The Big C Battle Rages On

It’s been two weeks today since I had the surgery to remove my cancer. I had a full hysterectomy, including the removal of the cervix, ovaries, and several lymph nodes. There was a complication during the surgery that caused me to get torn up quite a bit, and left me very sore after the surgery.

fuck cancer shirt

Shirt courtesy of Marty

Yesterday I went in for my first follow-up, and after my doc examined my incisions and lacerations, said it looked like I was healing well. That was the good news.

The bad news is that after they removed everything during the surgery, they sent it off to be tested and it seems the cancer had spread a bit. Doc said that puts me at Stage II cancer.

She’s pretty sure it was still contained within the parts they took out, but just to be sure, she said she wants me to undergo two weeks of daily radiation treatments, and possibly chemo.

So it looks like the fight isn’t over yet.

I go back in two weeks, to give me a chance to heal a little more from the surgery, and it’s then that we’ll map out our battle plan for the next round of treatment. Hopefully there will be no chemo. Not particularily looking forward to radiation, but chemo is way more harsh on the body.

Most likely the radiation will be external treatments, localized to the areas the cancer was in…meaning my entire abdomen. Side effects range from nausea and diarrhea to loss of hair in the area and red, dry, tender skin. Not to mention fatigue.

Oh. Yay.

But for the next few weeks, I’m just going to try and put it out of my mind and do things as normal. And when it comes time for treatment, I’ll just have to put on my big girl panties and do what I have to so I can stay alive, no matter how much it scares me.

It’s times like this I just get so tired of fighting. I just don’t have a choice.

Thanks to all who’ve been supporting me through all this. Your words of encouragement help keep me in the fight, and keep me positive about everything. Thanks to Carol for taking me to all of my appointments and holding my hand before and after the surgery. Thanks to Rhonda for being there on a daily basis making sure I don’t freak out…too much.

I have to believe I will come out of this and I will beat this cancer. I have to.

Star Wars: Episode VII Adds Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie to Cast

Star Wars Episode VII

I have to admit…when I heard the first casting announcement for Star Wars: Episode VII, I was disappointed there was only one new female name listed. But now, two more females have been added to the cast.

Lucasfilm announced yesterday that they have added actresses Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie to the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. This makes me feel much better about the female respresentation in the movie.

Nyong’o won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film “12 Years a Slave,” and also appeared in the movie “Non-Stop” this year.

Christie is best known for her role on Game of Thrones as Brienne of Tarth, and will next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

The two join already announced cast members John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. Original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will also make an appearance in the film.

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Are you excited about the new casting news? I am. Both actresses are known for playing strong female characters, so I look forward to seeing what they bring to the Star Wars universe.

The Big C … I Has It

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’ve been battling a lot of health issues. Unfortunately, life has decided to throw one more curve ball at me.

The Big CLet’s start the story a few months ago (coincidentally when I last posted here – sorry about the absence), when I visited my gyno because of abnormal bleeding. After a an ultrasound showed a mass inside, my doc decided to do a biopsy…a very painful biopsy, but a necessary one.

I’ve also been trying to get my heart catheter done – you know, the one I was first supposed to have at Thanksgiving last year, but thanks to incompetence by a now-departed scheduling assistant at my cardiologist’s office, it kept not happening.

Meanwhile my heart has gotten worse, to the point where I can’t walk or stand more than 10 minutes or so before I feel like I’m going to pass out.

But I digress.

Ok, fast forward to yesterday, when I went to my cardiologist’s office to have another round of pre-surgery labs done, only to find out that my third date to have this done was being postponed again. This time it was because the cath lab I was supposed to have it in suddenly closed last week.

*sigh*

Really starting to feel like the universe is trying to prevent me from having my heart worked on. But it’s become even more important to get it done, as it’s the stepping stone to taking care of another issue that reared its ugly head yesterday afternoon.

See, after the cardiologist, and a yummy lunch at Tijuana Flats, I headed to my second appointment with my gyno. His office had called saying it was very important that I come in asap for my biopsy results. I figured that couldn’t be good, but I had no idea what he was going to say to me yesterday afternoon.

I have endometrial cancer.
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A Review of Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum

As a member of Influenster, I received a sample of Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum to try. This is my honest review:

Meaningful Beauty Creme de SerumBefore receiving this sample, my only exposure to the Meaningful Beauty skincare line were the late night infomercials featuring spokespersons Cindy Crawford and Valerie Bertinelli. I’ve never been one to be majorly influenced by a celebrity pitching a product, but I do have to admit those two women look good on camera.

