There are times when it seems that my life is at a total stand still as I watch everyone else continue on with theirs. Everyone else continues to go to work, cook dinner, go out with friends, and plan their future. Lately, I haven't been able to do any of these things and it has really gotten me down the last few days.
Sometimes it feels like there are invisible chains holding me down - keeping me prisoner in my bed - secluding me from the world that I have always known. I am a social person. I love being around people - talking to others - laughing with friends. Mike and I have long been teased by many that know us for the fact that we are "the busiest people ever", or how we "are going to a wedding every weekend", or how we are simply never home because we are always out and about doing a million things. It's true - I never truly realized how much that was true until now. I didn't realize how busy of a life I led because it was normal to me - I liked it that way. Yeah, I might have bitten off more than I could chew sometimes, but I never wanted to say no to things because I truly enjoyed everything I got myself into. Whether it was attending 12 weddings a year, staying late at work to help run a support group, or filling my one spare Saturday a month with a photography workshop - I didn't mind being super busy because I truly loved every single thing I was involved in.
Now that my body won't allow me to live that type of schedule, I miss it desperately. I am not good at laying around. I hate watching tv all day or trying to waste time on the computer. I am not even good at reading books these days because I am tired of laying here. This is so foreign from the life that I have always led, and truthfully, I am having a hard time accepting it. I miss my old life. I miss looking at my calendar and laughing at how every day three months from now was already filled with fun things to do - never questioning if I would feel well enough to actually attend these events. I miss interacting with my patients every day. I miss cooking for my husband. I miss being a planner and discussing with Mike where we wanted to travel to next or what our next house would be like.
I promise you that my normal positive attitude has not been a front. I have not had to try to stay positive or upbeat - it is truly the core of who I am to try to see things in a positive light. But don't get me wrong, I have hard days. I get upset, frustrated, and sometimes angry while trying to accept the new path that my life has taken. I continue to appreciate that fact that I have so much to be grateful for and have so many blessings - but sometimes my heart is just so heavy and I long to rewind back to a few months ago when Mike and I sat at the kitchen table one night and talked about how perfect our lives were - how we had never been happier. With one phone call, it all changed.
I know my body needs rest and time to recover. I know it's "normal" to feel like this and that I just had chemo a few days ago. I know there are times when I am guilty of being a little hard on myself. I know I will regain my energy and be able to get out of bed soon. Logically, I "know" all of these things. But sometimes you can't turn off your emotions. I sit back and watch as my friends travel with their spouse, start new jobs, begin a family...and I am truly so happy for them. But, I can't help but feel like I am a spectator, sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone else's life carry on while the life I thought I would have quickly passes me by.
Truthfully, this third round of chemo has treated me well and I really can't complain too much. I haven't been nauseous or sick and haven't had any bouts with lightheadedness. It's almost a double edge sword because I feel well enough to think I can do whatever I want, but then when I attempt it, I am quickly reminded of the intense fatigue that chemo brings. It is beyond frustrating and I guess this week I am just having a tougher time dealing with it.
Thank you for letting this blog be a place where I can vent and release my true emotions, whether good or bad. I haven't really wanted to deal with these emotions this week. I started to write this post on a few occasions and deleted it because sometimes it's just too overwhelming and I didn't want to go down that road. But, I know it's important for me to express how I truly feel and get it all out so I can move on and focus on all of the things I have to be grateful for. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers- and say an extra one for Mike this time. The poor guy came down with the flu yesterday and I feel awful for him. He NEVER gets sick and I can't even remember the last time he had a cold. I haven't seen him like this in over five years (at least!) and I just feel so bad for him. Keep your fingers crossed that my immune system is a champ this week and that I am not the next victim of the flu in this house. Thank God for Momma Jan and her awesome nursing skills - we would be in major trouble without her!
Felt like taking a trip down memory lane today...Mike and I visiting the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland during the summer of 2009...a trip of a lifetime!
After ten days in Ireland, we headed to London...a perfect trip with the best travel partner ever! Looking forward to more trips like this in the future!
