100 lb. Club - Special thoughts and Prayers going out to Sarah today




Sandi
12-15-2004, 08:58 AM
:angel: Sarah :angel:

Just wanted you to know that special thoughts and prayers are going out to you today. Good luck with your surgery and update us when you can.

Here is a prayer for you...

Prayer Before Surgery

Loving Father, I entrust myself to your care this day; guide with wisdom and skill the minds and hands of the medical people who minister in your Name, and grant that every cause of illness be removed, I may be restored to soundness of health and learn to live in more perfect harmony with you and with those around me. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Into your hands, I commend my body and my soul. Amen

Love Ya!
Sandi :)


glynne
12-15-2004, 09:01 AM
Yes Sarah ~ you're in our thoughts today!! {{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}} and prayers being sent your way.

Jen
12-15-2004, 09:25 AM
Good luck Sarah, best wishes for a positive outcome!


PamPSM644
12-15-2004, 10:05 AM
:grouphug: Hugs and Lots of positive energy going out to you today.

tolose85
12-15-2004, 10:34 AM
I am thinking about you and will be praying for you all day.

Jillegal
12-15-2004, 11:34 AM
Thinking of you and hoping fervently for the best possible diagnosis and quickest recovery possible. :)

jiffypop
12-15-2004, 11:57 AM
yes yes yes!!! all of the above..

topped off with huge hugs, and your favorite music to relax with.

we are trusting God to take excellent care of you, and to guide all involved in your care to be steady, kind, smart, and correct in their diagnosis and treatment.

and we trust God to give you and Lorraine the strength to see this through, with your usual grace and wisdom.

tkdkathy
12-15-2004, 01:28 PM
Sarah,

Yes, I echo all of the above. My thoughts and prayers are with you. (((HUGS))) :grouphug:

dowsx4
12-15-2004, 02:08 PM
I could not say anything better than has already been said, I am sending big hugs and healing prayers! I look forward to hearing that you are home and resting comfortably!

Jenaya
12-15-2004, 03:09 PM
May the goddesses surround you in white and carry you through this with quick healing and peacefulness. Meditate, breathe and visualize good and restored health. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and love to you and Lorraine...

Jenaya xo

barbygirl43
12-15-2004, 03:21 PM
Not much more to add. You've been in my thoughts and prayers today.

missaprylj
12-15-2004, 05:56 PM
I too, can only echo what the wonderful people here have already said.

My warmest wishes are with you and Lorraine today, and for many of the days ahead of you. :grouphug:

dharmaspell
12-15-2004, 06:01 PM
:grouphug: My positive thoughts are with you. Have peace and be confident that all will go well :)

Sheila53
12-15-2004, 07:30 PM
Thinking of you, Sarah, and sending good thoughts your way.

Tammy32
12-15-2004, 07:44 PM
I'm a little late posting. I hope all went well for you today Sarah. I'm thinking about you. Love ya.

Jazzmine
12-15-2004, 09:43 PM
I have been thinking about you lots and lots today Sarah!!

Positive thoughts and lots of gentle hugs and prayers!!

djs06
12-15-2004, 09:56 PM
a big ditto the everything above...
((((((((sarah)))))))))))))0

lessofsarahtolove
12-15-2004, 10:27 PM
Wow, you guys, you are so wonderful to me, you really are. I am just flabbergasted at how caring you're all being. I mean, I know how caring this group is -- don't get me wrong! :lol: -- but your support of me has been so overwhelming. I read your posts, and they make me feel so loved and supported. And yes, they make me cry. How could they not??

I had the surgery today. They removed two lymph nodes under general anesthesia. I feel myself fading now from the Percosec and the Xanax, so I'm going to have to make this entry short. :dizzy:

Everyone there was so kind and professional, and it all went smoothly, with no complications. (There were a couple of risks of this and that, but I wasn't at all worried, and it was all fine.) With pre-op, the procedure, and recovery, the whole thing took about 3 hours.

It's possible that I will get some word on Friday afternoon, but it could take as long as 2 weeks. Apparently even though they have plenty of tissue to work with, the lymph node is the hardest to use for testing (or a diagnosis, or something) so sometimes they have to send it away to someone else. So of course I'm hoping to get the results on Friday, but I might have to call on my back-up stores of patience.

There's some pain, but I'm icing it today, and will not work tomorrow as I'd originally planned. They'd originally said it would be ok, but now I guess due to the location of the node-removal, I'm to expect enough pain to warrant some Percosec-popping, so I'm going to hold off working till Friday.

My eyes are starting to roll in my head now -- lots of retyping to make this make sense to you guys :lol: -- so I'm going to conk out now. I promise I'll write more tomorrow. A million thanks to all of you for being so loving and generous, and for how cared-for you've all made me feel. Thank you Sandi, for starting this thread, and for sharing your beautiful prayer.

My heart is full to overflowing with gratitude. From Lorraine and I both, thank you.

And now, "G'night, Gracie." (You have to be American and of a certain age to get that one! ;) )

Jillegal
12-16-2004, 12:30 AM
Glad to hear they took good care of you and that there weren't any complications. I hope you'll be able to rest and that the pain subsides quickly. Be well, take care (and take care of each other).

Oh yes, the yungin's know Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, but us old coots remember the REAL Mr. Burns (even a Canuck) ;)

Br00klyn
12-16-2004, 12:43 AM
Glad that it went okay.. You get lots of rest now honey! :)

Get well and take good care of yourself.

Sending hugs and love to you & Lorraine!

:angel:

mezmerize
12-16-2004, 08:37 AM
I hope they get the results back Friday. I'm so very happy to hear all went well with the surgery. I will prayer that everthing else goes just as well. You and Lorraine are constantly in my thoughts. I'm very happy that you have such a wonderful partner by your side. HUGS to the both of you.

barbygirl43
12-16-2004, 11:32 AM
Take care of yourself today. Hopefully you'll have at least some results tomorrow.

Fitbabe
12-16-2004, 12:22 PM
I'm so glad it went okay. I hope you feel better soon and I hope you get the results on Friday. Until then take care of yourself. We love you!

jiffypop
12-16-2004, 12:24 PM
fingers crossed. toes crossed. legs crossed. boobs crossed. eyes crossed. that you get answers soon and that they're GOOD answers...

gracie is one of my idols. along with sophia loren... <sigh>

Goddess Jessica
12-16-2004, 02:45 PM
I hope the drugs are good! :)

glynne
12-16-2004, 03:20 PM
Thinking of you and praying and hoping for good answers for you and soon too. I'm glad Lorraine is there for you. You both take care. Big {{{{{{hugs}}}}}} to both of you.

jkfla
12-16-2004, 05:34 PM
i'm glad everything went well. i'm hoping for the best possible news and that you hear it quickly.

heather_dw
12-16-2004, 08:04 PM
not much else to say that hasnt already been said, but waned you to know that I am thinking of you. I am also so glad that there were no complications,..

Take a nice rest,..:-)

Ivanna B. Skinny
12-17-2004, 08:58 AM
Still thinking about you all today! Hope you have good news today!

howie6267
12-17-2004, 12:34 PM
I hope all goes will and you find out whats going on today. The waiting game is the worst. If you don't find out today I hope and pray you can somehow put it out of your mind and have some peace over the weekend.

glynne
12-17-2004, 03:59 PM
Thinking of you today ~ wondering if you have heard any news yet......

djs06
12-17-2004, 04:58 PM
Glad everything went smoothly... let us know as soon as you find out, love!

Raelynn
12-17-2004, 07:10 PM
I'm so glad that everything went well. I'm still thinkin about you.

Annie-Rose
12-18-2004, 03:59 AM
:grouphug: Here's an enormous hug for you and Lorraine :grouphug:
Lots and lots of love!

PamPSM644
12-18-2004, 10:25 AM
:merry: Dear Sarah,my God pour his blessings on you and your family.You are loved.

Tammy32
12-18-2004, 03:29 PM
Heya Sarah, I hope that your weekend is going as well as can be expected. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you. I'm worried about you since it has been a couple of days. Take care the best you can. I'm missing you.

lessofsarahtolove
12-18-2004, 10:04 PM
:wave: Hello, everybody! Ok, I've got a diagnosis. I have Lymphoma, and I'll need to start treatment right away. It's Hodgkins Disease, which is really good news if you're going to get diagnosed with Lymphoma. Lymphoma is divided into two groups, Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins, and the prognosis for the Hodgkins is much better. I have a 68% chance of living for more than 15 years with Hodgkins Disease, vs. 38% with Non-Hodgkins.

So far we've established that it's Hodgkins, Mixed Cellular (the type, within the category of Hodgkins Lymphoma -- and it's not a good one to have but I'm not going to concentrate on that.) The next step is to find out what stage I'm in and that will dictate what my specific treatment will be. That will involve another CAT scan and almost certainly a bone marrow biopsy....and the treatment will almost certainly be chemo and radiation.

It's going to be a hard road, but overall I'm relieved to find out that it's this form of Lymphona. It's so much rarer than Non-Hodgkins, it really was a long shot. (Around 7000 cases annually, vs. 53,000.)

So be happy for me because while it completely sucks that I have cancer and will have to go through this, I got the lesser of some different evils. 4 kinds of Hodgkins vs. around 30 kinds of Non-Hodgkins.

I'm at once grateful and terrified. But I'll be ok. We'll both be ok, Lorraine and I. I've selected an oncologist out of Johns Hopkins -- the best in my area -- and we will meet him next week. I'm to expect things to happen really rapidly from here on out. I'll keep you posted, once I know what we're doing and when, I'll know more about whether I'll start disability or what. I'll need to maintain my benefits, so working part-time -- even if it's an option -- may not be an option. Once I get started with the oncologist, a "team" will be established which will include a social worker (and a dietition, YAY!) and he or she will help me with the insurance and financial gobbledygook.

Thank you all again for all of your support....you are all amazing to me and I consider all of your good wishes and prayers key in my getting diagnosed with the best of the possible evils. Lorraine wants me to thank you all as well for all of your support and kindness. :)

jiffypop
12-18-2004, 10:12 PM
this is very strange to be saying, but CONGRATULATIONS!!!! you have a path. a diagnosis. and treatments. and going to hopkins... you really can't do better than that. i don't know of anyone who has died from hodgkins... treatment hasn't been easy for any of them, but they've all come out the other side... and done very well. one of them got curlier hair afterwards for some reason...

soooo. you're going to keep us posted every step of the way, aren't you???? and vent, right? and lorraine is welcome as well [has she figured that out yet???? really - it's ok.. ]

hurry hurry hurry... get everything in motion so that you can get well sooner....

tolose85
12-18-2004, 10:18 PM
Its good to hear from you!! It is also good to know that you have a diagnosis, and that you have some of the best medical team members in the country treating you. You are going to be OK! It won't be the easiest thing but I'm telling you, you're going to beat it! We're here for you and try to relax some. I know that will be tough, but I know you can do it. You are going to need alot of energy and strength.

Love to you and Lorraine.

Jen
12-18-2004, 10:22 PM
Sarah, thanks so much for sharing this with all of us. We can only imagine what you are going through and would like to support you as much as possible. I'm so glad to hear that it was the lesser of evils, it sounds like your medical support is going to be amazing. Keep up that positive spirit, it will really help in the long run, you can be sure of that. Best wishes and love!

Tammy32
12-18-2004, 11:46 PM
Sarah, you are such a pillar of strength and such a wonderful role model. After saying that, I was estatic to look back here and see that you had posted. I understand that you have a really hard haul ahead of you, but I have all the faith in the world that you are going to beat this! I shed tears for you knowing that what you are going to have to go through to beat this is really going to be tough. I'm happy that although the diagnosis sucks it is better than the alternatives. I'm glad to hear that you will be getting care at Johns Hopkins, I have heard so many good things about their work. It sounds that you have found a little bit of peace. I hope that is the case. You go girl! You are going to win this! Love ya Sarah.

glynne
12-19-2004, 07:17 AM
Sarah,

Thank you for sharing with us how you are doing. I can only imagine..... I'm not very good with words, just wanted you to know that thoughts and prayers are still coming your way for you and Lorraine.

