Month: March 2017

Flying high!

With this diagnosis, thoughts and ideas have grown in importance and my desire “to do” has increased as well. Remember my bucket list post? Well, for quite sometime I thought about flying a plane, why not!!! My uncle Donnie has his licence and we had talked about it one day last summer in his backyard. He is such a wonderful generous man, so to support my endeavor he gave me all the books and supplies I required, as he did not need them anymore. Time has gone on and between much chemo, not feeling well and having no energy, my flight plans were put on hold. Until one serendipitous night! My sister Tina attended Erica’s b-day party and beside having her ass kicked repeatedly by Donnie playing pool, they talked and they were both disappointed that I had not been able to get out there to the skies. Donnie being Donnie (the dream maker ūüėČ ) they formulated a plan to get me up there. So 4 days later, a big surprise for Krista!!, we were booked! Well today, March 29th, 2017, I flew a plane! And it was amazing!!!

Our pilot, Matt Hobbs was so great. So friendly and supportive. This guy was really awesome! He is only 25 and has been flying for 10 years! He travels all over the world, he just came back from Tanzania! He does not do much teaching anymore but he took the time to be with us. Time I am very grateful for. I just wanted to mention, his landing was so smooth, we didn’t even feel it at all! I am pretty sure landing is the most difficult part of flying a plane and he just did it with such ease and impressed the hell out of us. He is a really great pilot and such a gentleman, he gave me the pilot seat! Yup, I sat in the power seat, the plane was mine! lol

I was lucky to be able to share this experience with my sister and my son Ethan. Ethan was as excited as teenagers get and all he said was “your not going to crash us are you?!” Oh teenager, one day… ¬† My sister and I were giddy and yup, powder-puffs we are, shed a tear or two thinking about how amazing this was! I basically flew the plane the whole time and besides going a little too high ( 5000 ft lol) and being a little tentative on my banking here and there, I took control and flew that plane through clouds and sky!! I loved every second and have had a smile on my face for days!

I need to give the biggest thanks to Donnie of course but also Martin Proulx, Director of Maintenance from Enterprise Air Oshawa! He set up the entire trip and would not take any payment! Thank you so much!! You made a dream come true today and the appreciation we have can not be measured. Truly a flight of a lifetime!!

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Ringing the bell…

As a cancer patient there is a tradition when you finish your treatment, you ring a bell. Signifying the end of chemo and your new life “cancer free”! I have a few thoughts on this subject.

This tradition can be extremely emotional. With the end of treatment, it is a bittersweet moment. I know that can sound weird but it really is. After you are diagnosed with cancer, you are bombarded with endless doctor appointment’s, scans, blood work, surgery, oncology, radiation, chemotherapy and the list goes on. As you go through the toughest time of your life, your family, friends and support team are there for you every step of the way and drop off food, cards and visits. Your world is upside down and you have never felt so sick or scared maybe a little lost.

As the treatment ends so does the hustle and bustle. And with that last treatment comes the bell. As you pick it up, a rush of emotions comes over you. Happiness, a little peace but also fear and sadness and yes the lost feeling again.  Now you are CANCER FREE, so just continue your life as you left it before the diagnosis. The fact is it is one one the most difficult things to do. Also, the fear of cancer recurrence can be terrifying and is a very real possibility for most. I understand what they have gone through and my hope is that they know, some of us understand and get it. Keep fighting and live as much as you can! Do not let the fear run your life, you did not go through all of that shit just to crumple and let cancer win! You are more than that and deserve happiness. You have walked the line between life and death and have come out the other side, embrace this gift! Never waste it!

On another note, that stupid bell!!I remember when I did my first chemo, sitting in the suite and hearing the bell from time to time. I was truly happy for them clapped and cheered as loud as I could! But, I was also sad and jealous, I thought, I will never ring that stupid bell!¬†My treatments will never end! Stupid fucking bell, stupid cancer! I mentioned this to my nurse one day. I told her I was sad about never having the chance to beat cancer and ring that bell! She said, “Well you will ring that bell! Just because you are not cancer free does not mean you can’t ring it!” So at the last appointment came and finished, I walked up to the counter and picked up this “bell”. This bell that held such promise and hope, the sound of the end of chemo (for now, at the time, for me) I thought I would pick that bell up and ring the shit out of it, run around a little ringing this bell as hard as ¬†I could, I may never get this chance again! BUT, as I picked it up, I felt small and humbled and it felt big, it was so strange. I felt respect for all who had rung it before me and could feel it’s power. I cried when I rang it. It was a special moment!

After however lol One of the nurses gave a “typical” “standard” little package for finishing chemo. Pamphlets and books all under the topic of “Life after cancer”& “Next steps in your cancer free life”. I was immediately offended¬†and bothered by this delivery. What the fuck! I said “well you can keep this package, I have no use for it, thanks! ¬†My cancer is not curable”. I didn’t want to sound rude or ungrateful but I could not control myself. In my head I said, “If you took the time to read my file or treatment page right in front of your face, you would know that, bitch!” She looked at me a little embarrassed and said, “Well there are a lot of good tips in these and it can still be really useful to you.” Let the record show lol, I have never once used anything in that package to this day! It really wasn’t her fault, she just knew it was my last chemo, I do not hold it against her in any way, she was really nice. But damn, I was pissed. And it ruined my moment, oh well!

As I started this new chemo in September, and learned that I would be receiving it until it stops working  just to hopefully move on to another, I thought about that bell. And as I hear it from time to time as I get my weekly treatments, I wonder if I will ring that bell again.

Wait & See…

One of the most frustrating things about this disease is finding answers to questions. The standard is always “wait and see” and I do understand this although I hate it! I have struggled with it since the beginning. I am a very impatient person and when I want something I want it now, that includes answers to questions!! The struggle is real!

When something changes during treatment it is hard not to think it is related to the cancer. I could probably write an entire post on this subject as it is a recurring theme among all cancer patients! But, for now, I will focus on the wait and see.

Right now my primary breast tumor has changed. I have a lot of pain in the surrounding breast tissue and the tumor hurts to touch. The mass has also become very hard and my already incredibly shrinking nipple has become even smaller! This is important because after 10 rounds of Taxol, this is new, these are symptoms I have never had! Anything new sucks and can be scary really! Some lead to nothing, others are significant in negative or positive ways.

I am trying to focus on positive things! I think that maybe the tumor is becoming scar tissue and dying! That is my hope and prediction! I love being right in the good times lol My onc is ordering a CT a little early and is scheduling it for mid-late March.

So again, stuck in limbo and waiting to see!

Cheers Fats!