Inspiration for this post came from watching “Meet the Robinson’s” with Mack. Sometimes you can gain inspiration when you’re least expecting it.
It has been a while since my last update, and I wish I could say it was because I’m SOOOO busy doing all these super cool things, but alas—I’ve just been busy working overtime at work, cleaning the house, and putting my son in time out. You know…being a normal human being. Can’t say that I’m complaining about that, though! It’s def nice to feel normal!
I completed my second 5K post diagnosis over the weekend! I ran in the color run. Now yes the color run is supposedly “the happiest 5K on the planet”…I think that’s their motto or something. But I think it was the 55 degrees, pouring rain, and delayed start due to the weather that kind of thwarted my mood. Oh ya also, FYI, as I realize 6500 hundred people from northeast ohio ran in it and you already know, but for those who didn’t: Wet corn starch-based dye basically turns into a brick. –Every 1.2K or so they have a “color station” set up, where they douse you with colored dye. Mind you the people who actually “throw” the dye on you are volunteers. And do you think there were any sweet old ladies volunteering in the rain? Nope. But there sure were a number of pre-pubescent boys trying to make a name for themselves, by throwing the hardest, and the most amount of dye directly in your face. Yes, I’m talking to YOU, spawn of Satan, from the yellow station! I’m still blowing my nose, and yellow dye is coming out. Thanks a lot.
Anyway, as I did for the last run I did, I wrote on my race shirt. This time it said:
-Not a Runner
-Stage IV Cancer
-Ahead of you.
*For the survivors, the warriors, and the fallen.
Aside from that last line, I honestly can’t take full credit for this idea. I saw it on Pinterest. You know, the site that runs most people’s lives? The one that makes the majority of women feel like bad mothers, wives, girlfriends, students, etc., because we are not possibly smart enough to come up with these wonderful ideas on our own? Ya that one. That being said…..I’m completely obsessed with it. The one on Pinterest was an older man who was running in his first race. It said “over-weight—diabetes—ahead of you”. So I just doctored it up a bit 🙂 I received a ton of positive support and high fives from my fellow racers for wearing this shirt, and they really pushed me to keep going. Turned out to be a great day, and a great race!
I’ve been feeling great these past few weeks. I FINALLY established with a primary care physician, which was long overdue, and saw by OBGYN, since I have been getting my periods regularly once again, post-treatment, which is great. The even GREATER news is this: My OB said that all of my hormone levels seem fine, and since lymphoma is not a hormonal type of cancer (such as ovarian cancer or breast cancer), She doesn’t see any reason why we couldn’t TRY to have another baby, whenever I’m officially 2 years post last chemo treatment. She wants to first discuss it with my oncologist. She said the same thing as Dr. C did; that there are no conclusive studies to link the hormonal changes from a pregnancy to a cancer relapse. That being said however, there are instances where relapse has occurred during or just after a pregnancy, and they just can’t tell for sure why it happened. So I’ve decided not to get excited about this, or even think this is a possibility. Step 1=Remission. After that, I purposely have willed myself not to think ahead, and to live day by day. Additionally, I saw a psychiatrist, which was an appointment set up for me post chemo, as they do for most patients. It was pretty helpful. I don’t manage stress well, am still terrified of dying, and have mild OCD, and a need to keep things perfect all the time, which clearly can’t be done when you’re sick. So it was nice to talk to someone. It’s a little weird. I basically pay someone to just sit and listen, and not say anything. First world problems!
I still get the occasional aches and pains in my spleen area, but not to be totally gross, I have no idea if it’s my tumor or gas. Ha. And to think, for the rest of my life, whenever I eat beans, my first thought will always be, oh shit. I have cancer. I also still have a lot of digestive issues from all the chemo, but am trying to use natural herbal supplements to correct it, as opposed to medications.
My sister is feeling well, for those who have been asking. She is tolerating her treatments better and better each time, and still seems to only be sick from the pre-medications she is required to take before they administer the Rituximab. Keep your fingers crossed for a kick ass scan for her in a few more weeks!
Finally in closing I would like to dedicate the following to Jen. A girl I’ve never met, but who I think about often….I can’t tell you how many times I felt like nothing was working. That I had been defeated, and so why even try to get better? It seemed like after every treatment I had, I felt worse. I remember telling my husband through giant gulps and lots of tears, that I would feel so much more “gung-ho” about beating cancer if I just FELT a little better. No one could give me a prognosis. No one wanted to, because they didn’t want to tell me something that wasn’t true. No one could give me an idea of what would happen next. Tons of people would tell me, “there is medical evidence that shows cancer patients who are depressed have a higher mortality rate than those who aren’t”. Greeeeeaaaat, I would think. Terrific! That certainly gives me a TON more hope now, considering OF COURSE I’M FUCKING DEPRESSED! But then one day I woke up, and I felt slightly better than I did the day before. I finally turned that corner that people said I would eventually get to. Every day that I felt better, I would try to do something NORMAL. That was my only goal. Play Legos with my kid. Take a walk. Make dinner (well that one was doubtful considering some smells made me want to yak, but I still totally tried it). Clean one room of the house. Silly things. Things that I used to do every day, but took for granted. Especially things with my son. Reading books. Changing his diaper. Putting him to bed. Watching nine thousand episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. My son. The greatest thing I’ve ever made. When I started writing this blog, I wanted to do it for him, so that if I died, he could see that I fought hard, and didn’t give up. And finally, when it became clear that surviving this was an actual possibility, I simply decided that I’m writing this blog for me. This way I can remind myself how far I’ve come. And that, one day, I’ll read all of this to Mack myself. And so I say to you—YOU WILL GET THERE, but I’m not going to sugar coat it for you….it’s totally going to SUCK A LOT before you do. Not that I’m a “knower” of all things cancer or anything like that, I can only tell you how it happened for me, in hopes that it will give you inspiration to move forward.
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious….and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”—Walt Disney.
While you’re busy fighting, don’t forget to live.