Saturday, October 29, 2016

The end of the month of pink....

When Metastatic Breast Cancer rudely entered my life in June 2015, I immediately went into panic mode and started predicting my morbid future, afraid that I wouldn’t even make it through the next year.

I’m blessed to have a huge support system and quickly I started to learn to take my life one moment at a time, hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute. Just as though life has no guarantees, neither does the diagnosis of MBC. It’s been over one year now. This diagnosis is a full-time job that has changed frequently and continues to have too many bumps to keep track of. Some days are steady where I feel some moments of normalcy; other days I have panic attacks that take over the calm I try so hard to maintain. Having this disease is mostly scary and part of the fear is never really knowing what is coming next, but, when you think about it, none of us are able to predict the future. We can simply live the best life we can in the present. So although my children are still only 9 and 12 years old and I fear how much time I have left with them, I do my best not to waste any time worrying about something that I have no control over.

I wish I had the magic potion for surviving MBC but that doesn’t exist (yet) so I will tell you a few things that have helped me move forward, even on the days that are the hardest.

As my Memere used to say, “there is nothing so bad that something good doesn’t come out of it.” This is especially evident when living with a disease such as MBC. You can find something positive; sometimes you may just have to look at it with extra strength binoculars.

Try not to let one set back determine the future, perhaps it’s a bump in the road and not a death sentence.

I’ve been open with sharing my emotions and although it’s not always pretty, it’s always real. Let yourself cry if you have to, share your emotions and don’t feel like you have to fight those tears that come naturally. I would urge you, however, to only wallow for a short time, vent, journal, meditate and then move on. I personally benefit greatly from going to therapy weekly. 

So many share this disease, but each person’s story is different. My story is unique and how I react to it is as well. Learning to have hope and faith in my own journey continues to be a challenge for me, but with the love and support I receive, there has been some progress. 

I started this blog entry at the start of the month to post as part of raising awareness through Metavivor.  Because I don't always have the energy or stamina to write, I didn't quite make it to the deadline and thus it has become my own post. Hopefully it will be a source of some awareness for those who can benefit.

This Monday we will be driving very early to Dana Farber. It's that time again for more scans, definitely not a time I look forward to, in fact, it scares the poop out of me. It's actually a challenge for me to hold it together this weekend knowing Wednesday my oncologist will share the findings of the latest tests with me. This is when I do my best to remain hopeful and positive because it is not helpful to do otherwise. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Feeling defeated...

Have you ever worked your ass off at something and it just doesn't have the result that you want it to? That's how my appointment today can be summed up.  

We left the house at 6:30am this morning, was having my brain scan by 8:30am and by 10:30am, I had to hold in the tears because the results were not what the doctor nor myself were hoping for. Honestly, there were glimmers of progress, such as some shrinking, but he certainly thought there would be more and seeing his disappointment left me wanting to run out of his office in tears. He also saw VERY small new things (grrrrr). I can't really explain what it's like to have yuck growing in my's unsettling to say the least. Overall he said he would currently call the activity in my brain stable, which in the world of metastatic cancer is a good thing, however, like I said, his reaction left me definitely feeling defeated.

And, so here are my raw and ugly emotions when I write a post on a day like today. Honestly, I was thinking it wasn't a good idea to share yesterday's post with everyone because now I must fill you all in with today's less than Excellent news. I'm not one who enjoys people feeling bad for me.

Now I will end by saying I will get over this just like I do every other time. I will pick my butt off the pavement, carry on and keep fighting. But, truthfully if I didn't wallow in my own self pity now and then, I don't think I'd be human. The "bruise" from today's appointment will fade quickly and life will continue one hour at a time.

Thanks everyone for your love, prayers and positive vibes. Feeling the love in my heart certainly makes for quicker healing. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A quick update...

Hello all, first let me send out my heartfelt thank for all the love and kindness regarding my memere. As you know, loss is hard, no matter the age or circumstance. We all continue to heal and keep our priceless memories in our hearts. Once again, my family and I are so grateful and feel very blessed to experience the continuous love and support. So, thank you.

Tomorrow morning at 8:00, I will be having a brain MRI to follow up with the brain radiation I had a short time ago. I learned a new term since my last scan...scanxiety. The anxiety is not actually because of the scan itself, but the results they will reveal. I'm feeling optimistic, but I also continue to be cautiously optimistic, as that is my defense mechanism. The good thing is I will find out the result on the same day so I don't have to continue with the scanxiety for a long period of time. 

(By the way, I can't take credit for "scanxiety", another Metavivor came up with it and boy, could I relate.)

I will fill you in tomorrow with my results. Any positive thoughts and or prayers are always appreciated.