Posted in Cancer, Self Help

Effects

My son woke me up at 2:30 am this morning. That was definitely OK, but I had a hard time falling back asleep.

Who doesn’t have a lot on their mind lately, right?

I’ve been worrying about the usual life conflicts these days along with this virus, but more recently I’ve been focused on other issues.

Some of them have to do with the chemo treatments my husband is receiving right now and the effects those treatments are having on him, mentally and physically.

I read about “chemo brain” and “chemo rage” and his well being and how he is doing with all this concerns me. Many cannot understand how all this makes me feel, and I cannot understand what he feels. It is a vicious mind game that wears on my sanity.

Never mind the obvious effects of this horrible disease, the effects it has on your body as it invades it and the effects of the treatment to try to stop it. He and I are both battling from different ends of the spectrum. And then, there are our children.

I want to fight this, but this illness, the responsibilities and the effects bring a whole new level of stress to our lives, which in turn requires a higher level of faith, trust and hope.

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:1-4

I cannot explain the overwhelming moments, days, weeks I have as a mom and wife being responsible for a household, finances and taking care of someone I so desperately want to get through this without the added worries of life.

Being a caregiver is difficult, and if you’ve never lived that life 24/7 you can only imagine what it’s like.

I gladly accept my job, the challenge, because it is what I need to do, but I am not going to lie….this is the HARDEST thing I have ever had to do in my life.

I know I need to just give it to God, but like I said this has all moved to a higher level. It’s time to up my game.

With all the new challenges this virus has brought to us I feel engulfed in yet another battle. A life altering one that makes me sometimes feel as if I’m in a pool of water, caught in a current spinning out of control and about to be sucked down a drain.

Helpless.

I don’t know if any of you ever feel this way, but sometimes I get so inundated with what’s going on around me, I forget to stop and ask God for help. Instead, I’m grasping for anything to hold on to as my mind takes over, and I lose sight of the very fact that I have the power to stop the thought process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family time, having my kids home and sharing the dinner hour with everyone, BUT sometimes I need a break.

We are supposed to be social distancing, right?

I miss going to lunch with my friends, spending an hour to go out and take my time at the grocery, or just browsing the craft store or a shop or two. I miss my “me time,” every few months getting my hair done and getting together with the people I miss so much .

For a girl who feels lonely in a crowd of people on many days, I seriously could use some alone time right now. And, don’t judge, but I just mean some time to get away from the daily grind and recharge.

A caregiver, a mom, a wife. Some days the jobs all run together. Driving to appointments, being the cook, the cleaner, the bill payer and everything else that involves running a household and taking care of a sick patient and kids. Sometimes I just want to refocus my brain and think of something else, something fun or happy, or maybe think of nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids are great at helping around the house and doing chores, and I appreciate everything they do. My most favorite job in life is being a mom, but we are just so out of our routine. Some days I welcome staying home, in my comfort zone, and others I just want to get out.

On days we go to Duke I dread the drive, but it’s a time I look forward to getting out of the house. On the other hand, it’s mentally exhuasting being at the Cancer Center and physically exhausting getting up early, traveling and getting little sleep.

It’s a balancing act I need to control and perfect. I need to work harder at gettting myself on a new schedule, find a new norm in these coming days and just tell myself to relax and breathe.

I know I am stronger than I imagine, and the Lord is the one who will help me through.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2
Posted in Cancer, Self Help

There is Light

Is everyone feeling a little more anxious today? Overwhelmed?

With the latest announcement of school closing until May 15, I imagine many of us are banging our heads against a wall asking, WHY?

We want to go to work, go to school, have teachers teach in a classroom, work from our workplace office, go to the gym, the grocery store, church, baseball games and parties. Can’t we just get back to normal?

Honestly, I want more than anything for life to get back to normal. But, I’ve been praying for life to get back to normal for a long, long time. Our family has been practicing some social distancing on and off, during flu season, chemo and infections.

