Monday, September 24, 2012

September Smiles


Friday, April 27, 2012


Happy Friday! Here is a new pic of me taken last night at a restaurant. I have another one but I have to upload it later. If you have me on facebook, you would have seen it already!
Love, Sarah Sprinkles xxoo

Friday, March 23, 2012


Have you ever felt the grip of fear that the story of your life is neither what you had dreamed of as a child or what you thought it would be as an adult?

This fear then shadows you for what seams like eons -- really is just empty years unfulfilled as you've allowed yourself to be carried by the mediocrity of the world, flavored by beliefs about yourself that are totally permeable if you examined them under your spiritual loupe. I finally recognized it December 2009 but have been feeling it circa 2001. Funny how facing your own mortality will shock your atoms to attention like a drill instructor screaming in the face of a new recruit while leaving spittle on his face to punctuate his points.

Two major cancer surgeries and two sets of chemos have driven me to change the stories about myself. Things like: I am not outdoorsy nor athletic. I am not strong enough. I am not smart enough. I am not beautiful enough. I am not deserving of the abundant life I have been peering at from the other side of the cold glass door that was fogged by the warmth of my doubting breath. How have I not seen that the door did not have a doorknob because it was actually open all along and all I had to do was walk through it? Madness.

Since my last post, I have been consciously making alterations in many aspects to change the stories about my life. Life does not stop just because you have had a Spiritual Eureka. I have encountered stresses at work, identity theft and the specter of a cancer recurrence. My recommendation is to set yourself up for success so you can breakthrough self-limiting beliefs one at a time. Breakthroughs are cathartic...

In January, I went camping and HIKING. What?

Last month I went zip-lining with my diva-delicious friend Jill! As her schedule permits with work, hubby and growing adorable sons, we will indulge ourselves in new adventures. This time we scaled two towers, 45ft & 65 ft respectively which were part of eight zips across the tree canopies at 30 mph, 65ft above ground. Our harnesses took us from 225ft-950ft long zips. Did I mention having to cross two rickety rope bridges wide enough for your feet? It was exhilarating! I am very lucky that heights do not scare me. The bridges were the most difficult. I am so fit at the moment that climbing the 65-ft tower did not leave me breathless. Yeah, Sprinkles!

The gym is now an integral part of my life. I saw a guy outside the gym and didn't recognize him in civilian clothes until he said to me, "See you at the gym". Really? That sentence would have been unheard of spoken to me! When I am late or don't show up, the other regulars get at me when they see me. The first time it happened, I was annoyed. Now I take it in stride because they know how far I have come.

For example... See this Free Motion Squat Machine?

When I started in late September still weak from chemo, I could only lift 30-40lbs on my shoulders, 1 set of 10 repetitions. I also needed quite of bit of assistance squatting down just past 90 degrees on my knees at the beginning to "catch the weight" and hike it up to starting position. Now I can do 140lbs, 3 sets of 15 repetitions with no assistance squatting almost sitting down on the ground to catch all the weight. I can cry just thinking of my progress.

Indoor farming now, too. Okay, I have only started with broccoli sprouts, but I think I will be progressing to microgreens soon. It is very satisfying to harvest after just one week of growing from seed.

On the immediate horizon, I have a trip to California in June to look forward to after being in Chemoberia for two years. Been outlining my script for my youtube videos. I just figured out how to make my own homemade teleprompter and also where to buy a small studio light kit with backgrounds for when I film them.

I missed my blog and tonight I decided to catch up a little. I am going to revamp this page, too. The background color is a start for now. Probably scrapping the whole design and starting over. We'll see. Stories can change.

My Love to You!
Sarah Sprinkles

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Nietzsche Knows

Cool gusty winds lifted my hair today. (Smiling) I cannot recall the last time that happened...

It has been eight weeks since my last chemo and it was the most difficult one. For four additional hours I was subjected to a two-pint blood transfusion. My lower back was also a spasm of pain most of the day which caused me to adopt different positions to try and relieve it without taking pain medicine. Even knowing all this, I would do it all over.

