No Jogging Suits For Me!

In April of 2015, I lie in a hospital bed with a body that was failing me.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, bone marrow blood cancer.

By the time I came home to begin my cancer journey of weekly chemo and steroid treatments, which would lead up to a Stem Cell Transplant, I went from an active 54 year old woman to one who was bloated, hunched over, in pain and could barely walk.

I love fashion!  It’s not the event, but what I’m going to wear that has always excited me and cancer was trying to steal my mojo!  I was not going to fight back wearing a jogging suit!

So here began my cancer fashion journey, getting up everyday and fighting my way back by presenting myself the way that made me feel like me and to shout out to the world, F.U. Cancer!!!!

Here is my journey of fighting cancer, one outfit at a time.

Google Alert

I made the mistake I promised myself years ago that I would never do again, I went on a medical google search.

I started a new chemo treatment called Velcade and being one who does not ask many questions or hears information the way one should, I’m probably looking around at shoes (one nurse had on a really cute pair), I thought I heard something about the drug causing anxiety.

The evening after I had my last treatment, I began to experience my heart pounding and I felt so anxious.  So what’s a girl to do?  I went on an internet search Velcade and anxiety.

Most information comes from discussion groups made up mostly of patient’s spouses or family members and this is what stuck out first, “get off Velcade it killed my dad”!!!   What?  More discussions centered around the neuropathy I was sure to get which had me believing I would in no time be using a walker.

By now my anxiety turned into sadness which then turned into anger that I went on the internet to begin with.

People are rightly upset and devastated about having cancer or watching one of their loved ones suffer with it and the internet is where they find it best to vent.  And boy do they vent.

So my advice to you is, stay off the internet!!!!

You need information, call your doctor.

 I also get some of my best tips from patients I have met personally who not only talk about how bad side effects can be but add in some positive information along with it.

Gonna run, time to goole shoes!

Out Of Country Out Of Mind

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Returned home this week from our now annual family trip to Tulum, Mexico.

There is something that happens to me when I go on this trip.  I leave cancer behind.  No hand jell, no fear of germs, suddenly every ache and pain leaves and I am free.  I am Donna the vacationer, not Donna the cancer patient.

It was back to reality this week with a chemo injection yesterday, but I am not letting go of that woman lounging on the beach without a care in the world.

And while the hand sanitizer is back and the body aches will soon return, I am ready to take on 2018 and remember the girl that is free and who’s really looking forward to her next vacation.

Happy New Year

So Here’s The Story Doc

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So here’s the story Doc…

I went off my maintenance chemo for a wee longer than my one week scheduled time off and I don’t want to go back on it.

Let me back up here.

 These last few months have seen me getting reacquainted with what I feel like today, not what it felt like a few years back when I was so broken.  I’ve always measured today by that time so often telling myself, this isn’t so bad, suck it up, remember what having a broken cancer riddled body felt like?

Quiet, listen, can you believe I did both?  And the conclusion I came to were, I feel like crap.  No comparison to the past, just today and I knew I needed to make a change.

I appreciate medicine and I know it has saved my life, but the thing about treatment is, we become quiet soldiers doing what we are told.  Side effects, those are mostly met with “I’ve never heard that one before” or “everyone is different”.  Enough complaining and you will surely be seeing a therapist.

I loved being off treatment, I felt like a new woman free from a daily dose of poison, but reality is, I need some form of it to stay in remission.

Lucky for me there are numerous ones for my type of cancer and last week had me starting a new one that will be injected into my tummy twice a month.

So far I think I can handle the side effects that have come my way, good riddance to that old one that I hope I never have to use again.

I never recommend fooling around with your treatment plan, but I’ve been an obedient soldier ever since the beginning of this journey, so my Doctor gave me grace for going AWOL.

And I think she liked my boots.

Thankful

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To my fellow warriors who inspire me with their courage & strength, to my friends and family who walk beside me, to my children who are the best pieces of my heart and to my favorite date who doesn’t think I’m broken…

I am 100% thankful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Getting My Chakra Right

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I’ve pretty much been up for anything this past few months in discovering alternative ways to help me feel my best.

I visited the Chakra Shack and can now be found rubbing 109 crystal beads at night in the form of a rosary chanting, “I will stay in remission”, while twirling each one. If you ever come by and there’s a funky smell in my house, it’s just my Palo Santo Mystic Matches that I use to clear away any bad vibes.

Yesterday found me at The Hydration Room getting an IV Immune Support Infusion.  It was very hard to choose which one I wanted with names like Happy Tummy, Skin Health, Energy Boost and Wellness on the list, as I wanted each one, but thought my immune should probably come first.

On my alternative journey I’ve heard many incredible tales, one woman told me her Uncle’s enormous tumor miraculously shrunk after religiously getting infusions (she worked there).  The crystal world and getting your chakra right was filled with miracles which not only included good health but financial success, love, good vibes, emotional wellbeing, bad vibe removal and much much more.

By now you’re wondering if any of this has worked.  In my mind, they have.  Because that’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve discovered so far.  My mind plays such an important role in my health.

I believe when I’m chanting, that I will stay in remission as many do when they pray or have a strong faith.  I felt hydrated and prepared for any germs that might come my way after my hydration.  I’ve learned to keep an open mind about alternative ways other’s cope and heal.  And while I do not believe that alternative medicine can heal of us of our cancer (not seen that work out so well), it can be a partner in helping us feel our best and that’s really what I wanted all along.

 Maybe all of us need to believe more in what we want and I’ve appreciated how each practice is filled with true believers.

This week will find me at The Float Lounge in an Epsom Salt tank which I’m told will help me shut out the external world, diminish my senses and just be with my mind. It can relieve stress, anxiety, depression, joint pain, increase creativity, clarity and endless other possibilities.

Now how could I pass up all of that?

OM

Fashionista Felon

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I appear to be in great health, people get a glimpse of the best part of my day, getting dressed, but often my monthly chemo cycle can find me after I strut myself around town, on the sofa exhausted, with body aches, nauseated with an upset tummy and body rashes.

I am grateful and appreciate that those side effects are what make my cancer stay in remission, but they do become a drag and it was time I took matters into my own hands and did something about it besides complaining (which made me feel awful because chemo is working).

Over a month ago, I became religious in my use of CBD.  I always dabbled in it before, but decided it was time to investigate how I should really be using it and get on a regimented schedule.

I now have a small support group of others who are on the same CBD journey.  We are all trying to cope with many different issues.  Anxiety, cancer, arthritis, stomach issues and over all health.

I am glad to report that each one of us in our religious journey (up to taking it 4x’s a day) feel its benefits and that we have cut back or stopped using the medicine often prescribed to us like candy to deal with our many aches and pains.

Traveling to another state recently, I ripped the label off my bottle and shook all the way through airport security, but had to laugh that if I was carrying a Fentanyl patch (which is an opioid) I would of sailed right through with no fear.

CBD is working for this Fashionista and it’s kinda exciting to think that I’m living dangerously now.

    The next time we meet, I could be carrying drugs in my bag!