11 Months

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Last night I did something I have dreamed of doing since this whole bloody cancer thing entered my life….I went to a salon and got a real, honest to goodness, haircut.

Before chemo, my hair was really curly, and to my shoulders.  My hair has come back in even curlier.  It wasn’t really long, but it had no shape, and since we have to go to a wedding this weekend for my niece, I went ahead and got a cut.  I am going to grow it out again, but I needed to cut off the parts damaged by chemo and give it some style!

I cried.  Before cancer, I got my hair cut and colored every six weeks.  It has been so long.  And it felt so good.

My haircut was a big old Fuck You Cancer.

I’m on FIYAH!

Seriously…I feel as if I’m on fire.

For about a week now.

Itching from the waist down.

Two doctor appointments and neither of them found a physical reason as to why I am itching.  One (the one at the emergency medical aid unit) said “Contact Dermatitis” which generally means, “Um, I don’t know what it is…here, have a steroid.”  I saw him Tuesday night.  They wouldn’t give me prednisone because of my diabetes, but he did give me a steroidal cream.  It was SUPPOSED to help.

It made it worse.

The next day, I went to my primary care, allthewaythefuckdownin Maryland.  Waited an hour for him to see me.  He checked me over with a fine tooth comb.  He found about three bumps on the back of my leg, but couldn’t determine if they were anything to worry about.  My legs felt hot to the touch, but no physical rash, no evidence of shingles or scabies (eww), no poison ivy, oak or sumac.  No new dish detergent, soap, laundry soap, dryer sheets or body wash.  No new foods.  JUST FRIGGIN ITCHY.

Determination – my immune system is all screwed up from having chemo this year.  And I’m stressed out – moving, moving IN with my Mom, husband still unable to find a full time gig, new job, no computer at new job, phone issues at new job, going back to school – STRESSBALL here.  So, the stress got together with my immune system and said, “So, how should we handle this?” and my body said, “Ummmmm….itch?”  So, itchy it is.

OMG it isn’t getting any better.  The doctor prescribed me an anti-anxiety med (I’ve been asking for one since the cancer diagnosis).  It’s buspar.  Supposed to be really mild.  Takes a week or so to build up in the system.  He also gave me a heavy duty antihistamine.  I can only take it at night.  During the day, I’m taking benedryl (I have such an immunity to benedryl that it doesn’t even make me sleepy, and it sure doesn’t touch the itching).  I’m getting pretty desperate for relief here.

In other news, I am fully registered for class.  First installment payment made.  Books (holy expensive!) are bought.  Now I just need to get a copy of Microsoft Project and I’ll be good to go.

Oh, and I do like my new job.  My pc issues there have been a comedy of errors.  When I transferred from Baltimore, I obviously had to leave behind my desktop.  This place only issues laptops, so they ordered me one.  It was sent to Baltimore instead of Wilmington.  Yay.  So, Baltimore overnighted it to Wilmington, where it arrived on Wednesday with a broken screen.  Sigh.  New screen ordered, laptop has to be imaged, but noted that no one ordered a docking station.  Because I have one on my desk.  But it’s not compatible with the laptop.  So, docking station ordered.  Still no pc.  The PC has to be imaged, and then I can’t have it until I have a docking station.

And it took a week and a half to have my badge activated.

Sigh.

So, I continue to drag my personal laptop to work and use my Wi-Fi on my phone.  Today, I said eff it and worked from home.

But the job, well, it’s pretty cool.

Blind Trust

I took a big step for me this week post cancer.

BIG STEP.

I re-enrolled in school. I took time off last year (again) when I got my cancer diagnosis. No way did I want to juggle group work and papers and exams with cancer treatments and worrying about whether or not I was going to see the end of the semester.

Then, we moved, and my commuting nightmare came into play.

But now, I’ve got a job 20 minutes away, and I seem to be staying in remission.

So I put a huge bit of trust into my wonderful team of oncologists.

And yesterday, I re-enrolled. I have approximately 9 classes left before I finish up this masters. I already have my MBA, and this one will be a Masters of Science in Management in Interdisciplinary Studies. My new job is officially titled a Regulatory Exam Project Manager, so I went ahead and signed up for the Project Management class (I have to take one of those). I start back to school September 9th.

Now listen here body – every time I have signed up for classes in the past few years, you have screwed me over – first knee surgery, then cancer. Let’s not screw this one up too.

Blind trust – come on Body – keep it together. REMISSION REMISSION…no WAMMIES!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes….

I promise to eventually get back to blogging more regularly.  These past couple of months have been hectic as all get out.

