Pheo VS Fabulous – Welcome!

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“Fabulous is your light, your smile, your energy, your positivity, your willfulness, your vitality, passion, excitement, beauty, laugh, and how you share it!” – Pheo VS Fabulous

My mission statement for this journey was to stay fabulous, never let it take this disease that away from me, and to find the good in every situation. Well, I can lose many pieces of me before anyone takes my ‘Fabulous’. 

Hello my fabulous friends,

This is my very first post, my first time writing a blog, and my first time speaking freely about my personal journey with pheochromocytoma cancer…. and staying fabulous while doing it!

Pheo VS Fabulous was born from the promise that I would never let this disease take away the one thing I could control, and I’ve labeled that my fabulous. When I became ill I realized how much we take for granted, and it started with how day to day tasks are so challenging when you’re battling an illness like pheochromocytoma cancer, that’s when I decided I wouldn’t let it that away from me. It’s more than just looking a certain way, it’s about BEING fabulous, strong, and positive when you have every reason not to be.

The danger of something being so rare is that it goes undetected, unrecognized, and is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions. Leaving many of us undiagnosed, and looking for answers.

If you’re reading this, you might still be looking for some…

My goal is through sharing my vulnerabilities with all of you, finding the courage to share something so painfully personal, someone else may have less of a challenge in the future of being diagnosed, treated, and living with this disease, #pheochromocytoma – or any other ‘neuroendocrine cancers. #netcancer  #raredisease

The idea is that the more I share, the more information there will be available for a disease where this is so much lacking. Every procedure, every test, every treatment I suffer through – I will continue to share my experiences so that others don’t have to keep grasping for answers like I did.

Although there is so much to cover… first off, pheo-chromo-cy-whatta?! We will get there darlings, I just want to say…

This blog is meant for awareness:

Awareness for a disease that only a handful of people in this massive universe know about, probably only because they were diagnosed

Awareness for a disease that affects only 1 in 1million people

and once it’s metastatic? 1 in 4.3 million

– Lucky us! 😉

Awareness for a disease that I am fighting everyday, that most people cannot even pronounce

I wish to share my journey, even the uncensored version, with all of you.

Even though I am absolutely fabulous (duh)… what I’m up against sure isn’t!

I will continue to fight this rare cancer, keep sharing my message on behalf of my fellow zebras, and no matter what happens I am going to stay absolutely fabulous while doing it!

pheo VS fabulous

Along with new and updated blog posts, you can find more permanent information in the ‘Menu’ drop down 

Stay tuned…

I encourage anyone who wants to support me by using the following hashtags in spreading awareness

#pheovsfabulous #pheochromocytoma #mirandastrong

Instagram: mirandasimard

Facebook: Miranda Simard

Time Limit…

Today was D-day, October Tenth.

A day we’ll never forget, but have no desire to remember.

Diagnosis Day. The day I was just days away from celebrating my 24th birthday and told I would only celebrate maximum 1-5 more.
The day my husband was told he would no longer have a wife, the day our lives would turn upside down… and never turned back around.

I’ll be celebrating my 27th birthday in one week, year 3 

Time… 

I wrote this a year and a half ago, I’ve been through a life of treatments, clinical trials, so much more pain, chemo injections, my body has been through so many emergencies… but we’re still here, and we’re not fighting cancer.

We’re living with cancer, every day, every moment.

We’re doing it fabulously.

You haven’t seen me around because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do, live.

I said I wouldn’t live with death hanging over me, I don’t, not most days – my goal was to help as many people as I can with this disease. That’s what Pheo VS Fabulous does, it provides information where there isn’t any, and I’ve been able to meet so many incredible people and help find the tools or advocate for a diagnosis.

This is what gives me joy, fulfillment, and no bucket list item could ever feel better than someone letting me know that my blog has helped them in some way come to a diagnosis after struggling to figure out what’s wrong with them after so many months/years/etc… you have NO idea what that means to me! ❤

So what I’ve realized is, even if I can’t take a shower by myself, or climb that flight of stairs… if I can help change a life or just make a little impact – I have to be pretty grateful for what I’m doing with my time, even if I don’t have a lot of it.. even if I feel sometimes I’m restricted due to my condition, there’s so much you can do without even knowing it!

I waited until the end of this day to share because today is still an emotional day, but I did want to share something with all of my fab friends.. & just say Thank You for continuing to be with me on this journey – hopefully I’ll be around a LOT longer!

