Last night was terrible


Just kidding.  It was awesome.

**Possible Spoiler Alert**
I’m not going to tell you everything, but if you don’t want to know anything about the episode, don’t read.

My Big Bang Theory Taping Day

We started the day getting up bright and early.  Partly so we could get ready to go and partly because we couldn’t sleep.  MJ was excited about Disney.
Because the kids were on spring break, MJ decided to take a vacation day to watch them and decided to break in our Disneyland passes.

We got to Anaheim around 11am.  I decided to hang out with them for a couple of hours.  Got our passes and pictures taken for them.  The park was super busy because of Spring Break so I only had time to wait for one ride with them.  I made my way back to car and left by 2.

Check in time at the studio wasn’t until 4:30 so I figured I had time.  Of course then I hit LA traffic.  Ugh.  Dead stop on the 5.  I looked up traffic on my phone and it looked like I was going to be sitting in it for awhile.  Hoping I would get there by the check in time.  Otherwise they put you into standby.  Luckily traffic started to clear and I remained amazing calm through it 😀

I got to Burbank around 3:30.  Found the “Lot 8” parking structure and a place to park.  Little did I know that the structure was the actual check in spot for the show.  Weird.  We all met on the first level where they had a big section roped off and benches.  It was a little crazy when I got there.  Probably 70 or so people sitting there.  I was trying to figure out where to go when a woman snipped at me and pointed behind her “there the end of the line”.  The guy she was with wasn’t much nicer.  I sat there for just a few minutes when one of the organizers said there were two lines.  Apparently the one I was sitting in was for standby.  I was kinda snotty to the woman when I stood up and said, “Oh, I’m not standby”.  She gave me the stink eye.

Once I was in the correct line I struck up conversation with an adorable couple from the UK.  I asked of they were here just for the show.  He said “not reeaally”, but yeah, it was “a big part of the reason” they were here.  WOW.
A woman came around to check us in, gave us numbers (I was 38) and “the rules”.  Basically, don’t try to bring anything in.  Anything.  I had a backpack with an extra shirt, sweatshirt and I brought a shirt for the cast to sign in case some of them hung out after which I heard they sometimes do.  But after the second announcement  decided I didn’t want to take a chance with it so I took it back to the car.

At 4:30 they lined us up to start taking us over to the studio. We had to go through security to get onto the lot.  I was at the head of the second line with the UK couple.  The woman from Audiences Unlimited who was leading us gave us a little tour of the lot as we passed the different studios.  She also told us that things were weird for our taping for some reason.  She said they normally leave around 50 seats for VIPs for each taping.  Tonight they had 137 VIPs.  There’s only 200 seats in the studio.  They weren’t even sure if they were going to get all the people in with priority tickets.  Yipes!  Glad I got in line when I did!

We weren’t allowed to bring our phones so I took some pictures from the internet to try and show what it was like.  Here’s what the Warner Lot looks like:


Once we got to studio 25, we had to go through another security check as we went in.  And then we finally got to our seats!
I got a pretty decent seat.  I was almost in the center about 5 rows up.  I think there were only 8 rows?  And I was just about center to Lenard and Sheldon’s apartment.

While we waited they showed an episode that hasn’t aired yet on the monitors.  After the episode, Mark Sweet (the audience warm up guy) started a dance contest with members of the audience.  He constantly tried to keep things going.
And then…   They announced the cast!  And they came out one by one.  It was a bit surreal.


They started out with a scene they pre-taped.  We watched it on the monitors so they could record the audience reaction.
The first scene they filmed was in the cafeteria which is a set that’s next to the audience, so we had to watch it in the monitors.  It was a little bit of a tease.  We could hear them on the other side of the wall and could see them on the screen.  It was kinda weird.
The second scene was in Bernadette s apartment which was at the end of the studio.  You could see part of it, but not most of it.  We did get a chance to see Cinnamon Koothrappali, though.  Adorable.
The third scene was in Leonard’s bedroom which was on the opposite side of the stage.  Couldn’t see that one at all so we watched on the monitors again.  Again, such a tease!

They FINALLY got to center stage and stayed there for most of the rest of the scenes.  It was incredible to watch.  Of course you want to watch what’s happening on the stage but then you catch a glimpse in the monitors and everything looks so different.  They only did a few takes of each scene.  A few times they would get together and change the lines.  Some of the line changes were really funny.  I’m assuming they take the lines that get the best reactions.


