Posts Tagged ‘The Victory Center’

Late again…

April 11, 2010

Well, it has been quite some time since I last wrote here.  Not because I didn’t have anything to say, that is for sure.  But no, it has been due to my newest malady which has proven that cancer is not the only thing that can slip invisibly into your life and create a new daily reality. 

About a month ago, in late February, I saw Dr. Evans, my general practitioner, for a regular cholesterol check.  At the time, I was beginning to feel extremely run down.  Just going to school every day was a task that seemed to require a Herculean effort.  There were days when I came home that I had to tell myself that I really could make it into the house, and I really could make dinner, and I really could get through the night….if I could just get out of the car…  It was a bad time, and I was not able to complete the essentials of work and family life.  Each day I felt like I was getting deeper and deeper into a hole, and I was so tired, I could hardly even think.  Thankfully Evans included a test for TSH, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  The blood test indicated that I was extremely hypothyroid, meaning that my thyroid was not producing very much of the important thyroid hormone.  Thus the reason for the extreme fatigue.  Other side effects were  a sudden weight gain, slurring of speech, “choking up” feeling in my neck, puffy in the face, neuropathy in my hands, and very sensitive to the cold. in February.  in Ohio.  Oh, and depression too.  Yea, like I needed that.

When nurse BJ called me with the news, I remember being so tired, and thinking, “great.  what pill do I need?  how in the hell am I going to get to the pharmacy to get it?” Thankfully, the medicine I have seems to be effective, and while I don’t feel great yet, I am so much better than I was a month ago.

Except I feel as though I am still “behind” in everything.  I can look around my house and see ten things that I am way behind on.  The second I wake up in the morning I am working really hard to be super efficient  with my school work, but I always, at the end of each day feel as though I’ll never get caught up.  It is such a discouraging feeling, and then throw a few technology difficulties in the mix, and well…sometimes it all………..doesn’t get done.  It is such a newer, higher level of frustration I get to experience now…..which is why I’ve been spending more time daily in meditation.

Lucky for me, I got to see Veronica from The Victory Center twice in her last month there, and she introduced me to a new CD called The Divine Name by Gregg Braden* and Jonathan Goldman**.  I can hardly describe the powerful positive effect this particular sound therapy has had for me, except to say that it is awesome.  Each night I listen to this recording or the chanting on the “Dali Lama” CD, and many mornings as well.  The days I skip this routine, I can tell the difference.  More cognitive dissonance.  So I try real hard to get to my bed early enough in the evening to listen to these recordings.  For so many years I have been chasing the idea of meditation, I am grateful to have finally found a place to begin.


Just another thing I am late in doing….I’d like to thank the anonymous woman who handed me this beautiful bouquet last month in the parking lot of Kroger’s in Perrysburg.  It was a very low energy moment for me, and the gift of the pink roses proves that Karma and the spirit of JBN (Just Be Nice) is so very real.

*  **


my relationship with Zometa

February 25, 2010

Monday was Zometa #5, the infusion that almost “wasn’t”.  I’ve been having problems with my right arm for a few weeks.  Weakness and weirdness.  Not exactly painful, but uncomfortable.  Well, really uncomfortable, but it only occurs under certain muscular tensions, such as carrying a grocery bag with handles down at my side or brushing my teeth, that is where I noticed it first.  Now though, I have noticed that handwriting is really uncomfortable, too.  It makes the lower muscles in my arm ache first, then the muscles in my upper arm, then my hand.  Ouch.

So I had the distinct impression that I almost lost the infusion, in that my nice clinical trial nurse said, “hmmn, I have to talk to the Dr. first, and be sure it is OK for you to get the Zometa today because the (infusion) nurse is nervous about giving it to you.”  I got a little panicky… in, no, no, don’t take away my zometa!  There I was, all alone having a little tiny freak-out session about not getting a drug that is a clinical trial drug anyways because I have completely psyched myself up that this is (again) going the extra mile in “The Saga of the Slaying of  the Cancer Killing Cells.”

then later, it hit me like a shot in the middle of the night.  This must be what an abusive relationship is like.  I want to keep on living with Zometa, and my well meaning friends (nurses) might be suggesting thinking about twice about this…….may be thinking that.  No one has come right out and said that.

