Friday, February 28, 2014

Not Meant To Be Wasted

Cancer sucks but cancer that robs childhood really sucks.

Monday, a little girl named Lulu lost her battle.  Lulu was a friend of a friend, who I came to love and pray for through social media.  My old chum Ryan was her fiercest supporter and my heart breaks for them with the loss of this precious spirit.  Heaven definately gained a good angel with this one. On Saturday night at 6 o'clock you are going to see me living out the strict plans she had for us to remember her.  
       "no one is to wear black.  Brightest colors possible, please, though Lulu is less approving of pink than yellow, orange, blue and purple.  If you are wearing a tie, she prefers bow ties.  fairy wings are greatly encouraged.  Sparkles are welcome.  In fact, if you don't have ay you might be "given" some at the door.  Things mismatched are to be celebrated."

And that is how I will look Saturday night.

It made me think about my best friend of 30+ years and her little brother that was lost to cancer before we were 10.  It was a sad time and I sincerely hope that I've been the kind of friend that I've needed to be through the years.  We've never talked a lot about it but I always looked a long time at that beautiful photograph of a happy little Teige which graced their living room all through my growing years. It influenced me.

I also thought about Jason McCormick, a childhood classmate, and how I wish so badly that I could speak to the 13-year-old "Me" and tell her to befriend that little boy who sat so quietly in the back of her classes at South Junior High.  I shamefully stood on the sidelines when a substitute teacher in cooking class insisted that he remove his ball cap which revealed his bald head.  I don't have many regrets in life, but I wish so badly that in a moment that mattered, I would have had the knowledge and power to be the one.  The one to be a friend - the one to make a difference - the one to fiercely defend him when other didn't.  I was a friend, but I know that I could have been a best friend. My loss.

Jason lost his fight in 1992,  but I've never forgotten him and the opportunity I missed to be even more kind when kindness really mattered.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Say A Little Prayer

Please keep my old friend Amy in your prayers. 

One and a half years ago she married her high school sweetheart, after almost 20-years of separation.  It was happy news for our graduating class because they were a great couple then - but an even better couple now.  He is a U.S. Army Ranger and you know I have a sweet spot for those who valiantly serve our country. Especially when they give up love and happiness for 20 years to do it.

In December they excitedly announced they were pregnant - happy, happy news!

A few weeks ago, they announced that they lost the baby because Amy has Stage 3 cancer.  Today she goes into surgery to remove her tongue, lymph nodes and portions of her throat. She will lose her ability to swallow and her speech for a time.

Tough, tough stuff!  

So please do me a favor and say a special one for Amy and Romero. I know they could use all of the prayers, warm thoughts and love we can send... but especially those prayers. Infant loss when you want it so badly is hard enough - pile on the rest and it's unbearable.

Have I mentioned that cancer really sucks?!  

I count myself so very fortunate so there will be no further Daily Dose pity party anymore.  I have awesome doctors, a great treatment plan and loads of hope for whatever may come my way.

The 10 pills I take a day will make me sick?  So what!  I'm breathing.  As a bonus, I still have my lady parts.

I may lose my hair? No worries! It'll grow back (and I probably need help with vanity anyway...)

Those pills will also make me swollen and gain a lot of weight?  Okay... not gonna lie...this one is a little harder because I've been working so hard to lose it.  That said, fat is fat.  Not anything I haven't already been handling so I'll stay the course and keep trying my best with good diet and exercise.

In true Mr. Thompson fashion, he went and bought me a new pair of running shoes after Dr. Z was so candid about the expected weight gain. He picked out the happiest pair he could find which is like running on rainbows.

I'm one of the lucky ones and trust me when I say that I've been thanking God for it...


Monday, February 24, 2014

Winner-Winner Sushi Dinner

"What am I doing here?!"

That was my thought this morning, as I sat in the reception area of the Cancer.Institute waiting for my much-anticipated appointment with the oncologist.

I didn't belong here.

It felt like the first day of 7th grade all over again.  I was once again that gawky girl who felt really small as she stepped into something that was clearly outside her comfort zone.  New faces - new places.  She was unsure of what was going to come next and was just trying to hold it all together until she figured it out.

Fast-forward to today when the emotions were close - really close... and I was scared. Just like the first day of junior high.

I pride myself in the fact that over time, I've learned to do my research.  I now know what I'm walking into and I can typically hold my own.  Head up, shoulders back, and with manufactured confidence I can handle the new places and new faces.

But not this time.  Not in this place.  

The nurse called my name and I walked down that long hallway towards the examination room with shaking knees and a fiercely beating heart. I couldn't "fake it 'till you make it" with this one.  No way - no how.

And so it went.

