Friday, December 2, 2011

CancerGirl Hits One Year!!!

Hey everyone!!! I can't believe it has been 1 year that I have been "Cancer Free" although I hate when people use the phrase because it leads one to think that there is such a thing as "Cancer Free".  I guess in a way there is.  If you look at it from a strictly physical standpoint, you can be "free of Cancer cells".  So I will concede that there is a "Cancer Free".

To me, being Cancer Free would mean that you are forever now free from Cancer.  That doesn't happen though.  You walk away from that last PET scan being told that there is now no more Cancer Cells being able to be seen.  If one was truly Cancer Free, then they would be free from Cancer in their life.  This doesn't happen.  It is much more likely that your first year Cancer Free will include these milestones of freedom:

      You will have a tiny little almost barely a symptom happen.  This can be something from a fever (and after Cancer, 99.1 is now considered a reason for alarm bells to ring) to more then a few days of not going to the lair's "facilities" you will begin to swear that you have Cancer again, and that will lead to the next  milestone

     You will call your Oncologist panicked.  If you are lucky, this call will be made during the day, and not at 2AM when you still haven't been able to "go" or that itch on your breast hasn't gone away all day, you will call him and tell him (or her) that you need to see them as soon as possible. If it is during office hours, and you have a truly awesome SuperOncologist, he will fit you in to see him.  If it is at 2AM, no matter how SUPER your Oncologist is, they do not like to be woken up to be told that you have a 99.1 fever and do they think you should go to the ER yet or not.  The idea that "catching it early" is the best thing, will ring in your head, and you think over and over again "If I catch it soo early it is a speck on a PET scan, then I wont be caught off guard again!!! This brings us to the next milestone

     You will insist on ANOTHER scan.  If you didn't wake your SuperOncologist at 2AM you will get an appointment, When your oncologist comes in, you will tell him your symptom, HE will tell you that yes, it is one symptom, but that you are only out of treatment 3 months, and I don't think a slight fever warrants another PET scan.  He will then tell you how "normal it was" to be having fears.  He will tell you that you don't have to worry, you are Cancer Free.  You won't feel very Cancer Free, You will also feel like you are still waiting for it to come back.  You will talk to friends and family, which brings us to the next milestone

     You will ask everyone in your friends and family what they think of the symptom.  This especially applies if your family members are in the medical field.  You will ask your husband over and over again if they think that you seem sick.  You will ask your family members if they sometimes have a pain in their side that came for like 5 minutes then never happened again, and what they think it means.  If your friends and family are as awesome as mine were, they will tell you not to worry.  They will tell you that you need to go out and do things!!!! This brings us to the next milestone.

     You will be asked to walk in a number of different "walks".   I am not saying that you shouldn't do Cancer walks, I am saying that you will be asked to walk in a lot of them.  I say if you are up to it, go for it.  If you don't feel up to it, don't feel guilty that you don't walk.  I don't mean just physically up to it, I mean mentally up to it as well.  Walks are VERY intense emotional events.  The survivors lap of a Cancer Walk alone is enough to make every single being able to cry shed tears.  Some people want to be "done with Cancer" and they don't want to walk, they don't want to go to benefits, they want to put Cancer behind them, and that's ok.  Every one's journey is their own, so if you don't want to walk, then don't let anyone make you feel like you have to!!  The next milestone was probably the most surprising one

     You will have a lot of fear of that 1 year visit.  You will spend the 2 months before your visit wondering if you are going to have something bad happen on that 1 year PET scan.  You worry even more about the little tiny twinges of pain or you ask yourself (and others) "Do you think my glands feel swollen" and then ask them to touch your neck.  The fact that you have touched your own neck so many times that you cant tell anymore if they were that big before.  SuperFriend Lynne told me at lunch the day of my 1 year PET scan that there is a muscle that runs along side the neck that can get sore, and that many times it is mistaken for glands being swollen.  CancerGirl amazingly didn't worry about her glands the rest of that day.  You will have to cut some of the safety net away now, this was probably the hardest of the milestones.

