Saturday, February 26, 2011

If you love the life you live, you will live a life of love.

Just a few pictures... I would put pictures of everyone but I am on my iPad and I have limited pics :)

(My girlfriends minus a few- here in TX who have always taken time to cheer me up and help me out with anything I needed)

(MY best friend and my Maid of Honor who has called me everyday to check on me and came to TX to take care of me. Love you)

(My wonderful in-laws who have taken me in and treated me as their own daughter. Deb, who has been my go to women when I freak myself out and my ears to everthing cancer. I love you. Thanks for listening to my cry and helping me get through the hard times.)

(MOM!!! I love you MOM! The best mom in the world. Waking up everyday for a month straight after surgery with breakfast, lunch, dinner, a clean house, a clean dog, she did it all. I miss you everyday. Thank you for being... you)

(The day I found out I had Breast Cancer...riding the elevator about to hear the words "You have Breast Cancer. But who was right there beside me.. My wonderful fiancee. I love you forever)

(My hair is growing back... fast!!)

"Sometimes the cards we are dealt are not always fair. However you must keep smiling & moving on."

Ladies and Gentleman… here it is.. my final blog post! I have been sitting back for the past few weeks thinking if I wanted to keep my blog open and updated while going through radiation. But I have come to the conclusion… Onward and Upward! I am a CANCER SURVIVOR (a 1 month survivor, ha-ha) !! I have always been in love with life and through this whole journey have become even more in love with life and the future God has planned for me. I mean, HELLO, look at the perfect man he has blessed me with! Who wouldn’t be happy! I am so excited and blessed to be able to spend my life with an amazing, passionate, HUGE hearted man. I will say no more because I do not want to embarrass Ryan. But for real ya’ll, he is the best thing in this WORLD that has ever happened to me. Mushy Mushy blah blah I know! But I am madly in love. HAVE been madly in love for the past 5 years. You know you are with the right man when he didnt miss one chemo treatment, one doctor appointment, saw me with no breasts, and picked all the pieces of me off the ground when I was deathly sick and crying. He must love me if he has seen me at 90 pounds, bald, no eyebrows, and looking like a freak show. I love you babe :) Looks like I need to get him a thank you gift... Ferrari?? ... ya never know!!!

My journey/process through cancer is not coming to an end but my blog is ☺ I think it is about time to shut this bad boy down. –Well it will still be on the Internet but I will not be posting anymore.
I want to start off by saying THANK YOU to EVERYONE for all the prayers sent up to the good lord above, words of encouragement to keep me going and staying positive through this whole mess, and for everyone’s support. The countless gifts I have received over the past 7 months, the Breast Cancer Walks my family, loved ones, friends, strangers, have walked in my honor… THANKYOU!!! And me just being able to help other women who have stumbled across my blog. It has meant the world to me to know I have so many people who care and love me deeply. And for me to be able to help other women is such an amazing feeling!!
From all my family, to all my friends, and to people in the world that have reached out to me that I have never met, THANKYOU! This by no means has been easy but having such an awesome support system helped me kick this cancer to the curve!
I have 6 weeks of radiation starting March 1st. It is everyday Monday – Friday, about 10 min a day, of lazar beams hitting my right breast. The side effects are ONLY fatigue and burns! Nothing bad and crazy like chemotherapy. Just fatigue and a sunburn on the spot the radiation hits. And heck yes I will be able to have a healthy full head of hair! No hair loss comes with breast radiation!

