Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas miracles .....

So it's Christmas time!   Not really feeling it which isn't normal for me .   I love Christmas but this year it just seems to be overwhelming me.    I think the body can only handle so much whether it's good or bad .    I have been procrastinating doing anything and yet at the same time I know this is my first Christmas with my granddaughter ..... That is fun .... Just the energy levels,the pain, the stress of the surgery seems to press down like a weight .   I get up and think ok today I will decorate, or shop, or wrap then I sit down and it doesn't happen!!!!!!    Well the universe has conspired to make me move :)

God intervened through those around me:

A good friend helped me finish a special gift which started me looking forward to the season.    Then a friend gave me a very nice gift to share with my family .    So again, I am being directed towards the Christmas spirit.    Then I lost the gift :(.  I searched, retraced steps, prayed to St. Anthony (the patron saint of lost things) , then finally let it go ....  No point obsessing over it .... It's gone .    Two days later another friend comes to me and says "look what I found".  There in her hand is my lost gift.   The story of it coming into her hands is bizarre but suffice it to say ..... It was a miracle .... A Christmas miracle.    Then, a friend decides to visit and while here convinces me to haul out a few decorations, put up a small tree and VOILA..    I am inspired!     So Christmas will take place this year and I will participate ..... Sometimes you just need a little divine intervention through the love and kindness of friends .

I am still tired and overwhelmed about the future, but for the next little while I will live in the moment and enjoy the season ..... Count my blessings and find joy in what today has to offer.

I am a very blessed woman in so many ways :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lesson in Relativity......

I recently had a very good lesson in the 'theory of relativity'......It was very eye opening!

On November 5, I learned that my cancer had metastasized to the hip which was a surprise for everyone, doctors included, as it was not even on our radar.   To say I was devastated is an understatement.    I was more upset about this news than I had been about the first two felt like a death knell.   Then, on November 28th, I saw an ortho surgeon who explained to me that he could resect the hip bone and rebuild it but first he wanted a bone scan.   The purpose of the bone scan was to see if the cancer had travelled anywhere else in the skeletal system.   The reason this was necessary was that if it had, the surgery would not change the outcome. now I feel even worse....omg this might just be the end of the journey as far as possible treatments.    For two weeks I waited under a cloud of very heavy and black foreboding.    It was awful.   I was told it might be a month before the bone scan.   How was I going to wait that long and then again for results?   One day later I got a call, bone scan was scheduled for December 3 and a return appointment for results on December 9....the irony is that made me even more nervous because they were moving so fast.    Even the doctors were worried....Yikes....poor medical system they can't win:)

So Tuesday December 9th I returned to the ortho doctor to get my results.    No spots seen anywhere else!!!!    Yippee it is ONLY in my hip!    What a change from November 5 when I thought that was the worst news.   Now it seemed to be the best news.     IT IS ALL RELATIVE!!!!!!!

So, there is cheering on the bus.....everyone is allowed to yell, scream, and laugh as loud as you like.
The news is good......only hip metastasis...who would have thought I would be cheering this news.

Now, we wait for surgery.    Not till early January so it will be a great Christmas.   I decided on the way home yesterday that I WILL put up a tree.....and hopefully my 'little' puppy won't take it down!

I am excited for the holidays and can feel the difference in my body of how the news changed my stress levels.   My daughter said that she physically saw me relax as the doctor gave me the news.  News that a few weeks earlier had made me stressed out now made me relax.    Life can be very funny sometimes.

It will be a tough surgery and after hearing all the gory details yesterday of how and what they will do, I did have a few bad moments last evening as I was drifting off to sleep.   All the risks and what ifs....but I pushed them aside and began to imagine the upcoming days of Christmas with my beautiful granddaughter and her amazing parents.   I am blessed in so many ways how can I not be joyful.

Life is not always what we want or expect....but sometimes we need to put it all in perspective and focus on the good stuff.   January will come and it will be tough, but for now I will take good drugs, feel happy and blessed, and enjoy the moment.......

My prayer for everyone is that what ever Christmas is this year.....find the nugget of joy in your lives and make it the focus of the season........remember God is with us.......during this season and forever!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Living "today".....

I wrote this sometime ago but felt it very much applied to what I have been trying to feel these past weeks.    It hasn't been easy but there is a truth in trying to live in this attitude.   It was good to be reminded that I have struggled before and overcome it, so perhaps this time will be similar.    If not then at least I haven't wasted today.

Originally posted in December 2010:

It is very good to take time and recognize the blessings that we have been given.  Even if it is only to be able to rise from our beds and walk to the kitchen.  Or put our coat and boots on and go for a walk in the evening mist.   Often these things seem so natural, that we forget that some no longer have that ability.  To take a simple walk, eat a good meal, or spend a few hours without any form of pain or discomfort, that alone is gift.   I know  that I have struggles ahead and perhaps even challenges that I don't want to face,  but today, I am fine.  Today, I can look after myself, participate in the daily grind of living without too much discomfort.   Today, I will enjoy the simple things in my life and not worry about what might come later on.  Today is all that really counts because in the end none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.   I will go with how I feel today and live that to the fullest.   Tomorrow will take care of itself, and yesterday is gone.   Thank you God for the gifts of today, and for the awareness to appreciate them and to use them to their full potential.   Bless all those who have less than myself, and may they find peace and some joy amidst their pain and suffering.   Bless those who minister to loved ones in their illness, may peace surround them during this difficult time.   And most of all allow all to rest and regenerate so that tomorrow may bring some form of hope for a future!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to help someone journeying with cancer........

