I'll admit that, this year, it's a little hard to be optimistic. I want to be - I desperately want to be back where I was on Friday before this news came about. I would give my right arm to be back there, back when I was still blissfully ignorant of what was in store for me.
It's harder this time, because I sort of know what's in store for me. I've made a very conscious effort to NOT google ovarian cancer, especially the treatment options. I can't - I'll work myself into more of a panic that I'm already in. And, that just isn't a good thing right now.
I have looked at the symptoms, and had another "Well, duh!" moment. Have I had those symptoms? Yes.
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
- Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
- Pelvic discomfort or pain
- Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
- Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
- Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
- Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
- A persistent lack of energy
- Low back pain
The problem is that a lot of these symptoms are also issues that I was having from the oral chemo, Xeloda. There would not have really been a way for me to go, hey - I think that what I'm experiencing is something other than Xeloda side effects.
However, now that I know what I know, things are starting to fall into place. I've had tenderness in my lower left pelvis for a while now. I would put money on the fact that this is where the mass is. My lack of appetite? Feeling fatter in my abdomen? Exhaustion?
As I said, I haven't looked up treatment options, staging information, etc., for ovarian cancer. I'll know more than I ever want to soon enough. I'm trying to remain as calm, as ignorant as possible for as long as possible.
Tonight, my mom and my friend Ilana are joining me at a New Year's Eve masquerade ball for Arizona Assistance in Healthcare, which is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for cancer patients in active treatment, to help them pay for non-medical expenses. They have helped me through some dark, scary times over the past few months, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to speak to the donors and hopefully help convince them that this is a worth cause.
On Friday, when I was still in a state of blissful ignorance and before my horrible news, I did a video shoot for this group, which is going to be shown at the ball tonight. I'm glad, in hindsight, that we didn't go through my cancer journey/story during this shoot. I wouldn't be able to make it through if we did, knowing what I know now.
It should be an amazing event - it's a formal event, and I bought a beautiful, sparkly dress and some amazingly awesome shoes to go with it. (Gotta love inexpensive stores and clearance racks....LOL!) I'll definitely post pictures. I'm looking forward to going and attending an event unlike anything I've ever been to before....it's very formal and should be some seriously swanky fun. I don't look forward to breaking the news to some of my friends that will be there, but there you go. Perhaps some champagne will help ease the news. :)
Okay - I'm off to start my day and try to get in the spirit. I'm so freaking ready to kiss 2012 goodbye. Yes, I've had some of the most amazing, fantastic things happen to me. But, I've also had some of the worst moments in my life occur. I'll be honest - I'd give all (most? Maybe not Rodney...) of the good stuff back if I could also give back the bad stuff. I wouldn't wish what I've been through on anyone. Well, maybe some of the really bad people in the world.....you know what I mean.
2012 can kiss my ass goodbye. 2013 - let's kick this thing into gear, and do this the right way.
I've still got tons of stuff to do. I don't need another cancer, and I sure as hell don't need another scar on my roadmap of a belly. However, I'm willing to do what I have to do in order to get through so that I can live life again.
2013....you and I have some plans.
- I want to be able to go to DC in March for the Colorectal Call on Congress. I have a story to tell - Congress needs to hear it.
- I want to go back to the Colon Cancer Alliance's national conference.
- I want to take my children to Walt Disney World. As much as that, I want to go back to WDW. I miss it...desperately. I need that hope and inspiration and optimism and fairy dust and Mickey magic.
- I want to see Rodney again in concert. I need to see my Hope again. Yes, they came to me hand in hand. Rodney is, to me, a person I still very much look up to, and use as inspiration and hope. Hope - she's just someone I adore, love, and am grateful beyond anything for. She was placed in my life for a reason.
- I will go back to Vegas for NFR. I will gawk at cowboys again, and this time, I will be much more open about it.
- I want to go back to Nashville, and I want to shut the place down. I want to hear some rocking live country music, have a few beers, and dance with a cowboy.
- I want to kick ovarian cancer's ass, then I want it begging for mercy. :)
- I want to show colon cancer that it messed with the wrong bitch, and that it should not even think about coming back. Like, ever.
Too much on my list? Nope - that's just the beginning.
Hey - I'm going through hell. Again. Like my Rodney says, "Just keep moving..."
Let's do this, people.
I'm off to get gussied up - I may have cancer, but damn it, I'm going to look good doing it.