Saturday, January 29, 2011

Everyday struggles

People always comment to me how optimistic I seem or how I don't "look like a cancer patient." Maybe that's because I didn't lose my hair or lose a lot of weight (we had to work hard on that), or maybe it's because my face doesn't appear gaunt and sickly. I guess I got lucky in those departments, but I still can't hide the permament bags under my eyes! In all seriousness though, I really try hard to live life as normally as possible. I'm not one of those people that looks for sympathy and hand-outs. I also don't pull the "cancer card". For me, coping through this challenge is just getting through each day as best as I can, and sometimes that means with help from family and friends.

Sure, I struggle. I have many sleepless nights and it makes my body and mind so exhausted that I can hardly cope (or take care of my kids). I also occasionally have mental breakdowns where the weight of what I'm experiencing and the emotions involved in that come crashing down on my shoulders. I sometimes let doubt and fear creep back into my mind and I think, "Am I really going to be around to see my kids grow up?". But I try to not let the fear of dying destroy my spirit. I have to keep on keepin' on. There is no other option as I see it. I just have to get up everyday, take care of myself and my kids, and live life.

Someone once said to me that even though I have a life-threatening disease doesn't mean that my chances of survival are any less than someone who doesn't. And she is right. Anyone could get in a car crash one day and their life could end in a flash. We just don't know when our "time is up" and we aren't supposed to. If we did, we wouldn't enjoy life to the fullest. I used to be such a "forward thinker", always preparing for the future. Well, I'm learning that isn't always best. We just can't predict the future. I'm learning to take joy in living in the present, even with struggles and all, because there is so much goodness and joy to be had in life. I really feel like despite the circumstances, I have it all. I have a loving and devoted husband, I have 2 beautiful and healthy children, I have a house and food, I have MANY family members and friends with loving arms around me, and most importantly, I have God on my side. There isn't anything in life more important that those things!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I just completed my second maintenance treatment-what a doozy. I know it's only a couple of days in the hospital this time, but those 2 days are kinda rough. This go- around I experienced numbness in my arms and hands which was really annoying because it caused me to not sleep so well. I also gained 15 lbs of fluids (which is a lot in 2 days) and that wasn't fun either. The only thing getting me through it is knowing that the recovery is faster. Less than 2 days and I feel "normal" again (which isn't normal but at least functioning).

The other thing that is keeping me going is that the remaining tumor is continuing to shrink. YEAH! As long as that bugger keeps on getting smaller, than I'm that much closer to becoming "cancer free". I know that doesn't mean that I'm out of the woods yet (because for most folks, the cancer comes back), but if it buys me some time at least until another newer treatment breakthrough comes out, then I will remain optimistic about the future. There's nothing I can do to control what happens in the future, so I am trying to just live in the NOW and enjoy life as much as I can under these circumstances. And the other good news is that my blood counts are UP and I'm almost not anemic anymore!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to reality (and it sucks!)

We went to Maui as a family last week and it was everything we hoped for and more...spectacular, amazing, beautiful, fun-filled, relaxing, awesome, inspiring, delicious, joyous, and so much more. It was a much needed vacation and break for reality for all of us (but especially me after this past year!). I soaked in every moment, just relishing in the beauty of life and being alive! The only thing that was rough was coming home! Especially because for me that meant getting admitted in the hospital 2 days later. But I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to make unforgettable memories as a family (thanks Mom and Dad!). The best part????


Friday, January 7, 2011

Off to paradise...

MAUI!!!!! I'm so excited to start out 2011 with family relaxing in one of the world's most beautiful places. There will be much fun to be had and trust me, I will live up every moment!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My therapy

Being in the outdoors is therapy to me. It's funny how easily I forget this too. Last Friday we took our kids skiing. It is always a lot of work with little kids getting gear on, carrying everything to the slopes (including our own gear), teaching them how to ski, picking them up when they fall, getting on and off the chair lift...well, you catch the drift. But let me tell you, it was well worth it. Despite freezing cold temperatures that day, it was a cloudless-blue sky-fresh snow on the trees kind of day. Being in that fresh air, enjoying the beauty of the mountains was everything I needed right then. All my stresses, worries, and concerns went out the door for a few hours. I don't think I thought about cancer at all! I was just basking in the glory of this beautiful day and so happy to be alive!!!