Saturday, December 11, 2010

True Friendship

Throughout the last 2 and half years I have been through a lot. Obviously! But not just my battle with Stage IV Melanoma, but just in my life in general. Which, to be perfectly honest, everything that I have dealt with lately relates back to cancer in one way or another.

I think people have a difficult time remembering that not only am I dealing with cancer, my children also have to deal with this. No, they don't have to actually fight the battle (thank God!) but they are still dealing it. Every day they deal with it. There are reminders of what mama is going through everywhere.

Yes, lately life is better. Much better. Especially compared to biochemo. It seriously does not get much worse (chemo wise) than that. But Interferon wasn't a real walk in the park either. The chemo I am on now, RO5, is a piece of cake compared to everything else! But, I still have to be gone every month (yes every month-not every other like I was originally told!-I will post about that later-grrrr!) and that affects little kids. Both of my kids are definitely mama's babies. That's just how it is. I hope it never changes.

Both of my kids deal with their feelings differently. E was only 6 months old when I was diagnosed. This is the only thing she has ever known. She deals with it a lot better than K. E is a super happy, easy going, eager to please little Princess. She is friendly, helpful and loving. Everyone that she meets instantly falls in love with her. That is just who she is. Yes, she can be a little stinker, of course, what child can't, but relatively speaking, E is a pretty easy kid. Unless, of course, you take her mama away from her. Then she screams like a wild woman! She does not like being away from me. At all. But, such is life.

K, on the other hand, deals with his emotions a little differently. His involves screaming and crying. He is over the hitting phase (thank goodness!) he rarely hits, but he has resorted to screaming. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that he doesn't know how to express what he is angry about. We have really been working on this at home and I have definitely seen an improvement. He really is a kind and caring kid. I think he just struggles with his feelings. What guy doesn't?! Right?! It doesn't help that people give up on him. We have belonged to a certain program for years. K messed up a few times and he was out. I was not happy. My feelings were hurt and I was beyond pissed. Especially since I was told that day that he had a good day (from the teacher!), only to be called in to a meeting (after we were loaded in the car ready to go!) and be told that K was not welcome back. E could attend the program, but not K. Ummm, yeah right?!

But, given what we went through my eyes have been opened. I have realized that we need to work with K on expressing his feelings appropriately and I have also realized who my true friends are. Your true friends stand by you and support you and your family no matter what. They will express their feelings, they will hold your hand, and they will love you no matter what.

I recently attended the funeral of a friend who passed away due to cancer. Of course the funeral was difficult, but what really shook me up is the thought that it could (and will) be my funeral some day. Hopefully a long, long time from now, but someday that will be mine. I kept thinking about what my kids would be doing. What pictures would they show on the slideshow. What would I wear (PS already picked out). What casket would my husband pick out (PS my besties already know this!) What songs would they play (PS already picked out also) Who would come. Who would speak. Where will I be buried (this one is really tough on me) etc...... My friend had a group of girls whom she was very close to. They had reserved seating and were all brought in right after the family. I really like this idea, however, there are very few that I would include in this special group. Maybe 5, 6 girls that I consider really, truly great friends. I think I am going to have to write down all these directions for my husband. Anyone surprised that I would actually do that? Didn't think so....


  1. What would I wear (PS already picked out). What casket would my husband pick out (PS my besties already know this!) What songs would they play (PS already picked out also) Who would come. Who would speak. Where will I be buried OMGosh.. you sound just like I did and my bestie knew all the details too!

    Kids... hmmmm I have teens 12 and 14 at the time ~ It was super hard on them. I was smart and brought a counselor right in right after being diagnosed. She was great! The kids had a direct link to her via email any time. I fear your are to young to benefit from that.. However I see that you are a special ed teacher so I am sure you will land on your feet! Screw that person for kicking your son out... You think they would cut him some slack with everything going on ~ You know what I say to that don't ya... "karma is a bitch" ~

    Good Luck, I am sending prayers up for you. This will soon just be a bad memory for you like mine is !

  2. Had no idea about K's school situation. Sorry to hear that. Sounds like you are learning from it though and something good is coming out of all of it. Not fun to learn the hard way though!

  3. Hello, my friend Jennifer, suggested I check out your blog..and I am glad I have.
    My husband was diagonsed with stage IV Melanoma that has spread to his lungs. That was just over a year and half ago. They gave us very little hope and really just handed down a death sentence. We chose to trust God, we prayed for direction and were led through some amazing experiences.
    We have five children and both of my younger children ages 12 and 14 are now working from home with on line schools. My son was really getting into some situations that were so completely opposite in behavior patterns then anything we had ever seen from him.
    I have learned a lot more about cancer than I ever wanted to know. I would encourage you to eat a 70% dark chocolate daily or drink it.
    There are numerous research studies that prove it is effective not as cure, but it helps to slow down and reverse damage.
    All my love and prayers to you and your family.

  4. As we continue to lift you in our prayers for the trial you are using to continue to work and shrink the tumors, I will be praying more specifically for your kids and their feelings and emotions that they struggle with. I can not even begin to imagine how difficult this is for them. I want you to know that I am contiuing to pray Believing and Knowing what our Precious Lord has done, what He is doing right now and what He will continue to do in our lives! Giving Him all the praise and glory!

  5. I have been following your blog as my husband is also battling stage iv cancer. I just wanted to say you are so inspiring, and uplifting, and honest even as you and your family go through this. I am so thankful you have chosen to share your experiences, thoughts, hopes and fears with people who may be strangers but are walking a similar path. Being the same age, it helps us feel a little less alone in this crazy journey. No matter what the future holds, your children and your husband are so lucky to have you and your wonderful spirit in their lives. Here's to another new year with continued good news and more fun adventures with all your friends and family!!!!