Thursday, March 20, 2014


I mentioned the other day that I was having a hard time finding something to blog about.  The fact is, I'm just avoiding blogging because I don't have super happy stuff to blog about.  I've been doing chemo since last October, and frankly, I'm tired.

I'm tired of spending every Friday at the cancer center.  I'm tired of being constipated for 5 days out of every 7.  I'm tired of constantly having to wipe or blow my nose due to the Avastin.  I'm tired of the taste of blood in my mouth from all that drainage.  I'm tired of constantly worrying if the chemo is working, if I'm going to go into remission, if that weird pain in my chest another blood clot or a tumor or just a weird twinge.  I'm tired of the cellulite that has taken residence on my thighs because I don't have the energy to work out every day.  I'm tired of having to draw on eyebrows so I don't like a boy. I'm tired of having short gray hair. I'm tired of not being able to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours at a stretch.  I'm tired of having circles under my eyes so dark that it truly looks like my husband tuned me up.  I'm tired of gaining weight, of hot flashes, of food tasting too salty or too spicy, of the constant craving for chocolate.  I'm tired of trying to brave, inspirational, and chipper.

I am so very tired of having cancer.

I know I could have it so much worse than I do.  I have family and friends that love me and support me.  I have a job that provides me with insurance that has made all this treatment possible.  Sometimes I feel like such a whiner for feeling this way.  But even if you're not at death's door, after a while - having cancer wears on you. 

Those who haven't had cancer - or haven't had dealings with someone with late stage cancer - look at me and see that I'm feeling pretty good compared to a year ago and think that my battle is over.  But my battle may never be over.  I may never go into a full remission.  I might - but the odds are against me.  Sometimes I think people don't know how to deal with someone like me - the cancer patient who can't claim they are cured.

I'm not sure I'd want to hang out with someone who just can't do the things she used to.  But I wish I knew of some way to tell the people I don't hear from much anymore that they are missed.  That I'm sorry that I can't just go back to who I used to be.  My life has changed forever.  I will never again be the chick who can party until the wee hours, or that can spend Sunday morning loading a pickup truck with load after load of hay. 

I wish I knew how to tell them that I miss that chick too.

I've said before it's not all moonlight and roses.  I'm not helping anyone if I only post when I'm all happy and chipper.   I would hate for someone to come across this blog and see nothing but unicorns and rainbows and get down on themselves because they are having more blue days than they know what to do with and feel like they're doing this wrong.  There is no wrong - we all have to deal with it in our own way.  And I bet I'm not the only one who gets so damn tired of having cancer.  It helps me to write it out - it's a way for me to figure out why I feel the way I do, and a way to express those feelings and get them out of my system.  If it helps someone else someday, even better.

It's unrelenting, this having cancer thing.  It never goes away.  Not for me, and not for my family.  I wonder if it would be easier if there was any real hope that I could actually be cured.  I'll never really know - I'm to look at ovarian cancer as a chronic disease that I can treat but not cure.  Like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.  I'm doing my best to find a way to accept that gracefully.

But damn.  I'm just....tired.

Monday, March 17, 2014


(In case you haven't noticed, I've had a hard time coming up with something to write about lately.  It's all the same ole same ole lately. So I thought I would share with everyone those that I pray for and why.)

Sara. Debbie.  Becky.  Allison.  Amy.  Dr. S.  Dr. G.  Nancy.  Lynn's mom.  Megan's mom.  L.  M.  The sweet lady who likes my scarves.  The man who likes to gamble.  The sweet man who reminds me of Angie's dad from hockey.  The man Monty knew from his old job. The professor from BA who's name I've forgotten.  The sweet lady with the trees.  The lady from WalMart. And myself.

Sara is married to one of my faculty members.  When he was originally hired, back when I was hugely pregnant with my eldest, I met Sara when she came to town to find a place for them to live when they moved to Mid-Sized City. She brought with her their 6 month old daughter and we bonded over impending motherhood. She had two daughters, and I two sons, and we both loved them like crazy. She had wonderful advice for a new mom, and the sweetest personality.

Over the years, we would see each other at various departmental parties, and talk on the phone when she would call up here to talk to her husband.  I've always thought the world of her.  It's been nearly two years since she went into a hospital to have some tests run to see why she was having some gastro-intestinal issues, and came out with a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer.  When her husband told me, I was devastated, because all I knew was that there was no cure.  I didn't expect her to finish out the year.

I often talked of going to see her while she was undergoing treatment.  Of calling her when she was stuck at home recovering.  But I never did.  I'm not sure why - was it because I didn't know how to deal with her diagnosis?  Was it because I was afraid?  I'm not sure, but I'm so ashamed of the coward I was.

Later that year, when I was diagnosed with my own advanced staged cancer, I was even more ashamed.  Sara called me frequently to see how I was doing, to offer me support as I went through chemo, as I recovered.  She offered me ideas as to what I could eat, and shared that she too spend months sleeping in a recliner because she just couldn't tolerate sleeping in a bed.  She made me feel normal.  She made me feel less alone. 

Sara is doing great right now.  She sees a doctor at MD Anderson that specializes in her type of pancreatic cancer, and for now, her disease is stable.  She is a constant inspiration to me as I go through my own cancer journey, and is always the first person on my list of those I pray for healing.  If you are so moved, would you consider adding Sara to your prayers for a time?  She is a woman of faith, with an open heart.  She doesn't kid herself about what's ahead for her....but the way she handles the day to day and the future to come makes me proud to call her friend.