Steroids were again a part of my chemo care regimen. It came with baggage though -- an extra 25 pounds of weight on my body on top of the weight I need to lose. Since re-joining Weight Watchers eight weeks ago, I have lost 15!

My health motto taken from a shirt on is "Rise from Weakness". Last year's chemo recovery was not easy so I took a time off this time around two weeks ago to try and make my way to the gym to restart a weight lifting regimen with my coach at 5am. Yes, 5! A nasty alarm wakes me up at 4am Monday through Friday so I can get geared up and eat a pre-workout snack of one banana and seven pieces of raw almonds plus water. Oh yes -- my mouth looks like it is filled with Chiclets when I smile at my Jamaican coach each morning. The joy I feel is immense even when my muscles protest from underuse and chemo recovery...

My home address is new but I have not moved. The emergency network insisted on my apartment complex updating their address system to make it easier on them in case they are needed. A mobile vehicle from the Department of Motor Vehicles was parked in my parking area for everyone to change their driver's license (for free!) to reflect the change of address. I wanted to change my address earlier this year, but this is not exactly what I had imagined.

On the same vein, my UK company has sold off the Healthcare division. I was a casualty of the split that will be finalized in November. My job was moved to the Healthcare side as part of the divestiture. I get to drive to work in the same building but just work under a new company name and with a new manager yet to be named. Mind you, I started out at the Healthcare division and I have been supporting them for six years so the change is more paperwork than anything. I am still happy.

My bigger personal projects are still simmering on the burner; however, I am very proud to inform you that I completed my first quilt. Buoyed by this accomplishment, I also designed and put together a bed scarf as well as recovered my frou-frou pillows to match my new duvet set. I may have finally conquered my fear of sewing!


For now I have to concentrate on my job and improving my health. A quote from Nietzsche sums it up, “He who has a why can endure any how." My whys are worth every step no matter how small or difficult. I think of that each time I see my hair and wince. It has grown much longer, but chemo thinned it out by more than half. Through the magic of a curling iron, brush techniques and a fumigation of hairspray, I still manage to receive compliments on it from strangers. If they only knew how I cannot wait to have my full crown again. I need a bigger crown to rule over Sprinklesville! Ha. My hair is coming back more and more each day judging by the havoc the wind did on it today. It was a nice reminder that things are coming along nicely.


Friday, July 08, 2011


I exaggerate. It is not quite Chemoberia. Before you get excited, this is a postage stamp post to say I am still living and doing well...

Since I last posted I have completed Cycle #4 of 6 sets of chemotherapy. Cycle #3 was ugly -- dizziness and being seriously tired for almost two weeks. Recovering from Cycle #4 has been a cakewalk compared to #3. All in all I am still happy and have lots of hair even though it has thinned significantly. I went from looking like Joanie Cunningham (Happy Days) to Betty Boop.

My life is being planned and lived like it is Golden. More later; I have to secure my own raft as it has been a continuous deluge here in Trampa. Extra oars, anyone?


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Third Compartment

Coping with my current life has forced me to put aspects of it in three distinct compartments. The first is "dealing with cancer" since it is in the forefront. The second is "work" where I challenge myself to not let the first compartment overtake the kind of progress I am trying to make. The third compartment is a place where I've struggled to be in since December 2009 and that place is "just being me".

What is "just being me" about? It is where: I am not a cancer patient... I am not an employee... I am not a daughter... I am not a sister or friend... I am not a cooking expert or frustrated artist. I am just the core of me and not the shell of roles I have acquired on my journey. It is a place where I can look at me and recognize the Divine Spark I have been entrusted with on this Earth. When I look at that Divine Spark it is where I also get to gaze at it and find out what I am supposed to really do to give of my life and use it to its best.

Of course, I would be lying to you if I also didn't include a fourth compartment of being a partner/spouse to an incredible man who allows me the freedom to be in that third compartment. He would also not be intimidated by that surety in my sense of self as well the things I want to accomplish as it relates to my contribution to humanity. Sigh... I am working on one compartment at a time for now.