Hmmnn.  Also have a problem with my right eye being really easily irritated and getting red.  Actually both eyes have been really puffy in the evening and morning.  What’s up with that?  And just feeling kind of shaky in general.  Tired.  Exhausted, really.  Shaky.  Add to that the high blood pressure news from last month from Dr. Evans, and well……….this is all challenging my image of myself as a basically really healthy person who just happened to get a little case of cancer. 

I’m working really hard at maintaining my PMA (positive mental attitude.)

Saw Dr Evans yesterday, and he mentioned that fear of losing Zometa is probably pretty normal.  Made an analogy to Zometa being one of my “shields” in my battle against cancer.  Yeaaaa….that’s it.  That’s exactly it.   And by the way, now the friend count telling me I don’t look so good is climbing, so I guess it is not all in my head after all.

The bright spot?  Saw Veronica today for some “Healing Touch” at The Victory Center.  When I told her I am now daily dependant upon the Dali Lama chant CD, she quickly switched the music to a special higher vibrational level CD that I must find and buy.  I quickly zoned out on it and it is better than any drug, I’m sure.  It was so good to completely relax. 

falling asleep here at the keyboard….putting dali on the CD player…more later….

three for thursday

October 29, 2009

Have three appointments today.  Doctor, Victory Center, Radiators.

I am really looking forward to seeing Veronica at The Victory Center…..her speciality is called Healing Touch, and she is wonderful.  It has been such a shame that since I have gone back to work full time (kind of, anyways) that I don’t have time to receive services at TVCThis is the stuff, the healing energy that makes all the other medical therapies bearable.

And speaking of other medical therapies…I am thrilled to say that two days post zometa, I have no adverse efffects.  Mainly, no bone pain.  I was quite concerned about that, given the blog reports a quick search on wordpress provided.

And the radiation?  I try to make it the best experience possible, I have GREAT CD’s to listen to (thanks to superfriend-Kathy) I take advantage of the 20 minutes on the table to meditate, I have a pleasant relationship with everyone I encounter…I pretend like all the nurses are my friends, and I’m on a social visit, but in reality, it really sucks.  I have nothing good to say about it, other than the killin’ cancer part, of course.  Good thing I like my radiators, Donna and Natalie.  Otherwise it would be really intolerable.  Actually, nearly every nurse at Hickman has been wonderful.  It’s kinda’ like the old TV show “Cheers”…….it’s a place where everybody knows your name.  Of course, I’d much rather be at a bar where everybody knows my name, but that’s not my place in the universe right now.

big day

September 15, 2009

Monday September 14, 2009

Dang, today was a big day.  Radiation set-up at Flower Hospital, reiki with Tom, and yoga nidra with Nancy.  

How I love to start the morning with a blood draw.  Makes you feel….uhhh, yea, makes you feel like you are really… doing something that day.  And by golly, I, or should I say, we did quite a bit even before noon.  In the blood draw area, the brusque phlebotomist called it my “sims”.  I felt a little stupid asking, “ummm, what does that mean, mysims”.  Almost annoyed, she replied, “Simulation!”  Oh.  Yes.  Of course, my radiation simulation.  Just that I hadn’t heard that term before, so sorry…  It’s OK, I didn’t have to camp out with her for long.  Went back to the waiting area, was sent to another waiting area affectionately called “the fishbowl” for its large fish tank.  I have noticed that fish play a predominate role in cancer centers.  Must be the cheap way to bring a nature buzz into a sterile environment.  Waited and waited and finally got to spend a little time with the nurse who would “educate me” and then “poke me”. 

