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We interrupt your gadget coverage…

I’ve been running The Gadgeteer since the dawn of time (1997) and during all these years I’ve met, chatted and emailed a lot of wonderful people who have become my friends. For that reason, I have decided to share something personal with all of you. I don’t normally talk about my personal life on this site as we’re typically all about the gadgets and nothing but the gadgets. But sometimes there’s a need for a short detour. So here goes…

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma to be exact. I’m not writing this for your sympathy or attention. That’s definitely not my style. I’m writing this in hopes that it might help someone else out there that might be doing the same things that I was doing for the past few months.

I’m not exactly sure when I first noticed that something was ‘wrong’ with my Right breast, but it was at least a 2-3 months ago. I told myself that it was just a cyst as I’ve had them before. I told myself that the tissue was just denser on that side since it always has been to a certain extent. I told myself that it was my hormones. I told myself that if something were wrong, it would show up on my next mammogram due in April. I told myself all kinds of stupid stuff… It’s crazy how you can play games in your own head to avoid the truth. It’s also crazy how the world can try its best to smack you in the head to wake you up to do something. I don’t know how many times I would turn on the radio and hear breast cancer related ads. Or see breast cancer related shows on TV. It also seemed like every car I happened to drive behind would have one of those Pink breast cancer stickers on their bumper. One night I even drove by our local Holiday Inn and parked in front was a big tractor painted all in Pink with a huge breast cancer ribbon flag attached to it. I’d probably still be playing the denial and avoidance game if it hadn’t been for several weekends ago when my partner and I were horsing around in the kitchen and she happened to bump into my breast with her hand. She immediately freaked out about it, and I immediately felt a sense of relief that I would now have to deal with it. She marched my stupid butt into the doctor the next day and we’ve been on this crazy ride ever since. First it was a mammogram, then an ultrasound, then a biopsy, MRI and PET Scans followed by another mammogram and ultrasound on the Left side because they thought it was there too (it’s not). Yesterday I had a surgical procedure to install an IV port (I’m a cyborg now) in my chest that will be used to administer the chemo drugs that I’ll be starting tomorrow. I’m scared out of my mind about the chemo – who wouldn’t be… but I am young, in good health and tough. I will get through this and be fine.

The moral of this story is to not pretend that things are fine when you know darn well they aren’t. Listen to what your body is telling you and what the world is telling you. If you’re reading this right now and are playing the same head games that I was, this is yet another slap in the head from the world telling you to do something. And if you’ve never had a mammogram and are over 40, go get one. Please. My surgeon told me something that I won’t forget. He said “people don’t die from breast cancer, but they can die from breast cancer that has spread”. Thankfully, they are pretty sure due to my PET scan, that mine has not spread. So I’m going to kick these mutant cells out of my body, lock the door and throw away the key.

It will be business as usual here at The Gadgeteer. I have an amazing team of writers that have been unbelievably supportive. We will all continue to bring you fun and interesting gadget reviews and news. :)

We now return to our regularly scheduled program…

For updates to this ‘adventure’ …

3/23/2011
When I posted this article yesterday, I had no idea that so many people would comment, send me personal emails, tweet, and text me with their good thoughts, stories and advice. To say I’m overwhelmed is an understatement. You guys are awesome and I truly appreciate each and every one of you more than you can know.

So today was Chemo Day 1. I ate a little breakfast before Jeanne and I headed up to the Cancer Center at Columbus Regional Hospital. I was really scared what the first session would be like since everyone can react differently. They started out with 2 pills for anxiety and nausea and then hooked up an IV to the port installed in my chest. I didn’t even feel them do it. :) Next up was a bag of steroids which if I remember correctly, also helps with nausea. The actual Chemo drugs came in 2 large syringes that they manually push into the IV. One was clear and one was Red (which they call the Koolaid). Both took about 5 or so minutes each. That was it! We were there for awhile learning some info about the drugs, diet concerns, etc.  The people there are beyond wonderful. The Breast Cancer Center has a person assigned to you that goes along with you to some of the doctor appts and procedures. Deana is one of the sincerely nicest people I’ve ever met. She even brought me a cute little stuffed monkey that she named Chemo. I’ll add a picture tomorrow.

