Sunday, October 31, 2010

Taking time to Laugh on Halloween!

'Come give Pappy a hug!'

Not much to update on today...just waiting for treatment this upcoming week and trying my best to 'rest' as much as I can. It's hard. I'll just say that. So my sister usually has a halloween party, but this year Life got in the way so they all just headed out this year. I stayed inside my germ-free house and I was more than ok with that! :) However, they all stopped out to see me at my house before they went out and it was so nice of them! But, they were greeted not by me, but by the old grandpa that said 'Come give Pappy a hug!!' :D I am so glad I was able to have some fun this year and laugh a lot! I really need laughing right now. It helps my spirits so much, so if you have the opportunity to laugh make sure you do and do it often! And making fun of yourself and laughing at the same time...that's the best, it's good therapy. I got many good laughs out of my costume this year. I was also able to wear it to 'help' my parents pass out candy...I got some weird looks from those kids! It was fun! Thanks you guys for being good spirited and laughing with me through all this. Love ya no matter what ;)
Today is Andrew's birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW! We celebrated with a cake and dinner at Red Lobster...we go big here let me tell you ;) Hope you all had as much fun dressing up as I did! Next year, I am having a Family Fun Halloween Party with lots of fun and EVERYONE has to dress too mom and dad! Oh this will be good....our family times are the best and we laugh like no other family can!! So mark it on your calendars prepared to come, no know a year in advance! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coach to Laura – Time Out in the Game!

Dear Laura,

Okay, in football analogy let me say that you thought the game was going in your favor and so did we field coaches. But alas, the coaches from the press box (aka – cancer coaches from yesterday) saw things we could not see and instructed us to call a timeout and get refocused.
They saw things (low white/red blood cell counts and high liver enzyme counts) along with your chest discomfort and immediately instructed us to stop the game temporarily (until next Thursday). They instructed us to insert a new wrinkle into our game plan (3 shots over 3 days to get cell counts back up). After the time out is over they told us they would assess how things are going later (next Thursday) and they will decide then on how to finish the game with what plays.

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes God reminds us He is still in control and knows what is best for us. The three words on my wedding ring mom had engraved are the beginnings of my morning prayer – Faith, Hope, and Love.
My prayer begins by asking Him to help me grow today in those three areas by saying: Love – May we learn to Love others as thou hath loved us; Hope – The Hope for world peace and people’s inner peace; and Faith - To trust in thee with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding and in all ways acknowledge you knowing you will direct our paths. It is this Faith area I struggle with the most but also the area I have probably grown in the most.

It is the dad in me that says my choice for your “Pursuit” would have been a sprint to the finish line of being healed/being cured and not the marathon that it takes. But that was not my call. Okay, so the literature says it is a marathon, but still I did not want you to physically, mentally and emotionally suffer. But that was not my call. Remember, my ultimate prayer had always been that it would be me who would get “something” and never mom or you children. But that was not my call. My hope for any couple in their first year of marriage would not have been to go through what Andrew and you have gone through. But that was not my call. These have not been any of our calls to make.

It keeps coming back to the trust we must maintain when we cannot explain things. But too, it is the trust that we must maintain when we can explain things. I wish it were 100% of the time that I understand why things are as they are but that is not to be. Enter again the Faith that is central to our Christianity and our daily living with God directing our paths.
When I was in that special unit overseas someone before me had painted a picture in our barracks and it hung on the wall of our communication center. It was a nasty looking military man and under the picture the guy had taken the 23rd Psalm and made a different interpretation almost line-for-line. The one line I want to mention is where he said, Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for I am the meanest son-of-a-bitch in the valley. That, and his entire analogy, was to say our unit was self-sufficient because we could handle/do anything because we were a 30 man special group. That was supposed to bring us peace of mind on a daily basis as we went about our business. Many times we would joke about that picture and his inscriptions underneath. Too many people believe they are self-sufficient and are in complete control of their lives and they have not learned how to let go and let God.

Years later Psalms 23 came to mean something more about letting go and letting God in my life. The exact verse about how “He prepares a feast for me in the presence of my enemies” was totally awesome and it just jumped out at me. The clearest part of the verse that spoke to me was that if my God would take the time to prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies He would surely make me safe to enjoy it. He did not narrowly define who my enemies were so it did not matter – He would take care of things and if he would take care of that He would take care of all things if I let go. Wow, that picture painted a thousand words for me and almost makes me too confident and daring when I think about it even today. That is the kind of Shepherd or Leader I want in my daily life!

Make no mistake about it Laura, your blogs have shown us how to Keep the Faith as you interpret what has been going on since June 17th and subsequently with The Pursuit. We know who your Shepherd is and we know you believe he knows what is better for you than you/we do. We take a “peace of mind” in that understanding and we thank you for it. But also make no mistake about it that when you are hurting or disappointed we share that also!
So realize, this is a marathon you are involved in and your Faith will sustain you through it. Our bracelets say “Never Give In” for many reasons and in the analogy of a marathon remember to:

• Keep the mental and psychological pace – God will take care of the physical pace so fight through the physical battles inherit in the race knowing that,
• Keep a sharp image of all this being worth it when you cross the finish line and are healed/cured,
• Know that there are people who may finish ahead of you in the race but just maybe somehow you finished right where you were supposed to because your Good Shepherd knew you better than you knew yourself.

Sorry for this prolonged “Time Out” but it is now time to get back into the game and continue The Pursuit. As they do during timeouts, they listen to the words from their coach like you just did, they take a swallow of an energy drink and wipe their brows of their sweat. Your Faith is your energy that will sustain you and God will continuously wipe away the sweat and tears as you proceed through The Pursuit.

Thanks “Me Lorla” and catch you later with a victory speech as originally planned.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Some of Gods greatest gifts...are Unanswered Prayers

Hey guys. I’m writing today feeling extremely tired with achy bones, but thankful I'm not nauseated like yesterday. I got to see my cancer nurses today when I went in for my second shot. They make me laugh and it’s awesome. They really are a God-send to the cancer world over there on Market Street. I like to surround myself with people who make me laugh…life is way more positive when you do that! I loved my friend Ash’s comment one time on FB, she said ‘I’m making some changes in my life, and if you don’t hear from me, you are one of those changes.’ I loved it! That’s why she’s a part of my life cause she makes me laugh. Anyway, shot number two is better than shot number one, I slept for 5 hours this afternoon. I’m starting to realize that your body really does need time to repair itself, even if you are healthy, and it’s vital to get enough sleep so that the repairs can take place. So guys, try to get sleep at night, you will get sick if you don’t treat your body right. And maybe I did too much last week. I realize now that just because I feel good doesn’t mean I am good. I need to step out of my box and look at the total picture instead of just the day to day one. So Andrew stepped up again and drilled me on getting enough rest, drinking even more water, and taking my pills no matter how I feel. Here he is putting my pills back in my pill container like I’m an old woman (he can be so good, he got my medication from CVS today and cooked dinner without me even asking…he can be so great!)

