Tiny little boxes, space & one year later.

A year ago today I was in a hospital bed with several doctors around me. With a mound of papers with tiny little boxes to fill out.  I was clearly confused and didn’t want to stay, but they made me. I had to have a bronchoscope put down my nose and throat to rule out cancer.  That’s right; I went into the ER to get some medicine for what I thought was bronchitis, but they found a mass in my lungs instead and told me that I had pneumonia and that I needed several tests to find out what was going on with me. As I sit here today I think back to that night and just can’t even begin to explain the emotions that go along with it. The fear that has harbored down into me, the everyday stress of is it coming back, is it gone? As to the day after (because I get a little ahead of myself) It was confirmed I had stage 3A lung cancer, it had spread to my lymph nodes and I needed a good team to take care of me. Here we come Dr. Nancy DiMartino and staff!! Chemo and radiation x’s 32 rounds. It sucked. And even now, I am sick, I have what is known as radiation pneumonitis. It usually happens after radiation, but I kept a nasty cough after I was done and it never went away, turning into the reg kind of pneumonia. Then this nasty thing came along…. Anyhow, moving along… Every 3 months I have CT scans and blood work every 4-6 weeks along with port flushes, so you see I never get a break from cancer. I live and breathe cancer ever single waking day. I am afraid every day, I am nervous every day, I see my scars everyday, whether from my port, or my mastectomy… I cry almost every single time I take a shower because its loud and no one hears me pouring my heart out in there. Although my partner knows me, and gives me that space. 


A year ago today I was waiting on The Walking Dead to come on channel AMC and at the hospital they had it, but the nurse kept coming in and out taking my vitals, my phone wouldn’t pick up a signal and the regular telephone in the room was ringing off the hook. I laid in that bed petrified for the next morning, knowing what was seen on the CT and MRI I had the same night…. I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to have to tell my kids.  I didn’t want to lose my hair or have to fill out a box on pprwork for the rest of my life that says “If you or someone in your family has cancer check here”  Now, I do. And its like a giant slap in the face. A year ago I wasn’t checking that box, it was left alone. And now my heart is ripped out EVERY time I look at it on paper. It just hurts.

 And I never got to see that damn episode of The Walking Dead. 😦  

Oh, and then there are those who are there and they try and understand it, or;  it or they dismiss it like its going to get better, or that you’re healed. (After chemo and rad) You are just miraculously saved. It doesn’t work that way. Its always there, lurking,  hiding somewhere. Cancer sucks. In fact I hate it with every fiber of my being. I wish I could move past it, let it just be. So I have it, who cares?? And just go on.. But its not that simple. I get winded easily, I’m tired, I want to sleep and I can’t. I want a cure. That’s all. 

But if you told me a year ago that I was going to be told when I left my house that morning I had cancer, I think I would have stayed home. Everything that comes with it is so consuming. I would rather have my life back, the happy one, without appointments constantly and filling in tiny little boxes that say “cancer”. Because for me, I think that had I NOT known, that was my normal life, just a cold, or bronchitis, I could deal with all that, just not this. And I have so many friends with cancer, Its NOT fair. I hate it. For them, for me. But what I don’t want anyone to get twisted is that fact that I won’t give up. Even though I hate it, I WON’T give up. Ever. Its not in me to roll over and play dead or whatever else my brain wants to do when its just spent. Emotionally I am a wreck, but I will keep going. Because a year ago, I thought I was just going in to have my chest looked at and it be a cold or bronchitis, now I know that its not and I have to fight. I have been put through the ringer since my diagnosis, and I keep going, my kids need me. My partner needs me,  My mom needs me. I need them, So I have some fighting to do. Just have to wipe the mascara off my face and keep going.  



