Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the darkest before the dawn

I have tried, with many false starts, to write in the past couple weeks. I think the drugs they are giving me put me in a little bit of a fog. I can't exactly think straight and I'm doing odd things. I have gotten a sense of what it must have been like to be in my husbands head the past year. I am making deposits into the wrong account, reading a map incorrectly; and navigation is a specialty of mine, so this was very disconcerting.

My sister has come and gone. The first couple days were us trying to figure out a)what I needed and b) what she needed to do. She drove me every day for treatment, one hour there and one hour back home. She cooked and cleaned and washed and rubbed me when I felt bad. The hardest was saying goodbye. Just her being close made me feel good. Well...not physically, but emotionally. :)

I had my last chemotherapy treatment today and I am so glad. I have met some amazing women in the chemo lounge. There are six chairs in the chemo lounge, a large window across one wall, and women all fighting for their lives. One young woman was so young, she was sitting there with a large folder in her lap, choosing invitations. I wasn't sure, at first, if it was for a high school graduation or a wedding. Turns out it was a wedding. The next week, I saw her again and we talked. Her boyfriend asked her to marry him on Valentines Day this year. Three days later she found out she had ovarian cancer. They needed to operate. They talked about taking an egg to freeze so she could have children, but they decided against it because they were only going to take out one ovary. When they got inside her to remove they ovary, they found a web of cancer across her uterus to her other ovary and had to remove both. She can no longer give birth to her own child. I weep for her as I type this. She is so brave and beautiful. She has lost all her hair and wears these really hip hats and her fiance brings her lunch from Freebird and we all ooh and aah over him and tell him what a lucky man he is. Chemo is a 4-6 hour treatment for most of us, so we have a lot of time to talk.

What strikes me about our conversations is the lack of specific signs. One lady had an unrelated pain in her leg and when the mri came back it showed ovarian cancer. Another lady had uncomfortable bloating in her stomach; ovarian cancer. The young girl was there for her annual pap smear; ovarian cancer. It just seems to me that our bodies should scream out in more dramatic ways that it is being taken over on the inside. It shouldn't be so silent.

I got a text tonite from a friend who hit it right on the nose. She said at the end of something difficult is when it can be the hardest. The darkest before the dawn. I haven't seen her in more than a week, I think; it's just too hard when you feel this bad and need to stay close to necessities. But it was like she was reading my mind. It was exactly the way I was feeling. I have a bit of anxiety about the second part of the radiation therapy, and I seem to cry almost everytime I am alone and I'm not even sure why.

I'm going to go now but if you are reading this and you have sons or daughters, please encourage them to get the HPV vaccine. It is a virus that is known to cause cervical cancer. The statistics say that 75-80% of males and females will be infected with HPV in their lifetime. It doesn't always lead to cancer, but why take the chance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I was awake most of the night and had a perfectly lovely blog all written in my mind to post today, but now in the light of day most of the words are gone and I can't seem to find them.

I've decided I need to help the physical recovery of my body by cleansing my spirit, my soul. How can something so black and ugly grow inside of my physical body without having a start in my spirit. So I lie in bed last night searching myself for any grudges I'm harboring, any wrongs that I need to forgive and let go.

I cut small circles out of bright yellow paper and on the front of them, I wrote "I forgive you". The first circle, I put my husbands name on the back. The second circle was my mom's and the third was my dad's. They say the people you love the most cause the most pain. I just wanted to let go of the little things, all the perceived hurts. These three precious people in my life who are not perfect and who love me greatly.

The fourth circle was for myself. Turns out I'm not perfect either. I find myself wanting to explain the forgiveness and what its for, but some things are too personal or would be telling of others tales. So I'll keep the details and let the forgiveness flow.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I called mom today and dad answered the phone. I got choked up when I heard his voice. I haven't spoken with him since I was diagnosed. I knew I would cry. I want him to hug me and make it all better. He told me that I managed to get him to do something he's not done before. "What's that?", I ask. "Offer up small prayers", he says. And I cry some more.

Friday, May 6, 2011


My youngest daughter asked me, "Momma, have you ever been really ashamed of something you did?"
I didn't have to think very hard. I proceeded to tell her my most shameful moment.
I was fourteen or fifteen, too young to drive, and my aunt had volunteered me for a babysitting job. She had a friend who needed a night out, and she sang my praises. Told her friend how responsible I was, how she could go out and not worry.
When I got there, it wasn't exactly a babysitting job. The lady was caring for an elderly parent. A sick elderly parent, in a hospital bed. I was scared. I was not used to being around sick people, or old people, or sick old people. She assured me he would sleep and I didn't have to do anything but check on him. I was petrified. He fell out of the bed and I didn't know it because I never checked on him.
I felt so ashamed.

My youngest threw tartar sauce. : )

Monday, May 2, 2011

King D

I am sitting here eating a hot bowl of rosemary chicken soup. It is so good for so many reasons. It is made with fresh ingredients, a home grown chicken and the love of a friend. It was heated up by my husband and it is now nourishing me beyond belief.

My husband has been driving me every day for my treatments. I talked him in to letting me drive one day, but I haven't been able to do it twice. He drives me an hour there, sits in the parking lot or the lobby for 30-45 minutes, then asks me if I want to eat; sometimes yes, sometimes no; then drives me another hour back home. He is amazing. The day I had chemo, he sat in the parking lot for over four hours.

In the evening, he fixes me something to eat. He asks me how I am feeling, he offers me something to drink.

It seems so simple. But it means so much.

Here is the soup recipe from my parallel friend.
Boil one chopped onion, 3-4 stalks celery, 4-5 chopped up small carrots, 2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breast! Season with garlic salt, pepper and rosemary to taste! Once chicken is cooked I chop them up small or shred add back to soup, with <1 cup of rice> and BAM it's done!!