Saturday, December 5, 2020

November 30, 2010 a New Beginning, a New Normal

November 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm it was officially...

10 Years 
120 Months 
520 Weeks 
3,650 Days 
87,600 Hours 
5,256,000 Minutes 
315,360,000 Seconds

...that I have been cancer-free and a stem-cell transplant survivor and warrior!🎗

Thanks to my donor across the ocean in Germany, Andrea W.  🙏🏻❤️ 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

I Will Never Forget

11 years ago.  
I will never forget. 
I will never forget the shock of it. 
I will never forget knowing the truth deep down inside. 
I will never forget the denial. 
I will never forget the anger. 
I will never forget the fear. 
Fear of dying. 
Fear of never seeing my kids again
Fear of leaving my husband. 
Fear of leaving this life way too early. 
Fear of dying alone. 
I will never forget the pain. 
I will never forget what being close to death felt like. 
I will never forget the fight. 
I will never forget what it means to survive. 
I will never forget the warrior inside of me. 
I will never forget.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Traditions and Faith: During These Uncertain Times

Just some thoughts of mine this morning...

Yes, this sucks. 
Yes, there are still so many unanswered questions. 
Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty. 

But this is life. It always has some curveball it throws at us. But even with those curveballs, we can either swing and miss and walk away feeling defeated or we can focus, take that swing, and knock it out of the park. << I had to ‘throw’ in some baseball lingo>>Lol

We as humans have the ability to adapt and choose how we adapt. While many of us are facing many losses (I.e. job, businesses, health insurance, etc), it’s how we respond that’s important. 

Today’s message really spoke to me. 
“This is the day I have made”.
“Rejoice and be glad in it”.
“Do not worry about tomorrow or get stuck in the past”. 

Even though this Easter may be different for most without the traditional family dinners and gatherings, it doesn’t mean we should be mourning. We should look to God and take comfort and know this is just one day, one snippet of time to create a new memory. A memory to reflect on years later that demonstrates that even in the most trying and uncertain times, we can rise above.

We can rise above any foe and any obstacle because that is the American way! That is the Christian way! 

God bless and Happy Easter

“Holy Saturday is the day of hope, when we are reminded that God’s hand can reach to deepest recesses of our lives, of our experience.  Hope calls us to resistance; to resist despair, darkness, and death.  Where there is resistance, there is hope – as we await Easter”. (Deacon Manuel Valencia, Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center)

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Graft Vs Host: a true story of life after

A fellow sct warrior shared this video he found and it’s spot on! It may be 20 minutes long but it’s a definite watch to those who may be interested and just want a peek at life after sct which is spot on for me. This came at a good time because I have another stupid symptom resurfacing. 😞

Video Link

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Flu A Positive

Well the internal debate whether to call off sick was justified. Although I'm not real fond that it happened that way. It was brutal. It was debilitating. Never again do I want to feel that way. It's been a long time since I felt that bad. I'm not sure I ever really felt that bad when I was sick with cancer and chemo treatments.

Well, at least I am on the mend. And oh, by the way, my poor husband got struck with it too. So now we are both on Tamiflu and are both on the mend. Our children have been staying with my parents. My son was totally freaked out and didn't want to catch it and my daughter felt the same way. So hopefully, they have avoided it.

So here's to staying healthy!

Please God, Please! No more illness

Monday, February 24, 2020

Stay Home or Go to Work: The Internal Battle

Staying home from work today due to illness but is it the right decision?

I am one of those people who has an internal battle on whether to go to work or stay home and recuperate from whatever ails me. My work ethic is very important to me, and with having very few sick days due to the number of doctor appointments I have which is a lot, I feel guilt. 

I have been in remission from cancer for nine and a half years, however with all the side-effects from my stem-cell transplant, which consists of many follow-ups and discovering new side-effects, that it makes it nearly impossible to bank my sick days. 

My employers are great and very understanding but with any business you need employees that can be counted on, so with all my doctor appointments and this illness that has struck me down, I feel like a less dependable employee.  

I told myself when I was sick with cancer that I would never put a job before my health. And I feel I'm not really doing that now since I am home sick with whatever flu bug is going around. But internally I'm battling. 

Does anyone else go through this internal battle?

The thing is I know my limits. I know that if I had gone in, I would have been worse off which would have resulted in not just having today off, but more likely, many more.

My 'new normal' since cancer and stem-cell transplant has forced me to make a lot of adjustments in my life. Some days are better than others. And those bad days, can really go south quickly. I'm talking in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. Sometimes there is no warning. Sometimes, like last night and this morning, my body was definitely warning me and telling me, stay home.

So here I am, overthinking staying home. overthinking not going to work. And overthinking all of my overthinking. 

Any you're welcome, welcome to the mind of an overthinker. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Weakest Link

This picture was taken a week before I found out I relapsed (in 2010). I thought I was living my best life. I couldn’t have had a better outlook after fighting cancer. I truly felt like I was on top of the world and that nothing could bring me down. I had the mindset that I faced the biggest evil and fought death and won to just have it all taken away from me in a matter of seconds. 

Let me back track to my initial diagnosis. I hadn’t been surprised. I had all the unexplainable symptoms and knew something was just not right. So I didn’t feel as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of me when I was told I had cancer. But I did feel that when I was told I relapsed. I felt like a failure. I thought I was strong. I thought that I could do anything because I beat cancer. 

And when I didn’t, a piece of me died. I wasn’t giving up hope for another chance. But that other chance had to come from someone else, a donor. Someone who had healthy, strong cells to fight the battle for me. It made me feel then, and even now, that I am the weakest link. That I am so weak I can’t even fight cancer which I literally can’t. My donor cells are fighting my cancer producing cells. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m just a host of another person. I may look like Dee. I may talk like Dee. But am I Dee? Who am I? Can I get her back, even if it’s just a glimpse? 

Cancer is a life changing thing. The battle is brutal. And when you come out of that battle, you do become someone new. It changes you. And how it changes you, is an individual thing. My initial victory I felt like champion. But after my relapse, I felt weak, and still do. I’m constantly fighting. Always in warrior mode. Not because I need to fight cancer but fight what cancer has left behind. 

And what it has left behind is someone I don’t even really recognize.