Eventually I was sent to the big cold room.  That’s just how I’ll remember it.  Not a lot of explaining but a lot of “doing”.  You could tell these radiation technicians had a job to do, and they were doing it now.  Take off your clothes from the waist up, put on the booties, sit on the bench, which arm do we poke, tourniquet the arm till it  hurts.  Nurse loved my veins (they all say that!) and stuck in the works for my IV.  At that time, I thought, IV?  For what?  Again, I felt stupid, did they already explain that to me and I missed it?   (Didn’t know I was soon to get an intravenous “contrast”….I thought it was a “drink it” contrast.)   

Dr Rubin and two Radiation Technologists together directed me into what will be my radiation position for the next 6 weeks.  Laid down on the hard narrow “bed” on top of a big rectangular flat kind of pillow thing that seems like it is filled with bean bag pellets.  Then all three of them pushed and pulled that pillow until it formed an outline around my position, and I think they sucked the air out of the pillow so it created a perfect “mold”  for me to lay in so I am in exactly the same position everyday .  Now at this point, I can’t see a thing because my head is positioned up and away from the planned field of radiation, and both arms over my head.  That’s good, but for me, not being able “to see” is disconcerting.  When Dr. Rubin was directing the positioning, he kept moving my left arm up and around until he got the exactly right placement, arm out of the way, but no folds in the skin.  Apparently “folds” in the skin and radiation don’t go together.  More talking, more prodding.  Then quiet.

Now I couldn’t tell what happened next, because of course, I couldn’t see, but it took a few seconds for me to realize I was alone.  Alone on a hard slab that was moving through a BIG doughnut shaped contraption that had a green light inside that went aroundandaroundandaround.  It was a part wierd, part creepy, part isolated feeling.  Alls I know is that I wasn’t moving a millimeter.  I try really hard to be a good little patient, even if I don’t like it much.  And I was so very cold, of course, completely undraped from the waist up.  My chest wasn’t so bad because I have no feeling there, but my hands were freezing.  Then after awhile, the whole party came back into the room made some changes, and zipped out again.  Seems like this happened three times, but I got kind of lost in the whole thing.  Somewhere in there, the nurse came in and had to fish out my IV end and said, “I’m putting in the contrast now, you’ll get a metallic taste and feel like you peed your pants but you won’t”  Oh man.  What a BIG disappointment.  I hate having those kind of surprises.  On Sunday I was so excited because after almost 3 weeks from the LAST CHEMO I was finally losing some of that horrible no-good metal mouth flavor, and now I got it again.  Right now, 13 hours after the procedure, still the yucky taste in my mouth.  Yuck, Ick, Blaaugh. I’d rather pee in my pants than get the metallic taste (I think).

Then as fast as it all began, it all was over.  They want me up and dressed and out.  Before I had my clothes on, they had the slab all set up for the next patient.  It was for a head/neck cancer.  Yep that’s right, another reality check.  In my mind I was whining about metal mouth, and the next guy has cancer in his head or neck.  I’d rather have the radiation in my chest I think.  When you have a head/neck cancer they have to make a mold of your face so they can put it on kind of like a mask to hold you in exactly the very same position for every single radiation..  If I ever know anyone who needs this kind of radiation, I’ll remember to do something fabulous for them at that time.

Lucky me.

Lucky for me, the rest of the day was pretty blissful.  I was fortunate that I had a Reiki treatment at The Victory Center* with Tom after lunch.  For me, the reiki completely mellows out any stress that has accumulated.  So in theory, I should probably have it every week, what with kidz ‘n cancer….  I’m just thrilled that I manage to get an appointment once a month with Tom.  He is the greatest.

Then, as if that weren’t wonderful enough, I was lucky to get into an Introductory Yoga Nidra Integrative Relaxation class.  Here is the course description:  The body has an innate mechanism for maintaining balance and health.  Chronic tension and stress weakens our ability maintain this balance.  Learn step-by-step mediatation techniques to reverse the effects of stress and create a state of physical, mental and emotional relaxation and wellness.  Bring pillows for body support in comfortable lying meditation. 

