I haven't been here much at all, which is weird for me. As my Oncologist and I agree, we decided to "muscle" through four cycles of chemotherapy without killing me. He originally ordered six cycles. He originally ordered different chemo drugs too! Things had to change for various reasons, and that is okay. The first cycle sent me to the emergency room twice, so that chemo cocktail was changed completely. Once we settled into the Carboplatin/Navelbine combination, it seemed to go a little bit better. However, we found that every time I had the second treatment of just Navelbine, my hemoglobin would plunge to 7 so I had blood transfusions every 3 weeks to compensate for that. I would like to say right here that if you are new here, please don't think that my experiences would be yours. We are all different in how we react to chemo and it's a very individual thing that the doctors do to try to find a regime that works specifically for your body.
Next weeks is the final treatment for me! May 24! What a journey this has been. This second time around was so very different than the first time five years ago. There were so many things in 2007 that were tough. They didn't happen this time around. There were so many things in 2012 that were tough. They didn't happen the last time around. But overall, here I am - almost done with this! I am a different person than the one that went into the hospital on January 4 for a biopsy. For that I am thankful . The lessons learned have been good ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Our marriage was challenged almost to the breaking point, but love won! We are coming through this more in love than I think we have ever been in our 24 years together! God helped us find a new appreciation for each other! I call it a miracle.
* To find my new normal and be happy with it. To look for and find joy in every single day of my life.
* To start a life that includes exercise to build up the muscles that have atrophied because of the inability to be active. I've lost almost 40 pounds since all of this started. I'd like to keep most of that weight off.
* To appreciate driving. Never did I imagine being so tired that I could not trust myself to drive. Now, with the help of medication, we are finding ways for me to trust that I am alert enough to drive! What a joy it is to have that freedom! I want to appreciate it always like the priviledge that it is!
* To continue to be incredibly curious about things that just didn't seem to matter before. Recently I discovered a marshy area by my home that had these enormous nests about ten feet above the ground. I had no idea what they were! It looked to me like something I would see in a Dr. Seus book! It turned out to be Blue Heron nests. Amazing! I posted a picture in here but it was gianormous! If I can find one that is small, I'll insert it later if you are curious about these amazing animals!
I never knew things like this existed! I want to always have the eyes of a child that is eager to discover new things that make me feel awe and inspiration!
* To hold the value of relationships above everything else. I've always been busy! I run here and there and do good things like volunteering. And yet? I didn't take time to call a friend to have a cup of coffee. I do now. I've learned that listening to someone has many more benefits than doing all the talking. I spent time at chemotherapy just asking my roommates their stories. Seeing their faces as they talked was awesome. Sometimes I felt like maybe no one has listened to them in quite a while. I like to listen now.
Things I'd like to do? Write a book! Life has afforded me so many incredible experiences! I don't have the slightest idea how to write a book, but I think I will learn and take a stab at it! I found a book that my Grandma wrote by hand when she was about 50 years old. It was the story of her Papa. He was a rogue to the family and yet the love of her life! Born in 1906 to a show girl who had an affair with a rich cattle baron, she gave him up for adoption. He was a "bad boy" in the eyes of many, but not to his youngest daughter, my Grandma. Grandma never went to school, and yet she wrote this little book in cursive, and stapled it together.
As I went through a box of stuff left to me by my Mom (I've had this box for years and never found time to go through it), I found this precious little story. My aunt who is 70 is the only one alive that could help me piece the story together still. She lives about an hour and a half from me. I am going to take the time to visit her on a regular basis this summer and get all the details and write this book for my Grandma. I don't care if it is published. I just would like to write it for my family. I would like them to remember Great Grandpa as more than the scoundrel that others painted him as.
There is so much more to write but this is enough. If I thought I knew how precious life was before, I REALLY know how precious it is now.
If somehow you made it through this very long diatribe, thank you! LOL.
Judy in MI