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Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Surviving

http://blog.cancerforward.org/2013/02/27/cancer-redefined-survivor

Healing Eyes

Small world

Bought new running shorts for Saturdays race and coincidentally met the sister of Andy’s Oncologist surgeon, who saved Andy’s life in November. Talked about cancer and her husband that passed away from skin cancer… Small world when touched by cancer.. So many people out there and so many stories of loss and encouragement.

Healing Eyes

pickles and squirrels

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Lovely trip to work today with andy. The Campus was bursting with flowers.
We had a cute picnic lunch together near some dorms..almost like being in college together again, minus the cold Lake Superior breeze 🙂
On our walk around campus there was a jimmy johns pickle on the ground near a trash can, we wondered whether squirrels would eat it or not. We giggled over the sight of a squirrel carrying a pickle thru campus.

When we got home we had to rush off to the YMCA for our first day of therapy. We signed andy up for a cancer well fit program where we get a free membership too. Very nice gym and great pool, complete with splash pad.

The only huge downer of the night was when we found out our neighbor kids are now throwing rocks over the fence. Sigh…our cars are probably only safe on the street now. But on the upside this hiccup would have been more bothersome pre-cancer…since now we have bigger issues to stress over. .. It’s all perspective.

Healing Eyes

Week 2 Begins

It’s been almost a week since Andy tried his first step back to reality. I have waited quite awhile before writing on it, I am not quite sure why. Perhaps i just was procrastinating, or trying to feel we could have a normal week. It’s strange, when you go thru a traumatic event you never know how you will come out afterwards. One can’t compare one trauma to another, just as you can’t compare one person to another. A trauma will stay with you forever, it marks you as unique. Uniquely qualified, certifiably un-normal. hmm one could go pretty deep down that path of thought. I think I best come back up for air and talk reality.

His first day back was unique. I drove him to work, that was the first thing not-normal. Then we both walked in together and contained our composure. Success was found when we made it to his desk and I pulled out my computer and went about working remotely (second thing not-normal, working from Kalamazoo was a first for me). Gotta keep the mind going and the money flowing. Andy busied himself with catching up on things, he was energized by the change I think. In plain truth, it was very very nice to see my Andy again. He was happy I believe, but that was only my observation. By the end of the day  he was exhausted, we both were. It was a good exhaustion that was long overdue. Not exhausted from an ER visit or another never ending parade of doctors listing out ‘what ifs’ and ‘if then’ statements.

We went back another day that week for an encore performance. It was just as wonderful and therapeutic.

Now its week 2..whatever shall we do. I’m not sure and its 9 pm on a Sunday night. Tomorrow is so far away. If i’ve learned anything these last months is that anything is possible. One minute is as different as the next. I will be optimistic for this week and not let myself listen to the pessimistic perspective. This week we will wake up each day and breathe in…and than decide.

One thing is for certain. I love Andy, Andy loves Sarah. Nothing will change that its a tale as old as time (yes that cues the song from Beauty and the Beast..hmm which is the Beauty and whom is the beast. I always thought andy was more of the Beauty since he brings out the best in me)… cough cough yes soooo mooshy:)

Healing Eyes

Back to school jitters

ImageTomorrow is Andy’s first day back to work after our Cancer diagnosis. It’s a test to see how far we’ve come since August 2012. His desk is probably just as he left it. It’s strange that this time last year our routine was to get up at 6am and both get ready to go to work. We would eat our breakfast, kiss each other goodbye and get in separate cars and drive to our separate jobs. That all changed one Fall day when the oncologist said those awful words, Cancer. Just like that Andy’s desk was abandoned, his computer left on from whatever he was working on before he vanished. In an instant the daily routine was doctor’s appointments and scans, instead of office meetings and phone calls. Daily fears of the cancer spreading, the unknown of what the doctors could do, instead of worrying about computers breaking or office squabbles.

I can only imagine what Andy is feeling right now, if he’s excited or scared, anxious or worried, but I know that I am for both of us. My stomach is churning, my heart is being squeezed, and breathing in I feel tightness in my chest. It’s only a ONE day test run but it feels so weird, our lives were put on pause for so long, it’s not just an easy on/off button we are pushing here. This is a reboot, waking up from a forced hard return, something you don’t wake up from and return the same. There are still bugs in the system, that virus called Cancer wasn’t easily removed, it took a part away that can’t ever be replaced. This whole time I have continued on for both of us, I went to work while Andy healed. I worked amongst others living there normal lives. I have experienced the awkwardness, the feelings of not knowing what to say, how to just work even though that pressing personal crap lingers. At any minute the phone could ring or a text comes thru saying come home now, or it’s time for a doctors appointment, another ER visit delaying a normal 5 day work week. I didn’t have cancer inside me but it sure put perspective on life. 

Knowing you have cancer is completely different than living with it, this new normal is terrifying, it’s not a happy day even though many think this is because going to work must signify healed. This is a slow return to reality where everything will be different and yet the same. It’s hard not to think too deep into this but .. wow .. we survived Gastric Stage 3b Cancer, we came out the other side, its now learning to live with what we were given and coping with what was taken away that is the new and most difficult stage of this journey. Cancer doesn’t end at diagnosis or even remission, I think, at least I am guessing we are not alone in this thought… but the next days and months and hopefully years are going to be an entirely different life. One day, one deep intake of breath, and one hug at a time. Those lurking CT scans and doctor visits won’t go away but maybe the ‘On’ button will start flashing again and we can heal.

Healing Eyes

Down sizing

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Andy needs a new wardrobe after losing so much weight. It’s like we went back to the college years and skinny Andy is back.. And I love him just as much as I did back then. Maybe even more. So off to goodwill with the big clothes and in with the new.

Healing Eyes

Down sizing

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Andy needs a new wardrobe after losing so much weight. It’s like we went back to the college years and skinny Andy is back.. And I love him just as much as I did back then. Maybe even more. So off to goodwill with the big clothes and in with the new.

Healing Eyes

Burning numb pain

Update of the day:
All day my andy has been suffering from leg pain. Our pain clinic won’t return our call..so frustrating. We know its from a tear in his disc, its just shocking the doctor doesn’t call us back when he too knows its on the stupid MRI, we can’t make this kind of pain up!
Unless you have a tumor it seems you are looked over as not important anymore. What is frustrating is they took his stomach, they poisoned his body with chemo and then after that its a fight to get attention for helping his suffering from it all.
Now, not all the doctors are passing us over but the ONE clinic that’s supposed to alleviate pain should be more caring and attentive with my andy! He’s been thru so much, just make the leg pain go away pleaaaaaaaase!

Healing Eyes

Cancer Sucks Fundraising Page

Cancer Sucks Fundraising Page

Help raise money for Cancer! I am only up to $105 and my goal is $500 🙁 help me earn that free cycling jersey for my upcoming bike tour of 80 miles the end of June. The money goes for Skin Cancer Research. Just follow the link and be sure to donate to my fundraising page called ‘cancer sucks – ride harder’

Healing Eyes

Life After cancer Treatment

Life After cancer Treatment (click here for interesting article)

This first part sounds so true! and remind me to stop asking Andy why are you so tired…he can’t help it. Cancer sucks and life after Cancer is really really hard.

Some have described survivorship as being “disease-free, but not free of your disease.” What you experience with your body may be related to the type of cancer you had and the treatment you received. It’s important to remember that no two people are alike, so you may experience changes that are very different from someone else’s, even if that person had the same type of cancer and treatment.

Healing Eyes