|Derek and Me at the State Capital when he took me away from my stresses for a weekend.|
|Derek, Jake, Kayli, Dan and Me on Derek's and My 30th anniversary weekend at Capital Reef.|
I want to write today, which doesn't happen a lot lately. I feel like I haven't given a general update in a very long time. I think I reported the very good news that the cancer I had is gone. There was also the, to me, extremely good news that they didn't do an unnecessary mastectomy. Then came the time to recover from surgery and to start seeing oncologists for follow up preventative treatments.
I have dealt with the unfortunate side effect of surgery, which was pain. It had finally started to ease up when radiation started. Now there is the unfortunate side effect of radiation. I am burnt. It feels like a bad sunburn, but instead of knowing it will fade in a couple of days, I know instead that it will get worse before it gets better. Clothing hurts, but don't worry! I still choose to wear clothes every day!
I opted to keep getting my allergy shots this year in the hopes that I will continue to be able to eat watermelon and avocados and other raw fruits and vegetables once this year is over. That means that along with getting my blood drawn every week for the radiologist, I get two shots at least every other week. I also get my blood drawn an extra time if I go visit the medical oncologist. I try to be a really good sport about all of the poking, but it is possible I am starting to whine when they are taking my blood again!!!
I am more than halfway done with radiation (I have done 20 out of 33 treatments). I have made friends of the nice people who help me there, and of the lady at the front desk who had breast cancer in the past, and whose daughter found out today she'd need a biopsy. It makes it easier to go to treatment when everyone smiles and waves and is happy to see me every single day.
My family and extended family have been great. My friends have been awesome. I have tried to turn as many of my radiation trips as I can into happy adventures. I try to let myself rest when I am exhausted, and I do my best to take care of my responsibilities. I still absolutely do not like to ask for help. I feel like a two year old who wants to yell "I can do it myself!!!" even when I really can't. I have been thankful for sisters-in-law who have just volunteered, and for a husband who has taken off of work he doesn't really have time to take off from to come sit in a doctors office with me so I won't feel alone and overwhelmed. My friend Shellie came with me once too when Derek couldn't.
When I realized that I was struggling to have good days I read a book by Emily Freeman called "Seeing Good Days" and it reminded me to try looking at things from a different perspective. It really did help me when I realized that I had chosen radiation even though I still rebel against it in my mind, and that I have the choice how I deal with it. I can deal with it by turning inward and feeling sad and sorry for myself (which still happens sometimes), or by trying to turn something that is hard for me into something good for those around me. I have tried to do that and I have received a lot of kindness in return. The book also reminded me to look for tender mercies from Heavenly Father every day, and they are there. When I look, I find them.
Once radiation is done there will be a hysterectomy to effectively "turn off" the estrogen made by my ovaries, and then some drugs to turn off the rest. Again, this was my choice. I could have tried juggling different drugs, but this option sounded "easiest" for me.
I still cry because I think I "should handle this better", or "it shouldn't be so hard and I don't know why it is". Derek points out that it doesn't matter why, it just is, and that I am dealing with it the best I can, which is good enough. Yay for a good Derek!
I always wonder how to answer the question "How are you doing?" I suppose that I am just doing the best I can at any given moment. Sometimes that is really great. Sometimes not so much. (Which isn't so different than how I do normally!) Amidst the buckets of tears I've cried, I do know that I am cared for and loved and watched over, and I am thankful for that! I am thankful for all of you.
|And Look! Tia and Mike got married!! I have no good pictures really, but it was a great day.|
This was right after the cake smashing in the face incident.