Archive for April, 2012

Dare I Say it? Single DIGITS!!!!

I covet your prayers. My patience is running thin as the end draws near. I have nine weeks left (2 shots, 3 times a week). I am getting anxious, but I know I am to seek God through this journey. God says learn from where you are; don’t rush through it, wishing time away. Honestly, the finish line is so close that I often get frustrated.

And, quite frankly, I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!

The last two weeks have been pretty tough. One week, I was dealing with the mental battles that accompany this – the tears finally came. And fell, and fell, and fell. I haven’t cried during this entire ordeal – even when they told me for certain it was cancer. But someone said something that I took the wrong way, and the loneliness and pity took hold.

When you’re feeling like that, the loneliness perpetuates the depression and I make it worse by isolating myself. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything except lie on the couch. As time passed, the painful fog began to lift. One thing I did (that I have never done in my life) was confront the person who hurt me. I knew it wasn’t meant in the manner it was received, but I needed affirmation. My friend needed to know that I was hurt.

Then, last week, I lived through (physically) one of the hardest weeks in a long time. I had to drive back and forth (about 70 miles each way) to teach a training class at our research center. I think I just pushed myself a little too hard. Add choir, Bible study, parenting, etc., and you’ve got one tired little puppy. Thursday, my body gave out. What should have taken a little over an hour (getting home) took a little over two hours.

I stopped four times to be sick and ended up riding down the interstate with a Sonic bag in my lap should I get sick. Absolutely brutal!

I continue to be very grateful for my family. When I got home that evening, I went straight to bed, no questions asked.  Hannah, again, took care of the boys – making sure they had dinner. Both of my children have been such servants during this entire ordeal. I am grateful to God for developing in both of them a heart of compassion.

Lastly, God granted me enough strength to go shopping for a prom dress with Hannah. You have to know that I absolutely HATE shopping and that I had just finished a physically demanding week. But God was faithful in providing strength, and Hannah was patient in our journey from one store to the next. Funny thing, we bought the first dress she found. We just had to visit all the other dress stores to make sure. She’s growing up way too quickly.

Sunday brought church, a nice family lunch, and then a four-hour nap. I will be glad to get back to some sense of normalcy. It’s just around the corner, I’m sure of it.

Oncologist appointment on Thursday. More blood work and checking to make sure everything is going well.

When I finish, all the praise will go to God as has done as he promised – He has held me up with His righteous right hand.

Father, I praise you for working in my life, and for allowing me to see how you are using me. I find peace when I can glimpse the situation through your eyes.

A Surprise under my Arm – Looking Back

Today marks the official one-year anniversary of the start of my cancer journey. Three days after I ran my first 5K – yes, let’s celebrate just a little bit more. I ran a 5K a year ago! Yes, I’m proud.

It wasn’t until the end of April that I started blogging about this journey. So, I’m going to go back and see if I can remember everything that happened. I’ve documented so much of this, that I might as well include it all.

So, on April 5, 2011, I woke up just like any other day. My right shoulder was very sore – not a shooting pain, but more like an ache (like if I had pulled a muscle). It had happened once before, a week or so prior, but the soreness went away after a shower.

This time, unfortunately, the pain was still there after the shower. I stretched out my arm to see if any particular movement caused the pain – nope. I examined for a possible bruise – nothing. I pressed around my armpit to see if it hurt in any particular place, like if I had pulled a muscle. I didn’t find any specific place that ached, but I did feel a knot that was about the size of a plastic Easter egg.

Now, if I am totally honest, I must admit that I am not a doctor person. I will take my kids to the doctor every day if they need it. But I am one of those people to absolutely HATES visiting the doctor. You think I would have learned, after a long, horrible bout with strep throat. But I digress. I do not like going to the doctor.

So, I called my mom on the way to work to get her opinion. Of course she was going to say, “Don’t worry about it, it will fix itself.” Instead, her voice changed to one of concern and she told me I needed to get to the doctor as soon as I could.

My doctor was on vacation. The office didn’t think they could get me in until the end of the next week. Mom encouraged me to call back and tell them what’s going on and see if they can get me in earlier. Seriously? What could she POSSIBLY be worried about?

So, I talked to the scheduler and told her my entire story. She passed me on to the nurse who got me on the schedule for the next day.

I saw the doctor (not mine, unfortunately). He poked around and we talked. He said that he wouldn’t speculate but that I needed to have a CAT scan as soon as possible.

So, I’m having the scan.  It was like an ultrasound.  The technician told me she was sure it wasn’t cancer because it didn’t look like a solid mass, but lots of fluid. She told me it looked like I didn’t have anything to worry about.

Besides the early news that this was not cancer, I was met with another tremendous blessing when I walked out of the office. Joyce Smith, my dear friend and tower of strength, was sitting in the lobby waiting for me. Why? I didn’t ask her to be with me, and I probably wouldn’t have. I just figured I would do this myself.

Joyce is a breast cancer survivor. She said that when she found out she had cancer, she was alone. She was not going to let me be alone during any part of this. What a blessing!

At this point, I was relieved. I was praising God because the technician was pretty certain that this was not a solid mass, but fluid. Solid mass equals cancer. Fluid, no cancer. All was good. I knew He had this all under control.

Me? A Runner?

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my completing my first 5K. What an amazing day that was! I didn’t set any speed records, but I finished. I trained, I ran, I walked, and I talked to myself the entire time, reminding myself that hard work pays off.

Back then, I was running/walking 2.5 miles a day. I was (and still am) so very proud of myself. I had never considered myself much of a physical, athletic person. But that day, April 2, 2011, I became a runner.

Not too long after that Saturday, I found the tumor and started a different journey. I’ll share more about that later this week.

My mom has taught me my entire life that I could do anything I put my mind to. I’ve demonstrated that in a lot of different ways. Unfortunately for me, I really didn’t think that applied to being an athlete (maybe that’s too strong of a word, but it makes me feel good.) But as the picture proves, I DID IT!!  208383_1670221082383_1443035228_31330141_5922392_n

So what does that have to do with my being reinvented? Well, I have gained some weight back during these last several months. Of course I have. Everyone else in the entire cancer world loses weight when they go through their treatments. Me? I’m just losing my hair.

The one thing that I can eat that would relieve some of the nausea was bagels, or any other carbs that are dense. I guess it soaks up the acid in my system. Who knows; I just know it works. This has definitely caused a setback on the Weight Watcher front – a TEMPORARY setback.

The other thing is that the treatments have zapped me of just about all of my energy. So, I can’t really exercise with any intensity or consistency. Besides zero energy, the doctor told me to take it easy until I am finished with the treatments. In another place and time, I would have let these facts bring me way down. But now, after nine months down this road, I remind myself of what I have accomplished in the past.

I completed a 5K. If I have done it once, I can do it again. I am hopeful I can do Rock The Parkway - 3 another one before the end of this year. No matter when, I’m certain I will do it again. Then, on to the 10K. And who knows beyond that. I’ll start slowly, just walking around the parking lot – just like I did when I started the weight loss thing. And I will gradually extend my walking, adding a little jogging, until I am ready to run another race.

My ultimate physical goal is to run a marathon. It scares me to even mention it, but I am a strong woman, who is pretty convinced that I can do anything I put my mind to. We’ll see where God takes me.

I can’t wait to get started again. Here’s to seeing you at the finish line.

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