Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Monday, January 14, 2019

My Journey With Cancer-Chemo is Done!

It's not always easy, but smiling helps!

On January 3rd, I finished my 8 rounds of chemo. That was a very rough experience. But, the amazing nurses in the cancer center helped make my time there, bearable. Part of me felt like, "Okay chemo is done, time to feel back to normal again." I knew that wasn't going to happen, but I really hoped it would. I actually do feel better. I still have neuropathy in my hands and feet, the hot flashes still plague me and my energy is still so so. But, I was able to fix dinner for my family 3 times last week and I don't nap in the middle of the day as much anymore. So, thankfully there are improvements. I even went on an audition. (with an IV in my arm!) I still have surgery and radiation to face soon. And while I'm nervous about both, I feel very optimistic. I still have those moments when I look in the mirror at my bald head and missing eyebrows in disbelief at the fact that I have cancer. I then realize it has only been 4 months since my life was turned upside down by the diagnosis. It has been a non-stop crazy roller-coaster ride since January 4th. But with the help of my family and some really special friends, I made it through something I never thought I would even have to face.

I was talking to a friend of mine today telling her how the things I always thought I wanted to do, don't excite me anymore. I know they say that cancer changes you, but I didn't expect to feel the way I do now. She reminded me that I am going through a lot right now and how I feel today could change after I get through all of this.  I sometimes wonder who I'll be after I crush cancer. I wonder if I will still want to act. Or, if I'll concentrate on writing or cooking or something totally different. Will I be more of an introvert or will I want to get out there and see all that life has to offer? I don't know. And that's okay. Right now I just need to focus on healing. So that's what I'm going to do. Those things will work themselves out in time. My priority now is my health.

I send prayers and blessings to all those dealing with cancer and other serious illnesses.
May you find Peace amongst the chaos.

"Healing takes time.  Despite great advances in medicine, the biggest
part of your recovery is attributable to the enormous healing power
inside you.  The body heals itself according to its
own timetable--anxious thoughts never hasten recuperation."

Criswell Freeman

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

My Journey With Cancer-Part 1 Almost Done

Hi everyone. I haven't posted since my 5th chemo treatment. I must admit I was pretty rocked by it. Throughout this entire process so far, that was the worst I have ever felt. Thankfully, treatments #6 and #7 went much better. The only thing negative thing I am continually dealing with is neuropathy in my hands and feet. That definitely isn't pleasant. I have one treatment left and I am really ready to be done. Physically besides hair loss, chemo has affected my energy level, my appetite, my skin, my ability to sleep through the night and my overall strength. Chemo has also thrown my body into menopause. I didn't mind that so much since I was headed in that direction already, but I could have done without the extra intense hot flashes and horrible night sweats. I am hoping those side effects leave sooner rather than later. Emotionally, I'm all over the place. I still have a ton of stress. I believe it's because of the uncertainty of all of this. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I have been gobsmacked by all of this and it's not over. I still have surgery and several weeks of daily radiation to face. (God help me)

One thing I do know for sure. Having this affliction has caused me to be patient.  I can't rush any of this. No matter how much I wish I could. It's like being a prisoner in your own body. That causes great frustration at times, but I just have to deal with it. I have been wholeheartedly embraced by strangers and ignored by some in my own family. I have discovered that I have put a lot of energy into people that would never do the same for me. Hard, painful lessons but totally necessary for when I am cancer-free. I have heard that when I get through this, I won't be the same. I've already seen part of the metamorphosis. There are relationships that will forever be changed. There are new friendships that have been made that have been a blessing. They have taught me that when one door closes a new one really does open. I am thankful for that. I have also learned that I have to be truthful about my feelings. I have to take care of myself. I have to say no, when I mean no and not feel bad about it(still working on that.) I have to protect my spirit and my energy. But, I also have to remember to not go too far inward and reach out and pull others up when I can. My introverted tendencies have only gotten worse since my diagnosis, so I have to watch that habit of wanting to shut myself in for extended periods of time. Although, if there was ever a time to do that, this is it.

Enough about me.

Being that this is the first day of the New Year, I must send you well-wishes for the upcoming 365. It is my sincerest hope that this is the best year yet for all of us. May you be filled with love, hope, peace and most of all, Good Health.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

My Journey With Cancer-Over A Hump Straight into a Wall

This is gonna be a short one,

It's been a minute since I've updated my blog. I've thought about it daily, but I've been going through so much lately. I had hoped to post one after I finished my first cycle of chemo. I was feeling pretty good and the doctors were telling me that I was over the hardest part of the 16 week cycle. That, unfortunately, has not been the case. I went to treatment #5 ready to get it started. I took all my pre-meds, donned my groovy socks and went in. The infusion was much longer this time around (3 hours) and it made me really tired right away, but I was just glad to be done. 2 days later I still felt super tired, and I developed numbness and painful tingling in my hands and feet. This was one of the side effects they said could happen while on the Taxol. I was really hoping to avoid that. However, I wasn't prepared for the pain started on Sunday. I thought it was just because I had been sedentary and I needed to stretch and walk. I did that, but the pain didn't subside. It got worse. Much Worse!! My whole body felt like I had the worse bout of the flu ever. If only it was something as simple. Apparently, I got a side effect that was never mentioned. I was put on round the clock painkillers and all I could do is cry. The pain lasted for 5 days.  It's been a rough time. I haven't had any energy. I've only left my house twice in 2 weeks. To say that mentally, physically and spiritually I've been dealing with some things is a huge understatement. Even now, It's difficult for me to formulate my thoughts to blog about. All I know is, I'm still hopeful that I can get through this. I have chemo again this Thursday and I'm not looking forward to it one bit.  I'm not feeling much like a warrior right now. I'm feeling like a regular woman, wife, and mom who just wishes that cancer never existed. Who wishes she could have the energy to cook dinner for her family again(not that they can't do for themselves, I just miss doing it). go out with her husband, and not miss her sons' concerts at school because I can't get out of the bed. I'm sad. I'm scared, and I just want to get well. I'm hoping to look at all of these posts one day and say, "WOW! I came through a lot, but I made it." On a good note, I still find a reason to smile everyday. I have a ton to be thankful for and I count every blessing.