It’s been about 10-11 hrs since they gave me the drugs and so far I feel about 98% normal. I feel just slightly whoozy, but not nauseated (knock on wood). We’ll see how I feel tomorrow and the next day. I hear the first 48hrs are when most people feel the worst.

The best thing about today is that I am no longer as scared about chemo as I was before. I know it’s not going to be a picnic, but I feel confident that I can do this.

Thanks again to all of you. Your good thoughts and energy are really helping!

3/24/2011
It’s been over 24hrs since my first chemo dose and I’m doing great. Mostly just a little wobbly and maybe a itty bitty bit nauseous. I think the latter is just in my head though. Definitely nothing to complain about.

We went up to CRH (Columbus Regional Hospital) this morning so I could get a shot to boost my white blood cells. The reason? My oncologist Dr. Mak is giving me the choice of doing my treatments every 2 weeks instead of every 3. The only advantage is getting them over quicker. But when patients do the every 2 weeks, they need these special shots to make sure their white blood cells don’t drop too low. So I got the shot and will tell him next week what I what I want to do. If I keep feeling as good as I do right now, I will probably go for it. :)

Here’s a big hug to all of you that have been sending me great thoughts. You guys are wonderful!!!

3/28/2011
I’m still doing well. The worst part so far has been that special shot I had last Thursday to boost my white blood cells. Wow, that shot was evil. Made me feel like I had the worst flu ever. Felt like someone had taken a hammer to my back in multiple places. Taking a deep breath even hurt. Not fun… but it only lasted a couple days and today I’m feeling relatively ‘normal’ again ;)

I hope everyone is having a great week and I’ll post update again in a week or so.

4/08/2011

It’s been over 2 weeks since my first chemo treatment. I was supposed to have my 2nd treatment this past Wednesday, but was unable to have one due to some low grade fevers that I’ve been having. They did some tests to try to figure out what the fevers might be from, but they came back with no info. I have actually felt worse (tired) this week than I did after my first chemo. Go figure.

Yesterday my hair started falling out, so I called up the girl that cuts my hair and asked if she could come out to my house. Here are results:

I don’t look as hideous as I thought I would. :) I actually kinda like it in a weird way.

So that’s the latest info. I will probably have my 2nd chemo Monday or Wednesday. Hopefully whatever is causing these fevers will go away.

4/20/11

I’ve had my 2nd round of chemo last week and wow, it knocked me on my butt way more than the first one. I spent 3 days in bed. I talking pretty much the whole day… That’s not like me at all. The good news is that the mass in my breast does feel different/smaller. So I think the chemo is working. It looks like my body will probably not tolerate the treatments every 2 weeks, so I’ll be on a 3 week schedule. The next one is 2 weeks from today. Can’t wait ;) 2 down, 2 to go (I think – need to ask my Doctor when I go in for a follow up next week).

Keep the good energy / thoughts flowing my way. I know they are helping!

5/22/11

I’m still hanging in there :) Had my 3rd chemo treatment almost 3 weeks ago and it was rough. They seem to get worse with each one. By ‘worse’ I mean the fatigue. That has pretty much been my biggest side effect. The other prob I’ve been having is with my blood count numbers – white blood cells, red cells and hemoglobin. I have to take special shots to boost my white cells. There’s a chance that I may have to have a transfusion tomorrow if my red cells / hemoglobin are still low. This is to get me ready for my 4th chemo treatment that I’m supposed to have this Thursday. Although I’m really dreading it, I want to do it and get it over with. Then I’ll have to do surgery in a few weeks and more chemo after that. My oncologist says the chemo I’ll have after surgery shouldn’t be as tough on me as it won’t be the 2 hard core drugs I’m on now. It will just be 1 drug. Hope he’s right :) I don’t quite see a light at the end of the tunnel yet, but there is a glimmer :)

