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!

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.


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.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1291

My husband is not a complainer.  He has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately.   He has constant neck and shoulder (nerve) pain as he heals from his surgery three months ago.  Kind of disheartening to know that it can take many more months to heal, if it ever does.  There are also some things going on at work that are adding to his stress.  Being your own boss is terrific, but the responsibility of owning a business is a heavy burden sometimes.

His brother is having some health issues that landed him in the hospital a couple of weeks ago.   One of his dearest longtime friends is also having health issues, and he had to be flight-lifted to Dallas where he is awaiting a heart transplant.  This friend's daughter has been keeping us updated on her dad's condition, and she had asked the other day if Hubby would come by, thinking a visit from his buddy would lift her dad's spirits.  Seeing someone you care about and have known for decades in ICU, hooked up to machines, swollen from kidney failure and crazy from meds, is not what anyone would describe as fun.  When I asked if he was going to go, he gave me two words:  Of course.

Did you just hear my heart flutter?  When someone he loves needs something, he does it - no questions asked.  All of this is weighing him down, day by day.
He doesn't say it, but knowing him, I see it.

I'd like to ask God to give Hubby a break.  I can do all that I can to make his life easier, happier, better..... but there are some things out of my control, and it would be tremendous if some of Hubby's burdens could be lifted.

I'd also like to ask God to lift up my BFF.  Next week will be major scanxiety for her as she undergoes numerous tests and waits for results to make sure nothing scary is going on with her.  I'm sending lots of prayers, as well as strength and healing thoughts, that this next week goes fast and ends with good news.  I'm also sending a check for my Girl Scout cookies, I promise!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1290

So.... it's 12:35am.  Do you know where your children are?

Don't worry, this is not going to be another insomniac "I can't sleep" whiny blog post.
(But for the record, I do have insomnia and I can't sleep)

You know what?  I miss my blog.  I HATE the reason for having 1290 days of Kicking Cancer's Ass posts, but I love that I have had this diary....like my own little captive audience, for so long.  Every once in a while, kind of like Facebook's "On This Day" memory pop up, I will go back and read a random post that I'd written.  You know what?  Sometimes I'm freaking brilliant.  I impress myself and think, "Did I really write that?"

Some of it, especially from the beginning, is very difficult to read.  Those were dark, dark days of fear and exhaustion, emotions and sickness.  Some of it is inspiring, like maybe my words and my experiences can help someone who finds themselves in my shoes.  Some of it is funny, some of it is an obnoxious rant against the injustices of my society..... but all of it is heartfelt.  All of it is me.

It makes me sad to go back and see that I went from daily posts in 2013 and 2014, to about half that number last year.  Now I sometimes go weeks without taking the time to open my heart and mind here, and I need to fix that.  It makes me realize that I don't give me enough of my time.  I know there are women who live much, much busier lives than mine:  women with full time jobs, women with demanding careers, women who volunteer everywhere, women with half a dozen kids.  I'm just a wife and mom, working a part-time job, with two kids who are involved in a respectably low number of activities, who volunteers with only one organization.  And yet I seem to have zero time for anything.  Well, I have a little more time now that Hubby and I finished binge-watching all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy.  But still...

I have a teenager in high school who is learning to drive, who plays the trombone and whose hobby is model railroading.  The first and the last both take up much of Hubby's free (non-softball) time (I may be a better driver but he's a better driving teacher!  And he has more patience for model trains.)  I have a middle school girl who has a more active social life than I ever had, and whose extracurricular activity (softball) takes up most of her and all of my free time.  (Hubby's an excellent coach, but I'm better at handling all of the off-the-field behind-the-scenes things that it takes to run a softball league and keep K's softball team organized.)  When I'm not playing taxi or working on my computer, I try to indulge in my renewed love of reading.

The point I'm trying to make is that it's so easy to take yourself for granted.  Am I the best mother in the world?  Nope.  Am I the best wife in the world?  Not even close.  Am I the best friend in the world?  I wish, but not always.  But that doesn't mean I shouldn't keep trying, daily, to be the best ME there is.  And part of that is to focus on myself.  I don't know.... I guess I look at my blog posts as a way of telling myself "this is important", that my thoughts and feelings are worthy of being expressed, and read, even if only by me.

To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.

Proverbs 19:8 

I'm only 44 years old.  I hope I still have decades left of life to live, and I don't want to get so caught up in everyday life that I forget to make every day matter.  There are things that happen, things that get said, things that I do - little things, big things, it doesn't matter - that are worth sharing, so that I can go back in a month or a year, and read about them.  Like the post from two years ago where I wrote this:

When I woke K up this morning to get ready for our road trip, she smiled and said she was mad at me because I woke her up from a good dream.  When I asked her what she was dreaming about, she said, "I was just about to buy a unicorn."
That's my girl.

We should all be able to dream about buying a unicorn.

I love those last two words:  Stay strong.  It's not saying everything has to be perfect.  Life will never be perfect, but through it all, you can stay strong.  It's easy to zone in on what's going wrong, because sometimes something going wrong can feel majorly wrong.  My blog is the perfect example.  I started it back in 2011..... way before I knew I had cancer.  And yet it took a cancer diagnosis for me to start writing regularly.  Why?  Because I had a lot of things going wrong to talk about.  But interspersed with the things going wrong posts are the other posts.... ones about feeling happy, or grateful, or amused, or blessed.  Posts about feeling grateful to be alive.

I have a lot of reasons to smile, and I have some very special people in my life who make me laugh.
Lucky, lucky me.