Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wanted to Share This....

I found this tucked away in one of my books (yes, I'm actually starting to do a little bit of spring cleaning......the operative word being little) :) and after reading it again, I thought I would share it with you. I guess this is why I saved it!

When the "storms" of life
gather darkly ahead
I think of these wonderful words
that I once read

And I say to myself
as threatening clouds hover
"Don't fold your wings and run for cover"

But like the eagle
spread wide your wings
and soar far above
the troubles life brings

For the eagle knows
that the higher he flies
the more tranquil and brighter
become the skies

And there is nothing in life
we were ever asked to bear
that we can't soar above
on the wings of a prayer

And in looking back over
the storm you passed through
You'll find you gained strength
and new courage too.

For in facing life's storms
with an eagle's wings
You can fly far above
Earth's small petty things.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm REALLY Full of HATE right now....

I really don't use the word "hate". Never really have used it as a regular word in my vocabulary. I'm not saying I have never ever used the word hate, as in "I hate mashed potatoes" (yes....I know....I'm weird) or "I hate watermelon"......(yes.....again...I know I'm weird), so when I think about it, I don't really use the word "hate" very much at all and the only time I can recall using it, is in regards to food items! The last few days though, I have used the word HATE in regards to cancer.....and not even my cancer! I'll scream it right now though....for ALL to hear......I HATE CANCER. In the last week, it has come to my attention, that 2 very close and dear people are dying from cancer, and I am just so angry that yes, it elicited the word HATE from me......numerous times actually. I mean deep down. Firstly, my dear long time and wonderful friend, who will remain nameless here, due to privacy issues, as I haven't asked for her permission to talk about this using her name, has found out that her Mom who has beat this CANCER Monster twice already in her lifetime, has again been diagnosed with a return to various parts of her body and it just doesn't sound good. She (the Mom) is a very religious person and has handled her past bouts of cancer with grace, confidence and courage......which, as I personally know, is a challenge in and of itself. Secondly, a male friend I know, oh gosh, we go back 35 years, has been diagnosed with not only lung cancer, but liver, brain and a multitude of other organ cancers. Kevin, my ex, called to tell me the news and after we got off the phone, I cried for about 2 hours straight. Really cried. I love this guy....we go back so far and have so many wonderful times and memories together....too many to even remember! The news of these 2 folks battling this horrible disease, just made me so angry and brought the word HATE into my brain. My heart aches for their present and future suffering. My heart aches for their families who are so powerless over this disease. My hear aches because these are good people and yet are consumed with this bad disease. I just had to write and get this out as I cannot stand to keep this HATE inside of me. We, as a people, need to reach out to each and every person who we love and treasure and make sure they know that we do. That's the only weapon I know that can battle cancer. Being together. Showing Love and Support. Talking and Sharing. As a present Cancer survivor myself, I ask that you do these things. Reach out and Hug who is important in your life. Tell them you love them. That's the only internal weapon we have.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me......

On February 15 it will be my 9 month post Bone Marrow Transplant Anniversary! YAY! I can't believe it has been 9 months already. I am feeling so wonderful, it's hard to believe I was feeling so crappy and literally near death, just 9 short months ago. I'm not gonna was a hard rocky road I traveled, being on chemo for 14 months prior to the transplant and then the transplant itself, but the rewards I am reaping now makes the journey so well worth it. All of the suffering, the pain and other unmentionable side effects were killers, but all in all, I came through it oh so well, and except for some fatigue here and there and of course the back pain I live with, I am doing so great right now. I am just the most fortunate woman in the whole world and enjoying every new day I have been given. Not a day goes by that I don't give thanks for my family who was taking each and every step with me and never left my side. I pray for all MM patients that they can and will be as fortunate as I have been, in their battle with MM. I am curently "mentoring" a gentleman I met, as he too is a patient of Dr. Nair's (there are only 3 MM patients in his whole practice.....that's how rare this cancer is) and this fellow is also going to Moffitt next month for all his tests and then the scheduling of his BMT, pending results of all testing. Mom and I met with him and his wife for lunch a while ago when he was first diagnosed and kinda walked them through the process of what it will be like, but now that he has his dates all lined up, we'll be meeting again before he goes to give them all the "ins and outs" of life as a BMT patient at Moffitt. I am so glad he is going there as I know who his caretakers and doctors will be so I rest assured that he is in wonderful hands. I feel grateful that I can be of some help to someone going through this as "Multiple Myeloma World" is a scary place to live and it's nice to have a friend along the way. The only thing that sneaks into my consciousness every once in a while is knowing that this wonderful remission will not last forever. You cannot beat Myeloma. It's the devil in disguise. However......I did join a telephone conference sponsored by the LLMS (Leukemia, Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma Society) last week and heard an MM doctor talk about new and upcoming treatments for MM and when the conference was over I was almost elated (geez....I don't think I've ever used that word before!) at the information he discussed. There are new drugs since I was even diagnosed (2 yrs ago) and many more on the horizon to deal with any relpases that may occur so it made me much less afraid of what the future may hold. I really don't plan on relapsing anyway (wink wink) but I filed the info away so when the time comes I can discuss my options and know what I am talking about. Always be an informed consumer!! So take that MM (punch punch) don't know who you messin wif! LOL