Wow, where to begin?! This has truly been one of the most amazing weeks of our lives! It's best you sit in a comfy chair, kick your feet up, and grab a snack or beverage while reading this because it's gonna be one long post. :)
Last weekend began with some of our very best friends, Brinley, Andy, and baby Andrew coming to visit on Friday from West Palm Beach. We had a perfect weekend filled with lots of laughs, yummy food, and of course a million photos taken of Andrew by Aunt Meggie. Look at this face...how could I not?!
I just love these little tootsies! Andrew grabbed his own toes for the first time this weekend and I was able to catch him in action.
Brin, Andy & Andrew-I can't tell you enough how much your visit meant to me. It came at the perfect time and was exactly what I needed. There is nothing better to help lift your spirits and take your mind off of hard times as seeing wonderful friends and snuggling the cutest little guy ever! I miss you all so much already and can't wait to see you guys in August! Love you!
After the Johnson's left, Monday night was the incredbile Coldstone Creamery fundraiser benefiting the "Meghan Malley Rally" team for Susan G. Komen's 3 Day for a Cure. True to Michigan form, you can never count on the weather around here and it turned out to be a super cold day. Well let me tell you, that did not stop anyone from coming out to get some ice cream for a great cause! My wonderful friend Sarah was the mastermind behind this entire event and many of my great friends on the 3 Day team were guest scoopers. They worked their booties off! The place was packed from 6pm until well after 9pm! It was incredible!
One of my besties from high school, Jenny, drove all the way from Grand Rapids to come support us at Coldstone! Love you Jen!
And 3 of my amazing friends from PT school (including Melis' 6 week old sweet baby girl), came out for some ice cream too!
Sarah - thank you so much for setting all of this up and for working your tail off all night! You are the best girl!
The adorable and hard working ladies of the 3 Day team that were scooping machines on Monday night! Love you guys!
A huge thank you to Nikki, Lindsay, Stacy, Becca, Kara and Sarah for working so hard all night and raising a ton of money for such an important cause! I am so honored to have you guys doing this for the "Meghan Malley Rally" team.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every single person that packed that Coldstone on Monday night! It was so great to see new and old friends, community members, co-workers, former patients, and family members. I loved catching up with all of you and can't thank you enough for your support! This amazing event raised over $2,000 in tips alone for the 3 Day team and another $200 on top of that from 10% of all sales! What an incredibly successful night thanks to all of you!
I promised myself and Mike that Tuesday would be spent doing nothing but resting from the past few days festivities, and gearing up for what we knew would be an incredible day on Wednesday at Waterford Kettering for the "Malley Rally Benefit Baseball Game". I don't even know where to begin to describe what an amazing day and evening this was! The entire Waterford Community came out in full force to support us, especially Mike, and it was the most heart warming thing I have ever seen. The Waterford Kettering parents, baseball players, teachers, and students truly rallied around us and showed Mike just how much he means to them. For those of you that don't know, Mike has been on a leave of absence from work for the last two weeks in order to help take care of me. So, his Kettering family has definitely been missing him - and they showed it! It was absolutely incredible to see how excited everyone was to see him - especially his baseball players. He has missed being with them, and coaching them, and he was equally as excited to see them on Wednesday!
Literally, hundreds of people came out to support us and it was truly overwhelming! There was a touching opening ceremony, Mike threw out a ceremonial first pitch, former Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace came out to support us, there was an adorable pink VIP tent set up for us, a fabulous "Malley's Munchies" snack bar, amazing raffle prizes, and many other fabulous touches throughout the event. They raised thousands of dollars in donations and gift cards in order to support us and the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for a Cure. It far exceeded our expectations and it was amazing! Not even the on and off rain and dreary weather could dampen our spirits or the heart with which the Kettering Captains played that day.
A professional photographer was on hand to document the day and all the special touches. I can't wait to see his pictures and hopefully share them with you so you can truly see how incredible this was. Here are a few quick shots that I was able to capture and a few that others have shared with me. I wish I had one of the sea of pink shirts that surrounded the entire ballpark - it was truly amazing!
