Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I've got friends in low places

Low places being the chemo room.  The very one where I felt like a 5 year old in a room full of 95 year olds.
Isn't if funny how you can find the good in even the worst situations?  
These are my chemo girls.  Karen and Laine
Breast cancer for all 3 of us.  We were all lucky enough to have treatment on the same day.  
The first "cycle" of chemo I did it required me to be on Benedryl while having the chemo drip.  This made me very sleepy so I napped for a lot of the time I was there.  The first couple of times I went to chemo I remembered hearing (through my medicated coma, ha!) a group of ladies that came in together that always seemed to be having fun and laughing.  Laine's mother came to quite a few of her treatments with her and those ladies both have a really bubbly and fun personality.  After the first few treatments I did a better job of staying awake and was able to get to know Laine and Karen.  I remember my first conversation with Lanie.  She told me that this was not her first, but instead her second battle with breast cancer.  I was floored.  She had cancer in one breast, and this time got it on the other side.  She had tested positive for the BRCA gene.  This is the hereditary breast cancer gene.  
During her first diagnosis she underwent a stem cell rescue.  Which if you have never heard of this, wow, it is quite the ordeal.  You can read about it here.  You are your own stem cell donor.  They give you high doses of chemo therapy and then transplant your stem cells.  I imagine that my mouth was on the floor during this whole conversation.  This lady has been through the ringer.  Despite everything she has been through she has a contagious positive attitude and always seems to lift others up that are around her.
It was always a good time when all 3 of us ended up there at the same time.  Here we are about 1/2 way through treatment.
  They both had some really fun wigs.  Laine had one that was pink that I loved!  
The 3 of us attended the Hope Lives! gala the following October after we were all growing our hair back and here we are all together again.
I am happy to report that all 3 of us are doing great.  Laine continues to amaze me with all the efforts she puts into volunteering at Hope Lives! and gave an amazing speech at this year's gala.  I wish I saw more of her these days.  I miss you woman!
These are truly some of the good things that have come out of this bad situation.
I relay for you Laine and Karen!

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1 comment:

  1. Eliza,

    You truly are an inspiration! Reading your posts, I feel some of your pain and what you went through. I have lost an aunt, grandmother, and my father-in-law to cancer and I am glad that your family didn't have to lose you. What an amazing story you have!