Pissed Off

Pissed off. That’s what I’m currently am. Luckily, this is an emotion I can actually do something with. An emotion which I can funnel into a useful activity such as Crossfit. TGF Crossfit!

You know, it took a little time but I was ok with losing my hair. I knew it was coming. I took a breath – it fell out, I accepted it. I moved on. I even still mourn it some days but it’ll be back.  Now, to add insult to injury my nails are finally starting to go. And by go I mean complete their departure from my body. What began as beautiful nails – pink underneath the nails, long and feminine with nice white tips has turned into big browny-splotchy things with ridges that all look awful and now, they are finally started to lift off, and despite neuropathy which you think might actually HELP in this situation and make it NOT hurt – it actually hurts like HELL when I bump the nails into something.  Yeah, I’m angry all right. I’m pissed off.

So today I went to the gym. I’m technically near the end of my nadir period but I’ve now done this whole thing enough to feel comfortable with the hand washing, no face-touching – stay healthy thing. I went to the gym and did the work out with everyone. I had to scale a bit but I did it. Made me feel better. Despite feeling like I’m even losing more and more of my dignity each time I bump my nails and am immediately, and PAINFULLY reminded that I have cancer and my nails are now falling off – I did the F’ing work out and it felt good. Screw Cancer. I’m pissed now.  For the next 2 weeks before my next treatment I’m going to the gym and kickin’ some ass  ’cause I’m SO done with this.  No one told me about my nails falling out. I think if’ I’d been prepared like I had my hair it wouldn’t have been so bad. I thought I’d seen all of the side effects. Hopefully no more show up or I’ll really go over the edge and I’m pretty much already dancing on the Pissed Off Ledge so let’s just NOT go there.  As it is, I am now using “new skin liquid bandage” to help keep my nails tight to my finger so they won’t get knocked/pull off my hands. The indignity of it!! Let’s just hope it works…..  If not I don’t if I can stand to stare at my fingers if they are all nail-less….don’t even know if I could keep them uncovered without nails or what. I just really don’t want to have to have the conversation with myself. Seriously! Enough is ENOUGH!!



So much of being a cancer patient revolves around wanting to be normal. To look normal. To not look sick and, well, like you are a cancer patient. Overall I’ve been pretty good at hiding it, excluding the loss of my long hair. This has left me feeling strong, if not a slight bit “alternative” with my bald head.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just hair loss that is noticeable. Other side effects are also visually noticeable – so I’m learning. Now that I’m 5 treatments in, the hit on my fingernails is too much. I used to have beautiful, strong, healthy nails. All pink, strong and clear. Now my nails are kept very short – almost one would think, too short – but not so. With the neuropathy I feel, it is easier to keep them short to avoid catching long nails on anything unexpected and pulling on them. Also, more recently, my nails have gone from having deep, dark bands in them (due to the treatment) to being downright brown in color – and looking as though they are separating from my fingertips. I see the treatment schedule as a race – can I complete it without losing my fingernails. Who signed me up for this hideous game?

To this end, I decided tonight to put nail polish on my finger nails. Nothing fancy – just buff color to at least keep the abnormal and definitely unhealthy looking brown patches from catching anyone’s eye (including my own). It’s strictly a vanity thing but you know what, it’s important to me. Very important.

Now my toe nails, not so much an issue. I had a pedicure a while ago – second one since treatments have started – and I haven’t had to face any ugly discoloring. In fact, I’ve been quite happy with my cute looking toes recently. Also – since they grow so much slower than my finger nails, I’m fairly certain that the impact to their overall health hasn’t been as bad as it has to my finger nails. I have to keep them short, too – due to the neuropathy, but that’s normal.

So it continues, a battle for normalcy. The life of a cancer patient.

Fall Down 10 Times, Stand Up 11

It’s been a while since I’ve posted much of anything. Fell off the work out wagon this week – just wasn’t sleeping well at all, let my mind get the best of me and let myself wallow a bit. Usually I pull myself out of these funks in a day or so but for some reason this funk lasted a few days longer. In hindsight the time I could have been at the gym this week (3 of 4 mornings) weren’t completely unproductive. I did finish a brand new 350+ page book which helped me escape my mind quite a bit. Should have read a happy book instead of a heart wrenching one but it was a really good, fast reading book for me – so it’s still worth something!

