Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To Fear or not to Fear?

Cancer scares the hell out of me. Everyday I wake up I face cancer. I have to drag this 108 pound body out of bed, into the bathroom, and in front of the mirror and say "You are beautiful, you can do this, F.U Cancer". Then I start my day. Some days are easier than others and some days just flat out stink, where it takes every ounce of energy to pull my self together and not be a mess! Fortunately I have my two little nephews (Matteo and Nikos) who make me smile and bring so much happiness to me :)

I have always had a fear of getting sick. Mainly because my mom has been sick a big part of my life. So one of my biggest fears was to get sick. Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit! My fear came reality and I am looking fear in the eyes! As of late, I have been forgetting the emotions around the fear of getting sick. My fear of being sick has become more of an empowerment. I am trying to not over analyze all the things that come along with cancer and this scary time but rather just take it in one step at a time and just breathe. Whatever challenges your facing I would suggest doing the same because it really feels as if your grabbing your fear by the balls and giving yourself power! I am sorry for the crude language :)

I was given the opportunity to speak with Panama City's Holly O'Connor from Island 106 Radio Station about my situation with Breast Cancer. Thank you so much Holly and Island 106 for the opportunity to spread awareness!! For those of you who were not able to hear the interview this is the link: http://island106.com/article.asp?id=1965776

Also I wanted to say thank you to everyone who was been donating to Susan. G. Komen for the Cure for me :) It really means a lot to me for the donations and for the support.

Since I am fighting chemo at this moment... I am going to lay back down and try to feel better. :) Till next time my friends... fight like a girl!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Attitude is Everything

I wanted to update my blog today not exactly on my health but how I am facing this tough situation.
I have always thought our thoughts have a huge impact on how we live our lives. If you are a negative person and always complaining how are you going to be happy and make the ones around you happy? You are not. I believe you will have lack of courage, lack of spiritualism, and be fearful if you are living a
negative lifestyle. Perfect example of someone who needs a attitude adjustment-
Amber from Teen Mom.
On the other hand, if you have a positive tude then you will enjoy life. It is that simple.

I have been asked by tons of people how in the world am I handling this crazy situation. I am not so good at speaking sometimes. I stumble over my words a lot and get side tracked. It is easier for me to write it down.
So here it is:
Don't get me wrong, there are days when I do break down. Crying, screaming
in the pillow, and just letting my pain all out. I am only human and this is all part of the healing process in my opinion. If I am having a hard time (feeling sick), I normally will let everyone know. There is no hiding that! I have wanted to give up and lock myself in my room but that is simply just the
cancer talking. I have always tried to be a positive person and looked at bad situations as blessings in disguise.

Growing up I experienced a lot of hard times with my family. Our little family of four has been through things a lot of people will never face in a lifetime. Through these hard situations my mom always stayed strong and taught my brother, sister, and I to stay strong as well. We leaned on our Heavenly Father and each other, praying a lot during good and hard times. Our family through crazy times have never once been torn apart but have grown closer and stronger.
It is hard on my whole family and others right now that I am going through this. Thankfully, I am not going through this alone but in a way I am... I know this is affecting others but the actual chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiation all that jazz is affecting physically me alone. I know my brother is going to be pissed I am writing this but I know me having to battle this is hard on him. He has always had my back. If a boy in school said something mean to me the next day that boy would have 2 black eyes. And I am not kidding. Zach did not play around if someone was messing with me. If I fell off my skim board he was there to laugh at me and then help me up. If a spring breaker yelled "HEY GIRL" out their car window he was the dude chasing the car down the road yelling at the top of his lungs.
Now, I have cancer and there is nothing he can do. He can't take the pain from me or he can't punch the cancer in the face. But he is there for me and every word that comes out of his mouth it is like a wizard speaking. He is so smart- I mean HELLO he takes apart bombs for a living- He lets me know this is just something else we have to fight all together and I am never alone.
This is what makes me strong. My faith, My family, and The life experiences I have been through with my family.
So when I found out I had cancer, I mean yeah it scared me to death to hear the news, but this is part of God's plan for me. He knows me, he knows my heart, and he knows what I can handle and what I can not handle along with what is in store for me on this earth. This is also not in my hands and I know I can not control a big part of this. With the good lord above and my doctors... I am in good hands. Plus, it could be a lot worse. I could be suffering from a rare disease with no cure. So, I try to look at the bright side of things.
If I can't handle what is thrown at me, then ... I don't know. I have never thought about that. I am thinking if I can not handle it physically then my time is up.

