My Journey These Last Two Deadful Years

 

In 2010 I lost my husband to cancer. A few days before his passing I had a routine mammogram and the spots were discovered. Few days after his funeral I had a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound and it was concluded that the spots would just be observed. Two years later cancer developed. I wanted the bilateral mastectomy at that point but my surgeon at the time advised against it. With hindsight I should not have listen to him. He did not get clean margins the first time had to go back and do it a second time and had to take muscle. It was an extremely difficult recovery. I followed up with the radiologist and did 30 some odd rounds of radiation. The radiologist also had me begin the clinical trial. In the clinical trial they tested me for HER2, found I was positive +3, it was aggressive. Being in the trial made me very fearful so I withdrew with the knowledge my cancer was fed not my estrogen or progesterone at that time but by HER2.
I found my medical oncologist, who was referred by a friend when I requested a second opinion for my treatment plan. I like the medical oncologist and chose to make him my primary cancer doctor. He recommended I take tamoxifen for five years. But I had every reaction to that drug that you can have. He took me off that drug and gave me anastrozole. It’s only side effect was bone loss. I did develop osteopenia. As I do with everything I researched the drug and found it does target HER2. I took it for almost two years confident it was helping me. And I believe it did.
While visiting my daughter in Ohio earlier this year I discovered a suspicious area had developed again in my breast. I visited my oncologist once I return home. He assured me he was 99% sure it was nothing but we would do the diagnostic mammogram ultrasound just so that I would have peace of mind. However, after the mammogram the radiologist came in and told me I needed to have a biopsy. Plus there was suspicious spots identified in the other breast that they would again watch. Biopsy concluded I had cancer again, triple positive +3 this time. Oncologist recommended the mastectomy because the cancer I had would continue occur over and over and eventually develop somewhere else. This was my only option for survival. If it was invasive I would have to have chemotherapy, herceptin and I was dreading it. But would have done it. I want to live!
I found a different surgical team this time around.  After my bilateral surgery, the radiology report revealed the cancer was contained noninvasive and they got it all. As my oncologist said, I am cancer free. There is no where for the cancer to return because the breast were removed. And I don’t have to have any more treatment. I get to live. I call that a miracle!!!
I believe him because he had everything to gain financially by giving me treatment for the next five years. But he is honest and told me I do not need to have it or deal with the side effects. I respect his expertise in treating my cancer. It’s imperative you find a medical team that you trust.
I am now in the reconstructive phase. And looking forward to living a full complete life. Thankful for what I’ve learned. Looking forward to helping as many women as I can who are going through this nightmare.  Rejoicing I get to live!
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Me and The Ant

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I saw a little ant today crawling around on a rock and my first instant was to squish it. I was reminded of my own life how I am going about my business when suddenly, unexpectedly I feel like I am being squished. Like the ant I didn’t see it coming. I did not see the giant finger that sought to take my life. And like the ant, it took more than one attempt before the life was squished out of me. I try to looking for the ant that I tried so hard to squish and it is not to be found. It must have lived and crawled away. Will it survive? I don’t know. They are resilient creatures, quite amazing in many ways.

Of course you have watched an ant about its business forging for food, protecting its hill! Amazing in many ways. So small but so tuff. They have remarkable strength. I wonder if the ant ever gets overwhelmed. I wonder if the ant ever gets sick except when I spray them with ant killer! I wonder if the ant ever needs another ant to hug, to smile at, to talk to… Amazing!

Friendly Banter or Meanness

 

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“You have a mean streak,” I was told one evening.

Valid. I have become very tired of putting up with what’s being dished out to me. After spending the evening being teased just for the enjoyment of it, I started giving it back and the person didn’t like it. Funny how it can be dished out and call “having fun.” When enough is enough, one should stop teasing when ask to. If they don’t stop teasing then it is an open invitation to return the banter, right?! I only gave it out exactly as it was given to me. So was the person really being mean to me since they didn’t like hearing it come back to them, same words, same tone, same everything? Perhaps they were. Which ever the case, I’ve decided not to give them anymore of my precious time. I only have a little bit left and I want to use it wisely.

No one can get time spent back, so we must invest it in what we love the most.

 

If I Could Get Home Again

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If I could get back home again.

I had been gone from “home” for 30 years and I thought, if I could just get back home again things would be good, things would be normal and happy.

I left because I was running away from my step-dad who was trying to kill me or at least I thought he was. No, I know he was. He has long since died and there is no longer a danger from him.

Since he is now dead I wanted to come home. I wanted to live near my mom, brothers and sister. I longed to have the relationships with my family that I missed out on for years. So I moved home.

What an illusion. I guess we all have had times like this, times where we thought if only it were this way or that way. I longed for something that will never be. I longed to be close to people who did not have a desire to be close to me. Now when I lived 2000 miles away they said and acted like they wanted to have me around but when push came to shove it just is not true.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Well, part of healing is acknowledging the lost hope, recognizing it will never be, forgiving and moving on. But still my heart breaks and still longs for what will never be. Now I must accept my fate. I must cry my tears of loss. I must heal from unrealistic hopes and dreams. I must accept I am alone and actively build friends and acquaintances around me that allow relationship to grow. I have always taught family is more than being blood related. Family is a bond that grows through hard work on both parties part.