Pre-game group shot with the Waterford Kettering Captains and the Lakeland Eagles, along with former Detroit Red Wing goaltender, Manny Legace (pictured on far right). Even Lakeland's team sported pink socks and wristbands and even raised money for the "Malley Rally"! Thank you Lakeland!
Two of my beautiful aunts along with my mom supporting the "Malley Rally"....ps. Happy Birthday Aunt Carol! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!
The awesome jersey's created by Triple Thread Custom Design & Apparel for the Waterford Kettering Captains Varsity team! They were also decked out in pink hats, belts and socks! We loved it!
How do we even begin to say thank you to the Waterford Community for putting this together? Especially to Anne Nolan, Kim Mortimore and every other person that played a role in this event. There is no way to truly explain to you how much this touched our hearts. As a wife, I cannot thank you enough for doing this for Mike. Obviously, I have always known what an incredible teacher, coach, co-worker, and mentor he is to many. I have watched him work so hard for years - giving all he has to make an impact on his students and players. He has never complained of working long hours, or coming home late, or giving up his nights and weekends to coach nearly year round...because he truly loves it!!! He is so passionate about what he does and it has always been so obvious to me that everyone in the Kettering Community sees that and appreciates him so much. However, I don't think Mike has ever truly realized how much he is valued and loved - how much of an impact he has made on so many kids - how many lives he has touched, just by being the wonderful person that he is! The single best thing about the "Malley Rally" for me, was witnessing my amazing husband finally realize how incredible he is to so many people. I have truly never been more proud to be his wife. Mike, I love you very much and it is the greatest honor of my life to be known as your wife! ♥
After an amazing, yet long day at Kettering, we woke up around 6:45am on Thursday to head to an early morning chemo appointment at Karmanos. Unfortunately, we don't always get much choice about the appointment time so we were stuck with an early one this week. It happened to be a full house at Karmanos which meant we were there for a little over 4 hours! Needless to say, Mike & I were both pretty exhausted after that and slept most of Thursday away. On an extremely positive note, Dr. F always completes a thorough physical exam before each chemo treatment, which involves some measurements of my breast and the tumors that he can palpate. Although it is a rough measurement, it does allow him to have somewhat of a sense of progress or lack thereof. He was very pleased to report this week that everything seems to be heading in the right direction and the palpable tumor mass seems to be shrinking! Thank God! There is always a risk that you may not respond to the current chemo regimen, but so far it does appear that my body is responding well! We were thrilled with this news! Dr. F did acknowledge that from here on out, it becomes harder to feel any changes due to overall changes in the breast tissue with further chemo treatments. So, we will have to wait until all of my tests/scans are completed after my last chemo treatment, which is currently scheduled for September 1st.
I responded amazingly well after my 2nd round of chemo, once Dr. F made a great call by taking me off a particular anti-nausea drug and switching it with something else. It made all the difference in the world. I didn't have any side effects that time, aside from fatigue, which is pretty unavoidable. No nausea, no lightheadedness, no body aches - it was such a nice change of pace! Keep your fingers crossed that I respond just as well to this 3rd round! So far, so good!
After resting Thursday and Friday, I decided I might try to to make it down to the Race for the Cure in Detroit on Saturday morning. A great group of my girlfriends were all doing the race in honor of "Team Malley" and I had told them that I knew I would be too wiped out to go. Well, Saturday morning I woke up early and was feeling pretty good - so I surprised them at their meeting place before the race. It was wonderful to see everybody and head downtown with them for the opening ceremonies! It turned out to be a beautiful morning and the turnout at Comerica Park was incredible! We were also able to run into some other friends and family members which was great too. And to top it all off, our team was recorded numerous times with the local NBC news anchor, Guy Gordon, and should be seen on Local 4 News throughout the next few days! :)
The amazing Team Malley before the Race for the Cure! I love you guys so much!
Local 4 NBC anchor, Guy Gordon with Team Malley! We were even filmed for promo spots for the Race for the Cure! (Sorry you got cut out of this shot, Court!)
Some great Kettering Crew co-workers of Mike's were also participating in Saturday's Race for the Cure!
