So today was my fifth round of chemo. It was Brett’s turn to take me. I kept Boo home from school because she has the worst cough and allergies mixed in….so Gicela came in early to work to watch her.
Lots of good news today:
:: My levels went down again. 2648 (from 3416 last week). Still a long way to go but it’s going in the right direction. I keep joking that I should start a “pool” so people can guess what the levels will be the following week…..so put a guess out there….chemo can be fun you know. I was bored while resting today and made this super nerdy, yet informative chart:
(A friend asked if I’ve worked out the mathematical equation yet….the answer’s yes. I loved statistics.)
:: I didn’t lose any additional weight. I’ve been able to eat some really random foods and my quinoa/lemon/almond mixture is still the most palatable thing for me oddly enough. I refuse to have my butt photographed anymore…..so here’s a random smiling photo from the infusion center at Lucy Curci right after my blood was drawn.
Here’s the nitty gritty:
:: I’m getting my chemotherapy (methotrexate) by an intramuscular shot. Since I’ve lost so much weight and kind of have a small frame anyways I’ve learned that I can ask for the “kid size” needles so I don’t have to get the thick long scary needles.
:: Each week I feel like the chemo gets a little harder. I feel fine sometimes and then I get up and start to jump into a normal routine and all the sudden a wave of exhaustion and nausea hit me. I find myself out of breath with the tiniest of tasks….so much so that people are always asking if I’m okay. I lean on walls and hold onto furniture while I’m chatting to someone. I guess it just takes a lot out of you. I just feel REALLY old all the sudden.
:: Miralax is the bomb. I buy the generic version…..because seriously, who wants to spend their hard earned money on laxatives. Constipation after a hysterectomy can make everything more painful. Here’s what no one tells you….when they cut your stomach muscles open you can’t use them to go to the bathroom for a while.
:: Okay….so Boost, Slim Fast, Ensure…..ice cream….none of those worked for my appetite. Honestly, I would need a beer bong to get them down quick enough so I wouldn’t gag. I don’t throw up….but I dry heave……it’s my “false alarm” that tells me to go and lay down. I have found that if I lay down while I eat….and just pick at the food over the course of an hour I can get it down….whatever works.
:: I still only wear spandex…..so I ordered a small pair of GAP maternity jeans so I can get back to wearing my wardrobe staple. The chemo makes my skin super sensitive and my incision gives me the heebie jeebies to touch so what better than jeans with spandex on top.
The only frustrating thing for me right now is that the chemotherapy is hampering my recovery from the emergency hysterectomy and surgery. When I had my c-section with Boo I was driving 10 days later and back to the gym after a month and running again after 6 weeks. That was a piece of cake. I guess when they cut you open from above to bellybutton to the va-jay-jay it’s a little harder on your body. Today I was super exhausted and watched Toy Story 3 with Boo FOUR times. I’m glad it’s a cute movie. I sorted through fabric samples on the floor……fabric = happiness. This weekend Lisa picked me up to see Breaking Dawn with our friend Jackie…..it was awesome. I’m an Edward fan. And Bella looked so pretty.
I’m glad to hear the chemo is working. We’ll continue to pray that the numbers come on down and that chemo is over soon so your body can get on with healing. And, yes, above all….choose joy!
Great update. Hopefully soon you’ll be your old self again!
Happy Thankgiving to You and Yours Ashley. I’m sure you all are thankful that your on the mend 🙂
P.s. My ‘pool’ number is 1711.
YAHOOO for smaller gauge needles! Put me down for your levels being 2250 next time! HA!
Emend was the anti-nausea medication I used during chemo, it worked like a champ. My appetite wasn’t so great but the dry heaves were stopped in their tracks! I did find that the chemo each time seemed to take more and more out of my energy levels…I seemed to take a few more naps, a few more breaks while walking. Chin up, this too shall pass, this too shall pass!
p.s. I am a nurse and you are right, one should never strain to have a bm, actually straining can slow your heart rate down, so keep the laxatives flowing!
Prayers and cheers coming your way as always…..
As much as I love all the Chose Joy clothes in the shop, what I really want is a print I can frame and hang in my home – because it’s so simple and perfect!
