It's Friggin' Hot

I'm having some wicked hot flashes. Usually they come about when I'm tired or sleeping but still in this Houston Heat and Humidity......ohhh just throw some ice on me now! God better pless me when I'm going through menopause and not give me these nasty hot flashes again!

Chemo round 4 is going....i almost forgot what being on chemo was like after my little chemo vacation. UGGG it's a nasty feeling. 1 more day this week....1 more day this week......

Doing the Happy Dance!

Sooooooooooo.......Oh yea! Do the happy dance with me guys. Uh huh! Uh huh! Break it on down. U! h! huh! U! h! huh! woo woo! woo woo!

Tuesday I had an appointment to go over my PET scan results. My Parents and Lionel went with me, we sat in the small exam room and waited for a while. Again like the first appointment with Dr. A as we waited we joked around and again my dad, Lionel and I managed of offend my mom. She must think we joke to much.

What wasn't a joke, was Dr. A walking into the room giving me a high five. This is a good sign! This is a very good sign!! We then go over my PET scans, and they look sooo cool! In March Dr.A didn't show me my PET Scan, and to be fair I didn't ask to see. I'm glad now I didn't see the images in March cause HOLY COW there was bright cancerus areas that seemed to be huge and all over the place. I think seeing those images first going into chemo and being newly diagnosed would have scared the crap out of me.

Their was such a difference in the cancerus areas between the old PET scan and the one from a few Fridays ago. The cancerus areas are gone...yep that's right I said it.... The cancer is gone!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm only halfway through treatment and we have already succeeded in killing the cancer!

I am so happy and estatic and just full of joy and glee. It's taken me a few days to post about this cause it's taken me a few days to stop crying about it. haha..happy tears of course.

Thank you everyone for all your support and prayers. I know that Gods hands are weaving my cancer story. As he answers prayers the blanket weaves tighter and stronger. Praise God in all of this, and may be bless all of you.

So where do we go from i mentioned above I'm only at the halfway point of treatment and already the cancer is yep....more treatment. I have 4 more rounds to go. The good news is that Dr. A is giving me a break between each round. WOOHOO!! I will have about a week and half off between will look a little something like this.

6/8- no chemo
6/9- still no chemo
6/10- Chemo round 5 Day 1 about 3hours in THE CHAIR and I come home with Flo (Lionel and I now refer to her as Flo the Bitch) and a handful of chemo pills
6/11- Chemo Round 5 Day 2 about 90mins in the chair and Flo goes back to her locker and a handful of chemo pills
6/12- Chemo Round 5 day 3 about 90mins in the chair and a handful of chemo pills and a handful of chemo pills
6/13- Chemo Round 5 day 4 handfull of chemo pills
6/14- Chemo Round 5 day 5 handfull of chemo pills

6/15- Chemo Round 5 day 6 handfull of chemo pills
6/16-Chemo Round 5 day 7 handfull of chemo pills
6/17- Chemo Round 5 day 8 Flo comes home with me, and about 30mins in the chair
6/18- DONE with this round of chemo Flo goes back to her locker
6/19- rest
6/20- rest
6/21- rest


7/1 the process starts all over again........ But I'm almost done! The end is near!

Hello from the chemo chair....

Hello from the chemo chair....
I brought my laptop into chemo today, so I thought I would post a little blog.

As I type this Nurse G is taking blood through my worries it doesn't hurt. I hope my blood count levels are good. Aside from checking blood levels today I'm also taking an IV bag of anti nausea, a shot for my red blood cells and for my white as good ol' Flo the pump comes home with me today.

Friday the 30th I have a PET scan schedule to see how well we have kicking Hodgkin's ass! I am excited I can't wait for the results from Dr. A on June 3rd. Althought I know the PET scan is going to show amazing things I still hold reservations. Why? because I know no matter how good things look I still have more chemo to go through. This PET scan is only the 1/2 mark.

I'm also worried because over the past 2 weeks my night sweets have come back. I have been getting so hot everynight that I undress and reposition directly under the fat while I sleep. I don't think this is a very good sign, especially since this was one of my sypmtoms when I was first diagnosed. AW Crap.....