I wanted to share a quote with everyone that I live by from a person I do not know but who I think is amazing.

Everything comes down to attitude. You determine what yours is and the external world will reflect it back.
Whether it's good news or bad news depends on you- on you're outlook. If you think you're not able to do things, guess what? You're right. What if you believe that every thing's for the best and see all the beauty around you, and you have faith
that things will be good? You're right, too. If you cultivate something in your mind, you give it a life. It is really that simple. - Laird Hamilton, genius.

Next Chemo appointment- Monday! Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like

It is official. I am ugly. Well, my outer self is ugly. I would like to think I am still pretty on the inside. I think some people are just born beautiful and remain beautiful their whole lives. Kind of like Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, and the lady that works at Starbucks by my house. They all are smokin’ and no matter what hits them in life they are stunning! But me on the other hand I go through these crazy phases. I was born an ugly baby with tons of crazy hair. I have had rat tails, bad skin, mullets, and permmed mullets. Now, I am bald with patches of hair in random places on my head along with dried out skin from chemotherapy. I am definitely no Jennifer Aniston. I currently resemble Smeagol from Lord of the Rings. But ya know, I am okay with resembling an alien creature at the moment. Because I can look in the mirror and laugh rather than cry. I can take stupid pictures of myself and crack myself up rather than cry and pity myself for being bald and having bad skin. I also have the best boyfriend in the world that if I do cry because I look like Smeagol, he seriously makes me feel like I am the most beautiful women in the world. It is like he looks at me and sees me before I had Cancer. Ryan I love you! Here is a comparisson of Smeagol and I :)

I went to my favorite doctor today, Dr. Canavan for a check up! I received some wonderful information that I would like to share with the world! My tumor is shrinking!! It has already shrunk half its size!! It is now 2.2 cm!! Thank you Jesus!!! Also, some of my blood counts are good so I can continue to eat what I want and go in public! Heck yeah!! Sushi!! My red blood cell count is down so I get really tired easy. I mean, I can walk from my bedroom to the kitchen and feel as if I just ran 5 miles. It is pretty lame. I was expected by the doc to be sick and not able to go in public as of now but I am rockin’ and rollin’ through this chemotherapy! Of course, I am not taking this for granted because next week I could be really bad off. So, I am saying thank you to the good lord for my wonderful health. Also, you have to hit rock bottom before you get better and last week after my 2nd treatment I was down and out. It was again a horrible beginning of the week after chemo but by Saturday I was gaining my strength back.

I absolutely love my job and all the people I work with. For everyone who does not know, I am the Customer Relations Manager at Rene Isip Toyota of Lewisville. I handle all the customers who are happy, belligerent, irate, you name the mood a person is in; I see it everyday and handle them with a positive happy attitude! Of course we have tons of happy customers over mad customers. And not to be vain but yes, I am good at it! For some reason God gave me the ability to be patient with people who cuss and scream at me. Also the ability to work with men. And ladies, we all know that men can be hard to work with at times but I have some pretty thick skin so I do not mind putting these dudes in their places. Anyway… one of my favorite people, Rene’s assistant and Ryan’s Cousin Courtney has helped me a lot through the past weeks with my entire work load. Courtney has set up a Team for the Susan G. Kolman Race for the Cure that is taking place in Dallas TX on Oct 16, 2010 at North Park Center. A lot of friends from work, family members of employees I work with, Ryan’s family members, and friends of mine are walking the race in my honor and for other women who are battling/ surviving Breast Cancer. If you would like to walk the race or donate please let me know and I will register you. One of our friends and our co-workers Chris George’s cousin is making some pretty cool shirts for the race too! So if you are interested please email me and I will register you and get you a cool T shirt! Mmurr23@yahoo.com.
Now, I am not sure if I will be able to walk because if my blood counts are low then
I can not but if they are up I may. The walk is on the week of chemo so I am probably not going to be feeling like a champion that week.

