The Colonoscopy

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit:commonsenseevaluation.com

This past week I had the honor of having my first colonoscopy.  I had been putting it off for about 5 years, for many valid reasons in my mind…..”I don’t have the time…Someone will have to take off work to take me…..It will cost too much….etc….”  With my moms history of colon cancer I knew that it was the right thing to do, and with my ex-husband being recently diagnosed with rectal cancer, I realized I had run out of excuses.  So I “pulled up my skirt Nancy,” as I tell my kids, and made the appointment.  Luckily I had to wait for about 4 weeks to get an appointment, so I was able to avoid it even longer.  I decided to go to the same gastroenterologist my ex had, and arrived for my evaluation on time and with a smile on my face. He asked me multiple  (very personal) questions, of which I was fortunate to answer no…such as “any rectal bleeding, any constipation, loose stools, hemorrhoids”  It was decided that I would also have an endoscopy, since some foods seem to “stick” ….sure, why not do both ends at once and get it out of the way? Hmmmmm……..Ok, I’m game!  I was then escorted into another part of the building to talk to the scheduler, and the date was set for April 10th at 8:15 am.  I then answered about 100 more questions and then came we got down to business. She asked me if I wanted my prep in liquid form, pills, or liquid and pills.  Reasoning that there was a good possibility that I would hurl the liquid prep, I voted for the liquid and pill prep.  Thirty minutes later I was on my way home with 9 Dulcolax tablets, 2 Dulcolax suppositories (I didn’t remember suppositories being a choice), and a picture of a bottle of Magnesium Citrate, that I could pick up without a prescription in any pharmacy aisle.  After picking up my TWO bottles of lemon flavored Mag Citrate, I head home to study the papers that were given to me.

Everyone tells you that prep is the worse part of the whole adventure, and I will have to say that I totally agree.  I knew that I would not be able to stray more than 100 feet from the porcelain throne, so I settled in for the day.  At noon my instructions said to have a light lunch, which consisted of bacon and biscuits with honey, (ok, not really a light lunch, but it  was my last meal for about 24 hours.)  Then I was to take 3 tablets and drink one bottle of Mag Citrate, followed by a quart of water.  A friend suggested I chill the liquid and try to drink it fast, which I did.  It was HORRIBLE….and very salty.  I stuck a straw in the bottle, put the straw as far away from my taste buds as I could, and chugged, quickly following with a water “chaser.” After about 15 minutes I was able to get it down, and keep it down, which made me very happy.  Now I had to settle in and begin watching a movie to pass the time.  About an hour I was worried because nothing was happening….maybe it wouldn’t work and I would have to call the office for an alternative choice?  I continued drinking water…and more water…until SUPRISE!!!!!! time to scoot!  By the time I got there and began reading a magazine left in the bathroom, I realized that  it was over as fast as it came on.  Ok, this isn’t too bad, I can do this…and I again settle in to watch the movie.  Needless to say, for the next 3 hours I didn’t dally when things didn’t feel right, in fact I decided that even if the house erupted into flames, I would make a straight line for the potty.  At one point I decided that it would be easier to change into pajama bottoms, even if it was 3 in the afternoon…..the easier it was to hit the bulls-eye, the better.

photocredit:carrotsandcake.com

(Yes, I know this joke is tasteless, but trust me, it’s a reality with this prep)

I had a few hours reprieve in which I could carry on like any other person at home on a beautiful spring day…I cleaned up the house, did some laundry and watched some more movies in my pj’s.  Suppertime comes and it was time to take 3 more tablets and “put in” one of the suppositories, and continue drinking more water (8 oz an hour).  Now, I have never had to use a suppository, and while I have inserted many of them into my patients, I found myself in a quandry….How in the world was I going to do this to myself?  It probably would have been easier had I been model thin, but no such luck (no pun intended)  So after hoisting one foot on the toilet and twisting into a pretzel, the job was done.  Back to the movie to wait…..and the wait came sooner than I expected…and so it continued all evening.  A repetition of scooting, drinking water, scooting, drinking water…until at some point my body decided it had enough fun for one day, and was done.  After a looooonnnnngggg hot bath, I tucked my battered self into bed, remembering to set the alarm for 3 a.m, when I would get up and drink the second bottle of Mag Citrate, take the remaining 3 Dulcolax tablets, and twist into a pretzel for a second time.  Now I have had many restless nights, but never in my memory have I gotten up to take medications that I knew would just produce PTSD symptoms….but I did it.  I then literally crawled back to bed, and almost immediately fell asleep.  I will admit I had horrible thoughts about not waking up in time to make it to the bathroom, but at that point I was so tired I figured I’d just burn the sheets and even the mattress if necessary.  My fears never came to fruition, because my eyes flew open from a deep sleep, and off I dashed across the hall to the bathroom, trying not to wake Maddie up with the elephant charge that I was leading. (or at least I felt like I was stomping like an elephant)  You know the quick “Charlie Chaplin” walk….you are trying to squeeze your derriere in a way that would make any arm wrestler proud.

