Saturday, March 28, 2015

Results 3/27/15 and My Crazy

As most of you know from my Facebook post, my petscan results indicated no active cancer once again.  Of course I still have BC and BS (my two tumors), but they aren't doing anything.  I get to stay on the lower dosage since there hasn't been a change.  I'm happy about that.

I have to admit, I've been a basketcase these past few days.  Overly sensitive is an understatement.  I guess you can say it's understandable, but there's more.  It's getting worse with every scan.  I know with every day, I'm a day closer to tarceva not working.  I've always been a "plan b" kind of person.  I know there are new drugs already out there and on the horizon.  But, even with so much opportunity, this disease breaks you down.  My anxiety continues to get worse near scan times.   This time I cried like I had been diagnosed all over again before I got my results.  Why?  No idea.

I should be down on my knees praising God for this time, and I will.  But, I feel like I'm still living on borrowed time.  The emotional toll cancer takes on us is unimaginable.  I know some caregivers and patients know what I'm talking about.  It's just hard to explain to everyone else.  It's awful.

I guess my biggest fear is, and always has been, not being here for Karley.  That has been at the forefront of all of my thoughts every second of the day lately.  So, my best friend, Amanda, calmed me down Thursday night by suggesting a journal for Karley.  Not just this blog, but anytime I think of something I want her to know, write it in the journal.  That way it's more personalized.  I tried to make videos in the past but couldn't get through them without breaking down.

Let me just say, with lung cancer, I'm not sure I'll ever stop grieving.  I jump from one stage to another.  The good days, I'm in the acceptance phase.  And I have hope on those days as well.  But I still get angry, bargain with God, depressed, and flat out refuse to believe this is my life now.  Don't think I'm like this every day though.  Most days I'm rainbows and butterflies.... (ok, so don't ask my old co-workers about that).

But this is real.  This is my life and I'm blessed to have it.  Don't think I've lost hope or am sad just because I write a post like this.  This will always be my life (unless one of you can find a stinking cure!).

It's just normal to have anxiety and depression, especially close to scan time.  So, every three months, know that I will be super crazy and if you're my family or friend, just go with it.   Because I am still here, I'm not going to stop fighting, but I may get a little crazy!

Amanda posted this from Inspire.  I loved it so much, I thought it was appropriate for everyone out there fighting cancer.  Don't give up.  Pick yourself up and keep going.

Thank you so much for all of your continued support and prayers.  I can never thank you enough.

Matthew 19:26
"But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'"

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quick Update

After much thought, I decided to stay with Piedmont.  I know, call me crazy.  But, my oncologist saved my life without regard to an insurance decision or any other bureaucratic red tape.  He may not specialize in lung cancer specifically, but I can always seek a second opinion if anything progresses.

I do have scans next week and should get results next Friday.  I don't feel like I get scanxiety, but maybe I do and just don't know it.  I get sensitive really easily, although I'm not necessarily thinking about scans.

I'm looking forward to seeing my parents and friends in Atlanta next week too.  I need some time with them.  When I reflect on these past 2 1/2 years, those people are always there and will always be there. I love them so much.  They see past my forgetfulness flaws, my space cadet days, and my tired last minute timing.  I really feel blessed to be loved between these two communities that I call home.

Church this past Sunday was amazing. I felt it spoke right to my heart.  I encourage each of you going through tough times to watch it at http://sscclive.com/on-demand/  The sermon is entitled "Life is Tough, God is Good".

Please continue to pray for Lucy Kalanithi and family as they lay Paul to rest in another week or so.

Also, please keep your prayers coming for Roy Reynolds as he battles leukemia and Carmen Frye with her own cancer battles.  It seems like cancer is everywhere.

And I could use some prayers for scans next week too if you don't mind.  Thank you for all of them and please keep them coming.

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dr. Paul Kalanithi - Gone Too Soon

I first saw a picture of Paul and Lucy Kalanithi a few days before NYE.  I'd heard of them, but forget things so easily.  We were both raising funds for Team Draft's Super Bowl Challenge.  They destroyed us.  But, when I read that it was his lifelong dream to go, I was okay with being destroyed.  It wasn't my lifelong dream....so I was down with winning the Taste of the NFL.

The first time I met Paul, Lucy, and Superstar Cady was in Phoenix for the events leading up to the Super Bowl.  We got to tour the field.  My favorite picture of their family was when they were laying on that Super Bowl field, as a family, smiling as though they were the happiest people on earth.

We had fun in Arizona.  I love that family.  Cady is the best baby girl ever.  I don't remember hearing her cry the entire trip.  Lucy and I quickly got along and Paul liked laughing at everything I said, because I pretty much told him how crazy my family has been since childhood.  They are good stories, I mean, you can't make them up.  But, that's for another day.  Paul said that one of the best things about his Super Bowl experience was getting to meet me.  That was such a great compliment that I'll never forget, I was glad we could make him laugh so much.

We quickly grew to love this little family and are planning a trip to visit Molly and Arash Golbon over the summer in the Bay Area.  Lucy, Paul, and Cady planned on meeting up with us too.  You know, an east coast west coast meet up.

Unfortunately, Paul passed away Monday night at the age of 37.  This renowned neurosurgeon had succumb to the beast we have all come to know too well as lung cancer.  His memory will live on through his family, friends, and all of the people he helped.

The last article he wrote made me cry like a baby.  Here is an excerpt, but you can read the entire article at the link:  Before I Go

"Yet one thing cannot be robbed of her futurity: my daughter, Cady. I hope I’ll live long enough that she has some memory of me. Words have a longevity I do not. I had thought I could leave her a series of letters — but what would they really say? I don’t know what this girl will be like when she is 15; I don’t even know if she’ll take to the nickname we’ve given her. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.
That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing."

Cady was loved by her daddy, she will never not know that.  And the love between Paul and Lucy was something we should all be so lucky as to experience in this lifetime.  Lucy is such a wonderful soul, whom we all could tell, loved her family with all she could, as Paul did them.

So, rest in paradise Paul.  You are finally free to breathe and have made such a profound mark on the lung cancer community.  My news feed is seriously filled with pictures and memories of you.  You probably never knew what a difference you were making, but I hope you see that now.

Please pray for Paul's wife Lucy and daughter Cady along with all of his other family and friends.  They need them so bad right now.

And please pray for Molly and Arash Golbon and family.  She's got a Pulmonary Embolism  and they are still at the ER while I'm typing this.   They have two beautiful daughters that need their mommy healthy.  They've all been through so much.  

And finally, please pray for another of my friends, Roy Reynolds, who was currently just admitted to the hospital as well.  He's got a long road ahead of him and needs prayers and support too.

Cancer is so prevalent, I feel like I was punched by it so many times today.  It wasn't really me, it was these families.  But, I feel like we are all one big community, even family.  I love these people like family.  You get close to them for emotional support.  Someone that is going through what you are.  But, when you lose them, your heart breaks all over again. Thank you Tori Tomalia for letting me know so soon.

Well, it's past 5 am, so I'm going to try to sleep now.  I just needed the prayers out there.  And thank you all for your continuous prayers and support for my family and me.  They mean so much.   

Revelation 21:4
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes.There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away"