I totally don't mind being bald, and 8 times out of 10 I'd rather be out and about with out a hat or scarf....and I DO NOT want to have anything to do with a wig!

Bald Diary Entry 052709: Is it odd that I wash my bare scalp with volumizing shampoo and conditioner that containers hemp seed extracts? Perhaps it will cause new hair to grow out full and beautiful and help kick the nausea from chemo this morning. Only time will tell.

The Purple Club

The Purple Club

Having cancer is like being part of a [not so] exclusive club. I have been amazed at the number of people who have shared their cancer stories with me. These stories of survivorship, weakness, hard truths, and grace keep my hope and fight tank full.

I see cancer everywhere now. It’s like when you buy a new car; you don’t notice how many other people also drive your same car model and color. When I was walking through an open house several weekends ago, I noticed the family living there had lost a little girl to cancer. At the grocery store last week my eyes connected with a mid aged woman wearing a scarf covering her bald beautiful head.

Typically I’m the youngest patient in the Chemo lounge at Dr. A’s office; and I’m talking about being the youngest by a good 35 years. But, yesterday in the lounge there was a guy who must have been in his late 20’s early 30’s receiving chemo. He wore a purple bracelet. Cancer comes in many colors, pink for breast cancer, teal for ovarian cancer, and purple for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So this guy’s purple bracelet must have meant he was in the purple club.

My club.

The Hodgkin’s lymphoma Club.

I slacked again....

I know I know, I slacked off again on updating my blog… I’m sorry! :(

I have been thinking about this blog and what I want to do with it…I tend to put too much self pressure to write something grand …so I end up putting it off… instead I’m going to make a commitment to blog regularly and to keep it simple. I’m aiming for 3 times a week. I think I can handle that. I have a list of quick blogs I could do when I’m stuck…like a dear cancer letter, ode cancer survey, or maybe share some more of my crazy chemo induced dreams ….so stay tuned…

Medically I have been doing very well. I am on Chemo treatment number 3 week B… got that? Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, and they give me a calendar! I’m looking forward to a PET scan in about 3 weeks to check on progress. I’m excited for the results I know they are going illuminate good news! What I’m not excited about is the appointment; waiting, getting pricked, having blood drawn, injecting radio active dye, more waiting, and then lying in the machine still as the cancer cells say “Cheese” ……Nope, not looking forward to the appointment at all.

I have had a really gunk like, nasty, heavy feeling sitting in my throat and tummy. Eth! Disgusting, I could easily toss my cookies, but I don’t go there. The last thing I want to do is hug the Porcelain Queen. I’m starting to notice patterns in my therapy too.

Day 3 and 4 of a treatment I’m really tired and wiped out. Days 1-3 am hooked on chemo for about 2 hours, and I have done a good job of sleeping through it. Day 4 I’m exhausted and in bed most of the day. The chemo drug I get on day 8 does a number on my mouth. It hasn’t been too bad, but I’ve come to expect it. By day 12-13 my bones hurt, but I have been able to keep the pain bearable. It’s hasn’t all be a cake walk, but who wants icing on one’s toes anyways? .........Wait maybe I don’t want to know the answer!

We have all heard really dumb blonde jokes. Well I have been experiencing “Chemo Brain” a type of dumbness, which makes blonde jokes weak in comparison. Some days I’m just in a complete fog. Lionel makes little jokes gets no reaction from me, he tries to explain something to me and I say BoldBabe, I’m not gonna get it right now, so you can stop.” I have left my car keys at cash registers, left the house with two different shoes on (twice!), strange items have ended up in the fridge, mailed a letter without an address, I have just lost my mind in general.

The other day I was working on a painting project. I was looking all around for my paint brush. I couldn’t find that darn thing anywhere and boy was I getting heated. I got up from where I was sitting, threw out a few curse words, ect…finally Lionel said “The one in your hand?” Can you believe the paint brush was in my hand the WHOLE time I was looking for it? Geesh!

