August 1, 2015

It feels like 2011 all over again…but worse

It is difficult to wrap my mind around the resurgence of this cancer and this time, it looks like it is the last and final round. I have always known that this diagnosis takes most women within 5 years of diagnosis; I have lost friends to cancer during this time. July 11, 2015 was the 4 year mark for me, so although I am surprised on some level, it was expected.

Thanks for carrying my handbag Jacks!
In case you had not heard, I graduated from my graduate school program May of this year with a 4.0 GPA, Clinical Mental Health Counseling! I did not let this cancer slow me down; I just kept on going. Following graduation, I was blessed with a wonderful position working at Sacred Heart Hospital. I resigned my position last week after learning the cancer has returned. My time there may have been short but it was a rich experience. I had the pleasure of working alongside coworkers that share a passion for making a difference in the lives of individuals. Friendships quickly formed and my support system grew. I have many memories I take away from my time at Sacred Heart. I am going to miss being a part of a terrific team and impacting the lives of patients.

This is an interesting time. My goal is to not be in pain and to delay or prevent the cancer that is presenting within the tissue of my breast, and the growing breast tumors from ulcerating – opening up into a wound that will not be able to close and heal. I am currently taking a daily dose of morphine to reduce pain and have access to short acting morphine to address break through pain. I am exploring cannabis oil options as well. The CT/PET scan is scheduled for Monday, I am hopeful the cancer has not spread to other areas in my body, that will simply add to the complexities of my situation and most certainly cause additional unwanted suffering. After the scan, I will be meeting with my treatment team and putting additional palliative care measures in place that will include weekly chemotherapy sessions. I will do this regiment until my body can not take it anymore, when organs begin shutting down.

My goal today is to get my bowels moving!! Thanks to the morphine, I have not been able to drop a deuce  since Tuesday…it is Saturday! Me speaking of this reminds me of a patient that was offering a vivid description of his “days of being locked-up” and how he finally was able to shit out what looked like a can of SPAM. Well I hope that doesn’t happen to me, the can of SPAM that is, I do want to be in daily drop a deuce club again.

I want to thank everyone that is offering supportive encouraging words. There are many offers of direct support, which lead me to think of some ways my family and friends could encourage me as my life is winding down. I want to create trunk of memories that I will get to enjoy while I am alive and can be passed to my children and husband.

BELIEVE – send positive thoughts, energy, and pray that my body will heal itself.
SHARE – write down stories and memories that we shared or ways I impacted your life and mail them to me.
CAPTURE – if you have photos of us together or photos/sayings that remind you of me or time we spent together, mail them to me.

Please uplift me, give me strength, encouragement, laughter, hope, and peace by filling my mailbox daily with your memories. Getting mail the old school way is super cool! *Send an email for my street address if you would prefer to send letters to my house. 

My address is: 
PO Box 192 
Philomath, Oregon 97370

Today I am hopeful~