I have already got my spacers filled to a good (BIG) size. After radiation I will get my spacers filled up one more time and then… New Boobs/Implants! Yay! Here comes too much information…. But the spacers are like big rocks on my chest. It is weird and not normal and NOT fun. But hey, I am happy because I had/ have the two best doctors- Dr. Lynn Canavan and Dr. Joshua Lemmon (who both happen to be in D magazine for best breast surgeon and plastic surgeon in Dallas) work on my chest! My boulders on my chest may feel like rocks but my docs saved my skin and have made them look beautiful!
My next stop is in March to the nutritionist. She is going to set up a good low-saturated fat diet I will have to follow…forever. I have always been a healthy eater- but now I am going to be taking supplements, eating organically only, and lean meats. Goodbye to sugars, bread, MASHED POTATOES, Diet Sodas, and some Dairy products. Hello Juices made by Maegan and Ryan! Since we do not know what caused this cancer and I have a chance of it coming back in the next 3 years… we are going to set me up with a VERY healthy lifestyle. I just hope Ryan is pre-pared to be eating as healthy as me ☺ I have already started working back out. Let me tell you, loosing my eyebrows and not being able to go to the gym has been the hardest part for me. I absolutely LOVE the feeling working out gives me. I love it when my body feels healthy and when I am physically fit. Not only does being physically fit help with making your body tone, but it gives you (at least me) a healthy mental attitude too. I am happier and feel on top of the world when I am physically fit and mentally fit. I would recommend running and lifting lightweights to everyone!

This week was my first week back to work since my surgery, which was really hard. It kicked my butt. I am extremely thankful to be able to have such a wonderful boss who has let me take however much time off to get healthy and beat this cancer! Thanks boss ;) It was also my first week of actually wedding planning. Yay! So, now I will be planning our wedding, being healthy, and focusing on finishing my psychology degree. 6 more classes to go and I am graduated! Finally!

So, again my friends, Thank you so much for following my blog for the past 7 months and reading all of my stories. It has been a great way for me to vent- show my love for people who are always there for me- and this has been an outlet/therapy for me. Without all of your support and encouragement this crazy process would have been difficult. Through my experience, and anything you are going through, if you feel like you cannot take on another day… get on your knees and pray! Shoot, it does not matter if you are in the dressing room at Nordstrom’s. Just pray. The power of prayer is incredible and Heavenly Father has given me the strength to get up everyday with a smile on my face and say F*ck You cancer. He gave me the strength, and I came up with the wording. I am sure he was not happy with my potty mouth. BUT those days where I laid in bed and cried… I would reach over to my bible and read, read, read till I was like “Maegan! Get your butt up and give this cancer hell!” So- when you are facing a hard time in life… keep your chin up and don’t forget about the man upstairs because his love is powerful and will carry you in the hardest of times. ;) I will be turning my blog into a book. Just to keep around for when I have children they can see what Ryan and I went though. Not sure when it will be ready?

Love to everyone Always,
Maegan Murr
Oh and don’t forget… Fight Like A Girl! - Pictures as of late...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To radiate or to NOT to radiate?

I went to see my oncologist today and BOY oh BOY was it informing! Dr. K went over my pathology report from my double mastectomy. Here are the details:
My breast margins were cleared as negative. Meaning- no cancer cells were found in the surrounding tissue. So not only was my tiny little tumor that chemo shrank removed but all the breast tissue that held NO cancer cells were removed as well. My left breast contained NO cancer also! So chemo kicked some major cancer booty!

My Cancer Case was presented to a board with several doctors in the TX area to discuss radiation.
I have had 8 treatments (4 mo) of hard chemotherapy and a double mastectomy to get rid of this cancer, and they discussed whether or not I needed to have the whole sha-bang and get radiation. I am no radiation wiz at the moment and cannot recall half the reasoning’s behind why Dr. K said the pros and cons but It all boiled down to pretty much me deciding on whether or not I want radiation.

Since all the cancer is gone and the chemotherapy was extremely successful then the Docs think it is all in my hands. There are no cancer cells left at all in my breast. It is my decision. Dr. K said, the chemo pretty much killed the cancer and the surgery scooped it all out as well. So if it is reassurance of knowing I did all I could, then I should get radiation. The good thing about radiation is that it helps prevent reoccurrence.

