Thursday, October 30, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I can't say that I don't still sweat the small stuff. I'm OCD, so of course I do. But I try really hard not to stress over things I can't control. I laugh off more things than I used to. I treasure each moment with my husband and my kids, even normal everyday times, or times when they are grouchy. Or I am. One of my KCA sisters turned her trip to meet us in Vegas into a month-long camping journey with her husband. They've been across the country from Tennessee and back, seeing things like the Grand Canyon and the St. Louis arch. Another of my KCA sisters who was pregnant while going through chemo (can you imagine?) just posted pictures from Hawaii where they are celebrating her baby's first birthday. Amazing, and inspiring.
The most important lesson I've learned over the last year and a half, a lesson that my fellow survivors have also learned: Every day is a gift.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
If that doesn't put a smile on your face, there's something wrong with you.
And I definitely need a smile after staying up until midnight only to watch my beloved Cowboys lose in overtime to the dreaded Redskins. Ugh. Yes, Abilene people, I'm aware that Colt McCoy is somewhat of a hometown hero and he had a great night. I don't care. The Cowboys LOST.
Monday Night Football, you're killing me.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Then I get out of bed after twelve hours standing at a softball tournament, after a week filled with two trips to Fort Worth for physical therapy, two softball games, a 7th grade football game, a road trip to the high school football game, a work day and then five softball games on Saturday and I realize maybe I'm not so youthful after all! I slept for almost twelve hours and I'm still tired. Everything hurts and I feel like I ran a marathon!
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
Two years ago I looked into doing this. It sounds crazy - walking sixty miles (yes, 60) in three days, and camping in tents at night. I was inspired by my BFF's breast cancer diagnosis that year, though, and wanted to do something to make a difference. Two things kept me from signing up. Sixty miles is a long freaking walk, and I don't know of anyone who would do it with me. Also, many people are not fans of the Susan G. Komen organization (myself included) because of the way it distributes its money. For a "charity" that brings in millions, only a fraction of that goes to breast cancer research. Most of it goes right back into the pink "campaign" or even worse, to pad executives pockets.
After seeing my friend's pictures of her weekend in Atlanta, I really, really want to do this next year. Not because I want to support Susan G. Komen. Because I want to support me. I want to support the other women who have faced this beast. I want to set a seemingly impossible goal and have something to work toward. I saw the video my KCA friend posted of herself walking through the crowd with all of the other survivors and I had tears in my eyes. If I find it that touching to watch someone I've never even met walk, how would I feel actually doing it? I want to find out.
Susan G Komen 3-Day - Dallas, TX - November 6-8, 2015
Anyone crazy enough to do it with me?
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Like this woman, I made the decision to bring my fight to the public eye. Granted, my little blog reaches only a tiny fraction of the audience she does, but still. I chose to share every day of my treatment - the good, the bad and the ugly. Through it all, I tried to remain myself. I didn't want to become Michelle the cancer patient. I am Michelle who happened to have cancer. I have followed this lady's posts from the beginning of her journey, and since day one, I've been wondering if I ever gave my readers that same self-pitying vibe that I get from reading her words.
Every cancer patient instantly becomes selfish and self-centered when diagnosed. You have to. Immediately the focus switches from everyday life to fighting for your life, and things that might seem trivial to others are suddenly a huge deal to you. Cancer has a sneaky way of taking over every aspect of your life if you let it. However, I know that there are millions of other women battling right beside me. This woman writes like she's the first person to ever have breast cancer. I sympathize with her, and definitely harbor no ill will toward her. I respect her for her honesty and her openness. What she's going through is a nightmare, plain and simple. But she's not the only woman who has had her hair, her breasts and life as she knew it stolen by cancer.
I realize not everyone can put on a brave face and wake each day planning to be strong. I know I didn't. Cancer and its treatment is no picnic. I've had my share of "woe is me" days for sure. I don't always feel strong, and every day I hate what cancer has done to me. I just hope I haven't brought my readers, my supporters, down by feeling sorry for myself.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Thirteen years ago today I married my Hubby. Little did I know how smart I was. He is my rock, my best friend, my helpmate, my biggest supporter and the love of my life. We've had some highs and some lows, but through them all we've remained a team. I can't wait for the next thirteen years.
Hubby, I love you to the moon and back. I can't imagine going through this crazy thing called life without you.
