Friday, December 24, 2010

Bell ringing ritual, and party with my kids

Chris went with me to my final chemo. December 23, 2010. We had a good day celebrating and afterwards, I got to ring the bell that symbolizes moving onto the next chapter. 

 I took a quick nap during my drip session. Apparently, My husband thought I looked so sweet sleeping that he decided to snap a picture. (the ring I am wearing was given to me by my little supporters, Evie and Lauren Nolan. They saw it and said "mommy, Mrs Tiffany needs this ring". Such sweet girls taking after their momma with their thoughtful hearts.
 That's me ringing the bell. Marking the end of this chapter and getting me one step closer to my final journey!!! We headed home and arrived to a mini party that my kids and my mommy threw together. They made posters, and blew up balloons for my arrival.
My yard
Front door
Kids greeting me inside showing their support

entry way
more of the entry way

my chain of treatments.
We add a new link every time I have a treatments.


Getting my kisses

Brayden's poster...go says butt
Grayson's poster....Love the backwards E
Kaylee's poster
I gave my mom a hard time about the poster she made.
Bless her heart, she thought it was a cheer...
I said she was calling me a ho.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hell yeah....16 baby!!!!!

Today is my very last chemo. #16 all together. So, I thought I'd post a little 16 tribute to myself, since I am a numbers freak.
1. Today I noticed that I needed to pluck my eyebrows. They are growing back quickly and when I color them in, they look funny because they are growing in all bushy.
2. Today I also had to put on mascara. My eyelashes are short and stubbly but they are thick and beautiful to me!!!!
3. No more steroids after today!!! I've been on steroids since July 29, and today is my last dose of them. Finally my appetite is going to subside and I wont be as hungry. YAY!!!
4. I will be starting off the new year a new woman. Chemo will be over with and I'll be feeling good by new years day.
5.I shaved my legs 6 days ago, and I already need to shave again. Even though this is quite a chore for me and I haven't missed it, the thought that I NEED to shave excites me.
6. I woke up this morning with bed head. This completely made my day. When I shaved my head, and then it thinned out almost all the way, I didn't have bed head. EVER. So to wake up with bed head is SUPER EXCITING!!!!
7. I will no longer have to eat off plastic silverware after next week. The metal taste in my mouth will subside in a few days.
8. My taste buds will go back to normal after about 2 weeks and I'll be able to enjoy regular foods and not be so limited as to what tastes good.
9. My clothes will start fitting better as my weight starts to drop off from the steroids. This is really exciting for me.
10. My face will not be as puffy anymore.
11. My glasses won't be tight on my face anymore as the facial swelling goes down.
12. I will have to start allowing more time to get ready since I will have to start actually fixing my hair soon.
13. No more fatigue!!! Hopefully. Fingers crossed
14. My nails will quit lifting and will actually start growing back onto the nail beds.
15. I am one step closer to my awesome tattoo to represent this journey.
16. I'm one step closer to great looking boobies with Dallas Cowboys stars tattooed on instead of nipples. Oh yes.... You read that right. But too bad only a few select people will get to see that.

I am also thankful today for the numerous people who have shared this journey with me. Watching my kids, giving them rides, bringing us delicious food, cleaning for me and Chris when we couldn't keep up or didn't have the energy to do it ourselves,and calling to check on us periodically. I'm also thankful for the financial support we've received from some. It has helped MORE THAN YOU KNOW!!! This is an expensive way to get my boobs, but in the end they will be a healthier pair. We obviously didn't plan or budget for this over the past year and it snuck up on us at a horrible time financially, so this blessing is so totally unexpected, and appreciated.

So, thank you for all sharing this journey with me. Even though I still have MONTHS of crap ahead of me, I think I'm through the worst part of it. I have reason to celebrate this Christmas and I will definitely be starting the new year off right!!!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

My only complaint so far....

I have not complained hardly at all during this whole ordeal. I'm fine with losing my hair, in fact, I've found some good points to it, and made a top ten list. But, the fingernails.....that part sucks!!!  They have basically lifted about half off my nail bed. Every single one of them. They are nasty, yellow and discolored, but I don't even care about the's the tenderness and pain that I complain about. This is pretty much the worst side effect I've had. No mouth sores, no sickness (except the one time from reflux) and I'm ok with losing hair.... and even though I have fatigue, it doesn't hurt...
Have you ever tried to clean with nails like this? I have and I hit them against the counter while I was wiping it, and it hurt sooo bad! I've hit them on shelves, I've raked them across my jeans, and I've almost ripped them off trying to open a drawer. I can't even hardly put Kaylee's hair in a ponytail. I did finally find one way that I can do it, where I loop my pinky finger through her pony tail holder and pull with my finger, not my fingernail. My toe nails are probably just as bad, but they stay painted so I haven't seen them. Grayson steps on them ALL THE TIME and it freaking hurts! I've cried from him doing it because it hurts so bad. I've kicked toys, and scraped them under a counter once too and talk about PAIN! I've resorted to toe socks (which I absolutely HATE, but I have to do something to keep my toes warm since I can only wear flip flops.)

I'm told that they should NOT fall off, and that they should grow back onto the nail bed as they grow out, but I still have one more treatment left, so its a waiting game. I was told to keep them short and clipped to avoid any accidents, so I do that, but they still hurt. They are tender, and hurt, but only when I touch the tops of them. It makes it really hard to do anything. Cook, clean, open cans, drawers, and jars...wear shoes, pull up a zipper, dig in pockets or bottom of purse, type on computer, pretty much....most of my daily activities.

Oh, and can you imagine if I were to get cleaning products under there???? BURN!!!!

Yeah....this part sucks.

One more chemo left!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fatigue and's a real thing, not just an excuse to be lazy!!!

I am currently meeting with a Dr for my fatigue caused by cancer. She said it is a proven valid condition, but that no one knows why or how it happens yet. They are still doing research on why some people are affected by it, and some people aren't. Two people can have identical cancer, and be going through identical treatments, and one will get fatigue and one will not. I don't know if it's the fact that I have 3 children under age 7 draining all my energy, or if my body is fighting so hard to beat the cancer and it takes everything I've got....but one thing is for sucks! I have a moderate to severe case of it and I am on medication (Ridalin equivalent) to try and combat the fatigue I feel. It helps some, but one thing the Dr told me is "SAVE YOUR ENERGY FOR WHAT IS IMPORTANT!" She really stressed that to me. She said if you have people willing to do things for you, let them, so that you can conserve your energy for your children and family time.

Now I would love to clean my house, cook dinner, run errands, and be a super mom, but the fact of the matter is.... I cannot do it right now. I know people admire my strength and my courage, but inside, it is a HARD battle. One I would not even wish on my worst enemy. I am not much of a complainer, and I REFUSE to throw myself a pity party. So, if you were to ONLY read my blog and not actually talk to me, or spend any time with might think I am stronger than I really am. People who actually spend time with me and talk to me can see that I am struggling.....physically and emotionally.