Take care

Stepping Out
12-19-2004, 03:34 PM
Hi, I'm Joanne. I usually post on the depression board. I was looking at another thread when I came upon your post about being diagosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I'm sorry to hear about your illness. My brother is an 11 year survivor of NON-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Like you, he had access to some of the best medical care in the world (in Boston), and his outcome was wonderful. He's doing well now, by the grace of GOD, and the help of some great doctors. I pray that you will have the same positive outcome, and that God will give you grace and strength through this difficult time. :grouphug:

Goddess Jessica
12-19-2004, 08:19 PM
Sarah -

Chica, you are a hero! You're so strong and optimist, we need people like you in the world. Send you all my healing vibes.

Jessica

Sheila53
12-19-2004, 10:27 PM
Sarah, your positive attitude will get you through anything. Although you were dreading it, now you know your enemy, and you can fight that darn dragon and slay it. Please don't disappear during your fight, but let us be part of it. We're here to support people during good times and bad.

Many, many healing prayers. . .

Jenaya
12-19-2004, 10:52 PM
Hello Sarah,

I am glad you finally know what is going on - it puts you in charge and back in the driver seat of your body. I am thinking of you and Lorraine and sending you all my healing wishes and good thoughts. Eat well, sleep lots and talk to us...

Jenaya xo

Jillegal
12-20-2004, 01:38 AM
I'm so very sorry you have cancer, Sarah. It really does suck. Thankfully it is the lessor of the anticipated evils.

As so many have already said, your unstoppable strength and amazing attitude will stand you in great stead during your healing journey. Of course it won't be pleasant or easy, but we all know you have the will and determination to beat this and I can just picture you savouring your victory once this battle is over.

I don't know what you're going through, but I DO know what Lorraine is going through, so my best wishes go out to you in equal measures. I also know very well that such situations have joyful resolutions. I speak from experience, as I'm living one. Here's to happy endings! :)

Annie-Rose
12-20-2004, 09:53 AM
Hello Sarah, I just keep writing the same thing... but I will keep praying for you and Lorraine until you are fully well.
We all love you xx

jkfla
12-20-2004, 11:06 AM
oh my goodness!!!! this is so scary but i have every bit of confidence that you will get through this with flying colors! please please please keep us updated on your condition and progress etc. big hugs to you!

howie6267
12-20-2004, 12:25 PM
Sarah you are still in my prayers and thoughts. I'm sorry this has happend to you but I know you are strong and will be able to fight it. May God bring you peace during this time of your life.

Tammy32
12-20-2004, 02:22 PM
Tis a new week Sarah, and I just wanted to let you know that I hope that you have the best week you can filled with postive thoughts and lots of love. :)

barbygirl43
12-20-2004, 02:39 PM
Can't really add anything else that hasn't been said already. Just letting you know I'm thinking about you and Lorraine.

mezmerize
12-20-2004, 02:57 PM
Sarah I'm very happy to see others can put into words what I seem to have a hard time doing. Now that you know where you stand go kick BUTT!!!! We're here for both of you.

lessofsarahtolove
12-20-2004, 06:40 PM
I want to thank you all AGAIN for your amazing support and inspiration. You're all so kind and so sweet to me, I just don't even know what to say to express my appreciation. Your words have bolstered me and made me stronger, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. :goodvibes: :goodvibes

dharmaspell
12-20-2004, 10:40 PM
I'm sorry you have cancer, Sarah, but I'm glad to see that you have a positive attitude about it (as positive as can be anyway). Sometimes that can make all the difference. I pray that you are blessed with healing and that you stay strong. You'll make it through this.

Lots of hugs, love and positive thoughts.
:grouphug: :love: :angel:

Fitbabe
12-21-2004, 01:55 AM
I am so sorry to hear the diagnosis Sarah, but at least you now know what it is and how to fight it. I know your strength and spirit will carry you through this. You and Lorraine continue to be in my prayers every day.

Sending lots of love, hugs, and positive healing vibes your way...

Charbar
12-21-2004, 03:54 AM
Wow! What an amazing attitude you have! I will pray that you continue to look at the positive no matter what the news. I so truly believe how powerful the attitude of the mind can have over the health of the body.

Please allow us to be on this journey with you - We want this to be a safe and loving place for you! :) Keep us posted (daily!)

Dana

frenchiepolarbear
12-21-2004, 09:19 AM
Hi Sarah,

Working in Pharma Industry for years i can tell you that science has evolved very positively within past decades, and the odds are that you 're gonna overvcome HD.

Your very positive attitude will be a great asset and directly involved in the curing process.



Don't give up.... :wave:

PamPSM644
12-21-2004, 10:29 AM
Thinking about you and sending out lots of good karma to you. :merry:

Tammy32
12-21-2004, 12:23 PM
Nudge, Nudge....;) Have a good day today Sarah. :)

Amanda Panda
12-21-2004, 12:31 PM
Sarah sweetheart,

I've not been around for a while, so I am really shocked and saddened to read this post and find out you have cancer.

My prayers are with you and Lorraine - you can and will beat this! I pray that God will renew your strength as you prepare for treatment and he will bless and comfort you both!

Love Amanda x

Sandi
12-21-2004, 01:34 PM
Everyone here has expressed the overall felling of the board so well. Not much more to say that hasn't been said already.

Thinking about you daily!!! :angel:

lessofsarahtolove
12-21-2004, 03:07 PM
Nudge, Nudge....;) Have a good day today Sarah. :)
Alright, alright....you talked me into it! You'll be sorry, though! :lol:

I'm sick now, so I will try to be concise with the huge pile of stuff I have to report, because really should be resting. (My immune system is understandably lousy now, apparently, so I think like 15 minutes after being told that by my doctor yesterday, I picked up a head cold when going to pick up my x-ray and CT scan slides from the hospital where I had them taken. Sheesh!)

So my doc is switched to a woman out of Greater Baltimore Medical Center (voted I think #3 of the best hospitals in America in 2001 by Consumer Reports -- I still wish it were Johns Hopkins, but she came highly recommended.) I'm going to meet her next Wednesday, and on that day she'll either tell me my course of treatment (probably at least 6 months of chemo, followed by radiation) or schedule a biopsy or two to further establish staging (how far along it is.)

Tomorrow I get two tests: (1) a PET scan -- they inject radioactive fluid in you and then film you for up to 2 hours, and it will show all the places in my body the cancerous lymph nodes are present. [Edited to change word from pleasant - which it's NOT - to present - which makes a lot more sense!] (Kind of cool, eh? And not cheap, at $5,000 -- thank God my insurance covers it.) And (2) another CT scan, to see my abdomen and pelvis -- helps with staging also.

Then on Thursday I get the stitches in my neck out -- the scar will be on the left side of my neck, right where the neck meets the shoulder, and is about an inch and a half long. Whatever.

I've already found the place where I'll get a wig; apparently they're very nice there and it's really professional and private and they'll even trim it on you, etc. For real hair, they can go up to like 800-900, but since Lymphoma patients have to have chemo for so much longer than other cancer fighters, the real hair is recommended because it lasts longer than the synthetic hair -- not to mention it's supposed to look better too. I'm going to get one that has the clear scalp base thing, so my own scalp shows through -- it's supposed to look more natural. My insurance will cover $350 of the cost. I'm going to cut my hair really short right before I start, so I don't have to go through the trauma of seeing big clumps of hair on my pillow. Then at the first sign of it coming out, I'm going to just shave the whole thing -- I couldn't bear to have little tufts, you know? I intend to have the wig ready for when that happens, so I'm all set up.

I'm in contact with the Lymphoma Research Foundation's buddy program, and once I have my course of treatment mapped out (the chemo-cocktail, number of 28-day courses, etc.) I will call up the nice woman there and tell her what it is, so she can match me up with someone who's been through it or something similar, and then we'll correspond or phone one another. They match the buddy to your needs, and I said I wanted a woman who's been through what I'm about to, so she can help me along the way. I'm sure at the end of it, I'll want to return the favor to the woman behind me.

My boss is in denial about my leaving work. She just doesn't believe it can be 6 months of chemo, but that's very common with Hodgkins. It's not like breast cancer....it's much, much longer. I'm getting ready for a fight to last 6 months to a year. And most of the people I've read about online who had Lymphoma and spoke of their chemo experiences said that they couldn't work while doing it, unlike some of their breast cancer-surviving friends. I guess it's just a lot heavier. It's definitely longer, and they say that the longer you do it, the more debilitatingly tired you get. Makes sense.

I'm going to get a "port" in my arm before my first chemo session. It's a long arm catheter (http://health.discovery.com/encyclopedias/3017.html) that allows them to inject the chemo medicines and remove blood without continually sticking you. It leaves a nice scar, so I'm going to have it inserted on my arm, rather than my chest. It can stay in there for a long time, and apparently saves you a lot of pain.

Lorraine is dealing with it differently than I. She acknowledges that she comes from a dysfunctional family that never talks about anything -- "If we don't talk about it, it's not really happening." So her comfort zone is, let's just have a nice time till the doctor tells us what's going to happen, and then we'll deal with it then. I, conversely, feel like I need to know what to expect, so I can prepare myself. Knowledge is power, and I need to try as best I can to build up my stores of preparedness. I know reading about it is not the same as living it, but I don't want to be freaking out when I get little bubbles on my hands and sores in my mouth and have to ask Lorraine to give me shots in my hip -- when all of those things I'm now know are part of this process. She understands my way of dealing with it, and I understand hers, and we're both compromising a little while each getting what we need. So, for instance, I'm not doing any research when we can spend time together, and I'm not bombarding her with the information I'm getting (like she doesn't know yet about that port, which will totally skeeve her.) And she's casually asking to see the books I now have on chemo, nutrition while on chemo, and lymphoma -- and she's quietly checking them out a little bit. She went with me to the doc's yesterday and was a champ. I had a small scuffle with one of the nurses because she didn't want Lorraine to come in because she's not "family," but I insisted, and I wouldn't go in without her, and then my doc heard about it and told her Lorraine should be treated like my spouse and we were all good again. It made me sick, and served as a reminder that I'm going to have to lay the groundwork for respect of our relationship with all the other medical personnel I have before me. :mad:

Again, thank you and thank you and thank you for all of your kindness -- I hope this post wasn't too depressing. Lorraine got the doc to give me some Zoloft to lift my spirits, but I don't think I need them. She's concerned that I cry in the middle of the night......and I think that's perfectly natural and kind of comes with the territory. It's part of the grieving process, right? I don't feel debilitated by it because I'm still laughing and smiling, and facing the disease with optimism and MAJOR hunger for knowledge. I imagine I'll become depressed as I progress with the chemo and feel isolated, etc. But for now, I'm ok. In fact, I think I'm going to slip HER those little pills, because I hear they help you to quit smoking and getting pissed off by little stuff! :devil: Now I WILL tell you that if I end up in the weight GAIN group of chemoheads, I will NOT be a happy camper. :no: But I'm just going to cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

Thanks again, and I hope all of you are doing well! So much for being brief, eh? :grouphug:

djs06
12-21-2004, 03:42 PM
sarah, I could have SWORN I posted a reply to this about 1/2 hour ago- silly me, I guess I forgot to save it! :lol:

Anyway, I've been brief with my responses as of late, but that's because I haven't really had much to say, but I've really been thinking of you so often. Honestly, if anyone can beat this it's you. You've been such an inspiration to all of us, and I've read each of your posts with absolute admiration, and always look forward to your wisdom. This is even further proof of your strength. I remember a post where you talked about what prompted your weight loss, and I think about it really frequently- you've made such positive changes in your life, and I couldn't be prouder. You've said yourself that you're much better equipt to deal with illness than you were 80 pounds ago. you've come a long way, and I hope you never lose sight of that!!

