Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trying to See the Light in the Darkness :)

So its been a pretty good week before treatment.  Last week I got to go visit my aunt in Kingsport and spend the day with her.  We actually went out to eat and I WAS HUNGRY...although I can't eat like I used to it was sooo awesome to actually be hungry and enjoy food. 

My aunt bout me a new hat which was amazing...its a cute jean cap like I've been lookin for and I really love it.  Wanted to show it off so I took a pic of myself, which is a rarity, so everyone could see it :). 
  It rained a few days this past week but I LOVE seeing the sunshine and being outside especially when I feel so good.  I have to admit the closer I have gotten to this treatment the more stressed and some what lonely I got  probably because the last treatment made me so sick and I hate the idea of going through the whole process again especially when I know I have no choice. When you feel bad from chemo  and you can't go anywhere, as many survivors can atest to, it makes you feel lonely cause all your friends could come over and the truth is you feel so bad that last time I couldn't stand to talk or do anything besides sleep or lay around and it almost becomes a prison of your own misery and it is so lonely, its easy to feel sorry for yourself and I absolutely hate doing that...makes me frustrated with  myself espcially when I know others have been through so much worse than me.   I been praying alot and asking god to take my anxiety so that I can go into today's treatment with confidence that this is the means to an end.  Thank God for my fellow survivor amber who met with me yesterday and just listened while I expressed my anxiety about today treatment.  Its such a blessing beyond words to have and be able to talk to girls who have been through this. But today's treatment did go well my mom and step-mom came and they are so awesome to just come and sit with me.....because alot of the time I fall asleep but no matter what they are just sit there and dont' care just sitting there for support. THEY ROCK! :)
I have a really awesome story about a man at the Earth Fare super market today. While looking for cheese ( lol) my mom began talking to the man behind the counter and told him we were  looking to change the processed foods I eat to more natural ones and she told him that I had cancer.  I walked up a few minutes later and he told me they got alot of people in hats in there and that I looked really great in mine. 
 Might sound crazy but even with hats on people stare and I've gotten used to it but many times its hard because I feel like the freak because some people smile but some people hard core stare at me like I"ve got a booger on my face or somethin (lol).  That might sound crazy and I dont' say it for pity I say it to be honest.  As time has gone by I have adjusted but sometimes little things like that still affect me probably more than I should let them...I realize some people just dont' know any better so I try to be understanding.
But back to my story after getting  the cheese I wanted I began to walk away and the man from behind the cheese counter came around and said "Mam he said can I ask you your name,  your mother told me about how you are sick and I wanted to tell you that I'm gonna be praying for you and your gonna be fine....God is gonna heal you".  I was so taken back by this man I almost didn't know what to say but Thank You.  I held back the tears and shook his hand and asked him his name "Jon".  WOW...I had never had anyone do that before but I can tell you that he was a blessing.  You never know where God is gonna show up.....he's even in the cheese section at the grocery story....HE'S EVERYWHERE!  I heard this song on the radio this past week and it moved me to tears and just reassured me that God is with me....he's already been there...he does know what I"m going through......and though the road is hard I've just got to hold on to him even if I dont' always feel like he's theres :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Dash-A Powerful and Moving Video :)

I Found This Video On A Fellow Survivors Blog and It Really Moved Me and Made Me Think So I Wanted To Share......

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Sooo I also wanted to write a little blog on my hair situation.  Everyone one knows that I cute my hair but what many may not know is that about month ago I also had to shave it.  I mean my bed began looking like a lab had been sleeping with me at night time lol  and I knew that the time had come to just let it all go.  I obviously knew this was coming but it was no easier than the first time I had to cut my now I am officially BALD lol. One of the craziest things about shaving my head was how sick it made me. You see the follicles on my head were actually dead and my scalp was sooo sore. So when they began shaving made me incredible SICK and nauseated...more than I have ever been since I started treatment but I have heard from many survivors that that is normal. They shaved my head a few days after my treatment and I was already just feeling so bad that it took me about 2 days to come back to life and truly realize what had happened, so after about 2 days with no hair I was some-what used to it.
   Probably the hardest part of it all was looking in the mirror and shocking myself with the way I look. You see when I looked in the mirror the face I saw was not my own but my father's. I have been told that we look alot alike and was not fully aware of it until I saw my face in the mirror last sunday. It of course made me miss him that much more. Many of the things I have gone through during treatment have made me understand that much more about everything my dad went through during his treatment and it has been both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in the way that I understand more of what he went through and a curse in the way that my heart breaks for him as I think of how much worse I know his treatment was. But I know that through it all in the end and the beginning God was there and he is here now and will always be. 