After leaving the event as the race started, I came home and crashed -nothing like a 4 hour nap to get some energy back. Wow - what a week it has truly been! I almost wish we could have sprinkled these amazing events throughout the next couple of months in order to continue boost our spirits throughout the summer. But, the incredible amount of love, support, and blessings we have received this week will be something that we can always look back on during hard times. The memories from this week will be sure to make us smile and reflect on all that we have to be grateful for....most importantly, YOU! We are so grateful to each and every one of you that shows us in one way or another, just how much you care about us. Through your prayers, your cards, your fundraising, your donations, your gifts, your meals, your presence....we are just continually blown away by it all and not one single gesture, large or small, goes unnoticed. We can never thank you all enough for everything you have done for us! We will never forget it and it will continue to help us get through the tough times that may lay ahead.
Just a quick reminder to mark your calendar for some great events coming up next week...
On Monday, May 16th my amazing friends are going to be guest scoopers at Coldstone Creamery in downtown Royal Oak. Stop by from 6-9pm to get some yummy ice cream while also supporting the "Meghan Malley Rally" team for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day For a Cure. Coldstone is generously donating 100% of all tips and 10% of all sales to the 3 Day team. Ice cream + my beautiful friends + donating to an amazing cause = a night you don't want to miss!
The incredible parents and players of Mike's varsity baseball team have decided to turn their double header on Wednesday, May 18 into a charity game to also benefit the "Meghan Malley Rally" 3 Day For a Cure team! They have done an amazing job planning this event and it sounds like it will be an truly wonderful day. All of the players will be wearing pink, spectators will be able to purchase custom made t-shirts, and there will be other great things such as raffles, food, and hopefully lots of hits from the Kettering Captains! Come by at 4pm to support the Captains and the "Meghan Malley Rally" 3 Day team! Waterford Kettering High School is located at 2800 Kettering Drive, Waterford MI and the ball park is located directly behind the high school. If you are unable to make it but would like to donate to the "Meghan Malley Rally" please click here.
As if this wasn't incredible enough, another group of my awesome friends are participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This event will take place next Saturday, May 21 at Comerica Park in Detroit with opening ceremonies at 8am. My friends have done a fabulous job fundraising for "Team Malley", and I couldn't be more proud of them! Please feel free to head downtown to meet up with the team and participate in either a one mile walk, or a 5K walk or run - fundraising is not required to participate on the day of the event. To make a donation to "Team Malley" please click here, or for more general information on the Race for the Cure please click here.
I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for all of your time, effort and hard work to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This cause is obviously now extremely close to our hearts and raising money to help their efforts means so much to us. There is still a long way to go in regards to research for prevention, treatments, and cures - especially for young women with advanced stage disease, such as myself. It is my sincere wish that each dollar you are helping us raise will prevent another young woman from going through what myself and my family are going through right now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It was the most surreal experience yet. Unintentionally, I peeked out through my peripheral vision where I saw nothing but flesh tone color - no red, no curls, no volume...no nothing. From the corner of my eye, I could only see shape, texture, color, form - and it all appeared so foreign. I felt an odd clash between utter curiosity and a paralyzing fear, knowing that when I turned around to look into the mirror, it would be real. It would make it all real. It would be real that I no longer have hair - real that I have been undergoing chemotherapy = real that my body is fighting - real that I am battling cancer.
I watched their faces as Mike, my mom, and Kyle all witnessed each piece of hair fall to the floor. I held my mom's hand as the electric razor sent chills down my neck. I listened as they all commented on the newly discovered shape of my head. I stared into my loving husband's eyes as he watched his wife undergo such a drastic transformation...and he didn't care one bit. My amazing husband looked at me just like he did on our wedding day - with more love and affection than I ever thought possible. From that moment on, everything was okay.
Truth be told, I now feel a huge sense of relief. I am glad to have this next step behind me. I wasn't scared or nervous leading up to this day - I was just eager to get on with it. I am grateful for my incredible support system that spent the day with me today, and of course for Susan and her amazing team at Susan's Special Needs. I cannot thank them enough for making what could have been a very traumatic experience, a much more comfortable and peaceful one. The work they do is truly life changing and will leave a huge impact on my heart for the rest of my life.
