5th Cycle Complete

I’ve just popped the last pills of my 5th cycle of Xeloda. My side effects continue to ebb and flow but remain manageable. Mostly, I’m still dealing with the hand and foot pain. And a stupid mouth sore that will just not go away- which I’m getting checked out today. Oh, and some serious insomnia- but I don’t know if that’s from the hysterectomy or the Xeloda. Or life.

It’s crazy to think that it’s already mid December. And that we will be moving homes in a couple of weeks- yup, we found a new place about 10 minutes from where we currently are. Our move-in date is December 29th and I’m really excited. It almost feels like a fresh start from such a crazy couple of years.

Being that it’s December, I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music. Shit, I’ve been listening to it since November, let’s be real here. I love the holiday season. I love the music, the decorations, the joyous spirit of it all. I continue to love it even though it has a history of being filled with loss and heartache over the years. Having to take our dad off of life support on Christmas and having my mom enter the hospital Christmas Day only to be released on hospice shortly after, the season brings me great memories but also so many difficult ones.

You know how I write notes to put together a post at a later time? Well in the 2 weeks (TWO fricken weeks) I’ve been jotting things down, two Kick Ass Cancer Mamas have passed away. It’s now their families who will have a mix of happy holiday memories and heart wrenching ones to fill the years to come. To say it isn’t fair, doesn’t even begin to express any of it. These wives, mothers, daughters, aunts, cousins… passed right in the middle of the time of year when a family should be busy celebrating and enjoying each other. Not planning for a service. But you know, it’s actually never ok for any of that… I could go on with the shittiness of it all but I’m honestly too angry.

When I was little- meaning as far back as I can remember- my biggest fear was people around me dying. I would have vivid nightmares of being the only person left on the earth trying to find someone. Anyone. It was a selfish fear. How would I go on with out those I love? How would it impact me?

Once I got diagnosed, I picked up a new fear- leaving those I love. Now both of my fears have collided, a daily reminder that both are so very real. Of course, I still like to visualize myself healthy and happy, with long, flowing silver locks- living until I’m 97 with my husband, children, grandchildren, etc… but I need everyone to understand the severity of it all. BC is not some pretty, pink, easily curable disease. Something needs to be done so that children do not have to grow up with out a parent. So that significant others actually get to grow old with the life partners they’ve committed to. So that parents do not have ‘bury’ their child.

I’m not a medical professional in a lab, trying to find the cure. Science and math have never been my jam… but a massive thank you to those who are working their butts off in the effort. So, instead of standing around and feeling helpless, I personally vow to do all I can- whether it’s financial donations or it’s through offering yoga and reiki or just being a good listener- I want to help my people and their families. During and after. We must promise to tell the little ones how amazing their mothers were. To share the beautiful and wonderful words that they once said and to remind them of the powerful things they did. They need to know how strong and loving they were because many of these children are too young to remember, which… hurts me to type.

I want so badly to turn my head and focus on me because it’s all so hard sometimes. But I just can’t. I can’t do it while I have friends who are literally dying around me. So I plan on taking more time to focus on self care (I know, I sound like a broken record) in order to stay strong so I can help others. There’s that saying- you can’t pour from an empty cup…

If you follow me on social media, you would have seen that Harlon manifested himself a Race Car Christmas tree. Even down to the Mater and Lightning McQueen ornaments on it. Because he put it out into the universe and trusted it would become. My sweet boy has reminded me of the power we hold. Let’s all manifest some good shit, for the good of others. It’s the season of giving after all.

One last reminder/plea – Please, never say someone “lost” their battle. It’s not a win/lose deal and we cannot give C that sort of victory. 💜

My Feet, My Feet, My Feet Are on Fire! 

Gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve posted, I had to look back and see where I left off. And looking back, I had completely forgotten about Puke Fest 2017. It was all a blur… 

Puke Fest is officially over and I never had to actively participate. Meaning no puke from this gal. But straight off of Puke Fest, I entered Mood Swing Mania. Maybe that’s why I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. You would not have wanted to hear what I had to say anyway. Looking back at my ‘notes’ from the last couple of weeks, I was in a dark, dark place. I felt completely alone even with the most amazing support system someone could ever ask for. I felt like the only people who would get it, were/are the people who have been through it and they’re all spread out around the world. And what I really needed was one of them to physically grab me by the shoulders, shake me and then hug the crap out of me. 

