Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Social Well-Being

I just read in the news about a new study published regarding breast cancer. Women with a strong social support system (especially in the first year after diagnosis) are 38% less likely to die and 48% less likely to have a recurrence.

Wow! Pretty incredible statistics. Thank you friends for being such an awesome support system to me this year! You have increased my odds of survival significantly!

Check out the article...
Friends and Family May be Key To Fighting Cancer

Friday, January 14, 2011

Update

Radiation is pretty easy. It takes me approximately seven minutes to drive there. Then I'm in and out of MSTI in 25 minutes. I'm only on the table getting radiated for about five minutes. The rest of the time is spent getting in and out and changing clothes. It's a fast and simple process.
Each day after radiation I go to the gym and do what I consider to be a very pathetic workout. But its a start. My body is weak and it will take a lot of time and work to build up to where I was before cancer.
I'm slowly getting my strength back. It's nice to be able to start my life over, in a sense. Before, I was always scrambling to do too many things, and doing none of them well. Now I'm reintroducing things, one at a time. Each day, I do a bit more. And every little thing feels like a great accomplishment.
First I started doing a morning Bible study with the kids. Then I added a chore chart. I've been cooking their meals myself. And today, I took all three kids to the store all by myself! It feels SO good to do things myself.
Around 3:00 everyday, I fade. I can still function, I just get dizzy, tired and weak.

In response to questions I'm frequently asked...
My hair is not yet growing back, which makes me very sad. Everyday I scrutinize my head looking for traces of normal hair growth. It's been over four weeks since my last chemo treatment. I'm impatient! It started growing back after my surgery but I can't remember when it started, nor do I know if it will be the same this time. Even though it had barely grown in, it was difficult to lose a second time, when my second round of chemo started.
The doctors assume the cancer is gone and that all this treatment is working. I think it is based on my responses to the treatment so far. It doesn't look like they will do a bunch of tests when this is over, then declare me cancer free. I suppose it is unnecessary because I am already cancer free.
I started up Herceptin again. It was one of the drugs I had last summer. It isn't technically chemotherapy, although it is sometimes referred to as such. I get it every three weeks for 40 weeks. It is administered through my port and takes an hour and a half. Side effects are minimal. When I'm done with that, I'll get my port out. That will be a day to celebrate!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution

Here it is, a new year. I lay in bed awake, pondering what this next year will look like.
For Christmas, my dad and step-mom bought us tickets to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, in August. Of course I said we would go. We love the Shakespeare Festival. But in the back of my mind, I found myself hesitant to commit. How do I know what my life will be like in eight months? I think back to how much of my life I thought I had control over, how many plans I've made, assuming I knew my future. How strangely arrogant of me.
I'm tempted to make New Year's resolutions. There are so many things I want to do this year...things I've been unable to do, things that in the past I've been afraid to do.
Will this be a year of restoration? Or will it be a year of tragedy?
I don't know.
I do know this: New Year's resolutions are foolish. I don't know what tomorrow will bring.
So I resolve to do this...to live today to the fullest. TODAY I will do all those things that most people intend to do tomorrow.
I will eat healthy TODAY.
I will exercise TODAY.
I will play with my kids TODAY.
I will love God with all my heart TODAY.
I will reach out to someone in need TODAY.
No more good intentions.
No more worrying about tomorrow.
One day at a time. Day by day.

"In their hearts humans plan their course,
   but the LORD establishes their steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
   but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails." ~Proverbs 19:21

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Matthew 6:34

"Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil." ~James 4:13-16