Bald Photoshoot

Can we take a moment for the fact that I have a mere 8 radiations left until this 6 month treatment plan is over?  That’s next Thursday.  4 months of chemo and 2 months of radiation in the books.  Weird.  What the hell am I going to do with all my free time?

Anyway, a new friend of mine offered her extraordinary photography talents to me in the way of a bald photoshoot.  I was a little hesitant at first, but after seeing the pictures I’m so grateful to have them as a memory of this crazy, crazy year I have been through.  If you’re interested in hiring Kendra you can view her portfolio and contact her through her website – http://www.theloudcamera.com.  I can’t recommend her enough, she’s fantastic!

Take a look if you’d like…

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Chemo, check.

image10Two weeks after my last chemo infusion I am starting to really feel the joy of being done as my strength and spirit are coming back.  Leaving my last treatment I’ll admit I wasn’t as excited as I thought I’d be to be done.  Leaving the infusion ward for the final time with my original gang from chemo number 1 was a surreal.  They were popping champagne and high-fiving, but I was a bit more apprehensive.  Perhaps it was because I knew I still had 5 shitty days ahead of me full of body aches, sleepless nights and a metallic taste in my mouth. Or, perhaps it was the bigger fear that this wasn’t really over.  Not only do I still have radiation around the corner and another surgery, but I have the fear that this may come back, in a much more dangerous place, for years to come.

Last week I dove back into being the old Bre; playing two soccer games, working on the house, pulling weeds, taking on new work projects and hosting a dinner party. It felt fucking great!  We have had a lot to be thankful for during the last couple months, seriously, a lot, but getting your ‘self’ back, that is something I never take for granted.  Speaking of being grateful, my support group, my tribe, my family and friends are the best a girl could ever ask for.  Thank you so much for the laughs, food, hangouts, crafts, cleanings, yoga, hugs, tears, ears, cards, flowers, walks, and love.  You are amazing and I would kill for each and every one of you!

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So what’s next?  I have April off from any treatments so true to form I’ve packed every weekend and most weeknights with fun; dinners with friends, a mommy & daddy mini vacation, soccer, Mariners games and a trip to Vegas to party relax the bestie.  May 2nd starts six and a half weeks of radiation treatments everyday, Monday through Friday. Other than the monotony of everyday, the radiation sounds easy to me.  Perhaps I’ll be eating my works in a month, but here’s to hoping it will be a breeze! 

Now a couple of the little man…God damn he’s cute!

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Levi is 2

My sweet little man just turned two years old.  The tiny little cone-head that slept and nursed the majority of the day is long gone and replaced by a rambunctious busy body who loves to be outside exploring the world.  We’ve had such a tough couple of months in our family, but Levi manages to make all our worries go away by watching the wonder in his eyes.  We love you so much sweet Levi!

Height: 2’8”
Weight: 26 pounds
Teeth: Most of them

You in a nutshell Levi…

You’re happiest when…

You’re outside.  You love the woods, the back yard, hikes and the beach.  Rain or shine, you constantly ask us to go “ou-side”.  If you must be inside you want to be in the garage with your dad tinkering with tools and playing with your car.

You’re unhappy when…

You are woken unnaturally from sleep (you get that from your mama).  If we have to get you up from a nap or Belle barks at the door, you are pissed for a minimum of an hour.

Your most like Mom when…

You don’t like to be told what to do.

Your most like Dad when…

You’re cautious.  Despite my constant urging you still won’t jump from the coffee table to the couch.

Favorite foods…

Cheerios, chicken nuggets, berries & fruit, avocado, bananas, any treats.

Bad behavior…

You pinch.  It’s annoying.

Sweet behavior…

Your sweet sing-songy voice.  When you say I love you it melts my heart.  You give mommy back scratches.  You are a total ham, yelling bye-bye to every person when you leave a room, restaurant or store.

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Approaching Half Way

My first chemo infusion I came ready for battle.  I had my Fuck Cancer shirt on, I ate Dicks with abandon and repeated my mantra, ‘you got this’.  Number four is right around the corner and I’ve lost a little bit of my spunk.  I still repeat my mantra and flip the bird to cancer daily, but I can’t fathom ever eating another Dicks cheeseburger again and the mere thought of the infusion ward makes my mouth water with nausea.  I receive chemo every other Tuesday and the first week is typically filled with body aches, nausea, headaches and an overall feeling of ick.  The feel good week following I feel more like myself (just a tired version) and can almost get excited about another infusion because that means one more down.  I’m on a feel good week now and next Tuesday is half way, 4 out of 8 done!  In addition, it’s the end of the Adriamycin/Cytoxan cocktail.  The following 4 will be Taxol, which I hear isn’t quite as bad….we’ll see.