Glad to hear you are doing better. I found that it was much harder to heal from my hysto than it was my c-section too, and I just had the “bikini cut” for both not the crazy neck to toes incision you’ve got going on. Something about it makes it just a totally differant thing to heal from. It’s been almost a year for me and I still have days where my skin is irritated or I have weird pain twings. It’s not cool, but I’m alive and here to watch my daughter grow up, that’s what I focus on!
You astonish me with your happy spirit!! You must be helping so many people with the information you are willing to share and reminders to choose joy. I was feeling sorry for myself today as an unemployed, single mom, and while things are tough right now, you remind me that it’s all about my attitude and I get to chose how my day goes. Thank you for today’s post!! I continue to send you light and love!
Kristina Churchill says
Put me down for 1980. You’re so gifted in your words. “Poo”,”Va-Jay-Jay” 😉
P.S. Love your stars on your fingers…where did you get those;)
Prayers and Hugs,
Meagan Briggs says
Ash!!! You are plowing through this!!! My guess for your next blood draw is 1789. I am SO proud of your body for kicking that nasty HCG crap outta yo body!!! Go girl. I wish I was there to help you through this! Your family is so wonderful and not to mention your amazing friend circle to help you whenever you need it. I always laugh out loud reading about your BM business and my husband always needs to know what I’m laughing about. He laughed too though when I read it out loud. You are so inspirational. Loves!
I marvel at your attitude. It is tops and that will help you beat this! I swear, my being stubborn did it for me. That Hyst scar will fade. Promise!! Mine is so light, really only I know it’s there. Not to be a perve, but are you wearing cotton panties, it helps 😉 They are soft and gentle. Sorry your wieght is down. That was the one side effect I could have used more of. LOL. I didn’t blog, and there was no fb so Hyster Sisters was a huge blessing for me. I also did a cancer support group at my hospital. Wishing you continued LOW #’s!!
Stay sassy and strong 😉 Shannon
Glad to hear you’re hanging in there okay!
Also, it sounds like I need to stop being such a sissy my C-section. 🙂
Miralax is a miracle. Love that stuff when you need it. My guess is 1572 for your next lab. Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving with your family. Maybe you need a toga to go along with your new eating habits. Ha ha. 🙂 I’m sure it would be even more comfortable than spandex.
Melanie @ Whimsical Creations says
I’m glad to hear the chemo is working!! Miralax is AWESOME!! We use it in our house frequently….my kids have pooping issues.
Your upbeatness is inspiring! I have no guess for what your numbers will be, just that they WILL be lower 🙂
While I agree you shouldn’t have to strain to have a BM, but no pushing at all? Don’t you need to control the release, or if the intestines did it all, there’d be poop everywhere/anytime?
Were you told anything about B12 to help with nerve growth after surgery? Don’t know about it with all your other meds, but it’s worth asking about.
Aren’t you glad maternity clothes/spandex are awesome now, instead of 25 years ago? LOL.
Meghan Jensen says
I’m guessing 1856….. I always described the poops after surgery as pinecones. Good luck, Miralax is amazing. Try eating Cafe Rio, if there is not one close….find one, seriously. Have you seen Tangled? We watch that one repeatedly, hasn’t gotten old yet. Although now I’m always having to be Mother Gothal, and I take that role very seriously! Prayers and Love, Meghan
Did Betsy Ross knit that sweater for you???? hehehehehe! As Paulette Bonafontine from Legally Blonde would say- “YOU LOOK LIKE THE 4TH of JULY1 MAKES ME WANT A HOTDOG….REAAALLLLLL BAD! ” Love you! P
Beth Morrow says
So glad to see the HCG levels dropping and you handling the chemo so well. You really are an encouragement to others and I am still praying for complete healing for you.
Loved the Grumpy Ladybug dress…how adorable and Boo is just precious. modeling the dress.
I’m always watching for what’s new!
