I'll never capitalize cancer

I have alot going on in my life, more than just cancer and chemo. Sure it's a big part of my life right now, but it's not the most important part of my life. You will never see me spell it with a capital "c".

I'm a Wife and Mom. I love my Family. I have good Friends. We do fun stuff and dumb stuff and sometimes we argue and then we laugh again. We go to work and to the grocery store and we go swimming and have birthday parties and get ready for the first day of school.

I keep saying that I don't want ovarian cancer to define me, but sometimes I just can't help it.

A good friend put it this way for me "cancer may be defining your life for the moment, but it is not your entire life. You seem to just make time for it." That made me feel better.

If you want to see it from the beginning, my cancer story begins in March.

The rest of my story is happening now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Waiting Room @ MD Anderson

Except for the bald heads, wheelchairs and medical ID bracelets, you would never know this was the waiting area for chemo treatments.

It's really more like social hour at the community center. And it's kinda noisy at that.

Three women over there are talking about where they want to go shopping now on their way back home. I think one of them is a bit hard of hearing, because they all are politely yelling at each other. And this group over here is waiting for Grandma to come out - it's Grandpa, the adult Daughter & her Husband and their college aged Granddaughter sitting on her boyfriend's lap. Someone in the group is doing some major DIY landscaping in their front yard. It's becoming frustrating and they are about to hire someone to finish the job. The couple over there in their running shoes are discussing an article in a Vanity fair magazine. She has a nice yellow Kate Spade bag, he has a backpack with his chemo pump in it - I'm guessing that means he has prostate cancer.

Those 2 guys just met. They both are wearing camo baseball caps - one in boots the other in UT Crocs. The Crocs guy has a bag, too - again, I'm guessing prostate cancer. They are talking hunting or sports or something. That guy over there has the TV remote; he's looking for a golf tournament.

Me? I'm online IM'ing Brian about returning a pair of sneakers we bought on RoadRunnerSports.com and making sure Abby gets a bath and in bed by 7:30 since it's a school night. And, I'm finishing up plans for our vacation - looking for discount lift tickets and car rentals.

Oh yeah, the elephant is standing over there.

I'm hungry. I hope they call me soon so I can order dinner in the room.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just fine. Thank you.

It happened again - while I was talking with a woman who was telling me about a great salad that is part of her new weight loss & fitness plan. She wants to lose about 50 pounds. "Oh but you're so fit," she says, "you don't need to worry about this stuff." I just smiled and said "Thank you."

Should I have told her? That I lost 35 pounds the hard way. That I have cancer, started chemo and was so sick that I couldn't eat and when I did it just came right back up.

I've gained alot of it back. I am really conscious of what I eat and work hard at putting the weight back on with healthy calories.

At times, there's a brief moment there when I want to be offended. But then I realize how crazy that is and this person, bless her heart, is just trying to be nice and is really proud of being able to accomplish her weight loss goals and I don't need to bring her down by launching into my story.

So I just say "Thank you." It's kinda like when people ask how I'm doing and I say "Fine, thanks for asking."

A funny thing happened on the way to Chemo ...

Actually, funny stuff happens all the time. Well, maybe not so funny to anyone else - I suppose it's all in the way you look at it.

I'm at
MD Anderson today. It's one of my long days. That means I will have a 4 hour chemotherapy treatment. Before my treatment I have to get my labs (blood test) then I go to my chemo. There are several chemo treatment areas throughout MD Anderson. I get my labs done in the Main building and today my chemo is in the Mays clinic.

I had been reading an article in Southern Living magazine and hadn't finished it before my blood test so I took it with me and headed over to the shuttle to ride over to the other building. Now, you have to imagine MD Anderson as a kind of city with hundreds of Doctors in lab coats and patients with their families and administrators and support staff all walking around. It's really amazing.

I was sitting on the shuttle, it's like a big golf cart, next to someone in a white lab coat and she noticed the cover of my magazine had a picture of a delicious chocolate cake with ganache filling. She said, "Oh my, that cake looks absolutely deadly." I couldn't help but giggle and she asked me why. "Deadly? That's just a funny word to be using around here, don't you think?"