Savor the Journey Part deux

Pink Ink…

“To be clear, I am still very stressed with all the things I have to put in place before the surgery. But as my big sis said, not everything is going to be done by then. (Thanks Michele!) There may be more course changes in the future. That’s ok. I learned this weekend that the best thing to do in the Cancer Lane, is to take pause and,

Savor the journey…

 

I wrote that entry last December as I was preparing for an emergency double mastectomy when I found out that my cancer had grown back.  Ironically, the words still apply today! Who would have guessed that exactly a year later, I would still be in the Cancer Lane, grappling with the idea that I will ALWAYS be fighting this disease. It has been a rough 3 weeks, with emotions all over the place, not to mention the physical challenges. Let’s start there.

Medical update:

I am in the throws of chemo.  It is not “as bad” as the chemo I endured last year.  What does that mean?  It means that I can get out of bed after 36 hours as opposed to 4 days. It means that my hair hasn’t fallen out yet.  I have been walking 2 to 3 miles, a few times a week with my friends. I couldn’t do that before.  On the other hand, my taste buds are shot. My nails and tongue are turning black. I am achy and tired.  I started having nosebleeds, excessive bruising and dizziness.  That led to a platelet transfusion.  My numbers were supposed to be in the 275k range.   Mine were in the 30k range. That’s a problem.  My blood couldn’t clot. Today I am going in for 5 hours for blood transfusions. Lovely.

Did I mention that I now have a port again?

New Port scae

New Port scar

Ugh.

Surgery was better this time around.  My doctor did a great job of not strapping my head down too hard, or just throwing me up on the table. (That’s probably because I said ”please don’t just throw me up on the table!”) But while I am sore, I can at least move my neck.  Last time, it took a few weeks.  I have gotten suggestions to name my port.  So I am thinking on that and will let you know!

At the end of the day, I am mourning the loss of feeling HEALTHY.  That feeling is a fleeting memory.  I feel physically broken and like Frankenstein.  Yes, I am still here, and able to hug Big and Lil B. But it makes me sad when they hesitate before they hug me, for fear they will hurt me.

Emotional update:

DSCN0305

2012 Holiday Party!

This weekend someone told me not to have a “pity party”. So ironic, because I am not that chick.  I recognize that I COULD be, if I wanted.  I think I have earned that moment.  But most of the last few weeks, it has been almost the opposite.  As I make every effort not to rearrange Lil B’s life too much, it almost seems like things are relatively normal.  In fact, I think we were living in a bubble for a few weeks! No one was crying.  We were still doing stuff!  Holiday parties, play dates, hanging with Lizzie and Lucy when they came to visit from Philly! We kept trucking!

But then Lil B wrote a letter to Santa asking for me to be well.  Then Lil B wrote a letter to Santa asking for a certain gift.  She wanted Santa to get it for her because she knew Mommy and Daddy had Mayo bills.  Do you hear my heart breaking?  This emotional cliff was  exacerbated by the fact that I started creating videos for Lil B.  I have done 6 so far.  They have been fun topics like the importance of girlfriends, foreign language and taking care of your hair.  But then I watched Parenthood, where the main character does a “goodbye” video to her kids. She captured everything I wanted, everything I needed to say in 5 minutes.  It was then that my bubble burst.  It was then that I realized I needed to do the same.  But frankly, I haven’t had the emotional stability to do that.  So I cried.  I talked to Michele.  I cried some more.  I thought of Lil B watching those videos and cried.

Sunday, I went to my monthly Coalition of Blacks against Breast Cancer meeting and was fine until I was asked what was my 2013 cancer goal.

“To live through 2013.”

That was all I could muster.

Since then, I have gathered myself once more.  Lil B is looking forward to a “normal” Christmas, and we plan to give it to her. Hopefully, these transfusions will give me energy.  I think it is time for some even BIGGER Big Girl Panties.

Whatever 2013 brings our family, I am going to follow my advice from 2011 and…Savor the Journey.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer B
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 16:43:58

    I have been waiting impatiently for an update, so THANK YOU! I am sending all my love and good thoughts your way.