6/05/11

I had my 4th round of chemo on 5/26 and am finally starting to feel better. It’s crazy how weak I am. Walking up the 10 stairs from my basement makes my heart pound in my head. The good news is that my surgery has been scheduled for the 22nd and that I won’t have any more chemo treatments until after I recover from that. I’m not looking forward to more chemo, but I keep holding on to the fact that my doctor says it shouldn’t be as tough on me. My fingers and toes are crossed. :) Time is passing so fast, that I know it won’t be long till all this is over and I can get back to my everyday boring life :)

6/21/11

Well folks, tomorrow is surgery day. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous about it. Actually, as crazy as it might sound, it’s not really the surgery or the result of the surgery that has me nervous. Without going into excruciating detail, the thing that has me the most anxious is the small procedure that they do before the surgery. It involves the radiology department, a needle, radioactive dye and my traitorous appendage. The words ouch, wince and shudder all come to mind. ;) I’m tough though, so bring it on.

6/24/11

The surgery went well. I was sent home around noon yesterday and am doing great. Have only had to take regular old ibuprofen for the pain twice. Doubt if I’ll need to do that anymore. The worst part so far is having to sleep on my back… so if that’s my only complaint, things can’t be that bad. I just have to cross my fingers that pathology reports come back with good news as far as lymph  node involvement. They know that cancer cells were in the main node (sentinel node), so they took 15-20 more nodes after that one and will test them all. If they find cancer cells in those, that means I’ll have to have radiation treatments in addition to more treatments. Hmmm, I wonder if radiation would give me a super power like Spiderman? ;)

7/22/11

It’s been 4 weeks since my surgery and I’m healing really well. They did find cancer cells in some lymph nodes, so that means I’ll be having 33-36 radiation treatments after my 2nd round of chemo treatments. Chemo starts back up next Thursday if my blood work looks ok. I’m feeling really good and have been enjoying getting out and doing things again. If it wasn’t for my zipper scars and some range of motion issues with my right arm (I’m doing physical therapy for that), I would say I feel pretty much ‘normal’. I have my fingers crossed that the new chemo drugs don’t wipe me out like the first round. All I really care about though is just getting all this behind me and getting back to regular old boring life. I’ve had enough character building experiences for awhile ;)

8/31/11

Oops, I didn’t realize that I’ve not posted an update in over a month. I restarted chemo and have had 2 treatments since I last updated. I just have 2 more left (the next one is next Thursday) and then radiation treatments start one month after the chemo ends. So far this new chemo isn’t quite as bad as the first stuff I was on. I’m not as bone dead tired, but I’ve been dealing with the 101 degree fevers of unknown origin, which are taxing. I’m hanging in there though and feel that I’m doing pretty darn good for all the drugs they are pumping in me. :)

10/2/11

Another month gone by and another update to post :) I think I’m going to make this my last update because I had my final (FOREVER) chemo treatment last Thursday. Yay! :) The plan is for me to return to work on 10/13. It’s going to be a big adjustment after being off for the past 6 months, but I’m ready to get back to the old routine. Although chemo is done, my treatments aren’t exactly over though. In a month or so I’ll start radiation treatments. I’ll also continue to receive a drug called Herceptin every 3 weeks till next August.

I’m also ready to grow some hair. It was 39 degrees here this morning! ;)

Thanks to all of you that have posted encouraging get well comments and emails during these past months. I really appreciate you all more than you’ll ever know.

{ 256 comments… add one }

  • John Herlocher March 23, 2011, 11:44 am

    Best of luck with your recovery. My mother was a long term cancer patient. One of the best things that she did for herself was to proactively monitor and change her diet to a chemo friendly regiment. She as lucky as chemo didn’t make her overtly sick, just tired. Your Oncologist can probably point you to a good reference for diet. It’ll help you feel better!

  • Dan Cohen March 23, 2011, 11:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this and for encouraging others to take good care of themselves. Here’s to your partner making sure YOU take care of yourself!

    Wishing you the very best and looking forward to you being on the other side of this!!!!