I also would like to say Thank you to the wonderful people over at Honda Cars of Katy. Some employees and family members from the dealership in Houston are coming in town for the race and are walking in my honor as well. I have felt so much love from so many people and thank everyone for all of their support. This is such a tough battle and sometimes it is extremely hard to get up out of bed in the morning. I lay in bed and want to give up. But when I feel everyone’s love and support it truly keeps me going. I have one of the best support systems in the whole dang world. Between all my friends (From my younger years through all my school years, college,friends all over)my whole family in FLA (all over FLA), Ryans family, co-workers, just random people I have never met,and everyone...I am so blessed to have the best people in my life.
Especially to Ryan’s mom Deb, who has been to every doctor appt with me, taking me days after chemo to the doc for dehydration, keeping my feet cute with Tory Burch flats, making me pot roast, listening to me complain, and just being there for me through everything. My mom is not able to be here with me at this time and Deb has always been and is like a second mom to me. Deb, I love you so much and thank you for everything you do for me. I may not say it enough but I really appreciate and am thankful for you and everything you do for me.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Too Shall Pass

Ladies and Gentleman it is official. I am bald! Katy shaved my head. Since I just got my hair cut super short last Saturday I was going to wait about a week or 2 to actually shave it. Well, the day after I got it cut short, Katy and I were in Starbucks and I ran my hand through my peter pan hair and a chunk came out! I made a tiny "ahh" and then it was like a roller coaster affect. Katy screamed once she saw the chunk of hair in my hand and then the lady behind the counter screamed "WWHHAATT" because she had no clue what was going on. We freaked her out. At this moment, I knew in my heart I needed to get it over with and shave my head. I stood my ground in Starbucks and decided I needed to get to shavin! Sunday night we had a cookout at the house and after watching the Cowboys loose a few of Ryan's best friends were over and we all decided to shave our heads. Well, Ryan and I were going to for sure but the boys surprised me and shaved theirs too!! Ryan, Austin, Myles, Caleb, and Jon all shaved their heads with us!! One of our other friends Ben that was not able to make it to the house to shave his head with us shaved his at his house in Houston. Thank you guys so much for your support. This has been a hard time in both Ryan and my life and Ryan and I are truly blessed to have such good friends standing behind us. We love you guys :)

I of course went in the bathroom with my girl friends to shave my head because I knew I would get upset. So Katy shaved my head and Mandy and Taylor took pictures and cracked jokes to make it easier. For some reason I am not able to post the video but I will try soon. I really do not feel like a guy. I just feel like me with a new doo. It is actually quite nice because it takes me 5 min to take a shower. :) I have to wear a hoodie to bed because my little head gets so cold at night! I also have been walking around my yard bald and really do not care if the neighbors see. I mean, this is natural and it is all part of the process. My second Chemo treatment was Monday. I would have to say Monday night was one of the worst nights I have had. I am thinking this round of chemo is harder on me because I am not as healthy as I was the first treatment. I also have had this moto that since I have this horrible disease I am going to eat whatever and whenever and frankly my dear, I do not give a damn. Well, that moto is over because my eating habits have made me sicker as well. So I am now back to my normal healthy diet. I have always been well aware of what goes in my mouth. I have always been somewhat of a health nut but when I found out I had cancer I kind of took on this attitude of I do not care about stupid stuff like granola and I am going to eat french fries! Boy, I was wrong because eating a burger and fries after chemo was a wake up call of GET YOUR HEALTH BACK WOMAN!! I feel way different than I did the first treatment. This time I am weaker and way more sick as in throwing up and staying nauseous. The regimen I am on is called the "Red Devil" and holy cow the red devil is kicking my butt. I wish it was named something different because I do not like thinking I have the red devil in me. But, it seriously feels like something evil is in me when I am throwing up non stop for 5 hours and non stop nauseous. I can handle not being able to see from the steroids, my body in pain, mouth sores, and fatigue. But I can not handle throwing up for a long period of time. I laid on the cold bathroom floor just saying to myself "This too Shall Pass" and kept asking Jesus to keep me stay strong and help me through this for what felt like forever before calling the doctor to ask for help. Next time, I am calling him ASAP!! Ew, I can not even talk or think about it or even look at the pictures of Katy and I in the infusion room with us playing around having fun during chemo because it reminds me of getting sick that night. On Tuesday (yesterday) I had to go back to get my bone marrow shot and I also had to get a drip in my port for nausea and for dehydration. As of now, I am feeling better. I still feel the nausea but not as bad as I was Monday. I have 2 more treatments on the Red Devil then I have 4 treatments on Taxol. Taxol is supposed to be way better than the red devil. So I am excited for Taxol!!! Also, my tumor has shrank since my 2 chemo treatments!!! Okay I am off for now because looking at the computer makes me nauseous so till next time .. fight like a girl and thanks for reading :)

