Welcome – and F*Cancer

Hello!

I am a cancer survivor.

I have started this blog to help others who are navigating this same, not same, similar, dissimilar, crazy, unknown, unpredictable path that I have traversed.

I hope it helps.

F*Cancer

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Spring’s here

So, spring has arrived.

I’m feeling pretty good.  I took a much needed hiatus from both social media as well as anything cancer related.  I took a break from my book that had seemingly been going so well.  It had begun to consume me.  And drag me down.  The what-ifs.  What if they missed something?  What if it comes back?  What if they waited too long between tests?  That CA-125 scare that I’ll write about later.  (damn the numbers, but all is well!!)

I’ve learned I prefer to write (type) in long-sleeves, but not bulky hoodies, they are too cumbersome.  Weird, right?  But the long-sleeves give me a protective sheath between my arms and that cold metal of my laptop, without the annoying bulk.  Added bonus is they keep me warm in the icebox that makes my husband happy in the summer months.  (A/C is good, but not at the arctic temps he likes.  🙂 That’s right, cancer/chemo does something to make one even colder, yay! )

Anyhow.  I’ve managed to push myself, pleasantly, back into exercise.  I’ve enjoyed getting some much needed Vitamin D by trying to squeeze in 20-30 minutes outside soaking in the sunshine in the afternoons.  It is truly amazing how a little bit of this sunshine elevates my mood.

I’ve enjoyed looking forward to a cool, delicious glass of orange juice in the mornings.

I’ve moved on…reverted back?–you pick the misnomer.   I am enjoying the simple things.

Life can be simple, if you choose to enjoy it for what it is.  That is what I am trying to do.

Hello Spring.  Can’t wait to see what you, and your friend, Summer have in store for me, I am hoping for lots of sunshine!

xo

Ah, braids

Wow, it’s been a while, a really LONG while since I’ve done this.

It came out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

811 days post chemo, I successfully braided my hair.  The hair runs out much quicker than it used to, but I think I can say that I’m ready for summer!

 

braid

 

 

I love you…I hate you…

When I troll the cancer boards, or cancer support boards I see a lot of hate.

I hate you Taxol.  I hate you Carboplatin. I hate you AC, the red devil.

Lots of hate for the side effects of these poisons.

Why do we never hate on Cytoxan?  Did you not ever give us a side effect?  The medication came in batches, so sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the proper way to direct the hate.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I do not feel the same hate.

I love you Taxol.  I love you Carboplatin. I love you AC, the red devil.  I’m still not sure what you did for me Cytoxan, but you helped.  (I think, I guess, you must have, right?)

You cured me of my cancer.

Yes you took my hair.

You took my eyebrows.

You took my eyelashes.

You took the hair from my legs, and from my armpits.

You made me naked like the day I was born.

You robbed me of my sleep, and did crazy things to my female cycles.

You made my skin feel rubbery and weird, and stole my ability to remember five seconds ago.

But you also took away my disease.

For that, I thank you.

Thank you, for taking away my disease.

Thank you.

 

 

Everyone needs a little break

WOW, I’ve been away for a while.

When I started this blog, I made posts in a very gung-ho fashion for 14 months.  I published 80 posts in those first 14 months.  80.  That’s a lot!  That’s almost six posts a month.  That’s more than one post a week.  If I wrote for a weekly paper, I would be ahead of the curve.  And that doesn’t count the posts I started, then hadn’t quite gotten around to finishing yet OR the ones I decided to save for a later date, but have not yet posted.

Then something happened.  The constant barrage of stories I heard about second cancers, and those succumbing to their disease, as well as my personal first hand witness of so many being diagnosed with cancer, and then my personal loss as a result of cancer caused me to push my laptop aside for a while.

I bought a kindle.  I did not knowingly or intentionally push aside the laptop for a kindle.  Not even close.  There were a couple of books I was interested in reading, and our existing kindle was always in use or just not available to me.  The new kindle, my kindle, arrived January 30th, and I immediately set it up, then texted my bestie for book suggestions.

That text began what can only be described as a ten-week sabbatical from anything writing related, or anything cancer related, as I took some moments to just relax, and let myself get swept up into some fabulous worlds of make believe.  It gave me an opportunity to let my mind rest.

During that ten weeks, I proceeded to read 20 books.  Not a bad pace.  My mom would probably tell you I haven’t read at that pace since middle school, when she would haul truckloads of books home from the library for me.

As I drifted off to sleep last night, I thought about how long it had been since I stepped away from my writing.  It was a good break.  A much needed break.  A chance for me to recharge my batteries.  But I felt the break had come to an end.  Much like the end of a great vacation.  Only, without the tan…bummer.

Everyone in this world has gifts, things they are good, or even pretty good at.  Writing is one of those things that I know I’m good at.  Maybe even pretty good.  Sometimes.  Sure it can always use some work, but my stepping off point is at a good place.

Writing about my cancer experiences gave me an opportunity to hone in on that talent, and life is too short to ignore the talents you have.

Kicking cancer’s ass and being cancer free doesn’t mean that I should stop writing.  It’s exactly the opposite.  I need to use that momentum to carry on with my writing.  Much like Chris told Gordie in Stand by Me, “It’s like God gave you something, man, all those stories you can make up. And He said, “This is what we got for ya, kid. Try not to lose it.” Kids lose everything unless there’s someone there to look out for them.”

I’m back!  And I’ve got a book to finish.  Thanks for hanging out with me.  : )

 

I know your fears

Is that normal?

Is that how it used to be?

What is that pain?

What is that bump?

Is that bump bigger than it used to be?

What if the doctors didn’t run the right test?

What if the doctors didn’t look at the results closely enough?

What if the the time between tests is too long?

What if it comes back?

What will my family do without me?

What if they can’t treat it again?

What if I’m not ready to die?

 

The fears are real.

The chemo 5 second rule

I asked my husband a question.  I don’t remember what it was (chemo fog, y’know?)

He was in the other room.  He heard me talk, but didn’t hear what I said.

He came into the room I was in, and asked what I said.

I gave him a blank stare.

 

No clue.  No recollection.

“I don’t remember, you waited too long.”

“I was just walking in from the other room.”

“5 second rule.”

“Wait, what?”

“You waited longer than 5 seconds to ask me to repeat.”

“That’s not how it works!!”  Mike looked at me with incredulous amusement.

“Chemo 5 second rule, it totally counts!”

I think it’s fair.  They’ve been warned.  They know.

😉