Ugly Truths

Note: I wrote this last night. I am feeling much better today, but I think it is important to share the post anyway. To share that my attitude isn’t always Sunshine and Rainbows. That I have bad days. Plus, I’d love some feedback on what you do when you feel down like this.

Hi there readers. Guess what! Tuesday marks my half-way point through this second phase of treatment. Thank you, my sister, for helping me realize that! And, I’m sorry that I wasn’t up for talking. I was hungry, and this blog post will explain a little more.

I am glad to be halfway through this phase. But you know what? I’m pretty much over this whole cancer treatment thing. I’m tired. I am experiencing aches and pains and stomach issues and fatigue. It seems that I cannot get physically comfortable, and I’m having more trouble getting distracted with the things that have intrigued me thus far.

If cancer was a person, I would want want to beat the crap out of it. It makes me angry. It’s like this really annoying person who I tried to be nice to, and it just took advantage of me and my good nature. It needs to go. To get out of my life. To never contact me again. I need to change my number. Move, maybe. Get rid of this stalker.

Up until now, I’ve found things that make me happy. Planning my day-to-day schedule. Using essential oils. Always having my nails done with Jamberry. Blogging. Doing my makeup. Now these things aren’t bringing me as much joy as they were. Why? I’m not entirely sure. I assume that the fatigue is a big part of it. Increasingly, lately, the idea of spending the day in bed is more appealing than putting forth the effort to shower and put on my make-up and “look good.” As I plan my week, I see the how the need to adjust for my fatigue level lessens my productivity. Blogging about positive things gets harder by the day because I’m feeling less positive and less productive. And my concentration is poor, so organizing my thoughts and ideas to actually execute a project becomes increasingly difficult.

It’s not to say that I have no positive thinking. Overall, I am so grateful to my God that He has helped me endure this experience. My prognosis is good, and I am handling Chemo (for the most part) like a champ, so I don’t really have much about which to complain. My family and friends are as supportive as they were at my initial diagnosis, if not more so.

It’s just that cancer sucks. It really does. Treatment is rough. I have it far better than many, but I’m over it. And it does get harder, the more it builds up in one’s system. Discomfort increases and fatigue increases. Right now I have a constantly bloody nose because the Chemo aggravates the irritation in my sinus and nose from the dry heat needed this time of year.

Ugh! I have such a bad attitude, which annoys me. I know I will get over it. And I’ve allowed myself this weekend to acknowledge and feel these feelings. My nearest and dearest have allowed me to vent … nodding in sympathy and laughing in solidarity. This already makes me feel a bit better. And I know that I have a full week ahead that will make me feel productive and accomplished.

Tell me, readers, what do you find helps when you experience times like these? Not specific to cancer, but to feeling in a rut or like nothing is bringing you the joy it once was? Any words of encouragement, empathy, or advice is greatly appreciated.

xoxo

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Terrific Tuesday: Happy Mail!

It’s a Twofer Tuesday! My second order of planner stickers from Etsy arrived along with my monthly Birchbox! Between yesterday’s Look Good, Feel Better and today’s box, I don’t need to shop for makeup or skincare for awhile!!

The stickers from Nikki Plus Three are awesome. As I’ve mentioned before, there are about a million stickers to choose from on Etsy. So with this order I tried to focus on things that we need help remembering. I’ll let you know in a few weeks how they work out.

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On a personal note, I ask that you will bear with me over the next couple months. I am doing my best to post regularly, but I think my Chemo Brain is hitting its peak. I need a reminder to look at my planner, but I don’t know where to write it ūüôā

If you don’t hear from me for a few days or even a week, just know that my focus is off, and my fatigue is at its height as well. Posts will likely be shorter, as I’m having more difficulty focusing.

On a final note, I want to share this cute picture collage from tonight. I am breaking my rule of not showing my son’s face, because it’s partially covered and quite honestly, if I took the time to edit the photo, I probably wouldn’t share it. Ain’t nobody got time for that right now.

We went to dinner after moving some things around at the shop tonight. The kid wanted dessert, and cotton candy was one of the choices:

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Don’t I kind of look like a troll doll?

