Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Luck O' The Irish!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Houston! I felt like it was a pretty good sign that my treatments started on St. Paddy's day! I marched in that hospital proudly wearing my green gear! I wasn't about to get pinched today! I was going to be poked enough as it was! Although nerves were high, everything went smoothly! My chemo was scheduled for 8:00 but started a little later. I was hooked up and ready to go but they had to pump me full of the protection before the show got on the road. Benedryl, a steroid, and anti nausea meds. Finally after about an hour I was primed and ready! I got a combo of two chemo meds and all in all it took about another hour and a half to complete. Luckily it went off without a hitch. I never felt sick or anything. I got pretty tired but had plenty of time laying in a hospital bed to remedy that! The next day or so will include anti nausea meds around the clock to try to prevent it from creeping up on me. I've been great so far, let's keep it going! By Wednesday I should be able to go without the meds, until next Monday when we start again! If every treatment goes like today then......I got this!
After a lunch break with the fam (so excited to see Uncle Jamie and Sam!) and a Target stop (oh come on, you know Mary Hawes would find a way to fit that in, even on Chemo days!) we headed to my first radiation treatment. This one wasn't as smooth as the chemo. You wouldn't expect that, huh? It was all about my positioning on the table. The part of the mold that held my head was all screwed up and bumpy but I didn't realize until treatment was under way. By halfway through my neck was strained so much and it felt like my head was on a bag of rocks! The worst part was that I couldn't move an inch! I had to stay perfectly still in that horrible position, grit my teeth and bear it. Unfortunately, today's treatment ran longer because they had to make sure everything was lined up and take some measurements. They also had to trace the radiation field onto my chest with permanent marker It will need to stay there for the next 7 weeks, ahhhhhh! Wait till you see this massive thing! The whole process ended up being about 40 minutes and a pain in my neck, literally! I couldn't jump off that table fast enough! Tomorrow's will be better though, the ladies assured me that we could put some towels or something in the head piece to make it more comfortable. Plus it will only be about 15- 20 minutes long! It will be fine! On the plus side, there is no pain involved in the radiation process itself. You don't even realize anything is being done! As time goes on there will be side effects because it is cumulative, but I plan to control those as perfectly as the chemo side effects! All in all today still falls far onto the success side! Now that I have the first day under my belt I'm ready to rock and roll!
In other news, we are settled into the apartment nicely! The kids are here with me and loving Texas. Brandt will be here next week and my picture will be complete! I'm so excited that not only will I have them here with me, but there will also be another family member or friend here at all times! It's so exciting to fill in the names of my family-friend nurses on the calendar! It will help make this not so normal situation feel a little more normal! I look forward to making each of them fetch something unnecessary for me on my command! Just kidding guys :)
I can't complete this post without rewinding to the week I spent at home and doing some shout outs for my family and friends that went over and beyond to help prepare me for my journey!
1.Mom and Joe- That Pandora"Jewels" bracelet was a phenomenal idea!! Their amazingly thoughtful plan: as I move through this process, I will receive another jewel for my bracelet that signifies a trait I already possess. My bracelet began with a purple one for faith. I love it and the sentiment behind it!
2. Aunt Kathy- Wheatgrass shots all around! I was brought to tears when you pulled out wheatgrass shots for everyone at Riley's party as a way to show you guys are all on this journey with me. I never doubted it for a minute, but as I looked around at everyone's pained faces as they took it down, I was doubly assured!!! I have the best family and friends around!
3.Julia and Jose: Those sunglasses are perfect! Thanks for sending me to Texas being able to see through clear, non scratched lenses! Every time I wear them I think of you guys...which is a lot because......I wear my sunglasses at night (you have to sing that last line!) :)
4. Aunt Mary and Janet: My Coach "treatment" bag is amazing! I am the most stylish girl in that hospital! Anyone can rock chemo when they're carrying such a puuuuuurdy bag! Love it! (dis you hear that Texas coming out when I said puuuuuuuurdy?!) :)
5. My COT family- I said it before, and I'll say it again, I am truly blessed to work with the most amazing bunch of people! I have been floored by the support that has surrounded me from the halls of COT. From your donations, to your prayers, cards and messages to the jeans & coffee fundraisers. I have no words to show the gratitude I feel in my heart. I love you all and look forward to seeing you guys in May! You are the best!

To Celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I'll leave you with an Irish Blessing I found:
May God give you,
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing for each trial,
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

-the pain in my neck from laying in that stupid position for 40 minutes!!!
-missing Brandt again

-having the kiddos here with me!
-a great 1st day of treatment with 0 side effects!
-being settled in my "Houston" home
-having my mom, joe, aunt deb, uncle jamie and sam here with me for the week!

Gettin' the juice!
My jewels bracelet!

Wheatgrass for EVERYONE!
All marked up for radiation! What the crap! This thing is huge!


  1. Dear Mary- I am just now finding out about your journey. I grew up with your Mom and your Aunt Deb and I were in the same class. You have the BEST cheerleaders (I woudl be afraid of Aunt Deb when she gets into the "mamma bear" mode!) and are at the BEST place in the world right now. You, your family and the doctors are in my praryes every day. Hang in there! Jean Michalski Uhlenkamp

  2. Christa Garcia-HollandMarch 18, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Mary- You are an amazing person for sharing this speed bump in your life with us. Not a day goes by that I am not thinking you. Many prayers and well wishes ;)

  3. Mary, any friend of Christa is a friend of mine. Hang in there and we'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Mary, you are an inspiration, your attitude and faith are amazing! You will beat this b/c I know you won't accept any other option. You are such a sweet person and a wonderful mother. You are in my prayers each night, you got this! Kick butt! ♥ lycrecia

  5. I agree with Lycrecia. you are inspiration, Amazing is not the word, I dont think they have a word.... I would say you are a Super Wonder Woman and many many more. I love reading your post.... I am so so happy that the children are with you.. Stay strong.