The next 6 months and beyond aren't going to be a picnic, but you're going to get through it. That buddy setup sounds like a great idea- I know that it'll be easier for you to talk to someone who is/was going through something similar. You are by NO means alone in this- us folks at 3fc are only the start of what I suspect is a long list of your admirers. As for the Zoloft, it should help with anxiety too, which you certainly have plenty of. If you feel like it'll help you, or Lorraine, then by all means, go for it. If crying in the middle of the night is effecting you more than you think it should, then try it out. You're the best judge of what's best for you. I'm so sorry you're in this position- you and Lorraine are in my thoughts and prayers. On a similar note, I'm within 20 miles (i think?) of you (though I'm back in CT for the month), so if you need help with anything please don't hesistate to ask, I'd love to help you out and/or keep you company if you or Lorraine need someone to talk to.

Also, I love your Eleanor Roosevelt quote- so appropriate for your situation. You are strong, Sarah; I suspect even stronger than you realize. :grouphug:

jiffypop
12-21-2004, 06:42 PM
ppssssssttt.... sarah - there's all kinds of support out there. information on getting through chemo.. if you need a hand digging stuff up just holler... but it also sounds as if you're doing just fine in that department.

and there's also a company that makes decent hats especially designed for chemo patients. some people like the wig. others find the hats more comfortable. others switch off....

and who IS this doc? i have WAYS of finding out info...

i'm so impressed with you... and lorraine.

Sheila53
12-21-2004, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the update, Sarah. Education is power, and your research is making you even more powerful thank you already are.

Ooohhh, love those buzz cuts on women. They're also fun to run your hands over--lucky Lorraine! My mother had a wig made especially for her when she found out she had lung cancer. Surprisingly enough, she didn't lose much hair and never had to wear it. Her fingernails also grew a lot longer while she was undergoing chemo. If in your research you ever come across the reason why that occurred, let me know. I thought it was kind of strange.

Good idea about making sure ahead of time that Lorraine is treated like any other spouse. It's certainly too bad that you have to make a special effort at this time and that it isn't just a given.

Don't let yourself become isolated if you can help it, Sarah. Rely on your friends as much as you can. Friends often want to help, but don't know what to do or say, but if you can show them a way that they can help, they're more than glad to do it. And don't forget to come here and share your struggles with your internet friends. We're here to support you!

Stepping Out
12-21-2004, 08:11 PM
You have such a positive attitude about your situation :D . Your battle is just as much emotional as physical, and you seem like you're already dealing with it well.

I've had a PICC line, and believe me, it's no biggie ;) A WHOLE lot better than being stuck all the time :) . I had mine for a 5 week course of antibiotics for osteomyelitis (bone infection). I don't think Lorraine will be freaked out by it-it's really not that bad. The process only takes about 15 minutes; and there's no scar-just a tiny mark.

I hope the results of your tests are encouraging-and I'll be thinking of and praying for you and Lorraine.

howie6267
12-21-2004, 09:49 PM
Good to hear from you Sarah. I don't talk/type big post but you are in my thoughts a lot lately. I think you are taking this on with a great outlook and if you cry at night I think that is perfectly normal I know I would. Keep us posted and try and keep up your spirits.

Tammy32
12-21-2004, 10:37 PM
Ok, I was outraged that they would not initially let Lorraine go back with you because she did not fit into their "idea" of what a spouse or family memeber should be. Way to go on standing your ground! It may just be one more battle that you have to fight through all this. Heck though, I don't think they dare mess with you to much, I don't think they have a clue who they are dealing with. :) I'm sure that before you are done with this process you will have extended a long arm in helping those who would not be so accepting before be more accepting and understanding.

It is really hard to put your life in the hands of a doctor that you don't personally know. You are quite informed so if you have done your research I think you will be just fine. From what you said she sounds as if she will do well for you. Remember if your gut says no get the heck out of there! Instinct is a great judge of character for the most part.

Wow, the PET test does not sound to fun. I think the worse though is waiting on those results. I'll be thinking about you more than ever tomorrow. Remember, you are a fighter and no matter what you learn you are going to beat this. There is no other option!!

I hear ya on the hair issues. I have long hair and would not want it to fall out in clumps. I would do the exact same thing you are doing. I'm kind of anal on planning and get grumpy if things don't go to smoothly. Being prepared is always best. At least your insurance is going to cover some of the costs. It's very expensive, but I'm sure it will be so worth it. Whatever you can find to make you more at ease during this is one less thing you have to worry about.

Wow, the Buddy program sounds great. I think you have tons of great support here and elsewhere but having someone who has gone through what you are about to go through is going to be just priceless to you. I have no doubts that once you have this beat that you will return the favor and then some.

It truly sounds like you and Lorraine have found a balance to all this for now. It's really hard when you both have two very different ways of dealing with issues. I'm so glad that you have her!! Thank you so much for keeping us informed even when you are not feeling well at all. Btw, I think the crying is normal. You have had to take in alot of life changing information in the past week or so. I'd probably be more worried if you were not able to show any emotion. I guess it becomes un-healthy when the crying and depression totally consume you. I'm sure it is so, so hard for Lorraine to have to see you going through this and your tears bring her considerable pain. I guess I don't blame her for wanting you to feel better by wanting you to take Zoloft. It serves more than one purpose. Yours and hers emotional health. Take care. You are just the best!!

heather_dw
12-22-2004, 12:03 AM
Sarah,

I have been scarce lately, but just wanted to stop in to see hpw you were.
I am sorry to hear it is cancer, but you seem to have a great set of medical personnel at your disposal. I know you can fight this and I will be thinking about you are Lorraine every day!

Not much else to add that already hasn't been said

((((HUGS))))) :grouphug:

Stepping Out
12-22-2004, 06:21 AM
Prayers are going out for you today for your PET and CT scans. I'll also be praying for wisdom for your medical team on how to best treat your cancer.

mezmerize
12-22-2004, 09:54 AM
Sarah, Thanks for the update. I'm sitting here typing with tears in my eyes. I have so many things I'd like to say. I've always told my children never to hold back their tears. It helps us deal with our problems/hurts. I'm sure somewhere out there medical research has reports how it helps. Your one of the strongest women I know. (the other is my mother) By arming yourself with knowledge your going to be better prepared for what's to come. I know it's not pleasent reading what might/will happen but your showing how strong you are by doing that.
I pray that you and Lorraine get treated with the respect that your treatments go better than they planned. I know the thought of possible weight gain isn't fun but I know you can do it. You have a huge cheering section right here just a click away. I have so many other things to say but am having a hard time putting them into words. Please keep us posted your going to beat this!!

Jen
12-22-2004, 03:24 PM
Hey there Sarah. Thanks for letting us know what is going on with you. Please don't feel isolated! We are always here, even if we aren't there in person we are with you in spirit, so many of us think of you a lot and wish you well.

I work right next door to a cancer ward and see tons of ladies with no hair or brush cuts. You know it is really very nice looking and I wish I were brave enough to get a brush cut sometimes. The wonderful thing is that you focus on the person's face rather than the hair which sometimes hides facial features.

Take care! I'll be thinking about you often and praying that things are going well.

Tammy32
12-22-2004, 04:12 PM
Heya Sarah, Peek-a-boo, I see you. ;) I know this is a difficult day for you. I'm vibing you lots of positive thoughts. How special that so many people care for you. That says tons about what a wonderful person you are Sarah. :)

Goddess Jessica
12-22-2004, 05:08 PM
Sarah -

I want pictures of those PET scans. How weird will that be!

I have to vote with crying is normal. Actually I would vote for tearing down the walls, drinking a bottle of scotch and crying is normal.

Sending my healing vibes.

Jessica

Br00klyn
12-22-2004, 08:07 PM
Sarah,

Thanks for keeping us updated! I really have to say that you must be one of the strongest women I know - you seem to be dealing with this with such a positive attitude and faith! You truly are an inspiration to all.

You're in my thoughts daily honey! And I wish you and Lorraine the best for 2005! I know you'll get through the next 6 months... I just know it. :)

Sending you lots of love and hugs,
Celina

Jazzmine
12-23-2004, 06:53 AM
Sarah,
Many hugs and prayers!! One place to check into is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They help with $$. They can help with travel re-imbursement and some medications. They are really good-and send the checks faithfully. Unfortunately it's limited to $500.00 per fiscal year, but every bit helps.

While I do not have experience with lymphoma, I do dealing with leukemia, (I did not have it, but cared for someone that does) and a port is a good thing!!
I know this time is scary, but you will adjust to your "new reality". Please feel free to pm or email any time if I can help in any way, or if you just need someone strong to lean on. Or if Lorraine would feel comfortable talking to another caretaker, I would be willing to email with her and hopefull set her mind a bit at ease.

Hugs to you and Lorraine!! Stay strong...you will win this battle!!

lessofsarahtolove
12-23-2004, 10:59 PM
Whoo! Do you guys rock or what??? I'm sorry I'm not answering each of you singly, but just know that I just LOVE all of you people SO much.....and for those of you who've cried or been pissed off, know that I'm right there with you in spirit and really appreciate your supportive feelings.

I'm starting to look into financial resources now, Lymphoma Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (smiling nod to Jazzmine here) and more.

I had my PET and CT scans yesterday.....noone has explained the results to me yet, but they gave me copies of each, and it's obvious that I'm at least Stage III, since the cancerous lumps are apparent in my abdomen now as well. I expected that and was prepared, because my kind of Hodgkins (Mixed Cellularity) is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage.

My biopsy scar looks like it will heal nicely and cleanly -- it's bigger than I'd thought, but I don't hate it because it saved me, after a fashion. I'm going to look upon it as a friend. (That's what I'm saying now anyway.....I reserve the right to rage at it in a fit of self-pity if I ever feel like it! ;) But I'll try to keep that to a minimum.)

Lorraine and I finally got around to wrapping our presents for one another this afternoon -- nothing for anyone else, just one another! -- and then after dinner, we exchanged one gift apiece. I gave her a wireless card for her work laptop, and she gave me something that just made me cry and cry. She gave me a book on some of Italy's most beautiful cities, and said that when I "kick Cancer's ***" we'll go there. Next Christmas. I lived in Italy for several years when I was in my twenties (40 now) and I speak of my time there so lovingly, and always talk about how I long to return. She said we could go to Italy, Greece wherever.....I just have to kick some Cancer-***.

Now is she a keeper or what?

missaprylj
12-24-2004, 12:35 AM
She is a 5-alarm keeper! :D Merry Christmas, Sarah.

Tammy32
12-26-2004, 09:54 PM
Awwwww.....Well, I guess next year about this time you will be taking a very earned trip. Don't ever throw her back in the pond, she is definately a keeper!! I lived in Germany for three years and just love Europe in general. I would love to go back someday. Since you will be going before me I will be looking forward to hearing all the details of your trip. :)

Good attitude about the scar. Tis a war wound and just part of fighting the battle. It's still pretty fresh so with time it might not appear as bad as it does now.

Sarah, I hope that you had the best Christmas you could. :) It does not get any better than spending it with the person you love.

SuchAPrettyFace
12-26-2004, 10:54 PM
Now I'm tearing up because I know what Stage III means. Me, the "rude" one, tearing up!!! :(

Oh Sarah. :grouphug: You can beat this. You are strong, you are determined, you have our support. It NEEDS to be in your chart that Lorraine is to be treated as your spouse, or I will hop on a plane & personally see to it that she is at your side at all times. *cracks knuckles* Stupid nurses should know better than to piss off an Italian woman. :angel:

The American Cancer Society has a program called Look Good, Feel Better. When you are entrenched in chemo, they have cosmetologists come out & help you w/your wig & apply makeup. At first, the women are shy & don't want to take their wigs off, but by the end, everyone is smiling and having a good time. It's a wonderful program, one of the best things they do there, a program I actually wanted to work with if I was still working there.

I'm hoping Suzanne will let me put their link in this post, if not, do a Google search on Look Good, Feel Better.

http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org/

Just remember, we are all rooting for you, Sarah!

djs06
12-27-2004, 01:01 PM
A keeper is right! We love you, Sarah. I hope you had an okay holiday despite everything that's been going on. Keep us updated. (huggggggggggg)

lessofsarahtolove
12-27-2004, 01:43 PM
Thought I'd take a quick minute from work to check in here and let you all know that I had a good Christmas with Lorraine. We stayed at home and had a lovely, low-key holiday -- we're both really sick, so that definitely kept it even lower key than we'd intended! She spoiled me with lots of gifts, and she loved mine for her as well.....and we just shared comfort and love and enjoyed our furkids.

