Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Moment to Remember, a Time to Reflect

   As all of you know this last year has been a major struggle for me. More so in the last couple of months. Yes I have battled cancer (as of this moment I am winning), but the last few months of no chemo and less doctors appointments have been extremely hard. I seem to be getting more and more depressed and angry. I'm sure it's stress that is causing it, if not I may be on the verge of a breakdown. I'm not much of a crier(unless I have bottled my emotions to the breaking point). But since June I find myself crying alot. The more I cry the angrier I get at myself. I feel less of a person, a woman, and as a mother. I thought maybe if I could just write some of it down I wouldn't cry anymore.....so here goes.............
   Yesterday a friend that I have known for the last 14 years died. When I found out I was flooded with all kinds of emotions. *OK maybe this isn't going to work the tears are flowing again* Guilt because I haven't seen or spoken to her in a very long time. Loss because she is no longer with us. Sadness because of the hurt that her family is going to go through. Unspeakable hurt because I never got over the loss of my own father. Fear of almost losing my mother. Anguish because I know that  in a moments notice it could be my family that is devastated over my death. Heart wrenching dread that something could happen to one of my kids (something that I worry about all too often).
   When I decided to write about how I have been feeling I went back and read a blog post that my daughter Sapphire had written to me days before my surgery. I have been unable to stop crying since I read the following letter...

May 21, 2011.. 1:31AM- Dear Mom....

Dear Mom,
I know that I can be mean to you and cause a lot of drama in our house, but it's only because I feel unloved at times, and lashing out at anyone around me is the only way to deal. I know I don't tell you I love you every single day, but I'm going to change that. You're as invincible now as when I was little and I knew you would never die. Yes, you're sick. Yes, you're scared. It's because you have breast cancer, but I KNOW that you will make it through this. Cancer is nothing compared to you, and I know you will beat this.

I can be a terrible person, but there is no way in the world that God could take you from this earth. He knows how much you mean to everyone you meet. You're my entire world, and I don't even think you realize that sometimes, but that's my fault because I don't act like it. I wish I could win the lottery or instantly be through college and have a great job so I can give you everything you could ever want and need, but I just can't. I would give you the world if I could, I'd give you my kidney, my heart, even my breasts if I knew it would make you happy. I would die for you in an instant just so I would know you would never have to be in pain. Tatiana will always remember what you look like; Stallone and Libby know that you are their true mother; Austin will know how to treat a woman; and I will tell you I love you every single day so you can whisper "I love you more" back, because you are not going anywhere, ever. I won't let it happen.

From now on, I am going to do everything I can to make you happy. All that matters is your happiness. You're the absolute greatest mother that the five of us could ever ask for. I feel bad that other kids don't get to experience what we have, but I wouldn't share with them because you're ours, and no one else's. I'd never be able to give you up. I apologize for the way I act pretty much all the time towards you an everyone else at the house, I don't mean to be a total B&*#% but it's in my nature. It doesn't mean that I love you any less.It's just because I'm too much of a coward to say what I'm really feeling. You really are an amazing, strong, and courageous woman. No matter what anyone says says to contradict that. You should hear that every single day of your life, but you don't and that needs to change. I want to be at least half the woman you are when I am grown and have children of my own. I want my kids to love me, the way that I love you. I know you've had to sacrifice a lot in your life for all of us, and it probably wasn't anywhere near rewarding for you, but we all really do appreciate everything that you do for us. I know how much you love us, and what you would do for all of us, but now is the time that we are supposed to be there for you, and obviously we are lacking on that.
I love you more than life itself, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to prove it to you.
                                     THINGS WILL GET BETTER, I PROMISE
While I was trying to read this I broke down. I flashed back to how scared I really was about dying. What I was so afraid of.....When I leave this world will Tatiana be old enough to remember my face? Will Libby and Stallone remember that even though I didn't give birth to them that I was their true mother? Will Austin remember what I taught him about being a real man and how to treat women(treat them the way he would want me treated)? Will Sapphire think of me when I'm gone and still tell me that she loves me and hear me whisper back "I LOVE YOU MORE"? My heart breaks every time I think about it. I wrote Sapphire back that night after she posted the letter. Now I wish I would have said more..........
May 21, 2011 7:15 PM
I know I am loved. Sometimes it just feels better if I am shown. I am scared, but I know that God isn't ready for me yet. I still need you guys as much as you need me. So God will just have to wait awhile longer.

