Giving up

I woke up at 2am with another hot flash and the inability to fall immediately back to sleep. I sat up, with my head in my hands, and had a thought. I don’t want to do this anymore. I sighed. I hate this.

The thought lingered for a moment and in my hot, sleepy daze I thought about what that meant. What would it mean to not do another round of chemo? What would it mean to give in to my cancer? What would it mean to say I’m done?

It would mean giving up.

In that moment, despite the pain in my bones, the fog in my head and the queasiness of my stomach, I was angry. I was angry at my cancer, at my chemo, at my hot flashes…but mostly at myself. Giving up has never been – and will never be – an option. The thought isn’t allowed here.

Yes, these days and nights are hard right now.

Yes, this journey has a long and winding road ahead.

Yes, I am scared.

Yes, I am still fighting.

No, I will not give up.

This morning my little man woke up snuggled next to me in bed and started dancing. His eyes weren’t even open yet but he was wiggling his little tooshie to the sound of the song in his heart. I am reminded of the song that was in my heart on Thursday.

Today will be a great day.

Because I am here.

Because I feel a little better every day.

Because I am blessed.

Because I am loved.

Today will be a great day – because I will make sure it is.

Tell me, dear friends, how will you make your day great?

The day after

The day following chemo treatment is mostly filled with chaos…in my head. I am still in a steroid induced haze of energy and quick thoughts that aim to be productive but mostly just help create this chaos. I am enjoying a coffee to help add some clarity (and reduce the chance of a caffeine withdrawal headache) but that sometimes makes me just want to run around a little more. That’s ok though, there is always something to do to keep busy. I will spend the next few days feeling down so I like the pump of energy today brings. It makes me feel a little more alive despite the chemicals floating around inside of me.

I anxiously await the arrival of 2 of my sisters and 1 of my nephews, who will keep us company over the weekend. It is supposed to be beautiful here so I hope that means a walk or two so I can get some fresh fall Florida air to fill my lungs.

Hydration is this afternoon, which I am actually looking forward to. I am excited to see whether or not there are any Love Jars remaining. It warms my heart to hear such a positive response to them. It is a small contribution that Team Red Phoenix can have in this world, but there is potential for it to have big, happy impacts. I hope that love continues to spread!

Happy Friday, everyone. I hope your day – and weekend – is filled with love.

The Love Jar Project

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They are complete! Although simple in their design, I hope that they will have a positive impact on the lives of those who take them.

Joe & I were not alone in this creation -they are made by Team Red Phoenix! The jars and fabric were both donated and my amazingly artistic friend painted the Red Phoenix symbol on them (which she created). She switched the ribbon out for other types of cancer too!  Even the stickers were bought with money donated just for these jars.

Each Love Jar is filled with sheets of folded paper.  Every piece of paper has a sentence or two that is meant to inspire positivity and hope.  Joe and I cut each saying, folded it and tucked it into the jar for someone to enjoy.

I am thrilled that one was taken almost immediately! I cannot wait to see how long it takes before I need to make more. I just love that they have the potential to brighten someone’s day, when they may need a smile.

If you are reading this and have one of the Love Jars – YAY!! Welcome!  Please share your thoughts on what it is like to have one. I would love to hear from you!

Spread the love, my friends!

A great day to be alive!

Some days I wake up with a song in my heart.  Today’s song is “It’s a great day to be alive”.  This song has always made me smile and I have lots to smile about today.

-Treatment number 5 has begun! While this week was a little crazy, I am glad to be here today. I have made it to the 5th treatment, something that seemed so far away in August.  The fact that I am here today means that I am almost done with this part of the journey!

-Tomorrow brings two of my sisters and one of my nephews! Yay! Although it isn’t a carefree weekend of festivities, it is time with my family to laugh and smile.  That, in itself, makes me feel better.

-I’m going to beat this. My best friend messaged me yesterday and told me that this treatment is going to be one of the hardest because it is going to be the one that takes over the cancer and kills it off, making progress on this tumor & lymph nodes. Ya know what? I believe her. And with all of the people supporting me this weekend, even if it is the hardest one, I know I’ll get through it.

-I dropped off the Love Jars today!!! It took a little longer than I anticipated but I was so excited to drop them off this morning. Everyone loves them and within 30 minutes, someone had already taken one. Yay!  I hope it brightens someone’s  day the way it brightens mine.  I’ll post pictures later!

-At the end of this year, I’ll be able to ring the bell to indicate that I am done with this portion of treatment! Just typing those words brings tears to my eyes!  How awesome is that?!

-Did I mention I won’t be sick on Christmas? My 6th treatment will be the Monday after, which means I should feel good that day!

So today, my friends, is indeed a great day to be alive! Enjoy this beautiful day  and hug someone you love for me today.

A new week

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This past week was filled with much needed sister snuggles, fall fun outside, arts & crafts (pinterest fails included!), being spoiled by our Georgia family, wedding planning activities, and so much more. Coming home from time away is always hard, especially with this being treatment week. But I am so incredibly thankful that we were able to keep our vacation and spend time with family without impacting treatment.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed a stress-free weekend with their loved ones. Here’s to a great week ahead!