The Fortune Cookie!

Standard

So again, I am a little late on my weekly post, but I am staying committed and I am going to catch up this week.

Week 4 was a little rough for me last week.  The radiation is getting stronger each week, and the Chemo is wearing me down.   The fatigue from radiation is horrible, and put chemo on top of it and I am completely wiped out.    My 4th chemo treatment they gave me alot of pre-meds because of the reaction I had the week before.   Needless to say I don’t remember much of my day last Wednesday.   My dad was there again that day and we were only 2 rooms down from one another, so we got to visit a little.

Kyle and I try to have strive to have lunch together at least once a week.  We don’t get many date nights or time alone, so our lunch date is important to us.   It gives us a chance to sit down and talk without the kids, computers, cell phone (though occasionally it rings at lunch).  We hadn’t had a lunch date in a few weeks because everthing had been so hectic.  Friday we finally found time to meet up at our favorite place for lunch.  Ichiban!   We love Sushi!   Anyway, as we were sitting there talking my sweet husband expressed to me that he had a little mini meltdown the night before when the heater was acting up and we had our friend over trying to fix it at 10pm at night.   I completely lost it, and had a meltdown of my own.   Kyle has really been amazing through the whole process of my diagnosis and treatment.  I feel alot of guilt at times because he is carrying so much of the load at home with the kids, and trying to keep the house clean, and take care of me if I need it.   My meltdown was because I don’t want him to have to carry the load…I am the MOM and WIFE….I am supposed to be the glue that holds everything together…I am supposed to carry that load…thats why moms were made.   So at the end of lunch I open my fortune cookie and I laughed hysterically….”any day above ground is a good day.”    Talk about reality smacking you in the face.   Here I am having a meltdown and feeling guilty, only to be reminded… HEY DUMMY….YOU’RE ALIVE….BE THANKFUL!

I am thankful every single day for the support, prayers, love, and encouragement that I receive everyday from those around me.   I am SO incredibly BLESSED.    My sweet chemo nurse last week reminded me of something “His grace is sufficient”.

But he said unto me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Much Love,

Rachel

Week 3…. A spelling bee….and true friendship….

Standard

So I have been working on this blog since LAST Tuesday, but had a bit of a rough week last week, and got side tracked over the weekend.  So lucky you…you should get two posts from me this week.

I named my blog “Tealmomologue” because I wanted to write about my cancer, my kids, and being a mom on a journey. So this week I have to brag on my little red head, this may be old news to most of you that keep up with me on Facebook, but some of you may not follow me on Facebook. My sweet daughter Kendall who is 9 years old, and in 4th grade won the School Spelling Bee…..PROUD MOMMA HERE!!!! So now we have to study even harder for the Regional Spelling Bee on March 8th, that will be at LSUS. She is not that excited about the extra studying, and well I will be honest I’m not either…but our studying obviously paid off with the first one. She is way smarter at 9 that I ever thought about being at that age.

So, last week was week 3 of my treatments,  3rd week of radiation and 3rd chemo treatment.  I am starting to feel the side effects of the radiation more and more each day, and to think I still have 5 weeks to go makes me cringe.   Chemo was a little rough Wednesday,  I had an allergic reaction to the chemo meds which was a little scary….I thought I was having a heart attack, and my throat started closing up.  I had never experienced an allergic reaction of that sort EVER so I didn’t know what was happening.   They shot me up with some benadryl, and more steroids and all was good.   I was able to continue with the chemo after that.   No real explanation, and the doctor said that allergic reactions for the drug i’m on is very rare.   WEIRD…right?

My mother in law had been taking me to my chemo treatments and staying with me until my hubby got there mid afternoon (they are both great company and I love them for it). Last week I had different company for my treatment on Wednesday, and it really made me think about true friendships and what they mean.  I have to give credit where credit is due….Serena was a trooper!  She watched the nurse do my IV and didn’t panic when I had my allergic reaction.  She brought fun things for us to do to pass the time since my treatments can take 5+ hours.  I am there for 8 most times.

We took silly pics with props she brought, and the nurses had fun with it too…it’s not everyday they get 2 crazy 30 somethings in their unit that are dressing up in silly glasses and disturbing the other patients with laughter.  whoops!    My nurse even participated and wore a pair out to the nurses station…we could hear all of the other nurses laughing hysterically. It was fun to know we brought a little laughter to their day.