Love you all so very much,

Pheo VS Fabulous

Read below, (time limit)

Source: Time Limit…

I said I would never do that again 😭

But I learned something new again yesterday

these bodies we think are ours?

They’re not.

We think they own them, we signed them over the moment we agreed to save our selves from the disease that’s killing us every day, see how that works?

Cancer: you get to kill me.

Doctors: you get to save me by any means necessary

Me: I TECHNICALLY have a say… but…

Believe me, there is ALWAYS a but

If you start saying no to things, how can they save you by any means necessary?

Anyone can go on from the outside and say there’s always a choice etc etc, and yes there absolutely is. We always have choices, mine often look something like this:

your veins aren’t working for the 189th time in your life, let’s rush you off to a secret room after after having poked you 7 times – and we will surprise you with a procedure you swore you would NEVER.EVER.EVER do Again – (text here)  I wrote about in previous times to GREAT lengths because it caused you such trauma the last therapy during MIBG (and out of all the things you’ve had done.. that’s saying a lot), just the mention of it is traumatic. 

My words aren’t coming out, no one is listening to me. What good would it do anyways? It’s now my only alternative to receive the treatment I’m here for. 

Ever wonder why the term cancer sucks is so popular? Why so many people want to say fuck cancer? ….

this is why. 

It’s because of situations like this, when you are no longer a person, when you no longer have a say in your own body in order to save yourself.. because you know that you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. 



Facetune

Part 1: 05/23/2017 – PRRT treatment prep

jugular insertion 



Facetune

But I’m tired now

Facetune

I’ll leave you with something good, as I always do… I was greeted with my Doctor cupcakes (my husband), after some kisses 💋, and pain control, I was ready to start my treatment in a little less agony.

(My clinical trial doctor) is amazing, and does everything to administer the treatment in a comfortable fashion.

The treatment itself was a bit improved VS the last few times.

More on that later once I’m not so traumatized from the morning, and tired & in pain.

FABULLLLUS IS EXHAUSTED. 🖐🏼🏥

more fun trial stuff soon, byeeeeee

#pheovsfabulous

4th..5th time? I’ve lost count! IS a charm 💛✨

There are two things this disease has made me become an expert with:

learning how to be okay with never leaving your little comfy space (or rather being confined to it). 

or

constantly leaving that comfort zone you’ve been confined to for the purpose of being EVERYTHING but comfortable. 

Luckily I’ve acquired the most important lesson of my own, & that was to stay fabulous no matter what. Have YOU guys figured out the meaning of ‘Staying Fabulous’ yet?

This past year my health has declined significantly despite doing the most treatments packed into one time frame ever. 

With that said, my wardrobe mostly consists of comfy pyjamas, my hair is done by my husband (bless his heart). Speaking of hair, let’s be real… I can’t even wash my own hair, there I go again painting a whole different picture for you guys. I have care almost every day, and a lot of things I’m unable to do. Fabulous means SO many different things, but I still haven’t lost my fabulous, even if I’ve lost my ability to do all of these things by myself.

When I choose to do my makeup it takes me sometimes close to 5 hours or more, but I don’t mind because it’s every couple of months or so – and it makes me SO happy! Despite what I share in photos, we create a picture to make others happy as well.

What matters is the love, the laughter, the same outlook I’ve promised to have from the beginning hasn’t changed.

My message is being delivered with the same sparkle (most days)  ☺️✨ because that’s what PHEO VS FABULOUS is all about.

Regardless of everything that we have been going through to make it here, we’re here, and we feel just as grateful as ever.

When we were challenged, we leaned on each other for the support we so badly needed.

We felt so blessed for the support we constantly receive.

It isn’t in me to give up, the only thing to do now is move forward. To unfortunately just keep receiving another treatment and see what’s next.


What IS next you ask? 

Remember option 1 or 2? Well, today is # 2. Actually this week is a bit of both… except today is …

leaving the spot I’m most comfortable in. (You know, normally I’m confined to my house)

AND, this week is being confined to a space … but unfortunately not the space I’m most comfortable in, quite the opposite actually – I wouldn’t call the hospital or a radiation room my comfort zone. 🏥☠️

BUT that’s the life of being terminally ill 😷 treatments, clinical trials, being radioactive, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! ✌🏼🏥👸🏻

After all that jazz I will be laying in the big spaceship scans later in the week… pretending I’m getting a facial in my Dream bungalow house in the trees that has NO stairs, one of those swim spa pools where my poor body can float all year round, and a little all year round sunroom for my puppies & me to relax when I’m feeling down  🏡 sounds wonderful right? My mind is escaping there already. 

Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming ✨✨✨

Ok, time to glow friends 👋🏽😄

Tuesday is the actual day for treatment, PS 🏥☢️ In case you guys forgot what treatment it is, it’s the PRRT clinical trial  – this will be my fourth round.

(Which also happens to be serge and my 7 year anniversary 😑, which also happens to somehow ALWAYS be spent in the hospital 😪😭)

Bye everybody!

🛣🚘

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Reminding You…

I often say that I don’t feel I’m fighting cancer; I live with cancer. What I fight for is the ability to continuously mend myself back to health, piece by piece, taking back what this disease has stolen from me.
Exactly one year ago I wrote this article, it was after what I thought would be the most difficult procedure I would have to endure on my journey with this cancer, and the most suffering I would have to feel.
I was wrong.
I will continue to be wrong, and that’s what this article is about.
It’s a true testament to mine and many others real experiences; how we will continuously have to feel what we thought was the worst pain of our lives, yet wake up and do it all over again – only to be even more painful the next time, and the next time after that… but we will have to find a way to keep going, to WANT to keep going.

You can typically tell how sick I am with my level of activity, (I’ve been MIA) I haven’t been feeling too well lately.

My health has been ‘declining’ as the title says, and I’ve been physically suffering more than ever. 

Who knew my own words would bring ME a bit of comfort a year later after all of these treatments and just a year later?

I truly hope they are doing the same for you as well. 

I just wanted to remind everyone that no matter how hard it gets, these reminders are why you fight so hard.

I’d like to think that some day, I will be in less pain and get my own bit of happiness I’ve been dreaming about so much…but at the very least

I hope I can say I’ve made an impact

Pheo VS Fabulous 

And we leave for round 3 – PRRT

After having said all I have to say in my last Post, gotten that off my chest… everything I’ve been feeling over the past few days…

we are here. At the hospital that will give me my third round of my clinical trial – PRRT 

We travelled yesterday several hours into the night to eventually arrive to the hospital that will eventually administer the experimental liquids that maybe or maybe will not help me diminish some of this pain I’ve been feeling. Maybe it will do nothing. Perhaps it will make me worse. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I was absolutely terrified the last few days, thinking about just driving here and adding to my state of pain, and then actually having to endure treatment?! HA!

of course then having to even consider the next few months…. ugh, my worsening body, and the NEXT round. I just can’t.

I’m not one to cry but it hurts so much lately, kidney stones, complications, the attacks, everything seems to compile at once and just want to break you down.

💊💉🏥😷😭

Well I am broken, but I’m still going to take whatever pieces of me are left and fight this awful cancer and get this Treatment done, that’s why they call it ROUND 3 – they’re throwing me in the ring with some help… well i always win. I always win. I always win. 

🙏🏼👊🏼

To my person,
my eyes reflect the longing for the moments we should have had together and will never see, but love for the time spent together everyday, yet I feel such pain when you cherish the simplicity in our mundane routine, and even more pain when I know that you feel everything I feel.

I love you more than words can ever share, and I wish to go with you as many places as we were ever intended to go, with me in a state where I can enjoy it – this can’t be it. This pain cannot be it.

But if it is… my gift to you is that you were the only one who truly saw what this disease did to me throughout this whole time. The relentless pain of this 24/7 psychological and physical warfare, you’re my number one first. Before anything else, you’re the one who I fight for and dig deep to find my last smile for each time, because you’re the one who’s always there making me laugh.

So if it ends up that this it, things don’t go our way and I’m still in so much pain – just know that I will dig deep and find my smile for you baby.

like you say… we’re going through something so beautiful, when do you ever get to experience this?
💞✨🙏🏼

To my beautiful wife,
We have done allot…
But I had so much more I would of loved to do. Just spending time with you is allready a gift. And one day we will do lots. So let’s go get you in to shape. Quebec here we come. I am bringing you my most precious diamond it’s a bit of a diamond in the rough health wise so please polish it up verry well so I can take her all around the world and show how priceless she is.
💗💗💗

I love you baby!!!

