HEALTH UPDATE: Completed second chemo treatment January 3rd. They checked my labs prior to the treatment. I was cleared for treatment. I then met with a wonderful NP that went over all my symptoms from the first treatment. She took them one by one and had solutions for them to try. So far it’s working really well! I really cannot complain. I think I’ve had 15 minutes of tummy pain. I was very tired yesterday and did small tasks and rested in between. Today I feel pretty good! There are some very strange side affects that are completely tolerable. Cold sensitivity! If I touch something in the freezer, zing! My fingers and hands have a crazy reaction. Kind of like chewing on tin foil with metal fillings. I need to bundle up outside. It last about 5-6 days after treatment. When I eat my first few bites my jaw hurts. Feels like some crazy sensation like taste buds exploding on your tongue. It hurts to cry. The tears are like gas. Well, not that bad. It just lasts a few seconds. Weird stuff! I’m amazed at how all of these drugs can take over your body. As a self described control freak, I’m half fascinated by these things and half uncomfortable that I have zero control.
Sister Melanie has helped me so much. She has taken over all of the planning, research and appointments needed for this adventure. As it stands today, we are waiting for confirmation to meet with a very skilled surgeon at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. We are also confirmed to meet with the fine people at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on February 5th. The Froedtert visit will also take place that first week of February. It lines up with the completion of 4 rounds of chemo. There is so much coordination involved! Sending records, getting new scans, new blood work, who does what, what will insurance cover or not cover. It’s mind boggling and i would be absolutely lost without my sister. Thank you dear Melanie. Tom and I don’t know what we would do without you!
Next chemo appointment will be next week on January 15th. There will be one more after that on January 29th before we hit the road for more opinions. Until then we are just living the dream! Learning how our new normal looks. I’ve got a mega 7 day, morning, noon, evening, night pill box that I’ve found both helpful and just astonishing. So many drugs! I’ve never taken so many drugs my entire life. I’ve been blessed to not need them. This change is dramatic.
Ohhhhh…..what to talk about. I’ve had so many thoughts running through my head. I’ve said this before but I’m serious. I’ve never been knocked down before long enough to think about life! I mean REALLY think about life! Full throttle! No time to reflect! No time to finish my thoughts. No time to play out my life as I want it to be! Go, go go! All that has changed in what seems to be an instant.
DEEP & SENSITIVE THOUGHT ALERT. So I’ve realized I think I’m dealing with some denial. I know this because I just realized a couple days ago that I do not want to die! I’ve thought about death many times. Being a self diagnosed hypochondriac, I’ve always expected it. I don’t think I’m afraid of death. I don’t feel like I am. My faith is strong. My vision of the afterlife is filled with love and light. I don’t believe I will see my dad in his flannel sitting on a lawn chair with a pabst blue ribbon. I think I will feel his soul instead. All the souls of people I’ve lost including my precious baby that we lost at 8 weeks along. I think she will be my guide. I don’t know why I’m so convinced she is a she. Just a feeling. The denial has been recognized so I’m dealing with the sads a little bit more, however, this does not mean in one single way I’m giving up or giving in!!!!!
In many ways it is recognition that I won’t give up. Can’t give up. Let’s live like there is no tomorrow! Fight this tumor monster and keep on keeping on! I need to be here!!! My biggest worry, by far, is leaving those that I love and that love me. I feel the pain. It’s so real and intense. I will do all I can to fight. I promise. One day at a time. This experience is like being sight impaired and putting on a pair of glasses for the first time. Everything is so clear! LIVE! LAUGH! LOVE! Deep thought ramblings complete.
I wanted to share some fun stuff too. We took Willow to the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva to stay overnight with Brother Bill, his beautiful wife Beth and cousin Grant. They treated us to an amazing get away. Willow adores her cousin so much and had the best time playing with him and swimming in the pool! They even hit the hot tub! Those kids. So precious. It warmed my heart and we had the very best time. I can’t wait to do it again. I was also able to have a wonderful visit with my dear friend Tom. I’ve missed you so and while we are both not at our physical best, our hearts and minds are solid and it was so beyond good to see you!