You are growing into a great women right before my eyes, but in my heart you are still my little girl...forgive me if I'm not ready to let go.

I don't need the lottery or expensive things. I just need love, respect, and caring. Don't forget the hugs and kisses(never too old)

You are destined for great things. I have always told you that. So school and the great career will come when the time is right not before then. No matter how much we try to rush.

I love you more and more with every breath I take. Love half as much as I do and you're going be a great mom too. Cause I love you for eternity.
I said some of those exact things the other day when she left for New Jersey. I didn't want her to go. But when she comes home I know it isn't going to be my home. Because as much as I want her to be, she is no longer my little girl. She doesn't have the need to hold my hand any longer even though I'm not ready to let go of hers.  I always thought that when she looked at me, she saw me through that 3 year olds eyes. That I would always be her favorite playmate, her bestfriend, her greatest hero. It's hard for me to watch her life from the sidelines when I was always the one holding her hand guiding her along. She was my first everything.... my firstborn, my first daughter, my first real joy, my first great love. That even though that's how I feel, she doesn't. She isn't suppose to. Someone else is going to be all of her firsts and I just have to hope that I will be apart of it somehow.(because I will always love her more)
Not being able to get through this, how will I ever get over my other four kids growing up and moving on? They are all still those little kids that I love so much. So is it destiny that my heart is going to break each and everytime? I'm very doubtful that I can handle it mentally. But I know for sure that emotionally I will die each and everytime. I can already feel it. When Libby talks about seeing the world, when Austin spends more and more time with his dad, when Stallone comes over less and less, when Tatiana no longer looks at me like I'm the greatest...that I could hang the moon. Sometimes when the kids think I'm ignoring them or that I'm not paying attention, that's what I'm doing....thinking about how much I love them so very much and that I just want A LITTLE MORE TIME!!!!
Nope writing about it didn't help at all!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

If you are wondering......

I made it through 6 months of chemotherapy. The first lasted 2 months and the second lasted 4 months. (didn't mean to imply that you couldn't count.....ha ha). I finished right at Christmas 2011...not what I ask Santa for that's for sure. I had my expanders taken out and itty bitty implants put in March of this year. Little disappointed about the size but so thankful to be alive. I had a couple more surgeries after that and a few more to go. I have yet to be able to go back to work but have been denied temporary disability. I reapplied a couple weeks ago. We have used up all the donation money in the last year so things are looking pretty bad right now. Our lights have been turned off once, the phones are off and the Internet will be the next to go. But at least we are healthy and happy and all together.(except for my oldest Sapphire...she got her own apartment...doing good so far) I took up crafting to try and make some extra money. I made a little for about a month until the store i was selling my hug/love boxes at said I couldn't do it anymore.

                     Here are the hug/love boxes

They come with a poem attached explaining what's inside the box. I have tried selling these and other things I have made on etsy.com/simplysarah2012 and on zibbet.com/simplysarah. No luck yet but I am not giving up. I have been watching videos online about crafting and even joined a crafting group (Creating the Crafty Life). I am hoping to make some friends and learn some things. Cancer has turned out to be a very lonely disease. I still hide my emotions very well. I cover them with laughter and jokes. I can honestly say if it weren't for my kids, sisters, boyfriend, mom, and my 2 chemo angels. I never would have made it through the last year. They all tell me they wouldn't be able to handle everything I have endured. So I must be one tough cookie. Oh let me tell you....my hair is finally growing back. It isn't long enough to lay down so it sticks out everywhere. I'm just thankful that it's growing. I still have a problem with how I look, but my kids think I'm beautiful that's all that counts. I have not been able to talk to my cousins in months(you know who you are) so if ya'll read this......I love all of you very much and I hope to talk to you soon.

So anyway...to any new followers....thank you for following. Leave comments or even email me at simplysarah@centurylink.net. I'll be able to respond for a little while longer...lol.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ding Ding! End of round 1...but the FIGHT isn't over!!!

As you can tell from my corny title I had my first round of Chemotherapy today. Even though I went alone and was nervous as hell. I showed no fear. Want a recap of my shitty crappy day? .....well?....Didn't think so, but I'm going to make you suffer through it anyway...ha ha, lol, lmao and all that crap.

