Quiet Moments

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In your quiet moments, what do you think about?  How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go?  Your strengths, or your weaknesses?  The best that might hap pen, or the worst that might come to be?  In your quiet moments, pay attention to your thoughts.  Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more vitality, is your way of thinking.

 

Its been a while since I last blogged. Quite honestly, I haven’t been wanting to. I had a great week, and I was enjoying my quiet moments. Enjoying actually feeling semi normal, and not having to think about my sickness, or think about my next round of chemo. When I have my bad days, they are the worst. But my good days, they are amazing, and I wish I had more of them. My good week slowly dwindled down when I realized I was about to spend my 4th Wedding Anniversary getting 6 hours of chemo. Normally we take a nice long weekend at shore, this time we took a nice long weekend of me being sick in bed. Womp womp. I can not wait to take the longest, most relaxing vacation when this is all over.

 

People always ask me what the hardest part is. Its not losing my hair, losing weight, my scars.. I think the hardest part is realizing and accepting the fact that Yes, I am sick, and Yes, I do look sick. Its too hot out for my wig right now, so I usually go bald, or wear a scarf on my head. I wont be seen in public alone bald, only when I’m with someone. People are rude, and stare which makes me even more uncomfortable than I already am. Most of the time I dress nice, and do my makeup so I don’t feel like I look sick. And most of the time, I think I look fine until I notice people staring. I was in Walmart grocery shopping, sick as hell,  when a cute old man strikes up a conversation with me.

He says “Man, I hate grocery shopping.” I looked at him and said “Yea, you and me both!” He keeps staring at me as I stare back thinking to myself, what the hell is he looking at? Then he continues and says “How are you feeling? How long have you had cancer?” My heart dropped, and i’m like what the hell, how does he know, and who says that?! It wasn’t until that moment, I realized holy fuck, I look like I have cancer! Confidence level right back down to ZERO. I stayed and talked to the man. Turns out his wife died from cancer last year from lung cancer, which spread to her brain, and his 22 year old grandson is now battling cancer. You truly do meet a lot of people that you would have never met, while you’re going through something like this. It was actually nice to talk to someone that had no clue who I was, but knew and understood what I was going through. Which brings me to my next topic..

 

Everyone vents. People need to vent to release all the tension and frustration from a difficult situation. If not, it gets bottled up, and you get filled with stress and anxiety. Well at least that’s how I am. In my times of difficult situations, I’ve realized and came to terms that Im venting to the wrong people. I’m venting and expressing my anger, and no one knows how to respond. They tell me “don’t be sad.” “don’t let that get to you.” All responses that don’t help, or I don’t want to hear. NO ONE knows how hard this is, or what Im going through unless they themselves are going through it. Its the easiest thing in the world to say you’ll be fine, or don’t be upset, because YOU don’t have to go through it.  I’ve been through A LOT, and I’ve always been the one that people go to for advice, to vent to, or express themselves.. But, who do I go to? Im very strong, and hold a lot in, but sometimes it would be nice to talk to someone who knows how I am feeling, and who knows what I am going through, and actually knows what to say. I’m sorry, but telling me your mother, or grandmother had breast cancer, doesn’t help. Im sorry they went through that, but they are not me, and they are not 28.

 

Being young, and having to go through chemo during the summer really SUCKS. I make the best out of my good days, but I feel like I am ruining everyones summer. I’ve expressed that before, and Justin and our friends got mad at me. They said, if anything I made their summer better. I made them appreciate life more, and not take things for granted. Especially the little things. Nothing makes me more mad than to hear people complain about petty shit, and complain about things they take for granted. I hear people complaining about not being able to go to the gym enough, their kids, their hair in the humidity, and countless other things. Have ALL of that taken away from you, then come and complain to me. It sucks to say, but it really takes ONE life changing event for people to realize what they really take for granted. In the end, its the little things that really matter, Not the petty stupid shit people complain and obsess about. More people need to realize that as long as you have your health, and life.. BE HAPPY!!!!! Anything can change in the matter of minutes.

 

It’s just a scale

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The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!

