Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~Robert Brault
its my ring finger mom :o)
So, my phone rang a while ago, and the caller ID said, "Dr. Duke".....my heart about jumped out of my chest. Why in the world would my oncologist be calling me at 6:00 PM?!?!?!? OMG! It must be worse than I thought! He must be calling bc we need to set up an emergency appointment! That's clearly what the pain in my finger is! And now that I think about it, I haven't been able to breathe that well! And my balance has been off! And OMG...I couldn't remember my Victoria's Secret log in information yesterday! Annnnnnnd....my skin has been extra dry lately. ALL THIS IS OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE OF THE CANCER, AND HE'S CALLING ME AT 6 PM ON A SUNDAY NIGHT (bc he's clearly in the office...and it's clearly open right now) TO TELL ME ALL IS LOST!!!!!!! Yea, that's not what it was about at all. There's always an automated call 2 days before your chemo appointment to remind you of it (like you could freakin forget!). How could I forget?! It was only 8 MONTHS AGO THAT I WAS GETTING THESE FRIENDLY REMINDERS EVERY OTHER WEEK! (This is waaaaaaay off subject, but is it not hilarious when the cameraman scans the crowd and gets close ups of the losing team's fans?!?!? Eagles fans look pitiful right now!) So I obviously realized it wasn't my doctor calling to tell me all is lost, and I answered and went through the automated process. Now, judging from my complete mental breakdown after I hung up the phone, you would assume this is my first time dealing with canSer....not my third. You would assume that I have know idea what to expect on Tuesday, you would assume that I was scared to death. After I calmed down a lil bit, I convinced myself it's not fear.....it's anger. 100% pure, kick somebody in the sternum anger. Why me? Why my family? Why my friends? Why again? Have I not proven myself? Have I shown that I can deal with anything and come out smiling? Have I not proven that I'm not afraid of a canSer diagnosis? Is this a test of my faith? If it is, I'm having some pretty serious test anxiety lol! I think I sorta went through this the first two times, but I got over it a lot quicker. I, for some reason, cannot shake this anger....I am so unbelievably sick of canSer, I can hardly see straight. This is why: I WISH canSer WOULD GET canSer, AND DIE OF canSer. I mean, who would be sad about that? Who would mourn? Not me!! That's not harsh is it?!?!?!? Bc I REALLY would appreciate it if that would happen :o) Maybe I'll feel better after I get round 1 over with. I have no idea how I'm going to react to being in that infusion room again...I could be "whatever" about it, I could fall right back into rhythm, or I could throw a complete 2 yr old temper tantrum about being in that damn (sorry mom...darn?) room again. Haven't been sleeping that well, and I'm pretty sure that's why. You all know from previous blogs, I can't stand not knowing what's going to happen. I hate not having control....and I have absolutely no control over this. NONE. It's driving me completely crazy. School may be a little rough tomorrow too. I'm not big on missing school, and who knows how much I'm gonna miss after tomorrow. Will things be pretty normal after chemo starts? Or will I miss so much school, I'll have no clue what's going on day to day? Like I said, the whole not knowing thing turns me into a basket case.
DUUUGGGLA! Love u Jess!
On a more positive note....my Vols, and my Buckeyes lost yesterday, so it was a fabulous football Saturday! Soooooooo, if my Steelers don't win tonight...it's gonna be UGLY!!! OK, I'm sure you all wanna hear more about how much I wish canSer would die.....buuuuuuut the Steelers are about to play, and football trumps canSer :o)
LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE
Faith is the extreme confidence in God's ability to perform his will on your behalf no matter what is in the way. (Thanks Shy Shy, love uuuuu!)
CHEMO ROUND 1 TUESDAY @ 830....LETS GOOOOOO! YOU WOULD THINK canSer WOULD KNOW BETTER BY NOW.....GEEZ!
"Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow." ~ Dan Rather
"Fight Like An EBD Kid"
Is it OK that I want to curl up in the fetal position and cry till there are no tears left?
