First, I want you to know, I’m still alive and kickin! I have not updated my journal since my last infusion! Time has quickly been flying by in some aspects, and time has crawled in others. We’ve been taking each day, a step at a time. Still have not missed a day of work! Whoop! Which surprises even me, as there have been some hard days! Each morning is filled with getting myself and the kids up and ready for work/school. Which as all of you parents know, is not as easy as you wish sometimes. I’ve learned to pick my battles lately. While trying to be able to just get out the door, I’m breaking up fights, or running to the bathroom, or laying down while I wait for the cramping or nausea to pass, so on days like that, if Tate wants fruit snacks for breakfast, well, that’s what is going to get. Pick your battles. PS- I let him have fruit snacks and a apple and a yogurt 😉 Not JUST fruit snacks. I will also say, I’ve grown to be comfortable in my wig lately, which is great! And ladies, let me tell you, it’s MUCH easier to throw your wig on when you walk out the door than have to dry, straighten or curl before leaving! I mean, I do have to wash it and style it once a week, but hey, who cares?! I’m thinking I am going to get it cut and probably throw some highlights in it to make it a little more like my hair and I might feel a little more comfortable. For most of us ladies, we look forward to going home and taking our bras off, but for me, I want to get home and take my hair off! I enjoy just being me. I feel so safe, loved, and secure at home without my wig. And, I’ve quickly learned the boys prefer me without hair actually. Tate especially enjoys rubbing my head. He grabs my face each night and tells me “you’re super beautiful momma”. A little something he seems to have picked up from Ty 🙂 Ty tells me I don’t know how many times a day that I’m beautiful and the boys must see what it means to me, so they do it too. I am one spoiled lady! Round # 2 seemed to go a little smoother with the side effects. I had less mouth sores, and did not break in a rash which was a relief. There were still the same side effects, but we are managing them better than we did the first round. I still have nausea, dry skin, dizziness, aches, pains, diarrhea, and vision changes. I did however start experiencing some new symptoms as well, numbness in my hands and feet, more headaches, this weird painful bruising/rash in my arm pits, and the fatigue was much worse. Which from what we have been told, the fatigue will continue to get worse with each round. For those of you whom are uncomfortable with talking GI symptoms scroll down. One of the hardest side effects through each round has been the diarrhea. I will typically have very painful cramping and nausea that go along with the GI issues everyday. I would say on a regular day after chemo, so days 2-10, I will have 30 or so bowel movements a day. Which is not only painful, it’s hard to plan around. Everywhere you go, you try to plan on where the restrooms are, what you eat, how long has it been since you used the restroom last, are the cramps too painful to walk/drive? And of course as if that wasn’t all enough, you are using the restroom so much your hind end is so sore, so painful, and sometimes you bleed. I know I know, how sexy am I? Well, guess what? Breast Cancer, or any Cancer really, is more than a Pink ribbon, it’s more than most people know. It is not pretty, or fun, but, you do not have to stop living your life. Each day counts. that’s the truth. You have to live each day, get up each day and keep going. You may have to breath through a lot of the pain, lay down a few times while you get ready, re-do your make up once or twice because you cried it all off while you looked at yourself in the mirror, but all of those things don’t matter at the end of the day. You get up, dress up, put on a smile, because your life is not over because you have cancer. You have a new outlook, a new strength, and a new appreciation of all the wonderful you already have each and every day. Yes, it’s hard, but I promise it’s worth it. You don’t stop your life, or stop doing the things you normally do, you may do them in a different way, or less frequently, but you keep up what you can. While looks, and beauty are not everything, they are a big thing to all of us ladies. One big struggle I am still learning, is to really get down to me, comfortable in my own skin, my own beauty, my soul, my very being. Each day gets easier, and I can only imagine the woman I will be at the end of this part of my journey. We passed the half way mark, which is a milestone! And although we are trying to take each step one at a time, there are a few upcoming milestones I am pretty emotionally struggling with. My last new-adjuvant chemo will be April 26th, approximately 3 weeks following the 26th I will have my double mastectomy. I’m excited to mark it off of our list, to remove my breasts and hopefully never have to deal with this again, but, I am absolutely terrified. Terrified of the surgery it’s self, the pain, how I will look afterwards, the scars, as a woman not having breast for a year, the emotional struggle, being comfortable as women in my new body. But, that step is not here yet, I cannot worry too much about it. When the time is here, we will take the bull by the horns and come out the other side happy and healthy and strong! How could I not succeed with the most incredible, and I mean incredible best friend and husband by me every single step of the way? With 2 amazing little boys who lift me up and give me strength I did not know I even had, and all of you. My family, and the few true friends I have are so important to me. Thank you all for every little thing you do for me and my family!!