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Showing posts from 2017

The Dangling Carrot

8 rounds (16 separate infusions-2 of which I was too ill for so technically 14) of chemotherapy in my body and hopefully that is THE LAST of it. For now.......

Having MBC (metastatic breast cancer) means I will ALWAYS technically have cancer. I feel incredibly redundant typing that sentence, but it is the truth of my life and can be easily forgotten. When I feel/look healthy it's hard not to want to forget about that cancer and to truly believe that everything is going to be fine. In fact it's healthy to do that, I can't live in a constant state of fear. But the fact remains that I have a disease that western medicine hasn't discovered a cure for.......yet.


Throughout the past year I have been working on developing my new normal. It's been a challenge and there have been many ups and also many downs. I have been fearful, overwhelmed with sadness and anger, and uncertain about everything, I have also been hopeful, filled with love and certain that I was headed down …

Explore Your Options...

As I approach my last (for now-aka this better be the last one for a while) round of chemotherapy I'm thinking a lot about what my next move is. I got an extra week added on to the end of this chemo because my body has had enough and wants a break. Cancer treatments destroy a person's body all for the end goal of hopefully being "healthy." It seems back-asswards to me from a logical stand point but I'm not sure any of this has been logical at all. Cancer defies logic most of the time; a treatment that works for one doesn't work for another. Even if the numbers are EXACTLY the same, individuality also applies to medicine.

Knowing that cancer can have a mind of it's own is the scariest part of this disease. In the past couple of weeks I've talked to several cancer patients, younger, older, breast cancer and other forms as well. Friends of mine have contacted me and asked me to help other people, even if they don't listen to a word of advice I give t…

Dog Days Of Summer

Summertime has officially hit Los Angeles!! With 75% humidity and temperatures in the 90's it definitely feels like an east coast summer out here.

 While this week I planned to have chemo and beat the heat by planting myself in front of my a/c unit and having a Netflix binge session alone, my body had other plans. After arriving at City of Hope and testing my blood it was determined some of my levels were too low to receive chemotherapy. As disappointed as I was, I've had to learn to roll with the punches. This one annoyed me only because all summer long I have had August 8th marked in my calendar as my LAST DAY OF CHEMO, and now that day will be the 15th. What's a week in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely nothing. But it can feel differently to the person who has been receiving the chemotherapy.

There have been MANY times during this process that I have wanted to quit, many times that I almost have. Thank God a good night's sleep can change your perspective. I am

On A Tuesday

Two years ago today, it was a Tuesday. Tuesday July 14th, 2015. Around 1030 a.m. I decided I would get ready and take my dog for a walk. I had gotten a biopsy done on my right breast the Friday before and still hadn't heard anything so I thought "Hey, no news is probably good news. Off for a walk I go." But as we know that wasn't the case. I've talked about this morning more than one time, because it was probably the most surreal moment of my life. I was alone (besides the dog, she was never great with soothing words in a crisis though) and I never in my life have felt more alone. Falling to me knees crying harder than I have ever cried before, screaming through tears. Calling family members and friends frantically trying to get anyone to me because I didn't know what else to do. The first to arrive was my band mate in Roses & Cigarettes, Angela followed by a few of my best friends and finally my mom and oldest sister arrived. The rose flowed like w…

Caught in an identity crisis...

I am now 6 rounds of chemotherapy in, 2 rounds of chemotherapy to go. For now....

I'm tired guys, just tired. I didn't think I would be doing this many rounds of chemo, and maybe that's a good thing. Knowing you've got 8 rounds in front of you can be daunting, sometimes taking it one step at a time is the better option. The side effects come and go, some days my energy is boundless! Most days it is the opposite, heading to the refrigerator for a glass of water can seem like a huge task. Some side effects are cumulative, like the pretty little brown curls that keep falling out of my head. What began as a small amount of shedding has resulted in a George Castanza bald spot on my head. I keep saying I'm Kosmo Kramer in the front George Castanza in the back. Like a reverse mullet, if you will. I can't say I'm thrilled about it, but it is what it is. My health is more important.

As I've experienced these side effects, and believe me the hair is the least of …

A small light at the end of the tunnel....

I have now had 6 1/2 rounds of this current chemotherapy. Total I have had 7 infusions, with 5 more infusions to go.

Just this year.

If you count it all up now I've had 14 rounds of chemotherapy. 35 rounds of radiation (breast), 1 round of radiation (brain), and 3 surgeries. Fairly aggressive for a girl who would barely go to the doctor for a sinus infection.

Recently it's been hard for me to see that light at the end of the tunnel. When you have an "incurable" disease it's hard to remember that some treatments ARE temporary. Because let me assure you they do not feel temporary, at least to me they don't. Going to the doctor for infusion after infusion and not being certain for how long this treatment will work for, or how much longer you have to endure it is exhausting. Not just on the body but on the soul. Don't get me wrong I am incredibly thankful for the results I have seen so far from this chemo. This treatment is and has been working. My last scan …

Gray Days....

