Well, it's 6/12, on the 50 yard line, 50%, half a dozen down, glass half full, and running the home stretch time for this gal. I just completed treatment number, yep you guessed it, 6. I guess if you want to get really technical and count the first 4 nasty ones, then this is 10 of 16. That sounds even better. How do I feel? Well, some days I feel good. Some, I can manage if I take it easy, and some days I am very tired and have very little energy. And then there are days like Sunday when I just want to go back to bed and hide my funny lookin cancer fighten self. I woke up with a horrible outbreak of oral herpes. I didn't even realize before this year that there was a type of Herpes you could get with out being really naughty. Sheesh! How embarrassing. Just one of the many fun side effects of chemo and mine seems to be a constant during these treatments. My lips were sooooo swollen. This is where you all chime in and say.... "How swollen were they?" They were so swollen I looked like I had been hit in the mouth repeatedly and then had a 3 year old do my lips stick in bright red, or like I had gotten a bee sting with even swelling all the way around, or I paid way to much for a really bad Botox job to achieve the very popular duck look. It felt like I rubbed Habenaros on my lips instead of chap stick. So I think you get the idea. I was pretty miserable. It was one of those days were I looked in the mirror and for a moment, I saw myself as truly sick. Bald head, thinning eyebrows, missing eye lashes, plumpy cheeks (and everything else) from steroids, and flaming red fat lips. Not very attractive. As badly as I wanted to go into hiding for the day, I chose not to. I had company here and I had some playing to do. So, I picked myself up by the bootstraps, got out the concealer, the eyeliner, and a cute hat and we headed out to the beach. Once I set aside how I was feeling about how I looked and just dealt with the burning skin I had a good day.
I do have to share a funny story. My 3 nieces came to visit this last weekend. They got here late at night so the youngest pretty much went to bed. The next morning I went in to see all the girls, laying in a heap and watching a movie. The 3 year old looks up and with wide eyes and clear disturbance in her voice she says, "Whoa! You don't have any hair!" The look on her face was to die for. It was so funny. We were all laughing. We proceeded into my closet to look at my "hair" choices. She had me try them all on and then picked the one that had braids attached. It was pretty cute. She still wasn't too sure about me, and that stung a little in all honesty. I didn't want her to be afraid of me, so the fact that she wanted to help pick a head covering was an improvement. The next day I had on a different wig and about half way through the day, she walks up and says, "Aunt Tami, I like your hair." Bingo! We were good the rest of the time. She still seemed confused by how I could have hair one minute and then be bald at night time again. So confusing.
And while no Blizzards were enjoyed this weekend, Edaleen's seemed to do an excellent job of filling in. We all got waffle cones smashed full with giant scoop of delicious, cold creamy ice cream. I even shared my ice cream with this spunky little punkin of a niece, who had already devoured her own.
There is a part of me that thinks yay, only 6 more treatments to go before radiation begins! And really this is great news. But then there is another part of me that realizes that also means summer will be winking goodbye and the warm days of fighting this disease and healing and enjoying the sun with the kids will come to an end.
I know that must sound silly, but I hate wishing away this precious time with them for any reason. So I am enjoying this summer in a completely different and unexpected way with an appreciation for each and everyday, including the rainy ones that simply water my garden and ask me to rest inside. The gift we are given each morning to wake up and live is priceless. I don't want to squander it away wishing it would pass me by.
A dear friend from high school just said good bye to her husband - a hero to his family and community, and a persistent and fierce cancer fighter for the last three years. Please pray for her and their three daughters as they begin to navigate life without their husband/father. I pray God would fill in the gaps and be everything to each of them and that they would feel his presence.
A friend of a friend just lost her son of 24 unexpectedly. Please pray for the family as they grieve this sudden loss and prepare to say a final good bye.
2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. " So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.