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!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1068

Being a cancer survivor means...
  • feeling exhausted all day, yet going to bed feeling wide awake
    (There is nothing like the tired that comes from being a cancer patient.  I'm a mom - I know tired.  But no amount of 3am feedings could have prepared me for what THIS kind of tired feels like.  Even now, three years after D-day, my body is still trying to recover from 16 weeks of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation and 7 surgeries.  Add in immediate surgical menopause and anti-cancer meds and you have the perfect cocktail of extreme fatigue.  Insomnia is my new best friend.)
  • treasuring every day with my children
    (Telling my kids that I had cancer was the worst moment of my life.  The fact that I'm alive and well and able to do things like enjoy K's softball games and J's band concerts, play mini golf and go to the water park on vacation with them, teach them, laugh with them, love them.....I know a lot of cancer patients aren't as lucky.  I get to wake up and look at the two greatest joys of my life and be grateful that I get to spend another day with them.... another chance to watch them grow into pretty cool people.)
  • having to write everything down (and I mean everything)
    (Or in my case, put everything in my phone.  If there is an appointment that's not on my calendar, I won't be there.  If I have to make a phone call the next day and I don't send myself a text, that call will never happen.  If I have to pay something, email something, buy something, sell something, do anything - it goes in my phone. I used to be a supremely organized multi-tasker.  Now I can't walk into a room without forgetting why I was going there.  If my life wasn't backed up in my Google account, I'd be lost.  Chemo brain is real, folks.)
  • learning what is worth stressing over
    (I'm still working on this one.  Everyone says "don't sweat the small stuff" right?  When you are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, your definition of "small stuff" changes in a heartbeat.  I can't say that I've perfected the art of letting things go, but I have been teaching myself to pause, take a step back, and when I'm in the middle of a freak out or getting really upset over something, remind myself that I faced cancer.  I often ask myself "is this really important in the grand scheme of things?".  I haven't exactly mastered the art of letting things roll off my back, and probably never will, but I'm trying.)
  • finding out what an amazing human being my husband is 
    (I wish every woman fighting breast cancer could have someone like him.  No lie.  My man has held me up, played Mr. Mom, changed my bandages, nursed me through chemo, emptied - and even removed - drains, packed wounds, filled prescriptions, made phone calls.... you name it, he's done it.  He has a creaky, cranky, scarred wife and doesn't bat an eye at any of it.  He has been my nurse, my sounding board, my chauffeur, my shoulder to cry on, my rock.  I would not have made it through three years of kicking cancer's ass without him by my side.)
  • rebuilding my self-esteem
    (I have never been a self-confident person.  I'm too shy, too timid, don't like to be the center of attention.  My hair is too curly, my thighs are too fat, my skin is too wrinkled.  Cancer changed me, physically and emotionally, and I've had to learn how to love the new me.  Chemo killed my taste for water and for diet coke.  Radiation left me with fatigue that still lingers.  I have scars on top of scars and areas where I can't feel anything from my surgeries.  Weight gain is a side effect of two of the medications I'm on (boy oh boy, is it ever!).  My hair came back 80% gray.  My right hip hurts so bad I feel like I'm ninety years old.  But I'm alive.  And you know what hasn't changed?  What makes me Michelle.  I still cry when I'm mad, get my feelings hurt too easily, love with all my heart.  I try to be kind, and be the kind of friend I'd like to have.  I like lighthouses and reading and going to the casino with my Hubby.  I'm still a diehard Cowboys fan and love country music and would give anything to live by the beach.  Even though parts of me may not look the same or feel the same, or ever really BE the same.....I'm still me.)
Every day I'm alive is a victory over cancer.
Every day I'm alive is a bonus day that I've been given.
Every day is a gift I try to treasure.

Want to know what being a cancer survivor means?
It means thumbing my nose at cancer each and every day.... three years and counting.

1 comment:

Simplelife4Real said...

Congratulations! Great blog. You are a wonderful writer.

We share the same diagnosis date. Today is my 3 year anniversary too. It seems like such a long time ago, but an hour doesn't go by without me thinking about cancer one way or another.

I hope you enjoy your day today and do something special to celebrate.