Tuesday July 5, 2011
6:00am to 8:00am ...Finally got a little sleep. I haven't been able to sleep since last week.(probably stress)
8:30am to 9:30am ...Drive to Baptist (hey I'm not gonna speed and risk dying in a car before I beat this)
9:45am to 10:30am..Check In, Give blood( Gotta make sure those cell counts are at the top of their game)
10:30am to 11:00am.Talk with Oncologist about the risks....(the big one being congestive heart failure)
11:30am to 2:00pm...Had 5 different drugs pumped through a hole in my chest. 2 was for nausea. 2 were the chemo drugs. No idea what the other one was for I completely forgot. Maybe something for allergic reactions.
2:00pm to 2:30pm scheduled my next appointment(FREAKING TOMORROW!!!) Also the appointment for the next round of chemo.
2:30pm to 4:00pm Talked to Cancer Services about possible wigs and hats. (More humiliation...Cancer IS SUCH A BITCH)
4:00pm to 5:00pm...Ride back home alone...I felt ok this morning so I drove myself. Before you start freaking about me being alone. I was fine and I did ok driving.

Ok see you made it through the hard part. I felt ok driving home. I didn't have any reactions until I was home for about an hour. I was finding it hard to breathe. Felt like someone had caved in my chest. So I was very short of breath. The nurses had already told me to expect this. But it was still kinda scary. It came and went for hours. I became real hot and sweaty...but was pale at the same time. I was lucky enough to actually fight off the nausea. Even though I wasn't able to fight off the bone pain or migraine headaches. It is almost 5:00am and I'm still awake. I'm very tired, but my head hurts so bad. I cried alot earlier because I hurt so bad and nothing really helped. I cried quite a bit today. Since chemo finally started , I'm becoming afraid of what my body is going to have to endure. I'm afraid I won't be so lucky with the side effects after a few days. I already feel less of a woman because of all the surgeries. Now I have to figure out how to hide the tears with jokes and laughter. I'm not sure this is going to happen. But then again I have been pretty damn strong so far. I pray that this continues on the same successful path. That God gives me the strength to survive.

Ok I really have to try and sleep for awhile. NIGHT NIGHT

Friday, July 1, 2011

Just in time for the 4th of July!!!

Today I will not be talking about Cancer or complaining about my family. I want to share with you something that brought tears to my eyes and a smile on my face.

(A homecoming months in the making)

This is my cousin Tiffany...(well technically my cousin's daughter). I have not seen her in years. Been a very long time since we played together at Granny's. I have been reunited with alot of my cousins on facebook, thankfully. Anyway back to Tiffany..She is a military wife. A loving mother of 3 gorgeous children. One of the bravest women I have known. She spends day after day...month after month raising her children alone. Because her husband chose not only to protect his family, but to protect every family in this country. For that I am very grateful. I hate that Tiffany and her children have to spend so much time away from the soldier that has put his life on the line for all of us. I think about alot of things since I have gotten sick. I wonder how scared she must be at times. How many times she has cried. How much she has had to endure on her own. ALL THIS FOR OUR FREEDOM!!! I'm sure alot of people forget about the part of the family that is left at home. To hope and pray that their loved ones make it home. So when I saw the picture posted above. I pictured Tiffany running into the arms of the bravest man she knows. I would have posted other pictures but she hasn't been able to post any yet. Plus I never ask permission to use this one. It just touched me so much I was sure she would understand. .....So in closing...Tiffy I love you...and tell your husband whom I have never met...THANK YOU!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Doctor Free Week

I have had 2 surgeries since that time I wrote. On the 14th I had a Port-a-Cath put into the right side of my chest. Then on the 15th I had emergency surgery on the left side of my chest. (To try and repair the dying skin and tissue). So last week was pretty rough. I was back to not being able to use my arms at all. So I was once again dependent on someone. But I opted to do it on my own (have had complaints from certain people about having to do too much already). In deciding to do it on my own I busted part of my chest open. So after a week I am still bleeding and very uncomfortable. On to better news.



Libby went to visit her real mother Thursday and came back on Sunday. She has this cute new hair cut and some added color. It's very becoming on her. I have never seen her with very short hair in the past 11 years that she has been with me. She seemed to have a good time with her mom. As far as I know her mom behaved and took care of her. I missed her while she was gone, but she needed a break from caring for me  and being stuck at home.


