An Expiration Date

Pink Ink…

Quick update.  It has been a helluva 2 weeks!  That’s the nicest thing I can say about this time.  Big B and I have been in a daze.  We have cried more than we have ever cried.  I think I can now officially write or talk about every possible experience of having Breast Cancer!  Now I know what it is like to hear that cancer is in your blood and there is really nothing to do except manage quality of life.  I could write about this all day, but I won’t.  Here is the abridged version. (forgive spelling/grammar errors!)

Thoughts that have consumed me:

  • Most women live 1-3 years with this diagnosis.
  • What about my baby girl?
  • Big B and I have so much more to do! I can’t leave him! WHAT ABOUT HIM?
  • Will this kill my parents?
  • WHAT ABOUT MY BABY GIRl?

I could go on and on!  For a week, we thought about “lost dreams”, “lost experiences”.  For a week we didn’t sleep.  For almost 2 weeks we haven’t answered the phone. I have cried and cried for my B’s. Through all this, we had to keep a brave face for lil B because we didn’t know how to tell her. We didn’t know our plan.  So we would cry after she went to school or bed.  I would cry the few times I would talk on the phone.  But when she walked through the door, Big Girl Panties would be pulled up high! Off to a play date! Off to watch U of Michigan versus Northwestern! Off to an election night party!

Pres. Obama wins 2nd term!

But my baby is no dummy. She asked what was going on.  She said we were acting “different”.  Why the “hushed” phone calls with Mayo?

Again, I could go on and on.  But I am crying now as I write.  And frankly, I have stuff to do today.

The last 2 weeks have been about “planning”.  It was me talking to Michele and Carla about the “lessons” I need to teach while I am here.  It was me planning out videos so my Bs will be able to hear my voice and “see” me after I am gone.  One day had me in my closet cleaning out drawers because I don’t want Michele and Carla to have to go through my closet after I am gone. (That was short lived! I have way too much stuff! So that will be a long term project of purging! Ha!) It was me asking B if there was one thing that he really wanted to do or a place he wanted to see WITH ME, while I still could enjoy it.  My heart is heavy.

Treatment:

Chemo starts Monday.  CHEMO AGAIN!  We thought I would be able to participate in a trial instead of chemo.  Alas, I can’t…because I am TOO YOUNG! Seriously?  Again, you couldn’t script this! The goal is to just keep shrinking these dots until my body gives up.  Fortunately, they are not near my bronchial tubes. So as long as I don’t get sick, or the chemo doesn’t fell me, I should be ok….until the next time.  Actually, knowing that I’m starting chemo gives us something else to think about, to focus on.  I am trying to accept that I will have to get a port again.  It will be in for the rest of my life.

Big B told Lil B this weekend. Tears.

She is devastated and MAD. I can’t write about this right now, because I am wracked with pain.  But to give you a sense…she would not look at me when I came home after she found out.  She said it was “too much”.  Later, she asked me when I was going to die.  My. Heart. Broke.

Thank you for all the calls, texts, emails, and tweets.  To the folks who haven’t reached out…again. You are free.  I have released you.  This is my time to focus on my family, to focus on me.

To all who love me, I have NOT given up. We fight.  Maybe the “My life is a LIFETIME movie”, experience will work in my favor, and I will be here years from now. Thank you for the stories of REAL PEOPLE who have lived 10-15 years after terminal diagnosis.  It has given me an ounce of hope.  That is all I have.

B has begged me not to give up.  He says it’s not time yet.  I WANT to LAUGH as well as cry.  I WANT to live a comfortable life, as long as I can.  I will continue to talk, to educate.  I owe that to both my Bs, and to all the people who can learn from my Life in the Cancer Lane!

I power on.

As Red Ink reminded me yesterday during one of our cry fests, I don’t have…an expiration date!

