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One last happy hurrah before another chemo session

1:44am. June 7th 2014. 

How I’m feeling: I’m SO happy right now. I just had a day that started off not so great but ended off amazing!

This morning (technically yesterday, June 6th) I was in the most terrible mood. I woke up a few times in middle of the night to a sweat soaked pillow and bedsheets, the pain was so bad from my mouth cankers that it woke me up many times throughout the night, and I’ve had one too many encounters of people (Non-healthcare professionals might I add) whom are all of the sudden experts at what causes cancer and feel like they can reputably (and welcomely) dissect what I’m eating and doing wrong and right. On top of that, it was that time again – I had to go to PMH for blood work and to meet with my oncologist to prep for my next chemotherapy session. I definitely had my day start on the wrong side of the bed. But that all ended quickly once I arrived at PMH.

As I was waiting for my number to be called to get my blood work done, I text messaged Kyla (the young girl whom had reached out to me also battling Lymphoma): “At the blood lab. Thinking of you!” She quickly replied and told me that she had just missed me and was now upstairs waiting for her oncologist. I still had a while before my number would be called, and so I decided to go on up to the 2nd floor to surprise her.

Remember, at this point we had not yet met in person – but when I poked my head in to the waiting room, I recognized her right away. She looked up and spotted me. Her eyes lit up and she stood up. I ran to her and gave her a big hug. She was with her mom and I also gave her a big hug! We chit chatted for a bit and then she was called in to see her oncologist and I went back downstairs to wait for my blood work number.

My blood work was – well, blood work. It took the nurse 3 tries to find a vein. I started off with small veins but chemotherapy makes your veins even smaller. So, while it was no fun – I’m not completely surprised that it took a few tries.

After blood work, I went back upstairs to the hematology waiting room – and as I was heading up, I was hoping Kyla hadn’t left yet so that we could chat more. Low and behold, as soon as I sat down to wait for my name to be called to see my oncologist, I saw Kyla and her mother walk out. I ran to them and asked them how her appointment went. We chit chatted for a bit before we said our good byes. Seeing Kyla completely made my day! I was so happy to have been able to somewhat prepare and support her through her fight.

Shortly after Kyla and her mom had left, I looked at my phone and saw that Kyla had sent me this message a few minutes before she walked out of her oncologist’s appointment – and before we saw one another for the second time:

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I was gleaming with a whole lot of happy.

My appointment with my oncologist was the usual. I explained to the nurse the slew of what I learned were more side effects I had been feeling this time around. My oncologist informed me that keeping active may help me feel less weak from the accumulation of side effects – and so I’ll be doing more of that this time around. Also, good news! My CT scans showed good improvement. No word yet on if chemotherapy will be extended to 8 cycles or not. Apparently, it’s too early to tell and I won’t know until a few more weeks when I get another set of scans done.

Later, to my surprise – I had the energy to head out to two parties (after a nap to re-fuel). In all honesty, I think the happiness from seeing Kyla gave me some extra energy. Tonight I made some new friends, met some folks for the first time whom I had previously just known of via the interwebs, caught up with some great friends of mine – and reunited with some very special people.

Tonight, I will be going to bed with a warm, happy heart. My weekend has been made. I think I’ve just forgotten how sad I am for Monday’s chemo session!


11:45pm. June 8th 2014.

How I’m feeling: Incredible. I had the BEST weekend (Well, weekend and a bit. I’ve been smiling ever since Thursday, minus Friday morning) 

Yesterday and today, I spent my days at Field Trip music festival. It was AMAZING – and I ran in to so many friends while I was there! It was well organized, the sponsors and vendors were awesome, the event volunteers and staff were so friendly and there were some seriously great performances. I will 100% back!

While I did have to sit a couple of times on day #2 and could not delay eating or drinking water the moment I felt weak – I’m so impressed at the fact that I lasted as long as I did throughout the festival! I’m giggly happy right now – and blasting Broken Social Scene tracks way too loud.

P.S. The awesome folks behind Field Trip are the Arts & Crafts Group – and there just may be some Arts & Craft-ness at my July 30th fundraiser. Thanks so much to the folks at Arts & Crafts for the amazing Friends & Family VIP Field Trip experience. I really needed this before heading in to this next chemo session. I appreciate you so much.

This past recovery period (after chemotherapy session #4), I’ve had some rough emotional and mental moments. Admittedly, there have been a few instances where I found myself completely distracted from what I was doing with thoughts about my next chemo session, anxiety about my CT scan, being worried about my next recovery period, being unsure if I could take any more of this annoying chemo-brain, being concerned with how long it will take for me to be as mentally sharp as I was, worried about how long it will take for me to get back in to physical shape, etc. etc.

As things have been – things are really up in the air. At this point, I don’t know when I will be done treatment. What I do know is that whether or not I will have to have a total of 8 chemotherapy sessions or not, I’m more than halfway done. And then I have 6 weeks break to recover – and then a month of radiation. But evidently, even those plans can change. I can’t give anyone including myself a straight answer.

I have so many photos from the past few days that I plan on looking through to keep me distracted and happy during chemotherapy session tomorrow. I plan on reminding myself that even throughout this really unpredictable, “out of my hands” and chaotic time of mine – there are indeed ways I can claim some control. I do have a say. I plan on reading this post as a small reminder to myself of how grateful I am for all of the goodness I am surrounded with. Also, I have no idea why and how I was blessed with (relatively, of course) SO MUCH energy over the past few days – but I’m hoping for more of it up ahead. It felt so great. I’ve really missed it.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the past few days (other than some of the ones I uploaded on my Instagram) – what I would consider one last happy hurrah before I head in to chemotherapy session #5.

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Some good lovin’ between Mark Reale and I.

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Quite the gentlemanly horse.

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Field Trip Day 1. Striking a pose for the camera.

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With my friend Rosa. Field Trip Day 1.

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Some cool live art at Field Trip.

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With my friend, Rosa. Field Trip Day 2. Check out these hippie flower crowns I made!

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Long walks with Leia. Her being a goof.

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Field Trip eats. Paella and Pizza.

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Field Trip eats. Vegan coconut gelato.

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A love note that was left for me from a stranger at Field Trip.

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Field Trip eats. Bacon!

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Field Trip’s closing act: Broken Social Scene!

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