Thursday, September 22, 2011

How many more?
What number are you on??

Dearest fans,

SO much has happened since my last post. Now, that I'm going weekly to chemo it seems like every person crossing my path wants to know "So what # treatment is this?" or "How many left?" or "Hey you're almost done right?!"
.....Nope. I'm not. And no, believe it or not I do not have a Dick Clark NYE style countdown clock running constantly through my brain. This has become part of my life and I have accepted it.  I have never looked at any trying time as temporary, or tried to rush through miss life that way. Every experience shapes me in some way to handle future experiences. Nor am I quick to take anything for face value or put all my eggs in any one basket.  There is just too much that can change in these situations as I have experienced firsthand. That being said...I have had 6 of my scheduled 12 Taxol/Herceptin rounds. Therefore it stands to reason that my last Taxol will be November 1st if nothing is altered between now and then. Dr. Pippas says my body will need a month to recover from the effects.  I will continue going every 3 weeks for Herceptin well into the spring/summer.

I will not be sad to bid Taxol "Adieu" once and forever.  I am now dealing with brittle nails, skin splitting fingertips and feet, and dry skin.  Not to mention, the severe thinning of my eyebrows and eyelashes...sadness. I didn't really notice until I looked back at some recent photos, then it hit me. Bam. I have had to get pretty handy with some makeup tricks, and am open to any suggestions. In other health news, the seroma under my left arm has almost completely self-dissipated so that is a big relief (A.K.A. no surgery)!

Another....development....I have been placed on a "leave of absence" from work.  My email has been cut off and my picture has been removed from the staff directory.  They intend to hire a replacement for the position I was working when diagnosed.  I suppose this is a cup half full/half empty situation.  On one hand, I am not pressured by the gnawing feeling the high school programs won't succeed as a result of my inability to cultivate them.  On the other hand, my income level has decreased DRAMATICALLY.  Thank goodness I had the mature insight to sign up for Short Term Disability many moons ago.  Also, I am truly obligated to say three simple words at this point: Thank You Daddy. Without his help (which is not fun accepting to this extent at age 29) I would be homeless....foodless.....helpless (hey, isn't that a CSNY song? I digress...).  When I am able to return (in December hopefully) I will be at the mercy of the "whatever's open" option. Pray.For.Me. I am very anxiety ridden in regard to this particular destiny. Would it be like, totally rude of me to remind you of the donate button at the top of this page right about now? ;)

On a brighter note, LaGrange is preparing for "Paint The Town Pink" this weekend. Today I had the honor of painting my hand prints and initials on the white brick wall that will greet visitors at the Body Works exhibit/reception.  I told you of this art project in an earlier post...survivors of all kinds of scary diseases decorated torsos to symbolize their journeys, and their fight to conquer their intended defeaters. I am excited to tell you that my torso was chosen (only 8 total) to hang in the new building of the hospital.  Before that however, the exhibit will tour as far as Cape Cod!  Saturday will kick off with the Hope For A Day 10 mile walk, then the downtown event.  I am looking forward to an emotional day with some of the coolest chicks I've ever met. It is always a bittersweet but beautiful celebration...a sorority-like gathering of women and their loved ones....of strength, grief, accomplishment, remembrance, honor, strife, and pride.

If you are on Facebook, and have not joined us yet, please become a fan of The Carly Byrd Hope Fund page:  This is the best way to stay updated on all the fundraisers, events, interviews, etc. that are being held in my honor. One such recent event was tossing the first pitch at the Lady Grangers softball game. The team wore pink jerseys and it was very special.

Also, my cancer story was printed in this week's Troup County Banner so grab a copy if you spot it (it's pink!).
Lastly...Don't miss your chance at these fundraisers from my friends and supporters!

Pink ribbons for your yard and/or front door are available at The Greenhouse Nursery ($5 of every purchase goes to my Hope Fund!) and....

...T-SHIRTS I DESIGNED (gray OR pink) will be available as early as Friday! Woot woot!  Naturally, they will feature my signature bird carrying the pink ribbon in its mouth, and quite fittingly a Stevie Nicks lyric....of course

I will be sure to share pictures and anecdotes after the coming weekend.  I will leave you with a quote I stumbled upon earlier tonight:

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. -Helen Keller