Through it all, I send you all Peace and Love

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

My Journey With Cancer-The Kindness of Strangers

Since we last chatted, I've had a few more treatments. I've lost ALL of my hair(with the exception of my eyebrows and lashes) my nail beds are turning purple and the skin on my hands has gotten a shade darker. I still feel pretty good for the most part. I do get tired pretty easily and my tastebuds have forsaken me. Most things have no taste. They just taste like cardboard or cotton. I still make sure to eat, but it's definitely not for pleasure. Certain smells make me nauseous, but it's mostly a mental thing. So, I am working on that. 

I wanted to talk about the blessings that I have received over the past few weeks. I have been surprised with cards, gifts, and well-wishes from perfect strangers. I wake up to prayers being said for me on Instagram.  I was "ambushed" by the Brave Chicks. They are a wonderful group of cancer survivors that come to uplift and support other women fighting cancer. They gave me a gift card, an honorary membership certificate, and a plethora of "groovy socks" to wear to chemo. This outpouring of love has been so healing to my spirit. As you can imagine, I have been going through so many emotions. But, most of them lately have just been gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. I initially felt really alone when I got my diagnosis. I knew I wasn't alone, but I just felt so disconnected. Now, that I have met amazing cancer survivors and fighters, I know that I have an army right alongside me fighting, praying, encouraging and believing that I will soon be a cancer survivor. 

I did want to share some more good news with you. The ping-pong sized lymph-nodes in my armpit have shrunk. I can no longer feel any swelling. I was kinda nervous to get my hopes up, but I am celebrating every positive development!  I also excepted a role in a play. I was so inspired by an amazing woman named, Toni Lynice Fountain who is fighting breast cancer for the 2nd time but hasn't let that stop her from acting. Her story really made me realize that there's no reason why I can't keep pursuing my dreams. 

To those that have reached out to me through a card, a phone call, a personal visit or even a message on Facebook, Thank you! 

To my amazing friend, Odessa Frey I LOVE YOU, LADY! Can't wait to visit you in Vegas! And thank you to all of her friends that blessed me and made me smile with their kindness.  

To those out there that are fighting, stay strong. I know how hard it is, but you're not alone. To those that are encouraging someone through their illness. Keep up the great work. Your support is invaluable. 

Peace and Love 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

My Journey With Cancer-What I learned When I Let Go

I am so thankful that I not only wrote but published and let others read my last post. I could have simply written and deleted it or written and left it as a draft. But, it was important and imperative that I write it and let others read it. Because we don't share the ugly enough. Especially as women. I was thinking about the day I found out that I have cancer. My husband and I had just dropped our teens off for their 1st day of school and returned home. I was expecting a call with my results, but I wasn't expecting to be told that I had cancer. Let alone cancer that had already spread. I immediately went into "mom mode." I wanted to make sure everyone else was okay. My husband, my mom, my siblings and especially my children. I was even trying to figure out what to make for dinner that evening. And from that moment until I wrote that post a few days ago, I had been in go mode. Even though I thought I was handling the stress of my diagnosis and all that, I wasn't. I started having daily headaches, chest pains and finally lower back pains that felt like someone was tying my back muscles in painful knots and pulling them tighter and tighter. Every time my heart beat my entire body would hurt. That made me realize that I really wasn't dealing with my stress at all. I had to let it out. Crying wasn't doing it. I had to face every truthful feeling I had suppressed and release them.

A lot of us, men and women alike are taught to not complain. Because that would make us seem ungrateful and we should never seem ungrateful because we have to much to be thankful for. Well, we do have a lot to be thankful for. But, we also are humans that live in a chaotic world where insane things can happen in the blink of an eye. We are also taught to be "Strong." I hear that word a lot. People tell me I am strong all the time. So, with my current situation, I fixated on that. People call me strong, they expect me to be strong so I have to be strong. Well, let me tell you something. Being "strong" almost took your girl out. For real. If I had not recognized what was happening to me and released all that I was holding on to.......I don't even like to think about it.

I worried about sounding too negative in my last post. I even edited it at least 4 times so I wouldn't seem ungrateful. You see what I mean?? I was more worried about what other people would think of my rant. Worried that I might offend someone. I was about to DIE from stress!! But I was still over here worrying about seeming like I wasn't thankful.

Well, I am thankful. Every single day. Even on the sucky days. And I am doubly thankful that I followed my extremely stressed out mind and wrote my rant post because guess what? I haven't had a headache or a chest pain since. And, my back stopped hurting. It was as if a 50 pound weight was lifted from my spirit.

I released that negativity from myself. I spoke the words that a lot of people feel but won't say. I saved myself that day. I really believe that. This journey is changing me. And it has only just begun.

I will tell you this. If you see me and you ask me how I feel, be ready for an honest answer. If you don't want to know, don't ask. Because I'm not holding back anymore. I can't afford to.

Peace and Love.

P.S. I have embraced the Pink Ribbons again! I fight with them and for them!! #BreastCancerAwareness

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
―Ann Landers