Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The day has come... Dec 14th, 2010

Dear Left boob

The time has come. We grew up together for 35 years, bosom buddies, and shared many great times together.. .especially our 20s! And then this year you turned crazy on me and tried to kill me. So today you will be cut off from my life forever. You should have known better than to mess with my family and life! Don't worry, I am better off without you and you can be replaced! xoxo

Love, Right boob

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wow! It's really been that long??

Hi Everyone!  I can't believe I haven't written since August??   What have I been doing??   Well I have to say I have been enjoying my time with Emelia!  

But lets start with the cancer stuff.   Today I am on my 10th dose of Taxol/Herceptin combo.  2 more to go of taxol.   The worse part is how long it takes and that I miss Emelia!  The best part is my mom takes me and we have fun talking.  She is the best!  Never complains and I know how boring it is to just sit there.  Thanks mom!   Second.. I usually take a little nap while there.   The meds make me sleepy!  But it's a good time to rest.   We haven't brought Emelia yet because it's too long of a day. But we will in November when it's only 1.5 hours instead of 4.    As for side effects...  I am handling the chemo pretty well.  I have some tingling in my feet , usually at night when I'm in bed is when i notice it.  But it doesn't bother me too much.  My hair just recently started to fall out again.. little at a time.   It was growing for a while!    2 weeks ago or so  i had the worse side effect!   My taste buds changed and a great red wine tasted horrible!!  But i have found some cheaper ones that taste good.   So i'm ok!     

The plan for the next few months...   2 more doses of taxol/herceptin.  And then i switch to every 3 weeks of herceptin only.  That will go until August 2011.   Long way away..    In december I will have the mastectomy.  Which i have accepted but still not ready for.  I just hate that I have to lose my breast.  I think it's harder to accept because I dont feel sick or feel like i have this deadly disease.   But I do.  So I will. 

I think I will have a Bye Bye Boobie party in early december to help deal with the surgery!  A lot of women do a party before the mastectomy and since I love to throw parties.. why not!  You know I can make it a fun time..  Boobs is a great theme!

Ok next post will be about Babies!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Adjusting to our new life

Emelia is home and we are loving every minute of it..  even the 2am minutes!   Wednesday was a big day!  We got to the NICU around 11am and I was still in shock, excited and emotional but kept it in as much as I could! We quickly went through last minute notes, dressed her in her new going home dress, took some pictures and gave lots of hugs!   We are so so grateful for the NICU and the nurses at the Brigham.  Marcy and her other nurses just loved her and kept her happy and healthy and we couldn't thank them enough!   We will miss them but will visit!!    The ride home wasn't too bad, Larry drove the best he ever has for me, slow and cautious, and I sat in the back watching her.  She didn't move, just slept the entire ride home.   Once home, a quick diaper change and feeding and then time to sleep again.   She adjusted very well.    That evening we had a little welcome home Emelia dinner party with the grandparents, balloons, flowers, cake and champagne!!  (first glass in 10 months!! )  Emelia even woke up for everyone with eyes wide open and all "smiles"  -could be gas :)    
     One of the best moments was a little later.. She had spit milk up thru her nose and was crying and I wanted Larry to help me clean her out but he was outside.. maybe too much was going on for her.    So I took her upstairs and walked around, holding her and talking to her, showing Emelia her new bedrooms.  And she stopped crying, and just stared at me, peaceful.  This was it, it is real, she is here.  I was a mom, her mom, and she knew it and she was comforted.  And together we just stared at each other knowing life would be great together!   I am so in love with her! 
    The first night was interesting.  It's so quiet at home compared to the NICU and boy does she make some noises when she sleeps!  Grunts and squirms...  I laid in bed and listened to her all night and every 5 minutes or so got up, looked in at her sleeping in her cradle, made sure she didn't spit up, was still breathing and then laid down again.  Repeat.  
At 1 am I took her downstairs so Larry could sleep and fed her.   This is my favorite time with her.  Just Emelia and me.  On my couch, no one around.  Feeding her as she looks up at me with those big eyes, and then holding her on my chest until she falls back to sleep.  
Thursday was a great day.  She met Grandpa Byrne who was in awe of her!   And she met her doctor who said she was doing great.  Now 4lbs 13 ounces!!   She also answered some questions and made us comfortable with the big change!   Then the metrowest news paper came and did a follow up article of us and Emelia being home (see link below).  He tried to get pics of her eyes open but she was just too sleepy!  And then later we took her in the stroller for a walk up and down the street!  She slept through it all but I know she enjoyed it!  
Friday was just Emelia and I most of the day, feeding and sleeping. She turned 1 month friday already!  She eats a great amount and can give us some strong burps! When Daddy comes home he takes her in his arms for hours!   Last night was a little easier for me to relax while she slept but she was pretty fussy after eating at midnight.  We will get there with the feedings.   We are just so happy and excited to have her home and inour lives!!

More pics to come soon.. I promise! 


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The big day has come!!

Now I can't sleep from excitement!  Just when it was getting annoying and old..  I was told Emelia could come home!  We were told this weekend it would be soon.. possible this week.  Then told on Monday it would be Wednesday but we still didn't want to get our hopes up.  Then yesterday we went over everything and I really believe today is it!!!   I am so happy.  Finally!!  Of course I'm a bit nervous and like every mom I will stare at her all night but I am so excited!  I think Larry is too since he didn't sleep much!   I had a great day with Emelia yesterday.  She really has changed and grown so much stronger and mature in her feedings.   To all you NICU moms...   there is a happy take home baby day coming soon! 
Of course I will write more when I have time!  and I know I still have more pics to post!   Oh and I feel great from chemo dose 2- my hair hasn't fallen out yet.. its really a thick peach fuzz these days...    and I haven't had any side effects from the taxol/herceptin that I can tell  yet. 

One more thing.. I met another young girl with breast cancer yesterday who is 26 weeks pregnant.  She has her mastectomy today and there is a chance she will have to deliver her baby.  Please keep her and her baby in your thoughts today. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The NICU emotional roller coaster- stong momma has the baby blues!

ok i started this on Friday and then googled kicked me out and lost half of my post..  so i will continue now...

