A year ago this week I went to the emergency room the same day we were moving houses. Yes. On MOVING DAY I headed to get symptoms checked out. Turns out it was my appendix - although now I realize the cancer was already there creating havoc but we didn’t catch it right away. I had elevated white blood cell counts but they chalked that up to the infection in my appendix. I had felt a deeply hollow type of fatigue throughout the spring and early summer - but I chalked that up to a busy life with three kids and a not sleeping well just turned 2 year old. I remember giving myself pep talks, “If pioneer women could do the Oregon Trail - I can do this day.” (Now of course some women died on the Oregon trail! But I was finding strength by embracing the common humanity of hardship). So for me then and now there is something really good about connecting with how we all face hardship - yet I also want to connect with how we all need play! I’m hoping to usher in a new season of embracing PLAY!! So here I am - on a bike ride/ date night with Sean. We rode 3.5 miles to dinner and then rode the assist or “e-bikes” back. It was such a beautiful summer night and I was wearing my new favorite striped shirt (and what’s better than a new anything for a night out!). #celebrationtime#healing#tribewonderwoman#chemowonderwoman#wonderwoman#hopeheals#newseasons#nevergiveup#hopehopehope#metathriver#biking#limebike#nightout#newshirt#fun#play#whatayear#grateful#appendix#remembering#stage4cancer#brca2#breastcancerwarrior#breastcancerawareness#breastcancerwarrior
If your friend (or someone you care about) has cancer, this is your sobering reminder to reach out to them in a kind, selfless and loving way. * DON’T ignore them. Don’t walk the other direction when you see them at the super market. Don’t avoid spending time with them at their worst. Don’t compare the way they do cancer to someone else’s path. Don’t make them feel bad if they’re too tired to come to your party. Don’t guilt-trip them for not making more of an “equal effort”. Don’t visit them for the sole purpose of making yourself feel better. Don’t complain about temporary meaningless shit at length. Don’t minimize. Don’t trivialize. Don’t dump. And FFS, DON’T disappear. * DO Bring something to cheer them up. Send a nice message to say you’re thinking of them. Call them. Offer to do something helpful. Take their lead. See if they’re up for a visit and let them know you’ll listen. Suggest a movie night with yummy snacks (bring snacks). Offer to take them somewhere outside their usual environment if they’re up to it. Let them know (show them) how much you love them. Show your friend that you care for them at their absolute darkest point. Be mindful of their energy. Be mindful of how you hold space. Be a true friend.
When something bad happens you have three choices...
You can either
🗝Let it define you
🗝Let it destroy you
🗝Or you can let it strengthen you
I chose #strength#cancerchronicles ...
I'm always amazed at God's timing. The people he places in my life, just at the right time I will need them and they will need me. I couldn't have made it this far without @honey_reign
I spent most of July 4th in the emergency room, with unclear answers. One Dr., after another, after another and all saying things across the board. It made no sense. I could have crumbled, but I didn't. And I won't. I refuse.
The only update I have is that I ate chili cheese fries and it set something off and caused gastroenteritis. My stomach looked like I was 4 months pregnant. I am feeling much better, thank God.
Due to some unclear results of the CT scans (because of the gas and bloating) we are moving my regularly scheduled scans up to July 23rd. I'll have results and more clear answers on everything July 25th.
I chose not to stress over this. It's out of my control ultimately and worry won't change a dang thing. Soooo, I choose to not sweat the small stuff.
And seriously friends... This is what #terminalcancer looks like! I'm NOT old! I don't look sick! I don't feel sick! I'm a beautiful woman. We need more research! I find humor in the shocked expressions of providers when they find out I have #stage4#breastcancer . I'm not what they envision! #livelifelovelife#thoughtsofametastaticmom#ThisisMBC#dyingforacure#stageivneedsmore#dontignorestageiv#metastaticbreastcancer#researchnotribbons#metavivor#metathriver#fuckcancer#thefaceofcancer
PLEASE read my story in the “About” section in my Etsy Shop if you want to learn more about me and my situation. I need your help right now...I’m down in funds...I mean REALLY DOWN...and travel has been so difficult. Just getting by month to month by the skin of my teeth is causing all my mental disorders to go off the charts. And if you know anything about cancer, you know it FEEDS off of stress...so I REALLY can’t be in this state of mind!!! It’s just not healthy!! I know that’s true for everyone, and I know I’m not special and deserve special breaks in this life...but if you could find it in your heart to help...it really would be grand.