My husband is fighting cancer for his life, and I have this pit in my stomach. This pandemic is just upping the game!

In the back of my mind, I’m worried about this virus and my family being around someone who may have been exposed. At first I didn’t cut my children off 100 percent from their friends, allowing some outdoor interaction and a visit here and there. It has been hard, but honestly, the last 609 days have been hard.

This virus scares me more and more everyday, but to tell the truth, cancer is what is scaring me the most. It’s spiraling out of control and this beast won’t stop. Nothing has stopped it. NOTHING! And, there’s no mad dash to find a vaccine or a cure or even the cause.

609 Days!

Days consumed with stress, worry, tears, restfulness, concern. Many of those days involved clinic or hospital visits, travel, setbacks and uneasiness.

But, all of those days involved blessings and prayers, love, family, and thankfulness. Some had laughter, some had tears, but there was continuous gratitude for God.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

Some of us go through private storms others don’t have to experience. Some of us go through storms as a community, a state, a nation or a world. And, some of us are going through both.

Negativity spreads like wildfire. Complaining creates chaos. The “blame game” doesn’t solve a thing. We are all doing the best we can in these uncharted waters so just STOP complaining and blaming everyone. Just stop! It’s not what our society needs and it’s not what our kids need.

Our children are struggling with school abruptly ending, no sports, no prom, and maybe no graduation. Their futures are lingering in the unknown, and just maybe they need us to remain calm and positive.

It’s understandable because each of us has unknowns in our life. We all have struggles, but we just need to show some compassion. Display a little humility. Count our blessings.

Turn off the TV, step away from social media and just for a little while step away from the commotion, enjoy family and partake in some fun. Get our minds off the negative and be thankful for what we have. Help our children through it.

It really could be worse, but we can get through this.

Find our message in our mess!

Be Humble and Kind!

Choose Faith over Fear!

Find Joy!

Maybe we can’t create total Peace on Earth! But, we can show a little kindness, be a good friend or neighbor, help our children through the uncertainties, and surround ourselves with positivity.

Be optimistic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to look for it.

Posted in Cancer

Essentials Only

Do you ever just have a bad feeling about something? 

You just know it in your gut because you feel the start of this uneasiness. That’s me.

 It’s like clockwork, like the rise and fall of a breathing machine. My journey is consumed with unexpected twists and turns, and I never know what’s going to jump out in front of me next and send me in a tailspin.

Everyone has been worrying about this crazy virus, but me, I’ve been worrying about this crazy cancer. And, let me tell you sarcoma is an unforgiving beast with a strength that is unknown to men.

The fierceness it has is unimaginable, like “the terminator,” unleashing fury and regenerating itself. It fights back harder than you know, with an unstoppable force. It’s scary because nothing seems to kill it, not for long if at all.

I can only imagine what it looks like under a microscope, from one day to the next, taking over and consuming everything in its path like an evil force.

I’m sitting here in the ER parking lot crying in the car alone, as my husband is in the ER alone getting treated. It is without my knowledge of who is the doctor or what they are doing. And that, that is unsettling to me.

I am his caregiver. He is the father of my children. I have been right there the whole way, going through this as if it is me fighting for my life.

Those of you who know my story know this is unsettling to me and you know why. I don’t want him to be here, but it’s the best option at the moment. I have no control, and I can’t stand it.

I understand this virus is serious, and I understand the why of where I am right now. But, I don’t have to like the fact he is alone in there, and I am out here.

I’m not judging any of you, but if you are out doing non-essential things please stop. Please?

Trust me, you don’t want to need medical care right now. You don’t want to go to the hospital and be alienated from your family. Believe me when I say it’s not a feeling you want to experience at the moment

Have you even thought about that?

Our family has been fighting this cancer for 606 days…TOGETHER!

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:13-16

I bet our healthcare providers, ER workers, first responders, and all those other essential people want to sleep at night and not worry about infecting their families. People, please stay home so this will go away because I don’t wish my today on anyone. xo

#ocockstrong