I’ve been paralyzed with fear since May 29th when the dr said my lymph nodes were concerning and everything else in my world flipped upside down. I knew it wasn’t ok, nothing felt ok. 3 weeks later, “malignant cancer cells” stopped me in my tracks and had me leaving my family mid-vacation to fly home for a second biopsy after the first confirmed my worst fears.
The most beautiful people I know have died from cancer.
The most beautiful people I know have survived cancer.
Cancer does not discriminate. It does not care if you are young, old, thin, fat, wealthy, poor, kind, mean, with children or not. Cancer is a beast.
I have felt frozen in fear. My entire energy has been focused on remaining optimistic, hopeful, and well-nourished. I can’t think straight. The simplest of tasks feel overwhelming. I can’t sleep, up late at night, awake early in the morning. I am forgetful. The only time I’ve been able to write was on diagnosis day, to convince myself that I HAD TO believe in my healing because to have doubt means death.
My brain is on repeat:
I am healthy.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I repeated this for an entire PET scan. I repeated this during my MRI. I repeat every morning and anytime I’m going to vomit in disbelief that there’s even the slightest chance that this could be IT. Because it can’t be it. This. Can’t. Be. It.
I refuse to believe it.
But I am scared. I am terrified. But, I have to get up, take care of my family, and take care of myself. Or death becomes a true possibility.
It’s suffocating. The anxiety in my chest, the tightness needing air, it exhausts my body while craving the oxygen I can’t seem to inhale fully, hard as I try.
The adrenaline and exhaustion are eerily reminiscent of not knowing WHEN my daughter would die, but knowing that inevitably she would. I’m surviving in Fight or Flight right now. But, I’m surviving.
I’m so grateful for the help I’ve received with meals for my family and babysitting my boys for the non-stop appointments with drs, specialists, technicians, chiropractor, acupuncturist. Each appointment sends me on step closer to answers, a plan, healing and the ability to feel confident that my boys are safe and cared for alleviates my biggest sadness in all this, my time being taken from them. But, it’s only for a short time and it’s better than the alternative.
I received the best news in the worst case scenario last night-THE CANCER IS ISOLATED meaning, it has stayed localized to my head & neck. This is so relieving and allows it to be easier treated, with surgery to remove the primary cancer in back of tongue, my lymph nodes, and possibly my thyroid OR daily chemo and radiation for 6 weeks. Both sound pretty painful and neither are ideal (because none of this is ideal!) but it means that the dr feels confident that this is treatable. TREATABLE! (Which is the opposite of death.)
I’m so tired. But, I’m ready to do this! I’m putting on my (love) suit of armor! Now that we have some answers, we gear up for the treatment. I’m not naive to think this will be easy, in fact I’ve been told this is the most pain I’ve ever endured. But I’ve learned, nothing worth having is easy and my life is worth anything they ask me to do.
I am healthy.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I can do this.
Oh, and this is where I start needing a ton more help. Please continue to check the Care Calendar at https://www.giveinkind.com/inkinds/324/lands-family-love if you’d like to help our family with meals, childcare for appointments, or supporting our family financially.
I love you all.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.