I just read a book The China Study About nutrician and cancer. Worth the read. Choosing Joy for you and me!!!
judy livonius says
Ashley! You are so funny and I know this is not easy. All my cousins get updates on you and many have read your website. My cousin Mary Ann Norfleet is a Doctor of Psychology at Stanford Univ. She writes at least once a week to say how awesome you are and positive. Hope Boo gets better soon. Brady had mono and is recovering. Hang in there and keep your perky disposition but don’t forget to rest. Also, there is tea called Reishi, or Ganoderma. It is a mushroom that is used in treating cancer patients all over the world. Google it and read about it It would be great for you to drink to make you strong and continue improving. I’m drinking the Riobose version and love it. They also have coffees made from it. I think you’d like it. Hugs from all of us in NC! Love you lots!! Judy Let me know if you have trouble finding the tea. I’ll hook uyou up.
Hang in there! Toy Story 3 makes me cry but you’re right, it is cute. 🙂
Oh my gosh, Ashley – I just came to look for a certain tutorial (CitraSolv, yay!), and I was shocked when I read you’re going through chemo. Jeez, and I’m whining because my belly button hurts after my laparoscopy last week…
I read your entries, so all I can say is: Alles Gute! (= “get well” in German)
And I love your “Choose Joy” motto. It’s much like “If life gives you lemons, ask for tequila” 😉
Grace Bower says
Thanks for sharing again. Praying for you and yours. Keep choosing joy but make sure you acknowledge the hard times when they are hard. You are modelling authenticity. It’s so true that at times like these the basic body functions take priority and the tmi is what is needed to pass it on to others who haven’t had the joy of following you!
So happy to hear the levels are still dropping! Have you tried PregoPops? I lived on them through 4 pregnancies and still keep a stash for when my MS drugs make me have nausea.
Yay Ashley! Thanks for the update, so happy to hear you’re getting better! My pool number is …. 1776. I guess I’m feeling patriotic? Happy Thanksgiving!!
Im so glad to hear you are slowly recovering. I wanted to let you know that Motherhood sells something called “Preggie Pops” ( I know) but they are little “candies” that really do help with nausea so you can eat and function! They are all natural and about 4 bucks a tin!
Twins Squared says
Thank you so much for taking the time to post updates on your recovery. We are all thinking of you and it is so nice to hear how you are doing. So happy that your levels continue to go down. Have a wonderfull Thanksgiving!
P.S. I love Boo’s Ladybug Dress! I used to teach Kindergarten and I had the kids paint paper in lots of different colors and then cut out pieces to make Eric Carle inspired collages but I never thought about doing it with fabric. I love it!
So excited to hear the news of your numbers dropping…Keep up the healing! Stay strong and get lots of rest. My Grandmother-in-law is going through chemo and radiation right now and her attitude is remarkably upbeat and positive. She is a fighter…she has 28 treatments and then we will know if she kick this colon cancer’s butt! Reading your blog is helping me to stay positive and uplifting for her. So I thank you for that. I find myself waiting for your Monday updates cause I know each week you are getting stronger and better. Hope Boo gets better and that you guys are surrounded with love this holiday season! Happy Thanksgiving from Texas!
My guess will be 1999…..cause then you’ll party like Prince did! LOL!
Put me down for 1918 for next week. What’s the prize for closest number? 😉
Lol 🙂 DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If yo udon’t know what these are google it.
Glad the treatment is working well. Keeping you in my prayers. And I agree with Shelly…we need a pic of you in the pajama jeans! lol
Autumn Goodwin says
I went through chemo last winter for Hodgkins Lymphoma, and a lot of what you have described going through rings a bell with me. I’m sorry you are having to go through this, but looking back on my experience, I realize it has made me stronger and more grateful for what really matters (it sounds so cliche, but it’s true). I am happy to hear that you are figuring out what works for you. By the time I found the food, medication, routines, etc that helped me feel good(ish), I was onto my last round of chemo. I am so glad to be done with that part of my life, but I don’t think I’d give that experience up. It made me realize what I was made of, and how much everyone around me loved me. You are in my prayers,
Im a fellow “Ashley”, new to your blog. What an inspiration you are! I look forward to following you, and seeing how God continues to give you JOY.
Your words and positivity lift my heart 🙂 Sending wishes of future marathons running and dream chasing your way and thanking you for inspiring me everyday to focus on the roses in my life !
Teresa N. says
You are such an inspiration. Thanks for all the helpful info. You never know. Next time try Emporer’s New Groove-very funny.
