Surgery: HIPEC 12/12/16

A short fortnight ago, I am abashed to confess that as I lay in bed I was fantasizing and rhapsodizing death. It appealed to me in the way one looks forward to a vacation; I saw it as a destination — an endpoint to all of the pain and suffering this shell of mine has endured in my short lifetime. Suicidal thoughts were never coupled with my pensive imagination, one must be clear. However, the guilt I carry for even discerning as I did bears a weight I cannot carry as I should feel grateful for the days in which I am granted. God knows life only grants us so many and we can never be too sure as to when they will expire.

In recent months it’s been no secret that I have been quite mum on my blog and as of late, social media as well. Perhaps I may explain why I have not turned pain into power like I once did so very well. Life before cancer seems to be drifting further and further away, slipping through like tiny grains of sand in your hands. Cancer has become so normalized that talking about it in a constant fashion seems extraneous. Not much changes from one day to the next and my routine is pretty intact.

With time things get better, scars begin to fade and people go back to their every day life. What I am struggling with at the moment is how I am going to fill my time in life, discovering what I am meant to do on earth. Most people have children or a career to fulfill their years and I am on a journey to find what will fill mine. I say that with optimism as after my fantasizing, I was given remarkable news that could change my life forever.

On December 12th, 2016 I will undergo a major surgery called HIPEC. They will once again cut down the center of my abdomen, essentially scrape the lining of my abdomen, place hot, hot chemotherapy directly inside of me, sew me up, shake me around for 90 minutes and then drain the chemo. Although it sounds quite ludicrous, it is a rare and unlikely procedure yet it has a 30% chance to cure me altogether, a 30% chance I could go into remission or a 40% chance that I come out of the surgery no better or worse then when I went in. Given my age and otherwise healthy body, the surgeon feels that I am the perfect candidate for this type of procedure.

So, as I prepare for the 12th I no longer fantasize about being pain free by going to the other side. Instead I fantasize about the life that I hopefully have before me, in hopes that I will either be cured or in remission. This is the trial of a lifetime, but I toast to the lesson and at the end of my life and throughout life I’ll understand what really matters. It is essential to push harder than yesterday if I want a different tomorrow. Nothing is guaranteed, we’re all perishable — life is significant and for a moment the pain nearly managed to make me forget that the substance of significance is a destination all on its own.


Britt x

[IVF]- Is.Very.Fun? ⚤

IVF Shots IMG_3993

It’s a difficult pill to swallow, that your ability to procreate on a natural, organic level is in peril and even at times unachievable.  Once I knew that I’d have to go through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) for the means of fertility preservation, many audacious women reached out to me with their stories.  To say that I was converged by their stories would be a muted statement.  Prior to this experience, I comprehended the minimal amount of information about infertility and truly how many women, men and couples alike were affected by it.

Today, as I sat in the passenger seat of Steve’s bumpy Jeep Wrangler, I conveyed how I never imagined having to go through such lengths to have children.  In fact, I always knew I wanted a child (singular), but there was never an emphasis of urgency behind it, as I assumed it would be as easy as one, two, three.  This being my third day undergoing IVF, I am becoming more equipped mentally to the idea behind it, as well as more stable at giving myself a daily shot.  Currently, my shots are limited to one daily, in the stomach.  Lucky for me, I have a bit of cushion in the tummy area so it feels less than painless.  Contrariwise, the residual affects of the shot bring forth heightened emotions and moodiness, nausea, headaches and tenderness all around.  Within the next week, the shots will double, as I will have to have three total shots per day; two in the stomach and one in the back.  Once again, I am going to use the cushion for the pushin’.

Presently, my fertility Doctor appointments are averaging every other day.  The Doctors have to take blood and ultra sounds bi-daily to ensure that all is going as planned and everything is on track with our schedule. The Fertility Dr. and my Oncologist have been in communication and my Oncologist has stressed the importance of time behind my chemotherapy treatments starting, although I am undergoing IVF beforehand due to the affects chemo may have on my fertility subsequently. Being that I have not yet received the results of my PET scan, I found this meridian information to be a tad unsettling.  Nevertheless, I am accepting that “no news is good news”, until my follow-up Oncology appointment next Monday.  Low and behold, I am forming a relationship with the staff at the fertility Doctor’s office and feel contented by their professionalism and amiable guidance.

This process certainly has more pros than con’s.  We’ll continue to manage the shots on a daily basis for the next two weeks.  IVF is certainly not an inexpensive treat; however due to the fact that I have cancer I have not paid a single penny towards this practice.  Appreciatively, my insurance is covering the retrieval (extraction of the eggs), while Walgreens h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program has fully assisted in covering the cost of all the required drugs.  Considerably, this has been the most important item on our agenda, aside from my getting better.  Steve and I want to be able to have the peace of mind that our future family is not at risk and by having expenses covered, this has provided us the opportunity to take charge and safeguard preserving our future.

Retrieval will take place on August 26th, where I will be placed under anesthesia for approximately two hours, while the Doctor vaginally extracts the available eggs.  Once that has been completed, my husband will be responsible for supplying sperm, in which they will then create embryos.  The importance behind the preservation of embryo’s, as opposed to just my eggs, is that we are going an additional step by having the embryo’s examined for Lynch Syndrome, or the mutant gene that I may carry, which is genetic. Lynch Syndrome is a gene in which is an inherited condition that causes an increased risk of cancer.  Due to the fact that my Nan had colon cancer, as well as other members of my extended family, it is assumed by the Oncologist that I carry such syndrome.  To be certain, I will be going through genetics testing in early September for an official determination.  Regardless, it is important for Steve and I to take advantage of the science we have at our fingertips and ensure that the professionals can detect the specific embryo’s that may also carry the gene.  It is vital that we do all that we can to bring a child into this world and take preventative measures for their future.

Perceptive now to how mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting fertility can be, my heart goes out to all of the fervent, avid and valiant women who have gone through this process.  At times it is not always successful, but each person who goes through IVF can appreciate the degree of desire behind doing all that you can to reproduce.   Although I will not be able to get pregnant until at least two years after completing chemotherapy, it is a safe haven knowing that we have babies waiting for us, babies that will be free of Lynch Syndrome and ready to conquer the world.  Bring on the three shots per day and all of the outstanding side affects, for it will all be worth it when I can be called Mom and Steve, Dad.

 ***For more information on IVF, please visit:

 ***For more information on Walgreens h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program, please visit:


Britt x