I have absolutely cried more times in the last few weeks than I did with both pregnancies AND my diagnosis put together. But I am feeling much better these last few days, though John may have a different opinion. I’d been having a hard time processing feelings and kept having the urge to call my parents to talk about it. Then, like a smack in the head, I’d remember I can’t. Even after all these years, sometimes I forget. I know they are always ‘there’ but I needed to hear their actual voices, I needed their words of guidance and comfort. I remember telling John that I felt like a tumbleweed of emotions rolling from room to room, picking up more crap along the way. It was the truth. 

It also doesn’t help that it’s October and everywhere I look, it’s pink. I appreciate it when the proceeds actually go to research for a cure. But companies that sell pink ‘for awareness’ and are really only in it for the profit, they sicken me.  I am aware of breast cancer. You all are aware. Now we need to find a cure. 


Also adding to my medical menopausal mood swings and stress has been a change in employment, I’ve recently rejoined the working world with a new company. Starting something new always makes me nervous and this is no different. Add to it, leaving my kids for such long periods has been an adjustment. 

Making the decision to leave Seneca for a new position was difficult and emotionally taxing. The staff had become my Orange County family. I found amazing friendships, endless support and tons of love. I grew professionally and personally through my time there and am forever grateful for the opportunities given to me. 

Ultimately, I made the decision to find part time employment so that I can spend more time with my babies. My new company is great. I really enjoy the work I am doing and the people I get to spend my time with. Everyone has been super welcoming and I am thankful for this new adventure. 

I know I talk about my acupuncturist often but I can’t help it, she’s great!! I even told her this week she’s been a part of my rad lady posse and I think she digs it. I am so thankful for her, she continues to help me through these crazy times with her patience, skill, knowledge, etc. Bless her heart, if I had to repeat myself as much as she does to me, I’d say ‘peace out, crazy kid’. But she doesn’t. She has found her purpose and she’s damn good. Every session with her, I leave feeling like I can handle anything. 

My last report stated that my feet and hands weren’t terribly painful from the new chemo. Well that shit changed quick- about day 9 of my second cycle on Xeloda I could barely walk. My feet felt on fire, swollen and tender. As if I had walked across burning coals.  My fingers were also in pain. At each crease, it felt like the skin may rip open.  Last Wednesday was my last dose of that cycle and within one day off X, my feet and hands already felt some relief. They’re not 100% better but tolerable. I start back up this Wednesday for another two weeks. 

Style. The only way to walk around the house without crazy pain. 🦄

On Friday, I got to see all my Kaiser friends. It’s absolutely insane how comfortable I feel there, my home away from home. I guess it’s better to feel comfortable than freaked out and damaged every time I enter those doors, yeah? My hysterectomy follow up was great. I got cleared to take baths and even go back to yoga. Thank goodness because those are two of my main coping skills for life. 

The Filloon Fam recently got to take some beautifully fantastic family photos thanks to The Magic Hour Foundation. They are a foundation that partners with local photographers who provide photo sessions at no cost for families fighting cancer. Our photos turned out perfect, it makes my heart happy each time I look at them. Not only were we able to download the pics but they sent us a beautiful photo box with 5×7 prints of all of them! It’s great how something as simple as family pictures can make such a huge impact. 

Just a few of my favs 💜

I guess that’s all for now, I’ll be sure to update with the next cycle of Xeloda. Here’s a few highlights from the last couple of weeks. ✌🏻

Wyatt got his first haircut 💙
The dudes pumpkin patching. 🎃
Boys’ first USC game 🏈

Xeloda Begins 

I don’t have much to report other than I had a super swell hysterectomy follow up today and I started my first cycle of Xeloda tonight. 

My gyno is really pleased with how I’m healing post surgery. I am too. I imagined it would be as painful as my C-section, not even close! I’ve had some slight cramping the last few days but nothing that required any meds. I still have lifting restrictions but I also still have kids, soooo….. 

I don’t feel anything yet with the Xeloda, except some light anxiety of the unknown. Like I’ve said before, this oral chemo pill will be something I take twice a day, for two weeks and then off for one week- that’s a complete cycle. This will continue for as long as I can tolerate the side effects- which can include GI issues, fatigue, and itchiness/skin peeling from the palms and soles of my feet. I will not lose my hair with this one. 👍🏻

Xeloda, mount up

The only other big doins’ going on over here in the Filloon Household- Wyatt is turning one soon! What the heck, right?!? Next Thursday, my (not so little) preemie baby boy will be a toddler. We’ll have two frickin’ toddlers. It’s been one hell of a year but I am so grateful that I have been able to be home with him and see him become the chunky and hilarious dude he is. Oh and he finally says mama! Dada’s not the only cool kid around here anymore! 

Baby. Doll. 💙