not live to raise my daughter and I won’t be able to have any more children after this. I just kept thinking this is not fair at all, what did I do to deserve this. So after crying for a little while I went home and told my husband the news. Then I started calling friends and family.

So after a long weekend Tuesday finally arrived. I saw the OB/GYN oncologist and we decided to go ahead and do a CT Scan of my lungs, abdomen and pelvis. We wanted to know if the cancer had spread and with the type I had those are the places it spreads to or starts. Normally I wouldn’t want to do a CT Scan when I was pregnant but we wanted to know if we could wait the two weeks to have our daughter or if the cancer had spread and we had to have her now. The next day I was scheduled to see the OB/GYN Oncologist again, my OB, the Perinatologist (high risk ob), Oncologist, a NICU Doctor and a NP for my pre-op. It was a long day to say the least. But we did get some good news, the results of my CT Scan showed that the cancer had not spread. Actually the scan didn’t pick up anything. So we were happy about that. We learned a lot of things about what would happen in the next two weeks. I learned that you do not have to keep the first Oncologist you see. She was horrible. After learning my CT was good we were is pretty good spirits then we saw her. I asked her what the survival rate was with my type of cancer. She looked at me with a blank stare and said “Some people survive.” That was it; no you had a good CT, you caught it early, NOTHING. Then she proceeds to tell me to go online and read a story about a girl who found out she had my type of cancer when she was six weeks postpartum. After she tells me that she keeps scrolling down the page on her computer and says “Oh never mind don’t read that article.” Ugh she was Horrible!! Did I say that already? Well she deserves two horrible s.Β  I can happily say that was the first and last time I saw her.

We also found out lots of info on our daughter. She would be arriving eight weeks early and she would be going straight to the NICU after she was delivered. She would come by c-section and I would be awake for that. Immediately after I had her I would be put under for my hysterectomy. We were told that she may have breathing problems, which she did have some. She didn’t get the whole, suck, swallow breathe thingΒ  when she was eating. I was given shots so her lungs would be more developed when she was born. I had another ultrasound of her so they could see about what size she would be when she came. She was big for how early she was. Maybe it was all of the junk food πŸ™‚

I am going to do a little fast-forwarding just because this is getting reallly long. I was lucky enough to have great friends and family that threw a baby shower for me at my house. I originally wasn’t going to have one because I had just had one a year before for my son but they insisted. It was a great night and I got tons of great gifts!

October 16, 2012 my daughter’s Birthday!!!! We were up at 4:30 that morning to be at the hospital by 6:00 a.m. (We live a good 40 minutes from the hospital I was having my daughter.) At 8:27 a.m. Avery Lee was born ❀ She was 5 pounds 4 ounces πŸ™‚ I got to hear her cry and see her beautiful little face and then it was lights out for me.

After I woke up they wheeled me and my bed to the NICU and we got to hold Avery’s hands and see her πŸ™‚ After a short visit I was taken to my room where I would spend the next four days. We were able to go and visit Avery over my hospital stay and it was wonderful πŸ™‚ She was doing very well except for her Bradycardia’s. She would stop breathing every once in a while and then when she started taking a bottle she would stop breathing when she was eating. She is a fighter and full of energy and I think that is why she did so well πŸ™‚

So after four days in the hospital I was able to go home for about 3o min to pack some more things because we were given the opportunity to stay at the Hope Lodge. Some of the clinic staff in the OB department set up for my husband and I to stay at the Hope Lodge while our daughter was in the NICU. They are awesome, wonderful people πŸ™‚ They did it without us knowing and came and visited us while I was in the hospital to tell us the good news! So now we wouldn’t have to do so much driving. The Hope Lodge is free to cancer patients while they are receiving treatment. It is a truly wonderful place πŸ™‚

I started chemo two weeks after my daughter was born. I had a new oncologist and she was wonderful πŸ™‚ I had four rounds of chemo and was declared cancer free in February 2013. I will talk more about the wonderful adventures of chemo later πŸ˜‰

I was told many times by my Doctors that my daughter saved my life. Which is true but I honestly believe both of my children saved my life πŸ™‚ I of course will not be telling her she saved my life until she is an adult so she doesn’t try to use it as a negotiating tool πŸ˜‰ Now everyone could say I would go in if I was bleeding but you might not. If I wouldn’t have been pregnant I probably would have thought “Ugh I have my period again?!?!” Then I would have moved on and I probably wouldn’t be here today. So a little advice: go to the Doctor if you have something abnormal happening. DON’T ignore it!! Live life to the fullest everyday!! I know that is easier said than done but it really is just the little things in life. You don’t have to go skydiving everyday to live life πŸ™‚ Listen to your gut. If you have a “feeling” probably go with it. It could save your life πŸ™‚

SAM_0849
Here she is my lifesaver ❀

Exercise

So, if you would have told me a year ago that I would be blogging I would have told you that you are crazy. If you would have said I would be exercising and loving it I would have laughed and said shut your little mouth πŸ˜‰ But now both are true. So after having two babies in two years, being on bed rest and chemo I gained some weight. Okay a lot of weight. When I was pregnant I ate whatever I wanted. None of it was good for me. I was the girl stuffing her face in any given drive-thru. I didn’t really discriminate. So about this time last year I decided to try and lose weight. I am incredibly cheap and looking at all of those clothes in my closet that were too small and not wanting to buy all new clothes motivated me. Plus I was sick of feeling sluggish and well, fat. So it began, I started by going to my dad’s house and working out. He has a weight machine and an elliptical. I started slow but I can now say I have lost 10 pounds to date which may not seem like a lot for exercising for a year but I fought for every little pound. Once spring and summer FINALLY came to Wisconsin we started hiking and walking outside. I even run a little. Very little but I do try. I usually work out with my dad and he has been by “personal trainer” He really does motivate me. It’s kinda hard to say no when he calls or just comes over πŸ˜‰ Word of advice if you are unsure that you want to work out don’t have a parent be your workout buddy. They will drag you against your will because you are their child and they can. But that is exactly what I need πŸ™‚ I actually do feel better too. Of course I still have “chemo brain” and feel like I could sleep for 20 hours a day but it is getting better. I have more energy and I am happy to report my clothes do fit a little better. My advice to anyone that wants to start exercising but is too scared or embarrassed, start slow and they do have this wonderful little website called Pinterest that provides you with tons of workouts that you can do in the privacy of your own home. Β  So now that we are in a beautiful new season, fall I have been able to take some pictures on some of my hikes and walks. Here they are hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚Β  2014-09-20 001 001 2014-09-20 001 008 2014-09-23 001 007 2014-09-23 001 008