Saturday, March 27, 2010

I really must go...

I realize now after the death of a friend (due to cancer) that I need to stop this bullshit. The vicious circle that is my life. happy, sad, happy, mad, happy, depressed. Happy needs to be my norm. While blogging about this has been extrememly cathartic for me, it took a bit of a change a while ago. It all the sudden became what was pulling me down. So now that I know that I need to take a break. Maybe a month, maybe a few, but all I can guarantee is that I will come back with an update.

Thank you all for reading, for finding something here that you needed, or for just helping me to hang on.

I will forever be greatful.

Good bye (for now)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So sorry..

Appologies for not blogging lately, I've been too busy living..... Trust me that's a good thing! I will return soon!

In the mean time if you wanna know what's kept me busy, check out my other blog:

Here's a hint:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Power of positivity

I have been inspired by so many people around me. The cheerleaders in my real life who remind me to keep going because no matter what they will always be here for me (one of my besties-Laura, who's let me be me in my entirety and been unwavering in her support), the connections I've made in the blogging world (like this amazing woman who emits positivity and humour), a few very important members of my online forum, Thyr'vors, and a woman named Maryanne, who I have never met though I feel as if we are old dear friends.

Sometimes people have no idea how deeply they can affect a person just with their words and simple actions. You have all made a huge difference in my life, and I want to thank you for reminding me who I am and why I fight. Because of the positive attitudes you continue to infect me with I wanted to start doing something positive, occasional messages of affirmation. Whether they be for myself or for others.

I'll kick it off with a message for myself.... (though I suspect many others will benefit from these words too.)



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to live in the moment?

So if you hadn't noticed, I had a run of bad weeks. I felt like giving up, like nothing I could do was going to make me any better. A thyca survivor, sent me a message with a bit of her story and she has been dealing with thyroid cancer for a very long time n ow. 7 years in total. In fact she said there are lots of people out there like us, who are outside the "norm" in terms of this type of cancer and how long it takes to "deal with". She said her Dr (like mine) also asked her to think of it as a chrinic illness.

When my Dr. told me that we might need to start thinking in terms of my cancer being a chronic illness, I was full of despair, thinking that I might wait a long time to hear the words "cancer-free", was unbareable to me.

Though she explained to me that while she was always in active treatment she had very long gaps of time in between treamtnents. During those times she taught herself to LIVE! That while she did have cancer, and she wouldn't feel 100%, there were many days she did feel pretty good. She learned to be spontaneous and live in the moment. So if she had a good day she would pack a picnic and pick up the kids from school for an impromptu lunch in the park, or call up a girlfriend and grab a coffee and enjoy a good chat over a stroll in the park, among many other things. She tells m that these moments reminded her that life can go one, and it doesn't have to be cancer on the brain all the time. I am not there yet, for me it still consumes my thoughts.

I have decided this is what I want for myself. I want to be able to be ok with not planning waaaaay in advance. I want to be able to be spontaneous. I want to be able to LIVE IN THE MOMENT!!!!

I have no clue how to achieve these things yet. I just know I NEED TO. Now if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to help me out with this goal...

I need to LIVE, but more importantly I WANT TO LIVE!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday spotlight

Every Friday I spotlight a blog with something that touches me or inspires me.

Today I am putting the spotlight on "Robs" over at Death By Lettuce

She battled thyroid cancer for almost 5 years, begining when she was young. At just 21 she was diagnosed. Over the course of her 5 year fight she had many side effect related surgeries like one for a collapsed/dry tear duct, and one to repair a damaged vocal chord (seems odd to some but for some thyca's they are hard side effects of treatment)

She just couldn't catch a break and had to accept the fact that for her this disease is chronic and not a just a cancer with a quick fix.

I hit her blog today and read the news. Just 5 days shy of what she, (and many others) refer to as, her 5th cancerversary...

SHE'S A SURVIVOR!!!!!! Congratulations girl! You did it! Read her words as she announces it on her blog.

Go share the love and congratulate her on her life changing news!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

cancer and depression.... errr.... depression and cancer.

On the eve of a special day I share this post.

I have never talked about this issue here before, mostly because the illness I had been dealing with prior to my thyca diagnosis, somehow became less important.

5 months after the birth of Roo ( my darling little girl), I had been diagnosed by my doctor with a pretty severe case of Post Partum Depression (PPD) and Post Partum Anxiety (PPA). Finally I knew what was wrong with me and I got help through my Dr., a support group and medications for depression and anxiety. It was a constant struggle but it got easier once I came out and told my family and close friends.