I’m assuming the 137 VIPs in the audience had to do with the guest star of the episode, Bob Newhart.  Apparently he hasn’t done a sitcom in about 10 years, so this was a pretty big deal.  The reaction in his first appearance was huge.

About halfway through the taping they passed out pizza and water for everyone.  It was cold and not great, but it was still pizza.  Mark also passed out candy the whole time.  Trying to keep people going between takes.  He had all of the people who came from another country come up and sing a song their native language.  The UK guy sang a Beatles song.  It was cute.  They also had people come up and tell what the show meant to them or why they connected to the show.  I got up and told my story and he gave me a whole bag of candy haha.

The episode was great.  The whole experience was fun and just as amazing as I imagined.

A few notes:
The whole cast is very professional.  There was not a lot of goofing around.  Some of the scenes were long and filmed mostly in a single take.
Jim Parsons (Sheldon) really is amazing.  He’s kinda quiet and works on his lines between takes. As soon as they roll, he is very much in character and is a huge personality. He’s also very tall.
Johnny Galecki (Leonard) is a bit of a character between takes.  He dances and jumps around a lot.
Simon Helberg (Howard) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) have great chemistry and work really well off each other.  They are also both very little.
Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh) seems very sweet.  He was always smiling on set.
There was no Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler)  😦  I was sad she wasn’t there, but the chance to see Bob Newhart in action was worth it.
Kaley Cuoco (Penny) is HOT.  Wow.  I mean, she really is stunning.  And funny.
I got to hear a live “Soft Kitty”!  It’s in one of the scenes.
The first person in the standby line was wearing a bright green t-shirt.  I didn’t see him in the audience. That means at least 50 people waiting to get in did not.  I wonder if they even got all of the ticketed people in.  Once the taping was over all the VIPs got to go to the stage, meet the cast and get a tour.  I should’ve tried to sneak in with them.  I mean, there were 137 of them!  I heard that at least a few of the cast always hang out afterwards for autographs, but because Bob Newhart was there (and all his VIPs) they didn’t.  They shoo’d us out of the set area pretty quickly.

All was done by 10:30pm.  Disneyland was open until midnight so I was back in plenty of time to pick up MJ and kids.  An amazing day and an experience that I am so thankful to get the chance to be a part of.

The episode will air May 2.

The last couple of weeks

I’m feeling better.  Yay!

In all the sick and craziness I haven’t had a chance to post about the UNDY 5000.  So here it is:

On the morning of Saturday March 9th we did the 5k run to support the Colon Cancer Alliance. Many of you donated to support me and I can’t thank you enough!
When I started fundraising I had no idea I would ever be close to being the top fundraiser.  When I got close to it towards the end I went for it and the support was great!  “Stan” the second place guy came out of nowhere in the last week and we had a little competition going every day up until the end.
When we went to bed the night before the race I was in the lead by a few hundred.  Thought I had it in the bag.
I woke up around 3 in the morning and went to the bathroom.  I figured I’d check the figures while I was up and wouldn’t you know it…  some other guy “Patrick” got a few thousand dollars in donations and came from nowhere to edge up on me.  He was only a hundred dollars away.
When I woke up he had passed me by $50.  Seriously?!??  I got a few more dontations but at 6:30 (when they were checking people in for the race) he was up by like $700.  The pisser about it was I had a huge match that hadn’t gone through yet.  Once that does I’d be up by over a thousand.
Well…  before the race started they announced the highest fundraisers.  They didn’t check the numbers that morning I guess because they announced me as the top fundraiser!


About 5 minutes later they announced that Patrick had gotten all those donations in the last night.  He didn’t seem happy with that though.  Whatever.  I think it was win-win.  Cause really, once that match comes in I’m still the top girl 😀
I did get to meet “Stan” and he was really cool.  We joked how we kept each other going in getting all those donations.  So glad it was going to a cause that helps the both of us.

The race was nice.  Considering I didn’t really train and I had just started a new chemo the Tuesday before, I did well.  About a 15 minute mile.
It’s called the UNDY 5000 because many people run in their underwear.  Being that it’s San Diego and were weather wimps, most of us wore our undies over pants.


Our friend Tracy was participating with another team and our friend Ruth came to watch so we met up with them.  It was fun to know other people there.

