Off to Chemo #8

I am stronger every day.  I know I’ve said that before, but I really do believe it.  Excepting the fact that I’m up today writing at 4 a.m. (hi, Robin!), I’ve felt great and slept deeply all week.  My aches and bone pain have been (mostly) bearable, and the nausea wasn’t too bad this time around.  I think the weekly chemo is more do-able than the once-every-three weeks protocol, but it may also be that this drug (Taxol) is much less severe than the first (AC).  In fact, I know it is.

As proof, we spent the last two days visiting Williamsburg, VA, and having grand adventures.  Well, WhyDaddy was at a meeting.  But I had grand adventures, driving up the river to a peaceful retreat near a tiny beach at Yorktown, shopping at Prime Outlets sans kids, reading The Other Mother for DC Moms Book Club, and resting my achy body in the hotel pool.  We had an intimate dinner at the most fabulous Italian restaurant , Maurizio’s, and we talked all the way there and back.  I had not planned to go along with WhyDaddy on this trip, but at the last minute we decided to try it, to give me some time away from these four walls and hopefully all the thoughts of cancer and responsibility that surround me here.  It was dreadful leaving the children for an overnight, but they were very happy with Grammy and Grampa, and we all were thrilled to see each other when we came home.

I love those kids.

In other news, I was, um, on the news last night.  Here are the clips of the pieces that Fox 5 ran on inflammatory breast cancer yesterday: Video Clip 1, Video Clip 2, and Video Clip 3 (this one features Team WhyMommy and our attempt to spread the word about IBC through blogging!).  The first two ran in the morning news hour, and the third one (which you and I were on) was part of the evening news.  I also went down to the studios to do a Live WebChat on Fox 5’s website.  We had at least 27 people sign in during the news program, and we don’t know how many more viewed the chat but didn’t sign in to talk.  The producer was really happy with this number, and invited me to start a blog over there to continue the discussion.  I’d love to do that, but

I have to go to chemo in two hours.

And so I’m having trouble sleeping.  I know that chemo is saving my life.  I know that it’s a miracle, and I am ever so grateful for it. I am, 100% of the time.  But it also temporarily dulls my senses and makes it difficult to write.  Last week, I spent much of Saturday night writing — emails, web posts, book reviews — anything, to resharpen my mind and make the words flow again.  It’s a weekly challenge, forcing my brain to remember how to string the words together and share an experience cogently and with care.  I can do it, don’t get me wrong, but it takes a couple days to regain what chemo steals from me as it simultaneously gives me new life.

So every week I ride this roller coaster and wait for the tumor to shrink enough for surgery.


29 Responses to Off to Chemo #8

  1. Joan says:

    Great job in the interview! (And your boys are so precious.)I was one of the participants in last night’s Fox chat (Joan/Anon1). Hope chemo goes OK today — will be thinking of you.

  2. Jeri says:

    Caught your email on the ibcsupport page. Checked out the news stories. You are doing a great job of spreading the news. Good luck to you. Please feel free to email me anytime. I have had IBC since last year (May) and am just getting to a point that I may be finished with treatment. Keep taking those days off from cancer when you can they are precious.

  3. Joan says:

    Great job in the interview! (And your boys are so precious.)I was one of the participants in last night’s Fox chat (Joan/Anon3). Hope chemo goes OK today — will be thinking of you.

    Corrected Comment by Joan 10.25.07 @ 7:21 am –corrected to make fix of my Anon # (3, not 1)(Sorry, not so up on these things!)

  4. Nancy says:

    Thinking of you today. Hope you got some good deals at the outlets (that’s one thing I miss from living down in York County!)

  5. Good luck today, and God Bless. You were great on the news last night–you looked great, sounded great, and you are doing an incredible job of spreading awareness. I’ll be thinking of you and wishing you strength today.

  6. canape says:

    We’ll be thinking about you today. Mom and I have been watching all the IBC stories. Mainly because of the catchy car commercial that precedes the clip. That is some get down funky music.

  7. Ree says:

    Thinking about you today Sweetie.