  • Travis March 23, 2011, 11:45 am

    Best of luck Julie! We look forward to many more years of sharing tech with you!

  • Carly March 23, 2011, 11:48 am

    Best of luck for a speedy recovery, Julie…you can do it and you will come out of this strong!

  • Chris Davies March 23, 2011, 11:54 am

    I’ll add my name to the legions of people wishing you a speedy recovery, Julie, and who will be thinking about you and your partner over the coming months as you show cancer who’s boss around here.
    Chris x

  • Jason March 23, 2011, 12:01 pm

    Prayers with you and your partner, Julie. I had two very close friends in the past year receive a similar diagnosis, and both are doing well with treatments. Stay positive and stay strong. You’ve got a lot of folks in your corner. All the best.

  • Philip March 23, 2011, 12:12 pm

    Wishing you all the best. Our thoughts are with you.

  • John Kes March 23, 2011, 12:14 pm

    Hang in there! We are all rooting for you!

    Take care,
    JK

  • KiR March 23, 2011, 1:15 pm

    My thoughts are with you, thanks for sharing your story. I have four long-term cancer survivors in my immediate family, and have confidence that your treatment will have a good outcome.

  • Chip March 23, 2011, 1:39 pm

    Best of luck, Julie!!

    Although I am not a huge contributor, your insight over the years has been invaluable!!!

  • Lofish March 23, 2011, 1:50 pm

    Knock the bits out of this one J! All the best!

  • Kon March 23, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I look forward to reading your great informative articles everyday!! My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

  • raddave9 March 23, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Julie, your site has been one of my daily Internet stops for almost as long as I can remember. I have found many, many of my gadgets by reading your site and I have avoided getting bad gadgets by reading the reviews here. I know that you will do well, that you will come to this with flying colors but just in case–are family will add you to our prayer list. Godspeed.

  • Tom Munch March 23, 2011, 2:06 pm

    I hope you’re drinking this in, Julie. It’s great to find out how many people really care about you, huh?

    Best always…

  • Todd Ray March 23, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Wishing you strength!

  • ucfgrad93 March 23, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Praying for a full recovery!

  • medameda March 23, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Goes to show you that you never know what a person is going through. And as you have helped so many, for so many years, it is my hope that although you don’t know us, we can return the favor and help you with support, prayers and positive thoughts on a full recovery.
    Wishing you all the best. Stay strong and know that so many near or far do care about what you are going through.
    We are all here to help each other along the way……..so glad you shared this journey with us.
    Maria

  • Alan March 23, 2011, 3:40 pm

    The very best of luck Julie although I am relatively new to Gadgeteer I have thoroughly enjoyed reading my daily copy. All the best for a speedy recovery. ;o)

  • Larry March 23, 2011, 3:46 pm

    Our differences aside I wish you nothing but the best and a safe and speedy recovery. You’re a strong individual and I know you’ll kick the crap out of it.

  • Ellen S March 23, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Have been following your site since the beginning. Sending you best wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery! Keep positive thoughts, eat well, and lean on your partner for support.

  • Joel McLaughlin March 23, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Hi Julie,

    We lost my mom in-law to cancer a little over a year ago. She fought the odds and won for 10 years. Her initial prognosis wasn’t good. At every step and every turn she defied the doctors for 10 hard and long years. We didn’t think we were going to get THAT long and I am thankful we did.

    Try to get in every trial you can. If you can’t get into trials where you live, be willing to travel. Columbus, OH where I live has one of the best cancer programs I know at The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at the Ohio State University. It’s not that far from you. I recommend them highly. With out the work of those doctors, we’d have lost Charlotte much sooner and thanks to their work, she got to know my son and her other grand kids….something that I will never forget.

    I’ll be praying for you Julie!

  • thedigitaldoc March 23, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Wish you a speedy recovery and remission. Thoughts are with you.

  • M Freitas March 23, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Stay strong!

  • eddt March 23, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Julie – good luck and hope you have a speedy recovery!

