The end of the blog

Hi

Bo here – writing on Judith’s blog yet again.

This isn’t exactly news any longer, and for those who followed the link I posted last, this should come as no big surprise but… On April 13 2013, my dear wife Judith passed away due to complications after the reoccurrence of her breast cancer. The short and very virulent reoccurrence is well documented over on my Facebook page, so I wont drag myself through the details here again. I just wanted to let people here know what has happened since Judioth is no longer posting. Judith enjoyed her blog and the followers as well as those she followed tremendously and enthusiastically shared her updates with me, so I felt it was important if I provided some kind of closure instead of just letting the blog die out.

I won’t be posting on the blog anymore, let this be the final words written here, but if you have questions or somehow feel like you would like to know more, feel free to friend me on Facebook.

Regards
Bo

Status on Judith

Hi Everyone, this is Bo – Judith’s husband – writing on Judith’s behalf.

Judith’s blog has been quite a while, because we thought Judith was good when she finished radiation in January. Unfortunately that was not the case, we recently learned the cancer was still there and it has metastasized.

We got this horrible news about 2 or 3 weeks ago, but on top of this Judith developed a serious blood clotting problem which has hit her liver, spleen and brain. This has put her in the hospital in various serious condition.

I don’t have time or energy to update Judith’s blog but if you want to, you can follow my posts on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/Bo.Brogaard.Lund

Regards
Bo

You again… :/

Bring out the purple diapers and the tie-dyed shirts, I’ve let my hair and ‘other stuff’ down โ€ฆ “har-de-har-har” ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not burning any bras though. I just can’t wear any at the moment.

My radiation assistant advised me against wearing anything too tight, as to not rub off my skin, now there’s an image I could live without.

I’ve had 15 sessions of radiation this far. Thought my skin is red and a bit sore, I must say it’s been a bigger pain to have to deal with the still present problem with dizziness.ย  I’m utterly grateful to everyone who has helped me out with my daily (5 days of the week) visits to the hospital , not just the driving but also looking after the girls and bringing food.

 

I owe so many people, I hardly know what to do with my self. I’ve stopped looking at my pride, it has no room in my life right now, I have no use for it in this situation.ย  Still, once in a while, it pokes it’s judgmental little head out and squints at me. Like today when we were going to some friends house for dinner, I really had to rally my self esteem to leave it all hanging, so to speak ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s one thing to go to the hospital like that and something entirely different to sit down for a meal and great conversation with friends all loosey-goosey. It’s because I don’t give a fickle about what random people at the hospital think of me, but I sure give a damn what my friends think. I KNOW! I know! They are my friends and they know what I’m going through, it’s all in my head, because that nasty little bugger ‘Pride’ won’t let me be.

Hey I’m not saying pride is altogether a bad thing, but in this case I could really do without.

On another note, tomorrow it’s the last day of the year, are we all ready for a new year to begin? I sure am ready for a less stressful year ๐Ÿ™‚ So we’re leaving this crabby year behind with a big party at some friends house โ€ฆ Fickety frick frick frick! I will get you, you little bugger (pride) and hang you out to dry! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy 2013 everyone! May all your dreams come true ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheer (guest writer :)

Earlier this month I was approached by Cameron, who liked my blog. He asked me if I would like to share his holiday story about Cancer with my readers. On your behalf I accepted ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cameron gives us a spouses point of view, which I especially appreciate.
I think this story will go to your heart as it did to mine.
Let Cameron and me know, what you think ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

How We Made It Through the Holidays With Cancer

I have always loved celebrating the holidays with my family and friends. I enjoy giving thanks and continuing our family holiday traditions.ย  In 2005, I was eager to share our traditions with our new daughter, Lily, who was born that August. My wife, Heather and I talked endlessly about our first Christmas as a family of three, and we couldnโ€™t have been more excited. However, all of our festive happiness was ripped away from us in an instant just three days before Thanksgiving that year, when Heatherโ€™s doctor diagnosed her with a very rare and extremely deadly form of cancer.

When Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, Lily was only three and one half months old. I was immediately filled with anger and fear.ย  I tried to hope for the best and stay positive, but somehow all I could picture in the following days was the worst case scenario playing out.ย  I saw myself as a widowed father, raising a daughter who would never really know her mom.ย  That year, I felt that I had very little to be thankful for.

Though we celebrated Thanksgiving that year, it was far from the joyous celebration we had been hoping for since Lilyโ€™s birth. ย I felt hopeless and helpless. Heatherโ€™s family flew in for Thanksgiving and Christmas with us, and I braced myself for the conversation I had been dreading since the diagnosis. We discussed how her family would help us cope financially and emotionally through this difficult time.

During this discussion, we reviewed Lilyโ€™s childcare and our troubling financial situation. When we started discussing our bills and financial obligations, I never felt so helpless. Every day, the expenses were increasing and our projected income was decreasing, as Heather would soon be unable to work when she began treatment. We had to discuss liquidating our assets to pay for Heatherโ€™s medical care, and also figure out how much my in-laws could afford to pay for. I was mortified and embarrassed, but had no other choice than to ask for help.ย  Of course, Heatherโ€™s parents were more than willing to help in any way they could, but it would be years before I could look back on that day with anything but shame.

