Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chemo-schemo

My how time flies! Two days ago I had my fourth and final chemo session. whoohoo!

Here's a pic of my favorite nurse, Leah Bail
ey, who's taken such good care of me throughout the chemo sessions. (She's even hired me to do her big fancy cake for her 40th bday this w/e!)



Of course, my friends, and soon-to-be roomies, Christa and Andie made the last one fun...even though Christa won at chemo-scrabble!


The time between the third and fourth was almost uneventful, with the exception of a wicked full body hive break-out that remains a mystery. Thankfully, my team at UCLA got me in to see a dermatologist right away, who put me on Prednisone. It was like a miracle drug...hives were gone in a day!

SOOOO much has been going on in my increasingly blessed life that I could write for sure more than you'd probably care to read. A few highlights: the bakery is getting off the ground (see the website! www.thebutterend.com), my friend Kevin is renting out his Venice house to me and my friends for a fraction of what I pay now, so I'm moving a few blocks over, and I've been asked to work on some new projects as an actor. wow. Shoot, I even had two dates last week. I haven't had two dates in one week in years...hair or not!

Coming back home for a visit to do my buddy Kirsten's wedding cake in May. I'll be home from May 3-18, so if anyone's up for a visit in the NY/NJ/PA area...give a shout!!!

After I get back from NY, I'll get ready for the last big event in the healing, which is the replacement of the expander implant with the permanent implant. That will probably be in June. After that, two small cosmetic procedures will take care of crafting a new nippie, and then...I'm done!

It just isn't possible to explain how much you all mean to me. This crazy joy that has taken over me is a product of the wake-up call and unending stream of love from you.

oh boy, I'm a lucky girl.

love you to pieces!!!!

xoxoxo

Kimberly


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Three down, One to go!

Lounging in the chemo lounge.....

Yesterday was the third of four chemo treatments....which means that three weeks from now, I am DONE with chemo! yayyyyy!!!!

The session went really well...after th
e bumbling nurse who jammed the needled 'through' my vein, instead of into it, quickly picked up on my look of displeasure at her, and fetched a phlebotomist who sorted me out with an IV quickly and painlessly...phew! Aside from a colorful bruise to show for the miss, I have had not had any issues from this round.

To celebrate, Martha and I went out last night to get our dance on at The Brig on Abbot Kinney....They have the best live band on Tuesday nights!

And, today I felt so good that I played volleyball on the beach for two and a half hours before going in for my Neulasta shot. Of course, my favorite nurse "Barcode" aka: Marvin, gave it to me without a hitch.

Monday night a company mate from West Coast Ensemble suggested that I think about putting up "Wit" at our theater....what a great idea! I picked up the play again yesterday. Haven't read it in ten years. It sure would be great to dig into such a rich play, chronicling the last months of a professor dying of cancer in England. hmmm...

In the meantime, I've been working hard on getting my bakery off the ground! Looks like the name will be Random Tuesday Bakery. Stay tuned!

As always, I conclude with my complete gratitude for your continued love and support. It's clearly the reason that this journey continues to be as bearable as it's been.

love love love ~


Monday, March 9, 2009

Baldie...and a visit from Dad

OK, so I'm really not very good at keeping up on the blog so much...sorry! Happily, it's cause I'm feeling so great, that I'm out and about living life, and not on the computer. ;)


The most touching thing happened a few days ago when I went to get my head shaved by Camille, a third generation barber from Lebanon. Sweetest guy you'd ever want next to you with a four inch long razor. I told him how I used to go to the barber shop with my Dad when I was a little girl. The old-school kind with the leather strap on the side of the chair. It was strange being the one in the chair with warm lather on my head!


After some soft-spoken encouragement and gospel from this kind barber/preacher, he finished up my shave with some sort of potion followed by a talc powder...both of which brought tears to my eyes. Not because they stung, but because they smelled EXACTLY like my father. It was like he was visiting me, reassuring me.

After my dad died, I used to bury my face in his cap, inhaling his scent, so I remember it well.

On the way to the car, which was two doors down, I just started laughing. Turns out, my car was parked directly in front of "George's Coffee Shop". Martha asked why I was laughing. My Dad's name was George, I told her. He really was with me that day.

On the health front, my oncologist told me that if it weren't for my bald head, she'd think that I was given the placebo, not chemo. I guess that means I'm doing pretty good! She didn't even take blood this time....no need she said.

Two down, and two to go. Next one is two weeks from tomorrow.

Yesterday I played volleyball for the first time in three months. I thought maybe I'd play one token game and just hang out on the beach with my friends. Well, turns out, I felt really good, so I played like five games! (alternating sitting out games for rest.)

So, posts will likely become fewer as I leave this in the dust. I'll continue to blog to let you know about anything of interest relative to doctor visits and such. In the meantime, I'm working on cakes daily to get some mad fondant skills so I can build a business for my bald self!