Here is the video of my head shaving. I really wanted to record this on video because I want other women out there that are going through the same thing as me to stay strong and stay positive. Of course it is hard but in the end when we all have our health back it is worth every single day of being sick. It is kinda lengthy so feel free to just fast forward.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chemo Cocktail Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is my second Chemo treatment. 2 down 6 to go!
I was supposed to shave my head this weekend but decided since it is not falling out yet I would just cut it super short! Heather cut it all off for me once again (Thanks Heather!) and now I am enjoying the many styles of Short hair (Mohawks, Mullets, and Fro's)! Although, anytime I run my fingers through my hair it falls out. So I know within the next few days I am going to be loosing my hair. I also picked up my wigs and have 3 wigs (brown, blonde, and red) that I will be sportin!

Since Katy has been here we have taken a lot of pictures of our time together. She is going with me to Chemo tomorrow morning and then flying out tomorrow night. So she is going to see what it is like to be around sick me! I have felt amazing for the past week and am blessed to be able to spend my good week with her. I am posting a link to a bunch of pictures of my first month of cancer. Feel free to check them out! I will update my blog later on in the week. Thanks for reading and... fight like a girl :)

Link to Pictures (Copy and Paste in your browser) http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=523293&id=669565576&l=8d60454d81

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Future Belongs to Those Who Survive Their Past

There is so much fear involved in Cancer. You have a choice to either fear Cancer or just love it. I choose to love this darkness in my body. After all, it is kind of part of me now. It is just one of my flaws I have to live with at the moment. If you fear Cancer then you will be mentally unstable along with getting even more physically sick. Have I confused you yet? Moral of the story- I am not by any means living with cancer. Cancer is living with me. And since it has decided to over due it’s welcome for a good 4-6 months it better be prepared to deal with my life and the way I live. So if I want to go shopping and then eat ice cream it has to deal with it. Even if it does make me fatigued to walk around the mall or give me horrible acid reflux, I am not turning down ice cream! This Cancer is not stopping me from having a life. Just putting that out there.

Last week was extremely hard on me. The night of chemo and the following 5 days were literally hell. I pretty much was living in a nightmare. Unfortunately, this is part of the joy ride I am on. Luckily, I am a fighter and give mega props to my body because it kicked some butt and I feel awesome as of yesterday!! (Knock on wood) I only have 5 days of crazy then I am me again! My treatments are every other week so I am happy to know that I will have one bad week and one good week. At least, this is what I am praying.

I went in for my blood work today and was told that my white blood cells, red blood cells, and something else important is low. Not too low- but low. Which is normal because that means the chemo is working! Starting next week I have to begin a new diet because I am on the verge of becoming Neutopenia. Which means the chemo destroyed my white blood cell count. There is nothing to do to prevent this from happening. I just can’t go in crowds and if I do I get to wear a sassy face mask! Exciting! I also can not eat certain foods like uncooked veggies and no fruit. No sushi! So it’s going to be a boring diet but I do not care as long as I am getting better!

This week my best friend from PCB is coming to TX to stay with me!! Katy will be here! We are having my Goodbye Hair Party Saturday and I will be shaving my head. In a way I am excited to see my hair gone because it is one step closer to me being healed. AND it is my way of saying “FU Cancer”. You can take my hair but ya can’t take my soul. Last night I was looking at myself in the mirror imaging me being bald. What I will look like. I have always had different hair styles. Never bald but I guess there is time for everything. And now is my time to shine with a bald head.

I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers sent up to heaven for me. Heavenly father has blessed me with feeling better this week and given me the strength to get through some of the hardest days I have ever had in my life. God is great! Until next time… Fight like a girl ;)

Friday, September 3, 2010

This Is All Make Believe…Isn’t It?

