Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I am so lucky!

I finished AC #4 today, hitting the halfway point for the chemo part of this long journey.  Yes, it is long.  When I am finished with reconstruction sometime next year, it will be more than two years.  But I am lucky because my body has not failed me.  I have remained strong enough to be able to travel this road, despite my initial concerns about chemo and its ability to cause some pretty serious side effects.  Yes, sometimes I feel like my body has become a toxic waste dump because for every side effect, there is a pill! 

But at least I have the opportunity to put up a fight, to give it my all, and hopefully kick cancer's a$$.  I have a friend, someone I met through a diabetic blog that I have participated in for several years.  I've met this friend in person, twice, when I was in Florida.  The first time was a business trip that I extended for a weekend, and she drove to me and we had a great lunch.  The second time was this past February when we had a family trip to Disney World.  She and another lady from our blog met me in Orlando for lunch.  Each time we had lively conversations, as if we'd known each other for years.  And in a way, we had.  Diabetes may have brought us together in the first place, but sharing everyday life, family,  special moments...those are things that have made us a close-knit group who really, really care about one another. 

When my friend found out that she had a very aggressive cancer that had spread to her liver, she reached out to me.  She wanted my help to advise her on treatment options, to support her.  I was so honored to be among those that she was trusting, essentially, with her life.  It was a big responsibility, one that I took to heart. 

But the body is unpredictable and cancer can wreak unthinkable devastation before you even know it's there.  My friend's kidneys shut down this past weekend, and her body can take no more.  She can no longer fight this demon, the damage is too great and there is now nothing but comfort and support for her and sadness for her family and friends.  She is a wife, mother, and grandmother - a very proud one who took great pleasure in her family, especially the family cruises that she organized.  I remember her being thrilled that she had found matching t-shirts for the entire family, and she shared a picture of the whole family sporting their shirts on this year's family cruise.

She and her family are very strong in their faith and I am sure that trust in their God will help them as she goes through this transition.  It won't be easy, but they all have beautiful memories that will help ease the pain.

I am so lucky - I still get to fight the battle, win the war and make more memories. 



  1. Michelle, beautifully put. It is a nasty thing cancer. I'm glad that you are one of the fighting lucky ones.


  2. Michelle,

    Ditto what Linda said. You are a fighter.


  3. Michelle - What a great reflection - wonderfully written and very moving. Keep fighting the good fight.


  4. Fight the good fight and you will, that's Michelle. This is very sad but so true for so many battling this incurable disease. Although we have a miracle angel that is cured right now and you know the devastation my family went thru with a baby having chemo/cancer/surgeries on end, still to this day little Peyton has a yearly MRI/CT Scan/ blood work for cancer. She is tough, you would never know she was terminal at age 1. BUT you never know when the road will detour and I just thank God everyday for her. I just had her a couple of weeks ago for a week visit with us. She is awesome, full of life and sometimes I forget. But at this visit she said "Aunt Diana I wasn't even supposed to be here" and that's after we watched a movie and the little boy had cancer it was Letters to God.
    Our family is very open with it too, her mom and dad have told her what she went thru. In babies chemo has side effects and she has hearing loss and has hearing aids, her speech is now corrected after therapy and she has had kidney stones in the past year and surgery, her permanent teeth have ridges in them and the kids at school ask her what's wrong with them and she tells them she had cancer. BUT when shes a little older she gets veneers and she is now 9 years old as of July 30.
    Anyway sorry to get off track Michelle but it's such a testimony of chemo can conquer cancer.Someday, when I am strong enough to talk thru it without tears, I am going to give a testimony of my faith and miracles but right now I still cannot do it. So thru the devastation there was light at the end of our tunnel and you will see the light again. Meanwhile, I will keep you dear good friend in my prayers for hope, healing and God's Will. Know I love you too. I so miss you and Rick one of my best customers to help and I would be there helping you now if you were still in KC. XO Diana