SAPF -- now YOU getting tears gave ME tears, you stinker! I am DEFINITELY going to go to one of Look Good Feel Better's monthly meetings at my hospital. I already looked into it, and they meet for an hour every third Monday, so once I start to fall apart, I'll head to them pronto to get some kindly repair and pointers! ;) And I hear you on that chart thing -- I'm all OVER that one!

I don't have much time to post here now, but I did want to say that I hope all of you are doing really well and enjoyed your holidays, and that I just continue to be awed by your kindness and support of me. :love:

I update my blog REALLY regularly and sometimes give more info than here, so I invite all of you to check it out here (http://journeytobabeland.blogspot.com/) or via the link in my signature.

Take care, lovely people! :D Big, squishy hugs to every one of you!

tolose85
12-28-2004, 10:28 AM
How are you doing? I've been thinking about you so much. I just know that you are going to be A-OK... :) I've been reading your blog daily. I am so glad you keep everyone updated.

You're the best.!

djs06
12-28-2004, 01:49 PM
We love you sarah, oh yes we do! we love you sarah, oh yes we do! when you're not near to us, we're blue! oh sarah we love you! :)

Ivanna B. Skinny
12-28-2004, 08:34 PM
Sarah and Lorraine, Just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about you, wondering how you're doing. I hope you had a fantastic holiday, and it sure sounds like you did! We're still praying for you both, and I know you'll be kickin some cancer *** really soon!

lessofsarahtolove
12-28-2004, 10:45 PM
Aw, thanks you guys!! :grouphug: Dana you made me laugh, you goofball!

Tomorrow morning at 9:00 I'll meet with my oncologist for the first time. I wrote more about it in my blog (http://journeytobabeland.blogspot.com/) tonight, but let's just say we're anxious but ready! (Actually, it's more like Lorraine's anxious, and I'm ready!) I think maybe the reality of it is sinking in more with her now; tonight I read over my file (I got copies from the doctor's office for my own records) and I was mentioning some of the particulars to her -- lymph node sizes, letters between doctors and their respective documentations of my visits, the biopsy results -- and she started to cry. She just doesn't want me to experience any more pain in my life (I know I'm not alone in saying there's been quite a bit already) and she's afraid for me. I'm ok though -- I'm actually relieved to finally be getting an action plan. I'm still really sick, and I know I can't start treatment as I am, so I'm sure she'll want me to get better first. (I had antibiotics but they didn't seem to help much.)

I'm just ready to make some progress. Think positive thoughts for us tomorrow morning, ok?

SuchAPrettyFace
12-29-2004, 08:36 PM
*sending positive thoughts to Sarah & Lorraine*

No, they won't let you start any treatments whilst sick, so knock back the orange juice & chicken soup!! :) :grouphug:

djs06
12-29-2004, 10:41 PM
So how'd it go, how'd it go? :bouncebouncebouncebounce!:

lessofsarahtolove
12-29-2004, 11:08 PM
So how'd it go, how'd it go? :bouncebouncebouncebounce!:
You are so cute! And you sure know how to make a girl smile with that siggy of yours, you sweetie pie!

Ok, BIG FAT update in my blog, (http://journeytobabeland.blogspot.com/) but the readers digest version is that I get a bone marrow biopsy next week :fr: (and some other stuff) and then start chemo Thursday, Jan. 13. I will get it every other Thursday for 12 times, for a total of 6 "cycles." She is not recommending radiation at this point, because my cancer is not "bulky" -- meaning I do not have masses. I have lymph nodes almost 5 centimeters in diameter, but they're all separate and dispersed. I am REALLY happy about it, and hope I don't end up needing it, because the radiation is what often causes the Hodgkins survivor to develop a secondary cancer.

I'm not going to get pumped full of steroids, which is EXCELLENT news -- so I will not be in the weight GAIN segment of chemo patients!!! Big relief there....you don't even know... I couldn't imagine fighting for my life and being bald and nauseous for all the time I was, while steadily gaining the standard 30-40 pounds folks do when they're on that regimen. I would have done it, but I would NOT have been happy. I'm planning on trying as hard as I can to eat really, really responsibly and nutritiously in support of the chemo (limited sugar, lots of complex, high fiber carbs, lots of veggies and fruit, etc.) so I won't be in the camp of mac and cheese chemo eaters. Or at least, that's my earnest intention now.

Thanks for thinking of me, everybody......:grouphug:

** Edited to add that I'm Stage III B at this point. If the cancer's spread to my bone marrow, I'll be Stage IV B. But don't freak out because if I am Stage IV, it doesn't worsen my prognosis by a dramatic amount in the world of Hodgkins. It wouldn't be good news, but it wouldn't be the end of the world either.

lessofsarahtolove
12-29-2004, 11:08 PM
So how'd it go, how'd it go? :bouncebouncebouncebounce!:
You are so cute! And you sure know how to make a girl feel cared for with that siggy of yours, you sweetie pie!

Ok, BIG FAT update in my blog, (http://journeytobabeland.blogspot.com/) but the readers digest version is that I get a bone marrow biopsy next week :fr: (and some other stuff) and then start chemo Thursday, Jan. 13. I will get it every other Thursday for 12 times, for a total of 6 "cycles." She is not recommending radiation at this point, because my cancer is not "bulky" -- meaning I do not have masses. I have lymph nodes almost 5 centimeters in diameter, but they're all separate and dispersed. I am REALLY happy about it, and hope I don't end up needing it, because the radiation is what often causes the Hodgkins survivor to develop a secondary cancer.

I'm not going to get pumped full of steroids, which is EXCELLENT news -- so I will not be in the weight GAIN segment of chemo patients!!! Big relief there....you don't even know... I couldn't imagine fighting for my life and being bald and nauseous for all the time I was, while steadily gaining the standard 30-40 pounds folks do when they're on that regimen. I would have done it, but I would NOT have been happy. I'm planning on trying as hard as I can to eat really, really responsibly and nutritiously in support of the chemo (limited sugar, lots of complex, high fiber carbs, lots of veggies and fruit, etc.) so I won't be in the camp of mac and cheese chemo eaters. Or at least, that's my earnest intention now.

Thanks for thinking of me, everybody......:grouphug:

jkfla
12-30-2004, 04:39 PM
hey sarah... just popping in to let you know that i have been thinking of you.

mezmerize
12-30-2004, 04:49 PM
Sara thanks for the update! My prayers are with you guys. If there is anything I can do please let me know. I hope it doesn't come to bone marrow for since it will mean more poking aound your body. If you have problems finding a match I'll be more that willing to be tested and donate. Sending tons of healing vibes your way and hugs.

Goddess Jessica
12-30-2004, 07:31 PM
Hi Sarah -

Okay, how cute is Lorraine with the Italian book? She really knows how to get to a girl's heart.

Not only do I think you being responsible nutritionally will be good for your past hard efforts, I think it will be great for your body. I imagine all your nutritionally strong white blood cells like little soldiers, partnering up with their allies - the chemo troop and marching in to fight that cancer. hmmm... I'm much too visual.

Sending you my healing vibes.

Jessica

SuchAPrettyFace
12-31-2004, 02:38 PM
Tearing up again. I hope it's not in your bone marrow. *hugs*

barbygirl43
01-03-2005, 12:00 PM
Sarah you are truly in inspriration to us all. You are hanging in there so well. I hope all goes well with your marrow. I'll try and get over to your blog to read the full updates.

Sandi
01-03-2005, 04:52 PM
Just popping in to let you know I am thinking about you!!

heather_dw
01-03-2005, 05:54 PM
I was thinking about you today, so I thought I would pop in and give some hugs:
:grouphug:

Amanda Panda
01-03-2005, 06:41 PM
Thanks for keeping us all updated Sarah

I hope against hope that it has not spread to your bone marrow - I really hope you catch a break! I'm glad you had some 'good' news about the chemo - it's good that you don't need radiation at this stage - yay! And it's good that you don't need steroids - putting on all that weight would not be helpful to your self esteem, and every little bit helps doesn't it?

Do not underestimate the benefits that eating healthy foods will do for your recovery. I used to work in a wholefood shop and we used to get people with cancer coming in who were on complete wholefood and organic fruit and veg diets. It will boost your immune system, which you really need at the moment.

Keep strong - I'm thinking and praying for you often.

Love Amanda x

Jen
01-04-2005, 12:09 PM
Good luck with the bone marrow biopsy tomorrow and I pray that there is nothing there and you are still at a lesser stage. Will you find out right away or will it take a few days?

What I have heard is excellent for circulatory system is carrot and beet juice (organic of course). Your urine will be red from the beet juice (scary the first time you see it) and the juice is very tasty.

I'm all for a lot of different holistic approaches to healing but you have to believe that they are going to work or it is a waste of time. My mom has osteoarthritis and kidney disease and I've tried suggesting a million things to her but she has no use for anything like accupuncture or massage therapy so it won't work. I really believe that your mind can do a lot of work healing the body as long as you are open to it. Anyway I"m sure you've heard a lot of this already so I'll just sign off, here's hoping you get good news tomorrow.

suzie76
01-04-2005, 02:25 PM
Sarah,

I haven't been here for a while, so I did not know about your illness. I'm sending prayers and hugs your way! I'll be thinking about you-we're all here to support you!

Hugs,
Sherry

I'm also on the video fitness 100 lbs yahoo list-the fellow Alarm fan :D Do you want me to post a message there for you? I don't want to do anything without your permission.

Tammy32
01-05-2005, 10:36 PM
Heya Sarah, I know your bone marrow biopsy was today, and I've been keeping you in my thoughts as always. I hope everything went smoothly. I get kind of anxious after a few days of you not being around. I read your blog though, so I am up to date. :)

lessofsarahtolove
01-06-2005, 12:20 AM
Hello, all! :wave: Thanks for thinking of me, you guys. Tammy, as you've seen, I'm really on top of the updates over at my blog. I miss all of you!

Phew! What a day! I had the bone marrow biopsy, followed by giving a bunch of blood, a visit to the American Cancer Society, and then back to the hospital for an echocardiogram. This getting sick thing really keeps you BUSY! :dizzy:

As usual, I have a lot more details over at my blog, but the bone marrow biopsy was a word that starts with a "b" and rhymes with, um, sandwich. What an insane amount of pain! She got the marrow -- not fun, but it didn't require repeated attempts -- but then when she was going back in to get a chip......holy SOCKS!! It took at least 6 tries (that's when I stopped counting) of her going in and rooting around trying to find the spot. Apparently it's more difficult if you're heavy -- and I'm a heck of a lot less heavy than I was, but I'm still not exactly "trim" at a size 14/16...that, coupled with my "young" age made it a lot more difficult for her. All pelvises are shaped differently, and then being young and/or heavy makes it tougher. So anyway, she felt awful, but it was a drawn out process. Lidocaine only. Then afterwards I had excessive bleeding from the hole for a while -- through my jeans and onto other stuff -- but that seems to be under control now.

Other upcoming stuff: I'm off tomorrow and then Friday will be my last day at work. Then on Saturday I have an emergency appt. with the dentist, because they tell you to get your teeth cleaned prior to starting chemo. Then on Tuesday, I get my port put into my chest (that's outpatient, general anesthesia) and that will help me a lot during the chemo but I've been warned that it will hurt at first. Wednesday I meet with my oncologist to get some nausea prescriptions, review the bone marrow biopsy results (please GOD let us have caught it before it moved into my bones) and then I start chemo on Thursday.

No rest for the wicked, right? ;) My energy is very low, and I'm still a bit numb about all of it. It's certainly becoming more real the more time I spend at the hospital -- oh yeah, and my chemo class with one of my oncology nurses was great yesterday; Lorraine and I both really benefited from it.

Lorraine's holding up well -- she gets upset seeing me in pain or worried, but overall, we're both hanging in there. She's such an amazing gift -- I'm just in awe of her and so grateful to have her.