PHEO VS FABULOUS

 

Facetune

The things canc… (or maybe just me) sometimes don’t want to admit.

Where did all my time go?

I woke up this morning having gone through the day quite upset, I’ve had a couple of consecutive days like this. This is really unlike me, but there is a reason leading up to this sudden feeling of sadness.

Why?

Because I’ve come to the realization that my cancer is invading my body at a much quicker pace than I expected, causing me to become a person that I woke up this morning and hardly recognize.

((When I say the cancer is invading my body, it doesn’t mean the disease necessarily, yes in some cases it has, but it’s also the act of trying to make it go away and the side effects, the subsequent diseases of the cancer, living with cancer doesn’t always mean “THIS LITERAL cancer” that will make you sick))

I talk about adapting, staying positive, and not losing hope.

We can put those things aside for a second, I’m talking about literally having to accept the fact that who I was 1 year ago, NO forget that… even…. 2-6 months ago, is a COMPLETE and utter distant memory of who I am right now today.

How is this possible?

Do you wake up and have that happen to YOU?

The rate of which I have to keep up with the changing dynamic of my body is unfair, in fact I don’t even have the proper words for it. Unfair doesn’t sum up the right amount of feeling I have towards it.

I feel the only proof I have of who I am are the photographs I am incessantly taking and even then it doesn’t prove anything because sometimes I have better days than others and can make myself look like an entirely different non-cancer having person in a photo, which is the point. I want to look like a healthy person, not a sick person for a day when I get all make-up’d and ‘pretty’. So that leaves me with nothing.

Just the sudden wake up call that “wasn’t I able to do this this this AND THIS 1 month ago and now I can’t even get a glass of water from the fridge without it being a massive ordeal afterwards?!

Wasn’t I able to do this or that 2 weeks ago?

Hey when did I start having to use the wheelchair all the time outside of the house?

Do you remember? Neither do I.

Why is everything happening so quickly? If it keeps happening at this rate, what will it look like in another 6 months?

I’m scared to ask that question, but I did. Now I can’t stop thinking about it.

I don’t want to say it’s normal – maybe a better term would be inevitable, but I’ve talked about this many times before.

What’s not normal, is it happening again and again… what I didn’t realize is that I’ve been forced to become so different yet again in such a scarcely short period of time, I’ve no choice but to wonder what’s next for me in the near future if this is now my reality?


Not being able to use the stairs regularly in my house and sometimes having to use a wheelchair……

to being bed ridden and the only activity you have and can’t even look forward to is the bathroom because it sets off your worst attacks?

Now you’re being moved to the main floor, goodbye upstairs, see you only for bathtimes. Goodbye Barbie room, master closet, bedroom, sleeping with your husband, all of the ‘normal’ things you had left’. BYE 👋🏼

This isn’t so bad, the adaptive side you talked about – the good perspective? Until the good things went away. Now you can’t even do a few steps in your own house without a dreaded pheo attack. A few steps and you’re a goner, time for that bathroom routine again. Even then, it’s dangerous. 🚽⛔️ now you need assistance, because you know you’re going to have some kind of heart or blood pressure crisis just taking a few steps from your bed to any direction and it’s terrifying. 

You know you will need pain intervention every couple of hours because your body is finding ways of becoming even more disagreeable, and your just suffering at all times now.




Treatment is in a couple of days, and all I can think about it is …

“more pain, more complications to add”

Of course then I snap out of it, I have no choice.

I’m in this situation, the only opportunity I have for a change is this treatment. It’s a potential chance for me to be able to have a difference short term outcome, each time I go it’s a chance to be different, less pain, less crisis, back to ‘normal’ within my self, so I need to have hope.

You always have to find hope someplace. This is where mine is currently coming from. Although right now I have very little, it’s being replaced with fear. I know that’s horrible to say – but that’s what this post was for, to admit things people normally don’t say.

I get hope every day from my god, my husband, and my family & friends.

I may not always admit that I’m scared, that things are moving too quickly, that my life is spiraling out of control… but I’m just like everyone else, a 26 year old woman who’s suffering like crazy with a cancer that’s taking over at a rate that I don’t know how to control that runs into doctors that don’t listen to me because I’m too ‘complicated’!

Sometimes the Pheo is a little more in charge than you might think…

F*?k you cancer, & YOU pheo.

xox

Fabulous

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