Today's appointment was as good as could be expected.  Before my arrival, Dr. Z (oncologist) had a good consultation with Dr. H (reproductive endocrinologist).  After almost eight years of exceptional care at my reproductive center, not much should surprise me - yet it does.  Dr. H continually goes above and beyond in our quest for a family and I will forever be appreciative of that.  Hands down I have one of the best RE's in the nation...and he handed me off to one of the most trusted oncologists in the west.

After the dreaded exam (again - something I'll never get used to) we sat down for discussion about my immediate treatment options.

We spoke about an immediate hysterectomy.  No surprise there.  I knew going into it that this was a real issue, thanks to "Dr.".  It isn't a matter of "if" but "when".  A hysterectomy will have to occur as it is an important defense against a cancer that is slow, but steady in growth.  Dr. Z was very clear about this.

But as my eyes welled with tears and Mr. Thompson squeezed my hand to infuse strength, Dr. Z spoke about the research, number crunching, and pouring over my labs since that conversation with Dr. H.  It doesn't happen often with a case like mine but she feels confident we can pursue another option to buy me a little time.

Hormone replacement therapy. Let me say that again.... Intense. Hormone. Replacement. Therapy. 

Dr. H said it best when he told me that Dr. Z was my best bet for fertility saving treatment.  She clearly understood her mission to get me healthy as her first priority, but also give me hope as her second.  Her goal is to buy some time so I can get "a window of opportunity" for another embryo transfer if that is the route we wish to take.  She was compassionate about our eight-year journey and feels optimistic that I am a good candidate for this short-term alternate.

"Window of opportunity" was the phrase of the day.

I'll take it.  

So for three months I'll take a bunch of pills and then we will re-biopsy.  If that re-biopsy looks good then we will continue the pills until it we get a window in which it looks great (or good- enough).  If that re-biopsy looks bad...then surgery removes my lady parts.  Time will only tell what happens but for now...

I feel like I won the lottery.  Hope lives on to see another day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ignorance Is Bliss

Never was there a truer statement than that.

Ignorance is bliss.

Hands down, one of the worst things I've ever done is turn to directly following my diognosis.  In 7+ years, I've never done it with infertility and in almost 6 years, I've never done it with infant loss.

And that's saying a lot because I love

So if you think I've sounded low and in the dumps the least three weeks, you're right.  I have been. Thanks, in part, to 

I'd just like to officially say that I'm not one of the many women that I read about, who wrote that they were perfectly fine having a hysterectomy.  Who wrote about being absolutely content just being an aunt or such, mothering other people's children in other ways.

Nope, I'm not one of those.  I'll never be content with that.

I'll never give up faith and I'll never give up hope on my own dreams.  In my heart of hearts, I know that there are promises not yet fulfilled.  My promises.  For motherhood. Maybe it will come through adoption, foster care, surrogacy, or my own DNA...but it will come.  Make no doubt.

And to the person in my real life who made the comment about me needing to listen because "when God says no - God says no"...  It's taken me a few weeks to realize it but that statement says a lot more about your faith than mine.  I love you, but you're wrong.  Dead wrong.  

Ignorance may be bliss...but it can also hurt.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tick-Tock You Don't Stop

I have so much to say, yet absolutely nothing to say.  For almost three weeks I've been in a perpetual state of...


I'm like that computer wheel that just keeps churning when a stubborn program won't open.  It has all been a lot to take in and honestly, I'm not there yet. 

I finally nod off at 11pm each night and faithfully wake up by 3am.  No. Matter. What.

I have a dull, throbbing headache all day thanks to my progesterone medication.

For two weeks I've had a twitch in my right eye.  I don't know if it's because of being tired or stressed. Maybe both.

I've pulled back - way back - from people that I love the most.

I learned that (more) people that I know in real life, read this stupid blog.  Comforting, yet disarming because it makes me feel vulnerable.   Really, really vulnerable.  And like I maybe can't say what I really want to say.  Most of you would laugh hard to know that in reality, I'm actually very private.  Except with my girlfriends - over sushi and pedicures we'll tell each other everything.  And here, you've all been girlfriends.   Just please note that I don't expect the same in the halls of church, in my office or at family gatherings.  Infertility and infant loss are in the quietest corners of my heart.  So if you really know me, laugh and don't let it get weird. Please.

Just kidnap me for sushi like my best girls do.




On February 24th I'll see one of the best gynecological oncologists in the Intermountain West.  #1 on Dr. H's list.  

...Hopefully the wait will be worth it because she is my very best shot at "fertility-sparing treatment".

On March 29th, I'll fly to Hawai'i for Mr. Thompson's 45th birthday and our Colton's 6th "angelversary". I can't wait.

...Hopefully it will get rid of that annoying tick in my right eye.