Friday, May 27, 2011

Let the chemo begin!

I met with the oncologist yesterday. The plan is that I'll do 6 rounds of chemo, 21 days apart. I'm interested in getting started. I know I'm headed into a pretty rough time, but just trying to stay positive. Thank you for all of your prayers and sweet thoughts. I love you all and I'll keep you updated on how it's going.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy birthday Camstar!

Cam is considered my lucky charm for yesterday! It was his birthday and he is the cutest son EVER! I'm very happy he is part of our family and his awesome birthday brought great news!

Dr Dodson and I spoke last night. Yes, I was waiting on pins and needles all day. I finally had to make myself eat around 2pm because I was so amped up that food sounded disgusting. I stayed positive for the most part but this whole thing has been a weird experience for me emotionally. I have never had a hard time being happy. I enjoy life and people a lot so this roller coaster I've been on for the last 7 weeks has been filled with ups and downs I didn't know existed in my emotional range. Yesterday was hard because I freaking just sat here and watched tv. I'm recovering still so it's not like I could go to work or exercise to distract myself. So crap man, I just sat with my thoughts all day. Like I said, positive for the most part, but the creepies came in. I found I had to use anger to push them out! I was mad at this thing yesterday. I had to remind myself why I wouldn't let it get to me. All the people that I want to be around and enjoy, things I still want to see and experience, physically how I want to feel, all these things that mean so much to me! So yeah, I just made myself mad at it and that really seemed to do the trick for me, helped me from going crazy.

I had tumors in both ovaries, one in my pelvic area, and one in my abdominal wall. All of these were removed with the surgery. All of the biopsies that were taken came back clear which is AWESOME! You know, doctors are amazing people. I am so grateful they know how to do what they do. I told Dr Dodson that I sure appreciated him, but it didn't seem like enough. I am grateful to be one of his patients because he is awesome at what he does. So now I will meet with the chemo oncologist(Dr Whisenat) to find out what he determines will be my best path to take. The chemo is to destroy anything microscopic and to prevent it from coming back. I know everyone is very interested in whether or not I NEED the chemo. I do if I want to go to every length to make sure this doesn't come back. I'm young, I need to buy myself at least 50 more years and at least 50 more trips to Hawaii with my cute hubby! :)

Thanks for all the well wishes! All of the sweet people around me, cheering for me! You all will never know what you've done for my attitude and morale! Thank you a million times over!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update from the husband.

Hello friends and family. So I may need to go back in time a bit so I can kind of hit everything I'd like to tell everyone. So when Cort first got the diagnosis that she had cancer I had a flood of emotions. Initially I went right to the worst thoughts, I couldn't keep them out of my head. Nothing positive was in there. The only personal experience I could draw from was my moms experience and for those of you that know my mom didn't make it. So with that said I really struggled for the first little bit. Cort had to tell me on the phone, bless her heart she wanted to wait until I got home but I was 400 miles away driving home from Tuscon with Tayler. Suffice to say I about drove off the road, too fast, too slow thank god it was light outside. So I pulled over got out of my truck ( I think it was in park) screamed, yelled, swore a lot but couldn't find anything to punch and my truck is new so I managed not to punch it. Tayler eased out of the truck and gave me a big hug and it calmed me down and right at that minute I realized I was going to have to react differently to this issue than my normal behavior wanted me to. When my mom had cancer I was a different person. I had been in denial, didn't want to know about treatments, hated to go to appts. I just wanted her to get better and if I ignored it I thought it would go away. I harbor some guilt from that time in life because I feel like I needed to be more engaged but honestly back then I was not equipped to deal with adversity. I would go into a shell and hide, not listen and just escape..... Code for a drunken binge. Life is so different now!!!! I face things, I fight, I work hard, I love and am loved back. Right then standing out in the middle of nowhere I told myself you are different, strong and I could deal with anything that gets thrown my way. So Tay and I got back in the truck. I got on the phone with Cort and we cried for a minute. I wasn't there and I just wanted to hold her but couldn't. No worries her mom, Lindsey and her sister to the rescue. I felt good and decided to drive safe and get home safe. It sure wasn't going to help by driving 120 mph, wreck or tickets. Talk about a long ass drive, man.