I struggle with the fact that my children have to do more on their own these days. At times, I feel guilty for sitting on the couch when there are things to be done. Truth be told, this is NOT my normal character. I am typically an "on-the-go" type of person. I rarely go anywhere anymore. Not by choice, but because I simply cannot muster up enough energy to go shower, get dressed and drive somewhere. Some days are better than others, obviously, and I can get stuff done. But, I never know which days I will have energy and which days I won't have even an ounce. I DO choose to conserve my energy for those hours when my children are home and need my help with homework, or want me to go outside and watch them ride their bikes. I conserve my energy for a quick trip to the grocery store. I conserve my energy for an hour of alone time with my husband sitting on the couch talking. Those are the things that are important to me.

Chris will often make me get out of the house with a friend. He will practically force me to go out some nights even if I don't want to. Granted, sitting on your ass at a girlfriends house doesn't expend hardly any energy at all, but at times, I still don't feel like I can do it. But he makes me go and I am thankful for that because I always feel refreshed and energized when I leave awesome company.

A typical day for me goes like this:
I wake up at 7:30, the kids have been dressed and fed already, and lunches made, thanks to my awesome husband. I brush my teeth and make my cup of coffee while the car is warming up. I drive the older 2 to school and return home with Grayson. (Kaylee even carries him out to the car for me, because she loves acting like his momma, and she will buckle him up) Grayson and I will lay on the couch for a little bit. He will do a puzzle, play with trains, or watch cartoons while I lay there. I muster up enough energy to make his lunch, or get him a snack if he needs it. But, it's a sandwich, or a nutri grain bar, or something easy. He lays down for a nap and I conserve enough energy to carry him up the stairs because it's important to him. When he lays down, I also lay down. I nap until he gets up. Then, we go back downstairs and lay on the couch again until it's time to go get the kids from school. We go get them and come back home. I help Kaylee and Brayden get their homework done, and I make sure they get a quick snack. Sometimes, people bring us dinner, and sometimes Chris cooks when he gets home. Often times, we re-heat something from the freezer or he makes grilled cheese sandwiches or macaroni for the kids. We eat dinner together as a family, and then it's bath and bed time for the kids. By this time, if I go upstairs, I stay upstairs because I simply don't have enough energy to go up and down the stairs any more for the day. If I don't go upstairs, the kids will all tell me goodnight and I'll take a quick nap while he is bathing them and putting them to bed. I spend an hour or so with him in peace and then I head to bed.

Now, some days, I have more energy and I actually get out and run a quick errand, or throw a load of clothes in the laundry, or run the vaccuum. I've even cooked a few times. Those days, and those small things make me feel accomplished. With Christmas lurking around the corner, I have a few more people to shop for before the kids are out of school. But, if I don't get out to do it, it's not a big deal.

I say all this to say: I am THANKFUL and so grateful for the people in my life who care enough to help. I have an AWESOME team of friends, (some of who I knew before all this, and some who I am getting to know now) who help by giving rides to my kids, cooking dinner for us, taking Grayson for a few hours so I can rest, cleaning or paying for a cleaning service, and even running an errand for me so I don't have to.

I have had people come help me out at my craft shows (I signed up for them last year and even though it's hard work, it provides a small amount of spendable cash for the holidays), I've had friends who call me and just get me out of the house for a quick coffee, or dinner, and I have friends who don't take no for an answer, and do things without me asking. I have not asked for any help, they have just done it. They are beautiful people and they all help in their own way. I am eternally thankful for those people. Those people show the true heart of Jesus and live as an example to others.

I've definitely seen people for their true self, and it's beautiful.

Until you go through something as life changing as this, you cannot fully understand what it is like to walk an inch in my shoes. It's horrible, but it happens. It happens to good people. It happens to people who don't deserve it. It simply happens.

I've also been chastized for "partying with the girls instead of cleaning my own house" and to that person, I have to say......
"Walk an inch in my shoes before you open your mouth and pass judgement on me. You have no idea what I go through on a daily basis. You have no idea how I feel. You have no idea how hard this is....because you don't really care to know. Leave my family alone and quit pretending like you care, because we all know you don't, and God sees your heart for what it really is. When you personally attack someone in my situation, you let everyone know how truly shallow and lonely you are.  I pity you, but I still love you and forgive you in spite of your negative words and actions."  May God bless you anyways.

Thank you again to all my "helpers" and "fairies" who have helped me out, without me asking. I adore each and every one of you. Without you, this battle would be a lot harder, and I wouldn't have as much strength.


New Surgery Update

Friday, I met with my surgeon again. I told her I wasn't comfortable with the TRAM flap procedure and asked more questions about WHY I couldn't have the tissue expanders and implants. I told her that I just was not comfortable with that surgery, with the HUGE scar left across your stomach from hip to hip, and with the "non-perki-ness" of the breasts made out of the stomach tissue. We talked for a bit and came up with these results:

1. RISK: Some people who are going through radiation can look sun burned, some will blister, and some people with tissue expanders can get an infection with the tissue expanders. If I happen to get an infection, they will have to remove them and we will be back at square one, plus it will delay my radiation a little bit because we'd have to stop radiation to have the surgery to remove them.

SOLUTION: Antibiotics can cure an infection, plus removing them will speed the process, so it's not life threatening. It's just a setback, and it may not even happen. I'd rather take the chance and have that option rather than just cutting off the whole boob and ONLY having the TRAM flap option. I've defied all odds so far, so chances are... I'll defy those odds too. I got a TON of prayer warriors on my side, so I'm thinking this is not even going to be an issue.

2. I would always regret it if we just went ahead and went with the TRAM flap and total mastectomy without giving the skin sparing mastectomy with tissue expanders and implants a chance. It's a 50/50 chance of infection, but it does not change my survival rate, my re-occurrence rate, or my overall outcome. The only risk is the possible infection. I'm willing to take that chance if it means better cosmetic results in the end.

So, they've switched my plastic surgeon to one who will do the tissue expanders and I meet with him before my surgery date. They scheduled my surgery for February 1st. There is still a chance that he could tell me I'm not a candidate for implants. Not every cancer patient has good enough skin after radiation, or depending on their type of cancer, tumor size, tissue affected, etc, it could make for bad results. So, once I meet with him, he will let me know if I am a candidate.

So, I am much better emotionally and more at peace with the new process.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One more to go!!!!!

