Monday, June 13, 2016

Taking it One Day at a Time...

What if Today I was cured of my Cancer?

I might Climb a Mountain.

What if Tomorrow was guaranteed?

I could once again be driven by hope.

What if I could be that woman I used to be?

I would Love fiercely
Do without hesitation
Live life to the fullest!

Why did living have to become so hard?

This week marks the end of year one since my Stage IV Breast Cancer diagnosis.  It has brought on some very painful emotions.  It's an anniversary that will never come with celebrations.  Instead, it will only serve as a marker for one less year in however many I hope to get before my journey in this life ends.  When I think about how quickly this year has gone by it only makes my anxiety rise as I know that time will more than likely not be my friendly companion.  It's now working against me.  I want more, so much more. 
I wish that I could say to all of my friends and family that at the end of my first year of battling this disease that I am doing wonderful, life is bouquet of roses, I'm feeling hopeful and looking forward to the years ahead, that I am happy and full of joy.  I wish that I could say with confidence that I think I can fight this battle for as long as the medications I'm taking continue to work.  But, that wouldn't exactly be the truth.  My life has become incredibly difficult with each day offering its new challenges as the medications I am on slowly tear down my immune system and my mobility.  There are many days that I feel like I want to stop taking the medications that are making it so hard for me to have the quality of life that I so desperately miss and just let nature take its course.  The only thing that keeps me going really are the most amazing friends and family I have around me to offer the much needed support I must have to find the courage to continue despite the side effects.  All that I do, I do for my family and my friends and because I am not ready to let go of any of you.  None of you can fix me, but you can lift me up and you've been doing an amazing job.  I still need you, I will always need all of you. 
I've had to learn to let go of so much in the last year.  The one thing I have had to let go of the most is learning not to look too far ahead to the future.  I handle my life one day at a time, one catastrophe at a time and just take what small joy I can find from the smallest accomplishments.  I find that I no longer feel joy in the things I do for myself.  I find more joy when I am able to bring it to someone else.  I'm more prone to give and definitely more prone to be forgiving.  As long as I am able to at least bring that to other people, I think I can manage to stick around for a while. 
I have big plans in the next year to take advantage of whatever stability I get from my medications.  I plan to become more involved in MBC advocacy.  My goal to make sure that I do my part to make sure all women and men are educated on the truth of metastatic disease and breast cancer at all stages.  I also want to provide comfort to those who are in my position and help be a stepping stone for them and provide whatever hope I am able.  And, I definitely want to do my part in raising funds for research.  Research is the key...  the MBC community is the least funded and it is desperately needed. 
Other than that, I will spend quality time with my family.  I will continue to live one day at a time.  I will continue to battle each challenge that the days ahead will bring with all of my strength and perseverance.  Giving up has never been in my nature, so I don't suppose I'm going to start now.

I'm going to take the liberty of answering some questions for all of you.  Here goes... 

How are you feeling? 

Emotionally I am frustrated, scared, anxious and worried but also at the same time there is acceptance.  I cannot change it, fix it or get rid of it,  so I have chosen to move forward with the cards I have been dealt.  I have chosen to live my life fully despite my cancer as much as I am allowed.  Physically I struggle.  I have chronic muscle and joint pain that makes it difficult to move as quickly as I would like.  I have back pain, rib pain, hip pain and my feet hurt.  Some days are better than others but let's just say...  the heating pad is the best invention ever!  And, my newest problem...  blurry vision.  It comes and goes.  Sometimes I can see the TV clearly, sometimes I can't...  it's weird...  and aggravating.  But, I do what I can and then I stop when I can't. 

What can I do to help? 

The best way to help is to continue to support me with prayer.  And, to do your best to try to put cancer away and treat me as you always have.  Just with lower expectations when it comes to going and doing.  No, I can't spend the day shopping.  No, I can't share a bottle of wine with you.  No, I can't go on long walks and anything past the hour of 5:00 in the afternoon is probably not a good idea because I will likely fall asleep.  I might have to cancel plans at the last minute so please be forgiving.  It truly isn't you, it's me!  Providing dinners are nice because I am always tired.  Not having to cook in the afternoons is a blessing when it's the time of day I'm usually the most tired.  Other than that, just take time to check on me and see how I'm doing.  Don't expect me to always have positive answers.  My life is a daily struggle and I need to be able to be honest with you about my pain and my fears. 

What is your prognosis?

I can't ever answer this question unfortunately.  All I can say is that I've lost many friends in the last year to this disease.  In my support groups, we've lost over 130 beautiful souls since I was diagnosed last year.  Some of them had very little time but others had gained up to 10 years.  A few even longer.  All I can say is that I hope to be the best case scenario.  But, cancer will decide and let us know in it's own time.  Please do not worry about my prognosis.  Death comes to us all and it will come for me when it's ready and when I've completed all that I'm supposed to do.  That is true for everyone. 

I am very open about my diagnosis.  I am not afraid to talk about it and it no longer upsets me like it used too.  Please feel free to message me if you ever have any questions, concerns or just want to know how I'm doing.  I'm happy to talk to you.  And, it does make me feel better when people take a few minutes to stop and give me a personal message or phone call.  It means more to me than you could possibly know.  Being present for someone in need is the best gift you can ever give. 

So, let's close the book on year one shall we!  I am now ready to march into year two with the same steady perseverance.  I hope it's a good one but as always...  One day at a time. 


  1. This is a beautifully written story, written by a beautiful wife, mother, sister, friend and survivor! You are a gift to all who know you. You've always been STRONG! I hope to make a trip to San Antonio soon. With Emily working now, I'll have to work around her schedule. I'll let you know when we can make the trip for a visit with you. I can bring a meal for us to enjoy or we just can just sit and talk. Love you sweet friend!

    1. That sounds wonderful Bettie! Love you my friend... :)


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