Continued gratitude for all the love and support. I credit your love for my good fortune and resilience through this journey.

xoxoxoK




Monday, March 2, 2009

Halfway there!


OK. So here's the deal...this is going to be brief...turns out...I left my charger at the "chemo lounge" and I'm running on 3% battery power! The session went super smooth, and I feel just as great as I did this morning before I left the house! Martha met me there halfway through and followed me home. We even had a glass of wine over lunch!

Tomorrow I go in for the Nulasta shot. Hopefully it won't be any more of a bother that it was last time.

Saturday night all of my hair fell out. The faux-hawk is gone! booo! Now, I'm thinking I might have a future in Blue Man Group. Whadya think?


More tomorrow...after I retrieve my charger!!! ;)
love love love

Friday, February 20, 2009

I AM NOT MY HAIR!

Thanks to India Arie and Robin Roberts, I have a perfect soundtrack to one more transformational event in this journey. Two days ago my hair started to fall out. I didn't want to wait for it to fall out in clumps, so I called my stylist, Cece. I asked her to donate her time so I could donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. (they make real hair wigs and provide them for free to women with cancer) Cece was AMAZING...she not only offered her time, but couldn't have been more lovely and supportive. With my buddy Martha right there with me, documenting the fun occasion, Cece gave me perhaps the coolest cut ever! Instead of making it a sad day, they made me feel like a rock star!

So that y'all could feel like you were there with me, I put together this little diddy of the before, during and afters. It's my first whack at making a movie on my mac...Spielberg I ain't!

Yesterday I had another wonderful experience at the Wellness Community. They team up with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to teach women how to care for their skin, face and bald domes during chemo. In addition to a demo, we all got incredibly generous bags full of fancy-schmancy cosmetics donated by companies like Chanel, Lancome and Clinique! So, I put my new make-up to use this morning and put my face on in honor of my new buzz!

Tomorrow I'm going to try to play tennis for the first time. It'll be my first time exercising in over two months....I can't wait!

All's good, and I'm absolutely loving life.... And all of you who are reading this:)

kisses for everybody!!!!


video

Friday, February 13, 2009

I have limbs

Recently I found myself starting to focus on the things that I can't do ~ now, and in the coming months. Oh, I'm going to be bald, so I shouldn't submit myself for jobs.....or oh, I may not know how I'm going to feel after chemo, so I shouldn't make plans...whoa is me, whoa is me.... The 'big questions' started to rain down, and the answers either weren't coming, or I didn't like them much.

THEN, I remembered a brief video that was sent to me by my friend, Nik. The video is of a young Australian man, Nick Vujicic. Nick was born with no arms and no legs. He just has a little 'flipper', a sort of deformed foot. Other than that, he's a torso...and a handsome one at that!

I went back to YouTube and watched some videos of Nick again this week. The biggest lesson? Focus on everything that is right, and not on what is wrong. Ahhhh, the simple lesson. Here's why it hit home...When Nick was eight, he wanted to kill himself. He started to think of all the things that he wouldn't be able to do in his life. He couldn't dance, hold hands, get married, play sports, etc, etc. Then, he looked in the mirror and noticed that he had beautiful eyes. He focused on his eyes, and how handsome he was! From that moment on, he learned to focus exclusively on everything, no matter how small, that was right and good and special about him, and eliminate thoughts on what he couldn't do.

Now Nick is a motivational speaker around the world. He went to college, makes a shit ton of money and changes people's lives. Oh, he also swims, lives on his own, and is mean on the putting green.

This little guy has changed my week, and perhaps, hopefully, given me a gift of perspective that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. My life is great. I am blessed. Instead of focusing on who won't want me now, the auditions that I can't go out on, the fear of the future, I now focus on all of the wonderful qualities I've been blessed with. Today I woke up filled with Joy. Even before my diagnosis, I can't say that I remember the last time I felt pure Joy. Nothing has changed this week, other than perspective.

See for yourself the gift that made me write this post:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uG2kSdd-4&feature=related

It's just one of about sixty videos on YouTube you can check out - from 4 mins to 30. Watch and I dare you to bitch about anything in your life!

I love you. Thanks for letting me share.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So ya say you want a notification?

I was under the impression, along with most of you who've signed on as 'followers' (how creepy is that word, anyway?!) of this blog that when I publish a new post, you'd get an email notification letting you know it's out there. Welllllll.....turns out, not so much.

I have learned how to make this work, but I just want to check in with you to see if you want that to happen, before I put you on 'the list'. Long story short, if you want to get an email letting you know a new post is here to read, lemme know....shoot a comment out here, send me an email, text, smoke signal...somethin'... and I'll make it happen :)