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!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 368

I know what you're saying.  I go through a year of cancer treatments and surgeries and I think I earn a day off, right?  Yep, I know.  I missed my post yesterday.  I had a good excuse, though:

K had a softball tournament this weekend.  She had two games Friday night and four yesterday.  If you think you're tired, try being the dugout coach to eleven little girls in one hundred degrees for six games only two weeks after surgery.  Ha!  I crashed on the couch at 8:30 last night!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - One year later (day 366)

Last year on this date, August 29, I actively began my fight against cancer.

For me, this is a better "cancerversary" than the day I was diagnosed.   A lot of people, including doctors, will say you become a survivor the day you are diagnosed.  I like that a lot, because from that day on, surviving becomes your number one goal.  However, who wants to "celebrate" the day you were told you have cancer?  There are so many twists and turns - some people have surgery but no further treatment.  Some have chemo before surgery, some have it after.  Some have to endure years of treatment.  When do you ever reach the point where you can look around and say, "I did it!".  For me, finishing eight rounds of chemo was a big deal.  The surgery that removed the tumors was a big deal.  Six weeks of daily radiation was a big deal.  Those were all just steps along the way, though.  None of them mark the end of the journey, because I'm still on that journey!

But the day I put on my "stupid dumb breast cancer" shirt and started to poison the cancer cells in my body?  Yeah, I'm down with celebrating that.  I've carried the knowledge of having cancer with me since last July.  Officially I found out on August 1st.  But waking up today, I realize that an entire year - three hundred and sixty-five days - of kicking cancer's ass has come and gone.

Burdened by fear, overwhelmed with questions, swamped with emotions, and loaded down with chemo gear, Hubby and I headed to the cancer center for my first chemo infusion.  As I think back on that day, I am saddened by the fact that the cold caps didn't work for me.  Yes, I have hair again, and most people say it's cute.  But I wanted to keep the hair I had.  Just like I wanted to keep the breasts I had.  I am extremely grateful that I don't have to face the red devil again.  Instead of the mouth sores, nausea, constipation, bone pain and extreme fatigue I was beginning to face on a regular basis, my biggest complaints now are discomfort from my surgery and hot flashes from chemo/menopause.  My body doesn't look like my body, and my body doesn't feel like my body...I have some fake parts, some missing parts and a lot of scars.... but I'm here, alive and well.

What a difference a year makes.

I talked to Hubby about a month ago about my blog and about how long I would keep posting daily.  I honestly don't know the answer.  When I was actively going through treatment and had so much going on, I always had something to write about.  I had a hard time finding the energy to write about things, but the posts came easy.  Now that my doctor appointments are spreading out, my side effects are lessening and things are slowly, slowly getting back closer to normal, I don't know that I have something important to share every single day.

I do know one thing... whether I post every day, every week or just whenever the heck I feel like it, the subject is still going to be "Kicking cancer's ass".  Breast cancer isn't a street fight or a sprint... it's a war - an epic battle that I will fight for the rest of my life, and I'll do it taking one day at a time.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 365

I had an appointment with Dr Au (my radiation oncologist) today for my 3 month post-rads check-up.  Of course he said everything looks good but I could benefit from some stretching and massage, especially on the radiated side.  No kidding.  He also said I don't have to come back for six months.  This is the first doctor that I've graduated to six month check-ups with.  Yay!

Unfortunately I had to step on the scale when I first got there.  That's never fun.  It's especially not fun when you've been basically sitting around on the couch for two weeks after surgery.  And it wasn't exactly a genius idea going out to lunch right before my appointment.  Hubby made it ok, though, when he pointed out the sign above the scale, which said to pretend the number is my IQ.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 364

Last night was the first time both of my kiddos participated in "Meet the Bulldogs".  K has performed cheers with Pup Squad the last two years, but this was the first time J was introduced as a Wylie Bulldog.  Woot!

Last year I was in the throes of chemo hell from August through December, so I didn't get to enjoy much of my favorite season - football and fall softball, fuzzy socks and baking.  My job kicking cancer's ass isn't quite finished, but I should be able to do some of my favorite things this year.  I can't wait to be back with my Lady Diamonds softball team and back in the stands cheering on the Wylie Bulldogs, including J's 7th grade team.  

(I've discovered that me, chemopause/menopause and heat don't get along too well, so Mother Nature can keep the 100 degree days to herself now.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 363

My conversation with Hubby yesterday:

I tried.  I will say it took HUGE effort but I did not go against the rules and drive, even though I could think of a dozen things I needed to go and do.  I didn't exactly sit all day, but I didn't do anything too strenuous either.

