Keeping the faith

HEALTH UPDATE: Same. My next appointment is December 9th for lab tests and treatment, God willing.


It’s been one year. December 5, 2019. The one year anniversary of my last pedicure. Everything has changed since that moment. I walked in for an hour or so of relaxation. I always get the French style on my toes. I absolutely love the attention to my skin and how, like magic, they turn my feet from sandpaper to silky love. It was a selfish luxury and at the same time I was defying the rules to sit at home waiting for the results if my biopsy. I had been waiting for days. I was completely oblivious to what was soon to be the shock of my life.

My feet are soaking. I try to be brave and pick a color. I can’t do it. But Christmas is coming! Sometimes I’ll go deep red or go for the glitter. Not this time. I’m striving for normalcy as I’m reminded over and over in my mind how nothing will be normal until I get rid of whatever it is that I have. French please. For a moment all is right in my mind…..until the phone rings It’s my doctor. I’m mad. I’ve been waiting how long for this official diagnosis and you decide to call me in the smack dab middle of my happy time? In the middle of my deep tissue chair massage? Nope. Nope. Nope. YOU can wait. Like she’s going to be so disappointed she can’t give me the news. I defiantly hit the screen. Declined. Oh great. She leaves a voicemail. Call her. She has results.

I debate. I ultimately return the call. I’m not even half way through the pedicure. She tells me it isn’t what we were hoping to hear. Acinar Cell Carcinoma involving the spleen. It’s pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic? Yes! THAT ONE?!! I’m shaking as I write it down. I really start freaking out. Crying. Rocking. Saying NO, NO, NO! I ugly cry in my happy place until my pedicure is finished. I need to go home and tell Tom. I’m glad we are busy that day. Tom needs to pick up Willow from school and I go to see my mom. It was one of the most difficult days of my life.

What a difference a year makes. It doesn’t feel like a year has passed. I’m so much healthier. I still have a long way to go. I’ve learned so much. I’m forever grateful for this life and this opportunity to live. I still find it almost impossible to wrap my mind around how rare my type of cancer is and how fortunate I am to be a recipient of life saving immunotherapy. Why is MY tumor filled with so many mutations? Why are so many of my fellow pancreatic cancer warriors robbed of this chance to survive? I’ve read many stories from warriors through my support groups. The fighters, the caregivers, the loved ones. It’s heartbreaking. Some people survive weeks or months after diagnosis. Most are beyond miserable during this time. Constantly trying to find the right concoction of pain meds or chemo to keep their tumors from growing and spreading. I don’t have that right now. It blows me away. I’m so lucky.

No matter what happens from here, I know I lived my best life this past year. The beginning was hard. Really hard. Prayers were answered and a new life began for me. A life of overwhelming appreciation and the reality that it doesn’t last forever. Take advantage of every moment if given the chance.

The best times….

Willow’s Christmas party at school 2019

Healing snuggles
Springtime planting
Picnic in the front yard
Sidewalk chalk!
Giant Jenga!
Backyard campout
Crazy wedding anniversary
Willow turned 6!
Lakefront walks
My world
We love our walks
Picking our pumpkins
So fun!
Thriller dance!
First snowfall
Giving thanks 2020
God is so good

Blessings, love and safety to all!!

Published by

Wife, mother, cancer fighter and lover of life!

9 thoughts on “Keeping the faith

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the photos and I can’t help but think that Willow is so fortunate to have you and Tom as parents. This year that you have lived; the challenges, the triumphs and all the while, making it fun, relevant and amazing for your beautiful daughter. Be strong my friend; you give me strength! God bless and have an awesome month! Love J

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These pictures are as amazing as you are. I love the way you fight! (That is a compliment not often given by the Irish). It is your guts, courage, and strength to get up off the matt that translate to the beauty and overpowering love that fill those photographs from 2020. Those smiles are the evidence that your faith is reciprocated. I don’t know why you have been given this fight except that I have never seen anyone stronger. You are amazing Cathy, may God bless you, Tom and Willow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would like to Receive your Blog.
    I am a friend of your mothers .
    You are in my prayers each day !
    God bless you and your family .
    From Judy Henning


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