Goodnight all!

xoxo

Look Good, Feel Better

Today I went to the Look Good, Feel Better¬†event at the Cancer Center. It’s a free program that gives makeup tips and provides wigs, scarves, and hats for girls to take home! For free! And check out all the free stuff I got!

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What I loved about the makeup and skincare we received is that it crossed price points. We had drugstore finds like Maybelline and Cover Girl to Avon to Estee Lauder and Smashbox. It was a great variety of products for anyone, but with a little extra attention to those of us going through Chemo (two different brow liners/enhancers)!

It was fun doing it as a small group, too. It was such a positive and encouraging environment with all of us gushing over each other’s looks. Everyone did look fabulous, and it was kind of nice for us all to be in varying stages of baldness together.

We discovered a great new head-cover option that I am excited to try out, so stay tuned@

xoxo

Road Trip

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.Anais Nin-2.jpg
Road Trip Stop at South of the Border

We went on a road trip this past weekend — my parents and the three of us. It was a sad occasion. A dear friend to all of us lost his brief battle with an aggressive form of Leukemia. He was a doting uncle to my husband and me and a beloved PapaX to our son.

I will always remember his smile and his hand shakes. His hats and his mustache. But mostly the affection and patience he had with the kid. He would sit side by side with him and teach him how to play solitaire. He was a good egg.

He and his wife served as an example to me of faith and endurance. Strength through physical and emotional pain. Reliance on our Heavenly Father, above all else. She survives him — with most¬†children scattered up and down the east coast — and one of them living close by. I know, from watching her cope with emotional loss, that she will rely on the God of hope until she sees her husband again. But she’s in my heart and on my mind these days.

This weekend is the first time I’ve traveled since my diagnosis. I felt a bit numb the whole weekend — almost like I was watching myself go through all the motions. The emotions weren’t there. Because I don’t think I was ready to process them. This happens to me sometimes … my head comprehends the facts before my heart can accept them.

I was emotional this morning, subconsciously allowing my heart to accept that I’ve lost a close friend. To the same overall disease I am currently fighting. Different ages and different types, I know, but it saddens me the difference in our prognoses.

Until we see him again, we will laugh over our happy memories and our plans for when we are all reunited.

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We took our time with our little road trip and took advantage of stopping in at a couple stores we don’t have near us at home. Of course, we needed to stop at Toys R Us for the kid. How in the world do so many toys exist?! And I needed to stop at Michael’s to stock up on stickers for my latest obsession: my Erin Condren planner.

Did you know that there is an event in May just for planners? It’s like this weird, worldwide club! Instagram has hash tags for it. People take pictures of their planners and share it with the “Planner Community.”

I had to go to Michael’s to pick up some stickers. Then I trolled Etsy for hours on the way home until I finally had a sufficient yet not excessive shopping cart total (this has really taken me more like 10 days … stickers get expensive, and once you start, it’s easy to think you need ALL of them. Including the poop ones. I am proud to say that I spend under $50. And I didn’t get the poop ones).

Today I realized why this is so important to me. It is something I am in control of. On a good day, we don’t have much control over our lives. When you throw cancer and chemotherapy into the mix, there is significantly less. But I can plan my days, and I can make it look pretty.

We stopped at the (in)famous South of the Border on the way home (yes, I took that picture up there). As I took the picture, I felt a bit of Wanderlust. The last time we were there was on the first trip my husband I took after we were married. We were set to fly to Florida from Pennsylvania to celebrate our anniversary at the end of September 2001. And then 9/11 happened, so we set off on our first (of many) road trip.

It makes me think of one of my bucket list items — to drive across country. I’ve wanted to do that ever since I read Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle when I was a teenager. Hubs and I want to take the kid when he’s a bit older and will appreciate it. I’ve always had a bit of Wander in me, and I hope to take that great adventure some day.

Thank you, readers,¬†for reading each post. I look forward to your comments below. And tell me, please, what’s on your Bucket List? An epic road trip? An exotic vacation? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo