Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chemo Starts

Well, I am certainly learning alot about a new club I never intended to join. My eyes are opening to alot of new experiences that seem all too familiar to all the people who have been doing this longer than me. Cancer. It is what it is. And now that label is on my forehead. And all the lovely things it comes with...

...being tired all the time

...everything I do for others...not being done boys watching their once very active athletic mother not be that

...watching my husband do double duty without question

...watching the toll it's taking on him

...watching the toll it's taking on my friends

...feeling how much I never knew I mattered to others

...wanting to stay strong, but sometimes...I just can't

...then those who know and love me kick me in the ass!

...tomorrow's another day

I have about 3 weeks or so left to enjoy my they say. The people taking care of me know what they're talking about. They're good people. I'm under good care. It's alot of work to get there. Long road trips but so worth it. Left the bad care that was close and convenient. I had my first chemotherapy treatment yesterday. They did all possible to make it a "comfortable" experience. I had alot done though and it took all day, literally. I counted about 11 medications I received by IV at a time. Got sick on some, but handled it all like a trooper.

Had to get another medication today that will stimulate my bone marrow to produce white blood cells to help what I've lost since yesterday. This is worse than the chemo. Feeling very sick tonight as I'm describing this. Sitting still and typing is about all I'm capable of now. Just focusing.

The help I've had today to get through the day was amazing. My "best" is there for me all the way. This is love. The rides to and from are mechanical. It's the stuff in between that keeps me alive and going. A side track of shopping. Parenting my children when I can't. Making my kids feel at home and loved when I'm not there. Throwing the football around. Sharing a song. A look. A beer. A good joke. A smart ass remark. Knowing when to be quiet. Knowing when to laugh. Being known.

I've cared for others my entire life. Others have depended upon me. I drop everything and go where I'm needed. I love life intensely. I love my family and friends intensely. Caring is what I know and who I am. Caring was my profession! The nurses and doctors find it easy to relate to me when they find out I was a Social Worker. It makes it easy to speak "the speak" of medicine and caretaking.

Now I've had to learn to receive. Still not easy, but I know I must in order to survive. I realize as hard as it is at times, it's good for those who help me too. I must accept that and not feel bad for the hard work everyone is doing to help me survive, even the mundane everyday things. I'm lucky. My circle may be small, but it's very tight.

Beyond that, I'm learning how "BIG" my unwanted club is. And I'm doing what I can to get involved in the bigger fight out there. Not only cancer as a whole, but in particular breast cancer among those so young as myself. We are the ones falling between the cracks because of awareness, insurance, money, standards, medical shortcomings, lack of research and the list goes on. The worst one I hear myself and that others share with me..."You're too young to be sick". A slap in the face when you're suddenly fighting for your life when you thought you had everything ahead of you. Well, if I can't accomplish the things I set before myself in the short term before this started, I have the fortitude to fight the big fight out there in the political and medical world. I will not be silent. I will be one more voice to speak up for those who can't to fight for change so all this needless illness can stop or be caught earlier. Older women have a greater chance of survival because of the current medical standards for detection and treatment. Younger women are not listened to or tested. It must change. If you are a woman reading this, please join me to help yourself and those you love by joining the ARMY of WOMEN. It is research on real women to find a way to prevent, cure and detect cancer earlier. Don't believe that ONE won't make a difference. A group is formed by a whole lot of ONES.

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