Thursday, January 24, 2013

What I've Learned about Recovery

I haven't posted for awhile because I keep hoping that this moment in time is behind me.  It's not.  I don't wear my own cancer fighting shirts, because I refuse to accept that this really happened to me.  Now that I'm on the recovery end of it, I don't really want to think about how I got here.

When I was told it would take a good 6 months to get back to some semblance of 'normal' I laughed inside my head.  Yes, I know this is a sign of insanity, but I did scoff at the very idea that if treatment only took 8 weeks, then recovery should take the same amount of time, right?

Wrong.  Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I feel trapped inside this broken body that won't do what I want.  Trapped, I tell you.  Last week I went walking for about 2 miles with some friend of mine.  I refused to quit after one, although I should have.  The next two days; my hips, legs, buttocks, back, and head hurt.  If I sit for too long in a car, say any longer than 30 minutes, I have a hard time getting my legs to straighten out.  What the what?!  It's true! I go to get out of my car, and have to brace my hands on the door to make sure my legs won't buckle before I put my full weight on them.  In the words of my youngest son, "I'm jacked up."

What a go-gettin' girl to do?

Find grace.

Simple answer right? I am learning not to be afraid to say, "No, I can't do that today."  It's hard to say that.  I WANT to do everything that is put in my path.  I want to finish what I start, be a girl of my word, and help those who have helped me out.  I'm not well yet.  I want to desperately to be well.

I think I look well.

Coach doesn't think I do- at least not always.

It's true.  You can tell when I've pushed too hard.  My rosy cheeks are nowhere to be found, and I look like a zombie.  I drag my feet up my stairs to my bed, and I just cry then crash.  Crying is mandatory.  I have to mourn what I should be, and then crash into unconsciousness.

I want to give a rah-rah effort because there are many who have fought longer and harder than I ever will, but today I don't have it in me.  So I'm off to snuggle up next to G and fall asleep while he battles the world of Skylanders before his older brothers get home and tell him to relinquish control.  Perhaps I should do a bit of that....relinquish control.  After-all, I have always been in good hands. ~Kami

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And the results are in.....

I woke up today feeling anxious.  I really had no reason to feel anxious.  I knew I was in good hands.  Countless prayers have been given on by behalf.  Numberless pleas, wishes, hopes.  Every time I would look into the stars it reminded me of all the support and love that I had behind me, every step of the way.  They number like the stars, YOU number like the stars.

When we reached Casa Grande, the boys were given their DSs and asked to wait in the lobby.  Children under the age of 16 aren't allowed back in the treatment areas.  Coach and I walked back and spoke with the ultra fabulous D who is always bright, cheery, sassy, and soothes my frazzled nerves.  She said she hadn't read the results, but would if I wanted her to.  Then asked me if I wanted to read them.  While I should be more medically savvy about all of this, I was afraid I would read it wrong and so I declined.  After we spoke, she left and we awaited the arrival of Dr. S.

We didn't have to wait long.  Dr. S showed up in a grey, plaid-like hat.  He was all business as usual, and got right to the point.  "Your results are.....negative. There is no trace of cancer in your body at this time."  Then he proceeded to ask me to sit back up on the exam table, and he poked my armpits.

It's funny though.  When the words were finally spoken out loud, I felt like I could finally breath again.  The world had color in it again.  Something had changed.  Now yes, I realize that my cancer has an 85% survival rate, for patients my age the rate is 93%, but you never know where in that percentage you might end up falling.  While I believed I would make it, everyone has moments of doubt.

I have learned through this trial that fear really is the enemy of faith. It chases out all the light and keeps you from really seeing the world as it should be, rather than out it is.  My life is good.  I have three beautiful children, a wonderful husband, family that are fearless, friends that are strong, and love all around.  What do I have to ever complain about again? (I hope that Coach doesn't read this).

I did 'Fight like a Girl.'  I told everyone I knew about this.  I had to.  I couldn't fight alone.  I put up my dukes, and then you did the rest.  The family and I went to Olive Garden to celebrate the test results.  Yeah, we're fancy like that.  Then we did something I haven't done in awhile.....had ice cream that tasted good.  My taste buds have been so out of whack that I couldn't really stand the taste of sweet things, though I would cram them down because the old me REALLY loved them.  Today, the ice cream tasted divine.

On the way home the fam I were talking about different things, and came upon the individual who is doing 26 random acts of kindness to commemorate the 26 children lost back East.  The kiddos wanted to know what random acts of kindness were.  I talked to them about the checks that came in the mail, the ninjas on our doorsteps, the cards, the letters, the FB posts, the emails, the visits, the car rides, the meals, the blessings, the phone calls, the text message- all the things that made this fight possible.  Some random, some not.  All acts of kindness.

We've made a goal to perform 2,013 random acts of kindness this year, in an attempt to pay forward what was given to us.  We did the math and that's about 5.5 acts a day.  With 5 of us, this should work out.  I would like to think our lives have been changed for the better, and would like to change someone else's life too.

So.  There you have it.  Yep, there will be follow-up exams; 1 every 3 months for the next year.  Another PET Scan at the end of this glorious year, and then we'll see what the future holds.  For now I can say with certainty that the future holds more stirrups, more ducks, more KY, and possibly more fabulous hospital wear.  For today, I can peacefully say that I am cancer free.  While I can breath a little easier, I know there are wonderful men, women & children still fighting against this terrible disease.  Please help me in praying for them and their families.  This world is a beautiful place because of the fighters, and those who stand beside them as they fight.

All my love & gratitude~ Kami