Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to the Future

I've been really slacking on my blogging lately.  It's been an insanely busy summer.  But, time to catch up.

I know many cancer patients out there, including myself sometimes, feel like, "what's the point in planning a future if I'm not even sure I'm going to be in it?"   Well, the answer is, "so you can live and not let cancer win".  Cancer already does so much to us.  It takes away our self esteem by doing horrible things to our bodies, it hurts us and our loved ones, and it takes a huge financial toll.  And the thought of leaving loved ones behind, for the cancer patient, is unbearable.  Losing friends made in this journey is just another one of the hits cancer patients endure.

But, we are all given this one precious life, and God doesn't want us wallowing in self pity.  (There are days I will wallow, no one is perfect).  But I've made it on these meds for over 2.5 years now.  The shock of the initial hand I was dealt has long since worn off and it's time to move on.  There will be setbacks I'm sure, the cancer is only sleeping.  But to carry that burden is not my job.  That's where faith comes in.  So, I'm faithfully planning my future and will stand back up with every hit that cancer throws until God feels it's time.  I'm letting Him carry this burden.

Faithfully planning my future?  Well, as my Facebook friends now know, I got engaged.  I don't talk a lot on here about who I'm seeing etc because I'm sure no one wants to know the ins and outs of my love life.  People come to my blog to relate to another person with cancer.  But this girl is confident enough, through the grace of God, to pick up the pieces of her heart that cancer totally crushed and put them back together.

So, details?   Yeah, I'm a procrastinator but am working on them.  Even today. We will have something small because I'm gaining a stepdaughter and we can't afford anything big.  So if you don't receive an invitation, it's not because I didn't want you there.  It's because we just simply can't afford anything big.  Especially in this resort town where people actually come to get married.

So, who's the guy?   Brent Thompson.  A very faithful Christian and such a gentleman who happens to live across the street.   Where did he ask?  On the beach during a storm approaching at night.  You could see the lightening over the ocean.  Later on that night, I tripped on a stair and skinned my knee like a little kid.  Yeah, I'm clumsy.  Typical.

There will be more details later.  I have scans and results Sept. 18 so thank you for your continuous prayers and please keep them coming.   Also, please pray for my friend Elizabeth who recently received a cancer diagnosis and also my Karen Odell's nephew, Chase Busby, son of Chris and Cassie Busby, just diagnosed with Leukemia.  And finally, please keep our prayers up for Gretchen's family.  Those sweet girls lost their mama too soon.  Cancer is cancer.  It all sucks!

Karen Odell is greatly involved with the Free to Breathe Lung Cancer 5K we are participating in Sept. 12th in Jacksonville.  There is still time to sign up and join our team or donate if you are willing.  The link to join or donate is here:  Free to Breathe Jacksonville

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Can I Just Say Cancer Sucks Again?

I know it's been a while since my last post.  I've had a lot going on with Karley being out of school, tournaments, pneumonia, and coming off the steroids for it.  My days have consisted of sleeping as well as nights.  But tonight, I couldn't sleep.  I felt like vomiting every time I closed my eyes so went to facebook.  Something in my heart told me to check my friend Courtney's fb page.

Courtney and I met at MD Anderson in Houston in January 2013.  At the time, I was in a state of shock and depression still.  My nurse navigator put us together for bloodwork and we exchanged information.  Over the past two years we've checked in with each other every few months.  My last correspondence with her was March 5th.  When I went to her facebook page, I was absolutely devastated.  She passed in June.  Three months after our last email.  An email where she didn't sound as bad as I guess she was.  She left behind a husband and very young son.  Please pray for this family.

I feel like more and more of my posts are filling up with friends that I've met in this journey and they are leaving before me.  Survivors guilt is awful.  I cry every time.  But, I pick myself up and keep on living, because I know all of these strong women that have gone before me would have it no other way.
I can't put into words the world we live in.  On one hand I try to push everything cancer related to the back of my mind, but on the other hand, I know it's there.  Waiting for the opportunity to wake back up.  It scares me to plan a future and it puts me in a state of limbo.  Sometimes I just don't think I should plan anything, especially with my extreme fatigue (or lack there of tonight for some crazy reason).  But that would mean cancer is winning.  And that's not going to happen.

Anyways, on another note, I'm going to be speaking at the Free to Breathe Event in Jacksonville, FL Sept. 12th.  I usually participate in Atlanta, but I've been traveling so much, we are going to do the 5k walk/run in Jax.  So, if you can make it, please join us.  If not, please donate.  This is one of the good organizations striving to save my life, along with so many other people.  You don't hear about them much because so much of their funding goes directly to research, support and prevention.

If you would like to come walk with us or donate, the sign up is at the link here: Free To Breathe Jacksonville - Team Samantha  I would love to have a huge team and reach our goal.  Any amount helps.  Guys, I want to live!  Please help me do that.

Finally, thank you all for your continuous prayers and support.  God works in mysterious ways and is helping me in more ways than you can imagine.  I'll share some more on my next blog.  In the meantime, please help save us by funding this organization.  The government grossly underfunds lung cancer.

And thank you God for giving me this life, and every day I get to wake up and be with the people I love.  It is because of you I can face tomorrow, because you live.  Like the song says "Life is worth the living just because He lives".  My next results are Sept. 18th, so please pray they are still good.  Thank you all so much.

Maybe now I can sleep....