Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chemo round 1 ^2


So it's all beginning again.  Or shall I say begun. Friday was the big day and fortunately nothing too crazy happened. I learned one valuable lesson. The decadron I have to take before is a steroid. So when I couldn't fall asleep the night before and then woke up at 4.... Literally 4. It wasn't all anxiety, which made me happy cause if I had to do that everytime i was not going to be thrilled. I mean I would managed but the fact that I don't have to do that.  So that's good. 

The morning was uneventful. I relaxed and got ready to get on the train. The train was crowed but I made it with 10 min to spare. 

That pretty much summed my inital feelings. So I made it up for my blood work. And then went to get a decaf coffee. Which was surprisingly good for hospital coffee cart.  

Ps - I get really bored 

I did some browsing in the cancer store. I mean I have to start thinking about hats, and meant with the nurse practitioner that works with my dr.   

I had a little time between my apt and my infusion so I went to healing garden.  It was windy but really nice. I'll definitely try to step out there next time if it's a nice day.  

The infusion went off without a hitch. Fortunately I liked my nurse, since I'll get the same one every time. And miss Kate came and kept me company for a bit.  It was nice to have some company for a bit to break up the solitary and quite. 

I made up a game too. It's call chemo asana game. 

Tree pose. A little wobbly bit still rocking it. 

Kate and I made it outside and my lovely yoga chauffeur Rae Ann whisked me to yoga to continue the rest of the evening. 

1 down 3 to go. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Make a plan

There are lots of things you make a plan for and the tough part is realizing and accepting that you can't plan for every permutation of the unknown. And there are times you just have to go with it. There lies the challenge and the rub. 

So since chemo officially starts on Friday I've been making all sorts of plans. Stocking up on liquid and apple sauce, 

Figuring out how to get to and from the hospital.  The answer being I am taking the train in and have someone pick me up. And the big question for just this teacher training. Is what do I want to try to do for yoga ing? 

This one has been the most challenge to accept.  I know full well that I will not be able to get to it all. I know for a fact I won't have that kind of stamina. So the question is what is a reasonable amount of time to shoot for. 

I have a plan in place and now I just have to let it go. It's like you have to plan then detach because life as it's own plan. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Huevos report

Today I had my appointment with the fertility department today to discuss some info about possibly of harvesting and freeze my eggs. And basically I decided not to do it.  That's the short answer.  

I realized in the VERY long discussion that there are some parts about being pregnant with my type of cancer that I'm not so sure I want to do. And that ~ 60% of women use a gestational carrier.  So that could happen as well. I really liked meeting with the dr because now I know that if I do decide I want biological children with whoever I end up with I know there are some choices to be had. Not the least of all is adoption. 

So you know. If that's in the cards great, and if not that's ok too. But for now I'm letting it lie and seeing what happens. And I feel good about it. It's scary to think about in the broad sense, but when you ask about the safety about being pregnant and you ge the medical version of a shoulder shrug, ummm yeh I need to rethink this.  

I want to live a long life and I have to do that knowing that I am prone to estrogen and progesterone receptor positive tumors. That's a fact. The rest has many paths cross, and I don't have to make a hard and fast rule now. 

And all this means that chemo starts on Friday. All I say about that is BRING it ON! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Yoga teacher training week 7

21march14 - 23march14

Another amazing weekend at teacher training. It's sort of great to have this built in mega distraction during the cancer times especially because it keeps me from stewing. I do enough of that at work, so it's really great to focus on something positive and time consuming for the weekend. And of course the company was great too. 

So Friday was restorative yoga day. I knew it would be awesome, because restorative yoga is awesome, and any time they tell you to bring blankets (plural) you know there is some relaxation stuff in store. This was even better because Michelle went into kind a of the philoshy of restorative and yin yoga. Both of which I like, and now like even more.  We got each other into this REALLY supported savasana. Which was amazing. I had had such a pent up week that getting a few minutes to completely let my guard down and be completely supported was amazing. Michelle also showed us how to do some of it to ourselves.  That is totally going to happen. Just saying. 

