Sunday, July 5, 2020
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Rob has been at it again with blog writing. He just finished watching a three part series on U.S. Grant and is in his "war mindset". Bear with me--I have had to endure his endless history lessons. Still love this man although somedays it is easier than others!
Mary and I were never fans of the term, “fighting or battling cancer”. The doctors, nurses, and researchers are the real warriors in such a fight.
Those that know me know of my passion for history especially war history. But after managing this disease for eight and a half years, my mindset has changed.
A war is not fought in one battle but is a series of engagements without ever knowing the outcomes. One goes from treatment to treatment as the enemy (cancer) evolves and fights back. You must change tactics midstream if necessary as reports (scans) come in.
On a good day you attack the enemy and live life to the fullest. On a bad day you set up defensive positions and hold on to your situation as best you can.
And, like going into war, the objective is the same. You just want to get back home to enjoy your family and have some semblance of normalcy in your life. As we celebrate our nation’s fight for freedom may all those “fighting” cancer eventually “win their war”.
Thanks for reading #588.
Thanks for reading #588.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
|Enjoying the campfire with Rosie|
Rob, my BHE, found a rustic (it was clean and had a bathroom) cabin which was compatible with our drive to get away from it all. Rosie, the dog, escaped with us and enjoyed the romps through the woods and the chases after the chipmunks (although none were caught). My plan to swim was achieved without any fear of drowning although between a tippy kayak and a wiggly dog, Rob was at risk for a dunk in the water. It was my forty-seventh swim since our plunge into advocacy work and my goal to reach the fifty mark appears to be right around the corner.
On another note, I saw my oncologist (BOE-best oncologist ever) last week after my MRI. The news, unfortunately, wasn’t good. Party time has continued in my liver where the lesions have increased in number and in size. Although this felt like a gut punch, it will not stop me from advocating and swimming and living the best way I know how. Quoting from one of Mary Oliver's poems, "I don't want to end up simply having visited this world" continues to be my mantra.
As I advocate for more research funding for stage IV to ensure my daughter and granddaughters will never face a cancer diagnosis, I continue to explain to others that a cure may not be in my future. However, I’m still rooting for the brilliant researchers to discover another miracle drug and throw current metsters like me a lifejacket of more time.
June 20th was my sixth metastatic cancerversary and I want more years to hang out with my BHE and the BFE (best family ever). Although I’m now facing tougher side effects in the next few months with more scans and an array of worries, I am confident there is a shining light of hope on the horizon but need your help.
Please consider a donation to my More For Stage IV fund at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Not only will my children and grandchildren benefit but hopefully, optimistically, fingers crossed and with “a touch on wood”; a new treatment is lurking in my future to keep me around for many more years.
Thanks for reading #587 of 7777+.
Monday, April 20, 2020
|We are masked, thanks to sister Susan.|
It's been a while since my last post when... Shazam! Just like that our world was turned upside down and blog writing became secondary. While trying to adjust to the new norm of living with Covid19, I realized the troubling feelings I was experiencing were similar to the ones I had already agonized over after learning of my terminal diagnosis almost six years ago.
This led me to researching the five stages of grief and how it relates to both my initial emotions with cancer and the Coronavirus that is consuming everyone's lives. One of my findings was David Kessler's words describing what we may be experiencing due to the recent events even though we may not necessarily be suffering the loss of a loved one.
"The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is as unique as you are." https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/
What makes this message so relevant to the Coronavirus and to my living with terminal cancer are the similar feelings they both have evoked.
DenialCovid19--Maybe it isn't as bad as the news reports are stating.
My cancer--A possible misdiagnosis? Tests can be wrong, can't they?
AngerCovid19--I am so angry I can't see my friends and family and a return to my normal life.
My cancer--Why has this happened to me? I want to scream and rant and rave. Life is so unfair.
BargainingCovid19--Please, higher powers, hear our prayers and requests to get rid of this menace.
My cancer--Help me, I will do anything to be able to live longer.
DepressionCovid19--Why us? I don't see any way we can recover. It all seems hopeless for our world to survive.
My cancer--There are few treatments to keep me alive and there is no cure. I won't see my grandchildren grow up. I will not see ___________. (Fill in the blank with any number of things).
AcceptanceCovid19-- I get it now. Accepting a different way of living life and appreciating all I do have will make this catastrophe not feel quite so catastrophic. Good must come from this and we will be better humans taking care of the earth and each other.
My cancer--I plan to fill my days with joy, laughter and discovery. Cancer will not define who I am.
Ruminating about these five stages is exhausting and occurs on a regular basis for me. You see, life with a terminal disease is not always easy for others to understand...and that's okay, I get it. But perhaps those of you experiencing this coronavirus crisis and the stressful emotions involved, you may now understand what I, and many others like me, face every single day. I will keep going and so will you--one day at a time.
Thanks for reading #586 of 7777.