In the support group they talked about how important it was to get your thyroid checked becasue there are a great number of women who deal with post partum thyroid issues causing mood changes. I went to my Dr and he said this wasn't likely the case with me and left my treatment the way it was. Now, don't misunderstand, my Dr is great, but I can't help but wonder if my thyroid had already been under attack by this awful disease.

My question is this Which came first the chicken or the egg the depression or the cancer? I will likely never know but it will always be in the back of my mind.

I can't seem to find any kind of studies on thyca patients with a recent history of new depression. Though I do see that lots of us wind up dealing with depression after having cancer and the treatments that go along with it.

Sidenote: Tomorrow is Roo's 2nd birthday and I have granted myself a day pass. It will be a cancer free day. Nothing but hugs and cuddles and playing, with a side of birthday cake and ice cream. Did I mention hugs, and cuddles??? We all need a break and this is the perfect reason to take one.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How about a little fun...

I am an avid watcher of The Big Bang Theory, with my favorite character being the quirky, offbeat scientist Sheldon Cooper (portrayed by Jim Parsons). I always knew he rocked but this just made him so much cooler in my eyes. He's obviously willing to do what he can to Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C)

First scroll to the bottom to shut off my playlist then, turn up your speakers (if they are't already up)

Then, check it out:


Monday, February 8, 2010

Sleep... Why do you elude me?

I have blogged before in the middle of the night explaining that I can't sleep but it's goes so much deeper than that. Sure I have valid readons more often than not. Like; Hubby snoring, Aussie coughing, Roo waking through the night, myself being over tired or unable to stop the thoughts from coming.

But now I know those things are only part of it. I think I am broken... and I don't know how to fix myself. After receiving an email from a concerned friend about my (too frequent) middle of the night posts both here and on facebook she has concluded that I am now officially entering the sadness portion of the "emotional stages". I laugh at the emotional stages because I don't feel like I fit into that cookie cutter list of stages. I bounce up and down those steps feeling like I'll never reach the one I want, the one where I am better and this nightmare is over and I can move on, collecting all the broken pieces of my life as I go. Can I order crazy glue in bulk? Perhaps I should hit up Costco in preperation for that step.

I'll leave you with the lyrics to the 1st track in my playlist (didn't know I had one here, turn up your speakers.)

I need some sleep

It can't go on like this
I tried counting sheep
But there's one I always miss

Everyone says I'm getting down too low
Everyone says you just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go

I need some sleep
Time to put the old horse down
I'm in too deep
And the wheels keep spinning 'round

Everyone says I'm getting' down too low
Everyone says you just gotta let it go
You just gotta let it go

For the record, I know what I am feeling is a phase, the Coleen formerly known as the class clown will return so please bear with me while she`s on hiatus. In the mean time I check my smile in the mirror, yup, still looks convincing... Time to start my day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Side Effects and other issues...

Someone commented recently that they were shocked just how many "things" come up  after treatment. So it got me to thinking about all the things I've had to deal with becaue of cancer. Just wanted to share the list with you all. These are only the physical issues though there are many other things damaged by this disease. When I am ready I may post about them. But for now I prefer to leave my head firmly planted in my ass... err... the sand.

Exhaustion AND Inability to sleep- Shouldn't I sleep if I am tired? Nope...apparently for me it doesn't work that way any more. The proof is in the pudding time stamp of this post, go look!

Exacerbated depression- I had PPD and PPA before having my thyroid out. Since your thyroid directly effects your mood, this has been a muc worse problem for me.

Inability to maintain core body temp- Cold ALL the time. My constant complaints have resulted in gifts! A Snuggie form my sis Shannon, a heating blaket from my husband Chris, and chenille socks from Jen!

Syncope- I faint at random with a sudden increase in stress levels. See this post for the full experience.

Vocal Chord shock- Happened after my Total Thyroidectomy and caused a limited and very harsh raspy voice for a couple of months. I used to have the voice of an angel prior to this.... ok that might be a lie, but it was much better before the surgery and I still have trouble whispering/yelling/singing.

Loss of 3 out of 4 parathyroids.- These bad boys are what makes me take 10 horse calcium pills each day

Neuropathy at the incision site- This causes me to have random electrical/shock like pains in all the areas where I have no feeling (the entire right side of my head and upper chest back)

Radiation induced Pleuricy- water AROUND my lungs caused me to have severe discomfort in my chest when breathing deeply.

Confusion- I don't understand... literally.

Lack of concentration- hmmm.... what was I saying? Where was I?

Altered taste- Though the fashion police have accused me of this before, this meant that my tastebuds didn't pick up much. I had very little ability to taste for over a month. I could mostly tasted a sour metalic taste but not much else. Food sucked!