Saturday actually started off with me practice teaching, literally cause I went first. We started at the balance portion of the flow and went through boat. It was odd starting in the middle, and of course my worst critic (me) though it was choppy. But I got good feedback and the best being the silence. I really like silence in my class or while I practice, I like music too but I guess you could say not talking. So though it felt huge and expansive people said it was a good amount.  So that is something I'll just have to get used to.  Also I did a few assists while teaching , and it was great! 

The rest of the day was exsausting in many ways. Least of all because I did a LOT of locust poses. Backbends are great but I definitely started to feel it in my low back by the end of the day. 

Sunday was anatomy, and assisting.  After having a discussion with some people I realize the importance of anatomy in yoga. Not necessarily with the cueing but good for when people ask about stuff or when offering modifications.  Which in my mind is vital. And assisting was really fun, duh. It was fun to get assisted more and of course to see the other trainees begin to become more confident.  It was really good and I think it will be fun to work with especially while teaching all the end of class poses. And it wouldn't be an assistant training if yet another picture of my butt wasn't created. But it was and it's awesome. 

After we were done we went to mAsanto hang for a little while. Before I went to trader joes and cvs to stock up a bit for the upcoming on slot.  

Extremely sleepy but and excellent weekend. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014



Yesterday I went to a young people with cancer support group and really liked it. There were people dealing with all types of cancer at all different stages of treatment. I was one of the people closer to the beginning, but I was also only one of two in round 2. So it was really interesting. 

The main thing I got out of it was the your feelings are normal. We discussed things like everyone around feels like they're moving through life and cancer sort of feels like a holding pattern. It's the extreme feeling of hurry up and wait. It's like they lay all these things that are happening to you out in front of you, and you just have to wait for them to happen, like watching toy soldiers walk by.  And how hard it is to just trust that what's happening will work out. 

We discussed careers. Like feeling stuck or disenchanted. Which is something I've definitely felt. I mean I don't HATE what I do. But I far from love it. And I especially feel that given this chance I am meant to do something special. Or at the very least should love what I do. 

I could go on and on, but the main thing is that it made me feel like I'm in this with others and that there are people that truly  get it.  All good things 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tough week

Starting 17mar14- 

This Monday I had my "multi" appointment at MGH. Which is basically doctor code where you sit in a room for 2 hrs and see a bunch of docs. I mean it's an efficient way go, but a touch on the overwhelming side.  I mean we are talking cancer here, so it's not like the information isn't just a little weighty... You think? 

I brought my mom along for as she put it, comic relief. Which was a good idea cause it gets extremely boring being stuck in the room with nothing to do, and can almost be a little claustrophobic. So wise choice on my part... And we revised the really inappropriate though completely funny cancer humor. I like that it gives me an even more pass to say what ever the hell I want. Even to the constrination of others. Tough shit. 

Anyway I digress alittle... Again tough shit.  So first on the agenda was medical oncology. I actually like this guy a lot. He's good and very practical. Things you'd want in a guy that is fixing them to pump toxic chemicals into your veins.  So we discussed chemotherapy. Which is happening again, and I'm actually happy about it. I mean at least I know I'm doing everything out there... As much as chemo is shitty. And going bald is shitty I want to feel like I'm doing everything.  So chemo is back on the table. At least I know what I look like bald. So no surprise there. Just got to do it.  They also inspected my veins so I should be good without a port. No human cyborg. Woot woot. That is fine by me.  I mean that was no fun at all. So after 3 months in chemo land, I'll move over to radiation land. 

I get a month off to recoop. I know friendly right? And then I'm going to for radiation for 6wks.  The good thing about that is the apts are only ~ 30 min long. The bad thing is they are 30 min long, and 5 days a week.  So that will be more annouying then anything else and really not make me want to get any work done. I hope I can get a slot either at the beginning or end of the day. So at least the whole work interruption thing can be avoided. Maybe I'll play the lab card... They should understand that. And granted we're talking anywhere outside of 10-3. I think that should be doable.   