According to the website, Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum takes a triple approach to combating the signs of aging with three powerful anti-aging ingredients: superantioxidant melon complex, anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic acid. Combining the power of a serum with the rich, moisturizing effects of a crème, this crème de la crème treatment is designed to help protect, increase hydration and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Well, I honestly don’t have a lot of fine lines and wrinkles, but I do have a slight issue with skin hydration, mostly due to all the medications I take.

I tried the product sample for a week (it was a small vial), and I did like that it made my skin feel smoother and softer. I didn’t have as many dry skin issues as I normally do. My flaking, especially around my nose and mouth, was majorly reduced. It also took very little (a pea size drop) to coat my entire face, and I liked that it didn’t make my face feel oily.

As for the lines and skin firming, I haven’t noticed a difference. Perhaps with longer use it would.

Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum is available as part of the Meaningful Beauty New Advanced Anti-Aging System, which can be purchased online. The 5-piece system pack is currently $39.95 for a 30-day supply, and $49.95 for a 7-piece system. Both include the Crème de Serum. Visit meaningfulbeauty.com for more information.

I would like to continue to use the serum, but to be honest, I’m not one for whole skin care regimens, so I probably won’t buy the packs. If they offered just the serum, I would buy it again.

Marvel to Release Thor: The Dark World February 2014 on DVD and Blu-ray

Thor & Loki

One of the biggest movies of 2013 was Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, and you can own it when it is released in February.

The release will contain numerous bonus features to keep fans happy such as:

• Never-Before-Seen Extended and Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Exclusive Look – Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier

  • Get an exclusive first look at the latest installment in the Captain America franchise and it’s incredible cast of characters, including Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Director Nick Fury, Chris Evans, our hero Steve Rogers, his new ally Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon played by Anthony Mackie, and a mysterious enemy from the past…the Winter Soldier played by Sebastian Stan.

 

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2013 – My Year in Review

After almost dying in 2012, I was hoping 2013 would be much better. Was it? Let’s see…

In January, I started going out a bit for my CitySurfing Orlando blog. I saw a performance art attraction on I-Drive called DRIP, where I got soaking wet and covered in paint. I also got to see the Ringling Bros circus when it was in town.

Me with Stark car

May 2013 after Iron Man marathon

In February and March, I saw a swing-jazz concert, a one-man theatrical production of The Odyssey, and the opera Madame Butterfly. I also got invited to check out Chuy’s Mexican restaurant when it opened in Kissimmee.

In April, I started seeing my nephrologist to get a handle on how bad my kidneys still were, and have tests done. I also had tests done to check my heart and lungs for fluid, which I had in 2012. No fluid was found, thankfully.

My May highlight was seeing the Iron Man movie marathon at the Disney theaters. The rest of the month I wasn’t feeling the best, so I didn’t go out much. I discovered towards the end of the month that my run-down feeling was caused by the fact that I had anemia on top of everything else. My regular doc tried to treat it with prescription-strength iron, but I had to stop taking it because it interfered with my thyroid medication.

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Ringing Out 2013 With Fireworks

I’m housesitting for some friends while they are up in Georgia visiting family for the holidays. I’m also catsitting for them, but she’s upset the family is gone, so she only permits me to feed her.

Anyways, I spent New Year’s Eve alone on the couch, watching the Ball drop in Times Square on TV. Or at least I tried to. As the countdown started, their cable box decided to shut off for a reset.

I started frantically trying to turn everything back on, but I saw flashes of light from the window behind me.

Looking out the window, I saw fireworks going off in the distance. I’m not sure who was setting them off. SeaWorld Orlando is in that direction, but I think they’re a little too far away. I’m thinking it might be the Grande Lakes resort area where the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott are located.

I tried to snap some pictures with my phone, but they didn’t turn out, so I ran and got my good camera, and these are the few good shots I got:

The first shot. That white thing with the windows is a travel van in the front yard.

New Year's Eve fireworks

Then I tried to zoom in to get the van out of the shot. Too much zoom, I think…

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Watch Olaf Sing “In Summer” from Disney’s Frozen

Disney's Frozen

One of my favorite movies of 2013 was Disney’s Frozen, not to be confused with Frozen (a horror movie about getting stuck on a ski lift).

A big reason was the sidekick character of Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad), a snowman who has no concept of what a snowman is made of, as evidenced by this wonderful musical number called “In Summer.”

Disney’s Frozen is still in theaters, so if you get a chance, definitely see it – in 3D, if possible.