Friday, 13 April 2018

Bit More Explaination

I started a GoFundMe after saying "no" to it for a while.  I want to get out why I was saying "no" at first.  For one, a friend tried once before for me when the cancer came back and it was a flop.  This seems to be the norm for any personal campaigns for my family.  It's just the way it works.  Maybe it's because we're used to working for everything.  I was working in elementary school as a newspaper carrier, I had a pet sitting business, I made crafts.  One I could fully work, I had a job.  Then another job, and sometimes more.  I did manual labour, tech work, I did it all because I like earning my money.  I'm limited now.  Very limited.  I've tried to do more but physically cannot.  I need to accept that.

Now that I'm back on chemo, I tire quicker and quicker each dose.  I have three awesome kids that can be tyrants because they're all under 9 years old, they're kids, they act like kids.  The average mother will agree that the most agreeable child can become a tempest of doom in a heart beat.  Kids are growing, they get frustrated, they are learning how to express themselves, it does not always mean they found the proper way to do that yet.

My husband had started his career before we met and long before we married.  We had lots of plans and we could do them all on our own until someone caused a car collision and I was permanently injured.  Now I can't do a lot of the stuff I once could.  Then cancer compounded onto that.  This month alone, I have eleven (11) doctor's appointments and I'll be having a bone scan.  Bone scans take 4-6 hours depending on a plethora of variables.  I need child care for two kids for all of those appointments, I need gas to travel the average of 30km to the appointments (one way), I need to pay for parking (but I do get it half price at least), I have to pay for my prescriptions including chemo, thank heavens my husband's plan covers them.  (Before anyone asks I have to pay for my chemo because it's dispensed at a pharmacy outside of the hospital).

I'm the one that does most of the cooking.  Why?  My dad taught me how to cook and bake and I like doing it.  My husband does try to help when he can, he really loves helping with chocolate chip cookies, but I'm the cook in the family, that's our life.  So I get tired and fall asleep because my body can't take it any longer, what happens then?  If there's leftovers, they're used, if not it's one of two things: something my hubby is comfortable making, or take out.  Three meals a day and snacks can add up on my tired body.  We have been doing our best to make this strain less on me, but it still acts up often - who knew you had to eat every day several times! (HA!)

I have days I can't walk far because of pain.  I have days I can't move without feeling like parts will shatter off my body.  I have stabbing pain from the cancer sometimes.  All this stuff is adding up.  This is life with disabilities and cancer.  Some are REALLY good a hiding the issues they face and, honestly, we generally pride ourselves in appearing "normal".  I guess it's a case of masks.  Today my mask will not show my back pain is already a 6 on the scale of 1 to 10.  Today my mask will not show that my depression is kicking in.  Today my mask will not show the tears I cried because I feel like I'm failing.

This is definitely now a rant...  So this is part of the why I finally said okay to the campaign: It doesn't help my family if I'm prideful.  I cannot do what I used to.  I need help, I need to ask.  I just hope that people will step up like they've offered before, and if nothing else SHARE the campaign.

To find the GoFundMe that I started CLICK HERE

I'm really so tired that I'm not even proof reading this before posting.  My youngest is sick and I got to come back to finish this after I picked him up from daycare, got his fever down, fed him, and got him to have a nap.  I'm tired.  I'm going to have a nap and worry about supper after.  This is my day

Thursday, 12 April 2018

I give up, I need help

I have swallowed the last of my pride.  I have started up a GoFundMe for myself.  I am tired of cancer sucking all the life and money out of my family.  If you can donate, awesome, if not, please share.  Thanks

Support Julie Living With Cancer Here

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Happy Bday Hubby

This post may seem like a "#humblebrag", but I'm starting to think that it's something that more people need to be aware of.

My hubby is having his bday soon.  He's been by my side through more crap than most couples need to deal with in the first few years of their marriage.  I wanted to put out into the interwebs what kind of man he is.

Before my husband I had heard of people saying they "married their best friend" and I didn't fully know how that felt.  I had been married before and it was not a good situation.  It took me a long time to realize what that relationship was.  This marriage that I'm in now is completely different.  I can say that I married my bestfriend.  A part of our relationship is so similar to what I have with those that I have long called my bestfriends.  We can laugh, cry, complain, be smart-assed, or just hang out doing absolutely nothing, and be content together.  We love to play video games together, we can read books on the couch together and not say a word, we can watch movies together because we have the same tastes for the most part.  No, we're not exactly alike, if one of us wants to do something that other doesn't, we don't force it on the other.  We just do our own thing at that point, it's not a big deal.

Our relationship isn't just a PG life, we are compatible lovers.  It's taboo to say stuff like that in our society but taboos can suck it - we're married, we love each other, we have sex.  That should be painfully evident since we have three kids.  Throughout our entire relationship, we've been able to enjoy our play-time together.  We can both say that we have fun with sex and neither of us ever pressures the other into having sex - something I didn't understand was possible for a long time. 

Hubby is a good father, too.  He takes care of our kids, he's not just a couch potato, even though he's worked all day.  He plays with the kids, helps with discipline, teaches the kids, hugs them, and kisses them.  He is always there when they need him, but he doesn't do everything so they can learn some independence.  I know that no matter what, he is a responsible parent, a gentle hand but firm teacher.