Lionel and I have been saying that as the hair get's shorter and shorter more air gets into my brain which is another cause of the Chemo Brain. hahah!

As bald as think it's going to get.
I haven't minded losing my hair.
I've always told Lionel I wanted to shave it off.
Be careful what you wish for. Haha!!!
I have cried only twice so far over
the lack of hair, both times in the shower
"ohhh why was i washing so much
money(shampoo) down the drain before?
Bald is the only way to be"
In actuality, it was a little sad to go blad.
But I got over it, just like I will cancer!

This is my "Mad Mug" aginst the sun.
You can't tell but my head is slathered up with sunscreen
I enjoy eye make up!
I'm gald to still have my eyebrows and lashes!

Ready to go!

At the Zoo on Mother's Day!!
note: I weighed in at 115lbs today :) I'm so happy
to have put on some weight..10 pounds in total!!
A big hug and thanks to the WB Mom's club for
the great meals! You guys are all stars!
God Bless and KNG FUCANCER!

Happy Mothers Day To Me!

My Mothers Day!

I am a mom with cancer
constantly reminded to go slow.
To be a passionate mother
taking time to watch him grow.

As my angel boy drifts to sleep
I listen to his heart.
Sounds of love beat deep
a symphony, my little Mozart.

Happy Mothers day to me!
An unending give from above
A heart fulfilled with glee
By a boy who I so do love.

Tranquillity Tonight for Tomorrow

First off my apologies for not updating sooner, bad Diana. Here’s a bit of an update, I wish I had time to write more but Lionel’s begging me to turn out the lights. I have been reflecting and experiencing how Easter changes everything and hope to post more about that soon.

Chemo Cycle 1- My first go at it with each Cancer Fighting Drug (insert kung fu fighting song here). Things went better than I expected. I was a little nauseated and pretty dang tired. Those side effects were easily managed with pills and sleep-- lots of naps. However, the power of my nose has increased by 10fold. I can smell better than a blind and deaf bloodhound tracing a mustard seed. This also means that certain smells cause me to gag and react in a foul way. BLEH! When I was pregnant with Garrett I had a heightened sense of smell as well, so at least it’s not something new to me.

CDay 9 (4/14) my head was extremely tender. As discomforting as it was to massage it, it was also oddly comforting to touch it. This has faded over the past few days, but I am still getting a few itchy fits. I believe there is a link between this side effect and the Bleomycin. I receive this drug with the trusty ol’ pump, Flo.

Flo, has been good to me so far, I bring her home every Monday for a 24 hour dose of the bleomycin or Adriamycin, (depending on the week) By Tuesday afternoon I am ready to get rid of her. She’s nice and all but dang all she does is hang around…..okay sorry but, I’m still sour about the fanny pack.

The steroid Prednisone has come with some unpleasant guests that stay too long. PIMPLES….ahhhhh!! Now not only do I have the haircut of a 13 year old boy I have his skin to go with it. I have been eating like crazy, another side kick of the steroids. My eating has literally been extreme. Take for example the jar of pickles (including juice) that I consumed within 24hours. Can we say craving?

[D’s Note: We are blessed to live in such a caring community. Thank you to the moms of WBMC who have kept Lionel, Garrett and I well fed this past week. We are so grateful for your generosity.]

During my 4 day break from the chemo drugs I took Nupragen (growth factor). This drug works by squeezing the marrow, a spongy tissue in the central cavity of bones that forms blood cells, with full force and fury. Similar to how you ring out a dish sponge after washing dishes with caked on grease and grit. Days 1-3 of this shot were not bad at all, a little pinch and sting and that was that. But day 4 and OWWY my bones hurt. Not all of my bones but my lowerback+Pelvis+Hip bones hurt like @#(*)!@(#!!!!! The best way to describe it is growing pains so intense you cry. I’m going to need something more potent than 2 Tylenol and a heating pad, which made things only slightly comfortable.

Tomorrow I’ll start Chemo Cycle 2 and I’ll get the heavy handed neck crunch by Dr. A tomorrow. When I saw him last week he said the lumps in my neck appear to be slightly smaller. A small success, the sum of many successes big and small are going to amount to being cured!