Below are some of the images Kyle captured from the day...don't be frightened by my half shaved, half punk rocker hair in the second pic ;)
The initial wig fitting...
Loving the new wig...it looks just like my hair does when I straighten it!
Kyle - Thank you for being the most supportive, caring, and loyal friend anyone could ever dream of! You are a true blessing to me and I am so thankful to have you in my life. Thank you for documenting this day for me. Love you so much!
Isn't my mom beautiful!!!!
My everything ♥
So be prepared to see a new look from me this summer. Whether it's sporting my new bangs, a fun printed scarf, or a stylish straw hat...I am ready for it all. I am super excited to avoid summer frizz, hair gel, and blow dryers for awhile.
Now on to bigger and better things....one of my very best friends, Brinley, and her awesome hubby and baby boy are coming to visit this weekend from West Palm Beach, Florida. I am beyond thrilled to see them and to finally meet sweet baby Andrew!!! This weekend will be filled with smiles, laughs, and lots of cuddle time and I couldn't be more excited for it. :)
Thanks again for all of the love and support everyone! You continue to bring us smiles and joy, even during the hardest times.
Although I would have liked to keep my Mother's Day post front and center for awhile, I feel like I must forewarn you about a big change on the horizon. Right now I am on what many consider to be two of the toughest chemotherapy drugs. Without a doubt they cause complete hair loss, usually beginning the 15th day after your first chemo treatment. Sure enough, like clockwork, last Friday (my 15th day after chemo was initiated), my hair began to fall out. I woke up in the night and felt a few loose pieces on my face, then noticed a few more strays on my pillow in the morning. Over the course of the weekend, I have gradually lost more and more hair. I have since tied it all up and decided not to touch it until Tuesday. You see, I have never been the type to sit around and see what happens. I would rather take the bull by the horns and jump right in with both feet. So, for the past few weeks, I have had Tuesday, May 10th marked on my calendar as "Baldy Day". Tomorrow, I will be shaving my head and saying good-bye to all these curly locks.
I find it sort of funny and ironic, that me, of all people will be losing their hair. My hair, whether I liked it or not, has always been my sort of calling card. If people were describing me to someone else, it was always, "Oh you know Meghan, the one with the curly red hair." I am proud to say my buddy Andy & I were even voted "Best Hair" in high school for goodness sakes! I also have to laugh a little and wonder if God is playing a sick joke on me or trying to teach me a lesson because I have always complained about my hair. It was always "too red" or "too curly" or "too frizzy" or "too poofy." My mom has repeated to me for YEARS, "You should be grateful for your hair. Do you know how many people would pay good money for hair like that!" Just as I have finally learned to accept and appreciate my uniqueness, there goes my hair! I guess I will now have to accept and appreciate my uniqueness in a new way now- with Demi Moore's GJ Jane look! :)
When Mike's mom was battling cancer, we learned of a wonderful place by the name of "Susan's Special Needs", located in nearby Pleasant Ridge. Susan is an absolute Godsend and makes this entire process so much easier and less traumatic. She specializes in all things related to what women may need during and after treatment. Anything from wigs, hats, scarves, mastectomy bras, specialized pajamas for women going through premature menopause due to chemotherapy treatment--you name it, she's got it. She and I have found that we share a million different connections - not only did she assist Mike's mom during this time in her life, but she knows many of our other relatives, her daughter's name is Meghan and she also just graduated from Miami University, where I went to undergrad. Susan has taken exceptional care of me and wants to make this experience as comfortable as it possibly can be for me and my family.
Unless you or a loved one has gone through it, you would never believe what goes into the process of getting a proper wig. It is so detailed and intricate and truly requires a professional like Susan and her amazing staff. This process began my first day of chemo where we had to go and pick a wig type (human hair or synthetic), decide what length, shape, cut, and color. We found a human hair wig that looks exactly like my hair does when I wear it straight, and we color matched it very well. The wig arrived last week and it looks great! I never thought I would even want one and figured I would wear scarves all the time - but it will be nice to have on those days when you don't feel like having everyone look at you like you are sick.