     You will loose the safety net of your regular Oncologist visits.   During treatment many patients get very close to their Oncologist. They trust him, this man or woman has saved their life, literally!  There was definitely a grieving process involved.  I loved my Oncologist.  He was AWESOME and I was very fortunate to have had him on my team.  He was always positive but realistic.  He called me lucky one time, and it caused me to spend countless hours venting to my therapist how I couldn't believe his AUDACITY to have used the word LUCKY to a cancer patient.  It brought me around to truly realizing how truly lucky I am.  I have a husband who loves me, even with my many faults.  He loves me even though I have a Diet Coke and Mc Donalds addiction.  I will work on those things. 

I have become closer to my family, to my mother, my sister, my extended family who I hadnt talked to in many years.  (Love you Cousin Laura!!!)  I have the best BFF in the world, and I am alive and able to continue my mission of spreading the SuperPower of Happiness!!! I said goodbye to my Oncologist and cried a little on the way home.  Then I saw my SuperHubby and the SuperDogs and I realized that I was actually kinda happy that I am not 100% "Cancer Free", having Cancer still be a big part of my life has brought many AWESOME things into my life.  Tomorrow I will post about all those AWESOME things as they are too many and this post is long enough as it is!! Here is a picture of me and the SuperDogs, 1 year not so "Cancer Free"






Thursday, September 15, 2011

Every Little Ache

As a CancerSuperHero who is considered "in remission" (I hate that word, like we are waiting to once again take on a mission, and are resting between) but yet every single time I have even the slightest twinge anywhere in my abdomen, or if I am more tired for a few days in a row then I usually am, my mind goes to "If it is a recourrance, then I definately want to catch it in the earliest stages" and then I call SuperOncologist and schedule a appt with him and he says "I know you like seeing me, I am after all the most handsome of all Oncologists, but you need to develop some security in your wellness". I leave thinking "He needs to develop something of his own that I won't mention" :)


After some thought about this, I have decided that he is right. I need to be aware of changes and keep them in mind, but not be a slave to them.


Of course SuperDog says "Listen CG, if that Evil MelanomaMan was back anywhere around here, I would be soo on it!!" and I remember that I have the best group of CancerSuperHeroes and CanineSikeKicks out there fighting on our side, so that Evil MelanomaMan doesn't have a chance anymore!!


Here is a Picture of SuperDog showing how unconcerned she is about the Evil MelanomaMan coming back around!!



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why does it have to be a Bucket List?????


CancerGirl was spending time with her BFF Lynne and CG told her about something that CG did when she was first turned into CancerGirl, she wrote a SuperPowerOfHappiness tool list!!


The EvilMelanomaMan has many weapons in his arsenal, he has the EvilPowerOfUnhappiness, the EvilPowerOfPain, The EvilPowerOfChemoTherapy, the most powerful of his tool belt is often the worst of his weapons at his disposal. When he uses this power it can cause a CancerSuperHero to not be able to find any of the SuperPowerOfHappiness. By using the SPOH Tool List you can find that SuperPower easily.


You may be asking yourself "How do I get my own SuperPowerOfHappiness Tool List?, I bet it is very expensive isn't it??"!! Well the answer is so very simple and ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!! In fact, you can make your very own Tool List!! I am including the easy to follow steps below:

1. First get yourself a CancerSuperHero Official Notebook!! You can help Hats For Happiness
by purchasing a CancerGirl Journal by following this link to www.cafepress.com. Of course you can just get yourself a regular notebook, or even a few pieces of paper, but in this CancerSuperHero's unbiased opinion the CancerGirl Journal is much nicer then any other notebook on the market, after all it has CancerGirl right on the cover!!!

2: The second step is to number that paper from 1 to 100. Don't skimp on this step and think "ahh who wants to number all the way to 100, I will just number them as I go!!" but don't give into the urge to do that. A big part of this special tool is that you have the motivation to finish it, and it is much harder to leave something unfinished that is numbered and not filled out.