Well we got home safe, had a good hug and cry and instantly started to try to go to the positive thoughts. The first few days were a bit rough not knowing really how bad it was or might be, we couldn't wait to get in to the oncologist. We wanted information,we wanted to start the process. Patience probably isn't either of our best attributes but no choice really. Well the medical stuff Cort already covered but it's daunting. So off to another subject or two.

So since the initial diagnosis and everything I am completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, thoughts and prayers we have been given by soooooooo many people. I knew a lot of people thought highly of Cort but wow. All our family, friends, mill creek friends, my clients, Cort's gym buddies and just so many others have called, texted, emailed, face booked, blogged, sent cards and visited. I am so grateful and thankful for every one of you. We have the best support system we could ask for. Thank you all so very much. We and all of you are busy people and to take time out of your own lives to wish us well and help us get through this is So appreciated. We have been utterly surprised by the amount of people we knew that had cancer in the past and we would have never guessed. He have drawn so much strength from all the stories we have heard not to mention the people we already knew had had their struggles with cancer. Once again thanks so much to all of you for your stories of success in your own fights with this shitty disease. We are truly touched.

I myself have a pretty small family but have married into a wonderfully caring large family. You have all showed me how much love people can have for each other and I couldn't have dealt with what we have without each of you. I am so blessed. I am an only child and really never gave much thought to the sibling thing because I just didn't know different. But to watch Cort with her siblings and the true love they have for each other is so touching to me. Everyone has been here for us but I have to say that Megan you are an amazing girl and in my mind an angel. She has taken such good care of her sister and our dog Raven and went to any lengths she can to make Cort comfortable, happy, healthy and informed. She has made this journey much more bearable to say the least and this has been easier because of her. I don't have a biological sister but if I did I would hope she was EXACTLY like Megan. I also have to say I have been given so much strength from some long time friends Gary and Chandy Bronson. They have been through there own very long battle with this disease and have been by our sides with every step. They're strength is contagious and the support they have given us is immeasurable. Sometimes people come back into your lives for different reasons and for some reason we had managed to reconnect and I think it has been beneficial to all of us. Thanks so much.

I can't go much further without writing about our kids Lindsey , Cam and Tayler. This has all been easier because of them. The support, love and the fact we don't have to worry about them because they all are so independent, driven and just great people. Cam just finishing nursing school!!!!! Awesome. Lindsey educating the next generation of kids every year and making a difference in so many kids life. And Tayler excelling in her cycling career and taking in all she is learning from her pro team Peanut Butter 2012 and the USA national team. The best thing you can all do for us is keep focusing on your achievements and accomplishments. We are so proud of each of you and want you to keep doing what your doing.

Ok, April 20th surgery. Cort had a full complete hysterectomy. While they were in there they took biopsies of all her major organs. The oncologist told us after that they saw no visible tumors. That was the best case scenario of news we could have gotten today. This coming Tuesday we will get the results back from all the biopsies and know more then. I will definitely blog as soon as we know the rest. Once again thank you to everyone that has had us in your prayers and thoughts. Everything everyone has done and said to us has helped and we are grateful.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I love you all so much!

My heart is bursting today! This is the start of a pretty intense week. I need to let all of you know how much I love and appreciate you. I have been the lucky recipient of the best texts, cards, phone calls, emails, special visits into the restaurant, hugs, you name it, I have felt it! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to let me know you are thinking about me. I have been blown away by the encouragement and support. I really have used you all for strength. Wow....I have said it before, but I am blessed. I have a hard time putting it into words, but you all have a special place in my heart. Thank you again!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm hanging in there!

This is completely unrelated to what else I'm going to write, but have I mentioned that my kids are cool? Totally fun night with Lindsey on Friday! We had great conversation and went and watched some local music! She's awesome! She and Cameron have just managed their lives so well and I'm really proud of them. Good things are coming their way and they've made it happen for themselves. Love them both.

So, my surgery is the 20th. I'm going to try to answer some questions people have been asking a lot, and hopefully this helps.