On Friday, I had the pleasure of hosting a small dinner party. It was a bit last minute by my plan ahead standards. We dined like kings on Italian fare. I put together an antipasto platter that had variety and also beauty in its presentation. The entree was red sauce with hot Italian sausage over thin spaghetti which was accompanied by slices of sesame seed crusted baguette broiled with a compound butter I made the night before. The wine flowed but not for me since any alcohol is prohibited with my chemo.

The following picture was of dessert. I purchased the mini cannolis and the petit fours. Dutch cocoa powder was dusted all over the white plates. I placed a fork over the plate and then dusted with powdered sugar so I could achieve a silhouette of the fork before I plated the tender sweets next to it.

Today was Mother's Day and I did visit my aunt to give her tulips and some petit fours. I also brought my uncle two chocolate glazed donuts as a treat. My aunt made us a sweet and sour fish lunch. It was quite tasty!

I shopped after at the local crafts shop where I was determined to buy garland and a wire wreath to make my new wreath for the front door. The set I had was tired looking and I was of the mind to improve my feng shui. My heart was charmed with a new welcome mat I found. I took one look at it and the French word "bicyclette" came to mind. It had to come home with me. The floral design on the mat matches my wreath nicely.

Whorls of hair have taken over my head thanks to the previous chemo. I am reticent to cut them since my hair will get thinner as the new chemo goes on. Today I surprised myself by taking the picture below. I wanted to share what I looked like at the moment. The curls in the back are full. It doesn't look like the "me" I know, but here you have it.

I guess it is not that bad. ;p

Love and Hugs,

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kimo the Elephant

Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days are Over" was looped repeatedly in my car last Thursday morning. I love the first line, "Happiness, hit her like a train on a track." And that is exactly was Sprinkles got that morning.

Bridget at work wanted to do something special for me since she new part of my spirits had been dampened by the anticipation of this particular chemo. She enlisted the help of her son's 3rd grade teacher and came up with the best "Happiness". The whole class made me homemade cards with encouragement of hope against cancer and they gave me a stuffed elephant to keep me company during my chemotherapy. I was so stunned and overwhelmed that I cried. I love children and to have these little beings make/send me (a stranger!) homemade cards made my cup runneth over. I have since named my new soft friend Kimo!

Meet Kimo and see the stack of cards next to him:

I must have held on to Kimo tighter the next day. It went well, but a little weird. My port was giving me issues so they had to infuse all the drugs in my arm. The nurse was unsure of chemo going into the port. I have a dye-study scheduled (hopefully) this Friday during my short chemo day. My aunt escorted me and I had the pleasure of being recognized by someone from my Ovacome group as well as the techs and nurses at the infusion center... Jeezus, I need another hangout.

Good news -- my boss went to bat for me with our benefits team. I am no longer paying $50 for one of my after chemo meds. They have overridden it with the drug company and I will be paying $25 instead. So from $73 to $48 every three weeks instead. Hooray!

Just to keep me on geeky track, here is something I came up with to help me with taking these things. It is not foolproof - this fool forgot to take the pink section all day yesterday. Sigh. It was just for anti-nausea -- luckily, I was okay.

Working today was not bad because the blue section was not on today. Those drugs make my brain woozy. Will work from home again tomorrow just to be sure... I did experience a little feathering in my hearing today like I did at my aunt's house on Sunday. It was not a strong thing and didn't keep me from enjoying my cousin's kids. I guess it comes and goes. Everyday is a new adventure in side-effects. You can never say cancer is boring for sure!

Sprinkles xo

SIDE NOTE: On the Dog Days video, it kinda reminds me of Captain Kirk's Quaalude induced sex dreams if you could imagine such a thing. What do you think?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Channeling Churchill

Once again, I am "greeting inevitability with a smile". My new chemo treatment begins this coming Friday, April 22nd. Accepting this next phase has been more difficult than I thought it would be.