So today is Emelia's 3 weeks!  So So very hard to believe it has already been 3 weeks since I finally met my princess but even more so -  so much harder to believe she is still not home.  I guess this post is for any other mother that has to deal with the NICU experience... it is its own roller coaster of emotions!
   The very first few days I was just so happy to have her..  she was alive and looked so normal. She was delivered from me and I could hold her finally!    No matter what people had told me, all while going thru the chemo with her I was so scared it would either make her so unhealthy when born, or so skinny or even not look like a baby girl.  So the first couple of days I was just so excited to see her and show her to everyone..  I was on this happy adrenaline rush.   Then after the weekend, the normal fears of the NICU kicked in.  I actually had worked in a NICU back when I was working at UMass so I knew what it would look like.. I was familiar with small babies, tubes connected to them and them being in an isolette box and monitors all around.  It's still different when your own is in there.  At first you stare at the monitors or jump whenever an alarm goes off, and look for the closest nurse.  You have this constant fear that this peaceful sleeping baby is just going to have so major issue and everything will get worse.  Even if your baby is doing well you hear other babies' alarms go off or see them in a worse condition and you worry that will happen to yours.   I was scared, I was excited to have her but I still didn't grasp that she was mine yet.. I think i wasn't ready to accept it because I was afraid something could still happen. 
 I think about 4 or 5 days into it I finally had my breakdown and just cried.  They warned us that all moms have the baby blues at some point after delivery and yes I had them..  or have them I should say...  The best thing that helped was just spending alone time with her, holding her, feeling and seeing her comfortable on me.   It took a few days, and many talks with nurses, doctors and social worker, to understand she is doing great and is strong and will be ok.  And that what I am feeling is normal.   And then it was time for me to go home but not Emelia.  I actually did better than I thought I would with this first night, probably because I had talked so much out with counselor and nurses.  I knew she was in the best hands possible, I knew I could go see her whenever I wanted, even 4 am, and stay as long as I wanted, and I knew she needed to get stronger so we could take her home.  And my parents and grandma came over and made dinner so that was a great distraction. But leaving her still sucked.  And still sucks every night.   Of course when home I tried to get as much done as I can, try to stay busy or try to rest.  At first I called at night and in the morning to check on her.  Now I just know she had a great night and I will see her soon. 
    After adjusting to having Emelia and then having Emelia in the NICU and being ok... we adjusted to our new daily schedule.   Both of us want to learn as much as we can and do as much as we can with her now so we can be comfortable when she is home.  Emelia eats every 3 hours.  During this time is when her diaper is changed and temp is taken and usually she is somewhat awake and alert.  We typically are there for 2 feedings and the 3 hours in between at least every day..  We get there at 1:30 in the afternoon for her 2pm feed,  hold or cuddle her from 3-5 (we trade off on this altho I think Larry hogs her!) and then feed her for her 5pm feed and head home around 7.   Larry is amazing at this.  He has jumped right in and done everything and asked so many helpful questions.  Our nurse is also so wonderful, all of them are.  Showing us what to do once but then having us feed her, having us watch Emelia's expressions, colors in her face, how to handle if she chokes or is struggling to take a deep breath. Larry is more confident at this.. and maybe more confident in Emelia's ability to recover on her own but I am getting there.. We look less at the monitors and more at her face. 
   The big thing that is hard to deal with is time..  a typical mom has 24 hours a day to be with their newborn.  We usually only have 6 hrs with her.   Its probably the hardest thing to accept that i am not with her when I want to be or all the time.   And then when i am with her and larry is holding her for 2 hours and all i can do is sit there and watch them.. i feel like i am wasting my time and should be doing laundry or baby room stuff.. or even editing pics.  and then i feel guilty for thinking that.    and then when family come to visit you feel bad that they can only spend 5 to 20 mins with her .. but when I only have 2 hours to hold her.. its so hard to give her up for an hour for everyone else too.      I actually have learned to really enjoy these hours with just Emelia and Larry.. no computers, no facebook..  Larry and I have just sat and talked.. mostly about her, but also about work and us and how we will deal at home.  Or we discuss the preemie book Larry bought.  Of course he bought a book- what kind of engineer would he be if he couldn't research something fully!  I still wish I could be with her at my home all day and night reading and figuring thing out!
   3 weeks is a long time..  even if it has gone by fast... it gets real old fast.   Sometimes i feel like she isn't my baby yet.. just someone I am visiting every day..  it's definitely hard.     I want her home so much.   Sometimes you think this NICU thing will never end.   Esp when you see some "big" kids still in the NICU.  Emelia is so small but she is so strong and such a fighter!    She has really impressed me with her progress.  Bottle feeding -  no more feeding tube!   in her open crib!  and gaining weight everyday!   I know the day will happen soon.   And even when i am scared to have her home without nurses and monitors.. I am ready. 

Today we were told she is doing great!  And to get ready for her to come home soon.   We try not to get our hopes up yet...   but we are ready whenever she is!

Thanks to everyone for the cards and gifts.. thank you cards will come eventually when the birth announcements are done.. but please  know we are so grateful for your love!

As for me..  the first chemo on monday wasn't bad at all.. just long and i was tired monday night.. tomorrow is dose 2!  


Monday, August 16, 2010

Emelia's two weeks in the Nicu... the facts

Emelia is doing great!  It still amazes me how someone so little and early can be so perfect..  and come from inside me.    Amazing too how this is what is inside Sarah right now!!!  I can not wait to see her baby!! As much as I want her to deliver soon..  I hope her baby waits until at least 38 weeks!!  

As for Emelia she was born at 3 lbs 9 ounces on Friday July 30th.. making her 2 weeks and 3 days old today!  She has been breathing on her own since that day, its getting really good at regulating her temperature, no heart issues or long apneas or slow heart rates.   And she poops!  A lot! Dad is a great diaper changer!   

