Monday, April 8, 2013

Ode to Remission!!!

A sight for sore eyes, a long time coming.
No longer the blues, now a cheerful tune I'm humming.
The last five years have tested me hard,
Cancer makes you defensive, you lift your guard.
Topsy turvy, upside down, 
you lose your hair, you lose your crown.
Weakness and strength seem to coexist.
As you search for reasons, and make life lists.
The storm subsides and the sun comes out
Remission is here! I want to shout.
Thankful for family, friends, and faith
Go tell someone you love them, for goodness sake.

Let's recap, shall we? Initially diagnosed in 2008 at age 25...double mastectomy. Returned in early 2011...lumpectomy and radiation. In final days of radiation, diagnosed with Stage 2...Lumpectomy and left axila removal (15 lymph nodes), chemotherapy for a year...finished in August 2012. While I am still undergoing reconstruction procedures and will be for at least the next year, it is an unbelievable relief to know that toxic poisonous cancer is no longer lingering in my body. Breast cancer, pink ribbons, the color pink, and "fighting like a girl" have come to define my life and always will.  But soon, I will be able to look at these things retrospectively, with appreciation for the sisterhood and support they represent.

I am blogging to you from my side porch on a beautiful spring afternoon.  This is the same porch where my great grandmother and I played many rounds of Rummy, and where Meme and Grandad wore slap out their Aggravation gameboard (remember that game?) My spoiled puppy dog is sunning on a pile of pillows...he deserves it. 

We have already begun to celebrate this milestone and the party train will keep on rollin' all summer.  With Fleetwood Mac on tour, and a visit to my sissy's house in Chicago on the books, I'm optimistic I will be able to give and receive a whole lotta love in the coming months.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2012

Since we last spoke...
My house has been renovated! The major changes are complete and now we are still working on final touches. We had a very sentimental dedication a few weeks before Christmas. You can view the video of the "big reveal" below...sorry for the low quality, we aren't professionals. :)
The Reveal
The Dedication

For both Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Meme and I traveled to North Carolina to be with family.  Both Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day included trips to the ER for yours truly. Seriously...I'm not really happened.  On Thanksgiving, there was a major allergic reaction of sorts. I was given ephedrine, pepcid, and nebulizer treatments.  The holiday wasn't a total loss; we simply moved our meal from lunch to dinner and salvaged it. The Saturday after Thanksgiving was a beautiful day to celebrate one of the most important people in my life: Ryleigh Belle. Can you believe she is already ONE? Even though she was under the weather (just like the rest of us) she was a perfect birthday baby. I am excited about celebrating Big Sissy's 5th birthday this weekend.
On Christmas Eve, I felt flu-like symptoms but was stubborn about it (Yes Mama, you.were.right.).  After suffering through the night with a too-high fever, I surrendered and got in the car.  The registration nurse could not believe I was making a repeat holiday appearance, and then the ER doctor actually recognized me! Mind you...this is in NORTH CAROLINA, 300 miles from my usual doctors. After an IV cocktail and more nebulizer treatments, I was released with the promise of wearing a mask around my I obliged after my sister embellished it just a little. :)

Physically, I am feeling pretty well these days. I have hypertrophic scars so my plastic surgeon has recommended several months of scar massaging combined with silicone treatment sheets.  If anyone sees any extra large silicone sheets, let me know! I use an entire box each time I apply them and they only last a few days (and they're 20 bucks a pop!).  I meet with him again in March.  Emotionally, I feel like I have more gray days more frequently now than in the past. It is ironic that when all you can do is focus on surviving this process, you are surrounded. These days are much quieter, sometimes more sullen.  I am excited that my local B.F.F.L support group is ramping back up, but since I seem to be in a suggestion mood, I am all ears if you know of another amazing group of breast cancer fighters/survivors that meet on a regular basis.

Keeping with the theme of support, my awesome and often times crazy little sister Anna has honored me with "PINK" ink! You will recognize it as a modification of the CBHF logo but she has definitely made it her own. The most marvelous part is that she incorporated the things that are important to me and help me through this life...birds, music, love, pink ribbon, and even the font is significant. Very cool little sissy.
I guess it is finally time to attempt sleep again, and curl up with my dog and electric blanket.  Please keep my spirit in your prayers. Please pray for positivity, direction, and encouragement. I will leave you with a glance at my gorgeous guestroom! I'll provide the bed if you provide the breakfast......any takers??? :)