May Look the Same, But Could Not Be More Different!

All of us in Austria--Amazing!

My Mom!

This blog has been going on for just over a year now. I can’t help but look back at a year ago when I first began blogging. I think about last December when my life was just about to be turned upside down. Last February may look the same, but feels drastically different. What a difference a year can make. This makes me think back for a moment: I had lost one of my two precious dogs and little did I know that last December, only 8 months after losing Stryker, my other dog Tazz would pass away. Little did I know that last December I would become pregnant and find out that my mother had breast cancer.

Then, I move to January where all hell broke loose. My mother had a mastectomy at the same time I had a D&C due to my molar pregnancy. My mom and I would be 12 hrs away from one another (NC to Ontario) having surgeries and supporting each other from afar. Neither of us could be there physically for one another, but somehow the mother/daughter bond brought us through. Amazingly, in one of her worst times and one of mine, we were helping the other be stronger than ever before. Sometimes you don’t have to be beside someone to have a connection, support, love.

Stryker & Tazz on a nice day!

Besties!

MG and I--Mayan Riviera

Follow that up w/ last February. It just kept going. My HcG levels were dropping nicely. All felt like after the worst time of my life things were going right. Then, on Feb 5th my fiance and I made an overnight decision to get away and surprise some family w/ a visit to Mexico. On the way to the airport, my best friend reaches out to tell me her mother passed away suddenly. We have been best friends since we were 4 yrs old. This wonderful woman was a 2nd mother to me. Again, being 12 hrs away (NC to Ontario) and now on a flight to Mexico, how could I be there to support her? Needless to say I wasn’t physically there for her either. Our strength in friendship overrides all though and we got through it–together. After an amazing vacay in the Mayan Riviera, my HcG levels started to rise. I was sent to several specialists and ending at the oncologist’s where they wanted me to get chemo. You can read in my earlier blogs all about that ordeal.

The rest of my year went well and brings me to now. Same month, same spelling, same feeling as last year, but very different. Thank God! My life has changed in so many ways. I look back and wish things had not gone the way they did, but I learned so much. I truly became a better person, a much different person, but better. I realized how special each and every day is and how short life is and how quickly they can change. I learned to try not to take things so seriously and try to focus on the positive.

They love to watch the ducks!

My 2012 will be different. I have two new amazing pups. They will never be Stryker and Tazz, but I don’t want them to be. They are who they are and we are having a blast. I love them like crazy and I don’t compare–that wouldn’t be fair to me or them. I waited long enough for me to get anther dog and it is amazing. My mother is doing very well and I just hope to be half as strong as her. I never realized how amazingly tough, strong and powerful she was until she went through cancer. As terrible as that was for her it made her a better person. She retired from a job she didn’t enjoy anymore (she would never have left if not for the cancer), she goes to cooking classes, walks, exercises, eats better and the list goes on. All things she never really did before cancer. My best friend is doing well and still has rough patches in getting through the emotions of losing her mother, but she is ok. I have been cleared, finally, after a year of blood work and tests. I don’t have to have any check ups now.

We all have ups and downs. Mine all happened in a 10 month span. I’m sure I will have more as life goes on. I’ve learned to be strong for others and help even if I can’t be right by their side. A true bond will get you through as long as you are there in some form. I try to see the positive and I’m much stronger. My life could not be more different from a year ago. There’s a lot I would change, but I got through it. I survived. You all will. Sometimes it takes time and when you are at your lowest is when you have to fight the hardest. It is so easy to be happy when all is well. The true test of character is when times are rough. Mine and my loved ones true character’s came out last year and I’m proud to say we are all better people and could not have supported each other more. I’m honored to be in each and every one of your lives–the one’s mentioned here and the other’s who just supported me in the background–you know who you are and I thank you! Here’s to 2012!

After a Cold Swim

“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tina's Pharm
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 16:46:13

    Here’s to a wonderful 2012!! I too experienced a molar pregnancy in January of 2011 and went through chemo for ten weeks last summer because of it. Although 2011 was a rough year, it helped me realize some of my priorities in life and I continue to really get to know myself along the way. All the best in 2012!!

    Reply

  2. Inspiring Life--Inspiring YOU!
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 15:52:26

    Wow! It really does make you wake up and enjoy life. Thanks for commenting, it is nice to hear from others that have gone through similar circumstances. It is a lot to go through and to deal w/, but I’m glad you came out of it a better person.
    Suzanne

    Reply

  3. Victoria
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 00:16:20

    just nominated you for the versatile blogger award

    http://www.chakralivingroomaz.com

    please see site – and post and rules there

    thanks

    Reply

  4. Wendy Schilling
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:21:02

    I’m glad I found your blog! I had a twin molar pregnancy back in January of 2012. Levels fell, then went up, had the metho shot, they went down several weeks and then back up. I am going to see an oncologist this week, and have been very nervous not knowing what to expect!

    Reply

    • Inspiring Life--Inspiring YOU!
      Mar 19, 2012 @ 22:53:05

      I’m so sorry to hear. They already gave you a metho shot? Going to see the oncologist was the best for me b/c I finally realized what I might have to do to get better. Let me know how it goes, but try really hard (I know it sounds easy) to not get too stressed. Just relax and know that you WILL get better now. The best part is that we as CMP havers, are watched very closely and taken good care of, so let me know how it goes. I wish you all the best.
      Suzanne

      Reply

  5. Tina's Pharm
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 01:58:59

    Molar pregnancies are very curable, especially when caught early! My oncologist informed me of patients who did not have their hcg levels tested after miscarrying and how they came back years later with metastasis to the brain. By monitoring hcg levels right after miscarrying, you are already ahead. If you want any advice on staying healthy through chemo naturally – such as juicing, etc, let me know!