She is really learning how to drink from the bottle!  Which is all we need for her to come home!  Right now she gets fed every 3 hours, taking every other from the bottle usually and then sleeps thru the next one. And after the initial weight loss.. she is now gaining daily..  for all you engineers - check out the graph for details!!  haha
We are hopeful that she will be in home in 2 weeks!  Besides that.. she loves to be cuddled!  Really by anyone but i think she enjoys her Kangaroo time with daddy the most!  She sleeps so well on him!

The NICU is just so wonderful!  Especially her nurses!  They love her and cuddle with her and take good care of her!  I have no worries she is in great hands!   They teach us so much too.  I feel more prepared each day and less scared.

I have so many pics that iI spend time editing..  but for now I have uploaded her first week on facebook and snapfish.  The link to photos is on the RIGHT TOP!!! 


1s Annual Run, Walk or Crawl results!!

On August 7th we had a very successful 1st event!!   And yes I was there to join in the fun and cause!  Emelia had to stay in the NICU but i'm sure she wanted to be there instead!

We had about 200 people!  about 162 racers and many volunteers and family supporting them!   Before the race there was music and trainers helping people warm up!   Promise to Me was there, as well as a young girl selling hope necklaces and photographers -  pictures will be on website soon!!    Our winner, a Hologic employee,  came in under 20 mins!   It was great weather and a wonderful time by everyone! 

And the best news!!!  We raised over $16,738!!!!   Friday Amy and I went to Dana-Farber to deliver the money and they were as pleased and excited as we were!!   Great job and many thanks to everyone who come out to support us or donated!! 


updates updates updates!! and more chemo

First I apologize for my delay in writing!!  I'm just trying to get YOU ready for when Emelia comes home and I really have no time to write!   jk.   But really even tho she is in the NICU it seems I am still really busy!  Between driving to Boston and spending time with her..  to coming home and trying to wash her blankets and tiny clothes and somewhat organize her things!  So I  am going to post a few blog post today about everything that has happened in the last 2+ weeks!

As for me- not as exciting as Emmy -  but I am feeling great and really enjoyed a few weeks off from cancer!   Last week I met with oncologist and they were excited to let me know I could start chemo earlier!  Yippee!    

So here I am!  Today in Boston..getting my first does of the strong chemo.  Taxol and Herceptin.  So far DF is running very behind with me!!  About an hour and half late!  But things are going now.   They say the effects are less then my AC chemo.   We'll see!  Larry is splitting his time between me and Emmy, running between the buildings! 

So now i have some downtime!  So enjoy the post!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Emelia is doing great!  It's hard to leave her at night but I know she is getting stronger each day and will be home soon!  And we fed her a bottle yesterday and today!! I love that her nurses push her!!  And she is ready for the challenge!   I think she wants to go to the race tomorrow! 

Race day is here tomorrow!!  THIS IS WHY WE DO THIS!!  So no parent has to see their child suffer.   No child has to lose their parent too soon.   So no friend has to watch another friend in pain.  

Exciting Race day tomorrow to raise money for Dana-Farber and all cancer research!!  We will NOT lay down to cancer! 


Donate today!!   http://www.wontlaydown2cancer.com/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You'll be blessed

I apologize for not writing yet -  promise I have all the details in my head!  I have just been busy with Emelia and when I'm not with her I stare at her pictures!  She is doing great! Eating, pooping, sleeping and making funny faces! The nurses in the NICU are wonderful, telling us everything and teaching us so much more!  Keeping her and her parents so happy! We had a busy 3 days showing her off to family and friends..  she loves making faces for them!  And in between Larry and I enjoy our alone time with her.   He is so in love with her I melt every time I see him smile and change a diaper!   He even spoiled her and bought her new clothes!  Daddy's girl at day 1!  More details to come once I'm home! 

Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes and blessings!!!   She really is loved and blessed so much!!   This song is to thank you!! I added some lyrics to this beautiful song from Elton John so you can cry and share in my hormone craziness!  youtube it to make it more emotional!  :)
love you and thank you- becky, larry and emelia

Blessed - Elton John
Hey you, you're a child in my head
You haven't walked yet
Your first words have yet to be said
But I swear you'll be blessed

I know you're still just a dream
your eyes might be green
Or the bluest that I've ever seen
Anyway you'll be blessed

And you, you'll be blessed
You'll have the best
I promise you that

I'll pick a star from the sky
Pull your name from a hat
I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that

You'll be blessed

I need you before I'm too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow

And know that you're blessed

And you, you'll be blessed
You'll have the best
I promise you that

I'll pick a star from the sky
Pull your name from a hat
I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that

You'll be blessed

Friday, July 30, 2010

Emelia Giovannina Byrne 7.30.10

Baby Emelia Giovannina Byrne is here! 7/30/10 11:14am 3lbs 9 ounces 16.5 inches long.. breathing on her own!! doing great!! i'm so in love!!     * Giovannina is named after my grandma Jennie DiCicco.. her Italian birth name! 

She is doing so great for 33 weeks..  3lbs 9 ounces!!  

heading down soon!!

they just told me to get ready.. they are bringing me down soon!!  yipppppeeeee  ok now im excited..  and listening to lady gaga to wake her up!!  dad is all ready.. camera, text message ready to be sent to about 60 people..  

love you!!

today is the day!! - 7 hours to vote for name- haha

i know its early and i should be sleeping.. this will be quick..   i just cant sleep!!  i couldn't eat anything after midnight... so they have me on an IV... so i am still filled with fluids!  and have to pee! and now awake for a bit.  

i think I'm still in shock it is finally happening.  I am very excited..a little emotional :)   a little nervous... not for the surgery -  just for her to come out and be ok.    I know she will be ok.. i just hope she will be ok right away!  after a quick view, my mom had to wait almost 15 hours to see Sarah after she was born.   thank god they do things a little different these days!   we had a tour of the NICU and everyone was so nice and they really want you to be involved a lot, hold her, skin to skin, feed her.  Those babies are tiny!  but so beautiful.  But I know they will take care of her and me!