Oh my heavens.  I had no idea what I had signed up for, but I figured if you needed to bring pillows it couldn’t be all bad.  In fact, it was even more wonderful than I could have imagined.  The class was held at “The Cottage” at the 577 Foundation**, which is just a hidden gem in Perrysburg.  The birds were chirping, the crickets were singing, and peacefulness filled the room.  The leader of the class, Nancy, is a neighbor of mine, that I have always wanted to meet, but never had…what a great opportunity!  She is incredible, too, and has a beautiful and radiant sense about her.  By the end  of the 2 hour session, we were all so blissed out, barely anyone in the room could speak.  This is the best yoga class I have ever taken in my life.  Yoga Nidra is it for me, for at least the near future.  Combined with a little reiki and “Healing Touch” (also from The Victory Center) and my daily exercise routine, I think I will have done everything humanly possible to maintain balance and forge a wide path back to wellness.

 So see, the Cancer experience isn’t all  bad.  ;^)


*  The Victory Center is Northwest Ohio’s only independent, non-profit cancer wellness center.  If you know anyone diagnosed with cancer, you would be doing them a favor by getting a welcome packet into their hands.

**  From their website: “The 577 Foundation, open to all, is an ecologically sensitive place that encourages diversity and seeks to foster exploration, experimentation, personal enjoyment and creativity in education.”  What a great place, and within walking distance from my house!


a couple of good days….

August 25, 2009

Wow-lucky me- Sunday was another good day!  Got to go to church, see all my friends…..nothing quite like going to a place where not only does everybody know your name, but they are all like really nice  big brothers and sisters and moms and dads.  Some of them are like quirky neighbors, and others are just like best friends.  Truth is, I really have only known them all for less than two years, and only know them from church*, but I know their interest and care is sincere.  Again….lucky me. 

Then on Sunday afternoon, I still felt great so I went to the Levis Commons Art Fair and got to do one of my favorite things….buy “Artist Jewlery”.  I found a sweet little set of a silver necklace and earrings created by a Michigan woman and her dad…..I tried to take a picture of them to place here, but I’m no professional photographer…the necklace says “give thanks”.  It truly represents how I mostly feel, even if you think I sound kind of “whiny” from time to time. 

Today……well, today was a whopper of a day!  I was up in the middle of the night with an anxious and sleepless child (school anxieties) so I can’t believe how much I accomplished with the help of my friends.  Especially MarvelousMarilyn (MM).  Let me tell you about MM.  She has volunteered herself as my monday morning helper around the house, which mostly means “maid work in the kitchen”.  But MM has really been a great inspiration for me, has kept my spirits up when I have been dragging, vigorously wiped down my kitchen counters (still kind of difficult for me to do), helped clean out a neglected refrigerator, vacuumed, vacuumed, vacuumed Yellow Lab Dog Hair, folded laundry, talked to boys, etc. etc. etc.  Today MM helped me clean up the “student center” in the house which is where all the kids school work, legos, and miscellaneous crap lands, and where their beloved computers reside.  Well, this area has been a DISASTER for….months, and I have been feeling bad about that.  Not a good enough housekeeper to even get the kids school work from LAST SCHOOL YEAR saved or filed away or thrown out or whatever you are supposed to do with the volumes of paper two kids bring home from elementary school.  Well, today MM helped me in A BIG WAY get it pretty much whipped into shape, and looking good.  Still a bit to do yet, but I feel like I can get the rest of it now.  Even if I had done nothing else today, it would have been a great day because of this accomplishment.  Thanks Marilyn, you are a marvelous friend and like a mom I wish I had.

THEN, after lunch, I took the boys to their new daily afterschool childcare, to get to know the family, the toys, the other kids, etc. while I had a couple of appointments.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it works out for all involved.  Like..all of my fingers crossed and toes crossed, too, because right now, I don’t have a back-up plan for afterschool child care, and even though I’m not back at work yet, I will be soon (I hope) and will desparately need the assistance then.  So far, the boys have said it was “OK” which is a good sign.