Psalm 34:18

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"
 The good thing about not having my hair is that the migraine headaches I was having before I shaved it are now very few and far between.  Its also nice to be able to now put lotion right on my scalp because it is so dry and itches alot.  I have and am still thinking about getting a wig but for some reason I am just not as comfortable in wigs like I am hats.  I feel like hats offer memore to play with...I can match a head scarf to the hat and then add earrings....kind of fun :)  It is however frustrating sometimes matching my hat to different outfits, but I do get alot of comments on them so its encouraging for me and makes me feel more comfortable in them.  I was told by my fellow survivor Dawn that I would learn to accept my baldness and embrace.  CRAZY I thought at the time....JUST CRAZY.......but now I am slowly accepting it.  Most nights I rip my hat off as soon as I'm in the door because after about 8 hours with a scarf and hat on your head it begins to itch and just get annoying.  Its also kind of cool if I ever get hot or cold I can fix that in a snap by taking my hat off (hot) or putting it on if I get cold :)
 Maybe when it comes back it will be blonde so I won't have to spend money on highlights lol....a girl can dream right ;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Well there were a few lessons learned from this week's treatment. 1.)  Fluids and food are VITAL to my staying mobile and semi-healthy after my big treatments.  2.)  If you ever have questions you should call the doctor because he WILL listen 3.) Nausea medication is a GOD send and last but certainly not least 4.) I AM NOT the best patient when it comes to listening to the advice of others! lol  This week's treatment seemed to cut me some slack on the fatigue and body aches compared to last time or so I thought! However, those sneaky little side effects of the chemo sneaked in sunday morning and attacked me FULL FORCE.  I had such a bad taste in my mouth that everything and I mean everything tasted coke, crackers, mac n' cheese.  So began my downward spiral of not eating much and drinking very little, accompaned with body aches and nausea. It was at this point my mother suggested calling the doctor to ask about suggestions of what to do but HELLO dont' u know I know more than a medical doctor (ha ha or so I like to think) and so I talked her out of it. Granted fluids might have been all he could have done but something was better than nothing. So I waited until today to talk to my doctor and let's just say it was pretty obvious by the time I got there I was not in the best shape.  Just going from laying down to sitting up caused me to feel light headed.  I obviously needed fluids or as Dr. Brigs said "I was outta oil" lol. He told me I should have called sooner and my response was "Please dont' tell my mom that...then she'll know she was right!!!" lol   I must brag on Dr. Brigs here for a moment....when I first spoke with him today I was so exhausted when he asked me "So what's been going on?" took all I had not to break down and cry but I held back because I knew once I lost it I would not be able to tell him everything that was going on.  He listened so well to every little thing I said that when the visit was done I wanted to cry AGAIN because I felt like I was finally able to some what unload my stress over the last few days on him and he was so good to listen and respond........he was my light at the end of theses dark few days. :)
So after that I got hooked up to my cocktail mixed a little nausea medication and fluid in there and I was feelin a whole lot better. This weekend was hard and maybe it will be harder, there may be more tears and nausea but some how I know there's a light at the end of this tunnel, there's a purpose in the path I'm going down right now.  In the past 2 weeks I have spoken to 2 different 25 year old women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had the opportunity to use my experience to try and help ease their fears some what, to relate and tell them I understood and I was hear if they wanted to chat, talk, complain, whatever.  In some small way trying to help them helped me, made me feel like I was doing something and using my diagnosis in a positive way or at least that's what I hope and pray I did.    Chemo may knock me down for a week or more but I am a warrior  and with faith in a God that never fails I will kick matter how many times I may lay in bed and pray for better days and think I will never see them I know I will!
I am also so encouraged by the women I meet every week at treatment. Last week I met a woman with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in her liver and had been living with it for 7 years and you would never know it.  She was such positive and wonderful to talk to.  Today when I walked in I was greeted by a woman I met two weeks ago who remembered me and called me by name.  She said "Hello Sarah, I have been thinking about you and I have you on prayer lists all across the country with my friends and family".  WOW.....some woman remembered me and were so kind to tell others of me and ask them to pray for me.  This simple acts moves me to tears and I had to hold back today when I spoke with my fellow survivor....she was another light for me in the darkness of the past few days :) 
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26
Also  Thank You for all the cards, texts, calls, etc that everyone gives to me THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU...they brighten some of my darkest days and mean more that I could ever say :)
"Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life's Full of Laughter :)

I am so blessed with friends who are so willing to listen to me complain and go with me to treatment that its beyond me.

