Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fun conversations

Well, yesterday morning, my doctor put me in "isolation" if you will. He told me, go home, go to bed, and stay there for a few days. Your blood counts are way off and your white blood cells are very low at 1.9. Essentially, I have nothing to ward off here I sit.

I did have to pick up my son at the airport last night and I took his car thinking I was picking up him and his friend that went with him. Well, it took me longer than expected to get there and that was ok because he got to wait on me for a change! HA!

Anyway, while driving, my ex-husband called and there must have been quite a conversation that took place during Kyle's visit because, he and his wife were concerned. We must have talked, and laughed for 30 minutes. He reminded me of old times and expressed their support. It did my heart so much good. For many years we have had what I would consider to be a good relationship. I always loved him, I just couldn't live with him. And his wife, Lori, well she's pretty special, too. He could have done so much worse and if something does go bad with me, I feel safe knowing that she will do whatever she can to hold our family together. This I believe. I think that little trip last night was a special gift from God, reminding me of my past and my present. One thing I thought a bit strange was that he wanted a photo of me - with my bald head. He said it signified my strength. Strength my a** - more like sheer fear and determination to annihilate the enemy within. But I really appreciated his thoughts....hmm, who knows, maybe I'll send them one. Lori and I talked and laughed for awhile as well. She really is a funny woman - and I genuinely appreciate her support. I'm so glad we are friends.

Today....homemade Italiano Rigatoni....yummmm! Already ate some - couldn't take the aroma anymore - HAD to try it. It rocked....

Happy Halloween and love to all! Cheers~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Slow Week and The Shield

This week has been uneventful thus far. Thank goodness. I praise the day when I no longer have to go a doctor's appointment, or wake up feeling yucky. And, how I miss a good night's sleep. At times, I feel like these "temporary" breasts can be a bit overrated. They are fully expanded but very hard, so it makes it quite difficult to sleep....but HEY - I am NOT complaining, just conversing!! I am very grateful for where I am right now. First, I am alive, and second, it could be SO much worse - and believe me, I take not one minute for granted.

As I said on my Facebook page, I think that cancer may have been good for me. For the last few years, I think have just been muddling along with no real passion or direction, and it found me. I've never been more passionate in my life than to ensure I live each day to its fullest and to absorb everything that goes on around me and those I care most about. I am also fully aware that my life rests in whatever God's choice is for me and my family. It is my job to believe, and hope, and pray.

I would also like to acknowledge the members of "The Shield", a group (that I also work with) who pays tribute to families of law enforcement. Yesterday, they overwhelmed me with a surprise. They gave me an envelope....of love. Actually, it contained a sum of money from a bake sale. I nearly cried. Not because of the money, which I am grateful for, but what it really represents - their love and friendship. When the chips are down, you learn who are your real friends and who are not. John P, Lisette, Peggy, Ray, Cary, Emily, and the rest of you - I humbly thank you for your true friendship, prayers, and continued support to my family. You amaze me and I am eternally grateful.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

HOPE Filled Saturday

On October 24, 2009, I walked my first walk as a Breast Cancer Survivor. I gotta tell you, it damn near took me down between the heat and NO WATER, but it was an amazing and uplifting experience. I saw friends there, too, ones that I wish I could have said were not in the crowd of "survivors" being introduced....One by one, every woman came forth and gave her name, her City, and total time she's been a survivor. Together we totaled over 500 years! That's a lot of surviving!!! I believe the kinship I felt as I walked this walk is unparalleled in my life. At the end of the walk I had to sit down for some time - I think I was paralyzed by the heat. I know, I know, I shouldn't have been in the sun and I just had chemo, but this was my chance to walk alongside other women like myself. I carried many with me in spirit yesterday as I walked: My mother, my sister Pam, Dolores, Ann (who just had her surgery), Lori, my cousins, Caroline, Debbie, Meditating Spirit, and Liz's mom.

