Cancerversary 10 Years?!!

This button makes me smile.   I had to use it for this blog.  I need a button next to it with the saying “What’s Next?!”

2020 started off with a wonderful adventure in March visiting my friends Dot & Cliff in Arizona.  They surprised me and off we went to Zion and Bryce National Parks!  We also traveled to Antelope Canyon and other great sites.  Zion and Bryce were on my bucket list.  Thankful and grateful to have such generous and fun friends!  There is something incredible about the desert.  It’s so magical and peaceful and spiritual for me.

Then 2020 took a turn for the worse for me.  I was working in my garden Memorial Day weekend, chatting with my neighbor and I tripped and broke my Left femur.  I took my first ever ambulance ride to the local hospital where it was confirmed I broke my leg.  Off I went to UMass in Worcester! When we entered the hospital,  I told myself that ALL these people were here to help me, they are my healers and be grateful to them.

I stayed in the hospital for 9 days.  It was a surreal time.  Due to Covid, I was not allowed visitors and the hospital was 45 minutes away.  It wasn’t convenient to drop off personal items.  I was thankful my Orthopedic Doctor that operated on my right leg was on-call and performed my surgery and installed the rod in my left femur.  I now have rods in both my femurs.  I am becoming a bionic woman!

I could write a story in itself on my stay in the hospital.  Nine days is a long time with no electronics.  I only had my phone and thankfully the nurses charged it for me at their desk.  If I had to watch one more Hallmark movie I was going to go crazy!  There were good & painful days in the hospital.  Visitors were not allowed due to Covid.   The first few days when I was in pain & drugged, my mind started going to sad dark places.  I imagined all sorts of morbid happenings to me.  That’s when I started to meditate a lot on healing my body and mind.

I had very good care and made friends with my nurses and PCA’s.   I made sure to thank every person for taking care of me, whether it was a nurse or the lunch server.  Each day I found something good to be thankful for.  Hospital staff works very hard and having the Covid epidemic has made their work very stressful.

My body during and a few weeks after my hospital stay was a mess.  My hair was falling out in clumps; my skin was peeling off like a snake skin.  I was freaking out.  I’m not sure how or why this happened;   trauma? The pain drugs made me throw up and I told them no more?  Who knows!  Thankfully my daughter-in-law Morgan made me a body scrub that helped tremendously get rid of the dead skin.

When I returned home, radiation to my neck was continued and to my left femur.  I’m lucky my body response so well to radiation!  The Physical Therapists also came to my house and were very helpful to me.  I have learned to be patient, patient PATIENT!!!!

At this time, I am still on a daily oral pill called Piqray, along with once a month shot of Faslodex.  I am very lucky to have few side effects.  I have very dry skin, and the worse is diarrhea which comes at any time with no warning!  Imodium is my friend.  Of course the fatigue is still there and I will take breaks during the day to rest my body.

In June, a PET scan was ordered.  The scan showed good news and bad.  The bone mets in my spine, neck and most of my ribs had shrunk.  Unfortunately, a spot on my liver has progressed.  The spot on my liver is a mixed blessing.  They now (hopefully) will be able to take a tissue sample to get a better idea of what kind of breast cancer I have.  It has been difficult to figure out if I am Her2 positive or negative or both with just bone mets. The hospital will test my tissue for cancers, genetics and types of mutation.  The liver biopsy will be done at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston on August 3rd.

Do I get sick of all these tests, doctor appointments, walking with a cane?  Dam right I do!!! This was my first summer retired with many plans!  A broken leg and Covid put a damper on the summer season.   A camper van has replaced the motorcycle.  I miss the bike, but I know one will be purchased again for short fun rides.

I had someone say to me that you need to catch a break.  Cancer doesn’t take breaks, it’s sneaky, unpredictable and a pain in the ass.  You do what you have to do and in the meantime, I enjoy each day.

I have been living with cancer for ten years now.  I started this blog in April with thoughts on what I have learned over the past ten years.  I’d like to share some with you:

What I have learned:

  • Appreciate every sunrise and sunset
  • You can find something good every day to be grateful about
  • Laughter IS the best medicine
  • Pay attention to what is being said to you especially with the little people in your life.
  • Meditate everyday -find a guided one that fits your need, be patient it takes time but don’t give it up!
  • Let go of anger
  • Let go of your past mistakes, apologize and forgive yourself 
  • Let it all go
  • Avoid stressful situations and people.
  • Love can heal all
  • Every year, take an adventure to somewhere you have never been
  • I’m still a bitch but a nicer one!
  • Find the special person you can honestly vent to.  Mine is my husband (the poor guy). He listens to me and it helps.  He is my sanity in my insane world. Plus, he’s a great hugger.
  • Value your family and friends, reach out when you need them, it works both ways. Let them know you care and love them.
  • Envy and jealousy only hurts yourself. 
  • I’ve learned not to give up, keep going no matter how slow and painful it can be.  I am a doer and some days I hate my lesser self.  Shake it off. 
  • I find small ways to do things for others
  • Don’t ignore premonitions or signs; they are all around you, pay attention.
  • We all have dark days, giving up days, fuck this shit days.  Ride it through but don’t stay there too long.

  

One day you will tell your story

Of how you’ve overcome what you’re going through

And it will become part of someone else’s

Survival guide

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