Having cancer can be a total life change. But for me, I really wanted to spell my cancer with a lower case c. Because having it spelled with an upper case seems like I’m giving it more power than it deserves. I want power over this, but if I don’t listen to the doctors, I won’t be healed the way I need to be. My friend Alaina (who has been through the health ringer this last month) and I came to that realization when we tried to bounce back more quickly than our bodies planned. We both want fuller lives than what we are living right now, but it is going to take more rest and repair to do so. Not just physically, but mentally. I’m so glad I prepared myself through prayer to hear any news the day I went in thinking it was my last chemo treatment. I'm not sure what my reaction would have been if I wasn't prepared to hear anything the doctor said. Truthfully, I was mad at first because I thought God did not answer my prayer. But in all honesty, He did. I did have understanding, but what about healing? God already knows the wants and needs of our hearts. Even though I prayed for healing, God knew what I truly needed yesterday. I believe he answered the prayer of my heart, not my words. Because he knew that my true desire is to truly know Him more, not be healed. He is going to give us just enough to keep a close relationship to him. My 'just enough' was delayed treatment so that I would go to Him looking for the ‘Why?’ answers. I would spend more time searching for answers and consequently go back to Him, therefor having an even deeper and meaningful relationship with God. He knew that I would learn more and lean more on Him throughout this next week then maybe any week in the past throughout this Pursuit. He’s got it together you guys and He knows what He’s doing. I have to be mindful of that and remember to Never Give In. So I will keep fighting the fight, not just the cancer fight, but the fight for true meaning in this life. Tonight I thank God for unanswered prayers. Like Garth Brooks says, 'just because He doesn't answer, doesn't mean He's not there. Cause some of God's greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers.' I didn't get what I verbally asked for from God, I got more :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Jinxed Myself!

My original Last Chemo Cookies became ' Let's celebrate the thought of last chemo next week' cookies :)

I was so worried about my future plans last night that I forgot to worry about the present plans! I sure am glad I prayed yesterday for understanding of what the doctors would tell me today of what the plan is. Because today at my oncology appointment, nothing went the way I thought or planned it would go! I thought today that I would have chemo, well, I jinxed myself. I took cookies in to the Cancer Center today to celebrate my last day of chemo and then they dropped the bomb on me. They did my blood work and the results came back to show that both my red and white blood cell counts are too low to have treatment. My body needs more time to recover from the last treatment in order to handle the chemo drugs this treatment. Then they also told me that my liver enzymes were too high and the tightness in the chest was just icing on the cake to say ‘Let’s play it safe and wait ‘til next week.’ In the mean time, I have to go in tomorrow and on Saturday to get a Neupogen shot. It is kinda like the Neulasta shot but a lower dosage. It will help me bounce back faster and get my white blood cells levels back to normal again in order to have chemo next Thursday. I got one shot already today and it made me get sick. Go figure, I’m that messed up that I get sick when I DON’T have chemo.:) I felt better as the day went on though, just very, very tired. Right now I can hardly think straight, but I wanted to let you know what was going on. So as it is nice to have a plan for the future, most of the time it doesn’t end up working out the way you planned anyways. So I'm learning as it says in Matthew to worry about the present, not the future. Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. True that.

My last day of chemo happy face...and then my...

'What the heck just happened, now what?' face

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dear God,

Dear God,

Hey there. It’s me, but You already know that. So it's finally here, almost five months later, it's here! I am just going to be honest because You would know if I was lying. I’m not scared about tomorrow because I know what’s coming with the chemo treatment. My LAST chemo treatment. That just makes me happy to say that. But the one thing I am uneasy about is all the unanswered questions I have. I’m nervous to hear the answers because You know how I am a planner and I’m afraid that what the doc tells me will not be in my plans. But I know that it’s not my plans anyway. They are Your plans for me. But God, I don’t want radiation and I do want to go back to work next Friday. Please help me to be open and understanding to what the doctor has to say. Help me to understand the reasoning behind his decisions for me and the next few weeks of this Pursuit. I know I can come to You and ask anything in your name, so please heal my lungs back to their full capacity. They hurt when I breath deeply God and I know that’s not normal. Lord, I'm not scared anymore. I'm almost healed from cancer and I deeply thank You for that. I wanted more in my life, but I didn't want to be selfish and ask for more time. Thank You for giving me more time to do Your work and not taking me home to be with You yet. I pray that I never take the extra time You gave me for granted. We are all on borrowed time God. Let me not waste it on harsh words and meaningless activities. Let me be a blessing in Your name as a gift back to You. Lord I pray that I keep my focus throughout the rest of my treatment plan no matter what it is. Because as it says in Proverbs, a man’s spirit can sustain his broken body, but when spirit dies, what hope is left? Please sustain the spirit I have had throughout this whole process. I know that is the only way I have survived this so far. Don't let me get down now. May we remember that You are the God of hope who can fill us with all joy and peace because we trust in You. Thank You for being the Ultimate Healer in my life and being my bridge to total happiness and health in Heaven. I’m so ready for the day when there are no more tears to fall down this face...but not just yet, let me have a baby or two first. Thank you for Your sacrifice and for forgiving me of my shortcomings time and time again.


Oh yeah, there are a lot of prayers out there for me. God, I pray with faithfulness and thanksgiving that you will reveal Yourself and bless each and everyone of these people who have prayed for me one way or another. Thanks God.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In the words of Rafiki: 'The weather - Pbbbah! Very peculiar. Don't you think?

From The Lion King

Rafiki: The weather - Pbbbah! Very peculiar. Don't you think?
Simba: Yeah. Looks like the winds are changing.
Rafiki: Ahhh. Change is good.