Wednesday was my appointment with my surgeon and his team to discuss my chemotherapy treatment. I reminded him about the allergic reaction in Cycle 6 to Carboplatin, one of the cocktail ingredients of last year's treatments. He then made the decision to treat me with Cisplatin. I started to laugh when he said this particular drug causes kidney damage and more nausea. Oh, joy.

We also discussed the after care drugs. I told him I would rather do the same surgery we just did than take the after care drugs that messed with my brain days after each chemo treatment. He said it would have to be discussed with the pharmacist and the nurse. All in all my surgeon foresees me doing well especially when he reminded me how sick I was last year when I went through treatment. It was not a total comfort to me. Things got more upsetting when the pharmacist came to discuss the chemo drugs.

A specialized pharmacist bearing short pretty bobbed blond hair and a cheery patterned dress with a sweet angelic face came to see me. No, her heavenly presence did not diminish the gravity of her words. She confirmed the Cisplatin causes kidney damage and more nausea. I then asked her how would we know? Would I pee blood? "No," she says -- "It will show up in the blood work." Great, a silent killer. More assurances of being able to reverse or stop the side effects spilled from her mouth. Oh yes -- there is also a chance of some hearing loss. Sigh. What about the Gemzar portion? What exactly does that drug do? In her calm angelic way, "It messes with your RNA and stop things from growing." Goddamn it, are you fucking kidding me?! (Remember...all these drugs are poisons designed to treat cancer.)

Next my surgeon's specialized nurse came in. We discussed the aftercare drugs and my feelings on it in great detail. They looked at the dosage prescription for the chemo which was surprisingly lighter than they thought. Instead of having two drugs for after chemo drugs, I will have four drugs staged to minimize nausea and brain fog. Later I found out that instead of paying about $12 every three weeks, I will be paying $70+ because one drug is not standard and my insurance company will not cut me a break on pricing.

I must must must remember I am being treated in the No. 4 ranking facility in the U.S. and that my surgeon is the best in the department. I must must must also remember that I am in a better place than last time. My new scar has healed nicely and looks fabulous. Hell, I look fabulous thanks to more weight loss and my determination to look extraordinarily normal and beautiful. I will experience some hair loss, but not a total one like last year which is a plus if you're trying to retain your own beauty during chemo.

There was one unexpected news... Tab has gotten engaged and is getting married today. After I told him off in December to stop our association even as friends/acquaintances, his now wife has managed to be employed in my company in the same building starting while I was out on medical leave. Of course, being the Class A Jerk he is, he also managed to instant message me last Monday to "say hello". He didn't know I already knew of this new development prior to my first day back to work so I made sure to make a preemptive strike and ask him how she enjoyed her new employment and commented on her engagement ring I saw earlier in the day. His response was dead silence for several moments until he recovered and prattled on and on regarding his new wonderful life. I wasn't so accommodating. He soon lost interest and was tired of getting insulted. (For some reason, he keeps coming back for conversation when he thinks my temper has cooled off. He banks on my forgiving nature.) Two great things came out of this: 1) I feel nothing when I see his fiance/wife and 2) I felt more of nothing when he contacted me. Hooray for Sprinkles!

Quilting...yes, I have taken it on. Since I cannot practice my other womanly arts (wink), I might as well take on a more leisurely one. Last weekend, I took a road trip with Kimmee and Quilting Cathy to shop four quilt shops where fabric was a calming drug. I am halfway through my first one. That one is being named "Manila Sunrise". A pic will be posted when it is completed.

It is near noon... I should make a nice lunch and work my plans for preparing for chemo, minimizing side-effects from chemo and getting through it. My surgeon wants to do 6 cycle sets which should have completion in August. My support system of family and friends keeps me going when I start to have doubts. I am often reminded that I am important to many people.

It is essential for you to know that I am doing great; I just have to dig deeper in my faith to keep my smiles. Luckily, the well is Infinitely Deep and will not ever run out as long as I never, never, never give up. Think Churchill.

Love and Blessings,
Sarah Sprinkles