I’ve always been obsessed with my weight. What girl isn’t?! From eating disorders, to doing competitions. It was always something. If i gained a few pounds, id freak out.. If I lost a few pounds, I’d be super happy.. When this all started, I was a lean shredded 130 pounds. I’d train legs twice a week, to make my legs and quads grow, and my abs would always be showing. Now it’s hard to believe that I’m barely 108 pounds, with no muscle and no confidence. Of course I’ve always wanted to lose weight.. But not by being sick. I see myself every day, I feel like I look the same. It wasn’t until recently when I realized how small I’ve actually gotten. I look at pictures I’ve took, and you see my bones and how frail I am. It’s hard enough to look in the mirror and see my beautiful hair gone, my perfect breasts gone.. I now look in the mirror, and I can start to see my ribs, and my collar bone.. It’s gonna be really hard to feel beautiful and confident again.. It’s gonna be another journey, and another struggle to get through..

I’m only going to do a short jumbled blog, because I’m not feeling well today. So, I just finished my second round of chemo.. This round, I was NOT prepared for. Every side effect I got last time, it came back quicker, and it came back worse. And then some! My hair… My poor hair. It’s basically gone completely. I feel like I look like some kind of spotted animal. I can’t shave it with a razor because risk of infection.. So I have to watch it spot and fall out.. My eyebrows and eyelashes are slowly coming out.. My veins are hurting, all my incisions and scars are killing me, I can barely move. I’m bruising all over, and where my drains were placed, they keep getting infected. And you know what? Yes. I’m actually complaining.. This shit sucks, I’m not even gonna sugar coat it. Do I want you to feel bad for me? Hell no! The doctor last told me, we had to wait a while for reconstruction. He said I’m getting too small, and he’s scared that if he fills my expanders in my breasts with saline, it will start to crush my ribs.. Not only that, my incisions keep getting infected from the chemo, and he’s nervous it will start to spread. Yay.

Sitting here knowing it’s only gonna get worse before it gets better, scares the living shit out of me. I’m nervous for what else is about to come, I’m nervous for what other obstacles I’m gonna have to face. I have so many mixed emotions that go through my head from day to day. My moods change from happy to sad in the matter of seconds.. Sometimes I’ll just look in the mirror and break down.. It’s hard to look at myself like this, and not know why something like this is happening to me. I’m a great, loyal person.. Why me? Why did I have to get sick?? Sometimes I’ll even just laugh and say to myself “holy fuck, I’m a mess!” Most nights I can’t sleep.. Most nights I’m scared to sleep in fear that I won’t wake up..

I may act strong, and I may look strong.. But I’m most definitely hurting and breaking on the inside. I mostly blog on how great I’m doing with all this, and how strong I am. Today, I had to blog and let it out. It’s not easy. I have my good days, and today I’m blogging about one of the worst. That’s why I blog.. To let you into my life, tell my story and go through my journey. It’s not a cake walk, and most people will never know what I’m going through, or know how I feel. Cancer can put me down, make me miserable, feel ugly, and scared.. But what I do know, no matter how skinny, bald, or ugly I feel.. Cancer will never, ever take away my heart or my personality. Those are 2 things that are here to stay. #fuckcancer

Tears are only water

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Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also.

A good friend of mine sent me this quote.. I look up to this person and am so inspired by them.. Hearing them tell me how much I inspire them and how much they look up to me, It’s crazy to me.. Crazy to think that I can have this affect on someone like that.. Crazy to think I can have this affect on anyone.. It makes my heart smile. It makes me happy knowing that just by me opening up, letting the world into my life, telling my story, can change the way people look at life. I don’t blog for sympathy, pitty, or anything like that. I blog to vent, to let others know what really goes on and what I’m going through. And now, I guess I’m blogging to help others open up their eyes on life. It makes me feel good knowing I can do this for others, when that wasn’t even my intent.

As far as the quote.. I’ve always been ashamed to cry. I’ve always felt like crying was a sign of weakness.. But as the days go by, I’ve realized crying doesn’t make me weak. Holding it all in is what makes me weak. Since Saturday, I’ve been crying.. And you know what? It feels really good to finally let it out and not hold it in. I’ve been hysterical crying for multiple reasons.. I get so upset and hurt easily now. I hate that I can’t go to the gym. I’m now down to 110 pounds, no muscle and no more booty. I hate that I can’t do competitions any time soon. I hate that my summer is ruined. I hate seeing friends going out and having fun. Yes, I go out and have “fun” but, a lot of it is just a front, because in all reality, I’m breaking down inside, and my heart is broken. There’s a huge list I can go through of things that break my heart. I get upset that my life is far from normal right now. I hurt because I’m married, and this is NOT what he signed up for. Really, who’s wife gets cancer so young?! I feel bad because our life at the moment is not normal, and won’t be for a while.. But that’s all shit I need to get over. It’s my health I need to concentrate on. Not going out, going to the gym, or being jealous of others.

