Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Jedis

These are the cutest Jedis in the galaxy. Don't you think so??? Bath towels make GREAT Jedi costumes!!

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Speaking of Hair....

Ok, so here is the top of my head! Can you believe that I am getting some hair back in?? It's amazing...but ridiculous looking at the same time. I still remind myself of my brother Ryan as we look similar and when I have hair this SHORT I surely don't look like myself much. It's strange..but I can't complain! My lashes and eyebrows are starting to grow back in too! Yeahoo!!!
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The Hat Rack

This is my great "Hat Rack" Scott made for me back in November. I keep some of my hats, scarves and wigs on it. The other day I was looking at it and thinking, "I need to take a photo of this! It's quite the sight to see! Underneath the hats are signs my children have made and given to me over the past few's just funny to see my "hair" hanging there. =)
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I've Lost That "Lovin" Feeling!

Ok, so maybe I haven't lost that lovin feeling but I have lost some feeling in my arm. =( I'm very sad about it actually. My oncologist said I may regain feeling within months to years to maybe never. He said based on the fact that I have numbness already he said I most likely won't recover feeling in that area of my arm. =(

Let me backtrack for those of you that are confused as to WHY this is happening. Two weeks ago during chemo I had my second issue with the chemo infiltrating my tissues. What this means is that all of a sudden during my 4 hour long IV drips the chemo stopped going into the vein and started leaking into my tissue. The first time it happened it was very quick and horribly painful so in retrospect I realize not much got into my tissue. This time it was a very slow infiltration and it felt a bit cold so my nurse got me a hotpack for my arm. Then within 5 minutes it started feeling slightly painful and when I lifted up the hotpack my arm was all poofed up with fluid!! It was horrible. After she removed the IV and I elevated my arm then it started to hurt. We had to choose a different area to hook up the IV to complete my treatment.

They told me that my tissue should absorb the chemo and it would be fine. Well within 2 days of chemo I noticed my skin was a bit itchy in spots. That was the first sign. Then it was ok for a few days. Then on Saturday I noticed some patchy spots that looked like there was fluid in my arm. Since my arms are so skinny you can tell when there is a slight change in the skin. Sunday was the scare when my entire forearm went numb in the area that the chemo had infiltrated. It was numb for about 2 hours and then I started regaining feeling again. It's been on and off for the past week and a half--sometimes it is very numb, like it is annoying how numb it is. Right now its slightly numb but unless I scratch my arm or someone touches my arm I can't tell.

I met with my Oncologist last week and asked him about this. He said the chemo I'm on is neurotoxic and so it makes sense that if it leaked out into the tissue that I would have permanent nerve damage on my arm. =( So sad isn't it? I told him how it didn't happen with the last infiltration but he said different factors, locations, nerve endings, etc. can affect all of that differently. He told me it is a better place to lose feeling than my hands or feet. Which is true....that was a risk with causes permanent nerve damage in hands and feet of some patients.

So I guess all in all I need to count my blessings, but needless to say I am very nervous for my next and last treatment of Taxol. I do NOT want anymore problems and I'm really sad that I've lost feeling in my arm....may sound silly but it's just a constant reminder now of what I'm going through.

I'm getting used to the numbness in my surgery area so that's no big deal, but the arm thing is harder for me. Thanks for reading and thanks again for all your prayers for our family!
Love, Heidi

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Heid's New Health Craze

For me a natural part of dealing with my disease is trying to figure out all the ways that I can be more healthy going forward. What I can do to keep the cancer from recurring, etc. I've been doing LOTS of research and reading a great deal to learn about ways I can help my body to be more healthy and to repair itself. I have a book on healing cancer through nutrition and I've found a lot of truth in that book. It just makes sense. I'm now approaching what I eat as 'medicine' in a sense that can heal my body from the damage that has been done and that can help keep disease from returning. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still undergoing chemo and radiation will start in a few weeks, but the natural methods have their place as well.

I'm seeing a natural doctor, aka Eastern Medical Doctor, who specializes in nutrition, whole food supplements, herbal medicine, acupuncture, etc. He's counseling me in my diet and nutrition and I've been following this personalized 'wellness program' for the past month now and I've been really pleased with the improvements so far. We'll see how I feel in a few more weeks!!

The two hardest things for me right now.....I'm off of SUGAR--white refined which is in EVERYTHING you buy! And I'm off of dairy except for limited amounts of organic dairy products. I've gone from drinking 2 gallons of milk a week to drinking barely 1/2 gallon in 2 weeks. I'm being a really good girl but its hard. Especially I miss my ice cream!! I had sugar withdrawals at first but I'm getting used to it now. After all you can make or break habits in 21 days remember.....=)

Here you'll see my new milk, yes I'm drinking Organic milk now. I'm avoiding all things that have any hormones in them!

This is my new favorite water!! Fiji water is YUMMY!! I'm becoming a water snob now...really I drink a LOT of water!
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February Chemo Updates

Well I'm finally updating for February and how chemo has treated me. I've really been very blessed this month. Undergoing chemo treatments is no summer picnic, but I'm so grateful that I haven't had a HALF of the side effects that my Dr. warned me I might have. So that's a big blessing. I've been able to do more with my children and I've actually started doing laundry and household chores again (horrors I know!) But I couldn't escape those duties forever. Here you can see our family enjoying our Valentine's Day dinner. Some friends brought us a 'pink' dinner for Valentine's Day and Kaylie decorated the table very festive. We had a nice evening. I wasn't' up to a romantic dinner on the town, so we did our "pink dinner" and then took the children out on a family date for Frozen Yogurt. We went to a new place called Tops Yogurt and the children had a blast making their own creations there. It was a memorable Valentine's Day to say the least.
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San Jose Children's Museum

We took a day and went into San Jose to visit some friends and we visited the Children's Museum while we were there. The Water Works exhibit was the children's favorite! Here you can see Kaylie standing in front of her blue ball that is about to go down this whirlpool.
Cameron's favorite was watching the steam from this water fountain as he could control it with the does that work?
Dallyn just loved collecting green balls and sending them down the waterfalls and into the whirlpools!
Kyler watches as a ball that he sent up the vacuum tube is sailing through the air into the whirlpool. What a fun place!!
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Kylers First Haircut

So Mommy wanted to hold onto her 'baby' as long as she could! Cutting Kyler's hair meant admitting that he's growing up!! =( Yes he's 19 months old now but still, it seems like just yesterday he was my little baby!! So here is his before and after photos. I LOVED the curls in the back...still miss those. But Daddy insisted his hair was looking scraggly so he cut it off while Mommy cried!!!
Look how handsome and how grown up he looks now!! And enjoying every minute of the attention!
What's the big deal mom? So I made a mess with my pudding, whose going to clean me up?? =)
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