Anyone would be upset if they had to wait 15 hours to see Sarah!!  And Sarah came out perfect!!  She is the best sister in the world.  I can't wait to see her and show her her niece!!   She has been by my side for this journey since we started trying in 2005!! I was really hoping I would experience some labor/contractions and she could come and see and watch and know what to look forward to!!  and also make fun of me with Larry.   They know I hate hot flashes!   But she will have to figure labor out on her own!  Hopefully with me by her side in September!! 

And my parents!!  After looking after kids for 26 years..  they will finally have a grandchild of their own to spoil!!!   Any my grandmother-  will be a great grandmother at 92!!    I just can't wait for them to see her! 

I think what will make me cry the most is seeing Larry's face!! Will he cry?  And him holding her.  He has been amazing.  reading everything, telling me everything and being by my side.  It was great to have him hang out with me today.. I hope he is getting a good night sleep at home cause it will be his last!!!  He will be a great dad!! 

Thank you everyone for helping me get thru 2010 so far!!   it has been crazy!! I couldn't have done it without you!!  

Soon all that WE ALL have been waiting for will be here!!!   And of course we will post a picture by Friday night.. I'm not promising but you know me by now! 

Love you xoxo

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2 weeks?? oh no.. 2 days!!! and new poll!

Tuesday I was at 33 weeks..  thinking ok we have about 2 weeks to go.   Everyone has been telling us to get more prepared.  So I finally washed some baby clothes, finalized a date for furniture delivery, and Larry ordered the video camera.   At work, chatting with Sarah, we talked about how I will just have a date to go in and have baby.  She thought I was lucky.. no guessing when I would be in labor or wondering when water would break.  I teased her.. she could be anywhere... store, work, couch..  and Jesse would have to start timing contractions! 
Then yesterday, after enjoying a great lunch with friends, we headed back to work and pop! I wasn't sure if I peed my pants or my water broke!!  In my friend's car!!  Sorry T -Good thing for leather seats.  She drove me home to meet up with Larry and again more fluid.   (Water breaking wasn't a huge gush but many small gushes and it's a pretty gross feeling!)  
Larry and I made it to B & W hospital and had an ultrasound. My fluid was low but baby was doing well.. but she is breech.    Then we went to the labor triage.  For 5 hours I basically laid there as they monitored the heart rate, checked for contractions (none), had some blood drawn, confirmed it was amniotic fluid, and gave me 3 cervical exams.. not fun.  Oh and a shot in the ass of steroids to improve baby's lungs!
Finally a plan, admit me to the 8th floor,  hang out for a day or so and schedule a c section for Friday! This Friday!!  2 days!!  She will be even earlier then we thought and most likely will be in the Nicu for 2 weeks to help with feeding and make her gain some weight!  I'm not to worried about it - B& W is one of the best hospitals in the country.   But I will miss holding her a lot right away.

So here I am.. in my room hanging out.  It's not to bad.. better then most hotels! Private room and shower.  Free Internet and tv.  Room service from 7am to 8pm.  Quiet for a hospital.   And my nurse is great so far.  (breast cancer survivor of 10 years) Except for the 5:30am wake up call.  But I'll nap later!

I added a new poll.  We are curious what name you like best.  Don't worry-  we will still pick what we want! And probably wait until we see her!   But take the poll on the top left anyways for fun!
I'll keep you updated.. since I'm on bed rest til Friday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Walk this road together

So as you read in the news articles etc..  about 1 in 3000 pregnancies are complicated by breast cancer.  Not too rare.  Before me I didn't know anyone until I met my inspiration angel Rebecca.  But I wasn't looking either.  This week has brought so many new people into my life.   Whether it's from facebook, emails, the wontlaydown2cancer.com site or this blog, people have reached out to share their stories with me.   I am not rare.  I am not alone.  And they also are not alone.  

At age 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 41, no family history, some family history,  months after having a baby, 11 weeks pregnant, 14 weeks pregnant, 27 weeks pregnant, 7 months pregnant, first child, 3rd child, chemo, mastectomy, radiation.   While our journeys may be slightly different..  they are all related.  We have hope, we have fight in us, we have friends and family for support.  In some ways our children or soon to be children saved our lives; through an early detection, giving us a positive distraction or giving us more determination to survive. 

I was hesitant to do the article at first, everyone would see me bald, everyone would see me scared and emotional.  But then I did the article and news video for 2 reasons: to raise awareness of breast cancer; it can happen at any age, any family history, any time in your life;  so remember... feel your boobs!   Second to promote our 1st Annual race to raise money for all cancer research because even though I am lucky to afford treatments, I can't afford to  not be there for my daughter, or to have to watch her go through this in 20 years.   Better research has to continue.   But after this week of sharing emotional stories a 3rd reason appeared.   Just as Rebecca was able to make me feel comfort and hope, I hope this media attention has allowed me to help others know there are options, they are not alone and this is hope for a wonderful future with a healthy child and mom!

This weekend I spoke with a woman who has just started this unchosen journey. At 11 weeks pregnant, in early July, she was diagnosed Her2+ breast cancer. After first being told to terminate, she also made it to Dana-Farber for a better treatment plan. Just now going through the weeks of confusion, meetings with doctors, reading, questions, she has the exact path to take as I am; lumpectomy, chemo, early delivery, more chemo...
While I appreciate and love all the "you are so strong and amazing"  I know many moms would do anything for their children.   And I know all of these new moms I have communicated with have fought cancer just as strongly as I am, for their children.   And together we should inspire and help those now facing cancer to be strong as well. 

As you pray for me, please keep these women in your hearts, as their journey continues, and please think of this new woman that she also is lucky to have the support I have, to make her positive and strong,  and trust her baby will be ok.  

So of course I found a music quote to go with this!   And I used to dislike Eminem!  I know this song isn't about cancer but his own strength to overcome a struggle. But when I heard the lyrics it made me think of the women who have reached out to me recently.

I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you’re not alone
Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road

Thanks for all the love and support  - xoxo

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Going to be on Channel 4 news!!

