Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I have been very emotional this morning....experiencing all types of emotions as I approach the end of my therapy.   Part of me is on a high knowing after today I only have one day left of radiation and that yesterday was my last day of chemotherapy.  I had a big smile walking out of the infusion center after it was completed.  Yet, I was scared to look back knowing that there is a chance I might be back.  This is the core of what I am struggling with today...knowing that there is no guarantee this cancer will be gone after all treatment has been completed.  Fear is starting to overcome me and I wonder if this will truly ever be done.  I want to celebrate..jump for joy that I have made it through the hardest thing I have ever had to go through in my life.  But because of the fear I cannot.  Plus, the side effects from the radiation will take some time to go away so it will still be difficult to truly celebrate for awhile.  I look forward to the day I can eat, drink, exercise and feel normal again.  I pray this day will come soon.  I also pray that I can feel peace and hope as I wait to heal and then get the results of the treatment in a few months.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand]." Psalm (91:1)

I have been spending a lot of time thinking of the things I hope to accomplish when I feel better in the next month or so.  Most of these things are very simple, but they sound heavenly to me.  Here is my list:

1.  Drinking a big Diet Coke with a lime (I normally do not drink soda, but for some reason this sounds so good)
2.  Munching on chips and salsa
3.  Going to Wildfire with Jason and ordering the Macadamia nut crusted Halibut
4.  Going to a movie in public
5.  Taking the girls to buy their school supplies and school clothes
6.  Eating a footlong corn dog plus more at the State Fair (gotta put some weight back on...what a great place to do it!)
7.  Waking up in the morning and feeling great
8.  Having a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper
9.  Going to church again
10.  Going on a family trip before Summer is over
11.  Hanging with my girlfriends
12.  Taking care of the girls and Jason, being a family again
13.  Roasting marshmallows by our fire pit
14.  Being free of IV ports and feeding tubes
15. Having a nightstand free from medications
16.  Driving - I haven't driven a car in a long time.  Too many narcotics.
17.  Going to the mall

This list could go on and on.  

PS - Yesterday, Mushroom the caterpillar changed into a chrysalis.  I was at chemotherapy and missed the transformation.  I knew it was about to happen as he was in the J formation in the morning.  


Anonymous said...

I hear you Sue! It was great to see Jason and the girls at River City Days!

Anonymous said...

Honey...I deal with those exact fears everyday. I'd like to be able to tell you they go away, but I can't. They do lessen a bit, and I have had help dealing with those anxieties. I'm not a "physical case" anymore, but a "mental one." It's an ongoing process. We have to stick together and help eachother out.

You WILL, however, be able to do EVERYTHING on your list once again. You can't push it, as your body will need time to heal itself. The very poison that was put into your body needs to get out, and that doesn't happen overnight.

I'll never forget a comment that was said to me 3 days after my last chemo..."Oh, good! Now you can get back to a regular exercise regimin." Are you serious? One of those face-slapping moments that I furiously wrote in my journal about. Let's have your body go through 7 months of hell and see how you pop out of bed ready to run a marathon 3 days later.

The first steps are to get back to some sort of normalcy. To get your house back, your husband back, your kids back... I, however, strongly urge you not to give up all your help right away, but to please ease your way into it. Your body and mind will thank you.

It is bittersweet...not having any more treatments or going into the clinic all the time. But almost a panic feeling as well, because going to the clinic gave you a sense of security, protection, immediate help.

I can tell you, that panic feeling does get better. You are now hypersensitive to what is not right in your body, and will call with any questions...unlike before when you brushed it off with "just being a tired mom" or "I must have lifted someone wrong" excuses. Your doctors are tuned in and are watching you closely, and can catch/identify things faster than they could before your diagnosis.

Keep it real, Sue. Friends & Family...keep it real. You WILL get through this one step at a time.

You will fly soon, my friend. Soon.

Much love,
Jami Helvick

Anonymous said...

Oh Sue! I just knew that your caterpillar would turn into a chrysalis right around the time that your chemo/radiation treatment finished! Especially because I looked for a caterpillar for you for SO LONG. And when I finally found one I thought, "God knows the timing is right." And I suspected it had something to do with when the caterpillar would turn.

The chrysallis is the most mysterious stage of the whole transformation process. And I imagine that this next phase of your "fight" will be similar. More restful. A period of waiting, healing, and changing that is less aggressive, more hidden. But even though the results are still to be seen scientifically, let's trust together that there's a butterfly in there somewhere.

I totally get that because of the remaining unknowns and fears you can't fully celebrate. It's okay. You will ease into that place of grace, in time.

In the meantime, WE celebrate, and thank God for all he has seen you through. All that you've survived is simply amazing.

Peace and grace to you my dear sister! I love you!



Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

The last day of treatment has arrived, and my prayers continue for your recovery, strength, and the effectiveness of the treatment.

I wanted to share Psalm 20 with you:

"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
May he send you help from the sanctuary, And support you from Zion!
May he remember all of your meal offerings, And find your burnt offering acceptable!
May he grant you your heart's desire,
And fulfill all your counsel!
We will sing for joy over your victory,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven, with the saving strength of His right hand.
Some boast in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stood upright.
Save, O Lord;
May the King anser us in the day we call."

We truly are celebrating this final day of radiation with you and will look forward to the days when you can get started on your list of things you're looking forward too.

Your journey has really helped me value life-especially the little things I so often take for granted. Thank you.

Love and prayers,

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today Sue as you go to your last radiation. I am praying, as always, for the best possible outcome!!! Good Luck on the list...it sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I thought of you all day today. I wish I could have been at the house to welcome you home. Now comes time to relax, heal, and get back to your life!! I am so proud of you. YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sue, it was so great to see you come home on Wednesday after your final treatment! What an exciting and emotional moment, I was so glad to be able to come and help celebrate. You are blessed with so many amazing friends, God is good! And just so you know, even being sick, so are still the hottest housewife on Schoolmaster Drive! Love you Connie

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue, I am in awe of you and your blog reports. You may think you are just doing it for you, to put your hopes and fears out there and somehow conquer the fears and realize the hopes in so doing. But you are showing us all how to deal with a seemingly hopeless and horrible situation with grace and dignity...and honesty. As we deal with problems in our own lives, you've given us all a good example of how one can have enormous fears and doubts, but in the end still "trust in the Lord with all your heart."

Thank you, Sue; our prayers continue that just like Mushroom, you will emerge from this more beautiful, body and soul, than you were before it ever began.