My Etsy Shop link is in my bio.
Thank you in advance.
#etsysale#treatyoself#todayonly#travelfunds#needhelp#grateful 🙏 #ThisisMBC#metavivor#metathriver#thriver#livingwithbonemets#stillhere#doingmybest#WARRIORALCHEMYART
SAVE IT. PLEASE... am I really stronger for having been diagnosed with an incurable disease? OK maybe my boundaries have strengthened. Maybe I still find moments of gratitude amidst the chaos.
But refresher: This kind of cancer actually does kill. I have metastatic breast cancer cells in my body that are not responding to treatment and if they go unchecked shit could get real really fast. So no, I don’t feel stronger. I feel tired. I feel afraid. I feel broken down on multiple levels. I feel angry. I feel sad for how my 35 years of life have turned out. I feel the weight of how it’s affected my loved ones. And I feel annoyed when someone who has never faced this throws trite undermining “feel-goods” around as if it is helpful.
I am not stronger with what has not killed me (yet). This doesn’t make me weak. It makes me someone facing metastatic breast cancer.
This ain’t no 9-5pm. It’s all hours. All the time. When you’re not doing something treatment or test related, you’re bloody well recovering from said treatments and tests. When you’re not recovering physically you’re recovering emotionally and mentally. When you’re of sound mind you’re advocating and educating and studying and researching. When you’re done and tired you’re recharging batteries and lovin up family so that you feel full to get ready for the next set of challenges to face. It may not look like much from the outside but healing this sh*t is hands on all day. Everyday.
When it comes to caregivers, I’ve been fairly lucky since my mets diagnosis. Immediate family seem to step up more when you’re terminal apparently. Or at least in my life that’s what has happened. And while I have been getting pretty decent support, my poor husband has not. No one asks him how he’s doing. Nobody calls or texts to see if he needs to talk. Or if he (or we) need anything. His own family barely acknowledges that his wife is even sick. There is no space holding. There is no room for emotions to be let out or feelings to be set free. He has no one checking in on him. Nobody allowing him space to grieve. Nobody offering him an escape or reprieve or something to get his mind off of things. It’s just me who is his person. It’s just me who has his back. And me who sees his pain.
It’s not surprising that the focus goes on the patient. But the caregiver or close loved one needs tender care, an ear, a shoulder of support too. It is unacceptable to me that supposed friends and family are clueless to that. If my husband isn’t being supported now, what will happen when I’m gone? Who will be there for him then? How do we educate friends and family to do better? And who’s job is it to do so?
Everything doesn’t happen for a reason. We don’t need advice in place of space to grieve. We don’t need bumper sticker spiritual-bypassing platitudes. We don’t need to be meant to feel like we should move on and not feel our immense pain and loss. Cancer has destroyed and robbed so many aspect of people’s lives. Yes, I still have good days. No, I don’t think stage IV has happened FOR me to be able to be truly grateful for those good days. I didn’t NEED cancer to become a better person. I didn’t NEED cancer for my own personal growth. I didn’t NEED a terminal illness for me to feel gratitude for what I still have. Just as children being ripped from their mothers don’t NEED to be traumatized to shape who they might become one day. FUCK all of that. It’s in the darkness that we need to be held and listened to. We don’t need to be shut up with ‘feel good’ quotes. Or told to ‘just let go’ and get over what we are experiencing. We don’t need to be told that we’re only given what we can handle. To trust, and that we will one day see why this path was chosen for us. That God has a plan and something better is to come into play beyond the heartbreak. Sometimes something better never happens. Sometimes things just get worse. Sometimes things fall apart. People, relationships, dreams and spirits fall apart. Grief is apart of that loss. And loss is what is experienced when dreams are shattered. My dreams were shattered by metastatic breast cancer. I grieve this and feel pain when it passes through me. And no advice is necessary.
This statement from others has followed with... “So what do you do all day?”
“I would be traveling ALL the time if I were you!”
“Aren’t you so happy to have all that free time?”
🙄🤦🏼♀️ CANCER IS NOT A VACATION!
I’d way rather be living without this and back at a full-time job.