Great news!!   Today I was interviewed by Channel 4 news!!  Literally as I was typing this!!  I think we will be on the news tomorrow night at 11pm.. channel 4 Boston!  Be sure to tune in!!  It will be about my story,  our journey, and our race!   And of course about my baby!! Crazy how this has just taken off!   But again this is an important way to share my story, raise awareness, raise money for Dana-Farber and to again remind people to give yourself regular check ups!!  And click on promisetome.com

You have all been so supportive of me!   I couldn't have been this positive without you!   And in 3 weeks our little girl will be here!!   Are you excited??   We are!!  

And don't forget about the race!!  August 7th!  Join us and  make a difference! http://www.wontlaydown2cancer.com/

Thank you xoxoxo

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We made the paper!!!!


Last week a woman from Metrowest Daily News stopped over to interview Larry and I about our journey.   She also was able to speak with Amy about her journey.   The atricle is in today's newspaper and online!!  It also talks about our race!  

even you were mentioned in a quote: "Byrne said friends and family have helped her through her difficult time and been there for everything from a baby shower to wig shopping."

Thank you all and always for your love and support.  xoxo

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Insomnia... 2 am.. 4 am... 6 am..

Insomnia!!!   5 am... been up for an hour and that's not counting going pee every hour and sleeping in between!! ... last night I was up from 2am til 4am and then again at 6 am.  I'm not sure if it's because of the nausea meds I take have steroids that keep me awake.. or  just anxious about having the baby too.  My body is tired and just wants to lay still...  but my head is awake!  Eyes wide open.     And then at 7am I typically fall asleep...  when I should be showering for work!   Why is it the best sleep is right before the alarm goes off?? or when you hit snooze? 

Any ideas to fall asleep?  Last night Larry suggested I count from 300 backwards by 3s.  Ok I did that and was still awake!   I try to come up with a dream to think about..   You know... I'm a hot skinny girl on a beach and a hot sexy guy comes along..  and then I cant roll over because of my belly or I have to pee again and that dream is over before he even bought me a drink!   Music maybe.. if I go into the other room.  But then I would need to take my 10 pillows with me!   Hopefully tomorrow.. well today I guess it is already I can catch up on sleep!  Last day of meds too. 

Maybe this is just adjusting me to when the baby is here!  Up all night!  Quick 15 min naps in between!

Well I'm heading back to bed... try again.  And I will rest all weekend!   Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.. but stay cool!  It will be a hot one!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Live from Boston! Last chemo before Baby!!

Today has gone well.  I was able to clean the house this morning..  Larry helped too!  and then off to Boston.  I quickly had blood drawn and then saw the nurse.. .thinking this was going to be a quick day.. but then it was 45 mins til I was able to see the doctor..    then eventually made it up to chemo at 2:30.. and they got me start at 3:30.   But my chemo nurse is great.  The red stuff got pushed through so fast and now I am on the IV bag.  Hoping this will go by fast too! 

So last chemo for the baby!  Bring on the prunes!   The good news is I don't start my next chemo until August 30th!  So I get over a month off!!    The bad news is I will be getting taxol and herceptin every week for 12 weeks!   My weekly trips to boston continue! These drugs also will take about 2 - 3 hours but they say the side effects are less...  which would be great for me since this chemo wasn't bad at all.   But I will have a great distraction anyways!  And I can bring the baby to chemo!  Probably not the first few weeks!

She is doing great.. moving around a lot!   4 weeks to go!   It is coming up so fast!  Ok back to downloading some labor music!   Thanks everyone!  xoxo

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Music Help!!! Give me a song!

So it's Sunday morning.. and lately I have been up at 6am and in bed at 9:30.. Today I am watching VH1 top 20 countdown and thinking about music!   With less then 5 weeks to go..  And knowing I will be in the hospital for maybe 2 days before the baby comes from when I am induced...  I need to make a labor and delivery playlist!!   And since my mind is clueless lately.. I need your help!!

Give me some great songs you love or ideas you have!!  Any style, from any year.. some to relax, some about having a baby, some to forget the pain, and some for pushing! Anything from "Push It" by Salt n Pepper to "You're having my baby" from Paul Anka or "Baby Love" from the Supremes to "I wanted to be sedated" by the Ramones...

With the wide variety of people that read my blog - you all could create me a great mix playlist! I like all music..  except maybe country... but if you suggest it..  I will probably add it - at least you tube it! 

Get creative or share your favorite song!

xoxo Becky

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Help me Help others!! Run, Walk or Crawl 5K Aug 7th

If you haven't heard yet....
So many of us have been affected by Cancer. My sister Sarah, my friend Amy, and myself are organizing our 1st Annual Run, Walk, or Crawl 5k- we will NOT lay down to Cancer! It will take place August 7th, 2010 in Franklin, MA, benefiting research and services at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund in Massachusetts! No one should have to deal with Cancer. I am doing this for many people close to me, but mostly so my daughter will not have to go through this! Join us!

Check here for more details! http://www.wontlaydown2cancer.com/

This is a great event to get outside with family, friends and coworkers, have fun and raise money for a good cause!  The race will be professionally timed!!   Food and Fun afterward!!

If you cannot participate this year you can still help by making a donation!

Are you part of or know a business that would like to be a corporate sponsor?  Their name will be on our T shirts and website!

Check the website for details to register for the race or to make a donation!  Or email me if you have any questions..    http://www.wontlaydown2cancer.com/

P.S. had ultrasound today!  Baby is about 3lbs 5 ounces!  doing great for size and weight for 30 weeks!!!  xoxo

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Week 30!!

Today I hit week 30 of my pregnancy!  Scary huh!!  I'll be a mom before the summer ends!! I'm amazed at how well I feel after 3 doses of chemo..  But I'm in shock at how fast this is all going and how soon my little girl will be here!   Possibly 5 weeks!!
The mural on the baby room wall will be started soon.   The crib and furniture will be delivered soon...  and then we will put it all together!  Probably last minute but Larry and I work good under pressure!

Are there any last minute things I need to do?  or buy?  I'm sure I am forgetting something!!