Tracy, MJ and I at the starting line:

After the race they had a nice survivor ceremony. There were 45 survivors that participated in the event.  It was a little emotional for me. We all got special medals:


MJ and I after the race.  I can’t tell you how much I ❤ her:


The following day we went to the Ostomy Fair!  Good times I tell ya!
It was smaller than I thought.  Just a room with about 5 tables.  Surprisingly I was not the youngest person there.  There were quite a few young people there, but mostly old.  The one thing I found funny about being there.  A little secret…  when you have a colostomy one secret you always have when you are in public is that “I could be pooping right now”.  It’s kinda funny depending on who you’re talking to.  You know, like one of the kids teachers.  But when you go to an Ostomy Fair, EVERYONE has that same secret.  It was weird talking to someone and thinking “THEY could be pooping right now”.

And then I got sick that week. Missed PaleyFest. You’ve already heard that story.  If not, click back a few posts.

After years of saving and dealing with working on a laptop I finally got myself a new desktop computer!  It arrived this week and it’s just as amazing as I dreamed it would be (yes, this is very big news for the computer nerd girl).


And today?  I’m not starting out this week well.
I guess I figured since I got a new computer and all I may as well go ahead and break my iPad.  Yeah.
Slipped right off my lap onto the tile.  No Apple Care. The crunching sound making me not want to open my eyes.
Went to go get that fixed today and afterward had to go get my labs done to check my hemoglobin levels…
They wanted to schedule me for a transfusion. TOMORROW.
Um, I’m supposed to be heading to LA tomorrow to see The Big Bang Theory taping.
Kids are on spring break this week too.  Can’t have them sit with me for 6 hours while I’m in the chair,  so it was looking like my option was to miss going to see the show.  Seriously??!?
As I was about to lose it at my onc’s office, they said my numbers were OK enough to wait until Saturday.  While I’m not thrilled I have to get another transfusion, I’m so grateful I still get the chance to go tomorrow.

Stay tunned…  I will post about the taping experience later this week.

Starting to feel human again

Went to the oncologist today for a follow up and basically he thinks I just caught a nasty bug while my immunity was down. My labs and blood cultures didn’t show anything eles going on.

While I’ve had little colds here and there, most of my sicknesses in the last year have been chemo related. Considering how bad the flu went around this year and how immune compromised I am, I’m pretty lucky it only put me down for a few days.

The best news is that this wasn’t likely chemo sick so it’s not something I’ll have to look forward to next round!  Yay!

Thank you all for the funnies! It really did make me smile through an awful couple of days.

Hanging in there

Yesterday was just awful. You know it’s bad when even watching TV is a chore.
Last night I started to feel a little bit of relief and was able to get some sleep.

This morning I’m feeling a little bit better. I can at least walk around the house without feeling like I’m going to collapse. I still have a fever that I can’t seem to shake.
I have an appointment with my oncologist this afternoon to see what he thinks or if he has any news on my labs. I’m even feeling well enough to drive myself to the appointment. Something I wouldn’t of been able to do yesterday. So things are starting to look up.

And I’m sick…

Well, I’m sick. Really sick.
I’m home from the hospital with a chance I might have to go back in. Let’s hope not.

I had to go to the ER last night because I’ve had fevers for the last few days. I’m super achey, nausea, stomach cramping etc. Pretty much like a horrible flu.

They ruled me neutropenic last night and sent me home. They’re watching my blood cultures to see if anything comes up.

Not going to lie, I’m pretty miserable. I could use a few good laughs today, warriors.
Thanks. ❤

Movin on

Not gonna lie, it was a tough week.  The news hit me harder than I would’ve expected.
Truth is, I got cocky.

I was feeling good and the last scan was so good I really thought things were going in the right direction.  What I learned in the last couple of months is that even with a terminal illness I took time for granted.  I got comfortable that I would have more time.  Truth is, none of us really do.  We really need to appreciate each and every day.  I may only have a year left, but you might too.  Things happen.  So let’s stop taking advantage of our time, enjoy it and make each day count.  I know, easy said than done, but it is possible.

So that’s mostly what I’ve been beating myself up over.  And now I’m moving on.

