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Monday, June 13, 2011

Live like you are Living

Time is really flying; I can’t believe I only have one more round one chemo treatment left. Dad took me today as Mom had VBS, and then I had an echo cardiogram.  It was a long day but a good one.  I’m so ready to be done spending my Mondays in chemo. I also won’t have to get injections three days a week or my blood drawn weekly, so that is going to be great.  With the second round of chemo I only do the injections for my white blood cell count one time and only will have one blood drawn over the three week period.  Round two chemo, FAC is what they call it, is once every three weeks. However, I’m told this next round is more powerful so I might have more side effects.  I’m hoping they are wrong, and I have more blessing bestowed on me but only time will tell.  I’m also very worried about traveling after taking FAC.  I keep telling myself to stop worrying and give it to God, but these little thoughts keep coming into my head so pray for peace for me for the upcoming trip to Houston and the new chemo regiment.

I am getting nervous to start round two of chemo though.  That will start on Tuesday June 28th and I will take that first treatment at MD Anderson.  So not only do I start a new chemo regiment, that is supposed to be crueler, I will also be at a new chemo infusion facility.  I really love Pratt.  The nurses are so nice, and I’m so comfortable with them making having this treatment in Houston somewhat stressful to me.  They want me to start in Houston so that I stay on schedule and so that Dr. Greene, my oncologist there, can watch how this affects me since it’s a higher dosage then what I’ve been taking.  I will also meet with the Geneticist, Michelle Jackson to discuss dad’s PKD and its genetic tendency as well as to learn more about the Ashkenazi Jewish Founder Gene that was discovered I carried from the BRCA 1 testing. I will meet with the reconstruction surgeon while we are there too.  So it will be a busy few days on top of the FAC chemo but I know we’ll be fine.

I see Dr. Truong on Thursday.  Mom and I plan to leave on Monday June 27 and return on Thursday June 30 for Houston.  We’re hoping we can hop a flight on the Conoco Phillips jet out of Bartlesville as they are involved in a program known as corporate Angels where they allow cancer patients seeking treatment to fly on their corporate planes when space is available. Kristi Molz told me about this and it’s a great option for me as they have a daily flight from Bartlesville to Houston.  Then they work with Ground Angels to take patients from the airport to the hotel.  Stephen will be keeping the kids and of course Grandma and Grandpa Gillig and Dad will be helping with the kids.

I read an interesting post on American Cancer Society: “So, I heard the song today...don't even know the's about the guy that finds out he has terminal cancer and is dying..and what would you do...etc.
I started to tear up as I listened to it. Now, it's not in a bad way...we've all had that moment where we said is this going to take me? And we've all said NO! We are going to fight this terrible thing.
I'm still fighting (as so far winning) but I have to admit that 2 cancers have changed my life. I spend a lot more time just watching my kids...whether they are just playing together or if they are each doing their favorite thing...I never appreciated being here and being able to just watch them before.
I look at the big picture more now than I ever did before... Anyway, I just had to say to everyone, what is your favorite thing to do...And have you done it lately?? If not, why not...just go and do it.”

These ladies on American Cancer Society are so right. Why don't we just do what we love to do? It seems so easy but yet I know it’s so hard.  Sometimes I think: what do I love to do? What do I want to do? It really takes me some thinking so I’m actually writing a list.  I was able to do several things that I really wanted to do last year: Went to Jimmy Buffet, Key West, and The Eagles. Some other things I want are: Go see Fall Foliage with in the NE with my Mom, Go with Mom, Grandma, and Melissa to Amish Country in Lancaster, PA, Visit Europe, Don’t Sweat the Small stuff, Adopt a fourth Child, and taking dance lessons with Stephen.  Those are just a few but a start. 

I too have begun to notice the little things.  The clouds in sky, the cool summer mornings, the funny things the kids do, the smell of freshly cut grass or a thunderstorm, and the amber waves of grain.  I’ve also become so grateful for my life and my family.  I’m so lucky to have the job I do that allows me the flexibility to receive treatments with no worry of job recourse.  I’m so fortunate to have a wonderful work team there to support me and each other in times of need.  I’m blessed to live in Kiowa and be surrounded by the most wonderful people anywhere.  And God new just what he was doing when he put me in the arms of my family and our kids in our arms.  A family that truly loves me unconditionally and supports me no matter what. 

Now if you ask me what I LOVE to do I’d say It’s these things that mean the most to me and if I only had a day to live I’d live it with them. I’d read to my kids, cuddle them, and tell them what wonderful little people they are.  I’d write letters to each and every family member, and if you know my family that would take a long time as there are so many of us.  I’d invite everyone to Mom’s and Dad’s for a day of fun, swimming, food, and Karaoke.  (July 4th is just around the corner so be sure to join us then) These are really the important things in life and don’t really cost a lot but time.  You know, we really are all dying.  Once born we are moving toward the eternal end; to be with our Father in Heaven forever.  So Live the Life you LOVE and LOVE the life you LIVEIt’s up to you and you only to be happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise.  I know some days are harder than others to do this, so support each other in this quest.  Together we can do it.  Live like you are Living and don’t let a day pass that you don’t do something you LOVE.

Thank you God for my healing and for my friends, family, community, and your son.