  • Bob DeLoyd March 23, 2011, 5:19 pm

    Only the best of wishes for a courageous Lady!

  • André Warner March 23, 2011, 5:48 pm

    Julie I’ve been reading you for years. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I fully expect you to beat this with one hand tied behind your back and I look forward to continuing to read The Gadgeteer for many more years to come.

    A.

  • cjs March 23, 2011, 6:14 pm

    May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you.

  • PC March 23, 2011, 6:49 pm

    Best wishes for a safe, speedy, and complete recovery. Thank you for sharing this with us. Another kick in the pants to those of us who tend to procrastinate when it comes to our health.

  • Cristiano March 23, 2011, 7:03 pm

    I wish you all the best. Get well soon and fight hard!

  • kendon81 March 23, 2011, 7:30 pm

    as someone new to the site and someone who has had neighbors and family members who have cancer or are in remission i want to wish you a speedy recovery and offer my support.

    regards, and good health,

    ken.

  • JMWarren85 March 23, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Coming from someone who seems to have a family full of this horrible disease, I sincerely wish you all of the luck, love and strength that I know you will need and cherish.

    From experience, staying positive, speaking to survivors and most of all, doing everything within your power to keep your body fighting strong will help.

    Stay strong Julie, you will come out of this experience a much stronger person.

  • Murray Ball March 23, 2011, 8:35 pm

    Hi Jules,
    Wow, what a plethora of support! How loved are you :-)
    Might I say deservedly so as well.
    I don’t know much about this shit other than it’s not nice and as you have always been very kind and very helpful to me, I am sad to hear this not-nice-shit has found you.
    Chin up Darling, I’m sure it will open up a whole new way of looking at the world for you.
    Love at ya,
    Murray

  • Craig March 23, 2011, 8:44 pm

    Julie,
    Another long-time reader here.
    Thank you for sharing and I hope you conquer the cancer.

  • Julie March 23, 2011, 8:55 pm

    Hello everyone :) Only one word comes to mind right now and that’s “OVERWHELMED”. All of your comments have hit me square in the heart. I did not expect this at all. Sure, I thought there were would be comments. But not this many. I’m so grateful to everyone for their kind thoughts. I’m a firm believer in Karma, so all of you have equally good mojo coming your way. Thank you!
    BTW: I updated the article with some info on my first chemo session today. I may continue to do these updates periodically.

  • Shakti March 23, 2011, 9:14 pm

    Add my wishes to you having a speedy and complete recovery.

  • Julie March 23, 2011, 10:42 pm

    I’ll keep watching. I recommend you keep a supply of expensive ice cream on hand.

  • Jack Cook March 23, 2011, 10:58 pm

    Thinking of you everyday. Stay strong, do what the doctor tells you and keep that great attitude!

  • Joe Silverton March 23, 2011, 11:48 pm

    Julie,

    I absolutely love your site and have been reading it for quite a few years now. I am praying for you and truly believe you will beat this for sure.

  • Agnes March 23, 2011, 11:49 pm

    Your diagnosis is similar to mine. I prayed for you, and I’m with you.

  • Art March 24, 2011, 1:21 am

    Stay strong Julie, get well soon!

  • Helena Stone March 24, 2011, 1:46 am

    Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery!

  • pruet March 24, 2011, 3:11 am

    Read your site since the early day (palm iiie is my first PDA) but never post a comment. Well just want to let you know that I and your reader are with you.

  • Ruben March 24, 2011, 6:15 am

    in moments like this, i wish there’s some shit that we can install in our gadgets that allow us to scan our own body.
    *trekkie’s wishful thinking. “scan me up scotty”

    my mom has been diagnosed with some sort of cancer for over 10 years. they can tell the ‘type and where’ till today. from this experience i realized that ‘mind set’ plays a huge role in day-to-day conditions.

    hang in there Julie. don’t let it stop your gadget-voice

  • Chapple March 24, 2011, 8:56 am

    We are thinking of everyday here at the big C. My prayers and thoughts are with you both…

  • Pam T. March 24, 2011, 9:19 am

    Thank you so very much for sharing your story with us, Julie. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery with the least amount of down time possible.