Sapphire (my oldest daughter) came over Thursday after work and hung out with me until late. The next day she took me and her little sister Tatiana too the pool. We also took my nieces Allie and Emilea with us. The kids seemed to have a good time. It wasn't all that much fun for me. I can't get in the water because of my stitches. Plus there is no way I was putting on a swim suit. I'd horrify everyone. Sapphire came back Monday night because she was off work Tuesday and Wednesday. So all of went swimming again. This time Austin, James and Libby came with us. Everyone had a really good time. (at least that's what they told me...haha).

Austin, Sapphire, Libby

I got extremely pissed last night. Like I told you Sapphire and James (her boyfriend of 4 years) has been here since they got off work Monday night. Red sends me a text from the bedroom saying...That he was tired from doing everything. That all I had to do was sit in the living room and ass kiss. What the fuck hell? I am not ass kissing I am spending time with my kids. I guess he thinks that since she isn't here everyday she shouldn't be here at all. GOT NEWS FOR YA BUDDY IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!!! I never say anything when his son comes over here. I could act the same way he does but I don't. They are ALL my kids and they are always welcome at my house. I know Sapphire feels unwelcome when she comes over.  They all refuse to come in the living room the whole time she's here. So they have all avoided the living room since Monday night. (Libby has too. But she did go swimming with us yesterday. So I'm not sure why she avoids her when other times she does everything with her.) It hurts my feelings, so I could only imagine how she feels. She isn't blind she can see what they are doing. That's why she didn't come home from James' for so long before. Everyone made her feel unwanted. Everyone looked at her like she was stupid and refused to talk to her. (She has offered plenty of times to come home if I needed her. I figured she should have come because she loved me not because I ask her. But that was because I was hurting and upset. I felt unloved at the time. But I know she would do anything for me at anytime no matter what it was.) Red seems to forget part of the reason we split up for a year. It was how he treated the kids. He didn't treat them with equal respect. I treat all the kids the same. Actually I treat his kids better because I have never disciplined them. I have never even yelled at them. Unlike him. Here is an example of what I mean. When he is home he always stays in the bedroom. His kids can be in there for hours, but as soon as my kids come in there he starts complaining that they don't need to be in there. So it's only my kids that have to leave. I just think it's unfair that is my room too. But then he doesn't understand why I stay in the living room (where normal people hang out during the day). Guess that's enough ranting for one day.

Ok health wise this is where I'm at. I go back on the 28th of June to have the left side rechecked to make sure it's healing properly this time. Then July 5th I start my first round of Chemotherapy. The first 4 rounds with be a combination of 2 drugs Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide. Was told that these are some very powerful drugs with some serious side effects. Here are some of the side effects: Lowered resistance to infection, Bruising or bleeding, Anaemia (low number of red blood cells), Tiredness, Feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting),  Hair loss, Sore mouth and ulcers, Taste changes,  Skin changes and last but not least Infertility. Boy I sure do have alot to look forward too huh? And just to think this is only the beginning. Hope I make it through ok. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger!!!

I'm not sure I believe in that quote. Hoping that it's true though. Seeing as I'm blogging once again I DID NOT DIE during surgery.(Bilateral Mastectomy on May 25th if I forgot to tell you) Even though some days the pain is so great I feel like I'm dying. Ok back to May 25th....yes I had surgery. 7 hours later I woke up to my family. I was thankful to see them, because right before they put me under I was thinking "I hope that wasn't the last time I say I LOVE YOU". One of my daughters stood away from me, I know that it was hard for her to see me cry because I was in so much pain. I was trying to use my arms to sit up and it just wasn't working. I had no strength and the pain was unbearable. (I thought giving birth was bad....this had to be the worst). After everyone left I cried. I'm too young to have cancer. I'm too young to loose body parts. I think I earned the right for a little self pity. Anyway on to the next hardest part of my cancer journey. Nurses come in every 2 hours to check my (well what use to be my boobs) They all said the same thing, "You don't have to look if you don't want to". All I could do was turn my head and say "I don't want to see" and try not to cry. I have seen pictures online and it wasn't a pretty sight. So no I wasn't ready to look. I want to look the way I once did.