My friend Jessie came with me to one of my weekly treatments last week and we had so much fun. When we go there we sat in the waiting room the nurse comes in and calls out "Jessie....Jessie". So no one answers this nurse as Jessie and I just look at each other and I'm like SURPRISE U HAVE CANCER lol. Guess Jessie didn't realize occompaning me to treatment would me should would also occompany me in "having" the cancer as well. ha ha Ok maybe it doens't so as funny when I type it but I promise it really was. Finally this old woman seated right in front of the nurse stands up and says "Oh thats me, I'm Jessie". ha ha After my treatment we went to see the doctor who FYI is AMAZING. If you ever get cancer Raymond Brigs is who you wanna see. I expressed to him my current nightmares of having Stage 4 cancer than they hadn't found yet. I freaked as he poked and proded all over my body saying "You find something" which he responded by pulling my hat down over my eyes and telling me I needed to calm down lol. You would be surprised how many fears can hit you after something like this rocks your world. But Dr. Brigs assured me I was fine and that the stress I was putting on myself was very un-needed and that I was in the re-covery process and needed to focus on that. Another funny part to that day was my nose bleed.....well maybe it wasn't funny but the pics sure were...
If you can't laugh with everything I've found in my short time on this journey you won't be able to make it through.  And if there's one thing Jessie and I can do its laugh.  On that note I have another funny story to tell. (you'll find I could tell stories all day ha ha)  So I ran into a gentle man who frequently comes into our pharmacy and is always joking with us.  We began talking and he told me how pretty my hat was and soon I went into the story of how I was doing chemo and had lost all my hair and that was why I was wearing the hat.  He then looks at me and says "U know cancer had kiilled my entire wife's family"......I'm like "Oh really...I"m really sorry to hear that".  I said "I'm gonna be okay I all I have to do is chemo and I should be golden" to which he responds "You know what really kills u......the CHEMO!!"  So its at this point I've come to the realization he has NO IDEA how what he says sounds I just keep going with it. I told him that I had to go but I would "see him later" to which his response was "I sure hope so!". LOL  WOW is really the only words to describe this little old man.....I truly don't think he said anything trying to be me or negative...even though it might have come out that way.   It was literally so funny I couldn't have prepared myself for I just laughed with it and knew he meant well. (you seriously can't hate the little old man ha ha)  But I thought it was a funny story.  This week my friend Heather came with me to treatment and I tell you there's nothing better than a friend who sits with you and just a simple conversation for a few hours can make you smile so much you forget your sick.  She's awesome :)  Friends and family can truly make life so much sweeter and easier...even when it seems so hard. I am so blessed :)

Give Me Revelation.....

So I know I should be updating this more often but I'm usually hesitant in doing so because I know it will take me forever because I tend to talk alot (which won't come as a surprise to those who know me lol) and so its takes me forever to write....but im workin on the whole "summary" thing...can't u tell ha ha. But So I have had my second treatment and it went well......not so well. I can usually feel it coming on and this time it hit me BIG time. I was so weak over the weekend I had a hard time walking or standing without feeling like I was going to fall or just pass one of my sister survivors said "I felt like I was almost too tired to breathe". I went to work monday and lasted about 45 minutes before I was told to go home. Coming upon my 4th day of plain exhaustion it was then I reached a very low point. I was on the couch with the blinds closed and I felt myself sinking into this horrible depression mode. There was nothing a doctor could call in for me to help me feel better, nothing I could eat, and it seemed like I could not sleep ENOUGH! It was at that moment I told myself if this ever came back I would not fight it.....I felt like I didn't want to do it anymore and really I have not been doing chemo that I thought this is horrible. I tell you all that to tell you was at that moment when I lay there with no where to turn that I knew there was only one place I could go....THE WORD. I walked to my room and got my bible and I read and I prayed and I cried. You see that moment was moment I know I will always remember because it was a moment when I truly needed Jesus......when I really can say he was all I had and he was what lifted me out of my depression. I mean WHAT WAS I THINKING......OF COURSE I'M GONNA FIGHT THIS......I WANNA LIVE.....and I wanna help others through this. I find now its so easy to go into the "debbie downer" mode and think poor me, why me. But let me say this...GOD IS BIGGER THAN THIS and even though in my dark moments I myself have trouble believing it but I know its true.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" Phillippians 4:6
A woman came up to the register at work today and said "Hello....are u a chemo patient?".....I replied "Do I look that bad lol". She said "Oh no, my husband just got done with chemo and I am very observant." I told her my story and as I explained how the doctors told me this was caught early she said a few words that have stuck with me "YOU WERE MEANT TO LIVE". :) Wow.....I replied after she said that....I guess I was. This random woman had pretty much made my day and given me some more hope in my battle...thank you doesn't seem like enough.
"May the god of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" Romans 15:13
I talk about my primary care physician being amazing as well....his wife is equally as awesome (picture below).  We are now both breast cancer survivors and sisters.  God is so amazing in his timing.  There is no denying his hand has been in all of this from the beginning. I mean seriously what's the odds the doctor that diagnosed me would have a wife who would have breast cancer?  What's also the odds that we would  go to the same place for treatment and at the same time every week?  He's amazingly wonderful and faithful to provide in all circumstances no matter how grim they may seem. 
"But Now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7