• The boys and I

  • A Little ‘Bout Me

    I’m 44, married and live in a sewerless small town on the central coast of California. I am an Inflammatory Breast Cancer survivor. My passions are reading, knowledge, shopping and photography – in varying order depending upon my mood. Though I’ve always wanted to be really good at something, I find that I’m just pretty good at most things. I live with my husband, Daddy-O, and our sons, Ben and Danny who are 10 and 5. Ben has ADHD and enough natural energy to power the Pacific Time Zone… and he’s not afraid to use it. Danny has Norries – a rare genetic disease causing him to be born blind. It’s a crazy, hectic life but I can’t complain any more than usual.
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First order of business is to make my first attempt at passing out some Blogger Bling. I was reading Andrea of Punk Rock Mommy this morning and was, as always, humbled by the soul-baring, matter-of-fact beauty in her faith, her friends and her fight against Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

“A friend called me today and asked me about praying for God to do a miracle and heal me. My friend wanted to know what I thought about this. I will tell you what I told her. I think that God does not need to heal me to prove He is good. I think that I will live exactly as long as He wills it. I pray for God’s will to be done. I believe that there is a perfect plan in place set forth by a benevolent and loving God. And if it is His will that my testimony include a miracle it will, but if it does not than that is OK too. I am totally accepting of however this fight ends. I do not even care how many rounds it goes. Its me and cancer in this ring , you all are spectators. And if God steps in, fine. If not that’s OK too. In my heart I believe that we are supposed to allow God to work in our lives, even in ways that we do not understand or enjoy.
Just because I talk about death and do not expect a miracle does not mean that I am not fighting. I assure you I am. I am taking tons of toxic medication and dealing with all its side effects in the belief that it can and will heal me, even if only for awhile.”

How beautiful is that? If that doesn’t deserve an Inspirational Blogger Award I don’t know what
does. Andrea, this is for you. Gee, hope I did that right.

I have some news of my own today. I get to have my port-a-cath taken out. Yeah! Not that I really mind having it in. I’ve actually been very, very lucky in that it’s given me absolutely no problems whatsoever. My mom’s got infection after infection. Another dear friend, Jaci, who passed just last Thanksgiving, had hers work it’s way right out of her chest! I’ve been fortunate.

My oncologist recommends that I leave it in for the life-span of the product, which is five years, due to my high risk of recurrence. I’ve been OK with that. However, since my switch to a PPO insurance this past January the maintenance on the dang thing has become cost prohibitive. I have to get it flushed every month which costs me about $55 between my co-pay and share of cost each time I go in. That really adds up. So, we’ve agreed to take it out. Yeah! One more step closer to normal – even if it was a fiscal-based decision not a health-based one.

WhyMommy’s post today served as a timely reminder of the truly important things in life. There seems to be one universal side effect of cancer. A renewal of le joie de vivre – the joy of life. Call it what you wish: spirituality, positive attitude, grace, a new lease on life or whatever… but most cancer patients/survivors are infused with this need “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” (– from ‘Dead Poet’s Society’).

Sadly, after being back in the working world for 10 months, and 14 months beyond chemo, I find that the bloom is beginning to fade from the rose. I snap at my kids for just being kids. I vent my frustrations in inappropriate places. I dispair of ever getting my hair past it’s “growing out” stage already to one I can work with – forgetting that not so very long ago I would have been very pleased with any old mop of hair at all. And I have been taking for granted those friends who have been there for me when I have needed them these past years, in my current healthy stability.
Thank you, WhyMommy, for reminding me that each and every day is a gift to be cherished – whether it’s spent pain-free, full of drudgery, laughing with a friend, or crying on one’s shoulder. As the saying goes, “Any day above ground is a good day.”


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