3: The third step is the most fun out of all of them. Do something that puts you in a good mood. Something that makes you happy!! If you can't think of something to do that makes you happy, then think of a time in your life that makes you happy to think about. Maybe it was that time you got the only thing you wanted for Christmas that year. Maybe it was the day that you got married. Now think of that thing or do that thing, then write it on the list.

4: The fourth through 103rd step is to repeat that process until you have completely filled up your list of 100 things that make you happy to do or think about. It is important to completely fill this list out and to do it when you are happy already.

I will now explain a little of where this idea came from (SuperOncologist calls it the "happy list" and he now has all his new patients do this because he was so impressed by it) and why it is important to follow these instructions as they are laid out.

I thought of the "happy list" after watching The Bucket List. Although I thought the movie was well done, and I found it to be very entertaining, I was left with a feeling of dread about the idea of even thinking of making a bucket list. Considering it is a movie, and taking literary licence and all it was still a very sad movie. I got done watching it and thought "I think if I had a bucket list, when I did anything on the list I would think that I was that much closer to dying. Once I got everything done, what is left? Why does it have to be a bucket list of things to check off before you die? Why cant it be a happy list?

I decided that I would write a list of things that make me happy. I hadn't started numbering them or anything, I just started writing them. I put the list aside for a while, I had begun chemo, I had school, many other more important things, I thought.

I was having a horrible day, I was in the middle of chemo, I was trying to study for school, things were not going well. I came across my list of happy things I had made with about 15 or 20 items on it. I read the first few and tried doing a few of them. I crocheted, I played with SuperDog for a while (I loved that part!!!), I thought back to a funny experience that SH and I had a few years back. These things brought me happiness and before I even realized it I felt better and I was happy.

The reason this happened is something I was yet to learn in school. When you are having negative thoughts, and are unhappy, it is extremely hard to find things that bring you happiness. It is not uncommon in those with depression (a vary common occurrence with the EvilPowerOfCancer) to bring up "unhappy" on the mental Rolodex and suddenly all the other things filed under that come up. By making a list of things that make you happy, if you use that list when you are having problems finding happiness it will begin to put your mind in a more happy forward thinking mood.

I now have my happy list on my iPad, on my desktop and as a hard copy for when I need it. If I do the first thing and that doesn't change my mood, then I go onto the next. This is why I suggest that there be 100 things. Most people think they can't find 100 things, but I have yet to find a person who at the end couldn't get to 100 and then have another 50 in their minds they could add.

By having this as a physical list, you don't have to remember them. After a while you will find that you don't need your list anymore because when you find yourself being attacked by the EvilPowerOfUnhappiness you can instantly bring up your Happy List and begin to get yourself happy!!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CancerGirl and SuperDog Spread Some Happiness!!!

Hello Everyone!!

Today, SH (SuperHubby), SD (SuperDog) and I, along with our good friend and Hats For Happiness SuperVolunteer Tasha went to the Chick Fil A in Apopka Florida for their "family Fun Day". There we met Debbie Turner and her daughter Brenda from the Debbie Turner Cancer Care Center in Apopka.

The Family Fun Day is hosted by the Chick Fil A in Apopka. The Manager is named Margie and she is a great supporter of the Cancer Care Center.

SH, CG, SD and Tasha went to a flea mark
et before the Family Fun Day and we found a very old framed magazine with photos of The Beetles and their girlfriends, they also have a photo of John Lennon and his 2 1/2 year old son John Jullian Lennon. The man we purchased it from said that it is dated 1965, but SH and I do not want to remove it from the frame and risk it getting messed up as it has been framed for quite some time.

















It i
s obvious from the photos though that it is certainly as old as the date he gave.

After the Flea Market CG, SH and SVTasha went to the Family Fun Day at the Chick Fil A. We brought a huge bin of hats to donate to the Care Center. CG was also so very excited about meeting Debbie and her daughter Brenda. They are both tireless adovcates for those affected by the EvilPowerofCancer!! Debbie is herself a CancerSuperHero having battled and beaten the EvilPower of Cancer!! Her daughter was and continues to be an awesome CancerSuperCaregiver and also works with her mom at the Care Center. They are always in need of items to help CancerSuperHeroes so please check out their site and help them in any way you can!!