The transition from spring to summer in Los Angeles is notorious for gray days. Many of them, all piled up neatly in a row somewhere between the beginning of May through, let's be honest if you live on the west side, maybe mid July. It is referred to mostly as 'June Gloom' but when occurring in May I hear it most frequently called 'May Gray.'  And I LOVE a gray day. I love the fog off the ocean. I love the smell in the air that inevitably happens when this fog-or marine layer, as it is referred to out here, rolls in. It reminds me of my childhood; many days spent on Cape Cod beaches watching the Chatham fog roll in. Getting my hoodie and eating a turkey sandwich with some Cape Cod chips-SO COZY!

So, we have established I love a gray day (my bedroom has been recently painted this lovely fog gray.) What I DO NOT LOVE is living in the gray. I am HORRIBLE at it. If you don't know what I'm referring to here (because you're not a control freak like mo…

What now?

It's been 6 days since my last scan.

Which means that my next scan is in 84 days.

       It seems crazy to be anticipating the next scan, this last scan gave me more than I thought would be possible. Particularly given the time frame, 3 short months ago my body was filled with cancer. I was staring down 6 months in the face. The fear, anxiety, stress, acceptance roller coaster was (still is, really) taking a serious toll on my energy. Energy that I don't have much of due to ya know, the whole fighting cancer thing. But this scan, THIS SCAN!! Gave me that hope and that jolt of energy I so desperately needed. The most common question was "What are you going to do now?" and while I wanted to be like margarita party STAT! I quickly remembered I do still have two tumors in my lungs and am going through chemo. Then I was reminded again while I was at the doctor's office, alone like the strong IN-DE-PEN-DENT woman I am damn it, and had to run to the bathroom to vomit. T…

The waiting game...

Exactly two years ago is when this cancer business started for me. Two years ago. It was two years ago that I finally was releasing an album of original music with my band, Roses & Cigarettes, ready to go on tour. I was 31, single, and feeling like a rock star...when, BOOM! What the hell is that hard lump in my boob? As we know it was cancer, and ever since that day in May two years ago, nothing has been the same. And I haven't received ANY good news pertaining to my cancer since, really. Even though they kept telling me I'd be fine, it's only stage II we can CURE that. Yeah, tell my Stage IV diagnosis that! Every time I got news from a test or a scan it was never what I wanted to hear. It never had the words "decreased, regression, smaller" ever. Through all my smiles and positive attitude, through every trip to some tropical destination the underlying feeling was the same, "I'm really going to die one day soon."

Don't get me wro…

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Wherever you go, there you are.

I've heard that saying over the course of my life, and yes I got it but never truly until now. I recently took a trip to Kauai to see a healer, and get away from the stress I've been dealing with at home. And now my cousin for the second year in a row has won (earned through work, she is a PHENOMENAL human who also excels at her job, which happens to be dealing with very sick patients) an ALL EXPENSES paid trip for two to Tahiti and Bora Bora, and SHE TOOK ME!!! I am extremely lucky and spoiled, and I feel extremely grateful.

As grateful as I feel to be on this vacation, away from the array of doctors appointments and infusions and pharmacy calls. No matter where I go, there I am. And there is all of my baggage coming with me. My nausea, my food allergies/particularities, body pain, and mostly my fear. Fear has a funny way of creeping into your life. I didn't even know how much fear I was living in before my cancer diagnosis, let alone after…

The Perfect Patient

When we are healthy we have all these ideas about what would do if....

If I get cancer I will.....


But do you know what you would do if it actually happened? Honestly can you imagine the moment it happens and then everything else that follows it?

I had so many preconceived notions about what I would do if, how I will act when.... And you know what? I was totally full of it. Because you can't imagine the insane fear that takes a hold of you when it actually happens. How every single time you roll over at night you hear the words, "You have cancer." And that jolt of adrenaline and fear hits you all over again. How every time someone says "but you're always so healthy," "You look really healthy," "You're too young for breast cancer," you have to swallow the lump in your throat and graciously say "thank you" or "I know, cancer doesn't care" and shrug your shoulders.  How every time someone looks at you with sympat…

Around and around and around she goes.....

The last time I blogged was December. It is now April. Where the hell did the time go?!?!

To say I've been dealing with a big bag of shit is an understatement. I'm going to take a big deep breathe, and then try and type out a (hopefully) concise update.....

December was a really hard month, I was in the hospital for stomach virus (everything is more dramatic when you have cancer), put my doggy down, and then went to see family for the holidays. I came back to my house ready for 2017 to start, and a new chapter to begin. On December 31st  I drove to San Diego where I adopted my new doggy, Teddy. He is my little buddy and a doggy angel! I was gearing up for some transitions to be happen in my home and was really ready to attack things full speed!

January then got pretty rough, but I thought "oh I'm just tired" "It's just allergies, compounded by treatments." etc, etc, etc......

End of January I got a PETscan and it didn't exactly go as I planned. …