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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Final Countdown

Holy crap. Tomorrow is my last day of chemo. Just like that...16 rounds of chemo in 5 and a half months, and it's over. I woke up early this morning like it was Christmas and I still have ONE more day to wait! I haven't been feeling so hot over the past week and somehow I woke up today with more energy and clarity than I've had in 6 months. I'm ready to get this countdown over and we still have several days to catch up on so here we go!!!

(In the sake of time, I will not be posting ALL of the videos (but a few!) so friend me on Facebook if you really want to see them!)

Number 8

Eight is the symbol of harmony and balance.

Eight symbolizes the ability to make decisions.

Eight symbolizes abundance and power.

Last Wednesday, Jan 18, a few notable things happened...

First things first, I had a consultation with my original surgeon, Dr Shook, to get a second opinion and referrals to some plastic surgeons outside of KU. It was a nice visit, great to catch up, but I realized that the second opinions were very stressful and more than what I can handle right now. None of the plastic surgeons could get me in for a consult within the next week and I decided that unless I didn't like Dr Ponnuru at KU, it's just a needless stressor that I don't need right now. Simple as that.

Then, I went to the airport to pick up Elena, a friend from high school who I have not seen in over 22 years. So you may be wondering why and how this visit occurred... Well, thank you Facebook for allowing me to reconnect with someone (several someones for that matter!) as an adult who shares a kindred spirit. Suffice it to say that who we were in high school in 1989 is certainly not who we are now. In fact, we both really needed this visit for so many reasons and I can't even begin to share them all. What I will say is that she helped me so much by being here and I have to believe that she went home with a happy heart too :) A mutual acquaintance from high school commented that she had no idea we were that close and we both had to laugh...I don't think WE even realized that we were that close until we caught back up long distance. And I can say that I've claimed a forever friend over this past week :) She is a beautiful person, both inside and out. Love you Laney!!! xoxo


7: Number seven is the number of
perfection, security, safety and rest.

Look who needs a circle scarf!!
It was great to have my second chemo date from Vermont! Lauren really set the bar high and Elena was happy to follow suit. We had a great visit over a Taxol cocktail and it really flew by! Before you knew it, it was over and we went to Eden Alley to have an impromptu lunch with Erin and Kelly.

Elena also accompanied me to my consult with Dr Ponnuru, plastic surgeon. I will spare all the details, but I can say that I am SO thankful to have had someone with me that could give me an opinion from a different perspective. I felt really great about Dr Ponnuru and after a glass of wine afterward, Laney helped me come to the decision that I'm sticking with him for my reconstruction. Whew! Decision made, what a relief!!! Feb 20, I OWN you!!! :)

After hanging out at a wine bar on the Plaza, of course I was starving! It was chemo day afterall... so we went to the Westside Local for dinner. It was so great to introduce Laney to my happy place :) and the brown sugar cheesecake with lingonberries and pumpkin seed brittle was a nice ending for such a wonderful day... insomnia was worse than ever and Elena sat on my bed with me ALL NIGHT LONG chatting like schoolgirls and feeling like a slumber party. It was a longgg night for sure but having company sure made it better! That said, insomnia and the post chemo 'roid rage sucks. Chris said it best...

Hey 7...Up Yours!!

Oh, and to Debbie, who loves me to every planet and back...the 7th planet from the sun is Uranus. I thought it only fitting to tell her 'I love you to Uranus and back'...hey, it was her idea!! :) Love you Debbie!! xoxo

Six: The symbolism behind number Six is legend. With Venus as its ruler, Six represents harmony, balance, sincerity, love, and truth. Six naturally reveals solutions for us in a calm, unfolding manner. We invoke the Six when we need delicate diplomacy when dealing with sensitive matters. The spiritual meaning of number Six also deals with enlightenment; specifically "lighting" our path in areas we require spiritual and mental balance. Sixes beckon us to administer compassion and consciously choose forgiveness in a situation.