Once Susan and her staff shave my head tomorrow, the process of properly fitting my wig will take a few more hours. Susan's team will complete the initial fitting and then go hand stitch the wig to my specifications, come back out and fit it to my head, and then repeat the process as many times as necessary to ensure a 100% proper fit! So, I will come into the shop with hair, and actually leave with hair!
So, enjoy these last few images I took a few days ago of me with my curly, red mane and be prepared for an entire new look from me tomorrow. My wonderful friend Kyle will be going with my mom, Mike and I in order to help document this next phase of the journey. Be prepared for my Mr. Clean look-a-like pics soon to come! :)
Hopefully, it will eventually grow back out and start to look something like this....
Sometimes there are just no words to accurately describe your feelings and emotions. Over the last few days, I have gone to three different stores and read what seemed like hundreds of cards, and yet not a single one was able to capture what I want to say to my amazing mother on this Mother's Day. How do you say thank you to someone that has devoted her entire life to you....to provide for you, to teach you, to support you, to guide you, to celebrate you, and now to care for you during your darkest hours. My mom has loved me 100% completely unconditionally since the day I was born 29 years ago. She has shown me through her actions and told me through her words, how much she loves me, each and every single day of my life.
When I was a senior in undergraduate school, I gave a speech in front of nearly 200 women to honor my mom during my sorority's Mom's Weekend. Although, my mom wasn't the most comfortable to have me get up to the podium and talk about her, it was a huge honor for me to publicly profess my love and admiration for her on that day. If I gave this speech today, there would be a million more things I would like to add because it seems like a lifetime has taken place over the last 7 years since then. I still hold that speech close to me and would like to share an excerpt from it in honor of my mom today....
"To know her, is truly to love her. Whenever I run into a friend that I haven’t seen for awhile, they always seem to end up asking, “Oh how is your mom doing?” with a large smile on their face. When she remarried this past fall, I truly believe the excitement felt from my friends matched my very own. She is the mom that everyone loves to hang out with—the perfect balance of a responsible mother and a compassionate friend. But don’t let her cute little 5’ 2’’ tall package deceive you. Within that frame, is one tough cookie. She is a very independent , strong lady. But one tough cookie with a heart of gold.
I want to take this time as an opportunity to say, “Thank You” to my amazing mom. I want to thank you for teaching me the value of laughter, friendship, forgiveness, and responsibility. I want to thank you for allowing me to set so many goals, and then becoming my greatest cheerleader while I strived to achieve them….such as, when I was accepted to graduate school last semester and I listened to you cry on the phone as I told you. I am still not sure if those were tears of joy…or because it meant I was moving back home with the newlyweds for awhile. I want to thank you for being a phenomenal example of strength, intelligence, and determination...without that, I surely would have given up on many of the challenges I have faced these past 22 years. I want to thank you for having enough love, patience, and time to take on the role of not only a mother, but also that of a father…who else would have taught me how to mow the lawn, drive a car, or fix a broken toilet.
But most importantly, I just want to thank you for being you. You are the most incredible person I have ever had the privilege to know. You are always giving yourself to others around you…rarely taking time do things for yourself. But you never mind or complain. Which is yet another tribute to your endless generosity and selflessness. I have never felt so loved, appreciated and supported by another person in all my life. My greatest aspiration in life, is that I may one day become the type of mother that you have always been to me. I love you more than I could ever express in words…you are my very best friend...and I don’t know what I would ever do without you."
Mom, I cannot even imagine how difficult the past 6 weeks have been for you. I am not a mother, but I know that all you want as a mom is to make sure your babies are happy and healthy and have all the opportunities life has to offer. Although my future is uncertain, as it truly is for all of us, I know that we will both be okay no matter what! Through the lessons you have taught me my entire life, I will stay strong and brave and treasure each day. YOU are the one that has taught me how to deal with life's hardships, how to pick your chin up, dust yourself off, and carry on. I wish more than anything in this world that this wasn't happening - that I didn't have to see the pain and suffering in your eyes and sense the helplessness that you feel because you can't fix this and make it all better this time. But please know, although you can't take this awful disease away from me, the unconditional love and support you show me each and every day, is what will get me through this! I couldn't do it without you, Mom and I truly thank God for you every day!