Today is also Allyson's birthday. Friend, I hope you have the exact dessert you want in heaven. If anyone deserves to be a birthday princess, it's you. I miss you.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Today Hubby and I are in Dallas for a three month check up with Dr L, my breast surgeon. I'm not having any serious problems so I am expecting this to be an uneventful (but probably lengthy) appointment.
What's on my mind today isn't my appointment with the surgeon but my mom's appointment with a surgeon.
I've been reluctant to write this post. I don't know if I just haven't been ready to put it "on paper" so to speak, or maybe I'm just hesitant to shout my mom's news out to the world. My mom has cancer. That's the bad news (and it's really lousy news, especially on the heels of my dad's heart attack and stroke two months ago, on top of the lousy last fifteen months I've had). The good news is that the cancer is contained to the one mass in her colon, so hopefully she will only need surgery and be good as new.
Mom, if you're reading this and uncomfortable with me sharing your own journey along with mine, know that I only do so because you're so close to my heart. I have a lot of people who pray for me, and I figure you'll take all the prayers you can get.
Want to know something bizarre? I have said all along that while I love my BFF, I really could have done without being exactly like her (same exact cancer diagnosis at almost the same age ). Here's the kicker: my BFF's mom had cancer, too. Mom and I are just doing it in reverse order.
Hey Trude - why don't you win the lottery or something like that?? I'd much rather shadow you on THAT journey!
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Yesterday was that day.
I had a sick kiddo at home but even that couldn't keep me from taking a nap in the afternoon. And when I say "afternoon", I mean all afternoon! I told J I was going to lay down around 1:30pm to take a nap. I set my alarm for 3:30 so I could be awake when K gets off the bus. I despise my alarm most times it goes off, but especially at 3:30 in the afternoon when I've slept for ninety minutes but need to sleep for about ninety hours. Luckily Hubby was already home from work, so I told him I needed to go back to sleep. I slept until after 6pm. Seriously. Who does that?
Apparently a long weekend during which I spent hours and hours at the softball fields on my feet, in the heat, in the cold, picking up trash and buckling chin straps caught up with me. I think this whole I-feel-like-I-could-sleep-for-a-year thing has gotten worse since my surgery in August. Menopause seriously saps your energy.
On a non-sleepy note, I had a bone density test yesterday morning. I've had CT scans, PET scans, mammograms, ultrasounds, blood tests, x-rays, MRIs, biopsies.... but never a bone density test. Since I was thrown into menopause at such a young age, they will monitor my bones to watch out for osteoporosis. The fun never ends!
Sunday, October 5, 2014
This week I have been honoring a hero of breast cancer! Today I would like to honor a sweet person that I have learned so much through watching her battle. Not only have I learned how strong she is in her small frame but also how to love a person through their battle. Watching her kids and her husband love her and be there for her during all the good and bad days! Respect is not a strong enough word for what I feel about her, her fight and her family. Michelle was always a mother and wife first and a cancer patient second!! Today Michelle Burleson you are my hero!! Love you lady!!
Saturday, October 4, 2014
The worst part is the feeling I get when I try to massage that area or stretch those muscles. I can't even describe it... it's like the pain is so sharp that it turns my stomach. When I'm laying on the floor stretching my arm over my head, I feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin to get away from the awful feeling. It's a vicious cycle - I need to do the stretches to loosen up the muscles, but it hurts really bad so I don't do them, and I end up even tighter.
No pain, no gain, right?
Friday, October 3, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Just let that sink in.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.... how can you help?
First of all, check your girls. Or check your girl's girls. Guys - check yourself out, too, because it can happen to you. Know what your "normal" is. Listen to your body. Getting a mammogram isn't always enough. I had three mammograms that never showed anything, even when I had a 4cm tumor. Scary, huh? Get checked, and if you're concerned, push the issue. Better to be safe and be wrong, than wait and be right. Being right, in this case, sucks.
Second, pray and support the women (and men) fighting the fight. If seeing a pink ribbon on the back of the car in front of you makes you think of me, or someone else you know, then that pink ribbon did its job. Every breast cancer patient has a different journey. Some are longer than others, some are more arduous than others, some are more successful than others. Everyone walking this road has a fight on their hands, and it's life-changing. We need all the help we can get.
Third, put your money where your mouth is. If you want to donate, make sure you are giving to an organization that actually does put their money where their mouth is. Susan G. Komen is not one of them. Most of their revenue goes right back into the "Pinktober" stuff, or worse, pads the organization's pockets. If you don't know of a local organization that could benefit from some help, then you can always give to the American Cancer Society. I believe you can even designate if you want your gift to go towards breast cancer.