Friday, March 22, 2013

The quest for health

Wouldn't it be awesome if we came with an instruction manual that had all the answers to keeping us healthy and living long? Unfortunately, no one has written the complete version of that. So what's a girl with a chronic illness to do? Truth is, there is no perfect answer to that. But my inner control freak isn't ok with that "sit back and do nothing" plan. 

It's rather funny that I never knew I was such a control freak before I lost control to cancer. I guess we always learn more about ourselves every day. Anywho, I digress. So what can I do about this cancer thing? Well, first off, I'm going the conventional medicine route. I took my third chemo treatment yesterday and am currently praying for sinus issues and nosebleeds as this will be an indication of which arm of the clinical study I am in. It feels good emotionally to be in treatment. It feels like I am doing something to fight these tumors back. 

But it's not enough. I have totally revamped my diet. I've been doing a lot of research and have tried to focus 80 percent of my diet around plant based, clean eating. It was weird at first but it's definitely feeling good. Aside from the chemo side effects I feel healthier. I feel leaner and stronger. That's kind of cool. My new favorite additikn to my day is my breakfast, I start each day off with a fruit and veggie smoothie. This morning was blue berries, black berries, apple, almonds, spinach, asparagus and kale with a dash of cinnamon. I'm hooked. I'm just short of a month into my smoothies and I love them! 

I am just hoping to help my body along. I am also focusing on keepingy stress levels down and relaxing my body. I do believe stress fueled my condition. Hurricane Sandy anyone? Something tells me it's no coincidence that my cancer professed aggressively after that craziness! So what am I doing there? I take time every day to relax, meditate and pray. Gotta heal that soul if I'm gonna heal the bod. I don't know if any of what I am doing is going to help my prognosis but it won't hurt. And in the meantime, it helps me to feel more well. And I guess that's the best anyone can ask for.

One more quick thing. I hope she doesn't mind me announcing it, but I'm so happy I want to shout it from the roof... Since I am afraid of heights this will do instead! Mom had her follow up and got the results this week! No sign of cancer!!! Halleluiah! Thank you God for answering our prayer!! Yippee! Please keep her well and blessed. Amen!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy birthday to me....

Today, I turn 36 years old. It's funny, for some reason, when people ask me how old I am, I often think of myself as 34. It's as though time stopped still for me when I got cancer. But as much as it seems that way, time marches on, and here we are, two years later. Life has gotten more complicated, but at 36 years old, I am every bit as blessed as I was two years ago... And perhaps in some ways, even more.

I am able to see the blessings in my life more clearly. I know now that even through adversity, I am still the same old me. I have seen hard times, and yet, I remain the same girl I always was. Maybe just a little stronger, but still as faithful and optimistic as I was before. That's not to say I don't have my angry or fearful moments, but it's to say that with a lot of work, I am able to rise above them and feel like me again. Challenges did not render me unrecognizable to myself.

I will get another chemo treatment today. When reading my chart last week, my nurse asked me if I wanted to schedule today's appointment for another day. I said no. While it's an odd choice, it's my birthday present to myself. Chemo is the gift that keeps on giving and it's the best chance I have to celebrate a boatload more birthdays. So I love myself enough to give me the gift of the fight. Happy birthday to me. I am worth the side effects!

The truth is, I remember being freaked out about getting older. The thought of being closer to 40 to 30 was once something that would have made me cringe. Rather, these days, I embrace each new age. Grateful to be here to see it, and to enjoy it. Don't fear getting older, folks. Instead, love every second of it because it means you are here and you can! That's my plan. I will savor every grey hair. I will celebrate every wrinkle. I will blow out every extra candle on the cake. Because I am here, and because I can.

Thank you God for my 36th birthday!

Love and light.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And I know just how to handle this...

A few years ago, the country girl in me heard a song that brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful and relatable to any girl who has faced any kind of challenge. At the time, the second verse rang true to me as I was continuing my climb up the corporate ladder to the job I wanted for so long.

Now, the last verse brings the tears to my eyes and a sob to my throat and reminds me to hold my head high and give it hell. Tomorrow starts chemo again. I had hoped that it would be a chapter in my life never to be revisited, but alas, not meant to be. God wants me to keep fighting, and so I shall. I will not let this define the light in my eyes... and I will fight like a girl...

cancer, you are a stubborn sonofabitch... but you just don't know how determined I am. You are about to find out. I am not a statistic. I am not a victim. I am a survivor. My pink gloves are on!

 If you feel like tearing up, here's the video:

"Fight Like A Girl"

Little girl alone on the playground
Tired of gettin' teased and gettin' pushed around
Wishin' she was invisible to them
She ran home cryin', why do they hate me?
Her mama wiped her tears and said,
Baby, you're brave and you're beautiful

So hold your head high
Don't ever let them define
The light in your eyes
Love yourself, give em hell
You can take on this world
You just stand and be strong
And then fight like a girl

31, she was wheelin' and dealin'
Kept on hittin' that same glass ceiling
She was never gonna be one of the boys, no
She could of gave up on her ambitions
And spend the rest of her life just wishin'
Instead she listened to her mama's voice sayin'

So hold your head high
Don't ever let them define
The light in your eyes
Love yourself, give em hell
You can take on this world
You just stand and be strong
And then fight like a girl

Oh, with style and grace
Kick ass and take names

10 years of climbin' that ladder
All the money and power don't matter
When the doctor said, the cancer spread
She holds on tight to her husband and babies
And says, this is just another test God gave me
And I know just how to handle this

I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it hell
I'll take on this world
Yes, I'll stand and be strong
No I'll never give up
I will conquer with love
And I'll fight like a girl