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bridget Eagy
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 17:27:52

    Although this must be very hard for you…. THANK YOU…thank you for sharing this journey with us. As a mom, my heart is breaking for you and your Lil B, as a wife, I feel over-whelmed with the feeling of ‘how do you take care of your husband though this all’? And as a woman, you continue to inspire me to be the best possible woman I can be. The dignity and strength you continue to have is astonishing. You truly are my hero Ms. B.

    Reply

  2. CH
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 17:34:30

    Didn’t know my own strength, by Diane Warren

    Lost touch with my soul I had nowhere to turn, I had nowhere to go
    Lost sight of my dream
    Thought it would be the end of me
    I, I thought I’d never make it through I had no hope to hold on to I,
    I thought I would break

    I didn’t know my own strength
    And I crashed down and I tumbled, but I did not crumble I got through all the pain I didn’t know my own strength
    Survived my darkest hour, my faith kept me alive I picked myself back up, hold my head up high I was not built to break I didn’t know my own strength

    Found hope in my heart I found the light to life my way out of the dark Found all that I need here inside of me
    Oh, I thought I’d never find my way I thought I’d never lift that weight I thought I would break

    I didn’t know my own strength And I crashed down and I tumbled, but I did not crumble I got through all the pain I didn’t know my own strength
    Survived my darkest hour, my faith kept me alive I picked myself back up, hold my head up high I was not built to break I didn’t know my own strength

    There were so many times I wondered how I’d get through the night I thought I took all that I could take

    I didn’t know my own strength And I crashed down and I tumbled, but I did not crumble I got through all the pain Oh, I didn’t know my own strength

    My faith kept me alive I picked myself back up, I hold my head up high I was not built to break I didn’t know my own strength
    I was not built to break, no, no I got to know my own strength

    Reply

  3. mainelyhopeful
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 17:58:19

    I have no words except I am so so sorry. 😦

    Reply

  4. Delores Crews
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 19:57:48

    My heart is too heavy to say anything but I love you , Barb and may God continue to give you strength to fight and enjoy each day with family and friends.-D. Crews

    Reply

  5. helen imes
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 21:46:45

    Thank you for your return to write again. I have been looking for a while and didn’t see anything. I knew that it was hard for you to write but thank you for your courage to start back. I hope it does as much for you as it does for me to read. You are amazing and I love you. ‘Counting the days and minutes til our time together !!!
    Mona

    Reply

  6. Robin Bass
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 23:00:39

    My heart is so heavy. As a mom, I can’t imagine going through this alone. The good news is that you are not. I will be visiting AZ in the spring and I expect to see you. I love you and pray for you and the Bs.

    Robin Bass

    Reply

  7. Heather Gearhart
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 00:00:05

    I write every day for my career…and I’m unable to find the words to express my emotions. I wanted your breast cancer story to END on Race day. With your incredible celebration. With you rallying the survivors prior to the survivor parade, renewing your wedding vows and riding off into the sunset with your Bs in all your glory. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am available to you if you need ANYTHING. House cleaning? Call me. Dinner delivered? Call me. Weekend at an AZ tourist destination? I still have some contacts from back in the day – so call me, and I’ll see what I can do. For the last year, you’ve had me call you if I needed anything related to Komen Phoenix/Race for the Cure…now it’s your turn to call me.

    Reply

  8. Jennifer B.
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 05:16:39

    There is so little I can do or say, just know that you and your family are in my heart. I am so glad that we became friends and I will always cherish our friendship. I love you.

    Jen

    Reply

  9. Adelle
    Nov 24, 2012 @ 22:23:08

    You have no idea how much your life has changed mine. For the past several weeks, I think of you almost every day. Your courage and strength inspire me, and I am using what I’ve learned from you to share with two friends of mine who were diagnosed in the past 3 weeks. You are remarkable. I love you,
    Adelle and family

    Reply

  10. JC Ellis
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 17:00:01

    I’m a coward, and I just don’t have the strength to read your blogs regularly because I’m so scared of what I’ll read. I’m crying now. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. And Michele is “partially” right. We all have an expiration date, but only God knows what that date is. Keep fighting. You are amazing!

    Reply

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