February 8, 2019

more on cancer

Cancer is pretty stupid.

Part of me wants to end this post right there with that statement. That about sums it up.

I don't know if I should sit here and write when I'm in a crappy mood about it all, or if it would be better to give myself some time to process and then when I have a better attitude share this.

Oh well. I'm choosing just to write it all out today. 

I sat in my car and cried for nearly an hour. And then I wiped my eyes and went to costco with a red puffy face, and bought less food than I usually do because buying food when you are nauseous and stressed just isn't as fun, and got kids off the bus and home from practices and such. 

I stayed in motion for the rest of the night--driving to and from soccer, going to a relief society meeting, then off to target with a friend to work on a birthday present for another friend. I'm afraid if I stop my emotions will catch up with me again.

It sometimes feels like a nightmare I can never wake up from. As soon as I think I am at the end, there always seems to be one more cancer thing that just won't allow me to move on. 

Now, I completely acknowledge that in the whole grand scheme of things, sacrificing one year, or even five years, and doing hard thing after hard thing during that time is really nothing much if it means living many, many more years with people I love on this earth that I love. 

But sometimes it is hard to see the big picture when there are needles and lasers and syringes of red chemicals coming at you while your hair falls out and your body falls apart. 

My fear of anything medical runs deep, I tell you. I have had to face my biggest fears day after day.

But I should also remember that for every crappy thing I have had to do, Heavenly Father has blessed me equally so. Probably even more so! Heavenly Father has not left me alone. And I know that's true for all of us no matter what we are going through. If we only take a minute to stop and see it.

For example, one sunday I was having a super low day and struggling on the inside. I spent some time in prayer that afternoon. Soon after we went to a missionary open house and ran into someone that I don't usually see very often, but who was exactly who I needed to see that day. And funny thing, I actually saw her at the store again the next morning. Talking with her both days settled me down and helped me feel normal. That same sunday night just before I went to bed, I saw an email from someone else who shared something with me. And it wasn't so much what she said, though that was great too, but the spirit that poured through into me as I read her email. I know God's hand was in those two small details that lifted me up when I needed it. Time and time again this happens.

I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost in guiding people and in helping me notice the miracles that happen and that God is there for me no matter what. I hope that I can learn to listen to the whisperings of the Spirit and do what God needs me to do just like so many people have done for me and do for others, too. 

My knowledge can not be more sure--God is real. He loves us, He knows us, He helps us, He answers prayers in all sorts of unexpected ways. He wants us to use our hands, our hearts, and our voices to lift each other. 

Because we all have hard things we have to do.

Ok, back to the details of my hard things for a minute...:) 

I was able to get my port out on Wednesday. I was so ready for that thing to come out. Sometimes I didn't notice it, but sometimes it felt like it was choking me and somehow Brinnie always seemed to bang against it. It was time. And I was hoping taking it out would signify the end of all those big treatments. E and a friend gave me a priesthood blessing the night before. I was SO grateful for that.

I learned at the hospital while they put the IV in my hand that one of my veins is blocked by scar tissue. Which meant three pokes and two veins. You bet there were tears at that point. The rest of the surgery went as planned. I love my breast surgeon. She is skilled and oh so kind. I hate everything about surgery though. Especially the anesthesia. I woke up after the 30 something minute surgery shaking and shivering. Six blankets and some meds into my IV later, we got my body to stop. And this little alien thing was out of me!

I have been sore and bruised, but the pain has been manageable. This picture was taken on day 3 and so it looks better than it did.. But Perry saw it that first day and told me it was disgusting. Brinnie even pointed and said "ow."

I met with my oncologist the day after surgery. Since that time I've been full of anxiety about the next steps. I just want this to end! But I can’t see the end quite yet.. 

Again, I know that I should be grateful and happy, and deep down I really truly am, because my cancer is in remission! There is no evidence of disease. I am NED. 

But, even as NED, I am not finished yet. I can't quite move on. For one, we went over my labs and my white blood count was the lowest it has been. So I have to recheck in a few weeks. And then my doctor's plan for me is different than I was expecting. He wants me to get shots once a month that keep me in menopause and take a daily aromatase inhibitor for the next five years. I was expecting a pill, but not the shots. Besides the fact that I hate needles more than anything, the side effects of any of these drugs and shots do not sound very nice. I believe I am too young for this. Remember, I am only 34. I am scared and I'm not sure I'm ready for this. Of course, the possible effects of the alternative of not doing anything doesn't sound so great either. I guess I just need some processing time. And maybe a little bit of time to mourn, too.   

So while I do that, God sent some of the sweetest girls in the world to my door to spread some love. Beehives are the best! 

From my study this week: "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can." --Ezra Taft Benson