    FWIW, a coworker’s friend is in her 10th year of recovery, and I’ll always remember hearing how she never took an extra day off even while having chemo. May you be as blessed in all ways.

  • James Goforth March 24, 2011, 9:21 am

    Julie

    Everyone here @work is wishing you a speedy recovery, you are in everyone’s prayers here also. My wife’s mother passed away from breast cancer, but back then they didn’t have all the latest medicine and new procedures they have now. Hang in there, I know you are going to beat this thing. I am glad to hear that your first round of Chemo went well.

    Get well soon Julie

  • Mina March 24, 2011, 9:44 am

    I’m another long-time daily reader, since 1999 or so. I hope you keep your sense of humor throughout this ordeal. Maybe we’ll be reading about new medical gadgets you see in your doctor’s office or iPhone apps to track how you feel during your treatment! :)

    You and your family are in all our thoughts!

  • Jorge Vargas March 24, 2011, 9:48 am

    I wish you a fast recovery. My mother has been diagnosed with a similar condition and had surgery twice in the last two months but things look good for her, and I hope for you as well.

  • Paul March 24, 2011, 10:23 am

    Julie – Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

  • Periku March 24, 2011, 10:48 am

    Keep on fighting!

    All my thoughts will be with you, sending a kind of wireless-strenght ;-)

    Pedro from Cartagena, Spain.

  • daniele carmagnola March 24, 2011, 1:28 pm

    From as far away as Rome, Italy, best luck!

  • Dave in SF March 24, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your situation and your story. It will help others- either to seek diagnosis or to give support to those who are going through something similar. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We’re all behind you. Get well.

  • Bret from Champaign, IL March 24, 2011, 1:45 pm

    My sister-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and she is doing great now, I wish the same for you!

  • Jessica March 24, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Thinking of you and hoping for a speedy, complete recovery!

  • Moi ici March 24, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Blessings and lots of love. You will be back and in greater health than ever. I know these things;)

  • Bob DeLoyd March 24, 2011, 3:37 pm

    Julie
    I’ve bookmarked this and will be following your updates.
    Again, Only the best of wishes for a courageous Lady!

  • Frank March 24, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Wishing you all the best. . . .

  • RichardE March 24, 2011, 6:30 pm

    Julie, wishing you all the best. Your positive attitude is inspiring to us all. Take care

  • Brian Lee March 24, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Add another to the many who wish you nothing but the best!! I sincerely hope that knowing so many people are thinking of you helps to make things a little better whenever you feel down as you fight through this.

  • Thomas R. Hall March 24, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Julie, I wish you the best!

  • glennjh March 25, 2011, 12:42 am

    My prayers are with you.
    Blessings to you and Jeanne.

  • Ermin M. March 25, 2011, 12:52 am

    We’re behind you every step of the way!

  • Michael Anderson March 25, 2011, 6:22 am

    Julie – thanks for posting it, and for building such a great community through the years. We are all wishing you the very best, and know that with such a great partner by your side you are going to do fine!

  • Bob N March 25, 2011, 8:42 am

    Julie, hope that the treatments go as predicted. I had lymphoma a dozen years ago, and it was treated with chemo and radiation. I was lucky with the short term effects (no nausea, little tiredness, etc.) and with the long term remission. After a few years of check ups, my oncologist declared me “cured” and said no need to return unless symptoms appear. Hope that this experience helps to reinforce your sense that things do turn out well.

  • Dale March 25, 2011, 5:36 pm

    Julie, been reading your site since around ’99… very sad to hear the news, but confident you will kick the arse (I’m from the UK!) of this horrible disease… we will be thinking about you from this side of the pond!

  • ottomatic28 March 26, 2011, 9:55 am

    Thanks for sharing this information. Stay well, Julie, and conquer!

  • Butch Cloninger March 26, 2011, 5:18 pm

    Best wishes, Julie, for a speedy and complete recovery! Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. And major kudos for speaking out about the dangers of self-delusion and personal health.

