Posted in Personal

Chemo Update for Number Six

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. It’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on my chemo journey. Therefore, I’m back today to fill everyone in. My doctor cancelled my sixth treatment due to the fact that I have some numbness in my toes and fingers. After talking with my friend from Gilda’s club, I spoke to my doctor and let him know that I was concerned. He recommended that we cancel the treatment and then lower the dose. So instead of bi-weekly visits, I’ll be doing weekly visits. My friend from Gilda’s had to do the same thing and she said that the weekly chemo treatments were tolerable. The only bad thing is that it puts me out a week longer on my timeline.

There have also been some emotional side effects that didn’t occur until the second half. I’m not sure why that is, I’m guessing that being sick is wearing me down and causing some anxiety. I seem to worry about everything whether it warrants it or not. I’ve spoken to my doctor and he has prescribed some medication. All we can do is see if it works.

I also had some sort of infection and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic for me. I didn’t even know I was sick, I figured I felt lousy because of the chemo. So a word to the wise don’t get lackadaisical about checking your temperature. When the nurse informs you to check it every day, do it.

One last note for everyone, the fatigue is still hanging around. I have this fear that it won’t go away although everyone assures me that it does. 🙂 It might take me a while to get back into the swing of things. I hope it doesn’t take long. I know it’s different for everyone, but I hope I have a speedy recovery. Anybody else have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I appreciate your taking the time and if you could leave a few words of encouragement, I’d greatly appreciate it!

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Posted in Personal

Chemotherapy Update

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about my third and fourth rounds of chemo.

The third one hit me pretty hard and that’s why there wasn’t a blog post on it. 🙂 I was still recovering. The side effects were more severe. Although I was expecting that it wasn’t fun to go through. In fact, I ended up getting another prescription for anti-nausea medication. There’s three different ones that are available and I have all three. The third medication seemed to do the trick. It dissolves under my tongue and it feels like the relief was within minutes.

The fourth treatment is supposed to be the worst, but I feel a little more prepared for this one and I’m hoping I’ve got a better handle on the side effects this time around.

I’m halfway done! I only have four more treatments left and then chemo is over and it’s my understanding that the second half is easier than the first half. At least that’s what my friend from Gilda’s club told me. I hope I have the same experience that she did. Time will tell I guess.

I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today!

One more thing! The first book in the Starlight Chronicles is available! Check out “Gideon Lee” if you’re looking for a great new YA series!

 

 

GideonLee 500x750Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

 

 

Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Gideon-Lee-Starlight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00OPDQC4Q

 

 

Posted in promotion

Check it out! “Gideon Lee’s” coming October 21st!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! My new release is coming October 21st and it’s going to be on sale for $.99!

This is the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and I’m very excited about this series! Check out the excerpt below! A great YA read!

GideonLee 500x750

Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

Chapter One

I want to be like Gideon Lee. My lips move as I read the title of my essay. They twitch as I stifle a snicker. Looking around the room, I make sure no one has seen my facial tic. My eyes light upon the Presidents’ pictures lined up on the wall. They face me, each with a unique expression, and I wonder what they were thinking while they posed. They are above the clock so my gaze naturally falls on it. It’s almost time for lunch.

I settle back in my seat and my lips twitch again. A feeling of defiant exhilaration washes over me like a tidal wave.

Montgomery’s going to freak when he reads this.

Despite my best efforts, a giggle escapes and the boy in front of me turns around and gives me the evil eye. I return the glare. He is slumped over, and sweat beads on his upper lip. I think this is odd — it’s rather chilly in the room — but dismiss it before I turn back to my essay.

I bet old man Montgomery doesn’t even know who Gideon Lee is. This thought sends another giggle to the surface, but I quickly squash it by biting my lip.

I picture him searching Gideon Lee’s name on the Internet. I see his expression changing from confusion to disgust. I imagine him taking off his black, thick-rimmed glasses and shaking his head. I hear him mutter, “Lark Singer, what are you doing?” He rubs his face. I can actually hear the rough sandpapery sound as his hand finds his day old stubble. He sighs and puts his glasses back on. “What am I going to do with you?”