1. Should you be waiting to have surgery? I want everyone to know I'm very comfortable with waiting. I trust my doctor, and he'd like me to be completely healed from my last surgery so he's able to see everything where it's suppose to be.
2. Do you need a second opinion? I've met with my surgeon, my gynecologist, and talked to the oncologist who will handle my treatment. They all collectively agree that I'm on the path I need to be on. I trust them completely.
3. Do you need a full hysterectomy? Yes, I do. Plain and simply, if the cancer is going to spread, it will spread to the other ovary. I know that nothing can replace natural hormones, but I would never be able to relax if I left that sucker in there. For my own sanity, I'm taking everything out, not to mention, I really don't want to go through another surgery down the road to have it removed if I can avoid that.
4. Do you have to do chemo? No, I don't HAVE to do anything, but is it recommended? Yeah, totally. They are worried because the cyst had ruptured. It was laying on everything. There might be little guys floating around in there that they can't see and I want them fried. I want every chance to kick this thing now, I will do whatever I can to ensure it does not come back, and if that's what they tell me to do, then bring it!
5. What's your recovery going to be like? Well, to be honest I don't know until the surgery. Best case scenario Dr Dodson does a laparoscopy and my recovery should be a couple of weeks. If he goes in and sees anything alarming, any tumors, I will have an incision pretty much from my sternum to my hairline. Recovery for that is 8 weeks. So I have to wait for surgery, it's the next big step. Chemo will start when I'm recovered. And depending on what they find in surgery will determine what kind of we wait.

It's been weird this last week. I had my daughters race in Redlands to look forward to between my diagnosis and my surgery. That has passed now, so reality is setting in a little bit. It's coming up quick. I'm nervous but also anxious to get this started, to get it behind me. I'm sick of thinking about it all the time, I try not to but it creeps in. I physically feel as great as I ever have, strong, good energy, so I'm going to use that to my advantage. I also have kept really busy, preparing my business for me being gone so I can have some peace of mind.

Thank you all so much for your concern and interest in what's going on. It has truly been overwhelming. I am surrounded by so many awesome people in my world, I am a lucky girl! Love you all, thanks for the support.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My first race experience with Tay and PB!

I couldn't get through this weekend without saying something about this biking stuff! Being in Redlands has given me a whole different perspective on why Tay loves this so much. Besides her being amazing at it, the team and the environment are not too shabby either.

We watched the road race yesterday, it was hot! I didn't mind because I was anxious to see the sun, but it was rough on all the riders!

From start to finish, what a great experience! It reminded me of when I've run races! You get those butterflies in your chest that kind of come up your throat with excitement. You listen to the music pumpin' and listen to the announcers. We listened to the announcer introduce the top 15 riders, both men and women, as they lined up. We watched the men first, and then they took off. Women coming muscles were tense, I get crazy excited for this stuff. Ahhhhhh, so fun! Anyway, a couple of things impressed me. Tay and PB entered the line up from the opposite side of the street. I don't know if this was for an intimidation factor or just for positioning but it was cool nonetheless. So they roll up to the line.....T-dub right up front with three of her teammates. The other teammates are split up throughout the group. I don't completely understand the stategy, but I'm learning more all the time. I will say this though, Tay had her game face on boy! I freaking love that, it was all business. She was ready to rock! I love the fact that she looked like she was not going to be distracted. That's hard to do, especially when there are more camera people than I've ever seen. They are constantly in the girls faces, running around like little busy bees, snapping shots. It's pretty funny. There was a press tent, people with microphones doing interviews, it was a total trip.

So they get ready to start, and we start banging on the boards lining the course and hollering at the riders, the crowd got going. What an overwhelming feeling of pride I felt for her. You know, I don't consider myself a booby person, but this stuff brings the tears man! What a swell of emotion to watch this, I couldn't help but cry and cheer at the same time. They did three laps so we watched them come by about 2 miles from the finish on the first two laps. That was fun because it was just Rick and I chillin' in the middle of this neighborhood with our books and camp chairs. Then we headed back to the end. The finish was cool to watch because those girls work so hard all the way in. I had another weeping moment watching her come in, I can't believe that's my kid. This awesome girl, riding with the top racers in the sport, and I get to be a part of her world. I love her dearly and am thrilled she gets to participate in this. I am grateful today, that I am a part of two girls lives whom I love dearly. I am overly proud of my daughters, they are wonderful people and hard workers. I am thankful to them for letting me be a part of their lives. I have a wonderful life and I owe them and their wonderful dad for a lot of that.

We are headed to the crit today, I'm looking forward to more excitement! Me seeing this was long over due! I'm loving it, wish I could follow her around all the time!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why a blog?

So,let me start out by saying that I never thought in a million years I'd have a blog.I don't know how great I'll be at it, but my sweet daughter(thank you Linds) helped me set this up, so here it goes.