So this is the end of part one, and this is my little part in making people aware of the importance of having a colonoscopy.  This especially goes for you out there who are over 50, or have a family history of colon cancer.  You have a wonderful chance of kicking colon cancers butt (again, no pun intended) if the cancer is caught early.  Coming up….THE PROCEDURE….yes, the adventure continues ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

Banana Nut Bread

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup melted butter

1 & 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

3-4  very ripe bananas (depending on size)

1 tsp soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts

To eggs, add sugar and melted butter.

Mash bananas and add to the egg mixture.

Sift flour, soda and salt together and add to mixture.

Stir in nuts.

Bake in a greased 9″ by 5″ loaf pan for 50- 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

First Round….Done!

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit:zazzle.com

My ex-husband has now passed round one in his fight against rectal cancer.  He has finished 6 weeks of chemotherapy that came in pill form, and that he was able to self administer from home daily.  During the 6 weeks of chemotherapy he also had radiation 5 days a week for almost 6 weeks.  The purpose at this point in his treatment was to shrink the tumor so the surgeon can get better margins in order to bring the 2 ends of the colon together after the colon is resected.   Amazingly, he has completed both treatments with very few side effects, and has kept his positive attitude intact.  Any health care professional will tell you that faith and determination are very important in the fight against cancer.  I have seen it myself in my 30 years of nursing. Once a person gives up, death will soon follow.  I can list at least 5 people I personally know who are battling cancer, and have the most unbelievable will to live, that it just is heart-stirring to watch.  He now will take about a month off before surgery to allow the colon to heal from the radiation.  At that time round 2 will begin, and things will get a little rougher.  Any abdominal surgery comes with risks, and as the surgeon explained, it is harder on the body than open heart surgery.  There is a chance that he may have to have a colostomy bag if the surgeon can’t get a “good seal” when the tumor is excised.  This, or course, is not the best outcome, but if it allows the whole tumor to be removed then it is a fair trade-off.  Often times they can return and have the colostomy reversed once the colon again heals.  My daughters were curious about a colostomy, so we spent time watching a video on You Tube of a very brave young girl showing how she changes her bag.  I was in awe that she had such self-confidence to “put it all out there.”  unfortunately these things are not comfortable things to watch, but it helps to show the reality of the situation.  If it does happen, it will become another routine part of  his life, just like brushing his teeth or shaving.  At the end of the day, if it means many more years of quality life, then bring it on!

The sad part of enduring this treatment is that he had become very weak during work one day, and had to go home to take a nap.  He has retired from police work, and has a job as an armed security guard.  He worked different positions in various companies (though the security agency he works for) and had become the supervisor of security in a local hospital.  He enjoyed the job very much, worked the day shift, had weekends off, and it came with the perk of a few extra dollars an hour.  (which still was a face slapping salary in the first place in my opinion)  Anyway…..the minute he had to leave that day he was demoted from being a supervisor at the hospital, sent to another facility to work, for less money, AND put on the 11-7 shift, working weekends again.  I am so angry with this company for jerking him around like this! It is discrimination in a very blatant form in my opinion.  I have tried to look at it from a business side, but it still comes down to punishing him because he has cancer.  I am sure that they are hoping he will quit so they can hire someone else at 10 dollars an hour!  The real crappy thing is that they provide no benefits to begin with….no insurance, no sick time, and minimal vacation time! Shame, shame, shame on them!

