Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finding Me Again

So much has happened, yet not much has happened all at the same time.  Emotionally, I fell into a funk. A whirlwind of depression and anxiety. It scared me. 

Apparently this is a normal part of the grief process. Normal or not, it took me down... and hard! 

Today I feel good. I had an "ah hah" moment, or strand of moments, that has opened my eyes to several things: 

  • I choose to empower myself to live well with Cancer, and not define myself by Cancer.
  • I choose to take better care of myself, especially physically
  • I choose to let go of the pseudo control over my life, and give myself permission to be o.k. 
  • I have Cancer, but it doesn't have to have me

Friday, April 18, 2014


Wow, it's been a little while since I've been here.  Let's see, where do I begin.  I had my endoscopy (I don't remember if I blogged about that yet), and unfortunately the Cancer is still there. 

I will have my PETscan on April 24th, and I see my Oncologist again on the 28th.  My birthday is on the 26th. Hmph, good timing. 

My love and I went on a lovely vacation to visit family in Virginia. Now we're back, getting into the swing of things with normal every day life. 

I had a horrible nightmare last night.  I dreamt I was in the hospital, hooked up to IVs and chemo, and I was... dying... 

I'm vacillating a lot lately between levels of depression and anxiety.  This 'coasting' in just killing me. I want to get back on the ball. Treatments, chemo, surgery, radiation - SOMETHING. Do something! I think it's just the amount of how out of control I feel right now. 

I have been having great sessions with my therapist. We are beginning to work on ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) specifically surrounding the Cancer, but obviously integrating it into other parts of my life as well.

Been thinking about my birthday lately too. I usually love love love my birthday.  It's the one day out of the year I truly dedicate to me, to self care, to treating myself, etc.  I'm actually kind of scared for my birthday to hit.  This year it'll be different. I'm scared to go 'too far into myself'. I am scared of dedicating the day to me, to really caring for myself, treating myself, loving myself... I am scared at what lies there now, now that everything is different.  I am scared of the fear. I dread it. I am angry because I don't want it to be there. Yet, it is. 

We are all going out for dinner at a local sports bar, and then we're going to a local gay bar thereafter. 

My fiance is also getting me a tattoo for my birthday, actually I'm getting it tomorrow.  I'm getting my dragonfly fixed on my inner forearm, and getting a cancer awareness ribbon added (my color for non hodgkin lymphoma, which is lime green.) 

Well that's it for now...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I thought it would feel different...

I had my endoscopy yesterday to see how the Cancer is responding to treatments.  Good news, it IS responding. The tumor is much much smaller.  

As I was wheeled into the procedure room, and getting set up, my GI doctor was telling the OR nurse and anesthesiologist about my 'case', apparently quite rare of a Cancer is someone my age.  My doctor looked at me and said "We think of police officers and firefighters as hero's, but I think of you as one. I only wish I was as strong as my patients like you." I got choked up, partly from what he said, and partly because I was going into my procedure not knowing where we were at with the Cancer.

When I woke up, my fiance was there. "It's so much smaller baby, treatment's working.  The doctor said you did it!" 

I lost it. Literally. Sobbing uncontrollably. 

Don't get me wrong, I am very very glad that the tumor is responding. So is everyone else in my life. The support is plentiful. Part of me though, is so so overwhelmed.  My therapist says it's all hitting me now. I'm grieving. Yes, I do believe I am.

The doctor did a biopsy, so for now it's wait and see. 

The biopsy results should be back in about a week. I see my oncologist in about a month. 

The endless cycle of doctors and tests and results and waiting and more doctors, and nurses... 

Even when I am in remission, Cancer will forever 'be' in our lives. 

For this is our 'new normal.'

Friday, March 7, 2014

Picking up the pieces?

The last month has been a rollercoaster of emotion, a balancing out of physical well being, and just plain seemingly crazy. 

I contracted a bad infection/abscess and dealt with that for a good two weeks.  Had to have it lanced and drained twice, once by the surgeon.  It was quite the ordeal, but thankfully it's O V E R! 

Emotionally, since ending my first round of chemo, I've been struggling. I am working on realizing that just because I 'feel' bad, doesn't mean I'm 'doing' bad.  My emotions have been all over the place, but I am grateful for my support system, plus my therapist is amazing. 

I have an endoscopy on Monday. We'll get some answers then. I'm nervous, scared, numb, confused... is the Cancer still there??? Is it responding to treatment ??? Is it gone ??? 

Then I have a PETscan in a month. 

In a way, this 'post' treatment stuff is harder then the actual Cancer. I know I still have a long way to go, best case scenario I won't be done with chemo until June of next year, but I have a feeling that emotionally I'll hit a dip each time.

Yet, I will press on...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

And the fear struck...

We all fear mortality. Funny, I haven't feared my own since all this started. To be honest, after the initial diagnosis, I have just feared how hard the treatment would be.

The other day, the fear struck. I have been reading a lot about people who have died, some younger than I even, from the same type of lymphoma I have (Non-Hodgkin B cell follicular) I've read these things in the most random of places.  And it hit me. Faced with my own mortality, and how much that terrifies me.

The doctors say I won't die from this. Granted, it may come back, but they are 'optimistic.'  But that fear... it's outrageously terrifying.

Still, I try to remain as optimistic as the doctors, and for the most part I am. I think when one is standing face to face with their own mortality, fear is completely and totally normal. and rational.

I'll have to talk about this with my therapist when I see her tomorrow...

Thursday, January 30, 2014


So I did it. Finished the first round of chemo. 3 more rounds left, but I have a 4 month break between all my rounds.  I was feeling so excited... as I walked out of the chemo room I was elated, relieved... as the night has gone one, I've begun feeling quite overwhelmed. Emotionally tired. Emotional period.  The magnitude of the days events has set in. To be honest, I want to crawl into the fetal position and just cry.  Funny, funny that something so huge - such a huge feat as to finish an entire round of chemo and come that much closer to kicking cancer's ass, has my 'emotional' ass whupped. A large part of me feels empowered. Yet, small pieces of me feel broken. 

I need space. So as my precious fiance sleeps, I am moving into the guest room for the evening.  She's not even snoring tonight, LOL! I don't know, I just feel clogged... claustrophobic even... 

I'm sitting here blogging and sipping on some peppermint tea. It's soothing.  The downstairs is cold, but it's warm and cozy upstairs where I hope to sleep soundly.  UNfortunately, I've got steroids pumping through my system, as that's part of my IV cocktail prior to the actual chemo drug.  So being awake the day of chemo, and sometimes for a few days thereafter, has become, eh... expected.

I'll finish my tea, mozy on upstairs, and curl up in the guest bedroom bed - which actually is quite cozy. 

Goodnight, world. Until tomorrow...

Funk no more

Hello world! I took a break from this blog, because quite frankly I was in a major funk. During this, time has passed and I'm happy to say that with the new year comes a break from chemotherapy!

Today is my last treatment of my first round. Whoohoo!

In 2 months I'll have an endoscopy and a PETscan to see how the Cancer has responded. In 4 months from now, I'll start my second round. Thankfully, the next 3 rounds will only be 4 weeks instead of eight.

The second half of the 1st round was rough, much rougher than the first half. But, I made it through, in part thanks to my amazing and loving supportive fiance. Tonight after chemo we are going out to celebrate.

Alot has happened over the last month, and I've had an awakening of sorts.  Mentally, to be quite honest, it was kinda hellish. Thank you to my dear therapist. She's amazing.

With that said, I'm off to chemo. I'll be back though. Peace <3