I miss you guys a lot -- it's an overwhelming time for me so I'm sure you understand my not participating as much. I just SO appreciate all of your support and prayers -- while I've always known you were all pretty fabulous people, your kindness to me has just blown me away. It really has. I come here and read your words and they always make me smile and often make me cry. In a good way, though! ;)

Stop by my blog to check out my updates too! I send you all love and big, BIG hugs!!!!!!! :grouphug:

Jen
01-06-2005, 08:28 AM
Sarah, I think you will find that while so much that is going to happen is very difficult it is bearable and you'll find strength you never knew you had. This isn't going to be the best chapter in your life but I think you'll learn more about yourself during this time more than at any other time in your life. You've already been through a lot, that biopsy sounds like ****. Best wishes and love always!

glynne
01-06-2005, 10:35 AM
Sarah,

Thinking of you ~ Prayers, {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}, good vibes, fingers crossed ~ all of that for you!!

Take care

PamPSM644
01-06-2005, 10:56 AM
:grouphug: Sarah,so sorry your having to go though so much. Your very brave and your attitude sounds good.. Glad to hear your doing all the right things to beat this regardless of how unpleasent they are. Bless you and may God keep you.

Stepping Out
01-06-2005, 12:54 PM
I've been checking your blog-you've been through a lot in such a short time. I remember when my brother was going through treatment for Non-Hodgkin's, and thinking that the cure was worse than the disease! :(

Your attitude has been so positive, and I'm sure your partner's love and support must make things easier for you. I'm already praying for your bone-marrow biopsy result. God is still in the miracle working business.

Keeping you both in my prayers :grouphug:

Annie-Rose
01-06-2005, 03:48 PM
Hey there Sarah,
Just popping in to tell you I think about how you are doing and pray for you often. I'll be off line for a few weeks but will be back as soon as I can. Take lots of care of yourself!!!!!! You are so amazing and I really admire you. xxx

Jen
01-12-2005, 10:48 AM
Sarah had her port implanted yesterday (see her blog for further details) and today finds out the results of her bone marrow biopsy. Please everyone keep positive thoughts and prayers headed her way.

Tammy32
01-12-2005, 01:00 PM
I just took a look at Sarah's blog. The cancer is NOT in the Bone Marrow! I just wanted to share that with you all who don't read the blog and are thinking of Sarah. Tomorrow she starts her chemo.

mezmerize
01-12-2005, 01:07 PM
Thanks Tammy I hadn't read her blog today. I'm so so happy Sarah!!! Sending you lost of warm fuzzies or is it fuzzy's lol :)

Jillegal
01-12-2005, 01:26 PM
That IS wonderful news, Tammy - thanks for posting! That knowledge should really ease her mind as she heads into the true healing process. Poor thing, chemo won't be a walk in the park, but I'm sure she'll put a determined and high-spirited spin on it, bless her.

Sheila53
01-12-2005, 01:27 PM
Whew! What a huge relief!

barbygirl43
01-12-2005, 02:33 PM
That's great news. !!!

howie6267
01-12-2005, 02:38 PM
That is good news Sarah. I had not been to your blog to see that.

lessofsarahtolove
01-12-2005, 05:02 PM
YAY!! You guys are SO EXCELLENT, sharing updates!!! :cp: <---that was a happy girlyclap there! Yep, no cancer in the bone marrow -- WOO WEE!! So that's great for all kinds of obvious and important reasons.....and ALSO because now I don't have to have ANOTHER BONE MARROW BIOPSY to make sure it's OUT! Great God in Heaven, that was a miserable experience -- apparently I have verrrrrrry tough bones. 'Nuff said. (I KNEW I shouldn't have been eating all that nonfat yogurt!! ;) )

So the port is in, and chemo starts tomorrow morning at 7:30. Ick. I'm ready for the chemo, but NOT for the 7:30! They recommend eating beforehand -- and of COURSE I want to look pretty for the big event! -- so it's going to be an early one! I predict that I will be positive but stupid. :)

I am feeling really glad about starting. I'm ready. For those of you who don't know and care about the particulars, my form of chemo is very high dose and aggressive -- it's frequently given to Hodgkins Disease fighters. I will have a treatment of ABVD every other Thursday, 12 times, over 6 months. Often, in advanced cases like mine, it has to go to 8 months --- but many times the 12 treatments are sufficient, so that's what I'm hoping for, while preparing myself for the worst.

I'm ready. I am going to knock down the treatments one by one until first the cancer is gone, and then the treatments are over. I'm now on disability -- I had to go on short term disability (to be followed by long term disability) from work in order to keep my benefits, since I won't be able to maintain 30 hrs./week of work and am also going to have to avoid exposure to germs as I progress in the treatment. So I'm going to be doing a lot of reading -- I'll get to read all the books I never had time to before!

Lorraine's holding up really well. She's right by my side, and while she's of course worried, she's hearing the same assertions of a good prognosis as I am, and she knows what a fighter I am. She's one too, so I really believe it will all work out ok, even if the road to wellness is going to be a hard one. We're getting a wig next week, hopefully, and I've already got an eyebrow kit for when they start to go. (I'm toying with a Joan Crawford look......no? You think too much?)

Love to you all....I'll be by in a couple of days to let you know how my first treatment went. And Jen and Tammy, you guys are so sweet to me, I don't even know what to say. All of you, and your support, mean so much to me. I feel such gratitude and love, truly. :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes

Here's to good health for us all in the new year!! :high:

Sandi
01-12-2005, 05:09 PM
That is such great news!! Hugs to you for tomorrow!!!

boiaby
01-12-2005, 06:02 PM
Oh, thank goodness! I'm so happy to hear that it's not in your bone marrow. Sarah, you and Lorraine will certainly be in my thoughts tomorrow and the days following this and the rest of your treatments. I'm glad the big day is finally here because the quicker you get started, the quicker you can be done with this whole unpleasant ordeal! Good luck tomorrow and please update us as soon as you feel up to it.

Take care,
Beverly

Amanda Panda
01-12-2005, 06:31 PM
(((((((((((((((((BIG HUGS SARAH & LORRAINE)))))))))))))))))

Love Amanda x

Gardenwife
01-12-2005, 06:42 PM
Sarah! Thank God for healthy marrow!! Howie and I are praying for you and Lorraine. I'm so glad it's not in your bones, girl. Like I wrote, my mom had a port when she had chemo for BC, and it was a real blessing. ((((hugs))))

SuchAPrettyFace
01-12-2005, 10:12 PM
Yay Sarah!!!! I say you only live once, go for the Joan Crawford look!!! :) :cheers: Good luck tomorrow & hugs to you & Lorraine.

Br00klyn
01-13-2005, 12:21 AM
Sarah - Thats wonderful news about the marrow :) You & Lorraine are in my thoughts and prayers during this hard time.. Be strong my love and if there's anything I can do to help in any way... please just let me know! I know I haven't been around much lately but just know that you've been in my thoughts!

Goddess Jessica
01-13-2005, 12:36 AM
Hugs sweetie!

But, DUDE, 7:30? That's ridiculous? Maybe that's it! A suprise morning ambush on the cancer cells. Man, those doctors are smart!

barbygirl43
01-13-2005, 10:21 AM
I hope it all went well this morning. You and Lorraine are still in my thoughts and prayers.

Jen
01-13-2005, 10:33 AM
Hey there, how did it go this morning?? I hope it wasn't too bad. I suppose it is all with by now and I'll look at your blog later and hope you update if you aren't feeling too crummy.

Br00klyn
01-13-2005, 10:58 AM
Hope this morning was alright for your Sarah.... Please let us know how you're feeling as soon as you feel up to it. :)

djs06
01-13-2005, 06:32 PM
Thought about you this morning Sarah, and lots! Let us know how you're doing when you get a chance. Love!

melsfolly
01-13-2005, 08:59 PM
Thinking of you and hoping to see an update soon!
Melissa

lessofsarahtolove
01-13-2005, 10:21 PM
Hello, everyone! :wave: I'm doing really well -- I'm about to turn in for the night, but I wanted to let you know that I survived my first chemo quite nicely! It's not uncommon to have no problems the first day, but then to get hit the second or third day, so I've got my drugs and resolve at the ready! I gave a full, detailed account of the whole experience in my blog, so if you want to hear about it, you can get there via the link in my siggy below!

Thank you all so much for your concern and your prayers, and for checking back with me to make sure I'm ok. You're such a support to me, and I'm very, very grateful! I love you guys!! I'll keep you posted, too, I promise. :grouphug:

Br00klyn
01-13-2005, 10:32 PM
Hi Honey,

Glad to hear that you're doing so well.. I thought about a lot today! :) Hopefully its not too bad for you these next few days.

Take care of yourself... ((((BIG HUGS)))))

Celina

mezmerize
01-14-2005, 08:46 AM
Hi Sarah
Thanks for the update. I'm happy to hear that you didn't have any problems with cemo and I'll pray that it continues that way. Hugz to the both of you.

SuchAPrettyFace
01-14-2005, 11:07 PM
Stay strong, Sarah!!! :) :cheers:

lessofsarahtolove
01-14-2005, 11:27 PM
So far, so good......here's to tomorrow! :cheers: (I gave a more complete update on my blog.) And thanks for the beautiful comments, my dear friends. :goodvibes

Amanda Panda
01-15-2005, 10:01 AM
Hi Sarah - glad your first chemo went well!! and hey, less cleaning and more chillin' lady!

Love Amanda x

glynne
01-15-2005, 10:54 AM
Hi Sarah,

I'm glad the chemo went well and glad that there was good news with the bone marrow test. Thoughts, prayers and hugs contuine!!!!

Take care ~

Jen
01-28-2005, 12:06 PM
Sarah had her 2nd chemo treatment yesterday. Please check out her blog for what's been going on with her. We're still thinking of you Sarah!

lessofsarahtolove
01-28-2005, 03:36 PM
Aw, thanks, Jen! :) I'm doing ok. Jen's right, I gave a full report on yesterday's treatment last night in my blog. Today I'm still doing ok, overall. Headache, some nausea, and some constipation -- but it's all normal and par for the course. My wig appointment is on Monday -- I posted a pic of the style and color I'm hoping to get. I've been told to expect my hair to start to go starting with this treatment or the next, so I want to be set up for when it happens.

I miss you all very much. I think of everybody a lot and really hope you're all doing well and staying focused on what's most important to you -- and at the same time that you aren't being too hard on yourselves, either. I read this great quote today that I thought was apt and timely, and it applies to all kinds of goals in life: losing weight, moving forward in your career, beating cancer....lots of stuff! Here it is:

Take just one step and then the next,
You learned to walk that way.
Approach your life in little steps
And take it day by day.

I wish all of you the very best! :grouphug:

Take care and good health,

Sarah

Jillegal
01-28-2005, 07:12 PM
Good to hear from you, Sarah and I'm glad to know you're doing okay (even though we know its all very unpleasant). Two down and that much closer to good health! :cp: You know we're all rooting for you. :)

Amanda Panda
01-31-2005, 04:34 PM
Hey Sarah,

Just caught up with your blog but can't work out how to post there! You are doing so well sweetie, you are showing such enormous strength - which we could all see during your weight loss, and you are now applying to this new challenge.

I love your approach to life and love....and cancer. I love the wig by the way! Sorry about your first hair loss hon..... you are still beautiful inside and out. :goodvibes

All the best

Love Amanda x

Sandi
02-01-2005, 01:48 PM
Hey there....just caught up on your blog. There aren't words to describe how you continue to amaze me. You are so strong. You are doing so awesome. I am so sorry that you are having to endure even a single moment of this. Much love and Prayers...

SuchAPrettyFace
02-02-2005, 12:40 AM
Thinking good thoughts, Sarah & Lorraine. :) :grouphug:

lessofsarahtolove
02-09-2005, 12:23 AM
Hi, everybody! :wave:

Just wanted to pop my head in and let you guys know that I'm doing well. I go for my third treatment this Thursday, which I'm so excited about! I wish I could do them more frequently than every 15 days -- the dose is just too high, though.

