Today is the 6 month anniversary of diagnosis. December 9th, 2016. The day after my 39th birthday. I can't believe I can say this, but it has gone by quickly. It hasn't been easy, but it has gone by faster than I anticipated. The days have been long, the days have been hard, but the weeks and months have been short.
I met with the plastic surgeon, whom my mom calls the Hurricane, and it fits, so Dr. Hurricane said that I have been healthy enough that she can finish the reconstruction before we start radiation. That news turned into a huge ray of hope for me as she explained that we would put off radiation for 3-4 weeks after the swap out surgery. Dr. Hurricane said that if I decided to expand a little more, it would add a week to the pushing back of radiation, so I'm going to expand a little more, just to get another week of no treatments in before moving on to radiation. The surgery will happen sometime at the end of June, first of July so I'll have a reprieve from treatment in the middle of summer, Hallelujah! It will coincide with 4H Judging week and Fair, even bigger Hallelujah! The idea of trying to do Judging week and Fair week while getting daily radiation treatments was giving me nightmares.
And, I want to remember what it feels like to me again. Because I honestly don't remember. Neither Bryan, Lizzie or I can remember what I look like with hair. I used to remember what I was like, this woman with all this energy and ability, plus great glossy black and purple hair. But she's gone, and I want desperately to get a glimpse of her again before I undergo more treatments. When you diet, you can totally take a break. Same with going to school for a specific degree. There are so many difficult journeys you can be on, and take a break. Get away, revitalize, recharge and prepare for more. Not so with cancer and chemotherapy. There is never a day, or a moment, that you can escape the feeling of it, the knowledge of what is going on inside your body. I know that before diagnosis, I got up early in the morning and hit the ground running, rarely stopping until nighttime. I rarely get going now, and even if I do, it doesn't last, or it's painful. My kids kind of remember the mom that played with them and had the energy to go, go, go. They give me grace every day and settle for snuggles and kisses instead of running around. I think if I get those few weeks of no treatment, I'll be better able to mentally handle the radiation, and whatever it does to me.
I hated the idea of chemotherapy before diagnosis, and now that I've been through it, I despise it even more. So I wonder and ask God, why did you tell that chemo was the direction You wanted me to take? Why did You want me to feel so sick, so tired, so not me? Was I not grateful enough for what I had? Was I not sympathetic, empathetic enough? At one time, I used to try to go through difficult times and just learn the lesson God had for me, without thinking of getting a reward for making through a trial. Now, I'm all about the blessing. Where is it, gimme, gimme, gimme da blessing. I want a reward, I want something amazing to come from all of this, because with more difficult days than good, it's getting harder and harder to convince myself that just getting it right is enough for me to get through it. But as I said, I have a ray of hope.
I look forward now to the end of chemo in a way I hadn't when I thought it would be a week or two then back to treatments again. I'm hopeful for having the energy to take a walk around the block with the kids. To go swimming with them, and actually swim. To ride the horse, help with the horse! Guys, guys, GUYS! To eat food and have it taste good!! To not have to worry if I'll have the energy to do something. To cook again, care for my home again, pull an all-nighter of sewing again!!! Ah, the things I'll do, the list I'm going to check off!
Choose Laughter Everyone!