Tuesday’s have normally been a day that could be full of medical appointments. Majority of my chemotherapy days tend to fall on Tuesdays. This Tuesday is no different. Usually, it comes along and passes, I can experience slight anxiety but nothing people tend to notice.
But over the past couple months twice I’ve experienced mind blowing physical pain for several days after infusion. The first time it happened I feared the pain meant progression but didn’t think to connect it to chemo. Then we celebrated it wasn’t progression! But last treatment just hours after infusion the pain set in and left me incapacitated for days. Unable to walk, laugh, breath deeply, and function. Moments like these can leave you quite hopeless, but I clung on to hope that this to shall pass and it did.
Hope barely got me through those days, and now I fear it will happen again this coming Tuesday. I have tons on my plate after people I counted on jumped ship in my life. I will have to figure out pushing forward while in excruciating pain which I can’t even imagine. Life isn’t fair and never have I thought it would be. I mean if life was fair I wouldn’t have cancer and I would be on my way to starting a family surrounded by loyal supportive friends. Oh how I love to dream.
I haven’t been afraid of much this journey, but this Tuesday has me shaking in my bones. What if it lasts longer this time? I barely survived last cycle. I accept that fear is normal, and we have to face fear sometimes to get stronger but I’m willingly walking into something that is similar to torture. Can I face that? Am I ready to re-grow my relationship to my bed while it turns in to my roller coaster cart for it to whip me around and thrust me against the sharpest corners around.
Am I suppose to not be afraid of Tuesday because I’ve been so strong these past 2 years? I might be more scared of Tuesday, more than I was on the Tuesday of my double mastectomy. You might be wondering if your so scared why go through with this? Erublin has kept my cancer at bay, it has been the one chemo to reduce the size of my chemo. So it leaves you questioning: life or pain. I have chosen life so I have to tolerate it for awhile or until we know for sure its coming from the chemo, which we don’t 100% know as of yet.
Tuesday I will walking into the house of horrors which I usually look at as a party of wonderful people. Which they are still wonderful people!
When I look in the mirror I see many scars.
My chest is striped with two large scars. Two scars that remind me each day that pain is temporary.
I look at my arms and see needle prick scars from all the IVs and blood draws.
I see my port scar, a bulging lump that marks where my chemotherapy is administered. Oh my dear heart.
I see my short, dark hair as a scar, since it isn’t the hair I began my journey with.
I look down at my feet to remind myself that they are still there.
My teeth ache as I wait for the opportunity for my blood counts to approve so I can see a dentist.
I see my 60-pounds-lighter body, which is bittersweet.
I see my slightly pronounced right collarbone, which fractured in my sleep.
I feel my hip, which hurts every time it rains.
I view in the mirror my complexion, my chemo-aged skin and wrinkles.
I now have freckles ... which I never asked for.
And last, my biggest scar of all -- which is invisible to everyone but me. My infertile womb, the reality of which I struggle with each and every day.
My scars remind me that whatever comes next, it might not be as bad as what I have dealt with. But if it is worse, that pain can truly be temporary.
My scars are a part of me and a constant reminder that I survived this long, and they offer me courage for what’s to come...
Woman battling all stages of breast cancer loose a piece of their identity. Even though we may smile publicly, when we are alone with the mirror, it can take a few seconds to remember that is YOU staring back through the mirror. Sometimes you need the opportunity to see a different you, but a you your proud of now. Adjusting to the new you can be a challenge itself and for me a boost of confidence was exactly what I needed.
The Fab-U-Wish program was developed by Guliana Rancic to help make women like me feel beautiful again. Before cancer I NEVER wore makeup. People I leaned on told me I never needed it and I loved never wearing it.
I don’t think I’m ugly now, but I do appreciate the opportunity to have someone doll me up like a princess. Sometimes that dose of confidence can turn what may be borderline depression into a day of depression relief. You can bet that when I’m down I ask someone to help me grow and shine.
Guilana Rancic’s program helped lift me up. Learn more here...