Well, I am sitting here at the moment receiving my chemo drip. This is my second to last FAC chemo, and I am super excited about that. My last one should be scheduled for December 23. Dr Theriault, my oncologist, said today at our visit that my blood counts are VERY good and doesn't anticipate that we will have to delay the last chemo. That is bittersweet news for me. I'm excited to have it all done, but on the same note, that means that my Christmas eve and Christmas day are gonna be kind of rough. Typically, the first 5 days after chemo are my "weird tummy" feelings. I stay on top of my anti-nausea medicines, so I don't "get sick" but nothing tastes good (except a BBQ potato and a McRib sandwich from Mcdonalds) and I never know if what I am feeling is nausea, anxiety, hunger, or indigestion. It feels like all of them combined, so I don't ever know if I should eat or not. Then, after that subsides, I usually have about 2 days of reflux going on and I want to sleep a lot for the second week (days 10-14). Then, I finally have a normal week, my appetite subsides, and the sleepiness wears off, I just am lazy and non energetic the last 7 days of my 21 day cycle. So, Christmas day, I'll have a little energy, but I probably won't want to eat anything which sucks because our family tradition is too cook a Christmas dinner for our kids that day. (We do a typical Thanksgiving day type meal with fried turkey and all the fixings). I'm fairly certain that I also want want to cheat and steal any holiday cookies we will be baking. That's a good thing.....especially these days.

So, as for the chemo and side effects, I'm still doing very well. No major complaints. Not that I am much of a complainer anyways, but the only real side effects I have are not painful, just annoying. I've lost my eyelashes completely and I only have about 4-5 hairs in my eyebrow line. I busted out the "temporary tattoo eyebrows" and the false lashes this week. I only wear them when I go out somewhere major. Dr appointments, errands and social gatherings are lash less. It's too much work unless it's really worth it. But, I feel like I "look" sick now that I have lost those, especially if I don't have makeup on. Of course, the hair on my head is GROWING...go figure. It's thinned out, but it's about a half inch long already and I razor shaved my head for Halloween, so it's grown that much in just over a month, while most people lose their hair completely around that time.  My fingernails are discolored to a pale yellow color, and they have lifted about half way on my nail bed. It looks like a pocket of air under there. It doesn't hurt, I just can't do a lot of things because they could fall off. No more ponytails in Kaylee's hair, no more opening coke cans, no more untying knots, and no more tearing ketchup or condiment packets.

I signed up for a craft show last year when I did the show, so I decided to go ahead and participate this year so that I didn't lose my spot for the next year. So, this weekend and next weekend, I will be at the FFA Christmas market on Telge Rd. I've been trying to get bows and rhinestone shirts made, but since I've been so tired, it hasn't happened. Good thing I make most of my stuff on the spot. Of course, my wonderful husband is going with me to help, and I've had a few friends offer as well. Since it's 2 days after chemo, I shouldn't be feeling all that great. The next weekend is my "tired weekend" and "not supposed to be in large crowds" weekend. All this, just to not lose my spot for next year when I'm back in full force. Plus, I feel like I've modified  my workload and given up quite a bit with the business lately, and I miss it. I'm bored. So, crazy as I am....come out and see me and make it worth my while and get some of your Christmas shopping done also. Great vendors and unique items for that "hard to buy for" person. Chris will be with me making shirts and doing things that I cannot do......He's such an awesome hubby. How many men would come to a craft show for 2 days and make rhinestone shirts??? MINE, because he loves me....
It is the Cy-Fair FFA Country Christmas Craft Show, this Saturday and Sunday (12/4 and 12/5) from 10-5 each day. It's at the Ag arena on Telge Road by 290 fwy.
Email me if you would like a flier emailed to you.

So, one more chemo treatment to go! Then I'm through the hardest part. After that, removal surgery and healing, followed by 6 long weeks of radiation EVERY day, and then once my skin heals from radiation, I can start on the reconstruction process. So, if you're wondering how much longer I have......probably another 9-12 months before I'm completely done.

Prayer requests or needs for us this week, for those who have asked:
  • Pray for continued good results from the chemo. Mild side effects, and blood counts to make them say "WOW".
  • Pray for my meeting with my current surgeon (tomorrow morning) where we will discuss if the total mastectomy she wants to do is 100% ABSOLUTELY the only way to go. (see prior post for more info on that one) I really do not feel at peace with that procedure so I'm going to try and convince them to do it my way, or give me statistical facts to this being the ONLY way we can go in my case. So, this means you might want to pray for the surgeon....for me to have mercy on her and not want to make her crawl under a bush and hide. (She's a good surgeon, don't get me wrong, I just don't want the procedure done her way and I think that's stepping on toes)
  • Pray for my husband and his position and possible advancement at work. We need a raise, he needs a promotion, and there are some things opening up.
  • Pray for a wonderful holiday season for everyone. Happy safe travels, and loving, giving hearts.
  • Dinners, or pre-cut fresh fruits so the kids can get their own snacks while I am napping.
  • An occasional person to take Grayson, my sweet 2 yr old while I nap for a few hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • An occasional sweeper, mopper, and duster fairy for my house since I didn't qualify for the Cleaning for a Reason program. Chris manages to get the dishes done and gets the counters wiped off daily, but toilets, bathrooms and laundry get done on weekends usually. He doesn't have time to get to the floors too often except the daily sweeping of all the kids crumbs under their chairs.
I have an online calendar set up that Eva, my PA, is arranging. If you'd like to join and sign up to help, please email me and I'll send you the link because it's a private site.

So, that's about it! Chemo is done and I'm heading home to sleep the day away.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Cheer

Just a few words before the holidays and frenzy get here. Most people get caught up on the drama in their lives and don't focus on the true meaning of "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas". So, here is my little reminder of the real meaning and my experience and outlook on things.

Thanksgiving... to give thanks for the things and people in our lives. This year, I am so thankful for health and for good friends and family. I have an awesome husband who has been cooking and cleaning for us as much as he can, and I have awesome friends who have picked up the slack where needed. I have good friends who drive my children home from school, to dance class, and to church. I have friends who get me out of the house for a girls night here and there. My husband has friends who take him on trips to see his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, play and who lend an ear or a helping hand to him when in need. These are all things we are thankful for, this year, this season, and at this point in our lives. What would I do without all these great people in my life? Where would I be if I hadn't given my boobies a quick rub that night they were tender? I am JUST NOW scheduled to go see my OB Dr, where they check for lumps and where they checked last December and found nothing.  That's how fast this thing grew... in 6 months. Where would I be in this journey if I hadn't caught it? It scares me to think about it, so I give thanks to GOD for how the events played out, even if I'm still in shock. I give thanks to GOD for bringing all these people, and new friends, in my life to share and embark on this journey WITH my side.