I remember when Mr. Montgomery first told us about the assignment. We were supposed to write an essay on someone we admire, someone who has contributed to society in some way. I know when he says this he wants us to write about an a historical figure. After all this is history class, but I raised my hand anyway.

“Lark,” he called out as he stood at his lectern.

“Do they have to be dead?”

He cocked his head as he studied me with his piercing blue eyes. Then he ran his hand over his military style crew cut, and I watched as his salt and pepper hair flattened then popped back into place as if each hair was standing at attention. I could tell he wasn’t sure where this was going. “Well… I guess not.” That’s when he froze, as if he realized he had just opened a door for me and he wasn’t going to like what was on the other side. He shifted his weight, and looked down at the floor before he backpedaled. “But they have to have made a positive contribution to society. It can’t be about a mobster or anything like that.” Pursing his lips, he stared at me, fiddling with those glasses. “This is one half of your semester grade, Lark. I wouldn’t pull any funny stuff.”

“Oh, I won’t. Scout’s honor,” I answered sweetly, placing my hand over my heart and giving him the scout salute, while inside I planned my rebellion.

I have him. I’m going to write about Gideon Lee, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Posted in Health, Personal, Teen

Dreams are important to Our Mental Health

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I want to talk about focusing on your dreams. In my opinion, dreams are important to your mental health.

Why, because our goals and aspirations are what get us out of bed in the morning. Your goals can be small or big, but if you have a huge goal, you might want to break it up into a bunch of smaller goals to make it more manageable.

Achieving our dreams provides us that motivation we need to keep doing those small mundane tasks that are boring. However, if we have our goal in sight, we can grit our teeth and get through them.

This is an important part of the process, because every dream has those moments of perfecting our technique. For example, let us say you want to be a professional basketball player. Well, in order to do that you have to be good at making baskets. So what are you going to do? You’re going to perfect your shot. And not just one shot either, you’re going to perfect your jump shot, your layup, your hook, and your free throw shot, just to name a few.

I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the basket, just shooting the ball. If you have your goal in sight, this isn’t going to be a problem for you. You’ll grit your teeth and get through it because it’s important to achieving your goal. You’ll look forward to it.

In addition, the thing you’ll have to remember is, even professional athletes still spend a lot of time practicing their plays and perfecting their shots even after they’ve reached professional status. Because once your there, you have to keep your edge.

Another thing about goals is this, when you’re going through a particular trying time in your life, for example, like me having to do chemo. I have to for my health. However, I’m able to focus on my writing, not as much as I did before, but enough that I feel I’m moving forward with it. So staying focused on my goals is actually helping me get through this period. It helps me to make sure I’m doing what the doctor says because I want to write. I don’t want to spend my time dealing with the side effects.

So if I manage my side effects, I get to work on my next book, or on editing the ones that are coming out soon. My writing goals help me to manage my side effects so that I can work on them. And that’s good for my mental health too. I won’t be slipping into a depression because my side effects have gotten the best of me.

So there you have it. Goals are important for our mental health.

On a side note, I’ve received some awesome news! My next book “Gideon Lee” will be releasing soon! Yay!

It’s the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and once I receive my galleys, it will be set up for preorder. So crossing my fingers that all goes well and I can tell you the release date very soon!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and if you’d like to leave a comment on why goals are important to you, please do. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health

Second Round of Chemo

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with the second round of chemo under my belt. I was a little anxious because I’ve been told that the side effects grow worse each time you have a treatment.

I spoke with the nurse about this and she told me that the only side effect that gets worse is the fatigue. Well, fatigue I can handle, it’s the nausea that gets to me and since there’s the wonderful anti-nausea medication, I feel like I’m good to go.

Since I’ve had one treatment, I know what to expect. For example, in my concoction of chemo drugs there’s a steroid that makes sleeping difficult. Now that I know this, I’ve been able to prepare for that and take something that’ll help me sleep.

The biggest difference between the first and second chemo is the loss of hair. I was hoping that I could bypass this side effect somehow, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I started noticing my hair coming out in tiny clumps when I was in the shower a day before my second treatment.

After my second treatment, it came out in huge clumps. When I brushed it, there were even bigger clumps stuck in my brush. I’m not bald yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I expected it and prepared for it, but it’s not a happy moment to say the least.