So here’s how the next 2 weeks will lay out, medically of course….
Mon- 10 pills, 3hr drip, and 24hr pump of chemo drugs
Tue- 10 pills, 90min drip
Wed- 10 pills, 90min drip
Thur-Sunday- 10 pills
Next Mon- 24hr pump, 1 injection of chemo drugs
Next Tue-Fri- growth factor injection
I know the next 2 weeks will be full of life and laughter too. I look forward to the moments that make me smile J.

Tranquility tonight resting for tomorrow
a battle armed by your shield and sword.
Tranquility tonight declaring prayers for tomorrow
for strength, courage and resilience in every breath.
Tranquility tonight full of hope for tomorrow
for change only possible by your grace.

Cday1 DONE! Cday2 DONE!

C day 1 & 2 over with!!

My day started off yesterday very early, I arrived at the hospital at 7am for the placement of a port. The port is where I receive the IV chemo drugs. It’s a pretty nifty device….although the surgery to get it done was not so nifty!!

First the surgery tech had to scrub the whole right side of my neck and chest. This tickled so much I filled the room with uncontrollable laughter! This went on for about 5mins and I was sure I was going to pee my pants. The Tech has never had anyone react that way usually they complain. The laughter stopped there!

I got one dose of pain killers and nurse says to me “okay you’re going to get sleepy, just let yourself go.” I did not feel one bit sleepy, I was still wide awake. I felt them give me local numbing drugs where the port was going to be inserted. This local shot hurt and burned so bad. They did forewarn me. While they placed the port I could feel them poking away at me, slicing me open and putting things in. I kept saying OUCH!! And OHHHH!! And WOOOWWEEE! So they gave me more pain killer in the IV and still nothing, I was wide awake and could feel everything. The Surgeon and the tech were talking away and I put myself right into their conversation. Later I found out I’m the first patient they have ever worked on that was awake, talking and feeling during the whole procedure. The nurse told me they couldn’t give me any more pain meds because my blood pressure was too low….what a crock of shit! Next time I’m demanding more drugs!

What is a port? It’s a small device that connects to a catheter and placed under the skin. The cathader then runs into a blood vessel. When they took the bandages off you can’t even tell that I have anything there. I have 2 cuts where they inserted the thing and then a little hole that the IV needle goes into. When I’m not hooked up to the drugs I can shower and swim and do everything I don’t even have to keep it covered!

This is where my port is placed

This show how the port is used. A neddle is put directly into the port an injects the chemo drugs that then flow through the catheter into my blood stream.

I’m pretty sure my port is purple!! The hospital gave me all kinds of info on the port and all the pictures show a purple port…so I’m going to go on believing that my port is my favorite color purple! My friends helped me name the port Portia. LOL! I love it!

Chemo Day 1
So after that was all done, I went into the doctor’s office for my first chemo treatment. Dr. A sat with me for a bit first and we talked a little. He told me to stop taking my iron pills because I received an “elephant dose” of iron through IV on Friday. Lionel asked him to repeat himself cause he wasn’t sure at first what he said...”an elephant dose of iron”…LOL…we’re not used to Dr. A making jokes!!!

Then I started on the chemo drip….first I got an anti-nausea med, and then the 1st chemo drug for about an 90mins, then I got a 2nd chemo drug for another 90mins, followed by a 3rd chemo drug that was given to me in a pump to take home. I was on this 3rd drug for 24 hours. The pump is in a little fanny pack I wear around my waist and hooks right into the port in my chest. The nurses showed me how to work the machine and it seems pretty simple. Could this be payback for making fun of my mom for wearing fanny packs while we went on family vacations LOL!! My friends that helped me name Portia also helped me name the pump Flo. So I have 2 new cancer accomplices Portia and Flo! LOL

Chemo was pretty uneventful, I think poor Lionel was bored, but I’m glad he had his PSP to play video games on. I didn’t nap either, the bad programming on tv was way to interesting! LOL, I never get to watch the crap that’s on in the afternoon.