On this day, and all days from here on out, I want you to know how much I love you. I owe everything I have in this life to you and how you have raised me. You have provided me with an amazing life and for that I am eternally grateful. Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful, selfless mom....I love you always!
Happy Mother's Day to all of you incredible mothers! Especially, my wonderful grandma GG, and my loving aunt and Godmother, Aunt Carol. I love you both so much! Also, to all of my amazing aunts, cousins, and friends that have been blessed with the joys of motherhood. I think the world of all of you and your children are so fortunate to have you as their mommas!
Happy Monday everyone...I'm back!!! :) I am thrilled to say that today, for the first time in awhile, I truly feel like myself again...and it feels great! I finally started to feel better last Friday. I woke up on Friday morning and realized that for the first time in almost a week, I wasn't lightheaded or dizzy! It was a fabulous feeling! After my last post, I saw Dr. F on Thursday and had a bunch of blood work done to see what was going on in this body of mine. Thankfully, my blood work results came back great and my blood pressure was up, so Dr. F was very pleased. He obviously wasn't happy that I had passed out, been lightheaded for over five days, and was feeling flat out lousy. But, it was a very good thing that my hemoglobin level was good, protein values look great, white and red blood cell levels are where they should be. So why the low blood pressure and dizziness? No one really knows. Dr. F always says that everyone reacts differently to chemo and right now we are in a sort of trial and error period to see how things go. He is planning on altering some of my anti-nausea meds this next round to see if that makes a difference. I have also been battling a head cold all week so I am hoping that has something to do with it and that I won't have to deal with this after the next round of chemo. All in all, if this is how chemo goes for me, I can deal with it. Even with the lightheadedness and crazy low blood pressure, it could have been much worse and as long as I was lying down, I was okay. I know things could always be worse so I make sure to recognize that and appreciate it each and every day.
I didn't want to freak everybody out so I didn't mention the fact that I was also having a MRI of my brain last Thursday to see if the cancer had metastasized there. Breast cancer tends to metastasize to the bones, lungs, liver, and brain in particular so I requested for this test to be done so that I could know for sure what was going on in my noggin'. I am beyond thrilled to share with you that the MRI came back negative for metastases to my brain! THANK GOD!!!! I can't even begin to tell you what it feels like to get some good news - especially about this! And of course, Dr. F said that the MRI showed I have an exceptionally large and advanced brain....haha, just kidding:)
For the first time in nearly two weeks, I drove my car today. I ran a few errands. I did laundry. I went through my mail. I paid bills. I walked my dog. I was able to be home alone. These are all things that we often view as the normal, mundane items on our daily to-do lists. To not only have the ability to do these things, but to do them while feeling good, truly brought a smile to my face. It felt great to be able to complete those activities that normally feel like the daily grind. I have never been more thankful to be able to accomplish these small feats.
I have my next round of chemo this upcoming Thursday. Until then, I am back to my (near) normal pace - I still get tired pretty easily and have learned how to rest a bit between activities. But, these next few days I plan on getting a lot done that I wasn't able to last week, visit with friends, and try to pack on a few more pounds that I lost after the last dose of chemo...that part should be fun:)
Your support and love continues to warm our hearts and bring smiles to our faces each and every day. Thank you so much for the meals, the flowers, the heartfelt cards and gifts, and the prayers. Mike and I, and our families, sincerely appreciate each and every one of you and the endless support you have provided us. We talk about it every day and are constantly amazed by how blessed we are with the most incredible support system that reaches out all over the country. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
ps. Although there are always too many wonderful people to thank personally, I would like to add a special thank you to the amazing staff, students, and parents at Waterford Kettering High School. The amount of love and support you have all shown Mike (as you always have, but especially over the last few weeks), has truly meant so much to us and has made dealing with this, so much easier. It brings me so much joy and happiness to know that Mike is so loved and appreciated by the Waterford Community and we cannot thank you all enough for that! GO CAPTAINS BASEBALL!
I was able to pick up my camera and capture some beautiful spring images of my garden today. It felt so good to finally feel well enough to get back to my photography.
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