I would first like to try to put into words the absolute gratitude I feel toward all of you that have given me support through this crazy time. The love and concern you have shown has been overwhelming. I am surrounded by an amazing group of people and every one of you has filled my heart to the bursting point. I am one lucky girl, in fact, just writing this has me choked up. I love you all dearly.

So hopefully this will help everyone keep up to date on what's going on......and I'll start from the beginning.

I started having abdominal pain last summer, uncomfortable, but manageable. I went in for my yearly check-up in October and mentioned it to my doctor. She ordered an ultra-sound and there was some bleeding present but they couldn't tell where it originated from. My doctor(Dr Shorter) referred me to a gynecologist(Dr Holmes) for a more extensive exam. Because of the tenderness in my lower abdominal region, she ordered another ultra-sound. From US#1 to US#2 there seemed to be improvement in the bleeding, so I was given a choice of surgery to go in and look around or just see if it would heal itself. Of course I wanted to avoid surgery, so I waited a couple more months. The pain continued. We scheduled surgery and Dr Holmes performed a laparoscopy on March 1st. One small incision in my belly button, one on each side. She told me often times she'll go in and not see anything going on. Well, that was NOT the case when it came to me! Pretty freaking huge cyst came out of Cortney's stomach! It's been compared to a small dinner plate and was full of one liter of blood. It had burst and bled into itself, spreading until it was laying on most of my organs. Dr Holmes talked to Rick after surgery and explained she totally understood why I was in so much pain. It came off clean, so that's that right?

My recovery was easy, felt awesome actually, no more pain, life is sweet! Dr Holmes called me the following Tuesday. The pathology came back and it was a very rare form of ovarian cancer.(it's called a Mesodermal adenosarcoma, please don't look it up, it will freak you out). It's rare because there have only been like 40 cases in the last 30 years. I found out that rare doesn't necessarily mean good or bad though so we are cool. I was in shock, not what I expected to hear. My doctor was in shock, she expected endometriosis. She referred me to Dr Dodson, my oncologist. I was a mess, had to call Rick while he was driving(he'd gone to pick up Tay from Tucson). My mom and Linds rushed over to sit with me until he got there. It was a rough 24 hours.

So, I pretty much had nowhere to turn and no information. I called the oncologists office and didn't have an appointment until the following Tuesday. I can't explain the anxiety that I was filled with. And this is where I have to make mention of my sister Megan, my guardian angel. I don't know what I'd do without her. She has a client who pulled some strings and got me in the next day. What a relief, I will owe her forever, I love her so much. The appointment with Dr Dodson went so great. He was thorough and brutally honest which was really scary but helpful at the same time. I'll never forget what he said as Rick and I left " now go home and have a good cry, and let's work on getting you better", I appreciated him for that.

Since that second, I've had moments of panic, but overall, I'm pretty much going to kick this things ass! Life as usual, and just trying to live normal. I work, I hang out with the dog and the fam, I clean, that's my life in a nutshell! And I have a wonderful life! I'm trying to look at this as simply an " interruption" in my perfect world.

Part of my perfect world has this guy Rick in it.....who is perfect. He doesn't know it , but he kept me from crumbling. My sweet supportive husband. I will say it again, I'm one lucky girl! I can't imagine being on his side of it, riddled with worry, but what a rock he is. " let's not worry until we have to" he says, and he's right. Scary thoughts creep in and we shove them out, he has helped me so much stay positive. I adore him and am so thankful I have him. My whole family has been amazing!

My birthday was the 21st, I was taken to breakfast, and enjoyed dinner made by chef Lindsey, tons of gluten-free cupcakes were present that I enjoyed and everyone else choked down. I went to Bon Jovi the following night with mom and Meg, hilarious! Wednesday was filled with the coolest surprise party, thrown by my sweet staff at the restaurant! Good times!

That brings us to Thursday, I needed a CT scan of my chest to determine if anything had spread to my lungs. Here comes the anxiety again. The scan is easy, painless and uneventful, it's the results we were waiting on pins and needles for. Friday morning came and the doctor called and said it was clear, what a huge relief! That pretty much brings us up to date, my surgery is scheduled for Apr 20. I will receive a full hysterectomy and 6 rounds of chemotherapy minimum.

Between now and then, we are coasting! I'm going to go enjoy me some Redlands, watching my daughter race her cool bike and flash my blue painted fingernails to wish her luck!