Show Your Stripes!
I just haven’t had time to write. Being back at work has been good but tough and reassuring me that taking next year off is the right decision. I find myself getting annoyed with cancer because it tries to control my life. We mark on our family calendar what weeks I’m on chemo, and we tend to hesitate when we have something fun planned on that week because we’re not confident I’m going to feel up to doing it. That’s annoying! No, cancer! You don’t win! You aren’t going to control what I want to do and when I want to do it. Frankly, it just pisses me off! How does this awful, terrible, no good, very bad disease get the power? It’s sickening! We had the Mill Creek Football Gala last Friday which was the last night of my 14th round of chemo, and we were worried I wasn’t going to feel up to going, but I didn’t want to miss it. We love this date night! We love seeing our football family and enjoy getting to get dressed up and have some us time. I don’t want to miss it because then that means cancer wins. Well, you don’t win cancer. I got dressed up and went, and I had a great time! Yes, there were times when I got a wave of not feeling well, but I just distracted myself with some friendly conversation and a glass of wine and waited until the wave passed. I just don’t want cancer to dictate my life. I don’t want it to define me.
I have found that distractions are helpful though. Any distraction! Even work is a distraction! Getting to work when I’m on chemo is hard. It’s hard getting myself ready, getting the kids ready, making sure our lunches are packed and in our bags and getting out the door on time. And to be honest, we never get out the door on time. If I spent less time on myself in the mornings then we could get out the door on time, but here’s the truth…I don’t want to spend less time on myself. I would rather be late and look put together than be on time and feel less polished. You see, looking pulled together is what is holding me together. If I look good, then I will feel at the very least, decent. Look good; feel good. Fake it ’til you make it. I don’t want people to look at me and know how I’m really feeling. I want to look like I feel fine. BUT…that takes effort…some mornings more so than others. I’m sure some people think this is crazy, but that’s okay- it’s what works for me. Cancer sucks. I’m sick of it. I’m over having to deal with this, but honestly it looks like I will always have to deal with it. That is a tough reality, but I’m trying really hard to wrap my head around it and be at peace with it. If I can reach ONE person…if ONE person feels inspired or confident or better because of the attitude I put forth and the energy I put out then it’s okay. I feel like I’m helping people by being positive and it feels good which helps me feel better. Everyone has their things they have to deal with, and this is mine. I just want to be happy and focus on the good in my life because there is a lot of good. There are way more good things happening than bad!
We go to Tampa again this Wednesday, so we will learn more about how the treatments are going and what the plan will be moving forward. I’m expecting them to say the tumors are shrinking or are stabilized and you’re tolerating the meds well, so let’s stay the course. Why stop if it’s working?! I certainly understand that. I don’t want to stop and then worry constantly at how fast the tumors are growing back since they WILL grow back, but gosh- wouldn’t it be nice to have a break from treatment?! A girl can hope! I think my mom is still hoping that I’ll be some sort of miracle case and when they do the scans the tumors will just be magically gone…and stay gone! A mother will never stop worrying, which as a mother I completely understand now.
I’ll try to give another update sooner than I did this last time. I’m well aware it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted on how I’m doing. I can update you and say that my face lump has shrunk tremendously! It is almost gone, so I’m hopeful it will continue to shrink and go away 100%. They still aren’t sure why I’m getting these odd malformations. Technically, this lump was a macro cystic lymphatic malformation. I know more medical knowledge than I ever cared to know! I swear I need to donate my body to the Mayo clinic when my time comes. I am a conundrum of medical mysteries! I’ll try to do better on the updates, but frankly this and working out (sadly) have become a low priority. I’ve got to get back at it…gotta find that balance! I know my schedule will change when summer comes and work is not on my To Do list, so I am cutting myself some slack.