Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 continued...

Ok so I left off my last post with after my brain surgery and then being able to go back to work in mid-April and finish the year. 
Well in June I started to have some serve stomach issues that just wouldn't go away. I had a CT scan that showed I was having bad colitis that was probably from the chemo treatment. We tried everything to help it.. Steroids and more steriods.. A few infusions of medicine they use for people with Crohn's disease.. A very bland diet.. Stopping the chemo for a few weeks but nothing was working. It lasted the whole summer and then in September it finally just ended. Yes my body is cray cray, we still don't know why it suddenly started or ended but I'm happy it ENDED! 
Also in June they saw a slight spot on my right ovary. They said they weren't worried yet because it was so small that it could just be a cyst that will just go away. I wasn't ready to deal with more cancer so I just hoped they were right. They said we will rescan in 6weeks and I will have a sonogram then as well. My next scan still showed the spot so they are getting more concerned and of course so am I.. Another surgery and my last ovary.. I just didn't want to deal with another bump in this long awful road. We talked about waiting again for another 6 weeks since the spot hasn't grown but they are thinking it needs to come out and I will have to meet with my GYN surgeon again to see what he thinks. Now I have to be honest this all hit me really hard, I know I have stage 4 cancer and it's in my brain but knowing that you are taking away my chances of ever having my OWN child just was straight damn emotional!!! Yes I sort of gave up hope that being able to carry a child was probably not in my future because of all the chemo/immunotherapy treatments that I have had and continue to undergo, BUT the fact that you are forever taking away this option from me physically by taking away my last ovary..this was tough..I felt like I would be less of a person, less of a women, less of a wife...
Having children is always something I wanted..longed for..I think most women can understand that. Having you own baby in your arms is an unbelievable experience of true unconditional love(so I'm told and can only imagine). And my main Drs. know how strongly I feel about this so they suggest that I go see a Dr at Cornell about freezing my eggs. This gave me some hope, yes I could freeze my eggs for a surrogate!! 
So a week or so later I go to see this very nice Dr. and they run some tests, they decide that yes I can freeze my eggs but I don't have that many with only one ovary and it may not work. I left there very confused about what to do and then I went to see my surgeon. And he said freezing your eggs.. umm NO not an option. He said if there is cancer in your ovary it is not good to go 'poking around' in there because it could lead to the cancer spreading. Ok so not confused anymore just sad, very very sad. He also agreed that the ovary should come out, that he is about 70percent sure it is melanoma. After hearing all this I didn't leave the house for a while. This was just all getting to be too much. I didn't want to live like this anymore, all this heartache. How can one person be put through all this pain and be ok. I was NOT ok. Yes I broke...My fighter face just couldn't be found. And I am not a 'talker' I didn't tell anyone I broke, I just cried to myself at night. I said I wasn't feeling that well to my family and friends. I didn't know or maybe I didn't want to know how I could share this pain I was feeling with other people..not even my husband who I TELL everything too. I thought he was hurt by me too. I was sick of hurting people with my problems. Plus on top of all this one of my best melanoma friends was dying because of the melanoma in her brain. I just mentally gave up. 
It was now September and I went back to work and ended up having a very big class of 27 students. I felt like I wasn't good enough to handle all these kids everyday, last year I only had 18. How was I going to do this, get up everyday and live like I wasn't in my own bubble of struggle.
And then she died my dear friend died...yes I had many friends die of melanoma over the years that was very hard but this one was my support. I don't know many people with brain cancer and she was the one I went to with all my questions, my hopes, and my biggest fears. She was my rock. I knew if she could do it then I could too. Oh Brandi how I still miss you so much. So one night I just had a I guess you could call a severe panic attack, I called my mom and just cried and cried and said I don't know what to do. I told her everything and how I can't move forward. Luckily Joe was home and came up from the basement in hearing me crying and tried to calm me down. I was shaking and couldn't even focus my thoughts. My mom told me to take a Xanax immediately and she was coming right over. I told Joe how sorry I was for ruining his life and how he deserved better. It was all just terrible. My mom came and gave me the biggest hug, Joe told me he loved me more than life and I finally snapped out of it. I looked at them both and I KNEW they would do anything for me. And I realized once again how strong the amazing people around me made me. After that night slowly but surely my strength kept coming back. 
I had my surgery on Friday, October 10th. And by then I was feeling a lot better. I think I needed to break, I needed that night to let it all out, I hardly ever cry or complain or yell or scream. I never say why me..but maybe I needed to. I also broke down to my oncologist and told him how I had been feeling and he of course gave me even more strength, he told me to get off FB and social media for awhile and just try to live my normal life. 
AND that I have been doing. I have been going out and hanging with my friends, I went to Boston with my sister and my two wonderful cousins for a long girls weekend. I just got back from Disney World with my hubby and we had such a FUN time. I got my body scans back right before Christmas and there is no cancer to be found(maybe a little bit in my spleen still but its probably just dead cells). I had an emergency brain MRI in November because my left arm went numb and I had to be rush to urgent care and that looked great, cancer still shrinking and no new growth!! 
I had alittle stumble with having severe iron anemia, having a bad reaction to my treatment and getting kicked off my clinical trial, but my iron levels are getting better and I am on a new very similar treatment that is more spread out(once every 3 weeks instead of once every 2 weeks). And so far no crazy side effects from it yet. My class I turned out to love, all nutty 27 of them! I AM HAPPY.. I AM LIVING.. I AM LOVED.. I realized A LOT this year. I now know its ok to fall apart and to talk to people about my fears. I know that this journey probably will continue to be long and hard. I know that through everything I have the best doctors, a WONDERFUL family, and the most amazing friends.  
Thank you all for reading this, your support truly means so much to me. 


  1. all my thoughts for you and your family, I wish you the best

  2. always in my thoughts. you are a very strong and wonderful person. I admire you so much! a huge hug here from Portugal

  3. Footprints

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was only one.
    This bothered me because I noted that during the low periods in my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord, "you promised me, Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has been only one set of footprints in the sand. When I have needed you the most, have you not been there for me?"
    The Lord replied,"During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
    Dyanne is my cousin. You don't really know me but I think of you very often. You allowed to have downfalls. That's normal. But what is amazing you have the strength pick yourself up. Never give up.
    Liz Sabatiele

  4. remain steadfast in the face of temptation. Remember, cancer is the one form of human trials. If we can deal with it means we are winning.