On the upswing… I hope!

Yesterday… I actually felt like eating, I didn’t just force myself…. Progress!!! In all the years, I’ve prayed to lose weight… just 10lbs…. Here I’d gotten down to 18lbs lost… thinner than well, probably highschool…. I was able to put about .5 lb back on…. so that’s progress.. Next chemo will probably be cumulatively harder…. all the way around. I expect after my next treatment to lose my hair… and they said, it may be just a little harder…

I have a little more energy, I’m not feeling faint every time I stand up…. I’m sitting up instead of laying down…. I’ll take all the positive I can get.

I got a call yesterday from my doctor’s office.. pap smear, CA125 etc… were all normal! That’s fantastic… at least that part of my body hasn’t failed me!

I would like to gush a little about my amazing husband…. I’m a believer that all things are for a reason, I don’t believe in Karma or anything like that…. but I believe there is sometimes a purpose in things we don’t always understand. I believe that my husband is in my life for a reason… not that I was supposed to go through a divorce or anything like that…. but, I had preterm labor in my past… and it was my Mom who had to care for me, because I just didn’t have that support… When I was pregnant with Greyson…. and I was in serious pre-term labor… it was my husband who was there for me… 24 hours a day…. helping me bring our little miracle man to a point where he could live. It was a joint effort, not just my work to hold him in…. Honestly, my husband would lift me upside down…. and hold me there just to keep Greyson inside…. This time is truly no different. I think we both feared the unknown… we didn’t know what to expect. THAT was stressful…. we didn’t know how I’d react to chemo, we just didn’t know…. Now that we have an idea…. I think it’s more acceptable. We know I’ll be sick for 5-6 days prior to chemo and then I’ll be on the upswing… and it will get a little better each day…. He feeds me, he shops, he cleans, he does laundry…. and this is not just because of chemo…. this is just him, this is the kind of man he is….. He always thought he cooked better…. so I just let him think he did…. hey, that was one less thing I had to do! 🙂 This past Sunday was probably my worst day… I woke up, tried to shower… and quickly regretted it…. I was soon on the floor of the shower and Darrell was delivering my meds in the shower to help ease my nausea… while drying me off and getting me settled in…. It takes a truly strong, amazing man to not only care for their wife….. but while they are all curled up on the bed in her pink sweatsuit….. he cozy’s up to me and tells me how cute I am…. ok, I’ll take cute…. I’m sure it looked anything BUT cute…. but I’ll take whatever I can get….. lol Darrell Gaddy, without you by my side…. I could not manage this. You make it easier, you make it tolerable…. now if you’d just find some movies we both like, it would be even better….. I LOVE YOU with all my heart. With you by my side, I’m sure I can beat this….

I’d also like to gush on the people in the Charlotte Wedding Industry…. It’s no surprise, I’m a wedding photographer… well, I was a wedding photographer <sniff, sniff>…. and no matter what I’ll always be an artist…. anyways…. This industry has the most amazing charisma…. (trying to find the right word, but that’s all I can come up with)… This industry is competitive, it’s demanding, it’s stressful….. it’s a lot of hard work for anyone who’s in it. They’ve worked hard to be wherever they are on the rung of this business. I personally kept myself very private, I kept very few people near and dear…. I wasn’t honestly crazy about the dynamic of the industry…. It felt very cliche’ and just hard sometimes to be “someone”…. so I just stayed away… for the most part. Which is why…. it’s sooooo amazingly shocking to me that so many people have rallied together, come to my aid, offered help, offered whatever they can possibly do…. and I seriously mean….. it just doesn’t stop. Every single day…. every single day…. something amazing is happening. Meals are being delivered, calls, texts, visits….. donations, I mean it seriously doesn’t stop. At the top of this pyramid, Mrs. Diane Esposito from Split Second Sound… it’s not new news that Diane and I haven’t been friends forever…. but we share some amazingly deep things that not many could actually understand, so Diane’s friendship to me has been absolutely invaluable and amazingly important to me. She is basically taking on this full time job of this fundraiser and party that she’s planning…. and none of this was ever anything but her idea… with the help of others in the industry. And, she already has a full time job… This is out of her pure love and concern for me…. You don’t have to know someone your whole life sometimes to have a connection that is indescribable.  Diane… I’ve thanked you.. you’ve told me to stop countless times… WE APPRECIATE everything you are doing for us… and we love you and Vinny for all you are doing for us… Things above and beyond….. I’m going to say it again.. THANK YOU!!! Thank you for all of the people who’ve graciously stepped in and offered their services…. Shutterbooth of Charlotte, Giovanni Films, Carolina Cake Artistry, Cheesecake, Etc.., Crystal Border Stokes, Sky’s The Limit Cakes, Magnolia Events, Planned Perfection… I know there are more… Diane has just mentioned these few to me, she’s told me… I’ not to worry about this… so I’m letting her do this and hopefully I’ll be well enough to at least make an appearance… I’ll be 2 days past chemo… Honestly, I don’t know who will be all involved in the end…. but all I can say is THANK YOU for offering your services, I cannot tell you just how much it means to me….. that you would offer your help to our family…. Thank you to those who have fed my family, delivered items for our daily use… Thank you to Kymm McLean for bringing an entire grocery bag of Vegan items yesterday to nourish me… Thank you Ines for bringing two meals for our family this week….. Thank you to our close friends Tess & Lou who are constantly checking in to make sure we don’t need anything….

Our blessings are in plenty…. This situation is horrible, it’s hard to go through…. but somehow all of you are making it a bit easier on us….. Thank you to everyone!!! Happy Tuesday! 119 days to go!

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2 thoughts on “On the upswing… I hope!

  1. Hi Dawn,
    It’s Phyllis Davis of the Stevens Mill congregation. SOOOO many things I want to share with you since I too have been through a very smiliar journey. I was diagnosed with Stage 2B invasive ductal carcinoma November 23, 2012 and went through the whole gammit of cancer treatments: 6 rounds of chemo, 2 lumpectomies, 6 weeks of radiation and 12 months of herceptin (doesn’t sound like you are getting herceptin; my 5 cm tumor was HER2+ but I’m ER/PR negative)….and a host of other little ‘pleasantries’ that go along with such a diagnosis. First and foremost I want to tell you — what you are thinking and feeling is very normal given the circumstances! Many of the things you have written in your blog are similiar to the thoughts and feelings that I expressed in my CaringBridge blog. If you are ever interested in talking to a fellow cancer survivor…I’m all ears and will make myself available at any time. Your mom shared your number with me so I will send you a text from time to time to let you know I’m thinking of you. I received the chemo cocktail of TCH — which stands for taxotere, carboplatin and herceptin. If the “T” in your chemo cocktail stands for taxotere, ask your chemo nurses if you can put your fingertips in freezing cold water (in zip lock bags) when this drug is being administered. This drug can do some painful damage to your fingernails (and toe nails). The freezing cold water helps to keep the taxotere from reaching your nail beds. I did not do this until round 4 of chemo (which helped) but significant damage had already been done. It may seem like a little thing. But if you can circumvent the seemingly little things, it helps you deal with the bigger issues. Once last thought, you are doing fantastic! Love your positive attitude! This is as much of a mental battle as it is a physical one. Try to be patient with your body as it heals. That was (and remains) a difficult lesson for me to learn. But you WILL heal. You deserve all the love and support you have been given. Take greatest care, dear girl. I will be thinking and praying for Jehovah to give you continued strength. I send you a big hug and lots and lots of well wishes. Phyllis

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