Leaving school Friday was rough. I felt like (enter expletive), and I was questioning whether or not I would make it all day, before I even pulled up in the parking lot. I will tell you this....MY EBD TEAM ROCKS!!!!!! I had a gift waiting for me, every single morning....not just any gift, but a thoughtful meaningful gift. BUT...the gift I received Friday, may just be the greatest, most thoughtful, clever gift of all time! So, we all know red wine is my fave, right? (it's a carcinogen, so hush!)....well, they got me a HUUUUUGE wine glass, and they got it engraved with, "Fight Like An EBD Kid" with a cancer ribbon! I about died! That was definitely a moment I wish I was a hugger (Meka, Amy, Cyndie...I love you to death, don't take the hug thing personally!!!!)!! I mean....have you ever dealt with EBD kids?!?!?!? I know for a fact, some of you have, so you're thinking, "how perfect is that?!?!?" Not only did it warm my heart, but it definitely put things into perspective. Guys, I love my job. I've wanted a self contained EBD (emotional behavior disorder for all you non education peeps) position since I changed my major to Special Education. This is literally my dream job. How perfect was it that things fell into place the way they did?!?!? That first Saturday after I got hired, and I unlocked the door to my room for the first time, I thought to myself....."It's over, I'm finally here, my life is FINALLY about to get back to normal!". I beat cancer twice, I was starting to feel like me again, and I was ready to go back home. Apparently, I was wrong about where home was!.....God had something better planned (no offense to my Savannah peeps!), my dream job....I mean, HOW MANY FREAKING PEOPLE CAN SAY THEY ARE DOING EXACTLY WHAT THEY ALWAYS WANTED TO DO?!?!?!? So clearly, nothing could mess this up! I was exactly where I was supposed to be, where I wanted to be. Sooooooo, imagine my effin surprise when Dr. Duke (to all you new readers, that's not really his name!) says, "scans don't look so good". Um, what do you mean? they're blurry? Clearly you mean they're blurry, right?!?!?! Well, put some spit on your thumb and rub it a little! Maybe those lesions you are seeing on not only one....but two organs are ink smudges!!!! Yea....not smudges at all, and we're going to need more than a lil spit to make em go away. Friday was also rough, because I knew after the break was over, everything would be different. We go back to school the 28th, and my first treatment is the 29th. How am I going to react to the new cocktail mix? How different will the side effects be? How much will my job performance suffer? Yall know all about chemo brain, right?! How in the world am I going to remember the 6,000 things teachers are required to remember everyday? I can't even remember to enter attendance as it is! How much will I be able to work? You guys know me, am I gonna say I'm fine....when I'm really not? How are the kids going to react to my pump? How is the staff going to react to my pump? How are the parents going to react to the entire situation? Those kids have been through so much the past 3 years.....and now this. Is the inconsistency going to through them off? One thing I do know, is I HAVE THE BEST PARA IN THE HISTORY OF PARA-DOM!!! I don't even like calling her a para bc she's so much more than that. So blessed to work with such a great team....but like I said, you guys know me! I will be at that school unless I physically cannot move!!!! I know they say it's good to be as active as possible, but I'm not gonna lie....I'm a little concerned about how much I push myself. When is enough, enough???? and will I be doing more harm than good? I had the the pleasure of meeting the most amazing people on Saturday afternoon. A really good friend of the family (love u!!!) had some guest in town, and one of them is an evangelist. She's this adorable old lady from Puerto Rico, and when she steps into a room, she just drips with goodness. Well, this friend asked if some people could come over to the house and pray for me....ummmm, who's gonna say no to that, right?!?! It ended up being one of the most powerful experiences of my life. When this woman spoke, you couldnt' help but to hang on every single word. It was amazing. She spoke of her life, of her now deceased daughter, of the miraculous message she received from her daughter before she passed away. She spoke of her own sickness, and the one thing she kept saying, over and over again was, "Ebony, you must take it one day at a time." As hard as that is, she is so right.....canSer, or not. It's not going to help me at all if I'm already worrying about my next scan, it's not going to help it I'm wondering what next week is going to be like after treatment, it's not going to help me at all if I'm calculating the days I have until my hair may or may not fall out. None of that will help, but it will make me lose today, bc I've spent the majority of it worrying about tomorrow...which we're not promised people! So this time around, I'm going to focus on her advice: 1. Trust GOD 2. Don't Cry 3. Listen To Music 4. Take It One Day At A Time Let's be honest people, how awesome is that advice (that no crying thing may be tough, it's not like I have the flu!), I mean, I can definitely handle that! My next step is to listen to my body more. We all know that canSer makes you tired and chemo sure as hell doesn't help. If it's too much, I HAVE to learn when to say that's enough. The point is to get better, not to prove to the world that I'm superwoman (I mean, if YOU wanna think that...that's fine with me!). Someone asked me if I was afraid the other day.....at the moment, I was honest and said yes. I'm not sure exactly what it is that I was afraid of...but I was afraid. Is it OK to be scared every once in a while? I think it is. Staring death in the face is definitely not a trip to Disney World....but, I'm not looking away either. I will continue to fight this...no matter what the scans say, no matter what the blood analysis say, no matter what the doctors say. I am determined to beat this again....and again if need be. I'm not ready to go yet, and HE still has work to do through me, so I'm gonna end this one the way I ended my last blog when chemo was over......SCREW YOU CANsER!!! I WIN!!!!!
~LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE~
Be on you guard; stand firm in the faith; be [people] of courage; be strong I Corinthians 16:13
PSA- GET CANCER SCREENINGS PEOPLE!!! IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!! IF NOT FOR YOU, DO IT FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE :o)
Little side note: wanted to do something fun with my nails since I may not be able to get em done for a while. I had to argue with the nail tech that pink does not represent all cancers. Each one has it's own unique color....this lady was really questioning my choice of blue. Until I told her I effin have colon canSer, so I'm petty sure the ribbon is blue. NOW HUSH YOUR MOUTH AND PAINT A BLUE RIBBON ON MY FINGER!!!!!!!! hee hee :o) point is, if you wanna get a gift for someone with canSer, check out the color first, you just might make they're day!
I LOVE this site....you can shop by the specific type of cancer, so you don't have to worry about the color. Everything is pretty cheap and $ goes to research. Def one of my faves! Click on it and help save some freakin lives!!!!! www.choosehope.com
BROOKLYN KINDER....I'M NOT SURE WHAT I WOULD DO WITHOUT YOU. I'D PROBABLY BE WALKING AROUND AIMLESSLY IN BACK ALLEYS SEARCHING FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE, OR FOOD, OR WHATEVER YOU SEARCH FOR IN BACK ALLEYS...."YOU BRING MEANING TO MY LIFE, YOU'RE THE INSPIR-AAAAA-TION!!!!" I FREAKING LOVE YOU TO DEATH....THANK YOU XOXOXOXO
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. ~Mohandas Gandhi
Have I ever blogged 2 days in a row?!?!? This is new....guess when you have something to say, you should say it...."say what you need to saaaaay, say what you need to saaaaaay" hee hee, couldn't resist :o)
So, those of you who were with me LAST TIME (couldn't resist putting that in all caps...for effect), remember my spending spree, right? I found out the cancer was back, blacked out, and couldn't remember spending an obscene amount of money online. I had an excuse for that day (the blackout...duh), but didn't so much have an excuse for the days that followed!! There was about a 3 week period during which, the UPS dude was knocking on the door every other day with a package. I'm not gonna lie....it was pretty awesome, not for my bank account of course :o) Well....it happened again. I got home from school, I was tired, I felt like (enter expletive here), and I just wanted to curl into a ball and sleep until all this canSer (yes, I realized it's spelled wrong...see previous blogs for explanation!) crap was over. So, what did I do instead? What I do best, retrieved my wallet and removed my credit card. Before you start judging though...every dollar I spent was on something cancer related, ANNNNND all the money I spent went to cancer research! So CLEARLY, it's 100% OK, right?!?!?! I mean, how could someone say, "No Ebony! Don't you dare help fund cancer research! Save your money!".....ridiculous, right?!?!?! OK, to the point.... I was looking at the merchandise on my last website (SU2C), and I saw the "Survivor" shirt, which I own, and the "In The Fight" shirt, which I also own. Needless to say....I completely broke down. I stared at that "Survivor" shirt as if it were an ice cold beer in the middle of the desert (yes, I would prefer a beer rather than water, if I were in the desert...don't judge!). I thought of the TWO previous times I was able to put on that shirt. I thought of the TWO previous times a doctor looked at me and said, "no signs of the cancer!", I thought of the TWO previous times I was able to see that relief on the faces of my friends and family, I thought of the TWO previous times I said, "I'm so glad this is over!"....and then, I thought of the last time, when I said, "never again". I then looked at the "In The Fight" shirt (crying harder of course). I mean it's a neat shirt and all, but it's NOTHING like a beer in the middle of the desert...it's more like a sharp rock in the middle of a sandy beach...THAT YOU CUT YOUR FREAKING FOOT OPEN WITH!! Come on stupid canSer, LEAVE ME ALONE!!!! WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU?!?!?! (except kick your ass twice!!!) I don't wanna wear the "In The Fight" shirt! I want the freakin "Survivor" shirt (I would like you to imagine me saying that in my whiny, bratty voice....for effect)!!!! I know I'm supposed to be positive and strong but, come on people....THIS. SUCKS. So here I am, during the exact same time of year, on the same websites, taking the same "pre-chemo" vitamins, eating the same "pre-chemo" foods, trying not to have the same anxiety attacks, drinking the same glass of red wine (It's a cancer fighter....google it..and I know, I'd be drinking it anyway! don't judge). I know I've said it before, but ITS NOT FAIR!! I'm now thinking about things I never thought I would have to worry about again. Like my fertility, I've written about this before, right? Those who know me well know I definitely want kids someday (not this day!!). I was scared to death last time, now I'm really scared. I don't even wanna know what the chances are when you have chemo again....8 MONTHS after you finished the last round. I think, if a doctor ever tells me that chemo...CHEMO killed my chances of reproducing, they better be behind one of those indestructible glass thingys, bc that WOULD NOT be a pretty conversation. Speaking of 8 months, what does that mean? I just finished my last round of chemo 8 months ago...and it's already back????? That has to mean it's pretty aggressive, right? Don't worry, I haven't given up hope or anything! And it's not like the iphone4S, where I wanna slap everyone who has one....I don't wanna slap all the healthy people and cancer survivors or anything (maybe the healthy people!)!! These things have just been on my mind all day, and I wanted to share! Soooooooo, me being me, I went fishing in my closet....and brought out the "In The Fight" shirt, bc let's face it....WE'RE (u like how I say "we're", don't u?!?!) in the fight. So, there's nothing we can do now, except FIGHT. BAM!!!! THOUGHT I WAS GONNA END ALL SAD AND NEGATIVE DIDN'T YOU?!?!? TAKE THAT canSer!!!