So five hours at the hospital can give even the most narcissistic person pause for reflection.   Yesterday was one of those days.   I rewound to a time that I had almost forgotten.    As we wandered the halls in between tests I made the mistake of going places that I probably shouldn't being the Surgery Ward....the body does not forget even if the mind pretends to.   Had to make a quick exit as I actually began to sweat and get dizzy.....way to raw for that place.     In addition, I found myself being very confused and realized that it was probably a good thing my daughter was with me or else I might still be wandering the halls looking for an exit.    We certainly had a few good laughs with my lack of directional ability and my moments of complete confusion as to what we were doing or where we were going.     It was comical but very revealing at the same time.

Going through this journey there have been very comfortable, calm times, and there have been very disturbing, chaotic times.     Unless you have been through a roller coaster ride like this I don't know if one would actually understand how it changes.     When no tests, doctor appointment etc are going on it seems like you can convince yourself all is 'normal' and go about your life quite balanced, parking the bus for future use.   As soon as the bus starts moving again all those old feelings of dread, fear, and chaos rear their ugly head.     My daughter is very familiar with this and so gives me great slack at these times.....not taking anything personal and knowing that something simply said can set off a storm in me.    Others may not be so aware!   So here are a few do's and don'ts one might put in their store of things you need to know when dealing with me specifically, but anyone undergoing a Cancer journey in general.

1.    We don't want to hear about other people's journeys, especially if they haven't survived!    It is not the time to have a conversation of comparisons between your friends and us.    We aren't in the space to deal with it and might actually hit you......

2.   We don't want to hear that everything will be OK.    Yes, it might be and God willing it will be....but it might not and that is part of the journey we desperately need to deal with.    It is hard for you to hear it but imagine how hard it is for us  to live it.

3.   We appreciate anything you might do for us.    A visit for tea, a casserole for the freezer, or just a phone call to say 'wanted to hear your voice'.     Don't just say 'call if you need anything' because we probably won't.   First, its hard to ask for help and secondly we don't always know what we really need.    Come by and offer to clean or bring a simple lunch.   Recently, someone did that for me and it was wonderful (awkward at first as she cleaned both my bathrooms) but after she left I felt so good and had the sparkling bathrooms to boot.

4.   Don't not call because you are afraid to bother us.    If we don't want to talk we won't answer and there is a good chance we do want to know that people are thinking of us......even if its just to say hi.

5.   Pray for us, send positive energy....let the universe and us know that you love us.    Nothing is more healing than knowing that people are thinking of you, praying for you and loving you.....the best part of a journey like this has been finding out how many people care and love me.    That is a blessing in any one's life but especially someone who is struggling with least we know we will be missed if it doesn't go well and that can be very important.

Finally, don't worry if you feel awkward.....its normal we do too.    No one deals with illness well but it can be a very positive and uplifting moment for both of us.      It isn't about how YOU are feeling, sorry but for this time its all about me.      Not often we can say that, and hopefully most won't ever have to, but for now my focus is limited to about 3 feet in front of me.    My brain doesn't really grasp what's going on in my own life most of the time, let alone how the rest of the world is dealing with it.
So, be patient with me, love me from near or far, but if you need someone to talk to because you are feeling sad......I am sorry but for now I can't comfort you.....I only have enough energy for me and my family.......

God bless you and thank you for means the world to me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The bus is in DRIVE!

Well, well, well, things are moving.   I am sitting in the driver's seat and the bus is buzzing along at break neck speed.    Last week I felt like I was in a field of mud, slogging along by myself trying to get some one's attention.    And then BAM!!!!!

So Thursday I saw my oncologist , Friday the ortho surgeon (or as my Mom would say 'bone man').   Figured that would be it for awhile as it seems to go in fits and starts.   Today I get a call to say that on Wednesday I am having a bone scan and then next Tuesday (Dec 9) a second appointment with the bone man to discuss the results.    Also, somewhere in there I am to meet again with my oncologist.    To be honest, I work best at this pace.    I am more of a doer than a waiter.    So, I actually feel good about what is happening.   Also, can't spend to much time thinking when you are busy driving the bus..........

Now the only thing is that we need the bone scan to show that its only metastasized to the hip.....and we can get that sucker resected, rebuild and repaired.    Plus of course all the other stuff the oncologist must do such as resecting bowel and removing muscle etc.    Big surgery, but at least we are doing something.   The one lesson that I have learned about this disease is that if the doctors are still willing to do surgery they are hopeful of a positive outcome.     That is what I keep in the forefront of my mind now.  

So, before Christmas or after Christmas who knows.   As long as we do it!!!!!!

Feeling like the universe is back in my control, if it is only an illusion that is fine at this point.   Let me live in my fantasy for the next while :)   THE BUS HAS LEFT THE STATION !