Fabric always makes me happy too. 🙂 Glad you are doing better. I saw Breaking Dawn this weekend too… but I am totally team Jacob!
Lauren C says
Yippe. So excited to see that your chemo is working so well and how much of an approvement over the course of a month. And yippe to smalled needles. And my pool for next week will be 1823.
MIchele C. says
So happy to hear that your numbers are down again this week! And yes, fabric makes me smile too 😉 I hope that you are able to run that future marathon — you are an amazingly strong woman, I keep thinking good, healing thoughts for you.
Colleen Kozicki says
I’m so happy to hear your numbers are going down!
2 things that really helped me when I had major surgery on my belly was:
1. LuLu Lemon pants (i’m not sure if you can get them in the states or not…I hope you can) they are the most comfortable pants in the world…with the bonus of giving you an awesome looking butt and they don’t show any nasty skin dimples etc. I found that they felt great against scar tissue and if you have any drains the pants don’t rub.
2. Isagenix shakes. After my surgery my bowels were a mess for well over a year. I found once I started the shakes everything was great down there. Not sure if they would work with your program (they are organic) but you might want to research it. I found Slim fast made me sick and I’d get a headache from them.
Sending healing thoughts your way
Colleen from Calgary Canada
When my mother-in-law was fighting ovarian cancer, she lived on pineapple. She said it was the only thing that tasted good to her. Just thought I’d throw that suggestion out there. BTW, I love how you approach this life obstacle. You are determined to beat it & have an amazing attitude. You are inspiring!
Praying that your levels just keep on plummeting. I am envisioning them as a roller coaster on a speedy downhill run.
Meredith Resnick From A Mother Seeking... says
You don’t just remind us to “choose joy” but you live it and model it for us. THANK YOU truly and deeply! You are what we need more of… Your positivity is contagious. I loved your blog before, but now, I am mesmerized and addicted. I’ll be back soon and until then, sending you all good thoughts….
Meredith From A Mother Seeking Come find me on my blog, A Mother Seeking…
Peut-être ne lis-tu pas le français, mais ce n’est pas grave car à chaque jour je pense à toi, tu es très inspirante. Je ne te souhaite pas du courage car tu en as déjà. Je te souhaite plutôt d’être entourée de joie et de beaux projets. Je paris que ton prochain “level” sera de 1998 !!!!!!!
Marie-Josée (from Quebec city, Canada)
This is all good news to hear, thank you for sharing. You really do have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. A few memory recalls from Chemo: Zofran is Awesome for nausea. However, Don’t take to much of the wonder drug Miralax…may cause more harm than good, you might want to try some softners if you haven’t already (my guess is you have :D)), also, when our Lil Man was unable to eat from the Chemo the Doctors gave him something called TPN for nutrients…AWESOME stuff, but he had an IV with it. Finally, your hair is still so BEAUTIFUL that must not be a side effect of your Chemo…now that is luck. Keep your head up and know that so many of us continue to pray for you, and your family.
So, I just happened upon your blog because I share your craftiness enthusiasm…and then…I started reading about your experiences with cancer. I just have to say that you are truely an inspiration to me. I always try not worry about health issues and to give them up to God…but, for you to have cancer and for you to have the courage you do is an awesome example. I want you to know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t know you but…I sense that you are a sincere person, who is a believer of faith.
Through God…all things are possible.
Love in Christ,
Leigh Anne says
Thanks for the update! Love reading them…even the laxative part…haha! My guess is 1834 next draw!! Prayers coming your way 🙂
I am so sorry that you are still sick, I was hoping you would be better for Thanksgiving. I pray that your Thanksgiving is wonderful even though you are sick. May Jesus heal your weak body and give you strenght with each passing day.
the Jackpot says
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Glad to hear the numbers are going down. Here’s is to a speedy recovery!
SO GLAD to hear that those numbers are going down, and I love the chart you made. I thought of your leggings posts recently on a trip to our mall – crazy, colorful, 80s inspired leggings everywhere! You rock it, girl! I’ve been so inspired by your attitude during this time – it is a continual inspiration to me and so many others I am sure. I was recently talking to my dad about his battle with cancer 9 years ago, which still haunts him in so many ways. He is cancer free now, and I wish I could infuse him with the power to ‘Chose Joy’. I feel like he does not know it is a choice. THANK YOU for showing that choice so clearly to your readers though your courage and just by being you.
