Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The "Old Mommy"

Life has a funny way of making you realize that you are in control of absolutely nothing. Sometimes it feels like a rude slap in the face. Well...let me rephrase that. You can control nothing that goes on outside of you. Even this cancer that threatens me. Even though it is technically "inside" of my body...it is not inside of me. No illness, disease or circumstance should be able to threaten my spirit or mindset. Yet is it really that easy? Can we just always be "above it all"? ....I'm not sure.... Always may be an unattainable word to use. Now as I focus on healing, positive thoughts, and love, I reflect often on times in my life where there were far smaller problems and situations and I just let them get to me and really get me down. Since I can't afford such reckless emotional behavior right now I try so hard to keep myself happy, hopeful and healing. Bad feelings will only slow down my progress. But sometimes things get in the way and break my heart. I am quick to mend it up again with my faith, but it still hurts.

My son Joey (above) is 7 years old, but his emotions and ability to pick up on things unspoken are well beyond his years. He said, "Mommy, I wish there was no such thing as cancer." "Me too sweetie. But it will be gone soon and all these Dr appointments will be all done too." "Ok "...then he just hugs me, kisses me and goes to play. He just has a sweet, sincere way about him. One day when I wasn't feeling well (I seem to get little annoying ilnesses easily) He said in a moment of honest child-like reflection, "I miss the old Mommy." Talk about a tear jerker! I held them in as I hugged him and assured him that I will be ok and will have all of my energy back soon. He seemed happy at that and left . My friend Kerry and I were both in tears. It is hard to hear things like that coming from your child. I want to shield them from those kinds of feelings.

I long for the end of this so badly. for it all to be behind us and just a memory of a victorious fight and a miracle made possible by other people's love and generosity. I long to be on the other side of service. To be the one serving and donating to someone who desperately needs it, making miracles happen in their life. But for now that someone is me. My family. My sweet Joey.

I am learning so much. Learning so much self control over my thoughts and feelings. I my feel the sad feelings, but I try not to dwell on them. I acknowledge them and move on. Focusing on something outside of myself. My children are a great distraction most of the time. My husband is too. We are so blessed to share the kind of love and understanding that we do.

Right now I am just looking forward to Sept 7th at 9:30am...treatment starts! I am glad to start so that we can look forward to the end. It's going to be a tiring schedule though. 5 days a week for 3 hours (not including the hour ride there and back). I will be treated Tues through Sat. The schedule makes me feel hopeful. That we are hitting it aggressively from all sides and we are not taking chances with a watered down protocol...even though that means less money. I am glad that I realize that my mindset is everything and that I have total control over that. It's not easy, but keeping grounded in my faith is a great place to start. Don't worry Joey, The "old Mommy" didn't go anywhere. She is still here fighting this off and winning.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Words

I've been wanting to post on my blog for a few days now...I just have been struggling with what to say. The things that I have strong desires to do would be impossible. I want to personally call each and every one of you that have donated and shared the site to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want to send you all cards and gifts. I want to visit you and give you a huge hug. I want to contact you in someway to let you know that we didn't just get your money and think nothing of it. We treasure every dollar. Donations from $15 - $1000 continue to come in. I keep waiting for the "buzz" on the site to slow down...for people to get busy with their own lives and move on. But as time goes on the opposite thing is happening. People are thinking of ideas to be able to donate, raise money and spread the word even more. I can't think of any thing to blog about because I am speechless. (A miracle in and of itself!) I wish there were other words to use, but "thank you" will have to do for now. Thank you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Prayers Are ALWAYS Answered!