After chemo I went to my mom’s house and she made dinner for me. Then she took me to a Cancer Support group at the hospital. This was my 2nd time going, and it was really important to me to go. I know there are days when cancer is going to get me down and out and have power over me. But yesterday I had the power and I was going to use it to its full advantage!

The one really really really really really really crappy part about yesterday is that Garrett got sick and was throwing up flem at school and daycare. My mom picked him up early from daycare and took him home. I got to see him for a little bit, but then he went to my grandparent’s house so that my aunt could care for him. I wish he could be home with me. I want to care for my sick baby…..but I can’t run the risk of getting sick right now either. This part totally sucks! Gotta be the worst part so far; not being able to take care of my baby. I am tearing up just thinking about it.

Today (4/7) was chemo day 2
This morning I drove to the pharmacy to pick up some meds and then took some lunch home. After I ate lunch the pill taking started I took a total of 10 pills: 1 anti nausea, 6 steroids and 3 chemo pills. This pill count will last for another 6 days and then I get 6 days of a “pill vacation.” My chemo pills come with a laundry list of foods I can’t eat, including chocolate…how in the world am I supposed to stay away from chocolate? That’s crazyness!!!

My dad took me to my chemo treatment this afternoon, it took about another 90mins. Again it was pretty uneventful; I hope ALL treatments and everything else stay this uneventful! Tomorrow is Chemo day 3 and should take another 90mins.

As I walked to the restroom at the dr's office today I ran into Dr. A. I made a funny face at him and he laughed! I'm getting better at getting Dr. A to laugh. I think he could use some more laughter in his life and I'm here to provide it!

A little bit more about my treatments
I’m on BEACOPP and we are starting with 4 aggressive treatments, each treatment takes 2 weeks. I don’t get every drug everyday either. It’s all stretched out. So this week and next week will complete treatment 1, then the following week the cycle will start over starting treatment 2. I don’t get any time off between treatments unless I flunk my blood test and we really don’t want that to happen!

Garrett, Lionel and I had a great family day last Saturday at the Kemah board walk. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Garrett and I with Sharky

The Brown Family

I would like to knock Sponge Bob silly!

Yum Shrimp!

Making fishy faces at each other

Garrett's fishy face

Loving my mohawk!


Tonight I leave you with just a few ramblings that I have been thinking about this week. Peace and Love, D.

It’s All About The Hair
I was driving with the window down and it was nice not to have hair blowing in my face constantly stinging my skin and getting in my eyes. It was also nice not to have to worry about windblown frizzy hair. Hey!! I won't have to worry about frizzy hair from the Houston humidity either. WooHoo!

Earlier this week I was at the mall and for the first time ever the creepy guy, who sells the flat irons for your hair, didn’t ask me to try his not so special flat iron. When I walk through the mall next time will the shoe shine guy offer to shine my head for a quarter?

Mommy’s have a very special gift, we have eyes in the back of our heads. We have a way of watching our little bundles of joy/trouble without really having to see them. Once my head is bald will Garrett go looking for my eyes? Uh-Oh! I better come up with a quick response when he asks “Mami where are your eyes? The eyes in the back of your head? I don’t see them.”

Winds of Cancer
It was very windy today, the trees were swaying one way then the other, traffic lights were jiggling on the lines, and one particular street sign (@ Richmond & Briarpark) was taking a true beating. Now I sit here several hours later and the winds have eased up and then stopped.

Cancer is the wind of the life. It has a way of blowing you in one direction then in another and often in a whirlwind effect. It jiggles your emotions and stability. It can be a true beating. But like the wind the cancer will ease up and eventually stop.

Although my days ahead consist of battling cancer I hope they are not particularly windy.

It was a good Monday!

WoooHooo!! Oh yea! Oh yea! Do a little dance! Boogie down now! My bone marrow came back clean! This makes me so happy!!! I’m ecstatic to the millionth power! The only thing better would be waking up cancer free tomorrow……..ah that would be nice wouldn’t it.

Lionel and my parents went with me to my appointment with Dr. A yesterday. When they call us in I tell the nurse “Sorry I brought my entourage with me today.” But I was glad to have my entourage there :) so very glad. Nurse Dee then takes me to the scale. As we walk to the back Dee calls Nurse Erica over to check out my shoes. My shoes are H-O-T! Erica loves them so much she escorted me personally back to the exam room where my entourage sat tensely.

My HOT shoes!

While the waiting for Dr. A we made jokes…. I don’t think Mami was too keen on the jokes though. The Exam room is adequately equipped with an 8x10 laminated page of the human body. What to do??? What to do?? What else would I do? I defaced it. I took the marker and wrote “I’m Hungry” on the stomach and “I’m constipated” over the intestines. Then I put the diagram back on the little shelf behind the tissue box and a few hand outs. Oh to be a fly on the wall when someone finds it. HA HA! They’ll never know it was me.

So after 45 minutes with Dr. A we walk away knowing that I am a stage 3B and will undergo eight BEACOPP chemo treatments. 3B means that I have the classic Hodgkin’s symptoms and affected lymph nodes are both above and bellow my diaphragm. I was so glad to hear that my bone marrow was clean. It was such a relief.

“The best way to treat this is aggressively.” Dr. A says. Great! By nature I’m not exactly an aggressive person. I better buckle up for the ride! I’ll start off this ride by taking four chemo treatments at an aggressive pace. This means weekly treatments. Hang on tight we’re going full speed ahead!

After those four treatments I’ll have another PET scan done. This pit stop will determine how well we have kicked cancer’s ass! From here we’ll fuel up and we’ll continue the drive. Yep continue chemo! Four more rounds, not so aggressively paced…..I guess we’ll drive slow then.

So anyone up for a BEACOPP Cocktail?
1 part Bleomycin
1 part Etoposide
1 part Adriamycin
1 part Cyclophosphamide
1 part Vincristine
1 part Procarbazine

I looked into these drugs through the Leukemia Lymphoma Society website.
It’s amazing what exact jobs each of the drugs in the mix does. For example the Bleomycin and Adriamycin drugs interact directly with DNA in the nucleus of cells; they prevent the DNA from functioning normally and kill the cancer cells.

I think is the Etoposide has a very specific job to do. This is a DNA-repair enzyme inhibitor. This drug attacks the cancer cell proteins (enzymes) in the cell nucleus that normally repair any damage to the DNA. Repair of DNA damage is normal and vital process in the cell. Without this repair process, the cancer cell is much more susceptible to damage and is prevented from growing.

Some of these drugs I will take through an IV, others by mouth, and maybe by injection too. OYE! I’m gonna be on quite a regiment.

Along with chemo drugs come other meds too….party favors if you will. I’ll have medication for the nausea, which I’m hoping there is not a whole lot of. I will also be taking some growth factors to my keep my blood counts up.

One thing I have learned so far is that cancer throws you curve balls. I’m glad I learned this early! First I thought I was looking at taking ABVD chemo, so I familiarized myself with those drugs. Then a curve ball comes flying in my direction changing the chemo mix to BEACOPP. Okay more drugs to research. I also prepare myself of a PICC line…a line in my arm that will be used to administer the chemo drugs through infusion. So I read about that, check out pictures, educate myself and WOOOOSH here comes another curve ball. Forget the line in the arm; we’re going to do a port in my chest. More reading and educating! I’m going to grab my softball glove and get ready for the curve balls of cancer.

Monday April 6th I’ll start chemo. I shall mark this as C-Day on my calendar.

C to the R- AZY!

The past week was C to the R- AZY!!! By Friday I was exhausted. It was a crazy week but I enjoyed every minute of it!

As a reward/gift/prize for the bullshit of the bone marrow biopsy- I got my hair cut Tuesday afternoon. I have wanted to go short for a while now but, it’s like having Hodgkin’s gave me the courage to go super short. I am so glad I did! I LOVE my new hair cut and wish I had done it sooner!! Garrett took a few pictures at the salon. He said to me “You look beautiful Mami!” This makes me melt inside. I live for this feeling!

