Friday, July 3, 2015

Hello There! Miracles. Ugly. Focus.

Hello There!

It's good to be back.  This fighting cancer is really no joke.  I have had terrible, horrible, bad days, bad days, good days and awesome days.  On the former, it's an accomplishment to care for myself with the assistance of friends and family.  On the later, I just want to be out living life to the fullest!

However, it's good to be back.  I can make no promises, but I can say I have missed blogging, have missed sharing what's on my heart.  I am discouraged that many of you cannot get through to comment.  I believe comments are just as important as the blog itself.  You see, we are all here to love and encourage each other.  I'm working on this.   

For today's entry, it is about six weeks old.  I began it, but hadn't quite finished it.  I've included pertinent updates in red font.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy reading.  The "Ugly" section was hard to write, but it's my reality. 

Enjoy the ride!

Yup, I call it a miracle.  You see, I am on my fourth infusion of Taxol and several events have/have not taken place.  Check this out!

1.  The nurses told me that the little bit of brave hair that has dared to grow in spite of chemo would fall out by the third infusion.  Well, those little hair follicles are hanging in there.  Awesome!

2.  The Taxol greatly exasperated my fibromyalgia pain in my legs.  Infusion number three just about did me in - truly painful.  From Saturday afternoon to Tuesday evening the pain was crippling...mind numbing......awful.  

So much so that I bought a cane. 
So much so that Dad gave me a wheelchair. 
So much so that I cancelled or didn't make plans for last Saturday through Tuesday.

Last Thursday my oncologist suggested that instead of raising the Gabapentin dosage, to try Advil.  Guess what?  I'm 80% better!  I'm able to walk 25 minutes twice a day!  I should've gone ahead and made plans for Monday.  There's still whispers of pain, but they are quiet whispers that are easily silenced. 

3.  The fatique is still there.  Love me my afternoon naps. 

I'm just finished my 10th treatment!  Yea!  Only two more to go.  Since this last post, my little hair follicles are hanging in there.  I even still have a eyelash or two!

The Taxol is definitely doing a number on me.  It's tough.  It's painful.  But, I am learning the true meaning, for me at least of a sacrifice of praise.  And I am learning that when I offer sacrifices of praise the yoke is easy and the burden is light.  More on that soon.

I was able to get up to an hour of walking twice a day for several weeks!  It became a beautiful time of worship, listening to God's Word on my phone, and prayer.  Yes, "became"...past tense.  I am now able to take short walks in my home.  However, I am determined to start over with walking.

Fatigue has become my companion - as has praise, hope, joy, and the peace that passes all understanding. 

Hmmmm.......I believe I'm growing up!  :)

New Insights on Ugly
I am having a hard time with how I look - hairless, no eyelashes and fading eyebrows.  I know, I'm fighting cancer, how I look shouldn't matter.  The truth is that it does matter to me - it really does.  Call me vain, call me shallow - it matters.  I miss my long, curly hair, my long, flirty eyelashes. 

When my sister-in-law visited with her beautiful hairless head (from chemo) and no eyelashes, I marveled at her beauty.  There was no hair or eyelashes to detract from her natural beauty.  Her eyes shone with laughter and joy.  Her smile was even more radiant.  She truly shone with beauty.

However, when I look in the mirror, I feel, well, like a freak.  I feel like Cancer Girl.  I don't see the same beauty I truly saw in my sister-in-law. 

I'm working on this.  Every time I look in the mirror, I tell myself I'm beautiful, then I turn away before I can say, "Liar!".   I'm working on this.

UPDATE:  July 2, 2015

I've realized now that, yes, I do look different.  I look like someone fighting for their life.  War is not pretty.  But, how I look is not the issue:  the issue was that it was easier to focus on these changes than on the fact that I am fighting for my life.  How easy it is to focus on the shallow things of this earth rather than the real issues.  Lord,  I pray, keep me focused!

There's several activities I can no longer do, or they take for stinking ever to accomplish.  My wonderful PCP had a great idea - simple- but wonderful!  Aren't those the best ideas?  She suggested I focus on what I CAN do.  Love it!  She is a wise lady.  So I am and life is richer for it!

Take care my dear friends!

And, for today, this is my truth!

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