Monday, February 4, 2019

Screw This Cancer Mess

Once again, it's World Cancer Day.  A day I've come to know quite well over the past 6 years.  And usually I'm this positive, upbeat person who tries to give hope to everyone.  But dammit, I am not always that person.  I debated writing this for some time today.  Given the timing of the day and everything, but I promised to be real.

So here it is guys.  Pay attention.  I am NOT cured of cancer.  My cancer is NOT in remission, please look up the word for a clearer definition.  I still have Stage 4 lung cancer that I take many medications for every single day and will do so for the rest of my life.  The side effects aren't pretty.  There are some things I've lost that I'll never get back.  One of those being time.  But, to know it, you have to live it, or be close to someone who does, and even then, you can't always get the full effect.

Recently, a fellow lung cancer survivor messaged me.  I guess I've been naive or have been in denial.  The stages of grief are crazy.  But, after 18 years, his lung cancer returned.  He, like me, had forgotten he even had scans that week.  I've always looked up to him and now I was encouraging him.  He's a fighter and I'm sure he'll come out on top.  And once he began getting things right in his head...things began to go wrong in mine.

I'm 6 years out from this diagnosis and still on my first line treatment.  Yes, I'm blessed.  But am I happy all the time?  NO.  Today is one of those days.  As my friend put it, "going so long being cancer free and then unexpectedly it's back, knocks you back into day 1 of diagnosis". 

I know I should feel blessed since I am...but it's so hard sometimes.  For instance once he got back on that saddle, all I could think of is, "this is going to kill me unless something else takes me out first".  What a way to live.  But I'm alive...that's what everyone says I should be happy about.  It's hard, losing friends and living in purgatory with one foot in this world and the other just waiting to step into the other. 

To all those that have gone before me, I miss and will always love you and so do your loved ones and may you continue to rest in peace.  To those who are still fighting, don't let this pity party girl get you down.  I'll come out of this funk.  Always do. 

I just need people to know, that for us, it is never over.  There is no cure.  To us, every ache, pain, cold, EVERYTHING is cancer returning.  This is as good as it gets for me.  This freaking pill that won't allow my hair to grow, gives me rashes, makes my skin dry out, leaves me fatigued constantly, and many more things I will not mention, also keeps me alive.  So, I don't know.  I'm here for Karley and the rest of my family and friends.  Without you guys...I would want to go ahead and hit up those pearly gates.  So, I'll keep struggling with my mortality, up my antidepressants, and maybe my next post will be sunshine and rainbows.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers.  I think I need specific ones for peace and strength right now.  And thank you for always praying for my friends.  They are so grateful.  God bless you all.

Karley turned 14!

Side Effects

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Results and Lung Cancer Living

Well, this has been probably the longest amount of time I've gone without blogging.  So, of course at the end I will send you into picture overload.  I feel like the holidays where a whirlwind.  One day, I want to just relax and enjoy them.  I've been so busy since November, my body is literally done.  It says "no mas, you must rest". 

So, since my last blog, one of Karley's best lifelong friends, Bella, moved to North Carolina.  They reunited with the other part of their trio, Lydia, and had a sleepover and a pizza party to send her off.  She'll be back, but now Karley's trio is spread out so far.  They will be forever friends, I can tell.

Karley and I went to Atlanta Christmas day to visit with my family.  Josh joined us for an evening of fun and entertaining times as always in our crazy household.  My sister got me the pants I needed, don't worry, I'll post a picture.  I know you guys are dying to see them.

I found out an old friend's son died in a car accident 3 days before Christmas, her only child.  She's my age.  I'm so glad Amanda and I could be there for her and were able to plan the services and perform them ourselves.  A special thanks to Jennifer Shaeffer, Big Ron, Ashleigh, Conner, and Kat for all the help you gave Dawn, Amanda and me.  My mind can't go to where her's is at now.  I'm praying for her strength and peace.  No parent should have to bury their own child.  It was one of the saddest holidays. 

My friend Jennifer came down for NYE.  We went a little to hard the night before so watched Bird Box and some other shows on Netflix and were out by 10 pm.  We think we can do it again the next night every time.  I keep forgetting we aren't in our 20s.  I'm so glad she was able to visit and we will do much more when she comes again.

Finally, my baby girl turned 14 on the 1/15.  We celebrated by taking her to her favorite sushi restaurant.  We may have totally different worlds, but John and I will always be there together for Karley and I'm so glad each of us is dating people that understand that and love Karley too.  I'm grateful we all get along so well. 

And oh yeah, I totally forgot, my scans are still stable.  Now I'm able to go every 5 months instead of 3!  I can't thank you all enough for your continuous prayers and emotional support.  It's a roller coaster for sure, but I'm enjoying the ride until the end.  Please pray for a few lung cancer friends with some difficulties as of late, my friend whose son passed, and another friend just diagnosed with breast cancer.  Cancer sucks.  Losing a child...I can't even.  Please continue your prayers for our family too.   They always mean so much.  Thank you Lord for all of my blessings.  Also having a double sleepover this weekend.  Prayers appreciated!

Oh yeah, pretty sure my sister is a spider monkey...picture below to prove.

Time for pic overload

Karley turned 14!

Bella's Going Away Party and the Trio

Sitting in the same order

Catching up with Old Friends

Christmas 2018

Gage's Celebration of Life - So young

Scan Pleasantries

And....my sister, the spider monkey and her husband.  They are so cute!