Sunday was a rough day for me. Thank god for the greatest friends in the world. They made me get up, and go out. It turned into a great day. Monday, not so much. I wake up to my hair falling out. The doctor said give it 2 weeks.. I guess I was in denial that it would actually start coming out in clumps. It first started coming out, I started to laugh. Then it wouldn’t stop coming out.. That’s when the tears followed.. I’d run my hands through my hair as my hair continued to fall through my finger tips onto the floor. Same as today, but even more hair is coming out today. By Friday, no doubt in my mind I’ll be bald. My eyebrows are still intact, so I’m not sure if they’ll come out too. Hoping not, but we will see. Now only if my leg hair will start to come out, then id be a happy camper!

Living and fighting with cancer, you sure have your days of ups and downs. Lately for me, it’s been a lot of downs. I’ll never forget.. After my 2nd surgery, I begged “please no more surgeries” Now.. Tomorrow, I will be going into my FIFTH surgery. Yep, another surgery. Hoping for it to be my last. It’s funny, I always say “hoping for it to be my last surgery”, then I always the up getting another one. I’m freaking out because I DO NOT want another IV in me.. They kill me with the IVs. My veins are so shot, that they hurt so bad to the point where I’m crying. Not only do I freak about the surgery, it’s all the testing leading up to it. Yesterday, I had numerous viles of blood taken as always, another EKG, and a chest X-ray. This was all after I was hysterical crying about my hair falling out.. So I had to walk into the stupid hospital, with my eyes and nose all puffy and red, looking like a hot mess. When you get a chest X-ray you can’t have any jewelry on. So the lady is taking pictures of me and says “excuse me miss, I said no jewelry. Can you please take out your nipple rings?” I looked at her like, lady I have no boobs or nipples, where the fuck am I gonna put a nipple ring?! Turns out, the ports in my breast look like nipple rings on the X-ray machine! Haha I got a good laugh at that.

As I sit here and write this blog today, I’m starting to realize how I inspire people, and make them look at life differently.. I’m 28 years old, and look at all I have been through, and what I’m continuing to go through.. I was proud of myself for kicking my ass in the gym, getting shredded and doing competitions. I was able to put my mind to something, stick to it and conquer it. Now.. When all is said and done, I’ll be able to say I kicked cancers ass and conquered it. When I sit here and actually think about it, if that’s not inspiring.. I don’t know what else is.

Strength keeps me going

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So here’s the bloody, bloody truth. You will hurt and you will lose. I’ve got scars you won’t believe. Wear them proudly on my sleeve. I hope ill have the sense to know, that sadness comes and sadness goes. Love so hard and play life loud. It’s the only thing to give a damn about.

There’s a few things I pride myself in.. My loyalty to others, my determination, and most of all my strength. I feel my loyalty to others is what makes me such a good person. In bad times, id never neglect or let a friend down, no matter what I’m going through.. Sad to say, that I rarely get that in return. My determination gets me through my rough times, and I’m determined not to let cancer take anything away from me. My strength has been tested every day since November, and that’s what continues to keep me going.

A lot has gone on since my first chemo treatment, so I’m not even sure where to start.. So I’ll try to fit everything in a nutshell in this blog. Everyone can see how strong I am, and how strong I have been through this all. I don’t complain about the pain, I don’t complain about my side effects, and I don’t cry. I take it like a champ, and wait for it to be all over. This time around is a little different. The pain, is unbearable. My bones physically hurt.. I’m up every few hours hysterical crying because I can’t take the pain. I can’t eat, and I can barely walk without keeling over. Every night and morning justin just holds me while I cry, because there’s nothing he can do to relieve the pain.