Tonight we take our first birthing class..  should be interesting!  Thursday we have another baby check up! And then an infant CPR class. 

I will keep you posted!  And stay tuned for tomorrow!  Exciting news coming to the blog!

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my great friend Anne!!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary Larry! 7 years!

4th of July weekend has always been so special to Larry and I.    7 years ago we had an amazing wedding weekend in Newport.  Friends, family and so much fun!  My favorite day in my life - so far!   This year we were able to go to Newport on Saturday, July 3rd.  We had such a fun and relaxing day at the beach with Sarah, Jesse and their friends.  Later we relaxed at the rooftop bar of the Viking and then a group of us went to dinner at The Mooring! 7 years ago we had our rehearsal dinner there with friends and family.. and lots of lobster!  This time we were able to sit outside and view the harbor and luckily while dining we also caught the Jamestown fireworks!  It was a perfect day and evening!   Sunday and today Larry and I just relaxed together; sitting outside, grilling and watching movies!  My perfect weekend!   I hope you all enjoyed this wonderful long, hot weekend! xoxo

Larry;  It's so hard to believe we have been married for 7 years.  We have done so much together and been through a lot.  I always new you would love me forever and we would share so much joy together in our lives.   And I knew you were supportive and caring.  But these last few months have really made me fall in love with you more.   You and your love amazes me!  This next year will have more ups and down, good times and hard times, but I know we will handle it all, with love, tears and laughter, we will walk through it together.  I can't wait to see you as a Dad.  I know you will be amazing and we will learn so much together.   I love you. 

From our wedding dance, Indie Arie:

Can I walk with you through your life
Can I lay with you as your wife
Can I be your friend 'till the end
Can I walk with you through your life

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week recap and 3D baby photos!

June has just flew by! I can't believe July is almost here..  and then August and baby!  I'm at 29 weeks today which means if I get induced at week 35, I only have 6 weeks left! Am I ready?? To hold her yes, her bedroom and all the supplies ready... Nope! But we will figure it out in July.
This 3rd dose of chemo went well also.  Only side effect - tired!  But that could also be from being pregnant and being so busy the last 3 weeks with 2 baby showers and lots of family time!   Debbie leaves today after 3 weeks! She was a great help and will be missed until August!  Who will watch the bachelorette with me? Then again, in 6 weeks, who will have time for reality tv shows!

Yesterday was an exciting afternoon.  I took grandmas and great grandma to a 3D ultrasound experience of our baby.   My grandma was just so amazed -  at 92 - the first ultrasound she has seen! I think we were all amazed.  It was a little freaky to see her looking so real in there!  Moving around and yawning, all snuggled up.  She has more hair then me! (maybe that explains the heartburn!) And a cute nose and round cheeks.   And all 5 toes!  Crazy how much they are developed in there and only at 2.6 lbs!   xoxo

Here are some pictures!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sarah's Baby shower recap!

Sarah's baby shower was another fun filled baby event! Lots of family and friends and of course presents! I had a lot of help from the moms, Auntie Susie, Debbie, Sarah's sisters in law, and her girlfriends!  She looked great!  One of the highlights was the "make a onesie"!   So many people made some adorable onesies for baby Shibley!  Check out some pictures!   Thanks to everyone who baked and helped out that day!   I'm so excited for Sarah and Jesse!  Now have fun organizing all those great gifts!! 

Baby Shibley's 3 Great Grandmothers!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baby Shower for Sarah!!

Today is Sarah's Baby shower!!  I am so excited for her!  I hope she has so much fun and we take more pregnant sister belly photos!   I love Sarah so much!  She does so much for me and everyone in her life - she deserves the best day ever!  Have fun opening all your presents! Check back later for a recap and photos!   xoxo

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chemo dose 3!! Live from boston

Here we go again!  Sitting in my recliner, 10th floor, getting the red stuff now!  Today was an afternoon appointment so I was able to work a half day then we came out.  Blood work and meeting with NP was quick and everything looked good.  Then we waited about an hour an a half to be taken in.   Larry had to leave for Colorado at 4pm but luckily I have Debbie with me!   Just finished the red stuff and now I'm on to the IV.  This place is much quieter this time, probably because it is so late.  At least we will be missing traffic since we will be here for a while!   My plan was to write out my thank you cards but my IV is right between my thumb and index finger on my right hand... so i'm not sure how that will work.. I'm typing with my left hand and one finger! 

Other than that.. not too much new.  The other day I was so sick of my peach fuzz falling everywhere and itching.. so Larry and I shaved my head more; almost down to the skin in some places... I think now I need to take a hand razor to it and shine up my head!  And my eye glasses fall off if I look down!

Hope everyone is well!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend recap! Happy Father's Day

Hi everyone.. sorry I haven't written much.. it has been busy!  Thursday was Larry's 36th Birthday and we celebrated by seeing our baby again!  We had an ultrasound and took his Mom Debbie with us! Her first time seeing an ultrasound!   Baby is doing great.  Just where she should be for 27 weeks..  2 lbs, 2 ounces.  The appointment took so long, I was exhausted just from sitting all morning.   So we came home and took a nap,  then went to Blue Ginger (Ming Tsai's restaurant) for dinner!  Delicious meal!  
Friday we worked and made some homemade pizza on the grill and Saturday we ran errands and cleaned the house.   Finally got some tomatoes planted in the garden and planted basil again (hopefully this time the rabbit wont eat it)!  I also finished getting the last few things for Sarah's baby shower..  I cant wait -it is coming up this weekend! 
Sunday stayed busy as well. My friend Jasmine was visiting from California and we went to breakfast at the Tower Hill Botanical Gardens.  It was so pretty and peaceful there, I need to go back.  But it is always great to spend time with her!   Then I came home and had the family over for Father's Day.    Even tho Larry is a soon to be dad.. he did all the cooking! 
This week will be busy as well.  Tuesday we have our first baby class!  I think it's on how to change diapers and make babies stop crying! haha.. I'm pretty sure Larry picked this class! I told him he could just practice on my friends' kids -  but it will be fun to get us ready for our little gift.   Wednesday I have chemo #3, hopefully it goes as well as the second one did.   And then Larry is off to Colorado for a few days.  