So I decided on… HECK YES! Why? Because I do not ever want to hear the news “You have breast cancer, again” and think to myself “If I would have had radiation this would not have happened. Basically, I will have peace of mind and know that I did everything possible to be cancer free. The crazy thing is, is that I spent the past week praying to heavenly father to please do not let me have to get radiation. I told him I couldn’t do this anymore. I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff about to be pushed off if I heard anymore bad news. For, it will take me longer to heal, I would have to wait even longer to get my breast back, loose my hair again, and I just did not want to go through all the side effects.
But today, when Dr.K said it is up to me- I shouted YES. It was like I was hit with some sort of confidence beam. I was happy to say yes. I felt like a smarty-pants and that nothing could stop me! I did not even think twice about it. I think it is a great decision and think that I am smart for wanting to go through the whole entire process. It is like going to Disney World. You don’t just ride 4 rides. You ride them all!

So that whole week of me praying and asking for help with not having to hear bad news- I made my own mind up and heavenly father knew that. He knew that I would be brave enough to say heck yea give me some radiation!
So what are the side effects? Here we go…
A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs.
Some common side effects are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores, and extreme burns on my chest. Booo! BUT it’s okay. If I am going to be happy at the end of the day knowing that reoccurrence is less likely and knowing I did everything possible to get rid of cancer then I am happy ☺
I got this in the bag and if I am going to have cancer, well had cancer… I minus well do the whole shabam! So radiation it is! Dr K told me that he asked each doctor reviewing my case …. (It reminds me of 10 doctors sitting at a round table with a picture of my sweet face up on a screen, me bald, and them talking about me. I know its Vain, but that is how I think of these doctors talking about my case!) Anyway, Dr. K asked each doctor to think of me as his or her daughter. What would they say to their daughter about getting radiation? Would they want her to go through radiation? And they all said YES they would tell their daughter to do radiation.

(Our new sassy beanies)

(Mom and her "Kick a bear"- not happy with the bear and radiation)

(Hug a Bear and my fancy new beanie)

My mom and I also went to a program today that went over the pre and post information on mastectomies. It was myself, my mom, and two other ladies. It was the most informative class and I wish that they would have offered it to me at the beginning of my cancer treatment plan. I was rushed so fast into chemo because my tumor was trying to kill me and growing by the second, I had no time for class. BUT, today they gave me a sweet little “Hug me Doll” which mom refers to as a “Kick me Doll” because she hates anything cancer and radiation was not good news to her. I also received some awesome head beanies made by women who donate them to cancer patients. So, as of this moment, I have my kick me doll chillin’ beside me and beanie on my tiny head and waiting until tomorrow to go back to my plastic surgeon to get my spacers filled to a B cup! Then I go to my radiation doctor on Thursday to discuss how much radiation I need and how long it will take. My guess is everyday for 4 -6 weeks. So... that’s that and my battle with cancer has been won but is now much more longer than I planned it to be! But that is perfectly fine with me. Sooo it looks like my blog shall be a book! Thanks for reading, please keep reading and… Fight Like a Girl!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow...

(Wedding planning at the hospital!)

(My favorite nurse Rene. She is in love with Twilight and made my stay at Baylor wonderful)

(Mom excited to walk me around the 7th floor of the hospital to stretch my legs)

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

My intentions were to stop bloging before my mastectomy. But, Ryan encouraged me to continue writing because someone out there in the world may need a little inspiration, help, and encouragement during their battle with breast cancer. So, I am still here… blogging away slowly.

My surgery was nearly two weeks ago and Holy Cow. The first week home I was in wonderful spirits and just enjoying life day by day with Ryan, Mom, and Katy taking care of me every second of the day. I had my beautiful flowers smelling up my bed room from loved ones and wedding mags spread out all over the bed and I was just having a blast wedding planning! I had the pain meds and the muscle relaxers to help ease everything. I was feeling fantastic!

(Me wedding planning away last week. Enjoying life)