Christmas....Celebrating Jesus' birth. You can't spell Christmas without CHRIST. (and now I'm singing this Christian rap song, with that title, that we used to listen to growing up) As the holidays approach, I remember my favorite Christmas ever. I was 8 and my Dad had just lost his job about 2 weeks before Christmas. He was an IT data processor. Back then, computers were just now on the rise, so his job was not as in demand as it is now. We had nothing, and things were BAD. 7 kids, no money for Christmas, and no food except the staple items. I remember my parents sitting us down on Christmas eve and telling us that there was no money for presents, and no food for the Christmas dinner. We probably would have been just fine with beans and rice....again, but that gets old. We went to bed with the sadness of no Christmas presents, but also with the joy of having each other, and spending "quality family time" together. I'm sure my parents would have found a way to make something special...... but they didn't have to. When we woke up the next morning, on Christmas Day, our front porch and walk way were FILLED with presents, food, etc. Someone in the middle of the night had come and blessed us anonymously and filled a need. We were STUNNED, excited beyond belief and overjoyed! There were presents for each kid (all 7 of us!!) and turkeys, side dish items, and about 3 garbage bags full of toys, games, and clothes for all of us kids. We have no idea who left all of that on our porch. We assume it was someone from the church we used to attend, but we have no idea who.... even to this day. It taught us kids, even at that young age, that God will provide for us in times of need if we turn to him. My parents were religious tithers and always gave the first portion of their income to the church, no matter what. God took care of us, and showed us the TRUE meaning of Christmas, which my parents taught us all along, but that was reinforced that memorable day. Bless others, and you too will be blessed.

A lot of people have this concept backwards, and with the release of "pay it forward" and that whole concept, some people think "I have to get something out of this" or "I'll bless AFTER I have received my blessings"...paying it forward. It's a GREAT thing to do, and in fact, we in the Lynch household are always paying it forward, but, don't forget that you have to GIVE the blessings first in order to GET them; and pass them on and pay it forward. This is a lesson that we learn as children, but often forget as we become adults. I know my parents always used to DRILL in our heads "treat others how you want to be treated" and recite the scripture passage that went with it; Matthew 7:12 which says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

My friend, Eva, who was arranging my calendar and trying to help me get rid of my "it's-easier-to-do-it-myself-rather-than-ask-for-help" attitude....told me "Tiffany, people out there want to bless you and if you don't let them, you are basically robbing them of their blessings they will receive" and this rang true with me. That's when I dropped my "super woman" attitude and graciously accepted whatever help was offered. I had totally forgotten about Matthew 7:12. It was my turn to receive the blessings that I had been handing out for years, but it was also someone elses turn to give the blessings in order to receive theirs. It's a big circle.....just like everything else in life.

So, this holiday season, I encourage you to make a conscious effort to bless someone else, and take it one step further....DO IT ANONYMOUSLY. Do we really need to pat ourselves on the back or let others know what we did for someone else? If so, then our priorities and reasons for blessings are still backwards because it's not others who will be rewarding those blessings you's GOD who will be rewarding us with blessings of our own, and He knows what you have done. We need to do it, just because we want to, because we are led to do so, and because I believe that's how He would want us to show His love and celebrate His birthday!

Give with no expectations. Receive with a happy heart.

It doesn't matter what you say about a person after they are gone....what matters is how you treat them while they are here. Always make sure your actions reflect your heart and you'll have no regrets.

Enjoy your holidays and drop your expectations of others, and instead keep an open mind, and have a forgiving heart.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meeting with plastic surgeon

So, yesterday I had my meeting with a plastic surgeon. This one was outside of MD Anderson as I wanted to get a second opinion. I was basically told the same thing.....which fucking sucks! Sorry for the foul language, but I'm allowed.

Here is why it sucks. Before cancer, Chris and I had talked about me getting a breast lift and small implants to hold my lift in place. After three kids and weight loss about 5 times over a 10 yr period, my boobs were not pretty once I took off my bra.  I wanted to be able to wear a halter top, or something backless without having to wear a bra. I was gonna have a nice looking rack. I'm sure you all know someone who has had breast reconstructive surgery and they have a nice pair of tits, right? I know quite a few women with pretty, perky, beautiful boobies. A few of my best friends have beautiful ones....I've seen them. Well, now that stupid cancer has come, I am not going to have those same results.

I already had my bubble burst when they told me I could not have the skin sparing mastectomy, that I needed a total mastectomy on the right side. So, I accepted it and found the joy anyways. At least I'd be cancer free. So, the more people I talked to about the TRAM flap or the DIEP flap, which is the procedure that I would have to have done....the more they all recommended it. You get a tummy tuck with the procedure, which sounds even better....right? Well, I've seen numerous pictures, in Dr's offices and online and none of them are pretty without implants. Every breast reconstruction surgery photo that I saw that said "skin sparing with implants" was a beautiful rack. The ones that said "total mastectomy" or "tram flap" or "diep flap" are all ugly saggy boobs. So, it's really hard to find joy in this shit through tear filled eyes trying to find something...anything..... to hang on to.... to say "it's gonna be Ok, Tiffany...You'll have cancer free boobs.....even if they are ugly"

And to think, I was going to pay $8-$10 grand for my beautiful boobs before cancer. Now, I'll be paying about $17-$20 grand for ugly saggy boobs. It's just not fair. It sucks.

If you're curious about this procedure, google "TRAM flap".... or "DIEP flap" and look at the ugly pictures in front of you. Don't say I didn't warn you....

Way to steal my joy.....fucking Cancer!

Friday, November 12, 2010

FAC chemo #2 (halfway through this round)

Yesterday, I had a visit with my oncologist and FAC chemo #2. All in all, things went well. They switched my anti-nausea meds to Emend because my insurance company is silly about paying for Zofran. They only give me 21 pills for 25 days, and my chemo is 21 days apart, so they wouldn't fill it. So, he sent in for emend, which is WAY more expensive. HAHAHA. I love the way he works. We had a good laugh about that.

I asked about my hair falling out. He had mentioned that it would start falling out (what was left after Taxol) on day 10 and be completely out by day 17. Well, yesterday (day 22) I still have all my peach fuzz left. He was stumped. He doesn't see that often apparently. I even shaved it with a razor on October 29 for a costume party where Chris and I went as Mr. and Mrs. Clean and it grew back. I wear a wig too much, and I wanted to feel free and there aren't a whole lot of costumes for bald women. He thinks I have super follicle hair cells that might not be reacting to the chemo like normal people. So, I may not lose my hair completely. Time will tell. The tumor is still shrinking, I haven't had another scan yet, but I can physically feel it shrinking.

When he asked about my fatigue, I mentioned that I sleep about 9-10 hours at night, which is about double my normal amount, and I also take 2-3 hr naps most days when the kids let me. He said there is a fatigue clinic at MDA and is setting me up an appointment to see them. They can give me ADHD drugs like Adderol and/or Ritalen (sp). They can give me a little boost and make me feel not so tired.