Now, looking back, I realize how mistaken I had been to look at it that way.ย  I can see now how much I actually had to be thankful for that day. We had a family who was willing to drop everything in their own lives to be by our sides, who were willing to make incredible sacrifices of their own to ensure our well being.ย  My pride got in the way of seeing what was really important, which was being together with my family during the holidays.

This holiday season I must express my thanks for the kindness and love bestowed upon us by family and friends. I am thankful for my daughter and more time to celebrate traditions and memories. I am grateful for everyone who helped Heather and me through the mesothelioma treatments despite the incredible odds we faced. We have celebrated seven Christmases with our daughter, and we look forward to many more in the future. We hope that sharing our story will inspire hope and peace in others fighting cancer this holiday season.

I was hoping to close a chapter…

..of my life. That the results from my resent mastectomy would show that no cancer was left and I could go on happily with my life, knowing that the scheduled radiation was merely an extra precaution to ease the soul.

But of course that would be entirely too easy and nothing this year seems to be easy.

As any good story, I guess, this also needs a bit of aggravating thrill, just to make sure you as the ‘reader’ is sitting on the edge of your chair in anticipation of the new development in the story.

The bummer, in my eyes, is of course, that this is my story and not someone else’s.

Are you annoyed yet? Are you ready to slap me over the head while hissing at me: “Tell me the result already!”ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

OK, so yesterday (8 days after my surgery) I went to my check up with my surgeon. She was really pleased with my healing, my skin was looking really good and after giving her a little puppy dog look, she removed both my drains.

Having your drains removed, is a very unique experience, it doesn’t hurt but feels like what I would imagine it would feel like having your intestine pulled out, if you could do that painlessly, that is. It was enough to get my gag reflex going. But OH, the freedom without them is wonderful, there is less pain with my movements now. Actually I’m amazed at how fast I’m recuperating. I’m not taking any pain med’s (Yeah! because they made my head all woozy) and though my movements are still restricted, I can do most day to day things, as long it doesn’t require any lifting.

Hmmm, I guess I can’t drag it out any longer ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I’m sure you’ve already deduced, the chemo treatment haven’t been as effective as we were hoping, they really meant it when they called it an aggressive type of cancer.

The lumps were lessened yet still 2,8 cm and 1,5 cm, but their edges were well defined, nothing blurry as in the beginning.

20 lymph notes were removed from my right armpit and 11 of them were infected and not just 3 as we thought earlier.

The million $ question is now: “Did they get it all???” I fricking hope so!!! I really don’t care for the suspense.

The plan now is to get a PET/CT scan and I think also a MRI scan on Tuesday (Nov. 20th). My surgeon said she’d let my oncologist decide if I would also get a brain scan, but I’m going to insist on that! If not for any other reason than to figure out why I’m still plagued by dizzy spells.

Actually the week we spend on Maui, just before the operation, lessened the dizziness but it has returned to it’s unpleasant stage again. I wonder if I can get a prescription for a stay in Hawaii, wouldn’t that be nice ๐Ÿ™‚

In case you were wondering and haven’t seen all the pictures on Facebook, we had an absolutely wonderfully relaxing trip.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend. I’m blessed with beautiful friends that take the kids off my hands to give me a breather, I truly enjoy the quiet when I get it, though I’d miss their happy babble if the quiet went on too long.

…I’m so vain…

…and yes I think that song is about me… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was hanging up laundry to dry today and as I was puting up my bras I got all sentimental, thinking, “I will never wear these again, my meticulously chosen bras”.

( sorry couldn’t find a picture of lacy underwear)

Ever since I got this hideous prognosis of breast cancer, I’ve known there was no point in delving into myย favorite shopping experience, of picking out nice underwear. Because let’s be honest, it’s not the same if you’re only buying the panties. I love, I really LOVE the thrill of finding that special bra that has the right amount of lace and ability to show off my attributes in the best way possible.

OK, so it’s not like I’ll never be able to do this again, but it’ll probably be at least a year, from now, before that will be happening. *Sigh*

In case you haven’t figured it out….. I’m having my surgery tomorrow, (Right modified radical mastectomy with sentinel identification + removal of left port-a-cath) I’m having my right breast removed, lymph notes in right armpit removed and the port (that made the injection of the chemo treatment easier) removed as well.

I have to check in at 6.30 am, YES that is nasty early!!! If I remember correctly, the procedure will take about an hour, so I’m guessing I’ll be pretty cognizant around noon?!. I do though, have to spend one night at the Hospital, because there is nothing more fun than being woken up every third hour by a beep right in your ear and then having your blood pressure taken ๐Ÿ˜‰ Needless to say I’ll probably be very eager to go home on Friday.