I hope everyone had a great weekend and all the Dads, new Dads, and soon to be Dads had a great Father's Day!   xoxo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Shower!! June 13th, 2010

My baby shower was just amazing!   My mom, sister and friends did such a great job, nothing was missed!  It was a Vintage Theme and they had all my old toys and dolls as centerpieces! And a candy buffet with all  my old favorite candy... including buttons!  So many family and friends came, I really feel so loved!  I have to say my favorite gifts are the homemade ones!  Esp the crib bedding from my Aunt Susie and blanket from my Mom. It's just so beautiful and more than I could imagine. Also the huge doll house bookcase by my friend Don.  Now I need the furniture to arrive and to set up the room!  It was a great day and just made everything seem so real... and that our little girl will be here soon!!   Here are some pics!  Thanks to everyone!! Love you all!  You keep me going!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Getting ready for the Big day!

This week went well.  Worked, kept busy with things for Sarah's shower and enjoyed dinner at my grandmothers! I really wish the rain would stop and the sun would come out so I could sit outside.   But instead we are relaxing in the sun room.   Really relaxing.  I don't think Larry has left the couch yet - too much soccer on tv.  I stepped out to get a manicure and pedicure for tomorrow!  Now I'm back on the couch too. Tomorrow is coming soon!  Makes the delivery date seem so much closer. I am very excited to have a whole day dedicated to just the baby and to see all my friends and family!   As Sarah and I always joke...  "No Boobie talk!  Just Baby talk!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feeling good!

This second round of chemo was actually better than the first!  It has been 1 week and I have had no constipation!!!  I know, I celebrate the weirdest things!  Because I didn't get nausea from the first round, they lowered my nausea medicine this time and that really helped.  I think we found the right balance.  No constipation,  I was able to sleep each night without any sedatives, and I still have some energy.  My hair however, is still falling out!  The peach fuzz is slowly going away and it is weird, patchy and thinner.  I am getting used to my wig altho I still love to take it off the minute I get home, or sometimes as soon as I leave the work parking lot.   
So the only uncomfortable thing I have been feeling - Heartburn! But it's ok!  Cause that's a pregnancy thing and I will take on any pregnancy pains!  She is moving more too!  I can't believe she will be here in about 9 weeks!  We met a great pediatrician yesterday as well!  Another thing accomplished.

This weekend was very productive and we have been keeping busy.  The baby room was cleaned out and mostly painted.  (Thanks to my dad and Larry).   We cleaned out closets, my mom did my laundry and made my bed, and my mom and grandmother helped make favors for Sarah's baby shower!!  I just managed everyone and made lunch and dinner! 

Today my mother in law comes in for a 3 week stay!  I am excited to see her and we have a lot planned, my baby shower is this weekend!    So for the next few days I am going to take it easy so on Sunday I feel great to see all my family and friends!  xoxo

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Turning 35...

"What a difference a year makes".... has been the thought that keeps running through my mind lately. Typically when I have a birthday I think back over the year; what I struggled with, what I enjoyed the most, what I have accomplished or hadn't yet, how I have grown and what is important for me in the new year to come. Even before the cancer I have always known we are only in this life for an unknown time period, whatever it may be, so make the most of it now! In someways, be selfish and do the things you want to do, for you, not for others - they have their life too, but this is your only chance to explore the world, experience life's great gifts, and be with the people that are important to you. Do not waste time regretting things in the past, acknowledge them, grow from them, but let them go and move forward. Live your life!

I am very satisfied in what I have accomplished over the last 34 years; college- both for the degrees and living the college life with great friends, traveling to Europe to live in Italy for a summer, Partying in NYC for many, many weekends, or even experiencing a Woodstock weekend in the 90s; finding a great husband and traveling to so many parts of the world with him, then finding a great home, and successful jobs we enjoy. But of course I have a much bigger, growing "bucket" list that year by year I hope to accomplish; including having at least one child and raising her with Larry, remaining close with my family, continuing to socialize (although not the same partying as in my 20s) but still growing old with my fun friends, and traveling the rest of the world.

Probably the most important thing I learned when I was 34 came from my infertility mind/body class. This current struggle in your life is just a short time period in your lifetime, it is NOT your entire life. In a year so much can happen, and so much can change, both difficult things and amazingly great experiences. Wouldn't this have been so helpful when I was younger and spent days crying over a guy? Just to realize a year later I would be laughing that I even liked such a loser!

Two years ago was a tough year. My family had lost a few relatives. I was a very lucky grandchild, I had all 4 grandparents in my life until I was 30 years old, had even met 3 great grandparents when younger, 2 whom I remember so well since I was an early teen before they passed. So by two years ago I had lost one grandmother, then 3 great aunts and then in March 08 my grandfather DiCicco passed away. This was really hard for me, not only cause I loved him so much but also to see my Grandmother DiCicco lose her husband and be alone. We are extremely close and she has taught me so much! But in 08 it was also a great year for Larry. In 07 was his emergency surgery and by the summer 08 he was back to being healthy and active again.

In 09 - at 34, I was still struggling with trying to get pregnant. Oddly enough I was actually more depressed or frustrated with my life circumstances then I am now. So far anyways, infertility just hit me so much harder and was a stronger, more difficult battle. Check back next year to see if I still feel the same way!

But 09 also created one of my favorite memories!!! Traveling to Italy with my family! My 92 yr old gram, my parents, Sarah & Jesse, Uncle Ted and cousins Pete and Laura - 9 of us -sometimes packed in a van, touring Florence, Sorrento, Capri, Rome and my favorite, Panni! A little hillside village where my grandmother's family grew up, where my great grandparents were born! And we even met relatives including my grandmother's cousin! Amazing experience.

And now at 35, I may have a new struggle to face but in a year from now the toughest part will be past me. And I know I can do this. And from just 1 year ago, my struggle with infertility is over! I am pregnant and having a baby! Soon too! This will be the best experience of being 35!