My, did we have quite the afternoon today or what?! Tornado in October?! I went home early from my grandparent's house because of the bad storm we heard was coming and I’m glad I did! I got a call from my dad in the afternoon telling me to get to the basement because there was a tornado warning. Just then, I heard the sirens. I was like…'ok think. What do I do??' It was kind of like when I heard my smoke alarm go off in the middle of the night and I was like ‘Oh crap! What do I tell the preschoolers to do when this happens?!?’ All I could think of was to grab my external hard drive that has my 10,000 pictures on it and get to the basement…oh ya, and grab Cooper and Kota:) Well, I didn't have a battery radio (I know, I'm married to a firefighter and he'd kill me for not knowing where it is) and the power went out so I couldn't watch good ol' Darren the meteorologist on the TV. So I went back upstairs and when I looked out the window, I was like 'Is this it?' It wasn’t dark out and I’ve definitely seen worse winds and rain. But then the next thing I know I have people calling me asking if I’m alright. I was thinking, well ya-just a couple tree limbs down and the power out. Then they told me about Cridersville, the town I live in. A couple blocks down the road, a tornado made its mark. It was that quick. Too close for comfort in my book! It did its usual houses torn apart, trees uprooted, and debris everywhere. Once again, I, reality seems unreal.

Sometimes we forget about reality until it seems unreal. I don't have to point out the obvious cancer in my life in this reference. But this storm today too. To be so close to something like that makes you reevaluate life and priorities again. I remember going through something like this when I was on campus during the Bluffton University bus accident that killed some college baseball players and the bus driver and his wife. It’s a bit surreal when you are standing on campus, seeing the TV crews pull in, then watching CNN and MSNBC on TV taping right where you are. You are there, in it, but not. It doesn’t seem real because it's not the norm, but it is real. And you may not be effected directly, but you are. It turned real for me when I had to call Andrew because he was at the Army drill and tell him his hall mate was killed. It turns real when you drive your car down the road and see your town dismantled by nature. But sometimes those unrealistic moments become real and change your life. We can use these moments for change...a good change in our lives. The Bluffton bus accident made me call Andrew when we were ‘on a break’ and tell him the sad news. In that moment, I was scared and the only person I wanted to be with was Andrew and I couldn't. From that point on, I knew I didn’t want to be without him... and we have been together ever since. :) Today, I saw a community come together to help out the people who needed shelter tonight. It gave the opportunity for people to talk to the strangers they just passed by before. Cridersville will be okay, sometimes bad things happen to open new doors. It will be interesting to see the out come from today's events. I learned that I don’t like being without power! Especially on Tuesdays…that’s my night for shows! It’s ok, my brother saved me from my powerless house after the storm and I stayed at my parents with Cooper. I didn’t miss my Glee or the Time Warp dance from Rocky Horror Picture Show…phew! I mean, let's talk about priorities ;) JK! My prayers are with Cridersville and that God's peace and guidance will be with our little town this week. I'm so thankful that I am sleeping in my bed in my room and not my bed up in a tree. I'm so lucky!

Here are a few pictures I took today to show you that there is always calm after the storm…always. Check out my FB to see a video footage of the aftermath from down the street or pictures at Local News Photo :

I have never been stuck in traffic in Cridersville before...until today.

On a better note...I relived my childhood yesterday. I’m not sure I will have the opportunity again, since I am 26 and all, but yesterday I stayed the night at my grandma and grandpa’s house. Just like the old days :) Grandma made her famous chicken noodles and mashed potatoes with corn and rolls and yes…a special desert just for me. PEANUT BUTTER PIE! YUMMMM! I did all the rituals, took a bubble bath (even used the old powder grandma had!), smelled all her perfumes, and had a root beer float. We even created some new ones, like staying up until 2:45 talking and changing our profile pics on facebook. We did leave some old traditions behind, I didn’t make the upstairs a haunted house and I didn’t put on ALL of grandma’s jewelry and have a pretend sale. We didn’t play BINGO or OLD MAID for candy either…those traditions are for when you spend the night with cousins at grandma's. Either way, it was just good to spend time with people who have a grip on reality and can give you advice for the future. I love talking with older people who can really set us straight. They have been there, done that and actually have good advice because they honestly have your best interest at heart. I love grandparents and I’m so glad I still have Gma Pat and Gpa Paul to love me :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Hike to Success!

Hello from what feels like a Wheaties champion!

So this week is a big week coming up for me. I’m going to do my best to keep it together and not bawl like a baby. :) In just four more days I will have my last chemo treatment. And hopefully my very last for the rest of my life! I simply can not believe how fast the past four and half months have gone by…but I will talk about that later.
Right now, I want to talk about how I went on a hike at Hocking Hills! (ok-I need to make a side note...when I say 'hike' that's my inner heart speaking, it's more like 'walk'-reality speaking) Yes, I said I was going to do it and I did (with a trial 'hike' first to see if I could really do it :). For some reason I really wanted to see if I could complete a hike while having cancer/treatment and I can cross that off my list of yes I can. Andrew, me, and his brother and sister in law all went to Hocking Hills and I completed a trail! Now, I may have been slow and at times annoying/complaining, but I did it! LOTS of kudos to Beth for having us start at the end of the trail first…we did a lot more downhill walking it seamed than uphill. When I was little, my favorite Bible verse was Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I think I liked it best because it was short :) However, those words came into play as I seemed to have said them over and over throughout that walk! See, I’m almost in tears again. You just have no idea how proud of myself I am. I had the courage to do this when cancer said no, don’t. I fought through pain to feel mentally successful and it’s just what I needed going into this last treatment…into life and work again. To feel like I am a successful person and that I can start something difficult and finish it. I can start chemotherapy and finish it successfully. I wanted to do this hike to prove to myself I CAN. Don’t get me wrong, I questioned it all the way until I saw the exit. Like Thomas Edison said "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." But I didn’t give up. I didn’t give up. My momma taught me better than that!

