Thursday, March 31, 2016

Results 3/31/16 and......where are we going for our honeymoon?

So, I'm going to make this short and sweet.  My petscan was good.  Nothing was hot.  The nodule in my left lung did grow a little, but it didn't register as hot.  We just have to keep an eye on it.  I need to think of a name for it though if it's going to be hanging out for a while...

I still have the two tumors in my right lung that aren't active, blue cross and blue shield.  Wish they would go away but they're like leeches.  Ugh.

Overall, I couldn't be more ecstatic!  And now, Brent and I can go on our honeymoon.  And now is the time to share with you all where we get to go thanks to my mom's friend Glenda and all of the donations we received for our dream honeymoon.

We're going to London and Paris for 8 days in a few months!  I didn't want to tell anyone until we were sure my scans came out good.  And they did!  So no more scans until we return from Europe!  Yay!

Thank you for all your continuous prayers for my family and me.  Please pray for Carmen Frye, Ansley Jones, and another friend, all battling cancer and having a very rough time right now.  I know there are so many of you, my prayers are with you too.

God has been so good to us.  I'm so blessed to have my family and this precious life!  I'm never going to take it for granted.  This second chance has opened my eyes and I'm so full of hope!  God bless you all!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I Got Hitched Y'all

That translates to "I got married you all".  Just making that clear for my friends in the north and out west.

The weather was predicting a 90% chance of thunderstorms.  Ours was an outdoor venue.  I kept thinking in my head that later on I would be saying, "I got married...in a garage" just as Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama said, "You have a baby....in a bar".  We all prayed our hearts out and God answered them.

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect and beautiful day.  Not too hot or cool.  Just perfect.  The venue was beautiful (my old place of employment).   The owner, Joe McDonough has been like a second dad to me and was so gracious to host this for us.  It really was a dream wedding, although I could not dance well in that dress or those heels!  Thank you to all of Ocean Lodge.  You guys really are family!  Norma Jean, the favors were amazing!

I haven't gotten the photography pics from that night, but I've posted a few below thanks to Chris Draft and some helpful friends and family. Believe me, when I get them I'll just post a blog of pics.  This ceremony was most important because we committed to each other and married under the eyes of God, because we do love each other so much.  During the pre-marital counseling, the preacher looked at Brent directly and said, "you do know what you're getting your self into with the for sicker part, right?  I want you to be totally sure and honest."

Without a moments hesitation, Brent replied, "I would take care of her for the rest of my life, even if we weren't getting married."  Wow.  That moment erased any doubt that could've been there.  And he does.  When I am not feeling well he waits on me all of the time.  He brings me beautiful roses once a week, always a different color.

When I was diagnosed, I felt I would never find love, happiness, and was doomed to a life of awaiting on an impending slow and painful death.  Quite the contrary has happened.  The diagnosis has forced me to live.  To take chances I wouldn't have taken before.  To have this wedding and go on the honeymoon of my dreams (thanks Glenda and all who donated) to London and Paris in June.

I want to see and do as much as I can.  But for now, I'm still resting.  I somehow managed to get a stomach virus right after the wedding.  On the plus size I lost 6 lbs.  But it was awful.  Thank you to the doctor(s) that invented phenogren.   This whole week has seemed like one day because of how much I've slept.

Anyways, I'm tired again but had to let you all know I'm now Mrs. Thompson but you can still call me Mixon. Arash does.

Thant you God for your continuous guidance and strength and patience.  And thank you to all of you who keep us in your prayers. They always mean so much.  Please pray for a new friend, Victoria, stage 4 lc at 28, my cousins son Connor (brain tumor), Ansley Jones (leukemia relapse) and Carmen Frye (post surgical complications).   Please pray for me too.  I have scans next week. Prayers that they will still be unable to detect any cancer are greatly appreciated.  Love you and God bless you all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mama Bear Woes with Cancer on the Side

By now, I'm over 3 years into this journey.  But let me tell you, it NEVER ends.  It will NEVER end. Issues continue and we battle one after another, but I don't shout out to the world that I still have cancer (unless I'm joking with old friends).  In reality, it eats you up inside (literally and metaphorically).  I personally can't imagine losing Karley to cancer or any other illness, watching her in pain...just wanting to be normal. So to those parents fighting for their children or mourning their loss, I am praying for you, honestly.  You humble me.  Mom and Dad included.

