Season 2. Episodes 1 and 2.

My first 2 2017 Dana-Farber appointments started out with a whimper.  And that’s a damn good thing. Both appointments were fabulous because they were

BORING!!!!

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Sorry to spoil your fun cancer. Everything with me is good. I totally intend to bore you to death.  For all my friends and family having to deal with you I hope we all bore you to death.

FUCK YOU CANCER!  WE MAY BE BORING BUT WE ARE STRONGER THAN YOU! AND WE WILL BORE YOU UNTIL YOU GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, LIKE TO HELL.hell

SEASON ONE: ARRY-380. FINAL EPISODE

As we begin 2017, I want to recap all the fun (and not so fun) episodes from the hit journey on the LJFX channel – ARRY-380

EPISODE 1

January 2016 :

In San Juan for vacation, having a really bad day.

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Took an Ativan, took a nap, took a header into the walk in closet

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instead of hitting the head (pun intended)

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Leave San Juan, vacation cut short, head home.

EPISODE 2

Head to Dana Farber Cancer Center for tests and scans to see if my ragged brain qualifies for the Arry 380 clinical trial.  Yeah!  Have enough cancer in my brain ( 1 tumor measuring 1.1 cm) to qualify for the trial. (something wrong with being so excited about more treatments).

EPISODE 3

Start my every 3 week visits to Dana Farber Cancer Institute consisting of blood draw, meeting with Drs. and Nurses, getting Herceptin and getting a 21 day cycle of Arry 380. And CT Scans and MRIs every 6 weeks.

EPISODE 4

We have Shrinkage!  Refer to prior blog titled SHRINKAGE to get the full flavor of the episode.

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EPISODE 5

After being in the trial for 6 months (June 2016) I graduated to Scans every 3 months instead of every 6 weeks!graduation

EPISODES 6 – 11

These episodes were pretty status quo.  We learned about adrenal glans, pituitary glands and hydrocortisone injections.  Stayed the course for every 3 week treatments and every 3 month scans.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED…………………………..

EPISODE 12 – THE FINAL EPISODE OF THE SEASON

Remember the Shrinkage from Episode 4, well we had even more Shrinkage in the final episode.

YES MY BELOVED BLOG READERS, REMEMBER THAT 1.1 cm QUALIFYING TUMOR FROM EPISOE 2 ABOVE?  IT WAS UNDECTABLE!!!!! searching

TEARS OF JOY, YIPPING AND JUMPING, CHEERING AND HUGGING!

Oh yes and those 8 tiny alien fuckers are stable.  Never thought stable would be my fifth favorite word after undetectable, shrinkage and fuck cancer.

I hope you all will continue to follow me in Season Two starting January 9, 2017 with my first treatment of 2017.

I hope each episode is horribly boring because that will mean all is well.  Of course I will report on the good, the bad and the ugly (hhmmm great name for a movie).

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The hope is to have many more seasons of Arry-380 and have GREAT SUCCESS  with this trial.

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And with the FINAL EPISODE OF 2016 AND THE FIRST EPISODE OF 2017 ………………………… WE ALL JOIN TOGETHER TO SAY……………………………………..

FUCK CANCER!!!!  LEAVE ME, MY FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES ALONE.  WE HATE YOU, WE WILL NEVER WELCOME YOU INTO OUR HOMES.  WE WILL ALWAYS SLAM THE DOOR IN YOUR FACE AND MAKE IT CRYSTAL CLEAR YOU ARE EVIL, YOU ARE THE DEVIL AND WE WILL ALL DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO KILL YOU.

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WAKE UP!!!!

No this is not a political blog post.  I’m talking to my adrenal glands.  In case you are not familiar with the adrenal gland here’s a lovely picture adrenal

Who knew if you look at it one way it looks like an apricot hamantaschen sitting on a caterpillar (for the non Jews in the crowd, hamantaschen are yummy fruit filled triangular pastries eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim).  OK no comments – may brain doesn’t function like yours so give me a break.