So, I started my new job in Delaware last week and it’s exciting.  Of course, I’m still waiting on my work laptop (I can’t actually do any work in the office without it) and to get my badge updated so I can access the building, but hopefully that will all be resolved this week.  The new office (same company, just a new division) is a complete 180 from what I was used to working in.  Everyone seems to be at a higher level, and works very independently, which is what I was craving.  My boss is hardly in the office, in fact I only saw her for five minutes this week.  I’ve been working from home the past two days because of the “no laptop” situation (my personal laptop is not allowed – too many security issues), but our internet has been horrible at home (I hate you Comcast – HATE YOU) so I’ve been working at the library.  But it has been a nice transition, and I’m looking forward to what is to come.

My colonoscopy last week went well.  No issues, and my doctor said he’s not sure he wants to do another one for two years.  He and I will “chat” next year.  The worst part of the process was getting the IV in.  I explained to the girl that my veins are ruined from chemo, and that the ones in my hand won’t thread, but she wouldn’t listen to me.  She tried my hand twice and finally said, “Your veins won’t thread.”  Really?  You think?  Finally she found one on my wrist that worked, but she had to pump me full of lidocane first, and that was just as bad.  But all’s well that ends well – no cancer in the colon.  All nice and clean.  No polyps or anything.  Yay.

In other news, there isn’t much other news.  Work work work, and getting ready for my niece’s wedding on the 3rd.  I can’t believe she’s getting married.  I still see her with her little pink Osh Kosh overalls on, asking for boof (juice) when she was 18 months old.  And in two weeks, the last of my nieces (on my side) will be married, just leaving the boy on his own.  My nephew has never shown interest in dating ANYONE, so I’m not holding my breath on him.  🙂  Bob’s side of the family has at least 4,253,432,321 nieces and nephews, and they are all expecting babies next month.  Holy cow!

Oh, and I signed up for fall semester.  Stay away cancer.  I need to finish my 2nd masters!  🙂

Prep

One of the trials and tribulations of living as a cancer survivor with Lynch Syndrome is the knowledge that I now stand an 80% chance of developing colorectal cancer. My older sister and father both had colorectal cancer, so that increases my odds, in addition to testing positive for the genetic mutation.

This means annual colonoscopies.

Now, I’m not a newbie to the colonoscopy scene. This, in fact, is probably my fifth. The last one was three years ago, just after my gastric bypass procedure.

Sadly, I still hate jello as a result of umpteen procedures allowing only clear fluids, including three recent rounds of vag radiation.

Jello makes me want to gag.

But I digress.

So, my colonoscopy is tomorrow. I’m working from home today so I can begin my prep. One thing I didn’t know until this year was that people who have Lynch tend to develop polyps and tumors on the right side of their colons. Also interesting? A prep completed the night before your colonoscopy makes it difficult for the doctor to wash away the new mucus that has started to grow overnight on the right side. Now, for people with Lynch, they recommend a split prep – half the night before, and half the morning of the procedure.

Did I also mention that MoviPrep is nasty?

No?

It is.

So, at 4pm today, I begin my prep – 1 liter of MoviPrep followed by many clear fluids until midnight. Then, at 6am tomorrow, another liter of MoviPrep followed by another 16 oz of clear fluids. Then I have to get in a car and travel for an hour and a half to Baltimore. I’m more worried about crapping myself in the car than I am about the actual procedure.

Because hey, I have my priorities.

Walking On Sunshine!

Sorry I have been absent.  Many things have been brewing, and everything came to a head in the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been hard at work on making that happen.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we moved in with my Mom in April – making the move from Maryland to Delaware.  What this meant for me was a 2.5 hour commute each way via car, then train, then bus to work.  For a job that had become to me way less than rewarding.  In May, I applied on a whim for a job still with the same company, but in a different division.  It was a promotion, and the job was located 20 minutes from my house.  I didn’t think I stood a chance at first, but what they heck?

It was a surprise to me when the executive recruiter called me in May to set up what became a series of six interviews that spanned two months.  And last week, this job that initially seemed incredibly interesting and rewarding but oh so out of reach…well, it became mine.

I got the job.

So, now, in a whirlwind, I am winding down my current position to transfer back to Wilmington.  I got a big promotion, and am being compensated very well.  My title is incredibly long and important sounding now, although the job may not be.  I’ll be working as a liaison with the regulators to gather exam deliverables, follow up with the business, and resolve any issues that are found in the review.  It will be a very busy job, and a very big responsibility.  And I’m very excited to finally be appreciated somewhat for my talents.

Healthwise, I’m doing well,  I’m starting to feel myself again, but still exhausted at day’s end.  I’d attribute that to work and my commute, but it happens on my days off as well.  The chemo that coursed through my veins has left a long and lasting impression.

My hair has come back in, and is even MORE curly than it was before it fell out.  Holy shit the curls.  My hair has been very short in the past and was pretty straight when it was this length, but now, no way – no amount of product can get this hair to calm down.  I’m loving having hair, but wow oh wow.

I’m working from home today, and then when we are sprung for the holiday, my honey and I will be traveling to our little cabin in VA to celebrate.  Happy Fourth of July everyone (and a belated Happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers)!