Tag Archives: family

Half Way Done!

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Today was number 7 of 15 radiation sessions, so I have basically reached the 1/2 way mark. Thank God because I can now see the finish line to this first phase of what I am sure will be a long treatment.  Tomorrow I also have my ultrasound led biopsy to re-stage the tumor in my collarbone and neck.  I just want to get that analyzed and then start on treatment to get rid of it.  The pain it causes is never ending, and I am weary from it.

The steroids are making my legs very weak.  This happens often because the drug makes you have a decrease in muscle mass.  I am trying to do some weight lifting to protect the muscles in my thighs, but it isn’t easy.  Walking is slow and there are times I find it hard to have the strength to go up a step.

Emotionally, I have settled down with a positive attitude and trying not to waste my thoughts in fear or worry.  I find my moments of quiet prayer, reflection, and meditation are life saving. My family has been so helpful and loving.  Everyone has been helping out so things are running smoothly.  It has allowed me to just focus on getting well, and getting through this.

I am reading a lot, and will be posting a review on a book I liked shortly here.  I nap when I need to, take my meds, and be sure to eat healthy in frequent small meals to help with the nausea.  I was put on an anti nausea med yesterday which helps so much.  I as also given vicodin to try for the pain.  I have to stagger it with the tramadol because it really doesn’t work on its own, but it is helping me sleep.

That is about all to report for now.  I will be writing about my biopsy next time so those curious can get a blow by blow account of what they do.  Enjoy your day.  XO

Sunday Morning, 3:15 am

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Can’t sleep.  Yesterday was a really tough pain day from the tumor in my collarbone and neck.  The pain pills refused to provide any relief, until near bed time.  Then I don’t sleep soundly because each time I move I’m waiting for the surge of pain but then relish that it isn’t there!

My cousins’my aunt, and two of their kids came out to visit for a couple hours yesterday afternoon.  It is always great to spend time with family you have a history with.  They are twins, 2 years older, and have been the biggest influence in my life.  Every funny, happy memory I have growing up, revolves around that family.  Cancer has not escaped them either.  Their dad, my uncle, and my mom’s older brother, died from melanoma and prostate cancer in 2006.  He fought 9 hard years and if he had just went to a dr earlier for both, he would still be alive today, especially with all the new advances.  He was only 63.  Six weeks after I was diagnosed, in 2010, My cousin Meg was also diagnosed with stage 1-2 invasive ductal carcinoma.  She went to Sloan Kettering, and only had to have a lumpectomy with a sentinal node removed.  There was no lymph node involvement, and she has been cancer free since 2011, after going through chemo and radiation, as precautions.

It isn’t easy hearing of family and friends who get this disease.  My heart breaks for them knowing what they will go through.  It is also hard for me when their cancer is no where serious as mine, or seeing the treatments that I have tried work brilliantly for them, but do nothing for me.  I am only human I guess, and though I really try not to ask why?, I admit that lately it has gotten harder to not ask that.

This week we lost a country music singer named Joey Feek to ovarian cancer.  Joey would be best known from her and her husbands Overstock commercials.  He always had on overalls and was playing the guitar, singing to her.  She was beautiful. with long brown hair, and a voice that blended with her love’s seemlessly.  Joey was diagnosed 2 years ago, shortly after the birth of her youngest girl, who was born with Down’s Syndrome.  She made it her goal to fight her stage 4 cancer so she could see her youngest turn 2.  She reached that goal recently, and made the brave choice to end treatment and go in peace.  She passed away 3 nights ago with her husband Rory by her side.

I was shocked to even hear she was sick on Monday.  I had not seen or heard of it on the news or social media, until the end.  I had just been seeing their commercials again on TV which brought her name to mind when I saw a clip on Yahoo!  She was only 40, and I believe she has 4 young children.  It upset me a lot because of what I am going through, and because I looked at this another wasted death from a cancer we should know more about.  Ovarian cancer is one of the least known about cancers in women’s health.  There are no symptoms for early detection.  The best you can hope for is to have a family history which would allow you to be screened, have breast or colon cancer and get screened for the braca 1&2 gene, or pay for a private screening on your own.  By the time the disease is detected, it is in the advance stages, and rarely able to go into remission.  Available therapies are not effective and while they may provide some time, the quality of life is not there.  There is so much wasted beauracracy and money in big pharma and this government.  Possible treatments, and even cures wait years to get to a dying public, and sometimes I think they deliberately are withholding the cures so they can make more money on the treatments.  Let’s face it, in this country, the unhealthy make them billions, and if that were to end, where would the big cushy salaries come from?

