Friday, February 21, 2014

"Blankets and love."

I have been given many amazing "gifts" since telling my friends and family about having cancer, most of them in the form of sweet treats, care packages, loving notes, and good food. But much as I love the sugar, I love the three blankets I've been given even more.

The first one was given to me by my sister J. She made it for me to use during chemo, and I've done just that. Affectionately called my "chemo" blanket, I cuddle up with this blanket every two weeks while my body is pumped full of poison. And when I'm completely done with chemotherapy, which might be in May or it might be never, I'm thinking of donating this blanket to my chemo clinic for other cancer patients to use.
My "chemo" blanket in action.
The second blanket that I've been given was handmade for me by my best friend M's mom. This lady is one of the sweetest women I know. She is so giving and shows love and concern through service. The blanket she made me is bright and soft. And heavy. I love it! I use it to cuddle on my bed or in my recliner in the evening before bed. She used this, which is ahhh-mazing.

Soft, warm, cuddly. And adorable!
The third blanket I've been given was handmade for me by my friends/co-workers at the IHC clinic I worked at for 7 years. I adore this group of people so much. I have life-long friendships that started in this place ... with really amazing, smart, admirable people. The clinic manager and my friend L brought over the quilt along with a box of frozen food for my family. It was one of the kindest gestures I've received to date.
By the way, I love this quilt. It hangs on my banister and I use it to cuddle on the couch. It is all soft, warm and heavy. I'm thinking that the mink fabric used on this quilt (and the one above) gives it the weight, and I love it!
Isn't it beautiful?

The embroidered message ...

So as you can see, I've been very VERY blessed in the blanket department. Each one not only warms my body, but warms my heart. Yes, I know that sounds rediculously cheezy, but I don't really care. I feel the love from many important, caring people every time I wrap up in one of my blankets.

Carry on,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"CHEMOCATION! Yes please."

I'm on a two week chemocation and loving it! My hands and feet are clearing up nicely, all my abdominal pain is gone, the nausea has subsided, and I'm sleeping like a princess. Less hair is falling out, too. Added bonus, yes?
But more important than the physical victories are the emotional ones that this break has created, for me and for my caregivers. My parents went on a short trip. Normally, they'd be wintering down in AZ right now. But because of my diagnosis in November, they opted to stay in snowy, happy valley to care for me. So the fact that they were able to leave town for a few days makes me so happy.
And then there's my hub and chillens. Oh what fun we've had the past few days together. This time, being happy and feeling good, is a glimpse of what I'm going to feel like after I'm done with chemotherapy. This glimpse has rejuvenated my spirit immensely. I think of it whenever I think of my next treatment. You see, fear consumes me when I think of treatment. I know how sick I'm going to get, how my body is going to ache and burn from within from the chemo, how I'm going to sleep away days of my life ... all while my husband and kids look on. This glimpse is the light at the end of the "cancersumption" tunnel I live in right now. This chemocation is truly a Godsend. Truly.

Carry on,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"A break? Okay."

My treatment this week has been postponed. Due to this:

Hand-foot Syndrome. Grrr!

And this:


I limp around right now like I've just had both hips replaced. There's literally no skin in the balls of my feet. Yes, it's a painful as it sounds.

But ... BUT! I'm feeling great and I get to do normal things for two weeks before my next treatment. This is a much needed break for both me and for my caregivers, especially my mom and John. They were both giddy leaving the clinic. My mom said numerous times, "This feels like Christmas."
Yes it does, mom. Yes it does.

Carry on,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I finally FINALLY have come to terms with having cancer. After spending some time today with a dear friend, I told her about something I recently read online. Normally, I don't find much good to read about cancer online. And what good I have read is quickly overshadowed by "bad stories". But today, today was different.
From a forum thread titled, "Recent Diagnosis with Stage 4 Colon Cancer" at came a paragraph that has forever changed my outlook about having cancer.
"Research is coming out with more and more treatments all the time and the word 'terminal' has lost some of it's punch.  In 2007, I was told to get my affairs in order and it was like a kick in the gut!  No Doctor, or man, should tell anyone how long they have............that is God's business!"
Thank you, B. I don't know why what you said in your response has affected me so. Many people have offered me similar encouragement. Maybe it's how blunt your statement is. Maybe its because you're a colon cancer survivor. Maybe it's because I don't know you?
Maybe it's because ... my doctor has no idea how long I'm going to live. But my Father in Heaven does. I'm turning my recovery over to him and putting my faith and hope in his divine perspective. Thank you for the reminder of who's really in control here ... me and God. That's it. Me for the attitude and strength I possess while fighting the big C, and God for holding my life's plan.
You add at the end of the post:
"Have hope and Faith for a brighter future.  Talk to God on a regular basis; through the day and night, He is so awesome to hear our prayers.  Let people know you are sick and ask to be put on prayer lists."
I'm thinking we share the same faith. If we do or do not, your post have forever, FINALLY changed me during this time of my life.

Carry on,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Five down, seven to go. Whatever."

Oh goodness, there are so many things I could complain about right now after having endured my fifth and by far HARDEST chemotherapy treatment to date.
I could start by talking about my hands and feet, all four so messed up with cracks and peeling skin. The skin underneath the blisters isn't real skin, either. It's fake skin that has no elasticity or depth because chemo wants me to type with the erasers of pencils. I do have an awesome zombie limp going on though, since there's no skin on the ball of my left foot. Seriously, walkers have nothing on me right now.
Wait ... I could talk about my hair, or what's left of it. My baby sister and I love to sing like "Judice". Little did I know that someday, I'd look like her.

Or I could complain about how tired I am. Except that ... I'm too tired to complain about my fatigue. My life right now is many more "snooze" hours compared to "awake" hours. I can't wait to right this imbalance.
I could complain about the pain I feel, daily, throughout my torso. It's intense pain that makes me rock back and forth in an effort to comfort myself and cry tears, real tears that come from a place that hurts so bad, I don't know what else to do but to just break down.
I could complain about my mouth and the sores inside and out. Or maybe the fact that my body can't heal the way it should because my platelets are low. I know, a joint complaint about mouthsoreslowplateletsitis will do.
Or I could complain about my spirit and how unstable my attitude has been. I've been down following this treatment. Really.down. And I don't know why. The chemo is working and I'm learning how to tolerate the treatments better. Still, I tend to get weepy and emotional pretty quick these days. I hope this funk I'm in goes away soon.

But for now, I'll keep my complaints to myself and just survive. Survival is my main mode of operation these days. Survival and sleep.

Carry on,