Both kids had fantastic first days at school, which makes my heart happy.  J said it was "Awesome!" and when I asked if he meant football or school, he said "All of it!".  K told us both of her teachers are really nice and that she made a new friend.  

What more can a mom ask for?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 362

First day of school 2014

Honestly, the only reason I'm happy for the first day of school is because my kids are BORED.  They need activities, they need a routine, they need their friends.  Sitting home playing video games because Mom can't drive can only be fun for so long.  I love summer.  I love flip flops and lazy mornings and swimming.  Aside from the last three weeks, we've had a great summer.  J & K have done camps and the zoo, movies and sleepovers.  I love doing fun things with my kids, and I love not having to wake them up before 7am every day.  However, I'm ready for them to be busy.  I'm ready for fall softball and I'm ready for football.  

Both of my kids are moving to different schools this year.  J is going into junior high (how is that even possible?!?!?!) and will be playing 7th grade football for the school.  K is moving up to the intermediate school and will have two different third grade teachers.  Big changes for both of them.  I'm happy that they are both well adjusted and confident in their own skin.  I hope that they have friends to hang out with, the mean kids better leave them alone, and I pray that they have a safe and productive school year.
May God watch over them, their teachers, their bus drivers and their coaches.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 361

Today my son learned how to use the weed eater.  He's been mowing for a few months now, but hasn't had to worry about the weeds.  Since he got in big trouble yesterday, Hubby decided weeding would be a good punishment.  Unfortunately, I think it might have backfired.  When I asked J how the weed eating went, he said, "It was kind of fun."   Ha!  I'm sure the novelty will wear off quickly, though.  And he zapped one of my walkway lights with the weed eater.  Learn as you go I guess.

As I was trying to sneak some chores in, Hubby walked in and ordered me to put the mop down and then he proceeded to mop the kitchen floor.  I do have a cleaning lady every two weeks, but somethings things get to a point where I just can't stand it anymore.  Seeing the footprints on the tile from the kids coming in wet from the pool pushed me to that point.

Since I'm still having to play the part of princess, I recruited K to vacuum for me.  She hasn't quite grasped the concept of making sure you go over every area - she'd go over some places five times and then skip a few feet to start there.  And I had to follow along with her to hold the cord because she couldn't figure out how to maneuver the vacuum while keeping the cord out of the way.  We did tag-team and get the living room, hallway and her and my bedrooms done, so that's good.

Hubby did the dishes, the kids (reluctantly) cleaned their rooms, I finished the laundry and I've started getting everything ready for the kids' first day of school tomorrow.  The heating pad is still my best friend, but my house is straightened up and I'm feeling a bit more organized.  If you know me at all, you know that makes me a happy lady.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 360

To curl or not to curl, that is the question.

Most people who lose their hair from cancer treatments end up with (at least temporarily) chemo curls.  I'm not surprised that I did, because I've had crazy curls all my life!  My hair is getting to the point now, though, that it's too short to do much with but too long to leave it alone.

When my hair first started coming in, it was mostly straight.  I was able to get by with toweling it dry and all I needed was a comb.  It was GREAT!  (Guys are so lucky)  If I needed a little extra help, I had this handy little flat iron to smooth out the trouble spots.  I looked like this pretty much every day:

Now, I admit that I hate having short hair, and that look really goes beyond "short".  It's definitely a "my hair is growing back" look, not a short hairstyle.  A couple of months after that, my hair was longer, curlier but still manageable, and actually stopped looking like chemo-regrowth.

I still used the flat iron to smooth out the curls, but it worked.  Now that my hair is growing longer, and thicker, and curlier, I'm not sure what to do with it.  It takes forever to straighten the whole thing (and "straighten" really doesn't work with my hair, it just makes it wavy instead of curly), and then my head looks like a puffball.  If I leave it alone, I have tight little poodle curls all over my head (like a little old lady with an 80's perm) - except the sides, which stick straight out.  Talk about problem hair!

I know I could probably benefit from an actual hair cut....something to give it some shape or something.  However, if you've ever lost your hair and spent months being bald, the idea of cutting your hair any little bit is pretty horrifying.  I have to work hard to make it look presentable (to me), because this "in between" stage is really awful.  I'm back to using a blow dryer, flat iron, gel and hairspray.

Lately I've tried to embrace the curls while giving it a little help and style.  After all, the curls aren't going anywhere.  You would think, having had naturally curly hair all of my life, I would know what to do with it - but I haven't had hair this short since elementary school!  