IN THE FIGHT...and proud of it!!!
~LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE~
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
~ Romans 5:1-5 ESV
(THANK YOU SHY SHY!!! LOVE UUUUUU!!!)
IF ANYONE FROM SYCAMORE ES IS READING THIS, YOU
GUYS ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! THANK YOU THANK
YOU THANK YOU!!!! XOXOXOXOXO
HERE ARE THE SITES I VISITED TODAY!! I'M SURE YOU CAN FIND SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF, FOR THE CANCER FIGHTER OR SURVIVOR IN YOUR LIFE, OR IN MEMORY OF SOMEONE. TRUST ME, IT'S ALWAYS OK TO SPEND MONEY IF IT'S GOING TOWARD A GOOD CAUSE :O)
"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell." - Lance Armstrong
hospital shenanigans :o)
So yea, the cancer is back....and to be honest, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it!!! I mean, am I worried???? Absolutely not. I didn't worry the first 2 times, so there's no sense in worrying now. Am I mad??? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!! and I'm pretty sure it'll be a minute before I can tuck the anger away! CAN I AT LEAST HAVE A YEAR?!?!?!? ONE FULL CALENDAR YEAR WITHOUT CANCER?!?!?!? and why does it have to be this time of year?!?!? I was so looking forward to chemo free holidays....to not having to figure out the best weeks to take off to maximize my "feeling good days". Don't get me wrong, I am in no way trying to get you guys to feel sorry for me (if I was, is it working?!?!?), but this SUCKS and I had to get it out!!!! OK....I'm pretty sure I'm done venting (for now), so...moving on to the more upbeat part of the show :o)
I love my surgical team :o)
We left Dr. Duke with a plan....2 or 3 month chemo vacay, and then rescan to see where we are. Next step, call my other fave, Dr. S (5th surgery on me!!) and schedule surgery to get the dang port put back in. You know me, I generally get my way......so I had my port re-inserted the next day :o) Sooooooooo, I'm all ready to go! Port's in place, first infusion (sounds so official, doesn't it?!?!?) is scheduled for Nov 29 :o))))))) This time should be a lil different though. Dr. Duke is changing up the cocktail mix, so we don't really know how I'm gonna respond to the side effects. One of the drugs is pretty different so my hair is prob gonna go....which is the least of my worries! (Shyra, you got my back!) Good news is.....I GET TO FREAKIN WORK!!!!!!!!!! Since I'm working here, I'll be able to go in when I feel like it!!! You guys have NO IDEA how happy that makes me!! Those kids are my life (most days lol!!), and I'm sure that'll def brighten up those not so great days! Speaking of school....I have no words for how absolutely WONDERFUL the staff at Sycamore Elementary has been! It's honestly been overwhelming! They are all so supportive and understanding and caring and awesome and I freakin love them!!!! Dude...I was telling my EBD friends (not the kids, the teachers!) that I was starting my pre-chemo cleanse, and that it involves no sugar. Ok, they know how much I love sugar bc they see me go though 68 tootsie rolls everyday.....so, this morning, there was a bowl of fruit on my desk!! Not just any fruit....antioxidant cancer fighting fruit!!!! Made my day :o)))) There are seriously no words for how grateful I am.....you all are so amazing and I have absolutely no idea how I would've made it this far without you. So, THANK YOU...from the very bottom of my heart <3 Enough of the sappy stuff....ITS TIME TO SUIT UP! Chemo starts in 2 weeks....we made it through the first 2 times, the 3rd will be a breeze. I need yall with me though...all the thoughts, all the positive energy, all the prayers, all the jokes, and most importantly....all the socks (I will be continuing the sock tradition!) It means the world to me, so keep it coming :o) I have lots more to get off my chest, but I have to educate the youth in the morning, so....PEACE OUT!!!!
LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE :o)
~Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see~ Hebrews 11:1