SUPER LUCKY ME, had an appointment at The Victory Center** with Tom.  I’ll tell you, we are so lucky here in NW Ohio to have TVC and receive the benefits of the adjuvant therapies offered.  You know things are good when you begin to feel better just walking into a therapist’s room.  Tom practices Reiki and Sound Therapy and it is the best I feel all week when I am in his care.  It is so difficult to explain, but for me, it provides such a deep sense of peace and relaxation which permits your mind and body to just experience the flow of energy on a completely pure level.  You must be willling to release conscious thought to truly receive the benefits.  Again, I can only say what it gives me, but it is a colorful, relaxing, yet at the same time energetic experience.  And no two sessions are exactly alike.  And I always feel just great when I am done.  Thanks Tom, I love the work you do.

AND AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH, MY NEXT APPOINTMENT WAS WITH THE DENTIST!  Now you might think I am being kind of sarcastic here, but nooooo, I actually like going to the dentist.  First of all, at MY dentist’s office, everyone is really nice and the hygenists never scold you for not flossing well enough.  Secondly, they have really nice chairs.  Thirdly, Dr. Urbanik is friendly, sincere, and has really small hands.  Or at least I think he does.  I never actually look at his hands when I can see them, but I am always impressed that when he has his hands in my mouth he doesn’t make me gag.  The last time I was there was just days before my cancer trip began, so I filled them in on my busy Spring and Summer.  Did you know that one of the potential side effects of chemotherapy is open sores in the mucous membranes of your mouth?  Again, lucky for me, I havn’t had that problem.  Dr. U was impressed, said nice things about my mouth.  While there I mentioned that I might be participating in a clinical trial at U of M, the Bisphosphinate Study and might need his office to send dental records.  He surprised me by mentioning we need to talk about that further, and perhaps even complete a more in depth examination.  He briefly explained how  the mandible (and to a lesser extent the maxilla) process bone, and how the drug in this trial will move through bone, especially the jaw bones which then brings up a concern for the future integrity of those bones.  Hmmmnnnn.  Great that my Dentist actually knows about the study I am talking about, now I have another thing to research a bit further.  In my spare time.  I really am grateful to have a smart tooth guy like Dr. U.

OF COURSE MY DAY WASN’T OVER YET, after I picked up the kids at the new place, went home, made dinner for them, and then directed the boys to write their names on the school supplies that BFF Heather took the time to buy for us.  That means about a million things needed names written on them.  Well, we only had time after dinner to put names on half a million things and jump into the superminivan and dash off to Open House at the boys school.  Charlie had asked me to wear one of the newly borrowed wigs to the school so I didn’t embarrass him, so halfway out the driveway I remembered, drove back in, grabbed the hair and off we went!  (BTW Heather, I’m giving you another BIG HUG for that incredibly thoughtful act……to save me the hassle of pulling together all the school stuff!!)

OPEN HOUSE WENT WELL, boys behaved, even the incredibly anxious child, they were nice to their teachers, nice to each other, found their desks, put away their stuff, nobody got mad, nobody whined, nobody yelled.  Not even me.  So, it was a resounding success!  And school starts in ohhhh about 32 and a half hours.  But who’s counting?

THE REWARD FOR A GOOD VISIT TO SCHOOL was a stop to see Bill’s chickens before we went home.  The kids had fun feeding them yummy weeds, and chicken delicacies, beetles and worms.  I got to help pick tomatoes and drink a beer.  The weather was perfect.  The sky was beautiful.

Arrived home late, Lou went out for Chinese food, so thankfully I didn’t have to make dinner.  We all ate together like a family should…again with no whining and no yelling.

An incredibly productive positive day.  Lucky lucky me!  Can’t wait for tomorrow! 



*Maumee Valley United Univeralist Church website is:  check out the calendar…if it sounds like something you are interested in, please come.  Anyone of any faith is welcome!