She also brought a rainbow loom….if you don’t know what that is….it’s this thing that the kids are into now, they can make bracelets out of little rubberbands.   I had to watch a youtube tutorial when my daughter who got one for Christmas and it was two 5 year olds doing the tutorial…talk about making you feel dumb….I still didn’t have it figured out.   Well my sweet friend taught me how to do it and we made friendship bracelets…fun!!!!  I haven’t made friendship bracelets since maybe middle school.  Most of all though we really just sat and talked like friends do…we honestly lost track of time and forgot about all of the fun things she brought for us to do.   That was the most fun of them all though.  Serena and I have been friends since we were 10 years old….that is 22 years ya’ll.   True friendship to me means that no matter how long you have been friends…2 months or 22 years, is one of those things where you can not talk for a while and pick up where you left off like you never missed a day, or where you can just sit and do nothing and it’s ok.   We have had our times where life got busy and we just didn’t talk for a long time, but when we were together yesterday we talked, we caught up, we talked about old times, we laughed until we cried…..which I will quote one of my favorite movies here  “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion” (Steele Magnolias).  I have been truly blessed in my life with some great friends….over the last few years some of those have drifted apart…it happens….life happens…and that’s ok.  True friendship never really goes away though does it…don’t we all have those friends that we know we could pick up the phone and they would be right there for us no matter what.

That brings me to something else.  The other day someone posted on my timeline on Facebook this really great article about “things I wish I were told when I was diagnosed with cancer”.  It really hit home and was a great read….I wanted to share for anyone that didn’t see it.  This is great for anyone that has been touch in some way by cancer.  I think we all have in some way. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-tomczek/cancer-advice_b_1628266.html

Hope you all are having a blessed week.

Much love,

Rachel

No matter how you feel…..

Standard

No matter how you feel.  Get up, Dress up, Show up, and never give up.    This is my new motto,  I was on pinterest the other day and came across this quote, and pinned it to my inspiration board.   It has been replaying over and over in my mind.   So I will do my very best to apply this to every single day.   Here is my interpretation of what this means…

Get up….we all have days where we don’t want to get up out of bed…the comfort of our own beds suck us in and make us want to forget about the rest of th world.  We have to get up and face the day for you never know what the day will bring.  Get up and live you life…”the time is now”.

Dress up…..we all have days when we want to leave our pajama pants on, throw our hair in a pony tail, and roll into work or Walmart or the grocery store lookin’ a hot mess.   My Mom always told me growing up that you never know who you will see out in public so you should always look decent….make sure your clothes are pressed, put a little make up on and brush your hair.  My Memmaw never left the house without a little blush, some red lipstick, and her fancy shoes. Sounds a little vain, but shouldn’t we always put our best face forward….I think so.

Show up….we all have days when we just want to call in to work, cancel that lunch date, make an excuse not to go to a family gathering or a friends birthday party.  Just think of all the memories you will not be making by not showing up to a family gathering, or the productivity you will lose by not showing up to work, or the laughter you will miss out on when you cancel a lunch date with a friend.   Show up…..don’t miss a single moment!!

Never give up….we all have days when we just want to give up on certain things.  Maybe it’s a  dream you have had for a long time, or a new years resolution or goal, maybe it’s a relationship with a spouse or friend.   Don’t we owe it to ourselves to keep pushing through…..think about what will happen if you don’t give up…you reach your goal, accomplish a dream, salvage a relationship…what a great feeling.   Life is hard…but it’s worth it.

Every since I wrote my first blog entry I have been excited to write another.   Thank you to each and every one of you that are reading my blog.   I was shocked at the number of views I received on my first blog entry.   I didn’t think anyone would read it.

Last week was my first week of treatment.  I felt really good all week.  Got my chemo on Thursday, worked all day Friday, and wham…it hit me like a ton of bricks Saturday.   Thankfully I got lots of rest, and had my mom come help me with taking the Christmas decorations down Sunday.   I have felt pretty good so far this week,  tomorrow will be my second chemo treatment.

Get this….my Dad and I will be getting our chemo at the same time at the same place tomorrow.   For those of you that don’t know, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer this past summer.   He went through treatments and is currently in remission.  Praise God!!   He does still take a low dose of chemo once a month I believe just for maintenence.   Well tomorrow is his day, so maybe we will get to hang out.   Kind of cool, but sucks at the same time.   I would have never imagined I would be getting chemo with my Dad.  You never want any of your loved ones to go through that and I guess you always think of cancer as one of those things that you hopefully don’t ever have to worry about and if you do it won’t be until you’re much much older.    Unfortunately, we have a strong family history of cancer,  particularly  Colon and Skin Cancer.

As promised in my first blog post I said that I would post things throughout the month since January is Cerivcal Cancer Awareness month.

  • About 12,340 new cases of invasive cervical cancer were diagnosed in 2013.
  • About 4,030 women died from cervical cancer in 2013.
  • Most cervical cancer cases are found in women between 20 to 50 years old.
  • The Pap test is used as a screening procedure to find cervical cancer early, in its most curable stage, and to detect changes in the cervix before cancer develops.
  • Thanks to the increased use of the Pap test, the cervical cancer death rate has significantly decreased by 70 percent

I am happy to report that since my first blog post that I have had a few messages, texts, and phone calls from friends and family memebers who have been motivated to make their appointments for their annual check-ups….AWESOME!!!   Ladies, listen to your bodies, go for your annual check-ups with your GYN, and do not blow anything off that you may think is “no big deal”.   Cancer does not discriminate, it does not care how old you are or who you are.  Spread the word, and save a sister.    Fight like a girl!!!

