Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This & That News...

I had a chemo treatment this morning and it went well. My blood counts were probably the highest they've been - yay! The nurses were quite pleased with the numbers. I also found out that I miscalculated what treatment # I'm on...ONLY FIVE MORE TO GO!!!!! Five, that's it! Just think how quickly 5 weeks pass by. I am beyond thrilled!

I don't know if I've shared this part about chemo before. I go on the same day at the same time every week. That's how they work it at my oncologist's office. So you get to see the same people almost every week. There is a very nice couple in their mid 60s who come in at the same time I do. The husband has lung cancer. We always sit next to each other and visit throughout our treatment times. Today we were sharing more details of our respective cancer journeys. Ben never smoked a day in his life and ended up with lung cancer. It was a big shock to Ben & his wife. His cancer was found when he was in the hospital for heart-related issues.

People who are dealing with cancer just have this whole 'kindred spirits' thing going on. I mean, you feel like you can just be so open. Ben asked me if I ever discussed my prognosis with the oncologist. He asked but never got a straight answer - just a bunch of statistics about lung cancer. I've never really come right out and asked, not in a very specific way anyhow. The doctor just threw it out there...'The prognosis is good.'

I've also kept in touch with a gal from chemo whose treatments are done now. We went to the same group of doctors - breast surgeon, plastic surgeon and oncologist. The encouragement and understanding I got from Dian was priceless. She's a very upbeat lady.

But sadly, as I'm sure you're aware, not every person with cancer chooses to be open. In my opinion - and through MY experience - one really robs themselves of love, care, compassion, understanding, someone to vent to, cry with, encouragement...all of the things you need at a time like this! I met another lady at chemo who only told ONE other person she had cancer and swore them to secrecy. Let me tell you, it gets difficult trying to be brave and strong all the time - much less not revealing something so life changing as a cancer diagnosis. Cause it does change every aspect about your life. I would find it much too difficult to play the role of pretender.

I heard of another person today - a friend of a friend - who is a single, middle-aged man facing a recurrence of cancer but doesn't want any help from anyone. I guess he said something to the effect that he's a strong person so he'll just get through this - he doesn't need anyone. That makes me sad to hear how he is robbing himself from so many things he needs. No, it's not my business. I know that. But I think it's extremely sad.

In other news, our youngest daughter Tess needs glasses so we got those ordered today. They'll be here in about a week or so. She is actually looking forward to getting them so I am relieved to not have a fight on my hands or many reminders to 'wear your glasses, Tess'.

Our oldest daughter Taylor went to an after-school meeting today about the upcoming rugby season. She is going to play again this year. Last season was my very first introduction to rugby. Whoa, what a tough sport! Some of those girls are out for blood!

There are so many little details that need to be taken care for our son's high school graduation. Gotta order the cap & gown, announcements, name cards, senior pictures, etc... Plans for the graduation party at the end of June are coming together. We've settled on having it here at home with a big tent in the front yard. (Tables & chairs under there, of course DUH :) So many family members have graciously offered to make food and ya know what? I'm taking them all up on it, too! (Hey, I'm no dummy!) I like parties to have themes so we're going to personalize it according to what best represents Tyler. He doesn't really want to go with his school colors so we're not. I'm gonna make centerpieces and already have many decorating ideas. In the coming months I'm planning to shop for supplies, make a few scrapbooks, picture boards - I'd like to do as much prep ahead as I possibly can. This planning is also proving to be quite therapeutic for me in getting my mind off cancer treatment, which is a WONDERFUL thing.

So that's about what's happening around these parts.

Hope you're all enjoying a good week :)

P.S. My nephew Christian is celebrating a birthday today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTIAN!!!! Sorry I'll be late getting something to you...I haven't forgotten you, really! Love ya, bud :)


  1. Michelle, it sounds like things are going pretty good for you! I am glad you found some cancer buddies. We ALL need someone to be there for us. No one understands better than another person going through it. We can love and offer support.
    My BIL is has been told he will pretty much be on Chemo for his lung cancer until he decides no more. He also has never smoked, nor has he been arounding smoking.

