So, with that excuse put out there for my poor updating ability, let me just launch into where I've been hiding. But first, a teeny update on livingSTRONG. In the summer, July I believe, LiveSTRONG and Nike had a street chalking event in front of the Taste of Chicago downtown. So of course...I had to flex my supreme lettering and spelling skillz!
(feel free to click on any of the photos to enlarge them for a better look)
I just had to knock one out for my buddies over at Imerman Angels, giving em some representation (was actually really impressed with my ability to recreate their logo freehand with chalk on asphalt)
And even Ro-Ro got in on the chalky love, giving some representation to her Aunt(s) and many others we know affected by Boob Cancer. (she definitely got some stops and stares at those killer titties!)
And of course, there where plenty of super talented artists who pulled off pretty massive and, detailed pieces.
But more recently, for the past few weeks (almost a month now) I was fighting more acutely for my health as I seemed to have a sudden, rapid, and intense adverse reaction to the chemo drugs (at least they think that's the cause)
Three weeks ago I went in to see my doc and things didn't look good. My eyes and face were sunken in, my skin was grey almost, but definintely sallow. And I literally wasn't able to do anything but sleep. My liver enzymes spiked up to crazy high levels. as well as my potassium level went way down. I lost a ton of weight. I dropped down to 98 pounds. But in the midst of all this, I had planned to attend the "Colon Cancer is a Big Dam Problem Walkathon" in Little Rock AR. I got the ok from my doc to go, probably mostly because my mom was going with, and two friends. so I had mom there to be my nurse. I wasn't even able to walk i was so weak, thin, and lethargic, so pretty much the whole road trip, i was in a wheelchair. But I was determined to go. It was great fun. And even though I barely look like i'm having a good time, I truly enjoyed meeting so many new awesome folk, specially all those newbie colondar models from the upcoming 2010 issue.
However, seeing photos showing up from that weekend on facebook, I was a bit horrified at how I looked. I know its trivial to talk about physical effects, but you all have to understand, I freak out when something odd happens to me physically because it just serves as an obvious visual reminder of the cancer I try to avoid for little bits of a time.
Making my entrance to Little Rock, don't i look like one happy camper?
Team Babcock rocks the house though!
Bam! Check out them backs!
All the past, present, and future Colondar Models that came back to walk the bridge.
Now, I got bag upon bag upon bag of IV Hydration, with Potassium, Magnesium, and other Electrolytes dripped into me, was taken off Chemo for a bit. I was taking potassium tablets, and just tryiung to eat and gain weight. So, I am pretty positive that I'm on the mend. I feel WAY more energy, and don't need a wheelchair to get around now. That was a scary and hard to deal with moment. To have to depend on everyone around you to push you around in your chair, it was hard for me to just accept it. The doc's can't think of anything to account for my sudden change, after ct scans, gallbladder/liver ultrasound, small bowel follow through, and upper GI xrays, CBC's, and CMP's they don't know for sure what it was. Our general theory is toxicity to chemo, in some form or way. But, before deciding to take a break, I did get the news that my CEA tumor marker levels had gone way down to 8, from somewhere in the 20's before (and ideally you want to get down to nothing. But colon cancer patients sometimes never get down to 'normal' even if they're cancer is technically gone. So I'm a bit relieved to hear that at least the drugs where working to some degree.
I'm taking this "break" to recoup, strengthen myself, and get ready for whatever plan they come up with next. And FULLY taking advantage of the last days of summer. Smoothies, ice cream cones, milkshakes, italian ice....if its cold and delicious, I'm ingesting it!
In other areas, my mom finally got her blue colon star tattoo touched up:
and then my two female cousinds Katie and Jenny both got matching tatt's as me n my mom, in the same spots. I'm recruiting and initiating my army. and these ladies have been official card carying members since day one. but now they can drop the card, cuz they're wearing it on their skin!That felt really nice, to have my mom and my cousins showing their support for me (not that I needed validation, but its a good feeling to have).
And finally, proof that I am feeling waaaaayyy better, this past saturday my grammar school had an unofficial mini-reunion. I haven't seen most all of these folks for about 15 years!! All I knew, is I didn't want to show up looking visibly on deaths door. Sooooo, I think I did a good job cleaning up, and steppin out for a night on the town.
My docs work wonders down they? ;)
Alright, thats part of why I hadn't updated, just wanted to get that out of the way. I have more blog posts written and saved, and just waiting to publish very shortly. So stay tuned, recruit friends to read, spread the word. I want to gain some readers!