After surgery he will have to endure another round of chemotherapy, this time more intensive.  A port will be put in, and he will receive chemo through the port that will infuse over a 24 or 48 hour period every week for 6 more weeks.  This chemo will not be as kind as the pill form, but he has a good support system in place to help his through it.  I think at this point the final fight will begin, but it will hopefully be a straight path to a cure ♥

The Day Mom Got Her Wings

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

This is part 2 of my story of my moms battle with cancer.  I was going to stop after the blog on her diagnosis, but the next 6 weeks were probably the most precious time I spent with my mom.  It’s funny how after months of hoping against hope that she could beat it again, we are faced with the realization that it is not to be.  The reality has hit us square in the face and it was time to step up and care for the person who has been the rock in all of our lives.  When I was married, my husband and I moved 7 times.  Each time my mom would show up with her BBQ and Texas Sheet cake for everyone to have lunch after the moving was over.  It didn’t matter if there were 2 or 20 to feed, she was there.  She had the kindest heart and was one of those people who didn’t know a stranger.  I can’t even begin to write about how many times she was there for me, and for anyone who needed help.  She was a great role model, be it thorough her work ethic, or her cooking skills.  There was nothing she wouldn’t do, nothing was beneath her.

About a week after her surgery, we brought her home.  She was on oxygen, but seemed to have very little pain.  Kelly and I took turns staying the night, sleeping on the couch, with her beside us in the recliner.  I can remember trying to sleep while listening to the quiet clicking sound of the oxygen concentrator.  Often times I would wake up in the middle of the night only to find her sitting in her chair smiling at me.  She would say ” I am so happy you are here Shelly Sue, I know it’s hard on you.”  On the nights that we couldn’t stay, dad would take over night duty.  It she was able, she would lay propped up on the couch, with dad laying on the floor, as near as he could be.  I found myself going through the routine of  work, taking care of my family and then doing all I could do for her.  I watched the weight drop off of her, and the breathing becoming more labored.  And still she remained beautiful, joking with the grandkids and others.  She never questioned “Why me?”, and she never showed anger at her diagnoses. I found myself  just staring at her, trying to file those snapshots in my memory.  We would visit as often as we could, and the visitors seemed to be endless.  They had planned to begin chemotherapy, this time for comfort measures, not for a cure. The weekend before chemo was to start she told my aunt that she didn’t think she was going to make it to that appointment Monday.  I think she had a premonition that she was going to meet her Heavenly Father.

Moms senior picture...beautiful!The doctors no longer give you a time frame that you can follow, so we didn’t know if she had 1 month, 3 months, or a year.  I remember a deep discussion Kelly and I had about what would we do if she began having pain and was uncomfortable.  How could we find the strength to sit at her side watching her gasp for breath…slowing sliding away from us?  It was incomprehensible to me…….and I think God listened to our laments because I am almost positive a pulmonary emboli took her life that Sunday morning.  She died the day before her chemo was to begin.  Dad and I were with her that Sunday morning when she left us and became one of Gods angels.  I just happened to stop by after church to check on them, and Dad met me at the door, stating mom couldn’t get her breath.  She had some breakfast and told dad she wanted to take a bath.  I sat by her side, holding her hand, telling her that as soon as she could get her breath Dad and I would help her out of the tub.  She took my hand, smiled and softly said thank you. She then looked at Dad, and laid her head back and she was gone.    I often times wonder why I was there that day? I never wanted my last memory of my mom to be of her dying in a bathtub.  She was a very private lady, and I knew that would never have been her wish either.  Why didn’t I tell her that I loved her when I knew she was passing?   Why do things turn out the was you least expect them to turn out?

It has been 12 years since she left us, and the pain is not as crippling as it was then.  As I reflect back to the day I realize that God knew that Dad needed someone to be there with him.  Something private and deep passed between the three of us that morning, and Dad and I became close after that Sunday morning.  Mom was always there for me, and maybe it was my time to be there for her.  I will never know if she even realized that I was there at the end, but I will never forget the look that passed between us, conveying love and trust between daughter and mother.  A love that will remain in my heart until we meet again in heaven…where there will no longer be pain, tears, hurt or that horrible “C” word ♥

What About The Other Guy?

