Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Climb

Today, I've been thinking about a blog I've been faithfully following the last several months. Kathy over at http://kathysmiracle.com is one amazing woman.  

You see, she's dying.

And every day I pray that today isn't the day. 

As a mother of 5, and 26 weeks pregnant with her 6th, Kathy received a devastating diagnosis. A ravaging cancer entrenched itself throughout her body.  The doctors said there would be only days and with an inability to save herself, Kathy devoted her strength to giving birth to the little one inside…one last act of selfless love. 

Along came a healthy baby boy although very premature. He thrived, while his mother died...and then something happened. 3 days turned into three weeks...and then four. The baby went home and Kathy appeared to be the recipient of a miracle. 

Except it didn't last. 

Baby Luke developed an unexpected infection and passed away. And then Kathy took another turn for the worst. And so it's been for this dear woman and her family for the last three months. Up, down, up, down, waiting to die. 

It is a story that resonates deeply with me. 

I know the loss of an infant and it is never easy under the best of circumstances. Correction: there are no good circumstances. It is a lasting loss and the grief is felt deep in every corner of your soul. I've mourned for this dear, sacrificing woman and the child she risked everything for. I wouldn't wish infant loss on anyone. Ever.

Then there is the cancer.

Her story has reminded me of something important over the last few months...

I've been trudging up this mountain for the last 11 months with a big weighty pack on my back and a quite sour attitude. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "why me?!" over the last year. You may not see it but it's been there. With the diognosis I put on my gear and started climbing, yes.... but I did shake my fist quite a few times as I climbed. For you see, I wasn't born a mountaineer. I hate hiking and I hate climbing.

But climb I did.

And it's been oh, so hard for me climbing my Everest. The air's been thin, I've felt alone and I've wanted to sit down and give up more times than I can count.

But climb on, I did. 

And a few weeks ago it was as if the clouds finally parted and I was told I've climbed enough. With great biopsy results it was as if I finally reached my destination. And so with pure joy, I looked out from my summit as those clouds parted, and with triumphant arms raised, I realized...

My mountain wasn't a mountain. Instead of looking down - the clear blue sky made me look up, only to realize that my seemingly huge mountain was more like a little molehill.

Everest stands next door and I'm not on it. People like Kathy are climbing the real Everest. Some of them are actually reaching the summit too. And most appear to be climbing it quite gracefully.

So imagine the shame I feel for all that complaining and mumbling I've done over the last year. Here I was thinking I've been on the hardest climb...when in reality, I'm not.  

Having to decide between your life or your child's...is an Everest. 

Choosing the life for your child only to have him die...is an Everest. 

Waiting day by day for the sure end but making the most out of every single breath...is an Everest. 

Oh-boy-howdy does that give me perspective! If I would have only lifted my eyes up during my hike, I would have probably seen bigger things ahead - somewhere else.  And I probably would have smiled more, looked at the flowers, and dumped the useless weight in my pack. 

I can not complain about my life for I have a wonderful one. I have so many blessings and bounties that I'm sure God looks down on me and wonders when I will ever be satisfied. 

Trust me when I say that I'm happy that I haven't been climbing the true Everest. People like Kathy are made from sterner stuff than me. I pray for them and offer thanks because I don't know that I could endure that with as much peace and grace. 

Or maybe I could...but I'm glad I don't have to find out. 

Perspective is everything, isn't it? When you have it, the horrible hardest climb of your life becomes more of a happy little hike. 

This woman's story has served as an important reminder to be grateful and graceful amid your trials, because someone always has it much worse. Matter of fact, in today's world - many people have it much worse. 

I'm just sorry that Kathy has to be one of them. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Laugh Now. Cry Later.

Want to hear something really, really funny?

.
.
.

I'm sick again. 

No kidding. I swear that this is the 578th time I've had the flu this year. And before you ask - yes, I got a flu shot.

That wouldn't be so funny except it's Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday - and the thought of food turns my stomach. So much for putting my diet off until after November 27th! 

Not only is it Thanksgiving... but I'm supposed to have double carpel tunnel surgery on both wrists next Wednesday. I'll be bandaged up to my elbows and unable to bath...or go to the bathroom...for a little while, on my own. The doctor said it will take at least 2 weeks for recovery but I may be off work for up to 4 weeks. Full recovery can take up to six. 

...which is why funny becomes outright hilarious when I think about that "natural D&C" that should be on its way since I went off my meds. Dr. H was a little sketchy on the timing but I feel it coming. Deep in my bones, I feel it coming.  Oh shite.

So...I'm sick, won't have use of my hands/arms and feel a menstral cycle from hell coming on. 