This is our relationship.  We're able to be by ourselves and be happy.  We're able to love each and not feel forced into it.  We're able to be apart and not fear what the other is doing, we miss each other a lot, but we're not able to feel that the other is up to something.  Here's the part many do not understand about us - we don't fight.  We don't.  We've never yelled at each other.  We don't argue.  We've disagreed before but it was a conversation, not an argument.  You may think I'm lying, but I'm not.

I think that there's a lot of compromise in relationships, and that's okay to an extent.  I found I compromised a lot and it lead to bad relationships.  I finally said that I would not change me for someone and found someone that never once asked me to.  I found someone that I didn't need to wear a mask with, someone that doesn't need me to bend to their will to keep them happy.  I've been in bad relationships and learned over a long time that I was dealing with issues because of compromising myself for my partner.  Do I think any of my bad relationships would have lasted after I was permanently injured from the car collision?  No.  Do I think any of my bad relationships would have lasted after my cancer diagnoses?  Hell no.  Not all relationships can take that kind of stress, especially with kids in the mix.  I'm extremely lucky, and I know it.  My hubby loves me no matter how many scars I have, no matter what parts of me get removed or rebuilt to not-the-same reconstruction, no matter if I'm really sick or able to function for the day.

What I'm trying to say, interwebs, is that even though I went through the bad relationships, I now finally understand what a relationship with a lover, partner, spouse is supposed to be.  Our relationship isn't 50/50, we're both very present in it.  I know that if he has a problem, he will talk to me.  He knows that if I have a problem, I will talk to him.  I know that every night that we get to go to bed together we'll fall asleep cuddled, with our last words to each other being, "Love you, goodnight sexy/handsome".  My greatest wish is for everyone to one day know this kind of relationship.

Happy bday, handsome.  Love every moment with you xoxo

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Reconstruction Rant

Inspired by a question on a breast cancer group, I have some words about reconstruction after finding out you have breast cancer - no matter the stage.  In no particular order:

-It's okay to be scared even after you thought you were ready. This is a surgery, no matter if you chose to have the TRAM, DIEP, GAP, Expanders over or under muscle, or Lat Dorsi, it's scary and you're allowed to be afraid.

-You're allowed to want to do this so you can feel some normalcy in your life. You're not being vain, you're not "getting a free boob job", you are trying to gain some control of an uncontrollable situation and that's perfectly fine

-There's a lot of self appointed "Google Doctors" out there that are going to try to spread fear and misinformation to you. TRUST your doctors, they're the ones that went to school for years and years to become professionals. If you have legitimate concerns even after talking with a doctor, ask for a second opinion from a medical professional, not a non doctorate quack

-Yes, there will be pain, take your prescriptions on time. I had some always at my bedside so I could take them immediately after napping. Don't be proud, ask for help, you had surgery, you wouldn't expect someone that had knee surgery to do everything an hour after they leave the hospital. Give yourself credit, you are doing something, you are healing - that takes a lot out of you. REST

-There's always the risk it will fail. Know your options. If it does fail, what is your back up. I knew that my expander would likely fail, but knew that if it did I could still have the Lat Dorsi, TRAM, DIEP, or GAP if I wanted. Knowing that made living with the possibility that it could fail more tolerable.

-There's more than one type of implant. There's silicone (which is much safer now), saline, plus there's shaped ones like a tear drop or rounds, there's smooth and rough edged. They all have their plus' and minus', know your options

-Stock your freezer or set up help with making foods for the week after your surgery. There's things like that you can use to help organize friends and family with meals. Best of all it's free.

-Ask for help with kids. Yes, you are going to be exhausted from healing. Read and watch shows with your kids but have someone that can take them out for play dates or even just stay in your house so you can rest. Remember: REST

-Horde pillows to help you find a comfortable sleeping position. Make adjustments, find your happy zone

-Know what lies ahead for your journey. If you're doing expanders, there will be an exchange for permanent implants unless they use the type that can be left in.

-Your new breasts may not look 100% breasty. Know that ahead of time. You may look immaculate, there may be scar tissue or healing issues. It's a gamble, like any alteration to your body. Know the risks, talk with your docs. Be blunt, you're permitted to know all the risks.

-If you your implants fail, see if you can keep the implant - they make for great stress toys 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

33 months

Today is a hard day.  I have come to the conclusion that February 15th and I do not have a healthy relationship.  February 15th is the date for both of my mastectomies, but today is not difficult because of that.  Today is harder than some days because this is 33 months from the time we discovered my cancer had metastasized.  In the US studies, the average life span for stage 4 breast cancer patients is 33 months.  We do not have any proper statistics, that I can find, that are for Canadians.  And even if we look fully at the US studies, they do not include people like me, they are only for people diagnosed stage 4 at the start of their breast cancer diagnosis.

I find today hard because there was a chance I would not make it here.  Statistics said I might not see my son turn 3 years old.  They said that I might not see my daughter off to her first day of school.  I definitely would not see my eldest go to jr high, if this had been true statistics for my situation.  Even though these numbers that we are told after diagnosis are from the past, they still hit me hard.  I know many that have lived passed the 33 month mark, but I know a lot that have not even made 12 months.  Some did not even make 6 months.

There are a lot of emotions at play today.  I am happy to be here, I am tired because of the chemotherapy, I am pissed at all the snake oil salesmen and misinformation pushers that pounce on unsuspecting cancer patients, I am grateful for my chemo that has helped me be here today, I am thankful for my medical team, I am sad for all my friends that are not here, today.

I will have a lot of ups and downs today.  I just need to see the day through, but now I wonder if I am on borrowed time.