Scans, plans and The New Normal…

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated and I figured now is as good a time as any! First of all, my son got married! The wedding was STUNNING! It all came together beautifully… family, friends and it couldn’t have been more perfect, in my opinion. I felt beautiful and I’ll be honest, it’s been a really long time, since I’ve felt beautiful. Here is a pic with my honey… it was a great day!

And here are a couple photos of the beautiful bride and groom, taken by Michael Anderson Photography out of Concord, he did an amazing job!

So, now back to reality and life as we know is my NEW NORMAL… for months leading up to the wedding (since about October really) I’ve had pain under my left rib cage, I’ve treated it with ulcer meds and doubled up on ulcer meds and it comes back. But, with my high risk history, we decided to get it checked out. Additionally, I have been having a lot of uncomfortable times with my sternum and ribs… and my sternum is visible from my chest, it bows outward – so I was FINALLY after 3.5 years approved for a PET scan… which was a miracle! I’ve been denied I can’t tell you how many times… and it all came back clean! I was honestly shocked. I literally braced myself for the diagnosis…. I fully expected to be metastatic. Why do I have this pain? Also, pain in my thoracic spine since the beginning…. ? Apparently, for no reason. It’s just part of the new normal and I have no explanation. I’ve had repeated urinary tract infections… which I thought, maybe it was kidney… I wake up in the morning so sore on my right side I can’t stand it, I have to get up. I’ve been incredibly tired… sleeping on my days off sometimes 12-13 hours. Just pure exhaustion. My husband lets me sleep in and I literally could sleep and sleep…. so of course, I was worried. But, all clear! Which is incredible news!!!

So, I’m going to start having massage… both trading services (photography) and also using FSA through my local chiropractor’s office… hoping it will help. I’m going to focus on deep breathing and stretching and drinking more water… etc. I know I carry my stress in my upper back, I’m full of knots and tension… so massage and stretching is crucial.

I also have some thickening on the side of my left affected breast which I will have a punch biopsy of soon, but they assure me they think it’s normal…. it hurts… so I will update after the results come back. I was supposed to have it done yesterday but there was a mess up with scheduling and so I’ll go next week.

I have highly advanced breast cancer, so it’s imperative they don’t ignore my symptoms…. but what symptoms are real? What are phantom? What are worrisome? What are not? I just let them know and I feel like I’m a thorn in their backside, literally…. my family AND friends listen to me, sympathize with me… brace themselves with me, breath the sighs of relief with me…. and I can’t thank GOD enough for them. This is my new normal…. it’s very hard to relax, although I do try…. I feel like I just lie in wait for the next catastrophe to strike. But, so far I’ve dodged all the bullets…

And, then I have friends…. who’s symptoms are VERY real, who I watch fear for their lives and watch cancer deteriorate them in front of my eyes… some are just praying for a miracle and others have no more hope. Cancer is devastating, it robs families of mothers, it takes Dad’s away, it take babies…. and even pets – it makes their normal one of worry and fear…. yet they do it with grace and love. Cancer is so ruthless… and it’s just disparaging. I hate it!!!!

I know their fears are as real…. it’s not death that’s feared, it’s leaving behind the ones that will miss them…. it’s not fair. Who am I to complain… I have nothing to complain about. I’m here, I’m as healthy as I can possibly be, despite my aches and pains.

It’s made me really want to re-analyze my life, my priorities…. I ask myself daily, is this the life I envisioned? Is this the life I want to live? Am I benefiting myself and my health? I hate that work has to be such a huge part of my existence, to just make ends meet. I still miss my passion, but it’s unrealistic to make it my mainstay, I need benefits. So, I just do the best I can – my boss is an angel sent from heaven. She is so incredible to me, so comforting, so understanding… a true friend. She makes it worthwhile to leave my family…

I feel like I’ve missed SO much of Greyson’s life. Cancer, work, life…. and now I realize how fast time goes. My oldest son is MARRIED! How did this happen? I keep Greyson close, I’m a bit fanatical, I’ve been told I baby him too much… but, it goes SO fast. And, I feel like I’m missing SO much. To those who know us… Greyson has slept with us since he was born, it was easier to keep and eye on him and he’s never left. When he gets sick it’s been easier to keep an eye on him. He’s in school now and he wants to show his independence. I called home at 9pm after I was done with work yesterday and my husband told me this FUNNY (not funny) story… Greyson told him he was going to bed, he went in his room…. covered up and went to sleep. He had told me the day before he was going to do this… I just didn’t think he’d actually do it. Darrell told me and I just burst out…. I cried the whole way home. I think my life literally flashed before my eyes…. this is it… anyone of us who’ve raised kids, knows…. at some point, they just aren’t so interested in being around their parents. He is only 7.5 so I know he’s not going anywhere, but…. I just had a complete melt down. My baby…. is growing up. And, how did this happen? I feel like my life has been a BLUR…. of just trying to exist. Trying to make ends meet, trying to SURVIVE. There’s just not a whole lot I can do to change it…. so I make the best of it. I miss a lot of activities. I feel guilty if I miss work, because I should be making money…. there’s quotas to meet and I need a level of income my family can count on….. it’s just tough.

The bright side… Summer is around the corner. Greyson will be out of school for about 7 weeks, before he starts his new school… Union Academy. My boss will be giving me off 3 days in a row, which will be WONDERFUL and I plan to make the very best of it…. His new school, requires parent involvement and an allotment of hours must be donated to the school each month, which will allow me time to participate in his classroom. Greyson has recently been told he has a learning disability in reading. We suspect dyslexia. If this is the only thing he’s come away from his early existence in this world, it is ok. Now, I can be more involved. Which will be amazing.

The new normal… it’s not all fuzzy peaches and butterflies… on my facebook page today for It’s Me Sunshine… I posted an article about Sex after Cancer…. yea, that’s a whole ‘nother topic… lol

Til’ next time…. love you all who still read!

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