My 5th chemo was yesterday so today I declared that I have to stand back up, get back on the horse, the wagon, whatever you want to call it and give my body the exercise it needs to stay strong.  To that end I got myself out of bed and onto the treadmill this morning and walked a good walk of 1 mile with the majority of it at a 12% grade. Got my heart rate up nicely and kept it there for a while which is fantastic.

Fall down 10 times. Stand up 11.

Report out for the day: Standing strong.

The Funk, Random Ramblings of a Frustrated Mind

I’ve been posting mostly workouts recently. Seems I’ve got the rhythm down for this 3 week cycle I’m on. Thing is, I’m in a funk. I should map it out on a calendar. I think some may be hormonal since my hormones are anything but normal. Some days I am better at controlling my food choices and intake than others. Yesterday was a bad day. I’m in a funk. Going to the gym yesterday didn’t help clear it like it used to in the good old days. I want to sleep and be warm and snuggly but I lie in bed, hot under my blankets and I wake up at 4 am no matter what. I want to fake out my circadian rhythm by getting up for a bit and then hopefully returning for a little shut eye. I know I need it. I stayed up last night watching the end of a movie because out of nowhere I felt nauseous enough to have to take a pill to calm it back down. Argh! So frustrating. I would like to be done with this all now. I want to fast forward through it all and just have it behind me but you can’t. You cannot selectively fast forward the bad and just slow down for the good. Doesn’t work that way. Just is.

So each day I try to choose happiness over funk but I don’t think it’s working as well. Yesterday I went for the chai latte at work to help boost my energy. I feel like I must be doing pretty good if I’m back to having anxiety over work. So much to do and everything takes longer than I think it will and I just know I’m going to be letting folks down if I don’t at least finish some big things on my to do list. I had my birthday off and loved it. I planned all sorts of things that I liked to do and I did them. With so much time outside of work I’m definitely not as work focused as I was before – and I think that’s a great thing but I still continue to feel a deep guilt that I’m not knocking it out of the park like I used to. I know, I know I have to focus on what I am accomplishing, and stop telling myself and sharing these negative thoughts with others because if I didn’t tell them, they WOULDN”T KNOW! Ugh. Funk Funk.

I guess I’m just sad. I am tired of looking in the mirror at my bald head day after day. I wish my hair would come back – but it won’t even begin to do so until some time after my last chemo on July 9th – which is technically my last chemotherapy but far from my last 3 week visit for my immunotherapy which will continue every 3 weeks until about April 2016.

I want to read more books. Should have started reading the Girls of Atomic City sooner – it’s another thick book, non-fiction that looks great. I will have a new fiction book to read after this Saturday when I meet with my book club. Books seem to help pull my mind away from everything that is going on.

And when folks are so supportive and say “you are almost done with your chemo! Isn’t that great?” all I can think of is how much closer I am to my double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Yeah?! I’m already planning for my 3 weeks off in August – sleeping, huddled on the couch. Reading. Resting. Recovering. It’s going to be here before I know it and I fear I’m- know I’m – beginning to obsess over work. I just wish the funk would lift. It was easier to be positive earlier on I think. Now I’m in one of those spots in the marathon where you just wondering how you are ever going to make it to the end and you think to yourself, just keep moving. Don’t stop. One baby step at a time. Distract yourself. Enjoy the scenery. Look around and take in the sights around you as you continue on this detour, this journey. And when it doesn’t sink in, say it all again, with feeling.

Lost Time

When you are on the chemotherapy roller coaster, you lose time. With each 3-week cycle I begin with a weekend of sleep. So much sleep you think I’d go insane but, I’m so tired and my body so needs it, that I simply rest as I need to. I can tell when I’m starting to feel better because I begin to get fussy and fidgety about being stuck sleeping the days away. After my 4th treatment I lost most of Saturday, Sunday and half of Monday. Time flies when you are going through chemo.

Thing is, I’m also missing things. Missing all of the birthday parties my daughter has been invited to. Her T-ball practices. I miss my small but growing social life. I know. It will all come back but really what I miss is hanging out with my daughter and seeing her enjoy each of her activities. I used to be the main “birthday parent” but now, that’s all changed and I’m the parent that everyone hears about but no one sees. It’ll be nice to be back for all of the events. I miss taking pictures of her at all of the events- sharing them on FB with friends and family. Documenting her life as she gets older. That’s something I like to do. There’s just a bit of a hole in my archives for now. I’ll have to learn to deal…..