I can still keep the front pretty tame, but this is my current look with curls everywhere else:

I have a long way to go to get my hair to what I want it to look like.  Layers and highlights and hair that actually touches my shoulders?  Seems like a pipe dream right now.  One day at a time....

At least my hair is finally longer than Hubby's!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 359

Yesterday was one week post-op for me.  I really thought I'd be feeling better by now.  Overall I do... I don't have that hit by a truck, want to lay in bed all day feeling.  But I am just SO SORE.  It's not really from my incisions.  If anything, I think it's because all of my internal organs were moved around and now nothing wants to work right.  Not to mention that narcotic pain medication slows down your digestive system, so I've been taking meds to counteract that for a week.  All of that adds up to a whole lot of not fun feeling.

The heating pad on my stomach is my best friend... which leads to hot flashes and sweating.  I'm down to one pain pill a day, if that, which is good, but I'm still hurting most of the time.  When I get up from sitting or laying down, I am hunched over for a few minutes until everything adjusts.  I try to move around as much as I can, but I'm definitely not up for anything strenuous.

There are a couple of other situations in my life not related to cancer that are making things complicated for me, so on top of the physical discomfort, I'm getting a little emotionally stressed, too.

Has anyone seen my ass-kicking shoes?  I need them back!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 357

Yesterday I posted about my children needing an explanation on what surgery recuperation means.  I think today I need an explanation of what surgery recuperation means.  I'm really not a very good patient.  I listen to instructions, I take my meds on time, I don't do what I'm not supposed to... but I'm hating every minute!!!

I'm supposed to be weaning myself off of the narcotics for pain, so Monday night I didn't take any.  Bad idea.  Four days post-op is a little too soon I guess.  I had an awful night of discomfort, pain, sweating, coughing, etc.  Needless to say, when I started really getting uncomfortable yesterday around lunchtime, I caved and popped a pill.

I'm not allowed to drive, and it bothers me that we are stuck at home for my children's last week of summer vacation.  How fun is that?  Not!

I have been recruiting J & K to help me do things that I know I'm not supposed to, and with their help I've managed to get some laundry done and a few other chores.  So at least I don't feel like I'm sitting around accomplishing nothing.  And yet, I'm frustrated.  I'm frustrated that I still need pain pills.  I'm frustrated that I still feel like my insides have been through a meat grinder.  I'm frustrated that I have zero energy.  My stamina is shot - washing and cutting up fruit after putting laundry away today nearly did me in.  A walk to the mailbox is my exercise these days.

Even though it was a laparascopic procedure, I had major surgery.  I'm pretty sure my doctor stressed that for a reason.  These four tiny incisions on my stomach are an understatement - this was a big deal.  All I can do is rest when I need to and work on building up my strength when I feel like it.  And that sucks.

God bless Hubby and the kids for putting up with me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 356

Who wants to give my children some instruction on what surgery recuperation means??

I realize that I'm their mom and I'm functioning fairly well, but bottom line - I had body parts removed. For God's sake, I think you can get your own Gatorade!!  I'm supposed to be taking it easy. I'm not allowed to lift anything or do anything that will make me strain, and I can't drive. For some reason that means my eight- and twelve-year-old can't even figure out breakfast by themselves.  They are bored (because I'm evil and insist on "no video game days") and K spilled slime on her carpet that won't come off.

Even though they've had a mom out of commission a lot this past year, they don't quite know how to deal with me post-surgery this time.  J just got back from three days at a water park with his friend... of course he's bored!  These kids have been going non-stop for weeks.  They're just going to have to figure out how to handle one week where Mom can't do everything for them and we can't go anywhere.

I didn't think I was ready for summer to be over, but more and more I find myself thinking " thank God school starts next week!"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 354

You know what I hate the most about cancer? It's not the toll on my body or the fear I live with every day. It's not the scars or the medication or the procedures. I hate that this stupid disease has touched my family. I can handle it - I'm strong and it's happening to me. But when my daughter is afraid to hug me and cries because she doesn't want me to have to do any more surgery, yeah, that pisses me off.

Last night K came home and was so happy to see me, but her face fell when I told her to "be easy" around me.  She must be so sick of her mom being sick or hurting or unable to do certain things.  She started crying and said she doesn't want me to go to Dallas anymore and leave her to stay with someone else. I know that has nothing to do with who she stayed with - she adores her aunt and has a blast every time with her BFF.  She's just DONE, and I can't blame her.  She's only eight, and for the past year, our entire lives have revolved around me being sick, and it's still not over.