As tired as I was, a peaceful feeling crept over me. (OK maybe it was just a bit of exhaustion too!) More than 4,000 people walked with me (us) and all that money raised will go to finding a cure. I truly believe that research today may not help me, but it WILL help change the future for women and one day breast cancer will be a thing of the past. This was so huge and I want to live to help bring that change about!

My youngest turns 21 sure do love my "babies" and I'm so glad they are all grown up and doing well. You make me a very proud mama, boys.....I love you infinitely....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One More Down, One to Go!

I had another round of chemotherapy yesterday and this one was a little tougher. My body is doing its best and fighting hard against this chemical, but the chemical is doing what it is supposed to be doing and as such it knocks me back a bit, so I am just going to hang in there.

On a sad note, I received a couple phone calls this morning, neither of which helped me from yesterday. While sitting in chemo, another man that I've seen there each time was told he was terminal. It was all I could do to keep from crying because I watched the hope fade from his eyes and it deeply saddened me. I just wanted to hug him. I can tell you just from what I myself have been through that hope is the one thing we hold onto. I cannot grasp someone taking that from me. But I saw it in him as he said he wanted to go home. That I understood.

One phone call was to let me know about one of my very special (favorite) volunteers at the PD, Don. A few months ago, he was diagnosed as having a terminal cancer but he's been up and going since, almost as if he were fine, just a little more tired. He even wanted to come back and continue volunteering which we of course would have embraced. He died around 0400 this morning. Again, my heart ached. An absolute joy of a person that I adored. And his wife, well they were best friends for many many years and they have grown children. Today, I write for him. I will miss you my friend. Thank you for sharing your family and your friendship. Via Condios.

The other call was because a co-worker's wife who had been ill for some time had also passed. In her case, I think it was divine intervention. That family has endured great heartache throughout her illness. But, it does not take away from the fact that it was a woman, a wife, a mother, a loved person, who will be greatly missed by many. May she too rest in peace.

And finally, a little 7 year old girl named Somer Thompson was abducted from Orange County, FL and found of all places, in a landfill. What kind of a monster take the life of an innocent child? This is just so wrong on so many levels. The scary part is that many little girls and young women have gone missing here in the last few years, none with good turnouts.

As you can probably tell, my heart is a little heavy today, but I know that God is in charge here, not me. It is my position to trust in him, whatever it is, and just let God do his job. Therefore, I must believe that these men, this woman, and this child are now being carefully held in HIS arms and will have an eternal future in heaven. This is what I hope. Have a blessed day and be thankful for each moment you have.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back to Work

Well, it was back to work again today - thank goodness! :) I will go in tomorrow as well but have to gear up for my next chemo treatment on Wednesday. I do understand why these are so dreaded. Aside from the obvious discomfort, having deadly chemicals put into your body to kill bad cells, and good, and know that you are going to get ill, is no fun. But somehow, I continue to push forward and I am under the 30 day mark now. Nov 12th, 2009 will be my last chemo treatment - thank you Jesus!! I almost feel like a child getting ready to taste ice cream for the first time because I don't want to miss a thing from now on and I feel so all the hurt, and the tears, and the fear, there is hope, and while there is hope, I will thrive and survive.

Preaching time: If I haven't said it enough already, let me say it again - please, please ladies, get your annual mammograms!! I can only sit here and write and tell you what I am learning on this journey - and believe me, I don't want YOU to have to experience any of it. Know this, most mammograms will detect a problem, but there are those that miss them, and further, some doctor's will inadvertently misdiagnose, so it is absolutely imperative that you take charge of your health! If you think there "might" be a problem, get a second opinion, or demand more testing. And as I've said before, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! If I hadn't been so tired, I might not have gone to the doc, and not gotten my mammogram - and that would have cost me my beautiful life. Some women, will never have the chance to go back and do that. Google Karen Olga George,and read her story. She died from breast cancer at the tender age of 33. Daughter, wife, mother of two boys.....gone, because of a misdiagnosis. I cried while reading her blog and her husband's entry after she passed.

