Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friends - One of God's Blessings

I have been sitting here trying to put into words the joy I feel right now. Moving and then the whole breast cancer ordeal made it difficult to make friends or to keep in contact with old friends. I am also skittish – my family and I were burned so badly by a “friend” that keeping to myself seemed to make sense. I felt the lack of friends fiercely though.

God has His own timing and He led me through that lonely time. One by one old friends have been restored to me and I am so grateful. I have also been able to reach out and take the hand of a new friend.

AlaskaWoman was the first. We found each other on line and have kept up a daily sharing of our lives. We began the habit of listing each day what we were grateful for and it makes such a difference. Sitting down to look for the good in our lives improved our lives. I love AlaskaWoman for her self – the girl she was in high school and the woman she is now.

Red is my new friend. She is Caramel’s mother. Red has been so generous to me, gently helping me over my shyness and wary attitude. She is inspiring and fun. We share shopping, movies and musicals. Simply put, Red rocks!

This weekend as I sat cuddling with the Pirate and watching TV, there was a knock at the door. In walked one of my best friends ever! I had not seen Photogal in several years due to issues in her life and mine, with a whole country between us. Our hug was healing. We fell into conversation as if only days had passed. We have seen each other through some of the darkest days of our lives. I am thrilled that Photogal is on this side of the US now. It’s like a part of me has been brought back to life.

I hope that I each of these women know what a blessing they are to me. I hope I am a blessing to them also. Words are not enough to explain how I feel about these women.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Part 5

Big hospital room dimly lit. Oh hey, there is my friend. She is arguing with a nurse. Something about if they don’t leave me alone I can never rest. The nurse goes away. I go back to sleep.

I wake up and say, “Hi”. She gets me some food and I think she feeds me. Back to sleep.

I am awake now more than asleep. They give me the diabetic meal plan and I complain. They don’t change it. I am too tired to argue. My IV pole holds several large bags – they change them every few hours. Lots of antibiotics flow into my veins. I sleep.

Finally, I am better. I have walked around with the IV pole and done my duty in the bathroom. I am going home.

Home, back in bed, I break out with the mother of all yeast infections – it is everywhere! Add another med to my growing list.

Back to work and I feel shaky and out of it but I persevere. Gradually I regain my strength and my wits. A couple of weeks go by and guess what? It is time for radiation.

The nurses and technicians are very friendly and matter of fact. That helps as I lay there with my poor scarred boob out for the entire world to see. The set up takes the longest, the radiation no time at all. They give me creams and lotions to apply and say to put it on three times a day. Sure, I will just grease up at work and ruin all my clothes. NOT. I apply the lotions twice a day. My breast turns red and brownish. It is uncomfortable but not too painful. I wear my loose bra and take Advil. I am tired but not nauseated. Praise the Lord!

Soon it is over and I am free from intense medical treatment for the first time in over a year. Scary shit. If I am not seeing the doctor every week, how will I know that I am ok?

Now it has been a couple of years and I am still ok. For me, as for many others, there is Before Cancer and After Cancer. I’ve graduated to 6 month visits with my oncologist. I have what seem to be permanent hot flashes. I am fat but losing weight. Life is better. God has kept me around for some reason and I work at trying to do His will.