Yeah, so six just kind of sucked. I was dragging all day because I was tired. I got a nice nap at acupuncture, but my contacts were dry from not sleeping and I'm sure I wasn't much fun!! We did manage to get Laney a circle scarf :) and have a nice day out, but it was not really that great of a day.  I spent all day trying to track Adam as he was pacing his friend Cath in the Brazil 135 race to no avail, only to find out a day later that she was running hard and finished 5th overall, 2nd female. Woohoo! Yay Cath and Adam! We did get to have dinner with the kiddos so Laney could meet them. And I finally got some rest :) 


So, Coco Chanel chose the number 5 for her iconic perfume because she was way into numerology and the number 5 was especially esteemed as signifying the pure embodiment of a thing, its spirit, its mystic meaning. 

Thanks Coleen!! :) Love you xoxo

Five: The spiritual meaning of number Five deals with travel, adventure, and motion. The spiritual meaning of Five draws our attention to the wonder of life, and beckons us to appreciate the perception of chaos all around us. Five has wild vibrations: primitive and erratic. When Five continues to pop up in your life be prepared for some action, like a trip. Remember, trips aren't all necessarily taken physically. Some of the best journey's are taken in the mind and spirit.

Holy crap! I just realized as I sorted through my posts and timeline that on day 5, Adam paced Cath to a 5th place finish in the Brazil 135!! oooooo....eerie!! And so cool!!

My very preggo stylist Micki is the BEST! EVER!
I also introduced Laney to my BFF, Free State brewery and my girls at Headmasters in Lawrence where I got my first post chemo haircut!!!! Ok, haircut might be a slight exaggeration...but I got at least ONE hair cut! :) Micki, Wende, girls ROCK!!

Yay for good friends, haircuts and circle scarves! :)
40 looks so good on you, Laney!
And realizing that it's Kansas City restaurant week, Laney's last night in town AND that I'd be in my final round of chemo on her 40th birthday we went out for dinner at The Drop with James and toasted good friends, looking fab at 40 and my final round of chemo. Woohoo!!

**Bonus points for anyone who got the Number five is alive reference...yes, Short Circuit (circa 1986)


On day 4, I woke up at 4, brought Elena to the airport, said a sad goodbye and went home to sleep a bit. I picked up the kiddos and spent the day just enjoying their company. I have come to realize that the Sunday after my Thursday chemo is when the crash starts. I start feeling like I have the flu and that I want to curl up and die. Ok, maybe that's a bit extreme, but I am completely zapped and it gets worse before it gets better. So I got a lot of nice well wishes, but happily shut the door on number four :)

*side note: Happy Birthday to Eric, my amazing Colorado contingent. Thirty FOUR?! Jeez the coincidence! :) 


3!!!!! It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end.

The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit. It is the beginning, middle and end. Three is a complete cycle unto itself. It is past, present, future.

I woke up on day 3, brought the kids to school and crawled back in bed feeling like I had been hit by a mack truck. Knowing I had dinner plans at 5:30 with three of the most amazing girls alive, I planned on wallowing in self pity for several hours at least. Just like the Monday before, I felt like I had the flu but I know now that it's just what it feels like to hit the chemo wall.  I really felt bad. Then I saw this Facebook post from my sister in Hawaii:

'To help my sister Shelley Duprey Flones count down day #3, I was going to run 3 miles. But I love her twice as much as that, so I decided on 6. But then thought a another prime number would be more appropriate so I made it 7! Shelley, you were my inspiration today (as well as the pain in my ass through the last mile) because I didn't want to annoy you on such an important week. ;) I believe because you believe in me and I believe in you. You've got this!!! ALMOST DONE!'

To give some background info... I obviously come from a family of runners. Karen started running last year and might even still tell you that she's not a 'runner'. She didn't like it at all at first and loving it certainly doesn't come easily to her. Why does she do it? Well, you'll have to ask her, but I think she may do it because she cares about her health and she cares about me. This isn't the first time she's told me that I inspired her, but she may not realize how much her running inspires me. To know that she has the drive and determination to fight through SEVEN miles on my worst day, brings me to tears. Seven miles isn't easy for ANYONE, not even distance runners. And she did it. Just to not annoy me. Haha! In 40 years, I'm sure I've annoyed my sister more than you can ever imagine. I'm two years younger and like a hyper puppy. I'd be annoyed by me too!! And yet, as I was curled up in bed, fighting back tears, she was fighting through SEVEN pavement miles (ugh!) because we believe in each other. Wow. I love you, Karen. And you are my FSFN :) Ask William what that means...he might know! xoxo And I can't wait to come to Hawaii and run with you!!! You might be pushing me the last few miles!!


