Notice the name change on my blog. My God and I still are teaming up to earn my "Pink". But a more realistic name for my journey....is "Momma Has Cancer...." I am a mom. A mom to two of the most precious souls on the planet. And these kiddos are my strength and my reason to fight each day.
They never complain. They pile up in bed with me....because that's where I am the majority of the time these days. They, too, treasure the moments of "normality" when I can steal a few moments to feel good enough for a lunch date or outing of any kind. They still smile. Still come to me for hugs. Still keep their rooms a complete mess....forcing me to "holla".....:) Love the normality and hope they bring to my every single day....without fail. I've said it before.....but they have this "cancer" too. They are also going through chemo with me.....Something I've watched my own mother go through. I know it's not easy on them. When I think about giving up.....and I have those moments from time to time....I just look at them. They are so worth the fight.
As much as I hate to go there, I must....Side effects are much worse this time. This is a complete honest listing.....so if you don't really want the blow by blow....might wanna skip a few lines! :) Nausea, Fever, Constipation to the point I'm bleeding, Fatigue, and Mouth sores. The heat is killing me. No headache this time....but the Aleve I was taking as a preventative during the day.....now hurts my tummy. Doc had indicated that the Zofran to prevent nausea that I had taken during the first round religiously, can cause headaches. So I've backed off of it this time. And I've had more nausea. One drug helps one thing....and seems to cause another issue. During round 1, My "feel good day" was Saturday. Day 7. Still waiting Round 2's day to present itself. :(
Smells are starting to affect me. Not necessarily "food" smells.....but good smells. I've had to turn off the scentsy's.....find scent-free lip balm and lotions and bath soaps. Takes me back to my pregnancy days. When I was carrying Sam, is about the time that Victoria Secret put out its cucumber melon lotions, sprays, etc. I had so loved it. But after morning sickness, the cucumber melon smell to this day turns my stomach, 15 years later. Weird.
We are on day 8, last night was a rough night. I woke up bound and determined to make it to Sunday School and Church. My spirit is in need of as much healing as my body. First, I wore the darn wig. Just not me. Hated it the whole time. Of course, was met with many loving hugs, and friendly words, but inside I couldn't wait to get home and rip the thing off. I remember sitting in SS and praying more than once that I wouldn't have to interupt by leaving in the middle. Just didn't feel well. Prayers worked....I made it through class and service and even had lunch with friends and kiddos. I have about a "1 day window" when I can stomach Mexican food.....so we took it. Reluctantly, but I took it.
Came home and found myself back in my bed where I am at the moment. Funny, I used to love my bed. I'm here so much feeling rotten, that its no longer a source of comfort anymore. My spirit is breaking....because I'm only a quarter of the way through this nightmare. I can't even allow myself to think about the strong possibility that it may not stop there. What if I am battling this the rest of my life? I've come to truly understand why some patients elect to stop treatment. This isn't living. This is merely a painful existance. I know Satan is pulling and tugging at me trying to shake my faith. I would be lying if I said that he isn't at times successful. There are moments I find myself in tears just ready to give up....give in to this monster. I've seen my own mother fight this for 5 years......and not survive it. What is the world makes me think I will be any different? Nobody can answer that. There isn't a good answer.
I've rationalized many answers: 1) treatments have come a long way in 11 or so years.....ok. Sure they have. 2) My cancer is a different kind.....yep. But not different "better"....but different "worse"....Mine is triple negative. Can't be prevented, only killed. 3) I'm a young (relativley speaking I guess! :)) mother whose children need me......Of course they need me! But my brother and I had the glue to our family ripped from us. And our children were deprived from the most loving grandmother this world would have known. So what can be said to that?? I have others, but will stop there. Ya get the idea. God hasn't revealed any answers yet. Just His presence. That is where I'm finding comfort.
I know that facing what could be a "terminal" illness has strengthened my faith. But it continues to reach my weaknesses also. I wouldn't be writing a blog from a place of honesty, if I didn't really "tell it like it is". I'm scared to death. I'm trying hard to focus on one day at a time. Each day, I make myself list mentally the blessings of the day. If I allow myself to think of this as a"long term" battle, which it is.....it drives me crazy. But if I have to endure Breast Cancer....et.al, seriously enduring all that it entails.....the worry, the chemo, the side effects, the surgeries, the life alterations, the financial woes, the relationship changes.....all of it. If I have to endure that to find peace in my faith. To recognize my weaknesses and turn them around to help others. To inspire even one person to be curious about Jesus. I'd honestly do it all again. I still fall short daily. But as Pastor Rick fed me today....that "God's will" isn't that I got cancer. He doesn't "will us" to endure pain. But His will for us is to turn to Him in times of struggle. To have an un-ending faith and trust in Him that nothing can break.
The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in Him,
I look at my kids. They are stronger than I ever could be. They are the epitome of strength and courage. It can't be easy on them to watch their otherwise active mom, down for days on end. But in their eyes I find the hope. I realize my Sam and Sydney Clare are blessings straight from God, hand-picked to be my children, faithful Christ-followers, who never doubt for a second that "Momma's gonna be ok." They are my best friends. My everything. I've been a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and Christian. I've also been a sinner. I've fallen short of Christ's plans for me many times throughout my life. Through His grace, I've found salvation and forgiveness. In my heart, I also know, that through God and His love for me, I will also be a Survivor. Still.....my most treasured of these all....is that I'm a mom. I am Sam's mom. I am Sydney Clare's mom. Blessed.