Metastatic Breast Cancer Thriver/Founder of Metastatically Speaking
My 32nd Year
Now that my 32nd birthday is in my rearview mirror, the questions begin: was that my last one? Will I see 33? Am I living my life the way I should? Is my focus in the right direction?
Many times when phrases such as “when I die” or “if I see 33” spill out of my mouth, they aren’t meant to sound negative, or imply that I don’t believe I will live. In my opinion that’s not being negative, but rather positively realistic. Of course I don’t want people cheering on my demise, and it’s not that I don’t believe in the power of faith. Being positively realistic helps keep my mind on the goal: to live my life in the now.
I wonder constantly if I’m spending too much time working, or if being lazy is wasting valuable time that I might not have a lot of. As I sit here writing on a Saturday in bed, I ponder: should I get up and do something else? There is probably no correct answer, because the answer is something very personal to each and every one of us.
Even though I’m facing rising medical bills this year, I’m not going to allow that to stop me from living. I’ve been positively realistic through most of my journey and it is a big reason my husband used some of the last of our savings on a used RV last year. Money won’t follow me to where I go next, but the memories I leave behind will be priceless.
So my 32nd year will be full of opportunity. I gave myself three goals: Shine, Thrive and Live. Shine bright to attract opportunity, thrive to show myself anything is possible and live each day even if it can be a little scary. We will travel, we will see my cousins walk down the aisle, we will keep fighting and praying for a reduction of my cancers, and I’m going to continue to grow as an advocate.
Goal-setting when your future is unclear is like working hard on something that you know you might not finish. It’s hard to put all of you into something that may be left unfinished; well, at least for me it feels that way.
So this year’s bucket list, a.k.a my three goals of 2018:
This post is my opportunity to let you all take the lead. People mention all the time; what do I say to someone with cancer? How do you handle treatment? Are you afraid?
I see the questions lingering in people eyes everyday and I would love to answer some the best I can.
Below submit your questions and I’ll answer them in a upcoming post! Your questions can be anonymous if you wish.
This morning I woke up early and couldn’t fall back to sleep like always. But this morning I woke up with side effects you would think I would have become used to by now. Which will only get worse for the next couple days.
But today I woke up sick. Sick from neupogen. Sick of cancer struggles. Usually I think it will pass .. All is well. But this morning I felt tired, sick of not knowing when it will end. Not end like when will I die? But wishing I too had a count down till chemo ends verse when my battle is over.
Moments like these are my biggest obstacles because no matter how positive you are there are moments in your journey that you honestly feel beaten down and not sure how much more you can take. I don’t think I have really been through as much as others.
I still have more moments than not that I’m thankful I’m not enduring worse because their are others in harder positions than me.
But even me, I get worn down but I know it will pass because I’m being driven by a thought, a thought that I can’t keep pushing on today and my bed is going to be my best friend. But that’s only a thought and that thought can be changed.
Sometimes even I can’t see the horizon but not everyday can be a sunny day. But the clouds will dissipate and my thoughts will override the moment I didn’t think a few seconds ago would pass.
How do I feel:
How can you feel so crumby laying in bed. But without doing anything you are suddenly hit with a draining, hot and sweaty moment. A rush of temple to temple migraine, extreme thirst and while you reach for your water, bam lower back spasm. Your heart starts to pound and your chest hurts slightly and you wonder is this the approaching heart attack you have been waiting for?
All the things you hoped to do today sits on your mind and you think... can I? If I try can I do half of my list?
Then you have to deal with Connecticare and the anxiety of facing no insurance temporarily and unkind customer service people (one woman was kind while the other yelled at me like it was my fault!)
Today I couldn’t hide my irritability, frustration and weakness from the world, which I usually do well to protect everyone from feeling uncomfortable. I truly do try to protect them from feeling uncomfortable.
Just have to keep pushing forward even when places like Connecticare try to bring me down. I stand by another quote of Mariah’s:
I will live one more day and night and I can get through the rain. — MC