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

supportI just had a one hour visit with my ex-husband, the first face to face since his cancer diagnoses.  Sure, there have been phone calls and texts, but not a face to face.  He shared his fears about death, his fears about being a burden on his new wife and his family, and how he never expected to have cancer.  I am in a strange situation, on one hand we shared 27 years of ups and down, and on the other hand, he is now remarried and has a new wife and family.  Our divorce was anything but amicable, so this makes this whole situation all the harder.  Again, I am choosing to follow my heart, and will do what ever I can do to give support, and advice if asked.  He and I have now come full circle, and while we know we will never be able to live in the same house again, we can be friends.  It is funny how a life threatening event can cause many people to once again put life into perspective.  One thing I discovered when my mom, dad and sister were diagnosed with cancer, is that this diagnoses is often times harder on the loved ones.  I remember Kelly and Mom telling me that is was much easier to be the patient than to be the family member.  I shared this with Bill, and encouraged him to take time to support Mary (his new wife).  She is going through so many emotions at this time, as are all of us.  But it hits closer to home for her.  I can only imagine how she may feel cheated, in a sense, because she was alone after her divorce until she met Bill, fell in love and married.  Now a mere 6 months later they are facing one of the hardest challenges that life can throw at a couple.  Life is just so freakin unfair at time.  I can’t even begin to count the times that I have been slapped down by life.  Again, we have 2 choices in life…let it win, or beat it within an inch of its life.  It’s okay to challenge God, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to bargain, it’s okay to be sad, but it’s NEVER  okay to give up.  In 1968 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book about the 5 stages of death and dying, based on her work with terminally ill patients.   The steps are 1. Denial…2.Anger….3. Bargaining…..4. Depression….5. Acceptance.  That simple model has now become a reference for anyone going through a life changing events, from  breakups of relationships, to dealing with a terminal illness.  It is such a good read…and can be so inspirational to know that the feelings you are having are valid, and quite frankly okay to have.  Sometimes a person will start with one step, touching briefly on the following steps, and then ending with the last step.  Others will circle a few time, touching on a few of the steps, but hopefully landing on the last step, which is acceptance.  As person really can’t move on and be at peace until they reach that last step….even if they touch a tip of their toe on that step, and then stumble back down a few steps.

I personally went through a bad breakup a few years ago, and trust me, I stomped on every one of the 5 steps.  For 2 years I was like a child on the playground, playing  hopscotch all over those steps.  Then one day, I decided that the step proclaiming acceptance was the one I needed to land on, and stay there.  So my point here is that Bill needs to remember that while he is fighting for his life, he needs to always be aware of those around him, and support them as well.  Even if it involves reassuring that person that nothing will happen that they can’t get through together. He has been blessed with a wonderful woman, and I can assure him that she is scared to death.  There is nothing scarier than the unknown.  NOTHING!  These things can also cause you to challenge your faith in God.  Frankly, you can be pretty honked off at Him….and anyone in raised in the faith knows that is not the way to feel…but  He will wait patiently for you to work it out and come back to Him.  I strongly believe that God puts these challenges in your life, and then sits back and watches how you handle them.   I did suggest that they get into a cancer support group, and soon.  My mom, sister and I joined one when Kelly was done with her cancer treatment.  The wonderful thing is that you realize that you are not alone, your thoughts and fears are real, and that there are others out there that can help you to get over these bumps in the road.

So as I said before If God brings you to it, He will see you through it!  We just need to stand united, knowing that not one person is alone here, and it’s okay to be scared, angry or at peace.  Never be too proud to get the support you need, even if it’s through blogging, as has become my saving grace.  You are never alone ♥

The Fight: Round 1

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit: facebookThe tests are completed, the visits to the various doctors have been made, the diagnoses has been determined, and this week marks the beginning of my ex-husbands fight against cancer.  The final verdict is: Stage 2, T 3, N 0, M 0.  It is amazing how much information it available from those few letters and numbers.  Those words and letters have determined what game plan will be needed to rid the cancer from Bills body.  Basically his cancer is Stage 2, which means that the tumor has gone through the layers of the colon,  T 3 means the same as Stage 2 but it stages the tumor itself, N 0 means that there are no nodes involved at this point, and M 0 means that the cancer has not metastasized to any other organs of his body.  As a health care professional I know that it could have been much worse, but it means that Bill has a fight on his hands.  It was thought that surgery would be the plan, but now it seems that he will endure 6 weeks of chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor before it can be removed.  It will be much easier to remove the tumor if it is smaller because there will hopefully be more good colon wall available for a surgical anastomosis.

