Thursday, July 9, 2015

All The Right Moves

Hi everyone!!  I know that I haven't updated in while but I felt that for myself I needed a break from the "cancer world".  So I decided to focus all of my time that I wasn't in treatment on my life and ignore the fact that I had cancer.  I know, easier said than done, but that last two months or so have been great.  I have spent some great time with my family and friends just enjoying and living life.  

I will start out by saying that at the beginning of June I had my first set scans since treatment has started and we have made small steps in the right direction.  The chemo is working and has shrunk two of the three tumors I have.  The third tumor has stayed stable and shows no growth.  YAY!!!  This was the best possible news that we could have hoped for, considering I was preparing myself to hear that the chemo wasn't working and that I had only three weeks to live.  I kept telling myself that if I was prepared and ready to hear that previous statement any news better than that would be amazing.  I know that sounds sick and twisted, but I cannot even begin to tell you some of the things that go through a cancer patient's head around scan time.  I am just happy that I can report to everyone that we are moving in the right direction in beating this nasty "c" word!!!

We have been able to do a lot of things as a family over these last two months.  It has been a great change of pace in our household, we don't really put to much off now a days.  If there is something going on that we want to do, we do it.  Liam got to meet his favorite character in the whole world (for the moment at least), Daniel Tiger.  I have never seen this kid so excited, he didn't want to stop hugging him.  I guess it was worth it that Sadie and I stood in line for an hour to be the first to meet him.

There have been lots of brother and sister bonding time as well.  Liam really likes being a big brother and he is paying a little more attention to his sister now that she is making noise and moving around a little.

We have also been super busy planning our first family trip to Disney World.  Don and I decided that it would be a perfect time to take Liam and show him all of the magic that Disney has to offer.  I now know why people plan these trips for years, there is so much to it.  Where to stay, eat, what parks to go to.  I can't tell you how much research I have done over the last few months.  It has definitely taken on a life of its own, but it will be well worth seeing the reaction that Liam has to visiting Mickey's house (as he is calling it).  We are so excited to go on this trip as a family and to have this experience with each other.  

As of last week, I have completed six of the 14 treatments that have been scheduled for me. I cannot believe we are coming up to the halfway mark already.  While it seems like it has taken forever to get to this point, it has also felt really quick.  I am happy to share that my doctor is very impressed with how I am handling the chemo, most people who do this regiment only last 6 or 8 cycles before they have to quit because of the toll it takes on the body.  I am clearly the exception to that rule because after six cycles I am actually feeling really great.  I will say that I still have terrible mouth sores and am way more fatigued that "before" cancer but other than that I am feeling really great.  I know that I am very lucky and that most people on this regiment cannot say that, please know that I do not take that for granted. I go in for my next three day treatment on July 20th, hopefully that will go quickly unlike last week did for me.  

I also want to share that The James Cancer Hospital Sarcoma Clinic that I am being treated at will be hosting the 6th Annual 2015 Steps for Sarcoma Walk/Run on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  I hold this event very near and dear to my heart, 100% of all funds raised will go directly to The James Sarcoma Clinic and research doctors that are treating me and who are trying to find a cure for all sarcoma cancers that effect so many adults and children all over the world.  If you would like to participate in the event and join our team, Maggie's Madhatters we would love to have you!!  For the event we ask that all participants wear their craziest hat to show support for Sarcoma Awareness!!  Please see the link the below for further information and to register.  

2015 Steps for Sarcoma Walk/Run Registration

**If you are coming in from out of town to participate in the run/walk please email me and let me know the names of all registrants so that we can pick up registration packets the week of - Email:**

If you are unable to participate in the event please consider making a donation to this cause. I have setup up a team fundraising page for the event.  My team goal is to raise at least $1,000 with the hopes that we can exceed and blow past that number because Team Maggie's Madhatters Rock!!! 

Maggie's Madhatter's Fundraising Page
I thank everyone who takes the time to either participate or donate, your kindness means the world to me, Don, Liam and Sadie.  We love you all very much and don't know what we would do without each and everyone of you during this fight!!

On that note I leave you all with this:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon

I ran across this quote the other day and thought that it was very appropriate to apply it to what I have been going through these last eight months. Every day I have friends, family and even strangers tell me how brave and courageous I am fighting this cancer and how they couldn't even being to think how I deal with this everyday.  Well I will tell you, everyday, I wake up and put on a brave smile for my family, friends, those strangers of the world, even though I am terrified each and every day since my diagnosis. However, even though I have that fear and I had my dark days at the beginning of this I have consciously decided to live my life like each day like it will be the last.  Time is a gift, a gift that I like most people took for granted every waking day.  I know that life that isn't guaranteed for anyone, you can could be perfectly healthy, walk outside and get hit by a bus, but having the "c" word held over your head puts life and how you live it into perspective.  Before my diagnosis I know that I was always worried with what people thought of me and how people perceived me.  Thinking like that, I had a lot of self doubt about myself and the things I could do and accomplish.  I also know that I hid those thoughts and feelings well from most people in my life, in a way this cancer diagnosis has helped me a lot to get over these thoughts and feelings.  I don't dwell on what others think and feel about me, and I don't care if someone thinks I can do something or not.  I am here to live my life with the people that I love and that love me.  I know it will sound weird to a lot of people but in a way, cancer has made me a much stronger person than I was eight months ago.  I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and I have made promise to myself to live my "new" life to the best of my ability and in the most positive ways that I can.