This is awesome. 

Seriously, I'm laughing. It is going to test my husbands affection to the fullest. And I'm not even kidding about that. He quite seriously may book a one-way flight to Liberia before this is over. 

Heaven sure has a sense of humor, doesn't it?! I've said that a billion times this year...but I guess it just wouldn't be right if I didn't finish 2014 out as One. Big. Hot. Mess. 

On the bright side - I'll be off work from Dec 3rd - 22nd, and maybe even longer. How awesome will that be?!   Every cloud has a silver lining and at least 2 1/2 weeks off of work during the holidays is going to be mine.

But I'll really have to figure that other part out...  

(OMG what am I going to do?!)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Opening A Window

Hip 

Hip

Hooray!

Today I met with Dr. H (reproductive endocrinologist). After such a good biopsy, Dr. Z (oncologist) turned me back over to him to discuss our "window of opportunity" and see if the right stars are aligned. 

He was so happy to see me that he gave me a big hug. That's what almost eight years (and who knows how much money!) at a reproductive clinic will buy you. 

When Dr. H last saw me in January, I was in tears after a halted cycle and really bad news.  At that time he told me that with a best case scenerio, I would see him in a year if everything went absolutely right. 

Trust me.  I know that this is absolutely, without question, the best case scenario...

And I'm extremely grateful.

Dr. H and I talked about where we go from here. First things first, I stop taking chemo meds as of today. It will take about 3 months to clear out of my system which lines me up for my next biopsy in February. If everything still looks good at that point, minus chemo...we have our "window" and will immediately start protocol for a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

There was a lot of conversation about science, research, different directions and protocols we could go with at this point - 99% of which flew way over my head. Honestly, the only thing I really heard in the very scientific 45 minute conversation was that I don't have to take One. More. pill in the next three months.

Not one!

It's finally time for my body to recalibrate and try to do some things on its own. (Halalujah!) Stopping this medication will hopefully result in a "natural" D&C which will clean the extra tissue and lining out that Dr. Z was concerned about when she did the biopsy a few weeks ago. Although there is a lot of tissue still there - it's now cancer free, which is Dr. Z's celebration. Dr. H now gets to figure out now how to trim it back down, without bringing cancer cells back. 

Our hope is to do that all naturally on a body that is tired and sick from "the most aggressive medication Dr. Z could have prescribed", which apparently is precisely why Dr. H sent me there. (Guess that explains feeling like death for 10 months!)

If au naturel doesn't work, another Hysteroscopy is again in my future. You know, that terrible uterine scraping procedure we did last December which produced a pathology report that started us down this ugly path.

Then of course we have a FET protocol, which will do - who knows what - but the hope is that cancer stays away and a little bambino finally results for Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. 

If not, cancer has taught me some important things. 

There are other things in life and I'm just happy to be living it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Behind Door Number...

#1!

We found a great surprise behind Door #1!

I spoke to the nurse yesterday and the pathology report from my biopsy was really, really, REALLY good. First of all, the conversation started with an apology for taking so long. I was supposed to get a call in 3-7 days... it was 12. Apparently, Dr. Z. (oncologist) wanted to connect with Dr. H (reproductive endocrinologist) to chat about the results.    

I forgive them. 

As soon as she said that, I knew things where good. Really good in fact. Miracle'ish kind of good.

The gist of it is that the biopsy saw little to no cancer cells remaining. 

Let me say that again... The biopsy saw little to no cancer cells.

Whew that feels nice!  Nine months of truly horrible medication has paid off and the weight is lifting. They think I might be close to my "window" if we still want to try a frozen embryo transfer (FET).  So...

They will ween me off chemo drugs... Dr. H will start me on FET protocol and see how I react (cancer cells apparently really like estrogen for growth)... they will keep testing/closely monitoring... and if my next biopsy in 3 months (January) is still clean...

Wallah! They transfer.

And that folks, is how a "window" works. 

...and just for the record: I didn't complain as I swallowed today's daily dose. I smiled.

Yay me! Yay medication! Yay life!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Energy of Attraction

Mr. Thompson and I had a bit of a fight the other day. Or... in the words of my grandmother, he had a bit of a "row".  No matter how you put it, we disagreed.

About something stupid. (Isn't that usually the case?!)

After the fact, I can admit that it was something for which he was 100% right. Maybe even 110%. (But I'm probably not going to tell him that.)

We fought about...

Social media. (I told you it was stupid...)

More specifically, we fought about all of the time that I've been wasting on it. (Not so stupid).  Who cares that a large portion is because I'm on local yard sale sites trying to sell my junk. In the end, I'm still tethered. All. The. Flippin'. Time.