Saturday morning there was a rosary held at my parent’s house. Friends and family came over and we prayed for those who are ill, on hard time, and in need. While we offered up our intentions it was so hard for me to speak. It was like there was a huge frog in my throat. You know the frog…the one that chokes you up. Yet some how I managed to croak out asking for courage, peace and understanding, for me and also for 2 of my friends going through cancer. I want the healing power of Christ to be with them too, as one battles Hodgkin’s and the other Breast Cancer. Saturday mornings are so incredible because of the love that is there, the healing that is taking place, and the presence of God. I live for Saturday mornings!

The Ulloa Ladies dinner Saturday night was great! My aunts, mom, cousins and I all got together to celebrate the January-March birthdays. We had good food and good laughs together. I ate as much as I could because I just don’t know how treatments are going to affect my taste buds and appetite. In the past week I have eaten so much and have had all my favorite things…besides Chicken Mole. I could go for some of Mami’s Chicken Mole. I live for time with my family and good food!

I am a bit of a planner and a scheduler, not knowing what’s going to happen past Monday makes me nervous. Monday I will go to Dr. A’s office and find out my staging and treatment. I will get more answers to my laundry list of question. But what’s going to happen after Monday? What will happen this week? Is this the week that is going to change everything? The week that I jump off the high dive into the pool of cancer sharks bellow?

Thank y’all so much for the emails and comments of encouragement, support and love. I am so blessed to have such a great group of people around me. When I’m feeling weak, I love coming to my blog and logging into my email and re-reading y’alls words. I find strength in that, and for that gift I cannot thank y’all enough.

Pictures of the week


Ahhh, not going to have to spend so much $ on hair products!

The Hair Cut


At work on Wednesday


That’s what I yelled out at my bone marrow biopsy today.

I went into the hospital today just happy go lucky and talkative as could be. I’m pretty sure I was loud too. The outpatient surgery waiting room had two seating areas. There are were the good chairs- sofas and arm chairs that are hospital comfortable. These are for the families who get here early, before 7 am. Lionel and I sat in a row of chairs, the ones that are not comfortable no matter how you contort your body to sit in them. There was a short haired older lady sitting in row of chairs perpendicular to Lionel and I. I don’t know if she heard us talking, but shortly after we sat down she came and sat right behind us. Is she hoping to catch a good story? This makes me laugh inside.

My talkativeness (is that a word?) did not end there. As I bounced into my pre-surgery cubical I joke with the tech. “Y’all are all vampires around here, all y’all want is my blood. Why do you have to take so many vials, man?” I here him to chuckle, and hope I brightened his day.

I then meet my Nurse Lisa. Best described as motherly; she is sweet and sincere. Everything with Nurse Lisa is "yes ma’am. No ma’am, please and thank you." I like her. And yep you guessed it; I talked her ear off too.

Soon Dr. A (my oncologist) comes in. He picks up the book I’m reading Cancer on a $5 day by Robert Schimmel. “What kind of economy is that in?” Dr. A says. Was that funny? Was it supposed to be a joke? I dunno but I’m dying of laughter inside.

“Dr. A, is being boney gonna be in my favor today?” I ask. He assures me being boney is to my advantage. I’m content with this. Yes, being boney was some how going to make this all better.

In the procedure room I chatter the whole time, I can’t shut up. I have a motor mouth as powerful as a Hemi. Watch out I might just say anything, and I did, everything from taxes to teaching Pilates with jokes thrown in. Dr. A hasn’t really laughed at my jokes. By the end of this journey I will have that big burly bald man rolling on the floor laughing out loud complete with tears! I think all of the chatter was really my own distraction.

The pain of the procedure was like none other. It radiated through my bones and wowwee it hurt. My mother-in-law told Lionel the other day that if I could go through child birth without any pain meds, then I could go through any kind of pain. Hey! She was right. I survived. It hurt, but I’m okay!

