I was just reflected on these last 12 months. I’ve gone through 19 chemo treatments (4 were postponed due to my neutrophils), one unexpected surgery (one more in the future), many needle pokes, two different treatment plans…let me just say, the list goes on.
Today, August 17th, a big day for me. Who am I kidding, this month and next month both have some big days. Days that will bring happiness and excitement, but also some will bring bitter-sweet memories. This day in particular is my 1 year anniversary of having my unexpected surgery and finding out I have cancer at 26 years old…10 days before my golden birthday. That will be one of the days I will never get out of my head. Thinking you are going in due to having a bladder infection…to hearing you need to have your appendix removed ASAP…to a 4 hour surgery later…and then, to hear my dad explain to me it wasn’t my appendix, it was a tumor. WHAT…I have cancer. When my dad told me, I just cried. I couldn’t tell you when exactly I found out after coming out of surgery. It could have been minutes or even hours. I do remember my nurse came running in because my blood pressure went from normal to very high within seconds. She told me that once I became her patient, she has been praying for me none stop. We do have amazing people out there and I loved all my nurses!
August 27th, my BIRTHDAY! It is weird to think the whole time I have been 27, I’ve been battling cancer. I ended the year of being 26 with cancer and I started both years of being 27 and soon 28 still battling cancer. WEIRD! That does not concern me because I have something huge to celebrate in a couple of weeks and that is my LIFE. Another year of living. Birthdays have been something my family always celebrates, nothing big like when you were a child, but we would always do something, Throw cancer into the mix…your birthday is HUGE. To me, it really means another year of living. Which is a big deal! Now, it has not been a “walk in the park”, a lot has changed in my life within this last year. When you find out you have cancer, your world is completely turned upside down x1000. Your life changes…completely.
September 2nd, my brother’s birthday! My brother is my full-time caregiver, my rock. I could not thank him enough for all he has done for me. Being a caregiver isn’t easy, I am sure sometimes it can feel like working two jobs. As someone who is battling cancer, the things my brother has helped me with, he has been a trooper. He has gone to ever chemo and pretty much every doctors appointment with me. The nurses love us! And let’s be honestly, he drives me crazy and bugs me at times…I am sure he feels the same way! 😉 Love you Tim!!!
September 3rd, the anniversary of my dad’s life. This was another day myself and my family did not see coming. I wont get into the details of that night, but my dad had a pulmonary embolism. WOW. I felt like I was barely out of the hospital post surgery when this happened. I remember saying good night to my dad and we both headed to bed until I was woken up by a very loud noise. My dad and I had a very special relationship. He was a man who if you knew him, you would instantly love him and enjoy any type of conversation you had with him. He was an entertainer who loved to host a dinner party, enjoyed dancing, and unfortunately singing. Funny story, growing up my dad would tell my friends NSYNC and Backstreet Boys offered him a deal to join the group, but my dad would always decline because his voice was too good. It wasn’t! Lol
Chemo 19, in the bag. Done…Complete…Check that box. This round hasn’t been too bad, I’ve been able to do more and especially, I’ve been able to get out of the house and live a little. The worst though, the side effects can hit you when you least expect it. One minute you could be feeling so good and within seconds you are not doing too good. You just have to roll with the punches. The worst is when you are out. Neuropathy wasn’t too bad this round, It mostly hit over the weekend and by Monday it was getting better. First night after chemo at the hospital was a little difficult. Woke up getting sick in the middle of the night…not fun. Luckily, I haven’t had too many stomach aches, but I have also been a little constipated.
Oh and this pump life I’ve been living every other week…I am getting sick of it. I am so annoyed with it. I don’t want to do anything when I have the pump. All I want to do is sleep. I don’t feel good when I have it. I cannot shower/take a bath. I have to be extra careful when sleeping. Ugh…it is not fun and I am getting to the point I am so over it. I am just hoping and prayed soon the pump life will be over, I want it to be so bad.
This thing called cancer is so draining. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. There are so many days I wish I can go back in time and wipe clean of all of this. But, than I think about what cancer has brought me. It has brought me some great friends! Friendships that are new and friendships that have come back into my life. It has taught me how freaked strong and brave I am. It has taught me to rely on others and that I cannot do everything myself. Sometimes I need to step back and know it is okay if there is something I cannot do, to just ask. I like to think the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation. You just have to enjoy the little things in life.
Chemo 20 is next Thursday! I got this… 👊🏻