Thursday, July 7, 2011


Sometimes life is like a two-lane country road with a huge eighteen-wheeler in front of you. You can't see around it. You can't get around it. Your every attempt to pass has been met by oncoming cars, which makes you seem even more fearful that you will never move on. But what if there was a helicopter above with someone you loves at the controls? Better yet, what if you could communicate with the person in the helicopter? That is what God has already done for us. He can see the whole future clearly. As we communicate with him we can navigate around the big truck and on to the next obstacle in the road.

While this analogy is somewhat simplistic it is a reminder that we are dependent on God.....and even others in general to help us navigate through life. This next series of blog entires will be dedicated to those 'angels' that have been there to help me navigate through this breast cancer journey.

My first angel entry is dedicated to my step-mother Audrey Hall. She has been there with me and for me from day one to even now in ways that only an angel could be. My step-mother has been to every doctor appoinment, every surgery, every consultation, and every meeting imaginable that I've had through this journey. Her calendar is filled with scribbles and scrawlings of each of my appoinments as well as her own. When I tell you that there is absolutely NO way I could do this without her I mean that with everything in me.

She is in the trenches with me when I am low and she soars with me when I am high. Each and every one of my doctors know her by name and many times she has more questions than I do. When I had my first surgery to remove my breasts she sayed in the hospital on the pullout bed next to me each night and day. When the time came for me to be released she took me home with her and there I remained for the next four weeks.

During this time she cooked for me, fluffed pillows, ran errands, picked up prescriptions, made sure I made each and every doctor appointment, lotioned my feet, tied my shoes, took me to the beauty salon, cleaned my drains and measured the ouput then recorded it on the logs, and the list goes on and on. And she did all of this willingly and without even the slightest complaint. I would like to think I was a gracious patient but it was still a lot of work. (Did I mention she even gave me my medicine in those little cups like they give you in he hospital?)

However, in between times we had a lot of laughs and fun and bonding time. We watched soap operas, The View, Million Dollar Money Drop, and countless other shows. We talked and laughed and talked some more. Some days she spent time in her office while I watched movies on my laptop. Either way it goes I enjoyed my time in her care....maybe a little too much because I was definitely spoiled.

We do know that all good things must come to an end and when it came time for me to leave it was bittersweet. I didn't want to leave the comfort of her recliner, those hot breakfasts, the comradery, and the luxury of being treated more like a princess than a patient. But reality awaited me.....besides I missed my kids and they were missing me. The time had come for me to round up the troops and head home. So, as hard as it was to leave, I did what I had to do! Although, there are times I sit and long for the days we sat and talked. I felt like a carefree child with all the attention I wanted.


To you Audrey, I love you and thank you. Those mere words will never be enough to express all of the appreciation and gratitude I have for how you have taken care of me and for how you care for me but hopefully this tribute begins to let you know how I really feel.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Well, it's definitely been a while since I've blogged. It's been a whirlwind of activity with the end of the school year, kids, chemo, and such. I am very excited about the coming of my sixth and final chemotherapy session but on the same note my heart has been kind of heavy and so I shall write.

I cannot begin to tell you excited I am about the end of chemo. The first thing people say when they hear me say I just have one more left is,"So what happens next?" My answer is always the same..."Well then I start radiation everyday for the next six weeks, Monday through Friday," and I get the inevitable *blank stare*. They're looking at me like "So WHY are you excited again?" Well, to put it in a concise manner CHEMO SUCKS. It's one of the hardest things I've ever experienced....and the more chemo you have the worse it gets, and by 'it' I mean my physical state. It has ripped me apart from the inside out. It's to the point now that unless I have to leave the house I spend the majority of the time in bed. I just don't have the energy and I can't even pretend like I do.

I used to enjoy hanging with friends during the upswing in-between chemos but those upswings no longer exist. There used to be about a week and a half time span in-between where I felt okay enough to go out and socialize however that has dwindled down to nothing. Now, when I do go out of the house, I secretly long to be back home. So yea, I'm looking forward to six weeks of radiation.

Amazingly, most people compliment me on how well I look when they see me out and about and that makes me feel good. It balances out those days when I stand in front of a mirror and don't even recognize myself. I've gone through so much these past few years and especially these past six months that it's hard for me to imagine living a 'normal' life again. The most honest thing I could tell you right now is that I feel like damaged goods.


My last chemo WILL be the hardest but I will make it through. I don't know how long it will be before I recover from it but I fully intend to do so. Then, after those six weeks of radiation I will take my battle worn body, come home from this tour of duty to begin civilian life again....and YES dammit I want a parade, with streamers, a band , the whole nine yards!! So look out, I will be back.