Now because of this hike, I was like a zombie afterwards…in and out of sleep for a few hours and then I slept for thirteen hours straight! I think my body was just a tad bit tired and in recovery mode. But I didn’t care at the time. It felt so good to work my muscles and lungs again and work on the physical part of this Pursuit. I felt so blessed and so happy to be OVER my cold and that my lungs hung in there. I’m curious to see what the doctors say about them after treatment is all said and done. I had shortness of breath on my walk, but I was able to go at my pace so I kept it in check. But by the end, I was ready to just sit and watch the OSU game :) I really wonder if I will have full lung capacity like I had before all of this. Chemotherapy (mainly the Bleomycin drug) and radiation can cause fibrosis (scarring of the lungs) and a CT scan will check for scarring tissue. There really isn’t anything you can do for it besides a lung transplant if it is REALLY bad (I’m nowhere near that bad), I’m just curious to see if the CT scan shows anything. We’ll see! So in ending this, I just have three words… NEVER GIVE IN!

Hocking Hills Hike 2010

A glimpse of Heaven

The men in my life

Andrew and Tim Sometimes you just have to draw the line and say No. :) Cooper wouldn't budge.

One very tired couple.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Answered Prayer!

Isaiah 58:11
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

Oh my gosh, I’m not kidding when I say how amazing it is to see the ongoing work being done in our lives. Things happen in our lives to mold and shape us, and I just got a new reshaping again! I went to bed last night feeling like I was in million different places. Like you couldn’t tell from my last emotional roller coaster blog post, right? :) I just felt sick from the cold, being home, and my lungs and just a huge AUGH!-slump your shoulders in defeat, kind of feeling not knowing where my life was headed. However, today is a new day and when you walk with God, it truly is as simple as ask and you shall receive! I found this verse today and it’s crazy how God reveals Himself in times of need. I have been so blessed to be apart of not only one small group, but two this fall. And in one of them, a prayer was answered yesterday. Like a check came in the mail kind of answered prayer, it was awesome. So after hearing that answered prayer, I prayed to God last night for more direction since I seem so scatterbrained. And today I came upon this verse, and then I went to visit my kids at school (and pick up a few things) and WoW…there is nothing like a hug from a preschooler! Literally when the kids saw me, I was surprised that they remembered me first off, then they came running in my arms. It was so cute, the first boy to walk in the room had just started his first day of school when I left. So I wasn’t sure if he would remember me or not. However, he walked up to me and said ‘Can I hug you?’ Are you kidding?? At that point I was like ‘Can I hug you, you little sweet tart you!?!?!’ It melted my heart! It was the best feeling…I felt needed and wanted. And that was exactly what I was searching for. Those kids are my purpose in life right now and how easily I forgot that when I started thinking about myself. I didn’t realize how much we both needed each other until today. Once again, I have found a new appreciation for my job and coworkers. We lose focus of it sometimes, but today made me remember why I love teaching. So today, I feel again like my bones are getting stronger and I am like that growing garden that is being watered like a spring, instead of like the rotting, water deprived veggie I was feeling like yesterday. :) With an ongoing supply of water from the Lord, I feel like I can be open to the opportunities that He gives me because its opportunity to expand my boundaries.

I do have another request…I truly believe that our God can heal and answer our prayers. I would love more than anything to not have to do radiation after my chemo treatments. It’s not likely that with my kind of caner they go without doing it, but I believe that anything is possible. I have chemo next week, then a week of recovery, and then a CT scan to see the tumors growth. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they looked at that scan and said, ‘We don’t know why, but there is nothing there!’ I would be over the moon to know that this part of my life is complete. To know that the next step is just follow up appointments and a few medications. If it is needed though, I will definitely do what is necessary to get rid of these cancer cells and be healthy again. But if it doesn’t happen, then there must be more lessons to learn, and you and I both know I will search hard to find them, I don’t give up too easily. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chemo brain attacks again!!

Flowers from AJ...cause he loves me even though I'm NUTS!

Hi All,
This week my head has been in a fog. Like fog delay FOG it was so bad! I think because it is all clogged up again with a wonderful cold (I had a feeling I should have had that Neulasta shot!). I swear when I feel like this it just makes me want to sit and stare at the wall or just sleep for hours. The motivation to do anything besides curl up in a blanket is minimal. The only reason I get out of my sweats in the morning is because I know the hot shower will feel just as good. And it takes everything in me to get a pair of jeans on, man…why do they have to be so uncomfortable? God bless Andrew for never saying anything (although his looks speak volumes!) when he sees me in my sweats at 3:00 in the afternoon. I know I'm totally rushing the recovery process because I really just want to be done with chemo. I want to feel better so bad that I make myself think I’m better after only a day or two, so I’m up and around doing stuff too soon. My consequence in the end to all of that is a cold again. My fault. So to make myself feel better, I made cookies yesterday because I liked the idea of doing it, not because I wanted some. My favorite part is opening up the oven to check them and I get my first whiff of chocolate chip cookies. They turned out flatter than a pancake, but oh well…it was the thought of ‘baking’ I was going for anyways :)
So like I said, I’ve just been in a daze lately and my thoughts are all scattered again. I keep having a feeling that God has something stirring up for me and I don’t know what yet. I just feel like I’m at a turning point in the road...maybe its just the chemotherapy ending next week. But I don’t want to miss an opportunity because I was ignoring it or because I’ve been ‘foggy’ lately. Please pray that I have clear direction in my life from here on out and if you see it before me, let me know what that direction is so I don't make a wrong turn :) Like I said, I’m not sure exactly what I’m talking about or what this new purpose in life may be for me, but I’ve got feelings stirring up in me like things are gonna start happening, leaps of faith I may have to take, and I better be ready. Or maybe this is all what a friend said today... I’m just chemo brained and once it’s all over, my thinking will be much clearer so it will seem like I have more direction. Also, it may just be that I am going stir crazy being a house wife. I am not made to stay at home without children. I need purpose in my life, I need work and discipline. I’m ready to grow again instead of being a rotting veggie :) Again, sorry for the scattered brain thoughts! During times like these my prayer is Luke 11:9-10 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Here's Something Positive! This past weekend, Andrew and I went to a rally for a family whose father passed away from kidney cancer at 23 years old. It was incredible to see the emotional and financial support from family, friends, and people they didn’t even know! I mean, the enthusiasm to raise money for the family was so evident and the support system this family has was nothing short of Parenthood! I got a new, personal meaning for the word support that day. Now, at the very beginning of all of this I was offered to go to a support group for cancer. I’m not the kind of person who is all about support groups because I don’t like the eyes on me (I like talking with a group, not at a group :). However, I do see the purpose in them. I enjoy small friend groups, but I have to say that this was the best support group I could have had. A blog where I could write down every thought that was in my head, good or bad, acting as if no one was there. Cancer opened up a part of me that was always there, I was just too scared to share it with anyone. Writing out all of my thoughts and feelings actually helped me along the way feel that I could conquer this word cancer. Mind over matter right? Through this blog, cancer made me laugh and cry, and it gave me a support group better than any ‘Hi, my name is Laura and I have cancer.’...‘Hi Laura’ group :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time to saddle up...and finally enjoy the ride.