**I know I have mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again…if you know anyone diagnosed with cancer in NW Ohio, you must refer them to The Victory Center.  All services are free for cancer patients.  This organization is worthy of your support…..your passing their information along and/or passing a check their way.  Check them out:

What a blessing!

July 28, 2009

What a good day today!  Began with a massage at The Victory Center (TVC).  While I was there, I had  the good fortune of running into one of my “adopted” Chinese sisters, Helen and her brother, Tom.  If you have heard me talk of Helen before, let me briefly explain this relationship:  soon after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, another friend suggested I call Helen as she (and her sister) had both recently been through the Breast Cancer Roller-coaster ride.  I eventually did call, and we immediately bonded.   There is nothing like having someone to talk to who is open and willing to share.  There were so many questions I had that I never had the time to ask my doctors, they would have never answered them anyways, but Helen did.  We spent hours and hours on the phone, and she allayed many of my fears.  Thanks, Helen, for giving me peace of mind when I needed it most. 

Then, later in the afternoon, I accompanied Kelly, the director of  TVC, to a speaking engagement of the most lovely group of women I think I’ve been around in a long time.  Now, I hope I get this title right….they were the National Association of Colored Business and Professional Women.  (If I have written that incorrectly, please comment on this blog and I’ll make the correction right away.)  First, Kelly spoke about what TVC is, and then I spoke about my experiences as a mother and caregiver, suddenly being in need of  “care-giving” and how TVC has played an important role in my acceptance, connection to others, and recovery from the treatment of BC.  Surprisingly, I was a little nervous…..this was the first time I have ever spoken in front of a group about my personal story.  I speak in front of people all the time as a teacher, but teaching a Junior High School class (which I lovelovelovelove!!!!) and speaking about “me” are two completely different things.

Well, let me tell ‘ya, I couldn’t have picked a better first time audience if I had tried.  These women just exuded acceptance, understanding, and compassion.  Wow-what a great group of women!  They were encouraging, and so very sincere.  When I finished my small part of the presentation, Kelly returned and explained in more detail how TVC functions, and how they serve any cancer patient free of charge.  We then fielded questions and comments from the ladies, and they were so incredibly kind!  It was just a “love-fest” of niceness all around, and lots of prayers sent my way.  Thank you ladies, so much for making my day wonderful!


For more information about The Victory Center, please go to:  www.   BTW, the massage I began the day with was lovely!

shopping for a boob

July 15, 2009

Well.  That wasn’t a very graceful or poised title was it?  Normally, I use anatomically correct terms, such as “breast” but I just kind of liked the double-entendre of “boob” .  In this case, that is kind of how I feel about this topic.  Sorry guys-if this is just too much information, go ahead and click out now.

So.  The time has come to begin to think about how I will return to school and what I will look like.  Many of you know that I teach  kids at the Junior High School level… case you’ve forgotten, that is the 12 to 14 year old range.  I have already decided that I am planning on teaching with a “naked head”.  That will take some guts, even for me.  I just feel it is the right thing to do…it is important to send the message that even though I know it looks goofy, this is who I am now, and “this too shall pass”.  Kids at the JH level can use a good example of somebody even weirder than themselves to boost their self esteem, and provide an example of how to get through the tough times.  Might as well be me.  Because it is  me.

So, OK if you are a 13 year old kid and you have a crazy teacher with a bald and stubbly head, would it be just too much if she only had one breast, too?  I just don’t think I can go there with that much honesty in the classroom, therefore, I find myself perusing the American Cancer Society “tlc” catalog (“tlc” stands for “tender loving care”…a little on the sweet side for me).  Hmmmmnnnnn. They have pages of  “side entry cotton-pocketed post mastectomy bras”.  Oh my god, what the hell is that?  I tried, just for “fun” to put on my most favorite old bra (the $75.00 “Bralleluia”  Bra) a few weeks ago, and immediately ripped it off my body, because……..ummm……it doesn’t “work” anymore.