Now, apparently my adrenal glands decided to take a long winter’s nap.  WAKE UP MOFOS!  These adorable little hamantaschen (NOT) decided that all the steroids in my system were doing the job and they did not need to wake up.  WRONG!

Since this organ decided not to WAKE UP, it’s owner (ME) is now taking Hydrocortisone pills to make up for the lazy half ass work the adrenal gland was doing.

AND…….. the really fun stuff is when i have certain situations (food poisoning, vomiting and other lovely things) that don’t keep the pills in my system i have to do thissyringe

in my thigh.

Apparently the root of all this evil is my pituatary gland. It may look pretty on this avetar  but it does not look pretty in my tortured brain.  All the radiation has impacted my pituatary gland and the pit gland is not sending the signal to the adrenal glad to WAKE UP!

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All in all,  this clearly sucks.  However, on this Thanksgiving Day November 24, 2016, I am thankful that I can write this blog post, share my thoughts with all of you and that I continue  

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALLNew-turkeys

AND FUCK CANCER.  I WILL CELEBRATE MANY MORE TURKEY DAYS FILLED WITH FOOTBALL, FABULOUS FOOD, AMAZING & SUPPORTIVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY.finger

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BIKE……AGAIN

Some of you may remember when I started this blog with an early post that said: It Is All About the Bike.  Crashing on my bike led me to the swollen gland in my neck that led me to my first metastatic diagnosis of breast cancer in my parotid gland.

And once again, it IS about the bike.  This time it’s not a new diagnosis but healing from the damage done to my body after being diagnosed metastatic in 2011.  I  haven’t completed all 3 days of a YSC Tour de Pink ride since my mets diagnosis and the past few years I’ve been a cheerleader and supporter along the route instead of a rider.  I know some of you are saying “what’s the big deal”, “you’re still there and part of the event”.  But for those who know me it is a big deal.  I know I always say it’s not about how many miles you ride or how long it takes  you – it’s all about showing up.  Trust me – that is still my mantra and I feel strongly about that especially for all of our survivor riders on Tour de Pink.  Showing up is more that half the battle.  For me, things are just a tad bit different at this stage in my life.

HELLO MY NAME IS LISA AND I AM AN OVERACHIEVER.  There I said it.  I’m such an overachiever that when I was diagnosed Stage 2, I skipped Stage 3 and went right to Stage 4.  And now, my overachieving self is back in the saddle – literally.

With my brain shrinkage and my new found balance, I started working out again.  Strength training, walking and yoga.  But my one true love is being on the bike.

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And today, I finally got my fat ass (thank you 3 months of steroids) on that wind trainer that has been calling my name for months now (yes I hear voices – anyone have a problem with that???).

I will NEVER let this disease beat me.  I will NEVER let this disease dictate my activity.  I will ALWAYS find a way around it to get myself to the place I need to be.

SO FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!  YOU  EVIL BEAST – I WILL NOT LET YOU DESTROY ME.  I WILL DESTROY YOU AND SO WILL MANY OTHERS.  WE ARE GETTING CLOSER AND I HOPE YOUR EVIL ASS IS RUNNING SCARED.

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HELP

Asking for help is an interesting thing. For me, it is not something that comes easily. Like many of us, we are very independent and used to doing for ourselves. I know I generally am.

And then a defining moment – I asked a friend for help. The response: Thank you for asking and letting me help you. When people offer to help it is because they want to, not because they think they should.

I thought about it……………it seemed to make sense but I didn’t quite embrace it.

And now, watch out! If you offered, I will hunt you down and ask you to do things for me until you want to kick me in my fat puffy steroid ass. Thank you John Lennon for expressing the need for HELP!

“”When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now those days are gone and cancer is in my life
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and learned to ask for help
“Help me if you can, my balance sucks
And I need your arm to guide me when it’s rough
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?
“And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.”