Scanxiety Sucks!

 rhr  Its that time again, scanxiety rises in my veins, plumping them up making me crazy. Making me nervous, its nothing like just your average xray or CT scan… its the type of anxiety that comes with is it back again, is it bigger? Is it or has it moved? Has it changed shape??… The list just grows and grows. And a person like me HATES it because not only do I have cancer I have BiPolar disorder and it just gets worse and worse for my mind… I mean, what the heck would I do if it came back? Well, I’ll tell you, I’d go back and do whatever they told me to do. And I’d keep fighting, BUT I would HATE every minute of it. This disease sucks ass. Literally. Chemo sucks. Its painful. Your bones hurt, you can’t go to the bathroom, your stomach hurts or you vomit, you can’t sleep but you’re tired. Actually you are so exhausted its ridiculous. You want to be left alone but you want people to visit, now does that make sense?? It does to me. Its dumb. Your hair falls out. Its itchy at first and then it just aborts ship. Main thing right now is fear. The fear is crushing, it consumes you. Far worse than any stupid fear you ever thought you had. Its awful. Cancer is the devil. Ive said it before and I’ll say it again. Its almost a special kind of torture on us… (as a VERY special Shannon would say) I just have to wait. Wait, wait, wait… Until then, lets ALL wait until November 19th, and then the 30th for my results. And PRAY that everything is still at bay. 

My head is spinning.

So now I have a real definitive diagnosis, stage IIIA lung cancer. Well; shit, it went from learning to having to go to classes an hour-long for RT (radiation therapy) and Chemo this week, then my port surgery this Friday… then here we go to RT and chemo next week! OMG! My mind is mush, my heart is crushed, and I feel like I could puke at any given second. This my friends, is bullshit! What if I said I wasn’t ready for this fight? I wasn’t ready to sit in a chair for over an hour at a time and puke with special cookies being handed out?  And When does this damn anger go away?!?!  I feel more than bipolar, I feel so beyond batshit crazy… one second I feel strong, able to get through this, then I feel sad and like I’m falling apart. Normal for this, no? What IS normal anyway? What are we supposed to feel during being staged and during treatment? I assume it’s all relatively normal, but I am hating every second. However, it could be worse. I won’t give up, I won’t give in to the devil that is eating my lungs. I need them. I am just so fucking MAD! I want to feel strength again and love and most of all HOPE. It’s just all happening so fast. I feel like I was just at my daughters basketball game coughing and said “I really need to get this looked into” and BAM, I have cancer… my head is just not right, it’s just spinning in fact. This can’t be real. I’m scared.                                                                   fuck_lung_cancer_postcards_package_of_8

How many sleeps left? IDGAF…

So tired of waiting, so tired of the word “Cancer” It went from finding out what stage on the 16th, to now the 20th… my mind is about to explode! Just tired.   And,  you know what else sucks, when everyone else thinks you’re strong but you’re not. You are depressed as hell. I feel so up and down its fucking ridiculous. Finding out that a friend that is helping you every step of the way has two cancers breaks your heart in five billion pieces is torture.  When I found out I had to pick myself up off the floor in a puddle of tears, she nor no one deserves this shit. She has two beautiful sons. A family… just bullshit.  She is so giving, loving and supportive of me just to keep her own mind off her own pain. But I know it, I know this… its a coping mechanism.  So to say the least no, I am not fine. I am a mess. I just want to crawl in my bed, under my soft blankets and stay there until after this is all done. But before slipping under my blankets; swallow my meds the right way and just SLEEP. But, just how many sleeps  you say??  tumblr_l2imrdwqNk1qzcdx6o1_500            

because the answer is the same, I have cancer. What stage, I do care, but I still have cancer, it cannot be cured. BUT  it cannot be a winner. It just sucks so bad. Drawing up a will, looking into the future and not knowing what it holds… its just so draining. As I close though, I want to say, I am blessed. For the life that I have now, for the friends that I have in my life, for my children and for anything else that I am missing that make me happy (like sweet tea and soft blankets). Things might start changing though pretty soon… Keep your eyes watching. 😉

I’ll take BRCA2+ & “You have Lung Cancer”, Alex.



