I’m tired of dragging myself through tasks I dread or forcing myself to show up when something inside of me is pushing back. Cancer places your mortality front and center. You feel like your days are numbered. It’s time for all of us to realize we are all in the same position – your days are numbered too!Read More
Mother’s Day is tough for so, so many of us.Read More
Do you feel like everyone with cancer is using marijuana or cannabis? (Ya…me too!) First let’s understand the most basic and commonly used terms about marijuana.Read More
When you are sick (diagnosed with cancer, undergoing a surgery) people have the best intentions of trying to help you. So how do you ask and accept help without it becoming a part time job and without it hurting your pride?Read More
I can’t believe it’s been one month! The fastest and slowest month of my life. Here’s our first month with baby Maximilian.
Max is such a sweet little boy. We are loving having him as part of our family. He is so efficient at breast feeding, I don’t really even have to try that hard with him to get him to latch. But Moms – before you are too jealous, I’ll tell you about the struggle.
On day 3 postpartum, I began over producing milk. Like WAY overproducing. In addition to feeding Max, I would need to pump for my comfort and to prevent mastitis. I would end up pumping off 750-1000 mL per day! My boobs were literally out all of the time. UGH. Our freezer is full of breast milk. I quickly contacted the local milk bank to donate my breast milk. I began undergoing the work up to donate and…what do you know…cancer survivors are not able to donate. You have to be cancer free for 3 years. I wasn’t asked what type of ovarian cancer I had, what type of treatment, my risk of recurrence…if you had the big C then a one size fits all ‘NO.’ Based on no scientific evidence. It’s extremely disappointing because you want to do good. You want to give back. Here I have something in abundance that is considered liquid gold but yet it’s not good enough… I’m not good enough. It does feel like medical discrimination. I’m always advocating for cancer survivors and I did my part with the milk bank too. Hopefully if more of us ask ‘why,’ things like this will change.
Mr. Max is really starting to respond to Marc’s voice. Marc talks to him about all kinds of things and Max will stare and smile (even though it might be reflex or gas – still warms the heart). Marc and I have also worked really hard to balance life. As I’m off on maternity leave, I have assumed a lot of the responsibilities when it comes to baby (impossible not to when you’re breastfeeding) but it’s still important that we are both very involved parents. You can tell whatever we are doing is working because even though he spends far more time with me, Max doesn’t respond to my voice the same way he responds to his Dad.
Life as a parent has been easier than I anticipated. The 4 am feedings, the inconsolable cries, are all much easier to cope with than anticipated. Even when he is crying and I can’t figure out why, I find it comforting to know he is mine, the bus stops with me, and I will eventually figure it out. It was always much more stressful when I couldn’t stop someone else’s baby from crying.
I’ve also been enjoying maternity leave a lot more than I anticipated. I was worried I might lose my mind (lol) but I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve always loved my work and helping people with cancer but have found balance in still blogging, sharing on IG/Facebook, and working on my upcoming ebooks! It’s allows me to stay intellectually engaged while spending the bulk of my time with Max. Plus… it’s pretty amazing to be able to have a little chickadee that wants to snuggle against me as much as he can.
Max’s birth was a complete roller coaster. I ended up having both an episiotomy and a C-section. My C-section began healing wonderfully but the episiotomy has caused some serious grief. 5 weeks post-partum, I am still in significant pain. The episiotomy healed poorly, meaning that I will need to have it corrected to ultimately get rid of the pain. More cutting = longer recovery = very disappointed Momma. Exercise is such a predominate part of my life, it’s disappointing to still only be able to manage short walks but I physically am not able to do anything else.
I was told this week that I should be grateful to have had a c-section and an episotomy because that means I was able to have a baby. That’s kind of like telling someone who broke their leg to be grateful because some people have no legs at all. I honestly don’t feel grateful when I am in consistent pain and dealing with complications. I am unable to get back to the physically fit life that I love (and has been adjusted since July when I became pregnant). The impact is both physical and mental. This c-section is my second major surgery and I’ve noticed a difference in my recovery. It’s a lot slower. There’s tough days and brilliant days but all in all – still feeling pretty beat up.
Those are the highs and lows of month one. We are so looking forward to what month two has to bring!
You have to find some humor in all the sorrow – otherwise you’ll lose your mind. Let me tell you about the funniest moment throughout my cancer treatment.Read More
There are some questions that I get asked all the time so I thought it would be useful to put them all up in one place where you can easily find them.Read More
Max’s delivery didn’t last very long (in terms of hours) but lots happened so let me share the details.Read More
I might physically touch a medication hmmm once per week? Maybe… So if I’m not counting or handling pills, what am I actually doing?Read More
As an oncology pharmacist, cancer survivor, and internationally ranked powerlifter - a big question I get asked is when should you return to exercising after a cancer diagnosis?Read More
Since being pregnant, things have worsened. The swelling in my leg has gone to another level. Elephant trunk leg now.Read More
There are few problems that can’t be cured by a good poop and a nap.Read More
These are my must have items to prepare for Baby Morris (keep reading for a sneak peek of our baby nursey).Read More
Losing my hair during chemo was one of the most traumatic and infuriating side effects. First a few strands, then several strands, then handfuls to the point where I was scared to touch my head.
Prior to being diagnosed I had long red hair. It was that way all my life. If you are a redhead (shout out to my fellow gingers!) your identity is wrapped up in your hair. I loved my long hair. It made me feel beautiful, sexy, youthful. But it was about to fall out.
I started by cutting it shorter. This way the hair loss would be less traumatic when it did happen. Started with a bob.
About 3 weeks into chemo it began (will be different depending on the type of chemo you receive). It started slowly and over the course of 5 days accelerated. First just a few strands at a time but then more. It got to the point where I was mad at my husband for running his hands through his hair. How dare he touch his hair in front of me when I can’t run my hands through mine? Ridiculously misplaced anger but real anger.
Each day became more stressful. I wanted to keep my locks as long as possible but it wasn’t worth the stress. It was completely out of my control so I took the power back. I called up my stylist and asked him to buzz it off. I was grinning ear to ear. This was the moment I was dreading. I took that power back from cancer. My hair loss was inevitable but it was going to be happening on my own time.
I’ve heard people say that it is vain to be upset over hair loss. It is no vanity. This is something that is happening to you. Something you have very little control over. In a lot of cases, if you want potentially life-saving treatment – this is going to be one of the down sides. Of course, I was going to choose life over my hair but it’s still difficult. You are allowed to mourn the loss of your hair
How can you be pregnant when you had ovarian cancer? It’s tough to comprehend so let me share the details.Read More
This honestly all happened so organically….Read More
Just wrapped up the first month of coaching the Cancer Fatigue Fighter (CFF) Program. It’s been completely awesome – but I knew it would be. But there have been some surprises along the way! Somethings you may not have been expecting. Read on to find out more.Read More
Welcome to Part 2 of Everything You Need to Know About Blood Clots. In Part 1, we took a look at how you can tell if you have a blood clot. What are the signs that you are looking for? What should you do if you think you have a blood clot? For that info and more check out Part 1.
In Part 2, let’s look at what happens once you know you have a blood clot. How do we get rid of it? How do you prevent this from happening again? Read on…Read More
It’s a problem that affects A LOT of cancer fighters but we don’t hear a lot about – blood clots. People with cancer are much more likely to have a blood clot (about 20% of cancer fighters!). Welcome to Part 1 of a 2 part series on everything you need to know about blood clots.
What Is a blood clot?
A blood clot is when different cells, that make up your blood, gather and turn to a gel-like consistency (aka clot).Read More
The number one side effect cancer fighters battle? FATIGUE. UGHRead More