so last week I posted my blog about no more numbers...then I posted a blog with my number. It is stupid to believe my heart won't do little back flips when it drops...and I won't feel like I have been punched in the stomach when it goes up. That is the name of my game. Let me get into the amazing people part.
rewind to high school...a slightly awkward period for me...alright alright an ENORMOUSLY awkward period for me. I didn't have many friends...and they were in general the people who existed on the fringe of my high school. I did have a few mainstream folks...mostly drama peeps. Not to say that I was hyper involved in drama...it was really 2 girls that convinced me to even audition for the spring musical Lil' Abner. I have remained in contact with these friends through facebook. I got to watch Elvis marry one of them in Las Vega, while I watched the other become a great mother. Can I really say they were my mainstream friends if one of them ended up in Vegas being married by Elvis and having wedding photos taken in the old Las Vegas Neon Graveyard? You betcha!
It is this girl that has sent me little cards or other types of pick me ups along the way. I know she was a little older than The Bug when her mom had to battle breast cancer. Her mom did what I did. When the hair started coming out she shaved it off, and rarely wore a wig. So this friend has seen the cancer beast up close an personal. I am so lucky she was signed onto facebook when I posted the link to my blog. It would have been so easy to miss...in all the fluff scrolling along the screen...like this if you were alive and remember silly putty...send me this in whatever game...and the list goes on and on. I love using facebook to keep up with people when I am too tired to keep up in real life. Having an IRL friendship can be exhausting. I can put in the work necessary for one real friendship, but keep up with like 30 different people. Whatever...back to the real topic. Miss K did see my post...she did click the link...and she does know someone like me who can help me.
This new person has given me some amazing perspective giving information. She has Stage 4 breast cancer. I understand that the type DOES NOT matter...most stage 4s are treated in relatively the same manner. We all go into battle guns blazing...kick the shit out of the cancer...get it gone. I'm sorry, what's that...I won't be getting rid of it? Alright well...I still for the next 2 drug regimes at least, ran in guns blazing...kicking the shit out of cancer...trying like hell to get it gone. What? I'm not sure I heard correctly...I feel like crap..and my number is rising? So cancer is building a larger army and I am weakened by all this fighting?!? Does that sound like I have everything about right? GREAT...wait you arent' finished...based on a laprascopy...you know there are cells in there that will probably never die. Awesome...now what? Watch and wait...Coolio...I get to feel great...worry okay alot...but spend a relatively symptom free Spring Break with the Bug. Number's back up you say? Back to infusions...this one might cause high blood pressure...blood clots...difficulty clotting...other bleeding issues...put protein in my urine...make me feel like I have the flu...all for the low, low price of $14,00/infusion...WHAT?!? but sure sign me up...kill the cancer. Do the infusions...number drops...the number creeps down another 100 points one cycle...jumps a little...then jumps a lot. Doc is ready to go back to one of the crazy toxic duos...oh yeah and for shits and giggles lets throw in the Avastin...because even though it isn't working...if I stop taking it and explosion of cancer cells could happen in my body.
I was feeling pretty bummed, but I got home to a mesage from Miss K. She wanted to introduce me to an amazing friend of hers. Another stage four warrior. However, she wanted us to be more than Facebook friends. She wanted us to be the real kind. Her friend has been battling Stage 4 cancer for 7 years. She looks amazing in her photos...alright maybe not the pics of her infusions...but I know I go for total comfort on those days. She has a support group of other stage for cancer fighters. They are called the "I.V. league." I totally want to steal it for my walk in the fall. I am actually thinking about Stage Four Fighter Fans. We can all carry fans. Wear tutus....with our neon, day glo colored shirts. I still want to meet some locals, but having ANYONE who is in the same place is amazing. Her name is Sandy and I am sort of a fangirl right now about her. She has posted one note since we became FB friends, and sometimes it feels like she is typing out my words. She refers to the treatment of an early stage cancer as a sprint. Wam, Bam, Thank you ma'am...remission...or even cure. She says stage four treatment is more like a marathon. It isn't always about jumping ship the second a drug stops working...or appears to have stopped working. Maybe in truth it is slowing the spread of this awful disease. She talks about the finite number of drugs on the market approved to fight our types of cancer. If we stay in the headspace that we had in the beginning we will run through all our treatment options long before it is time to say our farewells. She covered so many questions about how I have been feeling recently, with just a few words. I am not giving up...I am reining in. I am not rolling over and waiting for the grim reaper to make his way to my door...I am just saving much needed strength to use when chemo strips me down to just my brain...and sometimes comes for that too. Isn't she amazing. I think maybe she splits time living in Austin sometimes and sometimes Canada. I will have to talk more with her to find out those details an IRL friend should know.
Isn't life strange. My post could easily have been covered with game fodder and Miss K would never have read the blog. She could have never formed the bond she did with this woman. This woman could have been a real dud. She could have been so many things....
but for me she is a partner in this marathon we are running. Next Tuesday I start the next leg of my race. I won't be getting Avastin the insurance companies won't approve all three drugs to be given together. SO I will stick to Gemzar/Cisplatin...and say goodbye to quite a few of the hairs I have been working so hard to grow. Now I know I need to pace myself...now I know I'm not finished...I'm just running a slightly longer race than some.
to the moon and back
p.s. I think I might split my blog into two blogs. This one will be for crafty endeavors...and then I will create a new one for all my cancer stuff. That way nobody has to read anything they don't want. Crafters can get what they came for and supporters can find my fight. What do you guys think...should I split it or since all of it is me should it stay together?