  • Julie March 28, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Hi all. I posted another quick update. I’ll continue to do so in hopes that it might help others going through the same or similar thing that I am right now.

  • Jamey McDonald March 29, 2011, 5:44 pm

    You can beat it Julie! Stay positive. We are all thinking of you!

  • Ross Rubin March 31, 2011, 1:08 am

    Julie, I’ve enjoyed reading your site since the heyday of Palm PDAs and still consider it a wonderful ressource for gadget information that has its own personality and value very distinct from the big gadget blogs that came after The Gadgeteer. Thank you for bringing this important health issue to your community’s attention and I wish you all the best for a complete recovery with minimal discomfort.

  • Jim April 3, 2011, 2:33 pm

    U r n good hands. U will come out of it stronger and healthier than ever b4.

    Best wishes,
    Jim

  • Brian April 6, 2011, 5:22 am

    Hi Julie, I’ve been reading your reviews for the longest time… haven’t been reading again until now and saw your post regarding your cancer… I pray for your speedy recovery! Keep up your good spirit!

  • Julie April 8, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I posted another update. This time with noggin pix! :)

  • Bob DeLoyd April 8, 2011, 5:20 pm

    I shaved my head last month but by mistake- I tried to do it myself with a new electric razor I bought, had it on the wrong setting, dang! My girlfriend likes it cut short, though, and it feels much better to me and easier to wash.
    I just hope nobody thinks we’re skinheads :(
    Here’s hoping you get better soon!
    From yer loyal reader Bob :)

  • Fred Johnston April 12, 2011, 3:25 am

    Hang in there darlin’! And thanks for the words of advice for people playing headgames to avoid getting things checked out.

    My dad is a colon cancer survivor from way back in the 1980s thanks to a particulalry pushy no-BS doctor. She saved his life. I am proud to say that, at 41, I’ve had two colonoscopies as recommended based on my family history.

    Best wishes,
    Fred

  • Tom Munch April 12, 2011, 7:43 am

    I like the look sans hair, Julie. Glad you’re doing so well so far..

  • Mike Hughes April 12, 2011, 9:57 am

    Hey Julie:

    Hoping/praying the fevers STOP :)

    Mike

  • Chapple April 12, 2011, 10:26 am

    Thanks for the updates Julie. I am thinking of you. Stay strong and take down the intruder!! :-)

    CC

  • Julie April 12, 2011, 11:08 am

    @Tom I actually don’t mind the hair thing at all. It’s actually kind of liberating :)

  • Ian April 12, 2011, 11:47 am

    I like the new “hair” do:)

    Keep the blog going Julie.
    First lesson here to get out is: If something feels wrong get it checked out EARLY.
    Second lesson: Routine ups and downs of treatment and why it’s not so scary and one does adapt.

    Your blog is teaching so much to inform so many. Keep it going Julie as I am sure many new cancer patients will draw comfort and knowledge from your experiences.
    Perhaps some photos of your undergoing chemo would help inform. Knowledge of the “unknown” is a powerful and educating tool that reduces fear/concern. Small unknowns can lead to misunderstandings and hospitals often can lose this perspective even though they try their best.

    A short story of one missunderstanding: Just b4 I underwent DaVinci surgery for prostate cancer I visited the hospital and was given a run down of the events surrounding the procedure and the immediate aftermath. This included the nurse telling me I would have a catheter in for several days. She then pulled out of her magic bag the catheter and a flexible clear plastic tube about 1/2 an inch, or more, wide leading into the “bottle”. I gasped and almost passed out. “You mean that HUGE thing is going into my xxxxx!!!!!” I GASPED in total horror/shock/fear! And I fell back into my chair. “Oh No!” laughed the nurse. “This is the draining end”. As my pulse rate fell from 200++ down I said: “May I respectfully suggest that with the next patient you pull out the thin tubing end first, so they don’t have the shock I had!”

    Yeah these little things are funny to laugh at when you know everything. But small unknowns and misunderstandings are what causes so much of the fear.

