I know it’s been apparent to the people close to me that I have been struggling over the past few days. I have still put on my big girl pants and have taken care of my world and my responsibilities. As a mom, I like to think that my kids think I am invincible and have mom super powers. Clearly, I need to give more credit where credit is due. While I was almost at the end of my rope, my little Hannah comes skipping out of nowhere, hands me a card she made and then skips off, smiling and singing.
As the days pass so quickly, I tend to forget about the “little ears”. They are now becoming “bigger ears” and hearing the word “cancer” over and over and over and over. My goodness, I can’t even imagine what goes on in their little brains. While I have always talked to my children about doctors and chemo and medicine and side effects and some other things that no child should have to learn about, I guess I haven’t given them as much credit as they deserve when it comes to their understanding and comprehension. I get it now. I GET IT THAT THEY GET IT. Sometimes I think I have just failed at parenting because 1) I have Cancer and 2) I have Cancer. I know, I know, stupid, but I could never put in words how it actually feels to kiss your child goodnight and then close the door with the guilty feeling that you have put the world on their little shoulders to carry around. The pressure of having a “sick” mom. It is real. My two little babies are the strongest and bravest little people I have ever met. Stronger and braver than me, for sure. I am so proud and know they will do great things in this world. My children have old souls and you can look in their eyes and see that. They are my miracles and when I am struggling, I know now they can see right through the façade and I am so blessed.
Hannah and Isabel have been learning how to sew. They are very excited and we are moving to fabric next week. I am thrilled about all the weird shaped little pillows we will have around the house soon.
I met with my Oncologist yesterday. Always an anxious visit. First of all, I was sitting in the waiting room (which is a zoo on Monday mornings) and these people next to me started to tell me how wonderful I look. They then tell me that they have been watching me for over a year and can’t believe I have come so far and that they are so happy to see that I am at the end of my treatment. I had no idea who these peeps were and I don’t ever recall seeing them but I’m not much of a people watcher on the cancer floor. One of them was clearly a patient. I certainly am a frequent flyer there because for a long time I was on that floor every single Monday, now its just every 3rd Monday although I’ve always kept a low profile. As you can imagine, these comments took me for surprise. I thanked them for the compliments and well wishes. I didn’t tell them that I wasn’t done with treatments. Maybe sometimes you can give someone a little bit of hope by just smiling and being positive.
My physical exam was as expected. I’ve got some swollen lymph nodes, lots of ’em actually. Doc says because I am so skinny, she can’t miss them. They are up and down my neck, I have swollen axillary nodes on both sides and also in my groin area and my thighs. I hate them, I hate feeling them. There is nothing that can be done right now, she just notes that they are there and the sizes and watches them every 6 weeks. The bigger problem is my liver. It’s got some new pains and is acting up. My scans have been moved up to February to see what the heck is going on. I was going to be scanned at the end on March but something doesn’t feel right. So, we decided to let me have surgery on February 2 and then run all my tests and scans afterwards. I honestly don’t want anymore stress before going into the operating room. I know the cancer is there, it’s not like it is ever going to go away completely. My liver functions aren’t too bad but my oncologist told me she will not go by those numbers with me, they have never indicated disease even when my liver was flooded with tumors. One of my tumor markers has doubled in the last three weeks and this is the first time anything close to that has happened. That of course, in itself, makes me lose sleep. My oncologist will not put me through a PET scan because she knows there are cancer cells floating somewhere, I have metastatic breast cancer, its systemic. I like that, my treatment wouldn’t change anyways and I don’t need the added stress. So, my bone scans and CT scans will be take place the week after surgery and I am completely okay with that.
I also had chemotherapy yesterday which I did not recover very well from. Back pain, liver pain and physical emotional pain from treatment led to a giant cryfest last night.
Not going to lie, part of me wants to say “eff it” to all the hard work I have put into this. Meaning, I would totally go eat a greasy pizza and a bag of skittles and actually have an adult beverage. A beer or a glass of wine sounds fabulous. All of those things sound great but I know my body would suffer tremendously. I don’t take such good care of myself and keep my body clean and alkaline because I think I am going to cure my cancer. I do what I do to make living with cancer easier. I have gotten rid of all the inflammation in my body by cutting out acids and eating a clean, raw diet. My energy level is great considering the amount of toxic poison I have flowing throw my veins. My skin is healthy and not like paste or chalk. My belly is functioning perfect 🙂 I would never go back to eating meat, dairy, soy, processed foods and refined sugars. I certainly don’t want to drink booze. Like I said, I do what I do to make living with a terminal cancer and permanent treatments easier on my body. I guess you could say that maybe I just want to feel normal, like everyone else. I’m lucky right now that I have treatment every three weeks, I look back and have no idea how I did it weekly.