It's not just her. J is Mr. Stoic and doesn't complain about it, but I know he worries about me and there have been so many times, too many, where I've had to say no to something because either I had an appointment or I wasn't physically able to do what he wanted.

And let's not forget Hubby.  He never complains either.  He just does whatever he has to, whether it's driving to Dallas twice in four days or sleeping in a supremely uncomfortable chair for two nights in a row so he could be with me at the hospital.  He will not let me face any part of this alone, and while I hate the toll it takes on him, I'm profoundly grateful.  He is my rock and I can't imagine going through this without him.

I'm so thankful for my family's support, but I really, really hate that this touches them at all.  I thank God every day for giving them the strength to walk this road with me.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 353

Do you want the good news or the good news?

Looks like I get to go home today. Woohoo!  That means a real shower, nobody waking me up all night long, no more tubes or needles attached to me and sleeping in my own bed.  Hallelujah!  Everyone here is fantastic - the nurses have taken excellent care of me and my doctor is phenomenal (and she's from New York... need I say more???).  But everyone knows a hospital isn't the best place to rest.  If they're not checking your vitals then they are waking you to ask about bodily functions or to give you medicine.  I appreciate being taken care of, but I'm TIRED!  I'm not looking forward to the three hour drive home, but what can you do?

What could be better than the news that I am getting sprung today?  My daddy beat me to it!  They moved him yesterday from the hospital to a rehab facility.  That's AWESOME!!! He must be making amazing progress if he went from critical care to rehab in less than a week. Way to go Dad!

Please keep both of our recoveries in your prayers.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 352

I'm so popular.  Since I arrived here yesterday I've had visits from about a dozen nurses, several physicians, lab techs (vampires who wake me up all night long to draw blood) and even a speech therapist.  The latter brought me a new toy:

It looks innocent enough, right?  Not! I'm supposed to take five deep breaths every fifteen minutes using that, and let me tell you those deep breaths hurt! Even though my surgery was laparascopic, most movement pulls my incisions. Ouch.  Better than a collapsed lung I guess, but not fun.

I was able to eat pancakes last night, and I slept off and on.  We'll see how today goes but I'm guessing I'll be here until tomorrow.

The one good thing about being here is the compression boots I have on my legs to help with circulation. No restless legs for me in the hospital!  And IV pain meds.

Now that I've had this surgery, there are no more lady parts in my body for cancer to feed off of, so hopefully I've seen the last of that monster!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 351

Today I had to be at the hospital bright and early (and nobody is very bright at 5am - except my mother!) for my surgery.  Since my BRCA+ status puts me at a higher risk for ovarian cancer and tamoxifen can cause uterine issues, I'm having some more female parts removed.  The one big downfall is being thrown into menopause at age 41... but I've been in "chemopause" since September anyway.  I already have the fatigue, hot flashes and mood swings.... I'll just have to work hard to avoid weight gain and do what I can to keep my bones healthy.  All in a day's work when you're kicking cancer's ass!

Throw back Thursday...this was a MUCH happier hospital visit 8+ years ago:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 350

Let the fun begin. Just had my last meal... not allowed anything solid after breakfast today.  Clear liquids only until midnight.  Jello and Sprite, here I come.  :-)

I'm not worried (much) about my surgery tomorrow... just one more thing to check off the list.  I'd appreciate prayers and good thoughts anyway.  I've never had a robot perform surgery on me, so this will be a first!  (Ok, my doctor guides the robot, but still)

I also want to add that I'm so happy to be back with my softball "family".  All of you who have been saying prayers and asked about my dad and sought me out just to give me a hug - I feel the love and it means the world to me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 349

Another day, another medical center.

I'm sitting in the waiting room while Peepaw (Hubby's dad) has cataract surgery.  Major? No. But just one more thing in a string of one more things. I'm sure it'll go well and he'll be good to go in a couple of hours, but still... can't help but worry.

On a positive note, I just got the morning update on my dad.  The physical therapist came by for their daily visit and not only did he sit up on the side of the bed but he stood and leaned side to side (with someone holding him, of course). Way to go Dad!!!

He asked Marion yesterday what he has to do to get better.  He's definitely more aware and is trying to understand what happened, what's wrong with him and what he can do.... So one day at a time!

