Sunday, August 7, 2011

What I Know

     I can't believe how much has changed in the past month; it blows my mind how quickly cancer can change your life over & over again. I remember sitting on the beach of Oak Island in early June of this year, smelling the ocean air, feeling the sand between my toes, & telling Chad how cancer had tried to take that experience away from me but had not succeeded. I would have never thought 2 months later I would once again be putting on my armor & gearing up for battle - but that's the thing about cancer, it's unpredictable & it's ruthless.
Although I try not to, I often find myself thinking about the year or so before I was diagnosed. During that year, I was ignoring symptoms because I didn't have the knowledge that they were symptoms. I can't help but blame myself sometimes; maybe, just maybe if I had seen a doctor sooner I wouldn't be in this mess...but that's something that I, or you, will never know.
     What I know now is that I hate being back to the days of feeling the constant ache in my gut knowing the fight that lies ahead of me. I hate running out of energy trying to make it up our steps; I hate the fact that it's getting harder & harder to pick of my 4-yr-old niece. I hate having to explain to my 8-yr-old nephew why I have so many doctor appointments & I hate having to hide the fear from both of them so they always believe I'm still the same "LaLa" I was before cancer. Bottom line: I hate this disease.
What I know now is that I have one hell of a battle coming up: surgery to remove my tumor, my uterus, & my ovaries - not because the disease has spread but because my new surgeon has fears that they could have been affected by cancerous cells & have not yet matured. We agreed that removing them was a better decision than leaving them in & increasing the chance of having ovarian or ureutal cancer in the future. I'm not going to lie - that was a mighty hard pill to swallow.
     Although our radiologist told us very early on that treatment would make me sterile, I think I still held out that small hope that I could pull out a miracle & one day, when we were ready, Chad & I would be able to have a child of our own. Not everyone knows this, but Chad actually took MY last name when we married because both of my older brothers had passed away, leaving no males to carry on our last name...we had hoped to have a son to do so. I know, I know...there is adoption & for some very strange, unexplainable reason Chad & I have always talked about adoption since we met. So, when we are ready, we whole-heartedly intend on adopting a child who will be meant to be our's & we'll be meant to be his or her's. I have full faith that my brothers will lead us to that baby when the time is right.
     As for now, I'm enjoying spending time with my family & my husband (and the countless # of appointments with various doctors) - we live our days as normal as possible but cancer is never far from any of our minds. I've beaten this disease once & this time, the only difference is I know what lies ahead - surgery & chemo, but experience never hurts, right?
When it comes down to it, cancer is a part of my life - it doesn't define me, it doesn't consume me, & it doesn't stand for who I am as a person. I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister, a "LaLa", & a friend. There is so much more to me than what hides inside my body & everyday that I remind myself of that fact & live by that fact...well, that's a victory for me.

1 comment:

  1. You absolutely cannot let cancer run your life!!! I have never wanted people to know me as the girl who has cancer, Im Amanda and I happen to be fighting cancer...but cancer will never be who I am.

    And I know about holding onto that little shred of hope that you will naturally have a gyno does a yearly ultrasound to see if she can see my ovaries, but year after year she cant see them, which means they are still fried and shriveled up from the radiation...I have given up on having a second child naturally. Me and Cody have talked about adopting a child too, unfortunately it wont be any time soon...but I hope you and Chad will one day get your baby :) Its pretty amazing being a mom!! It is however very hard to explain to a 5 year old what's going on with mommy and very heartbreaking! Its always in the back of my mind, what if cancer does take my life this time...will Aiden remember me, how hurt would he be, I couldn't put him through that much pain and heartbreak!! As a mother I could never cause my child to feel like that...yes eventually we all die, but he is 5 and needs his mommy!!!