So if you are a cancer patient, what were your side effects?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog Spotlight - The Adventures of Baldylocks

Today my Spotlight is on Baldylocks

For those who many not know who she is (I didn't until a few weeks ago-she inspired me to make my blog public), BaldyLocks is a cancer survivor, and a fellow Canadian at that! No, her battle was not with Thyroid Cancer. Her battle is with AML- a form of leukemia, (but we won't hold that against her!). While our types of cancers are different many of us feel the same fears, and have the same struggles and stresses in our lives. I saw her on "The Stupid Cancer Show" and much of what she says echos how I feel, proving that all cancer patients have comonalities regardless of the diagnosis. Like her I now feel I have the right to say F*ck when it suits me. I have read many of her posts and she is very "real" and very open with her feelings about her life, career, and parenting and the impact cancer has had on all three. Simply put this chick rocks.

When you are done checking out her video, you should give her some bloggy lovin' over at : The Adventures of Baldylocks

Baldylocks is now added to my Blog Roll

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Since I have made the blog public I decided to pretty it up a bit. Gone is the basic blog templace replaced with a simple one that is a bit more attractive. The look is not the main focus here but I did want to make it mine in a more visual way.

Hope you like it

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Going Public.

Feb 3rd 2010 I decided to go public with this blog. It took me a long time to be able to open it up, but there aren`t many blogs out there that details life with Thyroid Cancer so I figured I would just suck it up and put it out there. Not sure people will want to read it but my goal is mostly to help someone else who`s searching for other people like them.

When I was looking online for people who`ve been throug this I found a support group but it was confusing at first and I was looking for stories and not a forum. Though the forum has helped me greatly, I was hoping to find bloggers who lay it all on the line in terms of emotions and family stuff as well as the medical stuff.

Because I wrote this to myself and had not intened to make it open access, it may read funny (funny strange, not funny haha), so just keep that in mind if you happen  to find yourself here. It will also be a bit raw in places as I won`t go back and edit to pretty it up for readers.

Click here to start at the begining of my battle with cancer

Friday, January 29, 2010


I was diagnosed a while ago with stress induced syncope. Basically it means that when I experience a sudden onset of extra stress, my blood pressure drops extremely low causing me to blackout. It's happened a few times but never this bad. I was able to hide this from my extended family though Chris and a few people very close to me knew. I chose not to add this extra stress to the people I don't see daily. Why add more stress regarding my health. I was hoping I could get a handle on it but clearly I can't.

On Tuesday I had an accident. Chris's carpool ride didn't show up so he came back home needing a ride, but I had 20 minutes to get dress, dress the kids and drive him to work to be on time. I did feel really stressed by the rush and my anxiety kicked in. I went about my business getting everything done and Chris to go warm the car so it would run properly (it stalls out if you drive it cold- and it was COLD!) I headed for the kitchen to ensure Aussie had picked up his lunch, I felt "off" for a second and got tunnel vision then went down.

Aussie wittnessed it which I feel horrible about. I scared the life out of him. Since he knew nothing of my fainting he thought I died. That's what having a mom with cancer does. He ran down to get his dad and 911 was called. Aussie explained to them that I started talking funny and just fell. Smashing my head on the stove on the way down.

Once at the hospital we realized that I had went down to my knee first because it was ballooned up and intensely sore, as was my back.

Turns out I wound up with a mild concussion, I tore ligaments in my knee, and jarred my back a bit. They sent me home on crutches and with a few more prescriptions to add to the huge pile I already have.

Another side effect of this incedent is that my parents have been here "baby sitting" me for the past few days. I am hoping today is the last day of this. My parents are divorced and both have quirks that can be difficult, but the two of them don't particularly enjoy being in the same room together. They only do it on special occassions. holidays and such were normal in the past, but since I got sick we have added surgeries etc to the list. So being with them in the same room together for 9 hours a day this week has been.... ehem... interesting.

Dad has been doing all the chauferring that I normall do to get everyone to work/school, Mom has been keeping on top of my housework etc. And together they've run errands and groceries for me and acted as babysitters for me. It seems I am no longer trusted to be alone. I hope all this nonsense ends soon.

In order for them to hand my freedom back next week I have had to promise to keep a phone on me at all times, and to always answer it when someone calls. Right now my mom is starring at me in a way that says I am about to be told to take a nap.... I won't argue.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Enough already..

Fuck I hate cancer. Just needed to get that out. It's the middle of the damned night and I should be  sound alseep but no... not me, my brain is for some reason working a mile a minute. It just occurred to me that I really might die from this. Sure thyroid cancer is known to be higly treatable, but everyone I know who's had this had one little surgery and most didn't even have to do radiation. So if after 2 surgeries and radiation treatment why do I still have it.