First and foremost...I’m a little nervous about my priorities in life…I get just as nervous with Ohio State Football as I do sitting in the doctor’s office for my oncology appointments! Is something off there or is that normal when you live in the state of Ohio?
Today is a beautiful October day and although I am not using this gorgeous day to its full advantages, I’m still content cause I can't do everything. There, I have learned a life lesson…Being content when not everything is going the way I want it to go. My husband would be so happy to know I just said this :) As for my health, I have to say that not having the Neulasta shot has helped with overall feeling comfortable because I don’t have any jaw pain or back pain like normal. But my chest is still a little tight, I told Andrew it feels like someone is squeezing my throat and lungs all the time. Have you ever ran before in the cold and it burns when you breath? That's what it feels like all the time right now. Grrr...chemo!! Wait, I'm supposed to be content...;) So I am at home relaxing in my comfy clothes and just feeling comfortable. And I'm ok, I’m content with that today.

So this whole Pursuit has been one crazy road trip and I thank you for riding shot gun!! I want to give you a present and I wish it would be that through this Pursuit I have found the key to everyday happiness and would gladly share it with you and unlock your door too. I mean, who doesn't want to be happy the majority of the time? But the reality is, is that even though I have cancer, I am still a regular person with regular emotions just like everyone else. I still have bad days, they didn’t magically disappear when I got the diagnosis. I still have days when I wish I had hair and I still get mad at my husband for not putting the trash lid down. However, I am learning. I'm learning how to live content everyday. But everyone in life is learning, and you don't need to have cancer to do that. :)
I will never stop learning how to live this life better, more content, even when bad things happen. Right now, I’m catching myself searching for even more meaning to life than what I have discovered lately. However, I’m starting to worry that if cancer hasn’t shown me the meaning to life yet, then what is it going to take?! ;) Unlike the books and movies say, cancer didn’t open up this one huge eye awakening/life changing experience for me and BAM! I'm a whole new, better person. You see, what I've learned is that the meaning of life has been there all along, inside of me, even before cancer...and it's in all of us. You don't have to have cancer to find it. It is our own life experiences and everything we have learned from our teachers, friends, parents, pastors, and LIFE in general. It's all that advice that we just blow right off thinking we can do it on our own understanding. Cancer didn’t give me life’s answers to happiness, what it did do was shake me up enough to start using the life lessons I’ve learned and start putting them to a practical, more meaningful use! Like practicing patience when my husband leaves the trash lid up, I've seen more good come out of me being patient than lashing out irrationally. (Love you AJ). I have been happier by living a more content, our parents were right when they gave us all those lectures!! Right now, my goal is to live the life I have heard about for years and years through so many people and enjoy the ride of Life instead of worrying about it. It can happen. Start following some of the advice you were given and see where it takes you!

P.S. I'm pretty sure the meaning to life has something to do with God. I keep coming back to Him when I'm searching...And I'm at amazing peace with that.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Through Suffering...He will be revealed

So I slept ALL day yesterday after chemo #7. I realized that I sleep because 1) I am exhausted and 2) because I don’t want to feel the nausea so I sleep through it :) So the doc came in yesterday after the nurse accessed the port (put the needle tube thingy in the port under my skin to get the IV's hooked up) and did her blood draws for testing and said that I am most likely anemic. My red blood cell count isn’t where it should be and it has been this way for awhile now. Nothing to worry about, just something else to watch out for. And my white blood cell count came back higher than usual soooo…I didn’t have to have the Neulasta shot!! I think it’s a good thing. Hopefully it means that my white blood cells are producing the way they should on their own to fight off infections. My only worry is that they will be low again after chemo this round and I won’t have what is needed to fight off present infections since chemo killed all my white blood cells. Also, I did not get my Bleomycin IV chemo drug this round. Remember the chest pain I was having? Well, my lungs have developed a lung sensitivity to the Bleo medicine (which the Bleo has been known to effect the lungs) so he took me off that IV drug to save my lungs some. I just need to let him know if I’m still having pain. Other than that, I’m doing just fine! Augh…cue deep breath :)

So this week seems to be better than the following couple of weeks. My friends are all out of the hospitals and doing much better (not out of the water yet, but doing better), the funerals are over, and I’m feeling better than before. I know that all of our situations are different in our own lives, so I am not comparing them at all, however, aren't we all suffering somehow in our own lives? It doesn't have to be some serious diagnosis like cancer, but anything. Because suffering was so vividly evident a couple weeks ago for me, I caught myself wondering about suffering and what it's purpose is. So I looked back on a sermon from church about suffering. Would you believe it if I said that suffering is a gift? I know, weird and totally off right? But a lot of things can be revealed while we suffer...especially God. And experiencing God is definitely a gift. I still didn’t understand why God would allow suffering though? I mean, why would He let good people die, allow people to get diseases, to have hard marriages, money troubles, addictions, anything? I came to understand that God did not create suffering, sin, sorrow, or death. God created choice and the ability to use it in these kinds of circumstances. So then the question became 'what do we do with suffering?' since we do have choice. I mean since it is there and unavoidable. Here’s the answer...use the choice God gave you and allow Him in to transform you and the world around you. If we have it His way, we can really experience God in life changing events and the suffering we were experiencing can change us and even those around us. It is said that God will be revealed during our sufferings. We need to understand that in our weaknesses and sufferings, God is going to be revealed. He certanly was in mine! All we need to do is just open our eyes to see Him. A transformation can happen in us during our times of suffering if we allow God to do His job. We just need to be open to it and look at suffering differently than as a depression state of mind. It can change us and look like this...
Romans 5:3-5 ‘Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy spirit, whom He has given us’
We have hope in our sufferings and we build so much character and perseverance because of it. Allow this as an opportunity to change. God is there, always has been always will be, even in our down times of life. Maybe even more so because it says right there, in our sufferings is when He will be revealed. And we all need a little God in our lives right? :) Otherwise, what the heck are we here for and how would I get my answers on how to live in this thing called Life? So I think what I got from this is that we just need to focus not on the 'suffering' part of our current situation, but the 'allowing God’s presence' part in the situation to change us and our thinking. Then we can be ready for the mounds of opportunities that will come because we have allowed Him to use us during that time...

