Giving IN

Throughout my entire career as a professional cancer fighter I have pushed the limits. I have performed, taught yoga, continued to socialize, exercise, write and be as "normal" as possible. Pushing through exhaustion so that I may have the gift of experience. My perspective on the need for experience is beginning to shift though and I feel as if I'm entering a new phase. Leaving the need to prove that I could live and experience life despite a cancer diagnosis behind, and nuzzling into the comfort of staying home, resting and HEALING. The anxiety of missing my life has begun to ease and I have found myself craving sleep, quiet and some nothing-ness. My mom has been here staying with me and taking care of me-making sure my every need is fulfilled, cooking my food, taking care of my dog and supporting this entire operation. Which has allowed me to give in and let go. Notice I did not say give UP. I said give IN. Giving IN. It's such an interesting concept, I didn'

Here comes the rain again...

The rain has arrived and with it brings my favorite time of year in LA. I love the rain, I love the weather, I love how the whole city basically shuts down because we all forgot how to function in actual weather. I love how the news stations talk non-stop about it with their various "storm watches," really pumping up the drama for what in New England would just be called rain. I LOVE it. (Really praying for no mud slides though!) There's something about the rain that changes the attitude of the city, it's like the rain comes in and washes all the soot away and for a day or two you get to see just how beautiful this place can actually be. With it's clear blue sky and it's 67 degrees in December, with it's snow capped mountains in the distance and miles of coast line right here in town. If you can't tell I love LA when it rains, and it's perfectly matching my current hibernation plan. I'm now one full round (2 infusions) into my new chemotherap

The Bad News Bears

This past week I had a PETscan to check in with how this current chemotherapy is working inside my body. This month would mark the 4th out of 6-9 months of this chemotherapy so we were getting our progress report. My tumor markers (for those that are unaware tumor markers are in your blood-they check them about once a month to notice if they're going up and down as that is usually indicative of what's happening inside your body) after the first month cut in HALF. From 215 to 110. I mean it was CRAZY, full blown confidence from my team of doctors and me that the chemo was doing it's job. But then the next month it stood still. One of the markers (I check 2 every time CA27.29 and my CEA) had gone down slightly while the larger one stayed put. We initially had confidence the larger one would soon follow suit as the tumor marker that did drop a little is generally considered the trend setter. So month 2 FULL CONFIDENCE, month 3 confident but disappointed, and now to month 4 and

Opinions are like a.........

We've all heard the saying.....we all know what it means. And we certainly all know people with pretty strong opinions, but everyone has got one. You aren't original for having one, however original you may think yours is. Having cancer means being subjected to LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of opinions. From EVERY direction. For those who have gotten married or had children I'm sure you are familiar with how common it was for just any ole person to give you parenting/pregnancy/wedding day opinions, as if you had been waiting for the right person to come along and tell you how to live your life. And that maybe you'd be lost without it, if they didn't share. Please don't misunderstand, I am a highly opinionated person, and I'm generally highly willing to share my opinion no matter how controversial it may be. And while most of us truly believe and truly may be helping another person by sharing our opinion, some of us may also consider learning HOW to share said opini

A Week In The Life

There are a lot of aspects about my life that don't exactly fall into the "normal" category anymore. 3 1/2 short years ago I was working at a bar, teaching yoga and working on Roses & Cigarettes. I had a pretty full social life, that generally revolved around drinking, and felt like a fairly normal 31 year old. The day I was diagnosed my life changed, and I knew everything would always be different. I knew that day that nothing would be the same, that that was a moment, maybe THE moment that my life would be forever changed. At the time I didn't know how dramatically it would change and I spent the first almost year of my diagnosis thinking this was a terrible dream I was bound to wake up from. It wasn't until that year later when I was diagnosed Stage IV that my life took a HUGE shift. My focus took a huge shift and now, over 2 years later I can't imagine going back in the other direction. My life was seemingly normal, I worked, I partied, I saw my frie

A Sigh Of Relief

I finished my first cycle of chemotherapy in August and then hopped on a plane to fly back to Massachusetts and try and forget about this cancer stuff for a while. And while forgetting may not exactly be the easiest thing in the world I was able to give myself a break from the rut I had gotten into at home. I had spent the greater part of the summer at home not able to do much while I waited for and then recovered from surgery. My brain and body needed the change of scenery and I feel like I finally could breathe when I got to Cape Cod and spent some time lounging with family. I begrudgingly returned to LA and returned to chemo this week with my fingers and toes crossed that last months chemo made a difference in my body. That the chemotherapy did it's job killing lots and lots of those little cancer cells that keep threatening my very existence. And low and behold that chemo DID do it's job. And it did it well! I had been freaking out because after my first round of chemo bo

Stuck In The Middle With You

2 chemo infusions down, 16 to go. Tomorrow I'll get my third and final infusion of this first "round" of infusions. Each round consists of 3 infusions so all in all I'll go to the hospital 18 times for this chemotherapy over the next 6 months. 18 times. My perspective can shift from day to day and at times it seems like 18 times in 6 months? No problem. Other times those 18 visits feel like a mountain I have to climb. Today I'm somewhere in between the two, stuck right in the middle of "hey this isn't so bad" and "are you kidding me? THIS is what my life look like?".  There's not always a  rhyme or reason for these shifts in mood and perspective, sometimes it's just the side of the bed I wake up on, other times it is decidedly not just the side of the bed I wake up on. Sometimes it's the weight of everything I deal with bearing down on my shoulders. That invisible weight that can't be seen by others but can be felt by me.