They are also setting up my appointment with the plastics department so that I can meet with them before my Mastectomy and everyone will be on the same page before surgery. I've talked to a few people who have had my type of surgery, or close to it, and they have set my mind at ease a little bit. I've learned that the more stomach fat you have, the more likely they will only pull from there, which means I get my tummy tuck AND new perky boobs out of this. So, I'm busy plumping up in the meantime.  :-)  I'll use that as my excuse. hehehe

 You can really see my face plumping up in these pictures. It's normal with chemotherapy, but I've just noticed it recently as my glasses are getting tighter. I had to go get them adjusted today.

They have puzzles everywhere at MDA, but only on the tables in the waiting rooms, and I got tired of never completing a puzzle, so I took along my iPad (thank you Shawn!) and downloaded an app where you can put together a puzzle. So, I took a picture of me working on a puzzle during chemo.

As for side effects, I'm feeling OK. Nausea is under control, I'm just exhausted. I feel like it takes every ounce of energy to get out of bed in the morning to take the kids to school. I'm ready to go back to bed as soon as I drop them off. Unfortunately, I have a VERY active 2 yr old to deal with. He likes to climb all over me as though I'm a human jungle gym. So, unless someone takes him for the day, or for a few hours, I don't get in much of a nap.
Cleaning doesn't get done much, though I do try to get some stuff done here and there as I get bouts of energy. I eat sandwiches and soup, things that are easy to make and don't require a lot of time or energy. I'm thankful that I only have 2 more treatments left of chemo, and then I'm done with this part, which I think is the worst part. I'm also thankful for the cleaning fairies and the meal fairies and anyone who has taken Grayson for a while so I can rest. Without those people, my journey would be WAY more hectic and stressful. I am also very lucky to have such an AWESOME husband who picks up the slack on my chores, and takes over the kids at 5pm and sends me to my room to rest. Without all these people, I truly would be a mess! Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped out giving rides, cooking, cleaning, and childcare. You guys all ROCK!! I love my Team Tiffany!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Take off your bra

How many of you have been told by your mother that you need to wear a bra as much as possible to keep your breasts from sagging?

A study has revealed that a causative factor for breast cancer that can increase your risk of getting the disease by 100 times: Wearing a bra for more than 12 hours a day. Sydney Ross Singer (an applied medical anthropologist) and his wife, Soma Grismaijer (a scientific assistant) interviewed more than 2000 women with breast cancer and 2000 women without breast cancer and concluded the following information:

1. A woman who wears a bra 24 hours a day is 113 times MORE likely to get breast cancer than a woman who wears a bra less than 12 hours a day. (that statistical link is stronger than the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer)

2. A woman who NEVER wears a bra is 21 times less likely to get breast cancer than a woman in general population.

"Needless to say, the medical establishment hasn't embraced this theory because it goes away from the current chemical and genetic model, ignoring the simple mechanical fact of what clothing constriction can do to the body." Singer says.

"Bras and other tight clothing can impede the flow of the lymph fluid out of the breast, thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast."

Singer also says to "avoid bras with underwires and other stiff, breast shaping components, as well as push up bras. The bra should not leave marks or dents on your skin. If it does, it's too tight."

"Women need to realize that wearing a bra is a cultural phenomenon...not a natural one."

So, my do you keep your breasts from sagging without wearing bra? Implants! Yep, implants can move your breast tissue closer to the surface and make lumps more recognizable with self exams. I'm not saying you have to go bigger....just keep them your size if you are happy with them. Bigger implants are harder for mammograms to pick up lumps, and might be a bit more painful being squished, but normal size is totally fine. (My surgeon actually gave me this piece of information)

In conclusion, implants and not wearing a bra can save your life!!! It's scientifically proven, so tell your husband that you need to save your life and get them.

( * ) ( * )


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lots to tell

This is going to be a lengthy post. I thought about splitting it up, but each post would be separate and might get lost since the blog only shows a few posts at a time. So, here goes:

My friend Mell (MariaEugenia Llanca) has been working very hard on a ZumbaThon benefit for me. She wanted to do something to help us out financially with the medical bills, and she LOVES Zumba. (it's a salsa aerobics class for those who don't know) She was reading my blog one day and was really touched and blessed by something on here and God put it on her heart to bless me back and to do it in this way. So, for those of you in the Houston area, here is the info:
Saturday, November 13, 2010
at 10225 Woodedge Dr. Houston TX 77070 (culture shapers/LRC building)
Prizes, give-aways, pink merchandise for sale, FREE Zumba classes for family, kid friendly activities, snacks

She has really worked hard on this, so please come out, even if you don't want to do the Zumba class. There is plenty of stuff to do for the whole family!
(There is also still time to sponsor if you or someone you know owns a business and wants to promote during the event or donate an auction item.)

Call Mell for more details: 281-571-3402

Surgeon Consultation
I had my surgeon consult on Wednesday. It did not go the way I envisioned it. I've mentioned my friend Moni on here before. We have almost identical cancer and are both getting treated at MD Anderson. We are both triple negative and stage 3 and both have lymph nodes affected. The only difference is that she was BRCA positive and I was negative. (This is the genetic testing) Well, Moni is 6 months or so ahead of me in treatments and I guess I figured I would just follow the same treatment plan as her. So far, it has been the same. So, when I went into the appointment my plan and idea was that I would be able to have the skin sparing mastectomy and lymph node removal, followed by radiation, followed by reconstructive surgery at which time they would remove the left breast and get implants in both....same as Moni...

Not their plan. I broke into tears when the Dr told me that they needed to do the total mastectomy on the right side and not the skin sparing mastectomy. Her explanation is because when you have a skin sparing mastectomy, they have to put a tissue expander in place to keep the skin from sagging during radiation. She said it would be harder in radiation to target the proper areas with a metal tissue expander in place. The biggest difference in the total and the skin sparing is the scar left behind. So, instead of just having the nipple removed and having everything removed from there, I will now have a scar from the middle of my chest across to the armpit. The other difference is that instead of leaving behind my muscle, they will be removing it which means that they have to construct the muscle to hold the implant using parts of my stomach or my back. I'm not really keen on that idea, but until I talk to the plastic surgeon, see pics, or get better understanding of the process I will be a little hesitant.

So, the battle wound scar is not so much an issue as the muscle reconstruction. I'm just on the fence about that idea. Everything else was the same as I had envisioned it. I had to do some convincing on my part for her to agree to remove the left breast, but she finally gave in and said she would do it if I still felt that way at the time of reconstruction...which I will. I cannot live in fear factor mode for the rest of my life and run down there to have every lump and bump biopsied. I'm toooo type A for that lifestyle. I'm waiting to hear back on when I get to meet with plastics and radiation and pushing for end of the year appointments before the mastectomy to make sure everyone is in agreement and on the same page. My mastectomy is scheduled for January 25.

