It has been a while since I have updated my journey. So here it goes!!!
It's kind of strange how emotional this journey is. I really didn't expect to have the lingering emotions, but I certainly have. My oncologist says that people at my stage of recovery often have this "WHOA!!! What just happened????" stage. I've been through so much, and I expected life to feel "normal" at this point. But it doesn't. And I'm not sure it ever will.
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't want to feel "normal" in all areas of my life. I always want to remember that life is precious. I don't know my future. I need to love BIG. Appreciate every day and learn to slow down. Forgive easily and let others know how special they are. It's a learning process.
This summer was kind of rough. My body is still adjusting to the cancer meds, and I have had some unpleasant side effects. My joints are swollen and achy, I have had quite a few migraines, I get tired very easily and my emotions are all over the place. Poor Marty and Dorrie. I can be laughing one minute and mad the next. I do try to control it, but sometimes I am very unsuccessful. I have had to ask for forgiveness more than I care to admit. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention one of the hardest side effects. I forget everything!!! At times I have to search for words, which can be very embarrassing!!! My brain feels foggy. At first Marty couldn't figure out if I was for real! But yea, it's real. I do think I'm getting better though. And I am learning to laugh at myself. It is sort-of comical. 😂
I have had a few false alarms within the past few months. One was with my eyes. Several times my vision went completely blurry- I couldn't get them to focus at all. Went to the doc and he saw some protrusion behind one of my pupils. Had a brain MRI that same day. I sat in the parking lot with Marty and cried and cried. I did not want to have brain cancer. Breast cancer, when it spreads, goes to the brain or to the bones. (Still not sure why it's called breast cancer if it's in your brain or bones!!! Haha) BUT the MRI showed no abnormalities!! Thank God!!! And I was able to get results that same day...
Then, a few weeks ago, I started having sharp pains in my thigh bone. Went to the doc. After you've had cancer, you can't take "new" pain for granted. So back to the radiologist for another MRI. Again, I'm concerned with cancer of the bones. BUT, once again, it wasn't cancer. Just a protruding disc (L5) pressing on a nerve. So, I am thanking God for continued health and no signs of cancer.
But the real "kicker" was when I found a new lump. Actually two. Just when I thought I was feeling strong, I had fear again. Went immediately to the oncologist and then to my plastic surgeon. Both did ultrasounds. I found out that it was "fat necrosis" - doesn't that sound lovely! Hahahha!!! But that is when a pocket of tissue dies. It's totally fine and happens pretty often after breast surgery.
All of this to say, cancer is very emotional. I have questioned so many things. What is my purpose here? What are the most important things for me to do now that my kids are (mostly) grown? How will I handle cancer if it appears again? How can I make a difference in the world?
I am learning to "love what is" and be okay with my new normal. I have started volunteering at the American Cancer Society. I am participating in the Komen walk and have (thanks to all of you) raised over $4,000!!!!!. I want to help others and give back. I've experienced so much love and thoughtfulness this year. The encouragement I have felt from my family and friends has been amazing. Many of you have posted notes on this site, and I have read them over and over. You have helped me more than you know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart:)
I trust God more than ever before.
I am working on not "being a slave to fear". I love that song, but still cry when I sing it. One day, with the Lord's help, I will be able to sing it with full belief and conviction. "I'm no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God".
Love you all,