I want to thank you, Jill, Sandi, Amanda and SAPF, for your comments here -- and to those of you who stop by my blog and comment -- YOU know who you are, you lovelies! (You're lovely, too, Howie! ;) ) It really helps me to get that support; I'm spending so much time at home now and have such reduced energy it's hard not to get blue, so hearing from you guys really cheers me up more than you know. I don't mean to sound like a sad sack -- I really am holding very well, all things considered! But it really does make me smile and feel cared for to hear from you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're good people.

I exercised today!! Verrrrry exciting! I did the 2 mile WATP and it was an EFFORT, I tell you! But I did it, and I'm going to do it again tomorrow, too. I stopped living on plan once I got diagnosed, and since then I've gained 16 pounds -- 7 of them since I started the chemo a month ago. :eek: So now I'm back on a sort of "modified" plan -- pretty much what I was doing before, but slightly higher calorie, and with regular, but less intense, exercise. Of course, I don't know how long or how frequently I'll be able to pull off the exercise, but I'm going to find out! ;)

My love to all of you -- I miss you guys! I'll try not to be such a stranger. :^:

Take care, and good health to everyone.

djs06
02-09-2005, 01:31 AM
Thanks for the update, Sarah! :grouphug: I can't believe how well you're handling everything. So impressed! I think of you every day.

Sandi
03-08-2005, 04:53 PM
Just wanted you to know you are still in my thoughts and prayers! Sounds like you have a GREAT vacation planned!!! :D

lessofsarahtolove
03-10-2005, 11:15 PM
Just wanted you to know you are still in my thoughts and prayers! Sounds like you have a GREAT vacation planned!!! :D
Aww! Well, thanks very much for thinking of me, Sandi!! (You too, Barbi, Howie, GardenWife, Dana, Amanda, and Jen! Whoa, hope I'm not missing anyone here!)

I'm doing ok. I had my 5th treatment today, so I'm almost halfway through, provided I get to quit after 6 months. I'm going to get some scans done April 1st (hope that's not an omen!) that will tell us EXACTLY how much cancer I have left at this point. They're extremely accurate -- they ought to be at $3,000 a pop! Thank God I have insurance.

As Sandi said, Lorraine and I have an absolutely WONDERFUL vacation planned for just after my birthday in May. I'll have chemo on my birthday, so we can add a day to the vacation -- 9 days in St. Maarten in the Caribbean!

For pic's of where we're going and the full report on my treatment and life these days, please stop by my blog! (http://journeytobabeland.blogspot.com/)

Hope this finds you all well and healthy.....and realizing your dreams one step at a time!

Love,

Jen
03-11-2005, 08:14 AM
Sarah, I'm checking out your blog daily but I just don't write in a comment because your comment section requires to register and I hate doing that because I have so many usernames and passwords to remember now!! I practically need a list beside my computer to keep track. But I do read up on how you are doing and wish you well. Enjoy your vacation, you sure do deserve it!

Charbar
03-11-2005, 08:38 AM
Sarah.. I am amazed at your positive attitude. I am so inspired by you... and I thought it was supposed to be the other way around :)

Your trip sounds amazing!! Being anywhere warm sounds amazing ;)

lessofsarahtolove
03-11-2005, 03:14 PM
Sarah, I'm checking out your blog daily but I just don't write in a comment because your comment section requires to register
Jen -- No it doesn't! Just click on the "Anonymous" box, and then sign your name at the end of your comment! Some users don't allow anonymous comments, but I do, for this very reason. I'd love to hear from you! Before I switched to the Blogger comment program, I used to love to hear from you, Jen! Come back and talk to me!!!!!

Char, thanks for the kind words! I really do try to stay positive. I always did, but something like cancer really drives home the fact that life is too short and nebulous to waste it in negativity. We're given so many gifts -- the ability to be appreciative included among them! I give thanks all day every day now.....just one of a number of life lessons this experience is teaching me. :goodvibes

lessofsarahtolove
04-06-2005, 06:37 PM
Hey, everybody!

Just wanted to pop on here to let you know that I got my midpoint scan results -- and the cancer is gone!! Pretty freaking amazing. I had it in my neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and spleen.....and all the malignant nodes that I had all over the place are no more!! I'm ECSTATIC!! :cb: :cb:

So I've had 6 treatments so far, and will have 6 more (Treatment # 7 is tomorrow morning, in fact!) but I won't have to do 8 months of chemo -- 6 will suffice -- and I won't have to have radiation! This is huge. Having a completely clean scan at the halfway point is considered a major prognostic indicator, reflecting a significantly decreased chance for subsequent relapse! Go me!! :cp:

My last chemo will be June 16, and then I'll recuperate for a while before returning to work. Lorraine and I are going to St. Maarten to celebrate life and my birthday at the beginning of May -- we'll be there for 9 days I think. We're staying in an absolutely beautiful place right on the water. Here (http://journeytobabeland.blogspot.com/2005/03/celebrating-life-on-vacation.html) are pic's of where we're staying. We're going right after my 9th chemo treatment, so I'll feel like complete crap -- but I'd feel like that at home right?? The only thing I'm worried about is the sand blowing up my nose and in my eyes since now I'm completely without nose hair and my eyelashes are fleeing like there's a warrant out for their arrest! I just bought some fake eyelashes, so hopefully they won't look too much like caterpillars! :p Whatever does the job, right? :yes:

Take care everybody - just wanted to share the good news!!!!!

Gardenwife
04-06-2005, 06:43 PM
WONDERFUL news, Sarah! Just great!!

lessofsarahtolove
04-06-2005, 06:46 PM
Thanks, you sweetheart! I saw your incredibly sweet comment on my blog -- thank you so much for all of your ongoing support. Howie too! I can't tell you how much it means to me. It may seem like a little thing, but it has helped so much. :goodvibes

SwimGirl
04-06-2005, 06:59 PM
Sarah - I am SO happy for you, that is truely wonderful news! Definitely a good reason to celebrate life! :) You must be jumping out of your skin with that kind of news.. I know I would be!

-Aimee

djs06
04-06-2005, 09:10 PM
((((((((((((SARAH!!!!!!!!!!!))))))))))))))))))))
I am SO happy for you, lady! :dance:

howie6267
04-06-2005, 10:00 PM
WOOOOO HOOOOO!
You rock Sarah. You did with cancer what you did to fat. What's next? World Domination? Naa thatís to small.

UNIVERSAL DOMINATION! :D

Charbar
04-07-2005, 03:04 AM
Sarah - I'm so happy for you! What a blessing :angel: I really can't imagine how happy you must me. You must be in that "pinch me" mode.

All the best for the future!

heather_dw
04-07-2005, 03:22 AM
Wow Sarah! That is superb news! I am so happy for you and Lorraine. Your vacation sounds just heavenly too.

You have approached this entire situation with such an excellent attitude. You are so inspiring Sarah, I hope you know that! :D

Jazzmine
04-07-2005, 06:45 AM
Oh Sarah~!~! What wonderful news!! I am so happy !!!!!!

BethC
04-07-2005, 07:50 AM
Great News Sarah!!! :D Congratulations!

Jen
04-07-2005, 08:26 AM
Wonderful news Sarah, I"m so happy for you and Lorraine!

teapotdynamo
04-07-2005, 08:58 AM
This is the best news I've heard in a long time. You and Lorraine must be absolutely thrilled. You're in my thoughts often... congrats again on the cancer ***-whuppin, and have a FANTASTIC time in St. Maarten!! :sunny:

frenchiepolarbear
04-07-2005, 10:20 AM
So happy to see you're feeling better....it is incredible what science and faith can do when they're put together.....:)

dragonwoman64
04-07-2005, 12:00 PM
That's fantastic news. Congratulations to you! Have a great time in San Martaans, it looks fabulous! You deserve it.

Sandi
04-07-2005, 03:19 PM
WOW!!!!! What amazing news!!! YIPPPEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Congratulations!! You have been an amazing pillar through all this. I am sooooooo happy for you!!!!!

barbygirl43
04-07-2005, 03:56 PM
I posted over at your blog but again wanted to say that you are truly an inspiration and if I ever have to go through what you've been I can hold up half as well as you have.

SuchAPrettyFace
04-07-2005, 05:18 PM
Sarah!!!!!!!!!! Such wonderful news!!! I knew you could kick cancer's ***!!! :)

Congratulations!!! :D :cheers:

Amanda Panda
04-07-2005, 06:11 PM
Sarah - go you!

Your wonderful news has just made my day. Words cannot express how happy I am for you and Lorraine.

I knew you were a fighter, but I must say I under estimated you!

Wonderful, wonderful news!

Love Amanda x

Sheila53
04-07-2005, 09:34 PM
OMG, Sarah!! How wonderful! That is the best news ever!! You've done an amazing job of slaying the dragon. Definitely time to celebrate life!! :dance:

missaprylj
04-07-2005, 11:32 PM
God is great. I am *so* ecstatic for you. :grouphug: I don't even know what to say, exactly... but I'm so thrilled right now! Love!

jillybean720
04-08-2005, 06:59 AM
Sarah,

You are such an amazing inspiration! Even when things were rough, you were so determined and positive about everything. I am SO happy for you that you have KICKED CANCER'S ***!!!!! I know you'll be able to kick the fat's ***, too :D

lessofsarahtolove
04-08-2005, 12:07 PM
THANKS EVERYBODY!!!! You guys have been so supportive throughout this and I am just so, so appreciative.

I'm still in joyful disbelief mode, and it got me through a pretty rough chemo yesterday. It was the worst yet, but I don't care! My response to that is just a big, "Oh WELL!" I'm just countin' 'em down. 7 done -- 5 to go. Each one gets harder, as the chemicals have an accumulative effect, but the knowledge that these sessions will (hopefully) ensure the cancer's final departure will carry me through them.

Some of you referred to my being so positive and inspirational. I don't know. The way I see it, you have only two choices when presented with something like this: Rail against it and torture yourself and everybody else with "why me's," or just look deep inside yourself for the best you have to offer, and try to retain some dignity and grace. The first one seems like a pretty miserable way to pass what could be your final chapter, in all honesty, so what the ****? Why not try to grow into a better person in the process of fighting for your life? :dunno: Sorry, don't mean to get all melodramatic on you guys, but I feel like I want to explain that my response to it is just what I saw as the only way to be. When Lorraine and I go to get my chemo, spending several hours in the infusion room with 9 or 10 other folks and sometimes their loved ones, you can clearly see us as belonging in two camps: the "why me's" and the "make the best of it's." One group smiles, the other one doesn't. I think that's true wherever you go -- work, the store, the doctor's office. It's all just magnified to the bazillionth degree when it's something like facing a terminal illness. Kinda makes the little stuff seem especially small.

Anyway, thanks again -- you guys are the best. And Howie, you made me laugh -- universal domination! :lol: I'll just be happy to refocus on the fat once I've got this behind me! Speaking of fat, I've managed to keep it under relative control so far. I'm only just past the halfway point of the chemo, so I've still got a lot of steroids to go -- those things are no joke. :fr: I like to say, "I'll kick your *** and then steal your food." It's some serious stuff. :dizzy:

I love you guys for being so sweet and loyal. Truly, truly, truly. :goodvibes

glynne
04-08-2005, 06:33 PM
Wow Sarah ~ that is great news. I'm so happy for you.

seashell
04-10-2005, 10:00 AM
I've been away for a while and catching up on posts. Sarah, I am so happy for you! Your grace and determination show the wonderful person you truly are. I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy future! God Bless you!

lessofsarahtolove
05-27-2005, 01:34 PM
Hello, all! Wow, I feel like it's been forever since I posted here -- it really has been a while. I hope this finds you all well and getting healthier!

At a little over 5 months into chemo, I've completed 10 out of 12 treatments! So I'm certainly in the home stretch. Next chemo is a next Thursday. As expected, they've gotten progressively harder -- and they didn't start out a picnic! :dizzy: The debilitating fatigue and bone/joint/jaw/head pain have been present right from the start, but the nausea is progressed to a full rage now. The amazing thing about that is that the steroids still make you want to eat!! :devil: Not nice!!! :nono: The latest blow has been the loss of my left big toenail. (A moment of silence, please.) It's a casualty of the chemo, but after my vacation in the Dutch West Indies, I had to have it yanked off by the podiatrist. (You know you have a problem when passing stray dogs are compelled to pause to smell your toe. :eek: ) Anyway, I'm still in the soaking and bandaging stage, and, according to the podiatrist and my Hodgkins peers (on a Hodgkins message board,) I should have that puppy fully back in a year to a year and a half.

