It’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog. In December my youngest son had his 18th birthday and I celebrated turning 49 years old. I also had the opportunity to fly home to Washington to spend Christmas with my family. It was so wonderful. While I was home, my youngest son, Derek held a benefit concert for his senior project. His goal was to earn enough money to pay for one year of piano lessons for a young child. He wanted to provide the same opportunity he had been given to another young child. I was so proud of Derek. I enjoyed so many things while I was in Washington, but more importantly I enjoyed the time spent with my family.
On December 29th I began my radiation treatments. To date, I’ve completed nine of the 36 treatments required to fight breast cancer. The treatments are far easier than chemo. Although, I find myself extremely tired and I have some breast pain. Other than that, so far so good. Unfortunately, the side effects from chemo have continued to linger. My body hurts, I can barely walk and more often than not, getting out of the car is difficult, I’ve developed neuropathy, my hands and feet hurt constantly, I have lots of memory loss and this morning my toe nails began falling off. I met with the nurse practitioner on Monday and she had warned that it was inevitable I would be losing my toe nails. I couldn’t bring myself to accept the news. After all, haven’t I been through enough? I guess not!! The good news, according to the nurse practitioner, is I’ll grow new nails. I had this vision of jumping across the desk and kicking this ladies ass, but I remained cool, calm & collected. I didn’t even shed a tear despite wanting to throw myself on the floor kicking, screaming & sobbing like a two year old!!!
My hair is growing back. In fact I recently shaved my legs for the first time and this morning I applied mascara. My eyelashes are still very short. The result…my eyelashes look like singed spiderwebs. I love it!! Lol I have eyebrows again and the hair on my head is very short, thick with lots of pesky grey hairs throughout my head. I look like a freshly groomed toy poodle. Don’t be surprised if the next time your watching television and a commercial comes on advertising Chia Pets with a pottery pot with my face on it. I think I’d make a killing!!
Someone asked me today how much longer I had for treatment. I have five more weeks of radiation, five more months of infusions and five years of hormone therapy. There are a lot of “fives” in the forecast so I’m hoping 2015 (I see another five) will be my lucky year!!! The past nine months have certainly been a humbling and extremely hard journey. I could complain but the truth is, I’m grateful for the experience. Having cancer is not a disease I would wish on anyone, however the experience has really changed me. It’s given me a whole new perspective on life. I find myself more grateful for the things I do have and I’m more compassionate towards others. You never know what a person is going through until you’ve walked in their shoes for a day. It’s hard to describe the emotional roller coaster one experiences while fighting cancer, but as a person going through it, all I can say is it’s a tough arena that I hope I never find myself in again.
I was listening to the song by Wings today called Silly Love songs. I found the song on YouTube. Linda McCartney was an amazing and talented woman who lost her life to breast cancer. When I was a teenager, I happened to watch an interview with her and Paul McCartney. I remember the interview was taken in their home which I believe was in Sussex. I don’t recall exactly. However, what I do recall is the love and appreciation this couple shared with one another. They were so much in love, very humble and genuine. I remember thinking “I want to have a relationship like theirs!” I hadn’t even thought about that until today. As I reflected on my fight against breast cancer, I thought about how hard it must have been for this very famous couple. I would imagine even this famous couple were not exempt of experiencing the same roller coaster of emotions we all feel while fighting cancer. It made me sad to think Linda lost her fight and left behind a loving husband and family.
I read on the Internet there is a cancer facility called The Linda McCartney Centre located in Liverpool. I am attaching the link. Personally, I would like to give back to help others who are in the same fight. What better way to give back than to recognize an amazing woman, such as Linda McCartney who lost her battle to cancer. We all know someone who has battled cancer and needs to be recognized for their bravery and determination. There are so many organizations out there who’s mission is to help those fighting cancer. My message today is Give Back. A little help goes a long way.
What I’ve learned throughout this journey is fighting cancer is not only physically challenging but it’s lonely sometimes too. I have been so grateful to those who have called me, texted me, emailed me and offered words of encouragement. Today I’m having coffee with a young woman I met at church. I’m looking forward to meeting up with her. It takes my mind off the reality of what my life is. When I say “give back”, I’m not only referring to donating to a cause, I’m encouraging you to take a few minutes out of your day to reach out to someone who is fighting a disease, going through a challenge or experiencing a hardship. You have no idea how much that will mean to someone. It’s easy to hand out dollars and walk away. It’s much harder to spend a few minutes with someone offering a little love and words of encouragement. Something simple like just listening goes a long way and is so appreciated. So in the spirit of Linda McCartney who fought the fight, pick up the phone and spread a little “silly love song” someone’s way!