This past week I've learned so much. Much about myself, where I am in life, but mostly of all about my support system and how cared for my family and I are by all of you. This has been the most difficult week in our lives, but your support, prayers, messages, and love have made it as tolerable as possible for Sam, Caleb, and me, and for that we're grateful to you.
We've been so busy with visits from family and friends had had a few prayer services, that I can't help but feel that we're closer together than ever. From people reaching out whom I've never met, to others I haven't heard from in years, the amount of support is overwhelming, and I'm absolutely grateful. Though I'm terrible at responding, especially to private messages, know that I am thankful for the note and appreciate the sentiment! I guess that's one of the positives about going through something like this, is that it brings those who are involved closer together, and although I wish we didn't have to go through this, I'm glad to have strengthened my bonds with family and friends at this time.
How I Feel Mentally: I am at peace. I have accepted where I am in the fight, and although I know what the doctors have said regarding my prognosis, I know that is just their opinion, and it's up to me to continue to fight and prove them wrong to live as long as possible, as their opinions aren't necessarily fact. I'm not afraid of what is to come, I don't fear the unknown, I'll prepare as much as possible, and we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
How I Feel Physically: I still feel fine! Since hospice delivered oxygen tanks and concentrators to the house, I've been able to fill up on some O2 when I start to feel shortness of breath, so I've been able to avoid episodes like we saw last week. Energy wise, I'm also feeling fine and although I've been having a bit of difficulty sleeping at night due to having to go to the restroom because of all the fluids I'm drinking and some back pain, I'm feeling close to normal with regards to fatigue. The biggest physical difference you'll see in me at this point is that my eyes are a bit more yellow due to the jaundice, but aside from that, I'd say I look pretty normal.
Our Visit To Microsoft: Aside from having the hospice nurse come over to get things started, I visited work this past Monday where they had a lunch for me and many folks from the group stopped by to say hi and provide their greetings. Caleb enjoyed the cookies and giving high-fives to everyone, and it was a lovely get together and reminded me how blessed I am to have such a great support system through my job.
Microsoft allowed me to focus on the fight and to use my job as a nice distraction, keeping my mind sharp while balancing health. I'd like to especially thank, Anjali, Marilee, Dawn, and Melvin for all the support, keeping me focused on health first, while still making me feel like a positive contributor throughout. Although it took going through something as difficult as a fight with cancer to truly realize this, I hope everyone in our organization knows how special a group we really have. It really is an amazing set of brilliant, genuine, caring people, and I'm so glad and so proud to have been a part of Internal Audit at Microsoft.
Hospice Care: Evergreen Hospice is my hospice provider, and they've been nothing short of amazing. Everyone we've dealt with including the nurse, social worker, and medical director have exceeded my expectations, and they all have a compassionate and gentle persona that I would expect in a time like this. They will provide us guidance on how to handle various symptoms, and will give me everything I need to be comfortable. They also provide care and counseling to the family as needed. I couldn't be happier with my providers than I am with them.
In Conclusion: I've been asked a number of times by various individuals, especially my hospice nurse and the medical director, how I've been able to stay so positive during these times. My answer has always been the same. Now that I'm on hospice living out what may be my final weeks and months, I have two choices: I can sit and be depressed about the situation I'm in, worry and curl up in a ball; or I can enjoy my time together with my family, create memories, laughter, and smiles with them. I can enjoy my time with my son, and play doctor with him, and film little clips so he can see what his dad is like. I continue to choose to not let the cancer run my life and win, and will live the way I think is best given the circumstances.