BUT I WILL GET IT BACK!!!
AS WE KNOW, I WILL NOT LET CANCER BEAT ME. THIS IS TEMPORARY. I WILL NO LONGER FEAR ASKING FOR HELP

BUT I WILL NEED IT LESS AND LESS.

MY ACCEPTANCE OF HELP IS A TRIBUTE TO OTHERS. ALL THOSE WHO NEED A PUSH AND ALL THOSE WE’VE LOST TO THIS FUCKING DISEASE.

FUCK YOU CANCER – YOU CAN HELP YOUR NASTY BEAST RIGHT OUT THE DOOR.

THINGS THAT AMAZE AND DISGUST ME!

AMAZE! CATS CAN DRINK WATER ALL DAY AND PEE ONLY TWICE

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DISGUST! HOT DOG EATING CONTESTS

DISGUST! HOW MANY AMAZING AND INSPIRING WOMEN HAVE LEFT THIS LIFE FROM BREAST CANCER

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AMAZE! I’M STILL HERE

A little background –

Over the past few years my left implant has been fighting with my body.  It was angry and felt like it was being pushed out while the right implant sat quietly where it belonged.  My left boob looked like a  DD and my right boob looked like a comfy C.

I had pain in my left side, pain when i bent over and twisted certain ways. My boobs were ready for an upgrade.

My cancer said OH NO!  No upgrade yet, I’m having too much fun wreaking havoc on your body. No surgery yet.  I still need everyone to worry about anesthesia.  I mean really what’s the big deal about a little possibility of a brain bleed. DISGUST!

And then the stars aligned.  Doc Onc, Doc Neuro and Doc Plastics all agreed that my scans were all good and I was ready for general anesthesia. AMAZE!

Oh and a benefit of all of this, I get a chemo break. A little time for my body to recover from the treatment side effects.

Off to New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell – my home away from home since my original diagnosis in September 1998.  Finally – NEW BOOBS!

The mystery revealed. Because I had so much radiation to my left torso, I had serious capsular contraction on the left side and essentially the buildup of scar tissue was pushing the implant out of the capsule. My scar tissue was a large solid block of cement.

DISGUST!

Recovery.  No lifting, twisting, strain of any kind for 2 weeks.  Wear a really uncomfortable bra for 2 weeks after the bandages come off.  WTF????  I haven’t worn a bra for 10 years.  The girls are not happy but  – they are healing and getting happier.

After 3 ½ weeks of being the perfect patient, my new boobs and I are free! AMAZE!

And now back to the chemo life.  I actually was happy going to chemo again.  As many of us know, a break is great but there comes a point where the fear of being unprotected starts to creep into your brain.  Even my cancer eaten brain.Healthy brain

It felt like home. The receptionists, the secretaries, the nurses, the PAs,the docs.  Everyone is family.  If you have to have chemo, being in a loving supportive environment is essential (Lisa’s advice for the day). And of course I wore my FUCK CANCER! shirt to chemo.

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4 weeks post surgery I am almost back to normal life.

AMAZE!

I found this quote that touched my heart (near my brand spanking new boobs!):

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you’ve imagined. – Thoreau

We know none of us dreamed of getting cancer.  None of us dreamed of watching the ones we love die of this awful disease.  None of us dreamed of saying goodbye to women in the prime of their lives; women with so many more years to follow their dreams who ended up living a nightmare of cancer.

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DISGUST!

We all have different life goals and dreams. Whatever those dreams are, don’t wait, live those dreams.

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FUCK CANCER!!!!  

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WE HATE YOU, WE DESPISE YOU.  DISGUST IS TOO KIND FOR YOU.  CANCER YOU ARE A BLIGHT ON HUMANITY, WE WILL EVENTUALLY BEAT YOU.  WE WILL FIND A WAY TO STOP YOU. AND WHEN THAT DAY COMES………………………

AMAZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!