Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Never Forget

Today is my 2 year Cancerversary. I feel everything about it. Sad, mad, lucky. As the day was approaching I really had no feelings about it. But last night it hit a little hard. And then this morning. I read my blogs from 2 years ago and just the enormity of it all was like a weight on me. But once I got over it I had a great day. It was weird because I felt all day like today was a celebration. Like it was my remission day instead of my cancerversary. But I guess it is a celebration. Its been 2 years since I heard those awful words and I'm still here and I'm healthy!

I started off my day doing the same thing I did right after I got the news. With a large McDonald's Coke. Then I went to Target of course. I took this picture because it has (almost) all of my favorite things- McDonald's Coke. school supplies, Target, Coach! What a dream! The school supplies are for Mackenzie's playroom. Hard to believe next year they will actually be for kindergarten.

I ran more errands then went early to pick up Mackenzie. Every Wednesday in the summer they have a special show at daycare so I watched the magician with her. And I got to hold my friends baby! After we left, we met George in Crystal City for dinner. We went to Ted's Montana Grill. This was the quote at our table. I thought it was fitting for today. 

Afterwards we went next store to Cold Stone! Nothing better than having a milkshake to celebrate! 

When Mackenzie and I walked back to my car this was on the ground. It was kind of out of place because someone just wrote these numbers on the ground and I'm not really sure why. But I parked in the spot labeled 23. July 23. The day that changed everything. 

I labeled this post Never Forget because I have been feeling lately that everyone is forgetting what happened to me. I had cancer. Really bad cancer that spread. I had body parts amputated, poison poured into my body, multiple surgeries and procedures and a laser that burned me so bad I had blisters. That happened. I know that it is easier to forget. I really wish I could. But then I look in the mirror and see my 9 scars and I remember. I look at my lymphedema sleeve and I remember that my cancer caused my lymph nodes to be removed. My hair. My short brown hair. 

I was telling George after my fundraiser last weekend that cancer is so weird because some of the people that you expect to be there aren't. And the people that you never expect to be there or don't know well step up in huge ways you'd never expect. People I didn't know made my family dinner when I was going through chemo. Friends (namely the Morrisons) took our daughter at a moments notice on multiple occasions. Its amazing that you can meet/become great friends with people because of this awful disease. Things that I will never be able to repay no matter how hard I try. 

Back to the fundraiser. It was AMAZING!! My fear is always that no one will show up. But they always do! And we made a lot of money this year. And of course you can still donate online! {link} I'm probably going to close it the first week of August so I can get The III B's Foundation and Good Wishes their checks! I'll share pictures when I get more. I hardly took any pictures but my brother took pictures for me which I appreciated! I can't wait to share final totals. I'm hoping we made more than last year! 

As always thanks to everyone for all of your support. I knew when I was anticipating this diagnosis that I would want to tell people so that it would be out there. I was hoping that people would rally around me and you did. It is an amazing feeling. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's July

It's July. I'm dreading this entire month. There are a lot of dates that mean a lot.

July 10th is my fantasy date- the last day before I went to the doctor and the lump was found. The day I dream about and wish I could go back to. The day my biggest worry was having my blood drawn. The day where my 2nd biggest worry was when I would get pregnant. It makes me a little sad because July 10th used to mean a lot more. It means my baby is a half year older and it was also her baptism day. Obviously those things are still relevant but now July 10th means something else too and I hate that it takes away from Mackenzie.

July 11th is lump day. I remember sitting in the office so vividly. I remember her in the middle of the breast exam tell me that I need to especially check the upper inner quadrant because that's where most cancer was found. And then it was. In the exact spot she said it would be. But I also remember being reassured that it was nothing and getting a mammogram was just a formality.

July 17th- REMISSION DAY!! Strangely this is the date I always have to look up. I can never remember which day I actually went into remission. Technically I was NED (no evidence of disease) on my mastectomy day but they can't tell you you are in remission until treatment is all over.

July 19th. One of the hardest days. Maybe even emotionally harder than the day I found out I had cancer. I went in to have a mammogram on my right side. Then the tech went to talk to the doctor. Then they did a mammogram on my left side "just to compare" (that should have been my clue). Then I waited and had the ultrasound done. I still laugh thinking that I should tell her (the dr) where the lump is. Obviously she could see it on my mammogram and went directly to that spot. And then the biopsy. I remember sitting in the waiting room trying not to ball my eyes out in my gown. Then I saw my mom walk back into the room and I just couldn't keep it in anymore. I just kept thinking- I'm half the age of everyone else and I'M the one that is having this happen. The biopsy wasn't painful just very strange. Plus when you hate medical stuff as much as I do it was hard because you are between the doctor and the tech. The tech is using an ultrasound machine with the screen on one side and the doctor is doing the biopsy on the other side. No where to look!

July 23rd. The day. I still can't think about it without tearing up. I still think that I cannot believe this happened to me. Sometimes it seems like it didn't happen. But of course there's the scars and short hair and lymphedema sleeve that remind me that it did. This year I decided to take the 23rd off work. I'm not sure what I'm going to do that day. Maybe nothing. But it needs to be acknowledged. It's kind of ironic because I was at work on the 23rd when I found out I had cancer. And I went to work the day after like nothing happened.

There's a group I follow on Facebook called Stupid Cancer. They always post a picture that just says "Cancer is lonely". The first time I saw it it really made me think. Cancer is SO lonely. No one gets it. I don't really expect anyone to get it but just remember that it's not over. It will never be over. Just because I am in remission doesn't mean that these scars aren't real, that I don't have to think twice about every single pain I have and that the emotional toll isn't becoming much harder than the physical part ever was. I'm never going to get over this. Cancer will always be in my life. I wish it wasn't. And most days I don't think of it (except when I'm putting on my lymphedema sleeve) but there are still days when he pain and loneliness are hard to bare. And I don't mean lonely like there's no one around. For me loneliness is wanting to say things that shouldn't be said. Wanting someone to understand what I'm feeling. Wanting someone who lives with these scars and knows exactly what all of this entails. 

I know there are support groups, ect but honestly I'm not really interested. I was playing phone tag with a counselor at the hospital but I stopped because asking for help is a lot harder than I thought it would be. But I need to call her back. Especially this month. This Cancerversary feels harder than last year. And I still have 3 weeks to go. 


But this July 19th will be AWESOME because it will be the 2nd annual Kyle's Fund It Forward (link)! I'm so excited about it! Everything is starting to really fall into place. Of course if anyone has anything to donate for a raffle or knows anyone who would please let me know!! I am all ready having nightmares so I hope that means it will be very successful! I've been pleasantly surprised but the amazing raffle prizes donated so far! I'm so happy that I can give forward to these 2 charities that helped me out so much. It is very helpful to make me feel a purpose to all of this- especially this time of year.