Don’t mind me, I’m just a terminally ill cancer patient, who has more onmy mind than sleep and I’m a bit cranky waiting for the next dose of pain killers to kick in.

Thanks for following, for your constant support, and if you have any questions, or comments, please share them with me.  XO

Why Books Give me Hope

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When I started this blog and was thinking of a name, I wanted something that would be able to encompass the three things I wanted to blog about, writing, books and cancer.  I also wanted the title to have some meaning.

Throughout my 5 year journey with breast cancer, there have been many times I have been so fatigued and exhausted from various treatments, that the only thing I could do was read.  Reading didn’t require physical exertion, and it helped take my mind off of my pain, nausea, fear, and worries.  Reading became a symbol of hope to me.  I was able to read about people beating worse diseases than I had, and living a better life than they had before.  I could visit times and places where cancer didn’t exist.  I could read about new treatments on the horizon for metastatic breast cancer which gave me hope.  Most of all, I could read for fun.  That was the only fun I could have at the time and I was so thankful that I loved it so much.

Books became my caregivers when I was alone in Philly having radiation for two weeks and couldn’t see my kids.  My books kept me from sinking into depression when I felt alone.  Old favorites like the Harry Potter Series were reread when I was at my worst because they were so familiar to me, I didn’t need to focus on them.  On days I felt strong, I would tackle a heftier subject matter.  Whatever it was, it provided me with a distraction during the bad times and made me smile and appreciate what I had when times were better.

Living with Cancer isn’t fun, but I can think of hundreds of worse things to have to deal with in life.  I never regretted getting cancer, and I still don’t.  I regret how aggressive it is, sure, but I wouldn’t change things.  Cancer has made me stronger, it has made me realize what is truly important in my life, and it has been a constant reminder of how short life is and why we shouldn’t take things for granted. I am a better person, a better mother, and a better wife thanks to cancer.  As long as I have my books around me, I will be ok.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Whispers to God at Night

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Hi God it’s me again.  I know you must be busy.  You must get tired of billions of people just asking for things every second of everyday.  Do you ever just want to yell at them to shut up? Or ask them why, for maybe one day they couldn’t just be thankful?  We are all needy toddlers screaming “up up up” constantly aren’t we?

I am thankful for each day you have given me.  I’m thankful for my beautiful daughters, my husband, and my 2 cats.  I’m thankful for being able to spend 44 years with my sister until her husband took her from us. I am thankful I have been blessed with some really great friends throughout my life.  For always having a home to keep me sheltered and safe.  For never going to bed hungry, unless it was Spanish rice night and then I’m happy I did go hungry. I thank you for my education, for all the different jobs I have had.  Thanks especially for giving me the chance to be a Doula and witness several babies be born.  Also for gifting me with an exceptional talent for sewing and being able to make some awesome clothes and handbags that made many people happy. Thank you for the ability to read, for books, for computers to use to write my thoughts, for smiles from strangers that brighten my day, or great haircuts that made me feel beautiful. Thank you for trees that graced the sky like poetry on paper. There are endless things I could list that I have been truly thankful for, but I wanted you to know some of the biggies.

I know millions want to be healed from cancer.  I know I have fervently prayed to you.  I had such faith that you could make me healthy again.  It’s ok that you couldn’t.  I know you are busy and I am sure that when I die, you will be able to tell me why you had to take Kim when I was already sick and going to go soon anyway. However, there are a few things I need you to promise me.  And if you don’t come through, lets just say I will not be voting for you in the next supreme being election.

  1.  You better exist.  Because if all this time I’ve been talking to myself, I’m going to be really pissed.
  2.  There better be a heaven, and it better be the greatest thing ever.  I want Kim and my pets waiting there for me and I want to look the way I did when I was 25.
  3.  You need to swear to me that my girls, and Kim’s son Matt will live long, happy, healthy lives.  No divorce, no death, no cancer, no homelessness, no more trauma.  That is the least you can do for 4 kids who didn’t ask to come into this world, and have seen more horrors than most adults ever see.  You owe me this.

That’s it.  There were only three so that should not be too difficult.  I also would like a sign that you agree to my terms.  If at all possible, could you allow me not to suffer very long.  I am afraid of the pain and the girls will be scared and feel helpless to see me that way.  This actually would go with number 3 of my aforementioned requests.

Thanks for listening.  Please don’t leave me.  I can’t handle this on my own.

Amen