Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1334


Last night I was pulled over on the way home from the softball fields.... first time in many, many years.  In fact, I haven't been pulled over since I moved to Texas sixteen years ago.  I was speeding (of course), but in my defense, I thought the speed limit was 60mph.  He clocked me at 63... still speeding, but wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't a 55mph zone. Oops.  

Luckily he was very nice and let me off with a warning and asked me to keep my speed down.  Props to the Taylor County sheriff's deputy who was just looking out for safety instead of looking to give someone a hard time.

On another note.... Three years ago today was Relay for Life.  What an amazing, exhausting, emotional, powerful night!  My son walked a lap in high heels ("walk a mile in her shoes"); my hubby walked solo in the wee hours of the morning so our team always had someone walking;  I raised way more than my goal amount thanks to generous donations;  my team was one of the very few who stayed (and walked) all night long.   
Go Team Michelle!






Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1329

One thing I have never been good at is not sweating the small stuff.  I take everything to heart, and I wear that heart on my sleeve.  So letting things roll off my back doesn't happen easily, even if it is something I shouldn't worry about.  


There is a lot of good in my life.  I am a cancer survivor.  My mom is a cancer survivor.  My husband and children are happy and healthy.  My dad is doing much better.  My brother is busy with a new job and a new wife.  I have a few good friends who know the heart of who I am and love me for it, and I have a bunch of good people I'm friendly with.  I miss my friends who no longer live here, but thanks to technology I am able to interact with them on a daily basis.  

I have friends who will drive an hour to watch my daughter play softball and bring my husband cupcakes.  

I have friends who randomly send me two pounds of gummy bears.

I have friends who make me laugh even when they are going through one of the roughest times of their lives.  

In the grand scheme of things, a lot of what stresses me out won't matter next week, next month, next year.  People have problems, people get upset, people complain.  It's human nature.  The fact that I can't fix everything or make everyone happy doesn't discount the myriad of ways I do fix things to make people happy.  Sometimes I forget that.


I'm a giver.  I care about people, and I care about what people think of me.  But I'm tired of worrying about who is with me/us and who isn't.  I'm tired of people saying one thing and doing another.  I'm tired of always being the stepping stone for something they think is better. I've learned the hard way that for the most part everyone is in it for themselves.  Society as a whole is more self-centered than ever before.  My experiences over the last few years have made me lose faith in so many people that I care about.  



But you know what?  One thing I've always taught my children is to treat others how they would like to be treated.  I choose honesty.  I choose loyalty.  I choose friendship.  I choose kindness.  



Nobody promised that life would be easy.  But life is precious, and it's worth it.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1328

I really needed to read that today.  It seems like there is so much sadness and drama happening right now.  While it isn't anything directly involving me, it is surrounding me and the darkness is threatening to pull me under.  

I'm praying for strength and healing for my bestie who is struggling through chemo.  I'm sending healing vibes to an associate who is dealing with his own serious medical issues.  I wish for calm to settle over a friend who is drowning in everyday life, trying to do it all herself.  I'm lending an ear to my Hubby who takes so much on his shoulders without complaint.  I'm praying for the local family who will bury their fourteen year old daughter tomorrow.  My son will perform "It Is Well" with the high school band at her funeral.  


video


I just want some good news.  I want life to be sunshine and roses, at least for a little while.  I'm praying for strength for those who need it right now, and I'm praying for a little bit of peace for myself. 


Amen.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1322


Because why not, right?  
I think I'm going to print that picture out and tape it on my mirror, because there are days when it's really difficult to focus on being awesome.  Fighting cancer is hard.  Diagnosis, treatment, surgeries... they all suck.  Surviving cancer is also hard. You'd like to think it's all "life is such a blessing" but it's not that easy.  Sometimes I look around at my fellow survivors, my friends, and I wonder how they are kicking ass at life and I'm not.  They are happy and energetic and getting fit and don't seem to worry every minute of every day about their health.  They aren't wallowing in the effects of cancer treatment or filled with fear of an unknown future.

Sometimes it seems like I am the only one who struggles this much.  I'm tired.  Like, really tired.   I have trouble sleeping at night, which means I'm exhausted all day.  There is no such thing as a "cat nap" for me anymore.  If I take a nap, I might as well put on my pjs and climb into bed, because it's LIGHTS OUT for hours, and it's so hard to wake up.  I have to set two different alarms on my phone because one doesn't wake me up in the morning.

My self-esteem is non-existent.  Even though I'm getting close to my 10,000 steps every day, I can't seem to find the time, energy or motivation to work out.  I hate to say it, but my exercise bike has become the cliche clothes rack.  I've never before weighed as much as I do now.  It's depressing.  I hate the way I look, I hate the way I feel, I hate the way my clothes fit (or don't fit... ha ha).  But it seems like no matter how much or how little I eat, no matter how active I am, the scale just keeps creeping up.  Thank you, cancer, and thank you, menopause, and thank you, Tamoxifen.  