I have the right side of my chest in reconstruction.  A very very ROUND expander implant is in place with (at this point in time) 450 cc’s of saline.  It is ROUND…the normal breast is nowheres near round.  More like a teardrop shap.  Big teardrops.  The round implant exends out to the outer side of the body more than a real breast does.  When I tried to put on an old bra, big round implant doesn’t slide into the cup.  In fact, it doesn’t slide at allA real breast is soft and pliable and conforms to the shape of the bra.  A real breast has feeling!  An expander implant breast, well, it is hard, and has a definate shape, and isn’t exactly innervated.  So when I walk, the right breast stands rigidly at attention and doesn’t really know if it has bumped into things directly.  She is almost kind of rude that way.  It is kind of like having an innverted cereal bowl on your chest.  Try fitting that into a bra.  (BTW-I’ve been trying to come up with names for her, the expander implant…nothing seems to “fit”….hahaha…a little implant humor!!!!  Maybe I should host a contest, “Name that BOOB!”)

SO-back to the “back to school shopping”.  I’m looking at the bras and camisoles and breast forms.  Oh my heavens.  There are flat back forms and molded triangle forms and molded asymmetrical forms and molded hollow back triangle shells and that is just the options in the foam breast forms.  Of course all of them can be ordered Unweighted or Weighted.  Whatever that means.  So how do you choose?  Just choose the most expensive one and hope it is great?  These are all the inexpensive options, with the most expensive being around $50. per “form”. 

Now when you examine the silicone options, theres where you can spend some money, with the cheapest boob being $175. and my lord, the options here……you need to pick left or right side and “softer drape” or “firmer drape”.  Wow.  Who knew?

I have tried to seriously make a decision on this breast form business, and I just get kind of overwhelmed.  Sure wish I had a mother helping me pick out what is best.

Post Note:

So last night I finally went to the Breast Cancer Support Group meeting at the Victory Center….ah yes, The Victory Center**, once again a place of support, comfort and answers.  When I told Penny (the most sweet and lovely “Participant Services Coordinator”) about my humerous attempts to get serious about buying a boob, she gave me a local contact.  Apparently “Renee” of  “Renee’s Survivor Shop”  is just a doll and would be willing to let me come in with a photographer and document the “shopping” .  I’ll make the call today and see what I can set up.  Stay tuned for a second installment of “shopping for a BOOB” coming to this blog soon!


**The Victory Center supports and educates Cancer patients and their families, free of charge.  Check it out:    I am working on figuring our how I can, and you can help support The Victory Center. 

well, the good news is…

July 11, 2009

that I do not have an infection.  On Friday, Dr. Barone (plastic surgeon) saw me, and explained why the skin was red and why it was not an infection.  That is the good news.  The other good news is that he, and his nurses and office staff are so wonderful.  You really feel like they really care.  My rollercoaster is on the slow  ticka,  ticka,  ticka  incline again.

So, we will go again to Ann Arbor next Thursday to get Chemotherapy #2 (of four).  Once again, the mental preparation begins.   Lucky for me, I have a reiki appointment at the Victory Center** with Tom on Monday.  That is a good energy buzz to look forward to.


**BTW, The Victory Center is a great resource in NW Ohio that supports and educates Cancer patients and their families, free of charge.  The services I have received and the people I have met here I count as one of my many blessings that has come into my life since my diagnosis with Breast Cancer last March.  When you support the Victory Center your gift stays here in our community.

no nerve

July 8, 2009

So, no, I didn’t have the nerve to take the hat off today, day 1 of baldness.  I went to the hardware store, and raspberry-picking at  Rich and Susan’s home and then to the grocery store.  Felt a little exposed and embarrassed by all the grey hair.  I know how stupid that sounds.  I kind of have a Sean Connery look going, except not so handsome or tanned.