However, watching your child worry about you, while you're worrying about what she's gonna do without you is emotional exhausting and will rip your heart to shreds.  It's as if there is a knot in my stomach every three months, it's gut wrenching.   Even the breaks between scans, to listen to your child say, "mommy, are you going to die tonight?" and not be able to answer "no" is devastating.  The nights are the worst, when she has time to think about the situation her mom has been in for the last 3 years, each day coming closer to an expiration date.

Karley was 7 when I was diagnosed and she just turned 11 in January.  She still needs her mom for so much.  When I was diagnosed, she totally changed.  Her grades began slipping, her focus wasn't there anymore.  She became more forgetful and continues to be so.  I've taken her to several therapists and even had a teacher recommend her be tested for ADHD.

I wanted so much not to do that.  I've tried so much to help her remember and get organized.  But time and time again different people in the community have told her that she's not paying attention, not focused. she's disinterested in school, she's lazy and all of that continues to lower her self esteem.

On top of cancer, seeing my child go through this is almost more than I can take.   I did some research on the emotions of a child whose parent has cancer (Stage 4 non the less), and it hit home hard.

A UCLA study documented that children whose parents are diagnosed with cancer are more likely to experience increases in general levels of distress and anxiety as well as mood changes and lowering of their self esteem.  Their distress may manifest into poor school performance, complaints of pain and discomfort, as well as changes in social and interpersonal relations.  The group most vulnerable to this is adolescent girls whose mother is sick.  School aged children tend to feel hopelessness.  Looks like we hit the jackpot.

Quite frankly, it is stressing me out to the point of near daily meltdowns when Karley comes home upset because she forgot something or did something wrong and got yelled at.  The American Cancer Society sites lack of concentration as one of the side effects of dealing with a parent with a diagnosis such as mine.  I know her self esteem is low and it breaks my heart.  She does a good job hiding it during the day, but not when she comes home.

If you're reading this, and you see Karley on a daily basis, try to put yourself in her shoes for a day. Parents separated, always worrying about mama...to the point she snaps a picture of me when at her dads when we are facetiming...every time.  It breaks my heart.  Or put yourself in my shoes.  What if you knew you would have to leave your child before you are ready?  It's pure torture.

Any little bit of encouragement, compliment, acknowledgement of something good she did would go a long way.  I'm sure everyone sees me as overprotective.  The truth is, I just want to see her grow up.  But, we all know that's a long shot.  So, I try to make her happy while I can, because I know one day I won't be able to do that anymore.  So, people can say I baby her or whatever, but to them I say, "is your child living with this?".  Her third grade teacher was probably the most understanding woman I ever met when it came to an instructor.  She knew what Karley is going through because she lost her mom at a young age.  She knew family comes before all else.  Because when one person in the family gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer.

I'm okay with what will happen to me in the end.  But, I so much want to be here with Karley.  And my poor parents, I know they have been on the brink of breakdowns for 3 years.

But for now, since my child isn't "focused, doesn't pay attention, and is lazy", I'll get her tested for ADHD because I'm sure it has NOTHING to do with her life being turned upside down.

Sorry for the sad post but this is how we live.  We make the most of it and are so blessed to have Brent and Livi in our lives now.  Despite her constantly feeling she is worthless, to me she is worth more than anything in the world.  I hope she always knows that.  She's the best thing I ever did in this life.  I love her more than anything and I pray daily she finds peace with God in this situation.

Thank you for all of your continuous prayers.  And please pray for my friend Carmen.  She's got late stage cancer too with little girls.  She's having a rough time emotionally and physically.