So, What’s causing the pain? One of the chemo meds that is given to me intravenously, has a side effect of colitis. Given all of my health issues, I already HAVE colitis. I was diagnosed in 2010. Those of you who don’t know, colitis is when the inner lining of your colon gets inflamed, causing severe stomach pains. Everyone has different side effects, and everyone’s colitis can go into a flare up for different reasons. Mine usually flares up when I’m stressed out. So not only am I stressed out, but it’s a side effect of the chemo. The pain is like no other. I can’t sleep, I just lay all day with the heating pad on my stomach. I can’t eat, because that irritates it. My weight is down to 113, which is not too bad.. But I’m so scrawny, and bloated that my belly looks like an Ethiopian.

Besides the excruciating stomach pains, my other side effects have been pretty ok. I haven’t thrown up, thank god, and my skin hasn’t really changed much of a color yet. I did start getting sores in my mouth, and my scalp is starting to hurt and burn and peel. The doctor said to shave a little at a time so it’s not such a big shock when it all comes out, And it will also relieve the burning sensation in my head. So currently my hair is in a Mohawk! Lol

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. Of course I woke up not feeling well, but I was excited because it was my first step to getting my boobs reconstructed! I have expanders In my breast with a port on each side. Each time I go to the doctor, they fill my port with Saleen to get my breasts looking semi normal. They will continue to do so until they are the size I want them. After that, they replace the expander with a silicone implant. I can’t do the implant until the chemo is fully out of my system though, due to getting infections. I thought it was going to hurt, but I still have no feeling, and the doctor said I probably never will again. So as the doctor is filling my breasts with the Saleen, she realized there was other fluids in there.. Remember the drains I had in me, draining all the fluids?? Well they were taken out too soon. All those fluids that were supposed to be flowing out of me, were being backed up in my breasts causing pain, and starting to cause infection. So the same amount of Saleen that was injected in me, was the same amount of disgusting fluids that was taken out of me. It was literally like a water bottle filled out of each breast. It looked like penne ala vodka sauce.. It was so disgusting watching all of that come out of me. I’m so mad, that I didn’t think to video tape it at the time! So needless to say, there is NO difference in my breast. They still look gross and distorted, with no nipple. Now I have to wait another 2 weeks to get an injection, and hope and pray that there is no more fluids getting backed up in me.

Tomorrow will be a week since my first chemo treatment. I have doctors appts at least twice a week to check up on me.. Check my blood, my blood cell count, and check me in general. My next chemo treatment will be June 18th. Yay, can’t wait. At least I know what to expect. Hopefully it won’t get any worse. I’m just praying that my stomach pains get better, because the last thing I want to do is end up back in the hospital, getting pricked with IVs again, and layed up In that stupid hospital bed.

GI Jew

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All you need at the end of the day is hope and strength. Hope that it will get better, and strength to hold on until it does.

I never thought my first day would come and go where I’d be sitting in a recliner in a Cancer Center, getting my veins pumped with chemo.. Thursday May 29th was my first treatment. This entire time I’ve been battling cancer, I haven’t really been scared. Overwhelmed and anxious, yes.. Scared not so much.. This was the first time I was able to admit, I was absolutely terrified. Terrified of the side effects, terrified something may go wrong.. Every bad thought that I could possibly think of, was in the back of my head..

8:25am I arrive at the Cancer Center in Hackensack, wearing all pink of course. I kept joking around and acting like I was going to walk out! Finally I made it up to the 4th floor, palms sweaty and heart beating out of control. We got to the room and the lady told me to pick a seat anywhere. At this time, the room was empty. I picked a nice corner window recliner by the window, so I could at least have some “privacy”. The room began to fill up with other cancer patients.. As I looked around, of course.. I was the youngest patient there. Thats when I started to get the looks.. The looks of people feeling bad, and sad for me. That is the LAST thing I want. Yes, I’m young.. But scared or not, my spirits are high, and I’ve got this. A cute little old man came up and introduced himself asking if I wanted blankets, pillows, cookies.. Anything I wanted he would get me. The staff was amazing and so helpful.

