Better late than Never

SSSsssssoooorrrrrryyyyy.

It has taken me so long to log in my journal.  I told you guys that I would update shortly after my last scan.  Let me begin with the great news.  I had yet another “clean” scan.

You would think that I would report this news promptly, but we had a family mishap that diverted our attention.  Our dear young friend Cody, 14yo boy, who stays with us quite a bit.  He goes to school with Jack and has a troubled family…Anyway.  He was hit by a truck while crossing the street in front of our house.  It was horrible.  Luckily, he only suffered a fractured (or should I say shattered) femur.  The accident was witnessed by myself, Jack, and our younger son Clayton.  It was very upsetting and has taken much of our attention here recently.  Cody has been recovering nicely and is back at school on crutches.  He is a brave and determined young man.

Also time consuming… I have gone back to work part-time.  The economy is hard and sales are slow.  I am not certified at this time in my profession, so I started cleaning houses.  Business has grown quickly and I am working a lot of hours while the kids are at school.  It is good fast money and allows the flexibility to arrange my schedule as needed.  It is laborious too though and takes a toil on me sometimes.  I will sit for my certification exam in Jan, and hopefully this will open up better job options.

I have been experiencing some neuropathy, and more recently neck pain and stiffness.  In addition to the pain in my hands and feet, an MRI indicated cervical disc degenerations, spinal stenosis and arthritis in my neck.  I am planning to schedule physical therapy after the Christmas break and this should help to alleviate the pain and immobility.

Speaking of Christmas, we plan to stay here in Memphis.  As some of you know…Gordon lost his father not too far back.  We will enjoy spending time with his family, cherishing the memory and remorsing the loss of our dear “Dat!”  We all loved him so and surely miss him!

Gordon and I continue to be faithful along our path.  We have so many good friends and loving family members.  Despite some woes, we have so much to be grateful for.  I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving.

I pray that you all hold God in your heart, and may you carry His love with you…keeping you joyful and strong in whatever comes your way.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Love,
Peri

Forewarning: I May Rant

thekids

Hi.  How is everyone?  Tell me about your Thanksgiving!  We went to Knoxville this year, a first.  It was awesome.  Gordon’s sister (Donna) & aunt and uncle (Nancy and Gordon) live there.  We had a delicious fairy tale feast thanks to Saralene “Grandy.”  We all ate way too much.  Thomas, Missy, and Carmen came, and a few of Carmen’s college friends.  The only missing one was Taylor…she had to work :( .  We visited Nancy and Gordon’s beautiful home with mountain views, barn, horses, dogs…We had another feast, and went on a walk about the property.  Simply breath taking!  Saturday we went to the UT game.  Donna landed us a skybox, so all of us could go on a cold day.  Climate controlled stadium seating with a choice of foods and drinks!!  The land of “important” people.  I felt privileged.  AND UT WON!!  I drove home Sunday without Gordon and that was the roughest part.  It was so good to see him for so many days in a row, without work and chores to do.  I treasure all of the memories of this time.  I pray that all of you had a nice Thanksgiving too, and would love to hear about it.

There are times when many of you have shared your woes, only to follow with ….”I am so sorry.  Here I am complaining, with all that you are going through.”  I have never been one to merit or rate pain and suffering.  Everyone’s is real, no matter how big or small.   Most of the time I have a really good attitude about everything, and when down, I can quickly redirect myself through pray, friends, chores, reading, and crossword puzzles :) .  Well, I have been worried about my cancer lately.  I feel that it is getting bigger.  I am tired of having cancer, and going though treatment.  I feel overwhelmed with the idea of having cancer, being without Gordon so much of the time, wanting to sell the house while thinking about what I can do to help it sell. I can’t do everything I want to do because I am tired.  I have to only do some things, which usually means “the basics.”  I can’t do anything to my usual standard, so to me…it is mediocre and I just “settle” for what it is.  Blah, blah, blah…and then my thoughts take me to…”HOW can you complain when your life is so good?”  There are folks out there who are alone for Thanksgiving, who are really dying from cancer, who are imprisoned, running for their lives, enduring abuse…the list goes on.  My complaining is not worthy.  Ok enough.  It is ok to be “over it!”  I am trying to be true to my feelings and fatigue, and not judge them.  I am trying to allow them to surface, and give them the time they need to process.  I am trying to face my fear and worry, and walk through it …not stuff it.  As I say, I am trying.  I continue to engage in simple acts of service and kindness to the best of my ability…the true restorative strategy to get my mind off my own obsessions, on over to someone else’s needs.  It is not that I am totally ignoring myself, it just helps me not to obsess.  It helps, and I get the good feeling of helping someone else.

This week, my counts were down.  I had three shots to my stomach to bring them to levels to be able to receive my chemo.  I had chemo yesterday, and it went well.  I saw the doctor too.  The big news:  MY CA125 is back to normal range.  This means that my cancer is probably shrinking and that I am doing better!! I am moderately excited.  Why not ecstatic?  The treatment continues.  Here’s the plan.  Scan in January.  Two more treatments (4 weeks apart), and then another scan.  If no presence of disease, we will stop chemo and continue to check my CA125 levels, possibly scan to monitor absence or growth of cancer.  If cancer is still present, I will have two-four more treatments and scan again.  Either way…I just can’t get my head around this being a “long term” disease.  I know that there are many women out there who fought for years, and reached a cancer free status and have had many years cancer free.  I just want to be there NOW.  Impatient, tired, and over it.  My doctor asked if presently, my quality of life is good?  Yes, it is.  So what am I complaining about????  Well, as stated before.  No measure of worth, my fear and worry and fatigue is real, and I am sick of dealing with it.  There.  I own my feelings.

Told you I was going to rant.  Thanks for listening, my dear friends.  Hopefully next time, I will be my encouraged, sun shiney self.  But for now, I await the ills of post chemo nausea and lethargy…and not with a good attitude.  I love you guys so much.  Thanks for being there for me…ALWAYS.  With your help and support, I will continue to get through this.

Until the next time,

Peri