Thursday, November 24, 2011


Another Thanksgiving day has rolled around and due to the prompting, I have been thinking of what I am grateful for.  This holiday, this month. for me is all about my grandmother Lucille Violette Audet.  I do not know who said it first, but someone said that a woman's true power in the home, is the power to set the tone.  I do not know what my grandmother would say about this but she set a tone in my life that has created a safe, warm childhood nest feeling which influences my every thought about how holidays in general, and Thanksgiving Day in particular, should be celebrated.  Holiday decoration, excellent food as with as many of your family as you can fit in your home, to be exact.

My Grandmother is a fine woman and the finest example, in my opinion, of what a real grandmother is.  To my knowledge she has no tattoos, no substance abuse issues, and has never been arrested.  She is a woman who commands respect.  There is an order to how things are done in her home, in her cooking, and on holidays and she is a woman who conducts herself with dignity and respect.  She loves us in her quiet way and demonstrates that love with her cooking, her presence, and her legacy.

Mom and I were talking today about families and Thanksgiving and it seems that the cornerstone for a lot of people is the stuffing or dressing for the turkey.  My grandmother's pork stuffing is the only stuffing for me because anything else is just not a family celebration.  So many of my holiday celebrations and my grandmother's cooking are completely intertwined but the tone she set branches out much deeper and wide than food. (Though Christmas is coming and I remember fondly her holiday tin of fudge and other treats.)

For example, my grandmother was not content to watch us play and sit on the sidelines.  My grandmother would suit up and swim with us.  Sometimes, she would sun herself while we splashed around but she was right in the mix.  Every year she would throw a New Year's skating party at camp and she would ice skate with us.  Then she would make enough hot cocoa with marshmellows for an army.  My grandfather is amazing too but I dont think about him in November...that is reserved for her.

I am sad on the days when I don't get to emulate and live out this rich legacy due to fatigue or pain. I am working hard to overcome cancer so that I may live the life I have dreamt of.  Somedays, this fully encompasses my energy and I have no energy left. What I have, though, even on those days is a heart filled with hope that God will heal me.  My earnest prayer is that I can be the sort of woman that my grandmother is and my parents are.  I believe I can accomplish this, especially as I am lifted by all the prayer and generosity that is constantly added into my life by those of you who love me.  I love you back.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Push, Pull and Drag

I want to apologize for my neglect of you and this blog as of late.  I am acclimating to a new chemotherapy and each round brings a challenge by way of side effects on my body.  I am now on Iexempra and it really hits the immune system hard so I am given Neulasta (an injection) the next day to boost my blood counts.  It really throws me a for a loop.

This round I had only half an injection of the Neulasta and I am functioning again after a week.  Praise the Lord!!  I think it was a week and a half to two weeks last time.  I had very little pain thanks to the Claritin which seems to aid in the histamine production of the immune system resulting from Neulasta injections.  Weird but if it this stage in the game...I am for it.

Today I was back at work and rather enjoyed the movement and not being knocked off my feet.  Hooray for work!  Hooray for feeling better.  This new chemotherapy is working and my tumor markers have decreased from 903 to 682. 

More interesting posts to come!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Hard Part...

Looking back at this journey, I would have to say that the hard part is staying upbeat and not giving in to feeling discouraged.  I tend to struggle with this when I have a series of days when I feel sick and am in pain.  It has been over two years now and I am still maintaining a remarkable good level of wellness but on the days following chemotherapy and the injection of is hard to remember that.

If anyone has any tips on how they maintain a positive outlook when things are not going well then I hope you post it because I could use it.  I find, for myself, that I lean on my support system during these times, I keep my eyes fixed on where I am going, and I try to keep moving forward and reminding myself that "this too shall pass." 

When I do feel discouraged, I acknowledge this as reasonable and a normal part of the ebb and flow of life.  It is easier for me to move past it when I validate why I feel this way rather than beat myself up or consider it a lack of faith.  I cry a little.  I sulk a little.  I distract myself and then I try to get back on target.

Your thoughts and suggestions welcome.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quotes on Cancer

If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell. ~Lance Armstrong

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~Winston Churchill

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around.... Throughout history, "tender loving care" has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing. ~Larry Dossey