Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Keep on keepin' on!

Well it has been a few weeks since I last posted. Nothing has happened and so much has happened all at the same time. I'm still here. I am still hanging in there. I have a few more cuts on me. I like to think of them as war wounds. Since this is a battle I am fighting.

I know it has been awhile, 42 days to be exact, since I have written anything. I don’t really know why. There is a lot going on in my head, but I just haven’t been able to get it all out. And although I haven’t written anything here, I have been able to talk it out and vent with some dear friends. But I think too, I needed time to just be in my head. I needed the time to retreat into myself and just think about all that is going on. I needed “me” time.

I needed time to think. Cancer is overwhelming. And it is not just the fact that I have a disease in my body that I could potentially have for a very long time, but everything that goes along with it is overwhelming too…..the good and the bad. It is such an emotional roller coaster of everything. The actual disease, scheduling doctor appointments, going to said appts, surgery, infusion, recovery, being present for my kids, trying to just keep moving on in a normal way, the outreach and support from others, answering every one’s questions and educating them on my decisions, taking well meant advice, going on with life, going to sports games, paying bills, new bills, and really just figuring it all out. It is overwhelming just writing it all.

I know I have a lot of support. That is very evident. But when I go to the doctor and sit in that room, or when they poke me for the hundredth time, or when I am talking to the lady from the utilities trying to explain why the bill will be late, it is just me. I know that usually someone (Nick) has been physically with me. But it is still me and my cancer. This damn cancer that has changed my life. I can get mad about it. I can retreat into myself and wallow for a bit. BUT, I also know that it is what it is. Then, I snap out of it, and remember that the support of friends and having God on my side is all I need. But, I still have to remind myself of that.

I am a giver not a taker. I am the one who takes the meals and runs the race. So, having everyone do so much for me lately is hard for me. I am very grateful. Because honestly everything that has been done…the walk, raffle, auction, zumbathon, pampered chef parties, reunions, meals, etc. has truly helped me and my family. And for that I am truly appreciative. It really is still hard to believe that it is being done for me, but I have learned to accept the help and I am trying to feel worthy.
So where am I now in my treatment? Well, I am doing a hormone therapy right now. (Not hormone replacement) I had surgery April 11th to remove my ovaries. Why? To stop the flow of estrogen in my body. My cancer is fed by estrogen, so we are starving this cancer. I have had three chemo infusions. I take a daily dose of a heavy drug called Tykerb(lapatanib). And I also take Femara (letrozole). Another drug to stop the production of estrogen in my body. I’m going this route right now to try and get the cancer out of my lymph system and chest wall. Hormone therapy tends to cause fewer and less severe side effects than traditional chemotherapy. But it is not without side effects. I am very TIRED. My energy level drains quickly in the evening. I visit the bathroom a lot for various reasons. I don’t sleep well. I have hot flashes galore. I have headaches and sometimes blurry vision. And on and on. Luckily,(and my rainbow)I have escaped the awful side effects for now. I still have my hair. Although, I do notice more on my hair brush, and I do not have the horrible rash that the Tykerb can give you. But I am not counting it out yet. Other therapies such as radiation and other chemotherapies are not ruled out. We are just going this route for now. A surgery for mastectomy is about a year away. So I get to carry these melons around for a bit longer. I am in this for the long haul.
I have learned a lot these last few months. I am learning more about the different types of cancer and just how individual cancer can be. This is more than I ever thought I would know about breast cancer. Yes, it is overwhelming, and I really do know that I am not going it alone. I am still in awe of all the support that is there. But, if I don’t tend to write all that much, it just means I am thinking. 

So for now I am going to just keep on keepin’ on. 

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  1. Thanks for the update! You have been in my daily prayers. Keep on keepin' on!

  2. Even tho I personally don't have cancer, so much of this hits home with me caring for my Andy and his leukemia. I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about cancer in the last two months. It's so completely overwhelming a lot of the time for me and I just keep on keeping on too because that is all I can do to get my baby fixed. He's had smooth sailing and then rough weeks, it's just a roller coaster ride. Like you, it's hard to accept gifts and help people offer, but I'm learning that I have to accept these kind gestures because when I don't, it's denying that person the opportunity to give a blessing. It's been a hard bite to chew for Chuck & me - a real stretching point because we're givers by nature. Anyway, I want you to know we're praying for you daily and I'm glad to hear you're hanging in there. Big hugs from us to you!