An Inspiration: Living With Cancer
Jay's journey began before he was four...
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy....
those words begin a legendary John Denver song...
My precious Jay and Stephanie live their lives embracing the sun...
My daughter has battled cancer all of her life and now she has a new diagnosis on her plate.
An even if she were not my daughter I know that I would be inspired by how she lives her life.
We made a promise many years ago when she was diagnosed with her first cancer....the promise remains --do not miss one minute of any day trying to second guess the future.
So in keeping with that, she gets up every day and LIVES. She has a 24/7 job taking care of the baby who is now 9...soon to be 10.... I have written about him....
She is in the process of organizing a golf tournament to help raise monies to help pay expenses that insurance does not cover. In other words, her days are full taking little man to every event he feels like going to with his home school group in addition to all of her other daily activities.
Living is her way of coping with the news that her days are numbered. The truth of it is, all of our days are numbered so living one day only at a time makes a lot of sense.
My Girl and her Big Boy...
What a diagnosis of terminal means to our family...
My eldest grandson was diagnosed as terminal about eight years ago. A few years later, my daughter, his Momma, was diagnosed as terminal too.
We did not know what a diagnosis of terminal means. We thought it meant that they should give away everything and prepare to meet their maker (not quite that dramatic of a reaction but we did think it meant that death was imminent.
We now know that it means not curable. It means years and years of enduring treatments and then living with the side effects of those treatments as the cure poisons the major organs.
The one thing above all else it means is livingso that each day matters. It puts all things in their proper perspective.
The doctors told my daughter to party like a rock star----that was six years ago after repeated diagnoses of cancer after cancer plauging her body.
Lesson learned: party like a rock star---live each day to the fullest. Do not miss one minute of any day trying to second guess the future.
Loving and living, two brothers share the planet
My Daughter's Attitude is like Valerie's
When her hair grew out, this color was the one she chose!!
You don't develop courage by being happy.....every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Not much time...
She was told seven years ago to party like a rock star because her time on the planet was limited. She has been a cancer survivor for almost nine years. But the death sentence came four years ago. It fell on deaf ears.
Every time she went to a doctor he would say,'you aren't supposed to be here.' And, she would smile, and, say, 'but I am.' She has had massive chemo and radiation for years. She stopped taking chemo the year before her youngest son was born . He was destined to be on the planet.
The chemo was literally killing her that is why she stopped. Doctors would find new clinical trials and she would try those. After my baby grandson was born, she went on more trials. She has been on probably six different trials, give or take. The last was the WORST. I thought we were going to lose her eighteen months ago from the diabolical poison.
Holding the baby the doctor said she would never have
Have YOU learned to party like a rock star???
Stronger than a diagnosis
She has suffered irreversible heart damage and has to undergo surgery recently to have a stent put in her heart as a tumor is blocking an artery. Prayers are in order please.
One thing that is difficult to understand for some is this. It is almost impossible to tell if someone has cancer by looking at them unless they have an obvious skin cancer or tumor that is obvious to the naked eye and even then it is not possible to be certain.
So many times people have said,she looks so well. But they have not been there through the seizures, the passing out, and many other side effects..She does not complain much at all. You would not know if you did not know that she is sick. Her will to live is a huge part of why she is on the planet.
How do I explain that she is here? Reason number one: Her determination and my grandson determination to live each day and to not give in to the cancer that ravage their bodies. Reason number two; Prayer. Prayer. And more prayer. I have an amazing family of friends and actual family members who lift each of us up every day.
2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu....
The year the 'party' began....
We celebrated her 40th birthday on May 24th of last year. She was born in 1972. I will never forget the evening before her birth. I went into labor and my husband took me to the hospital. The doctor told us to go walk around in the parking lot until my water broke.
We went out to the parking lot, it was about ten o'clock, a starry but dark evening. We walked around for a bit and before long most amazing red fox, perky and curious, with a fluffy bushy tail waltzed right across our path. Soon after the appearance of that sassy little critter, my water broke. I always told my daughter I knew she would love animals because of the little fox visiting us that night. She does love animals. We have had many many come to stay at our house. We were a halfway house for wounded animals often.
This weekend is truly a special weekend because my girl has been told so many times that her death is imminent. She had been told she would not see this birthday.
That birthday was a special celebratory time. Friends and family from all over the state came to rejoice with us. And, her best friend from high school came to town for the weekend. She came to Florida from North Carolina for this event. Her friend would spend the night at our house often. It is a special friendship. After all these years, they still are very close.
Many other friends that came for that weekend celebration were her high school friends as well. Friends she has made through the years also drove across the state to be there. Family, too, as I mentioned would come to celebrate another milestone for my girl.
They camped at a beautiful spring here in Florida. They are camped. I went for the day and then took home baby boy so we could have a pajama party.
Lesson learned: party like a rock star...whatever that means for your life. Live each day.
Love love these two!!!
My Heart Sings...
We celebrate L I F E. Each day is a gift. For each one of us. Not just for my daughter.
We get up every day and rejoice. I have been given another day to soak in all that is wonderful on the planet. I can rejoice that my eldest grandson and my daughter both are surviving.
There are many things that I could choose to find in the world to make me not feel blessed. There are things that happen to others that cause me not to rejoice. Those are things that I pray about hoping to find direction. Hoping to find some small way that I can make a difference.
But in my own little corner of the world, my heart sings as I have another day to love and celebrate my family.
You can read more on this topic at:
When catstrophic illness come knocking part 1
When cancer come knocking part 2
When cancer come knocking part 3 tp://pstraubie48.hubpages.com/hub/When-Cancer-Comes-Knockingpart-3
baby and Momma at his first Christmas
a Reason to Celebrate...
Surprisingly, we have never questioned 'why' my daughter got sick. She just did. Would it change anything if we did know?
We are in this together. This kind of catastrophic illness invades homes all across our country on a daily basis. And families are torn apart by the years and years of the up and down of these diseases. Or not.
One comment in one of my articles by someone said just that..they said that what I wrote about could be said about many diseases. And that is true. Cancer is only one of many illnesses that invades lives and will tear them apart if allowed. And, furthermore, I do not think we have the corner on suffering. I just happen to feel a need to share this so others may know that it is a difficult and scary and heart-wrenching journey to have two family members who are struggling every day to stay on the planet. But, if you choose to grab every moment of living you can out of each day then you will have no regrets when they finally succumb.
The lessons learned along the way are many and will make a difference in your life for your whole life.
In our family, we have had our moments of 'crashing and burning.' But we crash and burn and then move on. It is a choice....choose to LIVE or choose to give up and give in.
So, we celebrate this daughter's 41 years on the planet. We are so blessed.
Update 1: She was unable to have the surgery mentioned above. She has major issues with clotting so surgery at this time is out of the question. She has been put on a new medication to see if it helps and will be reassessed in 3 months. Updates to follow.
Update 2: Many issues with her heart (damage from all of the treatment she has had); now taking 23 meds a day. Prognosis: Excellent...today is all we have, it is a gift, we are still partying like rock stars!!!