In Fighting Shape

Tomorrow is our next surgery date, and today I’m bidding a sad adieu to my running shoes.

Even though I said a long emotional “see you later” to my fav treadmill on Saturday (I may have shed a few tears), I still had one more box to check before I hung up the sneakers.  For some reason, I decided that the ultimate “I’m back” statement would be running a mud-stricken, hill climbing, obstacle course.  So, this morning the husband drug my tushie out to the Regiment’s Downing Mile.

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“Let’s Kick Some Cancer Butt!”

First let me say… the Mister is a beast so he was all “Let me wear my body armor so I maybe get something out of it at your pace” and “Here, I’ll take photos of you while I’m waiting for you to get over the obstacles”.  What a pain in my rear right?!  But, still I made it!  We completed the course (in less than stellar time) then backtracked through it to complete it again.

I told him to tell people I did AWESOME, obviously. But the truth, of course, is…that I had some assists from Mr. Muscles  on the monkey bars (hello, I don’t even have full range of motion in my arms back yet!).  I also took some burpee penalties when the vertical walls got a little too high for this 5’5” gal.  Aaaaand…. I may have walked a bit especially when the mud got epically slick.  But dude… after the year I had, this feels like I’m back to fighting weight and ready to kick some more butt.

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#sweatybeastmode

So… what’s my head like going into surgery tomorrow?  Well “internal Ashley” is pretty on par doing cartwheels and heel kicks and singing dirty rap songs (in case you wondered what was usually going on up there).  But, I’m also sooooo sad.  The other surgeries didn’t feel this disappointing because I wasn’t in a frame of mind to really feel like I was being tied down to a bed and told not to move.  And… well I love to move and bounce and run and feel all around alive.

With that said, I’m going to ask a favor.  Instead of sending me well wishes tomorrow, show me how you are living it up.  Post it to my Facebook, tag me on instagram, text my phone (that will be in Mr’s capable hands).  Show me you chasing your kids (or grandkids), or all sweaty from dancing it out, or just taking your dog around the block.  I want to wake up to a whole lot of livin’.  Just do something that gets your heart racing for me because I am going to seriously miss the heck out of some fitness and I love you all so much that I want you to feel just as alive as I do heading into this surgery.

 

Life… in Remission

Ok guys. I know. Its been a long time. Six months long.

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IF you haven’t noticed… I’ve always got my hands a bit full. lol

I feel like that really bad friend (don’t pretend like you don’t know the one!), who reads your text message and POOF! forgets to write you back.  Its not that I didn’t hear you, and I tried to respond as I got messages but something really awesome has been happening…

Somewhere along the last six months (HOLY COW ITS BEEN SIX MONTHS?), cancer stopped being the biggest thing in my life. Does that mean the last few months hasn’t been chocked full of doctors and drugs and yada yada… Hell no! I’ve been straight hustling since we last talked. So lets get up to treatment speed.

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Ding Ding. No more radiation

Since we last spoke, I completed 33 rounds of bilateral radiation, which was of course not with out its complications.  I had a massive staph infection develop which almost resulted in hospitalization. Thank goodness it responded well to medication because… ain’t nobody got time for that! Radiation (and staph medication) wrapped up just before Thanksgiving.

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Entered 2016 with a ton of hair… Finally!

Next on the schedule was a total hysterectomy in early December. I won’t get nitty gritty but basically they took out all my lady parts.  With the BRCA1 gene, I decided that I was happy with my two tiny humans and committed to this radical option as a preventative measure. Anyone who knows me, knew there was a time when I didn’t want a single kiddo so the fact that I have two is pretty awesome. I didn’t think that this surgery would be too big of a deal. Until…after they basically sterilized me… my recovery was spent on the post-pardum floor…  Hello screaming, beautiful tiny infants and doors bedecked with happy wreaths. Thanks for the new mental anguish and my burning desire to have six children I was in no way prepared for…. Yeah. I’m glad to say that the hurt didn’t last, so I’m going to blame it on the heavy narcotics.

With the new year, came my next surgery and some new medication.  In order to give my chest a softer appearance, they fat grafted areas of my stomach into my chest. I know what you’re thinking, “Heck yes, lets redistribute the fat from my belly to my boobs!” But the truth is the results would be barely noticeable to anyone but me. It was totally worth it though. I went from feeling like “Spongebob Square Boobs” to something closer to round. The surgery was hardly painful and a quick recovery.  The new medication on the other hand….. Yeah. Not so much.

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Also had my last infusion during that time. YAY, no more “active” treatment!!!!

 

My oncologist has put me on a medication that I will be taking for the next ten years to help me stay in remission.  While I now feel like a normal functioning human, the first few months on this drug were legitimate hell.  The side effects that I personally was experiencing was insomnia, hot flashes, nausea, food aversion, disorientation, and all around just feeling like an idiot.  I was a little scared to be home with my children so needless to say… despite my ability to push through grad school in the fall, my plans for graduating with my masters got pushed one more semester. Wah Wah. Thank God (seriously) the effects only lasted until about the beginning of March. I’m back to my normal scatterbrained, loud mouthed , Big Mac eating self.

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Good thing I got this guy to hold my hand

Next up on the docket…. my LAT flap reconstruction surgery.  Click the link for more details but let’s just say they are taking muscles from my back and inserting them into my front. Yeah.  Guys, I’m scared.  I don’t GET scared about this sort of thing but my doc looked at me and said “This is going to hurt, it’s going to hurt REALLY bad”.  While I appreciate the heads up, the fact that he said it let’s me know it’s time to get serious. (Serious is my least favorite word just BTW).

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Found me a few “ride or die” gals to see me through… well… EVERYTHING!

So what now? Well on April 19th, I’ll have surgery. Then, we’ll have two more before we are done completely with reconstruction in a few months.  Did I mention we are trying to sell our house?… And moving to Kansas this summer?… And that I turned THIRTY? So, there is stress and distraction but there is also soo much excitement.  I’ve gotten back to the gym and I’m going to do an obstacle race with the hubs pre-surgery, you know, just to prove I’m still a badass, obviously!  And the house, well, I’m in with love this house but I love that someone else is going to love it too.  And the move… have I mentioned I get stir crazy if we live somewhere too long? And being thirty? GUYS, I SURVIVED TO THIRTY! And I’m seriously going to celebrate that as much as possible, surrounded by the amazing people who have helped us get through my 29th year with as much smiles and hugs and casseroles as they could muster! Thanks for being a part of the hardest, most challenging and life changing year of my life!

P.s. I should note that I’ve had three cancer screenings so far this year. STILL ALL CLEAR! Woot woot!