I’ve accepted the new chemo regimen and am dealing with it.  The first day I was just kinda out of it.  Second day tired.  Yesterday my stomach started hurting and I got weird random chest pains.  My onc got me in for an X-Ray.  Didn’t hear back so I’m assuming everything is OK.  Than last night I started puking.  Today my body doesn’t know what it wants to do.  I feel like I’m coming down with something and then I get nauseous again. Hopefully I will get used to these drugs and won’t have to go through this business every 2 weeks.

This whole week was a good reminder to me that this is a journey.  I have an incurable disease.  As much as I would like it to go away, it’s not.  It will return.  I may be able to fight it off for along time, but until there’s a “cure” I will have to be on this path.  Like it or not.  So I may as well get used to that and enjoy the path as much as I can.  Even when it’s covered with thistles, thorns and spiders.  I hate spiders.  Thank you for joining me on this path and helping me squash spiders when I need to and enjoying the clearing when it’s there.  We have a long way to go, so let’s make the most of it.


Well, fuck.

Sorry for the profanity, but there really wasn’t a better title.

Scan was not good. At least not what we expected.
There’s not only growth from the existing tumors but there’s new ones on my liver. I will also have to have a CT on my lungs this week to see if they are clear.

Obviously, this is hard to hear. I’m not crushed, but I’m certainly disappointed. The worst part is this means a new chemo regiment. I was really hoping for a break. Wasn’t expecting to have to deal with new drugs. And new side effects. Fuck.


I started the new drugs today. We’ll see what happens. I’m told the worst side effect will be diarrhea. Awesome. And not just a little. Like, horribly cramping expolsive diarrhea. Doesn’t that sound great? Bright side is I do have a colostomy. If that will be my future I at least won’t be stuck on the john all day. Plus no chaffing butt! Bonus!
The other likely side effect will be losing my cool new curly red hair. Boo. I was just starting to really enjoy it and having fun seeing how it was coming in. Oh well. Just hair. Luckily I still have hats and bandanas. Weather is starting to warm up too. I just hate “looking” like I’m sick. Fuck.

So I’m sad. A little scared, but mostly sad. One of the drugs that I’ll now be on is one that they usually give in first line defense and I’ve read is quite effective. I’m going to trust that there was a reason things went the way they did and that it will be better for me to have it now.

I’m going to allow myself to be pissed about this today. Maybe tomorrow too. But then I’m warrioring up and directing my anger and frustration at you, canSer. You fuck. Look out. I’m not playin anymore.


I have faith that this journey is far from over. Just a bump in the road. Continued prayers, thoughts, good vibes and warrior poses are much appreciated. ❤


MRI Tips

This morning I had my MRI scan.
Better than what I was doing a year ago today.  On March 4th, 2012 I had my major surgery where they removed Johnny Carsonoma and installed Chewie.   Hard to believe it’s been a year already.

MRI was no sweat.  This was my second one. I’ve also had 6? 8?  I ‘m not sure how many CT scans.  CTs are really nothing.  You don’t actually go all the way into the machine, it’s fairly quiet, you only have to hold your breath a few short times and it’s done in about 8 minutes.  MRIs aren’t quite as easy.  Here’s a few things I’ve learned already:

1. Dress appropriately.
It’s cold in there.  All scanning rooms are.  They have to keep those big machines cool.  Today I wore sweat pants (no medal -even around the drawstring), 2 baggy longsleeve shirts, no underwire bra and slip on shoes.  While you will not be winning any fashion awards, you will also be likely to not have to put on a gown.  Even with a blanket, those gowns are cold and not very comfortable.  Also, leave all accessories at home.  You will have to take them all off.  Unless you’re going to work or something afterward, you don’t need them and this saves time getting in and out.

2. They’re gonna stick you!
Depending on the test, you ma have to get an IV put in for contrast.  If you do, know that it’s a pretty big needle they use.  They inject it fairly quickly so they need a bigger access.  I don’t even mind needles and I dislike this one.