Meredith M. says
Ashley for all you are going through you are beautiful and inspiring. I am still praying for you and glad to hear those levels keep going down. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not being able to do so much. I can’t believe you are still blogging and smiling. You are a true inspiration to so many.
You are amazing and such an inspiration. I love your blog.
laura~eye candy event details says
God is so good & glad to see Him taking all of this away for you! I read every update & am so thankful everything is better for you. Just wanted to say that all your updates make me laugh from the poo stories to using the word “va-jay-jay’ in this one – as I am sure THAT was another word you never thought you’d see on your blog – but who cares – we love it! You have sooo sooo much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving . . .hopefully you will find something to eat that you can enjoy that day! =) laura
Terry Carter says
I’m so happy your numbers continue to come down! You’re taking the same medicine they gave me when I had Chorio Carcinoma. Today is 48 years since I left Tucson for Chicago. It was the day after President Kennedy was assasinated. For a couple of hours before we left, the airports were shut down and we didn’t know if we would be going that day or not. I am so blest and you are too. I keep you in my prayers every night. God bless you, Ashley!
Dara Lynn says
God bless you and keep you girlie!
Thank you for the update. The numbers are looking good, so I’d have to say l650.
Oh goodness. I’ve never been here before – just came by from pinterest for some tutorial for something and instead found a woman going through a difficult time with amazing grace. I’m just recovering from surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer so have some notion of the issues you face. Hope you continue to do well with the chemo and wish you all the very best. Bx
Still praying……! Hope your Lil Boo gets to feeling better too! Glad to hear someone else thinks FABRIC = HAPPINESS!
I remember those big vinyl chairs! So ugly — yet pretty comfortable… Glad your numbers are going down. I love your attitude. And I remember having to sit down in the shower and rest. EVERYTHING is so much more work. It gets better though — eventually it gets better! I hit a point where I couldn’t say or even hear the word “chemo” anymore — so my friends renamed it “the candy store”. 🙂 You do what you need to do to make it work! Thank you for sharing your journey.
Cuppy Walker says
Dear Ashley and Family, Certainly a day to be Thankful. Thankful for your numbers going down, Thankful for such a special little girl who loves her Mommy, Thankful that Mr LBB is such a wonderful support, Thankful that Lisa is such a good friend, Thankful for you ,Ashley, for sharing your journey and for teaching us such inspiration and thoughtfulness. Cuppy
Ashley- you truly are inspiring and give all your readers something to be thankful for. I have been self-injecting methotrexate for a few years now (at much smaller doses than you take) for arthritis and I know about the exhaustion after a dose! I had my baby girls close together and an ectopic in the middle of them ( and they were both prem) and following that Dr’s found a meningioma – which is a type of brain tumour- they said probably from too much estrogen in just a few years… That was a couple of years ago ..recently it has been getting bigger. Dr’s assume it is benign and just want to watch it, so it is a waiting game. I don’t have anything near as big going on as you do, and I found your blog the other day and read all your illness posts. Your attitude to choose joy was so inspiring- I have kind of shut down for the last few weeks between specialist appointments and have struggled to pick myself up- but here you are, posting, getting surgery and getting on with life. I will get off my butt ( which sadly is much bigger than yours:)! ) and choose joy too. Thanks for being so inspiring – it was what I needed.
Best wishes for your continued speedy recovery.
Claire from HandmadebyClaireBear.com says
Yeah, you really don’t want to push much, ever. Even after you’ve healed, because too much pushing can make your vee-jay-jay pop itself inside out (and be hanging outside of your body!) Fruit and vegetables are wonderful, not having too much bread every day, works for me.
Oh, and you’re probably healing slower, not just because of the chemo, but because you’re older, and the incision was larger and you’re body was drained by the tumour to start with. And because pregnant bodies are primed for recovery.
Keep looking after yourself, if you can craft for 2 hours straight, it’s got to be doing your sanity good!