I’m not a hero or superwoman. Although, I like to make my kids think that I have super powers. I don’t want them to think they can get away with things when I have eyes in the back of my head. The reality of life with cancer is much different than what I portray when someone sees me walking down the street. I have pain and fear that I fight everyday along with the actual malignancies. The treatments also cause pain and fear that I have to fight and shake off. Basically, the alternatives to being strong and brave, are weak and fearful. Those suck. I guess that I have built up a physical and emotional tolerance and have ACCEPTED WHAT I CANNOT CHANGE.
I must admit that my treatments and carrying around all that I do definitely affects my mood and sometimes I am “not me”. Sometimes (more so often these days) I want to be alone and sometimes I want to be surrounded by people. I absolutely have complete breakdowns and lose my shit. I am not a machine. I am, in fact, a very broken human being. Please forgive me if I act different sometimes. While I have accepted what I have to live with, I haven’t completely accepted what the people who love me have to live with. My family needs support and they have been blessed to have it from the beginning. I take nothing for granted and I am thankful for life. I am not thankful for terminal cancer.
on a happier note…..
Scott and I had the honor of attending a wedding on Saturday night. So beautiful! An old friend married her long time love and we were there to witness it and share in the love. We shared a special dance with the bride and groom. It was so special and we were so honored to be a part of it. Thanks Eileen and Dan, we wish you the happiest of all together and you are two amazing people.
Surgery is coming quick…eeeek! I’m trying to wrap my head around it all and not procrastinate with the things that I need to take care of. To be honest, I am getting nervous. I’m not nervous or afraid of anything in regards to the surgery. Nothing about any of it scares me, it may gross me out, but it doesn’t scare me. I’m nervous to be away from my kids. My last hospital stay, which was 8 days long, was quite traumatic on all of us. My surgery is a Monday and I am having chemo on the Friday before, which is not ideal but it is what it is. I can’t miss a treatment and I am not going to miss this opportunity for surgery. My blood counts will drop after chemo, hopefully not much, and that just makes me more susceptible to infection. A hospital is not a healing environment. I don’t care what anyone says. A hospital is awesome for emergency situations and is my life line but its a bacteria filled breeding ground. I just pray I am stable after surgery and I can get home to recover with my family. I will have 5 incisions and at least 2 drains so I will be a tad uncomfortable but they better let me go home.
I saw a funny T-shirt in one of my breast cancer support groups. It said “Yes, they are fake, the real ones tried to kill me” Haha, Awesome.
As you may have noticed, I’m in the process of changing up my blog. It’s been primarily used as a medical journal to keep family and friends updated and on the same page with my condition and treatment. Since I’ve been stable and my treatment hasn’t had many recent curveballs, I’m taking a more active roll in posting things that my kids can look back at and smile. It will still mostly be about my stupid cancer but I wanted to lighten the mood up a bit.
We made some airpopped organic popcorn tonight and then decided to take a nice picture. Isabel decided she would slap her hands over Hannah and I and thought she was being funny.
The kids go back to school tomorrow and I am so grateful for being able to spend this holiday season with them. I was healthy and stable and able to enjoy every little sparkle of it all. A little prayer tonight as I get the kids stuff ready for back to school tomorrow;
Thank you God for everything you have done for me and given to me so far. I am always asking for something but I don’t want to ask for anything right now, I just want to say THANK YOU. I am blessed. My kids are sleeping in their warm beds, they are so happy and so healthy. I have an infinite amount of love and support. I know I have some challenges coming up, but I trust you. Amen.
The girls and I were at church this morning. Right now, they are the type of kids that go to bed Saturday night and have their clothes laid out for church in the morning. I remember being excited for church when I was kid but then got to the stage where I had to be dragged out of bed to go. I disliked wearing those dresses and I had anxiety about how many shades of lipstick I was going to have on my cheeks from all the Grandmothers in the front pews kissing my face. But, I made it through! I heard a great message at church today and it was appropriate to start out the new year with a positive message. I feel so good about 2015 and I feel like I can finally move forward now that Cancer doesn’t define me anymore and I have overcome most of my fears. I have no idea what God has in store for me this year.
I do know that I have Cancer, I am realist. I don’t pretend like it’s not a big deal. I know that I have to be on treatment for the rest of my life. I know that my immune system is crap. I know that the tiniest sneeze in my direction could lead to a 2 week hospital stay away from my children. Not only do I know all of these things, everyone close to me knows these things too and are so supportive and caring. If I back away from you and don’t welcome a hug or a handshake, please don’t take it personal, I need to protect myself. I don’t necessary think you have the plague but it might as well be. I don’t have the immune system that most have to fight off tiny colds and viruses and they are debilitating to me and could potentially be fatal.
The one thing that I look forward to every three weeks with my chemo treatment is my blood work. Strange, I know, but I am being kept alive with chemicals and some of these chemicals are very toxic to healthy organs in my body so I NEED to see those numbers. I can’t get them fast enough, I have online access to my records so I check and check until they are posted. I want to know what my blood counts are, my liver functions, my bilirubin, my calcium levels, my tumor markers, EVERYTHING. All these numbers and results change every three weeks. They have all been on a pretty good path lately 🙂