So here is my farewell tonight...
Good sufferings one and all! :) Learn from it, allow God in, and let it change you for the better!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What a Card Bombardment can do!

I just can't believe that it is that time already. Can it really be time to do my SEVENTH ROUND of chemo?!?! WOW!! This time around, I am just anxious. I don't want to feel the side effects :( God love chemo for getting rid of tumors, but man do the side effects really have to go with it?? Oh well, just teaches me I'm human. This time, I will be recovering at my parents house because Andrew is helping them out with their house outside, I really don't know what he's doing because I kinda stopped paying attention to that conversation...I'm such a girl :) But I think it has something to do with spouting...anyway, I'm way off topic! So I will be curled up on their couch with my Fritos and a movie if anyone needs me :)

So I just have to say guys are awesome. I mean seriously, seriously, awesome. I have to thank one special person right now for what she started way back in July. I have never heard of this until I finally started catching on...but Andrew's cousin Krysti, who I have been friends with since the day I met her years ago did something very creative. She basically started a card bombardment. I swear, she contacted everyone she knew since the day she was born and told them to send me a card in the mail. I'm not kidding!! Now, you know you love going to the mail box and you smile when you see something other than a bill or junk mail. These past few months I have been so touched by the amount of people who have sent me encouragement literally throughout this WHOLE diagnosis. I used to never like cards, I would always forget to buy them so I would make my own birthday or Valentines Day card (even did the whole newspaper wrapping paper too...I hate buying wrapping paper!). However, you have converted me and shown me it's not about the card, it's about what a simple card in the mail can do to a girl who is sick. Literally, waiting for that mailman to pull up between the hours of 2:30-3:30 was the highlight of my day. At that moment it was like I got a glimpse of hope again, a restored strength, and a 'God thing' was happening. I mean...JUST LOOK AT ALL OF THESE CARDS!!! And not ONE of them is the same.

I have learned more bible verses and words of encouragement in my time of suffering than I ever have in my life. I just want to say thank you to all of you who have such a compassionate heart and have sent a card to me lately. Not just Krysti's clan, but ALL of you who sent a card because you CARE. You have no idea what its like to have a down day, and then look at a wall of people who care about you. Not many people can say that they have had that experience. I have cards from all kinds of people, people I don't even know (yes that means you bologna and birthday card person! And yes it did taste like a donut ;) I know you are from Georgia, but you gotta tell me who you are one day!!)
You guys, when I 'm at home all day, you give me a piece of socialization so I don't go insane and I love you for that. I have been shown more compassion and selflessness from you all. At some point in your day, you put me before yourself and you will be rewarded in Heaven for your graciousness towards others, epically when you have reached out to them in need. I don't deserve it, but I am truly grateful for it. And I haven't forgotten about all of you other people who have made suppers, sent FB messages, texts, gifts, your prayers, and your blog comments. I still can't figure out how you guys leave comments, I can't even figure it out! But thank you. I don't care if people are reading this blog or not, I have it out there for anyone to hear the story of my Pursuit through a dumb disease called cancer. But more importantly, I have it out there for me because I can't sleep at night if all of these thoughts are in my head :) Thanks for following along with me, supporting me, encouraging me, praying for me, putting up with me, and loving me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Andrew has quite the shoes to fill after all of this is done and over with :)
Me and my ya girl...thank you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good Week Delight!

Oh I just love these good weeks! I feel SOOO much better this week. I can honestly say that I have almost NO symptoms and it’s wonderful to feel complete again. I’m so thankful for not being sick anymore and really cherish these good weeks. But then uhhh… in 3 more days it all starts over again. But I only have 2 treatments left!!! WAAHOOO!!!! I’m SOOO ready to get over this stage of my life and MOVE THE HECK ON!! I miss working (can you believe it!) but I’m listening to my coworkers and relaxing and enjoying (as much as I can) the time off before I head back in November. I don’t think I could just stay home all the time, I would have to do something to keep me occupied. I have kept busy by reading some books that have been awesome (almost done with The Maker's Diet..I've detoured into other books so I'm slacking... so I'll have my book review soon ;) and I have been avoiding the laundry and dishes like the plague. I just can't ever get motivated to do them. People tell me the 'wanting to work' thing changes after having babies, so maybe one day I will stay home again. But for now, I’m ready to keep making money to support all of my adventures!! :)

The weather has been awesome too. We had Andrew’s brother and sister out this weekend and it was great to eat at the Thai restaurant with their mom and then head down to the lake for some R and R. And I played fetch with Cooper today. He does so good with that now. Just look how big he is getting! He is the best risk I've taken! And Kota is staying around my house a little longer...she found her spot back on the bed, so I think she's done being mad at me :) The weather has just been so nice and I’m trying to be out as much as possible before the weather really starts getting bad. I love these 80 degree days in October. However I think they are messing with my chest. It’s nothing to worry about, but I’m still having some pressure in my chest when I take a deep breath. Just something to make sure to tell the doc. My chemo date got changed back to Thursdays now that I’m not working so keep this next treatment in prayer. I’m not looking forward to it in the least bit! I just have to say, I have the best Cancer Crew out there. You all have shown your support for my recovery since Day 1. And it hasn’t stopped. I feel very loved so thank you. I’m not sure you will ever know how much it means, but you have all really stepped up to help in the down times of life. You’ve made cancer not so mean :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Beautiful Chaotic Love Story - Starring Andrew and Laura (coming soon to a theater near you)

So what does a woman with cancer do on a Friday night when their hubby is working??? What every other woman on earth does when they are alone on a Friday night…watch a romantic comedy that the hubby would never watch with her sweatpants/big T on, hot drink in hand, and apple cider candle burning :)