My children, realizing that their dad is going to go through some financial hardship from this “fight” have decided to organize a fund-raiser, or a benefit to help with the costs of his treatment.  The chemo alone, which is in tablet form, is $9,000 a month.  So it is overwhelming to even fathom how much he will be in debt 6 months from now, when he is cancer free.  Yes, he has insurance, and it is good insurance, but as with insurance co-pays and deductibles…the amount will still be staggering.  When we were married, he was a deputy sheriff, small town police officer and then Chief of Police for our town, until retirement 6 years ago.  Along the way he has made many friends and enemies….as is normal with anyone working in law enforcement.  Last June he remarried and has a wonderful wife, who has become my friend.  God certainly knew what he was doing, putting Mary in his life  so he would not have to fight this battle alone.  Yesterday the date and time for the benefit was posted on all of our Facebook pages, asking for ideas, help, possible donation, support and prayers.  The immediate response was overwhelming and so warming to my soul.  When my son initially told me about the benefit, I told him to put me down for the catering aspect of  the evening.  That was where I felt my talents could best be utilized.  I, myself, had 17 ladies volunteer to help me with the food within the first 2 hours.  We had 9 people donate various baskets and other goods to be auctioned off.  A friend of mine used to have a band, which I found out could not be resurrected, but he has some ideas and would get back to me.  Plus, I have had offers of help from people who have run fundraisers in the past.

This morning I checked each of my kids Facebook pages and started to write down names of their friends that have offered help, or are networking with people they know to get items for auction.  What started as a simple thought yesterday, has picked up steam, and it has snowballed into something wonderful.  It has restored my faith in mankind and hopefully has humbled Bill to his core.   This is the wonderful thing about small towns, we always put aside any bad feelings and pull together to help anyone in need.  It also proves to me that you should always be kind to those around you, because you never know when you may need their help.  People are more likely to remember an act of kindness, and will usually reciprocate those feelings in return. I am truly humbled by the responses we have received and am sure that the benefit will be a smashing success.  To anyone reading this, remember that donations are always welcome, especially any cool and unusual things we can auction off.  So, my friends, I will keep you posted about the progress of his treatments, and the super benefit that will occur in 2 short months.   And for the record, yes it is odd for the ex-wife to be as involved as I am, but all I can tell people is that “it’s the right thing to do”….and I will have no regrets either way.  My mom raised me well, as I have my children.  Please keep Bill in your prayers, and take the time to do something nice for those you love, or even a stranger in need…for that is  a wonderful feeling indeed♥

 

Dear Cancer

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

god.jpg

Dear Cancer:  Your name is probably the most feared word in the English language, especially when it is aimed at someone you love.  You took my mothers life, you caused my dad to lose part of his lung, you caused my sister to lose her thyroid, you took my grandfathers life, you took one of my favorite uncles life, you threatened my aunt, but she fought and won the battle against you, and now you are once again rearing your ugly head in my life.  I would like to announce publicly that quite frankly I am tired of you!  I have shed too many tears over the havoc you have played in my life.  I wish you would go away, and never come back!  How smug you must feel as you invade the bodies of those we love, and how powerful you must feel thinking you are smarter than the human race.  Sometimes you present yourself so that a person has reason to believe there is something amiss in their body and they seek help.  Unfortunately, often times you sneak up like a thief in the night, unwilling to make yourself known until it is too late.  That is a dirty rotten trick and you are not playing fairly.  Just the thought of you makes a person cower in fear, until they realize that there is always a chance you can be crushed like a bug.  It amazes me that each and every time your name is added to a persons medical chart, your simple 5 letter name turns a persons world upside down.  What is it that makes you invade a healthy cell and turn it into a cell that multiplies and turns against the body?  Don’t you realize that life itself gives a person enough knock downs without you coming along and complicating things more? You are no longer welcome here, and you need to be banished forever!

See, here’s the thing, cancer….for everything you throw at us, we will stand up and throw it back in your face!  For we have talented educated doctors, superior surgeons, amazing scientists, powerful drugs, and medical machinery to beat you to death!  We have prayer warriors and the love of family members!  We have hope and we have faith!  We have determination and intelligence!  While your name makes a person feel alone, that person soon finds out that they are surrounded by those who will move heaven and earth so they wont feel alone.  Your diagnosis, cancer, causes us to seek out the best care, to create the perfect game plan, and to succeed in winning the war that you have declared!  We will fight together, we will network, we will become educated, we will stand tall, we will pray, we will bargain, we will use whatever is in our power to defeat you!  One thought has surfaced in my mind as I write this blog…..IF GOD BRINGS YOU TO IT…HE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH IT…

So remember, cancer, you may win a few, but you lose more than you win. Your problem, cancer, is that you prey on the strong.  Don’t you know, cancer, that the fight would be easier if you challenged the weak?   Because, cancer, something changes in a person when you rear your ugly head….we summon the strength, we begin the battle, the weak become strong in spirit, we reassess what is important in life, and we won’t give up….EVER!!!!