The thing that has been the hardest to wrap my head around is basically if I want to do IVF before I pour toxic chemicals in my body. Basically they said it was a chance that my ovaries might decide not to work after all is said and done. So I have to decide if I want to create a potential more of a guarantee by freezing eggs. Unfortunately it's not the  perfect situation. Storage is pricy. Unfertilized eggs don't do as well. There is some significant prep involved. And it's yet another procedure. 

The whole thing has been freaking me out a bit. It feels like a very big decision and sort of feels unnatural. I mean there is no for sure, so it's hard to fully commit. Also I know my insurance only covers storage for 2 yrs. and  that's not a ton of time, and it's super expensive. Basically there is a lot to think about, and this is before I meet with the dr... But I have to wait because the apt is on tuesday of next week. 

I hate waiting!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yoga teacher training week 6


Another weekend of yoga training in the bag and I really don't want it to end. I mean granted having a bit of spare time won't really be a bad thing but it's such a wonderful experience I don't want it to stop. 

So Friday as I mentioned in a previous post I took off. So it was very relaxing. Once I was done getting tattooed I went to hang with Kate until it was time to go.  It's so fun to basically not be at work, not be sick and have some excellent company. If it weren't for the whole job thing I'd do it every Friday. 

Friday night training brought along more practice teaching and more practicing. Since I didn't teach it was nice to move my body.  Fridays are always pretty low key and that is fine by me. 

Saturday is the big day. Practice teaching before lunch, then we got into energetics and shamanism.  The short answer is it was weird. We discused a lot about reading or feeling someone or something's energy, which has happened to me but being very deliberate made it a bit creepy. We did 4 sort of separate things. We did a short mediation to ground ourselves and then we read objects of each others. It sounds weird to say we read them but essentially we held an object in our hands in groups and were able get stuff about the other person, so much so that I initially thought I was making it up. Turns out I was not and was even more convinced when he told me things from the reading that I think but rarely if ever say out loud. It was very cool.  We also met our power animals. Which was also cool but I won't be able to explain. Google it. And finished with a love guided mediation, which was great. And ended up with us singing together in a circle. Yes I'm serious. Unfortunately I don't remember the song.   

Saturday ended with more teaching. I was feeling really sore so I ended up assisting everyone instead so that was fun.  I love doing the hands on assisting, so it was nice to share that with the other trainees.  

And it let into an entire day of assisting. Which was fun for me cause I got to focus on something I love and felt much more comfortable giving feedback because I know I know what I'm talking about. Everyone did really well, I was impressed. 

After training I went to Sunday night slow flow at radient yoga with Sara. Great class and good way to start the week. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tattoo times two


As a lot of people know I got my first tattoo back on July. But what a lot of people don't necessarily know is that I pretty much immediately wanted another one. 

Of course it took me a while to decide on what I wanted. The location actually was the easy part.  I don't really know why I think foot tattoos are awesome, but they are. So that was the next location easy.  Then of course it was the challenge of what. I finally decided on a rosemÃ¥ling design. And the final challenge was finding the perfect image to bring in to copy. Once that was all figured out it was time to get it going. 

So I decided to take the day off to do it, because after a week of recooping from surgery I wanted to do something fun. So I had a nice relaxing morning before heading to chameleon tattoo in Harvard square. 

I've gone to them now twice and Matt does really good work. From what I hear everyone there is really good. So totally worth the expense. 

The tattoo itself took about an hour and a half to do. It was rough to sit for it. I mean your foot is freakin bony so basically it hurt the entire time. But lots of breathing made it doable. It only got really hard near the end, which makes sense cause the skin was getting really tender. But it was totally worth it. It looks amazing even right away. I'll be curious to see the changes over the next week as it actually heals. 

