Thursday, September 17, 2015

Remembering Last Year's Guardian Angel

My 9 month Ned-aversary is 1 short week away, there is no pomp and circumstance with this one, no scans, just a bit of  blood work, a little poking and prodding and then I am out the door to finish off the last 3 amazing months of my first year of being cancer free!

woo,  we made cancer look good ;-)
(yup,  both cancer patients here)

I am calm, truth be told, I am actually in a rather zen-like state lately. However, I am in this state because life is settling down, I have left the upheaval behind me, I have simplified my life focusing on being positive and grateful and I have found a calming joy that is both simple and intense.

In a few weeks, my sister and I will be speaking at a Charity walk for Vickie’s Angels and I wanted to take a minute to share my experience with this amazing organization. 

When I went into the hospital for stomach cramps, I had no idea I would emerge 2 weeks later with half a colon, I had no idea I would be diagnosed with Stage IV Colorectal cancer I had no idea what to expect from the next 6 months of chemo.

My first chemo treatment lasted 7 hours, I ordered sushi, a few hours in and at the end after they plugged my chemo pump into my port for another 44 hours of infusion, I went to Costco with my husband to grab a rotisserie chicken for dinner and then we took Bean to our favorite trail for a light hike. The next day I went to work, hooked up to my chemo pump.  I did it again the following day.
About a month and a half in, I started hitting a very sleepy wall and admittedly, while I made it in to the office…I was in a fog.  

I was about half way through my treatments when I started to get sick, it was at this point that my doctor asked me what I was doing and then tried not to slap me for being stupid (It is very frowned upon to hit a cancer patient, even a stupid one).  He told me that my body was working to stay alive,  he told me that 1 year from now,  not using up all of my sick time would mean nothing if I was dead. (Insert light bulb going off here).

 So I stopped pushing.  When I was tired, I slept.  When I was sick, I slept.  When I felt good, I went to the office. My time off ran out very quickly.  

It was at this point that a friend told me about Vickie’s Angels, an organization that provides a financial bridge for those struggle with mounting medical bills and the inability to work.  I called them and within a week, we had spoken on the phone, I had explained my treatment and they offered to pay our mortgage that month so that I did not have to stress even one iota about not bringing home a full paycheck. 

They were a godsend not just because they helped with bills but because they let me breathe.  I did not have to spend a second of my recovery, re-budgeting our household.  I could focus on napping and not feel even a twinge of guilt.

Vickie’s Angels stepped in just when we needed them and they continue to do so for so many families in our area. So on October 10th, if you would like to join my sister and I, we will be walking with my sister for Vickie’s Angels in New Cumberland.

We have come a long way from nose drains and stomach injections!

 If you would like to donate to our team, that would be amazing (even if it $1).  If you would like to think of a super snazzy team name for 2 apparently brain dead sisters that fought and beat cancer but cannot think of a decent name, THAT would be STUPENDOUS! 

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