In happier news, Lorraine and I had a most excellent vacation! 9 days in an absolutely beautiful, quaint, quiet hotel on 3 miles of white sandy beach. With our back door opening out to the ocean 20-30 feet away, and the front opening to lush, landscaped gardens, we were in heaven. I had a bit of recuperation after the grueling trip (up at 2:30 a.m. a day and a half after chemo -- which was scheduled on my birthday! -- and from 2:30 a.m. till I layed down upon arriving at the hotel at 2:00 p.m.) Really rough, but with the able assistance of Lorraine and a number of wheelchairs, I made it! We really had a wonderful time. Rented convertible jeep for exploring both the French and Dutch sides of the islan, chartered boat for cruising and private snorkeling, many hours in and out of the pool, lots of wonderful conversations and new acquaintenances....and gobs and gobs of laughter with my sweetie. Just what the doctor ordered. :yes:

So how am I now? Physically, I'm fragile, in pain, exhausted and nauseous, and suffering from a laundry list of side effects. I'm having a really hard time, but I'll get through it. It's only time, and finite at that. Emotionally, again I'm fragile. I feel like I'm very small, and hidden within an alien shell; my body and my life are unrecognizable to me. I'm literally NOT myself, and on a cellular level. Can't get more basic than that. ;) Depression is very common among patients, and I'm no exception. But don't worry, emotionally exhausted as I am, I'm fully aware that things will get better very soon. I'll get back to a "new normal," as they say, and just take it from there! I've already put together a post-treatment exercise schedule, complete with swimming, weights, and gentle walking and biking. I know, I know, I'll take it easy -- but girlfriend needs to get her muscles back!

Chemo has put me into sudden onset premature menopause -- hopefully temporary -- which has me experiencing hot and cold (mostly hot) flashes, night sweats (a little terrifying because they're a bigtime sign of cancer activity) mood swings, and more. (I was trying to convince Dana in chat last night that muffler commercials can really be quite poignant!) The menopause usually passes after treatment ends, so I'm hoping that's the case.

For those of you curious about my hair, I'm a baldy! No eyebrows either.....or much other body hair, for that matter. I had developed that awful cancer yellow color, so I fully intend to keep my beautiful tan! I'm good at crafting unobtrusive eyebrows, I still work my look as much as I can, and I never cover my head.....to the distress and consternation of a number of strangers. My attitude? Screw 'em. :rolleyes: I have nothing to be ashamed of, and it it's warm, why do I need to cover up the old dome? So what if they know that I have cancer? I've had some awkward and even ugly exchanges with people who clearly couldn't handle it -- pretty disheartening. Some people just can't handle it. Anyway, that's what's going on, follicularly speaking. My hair will grow back, unlike sensitivity.

I continue to be just in awe of Lorraine's strength and support. She's so loving, and so....just THERE for me in every way. I am astounded by her, and more grateful than words can describe.

I'm not sure how this post portrays my current state. I don't want to sound too much like a sad sack....I'm really ok, and will only get better. But this 6 month, high intensity chemo thing definitely takes a toll. I'm just so grateful that I reached remission halfway through -- I'm one of the lucky ones. Otherwise, I'd be looking at 8 months of chemo and/or a stem cell transplant, which is terrifying. Anyway, I've been smiled upon, and I'll gradually regain my strength and get back into those size 16 pants I'd gotten down to. (I'm back into an 18/20.) They say weight loss is extremely difficult in the months following chemo treatment -- something about the metabolism shutting down. But I'm still going to do all the right stuff, even if it doesn't work.....because eventually it will. And in the meantime I'll be caring for my traumatized body in the best way I can. :^: Another near miss with treatment -- by not having to have radiation, I will avoid the thyroid-kill that often results. WHEW!!

I'm told that I'll need to take at least 2 months after chemo (last chemo is June 14th) to regain my strength before returning to work full time (my boss held my job for me!!!!) and I fully intend to take that time to get as healthy as I can at the pace my body allows. I've learned enormous lessons through this experience, and in some ways feel that -- as hard as it's been -- it can be a gift of sorts. I would never choose to have cancer, but it certainly does give you a very effective tutorial on loving your life, whatever that life is.

Take care, everybody!! :grouphug:

Gardenwife
05-27-2005, 01:39 PM
Sarah, baby! It's SO great to hear from you! There was just a Sarah-shaped hole here while you were away.

tolose85
05-27-2005, 01:50 PM
Hey you! So glad to get this update from you. I am in total awe of you. And poopy on those people who don't like your head. I bet you look great! It's nice to know that you had a well deserved vacation. You are a lucky gal with that Lorraine I tell you. Gosh, I miss you so much. I am so happy that you are doing well. I really really am.. When you have a free moment, I'd love to chat..

Take care.

famograham
05-27-2005, 04:38 PM
Oh Sarah,
It's so great to hear from you!
I'm so glad that your vacation went well.

I'd also like to say that your positivity is so beautiful to me and I think you are truly amazing! I'm sure your outlook on life has contributed to your recovery.

Welcome back ,we've really missed you

(((hugs)))
Linda

barbygirl43
05-27-2005, 05:10 PM
Even through all of this you have still kept your sights on what's to come and I think that has helped you out more than anything. It's great to hear the "full" update.

missaprylj
05-27-2005, 05:23 PM
Thanks for keeping us updated, Sarah. You and Lorraine are still in all of our thoughts and prayers. :grouphug: Best wishes.

howie6267
05-27-2005, 07:41 PM
It is good to have you back. It's not the same around here with out you.

Jillegal
05-27-2005, 11:42 PM
Thanks for the update, Sarah. Sometimes its hard to find the silver lining in what you've gone through, isn't it? In George's case he's fond of telling everyone he almost had to die to find the love of his life (I :love: that guy) and its heartening to see how your relationship with Lorraine has not only survived but prospered and grown as a result of this distressing period in your life. :yes:

P.S. - I'll have a drink in memory of your lost toenail sometime over the weekend ;)

Jenaya
05-28-2005, 12:23 AM
Hi Sarah -

You have a bright spirit and you are incredibly insightful. To heck with the folks who don't understand - be you, a truly beautiful woman inside and out, with or without hair or toenails. Those are the shell and you are the spirit. May your spirit soar as you recover. It is lonely around here without you..Take Care.

Keeping you in my thoughts...

Amanda Panda
05-30-2005, 11:40 AM
Hi Sarah,

Good to hear from you! Your holiday sounded fab, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I think gentle swimming will be really good for you - mentally and physically.

Good luck for your last chemo - we are all thinking of you!

Love Amanda x

PS: Sorry I seem to have missed your birthday - I hope your day was as special as you are!

Goddess Jessica
05-30-2005, 02:31 PM
Hi Sarah,

I wanted to share with you this story about a San Diegans guy who is walking across the country. Seems he was an ex-marine and one day he accidently hit an elderly couple. He spent a brief period in jail and sank into a deep depression. He couldn't keep a job and he gained 200 pounds (for a grand total of 400 pounds). So one day he realizes that this has got to change, so he tells his wife and kids he's going to walk across the country. Without training, without media, without anything - he sets out. Here's a quote from the article that made me laugh:

"He sees the walk as a means of regaining his life. His time in San Bernardino County this week, Vaught said, and hours waiting indoors or in the shade for the heat to subside, have given him lots of time to think. 'There's just so much introspection before you figure out you're boring,' he joked."

I think of you and the why me people. There is only so much "why me?" before it gets boring. You're not the type to bore yourself. I'm glad for it.

Jessica

(Oh, if you want to read the article: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20050526-9999-7m26vaught.html)

SuchAPrettyFace
05-30-2005, 03:42 PM
Great to see you Sarah, I'm glad you & Lorraine had such a good time on vacation. Your strength & determination continue to astound me. I say go hatless, it's your choice!!! :censored: anyone who's got a problem w/it!

Jillegal
06-16-2005, 03:06 AM
Well, here it is, finally, the last of those nasty chemo sessions! Hurrah!! I WAS going to say "You must be so relieved!!" But, I suppose the relief won't set in for awhile because you're going to feel really lousy for a few days yet (not meaning to sound negative, just acknowledging the reality). SO, today I'll just tell you to bear up the best you can, my dear,...but in a couple of days let's all make a date to celebrate!! Here's to your health, your heart and your strength. And it won't be long until we'll be saying "Welcome back" for good!! And I just know you'll be back big time! ;)

barbygirl43
06-16-2005, 11:51 AM
Yeah Sarah. Glad to hear the last one is behind you. :)

howie6267
06-16-2005, 12:29 PM
Way to kick some cancer A**. I can't wait to have you back here on a regular basis.

missaprylj
06-16-2005, 01:05 PM
:grouphug: for you, Sarah.

taekwondomom
06-16-2005, 07:14 PM
Yay, for the end of chemo! Nasty stuff! I hope you regain your health and strength pronto. Look forward to getting to know you better. :0)
Here's a "End of Chemo" Party!
:cb: :hat: :cp: :dancer: :cb: :hat::cheers: :hat: :cheer: :cp:

My DH finished his treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma in April and is finally getting his strength back although the radiation seemed to have hit him harder than the chemo did.

Gardenwife
06-16-2005, 07:46 PM
Excellent! Happy for you, Sarah!

Glad your hubby's bouncing back, Laura - May you enjoy many, many happy years together!

Br00klyn
06-17-2005, 12:15 AM
Sarah, honey, congratulations - you are truly one strong women! Here's to you for kickin' cancer's *** :cheers: I'm so happy for you.... You and Lorraine enjoy this moment and look to the future! :grouphug:

djs06
06-17-2005, 11:38 AM
Congratulations Sarahbear! I am SO proud of you. Here's to recovery and feeling like a million bucks once you feel better. And when I come back to MD its PARTY TIME. :lol: you're the best, girl. I can't tell you how proud I am of you for how far you've come and how far I know you'll still go. :grouphug:

teapotdynamo
06-17-2005, 11:56 AM
Congrats, Sarah. I'm so glad to hear that the chemo is finished. You are an amazingly strong woman whom I admire very much. Way to get medieval on cancer's ***! :D

Sheila53
06-17-2005, 02:14 PM
All right! They're done. That must be such a wonderful relief for you. Here's to a fabulous future with your sweetie, and once you're feeling better, we expect lots and lots of posts.

glynne
06-17-2005, 02:46 PM
I'm glad for you Sarah to be done finally with that chemo and now will get to feeling better and all.

Take care

lessofsarahtolove
06-17-2005, 11:40 PM
Thank you everyone, so so much for reaching out to me like this. Jill, you are incredibly thoughtful to remember my big day and put the call out like this! :goodvibes

So. Yes. I did it. As I write this, I'm feeling a lot of things. (Aside from the normal post-chemo misery, which will eventually pass.) Emotionally, I'm not in the happiest place, to be honest. There is no euphoria, and I don't feel entirely free to celebrate yet. I am now entering a sort of no man's land of uncertainty, because I don't yet know if I'm still in the clear -- so I don't yet know if I will need to continue with more chemo or move on to a stem cell transplant. My oncologist wants to wait until the second or third week of July to have my post-treatment PET scans, so until then, I will not know if I am still officially in remission. There's no reason why I shouldn't be, since my midpoint scans were clean and earned me a "remission" rating then. But in the last 3 months, I've personally encountered 3 people who got the all clear at their midpoints and then went on to get surprisingly bad news after chemo had supposedly ended. They were ecstatic to have finished and then got smacked with the worst. So I'm feeling reserved, cautious, and a little edgy. I'm relieved, don't get me wrong, and I'm feeling like I'm on the cusp of excitement -- I'm just truly afraid to assume that I'm going to be ok. I'm afraid to hope. I want to be prepared for the worst, if it comes to that.