Truth is, I love a good love story. I love happy endings. Even more so when I'm sick, cause I'm more emotional and love the love story even more. Someone in my life once said that life is not like the movies so stop trying to make it one (you know who you are! ;). But actually, we all do have a love story…all we have to do is pick up our pen and write it down. You may just surprise yourself with what you discover about your love.
Are you a Will and Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean and love your husband so much that you would wait every 10 years to see your husband just once? Are you intense and live for the edge action like John and Jane in Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Are you Johnny and Baby from Dirty Dancing…a romance that was forbidden from the start yet destined to happen? Here’s what we are…
We are Andrew and Laura from Our Life-A Beautiful Chaotic Love Story. We have made our own love story with our drama filled lives that include action packed adventures, ex’s drama, breaking the rules suspense, laugh ‘til you pee your pants comedy, and cry ‘til you pass out tragedies. We do not need to compare ourselves to movie couples because our own love story could make a million dollars...not a Box Office Hit…just one million :) He has given me every dream I've ever asked for and protected me in every situation I thought I couldn't handle. Every story needs a climax and right now, ours has been this past summer with cancer…I was the damsel in distress and Andrew was my hero. You will not always have the opportunity to have a hero like Robin Hood where he shoots an arrow to save you (although you and I both know we have thought at least once about how we would have loved to have been Maid Marian and have Kevin Costner lick that feather arrow and shoot it through his bow to save us, with of course the song 'Everything I do, I do it for You' playing in the background ;) But I was lucky. I found my hero at just the right time. It wasn’t Spiderman or Wolverine like my dreams might have liked, but I got something better…I got a fireman named Andrew :)

So we may have love lives that are as messed up as Jack and Lucy in While You Were Sleeping, or like Danny and Sandy in Grease... but you know what, somehow it all works out in the end. It always works out in the end in the good movies...but that doesn't mean they didn't go through the crap in life to get there. I’m so happy with the love story I have today, but if I wasn't, I would have the strength to use the eraser and write something new. Be strong and do the same. Make your love story the best one it can be. Dream. Take chances, explore together, don't stop dating, try new things, that’s what makes the best love stories. Kiss in the rain, better yet, have your first kiss be in the rain (from experience I can say it makes a great memory ;) And most of all, have God involved. It never goes wrong there. I want to remember every moment of my life from now on, so I encourage you to write down your moments in life that are like the movies. You won’t regret it. When you are sad someday, you'll be able to look back on a time in your life that was RADICAL and remember that movie moment...and smile :) And smiling is good... it is the first sign to people around you that you are enjoying Life. And they will wonder what your secret is. The secret is the story...

Hollywood Couple Halloween 2009 - Forrest and Jenny Gump
‘My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on. And that's all I have to say about that.’ –Forrest Gump

Jenny: Why are you so good to me?
Forrest: You're my girl!
Jenny: [pause] I'll always be your girl.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cancer Beauty 101

For all the ladies out there…this one is for you :) You will appreciate this post because no matter who you are and what age you are, we have all learned beauty lessons. Whether it was during the teenage years, during/after having a baby, gaining/losing weight, just aging in general, all of it... we have all learned beauty lessons. For me, here are some things I have learned about cancer beauty during my past 4 months with HL. I’m ready to laugh again…so lets just laugh about it now! So here are my Top 10

1) If you would like to lose some weight, go the safe, traditional route and eat more veggies and exercise. Don’t go extreme like me and have brain surgery to lose 17 pounds or get cancer to lose 11 pounds.
2) Don’t let your leg hair get longer than your head hair…doesn’t help the husband any.
3) Enjoy the perks of losing unwanted facial and body hair too…but beware, I hear it will come back :(
4) Splurge and get the $40.00 pedicure. Every time you look at your toes, you feel that at least one thing on your body is right.
5) Don’t wear your new diamond earrings with your beanie hat, you will look like the rapper Eminem.
6) Sport the port… :)
7) It’s like fifth grade again trying to put on eyeliner, but do it anyways…you look so much better.
8) Still wear perfume, there is no where in the cancer bible that says we can’t at least smell good.
9) Get a massage to relax…just trust me.
10) Carry Kleenex’s. We have no nose hair, your nose will run nonstop!

And the best thing for me…NO MORE RED, ITCHY RASHES!

**Oh, and bald is not always beautiful to everyone. Be yourself, but understand that you are going to get stares if you go out in public bald.**

Just wanted to share some cancer beauty secrets I've learned during this. I’m finally feeling better from this past round of chemo. Got some stomach issues that I will spare the details, but that's about it now (plus a sore throat, but I'm scratching that up to the season changing). And I can finally describe the nausea I have with chemo! It’s not nausea like I am going to run to the bathroom and puke, and it’s not the 'oh I just drank a little too much'. It’s the kind of stomach ache you get when someone dares you to drink a whole Gatorade at once. You feel full and your stomach feels sugar coated. It aches in pain, so that’s why you feel you need to throw up because you have so many fluids inside you and not enough food. That’s why I CRAVE Fritos now because it soaks up all that fluid.
The next day is achy bones and you are extremely tired. The day of chemo, you sleep all day. The next day, you sleep half the day away, then the next day your sleeping gets shorter and shorter. This time around, my pain localized in my chest and throat for some reason. I have never had that kind of chest pain, but I hope that means the rest of the tumor just exploded in there and its all gone :)
I hope you all have a beautiful day looks like it will be sunny with high of 75!! So when you wake up tomorrow, thank God for your beauty...because we are woman and we are beautiful no matter what we have going on with our bodies! I will thank Him for all 5 of my scars that have taught me life lessons, the 8 eyelashes I have left, the big nose I have, the 1/2 inch patchy hair on my head, and for the 200+ moles on my body (yes, I've counted!) Because that makes me me and makes me unique.....but most importantly.....

This is a few verses from the song 'There Could Never be a More Beautiful You' by Jason Diaz. Good song!!

So turn around you're not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It's not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear, they can all be washed away

By the one who's strong, can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry, all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light, He will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

That there could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

There could never be a more beautiful you

Monday, October 4, 2010

Going into the 4th quarter...Daddy's Speech

Here is my Dad's 4the quarter speech I received a couple days ago from him...