    If Taylor loves Rugby we went to see a wonderful movie Twice because it was so good. It is Forever Strong. It should be out on rental soon... and is a true story. I highly recommend it as a good family show. I really admire Taylor for playing the sport. It is a tough sport.
    I hope the next 5 weeks fly by!


  2. Your stories touch my heart, it gives inspiration to all the cancer patients . People should really treasure every moments with their love ones.

  3. I'm so glad you can finally see the end to treatments in sight! I've actually been in the areas where chemo is administered. When I had my iron infusion last summer, that's where it's done. I observed many people talking as if they were old friends, and many sad cases where they laid back in the easy chair with a blanket and slept with no one with them. I guess each person has to deal with it as they want, but I'm with you in that you need to reach out for help, and receive it, too. I think it helps in healing. I'm sure you are a great encourager, Michelle!
    I can't believe you're planning a grad party! Time flies, doesn't it?! I'm sure the arrangements will be gorgeous, as everything you do IS!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Love and hugs,

  4. Only 5 more weeks...woohoo!!!! I'm so glad you have found so many kind people to share your experience with. I'm sure it helps and wonder why others choose not to embrace the help and caring of others.

    I was just thinking last night that I need to get going on the plans for my daughter's college graduation in May. Seems like we just did the high school parties! Wow how time flies. I'm so glad you have lots of willing hearts to help you!

    Have a wonderful day!


  5. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today! It was good to hear from you. Great to read your blog today, too! My chemo treatments were also on the same day each time, but mine were three weeks apart. Seems like everyone's treatments are different. I recieved 6 treatments, so it seemed very long and stretched out for me. Just glad that phase is over for now. I'm wondering if the chemo I get with radiation will be as strong.

    I, too, have met people who just don't want others to know about their cancer, etc. I wonder if it is because they think they are so strong, or if they are so closed up that they just don't know how to receive the love, strength, and help that others have to give them. It's one thing to be strong -- it's another thing to be stubborn, closed up, and distant! It's hard sometimes to be able to receive from others when you've been a giver all the time. Glad you've been able to find some that will open up to you and share. It sure does help!


  6. 5 more weeks.....just 5 more weeks, that makes me feel so good. Every single story you shared touches me, I have no room to speak but I am not sure how any one person that has that going on with them could NOT tell people, but like you said who are we to say you know? And that poor man not having smoked to end up with lung cancer!!!
    And Ty's party all coming together and getting things ready for it sound so exciting!!! that for sure will keep you busy!

    Oh and rugby scares me!!!! haha!


  7. Came over from Jan & Tom's b/c I can't remember if I've stopped by before. I wish you the best w/ your treatment. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. My mom has a friend who had breast cancer over 10 years ago, and she's doing fine. I have another friend, my age, whose wife has had it twice, and she is doing well. In fact, she was one of the Relay for Life speakers in Charlotte this past year. So, keep up the fight! You can win the battle! :O)

  8. Came over from Jan & Tom's b/c I can't remember if I've stopped by before. I wish you the best w/ your treatment. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. My mom has a friend who had breast cancer over 10 years ago, and she's doing fine. I have another friend, my age, whose wife has had it twice, and she is doing well. In fact, she was one of the Relay for Life speakers in Charlotte this past year. So, keep up the fight! You can win the battle! :O)

  9. Hi Michelle. I came over from Deena's blog as I noticed you are going through breast cancer. I am also going through it but have almost finished all of my treatments so I know where you are coming from with going through chemo.I am now on my last few rounds of radiation and then it will be onto recontruction. Like you I found it better to talk about it rather than keeping everything inside and also I think it helps others to understand more about this disease that is hitting so many women.
    I am sure you will come through all of this as you have the right attitiude to deal with it.It's tough, I know. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Big Hugs.

  10. Hi Michelle!

    I'm glad to hear you only have 5 more treatments! I remember counting down with Clarke and, more recently, with Brittony (his girlfriend). It truly will fly by. I will keep praying, each and every day for you.