 Bear with me as I ramble with this post. Its all new and scary to me. Let me first start with cancer sucks. It sucks so terribly, its painful, it tears people up… BUT; there ARE strong ones out there, amazingly BRAVE WARRIORS. I have always had such admiration for them.  Cancer still though, sucks…. 

  Let me catch you up to speed with my story…  After what I thought was just pneumonia after 3+ weeks,  I went to the E.R. and was put through multiple tests.  First, chest x-ray, then lots of blood work, then they ask for consents to draw more blood…. I instantly feel my nerves begin to fray… Of course then here comes radiology to ask me to follow for CT with contrast… then 3 hrs later; not what I wanted to hear… “Leanna, we are afraid to tell you that you have a mass on your right lower lobe approximately 1 1/2 in and we are concerned for you, please think of staying to get this looked into further in the morning… ” I sat there petrified in my skin, thinking how this could be happening was just wrong. No, not me.. I did all that I could, I was preventative, I had a PBM two years earlier, I had a hysterectomy, I became a “Previvor”.. but now you tell me I have a mass on my lung??! No, just no. I just cried. I called home, explained to my family what was going on, I stayed overnight and then had a bronchoscopy the next morning had biopsies taken from multiple places (weirdest feeling ever while IV consciously sedated) and waited… Four days went by… slowly, my mind was racing, I wasn’t sleeping, I was scared. Fear is awful. Then at around 9am that fourth morning *3/12/15* my pulmonary specialist called me and asked to see me in his office before I was to see my oncologist that day at 4pm… I was nauseated. We drove to his office at 1 pm where I was told those  words no one ever wants to hear… ” As you could tell by my voice on the phone it wasn’t wonderful, Leanna, its malignant.. your test results are malignant…” I fell to my knees. My partner holding my hands the entire time.  This is NOT fair. Bullshit. TOTAL BULLSHIT. Why? after all I have given and now you want my fucking lungs? Fuck you cancer. You will not win.  Yet the anger remains. I will fight, I will not give in, I may have bad days, I may feel sad, I may feel lots of emotions.. but as I breathe, I will hope…  so after a pet scan, MRI with and without contrast, more labs I am now waiting to see a surgeon to have a mediastinoscopy to have my nodes checked. So lets play a game,   I’ll take BRCA2+ with a side of Lung Cancer please, Alex. But,  I WILL win this one. 

Over n Out

Feeling kind of irrational at the moment. Feeling confused.

Why do family feel that they can walk all over me when I clearly don’t let anyone use me as a doormat? Why do they feel they can talk so much shit and then just walk away? Without explanation, just “poof”.  Why do they act as if they care, and then without rhyme or reason just walk out the imaginary door that’s in my heart? And WHY do I waste time and energy on these people? Why do I LET them get to me? Oh, it must be the kids, it must be their tender hearts I’m protecting. It must be that I don’t want to feel the pain, and the aggravation of it all. Ya know? Mean people suck. Tired of it. Tired of bending over backwards making sure my girls get where they need to be, to hang with other cousins and aunts and uncles JUST to be snubbed when I walk in the door.

Who gives a shit I’m different? You’re not perfect! We are ALL different. Who cares?! I don’t care what you do or who you are doing… as long as you’re happy. Ya know? So what I’m bipolar… you’re a dick. This isn’t me being judgmental. This is me being honest. If you have an issue with me, tell ME. Quit being lame and just walking away…. Who does that?! I’ll tell you who. People that SAY they ‘get it” that they can deal with the fact you’re not normal… they are understanding. In truth, they are all the same. Jerks who want what they want, yet aren’t satisfied with you as you are. I say over n out… I don’t need it, I don’t want to make time for it. Because its petty. But not petty enough to NOT hurt my heart. That feeling of being rejected is sucky. I’m just saying. So, I’m don’t whining for now. I was just needing to vent…


Stay You! It’s Awesome!