Two days after my second infusion, exactly when my oncologist said it would, my hair started falling out.  I could run my fingers through my hair and my and pull out handfuls.  Perhaps at a different time in my life or if I was going through this decades ago the hair loss would be an issue for me.  I think the empowering photos of bald confident women kicking breast cancers ass (and Charlize Theron in Mad Max) made the hair loss for me a non-issue.  I kind of like it.  Not that the buzz cut is staying or anything but I don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed of my new do at all.

The night of the shaving.  Face Timing with your best friend, as you do.
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Casey did a pretty good job!
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Someone else got a haircut too.  Unlike his Mom, he was pissed about it.
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One Down

First Chemo infusion and aftermath is in the books!  It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either.

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Dicks and chemo. 

The highlight of the day: When I met with my oncologist, I was greeted by a new nurse, Cathy.  She told me she had requested to be my nurse that day because she had something she wanted to share with me. Cathy put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I was also diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 34 years old and I had a small baby at home too.  That baby is now 23 years old and about to graduate from college.”  I instantly burst into tears, along with the entourage I had in the room.  As we continued to chat we also found out her daughter and I share the same birthday and I noticed Cathy and my mom were both wearing the exact same necklace, one I gave my mom on my wedding day.  It was a good start to the day!

Tears dried, the crew met with the oncologist, got labs and headed upstairs to the infusion ward.  It’s pretty much how I’d imagined, a big chair and lots of tubes going into me.  The infusion took about 2 ½ hours.  We ate some Dicks, laughed about my really quirky infusion nurse and asked a ton of questions.

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All the way since 3rd grade!

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All the way from Vegas to keep me company!

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The Adriamycin going in.

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Nurse Ratchet

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My dad brought his fishing lures to work on. 

 

The days following went from shaky (from the steroids) to achy (from the Neulasta shot) to pukey (from the chemo) and after that I’ve just felt like I’ve have a hangover.  Something I’ve occasionally (:)) dealt with in the past so I can manage that.   Now I have a week off and we do it all over again……

 

I also got a new haircut!

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Back on the blogging waggon and a big Neuzel Update

Anyone still out there?

It’s been right around a year since my last post.  If anyone was holding their breath for house update pictures, I truly apologize for your death!  It has been a busy year of remodel projects, travel & raising a baby tornado.  Things were shaping up to be a great 2015!  Then, in October life cocked back and kicked me squarely in the balls with a diagnosis of breast cancer.  Yep, cancer.  Fuck.

I’ll get to some house update pictures at the end of this post, but let’s recap the cancer part first.  October 28th I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  November 24th I had a mastectomy to remove my left breast.  After surgery I found out I am stage 2, I had a 3.3cm tumor and the cancer has spread into my lymph nodes.  I start chemotherapy on December 15th for 16 weeks followed by radiation for 6 weeks.

How am I doing?  Some days I’m super positive and say to myself I’m tough!  I ran a marathon and gave birth naturally and I’ll kick the mother fucking shit out of these mutant little cells!  But then there are some days when I’m really scared and look at my adorable little dude and thing holy shit, could I actually not see him go to kindergarten?  Those are bad days.  The bad days are getting less and less as I learn more about my diagnosis and I move forward with my treatment.

There you have it, that’s the newest Neuzel Project, tackling and killing cancer.

Now let’s look at a couple house updates…These are just a few peeks of the finished rooms.  I want to get someone with actual knowledge of how to use a camera to help me take proper pictures of each room.

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And how about a few updates on this little stinker.  He’s a wild tornado that is exhausting to be around.  He will cause a diversion in one room to escape through the front door any chance he gets.  He climbs on everything, runs everywhere and loves people and pets to the point of injuring them.  He keeps us laughing and sighing on the regular.

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Move in Month

We’re certainly no where near being done with this project, but December is here and I’m moving in no matter what!  We’ll have a toilet and heat so that’s better than some of the situations we were in with the last house.

Here’s where we are at today – and we’re starting to move in this weekend.  We have a busy week ahead of us!

These cabinets!  So in love.  Obviously still have a long ways to go on the details (counters, backsplash, glass fronts, window, nobs) but oh man I’m already in love with this kitchen.  The painted tongue and grove ceiling was a total pain in the ass, but was worth the chronic kink in my neck and achy shoulders.

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Bathroom is all tiled, but hasn’t been grouted yet.  The herringbone floor took some some serious convincing to get Casey to agree.  It was not easy for him, but totally worth it.  I think he’s pretty proud of his tile laying skills as well.

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The vanity wall

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And last, a sneak peek at Levi’s new nursery.  Pretty happy I get to design two nurserys in 1 year!

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Busy week ahead – new windows, lighting, grouting, bathroom vanity and toilet, cleaning and move in!   We’ll be in without counters, sinks and interior doors, but who needs those minor details?🙂

 

 

Posted in New House, Projects, Remodel | 1 Comment