Praying praying praying.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 347

Hubby and I are finally headed home. I'm glad we stayed this weekend in case anything changed with my dad & I had to leave again, and I needed to recharge in a BIG way.  But I am more than ready to sleep in my own bed and to see J & K.  This is the longest I've ever been away from my kids... I'm thinking it might not be quite so hard being away from them if I was sitting on a beach sipping a tropical drink!  After the last seven days I've had, I'm looking forward to seeing their sweet faces.

Huge props to my brother- & sister-in-law for watching them this weekend, and they will help us again this week when I have my surgery.

Speaking of surgery, since my dad seems to be holding steady, we are all systems go for Thursday. I will be in the hospital for 1-2 days and hopefully not too uncomfortable.

As for my dad, here are some of the texts I've received from my mom and Marion:

- Hi, I fed him his dinner. He would not eat by himself, I made him hold his cup, I know he can do it! I think he thinks he might drop or spill his food in his left hand. I exercised his right arm & leg couple times today. Nurse was surprised how loose they were tonight! His memory is  improving also! 

-Dad is just resting/sleeping. Marion said he ate a little breakfast.  His BP still goes up. Right now it is a little high but was good when Marion came in. She said they r getting another room ready to move Dad. So that is a good sign. She said they mashed up his meds and gave them to him in applesauce rather than IV. Another good sign.

-Dad has no temp :)  Neurologist just in.dad did great!!!!!  Followed the light, etc.  Stuck out his tongue when prompted. Etc.  Did everything right :)   Marion was just asking him questions and knew some of the answers that he didn't know yesterday.  

I'm so grateful for everyone who is keeping him (and us) in their prayers. Dad seems to improve a little each day, which is all we can ask for.  He is waiting right now to be moved from critical care to the cardiac step-down unit, which to me is a GREAT sign.

God is good.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 346

Hubby and I had a date last night and between getting a hug from him at the airport and our evening out, I feel like a lot of the tension from this past week drained away.  It was 103 degrees yesterday in Dallas though, so it's possible I sweated out the tension instead!

One of our first official dates was a Tim McGraw/Faith Hill concert years and years ago.  Last night we saw Tim again and the concert was a-maz-ing!  Kip Moore opened for him, and while I enjoyed him, Hubby much preferred the Tim portion of the show.  Faith even made an appearance to sing with her man and the crowd went wild!!

Before I got my concert fix, I caught a flight out of NY at 5:45am for my pre-op appointments in Dallas today. We waited over two hours to have the consult with my gynecological oncologist, and then I had to have pre-op testing. All is well so we are a go for surgery next week.

My dad had a decent day. They are still having issues keeping his blood pressure down, but he was more restful today and ate peas and mashed potatoes for dinner.  I'm so thankful for every little sign off improvement. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 345

Last night I was holding my dad's hand and he would occasionally look up at me and smile.  I told him I was glad to see him, and he responded with "I'm glad to see you too. Just wish I could enjoy it more."

Later on I said "I love you Dad" and he said "I love you too hon".

So nice to see these little glimpses of my dad shining through.

Kicking cancer's ass - day 344

I am a day late in posting my blog (in case you didn't notice).   What a long day... What a long week!

I've only been getting about four hours of sleep a night, driving an hour each way to and from the hospital and spending all day every day there with my dad and Marion.  Yesterday I was there for thirteen hours. I had three hours to sleep last night before I had to get up and head to the airport.  I have my pre-op appointments in Dallas today so I was on the road at 4am.

I was really torn about leaving Dad with his condition still not entirely stable.  It's incredibly difficult living so far away, especially when something like this happens.  But I know in my heart that he would be upset with me if he knew I was putting off my own health stuff (regardless of how non-critical it is).

My dad is holding his own.  A HUGE milestone yesterday - he ate!  The medical staff was very concerned because he hadn't eaten and couldn't pass the speech therapist's swallow test the previous day.  Dad gets very agitated and pulls on everything... his gown, his IV, his oxygen tube, his id bracelets.  If it's attached to him, he wants it off!  So they were worried about him not eating since he most likely couldn't handle a GI tube. They shouldn't have underestimated him!  As much as he fought and refused to cooperate the first time they tried, this time worked like a charm. They walked in the room asking if he was ready to eat and he said "Yes!".

He had ice chips, applesauce and some juice. He is able to answer questions (even held up two fingers and gave a thumbs up when asked), knew who we were and joked around with the nurses.  All positives!

On the flip side, his blood pressure is still too high, he has moments of lucidity and moments of extreme confusion and agitation, and he is still in critical care.  He is making strides (amazing ones if you all me) but not out of the woods yet.