But I'm super tender on that side so I'll be happy when the healing processes is a bit more under way. 

The rest of the day was spent hanging with Kate before we made it over to teacher training. So all in all it was a great day. 

Ps - I already know what I want to get next, it's a secret... But let the image search begin. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Armpits are itchy

Ok, so completely random title, but my arm pit has been tender for over a week and it's getting old.  

I was actually thinking about this recently that recovery from a big illness is maybe a little like childbirth. You have a vague sense of the recoop but not the specifics and the time line is completely off. I'll be the first to admit I had to talk myself out of going rock climbing on Tuesday when I realized on Monday I hadn't reached fully overhead yet. Oops. Yeh sort of need that ability to be intact to climb a wall, even not well... Which will probably be the care since I haven't got since 14feb14. But that can't be helped. So it's fine.... Ish. 

Most people know I'm sort of irritated when I can't do something myself. I mean this sort of has to do with the fact I don't like asking for help, but physical stuff really makes me made. Especially when it's stuff that I could do a short time ago.... Even if it's a good reason.  So on that realm I try to find the joy in small victories. And today I had one. It's always good to mobilize muscles after surgery in the shower... Warm water and all. So I've slowly been working toward reaching overhead with my right arm, which last week was not going to happen. And I can almost get my arm to my ear again without pain. I sort of think my sense of mobility is skewed, between yoga and crossfit. So for all I know I'm at normal mobility, but all I know is I'm close to my old normal... Which will be my new normal. Hopefully by next week I can hit the rock walls... My shoes need to get out of the back of my car. 

Another success that occurred this week was that I taught my second practice class at work. It was fun. I tried making a mix, completely not knowing what I was doing, but I think it helped zen up the auditorium a little bit. Ok, there is nothing zen about the auditorium... But we make it work. Also Because my work buddies are VERY new to yoga I actually have to do the class with them. Which is not setting we do at teacher training or at prana in general. I've been thinking about hitting up a beginning class to see how that's structured.  We'll see. We made it all the way through the part of the flow we've been working with and then when we got to the "new part"  starting with the floor series stuff I totally went in the wrong direction in a few cases but hey it worked. After doing locust a few times I don't remember where we went but we skipped camel, accidentally mostly... I dislike camel strongly. And ended up doing pigion in the wrong place... Oops. The really fun part was that as I was cueing it I sort of knew that it was "wrong" but I just said oh well and at least tried to transition between poses cleaning with some success. So it was a score. 

I'm constantly amazed when I try to teach and amazed by the power of my words.  The message is still I need to get more concise, but it keeps getting better. And teaching beginners is fun because they quite literally will do exactly what you say and do. Even when you come to hands and knees to try and watch them in chatturunga... It was very awesome. 

Tomorrow is another weekend of awesome. And a day off. Wooooot

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Prana power yoga teacher training wk 5

07march14 - 09march14

This weekend officially marked the half way point of teacher training. It's so weird to think that I've been doing teacher training for over a month. It definitely doesn't feel like it, and it's been quite the ride.  I feel like I've realized a lot of stuff about myself, and I've started to notice a difference about how I want to relate to the world. It's pretty cool to think that even a slight shift makes a big difference overall. 

On a different note, other than recooping from surgery all week, I also gave up soda this week. Which was not super hard, but enough. Especially since I spent the majority of the week with the parentals which is also diet coke central. But it's been one week and counting. 

So teacher training came again, and I was a bit nervous cause I was still taking the good drugs up until Thursday. So I knew I was still pretty sore. So I was a bit concerned about if we had a practice heavy weekend. As it turns out we didn't so it all worked out. 

Friday we practice taught and I finally got to teach again. Thank god! I was starting to get really antsy about it because it had been about a month. So I really wanted to try and do it again. It went ok overall. The antsiness definitely came through, and I felt like I was extremely chatty while teaching. And apparently I mixed up chatturunga and uttcatasana, which I didn't notice until it was mentioned after. I need to work on letting my voice have some space. As a practitioner I like a quieter class so I think I want to try to get to a quieter point. It's all practice and I definitely need to focus on keeping it simple. That will be the way to go. 