Hello Me Lorla,
Coach Dad here, and decided to get this little chat to you since the 3rd quarter just ended Friday with your chemo being 3/4ths of the way done now.
Going into the 4th quarter a few things have changed in the game plan. For one, you told your other coaches to take you out of the game so you could concentrate your full energies toward eradicating the internal fight you are waging daily.
I saw on ESPN the other day a Dallas Cowboys player vehemently arguing with the team’s trainer about going back into the game and the trainer would not okay it. The player took quite a hit after a reception and was not ready to go back in as the risks were too great. He was to be commended for his dedication of wanting to get back into the game for his team but the powers to be just would not approve it.
Likewise, Dr. Powell finally strongly suggested to not get back into the game due to there being too many risks fighting this battle while trying to maintain a full-time job that especially did not stop when you left work. You finally agreed to make that call and some of us know it was not without many tears, consternation, and prayer. The words dedication and team from the above paragraph were the main stumbling blocks for you also in accepting this fate of scaling back your commitment.
And I know this latest scare with the growth on the breast was another factor that was weighing on everybody’s minds and praise God that was what it was and can be dealt with later.
That scare, and realizing you were better off taking a leave of absence, were unforeseen circumstances that you handled extremely well and those are more examples of adversity that have been put into your journey. It is how you handled the scare, and the thinking that went into the decision to take a leave of absence, that again makes this coach realize you are sticking to your strengths and your faith in handling this journey.
Going into the 4th quarter of this journey you are still positioned to win this. Soon, the game will be over somewhat with the chemo and radiation behind you. We know that God continues to heal you and we cannot wait for that final announcement a few years down the road that states you have won the final victory because you are now cured of this current cancer.
A few years ago I read a book about NBA’s Coach Phil Jackson and his roots in Zen. One of the takeaways from that book for me was how to live/be in the “Now.’’ Laura, one thing you have taught many people with your blog is to live in the now and appreciate your life in more ways than you ever thought you could. A longtime friend of mine from Michigan whose son was dealing with a similar journey as yours said that his family’s motto was the following and I think that exemplifies what you have come to realize and have helped many of us to also see: The motto was – Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift and that is why they call it “The Present.” And to all this, General Robert E. Lee would have added a belief of his personally and militarily: “Carpe Diem” - (Seize the Day!).
Well, what a past 3+ months this has been to get into the 4th quarter. I still cannot imagine how this plays out every day at home with Andrew and you. All I know is that your Faith and Love have gotten you two this far. To think of all the things your mother and I went through when we were first married (okay, mainly her getting used to me because remember we both say she is one of God’s angels) compared to what you guys have gone through together it is simply amazing and truly divine. Sometimes, I fear these days there are not many Andrew’s out there who would have handled this like he had to in his role for you. Has he bought into our family motto yet – Nothing Ever the Easy Way!? You guys are truly a special couple and special people to all who know and love you.
And, I have to say in closing, another aspect of your recent blogs have been how you have such deep compassion and empathy for others who are on similar journeys that have entered their lives. I told you about a co-worker of mine who told another young educator who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's-Lymphoma to read your blogs. It is now my prayer that this young woman who I also know will find your blog inspirational and informative in ways that can be of comfort to her. Maybe, these are some of the reasons why you were lead to write them in the first place.
And yes, you have my permission if you want, to post this on your blog because if you do I will take this opportunity in closing to say to all of you out there who read it that Laura’s mother and I are so grateful for the network of people who have stood by Laura with your kindness, your various kinds of support, and your prayers. I could not have assembled a finer or better team to surround her with in this and we are here for all of you should you ever need us.
Catch ya post-game with another note Me Lorla -

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chemo #6...

I love chemo but I really hate it too! Yesterday, I had my sixth treatment. The good news is that I was able to have treatment! For the first time in a long time I went in with NO symptoms of anything. The doc and nurses were thrilled! I guess the time away from school really is helping me stay more healthy. The only thing was that my red blood cell count was low again. I really got to eat more beef! Thanks sis for dropping off Road House :) I was also a little concerned because I really thought my tumors would be smaller by now. I mean, being half the size as they were are great, but I remember him telling me that by like the second treatment, they should almost be gone. So I asked him what happens if the tumors are still there after chemo. He said the next move is radiation until those things are completely, 100% zapped away. He won't leave any hanging in there :)
So as I sat there during my treatments, hearing the familiar beeps of the machines, I looked around and for the first time, I saw another girl my age there. I wasn't able to talk to her, just give her a smile, but she was in and out in like 20 minutes. Others filtered in too, some with pic lines, coming in just to get another bag of IVs. Some where there when I got there and still there when I left. All of different ages, races, some with hair, some with no hair, but we all had one thing in common. We all have cancer, fighting the same internal battle. When we sit there, it's not a comparison game. It doesn't matter what stage you're in, what kind of cancer you have, or how close to death you've come. It doesn't make the word cancer any more or less real. Because when you hear the word, you think the same thoughts, go through the same emotions. We all sit in those chairs and can honestly say that 'I have been in your shoes'. You instantly have a connection, even if it's just a smile to a girl your age to let her're not alone. I'm not alone :)
So how do I feel today? Crappy. Yesterday I was more nauseated than I have ever felt and of course Andrew was working. I slept the whole day away, only to answer the door for some Fritos and supper. Cooper was a trooper as he slept all day with me. Who knows where Kota is these days...she keeps her distance from Cooper. Makes me sad she doesn't come around me anymore. She's about ready to go back to her original home with my parents. At least there I know she will get constant attention. My dad and I love her just the same. This morning I woke up to get my shot at the hospital and met another cancer friend there. We met when my coworker gave her my blog site and she reached out to me through email. It's so nice to have somebody to 'talk the language with' and understand when chemo brain starts attacking and you can't finish your sentences :) I want to wish her all the best of luck with her upcoming journey. Stay Well Julie!! And thank you! Then the rest of the day I was back on the couch. I'm exhausted and it hurts to breath. I know the drugs are doing their job but it stings more today than usual in my chest. Just not a good weekend by far.
I can totally relate to this lady now when she said...
'During chemo, you're more tired than you've ever been. It's like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you're out. You don't know how you'll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find that you're stronger than you've ever been. You're clear. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it's instantaneous.
-Melissa Bank
Chemo took it's toll on me this past weekend, but I knew it would. Thing is, my mind is still strong. On the good days, you really can find meaning sooner than before. It's so weird! And although chemo got me down physically, I was still able to answer the door...Remember how my treatments got pushed back and everything I had planned for my good weeks are now on my bad weeks? Well, little Miss Hayden's first birthday party was today and I missed it. I hate chemo. But then the door bell rang and there at the front door was her mommy Ash with cupcakes from the party. I have the best friends. Happy Birthday pretty girl! I will see you soon when you can open your present and we can play together :)