Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Next Chapter

It has been almost 7 months since my diagnosis. I start my 8th cycle of treatment- 20th round of chemotherapy, 22nd Herceptin infusion; and my 8th shot of Xgeva. Even though every cancer patient is different, most average 6-8 cycles of chemotherapy. I can't help but think, if I wasn't such an overachiever with everything, I would almost be done with this journey. Alas, I am not, a metastatic Stage IV Breast Cancer patient receives chemo until there is nothing else to try. So . . . it is on to the next chapter of my life.

I go for weekly treatments, three weeks on, one week off. I peal myself out of bed every Thursday sick to my stomach, and make the 45 minute drive to Oakland. I sign in and wait for my name to be called. I go back to have my vitals taken and my weight checked (I have gained nearly 30lbs since my diagnosis), and then to have my port accessed. Which, if I forget to put numbing cream on, is not very pleasant. I sit for 2 hours while the toxins invade my body trying to kill the cancer. Most times, it is the only time Steve and I get alone anymore. I get sicker each time I go, and feel the energy sucked out of me. I usually have to sleep for hours when I come home.

I am just tired of it. I have taken to crying like a school aged child who doesn't want to get on the bus before we leave the house. I don't want to go. I want it to be done, but it's not, and it never will be.

It's actually been a long time since I have updated on how I am doing. My life has dramatically changed in 7 months. While medically everything in my world has gone good and things are looking up, my personal life has shifted. I feel as if I cannot get an equality in my world. While one presses on well, the other seemed to go awry.

Medical pluses:

  • The kids and all of my parents tested negative for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
  • My brain MRI has stayed clear despite optic nerve swelling and migraines.
  • Side effects are minimal despite an infection around my port.
  • My tumor markers remain lower.
  • My scans have shown significant decrease in tumor sizes, even in my bone mets.
  • I overall continue to feel "healthy" (I really don't know another word to use, 'healthy' me really isn't, but whatevs you get the picture).

Life negatives
  • Some immediate family have chosen to completely exclude me from their lives. And no matter how hard they want to blame me, in reality, it just isn't my fault. I am a little busy over here in Cancerland.
  • Some friends have lost touch. I guess it was bound to happen.
  • Since publicly sharing my story and opening my heart to others, a chosen few started unmercifully harassing me to the point I had to file a police report against the 'group'. Since I am a naturally worrisome and overly sensitive person, the accusations they made against my integrity disgusted me like nothing else. I wish they had to walk one day in my shoes. 
  • My personal relationships are becoming more strained as I find it harder to organize a good routine.
  • As my diagnosis wears on, the support wears off. People's lives more forward and mine stands still. Not their fault though.
  • I've spent a significantly less time praying and worshiping, and feel disconnected. Like I walk a few steps behind and not beside.

Not that good things haven't been happening in my life, because they totally have. I have been check-a-lecking things off of my Mommy's Bucket List like crazy and had a wicked awesome summer with my kids. It's just that cancer is like the devil, evil and unrelenting, and has managed to take many things away from me and it will continue to, but I have to ask myself: Do I let it?

The past month, I have been trying to find the silver lining and then I came across a devotional that hit home. No one knows what the next chapter of our life will contain. I will let go and let God write it. Hebrews 12:1-11 says "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." 

And so, I start the next chapter of my life. The girls started Kindergarten, a milestone many take for granted but I see as an absolute blessing. I start in to my next rounds of chemotherapy; beyond the realms of 'normal' Breast Cancer patients (I am officially a Professional Cancerlete). And I will work on crossing things off of my bucket list. I set out to change my life for the better, not having anything or anyone try to change it for me. I will call upon the Lord in the midst of every trial and the Lord will be on my side and I will not fear (Psalm 118:6).


  1. I try to keep as distance as I only know you from church and don't want to overthrow you; however, IF & WHEN you want or need something from going for groceries to doing laundry, call I'll be there. I'll send you my # private message.
    God Bless

  2. I wish I could give you a hug - right now and every day. I have no clue what you are going through and know that it isn't easy at all but you do so much with such grace. Roses have thorns - those that love the look and smell, well we ignore that.

    Some days the thorns seem to be more than others - and some days that fragrance over powers it all!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry, didn't mean to delete my post. I just saw that. I just wanted to say that I know exactly what you're going through. I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer last year a few months before my 32nd birthday. It's definitely difficult but I try to live one day at a time. Writing on my blog definitely helps. Keep being strong and keep fighting. Sending you prayers.

  4. I think about you often and wonder how you're doing. I can't imagine being where you are. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  5. Hey Kate, I have a quick question about your blog could you email me when you have a chance? Thanks! -Cameron

    1. Hi Cameron! I can't seem to find your e-mail address, but you can e-mail me anytime :) crawfordsrockingcancer@gmail.com Thanks!!

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