That Crappy “C” Word Again……

FOOD FOR THE SOUL’

Photo credit: Tristancoopersmith.com Yesterday was a day my children will always remember.  Yesterday they found out that their dad could possibly have cancer.  There it is again, that awful ” C” word.  I hate that word,  knowing that in one single moment  your world is forever changed.  If you talk to anyone, they will have a story to share about how cancer has touched their lives.  In my own life, my sister, mom and dad all had cancer.  Cancer is what took my mom’s life, allowing her to spend 6 weeks with her family before it claimed yet another beautiful soul.  Their father and I have been divorced for 5 years, after being married for 27  years.  He has remarried and has a new life, so there is no place for me in this story.  There really should be no place for me, as our chapter in his life is closed.  Of course that does not stop my heart from hurting for him and my children.  I know the feeling that squeezes your heart when you hear those words.  I don’t want my children to feel that pain, but am unable to protect them.  Instead I will be here, right where they would expect me to be, ready to be their rock.  I will lend an ear, give out the hugs, offer reassurances, and just be “mom!”

My daughter Katelyn was with him when he got the diagnosis.  At that very moment she had to grow up, and realize how life can change in the blink of an eye.  Later that night we met in a neighboring town, as her little sister had spent the night, and needed to come home.  When she pulled up, she immediately ran into my arms, sobbing as if her heart was broken into a millions pieces.  She said that she “held it together” all day, but the minute she saw me she fell apart.  She just needed her mom.  I can remember several times when I just needed my mom, because moms just seem to make things better.  I would have given my soul in exchange for my children begin able to avoid that pain.  I wonder if my mom felt the same way when the doctor came and gave us the news that my dad had lung cancer years ago?

The positive thing about going through these experiences with cancer is that I feel I do have some words of advise for those facing the “C” word.  1.  The worse time is between the diagnoses and the “plan of attack”…it’s the fear of the unknown, and this is when a person feels absolutely helpless.  Someone you love is going through a life changing event, and there is no way to predict the outcome.  2.  Cancer is not a death sentence….there are many many things that can be done, from radiation, to chemotherapy, to surgical excision of the cancer.  Cancer is so common now that we tend to triage the diagnoses, and are able to deduce that “Oh, that’s a good cancer to have.”  I looked into my 13-year-old daughters innocent tear streaked face and told her these very words.  “Maddie, the type of cancer that your dad may have is a good one!”  She just could not comprehend how any cancer could be a good cancer.  3.  Don’t ever give up hope, don’t ever let the cancer think that it can beat you!  It has been proven over and over that a positive fighting attitude will greatly extend you chances of success.  I’ve personally seen people with Stage 4 cancer that has metastasized to other organs, live way beyond the “predicted” time of survival.  4.  Don’t ever lose your faith in your God.  As always, there is a reason for this happening.  Perhaps it is a wake up call to those who need one, for who knows why these things happen.  5.  Learn all you can  about your cancer, but be careful about getting reliable information from the internet.  The best thing to do is to get advise from your doctor about where to get the most accurate and up to date  information.  Local cancer centers usually have a library where you can get information.  6.  Always take someone with you to your appointments, especially the initial ones, because you are going to be so overwhelmed that an extra set of ears is invaluable.  7.  Write down all of your questions before your appointment, and take notes.  This is your life you are discussing, and you must be your own advocate!  8.  Get into a cancer support group, and get your family members into one if appropriate.  It helps to know that you are not alone in your fight.

I realize that my role will be to be  there in any capacity I am needed.  I will pray for God to put the right words into my heart, so that I can do whats needed of me.  I will be the cheerleader, the counselor, the tissue giver, the limited medical adviser, or just mom.  My advise to anyone who may face the “C” word in their life…don’t let it win, get the best medical care you can, love your family just a little bit more, enjoy the little things that you may have taken for granted, walk in the rain, kiss a frog, play hopscotch, take time to relax, and pray.  And while praying for healing, send one up for thanks for the blessings you have been given.  For these challenges you are facing today will give you the experience to possibly share with someone else in the future ♥