Hope Just Ahead...
Bald is beautiful...
Update: July 9
Today my Stef went in to have a Pet Scan and the results after six weeks of horrid chemo were not what we had wished for. The oncologist told her there is nothing more he can do for her. The cancer has remained unchanged in her body and the time line they give her is still six months or a year?? No one really knows that answer, do they?
When I first wrote this article I had thought that it was the leukemia is what she is fighting, that it is the culprit. But actually I was mistaken. It is metastasized cancer that has spread throughout her entire body including her lymph glands that is taking its toll on her now.
Not that it really matters what the source is at this point. We just continue to HOPE for the best and to embrace every minute of every day with gusto. And hug and squeeze each other often and get all that matters out of each opportunity we have.
She is soldiering on just as she has every day for all of these years that she has been plagued by cancer. She has lived and continues to live her life for her boys including her significant other Tracy rather than focusing on herself. And I do believe in my heart of hearts that that is a huge reason she is still on the planet....she has refused to give up and give in.
Please send along some positive energy and Angels to her...and know they are being returned to you.
Update June 30
This week my daughter had her last mega dose of chemo via an IV. She has two weeks off and then will go on oral chemo for three months. We are HOPEful ....there is that word again...that this treatment has done something to help eradicate the cancer. We just do not know.
Over the years many scary moments regarding my grandsons and my daughter have arisen. Being told many times that one or the other of them was close to death has shaken me to the core. I do have questions. I do wonder. I question. One thing that has never happened is that hope was lost. It may sound strange to say the following...but HOPE has been my loyal companion throughout all of the uncertainty that the tenuous heath of my grandsons and daughter have produced.. Arising every day filled with hope has given me and my precious family the courage and strength to embrace all of the possibilities of this new day.
However....and there is often "however"....insurmountable waves of stress have come. Learning how to subvert the power such stress can bring is a journey. It can be managed and overcome to a large extent.
From the earliest years these two have 'hung' together
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.”
Just when it seems no new hurdles will come
Year after year we have jumped through hoops in an effort to stave off new onslaughts of wicked illness that has tried to creep in and grab one or the other of my loved ones. As one cancer has been controlled, another has appeared.
And time after time with my daughter the cancer, if not eradicated entirely, has been subdued, quieted, but lurking to take on a new name, a new face. Year after year she has been told that her time is limited. (As is the time of each of us.) That she needs to get on with the partying...that no good lies ahead. And thankfully she has been able to defy the odds.
“A lesson for all of us is that for every loss, there is victory, for every sadness, there is joy, and when you think you’ve lost everything, there is hope.”
About 18 months ago yet another diagnosis. Another challenge to her system began. Her heart is already compromised...having suffered a heart attack almost 25 years ago just prior to her first son's birth and then over the years more damage from chemo and other treatments.
During the routine doctor visit with her oncologist leukemia was found. And it can be horrendous or not depending on which variety one happens to find has invaded the body you call home.
At the initial diagnosis it was not terribly concerning. But over the last year and a half it has reared its ugly head. And the doctor is now telling her that, once again, her time here is finite. That in one year or less she will no longer walk the planet.
And once again she tells the doctor, "You don't know who you are dealing with." As she has heard that so many times before.
Rather than recoil into a fatalistic attitude, this young woman chooses to soldier on....an expression I use time and time again to describe how she navigates this unplanned, unwanted course that has become her normal.
She has learned to traverse these waters by refusing to give up and give in...she focuses on the needs of others especially her sons while attending to her own needs and those of her beloved Tracy, her love of 10 years. How better to deflect worry and stress than to outer direct that which would suck us in and suffocate us.
My Stef in the foreground as 5K run fundraiser kicked off
- Deflect stress and worry.
- And perhaps a bit of 'deny.' Deny the power of worry and stress.
- Outer direct thoughts and energy as much as possible.
- Take time to enjoy the beauty and solace of each moment.
- Slow down and live.
Sound too simple? It actually is not simple. It is actually a process. We have learned to do these things as a way to survive this nightmare that no one wants, no one ever thinks will enter the lives of those we love.
It is, you know...
Ways to deflect
day to day stress (where are my keys? glasses? where is the phone?)
Get organized....a place for everything...and put it there!
go for a walk...chat with a friend...read a calming passage
recognize that fear changes nothing....then do the above
throw things (preferably things that won't break or hurt anyone) ....scream loudly...exercise...free yourself from that burden
Hopeful .... hope-filled
Three Precious Loved Ones
Surround yourself with caring individuals
A HUGE way that we are able to remain semi-sane through all of this is that we all have supportive, caring lovelies who listen and care and do when we need it.
It is so important to have one or two special people who care enough to help shoulder the weight of catastrophic illness in a family. Someone (s) for whom you would be that person when he or she needs your shoulders.
So helpful for me and my daughter are the lovelies who listen listen listen as we share our concerns and our moments of weakness when tears flow. After having that time to share it is possible to pick up the pieces and move forward....embracing all that the promise of a new day offers.
There are no promises as we walk this walk on this planet. It is an uncharted course for us that allows us the freedom to make it a most wondrous time. For it to become the best it can be it seems to me that we should be unfettered from worry and stress and fear and anger. Loose those chains and regain control of that which is in your power to control.
If you cannot change something...find the wisdom to recognize that fact and focus your energy on making a difference however you can.
Let hope be your constant companion. It is working for us and has for years. That does not mean that we can stave off whatever may come. It just means there is always the belief that the course that is set may change at least for a time.
We as a family are so blessed. I, in particular, am so very blessed. Despite all of the illness and uncertainty, I am blessed to have my daughter and 2 grandsons still on the planet. It has made me a better person.
I see hope just ahead.
Laugh in the face of Danger
My Stef....facing the new and all that it promises
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Patricia Scott