This Freakin' Sucks.

I heard a quote today that I would like to share: Cancer is a gift.

Okay one, hell no. Hell no is cancer a gift. It is more like a freakin’ curse. Whoever is the originator behind this awful quote needs to be punched in the face. Because it is a horrible quote. Cancer is a gift my as$. Enough potty mouth. Sorry.
This is going to be a heartbreaking blog entry. Well, for me at least. Kind of on the lines of hatred and pure meanness. I am mad and frustrated with feeling like pure shat.

I have held my spirits pretty high and have had a good outlook so far on my cancer. Yeah well, not lately. I have been in extreme sadness over here on Snowshill Trail. The one thing my Guru doctor told me was to “Maintain a normal life with cancer” Okay dude, let me see you try to maintain a normal life. Taking lord knows how many medications with tons of side effects and trying to have a normal life. “Maegan, you need to go to work everyday and try to exercise daily”. WHAT are you joking me, you try going to work sick as hell and then going to the gym. Yeah, not happening! I have been cooped up in my house for approximately one week and it has completely ruined my outlook on cancer so far. If I sit here and stare at the TV any more I am going to go nuts. Can you tell?? If this is what it is going to be like for the next 4 months, please spare me and just go ahead and take my life. I have never been a lazy person and I feel like all I do is sleep and cry. Because I have been so utterly sick I cannot do much of anything. I guess it is all a part of figuring this whole cancer thing out. Figuring out how my body is on chemo and how my body is on all these gross drugs they are putting me on. I have tried to go to work but have left early because I cannot see anything. I go to work, sit, do a few things, get pissed at myself because the steroids I am taking make me unable to see, and I go home and cry. Then I want to barf because the nausea makes me miserable. I literally have cried about 50 times in 3 days. And that is a lot for someone who does not cry often. It is not “Why me, why me, poor pitiful me” tears either. It is “Why the hell cant I see and why am I so damn week”!!! I have called my best friend Katy crying hysterically for help. Help, like she can help me see and not be nauseas anymore. Although, she is a champ and talks me through my sadness, so kudos Katy for making my spirits a tad bit brighter. And to mom I love you so much for deciphering what I am crying over the phone through my crazy tears. Sorry, I know I am freaking you out :)

Today I had the opportunity to get out of this house and go sit on the lake with my amazing boyfriend, Nurse Ryan, and our good buddy Austin. I sat in the shade on the boat and just soaked up the fresh air. I let the air flow through my nose and out through my mouth. It was so peaceful and so calming I started crying. I am a dang emotional wreck! I just thought for 5 seconds what it would be like to be normal. To feel good from my head to my toes. What it is like to have a peaceful feeling and not have to worry about being sick. Ugh and the tears came a flowin’. Then as we were leaving the lake there were two little kids swimming beside our boat slip. It reminded me of myself, my brother, and little sister swimming on our Grandpa Jacks boat when we were little. I just watched these little kids swim and play and have so much fun, I wished I was little again and could have no worries like them. I wish that I could go back and time and do whatever possible to change the path of this cancer. Was it too much Teflon I ate? Ya know from the pans.. or was it the dirty Mississippi water I drank? Or was it that I was such a butt hole to people in High School? Whatever it is I am sorry for doing it. Just make it go away. I know there is no good in saying I wish, I wish ,I wish, but I really do wish right now that I was out with my friends hanging out dancing, not sitting at home feeling miserable. I guess I need to look at the bright side. I have gotten several awesome books (Thanks Taylor and Amanda) and have gotten an awesome Burberry Turban along with other cute turbans from good friends. I have gotten a ton of cookies although I am not able to eat them because I am easily acceptable to cavities (Enjoy the cookies Caleb!). I have felt the warmth and love from so may people from all around. With all of this madness being said, I hope this week brings a positive light and I am able to go on and enjoy my life. I hope I am able to hold my head high and get through these hard days of figuring out “me” on chemo. I just want to say, as you go through your daily lives, be happy you are healthy. Be happy you have only a back ache and not cancer. Be thankful to the good lord that you are able to wake up and face the day in good health. Pray often it is good for the soul.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27