I wake up at 3am - I grab my phone.
I wake up again at 6am - I pick it up from the lifeless hand that fell asleep holding it. 
Commute to work - I'm on it.
Commute home from work - I'm on it. 
Laying in bed - phone is in hand.

So yeah... Mr Thompson is right. I've been on social media.

A lot, it appears.

So I made him a deal: I'd limit it. Then I thought... "Why not just unplug a month early for my annual social media sabbatical, that I've taken in December the last two years?! It's helped me relax and be more aware...why not have that two months instead of one?!"

Heck yeah! So I am.   

Off came the FB, Twit.ter and news apps from my phone last night.  Blog.ger doesn't count because this is my journal of sorts. Who knows... as I tap more fully into life again (sans my phone), I'll probably have something more sustantial to say beyond 25 characters.

Since I don't have my device to lull me to sleep anymore or keep me occupied, I decided to start another 21-day meditation today. I love meditations because they've taught me to relax, breath, and focus. Even if it's just for 20 minutes a day, I feel the benefits.

This meditation series is focused on the laws of attraction. Centering on the things we really want in life.

Day 1 reminded me about an analogy I heard in church last month in New Hampshire. The church speaker talked about how we are all like batteries, in that energy - specifically negative energy - sits at the bottom and overwhelms the battery until a positive connection is made. Then the battery wakes up, positive energy takes control and the battery has life and purpose. 

Positive energy in the battery takes over and as long as there is a purpose - an output or connection for the energy (like a flashlight) and the battery lives on rebuilding positive energy. If it has a positive connection but doesn't have a purpose (like supplying light for a flashlight) then it quickly drains it's life and dies.

To all you physicist out there - I may have totally screwed that up... but you get the drift.

I feel like I need to unplug from one thing and re plug into another so I can wake up my positive cells, use better energy and find more purpose in my life. Gratitude. Happiness. Peace. Love.

First and foremost, I want to kick cancer. Then I want to create additions to my little family. 

That's what I ultimately want and I fully believe that refocusing on those positive things - gratitude, happiness, peace and love - will get me there faster than sitting on FB wasting time and wallowing in self pity, fear and the sense of numbness I've come to accept in my life lately.

I basically waste a hell of a lot of time on things that don't count when I take inventory. 

I hope that makes sense. 

Can you relate?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Give. Thanks.

love November. 

Everything about it. 

I woke up this morning to a few snow flurries out my window so I grabbed a cup of hot cocoa to keep me warm as I burrowed into an afghan on the couch. There is beauty all around. 

I'm warm. I'm cozy. I'm happy.

I woke up yesterday morning early and put up all my Thanksgiving decor. Mr. Thompson woke up and asked, "what happened to Halloween?!".  I replied that it was old news from the night before. 

I love this season so I don't waste a second. 

It's been an interesting year but I have so much to be grateful for. 



(Don't you love the glass turkey I picked up in a little Maine antique shop last month?!)



(I smiled as I placed my homemade scarecrow. He looks like I often feel and Mr. Thompson still can't figure out what it is...)


(Don't you also like the two glass lamps I got at another antique shop in New Hampshire?! I'm in love with them and can't wait for the power to go out...)


The feeling of home on a quiet, cold November morning feels amazing. 

In all things, let us give thanks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Everything is Awesome!

We wait.

As if there haven't been enough two week waits in my life, it appears that's what I get with biopsy results too. 

So much for that results call "in 3 - 7 days"...

Oh well. I've kind of forgotten it this week if you want the truth. Day 7 passed on Thursday, but I trust that they'll call. If not, I'll call them for my biopsy results by mid-week.

Work has been crazy-busy but that's the norm. It keeps me preoccupied, which is good. We also had a Halloween party at my sisters last night which was fun. Lil' A (step daughter) wanted to come and I laugh that at 13 she still likes to hang with us on Halloween.

We LOVE Halloween.

I didn't do my usual Wicked Witch routine this year, which scares the bajeebas out of my nieces and nephews but we still had a great time. They secretly love my scare tactics so in my absence this year, they decided to take me to their pediatrician's "Haunted Forest". 

Holy. Crap. 

Entrance fee is a can of food for the local food bank and this doctor has gone all out. The kids loved it while I screamed like a baby! It was actually quite creepy and I had to use my nephew as a human shield a few times.

My sister dressed her family up like The.Lego.Movie this year and as a result, I can't get that saying out of my head...

"Everything is awesome. Everything is cool!"

And it will be. Even if I peed my pants in a kid's Haunted Forest.
The Daily Dose
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