Everyone tells me to be positive, yeah well try my life on for size then tell me how I stay positive day after day. Walking around with a big stupid fake smile on my face, making everyone else feel like everything's gonna be ok. Maybe it's not.

So my brain keeps going back to the fact that we have nothing in place in case I DO DIE. What then?

I need to plan.... but what do they all do if I die, what do I want them to know if I die.

I scarred shitless that this ugly, horrific illness will not just ruin my family (as it's doing already) but also rob my family of me. Not that I am great or anything but I am trying to do my best for everyone. My daughter needs me to continue helping her to grow into the beautiful soul I she she can be. I have had some hand in the amazing man Aussie is becoming, and I want that for Roo.

I want to be here to see, first loves, graduations, weddings, children, grandchildren. Hell, I just wanna be here to make them breakfast. BREAKFAST.... is that really too much to ask for? To be here for every tomorrow to make them breakfast? A task that I always hated doing, I HATED morning routine... WHY? It's beautiful, it's chaotic and perfect. But I didn't see it. I didn't appreciate it. Well GOD I see it now so fuck off and let me have my life back!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone is alseep so now I can safely cry without causing worry. Then I'll write my kids the letters I've been avoiding. The letters of the things I want them to know after I am gone, and begin putting a box together of things for when I am gone....

I have had enough.

Friday, January 22, 2010

BAD days..

I spent the better part of the last 2 days hiding from my family, friends anything social. So basically the world in general. I stayed in bed and it forced my hubby to have to jump in and take over everything that I normally do. I feel badly about that now, but I needed to allow myself a bit of time to let the news absorb. I am still not dealing well with it and I am now taking more ativan than I have ever needed in the past. I just feel my ability to be positive and cope well is slipping away. I know it will come back, I just don't know how to get it back...

Why Me? Why is my family having to deal with this, and why do I always get bad news. I don't feel I deserve this nor does my family. How did I get it and what did I do that could have been a cause/trigger? Why can't it just be over already one way or another. I am tired of the fight.

But at least I am out of bed now, I guess that's a good thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Prayers need to be specific

I got the results today... I did get good the news that I prayed for, but it was topped with bad news.

THE GOOD NEWS: The cancer has not spread to my bones or blood. Thank God. I am relieved about that. this is the best news in terms of progression of the disease.

THE BAD NEWS:  My thyroglobulin level was off the charts. This means I still have too much cancer in my neck and that the cancer is extremely aggressive and resistant to the radiation. Now I start prep'ing for radiation all over again... My schedule is now as follows:

Feb 21st start low iodine diet for 10 days,
March 1st and 2nd two more doses of Thyrogen
March 3rd  Arrive at the Hospital at noon for a small dose of radiation (like super small, just enough for an uptake to help the body scan to be read) 4mci is the dose for this appt (when I was in for radiation it was 200mci) Then I have limited contact with the kids for 2-3 days only.
March 5th Whole body scan to determine how much cancer has been killed since the last scan.

Then I get a small break until:
March 28th start low iodine diet again for 10 days.
April 7th and 8th Thyrogen shots AGAIN (as long as our benefits will cover it it twice in a calendar year) The alternative is I stop taking my meds for 4 weeks to force my body to go hypo. Not nice.
April 9th back into the hospital for 3-4 days for 2nd treatment of radiation.

I just don't know how to react. I am devastated. I was so sure I was going to get a clean scan and be able to start getting back to our old lives. I am going to going lay down, My head is splitting and the computer has made it worse.

D-Day is tomorrow

Tomorrow I get the results of the whole body scan. I can't help but feel really good about it. I am, after all, feeling relatively good recently. I feel really good actually, better than I have felt in a while. My friends and family are all cheering me on and they also feel like it HAS to be good news!

So I will go to sleep tonight and say yet another prayer for some good news.

Night night world.... Here's to hoping that tomorrow is the begining of the end of this nightmare.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sick & waiting...

I feel like a bus hit me, I am more exhausted than I was before and I hate the change in my taste buds. One of the possible side effects from radiation is altered taste. I taste a kind of bitter, chemical taste. There is next to no flavor being picked up, so eatting is a lousy. That might be a good thing...? At least I didn't suffer with the dreaded dry mouth they warn of. Many people wind up with damaged saliva ducts as result of this radiation. It's why they tell us to constantly eat sour candies while we are radioactive. It forcesthe ducts to keep working. My mouth now gets dry, but mostly I notice it when I wake in the morning, but the daytime is fine.

Now I am just hoping my taste buds resume there original duties soon. I wanna be able to taste properly again!!!

I am also still waiting on news of my scan results.
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