3. They stick you into a tube.
If you’re at all claustrophobic, this will not be fun for you.  They make you as nice and comfortable as they can on the hard little table but you have to be pretty still and there’s nothing to look at but the lights on inside of the machine that are just inces away from your face.  They do give you a panic button in case you freak out.
I like to pretend I’m in some sort of Star Wars/Star Trek machine.  It at least passes the time cause you’ll likely be in there for 20 to 40 minutes.
Here’s an explanation of the process:


4.  Pick your music wisely.
The machine is kinda loud.  Here’s some of the sounds it makes:

They will usually give you the option of earplugs or headphones playing your favorite radio station.  Today they asked me if a certain station they had on was OK.  I didn’t care so I just said it was fine.  It turned out to be an 80s/90s station.  Normally that would be OK except they were playing songs from my formative years putting me into this weird surreal place in my mind.  Like I was a character in a sappy, made-for-TV on ABC Family movie and I was the “cancer character” getting her scan and having flashbacks to her healthy youth.  It was weird.

5. Hold your breath!
Depending on the scan you’re having you might have to hold your breath for awhile.  They tell you when to hold it and when you can let go.  A few times it’s a long time.  Today is the first time I couldn’t hold it all the way through one of them.  Hopefully they got a good picture out of it.

6.  Don’t worry, you didn’t pee your pants.
If you have to have the contrast, it will give you a warm feeling throughout your body.  Including your groin area.  It took me at least 4 scans before I was confident that I wasn’t tinkling all over the flatbed.

7. Just relax. It’s really not that horrible.

Hopefully this will never happen…

And now I wait.  I have an oncology appointment tomorrow so I’m hoping we’ll have the results by then.  It might not be until Wed.  Not holding my breath.  I did that enough today.

Scan Nerves

I have an MRI tomorrow.


I have more anxiety and feelings about this scan than any I’ve had so far.  Even my diagnosis scans.
I will either be better or worse.  Not that the outcome wasn’t the same for the previous scans, but I could potentially be clear for this one.
N.E.D.  (No Evidence of Disease).

With either outcome there’s some big decisions to be made.
The chemo has gotten to me.  I honestly don’t know how many more rounds I can handle right now.  If the tumors have grown, well, I may have to just tough it out.  If they’ve only grown a little, well, maybe I can take a round or two off.  Or maybe he’ll want to keep going at a lesser dose.  If I’m clear?  That’s the scary one.  As much as I want to be clear and be off chemo, I have an extremely high reoccurrence rate.  Like almost guaranteed. If I stop chemo, it could spread.  But it might not.

If I don’t stop chemo, I’m not sure how my body is going to react in a few more rounds.  As it is right now, my hands are torn up (typing this post is actually putting me in quite a bit of pain) and my feet are starting to be effected again.  I have mouth sores that make eating difficult.  My face is dry and cracked and my nose bleeds frequently.  I have an acne like rash all over my back and chest that is just slightly better than a severe case of a teenagers.  I have frequent insomnia and hot flashes. All of that is on top of the general fatigue and sometimes nausea.

Sometimes I kinda look like someone beat me up.


Just call me Heather Chemohands…


Besides the physical toll chemo takes the emotional part is tough too.  The idea that you have to keep taking this poison to keep you alive is mentally taxing.  I just want my life back.  I want to feel normal again.  I want to be able to plan things two or three years out without having to question myself in the back of my mind if I will be here for it.

There’s something about being NED that I feel might give me a mental and possibly physical break from all of this.  Even if it’s just for a few months.  A few months of feeling somewhat “normal” again.  Then again maybe it won’t, but I sure would rather hear I’m NED than hearing the tumors have grown or spread.

I will hopefully have news on Tuesday.  I’ll let you know as soon as I hear.

In the mean time a few prayers, good thoughts and positive energy couldn’t hurt.
I’ll try and stay calm and cool 😀


Happy Cancerversary!

I was officially diagnosed on February 29, 2012.
Since March 1st kicks off Colon Cancer Awareness, I’ve decided to celebrate today.

Yes, celebrate.

Seems weird, but I guess like the whole Big Bang Theory thing, I want to re-write how I feel about this time.  I’m choosing to celebrate the good things cancer has brought and for being alive for one more year.  A second birthday I guess.

I decided to make some treats for all of the medical staff that has been with me on this journey.  To thank them for keeping me around for another year.


These are just a few of them.
I’ll have more baking to do on Monday to take to oncology and chemo staff.  I have lots of people working for me!

I don’t have enough time or supplies to make treats for every one of you out there who has been support through this.  I seriously wouldn’t be where I am right now without it.  The phone calls, texts, facebook messages, funny posts.  I cherish all of it and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
So thank you!
And here’s to the next amazing year!