Chemo Update
I am currently on day 10 after FAC chemo. I have been told that sometime between days 7 and 14 after chemo, my blood levels would drop and I would feel run down and tired. I'm still waiting on that.... I feel GREAT! Once we got the stomach issues worked out, I've been feeling awesome! Not completely awesome, but as awesome as can be expected in the world of cancer. When I was having stomach issues the other night, I talked to the nurse the following day and described to her my symptoms and told her what had happened. She felt like what I was experiencing was reflux. So, she told me to get some Zantac and take those as directed and ever since, I have been feeling much better. My hunger has also subsided, probably because the steroids have worn off most of the way. I don't feel like I have to eat quite so often. So, basically how I feel after chemo is like I felt when I was pregnant. Reflux, slight nausea but OK if I stay on top of my meds as directed, hungry, tired (but yet wide awake from anxiety), exhausted (but not able to sleep because of my toddler), and also bouts of energy here and there.

So, 3 more of these and I am DONE with chemo! My next chemo is schedule for November 11th. After that, if all goes well and my blood counts don't drop too much, I should be on target for December 2 and December 23 for the last of my chemo.

Team Tiffany shirts
I have a few more Team Tiffany shirts (screen printed and rhinestone) but most people who have expressed interest  in the shirts have already placed their orders. So, as I run out of certain sizes, I will be removing them from the store options. So, if you haven't purchased your shirt yet, be sure to do that as soon as you can because I probably won't be re-ordering since I have to order in increments and not singles.

Ok- so I think that's it. That should bring me up to date. Sorry for the amount of time between posting. I've been busy getting my kids ready for trick or treating, I had to make my daughters costume, and I have been trying to rest as much as possible, so I haven't been on the computer much.

Direct your prayers for me that I will continue to feel good during my last few treatments, and that everything regarding the mastectomy and reconstructive will fall into place and I will feel at ease about it all.

I hope you all have had a wonderful month of October. Breast cancer awareness month is officially over, but remember to check yourself often, and go get your yearly matter how old you are!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rough night

Last night was my first rough night so far during this whole process. All afternoon/evening I was feeling icky. It's really hard to explain. I had this acid feeling in my throat and esophagus but I didn't know if it was heartburn, indigestion, empty stomach, or nausea. It felt like all of them, but it didn't feel like any of them. I know that really doesn't make sense, but that's the only way I can explain it. I wasn't sure if I should eat something or not. It reminded me of those first few weeks of pregnancy when you're hungry, but afraid to eat.... except I really never had that with any of my pregnancies. If I ate, it would go away. I haven't been "sick" in a LOOOOONG teenage years probably. 3 pregnancies and a few stomach bugs and I've never gotten sick.

Not yesterday! I would eat something, and the feeling would go away for about an hour, but return again. I was told to take my nausea/vomit pill (Zofran) around the clock for the first 3 days after chemo whether I needed it or not. Just want to make sure I stay ahead of the nausea. Well, I did that Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday, I only took one pill all day and I felt Ok. So, yesterday, I didn't take any. I really didn't feel like the feeling was nausea. It really felt more like empty stomach feeling and when I ate it went away.

I tried to go to bed about 9:30 and laid there tossing and turning until about 1am. I woke Chris up numerous times with all my moving. I finally got out of bed at 1am because I couldn't take it anymore. I HATE more than anything to lay in bad and not fall asleep. It annoys the crap out of me. My stomach was growling (even though I had just eaten a light snack before bed), but it was a weird creaky door sound. Not my usual hungry-rumble-growl sound. This has been going on for about a week...since chemo. It really sounds like a creaky Halloween door opening. Again, hard to explain. I've never had that before. It didn't hurt, it just wouldn't stop. So, I ate a quick Bora Bora bar and took a Zofran, just to be safe.......

5 minutes later.....that came back up.

I don't know what happened. I ate small meals all day, never should've gotten hungry because I ate about every 3 hours, ate high protein stuff, and I didn't think I would need my Zofran this long. The steroids are making me ravishing-starving-hungry shortly after I eat, and I'm trying to focus on small meals....

I'm not much of a complainer, but that was rough. I finally was able to go to sleep about 3am only to be awakened at 5:30 am by my bouncing 2 year old saying " hungwy...peese make me pantakes.... bekfest....peeeeeeese" (I managed to convince him to have "tookie cereal" instead...yes, I gave him Cookie Crisp because he looves his "tookies" and he hasn't been eating breakfast lately)

The only joy I can find is that at least I don't have to hold my hair back out of the way....

Friday, October 22, 2010

FAC Chemo #1

 I had a long day at MD Anderson yesterday. We had to be there at 8am for a blood draw, (stopped in to see Deana while she was in pre-op, she got her new boobs yesterday!) followed by a Dr appt with my oncologist, followed by a small 4 hour period of nothing, then a nutritionist followed by chemo. Well, we ran some errands during that 4 hr break, but still go back around noon, so we went ahead and checked in for chemo. They started me at about 12:30 and the whole process with all 7 bags was just over 3 hours.

They started off with my 3 bags of Pre-meds. Adavan for anxiety, which makes you tired. Dexamethasone steroids for reactions and nausea, and makes you hyper, and Zofran for nausea and vomiting. Normally on the way home from Taxol, I was chatty Cathy but this Adavan knocked me out and I took a nap on the way home this time. Then after a quick flush, they started the heavy duty stuff. Adriomycin (the red devil as it's usually called) and Cytoxan were first. They drip by gravity, so there is no time limit on those. Just depends on how fast your port allows it to go through. The last one is the 5-FU, the big bag. It is infused over a 1 hr period through the machine.

So, while it was dripping, the nutritionist came to visit, Chris watched TV, Moni visited, and I worked on designs. It wasn't bad and it felt like water going through me. As I mentioned, I crashed on the way home because I was so tired. We stopped for a quick bite to eat at our staple "after-chemo" place....Which-Wich. It's an awesome sandwich shop and since it's lighter fare, it sets well in my tummy.

Chris does well taking care of me. He gets me home, gives me whichever prescriptions I need to take and puts me to bed. Last night we got home earlier than expected, so I got to see the kids for a minute before they headed to bed. I was in bed shortly after.

It took me a while to fall asleep, and I slept pretty good, except a 1 hour block that I was awake during the middle of the night. I had to get a snack and take another anti-nausea pill. I slept in this morning and had my friend came get the kids for school. Since my mom was there overnight, she was able to get them all ready for school and get them out the door. She then stayed with Grayson until I woke up. We all had lunch together today before she headed back to her house with Grayson. She is keeping him until Sunday so I only have 2 to deal with so I can rest. She's such a sweet mommy!