Saturday brought a very long and in depth discussion in anatomy.  I like anatomy, it's very logical. I mean after two semesters of anatomy and physiology and one of exercise physiology I do know a few things. But it was interesting to think about it or start to think about it in relation to yoga poses. I mean we just started the discussion but it's extremely helpful to know how the body works and moves and I know it will help my teaching. The good thing is that I think it's less important to know the terminology but knowing how to discribe what body part does what in what pose will completely enhance my teaching. More studying will have to happen.  

Sunday we discussed the yoga sutras and pranayama.  I have heard some of the stuff about the sutras before but there where knew things as well. I really liked the concept of tapas, which is basically the act of creating discipline.  For right now I'll keep with no soda, until it comes easier, but the idea is always to be working on something that is hard and requires discipline.  It's pretty cool to think about, but I feel like more reading will help to clarify a few things. 

After we were done and bunch of us went to masa for drinks. It was fun to relax in a different setting and not have a five or ten minute period to chat. 

A quick trip to trader joes and relaxing at home. Another great weekend. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Again. With the surgery

04march14 - 05march14. 

This slowly marked the beginning of cancer treatment round. I officially had scans of my entire body, including brain and bones, which came back clear. So other the tiny bebe that I found in my best things are looking good. 

Monday evening I took a vinyasa class at all one yoga with Katie. I knew I needed to get on my mat, because I pretty much felt crazy. I mean this procedure was significantly smaller than my previous ones, but surgery is still surgery and being reasonably distracted seems reasonable. And yoga helps with that. 

I didn't have to be at mass general until 1130, so it was nice to have a slow morning. I did a short practice before showering, then got ready to go. I even had time to do a little mediation. So that was good. 

My chariot came on the form of an Abby. And we were on the way. I was glad I changed my mind and had her come in with me.  Like any thing involving hospitals there was a fair amount of waiting and it was nice to have some good company.  I realized its nice to have people around, especially in the chance that there is waiting around. 

Our first stop was nuclear medicine, to turn me radioactive. Basically for a sentinel node biopsy they like to inject you with a tracer so they can see where the lymph nodes drain. So other than a shot, not a huge deal.  

After that we made our way over to the center for peri operative care. It was a great improvement since the last time. Very comfy. We waited a little and then I got called back. After some questions and changing Abby got called back and a quick goodbye. I was on my way.  On a side note, after I changed I hit the ladies room and confused the crap out of the nurses cause I wasn't there when they got back.  But I digress. 

So surgery went off without a hitch. Even though they switched to general anathesia at the last minute. Two little incisions and it was done. I got some time in the PACU and then post op. Mom picked me up and we made the way home. 

We sent dad to cvs to fill my perscriptions. And I relaxed and hydrated on the couch, until I completely passed out. 

Wednesday was a bit better. Still pretty groggy and realizing an incision under the armpit sort of sucks. I mean it's a good thing cause they'll be able to get even more a picture of the lymph nodes, since they look on out. But you don't really realize how much stretching is involved until they cut you there. Also my whole body is tense and sort, partially from yoga and possibly from the medical war that is being had on my body.  Either way not a fun time.  

Another day was spent relaxing at home, and too cute my dads coworkers sent flowers. Which is pretty awesome because I've never met them, at all. So that was very sweet.  

I decided to take tomorrow (Thursday ) off too cause I'm still pretty sore, so at least on more day to recoop. Now off to bed before eyeballs shut on their own. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Yoga teacher training wk 4

28feb14 - 02march14

It's been a hard couple of weeks, I mean of course. There isn't exactly anything all that rosy about finding out you have cancer again. Fortunately this weekend I had another great distraction. Yoga teacher training. Wk 4. The good thing about being busy all weekend is that there is little time to think, let alone feel sorry for yourself. And let's be honest, we know I do my best not to go there.  So yoga distract it is. 