    Reply

    • Inspiring Life--Inspiring YOU!
      Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:51:23

      I was so fortunate to not have to do chemo, but I’m always interested in learning more about health and juicing. Did you have a molar pregnancy? That is the one good thing abt MP is that you are so closely watched. The bad side is the wait time and the concern watching the numbers fall or rise. It made my year almost lost b/c I felt like all I was waiting for was the next week of results. Anyway, any advice is always nice. Thanks for the offer.
      Suzanne

      Reply

  6. Wendy Schilling
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:26:04

    I live in a very small town, with a small town hospital. I was the first MP they had seen. When I was diagnosed, my hCG levels were at 202,000 (I was right at 12 weeks), 1 week after my D&C they dropped to 7,500, then 1914, up to 1968. That’s when they gave me my first metho injection. The next week, they only went down to 1900, so they gave me another injection. A week after that, my levels were at 1032, and I drove a couple of hours to get a second opinion. The doctor I saw in Albuquerque, NM said I was her 3rd MP this year, and told me that I didn’t need either metho shot since my numbers didn’t increase a lot. Two weeks ago, they fell to 732, and last week I found out they went back up to aroud a 1000. That’s when the doctor in Albuquerque and my doctor both suggested I see an oncologist. In the last couple of days though, I’ve been bleeding and cramping. I had an ultrasound yesterday, but they didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, so I don’t know if the bleeding and cramping is my body passing tissue naturally. Hopefully I’ll have more answers and a treatment plan when I see the oncologist tomorrow! And I agree, the waiting week to week is pure agony. It’s worth it when the numbers go down a lot, but when they barely move or go up, it feels like a wasted week! I know I’m a long ways away from this being over (it’s been 8 weeks today since it all began), but I’m really ready for it to be over with!

    I would like to know more about staying healthy, I feel like my appetite is gone but when I do feel like eating, it’s junk food! I need to get back into my routine of eating healthy and working out, I think that would help a lot!

    Reply

  7. Tina's Pharm
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 00:54:18

    Yes I had a molar pregnancy and my hcg did not come down appropriately and began to rise. I went through ten weeks of chemo last spring/summer. I know what you mean about watching your number and feeling like that time is almost lost! Having to test hcg levels every week is a bit much but my advice is to try not to dwell on it – think positive and concentrate on keeping your mind and body healthy.

    I was lucky to have a gynecological oncologist who had trained at one of the centers for gestational trophoblastic disease (that is the diagnosis for hcg levels that persist after a molar pregnancy). She determines the diagnosis by three consecutive hcg levels that do not go down a certain percent (I believe it was 30% but can’t recall for sure), or rise. There are only three centers for gestational trophoblastic disease in the states (one of them is in Chicago) – so if you live in a very small town, I would recommend your physician consulting one of the centers for the best treatment options. My oncologist had plenty of experience with this so she knew which regimen she liked and had the most success with. Her regimen was methotrexate 0.4mg/kg IV Monday through Friday every other week. Going to the cancer center every day for a week was a bit much, but she found this regimen to have more success than the intramuscular (IM) methotrexate which is usually given once a week. The IM injections are more likely to fail, which means the patient would then have to move on to different chemo agents. I am a pharmacist and am well aware of the nasty side effects associated with chemo drugs – if you can get away with methotrexate, that is definitely your best choice! When you say methotrexate ‘shot’ I am assuming they gave you the IM one (into your hip maybe)? Maybe the oncologist will develop a different plan.

    There is no proof that exercising or ANYTHING will help your hcg level go down faster – nothing that I could find any evidence for anyway! However, I believe that staying healthy can’t hurt, and it’s worth a shot! I recommend exercising and eating healthy. Try to eat local and/or organic – avoid produce with pesticides. Incorporate juicing into your diet, especially to help with toxicity from chemo. Juice any (organic!) vegetables you can get your hands on! Fruits too but don’t overdo it due to the sugar. Methotrexate works by depleting folic acid so it is important to supplement with folic acid to replete your body – but you can’t take folic acid with the chemo or it will make it less effective. I took folic acid supplements on my week off – it really helped with side effects such as mouth sores as well. I recommend drinking wheat grass or barley grass drinks to help detoxify, alkalinize, and energize your body’s cells. Other tricks to detoxify include teas such as dandelion, chamomile, and ginger. If you want information on coffee enemas I can help you with that too! Vitamin C is important for healing so incorporate that into your diet.

    Your wellbeing is also important throughout this process – take time for you! Try meditation, massages, yoga, anything that helps you relax. Keeping a positive attitude will really help through this whole experience.

    I think that’s a good start! Let me know if you have any specific questions or just want to chat – this is a hard thing to go through, especially since there is not much information out there! It’s great that we can bond and help each other through this since this is something we have all been through! Feel free to check out my blog to see the journey I went through with my molar pregnancy experience. I didn’t start blogging until after the whole ordeal was finished so there aren’t that many details but I can fill you in if you have questions.

    Keep us updated on what the oncologist says! Good luck, take care!

    Reply

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