I want to be number 2.

I’m tired. I know, I know, I say that a lot. But I am. I thought it was because I was pushing myself towards normalcy and was excited for time off, despite appointments, to rejuvenate. I napped with Jacob almost every day for 2-3 hours at a time and was still ready for bed with him at 830pm.

I went to the checkup with my oncologist today. He spent lots of time with me and we talked about how I’m feeling. I expressed my tiredness to him. He asked if it’s something that I simply wanted to mention or if it’s gotten worst over the last 3 weeks. I said that I feel like it’s gotten worse, however I don’t know if it’s because I was off and I just had the opportunity to nap. Maybe I’m always that tired but don’t normally nap?

So we checked my blood count and my platelets, which have always been normal (even the low end of normal during chemo), were 80. The range is 139-361. Since I’ve never had platelet concerns, they did another blood draw, this time from my arm instead of my port. 86 this time. Well, darn. I guess that explains why I’m so dang tired! A quick review of the side effects of Afinitor and sure enough, there it is.

I go for my Xgeva shot next week so while my numbers aren’t low enough to warrant a transfusion yet, I’ll have them drawn again and an eye kept on them going forward. 

In other news, I was showing him my radiation burn (I swear it’ll heal someday…) and his jaw dropped. “Meghan. Do you have pictures of these skin lesions from before starting Afinitor?” Sure, somewhere. “These look significantly less inflamed than before…and didn’t you have more?!” Well…actually…

I had mentioned to Joe this past weekend that some of the cancer bumps on my chest seemed to be smaller and no longer red. I expressed that I didn’t know if it was my mind messing with me but the bumps on my side seemed smaller too.

I reached up and touched my right neck and said, “The Nurse Practitioner is having my scans include my neck at the end of the month. I had a swollen lymph node that could be easily felt. I can’t feel it today.” He reached up to feel my neck. “And it was there for a while?”  Yup. I looked up and he smiled brightly.

There are no words. There are MANY ups & downs in this life with cancer. Lately, it seems that I am fighting to find the right drug. Maybe, just maybe, this is it. He shared a story with me about his trip to the San Antonio Conference last month. One of the oncologists gave a speech about one of his patients that was triple negative and had been on Afinitor for the past 2 years. I smiled and said, “Well, I want to be number 2.” Please?

Who knows if it’s working. I had my tumor markers drawn today and I’ll have scans at the end of the month (though my doctor wouldn’t necessarily stop this drug at that point because it wouldn’t have been long enough…depending on the scans, of course) but today, this appointment brought me to tears. I want to be number 2. I want to be the reason that they start giving this drug people like me, who are triple negative, because it is saving lives. Because it will save mine. I hope & pray.

So today, I will snuggle my sweet boy and kiss my husband and believe that perhaps I have found a drug that will help me outlive the time I’ve been given.

Spread the love, my friends. Today is a good day.

I believe in miracles…

Do you believe in Miracles? Those astounding, unbelievable, unexplainable, absolutely incredible, dumbfounding, completely bewildering, shocking moments? Those events that you cannot explain in any way and that seem impossible?

Tonight, we are praying for one.

A miracle, by definition from dictionary.com, is “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause”.

I know that I cannot change the results of my biopsy. My skin is what it is. And it is extremely unlikely for it to be anything but cancer. And I know that. I accepted that, weeks ago. I am moving forward and making plans and phone calls based on the fact that I have skin progression.

But.

My tumor markers were perfect when last taken two weeks ago. I have no internal progression as of Tuesday. Part of the area in question is on my prior radiation area, which avoided cancer before. So…why? I can’t help but let my mind wander to the impossible…the improbable. What if?

What if it isn’t cancer? What if it’s just a skin issue because of everything that I have been through? What if it’s part of my detox? What if…it’s just a miracle?

The waiting is the hard part. Like I said, I cannot change the results. I can just change my mindset. And tonight, I am praying that my phone call tomorrow (hopefully) will be that of inexplicable awe. I hope to hear the words “negative” and “not cancer”. I would even take a swear word or two that promotes the lack of cancer.

It is what it is and we will deal with whatever news comes our way. But I cannot help but hope and pray for a miracle tonight.

Tuesday night blessings 

Tonight as I reflect on the last 24 hours, I am reminded of the many blessings in my life.

I am grateful for my boys. My husband, who is forever by my side, and this sweet boy whose giggles make the world a better place. Together, they melt my heart.

I am grateful for the ENTIRE Red Phoenix army, who rose to support me without question and who I know will be by our side continuously. 

I am grateful for today. Though it had a few moments of stress, it was a day that I was gifted. It brought new connections, new friends and new hope.

Gnight all. Spread the love, always.

Hope and faith

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On my last day of work before surgery, one of my office mates handed me a cross. Her husband hand made it and thought I would like it. This brought tears to my eyes for many reasons. One of those reasons is my recent visits to church. Another reason is that I do not own a cross. Our house was robbed a few years ago and most of my jewelry was taken. I had yet to replace my cross. This kind, thoughtful gift meant a lot for a lot of reasons.

I mentioned the other day that my anxiety is kicking in with my upcoming surgery. I was feeling really good about it until about a week and a half ago, when the pain in my lymph nodes and tumor started to intensify. There has been pain on and off for months, mostly around chemo days. The oncologist has assured me that, while it doesn’t always happen, it typically means the tumor is dieing.

Despite knowing this, the recent pain has unnerved me. I can feel it in my arm when I reach for something or pick up Jacob. It has created a fear in me, a fear that I have fought hard to keep at bay throughout this journey. What if the cancer is fighting harder than me? What if, despite all I have been through since August, it is spreading? What if I am losing this battle?

I have been hesitant to share this fear because I don’t want it to be true. I am hoping and praying that when my surgeon opens me up, she will find nothing but dead tissue and dead cells. I have been praying hard for this, yet the fear has remained.

At church today, there was a lot of discussion about revelation and the coming of days. It wasn’t quite the sermon I was hoping to hear, but God likes to throw a curveball sometimes. At the end of the sermon, the pastor mentioned that we need to pass our sins, our worries and our fears up to the Lord. Have I heard this dozens of times before? Yes. Is this new information?  No.  Is it what I needed to hear today? Absolutely.

So, today, I am letting go of this fear. There is, quite literally, nothing more that I can do prior to surgery.  I am letting go of my fear and my anxiety and handing it off. I feel better already.

Oh, and I am once again reminded that I truly am too blessed to complain.

Happy Sunday, folks. May your day be filled with sunshine and happiness, just like mine.

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?