Here is a picture of CG and Debbie Turner and SVTasha












CancerGirl and Brenda







SuperDog here!! Hey CG a
s usual is forgetting to mention that I myself was furthering my mission of spreading the SuperPower of Happiness!! It is very hard to meet me and walk away not being happy!!




SD at the booth for the Debbie Turner Caner Resource Center. She spent a while hanging out and spreading happiness to those who came along to say hi!







SuperDog!! If you had given me a minute I would have told them about how you made tons of people happy today! Check out a few photos from the display that Debbie and Brenda worked all day long furthering their cause.





CG and SD at the Cancer Resource Center booth.







SuperDog and CancerGirl also saw some really cool vehicles and even a train!! SFLynne and her husband Burt both are huge train fans so SD had to make sure that CG got a picture of us in front of the train with the conductor!

Don't forget to show them some pictures of the cool tank and old time police car that we saw CancerGirl!! Your always leavin stuff out!!! Here are a few pictures of them too!







SuperDog checks out the inside of the Tank













SuperDog and CancerGirl with the conductor for the train.











CancerGirl and SuperDog with the tank and the old police car.





You can see more photos from today on Facebook in the Alblum titled Chick Fil A Family Fun Day


Also a Huge thanks to SuperHubby for helping out and also taking all the photos.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BanJo and the Chickens


Hello everyone!! I know I haven't written a blog post in a while, and I apologize for that. I have been so busy with school, traveling, and adding the newest addition to the The Lair!! SuperDog and I both have had to do some major adjustments in the past few months and I think we are finally starting to have everything settle down.

BanJo is doing well. He is falling right into place as being the next SuperDog SideKick!! He also has a number of friends in the neighborhood that he has play dates with. Jackie Wood of Tanimara Pyrs truly breeds for excellent temperament.

Here is a pic of CancerGirl and BanJo (SuperDog Too) about 3 days after he arrived here.




BanJo has been going over to a friends house to have play dates with his doggie friends in the neighborhood. CancerGirl and he were at their friends house when she was telling CG about how out of the 30 baby chickens that she had purchased, she had lost 11 of them. She said she suspected that it was her own dog who was killing them during the night. CG friend has children and the kids let the door to the chicken coop open while we were there. About 6 chickens came running out the door. BanJo's dog friend ran over and grabbed one of the chickens which squawked and screamed for dear life. BanJo's friend ran off chomping on the chicken obviously not being nice to Mr Chicken!! BanJo ran after his friend and jumped on her and in the only act of aggression I have ever seen him display there was about 2 seconds of BanJo being firm with his friend, who let go of the chicken. The dog ran after the chicken again and BanJo body blocked the dog from touching the chicken till the chickens mom could run over and grab the chicken and put it back in the coop. CG friend was absolutely amazed and offered her a large amount of money for BanJo, CancerGirl of course explained that it would take 20 times what was offered to get BanJo from her.

CancerGirl is so very proud of BanJo and the fact that he is truly turning into a SuperDog!!!


video

This video is just a short example of how much he dotes after any kids that are around. While the kids are on the trampoline, he spends all his time walking around it keeping an eye on the kids, and then he lays near it so he can be right there if he is needed. It is amazing to me to see him just walk up to a crying child, have the kid give him a big hug around his neck, then toddle off not crying anymore and happy again because BanJo gave them a hug and made them feel better.

SuperDog is still a little upset about the new addition. Luckily there are a number of motnhs to go till BanJo is trained well enough to go out as CancerGirls SuperDog. Being a SuperHero takes a lot of training and a lot of learning how to fight the EvilPower of Unhappiness is no small task!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

CancerGirl Flys Solo (well one way)

Hello everyone, As some of you may know from my past posts, there is a new addition coming to the Lair. BanJo is coming to join our team. CG has a very exciting next 4 days coming up.