 Yesterday, Grayson got sent home from school with a fever. I was so thankful that everyone managed to take care of him without having to call me. Mary picked him up from school, called my mom to meet her at the house and brought him here, found the key I had left, and got him inside and took his temperature. Mom told us about it as we called during chemo, but thank goodness they were able to take care of him and found everything without having to call me. I would have worried myself sick over him. He woke up fine this morning and it was probably just a reaction to his flu shot from the day before. (He calls it a blue shot, so we don't get the blues, I guess) 

The hardest thing throughout this whole cancer process so far has been the guilt. Mostly with the kids. I "feel" fine, so I tend to not ask for help. I am running myself ragged and not resting like I should be, so my Dr scolded me, as did my friend Moni, who had some helpful tips. So, I've arranged a "Personal Assistant" who will be making calls on my behalf to friends and family who have offered to help, and will be having them help, without me asking. I tried to apply for the "Cleaning for a reason" cleaning services. They clean once a month for free, for women in cancer treatment, but go one in my area. So, now my cobwebs in the window and dust on the shelves will just stay....hahaha. We have managed so far to get the basics done, but we don't ever have time to get to the more time consuming stuff. We pick up, vacuum, clean the kitchen, and do laundry. That's about it. Bathrooms get done about once every week if we're lucky.
This regimen I am on is going to make me more tired, which means I don't have a choice but to rest, or I will fall asleep where ever I am....even if it's driving. SOOOOO, I have to rest, and swallow my pride and ask for help....or have Eva do it for me. Chris has too much on his plate and needs a break.
I'm just thankful I have friends in my life who are WILLING to help, and WANT to help. It's unfair having cancer with little ones so young. Arranging the childcare has been the toughest thing, and then making sure whoever is picking up/dropping off has car seats since all 3 kids are still in car seats. I'm gonna have one heck of a garage sale in a few years.....we own 9 car seats! 3 in my suburban, 3 in Chris' truck and 3 floaters.
So, to all you wonderful people who have asked what you can do, send me an email and I'll put you in touch with Eva who can tell you what you can do, based on your "likes" and "dislikes". Let's face it....only people who LIKE doing toilets are going to want to volunteer to clean my bathrooms.....I have a newly potty trained 2 yr old who won't point his pecker down because he refuses to touch it....and he pees straight out in front..... yeah... that's fun!
Me playing around with the "red devil" cocktail, pretending I was a vampire and it was blood. I guess I was in a Halloween mood.....

Until next time......

Monday, October 18, 2010

Addictions and Adjectives

Ok, so MD Anderson has this really cool feature where you can access all your medical records online. You can read all your Dr notes and you can see all your reports (blood work, scans, US reports, pathology, etc). Well, I was looking through all mine and noticed something very weird. Well, not weird so much as a tad bit hurtful and left me dumbfounded.

Let me backtrack a minute and go off on a rabbit trail.... many who know me know that I have battled my weight my ENTIRE life. I always joke that Chris met and married me fat, so I know what my "limit" is before he finds me not so attractive. Seriously, I was 70 lbs above "normal" range on our wedding date. After we got married, I lost 60 lbs and was battling that last 10 stubborn pounds when I got pregnant with Kaylee. When I'm pregnant, I am very lucky and I don't have morning sickness. But, on the other hand, I gain a lot of weight. With each one of my pregnancies, I gained 47 lbs. Yep, the exact same amount with each one. But, I got it all off in between kids, but I never got those last few stubborn pounds off. After I had Grayson, I got closer to my "normal" range than I had ever been. I had 5 pounds to go when I got my cancer diagnosis. Now, this was not 5 lbs to goal weight, it was 5 lbs to normal weight. My BMI was just barely in the overweight column. So, I still wouldn't have been "skinny"...just normal. I'm totally happy with normal! I'm tall and I have a larger frame and broad shoulders, so if I got down any lower, I would seriously look like a walking stick. I just wanted to be a size 10 and 5 lbs would have done that. I was THAT close....

Well, I went into a small pity party/depression when I first got my diagnosis and before I even got to MD Anderson a month later, I had already gained back 8 lbs. Partly because I had such wonderful people bringing us yummy dinners (which was a lot of pasta and casseroles) and partly because I eat out of boredom and depression. Add to boot that we were constantly traveling here and there, all over town, for testing so we ate fast food a couple of times. Probably a few more than a "couple"...more like "stop and get me a diet coke from Sonic on the way....oh....and some cheese sticks". So, when I got to MDA, remember how much I loved the new Dr? Yeah, he was great..... now back to my original story....

His report said I was "a healthy vibrant young woman who came for a second opinion".... you see why I like Dr. Theriault? He is great! He thought I was normal and healthy.

A month later, I had to see a different oncologist because Dr. Theriault was on vacation and  I didn't care for the replacement guy very much. He felt more like he was feeling me up rather than checking my tumor size, and he was very "put off" by me....I just didn't get a good vibe from him and I was glad he wasn't my regular oncologist. Welllllll ....... he put in his report that I was "moderately obese"......

Seriously? Moderately obese? My BMI falls into the "barely overweight" column....even after gaining back those 8 lbs! MILDLY obese would have been less shocking than MODERATELY! He left me with my jaw open, dropped on the floor!

See how much ONE adjective can hurt some one's feelings? Now, of course I brushed it off because I know I'm not moderately obese....BUT PLEASE don't ever add weight to a woman...especially on paper!

Be careful when using adjectives when referring to overweight people. There is a HUGE difference between mildly and moderately when referring to weight....Plus, we already have a hard enough time battling weight, then you get diagnosed with breast cancer and are told "10-15 lbs is normal weight gain for breast cancer", and then what do you want to do? Yep....drown that sorrow with more food. One single adjective can be taken out of context so easily when it comes to describing someone. Fluffy, hugable, more to love, big boned, normal... all these are adjectives I've used to describe myself over the years.... I've even used the "F" word....yes, Fat, what were you thinking?  Never have I said moderately obese. Because I'm not!

I have addictions. I always have. I think everyone at some point in their life has addictions. You can be addicted to working out, addicted to your spouse, addicted to kissing your child's sweet cheeks, playing computer games, or it can be something more harmful...smoking, food, drugs, alcohol....

Well, mine has been for the longest time, smoking on and off (I'm a professional quitter) and food. I've had some healthy ones too like the ones mentioned above, and thankfully I've never battled alcohol or drugs, BUT a friend and I were talking not too long ago about which addictions are hardest to break... we decided food was the biggest addiction to overcome. Food is everywhere. Parties, get togethers, driving down the road, family's houses. It's easily accessible, not illegal and let's face it... you need it to survive. Not in mass quantities, and some people actually like eating healthy, but I don't. It's a chore for me. I'd rather have cheese sticks than a salad. I'd rather have macaroni and cheese than steamed vegetables. I don't care for a lot of vegetables unless they are covered in cheese, and I certainly don't watch my portion size. I do when I'm on a diet, but at times...the diet has GOT to go and I have to enjoy life. I've lived my entire adult life on a diet. I have far more important things to worry about right now. I try my best, but these steroids they give me before my chemo are making my hungry and if I'm hungry...I'm gonna eat. I don't have the energy to work out, and as much as I'd like to, it just doesn't happen. I pass my treadmill as I head to bed and say "tomorrow"....