Please keep praying

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 343

Keep the prayers coming!!!
Dad may not be back to his fighting form but he's holding his own and we are so thankful. His blood clots are slowly dissolving and his vitals are good. He was able to sleep most of the day, so while we would've liked him to be more lucid, it's good that he was calm and got some much needed rest.

Please keep Marion in your prayers, too. She loves my dad so much and is completely devoted to him. She needs strength, patience, support and peace as she helps him down this long road to recovery.

Last night I went to bed in tears, afraid I was seeing the last of my dad. Tonight I am going to bed with a thankful heart... for God giving my dad some peace and rest, for the nurses who are taking amazing care of him, for Marion who is most definitely standing by her man, for my mom and my brother who are with me as we watch over my dad and hope for the best, for my BFF who I saw today for the first time in a year, and for my Hubby who is giving me whatever I need. 

Blessed, even in troubled times.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 342

After a long night of flying, only a few hours of sleep and a long, emotional day at the hospital, this is just what the doctor ordered:

Please keep our family, especially my dad, in your prayers. He is in critical condition and we are all so scared for him. It warms my heart that he recognizes us and even called me and my brother by name, but it makes me so sad to see him like this. 

We need a miracle. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 341

My family needs your prayers.

Once again, my intuition wasn't wrong.  That feeling of impending doom was spot on.  My dad was taken to the hospital late last night.  He had a heart attack and has two blood clots.  He can't have surgery on his heart because of bleeding on his brain.  I spoke over the phone with the doctor and he said the situation is tenuous.

My dad is one of the best people I know.  He is kind and gentle, caring and faithful.  He has never said an ugly word about anyone.  He is active in his church, loves to bowl, play golf and fish.  To picture him motionless in a hospital bed is beyond my comprehension.

Lift us up in prayer.  Pray for healing for my dad.  Pray for wisdom and skill for his doctors.  Pray for strength for those of us who love him.

I'm leaving this afternoon to fly from TX to NY to see him, not knowing what the situation will be when I arrive tonight.

Sometimes I hate being right.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 340

Insomnia sucks.

Last night I could not fall asleep.  It might sound melodramatic, but the longer I lay there, the more I was overwhelmed with a feeling of impending doom. (You might think I'm crazy, but the first time I've ever felt that, the next day Allyson told me she had cancer.  The second time I felt like that, Hubby's brother was killed in a motorcycle accident.  The third time - my BFF told me her sister had had a heart attack.  I've learned to really hate that feeling!  I really, really hope nobody calls me with bad news today!)

After laying in bed for over an hour feeling like I was jumping out of my skin and waiting for the other shoe to drop, I gave up.  There's nothing like wandering a dark house at one in the morning by yourself wondering what the heck is wrong.

It's nights like this when I have to accept that I may be stronger and healthier than I was this time last year, but there are still going to be days (or nights) when cancer and its effects get the best of me.  Learning to lean on my faith so fear doesn't overwhelm me is going to be a never ending process.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 339

I'm happy to be alive...every single day I'm thankful.  
But why couldn't chemo have killed my sweet tooth along with cancer and my taste for Diet Coke?????
I still love chocolate way too much and hate to exercise way too much.  Sigh.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kicking cancer's ass - day 338

One year ago today I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

That's not exactly something to celebrate, so I don't really want to think of it as a "cancerversary".  However, after 365 days of kicking cancer's ass, beginning with the early days of  devastating emotions and countless tests after diagnosis, through the physical discomfort, pain and sickness of eight chemo treatments, surgery and finally six weeks of radiation, the fact that I am getting stronger and healthier is worth celebrating.

I made it through this past year one difficult day at a time.  With the help of my incredible team of doctors and the amazing family and friends who continually have my back, I plan to kick cancer's ass for a long time to come.

Last summer, before...

 After two chemo treatments, before I lost my hair:

My fake hair that looked almost like my real hair
(I really miss my hair)

The "red devil"

Team Michelle literally going to bat for me:

 Celebrating my last chemo!

Christmas with my big bro

Not my finest hour, but cancer-free after
surgery removed what chemo didn't

 Happy Birthday to me - good riddance to 40!

Sweet Allyson...I had no idea it would be my last time with her

Getting back to normal (and finally some hair)

Relay for Life

My "posse"

Best. Husband. Ever.

 Radiation graduation!

Celebrating the life of Allyson

 My biggest supporter, my favorite lunch date, my love

(In case you're wondering why the blog posts don't reach 365 yet, it's because I started the daily posts the day I started chemo, which wasn't until the end of August.)