  8. Robin says:

    I’m here! I’m here! *waving madly*

    You were AWESOME on the news buddy, I know without a shadow of a doubt that that clip saved lives. Real lives. Beyond all the media goodness, I have to add that you and your boys are even more gorgeous when you’re actually moving and loving and being in a video clip.

    Much love to you, today and every day.

  9. mayberry says:

    That was fantastic! I watched all the clips. You are doing an amazing job of getting the word out about IBC. I have no doubt that you are saving lives.

    Sending you lots of good thoughts for chemo today.

  10. Kim says:

    Great IBC stories…and it was so much fun to see you! I hope your treatment today goes smoothly and fast and that your downtime afterward is 0!

  11. KillerBoob says:

    great report, you look great (really!), strong and well (all things considered of course) and deserve the props they give you.

  12. Oh, Whymommy, WAY TO GO!!! My heart just swelled when I saw you on the news… I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am to be “on your team”. As Robin said, without a doubt, you are saving lives with all of your selfless efforts.

    Thinking of you today, and every day.

    much love, CGF xo

  13. Susan K says:

    AWESOME news piece!! I am so far behind on reading and commenting. But I found time to watch a couple of the clips. You were fabulous, and you look great! Always thinking of you, even if I am not writing here.. Glad to hear from LT that you were down south with Whydaddy.

  14. holli says:

    Hi Sam, I watched your clip (I found it through the svmoms list) and I had never heard of that type of breast cancer before. I’ve been having a few issues, so I think this is the thing that has tipped the scales – and I’m going to go get a mammogram.

    On a different note, just hang in there and keep the faith. My mother had stage 4 inoperable Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. It was inoperable because the tumor was wrapped around her heart and went down her spine (I can’t think of what that giant artery is called right now). Anyway, all we could do is wait, pray and hope the tumor would shrink.. She just had her last chemo last week. Her latest PET scan showed she was in complete remission. I believe prayer and amazing new drugs really made things different than when her mother was sick. I have several friends whose parents have had the same experience. I wish I hadn’t grown up with the attitude about cancer that I had from my childhood – because things are completely different now. That is such a wonderful thing!!!

    Yay for you spreading the word. Boo for me for putting off a mammogram… but I’m going to go when we get home.

    Okay, this is the comment that never ends. Holy wow.

  15. christine says:

    oh we used to live in williamsburg and worked as archaeologists there. i really miss it.

    good luck with chemo. . .

  16. Matt says:

    Hope chemo went well for you today. I am convinced you are saving lives. Keep being strong!

  17. delilah says:

    I started reading your blog around the time you were diagnosed. You continually amaze me. Thanks for all you are doing to educate women about IBC. You are without a doubt saving lives. Great interview!

  18. Mia says:

    You look great! And I really mean that. You look good. Great interview. I hope it spreads the word! I don’t know if I’ve ever posted, but I’ve been following your story and sending healing thoughts your way every day. Keep spreading the word — people are listening!

  19. Jill Asher says:

    big, big hugs… thank you for sharing the video clip. We have it linked on all three sites – silicon valley, chicago and dc metro moms blog.


  20. Johanna says:

    You are so beautiful and so very strong, wise, and brave. Keep fighting and spreading this important message. You ARE going to beat this.

  21. I hope everything goes out well with you session today. God bless.

  22. lynda says:

    watched your video clip! you’re amazing and beautiful!
    keep up spreading the word!

  23. mudpuppy says:

    Said a prayer for you tonight.

  24. deb says:

    I watched the video clip, it was wonderful and it was so nice to hear your voice. Take care sweetie.

  25. Damselfly says:

    So glad you’re feeling stronger!

  26. Ally says:

    The interview and footage of you was great. The boys looked adorable, of course.

  27. motherofbun says:

    My friend Sharon called that “chemo brain.” 🙂

    SO happy you are feeling stronger with each day. YEAY!

  28. […] after treatment.  I’ve written blog posts, reviews, emails, letters to the editor — whatever I can do to keep my mind sharp and the words in the right order.  Although it’s taken discipline and not always been productive, it HAS helped me achieve […]

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