Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where does the time go??

Somehow it is already July 13th and I am officially done with round one of chemo. I only have about 13 and a half weeks left with my fellow fighting friend chemo. I am thankful for our time together but I will be happy to never interact with him again. So my first round of chemo is over (A/C) and I move on to my Taxol round in about a week and a half and will receive 12 weekly treatments of that. The perks of this are Taxol is supposedly much better tolerated which is a lot to look forward to. The biggest negative from the sound of it is just the fact that I have to go in every week now. Luckily my chemo nurse is fabulous and receiving the treatments aren't too bad, although to be honest this last round was the least enjoyable of them all. I think they are starting to get more psychologically challenging. It all kind of is. The last round really took a toll on me and I only had hours as Kayla vs full days of feeling like myself. I'm hoping this round is more like the first or the second. Pray that I hang tough and have lots of reasons to smile through this. It's hard to remember sometimes that this is all temporary when you're caught in the storm of it all. Or when it's 2:30 and it's your second time being awake during the night... But this is all temporary. It'll be over soon, this too shall pass, and all those other nice things people put on bumper stickers to remind you to hang tough. The news I found to be good was that my counts had dropped pretty significantly from the prior round, which might sound like bad news, but it was nice to know there was a real, physical reason for everything that was going on. I was pretty scared that the struggle of the last round was all caused by psychological stuff or I was being dramatic or crazy. It's surprising how much comfort it is to know that what you're feeling can be justified or is legitimate. And if it ever isn't I hope to have someone come smack me with a reality stick to snap out of it!

I've been having a lot of visitors lately which is great for my spirit! My best friend Brittany came out from NY and brought me my first wigs. She was the perfect guest to have because all of her favorite activities are those of a cancer patient. It was a long weekend of multiple naps, some tv here and there, gourmet tots from Trifecta (go there people!), and watching her eat enough candy for the entire family. It was just really nice to be around one of my very best friends again, I've missed her. I actually slept in the bed she slept in while she was here two nights ago and it felt wrong. You hear that Zorots? Come back soon! Also my first best girlfriend ever came to visit  me too, Miss Ashley Cusack. She is always a good laugh a great person to be around so it was really nice to have her to take my mind off of how I was feeling. Hope to see all of the Cusack family soon!!

I also had some more friends from California come, the Tutton family! I haven’t seen them since January so that was a real treat. I miss my Maddie and her wonderful family. And Liz’s cooking, mmmmm! I cannot wait to get back out to Newport Beach as soon as I can and see everyone again and just enjoy that California sunshine.

Some of the alternative medical stuff I have been receiving, a lot of it thanks to you guys with bracelet sales and that fun stuff, has been acupuncture, reiki and massage. I’ve been really good about diet AND treat days J but this stuff is more exciting. The massages have been a really wonderful time to just rest and zone out. I usually get a short nap in during them, which is always needed, and the two masseuses I see are phenomenal. One is my acupuncturist and the other is from Bella’s Salon in Winnetka if you’re looking for some relief. Acupuncture is one of my favorite things of the whole process. It’s a time I usually share with my boyfriend and I really appreciate having him as a constant there and in so many other ways. It starts with a massage and then she uses various techniques from acupuncture to acupressure to cupping to burning stuff.. there’s a lot she can do and I don’t understand half of it but boy do I believe in it! The coolest part is the little semi-permenant needle she has left in my ear, it’s super tiny and set on a calming point. I press on it whenever I’m not feeling when and it gives me some relief. Oh the ways the body is all connected… Reiki has been a really special thing to learn because I got to do it with my parents. It’s all about helping energy flow through everything, my body, my meds, my parents, everything! It has been a great practice in staying present which is a big struggle of mine. Our instructor was actually a parent of a student of mine, another example of the amazing community I am so fortunate to be a part of!

Right now I have a REALLY special visitor in from Newport again, my little sister Rylee Gladych. It has been a great calming presence having her here and she is someone who just really makes me feel special and loved. Rylee is someone who I will  never have to question whether or  not she loves me because she shows me every day. That's a rare thing to have from someone, Rylee is a real gift. She also has amazing taste buds and has been enjoying her fill of great Chicago foods. I love people who are easy to please :) As you can see  from the pictures, we have all been really enjoying the wigs Brittany brought. One of my kids just got my a Katy Perry pink wig that will definitely be a part of a future blog. It is awesome, thanks Hannah!!

What else is new.. Work is going well. Staying connected with the Baker community through the summer has been really important to my general wellbeing. Seeing my kids has done a lot for me mentally and spending time with the whole school just really keeps my head and heart in a good place. I am so thankful for that place. I've been trying to get to the pool to see my GA friends at least once a week. I really miss you guys over there and can't wait to be more involved. The great friends you find in places you never knew you would.. Even though I don't see you guys a lot I feel your support daily. The GA family has been a HUGE rock for me and you all are making me stronger. Talk about a community who is definitely going to be a large part of my remission celebration. I couldn't do this without you.

Other good news.. the tumors  in my armpit can no longer be felt through physical examination!! That's great because those guys freaked me out a little! The lump in my breast is much softer and continues to be less noticeable with each check. Go chemo, go! So ya hear that team, we are beating cancer!! We definitely have the lead in this fight. Thanks for helping me to get here and thanks for helping me stay there!


  1. Kayla - Your dad's friend Mike Heinz forwarded your blog to me. My name is Angie Monaco and I live in Downers. As a fellow "young" breast cancer survivor, I wanted to pass along my info: It looks like you have a lot of support from your friends, but sometimes you need another survivor friend to ask those weird questions like why did I pee orange during chemo and what is the best eyebrow make up?! I am a 7 year survivor and survived chemo, radiation, numerous surgeries and 5+ years of hormone can get through this too! If you email me your number I can call you too. Keep up the good fight and I will be praying for you!

  2. K La, Keep strong and best of luck in all you do.
    Iris' Dad - also teaching