I did make a conscious effort today to really concentrate on being my Optimistic Sarah Self (I just LOVE her!) -- I'm really going to try very, very hard. It's just difficult. You know? :^:

Once I get those scans back, and they show that there's no cancer left in any of my lymph nodes, I will be able to get closure on this period of my life and move forward more freely. I'll be able to breathe. In the meantime, I'm going to just work to assume all good things, and that it's all going to be ok. I should be able to start an exercise program in a couple of weeks....I'll start with baby steps and take it from there. One of the medicines in my chemo regimen has damaged my lungs (I can't draw a deep breath, and I pant and cough,) so cardio's going to be a real challenge -- but I'll start out slowly and build. I'm going to swim, and also do weights.

Anyway, I really, really appreciate all of the support you guys so generously give me. You've made me cry on more than one occasion you big gallugs! :^:

Thank you, thank you, thank you....... :grouphug: :grouphug:

Jenaya
06-18-2005, 12:33 AM
Sarah -

Many hugs to you! I am glad you are through the first hurdle to your recovery. It is so hard to not listen to other stories but remember - this is your path. Others stories can be enlightening (so many cases of people who have reached remission and continue to stay well) and then there are the few exceptions.

The cancer walk/fundraiser was just held two weeks ago. I couldn't participate this year (I have a problem with my foot) but I offered a healthy donation. I had many thoughts of you and so many other wonderful people who have, had or continue to struggle with this disease. I don't know you, haven't seen you but my spider-senses tell me that you will be sprinting in the survivors run next year and for many many more healthy years to come. Do take care of yourself, eat well, laugh and love - the essentials of life and recovery. I hope your physical strength returns at a fast pace and you feel better soon!

DishyFishy
06-18-2005, 02:23 PM
Sarah, you are one amazing lady! :queen: My hat's off to you.
Wishing you a full recovery. :goodvibes:

lessofsarahtolove
06-18-2005, 05:36 PM
Thank you, Jenaya and TooFatFish, for your kind and encouraging words. :goodvibes Jenaya, I'm going to take what you said to heart, and try to keep at the very fore of my mind that I do indeed have my own path. :)

Thanks again, you two!

kykaree
06-18-2005, 06:05 PM
Sarah, I think it's all your fault.....let me explain. In my job I talk to people all day about health insurance. These are people going through treatment and making sure they are covered, sorting claims out that sort of thing. Now whenever I get a cancer call, I start to weep. Today a lady was ringing all confused and upset about her husbands bills, and I had tears running down my face as she explained what she was going through. My last call was a lady about to have her Hickman line inserted for intravenous chemo, for the third time. Far too many people have to go through this, and it's so unfair.

Your journey has touched a lot of people, those who know you really well, and those like me who wish they knew you better.

It's kinda good you know people who have had bad news from the PET scans, because you will be able to value or deal with whatever the answer is, far better for realistic Sarah to be present and ready to deal with little miss sunshine Sarah who is expecting the best.

Whatever, your cheerleaders, the loud ones and the quiet ones - like me, will be here for you.

lessofsarahtolove
06-22-2005, 06:56 PM
Oh, Kykaree, I think I'd be in tears all day too! That's got to be just heart-wrenching!!

Ok, everybody. I am here to report that I'm now 6 days out from the last chemo, and, while I'm still feeling very anxious about getting those results (the tests are 4/6,) I made up my mind a couple of days ago to assume that it's over and that everything's going to be ok with my PET scans (scheduled for 4/6.) I'm going to try really hard to put away my fear and reserve and just concentrate on being optimistic. I'm not going to let the fear rule me, or let it crowd out my sense of relief at being "done." (Using that word consciously. ) I'm really going to try. :^:

In the meantime, I have big plans to meet Howie and Kimberley this Sunday with Lorraine :cp: and then I'm back on plan 100% -- and start my baby steps with exercise -- Monday morning! :p Verrrrrrry exciting!!

Sorry to be so self-involved.....just wanted to update from the pathetic, sad sack posting you all got last time! :o

I love you guys! :love:

Sandi
06-22-2005, 08:08 PM
Sarah, have I told you lately how amazing you are...Your attitude is just awesome. I admire you daily. I am so excited that you are past your last treatment and I am hopeful that your next scan will be an "all clear". Keep up the good fight girl. You rock!!!

howie6267
06-23-2005, 12:50 AM
Looking foward to meeting you and Lorraine. Sounds like you have a good outlook I can't imagine you being anything else than optimistic.

Gardenwife
06-23-2005, 02:48 AM
Just a few more days to go! :D

BethC
06-23-2005, 07:53 AM
Sounds great Sarah! Way to stay positive!

You are such an insipiration to us here.

Gardenwife
06-24-2005, 09:47 PM
Well, we leave for our camping weekend late tonight (early tomorrow, technically). Can't wait to meet you and Lorraine, Sarah! See you Sunday!

teapotdynamo
06-24-2005, 09:59 PM
Have a fantastic time, all of you! :D

lessofsarahtolove
06-24-2005, 10:48 PM
Thanks, Jennifer! I'm pretty psyched about meeting our own Handsome Howie and his Gorgeous Gardenwife -- I'll be sure to give them both big squishy hugs from the group. :grouphug:

lessofsarahtolove
06-24-2005, 10:52 PM
Oh! And since my hair started growing back a little before the end of my treatment, they can each get in a nice fuzzy head rub for you guys as well! They'll have missed my Kojak period; I've moved right into Fuzzle territory. :o It does feel pretty good though, if I do say so myself! ;) I guess I'll let Howie and Kimberley be the judges, since probably they're more impartial than either Lorraine or I!

Gardenwife
06-25-2005, 12:18 AM
Vvvvvvvelvet! See you soon!

taekwondomom
06-25-2005, 02:48 AM
Oh! And since my hair started growing back a little before the end of my treatment, they can each get in a nice fuzzy head rub for you guys as well! They'll have missed my Kojak period; I've moved right into Fuzzle territory. :o It does feel pretty good though, if I do say so myself! ;) I guess I'll let Howie and Kimberley be the judges, since probably they're more impartial than either Lorraine or I!
LOL-I'd have to aggree the fuzzy head rub's are nice! Dh's hair is finally growing in but I sure loved running my hand over his fuzzy head. Was like a massage for your hand. :)
Have fun, Sarah, Lorraine, Howie and Gardenwife! it is so cool that you guys get to hang out together!

lessofsarahtolove
06-30-2005, 12:26 PM
At the risk of coming across as TOTALLY self-involved, I wanted to share with you guys that today is the first day that I would have had to go off to chemo......AND I DIDN'T HAVE TO!!!!!!!!

Last night was really rough for me physically, and maybe it's a combination of not having to go to chemo today and that, but I'm sort of emotional today! :^: I'm very worried about my upcoming scans on Wednesday, so maybe that's a factor also.

Last night Lorraine and I went with her sister and Lorraine's nephew to the Yankees/Orioles game here in Baltimore (Let's go Yankees, let's go!! *stomp* *stomp* ) and there was just massive rain, so it was delayed and delayed. We waited for almost 3 hours on our feet in the jostling crowd, and I had to walk up and down stairs and about 5 blocks each way between the parking lot and Camden Yards. I was doing great until 2 hours into it, but then I started to fade. I really wanted us to stay (it ended up being postponed) because it was Lorraine's 40th birthday present and we'd even arranged for a message on the scoreboard to say happy 40th birthday to her between the 3rd and 4th innings. :( So I didn't want to cause us to have to leave if the game was eventually going to go on. I was over-ridden though, and so we did leave. When we were almost back to the parking lot, I guess I was just pushing myself too much, and I almost hyperventilated twice! I just couldn't breathe, couldn't catch my breath -- I actually cried! One of the chemo chemicals does damage to the lungs, and I've been having taking deep breaths -- going up stairs is hard, etc. Anyway, now I'm worried about going home to NYC this weekend. I know now that I just really can't walk around much. :( Woo, I'm having a big time pity party! And here I came to celebrate not having chemo today!! :dizzy:

Alright, I'll end this on a positive note: I know that my physical condition will improve. It will. My last chemo was exactly two weeks ago -- so it's only going to get better! Right?!

DishyFishy
06-30-2005, 02:57 PM
Oh, Sarah. :grouphug: You're not totally self-involved at all! In fact, it's a privilege to read your words. :yes:

You're bound to be very emotional after all you've been through. Your body and mind have really been ravaged over the last year, and it's only natural to need a break from always being measured and controlled in what you do. You're a courageous lady :queen: who is a great inspiration to us all. Just remember, you don't have to be "strong" all the time. All the people who love you are there to give you support in the same way you so generously give yours.

It's great that your chemo has ended. Yay! I really hope those scans will bring good news for you too. :goodvibes:

glynne
06-30-2005, 04:13 PM
Sarah,

I am not very good with the words ~ but wanted to say keep hanging in there ~ lots of thoughts, prayers and hugs for you.

Take care

Jen415
06-30-2005, 05:30 PM
Alright, I'll end this on a positive note: I know that my physical condition will improve. It will. My last chemo was exactly two weeks ago -- so it's only going to get better! Right?!

Damn skippy it's gonna get better!!

You can't fade on me now--I just met you!! Tell you what--I'll kick your butt when you need it if you'll kick mine--deal?

kykaree
06-30-2005, 06:28 PM
Bless you Sarah. When I get down about my weight loss journey I only have to think of you and it puts everything into perspective (can someone pass me a kleenex please). You deserve to have a year long pity party, and you know what, you have just got on with everything,your treatment, thinking about those around you, and jumping back on the weight loss horse, so you can be more than forgiven the odd pity filled lapse.

You are such a star, and such a light to everyone around you. The fact that you are doing so much only two weeks after chemo is a tribute to your resilience, just don't push yourself too hard. Your poor old body has received a right battering, and you need time to get your groove back into full swing.

We all love you to bits, and we're so proud of you! And it's so great to have you back amongst us, we've missed you.

Sheila53
06-30-2005, 06:49 PM
Hey, everyone likes a good pity party now and again, and you're certainly entitled. Things will only get better!

Jillegal
06-30-2005, 07:28 PM
I know the end of chemo signifies the beginning of the journey to "new normal", but you can't put too many demands or expectations on yourself just yet, Sarah. G maintains that emotional recovery from the trauma of cancer treatment takes longer than the actual physical recovery, so I guess you must give yourself a chance to get your head around what you've been through the last six months and also take time to adjust to life after treatment. But, I do understand how hard it must be for someone as strong-willed and determined as you to be patient, especially when you're anxious to put it all behind you (except that which you value as life experience) and get on with everything you want to do. Yes, it can only get better, and it will, perhaps slowly to begin with, but definitely surely. We're all counting on it - and we know you'll make it happen! :)

lessofsarahtolove
06-30-2005, 09:34 PM
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, everyone. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support. All of you really touched me -- Jill, that you took the time to say exactly the right thing in the midst of all that you're currently going through....well, I'll just say thank you.

Gardenwife
06-30-2005, 10:21 PM
Damn skippy it's gonna get better!!

:D I don't know about you, Sarah, but that produced a fit of giggles out of me.

Howie and I pray for your PET scans to give you good news, plus for you to regain your physical strength and endurance in record time.

tolose85
07-01-2005, 12:39 PM
I'm always thinking of you and wishing the best for you. I pray that the PET scan will be clean. I know it will! You've come so far in many ways. I am so lucky to know you. We all are. You've been a huge inspiration to us all. :) So glad you are back 'round here. Love ya!

alphabetsoup
07-02-2005, 10:46 AM
:hug: How frustrating - remember though that your body will need a bit of time to bounce back but that our bodies are amazing things! They are able to repair themselves after disease in miraculous ways - I have no doubt that yours is working to do so right now!

In the meantime, take it easy as much as you need to! :morehugs:

Gardenwife
07-05-2005, 11:25 PM
Hey, Sarah - Thinking about you tonight, on the eve of your PET scan. Prayers going up for you! :grouphug:

alphabetsoup
07-06-2005, 04:45 PM
From the other thread, I know a lot is happening today - I'm thinking of you and wishing you and your very significant other well - I hope that everything turns out great. Update when you can! ((((HUGS))))