Time is a strange thing. I can't believe it's already been three weeks, yet, here I am, back in the chair again. I'm still here, having passed my 6-12 months life expectancy, but I try not to take any day for granted.
So, now what?
As it often is with trials of life, those times which are hardest to endure are usually because nothing is happening or because everything is happening all at once. Nothing major is going on in the cancer department for me, and that's a good thing, but the unknown can be difficult to navigate.
For now, I'm just journeying on, one foot in front of the other into this year. Today was an easy day. After the headache and stress of trying to get my first treatment for 2018, I'm grateful that this one went smoothly. It's nice when things just all work out sometimes. All the things don't always work out, so when they do, I'm so grateful for those small miracles.
My first treatment of the year was scheduled for January 9, but my new insurance made that impossible. My first treatment was then scheduled for January 16, but the weather shut down the state of Texas. Today, I finally got in.
Things have a weird way of working out, though. As I sit in the chair, I can't help thinking that FIVE YEARS AGO, (tomorrow), I sat in another chair, hearing the words,
"You have cancer,"
the words that would change life as I knew it.
At the time, five years down the road seemed different than it is now. Back then, I thought I would be celebrating much more, celebrating that I'd made it to the first big milestone, that cancer wouldn't be darkening my door again.
No. Five years doesn't feel like what I thought it would.
Don't get me wrong. I am BEYOND grateful to be here, healthy, making memories with my family and friends. I am blessed with amazing health care professionals who truly do care. But, somedays I feel like I was promised something I never got.
Five years ago, I was told that "this is going to be the worst year of your life, but you're strong, and you'll make it, and you'll be able to put cancer behind you." It was the worst year of my life, and I am strong. That part is true. However, what I thought 'making it' and 'putting cancer behind me' would look like didn't turn out exactly as planned. It IS five years later, I'm still here, and we are still keepin' on keepin' on.
In the spirit of thriving, I'm striving to focus on JOY this year. I've found it challenging to be joyful when dealing with the difficulties of coordinating new health insurance for the year. I've also had the unpleasantness of dealing with ANOTHER car accident and being verbally abused by my fellow man....a real winner of a fellow man. I've had to practice what I preach about telling the truth and claiming responsibility for your actions, turning the other cheek, among other things.
All that not-fun stuff tends to try to get in the way of joy. It's also not easy to push the unknowns of cancer to the side and seek joy despite the challenges. However, I did not battle through the pains and heartache of the last five years to let the frustrations of life stamp out my joy. I am meant to have JOY. Maybe not all day, everyday, but EVERY DAY! I will continue to seek joy with my people, the ones who love me and allow me to love them. I will continue to make memories of the time I've been given. And, I will continue to recognize even the smallest miracles that come into my life.
When we tried to schedule my muga, there was nothing open all week at St. Joe's. The Med was closed. I really needed that test to be done before the end of this year, so it was on my 2017 deductible. I've already reapplied for the prescription assistance program that I was on this year for next year, which means that my first dose of treatment could be covered, thus reducing the amount we have to pay out-of-pocket for our 2018 deductible. If I'm not able to get the test done, I'm not able to take the drug, which means my deductible would end up paying for the test and not saving me money.
However, there is a magician at Dr. Fleener's office. Jennifer was able--against all odds--to find me a time for my scan this week! She's a miracle worker!!!
I didn't have much time to worry about it, as the boys are all so, so sick. So sick that they slept through opening Christmas presents!
With a little magic---and a smile and a wink---I was able to convince the nurse to let us see all three boys at the same time....at the last minute. They all have the same thing...why not just swab them all at the same time?
We were a sad story, waiting for the doctor and results. Turns out, we have walking pneumonia, and thankfully, were able to pick up meds STAT. The pedi mentioned that I might want to call my doctor and let her know what was going on with the boys, in case I also needed to be medicated. By that time, the Cancer Clinic was already closed, so I had to leave a message with the answering service.
I head over to the pharmacy to wait for the boys' drugs. Right as I pulled into the parking lot, Dr. Fleener called, having received my message. After I explained the situation, she agreed to call in a prescription for me, also.
"Walgreens of Fitch."
"I'm actually SHOPPING at Walgreens on Fitch right now?"
"REALLY?!? I'm in the parking lot!"
"Come in, and I'll walk back to the pharmacy and 'call in' a prescription for you!"
She's seriously the coolest. How many doctors would do that? LOVE HER.
I'm telling you.....between scheduling working out, people in our corner, and a little magic, we're just gonna make it through 2017!
My last treatment of 2017 is in the books! The start of this year brought cancer back, again, but we fought and prayed, and I'm still here....IN REMISSION! My hair is growing back, and it looks like I'm going to push past that six to twelve months of expected life. I keep waiting for reality to close in, to hear bad news again, to face the fight once more. However, we are about to celebrate a new year...an EVEN year. That has to be good news!
After enjoying another *delicious* vanilla shake, I spent today in scans. Something about the brain was weighing heavy on me, and dr. F put in orders for STAT reports.
I was sooooooo relieved when her office called to tell me the good news that there are no Metsin my brain!! I’m still cancer free there!! (Still waiting on other reports.)
The CT went well, since they could access my port. The MRI was a little more rough, but I’ll take that in exchange for good news.
It was especially worrisome, after the wreck I had late Saturday night. I was driving in rainy weather. Around a curve, my car started to skid and then locked up. I continued to slide off the road and into a ditch and some trees. Thanks to my overworked, underpaid guardian angels, I walked away without even a scratch or sore muscle. The car? Not so much.
I sit here, kicking cancer with the kicks my dear friend, Michele, found me for mathematical power!!! Love times infinity. ❤️
I just cannot give enough thanks for prayers and miracles from heaven!!