Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby Update and Belly/Boob Casting

We had our 38 week ultrasound this morning and everything looked good. She's around the 62nd percentile and weighs 7.5 lbs. Praise God for a growing and active baby!

I also met with my oncologist this week and she seemed surprised that I've made it this far in the pregnancy and expressed a bit of concern about me delaying chemo too much further (I can't go back on the next chemo drug until I'm not pregnant). So I'll be having some in-depth conversations with my OB next week about potentially inducing labor around 39 weeks. (note: I know inducing labor early is a hot button topic for some folks, but unless you've been pregnant with breast cancer or you have an MD in Obstetrics/Oncology, I really don't want to hear you're opinion on the topic. kthankyou!).

Switching gears a bit ...

This week I also got to do something really fun and special, which was to have to my boobs and belly cast by Keep A Breast.

In progress
Final product
It's really special because I'll never had this body again. I'll be losing my "bump" to gain a baby very shortly, and I'm not sure if I'll ever be pregnant again. And I'm almost certainly getting a double mastectomy (with reconstruction) this Summer, so I'll have different boobs after that.

I'm trying to think of what to have painted on the cast to make it a true piece of art (artist, I am not). There are some really cool ideas out there. Suggestions wanted!

Finally, thank you to everyone who bought something via the Pampered Chef Fundraiser. Ya'll are amazing! If you are still wanting to help us out in some way, you can check out the the "How to Help" tab on this site. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life Lately

Just a little update on my life since I've not posted in a while...

I'm actually feeling really good three weeks post-chemo. If I still had my hair, I wouldn't even remember that I'd gone through 4 rounds of chemo already. I thank God all the time that I've felt this good during treatment and can enjoy my life with my friends and family.
Out to dinner with friends last weekend

I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant, which means I'm almost full term! I never imagined we'd make it this far. Now I'm just praying and praying baby girl stays healthy and comes out when she feels ready sometime in the next couple of weeks. We have another growth ultrasound next week that I am excited and anxious for. I think she's still growing well because I feel a lot bigger.
This was actually at 35w, I'm bigger now I think

I've been walking a lot for both my health and because I hear that can make babies "drop" and get ready to be born. I do 1.5-3 miles a day depending on how I feel. Last weekend I did a 5k walk for Miracle Babies with a couple of other beautiful moms-to-be. So fun!
Due in August, due in June, due that day!

I celebrated my first Mother's Day as a Mom (to be). We celebrated by having a giant brunch on top of Symphony Towers at the University Club with my parents. It was amazing! Jonathan gave me me the sweetest card that made me cry. I pray this is the first of many many Mother's Days that we get to spend as a family.
The view
Parents to be
Me and my Mom

I'm finishing up my last week of work before maternity leave this week. My company has been so great letting me work part time from home during chemo. My plan is to return to work in the fall after I have surgery for the cancer (which unfortunately means a longer leave than just maternity leave). In the fall I may try to work while doing radiation since I hear that's doable. It's so crazy to think about being away from work for ~5 months. I never taken a break from work or school this long in my life. Strange.

As my big pre-baby project, I've been trying to complete all my digital scrapbooks from prior years before we have an onslaught of baby pictures to albumize. I make my layouts in Photoshop Elements and then get the books printed by Blurb. It's fun but takes a long time. My goal is to finish 2011-2012 by the time the baby arrives and I'm half-way through 2011. You can preview my 2010 book that I just finished here. I love looking at my parents pictures from before I was born and I hope that someday my daughter will like having these books too (she can see how FUN we used to be!).

That's about it for life lately! I'll post updates later next week after the oncologist checkup appointment and growth ultrasound. Thank you for all of your continued prayers for health for me and our little one! I know God is hears them.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fighting Fancy

Recently one of my new "breast friends", Megan, told me about an amazing organization that helps young women fighting breast cancer called Fighting Fancy. They provide chemo "goodie bags" that help combat the side effects of chemo and help to lift spirits.

So I submitted my application and soon I heard back from the amazing founder, Heather, that my bag was on it's way! Heather also wrote the sweetest profile about me and my family's cancer journey on her website.

Last Monday I got my Fighting Fancy box and it totally made my day. 

I got an awesome tote bag that I've already been using a ton.
I carry a lot of stuff these days.