I experienced and learned so much while 34; to see things day by day, to know it's ok to cry and be emotional but to see things logically too, to be hopeful, to enjoy things in life daily, and to breathe! Each year has good and bad, but in a year so much can change, so in between your struggles with the bad, enjoy the good life has to offer! Good and bad experiences will happen but your family, friends and the world, will be there year after year and that is all you need! Oh and you are never too old to get a passport and travel to Italy! xoxo

Last weekend's Birthday recap! May 29-31st!

Last weekend I turned 35 and had a great long weekend celebrating with some of my best friends and family.   Saturday I went to Michelle's... 9 college friends and 7 kids, lots of food, drinks and laughter.   My first day showing off my new wig and my bald head.  My friends make me some comfortable, I know I can just be who I am and they don't care!   They all wore pink!  Even the guys.   And pink balloons everywhere!  I was able to take off my wig and show them my peach fuzz... and by the end of the evening and some friends and kids tried it on!  Thanks again everyone!  Love you!

Sunday the celebrating continued with a cookout at my parent's home, with Sarah and Jesse, Grandma, my aunt Dianne and some neighbors!  Great ribs Dad!! Again sporting the wig but especially because it was so hot out, I took my wig off for everyone and stayed bald a lot of the day.   Everyone made me so comfortable and most of the day was baby talk and baby shower talk!  Being around Sarah is the best cause we talk baby stuff so much! It is so fun going thru this with her! And of course we had a little fun!  Joking about the upcoming delivery and how my mom will be! I surprised some people and threw on a blond wig for cake time!  And yes I got a barbie doll cake!  I do every year- you can never be too old for a doll cake!  And the best laugh of the day, my Gram, who is always up for anything, had fun with me too... trying on my wig!  Thanks again family! Love you!
Monday Larry and I relaxed and enjoyed the day off, laying on the hammock and grilling up dinner! And of course watching my (I mean our) new tv!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Live from Boston! It's Chemo Dose 2!

Hi everyone.  Today I am back at Dana Farber for my second dose of Chemo.   Today has gone much better then the first time but it's still a long day.   We got here around 9 am and they drew blood.  My white blood cell counts were good.  Around 10:30 we then met with the doctor to go over my side effects and questions from last time and yes I told her the worse was the constipation .  They told me to take Senokot along with Colace and I could take less nausea medicine since I did so well last time.   Bring on the prunes!  Then we came up to the chemo floor and it was only about a 30 min wait, enough time to grab a quick lunch.  Today I got seated in the guys section, a room for 4 people, 3men and me!  I got my fluids and my nausea meds and then quickly started the poison!   Check out this pic of the red poison! 

That went quick and now I am just sitting back while my second poison is dripping in.  On my laptop, checking work emails, and chatting with Sarah and my mom!   It's not too bad.  And I think we will get out of here before traffic!  xoxo

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From Beard to Bald to Blond??

OK maybe I didn't have a full beard...  but as you read last week, being pregnant or Italian and getting older, hair was growing on my chin, upper lip etc..  forcing me to pluck all the time!   Tuesday night I was anxious, tossed and turned.  I knew the day was near and I had been noticing a little more hair coming out here and there.  On Wednesday Larry and I went into Boston again.  We met with the radiation oncologist, and although I was hearing information I mostly knew, I think my nerves for what was to come got to me and I cried.  The outcome of that meeting was radiation will come after chemo and after the mastectomy, every day for 6 weeks.   Finally we left Dana Farber, went to Newbury St., walked again through the gardens, checked out the new flowers and then had lunch outside.  It was a hot beautiful day and the walk and lunch relaxed me.  Here are some pics of when my friends went wig shopping with me for the first time and some of the wigs I tried on.   It's great to have people go with you!


These were ok.  But 100% fake hair and felt funny.   Although I do like having longer  hair! 
Back to Wednesday:   After lunch we headed up to Salon 10.  Patricia at the Salon is so nice and compassionate and let me have as much fun as I wanted.  We sat in a private room and she asked me if I wanted to face the mirror or face away.  For me it was easier to face the mirror and see it come off little by little.   We put my hair in pigtails so it could be donated.  And then she began to cut them off.  That wasn't too bad.   My hair was messy and short.   Then the razor came out.  And the first strip of hair was removed. I was ok.  I didn't cry.  And it actually felt freeing and clean.  Larry was snapping pictures the entire time and sending them to Sarah.  When the sides were all trimmed but the top remained, I looked horrible; like a boy or very butch!  
(Side note: if I was going to be a lesbian, I would keep my long hair and be a femme, not butch! )
But I did have a nice, round, bump free head!   Then we had some fun!   Patricia added some gel and spiked up my hair, like a mohawk.  Probably my worst hair style that day!  I can't even believe I am posting and sharing that one! Then the shaving continued.   

And soon after I was Bald!  I kept touching my head!  Felt like the back of Larry's head when he gets it cut.   Peach fuzz.  I still keep touching my head.  It's just so different!  Oh and of course Larry noticed my gray patch! And all the grays growing everywhere.  Can you dye peach fuzz? 
When Patricia left to get my "wig" I grabbed the razor and did my best Crazy Britney Spears photo! Then we grabbed another wig to see what I may look like when I'm 75?  She came back with the "wig"  and I was finally ..............Blond!!  hahaha.   Just what Larry wanted!

Don't worry,  I didn't really go blond...  and  I don't think I look that great as a blond, maybe if I lightened my eyebrows?   My new wig, which I think was a great color match, I am still getting used to wearing.  I'll go back in a week to make any style changes.  It's like wearing a hat all day.  Hopefully that feeling will go away.  When I'm home I usually take it off and just go bald, since that feels more natural to me and more comfortable.  Plus I don't notice being bald, unless I walk by a mirror.  Larry looks at me more then I do, but I think he is adjusting really well.     So here it is!   My new wig and the new me!
Hope everyone is enjoying this great long weekend!   Yesterday was my birthday.. still celebrating.. recap will come later!