Friday, November 5, 2021

For Better or Worse: 11 years later after Stem-Cell Transplant

I’m not complaining I’m alive but being alive came with a great price. Thank God for the groups I’m in, especially the cGVHD group. I had no idea some of the things happening to me are related to my stem-cell transplant. 

When things are out of the ordinary it’s easy to think it’s  something I have done but I’m learning it’s  more than that. Most of the time, it’s ALL related to my GVHD. 

I’m not going in on the details but now I know the things going on right now are quite frankly out of my control and is the reason my body doesn’t look like it did before. Not only have the changes occurred on the inside of my body but on the outside too. It’s just another symptom or symptoms that I need to address and cope with. 

Sometimes I feel like an alien in my own body. I hate going anywhere. I hate being seen which in turn has affected how I relate to the world around me such as my job and the relationships with the people in my life. It’s exhausting to pretend to be healthy (mentally and physically) every single day. 

Some days I just cry and want to give up. But when I hit that low I try to tell my self it could be worse. Cheer up, buck up, and don’t allow it to bring me down. 

I’m not looking for sympathy or any words of comfort. I’m just sharing what my ‘new normal’  is. It’s always changing and always leaving me with more confusion and questions.

They try to prepare you for what could happen when you choose to move forward with a stem-cell transplant but it all goes in one ear and out the other because you literally are given the option to live no matter the cost or accept your fate and die. Sometimes it felt as ‘luck’ to be able to make that choice. Many people are not given the choice and their life is taken from them in a moment. I had a choice. To live or to die. 

I question if that was the right choice. Sometimes I wonder was this choice given through the Devil rather than God because of this ‘new normal’ and all the symptoms that came with it and other times I ask ‘is this God giving me a chance to speak of my suffering to help others’. To help others cope with their own struggle. To help others use their own faith or turn to faith to help carry them through. 

There’s are so many questions with so many that will go answered. I need to trust God with the decision I made and trust him through the process. And the days when I feel weak, I need to turn to him for the strength and relief I am seeking and wishing for.

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.