And I got a a plethora of wonderful and helpful products

I also got a sweet note from Heather and an adorable drawing from a 3rd grader.
YES! I want a Fighting Fancy baby onesie!!!

So cute.

And finally, I got the signature Fighting Fancy tank top!
It still (mainly) fits over the bump!

And since I've not posted a bald picture in a while I thought this would be an appropriate occasion.

 Here is the obligatory side shot at 35 weeks pregnant.
Bald and big but still fighting fancy!

Thank you Heather and Fighting Fancy! You seriously rock. Keep up the great work!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chemo Break

I'm officially 10 days into my chemo break and besides not having any hair I'm feeling like a regular ole pregnant lady. Achy back, ribs hurt from getting kicked, braxton-hicks contractions -- just the usual stuff for the final weeks of pregnancy. But no lasting effects from the AC chemo that I can pinpoint.

As I explained before, I'm taking a break from chemo until I deliver the baby and then I'll get taxol chemo.

It makes me nervous to be off chemo for ~6 weeks. Like what if my tumors start growing or spreading? I just want to keep fighting this beast! I know that being off of it for 6 weeks is not a big deal and I trust my oncologist, but I just keep thinking I want this baby to hurry up and get here so I get back to chemo. However, I also know I'll have a better delivery and heal quicker if I rebuild my blood cell counts (which I'm doing right now) and if I let her come on her own. 

I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for the next five weeks. I'm working for two more weeks and spending lots of time in between having lunches and dinners with friends. Oh and I still have a million dr. appointments (mainly for the baby, not the cancer). But other than that, I don't have any real goals or things I need to accomplish before she gets here. I feel ready. Another reason that I just want her to come already.

Just to show you how "normal pregnant lady" I've become, I made a little belly-comparison collage. Each of these photos are 7 weeks apart.

Grow baby grow!

Actually, I lied, there is still one thing I still need to do before baby girl gets here... pick a pediatrician. I want someone who will embrace my milk-sharing, organic baby food-making, integrative medicine philosophies but can also deal with a type-a, hypochondriac mother (however, I think I've earned the right to be a bit of hypochondriac, don't you agree?). That's a tall order.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pampered Chef Fundraiser for Us from my Sister-in-Law

My sister-in-law, Katie, is a Pampered Chef saleswoman. She reached out to me recently because Pampered Chef is honoring Cancer Patients during the month of May by donating some of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society via their "Help Whip Cancer" campaign. I was so touched when she asked me if additionally she could do a fundraiser for me in the month of May to go toward my cancer medical bills.

Here is the sweet letter that Katie wrote and sent out about the fundraiser....

Dear Family and Friends,

Pampered Chef is honoring Cancer Patients during the month of May. For every Pink Product purchased, $1 will be donated to American Cancer Society.

I would also like to honor my sister-in-law, Kirsten. When Kirsten was 26 weeks pregnant she was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer called Triple-Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage II. Kirsten is 29 years old. She has already completed four rounds of chemotherapy and is currently building up her white blood count and energy to give birth to her precious little bundle of joy that is due June 8th. After giving birth Kirsten will return for more chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. At this point baby G 
is looking healthy and Kirsten is looking forward to meeting her baby girl! 

If you would like to follow Kirsten’s progress her blog site is:

For any and all items purchased through Pampered Chef under Kirsten's name from May 1st through May 22nd Kirsten will receive a percentage from the product sales which will go toward helping with her medical bills. Please log onto, click shop online, and type in Kirsten as the Host. Make sure that when you order you have the products purchased shipped directly to you. 

Thank you,
Pampered Chef Consultant

I've said before that I'm not usually one to ask for handouts, but seriously, how sweet is that? And I really like my Pampered Chef products that I've purchased.

If you've never shopped Pampered Chef products before you should really check it out. They have some great stuff for cooking and baking, and get new products in all the time.

I love my Pampered Chef garlic peeler and slicer set. I use it multiple times a week because garlic has great anti-cancer properties.
Just add garlic!

And seriously how cute are the pink products that benefit the American Cancer Society? I like this knife.
I'll call this "Help Stab Cancer"

There are also great gifts for Father's Day, so be sure to check out the wide array of products on the Pampered Chef website.