Sunday, August 19, 2012


Cancer is an ugly thing - I think we can all agree on that.  No matter what type of cancer it is - it takes so much and some types sooner rather than later. Just not fair.

Then the treatments - a whole other set of issues.  I can only speak to mine but some stories I have read just tear at my being.  Like children with cancer.  Or women with ovarian cancer that is almost always typically found too late.  Or brain, bone, pancreatic etc. - all so ugly.

I have been thinking a lot lately about my own cancer and how the treatments have dramatically changed my life.  I was diagnosed at 41.  At that time in my life, I was working a tough full time job, raising 8 year old triplets and going out with my previous boyfriend (most of my free time) or going out with friends.  Prior to that diagnoses, I had some surgeries due to my arthritis but all pale in comparison to what cancer has done.

I have a good attitude (most of the time) about it and a strong will to live.  But life has slowed way down and changed drastically.  No Friday happy hours, no eating out with friends, or eating in with my family and no boyfriend.  Every once in awhile, one of my kids ask if they should set a plate for me.  Breaks my heart.  And at the times I say yes, they get so excited.

I haven't (and now can't) worked since March 2011.  I have had more ambulance rides than I could count and never would have dreamed of.  Surgeries, shrunken vagina, can't eat, diarrhea if I do eat, haven't driven since June when I broke my right arm, scared waiting for results of tests, hate going to my oncologist more often than the three month follow up for the first two years after the diagnoses and on and on.

I am not looking for sympathy.  I have accepted it.  Well most of it.  One other point, I have always been pretty much a loner - so some of what I say is on me.  I had my family, a boyfriend, a few very close friends and interaction with coworkers.  It was enough for me.

With all that said, my perception and priorities have changed dramatically.  Still a loner. But my family is sooooo much more important than boyfriends, Friday night happy hours or eating food: they are my world.  I always said that before - but I didn't really understand what it truly meant until I almost lost it all a couple of times.

Sure,  I want parts of it back.  Prior to breaking my arm, I would spend a couple of hours with a very good friend of mine on the Fridays that my kids were with their father.  And I will get back to that once I can drive again.  I would like to go out but fatigue stops the "like" to not gonna happen.  Such is life.  I have what I need - my prayer warriors, my God and my family.

But at times, I feel isolated.  Some my own doing and some not.  It hurts - but a smile from one of my children or a laugh with my mom helps a ton.

Seeing arm doc Tuesday.  I will keep you posted.  BTW - I guess the swelling in my right arm had gone down.  It was after a nights sleep.  The compression cast fell down to my lower arm.  Looks like I will have a crooked arm.  But I will wear it proudly just like all my other battle scars.

More later -

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Out of the mouth of my 10 year old Sarah

Today, my mom came and got us to take us shopping for backpacks, sneakers and the rest of school supplies.

As we were driving out of the neighborhood, I was reminding the kids of the limits I had set for the prices of the shoes and backpacks.   If my mom would have taken them without me, the sky would be her limit.  We were talking and discussing who could talk whom out of things/into things when it came to shopping.

My daughter quickly added that my mom was the only one who could talk me out of things and that she and her brothers could talk me into anything.  Sad but true - they just wear you down until you give in!  Not the best parenting - but she called  a spade a spade.

More later -
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New Neighbors

This summer has been quiet compared to last.  Last year, there were tons of kids on my street which ends in cul-de-sac.  This year not so much between families moving and summer vacation.  So my kids have been starving for something to do as they won't go out and play together.  So when a new family moved in, my kids were thrilled.

Two nights ago, the new neighbors were out.  The kids went over and introduced themselves and made fast friends.  They have a 3 year old, a daughter the same age as my kids and a boy who is two years older than my kids.   I met the parents - they were great.  All of a sudden, Sarah was spending the night with them and I invited their son to spend the night over here.  All was well and worked out great.

Their father works in the oil fields and was leaving the next morning.  The family had their cousins come to visit.  So their kids were busy for a part of the day.  After dinner time, they were out playing.  My kids were chomping at the bit to join them.  So they did and they headed to the playground.

I don't know how much time had passed when my phone rang.  It was the mother letting me know that Sarah and Daniel (keep in mind they are ten years old) were fighting and that Sarah had bit Daniel in the eye.  She thought I would want to know - which I did.  I asked her to send them home and thanked her.

When they got to the door, Sarah was in tears (automatic if she knows she is in trouble) and showing the bite marks on her arm.  They were perfect bite marks that she claimed Daniel had made.  Daniel has awful teeth that go in different directions.  I told her that there was no way they were made by Daniel and that the mother had called me so that I knew who did what.  By the way, Sarah has perfectly straight teeth.  I told her that she must have bit herself on the walk home from the park.

She started crying more saying she didn't bite herself as it would hurt too much.  More tears = lying.  Daniel had a huge bite mark around his eye.  This was all about a swing and who was there first - the behavior reminds me of two year olds and not ten year olds.  Daniel ran to it when Sarah got off but she claims she wasn't done and was just doing something and was going to get back on.  So she sits  on top of him.  She claims the bite happened because she was chewing gum.  The only truth to this is she was actually chewing gum.

I was embarrassed.  Second day and my new neighbors got to see how lovely my kids play together.  At least she is a mother and understands that kids fight but really over a swing????? 

Welcome to the neighborhood!

More later -

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

PT/CT scan results!

I put a call into the oncologist office- my results are clear!!!  Thank God!   I am so happy and relieved.

Every couple of months, I knock out for about 48 hours.  It is weird. The nurse came to change my dressing today so I asked her about it.  She said to make sure to take my temp and blood pressure to make sure it hasn't bottomed out.  She said it was probably a side effect of the radiation - overwhelming fatigue.

During this time, I am taking no meds.  Without the morphine, I get terrible diarrhea.  The diarrhea kicked in Sunday night.  Even depends weren't enough.  I would wake up a little too late.  Not fun.

More later -

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Radioactive Sugar

Today was the big test day - radioactive sugar in my body via port. It will show uptake to any cancerous spots if any are there.  Praying there is not.  Should know by next week - I will keep you posted.

Broken arm still hurts.  But there is improvements - baby steps.  Still haven't driven since the big kaboom on 6/2.  I couldn't even turn the key - not enough strength in my right arm and it would hurt.  Between the amount of morphine and the healing breaks in the arm, I am afraid my reaction time would not be a good mix. There are enough scary drivers on the road!

While mom took me to my test today, my stepfather stayed at my house to watch the kids  We left him watching the Olympics.  When we got home, mom had to hook me up to my feed bag.  He was watching volleyball (not sure which countries were playing).  He kept wanting to move things in my house because he thought they were effecting who would win or lose.  Mom said that lately he thinks the TV is telling him to do things.  Alzheimers is ugly.  One kindness is he is not aware of what he has lost.

So from radioactive sugar to Alzheimers - that covers the highlights of my day.

More later -

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Monday, August 6, 2012

About to get loud

The kids are coming home today!   I can't wait to see them and hear about their adventures!  I have enjoyed the quiet - but rather have them here with the volume cranked up!

I am going Wed. morning for my PT/CT scan.  It is hard to wait for the results - please pray that nothing lights up.  I will keep you updated.

More later -

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