Sometimes our prayers aren't answered the way that we want or as fast as we want them, but through our faith, they are answered. Although it took a lot of searching, our prayers have been answered! A treatment center here in AZ that is a perfect fit for my situation! Yay! (Kind of feel awkward cheering for a cancer treatment, but it is what it is...find joy in everything.) So there is only on huge bummer...our insurance is inadequate for the treatment I need. Ugh!...a road block. We don't want to let that get in our way. We know that My life is valuable, and now that we've made the decision, somehow, someway doors will open and a miracle will happen. I know it will. My husband had the idea of putting up a donation site. Although I was hesitant about doing it, I am glad that he didn't listen to me. (Hear that honey? You were right!) It has been fully up for 1 day and we already have over $650 in my treatment fund! I cannot express fully my gratitude to those that have donated and have shared my site with other people. You aren't just helping me, you are serving my children. My precious babies that I need to be strong and healthy for. This is all for them.

We have a goal of starting treatment on Sept. 6th. We don't need all the money by then, just enough to get started, then of course enough to finish the protocol my doctors have designed for me. Again thank you for all of the love and help for my family. I am in awe of all the people in my life. I am so blessed. May you too be blessed with love and health. Those are priceless and should be cherished above all. (There is now a link on the right side of my blog that will take you straight to cureval.com...also my husband's idea...he was right before so I listened. Lol.)

Monday, August 16, 2010


What do you do when you are forced to drive down a one way road and suddenly realize that you aren't sure if this is the road that leads to the place you want to go? People that you love are telling you that this is the right road, and that the destination will be somewhere you want to be...but you're having serious doubts. But is there another route you can take? You never even thought to ask that question before. You take your eyes off of the road that you are on and you suddenly realize that there are all sorts of roads to take that you didn't see before. All with great possibilities of great destinations. There are so many roads in fact that it becomes confusing which way is right. It's not just a fork in the road, there are roads all over. Some paved...some well worn with use and others look as if they were just carved out. To keep from going farther down a road that could be a wrong choice, you stop the car....seems reasonable. Stop the car until you can determine which direction to go. "No, no! Keep on this road! You can think of where you want to go while you drive", say some of the people around you. "But what happens if I pass the right road, the one that goes where I want to go, and I don't know it?" You ask, realizing you can't turn around on a one way road...you can only go forward.

Well that's where I am. I have stopped the car. Please don't judge my choice. Even if you, or someone you know and love went through conventional chemo with success, I am currently looking at all of my options. Why not??? Isn't this one of the most important decisions that I'll make in my life? I only plan on being treated for cancer once and I want to get it right. To do what's right for me, my body and my family. I won't sit here on the road for too long, just long enough to learn and choose. Learn about my situation, learn about Hodgkin Lymphoma, and choose the best path to take. As this is a stressful and huge choice I ask that you pray for me. That my mind may be clear so I can listen to the heavenly promptings that will guide my choices.

I have struggled with whether or not to blog about this. It is such a personal choice and I don't want to insult anyone, spark controversy, or be criticized. But I ultimately decided that this is a part of my journey that I need to document. This thing that I'm going through will be a huge part of who I am after I am all done with this whole thing. Oh how I wish this was easier. I have decided that I am not battling cancer...I am fighting for health...for my future. I will find a way to beat this cancer down in a way that will leave me a long, healthy, vibrant future to look forward to with my family. I will. What I decide is right for me may not be right for someone else. But I know that I will have the support of my friends and family as they love me through my journey.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Will Do Anything for Love....But I Won't Do That!

Do you know the song I'm referring to? I'm not sure who sang it or what it's called...(and I don't feel like looking it up) but the singer professes over and over and over again " I will do anything for love!" He sings it with such passion and conviction. Then then the end line in the chorus is. "But I won't do that...no I won't do that." What is the person he loves asking him to do?!? It must be pretty bad.

But when I think about love I think of a special lady in my life right now. Let's call her "My Angel". She is organizing all of the service that is being given to me through my church. Want to be amazed? Look at what she has organized for me for the next few months:

Morning pick up (to school)
Lily play days (when I'm sick)
After school pick up
Lunches made for kids
Older kids to come in the afternoon and help with homework (I nap at this time)
Dinners (every night)
Laundry pick up
House cleaning

She has this all charted out and organized with volunteers so that we have what we need when we need it. Amazing, simply amazing. And to top it off she has become a great friend and resource to me. See, she has had a lot of health problems in her life, including going through chemo twice! Nobody can relate to you and help you like someone who's been there.