Much love,

Rachel

Out of the cancer closet….

Standard

First let me introduce myself even though most of you reading may already know me.   I am Rachel, working mother of 2 beautiful kids.   Kendall-9 and Kolston 21 months.  Wife of an amazing husband Kyle, and friend to some pretty awesome peeps.  I created this blog to help with a recent diagnosis of Cervical cancer, being a mom, being a wife, juggling work, and well faith, hope, love and healing.

So what does “out of the closet” even mean….well alot of people only think that is for people that are keeping thier sexual orientation a secret.  Then I got to thinking about what I would call my first blog entry.  I got to thinking about how there are so many closets that we live these days….aren’t there…I mean just think about it.   Don’t we all have things that we keep bottled up inside just waiting for the right time to tell someone.  One moment passes, and you just can’t find the words,  then you think….maybe next time.   Eventually it comes out, but not without alot of tears, lumps in your throat, fast heart beats, sweaty palms and fear of reaction from those you love the most and yes even strangers.  What will they think?  How will they react?  Will they look at me differently?   Will they treat me differently?  Will they love me differently?   Hopefully the answer to any of the questions are no, but we can’t control how others think, feel and react.   We can however be in control of how we think, feel, and have an impact on others through our actions. Whatever your closet is, don’t be afraid.  There is a God who loves you unconditionally, thats pretty amazing and comforting right?  Now that I have that out of the way.   I have had alot of questions about how I found out I had cancer.   So I will explain here.  January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month and I feel as though I should be as honest I possibly can so that if I can help one mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, or stranger it will be worth it.  Please be warned, if you are uncomfortable with these subject matters, being cervical cancer and the female anatomy…feel free to stop reading now.

September 2013-

I went in for my annual check up with my  Gyn doctor.  I was having some bleeding in between periods that wasn’t normal.  I chocked it up to stress of changing jobs a few times this year and one of those being particularly stressful.   Doc told me that he would not being doing a pap smear this go around because of some bologna (I had to sing the song on that one) about not giving them every year now, and going to every 3 years if your last pap was normal.   He said everything looked good and said my bleeding was from a Ph imbalance, gave me something over the counter, and that was that.   He told me to come back if it didn’t get better.   I have to be honest ya’ll…I was unsettled after this appointment.  However I trusted my doctor…. after all I had been seeing him since I was 20ish.  He saw me through 1 great pregnancy, 1 good but blah pregnancy, delivered both of my beautiful babies and even saved my baby boys life when things started going wrong in the delivery room.  So I did as he said, even though I knew in my gut I should march right back in there and demand something more from him.

November 2013-

Things weren’t getting better, they were getting worse…I KNEW there was something wrong, and I had googled myself stupid.   So I made another appointment,  deep down I knew I had cancer before I even made the appoitment…after all you can diagnose yourself on WebMD right?   So I went back to the doctor and he immediatly detected something was wrong, and did a biopsy on the spot.   This was 2 days before Thanksgiving,  and said they would see me back in a week to talk about the results….He knew I had cancer too, he just didn’t want to tell me that day.   The next day…the day before Thanksgiving the doctor calls me.   “Rachel I hate to do this the day before Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t wait until next week,  it’s cervical cancer”.   WOW!  Nothing can prepare you for that…nothing.  So I go home and tell my husband and we agree not to tell anyone over Thanksgiving…lets just enjoy the time with family and friends.   Do you know how hard that is…..When all you want to do is cry?   Let me tell ya….it’s tough.

December 2013-

All of the appointments start…Oncologist, radiation doctor, chemo doctor, labs, registration.   Fun stuff!!   Then it’s time to schedule Radiation and Chemo, which I started this week,  12/30/13.   6 1/2 weeks of radiation 5 days a week,  1 chemo a week for 8 weeks and 4 internal radiation treatments…More fun stuff.   So far I have felt ok,  just a little fatigue.   My first chemo was yesterday 1/3/13,  and I feel much better than I anticipated.

So there is the beginning of my story.  I decided to go ahead and put it out there for all of my FB friends and family earlier in the week because if I can help one female become more aware of the signs, symptoms and facts of cervical cancer and hopefully prevent any of the things I am going through…it will be worth every second.   We so often are bombarded with Breast Cancer awareness, which don’t get me wrong…it is super important, but we need more Cervical Cancer awareness and just female cancers in general.   I think there is a stigma attached because of the nature of it, and people don’t want to talk about it.  Well, those of you who know me, knows i don’t keep my mouth shut….I am speaking up!!!   This is super personal, intrusive, painful, and scary to talk about, but this is my time to try to make a difference.

I am super thankful for all of the love and support, and prayers I have recieved.   I have amazing family and friends.   My husband is my rock, and my kids are my reason for every breathe.   I know I will get through this because I have faith in our lord who will be my ultimate physician through it all.

Much love!

Rachel