Chemo #10 (Jan 17-Jan 30)
This chemo seemed to go faster than many. Yay!
Had 3 tacos (I know you’re shocked!), took a hour nap and was up for the evening with a slight buzz. Much better than some chemos. Woke up super early (for me) at 6am the day after. I’m guessing the premed steroids had something to do with that wake up call. It was rather uneventful these past two weeks as far as side effects. Same ole, same ole. Keeping up on managing my constipation, oral hygiene, managing emotions and staying active enough, but resting when I need it. I guess it’s good I don’t have much to report as far as side effects etc.
This post I wanna give shout outs to a few family members and friends! I know I can’t list everyone, but so thankful for my parents. They have such a loving and caring heart. I know my news crushed their souls and broke their hearts, but lucky for them this daughter is super brave, faithful and funny. I am sure it brings them some comfort. I’m told I’m funny and if you’ve met my parents I know that comes from them! As does my love of the Lord. Thanks Mom and Dad! I was very grateful for you before cancer, but I’m even more grateful to have you here on Earth along side me cheering me on!
My sister, Amber and BFF, Mary! I’m grouping them together because Mary is like a sister to me, and her husband and three kids (and doggy) are like family. Immediately after finding out it was cancer her family (kids included) started praying for me. Mary says prayers from children count double. I’m thankful for that! Amber and Mary have been cheering me on closely via email, funny cards and gifts. It’s the strangest feeling to realize YOU ARE A CANCER PATIENT!
Amber is flying in for chemo #11 and Mary is headed my way after final chemo and between my nerve wracking PET scan in March to see if the cancer is still gone. I appreciate them thinking of me often during their busy lives. I can’t wait to see them both. Bring on the laughs and tears, I’m ready!
My mother in law, Dianne. She was a caregiver for many, many years to her husband whom passed after a long battle of Alzheimer’s in 2015 and her mother (which holds a special place in my heart), Nelle, passsed in 2017 at 96. My husband has a job that requires some travel. As soon as he talked to his bosses they put him on a travel hold through this. I am BEYOND thankful for Siemens and them allowing this. However, each year he has an annual corporate wide event that he enjoys and is important. This is a great place to meet coworkers from all over (since he works from home) and learn a lot. So he went during this chemo. He was only gone 4.5 days, but Dianne came in to help me out with the kids. I wasn’t sure how I would feel after chemo #10 when she booked her flight. I felt better than I imagined, but I am grateful she came and helped us out. The kids go to school early!!!
My husband…he does so much for us. I am so thankful for him. Thankful he works from home. The fact he takes me to all my chemos (and shot appts) except the two that family wanted to take me. He sits beside me and works and gets me whatever I need while I talk to the nurses. Repeating my full name and date of birth over and over (you cancer patients know!) He is a quiet guy at times, but just having him next to me in support is reassuring. I know it’s not easy seeing your wife have to battle cancer. He has gotten more duties lately as my emotions are now on overload. He reassures me when I burst into crying fits out of no where. He works hard all day and even after work, he works to keep this family running smoothly. He has helped make sure things with our kids at school go as planned and are organized. My chemo brain doesn’t allow much patience in the school department, especially 4th grade Math. HAHA! He makes our son’s lunch everyday and also makes a custom drawn note for him. That’s love and going above and beyond! He draws encouraging messages on our kitchen marker board and I know the kids love it, even my 14 year old (but she won’t admit it!). I will forever be grateful for my husband and hope the day never comes that I have to repay him with this duty.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I know I have many followers that are reading this that are going through cancer and find comfort in my writings. I am very touched by this. I want to say to you, YOU GOT THIS! Even if you haven’t kicked cancer’s ass yet, you are still brave and strong. It’s nothing you have done to create this result of the medications not working. Even if cancer seems to be winning, you have the choice to be YOU until the end, and that, to me, is winning your fight. I pray my cancer stays away, but if it doesn’t I will continue to fight. For me, there is no other option. I am a warrior.
Deciding to share my journey wasn’t hard for me, as I share so much already. I truly believe I am here to help others. With that said, if sharing your story isn’t for you, that’s ok. It’s ok to battle this silently (and you are still equally as brave), but please make sure you have a group of family and friends by your side to rally with you. If you don’t, go to Instagram and search your cancer hashtag. There is a whole world of online cancer fighters and thrivers out there to support you. I am one of them! You may not think you need it, but you do. Thank them for their cards, calls, texts, gifts, etc. Let them know it means so much.
If I could give any advice to those that don’t have cancer and want to LOVE someone that does it’s this: Send them a card, a sweet text or care package.
They are still the same person, even with cancer. They still like to joke, laugh and cry with you. They still like to hear about your life. They don’t, however, want to hear about the latest holistic cure for cancer. They don’t want to eat kale all day long, juice carrots for days or add apricot pits to their smoothies. Most don’t want to go to Mexico to try the latest cure. It was hard enough for them to decide their treatment plan and pick the correct Oncologist. Trust me, you may think you know what you would choose, but you don’t until you are faced with CANCER.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
You know what they do want? They want to be loved and feel love. They want encouragement and acceptance. They want to not be ignored. I’ve had some people ghost me and I’m just going to accept it’s them, not me. Don’t just offer to help, do. I have watched two close friends battle cancer and sadly, they left this Earth far too soon. It was hard to watch, but I have learned so much from their battles. I hope I am making them proud.
Instead of saying, “how can I help?” I would say, “I want to bring you chicken enchiladas (or whatever you are good at making) will that be ok? I can just drop it off at your porch if you aren’t up for company.” or “I can watch your kids for you for a couple of hours (maybe take them to the movies) while you get some rest, is that ok?” or “I have something special to drop off, I’ll put it in your mailbox.” You don’t have to see the person to impact them in a positive way. YOU know your talents, use them to make them feel loved. I love to cook so that is something I have continued to do, but a few friends have brought me meals. Cooking is something I did for both of my friends, Megan and Jen. I would also send encouraging messages to them and scriptures.
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” David Viscott
I will never forget when my friend, Megan, was sit with cancer in the hospital during the peak of flu season and her young girls couldn’t visit her (for about a month). It was heartbreaking! I had kids her kid’s age and knew all she wanted was to see those babies. My friend, Anabela, and I put together a Princess Movie Night In for her girls and took it to them at their grandparent’s house. Our two daughters, around age 5 at the time, dressed like Disney Princesses and hand delivered the movies, popcorn, etc to them at their grandparents. The looks on their faces is something I will never forget. The youngest was far to young to remember this. Anyway, this was 10 years ago when sending videos was much harder, BUT I made a video and got a USB to Megan at the hospital of her girl’s receiving it and how happy they were. I will will never forget standing in the Mall when I received Megan’s call of gratefulness. Battling cancer sucks and not being able to hug your babies, well….you fill in the blank. I saw Megan’s husband, Tom, in June while attending Megan’s mom’s funeral and he said they still have the treasured video.
Cancer friends, accept help. It doesn’t have to be meals, but there has to be something you can accept. For us, cancer has been more of a financial burden than anything else. For others, it’s trying to get healthy food on the table. For some it’s daily encouragement. If your friends and family ask, be vocal and tell them what you need. It’s had to accept YOU are the cancer patient, but you are and help is needed and appreciated.
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If you didn’t see this on Instagram (and want to see it), here is my port being accessed for blood work and chemo. h
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