Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cancer Check-Up.... I'm NOT dying!

Hello!  I don't normally ever blog about my cancer and the journey it takes me on everyday, but today, I feel compelled to do so.  I spent the day at the University of Chicago cancer center and, if cancer has never touched your life or someone you love, you can't begin to understand how daunting it is to live with this disease.

I am a survivor of both ovarian cancer and stage 3 breast cancer.  It doesn't mantter how far out your survival is, you still live everyday with a bit of fear hovering just below the surface.

The majority of this summer has been spent dealing with sciatic pain and being sidelined due to this new malady and a few other symptoms which caused me to believe that my cancer had returned.  It literally sucks the life out of you!  It is hard to find joy in the little things and when people start talking about Halloween, Autumn hay rides, apple cider, Christmas parties, college football, etc.  it just adds to the anxiety.  All you can focus on is going back into treatment.  Losing your hair AGAIN, radiating that skin that is so sore and thin from the first round of treatment.  It robs you of your sleep, your appetite, you zest for life.

Today, I received good news.  As far as they can tell, there is no sign of active disease.  Whoo hoo.  You walk out of that exam room, the oncology department and out the doors of the hospital into the summer breeze with the warm sun on your face and you cannot believe the weight of the world that is lifted off your shoulders.  Sitting in the waiting room, you see people with no hair, thin and tired, worried, scared, crying, etc.  It is daunting just to be in the room with all of these people in the midst of treatment and you are instantly transported back to the time when you were in the fight for your life be it chemo, radiation, surgeries, etc.  You sat in these same chairs, waiting for test results, waiting for your first chemo treatment, your first injection, etc.  You cannot believe how much pain and suffering you can endure when you know that the gift of "cancer free" or health is on the other side.  When you're going through hell, keep on going - its the only choice you have.

Those people who sit next to me with their oxygen tanks, in wheel chairs, I just want to stand up and scream, "Its ok.  You are going to be ok.  I was in your shoes a while back and it's true, the hair does grow back!

I just feel so relieved that I am given another 6 months until my next check up!  I am looking forward to a good night's sleep!  The return of my appetite and disappearance of my extreme anxiety.  Thanks for the read - I just felt the need to let people know how my day was.  It was quite spectacular!  Now, back to projects!  ;-)


  1. Thanks for sharing, keep your spirits up!

  2. You are just like my wife, Heather! She goes back every 6 months now. :-) I have a quick question and was wondering if you could email me when you have a moment! It's cvonstjames AT gmail DOT com :) Thanks, Tracy!

  3. Congrats! My mom is a 17 year ovarian cancer survivor too. :)

    1. Thank you! Congrats and prayers for your Mom too! :-)

  4. Bless you, fellow survivor. I am 3 years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings every day. Since then cancer has targeted our extended family twice and my perspective on life and daily living has certainly changed. Keep your chin up and please continue your blog. You write so well and creatively. I pretty much devoured your posts this morning and enjoyed myself. AND, your painted hardwood entry floor gave me a serious case of envy. I'm eyeing my laundry room floor now...!

  5. Hello Ann! Bless you too my fellow warrior! Yes we need to count our blessings everyday. Comments like yours make me want to work even harder on my blog. You are too sweet! Wishing you a beautiful day today and always! :-)