I feel really guilty complaining about any of this, because you know what?  It could be worse.  
For my BFF, it is worse.  Yesterday she had her 2nd chemo treatment after her doctor switched her from oral chemo to the more powerful IV infusions.  This is her THIRD go-round with cancer.  In September she had clean scans.  Now her breast cancer has come back, with a vengeance, despite having surgery, chemo and radiation 5 years ago. 
F*** you, cancer.  
This disease has touched a lot of people in my life, but this one hurts the most.  It's a serious battle for her, and I'm so afraid.  She may not have been born my sister, but she's the sister of my heart, and I can't imagine my world without her in it.


We all weather storms differently.  Some people fight their battle and walk away like a boss.  Some people get pulled under by it and struggle to find their way out.  I think maybe I'm somewhere in the middle.  I don't feel like I've mastered this cancer survivorship thing yet..... but I'm working on it.  One day I'd like to thumb my nose at cancer, turn away and never look back.  One day I'd like to live without fear.  One day I'd like to know that this sneaky, mean, treacherous beast of a disease will not hurt me or anyone I love ever again.  

Both of my grandmothers had cancer and died when I was young.  I don't have any memories of them.
My mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in 2010.  My kids won't have many memories of her. 
My dear friend passed away from ovarian cancer in 2014.  
My BFF's mom passed away right after Christmas after her breast cancer returned.
My BFF had cervical cancer and is now fighting breast cancer for the 2nd time.
My sister-in-law had breast cancer.
In 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage III, BRCA 2+ breast cancer.  The exact same diagnosis as my BFF.
In 2014 my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer.

That's a lot of damn storms people I know have had to fight.  Most days I enjoy my life.  I work and shop and go out to eat.  I nag my kids and husband, laugh with my friends and cheer my daughter's softball team on.  I'm living a typical suburban mom life and I'm lucky to be living it with a man who loves me and two kids who light up my world.  

But tonight I'm just angry.  I thought maybe getting my thoughts out would help, but instead of being cathartic, it's just pissing me off more.  




Saturday, March 18, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1297


My thoughts are heavy, my soul is weary.  I am afraid, but I will not be silent.  I found these pictures and felt like they were urging me to "keep speaking".... as in, get everything out of my head and put my feelings into words.

So.... since it's 1:04am, I guess this is another Insomniac Blogging entry.

Before I begin - a disclaimer:  If you've seen some of my posts on Facebook lately, I want you to know that I am fine.  There's a lot of crap happening, but not to me.  Hubby, the kids, the parents... they are all fine.

But...

I'll start with the bad news.  (And no, there isn't good news.  Just bad, worse and the absolute worst.) 😟  Someone that my family knows recently committed suicide.  This person was only fifteen years old.  Same age as my son.  My heart aches for the family, and for the fact that a young person with their whole life ahead of them felt like there was no hope and their only option was to give up.  Since we knew this person, and will still see their family, that is a conversation I will have to have with my children.  I am NOT looking forward to it.

The worse news?  Hubby's longtime friend is ill.  Seriously ill.  Dangerously ill.  He was taken by helicopter to Dallas for a heart transplant, but a whole host of other medical issues are going to prevent that.  His daughter and son are emotionally worn out and physically exhausted.  Hubby's friend is scared and confused, and facing an uncertain future.  It's a bad situation all the way around.  We've known this family for a long, long time.  It hurts to see them going through this and knowing there's nothing we can do except pray for them.

And now for the very worst.  Someone close to me, someone who had breast cancer before, is once again facing the beast.  And if you know anything at all about cancer, you know that if it comes back, it's almost always worse.  It is worse this time.  I wish I could hit something or cry or scream or SOMEthing.  But honestly I'm just numb.  I can't wrap my brain around the news.



I was asked tonight if I have survivor's guilt.  I've never really felt that way before.
I think I do now.
There are several women in my breast cancer support group (who were sick the same time I was) who have been diagnosed again since then.  They have faced more surgeries, more chemo, and have gone through the terrible physical and emotional toll all over again.  One lovely lady didn't survive more than a few months the second time.  But I don't think I've ever really thought "why them and not me?"  I've tried to lend moral support, wisdom, love and strength, and I've prayed for healing for all of my friends.  But this latest news has crushed me.  I'm absolutely devastated that this amazing person who means so much to me is going through this.  And I'm so scared.  So scared for her, and (selfishly) so scared for me, because now I am asking "why her and not me?".  

They say bad things happen in threes..... and I hope that's true.  Because after three instances of really bad news in one week, my heart can't take any more.  


I'm doing my best to have faith in God.  I know He can perform miracles.  I know He has a plan.  I know He loves us and is in control.  (All wise words of my hero Allyson Hendrickson, by the way.)  
I just hope he will answer my prayers.

I pray for A's family as they deal with the unexpected loss of such a remarkable young person.

I pray for D and his family as they work to get him stronger so his health will improve.

Most of all, I pray for my friend.  I pray for healing.  I pray for a medical team to have compassion and knowledge and to find any medical advances in cancer treatment that may help her beat the odds.  I pray for her emotional well being and I pray for her body's ability to endure chemotherapy again.  I pray for her family and everyone who loves her.  

I pray for miracles.