Well.....apparently, tomorrow needs to be today. I stepped on the scale this morning....YUCK! Let's just say...I never do anything normal....I'm always an over-achiever! 10-15 lbs is normal? ASS!!! Literally! Looks like I'll be hanging out in my yoga pants with an elastic waist this winter....or I have to go buy new jeans as I'm down to one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts that fit.

Yay me!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Last week, I got to have dinner with a family that is very much into boobies like me. Amy Craig used to go to High school with Chris. I won't bother to mention how many years ago that was....
Anyways, her mother, Mary Cilny, is an 8 yr survivor of breast cancer. We tried to meet up at the Susan G Komen walk, but it didn't happen, so we decided to meet for dinner.
Her Mom is amazing and super cool too. She was very inspirational and I saw a lot of myself in her. We have the same "can-do" attitude, and have felt like superwomen that can accomplish anything.
We had a great dinner and great conversation for almost 2 hours. Amy's sister Heather also got to come. (I am going to nickname her 'eyelashes' because she has the most killer-make-you-jealous- eyelashes!)

It was a great night with great friends. shout out to Amy, Heather and Mary! Holla!
You rock!

I'm done with Taxol!!!!

I had my last Taxol treatment on 10-13-10. It was a great day! Stefanie, my long time best friend went with me to this one.

I kind of have mixed feelings about it being over. On one hand, I'm very nervous about the FAC that starts next week. I'm nervous that I might get sick, or what else may happen during that one. I'm nervous that my immune system will drop so low and I will get sick during this cold and flu season. BUT, I am so thankful that I don't have to go down there weekly now!

That's been the hardest thing about the weekly visits. Arranging childcare, rides for the kids, and remembering what time to be there. Add Chemo brain to boot and it's no wonder I haven't lost my mind. I'm thankful I had a great calendar to write it all down in, but I hope things are WAY easier to keep up with now.

Aside from a few Dr visits here and there, I only have to do chemo once every 3 weeks now. I go next Thursday for a Dr visit with my oncologist, and then I have a nutritionist appt, and then chemo. I'll be down there ALL day next Thursday. Then, I meet with my surgeon the following week to discuss the Mastectomy and lymph node removal surgery and then I don't have to go back until November 11.

So, I will be done with chemo around December 23 now, which means there is only 12 WEEKS TILL CHRISTMAS!!! I better finish my shopping soon.....SO not like me to be un-prepared this late in the game! hahahahaha

Also, for those who have asked: Here is the FAC and what it stands for.....
F- Fluorouracil (also known as 5-FU, or 5-Fluorouracil)
A- Adriamicin (also known as Doxorubicin)
C- Cytoxan (also known as Cyclophosphamide)

Side effects with these 3 drugs include- Mouth sores, Diarrhea, Low blood counts, Sensitivity to sunlight, Hair loss, fingernail and toenail changes, and Nausea and vomiting. Most of these are the same as the Taxol, except on a more crucial and excessive level. The only side effect I got on the Taxol was the fingernail and toenail issues and the hair loss.  This week my stomach has been more fluttery, and a little crampy, but it's hard to tell if that's from the Taxol or my nerves. My nerves right now are really bad.

So, prayer requests for this next week:
1. That my first FAC treatment goes well and I don't suffer from major side effects.
2. That this stuff works and I have a complete response to the chemo shrinking and/or killing off the tumor.
3. That my children continue to avoid this nasty stomach bug out there and will stay well for me!

Thanks guys! Love you all!

Monday, October 11, 2010

More walking, different shoes

Stacia, who is a friend of a friend of mine heard my story and decided to do the Susan G Komen 3-day walk for a cure in Dallas this November. It's her third year to do the walk, but this year her team is called "Team Tiffany's Ground Soldiers". But, she still needs donations before she reaches her MINIMUM amount to be able to do the walk. She needs to raise $2,300 to be able to do it, and she is currently at $1,200, so if you weren't able to donate to mine, but would like to donate on my behalf still, please click on the link HERE or the tab to the left to donate.

Thanks for your "SUPPORT"


Sunday, October 10, 2010


We got to go to the Little Big Town, Sugarland concert tonight! (Well, last night, but I haven't slept yet, so tonight....) It was an AWESOME show! My awesome step-brother, Bobby, got us VIP tickets and arranged a few special things for us. 
 This is our VIP passes. We got to hang out with the band, eat dinner backstage with them and the crew, and go into the greenroom.
 We went backstage where Bobby gave us a quick tour and we got to take pictures of Sugarland's awesome Incredible Machine stage. This drum set was super cool!
 This was us before the concert. Kaylee begged us to go, and little did we know, she was in for a treat...
We got to meet all of Little Big Town before the concert, get autographs, and then they put on an awesome show as the middle act. They were super sweet, talked to us, and were so cool to hang with! Bobby is the production manager (I think that's his official title) for Little Big Town. 
 Then, Sugarland rocked the house!!! I never sat down. I sang, danced, and rocked with them all night long!
 Jennifer Nettles sounds awesome live. Her and Kristian are such an amazing duo! They remain one of my favorite bands of all times! Especially after tonight!

 We got to get up close and personal..... We stood stageside for a little bit.

So, here was our first surprise.....


Kaylee and I got to go to the front row while Jennifer painted the word LOVE on a flag. Then, Kaylee got to carry the flag through the crowd and got to keep the flag.

  It was amazing!

 After the show, Kaylee got to hold up her flag with her "new best friend", Mariah. (She sat at the table with us while we ate dinner and Kaylee chatted her ear off.)

 Then, came my surprise..... after the concert, we went backstage. Sugarland doesn't normally do "meet and greet" so the chances of me meeting Jennifer Nettles was slim to none. Well, Bobby told me he had an autographed playlist for me and he opened the box to this.......

A FREAKING SIGNED GUITAR FROM SUGARLAND!!!!!  Yes, that says "TO TIFFANY"..... that's me!!!!

When we left the greenroom and headed to our car, we got to stop into Jennifer's room and say thank you, give her hugs and get the flag autographed! She was super sweet to meet in person. (of course, no pictures because she had already taken her makeup off and I wouldn't have asked anyways) There was a few ladies in there who asked me about my treatment, how far I was, and gave me some really encouraging words. I am sitting here at 3 am on cloud nine that I had such a wonderful night! I got to meet Jennifer Nettles!!!! EEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee

Kaylee was plum tuckered out after our eventful night! Sugarland, Little Big Town..... YOU ROCK! Thank you for making our night so fantastic! There are no words to express our gratitude to you all! We love you!!!! 

Bobby- THANK YOU!!!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Little Big Town and Sugarland got together at the end and sang a song together. AMAZING NIGHT!!!

Then, Sugarland did "Stayin Alive" and she wore this crazy wig. It was cute!