If I could get back home again is not all that it is cracked up to be. Home is where we are. Home is where we are loved and accepted. Home is where we live and play. I have closure now. I no longer long for something I did not have and I no longer believe it would be better than what I had. No, it is just the same. Empty. But now I live with the realization that I can fill my emptiness with what brings me love and happiness and not feel guilty or long for something just beyond my reach.

How about you? What do you long for? What do you look back at and say, if I could just be there or do that? Do you long for a home that used to be but no longer is? In what do you need closure in order to move forward? Who or what do you need to forgive to heal? How can you fill your emptiness today?

Character

imageJohn Maxwell recently wrote a blog post on character http://goo.gl/fb/hSXjO

It caused me to think. There are a lot of things that cause me to think.

I created this blog and my twitter account with an anonymous identification because I honestly did not know what would come out of me in my pain. I know a person’s real internal character will leak out all over when they are broken and hurting. In ministry and in life in general I see this all the time. I know some people are so embarrassed by their behavior when they were hurting once they recover. Makes sense to me, I always give an abundance of grace and mercy to people in crisis.

What has surprised me about myself is that I have discovered I am a good person. I am a person I would be friends with. I would like me if I weren’t me!

I have discovered I am the same person broken as I am when I was whole. Why should I hide then? Maybe because I am so insecure now. Maybe because I lived so many years in ministry mode that if I reveal my identity I may start holding my breath with each word I express. Maybe because I have been hit so hard by those that I thought loved me unconditionally that I can’t trust anymore. Maybe my vessel is so broken I don’t know if it can be put back together now. Maybe because I am alone with no emotional support and I am afraid if I get another hit it may knock me over the edge. And maybe I really want to keep living and I really want to find life again.

The Relationship Game

I never learned the game. I never learned the signals. I was never a player.
I lived in a bubble, a colored bubble that did not allow me to see out and learn to play the game. I really need to learn the rules to this game that I am forced to play. If, then . . . If this, then that . . . Need to know

There must be a rule book somewhere. A how to book. A users manual. Something.

And since when can girls not be friends with guys. Since when does every relationship between the two, if they are single, mean it is leading to something else. And sometime married men think the same thing, since when.

My late husband was a VERY jealous man. I could not even greet a man without him flipping out on me. It was very difficult because I was a leader of several hundred mostly men. Oh my lands life was hard. I was a great leader. I was able to mobilize all those teams and accomplish a lot. It was a very fulfilling career except for the jealous husband that put a lid on me.

I have always enjoyed conversing with men. They see things so differently than whinny women. I get exasperated with women and all the gossip and back biting. I did not know before but I now know, women always have an agenda.
Men just are. They don’t worry about things like women. Men can be drawn out and some very profound conversation can be exchanged about all kinds of things. I do miss this the most about my late husband. We would sit and talk for hours on end. We would solve the world problems and still be in touch with the depths our hearts and spirits.

I still look at relationship the same way I always did. I see it as making friends to share and be with. Friends to help when they need me or just hang when they don’t. Unfortunately I have not found friends like that since I moved 1500 miles away from where I was living. This stupid game gets in the way. Everyone is a player. And now that everyone is “out of the closet” I even need to be careful of the girls.

So funny! I made friends with a lady several years older than me. She talks ALL the time about herself. I hardly get a word in and when I do she is thinking about the next thing she wants to say. Frustrating. One day she told me she enjoys my company and if I lived near where she lived she would not need to find a guy to date. I am like WHAT?!? Needless to say I don’t visit with her very much now. I am straight and I don’t lean that way even a little bit!

The game I just don’t get it until it is rolling along and I find myself somewhere I don’t want to be.

The new way of communicating is through online chat. What is that about? What happened to the good old fashion phone where I can hear voice fluctuation and be able to understand what is being said. The written word leaves so much room for interpretation or misinterpret. If I had of been voice chatting with my long distance guy friend I would have heard when he went from interested to not interested and understood. We used to chat on the phone a couple of years ago that is how I learned he was interested in being more that “just buddies” and we began to communicate on a different level. Then came online chat, was that the signal I missed?

So now I venture out into the real world in search of friends and I will not allow this online chat to be a part of my life. Not my real life at least. I will still have my false identity here where I can just be and know that no one on here really knows who I am or where I am because I keep me hidden. No Facebook for me that would be to vulnerable, too risky for me. I like this blog and twitter. Well I really don’t like twitter that much but I am giving it a try.

I have to laugh at myself. Games, am I just playing a game with my life? I am one way here and another out there. I am more transparent here where I feel safe and reserved out there where I feel vulnerable. I give an appearance that I am secure and outgoing out there but I am really very frightened by it all. Here where no one can find me and no one cares about me I will lay my heart bare. Out there I step cautiously trying to avoid being hurt. But hurt is a part of real life, right?

Right, empty cyberspace out there where there really is no one?