NOW week 2, I am on ibuprofen and FYI it is NOTHING compared to the good pain meds. I find myself yelling at myself and crying when I cant brush my own teeth, can not get out of bed with out help, and screaming when I lift my arms up on accident. I think I have thrown my toothbrush across the bathroom 5 times because it makes me so upset I cannot brush my teeth by myself. Since my arms suck right now my toothbrush does not go far. It goes about 2 cm in front of me. Ryan helps me put on my pj’s (which I live in right now) and I say “No, Ryan I can put them on by myself” and then I take 5 minutes to TRY to pull my pj bottoms up and start crying “I can not do it please help me”. Luckily, Ryan is patient and lets me try but then is there to rescue me when I figure out I am not able to dress myself. My favorite part about not being able to move is if I fall over on the couch I can not get up. So, today, my mom was sitting beside me on the couch and I fell over, face into my dog Aston’s butt, me screaming help, which the scream triggered my left breast to go into extreme pain (where the stitches are hit nerves and feels like I am being stabbed), and my mom just sitting there laughing because it was kind of funny, and then helping me up.
On my left side I have stitches that are hitting nerves so I literally cannot move my arm away from my side. So when I totally forget if I move my arm in any way, and go to grab something or lift my arm away from my side I scream and cry. The pain drops me to my knees and I just sit on the ground screaming OOOUUUCCCHHH. It is seriously that much pain. But, the doc said that the stitch should dissolve and soon I will have full range of movement in my arm. All I can say is this is freaking stupid and can’t wait till this stitch dissolves. As for my right side, I am doing awesome. Which, to me is nuts because my right side is where my tumor was and where the cancer was living. And I have full range of movement in this arm. I still am unable to move my arm in certain ways but it does not hurt like my left side.

I am such a go, go, go person and having to sit on the couch asking my mom to help me up, to please make me coffee, or to help pull up my own damn pants makes me so mad! Since I had pain meds during week 1, I just did not care and was happy. But now I am just sitting here watching the days go by waiting till I can go back to work, go back to the gym, and just be me again. The one thing I always try to remember through this whole mess is, this is my life now, and I have to work with it. It may not be the life I want at the moment, but fortunately, I am blessed to have people who love me, a great support system to help me have the best life as possible during this time. So I say to myself “Maegan, stop waiting for your old life to come back and MAKE your life the best life possible right now”. So, that’s my theory on this mess. I have gotten out of the house to go walk around the mall (yesterday) to get some exercise and now today- I feel like I was hit by a truck and my rib cage and chest hurt badly. Ryan and Mom both told me it was a bad idea but I wanted to be super woman and now regret it. :(

I have been to the plastic surgeon once to get my spacers filled up.I also got my tubes taken out of my sides so now I have holes in my sides that wont stop bleeding. Ouch. The holes look like I was poked with a pen. It is a pretty big hole.
I go once a week for a month to get to my desired size (C cup) and then I have to wait 1-2 months to get the real implants in. On my last spacer filler upper- it felt like I could not breathe. The plastic surgeon and nurse both at the same time filled up my breasts at the same time. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest and I could not breathe. My heart was pounding so hard and I just sucked up the pain because I wanted boobs back so badly. In the room while filling up the spacers with Ryan, the nurse and the surgeon I smiled and said “Yeah I am good I can handle this”. As soon as I got in the car with Ryan, I said “Holy shi*t Ryan that was insane and I cant freaking breathe”. So Ryan walked me through a breathing process and over the next 2 days it felt normal again.
I am not sure if I have to get radiation yet. I was supposed to go speak to my oncologist about radiation at the beginning of the week but since the weather was so bad here in TX I had to cancel my appt. (The roads have been iced over and it is freezing!!) Now, my appt is on the 8th and hopefully no radiation is needed!

I am cancer free! Cancer free! I still have so much ahead of me to complete to get back to normal. Every time I look down I see the scars and the damage that cancer has to done to me. It makes me upset and makes me cry that my chest is all torn up. But, life is not easy and I have a story to tell. I was diagnosed with cancer at 24 and kicked it's ass at 25! It has not been easy in any way and sometimes feels like it is getting harder... but the good lord has been blessing me along this hard journey and has held me back in times where I wanted to jump off an over pass. He has given me the strength to get out of bed and fight the day with happiness. He has put people in my life that I would have never met if it were not for cancer. Everyone keeps saying "God is going to bless you when all this is over" But honestly, he has blessed me all along the way and before I was diagnosed. I have one of the biggest blessings of all times and that is being able to be cancer free. I am going to be able to have my life back. And that is the biggest blessing of all. :)

Well, thanks for reading and…fight like a girl