I got the news yesterday that another fellow metastatic breast cancer friend has died. There has been so much death lately among friends that I met at in Boston, Philadelphia, Chapel Hill, Wind River Retreats and Little Pink Houses of Hope Lake Tahoe. So many children, husbands, parents, brothers and sisters left behind. Strikes fear in my heart. It is a devastating disease. No getting around that. I will hold them close in my heart.
The side effects from the Whole Brain Radiation and the new oral chemo drugs have been brutal. I have been house bound and actually bed bound for about 3 weeks. I would never have gotten through all of this without my friends and you know who you are! I am finally feeling better. Low potassium levels were making me weak, confused and unsteady on my feet. I have learned to graciously accept help and look towards the the future to happier days.
I believe that the silver lining or the blessing that I have received since my cancer diagnosis in October 2013 is all the new friends I have made. The other blessing has been how much deeper the friendships I already have have become. I feel very comforted and supported through this difficult time. It makes my heart full to accept the help and support I have received over this time. The take away is reach out to others. Be kind. Show love.
I truly don’t know what my future is going to look like. Up until a few days ago I was existing – one foot in the grave. Serious and solemn all the time. Everything run through the filter of now I have cancer in my brain. I have slowly pulled myself away from the brink and I am doing my best to stay in the moment. To keep my spirits up and to be as light as possible. It is a true reminder that all anyone has is today. And we are to live as fully and as earnestly as we can.
I report to the Radiation Oncology department today at 3:25 for the first in a series of 15 brain radiations. I have been afraid of the cancer going to my brain and now here it is a reality. I don’t know what to expect but I feel up to it. Up until this news I was worried about lymphedema and neuropathy, I sure would take those problems back. It is all a matter of perspective. It has been humbling to have so many friends who are behind me on this new adventure. It is all about the love and connectedness. I am truly grateful.
The dreaded test results – the cancer has spread to the brain. That is the scariest thing I can think of. It’s so different from being in the liver or the bones. So now the new regime is 15 whole brain radiation treatments and hope it shrinks or completely kills the tumors. After that possibly gamma knife treatments for mop up of any small things left. One of the possible side effects is loss of cognitive function. The best oncologist ever said that since I wasn’t a moron I would possibly notice this. I got a real laugh out of that. Laughing in spite of crying. I am also on two drugs that pass through the blood brain barrier. Hopefully they will get after the cancer also.
I know this is a long post. Everything is flux right now. Things can change in an instant. Fear can swallow you up. But I have looked at this as a new hurdle that I will deal with one day at a time with help of faith, family, friends and of course the love of a little dog.
My results came back from the brain MRI. The cancer has spread to my brain and is in numerous places. The first treatment for this will be a full brain radiation. It is 15 sessions over a 3 week period. I won’t lie. I am devastated. This has been my biggest fear. The full brain radiation has to work the first and only time. You can’t get it more than once in your life time. I am not ready to die or give up. So please if you have a prayer list you belong to please put my name on the list. I am claiming health. Please help me and claim it for me too.
A reality check over the weekend. I learned that a lovely, spiritual young mother of four died from metastatic breast cancer. Cancer sucks. It robs each of us. No one is untouched by it. I loved Sarita and will never forget her beautiful smile and can do attitude. Too soon. Too young,
A strong gust of wind. Half of a huge tree has fallen on my house and a limb has come through the roof and is now poking out of the ceiling in the bathroom. A sense of panic sets in. How will I be able to handle this? My homeowners insurance is already trying to cancel my coverage. A feeling of being inadequate and scared starts to overwhelm me. How will I figure out what to do and who to call. I have to toughened up and make the telephone calls.
This morning the tree is being cut up and taken down. I was able to meet the challenge. Growth from facing problems and the right people being there for me.
Having cancer is really hard at times. It has been one of those times. I haven’t felt well in a couple of weeks. I don’t have much fight left. Cancer can be a lonely disease. It’s hard to talk about to people. I don’t want to sound like I am feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to sound negative. I just feel down and negative. It takes energy for me to maintain a positive attitude. I know this will change. It’s just how I feel now. I told my doctor I was scared the cancer in the liver was getting worse. He said he didn’t think that was what the problem was but now that he thought about it I hadn’t had a brain MRI in a while. So now that’s in the future. Working on attitude adjustment.