    I'm like you - I leaned on everyone for support, as did Clarke and Brittony. I have been amazed, overwhelmed and so grateful that even young people - teenagers and those in their 20's - have such huge hearts and tremendous amounts of compassion when one of their friends is in need. I think that you need all the help you can get when you're going through something of this magnitude. Like you, it makes me sad that some people don't want help, or are afraid to open up.

    Clarke had his chemo on the same day each week - Friday. We met families, kids, nurses, social workers, clowns (at Egleston Children's Hospital) and regular people. They were like family to us. I actually missed them when we weren't there each week. They become such a huge part of your lives. I then went through chemo treatments with my father-in-law and saw the same thing. It was a different hospital but the people there were so open and kind. It is and was a life-changing experience in so many ways.

    I can't believe you're about to have a graduate AND you're planning a party. You are amazing and incredible! I know that it will be beautiful and exactly what your son will want.

    Glasses for Tess? Well, we (me and all 4 kids) all have them now. Summer had to get hers this past fall. Not a one of mine had a problem with them. I wish they didn't have to wear them since I've had glasses since I was 7 and my vision is HORRIBLE - much worse than any of my children. I'm sure she will be just as beautiful as always, but she will be able to SEE!

    Keep taking good care of yourself. You seem to be doing so well. I am so proud of you. I love you and will talk to you soon.


  11. Hi Michelle,
    I probably would tell everyone who would listen. I also think it's healing to share, your pain, happiness, etc. That's what family and friends are for and of course, God loves it when we talk to Him:)
    Planning the grad open house is FUN. My baby boy will be 30 in Aug...WOW...that means I can't be 40 ish anymore:) LOL
    Take care!!

  12. Michelle, I'm so glad you doing better every day. Keeping you covered in prayer dear.

    When you are up to it, stop by my blog. I have an award waiting for your pick-up. Only us Michigan girls can truly understand!!



  13. I hope you are feeling good today, Michelle. I am thinking about you and praying for you. This marks the four more weeks point. I'm so glad it won't be much long for you. Hugs, Kathi ps I will be back to visit tomorrow. I'm doing too many things and I'm getting behind in my visiting.

  14. Michelle, I love your attitude! Well, let me back up.....first I want to say Praise the Lord that you are doing so well and only have 5 treatments left! God is moving! I agree with you about discussing it with others. God calls us to carry each other's burdens and encourage one another and it is wise to be open and truthful. Also, this helps others who are going through the same thing or might go through the same thing in the future. I pray that Ben does have a good prognosis. It's neat how even though you are going through something so huge, you are reaching out to others.

    You are amazing!

    Love, Sharon

    P.S. Happy that the family is doing well too!

  15. Just came by to check on you and give you my heartfelt wishes for a HAPPY WEEK!
    Your attitude is awesome and you are a strength to all of us.
    I heard a quote this week which sort of went like this...
    'Cancer might be happening to you, but it certainly does not define who you are.'
    This is how I see you this this computer screen I am looking at.
    You are an amazing daughter of Heavenly Father who loves you dearly. You are a wonderful wife, mom, sister and friend whose heart is huge for all those around you.
    We can feel your love your Savior, Jesus Christ and for your family... You cherish your friend ships. I am glad there is an end to the treatments and it is soon:)

    Whew, I don't know where all that came from, as I am shutting down for the night... My daughter would say I was a little fruity tonight and maybe I am. Just know I am thinking about you.

  16. Hi Michelle
    I have just found your blog today and its delightful and I am so happy I have.
    That is wonderful that you have 5 sessions left and then you will be done. Be strong...stay strong and look forward.

    You have lovely things to look forward to with the graduation coming up too.

    It sounds like you have met a nice support group of others to share with.

    I hope this is a lovely day for you.
    come by and visit when you have some time.
    I'll be back too!


I appreciate each and every single one of you who stops by for a visit...thank you! Please leave me a comment...I really love hearing from you :)