There are some positive effects to this event in my life. I know what you’re thinking, how can this be? Well, first and foremost I’ll have my life back in just four months.  According to my oncologist, I’ll be cured. The cancer won’t come back. That’s a big positive in my book.

However, there’s more to it than that. It’s brought my family closer. Hubby and the boys are more attentive and we appreciate each other’s company more than we did before. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a tenderness there that wasn’t present before.

I also have a  lot of support. I have a long line of strong women in my family, both on my mom and dad’s side. So it’s nice to have these women rally around me and offer their support.

Speaking of support, I have to mention my friend from Gilda’s club. Her name is Ginger, and she has been a constant source of positive energy for me. She calmed my nerves when I found out I had to have chemo. She took the same drugs that I’m taking and she was very helpful because she shared her reaction to them. It really set my mind at ease.

Posted in Family, Health

First Round of Chemo Under my Belt

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with  you. I’m back today with my first chemo treatment under my belt and I’ve officially started the count down. I have seven more to go.

My mother went with me and we chatted while I received the drugs through a port in my chest. I appreciated her support because this was the scariest part of the journey for me.

My husband appeared after a little while and I was happy to see him. It gave my mom a break and she was able to grab some lunch. While she was at lunch, my mentor from Gilda’s club showed up and gave me an awesome bracelet and lots of hugs and advice.

I have lots of support and I’m grateful for it. When the chips are down, I know who I can turn to.

The experience for me wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. They give you anti-nausea medication before they give you your chemo and this helps tremendously. I did have a little bit of a headache when I returned home and I did take some anti-nausea medication in the early evening.

I slept a lot on Friday and Saturday and continued with the anti-nausea medication. This first round wasn’t bad, but I hear the symptoms will get progressively worse each time I go. Thankfully, I only have four rounds of the first cycle and four rounds of the second cycle. Then I’m done. Cured according to my oncologist. I can live with that. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comment section, I’ll get back to you!

Posted in Health

Health Update :)

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. It has been a while since I’ve posted on my blog and I must apologize because I had every intention of keeping up with it, but the joke was on me because I had no ambition what so ever. All I wanted to do was sleep. I forgot how tired your body is after surgery and couple that with pain meds and well there isn’t much time to put a coherent thought together, let alone type it in sentence form. 🙂

It has been about two weeks since my surgery, so I thought I’d give you an update. My sentinel node was clear. This is incredibly good news because it means the cancer has not spread to my lymphatic system. So naturally I was jumping up and down, in an understated way of course, I don’t want to jiggle anything that still needs to mend.

With that great news hubby and I decided to take the kids up north. At first, I was concerned because the way I’ve been able to sleep is kind of sitting up. It was extremely painful for me to rise from lying flat on my back and we didn’t think there was a place for me to sleep comfortably in an upright position. Nevertheless, hubby figured it out and I was able to sleep quite comfortably.

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The weather was perfect, nice, and breezy and lots of sun. In addition, I have to confess that I wore my pajama pants all weekend. Even during the day. I decided I’m recovering from Cancer; I don’t have to dress for anyone. So I didn’t. 🙂 However, I did put on a pair of capri pants when I went to the store. I’ll only take my rebellion so far, after all, I’m setting an example for my boys! 😉 I know I’m living on the edge.

So while we’re celebrating the sentinel node being clear, there’s one more test that has to be conducted and it takes about 2 weeks. This test, I have no idea what the name of it is, but what it determines is whether or not chemo therapy will be beneficial for you. We’re hoping that the results state that chemo would not be beneficial.

The reason I feel this way is that chemo is very hard on the body. And the way I figure it, I’ve eliminated the chance for the cancer to come back by having a double mastectomy. Now it can come back to another part of my body that’s true. But my type of cancer needs Estrogen to survive. So, I figure I’ll just take an estrogen blocker for the rest of my life and no more cancer. 🙂

I’ll have to wait and see what the doctors say about that. So if you could send some positive vibes/prayers asking that I don’t have to do chemo, I’d really appreciate it!  Speaking about my doctors, I’d like to say a huge thank you to them for diagnosing my problem and answering all my questions. I had a lot of them. 🙂

So, there you have it. My health update. If you’ve had similar issues, leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!