    Ergo your blog here is doing a great service in informing everyone of the process and enlightening us.

    Get well soon:) (Hope I wasn’t too graphic!)

  • Barty April 13, 2011, 10:48 am

    Hi Julie – Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you… Hoping for the best…

  • Richard April 14, 2011, 12:45 am

    My wife went through breast cancer and when she lost her hair someone recommend that she get a baseball cap and put a scrunch on it. I think I spelled it correctly. Anyway, it is just a pony tail that she hooked to the back of the hat and wore that every where. It made her feel much better during the time with no hair.

  • Julie April 14, 2011, 10:38 am

    @Richard I don’t mind not having hair at all. It really saves time getting cleaned up in the morning :) I wear a pink camo knit head cover when I go out.

  • Julie April 20, 2011, 5:31 pm

    I posted another update :)

  • Tom Munch April 20, 2011, 6:12 pm

    Glad you made it through number two. Keep on keepin’ on, Julie.

  • JMWarren85 May 4, 2011, 9:53 pm

    @Julie

    How did your follow up with your doctor go?

    I have been crossing all my fingers and toes for you.

  • Julie May 5, 2011, 12:59 pm

    @JMWarren85 I just returned home from having my 3rd chemo treatment this morning. I’m feeling pretty good today which is great since I haven’t had a lot of good days this past 3 weeks. The 2nd treatment really knocked me on my butt. I never new what fatigue was till now. But besides all that, the treatments appear to be working. The doc has examined the mass and says it feels less dense and smaller. :) So I have another chemo treatment in 21 days and then surgery. After that I might have more chemo and / or radiation. Just depends on the pathology.

  • Chapple May 6, 2011, 11:44 am

    Thanks for the updates Julie. Thinking of you quite often. Hang tough pal and hope to see you soon!!

  • Ted May 20, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Julie,

    I’m one of many who have enjoyed your site over the years. How are you doing? My thoughts are with you.

    Ted

  • Julie May 22, 2011, 8:00 pm

    I just posted another update.

  • Tom Munch May 22, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Hang in there, Julie. I’m pulling for you. Thanks for the update, even if you’re feeling worse now.

  • Bob DeLoyd May 22, 2011, 10:14 pm

    We’re all wishing you well, you are in our thoughts daily, hang tough kid!

  • 1000Acres May 22, 2011, 10:48 pm

    I think about you daily and wish you an easier time soon. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  • Julie May 23, 2011, 7:16 am

    My last update must have came across wrong. I’m not feeling bad right now. The only time I feel really crummy is a week or so after my treatments. After a week I start feeling better. So it’s really not THAT bad. I’m not complaining at all. I know a lot of people have it much much worse. :)

  • Tom Munch May 23, 2011, 7:57 am

    I think it just sounds more difficult with the transfusion and all. I’m glad the effects wear off in a week each time. That’s been my experience with other friends and family who have been through different chemo treatments as well. Sorry to make you feel hovered over. It’s hard to show you care and are supportive without coming across wrong. :-)

  • Bob DeLoyd May 23, 2011, 3:40 pm

    @Tom Munch: “It’s hard to show you care and are supportive without coming across wrong.”
    That’s is how I feel, too.

  • Julie May 23, 2011, 5:07 pm

    @Tom You’re not hovering at all :) I appreciate EVERYONE’s good thoughts, questions and emails.
    Good news, I didn’t have to have any white blood cell boosting shots or a transfusion today! My counts are close to normal. Yay! That means I get to have my 4th chemo Thursday. Can’t wait to have that behind me.

  • chuckster May 25, 2011, 8:57 am

    awesome! you will be prevail in this challenge, God works through people that love you, continuing prayers and energy, competent doctors and and your wholesome spirit, one day at a time although some may be hard. You are a tough gal, you will be fine.

  • Ian May 26, 2011, 9:27 am

    4th time lucky today Julie:)

  • Bob DeLoyd May 26, 2011, 11:25 am

    Fingers and toes crossed!

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