If my passion to promote breast cancer awareness is to continue, I have to start somewhere, so it starts here, with me, and YOU. When I'm out, I am constantly aware of others looking at me, and I don't run, I smile and say hello. I want it to open that line of communication - because that's what it is all about. Communication, education, and technology... More than 100,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and next year, and the next year -that is A LOT of women!!! And way too many of them will die. Another 1,000 diagnoses will be men and a lot of them will die as well. The environment we live in won't change anytime soon, so we need to ensure that we change our attitudes so that we can live and we help be the change for future generations. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to make a difference, even if it is just a tiny one... baby steps lead to walking... love to all

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm back!

Good morning everyone. Well, I'm finally going to go back to work. Last week was a real zinger and it really knocked me back a few steps. Aside from the physical ailments of a concussion and several muscle spasms along w/cervical and hip sprains, I think it got me emotionally, too. Might I recommend NEVER getting hit by a GMC truck - it hurts like hell.

I did find myself in tears a few times but I am going to be ok. It was just several things, the cancer, the hit by a car thing, my battery going dead in my car, etc., a list of things that just overwhelmed me. BUT, I'm getting back to what can be considered normal - at least mentally....if that's

I'm still sore and bruised from the hit, but I feel a little stronger. I came in to work today knowing that that will help me feel better too. I do love my job, that's for sure. And I need to psyche myself up for next week's chemo session....

Anyway, thanks so much for all of your support. You continue to lift me up - especially when I have those down moments. I am eternally grateful.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ever feel like you've been hit by a truck?

OK, me too - only I was.....Yesterday, I was walking through our parking lot at the Police Department and *poof* out of what seemed like nowhere, I was picking myself up off the concrete. As I walking, a GMC or Suburban, or something like that, backed out of his parking place and knocked me on my keester.....I think I actually saw stars. I was talking to another employee on the phone one minute, and the next, I was flying sideways.

Needless to say, I had to go to the ER. And today I feel like I've been hit by a truck! Everything hurts; my neck, my hip, my back, my elbows, my port and boobs... geesh.... I still can't believe it, it was just so surreal.

Anyway, I had immediate support from the Department, Fire/EMS, and the ER and I just wanted to publicly thank everyone for rushing to my aid. Personally, I'm kind of like a cat that when injured, and not wanting attention, I prefer to flee to lick my wounds, but thanks to everyone who was there, I obtained immediate medical care and I'm very, very grateful. So, thank you MPD and MFD, as always, you go above and beyond to help those in need.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Making Strides

Good morning everyone. The last few days have been uneventful with the exception of some sickness that just goes along with the chemo treatments. I don't focus too much on that here because I truly believe that every person handles chemo differently and as such, I don't want to frighten or mislead anyone into thinking you won't get sick. I would like to think I'm a tough cookie pushing through this. I am committed to kicking its ass, not the other way around. 'Nough said.

Now, to my next little mission. On October 24th, 2009, I will walk in Brevard County's "Making Strides" Breast Cancer walk in Viera. Why is this such a big deal? It's my first walk - as a survivor. I will do this not just for myself, but for my sister, my mother, my cousins, and every other woman who has been affected by this horrible disease. My team's name is "Barry's Angels" - and we represent Barry University, where I attained my Bachelor's Degree. These are awesome women who have all been affected by breast cancer.

I've committed to donating/raising $100.....will you help me attain that by supporting me w/a $1 donation? If you can't, I understand, but having gone through this, I now know so much more than I ever thought I would. It's expensive, it kills, mammograms save lives (I'm a poster child for that!), and it is a sisterhood like no other.

Wishing you all a beautiful day....and as Mother Teresa once said, "I know that God will not give me anything more than I can handle, but I just wish he didn't trust me so much"......