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Waxing Philosophical, I guess......

The other day I was going thru one of my many "cancer" notebooks that I've kept since I started this journey and came across something I had written in one of my more philosophical moments. This is what I wrote verbatim: " How many times in your life can you look back and see that when things that looked like disasters at the time, turned out to be incredible gifts and became pivotal turning points in your life? We ALL have experienced this so we KNOW this. So I think the "trick" for living a clear life with calmness within and without, is to talk to ourselves and remember to remind ourselves AS THE PERCEIVED DISASTER IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING, that here is another "gift in the making" coming our way."
Easier said then done I know, but......
Nuff said.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Yep...Still Here...and I'm One Grateful Gal.....

These last four weeks have really been a blur for me. Lots of personal "issues" going down around here, but the negatives are slowly but surely turning into positives. I really don't keep secrets from you as I have always been open and honest about what I write, but the "issues" I am talking about are not mine, so as not to intrude on the privacy of others, I will not talk about them here. I only mention them to you now, as an explanation and so you would understand where my focus has been lately, but all seems to be coming back to what I call my "new normal". About time!! I had a Dr. Nair appt a few weeks ago and having had done the joyful "pee pee" thing the week prior to the appt. I was anxious to see him and go over the results as well as having my bloodwork done at the office, to see what was up with everything in my body these days. GOOD NEWS FRIENDS!! The pee pee contained not even one ugly little MM cell. NONE. NADA. ZILCH. ZERO. I am so proud of my body I just can't stand it!! It has done such a terrific job engrafting all of those little baby stem cells they put back into me. They all did their job and went to their assigned stations and started to work as soon as they arrived! How much better can that be? Dr. Nair and I spoke for quite awhile, and he told me that I am his BEST result ever in Multiple Myeloma treatment. He said that it is quite common to be in "remission" but test results will detect trace amounts of MM cells, and I have none. In cancer talk there are various categories of remission......the top 2 being called Complete Remission which means no cells to be found and the next category down is called Partial Remission...which means they can't find any active MM cells, but they do detect some MM cells. I am just so very fortunate that I have taken so well to the treatment of first the Revlamid and Dex to prepare for the BMT, and then the BMT itself. I know in my heart that I could not have done this medical team, the hospital team, my family, my friends, and to all of you and people who I have never even met, praying for me and my recovery. It's really unfathomable and overwhelming when I think about it. I am truly the most fortunate and grateful person alive. Instead of fighting for the right to live my life, I've been given the chance to actually live it once again. How awe inspiring! It makes me cry when I think about it really. To literally face death and being given the opportunity to be able to walk away from it makes me really re-assess who I am, what I should do, where I'm going, and so many many more things. I meditate every day and also pray for guidance and strength. It's all still so much a work in progress.....the way I feel about my remission and what I will do to make the world a better place. When I first got home from my BMT I was seeing Dr. Nair once a week for the 1st 2 months, and then "graduated" to every other week for awhile, and then to once a month and at this last visit, he said that he only wanted to see me every other month now. EEEEEEEEEEK!! My doctor is slowly cutting the umbilical cord! He laughed when I told him that but it's true really. There is a bit of anxiety associated with the fact that you are not seeing your doctor as often. Of course it's a GREAT thing, but when you think about it, I have been seeing him basically, except for a few months, once week since April of 2007!! That's a long time. We have a relationship. So now the little bird (me) is slowly being nudged to the end of the nest and looking down and seeing how far it is from the top of the tree and wondering if I really do have the wings to fly. Him and his staff have supported me and been there for me through the worst of times. I know it must be gratifying for him to "discharge" patients as that means they are well enough to only come back for annual checkups which of course is ultimately my goal as well. It's this middle ground I'm still feeling my way around. Kinda like being a teenager I guess. Not a child and not a grown up yet. Yep....that's me for now :)