Friday was eventful, sort of because I didn't have to go to work. So that's always fun.  I had a bone scan, which was super boring. But then I had a fun lunch with Erin from rowing, and got to hang out with ms Kate before we all headed over to yoga training.  Fridays are always fun because it's such a quick time, which is weird to say because it's still 3 hrs.  I also told everyone at teacher training about what was going on with me. So that was emotional, like no kidding, but I knew those people would. Be a very safe crowed to come out about that with. So it felt good to tell people and be honest about something that isnt rosy. The rest of the night was lots of yoga and lots of awesome. 

Saturday was a long long day because I started the day with a brain MRI at 715 in the morning. So I figured by the end of the day I'd be getting pretty emotional. Lack of sleep always makes me emotional.  But the scan was uneventful. 
The other trainees were so nice and made me 

And everyone signed it. Which was so sweet and made me feel really good. It feels amazing to know that there is a lot of people in my corner this time. And I'm going to be honest about it. 

Saturday brought some Sanskrit, some teaching and some presentations.  I actually really like the Sanskrit part of yoga, though when using the Sanskrit for poses some of them are quite the mouthful, but it's fun and I felt very offical saying Stuff. We'll see what I actually use... Right now I like anjaneasana... It's fun to say and sort of feels like it really goes with the pose. 

Sunday was all about meditation, and chakras. So it was a hard day, I mean meditation isn't something that comes naturally and it's not something that I'm used to doing so it's a different type of hard to teaching and all good, but I'm exsausted.  We also discussed the chakras, which are a little fluffy but kind of cool. I definitely want to do some more research on the subject. Mainly because some things make perfect sense, like if you have a blockage in one chakra you'll have certain symptoms. Basically a lot of that sort of thing thing fluffy seems oddly coquincental, so maybe there is something there. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


It's been an eventful couple of days. Yesterday I got a bone scan for the first time. It wasn't particularly eventful, other than I'm a little radioactive until Monday but it was super boring. I mean the pictures and the IV are just meh, not something I haven't done before. The thing that got to me was the waiting. I mean I had to get there at 830, and was done at 1. What happens with a bone scan is they inject you with this radioactive stuff then you have to wait for it migrate through your body, aka, sit in the cafeteria and drink tea. And then they take the pictures. Which don't hurt and are kind of boring. No I'm serious, getting  my 3rd scanner in a week really didn't phase me. I mean today it's back in the MRI for pictures of the brain mass. Fun fun.... Had to get up annoyingly early so I'm a little cranky. 

In waiting I realized company is not a bad thing and I think for the long haul days I will ask for people to come with me.  Cause it gets really tiresome, so having someone to goof off with would help pass the time. I know I have to actually do it myself which makes me feel a little bit like I'm on the island of lost souls, but company is a good thing. 

But in waiting I started reading a book for yoga teacher training. 

This is a book written by the owner of the studio, and I was honestly a bit skeptical of the whole thing. I'm sort of aware. Of their belief system and it leaves a few major flaws in my opinion. I mean I could be missing something but the reaction of what to do basically when bad things happen to good people.  And from the sound of it basically you should thank the universe for hard times. 

I mean I'm all for positive thinking and maintaining a positive attitude about adversity. Where did the "we're gonna slap that bitch " mantra come from? I mean kicking ass and taking names is positive. But the philosophy seems to negate the negative or "non-positive" emotions.  Where as I believe all emotions should be felt and embraced. Do I think sitting in sadness or angry is the best thing for you? No, but there are times for all of them, and there are times where a little fire is called for. And I think that should be good, and though I plan to thank the universe later when this path that I'm on revels itself, but for now. I'm going to be happy, sad and mad and anything I damn well want to be in the middle. And I think that is good.