Tomorrow maybe I’ll just leave the hat at home.  I’m going to cancer friendly places, The Victory Center for energy work with Veronica and then to Dr. Barones office.  Except at Barone’s,  all the women who work there are really beautiful, then there will be me, the ugly duckling.  I have really taken to admiring women with beautiful hair, nice clothes and attractive figures (OK, I admit it, I am looking at their breasts………. with a little sadness, but mostly admiration.) 

Sound kind of pathetic, don’t I?  Well, don’t feel too sorry for me, it’s really not all that bad.  I had a bit of bad luck in drawing the cancer card, but overall, things could be so much worse.  I am truly grateful for all I have, and that starts with all my friends, like you.  Thank you again for the cards, emails, food, gifts and love.


The good part about getting cancer…

June 16, 2009

 As I think about my first chemo appointment coming up, I am a little bit apprehensive, I have no idea how well my fifty year old body will take the toxic mix of meds.  I keep looking for the bright side… matter how dark the humor is………..

Kay-Lynne’s Top 10 List of all the good things about cancer!

10 –   Lots of people send you cool things.  I have received some of the coolest gifts ever, lots of flowers, neat music I never would have found on my own, new pajamas, and cool little good luck tokens.  And it is not even close to my birthday or Christmas !

9 –  Snail Mail.  I have always loved receiving personal cards and letters in the mail and now I get them every week!  If you have sent me anything, thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!!  I really love mail!

8 – Surrogate parents – So many people have been checking up on me, it’s almost like having a dozen or more loving parents out there.  So glad I found the Unitarians in Bowling Green, like the family I didn’t know I yearned for.

7 – Boy, you’ll really find out who your friends are – Of course we all have heard some version of this uttered by our parents when we were kids….but I really HAVE found out who my best friends are….and you all know who you are because I have talked to you in the last couple weeks.

6 – V is for Victory – If you live in northwest Ohio at least, having cancer means you get to go to the “Victory Center”* and connects you with people who care about you, even though they don’t know you.  When the rest of your world knows you by your “dis-ease”, your new friends at the Victory Center seek to assist you find balance and wellness through the possibilities of your own healing abilities.  All services are free to cancer patients.  I love this place….but I can’t wait until I “can’t” come here anymore.

 5 – Get to meet new people.  I have met more people since BC diagnosis last March, and it has kind of been like “speed dating”…within seconds we know our similarities and are discussing intensely personal topics.   To go from strangers to kinship in 60 seconds………priceless!

4 – Rare opportunity to improve my “latin” – All of those terms in my pathology report like: lymphadenoapathy, immunohistechemistry, angiolymphatic, and immunoperoxidase stains sent me running to the basement for all my OLD anatomy and physiology college textbooks.  It is surprising how much knowledge comes back to you with a little nudging of old brain cells!

3 – New Fashions! – Since the surgery, I have learned two things about my body and my wardrobe.  Most of the “tops” won’t work anymore.  First there is the whole single boob issue….so far Dr. B has only reconstructed one side, the cancer side has to wait  :^(  and the “good side” is significantly more “out there” than the C-side.  Looks weird.  Second thing, the whole neuropathy issue……….anything that comes to a normal place in the underarm area sends me to that special insane place in my mind. 

2 – New knowledge about Medicine & Politics – Lucky me that I have a good job and great insurance.  I‘m covered!!  But I can’t help but think about all the people who are not covered by insurance, and something like cancer can devastate a families finances and jeopardize their health care.  I think Universal Health Care is the way to go…..if government covered health care is good enough for our elected representatives, it is good enough for me.  Why don’t they want the average citizen to have access to that?

And the #1 reason why cancer is cool?  Well, any of them could be anyones number one reason, but this is mine.

1 – An appreciation of all the little things in life.   Yesterday I took Charlie out to buy a new baseball mitt.   I paid more for it than I wanted to, but it just didn’t matter.  All that mattered was that I got my son a mitt, and today I get to go pick up Henry, and take both boys to the park .  I can’t wait to see their dirty little faces sucking up their “flavor-ice’s”!

 *  The Victory Center is an amazing place………. a nonprofit organization worthy of your support.