The procedure was a lot like giving birth to my son. When Dr. A was numbing me, the pain was bearable. I was able to breathe through it like I did with the hard core contractions during labor. Then All of a sudden (Dr. A did warn me and apologize) there was this unbelievable deep down piercing sharp pain. “HOLY SHIT!!!!!” I yelled out. With my final push during the delivery of Garrett I yelled out in pain too. Then Dr. A repeated the torture on the right side of my hips. I didn’t know I was having twins!

“Can I see the samples?” Of course I had to ask. First they showed me a piece of my bone, that was about 1/4 an inch long and reddish orange. Then I saw the bone marrow which looked like blood, the lab tech said it was thicker than blood and gritty. Eh pretty cool, but not cool enough to justify the pain.

The whole procedure felt like it took 20 minutes, I bet it didn’t take much longer. It felt like I laid in the recovery cubical way longer than 20 minutes. The after pain was like I could still feel it in my bones just more dull, annoying pain and soreness. Nurse Lisa gave me Tylenol. Yep nothing stronger, can you blieve it! Before she gave me to dose I had to pass a quiz
“What are you allergic to?” Nurse Lisa Ask
“What’s Your Name?”
“Diana Brown”
“When’s your birthday?”
“January 30th”
“What did you have done?”
“Bone marrow biopsy”
Then she silently gave me the pills…but I kept on going with the quiz
“Username? Password? Blood type? First born? Anything else?”
I’m pretty sure I got her to snicker.
Soon after that they release me to my husband.

I bounced out of the hospital all happy go lucky just like I bounced in.

Telescope Girl

Girls Night Out was a total blast! We got pedicures and drank wine at a salon and then we went to the Olive Garden. I had such a great time, and I look forward to our next get together!!

When I sat down in the pedicure spa chair, I look up and there is a cancer patient across the room in a pedicure chair. I am taken back.

She was young... A lot like me
She was tall and thin... A lot like me
She wore a blackhead scarf... Kind of like my dark hair
She was with a friend.... A lot like me
She has cancer.... A lot like me.

I wanted to yell across the room "Hey! Me too! I'm a cancer
fighter too!"
Seeing her was like a glimpse into the future. My future, a good future.

She seemed Strong… Like I am trying to be
She seemed “Normal”… Like I want to stay
She was with someone who loved her…. A lot like me.

When she left I wanted to call out "No! Don't go! We just met!" It is as if she was my telescope into the distant, yet too soon future. Where I see myself Strong, "Normal" and with friends and family that love me.

I thank God for my Telescope Girl. For showing me that the future is good and the future is now.

A few photos from Girls Night Out

Allison and I

Hilary, Bethany, Alex and Liz

My chemo cocktail?
Well maybe my friend's cocktails.

Where does that leave me?

The basics…I’m married to a devoted and loving husband, Lionel. We have a bright and funny son, Garrett who is 5 years old. Our town home is in the Westchase area of town. We are only a short distance from my parents, and I love that!

I work as a Marketing Coordinator for a construction management company. I enjoy my career, building it in the design and construction industry has been incredible. My work is so much of who I am.

In February 16th I had a head to toe physical with blood work done, as a Happy 26th birthday gift to myself. The same day Dr. B send me to Dr. Mas Cabesa (Dr. Moorhead), ENT for a feel up. February 20th I had a CT Scan, the contrast they injected into me, made me feel as if I had wet my pants. It was so strange! Somewhere between that Dr. B calls me in to discuss what my diagnosis could be. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I could be looking at cancer. CRAP! On March 4th I had a biopsy done of swollen lymph nodes in the left side of my collar bone. The biopsy results came back Classic Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on March 9th. On March 10th I meet my Oncologist Dr. A. March 11th I had my wisdom teeth remove (all of my dental work needs to be done before chemo) Okay breath…deep breaths…steady now…I know I’m dizzy from the whirlwind of events.

So, where does that leave me? I’m not exactly sure; I have asked myself a few times already.

It leaves me living life with cancer,
Leaves me with many questions,
Leaves me with few answers
Leaves me with lots of tears
Leaves me dependent on others,
Leaves me surrounded by people who care about me
It leaves me exactly where I’m supposed to be.