I Wear Athletic Wear To Chemo And Other Crazy Things I Do…

I have done some pretty crazy things the last several weeks since I was diagnosed with cancer.  Here are a few of them:

I wear running clothes to chemotherapy.  And when I am not wearing the same clothes I would wear running a marathon, I go out and buy “chemotherapy” outfits.  So far I have bought three new outfits that I have only worn to chemo.  And I have purchased scarves and headgear to match.

I let my daughter shave my head.  That’s right, I handed a razor over to a 10-year-old and said, “Have fun…”

I bring my laptop and a puzzle book to chemo with every intention to work on my novel.  I have not done one puzzle, nor have I written one word on the novel since December.  I sit there for 5 hours, talk to other cancer patients, talk to whoever has rode with me, or I binge watch “Law And Order Special Victims Unit” on USA Network.

I have started running again.  I announced on my Caring Bridge Site that I was running, and got a slew of texts, and calls telling me that I was insane for running, and running outside at that.  In my defense, my doctor is fully supportive, and he said that he wants me running.  I would never do anything to jeopardize my health or recovery.

I plan on getting a tattoo and piercings after I am done with chemo.  I actually plan on getting a teal butterfly tattoo somewhere on my body.  I want to commemorate what I have survived, and I also am thinking about getting my nose pierced.  I don’t really care that I’m 40, and it may seem hipster-ish.

I have contemplated doing crazy clean eating diet, but opted for chocolate, jellybeans, and Fritos.  I was going to do a green smoothie diet, with fresh organic vegetables, and lots of fruits.  Unfortunately, I am allergic to bananas.  (Sorry TMI) Pineapples give me the runs.  And the only thing that really stays down are bagels, cream cheese, chocolate, jellybeans, and Fritos.


Two Treatments Down, Sixteen More To Go

Well, I am still alive and kicking.  The last two months have been a whirlwind.  The beginning of the New Year, I was preparing to train for Grandma’s marathon.  Starting to get ready for the half marathon I had in the middle of February, and was just going to multiple appointments getting my daughter diagnosed with ADD.  Fast forward to the first week of February, I now have cancer.  I had a 7-hour major surgery were cancer was removed from just about every organ in my abdomen, and I was starting chemotherapy.  Never in a million years, did I imagine that I would have been diagnosed with cancer, and never during the recovery of the surgery did I realize how quickly I would recover and how quickly chemotherapy would knock me out.

Now, I am two weeks into an 18-week treatment protocol.  The first week of chemo, the doctor delivered the surprisingly good news that I had survived the worst of it, and that I was probably going to be OK.  I didn’t feel OK.  I was achy, tired, and bordering between nauseous and starving.  Two weeks later, more side effects are starting to come out.  Last night I noticed that I have NO taste.  I cannot taste anything unless it is strong.  My tongue is completely numb.  Yesterday, a clump of hair fell out while I was in the shower.  I realize that this journey is going to be a fun one…  However, each day I wake up, and feel strong enough to write, go for a walk, or watch endless episodes of my favorite shows is a good day.  I hope to be back blogging soon, or working on my novel, or doing something other than thinking about cancer.  Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers!

The Curious Case Of Jodi Vetter


I am writing this blog on an iPhone. I have been experiencing a surprising health crisis. I thought that I was doing everything right. I am nearing 40, I watch my diet, and I am active– I lift, I run, I bike, and swim. I didn’t think I needed to go to the doctor, because a. I was in tuned to my body, b. I enjoyed being blissfully unaware of my own mortality, and c. I would KNOW if I was sick. Turns out me being active was nearly my undoing. It could still be my undoing (please pray).

My story started about a year ago, I was experiencing some discomfort in my back. I had gone into the doctor, and was told it was a back injury. I went through the  physical therapy program, was declared not injured and went about my life.

A few months later, I experienced some dull aching pain in my back. I mentioned it a few times that I needed to do something about my back. I would do sit-ups, squats, and lunges. I mentioned the back ache a few times to my husband, but he shrugged it off.

I went on with my life.  The pain ebbed and flowed with my cycle.  Since it was regular monthly visitor, I assumed it was cramps, or ovulation.  This month, I decided that I needed to go in, and get some piece of mind regarding my body.  I am nearing 40, youth is fleeting.  I thought running made me immune.

I was wrong.  In 2002, I was in a train accident which affected my upper respiratory system.  I had switched insurances, and made my first appointment in almost six years.  The doctor being diligent ordered a chest x-Ray.  They found something.

I had a pleural effusion, or liquid on the lungs.  I was sent to the ER.  Three CT scans later, I was transported to the region medical center.  My kidney is being cut off by a large mass in my pelvis. Near my cervix.

The first thought, cervical cancer– with fluid on the lungs– I was probably stage 3 or 4.  This plunged me into the cardiac ward where I rode a roller coaster.

First, my lungs were drained and then the fluid was sent off to be tested. Then a revolving door of doctors and specialists came to see me: I had cancer, I didn’t have cancer, there is a mass, there is no mass, I need a stent, I don’t need a stent.

I am now day five into this whole thing, and this is the best guess: my kidney was blocked by something in my pelvis. The something is either a cancerous ovarian tumor, fibroid tumor, or endometriosis. My guess- endometriosis (my history points towards it).  I had a stent installed and biopsy on the mass.  I am waiting on the final word.  Then I face chemo, radiation, and/or hysterectomy.  I am facing this with humor and positivity- I am young, healthy, and have a great support.

The biggest thing that I came away with is a few life lessons:

  1. Make peace with those you wronged. Don’t go out with regrets.
  2. Be an advocate for yourself.
  3. Don’t think that you are doing everything “right” that you are immune.
  4. Don’t put off, or skip annual exams.
  5. Be thankful for what you have.
  6. Don’t share medical diagnosis until you have the final word.
  7. Stay or get healthy– my activity and diet probably saved my life.
  8. If you do end up in my situation up your data plan.