On Wednesday morning at 4:00 AM SuperHubby is bringing CancerGirl to the drop off place for the shuttle to the airport. CancerGirl's flight leaves at 8am, so she is needing to get there before SuperHubby gets out of work, so she is taking the shuttle. The shuttle will get CG to the airport at 6:00AM and since CG has her SuperControlPaneliPad she can post updates and talk about her trip on her facebook page at CancerGirl Clarice Kentwood so definitely send me a friend request and I will approve you and you can keep up with the travels of CancerGirl.

The first flight that CancerGirl is taking is a flight from Orlando to Atlanta GA. She then has a 40 minute layover, which doesn't give her much time to get to the next plane (hope it's close!!) and then she will take that plane from Atlanta to Branson Missouri.

Jackie Wood of Tanimara Great Pyrenees is picking me up from the airport. We will probably stop and get lunch and get CG some supplies for the hotel room. Something to drink, and maybe some snacks. We are then going to the hotel and going to spend some time together int he hotel talking about BanJo I am sure!!

Jackie will be leaving Wednesday afternoon/evening (she can stay as long as she likes though hint hint Jackie LOL) and then CG and BanJo are on their own till Friday morning when she takes a shuttle back to the airport to fly home.

SuperDog will be with SuperHubby when he comes to pick us up from the airport. I have a crate for Banjo to ride home in the Van and JeZ will be loose so this way she will get used to his smell and he hers and they will get the idea that they are boy and girl and such. When we get home CG is going to introduce them to each other. CG is thinking of getting a hotel room in Orlando for the night since it is Friday and this way she and SH and the two dogs can hang out in the hotel room and get to know each other some more on neutral territory.

Jackie posted another YouTube video with Banjo in it and I wanted to show it to you guys. I will be blogging from the hotel and uploading pictures while I am there so you will get to see everything. Till then Be safe, keep happy and LAUGH!!!


Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of me and my endeavors!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

CancerGirl and SuperDog Go Back To School

Hello everyone. I know there haven't been any posts since SuperDog wrote and introduced you all to her new trainee. I just wanted to write you all and give you a little bit of an update on what has been going on.

Well, Hats For Happiness is building strength. We have been sending out hats for a while now, and we are at the Route 75 Flea Market every Sunday spreading the word and selling donated items to fund raise for Hats For Happiness.

We were this past week written up on the www.1UpOnCancer.com website. Check it out below




CancerGirl also went and had lunch with SuperFriendLynne and was finally able to get her Christmas gift to her. She absolutely LOVED the pillow and as you can see from the picture below it truly put a smile on her face!! You can click on the picture for a link to the pillow on the www.cafepress.com store
This pillow makes a great gift and can be purchased through CafePress.com. It is perfect to give to your favorite CancerSuperHero or CancerSuperCaregiver. It could even be given to your SuperOncologist as a gift. This pillow is soo much softer then I ever thought it would be. SuperFriendLynne also told me last night that it has a removable cover that removes easily for washing, so it is great as a pillow to be used because you don't have to worry about not being able to clean it. I myself am going to get myself a SuperFriendPillow!!!



CancerGirl also started school again for this semester. She is taking Counseling the Culturally Diverse which is a 2 hour and 40 minute once a week class.
You can see my notes and listen to the lecture by clicking the video above. I love my Livescribe 2 GB Pulse Smartpen and use it to take my notes. It is great for all different types of applications. Meetings for business people. Taking notes and recording sessions for those int he psychology field. Definitely check out this pen it is well worth it.

I am also taking a class in Personal Growth and Development which is an online class. I am really looking forward to this class as well as they both seem like they will push me to the limits of exploring more and more about myself and who I am. I love those types of challenges.

Well. SuperHubby will be getting up to go to work at the UnitedPayingSquadron (where SH goes to work to make money to keep the lights on at the lair) so I better go and make sure his SuperHero Uniform is clean and ready to go!!

Till the next installment!!

CancerGirl CLarice Kentwood (And SuperDog, don't forget SuperDog, Geeez she always forgets me)