9am My nurse finally comes over and tries to get my IV started. And when I say TRY to get it started, it was a bitch. She stuck me 3 times not being able to get it in. She said my veins are not only shot, but they are so strong from working out, that she couldn’t get the IV started. Made me smile, not only am I strong, but my veins are too! Fuck you cancer! Last attempt, they were finally able to get the IV and get the meds flowing to calm me down before the steroids, anti nauseous, and 2 different kinda of chemo kicked it. Next time I will be getting a port implanted in my chest to make things easier. The port will go into my chest, and this little tube will be hooked up to a vein by my heart. I’ll get chemo through there, scans through there, and blood drawn from there. Much easier. It will stay in my chest for about a year. The nurse says it will hurt for about 3 weeks, but after what I just went through, I’m sure it will be a cake walk. So now I’m just chillin in my comfy recliner, while Justin and Poke take pictures and sleep the day away in their hard little chairs that they can barely fit in! I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to be aware of my first time getting chemo, and see what was going on. Once the chemo itself started pumping through.. Holy burning veins!!! You sure felt that shit going through your veins.. Every 15 minutes id ask politely to mix it with Saleen so it didn’t burn so bad. That helped a lot!!

2:15pm “ok Allie! Your first treatment is over!” That’s it I said?! Hell yes, get me out of here!!! I felt pretty good so far, besides my veins burning a bit. As I was still feeling pretty good, we went to eat because I didn’t know when I’d start to feel the side effects. We got home around 6pm, and let me tell you… I was donzo. I was beyond exhausted, I didn’t wake up till the next morning! Waking up was a little weird.. I had a horrible migraine, dizzy and a little nauseous. I had to go all the way back to the cancer center that day to get a shot to boost my white blood cells. It’s so funny, they give me a shot to boost my white blood cells.. But the shot also makes me sick. Flu like symptoms, and horrible bone aches. Great, one more side effect to add on. I packed the car that day with a bunch of water, and a few barf bags just in case. I was pretty ok, just tried to close my eyes in the car most of the time. We drive an hour and a half just for this shot. 5 minutes is all it took! We drove all that way for a 5 minute shot that hurt and burned like hell!!! And of course, I had my photographer Pokey there documenting my whole experience, duh!

The way home I stated to feel a little sicker, more tired and more nauseous. We got home around 4:30pm or so, and I passed right out. I hear Justin come home around 6:00pm, I rolled over from bed, looked up.. And come to find my 2 greatest friends standing in the door way from Florida surprising me! My jaw literally dropped.. It took a minute to process everything. I couldn’t believe that they were actually standing in my doorway surprising me!! It’s things like this that boost my spirits. All the love, and support.. If I wasn’t so out of it, I probably would have cried!!!

So now, it’s Saturday morning May 31st, about 8:30am. I can’t sleep due to being so nauseous. I woke up a few times in the middle of the night wanting to throw up, but I held it in as best as I could. I hate throwing up. The doctor said I’ll start to get sick Saturday night, Sunday morning.. And my hair will start to come out in clumps by next week. My wig was actually not covered by insurance. The wig I found is $2500!!!! The Allyson Whitney Foundation helped tremendously and donated to help me out. Thank you guys so much, I’ll be forever grateful!!!

I guess these next few days I’m just trying to prepare myself of what’s actually about to happen.. Or if anything will happen at all. All I know is, I don’t really feel like myself today. I’m exhausted, feeling weird and groggy. Thank god for my friends being here though to boost my spirits!! I need some good laughs, and I’m sure they will be taking pictures of my ups and downs too! Haha. I’m going to try and update my blog each day as much as I can to fill you guys in on how I am and what’s going on..

For those of you who don’t know.. When all is said and done, when I’m done kicking cancers ass.. This blog I’ve been working on since November, will become a published book. It’s going to be rawer than it is in the blog. I’ve been documenting and taking pictures of absolutely everything. Before pictures, during pictures.. Anything you can possibly imagine. Good pictures, gross pictures, bloody pictures… I think it’s good, for people my age, younger, and even older to see what it is that we actually have to go through on this journey. So get ready to ride these next few crazy months with me and see where my journey will end up!!!

Why.

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Didn’t feel like blogging today, so I wrote a short poem..

Sometimes I can’t help But to sit up at night and cry..
All these feelings rushing through my head, asking myself why.. 
What could I have done to deserve a disease so sickening.. 
All my prayers at night, was god even listening? 
I look in the mirror and continue to get upset..
The hurt and pain I feel, the feelings of regret..
If only I could have found the lump sooner, or went to the doctor a week before.. 
Could they have stopped it earlier, so I wouldn’t feel this pain anymore? 
I’ll never really know why this happened to me or have an answer.. 
All I know is November 12 2013 I was diagnosed with cancer.