May 26th....Day after my surgery. Still in a great deal of pain, but the nurses were great. I had one terrible incident today. These 3 young residents came in to check on me. Mind you none of these kids are my doctors and know nothing about me. Anyway they came in and said that I should be feeling fine and that I could go home. WTF???? I just had body parts removed I don't feel fine I feel like someone tried to murder me. How the hell would they know how I feel they don't even have boobs to cut off. As soon as they left 2 of my nurses came back in a told me not to listen to them that I was NOT ready to go home. (So I stayed another night)

 I left on Friday even though I could barely walk, I couldn't lift my arms, and I had all these tubes hanging out of me. When I came home it was awful. I had to have help going to the bathroom. I had a problems getting my clothes up and down. I was humiliated, I was afraid to look at myself. Sapphire my oldest daughter(the one that told me she was going to treat me better and show me more love) was never around. She started college and got a new job. But all the times she was away hiking or at the movies she could have come and checked on me. She could have called to ask if I was ok.( She would text and ask how I felt and tell me she would come home if I wanted her to) I always told her no I was ok when I really wasn't. I'm not ok now, but I don't want to ask her to come help me. I feel that she should have just come home because she loved me. Austin hardly came near me. I think it was because he was scared. My boyfriend was a great help. He did everything I needed without me having to ask. One morning I woke up and thought, "How will I know if my incisions are getting better if I don't know what they look like. So I shuffled my way into the bathroom and locked the door. I removed the bandages and burst in tears. I cried more in that moment than I had since I chose to have surgery. I was mortified, it looked a lot worse than any of the photos I have seen. For the first time I wondered am I going to make it through this? I haven't even gotten to the hard parts yet. I wiped away my tears took a deep breath and ask my boyfriend if he could help me put the bandages on. It was now or never. I had to see if he could handle what he saw. All he said was, "It's not that bad. The doctors did a great job." I know he was lying but he made me feel better.

The person that helped me the most is Adrianna, my 17 year old daughter. What ever I needed she did her best to help me. She made sure I took all my meds on time. She opened all the bottles and gave me the pills since I still couldn't use my arms and had no strength. She helped me wash my hair since I wasn't allowed to bathe. She stayed up late with me watching crappy movies and tv shows just to keep me company. She kept me from falling into a great depression. That alot of women go through. She has made my recovery alot easier. I really don't think I would have made it through without her. I still make cancer and boob jokes. I'd rather laugh than cry.

 I have had numerous doctors appointments since I have came home. Adrianna(Libby) has went with me to every appointment since. When I first found out I had cancer I found it easier to go alone, but now I don't mind so much.

What happens next you ask. Monday the 13th I have to have CT Scans of my head, chest, and abdomen. Then, I have to have a bone scan that takes 4 hours...then on to see my Oncologist. So I will be at Baptist from 7:30am to around 5:00pm.(very long day). Tuesday the 14th I go back to the plastic surgeon to see if my skin is getting any better(one side was dying). Hoping it does or they have to go in and redo everything they have done. Then there would be no hope for reconstruction. After that appointment I have surgery at 2:45pm to put in a port-a-cath in my chest(for my upcoming chemotherapy treatments). Think I'm getting ready for the hard part now. Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This isn't make believe!!!

The post I made earlier was about a mental breakdown I had a few days ago. So now an update on what has been going on in my life.

I missed my oldest daughters graduation last Friday because I was on a kindergarten beach trip with my 6 year old. I'm upset that I wasn't there to see her walk across the stage to get her diploma. I have waited for this day forever(since her first day of school) I have wanted to be the crying proud mother in the crowd. Bet you are wondering why I chose a crappy beach trip instead. My 6 year old has never seen the ocean. I wanted to be the person her saw her face when she first walked on the beach. As you already know I have cancer, and I was afraid that if I didn't go with her now I might die without being able to see the amazement in her eyes and the laughter in her voice. Pretty selfish of me huh? I feel terrible and I'm afraid that I hurt Sapphire(the oldest) by not being there. I hope she knows why I wasn't and that she understands. I'm afraid that I made her day less special. I held Sapphire's hand the first time she walked on the beach and I wanted to do the same with Tatiana. When she has kids I hope she truely understands how important it was.

I feel that I have made alot of mistakes as a mother. There are alot of things I wish I could go back and change. I hope that all my kids know that everything I have done or sacraficed was for them. That I love them to the end of the earth and back.

As I get closer to my surgery date the more I think about death. These are the things that I think about...When I leave this world will Tatiana be old enough to remember my face? Will Libby and Stallone remember that even though I didn't give birth to them that I was their true mother? Will Austin remember what I taught him about being a real man and how to treat women(treat them the way he would want me treated)? Will Sapphire think of me when I'm gone and still tell me that she loves me and hear me whisper back "I LOVE YOU MORE"

Ok I made myself cry something I hate to do....so this is the end for tonight.