I whole heatedly believe that our Heavenly Father won't give us a trial we can't handle and that before we came down to earth we agreed to the life that we would have. The good and the bad. Having my life beat up a little in the last month (understatement) I just keep thinking "I agreed to this??? What was I thinking?" But I'm sure the pre-mortal me was much wiser and saw what I would learn. Why do some kinds of wisdom have to be so painful? Not sure. But without "My Angel" having gone through what she has been through, all the physical and emotional pain, she wouldn't be able to help me as much and anticipate so many of my needs. (She knew what I needed before I even knew I needed them!)

I know, without a shadow of a doubt that because of what I'm going through I will be able to help someone else someday. They will need me and my experiences to give them comfort and help them endure...just as "My Angel" does for me.

Love is a hands on experience and I am at the receiving end right now. I don't like my cancer...I hate what chemo does to me and how it makes me feel. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. But life has a funny way of refining us through fire. It hurts, but we are stronger, wiser, and more useful to our fellow man on the other side.

Back to the song I mentioned at the beginning. I've always made fun of that song (for obvious reasons) but of course there are things I can think of that I wouldn't do if someone I loved asked me to. Oh...little things like kill someone, rob a bank, hurt other people or animals...you get the idea. But if they asked me to do such things then I'd figure out pretty quickly that I loved the wrong kind of person! So let's talk about real love...Christ like love.

Would you go through a trial (a hard one) just to have the knowledge that you'd be able to help someone else who has to go through that same trial someday? Do you have that kind of love for your fellow man? Well, I'm not sure if any of us would be like, "Sure! I'll have cancer, go through chemo, radiation, the whole bit...just for the experience." Or. "Yes I am willing to loose my child and not be able to have him in this life so I can comfort other mothers who will go through the same thing."

Yeah...if it worked that way and we had a choice before REALLY hard trials happened, I'm pretty sure most of us (me included) would opt out. Christ didn't.

He knew exactly what he would go through and LET it happen so he could feel all of the pains and sufferings of mortal life so that He could be there for us when we feel like no one else can. This gives me comfort. Why does it give me comfort to know that my Savior suffered and died for my sins and afflictions? Because I know he loved me (and you) that much. He simply did "anything for love".....and he never said, "but I won't do that."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fight Strong!!!

I feel so empowered by teaching my Zumba class tonight. They really help me to "fight strong". I really needed that today. I was able to escape "Cancerland" for an hour and just be me. I loved it. I don't teach like I used to, I give small breaks between songs and do more medium-slower tempo songs, but I know I am doing my best. I love my class. Each and every one of them. They are such a great support to me. They appreciate me and everything I give to them. For I truly lay my heart out on the floor each class. I cried today. Just joy. That is the definition of dancing to me. Dancing is joy.

To my Zumba class, thank you. I feel your love, I feel your support and I crave your energy. Even though teaching class totally drains me and I do NOTHING once I get home, it is so very worth it. I get to connect with good friends and escape for an hour...priceless!

Whiny? Angry?

Don't get me wrong...I'm very positive about my treatment and the outcome of it, but I'm not going to lie...this sucks. Chemo sucks. I miss myself. Energetic, silly, slightly annoying to normal adults. And I've only had one treatment so far. Now I have to go back and let them do this to me again and again. I want to play and have fun with my kids. To not be so worried about which medicine I need next so I don't throw up on everyone. I sound pretty whiny right now, but I want this blog to be real. What I really feel. Even if it is whiny sometimes. It's too much pressure to be positive, happy and patient all of the time. Under that pressure I would break. So if you're reading my posts and ever get tired of the whiny or angry ones, just skip them. They are more for me. A kind of therapy. I am hoping that being able purge the feelings from my soul will help me function better in my life. To get used to my new "normal". The new me....for a while. I so look forward to having my life back. I took it for granted before.