All of the cards, letters, messages and calls. I can hardly take it. The love is overwhelming. Your support and friendships are out of this world amazing. It’s getting more and more difficult to put into words how it keeps me going. Thank you. Sending so much love and happiness to each and every one of you!
6 thoughts on “Deep thoughts…by Cathy”
You are amazing, inspiring and realistic all in one. Sounds like a great combo to fight the best fight possible. I tear up at your posts. Good luck!!
Cathy, your writing is so thought provoking. After every journal entry I sit in silence, and process your words. I value what you have to say, not only your experiences, your “ramblings”, as you say, but also your opinions. You’ve shared a lot with us and I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t caused a chain reaction of emotion.
I’m really glad that you’re able to talk about these topics because many people simply can not. I feel the same way you do about dying. I’m good with the afterlife but that doesn’t mean I’m ready. I think having an internal peace about death allows us to live life more in the now.
I feel your strength Cathy! We’re behind you. If you have a bad day, remember tomorrow will be better. If you need a little more help, reach for it. I know you have a long list of people standing by including us. If you don’t have our contact information, please let me know and I’ll get it to you.
As always, much love
C-Dawg your so strong I love your ramblings. But they are so true. Life is short we never realize that until a illness or death. Live like you have never lived before my friend and you will come out on the the best side. I believe what the good lord has for you is life with all of us here. 🙏 I love you.
Cathy you are absolutely amazing and inspiring. Bless you. Wish there is more that we can do, but be assured we’re thinking of you frequently. Love you guys!!! Rick
Cathy, thank you for the pure gift of the person that you are, and for blogging, and including DEEP THOUGHTS!!!!!
I don’t know what you think about comedians or SNL in general, or Dave Chappelle in particular, but if you have not yet seen the show about him being honored with the Mark Twain award or prize, I recommend it very highly. We can affect other people’s lives so much by the things we can do, and there’s nothing like a scary diagnosis to help get us to take care of ourselves and recognize how precious all our time here is, and our time with our loved ones. I’m so glad it sounds like you’re getting excellent advice and help, and “living it up” with those near and dear, and that those who can send cards and gifts and support you in each their own way are doing so.
I had a wonderful morning today, myself, spent with a colleague I met at shiatsu school, who has survived many physical troubles including being told she could never walk again after a car accident, and, by God, she is now treating people with shiatsu, which helped her so much. I am glad to know her and share practice on a trade basis with her, and I’m also glad this friend speaks freely about her faith and God. Today we happened to be near where I learned recently that there is a LABYRINTH, which was dedicated to a woman of faith. We walked the labyrinth together, and each of us felt quite moved by the experience; for me, I felt such divine joy, it was as if my heart were rinsed out by God.
It may be a little weird to respond with remarks about a comedian and about a divine experience, but I guess I am noticing that we all come from our own unique place and have our own unique gifts to share. Thank you for sharing of your humor and thoughts as you go through a trying and sometimes difficult time, but I certainly hope and pray that the energy and love help, enough, along with the medicine and supportive people who administer it, that it all helps enough, along with whatever of your own new experiences and your own new ways of being and doing, and slowing down, perhaps, and taking care of yourself in new ways, perhaps – I hope and pray for you and all those near and dear to you that it is enough to support you and your body in its healing process to move you right on through this time! I hope and pray that I get to laugh and dance and sing with you about it!
Carry on with your deep thinking self! You are good enough, you are smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!
Cathy — I think we have never met. I am Dick Holman’s brother, and through that connection, I know about some of your journey. I also have an aggressive cancer, that when first diagnosed offered little hope of surviving much beyond five years, if that. It is by any means not a cancer, as challenging as yours, but at the time it felt onerous beyond my capabilities to manage. Within a nanosecond of being informed of having cancer, a bunch of silly things that mattered much to me virtually disappeared from my mind and with it all of its baggage. Like you, my priorities became the value of life, the people I love and who love me, and the singular mission to survive. It was at that single moment you joined the huge community of cancer fighters, survivors, victims, haters, etc., and all of us are pulling for you, along with your wonderful family, like we pull for one another. It is my sincere hope that the providers with whom you are scheduled to meet deliver treatment scenarios that are a path to healing. I have met many patients, who with their providers have found a way. We want you to be one of them.