So Party at my house on Saturday!….. Well maybe not ๐Ÿ˜‰

A lot of you, my lovely friends and family, has already sent me well wishes and promises of crossed fingers and prayers. Thank you!

How long can I blame it on the chemo??

I had my last chemo on Friday Oct. 12th; can you say Wooop woooop!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the nurses had bought me noise makers shaped like flowers and I got to ring the celebration bell when I left the chemo chair for good!

I can’t put words on how great it feels to be done with that crap (pardon my French ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I felt even greater the next day, when my mom and bonus dad came for a weeks visit. It had been too long since we last saw each other (over 2 years) Unfortunately I was (as I’m currently still) plagued by the infection on my balance nerve. But it was good for my soul to have a week with my mommy ๐Ÿ˜‰

OK, so here is why I ask…. is it still chemo brain or lack of attention to details? I’ve been going around telling people that I’m having my operation on Thursday Nov. 9th โ€ฆ… Did you catch it?…. Yes, to the bright eyed in the corner, you are correct. If it’s Thursday then it’s the 8th.
So everybody cross your fingers for me on Thursday Nov. 8th ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile I’ll be sipping Mai Tai’s at the pool on Maui, watching my kids splash around.
Oh yes! We’re here…on Maui….on Maui!!!!!

Have a great week my sweet friends!

I’ve been packing my sleep deprived bags…

ย …in case you’re wondering what that is, under my eyes on the picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last week I was going crazy. Despite the intake of sleeping pills that warns about sleepwalking/driving, I couldn’t get any proper sleep and let me tell you, I don’t do well without my sleep. I’ve always been able to sleep basically when and where ever I wanted to, so 4 hours is just NOT enough for me! I didn’t even get to do any sleep dancing on the table ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is my excuse for not writing my blog last week! ๐Ÿ™‚

I didn’t think I could get any more unproductive…. then this cold decided to invade my privacy and it has a horrible little buddy tagging a long called dizziness. I’ve had a flashback to the beginning of this year, when I got labyrinthitis shortly after my back operation.

I could go on an on about how horrible the lack of balance and nausea is to me, except for the fact that it’s kind of hard to focus on the screen when the world is swimming around, on and off.

At least last week I could put beads on a string, for my Tiara project, this week I just want to SLEEP, hmmm am I full circle?? Because that is basically what I’m doing this week sleeping.

My messed up mind is whispering, “Be careful what you wish for…”

If any of what I’ve written here makes less sense than a caterpillar on Broadway, leave me a note and I’ll be happy to explain it all, when I can think straight ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m not fuzzy about the fuzz.

I love my ‘peach fuzz’, it’s sooooo soft, like baby hair ๐Ÿ™‚ย  And if I’m to believe my friends, it’s platinum blonde and not just white, as I suspect is the truth (the part about it having no color ๐Ÿ˜‰ )ย ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  I wish it could stay this way, I can’t help touching it again and again ๐Ÿ™‚ย  My oncologist told me it will most likely grow out curly in the beginning, then it may or may not go back to the straight hair I had before; and color wise it will either be gray/white or become darker than the dirty blonde I had before….. Hey Mom perhaps you’ll finally get your dream for filled and I’ll have black hair like you, or rather like you used to have ๐Ÿ˜‰

In any case it’s nice to get some hair growing on my head because it really make’s a difference out in the world, and I’m not talking about the way people respond to my ‘peachy’ head, but rather to the fact that even this small amount of hair actually keeps me a little warm, for those times, when I don’t have my little heat flashes ๐Ÿ˜‰
Sweet dreamzzz ๐Ÿ™‚

From now on you will address me as her highness… ;)

ย 

Yesterday when I was in for my 12th chemo treatment, my nurse looked at the bruise, that seems to permanently reside on top of the port (the port that is making it easier and less damaging to administer my poison, ๐Ÿ˜‰ which has beenย  operated into the left side of my chest) and she proclaimed me to be ‘a real princess’.

In case you’re wondering, she was referring to the fairytale “The Princess and the pea” written by Hans Christian Andersen. Actually the way the port sticks out from my body, it kind of looks like I’ve got a pea stuck under the skin ๐Ÿ˜‰

Later when I started to list my various sensitivities to the regular saline, adhesive tape etc.., she was positive I must be a princess. ๐Ÿ™‚

ย I guess the little project I’ve started, ‘Tiaras against tumors’ is very appropriate ๐Ÿ˜‰ . I thought of ‘Tiaras against tumors’ when a friends 10 year old daughter, found out that her brain tumor might be returning and I thought how horrible it would be, if she had to go through that hell again and considered what might cheer a girl, a little, in such a situation?!

This let me to decide, that I want to make and sell little bead tiaras and give the proceeds to the fight against this little girls cancer.

If we’re lucky and it turns out it was merely a false alarm, the proceeds will go to cancer research specializing in child cancers.

Right now I’m experimenting, trying to find the best way of producing said tiaras.