2: Those who resonate with number Two are honest, trustworthy. These people are also very talented with plenty of wonderful ideas. So much so that they sometimes fall into distraction because they are often moving in (no irony here) two directions at the same time. They are usually philosophical by nature, and are the people you go to when seeking sincere advice.

TWO Friends <3

TWOsday was a crazier day than most of you realize. First, I went to court to get rid of TWO speeding tickets thanks to my amazing friend James. Then I spent TWO hours with James at Dolce drinking coffee, eating scones and discussing life and relationships. Then I went to lunch to get rid of another tumor that I was not aware that I had. I haven't really discussed my personal (dating) life much on my blog. Ok, I really haven't discussed it at all. Some things are sacred and I don't want to change that...but to understand my 'fight' maybe you should all know what I've dealt with and why I'm so thankful for the really good people in my life. I have an ex-boyfriend. Ok, not just one, but one in particular. We broke up a long time ago but I had idealized the 'relationship' we had and quite honestly, I idealized him. I emailed him when I was diagnosed simply because he saw that stupid tumor and I thought it was only fair. He tried to be 'part of my team' but I explained to him that I wasn't really looking for more friends and watching him date other women (with hair-haha) would be really tough for me. That if he wasn't wanting to be my partner through it, then he should go away and not be so selfish. So he did. Whew! Right? Well, he continued to 'check in' through the fall. I decided to respond selectively, fearing the knowledge that he had moved on while I was battling the big C. Well, this is already taking longer than I planned so let me just say that he chose lunch YESTERDAY* (after not seeing each other since August and me accepting the invite with trepidation) to nonchalantly tell me that he started seeing someone in the fall. Yes, he did exactly what I asked him NOT to do... oh, not the dating part. I suppose that was inevitable. He SEEMS to be a good catch, I guess. But the part about telling me!!! WHY would you choose the middle of a girl's chemo to let her know that you've moved on and you're seeing someone new??? Just GO AWAY!! If you ever find yourself in this situation people, please just GO AWAY!! Oh, unless you are selfish, self-centered and a complete A-hole!! So, not only am I in the last week of my chemo, battling cancer, sporting a weird fuzzy hairdo, and preparing myself to lose my breasts in less than a month, my ex-boyfriend decided that it was appropriate to add insult to injury on my TWOsday. Thank you for that. I have no need for retaliation. I am the lucky one. I just excised a tumor and didn't even need anesthesia. And for the rest of you who deserve my friendship, I appreciate you that much more :) And for the man who eventually earns the right to be my life partner, you can thank him later... :) I will talk more about dating through cancer because I do have some insight to share, but for now, I am thankful to be eradicating more than one cancer this week :)

*note: he did claim to have sent me an email (that I never got) in December to tell me...because that's better right? Sending your ex an email over the holidays while she's battling cancer to get her blessing on a new relationship?? WHO does that???? :)

So... now that I've said too much, I am having a GREAT day ONE!!! One day until chemo is OVER!!! Yessssssss!!


I have recently been compared to an excited puppy (I don't pee on the floors!) so I thought this was more than appropriate...thanks Chris!! Love it! :)

There are so many catchy ways to sum this up but the reality is this...One more day. ONE!! TOMORROW marks the end of a VERY long road. I still have cancer. Tomorrow, I will still have cancer. I will have cancer until I have a mastectomy on February 20, but I will be done with the poison in my veins. I will be done with chemo. Tomorrow. Sorry to be so redundant. I am trying to get my arms around it!! Thank you to EVERYONE who joined this countdown with me. Please join me again TOMORROW when the number is ZERO!!!!   

Words cannot express my thanks to all of you for lifting me up and holding me tight through this horribly painful final round of chemo. U2 said it best...'One love, we get to share it...' I love you all and I'm happy to share it :) 



  1. simply Amazing!!! so glad I actually got to meet you before the countdown started and got to share in it! Lots of Hugs for a fabulous day Zero!