    Reply

  2. karenabigail
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 17:13:36

    Not only will you live through 2013 and soar the journey but I look forward to my Vineyard breakfast with you and will continue to do so even as golden and diamond Sorors! By the way, that moment when we realize how sharp, mature and astute our little girls are its a real tear jerker. Good job mom and Big B! Love you girl.

    Reply

  3. Joyce
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 17:34:24

    Merry Christmas to you, Big B and Lil B. I know Lil B will be so happy when she finds the present she wants under the Christmas tree.

    Reply

  4. Bridget Eagy
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 18:08:06

    You are my inspiration and such a guiding light to all of us. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us. I admire and respect the mother you are… YOU ARE A TOTAL ROCK STAR!!!!! Happy holidays to all of the B’s….

    Reply

  5. CHH
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 21:31:20

    Hey girl,
    Naming your port sounds like an uber healthy thing to do. And as Iyanka Vanzant might say, let’s call a thing a thing. So here’s my top 10 list of mildly inappropriate but pip culturally inspired names (cause that’s how we do), in no particular order:
    10. Porsche (pronounced Porscha)
    9. Lifeline
    8. Kimmie (feminine form of Chemo)
    7. P-diddy (since Puffy is now officially Sean Combs)
    6. You-complete-me (little Jerry Macguire reference)
    5. Intome (a la “in to me” 80s songsters who coined Juicy)
    4. Bob (random, but if u ever want to curse it out it will feel better because its a boy)
    3. My Buddy (80s doll- tag line my buddy goes wherever I go)
    2. Barbie (inspired by one heck of a glamour girl, um that would be you)
    And, finally:
    1. Grace (gotta pay homage to your maker and his ability to get you through this with dignity and style)

    Ally corny love,
    CHH

    Reply

  6. Mieko
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 22:28:10

    Hey miss lady
    Here is me hoping they put some extra extra feel good in those transfusion bags for you and that you are able to enjoy the upcoming days feeling energized!! “Ask for the Lance Armstrong blood transfusion, apparently it helped him win 7 Tour De Frances :)”

    You are forever in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply

  7. Victoria Brooks
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 00:52:48

    You look amazing! Your light is not ready to dim. Focus on living that joyful life you have always known. I wish you and your family a fantastic holiday with many more celebrations to come. BTW, I love all the comments. You are loved!

    Reply

  8. motv8her
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 02:47:38

    Last Friday night I read all your posts from the beginning. You are a ROCK STAR!!! I’m sending up my prayers for a wonderful Christmas for all the Bs. See you in 2013…God bless you my sister.

    Reply

  9. helen imes
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 02:19:50

    Your favorite cousin is home and all he can talk about is coming to see you and especially Lil B that is his BEST and mine too. I can see it is rough for you all I can say is I am proud of you being so tuff and standing your ground in the battle. God will not let us down. You look so very cute. I love your dress, make-up etc. Well, I look forward to being with family soon Maybe our visit can be a blessing to us all. Love ya, little baby girl. MONA

    Reply

  10. Regina Spellers Sims
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 04:45:01

    Ship I love you and I am thinking of you. Gina #14

    Reply

  11. Regina Spellers Sims
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 04:46:29

    Ship I love you and I am thinking of you. You can do all things through Christ. Gina #14

    Reply

  12. JC Ellis
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 21:00:20

    Another great post. And you look freaking amazing in that white dress!!!! Humor & laughter are therapy for me, so view Eddie Murphy’s Raw and Delirious movies so you can laugh your skinny butt off! You are a brave blue box toting diva, so I know that you will find the strength to do a “I go so I can make a place for you….” (John 14:2) tape for your mini me. Know that we’re all praying that it’s many years before she has to view it. I’m looking forward to sharing a lobster roll from the Lookout w/you on the Inkwell this summer even though my ceo grunts every time MV is mentioned. Time to break out the knee pads! :>)

    Reply

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